Friday, October 31, 2014

First Paragraph

John Dortmunder was a man on whom the sun shone only when he needed darkness. Now, like an excessively starry sky, a thousand fluorescent lights in great rows under the metal roof of this huge barnlike store building came flickering and buzzing and sqlurping on, throwing a great glare over all the goods below, and over Dortmunder, too, and yet he knew this vast Speedshop discount store in this vast blacktop shopping mall in deepest New Jersey, very near Mordor, did not open at ten minutes past two in the morning. That's why he was here. 

- From Bad News by Donald E. Westlake

New! Bold!

It wasn't a new and bold strategy although it was one that would work but they wanted new and bold and whether it worked was optional and possibly not even desirable because, after all, who wants the old stuff and "Perception is Reality" was their mantra even though reality has a way of reminding you that it's still around and in a cage fight stomps perception every time no matter how new and bold perception may be. 

The deal was unlikely but sometimes you can lose and win at the same time.

In the Mood

Some music to get you ready for the evening: "In the Hall of the Mountain King."

HP's Sprout

Fast Company: What futurists think of HP's "bold and weird" new PC: "Sprout." An excerpt:

This week, HP announced the Sprout, its bold attempt to reinvent what it means to work on the PC. Forget a mouse and keyboard. You control the Sprout by sliding your hands across an illuminated touchpad, on top of which various interface elements have been projected. This touchpad uses Kinect-like sensory technology to see what your hands are doing, allowing you to use the Sprout's touchpad like a keyboard, touch screen, or even as a Leap Motion-style 3-D interface.

Process Improvement

James Lawther reveals the Great Process Improvement Secret

[I know a politician who has that theory and yet his performance is highly flawed.]

Music Break: The Cure

Back by popular demand: "Friday I'm in Love."

Some Questions for Emerson

"Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door." 
- Attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson*

"Does the world have a mouse problem?"
"Do people know what a mousetrap is?"
"What's so special about this particular mousetrap?"
"Why would anyone care about that?"
"Do they feel the need for a better mousetrap?"
"Is it really better?"
"Will it make them happy?"
"How many would they have to buy to get rid of a mouse problem?"
"Do you offer a discount?"
"Will having a new mousetrap give them a certain status?"
"Do they want to be the first on their block with a new mousetrap?"
"What will your competitors do?"
"Where is the mousetrap made?"
"How much will that mousetrap cost?"
"How much do you make from the sale of each mousetrap?"
"Is there a better name than 'mousetrap'?"
"Do they know you exist?"
"Do they know where you are?"
"How will the world hear about you?"
"Is this a seasonal product?"
"How wide is the path?"
"Is the path easy to use or is it uphill and difficult?"
"Once they arrive, who will wait on them?"
"How many mousetraps do you have in your current inventory?"
"If the world shows up, will you have enough mousetraps?"
"Do you know how difficult it is to get people to buy anything, no matter how good it is?"
"What happens if the world doesn't show up?"

*The original line was "If a man has good corn or wood, or boards, or pigs, to sell, or can make better chairs or knives, crucibles or church organs, than anybody else, you will find a broad hard-beaten road to his house, though it be in the woods." It is not clear who came up with the adaptation. The line is sometimes attributed to Henry David Thoreau.

Mind-Boggling: Britain's Rotherham Scandal

These pathologies include 1) endemic official terror of seeming “racist” or being labeled as such, 2) an obsession with not giving ammunition to the country’s weak and tiny extreme right, 3) the requirement that all liberal middle-class British people ignore or pretend not to see any negative fallout from mass immigration, and 4) the persistence of multiculturalist dogma that prescribes a morally relativistic response to cultural difference.

Read all of Jonathan Foreman's article in Commentary magazine.

Developing a Keen Eye

Over time, you learn to look for:

  • Not what was said but what was meant.
  • Not what was promised but what was done.
  • Not what is glitzy but what is important.
  • Not what looks good but what is good.
  • Not what is eloquent but what is clear.
  • Not what is permissible but what is right.

