Dec 17 – WikiLeaks Releases Santa’s Naughty-Nice List !

By , 12/25/2010 2:47 PM

“Vacuus Ullus Sententia vel Sane”    

The world is in shock this morning. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s first act after being released on bail in the UK has been to release Santa’s Secret Naughty and Nice list.  The highly sensitive list is obviously Santa’s private working document.  It provides astounding insights into his personal views.
Santa responded to the release this morning through a spokes elf – “We have made adjustments in our Christmas list for Mr. Assange and all his associates”In the spirit of open journalism we reprint a portion of the list:  

  1. Pretend Journalists everywhere – Naughty – for publishing stolen documents released by WikiLeaks  and pretending it is journalism  Present – continued rapid decline of print advertising spending
  2. George Bush – Still Naughty – for attempting to redeem himself too soon – and not saying “oops” in  “Decision Points”   Present –  2 hour interview with Rachel Maddow
  3. Johnny Knoxville – Naughty and Stupid- for making Jack Ass 3D  – worst movie for 2010 – Read one 9th grade level book in 2011
  4. Paul Krugman  – Naughty and Annoying – would someone please shut this guy up??  The least he could do is not write the same @#!& column every week.- Hard drive crash and hand palsy for 2 months
  5. Andrés Iniesta – Very nice – His goal finally stopped that incredibly irritating vuvuzela  noise at the world cup- 2 magic goals for 2011.
  6. Rey Decegera  – Nice – gave the President a busted lip, which he deserved after shoving the health care bill down America’s throat- Four 3 pointers  in the next game with the President (if you are invited back)
  7.  Ben Bernanke   – not sure yet – will know for sure in about 10 years-  low inflation – but just 1 more year
  8. Wall Street Bankers – Naughty 5X ! – unbelievable greed AND stupidity – record bonuses after you hosed the world and were bailed out by taxpayers?!  Really??- IRS audits and no squash for 2 years
  9. Mark Zuckerburg – Naughty AND Nice – naughty because teenage girl high school graduation rates will drop in half. Nice because I can keep up with friend and family (except my high school girlfriend who REALLY wants to meet for lunch) –  Google remains distracted by launching new unrelated business
  10. Larry King – Nice ! – for finally deciding to retire     – just like the last 25 years, another pair of ugly suspenders
  11. Lady Gaga  – Nice – refreshing and fun costumes and music-  20 pounds of raw beef and gift certificate to Lens Crafters
  12. Nancy Pelosi   – naughty, naughty, naughty – A series of bad bills, annoying voice and refusing to step down when her party got its butt kicked in the election  – 5 hours locked in a room with Rush Limbaugh
  13. Jim Joyce  – Very Nice – admitting he was wrong – big man, big heart      – Does not have to call any games for the Yankees for 2 years
  14. Brett Favre  – Naughty – acting like a teenager with a camera phone    – re-retire 4 more years  – 20 interceptions and 20 sacks
  15.  Kim Jong-il   – Naughty, Naughty – but probably suffering from Kim Chi overload, that stuff would make me crazy too      – No Gilligan’s Island or Hogan’s Heroes reruns for 1 year
  16. LeBron James – Naughty – incredibly narcissistic career announcement – expected more class and respect to Cavalier owner Dan Gilbert   – losing season for Miami Heat
  17.   Tiger Woods – Really Naughty – again –    – 25 missed putts – all under 10 feet;  continued paparazzi harassment for 2 more years
  18.  Karen Owen  – Very Naughty – never kiss and tell- this was too much – what is it in the water down there at Duke??         – No internet access for 1 year
  19.   Dave Talley  – Very Nice – for reminding us all what honesty is….. and reminding us to not judge someone’s character by their personal circumstances – Does anyone on Wall Street know who he is ?? They should hire him… but he would not last – he is an honest man.       – a warm home and a rewarding job
  20. Eyjafjallajökull, – Very Nice  – forced all those type A globetrotters to chill for a few days    – 1 more eruption in 2011
  21. Greece – Very Nice – proving that governments can spend too much money – hoping the politicians in US, UK, Spain, Ireland are paying attention       – Low interest rate on Greek bonds for 3 years
  22. Black-eyed Peas – Nice –  for “I Gotta Feeling” and “Rock that Body” – love that beat!        – 2 more hit singles in 2011
  23. Steve Jobs – Very Nice – I have Apple stock in my 401(k) – and faking the loss of an iPhone 4 prototype before launch – that was great!     – Android worldwide virus for 2 weeks
  24.   Prince William and Kate Middleton  – for giving us all something exciting to look forward to in 2011and reinforcing the value of marriage as an institution(?) – many happy years together – no paparazzi for 1 week (best I can do)
  25.   Friday Thoughts  – Naughty and Stupid – for wasting people’s time each Friday with relentless, and pathetic attempts to say something interesting, insightful or funny.
    – no Friday Thoughts for 2 weeks    – 8 hours of budget review meetings

No thinking for the next 2 weeks – see you in January !

Have a great holiday break !

