Sunday, 31 August 2008


A side trip to Grand Canyon–campground full–not a problem for the stealthy trailer. I settle near canyon’s edge and for practical purposes I’m invisible. The only thing likely to betray me is my satellite dish. Ah but there’s an easy solution: cover it with a large black garbage bag and it too “disappears.” (Perfectly at night) And does not interfere with reception. In Flagstaff I camp unnoticed just about anywhere: Home Depot, vacant lots, side streets–wherever the night overtakes me, I am at home. I declare my stealth trailer to be as effective as the Klingon Cloaking device..

Wednesday, 27 August 2008



I saw him stagger out of the deep forest where he lives, and I quickly maneuvered to intercept and walk alongside. As always I wanted “the story.”

He was deeply suspicious and a bit irritable but I kept walking alongside. He asked me some screening questions: was I a vegetarian? I said that I needed help in knowing what foods were wholesome–the perfect response — he unloaded his truth. We walked a mile (he staggered; wouldn’t explain his gimpiness) In time I got the story.

A career in San Francisco as a music teacher, forced by high rent into a vw van and eventually to solitude in hidden places. He was amazed that I knew the philosophy of Krishnamurti and was absolutely dazzled when I mentioned Bach’s Goldberg Variations played by Glen Gould. (A happy accident – my friend Anita just sent this incredible piano piece to me)

We sat beside the road to complete our visit. Here’s what he’s into: Fasting, meditation and solitude. His fasting is big time–10 days at a stretch taking only water. (check his rib cage and believe it) When the body runs out of food, he said, it will begin to digest the waste in our system–Cholesterol, toxins, germs, viruses and fat of course. Only as a last resort will it consume muscle. For spiritual health, he meditates.

He spoke with an authoritative forcefulness which I found unpleasant. He was not open or lighthearted. I came away considering how unattractive is my own discourse when I get on my “high horse.” Luckily, I have friends who care enough about me not to tolerate my intolerant crap.

Prolonged isolation, whatever its benefits, is, I think, a trap–where your own opinions harden around you like armor and others can’t touch you. It wrenched my heart as he tried to tell me where he was camped–hoping I would visit. I dissembled – I would not–I’m drawn to softer people.

Monday, 25 August 2008



Yesterday a big-time cattleman drove 180 miles to personally apologize to me for the rudeness of one of his employees.

I reel in astonishment because the offense was not grievous –just a few vaguely accusatory words which did not seriously offend me. He could have phoned the apology. He had my number.

This incident is worth writing about because it shows the incredible power of a personal connection. What would cause a hardened rancher to feel the need to drive 180 miles. one way, to make a personal apology.

Here’s what happened: A friend and I are camped on National Forest Land in a very large meadow leased for grazing by a prominent cattleman who lives 180 miles away. A small herd of about 50 longhorn cattle graze the meadow. These are special cattle used in rodeo roping events. they are a rowdy bunch of adventurous cows that range the full extent of their pasture and more! They escape! Every day they escape by jumping a cattle guard; a pretty amazing sight to see. Then they wander the forbidden territory, the greener grass, a few hours until they get thirsty and want to come “home.” For some reason they are hesitant to jump back, so they cluster at the gate wanting to be let back in. So we open the gate and let them in

Last week the cattleman dropped by my rig and I reported the leaping cows. My neighbor, a high-tech sort, had filmed the jumping cows and showed the action on his computer. The cattleman visited me for an hour or so and as I often do, I “got the story.” He’s a friendly sort and we exchanged phone and e-mail info. On two later occasions my neighbor and I phoned in a report. He was most appreciative of our efforts because he cannot legally put a gate at the cattle guard and rebuilding it is bureaucratically unfeasible. (lots of red tape) Furthermore, he cannot legally authorize me to open the fence gate. I let him know I understood the dilemma and would “handle” the situation. So my neighbor and I did the sensible thing he cannot do: leave the gate open till the cows come home.

OK Here comes the Drama: One day the hired guy comes by and sees the gate open, thinks we’ve let the cows out, speaks a bit harshly to us and huffs off. He doesn’t know the facts and won’t listen. He reports our “offense” to the Forestry Service and they come pressuring us to leave. We decline because we know our rights–two weeks anywhere.

When the owner hears of this he is appalled and makes the long drive to personally apologize and straighten the matter out.

What made the difference here, I think, was that one hour talk where we made a personal connection. Someone showed an interest in his story and it touched him.

