Dec 1

Dec 1, 2004

Alexander the Great and Jonathan Livingston Seagull

We saw the movie Alexander on the weekend and I found it extremely motivating. I found the homosexual/bisexual sub story really distracting and bothersome at times. I am not much of a history buff, so I don't know how realistic that part of the legend was, but I do know the Greek people are quite upset about Oliver Stone's portrayal of their warrior king.

For those of you who haven't seen the movie yet, during his conquest of western Asia, Alexander becomes obsessed with continuing his empire expansion to central Asia, and the unknown lands of Himalayan mountains and even into to exotic India.

With vastly outnumbered troops, his impossible victories are a testament to his ambition and focus. They thought him insane when he insisted on pushing through India against all odds to reach the Eastern Ocean. He wanted to find the headwaters of the Nile and then sail his dwindling and haggard armies back to Macedonia.

And that's the part I totally get - There was absolutely no logic to continue his quest through India. The odds were greatly against them. Too many were dying in battles, they didn't have the resources to properly manage the new territories conquered, and his presence as king was urgently required back in Macedonia. But he insisted on pushing on.

I understand completely, but I can't tell you why. As the Everest climber says when you ask him why: "If you have to ask the question, you wouldn't understand the answer".

In a recent conversation with a friend, I was asked what I thought the most important personality trait for success was. It was a no-brainer - didn’t even have to think about it.

It's DETERMINATION: "Firmness of purpose; resolve; A fixed intention or resolution" Actually, I'd like to expand that to RELENTLESS DETERMINATION: "A Steady and persistent, unremitting firmness of purpose and resolve".

Have you ever read the children's book "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" ? It's funny the things you remember and when... That book was read to me in grade 3 or 4 by my teacher who's name I can't even remember and I just thought of it now. To say I was enthralled would be the understatement of the century. I was riveted. It was like she was reading the book to my soul while the rest of my class focused more on making spit ball launchers out of Bic pens.

It's a simple story about a seagull who has it in his mind to fly higher than any seagull ever has for no other reason than just to do it. Against all odds and against all reason, he devotes his life to this relentless pursuit.

I totally got it. I mean, I got it deep. I understood in a way that defies an explanation. I got it in a way that 33 years later, I can vividly remember sitting in my desk, and intently listening to my teacher read the story out loud to the class. To put that into perspective, this is coming from a guy who after living in the same place for 13 years, can't remember his postal code.

In a way, I think I ended up living my life as that seagull - or at least I hope I have. The memory of that great story, and the movie Alexander both serve as perfectly timed reminders that I still have lands to conquer and skies to sore and that there doesn't always need to be a reason why.

If you need a little motivation in your life, perhaps a little bedtime story is in order this evening:

http://lib.ru/RBACH/seagullengl.txt

http://seekers.100megs6.com/Gull.htm

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0380012863/102-9965518-4019343?v=glance


TCR2 (track) 2Do LIST:

1. Make a platform for the wind trainer (mini-rollers)
2. Add front caliper brake
3. Mount first fairing and all the work required with that
4. Make front wheel fairing
5. Make rear wheel discs
6. Make a new steering bar that rises up a bit higher - also takes up less room on the sides so fairing can be tighter
7. Adjustable seat height
8. Make fiberglass canopy top with acrylic bubble and tailbox
9. Paint this puppy!
10. Rear strut supports
11. lower and chop
12. Make sliders for the rear struts
13. Re-think steering. AGAIN!


TCR1 (cross country) 2Do LIST:

1 Add front derailleur
2 Run road, roll-over and watts tests for new suspension system
3 Worm gear steer prototype (Waiting for final design and parts list from Ben)

TOTAL distance on TCR1
826 km


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