Scottsdale Bible Church: The Irony of Losing

The current series at Scottsdale Bible Church is on “Adjustments.”  This Message is entitled, “The Irony of Losing.”  It almost seems that no matter what I’m going through, Scottsdale Bible always provides me with a great, applicable message that helps me refresh and put things in perspective. I’d recommend it.

Adjustments | The Irony of Losing from Scottsdale Bible Church on Vimeo.

This week in cloud computing

As a certified NetSuite ERP consultant, here are a couple articles that caught my eye this week:

  1. TheStreet: Oracle Must Sweeten NetSuite Deal
  2. The Wall Street Journal: Oracle Profit Rises on Cloud Computing Growth
  3. MarketWatch: Oracle earnings clouded by NetSuite acquisition uncertainty
  4. Oracle OpenWorld starts tomorrow.
  5. Slack.com (not an article, just a great site for team collaboration)

Brian Laesch is the key contributor to BrianLaesch.com. His opinions  are his own.

Could use your help for the Walk to Defeat ALS in Indianapolis

Walk to Defeat ALS

Dear Internet,

Asking for your help. My siblings and I have team for the Walk to Defeat ALS in Indianapolis on 9/24/16. We have a goal of raising $2k for our team. All proceeds are donated to the the ALS Association. We would really appreciate any donations or people joining the team. (You can join without actually doing the walk.) ALS is Lou Gehrig’s disease. It’s the disease that inspired the Ice Bucket Challenge about a year ago. It’s the topic of the current documentary, Gleason. It’s a rough disease that gradually takes away your ability to use your muscles (walking, use of your arms, talking). We would appreciate any and all support (including sharing this blog post on social media). Thanks!

Sincerely,

Brian

A history of U.S. Presidential drinking habits

Here’s an interesting article I came across while sitting in a Malibu home in the hills, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  (This detail has nothing to do with the story.  I just wanted to document it because this place is awesome.)  It’s a history of the drink of choice for every single U.S. President.   Some of the historical records used to validate this are a bit of a stretch, but either way, it’s an interesting historical account of the drinking habits of the leader of the free world. (A term that first came into play during the Cold War, by the way.)

History: Every U.S. President’s Favorite Drink

Happy Labor Day, everybody.

We aren’t here forever

I’ve unfortunately been reminded, far too often, over the past couple years, that we are not on this Earth forever. Time is our greatest resource. There is no “someday.”  There is right now.  Does this mean, live completely hedonistically and Carpe Diem constantly? No. Not to me, at least.  But it does mean that our time is limited.  It’s very important to focus on the things that really matter.  Work hard and contribute to society, but enjoy yourself.  Take chances.  Follow what you are passionate about.  Spend quality time with those family members, friends and significant others that you care about. Don’t take time for granted.  Don’t put off for tomorrow what you can and should do today. Be true to yourself. Spread love. Have faith. Spend your time wisely. There is no time to waste being mistreated, and no time to waste not being 100% committed to the work, activities and relationships you enter into.  We are not here forever.  Focus on what really matters.

Solid Jim Carrey Commencement Address

The range and brilliance of Jim Carrey is displayed in this commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management 2014 graduation.  I had never heard of the Maharishi University of Management (or, MUM, for short–duh), so I had to Google it. Wikipedia gave me some answers, but it’s too late to read up on it right now.  (If I find anything conflicting with my own personal beliefs, I’ll let you know.)  But from the tone of this commencement speech, I can garner nothing but positivity.

By the way, where is the Maharishi University of Management located? Iowa. Duh.

2016 Summer Olympics in Rio were a success

rings

By all accounts, and my perspective, the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil were a big success–especially given all the negative media coverage leading up to the games. (Now, we can get into a more in-depth socioeconomic conversation, but I’m speaking to the event and experience of Rio, in particular.)  I had an incredible time in Rio de Janeiro.  Sure, I was concerned about my safety and the Zika virus heading into the trip, but overall, I found that using common sense and staying out of places I shouldn’t be was enough to have a successful trip. I was able to go to my first Olympics and visit Rio/Brazil/South America for the first time.  My lack of Portuguese didn’t help, but it wasn’t a major impediment.  Also, a seasoned Olympic traveler shared an important point: When you visit a country for the Olympics, you are typically getting the best treatment possible.  Security is way up and the country wants to put on a good face, or, a “show,” if you will, so it’s a great time to visit.  I found that to be true in Rio.  It is too bad, that Lochte had to get weird and make up that story, I digress.

Here are some quick highlights of my trip:

  1. On one of my first days, got to witness Usain Bolt coast to a victory in his first round 100m heat.  Had a good view of the finish and his walk through the maze of worldwide media after the race.
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Usain Bolt after winning his first round 100m heat.

