James Bond, secret agent 007 with a licence to kill. More than just a fictional action hero, James Bond represents an ideal, he personifies perfection, and living life to it’s fullest, and experiencing the maximum that the world has to offer. That perfection is more attainable than you think, and those experiences can be yours.
Being James Bond is dedicated to learning and exploring all you need to know, so that you can experience life, just a little more like James Bond. James Bond knows how to do just about everything, and this is your new instruction manual. Being James Bond is your ‘how-to’ guide, on anything that James Bond can do, or has done, and making Bond’s knowledge and skills your own. Each article is designed to be informative, and fun, and each will bring you one step closer to being James Bond.
If James Bond can do it, YOU can do it!
Being James Bond is broken up into nine individual sections. Those sections are: The Good Life, Bond the Sportsman, Gambling, Man of Action, Extreme 007, Travel, Rest and Recreation, and Inner Bond.
Let’s look at each section a little closer…
THE GOOD LIFE
“There are moments of great luxury in the life of a secret agent.” What is The Good Life? I would offer that getting a massage at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, the way James Bond did in Goldfinger, is probably a great start. In Being James Bond: Volume One, we kicked off ‘The Good Life’ section with the chapter Drinks and Mixology, where we will discuss the world of cocktails; we’ll discuss various liquors, types of cocktails, some bartending techniques, bar equipment and glassware, so that you’re knowledgeable, and can shake up a few professional cocktails yourself.
In subsequent editions of Being James Bond, we will include chapters on Food and Wine; where we’ll explore the basics of wine, food and wine pairings, and wine tasting. No well-dressed man should go out without knowing about Clothing, so we’ll tackle what every man should have in his wardrobe, clothing essentials, brands, accessories, etc. Bond certainly knows about music, fine art, opera and literature, so we are going to explore Culture. Anywhere you drop Bond in the world he can speak the language, so we’ll have to explore Languages. What does it take to learn a language? Is it really as bad as it was in high school, or can we come up with some better ways? Before it became a “filthy habit,” literary Bond would often enjoy a good Smoke after dinner, so we’ll take a look at literary Bond’s preferences, including cigars.
BOND THE SPORTSMAN
There are the three activities that you can be sure that Bond would do pretty regularly. In ‘Bond the Sportsman,’ we’ll explore golf, skiing, and scuba diving. I sometimes call these ‘The Big Three.’
In this edition, we will traverse the world of Skiing; including your basic expectations, preparing for your trip, exercises, clothing, equipment, navigating a ski area, and skiing techniques. And as we explore the big three, we will make a few stops too; in this edition, we’ll visit the magnificent skiing location, Piz Gloria on Mount Schilthorn, near Mürren, Switzerland, that Bond visits in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
In future editions, we will talk about Golf, and visit the the Stoke Pogues Golf Club in Buckinghamshire England where Bond went in Goldfinger. Finally, when we talk about Scuba Diving, we definitely have to talk about The Bahamas, where Bond dives in Thunderball.
Join us at the Royale-les-eaux, Salon Prive’ as we explore the world of ‘Gambling,’ from small resort card-tables, to Las Vegas and Monte Carlo. We’ll kick off this edition with Texas Hold’em Poker, as we discuss the rules and techniques for Poker, bluffing and tells, resources to improve your game, etc. In future editions, we’ll cover other casino games like Blackjack, Baccarat, Chemin de Fer, and Craps.
MAN OF ACTION
Take any piece of machinery with a steering wheel, and Bond can jump in and operate it. In this first edition, we kick off the ‘Man of Action’ section with Flying an Airplane; we’ll go from taxi to takeoff, straight and level flying, and landing, and how to obtain your recreational or private pilot’s license. In future editions, we are going to talk about High Speed Driving, and cover other vehicles including Riding a Motorcycle, Flying a Helicopter, Driving a Speedboat, and even Fighter Jet Training. And what would James Bond be without his Walther PPK, so we are going to talk about Guns and Firearms. Finally, since Bond certainly knows how to handle himself, we’ll discuss Hand To Hand Combat.
In the last few decades, James Bond has ventured into the world extreme sports, so we’ll call this section, ‘Extreme 007.’ As this chapter has already revealed, in this edition we’ll head to the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland and go Bungee Jumping as Bond did in Goldeneye. Whether it’s from a bridge, a hot air balloon, a crane or a tower, we’ll discuss what to expect from your first jump, and explore the best jumping locations. In future editions, we will look at Skydiving, Rock Climbing, and Hang Gliding.
As far as I am concerned the most James Bond-like thing that virtually anybody can do is ‘Travel.’ Here we will explore adventures abroad, discover new places to see and new Bond destinations, on and off the beaten path, etc. In this edition, we will explore the city of London, a city that’s still bustling with red buses and vintage black cabs. In future editions, we will travel together to magnificent destinations including Paris, The Bahamas, Switzerland, Jamaica, Portugal, Amsterdam and Greece, and will even take a ride on The Orient Express.
REST AND RECREATION
After your missions, you’ll need to unwind with a little ‘Rest and Recreation.’ In this edition we’ll grab the reigns and go Horseback Riding, including proper clothing, mounting and dismounting, walk, trot, canter, riding styles, tack and supplies, and finding the right riding instructor. Future editions will include chapters on Sailing, Ballooning, Bobsledding, Surfing, Water-skiing, Fencing, and yes, even Astronaut Training.
