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rain does not make a lot of sense.

it rarely comes when we need it. and, it’s almost always certain to appear when most inconvenient.

that makes rain rather like surprises.

and, change.

I hate rain. and, naturally, I love rain.

rain is bad. rain is good.

I prefer to run in the rain; a down pour, please.

that might be where pain meets ecstasy.

perhaps rain, like most things, is what we make of it.

so, I’m listening to U2 and Running to Stand Still.

me? I’m running to the light.

peace be to my brothers and sisters.

brian patrick cork

Last week, I recalled that, during my many visits to the desert (you’ll ask: “metaphorically speaking?” I’ll respond: “does it really matter?”), I met a wise man named Buck O’Neil – a prophet, if you will – and, asked him the secret to a long, successful life.

“Good genes,” was all he said, at first.

Buck left us all behind October 6, 2006 – the day before my birthday, just like Dad. There is a rhythm and pattern to life with that. But, we’ll discuss it some other time.

His hair was white and his face was mahogany, calling pleasantly to mind a pint of Guinness. “I’m ninety-years old,” he continued, then pressed his fingertips to unlined cheeks, which shone like polished apples.

“Good black don’t crack”, he mused (I’m not sure he actually mused, but that word works, here).

With that, I was fully prepared to move on, and thanked him. In fact, I was already rising halfway from my seat, like a bluffing panelist on To Tell the Truth, when he said softly: “There is one other thing.”

So, I settled back, curious, I might add, and he said:

“I never fill my stomach. My mother was a great cook, but my father told me, ‘She’s only filling your stomach so another woman never gets to. She’s just trying to hold on to you.’ Ever since, I can eat more, but I never do.”

Look… The stories around Buck are countless. Many of them will bring a tear to your eye. Others will make you slap your thigh with joy in preparation of laughter. He was a black man, and it never mattered to him, even though it did to everyone else. But, everyone respected and loved Buck (Note: That might be a vital difference between men like Buck and Barack Obama. By the way, did you know that  Obama high-tailed it to Asia, pouting over his loss of the House Tuesday? Other than a vital need to drive home a point, here, I’m loathe to include Buck in the same story as Obama. But, the only real difference Obama will make in our lives is he must now change his plans to stay in power).

Let other, more articulate folks tell those stories. Especially those that lived them alongside Buck. I never had that privilege. But, I try to learn from men like him, every day, and any way.

Part of that is my on-going efforts to live the Authentic Life. And, that includes having a life well-lived, and worth remembering by those I’ve lived amongst.

So… What, then, is the secret to a life well-lived?

Here was another hint. “Don’t hate another human being,” said O’Neil, whose father was the son of a slave. “Hate cancer. Cancer took my mother, took my wife four years ago. Hate what happened on September 11. But don’t hate another human being. God made man.”

…oh wow.

I did, in fact, find myself thinking: But God made men who denied you, at various times, a toilet, a hotel room, an education, a living, your very humanity. And, of course, I voiced those thoughts, because that’s what I do (“oh really?[!]”, you exclaim. “Brian has opinions he foists on people?”).

“My parents always told me most people are good,” continued O’Neil. “Even when I was young, (Note: he lived his early days in Carrabelle, Florida), most people were good. The thing was, good people sometimes let the bad people have their way. But who wrapped their arms around Jackie Robinson in his time of need? Pee Wee Reese of Louisville, Kentucky, did. The commissioner of baseball in 1947 [Happy Chandler] was a man from Kentucky.”

With this, his left hand grabbed my forearm, and his right fist rapped his own breastbone as if it were a door.

“It comes from in here,” said he. “Doing the right thing. It takes somebody to change something. My grandfather was a slave. And God saw it wasn’t right, so he sent Abraham Lincoln. And Abraham Lincoln joined hands with Frederick Douglass, who joined hands with Sojourner Truth, who joined hands with Harriet Tubman – and, so on.”

Apparently, and thusly, human progress, in O’Neil’s view, is a chain of men with virtu (the Greek form, mind you) in their hearts (the word virtu always has me thinking of Dr. Nick Pappas at Radford University), linked at the wrist and leading to you.

