October 17th 2014

The One Week Marketing Plan.The set It & Forget It Approach For Quickly Growing Your Business. Mark Satterfield

Marketing Plan/Timeline

The One Week Marketing Plan. The  Set It & Forget It Approach For Quickly Growing Your Business.  Mark Satterfield. 2014. ISBN 9781939529787.  The book is exactly as the title says.  This is a very updated compilation of successful direct marketing approaches that are tested and effective in the world of content marketing.  It can be just this simple ,especially for a start- up that sees so much that needs to be done. By following this book you will have a rudimentary program up and running that will give you feedback on much of your marketing content.   Now its never this easy, as many of us are incapable of creating the type of effective copy needed for this to really work. But by following these ideas you will have much better idea of what will work and an appreciation of those who can write compelling copy.  Easy to read and very well laid out. So its a good resource.

October 13th 2014

The Organized Mind. Thinking straight in the age of information overload. Daniel J. Levitin

Cover of "This Is Your Brain on Music: Th...

The Organized Mind. Thinking straight in the age of information overload. Daniel J. Levitin 2014. ISBN 9780670067640. The author is a favorite. If you enjoyed This is Your Brain on Music , you will also like this new book. Very thorough,  academic yet retaining that easy to read style this book  is journey for all of us to travel. I was taken with the insights on multi tasking ( we just don’t) as well as how to organize yourself,  your inputs and what to do better equip your children for their futures from early on.  Read this as a productivity tool,  to improve employee retention, a guide to better understanding motivation, for tips on education , or read it for the sheer joy of a well written book.  Yes I am a fan.

October 6th 2014

Walkable City . How Downtown can save America one step at a time. Jeff Speck

English: A car of the Portland Streetcar syste...

Walkable City . How Downtown can save America one step at a time. Jeff Speck. 2012.  ISBN 9780865477728. The author, a city planner /designer has written an urban yet very readable guide to helping cities get away from their car addictions.  Many of our local public forums return to keeping our city( New Westminster) a walkable city.  Specks book is a great first step in seeing what can be and is being done in many places.  He does an excellent job of stipping us of the car based blinders and prejudices that we all have in North America. I appreciated that he noted the efforts of Vancouver and Portland in these efforts.

I just completed a journey to Greece and Western Turkey and it is blindingly how much more interesting an old, pre car built city is for walking than one that is car based.  And how increased traffic can really bind up these cities. Too bad they look to the West for insight son how to handle this.  Kind of like asking a heroin addict how to kick the habit.

Speck also does a great job of showing/ linking our car based designs to increased carbon footprints and how some thoughts in design can ameliorate/prevent  self induced issues.  That was again brought to me in the Turkish city of Marmaris which had many covered streets/bazaars that were very pedestrian oriented. This was in a city that has an average daily temp of 30 degs. Shade is really important.  Terminal 2 in Heathrow, UK  is another good example , which uses mostly north facing windows to prevent increased heat build up in the open plan building. Its is a good job.  If you fly Star  Allinace you can experience this.

I recommend this to anyone interested in living in a more interesting,  energetic and vibrant city.

October 1st 2014

The Outlander series. Diana Gabaldon

Picture of the author Diana Gabaldon during a ...

The Outlander series. Diana Gabaldon.  2005 to 2014. This is an  eight part series  in  the romantic historical fiction genre.  These book s, if done well require an enormous amount of work to write to retain some form of historical accuracy.  This author also chooses to write huge books, with good character development.  So much development that she writes other novels that insert between the main novels in the series.

While playing in the Aegean Sea over the last 18 days I plowed through the main 8 part series,  thank you Kindle.  Despite being at first glance  chick books the author writes a damn good tale and drives to lots of suspense. However she does not kill off any of her main characters, which makes the stores less gripping as you know they will be saved.

Interested ? Google for more detail on the stories. If nothing else you will improve your Gaelic. The present TV series grabs parts from  a few of the books.  Reading the books will spoil any surprise in the TV series.


September 12th 2014

The Social Employee. Success lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell and Cisco on building a social culture. Cheryl & Mark Burgess.

The Social Employee. Success lessons from IBM, AT&T, Dell and Cisco on building a social culture. Cheryl & Mark Burgess. 2014. ISBN 9780071816410.  Very thorough job on what the four firms have done in this space. A very useful book when you are a large firm looking to benchmark your initiatives.  The early chapters give any company good ideas about how to engage your employees and the benefits of spreading the social work around. I appreciated their guidelines to help put bounds around what can be done.   Good easy to read style.

