Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beef Stroganoff?

I don't know what I was thinking. I had some beef and some mushrooms, so I made up a recipe. Will let you know how it turns out:

1 kg (2.2 lbs) stewing beef
650 g (1.5) lbs button mushrooms
1/2 onion
300 mL beer
500 mL mushroom stock (can use beef stock)
2 strips pre-cooked bacon

Braise the beef in a bit of oil in small batches until brown on the outside. Throw into slow cooker. Saute the mushrooms and onion and mix in with the beef. Add beer and mushroom (beef) stock. Heat the bacon to remove the fat, chop into small pieces and add to the stock pot. Mix. Cook on high for 1 hr, then low for 3-4 hours.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


We "do" a lot these days. We rush from one activity to another. Yet we don't often slow down enough to think. Life has become so hectic that we can't focus on one thing for very long without being interrupted by email, cell phones, doorbells.

I've been trying to do some personal work focusing on goals and what I want to be when I grow up. It is almost impossible to get 30 mins of quiet time to just think. I no longer wonder why people have breakthroughs on vacation of after a walk in a snowstorm...they are some of the few times when an individual just gets time to run ideas through their head.

Wait a minute. It's suddenly eerily quiet. The kids are in bed (well supposedly...likely have flashlights under the covers reading) and the wife is studying...I'm alone and it is quiet and it's not 3 AM. Gotto go!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Advice for Gen Ys in a Down Economy

As someone who fits into all of the Boomer, Gen Jones, and Gen X categorizations (who makes this stuff up?), and has seen both ups and downs in the economy, I offer the following advice to Gen Y folks who are trying to make it in the corporate culture. Take it with a grain of salt.

Most corporate management today will fall into one of those "old" categories - likely a Boomer or Generation Jones. They grew up in a different environment than Generation Y's. But they've heard about you Gen Y'ers with your high expectations, need for work/life/play balance, and your different attitudes towards work. They've brought in sociologists and HR professionals who have warned them about you folks and your different ways. In many cases they're worried about hiring you.

In a crummy economy, you can protect your position by standing out. Seth Godin calls them "Purple Cows"...basically you want to be remarkable and different and noticeable. (See also a great guest post on Chris Brogan's blog: Here's the secret - it's easy. Just do all the opposite things than what your manager is expecting from you as a Gen Y:

- Work really hard, sometimes later at night or on the weekends
- Take on extra assignments, put in extra effort without expecting anything in return
- Worry about the company's success as much as (or more than) your own

In affect, show them that you're just like them. It'll help you, your company, and the overall economy.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Seth Godin and Suction Cups

In this video, about 9-10 minutes in, Seth relates a story about suction cups on kids toys:

At my first job, one of my co-workers (Bill) came in with a huge bruise on his forehead one day. We asked what happened and he said he had banged it on a cupboard door. Only it didn't look like that. In fact one of my other colleagues (John) mentioned that it looked an awful lot like the blood blister he had gotten after he had stuck one of his kids bathtub toys with a large suction cup onto his forehead. When he had pulled it off it burst all the blood vessels.

Bill started to laugh. He had been victim of the same type of suction cup on his sons's toy...he hadn't wanted to tell us.

Those things should come with warning labels!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Are You Minding the Gap?

This blog post was inspired (i) by a tweet by Gary Vaynerchuk tonight where he said "If we all did what we loved to do for our careers I have a feeling everyone would be "RICH" . By this he meant "RICH" = "HAPPY" and he did have to clarify for some people. My response to him was "it's the gap from here to there that scares most away from doing what they love"

Then I started to think that this is what prevents many people from doing what they really want to do. As if the fear of the unknown future of that change was far greater than the unknown future of whatever role you are in now. And of course if you have ever been to London and taken in the Tube, you'd be familiar with the phrase "Mind the Gap" (I had to find a video to embed).

The gap there is worrisome. You could fall onto the rails and get crushed or electrocuted, or something worse. It would be nasty and yucky or both.

Of course getting to where you really want to be is neither of those.

So what's holding you back?