thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, August 31


2 gmail invites. email me if you want one. (happyweebleAThotmailDOTcom)


Email Woes

Do you ever get kind of P.O.'d when people send out a mass email with your name in the cc: list? Congratulations! You just gained about 100 new e-friends and then a few hundred more after they forward the email out to all of their friends. By noon tomorrow, 14,331 people have your email address.


The solution? Shut down all your of your email accounts and move to an underground bunker.


Educate all of your friends on how to better utilize email by forwarding them Elly Markson's new manifesto @ - "How to be a Boor: Nine Things Everyone You Know Should Know About Email". It's honest. It's cute. It's clever. And, it's not you saying it.



Learning to Thrive in Times of Change

"Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity.
It is what allows us to recover from change or hardship."

We all go through seasons of change and transition in our lives. When the change feels good or is clearly working directly in our favor, we tend to ride the wave positively. On the other hand, those "good" feelings aren't always there and uncertainly often times stares us right in the eyes.

It's smack dab in the middle of these transitional moments that we either grow stronger and more resilient or we begin a decline (sometimes rapidly) into a deep well where we lose our flexibility, our focus and tend to sink into a pit of self-pity and self-focus.

The Center for Creative Leadership lists 9 areas that will help us become more resilient in times of change and transition. Here they are:
  • Accept change. Change is constant and inevitable, and successful managers accept it rather than resist it.
  • Become a continuous learner. Learn new skills, gain new understanding and apply them during times of change.
  • Take charge. Embrace self-empowerment. (side note: I prefer God empowerment. It's better and He knows more than I do.)
  • Find your sense of purpose. A clear sense of purpose helps you to assess setbacks within the framework of a broader perspective.
  • Pay attention to self-identity. Form your identity apart from your job.
  • Cultivate relationships. Develop and nurture a broad network of personal and professional relationships.
  • Reflect. Reflection fosters learning, new perspectives and a degree of self-awareness that can enhance your resiliency.
  • Skill shift. Question your definition of yourself and your career. Reframe how you see your skills, talents and interests.
  • Re-think money. Resiliency is not tied to your net worth. Living beyond your means, or even to the very limit, undermines your flexibility in the face of change.

Link (must be a subscriber to CCL - well worth it and FREE!)


Monday, August 30

Japanese Ice Cream

Ok, I'm officially grossed out. The best of Japanese Ice Cream.

And you think Ben & Jerry's has a diverse selection? Check these out:

Raw Horseflesh Ice Cream
Goat Ice Cream (not just goat milk...)
Whale Ice Cream
Shark Fin Noodle Ice Cream

Check out the photo gallery...

Link (Thanks Sandy)


Hodge Radio

A friend of mine got me hooked on Yahoo's LAUNCHcast. LAUNCHcast is a customizable online radio station that attempts to play YOUR style of music all the time.

Here's how it works - when you sign up (it's free), you go through a music selection process and indicate your favorite music genres and artists. LAUNCHcast then takes all of your information and builds a radio station with your favorite artists or other artists similiar in style. As each song plays, you can rate the song/artist and whether or not you like it. The more data it collects the more personlized your station becomes.

On my playlist: Coldplay, REM, Norah Jones, BNL, John Mayer, Moby, Switchfoot...



Innovation VS. Imagination

John Moore at Brand Autopsy has posted a very simple, yet practical thought on innovation.

in-no-va-tion (n.): an idea in action

Another way to look at this is:

Idea + Action = INNOVATION
Idea + no action = IMAGINATION
Big difference between innovation and imagination.



Friday, August 27

My Life

Sometimes I feel conflicted as to how personal I want this blog to be. I have a couple hundred regulars who read my blog and out of all of those readers, I know maybe half of them. While I'm glad I have a lot of "visitors" on my site, it causes me to be hesitant as to how transparent and open I will be about personal things (i.e. family, personal struggles, etc...) On the other hand, I really, really value authenticity and personality and I want that to always be a part of my blog.

Plus, I know a bunch of you know me and my family really well, so I need to occasionally let everyone know what's going on. Maybe I'll start another blog up down the road that covers the more personal side of my life.

So with that said - here's an update:

As most of you know, Amanda is about to burst. September 15th she is due to give birth to our second daughter. And yes, we know it's going to be a girl. If the doctors are wrong, I can see now that our future son will have some issues. Kidding...

