Tuesday, October 31, 2017

200+

We are well on our way to having well over 200 trick or treaters this year.

Nice kids and parents. It's a pleasure to give them candy. 

I wonder what the dentist a few doors down is giving.

Werewolves of London

No Halloween would be complete without this classic by Warren Zevon.

Crank it up.

First Paragraph

It is a long way in time and space from the bathroom of my Grandmother Mowat's house in Oakville, Ontario, to the bottom of a wolf den in the Barren Lands of central Keewatin, and I have no intention of retracing the entire road which lies between. Nevertheless, there must be a beginning to any tale; and the story of my sojourn amongst the wolves begins properly in Granny's bathroom.

- From Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat

NOTE: The ebook version is for sale today at Amazon.

Create or Await


Reading, writing, re-writing, listening, thinking, pausing, laughing, teaching, corresponding, calling, and learning amid cringing at my (may they be occasional) acts of stupidity. Supporting, praising, observing, alerting, connecting. 

Or striving to connect.

And then there are times when the best way to do something is to do nothing.

[Photo by Mike Petrucci at Unsplash]

9 Rules of Innovation


Tanmay Vora examines "The 9 Rules of Innovation" by Greg Satell and provides a nifty sketch note.

Fear and Loathing in Mogadishu

The first courses had just been served when the war came to the country club in Mogadishu. Fifty guests, including businesspeople and government officials, were sitting at long tables laden with bowls of camel stew, goat meat, lobster and swordfish. When a van filled with explosives detonated in front of the gate, the resulting explosion demolished part of the protective wall, blew the second floor right off the villa and destroyed the building's entire front.

Read the rest of the Spiegel Online article on Mogadishu.

Quick Look

A trailer for the 1922 film "Nosferatu."

Great Book Titles

Image result for mark helprin paris in the present tense amazon

First Paragraph

On a small farm amid gently rolling hills, there was once a playful Labrador retriever named Sartre. Every day Sartre would leap over a fence at the back of the farm to run through the woods and chase squirrels. Eventually, the fence was dismantled, freeing poor Sartre from the burden of having to hop over it every time he wanted to frolic, but Sartre still jumped every time he came to the spot where the barrier had been. He had developed a set of memories and assumptions that made it almost impossible for him to notice the fence was no longer there.

- From Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity by Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny

Music Break

From The Nightmare Before Christmas: "This is Halloween."

Crank it up.

Quote of the Day

Courage is the thing. All goes if courage goes.

- J. M. Barrie

Monday, October 30, 2017

Boo

Image result for ghost story peter straub amazon

As Halloween approaches, I'll make a strong recommendation for this novel. The subsequent film had a collection of fine actors but it didn't come close to conveying the chills of the book.

Check out the book's reviews at Goodreads.

Confession: I read books like that when I was young. Nowadays I wouldn't go near one. but if you like scary stories, this will probably be of interest.

Art Break: Landscapes



Art Contrarian looks at a variety of artists and landscapes. The above is by Lisa Gilley of the Chugash Range in Alaska.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Kill Bill."

Miscellaneous and Fast

Nicholas Bate on why we love The Beatles.
Daily Mail: The Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictments.
The New Republic: Democracy and nationalism in Russia.
Anderson Layman's Blog: Dr. Rick Rigsby on "Making an Impact." [Find your broom.]
The Strategic Learner has a lot of great stuff. Check it out.

An Old Lawyer's Wisdom

"There is no such thing as a best or worst moment in a life. A person has many experiences over time, some good, some bad. . . . The real secret is to be decent, to be fair, and to be forgiving."

- Murray Shusterman


FutureLawyer
honors the 104-year-old attorney.

Best Online Horror Stories



I never thought of Flannery O'Connor's "A Good Man is Hard to Find" as a horror story but have never recovered from reading it.

[Photo by Donna at Unsplash]

An Assortment of Small Things

Shot of daytime studio through the doorway with lifesaver and plants on wall, Isles of Scilly
A person is working on a major project. It may take months or years to complete. The project itself is an assortment of small things. So too is the person's life surrounding the project. 

When the person thinks of the project, it is the large goal that draws attention and yet both the large and the small are crucial elements to ultimate success. The difference to keep in mind is that it is far easier to overlook the small things. If that happens long enough, it may be discovered that they were not small at all.

[Photo by Annie Spratt at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

Just as Lucien Bernard rounded the corner at the rue la Bo├ętie, a man running from the opposite direction almost collided with him. He came so close that Lucien could smell his cologne as he raced by.