Quote of the Day

Always make the audience suffer as much as possible. 

- Alfred Hitchcock

Thursday, October 30, 2014

When a Man Walks Around New York City

Remember the video of the young woman walking around New York City?

Althouse has the parody .

Halloween Music Prep

Halloween is tomorrow. As is traditional here, we start early with "Werewolves of London."

Crank it up.

Art Break

At Muddy Colors, Dan dos Santos looks at some upcoming art books.

The Millwright and The Poet

Many thanks to Cultural Offering for featuring this brief, thought provoking, video featuring D.J. De Pree, the founder of Herman Miller. 

[I'm sitting in a Herman Miller chair as I write this.] 

D. J. De Pree died in 1990 at the age of 99. His son, Max De Pree, told the story of the millwright and the poet in his book, Leadership Is an Art .

It is an important story to remember.

[Here is the link for the Max De Pree Center for Leadership.]

The Nurse Who Went to Maine

Althouse weighs in on the Kaci Hickox story.

I confess to having little sympathy with Ms. Hickox who is having to endure - endure, mind you - some temporary confinement while the nation sorts out how to handle people who may have Ebola. Since the scientific wisdom from the medical authorities seems to change every other day, you'd think there might be some patience and cooperation from those who are possible carriers.

But imagine the hardship of not being able to leave your home for 21 days!

The horror! The horror!

Just think. You'd be reading books, watching movies, and eating ice cream - the usual Gulag fare.

Big Brother is a monster.

[As for her reading, I recommend Heart of Darkness.]

Your Best Work May Not Be Noticed

I've worked on some sensitive and complicated projects where there were plenty of second-guessers. In some cases, their knowledge of the work matched my mastery of Bulgarian literature but that didn't seem to restrain them. Some professionals feel compelled to answer every jibe or analyze every bizarre suggestion. I don't because doing so can interfere with the real reason I'm there: to produce positive results.

You ignore the buzz and do the work. If you can find an easier, more pleasurable, way, you take it, but you need to do what is right for the client. That means putting aside your ego.

There is, of course, a flaw in that quiet approach. An inexperienced person will not know the 50 different ways in which matters could have quickly gone south; ways which you prevented. Some of the finest aspects of a job well done are never acknowledged because they are unnoticed.

Good work, like virtue, can be its own reward. 

Quote of the Day

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. 

- Abraham Lincoln

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Top Party Schools

Playboy has released its notorious list

My alma mater, a place of great sobriety and decorum, came in fourth. I must have been running in the wrong circles.

World Series

Has there ever been a second inning like last night's?

A Photographer Found

The New Republic has some of the photographs taken by the late Vivian Maier, a reclusive woman who worked as a nanny in Chicago while taking great photographs on the side.

Here's the trailer to the documentary "Finding Vivian Maier."

Stunning. Haunting. Wow.

The Excuser's Excuse

You sit and listen to a bright and well-meaning person making a multitude of excuses for the performance of an executive or manager. "He had a rough transition." "She had a lot on her plate." "The team wasn't completely supportive." "The budget was tight." "The requirements are cumbersome."

You listen, knowing all along that previous people in that job have faced the same or much worse challenges and they not only performed better, they performed extraordinarily well. They weren't just solid and competent leaders; they were transformational leaders who brought energy and high morale to the entire organization..

As the excuses pile up, you wonder what excuse the person making the excuses could possibly have for glossing over poor performance in this case but not in others.

That worries you more than the poor performer.

The Key Factor

A better You will lead to better Actions and those Actions will produce better Results. The better You will make the better Actions more consistent and the more consistent the better Actions, the more consistent the better Results.

Watch out for these traps:
  1. Stalling on self-improvement without taking action.
  2. Waiting for perfection before taking action.
  3. Believing that your actions will be consistent without self-improvement.
  4. Expecting instant improvement and/or no setbacks.
  5. Rushing to achieve results without refining the actions needed to produce consistent achievement of the results.
Harmful attitudes:
  1. Impatience.
  2. Passivity.
  3. Lack of accountability.
  4. Lack of initiative.
  5. Lack of ambition.

