Thursday, April 20, 2006

Chuck sent me this link to a Rolling Stone article, 'The worst president in history?" - worth a read.
We have started this amazingly cool new chapter in our lives. Both kids have started and been welcomed onto the Tillamook Sharks swimteam. They are swimming their hearts out and their mother, former lifeguard, swimteam member and swim coach is bursting with pride. Last night - after a full day of school, piano and an exhausting swim workout - they asked if they could go to bed at 8 rather than stay up and watch Amazing Race with us. I kid you not.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Do you think my main squeeze is too manly for a festive Herm├Ęs pocket square? Cause I think they're exceptionally cool.

A few of my favorites, from a list shared around the office entitled "Creative Comeback Lines For The Workplace"

  1. Obviously you’re unable to assimilate my stimulating concepts into your blighted and simplistic world-view.
  2. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?!?
  3. I’ll give you a nice, shiny quarter if you’ll go away.
  4. How about never? Is never good for you?
In the 10 plus years we have been raising children, we have yet to destress the morning routine. After a panicked search for socks and then an 8:15 desperate cry from my son that he needed a lunch packed for the fieldtrip that day (bus leaves from a few blocks away at 8:20) that culminated with me screaming "Shut your mouth and hand me the jelly!!" I instituted a customized evening checklist for each child. Before TV, before playtime, before climbing in bed to read - each of the following questions must be answered in the affirmitive


Yes

Charlie's Checklist


Have we emptied your backpack?


If you have homework tonight, is it done?


Did mama or papa check your homework?


Do you have your homework and communication folders packed in your backpack?


If tomorrow is a library day, do you have your library book packed?


Do you have all your schoolbooks packed?


Is your backpack by the back door?


If you swim tomorrow, do you have swimsuit, clean underwear, clean socks, shampoo, conditioner and a comb packed?


Do you need or want a cold lunch at school?


Are your shoes by the backdoor?


Are you chores done?


Are your things picked up from downstairs?


Did you practice piano?



This morning went much, much smoother.

I have been a bit of Lincoln junkie lately. I'm in the middle of Doris Kearns Goodwin's book on Lincoln's cabinet comprised of formal political opponents– Team of Rivals. I obviously admire Lincoln for his leadership during the Civil War and emancipation of the slaves – but the more I read about him, the more I'm drawn to his people skills and writing.

Wanting to share this with my kids, last night I ordered a Lincoln biography targeted at elementary school aged children. Tucking Samantha in last night I told her it was coming. When she asked about Lincoln, I told her he was the 16th president and one of my favorites.

She asked what president we were "on" now. I told her 43, my least favorite. She asked how many there were going to be. (Where do they come up with these questions?) I said that as long as we had the current form of government which I anticipated would well outlast her lifetime, we would have presidents. And then I added:

"Maybe you can be president someday."

She said she didn't think so and then asked, "Can womens be presidents? It seems like they are all men – Washington, Lincoln…"

yikes!

"Absolutely honey! Women can be anything they want to be!"

and she said, "I know something they can't be.".

"What?"

"Fathers."

Monday, April 17, 2006

As a manager in my office I was asked to take a survey on innovation styles. I tested as an Experimenting-Modifying style person. This is apparantly what that means:

Your Profile: Experimenting-Modifying

At a Glance

Those who have Modifying / Experimenting profiles like to expand and build on what has already been done – they build and optimize. They like to move forward one step at a time, looking to previous situations and applying expert opinion to fit a new purpose. They also like to test out various combinations of ideas, and learn from the results – they combine and test. They like to seek solutions by applying reliable methods and experimental trial-and-error.

First impulse when approaching a challenge:
"Let's build on and optimize what we already have and make improvements as needed."
"Let's see what happens if we take existing elements and combine them in new ways."

Likes ideas that are:
Realistic, verifiable, directly relevant, integrated

Likes to generate these ideas by asking:
What can we do to improve upon and optimize what we've done?
What can we combine to put together a new solution?
What has been done before that we can build upon?
How can we include a broad range of others' ideas?

Frustrated when others:
Change direction in midstream
Ignore the risks of, and requirements for, implementation
Say, "You're too set in your ways" or "You're not imaginative enough"

Contributes:
An ability to expand and build on what has already been done
Systematic methods to take risks in stages
Applying expert opinion to fit a new purpose
A commitment to making sure things work correctly and reliably

Potential Pitfalls:
Not being open to far-reaching goals and bold new possibilities
Getting lost in the details of implementation
Not questioning assumptions
Censoring own or others' ideas that seem "too crazy" or "too idealistic"

Give this Profile:
Time to be steady and thorough when developing new ideas
Continuous, practical learning opportunities
An abundance of relevant information or data
A balance of intense work periods with reflective time

Friday, April 07, 2006

What a retro rocker I am. God help me, I wish I could go to this show! I'd be in highschool all over again! Sadly it falls right in the middle of our summer vacation and I'll be lounging around Lake Anna and waterskiing with my kids.
Look what I made!