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Part 1: How Music Works—Dissonance.

In a past life, I was a music major. This prepared me to talk about music a lot. And even to produce it. But it, did not prepare me to play it. So, for the past several decades, I have been a frustrated picker, with music in my head with no way of getting out. But I am grateful fur the understanding of how music works. It has been a great help in producing all sorts of audio. And, if you understand how to hear it, you can be a much more effective video producer as well. I’d like to…

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Mentors

I’ve learned a lot of things from my mentors. When I was four, my grandfather let me help him with his garden. I got to dig with a spade. And, as a side benefit of learning to dig, I learned that you could use certain types of claw hammers as picks, to loosen dirt. Then you can dig out the dirt with a table spoon. I learned to love excavation. Now, I can’t hammer a nail or replace the guts of a toilet to this day. But I can dig. A few years later, I learned from my dad important…

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Why do I hit myself with a hammer?

Because it feels so good when I stop. The economy is reminding me of this old joke today. We still have more than 6 million people unemployed. And we still have a huge number of upside down mortgages. And we still have anemic home sales and depressed home prices. But the news is not as bad as it used to be. So, the market sees it as good news. We’re up almost 2 percent, and it’s not even noon. What will happen when we take the needles out of our eyes? Now that will be a boom!

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skeert.

The first time I went off the high dive at the Martins Ferry public pool, it took a few tries. Got in line. Climbed the ladder. Walked out onto the springboard. Looked down at the water (actually, I think I was looking at the bottom). Got butterflies. Turned around, made everyone get off the ladder, and went back down. Lifeguard asked me what the problem was. I could swim. I could hold my breath. I had made dives off the low board and the side of the pool many times. So, what was the problem? I was skeert (there doesn’t…

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Do you see what’s funny about this?

I went to a rubber-chicken dinner a few months ago. The speaker was the executive producer of a highly-regarded Sunday, talking-head, news commentary show. She was talking about things like how disastrous it was to undo the damage of being misquoted. How powerful a mere mention can be in the launch of a product. Stuff like that. In her conclusion, she said:…the media is a powerful medium…It about cracked me up. Maybe it’s just a writer thing. Some people see nothing funny about this whatsoever. So, there’s that.

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A test of character.

Way back in my waiter days, I discovered a wonderful, single-question test of character. Do you treat the people who work for you the same as you treat the people you work for? Try it out. It always works. I first noticed it when I was a waiter. Business people would bring clients, customers, or prospects to our restaurant to entertain them. The really good, honest, hard-working, intelligent ones (the ones with long-term solid reputations) were very polite to their guests; but surprisingly, they were equally polite to their waiter…and their bus boy! But the ones who were known around…

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Big Du.

I don’t know why this story came to mind. Maybe it’s to remind me that tough people have feelings too.Back when I was in college, one of my roommates was from Cincinnati. His little brother was a tackle for Cincinnati Princeton (or one of those elite Cincinnati football high schools you always read about in Sports Illustrated). Big Du was like 6’5” and 250, mostly muscle, as a 17-year-old. He was massive!There was also this girl who hung out at our apartment. Can’t remember her name…we called her “Rabbit.” She was about 4’10” and skinny. So she couldn’t have weighed…

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Bruised reed.

Friday was a half-day, and we made the most of it. We ran some errands and then we popped over to the Delellos to borrow Anne of Green Gables (the quintessential Canadian chick flick/arty-right-brained epic). We took a break in the late afternoon, and we ran into our neighbor who told us (in a calm, but serious tone) that there was a tornado warning and that we should get inside. Sky was a little green. We headed home. About the time we were back in the house, ensconced in the den with Anne Shirley and her adopted family, wind started…

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September 30, 2008.

That was the last time the Volatility Index closed this low. Today, it closed at 38.85! ’Scuse me while I do the little learned optimist dance.

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Facebook chit-chat.

I’m thinking Facebook might have a couple of problems they hadn’t counted upon. First, the site/ap/service was created during times that were (for most people) pretty solid economically. Making the rent wasn’t a worry. Buying groceries certainly wasn’t. We were, as a culture, all up in the “self actualization” zone. So, connecting with old friends, making new friends, and hi-by drive-bys were the order of the day. But things are a little different. Not that long ago, clients started canceling projects that were not “directly revenue generating.” So, we’re back to transactions. And so is everyone else. It’s all about…

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