- From The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Adams Chronicles."

Quote of the Day

We often have to put up with most from those on whom we most depend.

- Baltasar Gracian

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Music Break

Don Williams: "Til the Rivers All Run Dry."

Quick Look

The trailer for "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind."

Bock on Books


Wally Bock has a valuable post on books about books. It is especially helpful for the business book reader.

[Photo by Janko Ferlic at Unsplash.]

"I Still Want"

I want to order a drink from the well. I want to sit on naugahyde. I want someone to smoke. I don't want to smoke. I want people to make music right there in front of me. I want everybody to know the words.

I want everyone to dress as well as they can for a social occasion and still be dressed badly. I want to see dress shoes and white socks.


There are good reasons why so many of us miss Sippican Cottage and wish he'll be back to blogging soon.

Give Yourself a Treat




This quote from Charlie Munger is a reason why Anderson Layman's Blog should be a daily visit.

[Photo by Whitney Wright at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Naples, '44."

Are These the Top 12 Rationalizations for Unethical Behavior?

Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash

  1. I need to do it.
  2. Everybody does it.
  3. If I don't do it then somebody else will.
  4. It's legal.
  5. When in Rome do as the Romans do.
  6. They owe me.
  7. I didn't lie. I just didn't tell the whole story or the truth.
  8. They'll never miss it.
  9. I deserve it.
  10. There are people who do a whole lot worse.
  11. I'm fighting fire with fire.
  12. I was just following orders.
Other contenders?

Oh, here's one that I've frequently seen in recent years: "I didn't have time." 

First Paragraph

As they would murmur at his funeral, Dr. M. Bruce Fleckstein was one of the finest periodontists on Long Island. And so good-looking. But as he turned his muscular, white-coated back for the last time, he had no notion that he had shot his final wad of Novocaine, probed his ultimate gum. No, he simply turned for an instant, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps to hide the slight smirk that passed over his thin, firm lips. It was an unfortunate turn; his companion seized the moment to withdraw a thin, sharp weapon and plunge it into the base of Fleckstein's skull.

- From Compromising Positions by Susan Isaacs

Great Book Titles

Image result for if you don't have time to do it right book amazon

Quote of the Day

A true friend is one who likes you despite your achievements.

- Arnold Bennett

Friday, October 27, 2017

But Then Again, It's a Rolex


Cool Hand Luke's watch has sold for how much?



Quick Look

The trailer for "Planetarium."

When Writing Business Proposals


I have adopted a rule, based on hard experience, that the writing of business proposals is best done with two things: a lessons learned list and at least one day of creative neglect after you think the proposal is "just right."

I've found that the "lessons learned" usually include mistakes which, if not specifically guarded against, are likely to be repeated. By that I mean small items that are easily overlooked but which can be far more important down the road. 

Beware of a new project which seems very similar to an old one. Look for differences between the two and resist the temptation to make minor modifications to an old document without giving the substance the scrutiny it deserves.

The creative neglect period prevents the practice of rushing to make mistakes. Few people like preparing and/or reading proposals. They want to get the submission process out of the way. That eagerness is an enemy. Stay away from the finished document for at least a day and then review it with fresh eyes.

[At least once a year, all purchasing officers should be required to write proposals. I know that won't happen, but it's nice to dream.]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Annie Hall."

The Daniel Silva Habit

House of Spies by Daniel Silva

I knew the question was coming.

I was at lunch with an attorney who is an old friend. Both of us are fans of Daniel Silva's novels, particularly the Gabriel Allon series.

But due to other reading demands, I have lapsed. The last one I read was The English Girl. I've read all of the novels prior to that one. My guess was that I'm down two books but a review of the site reveals that I have not read The Heist, The English Spy, The Black Widow, and House of Spies.

He gave me a copy of House of Spies and asked if I am up to date on the series.

There was much hemming and hawing and gnashing of teeth before one word emerged: "No."

The gap will be filled. The practice will be revived. A promise has been made.

There is a report that the books might be turned into a film series. He already knew that. We discussed casting for the main roles.

If you are a fan of the series, you'll know how important that will be. Casting the right actors for Gabriel Allon and Ari Shamron alone will be vital.

As for myself, I need to read The Heist before our next lunch.

Update: The casting debates have begun on Facebook.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Star Trek: Discovery."

Great Book Titles

Image result for the alienist amazon

Quote of the Day

Lack of pep is often mistaken for patience.

- Kin Hubbard

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Shoe Shining: Cream or Wax?