Interesting Unrelated facts

– You can track Santa’s via NORAD with a new iPhone app 

Claxton Fruitcake has been a holiday tradition since 1910. In fact, I think the cake my dad made me eat as a kid was made in 1910.

Christmas Tree Facts    – The first decorated Christmas tree was in Riga, Latvia in 1510. The first Christmas tree retail lot in the United States was started in 1851 in New York.

“Santa Claus” donated over $100K to a local Salvation Army in Missouri

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Friday Thoughts- Dec 10 – when others take credit

By , 12/10/2010 1:46 PM

I was fresh out of engineering school and working in the hot mill at ALCOA  in Tennessee.  Some of the equipment in my area had suffered a rash of bearing failures and I was assigned the task of figuring out a solution….. 

 I did lots research – called the manufacturer, talked to engineers at the other plants, read everything I could find about spherical roller bearings  , etc etc….and after a while was able to put 3 or 4 things together to figure out that if we relaxed the specs on float parameters we could dramatically increase bearing life ……and buy less expensive bearings…… I had not discovered nuclear fusion, but it was a breakthrough of sorts…..and my boss and the folks in my area were pretty excited about it…. 

About six months later I was at a big meeting of 60 or 70 Alcoa engineers …. the big boss – Head of Engineering for the entire complex gave the typical boring status of the business, etc…..  then he challenged us to be more innovative and introduced Mike to give us an example.

Mike was engineer from another area ….. quite a few years senior to me. ..… he then makes a presentation on how to improve bearing life and reduce costs by changing specs on float…… 

…… a couple of months earlier Mike had called me….. he had heard of my findings and wanted to see if they would apply to his area……and now he was standing in front of the entire engineering team presenting it as his work…. I was expecting him to at least mention that I had done some of the same work……..

…it is such an empty feeling – anticipated praise that never comes……

…. I was quite upset…. incredulous that someone would actually do that – take credit for something someone else did….. I just could not believe it…. it wasn’t so much that I wanted recognition, but it did not seem fair that someone else would shamelessly take credit….

… my supervisor recognized it and said something to the head of engineering and Mike…. but nothing happened….. I confronted Mike later and he just brushed me off…..

…. I laugh now at how naïve I was…. and how clumsy Mike was…. over the years I have had the benefit of watching real masters do this…. in fact, getting credit for something one did not actually do it is a highly refined competitive corporate sport….. and one that everyone should understand….

Some of the most sophisticated practitioners, the gold medalists in Credit Accumulation, can hear of a successful project for the very first time and within a few minutes drop a few clever comments that, without explicitly saying it, get the entire room to think they personally and solely originated the idea and did all the work themselves……

… is a very tricky thing….. how do we respond when others take credit for something you have done ?? …. or given that we all work in teams, the more likely scenario that someone takes excessive credit…..

I have observed (and participated!) in this corporate sport of credit taking for some time …. here are a couple of thoughts….

  • Others will take credit – it will happen, it is part of the game….it is part of human nature… we can’t get too wound up about it…… there are many injustices in the world…. most are much worse than this…..
  • Justice is eventually served – I am convinced that over time people see through this …..and the excessive credit takers become well known and recognized….. we all know them….. over time, and sometimes it takes a while, the lack of integrity and excessive ambition is exposed… colleagues will  shun them, supervisors will pass them by…. it almost always damages their careers.So sometimes, maybe even most of the time, it is best to just let it go … nothing… let them hang themselves…..
  • Confront personally, privately – when we see it, it seems like the best thing is to confront the offender privately with nothing more than letting them know we know….. no need to be righteous ….. just letting them know and calling them on it had great impact…. and gives no small measure of satisfaction….
  • Let our boss help – If it is really important to correct the record – more than just our bruised ego – it is best for our boss to do it.  Working to fix credit issues ourselves is a tricky game to play…. it can easily make us look petty and self serving, worse than the original offender….
  • Never be tempted – at some point we will all get a golden opportunity to take excessive credit – it is kind of like that massive desert tray they bring around in fancy restaurants…. it will be right there in front of us … so easy, and no one will know….. we have to resist, because people will know…. people will know…….
  • Give credit away – it’s a funny thing about credit and recognition – the more we give away the more there is – the best approach it to go the other way….. give it away freely….. the best thing is give too much credit to others, recognize the team, recognize our sponsors, mentors….. 4th grade teacher…..

So, I really want to thank Mike for his valuable contribution….. he gave me a terrific opportunity to experience the credit game early in my career……had he not done that I might be just where he is now….. in the same role 30 years later wondering why my career never went anywhere….   Thanks Mike !!!!

Have a great weekend !
Interesting Unrelated Facts:

– The water of Angel Falls in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet(979 meters) – 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

– Market capitalization 12/9/10 – Exxon $363B, Apple $293B, Microsoft $231B, Google $189B, Starbucks $24B, US Steel $7.6B

– Math Quiz –   If 1¾  chickens can lay  1¾ eggs  in 1 ¾ days, how many chickens are required to get a dozen eggs in 1 week?

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