Thursday, November 27, 2014

Menopause - The Downfall of Mankind?

It's okay to talk about birth, okay - then menstruation. I first started my advocacy for women's health in the field of reproductive freedom, and the next stage would be bringing menopause out of the closet. - Cybill Shepherd

This blog post is a huuuuuuuuuge departure from my typical content for this blog.  However, after a conversation with someone who has had some serious struggles with menopause, I was struck by the lack of serious dialog and information regarding serious menopause issues, thus producing deep ramifications for many people in the areas of relationships and society-at-large.

The content that follows was extracted from actual information sent to me by this person and I adapted it for this blog post.

The primary content is raw and unedited and for this reason, is not contained on this page.  Click here to access the content and again, please note that the blog post is very raw (with mature language) as compared to what you are used to seeing here.

However, there is a need for more dialog around some of the more sensitive issues of menopause and for this reason, I present this #1206 blog post.

The #1206 “fiction” series continues …. click here to access the page (note the mature language warning).

To be continued.

© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved


The information about how menopause clouds the conscious mind is documented and easily found with a Google search.

Research on the subconscious mind and the notion that it will seek to recreate its past as its present as a place of comfort (even to one’s detriment) has also been documented by many researchers.

In regards to the person who contacted me looking for a voice, her struggle with menopause and the strain created on her relationship is genuine.  The notes that she provided to me go into much deeper, more painful and more raw detail than I have included here.  Currently, the only options offered to her would be to go on antidepressants or consider hypnotherapy in an effort to alter her behavior, options that she doesn’t wish to pursue.

The ripple effect of what our positive or negative energy does to others has long been known as well.

I found the collision of all of these things to be irresistible, providing food for thought and perhaps encouraging conversation about the elephant in the room when it comes to menopause.

My blog now returns to its regularly scheduled programming. Smile

Series Origin:

This series, a departure from my usual musings,  is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.

While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)

This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Who Defines Your Reality?

Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. - Albert Einstein

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality. - Iris Murdoch

The #1206 “fiction” series continues ….

Abigail sat in a busy restaurant, sipping on her latte and smiling in anticipation of her husband’s arrival.  It had been a busy day for both of them and as darkness approached, she shivered slightly in excitement as she reread his text “On my way, my love.  Be there in 10 minutes.”  As she took another sip of her latte, she happened to glance up over her mug and found herself staring at …. herself.

The person she was staring at seemed to be equally shocked and surprised and after a moment, she asked quietly, “Are you …….. me?”

Abigail stared in surprised but said nothing and then her alternate self sat down beside her as they both continued to stare at each other.

“What’s happening here?”, asked Abigail.

“I have no idea”, replied her alternate self, “I was just about to ask you the same question.”

“My name is Abigail”, said Abigail and her alternate self almost simultaneously and then there was silence again.

“This is not possible”, said her alternate self, “How can you be me?”

“I don’t know”, replied Abigail and then there was silence yet again.

“This is crazy”, said Abigail, breaking the silence and trying to get control of her thoughts.  “My husband Gabriel will surely know what’s going on”, she added.

“I was married to a guy with the same name”, replied her alternate self, “What a strange coincidence.”

“Was?”, asked Abigail.

“Yes”, her alternate self replied, “He was killed in a plane crash about a year ago.”  She pulled our her cell phone and showed an image of a news website, describing the airline, the flight and the tragedy that had befallen everyone on board.

Abigail frowned at the image, took out her own cell phone and Googled the information about the flight.  Google returned nothing of interest and there were no plane crashes of note anywhere in the world at that time.

“How odd that our husbands have the same name”, said Abigail.  Blushing with embarrassment, she said, “I’m so sorry …. had.  Oh, I don’t know what I am trying to say.”

“It’s ok”, said her alternate self, “We had just been married when he had to leave on a business trip.  His return flight crashed in a snowstorm and everyone was killed.”

“This is wrong”, said Abigail, “Something strange is happening here.  Gabriel has never flown without me.  Who are you really?”

