Man In Ranks http://www.maninranks.com The next generation Internet as viewed by a man merely in ranks. Tue, 06 Feb 2018 12:10:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 2006-2007 christopher@maninranks.com (Man In Ranks) christopher@maninranks.com (Man In Ranks) http://www.maninranks.com/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/powered_by_podpress.jpg Man In Ranks http://www.maninranks.com 144 144 The next generation Internet as viewed by a man merely in ranks. Man In Ranks Man In Ranks christopher@maninranks.com no no Stupor Bowl LII – Who Needs Defense?! http://www.maninranks.com/2018/02/05/stupor-bowl-lii-who-needs-defense/ http://www.maninranks.com/2018/02/05/stupor-bowl-lii-who-needs-defense/#comments Mon, 05 Feb 2018 22:58:24 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4977 I don’t watch pro football any more unless there is a game in the snow on tv at a convenient time. Don’t enjoy indoor games; don’t truly believe that football should be played in Tampa or Jacksonville or Miami or New Orleans or even North Carolina in winter regardless of the achievements of the Southeastern College Conference.

Yesterday, I tuned-in to the Super Bowl at 10am! The game was to begin at 6:30pm and this seemed like the right thing to do. As I’ve written before, all Super Bowls pivot around #4 or IV where I worked as an usher for the Vikings and Chiefs game at Tulane Staduim and as a ticket or half-time admissions-pass scalper in partnership with my high school friend, Byron P.

The 10am ESPN show live from Minneapolis covered a story about the newly elected Hall of Fame members which now includes Jerry Kramer the renown guard for Coach Vince Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers in the 1960s. He and Fuzzy Thurston comprised the Green Bay Sweep which frequently led Jim Taylor or Paul Hornung into the end zone and Green Bay to 5 championships in the 60s including the first two Super Bowls, I & II. One ESPN host mentioned that the Philadelphia Eagles, now in Super Bowl LII, had not won a football championship since 1960 when they defeated the Green Bay Packers.

I remember that game, I said to myself; saw it at Mike Estoup’s house on Broadway in New Orleans. It was a Monday in the early afternoon. Tommy McDonald played without a face guard on his helmet. Norm Van Brocklin was the Eagles quarterback. I wanted to call the ESPN booth in Minnesota and remind them that Jerry Kramer played in this game in 1960. And that maybe they should consider the possible voodoo now that this famous Packer finally, after 10 years of rejection by the Hall of Fame, is now a member. Maybe this reversal of fortune is a foretelling of the fate that would welcome the Eagles in about 12 hours. It was although Coach Lombardi would not have recognized the complete absence of defense recommended by both teams in the game last night.

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I could continue in reminiscence by noting that Jerry Kramer, along with Jim Taylor and Paul Hornung, moved to Louisiana in 1966 somehow connected with the fledgling New Orleans Saints franchise. Taylor played for a few years (he went to LSU); Hornung did not play ever despite the season tickets sold in anticipation of these two Packers in the backfield for the Saints (Marketing, NOLA-style, for sure); Mr. Kramer invested in an off-shore oil business with Taylor as some sort of partner. I know this because my father was their stock broker and fellow adventurer for a time.

Super Bowl Fifty Two ended with the Eagles as the victors in Rocky style as Wentz went down and Foles stood up. Seems fair after 58 years of effort. I looked-up that 1960 championship game. Indeed, played on a Monday; December 26th at noon; no lights at Franklin Field in Philadelphia; the NFL just relocated its headquarters from Philly to New York City. That championship was Van Brocklin’s final pro game as the next year he became the head coach of the newly formed Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis (Eagles defeated the Vikings in the NFC Championship game two weeks ago).

I wonder what those 1960 Eagles would have thought of last night’s #52 played not only under the lights but indoors with 1,151 yards of combined offense and the Justin Timberlake marching band at the half. Jerry Kramer now enjoys his welcome to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio and the Eagles have their membership in the Club of Super Bowl Champions. After the game last night, LII, they received received the Vince Lombardi Trophy as vindication.

