While I wait…

While I wait…
Faith Popcorn's Brain Reserve
Faith Popcorn’s Brain Reserve

Well, while I wait and prepare for a phone interview this morning, I zipped over to Faith Popcorn’s site, Brain Reserve.  I use Popcorn’s site both in my understanding of current trends and issues, as well as within the classroom.  I am all about the future and like the game of anticipation.  I love examining what is trending, what is going to happen, even predict the future, especially with technology.  But to know how technology is going to change or expound our dynamic world, you need to know what is going on out there; how people are changing.  That means trawling for information, dissecting the mass of words and envisioning, visualizing, what is going on.

Faith is predicting that women are on the cusp of cultural authority.  That they are again, stepping out of the shadows and taking the reins of most decision-making.  Hasn’t that always been the case, but were behind the gossamer veil that is the shoulders of most men.  Women were the silent child, eyes narrowed, always looking for the nuances of the world and stepping forward at critical times.  Now, even more so, we are exerting our voice, in better way than the feminist revolution of the late 60’s and 70’s.  We are exerting our brain power.

I agree and disagree with Faith on certain aspects. I know we are on a precipice of change, and we are exerting a great deal of energy fighting against the tide.  I have been at this precipice since 2003 or earlier, looking over into the differing shades of the abyss, or back at those that are behind me.  Technology has been a major player, a companion beside me.  The medium is prompting questions, making suggestions, and gritting its bytes for us to see potential and make the leap.  The early explorers (visions of the Life Cycle) have already leapt out over the edge and are navigating through the next generation.  Those active involvers that are still immersed in old technologies, are feeling the fingers tickling at their psyche’s to ditched the old and return to that fun first stage; throw caution to the wind and fly.  And those reaching the pinnacle and/or stagnating, afraid of what is coming, need to ask the question, that many do not ask themselves, “What are you afraid of?”

This could harken back to self-identity and self-awareness.  That there are those unwilling to even think about the opportunities and possibilities of the future because of the loss of something innate or even traditional.  But what is tradition?  Maybe the definition of tradition, the authentic needs to change.  Maybe it is not about the people, but about the action?  For instance, I had dinner yesterday with my Greek family.  We had a traditional dish of gravy meat and Greek noodles, called Stifado (I think).   The stew, much like my own mother’s ‘golfer’s stew’, had at its bedrock in wine, cinnamon and the cooking process.  I enjoyed it immensely and made sure I thanked the cook, several times.  At the end of the meal we had a traditional talk as the grandkids, nieces and nephew went on their way to play.  At one point, recipes were compared or I should say finished dishes.  What I am getting at, is this is a traditional dish.  Culture exists in its varied forms, and conveyed in different styles.  A simple recipe card passed down from one family to another is a tradition.  We don’t necessarily have to have the same customs present.  The dish is the tradition.  The act of sitting around that table is a tradition.  We don’t lose our identity with change.  As Darwin, expounds, we adapt, we overcome and we persevere.

If we jump off that precipice that is looming on the horizon, that edge that we are inching closer too, what are we afraid of losing, giving up, or see disappear?  Are we not ourselves, made better?  Are we not captains of that adventure, that journey that can control and not, the internal and external forces that push and pull at us?  We cannot be afraid of change.  We may balk at its first steps, but at one point, we need to turn the light on and throw caution to the wind.


Year of Natural Scotland

VisitScotland, the national Tourist Board of Scotland has designated this year as the Year of National Scotland. Every year Scotland promotes it brand in unique ways. They have encapsulated the attributes of their brand by affixing the adjectives, Enduring, Dramatic and Human. These words have been around for awhile now and allow for adaptation to the varied landscapes that define Scotland. Here we can see it displayed within their promo videos.

Promotional Power: A deeper breath…

Promotional Power:  A deeper breath…

There is something to say for having the Internet.  Once and awhile my senses are awaken by gems of video, music and words as they were today when I received a post from VisitScotland.  They were inviting me to SINGLE MALT WHISKY: THE ISLAY 8 + THE FESTIVAL AWARDS CEREMONY.  Unfortunately, I will not be able to go but wish I could just to sample Islay’s best whiskies and the food by Chef Art Jackson food.  

I know Islay’s whiskies.  I’ve tasted all of them and relish their unique flavors.  I would love to live on that island and be a part of that subculture of Scottish society devoted to making uisge beatha; the water of life.  Heck, I would love to work in marketing in one of their distilleries just to be surrounded by the people who have such a devotion to their craft.  These people breathe deeply of their loves and convey it with every dram.  Scotland’s economy is driven by whisky and shouldered by tourism.    I can’t wait to see this film in its entirety and use it in my classes.

It demonstrates the authentic experience of this island’s life as well as the promotional power that one product, various brands have in drawing people to its table.   It embodies a sense of self, a sense of identity that draws you in and holds your attention.  It conveys a sense of place and deep-rooted mysticism that has more than a kernel of truth.

Whisky: the Islay edition. Long trailer. from Olav Verhoeven on Vimeo.

Whisky: the Islay Edition.

This film is an initiative of POSTORGASMICKITCHEN.

