Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Efficiency 101

Today I make notes for myself and you are along for the ride. I'm drowning in work. I've been in this place before, so I know what to do. Some of us think we're busy but it's because we're running fast. But are we being effective; are we doing the things that really matter? Busy busy is running to get the important things done. I'm in that second place.

I am compelled to dust off those techniques I know that work, use them to their potential, then wave the white flag. If I've done all I can and I still can't keep up, I gotta let people know.

What works?

Well, off to it, then. I have my marching orders.

P.S. Found another one on my google foraging expedition. Email: The Variable Reinforcement Machine

I'm going to try this:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Random Act of Kindness

I witnessed a random act of kindness the other day, and seeing it turned a bunch of assumptions on their heads. While another couple helped out a young girl, my husband and I watched from a block away, laughing at her predicament.

What had happened is that she backed up too fast, throwing one back tire over a curb. She was very lucky she did not twist the frame. But now, how was she to ease the car forward back over the curb without doing damage to her frame or her suspension? I watched an older couple approach and with some pointing and waving of arms, the man took the wheel of the car. The older woman took a position at the side of the car to keep an eye on the action and to motion if he were to gun it or to take her easy.

I imagined the man as her father, and imagined the girl's loss of driving privileges that night. I laughed.

He did a commendable job easing the car forward, first with the tire blanced on the curb, back end of the car pointing jauntily in the air. Then, with infinite care, he eased the car forward and back to the ground.

I shuddered at the thought of the rear back scraping against the curb.

Then, to my surprise, it was all over and there was hand shaking all around. The couple continued on to the store, and the girl drove away. My assumptions, turned on their heads, was that the couple knew the girl. They did not. These were strangers who took the time to help a young woman in distress. And hubby and I had the opportunity to watch an act of kindness in private. Kudos to the couple who took the time to help. I imagine the young woman felt a little bit better about humanity that day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What' Wrong with Webmaster?

Webmaster, another word that emprisons. Even the way the word rolls from the tongue. Web-master. The word brings to mind wizards or black belt instructors. "Grasshopper, you have much to learn." The imagery is of complexity, mystery, exclusivity.

In older organizations, web content is managed and posted by this one person. In any process, one assigned person equates to a bottleneck. Bottleneck imagery is pretty easy to figure out too. There's a whole bunch more content to post than one person can handle. You end up with good content put in a holding pattern as it is reviewed and converted to the new format.

As the web has evolved, it becomes the "source of truth" and the first place that the web savvy look for their information. For organizations that are controlled by a webmaster, however, it may be the last place that is updated.

There's software, however, that can distribute the job to the content authors, such as Red Dot of Open Text. Even more open are wikis, where content, moderated, may be opened up to the web. Some of my peers sneer at wikis, having read the articles in conventional media where a wiki page was temporarily spammed with false content. Here's a list of some of the biggest wiki blunders. I think these examples should not overshadow the huge step forward that open content has blessed this planet with. We now have 77,000 contributors to the biggest encyclopedia ever. Even bigger is the reader community - 48 million.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Emprisoning Words - Metadata. Webmaster.

Meta kind of sounds like mega; like big. Or many. Marry it with data and you have a supersyllable tongue twister. I swear some use it just to test the word out in conversation. I swear people's eyes go big as soon as they hear it, as if they had just spotted the sabre toothed tiger crouched on the ledge above. "Yes, but what about the metadata?" asks the square-glassed geek in the corner. The crowd is hushed in to submission.

But what is metadata really, and why do we attach so much significance to it?

Metadata are all the little invisible bits of information that is stored about a record that you don't see. For instance, in this blog you normally don't see the html hash that tells one computer to another how to read what I've written. Also in the background is who wrote it (well, my sign-on ID), and when.

I'm saying, it's no big deal. Records people get excited about it because in the replacing of one media to another (paper to electronic), metadata allows us the certainty that the electronically generated information has as much reality as a printed piece of paper. "This is what happened on this day." We have put the information in context of time and place. Some metadata features allows us the freedom to replace paper.

Other metadata elements have the potential to let us do new things with information; sorting and sifting it in new ways. Consider google earth, and the potential to tag photographs (metadata) with where they were taken.