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3500 Down-Loads of Upgraded First Night Raleigh 2018 App, #84 http://www.maninranks.com/2018/01/10/3500-down-loads-of-upgraded-first-night-raleigh-18-app-84/ http://www.maninranks.com/2018/01/10/3500-down-loads-of-upgraded-first-night-raleigh-18-app-84/#comments Wed, 10 Jan 2018 15:23:41 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4972 FNR 18

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Sister Mary Katherine Would Have Been Proud http://www.maninranks.com/2018/01/09/sister-mary-katherine-would-be-proud/ http://www.maninranks.com/2018/01/09/sister-mary-katherine-would-be-proud/#comments Tue, 09 Jan 2018 23:50:20 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4959 IMG_4302

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From the Department of Disassociated Connections Department http://www.maninranks.com/2017/09/08/from-the-department-of-disassociated-connections-department/ http://www.maninranks.com/2017/09/08/from-the-department-of-disassociated-connections-department/#comments Sat, 09 Sep 2017 00:04:51 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4953 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.

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Blue Pane Studio Delivers Mobile Apps #82 & #83 http://www.maninranks.com/2017/05/09/blue-pane-studio-delivers-mobile-apps-82-83/ http://www.maninranks.com/2017/05/09/blue-pane-studio-delivers-mobile-apps-82-83/#comments Tue, 09 May 2017 15:49:17 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4938 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.

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À la Recherche du Temps Perdu http://www.maninranks.com/2017/05/07/a-la-recherche-du-temps-perdu/ http://www.maninranks.com/2017/05/07/a-la-recherche-du-temps-perdu/#comments Sun, 07 May 2017 22:18:42 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4936 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

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Inauguration Day 2017 – A Ceremony of Dignity and Inspiration http://www.maninranks.com/2017/01/21/inauguration-day-2017-a-ceremony-of-dignity-and-inspiration/ http://www.maninranks.com/2017/01/21/inauguration-day-2017-a-ceremony-of-dignity-and-inspiration/#comments Sun, 22 Jan 2017 01:08:04 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4865 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

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Blue Pane Studio Delivers Mobile App #81 for First Night Raleigh Sponsored by Fidelity http://www.maninranks.com/2017/01/06/blue-pane-studio-delivers-mobile-app-81-for-first-night-raleigh-sponsored-by-fidelity/ http://www.maninranks.com/2017/01/06/blue-pane-studio-delivers-mobile-app-81-for-first-night-raleigh-sponsored-by-fidelity/#comments Fri, 06 Jan 2017 23:15:25 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4857 FNR 17

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2016 not 1865 http://www.maninranks.com/2016/11/20/its-2016-not-1865-reflections-on-trumpster-clinton-inc/ http://www.maninranks.com/2016/11/20/its-2016-not-1865-reflections-on-trumpster-clinton-inc/#comments Sun, 20 Nov 2016 12:40:18 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4846 Executive summary by Jonathan Pie. Please note rough, Brit pub language, but no rougher than a presidential political campaign.

The stunning and also logical outcome of the presidential election coincided with several national anniversaries which modulate for me the Blues raving of apocalyptic certainty versus the Reds we-did-it, game-winning, end-zone Shimmey. It wasn’t only that Donald trumped Hillary. The nation, at nearly every level of government, told that level of government that it wants something done about the way that things are going, being communicated and How who is benefitting. What is to be made of the news industry, whose talents, resources and reputation are devoted to accurate insight of what is going-on, and so completely misidentified the will of the people that they “impartially” observe?

I believe that George Packer had it right in his New Yorker article published on Halloween.

On November 10 the United States Marine Corps celebrated its 241 birthday. Birthday greetings from their Commandant, General Neller, persuade me that there yet remains plenty of institutions valuing self-sacrifice, tradition and commitment to purpose.

