Bourbon

Bottles of Bourbon

I lived in Kentucky for a year when I was 16 years old. As I started to drink alcohol, around the age of 23, I started to learn that I had an affinity for a drink often know to hail from the region of the United States called Bourbon. Now, all whiskey is not bourbon, but all bourbon is whiskey. It’s a subclass of whiskey. I’ve heard several differentiations of what constitutes bourbon, from where it is made, to the ingredients to, and several others. The thing is, I don’t really care about that. What I care about is that it is a drink that I enjoy. I enjoy drinking it on the rocks. I know it waters it down the whiskey, but if it is how I like it, why is it wrong?

This is about a story, and I’m fine sharing it, because I don’t think anyone really reads my posts. A couple of years ago, some of my friends moved to California and for their move in, I brought over a bottle of Bourbon. I didn’t know which one to get, so I bought one called Blanton’s. It turned out that we really enjoyed the bottle. I’ve ordered it since, but haven’t really bought another bottle. That is, until the same friend said that she was having trouble finding a bottle for sale anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked past a bottle for sale at about $60.

That is why when my friend asked me to get her a bottle if I found it, I thought it was going to be an easy request to honor. Turns out not. I’ve been looking and haven’t seen a bottle. So I started to call around and see what I could find here in Rhode Island. I called 4 liquor stores that I thought might carry it, and none of them had it.

It turns out that over the past couple of years, bourbon has been becoming harder to get a hold of. Bottles that were in the fifty dollar price range have shot up a ton. I know this is my liquor of choice, not scotch, or rum. So I am committed to learning more about this drink. Yes, I kill it with ice. Yes, at this point I don’t really know what I’m talking about when it comes the drink. But there was a time when I didn’t know a thing about coffee either and now all my friends describe me as a coffee snob.

So I guess what I’m trying to say, is here to diving into yet another area to learn enough become a whiskey snob.

Ruling

Cat sitting in metal cooking thing

This is a the first in a new series of pet poetry, written in the voice of the pet in the picture. This was inspired by the book I Could Pee On This which I highly recommend for the humor value.

I see you there.
I’m sitting here
In my metal throne with arm rest
I suspect you are up to no good
I will find out what you are keeping from me
And when I know I will administer the required sentence
For I am the queen of this space I allow you to inhabit with me
Do not test me…


Details: Cat’s name is Case, and he belongs to a friend of mine.

D.T.B.G

Do Something Great

Recently United States launches its first astronauts into space since the end of the space shuttle program in 2011. SpaceX and NASA just launched at 3:30 pm eastern on Saturday May 30, 2020.

DTBG is an abbreviation for Dare To Be Great.

I was first introduced to the acronym when I joined RelateIQ in 2014. It was our official company motto. We had signs up in the office to remind us to D.T.B.G. and the number of times I’ve uttered either the phrase or acronym is probably incalculable.

It was probably years after I started using the term that I began to understand the phrases origin story. It stems from a speech from President Theodore Roosevelt titled Citizenship in a Republic delivered at Sorbonne in Paris, August 23, 1910. The speech is long, and there is a key section that is called The Man in the Arena speech. Here is that section:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

This quote is at the start of Bernée Brown’s book Daring Greatly. Throughout the several hundred pages of her text (which I have listened to once and am in the process of re-reading), Bernée talks about the work that we as humans need to go through to actually dare greatly. She talks about shame and vulnerability and many stories and asides along the way. There is more to the book and more that I will write about once my thoughts have fully been collected, but using this quote caused me to look at it again.

Here’s the thing, I’ve been misunderstanding DTBG from the beginning. My understanding was that I shouldn’t just strive to do okay, but should strive for the highest honors and the greatest achievement. Going all out for everything at all times. Leave nothing behind.

After reading more of the speech and dissecting the the paragraph above I’ve come to a very different conclusion about this passage and the meaning of Daring To Be Great. Yes, Roosevelt was talking about achieving greatness, but the way to get there isn’t what I thought. There are going to be moments where swinging for the fences is the right thing to do, but more than taking a big swing, getting off the bench and swinging at all is the important thing. We have to try. It’s about the trying, win or lose. It doesn’t need to be about winning but playing the game.


In the present time with so much going on, I’ve been stuck on how to contribute, how to stand up and play. Between the Black Lives Matter and Covid 19 crisis, I’ve felt extremely powerless. I don’t know what to do. Not knowing what to do has kept me in a place of sitting on the bench. A place of thought and criticism. I’m afraid to DTBG because I’m afraid of hurting or offending others. I’m afraid of standing up and taking time and space away from other voices that need to be heard.

But greatness isn’t achieved by those who sit by and read. By those who criticize others. Who judge one thing as the wrong thing to do be done and another as the right thing. The act of doing is the art of learning. I’m hoping to follow this motto that has been in life for over six years now, and I’m finally just beginning to understand.

