I’m half amused, half bitter when I hear a person in software refer to “users in the wild.” From inside the zoo, a natural habitat is the wild. If you live out there, it’s just, well, home.

You’re Always Doing What You Love

Long before I got paid for writing, I spent my time writing at work. I relished my time answering “too many” emails with unnecessarily thoughtful responses. I wrote treatises when memos would have sufficed. I followed up on meetings and conversations with tirades I should have saved for my journal. I know I’m not the… Read more »

Read the Fine Print

Sometimes being my own IT person kinda sucks. A big-box office retailer that shall remain nameless has a big sign: $50 dollars off on select [weasel word!] printers costing $199 or more when you recycle your old printer. On the bottom of the sign are logos for Brother, HP, Canon, Epson, and Lexmark. I ask… Read more »

3 Holiday Web Tips for Brick-and-Mortar Businesses

I did not travel to see family this holiday week, so I’m hanging around in my usual neighborhoods, looking for things to do and places to dine with my friends. With so many shops and restaurants closed at unusual times, businesses with long holiday hours had a great opportunity to make money picking up the… Read more »

The Cobbler’s Children Go Bare

My blog is feeling lonely, as my efforts have been diverted to ghost blogging in a very different kind of venue, feeding a big content-hungry monster. A byline would be nice, but I guess that will come!

How To Kill Creativity

Is everyone creative? The debate rages. Let’s stipulate that everyone is … or can be. So, why do companies have trouble getting employees to be “creative,” and why do so many people feel stifled at work? One model of the creative process suggests that there are 4 stages: 1. Preparation 2. Incubation 3. Illumination 4…. Read more »

An Elite Education

A few years ago, I started a job in a nonprofit. One of the organization’s illustrious volunteers was a local professor and author, respected not just within the cause but in the community at large. My coworkers admired her, put her on a pedestal. After providing clerical support for her a couple of times, I… Read more »

Meta Narrative Nonfiction

I’m reading Susan Orlean’s Rin Tin Tin biography. The history and trivia is fascinating, as is the biography of Lee Duncan, the rather odd man who found Rinty in a bombed-out German military compound in France during WWI. I’m still not crazy about the structure: interrupting the story periodically with the author’s reflections about the… Read more »

Coaching for Trailblazers

In his New Yorker article Personal Best, physician Atul Gawande makes an off-hand comment about coaching that (I suspect) some professional coaches would not like. Self-improvement has always found a ready market, and most of what’s on offer is simply one-on-one instruction to get amateurs through the essentials. It’s teaching with a trendier name. I… Read more »

Fighting Words

Another day, another sermon to the choir from proponents of positive dog training. If you are not in the dog world, the furious dialogue is probably unfamiliar to you: dog trainers who apply Pavlovian and Skinnerian theory to their craft have harsh criticisms for trainers who rely upon (and teach to their clients) training and… Read more »