London is a great city with classic architecture. It doesn't matter how many times I go into the city i still have the same reaction. I stand there slack-jawed looking at the buildings and bridges and people. There is tons to do.
One of my favorite buildings in London is St Pancras Station. Opened in 1868 it is a sight to behold. It is the first thing you see when you get off the train at neighboring Kings Cross Station. Kings Cross has been newly remodeled and is a bit impressive itself. However, for me, St Pancras is gorgeous.
When I come into London, seeing St Pancras against the London sky means I've landed. I am in London. It is by no means the only cool thing to see in London but it is something you shouldn't miss if you're ever in town.
Here's my minimalist representation of the station.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." - Couldn't have said it better.
We should remember these things. I am very happy to celebrate Independence Day today.
... "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
How many of us are willing to pledge our lives our fortunes and sacred honor. These guys were giving up everything they knew to make something new - something better. What are we willing to sacrifice to make things better for our community, our state or our country?
Today I will gnaw on that question and try to find ways to make things better for now and into the future. We should all think about how we can make things better.
We celebrate these kinds of things so that we remember. Let's remember that we owe it to generations to come to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies both foreign and domestic. This should not just be a military or political oath (which it is) but it should be the mantra by which we live our days.
Everybody has personal stuff going on. But remember what made this country what it is. People willing to give it all up for an idea that would make things better for everybody.
Nothing says Arizona like a big ole Saguaro Cactus. Their technical name is Carnegiea gigantea and they are gigantea! These monsters can be 40-60 feet tall and have over 25 arms. It is what I equate most with the desert in Arizona.
I did a lot of driving back and forth between the Phoenix area and Prescott Arizona during the month of June. When you drive from the desert surrounding the Phoenix area to the mile-high city of Prescott you can see the Saguaro disappear as you climb. It is a very pretty drive.
When I lived in the Phoenix area a couple of years ago we had a Saguaro in the back yard. Though they can get quite tall the root system on this plant is quite shallow - only a couple of feet. The roots grow more horizontally than vertically. This helps it cover more area horizontally find water. Though quite shallow the wide root system at it's base helps keep it stable.
You will often see newly planted Saguaro artificially propped up on all sides for several years until the plant can extend it's root system wide enough to ground it.
One day we were watching television during a bit of a monsoon rain storm. The 25 foot cactus in our back yard started swaying back and forth with the wind. Finally, the ground got so sopping wet the roots were loosened and the spire came crashing down. That poor cactus had had it. It was broken, battered and bruised. It was not a very happy camper. The injured carcass had to be disassembled with a chainsaw and carried away one chunk at at time.
I won't soon forget that cactus.
I do like the way they look in the landscape. The older cactus are gnarled and twisted and can provide a home to several desert creatures. When you come across a cactus that has been dead for a while the woody skeletal structure of this giant gets exposed. The plants are really quite fascinating.
This cactus makes an entrance in my blog today because, well, I drew it. have a great day.
On July 1, 2017 Canada celebrates 250 years as a nation. I've been reading a bit about it and that is the easiest way to explain it. As with everything political there are differing opinions about exactly what it is and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing. Basically, Canada Day is a celebration of being Canadian.
I learned the word "sesquicentennial" this year which is celebrating 150 years of something. I think I had heard the term before but this is the first time it really sunk in to my brain-housing-group.
I was born in Montreal and lived there for the centennial which is celebrating 100 years of something. That was in 1967. It was the year of the Expo in Montreal. I still have the license plate of the car that took us to California in November of that year. I guess you could say that we celebrated the centennial by leaving Canada.
Though the celebration has been going on for some time I paid it little attention. So what has modified my thinking. First, recently we had a family reunion at my brother's house in Maine. Just over 70 Attenboroughs came to that celebration (no year attached). Except for a couple of folks, I think they were all Canadian. Second, just got my brand spanking new Canadian passport. I suppose I am reconnecting with my Canadian-ness a little bit.
July 1st is Canada Day and in a couple of days it will be the fourth of July (Independence Day). I am very glad to be a part of the history of both countries. I celebrate my Canadian relatives and my American relatives. I also celebrate my Canadian-ness and my American-ness. I just like it that way.
Glad to be a part of it all.
I love it when the weekend comes and I get a respite from the weeks work. It seems the list of things that have to be done continues to grow and I continue to want to wind now. I love what I do so it's never really a hardship. I do think the to-do list can get a bit daunting at times. I have to pare back and say no to some things so I can say yes to others.
