Monday, May 31, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Probably everyone reading this next description has seen some version of this next manager. They typically survive and sometimes even move up, but at what cost?

MOTW: Sycophant Manager

This manager’s entire day is made up of anticipating his/her manager’s most mundane need in order to fulfill it. So desperate to progress is he/she that Sycophant Manager assents to any order his/her manager issues with fawning obsequiousness, no matter how deleterious an effect this order may have on the company overall.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The clouds
are giving these moon-watchers
a little break.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Vem vet

Lisa Ekdahl performs Vem vet. I really like her smooth delivery of this jazz/pop tune. Vem vet is Swedish for "who knows?"

If you liked this tune check out this post about her eponymous album which has Vem vet on it. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dengue in Florida

The fever has reared its ugly head in my home state, particularly Key West. Dengue is a mosquito-borne virus and has no cure. So far there are no reported cases further north in the state, but it is important to be careful, especially disc golfing where the sport is played in wooded areas and where the mosquitoes tend to hang out, especially after it rains.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Happy Birthday Stevie

Happy birthday Stephanie Lynn "Stevie" Nicks. She turns 62 today. I like female vocalists and she is one of the better ones, both throughout her solo career and with Fleetwood Mac.

Bring on the learning revolution!

Sir Ken Robinson talks about the state of education today and says we must bring on the learning revolution. He states that you cannot predict the outcome of human development, but must do as a farmer does and create the conditions for it to thrive.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Quote for today

"The conventional definition of management is getting work done through people, but real management is developing people through work."

Agha Hasan Abedi

Monday, May 24, 2010

It's Monday

The Night Canopy has encountered one or two specimens of this next manager during its career. As the saying goes, "Just because you are paranoid does not mean they aren't out to get you."

MOTW: Paranoid Manager

Afraid of his/her own shadow, this manager rarely leaves his/her office and only does so when summoned by Senior Management. When the summons comes Paranoid Manager assumes the worst and already has half of his/her desk cleaned out by the time he/she hangs up the phone. Upon a chance encounter with Conspiracy Manager, Paranoid Manager usually implodes because of all the negative implications upon his/her corporate survivability a conversation with Conspiracy Manager will typically reveal.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The short night-
near the pillow
a screen turning silver.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Man in the Hall

State Radio performs Man in the Hall in concert. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Honest wines

This WSJ article explores a one of a kind vintner. You know the old saying, "In wine there is truth." Well that saying is very apropos of Mr. Josko Gravner, a dexterous 58-year-old winemaker from Friuli in northeastern Italy.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

U.S. soldiers awarded Germany's highest medal for bravery

I saw a snippet of this ceremony on television the other day. It is nice when another nation recognizes the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform.

Monday, May 17, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next offering make the office an uncomfortable place to be. This kind of behavior, used repeatedly, has a marked negative correlation with retention of staff.

MOTW: Screaming Manager

Believes that the way to generate acquiescence in his/her staff is to raise his/her voice when issuing orders. Is usually seen consuming large quantities of throat lozenges as if they were candy.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The holes in the wall
play the flute
this autumn evening.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Ocean Gypsy

I'm going back a few years here, but boy do I love this band. Here is Ocean Gypsy from Renaissance. Isn't Annie's voice angelic and the piano plus chorus in the bridge uplifting? It's just a haunting yet beautiful song, period. They just don't make bands like this anymore. Enjoy and happy Friday.

If you liked that song, check out Annie in action here singing Carpet of the Sun.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

More new ways to treat chronic pain

This WSJ article describes some of the newer, more radical methods attempting to treat chronic pain. Me, I think I will stick with hot chili peppers.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

More Americans postponing retirement

Ouch! This U.S. News and World Report article cites six reasons more Americans are postponing retirement until past the age of 65. It reports that the number of Americans planning to retire before age 65 has dropped from 50 percent in 1996 to 29 percent today. The reasons should not surprise you and few of them have to do with reasons other than economic ones. When are you planning to retire or are you there already?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Do you love a good steak?

This WSJ article talks about what goes into producing a good piece of mouthwatering steak and bemoans the fate of the beef we generally eat nowadays.

Monday, May 10, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager may remind you of a family member or perhaps even yourself. There is even a show about this habit where it crosses the line and becomes an illness. The show is called Hoarders.

MOTW: Pack Rat Manager

Pack Rat Manager’s office resembles a stuffed to the gills consignment store and you need to come equipped with a shoehorn should you be summoned in for a meeting. Every crevice is filled with old files, papers, binders, books, magazines, electronic media and other assorted office paraphernalia including bits of old string all because, “It might be useful some day.” Typically, after an annual faux cleaning exercise by Pack Rat Manager, a file comes to light which would have been critical to a past project’s success, but is now merely a hazy memory of a missed business opportunity.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Summer grass-
all that's left
of warriors' dreams.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Johnny Be Goode

Peter Tosh's rendition of Johnny Be Goode. Sit back and enjoy. Happy Friday.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Non-addictive pain killer discovered

For anyone who has suffered from chronic pain and known how destructive it can be to one's life this could be really good news!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Wine blog

The WSJ has a new wine blog. It has posts ranging from high alcohol wines to the language of wine to tips for those who want to become sommeliers.

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is an interesting specimen and conversations with him/her can quickly become complex encounters. Your best strategy when dealing with this manager is to limit the topics of conversation to the most mundane work-related matters possible.

MOTW: Genius Manager

Typically a sloppy dresser, Genius Manager is a member of Mensa and possesses an I.Q. that is off the charts. Unfortunately he/she does not possess even a dollop of common sense, business acumen, political savvy or street smarts. This leads to very tempestuous sailing within the unit as staff members never understand any of the decisions Genius Manager makes. Holding a conversation with Genius Manager is a surreal experience and meetings tend to resemble a Mystery Murder Party during which the entire dim-witted staff tries to decipher exactly what it is Genius Manager wants to do, other than split the atom with a PowerPoint presentation and laser pointer as his/her only tools.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Visiting the graves,
the old dog
leads the way.

Issa (1763-1827)