Monday, July 16, 2018

Quick Look

The trailer for "Fortitude."

Better Intelligence

An aerial shot of brightly-colored jigsaw puzzle pieces

[Photo by Hans-Peter Gauster at Unsplash]

In personal and professional lives, it is enormously helpful if the warring forces of Feeling versus Rational Thought frequently evaluate the power and appeal of their opponent and perhaps even consider an alliance.

The Myth of Old Files

[Photo by Antonino Visalli at Unsplash]

In your dream, one day you'll be searching through that mass of files packed with old documents and there, tucked in the back of the twelfth or the twentieth file in the bottom drawer, will be a paper from a long-forgotten project that will provide instant insight on a current matter.

In reality, you'll just have a bunch of old files that should have been thrown out years ago.

Art Film

Image result for the incredibly strange creatures who stopped living and became mixed-up zombies full movie

Atari Attorney

FutureLawyer remembers his first computer.

Remember when Atari was cutting edge?

Quote of the Day

The impossible is impossible; it is a condition, not a problem for which a solution has yet to be found.

- Colin S. Gray

Saturday, July 14, 2018

First Paragraph

I arrived in the Alice at five a.m. with a dog, six dollars and a small suitcase full of inappropriate clothes. 'Bring a cardigan for the evenings,' the brochure said. A freezing wind whipped grit down the platform as I stood shivering, holding warm dog flesh, and wondering what foolishness had brought me to this eerie, empty train station in the centre of nowhere. I turned against the wind, and saw the line of mountains at the edge of town.

- From Tracks: One Woman's Journey Across 1,700 Miles of Australian Outback by Robyn Davidson

It's a Beautiful Day in Paris

Here's some extraordinary video of today's parade.

Scrum and More

[Photo by Olga Guryanova at Unsplash]

Wally Bock has some weekend leadership reading assignments for us.

Saturday Morning and Little Things

A fountain pen on a spiral notebook

[Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash]

Got up early. Brought the first section of The Wall Street Journal to my wife, who is lounging in bed. Read some of the paper and a news magazine. Had a little espresso and an English muffin with peanut butter for breakfast.  Fed the dog who is acting strangely this morning but has yet to explain why. Checked blogs and emails. Chores await. My car is running on fumes and needs gas. A business book and a book on Mexican history have been set aside for attention. 

Little things today. A bunch of little things.

You know the routine. It's Saturday.

It's Bastille Day

[Photo by Adrien Tutin at Unsplash]

Go storm something.

A French Film Quick Look

The trailer for "Bon Voyage."

Friday, July 13, 2018


An elegantly dressed man with a suitcase in the wilderness

[Photo by Fredrick Kearney Jr. at Unsplash]

Theory cannot be accepted as conclusive when practice points the other way.

- Charles E. Callwell

"Mars" is Great Background Music While Watching the News

Image result for holst the planets charles dutoit amazon

No Contest

The trailer for "Chuck Norris versus Communism."

The Rules Apply to Thee But Not to Me

Unlike the universalists who want rules applied across the board, the particularists (and I am borrowing both terms from cultural consultant Fons Trompenaars) want different rules for themselves as well as their relatives, allies, and associates.

Discussions of public issues are often filled with bold assertions by particularists who are not at all moved by the question, "How would you feel if the facts were reversed?" 

Remember, in their view, if the situation were reversed, then the rules would not apply. They don't believe in equal application of the rules.

Poetry Break: When You are Old

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,

And nodding by the fire, take down this book,

And slowly read, and dream of the soft look

Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

How many loved your moments of glad grace,

And loved your beauty with love false or true,

But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you,

And loved the sorrows of your changing face;

And bending down beside the glowing bars,

Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled

And paced upon the mountains overhead

And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.

- William Butler Yeats

The Social Media Mob

Daniella Greenbaum on the social media mob's effects on speech.

Halloween in July

[Photo by Melissa Poole at Unsplash]

Last evening, a family across the street from us had a special party for a group of high school foreign exchange students from a wide variety of nations. We and a few of the other neighbors were asked to help with one of the "events."

