Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekend Haiku

A tub with no bottom
blowing around
in the autumn wind.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, December 30, 2011

Phantom of the Opera



Nightwish performs their version of Phantom of the Opera live and it is awesome. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, December 26, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This week's offering is never wrong and thus looks elsewhere to explain what went amiss.

MOTW: Blame Manager

The antithesis of Solution Manager and Over-Praising Manager. Intensely dislikes Pollyanna Manager. Blame Manager needs a scapegoat for everything that happens in the office. Failure to designate a particular scapegoat leads to assigning communal blame to the entire staff.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

I normally do not post on Sundays, but today is an exception. Merry Christmas to all and here is wishing you and yours only good things in 2012 and beyond.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Gleaning the rice field-
they work toward
the sunny places.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Mad About You



Hooverphonic performs Mad About You live.This is a wonderful performance. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

North Korean Random Insult Generator

Don't let Kim Jong Il's passing stop the propaganda insults from coming. Visit this site to get your North Korean propaganda insult fix for the day. You won't be disappointed.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

SAAB pulls the plug

SAAB is done. It is sad to see the company that made cars "born from jets" go. I have written about my affinity for the brand on several occasions on this blog here, here and here, having owned two of them previously. The cars had character and ran great for me. What a pity.

Monday, December 19, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Since "tis the season to be jolly" (sic) we thought it was appropriate to revisit this next manager.

MOTW: Jolly Manager

Poor, ill-equipped Jolly Manager. With his/her rotund physique and elfin visage, Jolly Manager was raised in a small landlocked town, learning only a rudimentary dog paddle as a child. This leaves Jolly Manager with a woefully inadequate skill set when the time comes to swim with the sharks, who are carnivorous, always much better swimmers and thoroughly merciless. Although cheerful, Jolly Manager walks around with the equivalent of a “kick me “ sign on the back of his/her ill-fitting shirt/blouse without ever knowing it is there and routinely gets pummeled by more self-aggrandizing co-workers.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Weekend Haiku

First winter rain-
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

He's gone

Owner Stephen Ross has fired Tony Sparano as head coach of the Miami Dolphins. This does not come as a surprise, but as the article states Ross did help to create the mess as did G.M. Jeff Ireland whom Ross did not fire. Starting 0-7 this season did not help Sparano at all and although the Dolphins seemed to be playing hard for him and had won 4 of their last 6, games, it wasn't enough to save Sparano's job. As mentioned before on this blog back in October, Sparano has had his house on the market for a while now so one gets the feeling it was no surprise to him either. The question now is who gets the job and how soon can they get this franchise back to winning consistently?

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager has graced the pages of this blog once before, but the Night Canopy feels so bad for his/her shortcoming that we felt the need to once again bring it to light.

MOTW: Deer in Headlights Manager

Extremely competent, a good person and with above average skills, this manager is the antithesis of Smooth Talking Manager. Deer in Headlights Manager’s downfall is the inability to articulate a viable sentence when innocuously questioned by Senior Management. Any innocent starter query such as, “How is it going?” by a Senior Vice President is enough to send Deer in Headlights Manager into a catatonic state, from which he/she emerges (after a long, painfully drawn out silence) sputtering inanities which even a pre-kindergarten child would describe as nonsensical. Finally, after a laborious tongue-tied engagement, Deer in Headlights Manager mutters a corporate platitude, but it is much too late. The Senior Manager has already mentally labeled Deer in Headlights Manager as a loser, a difficult to shed moniker which will ultimately lead to said manager working inside the company’s walk-in vault, never interacting with anyone other than the cleaning staff and an occasional bean counter.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weekend Haiku

A gust of wind
whitens
the water birds.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mama Don't



From the man who wrote Cocaine, After Midnight and Call me the Breeze, here is a live version from J.J. Cale and his band performing Mama Don't. What a great song. If there is a better way to introduce your band I don't know what it is. He is the quintessential, laid back musician. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The world's best airport?

I have traveled quite a bit in the past and still do these days, so I have spent countless hours in airports, good ones and bad ones. Airports are interesting, dynamic places. A good one allows for a comfortable and exciting traveling experience while a bad one can make a trip (at least that portion of it) seem difficult or even excruciating at times.

In the interest of not upsetting anyone I will not name my least or most favorite airports, but I will say that I have been in the one featured in this article and it is very, very good. The article says that it can arguably be construed as the world's best. I don't know if it is, but I will say that I have not been in a better one yet, although Hong Kong's is pretty darn good as well.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dog shoots man

Yes, it really happened.

Lefties read on...

I am one of the 10 percent of the population that is left-handed. According to this WSJ article there are several risks to having your left hand be your dominant one. The article also talks about the condition of mixed-handedness, of which I also have some attributes. One interesting note that the article posits is that "one reason that not more is known about lefties is that many studies of how the brain works prohibit left-handers from participating because their brain wiring is known to be different." Well, that certainly is a bit unfortunate and not entirely helpful. Anyway, the article is interesting for us who have the good fortune to be lefties.

Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. We have all been subjected to someone's sardonic wit at some point in our lives. The problem becomes when you cannot escape it since this person is your manager.