Quote of the Day

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. 

- Winston Churchill

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Modern Life Update

At Althouse: a pretty woman walks in New York City and meets local sophisticates

[We need to bring back the concept of being formally introduced.]

Technical Problem

I tried this and that but for some reason none of the troubleshooting explanations included "Wife placed cloth over router."

My Favorite Baseball Story

This subject is endlessly fascinating. However, a speaker should never use the word "endless" when addressing a restive audience. Every such speaker should remember the story of White Sox manager Jeff Torborg's trip to remove pitcher Jim Kern. Kern told Torborg he wasn't tired. Torborg said, "I know, but the outfielders are." 

- George Will in commencement address at College of William and Mary

You Know You Want One

At CoolTools, the Torin Aluminum Work Platform.

Bock's Gleanings

Wally Bock has collected an excellent assortment of essays on leadership.

[My reading stack groweth.]

Remembering The Fiddler's Father

In City Journal, Harry Stein writes about playwright Joseph Stein, his memorable and talented father. An excerpt:

That my father wasn’t blacklisted was largely a matter of happenstance. He originally wanted to be a journalist, but as the Depression deepened, he instead became a social worker, remaining one for nearly a decade. He didn’t so much fall into comedy writing as grab at the flimsiest reed of possibility. At a Bronx dinner party of fellow thinkers, another guest, a small-time comic named Zero Mostel, mentioned that he’d just landed a local radio show and could use some funny sketches. “I write those,” my mother was astonished to hear my father pipe up. Back home late that night, he wrote his first. Within a few years, he’d quit social work and was writing for radio full-time, and several years after that, with TV taking off, he joined Sid Caesar’s legendary writing staff.

The Meeting Card

It's better to have no meeting than a worthless one.

(Circle one): The primary goal of this meeting is to: inform, persuade, decide or analyze. 

This will be clearly stated at the start. [In most cases, a copy will have been distributed in advance.]


We will have completed any required assignments prior to the meeting.

We will stick to the meeting agenda/purpose. If any of us starts to ramble (no matter how brilliantly), the others will quietly hold up their Meeting Cards and the story will be saved for another time. There will be no hard feelings. We've all rambled.

We won't let a few people dominate the discussion. We'll make an effort to include everyone.

If we disagree, we'll voice our concerns in a polite and professional manner at the meeting.

At the end of the meeting, the leader will summarize the meeting's achievement(s).

If so, let's decide on a tentative time and agenda before we leave the room.

When this meeting is over, each of us will leave. We won't linger and turn this into two meetings.

[Compliments of Sanders Wade Rodarte Consulting Inc. -]

Quote of the Day

The truth puts the soul at ease. 

- Lance Secretan

Monday, October 27, 2014

Honoring The Good

At Live & Learn: Let us remember Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

Ginger Baker: Handy with Drum Sticks and a Cane

And while we're on the subject of rock, here's the trailer for "Beware of Mr. Baker."

Jack Bruce and Cream

I watched them, and knew that I had seen their like before -- but not where you'd think. They were operating their machinery, and I had seen men operate familiar machinery before. I've known many men, skilled in the rough arts: masonry and concrete finishing and excavation and demolition and blasting--men past their physical prime, but still tough as nails, and wise, and able to leave any three youngsters in their dust.

Read the rest at Sippican Cottage.

Classical Radio Station Links

Steve, a reader from Portland, recently posted a comment noting that he has All Classical Portland streaming in his office. I smiled at that news because I often do the same with KBAQ, which is Phoenix's classical station.

Since you can also listen to those stations via the Internet, here are their links. Please feel free to add any others.

Art Break: Harpignies

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Henri-Joseph Harpignies.

