Archive for December, 2005

War Surf

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 14, 2005 by Budd Black

War Surf
M. M. Buckner

Buckner's third attempt surpasses her first but doesn't quite live up to the
second. If you have read the second book, Neurolink, you may find a lot of
the same plot elements in War Surf.

This book is about characters that surf "wars", semi-violent litigations
between execs and protes, for the adrenaline rush. Two of the characters
get stranded on a satellite and have to befriend protes to survive. Life
lessons are learned and the protes end up teaching the execs.

My major problem was with the pacing. The story is told in flashback from a
dying exec on the satellite. The author then takes too long in getting the
characters too the satellite. There is a lot of debate on whether or not
they should go when you already know they will. It just kind of drug on at
that point. Once the characters get on the satellite the pace picks up and
the story is fairly entertaining.

My only other problem was with the main characters characterization. He
doesn't seem realistic in his actions or thoughts. It was a more
appropriate characterization for a spoiled teenager than a 200+ man.

Not the authors fault, but the cover doesn't really represent the book or
the world in which the book lies, but that is nitpicking.

I would recommend this book to sci fi fans. Due to sexual content, not
graphic, 16 up.

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Sam Walton: Made in America…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on December 14, 2005 by Budd Black

Sam Walton: Made in America

Sam Walton, John Huey

This book is a must read for all entrepreneurs, managers, or retail sales
people. Telling the story of Wal-Mart and founder Sam Walton, Made in
America really tells a story of the American dream. Full of anecdotes from
the early days of the company, Walton also gives advice on how to become a
competitor. The reader can feel the emotion and the love for the company as
Walton pours forth his words. Each chapter is laced with perspectives from
a multitude of people including everyone from his wife to the CEO of K-Mart.

This book is family safe and recommended for everyone. Love or hate
Wal-Mart, this book shows an inspirational story and may clear up some
misconceptions. Walton is unapologetic in this book for his success and
welcomes any new competition. An exceptional read.

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Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 12, 2005 by Budd Black

"What we fear comes to pass more speedily than what we hope."
—- Publilius Syrus – Moral Sayings (1st C B.C.)

This quote reminded me of the self fulfilling destiny. By acknowledging
something we subconsciously move toward that very thing. Even if the thing
we are moving towards is something we fear. An important part of goal
setting is to visualize yourself attaining said goal. In fact, I would say
that it is the first step.

Most people can go through life seeing themselves in one career or another.
From childhood they want to be a doctor and by the time they reach adulthood
they are a doctor. These goals and visualizations are often thrust upon the
child, and everyone feels sorry in these situations. Why? Not why do we do
this to children, but why do we feel sorry for parents that set goals for
their children. I kind of wish mine would have done so.

The fact is that my life has little direction. Not much was expected from me
and I blew away the few expectations that were there. When it came time to
decide my own direction, there was no base pattern for me to refer to. I
wish my parents were not hippies and would have pressed the importance of
becoming a doctor, lawyer or some such to help me choose a path. As it is, I
just kind of bounce around several paths making headway in none.

I need to find a field and set a goal. I have no doubts about my meeting my
goal, because even though I don't have the goal yet, I am already
visualizing myself as a successful person. I just need to choose the path
and start my journey. A leap of faith, but I will be okay. How do I know? I
can see myself.

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The Morning Greeter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on December 4, 2005 by Budd Black

        Strange how we look at those that do something nice and immediately think that something must be wrong with them or that something is expected in return.  The human race is jaded and we oft-times miss the pure joys of being nice to others.  The elderly, grasping at the freshly cut thread of their life, often see that bringing joy can be the greatest joy there is.  They do this and the rest of us look at them and think how they have finally lost one too many marbles. 


          This is the limited story of one such man.  I only knew the man as the morning greeter.  I never knew the man or even had a conversation with him, but every morning, as I drove to school for an 8AM class, he was there waving from out of his wheel chair.  Not just at me, but to everyone.  In the rain, he had an umbrella, in the snow, he had a thick coat, but every morning he was there. 

          I, like most people, assumed at first that he was crazy.  At the very least, he had to be senile.  I started waving back out of sympathy, and would see the smile spread across his weathered black face.  This smile was contagious and you could not help smiling back.  So there I was, the man had me waving and smiling for no obvious reason at all.  Before I know it, I am looking forward to seeing this old black man wave at me every morning.  It just kind of started the day out the right way. 

          I had only moved into the neighborhood a few years before I started noticing this man.  The first couple of years, I had a job that allowed me to show up later in the morning, and the man was never out there by the time I went by his house.  I quit my job to go back to school and knowing parking was easier early in the morning signed up for 8AM classes.  This coincidence (or maybe it was fate) brought me to know the morning greeter.  Unfortunately, about three months later, he stopped coming out.  After a week of this, flowers started showing up on the fence in front of his home.  I knew what had happened before the flowers ever showed up though.  Lots of flowers showed up, a whole lot.  I wanted to go knock on the door and console the family in whatever way I could.  I regret to say that I did not.  I feel that a family's grief is a private thing.  Thankfully, the family thought of us in their time of pain and put a big poster-board thank you note up on the fence for all of us. 

          It is amazing how this old man at the end of his days touched so many lives by simply waving to people as they started their day.  It is a testament to the true power of kindness, and I believe there is a special place in heaven reserved for the man whose name I did not even know.  Morning greeter, I will miss you!

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