Friday, 22 August 2008



I attended a lecture by a lady so articulate, interesting and beautiful that she had to speak twice to accommodate the numbers. We were all charmed and none more so than I because I approached afterwards and asked her to lunch. She declined of course but gave me her e-mail address which I took to mean: Persuade me!

I called forth all my creative powers in composing that e-mail, describing her speech as a well-fletched arrow that hit its target; and again I asked her to lunch. To my amazement SHE SAID YES! She told me later that the word fletch was the deciding factor–that she had to look it up and was intrigued to meet someone who would use the word.

It was a memorable lunch for me because she was as easy-spoken and charming in person as at the lectern. She was associated with the University of course; her field and passion is journalism. The irony of being interviewed by a string-of-questions note taker seemed to amuse her. At lunch’s end I had lots of notes and only a bare outline of what I really wanted to know: what forces and fortune produced so clear and confident a woman. On another level, I must confess, I wanted to experience the rush of being in her presence. It came!

I asked for another contact but she was off to eastern Europe on a lecture tour instructing the freshly-free journalist of Czechoslovakia in the art of going for the truth.

When she returned she graced me with three more interviews and even came to cheer me during my Whitman performance.

I hope that I have made the most of this opportunity to engage an Amazon—for I believe they represent future woman in the same way that Mary Wollstonecraft, Susan B Anthony, Isadora Duncan and others modeled personal and reproductive freedoms enjoyed by today’s women.

Webster defines amazon as a powerful woman and she did not object to being so described.
While their lives are far more adventurous than most, there are problems. Relations with men are problematical, primarily because men run away. To romantically reach for an Amazon is like reaching for the brass ring on the carousel –it is risky. Men feel it and most do not reach. Those who do and manage to move into their orbit, often cannot bear the contrast of a superior mind. She asked once if I thought she was smarter than me. In a flash of bravado I said that I was smarter than her. She laughed a long while.

In part two of engaging an Amazon I will share with you what I have learned–all that she will permit. Of particular interest to me is her own speculations as to what gives rise to strong women. Is it genes or superior child rearing or just bootstrapping? How do Amazons relate with regular women. Is an Amazon just too independent to mate? What’s a thinkable alternative?
Do they have time for children? How has it affected me to be in her orbit?

Forgive me if I celebrate my courage in asking this lady to lunch. Stay tuned!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Does anybody really know what smartphone market share is?

An article in Wired online this week had a chart showing US smartphone market share (link). The chart gave more detail than I've seen recently from other research companies, so I thought it was worth reproducing the data here:

The source is Nielsen Mobile, formerly Telephia. The interesting thing about them is that they do much of the service quality monitoring for the operators, so they have much more direct access to mobile usage information than folks like IDC and Canalys, the people usually quoted for smartphone share.

Wired was focused on Palm's loss of market share, which is indeed striking (but not exactly news). But take a look at the chart again; there are a couple of other items that I think are more newsworthy.

The first surprise is that Nielsen shows Apple in fourth place in smartphone share. That's wildly different from what Canalys, the source usually reported, has been saying (link). Here's how they compare for Q4 2007:

What in the world is going on here?

I'm not sure, but I have some guesses. Canalys doesn't directly measure market share, it receives self-reported shipment reports from the manufacturers and then adds them up. That means Canalys measures shipments into the channel rather than sales, and it depends on the hardware companies to be honest.


Nielsen Mobile doesn't explain on its website exactly how it measures share, but apparently it's using a mix of survey results and the usage data it gathers from the operators (link). So its numbers should reflect current usage of phones rather than shipments. If Nielsen is measuring installed base share, rather than share of current sales, that might explain the difference. Although in that case, share should not be changing as fast as Nielsen shows. So I'm still confused.

If anybody can shed more light on the source of the difference, please post a comment. I've also asked Nielsen, and will let you know if I hear anything.

The conflict in the numbers underlines how ridiculously useless the publicly-available third party sales numbers are in the mobile phone market, and how little attention the press is paying to the inconsistencies. Apple's share varies from 8% to 28%, and no one even notices. Hey, we got a pretty chart and it confirms what we wanted to say, so don't ask questions.

If you want more information on the problems with mobile market share tracking, I wrote a detailed post here (link).

I said there were two newsworthy things about the Nielsen numbers. Can you spot the second one?

