You must speak their language

My Aunt Mary hadn’t heard from us in a while. She doesn’t do email. So I picked up a pen and applied it to paper. So she will receive a nice letter this week.

Takeaway? Do something that communicates to people in a language they understand. They will be grateful. And it may well be a satisfying experience for you too!

(Besides, I like getting letters in the mail. So I was just passing that joy along. My brother does do email, but we still exchange letters. There is something about the hold-in-your-hands experience that can’t be beat.)


How to ride a bicycle (video)

So here is how to ride a bicycle:

If you do this (and you don’t already), you will be amazed at what a difference it makes!

Notes: a) If you have a single-speed bike, this may not work very well. b) If you have multiple gears, use a lower (easier) gear to get the optimum spinning speed.


The Jesus sandals

When I was a kid, I saw a lot of Sunday school materials that had illustrations with Jesus wearing sandals like these. As the summer that’s just ending was starting, I decided to get a pair of summer cool footwear that was more comfortable than these sandals. (I had worn these for maybe five or six years.) You see, they never fit me very well – I have very skinny feet, and few shoes adequately fit.

I kept the sandals until a few days ago. I decided that since I hadn’t worn them all summer, they must be off to the Goodwill. (In UK English, that’s “charity shop”.)

So my feet are a little less like Jesus.


Inspired by type

Some of you may remember that in a previous life, I was a graphic designer. (I still do some design – but that’s less than half of how I spend my working days.)

So a few weeks ago, I got another email newsletter – this one from MyFonts, featuring a typeface called Lady Rene. I saw their little slideshow and just wanted to create. That’s pretty rare.

Did I? Well – I’m producing this blog post. Actually creating something with Lady Rene would cost me $59. But I could emulate her.

Maybe later.



Two receipts were given to me after I bought a few pieces of flagstone for a Saturday afternoon project. One was nicely generated by the cash register – complete with a little marketing message at the bottom (“On August 28th, the first 40 customers receive a free reusable bag!”). And then there was the no-technology carbon-copy of a hand-written receipt, showing the weight of the flagstones I purchased.

Santa Fe Sand & Gravel could save themselves time and money by integrating their systems – so that all the info is on the computer-assisted receipt.

Takeaway: Simplify. What are some ways you can simpilfy your business – or life – by eliminating redundant systems?


Let’s be real

I’ve been reading a book: The Unlikely Disciple, by Kevin Roose. It’s the account of a non-evangelical who spent a semester at Liberty University, to attempt to understand the Christian sub-culture. Since I am part of that sub-culture in many ways – and am an “evangelical” Christian, I thought it would be valuable to hear an outsider’s perspective.

It’s fascinating.

Anyhow, that is not the point of my post.

Jerry Falwell, the man who started the university, had a lot of good intentions. I like some of what he did, in spite of all the bad press he received. (And I also admit he did a fair amount of harm, prior to his death in May 2007.)

But the thing that offended me most about him from the book is that he insisted on being called “Dr. Falwell” – even though the highest degree he earned through studying was a bachelor’s degree. He had three honorary doctorates. Those can be cool – but if you insist on being called “Dr.” – make sure you earned it the real way.

Disclaimer: if you pick up the book and are an evangelical, there may be parts that will offend you. And I’d rate it R; some parts are just not appropriate for the under-18 set (with a few possible exceptions). Mostly there’s just a lot of stuff that teenagers shouldn’t have to think about yet. But it could prepare them for life in college. I guess I’m not prepared to have those discussions yet. Maybe next year.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia and used under Wikimedia Commons.


My dream car, for sale

Yes, I love this car. I’m selling it because we already have two cars. And it’s not our car. (I’m selling it for a family who left the country to live in Southeast Asia.)

Here’s my description in the Craigslist ad: 2.4 liter 5-cylinder. EXCELLENT condition!! Loaded with leather, sunroof, & 3rd-row seat. 178k but VERY well-maintained, many service records, recently new tires, timing belt changed at 108k. Recent work: replaced front struts & bushings, replaced front CV boots, upper engine mount, right front ball joint, new windshield, front brake rotors turned & new pads.

I’m asking $5,400. The only one I could find listed out there in internet-land is one from Washington state with 118k miles – at $8,950!

Update: A family bought it. They love the car. It was a pleasure to see their joy.