What I resent is that metadata is used as a show-stopper rather than an introduction to freedom. People don't understand it, so they avoid it. Paper persists.
I'm running out of time so I'll discuss why I see "webmaster" as an emprisoning word later. I've borrowed the geeky text from Jamtronic and the map from Flash Artist.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Transit and Mobility

Yesterday I was thinking of a great advocate in Edmonton for transit riders. His name is Brian Gould and he writes for the Metro. He organized the Transit Rider's Union of Edmonton (TRUE) and has held several positions with that organization. He twitters, too

He's vocal, he's bold, and now he is heard. This is democracy at ground level.

Finding young advocates like Brian and Mack encourages me for the future. Let's not waste their energy. Let's give them resources, support, encouragement as they advocate for a better city.


Riding to work yesterday and watching a senior make it down the stairs got me thinking about painful mobility. With twinges forming in my own knees, I am starting to get a sense of the tenacity and the courage of these seniors, when their entire body must be screaming to stay at home in the la-z-boy. When every step counts, location matters. When every step counts, clear directions have to be there. Retracing steps at my age is annoying. Retracing steps on borrowed hips is harrowing.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Government Gets it Right - Mental Health Act

The Government of Alberta has proclaimed an amendment to the Mental Health Act, loosening involuntary admissions criteria to "likely to cause harm to self or others, or to suffer substantial mental or physcial deterioration or serious physical impairment."

Bravo for implementing a much-needed change.

I know the government has been under fire lately with news that a wing of Alberta Hospital will be closing; but in the storm of criticism, mustn't we also pause to thank them when they get it right?

With so many close family members who are mentally ill, and having spent many, many hours with mental health professionals, with the police, with the court system, I can say with a great gust of relief that this change was needed. The burden on family members I can tell you; when everyone knows that your parent/child is ill but you must stand by and watch their fall - until their fall is so terrible that they are in immenent danger - it is a horrible feeling. How close do you want your loved one to get to the edge before you yank them back?

Which is probably why I won't watch horror movies. I don't need the vicarious thrill. I've lived it, and it's not nearly as thrilling in real life.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A new book to try

I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs today, Running a Hospital, and a quote and a new book caught my eye:

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. The opening of the book reads "It's possible for a person to have an overwhelming number of things to do and still function productively with a clear head and a positive sense of relaxed control."

Boy, would I like to maintain that sort of balance.

Those closest to me know how I've been freaking out lately because of my insane work schedule. There are just so many things that must be done, and precious few things that cannot be delegated without sitting someone down for an hour just to get them oriented.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Review - Neighbor Power

How did I get hooked on this book? I stopped at an information booth set up in the Giant Tiger parking lot. An invitation to help spend $10,000 caught my eye. The invitation came from the local Crime Council. I and a friend went to the meeting, and voila, we are board members. *sigh*. We were shown tons of resources and materials that I hardly knew of. Another invitation caught my eye:

Neighbourhood Engagement
People are the answer!
November 17, 2009 at Santa Maria Goretti Centre (11050‐90 Street)
5‐9 PM
A Light Supper will be provided. No Cost. Parking available .
Registration is required, seating is limited
Please call (780)442‐4972

I signed up for that. And I got to asking myself, who is this Jim Diers and what is this talk about Neighbour Power? So I got the book. I've just finished it. In all my wanderings, why am I pursuing this? Because my gut says that neighbourhood engagement builds genuine human interaction between those who need help and those who give it. I am wandering full circle back to the reason I started this blog in the first place. What follows are marked passages and my own comments from sections of this book.

"organizers organize organizations" - When inspiring change in a community, don't run the show. Listen. Otherwise the initiative is dependent on you. When you go, the reforms will go too. Empower people to bring about the changes they want.

"Asset Based Community Development - ...Government, like social service agencies and other institutions, tends to disempower communities by focusing on their deficiencies and fostering dependence on outside interventions. Asset-based community development, on the other hand, builds on the resources that are found in every community. These assets include a community's associations and all its members, even those members who have been labeled and dismissed: the disabled, welfare mothers, at-risk youth, and elderly; all persons of every description have skills, knowledge, and passion to contribute to their community. (p. 13)" This sets me to wondering; what assets do we have in Clareview? We definitely have families, sports parents, ethnic, immigrant communities, at-home seniors. I've just discovered that we have a strong interest in city farming. It would be great to build an inventory of assets. For further reading, I should check out the Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD, get it?).

