Monday, December 29, 2008
Can you even remember a time when reporters didn’t spout words like toxic assets, credit crunch, retail shakeout, housing bust, holiday slump, investment scandal, recession, depression. It’s like an obsession, which makes it harder for everyone to sort through the drama to determine the facts.
There’s more than enough bad news to go around these days, but it seems today’s journalistic smash-up—mixing straight news with emotionally charged language—only contributes to the nation’s unease. And it creates the potential to become a self-fulfilling prophesy.
It’s enough to make me wonder how much of our downward spiral can be attributed to doom-and-gloom reporting. What we need instead is perspective.
Consider this: A BusinessWeek story, “Retail Reckoning,” warns about a big shakeout for retailers because there “are just too many stores.” “Rampant discounting may yet save this year’s Christmas shopping season from utter disaster, but retailers are still expecting the slowest holiday sales since the 1990-91 recession…and what comes after Christmas is likely to be even more frightening.”
This story ran in the magazine’s December 10 issue—in 2001.
So…déjà vu all over again. And that’s reason enough to remain hopeful, despite the hysteria. Everything goes in cycles, which means there are ups and downs. Right now, we may be in a deep trough, but things will come around again. They always do. It’s just a matter of time.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
If you don’t have a pet of your own, or even if you do, these sites will put a smile on your face:
- The Mean Kitty Channel on YouTube...starting with The Mean Kitty Song.
- Stuff on My Cat...scroll down for cute pics and then follow the links.
- Snowball the cockatoo dances up a storm on YouTube.
- Penguin Swing isn't really pet related, but it is about animals and it does make me laugh. This game is one of the best time-wasters ever.
So take a break from all the gloom and doom and have yourself some fun. It doesn't cost a cent...and the stress-relief is priceless.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Solution: TinyURL.com. Just plug in your uber-URL, and the result is something short, sweet, and to the point. Your tiny URL won't break in email postings and never expires. Best of all, it's free.
A recent example:
- From this: https://event-manager.compete-at.com/Manager/event/home.do?clubcntxt=delcorrc&eventcntxt=Tyler10KTrailRun
- To this: http://tinyurl.com/tyler09
Pretty sweet, huh?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
- Send some Monk-e-mail courtesy of CareerBuilder.com. You can choose your own chimp (and its wardrobe), use the text-to-speech function, or record your own voice. It's hard to get tired of this one.
- On a more serious note is SurveyMonkey, which gives you a powerful tool for gathering feedback and creates professional-looking surveys.
- And then there's SurveyMonkey's cousin, MailChimp, for email marketing.
It might look kind of silly using monkey tools when you're part of a large, established business. For the rest of us, we're having a blast.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Thursday, October 2, 2008
For three days this week, I’ve had to detach from normal life and fulfill my civil duty by sitting on a jury of my peers. The world could have come to an end outside the courtroom, and I’d have been none the wiser.
Yes, jury duty can be inconvenient, and the wheels of justice grind ever so slowly. But for the first time in a long while I was able to focus on one thing, in one place, for hours on end. No multitasking. No emails or texts or Web surfing. Just sitting. Listening. Deliberating. It was wonderfully freeing. Like a mini-holiday in my head.
With this blog, I try to share Web sites of interest, but not this time. The sites I found either focused on ways to get out of jury duty or the minutiae of juror rules. So the best I can do is offer some advice: Answer your summons. Stay focused. Enjoy the experience.
Sunday, September 21, 2008
- We started with the Flying Heritage Collection, which features rare and wonderfully restored combat aircraft from World War II. Even the hangar itself was scrubbed down, buffed up, and gleaming. More than just gawking, you can read snippets about the innovations involved in each class of plane--and also the personal story of the individual plane right in front of you. And there are some pretty great videos featuring the people who did the flying.
- Next up: The Experience Music Project The Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. These are two great places within a landmark Frank Gehry building, located at the base of the Space Needle. Lots to ooooh and ahhhh over, and while the goal is to integrate the two museums into a "thought-provoking center for contemporary culture," the primary link for me was a high degree of cool. Where else could I see the Sci-fi faves of my childhood, emerse myself in the music of Jimi Hendrix, and walk away with a DVD of myself and my husband performing as the Beatles cover band "The Never Weres."
When we were done, I felt like calling Paul Allen to ask: What should we do next? I'm sure his answer would have involved seeing one of his professional sports team play.
For the past two years, Allen has been listed among TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. And for several days in September, he certainly was one of the most influential in giving me a great Seattle vacation experience.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Here's a good article about the topic--Promises to indemnify, by Susan Butler--that comes from far away (at least for me) at ZDNet Australia and from what seems like a long time ago, December 2000. Worthwhile reading nonetheless.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Much more (and better) info about the sale on the Creative Review blog and BBC News.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I saw them come by alone and in small groups. Some ran the whole thing, others interspersed walking breaks. All seemed destined to finish.
As one of the slower Philly Style teens came to the water stop at mile 25, she was walking. I offered her some refreshments to carry her through, but she shook her head and didn’t stop. I called after her: “This is your marathon. This is a big deal.” And she started running again. Not fast, but not tortured, either. I don’t know if she ran the rest of the way, but it certainly looked like she could.
If she applies that same determination to her journey through life, she will be capable of just about anything. And that’s the whole point of the program, which uses running to help kids imagine and accomplish goals well beyond their dreams.
The current race for SRPS is to win a share of $2.5 million in the American Express Members Project (for those who make a positive impact in the world). Help them make it to the Top 25 projects by casting your vote by Sept. 1.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Take the Alex Gregory cartoon where two dogs are talking. One says: “I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking.”
Yes, just about anyone can blog these days.
And as one who used to walk a dog several times a day, I don't find the idea of canine blogging that outlandish. After all, dogs have been exchanging pee-mail for ages.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
- Watch brainiac (and brain scientist) Jill Bolte Taylor describe her experience with having a massive stroke--and how she dealt with it as it was happening. It's an amazing and touching story. And, yes, I cried. Available on TED.
- On a lighter side, try listening to Daby Toure. What language is he singing? Don't know; don't care. It's the melody and the feeling in his songs that captures my heart and lets me unwind.
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Guy Kawasaki's "How to Change the World--a practical blog for impractical people."
- TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design): "Ideas Worth Spreading."
An amazing collection of talks by some of the smartest, funniest, most interesting people on the planet.
- And for those of us who work with words, or just love language, visit BuzzWhack--a guide to demystifying buzzwords.