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Showing posts from March, 2010

Life as a To-Do List

I am between projects. A few of my active clients and business partners have taken the week off for spring break. So, I have little going on this week. My to-do list is sparse.I started working on a little project to get myself off of Microsoft Outlook. I am thinking of a new computer, and I don’t think I’ll spend the money on Microsoft Office this time around. There are too many far less expensive alternatives. For my calendar and to-do list, I decided to go old-school and bought a weekly planner at Office Depot. I transferred my appointments and tasks over this morning (my contact list is another problem altogether, one I am still working on).I’m a list guy. Making lists calms me. Sometimes when I can’t sleep at night a list written at 2:30 AM will shut my brain off and allow me to sleep. Crossing items off my list gives me satisfaction.But, I fear my life may have devolved to my to-do list. Some days it seems ALL I do is what’s on the list. My life lacks spontaneity; it’s too regim…

Deliveryman Fiction

I get lots of odd requests in my business, but this one didn’t really rate high on my all-time list. Picking up cargo at 4:30 in the morning was inconvenient, especially considering the way I spent most evenings, but not really all that unusual. What I found when I arrived at the rundown warehouse was another story.
"Colin. On time as usual," Joe said.
"Hi Joe. Everything set to go?" I asked. Joe is an artist. He  hired me to deliver one of his sculptures to a warehouse in LaCrosse. In my business I didn’t ask too many questions. But, I did wonder why he needed an armored van and an armed driver for a sculpture done by a talented, but still relatively unknown, artist. I noticed the woman standing next to him.
“Who’s she?” I asked.
"Let's go into my office. We need to talk," Joe said.
We walked to the back of the warehouse. I plopped down on the leather sofa in his office.
"Want some coffee?" he asked.
"Who's t…

Gas Prices

When gas prices spiked a few years ago I read lots of whining about the “environmental whackos”. The complaint was that no new refineries had been built in years and couldn’t be built because of excessive environmental regulations.Imagine my surprise when today’s Tribune reported that refiners are shutting down refineries at a brisk clip here in the United States and places with lax environmental regulations. Environmental whackos? Of course not. The refiners are trying to maintain their profits. This isn’t my guess – the article quotes them. They are shutting down refineries, firing workers, all to keep the supply down and the prices up. Logical free market capitalism – and of course, completely legal. But, let’s not hear any more stories that  overzealous people in pursuit of clean air and water are the reason gas prices are high. While I acknowledge environmental regulations have an influence, let’s not overlook corporate profits and CEO bonuses.Which do you think has the greater i…

Unrealistic Positive Thinking

I’ve written on this topic before, so I’ll try not to repeat too much. I think that the peculiarly American brand of gung-ho optimism is partially responsible for our recent economic meltdown. The “What Me Worry?” attitude hurt us. I ran across this quote that I think sums it up nicely:“What passes for optimism is most often the effect of an intellectual error.”Raymond AronI don’t know who this guy is, but I think he summed up the housing bubble / Wall Street idiocy quite well.