Archive for May, 2010

Congratulations to our Hometown LADY BUCKS softball team!!!!!

The Lights Jerky Company is really proud of your accomplishments. Believe in your ability within your role on the field and with this focus you can’t go wrong.  STATE BOUND !!!!!!

Love is blind…

A previous blog post has stirred questions about my statement, perceived love is blind and the rationalization of greed insatiable.  Most of the emails I received sought clarification of the statement. 

The statement is a revised version of a chinese proverb “love is blind and greed insatiable”.  I believe that the perception of love is most prominent in today’s world.   While love in the truest essence of the word is seemingly hard to find because of  perception. 

 The reason may be found in how the human mind has been primed to believed in certain things.  People that are tuned in to the frequency of the material world may hold love in the “arousal effect” and confuse the definition of love with the instant gratification of luxuria.   We can see this between people as well – most “teenage love” for example…Arousal effect to a “t”een.

 Luxuria is conditional and  is dependent upon perception.  Love on the other hand needs no one to perceive it – it just is.   When we can alter perception or do away with it altogether we can  find love in the most innocent of things.  Love can be found in just about everything and everyone.  But when people begin to defend their perception of love there is always is a secondary gain that prompts the defense. 

The secondary gain is typically some form of greed.  Mindsets that are rapacious lean to use instant gratification and need to justify it somehow.  Rationalization is the defense.  There are many ways to defend your perceived love for anything.  True love needs no defense, it needs no one to believe in it.  Do away with secondary gains and the games we play between one another, the result is that we then can open ourselves to truth.  And there is always love in that…

The Rules You Break

“The evil that men do lives after them, the good oft interred with their bones..”. Shakespeare

Data collection continues with inspectors week after week, month after month, year after year at our jerky facility.  There is a filing cabinet at our plant that is used by inspectors that contains data (written reprimands)  for the whole year  that remains relatively empty.  The more we mess up, the more data goes into their files and the more justified jobs seem to be.    However, if  MSA was required to keep records on the number of good things we do ,well, we’d better get  more cabinets.

Breaking the rules seems to be followed with much more enthusiasm and  the sport seems to be part of an old brain mechanism.  Our false-selves tune into the misfourtune of others because the perception of control and power shifts out of balance, and part of the perception is that people feel a sense of advantage in this inequity.  The legitimacy of such a mindset is only vindicated by the ego. 

Being able to get past this mindset at either end of the balance shift is integral to interpersonal  and ultimately intrapersonal relations.  But the important thing to remember is that you really don’t need anyone to justify anything for you, but you.  In our case, our work ethic and acknowledgment of the rules is rewarded by the number of repeat customers we have.  The customer reminds us that we are doing something very right.  This expression strengthens our commitment and our constant pursuit of  exercising good judgement.

Which is the one rule that we try to abide  by daily;  to exercise  good judgment in all situations, beyond this, there really are no other rules.

“Measured Adventure”

 RISK isn’t for everyone. But it is essential for goal attainment, no matter how big or how small.

Taking  general, haphazard risks is like shooting arrows into the sky, sometimes they hit their targets, but often times you  get hit by your own arrows.  

However, if you put in the time, “measured adventure” is much more deliberate. It tends to be more calculated and often times hits the target. 

“Measured adventure” never comes easy – you have to be prepared to “calibrate” your tools as often as you can, do the research, test the concept, adjust where needed and  then set out to apply whatever you have learned in the spirit of reaching the goal.  But you have to do the homework to maximize potential and minimize the gamble.  There is always a great payoff  in end. The payoff is not always in the form of money, but always in the form of EDUCATION.

AND to be able to live life from the perspective and approach of “measured adventure” – well that is goal attainment in and of itself. 

Peace, truth  and love.

Don Milton Faver

The Plains that is home to the Marfa Lights has a long history of Cattle ranching.  In the early 1800’s Milton Faver became the first Battle Baron of Presidio County and one of the first cattle Barons of Texas.  He purchased land around three flowing  springs in southern Presidio County.  He later established these three sites as his cattle ranches.  The three separate sites were named the Cibolo, Morita and Cienega. 

