Archive for 2017

From the Department of Disassociated Connections Department

Friday, September 8th, 2017

My Naval Academy classmates exchanged an email thread tacking from Houston weather to Navy football documentaries to jets bursting from the decks of aircraft carriers with a casual mention of a Public Broadcasting special. The following association occurred in a note to my classmates:

Re Public Television – there has been a cooperative effort between our local Naval Academy alumni chapter and the local PBS affiliate, UNC TV, to promote the upcoming Ken Burns series, The Vietnam War, beginning on 17 September. Curiously, our chapter of 130+ includes numerous veterans of that period – pilots, Marines, F-4 POW with many and varied stories of their experiences. I only consider myself a product of Vietnam when I meet with Blue & Gold reps (Naval Academy recruiters) and the applying hopefuls. We hosted a picnic for the Class of 2021 in June. Amazing were their credentials and the wickets of Getting into Navy (one lass met with a US Senator – surely a sign of acceptance – only to be informed later that she was bested by others. Off to Air Force went she! I didn’t think that senators met with you unless you were a lock for appointment). When I meet these mids, I marvel and often comment that ‘there is no way that I would be accepted today’ and that my appointment – 16 June 1970 via telegram – describes the then prevailing lack of nationwide appeal of a role, job or billet in the military – “if that’s what you want to do” was an often heard rejoinder to my choice of road out of New Orleans.

We’ve mentioned Ruben Torres (ed note: RT was a flamer, boxer, aspiring Marine who bullied all of the new plebes. As the Fates would have it, he flunked out in his senior year and sent into the enlisted ranks. How we plebes cheered when we learned of his ill fate!) and the 6-3 funsters on Plebe Detail before. Plus no air conditioning in the Halls. Somehow, whenever asked “Were You in Vietnam?” I reply immediately in the negative and equally quickly think of Rich Hormel and Dek Pullen. Hormel was a squad leader elsewhere in Hotel Company; Pullen in the 3rd set was one firstie whom I admired for his humor, level headedness and fair sense for playing the Plebe Summer game.That they were both lost in aircraft accidents soon after their own graduations are tragedies that I, for some reason, attribute to the Vietnam War. In those moments of recollection of ‘couldabeen anybody,
I am amazed with the reminder of decisions lightly taken – “Of course, I’ll try Annapolis; got to be better than LSU” sort of illogic. Fate is indeed fickle. Boys making the same decision at nearly the same time amidst similar circumstances. Most meander-through graced by ignorance of consequence; some lost altitude nearly immediately.

https://usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/RICHARD_C._HORMEL,_LTJG,_USN

https://usnamemorialhall.org/index.php/GRANVILLE_D._PULLEN,_CAPT,_USMC

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Blue Pane Studio Delivers Mobile Apps #82 & #83

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

Fidtern 2017

Fidtern’s purpose is to connect the approximate 1,000 summer interns moving from web and paper-based community tools.

AS 2017

Event-support app for Raleigh’s annual spring festival featuring 170+ artists and craftspeople.

À la Recherche du Temps Perdu

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

A journalist friend of mine, Kay McFadden, once informed me that published interviews were a kind of cop-out in journalism. Seldom have I read them since.

A newly-trained IBM sales colleague of mine wrote (sic), actually texted, this week sharing her thrill with closing her first deal and wondering how to get it all done = time management. Don’t tell Katherine and here is the text and the texts of our related conversation:

ER One struggle I have had lately though is time management. I feel like I am constantly at events, etc. but I also find myself piling up on enablement courses to actually start enhancing my skills. If you have any advice on that, I will take all! Hahaha

Chris P Time Management. Regardless of the rate and pace of technology, there are only 24 hours in everyone’s day. I read a related book in 1985 when I landed my first sales job with a small local tech company, I read about this book in the Wall Street Journal which was written in 1959.

I purchased it, read it and it is one of the few business books that has survived on my office bookshelf.

