Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday Attire

It is a retailers dream to continue the tradition of dressing up for Easter Sunday. I'm sure a fair share of new Easter clothes were purchased prior to Sunday.  I carefully watched the people's outfits today in the contemporary service. And yes, even the regulars brushed up their attire (I even wore a tie).
Dressing up is only one of the memories I have about Easter. At Friday morning Bible study we answered the question "what memories of Easter come to mind?", I struggled for only one.  Easter sunrise service, snowfalls on Easter, Easter Sunday clothes, the traditional Russian Orthodox Easter Service (from Susan's family tradition), the excitement of hunting for Easter Eggs, Easter flowers, Easter dinner, and Easter family gatherings - to name a few.

Jenna hid the eggs this year and Ellen worked to find them  all.  The traditions continued with ham, kielbasi, boiled eggs and Susan's favorite salad -  sirnaya pasca   Then S.B (Ellen's neighbor friend) came over to decorate eggs in true Russian artistic tradition.  A quiet family day - remembering Indeed He Has Risen or is it He Has Risen, Indeed!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Human Training

Today is the first lesson in human training as we attend the session with other puppy owners lead by alpha trainer.  After listening to "How to Raise the Perfect Dog" by Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer), I am convinced the puppies know what to do and the humans are clueless.  So off to puppy school we go!

I found this principle true in almost every facet of life. Too often we are clueless.  At Accenture, invariably I would be called in to replace a system because it "didn't work" or didn't have certain functionality.  After reviewing the training manuals and user manuals, I would discover the old system had the functionality - the humans just had never been trained.

Now they say the best system or machine is designed perfectly when no training is needed.  That is impossible but an admirable goal.  After all the automobile is a very complicated machine that even the most mentally challenged individual can seem to learn - it is the traffic rules that cause us to need drivers education. How many of us (other than my Dad) really read the car users manual from cover to cover?

So the next time you are frustrated about a "system" (even our political system) or a machine, or even a person. -  go find the user's manual. 

For life the manual is easy to find - It's the Bible.

Friday, April 22, 2011


A.S. said one of his client had BSGO - "Big Stuff Going On" at the Vistage meeting the other day.  I didn't have time to query him on the etymology of this acronym.  But I did like it.

The world is full of sayings and word short cuts - acronyms, initialism, and abbreviations. Now that texting is mainstream new ones are now part of the over 1 million database.  Add to that the special symbols for smiley faces etc and you will begin to need a dictionary just for the short cut initials or symbols. 

BTW B4 all U txting PPL get a big head  - just remember that the early creative text-ers are the vanity folks with the custom license plates.  Just watch for them on the road to get your texting acronym training.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Today  S.S. said the secret of life success is Re-framing.  The ability to redirect your thinking about a negative to a positive.  It's not completely the Power of Positive Thinking since you are not ignoring the negative - just learning from it and attempting to create some positive outcome (or view) of the circumstance (now in the past) that you have no ability to change. 

Bad luck, losses, suffering, mistakes etc. are a certainty in life.  "Learn to Lose" was a quote by commodities speculator Martin Schwartz.  The ability to see bad luck as something that happens  (not personalize it or "victimize" it) can actually be the first step in changing your luck.

I like the term Re-Framing because the choice of how you frame an actual picture can transform how you view the actual scene inside the frame.  The painting may be fixed - but the frame can be variable.  Take the analogy even further and you could crop the scene to transform the picture even more.

Looking back at your life can be pleasant memory - just adjust the frame.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Your Dash

Ezekiel 37:1-10 was the  Bible study two weeks ago.  The question posed to the Men's Friday Morning Bible Study was what do you think of when you are in a cemetery?  That popped into my head again as I walked Wednesday with Mom and Dad in the Muhall, OK cemetery where the Wisner family headstone lies.  Eight plots total with six already reserved or taken - Two for Great Grandpa and Grandma Wisner; two for Grandma and Grandpa Wisner and two for Mom and Dad.

A beautiful sunny day,  the cemetery sits on the hillside overlooking the rural farms of Muhall, Oklahoma.  A pleasant view and the wind blows hard across the rolling hillside.  There is not much talking when you walk through a cemetery and I pondered on all the stories each generation contained.  The headstones had a begin date and the end date and between is the dash (the story and journey).  There sat Mom and Dad's headstones with the begin date and a dash.

How you walk in a cemetery is a challenge - are you walking on top of a grave?  How was the grave positioned - east to west?  Who are you buried next to - your permanent neighbor?  How many years accumulated in this cemetery?