MOTW: Sarcastic Manager

This manager makes snide comments about anything and everything to do with the company he/she works for. Nothing is safe from this manager’s acerbic wit, including the company’s services, products, investments, vendors, social programs, etc. Even the manager’s direct staff is fodder for his/her caustic repartee, more often than not leaving them demeaned and demoralized. Sarcastic Manager’s comeuppance only arrives on those rare occasions when he/she runs into someone more senior and even more sarcastic than he/she is. Sarcastic Manager’s staff live for the day when this turn of events occurs.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Crossing the autumn moor-
I keep hearing
someone behind me!

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Bring me to life



Evanescence performs Bring me to life live in Las Vegas. This tune rocks and Amy Lee is phenomenal. Enjoy and happy Friday. Oh, and for a double dose of enjoyment, here is the acoustic version.




Thursday, December 1, 2011

An honorable ex-CEO

This morning on the way to dropping my kids off at school my 7 year old asked me, "Daddy, which animals are on the endangered species list?"

After I had mentioned a few that I knew of I explained to him that there were many more, and that perhaps if he wanted to we could look them up tonight. As I was reading through some news yesterday I came across this opinion piece which made me think of one more to add to the endangered species list, the honorable CEO.

Incredible catch

It's not disc golf, but it includes a flying disc, a bridge, a speedboat and an awesome catch. Take a peek.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And they call it the Sunshine State...

Wow, according to these findings it's not because of the sunny dispositions of our residents. In fact, according to the study, we are downright sad.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Citi Mortgage Backed Securities settlement rejected by judge

In an interesting development, a judge has rejected Citi's proposed settlement with the SEC for $285 million dollars, saying he does not have enough facts to approve it. Many financial institutions have a history of settling with the SEC over alleged wrongdoing without admission or denial of liability. It is akin to paying a substantial sum of money to sweep the finding under the rug as if it never happened. Well, this judge is having none of that and as of now is sending the case to trial.

In its complaint against Citigroup, the SEC said the bank misled investors by selling assets in a $1 billion fund that they projected would lose money while at the same time the bank took a short position in some of those same underlying assets. According to the SEC, investors lost an amount to the tune of $700 million dollars. If this is the case then paying out $258 million seems like a bargain, which is probably one of the reasons the judge didn't go for it.

It's not the first time nor will it be the last that a large financial institution becomes embroiled in some sort of situation resulting from the whole sub-prime mortgage fiasco. This one just happened to run into a judge that doesn't want to let it go away so easily.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday League

Yesterday in our random draw doubles league my partner and I shot 17 under par and won. It was a team effort with both of us contributing to the final score. There were 5 extra holes added, including an interesting and challenging hanging basket. We started the round by reeling off seven straight birdies before we carded our first par. In all we had 5 pars and 17 birdies. It is rare that such a round occurs with such a low score, including not a single bogey to mar the card. It was a beautiful day, a fun round and I am sure it will be a while before I am part of another such feat. I love disc golf!

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager wants to have his/her cake and eat it too. The problem is that according to him/her, there is never enough cake available.

MOTW: Socialist Manager

By his/her very title one wonders what this type of manager is doing working at any capitalist concern, but he/she is there, arranging gatherings where everyone is invited to comment on the inequalities and injustices of the company they work for. Most of the time Socialist Manager foments unrest and disquiet at these meetings by demanding that all staff be rewarded equally, regardless of their varying contributions to the bottom line. Typically staff members leave these meetings more frustrated than they arrived, not having previously known they were being treated unfairly to begin with. Suffice it to say that Socialist Manager’s contribution to employee morale is not the most beneficent.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The end of spring-
the poet is brooding
about editors.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sister Ice



A recording of Archer Prewitt's Sister Ice from his album Three. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

To all U.S. based readers, happy turkey day to you and yours. Enjoy the day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Has your company ever hired a manager that made you wonder what they were thinking when they hired him/her? This next manager is an example of that.

MOTW: Fish out of Water Manager

This manager is so dramatically unlike the company profile and culture that one wonders how he/she was hired to begin with. Most of the things Fish Out of Water Manager says or does are painful to watch and his/her tenure is marked by an awkward waiting game where the staff usually has a pool going on about how long he/she will last.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Harvest moon-
called at his house,
he was digging potatoes.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, November 18, 2011

Army of Me



Bjork telling the OWS protesters what to do with themselves in her tune Army of Me. Well, not really. Her song predates the OWS movement by quite a bit, but it actually is a response. If you liked the tune, here is my review of her album Post where this track is from. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

National Unfriend Day

Today is National Unfriend Day or NUD as it is known for short. Enjoy this tune by Brad Paisley and Darius Rucker and then head on over to Facebook and do some unfriending of your own.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Since the political picture is starting to heat up, here is an offering of a manager who can sometimes be considered a political appointee.

