Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another reason I love being on a Mac.

After switching to Windows for a few years, three years ago I switched back to Apple first using an iBook, and now a PowerMac. It's easier to solve problems, when they do occur, and easier to get answers when you don't know what to do. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Consumer Reports: Which manufacturers did the best job of answering questions quickly and correctly

Monday, May 23, 2005

Reversing the declining interest in the performing arts

There is a great post on Seth Godin's blog about an orchestra in a town of 50,000 that is experiencing tremendous growth.

Thinking Outside the Bachs

These ideas apply to the arts in Lansing. Children's Ballet Theatre, and the dance community in general can invite more people into our world?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Prearrange your tombstone message.

Check out this site wher you can generate your own tombstone, All those authoritative deep thinking types tell you to reflect on what your's will say. Forget that. Don't rely on an untrustworthy second party. Write it yourself.

Tombstone Generator

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fear: Good or bad motivator?

Is it or isn't it.

Last week I posted a link to an article that pointed out fear was a poor motivator for change. Now. Seth points out that fear of loss is the best motivator for change. Which is it?

Here are the two pieces and my original post.

Stagnation is Easy, Change is Hard, Seth Godin

Fast Company - Change or Die .

How's fear as a change agent?.

Could it be both. Fear works to maintain the status quo. Thus if you want to get change from others, make an ultimatum that threatens the status quo. If you want to change yourself, get help dealing with your fears and leap forward.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Never, ever, under any circumstances buy anything from Primus.

Those of you who know me, excluding my family, know I am a calm person. Well one telecommunications company seems to have the gift of working past all of that,

Never, ever, under any circumstances buy anything from Primus. They are a telecommunications company that bought out an Iowa company I originally signed up with fir long distance years ago. In my experience, they are at best politely incompetent and at worst, crooks. I don't want to relive all of my experience with them here, but basically they have overcharged me for years, fail to make promised corrections to problems and seem incapable of stopping billing after we cancelled services withe them a month and a half ago.

If your ever bored and want to watch me turn red, and raise my voice sometime, you can ask me for the details.

I'm off to see who takes complaints about telecommunications service providers to. The FCC, the President, The head of the UN?

Learn the ways of the grape, he must.

I'm no wine snob, but while traveling through New York a couple summers ago we happened upon a little winery in the finger lakes region on Cayuga Lake, just up the road from Cornell University. Much to my suprise, I discovered three wines there that I actually liked. You see, shortly before this my doctor advised me to start having a glass a day for medicinal purposes. Well I was suprised to find some medicine that I liked. We bought a few bottles. Consumed some myself and shared others with friends.

Unfortunately, when my small supply ran out I came to the realization I could not order more from the winery. Michigan lawe prohibited it. Until now, that is. Today the Supreme Court ruled that Michigan and New York laws that prohibit purchasing wines from other states were a no-no. This good news for those of us who want to order wines from out of state.

Supreme Court sides with wineries.

I'm off now to see if GooseWatch Winery is going to register to ship to Michigan.

For any who are concerned about this new habit of mine, you can relax, because for budgetary readons I have converted to grape juice. Supposedly, the unfermented grape has similar benefits and costs less.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A monkey could paint that

Have you ever said or thought that when you were viewing a piece of modern art. Well, in fact, monkeys have done some paintings . . . and you can buy them at an art auction in London.

Here's the Yahoo story and the art

Someday I hope my art is more valuable than chimps, that's my goal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How's fear as a change agent?

Fast Company has a great piece on change. They open with this.

What if you were given that choice? For real. What if it weren't just the hyperbolic rhetoric that conflates corporate performance with life and death? Not the overblown exhortations of a rabid boss, or a slick motivational speaker, or a self-dramatizing CEO. We're talking actual life or death now. Your own life or death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think and act? If you didn't, your time would end soon -- a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change really mattered? When it mattered most?

Yes, you say?

Try again.


You're probably deluding yourself.

You wouldn't change.

