Friday, January 29, 2016

Music to my Ears

SVP Cincinnati Partners had the difficult time of choosing 8 finalist for the FastPitch2016 event to be held March 2 downtown at the Phoenix - 6:30pm.  It was a very enjoyable night as we heard 19 worthy non-profits three minute pitch hoping to master the 4 "C"s.  Clarity, Compelling, Community Impact, and Creativity. 

Naturally I was biased because of my coaching of MRC (Music Resource Center) - but I was only one vote of the 24+ partners at the event.  I'm proud to announce that MRC is one of the final 8 and will compete on March 2.  But....... the competition is extreme.  They will have to step up their game to win it.

On the fly, I had to "pitch" SVP Cincinnati to the non-profit participants that evening.  While everyone was complimentary,  I think I could use some coaching too. :)

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

How Much .....?

Reading "Social... why our brains are wired to connect" has been a delight.  You can get Matthew Liebermann's highlights in his Ted Talk but I highly recommend the book for many interesting stories and details.

Just how much are social aspects of our lives worth?  Putting a price tag on friends, relatives, and neighbors.  Having a friend whom you see on most days, compared to not having such a friend, had the same impact on well-being as making an extra $100K per year.  Being married is also worth $100K while a divorce is equivalent of your salary slashed by $90K. Seeing a neighbor  regularly -$60K.   And physical health  - $400K.

Interestingly -  the savings a couple needs for medical is $245K (see  But more interesting is the difference between a healthy person and unhealthy person (5 chronic health conditions and 5 prescription drugs) during retirement.  The healthy person need 20% less retirement income for medical needs. 

Then put two and two - together.  Liebermann makes the case for the correlation of good health with social interaction and relationships.  Ironically he also points out the fallacy that more money creates more happiness. 

So it is not about how much money social interactions are worth as it is time in your life.

How much time are social aspects of our life worth?  Did you devote any time to that today?

Friday, January 22, 2016

Parable is like ....

Today was a study of Parables in Matthew.  There was some discussion of the differences of a Parable and Allegory.  That led me to wonder the subtle differences in analogy, metaphor, simile, hyperbole and fable.

Parable -  a succinct, didactic story, in prose or verse, which illustrates one or more instructive lessons or principles. A parable is a type of analogy

Fable -   fables employ animals, plants, inanimate objects, or forces of nature as characters

Allegory - allegory in its most general sense is an extended metaphor

Analogy -  is a cognitive process of transferring information or meaning from a particular subject (the analogue or source) to another (the target)

Metaphor - a figure of speech that identifies something as being the same as some unrelated thing for rhetorical effect, thus highlighting the similarities between the two. While a simile compares two items, a metaphor directly equates them, and does not use "like" or "as" as does a simile

Simile - directly compares two things through the explicit use of connecting words (such as like, as, so, than, or various verbs such as resemble).

Hyperbole - the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. In rhetoric

So a Parable is like a puzzle that compels the reader to extend the simple to the complex. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Musical Coach

Yesterday was a snow day - so no blog (what an excuse).   I was assigned the MRC (Musical Resource Center) for coaching for the Semi finals of Fast Pitch 2016.

Twenty non-profits in Cincinnati will present their 3 minute pitch to the SVP Cincinnati Partners and we will vote for the final 8 that will practice and refine their pitch for the March 2 Finals.

Three minutes is not much time to introduce your non-profit and show how you are making an impact on peoples lives.   Too often they try to impart too much information with too many words.  My advice is that you will win or lose based on the first ...... and last 30 seconds. 

My suggestion to MRC for their final 30 seconds:

So….. What does MRC mean to you?   Well it’s not about trying to find America’s Next Idol or Band.  It’s not about aspiring to be the winner of The Voice.  MRC is about inspiring America’s youth through music.  MRC is about winning in Virtue – building virtue each and every day – 4 hours a day, after school, in Cincinnati.  Vote for MRC and you will be expanding our 2000  family of successful youth now and for generations to come.

Just visiting MRC was enlightening and educational.  It brought back memories of how my parents nurtured the gift of music in my life.  The discipline of practicing, preparing, and performing helped me be more successful in everyday activities.  So many kids do not have anything structured in the 4 hours after school that can create problems -  "Idle minds are the Devils playground".

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Asking for it

It was a great lunch today with A.M. and B.J. full of laughter and random talk.  I asked B.J. what one question could he provide for my "friendship test" - a test to determine a good friend.  "A person that still puts up with you despite your garrulous nature."

Wow -  that put my vocabulary wheels in motion.  I could try to infer a definition based on the wit and teasing the three of us use in our bantering discussions.  But what does garrulous really mean?

1. excessively talkative in a rambling, roundabout manner, especially about trivial matters.
2. wordy or diffuse: a garrulous and boring speech

Wow -  Was I asking for it :)
P.S.  This vocabulary site is great.  What a fun way to learn and remember new words!


