Category Archives: Shaken, Not stirred

The Way

an article from Shaken, not Stirred

shaken, not StirredShaken, not Stirred is about being our own individual selves, apart from the herd. If you have ever read a Ian Fleming novel then you know James Bond does nothing like the rest of us. He is his own person, with his own way of doing everything. In Shaken, Not Stirred we are going to discuss how to be our own individual selves, to find our own ways and how to customize our lives.




The Way

Each of us has our own daily routines. The minute we wake up we begin a cycle of habits that creates this routine. For me this is silence and coffee. If I am not sure if I am awake I spin Mal’s top.

However I have found that I needed to put a little Shaken, not Stirred philosophy into my daily routine.

A lot of my daily routine happens as a result of defaults. Since I have no way of doing things by intention I simply fall into bad habits. Almost mindless actions.

This of course has resulted in my experimenting with The Routine. For a week I simply watched what I did. From the time I got up until the time I went to bed. Funny how suddenly I became aware of all of the things I should be doing and all the bad habits I had formed.

Have you read?

DSC00769If you have then you know that we like planing. Just like planing your year looking at the habits you create and your routine will help you be more effective in your life.

However that is for another article entirely.

This is about improving your WAY of doing things. For example I enjoy silence and coffee. But  I can improve on the quality of the coffee and the location of where I drink it right?

For example in my Zero gravity chair on my deck perhaps?

If I am going to sit and read my emails can I do it off my tablet in the park?

Another example is if I have open my mail should I have a mini sword letter opener for this purpose? Conan’s sword or his fathers or Sting maybe?

So I am cleaning house should I have a soundtrack for that? Creating a play list on I-tunes for the tasks in life makes them less task-ee if you follow me. Music to dust by.

When I am adding to my list on Netflix am I thinking…I’ll watch these at the laundry? Great way to make sure you go is to only watch DR WHO at the laundry.

How about shaving? Brush and straight razor anyone? Forget coffee the adrenalin will wake you up. Trust me on this one.

How about a favorite soup bowl or tea kettle or coffee mug?

Do you use it or look at at it? It’s all in the little things isn’t it.

One of the best things I ever did was to get a lunch bag for work. This completely changed my life. I will cover this in a future article about EDC for work. But talk about custom lunches and snacks awesome…

Yes even a Star Trek bathrobe and wookie slippers makes your daily routine more you.

Turning your life on it’s ear, thinking outside the box and adding your own flavor to the mix will completely change that routine. I saw that the bad habits in my routine were to not enjoy the things in life that I have. I also was not doing these things my own way with my own style.

Really I wasn’t. I just thought I was. So now I am always looking at ways to improve.

Here is another great example. My son and I are planing a trip to the surplus store. We both love military wear. What we wear will not come from the same places that other people shop. So this means different styles of clothes that are unique to us.

Not to mention durable. GI Joe tough…

Yes I am a Geek so my way may not be your way. Not everyone can pull off a Tallahassee tarp hat. I understand that.However if you are following me that is the point. It’s not just the things you do but THE WAY you do them.

This is your life do things your own way be your own person be shaken, not stirred.

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper




Live within your means

Old School Rules



So I am in a department store and the cashier asks the big checkout question, “if you open a charge account with us today we will give you 10% off this purchase..would you like to apply for our charge card? “

I smiled. ” is that 10% off the purchase price or off the 20% interest you will charge me in the first month?”

“Oh, off the purchase price,” the cashier smiled. ” that means your total today would be $90 not $100.”

“Don’t you mean $108 total?” I asked. ” see if you charge me $90 and the bill comes at the end of the month with 20% interest added then my total would really be $108.”

The smile left the cashiers face. The people in line behind me were laughing. Whatever perk she was getting for signing people into a life of debt she wasn’t getting out of me or anyone in line.

” I think I will save my money and just pay $100,” I added, smiling as I handed her the cash.

One of the nice things about wiping out on the surf board of life is the lessons you learn.  I learned about credit cards in a court mandated debt counseling class. See when you file bankruptcy the court makes you take classes in hopes that you will learn from your mistakes. The discount at checkout was one of the things covered.

