Social and Personal Milestones

Star Wars Opens 1977On this day in 1977, Memorial Day weekend opens with an intergalactic bang as the first of George Lucas’ blockbuster Star Wars movies hits American theaters.

The incredible success of Star Wars–it received seven Oscars, and earned $461 million in U.S. ticket sales and a gross of close to $800 million worldwide–began with an extensive, coordinated marketing push by Lucas and his studio, 20th Century Fox, months before the movie’s release date. “It wasn’t like a movie opening,” actress Carrie Fisher, who played rebel leader Princess Leia, later told Time magazine. “It was like an earthquake.” Beginning with–in Fisher’s words–“a new order of geeks, enthusiastic young people with sleeping bags,” the anticipation of a revolutionary movie-watching experience spread like wildfire, causing long lines in front of movie theaters across the country and around the world.

With its groundbreaking special effects, Star Wars leaped off screens and immersed audiences in “a galaxy far, far away.” By now everyone knows the story, which followed the baby-faced Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) as he enlisted a team of allies–including hunky Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and the robots C3PO and R2D2–on his mission to rescue the kidnapped Princess Leia from an Evil Empire governed by Darth Vader. The film made all three of its lead actors overnight stars, turning Fisher into an object of adoration for millions of young male fans and launching Ford’s now-legendary career as an action-hero heartthrob.

Star Wars was soon a bona-fide pop culture phenomenon. Over the years it has spawned five more feature films, five TV series and an entire industry’s worth of comic books, toys, video games and other products. Two big-screen sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and The Return of the Jedi (1983), featured much of the original cast and enjoyed the same success–both critical and commercial–as the first film. In 1999, Lucas stretched back in time for the fourth installment, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, chronologically a prequel to the original movie. Two other prequels, Attack of the Clones (2002) and Revenge of the Sith (2005) followed.

The latter Star Wars movies featured a new cast–including Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Hayden Christensen–and have generally failed to earn the same amount of critical praise as the first three films. They continue to score at the box office, however, with Revenge of the Sith becoming the top-grossing film of 2005 in the United States and the second worldwide.

Source: This Day in History

Chris Clark WTVF Channel 5 1978Personal Note: One year later at the same approximate time David Mills opened the doors of Mills and Company, a real estate enterprise, at 2112 Blair Boulevard in Nashville, Tennessee. He was thirty years old. After his career launch in September 1968 at the First American National Bank he began his real estate and construction career in 1974 with a brief stint at Mid-State Aluminum as President, then with A.J. Smith Lumber Company filling product orders, project manager at John Coleman Hayes & Associates developing Crockett Springs National Golf and Country Club and finally as project manager for The Pollack Company, Nashville’s first developer of condominiums. On February 27, 2018 he moved to Morelia, Mexico to broaden his global perspective and advance the development of Workplace Hidden Opportunities network and complete a book by the same title.

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Michael Shear introductions to the Nashville Transit issue.

NTP MapMany of you will understand how the Nashville Transit issue relates to my current project Workplace Hidden Opportunities. A quick look at the About Page will introduce that perspective.

Shaping the Future of Insurance by Rudy De Waele provides a unique and important perspective on transportation and its attendant impacts in addition to a compelling demonstration of the fact that the future of technology is NOW. I believe this presentation provides an important framework for those wanting to make a meaningful contribution to Nashville’s current and future vibrance. At this pivotal point new ecosystems requires new thinking.

Jesse Berst is Chairman at Smart Cities Council in Battle Ground, Washington and if he and his cohorts have not been involved in the Nashville discussion it seems like it would be wise.

I have only tagged a small number who have contributed to the Nashville Transit Debate and are engaged in moving the initiative forward. These individuals were on both sides of the recent referendum which was defeated.

Let me now introduced Michael Shear who can introduce his own studied perspective to the group.

The following individuals are connections of mine on Facebook with the exception of Stephen Bland who I am connected with on LinkedIn. David Condra, Turney Stevens, Diane Ferrell Neal, Michael Burcham, and Randy Rayburn. Certainly there are numerous others but I think these can invigorate the creativity.

I hope these introduction and insights will be fruitful to each of you and the future of Nashville and surrounds.

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Un Rompecabezas

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. Thomas Edison

Puzzle PiecesOne of the beautiful things about being in a foreign country and learning a new language is that you can’t avoid having the refraction of your prism altered. This morning’s ‘word of the day’ and one of its examples from my SpanishDict cast such a light – un rompecabezas meaning a puzzle. The example, Me tardé horas en armar un rompecabezas al que le faltaba una pieza, translates, ‘I spent hours putting together a jigsaw puzzle that was missing a piece.’ Two unintentional things happened in the moment. I was struck by the poetic nature of the word and how it seemed to reflect something not quite put together. But then it was the example that wouldn’t let go – the fact of all that time and effort to discover a piece was missing.

