I’ve been on the road the last couple of days…running a training workshop in Hemel Hepstaed. I get such a buzz from these workshops because of the exchange of ideas and thoughts. Lot of fascinating discussion arise over the course of the 2.5 days. I finished up the workshop by 1300 and then drove further south to meet my boss for lunch at Bricketwood. She flew down from Edinburgh this morning and since she was in the area, we wanted to get together and catch up on where we are with our project.

I’ve picked up a new hobby…one that I’ve thought about starting before but never quite got into it. I’ve taken up poker…Texas Hold’em poker to be exact…the same style of play they use at the poker world championship held in Las Vegas each year. The mechanics I understand. I even have a small strategic grasp of the game. I’ve started playing on line at both Yahoo and Empire Poker, which is an online casino site. I don’t play for real money. The pyschology of the game is interesting. There is even a behavioural style model for poker players. I won’t say which quardrant I fall into least I should ever get in a game with any of you.

My tickets for the Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show arrived today. The show is a good gathering of everything outdoors from expeditions, to adventure sports to adventure travel. Plus there are lots of outdoor vendors there to sell their wares. I’m hoping to catch a fgew of the seminars and pick up some gear. I’ll have to keep a tight watch on my wallet as I have a weakness for buying outdoor gear. There’s just always to be that one cool gadget or piece of the clothing that would be just fantastic to have as a part of my kit bag. Outdoor shops are almost as bad for me as bookshops.

Oh yeah, I’m also on the look out for an adventure van…think Scooby Doo’s Mystery Machine meets the Camelback edition of the Land Rover.

So apparently men spend most of their online chatting time talking about only four things. According to an MSN survey of email and chat rooms (are they secretly reading our email?) men talk most about current culture to inlcude sports and music, money matters, social activities to include what they are going to do on the weekends, and general banter. I’m surprised sex didn’t show up on the list. Especially since DR Stephen Whitehead, a gender expert from Keele University and noted author of a new book on men, asserts that men think about sex, work, and sex in that order.

And what does the fairer sex chat about most online? Apparently they yap about feelings, relationship matters, gossip, and food. DR Whitehead contends women think about relationships, relationships, and relationships in that order.

DR Whitehead suggests there are 27 different types of men. I had a gander at the list and I think i would classify as a Jester type, which means I love laughter and an audience but am prone to being melancholy.

The British are being battered for their drinking culture. Binge drinking has dominated the headlines this week. But the headline that has to take top prize on the subject read, “A combination of sex, alcohol and cheap motorcycle hire are killing many British tourist.”

And finally, what have we become when Marge Simpson is considered to be the ideal mother role model….

I spent the entire day on another planet. Oh I was here in body, but my mind and most definately my spirit were in some other place. Death’s Other Kingdom perhaps, or standing by the River of Dreams or perhaps I went to the Edge. At any rate, I was completely out of focus. I was so out of focus that things seemed clear, if that makes sense.

You say you want a revolution
Well we all want to change the world

I’m feeling like starting that revolution I’ve been hinting at for time now. I’m in one of those moods where I feel like rebelling against the establishment…mainly because it just doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Alain de Botton has a new book out called Status Anxiety. He puts across some interesting points about what drives us to achieve. His basic premise is echoed in what sociologists have observed, “that we work hard and try to achieve for two reasons: money and status.” We seek status because we want to feel loved. Botton explores the status side of the equation. Personally I’d opt for the money side so I can buy my freedom.

Instead of buying my freedom, I can become a revolutionary instead.

On another note, I’ve been trying to work my way through Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. I find his writing to be brilliantly jarring. I can read his stuff in small dosages, so it’s taking me while to finish.

Last night, in a shameful show of disrespect, Richard “the Duck” Watson talked smack repeatedly as he boasted about his ability to handle the rock and take Clay “the King” Lowe to the hoop anyday, anytime, anyplace.

“I think he’s been drinking to much Sterno,” said the King. “Everybody knows ain’t no mug got more game than me.” The King, looking cool and confident, responded to the challenge.

The last time these two legendary figures of playground basketball met was over a year ago. The Duck, a little younger and faster than the King, had racked up an early lead and seemed to have had the game in the bag. But the King, ever the consummate professional, showed the youngester how the game was really played and shattered the Duck’s hope of fame an glory in a 12 to 10 victory.

“That was a fluke, anybody who was there knows that I dominated that game. King knows it, that’s why he hasn’t been back out on the court with me since. He’s been runnin scared,” said the Duck.

“All I’m saying is, if I were a bettin man…and I hope all you bookies are listening, I wouldn’t put my money on King. When we step back out on the asphalt, I guarantee victory will be mine. And you can print that!”

When asked about the Duck’s flatulent mouth, the King had no comment. He just coolly leaned back in his chair, made a graceful arch of him shooting a basket, and let out the sweet sound of “swoosh.”

The King and the Duck will take to the court within the next month. The time and the venue have not been decided yet. Watch this space for further details.

I’ve enjoyed reading the last two issues of Esquire magazine. The What I’ve Learned interviews, in particular, have been inspiring. Jack Nicholson had some insightful words to pass on, as did Ozwald Boateng and Danny DeVito….I admire their dedication to their craft…the single-minded drive to be the best in their chosen field. They have the warrior’s attitude of come back victorious or come back on your shield.