So why am I talking about failure?

When we first learn life skills and lessons we learn from others. We model ourselves after others until we adapt these methods into our own. Another way to learn is if you can listen and learn from the mistakes of others. While we may not know whats right we can learn what not to do by looking at why others failed.

Imagine you’re a scientist looking for a cure. Are you going to waste time and funding reproducing experiments that were reported as failures?

Of course not.

So why is it that some of us we choose not to listen to the life examples of others? Why do we think we will get a positive result by repeating a known failed experiment?

I came home one Friday afternoon from high school to find my father sitting at the dinning room table. In front of him were the months bills, other personal papers and bank books. My father had terminal cancer so he wanted to be sure he taught us the important things we needed to know to survive in life before he died.

The money lessons I was taught that day I have abandoned many times in my life. Each time I thought I was learning a new way. That the rules no longer applied. All of them resulted in failure. These methods dear reader are time-tested.

The First lesson

“You have to know what you owe,” my father said. ” It may take you a while but learn your expenses.”

The first thing my father handed me was a book with pockets. This was the budgeting book my parents used when they were first married. My father got paid each week and cashed his check and the money was divided into the different pockets of the book. Written on each pocket was an expense like rent or gas. One of the things I noticed was expenses like laundry and the bus were included. In Fact they even had one for Christmas.Everything that they spent money on in a month was accounted for.

The Second lesson

“Pay your bills first,” he said.”Don’t spend bill money on something you want and think you will put it back. This will never happen. So you buy something you want. Then can’t pay your bills. This means you can’t afford it pure and simple. Pay your bills first everything else can wait.”

The reason my parents used this book was to ensure they had the money to pay their bills when they came due. The most common way people fall behind is that they spend their money on wants not needs. Then bills come due and they can’t pay.

The Third Lesson

” Never borrow from Peter to pay Paul,” My father explained. ” If you owe you owe. Be honest with the person you owe. Make arrangements to pay them when you can.”

You have an emergency and now you can’t pay the gas bill. Don’t use the rent money to pay it. Don’t borrow from someone else. Call the gas company and explain the situation. Make arrangements so that you can do to get caught back up. Many times people will use the electric money to pay gas. If you borrow from Peter to pay Paul you are not paying off the debt. This is not a solution because you still owe the money somewhere. Debt is Debt. If you carry debt and have another emergency you then risk a bigger debt problem.

The Fourth Lesson

“If you can’t buy food then your living too high on the hog,” he explained.” Your grandfather use to look in the cabinets and Frigidaire every time he came over to see how we were doing.”

A lot of people spend their grocery money on other things then they can’t afford food. This is why departments stores now have grocery isles. New stores are built as super-centers hoping you will spend more than you can afford. My grandfather knew that if there was food in the house then money was going where it needed to go.

The Fifth Lesson

“What you earn in a week is what you pay for rent,” he explained. ” This is why your uncle and I were room mates.”

My mother’s brother( My uncle) and my dad were room mates. This is how my father meant my mother. The reason they were room mates was they could not afford an apartment on their own. What you earn in a week is what you can afford for rent (or Mortgage). Otherwise you are spending too much or living too high on the hog and will fall into debt.

The Sixth lesson

” Divide your weeks. One week is rent, the second is bills, the third is food and clothing and the fourth is saving,” he explained.” Then you have money to do things and for vacation.”

I remember when I was going to build a house. My total debt ( Bills) could not exceed a third of my gross income. The old school rules were a fourth of my net income. This is why I had problems. I did not have a plan that was looking at my own best interest. I was using the plan the lenders used to see if I qualified for a loan.

I think the country knows how that turned out.

The Seventh Lesson

” Save for a rainy day,” my father explained. ” Just because your up a couple of bucks don’t let it burn a hole in your pocket.”

Big screen televisions go on sale at tax time…why? Because people see a tax return as a windfall and spend it. They don’t plan ahead for when the unseen happens. Saving some money for a rainy day is a good way to avoid debt or borrowing money when you have an issue.

The Eighth lesson

“If you want something then save for it,” he said. ” have some patients then you will appreciate it more and take care of it.”