[Local governments]...resources are not keeping pace with increasingly complex social issues...voters are reluctant to approve additional resources becasue they feel a sense of alienation from their government at all levels...this deep sense of alienation is often misdiagnosed as apathy....Citizens don't vote becasue they have seen little evidence that their votes matter....I am convinced that people still yearn for a sense of community and want to contribute to the greater [has to do] with rediscovering democracy. (p. 18, 19) Now this resonates with me. Much is ballyhooed in the press about Canadian apathy at the pollls. If politicians want to see greater voter turnout, more work has to be done between elections to convince citizens that their involvement counts. It seems to me that this strikes closest to home, close to home. This means potholes, graffitti, community revitalization. This means listening and engaging people in a meaningful way. No lip service.

Whose decision was it to treat the community of Southeast Seattle as second class?..We discussed the growing drug and gang problem and concluded that the city had already tried nearly every solution that money could buy. Affordable housing was amajor neighborhood issue, but there was little the city could do, especially when the state legislature had outlawed rent control. Likewise, the city had no jurisdiction over the schools...Traffic congestion and inadequate parking were equally perplexing. I quickly realized that public officials felt as powerless to address these issues as did the citizens (p. 27). Again, resonating. Which takes us back to the foundation of the book; asset based community development. Any one of us can be terrified in to inaction when trying to handle the beast that is bureaucracy. Instead of focusing on the failures, however, why not take an inventory of our assets and build from those?

McKnight told me about his friend who is a duck hunter. The friend has different kinds of calls for different kinds of ducks. Organizations, McKnight said, should do the same thing, adding that "too often the only call that organizations use is the loon call, and then they wonder why only the loons turn out for the meetings." For organizers, as for duck hunters, a variety of calls is essential. Some people will answer the call to rally around a particular issue. Some will turn out for work parties or to pitch in on a particular project in their neighborhood. Others will be attracted by a dance or a festival or by freshly baked brownies. The more calls an organization uses, the more broadly based its membership will be. And the more broadly based the membership, the more power the organization will have to address whatever issues matter most to its members. I knew it. Bring food. I wonder, what is with all these afternoon meetings? Are working people excluded? Perhaps for the Clareview Crime Council sake, we need to team up with other groups in our community to get a broader based plan on how to spend the $10,000. Maybe we need a party, and everyone is invited.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Overcoming the Betrayal of Myth, and a Public Service Announcement

I was going to talk about Susanna Wesley and her son, John Wesley yesterday, but I chickened out. Instead I will pass on a public service announcement. Get your regular flu shot today; I am.

Yesterday I was going to talk about the betrayal of myth, when a hero turns out to be tarnished. This happened to me for the first time when I read the personal journals of John Wesley. If you are unfamiliar, Susanna Wesley, especially among evangelical circles, is held up as the perfect mother. She home schooled all her nineteen children. Her private sermons were so influential she was soon teaching practically the entire village. Her son John was the unintentional founder of Methodists, which eventually merged with the present-day United Church. John Wesley taught an experiential faith, which of course evangelicals love.

So what knowledge shook me to the very core? It turns out that Susanna had a breakdown of some sort, and had to go away for a while. I should not be surprised. Nineteen children. As for John, he was a failure in the New World when he tried to apply his Church of England principles on a raw populace. His strict principles failed in practice. He came back to England a humbled man and was better for it.

Now the principles I'd lived by were shaken, and all of a sudden I was alone on a rocky shore. I wondered, are there any heroes? There's a sense of betrayal, too. Both by the idols on their pedestals, and the institutions that put them there. Why have their flaws been glossed over?

These unhappy emotions were followed by relief. Maybe these perfect models cannot be followed, because nobody's perfect. Perhaps the endless search for perfection is the burden I am to put down. Of course no-one is superwoman. There's a price to pay by trying to do it all. Now that I have a clearer picture of these "perfect" models, I can give myself, and my principles, a break. I am now much more ready to put aside a cherished principle, if it proves to fail in practice. Instead of blaming the victim, blame my application. Try again.

Now, why have the institutions glossed over the flaws and for the casual observer, these heroes are modeled as perfect? I think this tendency comes from our desire for order in the universe. It would be so much easier to make it through this chaotic world if there were a list somewhere of do's and don'ts. The alternative is to weigh each decision examining personal motives, make the wrong decision anyways, and apologize a lot. The alternative is to be human.