That's right, since the iPhone was released, RIM has been gaining share. So much for the folks who predicted at the launch of the iPhone that it was going to take the smartphone market away from RIM. Instead, at least in the first round of competition, we see what you'd expect from a segmented market -- RIM appeals to some customers, Apple appeals to a different group, and both companies do well.

I can't wait to see what the numbers will look like in six months, after the iPhone 3G has been out for a while. Although probably Canalys and Nielsen will still disagree wildly on what's happening.


Today I completed a new poem celebrating my famous friend Dave Ulmer who invented the game of Geocaching. His photo is in a previous post: Meet my famous neighbor.

Until May 3rd, 2000 you wouldn,t
dare to risk your hide
in matters of tricky navigation
‘cause GPS’s lied.

They lied by as much as 300 feet
to confuse any adversary.
The only ones who knew the truth
was God and the military.

Dave Ulmer crashed his snowmobile,
nearly broke a tooth
because he trusted his GPS
to tell locational truth.

In May 2000 the powers that be,
for reasons of their own,
felt that it was safe enough
to let the truth be known

Now we citizens can zero in
with a tolerance of just 3 feet
where longitude and latitude
cross their lines to meet.

None celebrated more than Dave
‘cause out of his fertile brain
came a whopping new idea:
He thought up a brand-new game.

A game as big as all outdoors
for the computer geek
and for adventurers and hunters;
It’s adult hide and seek.

He buried the very first cache,
then put its address on the net,
setting in motion a world-wide game
that’s not stopped growing yet.

Millions now honor a brain so dashing,
and well deserved is his fame;
Dave Ulmer invented Geocaching
and history will remember his name

Tuesday, 19 August 2008


What's going on in the Naval Observatory?

Walking up its hill and around its dome every day for exercise made our group a familiar sight. One day we charmed (behaved winsomely) an astronomer lady and she invited us in to explain why taxpayers fund this stargazing enterprise. At tour's end we were satisfied it was money well spent. Here's what we learned:
1. The Navy needs a standard time if ships are to navigate by the stars. Clocks around the world vary because they use different means of measurement. The fantastic consistency of cesium crystal vibrations is one "clock." The rotation of the earth is another and they do not agree. So now and again, they add or subtract a second to the official time to conform to earth rotation time. (which is more important) The "correct time", we learned is a decision and not a discovery. Ships normally navigate by GPS but the Navy insists on a backup system.
2. The Navy needs precise star charts as well as a standard time for accurate positioning and firing IF THE GPS FAILS . Stars move slightly over time and must be updated.
3.The Navy searches for potential KILLER ASTEROIDS, charting their paths, hopefully in time to divert them.
4. The Navy searches for planets outside our solar system. It looks at the wobble of stars that indicate orbiting planets. They've found hundreds.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

Only 10% of Japanese people know how to use all the functions in their mobile phones

A Japanese survey of mobile phone users, translated by What Japan Thinks, reports that only about 10% of Japanese mobile phone users say they have mastery (or a good command) over all the functions of their mobile phones (link). About 75% of users say they have mastered less than half of the functions in the phone.

The most confusing functions were e-wallet, applications in general, music player, and Internet access.

What Japan Thinks concludes that few people in Japan "are really comfortable with their phones," which I find reassuring because it says that people in Japan aren't all that different from everyone else on the planet. In many countries there's a tendency to believe that people in Japan (and Korea) use mobile devices so differently from everyone else that there's nothing useful to learn from them. It's as if they're on a different planet. But the reality is that even in Japan, a phone overloaded with features and cryptic menus is confusing to anyone except the most dedicated technophiles.

It is interesting that so many mobile phones in Japan have e-wallet, applications, music, and Internet built in. That's a result of the aggressive rollout of integrated phones and online services by Japanese mobile phone operators -- the real driver that I think makes the Japanese mobile market so different.

(By the way, in case anyone's interested, another survey determined that 14 percent of Japanese cats won't go to the bathroom if someone's watching [link]. Who knew?)

Monday, 11 August 2008


Yesterday, I “channeled” Walt Whitman–America’s greatest poet in a presentation at Flagstaff, Az Unitarian Church. Whitman rose up from a mystical experience and straightway wrote his signature poem, Song of Myself. Not unlike Buddha rose up from his mystical experience and wrote his greatest sermon, The Four Noble Truths. Both speeches deserve to be heard by every living being. Whitman is more relevant to us because he presents the clearest picture of an enlightened life. His vision of the good life is so radical that it shatters conventional religious nonsense and points to a full, exuberant, unashamed, fearless enjoyment of life. All his news is good: Life is not a test, none of us can fail. Life is an adventurous journey that we have all participated in from the beginning of time and will continue to its end. What we call losing is as useful as winning. “Battles are lost in the same spirit in which they are won. “ What is happening here is that ETERNITY IS ADVENTURING IN TIME. LIFE IS COSMIC DRAMA.

