Monday, October 05, 2009

It Happened to Me -
The Facebook Faux Pas

This little confessional is along the lines of the classic “and then he hit ‘Reply All!’" water cooler story. I blew it on Facebook, and am blogging my cautionary tale in the hopes of preventing anyone else from doing the same.

A perfect storm of events had to occur for this blunder to emerge, but the confluence of these factors is not that uncommon. Basically, I invited an entire contact folder of hundreds of employment contacts and assorted email folks to cheerily, “Check out my pictures on Facebook!” These are people that I know and don’t know, peers, subordinates, superiors, vendors transmitting info, basically everyone who has ever emailed me or who I have emailed.

How did it happen? First, because of a workplace system crash, my entire system, settings and address book were backed up to an external hard drive, then rebuilt. My office did not provide external hard drives, so having a spare; I brought a partially empty drive from home into the office, and placed the work backups there.

Later, back at home, while Facebooking with my kids (competitively attempting to grow my Facebook “friends” in order to grow my Mafia and win an online FB game) I used the FB upload contacts feature. As I was scrolling through a “Contacts” folder for upload, I forgot that I had a duplicate contacts folder on my external hard drive, which is where the FB program's initial navigation had taken me.

The error was compounded by Facebook’s default posture of sending the invite to everyone. After culling the first 30 or so contacts, I used the Return key to move to the next panel of 30 contacts, and instead, sent a perky note of personal invitation to hundreds of my not so close friends in the unfiltered file.

Facebook is banned at my workplace, so sending an FB invite to work addresses is questionable at best; cheesy and ignorant at worst. So I shall live through my week of desperately seeking online friendship; and have more compassion for my teenagers’ frequent sense of embarrassment at the smallest things.

Well that’s the anatomy of the blunder. I’ve since closed down the FB account; gotten a workplace-specific external hard drive, and tipped off my bosses and IT Department about the FB Faux Pas. Looking forward to putting this one behind me. Can anyone make the clock tick faster???

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

So Defeeeensive!

Yup, I'm defensive alright. Whoever made up "web logs" gave birth to a genre that changes pretty fast. The idea of a log is daily or regularly. And I have no problem with that; except I can't and won't sustain such a pace. Is it music if no one hears it? Is it writing if no one reads it? Do I have to refresh my copy to gain online readership? I suppose. But fortunately, readership, profit, and aggregating eyeballs, clicks and hits is not among my aims. Experimentation and learning are.

So this week, this month; I return to the blog. To my fenced off topics of parenting, family, corporate wierdness and political absurdity, and the occasional local flavor. Let's see if I can be more pithy yet frequent.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

It’s All Opinion,
You Build the Facts

Frustration with the local newspaper is a bit like frustration with the dressing room mirror.  Both are simply reflecting the wicked or delightful truth, but making it worse or better with reflection mistakes.  There is no absolutely accurate reflection. Even the best mirror reverses right and left.

Dressing rooms have bad lights and weirdly colored wall paint that suck the life out of one’s visage.  Newspapers reverse letters in your last name, screw up their spell checks turning “college education” into “colleague’s education,” and they might even leave yesterday’s football sports caption under today’s tennis picture. 

Accuracy used to matter more in print…but not n 2day’s world o txt msgng, Twitter & revisionistic wikis and blogs.  Some just won’t abide by such lack of accuracy, finding it some sort of personal affront.  These folks want objective truth and a balanced array of facts in their text-based news story.  (No one bothers wanting that from TV…the medium has gone too far down the credibility drain.) These sorts of readers seem to expect some sort of objectivity from print news media. They can't seem to accept that the world is just full of lies and opinion.  Newsflash for the fair and balanced set; objectivity never existed; not even at the NYT level.  So get OVER it wouldja?

Anyone remember where newspapers ever came from?  A few seminal threads come to mind, but I’ll touch on just one; our friends across the Pond. (Thank you UC Berkeley for that fabulous class, The History of Journalism…I actually remember some of it!)  

Seventeenth century British pundits waited outside the doors of Parliament, to chat up the MP’s, then write it down and make fun, make criticism, make randy, tabloidesque entertainment for their news-sheets, pamphlets and magazines.  There also existed “newspapers” of the day, but these were not read by most  commoners and they were nothing like the newspapers we think of today--more like Pravda than like 1st Ammendment-protected, free speech media channels.

