300,000 Birthday Cards, Bill Gates and Bono, and Johnny's Shocking Language.
Good Morning from Prince Edward Island,
Put the kettle, glasses and music player on. It's a new Saturday!
A little nip in the air this morning, temperature, as I write, is -9C / 16 F.
Thank you for being here and allowing me into your time and space
Let's start with some happy news and a Prince Edward Island connection.
On March 6, 2020, Fred Arsenault will be 100 years old. Mr. Aresenault is a native of St. Louis, P.E.I., who moved to Toronto for work in 1963. He and his wife, Yvonne, retired to his St. Louis homestead in 1980. In 2009, the year after Yvonne's death, Fred moved back to Ontario to live with his son, Ron.
His birthday wish was to receive 100 birthday cards for his big day. It looks like he is on track for over 300,000. And from all over the world. Happy Birthday, Fred!
Read more of the Journal Pioneer story here.
For those of you who read here, know that I have been writing about my 20 books in 2020 goal. Happy to say things are moving along. For a variety of reasons, not as much reading this week as hoped.
I am halfway through but plan on finishing book #6 this weekend. Measure What Matters is a non-fiction book by John Doerr. This previous Intel employee shares a broad range of first-person, behind-the-scenes case studies. Narrators include Bono and Bill Gates. They share how focus, agility, and explosive growth one may experience through the use and power of OKR's. A collaborative protocol for companies, teams, and individuals.
It is a goal-setting system where objectives define what to seek and achieve. Key results are how those top-priority goals are attained with specific, measurable actions within a set time frame. It is powerful for individuals as well as profit or non-profit organizations as well.
Some of my favourite quotes from the book are:
Ideas are easy. Execution is everything.
Don't allow the perfect to be the enemy of the good. ~ Voltaire
We don't hire smart people to tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do. ~ Steve Jobs
Transparency seeds collaboration
I have found, there is rarely a single right answer. By loosening the reins and backing people to find their right answers, we help everyone win.
"If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster." ~ Steven Covey
Sharing what I don't know, and what I am learning is ok. Isn't it interesting how ego plays with one's decision-making process?
I find this quote by John Gardener, a Presidential Medal of Freedom 1964 recipient, to be encouraging.
"There's a myth that learning is for young people. But as the proverb says, 'It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.' The middle years are great, great learning years. Even the years past the middle years. I took on a new job after my 77th birthday – and I'm still learning. Learn all your life. Learn from your failures. Learn from your successes, When you hit a spell of trouble, ask 'What is it trying to teach me?' The lessons aren't always happy ones, but they keep coming." - John Gardener
As one who couldn't get out of school and home fast enough, perhaps left formal education way too early. I am now playing catch up in someways. The flip side, of course, learning from the university of life, can be educational as well. Whether educated formally or on the street, the same principles apply.
The mindset one must keep during times of failure is to tell yourself, "I failed at this, but I am not a failure."
It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of our responsibilities. - Sir John Stamp
"A man is not defeated by his opponents but by himself." ~ Jan Christian Smuts
Failure isn't so bad if it doesn't attack the heart. Success is all right if it doesn't go to the head." ~ Grantland Rice
Early last December, while in Summerside, I took some time to seek out a used bookstore before I left the city. I found Seaside Books and the effervescent bookshop keep, Nancy Quinn.
If you, like me, love sharing your time and airspace with people who are passionate about making a living and a life, seek out interesting used bookstore shopkeeps. And Nancy is no exception, and she is a huge plus for Summerside and our Island. She is an active user of Twitter, you can find tweeting here.
Logan MacLean is a Holland College journalism student. He wrote a sweet little story about Nancy and her passion. Read here.
I purchased a couple of book treats from Nancy that day.
The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil.
The Story of English is the extraordinary tale of the origins and development of the English language. Two thousand years ago, English was confined to a handful of savage tribes on the shores of north-west Europe; today, in one form or another, it is spoken by a billion people around the world. More widely scattered, written and spoken than any other language in history, English has become a global phenomenon. Exploring its amazing success, The Story of English is an essential companion for students and general readers alike. ~ Amazon
Nancy recommended, and I purchased Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynn Truss, as well.
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighbourhood signage, and her imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry. ~ Amazon
So on that note, I hope I get the opportunity to see The Booksellers, a film by D.W. Young.
Have to run as we are off to the third puppy training class. Millie is 12 weeks old today.
Today I have been listening to:
Icelandic composer, Olafur Arnalds mixes synths with acoustic strings and piano to create a very peaceful musical experience. It inspires my imagination and I am now sitting on the shores of Iceland. re:visions (live) Stunning live performances of six tracks from Arnalds’ re:member album. Sample Listen here.
We wish you and yours a wonderful weekend.
With love from Prince Edward Island!
The teacher heard Little Johnny use some serious language and was shocked. "Little Johnny, don't you ever use language like that again, not near me, not ever. Where on earth did you learn that?"
"I got it from my dad, Miss," replies Johnny.
"Well, your daddy should be ashamed. I hope you don't know what all that even means?"
"Oh, but I do," says Johnny. "It means the car won't start."