Overdue

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This post is long overdue - apologies to all.

Don't you wish life could be as simple as fish swimming round in a barrel when you've got the gun?  

I've been quite busy as of late - and am currently writing this from my hotel room in Houston, TX where I have been since the first of the month for work.  Speaking of work, it has been going great.  I appreciate the messages and encouragement from some of you in regards to this aspect of my life.  I absolutely love going to work daily and trying to learn something new about the business I have found myself in.  Never would I have imagined that at the age of 26 I would find myself where I am today - of this I am thankful.

My "training" period is practically over - even though I realize that I never stop learning.  I am hopeful that I will be asked to help design a training program for the next individual that is hired into my area of the business - I have quickly realized what will work and not work.

The other areas of my life are all going well too.  Friends stay in touch.  Family is doing great.  The girlfriend is still putting up with my shenanigans.  My new dog is a constant comedy.  All in all I can't complain.

Well, I need to head back to the office to get some work done.   I am also working on quite a few lengthy posts that will be coming soon.  Lengthy is actually an understatement.

I still enjoy writing so look for some great reads soon!

Until then,


SJP

I Miss Him...

Thursday, September 18, 2008


Terribly.




DNC - Day 4

Friday, August 29, 2008






DNC - Day 3 - Continued

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

video


A preview to GOP victory in November.

DNC - Day 3
















Courtney Hazlett of MSNBC - she's so nice in person.  Full of gossip.






















On Bill...

It is no secret whatsoever – Bill Clinton is an egotistical ex-president. Simple as that. What is not simple is the media obsession that seems to continue to surround this man. In the past week, two very important actions have taken place:
1. A former President from Arkansas that once cheated on his wife with an intern continued to be hailed as a great politician in all forms of media (though sometimes seen as “bitter”).
2. A former Senator from North Carolina that once cheated on his wife with a campaign staffer was sent to a back room, told to keep his mouth shut, and was dropped from all forms of media coverage.

I find that fairly odd.

It is a simple matter of fact that people tend to always be drawn towards an individual that sweats confidence and charisma – it is no secret that Bill Clinton does this. From his days of standing behind the speaker’s podium as the Governor of Arkansas to his two term Presidency – he has always been able to entice a crowd of believers. Actually – he has managed to do that even after leaving office…and almost on an even larger scale than ever before.

How the mighty have fallen…

In the past 12 months (maybe longer) President Clinton has turned a complete 180 degrees. He is bitter – but what exactly is he bitter about? At one point in time Clinton was the young, hip, popular, strength of the Democratic Party - but with years stacking up on him he has become the image of “what once was”. He was the name that rolled off of the tongues of millions world wide. Now, his wife is the main name of the family. The chants for “Hillary” have quickly replaced those for him. He continues to relish the light when his name is ever mentioned. He smiles because he remembers how it once was – then quickly remembers how it is now. Lately, Clinton has become bitter during interviews and media gatherings. If his name is not the topic of discussion he is quick to release a remark to stir controversy – bringing his name to the top…even if for a short amount of time. The past few weeks have shown a clear bit of evidence of this very point. Scratch that... just yesterday Bill Clinton supported my claim via statements and actions. So it seems, during this trying time for the Democratic Party to unite under one cause and one leader - Bill Clinton isn't able to swallow his pride and join his wife in supporting Senator Obama. Even if Senator Clinton does it in a round about way. The truth remains, Bill Clinton can't get over the fact that Senator Obama has replaced him as the image for the Party.

So what exactly can we expect from the former President Clinton during his speech this evening?

I honestly don't believe we will hear Clinton come out and talk about Senator Obama's leadership abilities. I have a very simple reason for this theory - his wife didn't even do it. Beyond that, I expect we will see the same Clinton that we have seen during this entire campaign season: A cocky, bitter, aging, ex-president.

I expect good ol' Bill to talk about his wife and his hatred of the GOP as he attempts to say something kind about the Obamas. Can Bill "I was a great President" Clinton succeed in this? We will know soon enough.

All I know is that I will be keeping a running tally of how many times he mentions his own Presidency.

DNC - Day 2 - Continued(2)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008






DNC - Day 2 - Continued...

video

A warning against the Police State...  or so they say.

It is amazing to me the number of anti-establishment and conspiracy theorists that have flocked to this great city.



DNC - Day 2










Guerrilla Theater blocks a portion of the 16th Street Mall as they attempt to show the general public what "occupation" feels like.





Members of the 9-11 Truth movement gathered downtown in an effort to bring about demand for another investigation into what they believe to have been an inside job.







More to come...

