Archive for May, 2010

I know I vowed to stay away from politics on this blog, and technically I am keeping my word. I would be remiss, though, if I didn’t at least tell  you about a post from Carson Sasser and allow you to read it or not. If you chose, check out this excellent post: http://carsonsasser.com/singlepost/the-minimum-wage-and-cotton-pickers/

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A Toast

Friends & family, feel free to return Jerry's toast on this 77th year of his birth. He'll like that.

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I received this in an e-mail from a friend I worked with about fifty years ago. Could not help but flash back to that office group in the buff. Ewwww Some of the more squeamish might not want to click on links to pictures. Like you won’t. 🙂


Call it the ultimate casual Friday — “Naked Friday.”

Source: virgin1

Jim, do you have that report? JIM!!!!!! DO. YOU. HAVE. THAT. REPORT?!!!

British TV station Virgin 1 [VMED  15.48 0.68  (+4.59%) ] grabbed big headlines this week for sending four people into London’s subway at rush hour, wearing nothing but handbags, briefcases and shoes.

The stunt was to promote a new six-part documentary called the “Naked Office,” which follows six companies as they struggle with typical office issues, from an unfocused boss to a mother-daughter conflict.

But while the rest of us were falling down the escalator gawking, we missed the big takeaway — “Naked Fridays.”

Each episode tracks a company over the course of the week as they grapple with the usual office issues, culminating in the dreaded event, “Naked Friday,” where everyone is asked, but not required, to show up in the buff.

The idea, according to the show’s behavioral expert, who, by the way, has done consulting for HSBC and IBM, is that if you get such a huge fear/ inhibition out of the way, it will make your team stronger. More open. More honest.

So, does it boost productivity?

Last spring, David Taylor, a business psychologist, had a design firm in northern England try the extreme team-building exercise as a test for the show.

Not everyone went completely nude, the London Telegraph reports. One man wore some sort of covering pouch and one of the women wore black underwear. But most employees, after some initial reluctance, stripped themselves of their inhibitions — and their office-appropriate attire.

And, it seems to have had a positive effect.

“It was brilliant. Now that we’ve seen each other naked, there are no barriers,” said the one female employee who went Full Monty. “It was emotional but we found we were much more able to talk to each other honestly — and have been since. The company has improved massively.”

OK, on the one hand, I can see going to work saving a few minutes in the morning, because all you’ll have to pick out is your shoes. And maybe that blunder you made last week isn’t such a big deal now that everyone’s seen you naked.

But you know how this is going to turn out — It’s not going to be the hot chick from marketing who decides to go along with your little experiment, it will be that guy from accounting whose major food groups are of Cheetos, beer and Funyuns.

And productivity will grind to a screeching halt because everyone will be up in arms about how this was the worst idea ever and how are we going to get Senor Funyun to put his clothes back on?

Suddenly, that you-fall-back-and-I’ll-catch-you-exercise is looking pretty good.

OK, who’s up for a three-hour HR meeting?

Me! Me!

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Each visit to Savannah I explore a little bit more, but will never be done with Savannah.  It is a city  shaded by history and centuries-old oaks.  Our first day on the trolley tour we got a good overview and picked up interesting facts from two separate drivers.

Forest Gump

Forest Gump boarded our trolley at the Chippawa Square, apologized for having eaten all the chocolates, said he was looking for Capt. Dan. When he thought he spotted him, he jumped off and ran down the street with arms flailing. Nice touch.

Square (Wright, I think)

This square is know as the wedding square for all the weddings performed there. Savannah is the only city in the U.S. with unchanged original plans. Thank God. They were brilliant –green space everwhere.

I must give kudos to SCAD (Savannah College of Art & Design) for a city more beautiful than when I last saw it about fifteen years ago. Their campuses are historic buildings they have restored, but they didn’t stop there. They lend expertise to private restorations. I may not be exact, but close when I say SCAD is responsible for restoration of between 75-95 buildings in the city. Imagine what that means!

