Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Crank It Up

You're in The Hall of the Mountain King.

Alfred Hitchcock Presents

And here is the story behind the theme music.

A Tad Spooky

The trailer for "Dark City."

Bovine Buccaneers

tilt-shift photography of cattle lot

Like those human beings who believe that fame and fortune always lie in some land distant from their own, the cows of the Dale Andrews farm in West Salem, Mercer County, were not satisfied to browse and chew their cuds in their own pasture. They were certain that in the fields across the highway which bordered their owner's domain, the grass was greener, the earth fresher, the trees shadier, and the skies above bluer. Thus from time to time they would leave their own preserves and invade the Bosley farm on the other side of the road where, with the spirit of bovine buccaneers, they devoured their neighbor's corn and wheat, destroyed his vegetable gardens, knocked over young peach trees, damaged the apple orchard, mangled berry bushes, and eventually departed, leaving behind them a wide swath of ruin and destruction. They sometimes went away of their own accord, but frequently they had to be driven back to their home territory by the Bosleys.

Court opinions are often dry but read the rest of Justice Musmanno's dissent in the case of Bosley v. Andrews. 

Generations of law students have smiled whenever assigned to read one of Musmanno's opinions. 

[Photo by Theo Laconte at Unsplash]

A Supreme Court Love Story

This could make a great movie.

"Passion in the Law Library."

The Count

Image result for dracula dead and loving it poster amazon

The obligatory trailer.


two lighted jack-o-lanterns during night time

It's Halloween and if you really want to get scared, check out the "Deepfake" video at Cultural Offering.

[Photo by Beth Teutschmann at Unsplash]

Seeking a Reasonable Balance on Humor in the Workplace

Conor Friedersdorf wrote an interesting article for The Atlantic in 2016 on "How politically correct should a workplace be?"

[Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]

Monday, October 29, 2018

Bock's Assignments

men's black long-sleeved top

Catching up on Wally Bock's weekend leadership reading. It will be time well spent.

[Photo by Philippe Bout at Unsplash]

After the Pittsburgh Synagogue Attack

Washington wrote. “May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

That final phrase, taken from the prophet Micah, was violated in the most obscene way on Saturday. But the story of America is a story of a country that has indeed served as vine and fig tree for the world’s most beleaguered peoples.

Read the rest of John Podhoretz in the New York Post.

"The Power Drugs"

Nicholas Bate has the details.


General Sherman in a letter to General Grant:

"I knew wherever I was that you thought of me, and if I got in a tight place you would come, if alive."

First Paragraph

"I couldn't sleep last night, so I slipped downstairs and started watching Terminator 2 on television. It was so late it seemed like no one else was awake anywhere. From my living room, high in Beverly Hills, the glitter of Los Angeles below felt like key lights burning on an empty soundstage."

- From Who is Michael Ovitz? by Michael Ovitz

When Considering the Use of Words

gold-colored compass on stone

A word can be misleading even when used as precisely as possible because the definition, although close, might not exactly describe the situation.

Watch out for that. A slight miscalculation in navigation can take us far afield and our words often serve as compasses.

[Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash]

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

Image result for the warden amazon

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Never Give In

A tutorial for Churchill Solitaire.

Great game.

Demotivational Posters


This poster and other fine demotivational products are at

The Quietest Little Fellow

President Lincoln telling one of his assistants about General Grant:

"Well, I hardly know what to think of him. He's the quietest little fellow you ever saw . . . He makes the least fuss of any man you ever saw. I believe two or three times he has been in this room a minute or so before I knew he was here. It's about so all around. The only evidence that you have that he's in any place is that he makes things git! Wherever he is, things move!"

- From The Man Who Saved the Union: Ulysses Grant in War and Peace by H. W. Brands

Highly Recommended

Image result for the march e.l. doctorow

Retro Keyboard

Patrick Rhone has the details.

In a word: wow.

Costanza Ethics

In preparing for an ethics workshop I have reviewed a perspective voiced by George Costanza, would-be architect and philosopher.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Ease into the Weekend

Dire Straits: "Money for Nothing."

"A Place to Live and Work"

The Sovereign Professional has an update and  - if Tori Amos is reading - I'd really, really, like it.


The trailer for "The Passage."

