Category Archives: Business

Blessed Relief

My typical work day consists of seeing clients in therapy, doing formal psychological testing, consulting with other staff, going to meetings, doing paperwork, writing reports, answering and sending work-related emails, and taking care of whatever else my work place might throw at me.

In the midst of all this, I keep tabs on what is happening on my phone and my private laptop that I also have at work.  (I also check the  Blog for activity). My children and Husband are frequent texters. The main job for my private laptop is to provide Bluetooth connections to my sound bar so that I can listen to Classical MPR whenever I have a free moment while I do paperwork.

Throughout the day I also keep track of all the emails I get from the Regulatory Board of which I am the chair.  I can’t deal with the emails that arise when I am working, since that would be frowned upon, even though what I do on the Board is officially State business, and I am a State employee.  I understand the reasoning for this.

I typically get 10-20 emails from the Regulatory Board office each day.  I take care of them in the evening when I get home from work. There was a flurry of activity this morning, and then, blessed quiet this afternoon. I figured out that our Board secretary is taking a four day weekend to go camping.  What a relief!

I wish I were not so tied to my technology. As I read what I just wrote, I can’t believe I do all the things I just described. This just can’t be healthy!

How tied are you to technology? How do you set limits on it and on yourself?

Will You Be My Neighbor?

We have a small four year college in our town that is part of the ND University system. It is traditionally a teachers college, and also has a good business  administration department.   I was excited to see one of the new business faculty is a native of Bangladesh, and brings a family history of an uncle who is the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who created the Grameen Bank, which provides small loans for people in Bangladesh to start their own businesses.  The nephew brings the same sort of social responsibility to his class room, and I am really glad we have in increasingly diverse community.  His philosophy is that  you create business to solve social problems, unlike traditional businesses which are exclusively profit-oriented.

Every summer we have an ethnic heritage festival in which the Germans from Russia, Norwegians, Ukrainians, and Dutch groups have food booths and displays of traditional dress and crafts. The Mexican Americans have now joined the festival, and this year the local Rwandan community featured a traditional dance group.

I am happy to report that everyone in town seems to be getting along for the most part, and I am glad that we have new community members who aren’t like the majority of white mid-westerners.

Who would you like to see move into your neighborhood?

 

Dog Days

I’m not getting much done at work today. During the summer, every Friday is “Bring Your Dog to Work Day” and I am in dog heaven.  I keep dog treats in my cube and on Fridays, I actually have a stash in my pocket throughout the day.

Today in addition to Charlie and Bernie Mac and Vegas (GoldenDoodle, Puggle, Doberman) who are here most Fridays, we have a brand new puppy. 8-week old Dave Grohl (name of somebody in some band that I don’t know about), a golden retriever.  He has the wonderful puppy smell and that squishy soft puppy skin.

Rufus, Mochi, Brandon and Ash are off today but I’ve petted (and fed) a couple of others, whose names I don’t know, as they travel through the building. I’m on a main aisle and I think the dogs can smell the treats in my pocket as they’re going by so they stop by!

What perk would make your Fridays better?

Ben’s Rampage

I was sad to read in the Rock County Star Herald, a weekly paper from my home town to which I subscribe, that the Hills Crescent newspaper is ceasing publication. Hills is a small town southwest of Luverne, and the Star Herald, which owns the Crescent, decided to close it down. They promise that Hills and Beaver Creek news and issues will be covered in the Star Herald.

The Crescent was in publication for 126 years. It was started in 1893 and had 200 subscribers when it started. The first press they used was a Rampage brand press that had been previously owned by Ben Franklin! It was the oldest press machine in the US at the time. I think that is so cool! It only printed one page at a time. I have no idea where it got its name. It doesn’t sound like it rampaged at that pace.

Our current town newspaper only publishes Tuesday through Saturday.  It is delivered by the Post Office, so we sometimes don’t get the paper until late in the afternoon. Were it not for the local court news and the comics, we probably wouldn’t subscribe. I envy people who live somewhere they can get a real paper every day.

What are your favorite and least favorite newspapers?

My Little Rock Star

My company does a fun summer program that includes concerts out on the big lawn between two of our buildings. On Thursday it was Chris Kroeze.  As I was tapping my toe I noticed a toddler towards the front of the crowd, not more than four.  His folks and younger sibling were sitting on the grass behind him but there was no sitting for him.  He had a small electric guitar (probably not real) and he was wailing on it.  Non-stop.  And he had moves; he looked like he would have been right at home up on the stage.  I stayed out on the lawn for about 30 minutes and this kid was playing his heart out the entire time.   I thought about going over and introducing myself and asking his name, because I’m sure in 15-20 years, he’s going to be famous and I would be able to say I knew him when.

Have you ever met a famous person? Was it what you expected?

Saving Me From Myself

I have always had a penchant for t-shirts with slogans. When I was 13, I discovered a Northern Sun Alliance catalog while babysitting and was smitten by the huge number of t-shirts with not just slogans, but left-wing, liberal slogans.  (Imagine my excitement when after five years of living in Minneapolis, I discovered that Northern Sun Alliance is actually located here!)  I saved up my money, filled out the order form (yep, a paper order form) and sent off for my very first slogan t-shirt.

(FYI, Northern Sun doesn’t sell this t-shirt any longer but you can still get this slogan on a poster or bumper sticker!)

I have a hard time staying away from t-shirts with sayings that I think are relevant or funny or geeky or all of the above. I also have trouble staying away from State t-shirts and those cheap t-shirts that the DNR sells.  This means that I occasionally have to go through and purge my t-shirt drawer as I have WAY TOO MANY.  Right now I have t-shirts w/ dragons and reindeer, Pluto, Mongols, Gravity: It’s the Law, Pizza John, cats with books, more dragons, State Fair themes (at least 5), Stihl lumberjacks and Rocket Sheep.So you wouldn’t think I’d be in the market for any more…. well, you’d be wrong. Now I’m trying to figure out how to keep myself from getting a t-shirt that says “If the earth were really flat, cats would have knocked everything off the edge by now.”

How do you justify getting something you want when you really don’t need it?

Too Hot to Shop?

Wowser! Over lunch I decided to run a couple of errands so I wouldn’t have to do them after work.  (I hate doing errands on a Friday after work – I just want to get home!)  And, of course, the heat and humidity is in the “you’ve got to be kidding me” range.   As I walked through the doors at Joann’s, the first big display is all about fall.  Pumpkins, dried vine wreaths, autumn wall hangings, the works.  Nothing specific to Halloween that I saw, but I was making a beeline to the fabric section.  I’m guessing that if I’d wandered past the initial display I would have seen stuff for little ghosts and ghouls.  It was so incongruous to me that they are selling items for the fall when it’s mid-July and 94° outside.  If I weren’t already overheated from Mother Nature, it would make my temperature go up!

I’m not sure why this drives me so crazy, but when retail jumps the gun on holidays and seasons, I just dig in a little more. I just want to celebrate the season I’m in, thank you very much- no need to start stocking up on pumpkin-themed items just yet.  And of course I’ve ranted here before about the Hallmark Channel running Christmas movies for weeks at a time during the summer months.  I adore holiday movies (well maybe not all the Hallmark ones) but they definitely have their place in my world.  And that place begins the day after Thanksgiving and not before.

So I guess I’ll just have to stubbornly keep ignoring the fall displays and the holiday movies until I’m ready. Sorry retail America.

What gets your temperature heated up?  What do you do to cool off?