Saturday, October 30, 2004

14 days, 4 airlines, 7 cities, 3 time zones

After two weeks on the road, I am glad to be home. I leave again Thursday for Pittsburgh and the MEDA Convention and then 2 days at the home office in Lancaster.

Day one, United Airlines: Portland OR: Birthday party for Dick Howard was a great time. Jeff Barneson met me there and drove us around in a rental car. We crossed the might Columbia River into Vancouver, Washington. Friday evening we used the industrial sized kitchen of a church of a friend to make bread pudding and prep a whole bunch of stuff for the cooking the next day. Two dozen of us cut up bread, apples, cleaned garlic, chopped herbs and stuff all under the able direction of Ben Howard, Dick and Judy's son who is a professional chef. They baked the bread pudding. We also stood around chatting, eating sliced bread with 6 or eight kinds of cheeses with names like Brie, Humboldt Fog, Bleu, and other names I do not know and cannot remember. I plan to go to the nearest Whole Foods grocery store and discover all these and many more kinds of cheeses.

Then Dick, Jeff, Ben, and I went to the place were the party on Saturday was to take place. Ben and his friend prepared a whole lamb that was to be smoked on a spit the next day. Some other highlights of the menu included as appetizers: grilled prawns, Winchester Bay Oysters, rosemary skewered Prosciutto wrapped fig & bleu cheese. Entrées: spit roasted Oregon Lamb, grilled wild Alaska salmon, smoked ribs, grilled and smoked chicken with lemon and thyme, selection of German sausages. Sides: roasted caramelized squash, roasted golden and red beets. The desert was apple bread pudding with rum sauce and vanilla ice cream. [Something about a chocolate cake was made by Ben's mom, but something happened and I don't think it actually made it to the table.]

The eating event reminded me of the film Babette's Feast.

Ben works at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Beth and Steve, you ought to check it out for us. We can go together when we are up there some time. The restaurant is all about sustainable food or slow food. All the staff is paid a living wage. Only food that is in season, organic and sustainable is served. I went to a similar restaurant in Philadelphia this year called the White Dog.

A great quote from the thank you card that Dick sent after the party to me: "Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly proclaiming . . . 'Wow! What a ride!'"

On Frontier Airlines I flew from Portland to Atlanta, Georgia landing in Denver [city #2]. I left my Nike windbreaker jacket in the overhead compartment from Portland to Denver. So, gotta replace that.

Monday through Friday at the Sheraton Colony Square with John and Miriam Carver for an in-depth look at the Policy Governance(r) model. The week was excellent using the highest level of learning on Bloom's Taxonomy scale synthesizing the information and looking at various applications for Policy Governance(r). Deconstructing it piece by piece and seeing how it works and putting it back together again. Nineteen of us in the advance academy are looking to improve the use of Policy Governance(r) in the organizations where they work or learning to consult for organizations needing the technical assistance to make it work well.

Cindi came out to Atlanta on Friday afternoon using some frequent flyer miles from Delta Airlines. We rented a car and drove to Savannah, Georgia and Hilton Head, South Carolina. These cities are on the Atlantic Coast and the trip into South Carolina gives me one more state in our quest to visit 50 by out 50th birthdays. Savannah is a fascinating place. Built pre-civil war, pre-revolutionary war, a long time ago with a street plan that included 24 "squares" or parks. 21 of these squares still exist, each with its unique history, statues, plants, flowers and trees. Savannah has been made famous by lots of movies and books. Forest Gump sat on a bench in one of the squares when he uttered those famous words " Life is like a box of chocolates." The book and move Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is based on an historical murder mystery in one of the large houses on one of the famous squares. We took a bus tour of the historical city center with the squares and then we toured the civil rights museum. As with many southern cities, Savannah has its own history of progress in civil rights.

Back to Atlanta on Sunday, we visited the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library. This was interesting because I remember the history: peace accords at Camp David, shortage of energy, renewed interest and diplomatic relations with the quarter of the world's population in mainland China, the Panama Canal treaty re-negotiated, and of course, the 444 days of the Iran Hostage Crisis. We ran out of time to visit the Martin Luther King Jr. historical site. This may not have been a problem though as my friend Ryan VerWys went there to find that it was closed for refurbishing and only got to watch a video.

Cindi headed back home Sunday evening. Thanks to Doris for picking her up at the end of the green line in Norwalk.

From Atlanta, I headed to Miami on American Airlines for my regular work with MEDA Compassion Capital Fund clients. The weather was fabulous! Sunshine, no-humidity, 80 plus degrees for 3-days. And, I would have been satisfied with just not having a hurricane. The clear weather made observation of the full lunar eclipse spectacular.

