Category Archives: Business

One-Way Market

On my trip to Madison last weekend, I went to the Dane County Farmers’ Market on Saturday morning. It is a four-block affair that rims the capital building.  You can enter the market from any of the incoming streets but my friends explained early on that you can only go one way at the market.

As we were there pretty early (6:30 a.m.) and it wasn’t very crowded I didn’t understand the rule about one-way. And it’s not a posted rule either, so that made me want to turn and go the other way very badly.

But after about an hour of very leisurely looking, tasting and shopping, it had gotten very crowded; that’s when I realized the intelligence of the one-way rule. At that point it would have been very awkward (and inefficient) to try to go against the crowd.  My friends told me that in another hour, it would be even worse!

It was a great market – all local folks, no re-sellers. I ended up with a purple cauliflower, a chili-cheese bread, a little tiny apple pie, cherry tomatoes that taste out of this world, squeaky cheese curds, another cheese w/ Kalamata olives and some multi-colored potatoes.  A real score!

When have you gone against the grain?

Work & Fun

Today we had summer fun at work.  Out on the big patio, all the tools and t-shirts were ready for tie dying so we just wrapped up our shirts and squirted away.  And I got a temporary tattoo (logo for our summer program).  None of this has anything to do with my actual job, but it was fun and made the day go by a little faster.

What activity makes your work go faster?


The Omen

Today’s post comes to us from Linda.

Something in the picture above seems ominous. Or perhaps omenous. But what does it mean?  Wikipedia tells us:

The Romans, unlike the Greeks, considered that signs from the left were usually favorable and positive, while signs from the right were seen as adverse and negative. However, under Greek influence this procedure began to change and eventually lost its universal weight, meaning that each omen case was to be examined separately.

Left or right?  Good or bad?  Discuss.

You Can Retire….

This weekend’s post comes to us from Jacque.

Recently I received the content below as an email from a friend who lives in Florida:

You can retire to Phoenix, Arizona where …

      • You are willing to park three blocks away from your house because you found shade.
      • You’ve experienced condensation on your rear-end from the hot water in the toilet bowl.
      • You can drive for four hours in one direction and never leave town.
      • You have over 100 recipes for Mexican food.
      • You know that “dry heat” is comparable to what hits you in the face when you open your oven door at 500 degrees.
      • The four seasons are: tolerable, hot, really hot, and ARE YOU KIDDING ME??


You can retire to California where …

      • You make over $450,000 a year and you still can’t afford to buy a house.
      • The fastest part of your commute is going down your driveway.
      • You know how to eat an artichoke.
      • When someone asks you how far something is, you tell them how long it will take to get there rather than how many miles away it is.
      • The four seasons are: Fire, Flood, Mud and Drought.


You can retire to New York City where …

      • You say “the city” and expect everyone to know you mean Manhattan.
      • You can get into a four-hour argument about how to get from Columbus Circle to Battery Park, but can’t find Wisconsin on a map.
      • You think Central Park is “nature.”
      • You believe that being able to swear at people in their own language makes you multilingual.
      • You’ve worn out a car horn. (IF you have a car.)
      • You think eye contact is an act of aggression.


You can retire to Minnesota where …

      • You only have three spices: salt, pepper and ketchup.
      • Halloween costumes have to fit over parkas.
      • You have seventeen recipes for casserole.
      • Sexy lingerie is anything flannel with less than eight buttons.
      • The four seasons are: almost winter, winter, still winter, and road repair.
      • The highest level of criticism is “He is different,” “She is different,” or “It was different!”


You can retire to The Deep South where …

      • You can rent a movie and buy bait in the same store.
      • “Y’all” is singular and “all y’all” is plural.
      • “He needed killin” is a valid defense.
      • Everyone has two first names: Billy Bob, Jimmy Bob, Joe Bob, Betty Jean, Mary Beth, etc.
      • Everything is either: “in yonder,” “over yonder” or “out yonder.”
      • You can say anything about anyone, as long as you say “Bless his heart” at the end!


