Archive | October, 2010

The ♫ in my ears

27 Oct

I get asked a lot about what I have been listening to and what new albums I picked up. So here you go, here is October:

– Lecrae Rehab – was on repeat in my car for almost 2 weeks, Love the song Boasting w/ Anthony Evans

– Bruno Mars Doo Wops And Hooligans -This is a relaxed, lazy Sunday kinda soundtrack

– Brooke Fraser Flags – I was getting tried of hear about this album from everyone, I checked it out and love it the second I heard it.

James Taylor Greatest Hits – Nothing like a little Fire and Rain

– Maroon 5 Hands All Over – I don’t LOVE the whole album, but if you like them you will be pleased

Curtis Mayfield Move On Up: The Gentleman Of Soul – What can I say, I’m an Old Soul

All those and some Beyonce, Clay Walker, and Mary J

Important…to some

26 Oct

… Just wanted to make sure you knew.

Tricks from Grandma Laubach

26 Oct

I cherish the time I spent with my Grandma when I was a kid. See her picture here.  I have been blessed with a photographic memory, so I remember those times vividly, more than anyone else in my family. Maybe thats why they are still special to me, because I can literally close my eyes and re-live them any time I want…Kinda like Harry Potter and the pensieve (dork). There are a few “lessons” or “tricks” I use quite often that my grandma taught me:

Trick #1:

Grandma taught me the “sleep with one leg out of the covers” trick when you get hot.








Trick #2:

Grandma taught me that when the straw in your coke keeps floating up because of the carbonation, you turn the tap and stick the straw through and lock it down. Genious…











Trick #3:

Grandma used to put our sweat pants in the dryer for a few minutes on a night when it was really cold…feels so good.









Trick #4

If you leave old records out in the hot Texas sun for a while you can make one of these…









As I remember more, I will share them with you.

Family Lineage

26 Oct

I was planning on writing a post called “Lessons from Grandma”, which I will get to. You ever just start typing and it turns in to something completely different than where you were headed? That is kinda what this is…

My Grandma on my Moms side is the only one I ever got to know and spend time with. This is Grandma Laubach:

*Notice the white glove on my grandpa’s hand…Michael Jackson stole his style. Also that my Grandmother, now 80+ has a full head of Brown hair…Thank the Lord!

My Fathers Mom lived in Florida and we never saw her, I saw my grandpa a few times before he died but I was really young. I wish we had gotten to spend more time with them because as I get older I am finding that we have a lot in common.  Here is Grandma Elmore:











My Great Grandfather on my mom’s side, Reverend Dr. William Walter Laubach was a 3rd generation German immigrant farmer. Along with farming he became a naturopathic doctor and was ordained as a Lutheran Minister in1917.

In 1917 most Texans joined the fight against Germany.  The legislature recommended that all books favorable to Germany or written in German be destroyed; and study of the German language was dropped from schools.  There was a brief persecution of German families.  The election codes were amended to stop voting by the foreign-born.   Tradition says that my grandfather was told by the sheriff that he could no longer preach in the German language and that confirmation could not be taught in the German language. But my grandfather continued to preach reaching those in his community in his native language,  the church still has the old German Bible that he used in the early part of the century, which is displayed in the church.

In 1945 he moved his family to Georgetown, Tx. Where he purchased some land and started Christ Lutheran Church. Inner Space Caverns (Laubach Cave) was later discovered on the land. I have vivid memories of the cave as a child.








I know there are some awesome stories of my relatives on my fathers side. Like my 2 uncles who served in Vietnam, one of which lost his leg. My grandmother who started and was the editor of her own magazine in the 40’s. Or my grandfather, Harry Gray Elmore II, who served as a Sea Bee in WWII, isn’t he handsome:









But the person on my fathers side that I’m most interested in is my Great Great Great Grandfather (I think, maybe Uncle, looking in to it) Vice President John C. Calhoun, under both Adams and Jackson. Nicknamed the “cast-iron man” for his determination to defend the causes in which he believed…Slavery. He was an outspoken proponent of slavery, which he famously defended as a “positive good” rather than as a “necessary evil”. His rhetorical defense of slavery was partially responsible for escalating Southern threats of secession in the face of mounting abolitionist sentiment in the North.

It is  a very strange feeling to be related to this man. As I sit here and think about…that is as far as my thoughts go most of the time.  I keep hearing the voice of Pastor Bryan Loritts in my head. He always begins his sermons with a story, I hear him saying “They called him the “cast iron man”…”

All this makes me think about how I use my influence in the things I stand for. I know he was a very influential person, he had to be to get where he got. But I also know he lost.  A quote from the biggest book I ever had to read, Total Truth by Nancy Pearcey, says that “Government does not reflect society, Society reflects government.”