Too many of us buy on impulse. This is why the check out isles are full of racks. When we save up to buy something it gives us time to consider what we are buying. Do we really want it bad enough to give up something else in order to save for it? Do we really want it at all? Lets say your cell phone bill is $50 a month and you are on a tight budget. Would you give up your phone for a month to buy what you want? No? So you want it, just not that badly. So then you’re gonna have to save up $50. No more $2 coffees on the way to work. Put that money in a piggy bank until you save the money.

The Ninth Lesson

” It’s not what you make it’s what you keep,” my father explained.” People brag about how much they earn but they can’t hang onto a dime.”

My father looked at the money he saved as what he earned. Everything else was an expense. The money you save is the money that was yours free and clear of your expenses or responsibilities. This is the real profit. This is where you save. Most people save a little and spend a lot. They have money in a retirement fund but how many could go  2 or 3 months living like they do with no income?

The Tenth Lesson

” Never use credit other than for an emergency,” my father explained.” I used a charge card once to buy school clothes.  You and your brother had already out grown them and I was still paying for them.”

Credit cards are for emergencies only. This is medical, auto or home. Then pay them off asap. But if you have savings then you don’t need to use credit at all. I could go into all the evils of credit card debt but most people realize credit is borrowing money. What you borrow you have to pay. Do you really want to still be paying for something you don’t even own anymore?

The Eleventh Lesson

” Don’t buy junk. Buy things that are made well that will last,” he explained.” Otherwise your throwing your money away.”

Durability was a consideration when I was growing up. People looked at thread counts in clothing and the wear-with-all of a product. When people purchased they were buying for life. This is the reason the furniture, automobiles and dishes from these generations are still around. Now we see most things as expendable. However if we buy quality we tend to replace things less often. Sometimes it’s worth spending a dollar to save two.

The Twelfth lesson

” Spend your money wisely,” he explained.” If your spend it make sure its worth while.”

My favorite examples are Mothers day and Easter Sunday. These were the two times a year we went out to eat. Why? Because you could make better food at home so why eat out? Plus you have nothing to show for the money you spent. We went out on Mothers day and Easter Sunday was so my mom and grandma did not have to cook. Believe it or not they complained. They could have spent the money somewhere else.

Look at our world now.

Look at the money we spend on fast food alone.

If you can, learn from MY mistakes. Don’t be like me, listen to my father. Live within your means. Why is this old school? Well before there was unsecured credit this is how people lived.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper







Your Sunday Best



Your Sunday Best is an expression that  almost seems forgotten.  It’s a colloquialism for the clothing worn to church on Sundays. Worshipers wore their best clothes to the Sunday church service. This tradition was a matter of Church etiquette up until the 1960’s.

My father being the son of an Arkansas coal miner grew up with only a few changes of clothes. He had one set of new overalls to wear to church on Sundays. This was the only time these were worn. This was his Sunday’s Best so this is what he wore. According to my father this was the only time he wore shoes.

Why did this expectation and tradition exist in the first place? More than likely it was a matter of reverence and respect for being in God’s presence and for being with your family in Christ. However this tradition based in reverence and respect has been reduced to an expression in modern western society known as a dress code.

The argument is that congregants should come to God as they are, and that communion with God requires no special clothing. Which is absolutely true. Christ died for everyone not just the well dressed.

So then jeans and a T-shirt are fine right?

There is no dress code for God’s house right?

This is the argument. Reverence and respect have been reduced to dress code. The argument almost seems to floats until you put it to sea. To understand let’s compare it to other areas of your life.

You are invited to a wedding. You are planning to go to the church service and reception. Are you wearing jeans and a T-shirt? I am thinking no. Chances are you are dressing for the occasion. So let’s look at why…

You dress to show respect to the bride and groom. You are being respectful to the family and friends and guests in attendance. You are being respectful of the sacrament of marriage. In these instances we never use the term dress code do we? This is the tradition based in reverence and respect isn’t it?

So why is it thought of in terms of dress code for church?

