Monday, December 29, 2014

Mum believed in a home. I'll wash the curtains.

I was 19 when mum and dad split. Mum and us three moved to Nana's garage. No matter how large it seemed when I was tiny, it was too small after we'd moved in. But Mum made it a home. I got out pretty quickly.

A year or so later mum rented a house in Laver Avenue, 2 mins walk from our childhood home. Coincidence? No. All four of us lived there for some time and eventually went our separate ways. But Mum had made it a home. I'd had my 21st birthday there and my sister her 18th, I think.

Mum moved to Onkaparinga Drive Salisbury and made this place a home too. First a home to herself and (I think) Kirrily, and then she made it a home to her mother when she was ready for it. Mum moved next door to the "tall brown house" and Nana got the single storey. Homes. Freedom. Self determination. The stuff I believe in.

On Nana's passing (love you) Mum moved back in here. Home again.

So mum died almost six months ago. I'm in furious agreement with my sister - this won't become a "dead lady's house" as much as it is one.

Mum, I promise you. This will remain a home until we sell it. Today, I'll wash the curtains. Yep, in another life (or another me) I would've been doing this stuff before you died. I suppose I can at least do it now.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Your greatest responsibility to others is to have your own shit together

I have met a few interesting people over the last few weeks. I have liked only some of them but I've respected all of them.

What does each member of this disparate group have in common? Each person knows what the hell they are.

The abrupt young lady who was setting up her travel plans and speaking about setting it up with her other half. When I met her other half I was introduced to another strong woman. A female (now friend) who would just talk, talk talk. When I pointed out that it drives me crazy she told me  "that's what I am but I'm good, deep down" and we agreed that we'd butt heads but be friends. The crusty old guy who took up as much space as he liked but with an attitude of "I've been doing this stuff a long time and know how I get my best results"

So our greatest responsibility to others is - first - to have our own shit together.

When the commercial airliner goes into a dive and the masks drop out, what is the advice? "Secure your own mask before assisting others."

If you are not solid in your own space, you are forcing everyone else to work with a moving target.

And it serves us, too. As Sun Tzu said:

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

There is only now..

"Promising myself someday I'd take the time to try to make sense,
out of all those opportunities I'd lost from tryin to sit on the fence,
Right now I've got no time for yesterday,
Yesterday's a thousand miles away..

A thousand miles away."

It's a song from the 80s that laments the loneliness of a commercial traveller. It's always rung a bell for me but the verse above is particularly poignant at the moment.

My mum was having health problems from the beginning of the year. In late June she went into the hospital and never came out. She died with all of her closest loved ones around her, and a whole outer circle of loved ones were taken totally by surprise.

As I live through the months since she's gone I realise that I, too, was taken by surprise.

I surely don't need to dwell on yesterdays, and I don't need to worry about the future. There is only now.

Now is the time to do the things you want to do. The only time. There may not be a tomorrow.

This week, this day, this minute and this second. Now.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello to my potential future employer

I'm dashing off a job application right now.

For the record I'm an adjunct lecturer in one of my roles, an external consultant academic in another, and a private contractor (skydive instructor) in a third. I'm not going behind any employer's back here.

Welcome. On my CV and Cover letter I made a whole bunch of points about why I would suit you and I addressed the six selection criteria you put forward. But really, if you want to find out what you're getting, a Google search on "Cullen Habel Adelaide" will give it to you, warts and all.

A ramble through this blog and my range of others (that you can get to from "View my complete profile" on the left) might show you more than you want but that's one of the things about me.

Very few secrets.

I hope you feel like you want to talk to me more.


Friday, November 14, 2014

A buddy's thankyou: why not wine?

I let a buddy borrow one of my skydiving rigs last week and when I got it back it came with a thanks. A nice bottle of wine.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A dull ache of loss

Nothing is more permanent than change. Except death. Death is forever. If you have a faith that says otherwise then I envy you, sort of, and faith is good. But to me, death is final.

All of my major losses have been pretty minor compared to this one.

My Uncle Mac died, that was real. Robbie died skydiving - a tragedy. My compadre Andre returned to Chile and my good mate Michael went to Queensland.

But the dull ache of remembering that my mum won't see this blog, or pick up if I call that number or be there to give a shit when it's all about me. Fuck, nothing compares to that.

I suppose it is now the new normal. I thank God that I have my sister. An echo of what once was. Forget that there have been times where we couldn't stand to share the same air.

All small stuff. It had been the same with Mum at times. We've just gone with it and been lucky that the ace of spades didn't flip when we hated each other. Luck is a blessing.

