Monthly Archives: August 2014

Dominican U Commencement 2011, Dominican U Commencement 2011

August 28th, 2014

San Rafael, CA

This past weekend I started my 1 year intensive MBA program at Dominican University of California. My program concentration will be in Strategic Leadership. The weekend was dubbed “MBA Bootcamp”, a three day 12 to 14 hour immersion into the program. It was terrific!

MBA Team Building exercise

MBA Team Building exercise

The weekend included meeting the 40 or so other students in my class, some of the faculty, lectures, team building, consulting for local business owners and finally a nice dinner. Mission accomplished.

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MBA Core Subjects

MBA 5400 Organizational Behavior and Executive Business Communications 3

MBA 5401 Accounting for Decision Making 3

MBA 5402 Marketing for Value Creation 3

MBA 5403 Global Supply Chain and Sustainable Operations 3

MBA 5404 Strategic Leadership for Organizational Performance 3

MBA 5405 Global Business Environment 3

MBA 5406 Managerial Finance 3

MBA 5407 Business Analytics and Marketing Research 3

MBA 5480 Capstone 3

MBA 5410 Global Consulting Practicum (with International trip) 4

Here is the curriculum for the Strategic Leadership concentration.

STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP CONCENTRATION COURSES
(All courses are 3 units)

  • MBA 5460 Building High Performance Teams
  • MBA 5461 Leader Driven Strategic Planning
  • MBA 5462 Consulting for Effective Leadership Change
  • MBA 5463 Leading and Growing Start-ups
  • MBA 5464 Innovative Organization Development Interventions

Total Strategic Leadership Concentration: 9 units
Total Dominican MBA with Strategic Leadership Concentration: 40 units 

I’ve some work to do!

There is some controversy and a little bit of confusion in my own head as to the prudence of spending the time to get an MBA. The money is none issue for me as I’m funded by the GI Bill (thank you very much!) I did have a couple of people that I greatly respect tell me the MBA is a waste of time and that managers are looking for people with experience. Conversely I’ve had other folks I’ve great admiration for tell me to do it.

Most of my research I did regarding the worthiness of an MBA swirls around the costs involved and how much debt a students starts a career buried in. Much of it also was jawboning around the “top MBA programs” versus the lower stature programs and the follow on salaries. None really addressed the question of the knowledge one gains studying business. The question I hear all the time is “what are you going to do with an MBA”? These would be same people who would post some philosophical piece on Facebook that says “The Journey’s the Thing.” Not everything is this world is utility.

My answer to the question is much the same as when folks asked me why I would pursue a Liberal Arts degree. I mean what the hell is a philosophy degree going to get you? The answer is very simple. A richer fuller life. Period. Knowledge for knowledges sake is the path to greater rewards. I think all business students should have a Liberal Arts degree.

It is absolutley true that to be a successful business person does not require a business degree. However, for my own personal circumstances and my desire to open my own business, a Masters in Business will expose me to tools and human capital that gives me a much greater chance of success. No matter what, getting an education is never a waste of time.

Check out the above video and you be the judge. Please let me know what you think?

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

 

 

August 18th, 2014

Gualala, California

Gualala Red Woods

Gualala Red Woods

Since buying my new BMW a couple of weeks ago, I’ve been eager to get out on the road and do some exploring. I had to wait for the rest of my gear before hitting the road. As an aside I bought a top of the line helmet, a Schuberth C3 Pro which is a german made helmet, and a Rev’it Levante riding jacket with all the bells and whistles.

Point Arena Lighthouse California

Point Arena Lighthouse California

I dusted off my camping gear and crammed it all aboard leaving my home in Marin County north bound to Mendocino County via the California coast. Dam if it wasn’t cold! I’m not a native of California, but please allow me a second to school you up on the local weather patterns.

The water off the coast is friggin freezing. The California Current flows southward from Alaska due to the coriolis effect caused by the rotation of the earth. It literally is a nutrient rich super highway that feeds an abundance of sea critters. Also through the process of upwelling cold water from the deep abysss  churn its way to the surface in a constant process. In terms of summer fog creating cooler temperatures, the fog rolls in from the ocean over land in the morning as the rising sun heats up the land. Warm air rises, and something has to fill its place—the foggy air that’s hanging out above the ocean.