Let’s look at another example…

So you have an opportunity to dine with the President of the United States at the Whitehouse. Your thinking he’s your President no matter how you dress right? So a bowling shirt, Khaki shorts and flip-flops will be fine right?

I am thinking no. The truth is while we may not agree with the current Presidents political views or polices we still respect the office of the Presidency. As well as the other honored guests in attendance. We follow tradition and dress appropriately. Again the phrase dress code never enters the conversation.

“For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” – Mathew 18:20

When you attend church you are in God’s presence. Yes, God is everywhere. So yes you are always in his presence. However you made a decision to attend church. Here by your actions you are making a formal entrance into God’s presence. Formally not casually through the body of gathering believers. By entering the house of worship you are professing your belief. Your actions bear witness.

Don’t you think attending church merits the same reverence and respect that the wedding did? Are we not showing respect towards God and our family in Christ? Don’t you believe a formal entry into God’s presence should require the same level of respect that meeting the President would?

Yes, God loves you as you are. We are not questioning God but rather our own practices. Why are we holding to some traditions or customs and allowing others to fall to the way side? Why is an event in God’s house, like a wedding…more worthy of our reverence and respect than entering God’s presence on Sunday?

Dressing to demonstrate reverence and respect is old school. This tradition has been in existence as far back as history records. So why did it change with regard to church and God?

During the counter culture movement of the 1960’s Jesus found his way into the hearts of many hippies. Ministers in order to accept these new members into their folds broke with tradition and offered this explanation…

“Come to God as you are, He loves you as you are.”

…and so the hippies attended church sitting on the floor rather than the pews, without bathing and without shoes to hear the Sunday message. While this counter culture movement ended with the next generation the residual effect of a relaxed environment continued.


Because of the message these churches sent. Our actions are no longer based on how we see God but rather they are about how God see’s us. As it was with the hippies it is with us. We have become more important. We have become the center. Let’s look at an example:

Tonight while your asleep Christ returns. In the Morning there is a knock at your door. An Angelic being delivers a message. Christ the risen wishes to speak to you at noon.

OK here we go…So you are thinking bowling shirt and flip-flops?

Hopefully you realize you are entering the presence of a King and dress in the tradition of reverence and respect. You see, your actions are based not on how he sees you.They are based on how you see him.

Your actions should be based on what is in your heart in response to his. Let’s use sin as an example. Christ died for our sins. They are not held against us. Because of our love of Christ we put him first in our hearts. Even above our own fleshly desires. We do our best to turn our hearts from sin and toward God. If I only look at how God views me I can say my sins are not held against me.

So then why should I try to avoid sin? It really doesn’t matter what I do I’m covered right?


The Greatest commandment is not based on how he sees us but rather on how we see him. Our actions toward sin or the flesh is to put God first in our hearts. This is our response to how he has forgiven us. Our response to him, to his actions at the cross and to the salvation he offers is to love him with our entire beings. For he alone is worthy of our total love.

He is also worthy of our reverence and respect.

When God created man in his own image he created him in three parts. We are flesh and soul and spirit. These three parts are reflected in the tabernacle in the wilderness. There is the outer court yard, the holy place and the holiest of holies.

Our outward selves are exemplified in the outer court yard. Would we allow the outer court yard to fall to ruin? No of course not. Because the outer courtyard reflects on the indwelling spirit of the living God. So we would do our best to maintain and decorate it.

This is the tradition of why we dress our best for church. It is in response to the mercy Christ has shown us, it is in reverence and respect of others and it reflects the indwelling spirit within us. This is the outer court yard.

Your sitting in your favorite waffle house on Sunday. In comes a family and everyone is dressed up. We automatically assume they have been to church because of the way they are dressed. This dear reader is a witness to your belief. Of the three largest religions in the world -Judaism, Islam and Christianity only Christianity celebrates it’s holy day or Sabbath on Sunday. This family has a light that shines simply because of their clothing choice.

Think about it…

This of course is a matter between you and God. At no point have I suggested that we should judge one another or enforce a dress code. Instead I offer you this…

In the classic Christmas carol Little Drummer Boy his actions are between him and God…

I have no give to bring…

so I played my drum for him…

I did my best for him…

then he smiled at me…

The beauty and simplicity of the purity of his heart are what makes us love this song. That and the fact that it is between him and God.

