Saturday, April 19, 2014

Poetry and Gargoyle

View From the Ledge knows how to take a trip:

Then off on our last leg up to Troy where we spent the weekend with family. We reserved a morning where the Brunette and I could go out on our own and seek out old barns to wander around and photograph. Then north a few more miles up to DogEars Books where we met the owner out in the balding parking lot in front of the barn. He asked – as always – if we were looking for anything in particular and I mentioned two poetry books I left on the shelves during our last visit. “You know where they are then,” he said.

Lawyer in Shorts

Althouse describes the case of a lawyer who tried to appear in court while wearing shorts. The clothing choice was due to a medical condition.

I side with the lawyer but a toga would have been a much better choice..

Entertainment Break

The trailers for:

Yard Work

All is timed. I can get one lawn done this morning before showering and going to the barber. Can't start too early or I'll wake the slugs although this neighborhood has few of them. [I suspect that the lawyer across the street goes to work at 4 a.m.]

Made a dent in the back yard last night as it was getting dark. The dog ran around like a maniac and I had to keep an eye on her because she's still new and does not seem to be mower-wary. We had irrigation several days back and she didn't let the water interfere with her running; indeed, found joy in the splashing. 

I had forgotten the odor of wet dog.

There was a long blog post which I'd intended to have up this morning but it needs marinating.

More to come.

Quote of the Day

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change, until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds. 

- R.D. Laing

Friday, April 18, 2014

The All-American Music Map

At Eclecticity Light, of course.

[But what about Classical? If you want to be a real rebel, listen to classical music. Push hard against the times.]

Talk to the Wrist

The latest from FutureLawyer on SmartWatches. [Start at the bottom and work your way up to get the complete evolution of the story.]

1938 Studebaker

Car Style Critic looks at the headlight options. Personally, I like the price in the above ad.

Miscellaneous and Fast

Wally Bock: By and about leaders.
SquawkPoint features five TED talks.
Kirsten Powers on the attacks on Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
Jay Carney inadvertently exposes a weak press corps.
The Strategic Learner has four questions about learning.
George Will reviews Timothy Sandefur's book on the Constitution.
Ryan Kearney with a profile of Anthony Bourdain.

Management Training

Cultural Offering is planning for training and the course material is excellent.


There are days when the one at Anderson Layman's Blog seems plausible.

Biking, Walking, and Danger

At Vox: The deadliest U.S. cities for biking or walking.

I notice that Phoenix and Mesa are the most dangerous ones for biking. Since Mesa is pretty much in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area, consider combining the numbers.

This is one of those studies, however, where you wonder what's behind the numbers; e.g. which incidents are counted and which are excluded. If John Doe has a heart attack while walking, is that counted? Are motorcycles included?

Good Friday

At The Huffington Post: The origins, observances, and fasting rules.

A trailer for "The Passion of The Christ."

The Group

The group is a collection of personalities and factions with personalities and the group itself has a personality and the factions can shift. The circumstances affecting each of those personalities can also change, sometimes enormously. Consider your own situation and there's a lot going on.

Always remember the chemistry.

Quote of the Day

Nostalgia isn't what it used to be. 

- Anonymous

Thursday, April 17, 2014

First Paragraph

Race has affected all kinds of human relationships for thousands of years, and in all parts of the world. Strife between Africans and East Indians has erupted into varying levels of violence from Uganda to Trinidad. The "overseas Chinese" have been victims of mob violence and brutal expulsions in countries from southeast Asia to Mexico. Racial strife between blacks and whites, as in the United States, is part of a world-wide pattern.

- From The Economics and Politics of Race by Thomas Sowell (1983)

Top 50 Fictional Adventure Books


From 2009, The Art of Manliness gives its list.


At Digg: "A mountain bike descent to turn your knuckles white."

Watch it. Your breathing will increase.

Instant Geezer

Language that can date you:

Management Consultants as Detectives

You listen to what the organization cranks out as policies and then you look for what it really does. You do the same for individuals. The greatest deception you watch for is self-deception since all of us tell ourselves stories in order to get through life and some of those tales are more cherished than wedding rings or sports cars. You listen for hesitations and carefully crafted loopholes and are very sensitive to how a group's chemistry changes when one person walks in or leaves. One of your key strengths is the ability to keep a straight face. That can be important whenever a micro-manager extols the virtues of hands-off management or a CEO is claiming he didn't know the major flaws in a major program. It also helps while reading annual reports. Over time, you develop an instinct that signals danger and if you ignore it you are nuts. You study people and systems and the more you learn the less you seem to know. You inhale management, leadership, history, and psychology and sort intangibles the way some people sort socks. In the end you hope that you have brought order to someone's universe.

Marvelous job.

Quote of the Day

What is most personal is most general. 

- Carl Rogers

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Meaning of Life

David Kanigan features a brief video.

Back to Duke

Stuart Taylor Jr., co-author of a book on the Duke Lacrosse Team rape case, critiques a new book on the case and reaches a harsh conclusion.

Art Break: Forain

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Jean-Louis Forain.

Health Food Update

The lighter lawyer in Florida grooves over a hot dog in a sausage bun.

Conflict Resolution Tips

Leslie Frey shows how to resolve conflict like a zen master

Very nicely done. Read it and then listen to the rocks grow.

[HT: FutureLawyer]

Reverse Hypocrisy

Reverse hypocrisy: A form of hypocrisy where the person excuses lax or irresponsible conduct by others - conduct which fosters failure - but personally follows much higher standards. Some examples:
  • "I'll make excuses for your children using foul language or not doing homework. Of course, I wouldn't tolerate it with my own children."
  • "I'll applaud Jack or Mary's marginal performance but I'd never regard it as even close to acceptable in my own case."
This hypocrisy would be less harmful if its practitioners were not influential. Consider the film star or famous author who privately possesses a strong work ethic but whose public statements portray achievement as something produced by a magic bean called Inspiration. Consider the chief executives who grossly understate what it really takes to get to the top job. [It's as if their aim is to thin out the competition.]