Produced and directed by Olav Verhoeven

Scenario by Fabian Molleman.
Production by Ellen Cosyn.
Editing by Remo Beutels and Olav Verhoeven.
3D direction by Fabian Molleman and Michiel Coene.
Soundmixing Emanuel Van Egghen.
Art Direction by Olav Verhoeven.
Art direction VFX by Tim Vandekerckhove.
Director of photography Olav Verhoeven.
Camera 2nd Fabian Molleman and Michiel Coene.
Research process and facts by Lies Debeer.
Assistant and grip Olivier Van Mele and Sean Goossens.
Sound recording by Sean Goossens.
Copywriting by Fran Bambust.
Colourgrading by Bart Verraest.

Arm Chair Traveller…

My new desk
Arm Chair Traveller

So who says you can’t arm-chair travel on a Sunday. I was on my Facebook account and noticed a posting and picture for Cullins fae Camas Malag – Isle of Skye by Caledoniadreamn. So had to check it out. I haven’t explored the whole of Skye and wish I had while I lived in Scotland. So I noodled around Google and found some information about this part the island. I found more ruins, standing stones, old castles, lochs and greenery. I love the Internet for the fact that I can visit places and add to my bucket list.

Loch Slapin and Bla Bheinn
Loch Slapin and Bla Bheinn

Skye is not that big compared to some islands nor is it small. It packs a pretty good punch of history into its length and breath. Sometimes its funny when I am mapping out a story and I come up with these ideas and then one day, surfing, I actually find a place that fits most of the description in my mind’s eye. It’s scary. As if I have been there before and I am now just recalling the place as I put ideas on paper. When I hit on a name, thinking entirely its made up, and then find out it’s factual, I wonder if I’m not tapped into something.

Rubh an Dunain. near Glen Brittle

Oh well, I’m just surfing today and enjoying a lazy Sunday…and thinking…how about you?

Poem: Call me, call me home Caledonia

Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle, @VisitScotland

Call me, call me home Caledonia

Call me, call me home
Back to the green blankets
That marks your glens
And shoulders your Lochs
The landscape that arouses my spirit
Now and for eternity
And remains in my mind

Runrig - Malcolm Jones
Runrig – Malcolm Jones

Sing me a lullaby
A sweet Gaelic song
‘Aig Cridhe ar Ciúil’
The music of your heart
To sooth my restless soul
And quiet the ache of my
Longing spirit

Break in the Cloud
Break in the Cloud






Love me as no other
Embrace me in your
Braw arms
Kiss me
Press a cup of your sweet
Water to my parched lips
And quench this wanting
Cradle me against your breast
Quiet my fears

Clashnessie Waterfall in Autumn
Clashnessie Waterfall in Autumn



Call me, call me home
Back to your forest greens
Moors of russet bracken
Bright yellow gorse
And purple heather
Let me smell the perfume
Of fresh tilled ground
The musk of mother Earth

Assynt 15th December 2011
Assynt 15th December 2011

Let me hear the whispers
Of the meadows
Where the wind talks
And spirits seem to play
Let me feel the pulse of your heart
©Scottish Poems I

Well, I’m compiling my next book of poetry to be published by Christmas. I thought I’d give you a few snippets over the next couple of weeks. Enjoy

New Presentation in development

A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses:  A Symposium on Ancient Greece
A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses:
A Symposium on Ancient Greece

The laws of the heart are fickle. Why we love one place over another is  wholly individualistic. What tugs at one heart, doesn’t another. Perhaps this lends credit to the thought that there is no perfection in the world.  Perhaps we need to see past the labels, look beyond the obvious and accept places for what they are. Look for how it changes you, how it awakens your
spirit and sets it free.

We are all reluctant to face new challenges for fear of the unknown and other nuances only our self can explain. “We balk at the threshold of adventure (Vogler).” We fear the potential of influence that landscapes could have on our journey through life. We are afraid of the connections that they might create. And yet as a writer, I find my greatest muse in its diversity of textures, illumination and voice. I find myself through travel
as I find connections with other cultures and traversing the landscape.

We are souls living in a dynamic world; a soul in transformation just as the tourist landscape. The concept of a hero’s journey as ascribed by Joseph Campbell and adapted for us in the Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler, can be applicable to the traveler’s life. This presentation will examine how ancient Greece influenced the concept of the journey through the textures of landscape, illumination of culture and voices of its ancient literature.
This dynamic development sets the stage for the development of modern tourism.

I will be presenting The Tourism Journey and the Search for the Authentic at our A Futuristic Look Through Ancient Lenses: A Symposium on Ancient Greece.  The Exhibit runs from October 7th-November 7th.  Looking forward to this.  My kids will attend during their class period for credit.  This should be fun.

Our Social Fabric…

I love the Budweiser’s commercials and especially, when in my Introduction to Hospitality and Tourism, we start our module on Food and Beverage Management.  Now I have other disciplines in my class, notably this semester consumer affairs and merchandising, even two students from psychology and one from journalism.  I try to draw parallels and inter-relationships between the historical development of beverage management (okay, brewing) with marketing, shifts in social thoughts and patterns and the development of new technology.  These areas are all vital because the needs and wants of society were changing.  Brewing was part of our social fabric and still is.  The local tavern or pub, even restaurant is at the heart of community.  Maybe not as much as in Europe and other countries, but it still remains a strong social center.  These symbolic representations also promote our own mythology (factual and fictional–just think Santa Claus with Cocoa Cola).

So I thought I’d share one of my favorite ads, one of many that I will use to discuss sales, marketing and hospitality within several of my classes.