On the bike, GoPro Hero 3

On the bike, GoPro Hero 3

The beauty of where I live is that micro climates abound. Leaving home on bike trip  day 1 I had morning temperatures in the 70’s. As I neared the coast the temp dropped to the 50’s and together with aforementioned fog it was downright chilly! I rolled north bound on highway 1 passing through Point Reyes Station, Tomales Bay and into Jenner California. The scenery is truly stunning especially from a motorcycle. Riding the bike adds such an additional joy compared to traversing in a car. The ability to pass slow moving cars with ease makes all the difference.

Point Arena Headlands

Point Arena Headlands

I checked into the Gualala Redwoods Campground in Gualala, California. I set up a base of operations from my tent. From Gualala I rode north to Point Arena via Old Stage Rd which runs along the ride line of the coastal mountains. Again weather being the driving factor. Just a mile or two inland drivers up the temperature by 10 degrees and sunshine instead of fog.

Point Arena Seascape

Point Arena Seascape

I was stunned pulling into the town of Point Arena. On the map it looked to be kind of substantial. What I find was a tiny town in significant decline. Boarded up houses, shuttered businesses. Frankly just depressing. I also stumbled upon an equally deteriorated cemetary which was pretty cool to check out. However, there was a really cool spot down by the Point Arena municipal pier.

Cathedral of Redwoods

Cathedral of Redwoods

Below is a picture of the Coast Guard House Inn which back during the U.S. Life Saving Service days was Station number 314. Read the great history and see some cool pics by clicking here.

U.S. Lifesaving Station Point Arena, California

U.S. Lifesaving Station Point Arena, California

There is a terrific little coffee shop, chowder house and an active commercial fishing operation. The smell of the tide permeates. What a cool little spot!

After spending two nights in Gualala it was time to ride home. And that’s what I did.

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

 

 

 

August 11th, 2014

Kentfield, California

A big hearty congratulations to the Burton family aboard the Wandering Dolphin! Yesterday they made landfall in Washington State after a 28 day passage from Hawaii. You can check  in with the Burtons at their blog by clicking here. They made a significant trip this year from St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, through the Panama Canal, up the Central American Coast, leaping to Hawaii and finally aforementioned to their new homeport of Blaine Washington. Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 9.26.55 AMHere is a little history. The Burton’s like the Jansen’s took me in during my sailing journey. You know you just bond with some people. I spent the 2008 hurricane season with the Burton’s anchored in the south coast of Puerto Rico in a little town called Salinas. It’s so small that even Trip Advisor has zero reviews. This does not mean that there is no action in the town. I had more adventures, outright confusion and drama with the Burtons during our stay in Puerto Rico. In fact, Wandering Dolphin had to leave PR under duress involving a plastic chair (alleged) hucked at a disabled women. I bear witness to the scene! Such great memories! I bought a car (pictured below) while there and was dubbed a “CWC”…A cruiser with a car. A very significant perk for cruisers who need to stock up on supplies.

Car Puerto Rico

Car Puerto Rico

I could go on and on regarding the severe squalls and thunderstorms spawned by the tropical weather in that eventful hurricane season. Of course I’ve pushed on to greener pastures. Below is a video that the Burton’s filmed as I left Water Island in the USVI bound for the eastern carribean.

Wandering Dolphin as accomplished much and should be proud. Glad they are safe in the Pacific Northwest!

 

Christian Allaire

Below is a picture I told from my boat of Wandering Dolphin. We were neighbors for a long time!

DSCF1554.JPG

 

August 10th, 2014

Kentfield, California

I was out for a cruise on the Big Green Machine when I decided to make a stop at the Randall House on highway 1 in Olema Valley, California just north of Stinson Beach. The place has is kind of a creepy American Horror story vibe to it. The setting is breathtaking, as is most of California. The only reason it still stands as it did in the late 1800’s is also quite California like. A rare big earred bat gathering lives in the attic of the home. This has saved it from demolition.

The home was built by Sarah Randall in 1880 after her husband was murdered. She began a prosperous dairy farmer in her own right. Of course the story is quite interesting. Read below.

Randall House, Olema Valley, California

Randall House, Olema Valley, California

Perhaps to accommodate Raymond’s growing family, Mrs. Randall had a larger house built east of the county road, across the road from the dairy buildings. The exact date of construction is unclear; the 1880 census does not reflect an outstanding improvement in the value of the buildings there. One report states that Mrs. Randall began construction in 1880 and completed the house in 1881. The two-story Victorian, with elegant trim and ample space, became a showplace in the Olema Valley and still stands today. According to the county newspaper, Sarah Randall planned to have a new barn built in 1884.

