Project Havok: Act III

I predicted that they would call off the search soon after the 2004 election, and I even wrote a poem about it. Two months after Bush was re-elected, the search was terminated.

I wrote Hide and Seek on October 29, 2003 — over 5 years before weapons inspector Charles Duelfer published a book of the same name (he replaced David Kay as leader of the Iraq Survey Group on January 23, 2004).

It’s not my best work, but it bears on my insight into the WMD debacle. The book cover was fitting — as it fit right in with “Cloaked mesh of black” and the three-pronged play on words with “pre-veils” (one of which alludes to preemptive war).

It’s a sign of the times that people with no insight into this story — feel compelled to disparage poetry written with spot-on prescience. Let’s discuss what it’s about — then you can tell me how I could have done it better.

Sounds fair, don’t ya think?

Hide and Seek

So long the search continues
So long the illusion pre-veils
Weapons buried deep within
Foundation of lies
Cloaked mesh of black
Gleaming hollow eyes
Mirrors of no reflection

I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.

When I accomplished the seemingly impossible, the judges couldn’t wrap their minds around it — how one kid could pull this off. And my turnings were so accurate they assumed I used a copy crafter (which was against the rules).

They screwed me — and it was a gift that’s never stopped giving.

I was robbed of what was rightly mine, and when I didn’t get it — I found I didn’t need it. One moment of truth that set the foundation for all those that followed: My teacher didn’t need a letter or a lecture, just a look and a few choice words. He revealed something I couldn’t see, as I was blinded by my disgust in being so royally wronged.

The bigger picture is a beautiful thing — as your interests can be served in ways you wouldn’t have imagined had you gotten what you wanted.

We don’t have a category for you . . .

Was the attitude back then — and the same mindset I’ve been fighting ever since. Lo and behold — that’s another ongoing gift to this day.

Would I have graduated from Purdue without the gifts I’ve been given? Probably not. My degree is in Industrial Management with a minor in Manufacturing Management. I fell into IT by seeing a problem I just had to solve. It wasn’t my job — I just don’t like things that don’t work right and I gotta find a way to fix ‘em.

As I enjoy obstacles, I can’t go wrong . . .

Central to that discovery process are finding tools available to you and collaborating with those who help in ways large and small. Everything of excellence I have ever achieved came from the welcoming of input from others.

The best idea wins — I don’t care where it comes from. Same goes for the truth.

My minor is major, as it led to ideas that further refined my out-of-the-box thinking — and how I combine conventional and unconventional tools to solve problems. It was conventional thinking that clouded the minds of those who couldn’t see that I did what couldn’t be done.

When I wrote to The Havok Journal about their article on the anniversary of Colin Powell’s speech, I had no idea they’d offer me a chance to submit a follow-up piece. As I wrote and produced the most exhaustive documentary ever done on Iraq WMD, I have a lot to say.

And then some . . .

Others have welcomed my work on WMD — until they realized I was taking on their side too. I don’t fit the formula — just like old times.

But The Havok Journal doesn’t roll that way.

And whad’ya know, we collaborated on some ideas to find the best way of showcasing the story. When it comes to America, it’s the same ol’ story told in a whole new way. Barbara Tuchman perfectly captures the chaos in The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam:

Like many alternatives, however, it was psychologically impossible. Character is fate, as the Greeks believed. Germans were schooled in winning objectives by force, unschooled in adjustment. They could not bring themselves to forgo aggrandizement even at the risk of defeat.

America is “unschooled in adjustment.”

I’m not:

Everything below was built by fundamental problem solving and adapting to the situation: All of which dovetails into the doc and my ideas for using folly from the past for the benefit of the future. Each principle below has a place for what I have mind.

And just like old times — input from others would shape my vision into something far better than I could have ever done on my own.


I screwed up . . .

And in the wrong hands, it’s over. This block was not too bright, but not only did I come up with a way around the problem I created — it was a blessing in disguise.

Sometimes we do things with the best of reasons behind ’em — with rock-solid experience shaping our approach. But problems can come into play when we get too comfortable relying on our experience — then make assumptions that don’t account for complexities outside our wheelhouse.

That can happen to anybody, but if you wanna accomplish your goal — ya gotta leave the door open for when things don’t go as planned. You must be willing to wonder:

Is this working?

Openly embrace your mistakes

Once you fully understand why you made them — it not only clears the way for how to fix them, but also avoids repeating them in other ways. And as a bonus, it builds integrity

A friend of mine with a machine shop built the mounting mechanism below. Surrounding yourself with people who have abilities beyond yours is one of the best parts of pursuing goals.

For me, that mechanism is artwork itself.

It took 5 states and 2 years from the time I came up with the idea — and many unforgettable experiences along the way. One of my favorites is when I was working on it at the ol’ woodshop (goverment work — where would I be without it).

An art teacher took an interest in what I was doing. She just happened to be talking about symmetry at the time, and for obvious reasons — my work was ideal for an impromptu presentation.

In my Q&A, this kid raises his hand and expressed a concern about the possibility of it being top-heavy. Considering a great deal of thought went into the design that hinged on that very question: That — is amazing!

He even framed his question in the context of kids playing around it and “what if it tips over?”

For an 8th grader to be so astute is one of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. I enthusiastically told him what a great question it was, and explained how I factored for that concern. I had it covered — but what if I hadn’t? Would my woodworking background and CAD/CAM experience just trump that kid’s question?

The wall-mounted version was AN afterthought to sell as a high-end item in prehistoric times when CDs were ruled the world.

By now, you shold know that these pictures aren’t simply about paiting

NAPA do work for NASCAR

does

What if?

who cares where tehe question comse?

Not a single person on the plant would answer, “Yes” — and yet that such dismissal happens countless times a day across America.

I’ve always been lucky that way.

My doc was designed as a tool for honest debate. Now? It’s intended for a larger framework to clear the clutter that’s crippled this country. Conventional methods have repeatedly failed. Why would you believe next time will be any different? But integrate those same tools into an unconventional framework for honest debate — and it will be different.

simpl

turn it this way

When something

It was back to basics — but CN

GOVERNENT

ANTHEM: I FOUND THE LAW AND THE LAW

And not only did I come up with a way around it — it was a blessing in disguise.

kid raised

that’s precisely what I”m doing t

what you’re donig is not gonna word

chart tell (Aga deal with America)

somebody already sai

The solution to this problem is more truth, not less

No, it’s not

The different forms

NAPA GUY THOUGHT HE CIOULD DO IT TOO

HE THOUGHT

adjust

struc

it’s just

strucutural integrity

n

DIFFERENT FORMS

My doc was designed as a tool for honest debate. Now? It’s intended for a larger framework to clear the clutter that’s crippled this country.

Workin’ all day in my daddy’s garage
Drivin’ all night chasing some mirage . . .

You have no idea

I learned early on in life that what you want gets in the way of what you see.