Remedy: Preach what you practice.

Quote of the Day

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. 

- Charles Darwin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Intolerance/Lunacy Update

It’s increasingly clear that we are entering a new era of political correctness. Recently, we’ve seen the calls to #CancelColbert because of something outrageous said by Stephen Colbert’s blowhard alter ego, who has been saying outrageous things regularly for nine years. Then there’s the sudden demand for “trigger warnings” on college syllabi, meant to protect students from encountering ideas or images that may traumatize them; an Oberlin faculty document even suggests jettisoning “triggering material when it does not contribute directly to the course learning goals.” At Wellesley, students have petitioned to have an outdoor statue of a lifelike sleepwalking man removed because it was causing them “undue stress.” As I wrote in The Nation, there’s pressure in some circles not to use the word “vagina” in connection with reproductive rights, lest it offend trans people.

- From the column by Michelle Goldberg in The Nation.

Traveling Man

Remember the Johnny Cash song "I've Been Everywhere?" 

Sensory Dispensary has the map.

Style and Thought

Check out the April book stack at Cultural Offering. Great stuff.

Great Moments in Job Interviews

David Niven talks about how the extraordinary character actor Robert Newton, who played Long John Silver in the Disney version of "Treasure Island" where he taught us all how to talk like a pirate, got the part of the detective in "Around the World in 80 Days."

Two for Getting Things Done

I wonder how much productivity has been facilitated by the music of Copland or Gershwin in the background.

Entertainment Break

The opening scene of "Great Expectations" - directed by David Lean. One of his best films.

"I'm Good Enough" versus "I Can Do Better"

I teach a workshop on "How to Make Presentations to Councils and Boards." I've also written a book by the same title and have coached executives and managers on presentation skills.

Recently, this question came up: "Why not coach university professors on how to deliver better lectures?"

And the quick  response was: "Because most of them don't care if they give lousy lectures. They've been doing that for years with no repercussions."

The desire to dismiss that as sheer cynicism was stopped by a memory.

Think of the terrible professors from your university days; the ones who, if boredom were lethal, would be mass murderers.

Would any of them have gone within 100 miles of a coaching session on presentations?

Case closed.

Not quite. 

The worst performers are the least likely to attend any workshops and especially one-on-one coaching. The people who are already pretty good or even extremely good are the ones who strive to get better. 

I'm not sold on the idea but suspect that the above-average performers would be the ones to target, not The Professors from Hell.


Du Maurier’s status as a neglected literary genius has been endorsed by the American author Stephen King, another writer who has had the cold shoulder from critics. In 1993, he described Rebecca as “a book any aspiring popular writer should read, if only for its bravura pacing and narrative control. Critics may sneer, but it’s impossible to do this sort of thing unless you have an almost perfect downbeat in your head. Du Maurier had it”.

Read the rest of The Telegraph article here.

Quote of the Day

There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people. 

- Adam Smith

Monday, April 14, 2014

Honest Job Titles?

Fast Company has the slide show.

Entertainment Break

A favorite scene and song from "Oliver."

Management Knows

He should have been fired or demoted long ago. He cannot do his job. All of the upper managers know it but no one will say so. The subordinates who squirm under his incompetence are waiting for management to take action. Some have been waiting for years. After all, people occasionally get the sack. The staff clings to an old-fashioned belief in logic and fairness.

On the weekends, they groan to family and friends, "Surely someone will notice." And yet late at night, a thought as scary as a ghost's whisper murmurs: "They know and will do nothing."

Miscellaneous and Fast

Sensory Dispensary: I like the new look.
David Kanigan: Long week.
Daniel Patrick Moynihan at the UN: Zionism is not racism.
Remembering the unforgettable Sam Steiger.
FutureLawyer: Collector of SmartWatches.
Spiegel Online: The Italian mafia infiltrates Germany.
McArthur's Rant: An excellent point about "soft" skills.
Fortune: Making elevator pitches to Warren Buffett.


At Anderson Layman's Blog, a hint of why Art Linkletter was a success.

Art Break: Zinkeisen

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Doris Zinkeisen.

Bad Omen

Political Calculations on the growth of pages are in the U.S. tax code.

First Paragraph

He has talked for hours and hours, and still he does not tire. He was an executive with Lincoln Savings and Loan and then moved over to the parent company, American Continental Corporation. Now it is the spring of 1992, and all that is behind him - except for the long reach of the law. So far, he has beaten them. They have not touched him, not a bit. Oh, sure, he's had to sign agreements, make paybacks from all those good deals. And no one is paying him a couple of hundred thousand dollars a year now. But he is not criminally charged, he is not facing prison. And he is still young, he has a lot more tickets to ride, and this is plainly written in his eyes. 

- From Trust Me: Charles Keating and the Missing Billions by Michael Binstein and Charles Bowden

Feeble Responses

Question: "Specifically what has [fill in the blank] done in that job?"

Signs that they are grasping for an answer:

  1. "She improved the image of the organization."
  2. "He gave people hope."
  3. "It's hard to name one thing because there were so many."
  4. "What sort of question is that?"
  5. "He's worked harder than any of his predecessors."
  6. "There's been a sense of overall improvement."
  7. "She's very smart."
  8. "It had to be an improvement on the past."
  9. "He brought an intangible quality."
  10. "You might call it a work in progress."

Quote of the Day

Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that! 

- The Red Queen in Through the Looking Glass

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Secrets of Success 101

From The Incomparable Bate.

Find Something Beautiful Today