When your little you have problems with things like buttons and bow ties. Even clip-on ones. My father would help me get dressed for church. It was while he was adjusting the bow tie that he told me about how poor he was growing up. And that in spite of his poverty he had one pair of overalls that he only wore to church. That this was the best clothing he had. So that is what he wore.

I did my best for him…then he smiled at me…

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper


The Twenty Dollar Rule



There is no good excuse for bad manners –Geekus Extremus

Being a Gentleman seems to be a lost art these days. I will do my best  to explain  the art  the way I was taught it growing up.  I could begin this by giving you the root meaning of the word Gentleman.I could tell you the use of the word  from its inception. I could explain to you the history of its practice… about birth right and breeding… about land and title… and about honor code and coat of arms. The truth is that I did not learn the art of being a Gentleman by learning the history of the word or its practice.

I learned it by example.

Growing up I was surrounded by men who believed that it’s not your possessions or your wealth or your social standing that makes you a person of honor and integrity. These are found in how you carry yourself. How you deal with others. How you treat the opposite sex. Being a Gentleman was expected. At all times. Regardless of the situation. Both a pauper or a King can be a Gentleman.

So I’m staying with my uncle Richard for a month. I’m between 8th grade and freshman year. He lived in Washington D.C. We are grabbing a quick lunch in a diner. The waitress is extremely rude and ill-mannered. My uncle, in-spite of how absolutely terrible this woman was, pleased and thanked her back and smiled all the while. I told my uncle not to tip her. Or to just leave her a penny.This was 1979. The entire lunch including my malt was about six bucks. He tipped this woman $20.

“Hey Mister you left your money on the table,”  she said. The woman actually followed my uncle into the street. She was rude but honest. “Here.”

“No that’s yours,’ my uncle smiled.  He would not take the twenty back.

What happened next blew my mind. The woman started crying and apologizing.  She had woke up to an eviction notice on her door. She tried to call in to work but her boss told her that if she missed another shift she would be fired. To get even she was apparently taking it out on the customers. Crying as she told this story she kept pushing the twenty back at my uncle. He would just brush her hand aside.

“I can’t take this… I treated you terribly,” she said. She was crying and had raccoon eyes from her makeup. My uncle took her hands in his. He held them like he was trying to teach her to pray.

“Take this money and let it be the beginning of your change of fortune.” he said smiling.

I don’t know if you have ever noticed this. A woman cries when she’s sad. But she cries even harder when they are tears of joy. I learned that in front of a diner in 1979.

I love toasted everything bagels with cream cheese. The best ones are from Dunkin’ Donuts. There are Dunkin’ Donuts all over Chicagoland. But I only like them at the one by my house. I could eat them every day. But I Don’t. I get one on my day off. Before I start doing my chores. One toasted everything bagel with cream cheese and one large black coffee…to Go.

The Dunkin’ Donuts that I go to has a bunch of old men sitting around talking and arguing over horse racing forms. I see them every time I’m there. On a few occasions I even sat and talked with them a while. Most of the time I just nod and wave. One sunny day-off morning I was walking out with a bagel and coffee in one hand and my cell phone in the other. Talking away, indifferent to my surroundings.

As I reached my truck from behind me I heard some of the foulest nastiest language I have ever heard in my  life. Some woman was really letting some poor guy have it with both barrels. I had to see who this woman was. I got off the phone. I had to see who these people were.The woman with the biggest foulest mouth I ever heard was a small black woman. She was as wide as she was tall.

The man… the man apparently was me.

Yea, I did it. I did that  “who me” point at yourself thing.

“Yes I’m talking to you,” she cried. ” Ding bat / pound sign / curly- que” (That’s suppose to be really nasty language) She was cussing me a blue streak.

Oh and she called me  “cracker. ”

Which as a white guy I prefer “cracker” to “Honky.” When I hear the word “Honky” I imagine some filthy depraved clown with one of those U-gah horns.

“Honky” the clown scares me.

