Shortly after Jamestown was founded, Plymouth was settled. For a couple of decades, the population grew relatively slowly, with the Dutch and the English being the two primary countries colonizing the area, primarily for the fur trade. But in 5 years in the 1630s, New England’s population expanded from 300 to 5000 in a great migration. Soon, people were moving inland, particularly to the Connecticut River valley. Source: Empires, Furs and Fortune.
My favorite Christmas seasons were in the early years of my marriage to Wife M. When we’d decorate our apartment and go to Christmas parties with friends and watch Xmas specials. The night before Xmas Eve we spent with friends attending The Nutcracker, Xmas Eve was with my family and Xmas at her grandma’s place. We loved those times, and they got even better when the kids were a few years old. But I will always remember those first Christmases with Wife M most fondly.
Sales is interesting. Almost always, a client will tell you what they need, and if they are looking at several different options they will tell you what their criteria is for making a final decision. Almost always, price is a factor – but it is not the deciding criteria. So basically if a company puts in a little extra elbow grease to come up with a solution that matches the client’s needs, the client will buy. Still, soooooo many times a client will say what they need, and my employer will give reasons why that won’t happen or why they won’t adapt (even if adaptation is possible). In other words, the client is always right, unless they disagree with the person who is advising that the client is always right.
The best companies I’ve worked for are *hungry* and they are flexible. If a client wants something a little bit different, instead of saying it won’t happen we think of a way that nearly addresses what they are asking for — it might not be 100%, but it is close. When companies fall in the the trap of hardheadedness is when they start to run into trouble…
I was waiting for a light as a pedestrian at a busy intersection when a motorcycle accelerated through a yellow light (not necessarily speeding, just accelerating) then out of the blue the bike’s tires slipped one way, then the other and the rider went skidding off one way while the bike went another. It made an awful scraping sound and sparks went flying everywhere as the bike came to a stop. I was 100 yards away but pedestrians hurried over there to stop traffic, and a car stopped in front and put on its hazard lights to protect the rider, who was laying in the middle of the lane. A few minutes later, an ambulance arrived. If I had to guess, I’d think the poor driver lost a lot of skin and at the very least broke a few bones, including a leg. It was disturbing to see, and I was distracted the rest of the night and am thinking about it today. I mentioned it to a store clerk but there wasn’t too much interest there… For the rider, it must have been shocking for his bike to just lose control like that. It makes me glad I don’t ride motorcycles.
Am reading “Fur, Fortune and Empire” and am finding it to be an interesting book. For exampple, the settlers on Plymouth were more or less coerced at the final momnent to sign a new and less favorable agreement with their employer, and although they sought religious freedom their journey was paid for by investors who had them focus first and foremost on trading for valuable Beaver pelts with the Native Americans. The company that paid for their voyage was led by a sociopath, who didn’t give enough goods and supplies to the pilgrims, and made unreasonable demands of them. Also, they were supposed to settle farther south than Plymouth (and those lands had better fur trapping locations) but settled in Plymouth for safety reasons, then virtually hunted the Beaver to extinction in that area. Finally, they expected to find a thriving Native settlement in Plymouth, but found it nearly abandoned – most of the Natives had been wiped out by the diseases that Europeans brought with them (and wiped out much of all the native populations in the Americas).
SInce reading the New York Times article a few weeks ago that said up to 80% of laughter is fake (e.g. polite chuckle), I’ve been keeping tabs of when I genuinely laugh. It has been fun and I’ve noticed I genuinely laugh 1 or 2 times a day minimum. For example, I genuinely chuckled today when I heard Ken Wins’s voice on Better Call Saul, then later chuckled again at the look on the detectives’ faces when Jimmy told them the suspect was a pie squatter. What I’ve noticed is I laugh a lot when sarcastic Wife M and Daughter L tease me, since they are hilarious and I know they don’t mean it (i.e. they’ve earned the right, and compliment a lot, too 🙂 ). I also laugh a lot during the 1 or 2 times a week I play Grand Theft Auto (for example, when a sports car I was chasing spontaneously caught fire while driving full speed on the freeway).
It used to be that Veterans Day was a holiday for everyone. It was supposed to honor the veterans, but regardless it was a day off for most non-service employees. Now most companies are open, which means a third of the employees skip the day to care for their kids (who are off), a third make it an easy work day, and a third put in a normal day. Which all results in essentially an unproductive day where no one is rested. Americans (Corporate America) have forgotten the value in rest days, in the meaning work hard and play hard. It is another way that modern day Corporate America — for all its talk on efficiency — is not efficient at all. Wouldn’t it be better to tell everyone to take the day off, rest or honor the veterans, and come back feeling fresh the day after?
Our office was open, and I spent much of the day trying unsuccessfully to keep things moving. I got home at 6 PM thinking what a wasted day it had been 🙂