Elise (our first child who is 4 1/2 years old) is super excited and has been practicing being a big sister to her thousands (ok, about 10 or 15) dolls. She is getting pretty good at being bossy too. She is as sweet as ever and is looking forward to having her VERY OWN room in our new home (which interestingly enough is scheduled to be completed on Sept. 15th too...).

I am excited. It's weird because it hasn't seemed to hit home with me that in a matter of days we will have another little one in our lives. I'm not nervous like I was with Elise, and I assume that's because I know what to expect. Ready or not, I will be faced with the reality soon! And the truth is, I'm really looking forward to holding this little girl in my arms. So innocent... (For a while anyway...)

Thanks for the notes and phone calls everyone! Pretty soon this blog will be plastered with pictures of a small tiny human. (Sorry, can't disclose the name yet!)


Thursday, August 26

Matt's New Blog

Congrats to Matt Barrett on his new blog (even thought he is from Iowa...).



Beat It

I hopped back into the 80's time machine today in my car. Circa 1982 - Michael Jackson's song, "Beat It".

Oh, the memories... I have to admit that I had my share of Jackson freakage going on as a kid. I was 9 years old. I had the white glove. I had the red jacket with the zippers. The large egg shaped sunglasses. My mom bought me all of that stuff and had no idea that this was Michael Jackson inspired.

In fact, I'll never forget the time that I excitedly put some quarters into those candy machines at the grocery store and gotten about 3 or 4 photos of Michael Jackson that I quickly put in my wallet. One day at church my mom found my wallet that had apparently fallen out of my pocket and found the pictures. I was ashamed (and almost beaten). The pictures were probably burned, because Lord knows that a young man in the church sure as heck better not have any pictures of Michael Jackson (aka satan) in his possession. Ahhh... the memories....

Did you get hit with the MJ syndrome?


Is Fast Company Still Relevant?

Brand Autopsy has had a good discussion going on regarding Fast Company magazine and whether or not they are still "fast" and relevant.

I continue to be a fan of Fast Company, but I've also watched them morph into a different "feel" in the last couple of years. But - I usually always walk away from FC with some fresh ideas and perspectives.


Do you read Fast Company? If so, what do you think? Have they lost their edge? Are they still "fast"?


Wednesday, August 25

Corporate Weblogs

Thinking about starting a blog for your company or organization? Be sure to read The Corporate Weblog Manifesto (pdf) over at ChangeThis.

Here's ours. Simple, yet effective way to communicate to people what is happening in our church community.

Does your company/church/organization have a weblog? If not, why? If so, tell us about it!


Tuesday, August 24


This is was one of my daughter's toys. It's a bright orange alligator we got down in Florida a couple of years ago. It was shoved in a drink I ordered.

Last night I got up in the middle of the night to go the bathroom and it was sitting on the toilet seat. Scared the ******* out of me...

Bye bye gator.


Dim Sum

New York City blogger Cia has a great index of Dim Sum images.

Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese meal (usually morning or early afternoon) that consists of small samplings of everything from shrimp and pork dumplings to deep-fried egg rolls to green peppers with shrimp filling, etc... "Dim Sum" is a Cantonese term literally meaning "touching your heart".

If you live in the Chicago area and have never tried Dim Sum - let's go! The Phoenix Restaurant in Chinatown is my favorite.

Check out Cia's Dim Sum image gallery here.



Toogle is the latest Google spoof that creates text versions of the Google image search feature.


Link (via)


Monday, August 23

How to Be Creative

I'm a little late on this, but gapingvoid had a great post entitled, "How to Be Creative".

They list out 19. Here they are:

1. Ignore everybody.
2. The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to change the world.
3. Put the hours in.
4. If your biz plan depends on you suddenly being "discovered" by some big shot, your plan will probably fail.
5. You are responsible for your own experiences.
6. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
7. Keep your day job.
8. Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.
9. Everybody has their own private Mount Everest they were put on this earth to climb.
10. The more talented somebody is, the less they need the props.
11. Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
12. If you accept the pain, it cannot hurt you.
13. Never compare your inside with somebody else's outside.
14. Dying young is overrated.
15. The most important thing a creative person can learn professionally is where to draw the red line that separates what you are willing to do, and what you are not.
16. The world is changing.
17. Merit can be bought. Passion can't.
18. Avoid the watercooler gang.
19. Sing in your own voice.
The entire article can be found here.


