Tuesday, August 16, 2005

In my next life...

...it might be interesting to come back as a pre-Columbian head Inca (Inka):
"(The Inka) was carried on a golden litter - the Inka did not walk in
public....people left the roads along which he had to pass and, ascending the
hills on either side, (his subjects) worshipped and adored him by pulling out
their eyebrows and eyelashes. Minions collected and stored every object he
touched, food waste included, to ensure that no lesser persons could profane
these objects with their touch. The ground was too dirty to receive the
Inka's saliva so he always spat into the hand of a courtier. The courtier
wiped the spittle with a special cloth and stored it for safekeeping. Once
a year everything touched by the Inka - clothing, garbage, bedding, saliva - was
ceremoniously burned."

From "1491" by Charles C. Mann. pg. 76

Friday, August 12, 2005

Premature Evaluation

I'm only a third through this book but I'm enjoying it immensely, and I recommend it whole-heartedly.

Putting flesh on the bones of the Indian (yes, "Indian") civilizations in North & South America prior to Columbus' arrival. Not a romanticization, but a fresh look at what these civilizations were like, drawing on recent research and emphasizing the uniqueness and robustness of their societies.

Much of the book is speculative, but compelling evidence suggests that these peoples had a much greater impact on their natural environment and were remarkably complex. The New World inhabitants were not necessarily the backward stepchildren of Europe and Asia. Worth a look and more later.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Winner - Best Product Design:

2005 Shaking Spears Awards...here.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Epiphany

Spear Son angling on Paulina Lake, Oregon
Why does it often take physical separation from one's work and home to live in the moment? How do you extend the improvisation and sense of exploration that you get in a new environment to your daily life? How do you maintain the carefree fun of the vacation experience without abrogating your adult responsibilities? Or do you only appreciate the vacation because it's by definition not an everyday occurrence?
I don't know all the answers, but I'm getting closer. And it's taken over 40 years to start to figure it out. It ain't about external measures of success, or legitimacy, or worthiness. There's no objective template upon which you should gauge your life progress. And happiness isn't meant to be compared to another's experience. All of those self-help books, life plans, 7-step programs, Dr. Phil, and purpose-driven books are Fool's Gold at the end of life's rainbow.
It ain't about what others think and it ain't about what you think.
It's about setting the right rig to get a big mouth bass to bite on a spinnerbait while trolling. And if you succeed at that, everything else falls into place.

Spear Shaker at Yosemite Valley
It's a sin for those within a 2.5 hour drive to fail to visit Yosemite each year. Absolve me, Lord.