Showing posts from May, 2011

In Memory of Those Who Served

Memorial Day  is set aside to honor people who died fighting in America's wars. So far as I know, no one in my family died while in the service, but several men served in the armed forces, so I honor them today also. The most distant relative I know about was my great-great grandfather John W. Welborn. He fought in the Union Army from November, 1861 to December, 1864. His war diary for July, 1864 describes a campaign to take Atlanta, Georgia in stark terms: July 19th 3 miles, with some skirmishing, and took Decatur. 10th came upon the Rebs’ lines, enclosing Atlanta.  From the 19th to 22nd heavy skirmishing and cannonading.  From 22 to 27th we was fortifying, and part of the time under brisk shelling. 28th heavy fighting on our right; 10,000 Rebs’ loss, ours 2000.  The young man seated is my grandfather, John Calvin Turnage, in 1918.  John Calvin Turnage served his country in WW I. He was in the 138th. Field Artillery Regiment of the Old Kentucky National Guard. He served with

Tell A Good Story

It's hard to let go of bad ideas. We'd like to see our intuitions proved correct, so we never had to learn anything. Real education, however, contradicts and destroys our mistaken intuitions. One of my mistakes involves work and rewards. I hope to be rewarded for my abilities, to do a good job and people will notice. This is not how the world works. Rewards are not based on objective qualities in the work, but in other people's perceptions. Wise workers carefully control those perceptions. Rewards come to those who tell a good story.  We may regard "honesty" as a virtue, but it's often an excuse for our failure at public relations. Any situation or event may be described accurately in several ways, with dramatically different effects. In his book, Flaubert's Parrot, author Julian Barnes presents contrasting sketches of the french author's life. Here's one example of his treatments:  1880 Full of honour, widely loved, and still working hard t

I know, I know . . .

Hello everyone. The blog has been lean and may remain so for now. I have many thoughts to put down, but not enough time to put them in presentable form. You deserve a planned presentation; I don't want to just spew out stream of consciousness rants.  So lately that production process hasn't happened. This post is to let you know I'm still writing, but tied up in other areas. Blogging is somewhere around Number 7 in my job responsibilities. Right now Jobs 1-6 are rather heavy, but no complaints.  Meanwhile my son Max built a robot to help Mommy vacuum the house.  Congratulations to all people of good will on the death of Osama bin Laden. Happy spring days to you, and watch this space for more posts eventually.