The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree (Audio Book) by Shel Silverstein

Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.
And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest.
He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples.
And they would play hide-and-go-seek.
And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade.
And the boy loved the tree ... very much.
And the tree was happy.

Front cover
But time went by.
And the boy grew older.
And the tree was often alone.
Then one day the boy came to the tree and the tree said, "Come, Boy, come and climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and eat apples and play in my shade and be happy."
"I am too big to climb and play," said the boy.
"I want to buy things and have fun. I want some money. Can you give me some money?"
"I'm sorry," said the tree, "but I have no money. I have only leaves and apples. Take my apples, Boy, and sell them in the city. Then you will have money and you will be happy."
And so the boy climbed up the tree and gathered her apples and carried them away.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time ...and the tree was sad.
And then one day the boy came back and the tree shook with joy and she said, "Come, Boy, climb up my trunk and swing from my branches and be happy."
"I am too busy to climb trees," said the boy.
"I want a house to keep me warm," he said.
"I want a wife and I want children, and so I need a house. Can you give me a house?"
“I have no house," said the tree.
"The forest is my house, but you may cut off my branches and build a house. Then you will be happy."
And so the boy cut off her branches and carried them away to build his house.
And the tree was happy.
But the boy stayed away for a long time. And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak.
"Come, Boy," she whispered, "come and play."
"I am too old and sad to play," said the boy.
"I want a boat that will take me far away from here. Can you give me a boat?"
"Cut down my trunk and make a boat." said the tree. "Then you can sail away ... and be happy."
And so the boy cut down her trunk and made a boat and sailed away.
And the tree was happy ... but not really.
Rear cover

And after a long time the boy came back again.
"I am sorry, Boy," said the tree, "but I have nothing left to give you, my apples are gone."

"My teeth are too weak for apples", said the boy.
"My branches are gone", said the tree. "You cannot swing on them -"
"I am too old to swing on branches," said the boy.
"My trunk is gone," said the tree. "You cannot climb -"
"I am too tired to climb," said the boy.
"I am sorry," sighed the tree. I wish that I could give you something...but I have nothing left. I am just an old stump. I am sorry...."
"I don't need very much now," said the boy,
"Just a quiet place to sit and rest. I am very tired."
"Well," said the tree, straightening herself up as much as she could,
"Well, an old stump is good for sitting and resting. Come, Boy, sit down. Sit down and rest."
And the boy did.

And the tree was happy.


The Five Laws of Stratospheric Success

For future reference for you and for me, the following are the 5 Laws of Stratospheric Success from the book, The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I believe the laws themselves are quite powerful but it the understanding of them gotten from the book that really brings out the results, so go get the book!

The Law of Value:
Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

The Law of Compensation:
Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.

The Law of Influence:
Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.

The Law of Authenticity:
The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

The Law of Receptivity:
The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.


Who's there...

Its normally very easy for people to identify and help correct problems in other's lives... to be there when they ask for help. Its not so often that we're able to see our own problems. Now, I'm not gonna say that I can see all mine but I certainly feel like I've had a major revelation about them... and its really REALLY not looking good...

To be completely honest, I see now what I'm doing and know why I'm doing it and I just can't stop...

I hide... whether its by partying, or saying I have too much work (I do have a lot of work), or sleeping, or watching tv... or try to fix other people's issues and problems... I'm hiding.... hiding from what I feel I'm supposed to be doing... what I'm supposed to become... hiding from fixing myself...and I can't stop it. ... I am horribly horribly broken...

Everyday I wake up and say I want to make a difference... I want to do something amazing today... every day... and then something happens or I put it off or and I just don't do it... and then I say tomorrow...

The thing is, its always tomorrow... I'm NOT lazy... I want so much to do things, to be someone... but every day goes by and I've done nothing meaningful... and thats just the half of it...

At night I beat myself up... I get upset at myself for not doing anything... horribly beat myself up... there's only so many times you can say next time until you stop believing it yourself... I think I'm there. The thing is, I can't give up... so it turns into an endless cycle of trying to do something, not doing things, and then beating myself up for it. I honestly don't know how much longer I can take it...