Nothing is more permanent than change. Except death.

Service Quality: Assurance, Reliability and blah blah

Two service experiences over the last week - one with a taxi company and one with a restaurant. And it draws me back to a seminal paper in services marketing by Parasuraman Zeithaml and Berry called SERVQUAL.

These people argued that when you're trying to deliver good service, your customers evaluate you on a number of things: Tangibles, Reliability, Assurance, Responsiveness, Empathy.

I'm sure we've all been a service staff in the situation where it's all gone to shit. The system has failed and all you've got left is to be the most caring and helpful (under the circumstances) service person you can be. Yep that's you trying to make up for bad Tangibles, Reliability, Assurance and Responsiveness with supremely good Empathy.

So, my good story.
I called a taxi under an hour ago to get me to Melbourne airport. They took my call quickly, they turned up quickly the cab was nice, the driver was good. And for assurance I got this:

The fact that they turned up on time ticked the fifth box - reliability.

But last week I ordered a rare steak at the Maid and Magpie hotel. 
  • The staff were pleasant but our food waitress didn't write anything down. My sister and myself agreed this is one of the more annoying thing about hipster food service. Assurance - fail.
  • My rare steak came out well done. Probably because the waitress had not recorded that aspect in her memory - reliability fail. Tangibles fail.
  • Waitress tells me the chef is very sorry - nice try at empathy but we know that it's your mistake. The new steak was on the way.
  • We got to where my brother and sister had just about finished the meal in this (pretty quiet) bistro and I checked up. Responsiveness fail.

Upon finding it will "just be five minutes" I got a bit tetchy:

"Five minutes? Say these words to the chef: it takes five minutes to cook a rare steak"

So, I never got my steak. I cancelled it even though they were offering it for free by that time, went home and ate some Kransky sausage.

So, good service is a system thing. Being nice to your customers is only one fifth of what matters. If you fall over on the other stuff, your attempts at empathy are just embarrassing.

Maid and Magpie you can contact me if you like.

Monday, November 10, 2014

At last - a bigger mouth than mine

Fate has it that I'm in St Kilda in Melbourne to run focus groups tonight and tomorrow night. Fate also had it that I had to get some notes, which takes me to Acland st and the walk back included the St Kilda Esplanade.

And here was Luna Park and the Palaus theatre! As I get older I just learn new shit. Most often by accident.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Bremerton: Nice

Plenty of good stuff. But as a last visit - some wine and some cheese.

Strath: Beautiful as always

I pulled up to Strathalbyn to buy a pie. It reminds me of happier times, but still beautiful.

Why it's not always about wine.

I dropped into The Winehouse in Langhorne. Here I was reminded how clever it is to have other things to buy. Here I might buy olives for my daughter Mia and Rocky Road for my wife Sylvia.

Verdelho: Challenge me

I am driving back through Langhorne Creek and wanted to challenge myself. Adam, winemake fro Taylors in my MBA class tells me that the big wineries have been really promoting Verdelho as the next big thing.

I can see why it could be. These ones were full flavoured and complex. I sensed that they might have had malolactic fermentation but the cellar door staff couldn't tell me and it wasn't written on the bottle. Perhaps it is a dumb question.

Anyhoo. I'm leaving with Old Vine. $29 vs $18 and worth it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spring pruning: a real job

Having vines at home reminds me of what the guys on the land are up to. This spring flush caught me, and I've been out this morning trying to knock it back.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Too much and I might just shut your channel down

I thought it odd that an acquaintance became quite heated sometime ago in their condemnation of me for not answering my phone. It wasn't an emergency - just a matter of convenience for them. All of my good friends are really cool when this happens.

I must add that this person has never called me to tell me they just made my life easier - it has always involved me taking some time out of what I'm doing and turning my mind to their stuff.

No biggie, but my phone is for my convenience, not yours. If it happens to be an emergency then scream the house down - call everyone I know, leave a dozen messages and raise hell. I'll be there.

But if it happens to not be an emergency, then let's remember that I might have some other things on my plate. I only just raised an invoice for $600 yesterday for expenses I incurred in July. It was important but I chose to carry that debt because I had many things on my list that needed to be dealt with in turn. Methodically and calmly.

The fact that my phone rings and your name happens to be on it - that fact makes no difference at all to the things I have on my list. When there's too much on, I might just shut the channel down. Nothing personal.