MOTW: Figurehead Manager

Just like in the political arena, Figurehead Manager is usually a non-entity who has no real business being in the position he/she is in. Holding no real power, ambivalent in decision making and having nothing important to do or say, Figurehead Manager shuffles about aimlessly and incoherently until the staff can no longer stand it. They then recur to Figurehead Manager’s Chief of Staff, who everyone knows exerts the real managerial control by proxy, said Chief of Staff being a puppet master who deftly pulls the office strings with the precision of a renowned concert violinist.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Weekend Haiku

A cicada shell;
it sang itself
utterly away.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Honest Work



This song seemed entirely appropriate for the times. A recording of Todd Rundgren's Honest Work from his album A Cappella. I love this tune. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Josh Groban sings Kanye West tweets

If this were real I would buy it, because "Classical music is tight yo."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Andre Agassi and his contribution to the field of education

I recently read Andre Agassi's autobiography Open and it was a highly interesting and entertaining read. From his demanding father, to his marriage and divorce from Brooke Shields, his tennis accomplishments and his ultimate marriage to Steffi Graf, what I found most admirable about him is the very brief mention at the end of his founding of Agassi Prep.

Through his efforts there is a K-12 school in Nevada which during its short existence (they have had 3 graduating classes so far) has sent every single graduating child on to a university. He is now stepping up his already significant efforts to improve the quality of education in his home state and outside of it as well. Here is an interview with Agassi where he is asked about, among other things, his contributions to the education of our youth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Good grief...shut down Burger King?

These people from the Occupy movement in California are in need of some professional help. If this is the way the 99% behaves then please do not include me. Maybe we can take away another percent and say they are the 98%. That way there could be another 1% who aren't the elite 1% they are railing against, but who also don't storm into businesses and demand they be shut down on a whim simply because they are there. I really do not want to be included in these types of ludicrous actions as part of the 99%. The Whopper may not be my favorite sandwich, but now they are messing with my inalienable right to fast food and if there is one thing I like, it is fast food. All kidding aside, this is way out of line.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Ah, the mystery of why corporations, or rather the senior management of said corporations, do certain things. This next manager is an example of that eternal question.

MOTW: Token Manager

An odd species, Token Manager has been placed in the position to fill an empty corner office and never really understands why. No one ever pays any attention to him/her and work continues until one day Token Manager mysteriously disappears.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Spring rain
leaking through the roof,
dripping from the wasps' nest.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, November 4, 2011

One Headlight



The Wallflowers perform One Headlight. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another example of true sportsmanship

A while back I posted about a runner in high school who came to the aid of an opponent in a cross-country race. I stated that the boy had been raised right, giving up his chance to win to come to the aid of another racer who was injured.

It has happened again, this time in a rowing race. Two high school rowers gave up their promising start and stopped to help capsized opponents who were in trouble in the frigid water.

Both the runner and the rowers finished their races afterward. We need more of this in our society today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fined $500,000 for 7 words

Miami Heat owner Micky Arison was fined $500,000.00 by the NBA for a seven word tweet when he responded to a poster on Twitter about the lockout. Arison's response to the poster who claimed the owners/players are greedy and are ruining the game due to the lockout.

"You are barking at the wrong owner."

It's official. The NBA has lost it. Other strikes have proven that fans have short memories, but it will be interesting to see the fan response if the league manages to salvage any part of its season this year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Python found with deer in its stomach

First a giant Lego man washes ashore in Siesta Key. Now officials have found a 16 foot python that had consumed a deer in the Florida Everglades. That was one very large, very hungry snake. This state never ceases to amaze me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. As you can see by the description it's too bad if you end up working for this next manager at the tail end of his/her career. Happy Halloween.

MOTW: Brain Dead Manager

At some point in his/her career Brain Dead Manager had something going on. Unfortunately, by the time he/she reaches your office this is no longer the case. Brain Dead Manager’s tenure is characterized by a lot of confusion, frustration and angst among his/her subordinates. Typical symptoms of Brain Dead Manager disease include sitting completely still for long periods of time, blank stares, demonstrating awe at anything relatively new and inarticulate grunts.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Weekend Haiku

A bath when you're born,
a bath when you die,
how stupid.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, October 28, 2011

Set Fire to the Rain



Adele performs Set Fire to the Rain live. What a set of pipes! She is awesome. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

When you know your days are numbered...

Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano puts his house up for sale, ostensibly because he is an "empty nester" now. The coach is asking 1.49 million for the house. The real question is which will happen first, a Dolphins win or the house selling. With the Dolphins at 0-6 and the housing market being what it is right now in South Florida, neither event is looking very probable in the short term.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Giant Lego man washes ashore

Only in Florida, Siesta Key to be exact. He is about eight feet tall. Is this a scout sent before the invasion? And what about the cryptic message on his chest..."No real than you are." Obviously the Lego race speaks another language (Legoese perhaps) and are just getting the hang of English. But what does it mean? We may never know unless more Lego men appear to clear the mystery up.

Monday, October 24, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Since it is football season once again, I thought we would revisit this next manager. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.

MOTW: Monday Morning Quarterback Manager

Never one to prepare or coach his/her staff before important meetings, Monday Morning Quarterback Manager has an infinite array of revisionist feedback whenever the meetings are done and does not hesitate to let anyone within a fifty mile radius know about it. Monday Morning Quarterback Manager will tell you what you should have said, done and thought differently even if the outcomes of the meetings were a resounding success. Upon leaving any meeting at which you and Monday Morning Quarterback Manager were present the recommendation is to put on a pair of noise reduction headphones and run away as quickly as possible.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Taking a nap,
feet planted
against a cool wall.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, October 21, 2011



Evanescence performs Going Under live on The Jimmy Kimmel show. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager never learned that there is two way dialogue flowing in any effective communication.

