Autumn

leaves-autumn-fallI always found it interesting that in England, there is no fall. It’s just “autumn”.

So a couple of weeks ago, I could not resist taking a picture of this amazing contrast. The morning light was just perfect.

Colorado does not have as many red leaves in the autumn/fall as Maryland and Massachusetts (where I grew up). We specialize in yellows and golds here. So this was special.

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Art history in 1956

art-history-notes

One of the random things I saved from my mom’s stuff was a notebook of art history notes from 1956. (She got an art history degree from the University of Texas, I think after my brother was born in 1957.)

I skimmed some of the notebook. It was fun to read her idealistic college-student perspective… just taking in what the professor said as “that must be true”. It was hard to imagine her sitting in class rapidly taking notes.

I contrasted that perspective to her later recollections of her professors’ teachings — she saw through the nonsense that some modern art is.

Takeaway: How can we retain a bit of idealism in our lives?

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It was really good, but I’m not rich

metromint

I admit. I’m a sucker for new products.

So Metromint was an easy one for me to try — I like mint, and I don’t like sugary drinks (very often). Plus, it was on sale for about a third off the list price.

Verdict? Good. Nice clean taste. The bottles said “-6 degrees” (Spearmint) and “-8 degrees” (Peppermint). That’s a bit confusing — are you supposed to chill them to that temperature for maximum enjoyment? (If you were, there would have to be some anti-freeze ingredient.)

Final verdict? Don’t buy. Why?

1. The bottled water problem of your having to dispose of or recycle the bottle and the environmental costs of transporting the water to your store. (Pipes do it cheaper — if you live in North America, anyhow.)

2. Try my much cheaper version here. Not as cool-looking, but it does taste good.

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857 Fairchild Drive

857-fairchild-drive

Every once in a while, I like to visit an open house at a place that is way beyond what we could ever afford. Why? It’s a small taste of what the upper echelons live like. It’s free. It’s fun.

This particular gated-community home is priced at $1,300,000. (Yes, that is similar to the gross domestic product of many small developing nations.)

But for once, I could see why someone might be willing to spend that much. The view from the master bedroom encompassed about 200 degrees of the front range mountains and downtown Denver. The home is positioned at the top of a very high point, so one can really see far.

Sad is that most people in the market to buy such a place would not be able to enjoy that view very often. Most would be tending to their cattle.

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Apple vs. Office Depot

apple-st-09-sepHave you ever tried to use a computer at an Office Depot (or Office Max, Best Buy or Staples)? They have them locked up with some marketing screen saver. Even if you can start to use it, most of the time they are not connected to the internet.

Go to an Apple Store. Aaahh! Any computer is ready for you to — well — actually use it. If you scout around the store, you will probably find a model that has your favorite program already loaded on. (Well, sorry to say — none will have Windows Movie Maker or Real Player loaded.)

Just more evidence that Apple means for humans to use their computers.

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Influenced, though never met

violin-linda-cardone

In fourth grade, I chose to play violin because I had a crush on a girl named Linda Cardone. She chose the violin as her instrument, so I did too. I thought I might get to sit next to her in orchestra.

My youngest sister chose violin, maybe because I had played. (Haven’t had the chance to ask her about that.) If that’s true, my fourth grade crush influenced the course of my sister’s life. She got a bachelor’s degree in viola performance and later a master’s degree in the same.

Thank you, Linda.

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Secure in themselves

alfa-spread

Car manufacturers need to take a lesson from Alfa Romeo. This Italian car company offers the Mito, at about the cost of a Honda Fit — and the 8C Roadster, at $300,000.

How can they span such a wide spectrum in their offerings? Because they are not afraid of their image. They 8C shows the public what they can do when money is no object. The Mito shows what they can do when money is constrained. More of the adoring public can have the Mito — while dreaming of driving an 8C.

It used to be that you could buy a BMW or a Mercedes in Europe with wind-up windows, while the same cars in the States were offered with only power windows. Why? In Europe, those cars are more “normal”. In America, they are luxury brands. My contention would be that if BMW and Mercedes offered a cheaper range of cars here, it would not tarnish their image — only improve it. When an entry-level buyer bought their first BMW, it would whet their appetite for a more expensive model, when in the future, their budget allowed.

(The only thing I object to about my story is that my last point buys into that “american dream” thing — we always need more, bigger and better. That’s a bad way to live your life!)

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Consider the context

cougar-pedestal

This cougar lives in downtown Boulder, Colorado. He is a very active guy, as fixed sculptures go.

The artist did not consider the whole… the base is very high-tech, while the cougar is very hand-done-showing-the-artist’s-touch.

Takeaway: Consider the frame for what you are presenting. It could distract from your message.

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One morning

one-morning

Sieze the day. Carpe diem. Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

You’ve heard those all before. But maybe you should think of today as an opportunity to do something new.

It’s only one morning — but what might you do with it?

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