Monday, October 29, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Everyone should have the experience of working for this next manager at least once in their career. It certainly makes things interesting and helps build the dealing with uncertainty competency, among other things.

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, October 27, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Ducks bobbing on the water-
are they also, tonight,
hoping to get lucky?

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, October 26, 2012

The man who sailed around his soul

My favorite all-time XTC song. Here is The Man Who Sailed Around His Soul off of the album Skylarking. This song is pure genius.  I don't usually put these up but here are the lyrics. Not enough songs today have lyrics like these. Enjoy and happy Friday.

The man who sailed around his soul
From East to West, from pole to pole
With ego as his drunken captain
Greed, the mutineer, had trapped all reason in the hold

The man who walked across his heart
Who took no compass, guide or chart
To rope and tar his blood congealed
When he found his self revealed ugly and cold

And the sirens that sing
By your nose with its ring
They'll drag you in
For your sins

Now he sits all alone
And it's no place like home
It's empty skin
A bag to keep life's souvenirs in
The man who sailed around his soul
The man who sailed around his soul

The man who sailed around his soul
Came back again to find a hole
Where once he thought compassion and the truth
Had laid to warm his freezing carcass on return

The man who walked across his heart
Was doomed to journey from the start
Of every love affair he'd broken
All the lies he'd ever spoken
Tattooed on his arm
And the jellyfish stings
Even angels with wings
Who look too deep
And dare to peep

Now he sits all alone
Knowing flesh blood and bone
Is everything
He found the treasure he'd been seeking
The man who sailed around his soul

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Never thought I would live to see the day. When you lose uber-liberal David Letterman have you lost the election? Interesting that even old Dave feels let down by Mr. Obama.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Emails prove White House knew of terrorist claims in Benghazi attack two hours after the attack occurred. Perhaps we needed more horses and bayonets on site in Libya (and less mention of the infamous YouTube video), especially since additional security been requested and denied prior to the incident that took the lives of four Americans, including the ambassador.

Also, for the record, we actually DO HAVE MORE BAYONETS in the armed forces now than in 1916. Today there are over 200,000 marines and every single one still learns to use bayonets in their basic martial arts training. In 1916, the entire U.S. Army numbered approximately 110,000 troops and the Marines were a miniscule force. Sarcasm and condesencion, while being ill-mannered traits, only work if you know what you are talking about.

Early Voting

Early voting in Florida begins this Saturday, October 27th and ends Saturday, November 3, 2012. Voting times are from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. each day. And of course, regular voting is all day Tuesday, November, 6th so get out and vote. Here is the link to locations in Palm Beach County for early voting.

Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Diversity is a huge buzzword and necessity in corporate culture. It has many advantages. This next manager, however, is not one of them.

MOTW: Culturally Different Manager

Brought in from some remote part of the globe, this manager looks at everything differently, has strange ideas and makes comments that mystify everyone. The jury is still out on what the purpose is of bringing in a manager of this ilk, other than to keep everyone guessing and talking.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Blown from the west,
fallen leaves gather
in the east.

Buson (1716 - 1783)

Friday, October 19, 2012


Here is Madcon performing Beggin. The original was performed by Franky Valli and The Four Seasons.  Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Town Hall Debate had three candidates debating instead of two

Taken directly from the Presidential Debate Contract Memo of Understanding Section 7, Additional Rules applicable to the October 16th debate.

"The moderator will not ask follow-up questions or comment on either the questions asked by the audience or the answers of the candidates during the debate or otherwise intervene in the debate except to acknowledge the questioners from the audience or enforce time limits, and invite candidate comments during the 2 minute response time."

Oh dear, I do believe Miss Crowley severely violated that rule. I think I preferred Jim Lehrer from the first debate to Candy Crowley because he was so clueless that at least he did not flagrantly violate the rules in his role as moderator.. Here is what the Washington Post had to say about Ms. Crowley's egregious conduct last night.

Happy Birthday

To Slim Shady, Marshall Bruce Mathers III or Eminem, whichever you prefer. The rapper, songwriter, actor and record producer turns forty today. Even if you dislike rap, you can't deny that the man is talented.