September 8th 2014

The Turkey adventure continues

English: Lindos, Island of Rhodes, Greece. Fra...

Shortly,  my wife and I  are heading off to a sailing week on the Aegean ( West coast of Turkey) and a week on the island of Rhodes.  For a sneak peak at our “yacht” holiday check out http://www.bluecruise.org/ and Rhodes http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodes.

English: Temple of Athena Lindia, Acropolis of...

Looking forward to the food, people , sun and whatever they throw at us.  Not looking forward to the l.o.n..g. airflight! So if my posts are drawn out, it’s all good.


But first we have to see  on Friday our oldest son Michael married to Lisa – What a party that will be.


September 8th 2014

The Fracking Truth. America’s energy revolution:the inside, untold story. Chris Faulkner

Fracking the Ocean

The Fracking Truth. America’s energy revolution:the inside, untold story. Chris Faulkner. 2014. ISBN 9780985070373.  The author started in software and moved from control systems for oil & gas into starting an energy company that benefited form the advances in fracking technology.   There are two sides to any story and he is taking the engineers role of presenting all the facts for you to make your own decisions.  It is a very thorough and I for one appreciated the insights into the whole story.

Fracking is an 100% made in America oil and gas well completion technology that is on track to serve up Americas energy needs safely,  for the foreseeable future at a reasonable price. This will finally free the US from being tied to Saudi Arabia and the volatile Middle East  Increasing proven resources of gas in the US make it a distinct possibility of exporting gas to Europe, which will mitigate most  threats from Russia against the EU.   Also you will learn the background of the misleading comments and outright lies put forth by the Fox documentary called Gasland – which has fueled a complete misconception in the public media.  These falsehoods have taken root as an often told story to become accepted by most with no questioning.  Fracking works in North America because of the geography, infrastructure, skills and competence that is  rarely  found in  other places.

The author shows that the oil & gas industry does a woeful job of telling its side of the  story. In Canada we see that mishandling first hand with the Northern Gateway project, the Keystone pipeline and the oil sands. Like the ways that the politically astute environmental groups destroyed the West Coast timber industry for many years,  similar  groups are determined to do the same to resource extraction.

You will earn about the economics and environmental impacts of hydro, solar, coal, wood and wind energy projects. From the analysis it becomes apparent that the oil & gas sector will remain dominant for many many years, world wide.

Great cross country read in a concise, clear easy to read style.

September 1st 2014

Total Recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Peter Petre.

English: Arnold Schwarzenegger in July 2003

Total Recall. Arnold Schwarzenegger & Peter Petre.2012. ISBN 9781451662436. I have  admired Arnold for how he trained and drove himself to be the holder of more titles than anyone in bodybuilding by having a strong goal directed life.  This story talks on his whole life – how the goal to go to America came early , the journey to be a leading man in moves and then governor of California, the work involved, his family, marriage/divorce and his plans for the future.  The press too often gives a shallow view of public figures, this book gives you the depth needed to what is obviously a very driven, hard worker.  I am giving this book to all my sons as an example of what anyone can do in their life.  I liked the pace and writing style- it flowed well and seemed an extremely balanced view, all things considered.  It all comes down to reps or mileage.  Just  do it.

August 18th 2014

Who Gets Promoted Who Doesn’t and Why. 12 things you better do if you want to get ahead. Donald Asher

SVT Happy Hour

Who Gets Promoted Who Doesn’t and Why. 12 things you better  do if you want to get ahead. Donald Asher. 2007, 2014. ISBN 9781607746003.  A book filled with very sage career advice from an author who really knows this stuff. As I read the book I kept saying to myself, I wish I knew this when I was …on and on. He has a great sensitivity to all aspects of being in the workforce. I appreciated all the advice he directed to women and those who supervised them.  I enjoy the use of real life examples, to bring the points home. A book for anyone who wants a career to “moves” and gives them challenges and fulfillment.  If you think you are  a fast tracker – get this book to read, reread and keep forever. There is not a wasted word.

August 15th 2014

The Myths of Innovation. Scott Berkun.

Illustration from a collection of myths.

The Myths of Innovation. Scott Berkun. 2009. O”Reilly ebook.  The author was a Microsoft  IE coder and has written a few books for O’Reilly.  This one really blows the door off on common myths wrto innovation. I liked the book, it does a great job, is easy to read and well referenced. If you are in the Innovation “game” this is a must read book. No quick answers but lots of insights.