I Didn’t Know This About Sushi

[NOTE:  This excerpt taken from the always AWESOME Seth Godin blog.   Full credit to his experience, insight, and great writing.  I read his piece, got the underlying message, but also learned something about Narita airport, sushi, and where to get the good stuff.]

“One of the best airport restaurants I’ve ever encountered breaks my first rule of airport eating. The sushi bar at gate 30 of Narita airport is a special place (though I wish they didn’t serve tuna).

The rice is extraordinary.

The nori is crisp.

The service is efficient but friendly.

They have wonderful vegan rolls, flavorful shiso, and yes, it’s hard to believe but true: real wasabi, grated to order.

My guess is that the very best sushi restaurant in your town doesn’t serve real wasabi. But I digress.

When I was there a few months ago, I apologized to the entire staff.

I apologized to them on behalf of every traveler (many, if not most, from my country) that was dredging this extraordinary product in soy sauce, bathing it from top to bottom in the style created to mask the flavor of generations-worth of mediocre, lazily-created sushi.

The Japanese equivalent of putting ketchup on your food in a fine restaurant.”

Lesson:  I’ll never saturate another piece of sushi with soy sauce.  I promise.

 

 

 

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Glue

It’s good to be the glue.  

It’s good to be the guy in middle, exposed to various skill sets and perspectives and attitudes and goals. It can be stimulating, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

It’s good to be the one who can bridge the gap, to mediate, to help others understand. It takes a certain mindset, a certain disposition, personality. It might be in your DNA naturally. But it can be learned, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

It’s a challenge for sure at times, being pulled in different directions, being exposed to the whole gammet of forces that are brought to bear by any one party and their related agenda. A challenge yes, but enlightening, too.

It’s good to be the glue.

Happy New Year 2018

New Year’s Eve, mid-day.

I’m sitting on the couch, getting some last minute donations buttoned up.  There’s family chatting to my left at the kitchen table and in the other room, kids are playing a game.  One is watching a Disney show on the TV in the room where I’m working.

Lots going on, lots of different directions.  This situ pretty well sums up most days:  plenty of activity, plenty of pulls on attention and energy.  Normal.

As we round out 2017 I’m like most people, thinking about what went well, and what didn’t.  I think about my to-do list, what I got done (some), what I didn’t (lots more).  I think about the basics of what I’m thankful for:  my wife and kids, healthy and happy (most of the time).  We have food to eat, clothes to wear, a roof over our head.  I’m thankful for my base of friends, the other primary foundation of my day-to-day life.  I know I’m blessed.

That said, I look forward to 2018, and know there’s plenty of room for improvement. I can work smarter, be more efficient, write more.  I can do better in my relationships.  I know I can make life a little better for those around me.  I know I can learn more.   I’m planning on publishing my first book early in the new year, and writing a second, with any luck.

I also know it’s going to be a big year of transition in one particular, major way:  my father is soon to transition into hospice care, after two years of a difficult life post-stroke.   I know he’s in the final twilight.  All that reality represents has me muddled with emotions, as anyone would be in my situation, I know.  There will be plenty to write about, that’s for sure.

So as the sun sets on 2017, and the early morning light of 2018 is soon to break on the horizon, here’s to all of you.  May you find good health, good fortune, and most important, happiness in your every day.  And here’s to bringing a little more GOOD to the world every day.  Happy New Year.

 

Joy.

Today Christians celebrate the unlikely beginning of the life of Jesus. The story is well known.
Mary and Joseph had taken shelter in a stable for farm animals, because all the places for lodging were full. Mary bore her baby amongst the chickens and sheep and oxen and donkey. Very humble beginning indeed.

Yet you can imagine, especially if you’re a parent, the manner in which all else fell away when the child came into this world. Humbling, speechless, JOY. One can only be in the moment. Imagine that moment.

Today we went to Mass at a packed church in my wife’s home town. Even those believers who are not church-goers show up on Christmas Eve.  

We got there late. I had to park four blocks away. I hustled in as the service began.

There was little open space even in the crying room. We ended up on the back corner. All good. 

With five little kids between my sister-in-law’s and our family, that space suited us fine. That’s where noisy, distracted families belong, in my humble opinion. Folks up front are there to fully participate.

Front or back of the house though, I find myself feeling humbled when I contemplate God become human in that newborn baby in swaddling clothes that stable. If I give it just a little focus, and can get my mind and soul far enough inward to feel the awe. I feel the joy. 

I have to listen above the din of the kids and people gathered together, much the way the animals in the stable might have distracted the new parents of Jesus. But the joy is there. 

The main thing is the moment, the devine inserted into this world some two thousand years. And still present today among us. JOY.

Emmanuel. “God With Us.

Amen.

Deep Day Tuesday

Sick Bay Log, 20171219

One of the kids has been sick for a few days. She soldiered through school last week, had a better weekend, then hit the wall yesterday.

So I planned to stay home with her today. Then our son with sniffly nose went over the edge overnight, so he stayed home too. 

It was a whiny, runny nose, tissue-heavy, screen-filled day thru Noon. Naps ensued around one this afternoon.  

I’ve gotten a little Lions work done (for the service club I belong to). Read more news than usual. Ate kid leftovers for breakfast. 

Several pots of tea later, it’s mid-afternoon, naps continue for the moment, and the afternoon sun is slowly falling, making the living room darker, the Christmas lights on the tree and mantle brighter. 

The Count of Monte Cristo calls, so I must go. A little pleasure reading on a day deep in the blah of kids home with illness.

Gunslinger

gunslinger_king

What is a gunslinger?

The dictionary offers this simple definition:

Noun: gunslinger (plural gunslingers)

In the Old West: a person who carried a gun and was an expert at the quick draw.

In modern usage: a person who behaves with the bravado expected of someone who would duel with guns.

We’re getting toward the end of the calendar year at work, and that means fscal year-end too at my company.

There’s a guy who I saw this morning that hasn’t been around for a while — it was said he’d retired.

But apparently now he’s back on a contract basis to help our finance team close the books on 2017.

He’s a great guy. Friendly, no BS, smart. We worked together for about a year before he left. I never saw him with
anything other than a smart phone.

He knows what he’s doing. He asks good questions. He separates the wheat from the chaff with deadly practical
efficiency. He executes according to plan. That’s it. Like I said, no BS.

When I saw him this morning I thought, “The [fiscal] gunslinger is back.”

GOOD.