Harper Collins Failing Everyone

Harper Collins just announced to the libraries carrying their e-books that after 26 “lendings”, the book agreement with them is null and void. Hence, the free library is required to buy the same book again. Even worse, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster do not even allow libraries any e-books from their catalogs.

The nerve and gall of that failing industry still boggles the mind. Publishing companies are grasping at straws to keep their heads above water, but sink they will and soon. Willful disregard for integrity and fair treatment of their writers, authors and ancillary help that keep them afloat is coming back to bite them in the butt.

This greedy grabby irresponsible behavior shows publishers’ lack of vision for the future. E-books are here to stay but Harper Collins, Macmillan with Simon & Schuster, will soon be extinct like the dinosaurs that they are.

TSA Tyrannical Shameful Acts

(T)otally (S)enseless (A)ntics

TSA Totally Shameful ActsC.S. Lewis said that the worst tyranny comes from the people or persons who claim that the thing they are doing to you, is what you need for your protection and your own good.

Our government has deemed it necessary to protect us. In the most nasty humiliating, disgusting and inefficient manner, they posture, gesture and on the whole, monkey around as they direct us, sheep and cattle, down one aisle or another to be groped and fondled, scanned and ogled.

This ineffective, ineffectual way of dealing with their own inadequacy has inconvenienced millions of people so that the manufacturers and the thieves who made those scanners would profit from the fear they instill in our feeble hearts. [Read more...]

Tooth Fairy Getting Expensive

tooth-fairy.jpgWe all know that witches are everywhere waiting, lurking to take parts of you to put in their brew, like finger nail clippings, hair from your brush, a snotty tissue and even your tooth.

When a child loses a tooth, it is a time to rejoice and be excited that they are growing up. That is the time you know that, your not so little one, is on the way to having hopefully healthy solid teeth to bite into solid foods with relish.

But, you want to make sure that when your precious little one loses a tooth, the bad witch does not get hold of it and use it in her nasty magic. The tooth is hidden under the pillow in a little pouch which only the parents know about and they retrieve it in the middle of the night and replace it with a coin. [Read more...]

Love and Money Equals Happiness?

Dear Baba Rumcake,

Tell me, is it really wrong to like someone more when you find out they have money? Assuming you liked them already.

Wondering in Wichita

Dear Wondering,
I suppose being a gold digger and a social climber is not so bad. There should be no reason for remorse about being shallow and superficial.

You already like the bloke, so there’s no harm in liking him more, for his dough, huh?
After all, money will bring with it comfort and future security. It makes a man seem more desirable since he can take care of you.

It is not so much wrong, as it is immoral. I am not sure that there is a definition to be set to it. Knowing that about yourself, knowing that there was a shift in sentiment over something that materialistic should make you stop and wonder what traits you have that need tweaking and modifying, they need.

I would take a harder look at yourself. A serious look at your trifling sensibilities. Character is what matters in the end. Dig deeper into yourself.

Remaining with him will only make you dependent, weak and less likely to be able to survive on your own, in the future.

The problem with those feelings of liking him more, is, you will overlook serious problems because you see dollar signs in your eyes, ignoring the major issues if they come up.

Blessings on your shaky future,
Baba Rumcake

Love What You Do!

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” –
  —  Confucius

I did not realize the truth of that statement and wisdom until today. About a month ago, I decided to quit my technical, well paying job and place my undivided attention to writing and reading.

It has been a month now; with days, I have spent wondering, if I did the wrong thing. Days wondering if I am working. Wondering when I should start doing what I set out to do. Suddenly, holding this incredible book that I was reading, “Winter Solistice” by Rosamunde Pilcher, sitting before the ocean, I realized, that, I was working.

The only difference was, it did not feel like work since I loved what I was doing so much and would do it anyway, even if, it was not the means for me to make a living.

Overwhelmed by the realization, I was thanking God and feeling grateful for this act of mercy on His part. I can actually do what I love to do and make a living at it also.