Cultural Offering provides an informative review of the "cream versus wax polish" shoe shining question. 

I guessed wrong as to where the expert would land but am happy because his choice is my favorite.

When shining my shoes the other day, I applied some wax, then used the brush, and then - the best part - used a sheep fleece "block" to heighten the shine. I have owned that from when I was in the Army and it still does the trick.

Shoe shining, like lawn mowing, provides tangible proof of achievement. In doing so, it produces pleasure.

Feeling down? Go shine your shoes.

Reviewing the Day

Photo by Pan Xiaozhen at Unsplash

Goals: Complete Projects A, B, and C

Reality:

Started Project A

Interruption

Looked at Project B

Interruption

Interruption

Returned to Project A

Interruption

Completed Project A!!!!

Interruption

Evening Planning for the Next Day: 

Project B awaits

Project C awaits

Project D is really close to completion.

Project E needs a solid first draft.

And then there are some thank-you notes to write.

Plus there are family members who have medical issues. They go to the head of the line.

Fats Domino, R.I.P.

The great Fats Domino with his hit, "Blueberry Hill."

The song is a tribute to the imagination. Some modern songwriters would tell you exactly what happened on Blueberry Hill.

Update: David A. Graham in The Atlantic remembers a pioneer of rock and roll.

What's Happening with MBA Programs?

Fortune has a "some are closing while some are thriving" sort of story.

I think the larger question concerns the overall value of an MBA. It is an impressive degree that, at least in some quarters, seems to carry far less weight than in the past but does the knowledge obtained more than compensate for any change in status?

Some Words from the Coach

FutureLawyer on the wit of coach John McKay. An example:

"We didn't tackle very well today; but, we made up for it by not blocking."

First Paragraph

Orley Asenfelter really loves wine: "When a good red wine ages," he says, "something quite magical happens." Yet Orley isn't just obsessed with how wine tastes. He wants to know about the forces behind great and not-so-great wines.

- From Super-Crunchers: Why Thinking-by-Numbers is the New Way to Be Smart by Ian Ayres

Walking the Dog

Last night, walking the dog. 

A crescent moon in the sky. Airplanes in the distance following an invisible line that will cause them to bank before being on course to land at Sky Harbor. A neighbor several doors down has a giant ghost which, puffed up by air, towers over the street. 

I carry a flashlight because coyotes occasionally visit the area. They probably own it after midnight. No sign tonight. Not even other dogs and this is a neighborhood of dog walkers.

I was in a meeting this morning which sparked memories of an investigation in Germany several decades ago. A sordid matter. A bizarre briefing. An illogical set of recommendations which needed to be reversed at headquarters. And a stroll down a cobblestone street in Heidelberg to a spot where we had undercover agents.

You forget things but then they come back at odd times, such as while you walk the dog.

Great Book Titles

Image result for matterhorn novel vietnam war amazon

Quote of the Day

Pocket all of your knowledge with your watch, and never pull it out in company unless desired.

- Lord Chesterfield

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Play a Month Project

Image result for shakespeare richard III amazon

Last month, I re-read "Macbeth."

This month's Shakespeare play is "Richard III."

I'd forgotten the extent to which Shakespeare wastes no time in portraying him as a complete reptile. [Macbeth was a blundering amateur at villainy compared to Richard.] 

You can imagine the buzz on the streets of London after the play opened. They weren't using terms like "psychopath" in those days but they may have had something close.

And, by the way, a gem of a film is Al Pacino's "Looking for Richard."

Social Media: Bang for the Buck?

Photo by Jens Kreuter at Unsplash

There are people who can talk about social media with such enthusiasm that I feel that it's high school and I'm surrounded by jocks and cheer leaders discussing the Big Game while I was just elected president of The Chess Club.

Although a blogger and a mere dabbler in matters Twitteresque, I am a very faint presence on FaceBook and LinkedIn and don't even reach ghost status at other sites.

So here's the question: which non-blog social media sites do you think are the best investment of your time? 

I may be completely missing the value of some of them and probably don't even know of some hot ones. If you've also found any significant business value in any of them, please let me know.

Great Book Titles

Image result for how proust can change your life amazon

Quick Look

The trailer for "Phantom Thread." 

It may be Daniel Day Lewis's last film.

Quote of the Day

Kindness begets kindness.

- Sophocles

Monday, October 23, 2017

Health Food Update

homemade tamales recipe

How to Feed a Loon shows how to make authentic homemade tamales.

The Power of an Update

Photo by Alejandro Escamilla at Unsplash

"What's going on with that?"