Seventeenth century newspapers existed, however they operated under severe libel and sedition constraints and penalties. These newspapers had better access to Parliament but less freedom. Hence it was the freewheeling pamphlets combined with the access-rich but content-proscribed “newspapers” that largely evolved into today’s print media.  No one expected objectivity then, they wanted entertainment, gossip, and opinionated, scathingly-worded critiques. The typographers of the day couldn’t set those letters fast enough, so popular were the pamphlets and news-sheets in the hands of the street hawkers.

So, the next time your small town local paper screws up, or reveals a bias, relax!  That’s why you were gifted with a critical faculty.  Use it.  Contribute to the medium and write a letter to the editor pointing out the flaws, but don’t get all insulted; just correct the record.  Blog your own news story.  Read some alternatives.  But whatever you do; please don’t get all hissy and prissy about your small town local news journalist, who is expected to master odd concepts, enormous egocentricity, and vast amounts of trivia, at hyperspeed, to produce some sort of typo-free synopsis to keep the townsfolk edified. 

She’s doing her best, she’s doing it for poverty wage, and she’s doing it on deadline.  Most people think they understand writing because they can read.  Most people think they understand deadlines because they got their Christmas gifts wrapped on time once.  Try it on a daily basis; try it for a miniscule salary; then try and sustain the pace for more than a month.  Then you can gripe about your lame local newspaper.  Although most reporters want to analyze and investigate their source data more deeply; they usually don't because it puts them out on a limb of  subjectivity and makes more work for the same amount of inches.  Safer to report it as you hear it, see it, or as the press release portrays it; then move on.

Brent Cunningham in the Columbia Journalism Review describes the "how" of journalism's failure to provide objectivity, much less perfect accuracy;

...provide a window into a particular failure of the press; allowing the principle of objectivity to make us passive recipients of news, rather than aggressive analyzers and explainers of it. We all learned about objectivity in school or at our first job. Along with its twin sentries "fairness" and "balance," it defined journalistic standards.

Or did it? Ask ten journalists what objectivity means and you'll get ten different answers. Some, like the Washington Post's editor, Leonard Downie, define it so strictly that they refuse to vote lest they be forced to take sides. My favorite definition was from Michael Bugeja, who teaches journalism at Iowa State: "Objectivity is seeing the world as it is, not how you wish it were." In 1996, the Society of Professional Journalists acknowledged this dilemma and dropped "objectivity" from its ethics code.

In this great and free country, there is no shortage of the written word, written news, and written opinion.  The facts however, you must construct for yourself. 

Monday, February 23, 2009

Self Starter or Loose Cannon?

I’ve heard it said that it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission, but I think it depends in large part on the length of your eyelashes.  And on the kind of environment that the leadership operates in.  Like a nimble Silicon Valley software start-up might be a little different than a federally regulated gas, electric and water utility; at least in how they might treat a person who demonstrates initiative.  The terms self-starter vs. loose cannon come to mind.

A Six Sigma Black Belt told me the other day that when he looks at an organization’s metrics, his radar is modulated to detect the three indicators of a lazy organization:  a dataset including only metrics that fulfill regulatory requirements, metrics that are structurally simple to gather, and metrics that make the organization look good.   Appearing nowhere in this dataset are metrics that actually help to get things done faster, better, or more cheaply.  In case you didn’t know, doing it better, faster, or more cheaply are the three best ways to put money in someone’s pocket, sometimes your own.

So which beast are we serving when we do our jobs?  The CYA-Metrics Beast that provides cover, fulfills compliance needs, makes us look good, doesn’t stress us out too much, keeps us free from blame, but doesn’t actually improve anything?  Or the Make-a-Difference Beast that actually applies those critical thinking skills that our parents and educators worked so hard to shape in us?  Joining that critical thinking with risk taking willingness-- by proposing  the new idea, by persuading a colleague to try it a new, more efficient way, or by daring to say, “The Emperor has no clothes!” at the next self-congratulatory metrics review meeting could bump our organizations (and our nation’s) productivity to greater profitability.  And given our dire straits in the macro-economy,  there really isn’t too much choice.  Like strategist Mark Nittler used to say at PeopleSoft, “Processes and tools don’t make up organizations…People do.”  Let’s wag that dog and take control of our processes and tools back.  Now is the time to think critically, to risk, and to be willing to improve.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Super Success at Failing

What’s it like to be 13 today?  I just saw a  13 year old gymnast in a pink leotard score a phenomenal 14.65 on her tumbling routine.  I thought of my 13 year old son who has brains galore but earns Ds and C minuses at school.  He couldn’t concentrate for more than 30 minutes unless vast sums of money or perhaps vast quantities of screen time were offered as rewards.  Maybe I ought to say “won’t concentrate” instead of “couldn’t concentrate”.

