Bye bye American pie

I won't be going back. This latest visit finished it for me. An angry, confused nation that is collapsing in on itself. They have traditionally thought of the Canadians as backward but from what I saw the situation has completely reversed now. They do have one thing going for them however: Alaska. Our ship was BIG but it looked like a toy against the awesome scale of glacier country.

The Sixth Sense

I'd forgotten how good this 1999 film was. I happened upon it again this week in a hotel room and couldn't turn it off. Afterwards I googled it and read the fascinating story of its writer/director (whose name I can't pronounce let alone write). Long story short: he made it to the top of his craft despite a surprising number of dud films along the way. And the really surprising thing was that the duds and successes were INTERSPERSED. I think that's exceptional because our normal reaction after a big success followed by a dud is to quit. We tell ourselves the first one was a fluke, that we don't really have any talent and that the market has finally woken up. Not this guy. He had success, dud, success, more duds and so on. As of now he's at the top but I'm betting he's the sort of guy who's not resting on his laurels. He's obviously a gritty performer who believes in himself and isn't easily swayed by either failure OR success. Both are impos…

Who are we kidding

when we rock around on what we consider to be an ultra-cool motorcycle and then act all nonchalant as if it's nothing? We 'ain't foolin' nobody. Everyone knows we think we're pretty special. May as well be honest about it. Next time someone says "hey, nice bike" don't act all surprised. Say "it's friggin' AWESOME!"  Be proud of it. You know you are.

To quote Molly...

Do yourselves a favour and read Mark Twain's autobiography. He asked that it not be published for 100 years after his death and that came in 2010. If you love superb written English you will, like me, prop your eyes open with matchsticks in order to keep reading luscious sentences such as this one about a generous man Twain loved and pitied in equal measure:

"James Lampton floated all his days in a tinted mist of magnificent dreams and died at last without seeing one of them realised."

Or this one about his uneducated but wise mother:

"My mother never used big words but had a natural gift for making effective use of small ones."

There's Shakespeare. Then there's Samuel L Clemens (Mark Twain) in a photo finish with Charles Dickens for second.

The rest can fight it out amongst themselves.

Go opposite

I'm on a cruise ship at present and, as usual, studying crowd behaviour (yeah, I know...). And once again I come to the conclusion that you're usually better off doing the opposite to the mob. Eat at different times to them, walk the decks at different times to them and so on. A good example this morning was when some whales were sighted off the stern. Over the next ten minutes everyone congregated there - in vain. The whales had of course moved on. The smart move would be to go look elsewhere - off the bow for instance. As Robert Kiyosaki says (in reference to the stock market) in his terrific book Rich Dad, Poor Dad: "Ignore the crowd, they always arrive late and get slaughtered."  If you do what everyone else does, you get what they get. If you want something different you gotta DO something different.

Hugh da man

"Speak at the right time, not all the time."

Hugh McLeod, Gaping Void