Atlas Shrugged, Part II - The Movie

My wife and I went to see this film last night. While still small by Hollywood standards, producers Harmon Kaslow, John Aglialoro & Jeff Freilich had a bigger budget to work with this time around and it shows in some of the scenes. The entire cast has changed as well. In my opinion most changes were for the better and one for the worse. While I liked the movie I was extremely disappointed that Taylor Schilling did not reprise her role as the central character of Dagny Taggart, I thought she really nailed the role to perfection in Part I (see my review here) and I think that Samantha Mathis, while good in the role, did not portray Dagny's  resiliency and leadership qualities as forcefully as she should have. The rest of the characters are as good or better than Part I.

The movie's backdrop and settings have an eerie quality to them, as they juxtapose an exaggerated version of our current reality with Rand's 1950's vision of the socio-economic environment. John Putch's direction is steady and while some of the dialogue is clunky, I have to say that the adapted screenplay is extremely faithful to Rand's opus and the salient points are chosen and depicted well in various scenes of the film. Overall, I was extremely satisfied with the movie, thus happy with the choice of time and money spent going to see this second part of the possible trilogy. Value for money. I am sure Ayn Rand would want it no other way. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Uncle Vik done at Citi

Huge news from the financial sector. Citigroup's Vikram Pandit has stepped down as CEO. His sidekick, President and COO John Havens has also resigned. Havens came with Vikram from Old Lane and when you link your star so closely to one individual, when that individual goes, typically so do you. There had been rumblings for quite a while now that it was time for a change, and the change has now become a reality. Is this the reason for his exit? The article also states that some of Citi's staff heard about Mr. Pandit's departure from the media before they received the internal announcement.Citigroup's board of directors has appointed Michael Corbat, who headed the bank's operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as the bank's new CEO. Let us hope that this leadership change moves the needle positively in terms of shareholder value.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I love football season

And not just because I get to watch my team play. From Peter King's Monday Morning Quarterback column, here is a tweet he picked up during yesterday's action. I love it. So true, so just seems week in, week out, it's all Tebow, all the time.

"A man just jumped from outer space and landed safely back on our planet. ... And now back to our coverage of Tim Tebow.''

-- @RVacchianoNYDN, Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News, after Felix Baumgartner jumped from 24 miles above earth and landed safely Sunday, and while Tebow was in the midst of throwing a 23-yard fake punt-pass to a benchwarming linebacker.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Have you ever had someone take credit for your work? Have you ever been to a party where someone constantly strives to be the center of attention for the entire evening? Chances are that they are this next manager at work.

MOTW: Prima Donna Manager

Must be seen and heard constantly. Tends to communicate in a forceful, blustery manner and takes credit for everyone else’s work. Undertakes infinite projects at once and works 24/7 on marketing his/her carefully crafted image to Senior Management. Subordinates are tolerated only to the point where they make him/her look good.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Face of the spring moon-
about twelve years old,
I'd say.

Issa (1763 - 1827)

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Veep Debate

Last night Vice President Joe Biden and Congressman Paul Ryan squared off in the one and only vice-presidential debate of this volatile election campaign. I am not going to go into who I thought won or lost the debate. My only comment is this. If my child had behaved himself in a school debate the way Mr. Biden did last night he would at minimum receive a stern warning from his coaches and the moderator and at worst be removed from the debate and the team. Mr. Biden's boorish behavior included snickering, eye-rolling, mugging for the camera, constantly interrupting what is supposed to be sacrosanct response time and condescendingly referring to Mr. Ryan as "my friend" when Mr. Ryan had asked to be addressed as Mr. Ryan.

This type of behavior has no place in a middle school debate, let alone one in which we are supposed to be judging the character and behavior of the person who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. I am glad my children did not watch this immature display by the nation's sitting Vice President. It was unseemly, ill-mannered and not at all representative of what I desire the comportment of the holder of the country's second highest office to be. After last night, no matter how many times Mr. Biden may repeat the phrase "my friend" to Mr. Ryan in the future I highly doubt Mr. Ryan will consider Mr. Biden his friend.

Kiss From A Rose

Here is Duke performing Seal's Kiss From A Rose like you have never heard it before.These guys are sick. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Master

My wife and I went to see this movie last night. Here is Roger Ebert's review. My own review is not so charitable. Leaving this movie we had one question. Why did we waste two plus hours of our lives on this film? Paul Thomas Anderson is a very good director. I thoroughly enjoyed Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, but his latest offering is just no good. Several reviews have described the movie as opaque or oblique. One review breathlessly and gleefully describes the movie as "defying understanding" as if that's a good thing. Look, I like symbolism as much as the next guy and I get allegory when it is done well.  This movie however, is a cryptic journey to nowhere and with a crappy ending to boot. My own word for this film would be vacuous. 