DNC - Day 1 Recap

Monday, August 25, 2008

The start of the 2008 Democratic National Convention here in Denver Colorado was relatively quiet - for the most part. The early morning air was first pierced by the sound of police and military helicopters hovering throughout the city sky. As I left my condo-loft and began my walk to the office I made an attempt to take in as much detail as possible. The military presence was obvious as their "little birds" and blackhawks patrolled the city from above - ready for a quick reaction to anything. Though the police patrolled along side the military in the sky - their presence in the streets was undeniable.

Some made their rounds on horseback - some on foot. This wasn't very out of the norm for a city putting on a large event...except for the SUVs. The white, unmarked SUVs. The black, unmarked SUVs. All with blacked out windows. All with men harnessed and standing on platforms extending from the sides and rear of the vehicles. These men wore black urban combat uniforms and were decked out in body armor - some held automatic rifles while others held pepper pellet guns. Both were intimidating to everyone that laid eyes upon them. It was very clear that the city was prepared to take care of anything.

The police outnumbered the civilians on the street.

The majority of the morning remained calm. MSNBC setup their broadcast stage right outside of my home. They tend to draw a good number of people throughout the day - and seem to be the only sign of activity in the early part of the morning. As the morning progressed I could see an influx of people and activity while looking down from my office window - perched above the 16th Street Mall. As lunch time approached, more and more people began to move about the Mall. A few protesters marched with their signs and the Code Pink clan could easily be spotted from several blocks away.

Then came 1pm - it was as if everyone had agreed that this would be the time to come out. Signs began showing up everywhere, as did more people dressed in pink clothing. The numbers of police officers drastically increased... the day remained young.

After walking home for lunch I began my return to the office at 2pm. The city had transformed into organized chaos. Protesters could be seen all over the Mall. Police were doing their best to keep opposing groups under control. Helicopters hovered lower in an attempt to remind people that they are watching.

"This is mild compared to what we are expecting this week," one officer told me.

The police maintained control throughout the remainder of the day. There were clashes here and there - usually resulting in protesters being pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground and cuffed.

What tomorrow will bring remains to be seen.

Keep checking back for more recaps and photos - I will do my best to keep track of as much as possible.

You can also check out http://www.denverpost.com/ and http://www.rockymountainnews.com/ for up to date (though bias) information and news related to the DNC.

DNC - Day 1




















The Age of Enlightenment...

Monday, August 18, 2008

is 26 for me. So far. I think.

A lot has happened in my twenty six years of walking around looking for my path in life. That being said, a lot has not yet happened within the span of those years. It seems, however, that this new age could quite possibly be my turning point - that's my theory for now at least.

For 13 of those 25 years I attended the same private school from K-12 with the majority of the same friends. With whom, only a minority of which are still in touch with one another. Life is funny like that. What I really enjoy is the ability to not see or talk to some of my friends for months on end - and being able to catch up with them at a moments notice. Life is funny like that also. I was your average student - mainly because I was more interested in sports than in academics. Friendships took priority over homework... I don't have homework anymore but I still have those friends - and some new ones too. My school was an extension of my family; as a result, I have multiple sets of brothers, sisters, and parents. We all have stayed in touch and are quite active in each others' lives to date.

Five of the remaining 12 years were spent being an awesome little kid.

The last seven years were spent in college and work. I attended 2 different places of study – where I met some of my best friends to date. We are now scattered all over this great nation in a variety of occupations. Financial advisors, med school, law school, lawyers, oil business, entrepreneurs, musicians; the list goes on and on. We do our best to stay in touch, but with such busy day to day lives this has become quite hard – still, we try. It is nice to be able to pick up the phone and hear about someone else’s life and happenings therein. Discussions of past adventures together almost always bring laughter to both sides of the phone. Some friends have vanished – moving and losing the contact info of everyone else – occasionally there is the surprising email waiting in the inbox from a long lost friend. Though they are few and far between – they are always worth the wait.

Currently I find myself in the job of a lifetime. Everything is going right for me – personally and professionally. It is such a breath of fresh air and I am so glad that I have finally found myself on this path in life. I truly hope those that read this (if anyone does) find themselves on that path as well. If not, do not lose hope – it is surely waiting right around the corner.

Since I always love hearing what is going on in the lives of others please feel free to leave a comment. You don’t have to say who you are or where you are from… just tell us what is going on in your life. Take a step back and look at it from the outside in. What do you still hope to achieve? What is stopping you – besides yourself?

Also, contact at least one long lost friend. Find out what is going on in their world. I assure you that it will make the day for both parties involved.

I’m only 26 and clearly not as enlightened as I will be next year.


Hoping someone finds a long lost friend… and waiting to hear about it.