"I'm not sure. I haven't heard from them."

"Do you think they forgot about us? It's been awhile."

"I doubt if that happened. But it would be good to hear something."

"I know."

"Wait. Here's an email now. It says they are awaiting information but have nothing to report at this time."

"Okay. That's fine. I expect it will take some time. I just wanted to know they haven't forgotten about us."

An Early and Unforgettable Message

Rickandsavannah

FutureLawyer Rick Georges, right, and one of his many parrots.

That has to be one interesting waiting room.

Art Break: Booth



Art Contrarian looks at some illustrations by Franklin Booth.

Highly Recommended

Pilot MR Metropolitan Collection Ball Point Pen, Medium Point, Black Barrel, Black Ink (91307)

Pilot MR Metropolitan Collection Ballpoint Pen.

Inexpensive. Writes beautifully. Far better performance than many of the famous pens.

25 Blogs



Kurt Harden at Cultural Offering has assembled a list of "25 Blogs Guaranteed to Make You Smarter."

I deeply appreciate Kurt's kindness as well as his excellent Cultural Offering blog. 

Make it a daily visit.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould."

Two Rules


Photo by Daniel Cheung at Unsplash
  1. Treat strangers with special kindness because you never know the challenges they face or what they have been going through.
  2. Everyone is a stranger.

Great Book Titles

Image result for the battle of villa fiorita amazon

A Popular But Usually Unspoken Question

"Why can't that person be more like me?"

Quote of the Day

If you live in Rome, don't quarrel with the Pope.

- French proverb

Saturday, October 21, 2017

One of Those Days

Anderson Layman's Blog has the picture.

Poetry Break

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "A Psalm of Life."

I remember being mocked years ago by an English major for liking Longfellow.

I like him even more now.

Quick Look

The trailer for "True Grit."

Bock: Inconvenient Truths about Teams

Photo by Breather at Unsplash

Do you have a team or just a bunch of people who happen to work together?

In an excellent post, Wally Bock explores that question along with some inconvenient truths about teams.

The Mediterranean Sea of America

Eclecticity Light has a map which illustrates how a shift in perspective can provide a very different take on something that is a fact and not an opinion.

And no, I didn't realize it was that large.

Livescribe Smart Pen

I confess that the video about the Livescribe Smart Pen along with the FutureLawyer's testimonial make it very attractive.

Of course, once I see the pricing for the pen and paper it is likely that my Pilot pen will look more attractive. I'm a cheap dog but this high tech looks really neat.

An Old Battle


Photo by JJ Thompson at Unsplash

While discussing a personnel issue with a public sector executive the other day, an old battle came to mind. It involved the difficulty of placing too much faith in exams.

Back in the 1980s, when I was working on discrimination issues in city government, some federal "revenue sharing" monitors were upset because the city resisted interviewing people in the strict order of their scores on the hiring list. The personnel director and I were reluctant to place that much faith in the initial testing and screening process. We knew that doing so would make the city vulnerable to litigation challenging its exams and our sense was that the initial screening was not accurate enough to draw a fine distinction between someone scoring a 99 and someone who scored an 89 or even an 81. Our position was that the initial screening and testing determined who was "in the ballpark" in terms of their ability to do the job. We preferred to let the departments interview people from any place on the eligible list. They could sort out the best candidates when they conducted job interviews although we also kept a close eye on any departments that had a sketchy history when it came to hiring women and minorities; indeed, on some jobs we required them to review their proposed selections with us before making a job offer. [It was no coincidence, I believe, that our city was the only major American city that was not under a court order due to discrimination.] 

One example that we cited was an administrative assistant who scored in the 80s but who was hired by the Engineering Department due to the fact that, unlike other people on the eligible list, the person had previously worked with an engineering firm and was more familiar with the specific profession and various functions. In that instance, we had no doubt that the best qualified person had been hired.

It took several meetings with the federal people before they decided to leave us alone. I never lost any sleep over the city's policy which, at that time, was unique. We were, I believe, rightly suspicious of placing too much weight on one part of the process. We'd seen people with perfect scores in the initial screening stage who lacked common sense and people skills. We'd also seen lower-scoring individuals who turned out to be outstanding.

We periodically went through job descriptions and requirements and delved into the rationale for various standards that seemed to be questionable. If a department required five years of experience, we'd ask for an explanation as to how that magic number was determined. Why not six years? Why not three or four? It was not unusual to discover that the number had a less than impressive (or unknown) origin and basis. Each time the requirements could be made more realistic was a small victory for us but it was not a small victory for the applicants who would have been victimized by an irrational system.