I say this as I open one of my email accounts for the first time since last Wednesday. I'm nervous - all hell might have broken loose - but at least I did all the things over the last five days that I promised I would. It's just time to see who wants to add to my ToDo list now.

Monday, October 27, 2014

An "in pub" retail shelf

At the Daniel O'Connell hotel for a quiet Guinness before a meeting with friends. A nice retail display of South Aussie wines.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Mollydooker shared with great family

We shared the Mollydooker sparkling red at a little celebration with goddaughter Charley, on her 16th. How cool is that?

Sparkling red: Why not Mollydooker?

Fine. So paint me a South Aussie. We're wll known for liking spakling red. Perhaps an Andrew Garrett hangover from the 1990s.
But if it's to be a sparkling red, then why not this one? I have a student doing their project on the winery, I met the crew once and enjoyed it.
So why not Mollydooker?

Merlot flowers and Downy Mildew: Just another Spring

I like my garden. As a tribute to wine, I planted a Merlot and a Sauvignon Blanc about 15 years ago. I've also got table grapes of many types.

It doesn't matter what I do in spring I always get enough moisture for downy mildew. I have a particularly no resistant sultana grape that is hit first. These few drops of rain and the wrinkling of the leaf tells me that we're on, again. Every year, I kid myself into thinking I'll beat the fungus. But as my friend Andre said: "your garden is a laboratory, with everything so close, you're sure to have problems". Don't get me started on the many kilograms of different fungicides I've tried.

But it's still nice to see grape flowers.

Far flung friends: Wine gave me this

In 2002, I was one year into a three year teaching contract which had a requirement that I was enrolled in a higher degree by research (more or less a PhD). Larry Lockshin was acting head of school which - at the time meant tidying up others' messes. I was one such mess - a person running out a contract with no research degree supervisor.

"I suppose if it makes the paperwork easier you can put my name against you as a supervisor. But I do wine research, so whatever you do needs to include wine in some way." From that (less than warm) start I worked pretty hard, seized a few opportunities (grateful to a clever guy name Cam Rungie), and did some research  - including wine. And have come to regard prof Lockshin as one of the five best bosses I've had.

I was in a stable of pretty good people, who I now consider to be far flung friends. When I announced on FB that I was running this blog for a few weeks I got this:
Damien Wilson Great initiative, Cullen! Will try my best to follow how this goes.

Best from Burgundy!

Andre Beaujanot is now a Vice President in a private University in Chile. Wade Jarvis is an Associate Professor in University of WA.
I'm a (part time) Drop Zone Bum that sometimes teaches in a University, and sometimes teaches wine courses. And sometimes I act as a chief investigator of a nationally funded research grant into Wine, Social Media, and Experiential Branding. 
And I have a few other great people I have met through wine. Klaus Kilov, Armando Maria Corsi, Steve Goodman.

I like wine. It has given me some good friends. Friends I hardly ever see, these days.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Paul Smart showing off his blog

After class drinks: let's rock the staff room!

I know what we can do after class. We can go up to level 12 for our "after class" drinks. The view could be worse.

Beautiful day, beautiful Adelaide, beautiful cheese.

I'm off to work. But after work, it could be nice to come around the corner to cheesefest. What could go better with a beautiful wine?

Some wine for after class?

I wonder which of these I might take to try with my students after class today?
No, I won't be playing guitar.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Success is not about offloading your problems onto others...

Perhaps it's because I have a few around me who have yet to learn it. Perhaps I'm just old and grumpy and forgot what I was like at that age. Probably that.

But if there's one thing age has given me, it's a very clear head on what I respect and what I don't. And what I don't respect is this approach to solving a problem:

  1. I have a problem
  2. I find a way to turn my problem into your problem
  3. You solve your problem
  4. My problem is solved

I think it starts in early childhood. When I was a newborn baby, everything was my parents' problem. Quite simply, I'd die if my parents didn't feed me and protect me. Big trouble for them. As I got older my parents still had a responsibility for me. Feed me, school me, roof over my head. My needs were their problem - to some degree. I suppose it's natural for all of us to confuse needs and wants - and if the line is too blurred I suppose that's where people begin to act entitled.

I've mostly managed to check myself when watching some young people and resisted the urge to say "you don't hear the word 'no' very often, do you?".

Schoolteachers - at times - are held responsible for kids' learning at school, even if the kids are there under sufferance. Not only are they expected to lead their pupils to water but force them to drink.

I think "management courses" have a lot to answer for. It's all about "making things happen" but there is often not enough recognition that "if it's to be, it's up to me" or in the world of Terminator 2: "There's no fate but what we make."