I look at the Olympic performing 13-year-old gymnast and wonder if she makes her mother coffee in the morning, with lots of skim milk, and then zapped in the micro so it returns to its piping hot state.  I wonder if she can ace every single verbal SAT question I hand her way. 

I found it ego-centrically embarrassing at first, that my son was choosing such underperformance.   I wished, at times that he was some sort of underperforming employee who I could meet with, write a memo about, put on probation, follow up with, and either re-integrate into the team or laterally move him out, or possibly “take steps”. 

Some people say, “Give him consequences!”  Like we don’t already.  I don’t have much left to take away from him; what else is left? Bread, water and a dark closet?  Others say, “Work with him!”  Yeah while he stretches eight  math problems into 30 minutes each? No one gets dinner, the other high performing kid gets neglected, and I’m insane by bed time, exhausted the next morning?  There just aren’t enough hours in the day for my precious but underperforming son.  Let him sink?  Yeah, and then I look back in five-ten years and blame my lack of intervention. "If only I had coached him more when it was easier he wouldn't have sunk so low into habitual sloth," I'll tell myself.

I give thanks that we're a close family and fairly balanced emotionally.  We are in touch, we do stuff together, we laugh often and deeply,  an no one's on drugs, depressed, or "at-risk" of destructive behaviors.  But the 13 year hold has puberty ahead, and I expect things could get tougher.

Performance management is so much easier in the workplace, when you have the ace card to play; separation.  But in family, that’s not an option…we stick together through thick and thin.  Let my 13 year old test me. I’ll just keep doing my best, even if he keeps doing his worst.  May Heaven help us all.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Check Your
Cognitive Distortion at the Door Please

(This blog is dedicated to my main squeeze and managing partner WCB. Your hope and happiness float me along when mine's missing.)

I had a boyfriend once who could drive his BMW through the jammed San Francisco Sunset District at 5 p.m., stoplights and all.  He could get us across the Golden Gate into the open-er spaces northward; to Mt. Lassen Park for a quick camping weekend.  He didn’t drive competitively to beat others.  He didn’t cut people off.  But he spotted lane openings and used them safely, and the whole Friday night escape thing was more like gliding out of town, less like battling one’s way through the muck.  Greg was a CPA and had a thing for efficiency.  And he knew what he could control, and bad drivers weren’t within that circle.

Another boyfriend loved to drive on the weekends, in an aimless, “Let’s discover a truck stop,” kind of way.  We always had the best tunes from his seemingly infinite library of cassette tapes, which he’d swap out during the week.  Slow and strange drivers would thwart our efforts at aimless driving nirvana.  He’d coach them along with phrases like “Come on, Darlin’….you can do it,”  like he was talking to a stubborn, but loved, horse.  Ira was a Fed Ex driver during the week and knew how to kick ass on the road, Zen Master style.  He would glide in and out of lanes, avoiding the incompetent, the troubled, the distracted driver. Yet he, too, did this while avoiding the hackle-raising so common to territorial drivers.

Which brings me to the musings of Duke Stump, a top brand builder, formerly of Nike, now principal of NorthStarManifesto. Stump says that we’ve forgotten the focus on how we think, rushing instead to some seemingly righteous judgment comprising what we think. He arrives at this conclusion following attendance at his first-ever TED conference (Technology Entertainment, Design…but so much more than that).

“Have you ever noticed how there is this insatiable urge on behalf of all us to dictate what to do whenever there is an issue? Asking questions has become a lost art. [Itals. mine] Why did this happen? What is the systemic cause? How can we reframe the issue to consider the whole? It was therefore refreshing to attend a conference that shared HOW TO THINK versus WHAT TO THINK. Nice.”

If you want to really see the maturity (or what I call spiritual generosity) of a person, Maya Angelou provides a handy lense. “You can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights."  We reveal ourselves in traffic too. Not to mention restaurants.

