Prairie Silence by Melanie Hoffert

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Prairie Silence: A Memoir by Melanie Hoffert My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really loved this book! Author Melanie Hoffert grew up in a small town in North Dakota. She realized at an early age that she was gay, but kept this fact hidden from her family and community for many years. Like so many rural kids, once she grew up she left her community for the big city, in this case the Twin Cities in Minnesota.


Buh-bye Instagram!

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I just exported all my Instagram photos and deleted my account. I urge you to do the same. You can use http://web2.instaport.me/ 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!


Letters to a Young Madman by Paul Gruchow

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Letters to a Young Madman: A Memoir by Paul Gruchow My rating: 5 of 5 stars Paul Gruchow is one of my all-time favorite authors. I had the chance to meet him a couple of times, and in particular recall one incredibly stormy evening listening to him read and speak at UW-Stout here in Menomonie. He had such an incredible gift for language, and for seeing the natural world. I first experienced his work in The Necessity of Empty Places, which I read, appropriately enough on a wonderful vacation to Glacier and Grand Teton National Parks.


Visiting Tom by Michael Perry

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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.


Oneida Nation Social Media Day

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Today I’m in Green Bay, Wisconsin speaking with folks from the Oneida Nation about social media analytics. You can find the resources for my talk here.


The Emotional Life of Your Brain - Book Review

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The Emotional Life of Your Brain: How Its Unique Patterns Affect the Way You Think, Feel, and Live–and How You Can Change Them by Richard J. Davidson My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is absolutely fascinating. Author Davidson is the founder of the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at UW-Madison. He’s gotten a lot of attention with his work doing brain scans on Tibetan monks while they meditate.


Holland, Michigan

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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


Bully - The Movie

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GO SEE THIS MOVIE! Bully is a documentary that tells the story of 5 kids who are victims of bullying. The kids range in age from 11 to 17. Viewers never get a chance to meet two of the kids, who committed suicide as a result of their victimization. This is a powerfully produced movie. It has been the subject of some controversy due to the producers’ struggle with the Motion Picture Association of America over the final rating of the movie.


Designing for Growth - Book Review

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Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Tool Kit for Managers by Jeanne Liedtka My rating: 5 of 5 stars This book is a good introduction to applying design thinking principles to business. While it’s focused mainly on business growth, I think it can easily be applied to any facet of business. Design thinking entails a set of skills different from what most business people use on a daily basis. The authors lay out an easy-to-follow set of steps that can be applied to any business problem.


Flying Leap Book Review

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Flying Leap: A Novel in Perspective by Ralf Oliver My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book. It’s of the genre “lost person meets guru and gets life lessons.” But it’s a neat twist that the guru is a pigeon. Most of the lessons discussed fit pretty well with Buddhist teachings. Books like this always help me to step back from the craziness of day-to-day life and examine what I’m doing.