Yesterday I spent some of my “vacation” tearing up a pile of junk mail and paying bills. Tying up the loose ends of the year, I suppose. Now I’ll shred the “blog ideas” that never became a post of their own…

So… I Skate To Where the Puck Is…
I dislike the silly cliché’s we tend to use in business. They infect workplace culture and end up distorting communications with customers to the point where they have no idea what we’re talking about. Instead of bloviating, “We empower organizations to leverage business tools to maximize blah, blah, blah…,” why can’t we plainly state, “We provide you software that works and smart people to help you use it.” I do agree, “The most effective companies are masters of the mundane,” or as my friend Barb would say, “they’re good at getting the boring stuff right.”

You are known by the bagel that you keep…
Last week I called my favorite bagel shop at 5:30am to order a bagel platter for a holiday brunch at work…

Me: “Hi, this is Leo. I usually come in every morning. I’d like to order a platter for pickup this morning.”
Bagel Lady: “Leo… Hmmm… What do you usually order?”
Me: (without hesitation) “Poppy, untoasted with Scallion and Bacon.”
Bagel Lady: “Oh, hi! Now I recognize your voice.”

A for effort?
Can you be good at something if the results of your efforts are not? Is trying enough?

10 and 2

“We’re soldiers; but we’re American soldiers. We’ve been kickin’ ass for 200 years. We’re 10 and 1.” – Bill Murray as John Winger in Stripes (1981)

It’s over in Iraq. It’s been over for quite some time, but our administration isn’t capable of acknowledging there are limits to American power and they happened to pick a fight where that fact would result in more American deaths than on 9/11. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said, “impeachment is off the table,” but isn’t lying about WMD’s just a wee-willie bit worse than lying about an intern in your pants? That’s how the then Republican House impeached Bill Clinton. There’s a litany of charges against “Dubya and Dick” that are far more serious and harmful to you, me and the planet we share. The decision to go into Iraq has been called the worst foreign policy decision in the history of the republic and the Washington Post has named George Bush the worst president ever… Thank you red states and the 87% of Evangelicals who voted for President Bush in 2004. He panders to your opposition to abortion and stem-cell research, then brings death and destruction to millions. How do you reconcile that?

The Blackness of Oil
The Bush apologists justify the mess in Iraq by saying we rid the world of a ruthless dictator who killed his own people. Ever hear of Darfur? The Bush Administration has talked about Darfur… calling the atrocities carried out by the Sudanese government and its Janjaweed militias genocide. Why not “walk the talk” there? Two reasons: They’re black but they’re not oil.

“Lighten up, Francis.”
Yep, the world we live in can be a very cruel place. The “rest of the story” from Kyle’s concert last week is that some mean-spirited girls were making fun of the boy the day before the show and scratched to unplayable the CD he was to sing along with. In fact, the next morning the replacement CD cut out about 90 seconds into the song and we didn’t think he’d be able to continue. About 10 minutes later, a scrambling school staffer came up with another copy and Kyle sang his heart out. See? I’m not all darkness. Let’s keep the fun going… Here are 15 things you don’t know about your penis (if you have one).

To close out this 300th post, I’ll answer the questions posed by “M” and “Jeff…”

What about blogging has surprised you the most? It is surprisingly difficult to write on a regular basis.

Has blogging helped you? Oh yeah, it’s a great mental exercise. I tend to research topics quite a bit, so learning is a big part of it. It’s also therapeutic as an outlet for thoughts and feelings. In some ways I’m seeking a catharsis and hope this space helps me experience it. As I advise my daughters about overcoming adversity in life, I need to heed it, overcome self-imposed disabilities and learn how to live.