Dying in my tv chair

Promises made
Promises kept
Never this way was it meant

Dying here
Dying there
My dreams have gone nowhere

Hard work
Work hard
Success will be yours

Mrs Fader said.

She lied or didn’t tell the truth
Standing up there in front of the class with
Her pea green skirt (hanging just below the knees)
Not long enough to save us
From her ugly veins!

Mrs Fader

The world isn’t as you said
The streets are made of lead
No gold in sight

Hard work
Broken back
A trailer and two rug rats

Promises made
Promises kept
A big legged woman on my back

Dying here
Dying there
Dying in my TV chair

– Clay Lowe 

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My girl

I like to collect things.  I sketched this off of a pub wall in Bristol.  Click on the picture for a bigger view.



Top five health benefits of regular sex


(Picture, an original digital print I made entitled, why gentlemen really prefer whores) 

In keeping with my friend Tisha’s post today, I thought I’d add a few reason why we should all be out there romping in the sack with our favorite guy or gal.  Sex, when practiced safely, contributes greatly to our sanity, stability, and serenity.  Here are the top five benefits of keeping the equipment well used.

1.  Reduced risk of heart disease – the increased cardio you get from an intense round of sex can significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

2.  Weight loss/Improved fitness – If you do it right, you can burn up to 200 calories and workout a variety of muscles.

3.  Depression and stress reduction – The relief following orgasm results in profound relaxation, better sleep, and improved circulation.

4.  Fewer colds and flus – Regular sex increases the production of immunogloblin A, an antibody that boosts the immune system.

5.  Pain relief – Regular sex also increases the levels of oxytocin floating around in your system which in turn releases endorphins that can alleviate a multitude of physical pains, from headaches to joint pain.

Ok so now you have 5 good reasons to jump your guy or girl’s bones tonight! (like you really needed a reason other than to satisfy your lust) oh and don’t forget to wear your jim hat.

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Increase your intelligence


Three ways to increase your intelligence:

1.  Cultivate a thirst for information and continually expand the source, scope and intensity of the information you receive.

2.  Revise your reality often.  Test and retest your reality maps and seek new metaphors to understand what is happening now and how it will affect your future.

3.  Develop external networks to increase your intelligence, in particular spend all your time with people who are as smart or smarter than you.



We all want to change the world

In See You at the Top, Zig Ziglar tells a story about a young business executive who took some work home to complete for an important meeting the next day.  Every few minutes his five-year-old son would interrupt his chain of thought.  After several such interruptions, the young executive spotted the evening paper with a map of the world on it.  He took the map, tore it into a number of pieces, and told his son to put the map together again.  He figured this would keep his son busy for a long time and he could complete his work.  However, in about three minutes the boy excitedly told his dad he had finished.  The young executive was astonished and asked the boy how he had done it so quickly.  The boy said, “There was a picture of a man on the other side, so I just turned it over and put the man together.  When I got the man right, the world was right.” 


First Snow


We had our first snowfall this morning.  I wasn’t expecting it so when I walked out into the garden for my morning tea and meditation session, I was both shocked and excited.  I love first snowfalls.  It’s like nature has laid down a fresh coat of white paint on everything and at once I get this feeling of endless possibilities.  Whiteness does that for me.  When I look at a blank canvas, I think of all the possibilities that blank canvas can represents.  When I sit down to write, and I am staring at a blank sheet of white paper, I am terrified and excited – terrified because I don’t know what I am going to write or where my writing will take me, and excited because it can take me anywhere, the infinite possibilities of a blank sheet of paper.

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Disney Wisdom

All I learned, I learned watching Disney movies.  My favorite Disney line is “Don’t spend your time looking around for something that can’t be found.”