Here’s a short passage from my presentation, relevant to us who travel:

“Each man and each woman of you I lead upon a knoll.
My left hand hooks you round the waist.
My right hand points to landscapes of continents and a plain public road.
Not I, not anyone else can travel that road for you, you must travel it for yourself.

It is not far-----it is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere, on water and on land.

Shoulder your duds and I will mine and let us hasten forth.
Wonderful cities and free nations shall we fetch as we go.
If you tire, give me both burdens and rest your hand on my hip.
In due time you shall repay the same service for me,
For after we start, we never lie by again.

Long enough have you dreamed contemptible dreams,
Now I wash the gum from your eyes;
You must habit yourself to the dazzle of the light
Of this and every moment of your life.

Long enough have you waded timidly by the shore, holding onto a plank.
Now I will you to be a bold swimmer,
To jump off in the midst of the sea and rise again and nod to me
and shout, and laughingly dash with your hair.

By WALT WHITMAN written circa 1848

What a great audience–absolutely perfect focus throughout. And they bestowed on me with their applause the ultimate compliment a curtain call in church.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008


Delivering on my promise

In a previous post I revealed that my g spot had been touched by the oracle lady and that I now understood its secret location and would reveal it later. Well here goes!

For my impatient readers, I’ll give the promised answer up front so you can be on your way. The male g-spot is in a man’s cranium. It’s hidden beneath the personality he presents to the world and is its opposite. It’s the part of him he is afraid to show. Its hidden deep in layers of dread, down near the emotional danger zone and barely above the pain layer. Very much like the clitoris in its crevice, it must be surfaced to be stroked. Here’s the secret: Rouse his emotional fears WHILE HE IS LUSTING and voila! He’s in love again! Now I will give the longer version to the rest of my readers..

Ladies are always puzzled when the eyes of their man begin to wander. But! But! But! They stammer inside their head—He was so passionate at the beginning. The hard truth of passion depletion only slowly seeps in. Like oil well depletion, passion depletion is a reality. It drains away slowly sometimes and swiftly at others. Most women feel powerless to stem the drain. Down, Down, Down it goes to their dismay. Sometimes they try slimming down or bosoming up with a boob job, but it won’t work. Men grow less and less interested.

But there is something that will work and that is to touch your man’s g-spot. I’m about to reveal to you Cleopatra’s secret and Jezebel’s and Bathsheba’s and Madonna’s. Enduringly sexy women all! Wise in the ways of the male g-spot. Touch this spot and hang on for the ride. Ready yourself for the roses and the jewelry and whatever else you want. A stroked guy will deliver. The g-spot is the reset button that wipes away the past and begins a fresh new cycle.

That button is in his cranium! It’s slightly different for every man but the broad principle is valid for all. My first experience with it was many years ago when I had become neglectful of my lady. One night she said to me: I slept with George while you were gone! I was stunned and hurt and outraged and AROUSED. For the next months, I could not get enough of my lady–my queen. The lesson was not lost on her and so she kept George as an occasional lover and me forever interested. The principle of the g-spot is contained in this true story. Regretfully, most ladies do not have the ovaries to push the reset button for a fresh cycle. Stymied by conventionality and scripting and lack of courage, they wring their hands and cry and rage. How much easier to JUST STROKE HIS G-SPOT and he will not want anyone else.

Women have a psychological G spot as well as a physical one. Once I inadvertently touched it on a lady who did not particularly like me. In fact she was annoyed with me and said so. I accepted her annoyance in a way that surprised and liberated her. So much so that she found herself ranting at me. I accepted that too. Something clicked in her head and long pent up feelings of rage pored forth. I could see that she was exhilarated by this release and so I took no offense. She excused herself to go to the bathroom. When she came back she told me she was stunned to find herself incredibly aroused. Later in the throes of passion she told me she loved me. Do you see the lesson here? Her anger was her shadow side, her hidden and “disowned” self. All her life she feared expressing it.

Do you puzzle that powerful executives pay handsomely to be demeaned by dominatrixs. It is their disowned weakness that aches for expression. Add lust and they are catapulted to ecstasy.