O’Neil paused, and I could only sit quietly in wonder through what must be churning through that lovely mind, and then he added:

“This is the greatest country on Earth, but we can be better. That is going to be your job.”

He held my forearm like a bat. “In my day we changed some things. Now it’s your turn to change things. And you’ll do it. I know you will.”

I did pause. And, when I confessed that I struggled, with my generation, challenged to change our channels manually, much less to change the world, he invoked the memory of his grandfather Julius, born into slavery in South Carolina, and owned by a man with the surname, O’Neil.

“Grandpa used to tell me he loved Mr. O’Neil,” he said. “And I would ask him: ‘Grandpa, how could you love a man who kept you as his slave?’ And Grandpa said, ‘He never sold off a mother from her children, he never sold off a husband from his wife.’ And Grandpa, this is before all the doctors and all the medicine we have today, lived to be one-hundred-and-two years old.”

Was this good genes, I wondered, or something greater? I was merely seeking the secret of a life well-lived – how to progress – and, felt I was getting closer. So, I asked about that. And when the old man, once again, took my arm in his hand, I felt physically linked in that chain-of-virtu to all who had gone before me…

“Love,” he half-whispered, as if sharing a confidence. “Love, man. This is the whole thing.”

So… You gotta be a “Love Kat”. It’s been awhile since I invoked that one. It’s timely to be sure.

Peace be to my brothers and sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

I’m sorry, perhaps, to advise you that I’ve come up with what may well be the key to knowing about everything.

this meaningful effort won’t come in the form of an illustrated book you can hide on your living room coffee table (does anyone call those places “living rooms” any longer? and, I once asked my Mom what happened if someone wanted to call it a a “pepsi table”. but, she was appaently not in sufficient a mood that day, to properly clarify. so, I remain perpelexed, and some what distracted by that). it will come in the form of a talk radio show and this (or another) blog, as well.

in any event, among the surprising words contained in what you need to know in order to understand are “despondent,” “panache,” and “hat.”

there may well be a riddle involved. but, possibly three; only if the first is solved, though.

this isn’t necessarily about fear and loathing. but, those words, and their implications, certainly have their place

if you want to know what these words have to do with a bird (ostrich, to be very clear) a goat, or a muffin, you should probably read the book.

more later. and, you better be ready. because there will most certainly be controversy. I’m predicting this will involve a great deal of pushing and shoving, possibly raised voices. it’s almost certain there will be some fist shaking and the gnashing of teeth. eventually, with the dawning of understanding, there will then come a form of collective awareness followed by cheers and a long satisfying trend of goodwill.

by the way… this post was crafted (that’s a fair word, all things considered, on an Android-powered laptop). it’s inconceivable, with the possibilities, limitless. however, it remains so, nonetheless.

peace be to my brothers and sisters.

brian patrick cork

Apparently “the” Democrats believe “change” will carry them through elections. I guess it’s all about the (new) slogan and logo. New, in this case, is just sort of different. Maybe it’s just not so bad as the worst case. So, let’s talk about some “change that matters”, and this according to a relentless revision of Obamacrat, I mean Democrat marketing, I mean doctrine.

This might not be exactly how Rush Limbaugh might phrase things… However, here are some examples of the changes that the Obama administration and the Democrats have inspired to certain lexicon:

1.   The War on Terror became an: “Overseas Contingency Operation.”

2.   Welfare checks became: “tax cuts.”

3.   Illegal immigrants became: “undocumented workers.”

4.   Economic stimulus became: “investments.”

5.   Global warming became: “climate change.”

6.   Watch this one very carefully. The Bush tax cuts became: “the Obama tax cuts for the middle class.”

7.   Freedom of speech became: “hate speech.” Especially if it’s considered a slight against the Obamacrats.

8.   Protecting our borders became: “racist.”

9.   The financial sector became: “greedy Wall Street fat cats.”

10.  Unions became: “struggling middle class Americans.”

I don’t have an issue with the theory behind the Democratic party. Thomas Jefferson, himself, had the balance-of-power and checks-and-balance system in mind when he helped create the Constitution, aftar all. However, they can change how words work in certain combinations (I hint at this in another post that is apropos, here entitled: situational awareness) all they (or, is it “they’d”?) like, but the fact is that the too many solutions promised by (more so Obamacrats, and less so Democrats) haven’t created reasonable change. Thought Leaders are right when they argue there is an enthusiasm gap between Democrats and their voters (and, yes, I discussed that in my post: it’s Civil War, then), but a new website and logo isn’t the solution they were likely looking for.