But seriously this was not good. The old men were watching, the employees were watching and people in the parking lot. I kept looking for someone else this woman could be cursing at. But it was me.

Now there was a brief moment, a split second, where I tried to remember some foul things I could say back. The truth was I did not know this woman at all. I was more curious than upset. So I walked right over to her. She was standing in the door way.

” You let the door swing on me,” she explained. Her coffee was on the ground spilled out. She was holding the cup. She backed away as I came closer.

“You mean I did not hold the door for you,” I smiled. She had very beautiful brown eyes. I noticed as I opened the door for her. I gestured for her to go in. “Please.”

The entire place was at a stand still. Whatever was going on outside… was outside. I was bringing it back inside. Everyone had heard this woman. I walked up to the register and handed the clerk a twenty.

“Please give this Lady whatever she would like,” I said. Our little drama was playing out for everyone, so I spoke loud enough for all of them to hear. I then walked back to her.

” I am very sorry. My mother raised me to be a gentleman. If I had seen you I most certainly would have held the door for you.”  Then I pointed to the clerk. ” That mans name is Jon.” I explained.”Please go and order whatever you want and accept my apology.”

With coffee and bagel I once again headed for the door.

“Mister,” she called. ” I’m sorry too”

I stopped. If you had only heard the things that had come out of this woman’s mouth. You would have been  amazed  to hear her say “I’m sorry too.”  I know we were.

” You have very beautiful eyes.” I smiled. ” Even when your angry.”

She stood smiling. I left.

There are moments in your life you remember forever. The sounds. The images. The way you felt. For me it’s the sound of metal tapping glass.

I walked out of that Donut shop smiling. I was feeling good. Then I heard the tapping. One of the old men was tapping the glass with his ring to get my attention.  I turned and looked to see what the noise was. All the old men held up their coffee cups.

They were saluting me.

I have never hit a home-run or caught a touchdown. So I don’t know what those moments feel like. But I’m pretty sure it feels the way I felt looking at those old men.

I am and always will be a Gentleman.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper










Old School Rules



When I saw the 2012 film Skyfall I realized why Daniel Craig has been so successful as James Bond.  in spite of the critics who initially attacked him as the blond bond, Craig’s Bond has proven to be the most successful Bond ever. But it wasn’t until he broke out his badger hair shave brush and full hollow ground “cut throat” razor that I realized what the creators of these films had done. They didn’t just strip away all the toys Bond was known for. Or add grit to the action. They actually made James Bond old school.

Now I have heard this term Old School used quite liberally. Most of the time it’s used to describe music or video games or even clothing that is 20 plus years old. Unfortunately I will have to disagree with the way this term is being used in these regards. While these may very well be favored things of a by gone era, time alone does not make something Old School.

A generation passes and suddenly things become Old School is that how it works ?


There are very specific qualifications that must be meant for something to be considered Old School. Lets use Bonds cut throat razor as an example. While technology continues to innovate the shaving industry, there is nothing that compares with a straight razor shave. Anyone who has sat in a barbers chair and ordered “the works” knows of what I speak. Shaving methods come and go but the barber still uses the straight razor.

Why ?

Why would I place a straight razor in my non-dominate hand and take it to my face unless the shave out weighs the risk. Yes I straight razor shave. Because it’s still the best way to shave. The quality of the shave proves it. Quality is an aspect of the old school. Timeless quality.

How about video games ? Sorry no. While you can call space invaders vintage you can not say its old school. Why ? Because as the technology changes so does the game. However lets look at a game that has endured. Chess has been around since the sixth century. In it’s current tournament form since the fifteenth century. Chess is old school gaming. Chess has endured.

How about music ? let’s look at three different types of music and see which is of the old school. Swing, older Rap and chamber music. Which of these has proven themselves ? Chamber music is correct.Haydn and Mozart being played by a string quartet has endured. The best we can say of swing and older Rap is that it’s vintage. 

Lets look at another example. I see a lot of tee-shirts that people call old school. They have iron on catch phrases like keep on “truckin” or “Groovy” that people see as old school. However these phrases fell from popularity and are no longer used. They are nothing more than vernacular from a by gone era. They lack the timeless quality required of the old school.