Anyways, enough about what I wasn't going to talk about. I notice that the announcers for the flu shot are careful to preserve personal choice. It's up to you if you want to get your flu shot and your H1N1 shot later.
  • For those who don't want to take any risks at all, I guess you will be spending the next few months in the basement wearing an N95 mask eating tins of beans out of your emergency stash.

  • Some risk takers are hoping to get the real flu and get it over with.

  • I've weighed the relative risks and decided to go with both vaccines.

I notice that our slightly neurotic society doesn't like any risk at all. We prefer choices without ambiguity. Unlike our ancestors, we are unacquainted with death and tragedy and would prefer to skip that lesson altogether, thank you. If the story of generations is correct, however, our youngest generation will become all too familiar with overcoming adversity. We face a pandemic and a serious economic recovery at least. For a season, gone is the luxury of a hazard free life.

I guess the Wesleys and the flu shot do have something in common. There are no perfect choices. We all must bumble through the best we can, and apologize a lot.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Changing our Town

I just found out about on October 17 about participatory government. The event will be inviting participants to ask the question, “How do we re-imagine government and citizenship in the age of participation?” By participation they mean connecting through the monstrous, chaotic, glorious web.

On the web, the founders have a great site, On twitter you can find out more about Change Camp by following them here:

On twitter you can follow along on the progress of the Edmonton event by searching under #yegchange and you can post a comment by replying @yegchange. As you can see, I am new to twitter.

For facebook users, there's an event page.

You can also join the google group, Change Camp Edmonton.

There is even a change camp wiki.

For all of this exposure, I am finding little dialogue about how we might accomplish the stated goal. A great deal of the discussion is about organizing the events themselves. It seems a little cold. I wonder if perhaps critical mass has not been reached, where swarms of Canadians are drawn together to build, grow, learn, talk.

I am drawn like a moth to flame, though, at the prospect. Anything that helps connect those in need with those who can help.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Shakespeare and Never Passing on a Compliment

I got a compliment on my writing style yesterday, "You have a way with words." I'm still glowing. As I do with compliments, I analyse it, turn it around, savour it.

There are a few things that I do that make my words better. There are principles in the book "On Writing Well" by Zinsser, that still run through my head in everything I write. First of all is to write what I really mean. I always take one more look through my writing to see if anything can be cut. The result can be lean and hard-hitting. When I first started doing this, I even shocked myself. Did I really mean that? If I did, I sent it. Sometimes we couch in extra words in the hopes of softening the blow. But even cutting words are cleaner if they are sharp. No-one wants to be cut with a dull butter knife.

I can't help thinking also of Gladwell's description of talent acquisition. All it takes is 10,000 hours. I don't know how many hours I have racked up, but I do use my business writing skills every day.
Another great habit, even in business writing, is to never pass on a compliment. If someone has impressed me, I say so. And I tell them why. Look how a few nice words gave me a glow for a day. So is it for others who I pass on a compliment. And it's free.
As for Shakespeare, I was watching an episode of "Inside the Actors Studio" that got me thinking what it would be like if I had taken up acting. This is a good sign. If I am giving time to let my mind wander, that all-consuming project at work is beginning to lose its' hold.
Anyways, as we will do at mid-life, I wondered if it is too late to pursue a new activity. My body shape also is not exactly a casting ideal. Unless I were to be an extra on a fat farm or something.
But then I got to thinking about a role I've always relished; the nurse in Romeo and Juliet. I've always imagined her to be warm, round and jolly. She has the crudity of the common people, reminding me of Art's wonderful mother. She used to grab her breasts and roar how wonderful it is to be here in Canada. Look how she had grown! Anyways, I wonder if I might be able to take on a persona so completely, to be that person so completely that the audience would be carried with me through the story.
Let's see if I will add this to my lifetime achievement (or bucket) list, along with driving a race car and playing the piano.
Photo borrowed from Paul Dry Books.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Volunteering for the Homeless

Well, I'm back. I volunteered for the first time with Homeless Connect, Edmonton. This event is sponsored by Homeward Trust, Edmonton, and follows the example of the first Homeless Connect in San Francisco. The idea is to put all the sorts of resources that homeless and the street poor need in one place, like a large trade fair, and let these people know where to come. Connect.

