It’s Golden

I love to travel, but sadly haven’t had the time or bankroll to do so nearly as much as I’d like. So a couple years ago, I decided to rope my buddy into exploring the Golden Road in Maine, someplace I had wanted to go for a long time. And when I say it’s in Maine I mean real Maine. Northern Maine, where towns are still territories, the roads are really only fit for four-wheel-drive vehicles, and logging trucks DO have the right-of-way. It was amazing … a tiny cabin deep in the woods, no artificial light for MANY miles, starry night skies rarely seen, and logging roads meant for exploring and hidden lakes with unbelievable fishing! Here are a couple long overdue pictures of the trip … enjoy.

 

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Tokyo, here I come!

Actually, I’m back and have been meaning to post this for a while, but better late than never.

I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Tokyo recently for business. To be completely honest, I was nervous and not really sure what to expect. I had never been to Tokyo, or even anywhere in Asia before and it’s a long trip to make in just six days round-trip.

However, it was all completely unfounded. My hosts at Kyodo PR were amazing and made me feel at home immediately. In fact, everyone I met was incredibly helpful, kind and patient (with me, that is)!

And Tokyo itself? Go! If you get the chance I highly recommend it. Probably the easiest way to describe it is as a kinder, gentler and MUCH cleaner NYC. And the food is simply amazing. If you like sushi you haven’t lived until you have been to Japan. But that doesn’t do it justice, you have to experience it for yourself.

So, I went not knowing what to expect and left not wanting the trip to end. Along the way I met wonderful people, made new friends, ate great food and had a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Will update with pics soon (really!).

*Originally posted December 5, 2008 on my former blog

A new breed of discrimination

I’m issuing a challenge: call home insurance companies servicing your area and ask them if they will cover you if you own a Pitbull, German Shepherd, Doberman, Rottweiler, Akita, etc. My bet is they won’t. Why? Home insurance companies are waging a new form of racial discrimination and profiling … on your dog.

The fact is insurance companies are creating lists of dogs which, if you own, will ensure you do not qualify for coverage. For many (and yes, including me) the last resort is to go with their state’s “fair plan” coverage, which is often 3x more expensive. Personally, I think this policy … and make no mistake that’s what it is, policy … is ignorant and shortsighted, and based on outdated breed stereotypes from the dark ages (add the occasional media frenzy over some idiot dog owners’ animal biting someone … remember, no stupid dogs, just stupid owners).

Now we even have states reviewing legislation to ban certain dog breeds. Home insurance companies will continue to expand their secret “lists”. Thankfully, there are a few companies that have the morals, intelligence and common decency to take dogs and their owners on a case-by-case basis. Amica’s a great example. My advice, support and applaud these companies until it’s too late and we’re all uninsurable, or paying double or triple what we should because of a pet we love as part of our family. Or, maybe that’s their plan after all?

*Originally posted July 10, 2007 on my former blog

Reflection

I started this blog as part of my journey toward better physical health, or change. And while I have made progress, I still have a lot of work ahead on that side of things. But, recent life events are a constant reminder that change is always more than skin deep.

Today, I attended the funeral of a family member of one of my closest friends. It was a sad day, as funerals always are. But, what struck me was the smiles and laughter that filled the ceremony. The number of people that stood up and gave their account of a man that, literally, touched the lives of thousands of people through his work and outreach. Not only did it touch me for the sake of my friend, but it made me wonder … how will I be remembered when my number is called?

Being in marketing and PR, I can rationalize and set a plan for how to shape reputation and perception. But, having worked with many companies — from start-up to household brand names — I also know that those outward perceptions will fade if what lies beneath does not reflect what is being projected. True change, meaning and purpose have to come from within. And, if we’re true to that, manifest in how we conduct ourselves and interact with others. Every interaction is an impression … an opportunity to make an impact.

So in reflection, true change can only come from within. And if we’re fortunate and true to ourselves, will find its way through the clutter to impress upon those around us. We are, after all, walking billboards for ourselves. And nobody likes false advertising.

There’s a bike in here, somewhere

bike mess in basementCombine my love of motorcycles with my DIY attitude and you get … a basket case motorcycle in my basement! Well, probably about 1.7 motorcycles if you include all the parts I’ve accumulated. The bike(s) in question is a classic 1983 Yamaha Maxim xj750 Midnight edition. My goal is to completely restore the bike and have a very sinister looking custom street fighter rise from the ashes from what is now, literally a pile of parts.

A lofty goal, for sure. But, I love getting my hands dirty and building things so I’m enjoying the process. So far, I’ve sorted all the parts and started stripping the tank and frame. Unfortunately, I don’t have access to a sandblaster, which would make things much easier (and faster). I’ll have to let you know if doing it by hand makes the process more gratifying later (um, but don’t count on it). Once I have all the pieces stripped, cleaned, sanded, primed and painted it should be a matter of reassembly and then off to the races! Hopefully.

I’ll post periodic updates and pics for anyone who’s interested.

Ride or die

Ninja wreck

My poor, poor Ninja

For those who don’t know, one of my personal passions is motorcycles. There is nothing in the world like hitting the road on a bike. It’s an amazing combination of power, performance and freedom. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to ride growing up or in my earlier adult life, so only started riding several years ago. But, it was absolute love at first ride.

My first bike was a beautiful black-on-red Kawasaki Ninja 650r. It was a fantastic first bike — quick but not brutal and great handling. Sadly, the Ninja met an untimely death at the hands of a teenage girl in a big car. Luckily, I walked away with my skin intact thanks to wearing the right riding gear (shout out to Icon).

Within a week, I was at the dealership signing on the dotted line for an amazing Ducati Monster 1000. All I can say is WOW. While the Ninja was quick and easy to ride, the Ducati was savage. In a very, very good way. Once I got adjusted to the Monster it was simply the best experience ever. Powerful and amazing both in a straight line and the bends. So much machine and amazing to look at.

Sadly, I had to sell the Monster a short time ago. But, I’m onto my next bike project and eagerly getting ready to get out and ride again … more to come.

Simply amazing

Simply amazing