Two interesting but unrelated things in Harvard Business Review and at Lifehacker


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One of my morning rituals is to browse a bit and catch up with the news and events going on around me and far away from me with some coffee kind of like they used to do at the breakfast table with the morning newspaper. This ritual also includes a bit of email browsing to see what has come in via blogs, subscriptions, etc.  Two things popped up this morning; one more important than the other but both equally notable.

The first thing was an article about the cheating going on at Harvard where 125 students were charged.  Many of those students felt like they were being punished for collaborating.  This article by Sarah Green raises many good points and explains a different perspective with regard to “cheating.”  Here is the link to the article entitled “Cheating at Harvard, and in the ‘Real World'”

Another of my stops tends to be at Lifehacker where I find some very helpful and interesting things at times.  This morning, there was a post about how to respond to annoying and rude emails.  It contained a quote that I wanted to remember and share with others.  I am sharing it here but I will also link to the article in case you’d like to read the whole thing.  Here’s the quote followed by the link:

I’m open to hearing what you have to say and having a discussion about it, but I have a policy of ignoring people who take a malicious approach to conversation. I felt something that you said fell under this heading, and if you’d like to try again with a kinder approach, I’d be happy to have a conversation with you.

This is a suggested response to a rude email to someone whom I am supposing that you either have to talk with or ultimately want to talk with.  Either way, the great thing about this is that it acknowledges the rude tone, allows the rude email sender to apologize (especially if they did not realize how their email came across) and keeps the dialogue open.  It is honest and fair communication.

There is more to the article than the quote I posted here.  You might want to check it out.  In the meantime, have a good week!


Good Morning – Starting The Day


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Good morning!  That’s normally a begrudging statement I’d make with my eyes slitted and through gritted, grumpy teeth as I reached for a cup of coffee with the thought that maybe one cup will help to get me moving and more awake.

I would have invested in a company that made shirts that said “Not The Morning Person” with an arrow pointed up towards my face.  When I wore it, people who know me and either live or have lived with me would nod their heads indicating how true that statement is.

Today and almost most days now, they’d be surprised.  My good mornings aren’t snarl, snarl, yeah, sure, morning, snarl, snarl.  Although they probably also aren’t incredibly perky, cheerleader good mornings, they are reasonably positive and very much less ominous than the gritted teeth good mornings.

I’ve found a decent bed time, a decent bed time ritual, and a morning ritual to look forward to.  Add to that a list of a couple of things I absolutely want to get done or make some progress on.  Those few things add up to a more positive morning attitude and a sense for purposeful tomorrows.

Hobbies: Koi & Comets = Relax


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I thought I’d share with you a hobby of mine.  I have a 250 or so gallon pond in which I keep koi and comets.

When we go outside, we hear the bubbling of the pond.  We have a little table and a bench near the pond so that we can sit for a few minutes and relax by watching the koi and comets and hearing the bubbling.  It’s a nice spot in the morning and evenings for a little chat and a cup of coffee or tea.

Here’s the link if you’d like to see a small part of the pond and my koi and comets.  I made a short video –>

Nocturnal Thinking & Problems


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Why is it that at 2:00 am or some other wee hour in the middle of the night the best ideas come knocking on our brains?  Is it because we are so relaxed that we let our minds wander without judging what our minds are thinking?

Well, anyway, I mention it because it happened to me last night forcing me to get out of bed and search for my notebook that really should have been by my bed instead of on my desk. I was able to write several pages worth of notes as one idea lead to a series of ideas and questions to answer later.  I love how the unconscious mind works even if it is sneakily behind the scenes.  As much as I love it, though, I wish that it would pop up with its ideas at a more convenient time instead of when I should be sleeping.

As I said, I wrote several pages one idea leading to the next and the same with questions.  Content that I had gotten it all out, I put the notebook down and turned off the lights to sleep.  Just as I was falling a sleep one more thought popped into my mind but I was too sleepy to get up again and write it down.  Instead I thought to myself, I’ll remember this thought for tomorrow which usually wouldn’t work but this morning after searching my brain for a bit I did eventually remember.

It was a bit of encouragement to myself that I thought I might share with you so that you might be encouraged too.  To explain it, I’ll have to start by asking you if you’ve ever encountered a difficulty that when you mention it to someone they look at you like you are a tad off?  If you haven’t (which I seriously doubt), it happens to me sometimes quite often.

My mind reminded me that because I see a problem or encounter a problem but no one else recognizes it as a problem doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem and that it won’t become a problem that others recognize.  Nor does it mean that others haven’t encountered the same thing.  I’m just not asking the right people (those who haven’t had that particular encounter — YET).

I have to admit, my brain was telling me something good.  Now, I’m telling you what my brain was telling me.  Remember it, it might help you feel better sometime.