MOTW: Communicator Manager

Thinks that by holding routine staff meetings and engaging in long-winded monologues recounting what he/she has been thinking about since the last meeting he/she has done the job of being an informative boss.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Singing, flying, singing,
the cuckoo
keeps busy.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, October 14, 2011

El Satanico Dr Cadillac



A recording of Los Fabulosos Cadillacs' El Satanico Dr Cadillac. Enjoy and happy Friday. The bass rocks.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Children and politics




Harkening back to an old Art Linkletter routine, (for those of you too young to get the reference google Kids say the darndest things) Jimmy Kimmel talks politics with some schoolchildren. It's nice to know where our youth stand on the issues.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Five minutes after reading about this next manager you will probably not remember a thing about him/her.

MOTW: Non-Descript Manager

Just like the character in Woody Allen’s Zelig, Non-Descript Manager blends into whatever scenery and situation effortlessly, leaving no trace of ever having been part of any decision or action within the business unit. Although worthless, Non-Descript Manager survives because no one in Senior Management ever recalls his/her name or anything associated with it. He/she is thus rendered virtually invisible whenever the cost cutting cycle rears its ugly head. He/she is a very distant relative of Stealth Manager.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Insects on a bough
floating downriver,
still singing.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Torn



The original electric version of Torn from the band Ednaswap off their album Wacko Magneto. Enjoy and happy Friday.


And here is the acoustic version by Anne Preven of Ednaswap.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Henne done for the season

At 0 - 4 I'm not sure whether this is a good or bad thing. The Dolphins have a bye this weekend so that will give Matt Moore an extra week to prepare. There was a really good T.V. show that is no longer on the air with a one word title that sums up this football season...LOST.

RIP

A lifetime of achievement packed into 56 short years. Thanks for all your visionary hard work Mr. Jobs. Even his last name connoted he had more to do still.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Citi hikes fees

Citi joins other bastions of finance such as Bank of America,Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Sun Trust and Regions Financial in once again hiking fees to consumers. This time around in Citi's case it is upping fees for checking accounts.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Recession makes for odd thievery

During a recession you expect to hear stories about shoplifting, scamming and even bank heists, but take a look at some other things being stolen during these hard times.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager has no consideration for others. Everything must be made to fit within his/her schedule, except for summons from his/her boss or Senior Management, to which he/she scurries with alacrity.

MOTW: After Hours Manager

After Hours Manager makes it impossible to connect with him/her during the regularly scheduled workday and schedules all meetings, conversations, etc. at absurd times during which normal people would actually be having a life. Requests for late night meetings at the Admiral’s Club of the local airport are not unusual for After Hours Manager, causing his/her exasperated staff members to have sour dispositions and a very limited shelf life.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Coolness of the melons
flecked with mud
in the morning dew.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Still I'm Sad



Do yourself a favor and listen to Gregorian singing Still I'm Sad. You won't be disappointed. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The itch that changed the game

As I have mentioned before on this blog, I am not a huge baseball fan. Football is my sport to watch and my Fins are 0-3. Arrrrghhhh! But that is another story.

Even though I don't really follow baseball I have often wondered what would happen if a manager got a legitimate itch, couldn't hold off, had to scratch it and it was misinterpreted as a legitimate sign. Well, it finally happened to the Minnesota Twins. Their manager had an itch in his goatee and scratched it. It was misinterpreted as a steal sign and this was the result.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Grace in sports

You don't see stories like this often enough in the sports arena. Kudos to the kid. He was obviously raised right.

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Someone once said, "What cannot be measured cannot be managed." That someone was this next manager's hero.

MOTW: Metrics Manager

Related to Analysis Manager through marriage, Metrics Manager is convinced that by gathering enough numbers and interpreting them forty-two different ways anything can be explained, including the creation of the universe.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The moon tonight-
I even miss
her grumbling.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Maria, Maria



Santana performs Maria, Maria. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

3 years for this?

The new ketchup delivery system from Heinz. It took Heinz three years to come up with this new packet for use in fast food chains. Chick-Fil-A has had them for a while now. I use the peel option and dip the fries. It is definitely a huge improvement. After three years, one would hope so.

Monday, September 19, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Every company needs one of these managers just to keep things interesting. However, working for that manager can be a bit creepy at times.

MOTW: Mystic Manager

Consults his/her horoscope frequently. Makes many references to paranormal stimuli that tend to guide his/her decision-making. Poltergeists are a recurring them in Mystic Manager’s lexicon since he/she can never find anything in the office and is convinced things have been moved during the night when no one is around. Has never called for a séance in the office although secretly would like nothing better.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The dragonfly
can't quite land
on that blade of grass.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crazy on You



From 1976, Heart performs Crazy on You live. Boy, those Wilson sisters could really rock. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Cruising North Korean style

North Korea's first cruise ships sets sail to less than stunning reviews. Wait a second, did I just write the words North Korea and cruise ship in the same sentence? Somewhere Rod Serling is licking his lips and writing a new screenplay for The Twilight Zone. Anyway, watch and don't let the hot and cold running tea put you off. Make your reservation today.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager, although nice, tilts at windmills all too often and is generally ineffective.

