Category: My Blog Posts

Some Random Thoughts About Society

oakland-airport-shuttle-pickup

I am flying to Minneapolis, MN this morning out of Oakland Airport.  I arrived to the airport on time and learned my flight is delayed until 10:15am so I get some time to catch up on email, news, and blogging which is nice.  Oakland has free Wi-Fi so I’m just hanging out being an electrical outlet hog charging all of my devices before the flight.  I don’t think I get into Minneapolis until a little after 8pm now but that may end up working out better because I wouldn’t have liked driving in downtown traffic not being familiar with the area any how.  Got my Starbucks and am at the very end of the terminal so I can’t people watch (too much), but it has been an amusing morning. A lady with a young daughter was yelling at a ticketing agent because our flight was delayed, a mom yelled at her husband from across the terminal that he couldn’t control the kids while she sat and watched TV, and my favorite being a TSA Agent saying “make sure and check your pockets and take off your belts…you are going through a metal detector so it will detect metal…sigh” upon me forgetting to take off my belt before going through the detector.  I fortunately remembered to take the ChapStick out of my pocket and slip it into my luggage before checking it this morning.

Every time I fly I am reminded by how much society has changed and I think I can argue it isn’t for the better.  We have let our fears control us, society has become complacent to previously unacceptable social norms, and people just don’t seem as nice as they used to be.  Seriously if we had a time machine and could go back 20 years to tell people in the future you can’t get through airport security with ChapStick in your pocket people would laugh right?  If we said we don’t bat an eye at paying $7.54 (before tax) for an iced coffee and muffin do you think people 20 years ago would find that acceptable?  If we were to tell them that gas prices were upwards of $3.40 a gallon which made airlines charge for checking luggage but didn’t stop when the price of a gallon of gas fell back to $2.50 would people 20 years ago find that acceptable?  If the answer to those questions are no, then why are we as a society so complacent?  Oh and update on the lady who was yelling at her husband for not controlling the kids.  She has moved from the TV to her laptop while dad continues to watch them and he is settling an argument the kids are having with a game of rock, paper, scissors.

Speaking of approximately 20 years ago, in 1984 Twisted Sister sang “We’re Not Gonna Take It”.  More than 20 years later not only are we taking it we seem happy to take it.  In summary I would like to say long live the 80’s,  I hope society wakes up and stands up for what is right, and can we start being at least a little nicer while “taking it”?  :)

What Do You Want On Your Tombstone?

Death is a pretty morbid subject but I am going to try and put a positive spin on it.  Death is inevitable so almost everyone has likely had the the misfortune of losing someone close to them. I have been very fortunate to have not lost too many loved ones (knock on wood) but those I have lost definitely had an impact on me.  For instance my grandfather passed away a few years ago who is one of the most gentle and kind people I have come to know.  Seeing him in an open casket was nice in that I got to see him one last time but obviously difficult for the mind to consume.  We often take those around us for granted but during funerals we are all reminded how fragile life is and how important it is to appreciate those around us.

At work we lost an executive who was deeply loved and appreciated a few months ago that I had met at a restaurant about a year prior to his passing.  I remember hearing everyone talk about him the day everyone learned of his passing and how many people said they would miss him and how genuinely nice he was to others which leads me to the reason I am writing this post.  I recently heard a quote which basically said those we will miss upon death are people who came into the world crying when everyone around them were smiling but when they leave the world they will be smiling when everyone around them is crying.

Loyalty: The Highest Virtue

Growing up I was a big fan of Donald Trump because I loved reading autobiographies of those who were successful.  Obviously there are many forms of success and in business I love looking at what people did to become successful.  If you watch The Apprentice on TV you know that Donald Trump is big on loyalty and in a blog post in 2005 he considers it his “highest virtue”.  Loyalty is important in business as Trump notes but it is also important in every day life.  Everyone at one point in their life gets burned but look at those around you which you trust and who in difficult times “sticks and stays and makes it pay” as a church pastor once said every Sunday.

Fred Reichheld wrote The Loyalty Effect where he defines loyalty as “the willingness to make an investment or personal sacrifice to strengthen a relationship.”  Be wary of those who don’t invest in you but also know to be invested in you have to reciprocate that investment in others.

It is said that in times of crisis people show their true character and I really believe that.  In good times everyone will help you and most people are more than happy to be your friend.  However, in bad times really look at who is loyal to you because those are your true allies and friends.  In life we have to trust people, in fact trust/loyalty is really what helps make our world successful, innovative, and beautiful.  However, if you have ever had anyone be disloyal to you in life or business you know how painful it can be so chose your allies carefully.

The Flipflop Generation: How Generation “Y” Will Change the Workforce


As I have mentioned in past posts, I was at a Communications Media Managers Association (CMMA) event last week in Arizona.  Before I was a manager I always hated not getting any information about what my bosses got to learn at the events they attended so I vowed when I became a manager I would communicate everything (as much as possible anyway) that I learned.

CMMA brought a speaker in to talk about the differences of the generations in the workforce which I thought was interesting being a person from the Generation “X” era.  She said her son wears flip flops to work and she gives him a hard time for doing so but he says “oh mom people don’t care what I wear to work”.  Each generation is bringing their own style and way of thinking to the workforce.  As older genreations retire newer generations are going to greatly change the way we manage people, think, and work.

(more…)

The Future of Education

My First Long Blog Entry
I’ve been writing down a few topics in draft form and adding to them as I have time.  That may be good news or bad news depending on if you like to read long posts.  Please know with all blog posts that my ideas are just that, ideas.  Society tends to want to think the way it has always been taught but change is inevitable.  Bruce Barton said it best with his quote: “when you are through changing, you are through”.

My Educational Experiences
It is no secret I love technology and sometimes you can’t help but wonder how it will continue to change our lives (for better or worse).  I look back at my education and the teachers who had the daunting task of trying to teach a dunce like me a thing or two.  I never really enjoyed school, in fact the day I graduated high school has to be one of the best days of my life. My wife and I have a son who is fifteen months old at the time of this writing.  After talking with a coworker who asked if I had started saving for his college yet I replied I hadn’t but in the back of my mind I get a “spidey sence” I should.  Part of the reason I haven’t saved for my son’s college is because we have other financial priorities at the moment but part of me also wonders what college will be like for him in another 17 years.  By not saving for his education I am taking a calculated risk that in the future education will be nothing like it is today.  After going through 12 years of public education in 7 schools I hope it will be very different!

(more…)