Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Kim and Jason Escaping Adulthood

If you have been feeling old, tired and can't remember the last time you had some fun, you might be suffering from a case of adultitis. There have been many times I have felt this way, especially in times of stress and in the uncertainty of the job hunt. While it's important to establish a routine of productivity, it's also important to establish some fun as well. Helping spread a cure for adultitis are my blog buddies Kim and Jason.

As you may have read in an earlier blog post of mine from last year, the Simplicity of Food, you know that I enjoy cooking - whether it be for myself or with my family and friends. Last month Kim and Jason explored this topic on their post, The Importance of Family Dinner. I had the opportunity to comment on their post and was fortunate that they read my comment on their Escape Adulthood show (see below).

By the way, if you or someone you know have been diagnosed with adultitis, you might want to download Kim and Jason's Escape Adulthood Manifesto.

I will have more on cooking, family dinner and creating your own manifesto in future posts.

Photo and video courtesy of Kim and Jason.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Randy Pausch Commencement Address

The third post in our series of commencement addresses is short and sweet. It was delivered exactly a year ago today by the late Randy Pausch at Carnegie Mellon University. The speech touches on a few key points: living well, regret, and finding and living with passion. Compared to some of the other commencement addresses that have been explored on this blog, Randy Pausch does not rely on his notes very much. I’m sure this is due to its short length and the fact that he has taught these ideas in previous class lectures (and especially his last lecture). Throughout his address, Pausch looks toward his audience as if to take in every moment in appreciation.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weekend Sports Diversion: The Greatest Chicago Sports Story of the Year (So Far)

I’m not going to hide it: I am an unabashed Chicago Blackhawks fan. For those outside the Chicago area, the Blackhawks have taken this city by storm as they have advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in more than ten years. As a sports fan, you can appreciate that this team as one of the youngest and fastest in the league and that they have a “never-say-die” attitude. From a business perspective, it’s amazing to see how this team has re-invented itself in just over a year to one of the most up-and-coming franchises in any professional sport. If you love drama, you can appreciate this team for its ability to come back from two-goal deficits and win any game.

The Blackhawks are one of the Original Six teams in the NHL and last won the Stanley Cup in 1961. As a kid growing up in the late 1970’s, I watched an occasional Blackhawk road game as I pretended to be a hockey player in my living room. The team had its share of good players in my lifetime including Tony Esposito, Denis Savard, Steve Larmer, Jeremy Roenick, Ed Belfour and Chris Chelios to name just a few. Back in 1992, they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals only to be swept by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Throughout my lifetime, the Blackhawks always had a small but very loyal following in the Chicago area. Much of this was due to the fact that they didn’t televise any home games. In addition, the team had not aired a game on free local television since the late 1970’s or early 1980’s. This was due to the philosophy of owner Bill Wirtz, who felt that if home games were televised, nobody would pay to see them live. Of course passionate hockey fans know that, unlike football, a televised hockey game can’t capture the magic of seeing the game live.

In 2003, ESPN named the Blackhawks the worst franchise in professional sports. I went to a game in 2004 and the place was half full. As I watched the game in from a private suite where I was a guest, I realized there was more happening in that suite than on the ice.

Things started turning around for the Blackhawks in 2006 when they drafted center (and current team captain) Jonathan Toews third overall and Patrick Kane first overall in 2007. Later in 2007, owner Bill Wirtz died and his son Rocky took over. Rocky decided to air Blackhawks home games and became an instant hero among hockey fans in Chicago. In addition, the team brought aboard former Chicago Cubs president John McDonough, who has done a great job marketing the team.

The Blackhawks begin their next challenge on the quest for the Stanley Cup this Sunday against their longtime rival, the Detroit Red Wings. Let’s go Hawks!

Logo courtesy of the NHL.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Weekend Spiritual Diversion: Wear Sunscreen

About twelve years ago, one of my favorite Chicago Tribune columnists, Mary Schmich, wrote a column geared toward college graduates. The piece was modeled after your typical commencement address where she provided practical advice on how to live successfully. Shortly after that, Australian director Baz Luhrmann created a short video of the column and "Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen)" was born. More information on this can be found here.

As I mentioned in a post last year, I am a sucker for a good commencement address. While these speeches were written for a particular graduation class, the advice is appropriate for anyone looking to change or improve his or her life. With this in mind, I plan to focus on a few notable commencement addresses next week. I hope you visit next week, and as always, I welcome your feedback. In the meantime, wear sunscreen...