31 December 2008

High yellow

I just took a personality profile on ecademy.com, a business networking site kind of like LinkedIn. I just love personality profiles. They often help me to understand and appreciate more about myself. Although sometimes it seems as if someone else took the test. According to this test I am "High Yellow." It's pretty true. My comments are in italics.

High Yellows at a glance

You are gregarious, optimistic, fun loving, friendly, and can be a risk taker. You have good persuasive skills although you can be a dreamer and can get others caught up in your dreams.

You need to feel that you are getting the credit you deserve and will be quick to draw attention to your achievements. Draw attention? Not so much.

You are skilled at influencing others and use this ability to shape your environment to accomplish the results you need. You are both open and assertive with a preference for a fast paced and spontaneous work life.

When stressed you may become confrontational and wasteful of time. However when you are under stress others may view you as manipulative and over eager. Manipulative? Ouch. I prefer to think that I'm more "Let's keep this moving."

To help you increase your effectiveness High Yellows must control their time and emotions, develop an objective mind set, follow through, concentrate on tasks, and take a more logical approach. Concentrate? Oh yes. I'm even more distractable when really stressed.

30 December 2008


I often get posting ideas when I don't have the time or imagination to write. So I open up a new post, put in a draft title and a short description. I'll go back later and write something.

Most of the time it's helpful. But sometimes not. "I really thought that was funny enough to record?" "What does 'Vote for BBQ mean?'" (Vote for BBQ was a real idea.)

29 December 2008


This is a fabulous story of redemption (via Day to Day on NPR -- audio).

Skinhead and former victim's alliance
"For nearly three decades, Tim Zaal thought he had killed a man during his rage-filled youth. The idea haunted him, but he buried it with the rest of his skinhead past."

"This used to be my stomping grounds," says Zaal, standing on a street in West Hollywood, Calif., where he used to hang out in the early '80s. "Mostly punk rockers would hang out around here after concerts and we would be involved with violence on a regular basis. Violence for me, back in those days, was like breathing."

28 December 2008

More from Al and his monkey chum

I love, love, love the PG Tips ads. Saw this one at the British Advertising Awards earlier this month.

27 December 2008

My brother the philosopher

I recently learned this phrase from my brother Steve (aka JoJo): "It is what it is." I love it. It reminds me to not fight what I can't control. (As a control freak, this is not an easy task.)

Speaking of JoJo, he helped put out a big fire at a Taco Bell in Fargo. He isn't one of the speakers in the video but you can kind of see him. Names are stenciled on firefighters butts. Look for Thompson.

26 December 2008

More reasons to love Obama

President-elect Obama is nominating people to his cabinet, and other posts, who have experience in the posts to which they are nominated. It's sad that this is newsworthy. A couple of examples, Treasury Secretary: Timothy Geithner, president of Federal Reserve Bank of New York; Energy Secretary: Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a Nobel Prize-winning physicist.

Another great example of the right person for the job: Jon Favreau, Obama's chief speech writer (in the Star Tribune via the Washington Post). He's only 27 years old but is completely in sync with the president-elect.

During the campaign, the 27-year-old with a buzz cut helped write and edit some of the most memorable speeches of any recent presidential candidate. When Obama moves to the White House next month, Favreau will join his staff as the youngest person to be selected as chief speechwriter. He helps shape almost every word Obama says, yet the two men have formed a concert so harmonized that Favreau's own voice disappears.

"He looks like he's in college and everybody calls him Favs, so you're like, 'This guy can't be for real, right?' " said Ben Rhodes, another Obama speechwriter. "But it doesn't take long to realize that he's totally synced up with Obama. . . . He has access to everything and everybody. There's a lot weighing on his shoulders." Rest of story.

25 December 2008

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! It's a beautiful, quiet day today. Tomorrow is our family Christmas. The children descend and all hell will break loose. In a good way.

This is my Christmas card. A few years back my cousin Joni got a picture of me under one of those beauty shop dryer hoods. My annual weird/silly Christmas photo tradition was born.

Earlier this year I saw a photo similar to this at Bucca. I thought something similar would be perfect for my Christmas card. The original was very Town & Country. The woman in the photo, with her very sophisticated dog, was very refined and no doubt extremely wealthy (old money, of course). She likely holidayed at The Breakers, had a personal shopper at Nieman Marcus and a lifetime subscriptions to Gourmet and Town & Country. This is my interpretation.

Jude and Bill helped me take the photograph. Jude took the picture while Bill was off to one side keeping Sophie and Pele's attention with treats. The session was quite silly. And Laura, Photoshop whiz, made it the refined version you see here.

May the new year bring us all much joy!

14 December 2008

Worst movies of the year

The Times has a list of the Top 100 worst movies of the year. The worst, not surprisingly, stars Paris Hilton. I don't think "Sex in the City" belonged there. It was a sweet movie. But if you didn't watch the show you might think it's banal. "Brideshead Revisited" wasn't all that bad. It was rather superficial and lacked the intensity of the book and miniseries. But still. I does not belong on a list with "House Bunny."

I was happy to see the Hannah Montana movie on the list. What are her parents thinking? Her mug is on everything imaginable. I haven't seen a Hannah Montana toaster yet. If there isn't one I'm sure there will be soon. Well done, parents. Nothing like whoring out your kid.

10 December 2008

Jingle Bells

One of my favorite Christmas songs is "Jingle Bells," sung by Lena Horne. Normally I don't like this song -- to syrupy. She adds oomph and jazziness.

The song was on one of my Mom and Dad's Christmas records. This was on one of those we played over and over in the lead up to Christmas. We'd play records and sit under the tree looking at the packages. We'd put the little Christmas lights under wrapping paper seams in a futile attempt to see what was inside. My Mom was very clever. She'd put a number on each present and not replace with a name until right before we opened presents. We had no idea who was getting which presents. It drove us all crazy!

The photo at right is me and my brother Mike.

09 December 2008

Thanksgiving message from the Mutts

It says, "We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures." -- Thornton Wilder. From Mutts.

08 December 2008

Smart talk from the man

'What's in it for me' is not good for anyone.
--Barack Obama
Obama was on Meet the Press yesterday. Every time Tom Brokaw referred to him as President-elect Obama I smiled.

05 December 2008

Peace via dancing

This is just wonderful.
Matt Harding traveled through many nations on Earth, started dancing, and filmed the result. The video is perhaps a dramatic example that humans from all over planet Earth feel a common bond as part of a single species. Happiness is frequently contagious -- few people are able to watch the above video without smiling.

Where the Hell is Matt? (2008) from Matthew Harding on Vimeo.

04 December 2008

Good advice for tough economic times

From The Bugle, my very most favorite podcast, a great idea to save money this holiday.

Start a bitter family fight beginning in December and keep it going until Christmas Eve. By then you'll have no time to shop so you'll save a lot of money. You'll also give "the greatest gift of all: love. And simmering grudges that will flare up at all future family gatherings."

02 December 2008

Well done little man

Via News of the Weird and titled, "Warm up a cell right now for this 5-year-old because it's just a matter of time."
Dad tells 5-year-old, 'You did the crime, you walk the line'

November 28th, 2008
A TERRITORY man has been making his five-year-old son walk two-and-a-half hours to school every day, after he was kicked off the school bus.

When Jack Burt confessed that he'd been banned for five days for hitting the bus driver in the head with an apple core, dad Sam thought he should learn the hard way.

He and Jack last week were getting up at 5.10am for the dusty 13km-hike from the Darwin rural area of Herbert, all the way to Humpty Doo.

The boy did not learn his lesson. When he returned to the bus he was in trouble after only three stops. More.
From Northern Territory News