MOTW: Quixotic Manager

Generally a good-natured person, Quixotic Manager pursues initiatives and projects that are doomed to fail from the very outset. Convinced of his/her ideas he/she perseveres in these quests even after being given myriad reasons why they won’t work and being repeatedly told not to continue. Eventually Quixotic Manager loses the respect of Senior Management, peers, subordinates, even the cleaning staff and fades into obscurity following several of these escapades. Quixotic Manager’s fate is the stuff of legend and usually involves rumors of relocation to the mailroom of the Lagos, Nigeria branch.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The new foal
sticks her nose up,
through the irises.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Everbody's Hurtin'



From his album Women and Country, Jakob Dylan performs Everybody's Hurtin'. Enjoy and Happy Friday.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Rare play: 9 - 3 putout

I'm not a big fan of baseball but here is a play you just don't see that often. In fact the announcer also thinks it's a base hit until Michael Taylor is thrown out by the rocket arm of right fielder Jeff Francoeur of the Royals.

A season of touchbacks?

Now that the NFL has moved kickoffs to the 35 yard line to make the game safer the Onion Sports Network has this little gem of an article on the subject.

The money quote, "In fact there is nothing more boring to me than when the return man evades a few tackles, gets a key block, and sprints up the sideline towards the end zone. Touchbacks are why I watch football."

Heck, I can remember when they used to kick off from the forty. That was years ago. Are you ready for some football?

UPDATE: Of the 12 kickoffs in last night's opening game between the Saints and the Packers, 8 resulted in touchbacks, one was an onside kick and one was an electrifying 108 yard return by Packer's rookie Randall Cobb in what he admitted was a "rookie mistake."

Under the Packers' special team strategy the kick returner lines up 5 yards deep in the end zone and is instructed to take a knee if he has to back up to field the ball. Given that the return was credited at 108 yards that means that Cobb backpedaled 3 yards to field the ball and never should have brought it out in the first place. This season promises to be one of yawns and bathroom breaks during kickoffs. Look for your excitement elsewhere in the game.

SAAB files for bankruptcy protection

In a desperate attempt to fend off going out of business, Swedish automaker SAAB has filed for bankruptcy protection. It will be a sad day if SAAB doesn't make it. The company "born from jets" produced some excellent cars and has always had a loyal, if somewhat eclectic following. I have written about my affinity for the brand in the past here and here. I have owned a couple of SAABs and always loved driving them. They won my affection and loyalty for almost 25 years, until I finally moved on for various reasons, none of which had to do with the quality or effectiveness of the vehicles. It will be sad if they don't make it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Okeeheelee

A buddy of mine and his wife came into town from Sarasota this weekend and we played the course at Okeeheelee on Sunday morning. It had been many years since I had played there, so after a bit of scouting around trying to figure out the course we got started and played two rounds of 9, the first from the blue tees and the second from the white tees.

The course has changed quite a bit. The blue tees are long, challenging and can give your scorecard the blues. I shot 4 pars and 5 bogeys. When we played from the whites I shot 9 pars. It was hot and sunny, but the park is beautiful and it was a lot of fun. I will have to go back soon.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Football is back

The regular season officially begins this Thursday night with the Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints right after Obama's speech.The always humorous, often irreverent Jason Gay has his brief take on the season here in the WSJ.

Peter Kings predicts the Dolphins coming in last in the AFC East at 6-10. I hope that's not the case. I really don't want to spend another season frustrated from start to finish, but realistically I have to say a .500 season would not be all that bad. Are you ready for some football?

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Depending on this next manager's seniority, he/she may get away with this behavior, but there really is no place for it in a professional work environment.

MOTW: Foul Mouthed Manager

Despite company policy to the contrary, Foul Mouthed Manager engages in diatribes directed at his/her staff which are heavily laced with imprecations, the kind which would make a sailor on shore leave redden with embarrassment. Whenever a representative of the Human Resources department comes within earshot however, Foul Mouthed Manager’s vocabulary miraculously becomes as pristine as a virgin wildlife refuge.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Butterfly
sleeping
on the temple bell.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, September 2, 2011

I'd Love to Change the World



A recording of the classic tune I'd love to change the world by Ten Years After. Alvin Lee rocks, and not much has changed. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. You have to admire this next manager's tenacity and survivability. Skills such as these are assets in today's downsizing environment.

MOTW: Phoenix Manager

While sharing lots of DNA with Charmed Manager, Phoenix Manager is much more mobile and re-surfaces time and time again where least expected, usually following severe career implosions that no mere mortal could ever dream of living through. He/she has survival skills surpassed only by elite Armed Forces units such as the British SAS or U.S. Navy Seals. Phoenix Manager is a combination of Political Manager and Charmed Manager on steroids, with a dash of Bluff Manager thrown in for cover.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Weekend Haiku

This stupid world-
skinny mosquitoes, skinny fleas,
skinny children.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fortune Faded



Red Hot Chili Pepppers perform Fortune Faded live. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

We dodged the bullet

Hurricane Irene has come and gone and we did not feel her wrath here in South Florida thankfully. My mother was not so lucky. She lives in Nassau, Bahamas and the island, (which is called New Providence, Nassau being the capital city) got hit.

According to her reports though it was not as bad as it could have been since the eye of the storm followed a path that took it on a more westward track. They have had significant damage to their yard with large trees down and so forth, but there was no huge storm surge and apparently the house has not suffered any structural damage. Thank goodness.