Go tell it to the mountain


The trail as a metaphor is a wonderful concept. Each person must walk his or her own path through life, and is ultimately responsible for the direction that path may take. Life, like any trail, is a matter of ups and downs. When one is going up, and the way is steep and tiring, the idea that there will ever be an easier time of it is only a belief. It is not real. What is real is the feel of aching muscles and burning lungs as you head up the trail. Yet when you reach the top and your breath returns to normal, the pain is soon forgotten and the misery of the climb has been left behind. Where I have been seems immaterial. Where I am going is what engages me. The top is like the goals we set in life that, when achieved, sometimes seem unimportant. It is the process, the steps, the getting there, the human effort that is important. Inspired by Hugh Swift Hugh Swifts paints a wonderful metaphor for the way we proceed through life in search of our dreams and goals.  I have humped up and down many mountains over the years.  Always it starts the same.  I see a mountain peak.  It is a peak I have not climbed before, and I suddenly get the urge to climb to the top.  I tell myself the view from the top must be fantastic.  And so I gather up my resources – rucksack, map and compass – and start up the trail with only a vague if idea of where I’m going.

When I think about it, this is exactly the way I tackle the big goals in my life.  I get an idea, buy a few books, or attend a course, and then I start off in pursuit of my goal with only a vague idea of how I’m actually going to achieve it.  So what can the mountain trail teach us about our goals?
The trail teaches us that we must have a plan even if it’s a loosely devised plan.  Looking at a map of Snowdon there are many marked paths to top of the mountain.  Paths that others have trodden and left sign posts and guides to aid us on journey.  However upon closer inspection there are literally an infinite number of paths to the top.  Some are harder then others.  And some seem all but impossible.  Which path should I choose? Should I take the one that many have done before and thus have left an easy trail to follow?  Or should I take a little known more secluded trail? Robert Frost reflected upon coming to a fork in the road that he took the path less travelled and that made all the difference

.If we think of the mountain top as our goal, we look upon it from the start and think to ourselves that we will never be able to get to the top.  The climb is too difficult.  We don’t have adequate training to attempt such a feat.  But then slowly, gradually we start to engage with the mountain.  The trail starts off gentle at first and then the incline to increase.  Our legs and our lungs burn and our bodies cry out stop.  Turn back. You can’t possible make it to the top.  We think we will never see the end. Some turn back and give.  Others seek a less strenuous path.

Another lesson is the map seldom looks like the territory.  Jean Baudrillard tells us that the map is not the territory.  We can sit and plan for days and weeks which route we will take to get to the top of the mountain.  We note our grid references and mark our waypoints confident that we have a rock solid plan and should reach the top with few distractions.

The moment our feet touch the ground then the territory itself changes.  And we exclaim that’s not how it looks on the map.  We must make some adjustments based on what we see before us in the real.  We must trust our own instincts our own judgements.

The mountain trail can teach us a lot about ourselves and our lives.  The ancients believed that there was something called the mountain spirit – a spirit of purity and isolation. Even though the Tao was everywhere, spiritual wisdom was too easily lost in the cares and consideration of the plains. In the isolation of the mountains, with the voices of the throng stilled, the whispers of the Tao could finally be heard. This was what the ancients called the mountain spirit… and it’s what we call Ascent.

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Urban Wake Up


I like watching a city wake up.  I wandered around the streets of Leamington Spa this morning.

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Save the Planet


We don’t gave a damn about our planet, do we?


a kind of half life

A virtual friend of mine was explaining to me how she wants to do so many these things with her life, but she had to temper her ambitions with pleasing other people. She reckons she is stopped cold by her obligations to the ones she loves. In her mind, she wrestles with the possibility that while she is off chasing her star, the people she loves will feel abandoned or that they might need her and she’s not there. She tries to cope by balancing a little of their wishes with a little of hers. The results she says is “a kind of half life.�

It struck me as a crazy way to live. What good is a half life? Does that mean half the time she’s alive and the other half she’s some kind of zombie walking around half dead? She told me about a lady who has an extreme career and when the lady was asked why she chose such a career, she answered, “I do what I do because I need to feel profoundly turned on by my life.�

The balancing act is a tricky one. Over the years, I have struggled with this balance myself – first as an infantryman, and then as a traveller and adventurer. The line is thin between following your dreams and desires as an individual person and upholding your duties, responsibilities, and commitments to those around you – especially our family and friends. As you will have gathered, I love travel and adventure. But my love is not shared to the same extent amongst my family. If I had my way completely, I would be a nomad, roaming the planet in search of endless adventure. I’d be happy to have as my only possession a rucksack and a good pair of hiking boots.

