Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The book's cook!

My wife loves to cook. And I am very grateful for that. I get to enjoy some really amazing meals each night. I watch sometimes as she takes all of the varied ingredients, carefully putting them together in just the right quantities and order, and then producing a meal that looks great, smells great, tastes great, and is healthy for me!!

So, I was thinking about book design and how I go through a very similar process in creating a book. I first consider the final outcome, and then collect all of the ingredients, making them all work together to produce a cohesive product.

The authors provide me with the ingredients to use and the kind of meal they want. It is up to me to use my pantry of goodies to make it taste great, smell great, look great, and be healthy for the reader.

And so, after all these years of "cooking books," I can consider myself the book's cook! And I don't have to worry about cutting myself! Well, paper cuts . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Playing the part

While sitting in the international arrival area of Boston (Logan) airport the other day, I was thinking about the world as a stage. One of my favorite past-times is people watching. The reason for this is that I strongly believe people are generally not in public what they are in private. I mean that many people play the part of a person they want to be in public. They dress a way they want others to think they are. It is an easy way for people to try to look cool, look wealthy, look tough, look sexy, etc.

It's fun to watch people trying to impress total strangers with their appearance. The problem for many of these people is that when they actually have to interact with someone, revealing their true self. Their hope is that they can glide through the public arena, playing the part, and move on.

More later . . .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Thursdays are my favorite day of the week. I love the feeling I get from Thursday. I am guessing Saturday is the most popular day of the week, followed by Sunday, then Friday. Maybe Thursday is typically fourth most popular, but is possibly challenged equally by Tuesday and Wednesday. I know Monday has got to be last.

So, for me, why Thursday? I think about it like this: You know what it's like to have money in your pocket and you feel like you can buy something if you want? It's the anticipation of being able to buy something - anything. But being Thursday, you can't just yet.

Thursday is the anticipation. Looking forward to the start of the weekend. This is the last "full" workday of the week. You still have Friday to fall back on if you don't get the day's work completed.

Fridays are workdays too, but they are also part of the weekend. Fridays have a dual personality. We have to work, but we are already thinking and acting "weekend."

When Saturday arrives, the weekend begins -- and the money in your pocket gets spent, so-to-speak.

And then Monday comes around again, starting the cycle all over again -- working my way to Thursday, when the money in my pocket returns.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Journey East 2010

The students in Leland & Gray's Journey East program are in the first week of their Journey East 2010. I am the web host for this amazing journey and you can follow the day-to-day adventure at www.thejourneyeast.net/je2010. The previous five journeys can be found at www.thejourneyeast.net. Great stuff. Check it out!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Put it back! Please . . .

I get so infuriated when I see misplaced products in a grocery store. These are the items someone has decided they no longer want and just put back on a shelf, wherever they happen to be at the time.

How inconsiderate is that? They have no respect for others. It is the kind of thinking that shows me that person has no character or integrity and they live by the code that if no one is looking, then it's okay. Well, it isn't!

Like anything we do in this life, the right thing is always harder than the wrong thing. And, as a bonus, the result of doing the right thing is so much better.

Fortunately, most people choose to do the right thing. But I wonder sometimes if we are losing ground and the majority of us "do-gooders" is facing a declining membership.

Life is not about what's easy, it is about doing the right thing.

Oh, so maybe, just maybe, more and more people are confused about that what right thing is. That could explain it. If young people are not learning the "right" thing from family, friends, school, and role models, then the things they are learning is what they perceive as right.

Keep an eye out and help set the right example for people to learn and aspire to. Let's stay the course. If you decide you don't want something at the store, put it back where it belongs. Someone else might not see you, but you will. And you will know. Thank you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


It's funny how excited we get about birthdays. We have no control over them, we didn't do anything to earn them, and they keep on happening regardless of whether we are here or not. And yet, when it is a birthday, we celebrate as if we had just won an Olympic Gold! Forget about the other 364 days of the year, you get one day to "have it your way!" However, to get around all of this, the trick is to treat every day as a birthday.

So, celebrate my birthday, I will! My wonderful wife, Lynn, is taking me to a fun little Mexican restaurant (where two can eat a very full meal, including free taco chips and bottomless Diet Pepsis) for less than twenty bucks! I know! It's an hour drive, so we don't go very often.

And then, if the weather cooperates, we are going to see Jim Belushi and his LEGENDS OF ROCK & BLUES, with (Jim, of course) Brad Whitford (Aerosmith), Barry Goudreau (former member of the band Boston), Michael Carabello (Santana), David Hull (The Joe Perry Project), and Johnny A. Backing this blues rock superband will be The James Montgomery Blues Band with The Uptown Horns. Opener: Kan-Tu.

Now this is going to be a fun evening, birthday or not! Happy birthday to me!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


I just survived 36 hours of on-again, off-again (mostly off-again) power outage during this current snowstorm in southern Vermont. My Internet has been out since Tuesday night.

These outages remind me of how much I am dependent on electricity and the Internet (and TV!). And especially the Olympics.

While I have been watching the marquee events (speed skating, downhill, ice skating, and snowboarding), I have become addicted to curling. I know! It's so odd. Like watching corn grow (did you know you can hear corn grow? I grew up in Illinois - it's true!)

Curling is getting a lot of exposure during this Olympics (it heps to be in the same time zone and have multiple NBC channels carrying the events). The US teams have struggled and will not win medals. But I know I'll be following them now and will look for them to return in 2014.

There are so many unique winter Olympics events. Nordic Combined, Biathlon, short track speed skating, curling.

I am huge Olympics fan and supporter. I will miss the Olympics when it comes to a close Sunday night. But the good news is that the Formula 1 season starts March 12 (Friday practice) in Bahrain!

Okay, time to do a little work before the next curling match at 5. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed the power stays on. It's flickering . . .

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Giving is the getting

Today, too many people are focused on what they are going to get - how much will I make, how much does it cost, when is my first day off, what are my benefits, when will you get it to me, and on and on.

They expect others to give first. They give only if they have to, and only in return for something.

The real gifts we get in life are the result of giving. Helping someone who has fallen is a two-way gift, reaping immediate benefits for each party.

A smile often brings a smile in return. However, I must say that people (in general) today are so reserved, so afraid of expressing themselves, so guarded that I often don't get smiles in return.

As I take walks along our rural roads, I always wave to passersby. Most return the wave, but I often wonder how many are waving "only" because I waved first. Would they wave to me if I didn't?

That doesn't really matter. The gift I receive is the good feeling of being a good person. A friendly person offering something first without expectation or need of something in return.

Being nice to people is what we want others to do. And to others, we are the other person. We can't control what others give to us, and to be honest, it doesn't matter. Our giving to others is a gift we give to ourselves.

Give and get give.