I'm looking forward to a long weekend and the Fourth of July. Since I am in England at the moment the celebration of the 4th is a little subdued. Though I've some pubs on the High Street advertise specials for the 4th of July - burgers and beer mostly.
So I will have a beer on the 4th and celebrate well.
A couple of years ago I convinced some of my friends that it would be good to have a barbecue on the fourth. We did it and had a great time. No fireworks but a really good time just the same. Burgers and beers and good cheer were had by all.
I am easing into the drawing schedule a little bit at a time. Before you know it I'll be going great guns again.
Onward and upward.
Last month I attended a conference of information professionals in New Orleans. It was exciting reconnecting with colleagues and talking about what they were doing to move their businesses forward. As you can probably tell I have not posted to my blog for a while. I want to let you know why.
I have been beating myself up a little bit for not posting. It's important to remain consistent in any practice. You need to make a habit of it. I realize that it's important to do the things you are passionate about to help make your life fulfilling.
Over the last month I have helped my dad with a major life transition. I absolutely loved the chance to spend time with him. He really is a great guy. I hope that he's pleased with his new digs. I feel much better because I am sure he's it's a much better environment.
I have had some time to breathe and relax . I think I'm about ready to get back at it.
I did this is a drawing at the conference about a month ago. The microphone seemed emblematic of the presentations. I don't know why - It just felt that way to me.
I will keep it simple going forward till I get back in the swing of things. I love to draw and I hope it shows.
Headed out to New Orleans today.
Looking forward to my stay.
This is today's drawing. I hope you enjoy.
Was just thinking about my time in the Corps.
One of the things that I am so grateful for is the can do attitude and discipline the experience instilled in me.
I am grateful for so many things about that time in my life.
But, for now - I haven't got much to say, except - I'm glad I was there.
Creativity comes in drips and drabs sometimes. I have read that if you want to be creative you need to continually create. Which I do here. I try to create something daily.
Necessity is the mother of invention. This red coffee cup is mine. The saying is not mine. I think it reflects how I feel today. Each day there is so much to do or so much that can be done. The trick is prioritizing some things above others.
Creating these drawings requires discipline. I also try to say a bit of something that's going on. Today there has been lots. Today the drawing was the least of my worries. I'm preparing for a conference, doing some content analytics, published some website pages and went through old files to shred documents I hope I no longer need. I don't like carting things from place to place. Most of what I have is online anyway so that isn't too big a problem.
Going through paperwork has got to be one of my least favorite chores. I'd prefer to be drug over broken glass. But we have to do what we have to do and broken glass doesn't sound too appealing to me.
One of the good things about doing the shredding and filing today is that I feel quite a sense of accomplishment about my day. I do feel better after doing something I didn't want to do. If feels good to have the discipline to accomplish things that are onerous.
When I was in the Marines we said "We have done so much with so little for so long we are now prepared to do the impossible with nothing."
Getting things done is appealing. Doing them - sometimes not so appealing.
Today, with many priorities, I again made a drawing and I like it. Not because it's great but because it's mine.
Most of you know I was born in Montreal. When I was nine our family moved to California. We came to the United States as immigrants in November 1967.
Dad got a job in Redwood City at a place called Ampex. We drove across country with the clothes on our back and a trailer towed by an old Pontiac. I have no clue what model the car was. All I was aware of is it was a Pontiac. I think I still have some old photos of that car someplace. I had little interest in cars when I was nine. When we got there we stayed in an old motel on the El Camino Real for the first month or so before moving in to an apartment on Woodside Road.
Growing up in California was fabulous. I made great friends and my family was relatively sane. Though, I think some might define sane a bit differently than I do. Redwood City is, or was, a quiet suburb of either San Jose or San Francisco. I guess it just depends on where you want to say your closer too. Before Oracle and tons of other tech companies grew up or moved to the peninsula people didn't know much about Redwood City. You had to reference something people would recognize so they would know what you were talking about.
I eventually joined the Marines and then became an American citizen.
I still feel a strong connection with Canada.
I was really pleased to find out since I was born in Canada I am entitled to have a Canadian passport. So I recently applied for a Canadian Passport. Something which I am pleased to say came in the mail yesterday.
I'm a happy camper. I'll be floating on that one for a few days.