Any system needs to be carefully watched. The people who are most likely to be zinged by its flaws are seldom in the room to speak up for themselves.

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Gods Must Be Crazy."

Great Book Titles

Image result for the last of the mohicans amazon

Quote of the Day

Happiness is a way station between too little and too much.

- Channing Pollock

Friday, October 20, 2017

Celebrate Westerns

Image result for fort apache poster amazon

Quick Look

The trailer for "L'Atalante."

Hate Speech Bans

Zach Greenberg on a world without hate speech. An excerpt:

Proponents of hate speech bans should not be shocked when the censors they empower enforce perverted conceptions of what qualifies as hate speech. Nor should they feel bewildered when their disempowered voices fall on deaf ears or draw the ire of the speech police.

Radical Chic Update

Althouse has a video of Glenn Loury and John McWhorter talking about Ta-Nehisi Coates.

A Treat

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra playing "Peter and the Wolf."

Occupational Mystery

Fast food worker ~ Cook ~ Sales clerk ~ Lawyer ~ Computer technician ~ Accountant ~ Engineer ~ Bank teller ~ Insurance adjuster ~ Mechanic ~ Plumber ~ Professional football player ~ Landscaper ~ Investigator ~ Management consultant ~ Pharmacist ~ House painter ~ Roofer ~ Hospital administrator ~ Cashier ~ Grocery clerk ~ Cafeteria worker ~ Nurse ~ Receptionist ~ Police officer  ~ Firefighter ~ Optician ~ Butcher ~ Game show announcer ~ Rodeo clown ~ Parking lot attendant ~ Accounts payable clerk ~ Realtor ~ Bell hop ~ Tour guide ~ and many others.

In only one of these occupations does upper management permit employees to insult, while on the job, a large number of their customers.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Babylon Berlin."

Great Book Titles

Image result for moonwalking with einstein amazon

Quote of the Day

Don't carry a grudge. While you're carrying the grudge, the other guy's out dancing.

- Buddy Hackett

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Powerful

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly talks to the press about the President's phone call.

"Disconnect to Connect"

Photo by Gilles Lambert at Unsplash

Tanmay Vora has some sound advice.

The Power of Pen and Ink



At Muddy Colors, artist William O'Connor examines a wide array of pen and ink drawings.

First Paragraph

And so it came to this: Dannie Stamp, bitter, brokenhearted, packed into a sterile cubicle on an upper floor of The Tower, staring off into the hazy shimmer of the oppressive heat, watching the planes taking off and landing at O'Hare Airport. The end-of-summer sirocco reminded him of better days back home in Persia, Iowa, where his father would worry over the corn burning up before the harvest. Even after half a lifetime doing the top secret work of the Air Force, Dannie still had his farm-boy drawl, still came across as the boy from the sticks. The corporate headquarters of Motorola, largest electronics company in America, with its crisp pressed suits and its mahogany boardroom tables - the arena where the big shots plotted against the Japanese - this was not his bailiwick. Dannie was a "Chandler guy," one of the engineering geeks from The Lab in Chandler, Arizona, and he would have preferred to get back there as quickly as possible. But he had been ordered here by the boss. Motorola chairman Chris Galvin told him he couldn't leave. He had to stay through the holiday weekend, so that he could be summoned at any moment. Dannie Stamp was the designated executioner.

- From Eccentric Orbits: The Iridium Story: How the Largest Man-Made Constellation in the Heavens Was Built by Dreamers in the Arizona Desert, Targeted for Destruction By Panicked Executives, and Saved by a Single Palm Beach Retiree Who Battled Motorola, Cajoled the Pentagon, Wrestled with Thirty Banks, Survived an Attack by Congress, Infiltrated the White House, Found Allies Through the Black Entertainment Network, and Wooed a Mysterious Arab Prince to Rescue the Only Phone That Links Every Inch of the Planet by John Bloom

[I just started this and it is very hard to put down. Fascinating.]

Quick Look

The trailer for "Little Shop of Horrors."

Great Book Titles

Image result for brazzaville beach amazon

Quote of the Day

It is one of life's greatest mercies that it is not given us to know the might-have-been of things.

- Frederick Buechner

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Addams Family."

Art Break: Hubbell



Art Contrarian looks at the work of Henry Salem Hubbell.

Flip Phone: The New Version

FutureLawyer, once a mocker of flip phones, has found one that he likes

Coming soon to a beach in Florida.

