Wednesday, November 14, 2018

"Salt Fat Acid Heat"

person pouring seasonings on clear glass bowl

Cultural Offering, of course, has the trailer.

Get out there and cook.

[Photo by Taylor Kiser at Unsplash]

Is Boris in the Wings?

silhouette of 3-tower building with flag of U.K.

The Telegraph on the Brexit withdrawal agreement. The story is bubbling.

[Photo by Matt Milton at Unsplash]

Amazon's HQ Choices

So after all of the hubbub surrounding Amazon's choice of a second headquarters, they are going to New York City and the Washington, DC area.

Round up the usual suspects.

My bet was they would pick Denver: good location, nice amenities, big airport with a gazillion direct flights, skiing, and it's more true west than the tech bubble of Seattle.

Some others that would have made sense: Dallas, Columbus, Indianapolis, and Austin.

What I like about those choices is they would have put Amazon executives in touch with non-East and West coast America. 

That item, however, does not seem to have been on their list.


man holding a bottle

Nicholas Bate has some quick and sound advice on moods.

[Photo by Samuel Dixon at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "High Society."

Florida Once Again

City Journal: Myron Magnet on Florida elections and voter fraud. An excerpt:

Our democracy’s legitimacy rests on the honesty and trustworthiness of our voting process, which has grown as suspect as the days when loyal partisans would grow beards before election day to vote with them first in their full luxuriance, then with a trim to Vandyke neatness, next with the chin whiskers shaved off, then with the moustache gone, and finally with the mutton chops erased. Barbers were indispensable to the vote-and-vote-again process.

Briefly Off the Grid

Back soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Quick Look

The trailer for "Restoring Tomorrow."

Biz Books

Wally Bock has some business books to check out

[And when the savvy Mr. Bock has recommendations, it is wise to pay attention.]

The Post-WWI Disaster: Still of Significance

At UnHerd, Laura Spinney examines the neglected horrors of the Spanish Flu.

100 million dead?

The Power-Idea Gap

person sitting on wooden accordion bench while reading magazine at the back of water fountain

Significant power brings greater responsibilities and greater responsibilities consume vast amounts of time and limited time pushes out opportunities for new ideas. Less power has fewer responsibilities and more time for ideas but getting the ideas into action can be difficult because there is a shortage of power.

Wherever we may be on that scale, it is wise to keep the power-idea gap in mind.

[Photo by Vale Zmeykov at Unsplash]

First Paragraph

Ask anyone at the Drones, and they will tell you that Bertram Wooster is a fellow whom it is dashed difficult to deceive. Old Lynx-Eye is about what it amounts to. I observe and deduce. I weigh the evidence and draw my conclusions. And that is why Uncle George had not been in my midst more than two minutes before I, so to speak, saw all. To my trained eye the thing stuck out a mile.

- From "Indian Summer of an Uncle" in Very Good, Jeeves! by P. G. Wodehouse

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Life and a Career

Martin Scorsese: A Life in Pictures.

To Be Re-Read - Frequently

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Two Philosophies on Marketing and Comic Strips

person drawing black robot with stars on paper

From 2015: Luke Epplin examines the huge marketing difference between Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes.

[Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side are, in my view, the gold standard for comics and both are retired. As for the marketing question examined in the article, I look up at the bookshelves in my office and see a Dilbert doll next to one of Opus from the departed and still-missed Bloom County.]

[Photo by rawpixel at Unsplash]

A Tad Nippy

60 Minutes Australia visits the coldest town in the world.

Looks hellish to me.

[HT: Jonathan]

True Yesterday and Every Day

United States of America flag on window pane

. "As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." 

- John F. Kennedy

[Photo by Max Sulik at Unsplash]


man wearing black leather jacket

Though import [car] sales could hit 425,000 [cars] in 1959, they may never go that high again.

- Business Week, January 17, 1958

[Photo by Clem Onojeghuo at Unsplash]

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Honoring Veterans (and Some Family History)

1LT Rensler Pomeroy


A video of The Somme, then and now.

To Be Re-Read

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First Paragraph

Thirty-four long, sweet summer days separated the morning of June 28, when the heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was shot to death, from the evening of August 1, when Russia's foreign minister and Germany's ambassador to Russia fell weeping into each other's arms and what is rightly called the Great War began.