Fear The Spear

Writing in The Washington Post, Ian Shapira on the Red Mesa, Arizona Redskins team and their high school. An excerpt:

In the second half, the Redskins continued running up the score. When the clock signaled the game’s end, Red Mesa celebrated 14 quarters of keeping their opponents scoreless, sealing yet another blowout, 46-0, and bringing their record to 6-2. They hurried off the field, changed clothes and joined their families for a barbecue, where the same joke about their NFL namesake was repeated again and again:

At least these Redskins win.

Little Reminders

Last night while reading a riveting book on organizations, I used a coaching client's business card as a bookmark. It is a reminder of several things I need to address with that manager.

On my nightstand is a bottle containing some pills which I take, one each morning. I turn it upside down before I go to bed so in the morning I'll know I haven't taken anything.

Little tricks, but important ones. I'm a list-maker of Olympic caliber. Two inches from my left hand is an open Moleskine notebook which has today's work list. [Oops. I just added a missing chore.]

I also keep a calendar in a Circa notebook; a practice which is quaint but effective. As a booking site for meetings and projects, it is the Holy of Holys. An item is not official until it is posted there. I've found that keeping more than one calendar is dangerous and prefer the pencil and paper approach. Note cards are also heavily used. [I knew a priest who used to put those pink telephone messages on the floor between his desk and the door so he'd remember to return the calls before leaving for the day.]

At least once a week, I like to review projects. Anything that is lingering gets red-flagged and either given a high priority or examined for why it has been lagging. [Sometimes the Inner Procrastinator is sending a warning signal.]

Lately, I've been immersed in a bunch of material for my online classes. [More on those later.] This box is leadership, that one is ethics, and the stack over there is crisis management. Others include EEO, harassment, supervision, disability and veterans issues as well as a unique class on Arizona.

"Immersed" is the right word and that's why a system of reminders is important. It keeps chaos at bay.


Constructive Resignation

Constructive termination is where a workplace is so offensive that an employee is forced to leave. What on the surface appears to be a voluntary resignation is in reality a coerced one.

I suggest that another helpful concept would be constructive resignation. In that situation, a person who performs in a manner which signals extreme incompetence or a lack of interest in performing the job would be regarded as having resigned, even though no resignation has been formally submitted.

Elements of constructive resignation would be:

  • Frequently being surprised by events which should have been anticipated;
  • Frequently attempting to blame others for inadequacies;
  • A history of shirking responsibilities;
  • A history of missing deadlines;
  • Repeated fumbling of crises and major decisions;
  • Failing to fulfill frequent vows to correct practices;
  • Failing to manage;
  • Failing to follow-through;
  • Failing to work well with others; 
  • A long history of excuse-making;
  • Failing to produce results.

Just as there are people who retire on the job, there are people who "resign" but remain on the job. 

They are not gone but they should be.

Advice: Seven to Remember

Writing at Muddy Colors, David Palumbo has seven pieces of good advice. An excerpt:

2: Don’t teach yourself the mistakes of others

Early on, I had some ideas about working as a comic artist and was fortunate to have a portfolio review by Joe Quesada. After looking at my (in hindsight) very crude pages, he told me that he felt I was looking too much at other comic artists and not enough at real life. He told me that, while you can learn a great deal by copying the work of those who inspire you, the vast majority of your study should be direct observation. When you copy another artist, you are copying their mistakes and teaching yourself their bad habits. Working from life, on the other hand, lets you train without that baggage clouding up the picture. You are much more likely to develop your work into something unique if you learn from the world unfiltered.

Quote of the Day

The work will teach you how to do it. 

- Estonian proverb

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Scribbled some thoughts on candor and daily life before moving to my desk. Wife still asleep. Dog snoring behind me. Have been reading the William Wilberforce chapter in the Seven Men book by Eric Metaxas. Will shuffle out to get the newspaper and look at the sky.

We have the gift of a day.

Find Something Beautiful Today

Saturday, October 25, 2014

What's at the Bottom of Your Cup of Life?

Cultural Offering has some great lines from P.G. Wodehouse.

Read them. You'll feel better.