Or at the very most those ideas are just abstract concepts to many people.

I'm reasonably OK when people are dependent on others and just deal with it. But I do find it irksome when I see people who trumpet their independence but do nothing to create the wealth that they're sharing in.

Big tip: It's not a "job" to find some new legal loophole or benefit that you can receive when you're not providing anything of value in return. I don't know what it is, but it's not a workable system.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Woolies checkout lines six deep: Fail.

I'm not in a particular hurry today. Neither, apparently are Woolworths. I'm here at Marden and the lines are six deep. When they are that deep and I have some time I just sit back to see how long it take for them to open another checkout.

I think we're up to about ten minutes now and nobody who got on then end of either of these lines is through yet.

Op! One just opened up in front of me. Time to hustle.

Yep, I don't think I'll come back here much. They have no self service aisles and they're not snappy enough to make it up with people.

It's just as easy to to turn left to Coles Avenues as it is to turn right towards Woolies Marden when I leave my house.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Instant experts: The reason I love skydiving.

I run across "instant experts" far too often. I remember an episode of the Partridge Family where the lead male (a teenager in high school) was failing on his sex education and Reuben said "I'm a man of the world - if you want any help just ask" and the boy asked Reuben a whole bunch of advanced biology questions. Reuben couldn't help - didn't have the answers.

Sorry, perhaps I don't understand fertility biology
And it happens in most things I do:

"I was once a kid, I know how to do parenting"
"I went to school, so I know what it's like running a course of 400 students"
"I once owned a milk bar, I know all about marketing"

So you can see why I love skydiving. Nobody has ever said "I've stood on a tall building, skydiving would be easy".

Generally, if people are offering opinions in skydiving, they know what they're talking about. The "instant experts" are few, and generally nobody is listening.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Meshach 2006 at $160

Hey I have 2-3 bottles of 1988 in my cellar but I haven't opened my cellar for over 13 years. Wanna try these?

Beware: We may steal or throw away any left baggage!

Has anyone else found this to read strangely?


Who wants an egg?

My students: let's do it again today

We were all in a classroom yesterday. I like the idea of talking about how we can make wine an experience for our customers - even before they taste it. See you soon.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Fresh eggs: A surprise for the students in tomorrow's class

Chookies have gone to bed now. I have a bunch of eggs that I will take to uni tomorrow.
Big surprise for tomorrow's students. Im trying to talk about how - in social media - you need to draw your customers into your story. Force them to know what you are and what you do. They might not be clicking through immediately, but the post will be there forever. It's called curation and it goes to your authenticity as a brand, as a person. It puts a stake in the ground and adds perspective to your story.
So, today's story is when Cullen of Adelaide took a dozen eggs to uni to give to students as his ode to curation, content marketing and living your brand.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

English cricket: A bullying culture is a losing culture

Now, I'm not talking about toughness, robustness, accountability or the odd screaming match. Some of the best, highest performing business teams I've been a part of have had regular shouting matches. I remember champion boss Rod Davis and myself pulling up to the office, shouting at each other, walking up and in - still shouting - sitting in his office - shouting - getting up and shutting the door and continuing the match. Evenly matched, no malice, not stacking or politicking. Just a robust work culture. A boss who was prepared to be human, allow others to be, and get on with the job.

Some of the worst performing teams have had all the opposite. An iron fisted ideologue as "leader" with a string of ducklings all tagging along, squabbling among themselves to be the first behind the boss. The boss duck actively encouraging the squabble. I have always considered that to be a losing culture, but those cultures are also self delusional. Where I've seen it, the scoreboard is so confused that the members actually think they're doing OK.

In business or sport it becomes very clear. If our sales were going down or rival companies making inroads to our customers, the team would be losing. We never did.

And so, in sport. As I look at this photo of Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen I realise how tempting it is to imagine that a bullying culture is good leadership. Flower looks to be decisive there, and Pietersen seems to be paying attention. It's easy to get away with this "pea and thimble" trick when the scoreboard is confusing.

But the English cricket team were losers - at least the last time they played Australia. Furthermore their performance seemed to fall off a cliff between the previous ashes series in England and the most recent here in Australia.

Team games are tough. It involves tough people with their focus and drive. Harsh words get spoken. But harsh words are not the same as a cringeing culture of intimidation, exclusion and idolatry. Often there will only be one person speaking out - such is the toxicity - because once you're out you're out for good, an enemy to all. The culture takes good, or ambivalent, people and makes them a part of the machine. Lessening them in the process. That seems to be what happened with the English Cricket team.

