Monday, June 28, 2010

M&M Monday

Summer Time for Maggie & Millie

View off the back porch:

Back Scratchin' Millie.


Zzzzzzz . . . .

The girls were hanging out in the yard . . .

Ever vigilant.

And then they saw something, & off they go!

Yesterday, the girls were all barky & watching out the window like it was TV.

The source of their fascination?

Neighbor Dave on his tractor.

Lazy Dazy Summer Time. :-)

Monday, June 21, 2010

M&M Monday

On the Ramp

Millie leads the way . . .

Maggie sniffs the air.

The double Stop 'n' Sniff.

Millie does the Stop 'n' Won't Go.

Maggie makes her escape.

Maggie is fond of the Stop 'n' Plop.

Back up the ramp. :-)

Monday, June 14, 2010

M&M Monday

Millie has taken to lying down in the hallway--which is fine until Maggie wants to get by. Millie will not budge.

"Not going anywhere."

Maggie woofs it up, but to no avail! And then she gets brave . . .

What's funny is that she tries to go by really fast!

Here are the girls having breakfast. I mentioned that sometimes the coffee table makes its way into the center of the room as I make more (and more...and more) room for the girls to sit near me when I'm on the sofa.

They look like bookends:

Nom nom nom.

And that's another week in the life of M&M. :-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Funny Friday

I often look at packaging and imagine the marketing meetings that take place...

Bob: We need a new initiative in toilet paper. Something that says, "New & Improved" without saying that.
Bill: Something that says we're bigger & better than other toilet paper.
Mary: What if we were to super-size our rolls?
Bob: Yeah, but Legal won't let us say, "Super-size." What says, "BIG," without saying "Big?"
Mary: How about "uber?"
Bob: No, the American public doesn't want foreign languages on their toilet paper. Let's go with "Mega."
Bill: I think we need to spell it out. Why don't we include some TP Math?

12 Mega rolls = 48 lame rolls of our competition.

Bob: Thanks for thinking outside the box, Bill.
[Mary sneezes] Don't mind me. Just feeling a little crappy with this cold. My nose is a bit stopped up.
Bob: That reminds me, let's say "regular" rolls.
Mary: And we don't want to leave out the Squeeze Factor from our past marketing. Think about Mr. Charmin.
Bob: Thanks for circling back on that, Mary. Let's go ahead and slap a bear on there with a giant roll. And make sure he's smiling; really enjoying the TP Experience. What else, team?
Bill: Bears are strong, but we should also say that our TP is strong. In case there's any doubt.
Bob: Not just strong. Stronger than strong...
Bill: Ultra-strong!
Mary: You know what I want in TP? I want to know I can count on it. I want--
Bob: Dependability! Good thinking, Mary.
Bill: And do you think we should go bi-lingual on that concept?
Bill: You know, so we're not missing out on our foreign demographic.
Bob: Yeah, go ahead and put some Mexican on there.

Because who wants regular, weak, undependable TP?

Monday, June 7, 2010

M&M Monday

Yes, it's Monday! And Maggie & Millie are still our favourite Monday feature. You may have been surprised to see my Delivering Happiness book review earlier. I promised Tony I would do that today. ;-) Seriously, go get the book. I'll wait.

Got it? Good. Now that that's done, we have . . .

Porch Time

Millie likes to drape her feet over the edge.

La-dee-da . . . Zzzzz . . . .

I let the girls out and this is as far as they go!

This is their spot for squirrel 'n' deer watching. The squirrels taunt the girls when they're inside; they run all over the rafters and the rails. They do an acrobat act on the birdfeeder. It's all very entertaining. Out the front window, the trees have grown, so that you can barely see a coupla spots of the river. Millie sits and watches and every once in a while, she barks. I think she sees a deer, but I look out; no deer. And then I see what she's seeing: canoers on the river. Wow.

Last week, Millie woke me up at 2:30am to go outside. Hehhh . . . you know how you try wake up enough to walk, but stay asleep enough to go back to bed? Well. I straggle out onto the porch and the girls go down the ramp. I hold a flashlight for them so they can see. So they're down sniffing around. And then! THEN! OFF THEY GO DOWN THE DRIVEWAY barking up a storm. I had to run in and get my shoes and run after them. "Hey! Where are you going? Get back here!" They're all excited about the deer. We were all so loud that Fisherman Willie's wife heard us. Sorry!

