Smear the "Other"

      4 min read     

Had a flashback to grade school today. I was probably in 3rd or 4th grade. We were on the playground for recess. We started to play a game. I don’t remember us giving it a name. Maybe my memory fails me, maybe I’m just blocking it. If we did give it a name, that name was surely “Smear the Queer”. You know the game - you were a kid once. The leaders of the gang would call out someone’s name, and the mob would chase them, and of course the mob would catch them, because a mob does.

Review: The Circle

      2 min read     

The Circle by Dave Eggers My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This is really a great and timely book. I think it demonstrates the best of fiction, science fiction especially, in that it posits a believable scenario that asks us to think about the world we live in from a different viewpoint. While we see millions of people adopting social media tools fairly rapidly, I think very few average users give much thought to what happens when a great amount of data is aggregated.

Review: All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis

      1 min read     

All the Devils are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This was a phenomenal telling of the story of the financial crisis. It's not a short read, but as the authors point out, it wasn't a simple crisis. There are a lot of players and a LOT of arcane jargon. But McLean and Nocera do a great job of explaining things, and they keep the story interesting.

Farewell to a Friend

      3 min read     

The Belmont High class of ‘86 lost its first classmate this week, one of our best. Curt Novinski was visiting friends over Labor Day weekend when he began to feel ill. A visit to the hospital led to emergency brain surgery for a brain bleed, and he never recovered from surgery. As is the case with death at our age, it was unexpected, sudden, and leaves all of us stunned and saddened.

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

      1 min read     

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( Another great read from one of my favorite authors. It's been several years since Neil Gaiman has written an adult novel. This one, clearly prompted by a trip home for his own father's funeral, is the story of a Gaiman-esque young man visiting his childhood home. The visit prompts reminiscence of a fantastical experience he had with the family living at the end of his lane when he was a boy.

Review: Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

      1 min read     

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown My rating: [5 of 5 stars]( This book is a must-read for, well, everyone. Brown has done some incredibly thorough research to help us all understand some very difficult issues - shame and vulnerability. Tough topics. But she presents her ideas in a very readable form, with a lot of great first-hand stories to illustrate what she's discussing.

Buh-bye Instagram!

      1 min read     

I just exported all my Instagram photos and deleted my account. I urge you to do the same. You can use to export your pics. Facebook has shown repeatedly that they will keep pushing the boundaries of acceptable behavior to attempt to secure a profit. Instagram (now owned by FB) thankfully backed off their stupidity this week, but more will come. I’ll keep using FB because many people I know are here (go to Google+ please!

Visiting Tom by Michael Perry

      1 min read     

Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace by Michael Perry My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’ve been a huge Michael Perry fan since his first hit, Population 485. He’s back once again with stories of small town life. In this book (his best since Pop 485), he writes about his neighbor Tom. This book really struck a chord with me because Tom reminds me of my dad, and many of the other characters I met when I was a kid hanging out with my dad.

Holland, Michigan

      1 min read     

A few weeks ago we had the chance to spend a couple of days along Lake Michigan in Saugatuck and Holland. The tulips were in bloom in Holland and they were just amazing! Click here for slideshow

Business Use of Social Media

      1 min read     

This morning I’m giving a talk for the Dunn County Economic Development Corporation on “Business Use of Social Media.” You can find the resources for this talk here.