A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: February 2005 (page 1 of 3)

Never Again…

I hope I never, ever hear anyone else say something stupid like, “You pastors just don’t know what the ‘real world’ is like!” I just hope I never, ever hear anyone say that again…thank you, and goodnight…

Our People Are Like Big Brother…

they’re always watching! Watching to see how the “Big Kahuna” acts. How s/he leads. How s/he works. Pretty much how s/he does everything.

“Well,” you might retort, “we don’t have a Big Kahuna in my organization. We’re all part of the team.”

Uh huh…all the more reason to do what we ought to do in relation to our colleagues and peers.

The old adage is still pretty much true: “What you do speaks so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Loose Ends from My Draft Posts…

I was looking through my “Edit Posts” page, and I came across a bunch of those pesky “drafts” that I’d intended to blog over the past year or so. Some of them have been sitting there untended for so long that I may have forgotten exactly what I wanted to say about them. But I know they must have meant something at some time, so I’ll just do my version of everyone’s favorite Canadian’s famous “contextless links” ($1 to Jordon Cooper!)

How to build a good church website…

Blog writing tips (from whatsnextblog)

William Safire on “How to Read a Column”

Doc Searls’s good advice, wrapped up in a headline toast

Wagner and The Breakfast Club

Worship: Cool or Not?

In Search of Courage (John McCain, in Fast Company)

On Order…

From Amiel’s Journal

What comfort, what strength, what economy there is in order�material order, intellectual order, moral order. To know where one is going and what one wishes�this is order; to keep one’s word and one’s engagements�again order; to have everything ready under one’s hand, to be able to dispose of all one’s forces, and to have all one’s means of whatever kind under command�still order; to discipline one’s habits, one’s effort, one’s wishes; to organize one’s life, to distribute one’s time, to take the measure of one’s duties and make one’s rights respected; to employ one’s capital and resources, one’s talent and one’s chances profitably�all this belongs to and is included in the word order.

Order means light and peace, inward liberty and free command over one’s self; order is power. Aesthetic and moral beauty consist, the first in a true perception of order, and the second in submission to it, and in the realization of it, by, in, and around one’s self.

Order is man’s greatest need and his true well-being.

Cookie Cutters, Be Gone!

In a world of mass-produced sameness and sometimes-mindless imitation, here are some interesting links and thoughts, via and inspired by Seth Godin (who else?!?!?)…

This one is from a musicians’ coach website, but it may speak volumes to all of us who want to be “remarkable”…

If you do what everyone else does and expect a better result, you’ll be the first in line to kick yourself in the butt later on. Instead, focus on the small things you can do differently every day to move yourself forward. It may take a little longer than you want right now, but your gains will be real, and you won’t endure the shock of a crash when your real, perfect audience is there to support you.

This one is from Hugh McLeod’s How to Be Creative manifesto…

11. Don�t try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.

Your plan for getting your work out there has to be as original as the actual work,
perhaps even more so. The work has to create a totally new market. There’s no point trying to do the same thing as 250,000 other young hopefuls, waiting for a miracle. All existing business models are wrong. Find a new one.

I’ve seen it so many times. Call him Ted. A young kid in the big city, just off the bus, wanting to be a famous something: artist, writer, musician, film director, whatever. He’s full of fire, full of passion, full of ideas. And you meet Ted again five or ten years later, and he’s still tending bar at the same restaurant. He’s not a kid anymore. But he’s still no closer to his dream.

His voice is still as defiant as ever, certainly, but there’s an emptiness to his words that wasn’t there before.

Yeah, well, Ted probably chose a very well-trodden path. Write novel, be discovered, publish bestseller, sell movie rights, retire rich in 5 years. Or whatever.

No worries that there are probably three million other novelists/actors/musicians/painters etc with the same plan. But of course, Ted’s special. Of course his fortune will defy the odds eventually. Of course. That’s what he keeps telling you, as he refills your glass.

Happy Valentine’s Day, One and All…

Ah, yes…Valentine’s Day is drawing to a close. And what a day it has been! Started off as soon as the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie” headed off to school around 5:30 a.m. When she left, I hit the supermarket! And then back to the kitchen! YES! I love when Valentine’s Day falls on a day off!

Started making this…

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-and-Roasted Garlic Crust
Rosemary Potatoes
Steamed Broccoli and Carrots
Wheat Rolls with Honey Butter
Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
Finished off with a little bubbly

All that? Well below what I would have paid in some overcrowded restaurant somewhere! (Don’t get me wrong…I love good – even crowded – restaurants! But not on a Valentine’s Day). Anyway, I spent a lot less than I could have, and it was worth every penny!

But the best part of the whole day? (Well, besides enjoying the company of the suave and debonair “The Boy” and the lovely and gracious “Mrs. Just Charlie,” of course!)

Playing with the real kitchen toys! Priceless!

Throw in a bunch of the world’s friendliest flowers, some cool Snoopy cards, a couple of little gifts, and it made for a super-duper day!

What Carly Fiorina’s Ouster Could Teach the Rest of Us…

Saw this piece in the New York Times Tech section this morning. (Pesky, but free registration may be required. Or you can do the old “BugMeNot” thing.)

Mr. Hewlett and Mr. Packard, the founders of the fabled Silicon Valley company, did not hole themselves up like so many top executives nowadays but invited people to share ideas. A wedge of darkened linoleum can be found behind each door, evidence that the doors were open in a corporate culture created by the two engineers – men who favored pocket protectors and short sleeves and summed up their executive style as “management by wandering around.”

By contrast, Carleton S. Fiorina, deposed last week as Hewlett-Packard’s chief executive, the first ever hired from outside, preferred to dazzle people with PowerPoint presentations and other trappings of the modern-day manager as she struggled to reinvent Hewlett, a company that gave rise to Silicon Valley and defined its culture.

The article talks about how Ms. Fiorina understood change was necessary at HP, but the kind of change she sought was not always the “right” kind of change.

There is perhaps a note of caution here for those of us who fancy themselves change agents in whatever organization we find ourselves. With the change, there must be at least a nodding-of-the-head to the things that made the organization great in the first place.

Now, on the other hand, if the organization has never reached its potential in the first place…

(BTW, just in case Ms. Fiorina happens to read this – yeah, right! – feel free to stop by for lunch and you can tell me all about your side of the story!)

Happy Birthday…

Today is my mom’s birthday. She’s 39! Amazing how she’s only 39 and I’m 44, isn’t it?!?!?

Oh, well…she’ll probably have lunch or something with my brother, but he won’t wish her a happy birthday so the whole wide world can see it! Thanks, mom, for everything! I love you!

(She reads my blog, but she won’t admit it. So…why not make her day with a Happy Birthday comment?)

Intentional Unintentional Abstract Art…

Marshall Sokoloff writes over at The Morning News…

In a move to obliterate ubiquitous graffiti, tag and stencil art, cities like Toronto, Portland, and Vancouver have taken steps to obliterate these urban hieroglyphics with overpainting. Rarely is the paint a match for the building itself, nor are subsequent coats a match for prior ones.

It is during these fleeting moments between successive applications that I have endeavored to find abstract compositions. While these property owners have at least momentarily obliterated one form of urban art, they have unintentionally created another.