Hard Corps: a great read

January 16, 2008

Now this was a good read. I really enjoyed the fast paced ride from gangbanger to being awarded the Navy Cross. What a success story! Language was rough but there was a warning in front of the book.

I have never really understood the hazing and rough treatment in boot camp and being a boot but now I have a better idea of the importance. Several times I was almost brought to tears just reading the book. Especially the time where he describes older Vets correcting his flag raising skills and his treatment when he comes back to America and the reception the Marines receive.

Marco Martinez will go far in life. He is a hero in the truest sense of the word.


The Dip

January 4, 2008

The Dip is a really short but great book by Seth Godin. It’s about quitting and when to do it. It has convinced me that I need a new job, one that allows me to be creative and one that makes me want to go to work.

The previous post quote was the nail in the coffin for learning that i should be working for myself…

How true is this?…

January 4, 2008

“The end result is that’s it’s essentially impossible to become successful or well-off doing a job that is described and measured by someone else.”

Seth Godin

small is the new big

My experience so far with being an employee (a manager none the less) is all to true.

What On Earth Have I Done?

November 10, 2007

Robert Fulghum’s new book is wonderful so far… I really enjoy his works. Reading this book opens my mind to what’s around me, like a fresh breeze. After a while with out some reflection and solitude I seem to get a black and white view of the world.

As the title of the post suggests that is his thesis- “What On Earth Have I Done?” An interesting question because he poses the question as a Mother asking a child “WOEHYD”. Then he puts the question as to an adult’s life. Same question-different meaning altogether.

The chapters are short vignettes, which after read seem to stick in my mind wait for a chance to be applied. An example would be the story of his quest to rid his house boat of Otters. Success really didn’t have the intended result; less stink but a loss of playfulness and curiosity in his world. Another, how his house was valued less than he thought it was worth, and the reasons why were the reasons he discovered that added value to his life.

Fulghum tells a story about a couple of college students who eat a dining room chair… yea, really!… now you’ll have to read the book.

Love for my Wife

September 25, 2007

I have been married for 26 years… I know I love my wife more today than when we were married. She is not a perfect wife (for sure I’m not the perfect husband), but I love her more than ever. It’s more passionate and at the same time a the “best friend in the world” type of love, how can I explain that?

Several times in our marriage I believed we were doomed. But I never considered leaving or divorce because I knew it was me and at least 1/2 of it was my baggage. All I would have done is take the baggage to another relationship.

What brings me to this post is that we have some friends who are having problems with their marriage and some of it reminds me of our problems. The rushing around of little kids, jobs taking to much time, being second (maybe even last) in getting attention (sex, what sex?), the stress of money and everything else  and that’s not mentioning families that seem to complicate everything with their problems and hangups.

My advice… communication, but first listen… really listen. If you think everything is OK and your partner blows you out of the water with news you never suspected. You’re not listening…or paying attention, verbal or physically.

My problem was/is I like to solve problems. When my wife would share her problems, I wanted to offer solutions. WRONG ANSWER, (maybe I’m slow… but it took me 15-18 years to get this) listen and then listen to her but don’t offer solutions. Believe it or not that’s not what she wants. She want attention and someone to listen to her.

Talking… well I’m getting better at sharing my feelings, needs and fears.

Do I have all the answers… not even close. But my wife and I can weather the storms of life with our love, respect and trust in Jesus Christ.

I’m reading No More Christian Nice Guy by Paul Coughlin. Only about 1/4 the way thru and I find it interesting but I am hesitant about some of his ideas. Kinda like when I read Waking the Dead by John Eldridge.

I’m looking for input from someone who has read the book, and maybe someone make comments or criticisms of the book.

I am revisited a few of my favorite reads from my youth. Fred Saberhagen, Beserkers: The Beginning, wow what a read. My boys are thrilled. I moved up several notches in their eyes, suggest such good books. I read 100’s of books to suggest to them. Ringworld,
Starship Troopers, and some other classics. I would like them to read The Foundation Trilogy, but I don’t know if they can suffer through the dry spells. And of course how could I forget the Martian Chronicles  and the John Carter series.  Such good books, boyhood adventures to be sure.

My Starbucks

March 9, 2007

Trail Talk has a good post on Starbucks. I really love my Starbucks, they know me and I feel comfortable in the store. In fact, when I study my Sunday School lesson I get more accomplished than at home. The difference is probably the difference between a guest and a father who’s directing the home school and giving attention to everyone. So maybe that is not a fair comparison.

I have read several books on Starbucks and have also worked in the restaurant industry for more than 20 years. In fact, I worked for Shoney’s Inc for 17-18 years all the way from dishwasher to District Manager. The first 10 years I worked for Shoney’s it was run like a family business, then it took on a more corporate look and feel. That’s when I think we lost customer appeal. It was no longer a place to go to meet friends; both in the store and the frequent customers. When the company no longer had the loyalty to its employees, employees for sure were not going to return it (for no reason).

My first 10 years it was rare to go out and eat at a competitive restaurant. I just felt like I was being dishonest or disloyal. When I did eat at a “enemy” restuarant I told the manager if myexperience was good or bad. And I thought about how to make “our” store better. You think this cannot be true but imagine this; more often than not when I visited with employees’ families who we eating in the restaurant their children were proud that their parents worked at the store. Sometimes the kids would even say that when they grow up they would like to work for Shoney’s.

Maybe Starbucks has found the formula that small and large restaurants abandoned for faster table turnovers and greater profits. Only to find that they are without a loyal customer base. Just a thought.

Blogging Church

March 8, 2007

I finished the Blogging Churchtoday! Finished it off with a Cafe Americano at my favorite Starbucks. I really did learn a lot. On my pre-review I thought I would just have a general refresher of what I knew. Well, I did learn how to tell if I’m addicted to my blog and how to measure it’s real importance. There are also included great links to other fantastic Church blogs. (I must link 43Folders, Merlin Mann wrote a page or so for the book and mentioned it on his blog.)

One of the good thinks about the book is the way it is written for the beginner and for someone who wants to gather more info to to persuade; not only positively, but a bit caution to the under-informed church members.  I at first only saw the upside, but now I can see some potential problems. Especially in the matter of whether or not to allow comments. And I can also see how it could be a distraction by sucking up hours of church staff time. Time some may not not have to spend.

I on the other hand being a Sunday School teacher can see the advantages for me. I can communicate with my class during the week, share prayer requests, give encouragement and list praises. Now the real challenge is to educate some of my classmates how to use the blog and Google Group. I’ve put our class goals on the Sunday School blog along with plans for our special fellowships. (I must say I’m learning right along with my class.)

Do I recommend the book? Wholeheartedly! The author Brian Bailey makes a passioned argument but still presents the downside with honesty. So buy the book, read it and then give it to you Pastor or church leaders. That’s what I’m going to do.

The Blogging Church

March 2, 2007

The Blogging Church this is good book for someone who wants to blog for a church. I don’t know if I’ve learned a whole lot but it has put a lot of facts and ideas together to make a great argument for the internet as a tool to spread the Gospel. I have been trying to convince my Pastor and Sunday School class that blogging is the answer to communication problems and just keeping in touch during the week. I’m sure the author will make the point better than I have so far. In fact I,’m counting on it because I’m giving the book to my Pastor this Sunday.

I would like to thank the author Terry Storch for a well written book that doesn’t talk down or make things seem to complicated. It’s a nice mix and I really enjoy his passion.

My next book is going to be Naked Conversations.