And the thing is, I honestly don't think you could tell all this was going on if you knew me... but I know... I'm tired... tired of trying and failing, tired of not trying and beating myself up... tired of pushing people away because I have to "work"... On the outside I seem happy and fun and caring and successful... but on the inside I'm dying... really dying... and I don't know what to do. I can hide from everything... but I can't hide from myself, from the thoughts of how much of a failure I am... and how much more of one I'm becoming. I don't know how to fix this... I think it may be too late... but there's no reset button on life... there's just the end... and I can feel it coming... I may even hope its coming. And the worst part of it all is... in 10 minutes my disguise will come back and everything will of a sudden "be ok". Back into hiding... Well at least I've gotten it out... somewhere.

I lay alone awake at night
Sorrow fills my eyes
But I’m not strong enough to cry
Despite of my disguise
I’m left with no shoulder
But everyone wants to lean on me.
I guess I’m their soldier.
Well, who’s gonna be mine

Who’s there to save the hero
When he’s left all alone
And he’s crying out for help.
Who’s there to save the hero
Who’s there to save the boy…
After he saves the world
After he saves the world.

I bottle all my hurt inside,
I guess I’m living a lie.
Inside my mind each day I die

What can bring me back to life?
A simple word, a gesture
Someone to say you’re beautiful
Come find this buried treasure
Rainbows lead to a pot of gold.

Who’s there to save the hero
When he’s left all alone
And he’s crying out for help
Who’s there to save the hero
Who’s there to save the boy
After he saves the world…
After he saves the world.

I’ve given too much of myself
And now it’s driving me crazy
(I’m crying out for help?
Sometimes I wish someone would
Just come here and save me…
Save me from myself

Who’s there to save the hero
When he’s left all alone
And he’s crying out for help
Who’s there to save the hero
Who’s there to save the boy
After he saves the world…
After he saves the world.


The Absolute Truth...

This post is directed at someone... that person will probably never see it because we're not speaking right now and I don't think he knows about this blog. I just wanted to capture and make public how I feel about him.

This is to him...

On the most recent episode of House MD, there was a patient who could only tell the truth due to a condition. I wish I had that condition and that you were around because if I did, I'd tell you how much I love you and how much I miss you and how much of a mistake it was to do what I did and how I'm scared that I'll never ever find someone like you who treated me so well again, ever... and how amazed I am of you and what you've accomplished and where you're going... and how much I want you back even though you've moved on... and you'd have to believe me because I wouldn't be able to lie and you'd know for sure just how much I love you.


Remembering Miami...

So... This blog entry is mostly for me... not so much for readers (unless you were there with me)... I aim to capture as much as I can from the trip and afterwards so that I can come back and remember it. Some things may seem cryptic to readers, mostly because I want to remember them but don't want you to know the specific details...

Went to Miami beach from Feb 26th through March 15th... was there with Brandon Propst (the Gay Dragon)... daily schedule was wake up, beach, drink, beach, bar, eat a bit, drag show or other activity, home to change for going out, bar/club til 4am or later, home to pass out... start again.

This schedule started after the winter party and ended the day before I left. The Winter Party itself was a lot of fun... saw Chris Ryan and group, Dane (my ex-roommate), and soccer buddies. Met some new people Shane and Kevin.... Present from Dragon on Table... TOO MUCH!... Had fun watching the fire spinners at discotekka, at pool party, at HOT Park West with Brian and dancing under the sun next to Ajuna's replacement to Gravity and Halo remixes.

After Winter Party was over, it got a bit quieter (minus the daily morning wake up calls). Showtunes duets! Came out to Tickle Lady for dragon, extra money for him. Brandon and I established ourselves as semi-perminent residents at Palace bar and started hanging with Enrique and Nelson (bartenders there). SHOTS (spin the fingers)! We moved up from cups of alcohol to pitchers of alcohol (with lots of straws and cherries in them), and shots in between. Canadian avoidence. Drunken laptop shopping!