SJP

I Am The Poster Child...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

For what can go wrong at the DMV. It truly amazes me the amount of incompetence that individuals, offices, and occupational sectors can demonstrate in one single day – in multiple states. My 4.5 hours at the Denver, CO DMV this morning fully demonstrated the extent of this incompetence. I honestly don’t even know where to begin so I will do my best to narrate in as short of a time frame as possible.

- Trip 1 - Time: o730
I arrive in plenty of time to find a good place in the ever growing line outside. At 0800 the doors open and in we walk. I am directed immediately to a window with a waiting representative parked at his station ready to assist me. We cover the basics and then he asks to see my out of state Driver's License. He begins to review the small, simple, plastic card that for some reason commands more authority in these United States than some 3rd world ruling parties. Suddenly, he looks up, his face turning almost to stone - as if he is used to prepping this image before revealing bad news...day in and out. "Mr. Cole," he says. "I'm afraid I can't accept this DL as a viable form of ID due to the fact that it only contains your middle initial and not your full," he speaks sternly. With little worry and zero hesitation I reply, "Oh that's right - here is my Weapons Permit from my home state, I forgot that my DL only had my initial, this ID has my full name." His face doesn't change. He quickly responds, "I can not accept this."

This is confusing to me for a very simple reason. You see, I had phoned the DMV the previous week about this very scenario - whereby I was informed that it would not be a problem since my photo was on my state issued Weapons Permit and as a result would be accepted as a form of ID in place of my DL.

Clearly my informant was poorly mistaken. Only, I was the one to suffer in his error.

After arguing and throwing in a few legal terms I tucked my pride deep into my pockets and left - headed for my condo to fetch my passport.

-Trip 2- Time: 0915
I return... with passport in hand and high spirits to boot. I am quickly directed to my original window where I wait patiently for the person in front of me to finish. Instead of my stone faced greeter from my previous trip I am met by a kind, slight spoken woman.

Doris is simple in her appearance - deceptive. She would more easily fit in as a greeter of an art gallery than a DMV worker. Her voice his quite kind as she welcomes me and we begin what should be a brief encounter.

I go through the very motions I had been through previously - only this time I am quick to hand over my Passport...as it has my full name. Everything seems to be going smoothly as Doris and I jokingly discuss my incident from earlier in the morning. Suddenly, her face loses color - I sense something is not right. "Umm...Mr. Cole," she nervously inflects her voice as if she herself is not sure of my coming reaction. "It seems there is a problem," she continues. "What KIND of problem?" I quickly respond. She seems to gather herself before continuing, "Well, there is a red flag by your name on the national database and it is instructing me to hold your process," she responds.

I am shocked - once again. What else could go wrong?

Doris provides me with the phone number to a department in my home state so that I can inquire for more information. It is necessary that I resolve this issue since my license is due to expire in 3 more days while I am out of town.

I will now do my best to make a very long story short...

Back in April I had received a speeding ticket in North Dakota. I paid the fine for this ticket the very day I violated the speed limit. It seems however, that my home state did not "notice" this payment and instead believed that the State of North Dakota asked that my license be suspended - and so it was. After arguing on the phone with - speaking frankly - the idiots at the department in my home state... talking to the North Dakota State Patrol... talking with the Clerk of the Court of the District Court in the area of North Dakota that issued me my ticket... We reached the following conclusion.

Brace yourself.

It appears that a lady at the department in my home state failed to read the notice from the State of Dakota fully. Had she read the entire document (specifically the item at the bottom of the page in bold print), she would have read "Payment received: 04-10-2008. Conviction of violation issued: 04-14-2008." What does this all mean? It means that I paid my ticket. Simple as that.

So once again... someone made an error - and I am the one to suffer.

-Trip 3- Time: 1215
I return to the DMV and stand in front of Doris' window. She re-greets me with her simple smile. Processes my info. Finally, I leave with my temporary paper ticket. My true DL for my current state should arrive in the mail soon.

This, my friends, is how I spent my day at the Colorado DMV.


Patiently waiting for a phone call telling me that something else is wrong with this situation.

SJP

My Best Friend...

Monday, August 11, 2008





has a disease that will most likely take his life. I am heartbroken over this fact. How much time he has remaining in this world is uncertain. Thankfully he has not shown symptoms of advanced problems from his Auto Immune Disorder. The meningitis has not resulted in any seizures. He is scared, however. He does not sleep well. He has been in pain. He is extremely anxious and his eyes tell of the fact that he does not understand what is happening to him. His body is unable to keep up with his energy level. He is always wanting to go at 100% but his body can only make it to 80% before his legs simply stop working and he falls. This is so very frustrating for him - he turns five on September 1. He is my companion, he is my best friend.

