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Checker Board Foundation’s film series

Excerpted from the Checker Board Foundation’s film series of famous architects and their lifes work, this footage displays his most recent residential masterpiece, Woodstock Farm. Located in Woodstock, Vermont, the master architect who as dubbed by Steven Holl as the “poet of place” shows his sensitivity to his New England routes and his unique blend of purity, warmth and vision with respect to context of place. I am interviewed about my experience of working with Rick and our successful tribute to the New England family farm. Recently selected for the 2010 Architectural Record – Record Houses of the Year Award, it is the fourth such award for Rick Joy, and my first. Special mention must be made to Erik Tobiason and Tucker Johnson of Colby and Tobiason Builders whose skill and craftsmanship is clear evidence of their elite status among the world of luxury home builders. Jason Eaton and Mark Johnson of Chippers Inc. Land Enhancement Specialists are enlisted to commence a 10 year program for forestry, wildlife, recreation and agriculture as we have placed the land into protection under the Vermont State Current Use program. The home and barn and future buildings planned for the property will be completely “off the grid” while embracing geothermal, solar, hydro-electric and wind technologies.

-Paul Palandjian

Woodstock Farm Interview

En Route To Practice With Boston Bruins

Paul Palandjian

I am quite proud to have worked on behalf of the Denis Leary Firefighter Foundation. Along with a lost sense of Americana and the post WWII patriotism found in our culture, Firefighters, Police, Military - once the hero's to youth generations - are now over worked, under paid and over looked. It disgusts me.

It seems to me that those things we now value - have no substance what-so-ever. People are famous for being famous. People gain fame and fortune from having fame and fortune. Journalism has morphed into infotainment and there is no longer a discernible difference between the National Enquirer, The Boston Globe or the Nightly News. It's disgusting. Lies become reality in the multimedia age. There is almost no sense of civic responsibility that converts to duty.

In this age of the sensationalism of unsensational people, a few people - rise above the rest - give of themselves and inspire us simply by being responsible and kind. Denis Leary is an example of a great American. Much of what he does to help various causes and groups of people is not known to the public. He courts no fame or favor for his various acts of kindness. He simply helps others because he can.

Denis s pursued a passion for acting and entertainment, has risen to the top of a profession populated largely by flakes and the self-absorbed and all the while; Denis has remained authentic and responsible. He exhibits an undying commitment toward public service men and women. Specifically, Denis' work on behalf of Firefighters in the U.S. is tangible and has made a huge difference in their lives and the lives of their families.

I am humbled by the contributions and sacrifices made by Firefighters - you know, the men and women who run into a burning building when everybody else is running out. What ever happened to thanking our public service men and women for their service and protection? Why are those that do so much get paid so little?

Denis was so complimentary to me in this interview, I must also thank him for his comparisons he makes to describe critical and creative thinking on the Board, the quality of my acting craft, and my unpredictable puck control and moves while playing hockey.

Thanks are too kind. P

Action Abe?

Abraham Lincoln : “I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to what light I have…”

Is ignorance bliss?

“It is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” Dr. Carl Sagan

Honesty has many faces but you cannot lie to the man in the mirror

“Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to such a pass that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love, and in order to occupy and distract himself without love he gives way to passions and coarse pleasures, and sinks to bestiality in his vices, all from continual lying to other men and to himself.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)

The Strangest Secret By John Boe

One of the great young athletes I encountered as a coach and mentor is a young man named Kevin McNamara. From a young age he developed his talent in various sports by working hard, exercising self discipline and having the uncanny ability to “step it up” in big game situations….I have alway been fascinated by people who are “pure competitors” and who have not become overcome by nerves or big events but rather who are able to almost slow things down and achieve optimal performance. Their passion and focus come forward just when we mortals – at times – let fearful projection get the better of us.

Kevin has showed me something both in Ice Hockey and in Tennis. He embraces the battle and he is well on his way in terms of reaching his goal of becoming an NHLer. Thanks goes to Kevin for sharing the article below which had been given to him by another former coach. Good stuff….

In 1957, Earl Nightingale, speaker, author and co founder of the Nightingale-Conant Corporation, recorded his classic motivational record “The Strangest Secret.” “The Strangest Secret” sold over one million copies and made history in the recording industry by being honored as the first Gold Record for the spoken word. Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal development,” concluded that life’s “strangest secret” is that we become what we think about all day long.

Your belief system, like your computer, doesn’t judge or even question what you input; it merely accepts your thoughts as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Think thoughts of defeat or failure and you’re bound to feel discouraged.

Continuous thoughts of worry, anxiety and fear are unhealthy and often manifest in the body as stress, panic attacks and depression.

At the core of Earl’s message, he reveals the incredible power of positive self-talk, belief and expectation.

What you vividly imagine and hold in your subconscious mind begins to out picture as your reality.

Your belief system not only defines your reality, but it also shapes your character and determines your potential.

The Placebo Effect

The ability of the mind to cure a disease even when the medicine is known to be worthless is known as the “placebo effect.” This occurs in medical trials where doctors give patients sugar pills, but tell them they will cure their illness. Often it does, even though the pills contain nothing of medical benefit. The only thing of value in these medical trials is the patient’s own belief that the sugar pills will cure them. It’s the power of the patient’s belief and expectation alone that produces the improvement in his or her health. I recently read a remarkable story about a group of cancer patients who thought they were being treated with chemotherapy, but were actually given a placebo.