Here is a live feed from ZNS news, the Bahamas TV station.

SOBS

No, it is not sons of b.....s. It is a new medical condition diagnosed by me that assails my seven year old boy. It stands for Sudden Onset Back Syndrome and it just happens to afflict him the evening before he has P.E. at school the next day.

He complains he has back pain in the vain hope that I will tell him he doesn't have to participate in the stresses of physical education. This is odd because he is a very active boy, running around like there is no tomorrow when he is with his cousins having the time of his life. I guess there is just something about P.E. that he doesn't like, perhaps the exercises.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Into My Blood, Stolen Car & Backseat



Here is a triple dose of Carina Round.

If you like female rock and rollers then here is Carina Round belting out Into My Blood. She is the real deal and she will blow your ears back. I love this tune!

For the more mellow inclined here is a semi-acoustical version of Stolen Car.



The electric version of Stolen Car off the album, Slow Motion Addict.



And just to show you her sensitive side, here is Backseat.



Boy, do I love Carina Round. She rocks!

Monday, August 22, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Nothing new in this next manager. Not a very trusting sort, he/she populates corporations and makes many a staff member miserable.

MOTW: Micro Manager

Simply can’t leave well enough alone. Suffocates his/her staff with follow-up and minutiae until everyone is ready to revolt.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Awake at night,
the lamp low,
the oil freezing.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, August 19, 2011

Segla på ett moln



Time for some Swedish music today. Here is Anne-lie Rydé singing Segla på ett moln live. She has a set of pipes on her and I love the way this mournful sounding tune builds. The name means sailing on a cloud. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

425 foot Disc Golf ace



I thought I would put up this video because at the end it shows a Disc Golf highlight that made a quasi-mainstream internet sports news roundup called Out of Bounds. The host, Frank Nicotero, is quite patronizing about the whole thing, but that is the tone of the roundup in general since it picks up stories from off the grid.

At first there is a story about a basketball pickup game involving ex-Laker Shannon Brown, then a kid getting his foul ball that he caught at a Dodger game taken away from him, but if you advance the video to the 1:30 mark you will see the 425 ace in the long drive competition from this year's PDGA championship in California.

Monday, August 15, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next type of manager is fairly common among the ranks of more inexperienced managers. It is very difficult to work for this next manager and consider oneself an adult in the process.

MOTW: Time Manager

Is obsessed with tracking all subordinates time. Is of the opinion that everyone should be able to account for every minute of the day. Not being able to do so denotes inefficiency. Bonus points are awarded to those staff members who never go to the bathroom.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The she cat-
grown thin
from love and barley.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Every company has at least one of this next manager and sometimes more. They make things interesting around the office. People wonder what makes them tick, sometimes secretly want to be like them and the jury is still out on whether they are bad or good for business.

MOTW: Psycho Manager

Jumps on tables and bursts into show tunes without warning. Sometimes wears inappropriate things on his/her head. Uses props, squints a lot and mutters under his/her breath to no one in particular. The staff is convinced he/she is an axe murderer in his/her spare time, but is too afraid to ask or find out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The pheasant cries
as if it just noticed
the mountain.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Kradeva brez vere & Soba 102



The a cappella choir Perpetuum Jazzile knocks it out of the park with this medley of two of Jan Plestenjak's tunes. It's amazing to me that they create such a great sound with no instruments other than their voices. The language they are singing in is Slovenian. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Which length vacation is better?

The long or the short one. That is what this brief article addresses in the WSJ without coming to any real conclusion. It asks whether a long vacation or a series of mini-vacations relaxes us more.

I have always tried to take long vacations. I don't think you really feel as if you are on vacation if you take a series of two, three or four days off at different times. In my opinion those are just what they are called, some days off and not really a full-fledged vacation. The funny thing about this article is the perspective it has on what a "long" vacation is. Consider the question it poses at the end of the first paragraph,

"But from either a professional or a personal perspective, is it better to take lots of short jaunts or escape for a longer one or two-week stay?"

One or two weeks is a "long" vacation for the writer. There is definitely a type-A American perspective in this question. Considering that Europeans, Australians and other take 4 - 6 weeks vacation, one week seems like a drop in the bucket.

Before I became my own boss I worked for a big company. After being there for some years I was entitled to four weeks of vacation. I would usually take at least three of those weeks in one shot and felt a lot better for it. Now, I am never fully on vacation, but never quite fully at work either. I think I prefer it this way. Either way, I don't think mini-vacations really work, but that is just me.

Monday, August 1, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is related to Oliver Stone and is a very suspicious sort.

MOTW: Conspiracy Manager

Is constantly dissecting the announcements or moves the company makes to understand the implications on his /her survivability. Believes all occurrences affect him/her and wants to ensure his/her position is protected. Sees gremlins everywhere.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Weekend Haiku

They don't live long
but you'd never know it-
the cicada's cry.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sweet Lullaby



Here is Sweet Lullaby from Deep Forest. What a wonderful tune. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. If you hear a buzzing sound then you know that this next manager is nearby. Ever hear of the saying, "As busy as a bee?"