2. Olympic Beach Volleyball in Rio was incredible.  Not just the setting, overlooking Copacabana Beach and the South Atlantic Ocean, but even the music (DJ or live band) in between points and the general spirit/energy of the Brazilian people and crowd.  It was definitely a unique experience.  I’m pretty sure it’s one of the greatest things that has ever been invented.

2016 Summer Olympic Beach Volleyball
2016 Summer Olympic Beach Volleyball at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

3. Visiting Christ the Redeemer.  Incredible experience.  Also was able to spend a moment in the chapel nestled inside the base of the statue.  On the walk back down from visiting, I will admit, internally, I became a little overwhelmed.  Of course, in typical B. Laesch fashion,  I did not really display this emotion, so nobody in my group really know.  But what will stick with me, is that after that personal moment, I heard a voice in my head say, “Can you hear me, now?”  I will always remember this.  It was clear and concise.

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4. Favela tour.  We were able to take a tour of Rio’s Favela Rocinha–which is one of the biggest. It was an eye-opening experience.  A bus took us to the top of the hill and we literally walked through the favela, all the way down.  To see how these people live, in crowded conditions, poverty, poor construction and in gangland, was something I will never forget.  I think I’m still processing it.  At a certain point in the tour, it was truly overwhelming and I needed to get through that walk and back into the city just to clear my head. Just imagine living there everyday.  I did see some hope there…but it was rough… We think we have it bad in the U.S. sometimes…  This was life changing.  I’m not sure how, yet.

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I was told on the tour that the shape of this bridge does represent something.

5. Track and Field (Athletics) was incredible.

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6. I met Kim Jung Un. (Surprisingly, with no security detail… Weird… Oh well.)  Apparently, according to theChive, others did, too: Kim Jong Un had a great time at the Olympics … sort of (10 Photos)

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7. Despite some games in pool play that were way too close, USA Basketball got it done in a definitive way.

DeAndre Jordan puts one down against France.
DeAndre Jordan puts one down against France.

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8. The Closing Ceremonies were one big international party.  The closing of the Olympics in Rio and the handoff to Tokyo were both a lot of fun. (Including an appearance by Super Mario.)  It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Nobody wanted to leave.  Or, at least, nobody in our group wanted to.

2016 Rio Olympic Closing Ceremonies
2016 Rio Olympic Closing Ceremonies

There is lot more that I could post but I have to get back to work.  May post a “Part 2” in the future.

Michael Phelps watched ‘Hoosiers’ for motivation

Just heard an awesome story on the NBC Olympic coverage.  Michael Phelps alternated between watching Olympic coverage and the movie Hoosiers for motivation last night, prior to his record-extending 23rd Olympic medal, and 19th gold medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro tonight.

Hoosiers has always been one of my favorite movies.  And growing up a Midwestern basketball player, in the heart of Illinois, with an entire family of Hoosiers and Indiana connections, it’s always been my favorite sports movie. Hands down.  I grew up as a kid with a framed Hoosiers movie poster on my wall. (My mom was a cheerleader for the 1975–76 Indiana Hoosiers basketball team, led by Bobby Knight, who went 32-0 and won the National Championship.)  My entire family went to IU (except for me).

Hoosiers has always been an inspirational movie for me. It goes without saying that it was pretty cool to hear that Phelps used it as motivation.  If you haven’t seen the classic from David Anspaugh and Angelo Pizzo, I highly recommend it.

Go Team USA.

Denzel Washington’s incredibly motivating commencement speech

I just came across this, literally, while copying the embed code from YouTube for my last post.  This is a great college commencement speech from Denzel Washington at Dillard University (had to Google it).

Great principles to live by.  In running a Google search to determine where this speech was given, I also came across  this great breakdown of the key takeaways of this speech on Huffington Post:

  1. Put God first: “Everything that I have is by the grace of God, understand that. It’s a gift. … I didn’t always stick with Him, but He stuck with me.”

  2. Fail big: “Don’t be afraid to fail big, to dream big, but remember, dreams without goals, are just dreams. And they ultimately fuel disappointment. … I try to give myself a goal every day, sometimes it’s just not to curse somebody out.”

  3. You’ll never see a U-Haul behind a hearse: “I don’t care how much money you make, you can’t take it with you. … It’s not how much you have, it’s what you do with it.”

  4. While you’re on your knees in the morning, say thank you: “Say thank you in advance for what is already yours. … True desire in the heart for anything good is God’s proof to you sent beforehand that it’s already yours. … When you get it, reach back, pull someone else up. Each one, teach one. Don’t just aspire to make a living, aspire to make a difference.”

Here’s the speech: