Monday, September 26, 2011

Creative Destruction is a Good Thing

UNTIL IT HAPPENS TO ME!!!  Recently a thoughtful commentator suggested we could make a major step toward the financial health of the USA if we did 3 things--
1) Get out of Iraq
2) Get out of Afganistan
3) Simplify the tax code
This is the tricky part--all of these ideas destroy
jobs at a time when JOBS JOBS JOBS
seems to be the mantra. 

The Most Beautiful Place in the World

I'm sitting on the plane as I write this--it is 9/11/2011.  It didn't even dawn on me until Wolf Blitzer announced on a news show that there was a travel alert due to the 10 year anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy. 
Ten years ago today while in a foreign country on the trip of a lifetime the hotel clerk asked--"Aren't you American?".  I was shown in to a black and white TV with pictures of the twin towers going down and news tape across the bottom was all I could understand.  
The next day was my scheduled return to the USA.  After 5 full days of hotel roulette--that is giving up your hotel room betting you will get a seat on the plane--I got to see the most beautiful place I have ever seen--Will Rogers World Airport in OKC.
Nothing beats home when the world is in an uproar. 


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

OKC Sprawl

There is something about the term urban sprawl that sounds country to me and Reba oughta do somthing about it.  Y'all agree?
Last night I attended an OKC Town Hall meeting hosted by new city councilman Ed Shadid on the topic of "Urban Sprawl".  Speakers included 8 leaders of city government--police, fire, planning, code, utilities, public works, transportation, architectural. 
Councilman Shadid was in my opinion the most articulate, clear and compelling speaker on the platform.  In summary I think he and other speakers said--
1) We have no long-term plan to deal with many of the issues facing us.  2) There are few if any good examples of how to deal with a city of our size
     (621 sq. miles). 
3)  Few benefit from sprawl but everyone pays.
4) Buying local helps a bunch since we are the only large city in the country
    primarily funded by sales tax.
5)  Pain is the primary inducement to change (he is a spine surgeon by
     trade).  We need to anticipate the pain and make the changes while we
It was inspiring to see the large room at the Marriott crammed full of concerned citizens and having to bring in more chairs--YEE HAW now that will bring out my hillbilly bones.
 Below are my notes from that meeting. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

I don't give a @%*#

"You riding your bike around the lake?"  Yes I am I said.  "Lived here 30 years and never seen it so low.  I don't give a BLEEP though--I'm on a well."  That was the unsolicited conversation I had with a fellow while in line to buy a bottle of water at 7-11.

Symphony with a mouthpiece

On the way home tonight from taking my Little Brother home after a bike ride, an interview with a trumpet player had me laughing out loud. Manny, the lead trumpet for the Minneapolis symphony was explaining how his teacher taught him the importance of being prepared. He told Manny that if you were invited to play for a group and you forgot the trumpet but had a mouth piece--you should be ready to entertain the crowd. Manny subsequently played a nice melody on the mouthpiece which cracked me up.

Can you picture the fancy pants symphony guy tooting out a song on just a mouthpiece? It got me to thinking about how often in business and in life we are just playing the best tune we can with the tools we have available. With the national economy and weather in Oklahoma lately I often feel like we are playing a symphony with only a mouthpiece.

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