Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My First Time

As some of you know, I spend the month of December reflecting on the past year - both as a way to celebrate the great year, to reflect on what really matters and to "capture and retire" memories so I can move on with the next year.

One of my favorite topics (which happens annually on my date of December 24) is the topic of "First times."

All throughout the year, I keep a list of things I did for the first time. It constantly reminds me to get out there an create new an exciting adventures - every year - instead of being satisfied with what "is" or what has happened. It know it isn't very zen like, but for me, it is a great reminder that we don't get old until we stop doing new things. At least that is my story for now - and I am sticking to it.

So - if you had to look back and think about what you did FOR THE FIRST TIME in 2011, what would your list look like?

Here is my list. In no particular order. The exercise is fun for me - because it both reminds me to continue to try to new things - but at the same time, celebrate in the cool new things I did for the year!

FIRST TIME 2011 (First pass)

To go Ziplining among a canopy of trees (in Costa Rica)

To attend an underground meal (based upon wild forest and seashore foraging)

To go on a full family cruise (Happy 50th anniversary Mom and Dad!)

To Visit Hongzhou, China (to see the famous moon lake)

Took my parents to Las Vegas, Orlando and on a cruise

To visit the famous GE Crotonville

To visit Tartine Bakery - perhaps the best in the US?

To visit Park City, Utah

To use Prezi

To sit next to a famous cookbook author for a truffle dinner

To say at Ventura Beach

To ride one of the Chinese long distance bullet trains

To really be mountain biking on a mountain (Mt. Burrell in Australia)

To read Orson Scott Card - and the first of the Ender books (and I will be reading many more!)

To prepare, launch and teach 40 ipads

To mix my own meritage wine (on purpose) - St. Jean Chateau

To meet my first great best friend since school ended (You are wonderful Kelly!)

To make and eat Padron Peppers (thanks to Karie who gave me my first taste!)

To have a Sonora Dog in Tucson (with friend Karen!)

To hang out with bloggers at a conference - and be known at the HR Futurist!

To go to a bubble gum alley (on the Megan California Trip!)

To fall off a mountain (yikes. Head over heals with a mountain bike? The knee still hurts...)

To eat deep fried duck chins (not much meat!)

To do a 12 hour pub crawl (Brandan and Gered - you are pals!)

To be working for the top strategy company

To attend a pop up dinner and the first ever "Le Blanc" party in San Francisco (thanks to my white dressed friends Karie, Jim and Sharon!)

To stand in line to eat a Foie Gras covered hotdog (Haut Dogs in Chicago)

To play Rockin Olives with my mother (A Las Vegas memory I will cherish)

To go to Palm Springs (a bit of work - and play)

To have a Molecular Gastronomy Meal (Moto in Chicago. 21 courses...)

To meet someone else named Richard Von Feldt (Only three of us that I know of. The other one I have not met is a cop in Las Vegas. Not sure I want to meet him...)

To have my own bird feeder (I also realize that it feeds mice!)

To eat housemade tofu made at the table (Thanks Sherry)

To create a board game for 80 people. (Phewww. What a ride!)

To eat at a David Chang Restaurant. And that of at least 10 other celebrity chefs, including Tio, Morimoto and more)

To make Kangaroo and Duck Fish Carpaccio (The food supplies in Australia are amazing. Thanks for the tour - and patience Narelle!)

To really contemplate what "getting old means" based upon the people around me (going to be a tough birthday this year?)

And a few other things that probably are not appropriate to add to the internet!

What a fun 2011!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Singapore - a Happiest Place on Earth?

I saw this article from National Geographic. It is interesting to see the descriptioin of "The Happiest Places on Earth." (http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/happiest-places/happiness-hot-spots-photos/)

One of my favorite places that made me happy is on the list: Singapore:

There is also an interesting article on the "True Happiness Test." It is based on:
1. How you Remember life
2. How you experience your life
3. The effect of your environment.

How about you. How did you do on the test?


Wednesday, April 13, 2011



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Rick Von Feldt

    HR Futurist

    Phone: +1-970-797-9386

    Mobile: +1-650-521-1888



Sunday, March 20, 2011

An answer to that famous question

This is an important picture. Because I finally have a picture of her!

Do you remember those party games, where you sit at tables and have to answer embarassing questions? You go through questions like "What was the most embarassing thing that happened to you? (mine involved a hit and run incident with a lawnmower) Or when did you make a fool out of yourself? (I seem to remember a really bad experience with the song "Feelings" in a talent show…). And then there is that question about your first love.