As the first season was underway, many listeners asked about, or made suggestions about, future topics. As you might imagine, the topics most people asked for were a little more abstract. So we added a section called ‘Inner Bond; and in future editions we’ll explore topics like Physical Health, Motivation, Finances, and of course, The Opposite Sex.
That’s a lot to learn! Do I really think it’s possible to learn and digest allof these skills? It’s this what makes James Bond a fantasy figure? The fact that one man could have a super-human level of knowledge and ability?
One reader of Being James Bond asked me that very question this way: “Perhaps, this is a silly question, but the flying thing keeps bugging me. I wonder, did you just take an introductory class or did you really get a pilot’s license? I ask this because I would really love to know how you interpret the James Bond lifestyle. Is it really experiencing it all or experiencing it in little chunks, but more in depth?”
This is how I responded, “No, I definitely don’t have a pilot’s license, and I didn’t even take an introductory lesson, at least not officially. I work in the aviation field, so I have a few close friends who are pilots, and I have been fortunate enough to fly with them on a few occasions and they always let me take the wheel. So, they were more than happy to put me in touch with resources for learning to fly, including instructional videos, etc. So, this made it very easy to put together the podcast about learning to fly.
“But to your bigger question about how I interpret the lifestyle, it’s a great question, experiencing it all versus experiencing it in little chunks. I suppose it’s kind of like working out. If I am in the gym and I’m looking to build muscle, I might hang up a poster of Arnold to inspire me to push a little harder, but that’s not to imply that I have failed if I don’t end up looking like “The Terminator.” Personally, yes, I see the ultimate goal as experiencing it all, even if it’s not likely, even if it’s not even reasonable, I do find it possible. “So, two things. A, I’m hardly a failure if I try to have it all, but I fall short. I will have a much richer life for having tried. And, B, this is hardly something that has to happen overnight. Having it all or experiencing it all, does not all have to happen within a certain time frame. This is something that will take me many years to accomplish. I don’t have any need to feel done or complete with my life any time soon. “So, to sum up, I’ll be very happy to spend many, many years experiencing the different things that I have set my sights on and I hope you will too.”
Being James Bond is not a self-improvement product, at least not in the way most people understand the self-improvement trend today; but on the other hand, it’s exactly self-improvement in the most literal sense of the term.
Being James Bond: Volume One is listed only a self-help book in the respect that no other category really seems to fit. Unlike other self-improvement books, this one does not claim to sell you a new lifestyle, doesn’t offer prosperity and riches or a sure-fire way to score with babes.
“It doesn’t demand that the reader learn and study all the skills in the book in order to be looked upon as a success or a ‘winner’. Instead, for fans like myself who think that James Bond’ films look like a lot of fun, the book is simply a series of how-to essays designed to provide the reader with information on certain bond related skills, so that he or she may learn them for themselves. In short, it’s meant to bring the fun of being James Bond down to earth.
The book should also spare the reader a lot of idiots and dummies books for learning about certain Bond related topics. If I may, I believe this book does a better job than many of the how-to books that are out there. “For example, when I was putting together the chapter on skiing, I referred to the “For Dummy’s” book on skiing. The book is almost 400 pages on anything and everything related to skiing, including the origins of skiing, what early skis were made of, etc. but nowhere in any of the books I read did it explain how to turn or stop. I think this chapter, among others, does an excellent job of giving the reader all he or she needs to know on this topic, before handing them off to a qualified instructor.
“Furthermore, I’m not sure why you would find a chapter on traveling to London to be “rather sad.” The travel chapters are short and meant to highlight certain points of interest to the James Bond fan traveling abroad and London certainly seemed like the most logical place to start. While the chapter offers a basic overview of what the average tourist would want to know when visiting London, it also zeroes in on specific Bond related points of interest. For example, it points out well-known filming locations and offers specific experiences that can still be enjoyed today, which can include shopping at Harrod’s, being measured for a shirt and tie at Turnbull and Asser and enjoying dressed crab at a Black Velvet at Scott’s Restaurant. I’ve done subsequent chapters/articles on visiting Paris and Bahamas, among others, which will appear in future volumes. “So, to answer your question is it meant to be ironic, I would answer no, I would not say it is meant to ironic; but as the title should suggest, there is a level of tongue and cheek to it. Being James Bond is not intended to be a book about success and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I certainly don’t claim to be James Bond, in fact, I don’t even claim to call myself a teacher, as much as I would call myself a humble, but passionate student.
“But I should also add that while Being James Bond does not sell itself as a “Be a Better You”, many who visit the Being James Bond forums sections have, indeed, embraced this concept as a means to strive to be better in all aspects of their lives. And if I may say, that’s not a bad thing either.
The first one I think we are going to get into is going to be a poker related podcast. Because there is something, when I did the Being James Bond book, I did sort of an extensive look into how Bond plays in “Casino Royale” because we didn’t get into that very much in the initial podcast, I’m going to bring that to you in this supplemental podcast. And, of course, you can set the stage for what these podcasts are about. Please feel free to e-mail me, you can go to the Facebook page, you can go to the forums, the Being James Bond forums, or you can just e-mail me at email@example.com. Let me know what you want to hear, let me know what you want to talk about, if you have questions, if you have suggestions, please send them in. If you want to contribute something, if you want to do some sort of a listener contribution on any of the topics we discuss, let me know, we can talk about it. Maybe you can put something together and send it in and, again, be creative.
So, again, please get involved,. Go to the Being James Bond forum section, that’s www.beingjamesbond.com, go to the forum, get involved, If you have suggestions for future articles or podcasts, or if you wish to contribute an article, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.