On November 11 we celebrated Veterans Day. Before class in the Research Triangle Park, I asked 4 or 5 MBA graduates what does this day celebrate? Yikes! No one knew and the best guess was D-Day. Maybe we should rename it Thank You For Your Service Day which no veteran truly wants to hear because it is interpreted as ‘TYFYS while I was shopping at the mall.’ We haven’t experienced yet The War to End All Wars as was the ambition for the 11.11 at 11 a.m. armistice in 1918. I’m a proponent of national service for every young American. Maybe not military service and surely a ‘larger than the individual’ experience that introduces Blues to Reds, develops marketable skills and demonstrates the wonder of our nation as well as the need to preserve it.

November 19 is a special day for me. The older that I become, the more that I admire Abraham Lincoln. How did he do it?! Those Blues and Grays really did go to war. I’ve tried to memorize his Gettysburg Address delivered on 19 November 1963 and the near concluding segment challenges me.

Maybe it’s useful that I am not yet able to commit the Address to memory as such causes me to read and to re-read its hopeful admonition:

“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they here gave the last full measure of devotion.”

Now we have an immediate cause of our own. Its necessity may not be the preservation of our nation and it may be a time to nurture a renewed birth of freedom ensuring “that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

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Try Again. Fail Again. http://www.maninranks.com/2016/09/22/try-again-fail-again/ http://www.maninranks.com/2016/09/22/try-again-fail-again/#comments Thu, 22 Sep 2016 17:43:06 +0000 http://www.maninranks.com/?p=4833 I admire Stan Wawrinka. Seemingly doomed to be the foil to the magnificent Roger Federer. Like Andy Roddick and David Ferrer, a great tennis player and great in an era of the Olympian players Nadal, Djokovic, Murray and, certainly, Roger. Even when he won the 2008 Olympic Gold medal for Tennis Doubles, the story-line was that he was Federer’s partner.

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I witnessed Stan in full form on the opening round of the US Open in 2009, the year that Del Potro upset Roger in 5 sets including 2 tie-breakers. Roger lost late and Stan lost early; also in 5 sets, also with 2 tie-breakers, also to a South American, Nicolas Lapentti of Equador. Roger defeated on centre court before an audience of 23,000+; Stan defeated on a back court of the BJK Tennis Centre before an audience of several dozen, although the Ecuadorian flag and soccer-style fans out-sung their size. When people ever ask about being at a US Open, I answer with the vignette that ‘you can get so close that I once handed Stan Wawrinka a ball at the short fence in the middle of a match (the Lapentti one).’

His victory over Djokovic in the French Open of 2015 followed by their late 2015 Davis Cup victory versus France – this time he carried Roger with the bad back – certified Stan as a top player and much less of Roger’s hitting partner.

Then came Stan the Man, the indecipherable signature tattoo on his left arm, the ugly shorts and the wonder if he had only partnered with Magnus Norman earlier in his career.

For the third year in a row, he’s won a Grand Slam tournament and now has 3 as does Andy Murray, by the way. Tennis fans are no longer surprised when Stan goes deep in a tournament and no one really expects him to come out on top often. After all, the magnificent four are still around with Murray on the rise, Joker in the driver’s seat, Roger and Rafa waning.

I didn’t believe that Stan would defeat Djokovic on the anniversary of 9/11. Tennis, to me is like all sports, respite from, much less representative of life and the affairs of living. Stan won in 4 sets; Joker wasn’t his normal abnormal self, although he played well enough to win the match. Stan was braver in the end. More confident. More determination. More backhand. Most honest about his nervousness just prior to the match and his conviction to fail better throughout the match.

Roger Cohen of the NY Times reflected on 9/11 in an editorial published on 12 September, the morning after Stan’s victory. He makes a point that we honor one another not by wallowing in the past but by honouring the future of the past. He even says it, “by failing better.” I thought that he had to know what is inscribed on Stan’s left arm although RC does not mention it. But I want to.

We have Stan with another late in his career Grand Slam victory; his credo published on his arm; the 15th anniversary of 9/11 and what that’s done or what we’ve become, if only temporarily, as a result = the choice between a Hillary and a Trump. As Roger Cohen suggests, it’s obvious what we should do. There is no need to wait for anyone.

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