“Well”, replied her alternate self, “I once read about this thing called multiverses where an infinite number of each of us exist simultaneously, each living our own reality.  Maybe in some strange way, we have been connected from two different multiverses.  In mine, my husband has been killed.  In yours, your husband is still alive.”

Abigail’s head began to spin as she thought about this.  “He will be here in about 10 minutes”, she said, “He will know what to make of this.”

Her alternate self frowned for a moment before replying.  “I don’t know if I want to meet him”, she said quietly.

Abigail thought for a moment, nodded and then reached for her purse to pull out some photos.  Having found them, she turned towards her alternate self to see if her alternate self recognized any of the people in the photos and realized that her alternate self had vanished.

She shivered with a sudden fear that swept over her and reaching for her cell phone, she opened the text exchange with Gabriel to tell him that she loved him and that she needed him.

Or she tried to, anyway.  She noticed that the text exchange had disappeared.  Frowning as to why, she opened her contact list to choose his name from the list but his name didn’t appear there either.

Her heart began to beat harder as the fear in her grew and with shaky fingers, she dialled Gabriel’s number.  After several rings, she heard a voice on the phone:

The number you have dialled is not in service.  Please check the number and try again.  Recording 12-06.

Something strange struck her and she Googled about the flight she had searched for earlier.  She was shocked as the search results described a plane crash that had killed everyone on board. 

Gabriel’s name was on the victim list.

To be continued.

© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved

Alternate Ending:

I played around with the idea that she called friends and family to ask whether they had heard from Gabriel and nobody knew what she was talking about or who Gabriel was.


I have always been fascinated with the concept of the multiverse, where an infinite number of each us exist simultaneously.  There are some interesting theories about the possibilities that can be created if we could change which multiverse we are in, either just in perception of the multiverse or in a physical form.

In such a situation, if two multiverses accidentally or purposely overlapped, would or could the two realities meld into one.  Would the mere suggestion of a different reality in one multiverse in turn create such a reality in the other?  If the reality changed for someone in a multiverse, was the original reality ever real in the first place?  How would we know and whose reality would be the real one?

If such things could happen, consider the idea of someone who was committed to an institution and who rants and raves about what they claim to be a life partner who vanished, a life partner that we assure them never existed.  How do we know that they didn’t experience such an event?

How would we know anything at all?

Series Origin:

This series, a departure from my usual musings,  is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.

While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)

This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Maximum Impact From Minimal Effort

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. – Aesop

Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end. - Scott Adams

About 3 pm yesterday afternoon, I received a text from a friend.  The text, though brief, was clear.  A mutual friend of ours was in significant financial trouble, needed help immediately and the person texting me was wondering “What should I do?”

Many times in our lives, we are presented with a situation that calls for an answer and in our desire to help, we may choose to take ownership of the situation, looking for the “home run” that saves the day.  We may do this for a number of reasons, including our ego’s belief that the problem is ours alone to solve or the credit is ours to claim, the person needing help might be embarrassed if too many people know of the trouble they are in, etc.

And so the person texting me was asking me to help come up with the “home run” to save the day for the person in trouble.

I countered with a different approach.

I texted 99 people who also knew the person and in a single text, explained the issue and asked each of them to wire $100 (no more) to him immediately.

Everyone complied willingly and quickly and within an hour, he had $10,000 on hand.  The texts that flowed to my phone were ones of gratitude for the opportunity to help but the one that brought the biggest smile to my face was from the person who needed help:

A miracle is unfolding right before my eyes.  Do you know anything about this?

My response was:

Maybe :-)

Nobody was embarrassed – there was too much love floating around to allow embarrassment to enter the picture.

Meanwhile, it took me almost 12 hours to catch up on the texts that zipped back and forth as people enjoyed the afterglow of having done a good deed.

The Bottom Line

While many times our ego calls upon us to save the day when a situation presents itself, we need to remember that it is not the size of the individual act but the size of the result that matters.

It keeps our ego in check, allows others to feel great about contributing to a larger cause and the person needing help still wins.