The "Crash and Bang" versus "Knock It Off"

woman sitting beside black sedan

Althouse points to some interesting observations by Jerry Seinfeld about comedy, screwing up and "the crawl-back." An excerpt:

We know the routine: the person does something wrong. The person’s humiliated. They’re exiled. They suffer, we want them to suffer. We love the tumble, we love the crash and bang of the fall. And then we love the crawl-back. The grovel. Are you going to grovel? How long are you going to grovel? Are you going to cry? Are you going to Jimmy Swaggart? And people, I think, figured they had that coming with Louie — he owes us that. We, the court of public opinion, decided if he’s going to come back, he’d better show a lot of pain.

Execupundit note: Our society would benefit if we returned to frequent use of the "Knock it off and don't ever do that again" approach instead of escalating every slip or ill-chosen remark into a career-ending event.

[Photo by Sharon Garcia at Unsplash]


The trailer for "Human Capital."

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

Image result for listening to your life frederick buechner amazon

So Often

person plotting in map

So often, it's not an individual but a system. It's not the projects but the relationships. It's not the specific job but the overall mission. It's not the comment but the context. It's not the past but the present.

And keeping your eye on something only counts if it is the right something.

[Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]


This looks like a new Halloween movie.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

On Order

I've gotten hooked on the Dingbats journals. Made in Lebanon. Excellent quality. A variety of styles. I usually keep one within reach so I can jot down thoughts.

Post-Workshop Mode

Checking and answering email. Sipping coffee milk. Making notes on class workbook changes. Reviewing PowerPoint for upcoming workshop on Trust. Notes for consulting project on how to turn around a department. 

Thinking. Thinking. Thinking. Catch the thoughts before they drift away.

Why I Live in the Desert

The trailer for "Cold Pursuit."

"Your Job is Not Your Job"

two women playing soccer on field

Linked In's Fred Kofman gives a larger perspective.

[Photo by Jeffrey Lin at Unsplash]

"The Unbearable Sameness of Cities"

aerial photo of people on bar

New York magazine's Oriana Schwindt went to all 50 states and made a sad discovery. An excerpt:

And it wasn’t just the coffee shops — bars, restaurants, even the architecture of all the new housing going up in these cities looked and felt eerily familiar. Every time I walked into one of these places, my body would give an involuntary shudder. I would read over my notes for a city I’d visited months prior and find that several of my observations could apply easily to the one I was currently in.

[Photo by The Creative Exchange at Unsplash]

Part of a Productive Morning

Image result for starbucks doubleshot espresso amazon

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Health Food Update


From 2016: The Pioneer Woman shows how to make Cashew Chicken.

Quick Look

The trailer for "Gangs of New York."

No Doubt About It

tortoiseshell sunglasses

Click here for information on my favorite management consulting firm.

[Photo by Nick Hillier at Unsplash]

Halloween is Coming

brown and black bat opening mouth

The trailer for "Coraline."

[Photo by Todd Cravens at Unsplash]

"As I Lay Kvetching"

Back by popular demand: David Sheffield's winning entry in the 2004 Faux Faulkner Contest in which he mingled the style of William Faulkner with the characters of The Three Stooges.

[Photo by Jp Valery at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Thing." [Not the original.]

Upcoming Programs and Seeing the Obvious

Over the next few days, I'll be teaching workshops on Equal Employment Opportunity/harassment prevention, tact in the workplace, strong and caring supervision, and trust. All of them are good and solid sessions (no bias there!) but you'll be hearing more about one in particular in the days ahead.

Thoughts and material eventually converge. It is exciting to discover an approach that has been idling on the desk - smoking, winking, and cracking jokes - for months or even years before it is noticed.

A Place to Live and Work

white window curtain

Even if you are not thinking of working at home, this post by The Sovereign Professional has some great examples.

[Photo by Marko Kovic at Unsplash]

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

Image result for the killer angels amazon

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Excellent Series

Image result for endeavour season one amazon

Especially recommended for "Inspector Morse" fans. Season One is now on Amazon Prime.

You Need a Korean Zombie Movie Break

The trailer for "Train to Busan."

Diversity of Opinion

One of the most pathetic—and dangerous—signs of our times is the growing number of individuals and groups who believe that no one can possibly disagree with them for any honest reason.

- Thomas Sowell

Hidden Wisdom

Be wiser than other people, if you can; but do not tell them so.

