The Witty Lizard

Ramblings of a grilling, drinking, black flag hoisting father and philosophical eclectic.

The Witty Lizard - Ramblings of a grilling, drinking, black flag hoisting father and philosophical eclectic.

‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World – NYTimes.com

‘We the People’ Loses Appeal With People Around the World – NYTimes.com.

We are no longer the most progressive nation in the world, we are a country of right wing religious nuts holding on to the past as though it were some sacred relic, ironic huh? Thomas Jefferson said that constitutions should be rewritten every 19 years because the government should belong to the current generation… Ours belongs to a generation that’s been dead for 180 years…

Thursday Links

The asterisks are funny, but a great take… Pistols Firing

Spot on… Cowboys Ride for Free

That-a-kid Terrell… Sun-Sentinel

Gundy gets it… NewsOK

Good stuff from Mandel… Sports Illustrated

Interesting thoughts on language… The Economist

Freedom fo religion means freedom to not believe, right? Slate

Social networking debate, interesting arguments… The Economist

This is perfect and thus will never happen… The Economist

“Morning After” pill from a vending machine, brilliant… Slate

When did Hamilton have the leverage, exactly… BBTIA

Elvis is in the building… Rangers.com

I can’t wait for baseball… Star-Telegram

Choose not to hide… Seth’s Blog

Embrace the fear… Seth’s Blog

Who is the customer? Seth’s Blog

Tarver has his work cut out for him… Just Blog Baby

They aren’t that bad, really… NFL.com

Can DeMarco stay healthy? Dallas News

Seal Team 6… The New Yorker

Culture War, Santorum is crazy and Romney is a flake… The New Yorker

 

 

 

Friday Five

Today, books that have intrigued/helped/motivated me….

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t, by Jim Collins
  2. The Art of War, by Sun Tzu
  3. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson and the Opening of the American West, by Stephen E Ambrose
  4. The Genius: How Bill Walsh Reinvented Football and Created an NFL Dynasty, by David Harris
  5. The 48 Laws of Power, by Robert Greene

Good to Great is a great look into the working of companies. Don’t take it as a business book though. Its idea apply to any organization. Why do groups, teams and companies succeed? The two things that really stand out to me are the ideas of ‘First Who, Then What’ and the ‘Hedgehog Concept’. The first one is so simple I went all face palm on myself. It says, ‘Get the right people on the bus and then figure out where you’re going’. Or, don’t fit the people to the system, fit the system to the people. The ‘Hedgehog Concept’ asks three questions… What makes you money? What can you be the best in the world at? What lights your fire? Really a powerful read, still makes me think everyday.

What has it been, 3000 years? No matter when it was written, The Art of War is still the preeminent book written on strategy and conflict resolution (warfare). I read it at least twice a year and so should you.

What’s not to love about the story of the opening of the American west? Undaunted Courage is a history of the Lewis and Clark expedition based on their journals. There has never been a better historian sitting behind a keyboard than Ambrose in my estimation. Google a list of his titles and you’ll understand. This book is my favorite because I love the exploration and pure discovery of the whole endeavor, no white man had seen the places and things they did. The personal nature of the journals makes it very human, not something typically said of history books.

The Genius is wonderful and I did a long write-up on it here, no point in rehashing. Let’s just say I learned a lot and Bill Walsh is a BAMF.

Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power is kind of a cross between Good to Great and The Art of War. It takes the questions about what make people and groups great and using historical examples provides 48 laws that make people powerful. Some are nice, neat and polite. Many are decidedly not, similar to parts of Sun Tzu’s work. Really cool thoughts on what takes people to the top as well as what brings them down. The examples show that Greene isn’t just spouting his theories but has facts to back them up.

 

 

On Jim Harbaugh’s Press Conference

The website Grantland has turned out another amazing piece.

Matchup Problems: On Jim Harbaugh’s Press Conference – The Triangle Blog – Grantland.

I find the last paragraph particularly interesting. The societal demands and expectations of sportsmanship are out of hand. Life is not about sportsmanship, or at least it shouldn’t be. That’s a part of my life philosophy, which I hope ties very nicely with this piece I wrote a few days ago: Society.

But the thrust of the article is about press conference tactics and quoting philosophy, which I think is amazing.

 

 

Was a Good Day

I found something to excite me, to piqué my interest today. This writing thing is really a creative outlet I never thought I would get into quite like I have. It also amazes me that I have so much stuff to say. OK not really, but who knew that putting it on paper would be this liberating.

I just added a page to the Manifesto all about my thoughts on society and the social contract. I have always read people like Hobbs, Plato, Marx, Locke, Jefferson and many other political philosophers. It’s always been a of hobby of mine, educating myself on writings of the classic thinkers.

That being said, I just wrote 800+ words on the social contract and how it relates to 2012. Really enjoyed writing it and I hope that my writing pace increases from this point forward. Who knows, but I know I have a lot to say.

Crazy how life changes from day-to-day….. Maybe that’s a topic for tomorrow.

Favorite Quotes

When the fun is gone, so is the enthusiasm, so what’s the point? We’re not running up the score, We’re having fun. – Mouse Davis

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me. – Hunter S. Thompson

He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. – Winston Churchill

It’s better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you’re not. – André Gide

New Page

Check out the new page. It’s a public declaration of my principles and intentions.

As I have said many times, this blog is for me to get the weird shit out of my head. This Manifesto will be an ongoing process to continue exploring some of the core beliefs that I know I have but haven’t had the medium for expression until now.

Like it or not, this is who I am and I make no apologies.

Goosefraba

My New Years resolution is to relax. Reduce the stress in my life and focus on things that make me happy.

Now first of all I understand stress is a part of everyone’s life. It kinda goes part and parcel with being a grown up. Everyone has responsibilities and that naturally makes people worry. But I have been miserable for a long time. The underlying theme to my plan was happiness. Moving, divorce, health, all those things lead to a happier me. And I am immensely more happy today than I have been in years, it’s a start.

I have moved. I have left. I have quit smoking. I have started eating healthier. All of those things are me moving in the right direction. Now it’s time to focus on the things that make me happy. The aforementioned things are lifestyle choices, not necessarily happiness makers. Happiness makers are activities, things a person does to occupy their time in an enjoyable way. What most people would call a hobby.

So I am going to spend my time in a better way than I have been my whole life. No more smokey bars and the craziness that goes with that, well not all the time, but that is for another day. Focus on the things I enjoy doing. Cooking, writing, reading; these are the things that excite me.

I have this blog which has already been a great release for me. I am reading a book about one of my idols. I think I’ll up cook something exotic and fun tonight.

Creative and thoughtful releases of my stress and anger. Stuff is getting better, stuff is getting better everyday.