Wash out.

what a great model.   look at the range!

Today Gabe is wearing a green fleece, a brown t-shirt, khaki pants, and outdoor slippers.

What’s that in the distance, there behind Gabe? Why it’s an elk of course.

Yes, that means we are no longer on the sunny shores of La Jolla, California and we are back in the sprawling wilderness of Humboldt County, where occasionally elk just wander in and out of frame.

You might notice, though, that Gabe is still sporting a fab tan from his trip down south. I have a little one too, though Gabe’s undoubtedly beats mine — I can’t handle the sun the way I used to and now I try to avoid getting too much if I can help it. However, via a few hikes and outdoor lunches and walks in the sunshine, I think I managed to get a little color in spite of my efforts.

Or… it also could be that I am just still blushing from something that I saw on my trip to La Jolla which was when I was on an ocean boat tour and I saw several whales DOING IT.

I thought an afternoon whale-watching tour would be a great way to do something unusual and fun while maintaining the slow-paced, “let’s just hang by the pool” kind of vacation vibe we had been cultivating all week. We booked a 3 hour tour, and were feeling high-spirited when we learned from one of the docents on the boat that they had seen a couple of whale tails on the morning cruise.

“Great!” we said. And I meant it. In fact, my thinking was: even if I see only a porpoise, I’m satisfied. I’d settle for a sea lion, even. I’m just here to relax.

Well, we got about 3 miles offshore and there was nothing to see. The captain said we’d push out as far as 9 miles offshore, because there might be some whales migrating north farther out.

Around 8 miles out and roughly at the Mexican border, we saw a burst of air and water from a blowhole. The captain said, “Here we go. I’m going to get closer.”

As we bobbed and floated closer and closer, engine turned off, that’s when we saw 3+ whales surfacing, tail-flipping, blow-holing (not a scientific term), and…mating.

The boat was basically silent and the captain announced that he’d just let us watch and not bother doing the lecture about  whale information that he usually does. And that is how I, and 200 of my new best friends, ended up watching whales mating for about 45 minutes last Saturday.

Anyways, now I am back at home, sitting in a coffee shop, absolutely blanking on what to write for a blog post that was due this morning but which is absolutely due tomorrow morning and must get done as soon as possible. I wrote this Popforms launch list update this morning that we’ve gotten tons of great feedback on, and it seems that I used all my mental-creative-brain resources on that. There is nothing left.

Do you think there’s a way I can draw a management lesson from a boat trip where you see whales mating?

Hmm, maybe – sometimes at work you have low expectations and then your team (of whales) completely exceeds them? Maybe…great ideas can come from anywhere – like the great idea these two whales who decided to mate in front of a boat of 200 tourists had.

This isn’t working.

Gonna go catch up on The Walking Dead and hope a great idea comes from taking a break. Oooh oh – like sometimes you think a project is dead but then it comes back to life and you have to smash its brain in order to make sure it is really dead, and also civilization is over and you live in a prison, which is kind of like a metaphor for traditional management?

(Please accept these vacation pictures as an apology for this whole thing.)

considering this seaweed and this horizon rock hike walking to downtown via the wilderness



  1. Don Royster

    Was a little worried when you said you went on a three-hour tour. But looks like you made it back okay. Phew. Here’s what happened to the last group that went on a three-hour tour.

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