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Explaining is Important

Without a well-built framework, the house will not hold up.

For the past week, I have been working on a business project. Because I own my own business, I don't often think about corporate culture as a moving force to clients. This is what I experienced, and it made me think about how often this must happen. I turned in paperwork and the over-worked employee pushed it aside, swamped in other work. My questions went unanswered. With a trip coming up, I notified the employee that I would be gone a … [Read more...]

Anna’s Choice

"Life is short. Have an affair." Seriously?

Anna doesn't have a lot of choices. She probably has more than she believes, but without believing in herself, she will continue to have none. Anna, of course, is Josh Duggar's wife, she who is standing by her man while he has admitted having two Ashley Madison accounts. The website Ashley Madison is for married people who want to have relationships outside their marriage. Josh has already admitted he has cheated on his wife. After also admitting … [Read more...]

Bargains–Not Always

Bright colors on the plane and you can see your flight from miles away.

When I chose the airlines to go on vacation, I'll admit I chose one for the price. Southwest Air gets such great reviews. Those funny safety announcements. No first class. And no, I did not read the fine print. How I wish I had! Air travel is long past fun, not even close to pleasant, but I was hoping for bearable. Because so many people I know raved about Southwest, I felt dowdy and controlling when I wasn't thrilled with no seat … [Read more...]

Travel Food

In 2011, the United States produced 2.0 billion bushels of wheat.

I've just spent 10 days on the road--three of it involuntarily. The American diet is made plain in all its hypocrisy and oddness. When you shop and cook at home, there are choices. Not so much when you travel. Travel is about finding comfort, and in America, comfort is sugar. It is added into almost everything we put in our mouths, from toothpaste to condiments to juice, oatmeal, yogurt, frozen fruit and yes, salad dressings. In America, … [Read more...]

Art and Anger

Outside shot of AVAM, Baltimore. The surface is covered in pieces of broken mirrors.

The return trip home started well enough. We stayed in a hotel the day before our very-early morning flight. The flight took off and landed at Baltimore/Washington airport. We changed gates and. . . then things went wrong. The air traffic control system went down in D.C. and several other East Coast cities. People piled up at gates, waiting for flights. Few flights landed, and only short-distance flights could take off. After several … [Read more...]

Adapt and Thrive

hydrant

Plants and animals adapt. Those that adapt to suit the changes survive, and pass the genes on to the next generation. The language adapts, too. We invent, change and adjust words. Not too long ago, I had to explain what carbon paper was. Admittedly, that phrase is already two generations in the past. Hashtag, selfie-stick, catfish (someone who creates a fake social media account), crowdfunding, and gamifcation are all fairly new to our … [Read more...]

Memory and Marketing

VacMan and Bobbin, a vac 'n' sew with a huge popular following.

It's not so much fun being sold too, even less if it is high pressure. A smart marketer will solve problems and make themselves useful. One way to be useful is to create a name that's easy to remember and that explains what you offer clients all in one. Anything that is thoughtful or funny helps. A name that is funny or clever is a name that's remembered and repeated, used and passed along. One of my favorite stores that does this … [Read more...]

Words, New and Old

The package store on the green (town center) of Guilford, CT

Want to make a martini in Connecticut? Head for the package store to buy the gin or vodka, you can't buy hard liquor in a grocery store. Liquor stores are called package stores in all of New England. After a while, the two words get hard to carry around, and you fall into the New England habit of calling the liquor store "the packy," as in, "I'm going for a six-pack of bee-ah, want me to fetchup one for you?" I said it for years; it became part … [Read more...]

Push and Pull on Facebook

Judging-a-person-doesnt-who-they-are

Every now and then, when I am cranky, I do a mean thing on Facebook. I sit down, look at the pious sayings people post, then scan through their newsfeed to see how long it takes for them to do something in complete opposition to the pious poster. For example, I saw this in someone's Facebook feed: And five posts later, they were roasting someone for her clothing. Short-lived good intentions. The longest trail of good intentions held … [Read more...]

Story Telling in Images

© Hugo Croswaithe, Mixed media mural.

We are story-telling people. We love stories and well tell them to explain, to help, and to show who we are. Last week, in San Diego, I stopped by an exhibition at the San Diego State University's 725 Gallery. The exhibition was on speech bubbles, those visual descriptions of what cartoon characters are saying. The mural that caught my attention was one on the importance of story-telling. It is an interesting mix of ancient and modern, with … [Read more...]