Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Lunatic Central

Crazy times here at Lunatic Central. That's how I sometimes think of the space surrounding yours truly, wherever I happen to be at the time. I figure that anyone who voluntarily associates with me and the chaos that follows me everywhere is comfortable with himself or herself and won't feel in the slightest bit insulted by my including them in this fashion.

I have always liked what I call 'cowboys.' I mean by that individuals, male or female, who are independent, self-sufficient, and hopefully laconic. They can also be loners. That doesn't bother me one bit. What that means to me is that they don't need much hand-holding, coddling or babysitting, and that they can be left alone to do what they are supposed to do. Then, I can do what it is that I do, alone and in peace. People who work with and for me co-operate in groups when they have to, but are essentially on their own. Wherever possible, they get a chunk of responsibility that is all theirs, no interference from me or anyone else in the corporate food chain, unless they really, really, screw something up. In order to allow people to perform positively, you have to give them latitude to err on occasion. Not every decision is brilliant. Not every action is fruitful. No matter how bright or dedicated or motivated or industrious a person, success or failure boils down to trial and error. People with the aforementioned attributes do a better job overall because they manage to weed out the silliest ideas before attempting them. No-one ever makes good decisions all the time. Certainly not I.

I am busy preparing for another trip to Panama soon. Before I leave, I hope to put an offer on a building here in London, Ontario. It is a former small church of about 2,500 square feet and has been converted to offices. It is a nice building, well laid out and well maintained. It does not however, have the proper zoning. They present owners are using the building without the correct zoning, and my offer will be conditional on obtaining the zoning we require. Any venture involving the blessing of the local zoning authorities, whether here or where you live, is a crap shoot. You never know what you are going to get, or if the effort is going to be worthwhile. Still, I like the building and it is centrally located, priced well, and has that quirky quality that I like.

I have always liked things to be other than ordinary. Back in the 1970's, I bought an old one-room school house, built in 1902, the kind with separate entrances for boys and girls and a large bell tower at the front. With the help of a professional designer, I created a design to convert the school to a three-bedroom house. The building was gutted inside, a second floor was created, the bell tower was glassed in, and many dollars later there was an ultra-modern home inside an old building. The exterior was left much as it had been when it was built, with the exception of the entranceway and the windows. I still miss that place sometimes.

I am sometimes frustrated with my son. I want him to see not what something is, but what it can become. I want him to look at anything, everything, and see possibilities. I like people who aren't boxed in by convention, or limited by their imaginations. The human mind is meant to soar, to create, to inspire. It is not meant to sink, to destroy, to despair. I hope that whatever limitations he has in this respect are because of his youth and his inexperience. Maybe he's just testing me. That appears to be what teenagers do.

There are times, when I look at the world around me, that I want to just shut everything out, to ignore the pettiness, the hatred, the shortsightedness, the rampant stupidity. The feeling is only temporary. Then I realize that it is up to each of us to actively pursue excellence and to leave behind something worthwhile. Thankfully, that is the way I feel most of the time.

Oops. I guess that's it for now. Some men in white coats are at my door. I wonder what they want?


  1. They want you to pay your utility bill? :)

    Agree with most of what you said. Being as I am not visionary, it's hard to imagine seeing things as they might be, rather than what they are. At the same time, I know I'd love to buy and live in an old church.

    And Panama! Yeah! If only Thailand weren't there, looming in front of me, demanding my utmost loyalty. :)



  2. I actually plan on moving my offices into the old church. My wife and son would have me committed if I asked them to move again in less than a year. For offices though, the building would be great. Weird, but great.

  3. Check me on something, Atavist...I have clicked the Jason's Beach Resort link on your blog and mine, and am getting an HTTP:404 (file not found) from the Blogger server.
    Please confirm with me if the site is no longer there, and comment on my most recent post if it is gone.
    Many thanks!

  4. Same results, Galt. I'll repeat this on your blog.