Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Funny Valentine

Sinatra, of course. Great tune, odd lyrics.

Happy Valentine's Day

Elizabeth Barrett Browning: "How Do I Love Thee?"

A Walk with Cary

Find Something Beautiful Today

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Love Letters to Tucson

Image result for tucson

An unusual and charming website.

Here is the story behind it.

Ira Chaleff's Book on When to Disobey Orders

Ira Chaleff has written a thought-provoking book on ethics

Intelligent Disobedience: Doing Right When What You're Told to Do Is Wrong explores a variation of the Right versus Right challenge that arises in most ethical questions. The book's main inspiration comes from an unusual scenario regarding guide dogs who are taught to disobey commands that would put their owners at risk.

I'll be writing more on Chaleff's book and how it has influenced my own ethical decision-making workshops.

Scalia on "Reading Law"

A C-Span interview with Justice Scalia on his book, Reading Law.


There is a report that Justice Antonin Scalia has died.

I have not seen confirmation elsewhere.

[Update: It has been confirmed by CBS News.]


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Surprising news from Florida:  FutureLawyer only wears one smartwatch on each wrist.


Cultural Offering has a pie chart on the cause of mass shootings.

I've been waiting to see "Robbery-Free Zone" signs at banks.

Lincoln and Churchill

Lewis E. Lehrman examines two great wartime leaders. An excerpt:

President Lincoln’s English-speaking counterpart during the 20th century was surely the great war leader and statesman Winston Spencer Churchill. Churchill, too, had a war strategy which encompassed all aspects of his struggle against Hitler and the Japanese Empire. His bodyguard Walter H. Thompson wrote of a visit during World War II by Prime Minister Churchill to the naval base at Scapa Flow:

He pointed to the impressive fake battleship that was on the far end of the northern string and told one of the warrant officers that it would be spotted by German pilots as a dummy and that they would not waste a bomb on her. “But she’s not even been spotted by our own reconnaissance, sir,” he was told. “Then they need spectacles!” “How so, sir?” “No gulls about her!’ he snapped. “No seagulls. You’ll always find gulls about a living ship. But not around a dummy. Not unless you drop garbage for the dummy too. Keep garbage in the water day and night, bow and stern, of all these dummies! Feed the gulls and fool the Germans!” And they did.

Art Break: Raymond

At Muddy Colors, Greg Ruth looks at the work of Alex Raymond.

Stress Inducer: Climbing a Skyscraper

Gizmodo has the video.

I think I'll go lie down now.

Alan Rickman/Hans Gruber Moment

A Comedy about Old Hollywood

Image result for hail caesar

John Podhoretz reviews the Coen brothers' film.

A great spoof on Hollywood. To note its more serious side, a good companion film would be "Mission to Moscow." 

Saki Short Story Saturday

Get Up Early and Achieve More

Fast Company: How a morning person read more books and learned a language in a year.

Quote of the Day

Waste no more time arguing what a good person should be. Be one. 

- Marcus Aurelius

Friday, February 12, 2016

"Weasels Ripped My Flesh"

It can happen in the best of workplaces.


Have some Brahms for Friday evening.

Crank it up.


In Stalin's Russia, mild applause could be very dangerous.

The Best Ad Ever for Venice

Good Stuff

Love. Coffee. Morning. Hot-buttered toast. Walks. Loyalty. Trees. Laughter. Dogs. Fountain pens. Shakespeare. Chocolate. Dickens. Mahogany. Candles. Friends. Manners. Handel. Napoleon Dynamite. Earl Grey tea. Freshly baked chocolate-chip cookies. A good shotgun. V-8 engines. Proverbs. London. Beethoven. Twain. The Federalist Papers. Binoculars. Boots. Creosote. The Marx Brothers. Bay rum. Trollope. Hitchcock. Naps. Showers. Cotton shirts. Ecco shoes. Grace Kelly. The Aubrey-Maturin novels. Copland. Grant. Lincoln. Cinnamon. Swiss Army knives. Amazon Prime. Whit Stillman. Tom Wolfe. Marcus Aurelius. Wrist watches. Thank-you notes. Drucker. Night skies. Red chili burros. Orange juice. Ice. Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso. Spencer Tracy. Tolstoy. Tulips. Respighi. Bach. Vultures. Horses. Tennyson. Trains. Friday. C.S. Lewis.

Demagoguery 101

The enemy is [fill in the blank with one or more of the following]:
  1. The poor.
  2. The rich.
  3. A racial, ethnic or religious group.
  4. Wall Street.
  5. The police.
  6. Welfare recipients.
  7. Immigrants.
  8. Private property.
  9. Anyone over thirty.
  10. The Pentagon.

Quote of the Day

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. 

- Nelson Mandela

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Charles Laughton

The trailer for "Witness for the Prosecution."

Road Warrior Days - Part Deux

I recall the days when I spent an inordinate amount of time in airports. I'd teach a management workshop in one city, rush to the airport, fly to another city and then the next day I'd do it all over again..By the time I got home I was ready for  a serious amount of sleep.

Time zones can do that to you.

Of course, those were the days when it was possible to jump on a plane at the last minute. The terrorist scum took away that option.

It was a treat when I could drive from one location to another and I never missed an opportunity to do so. I'm looking at ways to recreate some of those training trips where I'd fly into one spot and drive to nearby locations.

I'll keep you posted.

Vadim's Steampunk World

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Vadim Voitekhovitch.

Muji Hut

You know that small hideaway you've wanted? FutureLawyer has details.