Action Manager aka Ready Fire Aim Manager

Mistakes activity with achievement. Is convinced that he/she must be doing something or give the appearance of doing something during every minute of the day. Never thinks, never has a strategy or tactic, but boy does he/she seem busy.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Evening wind:
water laps
the heron's legs.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Androgyny



How about a little androgyny? Here is Garbage's version of it with their video Androgyny. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This manager has convulsions if he/she is separated from his/her iPad and/or Blackberry for more than two minutes at a time.

MOTW: Techno Manager

Is convinced that every challenge can be solved with a system, a website, a portal or some other technological solution. Human beings are superfluous and the manager often wonders why he/she has so many people working for him/her. Techno Manager’s favorite phrase is, “Put it on the Web.”

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Her row veering off,
the peasant woman plants
toward her crying child.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Forgotten Worlds



From Delerium's Karma album, here is a recording of Forgotten Worlds. That is Lisa Gerard from Dead Can Dance on the vocals. I love her voice. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

17 under par

It has been too long since I posted about disc golf and yes, you read the title right. Last Sunday I went to play league at the park and we played our regular round of random draw doubles. My partner and I won with a score of 17 under par.

They had added five extra holes so it was 17 under on a round of 23 holes and we had a bogey on our card. That is to say we had 1 bogey, 18 birdies and 4 pars. Out of those 4 pars on 2 of the holes we each missed 10 foot putts. It was one of those rounds where everything was in tune. Whenever one of us had a bad drive, the other one was right there to pick up the slack and we were putting quite well. All of this synchronicity resulted in the scorching round we shot. I love disc golf.

Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is a very good friend of Evil Manager and slightly more intelligent. Divide and conquer is his/her motto.

MOTW: Machiavelli Manager

Machiavelli Manager’s style is simple. By pitting staff members against each other in a competition for his/her attention and favor, this manager assures himself/herself of total divide and conquer supremacy. The results of this strategy are secretive, distrusting staff members who vie for information and recognition against each other, each worrying that the other is gaining ground and status in the manager’s eyes. In this manner Machiavelli Manager keeps everyone in the dark wondering who is winning with no time left over to do any actual work.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Autumn moon-
a small boat
drifting down the tide.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Never Let Me Down Again



Depeche Mode performs Never Let Me Down Again in concert. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grace in sports

You don't see it that often so when you do it should become an object lesson for your children. Rafael Nadal showed a ton of class when he lost the Wimbledon final to first time winner Novak Djokovic this past weekend. Spain should be as proud of their champion when he loses as when he wins.

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Today's offering has suffered a lot during the recent economic downturns and constantly complains about the haircut he/she has taken in the market.

MOTW: Money Manager

Constantly day trading on company time, Money Manager is much more interested in growing his/her portfolio than supervising any staff. For years Money Manager has read a lot of business sections, financial periodicals and surfed all kinds of company websites searching for the next hot stock. He/she is constantly babbling about what the market is doing and about price/earnings ratios, revenue to expense ratios, dividends, leverage and working capital. Money Manager’s net worth is a constant source of speculation and gossip among staff members.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The woodpecker-
still drilling
as the sun goes down.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Story In Your Eyes



One of the most class acts in progressive rock to ever take the stage, The Moody Blues perform The Story In Your Eyes live. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happiest people also kind of forgetful

Maybe all that happiness does something to affect their memory. After all, this isn't the first time they have left someone behind. I'm not so sure I want to go snorkeling or diving down under any time soon.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Everyday expressions



A routine from one of the all time funniest men ever to walk the planet. He was a genius. I miss him.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Is she levitating?

Or not? Check out these great "jumping pictures" of this Tokyo photographer. They are really well done.

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager lives in a perpetual state of fear that his/her illusory competence will be unearthed and brought to light in the not too distant future.

MOTW: Smoke and Mirrors Manager

Bluff Manager’s fraternal twin, Smoke and Mirrors Manager augments his/her repertoire with myriad technological gadgetry and presentations comprised of lots of bells and whistles, reams of documents and articles, magic tricks and just about anything else that will camouflage his/her lack of substance and knowledge.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The short night-
waves beating in,
an abandoned fire.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Orinoco Flow



Libera performs Enya's Orinoco Flow live. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, June 20, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. As this next manager description reads, he/she should not be confused with last week's offering.

MOTW: Incompetent Manager

Not to be confused with Clueless Manager, this being simply seems to be lucky and is living proof of the Peter Principle.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Weekend Haiku

Spring rain:
a mouse is lapping
the Sumida River.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Everloving



An instrumental to make your day. If you haven't heard Moby's Everloving listen to it. Here he is playing it live. It is a beautiful piece of music. No matter how many times I hear it, it still leaves me in a great place when I listen to it. I love how this song slowly builds to a crescendo with the violins. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Citi says over 360k accounts hacked

Citi announced yesterday that over 360,000 accounts had been compromised by the latest hacking attack it experienced, doubling the amount of accounts it initially said had been affected. The exact number given by Citi to date is 360,083, which according to the article is approximately 1 percent of Citi's North America branded credit card accounts.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Citi criticized for delay

Once again a Citi misstep has the company spinning its defense in terms of the 3 weeks it took to notify customers their accounts had been hacked. The way to deal with these types of events is lightning speed transparency and clear communication to regain the trust of your customers but don't try telling Citi that.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mavericks 4, Heat 2

Well, it's all over now and Heat fans will have to wait until next year to see if they can claim another NBA championship. The Heat were sluggish last night at home and lost the NBA finals to the Dallas Mavericks by a score of 105 - 95. Thus culminated a long, torturous campaign which was saddled with controversy, schadenfreude, serious injury, some dysfunction, great play for much of the season and even a few tears if you believe Erik Spoelstra. Last night the Mavericks proved that they were the better team in this series and drove a stake through the heart of Heat fans everywhere.