- Lord Chesterfield

[Photo by Pete Bellis at Unsplash]

Best Value Law Schools

The National Jurist's preLaw magazine has compiled a list of the "Best Value Law Schools."

Very interesting. Georgia State University's law school is number one.

[Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]


Salena Zito takes a 90 minute flight with an eight-year-old boy who is passionate about the subject of American presidents.

Uniform of the Day

stainless steel armor part

The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.
- Romans 13:12 (King James version)

Don't hesitate to wear some shining armor today.

[Photo by Samuel Zeller at Unsplash]


black revolver pistol on ground during daytime

We should restore the practice of dueling. It might improve manners around here.

- Edward Abbey

[Photo by Jens Lelie at Unsplash]

A Man at His Desk . . .

is one of the noble things in life and Kurt Harden has his windows open.

All the better to catch the scents of autumn.

By the way, great desk.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Customer Service and Flexibility

baked cookies on white concrete surface

Larry Winget's story about a cookie should be shown at staff meetings.

[Photo by Erol Ahmed at Unsplash]

Distractions and Work

shallow focus photography of woman holding clear plastic disposable drinking cup while using smartphone

As you plan - and proceed through - your day, distinguish between the distractions and the work. Although some are, not all distractions are bad. They may involve learning or the nurturing of relationships, but they are not the core work that needs to be done that day. 

[It is possible that an item which was a distraction one day will be part of work the next or vice-versa.]

Give the core work tasks at least 90 percent of your time. The work days that you regret are the ones where the distractions have consumed most of your time.

[Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

Image result for the time of the assassins godfrey blunden

Proposed Name Tag for Conferences

What is Your Name Again?


Congress is like a roach motel - laws check in but never check out.

- Philip K. Howard

First Paragraph

"Captain MacWhirr, of the steamer Nan-Shan, had a physiognomy that, in order of material appearances, was the exact counterpart of his mind: it presented no marked characteristics of firmness or stupidity; it had no pronounced characteristics whatever; it was simply ordinary, irresponsive, and unruffled."

- From Typhoon by Joseph Conrad

Chow Yun Fat

Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution on the life choices of Chow Yun Fat. An excerpt:

As reported by Jayne Stars, Hong Kong movie legend Chow Yun Fat will give his entire net worth of $5.6 billion HKD ($714m USD) to charity.

Despite his gargantuan wealth, Fat remains rather frugal. Only spending $800 HKD ($1o2 USD) per month, Fat is often seen taking public transport and doing charity work.

Saturday, October 20, 2018


To be bored is a way of making the least of things you often have a sneaking suspicion you need the most.

- Frederick Buechner, Listening to Your Life

Health Food Update

The Pioneer Woman shows how to make Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Monsters and Ethics

Image result for a meal in winter amazon

Robert E. McGinnis, Artist

Artwork for Breakfast at Tiffany's by Robert E. McGinnis

Everyone has seen his work. Here's the artist's official website.

Found on the Internet

It must be pretty terrifying living in the world described on the nightly news and in the pages of the New York Times and Washington Post.

- Comment by "clint" at the Althouse blog

More Zimmer

Hans Zimmer and friends in Prague with music from "The Da Vinci Code."

The Difference

grayscale photo of man and woman

The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything.

- Warren Buffett

[Photo by raw pixel at Unsplash]

The Speech

The classic United Airlines commercial from 1990.

"Fun is Good"

St. Paul Saints Baseball Logo

Check out the Team Psychologist.

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hedwig's Theme

Back by popular demand: BBC Proms with the main theme from "Harry Potter."

Crank it up.

"The Case Against Education"

aerial view of graduates wearing hats

Caplan’s subtitle promises to explain “why the education system is a waste of time and money.” He exempts the teaching of essentials like reading, writing, and basic math, and professional and vocational programs that develop in-demand job skills. As for the rest of the curriculum, forget it. “Teach curious students about ideas and culture,” he suggests. “Leave the rest in peace and hope they come around.” The core question that Caplan addresses is why employers so richly reward high school and college degrees, when the content of the coursework has so little to do with the jobs employers offer. Yet college graduates earn substantially more than high school graduates, who earn more than high school dropouts.

Read all of Gene Epstein's review of Bryan Caplan's new book in City Journal.

[Photo by Good Free Photos at Unsplash]