  1. Ego
  2. Turf
  3. Rumors
  4. Staff meetings
  5. "Reply All"
  6. Reorganizations
  7. Indiscretion
  8. Open Door policies
  9. Performance evaluations
  10. Sarcasm

Quote of the Day

Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting. 

- Elizabeth Bibesco

Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Back in Town

I'm back in town from a training mission to The Old Pueblo. Technically I was in Marana, the city just north of Tucson. but the boundaries are so blurred that it can be hard to tell where one ends and the other begins

Fortunately, the area is in one of the most beautiful parts of the Sonoran desert so when I got lost this morning it was a minor pleasure.

Now I'm home; smack dab in the Valley of the Sun; the spot that Tucsonans regard as the spawn of the devil.

Miscellaneous and Fast

David Kanigan: "Walking Cross-Town. With Rubik's Cube."
Kaven Waddell on "Research Pirates of the Dark Web."
Victor Davis Hanson on America's Balkan values.
Jimi Hendrix: You can tour his London bedroom.

10 Quick Presentation Tips

  1. Know what you want to accomplish.
  2. Have a theme.
  3. Always be prepared to present in the most basic manner. Don't rely on technology.
  4. If possible, avoid the use of PowerPoint. If you use PowerPoint, use only a few slides.
  5. Don't have them hold their questions.
  6. Make meaningful eye contact that lets them know you know they are present. [No general gaze.]
  7. Vary your tone of voice and your rate of speech.
  8. Don't tell them how to assemble a watch if they only want the time.
  9. Put them at ease.
  10. Ask if there are any areas that need elaboration.


We Reserve the Right 
Not to Hire Jerks.

Quote of the Day

Friends are lost by calling often and calling seldom. 

- Scottish proverb

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

The All-Time Graceful Concession

The people have spoken . . . the bastards!

- Dick Tuck in 1966 after losing a race for the California State Senate. 

Tuck's campaign slogan was "The Job Needs Tuck and Tuck Needs the Job."

Pulp Break

The Novel on American Politics

"The Last Hurrah" by Edwin O'Connor. Unmatched. Easily the best novel on American politics. It's also very funny. 

The movies based on the book, including the one with Spencer Tracy, are vastly inferior to the novel. [Tracy was well-cast as the lead and did a fine job but many of the novel's best scenes were dropped.]

If the movie were to be filmed today, Jack Nicholson should be cast as Frank Skeffington.

Earliest Results

The New York Times reports the earliest primary results from New Hampshire.

It was Kasich and Sanders in Dixville Notch.

Audrey Hepburn Break

True West

True West magazine has released its list of the Top 10 True Western Towns of 2016.


Cultural Offering has the essential mixes.

Appointing the Committee

"Do we have any volunteers?" 
What is this? A suicide mission? Why are you asking for volunteers? Get the people on the committee who can do the job. Believe me, many of the most talented people are very busy and they won't volunteer. You'll have to nudge them and a little begging might be needed.

"We want to make sure we have a good geographic representation."
Hold on. Home address is a key criterion for serving on the committee? You're not electing members of Congress. Go for competence, not geographic location. 

"And, of course, we want diversity."
I hope you're talking about intellectual diversity and not the gender, racial or flavor-of-the-month type. Is Ed an old guy, a Hispanic, a veteran, a father. or a guy who ruined his knees playing tennis? Stop using irrelevant group identifications and don't make it worse by saying that anyone represents a "community." They don't.

"Do we have enough people?"
If you've got eight, you are pushing the limit. Remember, it is easier to add people than to get people off.

"We can meet once a month."
Oh, it's one of those committees. How long do we have to get things done? A decade or two?


We're not as bad as 
some people think we are 
but we're not as good 
as we think we are.

Quote of the Day

How unhappy are those who cannot forgive themselves

- Publilius Syrus

Monday, February 08, 2016


When asked how prison had changed him - and keep in mind Nelson Mandela went into prison in 1962 and came out in 1990 - Mandela replied, "I came out mature."

One Management Book and One Novel

You are going to be stranded on a desert island for several years. Food and water will be plentiful but you can only have one management book and one novel. 

What are your choices?

The Super Bowl and Safety

Settling unhappily into his Super Bowl seat, Himalayan high behind the end zone, Joe spots an empty seat low and on the 50-yard line. He descends to it and asks the man seated next to him why the wonderful seat is unoccupied. The man says, "It's mine. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she died. This is the first Super Bowl since 1967 we have not attended together." Joe says: "But couldn't you find a friend or relative to come with you today?" The man replies: "No, they're all at the funeral."

Read the rest of George Will's column on the Super Bowl.


Image result for topsy turvy poster


We discriminate solely on 
the basis of merit.

Two Lists

One list, the one we check often, is "What I Am Doing Today to Succeed."

The other list, the one we don't review, is "What I Am Doing Today to Fail."

Art Break: Kirchner

Art Contrarian looks at the street scenes of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.


You know the way you used to handle that particular issue? That no longer works. You recall the items you needed before? They're no longer necessary. That tried and true method once held close to your chest now produces problems.

So much of learning involves unlearning. There's new stuff to acquire and old stuff to jettison. If we don't do both, we can create enormous confusion.


Yesterday, I picked up training materials, reviewed my calendar, read a few chapters in a management book, sent some emails, raked up lawn clippings, saw a very small portion of the Super Bowl, watched part of a news program, went through some newspapers, visited with family members, and planned the coming week.

Some of my most productive moments were when I sat, thought, and then did as little as possible.

Quote of the Day

There's no point in burying a hatchet if you're going to put up a marker on the site. 

- Sydney Harris