Statue in squareI hope you’ll excuse me for not remembering the names of all the squares. Oh, to live in a city with so many beautiful open space that such a thing could happen.

It was worth taking the trolley tour the first day. They even picked us up at the Azalea Inn &  Gardens http://www.azaleainn.com/index.html://door, so a vehicle was totally unnecessary. Having done my homework, though, there were places I wanted to see that weren’t on the trolley agenda, so the second day we called a pedicab. Great decision. Brett, fabulous young SCAD student with calves like cantalopes, pedaled us from the B&B to the Pirate House, where we would eat and photograph ghosts. The orbs I was promised by my granddaughter and hairdresser didn’t appear on mine, unfortunately, but we had a great seafood meal, then cruised the Riverfront before calling Brett to take us to my “must see,” the Flannery O’Conner home. It was four blocks from our B&B and an easy walk “home.”

Pat with Brett in Pedicab, the way to go

I got a chill walking in one of my favorite author’s childhood home. O’Conner lived there until age thirteen. I took gobs of pictures, but will post only the most startling one, the “cage” Mary Flanner (her given name) was placed in as an infant to protect her from malaria. Some have wondered if that early experience gave rise to the dark themes in her writings.

Wood and screening "crib"Pat and I scheduled time for both our interests. Art overlapped, and we spent a lot of time in galleries. At City Market we bought birthday and Christmas gifts from unique shops (Pat’s favorite sport). I called O’Conners’s house and E. Shaver’s book store, a twelve-room, charming place for bibliophiles . When you have a friend like Pat everything goes smoothly. I enjoyed her choices and I think she enjoyed mine.

Paula Deen's

It was in the cards for Pat to eat at Paula Deen’s Lady & Sons. We were five minutes past cut off time to show up for reservations, yet were given a table right away. Collards, sweet potato, fried chicken, blackeyed peas, green beans, biscuits, etc. all cooked Southern. We were in heaven.


In the wee hours of Sunday morning we said goodbye to Azalea Inn & Gardens to catch an early train. We said our goodbyes to the B&B greeter the night before, because Joey, an adorable Yorkie, had not yet come to work. Oh yes, he is deposited in the door in the morning and picked up when his workday is finished after wine and nibbles time.

I didn’t mean this to be so long, but as you might expect, left out so much. If you are thinking of a relaxing, Southern vacation, don’t overlook Savannah. It is a jewel of a city.

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I thought the day would never get here and now our trip to Savannah is over.

Train station in Savannah

My long time friend Pat and I took the Amtrak there, and despite our trepidation, we were five to ten minutes early both ways. Another guest at our B&B who came a day later was held up an hour while a bridge near Jacksonville was inspected. For bombs? structural problems? No one knows.

Azalea Inn & Gardens in the Historic District took us back in time with its period furniture and heirloom garden.

Azalea Inn & Gardens

Dining Table

The dining table was elegant. The walls were painted with beautiful murals all around. Oil paint even covered the switch plates! This is where we had gourmet breakfasts and lively conversation with folks from N.C., OK, NY, GA, Washington State, England and Australia. I have probably forgotten some. Oh yes, a few more from Florida.

Happy Hour with with a few very congenial guests

I had a lot of fun with the Joe Biden look alike in left corner. He was a good sport and had been mistaken for him on several occasions, especially just after the election when he was in Bahamas at same time as Pres. Clinton.


My friend Pat below sitting on our private balcony. We had two bedrooms and a bath upstairs in the carriage house where birds sang at window level as a wakeup call.

My bedroom

This will have to be Chapter I. Next post will be on the beautiful city of Savannah.

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On Mother’s Day I honor my mother’s wild sense of fun and abandonment. The world of people was her carnival.  She was endlessly fascinated by them, and captivated more than a few herself. I am forever grateful for her wonderful spirit and a desire to connect  so strong that she taught herself two languages, Polish and Spanish.  I love you, Mother, and am grateful for the lessons you taught with your life.

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