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    Entries in Holidays (25)

    Friday
    Nov172017

    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #1 - The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

    Is it me, or did things seem to get just a little bit slower this week? I swear I noticed the first signs of 'Getting geared up for the Holidays' this week, at least judging by the relative calm of my email inbox. Or maybe it could be that I am just less popular and important than I like to think.

    Yeah, that probably has something to do with it too.

    But I'd prefer to think the quiet today was more about holiday distractions. And that, coupled with after almost a decade of blogging in one place or another, every topic I thought about hitting for the end of the week felt tired and played out, I decided to start a new series to run on Fridays until the end of the year - Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendations for 2017.

    Each Friday I will share something I would love to receive as a gift this season, and since according to my view of the world (and massive ego), if I like something, then you (and the people in your life), should love to receive as well.

    I will try to make the gift recommendations affordable, appropriate for pretty much everyone, and easily obtained. And finally, there are no affiliate links or kickbacks on any of these items. These are just cool gifts that I think anyone would love. And please, please resist your temptation to order and send these gifts to me. This is not what this is about.

    Wow, that was a long preamble. Here goes...

    Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation #1 - The Complete Calvin and Hobbes

    If you are of a certain age, say about 35 - 55, you probably consider Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes to be one of the most important and memorable cultural touchstones of your youth/early adulthood.

    The adventures of six year-old Calvin and his companion 'stuffed' tiger Hobbes, ran from 1985 - 1995, and in that decade, came to re-define and re-imagine what a daily comic strip could be, how it could look, and how meaningful and poignant it could be.

    The reclusive Watterson retired the strip on December 31, 1995 in an epic sending off of Calvin and Hobbes, standing on the top of a newly snow-covered sledding hill, racing off into the future to find their next amazing adventure. And with that last sledding run, millions of Calvin and Hobbes fans were left to read and re-read the old strips, sometimes again and again, until even our reprint collections became worn out.

    So for the Calvin and Hobbes fan in your life, or for kid of say 10 or so to 15 who may have never had exposure to the classic strip, the first 'Steve's Holiday Gift Recommendation' is this 4-volume boxed set containing every Calvin and Hobbes strip that ran between 1985 - 1995. You'll see Calvin's continuing 'fight the power' struggles with his parents, teachers, and classmates, his incredibly imaginative adventures with time travel and shape shifting, and most importantly, the amazingly powerful and touching bond between best friends Calvin and Hobbes.

    I loved Calvin and Hobbes. I still love Calvin and Hobbes. And I think this complete set of the C&H strips would make an amazing gift this year.

    So that's it, hope you liked the recommendation. Unless I get some violently aggressive and negative comments, I will be back next Friday with another holiday gift recommendation.

    Have a great weekend!

    Let's go exploring!

    Monday
    Nov212016

    PODCAST - #HRHappyHour 268 - We are grateful

    HR Happy Hour 268 - We Are Grateful

    Hosts: Steve BoeseTrish McFarlane

    Listen to the show HERE

    This week on a special Thanksgiving-themed HR Happy Hour Show, hosts Steve Boese and Trish McFarlane each run down their 'Top 5' things they are thankful for this year, as well as talk Thanksgiving  foods, sports, and travel. 2016 has been a crazy, eventful, and sometimes trying year for many of us, so we thought it would make sense for the Thanksgiving week show to try and focus on the positive - on the people, places, and things that we are thankful for as we head into the holiday this week. We didn't share our 'Top 5' lists prior to recording the show - have a listen and see just how similar Steve and Trish's lists ended up being.

    Additionally, Steve and Trish talk Thanksgiving foods, NBA basketball, and some great 'Thanksgiving' moments from some famous TV sitcoms. Note: Steve really shows his age with his favorite Thanksgiving TV highlight.

    You can listen to the show on the show page HERE, or by using the widget player below, (Email and RSS subscribers click through)

    This was a really fun show, and we hope you enjoy it and we hope all the HR Happy Hour listeners have a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

    And of course we are thankful for our wonderful show sponsor Virgin Pulse - learn more about them at www.virginpulse.com.

    Remember to subscribe to the HR Happy Hour Show on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and all the major podcast apps - just search for 'HR Happy Hour' to subscribe and never miss a show.

    Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

    Monday
    Aug012016

    Vacation wrap-up: What I did wrong, did right, and what I'd do differently next time

    I am just back from a super week of vacation/holiday spent in the wonderful state of South Carolina (Note to self: If I ever get my feet back in South Carolina I am going to nail them to the ground), and wanted to take a few minutes before diving in to my hopelessly full email inbox to reflect on the break with respect to how I did or didn't handle 'work' and 'work/life' issues during the week.  I had not taken this many consecutive days off (outside of the end of year holidays), in some time, so it was an interesting and revealing week for me as well. And also kind of sad in a way, that simply taking one business week off, (and the weekends on each side of that week), creates such a challenge for me, and I would expect, many of the folks who read this blog. It just shouldn't be that hard, if you know what I mean.

    But in the interest of 'I need to get back to watching Sharknado 4', let's get on with the idea for the post.  Here's what I did wrong, did right, and the next time I take a week or more offline, what I would definitely do differently.

