Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ack! - Rare Political Commentary

In the wake of the passage of a Healthcare Reform Law and my arrival back to the States after Brazil, I was welcomed with vitriolic editorial commentary by some of my conservative friends. An example: "Welcome back to a country that is now half what it was when you left". Of course things were worse in Washington.

Those who know me, know that I'm all for open-minded, civil debate and willingness to agree to disagree. But when civil disobedience turns ugly... it is embarrassing and should be a disappointment to all of us. See the commentary below and act as you see fit. Thanks.

Last weekend, anti-health care protesters were out in force in Washington--and the behavior of too many was deeply disturbing.

They shouted racist and homophobic epithets at lawmakers. And since the vote, Democrats who voted for the legislation have received death threats, their offices have been vandalized, and a gas line was cut at a house that tea parties mistakenly believed belonged to Rep. Tom Perriello.

Republican leaders continue to embrace the tea parties, though, and aren't publicly condemning the hate and violence--instead treating these events as "isolated incidents."

I just added my name to a letter to the leaders of the Republican Party telling them that they need to unequivocally condemn the bigotry and violence immediately. Will you join me?


References = Visible links. Aw4GCtx&rc=mailto

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Yep, You Guessed it: More Brazil

Yesterday we went to Bavespa (the Brazilian Stock Market) it was very interesting. We also visited the business lobby, for Sao Paulo.
Today the students went with their teams to visit specific companies for their EMBA assignment. So while they did that, I cranked out 22 miles in Ibirpuera Park in 80 degree temps. I'm just now feeling the sunbburn. As we arrived at the Business Lobby, FIESP, I notice this cow out front. These are not as nice as the cows we saw lining the streets in Chicago, but they are colorful.
Here we see my friend, Fernando. He was our local tour guide. He's sort of a scholar, historian, musician and man about town. Great guy and very interesting. Along the way we've had conversations about culture, beer, philosophy (Rosseau, Descartes, Kant etc... - the real kind of philosphy) and futbol.
Of course no trip would be complete with out some good old fashioned antics. This was at a wonderful pizzaria where we unwound after three very packed and stimulating days.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brazil Continued

It's been a whirlwind of food, company tours, lectures and more food. Yesterday we toured Embraer, Brazil's version of Boeing. Very interesting. Today... McCann Erickson provided a terrific marketing strategy presentation on Brazil's demographics.
Our dining has included two steak houses. Here they bring different grilled meats to the table and shave small portions off, for your selection. Sausage, pork, lamb, several types of beef. This and a salad bar that is mind boggling. Of course each meal comes with desserts and coffee.
Despite the crazy pace and packed schedule, I've still managed to squeeze in a beer in the evening and a run in the morning. During the runs and just outside today's lunch venue, were these very colorful plastic cows. These were not like the cement cows that lined the streets of Chicago, but I did think it was pretty cool to see these around the city.
It's all good and, of course... as much FUN as I can make it. Fun includes my slow, but sure progress learning Portuguese to the embarrassment of no one but me.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Exploring the City of Sao Paulo

My luggage should arrive very soon, and may be down stairs right now. So that's good news!
Above we see a breakfast I ordered at a local cafe. I was flying solo at this point, which was just as well because my Portuguese might have embarrassed everyone. But I figured if I didn't try, I'll never learn. The coffee here is amazing!
I hung out with Carlos, one of our guides, for the better part of the day. Great guy. He speaks 5 languages and has been an area guide for a while. We had very interesting conversation and I learned a little Portuguese along the way. I hope I see him again before we leave.
Above we witnessed a typical afternoon rain shower. It poured for about 10 minutes and the drops could have filled a shot glass. This picture was taken outside the hotel and the photo on the right is of the remaining portion (only a few city blocks) of the original tropical forrest which made up most of the Sao Paulo area. The area now is called a cement Jungle.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sao Paulo Day 1

It was an uneventful 10 hour flight from Dallas to Sao Paulo, Brazil. I experienced a three hour time loss, two of which I'll make up when I return. It's sort of Day Light Savings shock therapy. Anyway, I landed at 8:20 a.m this morning (Sat.), but didn't leave the airport until 11:30 a.m. This was after getting through customs, then filing a claim with American for my lost luggage, and waiting for one of our Exec Students to arrive.
It is about a 60K drive (36 miles) into the city, but it can take as long as 2 hours to make this commute because of traffic. Above you can see our view as we entered the City.
Along the way into town there were hundreds of motorcyclists driving between cars and in and out of traffic. It's legal as the result of the Motorcycle industry. Last year, more than 400 motorcyclists were killed (more than one a day) from this crazy way of getting around.
Me in the lobby of the hotel. Funny story about my room. I thought I had no electricity. No one told me that in South American countries it is common to require your room key to be inserted into a power receptacle in your room. By doing so, you turn on your electricity. HA, chalk up another lesson learned by this dumb American. Now I know. This is the view from my room. Nothing spectacular except the warm weather. And below is a picture of a local market. I had to pick up some bottled water to drink in my room. While I've been assured the water is safe for drinking... that's a chance I'm not willing to take on the first day of this 10 day tour. Anyway, what you see in the picture are chocolate products for Easter celebrations. They had aisles of these colorful displays. Now THAT is something I may never see in Iowa... for sure. Now off for a run. Ciao.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Another Marpy B-day

Marpy is one of two people who have a life-time pass to crack an egg on my head on (or near - 7 days) her birthday. Why she has this pass... is a long story. Wade Heckinhead is the other life-time member (the original birthday egg breaker). So below we see Marpy about to celebrate her 14th birthday...
The final approach...
The EGG-Celent Results! Happy Birthday Marpy.

Monday, March 08, 2010


Beaner and the TOOTS

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Heathens, One and All

Ok, this needs a little explanation. Marpy (far left) has adopted our family as hers. To be honest, I don't think we really had a choice in the matter. She simply shows up and is there/here. She's a hair younger than Peanut, and a spot older than Chalupa,
but gets along with everyone very well.

Also, what is it about Big Dawg? If he's not acting like a complete baboon, he's one evolution short of a psychopath. Boys will be boys. His sisters just love him for this... really. Really - Really. Ok, maybe NOT!
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Driving Mr. Daisy

Yeah, so if driving me crazy is not bad enough. She now started driving me. Iowa City, consider yourselves warned!
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