Thursday, July 26, 2007

Three Birds

It was about 5:30 AM. It's still dark. I’m getting started on a little morning exercise. Pacific waves crash onto the beach here at the waters edge, where Marina del Ray and Venice intersect. While sunrise is still about an hour off, the birds of the beach are busy working for their morning meals.

Interestingly, three birds stand out. Let's call the first bird Andy. Andy appears to be pretty ordinary, other than it's the only bird that has a fish today! He's busy feasting at the edge of the water. Then there was Bailey, who's just sitting on the beach, away from the water line. Bailey just watches. And finally, there's Charlie. Charlie is standing atop a giant heap of seaweed, patiently pecking through it. All of the other birds seem to follow the same repetition of scurrying back and forth with the waves. The wave rolls out, the birds waddle down and makes a few darts into the receding shallows. As the next wave rolls in, they scurry back up the beach until the wave returns to the ocean. And then again, and again...

It seems like this dance along the shore is the normal way of feeding. It's what has to be done to be a bird living in CA. They don't seem to mind it either. As one whispered in the sleepy wee hours of the morning..."Hey buddy. It's California. Venice Beach. After all, have you seen what some will do to live here in LA?

So, I had to wonder about Andy, Bailey and Charlie. How did Andy end up with a fish that weighed more than he did? Why was Bailey just sitting there, the only bird just sitting around doing nothing? And, did Charlie know something about seaweed piles that none of the other birds new?

Since birds don't really talk, not even in LA, I did what most people in LA do. I wrote a screenplay!

Andy was steady, optimistic and somewhat of an early bird. Andy is the kind of bird that believes in making the most of every day and being the best bird a bird can be. Andy knew that by being in the position to take advantage of an opportunity, one day his big day would arrive, and he'd cash in. That day was today. It was a prize of a fish, and it'll be a day the grandbirds will hear about for generations.

Bailey was a bird that had once fallen on hard times. A broken toe kept Bailey from the daily work of fishing, and begging beach-goers became the way for Bailey. After the toe healed, Bailey went back to fishing, but soon tired of working tirelessly at the shoreline for a few tiny bites here and there. It just wasn't worth it, knowing that begging tourists for scraps would achieve the same. And tourists were happy to feed Bailey's lazy ways. Bailey had no reason to work the shores with his fellow birds. And Bailey became a social outcast, rejected by society, seemingly happy to sit and watch.

Finally, there was Charlie, who appeared to be the smart bird. Charlie had learned that heaps of seaweed meant heaps of little fish easy for the picking. The seaweed pile trapped hundreds of fish, making a meal as simple as plucking them from the pile. Charlie had struck it rich, not through luck or charity, but by using his bird brain.

I suppose that most birds are made to follow a certain behavior pattern as instinct dictates. They live well and what they do works. Some birds, while maybe not so smart, work hard and are persistent, and they'll get lucky here and there. And other birds learn to cut corners, to find the easy solution. But what happens when the tourists leave? Finally, there are those rare birds that find ways to improve their return on their efforts by thinking, and by being smart birds.

If I were a bird, I'd hope to live high on the seaweed heap. I'd follow Andy's example, avoid Bailey's downfall, and be content if average was the best I could do.

That's how my story ends. I know it could be more exciting, but I was going for an art film.

So off I run, down to the Santa Monica Pier. As the sun rises, what I thought were piles of trash on the beach, heaped next to trash barrels turn out to be people sleeping on the beach.

The sunrise brings out a bevy of runners, skaters and bikers eager to get their day started with a boost of adrenaline, and rush of sweet blood through the body. Dogs and their people find their way into the walkways, and beggars setup shop along the sidewalks.

At this point, probably a mile from my finish, I am just tired. I misjudged my distance, and with each block, I wonder, "are we there yet?" Finally, we're there. And at the end of my run is the Cow's End, a fine coffee joint and great place to sit and watch dogs and their people. Now that's a great end to the start of a great day!

Thursday, July 19, 2007

I don't golf much...

I don't golf much because I am not very good. I love to play the game and it's a great way to enjoy a beautiful day. Now, I've discovered another way to enjoy golf: by designing a golf shoe. Please check it out, and vote for my shoe. I'd appreciate 5 stars, even if you don't like my design. Thanks for you 5 stars in advance!

FootJoy Golf Shoes
$1000 for the coolest pair!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday. A Good Reason to Smile.

There are many things that happen in the world around us and in our own world that give us cause to change our view of the world. What I really mean, I am guilty for letting the negative things in the world darken my outlook and tint my perspective. More and more each day I challenge myself to seek out the good and the positive side of things. That means verbalizing, or writing about the positive.

First thing this morning, was a premature wakeup call from my little girls, Chloe and Paisley. They wake up in the middle of the night, just happy to be in bed with me. They walk over an paw me on the cheek or lick my nose and mouth until I rub them a little. Paisley is especially funny. She's a charmer. She rubs the side of her face with her two paws or if she's standing, one paw, to let you know she wants more. She's not too greedy, so it's not too much time that passes before she's satisfied.

Then I rise and get off to the coffee shop where I am pleased by the Athlete Profile in the local newspaper. She's a boxer and she's in 2nd grade I think. What nobody knows about her? She boxes. What people will say when she is gone? Where's Hailey?

I arrive at the office to discover that one of my former employees is trying to dismantle my company by stealing employees and clients. The loyalty of clients and great employees becomes apparent when neither are interested in leaving.

I am soon off to the gym, where I can work off some of the day's stress, and brainstorm a new idea for an upcoming tradeshow. With any luck my mind will wonder and I'll innovate a new product for my dog design business, or maybe I'll workout a database design for a new client at Firefly.

That's the curse and the blessing in loving what you do. It's always there. Happiness depends mostly on how you see you tint the world.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

What is it?

A friend and I have coffee just about every morning. She's not a normal girl. She's more like a schizofrenic's alternate personality. One of the reasons I like her is that she loves to engage in utter useless conversation, simply for the fun of it. Now, it's not your nomal stuff like "The foot troubles of aunt Betty Lu" or why it takes so long for the DMV to process your license photo. No. Our discussions are usually about the absurd, like; Which would be worse, losing a country or losing a numeral? Why do they sell hot dog buns 8 in a pack and hot dogs wieners 10 in a pack? What qualifies one as a superhero?

Just this past weekend in the comics section a comic ran engaging one of Zeno of Elea's paradoxes; the paradox of motion. It was after giving it some thought and a bit of research we realize that each morning we participated in an exercise much like Zeno. It is the process of ‘reductio ad absurdum’, in which we take one another's ideas and reduce them to absurdity.

Learn more at

That's in great part what you'll find here; quickly keyed mutterings relating to the more memorable of these conversations.

That's all I have for now. Good day.