The Ragin’ Cajun

James Carville was my guest yesterday at my annual Thought Leadership Conference at the Four Seasons in Palm Beach. He is a fast-talking, straight-shooting guy who goes full bore, start to finish, and he joined us for dinner, as well. I asked him why Barak Obama, elected amid speeches between Doric Columns and Greek Porticos, with a rock star excitement in the audience, is now shunned by members of his own party seeking reelection in states he originally carried. James …


We Get Letters….

From Mike Siversten in response to my Monday Morning Memo on education, which can be found archived on this blog:   Good afternoon Alan,   John Taylor Gatto was an education reformer and revolutionary who was named New York City Teacher of the Year in 1989, 1990, and 1991, and New York State Teacher of the Year in 1991. His open resignation letter was printed in the WSJ in 1991. Have you heard of him? He wrote several influential books, recorded numerous …


Hightailing It Back

Here’s what gives you renewed faith (relative to a rude response from Hightail): Hi Alan, Nope.  I’m not proud that we made your blog, but after reading the dialog that you had with Lornel, I’m there deservedly.  I actually felt a little nauseous reading through the thread.  I’m taking action with that team to ensure I don’t make anyone else’s blog J I see that Kelly has already followed up with you.  I double checked and it appears that the bug …


John, Redux

We returned to one of our favorite restaurants in Naples (or anywhere else), Cafe Lurcat. I’ve taken groups of people here, and my wife and I decided on a private dinner. We asked for John, the best server I’ve ever known. I’ve written about him here before. John takes an interest in every person with whom he works, while handling a variety of tables. He’s never rushed, but somehow coordinates more activity than I care to think about. His advice …


Chase Scores

Last week I noticed two small charges on my Chase MasterCard bill which didn’t look right. Sure enough, they were “pond scum” charges: Internet sites that trick you into a subscription, hoping to charge thousands of people a small sum for months until they catch on. (My wife sent someone a greeting card and now was charged $3.99 a month for the “benefit” do doing it again whenever she pleased. The Chase system was awful. Dozens of prompts intended to …


The Good Guys and the Not So Good Guys

I picked up a client at a nearby hotel and he offered to treat us to a couple of lattés at Dunkin Donuts on the way to my house. When we reached the window, the woman handed me the two cups. “Can I have a tray, please?” I asked. “No, we’re all out,” she said. “Well, why don’t you tell us that when we order? What if I were alone or needed four coffees?” “I guess we’d find a box …


Steve Jobs Leaves Apple CEO Role

With the announcement by Steve Jobs that’s he’s giving up the CEO role, Apple’s stock will probably take a hit today. The only real reason will be perceptual and emotional, since his successor is a proven talent and the Apple pipeline is full of new products. I doubt investors are reacting to something that they think happens five years or more from now. Let’s hope I’m wrong, but after-hours trading had the stock down by several dollars last night. The …


Copy That

I’m totally revamping my den/office, and I’m finally off the card tables and into about 75% completed digs. On the way to dinner the other night, on a whim, I said to  my wife, “Let’s stop at Best Buy and see if they have a copier/fax/scanner gizmo that will work wirelessly.” My son-in-law urged me to look at these and get rid of the three huge pieces of equipment taking up so much room (copier/scanner/fax, color printer, laser printer) in …


Why Apple Is So Good

I had a minor quality problem with my Apple TV downloads. I sent an email to Apple. They refunded all my money for both series I had purchased (which can still be watched, the color is just a tad off), and when I thanked them for their responsiveness and generosity, they sent me this: Dear Alan, You’re very welcome. I’m glad to hear that the issue has been successfully resolved. Nothing makes Apple happier than to hear that we have …


Amica Rules

We’re insured (house, cars, personal property, liability, etc.) by Amica, a Rhode Island-based firm that I think is the best in the business. Today they sent a letter explaining that an error in the rate created a lower insurance premium on my homeowner’s policy than should have been the case. I braced for the added amount due. The letter went on: “We understand you trust us to provide you with timely and accurate policy information and we value your loyalty. …