Monthly Archives: October 2012

When They Go Wrong

I must admit, I’ve enjoyed a practical joke or two.

Thankfully, none have ended up like this.


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Blowin’ Out the Carbon

Many years ago, I owned at 1957 Ford Skyliner. It was a sweet ride from the era of big automotive iron.  Like most carbureted cars  of that era, after it had been sitting for a few days, and the excess gasoline had come to rest in the cylinders, it would build up a bit of carbon that would impede performance.  The fix was to take it out for a high speed spin on the highway (usually very late at night) to help clean the accumlulation of carbon off the pistons and valves. After a few miles, you could feel the engine start to run more smoothly.

I’ve found the same works for me. This last week at Adobe was a blur of board and committee meetings, presentations, introductions to employees and much, too much, time sitting at my desk.  Layer on to that a multitude of family obligations and the death of a very dear uncle and it made for a long, exhausting week.

Needing to cleanse the accumulation of stresses from my mind and body, I chose a twenty mile mountain bike ride in the Santa Cruz mountains.

Fall in Northern California is magical. As I barreled down single track and dirt fire roads, rust colored leaves rolled ahead of my front wheel like a breaking wave. The scent of bay leaves, valley oaks and an occasional wood fire from an unseen cabin filled the air. Riding at speed through the forest, the colors of the oaks, toyons, madrones and manzanitas blurred in the periphery presenting rippling shades of green and gray.

When I finally came to rest, with the steam rising from my face in the cool, crisp autumn air, I felt cleansed, almost euphoric.

I’m running much better now.


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Think Pink.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Like many, we have had family and close friends who have been affected by this disease. Whenever this month rolls around I reflect on what they and their loved ones have faced.  Thinking about it recently called to mind a conversation I had with my son a few years ago.

I was sitting at the dining table reading the newspaper after a day at work. My then 13 year old son, who is on the local crew team, plopped down next to me, obviously excited.

“Dad, look at all this pink stuff I bought to wear to crew. This is a pink t-shirt, these are pink socks and this is a pair of pink rowing tights. I also bought these pink beaded necklaces. Oh, and this is the coolest – pink sunglasses!”

“You must be very confident in your manhood to show up for crew wearing all pink.”

“Well, everyone is going to do it. We are having a contest to raise money for the Breast Cancer Society. The person who wears the most pink wins a prize!”

“Son, that’s very considerate of you. I’m proud.”

“Well it’s a really good cause.”

Then a few second pause.

“Plus, Dad…”


“I really love boobies.”

If you are in a giving mood this month, please think pink.


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Five Things From: September

1. For anyone who enjoys the heft of a book, the crack of the binding, the smell of the pages and the sound as they are turned, this is very, very depressing.

2. In the category of “silver linings“.

3. On the other hand

4. For all you geeks who enjoy the October Classic. (Go A’s!)

5. In two years this man will be eligible for social security. Yet, he performs with the energy and abandon of someone still looking forward to the day that he can take his first legal drink. Happy Birthday, Bruce.


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