Before their treatment began, the patients were informed about the complications associated with undergoing chemotherapy treatment, such as fatigue and loss of hair.

Amazingly, based on nothing more than their belief and expectation, nearly one third of the patients who were given the placebo reported feeling fatigued and actually experienced hair loss!

The Power of Affirmation and Positive Self-talk

If you had access to a powerful tool that would enhance your self-esteem and allow you to reach your full potential would you use it?

A good way to create positive self-talk is through affirmations. An affirmation is a positive statement that represents your desired condition or outcome.Interesting enough, your subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between a real experience and a vividly imagined “mental” experience.

When he was a struggling young comedian, late at night Jim Carey would drive into the hills overlooking Hollywood and yell at the top of his lungs “I will earn ten million dollars a year by 1995.” When 1995 finally arrived, Jim was the star of the movie Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, for which he was aid twenty million dollars!

World-class athletes understand the value of affirmation and recognize the impact of their mental preparation on their physical performance.

They use the power of positive affirmation to reduce anxiety and increase their expectation of achievement. To be of maximum benefit an affirmation must be simple, encouraging and stated in the present tense.
By repeating an affirmation over and over again it becomes embedded in the subconscious mind.

To be effective your affirmation must be stated aloud…

1. In a positive manner with the focus on what you want. When you catch yourself saying or thinking something negative about yourself, counteract the negative self-talk with a positive affirmation. Start your affirmation with words like “I am…” or “I already have…” Example: “I close sales with little or no resistance.” “I take good care of my customers and they show their appreciation by referring their friends to me.”

2. In the present tense. Your subconscious mind works in the present tense, so avoid words such as can, will, should or could. Example: “I love doing my work and I am richly rewarded creatively and financially.”

3. With strong emotion and conviction.

4. Repeatedly. I suggest you read your affirmations each morning upon awakening and again each night just before falling asleep. Close your eyes and picture the end result. Feel the emotions associated with the affirmation.

Here are some of my favorite affirmations:

“Every day in every way I’m getting better and better!”

“Everything comes to me easily and effortlessly!”

“I love and appreciate myself just as I am!”

“I love doing my work and I am richly rewarded creatively and financially!”

“I now have enough time, energy, wisdom and money to accomplish all my desires!”

“Infinite riches are now freely flowing into my life!”

“I am relaxed and centered!”

“I feel happy and blissful!”

Do affirmations really work and can they be used to propel a person to achieve greatness? As a young boy growing up in Louisville, Kentucky, 12-year-old Cassius Marcellus Clay dreamed of someday becoming the heavyweight boxing champion of the world. When working out in the gym, Clay would continuously affirm to all within earshot that he was indeed the greatest boxer of all time!

While many felt he was brash and boastful, few people actually took this 89-pound youngster seriously.

Mohammad Ali used his affirmation to become the undisputed heavyweight boxing champion of the world

and arguably one of the most popular and recognized sports figures of all times!

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words. Choose your words, for they become actions. Understand your actions, for they become habits. Study your habits, for they will become your character. Develop your character, for it becomes your destiny.” –


You show me a salesperson with high self-esteem, a positive attitude and a healthy work ethic and I’ll be able to predict his or her success in advance… I guarantee it.

Fear not….

Willie said it best when he wrote:

“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.”

William Shakespeare

Positive attitude

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale

Interval Training vs. Long Slow Distance

To settle the debate about the efficacy of conventional long distance slow training versus interval training, Martin Gibala has come to the rescue. Gibala, an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at McMaster University in Canada published a study in the September issue of the Journal of Physiology comparing interval training and steady state training or long slow distance. The study, although conducted over only a two week period, looked at a twenty minute interval program versus steady state work ranging from ninety to one hundred and twenty minutes. The interval work consisted of thirty second sprints followed by four minutes of slow pedaling. This would amount to two to two and half minutes of high intensity work during a twenty minute session as compared to 90-120 minutes in the “heartrate zone” for the distance group. Gee, which would I want if both were equal?

The conclusion was that both methods showed roughly the same improvement in the chosen marker of oxygen utilization. Yes, the same. Do the math. Each group worked out three times a week. The interval group exercised for a total elapsed time of one hour per week with six to seven and a half minutes of intense exercise contained in that hour. The steady state group exercised for between four and a half and six hours a week yet the aerobic benefits were the same?

Seems to me if time is an issue in your life interval training is your fitness answer. Obviously, the study only looked at aerobic capacity and not caloric expenditure or weight loss but, it’s another huge boost for those us who believe in the superiority of interval training. The reality is that athletes have known this for years. Unfortunately, the fitness and medical community continues to beat the long slow distance drum. The question in my mind is not whether or not you should be interval training but, why aren’t you. A brief warning. Intense intervals aren’t for beginners. You must be healthy and have a few weeks of the dreaded Long Slow Distance in your system before attempting intervals.

Thank you to Mike Boyle’s informative 2008 article a portion of which was excerpted above.

Copyright © 1996-2010 Paul Palandjian. All rights reserved.
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