Cognitive Distortion is big name phrase for the kind of self delusion that makes us feel injured or harmed by others. It means we distort the situational facts as we let them into our cognition, into our consciousness, into our head and heart.  A Buddhist  might say, “Remember compassion, remember that much of what is out there is suffering, when you let it in, try to detach and lessen that suffering for yourself and for others. Use compassion to do this."   

A Christian might say, “Remember the master plan and the puppet master out there. It is all is part of our divine reality. Try to have compassion for the jerk-meisters among us, and pray for them.  Remember, don’t participate in the madness, which merely escalates it.  Use compassion to do this." 

Matthew McKay in his seminal 80s classic, Self Esteem, discusses techniques for coping with the pathological critic--a nasty mental beast who uses cognitive distortions of all varieties like a terrorist uses plastique.   Somehow, it is the rapidity of the cognitive distortion that leads us to the rapid-fire (yes pun intended) judgment/misunderstanding that stresses us, or worse.  Again the technique is to recognize and separate from the auto-judgment.  Compassion for self and others is a useful tool for accomplishing this mental judo.

Sounds easy to do in the isolation of reading and Internet browsing, where critical thought has room to romp.  But in the hurly burly of human and mechanical interaction--driving, office politics, producing deliverables, getting the kids to school on time, yada yada yada--it’s something else completely. Or is it? 

A fish doesn’t see the water it swims in.  We ought to do better and try to see the influence of cultural modernity upon us. We’re swimming in a sea of strong, silent, jump-to-action heroes.  Sam Keen writes beautifully of the ethos and pathos driving masculine archetypes.  Consider Eastwood’s Dirty Harry,  Stallone’s Rambo, and even the slightly more multi-dimensional Jack Ryan of Tom Clancy’s novels and films portrayed by Harrison Ford or Ben Affleck .  Take orders or don’t;  but either way the acceptable options revolve around a  jump-to-action bias.  The assumption is that rapid-judgment shows confidence and provides for accurate situational interpretation.  Heck, even Billy Bob Thornton’s Slingblade can do that.  Correcting for cognitive distortion sounds downright effete.

So looking at the how of our thinking process isn’t exactly heroic in today's goldfish water.  Quieting the pathological critic when alone or questioning the assumed course of action in deadline sensitive situations…we don’t exactly see those behaviors modeled all around us in the cultural modernity we’re swimming in.  But we can look for it and find it if we try. 

Change is far simpler than we think.  Eastwood has been doing it with his choice of roles—check out Gran Torino for the come to Jesus moment on all this supposed heroism stuff.  Let's remember what we're already quite certain of; kids are always watching what we do; they’re not listening to what we say.  So let’s do better, let's model the brainy compassion that keeps us sane, and tamps down the madness.  Use compassion as your tool.  Gently question the deadline.  Carefully explore someone else's randomly bad behavior.  Ask more. The rest will come.




Sunday, February 01, 2009

Be Smart and Win Fabulous Prizes

Smart use. Smart upgrades. Smart power. Smart people.  The prevalence of the word “smart” is beginning to tug at me.  Hillary Clinton says to her State Dept. staff that in foreign policy the U. S. will wield smart power, reminding staffers that they themselves are at its heart.  “At the heart of smart power are smart people, and you are those people.”

Conservation enthusiasts brand themselves with “smart use,” and recommend smart use of resources like water, gas and electricity.  It means using less, which lowers expenditures and also shows good stewardship of the Earth’s resources serving both the individual and the common good.  Apparently stupid use is for spendthrifts and for the environmentally un-enlightened.

I was pondering whether or not I would blog on smart this and smart that. It seems curmudgeonly, in the Andy Rooney vein, to complain about the emerging prevalence of the term “smart.”  Then, when I saw an ad in the local Sunday morning paper for the Computer Guru, advertising “smart upgrades,” my decision was made for me.  Once is notable and twice is an accident. Although three is not yet the zeitgeist, it’s definitely an emerging pattern.

I live in a town that likes to think it is smart with the highest per capita concentration of PhDs in the U.S.; many of them physicists who work at the national laboratory here in Los Alamos, New Mexico.   But most here would agree that our civic life suffers from analysis paralysis. Decisions are so overwrought, over-analyzed and so frequently revisited and reversed that very little actually happens here, except the random yet seemingly inevitable demise of local small businesses.