First Paragraph

On a dreary spring day in London, preaching outside a Finsbury Park mosque to a crowd that numbered no more than a few dozen, a Moroccan cleric called for the British government to end the public display of sacrilegious art. The initial target of his campaign was the aluminum statue of a nude Eros atop the bronze fountain at Piccadilly Circus. 

- From The West's Last Chance: Will We Win the Clash of Civilizations? by Tony Blankley

East West

If out early enough, I can get the eastern exposure yard work completed before the sun gets too high. I can then shift to the west side where the trees and house will provide some shade as I attend to its needs.

The back yard once had an enormous carob tree, a beautiful monster which sucked up irrigation water like a camel and dropped massive numbers of heavy pods. I never experimented with the culinary possibilities of carob but was content to enjoy the tree itself which eventually died of a disease that foiled the experts who treated the patient with the same creativity of an 18th century physician prescribing bleeding and purges.

With the monster gone, the yard has made a come-back and there is more grass to mow. We put in a ficus. Although pretty, it lacks personality.

I prefer trees that I'll remember.

First Paragraph

In the mid-1970s, boxing fever had swept through the Philadelphia-South Jersey area, where I grew up. Rocky, which was famously set in Philadelphia, had just struck gold at the box office for Sylvester Stallone. Muhammad Ali lived in my hometown, Cherry Hill, New Jersey. Heavyweight champion Jersey Joe Walcott was a constant presence. Joe Frazier had long-standing ties to the region, as did Sonny Liston. Middleweight world champion Joey Giardello was a neighbor, and Mike "the Jewish Bomber" Rossman was making headlines. 

- From Glass Jaw: A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal by Eric Dezenhall

What is the Leader's System?

Have a rigid chain of command and you risk having information filtered. Have a loose organization and you risk wasted time. Too much bureaucracy and initiative is diminished. Too little and chaos may emerge. Decision-makers fight battles of information overload or information drought, too few options or too many, and an ongoing campaign to reduce unnecessary interruptions.

That's why a key question when evaluating any top leader is to ask, "What is this person's system?"

Quote of the Day

The words of a president have enormous weight and ought not to be used indiscriminately. 

- Calvin Coolidge

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Non-Citizen Vote

A very disturbing article in The Washington Post by Jesse Richman and David Earnest on whether non-citizens could decide the November election.

[HT: Drudge Report]

Finding Your Habits of Productivity

At Entrepreneur, Michael Simmons examines seven productive habits of young entrepreneurs.

5 Options

Five options to consider shortly after returning from an Ebola-stricken country:
  1. Self-quarantine and don't leave your home or have personal contact with others for 21 days.
  2. Monitor temperature while riding subway.
  3. Take dish to pot-luck dinner but don't bring the potato salad.
  4. Decompress at Disneyland.
  5. Visit enemies.

Music Break

Radio Days

I grieve for some of the old radios we threw away. 

Art Contrarian has a fine collection.

Cartoons and Life

As we grow beyond childhood cartoons and get into the turmoil of life, there are days when we find ourselves resembling:
  • Bullwinkle more than Rocky;
  • Goofy more than Mickey;
  • Wimpy more than Popeye;
  • Wile E. Coyote more than The Roadrunner; and
  • Elmer Fudd more than Bugs Bunny.
Make sure this isn't one of those days.

Our Daily Soap Opera

Nicholas Bate reminds us of some options.

First Paragraph

Adolf Eichmann is an icon of the twentieth century, of the Nazi regime and the genocide it waged against the Jews. The much-used official photograph of the smiling young SS officer with filmstar looks who deported millions of Jews to the death camps seems to personify all of the perpetrators of the Nazi genocide. The ubiquity of this image is equalled by that of Eichmann at his trial in Jerusalem in 1961, sitting or standing inside a bulletproof glass booth. Its power lies in the way it encapsulates the satisfying story of the perpetrator meeting justice at the hands of his former victims. In this picture the killer is now safely incarcerated; but his one-time prey allows him the dignity of a hearing, evincing the humanitarian values he trampled. Eichmann thus seems to be a metonym for the entire history of the Nazi persecution and mass murder of the Jews as well as its legacy. Along with Hitler, Himmler and perhaps Reinhard Heydrich, he is the face of Nazi mass murder. 

