And The Winner Is…….

     Last week I offered, here in this lowly post, a 16×20 B&W print to someone who subscribed to the blog and made a simple comment.

     I’ll have to admit, the response was numerically under-whelming, but, Hey….

Quality over quantity, right?

     After all, the expectations, which are rarely an intelligent thing to hold on to, were mine and mine alone.

     The winner will be named at the end of this post along with my e-mail address so you can send me a mailing address.  Congratulations….I guess. But most of all, thanks for ‘playing’!

So, expectations….I can at least try to segue into something…

     This photo, of the lighthouse across the Straits from Mackinac Island reminded me of a story I read several years ago.

     Supposedly, (and names and ranks have been changed to protect the indolent….Me!)


     Supposedly, as the sea was crashing around him and the frigid salt spray was pricking his skin with its fine needle points , young Ensign Cavanaugh received a semaphore message informing him that his vessel was on a crash course with an oncoming ship.

     The ensign fired up his own signal light and sent back in code, “Suggest you change course”

     To this he received the reply, “This is a US Navy vessel on maneuvers. We are heading straight for you. Adjust your course by fifteen degrees”

     The petulant young ensign again replied, “Not a good idea….Suggest you change course”

     This repartee went back and forth a few more times until finally, the ensign was shaken from his amusement by the message,

“This is Rear Admiral Foster and we are the USS George Jefferson. We are under official Naval Department instructions. I order you to change your course!”

     Cavanaugh then replied, “This is Ensign Cavanaugh. I am a lighthouse. Suggest YOU change course”

I suppose there could be, and should be, several morals to this story…


1. Nobody is too big or too important when it comes to the inevitable.

2. No amount of bluster, chest thumping, or rank pulling impresses a rock.

3. Sometimes you just have to change course. (Or, to mix metaphors…Punt!)

4. Lighthouses are there for a reason… literally, metaphorically, and philosophically.

The winner is….

The lighthouse

AND the Admiral, IF he steered clear of  the immovable object.

It’s hard to do that. To come down from the bridge and admit,

“No matter how much I want it to,

This course is not working. Let’s try something else.”

     It doesn’t have to be an admission of failure…..maybe an acceptance of flexibility.

     I have found this concept to be important in not only my business, but also….more often, in my ‘parental’ career.

     There’s nothing like a 3, 12, or 16 year old ‘lighthouse’ to show you that being set in your ways,  an immovable object …

Is no match for the irresistible force!!!

     Okay, the print of the staircase at Shaker Village, Pleasant Hill, Ky goes to….   mpaul

Send your mailing address to and it will be on its way.

Thanks again for playing.

p.s I think Ensign Cavanaugh in this story could represent a higher power.  You know, the one that raises its eyebrows and smugly smiles and says, “You’re the one that made the plans, had the expectations.  I’m just sitting here trying to offer guidance and keep you from dashing your fool self against the rocks!”

~ by rkpowers on November 30, 2010.

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