    What I did wrong:

    By the time I had left for the trip I had one pretty important work item that needed to be completed, and sadly, was not. So I rationalized that I would work on said item on the plane ride down, and then it would be all set. But alas, said project took longer than I had anticipated, and I had to revisit it two other times during the trip before it was completed. What I did wrong was not finishing this project, no matter what it took, before the trip. There's no way to leave on a vacation with everything completed, but I should have realized the importance of this one thing and made sure it was done. It was completed by mid-week or so, but it did bug me for the first half of the trip. But that was on me, I needed to do a better job at prioritizing projects before I left.

    What I did right:

    Today is Monday, the first day I am back 'in the office', and I smartly have zero 'official' meetings or calls today. I knew that attempting to wade through the Inbox would pretty much be the only thing I would be able to attack today, and I made sure there were no other conflicts to allow me to attempt to catch up.  The other thing I did right, and I was not sure about this at the time, was actually haul the laptop with me on the trip. It wasn't because I felt compelled to 'work' on the trip, but if I really had to, (see above), I would be able to, and would not get stuck in a hotel business center or having to find a FedEx office location at the beach.

    What I would do differently next time:

    I will probably set up my 'Out of the office' email auto-response at least one full day before I am actually out of the office. This would create a little more airspace to complete anything that needs to be done before leaving on a vacation, and better set expectations for response time. I would also, similar to what I did today, make sure on the last day in the office that I have no meetings or calls set up.  It's kind of like setting up a DMZ situation one day before and one day after a vacation. The other thing I would do differently is perhaps pick one personal  'work' project, (for me it is this blog, the HR Happy Hour Show), to spend at least some time thinking about or working on. Those personal projects are extremely fun, and often don't really seem like work. I would have loved to come back from vacation with a dozen great blog post ideas or two or three podcasts booked. Alas...

    That's it from me. If you have not yet taken some time off this summer, I really hope you do and have a fantastic break. And if you are one of the approximately 489 people waiting to hear back from me, I promise I will get caught up soon. I mean that. Truly....

    Have a great week!

    Sunday
    Jul032016

    Founding Fathers, Ranked

    It's the long Independence Day holiday weekend here in the USA as we celebrate all things America and summer and cook outs, so why not a quick rundown of some of the folks that helped make this long weekend possible?

    So therefore I offer for your consideration this unresearched, incomplete, unscientific, completely subjective, and 100% accurate list of Founding Fathers, ranked.

    Here goes:

    10. Thomas Paine. Maybe not as well remembered as the folks who get their faces on currency and coins, but Paine's writing of Common Sense and other missives were critical to rallying support (and soldiers) for the impending War for Independence.

    9. Patrick Henry. Merits inclusion on the list for breaking out the money quote of the Revolution - "Give me liberty, or give me death." Sadly for Henry, the British obliged. With the death part I mean.

    8. Samuel Adams. Early rabble rouser with the Sons of Liberty and had a hand in the Boston Tea Party. Strong advocate for independence whose stock has climbed in more recent years by having a pretty decent beer named for him.

    7. James Monroe. The youngest of the group, he gets props for being the guy in the boat holding the flag in the famous 'Washington crossing the Delaware' painting. Later rose to the Presidency and created the Monroe Doctrine, an important and influential element of US foreign policy for decades.

    6. Alexander Hamilton. Pros: Helped create the American financial system and was the first US Secretary of the Treasury. Also the face of the underrated $10 bill. Cons: Killed in a duel by Aaron Burr. Seriously, a duel? How do you not find a better way to settle a beef?

    5. James Madison. Main writer of the US Constitution, which is a pretty amazing credit. Later became the 4th US President, showing some impressive ambition as I am pretty sure if I had written the US Constitution I would have closed up shop and hit the corporate speaking circuit.

    4. Thomas Jefferson. Principal author of the most famous political document in US history, the Declaration, so that has to give him a place on any such list. Also, as the third President negotiated the Louisiana Purchase for less than a year's worth of Timofey Mozgov, (nice one Lakers), and sent Lewis and Clark out on their adventure.

    3. Benjamin Franklin. First American Renaissance Man - inventor, businessman, diplomat, writer, etc. Pretty much could do it all. The colonial version of the 5-tool player. Bonus points for being the face of the $100 bill. That's a baller right there.

    2. John Adams. Great resume for JA. Worked on the Declaration of Independence, helped sort out the Treaty of Paris, became the first Vice President, and then the second President. Adams was an integral player in all the big events of the day. 

    1. George Washington. Pretty much a no-brainer pick for the top spot. General, leader, the first President, didn't let the other guys on this list make him the King. What's not to like about the guy?

    Of course you could disagree with these rankings, but you would be wrong.

    Happy holiday weekend!

    Friday
    Mar252016

    Easter candy, ranked

    In preparation for the imminent arrival of everyone's favorite Bunny, your entirely unscientific, unresearched, incomplete, and 100% accurate ranking of Easter basket candies:

    398 - Spiced jelly beans

    397 - 11 - <big list of forgettable candies>

    10. Solid chocolate bunny

    9. Lindt Chocolate Carrots

    8. Peeps

    7. Milk Chocolate Peeps

    6. Mini Robin Eggs

    5. Reese's Peanut Butter Egg

    4. Hollow Milk Chocolate Bunny (the best part is the hard candy bunny eyeball)

    3. Cadbury Creme Egg

    2. Russell Stover Marshmallow Egg

    1. Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

    As always, you can disagree with these rankings but of course you would be wrong. 

    Have a great, long weekend, hope your basket is filled with whatever it is you love.