Pillars of Creation NASAPutting the pieces of a puzzle together is a lot like connecting the dots in a creative exercise. There are clues to what is there to be worked with but never the knowledge that there might be a missing piece. It brings to mind one of my favorite adages, we can’t see what we can’t see. That applies to both things that might be obvious to other and things that are absent from the known landscape. The challenge for the creator is that the missing piece, or pieces, may not be apparent until the puzzle is well advanced in its construction. The mark of the artistic genius is that it’s all about dealing with the missing piece.

I would propose that in the universe there are no missing pieces – only those yet to be discovered or created.

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‘I didn’t know I had a swimming pool.’

This story will be new information to many if not most of you.

I didn't know I had a rose garden.

One of my many favorite movies is The American President. 1995, when the film debuted, was a kinder gentler time. One of my favorite scenes is when the President, escapes the confines of the White House to go find flowers for the woman he intends to romance. The line comes later when asked about the flowers the President said, ‘And I didn’t know I had a rose garden.’

Cape MaySwimming has been a major part of my life since childhood, learning to swim in the Atlantic Ocean at Cape May, New Jersey about the same time I was learning to make sentences. I would become a competitive swimmer, lifeguard, and swimming instructor at different points through my college years. More recently my health program included yoga and weigh-training and when I arrived in Morelia, Mexico on February 27 I was in the best condition since those earlier swimming days. The elevation change of six thousand plus feet and excessive walking on unfamiliar and uneven walkways caught me by surprise and with some unprecedented leg distress.

Landscape MapOn the 25th of April with the leg stress unchecked I moved into my new apartment at Aquiles Serdan 803. Once again the grace of Morelia embraced me and the next day with serendipity at full power I experienced my first ever chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture. Today the leg distress is mostly gone and the task at hand is rebuilding strength in my right leg in-particular. The ideal gym, Forsithius, where I can continue my weight training is on the same street four blocks away and massage therapist, Angie, is in the next block at Spa Sayamara on the same street. The first massage last week took the healing to a whole new level.

Swimming PoolEarlier today with my writing returning to full throttle I discovered, ‘I didn’t know I have a swimming pool next door.’  And, the facility includes the barbershop of Blanco, who trimmed me up today, and sauna rooms. Tomorrow I will have my first lap day in a pool since the late 1980s.

Grace upon grace upon grace from the angels of Morelia continue to bless my soul and reclaim it much appreciating vessel.

With prayers of thanksgiving for Mary y George, Itxel, Gabriel, Celestinos, Dave F, Mitzi, Angie, Eduardo, Carlos, Juan, and the compassion of those who I have yet to learn their names.

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Battle of Puebla and Cinco de Mayo

Battle of Puebla Cinco de MayoDuring the French-Mexican War (1861-1867), an outnumbered Mexican army defeats a powerful invading French force at the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles. The retreat of the French troops at the Battle of Puebla represented a great moral victory for the people of Mexico, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against a powerful foreign nation.

Read more . . .

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Paso a Paso

One Step at a TimeLessons in Spanish and life. Today’s word of the day, paso a paso, from my Spanish Dictionary tutorial is yet another example of the insights my move to Morelia is exposing.

None of us can take more than one step at a time (Paso a Paso) and yet many of us try. In a hurried up world trying to get over the ground as quickly as possible is not only tempting but often encouraged. In reflecting on my early software development days the conventional wisdom and culture being shared was ‘go fast’ and ‘speed counts.’ There were a number of seemingly valid reasons; first to market with the next big thing, competitive advantage, and the list went on. It became so much a part of the ecosystem that any alternative tempo was regarded misdirected or worse.

One brick at a timeThere were countless stories from the period of 1999 and 2000 that saw the meteoric rise of companies, their attraction of capital, addition of employees, and valuations. With the bubble it evaporated like an early morning mist being warmed by the sun on a spring day. Excessive exuberance was not a new phenomena then and had been part of the landscape since then, often induced by the ‘sophisticated’ market leaders.

Vista Express Garden CafeThe pace in Morelia I have described as three quarter time. There is a peace and elegance that comes with it. From meetings to meals there is no sense of hurry. And the slower I go the more I see. Come for a visit. Somethings just need to be experienced. Stay tuned for the inaugural tour of Michoacan. It will be an experience extraordinaire.

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The Venice Dreamer in Morelia

David at Virrey

In one of my writing rooms at the Virrey de Mendoza, whose portrait hangs in the background circa 1744

Morelia is awakening in me things that laid dormant for way too long. The good news for all of us is that it’s all there awaiting its reawakening. Soul mates appear as if aspirations in physical form. The cascade has been literally just that. Today took those feeling to levels, heights and depths in the same instance.

The piano plays everywhere here and reminded me of some music that has been probably thirty years since my listening.

I hope you will find a moment of quiet and hear George Winston’s The Venice Dreamer. If this is not the right link please go to YouTube and find it there.

Among other things I came here to write and a book in next year’s queue is In Search of the Light, which has significant settings in Venice. It will introduce a character to the literary landscape. His name is Martin Daniel.

In the meantime please enjoy the music . . .


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