For me, it was Nancy.

In 3rd grade, I confided in one of my best friends that I thought a girl in my class was pretty. I remember that she had long blond hair. I loved her smile. She seemed sophisticated. And I just couldn't stop watching her.

But I shouldn't have told Paul, my friend. Because he then got it into his mind that it would also be his girlfriend.

Being second graders, we decided that we both could like her. And then let her decide. Further, we decided that it would be the annual school carnival held at Joyland that would be the deciding factor.

Unfortunately, Nancy was diplomatic and went along with it. She might I have just liked the attention. But clearly, I though I knew who she liked the most!

Paul and I decided that the ultimate sign of our affection, and a prooving point on who liked her the most, would be to kiss her in the tunnel on the roller coaster at this amusement park that we would be having our school carnival.

The school carnival was an annual fund raiser for the school. For every 10 tickets you sold to family and friends, you received one ticket free for yourself. I decided that it would take many roller coaster rides in order to get enough courage to make my move. And if Paul decided to kiss her, then I needed to have enough tickets to take Nancy round and round on that roller coaster

I was a crazy salesman that year. I think I learned all about commerce, self confidence and the ability for marketing from that one event alone. By the time the carnival came along, I was in the lead for even selling the most tickets. My secret? I went to the older ladies in the neighborhood, and asked if they would by carnival tickets. I gave them my charming smile. And if they asked why I was selling the tickets, then I would telling them I wanted to take my new girlfriend on the roller coaster. That evoked a lot of great resonses, including most of them turning around and giving me their tickets back. Cha-ching!

The night of the carnival , I was loaded with confidence. But also fear. My only motivation was to be able to prove Paul that she really liked me more!

Later, Paul and I would debate the actual sequence of activities. I think we ended up agreeing that somewhere in the middle of the night, while all three of us were on the roller coast, we both each kissed a cheek at the same time.

But I would claim that she was looking at me, in the dark, and therefore, I had the advantage!

(This picture and story was inspired by my friend Brian McKenna (orange shirt - and to my left) who uploaded this picture to facebook!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

12 Hour Physical Suspensions

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

At least 10 times this year, I will sit in physical suspension. For at least 10 - 12 hours, I will be confined to a 2 feet by 2 feet space. I will be asked to sit still. Move little. I will face an atmosphere that has an air quality that is literally drier than a dessert. I will be uncomfortable. I will be subjected to infectious diseases. And asked to be paid literally thousands of dollars to do it.

Sounds crazy, huh?

I just returned from the second of those 10 experiences - my travel from China back to San Francisco.

This year, I will travel to Asia no less than 5 times. And each time, I have to endure a 10-12.5 hour (depending upon the direction) airplane trip. If you have not been on one of those trans-continental trips, it is something you have to experience. I have been doing it every year for the last 11 years - mutliple times ever year. But with my base now being in the USA, and having business in Asia, I will have trips to Asia averaging every 10 weeks this year.

I do my best to psyche myself up. In advance, I think of all of the things I can / want to get done on the trip. I have to think about the awake time vs sleep time on the flight. It depends upon what happens on the other end. Right now, for example, when I get travel to China, I leave at 1:18 on a non-stop flight to Shanghai that lasts 12 hours. I leave at 1pm on a Friday, and get there on Saturday at 7pm. I know that I need to sleep on the night of my arrival to reset my clock. And so, I make a point to stay awake the full 12 hours of the flight.

In some ways, it is bliss. I get caught up on emails. I get to watch movies or downloaded television shows that I have missed. I get to eat 3-4 times. I drink wine, feel a bit tipsy, and then get sober again. All in that time frame. I make myself drink water. Lots of it, so that I can beat the dehyradation that happens while you are in an airplane.

Usually, I get to fly on business class. Which is crazy, because the prices goes fro $1,700 per person to somewhere between $6,800 and $12,000 per person, depending upon the day I travel.

During the flight, to make things real, I go to the back of the plane. I am reminded of the Leonardo di Capria character in "Titanic." The lower in the decks you go - you begin to see what life in the "cattle classes" are like. On United, at the back of the plane, where people literally pay the lowest fairs, it is brutal. You can't even purchase those fares in the USA. The are reserved for sale in the Asia market. And the leg rooms is so little that if the person in front of you reclines, your legs touch the seat. Imagine that for 12 hours!

