Month: February 2009

100 books

I had an idea I thought might be both fun and smart. And while that’s fairly uncharted territory for me, I think I’m going to run with it. You see, not long ago Seth Godin published a post where, among other things, he wrote about the number one habit successful people share. The secret? 

“They read books to learn. They do it often and with joy.” 

In the years since I graduated I can count on one hand the number of books I’ve read to learn. I read a ton on the Web, I squeeze in a Steven Brust or Stephen R. Donaldson when I can, but finding the time to sink into a book that really concentrates on professional growth has proven to be a challenge.

I hope to change that.

You see, in that same post Seth also plugged a new book that just might help. It’s called The 100 Best Business Books of All Time and you can check it out here. My copy should be arriving any day now, and when it does, I’ll begin this new experiment of mine. It goes something like this:

In no particular order (as I can find them, more than likely) I’m going to read these 100 books. Then I’m going to tell you about them, so maybe you can learn a little bit as I’m doing the same. I’m hoping that by the time I get through the list I’ll have picked up at least a portion of wisdom that I can apply to my career. What do you think?

Facebook, privacy, and common sense

While our conversation was about (and through, for that matter) Twitter, the observations  a friend and I had about privacy and the Internet during an exchange yesterday could just as easily have been about any of the social networking sites, personal Websites, blogs, or the countless other ways personal information ends up on the Web.

The conclusion was as simple as it is commonly ignored or just forgotten: don’t be a knuckle-head.

You see, visit a person’s profile on Twitter and, among other things, you’ll find a comprehensive list of their updates (posts/tweets). This is assuming they haven’t deleted them, of course. From links to a great article to random bitches about politics, every tweet you’ve ever made is out there for anyone to see. And people are looking.

You might be surprised just how people can find you. Looking through the stats for this blog, I discovered someone found their way here through the following search:

search-term-that-found-blog1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post they found was about customer service, but you never know what search engines are going to dig up once you’ve broadcast. It’s out there, is what I’m saying. The conversation I mentioned above was actually more about the potential professional impact of social networks, but if you’re an employer and thinking about an applicant I think you’d be silly not to look and see if they have a Twitter account. Or MySpace page. Or LinkedIn profile. You get the idea.

And for those in the market of finding a job, it might make sense to take a few minutes and make sure your public face is the one you actually want people to see…

House, smokin’ kitties, and a long-awaited film (part two)

Addendum: Part one of this post should have probably began something a little like this: What follows really has almost nothing to do with a television show. It’s not about politics, the writer’s strike, or even the brilliant Ms Egan. It’s actually about an old movie, a new movie, and why single parents should show some restraint.

That might have kept you guessing. Thanks for keeping me honest, TW. At any rate,  part two:

tron2When I was a boy I received a letter. It was the summer of 1982 and I was a couple of days into a visit with my grandparents in Indiana when it arrived. Two pages long and filled with pretty, rounded letters, I must have read it about a dozen times before I boarded the plane back to Houston.

I’d been asked out on a date, you see.

Her name was Sandy, and she was a woman I’d met really only a few weeks before I left for Indiana. I say ‘woman’ because she was old. I’m talking late twenties kind of old. Beautiful and funny; her only flaw as far as I could tell was that she had the bad taste to go out with my father. Bollocks.

I don’t remember how long they dated – I think it was only a couple of months – but the important thing, the thing I do remember clearly, is just how sweet and kind she was to a fairly adrift boy.

 And she asked me to go and see Tron. How cool was that?

A quick sidebar – one of the main characters in House is played by a lovely actress named Olivia Wilde. Combine Jennifer Connelly’s intensity with Michelle Pfeiffer’s elegance and you have a pretty good snapshot of Ms Wilde. As I’ve been enamored with both of those actresses for more years than I can count, I think it’s fair to say I didn’t stand a chance when Wilde joined the cast. Smokin’ kitties, indeed.

But I was talking about Sandy. Alas, we never did have our date. Not long after I returned to Houston she and my father called it quits and as sweet as she was, a movie with the son of an ex-boyfriend just wasn’t in the cards. So, a month or so later when the film premiered I saw it with a friend from school instead.

And I was in absolute bliss.

C’mon – it was Tron, for crying out loud. I could have been forced to watch it suspended upside down over a fire and it would have been incredible. Anyone who saw it as a kid knows what I mean. It was one of those movies that changes everything and leaves you grinning and shaking your head in wonder.

Which is why, finally, I’m very, very happy to tell you about Tron 2.0.  Scheduled for release in 2011, it’s currently in pre-production. Jeff Bridges is back as Kevin Flynn; Bruce Boxleitner is back, too. A new face you’ll see for this film is an actress I mentioned above – Olivia Wilde. All in all, you could say I’m a little jazzed.

Want to see for yourself? This is the teaser trailer shown at Comic-Con. The quality is so-so, but you’ll want to watch through to the end. Enjoy…

Stand by…

Folks, sorry for the absence. I’ve had two very sick ladies at home (holy cow can a baby vomit) so keeping up here as fallen back a bit. Look for new thoughts this weekend, as well as part two of House, smokin’ kitties, and a long-awaited film. A good buddy at work has presented a few observations and suggestions and I’m looking forward to some fun writing. As always, thanks for coming.