- From Becoming Eichmann: Rethinking the Life, Crimes, and Trial of a "Desk Murderer" by David Cesarani

Topics for Discussion in Elementary School

I would love to see a lesson plan for seventh and eighth graders on the following topics:

  • Honesty
  • Loyalty
  • Responsibility
  • Courage
  • Caring
  • Freedom
  • Logic

Quote of the Day

I believe that every meeting in every organization should be canceled, only those that have a specific purpose should be rescheduled, and the intervals of standing meetings should be set based upon the needs of current reality instead of habit. 

- David Allen

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebola and Politicians

We are holding a major press conference on a disease which is very hard to get and which you should not worry about.

Movie Break

The trailers for:


Workbooks. Roster. Evals. Notes. 
Cans of espresso. Directions. 

The briefcase is packed. Thoughts are swirling. 

I'll arrive early and get in the zone.


They don't agree with the facts or the goals or the necessity for change. They pretend to cooperate but instead covertly throw obstacle after obstacle in your path. Committees and delay are their friends. Papers get "lost." Meetings are delayed. Deadlines are subverted.

These people cannot be convinced by eloquence and evidence. They yawn at urgency.

What you regard as success, they regard as failure. In most cases, they sincerely believe that their position is best.

Their conduct would be less objectionable if they clearly identified themselves as opponents but they claim to be on your team. 

Only they're not.

Know this well: You will not win them over

Quote of the Day

Even in organizations that are clearly experiencing serious problems, devastating problems, business-as-usual can survive. 

- John P. Kotter

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Heavy Seas

Put your job in perspective. 

Check out this video with some amazing shots of ships in heavy seas.

Attacks in Canada

Maclean's is live-blogging information on the cowardly and vile attacks.

Bike It

The Telegraph has a virtual tour of the 2015 Tour de France route.

Start your prep.

All You Need is Love

All you need is love.*

* Along with good health, faith, money, ambition, friends, family, education, property, time, ethics, persistence, courage, focus, meaning, goals, and a few others. But love's a good start.

Who's Living in London?

I'll bet that you will not guess which country has the largest number of passport holders living in London. 

Check out The Telegraph article.

The Importance of Strong Men

Cultural Offering has an observation by C. S. Lewis which unfortunately fits our times far too well.

I'm currently reading - and enjoying - 7 Men: And The Secrets of Their Greatness by Eric Metaxas. Very interesting.

Quote of the Day

Nothing is more revealing than movement. 

- Martha Graham

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Entertainment Break

I think if I had to name the greatest film ever made, this would be my choice.

Which one would you name?

Modest Hero

Writing in The New Republic, Michael Kimmage reviews the new biography of George Marshall. An excerpt:

In their search for a statesman’s grand gestures, the Ungers and Hirshon devalue the challenge of coordination in World War II and in the early Cold War. Moving the U.S. to a wartime footing, between 1939 and 1941, was a Herculean task. Keeping the unruly Allies—the Soviet Union, Britain, and the U.S.—behind the common cause of fighting Nazi Germany was not just a military job. It was a diplomatic job, and Marshall excelled at it. Turning back the wave of isolationism that immediately followed the defeat of Germany and Japan was political work, as was the joining of the State Department, the White House and Congress into a coalition for the Marshall Plan. In American history, only George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower can compete with Marshall in the combination of political and military skill.

Death in the Sahara

On Oct. 15, 2013, a group of 113 men, women and children set out from Niger for Europe, where they hoped to find food, prosperity and happiness. The group included Samani, a 25-year-old Nigerien -- his intended destination, the Mediterranean coast, was 2,500 kilometers (1,553 miles) away.

Read all of the article at Spiegel Online.


Stepped on scale in my doctor's office. It read: "Come back alone."