However lets stay with clothing a minute. A mans suit can be old school. Classic styling of suits with regards to cuts and hangs have existed as long as men have worn suits. These classic cuts and styles define even to this day how a suit should be made and worn. This then makes them timeless within the era or age of suits. Therefore  this defining classic style  then constitutes the old school.

Sticking with the way men dress how about leather shoes, they require polishing right ? How long has this been going on? The practice of shining shoes has endured since  Dubbin was used in the middle ages. Therefore you can say that the enduring practice of polishing your shoes is of the old school.

So we have a few descriptive terms that define the character and nature of the old school- timeless, enduring, defining and quality. However these have only been applied to styles and  practices. What about personal beliefs and conduct ?

How about things like morals, ethics, decorum, etiquette and manners ? Can these be considered part of the old school ? Yes if they meet the established criteria. For instance  is it socially acceptable to treat a person disrespectfully ? Has it ever been ? No. In fact even when provoked  we are expected to maintain proper decorum. These ideals are clearly reflected in  the military code of conduct, the Hippocratic oath and the Geneva Convention. So there are perimeters in which human beings are expected to interact in. These principles that have been established to govern our interactions are timeless.

Imagine a CEO of a publicly held corporation addressing the shareholders using street vernacular and a string of vulgarities. Professional discourse is expected. It always has been. Therefore Professionalism is of the old school.

These are examples of  larger ideals. People of the old school are governed by enduring principles and beliefs that are timeless. We understand that our word is our bond. That if we say a thing we must do it. Even if it costs us in the end. In the same respect if we accept a responsibility then we own it. We accept the full responsibility for the outcome-good or bad- of our actions.We understand that anything  we put our hand to is a reflection of who we are. Whether its in our personal or professional lives  it doesn’t matter. Ideals like Piety, loyalty, justice, honesty, mercy, courage, discipline, loving devotion and honor are all old school. Why ? Because they reflect timeless wisdom and a universal truth.

So how did they make Bond old school ? Was it by his classic suits, or by his  vintage Aston Martin or his “cut throat” shaving razor ? No these were just window dressing. They made Bond old school by showing his devotion to these higher sets of principles. By the plots of these films hinging on his devotion to these principles. Forcing Bond to walk the talk.

So how is being old school Shaken, Not Stirred ? In a world that is consumed by selfishness, greed and personal gratification holding ourselves to a set of timeless standards sets us apart from the rest of the herd.

You don’t need to have a piercing or a tattoo to be different.  You simply need to live by the Old School Rules.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper


About Shaken, not Stirred

DSC00646‘A dry martini,’ he said. ‘One. In a deep champagne goblet.’ ‘Oui, monsieur.’ ‘Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?’ ‘Certainly monsieur.’ The barman seemed pleased with the idea. ‘Gosh, that’s certainly a drink,’ said Leiter. Bond laughed. ‘When I’m…er…concentrating,’ he explained, ‘I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold, and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink’s my own invention. I’m going to patent it when I think of a good name.’

Casino Royale, Chapter 7: Rouge et Noir

If you are Bond fan, or Bondian, then you know what he names it…

But why Shaken, not stirred? Martini connoisseurs have argued the finer points of “Bond shaking” for years. Of how it bruises the gin, of how it aerates, of how it clouds, of how it destroys the aesthetic clarity, of the small fragments of ice present, of the different texture on the tongue it presents and of the oil dispersement.

The University of Western Ontario, Canada even conducted a study to determine if the preparation of a martini has an influence on their antioxidant capacity. Yes a College study…

Any Bondian could have saved them all the discussions, arguments and experimenting . Bond orders his martini shaken, not stirred for one reason


If you have ever read a Ian Fleming novel then you know James Bond does nothing like the rest of us. He is his own person, with his own way of doing everything. From his eating habits to his bathing Bond does things Bond’s own way.

In Shaken, Not Stirred we are going to discuss how to be our own individual selves, to find our own ways and how to customize our lives.

We will also discuss Bond…James Bond…


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper