Eva’s first Christmas with Hitler

What do you think it was like when Eva Braun took Adolf Hitler home with her for their first Christmas together with her family?

I wonder what kind of impression he made. Do you think they talked at all about conquering Europe or exterminating Jewish people? I wonder what the “what are your career goals?” question was like when Eva’s Dad asked Adolf.

I’m not even trying to be funny. I mean, you have to remember that he was just a normal guy having normal conversations with people for many years leading up to the eventual events of his reign. Why wouldn’t he have found himself in the same awkward or standard questions we’ve all faced?

Probably made even more awkward if it’s true that Eva Braun was, in fact, Jewish.

I’m sure the after dinner conversation was quite lively…

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Annoyance metrics (putting the Pareto principle in action)

My goal is that 20% of the time that I annoy people is unintentional.

The other 80% should be completely intended.

I’m working on a dashboard so I can follow my progress and make adjustments, as necessary. But so far, I think I’m exceeding expectations (well over 80%, I think).


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“Keep Austin weird” campaign undercuts itself

For years, the official slogan for Austin, TX has been “Keep Austin weird.”

I think the slogan undermines the very aspect of Austin it’s trying to promote.

The thing about people who are truly weird is that they don’t know it.

If you’re aware you’re weird (or think you are), there’s a decent chance that you’re trying to be weird. And if you’re trying to be weird, then you aren’t.

Being weird is like being stupid. Stupid people don’t know they’re stupid because they’re too dumb to realize it. Being weird is the same phenomena. Those who are weird don’t understand normal enough to realize how far they are from it.

Perhaps they’d be better served to use something like, “Austin: What?” (But then, it probably loses it’s punch a bit if not read with the indignation that comes when someone is looking at you quizzically and you aren’t sure why.)

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Foundational characteristics of a good mayor

In 2011, I worked on the marketing campaign to help Jeff Johnson become a first-time Lake Forest Park Councilmember. One side effect of the way we ran our campaign is that it’s very easily argued that we also got Mary Jane Goss elected Mayor over Dwight Thompson.

I met Mary Jane many times during that campaign, and I was well-known to her as someone “on her side.”

Since then, I have run or walked past the Mayor countless times all around Lake Forest Park – usually when we were both out exercising. And not once has she a) appeared to recognize me, or b) returned my “hello” or “good morning.”

This is not only odd, considering she’s met me many times, but it’s also a bit rude, considering the assist I gave her on her campaign.

Putting all that aside, if you’re going to be the Mayor of a city or town, especially one as relatively small as Lake Forest Park, you’d think a foundational personality aspect to do the job would be to say “hi” to the citizens now and again – especially if they say it first.


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Personality types

We open 2015’s posts with me on an airplane reading Quiet, by Susan Cain. I’m only a chapter in, but so far, the book is a study of introverts and how they, too, occupy a justifiable place in society.

I was considering what I had read as I walked to the back of the plane to use the restroom. Once there, I was reminded that there are more important personality distinctions than merely extroverts, ambiverts and introverts.

For example, there are men who lift the seat when they urinate and those who don’t.

How societally unaware, selfish and in one’s own head a man must be to just urinate all over a public seat when they could just as easily lift it, as intended. Is it that hard to consider that you’re on a plane that is most likely half filled with women who need to sit?

Even if the plane were filled with all men, we wouldn’t all just go in there and urinate on the seat. We’d lift the seat and keep it up. (Not to mention that at least once a day, if all’s going well, men need to sit, as well.)

I put these people right up there with those who walk out of buildings or out of buses and stand in front of the just-exited doors to look around and assess where they are and where they need to go; trapping all of those behind them who must wait for them to sort it out and get out of the way of the doors.

And I would be remiss in not mentioning those who approach a red traffic light with two lane options who select the lane with 10 cars versus the one with one car.

Studies of people like the aforementioned, along with those who insist on turning the heat up in a room full of people, not considering that the hottest among us can only strip down so much before we push the boundaries of societal acceptability, while those who are too cold can always don a sweater.

Anyway, Quiet appears to be a promising book, and I look forward to reading further.

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