Sure, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman do a very good job acting their roles, the former as a hard drinking, debauched and tormented lout and the latter as a glib, paternalistic, rotund yet dapper Svengali-like character supposedly inspired by L. Ron Hubbard. Trust me, their acting is about the only good thing in this movie and it is nowhere near enough to carry the day. The film is long, boring and senseless. If you have someone you don't like or that has recently been bothering you, recommend The Master to them. You will be glad you did.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

2012 USDGC

With two rounds in the books "The Disc Golf Guy" interviews Ken Climo and Ricky Wysocki. There is great footage of some of the pinpoint drives and putts these pros are making at the tournament.

Monday, October 8, 2012

I'm so sorry...

For all my Venezuelan friends. Don't lose heart.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Ah yes, visions, or rather delusions of grandeur. That is what this next manager possesses. Whether or not you are included in these visions is debatable, which The Night Canopy thinks is a good thing.

MOTW: Visionary Manager

Visionary Manager and Big Picture Manager are Siamese twins that were separated at birth. Due to this Visionary Manager shares practically all traits with his/her twin, but also possesses the added ability to charismatically convince people that his/her ideas are actual business plans that should be adopted. Invariably these “visions” are delusional, sweeping statements with very little practical strategy, tactics or details about how to put them into practice. The higher up Visionary Manager is in the company the more trouble the company gets into trying to implement his/her ideas.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Weekend Haiku

Midnight frost-
I'd borrow
the scarecrow's shirt.

Basho (1644 - 1694)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Say Aah

Here is Lyndsey Pavao's cover of Trey Songz' Say Aah that she sang on the second season of The Voice. It really is a great cover, better than the original tune in my opinion. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

This is a charitable headline for what happened last night

Last night's debate effectively showed that when the president does not have his teleprompter he struggles to sound convincing. While the press is subdued in its evaluation of round 1 in the presidential debates, it is quite obvious that Romney won this round by a comfortable margin. It will be interesting to see if the next one, which is on foreign policy, has a different result. Oh, and please, let's get another moderator. Instead of the milquetoast Jim Lehrer perhaps Simon Cowell could moderate. I think he would at least keep them to their allotted time in their answers and be fair in giving additional time to both if he indeed gave any. Last night's futile attempt at moderating by Lehrer was a joke.

Was it real?

Or just another ploy by the airline's pilots during the labor dispute? By now, people are questioning every equipment malfunction, discovered maintenance issue and pilots conveniently calling in "sick." Convenient for them that is. Not for the myriad passengers they are frustrating by leaving them stranded or making them irreparably late. This is ridiculous. These guys get no sympathy from me. All they are doing is alienating their customer base so badly that when the negotiations finally come to an end they might have an airline, but they will have no passengers. 

The fact of the matter is that they will have to sooner or later bite the bullet and accept that they will have to go through another painful restructuring (a la DELTA) if they want to survive. We have all had to make sacrifices during these times. Until the economy rebounds this is what the environment is. If you want to stay competitive in these tough times, this is certainly not the way to do it. These guys, with their specialized skill set, high salaries and unrealistic demands need to understand that they are slowly killing the very company that pays them and that if they are not careful, soon there will be no company left to make demands of. Enough already. Get back to work, and while you are at it, how about improving the quality of the product you provide, such as it is. It is not that great to begin with, but with the routes you own, sometimes it is all I can fly to get from point A to point B. Doesn't mean I am happy about it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This is the airline I use for about 85% of my business travel. As the title says, Kafka would be proud, as it seems these passengers were immersed in one of his novels for thirty plus hours. Not promising for the airline's future I would say, nor my miles or my frequent flier status. Ouch!

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. We have all met these types of people, socially as well as in business. They seem really important, but are they really?

MOTW: Lordly Manager

With his/her aloof demeanor Lordly Manager is a remote, distant character who seems to hold the keys to your very existence, but keeps these held closely to his/her chest. Never answers his/her own phone or emails. This manager can only be seen by setting an appointment with his/her secretary to see his/her assistant, who will then decide whether you merit an appointment with the Lordly Manager him/herself.