As retirement draws ever closer, some strange ideas become more and more appealing.
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The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. http://bible.us/111/1PE4.7.NIV
Sometimes prayer and current events seem so disparate but from this passage we see that in order to pray effectively we must be clear headed and we must be cognizant of what is going on in the world around us.
Hermits of old would isolate themselves from the ‘world’ in order to concentrate on the ‘things of God’ but in doing so they withdrew from the very world God sent his Son to save.
What does it take to be successful? According to Michael Gerber in The E-Myth Revisited, success is born from a determination to do what needs doing and if you don’t know what needs done, that determination is directed at learning what needs to be done.
Contrary to popular belief, my experience has shown me that the people who are exceptionally good in business aren’t so because of what they know but because of their insatiable need to know more.
The problem with most failing businesses I’ve encountered is not that their owners don’t know enough about finance, marketing, management, and operations—they don’t, but those things are easy enough to learn—but that they spend their time and energy defending what they think they know. The greatest business people I’ve met are determined to get it right no matter what the cost.
Do you have the drive it takes to find out what needs to be done and then the ability to focus on getting that done?
I shall watch further developments with interest. Fiat justitia ruat caelum.
According to Wikipedia, this Latin maxim means “Let justice be done though the heavens fall,” the belief that justice must be realized regardless of consequences. The phrase seems to be rather recent, especially for Latin phrases, apparently dating from the 1600s. One common usage is by judges who have released those wrongly convicted knowing it would most probably cost them their position due to public opinion.
Not sure that the usage in the story was quite as momentous, it seems to be used more along the lines of “let the chips fall where they may.”
Usually I relegate fiction to audiobooks. Audio is great for listening to stories and not so great for non-fiction that you might want to mark up. This book sounded too interesting to pass up on the NetGalley list of books, guess I am a sucker for epic sagas.
The Normans have captured England. The Turks have captured a Norman knight. And in order to free him, a soldier named Vallon must capture four rare hawks.
On a heart-stopping journey to the far ends of the earth, braving Arctic seas, Viking warlords, and the blood-drenched battlefields, Vallon and his comrades must track down their quarry one by one in a relentless race against time.
The scale is huge. The journey is incredible. The history is real. This is Hawk Quest.
Reading Dilbert cartoons bring back vivid memories from a previous job I had almost 20 years ago. Over my desk I had a sign similar to this one and it bothered my manager no end:
This cartoon brought that memory back.
My son, Geoff, had invited me to go with him to “Afternoon with…” Neil Gaiman in Portland at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom near the end of June. Gaiman is touring to promote his first adult novel in eight years, “The Ocean At The End Of The Lane”.
I have read Gaimans “The Graveyard Book” but not any of his adult novels. Geoff had recommended “American Gods” to me. So read it I will.
First published in 2001, American Gods became an instant classic—an intellectual and artistic benchmark from the multiple-award-winning master of innovative fiction, Neil Gaiman. Now discover the mystery and magic of American Gods in this tenth anniversary edition. Newly updated and expanded with the author’s preferred text, this commemorative volume is a true celebration of a modern masterpiece by the one, the only, Neil Gaiman.
A storm is coming . . .
Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the magic day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.
But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.
Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined—it is a job that takes him on a dark and strange road trip and introduces him to a host of eccentric characters whose fates are mysteriously intertwined with his own. Along the way Shadow will learn that the past never dies; that everyone, including his beloved Laura, harbors secrets; and that dreams, totems, legends, and myths are more real than we know. Ultimately, he will discover that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing—an epic war for the very soul of America—and that he is standing squarely in its path.
Relevant and prescient, American Gods has been lauded for its brilliant synthesis of “mystery, satire, sex, horror, and poetic prose” (Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World) and as a modern phantasmagoria that “distills the essence of America” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer). It is, quite simply, an outstanding work of literary imagination that will endure for generations.
Congratulations to Megan Beauchene as Running Times’ Athlete of the Week!
To have a photo I took published by a national publication is always a thrill. It really helps that I get to follow the Kamiakin Braves around to their track and cross country meets. The girls track team should win the State Championship again this year and with star athletes in many events.
I saw this image on on Toad Hall Bookstore’s Facebook page. I have seen images where people are looking out from a dystopian world. This one is the opposite. The photo appears to originate on this Russian livejournal site and, when translated, asks “Are you the man on the left or the right?”
How do you interpret this picture? And which are you? The man on the left or the right?
I just added a task to my Windows 7 task scheduler and it didn’t seem to be running. In trying to diagnose the problem, I found the tab that is labeled “History” but it says “History (disabled)” and no history is displayed. I looked and looked but found no way to enable the history for the scheduled task.