My mind raced with the feeling of how time marches on -  eroding everything in it's path. No turning back, no slowing it down, history is but a second away.  Your dash getting closer to the end date. And  then a new generation walking on top of your dates and dash - reflecting on their own date and dash.

Saturday, April 9, 2011


The "poker" game between Obama, Reid and Boehner came down to one hour before the deadline to close the U.S. government.  Negotiations need deadlines to force decisions and action.  This occurred several times with my clients (the one I remember best was Bell Canada).  Many times the deadline is a personal issue (for Obama Care it was Christmas Holiday - two times). 

The ultimate deadline is coming - IRS April 15th.  Yet just  like the government there is the extension (and now provided all the way to October - the real deadline). Deadline must be a derivative of "drop dead date".  I assume the etymology comes from "if you cross the line (the timeline) you're dead". 

Having deadlines - writing, composing doing anything creative can be challenging.  Yet that pressure can force out great works.  The family tonight is watching Music and Lyrics (yes a chick flick) where the lyricist and music composer attempt together - "pound out" a song.  A wonderful example of how the deadline created a "hit".

Luckily Bloggers have no deadline - hence no "bloggers block".

Monday, April 4, 2011


Something like knowledge - but just doesn't feel perfectly trustworthy .... might be how you would describe a hunch (see The Luck Factor by Max Gunther).  Or you think you know - but you don't know how you know it.  Max's advice is not to smother a hunch - which is what I do when I constantly drill Ellen with the comment "There must be a reason .......".

I'm not the perfect trivia guy when it comes to Star Trek - but I can't remember anytime that Spock had a hunch.  Hunches are "just not logical" and  they come in the form of feelings.  So do some people have Hunching Skills - the ability to nurture a hunch and get the desired result?

I think so - but it's just a hunch :)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Five on Two

Five on Two is not the fast break during the March Madness tournament - it is the number of humans attempting to wear out two puppies.  Yet the puppies are winning (and this is only day two).   The lingering smell of odo-ban in the kitchen and family room also indicates the strength (or lack thereof) of the puppies bladders.  Luckily all rugs have been rolled up and put away until the battles are complete - or the war lost and surrender occurs.

It would be interesting to see a graph of our energy (generation and consumption) from birth to death.  Like a stock market graph there would be daily fluctuations but the trends would be interesting.  In the puppies case the energy multiplies with two - I wonder about us and what creates energy multiples?  I think it varies by individual personality.  Some of us get energy in groups (generation), while others get drained the larger the group (consumption).  Maybe there is a law of energy in parties - generation must equal consumption.

That principal doesn't seem to hold in the puppy to human relationship.  The humans are worn out!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Human Training

Today the two new puppies arrived now increasing the pet inventory to five (excluding fish).  Bella and Fitch (who I call Buddy) were born Feb. 13, 2011 to Golden Retriever and an unknown father we suspect was a black Lab.  We will now embark on Human Training - I say that because dogs know what they do - it's the humans that don't know how dogs think or commonly act.

Since the dogs are pack animals they look for leadership - the alpha dog.  Hmmmm this might also apply to humans also.  When there is a leadership void - nothing much gets accomplished.  A group without a leader will find the lowest common denominator in forming and accomplishing tasks.  It takes a leader to recommend, plan, execute, monitor and adjust. 

So I've declared myself as alpha dog to Bella and "Buddy" - after all I think I can be a good leader of dogs  (cats are another thing - probably like libertarians). 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Breaker One Nine Good Buddy

Traveling back from Hilton Head this week we hit a "parking lot" just north of Knoxville.  Immediately the old days of CBs (Citizens Band Radios) popped into memory.  Yes the 1970-1980 craze of having a CB radio in your car.  Maybe I was more attune to this trend because of my summer job at Antenna Specialists in Cleveland, Ohio building Base Station Antennas. 

It was the i-phone of its day.  I think my call sign was Wizkid and I had all the CB slang down. If only I had the CB was my thought, I could have avoided this "parking lot" (e.g. bumper to bumper traffic for three plus miles).  Did my Onstar system warn me of a traffic snarl - NO!!  Did a DOT billboard warn me possible long delays - NO!!  Seems like traffic technology hasn't improved for the last 30 years (although there probably is an i-phone app for this situation now or in development).  

Actually there is some technology improvement.  I popped off the highway on the first available exit and allowed the GPS system to navigate the backroads  for me to avoid the snarl.  But the 1970's version of that was handing the map to passenger and asking for navigation assistance.

It's comforting to know that travel stress hasn't changed much for 30 years.