Category Archives: Musings

Grilling and Chilling

It’s official. According to Blue Rhino, a company that sells propane tanks, Reno ranks No. 2 among U.S. cities as a great place to grill. It trails only Sacramento in a study based on summertime weather conditions.

In my opinion, Sacramento can’t hold a piping hot briquette to Reno’s wide open spaces, close proximity to Lake Tahoe and skiing, and ever evolving downtown scene complete with a whitewater park right smack dab in the middle.

So with that being said, what other reason do you need to pack up your Weber and move to Reno, Nevada? It’s time to crack a beer and throw some shrimp on the barbie.

WordPress Surpasses 500,000 Blogs

I love WordPress. Not only is it an incredibly powerful piece of blogging software and a fantastic content management system, it is free!

The founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg is a very cool guy. He and his crew operate with a set of principles that I think are really having an effect on technology, business, and people’s personal lives.

Not only are they empowering people to express themselves online, but they are big advocates of open source and the sharing of new ideas. Matt maintains a very busy speaking schedule, and he quite often travels internationally spreading the gospel so to speak.

The success of the business, as far as I can tell, is their genuine focus on developing and providing the environment for a continuously evolving product.  Better themes, new plugins, and more features all geared towards improving the way we communicate.

WordPress has become so robust that it is really just a matter of how the individual decides to use this tool.

In the future, I believe there will be less and less of a distinction between what constitutes a website and a blog. They will become further integrated to the point that the end user will hardly be able to distinguish between one or the other. A blog is a website, it’s just a matter of the variations in content and purpose.

With that being said, the beauty of blogging is that it pushes people to write. Writing facilitates introspection and reflection on the world around you. Even if you blog in a vacuum, it still has the potential to move you forward and hopefully make you a better person. 

Thanksgiving = Recreation in Reno + Culture in San Francisco

Started off Thanksgiving with an enjoyable mountain bike ride in Reno. Chose the well-known Galena Creek trail. Even though it was late in November, it was a beautiful day with most of the trail being fairly free of snow. I earned my turkey credits.

Did my duty as an American – consumed. Crashed in Incline Village, and then headed down to San Francisco to see my sister. Here she is doing her thang.

The highlight of the trip was definitely the de Young museum. A beautiful structure located within the Golden Gate Park, the de Young is an architectural work of art.

Because the former museum was heavily damaged by the earthquake, the new structure is quite insulated from future tremors. It sits within a bowl complete with breakaway zones. Once the ground begins to shake the de Young will happily roll around in its shock absorbing seat.

The shell of the de Young is quite extraordinary. Pocked metal panels make up the exterior of the structure, and because they are computer generated the artist was able to make each panel design unique.

As homage to the greater forces of nature, one of the first exhibits are man-made cracks or fissures that run the length of the entrance walkway. They snake their way through the bricks and continue through large stone blocks that are positioned around the atrium.

The interior is modern and cool, and the Gerhard Richter positioned just off from the main foyer immediately captures the eye. It is a representation of the atomic particle, strontium, and it is one of his larger works.

A visit to the de Young is not complete without a trip up into the tower. The views encompass much of the City and the Bay, and the only thing that detracts from the experience are the museum concessions within the floor space. My advice – confine that sort of thing to the gift shop.

The Ruth Osawa exhibit is notable. A graduate of Black Mountain University, Osawa developed a talent for creating unique shapes out of metal wire. Her hanging sculptures capture the light and cast shadows that are almost as impressive as the works of art.

Dined at Limon, Rose Pistola, and Citizen Cake for either dinner or breakfast. I would recommend each of them.

There is always something going on in San Francisco, even is unusual places. Here’s how to turn a tunnel into a very effective speaker.

Reno News & Review

This past week I appeared in the Reno News & Review along with my colleague, Josh Kenzer for an article titled, “Up all Night: It’s a brave new world called the blogosphere. Meet some of its denizens.” This photograph was taken by RNR staff member, David Roberts.

I posted about the article on the Horse Power blog, but I wanted to at least acknowledge it on my own blog because, well, it’s partially about me.

We were the lone business featured in the article, which I think says a lot about the approach we have taken with the blog.

We made a conscience decision in the very beginning NOT to make the blog a selling proposition. We try our hardest to provide information and analysis of the industry we are in without selling our business too aggressively. In other words, we hope our expertise shines through, so we do not have to go on at length about what we can do as a business. Plus, that is what the website is for, right?

Regarding the podcast, it is about local business professionals and not about Twelve Horses. Sure, it is an excuse to meet new people and put a voice to the company, but we really wanted to construct a forum that highlights interesting individuals in the community, and the fantastic work that they do.

I blog for business, but I also enjoy having a personal blog. I guess I could take up knitting or whittle a stick, but instead I choose to have a blog. It gives me a chance to express myself outside of my profession, and it introduces me to people that I doubt I would have otherwise known existed.

If you want to read the perspectives of some other bloggers that were featured in the same article, check out Reno and Its Discontents post about it. People get fired up about why they blog and how it effects them internally, as well as the external world around them.

In the end, it is the resulting actions that take place because of what is said or written. The rest is an exercise. The problem is you never know the end result until after the fact. So, you use your judgment, which hopefully consists of solid values and ethics, and then you forge ahead. But you have to be constructive in your approach, or eventually no one will listen to you.

When you blog about someone else, do it as if you were standing directly in front of them looking straight in their eyes. And, right before you do a blog post or comment about a topic, think about the fact that it is has been recorded, and can be forever attached to people’s perceptions of you. Hopefully that will keep you honest and fair.

What is my Header Graphic?

I have been asked by several people to explain what my header graphic is. One reader even emailed and told me it made her skin crawl. Yikes! I guess it is does have some reptilian and big cat characteristics.

 The image is in fact a photograph I took on the East Fork of the Chattooga not far from Cashiers, North Carolina. It is just downstream from one of my favorite places – a mountain house my family has shared with 9 other Charleston, South Carolina families since my birth.

The Chattooga is famous for the movie, Deliverance, as well as the fact that it was one of the first rivers in the United States to be designated Wild & Scenic. Its headwaters start at the base of Whiteside Mountain, which is considered by geologists to be one of the oldest mountains in the world. Whiteside is about 30 minutes from the mountain house.

The house and accompanying property used to be a fishing camp. It has a trout pond, and to this day the entire length of the river that runs through the property is still stocked with Rainbow Trout.

From an architectural and environmental standpoint, the house is perched over the East Fork, which under present day law would no longer be allowed.  Most of the riverside portion of the house is glass, so it creates a very dynamic relationship with the river. Open the windows and doors, and you are immediately greeted with the rushing sound of water over rock.

Needless to say, the Chattooga watershed and our mountain house hold many fond memories for me. It has played a significant role in shaping me into who I am today.

When I look at the photograph that makes up my header image I think about the Chattooga and the mountain house, as well as my youth, my family, my time so far on this earth, and how fast it is all flowing by.

Happy Halloween

The pumpkin did not ask for all the attention it receives each year. Nonetheless, it gets it every October 31st.

It gets carved by artists, smashed by restless teenagers, cooked by mothers, and eaten by all of us. Yet, it keeps coming back.

Filled with water, seeds, and stringy guts, the pumpkin has been cast into a spell of bizarre human history.

We take its natural shape and conform it into an expression of evil and unusual because it is orange, round, and possesses a hard outer shell.

Poor pumpkin. Did you ever guess that your existence would be perpetuated by our fascination for death, evil, and the desire to portray something else?