Archive | February, 2012

Vitamin I

24 Feb

Canadian heli-skiing is for expert skiers – or those that have a natural deficiency of fear or sense.

I survived six days of it with a group of five non-expert skiers aged 45 to 70. As the baby of the group I was one of two survivors that made it injury free to the final day (my seventy year old companion, Dick, was the other.) We lost a person a day for the first three days with injuries to a hamstring (Mike), back (Bill G.) and knee (Steve) respectively. The damage I sustained was less obvious. I leave Canada with a massively bruised ego and a liver that has had to process massive doses of Vitamin I. If beaten paths are for beaten men, consider me battered but not beaten.

Heli-skiing is one of those once-in-a-lifetime, bucket list activities that can hardly be described with words. Flying in a helicopter through the mountains on a sunny day is an experience in itself. Learning to do the heli-ski huddle as you get blasted with snow multiple times per day is imperative, as is learning how to find your buddy buried under the snow. I was fortunate enough to ski through an avalanche that I created and do a perfect nose dive into the debris pile at the bottom of the pitch. Call me a newly certified powder pig.

The folks at Great Canadian Heli-Skiing are the best and the memories created at the lodge will last a lifetime. The small group there was a virtual UN of ski crazies. There were Italians, Belgians, Australians, Swedes, English ladies, sorted Americans, and then, or course, there were the Canadians, “eh”. Love them all.

Vitamin I is my new friend. Get enough of it in your system and you can forget the pain for a few more hours on the slopes. I was told that I can buy it in bulk at any drug store. Apparently it is also known as ibuprofen.

Beaten Paths

20 Feb

Beaten paths are for beaten men.

My team is undefeated. These mountains are here to be conquered. We are in the backcountry of British Columbia accessing pristine slopes covered with a foot of fresh powder by helicopter. No lift lines, no boundary ropes, no signs of humanity. Unlimited vertical is our mantra. We are making new tracks with every run. Testing ourselves against the wide open spaces of our friendly northern neighbor. Total exhaustion never felt better.

We are making our own paths and remain unbeaten.

More to come.

Partnership

15 Feb

Introducing the guy standing next to me as my “partner” has created a few awkward moments over the years.

Working in the partnership form of business for the past eighteen years means that I have had a number of these uncomfortable encounters. Despite the occasional misunderstanding, there is no better way to describe the relationship I have with my colleagues. We are partners…in business and in life. We have bound ourselves together to achieve a common vision and share the thrills and spills along the way.

Partnership defines how we treat one another. A true partner is one that flies across the country on a day’s notice to help you acquire a new client, steps into a sticky project situation on your behalf, covers for you when you get overcommitted, tells you when you are screwing up, and does all these things without keeping score or expecting anything in return. That’s partnership.

Choosing to admit a new partner in the firm is one of the most consequential decisions we make. The partnership structure is brilliantly conceived to perpetuate itself. Our job is to build an organization that is constantly being regenerated as partners retire and bequeath their roles to a new and even more capable generation of professionals.

A great partnership is organic; always growing, continuously improving, and ever changing. What doesn’t change is the common set of core values that bind us together in friendship. I am very proud of my partners at Kalypso and the team we have built. So proud, that I would gladly introduce any one of them to a stranger as my “partner”.

Second Impression

12 Feb

I have always wanted my own IMDb entry.

So when one of my grad school buddies told me he was making a feature length movie in Austin, I raised my hand to volunteer. Since I can’t act, I was thrilled when he offered me the position of executive producer. That sounded like an impressive title, but I soon came to learn that the role consisted of only one real responsibility – writing a check.

That was how I bought my way onto the set today to watch movie making magic. The plot of Second Impression may sound familiar, but this is a uniquely Austin product. You can read all about it on the movie’s Facebook page. Like the page and you might get invited to Sundance or Cannes or the Alamo Draft House premier.

I learned three things about movies today. The first is that the director refers to actors by their character’s names whenever they are on the set. That is, unless your character doesn’t have a name and then you’re just, “you there in the blue shirt.” (That is Mr. Executive Producer to you. Thank you very much.) The second thing I learned is that while actors and actresses are generally pretty people, that doesn’t necessarily hold true for the people that write, film, hold the microphone, or snap that little slate board clapper thingy. I also learned that you can round up extras off Guadalupe in about ten minutes just by offering a chance at stardom…and free beer.

I once had a dream where an Oscar recipient thanked me from the stage in prime time. After today, I am thinking that dream might soon come true. If they can remember my name.

Megan & the Mavs

10 Feb

Megan Creason is a Mavericks fan.

I have come to accept this minor flaw and am convinced that continued therapy will exercise all things Dallas from her being. While she claims that she was never completely infected with that form of afluenza known as the Metroplex Complex, you can’t be too careful with these things. While science searches for a cure, she has renounced her citizenship and dedicated herself to “keepin’ it weird” in Austin. Signs of hope.

She is an inspiration to recovering Dallas girls everywhere. Megan spent the Christmas break hiking the Inca Trail with a single change of clothes and a pocketful of single-ply toilet paper. She flies in coach and buys her designer handbags on sale. It has been reported that she was recently seen drinking a domestic beer right out of the bottle. Real princesses don’t do that.

I am very proud of her and have enjoyed watching her grow. Ms Megan was pressed into emergency duty as Kalypso’s recruiter over a year ago and mastered the role in weeks. She is always on the lookout for quirky characters to join our growing team. I can’t think of a better job for her. After all, it takes one to know one. Learn more about her particular peculiarities here.

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