Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I know this is unpopular to some but I love the snow. I love going for walks with huge flakes falling down all around me. I love to see the kids sledding at the hill by my house. The same hill I used to slide down myself. I love being the first person to walk through a field of snow leaving my sole tracks as evidence that I was first to cover some uncharted area. I love sitting inside watching it come down like my picture glass window is a giant TV tuned to one of the most relaxing channels I had ever seen.

There is a certain calmness that comes in a Minnesota winter where everything just slows down. You rediscover books; remember how good it is to be warm, how comforting it is to drink wine with loved ones by a fire.

Everyone’s cars become the same color of muck and ice.

You lose the pretentious admit piles of clothes, big jackets, mittens and hats. Like everyone enters a cocoon preparing for the unveiling of butterflies in the spring.

It teaches me patients. It reminds me to prepare.

You see the best of the community come out and shovel for one another. You see strangers help push each other’s cars out of ruts. You actually see people help other across icy streets.

I hope in the midst of all the rushing that happens through the next few months I remember these things and take time to stop and smell the snow.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

People in Glass Offices

Should clean their cages.

Over the past month I have been in close to 20 different office buildings around the metro area most of them of newer construction. One trend I have noticed more often then not is that the offices have glass on all sides. Glass cubical if you will. I can’t help but think of the people working in these glass offices as little hamsters on display. Like I am walking down the halls of a pet store wondering which one I should get...

Monday, November 22, 2010


I wonder at what point or at what ratio of government spending will my tax dollars be eligible for a write off as a charitable contribution?

I wonder if turbo tax has anyone working on this potential circular reference.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Saving Haiti One Resort for Oversize Americans at a Time

Ok so while aid is necessary in times of crisis I think the overall approach if seriously flawed. Say for example we take a portion of the overall aid sent for disaster say 10 billion dollars out of the 40 billion (these numbers vary based on which news program you watch but the concept I am proposing remains the same)

Use that money to develop a tourist zone build say 6 billion dollar resorts in close proximity. This immediately puts people to work in construction jobs. It also has a trickle down effect once they are up in running of constantly employing front desk staff, maids, bell hops, cooks, waiters, bar tenders, security staff, grounds keepers not to mention the supporting businesses like taxi drivers, tour guides, bus drivers, gift shops, bars, cafes etc. If you can hold the security you encourage other investors to step in Jimmy Buffet will open a Margaretville, hard rock, casinos. All of these business will need supplies purified water, safe food, fabric, arts and crafts etc suddenly you have bottling plants, processing centers all being built with labor and it produces an upward spiral. – Employing the people and improving the infrastructure now become the focus of a self sustaining country.

Use the other 4 billion dollars as business grants and for infrastructure; new roads, new sewers, clean water, better airports to facilitate trade.

Granted there are some geo political issues and cultural issues that would have to be addressed but moving towards self sustaining platforms is a much better long term solution to aid the country then sending an endless supply of bottled water and rice.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Soap Box

Why a soap box? Wasn’t there any other boxes available? I am sure before cardboard lots of things were shipped in boxes. Maybe it is because the orator is lathering up the audience? Reference to cleaning up speech like washing your moth out with soap? Or just cleaning in general? Soap box.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


How are leggings with boots and a nice top, not the same as loafers sweat pants and a button down shirt?

Monday, November 15, 2010


The place where several rivers meet in a transition into the ocean.
I have friends I grew up with.

I have friends I went to school with.

I have some family.

I have work friends.

I have mutual friends.

I have an inherited family.

All markedly different yet they are going to be tossed together for the first time. Like a salad with lots of different overpowering herbs. I wonder how it is going to taste? Maybe it will be delicious? Maybe it will make people sick?

Maybe not everything is made to mix and match? Maybe I just worry too much?

I say screw it. At this point in my life I think I am just going to step back have a drink and enjoy the show.

Because screw you. I am happy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Prime Time

I wonder how the aging of the population will start to impact everyday items like the time frame for prime time? I was thinking about this so prime time is set up to be on when most people are likely to be watching TV. If the majority of people are retired and likely to go to bed by 8:00 I wonder if the primetime slot gets moved up? Monday night football starting @ 4:30? Right after the early bird special? I guess with the market wreaking havoc on people’s retirement funds I at least get a few more years before I have to worry about this.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Interesting future study on the correlation between the BMI of the HR Department and a companies internal ethics.

I am starting to advance the theory that the heavier the combined weight of the HR department is the less transparent or ethical the company they represent is.

The logic to this is that while people eat and are overweight for a lot of reasons there are a few general patters such as consuming food during periods of nervousness, loneliness, self esteem struggles, anxiety or even if you believe Dr. Phil to build a physical barrier between you and the world around you.

(While I know that there are other factors to be considered such as genetics or the fallibility to hire people who are similar to each other I think it would be worth a look.)

Now this could be said about any team but it would use the HR team as a leading indicator since the HR center of any organization tends to be the hub and black hole of a company’s secrets.

Interesting follow-up studies would be seeing other unhealthy habits and the correlations like rate of smoking, gambling, promiscuity etc.