The word smart here comes into play.  If Los Alamos is so smart; why can’t we apply this magic elixir called intelligence to civic issues in need of remedies, such as retaining small business, attracting business, and creating decent wage jobs diversified from the gargantuan national laboratory that dominates our local scene?  Most smarties would agree that these are wise goals.

I’m a fairly smart cookie myself, but have made some epic blunders in my life, which might indicate an intelligence vacuum.  In many instances it was the kindness of strangers and of friends that bailed me out, as they gave freely of their emotional momentum to fuel my rebound, with no thought of return.

Such gifts of kindness make me wonder about smart use, smart power, smart people and smart upgrades.  What if kind power, kind people, kind use and kind upgrades motivated effective behaviors targeted to produce beneficial results; however those results would only be for others, and not for oneself?  Are we devoid of the desire to be kind, over the desire to be smart?  Is self-interest implicit in the recent upsurge in usage of the term smart? Consider Obama’s inaugural speech where he mentioned that helping one another by extending economic opportunity to the many isn’t just charitable, but is the “surest route to our common good”.  What kind of chord does that strike in your heart and mind?

Reach back now to freshman Philosophy 101.  Remember John Stuart Mill’s Utilitarianism?   Free marketeers and the Chicago School of Economics draw from the wellspring of Mr. Mill’s thought.  The pragmatic Chicago law professor Obama is not afraid to draw upon that strain of thought either; especially if it aligns with where our national intellectual sentiment already lies.  Let’s help one another, but not out of liberal guilt over government’s shortcomings for solving social problems.  Let’s help one another, but not out of charity or religious duty.  (Obama included the approximately 12 million American “nonbelievers” too).  Let’s help others out of something we all can agree on, the pragmatism  of self-interest.  Helping others helps us, or so said President Obama as he set the tone for the next four years.  He might be right for the economic realm; but consider, also, the emotional benefits.  As they say to millions of addicts and alcoholics on the road to recovery,  “Service keeps you sober.”  And as we like to say in my home, “Get over it, and help someone with a bigger problem than yours.”

Perhaps being smart about things involves being kind to people, but it doesn’t seem that way, in the word’s latest usage.  Are our highest, most charitable selves smart in the application of our gifts?  Do we give to the deserving and use our smartness to determine who they are?  Or do we give to create benefits that will return to us individually, or to our smartly defined larger group? Is it simply possible to be kind to others, no questions asked, without being considered a fool?  Whatever the answers, it’s appropriate to consider a greater integration of the heart and mind, and of our left and right brains, in our civic life, our leadership, and our daily decisions. 

As neuroscience continues measuring and peering into our brains and nervous systems, localizing behaviors formerly attributed to subjective emotional whims; the “heart” will take the hit.  There is a place for kindness and subjectivity in our daily actions, our civic leadership, and our political economy.  And it’s neither stupid, nor smart, to trust in generosity of spirit.   It's a risk with a return and we can take it or leave it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

"So Random, So Rare!"

Being a bore was, quite simply, not permitted in my family of origin; a boisterous fivesome of Southern storytellers.  We each only opened our mouth if there would be an object lesson or some other punch line at the end of our utterance.  My folks never told me to “add value.” Hey, they'd never touch something like that Yankee Harvard Business Review.  They were just following their own Southern tradition in which boring others was seen as a high form of selfishness.

Forgiveness was irrelevant; pity was the standard reaction given to the self-centered offending bore. A quietly murmured,  "Thay jez don git it,"  came way before the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas confirmation saga gave rise to the feminist rant about men's cluelessnesson on harrassment issues, "They just don't get it!"

Enter Twitter.  Didja see the NYT article by David Pogue this month that points to the Twitter Paradox.  News flash social media mavens  à People don’t really want to know “What You’re Doing” which is the question appearing above Twitter's empty 140character field.  They only want to know what you're doing if it’s wittily stated or perhaps includes a useful outside reference.  The idea is to add value, not --yawn-- compulsively self-disclose.  Agreed, I’ve read way too many management texts.

But give it a nanosecond of thought here.  If Twitter really was about marveling at our own belly buttons and chirping about it; could it have grown this fast?  The thrill of an immediate cross-section of humanity, articulating  answers, forwarding referrals, and mostly riffing off of others’ ideas, juxtaposes the collaborative intuitive concepts of jazz with the prosaic desiccation of a reality-starved geek living vicariously through his keypad. Right brain style and left brain obedience to procedure are thrown together on Twitter, which is,  as Laurie Anderson says in Home of the Brave’s Smoke Rings, "so random, so rare!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Writer Writes, Always!

