“A veces, las cosas no son lo que parecen,” is a statement that we all probably (or should) realise is spot on (‘at times, things are not always what they seem’). This point has been the basis for much of my business work, and is certainly appropriate living as an ex-pat in Spain. Since my last chapter, this point has made itself pretty flippin’ clear again.

The medical thing. My little shoulder problem has become a bit more serious than I had planned on. Actually, I hadn’t planned on a shoulder problem at all, but after discovering that I had buggered it – most probably by exercising…how ironic is that? – the traumatologista that conducted the examination and ordered the MRI told me that he wanted to try to use cortisone before he would even consider any other solutions. After two cortisone injections over a two week period, I went into his office last week for yet another cortisone hit. After the almost mandatory ‘’como estas?’’ comments, he asked if my shoulder was any better. I said that it wasn’t, as I began to roll up my sleeve for the next injection. He pulled out his prescription pad and said that we needed to resort to surgery at this point.

The next week, I met with the surgeon and the anaesthetist that would be involved in the surgical procedure. I just couldn’t resist, and asked the anaesthetist if I would be under a local anaesthetic or something that would put me completely under. He replied that he would put me completely to sleep. Fair enough. I then asked him if he would be using Lorazepam or Proforol. He said Proforol, but had a quizzical look on his face, probably wondering how I even knew those names. I replied by asking him if he knew about Dr. Conrad Murray (the doctor involved in the Michael Jackson death who has been on trial for involuntary manslaughter for the past two months). He then smiled and began to explain exactly what he would do and how I would be monitored during the entire procedure – obviously knowing what Murray hadn’t done. I think we are now friends.

As I do like to understand how things happen, and in this case, the ‘thing’ is going to be a surgeon cutting into my shoulder, I have been researching as much as I can about the actual procedure. And although I wasn’t able to find a picture of an actual operation, I did find a painting by Rembrandt to ponder.

Time is slipping away this year, and for me, that means it was time to crank up the Studio at La Antigua production time once again. I know that this can cause a bit of confusion, as even though I still own La Antigua, I don’t live there. None-the-less, anything artistic that I make comes from ‘the studio.’ This project isn’t any different. I have been working on a four-colour serigraph, in a run of 150 prints, of another view of the massive Cathedral in Palma.

Projects like this do capture the phrase at the beginning of this chapter, as making a run of this size does mean that there is more than meets the eye. The main characteristics of this run were, A) a totally messed up house as printing four colours on the cards requires lots of room for the actual serigraph set up and even more room for the cards to dry between the application of each colour. The good news is that the cards are now done. The even better news is that this project was that it required a bit closer registration than previous large-run projects, and I was able to change the way I made the printing fixtures to ensure that the colours would go down where they were supposed to.

I recently was asked to participate in a small-business-seminar day on the island. For me, this was more fun than it was actual work. And because my two presentations (one on the Ladder of Inference and one on ‘how to demonstrate how work actually gets done’ in an organisation – a causal loop development doo-wah), were quite successful, I have since been working with someone on putting together an entire series of programmes on how to increase Business Effectiveness for organisations here on the island.

The good news is that this is what I do for real-life clients, so I do have substantial experience in this area. The bad news is that the target market is small businesses here on the island, and with the economic situation as it is, they won’t be able to pay me what I would normally charge for this work. Having said that, I am a guest on this wonderful little island and it won’t kill me to do some more pro-bono work.


this chapter's random, and unrelated, picture

let's hope this isn't an accurate representation of the surgery

big-time production from The Studio at La Antigua

job done

looping, of course

back to the top

copyright 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011  James B. Rieley