Saturday, February 06, 2016

Well, it must be time to once again post some mundane thoughts here on the Totalamazement blog!
Sorry, I got nothing.  Maybe later.  See ya!

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Perfect Diet

A friend that I worked with gave me the perfect diet advice. Both Arlene and I have taken his advice to heart and collectively have lost over 100 pounds.

I now share his advice to the perfect diet.

Eat less, exercise more!


Thursday, March 05, 2009

Earth Hour

Tweet and update your Facebook and MySpace pages with the latest on Earth Hour.

Monday, February 23, 2009

2009 Oscars were well done for a change

Each year Arlene and I watch the Oscars and each year we connect online at, and bop around to the various Oscars live blogging locations. We do this mainly because there are always long periods of not so great moments.

This year was different. First, because the site could not handle the load, we missed doing predictions, etc. Next, because the broadcast was exceptionally well done.

It moved along at a good pace.

The various entertainment selections were well done with Hugh Jackman providing both talent, humor and a personal touch.

The venue was more intimate and more connected with the in-house audience, which gave the evening a better feel.

And finally, but most importantly, was the manner in which the best acting Oscars were announced. For each nominee, a past winner arrived to give a short testimonial to that nominee. Some sounded as if they were written for them while others came across as personal congratulations from the presenter. It was the first time I felt that the Oscars lived up to the oft stated "I appreciate this award so much because it comes from my peers, people in the business". This year the presentations felt that way and far more personal.

Great job Oscars.

P.S. Really, fix your online presence for next year. It really, really sucked this year.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Trying out Windows Live Writer to post to Blogger

In testing the Windows 7 OS, I downloaded the Windows Live suite which includes Windows Live Writer.  This post was generated using WLW.

IMG_1902 This is a picture posted via WLW of my cutie.

This is of course a video trailer for Feeds from Space.

The WLW setup appears to work quite well. 

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Mind set change: "To get more, want less!" Rich Hand 1999

Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The 13 Behaviors of Trusted Leaders

Just started reading the book The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey with Rebecca R. Merrill, not surprising there are many points relevant to the situations we are seeing today. From the Wall Street crisis to the credit debacle to the presidential race, trust is a key point that arises time after time. In addition, the rumblings surrounding these seem to be asking the same questions. Those rumblings include "we need strong leadership" and "who can we trust?". This hit home with me as I watched both the panic within the U.S. stock market and the various headlines and sound bites from the two 2008 presidential candidates.

I found a quick reference handout that briefly describes the 13 behaviors. As you read through these, think about how these apply to you and those folks we are hoping are the real leaders in the world.

  1. Talk straight -

    • Be honest.
    • Tell the truth and leave the right impression.
    • Let people know where you stand.
    • Use simple language.
    • Call things what they are.
    • Demonstrate integrity.
    • Don't manipulate people or distort facts.
    • Don't spin the truth.
    • Don't leave false impressions.

  2. Demonstrate respect -

    • Genuinely care for others.
    • Show you care.
    • Respect the dignity of every person and every role.
    • Treat everyone with respect, especially those who can't do anything for you.

  3. Create transparency -

    • Tell the truth in a way people can verify.
    • Get real and be genuine.
    • Be open and authentic.
    • Err on the side of disclosure.
    • Don't have hidden agendas.
    • Don't hide information.

  4. Right wrongs -

    • Make things right when you're wrong.
    • Apologize quickly.
    • Make restitution where possible.
    • Practice "service recoveries".
    • Demonstrate personal humility.
    • Don't cover things up.
    • Don't let pride get in the way of doing the right thing.

  5. Show loyalty -

    • Give credit freely.
    • Acknowledge the contributions of others.
    • Speak about people as if they were present.
    • Represent others who aren't there to speak for themselves.
    • Don't bad mouth others behind their backs.
    • Don't disclose others' private information.

  6. Deliver results -

    • Establish a track record of results.
    • Get the right things done.
    • Make things happen.
    • Accomplish what you're hired to do.
    • Be on time and within budget.
    • Don't over promise and under deliver.
    • Don't make excuses for not delivering.

  7. Get better -

    • Continuously improve.
    • Increase your capabilities.
    • Be a constant learner.
    • Develop feedback systems, both formal and informal.
    • Act on the feedback you receive.
    • Thank people for feedback.
    • Don't consider yourself above feedback.
    • Don't assume today's knowledge and skills will be sufficient for tomorrow's challenges.

  8. Confront reality -

    • Address the tough stuff directly.
    • Acknowledge the unsaid.
    • Lead out courageously in conversation.
    • Remove the "sword from their hands."
    • Don't skirt the real issues.

  9. Clarify expectations -

    • Disclose and reveal expectations.
    • Discuss them.
    • Validate them.
    • Renegotiate them if needed and possible.
    • Don't violate expectations.
    • Don't assume that expectations are clear or shared.

  10. Practice accountability -

    • Hold yourself and others accountable.
    • Take responsibility for results.
    • Be clear on how you'll communicate how you're doing and how others are doing.
    • Don't avoid or shirk responsibility.
    • Don't blame others or point fingers when things go wrong.

  11. Listen first -

    • Listen before you speak.
    • Understand.
    • Diagnose.
    • Listen with your ears and your eyes and heart.
    • find out what the most important behaviors are to the people you're working with.
    • Don't assume you know what matters most to others.
    • Don't presume you have all the answers or all the questions.

  12. Keep commitments -

    • Say what you're going to do. Then do what you say you're going to do.
    • Make commitments carefully and keep them.
    • Make keeping commitments the symbol of your honor.
    • Don't break confidences.
    • Don't attempt to "PR" your way out of a broken commitment.

  13. Extend trust -

    • Demonstrate a propensity to trust.
    • Extend trust abundantly to those who have earned your trust.
    • Extend trust conditionally to those who are earning your trust.
    • Learn how to appropriately extend trust to others based on the situation, risk, and credibility (character and competence) of people involved. But have the propensity to trust.
    • Don't withhold trust when there is risk involved.

More information about this book
Courses are available.

Always keep an open mind but a watchful eye.