Scottsdale, AZ and Taliesin West

As I have discussed in previous posts, I was in Scottsdale last week for a conference which was fun.  I really liked Scottsdale, especially in October because it was 85 degrees during the day and 70 at night.  I am definitely someone who would rather be hot than cold so I always enjoy visiting Arizona when I can but the one time I went when it was 115 degrees and Gary made us talk with a Store Manager in a restaurant parking lot was a little intense (we’ll never let you live that one down Gary).  Scottsdale has a ton of money, I was driving around and found a Ferrari/Maserati dealership which I had never seen before.  On my way to my fancy smancy McDonalds lunch I was driving through a golf course community and saw a Ferrari go past me.  I saw two Bentleys driving down the road and the final day I was there I went to Starbucks before going to the airport and a lady parked her Aston Martin literally in the middle of the road in front of the building.  I also love all of the cactus all over the place and I guess they tend to grow pretty slow from what others were telling me.  I lived in Reno, NV for three years which is considered high desert and I always thought it had its own sense of beauty.

The last night I was there they had the President’s Dinner at Taliesin West (photo above) which is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s homes and is where his foundation is located today. I had obviously heard of Frank Lloyd Wright but I didn’t really know anything about him prior to going to the event.  We got a private tour of his residence and the tour guide was really nice as she let us take our wine in and literally sit on anything we wanted and make ourselves at home.  The dinner that night was in his theater and I can’t verify what the guide told us but she said Wright was an innovator who never patented any of his works or ideas.  She said he came up with the idea of surround sound via stone walls which were not 90 degrees and theater seating which was evident in the theater.  I’m sure he came up with other innovations but those were just two things he was able to incorporate into his Taliesin West home.  If you ever get the opportunity to visit I really found it interesting and I’m not usually into architecture.

The Grass is Always Greener…

Every day on my way to work I pass cows eating grass in the fields of lovely Livermore, CA.  Every morning there is always at least one cow who has decided that the grass on the other side of the fence is greener and sticks his (or her) head through it.  It is interesting because like cows, humans don’t want to be constrained by choices and when obstacles are put in our way we always seem to want to break through them. When I see the cows stretching their necks through the barbed wire fencing I always ask myself “I wonder if the the grass that cow is eating on the other side of the  fence is really that much different (or better) than the grass inside their enclosure?

Ask someone what they want and chances are they will respond with “I don’t care”.  Tell someone what they are going to do and more than likely they are going to tell you their opinion on the matter when a moment ago they did not care.   Try it next time you are deciding where to go to lunch as a group.  You always get the standard “I don’t know” any time someone is asked where they want to go but when you recommend sushi isn’t it interesting how they suddenly change their mind and say “how about McDonald’s?

If you are working you probably think what it would be like to work for another company.  If you are in a relationship you probably ask yourself what it would be like to be in a relationship with someone else.  I can go on but the point is if you aren’t happy today you probably won’t be happy tomorrow.  Don’t get me wrong though if you have an obstacle from stopping you from being happy, moooove that obstacle and be happy!

When Life Gives You Lemons…

An old Italian lived alone in New Jersey . He wanted to plant his annual tomato garden, but it was very difficult work, as the ground was hard. His only son, Vincent, who used to help him, was in prison.  The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

Dear Vincent,
I am feeling pretty sad, because it looks like I won’t be able to plant my tomato garden this year. I’m just getting too old to be digging up a garden plot. I know if you were here my troubles would be over. I know you would be happy to dig the plot for me, like in the old days.


A few days later he received a letter from his son:

Dear Pop,
Don’t dig up that garden.  That’s where the bodies are buried.


At 4 a.m. the next morning, FBI agents and local police arrived and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies. They apologized to the old man and left. That same day the old man received another letter from his son:

Dear Pop,
Go ahead and plant the tomatoes now. That’s the best I could do under the circumstances.

I love you,

The Great Gadzoni

My dad emailed me this story so I Google’d his name hoping it was true but it doesn’t look like it is. Great story though, it can be applied to several things in life.

Several years ago the Great Gadzoni had just completed a challenging tightrope walk across Niagra Falls. The wind was howling and stinging rain pelted him as he inched across the rope. Met with enthusiastic applause on the other side the Great Gadzoni was wringing the water from his cape when an excited fan approached, urging him to make a return trip but this time pushing a wheelbarrow, which the fan just happened to have with him. The Great Gadzoni was hesitant, having barely made the first trip across in the high winds and pouring rain. But the spectator insisted stating that he knew the Great Gadzoni could do it. “You can do it. I know you can” the fan insisted. The Great Gadzoni thought for a moment. “You really believe I can do it?” “Yes, definitely” the fan responded. “OK said Gadzoni. Get in.”