His eyes show the love he has for those around him. He is sweet and kind to his very core. This situation feels like my heart is slowly being ripped from my chest. I feel so helpless - but nothing close to how he feels. I understand how his condition affects him. For him, however, he is confused beyond words - he simply woke up like this. My heart hurts for his confusion, his pain, his uncertainty and frustration.

In his five years he has taught me so much about life and friendship. He has shown me what the very definition of loyalty is - word for word.

When I think of Drake's illness I can't prevent the tears in my eyes. My heart hurts that I can't be there for him - to comfort him - to let him know that I am nearby. I pray that he can hear my voice at night. I pray that I can hear his. I pray that he has learned from me as much as I have learned from him.

I am devastated.

His disease is Granulomatous Meningoencephalitis (GME for short). It shows no mercy. He is on massive doses of steroids (Prednisone) for a minimum of 4 months to help control the swelling around his spinal cord. As a result of these large doses he is no longer able to control his bladder. This is very damaging to his overall mindset because he does not understand what is wrong. He is nervous and shows this with his pacing and inability to rest. At night he has been sitting up – staring into space with uncertainty. The doctors have attempted to help him rest by giving him meds at night. Now, he spends his nights and morning with a dazed/drugged look. His eyes droop with a glazed look of despair. His mind struggles to comprehend what has happened. His heart continues to pour out love.

My mind struggles to understand why this broken world has failed him so. My heart aches with an unconditional love for my dearest friend. I know what awaits him in these closing months… for the time being I am content that he does not.

Though the plan at hand is to continue this method of treatment for several months, the reality of the situation is that the majority of dogs diagnosed with this condition live from a range of 8 days to a few months post diagnosis.

I knew that this day would be upon him – but I was not expecting it for several more years. I was not prepared for this development. I am not prepared for his departure. I am not prepared to face any of this – and I will never overcome it all. I will never be the same because of him. I will never be the same without him.

He is loyal. He is smart. He is a loving companion. He is sincere. He is gorgeous. He is athletic. He is a hunter. He is a friend. He is my dog.

He always will be.

It is inevitable that all of us will eventually be spoken of in past tense. For most of us, our stories will be lengthy ones – full of fond memories.

I’m proud to say that my Drake’s story is pages longer than mine will likely ever be – and I will cherish his name and take it to my grave.

Friends come and go – loyalty lasts forever. For Drake and I… our loyalty to one another outshines the sun – and will outlast us both.

A Toast To Life...

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I love coffee. Seriously - the taste, the aroma, feeling the caffeine within my veins. I absolutely love making coffee and sitting down at my bar in my kitchen to drink, listen to music, catch up with a few friends...and write. What is it about the java that causes someone to do, or want to do, these things? Coffee has long been associated with acts such as these - look to the French Revolution and the cafés that brought the people together. Look to today and your local espresso locations - where it still does the same. There is simply nothing better than having a nice cup of the stuff, sitting outside on an early morning and just taking in the start of a new day.

So if coffee is good for bringing us together for debate. Is good for the mind. Is good for creativity. Then what is it that is good for the soul?


Simple.


Wine.

I could go on and on for days about wine, its history, the story it has to tell. There are far too many countries, regions, areas, villages, and vineyards for me to cover in one post - or even in a post a day for a year. Rather than bore you with facts and stories that could fill a wine glass every year for the rest of your life - I will do my best to keep it limited... for now.

Wine is simple. Wine is complex. Wine was there when wars began. Wine was there when wars were won. Wine was there yesterday. Wine will be there tomorrow. Wine is the blood of life - or so they say. It certainly adds life to the conversation... and love.

Maybe wine is love... is it? It certainly isn't hate. No one has ever cared to share wine with their enemies - well, except for those enemies you wish to keep closer than others. We all know how that saying goes.

I digress, however. Wine is good.
To have one of these - my life would be so much easier. Why? Everyday I could come home from work, walk downstairs, look on the computer to see which bottle would be best to drink on that day - and do so. Some day... some how... this will happen.

For some reason, a glass of wine (or two or three) really gets my mind going. I ponder a variety of topics; more so than I do throughout my regular day. So, for most of you that know me and how much I think during the day - that's a lot of wine induced thought. More often than not these topics cover a wide spectrum of subject matter: religion, faith, friends, family, love, life, books, music, writers, photos, yesterday, tomorrow, writing - the list goes on, but these are the most common of thoughts.