The Cibolo Creek ranch is now home to the Cibolo Creek Resort –  – an absolutely beautiful place to visit. Cattle continues to be an important part of life in Far West Texas , especially for us at the Lights Jerky Company. 

My mother wrote a book, One Hundred Years of Faith and Memories, outlining the history of Presidio county which describes the Cattle Baron, Milton Faver.   This is a facinating book filled with an accurate historical account of Far West Texas. The Book can be purchased through her website at

The Lights “Charquedas” Co.

Our Jerky is Delicious

Why do we call dried meat “jerky”?  The word is derived from the  Quechua  word Chariqui, which is also spelled charki.  Quechua is a native American language that is primarily spoken in the Andes of South American of today.  I have seen different translations of the word, but ,the basic definition of the word is meant  to describe preserved meat or “jerky”.  The technique was extremely important when discovered, as there was no other means to preserve meat which was essential for survival. 

The first businesses developed to actually dry meat for resale were referred to as charquedas and where established in Uruguay, Peru and Brazil.  Since the discovery of the “Charki” process, cultures from all over the world  have used the technique with their own recipes with the same goalin mind, which is to kill pathogens and to dry it to a water activity level low enough to preserve the meat strips and  make them safe to eat.   

Preservation length of  jerky is measured in shelf life.  The shelf life assigned to our jerky products by an independent laboratory was more than a year.  I personally have eaten our jerky that we have stashed away that was well over two years old and it had the same flavor, texture, color and odor as the products that you order from us.  Rest assured we do not keep product for more than a month before you get it.  So when you get it the product is very fresh.  

  The “Charquedas” industry has grown from a million dollar a year industry of just 20 years ago to an almost a billion dollar industry.People love their charki especially from a quality “charquedas” like The Lights Jerky Company.

In the Beginning

My children were another aspect of what  inspired us to start the jerky business.  The inspiration was found in the fact that we thought it would be a great way for our family to learn together. Of course ,we don’t abandon or substitute good parenting practices with a CEO mindset to manage our children,  but we do include them in decisions that we make about the business.  There is an empowerment quality in including them along the way.  From their perspective and in the future,  there shouldn’t be summers without a job and Christmas breaks with nothing to do. No more statements like “I’m bored, there is nothing to do”.  

Business ownership as you may or may not know requires an array of skills.  From self management skills to leadership and interpersonal communication skills. I’m talking about basic emotional intelligence (EI).  We thought, “what a great way to teach the kids basic EI- business ownership and practical parenting”.

 Another aspect of the dream was to have  the business support  my children’s dreams beyond high school, whether it be college, business startup or both.  In either case, they would be involved along the way.   Empowerment to earn and to own their educational pursuits was the model that  we sat out to develop.  My beautiful kids are in middle school at the present, but already have achieved a basic understanding of “accountability” as it applies to school work, business ownership and self.  So much more to learn, but the idea is already more of a success than I could imagine.  Onward we go…

Bipole Communication

“Compassion begets Integrity” was a comment I made in a previous blog post titled Integrity.  Compassion, altruism and empathy are examples of what motivates or inspires styles of communication or what we call “interpersonal communication” between people.  I think this is best described in what I call “bipolar communication”. 

On the extreme end of the pole lies the communication style known as aggression.  Aggression is a communication style that completely disregards and disrespects the other person.   Truth is almost always absent in this form of communication.  It is a style that is driven with the mindset of SELF.  ME, ME, ME, & no one else matters. It is egoic in nature and requires no empathetic value. 

At the opposite end of the pole lies the communication style of deference.  Deference (Low & Nelson), is a communication style that is in essence,  non communication.  The person deflects, avoids, and “defers” from any interactions that promotes self, and promotion of ideas is given up to others in all situations. This style serves to disrespect the self and is always self-denying.

An overload of empathy value coupled with hindered self esteem are typically the reasons for deference and the person is regularly viewed as a ” martyr”. Again truth is typically disregarded.  In the middle of the spectrum is assertion. 