- From A World Undone: The Story of the Great War 1914 to 1918 by G. J. Meyer

Anniversary of the 1918 Armistice

November 11, 1918. The runner, his breath visible in the morning air, waited for the captain to acknowledge the message. The night had been bitter, the temperature hovering near freezing. The cold had stiffened the mud, caking uniforms and frosting the rim of the trench. Leaden skies threatened snow. A medic moved along the duckboards handing out aspirin to sneezing, hacking men with heavy colds. They gripped tin mugs of coffee, grateful for the warmth, and eyed the runner, wondering what news he bore.

The captain read the message twice. It must be a mistake. True, the night before, the U.S. 26th Division had received Field Order 105 to attack at 9:30 this morning. But at 9:10, just as they had been checking their ammunition and fixing bayonets, word came that the armistice had been signed. Hostilities were to cease at 11 A.M. The attack had been canceled. And here was another message telling the captain that the assault had been reinstated. His watch showed 10:30. A half-hour remained in the war.

- From 11th Month 11th Day 11th Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax by Joseph E. Persico

Find Something Beautiful Today

desert during daytime

[Photo by Ghost Presenter at Unsplash]

Saturday, November 10, 2018

To Re-Read

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Reading Assignment

Wally Bock has assigned some weekend leadership reading.

Expert Squelch

red and brown book

If I want to stop a research program, I can always do it by getting a few experts to sit in on the subject, because they know right away that it was a fool thing to try in the first place.

- Charles Kettering

[Photo by Rita Morais at Unsplash]

"They Shall Not Grow Old"

The trailer for Peter Jackson's documentary featuring restored footage of the First World War.


Art Break

Art Contrarian looks at the work of Peter Helck.

When Things Press In

man taking photo above building

Move away from the ledge. Put down the smartphone, turn off the television, take a slow walk, get lost in a good book, talk to a neighbor, listen to some great music, read some poetry, watch the birds, scan the skies, and realize that the vast majority of the people who don't see things exactly the way you do are still decent people.

[Photo by Tuce at Unsplash]

One of the Greatest Mystery Bookstores in the World

click pen and magnifying glass on book page

In Scottsdale, Arizona.

[Photo by Jõal Silas at Unsplash]

Observe, Don't Ask

woman wearing black high-neck long-sleeved top while sitting on top of vehicle

When you ask people what they want, they think about how they should answer; they want to look smart; and they are influenced by what other people say. On the other hand, when you don't ask them, but simply watch what they do, their actions speak more truly than words.

- Guy Kawasaki

[Photo by Parker Whitson at Unsplash]

Friday, November 09, 2018

"Train Station"

A film made by 40 directors around the world.

"Fortune" Sold

Fortune magazine has been sold to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon.

It will be interesting to see how this affects the magazine's content. 

To Be Re-Read

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If you have not read the entire Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, what is wrong with you?

[Update: Note this essay in The Guardian in 2014.]

Book Review: Powerful

Read Wally Bock's review.

Quick Look

I like the way this trailer for "Little Dorrit" names the cast.

First Paragraph

In 1660 William Kieft, the Dutch governor of New Netherland, remarked to the French Jesuit Isaac Jogues that there were eighteen languages spoken at or near Fort Amsterdam at the tip of Manhattan Island. There still are: not necessarily the same languages, but at least as many; nor has the number ever declined in the intervening three centuries. This is an essential fact of New York: a merchant metropolis with an extraordinarily heterogeneous population. The first shipload of settlers sent out by the Dutch was made up largely of French-speaking Protestants, British, Germans, Finns, Jews, Swedes, Africans, Italians, Irish followed, beginning a stream that has never yet stopped.

- From Beyond the Melting Pot: The Negroes, Puerto Ricans, Jews, Italians, and Irish of New York City by Nathan Glazer and Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1963)

Thursday, November 08, 2018

An Important Question

Anderson Layman's Blog has a very important question that should be asked every day.

Question Time

So let's take a step back. What happened in that room was not the ultimate fight for press freedom. This wasn't someone risking life and limb against a regime where freedom of speech is forbidden. This was a bloke sitting in a room full of colleagues who were all trying to ask questions too.

