Reverend Lowery Wows Me

Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon and a pastor known to speak his mind to power, opened his inauguration benediction with the first words of what is called the Negro National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears...

Lowery implored God to help Americans make "choices on the side of love, not hate, on the side of inclusion not exclusion, tolerance not intolerance."

He updated the famous passages from Isaiah, suggesting humanity "beat tanks into tractors." He called for a time, quoting Micah 4:4, when every man shall sit beneath his vine and fig tree and live in peace and unafraid, Amos 5:24 , "let justice will roll down like waters."

Rev. Lowery ended his benediction with a rhyme familiar to black churchgoers:

"We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around..."

There was laughter from the enormous crowd. The 87-year-old civil rights pioneer continued:

"When yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right. That all those who do justice and love mercy say Amen."

The crowd thundered, "Amen!"


I Have a Dream Today

"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'

"I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

"I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

"I have a dream today!

"I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

"I have a dream today!

"I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; 'and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.'

"This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

"And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

'My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!'

"And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

"And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

"But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

'Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'

From the "I have a dream" speech delivered by Martin Luther King forty five years ago today. For the complete text, audio recording and accompanying video, visit American Rhetoric: Martin Luther King, Jr. - I Have a Dream

It's Polamalu


How to Run a Meeting Like Google

This article from BusinessWeek offers the following cure for the ubiquitous, unproductive meetings, drawing on lessons learned from Marissa Mayer, Google's vice-president of search products.

"Mayer holds an average of 70 meetings a week and serves as the last stop before engineers and project managers get the opportunity to pitch their ideas to Google's co-founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Eight teams consisting of directors, managers, and engineers—all at various stages of product development—answer to Mayer.

"In a shop like Google (GOOG), much of the work takes place in meetings, and her goal is to make sure teams have a firm mandate, strategic direction, and actionable information, while making participants feel motivated and respected. Mayer's six keys to running successful meetings follow:

1. Set a firm agenda...

2. Assign a note-taker...
Google executives are big believers in capturing an official set of notes, so inaccuracies and inconsistencies can be caught immediately.Those who missed the meetings receive a copy of the notes...

3. Carve out micro-meetings.
Mayer sets aside large blocks of time that she slices into smaller, self-contained gatherings on a particular subject or project...That means if she has an employee with an issue that comes up Tuesday, he or she can schedule a 10-minute micro-meeting during Mayer's large time block, instead of waiting for her next 30-minute opening, which might not be available for two weeks.

4. Hold office hours...

5. Discourage politics, use data...

Designs are chosen based on merit and evidence, not personal relationships. Mayer discourages using the phrase 'I like' in design meetings, such as 'I like the way the screen looks.' Instead, she encourages such comments as 'The experimentation on the site shows that his design performed 10% better.' This works for Google, because it builds a culture driven by customer feedback data, not the internal politics that pervade so many of today's corporations.

6. Stick to the clock...

"Please keep in mind that these meeting techniques work well for Google. They may or may not be appropriate for your place of business. But these six keys should give you some new ideas about how to transform your meetings from a waste of time to time well spent."

Updated Steelers Polka Fight Song

Time to take a shot at updating the Steelers polka fight song (sung to the tune of the Pennsylvania polka):

Da-Da-Da-Da-Ta-Da - Charge!

We're from the town with that great football team,
We cheer the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Coach Mike and all his friends are all on the field.
Go out and get them Steelers.

Big Ben, Fast Willie, Santonio, Hines,
We love you Pittsburgh Steelers.
It's been many years in coming,
just keep that Steelers machinery humming

Defense, Defense, make them scramble, intercept that ball.
Defense, Defense, keeps the Steelers always best of all!
Po-La-Ma-Lu, do your thing against the other team,
You start from year to year, we're so glad you play here,
Now join with me, and sing the Steelers cheer-er-ER!

We're from the town with that great football team,
We cheer the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Winning's a habit, not only a dream,
Go out and get them Steelers!

Farrior and Harrison are here for the show,
and so is Big Ben's Army,
It's been many years in coming,
just keep that Steelers machinery humming.

Offense, Offense, take that football whole way up the field!
Offense, Offense, let's score and score and never ever yield!
Parker, Mewelde, can you believe we have a running game?

The Steelers are so great, and so hard to overrate,
Good things, will come, to those who work and wait.


For more, see Steeler Songs


Personal SWOT Analysis

SWOT Analysis is a powerful technique for identifying Strengths and Weaknesses, and for examining the Opportunities and Threats you face. Used in a personal context, it helps you develop your career in a way that takes best advantage of your talents, abilities and opportunities.

What makes SWOT particularly powerful is that with a little thought, it can help you uncover opportunities that you are well placed to take advantage of. And by understanding your weaknesses, you can manage and eliminate threats that would otherwise catch you unawares.

To carry out a SWOT Analysis, check out this
mindtools.com site

The Land of Hatchy Milatchy

There's a wonderful place that you really should see called the Land of Hatchy Milatchy. These are the opening lines to an infectious theme song whirling in a childhood memory.

According to CoalSpeak: a Dictionary of the Coal Region, Hatchy Milatchy was a popular children's show on WNEP-TV (Scranton/Wilkes-Barre) in the 1960's and 70's. Hosted by Miss Judy (real name: Lois Burns). The theme song was a popular song sung by Rosemary Clooney. Miss Judy lipsync'd to Rosemary Clooney at the beginning of each show. Another host was the fez-wearing Uncle Ted, a grey-haired man with beard and handlebar mustache. A video of Miss Judy lipsyncing away can be viewed here.

Hatchy Milatchy is the inspiration for Fundle Bundle, a fictional television show featured in in episode 2.24 of the The Office, "Take Your Daughter to Work Day".

As a child, both Michael Scott and Chet Montgomery were on the show, which was hosted by a Ms. Trudy. The clips in "The Office" show a puppet cat interviewing children about their hopes and future dreams.

Here are the lyrics in all their glory:

There's a wonderful place that you really should see
Called the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
All boys and girls love this place yes siree
Called the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Peppermint candy and ice cream is free
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Soda pop fountains are under each tree
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Everyone rides on a-merry-go-round
All made of sugar and spice
Lollipops grow right out of the ground
The moon's made of strawberry ice
If you should run and you trip and you fall
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
The ground's made of rubber you bounce like a ball
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy

Oh you-play the whole day and you don't go to bed
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Mommies and Daddies are put there instead
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Hundreds of bunnies lay Easter eggs
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Ride on a pony with candy strip legs
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy
Each day is always a big holiday
Birthdays and parties galore
Dollies and bicycles given away
Whenever you walk in a store
When I return then I never will leave
The Land of Hatchy Milatchy
If you want to go all you do is believe
In the Land of Hatchy Milatchy.