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Archive for August, 2011

I Like This – August 30, 2011

August 29th, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Shared Items Tags:

What I’m Reading…Read This Before Our Next Meeting

August 28th, 2011 Comments off

I am reading this book, for free, courtesy of Seth Godin’s Domino Project and their sponsors. It looks as if that deal has expired, but the book is worth checking out. — Douglas

Read this

Read This Before Our Next Meeting

by Al Pittampalli

One mediocre meeting after another quietly corrodes our organization, and every day we allow it to happen. Culture change occurs when a transformational idea spreads to enough people. Like a virus that makes its way from person to person, spreading exponentially faster, so can the Modern Meeting. The status quo must go. Now. Before it’s too late. 1. Meet only to support a decision that has already been made. 2. Move fast. End on schedule. 3. Limit the number of attendees. 4. Reject the unprepared. 5. Produce committed action plans. 6. Refuse to be informational. Read the memo, it’s mandatory. 7. Work with brainstorms, not against them. CUT THIS OUT AND BRING IT TO OUR NEXT MEETING.

Read more about this book on



Categories: Books Tags:

Memory of Vacations Past

August 26th, 2011 Comments off

Boarding Pass, originally uploaded by dewelch.

I found this stub from a boarding pass inside of my purse today. Hard to believe our trip ended just over a week ago. Good times, Good Times!

Categories: Photos-Photography, Uncategorized Tags:

What I’m Reading…Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything Fast

August 26th, 2011 Comments off

Instant influence

Another book in my “To Read” stack. A review will be coming soon if I deem it worthy of one. — Douglas

Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything–Fast

by Michael Pantalon

If you want to motivate your employees to be more productive, convince your customers to use more of your products and services, encourage a loved one to engage in healthier habits, or inspire any change in yourself, renowned psychologist Dr. Michael Pantalon can show you how to achieve Instant Influence in six simple steps. Drawing on three decades of research, Dr. Pantalon’s easy-to-learn method can create changes both great and small in 7 minutes or less. This scientifically tested method succeeds in every area of work and life by helping people tap into their deeply personal reasons for wanting to change and finding a spark of “yes” within an answer that sounds like “no.”



Categories: Books, Business Tags:

I Like This – August 23, 2011

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Shared Items Tags:

Book Review: Garden of Secrets Past by Anthony Eglin

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off

Garden of secrets past

Book Review: Garden of Secrets Past by Anthony Eglin: An English Garden Mystery
Minotaur Books, 2011

I have been a big fan of Anthony Eglin’s books since reading the first English Garden Mystery, The Blue Rose. He caught me immediately with his protagonist, Lawrence Kingston, who was a learned and avid gardener as well as a bit of a sleuth in the traditional English model. I considered Lawrence Kingston a bit of a garden-digging Hercule Poirot. Sure, he doesn’t get things right all the time and he is often a bit naive about the personal danger he places himself in, but he loves the hunt like a faithful hound who never strays from the scent. Of course, in these books the scent is more likely to be from a beautiful rose or fragrant lily than that of a fox.

In Garden of Secrets Past, Eglin steps up the mystery several notches with the inclusion of even more shady characters, a secret code and a bit of a love interest for, no longer young, Kingston. He also expands our knowledge of Kingston’s relationship with his his friend, Andrew, who looks staged to become a sidekick in the vein of Poirot’s Captain Hastings or Miss Marples various friends and relations that accompany her on her mysteries.

While the gardening information is a bit light in this episode of the English Garden Mystery series, the mystery is top-notch. Sure, the story revolves around a major garden, but we don’t get lessons in Water Lily propagation or the reasons why a blue rose is basically impossible. It mattered little in the end, though, as the mystery pulled me through the book quite quickly. Despite reading it on a vacation in Sicily, between family visits, long meals and excursions, I finished the book in about 4 days. I caught myself, several times, reading long after I should have retired for the night while I looked for that final twist or clue that would make everything clear. To me, this is the best judge of the quality of any book. You should never really want to put it down.

It is good to see the character of Kingston developing a bit of a “history” as the book continue. Where before people took little notice of the gardening academic, now his reputation proceeds him with both police and those he is interviewing and questioning. I like seeing the growth in the character and his reputation, just as I would in a real person.

As I have said in past reviews of Eglin’s books, the combination of gardening with mystery suits me perfectly. I love both and to find a place where they are seamlessly merged is a bit of reading nirvana. I look forward to the next episode in Lawrence Kingston’s career.

I was provided an advanced review copy of this book from the publisher, but the opinions here are expressly my own.


Categories: Books Tags:

All of our pictures from Sicily now available!

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off

Getty Aphrodite statue in its new place of honor in Aidone at the Morgantina museumIf you would like to take journey through the island of Sicily, dive into all the photos from out 3 weeks journey.

I originally released these each day while we were on the trip, but now all of them are collected on my Flickr account.

You can peruse the entire photostream or select each day’s “set” and run a slide show directly from Flickr.

I hope you enjoy the pictures — Douglas

View Flickr Photostream

View Sicily Slideshow on Flickr

Categories: Photos-Photography, Travel Tags:

Video: Our friend, Bill Farmer, the voice of Goofy, on KCAL9 News

August 20th, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Event, News, Video Tags:

CareerCampSFV (San Fernando Valley) – Saturday, September 24, 2011

August 18th, 2011 Comments off

Careercamp sq lg


Join us for CareerCampSFV this September. Get your free tickets here!

A full day of great discussions, speakers and career building information to “Help you Build the Career You Deserve!”

The Congregational Church of Northridge

9659 Balboa Boulevard

Northridge, CA 91325


Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at CareerCampSFV!


Next Meeting: FREE Shakespeare in Griffith Park

August 18th, 2011 Comments off, August 26, 2011 from 7pm – 10pm

The Old Zoo, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA [Map]

RSVP by clicking “Leave a comment” above or

RSVP on Facebook

Coffee and Casual Conversation

This is NOT a technology event, although we sometimes talk tech, as the mood strikes us. We talk about books, movies, pet peeves, TV, coffee, wine — whatever strikes our fancy! (SMILE)


Join us at this FREE outdoors performance of Love’s Labor Lost by the Independent Shakespeare Company.

Bring your own chairs, food and drink. Dress warmly – the park can get quite cold at night.

Complete information and directions are available on the Independent Shakespeare Company’s web site at


Call 818-804-5049 if you need help locating us the evening of the event.

Categories: California, Event, LA, Los Angeles, Theater Tags: