Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.

Sometimes all at Once.

04TH April 2020

Adventure - Cuba - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Timely - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 4- Back to Havana

Chapter 4- The Tropicana Tables Illustration by Ermitas Blanco- Action at table five. Havana, Cuba. Sal had been sitting at the bar for awhile, when Snowball finally joined him. The “Trop” was always slow as hell between when the showgirls ended their afternoon rehearsal and the Special guests began to arrive for late dinner. That suited Sal just fine. His investigative style was “laid back nice guy,” who preferred to chum up his marks and ply them with liquor or women, while getting more information than any waterboarding had ever managed to do.  He’d trained in Tampa directly under the head of the FBI Interrogation Unit before heading down to Havana on a minor assignment for the gaming commission. Turned out, he had Cuban roots in the family, but they […]

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03TH April 2020

Adventure - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timely

Shelter(ed) Day 3- Back to Havana

  Chapter 3- The Tesla Fuse Jorge- Illustrated by Ermitis Blanco. Havana. Jorge jumped into a cab outside the Nacionale with the mobsters in bumbling pursuit.  “Where to Amigo?”  “Make a right on 23rd, up La Rampa to Havana Libre, now cut down [street] to the end of the park and hang a left. Yeah, there. It’s one way!  Yeah I know just do it. I’ll make it worth your while! Now into that little garage on the corner, by the Marti statue. Ok, pull to the back and I’ll close the door. Wait here while I get dressed. Grab yourself a cerveza from the fridge. My dad loves to drink them when he tinkers on his babies.”  Jorge hustled upstairs, while the driver looked around. He’d never seen such […]

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02TH April 2020

Adventure - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 2- Back to Havana

Chapter 2 – Go to what you Know Illustration- Nacionale entry- Ermitas Blanco Shot number three of Bacardi is even better than shots one and two, and the trio begins to feel loose enough to consider the fact that somehow, along the Malecon, that freak, giant wave has transported them back to [1957].  Pablo and Finn look around the veranda, feeling like they’re in some crazy dream.  Because there’s Edith Piaf in the corner, drinking coffee. Over there, Bogart and Bacall are quietly canoodling. A small string orchestra pauses, as the MC announces that a special guest has agreed to sing “The Sea and the Sand” for one of the celebrities in the audience celebrating a birthday. At that moment, Nat King Cole steps up to the microphone. It’s a […]

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01TH April 2020

Adventure - culture - Havana Culture - Uncategorized

Shelter(ed) Day 1- Back to Havana

The last flight for Havana is 12:55 this afternoon, says the US Embassy alert. And so, for a time, the only way for Americans to visit Havana now is by fantasy, and time travel. One might argue, that was the best way all along. Here is the first of sixteen Chapters, written to cover the average Corona quarantine. Hopefully, it makes for a fun escape. It’s time travel historical fiction (think Midnight in Paris, for Havana) written shortly after being ushered out of the country for suspicion of assisting entrepreneurs. I hope you enjoy “Back to Havana”. I did help the entrepreneurs. Chapter 1- First Time in Havana? Illustration from Ermitas Blanco- ‘57 Chevy hit by Malecon Wave Finn and Nina (friends with benefits) decide on a weekend adventure and […]

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11TH March 2019

Adventure - Geopolitical - Good Story - Legends and tales - Timeless - Uncategorized

Hold my beer #6- for Woman’s Day- Freddie Oversteegen

Freddie vs. the Nazis “Life is 10% what happens, and 90% what you do about it” … Art Spencer would tell me that every day of my life, and among Stoics this seems to be the popular mantra these days as well. No hold-my-beer series would be complete without at least one undercover operative fighting for what they believed right at the time, and what in time, proved so right. All while having no control over the war, only what she did to react to it… Freddie Oversteegen was born in Haarlem, near Amsterdam on September 6, 1925.. then, in her teens, when the Nazi’s rolled into town, Freddie, her older sister Truus and their friend Hannie Schaft, blew up bridges and railway tracks with dynamite, smuggled Jewish children out […]