This was a man who'd had his turn and had been told he couldn't hog the whole time.

Read the rest of Emily Maitlis at the BBC.


This trailer reminds me of my skateboarding days.

Oh, wait.

Without a Mind's Eye

TED talk: Tamara Alireza discussing the nature of a rare condition: Aphantasia.

[HT: Hilary]

To Be Re-Read

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Just Observe

crow of people

[Photo by Alicia Steels at Unsplash]

Greatest Concession Speech of All Time

"The people have spoken, the bastards."

- Democratic prankster and California State Senate candidate Dick Tuck in 1966

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

The Chill of History

Comparisons of Berlin then and now.

Talking about Leadership and Management

Back soon.

Anger's Feast

Of the Seven Deadly Sins, anger is possibly the most fun. To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of butter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you giving back - in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself. The skeleton at the feast is you.

- Frederick Buechner in Wishful Thinking: A Seeker's ABC

You Know You Want One

Image result for shatner claus amazon

For those of you who need some cheering up, you will smile at this news: William Shatner has made a Christmas Album.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Science Update: Close Brush

A 1,670 foot wide asteroid is moving by our humble planet today.

Of course, once the actual distance between Earth and the asteroid is revealed....


Motivation Hub has a collection of thoughts by Amazon's Jeff Bezos.


My wife left for work at her usual ungodly hour. Newspapers have been read. The dog is at the window, barking at anyone who dares to walk down her street. A radio burbles about election turn-out. To my right, coffee is at hand with more to come. To my left, one book on jobs and another on religion. Today includes work on a policy manual and preparation for a workshop as well as some marketing. At the back of my mind is a report on a committee that could benefit greatly from a daily study of Parkinson's Law. 

I need to control my impatience.

Let's have a good day. All will be well. The republic will survive.

Just In

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Employment Law: Strange Cases, Real People

Writing at the California Public Agency Labor & Employment Blog, Stefanie K. Vaudreuil discusses some unusual cases

Grizzlies and pot, pterodactyls and windshields, and water-boarding and motivation are involved.

First Paragraph

Work holds dominion over us. It's through work that we exercise our talents and build an identity, through work that we fit into this world. And while our most cherished memories don't always revolve around our jobs, our hopes and dreams for our future - and the future of our children - generally do.

- From The Job: Work and Its Future in a Time of Radical Change by Ellen Ruppel Shell

Monday, November 05, 2018

Get Ready

closeup photography of woman smiling

The election will soon be over. 

[Photo by Michael Dam at Unsplash]

Quick Look

The trailer for "The Art of War."

In the Spirit of Shackleton

Consider the expedition of Captain Rudd and what you'll be doing over the next 75 days.

[Photo by Una Miller at Unsplash]

[HT: Hilary]

Should Periodically Be Re-Read

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"The Peace of Paper"

Scattered sheets of white paper covering the entire frame

Steve Wozniak, the uber-geek co-founder of Apple, gave a speech a few years ago when I was in the audience. I’d heard he carried four or five smartphones around at any time that he was testing out, so I expected him to read from one of them, or maybe from an iPad. When “The Woz” stepped up to the microphone, he reached into his sports jacket and pulled out a sheet of paper that looked like it may have come from a yellow legal pad. He unfolded it twice, looked down at what he had written, and began to speak.

Read the rest of Steve Leveen's post.

[Photo by at Brandi Redd Unsplash]

The Assumptions Lurk

fountain pen on black lined paper

We are programmed by our assumptions. Many of them are instinctive and survival-driven, such as "It is wise to be cautious when you sense that something isn't quite right."

What needs serious review, however, are the ones which for whatever reason, we casually adopted years ago.

Jot them down and consider yourself fortunate if you don't find any that need revision. 

[Photo by Aaron Burden at Unsplash]

Saturday, November 03, 2018

On the Job: Heathrow

A documentary on Britain's busiest airport.

Quick Look

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The trailer for "A Special Day."