Sunday, August 22

The Wayback Machine

I'm probably the last person online to realize that this site exists, but it is very, very cool...

You type in the website address of any website and it will attempt to show you the site exactly as it has appeared over the past few years (but not before 1996).



Friday, August 20

Search Term

Today I looked at what search phrases have recently brought people to my site. I'm still trying to figure out one of them. Ready?

Mocha Sweet Transsexual

Hmmmm.... For some reason, I don't remember that post.


Thursday, August 19

Front Page News

347 newspaper front pages from 43 countries presented alphabetically. You can also view enlarged .pdf files of each front page. Great site.




I'm sitting in Starbucks. A young guy (maybe 23-25) walks by and I smell the strong aroma of bengay.



Does It Pay To Control Our Emotions?

A study done in 2000 indicates that trying to control our emotions in intense and upsetting situations might actually have considerable "cognitive costs".

The report, published by the American Psychological Association, indicates, "...expressive suppression, ("keeping a stiff upper lip") requires continual self-monitoring and self-correction which uses cognitive resources and therefore decreases the accuracy of the memory of the event."


(Thanks to Pam Fox Rollin from IdeaShape for forwarding me the article.)


Wednesday, August 18

Homosexuals & Evangelicals

Scott Williams has written a challenging post regarding the church and homosexuals. I'll comment my thoughts on this in a later post, but this is definitely worth a read.



Starbucks Gossip Weblog

The latest in coffee blogging - Starbucks Gossip.

Link (via)


Tuesday, August 17

Lessons Learned...

The leader’s highest moments of development usually occur during challenging times.

We don’t like that. We want to read a few leadership books and articles and leave it at that. We don’t want to go through all of the crap that leadership requires us to go through. We want to “play” leader without paying the price.

You show me a great leader (and I’m not talking about titles) and I will show you an individual who has gone through some tough times. And I’m pretty certain that it was in those “tough times” that some of their greatest lessons were learned.

I’ve gone through some tough times, but in no way am I going to be naive enough to think that these learning moments are over.

A couple of years ago I went through one of these experiences. I was working for some very controlling and manipulative “leaders” (and I use that term lightly…) and it was one of the hardest experiences we've ever had to deal with. I’m still learning from that experience, but there are few things I can clearly identify as lessons learned:

1. Follow your gut.

Almost every time I ignore my gut feeling, I regret it. Author Daniel Goleman writes about following your gut instinct and how our brains collect information over a period of time based on good/bad decisions made and life experience in his book, Primal Leadership (A must read!)

2. Surround yourself with good people.

The power of relationships kept me sane during this time. I had friends and family around me who constantly assured me that I wasn’t “nuts”. When I would be told things about myself that didn’t seem quite right, I had good people around me who offered great words of wisdom and helped bring clarity to a cloudy situation.

3. Keep track of your emotions.

Emotions are good, but can also get us in a lot of trouble. Keeping our emotions in check and refusing to respond out of a negative emotion is vital. I can remember as a kid, my dad telling me that I could control my emotions. Of course, I didn't believe him then. I do now.

4. Let your integrity defend you.

This is a hard one. We tend to have an automatic defense mechanism built into us that makes us think we have to let everyone know how innocent we are. I suppose there are times that it’s necessary to react with a public defense, but most of the time it’s best to just walk away and let your integrity shine. I really believe that in the end our integrity will be the greatest form of defense.

I can honestly say that, in the midst of chaos, I learned. A while back, someone asked me if I would make the same decision again. My answer was emphatically “yes”. Not because I enjoyed it, not because it was fun – but because amidst all of the BS and negativity, I grew.

James 1:2-3
“…whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.”

(PS - The "negative" experience was in the southern part of the country - not the north.)


Say Hi

God forbid that I should be focusing on my work right now, but I'm having an ADD moment and thought I would give this a try. Below is a chatbox, you can say hello if I'm online. If I'm not online it should say so.

Say hi if you are reading this!



Special thanks to whoever sent me a "Get One Free Hamburger" coupon for White Castle!

I knew this blogging thing would pay off!


Monday, August 16


ChangeThis is the newest brainchild of Seth Godin (a.k.a. marketing guru, writer, all around good idea guy...). ChangeThis is a site about ideas. Their mission is "to spread important ideas and change minds."