There is a muse and she lives in my shower, giving me Shower Thoughts.  Her companion, the merry prankster (like Puck, only aquatic) lives in the tub.  He gives me ideas for beverages I thirst for and books to read while soaking....but only AFTER I've gotten in.

Shortly after giving birth the first time, overwhelmed with my full load of college classes, my full time job, and nursing every 2-4 hours, I started bringing a dictaphone into the morning shower.  The muse hadn't taken up residence yet.  I'd list groceries, errands, and many random unfinished or unstarted tasks on my AAA battery powered dictaphone; grateful that I never got some sort of mini shock from the small wet electronic device. 

The kids are all born now, and aging gracefully, I must say.  The 13 year old came down to see me when I returned home from work and an evening seminar at 10pm.  He again measured his height against mine, toe to toe. We agreed to go out for chocolate shakes when his height surpasses mine.  Could be tomorrow...he's that close.  

The 11 year old came down to see me too.  He'd been tossing and turning, so I told him to sing himself to sleep with "100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."  He said, "Mom, you're strange!"  If he only knew what strange could be.  I'll guarantee you that he'll sing himself to sleep and the redundancy will have him crashed out before 92 Bottles.  I'll sing something sweet to him another night, not this one, and he knows it.  Otherwise he would have bargained harder and won me over.  In our house, no one is ever too old, or will ever get too old for songs, snuggles or  out-loud story reading.  (With  boys' screen time limited to 10 hours total between Friday and Sunday, out-loud stories remain rock stars on weeknights.)

I'm writing this night without my muse, but as Billy Crystal says in Throw Momma From the Train (what a wierd remake THAT was)......"A writer writes, ALWAYS!"  And there is some truth to the discipline that one must write it out, purge the pipe, even when the convenience of the fabulous shower muse is not there.  For the record, I'm certain her visage is like one of those Maxfield Parrish babes.  

And so I write on, looking forward to the beauty, sense and insight of a morning shower tomorrow.  My muse lives in the shower.  She moved in the day the dictaphone moved out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Shutting It Out or Letting It In

A favorite selective ignorance excuse when it comes to fear of social media is, "Hey!  I'm too busy to chit chat online with strangers." Or some form like that.  Translation:  "I'm busy yes; I don't understand social media, yes; I'm so insecure, I won't admit I don't like learning new tech things, yes; Let me put down those who do, and try to make myself feel better by belittling their burgeoning interest."  And most tech-friendlies just roll with that kind of statement (and the meta statement) and smile.  We are confident in the knowledge that the day will come, as it did w/ "killer app." email, when the ubiquitiousness of social media will make online connections too tempting to pass up for anyone, anywhere, on the tech spectrum.

True, many of us reject social media using selective ignorance because of social media's irrelevance. After all, we've made it this far with out it.  Not all of us reject social media in tandem with disdain for it. Emotionally and intellectually secure individuals come to mind.  However. it won't be long now, before social media's network effects  kick in. Some of us will be readier than others.  Author and Longshoreman Eric Hoffer wrote, "In times of change, learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." 

And so it goes--my low-tech/hi-tech rant since leaving Silicon Valley seven years ago for High Altitude Heaven / Low-Tech Hell (Los Alamos, NM).  While the world's fastest computer (the IBM Roadrunner at one quadrillion calculations/second) lives at Los Alamos National Laboratory along with some of the world's fastest, best tech brains  (many who commute in from Santa Fe and environs); across the bridge at the Townsite, many residents would think "workflow" was the name of a nearby creek or river, not a business process map with human, mechanical and logical touchpoints, subject to optimization via application of the latest software and implementation methodologies.  Hey, I'm not complaining here!  On so many other fronts, Los Alamos rocks.  Just describing the whole "Land O' Contrasts" thing.

As a side note on this blog's infrequency....I suppose one must post more than twice every five years to have their blog be considered a blog.  But Hey!  I'm just  a slow starter...or would that be late bloomer.  Anyway, Kudos to Google, Blogspot, Blogger whatever my host is calling itself now, for storing away my ancient writings, and enabling me to re-access the same site.  How cool is that!?  Great user interface design and continuity through what must have been the usual rattle of priorities when M&A activity happens.