Assertion is a communication style that allows for a balance of respect for others, while allowing for  respect of self.  It demonstrates a balance of  empathetic value, positive regard for others and positve regard for self.  This syle seeks  and examines the truth in almost all cases.  So from this we can see that communication between people whether it be verbal, physical, or that of written expression is chiefly inspired by empathy.  T

herefore,  when we are defining integrity as a value that has to do with positive outcomes, then assertion is the best means of a producing such an effect.  And with this then we can state that Empathy, compassion, and truth , are what chiefly fuels this communication style between people.  I guess it can be stated this way –  “integrity is a vicarious effect of balanced empathy, compassion and truth.”

Flying around IRAQ…

Below is an email that we received. Published with Capt. Garcia’s consent.

I’m a C-130 Pilot in the Air Force currently stationed in Iraq and a fellow Texan as well.  Gig’em Aggies!!!   We were flying here around Iraq last night when my Navigator got some jerky in the mail.  He let us try some, and 2 hours later, all 5 bags he had were gone.  I was so impressed that  I just purchased 5 more lbs and can’t wait til it arrives.  Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your Jerky and can’t wait to try all the flavors.  Keep up the good work!!

Manuel Garcia, CAPT, USAF

We appreciated the comment and reciprocated by sending the good Captain samples of our new product that has not yet been released.  This product is referred to as “Machaca” and is a very versatile ground jerky.  It can be put in soups, salads, burritos or just about anything you want.  It will likely spice up any MRE’s the armed forces has to offer.  Thank you Captain Garcia and thank you  to all  the men in uniform.

Water Activity and the Yogi

I recently read an article about a Yogi from India  who claimed to have not eaten or had anything to drink in 70 years.  Researchers put the Yogi to a test recently where they monitored him for three weeks.  During the three weeks he had nothing to eat or drink.  S

cientist are still not convinced that he was able to live without food or water for 70 years, as they continue to fall short of believing because of their limited lens.  According to what I have read about the Yogi Master he lives with a completely empty stomach providing no ingested nutritional value to his mind and body.  Yet his brain and body are that of a twenty year old.  Complex cellular structures require water to survive, this has been objectively concluded upon by the scientific community. 

The dehydration process in jerky manufacturing removes most of the moisture in the strips of beef to make them “shelf stable and ready to eat”.  There is much more to it than that, but, moisture removal is probably one of the most important steps in processing jerky. 

Moisture in beef is measured as a Water Activity variable, (AW) and is comparable to relative humidity.   Pathogens such as Salmonella, E.Coli, and Listeria  require more that .85 AW to be able to survive. If you remove moisture to a water activity  level of below .80 AW, then the pathogen will not survive. Not even the hardiest of pathogens will be able to proliferate under these conditions.  So in essence, we depleat pathogens of the ideal environment and conditions to survive.     

 So how is it that the Yogi master is able to survive with a presumed AW of less than .80?  Could there be a spiritual realization that can only be subjectively understood?  I don’t have the answers to these questions, but do understand that all of the things that truly matter in life such as love, can only be understood in the subjective, not in the objective.  Science can only make sense of a world that is of  the objective realm.  

 The Yogi believes that his energy source is sent to him from space in the form of a couple of drops of nectar.   Is this far from what other cultures perceive about their god?  The Mayans, Toltec, Egyptians, to mention but a few, believe that their life source came from the Sun.  The Sun was their god. 

Again, only understood as a matter of faith in a subjective sense, but, a powerful means nonetheless.  Love is not quantifiable, but yet we feel its enormous value to living in a world with so much objectivity.  It is the water to our soul, it is the food to our spirit and it is the ideal condition for the human species to continue to survive, for without it, we die. 

My life source is my family.  My children provide me with the essential elements to want to keep going.  This source of inspiration can not be measured in a laboratory, but it is measured in the orbit of my mind and it is real.   

So – Do I believe the Yogi? It is not for me to say, but, I do aspire to  possess his allegiance in seeking truth in a higher order of peace  and love. The ultimate conditions for survival, in my world,  require FAMILY.     PEACE AND LOVE to all.