So here’s the secret: Notice the “self” that he presents to the world. Is it strength and competence. You can bet the sexual farm that his disowned “shadow” self is weak vulnerability.
Now, the next time he is conventionally “fired up” shock him into helplessness with something you tell him or something you do and he will be catapulted to the next level of ecstasy. Here are two examples from the movies: Tom Cruise’s wife in Eyes Wide Shut tells him how she lusted for a total stranger and wanted to run away with him. Tom’s character is lustfully devastated; Nicole’s stock takes a huge jump. A better example from the movie Sideways is when the brutish husband catches his wife “en flagrante” and after chasing the intruder off is seized with incredible lust and gets her to relate the details of her tryst while they are having sex.

The disowned self may well be strength as in the case of milktoast individuals, requiring the exact opposite tact for the ecstasy effect. Fear is the necessary catalyst to make sex sizzle. Not fear of physical harm but emotional fear, vulnerability, exposure of the self that we hide from the public.

A famous experiment done at the bridge over Royal Gorge proves the hyper stimulating effect of fear. A cute lady gave her phone number to 100 guys she met on the bridge during the summer and 100 guys she met at the end of the bridge. The call back responses were overwhelmingly in favor of mid bridge, suggesting that even mild fear heightens sexual interest.

To briefly review: EMOTIONAL FEAR CATALYZES SEX. Outside the sexual arena, fear is just unpleasant. Inside, it does wonders when skillfully elicited. You can locate anyone’s fears by noticing the self they present to the public and imagine its opposite. Invent ways to call out his hidden fears DURING PASSION and you will send him into ecstasy and reverse the natural depletion of sexual interest.

NEWS FLASH: 9/7/08 I've just learned that noted British author Howard Jacobson has written a bombshell novel: THE ACT OF LOVE that confirms and explores this seemingly quirky truth about male sexuality. "every man who loves his wife, wants her to have an affair."

Disagree? e-mail me and perhaps I can improve this essay.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


Paul sends a racist packing

Here's a true story told in rhyme, how my friend Paul Styles (featured in a previous post) had the cahones to challenge a campground racist and how effective the challenge was. I was too chicken to do what needed to be done, preferring to be liked rather than standing up for principle. I'll remember this bit of cowardice the next time I hear racism. The least I can do is celebrate the courage of Paul.


We call him cowboy and now he lives
on the fringe of our campground south.
What put him out there on the edge
was his offensive mouth.

He’d say “nigger this and nigger that”
“rotten government bunch”
till we’d all cringe and passively
excuse ourselves for lunch.

And then one day Mr Paul drove in;
introduced himself all round
and eventually made his friendly way
to cowboy’s camping ground.

Predictably, the foul mouthed buckaroo
in just three minutes flat
began his prejudicial spew:
“nigger this and that.”

“How long have you been a racist?” asked Paul,
cutting to the heart of the matter.
The first to ever really challenge
cowboy”s offensive patter.

Stunned and ashamed, cowboy sputtered
like Adam without his leaf,
embarrassed to be caught red handed,
like some chicken thief.

Sensing that he was no longer welcome
in the company of the civilized
he slithered away to the social wasteland;
looks back with hollow eyes.

A single challenge and he was hurled
to the wastelands mud and damp.
soon the racist of our world
will have no place to camp.

Saturday, 2 August 2008


DAVE ULMER Inventor of Geocaching

Sitting in my rig this morning is Dave Ulmer, the inventor of geocaching. Wickipedia verifies that Dave buried the very first cache near his house in Beavercreek, Oregon on May 3, 2000 and put the coordinates on the web. Within days it was discovered twice and zoom, the game was on. Today more than 600,000 caches are spread around the world and noted on the web. Millions of people are playing Dave's game.

Surprisingly, he refuses to bask in the glory of it, only rarely making a public appearance. He almost dismisses his achievement as trivial because he's focused on far bigger fish. He's the author of Beyond the Information Age, a book about how a revolutionary computer program can help us get to the truth of all issues and restructure society for an unimaginably bright future. He patiently tried to explain it to me. It was like listening to Einstein explain relativity.

On the practical level, he's a super efficient camper and the day I met him had bypassed his "wasteful and inefficient" hot water heater in favor of a better system. His rig crackles with electronics. He's doing his best to bring me up to speed electronically. What a piece of luck to camp near Dave. (and if I may quote myself: "we are not immobilized by friends in fixed places because we know there are friends everywhere")