It only took me a whole year to decided to take the right step in the right direction, leaving behind the security of my old job. I was stunned at the possibilities and frightened at the failures. If I fail, it will be a glorious failure, having spent time expressing and reading and writing and living. If I succeed, then I have accomplished what everyone sets out to do, love what they do and do it well.

Nothing is more fulfilling than to love the job that you do knowing that you can do it with grace and abandon. Never had I stopped writing, never had I stopped reading. But, to read and write for a job, is more than I could have dreamed of.

Stephen King said that if you have no time to read, you have no skills to write. Your tools are broken. So, from that I learned that the wonderful time reading was actually honing up on my skills and techniques. God bless you, Mr. King. You are my hero.

Writing is not about equipment, writing is about the tools your have, your words and the ones you learn along the way. How you say them, convey them and execute them in ways to move and entice your audience.

When all is said and done, I want to go out of this world some day, saying that I have done the things I wanted to do and loved to do. I do not want to regret the days I have spent without trying at least to do it.

Ticking Biological Clock in Topeka

Dear Baba Rumcake,
I dont know how to pick a husband, there are so many factors to consider.. and hard to find someone with everything..im 28 though.. time to decide..
Ticking Biological Clock in Topeka

Dear Ticking,
What, exactly is the everything, you are searching for? Do you, have, everything?

You want to tell me that you have not found one man that fits the bill, in the area that you live in? I’ll give you Topeka only has a population of 100,000+, but get over it, Sergey Brin and Larry Page ( Google Creators ) were married in 2007. So go ahead, try to tell Baba how you have not found one man that fits your lofty irresponsible requirements, in the whole of the Internet?

What is it that you want in a man! What is it that you can truly offer that is so awesomely great, that no one fits the bill. It is time to do some serious soul searching and decide what is important in your life.

It is time to write down your personal pros and cons, in two lists. Go down those lists and tick off the most important ones. Discard the rest, they’re likely unrealistic ones. This is good solid advice for the inwardly blind. Get on with seeing who you are, for real – not the “im so deserving, can’t find a husband ” baby factory whine machine.

God bless on your search and your ticking clock.

Baba Rumcake

15 Ways to be a Better Boss

15 Ways to be a Better Boss

People often wonder what it takes to be a better boss; here are 15 ways you can use to begin your journey managing others.

Listen openly to others.

It is hard to listen, to everyone, and what they have to say regarding a matter you already have decided on. Keep an open mind. Listen, and glean the important information. Use some of it, it will let everyone know that you were really listening and that they matter.

Offer constructive suggestions.

It is difficult to offer suggestions to angry people. Wait, choose the moment and then make your suggestions. They will be received better and will be taken into consideration more readily.

Give clear directions.

Do not be vague. Do not be wishy washy. People appreciate the direct approach. Make it simple and clear. Someone is bound to do it, if they understand what it is you want. Also, it gives the right impression; you are in charge and you know what you are talking about.

Set and meet deadlines.

When you tell your staff that you will do something, make sure that you come through. Never let a deadline go by. If you can do that, then everyone else can do it. Lead by example.

Give formal and informal presentations.

If you have to give presentations, mix it up a little. Take the staff out for a cup of coffee and talk there. Set it up, with slides, in the conference room. Take out for dinner nice in a while for the talk. They will come to these things with a more positive attitude.

Help members identify and solve problems.

When problems arise, turn the tables on your employees. Have them tell you what the problem is and have them decide what should be done about it. It helps them feel that they are controlling some part of their lives at work. It also brings them together to decide what to do about an issue.

Set an example to behavior you want cultivated.

Be a role model. If you want them to come in on time, be on time for meetings. If you do not want them eating at their desk, do not offer food at yours. Simple things will convey your messages. It is not ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

Show appreciation of others’ contributions.

Whether it is someone on your team, or outside the group, or even, outside the institution, make sure you praise and show your appreciation for a job well done. It will reenforce the idea, that you notice accomplishments.

