Saturday, March 14, 2015

Solomon's Castle

It's been a long while since have been here.  Arrived early, way too early, as there wasn't a single car in the parking lot so I got my pick of spots.  Of course, picked one closest to the entrance.

I don't remember all the details so this post will be shorter than average, but did want to highlight a couple of things.

Exterior view
With exception of a little help on things that were too big, or required specialized items, the owner/artist of Solomon's Castle did everything himself.  The shiny-ness that is the exterior of the building is actually used printing plates from one of the local newspapers.  If were to look on other side of it would see news for that day in the aluminum.

Choo Choo
One thing that truly amazed me is all the sculptures, and other artwork, he has made, seemingly from junk.  Wish I was able to get his creative inspiration and do things like saw on the tour, like this train.  In the album can see another picture of the inside of it.


Last item I'll highlight (but take note of the chess set) is this framed thing he did.  It's a replica of a famous painting, but pretty sure it's more of a sculpture instead of a painting.  One of my old co-workers who helped me learn COBOL (thanks Frank) was a huge fan of the original artist that made it famous.

Will be leaving Florida in a month or so to start my westward trek.  Really miss the west coast!  It's starting to get warm and icky here....

Monday, March 9, 2015

More Breakthroughs

This past weekend, well, Friday and Saturday, I attended Nikken's 40th Anniversary Celebration in Orlando, Florida.  It is hard to believe this company has been around so long, yet their vision remains largely unchanged.  The vision includes an understanding that total wellness rests on the 5 Pillars of Health. Healthy Body, Mind, Family, Society and Finances.

I did get some great realizations.  In no particular order:

  • Forgiveness is Key, for those that can forgive, and right any wrongs, will excel in the end
  • "If we wish to be a person of Greatness, there must be a stunning release of Love"
  • Once identified, Purpose drives us.
  • The side we feed the most (good or bad) is generally the one which wins


I have been a person which remembers, for who knows how long, things that have caused me grief, and seek to avoid those situations with a passion.  This probably explains more than I care to admit, or remember, though is integral to my life.. Not sure why have always been like this, but will be finding out in due time.

In my notes, I have two entries about this.  Verbatim they are:
Forgive, and correct, yourselves
Forgiveness is key

Not really sure what triggered me to write those specific things down, or what was said before or after.  What matters is I thought it was important enough to jot down..

I would like to take this opportunity to truly forgive anyone who I believe could have wronged me, albeit direct relatives to corporate entities (they're "people" too), and anyone else.  I do not wish to be forgiven if other people believe I have wronged them, as that is not up to me.

I have carried some things way too long, and for some truly stoopid reasons.  Doesn't mean I'll go back to talking to them right away, probably eventually, but it's the first step in my reconciliation.

Surprising Story

One of the speakers at the event, Susan Carver, surprised me with an experience she shared about a recent trip to Central (South?) America.  It's a lesson that I feel the need to share, and giving her all the credit.  Might not get the whole story correct, or accurate, so please forgive me, the meaning for me is still accurate.

Susan was on a business trip to Central / South America, I want to say Peru but might be mistaken.  Her business building tour was coming to an end with couple more meetings and presentations left.  She had checked into a hotel in the city, got to her room, and something felt strange, odd, the energy wasn't quite right.

She then went back to front desk, checked out, and went to another hotel elsewhere.  When she got to the other hotel, asked if she could be taken to one of the rooms to get a feel on whether it was a good place or not.  After checking out the room and liking it, she and the bellman went back to the lobby to get her checked in.

Upon coming back to the lobby Susan saw a mother and her daughter in a corner of the lobby, crying.  Turns out the mother was staying at the hotel as her daughter was being treated at a local hospital for something, maybe cerebral palsy?  Can't remember the sickness exactly.  They were crying as mother had to leave the town (or hotel?) due to not being able to afford it.

Susan then invites her to a presentation she's putting on just to get the daughter on Nikken products.  Mother accepted and brought daughter to the event.  At the event, the daughter is put on a mattress pad with special comforter, and some other things to potentially help, in a separate room.  Susan ended her portion in the event sooner than normal to check on Mother and Daughter.  Turns out that the daughter was helped immensely, and I'll probably get this wrong, but the daughter was so relaxed just laying down that she was no longer scrunched up, and tense, from whatever was causing her problems.  She was so relaxed that the mother was able to lift daughter up on shoulder, like a rag doll, and mother was crying tears of joy.

This type of story is fairly common with Nikken products, but what caught me by surprise was what Susan said next.  It sounded like she, herself, purchased the items for the daughter that the mother couldn't afford.

Now, most, if not all, Nikken people are very generous.  However, for some reason, this struck a chord with me in that in my previous dealings with Susan it seemed like she was always all business and never showed compassion such as this.  Guess what, I dun goofed in my thinking.

Most every time I have heard her talk it's all about the business and nothing about the emotional side of the business, that is, helping the people, such as this lady's daughter.  Susan gave without thinking "what will I get in return".  She gave because it truly helped someone beam with hope where there was a dim dark future before.  It turns out Susan really benefited but didn't do it to benefit.

This, for me, is one of the meanings of life.

One Final Thought

Came across this cartoon on Reddit.

This quote is the topmost comment at the time I write this.
Wherever I've worked, my co workers and I knew that we, and those below us, were just wage slaves who cared somewhat about work quality, somewhat about customer satisfaction, but were mostly motivated by self interest.




But there was an insidious assumption---we all seemed to believe that those ABOVE us were company men, loyal only to the cause. Whether they fucked us, whipped us, fired us, there was a company driven rationale behind it.

But now I'm older, and i know: it's self interest all the way up.

Self interest at for profits and non profits, self interested doctors, lawyers, judges, CEOs, mayors, governors, congressmen, senators, and presidents.

Those CEOs would rather sit pretty on a slow boat than row on a fast one, and if sinking the ship means they get their own islands, the ship is going down.

You can explain ago much behavior This way, and its the first place I look when trying to understand why something is happening.

It explains sweat shops and homelessness and the Koch brothers and Kim Jong Un and Nicholas Cage's career choices.

People's loyalty is first and foremost to themselves, and a mission statement is nothing but a convenient smoke screen.