I used to view balance as a compromise. The thing with compromising is a little piece of you dies each time you do it. Instead of a win:win situation, you get a lose:lose scenario, in other words each person has to give up something of what they really want. This carries with it possibilities of regret and perhaps even resentment in the long run.

I looked for ways to get around this dilemma. And what I discovered was compromising and balancing are two sides of the same coin. In order to be truly happy a win:win situation has to be the end result. And for me that meant exploring the source for my individual pursuits. I questioned my motives for wanting to do what I did. And when I looked under the hood and examined the metaphysics of my being, I discovered that a lot of the things I wanted to do were merely attempts to escape some condition – to run away from the boredom and functionality of every day life. But then I realised, if I wasn’t doing it for the pure joy, then why do it all? And then while walking the Camino de Santiago, I had an ephiphany. Life is pure joy and that every day I should rejoice in that joy regardless of where or what I was doing. That has made all the difference.




They say you know you’re getting old when you walk around puddles instead of through them.  I must be getting old because I walked around this one!


Are you waiting for the right time?

The problem of those who wait, wrote Nietzsche, is that it requires luck. And it requires a lot of luck if you are waiting for some higher being to give you permission to act by telling you it is the ‘right time’ to act. The reality is the ‘right time’ never happens. There are people all over the world waiting for permission to act. The sad part is they do not realise the extent to which they are waiting, and sadder still that they are waiting in vain. Sometimes “the awakening call, that chance event which gives permission to act, comes but too late – when the best part of youth and the strength to act has already been used up sitting still.� And some, when they finally do act, discover because they have waited so long their limbs have gone to sleep and their spirit is deflated. To their horror it is too late. They lose faith and condemn themselves to be forever useless. Perhaps greatness is not so rare: perhaps what is rare is the courage to overcome the need to wait for the ‘right time’ and instead grab chance by the foreskin!



“Time!  What time do you think you have?  The hour is later than you think!�

Time, time, time.  I could rant on and on about how there never seems to be enough time to get all the million and one things done in a day.  And please don’t even get me started on administrivia – you know the tiny little things that seem to eat time in big bites – like my wireless broad network going down and me spending nearly my entire Saturday trying to sort it out and still coming up trumps!

Or upgrading my mobile phone and being told everything is ok only to find out it isn’t ok and spending an hour getting through to customer service and them telling you there’s nothing you can do but wait!

Or getting the MOT done on the car.  Or the meeting you didn’t expect that eats into your day and keeps you from working on your project that has a looming deadline.

Oh I could go on and on, but I’ll spare you soapbox tears and stop being a wussy and get on with what needs doing instead of groaning about it here.

“Time.  How can you ever have time if you never TAKE time?�

Thus endeth the moan session.

Have a listen to “Time” by Pink Floyd.  The lyrics are pure poetry.  It also has my all time favorite guitar solo.

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Jaywalking, a serious offence in America

Now that I live in England, I don’t go back to the States often.  My last vist was toward the tail end of 2005 to see my mom and pop.  I remember landing at Logan airport in Boston and getting the distinct feel that I had dropped into a police state.  Living in Britain, you don’t see many guns.  The police don’t carry them as a rule.  So I had a bit of a culture shock seeing so many men running around with guns.  The cops, the army, even the baggage handlers had guns!

That said, I wasn’t surprised to see the article in the Times yesterday about Professor Felipe Fernandez-Armesto who got jumped by five armed cops for jaywalking in Atlanta, Georgia.  He was there attending an American History conference and while crossing a street between two of the conference buildings, a cop approached him.  But according to Professor Armesto, the cop didn’t look like a cop.

“I didn’t appreciate the gravity of the offence.  And I didn’t recognise him as a policeman.  He was wearing…a bomber jacket, like a jerkin,” he said.

The cop asked him for ID.  He asked the cop for ID.  Before he knew it, he was under arrest.