[I think that was a Henny Youngman joke.]

My doctor does not age. He asks a lot of questions and gives me a great deal of time. Taps away on his computer, unlike my childhood doctors who carved notes on coconuts. We talked a great deal about allergies and how much exercise is needed to lose a pound.

A sign at the front counter asked patients to tell them if they have recently traveled to foreign countries. 

Art Break: De Glehn

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Wilfrid de Glehn.

The Old Neighborhood Medical Network

I go in for my quasi-annual physical today. Started going to a young internal medicine doctor several years ago because my other doctors kept retiring. Mel Brooks once said that Zero Mostel would rather eat a broom than go to a doctor. I'm with Zero on that one but you get to a point where prevention trumps fear of white coats.

My parents were of the generation where you did not go to a doctor unless you couldn't lift your head off the pillow. A former medical corpsman lived across the street and I can recall him arriving with his canvas bag and sprinkling white powder over my head to stop the bleeding from a large cut. My older brother once fell from the top of a bunk bed and bashed his head on a concrete floor. He swears that his legs were numb but my mother gave him an aspirin and told him to go back to bed.

We were into basics in those days. We also had the luxury of neighbors with practical skills; the sort of folks who knew how to dress a wound, wire a house or skin a deer.  My current neighbors include lawyers, insurance execs, consultants, and real estate wizards. 

There is no one for the informal medical care system which my parents used although - I just remembered - there is a retired dentist a few doors down.


Crisis Planning and Worst Case Scenarios

While watching the news, I pulled two books off the shelf:
The second book has a flu pandemic scenario which features "an internal public health crisis of the first order and an immigration crisis as well." [Large numbers of Mexicans cross the border in order to get medical care.]

Not good bedtime reading but the sort of analysis which you hope has already produced some practical contingency plans.

Quote of the Day

If you let your emotions take over, you'll be outplayed. 

- John Wooden

Monday, October 20, 2014

When Presidents Drink

Althouse points to a review of presidential drinking habits. An excerpt:

Chester A. Arthur. When a representative of the Temperance movement tried to pressure Arthur into a no-liquor policy in the White House, he thundered: “Madam, I may be the president of the United States, but what I do with my private life is my own damned business!”...

Worst Websites?

Web Pages That Suck compiled the 25 worst websites of 2013

[I'm way behind in posting this. We'll soon be seeing the 2014 winners.]

"Mission to Moscow"

The trailer only hints at a noted Hollywood whitewash of Joseph Stalin. You need to see the movie to get the full effect.

More Than a Punchline

Business Insider: A speech by an intern who fell in love with her boss

[HT: Instapundit]

Attention: All Serious Readers

Go to Anderson Layman's Blog for a list of Truths.

[One of many worth remembering: Always have a book with you.]

Now That We've Clarified That

BRITNEY HUGHES: Thank you, in a video message to countries in West Africa that are experiencing Ebola outbreaks, President Obama told residents that they cannot get the disease by sitting next to someone on a bus, but CDC recommendations state that travelers in West Africa who begin to show possible symptoms, or people whose experience a high risk of exposure should avoid public transportation including busses and we have also seen large amounts of concern regarding potentially infected people traveling on airplanes. My first question is did the CDC vet this video message before it was released and posted on U.S. Embassy websites, and is it true a person runs absolutely no risk of contracting Ebola on public transportation such as a bus.
TOM FRIEDEN: Yes, CDC vetted the message and yes, we believe it is accurate. I think there are two different parts of that equation. The first is if you're a member of the traveling public and are healthy, should you be worried that you might have gotten it by sitting next to someone. The answer is no. Second if you're sick, and you may have Ebola should you get on a bus, the answer to that is also no. You might become ill; you might have a problem that exposes someone around you. Because the risk is so low, we think there is an extremely low likelihood that anyone who travelled on this plane would have been exposed, but we're putting into place extra margins of safety and that's why we're contacting everyone who was on that flight.

- From the transcript of the October 15, 2014 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Press Briefing