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Tis the Season … to be Busy

posted by Russ | December 14 | 1 Comment

Holy cow, when will time slow down?

And when did it get to be mid December, with less than two weeks to go until Christmas?

I posted my last “update post” in mid September after having a whirlwind end to the summer, and since then I can’t even remember where the time has gone. I’m pretty sure the unaccounted for time can be attributed to being passed either at work, my consulting gig, getting projects done left and right around the house, or to my half marathon training!

It’s a good thing that I don’t go big doing presents and shopping, I don’t think I could handle the holidays if I had to spend them driving around and fighting for parking at the mall.

One new thing of note is that I’ve negotiated some working from home privileges which really works out nicely. Typically I’m home 2-3 days a week, which really adds […]

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Saying goodbye Koh Phangan and heading west to Krabi and the island of Koh Phi Phi

posted by Russ | November 23 | 2 Comments

(This is entry #6 from Thailand Trip (see entries #1, #2, #3, #4, #5))

Krabi Town Night Market

Krabi Town Night Market

JANUARY – From the Haad Tian resort on the island of Koh Phangan it’s just a 15 or 20 minute drive along the southwest coast to get to the Thongsala pier. After a great five nights on Koh Phangan, we had an early wake up so we could catch our ride down to the pier. Our goal was to head across the mainland to Krabi on the west side of Thailand, from where we would then hopefully travel on to Koh Phi Phi and perhaps Railey, depending how our time in Krabi and Phi Phi went. Knowing that after New Year’s there would probably be a mass exodus off the island, we decided to go ahead and buy our boat/bus tickets all the […]

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Justifying Occupy Wall Street contradictions, and just doing what you can do

posted by Russ | November 16 | Add a Comment

Here’s a confession for you: I’m not perfect.

Now that I have that off my chest, I need your help. All this Occupy Wall Street stuff has really got me thinking. I’ve been hearing quite a bit of criticism of the Occupiers, and aside from the ridiculous, trivial accusations which usually seem to assume that all of the protesters are homeless, jobless losers, there are some aspects that warrant real consideration.

I’ve been hearing accusations that all those who agree with the Occupy movement are basically contradicting all that they are protesting with with their actions. Meaning: The Occupiers rail against Corporate America, demonizing all that it stands for, but then turn around and support Corporate America with their actions and their dollars by using Facebook, owning cell phones, drinking Starbucks, on and on.

Now, I didn’t say this is an accurate accusation, I said it warrants some real consideration. But here’s […]

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Thoughts about Occupy Wall Street

posted by Russ | October 25 | Add a Comment

The Occupy Wall Street movement has been going on for over a month, and has since spread to cities across the country (and world) and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. That being the case, I thinks it’s time for to weight in.

Right off, I will say that I agree with the general concept behind the protests, and certainly feel that the level of economic inequality and corporate greed in the world is reaching a point that does not bode well for the future of the economy, the United States, or any other country for that matter. Now, I’m not advocating for Socialism or Communism any other extreme system that right wing crazies like to assume all liberals want. I am not naive to the free market and how it works, and I don’t think more government is the answer. In a free market there is nothing wrong with making […]

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Afternoon Tea

posted by Russ | October 18 | Add a Comment
afternoon tea

Photo credit: mpieracci

I step in the door, see 3 people sitting around a tea kettle.

“Hi, how are you? I bought some of your tea at the market the other night, so I figured I’d stop by and check your shop out.”

“Would you like to sit down for some tea?”

Of course I would. It seems very inviting, and though the shop is extremely small, it’s comfortable. In walks another guy who is apparently a friend of those already sitting.

“Sure…” I say, “Do you work here?”

“No, I just pour tea.”

“This place sure is cozy, huh?”

“Yea, it is.”

“I like it in here, it’s quiet and nice.”

“It is, isn’t it? It has a really good vibe doesn’t it?”

This scene is not one from a remote Himalayan or Indian village filled with vagabonding Americans. It is one that took place five blocks away from my old apartment […]

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The Scientification of Food

posted by Russ | October 11 | Add a Comment

I have been unbelievably thrilled over the past few years to see people start paying attention to what they are eating again. I know obesity rates are still rising, but I am also seeing more organic products on shelves, more places carrying sustainably raised and cruelty free meats, and in general am starting to feel that people are getting more interested in going back to nature when it comes to eating.

And while I think it’s great for people to be learning what is in their food and learning about carbs, proteins, vitamins, and super foods, I still can’t help but feeling like people approach eating and being healthy a little bit too scientifically. Certainly it’s great to know how much Vitamin C is in an orange, that tomatoes are high in lycopene, and the benefits associated with eating garlic, ginger, or turmeric. But none of these things on their own […]

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What Most Business Owners Don’t Understand (But Should Learn)

posted by Russ | October 4 | 4 Comments

I’ve been pretty forthcoming here on Idealist Cafe when I’ve talked about my desire to free myself from the corporate world. I have also been fairly open about this in “real life” and even at work when talk to co-workers. I don’t see that there is any harm in letting people know that I have goals and aspirations that are different from the place I am currently in. I don’t think this makes where I am today or the capacity that I work in any less significant or meaningful, it just means that there are other things waiting for me down the line. To me life is an evolution and what may work for us one day may not work the next, and there is not anything wrong with that.

Well, (un)fortunately for me, the other day this information made it to my boss, but was delivered a bit differently than […]

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Work, produce, consume … repeat – loving Kerouac right now

posted by Russ | September 27 | 1 Comment

I dug up this Dharma Bums Jack Kerouac quote from an old blog of mine, and wanted to share it. I think it’s high time I read that book again. What are some of your favorite quotes?

…Dharma Bums refusing to subscribe to the general demand that they consume production and therefore have to work for the privilege of consuming, all that crap they didn’t really want anyways such as refrigerators, TV Sets, cars, at least new fancy cars, certain hair oils and deodorants and general junk you finally always see a week later in the garbage anyway, all of them imprisoned in a system of work, produce, consume, work, produce, consume…

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