Quick Look

The trailer for the 1979 version of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy."

Far superior to the recent version.

Alan Brunacini, R.I.P.

Alan Brunacini, the former chief of the Phoenix Fire Department and a legend in the fire service, passed away the other day.

Chief Brunacini, who had a down-to-earth demeanor and a love for Hawaiian shirts, was a major innovator in the fire service. 

The Brunacini insight and touch can be seen in this interview.

I had the chance to work with him many times over the years. An extraordinary leader. 

Rest in peace.

Great Book Titles

Image result for tom wolfe books amazon

Quote of the Day

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.

- Mark Twain

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Nothing to See Here. Move Along.

Two versions:

The Naked Gun provides the first.

The Hill provides the second.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Human Flow."

Politicizing Late Night Comedy

It is important to note that these shows are competing for numbers that once would have been considered catastrophic. Carson could pull in 9 million viewers when one of his shows popped; he averaged 19 million viewers a night his final week on air in 1992. Colbert is winning the late-night race with 3 million viewers. That’s better than Rachel Maddow, but not by much. This means that all it takes to become a giant of late night is winning over a Maddow-like audience, exactly Colbert’s strategy.

Read the rest of Rich Lowry's essay in National Review.


Years ago, when some of my studies included comparing the French and Italian Communist parties, one tidbit was that in France one could find Communist nightclubs, comedians, comic books, and, of course, newspapers. 

It was possible, in other words, for an ardent French Communist to live in a bubble.

Not wise, but possible.

Mindfulness, Self Restraint, and Regret



Photo by Meiying Ng at Unsplash


How much of life is lived on "automatic pilot?" 

Being mindful of what we are doing and of our surroundings can increase control while adding enormously to the enjoyment of each minute.

It can also strengthen our self-restraint as we become more conscious of what we are doing. I can't recall who said it but the observation that self-restraint is better than regret is not only correct on its own but it also serves as part of a process:

Mindfulness strengthens Self-Restraint which in turn reduces Regret.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Mr. and Mrs. Smith."

Great Book Titles

Image result for the war against boys amazon

Quote of the Day

If you would judge, understand.

- Seneca

Monday, October 16, 2017

The Truck Bomb

Imagine how jarring it would be if there were a terrorist attack causing 200 or 300 casualties in Los Angeles, New York, London or Mumbai. 

And then read The Guardian article on the attack in Somalia.

"When the Frost is on the Punkin"



This has become an Execupundit tradition:

Kent Risley with 
a marvelous recitation of the poem.

Quick Look

Image result for it was fifty years ago today amazon


The trailer for the Beatles documentary.

Books and Films That Become More Powerful with Time

Photo by John Mark Kuznietsov at Unsplash

Name a book and/or a film that has had greater impact on you as time has passed.

That may be easy or difficult to answer. In my case, these would be serious contenders:

Books: "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis; "War and Peace" by Leo Tolstoy; and "The Warden" by Anthony Trollope.

Films: "The Battle of Algiers"; "Schindler's List"; and "Signs."

Quick Look

The trailer for "Wonderstruck."

Great Book Titles

Image result for harlan ellison amazon

Quote of the Day

Law is the only career I know of that has a sub-profession dedicated to helping people get out of it.

- Liz Brown

Saturday, October 14, 2017

First Paragraph

"So they've killed Ferdinand," said the charwoman to Mr. Schweik who, having left the army many years before, when a military medical board had declared him to be chronically feeble-minded, earned a living by the sale of dogs  - repulsive mongrel monstrosities for whom he forged pedigrees. Apart from this occupation, he was afflicted with rheumatism, and was just rubbing his knees with embrocation.

- From The Good Soldier Schweik by Jaroslav Haser

Hiring and Training

The difference between Company A and Company B is often found in their employees. When the differences are explored further then the old basics of hiring and training arise.

Consider these examples:

One employee does the same basic task as his or her counterpart in another company BUT there is a small difference either for the better or for the worse. I recall watching a front desk employee at a hotel handling the check-in of guests. His behavior signaled indifference and a desire to get through the process as quickly as possible.

I saw him again the next day with some other people and the same conduct was present. Was the person rude? No. Was the paperwork processed accurately? I assume it was. Did the customers see a positive person who welcomed their business? Absolutely not.

My guess is the person had an attitude problem before being hired and that there was little training or emphasis on people skills after the person was brought on staff.

An obvious but often overlooked truth: exceptional customer service doesn't take place by accident.

Great Book Titles

Image result for telegraph days larry mcmurtry amazon