A large army of volunteers work to make the experience as comfortable as possible. There are greeters at the door, and there are guides to personally escort the homeless to the services they are interested in.

In my pursuit of excellent examples of intake experience, I was curious what this event would be like. As a volunteer, I found the experience revelatory and profoundly satisfying. The event has no problem attracting volunteers. The place was swarming with blue volunteer t-shirts.

Revelatory because I had to get over my reservation to approach people I usually avoid. For their sake, I welcomed, directed, brought coffee, reassured, and gave eye contact and a smile. The experience was satisfying because I made the leap to humanity, and I felt cleaner for it. I had signed up for just half the day and I had a very, very hard time saying goodbye.

Not to say that there were no jarring notes. These are people living on the edge. Some have problems that make it difficult to relate in a social situation. The paranoids wanted to know what the catch was. We had a few rebel street kids there to goof and stir up trouble if they could. But the vast majority are so grateful for the leg up.

There were a few images that will haunt my memory, demonstrating how close to the edge some of these people are living. For sake of their privacy, I won't record all I saw.

I noticed a few opportunities for improvement, but we also got smarter as the morning went on. A coffee and muffin station was offered to those in line this year, and it quickly became clear that it was smarter to bring the treats to them. This led also to some mess near the doors, which kept the cleaning staff busy full time. I could tell that this task did not thrill the Shaw staff.

I did see a chance to even out the intake process. This is the biggest delay in getting the homeless hooked up with the services they are so patiently waiting for. Intake workers filled out a double sided questionnaire for every applicant. Some of the paranoids in my line questioned why they were being asked for so much information. A few were certain that the information was being kept on a big government server somewhere. It speaks to their great need that they persisted in spite of their fears.

Now, I understand an administrator's desire for more information on the homeless. The more you know about the makeup of those you are trying to help, the better you can focus your efforts. However, the organizers now have detailed information from three events like this. Perhaps it is time to put the forms down.

Taking examples from the big retailers (Wal-Mart, E-Bay, Amazon), don't get between the customer and the service. Also, take care with the questions that are asked. The questions, though anonymous, are highly personal, and could evoke a deep emotional response. Are we ready to deal with all that - forcing these people to face how dire their situation really is?

What is the minimum you need to know? Perhaps the same amount of detail could be provided by having a couple of head counters (one for male, one for female) at the door with clickers, and providing the arm bands like you do now to prevent re-counting. (By the way, the form allowed for male, female, and transgender). Roving surveyors could ask for detailed information from, say, one in a hundred. And perhaps the event could learn a few things from improvement tools like Kaizen, which teaches that the best way to get to the source of the problem is through direct observation, or gemba.

The next even is in May and if I can make it, I will be there.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Caretaker's Rant and other things...

A Caretaker's Rant

Oh, my. It was a tough week with my son. He had a slip-up and used drugs. I was alert enough to notice the signs and I called him on it. He's apologized profusely and he promises to hook up with resources for help.

We went out to a movie together last night and afterward I told him how hard it is on me to follow him on his trips down. Most of the time he is struggling on a path of slow improvement. I drew a long, slow slope up the mountain with my finger. I help him along and encourage him on this path. Then he drops. My finger dropped. If I am following him on his progress, news of his failure drags me down, too. I made it clear I don't want to follow him on his path downward. It is too hard for me. He remembered that I'd said in the past that it is not fair for him to use me as his confessional. He might feel better, but I am left with the burden of another failure. And the worry.

As encouragement I did remind him it was much worse years ago, when months would go by where I would not hear from him, he did not admit to any problem, and I would not know if he were alive or dead.

Evangelical Snobbery

When I first caught wind that my son might be having a bad, bad week, I considered calling his assigned case worker. This man is an evangelical Christian and has encouraged my son to rebuke the devil (reminding Schizophrenics of demons and devils makes me shudder), study his bible more, and attend church regularly.

Now, I come from an Evangelical Church background, so I understand where this man is coming from. But, reader please be patient with me. Regardless what your belief system is, be careful in your beliefs that you don't try and fit all problems in to your mold. I've seen this error in the secular world as much as with the devout.

As a veteran Christian, I am coming to dislike that peculiar type of evangelical snobbery that suggests that there is only one answer and only one way. I am sure this counsellor would dismiss my suggestions if there were the slightest whiff that I might be "unsaved". I've exchanged the evangelical code words that should settle him on this point. Thank God I won't be held hostage to a conversation about my spiritual state.

