The Medium, not just the words, make a difference

Photo by Fares Hamouche on Unsplash

Words matter. The medium matters too. Sometimes the medium takes the form of a paper, an essay, a brief blog, a poem, or a song. One form or another often determines whether the words take the form of effective communication.

It’s a bus stop, a street cop, an old dog, the new kid, a bum
It’s fright and rejected
Neglected, and blind, deaf and dumb
But you look in the mirror
And you’re still hanging in
It’s there to remind you how lucky you’ve been

It’s a lonely feeling, now and…

Hall of Famer Phil Niekro was a credit to life in general and baseball in particular

Phil Niekro, Big Hitters, and Chief Noc A Homer were part of the Braves lore in the 1970s and 1980s (source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Hall of Famer Phil Niekro won 318 games over his 24-year career with the Braves, Yankees, Indians, and Blue Jays. He was a five-time All-Star who had three 20-win seasons with Atlanta. Niekro won five Gold Glove awards and was a respectable hitter for a pitcher, with seven homers and 109 RBIs over his career.

Do What You Do Best

Phil Niekro had one pitch — the knuckleball — and stayed with it throughout his career. One future Hall of Famer felt sorry for Niekro when they were both in the minors because he did not believe Niekro could ever reach the major leagues with…

Jimmy Buffett has a few thoughts.

Source: A1A album cover

Substitute “writing” for “making music” and you have it.

When I woke up this morning
I was tired as I could be
I think I was counting my money
When I should have been counting sheep

My agent he just called me
And told me what I should be
If I would make my music for money
Instead of making music for me

I said I know that this may sound funny
But money don’t mean nothin’ to me
I won’t make my music for money, no
I’m gonna make my music for me

He said that people only buy…

Some examples from the summer of 2020

Fishing with Beau (Photo by JD Solomon)

You need periods of broadening your writing topics to keep you sharp and to stimulate your creativity. That was one of my goals in the summer of 2020. The result was a sort of potpourri of new topics that I had wanted to write, old topics or writings that I wanted to improve or merge, and some random ideas that emerged over the summer that needed to get on paper.

Up & In is my base publication my Medium writings into coherent categories that provides straightforward advice that keeps you on your toes…

Five Tips for Building a Business, a Reliability Program or a Sailing Team

Getting to the starting line is usually harder than getting to the finish line (photo: Windy Hill Racing)

There is a saying in sailboat racing that getting to the starting line is harder than getting to the finish line. I know it to be true. Like building a business or a subset of it is fun if you enjoy it, doing the actual competitive sailing — even when its long-distance, endurance racing — is the enjoyable part. The hard part, and the part where even the greatest come up short, is building the program that it takes to run the race. …

Frederick Winslow Taylor, of course!

Frederick Taylor understood the physics of balls as well as he did Scientific Management (Source:

Fred Taylor was about to get a good butt-kicking. It was his first real job and the opinionated young engineer just didn’t like the way the plant was being operated. Following an economic recession, he had taken a job as an apprentice, then clerk, a machinist, and then had advanced to foreman. However, in those days it was up to the machinists and their foreman to determine how much work could be done.

“I am now working on the side of management, he proclaimed when asked to slow the work quota. “I propose to do whatever I can do get…

William Marston, of course!

The pin-up girls of Alberto Vargas inspired William Marston’s Wonder Woman, albeit a different Olive (“Memories of Olive” by Alberto Vargas. Source: Wikipedia)

William Mouton Marston would have been an interesting Medium writer had he lived a century later. His interests were diverse, he was wildly creative, and he even wrote under a pen name (Charles Mouton). Although three of his creations are still in use today, Marston is mostly forgotten.

Personality Profiles

Marston wrote “Emotions of Normal People,” a book describing the way people behave in favorable or antagonistic situations. Four quadrants emerge that describe every person’s core personality. These categories of behavior — dominance, influence, submission, and compliance — would become commercially known as the DISC Methodology. …

The fans are missed, the play is good, the rules needed more thought

Playoff hockey is the best in professional sports. COVID-19 has hurt it but not ruined it (photo:

Hockey and baseball are my favorite major sports. I gave some initial impressions of the return of Major League Baseball a few weeks ago. Now that the National Hockey League (NHL) has returned and re-started its season, here are some initial impressions.

It Is Not the Same Without the Fans

Playoff hockey is the most raucous events in all of sports. Hockey is a game that is appreciated most then watched live. The difference in watching regular season hockey and playoff hockey is also greater than any other sport — including and especially on TV.

Focus on these key tips to avoid failure

Effective facilitation requires a leader to guide a group of participants through a structured process that results in a solution that is created and agreed upon (Photo by Shane Rounce on Unsplash)

It was painful. Two dozen well-paid, influential leaders in our company listening to a second boring PowerPoint presentation about things that had happened months ago. I knew the diversified assembly contained leaders, rather than managers, when one stood up and asked the facilitator whether this format was going to continue for the rest of the day.

The shocked facilitator quickly retreated to the agenda for her defense. …

Avoid worry and waste by putting skin in the game

Photo by Shashank Sahay on Unsplash

Hurricane Isaias is bearing down. August hurricanes are rare. Mild panic ensues. Communities board-up. Events are canceled. I race to the coast to repair a roof. I dash back to my inland home just as the storm bands start moving ashore.

Back home, I support essential services (infrastructure) in a nearby town. The infrastructure director, Mitch, is on his way to the emergency operations center. “It is going to rain more than six inches,” shouted Mitch. “We are closing down the Town! It is going to be a bad one!”

JD Solomon

From adventures on the water to the meaning of life, I am writing about things that move me. Author of “Getting Your Boss’s Boss to Understand”.

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