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The other The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People is which has become a cottage industry in itself. I met Mr. Covey in the early 90s when he was hawking his methods to any audience of any size.

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I worked from home for 15 years, which I found to be much more productive than any kind of office environment that I witnessed or experienced. I like to have control of my own time. My first rule which I obeyed without fail is that I did not sacrifice my health for my work = diet, rest and exercise are important to me. I made time for all three every day as I’ve seen too many of us ‘throw their bodies at the work’ by sacrificing sleep, cheating on diet and forever postponing exercise. These habits will catch-up with us.

The second rule was that I’ve kept a near daily journal since 1976 when I was 24 years old. This has helped me to clarify my own thinking, helps me to make sense of my world, and at this stage of life, I see how such a habit has strengthened my memory and allowed me to make connections of events, people and ideas over my career.

When I joined IBM in 1999, we watched a Welcome to Blue video with a segment by the CEO, Lou Gerstner. He admonished us that we were going to win in the marketplace, not because we were going to go to every meeting or answer every email, but because we would be guided by doing what is right for the customer.

Ours is a process-heavy company and it is now a difficult period for the company. Hence, lots of hand-rubbing, calls, measurements and reports. You’ve got to keep your eye on what is important to your customers as they must come first.

Finally, my close friend in San Francisco who travels internationally too much is fond of the phrase ‘tyranny of the urgent.’ He likes to ask if it is also important.

What’s your own thinking in this regard?

ER I find myself falling into those exact habits, cheating on my diet/ pushing off exercise because “I have no time” — I like the idea of working from home so that I can fit everything in when I feel, and take a break every once in a while. But I also see the benefits of working from the office, so I get everything done at one time.

I am absolutely going to purchase those books and read through them. Journaling is something I do, but often forget about when I get “too busy”.

I also agree with your friend. I find myself rushing around everyday just trying to get as much done as possible. I think this is a point I need to make to myself as I need to concentrate on the more important things and not just getting everything done in a hurry, or the most ‘urgent’ seeming.

Great advice! Thank you

Inauguration Day 2017 – A Ceremony of Dignity and Inspiration

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

I observed an orderly transfer of power with only 30 days available for transition between the in-coming and out-going commanders. The former heralded for his leadership style and broad organisational achievements. The latter possessed of an accomplished career; selected with high hopes as an agent of change amidst a challenging and probable chaotic environment. In attending witness were numerous former office holders; family; friends; current and former staff; and visitors. Pressing affairs suspended to celebrate this tribute to and confidence in our nation. The power to destroy nations relinquished and adopted with the simply eloquent and traditional oath of office, i.e.

“I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The departing commanding officer reports to the senior officer present that ‘he has been properly relieved.’ The new Captain assumes command; the former commanding officer returns to the rank of Commander.

And so proceeded the Change of Command ceremony aboard the USS North Carolina, SSN 777, a nuclear powered submarine stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Commander Gary Montalvo was relieved properly by Commander Matt Lewis on Friday January 20th at 10 a.m. Hawaiian Standard Time.

I wish that you could have seen this occasion. Even though individual achievement was recognized and individuals offered their personal points of view about the recent past and their ideas for the impending future, the occasion with its ceremony celebrated our nation, its purpose and the young men and women who quietly subsume themselves to an intangible and, clearly evident, greater good. The gravity of and the opportunity for the occasion is lost on no one present. Then we celebrated with a hamburger and ice tea buffet: proud to part of the ceremony; proud of our Navy; mindful of the greatness of our nation. Don’t let anyone at any level tell you otherwise.

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North Carolina crew cheering Captain Montalvo’s departure, “Go Tarheels.”

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Commander Montalvo wearing his gifts of good wishes.

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SSN777Club Executive Director (me) with Commanding Officer, Matt Lewis

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Americans Not Forgotten

Blue Pane Studio Delivers Mobile App #81 for First Night Raleigh Sponsored by Fidelity

Friday, January 6th, 2017

FNR 17