For the past several months I have really missed having the opportunity to share a glass of wine with friends while enjoying discussions on numerous topics. My good friend Richard and I had grown accustomed to moments such as these when the two of us lived in Jackson. It was quite refreshing to be able to meet up, open a bottle of good wine, and just talk. More often than not we focused on history and religion - probably due to my interest in history and his of the latter. We could talk for hours and never run out of subject matter, arguments, or wine. I have really missed this. I now live in Denver, he in Atlanta. Our contact has grown increasingly sparse over the months - the 15 minute phone calls have substituted our multi evening rants on life. We exchange the obvious "What's up?" and the details that always follow. We do our best to update each other with the latest information on our lives, work, education, family, love - but it just isn't the same. We both know this - this is simply the best we can do for now, however.

Richard and I have known one another for the better part of roughly 20 years. We grew up together. We played sports together. We went to school together. There was a period of time between when we graduated high school and when he moved back to Jackson in the Summer of 2007 that we lost touch. Thinking about it just now, it really was almost exactly six years that we lost touch. Sure we exchanged messages here and there. Found out what the other was doing through phone calls with mutual friends. It was strange though; because when we finally reunited it was as if we never missed a beat. I guess good friends really are good for life. It's nice to discover that these days. I look forward to the next time we can reunite, share a bottle of wine and most certainly a lengthy conversation.

Lately, I have been enjoying wine and conversation with a new friend. She has quickly become my best friend and someone I look forward to getting to know for the rest of my life. I have not known her for 20 years, but our instant connection causes me to feel as if I have known her for quite some time. She is thoughtful in her intellect. She is captivating with her voice, eyes, and smile. She is one of the most selfless people I have likely ever met - and ever will meet. She appears to be very passionate about the work she does and the people in her life. She has traits that you simply don't find all bundled up in one person anymore. I always look forward to spending time with her. Her personality is of the sort that she manages to always bring the best out of me. It does not matter how hard of a day I have had, what sadness bad news may bring - she always makes everything better.

Take the time to not only enjoy a glass of good wine - enjoy those around you as well.

Cheers!

SJP

Putting It All In...

Friday, August 8, 2008

per·spec·tive
[per-spek-tiv]
–noun

1. a technique of depicting volumes and spatial relationships on a flat surface.
2. a picture employing this technique, esp. one in which it is prominent: an architect's perspective of a house.
3. a visible scene, esp. one extending to a distance; vista: a perspective on the main axis of an estate.
4. the state of existing in space before the eye: The elevations look all right, but the building's composition is a failure in perspective.
5. the state of one's ideas, the facts known to one, etc., in having a meaningful interrelationship: You have to live here a few years to see local conditions in perspective.
6. the faculty of seeing all the relevant data in a meaningful relationship: Your data is admirably detailed but it lacks perspective.
7. a mental view or prospect: the dismal perspective of terminally ill patients. –adjective
8. of or pertaining to the art of perspective, or represented according to its laws.
[Origin: 1350–1400; ME perspectīva (ars) optical (science), perspectīvum optical glass, n. uses of fem. and neut. of perspectīvus optical, equiv. to L perspect-, ptp. s. of perspicere to look at closely.]



If you have never taken the time to kick up your feet and stare out a window while you ponder not only life in general but that of yours... do it. Here lately I have found myself doing just that - and quite frequently. It is almost as if I can press rewind and review everything in my life that has led me to this point. Just last night I was telling my dear friend Emily (and amazing girlfriend) how crucial the simplest moments in our lives become.


Think about it.


Everything I have done in the near twenty six years of my life have all led me to this very moment - and you as well. Change one thing. Perform one task differently. Delay a decision by a week. Jump the gun and do something too soon. Should you elect to go back and change any one of those aspects of your history - this moment, in all likelihood, does not occur. Have I ever wanted to change something in my past? Of course. We all have and should acknowledge that fact. At certain points during my life I have regretted, deeply, certain decisions in my past. I do not share this same viewpoint anymore, however. I have realized how crucial everything in my past is in its contribution to not only today, but my tomorrow. The good. The bad. They are who I am today - they are who I will be tomorrow.


You are no different.


With all of the aforementioned content of this post in mind - I have never been as happy in life as I will be tomorrow. It seems that each day I awake a little happier than the day before. I have truly begun to appreciate all that inhabits my life: Job. Family. Day to day lifestyle. Friends. Girlfriend. I am so happy that there does not exist an adjective for me to list. _______ is what I feel. Don't get me wrong, it's not that I have never appreciated what life has given me, because I have. It is just that I have only recently put it into perspective.


Life is so simply complex that it must be enjoyed each and every day.

Take a moment. Sit back. Prop those feet up. Put your life in perspective... just make sure that you magnify the "happy" each and every day.

With feelings of bliss and a smile to prove it.

- SJP