To be continued, I’m sure. Sorry if I have bored you with my ramblings, this is what it is like inside my brain.

Dominate the “little” things

22 Oct

I have been blessed to have sat under some “outside the box” thinkers over the past few years. I’m always asking them questions, Why did you buy that? Why use that company? Why do it that way? I still would have learned from them if I just went with the flow, but I learned so much more by being a part of the process. There are so many decisions made or things overlooked that seem small but have a huge impact overall.

While on staff at Fellowship Memphis one of our teaching pastors Dr. John Bryson would randomly send the residents e-mails with interesting blogs or articles. I kept all of them, for times such as this.  JB sent us the post below and said:

“Read this
Then Read it again
Then Read it again
Then print it and put it somewhere and read it often”

He said to learn to dominate “the little things”, Spend time thinking it through, always over-deliver, Don’t wait for someone else to do it…execute, don’t be so cheap or last minute,  and “you will multiply your effectiveness and influence 100 fold”…wise man that John Bryson and Tom Peters


100 Ways to Succeed #84
If The Envelope Doesn’t Fit, Forget It!

(So Check on the Envelopes.)

My local Starbucks stayed open a few minutes late—and fetched something already put away—to fill my order.

When I handed my other local Starbucks my thermos yesterday morning, they filled it up without question, even though that’s a non-standard order. (I think they under-charged me—a two ventis price for what doubtless was three ventis in quantity. Oh, and they thoroughly washed the thermos before filling it without request.)

My local Whole Foods opens at 8:00 a.m. Several of us were waiting. They opened at about 7:45. And those folks define helpful—I got a full-bore dissertation on various cuts of beef, among other things.

Stanford sent me a questionnaire in prep for my MBA reunion. (# ???) I took some pains to fill it out. When I got ready to mail it, I discovered that it didn’t fit into the envelope they’d enclosed—I tore the questionnaire up and tossed it in the recycle bin. (Ever wonder what’s wrong with MBA programs? Lack of attention to misfitting envelopes! Think I’m kidding?)

Do you bend over backwards to go “beyond the book” to help customers? Do you open earlier than advertised? Are your envelopes the right size?

The 25 companies that made BusinessWeek’s first “Customer Service Champs” list are very, very, very, very, very serious about the “little things.”

And you?
Your team?
Your company?
How do you know?
For sure?
What are you doing about it?

“Big aims” (I believe in them religiously!) are plain silliness without the “little” things executed to perfection—and constantly beyond the “best practices” you designed yourself.

“Little things”—I love the word “fanatic.”

(“Big” keys to “little” things: great hiring practices emphasizing “soft” factors, great and extensive and enjoyable training, fun, celebrations, routinely using words like “Wow,” managers who are out and about, etc., etc.)

Witty not spelled with an H

22 Oct

So I’m the worst speller ever, and often doubt myself on the spelling of simple words. Like today, I wanted to spell Witty and wondered it it had a H. So I went to my trusty friend, Google…and It doesn’t. But upon my search I stumbled on a Wiki How titled ” How to have a Witty Conversation.”

This is my favorite part:

4. Use metaphors. Let’s say someone says, out of the blue, “It’s 6 o’clock!” You can say “Thank you, Big Ben!” (“Big Ben” is a nickname for a giant bell in a clock in London.) This is a particularly sarcastic example, because you’re also implying (by saying “thank you”) that you didn’t care to know what time it was (because you’re obviously not thankful!) but not all metaphors have to be sarcastic. Describing a messy desk, for instance, as the “North Pacific Gyre”[2] is a witty and creative way to say it’s quite messy. You can also use witty metaphors to compliment or admire someone.
It made me laugh, just thought I would pass it on:

(insert witty title here)

22 Oct
  • There is a man who walks past my window everyday at 11:15, stops at the same place on the side walk, takes a drink, and moves on. I have named him Jerry.
  • Finally got a pair of TOMS…I’m a believer! Hate that I waited so long.
  • Saw The Grace Card last night. So fun to catch up with the cast & crew. So proud of the end result, praying that God uses it to heal some wounds.
  • I’m reading The American Plague right now, by Molly Caldwell Crosby. Recommend by my pastor, Loving it. Its the story of Yellow Fever and half the book dedicated to Memphis. Love learning history about my city, and it kinds reads like a narrative sometimes.
  • Headed to Women’s Retreat after work today. 60+ women staying in cabins on bunk beds. I love to people watch, and it is fun to see each woman’s unique bedtime routine. Some ladies do crazy stuff!
  • Caught my self saying “Worsh” instead of wash. I thought I had kicked the poor dialect from growing up in Virgina.