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03TH February 2019

Adventure - Creative problem Solving - Geopolitical - Good Story - Legends and tales - Social - Timeless - Uncategorized

Hold my Beer #5- Joachim Ronneberg

With Tom Brady back in the Super Bowl, and Alex Honnold making the rounds with Ted Talks and FreeSolo, I was reminded to add to my collection of men among men who have done amazing things, and thought relatively little of it, or of themselves, for it. Joachim Ronnenberg deserves his spot. He was just 23 when he was recruited – it doesn’t say why or what qualifications he had, aside from being young and alive in Norway in 1943. The mission, run by the Special Operations Executive, or SOE — Britain’s wartime intelligence gathering and sabotage unit — was to destroy parts of the heavily guarded heavy water (nuclear) plant in Telemark, Norway. They set out – m0re like dropped in- during February, in Norway. God, that’s cold. Rønneberg […]

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24TH September 2018

Business Tricks - Creative problem Solving - Good Story - Parenting - Timeless - Uncategorized

The Sharpless Method: We suffer more in imagination than in reality

The title quote is from Seneca. I grew up with a different phrase, but it still worked for me: “80% of the sh*t we spend time worrying about never happen anyways” ~Herbert “Sharpless” Spencer And it’s not that these guys were fearless. Rather, they broke down those fears, those worries, those paralyzing doubts and categorized them in bite sized pieces. My grandfather was a rifleman in WW-I; life expectancy in the trench wasn’t too good. But he survived to marry, to have and to raise twelve kids, to send some to college, and to comb the hair of his grandchildren… which numbered like [33] by the time he passed away. This was his system for dealing with worry and anxiety: Name each fear that keeps you up in explicit terms: […]

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28TH May 2018

Family and Friends - Parenting - Parenting - Social - Timely - Uncategorized

Fortnight and the next great Battle for Screentime

It seems the big parenting battle of the summer might be over FortNite. This survival-action game developed by Epic Games and People Can Fly is a bit like what you’d get if you combined a sandbox-building game like Minecraft with an action shooter like Call of Duty. On one hand, it’s getting major points with kids and parents alike for building teamwork and thoughtful collaboration. On the other hand, it’s a combat-based game with tons of guns and violence. And the designers were brilliant in the way they weave the elements of addiction into the action- thanks guys! So whats a Father to do? Here are a few ideas I’m working on: Set limits. Establish media-free zones and weekly screen-time amounts. Aim for a balance of activities throughout the week: reading, playing, exploring, and so on. Choose age-appropriate, high-quality media. Not […]

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01TH October 2017

Adventure - Cuba - Good Story - Incubator - Innovadores Foundation - Timely

What’s up with the Cuba Sonic Mystery?

(Washington, DC) I was at the WaterGate Hotel, the mecca of silly spycraft, just having a burger and catching up with John and Jono of Innovadores fame. The breadth of what their humanitarian accomplishments in two years is pretty amazing, as their regular updates will attest. It has been a breakneck sprint (relatively) since Obama loosened relations with Havana in 2015. The Foundation has sponsored three years of fantastic Cuban entrepreneurs to intern at Grand Central Tech, and everyone has returned to do good things in Cuba. Several have begun to launch businesses, and we stand ready to assist again. But recently, the US Embassy in Havana cut staff 60%, just two years after opening for the first time in 50+ years. Guidelines on doing business- mostly tourism– are expected to further curtail […]

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16TH June 2017

Adventure - Good Story - sport - Timely - Uncategorized

Hold my beer, #2. Free Solo of El Cap.

Here is my second crack at writing about someone that inspired me, and maybe some others. They are moments so utterly manly I call them “Hold my Beer”. Alex Honnold climbed the route known as Freerider on El Capitan free solo. That’s no ropes, no partner. It involves a complex system of cracks and a notoriously hard section about two-thirds of the way up with holds the width of a pencil.  Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. (See photographs of his ascent.) One more time: Guides say to allow four days to do the climb. Mr. Honnold did it under four hours. You talk about a state of FLOW, this guy had it. If one could possibly set aside the fear, the […]

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