Monday, September 23, 2019

Quick Looks

The trailers for:

Window or Aisle Seat?

Over the years I've heard many people express a preference for the aisle seat and I always have a quick response: they're wrong.

The window seat is clearly superior. You can sleep. You don't have drink carts bumping into you. You can admire the scenery or check on whether the engines are aflame. Granted, the aisle seat has its moments when the flight is over and people are departing the plane or if you have to take restroom breaks. In most cases, however, that advantage is slight and fleeting. The window seat's advantage can last for hours.

The middle seat, of course, is no one's first choice. It has no emotional advantages other than the pity of strangers who see you squished between two linebackers. Most window and aisle people will surrender the armrests to the middle seat passenger. That's a tacit acknowledgement that the sad little middle seat deserves some charity.

In an ideal world, the middle seat would not exist. On the happy day when it disappears - don't hold your breath - still go for the window seat. 

It is the seat. 

First Paragraph

We are going through a great crowd derangement. In public and in private, both online and off, people are behaving in ways that are increasingly irrational, feverish, herd-like and simply unpleasant. The daily news cycle is filled with the consequences. Yet while we see the symptoms everywhere, we do not see the causes.

- From The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray


vinyl record on white desk

Cultural Offering has the essential mixes for Sting.

[Photo by Denise Jans at Unsplash]

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Kiwis and Clowns

Suzanne Lucas, a.k.a. RealEvilHRLady, tells the story of the time a person brought an emotional support clown to a termination meeting.

The Good Old Days

The trailer for "The First King."

Leadership Reading

black twist pen and planner

Wally Bock has reading assignments for us.

[Photo by Rachel Lynette French at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

"Now, my dear Sir Harry, I must tell you," says her majesty, with that stubborn little duck of her head that always made Palmerston think she was going to butt him in the guts, "I am quite determined to learn Hindoostanee."

- From Flashman and the Mountain of Light by George MacDonald Fraser

BBC Proms: Rule Britannia

The final song of the BBC Proms in 2009.

The final song of the BBC Proms in 2019.

2009 wins hands-down.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Back By Popular Demand

Mitchell and Webb: "The New Fuhrer."


Wally Bock notes the power of this book.

He also observes that the value of its key messages never becomes outdated.

First Paragraph

"He's been taking pictures three years, look at the work," Maurice said. "Here, this guy. Look at the pose, the expression. Who's he remind you of?"

- From LaBrava by Elmore Leonard

Thursday, September 19, 2019

In the Pipeline

Image result for douglas murray madness of crowds amazon

A British "Police Squad"

The trailer for "A Touch of Cloth."

The SmarterWatch

If you could add to the current list of what smartwatches do, what would be your desires?

Some of my candidates:

  • A small voice telling me to get back to work.
  • A beep whenever I am within walking distance of a bookstore.
  • A list of the friends and relationships I've been neglecting.
  • Automatic directions to where the best coffee is sold.
  • A quick reading of the body language of everyone at a meeting.
  • Instant identification of birds and trees.
  • An accurate interpretation of the body language of a dog.
  • An alert whenever a cold is coming on.
I see many of these as doable now and others as possible in the near future.

Other candidates?

A Bargain at Twice the Price

The Babylon Bee: "Introvert Hires Personal Representative to Engage in Church Small Talk."

Have Insight. Will Travel.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, the latest hits include briefings on ethical decision-making and classes on tact in the workplace.

Something is going on out there.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Satire Update

UnHerd: Titania McGrath on "Why I've Reported Douglas Murray to the Police." An excerpt:

For the best part of 300 pages Murray spews his hateful bile – on white paper, no less – denouncing social justice, identity politics and intersectionality. Even the font has a certain heteronormative quality about it. He rails against “millennial snowflakes” who all “identify as attack helicopters” and how “you can’t say anything anymore” and that “you can go to prison for singing the national anthem these days”. I mean, he doesn’t actually write any of these words, but we all know that’s what he’s thinking.

Quick Looks

The trailers for:


Nicholas Bate's "How to Be Brilliant" post on execution is a major reminder for those of us who too easily get wrapped up in analysis.

Remember the U.S. Army's three elements of leadership: 

Be - Know - Do


"An hour and a half is ideal, but two hours will work."

"They want to get back to work."

"Can you blame them? They know things are piling up while they're away. That's why they'd rather attend training that's just down the hall than have to drive to some hotel."

"I've noticed that people don't talk with one another during breaks. The phones emerge and they stare at them. I always wonder whether things are so pressing they can't be away for a few hours."

"It's a habit. Most of what they see on the phone could wait. It's also a thing the cool kids do, even if they're fifty-five."

"But they miss a chance to make connections."

"True, but that would take them outside of their cocoon. With the phone, you can go somewhere else but not really be somewhere else."

"And it wouldn't be cool."

"Absolutely. Start chatting away and people will think you're Gomer Pyle."

"I doubt if many of them know who Gomer Pyle is."

"They probably don't, but they'll still think you resemble him if you start talking."

"I'm going to do that anyway."

"Be my guest, Gomer."

First Paragraph

Stick said he wasn't going if they had to pick up anything. Rainy said no, there wasn't any product in the deal; all they had to do was drop a bag. Stick said, "And the guy's giving you five grand?"

- From Stick: A Novel by Elmore Leonard

Tuesday, September 17, 2019


The trailer for "In the Shadow of the Moon."

Yang's Style

Kevin Kruse on the communication techniques of Andrew Yang.

[See "Win Bigly" by Scott Adams re Trump's communication style.]

Roughing It

Santorini, Greece

I'd risk this.

Tyler Cowen asserts that some places which (due to headlines) seem unsafe are actually pleasant places to visit.

[Photo by Hello Lightbulb at Unsplash]


woman sitting on sand field

Patrick Rhone's yoga instructor has a profound observation on worry.

My advice: make Rhoneisms a daily visit.

[Photo by Patrick Schneider at Unsplash]

Dragon Anywhere

This post by FutureLawyer is a big nudge for me.

The allure of sipping coffee and dictating documents.