Thursday it was Back to Atlanta, GA for one day only of the CCDA conference. An 8 AM flight from Miami got me to Atlanta before 10 AM. A short ride on the light rail, "Marta" got me to the hotel where the conference was held. My main goal here was to meet with a few people who I may otherwise not see. Got to chat with Michael Mata, now of World Vision working in Community Economic Development domestically. I have known Michael since the first days of JobStarts. Got to meet Chris Porvance for the first time. He is a new client in Indianapolis who was on vacation when I was there in September. We talked about his organization, Rebuilding the Wall, and their dream of building affordable housing and creating jobs in the construction field at the same time. I also saw Howard Good (MEDA), Gordon Murphy (CCDA), Mary Nelson (Bethel New Life), Lyman Howell (Faith to Finance), and Ryan VerWys (Open Arms Community Development Associates). This was the main reason I went as it is part of my job description to create and maintain relationships with organizations in the field which might create synergy. This sounds rather political. And CCDA is a political environment is a good sense and the crazy sense.

Interestingly, there was a breakout workshop called "Boards that Make a Difference" led by someone who has read only two of the Carver's books and has implemented Policy Governance(r) in his organization. This is a great tribute to this gentleman’s leadership strength and his intellectual capacity. He new the subject well and has used it to lead his organization. This also proves to some extent that the system works and is usable. He has not gone to the trainings offered by the Carvers and did not use a consultant. Congratulation to him!

Got home early Friday morning--Rob and Cindi were waiting at LAX at 1:30 AM for me. It was nice to see their smiling faces and give them both hugs. Thanks for the ride you two! My fight was delayed an hour and a half or so. The fight crew was delayed getting into Atlanta because of the weather. I am grateful that we got underway so quickly though. My colleague, Howard, was supposed to leave Atlanta at 6 PM. First US Airways cancelled his flight and put him on United. United then canceled that flight and handed out hotel vouchers around midnight. They were instructed to be ready for a 6 AM flight that was overbooked. Eventually, he got back to Pennsylvania, but not to the same airport from which he departed. When I talked to him on the phone about 3 PM on Friday, he was trying to figure out has to get to Harrisburg to get his car before going home near Lancaster.

Seems like all my blogging friends already know that U2 has a new album coming out in November. Pre-order yours today!

Rob pointed out to Cindi during a TV commercial for the U2 "Vertigo" and the iPod that those were two of my favorite things. Interesting. I wouldn't have thought of that or said it, but once someone says it, I might have to agree. [Truth is though, other than backing up my data from the G4 PowerBook, I don't do much with my iPod.]

This has turned into a rather long post. Cindi is downstairs with her Creative Memories business while I am upstairs trying to remember what happened last week. I think I should head out for a bicycle ride.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Pumpkin Carving

We spent Tuesday night in the middle of pumpkin carvers.

Brianna, Jonah and Shawntea had a great time.

David is here and we are enjoying our time with him.
More holloween photos to follow.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Upcoming Bicycling Dates

The next Rosarito-Ensenda ride is April 23, 2005. In 2004 I registered for this spring ride then didn't go because that was the day the Samson2 came to live here. The September 2004 ride was fun. It's a lot of work and a long drive. But. sometimes that's the investment that must be made to have this much fun.

The Tour de France will start from Vendée on July 2. Should we have a french toastl breakfast again this year?

Travel Plans

I will be travelling a lot in the next months.

On Friday, October 15, I plan to be near Portland, OR for the fiftieth birthday of an old friend, Dick Howard, whom I have seen only once since he moved there in the mid-seventies. Jeff Barneson and I are meeting there for the big event.

Click for Portland, Oregon Forecast

From Portland, I travel to Atalnta, GA for the one-week Policy Governance(r) Academy with John and Miriam Carver.

Click for Atlanta, Georgia Forecast

On Friday, October 22, Cindi flies to Atlanta using some of my frequent flyer miles to join me for the weekend.

We may drive to South Carolina--a state to which I have not yet traveled.

Sunday, Cindi flies home and I fly to Miami to visit with the CCF organizational clients there.

Click for Miami, Florida Forecast

Thursday, October 28, I return to Atlanta for the day for the CCDA annual conference. and finally back home the evening of October 28.

David Weaver called last weekend. He says he gets done with his job in the trees on October 15. I think he is putting out feelers to make plans to travel around to visit many of us.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Brianna goes to the State Fair

This is a little late. Shawntea and Jonah took Brianna to the State Fair. As the picture shows a good time was had by all. Shawntea tried out for American Idol along with 10,000 others in San Francisco this week. Stiff competition, but she was glad she made the effort.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

History made as Friere wins again

Oscar Friere won his third world championship on Sunday in Verona, Italy. Nobody has won 3 world championships since Eddy "The Cannibal" Merckx completed his three in 1974. Davide Rebellin was a favorite to win because of his amazing series of wins in the spring. He didn't think he would be selected for the Italian national team, so he changed nationalities to Argentina, but because he didn't get the papers in soon enough, he still couldn't be there. (Just a little funny but sad news.)

Lance is probably just relaxing at home or jumping into the "Dead Man's Hole" he has at home to check for vital signs, as he explains in his second book, "Every Second Counts".

Friday, October 01, 2004

Mr. Barger's Fish

Here is a picture of our friend Connie Barger with a tuna he caught last week.

I don't know the price of tuna, but the pride is evident.

Link to Damascus Photos

My friend Tom Horton is teaching for two years in Damascus. He has a great site on Webshots where he posts all of his pictures.
Here is the link: Tom's Pictures

He also has some nice photos from his other trips.