Archive for the 'random musings' Category

Three talking styles.

Three speakers, all intelligent people. different styles.

The scattergun.

Let’s call him X. X is intelligent, successful and articulate. Boy, is X articulate. He has a lot to say and he’s not sure life is long enough to say it all, so he says it all at once. X never finishes a sentence. Halfway though, X will have a thought, drop the thread, probably for good, and start in on the new topic. Listening to X is like putting your ear to a verbal fire hose.  You want to run away.   Oddly enough, a lot of women speak this way, particularly in groups and to one another.  They will even interrupt one another mid sentence -yet no-one seems to care – except any male listening.

The elephant

Y is also intelligent. He thinks deeply about what he wants to tell you. The problem is, Y  likes to compose his sentences in full, which is great, but unfortunately he feels the need to rehearse them internally a couple of times before he opens his mouth. As a result, you can ask Y a question, wait, conclude he’s not heard you after a long second delay, and find yourself asking again. At which Y looks mightily offended. Because, of course, Y has a perfectly good answer for you, which he would have begun ponderously outlining if only you’d allowed him a courteous 30 seconds of rehearsal time.   I used to work with a guy like this (as a subordinate, so I couldn’t escape)  twenty years ago.  Really frustrating.

The razor

Somewhere there’s a middle ground.   The best speaker I know, Z,  is successful and well regarded. Why?  Z is very astute.  He thinks fast but never actually says anything at all unless he believes it contributes to the conversation.  When he does, it’s succinct and it gets to the point.   In particular, he is always careful to put things into context for you, and he does speak in complete sentences rather than run-ons and fragments.   When Z opens his mouth, you listen.  I’m talking about you, Craig!

No prizes for guessing which type of speaker I aspire to be.  Sadly, I’m not as quick or as smart as Z, so the result merely appears pompous.

Heartbreaking yet inspiring

I’ve linked before to the excellent blog fatcyclist.com. Elden writes with humour about his experiences as a MTB rider – you don’t have to be one to enjoy it. But lately, Elden’s life has taken a sad turn, with his wife Susan diagnosed with what is most likely a terminal cancer that has spread to her brain.

Elden is documenting Susan’s progress on the blog and it’s heartwrenching stuff. Susan is brave to let him do it. But it’s not all bad. Elden is using his blog to help support and fund Susan’s fight to live. He’s selling cycling gear and even having a raffle and sausage BBQ.

Elden and Susan are strangers to me, but their story deserves some extra publicity.

Read the blog, send Susan a message of support… buy a shirt.

I can’t believe I heard that right. #1

Local radio advertisement for an energy company – signoff.

“ffrrrarrrpppp”….

“We make gas as easy as you do.”

Neuvo words

Up until 3 weeks ago I’d never heard the word “Barista”.

Suddenly I’m hearing and reading it everywhere.

What gives?

Cold Comfort Foam

This week I made a quick $50 cash doing a market research survey. Interesting process, this.

It was a one-on-one half hour session. The product in question is supposed to relieve joint or muscular pain – it may be released soon by a prominent pharmaceutical company. (I can’t name them, I promised!)

First, I watched a quick animation of the application process and read the advertising “blurb” describing the product. Then the researcher asked me a lot of questions about how I felt about the product and the company.

Next, he produced a sample of the product and had me apply some to my wrist. Weird stuff. Comes out like shaving cream, is very cold, and makes “crackling” sounds as you rub it into your skin. Almost disturbing.

Then the researcher asked me pretty much all the same questions all over again to see if after actually seeing and “using” the product, my answers had changed.

Well, not many had. If they had told me up front that we weren’t actually going to test the product on real pain (and I was a bit tender in places, having just ridden 210km on the bike), then I could have told them in seconds most of what they were trying to find out.

Which is:

No, I don’t believe product blurbs. Yes, I might buy the product on the recommendation of my trusted doctor or friends who had found it did the job. No, I have no idea how much you should charge for it, given that I have no idea how well it works. No, I don’t like the name you’ve given it. No, I don’t like the wasteful and eco-unfriendly packaging.

There you go, $50 worth of opinion in one succinct paragraph!

My superpower – feet of clay.

This, my friends, is my foot.

After saying “Ewwwww!”, consider this.

If I lie flat on my back in bed* under heavy covers, my toes don’t stick up and make it uncomfortable**.

So there.

* or on my front.  😉

** Apart from grossing people out, this is the only use*** I have found for this particular talent.

*** Unless you can think of one… let me know.

Bam! Biff! Thwack! Not!

from Kurt Busiek/Stuart Immonen’s graphic novel “Secret Identity”.

Read it.