I often look around me at what other are doing. Few "prepare" for the experience like I do. On these transatlantic flights, I have a backpack with special supplies. I have a blanket. I have a special eye mask that you can put on and not touch your eyelids (important if you have ever tried one). I have ear plugs that can block half of the noise of loud crying babies, and southern Chinese citizens who insist on using their local cultural habits of being loud and playing majong for hours on the plane. I have extra batteries for the computer. And music.

I have perfected all that I can over the years.

But it still gives me mixed feelings everytime I travel. I can never predict it. But sometimes, the time flies. And other times, I find myself checking the clock every hour, saying, "when am I going to get home."

On the way there, I look forward to the adventure. It is the promise and the hope of sleeping in my own bed that keeps me focused on a goal on the return trip.

Friday, January 28, 2011

What advice would you give to your childhood best friend?

Recently, Kelly, my first ever best friend from first grade told me she was making life and career changes. The magic of Facebook connected us several years ago.

I took a moment to write out the first ten things that came to mind. You can read them here on my new website: http://hrfuturist.com/getting-from-a-to-b/career-advice-for-my-first-grade-friend/

What else would you add? - Rick

Monday, July 19, 2010

Thanks Hallmark for the dating program!

This morning, Hallmark cards sent me an email. The proclaimed that they had a way for me to INSPIRE and UPLIFT my girlfriends. They even gave me a link where I could go on to Facebook and "talk to the real-life girlfriends and imperfect moms" who designed their products. In their ad, the proclaimed that their solutions for my girlfriends would be as "uplifting" as a great bra.


Hallmark, thank you for helping me to try and get new girlfriends and all. I am glad that someone is out there thinking about me (in addition to my Mom that is!) I also appreciate that they are providing me a Facebook dating service to meet their employees. I do wonder if the girls are given extra salary to be pimped out to customers in that way?

I went to the Facebook page of Hallmark. Right there, on the site, they proclaimed, "Girlfriends Collection Online Event!" 6-7 pm (CDT). Wow. They even have an online dating parade. It reminds me of this place I went to once in Thailand...(oh. Oops. Another story). I definately hit "I'm Attending."

They described their girls as, "Yo...ur girlfriends are the people you go to for comfort in hard times and can relate to best. Whether that is divorce, cancer, loss of job, and everyday struggles, girlfriends have you covered."

I have to tell you. If that is the only reason I should be going to girlfriends, then I think that over time, that will be pretty depressing. I like going to my girlfriends for a whole lot of other positive and fun things!

On their website, Hallmark goes one step further. They have created a social calendar for me and my girlfriends for the upcoming week. This is perfect. It is always so hard for guys to think up of creative ideas that are both entertaining and romantic for women. Here is what they suggest:

It is Monday, and so I guess my left over potroast from yesterday will become someone's dinner. That's ok. I burned it - so I won't mind giving it away. Perhaps she will give me something in return. I get a quickie lunch with Lauren tomorrow (sweet!) Yeah. Wednesday. Um. I think I have something that evening - so not sure I want to do the babysitting thing. Is that a way to rest me with children or what? And definately, on Thursday, the idea of inviting multiple girls over is a GREAT idea. Thanks Hallmark for being open to new ideas in open relationships. Are you sure the girls will go along with this? And the "game night" on Saturday and the "play date" on Sunday already has my mind realing.

Hallmark even has created some notes already filled out. All I have to do is fill them out, and send them. One of my favorites includes one that says: "If you wanna cry, fine. If you wanna scream, fine. If you wanna do tequila shots, and accidently end up in Vegas..."

My sentiments exactly. Although I think moving straight to tequila shots is much better than all that screaming and crying up front. But hey, if that is modern day foreplay, the so be it. I'm in!

Hallmark - you really are something. Thanks for making this so easy - so innovative and so modern in approach. And for all of this, it is included in my annual subscription price of just $9.99? How great is that?

I do find it interesting that they incinuate that girlfriends are more perfect than Moms. Actually, some of the girls that I meet that have not been married or are not moms probably have as many issues at 48 than those Moms out there that have weathered motherhood, and are now stepping back and saying, "Whoa! Time for me. Let me find someone as wonderful and charing as my friend Rick..."

It is a new age. With social collaboration, I appreciate that Hallmark has my back - and my bra!


2. LATEST updates on Rick on Facebook
4. 20 SONGS I am listening to - and you can download!
5. My blog about my wonderful grandmother GEORGIA!