Archive for October, 2004

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October 29, 2004

Halloween brings out the beast in me.

I get really frustrated when people get all wound up over simple things like a Halloween party, trick-or-treating, or kids wearing costumes. There must be better things to get wound up over in this day and age (say, for example, the election next week).

I know that Halloween has become nothing more than a “marketing” holiday. But, as a marketing guy I like and appreciate that. I think that sometimes just having fun, and making sure the engine of capitalism continues to turn, is a fine thing. If marketers can make kids smile (until their little teeth rot because parents let them have too many sweets) that is ok by me.

Let loose and make a marketing manager smile when you buy some more candy (especially those with the new “glow in the dark” wrappers.

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October 25, 2004

Mark Knopfler — Shangri La

Sometimes I make recommendations because a book or album just “blows me away”. Other times because I think it has particular merit or relevance in the moment. Often, however, I just recommend albums and books because I like them. In the case of Shangri La by Mark Knopfler, I just want to share my enthusiasm for this great artist. If you don’t know Mark as a solo artist, you may recall him as the frontman for Dire Straits. His gravely voice and distinctive guitar work helped distinguish that group (along with videos that seemed to run nonstop).

Today, after multiple albums on his own, Knopfler is like a good scotch before bed. He is mature, takes time and effort to appreciate, shows character, and can put things right with the world. Shangri La is not quite as good as Sailing To Philadelphia, his 2000 masterpiece, but has some very real and persuasive musical moments. The tone is very consistent throughout — not quite rock, not quite pop, not quite folk. The sound of the songs is warm and Knopfler’s voice and guitar work is on the laid back side. Yet, his music is always hauntingly familiar and comfortable.

Special kudos to Knopfler for including a song about Sonny Liston based on the biography by Nick Tosches, one of my favorite authors.

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October 25, 2004

Yahoo! News – Britons Want Homer Simpson as U.S. President

Once again the UK is better able to understand the US than the US itself.

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October 22, 2004

The maestro of service / As manager of the French Laundry and Per Se, Laura Cunningham achieves the magic in the dining rooms that Thomas Keller conjures in the kitchens

The beauty of great service. The lessons apply across all industries and all audiences.

Thanks to Vinography for the link.

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October 20, 2004

Yahoo! News – Coke Vs. Pepsi Test Shows Logos ‘Brand’ the Brain

Branding changes the brain. Tell me something I didn’t know.

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October 19, 2004

Very short entry late at night after some wine and a long day.

I am doing a leadership training course right now. I feel fortunate that the company will invest this amount of time and money in me. I also worry that this is just not enough to ensure we have the next generation of leaders our company really needs.

Nonetheless, I have participated fully and presented my genuine self today. I am thrilled to have the chance to meet with and bond with some of my peers. Ultimately success is all about people, and this exercise is all about people.

G’night.

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October 18, 2004

Welcome to the fashion label, that likes it rough and dirty…

I point you to this site because it is the brainchild of a friend of mine. She is a very creative artist, very funny and sweet, and has a wicked pen. She was the person that created the wedding gift I gave to my wife, forever granting her a special place in my world.

Take a look, buy some stuff, tell Nicole I said “hello”. I am placing my order now!

We now return to the regularly PG-rated site.