Friday, June 8, 2007

Quotable quotes

Oftentimes, I long for the days of plain-spoken honesty. Such forthrightness was a hallmark of the presidencies of Harry Truman and Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Too many times in this media-savvy world, what comes out of people's mouths sounds too canned and contrived to be authentic.

Thankfully, whether you agree with them or not, a fair amount of people are adept at cutting through the B.S. and giving us the true skinny.

Here are a few recent examples ...

Regarding delays in issuing U.S. passports, U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., said: "To say people must have a passport to travel and not give people a passport is right up there in the stupid column."

Commenting on punching a fellow lawmaker over an alleged expletive, state Sen. Charles Bishop, an Alabama Republican, said: "I responded to his comment with my right hand."

Talking about the jail drama involving Paris Hilton, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said: "My message to those who don't like celebrities is that punishing celebrities more than the average American is not justice."

Reacting to his firing from TV drama "Grey's Anatomy," actor Isaiah Washington said: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore." (OK, it's not original, but at least it's quotable.)

And in a classic understatement, the Cleveland Cavaliers' Zydrunas Ilgauskas said of his team's loss Thursday night to the San Antonio Spurs: "I don't think any of us looked particularly good. Not a great game for us."

Monitoring pithy quotes is a great game for all of us. And you can quote me on that.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Author, author!

My good friend Thom Singer (right) has done it again. While many of us dream about writing merely one book, Thom just released his second book. On Wednesday, June 7, a book-release party was held at The Tap Room at Six Lounge in downtown Austin. The group photo is of me with Kelsey August, a longtime friend, and Cheryl Miller, who hosted the party.

The new book, The ABC's of Networking, compiles a wealth of Thom's gems of advice about networking. If you don't know Thom, you should get to know him. He's one of Austin's premier networkers. I can't even fathom how many businesspeople Thom knows in the Austin area.

Thom's first book, Some Assembly Required: How to Make, Grow and Keep Business Relationships, also delves into the topic of effective networking. (By the way, I'm grateful to Thom for mentioning me in the first book.)

Both books are available on

In closing, here's my message to Thom and all you would-be authors: Write on!

Monday, June 4, 2007

OMG! Texting has its drawbacks, OK?

R u part of the texting generation?

I've had limited experience with this phenomenon. Maybe it's because the keys on my cell phone aren't conducive to texting. Maybe it's because I prefer to engage in good old-fashioned voice conversations with folks.

However, millions of Americans -- especially preteens, teens and young adults -- are texting fanatics.

One of them was sitting next to me on a flight over the weekend from Houston to Austin. Throughout the entire 30-minute journey, Mr. Cool (a dude in his late teens or early 20s) was sending and receiving text messages -- despite the fact that the use of all portable electronic devices is prohibited in the air.

And I've lost track of the number of times a young motorist (usually of the female variety) has whizzed by me on the highway while sending or responding to a text. I'd like to send those motorists a not-so-nice text informing them that I don't want to be killed as the result of a text-and-run crash.

Aside from the fact that texting can be a nuisance, it's also giving life to a new lexicon. The text language is featured prominently and cleverly in a new TV commercial for Ma Bell. In this ad, we learn in an exchange between preteen texter Beth Ann and her frazzled mom that TISNF means "This is so not fair!", BFF translates into "best friend forever" and OMGINBD means "Oh my gosh, it's no big deal." OMGIWTU! For those of you not well-versed in text, that's "Oh my god, I wanna throw up!"

With three-fourths of cell phone users reporting that they're texters and about two-thirds of parents indicating that texting improves communication with their kids, this botching of the English language won't be vanishing. TISNF.

RIP, English language.