I know I might have a problem with causality since it would be hard to determine which factor caused the other but I am not interested in the causality just to test if there is a statistical link between the two.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

You’re fired

Fire the coach, fire the athletic director, fire the CEO it seems like every time there is a problem or a game loss, bad season, disappointing quarter the first thing everybody starts screaming is fire the person in charge.

Couple things to consider.

1.) The crown of leadership is heavy don’t knock it until you have felt its weight on your shoulders.

2.) If the leader sees a problem and that problem is your lazy a$$ and he fires you, your responsibility chucking self would cry all the way to a lawyers office to sue.

3.) It takes time for people to develop – a bad season or a bad quarter sometimes is necessary to see where your underlying faults and areas of improvements are.

4.) People often learn more from their mistakes then their successes.

5.) Mistakes or poor results can be great place for coaching and yes even coaches get coaching on how to improve.

I am all for holding people accountable for results but there needs a be a little bit of latitude, I am not going to put my dog down for chewing a hole in the couch. I am not going to fire a team member for making a poor estimate, or fault a coach for a bad play call. Sometimes you have to take a shot and reward people for taking the shot even if they miss, otherwise you build a culture where no one wants to take a shot and no wants to lead or try new things everyone just wants to sit and complain.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Hot Server Index

Heard this at the bar and thought this was an interesting theory: The better looking a wait staff is at an establishment the deeper we are in a recession. The theory is (right or wrong) that attractive people are usually hired first. To phase it another way if two equally qualified candidates apply for a job the more attractive of the two will get the position.

So the more attractive the servers are means the softer the corporate job market since they are waiting tables because other opportunities don’t currently exist.

Now I am not saying that wait staff should be ugly or that there is anything wrong with serving I mean you got to do what you got to do, but then isn’t that the whole point of the theory?

Monday, November 08, 2010


One of the main benefits I like about working with IT people is that most of them tend to understand that even the best plans tend to go awry. Plans are general guidelines that assist in reaching a goal. They help draw attention to issues and events that require them. I have never seen a project completed with any level of difficulty where every milestone was hit if all the planning for each phase of the development cycle was done up front. Usually when I hear people say my project came in one time and under budget my first question is usually after how many revisions.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Texting behind the Wheel

Now that most phones are equipped with voice texting (You speak and it types it for you) Most will soon be able to read text too you and perform commands like send, reply etc. I wonder if it will still be considered illegal to text when you drive? I know several states ban even hands free phone usage while driving but that seems like a slippery slope. Will carpooling with other passengers become illegal since it will tend to merge to the same thing talking with another human being while driving.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Rush Hour

I now get to experience something I have been able to avoid for most of my grown life. Rush hour.

Rush hour is like a big slinky of metal cars.

Seems like it could be avoided by having staggered work schedules I mean why does everybody have to be to the same place at the same time?

It is an irritating way to start your evening, but for some reason I don’t mind it so much in the morning.

I have always thought of my car as a time machine. I get in it, push a few buttons and bam I am somewhere else sometime in the future. (Ok I guess it becomes the present when I get there, or maybe it is always the present?) But with traffic it seems like my time machine is broken it takes too long to get that close in the future. <- Bonus points if you followed that.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


On the proliferation of wearing vests as a fashion trend.

Are you drowning? Going hunting? Do you have a tendency to walk into walls and think this bubble wrap layer will help you?

Am I the only one who thinks this is not a good look?

Thanks but no thanks.

B: How come nobody uses thanks as a valediction here? For some reason I am not comfortable with all the variations of regards we have going on. I mean best regards, warmest regards, kindest regards I feel like you are kind of mocking me with all this regards. Are you mocking me?

C: We don’t use thanks because we speak English and a thanks is not a valediction and yes we are subtly mocking you.

Proper or not I need a judgment call on signing off a letter or an email with …



Hasn’t the use of thanks as a sign of farewell been used widely enough to gain acceptance as a proper valediction?

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Change Faster

I live along the major interstate that travels through the Minneapolis metro area. This interstate has had a large project that has been going on for the last three years.

It has caused freeway closures, exit and entrance ramp closures, it has diverted in a fairly inconvenient way how my entire neighborhood can travel to the east of the city.

It was painful. People grumbled. They charged the people taking on this project with not doing it fast enough.

But in the end the people leading the project did a great job. The finished early. They finished under budget. The city is better as a whole because of it, even though a few were inconvenienced.

I can’t help but think of this on this election day. They took three years to untangle the free way but we expect the largest financial collapse and the destruction of infrastructure in our country to be fixed in two?

I can’t help but think if that construction crew would have been replaced half way through the project, new blue prints drawn, new vision, new tools, new people hired.

Would that project be done sooner? Under budget?

Would I be able to get to work in the morning?

My guess is the second crew would run over budget and over time and a third crew would be voted into take care of the problem and fail yet again.

And I would still be taking the long way around.

There is something to be said about continuity in leadership and vision. It just seems like a lot of people aren’t willing to listen.


I just realized by making this public this is the only place that people can stalk me where I don't have to accept them into my life to do so. If their are stalkers I wonder who you are what exactly you want?