Monthly Archives: October 2009

Automatic Response

Note: Last time I was at Greenheck the sign was gone. I'm glad I took the picture when I did. No one would have believed me. The original posted referenced my Treo – hot technology for 2006. You'll be glad to know that now I have an iPhone.

Old Habits Die Hard

Originally Posted Sunday, July 09, 2006

Change is often hard…especially when the change is about
something you've been doing for a long time. If you don't have anything nice
to say, don't say anything at all
. Clean your plate. Flush the
. Sense a pattern?

We all have behaviors planted firmly in our hearts and minds, reinforced over
and over by years of doing. We do these things without one moments thought –
they are habits. Whole systems are built around them. Public restrooms for
example. For years, architects and builders counted on the fact that you would
hear your mother's voice before you exited the stall, reminding you to flush! Worked
well, mostly.

Then along came change. Automatically flushed toilets. A novelty at first.
(Honestly, they scared the you-know-what out of people the first time they
encountered one. My favorite is when they flush before you're done.) But of
course, they weren't everywhere so we continued responsible flushing. But as
Malcolm Gladwell taught us, there is a tipping point.

Finally there were more automatic flush toilets in public places than the
old-fashioned do-it-yourself variety and our habits started to change. Mom's
voice was silenced. We expected the flushing to occ
ur without our active


Hence the sign I discovered on the stall door in
the public restrooms in the Greenheck Field House in Weston, WI. After trying
to figure out why it was there, it dawned on me. The Greenheck Field House,
although fairly new, was built before automatic toilets became the norm and is
now frequented by people who no longer believe they have an obligation to
flush. Problem! Some clever person must have decided that this sign would fill
the place vacated by a mother's voice saying, "Don't forget to flush,
dear." At least the day I was there the sign seemed to be working.

What I'm working on now is the equivalent for changing that clean your plate

On another note, this blog would not have been possible without another big
change – phones you carry with you and have cameras built in. If you write a
blog that is tied to pictures, more important than American Express, you never
want to leave home without your Treo!

On The Ice

Note: Quinn is now nine years old and still plays hockey and spends most of his time upright because he's become a pretty good skater.

Change in the Hockey Rink

Originally posted Saturday, November 26, 2005

My five year old grandson,
Quinn, has started playing hockey. Saturday morning at 11:00 is practice. His
call came at 9:15.

"Grandpa, are you coming to

Yes, Quinn I'll be there."

"Is Ahma? And if she says
no, tell her she has to come."

His first 3 practices found me
out-of-town – an excuse that carries little weight when you're five – so this
was the you-could-get-toppled-from-the-top-of-the-grandparents-list session. I
knew my job: be there and smile a lot. (Smiling not laughing, just to be
clear.) It occurred to me as I watched that five-year olds do change pretty
well. Think of what hockey does to your world.

Skating not walking.

Coaches not parents.

Ice not grass.

Rules for everything.

Oh, by the way, this is all at once! The minute you venture out on the ice
everything is different and the only way you can change back is to leave the
rink – with everybody else watching you give up.

So, you fall down a lot! The adults in the stands think it's cute and comment
on the luck of a lower center of gravity. You just think it's hard – falling on
ice – what's a center of gravity any way? You look around and watch all the
other kids and do what they do – get up every time you fall. That's right,
every time you fall you get back up and skate a little further the next time.

Practice is only 45 minutes. When you're done you go into the locker room,
change out of your gear with your Dad's help, towel off the sweat, and come out
to hear your mom, your Grandpa, and your Ahma tell you you did a great job. But
still you'd really like a nap. And because you're 5 that's exactly what you do!
No apologies cause no matter what age, change can be hard and naps are a good
Quinn's Hockey Nap




Can You Recycle Blog Entries?

When I first started blogging several years ago, my blog was on another platform. The other day I got to thinking about those entries. They were good and no one would see them in their current location. So I decided I would transfer them to this blog.

If I can figure the system out, they should be set to post over the next few weeks. I'll add some notes to update the events and situations they cover. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have as I've taken this trip down memory lane.