Political questions for all candidates


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If I could ask any one running for any type of office a question or two,  there would only be a few fairly simple questions I would like to initially ask.  My first question would be what is the purpose of government (i.e. what is the role that government should play in people’s lives)?  My second question would be how well informed does the candidate think that the overall U.S. population is with regard to their health, finances, and their role in the economy?

I dream of Sting & Conflict


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Last night I dreamt of Sting.  For this post, an important fact about him that you need to know is that he was born in 1951 as reported by Wikipedia.  That makes him 61 years old.

In my dream Sting was doing jumping jacks and all manner of physical activities as though he were a poster boy for health, wellness, and vibrancy.  If he had spoken, he might have said something about how he could take on a 20 year old in some physical activity and come out just as well or better.  That might have been true depending on the 20 year old, but my dream was not completely about the energy of Sting. My dream probably had more to do with age, relationships and being a single woman and finding a partner than anything else.

At some point in time, single women have to decide what their boundaries and limits are.  Am I willing to date someone who is 19 or 20 years my senior and won’t that be too much like dating my father (yuck)?  Or, am I willing to date someone who is 19 or 20 years my junior and won’t that be too much like dating my own son or nephew (also yuck)?  How about 10 years older or 10 years younger?  And, why does 10 years older seem so much more acceptable than 10 years younger?  But, maybe 5 years either way would be much more comfortable.

Then, of course, there is the thought:  Am I being too picky?  If I start to care about someone who is 13 years my senior or my junior will I be willing to say that it is too far past the arbitrary age line that I’ve set up?

It’s all hypothetical at the moment but it seems a consideration that I need to admit is there.  If it is in my dreams, then it may be something to pay attention to as an issue that is troubling me and is unresolved.  It is an issue that might be stopping me from a good potential relationship.  Indecision and uncertainty do not make confidence for going forward.

So, what do I do?  The only thing I can do at the moment.  I set it aside as an issue to deal with later when it is more immediate and maybe clearer.

* This is life *


I Wish I Would Have Or I Wanted To


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I used to work with a great bunch of people many of whom were older than I was and who, in retrospect, gave great advice.  The most important advice I often heard from them was that I should continue my education.  At the very least, finish your Bachelor’s degree.

Most people I worked with and associated with at work then could be categorized in two ways:  about half were either in the process of getting their Bachelor’s degrees or pursuing a Master’s.  The other group already had their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.

The “young” groups being recruited were coming in fresh faced from college and were being taught how to become a meaningful member of the organization by rotating throughout the department before finding their fit.  Some, after awhile, however, decided that this education was not enough.  They discovered that they really wanted to continue with school.  Two of the people from these fresh-faced recruits did end up quitting and going back to college full-time to receive their Master’s degrees.  Others opted for continued employment with a longer part-time pursuit of theirs.

One male boss I had, who had his Master’s degree, told me that he had always wanted to go back to school, get his Doctorate degree and become a professor.  A female co-worker who was the department event planner told me that she always wanted to return to school to become a lawyer.  Those two never did go back as far as I currently know.  They were older and perhaps for them it was a risk not worth taking at that point.

I saw the importance of education to those I worked with who were pursuing more.  I heard their encouragement and finally did finish my Bachelor’s degree.  I also heard the longing in the voices of those who decided that the education they had was “enough” but that ideally they would have liked to have gone on and pursued more education.

Even though some people don’t see the sense of giving up a lot in order to return to pursue graduate studies, they didn’t hear what I heard in the voices of those saying they wished that they had gone on or that they had always wanted to.  I don’t want to be the one saying “I would have liked” or “I wanted to.”  Instead, I’m saying “I am” and will continue.

Fantastic David Byrne’s Collection


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In my various internet wanderings, I came across on Apartment Therapy an article, a short video and some pictures about David Byrne, himself, and his studio.  As a kid in jr. high watching MTV, I watched David Byrne and The Talking Heads videos.  In my 30s I rediscovered him and his music and found I could appreciate him much more than I did as a kid.  Finding this article and seeing his studio today was a real treat.

If you follow this link and watch the videos:, you’ll understand when I say that I want to walk across his guitar pedal platform.  You may not, however, understand why I think that it is so fantastic that he made something like this or his pictures of chairs brought to life.  Yet, I do.

His whole studio is fantastic.  He has surrounded himself with meaningful things each with a story behind them from others and items he’s made himself.  There is a life there in each of those things.

There is a man who has spread out and not stuck with one thing.  There is a man who seems to have been simply who he is.

I think it’s great.  In the way he has represented himself in that room and in the items and projects he’s done to create that collection is fantastic.  Go David.  Keep on doing you and thanks for the music and the peek into your life.