The site offers various manifestos written by some of the leading marketing, business and management folks around with the goal of changing minds and spreading new ideas.

Click here (.pdf file) to read the manifesto of all manifestos - what the heck this is all about.

Should be interesting to see where this goes...

Best wishes to ChangeThis!



Saturday, August 14

Your Face On A Stamp!

Real postage stamps with YOUR photo on them. Amazing...

Link (via)


Vintage Ads has a great gallery of modern products shown in vintage ads.

Check them out here.


Friday, August 13

Hot or Not?

Interesting... Not much time to mess with this, but a website dedicated to rating the quality of church websites.



Thursday, August 12


Bill Hybels just gave an impacting talk at The Leadership Summit on increasing volunteerism in your organization. Here are some of the qualities that strong volunteer based organizations value and are very intentional about cultivating:

1. They have a culture of leadership development. These organizations have a “we need you” attitude.

2. They know how to ask. These organizations have learned how to ask for a big commitment. They cast bold vision and make big asks.

3. They ask questions. They find out what people feel passionate about and do their best to plug them into an area where they will thrive.

4. They recognize capacity levels. There are high capacity volunteers and low capacity volunteers. If you try to plug a high capacity volunteer into a low capacity challenge, they will not connect well and probably won’t be interested in volunteering again. It goes the same way for placing low capacity volunteers into a high capacity spot. Part of our jobs as leaders is to identify who fits in what category. A person’s availability has a lot to do with what capacity of a volunteer they are able to function in.

5. They recognize and cultivate the principle of community. Volunteer positions need to be designed so that people find friends and connect with others.

6. They keep the vision of the organization tied into the specific role of the volunteer.

7. Commendation is common place. When a volunteer serving for the right reasons gets commendation, it is sweet. We need to be thanking machines. Roll out the red carpet, treat them well. It’s not why they serve, but it makes the serving a lot better.


The Leader's Finest Hour

This morning Bill Hybels, senior leader of Willow Creek Community Church outside of Chicago lectured on "The Leader's Finest Hour." Some of his key points:

Leaders set the tone for where and how they spend their time -except for in moments of crisis - in which case, the crisis itself dictates the agenda of the leader.

True leadership development happens best during times of crisis and challenge.

More coming soon...


Thursday A.M.

Good morning... I'm @ Starbucks getting my morning dose before heading over to The Leadership Summit. Today we will hear from Bill Hybels, Pat Summit and T.D. Jakes. It will be interesting to listen to Jakes in a non-churched environment. From what I've seen from him in the past, his style is very different when he's not in "preaching" mode. (Which I think is better for this crowd anyway...)

Check back in a few hours for some Summit updates.

Bye for now...


Wednesday, August 11

Chicago Blog, Gaper's Block, has a great photo gallery of the new Millenium Park in Chicago. Very nice pics.



Preaching to Myself

I had a lengthly conversation w/ someone on IM tonight about the church (in general) and why it is that we (the church) tend to feel like it is our job to change people.

I was sharing with him about the diversity of people we see come through our church doors on any given Sunday (and many with great regularity) who seem to feel very safe in our church and how easily we could screw that up by attempting to change their lifestyles and issues.

The bottom line is that it is our job (as the church) to love and accept people PERIOD. We have absolutely no power to change them, nor is it our job to. That is the job of the One we represent. Our job is to love, accept and teach truth.

Does it mean that we support someone's lifestyle if it is contrary to scripture? No.

Does it mean that we allow any person, regardless of their lifestyle, to serve in areas of leadership and oversight? No.

But does it mean that we have to remind ourselves that being a Christ follower means following in the footsteps of Christ who effectively shared the Truth and at the same time reached out with love and acceptance to people regardless of their background, economic status, sexual preference, etc...? Yes.

It's one thing if the Scriptures offend people. There's nothing we can do about that except to not use them. But then we better remove the word "church" from our sign. But it's a whole different issue if I or any other church leader offends people by being judgemental or sarcastic towards people who are in the process of finding Christ.

Ok, I'm done.


Tuesday, August 10

Leadership Summit

Thursday through Saturday of this week I will be attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.

Speakers will include: Bill Hybels, Steven Sample (author of The Contrarian's Guide to Leaderhip), Tim Sanders (Yahoo), Marcus Buckingham (author of First, Break All the Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths), and A.R. Bernard (CEO of Christian Cultural Center in NYC).