Don't believe it? You want odds? Here are the odds, the scientifically studied odds: nine to one. That's nine to one against you. How do you like those odds?

<a href= />Fast Company - Change or Die>.
Contrary to what we believe, facts don't have the raw power to change us. They are dependent on our frame of reference. We filter and process facts though our frame. If things don't fit in our frame, we discount or discard them.

Making radical changes is more likely to aid our change than little changes. Small changes don't work very well because they usually have little or no payoff. It's too close to the old way to produce any significant benefits.

And here's the good news, 77% of 333 high-risk heart disease participants in a radical change program, involving a vegetarian low-fat diet, support groups, and meditation, relaxation, yoga, and aerobic exercise kept their new healthier lifestyles for three years after the study and didn't require any medical procedures. Of course, the program focused on the joy of living,

I highly recommend reading the whole article.

Here is Dan Miller's ( Summary of the article:

        •         Crisis is not a powerful motivator for change
        •          Change is not motivated by fear
        •          Knowing the facts does not cause us to change
        •          It's easier to make drastic changes than small ones

Friends don't let friends forward hoax e-mails.

In recent weeks I've received copies of the same hoax e-mail from 32 different friends, and in fact, I have received variations of the same one many times.

Instead of just deleting the hoax e-mail I like to respond and let the sender know that they are forwarding a hoax e-mail and send them to, and the specific address for the history of the particular hoax they are forwarding. Here is an example and in my experience the most popular one:

Bill Gates, Intel, Some other rich person or corporation will send you larg sums of money if you forward this e-mail

People can't resist the offer of large sums of EASY money.

Davin suggested the following as a pre-emptive strike e-mail to send to your friends. Sort of an upstream anti-hoax idea virus.

Subject: Are you destroying our trust in email?

Top sign of being an email neophyte:
1. You naively forward hoax emails to everyone you know.
You know those emails that seem too good to be true? They usually start with a claim like, "My older brother is a lawyer for Microsoft and he said this email is totally legit." Then they go on to explain how if you forward the email to so many people, some company will track it and you'll get an easy $50. Or some other silly scheme.

Now, stop yourselves and listen: IT IS A LIE. Do not believe it.

Here are the two easy steps you must take if you want to stop being seen as an email newbie:
1. Highlight the offending email message.
2. Delete the email message before it does further damage.

Good. Remember those steps.

Now, educate yourself. Whenever you feel an urge to forward a seemingly serious email to anyone, especially when there are numerous Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:'s in the subject line, go to a web site that researches these kinds of hoaxes.

Here's a web site that lists a few hoaxes. There are many others.

Go forth and forward hoaxes no more.

Now, forward this to 7,000 of your closest friends.

Do you think this would get people to stop? Probably some, but not all.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

'You keep your F; I'm keeping my dream.'

Read this today in a Dan Miller e-mail:

When Monty Roberts was in high school, his teacher gave the class the assignment of writing about what they wanted to do when they grew up. Monty wrote that he wanted to own a ranch and raise thoroughbred racehorses. His teacher gave him an 'F' and explained that the dream was unrealistic for a boy living in a camper in the back of a pickup truck. He would never be able to make this a reality. When he offered Monty the chance to rewrite his paper for a higher grade, Monty told him, 'You keep your F; I'm keeping my dream.'

Today, Monty's 154-acre ranch in Solvang, CA is home to world class thoroughbred racehorses and his gentle 'Join Up' methods of training horses (and kids) is the inspiration of companies around the world. He and his wife Pat have raised their own three children as well as 47 foster children, who return regularly to spend time on the ranch. As the 'Horse Whisperer' he inspired the Robert Redford movie that propelled Monty to fame and fortune beyond his wildest boyhood dreams.

Now, who's been trying to talk you out of your dream? Who's been telling you you're crazy and it can't be done? What level of success is that person experiencing? Do you notice that most naysayers and dream kickers are at the bottom themselves? Find people who are already performing at the level at which you'd like to be. You will find they will encourage and inspire you even more.