Monthly Archives: October 2009


own work

Friday means a food post and what could be more about food than taste? Taste is the lens through which we encounter a chef’s work. It goes along with the qualities of sight, smell and “mouth-feel” in determining whether or not we like a dish. It’s also an important thing to remember as we live our business lives.
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Sports Questions I Can’t Answer

World Series

I can hear your shock – how could a guy who has spent a couple of decades working in sports not be able to answer a few simple questions? Well, my friends, these are the questions for which I’m not sure there are answers. No, not about the Cubs winning the World Series or are the changes to The Road Hole sacrilegious. These are broader and harder. Continue reading

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The One About Trees

Autumn Trees

We live in the woods. OK, so not in a tent but our property is surrounded by lots of trees. Some of them are a hundred feet tall, others are relatively small. We’ve planted some but most were here when we bought the place 25 years ago.

Over that time, you get to know them. No, not on a personal level, but you know their natural cycles, you notice when one is losing leaves or has lost a branch in a storm. You worry about certain ones falling on the house.  They provide everything from background noise in the wind to shade in the summer.  And today, they got me thinking while  I watched hundreds of leaves doing their autumnal dance as they fell in the wind. Continue reading

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We all use them even though we shouldn’t. They’re the fast food of language use – cliches. While I could spend another few hundred words writing about people who fit that description, today I’m going to focus on the non-human kind.

Cliches have their uses. Native speakers of a language instantly understand your meaning when you use them. Of course, there are regional and generational gaps in that notion.  Even as some folks try to use them to make them selves clear they wind up becoming less clear by the use of cliches. People may understand your words but not your intent.

At first blush, you might say I’m off base but let’s give it the old college try (no, dummy – quit while you’re ahead). You want to sit tall in the saddle when you write and speak? Don’t gild the lily with cliches. You’ll cut the mustard with your readers who won’t feel as if they’ve bought a pig in a poke –  it will speak volumes about you, and hopefully they’ll go to school on your well-crafted writing.

Do you think something fishy is going on?  Something’s rotten in Denmark?  Do I speak with a forked toungue?  Don’t split hairs.  Get down to brass tacks, to the nitty gritty – let me know what you think.

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The Soupman

Sad news this weekend with the passing of Milton Soupman, better known to everyone as Soupy Sales. I have no idea of his impact outside of the New York area, but for those of us of a certain age, Soupy, Pookie, White Fang, and the rest of the gang were a big part of our childhood and his passing brings back a lot of great memories. It’s also a reminder of a few important things he taught us all. Continue reading

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pot of chili

Back to our Foodie Fun Friday posts and today’s subject is chili. Now what the heck kind of a business lesson is there in chili? Well, I guess we’d have to understand what you mean by chili in the first place. Continue reading

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Filed under Consulting, food, Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud

Learn The Language

Illustration of a scribe writing

Today we revisit my roots as an English teacher. I know – hard to believe, right? Well, this old teacher is mortified by the state of writing across the web. Not that I expect everyone to be Hemingway or even Hunter Thompson. But I’m not talking about style or even substance. It’s the grammar, stupid. Continue reading

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Huh?, Reality checks