Monday, January 18, 2016

Netweaving vs Networking

At the January Vistage meeting R.R. said this year he is working on better Netweaving vs Networking.  What a better term for Introverts - as Networking is definitely WORK  for their personality type and to WEAVE sounds just like an introvert activity. 

I found a site with the title (and maybe the author of the term) - Netweaving International.  Based on the belief in the law of reciprocity, a Netweaver gives first in order to receive.  Rather than looking for ways or people (prospects) to help themselves, Netweavers are living the Golden Rule by helping others first. 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Full Throttle SVP Cincinnati

Last night 40+ Social Venture Cincinnati Partners(SVP Cincinnati) and their guests arrived at our house for a social evening of fun and philanthropy.  It was the kickoff of our Membership drive to add new Partners and provide even more good back to Cincinnati.

It was great to see the energy and excitement of my fellow Partners as they each told our guests about their philanthropy journey of joy through Social Venture Partners Cincinnati.  Our goal this year is to add 10 new partners and over $30,000 to our existing base of 40 partners and $120,000. 

But it is not about the money - it's about our engaged philanthropy model and combines our time with the treasure.  On March 15 we will select our seventh non profit in Cincinnati that will receive a minimum of $60,000 over three years.  But each of those non-profits always discover that the real value is the Partner team that helps them increase their effectiveness and sustainability.

You could label the group a philanthropy club - but it is a very diverse set of thoughtful givers who can all come together to provide innovative solutions for non-profits in Cincinnati. We are the catalyst for social change.

"Cincinnati's Go-To Organization for Innovative and Engaged Philanthropy"


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Technology Budget

I bought my first personal computer 34 years ago ( 1982 IBM PC) with an MX-100 Dot Matrix printer.  It was  a huge personal expenditure (over $1,500) but I justified it as a mandatory career development need for my career at Accenture.  That year I was promoted to Manager so the ROI worked. 

I began wondering today what the total amount I have personally spent on computers, expanded memory, hard drives, printers and supplies since that date.  This would be a challenging exercise for me to remember and estimate.  The number is even bigger if I include my family and any personal businesses. then add to that smartphones (which are computers) and now my Echo smart pen. 

I would say the cost of computers alone has exceeded $50,000. The cost of memory and hard drives would be $10,000.  The cost of printers $15,000.  The cost of supplies $10,000.  The smartphone, palm pilot, smart pens, tablets etc.  $5,000.  I'm sure I have missed some items or underestimated (cost of internet access, etc.).

So  - a conservative estimate would be $100K (without accounting for inflation and  investment opportunity loss.

What's the moral?   Budget BIG for you technology needs.   

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Email Illiterate Infrastructure

There are three devices that my email is downloaded to - my office desktop, my Surface, and my LG4 phone.  That doesn't seem to complicated (at first).  But, I have yet to figure out the synchronization and configuration pattern and I am stuck three different places that store my sent mail (only the phone keeps it on the server).   Of course, I have complicated this by having 5 personal email addresses, and 3 business email addresses that are spread across three different providers/servers. 

The primary and most used email is obviously   I established this email with this provider long ago figuring that yahoo would never go out of the email business.    However there have been times when a yahoo is down or acting up which require that I send email through gmail.  Of course that confuses many people as to which email to use (because so many people don't know how Outlook establishes contacts and/or preferences on reply or new emails).

Today, I spent the better part of the day configuring Outlook 2007 (on my desktop) to consolidate all emails into one inbox (Cincinnati Bell had suspended various emails for added security features). This required new account configurations in Outlook (and naturally I have various versions of Outlook).

The challenge becomes all the account settings with IMAP or POP3, Ports to use, SSL,TSL etc. Then you must establish standards which device deletes emails from server or to keep them forever until deleted when signed on to the server.

I still haven't researched my subscription to Outlook365 for my HP Stream7 which is Windows 10 and Outlook 2016 (although I have figured out how to put my Surface Outlook pst file on a mini SD Memory card for easy transport).

Most conservatives want to crucify Hilary Clinton for her email security snafu and maybe they are correct because of the sensitive security needs of her position.  However,  I can relate to the greater part of our population that have NO CLUE on email infrastructure - including me!

Next project -  Synchronized Calendars 

Monday, January 11, 2016


A new sermon series is in progress at Crossroads - Anything is Possible.  You can view each week on-line or subscribe to the iTunes podcast.  This weekend was a special presentation by Jeremy Cowart a renowned photographer that described his journey from " I CAN'T " to Philippians 4:13.

The key message was about action, not words, nor the pre-judgment of others.  I thought it was a unique way to present as Jeremy recited as the same words appeared on his creative visual slides with motivating music in the background - a live .... author stream presentation or Ted Talk.  I think his material is copyrighted so the presentation may not be available to replay.

The key take away:   IMPOSSIBLE  is best recited as I'M  POSSIBLE.


Sunday, January 10, 2016

No Joy in Mudville (or Cincy)

It was a uniquely ugly loss for the Cincinnati Bengals to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in the AFC Wild Card Playoff game.  Ugly-- BEFORE (given the Dec. 13 unsportsmen play between the two teams ), DURING  (the volume and nature of penalties last night), and AFTER (the trash talk of some Bengal players).  Unfortunately the press about two Bengal players will cause a nationwide view that Cincinnati should be named Mudville.