Let’s be part of the solution. Pick up the phone (I’ll be using my EVO 4G on the Sprint network, thank you), dial your representative, and call for policies that encourage the private sector to grow and maintain jobs, for example. I understand the double-dip recession fears are abating. But, that’s due to the fact that corporate debt default is now below four percent (4%) and middle-sized companies are selling products to larger companies (more on that later). But, perhaps they should have spent a little more time designing that particular roadmap and a little less time designing a website. Especially when the looming tax code revisions cool-off small and middle-sized company growth, spending and hiring (a lot more on that sooner).

When coaching my Shockers I try to inspire them with messages like: “If you are going to a thing, why not always give it your best? This includes using your super powers for good”. It’s not unfair asking our government leadership to take up the same thinking. And, then they also get to lead by example, and inspire the next generation of leaders – just like Thomas Jefferson envisioned.

Look… We’ll discuss my running for Governor later than sooner. Just be ready.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

So… I’ll never shy away from waxing political and opinionated, on this Blog.

Oh Really? Says, you.

And, today, and this very day, I’ll add another prediction to my growing inventory of good calls…

It’s going to be civil war in-and-amongst the Democrats because Barack Obama has set them up for failure.

Obama has always been so bereft of business, or any kind of acumen, that he really had no idea he could never hope to live up to the high-flying promises he made to get elected as our President. He promised us… well… most of you that voted for him “…great and sweeping change”. Okay… Here is comes [feel it… feel it]: However, the only thing he’s really changed has been his mind – and, that endlessly, as he’s flip-flopped around like a baby seal facing-off against the Japanese.

And, now with unemployment high Obama’s popularity below fifty percent (50%), Republicans likely feel the primaries have reflected an enthusiasm that would serve the party well in the fall, when control of Congress will be at stake.

This means incumbent Democrats don’t know where to turn – other than upon one another.

I’m reasonably certain that most members of the House and Senate fail to represent their constituents, and focus their energies, daily, on staying elected, as much to enjoy platinum benefits and life-styles unrealized by the people they pretend to represent. Today, facing an election year, they can’t even hide behind a presidential smoke screen shrouding a grandiose platform of nonsensical reform. It’s going to look like Jones Town once the real smoke from the fire-fight dissipates. All the “kool-aid” drinkers will have cupped themselves.

Many Democrats are asking Obama to hold-off on making a stand on things like budgets and changes in the tax code until after the elections just so they don’t have to make a stand themselves. But, the Republicans see this from a mile away, are forming tea-parties, and calling their opponents out early. This means Democrats facing real competition for their seats might have to step away from party line and doctrine and actually stand-up for something their constituents need and want. The biggest problem for Democrats is that they don’t know how to do things like work, stand up form themselves, or suck anything up (other than up to celebrity tree-higgers that promise donations). They live off the entrepreneurial and pioneering spirit of everyone else, sucking the blood out of everything – escpecially if “they” means highly-placed workers in government. So, as they single themselves out, they will be picked apart by their own party as traitors, and Republicans alike that know how to fight independently, or for independent thinking and capitalistic values.

It’s going to be like a good old-fashioned border war that will divide states and families into a bitter feud. But, once everything is settled, the lines will have been drawn with more focus, and expectations will likely be made that much clearer with citizen-oriented oversight.

I’m not saying change is always good. It just might mean things are different. But, if you don’t like what’s happening, you have the choice of either changing the rules, or changing the circumstances. And, that is, more often than not, the cause celebre of most Civil Wars.

Stay tuned.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

…Concocted from my iPad – and, thusly, unedited

I can’t say whether this line-of-thinking originated with an army in general, the army, or Chief Master Sergeant Drew, in particular… However, it’s certainly apropos wherever, or however, you might be engaged.

In fact, I just may have thought of it myself:

“If it’s not working, either change the rules, or change the circumstances”.