So that's been our exciting week. The girls still get snarly with each other about their food. Maggie is at my feet wherever I am for any length of time. Millie is my guard dog, ever watchful. Of squirrels and whatnot. ;-) A few minutes ago, Maggie was wagging her tail. In her sleep. So SWEET. It's a great M&M day. :-)

Delivering Happiness :-) Book Report

Is your work just a job, or is it a calling? How do you feel about today being Monday? Got a SMILE on your face? These people do:

You may have seen the Zappos puppet commercials, or like me, you may have seen CEO Tony Hsieh on Oprah a coupla years ago when he was on The Secret Millionaire show. You may even know about him because you shop at Zappos, the super-friendly online, shoe store. I've been following him on Twitter because he is funny. More than that; thought-provoking, smart, creative, & entertaining. I love seeing the world through his eyes because he has managed to keep the enthusiasm and curiosity of a child. It's contagious. I was a fan long before I bought shoes--last month. So I was excited to get an advanced copy of his new book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose.

My path began on a worm farm.

And so he begins, telling of growing up Asian-American and his first entrepreneurial venture at the age of nine. Spoiler alert: the worms escape, but it marks the beginning of his business pursuits.

He went from aspiring worm farmer to selling his first company to Microsoft for $265 MILLION* at the age of 24. He took online shoes to $1 billion in sales for the year, 2 years ahead of schedule. He tells his story with humor, and without a ghostwriter. It reads like a novel: Oh, no! Zappos doesn't get funding from the bank? What's going to happen next? And throughout the book, Tony's sense of humor and playfulness shine through everything he does; from pranking employers in his first jobs, to creating fun experiences for employees.

This is why every business should read this book: It wouldn't matter what the widget was. It just happens to be shoes. It's not about the shoes, it's about the culture of the company, and their core values:

Our goal at Zappos is for our employees to think of their work not as a job or career, but as a calling.

Much like "having the right people on the bus" in Jim Collins' Good to Great, Zappos expects to have the right people and then train them. All employees, no matter what position, go thru the same training. They all have to spend time on the CLT (Customer Loyalty Team) phones. And new employees actually get paid $2000 to quit in their first month if they don't like working there. Less than 1% do. Phone time is the foundation of their customer service. There are no time limits, no up-selling, and more often than not, phone calls don't even translate to sales. It's all about building relationships. When you've got nothing, and no marketing budget, how do you get people to talk about you? Customer service. Can you imagine how different the world would be if businesses just made that little shift?

There is so much more I could write about this book; it's fun and quirky and inspiring. It's a simple principle: define your values, create your culture. And so powerful.

Perhaps with the launch of Delivering Happiness, Zappos will become a verb, much like Google. What if school's said, "You know, we're not fostering enough fun and creativity. We should Zappos the curriculum." What if they did that at the grocery store? Or the dry cleaners? Or . . . everywhere?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to Zappos my day. We can live in the now, or to quote Tony:

*I didn't realize I'd misquoted that number until I got an email from John Morgan:

You may want to double check your figures. I believe the amount he sold his company to Microsoft for had 3 more zeros on the end. Is math on the Mensa exam?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day of Rest

HAPPY Sunday, everyone! :-)

Friday, June 4, 2010

FUNShop Friday

A year ago, I started transcribing some Dave Dobson tapes from his 1988 Funshop, lent to me by John Morgan. He and Doug O'Brien & Jerry Stocking were all participants. Here's a funny bit:

Someone asked Dave, "Did you ever get anybody with stigmata?" Dave said, "Yeah. I've had two. Would you like to know what I said to them?" And from the back, Jerry pipes up, "You can make your own wine?" Hahahaha Speaking of Jerry, he's in NYC this weekend for a seminar. If you're in the city, you can check him out for a free introductory evening tonight. Click HERE. I would be there except I'm not. ;-) HAPPY Friday, everyone!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Solution to Oil Spill

From my friend, Fairie Elaine. The best solutions are often the simplest.