‘I’ve been one of the only ones who constantly through his reign as coach did not say “How high” when he said “Jump”. He built a regime, he didn’t build a team. 'I told him on numerous occasions, “You’re playing by fear here, you want players to be scared of you. And Andy, I’m not scared of you”. And he hated it.

I've spoken about this before with Mick Malthouse when I stated you have to love the ones you lead, and why I will forever hold Collingwood in contempt.

But I like to think that where it counts, where the scoreboard accurately reflects a team's performance, the losing teams actually lose. And where people are allowed the luxury of self delusion, that self delusion actually becomes its own cross to bear.

I may look back on this in months, or years, and amaze myself at how wrong I had it. But it's how I feel right now.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A nice fish and a nice wine

I had a great friend give me a fish. I met the owners of this winery ten years ago when I spoke at a NZ Wine Exporters forum. Nice mix.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Walk: A nice part of a weekend away

I have a few things to do away from town this weekend. My sister invited us out to her "away place" down at Victor Harbor, which makes the logistics a great deal more workable.

A few drinks with close family last night and a reasonably early walk around the beach this morning has had this going nicely.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Family crap: It can end with us or we can start our own

It has been over a couple of months since mum died. She left the world with a whole bunch of bad feelings towards her siblings. I could let those feelings sit with her as she'd tell me about them - I didn't need to own them. Somebody's business with their brothers and and sisters should remain their own. I have plenty of my own history with my uncles - I have been able to develop my own thoughts without mum's help.

But mum's dying wish was that "the shit stopped with her". She desperately hoped that the sons and daughters of her and her brothers could go past whatever their parents left behind. Yesterday was a great step towards that. My brother is getting married soon and as a "Buck's Day do" we raced some go-karts, hit some golf balls, fired pistols at the range and had some dinner.

And I was delighted that Judd, Darcy and Tully Crout, as well as Scott came out for various parts of the day. Here's a photo of some of us at the range.

Some long discussions over dinner helped give me hope. The crap can stop with her. The previous generation can deal with all their stuff, or not. I'm happy to leave them to it, but I really enjoyed seeing my cousins and I think they are high quality people.

I think there's a way forward.

Tupperware's "Big sell" is now just a festering insult

I grew up in (Northern) suburban Adelaide in the 1970s.

Tupperware was a great product - one the first of its kind. A hermetic seal that they said "keeps food fresh" although a plastic bag does the same. But it promised a sense of order and tidiness - much the same as Ikea these days.

But Tupperware was freakishly expensive. A cupboard full of it could easily cost you $1000. As an innovative product in the late 60s early 70s they could justify it, and sold it with a party plan system ensuring some serious personal selling. 

When Decor started doing the same thing in the late 1970s the major price premium became harder to justify. So Tupperware really started thumping the whole "lifetime guarantee" idea.

I found that a dodgy sell, but at least I could kid myself into believing it added value. But of course, there were strings attached (for instance the microwave line was excluded) and getting your guarantee acted upon meant you had to be in touch with a Tupperware person. That meant entering the whole "high sell" environment again.

So I gave up on the Tupperware gig - no longer a buyer. I can buy the equivalent of $150 of Tupperware for $5 at Ikea and give how much gets left at school or work I can simply buy a new set each month and all the parts fit the last lot I had - mix and match.

But now, as I use the Tupperware with its broken bits, those broken bits taunt me. The lifetime guarantee still sits there if I wanted to engage with the system. But I don't - so I just remember "how fucking expensive" Tupperware is, mentally cut my losses, and slide further on the slope to being a stingy old man.

iView: Like a kid wearing his daddy's tool belt.

Don't get me wrong - I love iView. The Australian Broadcasting Commission is leading the charge when it comes to getting all my favourite programs onto my mobile devices. Made even better by the fact that my ISP gives me free bandwidth to watch iView. iView has just been adapted across to the Android platform.

But one thing is missing - the revenue model. This all works fine when you're getting paid for by the taxpayer. I'm certainly getting my money's worth. But as far as adapting the free to air model to mobile devices iView does not advance the cause much.

Currently iView is all paid for by "inside money" - like when your young son wants to save for a computer and asks if he can do some jobs for you to make money. It's all coming out of your pocket. Not the same as when your daughter gets a job in a pasta shop, or older son gets a job collecting glasses in a pub. At some point you have to grow up and earn some outside money.

I don't want the ABC to go commercial, but let's not kids ourselves. iView is like the ABC wearing its daddy's toolbelt and pretending it's a carpenter.