Some call this thinking (interestingly, another word for thinking is “contemplating”, but that won’t work, here) part of situational awareness.

God gave us all varying degrees of discernment. We might as well use it. Some just better than others.

By the way… Do any of you spend time thinking about alternate words, and how they can be applied in a manner that demonstrates both the richness of our English language, and creative resourcefulness? It’s okay if you don’t. But, it’s vitally important that you understand that I do such things.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

It appears that European Union regulators are joining forces with the Federal Trade Commission here in the U.S. through a probe of Apple’s policy regarding “mobile software developers.” (This means: Flash on the iPhone.)

I’m advised by insiders that Apple will be further confronted over the controversial “Flash on iPhone” policy. As you know, Apple claims that Adobe’s Flash isn’t “sufficiently advanced for use on smart-phones”, and has effectively banned its use on their iOS devices, both as a platform as well as its use to help program applications.

If they call me to testify as an expert witness, I’d likely offer this line-of-thinking and example:

I’ve known many PC users over the course of my life, and work passionately to help them transition to the Mac OS (it’s perfectly okay to drop the Mac OS onto a Dell, for example, like Nicholas Johnson did for me on a dare, of sorts).

But, for the purpose of this post, I’ll focus on a close friend of mine named Chuck. Many of you have read his book, and I coached him through one of the most monumental acquisitions in North America.

Chuck is a PC survivor (I wonder if that phrase and context will catch on. You read it, here, first). He languished in that world of restarts and hangups for almost sixteen years.

We discuss the Adobe and Flash story fairly often because it has created terrific impetus for change and a kind of thought leadership around reverse accountability. Chuck knew all too well about third-party applications and programs causing instability on the original platform. How many times do you download a program that requires a plug-in to run on your system? He’s posed that question, and often. How many times has a new program or plug-in been the proverbial “fly in the ointment” of your Operating System? Many PC sufferers ask both questions. But, never, as a hearty and ferocious macintoshionist (I just coined that as well), would say, I.

Chuck’s house has been one hundred percent Apple (PC free) since January 2008. iPods, Macbooks, iMacs, iTV, Extreme Base Stations, iPhones and now iPads abound. When the Apple vs. Adobe story began to break Chuck called me from his iPhone (decidedly not a Blackberry) to express his gratitude towards me and Steve Jobs for developing devices that “just work”. Turn the device on; it works. The story is simple with the elegance of Apple design and utilization. NOTE: I fully expect to hear from a few of you that still want to harp on the iPhone 4’s reception issue. But, I’ll wave you off dismissively and advise you to stop grasping desperately at a futile effort to find a weakness in the that tasty [sic] Apple.

So… Steve Jobs is likely telling us the truth and Flash will destabilize the iPhone and the iPod Touch. If that’s the case he is demonstrating accountability by kicking Flash to the curb. He is forcing Adobe to improve it’s product – and, that is fair and reasonable. It’s aligned with the Laws of Natural Selection. Improve or die. If Adobe wants to occupy the apple mobile platform, they should step up and (re)write something more stable that does not use a lion’s share of power (this is another issue with Flash that does not get enough press, eh).

Why should Apple allow an unstable piece of software on a system that, otherwise,  just works?

Adobe comes across like an entitled Google neophyte with weak points and self-inflicted bitter frustration. Apple sets the standard for quality. And, Steve Jobs simply expects everyone around him, and his best-of-products, to work smart and keep up.

That’s okay. And, let’s hope the European Union recognizes this – just as discerning users of technology have around the globe have by buying ever-more Apple products.

You can whine, or drink wine. So, I’m buying a vineyard.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

what’s all this about?

I can’t explain what that damn tree means - or, if it might stand for something.

However, here I do discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman.

brian cork by John Campbell

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"Perhaps victory can be realized best when the heart changes."

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about this particular Theme:

I'll warn you now that Tarski is theme of this blog created by Benedict Eastaugh and Chris Sternal-Johnson. It is named for the logician Alfred Tarski. I'll recommend his papers ‘The Concept of Truth in Formalized Languages’ and ‘On the Concept of Logical Consequence’, both of which can be found in the collection Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.