A digital commonplace for a Regular Guy called Charlie Pharis

Month: December 2006 (page 1 of 2)

In 15 Minutes…

I was waiting to get my hair cut this afternoon and I picked up the January 2007 issue of Real Simple. I know, I know…but, hey, I like the magazine, and I figure you can learn something from just about anywhere if you pay attention.

So they had this little factoid section about what happens in 15 minutes. I came across these interesting 15-minute happenings…

  • An estimated 625,000 email messages are sent worldwide. 417,000 (67%) of them are spam.
  • About 91,000 people enter the turnstiles in the Moscow Subway system. How does that compare to the NYC system? Only 51,000 or so pass through the turnstiles in NYC’s subway system.
  • 62 million shares of stock are traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The issue also included several sections which asked…

What would you do if you had 15 minutes of time?

The answers ranged from kissing your spouse, to playing with your kids, to reading and writing.

I’m amazed at how much we can get done in a very short time, if we only apply ourselves to the tasks at hand. That’s a great argument for being fully engaged, for being where you are, wherever you are.

You and I have 96 15-minutes stretches of time every single day. I want to make mine count for something significant.

Reading Week…

Well, 2006 is swiftly losing its identity into 2007.

Christmas is over…finally. And this week is kind of a crash week, filled with those things that you’ve just gotta get done since you have some time.

One of those things for me is catching up on some reading, writing, reflecting, and thinking about some ways I want to grow as a person, a husband, a dad, a friend, a son, a mentor, a communicator, and a leader during the coming year.

Part of my plan this week involves reading – a lot. Here’s a representative list of some of the books in the bag, by the bed, in the…uh, reading room, etc.

What are you reading this week? What are you planning to read in the next two weeks? In the next month?


Leaders are readers.

And this…

Reading makes a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
-Francis Bacon

Personal Best Thursday!

I haven’t posted anything about my ongoing fitness saga lately. (Heck, I haven’t posted much of anything at all, he says snidely.)

Anyway, today was a cardio day (3 days strength, 3 days cardio, Sundays off). I had intended to take a trip back in time to where this whole fitness thing started, and do my cardio on the elliptical machine at the YMCA. I packed the headphones and my Pines of Rome CD for a little added motivation.

I got to the Y, staked out a machine as far away from the others as I could. (See, I have this weird habit of getting carried away when the “Pines of the Appian Way” section kicks in, and it’s not uncommon for me to actually “air-conduct” or something. But I digress…).

Well, the machine I staked out was unstable and wobbly, and felt like it was going to fall apart at any minute. (Now, mind you, I’m 69% of the man I used to be, but that’s still not a secure feeling!) On top of that, the TV/audio console kept flopping up and down. And to top it all off, the audio-out jack wouldn’t hold my headphone plug. So, I scrapped that idea after only five minutes.

I’ve been running for my cardio for a while, and so I decided to give the indoor track a spin, just to get my workout in. I hopped off the elliptical, and started running. It started out to be one of the easiest paces I’ve had, and I just had that feeling that it was almost effortless.

17 laps later (one mile on the indoor track) I glanced at my trusty Timex Ironman, and it read…


Now, I know that’s slower than Christmas in the real running world — after all, I’m the guy they used a calendar to time in the 50-yard dash as a kid — but for a 46-year-old old coot, who couldn’t even go for eight minutes straight on the elliptical just 11 months ago, it’s a personal record!

Oh, the best part about that 9-minute mile? You can do a significant amount of business with God while you’re on that pace. And in the 13-minute mile walk just after it. And in the 12-minute mile run-walk interval workout at the end.

Here’s hoping you have a “personal best” Thursday today!

If I Had It to Do Over…

Just some thoughts on my mind today…

  • Ability does not equal necessity. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you must or ought.
  • The difference between who you are now and who you’ll be in five years depends on the books you read, the people you meet, and the experiences you seek.

“Blasphemous Dingbats in Santa Suits…”

UPDATE: Wednesday, 12.13.2006, 3:33 p.m….Uh-oh, now the TV news is in on it! We’ll never hear the end of it now!

OK, so I’m a little bit late to this party, but did you hear the one about the church with the bad rap video promoting their Christmas Eve service?

Seems the local paper has picked up on it along with the usual detractors.

It’s not the “blasphemous dingbats in the Santa suits” that concern me.

It’s the unforgivable “whiteness” and lack of rhythm and coordination!

About That Clutter…

I forgot to mention this in the last post. One of these days, real soon, I’m going to be trying to clean out some of the clutter and revamp the blog. May move it, may keep it here, who knows yet?

Cleaning Out Some of the Clutter…

Today has been a “clean out the clutter” day…in more than one way!

I got up this morning and went to the office to wait for a meeting, and while I was there, I just started throwing out junk that has accumulated over the last while. Just that little bit of cleaning out freed up some space in my office and made it a bit neater and more usable.

When my day started today, I had 338 feeds on Google Reader! 338! Now, I love this whole blogging thing, but I’ve come to realize lately that the value in blogging (at least for me) is actually blogging. Writing. Contributing. Not the sometimes mindless monitoring of over 300 blog feeds. Don’t get me wrong: I do find quite a bit of information that makes me go “hmmmm!” and “a-ha!” But I discovered (admitted?) that I really have gotten caught up in the whole echo chamber thing. So I cleaned out my feeds. For now, at least, I’ve pared it down to 197. That’s still a lot, and the potential for wasted time is great. But it’s manageable. The Turk may strike again before it’s over.

Finally, tonight, back at the office, I had a good, long time of praying, reading, thinking, reflecting, etc. And I got to clean out some clutter from my mind and my soul. Funny how cleaning out the clutter in one area often leads to more of the same in others.