“This young man kicked my legs from under me, wrenched me around, wrenched my arms behind my back, handcuffed me,” he said. 

Like anyone being wrongly treated, the professor tried to protest and struggle free from the ground.  The cop called for back up.  “I had five burly policemen pinioning me to ground.”

Armesto wasn’t the only historian arrested that day for jaywalking.  Does the Atlanta police force have so little crime in the city that they have to sit in ambush waiting for people to jaywalk so they can arrest them and issue them a fine? We send our troops thousands of miles away from home to foreign lands to stop citizens of other countries from being brutally treated and yet here I am sat staring at a picture of five armed cops brutally manhandling a visiting professor.  Is it just me, or is there something fundamentally wrong with this picture?

Ok, a few bad apples, and all that, but is it really? When I was in the States, I travelled from Boston to Georgia and in all the cities I visited in between, there was this pervasive feeling of uneasiness on the streets.  I am an American through and through, but I tell you, I couldn’t wait to get back to England.

Of course Youtube, being the mass media of the public, has a video from Professor Armesto, explaining his ordeal.


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My respects to MR Takamoto, the creator of Scooby-Doo.  He died Monday at the age of 81.  It’s been said that if you love what you do, and do what you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.  MR Takamoto loved what he did and did it up to the day he died.  Link. 

Also check out the Scooby-Doo case files and take a stroll down memory lane through your favorite Scooby-Doo shoes from the old days. 



Stevie Ray Vaughn is one of my all time favorite music hero’s.  Thanks C4Chaos for turning me on to the video below.  It blew my socks off and sent me to a place beyond space.  Magic.


The Brain and How to Use It

I’m up in Stirling, which is a city about 45 minutess northwest of Edinburgh.  I’m here over the next couple of days doing a piece of work for a client.

I like the Scottish.  They are a friendly and accomodating people and make great hosts.  My taxi driver, Steve, makes me feel right at home from the moment he collects me from arrivals until he drops me off at the Stirling Highland Hotel.  He gives me a few tips about the city and tells me where I can find the local watering holes, from the traditional to the trendy. 

On the flight up, I read the first instalment of, Your Brain and How to Use It, a four part series in the Sunday Times Magazine.  I learnt a few things about how MY brain works. 

First, I took the Mensa test that was included on the DVD that came with the article.  It turns out, I have a medium strength brain, which I guess is to say my brain power is just average, and I’m not likely to get an invitation to join Mensa any time soon.

Some myths about the brain that I’d always thought were true were dispelled.  That we use only 10% of brain turns out is NOT true.  Apparently we use most of our brain most of the time.

Another myth shattered – men are more intelligent than women.  It turns out that, yes, men on average have larger brains than women, but like penises, size apparently doesn’t matter, or at least doesn’t bare any relationship to intelligence. 

Now this myth buster I like – contrary to popular belief, we can grow new brain cells.  Now I can drink without fear of permanently destroying my meagre brain.

Moving on, I learnt more about my personality.  There are five traits identified by the psychologist Gordon Allport that describes the human personality.  The traits are dimensional which means that an individual’s characteristics can be plotted against a numerical scale to reveal their overall personality type.

I took the Big-Five personality included with the article.  This is how I scored:

  • Neuroticism: low, which means I am calm, laidback and not prone to mood swings.
  • Opennes: high, which means I am creative, moved by art, sensitive and tolerant.
  • Agreeableness: high, which means I am trusting, altruistic, co-operative and modest.
  • Conscientiousness: low, which means I am untidy, disorganised, cut corners and slapdashed.

That’s my personality summed up.  You can read up more on the Big-Five personality test here. You can take a version of the test yourself here.

Now here’s a shocker.  I  look manly, and I like to think I act manly, but the results of my gender-brain test say I have a female brain! Is that why I like shoes and handbags?  Why not take the BBC’s SexID test to what gender your brain is.

Well that’s all for the first instalment.  I’ll let you know how I get on with the rest.


Silent Star Wars

Here is a funny rendition of the original Star Wars trilogy.

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Mojave Confidential





Fab photographer:  Andrew Kuykendall