But also, with the colored glasses of the evangelical, is this counsellor missing the obvious? My son's previous case worker was so practical in her approach. She spoke to my son about respect - showing for appointments on time - his dress - washing regularly. Her approach worked. My son is now religiously punctual. Just imagine how reassuring it is to me that he will show up for his appointed meetings and be speaking to a professional about how his week is going. What a relief for me. How much progress my son has made.

So, as a veteran Christian, I have no patience for mis-applied principles or beliefs. If the principle does not work, we don't blame the victim. Revisit the application of our beliefs. I may have to have a frank conversation with this case worker.

A Great Volunteer Space

Signing up for Homeless Connect yesterday, I was treated to a wonderfully designed volunteer sign up page. The questions were well-designed and in the right order. I received a prompt call-back and I have clear on expectations on my job. While they were at it, the volunteer page collected a lot of information on my interests, which may connect me to similar events and agencies in the future. The website is My Volunteer Page, and it is powered by software called Volunteer2. Kudos to the developers.

I'll be sure to document my experience with Homeless Connect. They are expecting over a thousand visitors to this one-day event to help hook up the street poor with available services. All I've read suggests that this is a world-class intake experience.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Allowing myself the freedom.... make mistakes.

I'm pretty sure my first response when someone is unhappy with a result is to do better next time. I don't think too hard about whose responsibility it is; I just jump in to do my part.

There is some logic to this approach. I will only have limited success in changing others. After all, I only have full control over changing me.

But - if I do not hold others accountable to do their part, or don't take the time to explain how their approach hurt me or hurt the situation - am I not doing them a disservice? Even though I may be able to see their error clearly, it does not follow that they do, too.

For my sensitive friends who are afraid to bring up the tough subjects, I ask if they would let a friend walk down the street with a tag sticking out of their collar. Or even worse, their skirt hiked in to their waistband when they leave the washroom? Of course not. A true friend helps out a friend with what they can't see. Kindly of course.

So why do I beat up myself so bad, if I failed to hand a situation perfectly? Cannot I allow the same generosity I give my friends, and promise to do better "next time"?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey A. Moore

I'm capturing some key thoughts from this book to keep in mind when I take on future projects. The chasm is the gap between Early Adopters and Early Majority (pragmatists). Early Adopters troll for innovations across industry (horizontal). They are easy to find and convince. However, these mavericks represent a very small segment of the population. Pragmatists, on the other hand, network amongst themselves (vertically), and are naturally suspicious of change. Change comes with the inherent risk of disruption and failure. Pragmatists therefore won't adopt innovation until it has been proven in their industry.

The innovator's challenge, therefore, is to invade a new market similar to the invasion on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Pour all resources on establishing a beach-head. Then move on from there.

How do you decide where to invest your resources? "First you divide up the universe of possible customers into market sgements. Then you evaluate each segment for its attractiveness. After your targets are narrowed develop estimates of such factors as the market niches' size, their accessibility to distribution, and the degree to which they are well defended by competitors. Then you pick one and go after it." (p. 89)

Sounds easy, right? The problem is making such a high risk decision in a low data arena.

"[Statistics] is like sausage - your appetite for it lessens considerably once you know how it is made...when you hear [the marketer] saying things like, 'It will be a billion-dollar market in 1995. If we only get 5 percent of that market...' When you hear that sort of stuff, exit gracefully, holding on to your wallet." (p. 91)

I look forward to reading more, to see if there are pitfalls to avoid, or new ways of reading the pragmatist's market. How do we help them relate to new ideas? How do we help them make the leap to adoption?

Picture borrowed from Blend Gateway.

Mind blank...

Here's some great quotes:

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." BrainyQuote - Barack Obama

"If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists - to protect them and to promote their common welfare - all else is lost." BrainyQuote - Barack Obama

"...for down through history death has come to all men, (and yet society survives); but the people who have no confidence (in their rulers) are undone." Janet's Home Page Confucious (p. 23, xii 7)

"Moral power does not live alone. It is sure to have neighbours" - Janet's Home Page Confucious (p. 21, iv 25)

By the way, the work that absorbs will be done on October 9. Then I come back, mind and soul.