I'm planning to blog some notes during the event - should be good...


I'm useless today...

I am stuck today. No focus, no energy. The coffee effects everything except for my head (eyes, head, brain, etc...)

This isn't good. I wonder if it's the schizophrenic weather we're experiencing here in Chicago.

Is it just me?


Sun Sneezing

I'm in the middle of some medical research and found an interesting article about why people tend to sneeze when they look at the sun. It turns out that only about 25% of people actually sneeze when they look at the sun and it is apparently triggered by a "crossing of pathways" in the brain. The normal reflex of the eye gets messed up with the sneezing reflex and we sneeze. The worst part about it is that there is absolutely no benefit to sneezing at all. (According to the article...)

Do you sneeze when you look at the sun?



Fast Company Now

Fast Company is one of today's leading business magazines for emerging leaders and businesses. This coming week (Thurs. & Fri.) I will be a "guest" blogger at Fast Company Now - the FC Blog.

I'll link to the posts on their site later in the week.


Monday, August 9

Rethinking Church

Dan Kimball is one of the leading thinkers and voices of the ideas and thoughts behind the emerging church. I've read a couple of his books and they have challenged my thinking considerably.

This past week I finally sat down and read his notes from a workshop that he taught at the Youth Specialties Youth Workers Convention in 2002. His notes from this workshop contain perhaps one of the best explanations of postmodernism and how it has evolved into the everyday thinking of our culture.

If you're not familiar with the term "postmodern" or aren't sure what it really means, download it and read it. The church cannot remain ignorant on what is happening in our current (and future) culture. This is a necessary read for anyone (staff and volunteers) in church ministry.

Link (short version 24pgs. pdf file)
Link (expanded version, 64 pgs. pdf file)


The Y Factor

Bill Hybels has written a great article entitled, "The Y Factor" about increasing volunteerism in your church.



Saturday, August 7

Nine Keys to Good Leadership

I ran across a good article tonight written by David Campbell with the Center for Creative Leadership. In the article, David lists out some characteristics that are necessary to be a successful leader. Here is the cliff notes version:

1. Vision (farsighted, enterprising, persuasive, resourceful)
2. Management (dedicated, delegating, dependable, focused)
3. Empowerment (encouraging, mentoring, perceptive, supportive)
4. Diplomacy (tactful, trusted, well connected and culturally sensitive)
5. Feedback (good coaches, good teachers, candid and honest, good listener)
6. Entrepreneurialism (adverturesome, creative, durable, globally innovative)
7. Personal syle (credible, experienced, optimistic)
8. Personal energy (balanced, energetic, intentionally resilient)
9. Multicultural awareness (experienced at and comfortable with managing individuals and organizations across a wide range of geographic, demographic, and cultural borders.)

The entire article can be found here.


Friday, August 6

It's 4:47pm and I'm just now having my first cup

How long wilt mine body ache for the sweet and somewhat burnt aroma of thine flavor?

My body faints and my mind wanders

From the hill of Naperville I shall arise and consume thine caffeine in the late noon day.

My soul shall be filled with the jitters, mine enemies shall faint at the site of thine Venti Coffee with 2 packets of sweet and low

Be ye glad O tired one

Lift up thine head, pull out thy Starbucks card

For the day of consumption hath come

(Ok sorry, this was lame)



I was in a discussion yesterday with a friend in regards to forming or changing organizational culture - specifically related to churches or organizations in transition.

One of our points of discussion was how everything we do right now in our churches and/or businesses will determine the type of culture our organizations will reflect down the road.

This is especially proven in churches everywhere. Think about it. Look at any church in decline (you don't have to look far...) and what you will find is not necessarily a declining building or campus, but rather a culture that promotes and enables the types of actions and attitudes that lead to decline.

Our own story:

For two years now, our leadership team has devoted ourselves to changing the culture and attitude of an entire church community. It’s been killer. We’ve all lost a little bit of hair and now have some grays showing up (or maybe that’s what turning 30 means…).

But guess what? By the grace and help of God, it seems to be working. The entire “feel” and culture of our church has completely turned around. Attitudes are completely different (from “hold me tight” to “let me go and lead!”), morale is strong (even in the summer – which is a miracle in and of itself), and the health of the church has gone from somewhat cancerous to very alive.

