Five Amazing and Crazy Braindrops from March 2018

So many topics, so little time. Over the past few weeks I have encountered many interesting topics that might intrigue you – here are five. Africa is Much Larger Than I Thought. Because my family traveled so much when I was a little guy, I have always had an interest in geography. But recently I learned something new about Africa that still amazes me even as I write this. A few weeks ago we were in the Cayman Islands and visited our daughter Alie’s friends, Bridget and Richard. While they live in the Cayman Islands, they had just returned from [...]

By |2018-03-22T11:21:23-04:00March 22nd, 2018|Business, General|

To Catch a Thief

I must admit, I used to be quite naïve. While I was fascinated with newspaper stories and movies of how crooks stole money, those stories always felt like fiction because they happened to someone else. After all, I thought, I only work with law-abiding citizens with solid sets of ethical principles – no one I know would ever steal money or product from their employer. Right? Wrong. Along came our very own John Robie – an unethical colleague who saw no problem in stealing from us. I’ll tell you more about our Robie case in a few moments. (By the [...]

By |2018-03-06T13:39:26-04:00March 6th, 2018|Business, General|

Some Thoughts on Border Walls

View from El Paso toward Ciudad Juarez, Mexico In January Patti and I were near El Paso, Texas on a short birding trip and saw the Mexican border Wall close up. On our first day we followed the border and Wall southeast for about 35 miles along the Rio Grande River. What was interesting was that the Wall came to end about 30 miles south of El Paso (see picture below) where the pecan orchards flourished, the other geography harsh, and the spacing between houses on both sides of the border widened. Thoughts from Jesus. Among the people [...]

By |2018-02-02T10:44:16-04:00February 1st, 2018|Business, General|

Carving Out and Filling-up Jobs in Your Business

Have you ever noticed in football and baseball today there are several carved-out, specialty positions? For example, in baseball you have “closers,” like the Red Sox’s Greg Kimbrell. Closers are pitchers who only pitch the 9th inning when a team is leading by three or less runs. In football, for example, you have place kickers and punters. The players who fill these positions have very specific skills that help the team perform more successfully. And when they perform well, their teammates love them even though they don’t play very much. The same thing is happening in business. Many employers today [...]

By |2017-09-14T11:23:11-04:00September 14th, 2017|Business, General|

The Business of Staying Cool

Not long ago Johnny, one of our Board members from Florida, asked me, “Did you know the invention of air conditioning was the most important factor leading to Florida’s development?”  As logical as the premise was, I admitted it was news to me. And, of course, Johnny’s question piqued my curiosity. Air-Conditioning in the 1800s. In the 1830s Dr. John Gorrie from Florida, often referred to as the father of modern air-conditioning, used a system of suspended natural ice to cool the air and create a more comfortable recovery environment for his patients. He later invented a cooling system using [...]

By |2018-01-02T20:15:09-04:00August 31st, 2017|Business, General|

The Business of Thanksgiving and Black Friday

In this week when we give thanks for all our blessings it seems crazy to me so much attention is on expanding our bounties. But that is the reality. So this week I thought I would look at the business that is Thanksgiving Week. But first, let us not forget the first “Thanksgiving.” It happened in late September or early October 1621 when the Pilgrims harvested their first crops – corn, squash, beans, barley, and peas. They also shot many migrating ducks and geese. They harvested and boiled the then plentiful lobster. William Bradford organized a harvest celebration and invited [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:47-04:00November 22nd, 2016|General|

How to Waste Ad Dollars, Quickly

Photo by the Author Having lived in New Hampshire for 34 years I have met many Presidents and candidates and have experienced nine primaries and been exposed to thousands of television commercials. And, as a businessperson, I am envious of the quantity of advertising dollars the candidates spent this year. So this week I went out and explored two of my curiosities – first, who spent how much on television ads in the New Hampshire Primary and, second, what happens to any leftover money if a candidate pulls out. Television Ad Spending for NH Primary. According to an [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:50-04:00February 24th, 2016|Business, General|

Trump is Running for His Brand, Not for President

I usually stay out of commenting on politics. But since Donald Trump is really a businessman, who happens to be running for President, I cannot resist writing my opinion. I think Trump is using the media and his followers to advance his brand name and is not running out of respect for America. Unlike this political sign here in Exeter, when he says something controversial his brand is not damaged, it is strengthened. News channels like CNN and BBC broadcast his image internationally, free of charge. Many people agree with him and some buy or lease units in his properties. And [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:51-04:00November 12th, 2015|Business, General|

Sometimes You Have to Have Fun with Crazy E-Mails

In my current role I receive and review lots of e-mail messages. Some are written by just plain angry people with dark corners in their souls. Others are obviously computer-generated phishing messages. While I usually just hit the delete button, I have to admit once in a while I am tempted to write back and express what I really think. I think we all have received one of those e-mails from a prince in Nigeria or from an allegedly familiar person, who is stranded in some foreign country without money. While most of us delete these e-mails, my cousin, Ron, [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:52-04:00August 21st, 2015|General|

Turn Down That Music

When I was in high school and home visiting from college my Dad often said, “Turn down that music!” Did this ever happen to you? What I did not expect a few weeks ago was someone to say it in a store I was in…here’s the rest of the story. Last week I was visiting a client work site with other members of our team at the J.C. Penney store in Peabody, Massachusetts. We were standing in the aisle of the kids clothing section looking very much like store management. An older woman walked by and asked us to turn [...]

By |2017-05-19T19:54:52-04:00August 13th, 2015|General|