An absolutely great article written by Tom Archdeacon of the Dayton Daily News "Bengals Playoff Skid hits new low" contrasts the bad and the ugly with the good:

"And here’s another indelible late-game image, one that’s a flip side to the thugery and selfishness displayed Burfict and Pacman.

When the game ended Whitworth was one of four Bengals – the others were kicker Mike Nugent receiver Marvin Jones and halfback Rex Burkhead – who sought out Steelers players on the field to congratulate them.

Then the massive Whitworth lowered his 330 pounds onto his knees near the 50-yard line to say a postgame prayer. He soon was joined by Burkhead, fellow Bengals Cedric Peerman and Vinny Rey and Steelers cornerback Ross Cockrell.

As he stood in the locker room later and answered every question put to him, Whitworth was finally asked why he had bothered to go shake hands when so many teammates had headed straight to the dressing room and a couple of them had continued to act badly there.
“I shook hands with them because at the end of the day integrity and character and who you are as a man is more important than who you are as a football player,” he said. “And in the face of a loss you have to man up and walk out there.”

What a testament to character and Christian behavior.  We need more Whitworths in the game to get us out of Mudville.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Down and Up

The market goes up...  the market goes down.  Today the stock market's volatility looks like the week of Aug. 1, 2011 to August 5, 2011 when there was a debt downgrade of the U.S. Government.  So the talking heads will attempt to explain the human fear that occurred this week - China, Oil, Turmoil.

On paper this week makes those invested in the market 6% poorer.  Yet looking over a 15-20 year view the market continues to increase for those who invest in the long term.

So this is another example of letting the short term impact of weekly events change a patient behavior of "keeping your hands off the dials".  Yet money (even paper money and digits on a screen) perceptions are powerful forces in our mystic.

My advice -  Go home this Friday, enjoy your family and forget about the market. 

And my prediction for the market for 2016.......  The market will go down and up.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Digitized and Organized

It was a pleasant surprise to open my gadget Xmas gift - The Echo Pen from

 I had some "elf" help from Vistage buddy T.H. who owns a Livescribe3 and demoed it at our meeting. .I emailed T.H. to suggest he send an email to Susan with an ambassador link so that both he and Susan could get $20 off the pan.

Yet as I began to explore and educate myself on the pen it was extremely confusing on which is the right pen to own - Echo, Livescribe 3 or the Wifi version of the pen.  The web site does a lousy job of explaining the differences even with a pdf comparison chart. What to do?   Return the Echo and pick a different version - or just be satisfied with what you have?

I decided to just keep the Echo pen which is more designed for the student taking notes at lectures as a stand alone pen and paper set (vs the Livescribe 3 or the Wifi which requires an additional layer of technology complexity - Bluetooth to a Smartphone or a Wifi connection.

The product demo's well and my early excitement is not yet the proper testimonial.  But as a gadget to play with - it fits the post Xmas/New Years fun.  I even sent emails to my gadget-aholic  tech friends without the proper technology system test complete.  In fact for those reading and willing to take gadget risk here is the discount information:

You'll get $20 off your new smartpen. Simply use my link below to make your purchase and enter discount code UBX15RAF93H2E in your shopping cart (expires in 30 days).

What a great way to keep all your notes digitized for future reference.  Maybe this will be a way to keep my office clean.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Bloggers Resolution - De ja vu

So -  A dismal 2015 performance on blogging (see Bloggers Resolution 2015) is a public display of my failure in New Years Resolutions (specifically the number of blogging entries for 2015).  So for even more public accountability and resolution delivery risk, I have listed my 2016 goals:

(1) At least double (minimum of 114 entries) the 57 entries from 2015 blog (note my most prolific year was 2010 (259)
(2)  Improve my technology organization.  With six different devices (not including my 2 dormant laptops on my office desk), I need to get my email organized and synchronized.  This may be the year of the cloud.
(3)  Follow through with SVP Cincinnati Full Throttle membership drive.
(4)  Better monitoring and financial control over Real Estate Investments
(5) At least double entries in my "Daily 5 Grateful Journal" (from 2015 performance)
(6) Solo time with Ellen (J.H. Ranch diaries)
(7) Weight -  yes an actual New Year goal  - of 185
(8) Physical Exercise -  Weekly Tennis and Daily Walks
(9) Financial returns - exceed the S&P 500
(10) Modify and Update Giving Strategic Plan
(11) Continue Relationship traditions
(12) Readdress Project list -; Reel to Reel digitize; My Dad gift from Jenna; Collections; Book Inventory; Decade reflections;
(13) Set Health Goals - eyes, ears (yes I'm getting old)

That's enough  for now.  I'm sure there are more I could invent. What's the old adage - "Plan the work, work the Plan";  "You only get what you measure";

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”
Albert Einstein

But what about goals that include people and things :)