The party's theme was American holidays. The dinner was Thanksgiving. Valentine's Day and the 4th of July were also worked into the festivities. 

Later on, the students went to the neighbors' homes and trick-or-treated for "Halloween."

It was amusing to see people scrambling to decorate front porches with pumpkins and witches.

A charming idea and the kids were great. 

Instant Smile

Image result for n c wyeth treasure island amazon

The art of N.C. Wyeth.

Quote of the Day

Why do the caterpillar and the ant have to be enemies? One eats leaves and the other eats caterpillars. Oh, I see now. 

- Jack Handey

Thursday, July 12, 2018

First Paragraph

This is not a book about telling your company's story. A book like that would be a waste of time. Customers don't generally care about your story; they care about their own.

- From Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller

[HT: Wally Bock]

East Germany with a Touch of Humor

The trailer for "Good Bye Lenin!"

Many a Team Needs This

This Should Be Interesting

The Department of Justice has reopened the Emmett Till investigation.

Public Interest Announcement

Today is National Pecan Pie Day.

The Pioneer Woman shows how to make one.

Get cracking.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Being in the World."

Art Break

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Stockton Mulford.

Radio and Genius

I often listen to the radio while driving to meetings. When I want a liberal perspective, I listen to National Public Radio. When I want a conservative perspective, I listen to Dennis Prager or Rush Limbaugh.

But when I want to be exposed to genius, then it's time for the classical music station.

A Prison Novel: "The Mars Room"

Stefan Beck reviews Rachel Kushner's latest novel.

The Urbanizing Developing World: Lagos

Poverty, confusion, and moral fluidity haven’t stopped Lagos from achieving global prominence. Maybe an all-pervading looseness has even been a source of the city’s growth, since it has expanded with a velocity that prudent planning would avoid. Lagos is now West Africa’s economic and cultural hub, as well as perhaps the continent’s largest city, depending on which population figures one accepts. By most accounts, Lagos has twice as many people as London, along with a GDP greater than all but six African states. In its successes and failures, the city offers a cautionary preview of where an urbanizing developing world is hurtling.

Read the rest of the article in City Journal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Sad Day in England

The Sun has fan reaction to the loss to Croatia.

I have a feeling that many of them will now be cheering for France.

Go Chiefs!

I had a great time today speaking at the Arizona Fire Chiefs Association Leadership Conference. 

Thoroughly enjoyable.

The Old Softy

FutureLawyer reveals his hidden affection for a famous bear.

The Unwritten Rules

A fashion model wearing a blue structured jumpsuit

[Photo by Darko Mitev at Unsplash]

Organizations have written rules and unwritten rules and the latter may be more important than the former. Not knowing the unwritten rules can place us in the position of a person who is entering a pitch-black room with no sense of the room's size and where the furniture is located.

If you think that observation is obvious, quickly cite the unwritten rules of your organization. If you can only think of one, you may be missing a few.

Billboard Competition

Cultural Offering compares today's competition with the performers in 1964.

And yes, I remember The Shoop Shoop Song.

Great stuff.

The Fourth Option is Increasingly Favored

In recent times, political activists have used this list of options when considering an issue: 
  1. Ignore/accept it.
  2. Embrace/support it.
  3. Denounce/oppose it.
  4. Go absolutely nuts.

Quote of the Day

The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.

- John Scharr

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Closet."

First Paragraph

Everybody in New York City is looking for something. Men are looking for women and women are looking for men. Down at the Trucks, men are looking for men, while at Barbara's and at the Lib, women are looking for women. Lawyer's wives in front of Lord & Taylor are looking for taxis, and lawyer's wives' husbands down on Pine Street are looking for loopholes. The hookers in front of the Americana Hotel are looking for johns, and the kids opening cab doors in front of the Port Authority bus terminal are looking for tips. So are the riders on the Aqueduct Special. So are the cabbies, the bellboys, the waiters, and the undercover narcs.

- From Dancing Aztecs by Donald E. Westlake


[Photo by Samuel Zeller at Unsplash]

Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is inconceivable unless one has experienced war . . . Friction is the only concept that more or less corresponds to the factors that distinguish real war from war on paper.

- Carl von Clausewitz