Failure and its successors

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Ran into a terrific WORDPRESS post (Why I’m Failing and Why It Isn’t So Bad) in which the author talks about failure… and what happens afterward. The post comes from a recent college graduate whose dreams of architecture went the way of our nations credit rating over at Standard and Poors. In it, she embedded J.K Rowlings commencement address at Harvard. It is powerful… I included it here (well worth the twenty-one minutes).

War or hearts? – This American Life

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The segment, Act 1: Is This War or Is It Hearts?, took me off guard.  It’s eleven minutes long… See if it gets you, too.

It’s David Ellis Dickerson, from his book House of Cards.


The Blessing of the Wine

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We got in on the harvest party at South Coast Winery this weekend with our good friends Skip and Janet Allen.  I wrote a LeaderFOCUS for this week about our experience – STOMP.  Enjoy the video:

Teacher of the Year – Speech

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I love this suff… Teacher of the Year 2010: Iowa’s Sarah Brown Wessling



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When the four of us arrived at Spectrum, the line told the story.  We expected to get our IMAX tickets for the 7PM showing of the new hit movie AVATAR.   But at the counter, we were informed that the sellout occurred at one o’clock that afternoon.   It’s a huge theater.  I guess that explains why James Cameron is all smiles these days.  In spite of initial critical pot-shots, he’s enjoying the many benefits of a mega-hit.  So we regrouped at the electonic marquee.  Invictus, Clint Eastwood’s collaboration with Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon, became the pick.

We were not prepared for the power of the story.  There is so much to think about.  Freeman plays Nelson Mandela, in the first year of his unlikely presidency.  I would love to write about it for this week’s LeaderFOCUS, but the last two have been movie reviews.  I’d rather not make it three in a row.

If you like to read reviews, here are three: NY TIMES, Roger Ebert and the LA TIMES.  Enjoy.

Working in the library at Biola U

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The following is a note I wrote to Carolyn, explained an embarrassing moment in the Library at BU.

Hey Carolyn – here’s a laugh.

I managed to get a guest pass, and settle in to the one Carousel I found open long the perimeter of the large library hall… I plugged in, logged in as a guest to the WIFI, put on my headset, tuned by browser in to my Pandora account… My Mozart station.

Soon the music started playing, and I got my programs fired up and got to work. A few minutes later, a pleasant looking co-ed approached, smiled, and pointed to my MacBook. I was perplexed.

Then she reached over, and pushed my headphone jack the rest of the way in… And that’s when I figured it out. Unwittingly, I provided a sound track for the entire library. Thankfully, it was Mozart. I thought I had heard the music through my headphones. But no. The speakers filled the entire room with rich sound. Not everyone appreciated the intrusion.

Turning a little red, I looked up, high fived the young woman. She smiled in return. Then, I looked around the room. Just about everyone was looking my way. I waved apologetically. Most everyone smiled in gratitude, not for me, but the student who returned the room to a quiet study mode. She went back to her seat and her books.

We all got back to work.


PS I’m guessing she explained to her study mate, “Apparently the old guy is technically challenged and probably hard of hearing.”

Dave Mechem’s Family – Reported in the OC Register

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The Orange County Register tells the story in text and video.  Stephanie Mechem and their daughter, Sarah, recount a frightening moment when three young grandchildren found their grandmother on the couch – victim of a stroke.  Watch the video… then read the article, included below.

Heroic kids save grandma who had stroke

Elaine Bagger’s young grandchildren said a quick prayer and dialed 911.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



If it weren’t for two 8-year-olds and a 5-year-old’s call to 911, Elaine Bagger, 82, could be dead or paralyzed now. Instead, she’s walking and talking, slated to be released from the hospital today after two weeks of treatment and physical therapy.


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