Cover Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Linda Motorkid

Smiling Linda

I lost a friend last week. She was amazing and I want everyone to know about Linda.

I met Linda six years ago in the Planet Granite Masters Class. She always climbed levels above me, but was never too busy to encourage me as I worked on my projects. She was a magnificent climber.

Linda shaped my life with our friendship. One such example was the following exchange (to the best of my memory):

Zack: “I really want to get better at climbing so I can climb with you”
Linda: “You are a coach, how would you coach yourself to get better”
Zack: “I would hire a coach, it’s really hard to coach oneself.”
Zack goes out and gets a climbing coach and gets better at climbing and life.

There were adventure trips with her to Yosemite (multiple) and Bowman Lake up in Tahoe. I remember a boulder adventure to Castle Rock. There were an appearances at my birthday parties and just general tons of fun and laughs.

The collection of stories that runs between our lives is complex and this is just a taste. What I’m failing to convey is the caring emotion she brought with her. The kindness and compassion that moved me and inspired me. The connections between me and others that are stronger because of her compassion and involvement in my life.

I’m going to miss her terribly. To all of those who had the pleasure of knowing Linda like I did, I’m sorry for your loss. To those of you who didn’t know Linda, I’m sorry that you didn’t get to meet her.

I reserve the right to update this post as more pertinent details about this amazing human come to me.

Poem: Tahoe

Mecca of Snow + Ski

A great place for gaining chi

 

Not too far from Reno

Best enjoyed with a glass of Vino

 

Snow is better than the east coast

Good enough for this worthy toast

 

The air is so crisp and clear

So raise your very best beer

 

Lets start this off with the right level of cheer

Stand Up, get off your rear

 

Get your ass out here

Even if you are not near

 

Because this is the place

Come show your face!

T_Logging It : TLog_0020

I was going through my old notebook and saw this:

This is from a very old project notebook. Two project notebooks ago, actually (for scale, I finish one of these every couple of years). I’m often reticent about sharing my thoughts. I don’t think they are important. Who cares what I’m thinking? I barely care what I’m thinking. I write it down and take notes so I can look back at it, but I almost never do.

What this note says is that it is not for us to determine what is really the story. We share what is going on and slowly a story evolves. The story can’t show up without the seed content. Maybe our lives are interesting? Maybe we have more to share of interest than we know.

I’m not a video guy. I don’t shoot much video. Yes, I see the world going in that direction and I believe that someday I will shoot and edit video, but today I don’t. Today, I have my words and my camera. I will use them to share where I am.

Here’s what’s on the docket for today:

Boss’s Birthday

Tomorrow is my bosses birthday. He is a great man, very hard to read, and very reserved. I’ve known him for about 3 years at this point and in that time frame he has started drinking coffee and beer as well as buying a bike and trying a bunch of new sports. For his birthday, I’ve decided to get him a boot she full of Sol, his favorite beer.

Acro On Friday

I haven’t been to Friday Acro in forever. I’m hoping to make it today. My body has started to get overly tight. I need to work on getting it lose again. Hoping to work on flexibility and strength and stability in the acro, even if it is beginner.

Hack Day Planning

We are doing a hack day next week at the office and I’m responsible for planning it. I’m close to having everything figured out but I need to get decorations and trophies tied up. I’m sort of thinking about printing out some desk signs to get people knowing about what is upcoming. I’m still thinking about my hack day project.

Photos

There are so many photo projects on my plate that I feel more than a little overwhelmed. I haven’t touched my family pictures form Thanksgiving. I have a bunch of acro pictures from the summer to process. I have instagrams to get together. I have some unsplash photos I want to put together.

Blog Post

There is another blog post coming, on Battle For The Bolts, be ready!

Conclusion

This weekend is a catch up weekend. Hoping to chill out a bit and catch up on all the pieces that are top of mind.

Hack Day: Hackers

Today is hack day at work. In honor of that I’ve started listening to a shared playlist on Apple Music containing the original soundtrack from the 1995 film Hackers. This movie changed my life. I remember when I first saw it. I was in my best friend’s house, I was 11 or so. We were in an upstairs room because that was where the TV was. I don’t think I got to see the whole thing, but the little I did see captured me.

My best friend was a super athlete and I was super not.

Hackers was a movie about a bunch of intellectual kids using their intellect for good. This made me believe there was more to this world than just being a good athlete. It made me believe that we all provide value. That I could provide value with my mind.

I don’t know if I would have ended up in this career path in other ways, but Hackers was definitely a motivating factor for choosing engineering in college.

The movie keeps up. I usually watch it at least once a year (which means I’ve probably seen it more than 20 times) and I always enjoy. What I had forgotten about was the soundtrack. Today I put it on while I was coding and it was really great. I forgot about Prodigy and some of the other bands on the album.

If you remember the movie, maybe you should consider picking up the album and re-listening as well!