Omer came into town to stay with us... hawse hawse hawse... he was on the hunt from the very beginning... and though initially he wasn't satsified with the crowd, he managed to find some people to entertain him. Our trips to Palace continued after beach vists... we also met up with Danny (from NYC who had moved down there) and went to Buck 15 on thurs (where we started cut the line using $20)... Canadian fortune telling and me on the couch... and Living Room in Ft. Lauderdale on the next day... bad experience driving back but made it... Jon came into town... and joined us at Discotekka, where we got bottle service in our own VIP section (away from the other VIPers and down near the dance floor)... they had run out of VIP space and we made them create our own. Had an amazing time... it was the Britney Spears after-party. We loved the music, minus the fog horn blasts. THIS... IS.... MIAMI!!!!! Thank you Dragon for saving the night and me from HSBC. :-)

The week started again on Sunday and we resumed our normal routine. Omer and Jon gone. Met on the beach with Charlie, Mike, Anthony (kitty litter) and Tits and spent the rest of the time mostly with them. Dave and his boy Kurt showed up mid-week and we had fun with them too... showed him what Rush could be like HOT ASS CONTEST WON BY DRAGON.... Chicken fights...brandon horizontal, the haha game... football distance and left handed... Palace and personal bathroom in surf shop.... REALLY GUYS?, REALLY? ... Anthony with bartender at Twist. Tits last night at Score and me ANGRY...Discussion with Dragon about past... Diego met on the beach... Outback... paraho, parabaho, encentro, inventro, Too loud and business card on door... Twist... Magic tricks (beer, then bottle) VIP at Twist... $100 for random Halo on tab close... diego fiasco... Dragon unhappy and trashed.

Normal schedule... Tits gone, Cynthia arrives... Kumar found on beach, Enzo on beach, Ultimate frisbee turns into two-hand touch. Our own drag show from Nelson... FIREWORKS!!!... Robbie and Joe arrive... no buck 15 for them, met southern boy... VIP entry and bottle service for us (Grey Goose and Kettle)! Upside down dancing from the ceiling... Dragon on Cynthia and her on Dragon... Upside down slip, fall, handstand, so HA.... LOSE Kumar, WHOHOO! Twist, $125 tip for future Halo play to Karlos.

Friday, beach, plunger, Robbie and Joe... hookah, Doctors from England...Palace... Uppo, Downo, Outo, inno! ...drag show with Marilyn Manson with Nipples, Danny late... My Prediction... Danny rolling drop off... HIT AND RUN... MAJOR FIGHT WITH THE DRAGON, can't talk or move, Dragon almost Zacked!Score... little by little, Dragon on the side, twist, almost Halo, Dragon upset and trashed, Charlie brings him home. Concerned and sprint down washington and ocean, Dragon OK.

Saturday, No alcohol... Jet skiing with Robbie and (thank you Dragon!) ball breaking and ass pounding, 5 feet vertical, nice houses on island, statue, kids birthday party, switch postions... bad sandwiches... beach, limo and club arrangments, drag show at Palace, American Apparel and tickle request by me... Home, quick change, uppo downno outto inno drunko limo clubo gonoooooo :)... uppo downno outto inno ditto brando :)... back at palace, everyone late... Danny non-existant... Limo pickup (excursion)... PARTY!!! Loop around club... Arrive at Discotekka, MAJOR PROBLEMS, paid off everyone to finally get it right... but can't let stress go... can't let stress go, no roll, nelson and bf pick up by limo... limo flat, robbie and joe home in stretch towncar, Hummer Limo arrives, got til 6.... "take care of the dragon for me"... dragon danceing, party til 5... drop off everyone... just dragon and me.

Beach with drink, talking, poems in arms (If, Success, starfish-"It made a difference for that one.")... Halo, Ave Maria, sunrise, home to sleep. Robbie and Joe gone... Dragon and I on beach, no drinks just talk... tell me something interesting... Chick flicks...The Notebook... "I think this will happen again"... rush to pack, find a taxi with Brit....goodbye :-( ... plane with space shuttle launch, turbulence.

Next night, wakeup, last Miami Halo (whole song)... Thank you Dragon... miss you and Miami...

I have never had an experience like this one in Miami, shared payment and closeness. Blown away by it and the understanding of why by both... glimmers, "This is to have succeeded"... I appreciate that time I've had with the Dragon and hope/believe we'll have it again some time in the future. Will be happy to see the Dragon next Sunday/Monday.

I have left parts of this out and as they come to me, I will add them in another color.

If you're friends with me on FB, Check out my pictures and vids from my profile during the trip dates. Wish I could post them all here but there are too many... may be able to do it later.