Recently a caller said this on a call into the Sydney "Mornings" program last week:

Caller Steve: I’m – my birthday’s today. I’ve been listening to the ABC for nearly 50 years and I worked for the ABC in the ‘70s. So I think what today’s all about is a re-focus. You know, Quentin Dempster’s been on your program a while ago. Quentin Dempster’s on nearly $300,000 a year and he produces one program a week. Is that a fair reflection of spending money well? I don’t think so.

I listen to Radio National in the morning, the Breakfast with Fran Kelly. She’s got a listening audience of what? One or two per cent across the nation and she’s got nine producers working on the substance of the story. And I just think that things need to be re-focused in the ABC and they’d be accountable for the dollars that you spend.

I love my ABC. And it's great value. But as good as it is, it it's currently not subject to the same pressures as the other media outlets. I'll be interested to see how the players in the commercial media will go in their efforts to commercialise digital content. For them it's survival, not just an interesting diversion.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, September 26, 2014

Urgh. Highly motivated business breakfasts.

I'm coming to one at the request of a close associate. These business breakfasts always make me feel slightly squeamish, especially the "self employed networking" types.

A cliche on so many levels, and I gave this stuff away about 15 years ago.

And pulling into the carpark doesn't make me feel any better, as I see people ejecting from their cars and striding across the road with their folder in their hand.

Well, here goes....

it wasn't so bad. A bunch of people just like me "scratching around in the dirt, trying to earn a buck". The religious fervour still unnerves me though.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A reverberation of Mum, nice.

Our Mum died, suddenly but not unexpectedly, two months ago. Much of the two months has been really crappy. Last night my sister and myself went to Mum's place with our younger kids and my wife to just get a feel for the place and where we go from here.

My brother sister and myself have had our trips out there but it's time to start clearing, and we wanted to introduce our extended family easily.

An upside is that Mia wanted to take a bedspread, and today we have a little reverberation of Mum, which is nice.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The opposite of love is not hate

I've been mulling over this for a few weeks now. Over my time I've had a few instance where I was the focus of intense hatred. I find it really tiring. It's the sort of thing that I can feel the vibes of a person so strongly as if those vibes are poison needles firing in my direction. I've found the only protection to come from what is "the opposite of love".

If it's tiring to be hated, it's self extinguishing to be a hater - for too long. It's like taking poison and hoping the other person dies. I can only recall being in that mode once - to the extent that I bought a bottle of champagne to celebrate. My thoughts being that if "such and such" a person was to die then all I would hear would be the sound of champagne corks popping and I would want my bottle to be one of them. I cracked that bottle few years later in celebration - celebration that those feelings had actually left me and I was feeling the "opposite of love" for the particular person. And I feel a sense of embarrassment over how I'd let my hate feelings engulf me. Not that the subject of my previous hate had become any less vile.

Strangely the opposite of love is the same thing as the opposite of hate.

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference.
This is the lead thought in a dark quote by Elie Wiesel. The darkness of his thoughts relates to what he saw during the Holocaust and I can get what he's saying.

But indifference can be harnessed in positive ways. I've believed for decades that "the best revenge is to live well". So, rather than continue to swallow the poison of hatred, one may choose to say "whatever - none of my business". For me that involved letting go of the idea of justice in the world, accepting that good things do happen for bad people and that my own job is to make my own world as nice as I can.

And when fate beckons us to to the dark world of hate, reject the invitation. I like the way James Reyne sees it:

  • "I care not now or then, what a pain in the ass it is to run into you again"
  • "When it was raining movie stars I still got Rin Tin Tin"
  • "Maybe then you'll realise you're just tired, tired of yourself. In the beginning was the end - what a pain in the ass it is to run into you again"

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A moment for what's important

Ten year old Jonah has missed out a little lately. I've had two weeks from hell and I missed in particular his parents vs children's football match last Saturday because I was running an intensive course for somebody. So it was a great choice this Thursday morning to cut school and play a round of golf.
At the moment I have dozens of requirements made of me and I'll always be disappointing someone. So I just need to pick the things that matter the most. So I could afford to disappoint a few working stiffs this morning to do something with my boy. The working stiffs will still be there for me this afternoon.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Lecture Whiteboard, Advanced Wine Marketing

Here we are, today's class scrawls. the first one represents a working hypothesis I have on wine related Facebook posts, the second about a simple marketing system, the third about who Yellowtail were targeting and the fourth about how you go from thinking about who your customers are to what you do to your product.