You can retire to Nebraska or Iowa where…

      • You’ve never met any celebrities, but the mayor knows your name.
      • Your idea of a traffic jam is three cars waiting to pass a tractor
      • You have had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” on the same day.
      • You end sentences with a preposition; “Where’s my coat at?”


FINALLY you can retire to Florida where …

      • You eat dinner at 3:15 in the afternoon.
      • All purchases include a coupon of some kind – even houses and cars
      • Everyone can recommend an excellent cardiologist, dermatologist, proctologist, podiatrist, or orthopedist.
      • Road construction never ends anywhere in the state.
      • Cars in front of you often appear to be driven by headless people.

What area would add to this list?

Shrimp Harbor

I don’t like shrimp. They are bottom feeders. Harvesting them in the wild is destructive for the ocean floor. I don’t like their taste or texture.

Now I find that 150,000,000 shrimp will be raised annually in my home town in southwest Minnesota, in an ecofriendly “shrimp harbor”.  They will fatten on local corn and soybeans in a covered, 9 acre factory that will use less water than the old meat packing plant did in its heyday. The harbor won’t smell. It won’t pollute. The shrimp will be free of disease and antibiotics.  I hope all the promises made by the company are true.  I wonder  if we can call such shrimp “sea food” or if we will need to find a different descriptive phrase for it.

I am amazed at the technology behind this, and glad for the positive economic impact it will bring to the town.  I still won’t eat shrimp, though.  I can’t get past the texture.

How do you like your sea food?

The Mall

We have a variety of shops: cheese, socks, pie, underwear, candy, Cracker jacks, Three Musketeers, peanuts, toast, jam, fish balls, ice cream, chocolate, books, Gold mine stock, swamp real estate, Brooklyn Bridge, air, pet rocks, nails and screws.

What should we name our little mall? Should we open on holidays?

Just Breathe

Today’s post comes from tim.

the need to breathe is well documented

i find myself breathing differently when under stress especially newly realized urgent response called for kind of stress is introduced

i remind myself to breathe, to try to stay in a thinking vs reaction mode (dual mode are the reality) to try to help by doing a meditative shoulder roll and uhmmmm kind of mantra and then to look for avenues to the desired end result in light of newly introduced whatever that input was

some times like when i switched the bald tires from the front to the back on my car only to get caught in icy conditions the next day and have the 65 mph rear end of my freshly rotated vehicle go around the curve on the freeway ahead of me like a snowboarder in the x games

i bet i did do a little body english and a quick look to the side ala dorthy in the tornado at the sights going by during my rotation but i must have had an instinctive response because upon completing one full rotation i regained my original trajectory and found a new appreciation for simply going forward.

last tuesday after assurances from my property manager that my landlord word discuss extending my lease beyond  the 6 month offer made when she was confronted with the reality of her thoughts of selling the leaky lifeboat she had me occupying, i told her i’d fix it up and give her a fair price but only through my mediator. i tried to push for a conclusion before taking off for china and by golly thursday i got my wish

notice to be out by may 31. i get back from china may 3 and leave again may 8 for the week to return the 12th. my breath got short, my shoulders tensed the meeting with developers needing my direction for the final tweak of a program we are working on hiccuped severely and i decided how to break the news to my wife 48 hours before my departure.

i tried talking to the property manager and went invisible

i told my wife and sent her the rental property entities i am familiar with and she started her search

she found a new one who is custom made for people in my circumstance and i called the guy at 2 and was viewing houses by 245 with 2 more than acceptable options to take her to on friday morning and as i am getting ready to board my flight for the detroit to shanghai leg of my flight i am trying to decide on bigger quieter with a yard or exactly the right size with a busy street and no yard to speak of but parks across the street and bicycle paths lake access etc less than 3 minutes away.

i am breathing ok and hope my application goes through as expected.

i hate having to remember to breathe.


when have you felt relieved?