A fire in 1890 destroyed most of the pasture and fences on the ranch; the newspaper called 10-year-old Lottie Randall “the little heroine” of the disaster. Mrs. Randall apparently returned to the ranch and lived alone there in later years but was eventually persuaded by her children to leave and live with them in town. Sarah Seaver Randall died on January 24, 1907, and left the ranch to her grown children Elizabeth Tripp, William, Fanny Tullar, Raymond and Mary Clifford.

The Randall House is the lone survivor of the legacy of William and Sarah Randall. The couple are among the earliest American settlers in the Olema Valley; the story of Mrs. Randall’s operation of the ranch and raising a large family after becoming widowed contributes significance in the area of women and the development of the west. The ranch may be regionally significant for its contribution to the 19th century dairy industry in the Olema Valley, an industry that provided food products to a growing San Francisco during the later years of the Gold Rush.

The superintendent of Point Reyes National Seashore had the remaining barns and outbuildings removed soon after the purchase and intended to demolish the unoccupied Randall House. The keeper of the National Register of Historic Places declared the house eligible for the National Register in 1979, spurring the park to attempt historic leasing on the old house. This effort failed through the lack of acceptable proposals, and again the house faced demolition. Discovery in the 1980s of a rare big-eared bat colony in the attic has given the place at least a temporary reprieve.

I also pulled this little gem off the internet from an e-book on the region.

The five Randall children grew up in a sort of idyll at the ranch, the 
death of their father notwithstanding, riding to the nearby Olema School at 
Five Brooks on horseback, gathering huckleberries in the surrounding woods 
and then drying and preserving them by the bushel. The children were no 
doubt a large factor in their mother’s prosperity in the dairy business. Oldest 
son William, known as Willie and later W. J., was born at Murphy’s Camp, 
California on April 1, 1852. He attended boarding school in Petaluma and was 
eight years old when his father was killed; he then attended local schools and 
graduated from Heald’s Business College in San Francisco in 1873. He 
apparently ran his uncle Daniel Seaver’s ranch up the road for many years, and 
married Abbie Perham in 1879. William left the ranch around 1881 to run his 
own dairy businesses on Point Reyes, including the famous Pierce Ranch and O. 
L. Shafter’s L Ranch. Raymond Randall, born at Angel’s Camp in the Oregon 
gold country while his father was mining there, took over the Randall business 
in the 1870s after his marriage to Harriet “Hattie” Weeks, a neighbor to the 
south. The couple had six daughters while living on the ranch, Lottie, Myra, 
Elizabeth, Helen, Sadie, Fanny and Aileen. The family referred to the place as 
the Bell Ranch, because the cows wore bells. Raymond’s sister Mary became a 
schoolteacher, beginning at the Garcia School in Olema in 1879 and then 
teaching at the nearby Olema School at Five Brooks in 1883. Mary was 
married to M. H. Clifford of San Francisco in her mother’s house in 1885. 
Oldest sister Elizabeth married P. Tripp of San Francisco in 1886. 61

If you live in the area or are passing through do check it out!

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

PS: Please click on the thumbnails below to view the large images.

 

August 7th, 2014

Kentfield, California

I’ve always been plagued with the wander bug. The real question is the means to wander. I took the bold step (at least in my head) and purchased the below BMW. She is a beauty!

BMW GS F 700, Olema Valley, CA

BMW GS F 700, Olema Valley, CA

I have no immediate plans for a long-range type touring trip. Local wandering is the watch word. Local out west has a different definition than local on the east coast of the USA. The state of California is so huge I’ve an enormous playground to check out. Since I sold the boat I’ve been thinking about another way to ‘get away’ from daily life to experience nature. I considered an RV, but lack the ability to park an RV. As I wrote in a previous blog post, once checked out Ewan Mcgreggor and Charley Boorman’s BMW world adventure I knew this was the way I’d go.

BMW GS F700

BMW GS F700

A little about the bike. This is an Enduro style motorcycle which resembles a motocross type bike, but is tuned and tricked out for road riding. The BMW GS F800 Adventure, which is a step up from my bike is really geared for off road. That bike was to big for me. I was on my tippy toes when sitting on the bike. The GS F 700 fits me perfectly, has the same size engine as the GS F800 at 800cc’s pushing 75hp at max out-put, but is tuned a little differently.