I did some research and finally found the answer. It is a bit convoluted so I thought I would write it up so next time I would remember what to do.
This is an all or nothing selection. Windows 7 does not let you turn the history on just for some tasks and not others.
It is that time of year again! On Saturday, June 29, 2013 the three cities of the Tri-Cities are once again hosting a Geocaching Challenge that awards those who complete their quest a 3-part coin. This will be the 4th GeoCoin Challenge to be put on in the Tri-Cities and it should be a doozie.
Find 10 geocaches in each of the 3 cities, Richland, Pasco, Kennewick, to earn each of the three trackable geocoin puzzle pieces. You must find all 30 geocaches to complete the puzzle. Geocoins are limited. There are only 300 trackable geocoins per city. Once they are gone you will have to try again next year.
Due the limited number of coins, there is a limit of one set of coins per household but if your family member really really needs to have their own, you can purchase additional coins for household family members who also successfully complete the challenge. Kids 10 and under who complete the challenge will receive a special trackable item
Do you geocache?
The Iranian hostage crisis was front and center of the news for 444 days from November 4, 1979 to January 20, 1981 when a group of Islamist students and militants supporting the Iranian Revolution took over the American Embassy in Tehran and took 52 Americans hostage as a response to decades of abuse from a tyrant king who was put into power & supported by the U.S. government.
Six Americans, however, were able to sneak out of the embassy and, with the assistance of the Canadian embassy and government, were able to avoid capture and finally sneak out of Iran. This book tells a harrowing story of their ordeal and the incredible rescue operation that won the author, Anthony Mendez, the Intelligence Star for Valor. The book also provides excellent insight to the mindset of the Iranian militants, the hostages, and the U.S. government officials.
The role of Mendez and the CIA was kept classified because the U.S. was worried about possible repercussions against the remaining hostages.Until President Clinton declassified the mission in 1997 to celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Central Intelligence Agency. Mendez’s recounting of previous exfiltrations gives the reader insight into the difficulties that are faced by such operations.
I have added the author’s other two books, The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA and Spy Dust: Two Masters of Disguise Reveal the Tools and Operations That Helped Win the Cold War, to my ’2 Read’ list.
The movie, which I saw after reading the book, states that it is “based on a true story”. The movie was good but adds so much fiction that the true story is lost in the desire to make an Oscar worthy action film. If you enjoyed the movie, do yourself a favor and read the book.
It is no surprise that this story made the New York Times Bestseller list. Grisham always writes a great story and this appears to be no exception.
Now waiting for the twist that will pull the story away from the spoiler on the jacket cover.
Given the importance of what they do, and the controversies that often surround them, and the violent people they sometimes confront, it is remarkable that in the history of this country only four active federal judges have been murdered.
Judge Raymond Fawcett has just become number five.
Who is the Racketeer? And what does he have to do with the judge’s untimely demise? His name, for the moment, is Malcolm Bannister. Job status? Former attorney. Current residence? The Federal Prison Camp near Frostburg, Maryland.
On paper, Malcolm’s situation isn’t looking too good these days, but he’s got an ace up his sleeve. He knows who killed Judge Fawcett, and he knows why. The judge’s body was found in his remote lakeside cabin. There was no forced entry, no struggle, just two dead bodies: Judge Fawcett and his young secretary. And one large, state-of-the-art, extremely secure safe, opened and emptied.
What was in the safe? The FBI would love to know. And Malcolm Bannister would love to tell them. But everything has a price—especially information as explosive as the sequence of events that led to Judge Fawcett’s death. And the Racketeer wasn’t born yesterday . . .
Nothing is as it seems and everything’s fair game in this wickedly clever new novel from John Grisham, the undisputed master of the legal thriller.
I just received a reminder from Ally Bank (where I keep my emergency fund) mentioning it is possible to deposit checks remotely by simply taking a picture of the check with my smart phone and submitting the images to them.
I do not have to deposit very many checks but this would be so convenient if my everyday bank, GESA Credit Union, would allow it. Right now I deposit any check I get using one of their ATMs around town. It makes an image of the check and deposits it in my account. Not sure why their phone app won’t allow me to make deposits.
Next time I go in, I will ask.
A very interesting idea, send employees out as ‘secret-shoppers’ to other businesses, allowing them to critique how they were treated and use the lessons learned to improve how they deal with customers.
We gave each cast member a checklist of things to look for and questions to ask at the other stores during their secret-shopper experience:
• Were they and other customers greeted upon entering the store?
• Was the store clean?
• Were all the employees wearing clean clothes? If there was a “uniform,” did all the employees wear it?
• Did employees engage them and other customers or just chat among themselves?
