Penultimate Day

July 20, 2011

group290.jpgSaturdayOur departure day last year was marked by a lashing southerly wet wind blowing out of the Antarctic fridge, forcing us to huddle our farewells to Joy before hitting the road and sliding up the greasy track out of here. No such day to day. A gorgeous sunny, mild morning greets us. Rod has sorted most of the kitchen last evening so we have a head start this morning. Everyone is packed surprisingly quickly, Frank arrives when he said he would and we start rushing about to be finished by nine. The promise is a “shoot” if we are done by then. Read more

JD Anniversay Shoot

December 3, 2008

shooting-star-target.jpgIn speaking of the laconic I was reminded that in September we celebrated the anniversary memorial shoot in honour of departed friend Jonathan. There was none of the smoke and thunder of the previous year but the sputter of BB pellets that fell out of the end of the BB gun in the side show alley at the State Fair of Texas. By the time you realise you aim by pointing the stream of pellets at the target, as if it were a stream of water from a hose nozzle, the pellets expire and “the man” has your money. Jonathan would have come back to make a point of shooting that star out. But the real point is always to walk away before you can’t leave. Either way JD would have enjoyed the challenge and the whole mad atmosphere!

Dallas – Nice Truck, Big Gun – The "JD Memorial Shoot"

June 1, 2007

Dallas is a pretty special place – for some! I have a friend from Los Angeles who decided he needed to get out of the madness of that lifestyle and go someplace where he could focus on his humanitarian work. To do that he figured he would live in the worst place he could imagine – he chose Dallas. That still makes me laugh. My own experience of Dallas is a much more positive one and came about through Clyde Musgrave. PhD. Ex USN. Works in some interesting parts of the government. Introduced me to some interesting venture capital types in Richardson County (one memorable meeting had one of them hand me a pomegranate from out of his garden) in 2001, a visit which still remains vivid in my memory. Clyde was instrumental in getting our business up and running in the early days and opening our eyes to what was possible in the US and global markets. In that process he formed some very firm friendships with our founding team, friendships that are now as inclusive as family. He has also been instrumental in helping me get to know a little bit about Texas – a drawling “niiiice truuuuck” is one clue to making friends quickly in this part of the world.

A special friendship sprung up between Clyde and Jonathan. Jonathan was tragically killed in an accident a few months back. All of us shared a love of shooting, especially handguns. Jonathan was particularly obsessed. So it seemed entirely appropriate that for us to honour our friendship with Jonathan we conduct the inaugural “Jonathan Ashton Memorial Shoot”. Which we duly did. A Ruger .38 (Clyde using it here), a Beretta .32, a Glock 9mm and a S&W .357 were the instruments of choice. As we blasted away a part of the morning we grinned like little boys in a candy store and knew in our hearts that Jonathan would have thoroughly approved.

22 May 2007