I think that is a real win.

What do you think?

In service and servanthood,


Thursday, November 6, 2014

Lest We Forget–Has McDonald’s Forgotten?

The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment. - Judd Gregg

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. - Laurence Binyon (Ode of Remembrance)

I was surprised and disappointed in speaking with a member of the Royal Canadian Legion 285 in Calgary yesterday when he expressed a mix of disappointment and anger that the McDonald’s restaurant in the area would not allow the distribution of poppies in support of November 11th.

In exploring this a little further, I found other McDonald’s restaurants that also did not provide poppies in their restaurants and so I reached out to McDonald’s on Twitter to ask why.

Here was their response:

McDonald's Canada

Not only was I surprised by this but others were as well as evidenced by tweets like this one:


There were some other responses that I can’t even put here.

The men and women who serve and who have served do so to protect our freedom, including the freedom of choice.  They serve so that we may be blessed with the freedom to choose what we want to have or not have in our lives and in doing so, they have made sacrifices so that corporations like McDonald’s can make choices like this.

But on the topic of choices, the owner of a McDonald’s franchise cannot opt out of selling Big Macs, McFlurries and the other stuff that serve the corporate brand but can opt out of that which honors the brave men and women who serve in our military, in our reserves and as first responders.

If I owned such a restaurant, one of the things that I would feel blessed by is the fact that the sacrifice of others provides me with the opportunity to make a good living and to create a good living for those who work with me.  In recognition of this fact, I would sure as heck want to honor those who have enabled such a Life for me.

And this causes me to wonder, having earned the freedom of choice by way of the sacrifice of others, if we have the wisdom to make the right choices.

Maybe having made their choice that honoring those who serve is optional, that I should make a choice regarding the support of McDonald’s.

The Bottom Line

People we will never know offer their lives, their health, their freedom and yes, even their families, so that we may have our health, our happiness and our freedom.

The gift of freedom of choice is only of value when we know how to honor it wisely.

The least we can do is to say thank you from our heart and show our support whenever we can.

Lest we forget.

In service and servanthood,


Lest we forget

Addendum – McDonald’s Responds – November 6, 2014

John Gibson of McDonald’s Corporation was kind enough to supply a response which is outlined below.

With apologies for posting my response before his (I needed to do so in order to post a photo that I took), I have the following items to note in response to his response.

In regards to Mr. Gibson’s comment “Since we cannot place a collection box on the front counter for food safety reasons ….”, I offer three items of note:

  1. Many other restaurants in Canada do not have such a restriction for safety reasons and I am not aware of any significant cases of customer injury stemming from a poppy box.  I was in a competitor restaurant today and their poppy boxes were on the counter where my food was presented.
  2. The guy standing next to me at a McDonald’s counter could easily have his poppy fall into my food as we wait, therefore I would like to ask other customers to stand back from my food (sorry – I am a literalist and couldn’t resist). Smile
  3. I took this photo in a McDonald’s restaurant in Calgary today, which would thus appear to be in violation of the policy Mr. Gibson states or prove the fact that McDonald’s can indeed place poppy collection boxes on food counters.


In regards to this comment

All McDonald’s restaurants have the option of providing a location inside or outside the restaurant where Royal Canadian Legion veterans and other authorized volunteers can distribute poppies in person.

it still provides the restaurant with the option to opt out entirely (by not providing a location) or by making it virtually impossible for the Legion to offer poppies (with the need for an excessive number of volunteers), thus allowing a restaurant to say “no” to them without actually saying no, bringing me back to my original blog comments.

In addition, in response to Mr. Gibson’s assertion of a misunderstanding, it is not helpful if their corporate Twitter account points out that restaurants can opt out without further explanation of the opt out process.  The 140 character limit on Twitter is not a rationale to explain why a vague response was provided either.

And so while I appreciate Mr. Gibson’s quick and kind response, there appears to be some corporate embellishment contained within that I couldn’t resist responding to. 

A Final Thought

I stopped by a McDonald’s in Calgary today and for fun, I asked the manager why there were no poppies available.  She informed me that they don’t offer poppies because people steal the donation cans.  That may have been a valid reason had she not followed up with the next comment: “And besides, I don’t have a number for the Royal Canadian Legion so I can’t find them to have poppies brought over.”

I don’t think they are too hard to find.

I salute McDonald’s for their support of the men and women in service to our nation as explained by Mr. Gibson but perhaps the misunderstanding Mr. Gibson refers to stems more from inconsistent execution on their part than anything else.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mentoring–The Power to Save a Life

The best way a mentor can prepare another leader is to expose him or her to other great people. - John C. Maxwell

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. - Henry Adams

If you think education is expensive [difficult], then try ignorance. – Derek Bok [embellishment added]

The #1206 “fiction” series continues ….

Abigail stood in rapt silence, staring in horror at the scenes being portrayed on the myriad of displays in front of her.  Rioting and violence offset by acts of courage continued unabated in cities across the nation as flashes of the best and worst of humanity passed before her eyes.

A group of men stood silently behind her, watching her intently.

“I don’t understand”, said Abigail to no one in particular.  “No one told us that this could happen.  In fact, anytime anyone mentioned this in public, they were always discredited as being fear mongers.”

“There was one who told you”, replied the tallest of the men.  “As a matter of fact, he spent the latter years of his Life alerting others to this very possibility and to helping them maximize their strengths and talents for this very scenario.  We sent him and others around the world to prepare the leaders of the future for the world that would come after this one.”

Abigail continued to stare at the displays in front of you.  “But our government said that emergency preparedness meant having food, water and medications for 2-3 days at most.  This is nothing like they ever described.”

The man stepped up beside her and observed the screens before them.  Without taking his eyes off the screens, he said “If your government had ever said you would need supplies for 6 months to a year and that you would face mind-bending scenarios of the worst type imaginable, how do you think most people would have responded?  If your government admitted that promises of military, fire crews, police or first responder help were empty promises, how would you respond to that, especially given that in the chaos you would have no means of communication to reach them or that they would be focused on taking care of their own families?  Remember that when first responders responded to incidents in the past, the response plan relied on them having a stable place to execute from.  Now consider that the entire nation is in chaos and that there is no stable place from which to execute operations.”

He continued.

“Any demands for answers in regards to emergency preparedness would have created too many panic-laden questions directed at well-intentioned planners who had no answers and so they would slough off the questions with answers like “Don’t worry about it – we will take care of it” or “We can’t tell you because it’s a national security issue”.  To deny or hide the truth was much easier for them but unfortunately produced much more difficulty for everyone else down the road.  Many people lived from day to day with the irrational hope that nothing bad would every happen in their Life but unfortunately, the day that many feared but which most ignored has arrived.”

He paused for a moment before continuing again.

“Food, water, medical supplies, shelter and the like are all important.  However, to tell people that communication, transportation and all other critical forms of infrastructure would also fail was a scenario that people could not and would not plan for and so it was never discussed.  Recognizing that 18 key infrastructures on your planet were all powered by electricity reduced your 18 critical infrastructures down to 1 and nothing was done to protect it.”

“Do you know where my children are in all of this?”, Abigail asked nervously.

“Ah yes”, replied the man, “That was another key component that governments never explained and that was the importance of how to reconnect with people who are important to you in times of complete chaos.  While we know where they are, you are unable to get to them at this time. That is why it was important that you raised them with the knowledge that if such end times ever occurred, that they knew how to survive without you.”

“And so why do you show me this?”, she asked.

The man hesitated before replying.

“Do you remember when you and Gabriel first connected?  While the meeting seemed accidental, he came to you years ago as we had sent him.  His purpose, along with the purpose of others we sent out, was to seek out those with the natural talents and strengths that you as a species would need to rise from the ashes of inevitable catastrophe.  He and others, after finding those individuals, were required to give you the extra skills you would need to lead others as well as the courage, the strength and the wisdom necessary to use those gifts.”

“Why isn’t he here now then?”, she asked the man as tears welled up in her eyes.

“He was a messenger”, replied the man, “He was not meant to participate in the next part of human evolution.  He was a messenger and a teacher and nothing more.”

Abigail’s mind tumbled confusingly back to her memories of Gabriel, their mentoring relationship that had blossomed into something else that he had said many times created complexity for his purpose.  He had been so insistent that she learn a number of leadership, strategy and communication skills and that she learn them quickly.  He also taught her how to make decisions under duress, a skill he insisted was very important.  Her heart skipped a few beats as she realized that it was almost a year since he had been killed on a humanitarian trip with a number of colleagues.

Or at least that’s what she had been told about his death.

“Do you remember what he said was more important than anything else?”, the man asked.

“Yes”, Abigail, “He was always quoting something from the Bible that he said mattered more than anything else.”

“And what was that quote?”, the man asked gently as he turned and looked at her intently.

“Ummmm”, replied Abigail, “It was this. Be on your guard. Stand firm in your faith. Be courageous. Be strong.  And all that you do, do it in love.”

“Yes”, replied the man, “All the people we sent out used the same quote.  It is from the book of First Corinthians. chapter 16, verses 13 and 14.”

Abigail said nothing, reflecting on her years with Gabriel.  In all of his fun, light-heartedness and kindness, he was a keen observer of the people around him and yet he always seemed to be carrying an unspoken burden.  Now she knew what it was.

“You have been prepared for this moment”, said the man, “Your Life skills plus the things that Gabriel taught you were for a reason.  That reason is now before you.”

“I don’t understand”, stammered Abigail.

“The world needs new leaders now, those who can lead with heart and hands.  It needs people who can inspire but can also guide from their own real Life experience.  We have worked diligently for years to make sure those leaders were in place when they were needed.”

“Do you mean me?”, asked Abigail, turning to face the man.  “I can’t help these people.”

“You can and you will”, replied the man, “That has been your purpose all along.  The world is waiting for your gifts and strengths.  What are you waiting for?”

Another smaller man stepped up and whispered to the taller man that they were almost ready for Abigail to address the nation.

The taller man raised his hand to interrupt the messenger.  “In a moment”, he commanded.

Looking at Abigail again, he said quietly but forcefully, “It is time, Abigail.  This is why you are here.  This is why Gabriel was sent to you.  It is time to fulfill your purpose.  Honor Gabriel now by answering the call that he prepared you for.”

Abigail returned his stare, swallowed hard and nodded quietly as she felt her body begin to shake in fear and apprehension.

To be continued.

© 2014 – Harry Tucker – All Rights Reserved


I have always been intrigued by the power of a mentor, whether the guidance comes in the form of knowledge, direction or just a kind word.

We all need mentors and we all mentor people every day through our words and our actions, either explicitly or implicitly.

If we understood the potential impact of who / what we learn / share from / with, then maybe, just maybe we would take the importance of mentoring more seriously.

You never know – what you learn or share may save a Life someday …. or many … soon.

In regards to the observation about infrastructure, the warning is true.  There are 18 key infrastructures that all rely on one - electricity.  It is extremely vulnerable and there is currently no plan to protect it (and us) from compromise or total loss.  If things go dark, they may stay dark for a very long time.

There are also some interesting musings, some public, about the principle of 72 (or 96) hours to anarchy, the time it takes society to degrade into total chaos should a catastrophic event occur.

I think they provide interesting food for thought.

What do you think?

Series Origin:

This series, a departure from my usual musings,  is inspired as a result of conversations with former senior advisors to multiple Presidents of the United States, senior officers in the US Military and other interesting folks as well as my own professional background as a Wall St. / Fortune 25 strategy and large-scale technology architect.

While this musing is just “fiction” and a departure from my musings on technology, strategy, politics and society, as a strategy guy, I do everything for a reason and with a measurable outcome in mind. :-)

This “fictional” musing is a continuation of the #1206 series noted here.