Show understanding.

People will make mistakes. Really, they will. Be understanding, without, being a push over. Take into consideration their reactions, noting whether they are callous or sincere. All these are cues to a better understanding of your employees.

Encourage members to exchange ideas.

This is a tricky suggestion. There is not need to open the forum for every stupid idea that comes along. If the ideas are to progress the work, make it more efficient and flow better, give it credence. Otherwise, tell them to give it a rest.

Conflict handling.

No group is the same. No group has the same dynamics and no manager is capable of understanding every problem that occurs. It is a fine dance. If a conflict arises, allow the staff to handle it, for a limited period of time. If that does not work, make definitive decisions, suggesting that the someone can get another job. It will end the conflict, quickly. Being undecided will cause harm to the group.

Delegate responsibilities.

It is easy to give the job to the busiest person there, since they will get it done. But, you should delegate to others also. It will make them feel like part of the whole, while taking the burden off the key person in your group.

Do not gossip.

No matter how tempted you are, do not gossip. Everyone knows that if you gossip with one person, you probably do it with everyone else. Don’t do it, it is that simple.

Do not lie.

If you get caught lying, nothing, will induce the staff, to trust you, again. Always be truthful or just say nothing. It is not productive to lie about numbers, or work flow or anything for that matter.

Get a backbone.

Nothing is more annoying, and discouraging, than someone in a leadership position, who has no inner clout. When you are weak, tenuous, implausible and unconvincing, the staff will have no respect for you and your ability to make decisions. Ge on the stick! Get stronger and more decisive.

How do I stay focused?

If you can do more than one thing at a time, you are one of the fortunate ones who multi tasks. These people can read, watch television, talk to their children and their spouse while having something cooking on the stove. You get the picture.

Most of us, have to set up the scene. A quiet place, with the table set up, just so, the correct angle of the dangle, our head in the right place, with the right music and the right incentive, even.

Watching a lady, this morning, who comes in every day, to this Starbucks; I realized, that it took a lot more than just setting things up; it took, attitude.

This lady, sets herself up, at Starbucks, at a certain table, where, she could see anyone coming in, or out, of the store. She is focused, on one thing, her sales, of Mary Kay. She talks to everyone, she prattled even to people who did not want to talk to her. She is incessant, in her pursuit of her trade. Everything she did this morning, was geared towards her sales. Every word out of her mouth ended with a sales pitch. She, was focused, on her trade in this noisy environment. As a customer slipped out, quietly, and disappeared, she ran out, opened the door and called after them, loudly, by name. She remembered everyone, by name. Talk about focus!

Focus, is in the mind! Focus, comes from inside. When I decide to focus, and do something, I shut out everything else, no matter where I am. The setting is never important anymore. As I get older, I find that my focus is more intense. I am capable of doing things without interruption since I choose to do it.

Self control, is the meat and potatoes, of focus. If I choose to focus, wherever I am, I accomplish most of my tasks. Nothing, deters my focus but myself. And, I do not allow for that to happen.

Staying in the moment, helps keep me, on the substance of the matter. A wandering mind would be more of a problem than the surroundings. The emphasis should be on the task at hand, allowing for less mind roaming.

Habits are hard to break. It takes, three days, to break a good habit, but, 15 days to develop a new one. This drifting of the mind, takes time and effort to command. Time to rein in the deviating mind, bringing it under focus.

Learning presence of mind, I achieved the capability to work in any environment. It matters little, where, I am. Capable of focusing, and doing the work that I need to do, my mind stays on the mission, without a problem. Managing to tune out most of the world around me, distancing myself, helps me remain on the task before me, accomplishing my goals without influence. Interruptions are inevitable, but so what? When I get distracted, for a few minutes, I get back quickly to my inner space and continue my work.

Being productive is not about being isolated, physically. To my understanding and experience, it is being isolated in my head. Keeping a clear mind, free of distractions.

I keep plugging on! I have a goal in mind. It keeps me focused.
-Sonia