How? Good question. A very large part of it is a completely, 100% act of God. There is mystery here. I sit and watch what is happening or I listen to someone’s story and almost every time, it causes me to take a small step back and become hugely aware of the reality and action of God.

Not all of it is mystical. In fact, a large part of the “act of God” involved us (the leadership of the church) taking intentional steps to make some major shifts in the way we do church and the way we lead.

Examples: The way we embrace or run from change, the overall attitude towards excellence, leadership accountability, the focus towards intentionally creating environments where people feel safe and accepted, and modeling the priority of intentional relationship building with unchurched people.

And that’s not even half.

And now, 2 years later, we are realizing that everything we do NOW (after our “transition”) will determine the type of church culture we have 5, 10 or 15 years from now.

We’ve shifted, we’ve transitioned. And now - what we do, how we act and what we model will shape the future of our church community. What a privilege – yet so freakin’ scary.


Riding to LaGuardia

It's weird what memories pop into our minds for no reason at all. Tonight I was looking at something and I saw Chinese writing and it instantly took me back to November of 2003 where my buddy Abe and I were riding in a black Lincoln Town Car heading out of China Town in New York City to LaGaurdia Airport.

We were tired. We were somewhat sad watching the city fade slowly behind us. It was cold out. The car was bouncing up and down and the Chinese driver had his CB radio on extremely loud. Just as I was drifting off my cell phone rang. I answered it but couldn't hear the person on the other end very well. Abe could tell I was having trouble and he yelled up to the driver, "Turn your radio down please!" The driver replied, "What?" "TURN THE RADIO DOWN, HE'S TRYING TO TALK ON THE PHONE!" The radio went down - but not enough to make a difference. Next thing I knew we were at the airport and my exact thought was, "I can't believe how quickly we got here."

I miss NYC. What a great city. Visiting NYC is like being a kid set free in the best candy shop in town. One surprise after another. A cool building here, a funny looking person there. A quiet neighborhood 2 blocks that way. Hot pretzels on the streets...


Thursday, August 5

Wicker Park

Bloggin' from Filter - a coffeehouse in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago (Flat Iron Bldg). Beastie Boys playing in the background... It's been a good day. Had Chinese Dim Sum at The Phoenix in Chinatown this morning and spent the afternoon pounding out some weekend stuff.

Gotta run - happy Thursday.


The Many Faces of Bush

Don't like how GW looks? Customize his look!




Rasterbating is Cool

This is a very, very cool resource. It takes any jpeg image from either your computer or the web and allows you to stretch the image out to a very large size via several sheets of paper.

From the site:

The Rasterbator is a web service which creates huge rasterized pictures out of relatively small image files. The pictures can be assembled into extremely cool looking posters up to 20 meters in size!
Click here to see some examples.


Wednesday, August 4


  • How computer nerds came up with the names of their companies (Google, Adobe, etc...) Link (via)
  • A new "Christian" investment company. (Why, why, why???) Link (via)
  • - "a forum for the cosmetically disenfranchised. Link (via)
  • A great photo essay of the new Millennium Park here in Chicago. Link
  • Swiss Army Knife with USB Storage. Link (via)


Lunchtime Conversation

Today we celebrated Amber's birthday during lunch. Wally, our 80 year old custodian joined us and thus came this conversation:

Someone: Scott, did anyone ever tell you that you look like the guy from the Bare Naked Ladies?

Scott: Yes, I've heard that before. (Long Pause...) Hey Wally, have you ever listened to the Bare Naked Ladies?

Wally: No, but I like to watch them.



I found this today under the sink in our office. Can anyone tell me what's wrong with this picture?


What's In Your Bag?

In the vein of a recent Fast Company post where Heath Row posted what is currently in his shoulder bag, I thought I would share what's in mine...