SunsetPlease stay tuned for some great pictures and commentary from the road. I think the first bigger trip will be next weekend down the Big Sur coast of California.

SunsetHave a terrific day!

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

 

 

August 2nd, 2014

Kentfield, California

I love to read period. As far as I can remember it’s always been so. This spring and summer I’ve been reading books encompassing a self-mastery theme. The best books I’ve been uncovering are authored by Navy SEALS. Thom Shea, a fellow retired senior chief penned this great book that I’m half way through. The book was written to his children in the form of a training manual based upon his life experience as a SEAL in the event of his death. Fathers teach and in case he wasn’t present he wanted his kids to know certain things.

This book is all about Internal Dialogue and how it dictates the course of one’s life. Highly recommend this book.

Thom Shea's Book

Thom Shea’s Book

The next two book are by the same author, Mark Divine (USNA ret). Super impressive guy. Not a flash in the pain philosophic pop zinger messaging, but real integration of varying methods of mastery. Anyone who studies philosophy with any kind of depth comes to see numerous connections across seeming disparate perspectives and diciplines. Similar to what I’ve found in teaching yoga, you learn to say the same shit over and over again, but with different words. Essentially conveying the same message. You learn who to bridge.

UNBEATABLE MIND

UNBEATABLE MIND

Shea’s book is more memoir like with lessons peppered in. Divine’s books are excellent excellent books on total transformation.

The Way of the SEAL, By Mark Divine

The Way of the SEAL, By Mark Divine

I was thrilled but not all that surprised to learn that Commander Divine is an Astanga trained yoga teacher. You learn how to think like a warrior, the intense benefits of deep breathing and meditation. He breaks down military planning tools used in the SEAL community, distilling it to be used in business or personal life.

Maybe one of the reasons these books appeal to me so much is the style of writing. He is a military officer and speaks my language. It is not squishy, and there is no waste within.

If you are a person that wants to live life at the next level, please check these books out and check in with the Divine crew at SEAL FIT. From what I’ve gathered his methods work.

Kindly,

Christian Allaire

 

 

 

Kentfield, California

July 20th was birthday. Aging is a positively difficult topic. Facinating and fraught with contradition. Many think that NOT aging is the ticket. I don’t believe that at all. Although I would agree that aging is not going to be easy, but then again life is difficult at all stages.

NYT Birthday Edition

NYT Birthday Edition

My life is clipping right along at a smooth and manageable pace. It’s funny that I’ve come to compartmentalize or demarcate my life into pre-sailing trip and post-sailing trip. It appears to be the benchmark that I measure many factors in my life…ie happiness and direction. The benchmark is not my career in the U.S. Coast Guard which demonstrates the emotional impact that sailing trip had on me. In any event, I left on that Journey at 40 years old and now hear I am at 47 getting ready to knock on the 50 year old door.

A birthday is always at great time to reflect. It seems that a birthday can cause a gurgling up of regret. I’ve few regrets and the yogi in me chalks up these things as lesson that needed to be learned to move forward. Maybe more of what I’m feeling is not regret but time slipping. Kind of “I’ve got a lot of shit to do and time is slipping” feeling.

This year’s celebration was spent in Lake Tahoe, California on the west shore with my girlfriend.

Cabin West Shore Lake Tahoe

Cabin West Shore Lake Tahoe

GoPro Tahoe

GoPro Tahoe

I had been stationed at Tahoe City while in the Coast Guard in the 90’s for nearly 4 years. This was the first time I’ve been back in the summertime. So beautiful, but the lake water level was super low. The Coast Guard boats can’t moor at the pier at the Station due to depth issues.

Active Duty Lake Tahoe late 90's

Active Duty Lake Tahoe late 90’s

So it was a quick trip to the lake. We arrived to bright sunshine and warm temperatures…..and then a summer storm (much needed might I add) came rolling in. Full on thunder and lightning.

Lightening Strike Tahoe

Lightening Strike Tahoe

The sky opened up and Barri and I ran for cover. I’m super grateful that my girlfriend took me to the lake for my 47th birthday!

Dark & Stormy Lake Tahoe

Dark & Stormy Lake Tahoe

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Kindly,

CLA