• Were employees visible and available for questions or too busy (folding clothes, restocking shelves)?
• Could employees answer questions about product sizing, store hours, and refund policies?
• Did employees lead customers to merchandise or merely point at the location?
• If employees didn’t know the answer to a customer’s question, did they seek the answer from a colleague?
By asking these questions about how they were treated and their own experiences in other stores, the employee will, hopefully, be able to view how they deal with customers with a renewed perspective.
Mounting photos on foam board, for stability and show, has been something I have wanted to learn how to do for a long time. What better way to learn than watch! Tonight at the Tri-City Photography Club meeting, 4 club members demonstrated how to mount a photo onto foam board. They made it look so easy I might have to work up the courage to do it myself.
Every spring when I enter Costco I am tempted to buy one of these Equinox 10.4 Kayaks. I was able to resist the temptation in years past because I had no easy way to carry it in my convertible. Now that I have a regular car I might be able to fit it either inside the car or on the roof. I do notice that they lowered the price $50 from last year, so it is only $299 but it does not come with the foam block roof rack.
I have read a number of reviews online and am surprised how positive they are. My other reservation has been that I have been spoiled using long & narrow sea kayaks and this kayak is definitely wide. I guess I can always pass it down to the kids/grandkids if I decide to ‘upgrade’ down the road.
Will I be able to resist the temptation this year?
Google is known as a place where engineers get to spend one day a week working on projects that aren’t necessarily in their job descriptions. Many of Google’s innovations are products of this ‘free time’.
I did not realize this idea was not a Google invention. According to LifeHacker the Post-It note was developed at 3M under a similar program that has been in place since 1948 and HP’s 10% program may even be older.
But it took Dilbert to put this in perspective for me.
Training cannot be limited to ‘Here’s what you need to do, now go do it.’ That’s not good enough. Training needs to instill a spirit, a feeling, an emotional connection. Training means creating an environment of thinking and feeling
Training is so much more than just giving an employee a handbook and wishing them good luck. In a busy small office it is easy to get someone started and then let them learn the ropes on the go instead of taking the time needed to teach them how to do the job right. Hopefully there will be lots of ideas in this book on better ways to engage employees and help them to be their best.
CreativeLive.com has a new class, Fundamentals of Business: The Personal MBA, starting tomorrow and it looks like it could be quite interesting. I have enjoyed the photography courses at CreativeLive — maybe I can even learn some business.
I have also put a reserve in at the Library for Josh’s book, The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business, so expect a review of that soon as well.
Master the fundamentals, hone your business instincts, and save a fortune in tuition! MBA programs don’t have a monopoly on business knowledge – The Personal MBA will provide the foundation of knowledge that everyone needs to succeed in business. Join internationally best-selling author Josh Kaufman and creativeLIVE for a special LIVE 2-day workshop dedicated to guiding you through the tenets and teachings found in every MBA program in the country. Josh’s unique, multidisciplinary approach to business mastery has helped millions of people around the world learn essential business concepts on their own time.
Whether you’re debating starting a new business or wanting to improve your current one, this course will help you master the necessary fundamentals to lead you to success.
Class: Fundamentals of Business: The Personal MBA
Instructor: Josh Kaufman
Starts: Thu, 4/04/2013 at 9AM PST
Duration: 2 days from 9AM – 4PM PST then rebroadcast till 9AM next day
Cost: Free to watch on the recording days. $199 to buy but 1/2 price while the class is being broadcast.
A beautiful botanical garden on the site of an old sugar mill. The ruins of the old sugar mill are well preserved with explanatory signage scattered throught out describing the history of the sugar mill. Authentic 19th-century machinery, including crushing mills, a boiler, and a steam engine are also on the grounds.
The garden itself has a natural beauty with many plants clearly labeled along the peaceful trails. And.. there be dinosaurs.. why? Well you need to go read the signs to find out.
Admission is free but donations are welcome to help keep this place going.
I continue to try to finish up the wedding photography I did as a favor for my nephew and his lovely bride. I got a number of good shots of her with her dad. Most of the good shots are due to the fact that he is quite a character and required no posing.
We shot these photos under the harsh summer Florida sun. Von & I found this little stage area at the park that we could use for the group shots. It was fairly well shaded but you will see in some photos that I was unable to keep everyone from being mottled with some harsh ‘sun spots’.
Good Friday and Easter free us to think about other things far beyond our own personal fate, about the ultimate meaning of all life, suffering, and events; and we lay hold of a great hope.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer to his parents,
25 April 1943
Amazing that in the circumstances Bonhoeffer found himself he not only found comfort for himself but comforted others through the message of the cross.