Here we go:

  • Compaq IPAQ Pocket PC (in a brown leather carrying case)
  • Sony Cyber-shot DSC-P72 Digital Camera (128MB memory stick)
  • RCA earphones
  • Logitech optical mouse Microsoft Wireless Mouse
  • A laptop security rope/chain thingee
  • 5 or 6 blank CD-R's
  • Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop (512MB ram, p4, 60GB hd, 3.06 GHz, 15" screen)
  • 2 legal pads
  • A cigar that someone gave me (Arturo Fuente Gran Reserva) - my bag smells good...
  • 1 Mont Blanc Pen
  • 1 highlighter
  • A "to read" stack of papers the size of the NYC phonebook
  • Fast Company Magazine
  • Inc. Magazine
  • Wired Magazine
  • A torch lighter (yes, I'm a pyro...)
  • Cell phone charger
  • My cell phone
  • Logitech Notebook Webcam (this thing kicks butt...)
  • Breath Mints (sugar free of course)

When I travel, I empty my bag out and just take what I need for the trip. The list above is what is typically in my bag when I commute between my office, home and various Starbucks, Borders and other places that I write and study at.

What's in your bag?


Dinner with Bill Gates

A fellow blogger's account of his dinner at the home of Bill Gates. Very interesting...



Tuesday, August 3

Mind Your Beeswax

I just had a somewhat weird conversation w/ a barista here @ Sbux.

I was talking to a different barista about the difference between little girls and boys (Ok, that sounds weird...) and I made the statement, "I can't imagine being a single dad and trying to raise a young teenage girl at that stage of her life without the help of my wife." What I was referring to were the emotions and sensitivity of our daughters and how you have to treat them a bit different then you might a son. (This is all just casual conversation, I wasn't teaching a parenting seminar...)

I didn't mean anything weird by this but this other barista who had NOTHING to do with my conversation turned around and gave me a really DIRTY look and said, "Why's that???!! It's all just natural stuff, girls can't help it."

I didn't even know what to say. So I just turned to the other barista and said, "Make that 4 shots."

Back to work.


What is a Slider?

A few of you have asked the question, “What is a slider?”, in reference to this post.

A "slider" is a slang term used to refer to the small and unique hamburgers served at the popular Midwestern fast food chain, White Castle.

Aside from being raised on these things (my mom used to blend sliders and put them in my bottle…), there is a certain craving that I, along with countless numbers of other people become cursed with during a full moon and usually late at night. (Which is why most of them are open 24 hours a day.)

A White Castle hamburger is not fried, it is steamed. And it is steamed with a white bun and (freeze dried) onions on top of it. The steamed onions flavor the bun in weird sort of way. The best part are the pickles. If they forget the pickles, you might as well not even bother with them.

This brings back memories of being a kid and having my face smashed up against the glass in White Castle watching these people make my food. I was too young to care about the person (and their hygiene) making the burgers at this point in my life. But now, in my older and more mature years, there is a reason why I have a “drive through only” policy in regards to White Castle. I enjoy them too much to stop eating there, and I don’t want to ruin it all by watching people make them.

(On a side note: One weird thing… I’ve never known anyone who actually worked at White Castle. I know people who have worked at every other fast food chain in the United States – but none from White Castle. Where do these people come from?)

Anyway… You either like them or you don’t. My wife won’t touch one. I will touch many. My 4 year old is afraid of them, but will eat them if I make her.

PS – I’m still not totally sure why they call them “Sliders” – I think it has something to do with the digestion process after eating a few of these.

For more on White Castle, check out this article: 30 Things to Know About White Castle


Monday, August 2

Speed Up Adobe Acrobat Reader

Michael Hyatt has a great link to a download that speeds up the amount of time it typically takes to open up a document that is in Adobe Reader format. I tried it out last night and it does a great job - much, much faster.




It's 1:45am

I just got home from a quick trip out to the grocery store. The past couple of nights Elise has slept horribly – tossing, turning and crying with a bad cough and stuffy nose. So tonight I decided that we all needed good night’s sleep, and I took a quick, early morning trip over to Cub Foods.

Interesting observations at Cub Foods at 1:30 in the morning.

First of all, who are these people shopping at this time of the morning? And why?

I saw a few women casually strolling down the aisles as if they were stocking up for a picnic happening at 4:00AM. I can understand the person who has a middle of the night emergency to tend to, but grocery shopping at 1:30am? I suppose all the kids are in bed and for some moms; it might be sort of like a brief mini-vacation.

I also found out that the late night hangout in Downers Grove is the White Castle on 75th & Lamont Rd. There were cars and people everywhere. And here’s the thing… I enjoy a slider now and then (quite often as a matter of fact), but at 1:30 in the morning? May the Lord help anyone within 2 square miles of these people in the morning.

Things have settled down, now I’m off to bed. Goodnight and Happy Monday.