It is not easy to make your way to the Finals. Only two teams arrive after a long season of many hardships for a reason. It takes stellar play, consistency, teamwork, grit and luck. Miami has its big three stars locked up for the next six years, but things can happen along the way and reaching the finals two years in a row is not a lock contrary to what many Heat fans may think. The Heat squandered many opportunities in this series, but the better team won and they wrapped up the championship on our home floor. Congratulations to the Dallas Mavericks and to Dirk Nowitzki for his series MVP award.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager probably describes one of your friends or one of your friend's friends. There is usually one in every group.

MOTW: Clueless Manager

Not to be confused with Incompetent Manager, Clueless Manager has the skills, but is just not perceptive enough to understand what his/her staff is thinking, feeling or going through. Usually lives in a world of his/her own making where things seem to be fine which they may or may not be.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Weekend Haiku

The peasant's child,
husking rice, stops
and gazes at the moon.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Heat 2, Mavericks 3

Ouch! This is the first time in the playoffs that the Miami Heat have lost two games in a row and it could not have come at a worse time. The Dallas Mavericks beat the Heat last night 112 - 103. Lebron James had a triple double, but scored only two points in the fourth quarter. Dwyane Wade was in and out of the game due to an injury to his left hip which left him in much pain although he toughed it out and was the Heat's leading scorer with 23 points.

The series now returns to South Beach for the final two games and two things need to happen. One is the home cooking had better be of optimal quality and two is the Heat had better get back to playing defense after the night off that they took last night. The Heat cannot allow Dallas to score 112 points and expect to win. That is not Miami's operating model. It will all be academic if they lose the next game, but if they win, fasten your seat belt and store your tray tables in the upright position for what will be a game 7 for the ages.

Snakecharmer



Run out and get your headphones. Then listen to this binaural recording by Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra performing Snakecharmer. Watch and listen at 3:50 when Ottmar gets up and walks around. Also at 5:10 for the percussion break. It's a great tune by an excellent guitarist and his band. I saw him in concert about ten years ago and it was a wonderful show. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. There are reasons why rules against fraternization are put in place and this next manager is an example of one of them.

MOTW: Just One of the Guys Manager

Never really manages. Instead tries to join in all the repartee and shenanigans of the regular Joes/Janes that comprise the staff. He/she is usually not respected and not very effective.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Weekend Haiku

No bridge
and the sun going down-
spring currents.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Heat 1, Mavericks 1

Hey mom, the food wasn't that great. Home cooking could not get it done last night and whatever the outcome of the NBA finals may be, the Miami Heat will look back at this loss last night as the one that got away. The Heat squandered a 15 point lead late in the fourth quarter and lost their first home playoff game of the entire playoff series by a score of 95-93. It was a meltdown of calamitous proportions. Poor offensive and defensive execution in the last seven or so minutes of the game sealed their doom.

It is now off to Dallas for the next three games and Miami will have to win at least one of those to bring the series back to South Beach. Dallas did their job and stole a game in our gym. Now it is up to the Heat to return the favor in Dallas. Go Heat!

Forever Man



One hundred percent of rock awesomeness. Two rock legends, Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood, perform Clapton's Forever Man at Madison Square Garden. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Heat 1, Mavericks 0

Home cooking does it again. The Miami Heat have yet to lose on their home court during these playoffs and last night was their first home win of the finals. The Heat took care of business beating the Dallas Mavericks 92 - 84 last night in South Beach. The big three scored 68% of the Heat's output, combining for 65 of Miami's 92 points. The series continues tomorrow night at home. Go Heat!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

It starts tonight

The National Basketball Association finals start tonight in South Beach between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. Here is Jason Gay's teaser from the Wall Street Journal. Go Heat!

Monday, May 30, 2011

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. It was just a matter of time before this next manager surfaced here on The Night Canopy. Every company has at least one, if not multiple embodiments of him/her and they are generally not well liked, much like their brethren in public office.

MOTW: Political Manager

Political Manager has made friends and cultivated relationships with all the right people. He/she regularly survives purges and layoffs, usually reappearing stronger than before. Is the subject of rumors that he/she must have naked pictures of the company CEO’s significant other stashed somewhere.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Weekend Haiku

That pretty girl-
munching and rustling
the wrapped up rice cake.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Heat 4, Bulls 1

Miami is in the NBA finals. I am starting to get the feeling that these guys now know how to close out critical games. Last night's win was one for the ages as Miami downed Chicago in their own gym 83-80 in an impressive finish to the Eastern Conference finals. Chicago played well and was a worthy opponent, but in the end was no match for the talent on this Miami squad. It is on to the finals to face a very talented and scary opponent in the Dallas Mavericks. It should be a really fine series. Go Heat!