Saturday, May 31, 2008

The places I found sand.

I will spare you the details...It feels like there is sand everywhere. Every time I clean my ears I find more sand. Maybe I will define vacations in the future by the length of time it takes me to get the sand out.

What a great vacation week it was. My oldest learned to get in the big pool. Go under water, use a paddle board and jump in. In hind site his lack of fear may be a problem. My youngest is now able to go in the ocean, walk around in the pool, and build anything out of sand (He will be finding sand much longer than I will)

I have had some questions on what my wife has been doing. Well much of the same. Beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon. Ice cream in between. She will not be finding as much sand. She isn't much of a sand castle builder. I do think it is good that she has experienced the jet lag and travel fatigue. Sometimes she thinks that I am making it up when I get back from trips when all I have been doing is riding in an airplane. Granted, it is much harder work when you have 2 kids.

It will feel good having a month home. Next time I have to leave is the first of July. Going to Minnesota with Arlin for a SWOT, getting back for 4th or July weekend then going to WPC (Microsoft World Wide Partner Conference) So kinda looking forward to both (Will be educational and do great things for the business) but also dreading the travel, missing the kids and such. Last, Jenifer and I will be going to Vancouver in August for HTG3. Looking forward to her seeing what I do during these meetings.

Anyway, back to focusing on work and reality. I am sure we will have an outstanding June. May finished high so we have to keep the progress moving!

Friday, May 30, 2008

Coming to an end

Today was the last full day of vacation on the beach. Some say when this happens that they want another week. To be honest, I am ready to get home. Is it because I love my life, my home and work? Maybe. It has been a good week to get away. I am reset and ready to make some progress in everything from yard work to financials at the office.

It continues to amaze me how flexible kids are. Both mine have made this beach house their new home. As far as they are concerned, they live here. They miss the dog a little and maybe the babysitter (Mary is great), but other than that, they don't miss a beat. Carsen, like I stated earlier this week is scared of the ocean. But we made progress. He has now at least walked in the baby pool and yesterday when we went to some friends beach house (2 min away) some how found the courage to walk at the edge of the ocean and even let the water go over his feet. Guess it had to be the different beach (Ok 1 mile away) And of course he was not in his swimming suite, so the bathtub was full of sand. Nothing new this week.

Good thing this week is coming to a close. I am about out of space on my HD. For what ever reason, I cannot delet files. Looks like a restore in my future. Good thing for the MS Home Server.

Saturday we have 2 flight and a four hour drive to look forward to (ok not look forward to) at least we do not have to drive 18 hours.

Who is "Lenovo"?

As Blogged earlier, I got my parents a new Lenovo laptop. It has been an interesting/learning experience. First I learned that Vista is not that big of a difference. After using the laptop for a couple of weeks, my dad ask me why I didn't get him Vista. Well, it has Vista Business installed. If my retired parents can figure it out, most everyone can.

The next thing was a market awareness thing. I have been ask where I came up with this Lenovo company for them? I gave the usual speech. That is "You know the Thinkpad" yes, "well it is that company" "Similar to IBM".

Since my dad has seen it in an airline publication on our travels to Florida.

Then while were were getting groceries yesterday, there was Consumer Reports magazine rating the top 24 laptops. You guessed it, Lenovo number one and three. Toshiba number 2. Dell and HP were further down the list.

Lenovo had the fewest repairs with Apple the highest, Lenovo had the second best support next to Apple with HP being the worst of 7 companies ranked.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wear Sunscreen

There is a song by Baz Luhrmann from the 90's (I believe) that states the only confirmed advice he can give to a graduating class is "Wear Sunscreen"

Well, I want to go out and say that I once again confirmed that this still is good advice.

We were talking, when was sunscreen invented, and what did you do before it? Well according to Wikipedia
"The first effective sunscreen may have been developed by chemist Franz Greiter in 1938. The product, called Gletscher Crème (Glacier Cream), subsequently became the basis for the company Piz Buin (named in honor of the place Greiter allegedly obtained the sunburn that inspired his concoction), which today is a well-known marketer of sunscreen products. Some internet articles suggest that Gletscher Crème had a sun protection factor of 2, although a research citation is not readily available online.
The first widely used sunscreen was produced by Benjamin Greene, an airman and later a pharmacist, in 1944. The product, Red Vet Pet (for red veterinary petrolatum), had limited effectiveness, working as a physical blocker of ultraviolet radiation. It was a disagreeable red, sticky substance similar to petroleum jelly. This product was developed during the height of World War II, when it was likely that the hazards of sun overexposure were becoming apparent to soldiers in the Pacific and to their families at home.
Franz Greiter is credited with introducing the concept of Sun Protection Factor (SPF) in 1962, which has become a worldwide standard for measuring the effectiveness of sunscreen when applied at an even rate of 2 milligrams per square centimeter (mg/cm2). Some controversy exists over the usefulness of SPF measurements, especially whether the 2 mg/cm2 application rate is an accurate reflection of people’s actual use."


I love pictures. I took over 200 today! What other thing can you do (Other than write) that freezes moments in your life. Mostly you photograph the happy times in your life. Birthdays, anniversaries, vacations and holidays. Then you can spend the rest of your life re-living these moments with family and friends. What a great thing! It is getting easier now than it has ever been to be a good photographer. Not that I consider myself one. With digital photography, you can take hundreds of photos and just delete the ones that are bad. Print a Walmart, Walgreens or Snapfish. Share on the web page or email. What a great deal!

We hired a professional photographer to take our family pictures today. Sure, he had a high end camera (Digital) and some great ideas of where to take pictures, and I am sure he knows more about lighting then I know about my camera. The formalizing of the photos did get the family dressed up for the pictures, and we will order pictures (Like we did several years ago). We will have these pictures the rest of our lives.

Living in Kansas, the reality of tornado's do exist, and I have accepted that if my house went, we will have to pick up the pieces. One of the things that I would miss the most would be photographs. I have backed up the digital ones on-line. I still need to scan the older ones.

One of the things that you are taught in sales training is on calls look at the photos and things in the office and use them to create a bond with the person. I heard a story of a professional that did try and bond with a contact. The contact (Yes I am careful not to call this person a client) had a large Marlin above their desk. When the sales person tried to bond using this the contact told them it was there to test sales people and then told the sales person to leave.

In my office I have pictures of my kids, family, car and industry awards. I would never think of removing my personal effects to just "Test" a sales rep. In fact I have thought about this for a while. If I was presented with a contact like the one above, I would probably let them know that this was a mutual feeling. A contact like this is not interested in value, relationships or solutions. They have time just to mess with people. Not very professional in my opinion.

Well, I went a long way to get to the point on this blog today. Guess that is what happens when you have some time on vacation. I look forward to sharing the pictures with everyone when I return.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

How do you vacation? Does it matter?

Just an observation. My sister has to be busy on vacation. Doing something all the time. My definition is reading, sitting by the beach and forgetting work for a while. Not that either is right or wrong, just different.

Vacation is necessary for everyone. You do not have to go to the beach, or even leave the house. Just some time to leave the daily grind behind and reset. I know that I have blogged before about people who do not take their vacation and loose it. I believe that they are doing more harm than good. Everyone needs some perspective on family, friends and work.

It has been great to see my kids change. Caden my oldest (5) was here 3 years ago and afraid of the beach and really did not like the sand. Now he is enjoying getting knocked down by the waves and jumping in the pool. Carsen (Our youngest 2) is scared of the surf, does not like the pool but has sand everyplace imagineable. They are both growing up so fast. This is a time in our lives where we will both remember.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I finished my homework

I enjoy reading while relaxing. Arlin assigned some homework around The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann. I finished this read a couple of days ago and been meaning to blog about pages 82 and 83.

"A genuinely sound business principle will apply anywhere in life - in your friendships, in your marriage, anywhere. That's the true bottom line. Not whether it simply improves your financial balance sheet, but whether it improves your life's balance sheet"

A unique thought. In analyzing this, it seems real true.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

A change up this week!

I sit on the balcony overlooking the ocean with the sound of waves typing this blog. I am on vacation this week in Seaside Florida. Usually on vacation, I spend a lot of time reflecting. So you will have to tolerate this for one week.

Last week my boss spent a LOT of time working on something that the people who it effected will never know about. While I cannot publicly post what this was about, I find it more interesting the passion that he brought. Sure, it was a good business decision. However this didn't really effect him. It did however significantly effect others. These "others" will never know the extent he went through to help them. Late hours, worrying, time in front of the firing squad to defend what he felt was right!

It is nice to know that you work for these type of people. They do the right thing even when no one is watching!

Spending time alone with the family is invaluable. It is sure easy to get distracted with things that dont really matter, like revenue and sales. Actually those things only matter in how they give others the ability to do what is important (Family). Maybe it is ironic how my vacation of reflection aligns with Memorial Day. A holiday that is remembering those who are no longer physically with us.

So you will have to tollerate this week of my personal rants. (Or unsubscribe)