Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Sunday, October 13, 2013

caught & released, but still 'captured'

I caught and released a 7 or 8 pound spring salmon around 7:45 am today. I was standing in a foot of water and was able to quickly get it stream side, into a pebbly shallow. I lifted it out of the water, looking at it with awe and excitement. It may have been the largest live fish I'd ever held in my hands. I noticed the adipose fin and, as a wild, knew the fish would have to go back. I gently submerged it upcurrent in the Coquitlam River and - after a powerful tail-fin swish - let it go on its way, retaining only the memory ... but, oh, so tightly.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Starbucks lessons.

I heard an urban myth some years ago that Starbucks injected their beans with caffeine, so that customers would experience less 'buzz' from other coffee and always go back to them. As a home-roaster of several methods, I can tell you I've no idea what that would even look like; injecting beans. Even if such 'injections' were possible, it's not feasible in an operation of their size, nor would it show an appropriate ROI. But Starbucks did teach customers that their roast (almost always taken to 2nd crack) was the 'real coffee' taste, so that their brains and taste buds would find other coffees 'weak' by comparison. In reality, they trained the masses that burnt, bitter coffee was authentic.

What else did they teach us? They taught us - young people especially - that it's OK if you don't actually like coffee. That they have wonderful elixirs of milk, cream, syrops and sugar, with some actual coffee buried in there, somewhere.

On the plus side - enough bashing - Starbucks accomplished many fine things. Among them:
- If you build a funky 'third place,' they will come.
- A cafe can also be a vibrant merchant or retail outlet of equipment, books and music.
- A hand crafted coffee is worth 2, 3 or even 4 dollars. This alone allowed thousands of independents to flourish and the overall quality of product and experience to evolve.

OK, now it's that time.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lou Adler's case for trashing traditional job descriptions

Most would agree that having all of the skills, academics, and experiences listed on the traditional description is not a guarantee of exceptional performance. The problem is that some of the most talented and diverse candidates who could do the work exceptionally well, are filtered out too soon if that have a different mix of comparable skills and experiences. Others filtered out include returning military veterans, great people who are underemployed, anyone re-entering the workforce, and all the high-performing talented people who do possess the exact list of skills and experiences, but aren’t interested in a lateral transfer. These points alone suggests that continued reliance on skills- and experience-infested job descriptions prevents companies from seeing the best people possible.
Bottom line, Lou believes experience is overrated; that employers and recruiters should be looking for a record of consistent performance, instead. Tune into his webcast early tomorrow to hear real world examples of this and teasers into his world of performance profiling and 1-question interviewing. Dislaimer: I in no way represent Lou; just really dig his philosophy and strategies.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The two that got away.

I've never been happier to lose fish. Today I lost two. One was no one's fault; the other was, thus a learning experience. The first was a keeper sized cutthroat trout, maybe 12 - 14 inches. Was trolling a spoon on 8 lb test. The fight lasted maybe 15 seconds, then the spoon bounced forward sans fish. I kept the line tight, throughout, so the fish did not spit; more like the fish was not deeply hooked. Critics might say that means I did not set the hook properly, but to my thinking, if I'd attempted a hard set, the hook would've popped, just as it did during the retrieve. The second was a good sized coho salmon. Judging from what I saw on the sonar, and what I'd caught in the same spot two weeks ago, I'm thinking it was 3, maybe 4 pounds. I was trolling a woolly bugger on a light tippet attached to sinking fly line. This was easily the biggest fish I'd ever had on a fly; I've never had one stripping so much line like that before - exhilarating! I did not pee the bed, but I didn't play it properly, either. The fight only lasted 5 seconds: 5/6 weight rod bent way over, line stripping out, I let it go 1 or 2 seconds, then started reeling. I felt the reeling was not quite working, so should've let the fish run a bit and palmed the reel for light resistance. Instead, I kept trying to reel (known as 'horsing' the fish in). Sure enough the tippet broke. Or so I thought (it was a little past dusk). Later inspection showed the tippet to leader knot had come undone. I hadn't changed it since buying the setup at the fly shop, where a young assistant rigged it for me. Can't point the finger at the kid, though; my fault for horsing. Should've let mr/ms salmon run another 20 seconds, then tried reeling a bit (and repeating, as required). Terrific adrenaline and great lesson learned. As a side editorial, I'm glad the coho got away. It may have been a hatchery fish, but wild coho have to be released on my river. The least intrusive way to practice catch and release is surely to NOT catch in the first place!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Great [Professional] Expectations

Do we expect a medical doctor to be in great health? An accountant to have his/her own finances well in order? A chef to prepare great meals at home? A recruiter to be able to always find work for self and friends? If yes, why? If not, why?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Farewell to the Queen

When the reflection in the glass that I held to my lips now, baby,
Revealed the tears that was on my face, yeah.

RIP Etta James.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

How Meetup was born out of 9.11

From the founder of Meetup.com:

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups, Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of 100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one thing.

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ) Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup New York City September 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mistakes in Social Media Recruiting

Here's an interesting one from Dr. John Sullivan (from Feb. 2011).
Attempting to reach active candidates by posting job announcements is the #1 most common error. As a microcosm of society, most online communities are full of people not actively looking for a job, so broadcasting announcements to them is both annoying and ineffective. Social media is a great tool to identify and build relationships with employed top performers who are not actively looking for a job at this time. Ninety-nine percent of your focus should be on recruiting people who cannot be found on job boards or your corporate careers site.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


It's Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final, and a man makes his way to his seat right at center ice. He sits down, noticing that the seat next to him is empty. He leans over and asks his neighbour if someone will be sitting there.
"No," says the neighbour. "The seat is empty."
"This is incredible", said the man. "Who in their right mind would have a seat like this for final game of the Stanley Cup playoffs and not use it?"
The neighbour says "Well, actually, the seat belongs to me. I was supposed to come with my wife, but she passed away. This is the first Stanley Cup we haven't been to together since we got married in 1967."
"Oh ...... I'm so very sorry to hear that. That's terrible. But couldn't you find someone else, a friend or relative, or even a neighbour to take the seat?"
The man shakes his head. "No, they're all at the funeral."

- Thanks cousin Les!