First Paragraph

People wouldn't take what Martin Pemberton said as literal truth, he was much too melodramatic or too tormented to speak plainly. Women were attracted to him for this - they imagined him as something of a poet, though he was if anything a critic, a critic of his life and times. So when he went around muttering that his father was still alive, those of us who heard him, and remembered his father, felt he was speaking of the persistence of evil in general.

- From The Waterworks by E. L. Doctorow

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

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As a rule, the lives of these people later became difficult. Almost all of them experienced fierce attacks and witch-hunts; at times, long periods of disgrace, and sometimes repression. The fateful irony was that the places where they could express themselves least freely were those that ought by nature to have been the freest - the academic institutions of the social sciences and the institutions of higher learning. There, Stalinist dogmatism was as dominant as before.

- Georgi Arbatov in The System: An Insider's Life in Soviet Politics

Hard Lesson

man climbing cliff beside beach

Some of the greatest of life's mistakes are made when you really know what you want.

[Photo by Chen Hu at Unsplash]

Friday, November 02, 2018

12 Rules for Swedes

Althouse has 38 minutes of Swedes looking askance at Jordan B. Peterson.

Hilarity ensues.

Genealogy Back in the USSR

Beyond my grandparents, I know nothing about my genealogy. Genealogy in general is a privilege of the noble and the rich. I was descended from very common folk, and they usually do not show great interest in their distant ancestors. Besides, to keep track of them in the turmoil of constant change and movement so typical of my country during the last century would have been difficult. And not always safe. Who knows whom you might find among your ancestors? Maybe a counter-revolutionary or a priest, or somebody else who, by Stalinist standards, could spoil your career, maybe even your life - forever?

- Georgi Arbatov in The System: An Insider's Life in Soviet Politics

Quick Look

The Bock Habit

grayscale photo of person inside the plant formation

If you lead or manage - and darned few adults don't have those responsibilities nowadays - you should visit Wally Bock's Three Star Leadership blog at least once a week.

Practical. No nonsense. To the point.

Great stuff.

[Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi at Unsplash]

The Reaction

man inside train looking on window while holding newspaper grayscale photography

Dysfunctional management by one or a few can cause many others to react in a manner that is equally dysfunctional.

Watch out for that. The finger pointers may not be as bad as those who sparked the problem but their own poor management may contribute massively to the overall situation.

[Photo by charlotte at Unsplash]

Carmina Burana

Cultural Offering posted a special treat on Halloween.

And it is very much in the Crank It Up category.

Marshall on Leadership

If leadership depends purely on seniority you are defeated before you start. You give a good leader very little and he will succeed; you give mediocrity a great deal and they will fail.

- General George C. Marshall

Anyone who studies great leaders should be studying George Marshall.

Going Greek

Anderson Layman's Blog is into some very good reading.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Modern Tech and Connectivity

General Stanley McChrystal, who commanded the American forces in Iraq, on the illusion of being connected. 

Modern Times in Reverse

The Wall Street Journal: Venezuela's health crisis is crossing its border.

Back By Popular Demand

Allison Krauss: "Down to the River to Pray."

One Urban Area, Two Halves

people on terminal pathway

Of course, there is a very simple and obvious explanation for the differences between the two halves of Nogales that you've probably long since guessed: the very border that defines the two halves. Nogales, Arizona, is in the United States. Its inhabitants have access to the economic institutions of the United States, which enable them to choose their occupations freely, acquire schooling and skills, and encourage their employers to invest in the best technology, which leads to higher wages for them. They also have access to political institutions that allow them to take part in the democratic process, to elect their representatives, and replace them if they misbehave. In consequence, politicians provide the basic services (ranging from public health to roads to law and order) that the citizens demand. Those of Nogales, Sonora, are not so lucky. 

- From Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson

[The authors later note: Why are the institutions of the United States so much more conducive to economic success than those of Mexico or, for that matter, the rest of Latin America? The answer to this question lies in the way the different societies formed during the early colonial period. An institutional divergence took place then, with implications lasting into the present day. To understand this divergence we must begin right at the foundation of the colonies in North and Latin America.]

[Photo by Andrew Schultz at Unsplash]


assorted-shape cookies on tray

We had over 360 trick or treaters last night. A record.

[Photo by Cayla1 at Unsplash]

Should Be Periodically Re-Read

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