The Winner Stands Alone

Just read a great and inspiring quote from Paulo Coelho's new book, "The Winner Stands Alone". Check out the full book which he is posting chapter by chapter in his blog at http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

‘Do you know anything about frogs?’


‘Yes, various biological studies have shown that if a frog is placed in a container along with water from its own pond, it will remain there, utterly still, while the water is slowly heated up. The frog doesn’t react to the gradual increase in temperature, to the changes in its environment, and when the water reaches boiling point, the frog dies, fat and happy.

‘On the other hand, if a frog is thrown into a container full of already boiling water, it will jump straight out again, scalded, but alive!’

Olivia doesn’t quite see what this has to do with the destruction of the world. Igor goes on:

‘I was like that boiled frog. I didn’t notice the changes. I thought everything was fine, that the bad things would just go away, that it was just a matter of time. I was ready to die because I lost the most important thing in my life but, instead of reacting, I sat there bobbing apathetically about in water that was getting hotter by the minute.’
Olivia plucks up the courage to ask:

‘What did you lose?’

‘The truth is I didn’t lose anything. Life sometimes separates people so that they can realise how much they mean to each other. For example, last night, I saw my wife with another man. I know she wants to come back to me, that she still loves me, but she’s not brave enough to take the first step. Some boiled frogs still think it’s obedience that counts, not ability: those who can, lead, and those with any sense, obey. So where’s the truth in all this? It’s better to emerge from a situation slightly scalded, but alive and ready to act.'

WoW, Google Latitude, and Life

My WoW character Shlaric (level 18 Night Elf Druid)

Video Blog Notes:

World of Warcraft
- Highly addictive
- So many places to visit
- So many things to do
- level
- quests (of different types)
- dungeons
- PvP
- Expansions
- Achievements
- Talents
- Professions
- And then you get to do it all over again but completely differently!

- Now on Google Latitude --> buddyboy2006@gmail.com

- Working a lot... must get out of IT... can't stand dealing with peoples problems all day
- Update on drinking ban date
- Been going to the gym... not as much as I'd like but still losing fat
- Run 3K per day and swim
- FundMii work --> Http://www.fundmii.com
- Put Impaytient on hold

Interesting Idea
- Utility that creates easy table of context and index of Video


Trying Ping.fm for the first time... we'll see if I end up keeping it!


Resolution: 1 Month Ban on Drinking

Just a quick post...I have come to the realization that drinking causes many of my problems and results in me being generally unhappy. In an effort to complete FundMii and get it launched as well as to be generally happier, I have decided the following:

I will not drink from this point until February 27th, 2009 (the day I go on vacation to Miami).

I expect that this decision will cause me to be more productive, allow me to save money, and be a generally happier person.

That is all!


Video Post #3

Video blog #3

- Find video much easier than typing.. can get it done much faster but...
- unindexable or unreliably indexed
- have to watch the whole video to find out what I say and can't easily skim
- Problem with ideas like seesmic --> have to do things in someone elses time
- Monitization problems for companies and sites like youtube--> can't target ads well
- example of bad placement
- Tagging is current method but is no good (some companies do manual tagging)
- Used to think that solution was audio indexing with speech to text technology but not so much anymore
- What's really needed is Object recognition and intention recognition so we know what things are, what the point of the video is, and what the tone of the actions in the video are in relation to each object --> long time coming
- even when the semantic web comes about, video will still be a problem
- person who cracks video has a lot of opportunity or at least a good job waiting for them at sites like youtube
- Will post notes from now on

Personal Update:
- Weekend--> lost one debit card, broke another, can't touch my business acct because thats where the rent is coming from --> interesting situation
- Haven't slept cause I couldn't fall asleep
- Feel like I'm getting a lot done
- joe's coming tomorrow at 7AM and I have off tues thru thurs though I might have to do a small amount of work on wed
- Fought with joe... don't feel good about him... been having nightmares about making the wrong decision but need to get over that
- Began work on fundmii... will have template mostly done before I got to work today
- started keeping a list of blog topics (video wasn't on the list but became the topic when I started writing these notes)


Comics (from xkcd.com)

(Click the image to get the full view)


And some other funny ones...