re: effective meetings

Again: the single most useful training you can give an adult is how to run a meeting and how to participate in someone else’s. The world is mostly run by lawyers, MBAs, and military officers because they’re taught this as a first-class skill.

1. Decide if there actually needs to be a meeting. If the only purpose is to share information, send a brief email instead.

2. Write and circulate an agenda. If nobody cares enough to do this, the meeting doesn’t need to happen.

3. Include timings in the agenda to help you keep the meeting moving.

4. Prioritize. Things that will have high impact but take little time should be done first.

5. Put someone in charge. This doesn’t mean doing all the talking, any more than being a referee means kicking the ball the most.

6. Require politeness. No one gets to be rude and no one gets to ramble (because the purest form of politeness is respecting others’ time).

7. No technology. Insist that everyone put their phones, tablets, and laptops into politeness mode (i.e., closes them).

8. No interruptions. Participants should raise a finger or put up a sticky note if they want to speak, and the chair should handle sequencing.

9. Record minutes. Write down the most important pieces of information that were shared, every decision that was made, and every task that was assigned to someone.

10. Take notes. While other people are talking, participants should take notes of questions they want to ask or points they want to make. (You’ll be surprised how smart it makes you look when it’s your turn to speak.)

11. End early. If your meeting is scheduled for 10:00-11:00, you should aim to end at 10:55 to give people time to get where they need to go next.

As soon as the meeting is over, the minutes should be circulated so that people who weren’t at the meeting can keep track of what’s going on.

This also lets everyone check what was actually said or promised. More than once, I’ve looked at minutes and thought, “Wait a minute, I didn’t promise to have it ready then.”

And circulating minutes means people can be held accountable at subsequent meetings.

Via Greg Wilson explained further here


My first Denver library system reads

Back in October, after two years of living in Denver, I finally visited my local library branch. I happened to be at the library, attending a local neighborhood walking event and so I used the opportunity to also get my Denver library card.

The historic Park Hill Library branch is lovely, and although it has since been expanded and renovated, the original building was one of 8 branch libraries Carnegie donated $160,000 to build and furnish, in Denver between 1913 and 1920.

I picked up four graphic novels while there;

  • March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin

I saw Congressman Lewis do the talkshow rounds (including I believe The Daily Show) when this first came out. Been meaning to read it since.

Although I knew the broad outlines of the story, it was of course inspiring to read the specifics. The fact that it was a graphic novel, definitely made it easier/lighter. Likely wouldn’t have read it otherwise.

  • Krishna: Defender of Dharma by Shweta Taneja

It was interesting to read these stories, in a different context/format, so many years after hearing/reading them last. Surprised myself at how much I still remembered.

The drawing/writing style, wasn’t my favorite. Prefer my graphic novels a bit more gritty and adult. However, probably appropriate for the content. A sort of modern update to the classic’s of Amar Chitra Katha.

  • Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi

For whatever reason, I didn’t “enjoy” (was a bit more of a slog to get through) this one as much as the first volume.

That being said, this volume still has the excellent black/white graphic style. Also, her personal story is still so unique – from her time as a young student in Vienna, to her return to and life in Iran (post Iran-Iraq war) – at least to this American reader.

  • Denver Square: We Need a Bigger House! by Ed Stein 

Although not a native to Denver, nor a resident at the time these strips were originally written, the local character resonated with me. Especially with it’s celebration of all things Denver sports, particularly the Broncos. Still such a fact of life, in this town.

It felt (as it should) so of it’s place and time. Yet, reading it I was struck by how many themes; from traffic on I-25, the housing market in Denver and wildfires, are still relevant today.

Other topics; such as Columbine, the 2000 Bush vs. Gore election and 9-11, transported me temporally and led me to reflect on my own experience of these events, as well as the passage of time.

re: #climateurbanism #PortlandME #MadisonWI et al.

From the NYT we read Where can you escape the harshest effects of climate change?

The Northeast and Midwest are going to have plenty of water, and they’re not going to be subject to coastal flood issues…from a climate perspective, Boise outranked Denver and other Southwestern cities

Sounds of 2016

Wasn’t sure I was going to do this, for 2016, but ended up compiling this list for a friend earlier this month. Below are links to some of the things I’ve been listening to in last 6-12 months. Some of this has been posted previously here, by me. Not a ton of “new” hiphop but some…

Of particular note Busta Rhymes and Q-Tip in The Abstract and The Dragon and The Return of The Abstract and the Dragon

Konnichiwa the hottest grime album of last 12 months, via Skepta

Anderson .Paak & The Free Nationals, giving a great NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

The chopped and screwed remix of Solange by DJ Auditory

Acapella Gucci Mane also with a NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert


These Dominican rappers Whitest Taino Alive

A rinseFM tribute show to Prince

Gilberto Gil – MTV Unplugged 1994. Loved so much I bought on CD (for
like 1$) via Discogs

Some sick contemporary LA jazz (has done some work with Kendrick
Lamar). I have this on vinyl.

Finally, also been listening to some comedy at work occasionally.

Norm McDonald has a podcast/show and You Made it Weird. Including a great one with Gary Shandling, RIP.

Mindful Eating As A Spiritual Practice

Here are some suggestions for cultivating more mindful reverence in our relationship with food:

  1. Know exactly where your food comes from. Read labels, ask questions, and research sources for whole, organic foods in your region.
  2. Consider becoming a community supported agriculture (CSA) member which allows you to buy directly from the farmer or grower.
  3. Give thanks when you shop—thank the food you purchase, thank market staff, and give thanks that you can afford to shop.
  4. Commit to purchasing 10% or more of food that is grown locally.
  5. Mindfully plan your meals. Perhaps it won’t be possible for you to eat at home today or tomorrow or the next day because you are traveling or because of time constraints. Plan a strategy for eating in places where nourishing food is served or plan to bring healthy snacks with you.
  6. Take a moment or two to stop before eating and give thanks for your food. Remember to thank the people who grew, harvested, transported, and distributed your food. Thank plants and animals for their lives and the sacrifice they made with their lives so that you can be fed.
  7. Regularly enjoy food with family and friends. Cook and eat meals together. Share the sacrament of food with each other in potlucks or other gatherings.
  8. Occasionally share extra food or leftovers with neighbors or people who are not in your family or circle of friends. In a world of skyrocketing food prices and climate change, food “security” may become increasingly “insecure,” and sharing food with others communicates a subtle message that you are concerned about their well being in hard times. Reaching out in this way encourages reciprocity around food so that when someone has little or no food, others are more motivated to share. 

More via Local Food Shift (Colorado) magazine