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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hawaii Rugby Week 8 Results and Standings

Here's the results and standings as of Week 8. Looks like there's been some good games. I'm back in town, for a while at least, so hopefully I'll be able to watch some rugby this weekend. I'm so grateful to Lofi for supplying these results every week. Great job, Lofi! And, Lofi is the current scoring leader in the Union as of this week. I guess he's not just another pretty face. :)

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hawaii Rugby Scores & Standings

Here's the scores and standings for weeks 6 and 7. I've been missing a lot of good rugby during my travels, but these updates are great. Thanks, Lofi!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Links

I've got a couple of new links, both rugby and operations:

New Operations Links:

This is an excellent blog I found; LearnSigma. It's a blog about Lean and Six Sigma. It has some excellent posts and some excellent links. Definitely check this out. And if you're looking for some simple, but very effective, lean games to use in your training, here's a link to one of his posts that I found very useful. I used both the Nickel Game and the Dollar Game in the Lean Seminar I just gave in Tucson and they were quite effective - and fun. Very simple and easy, but clearly illustrate some of the Lean principles I was reviewing. And the best thing is all you need is some coins. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars buying some lean board games that some people are selling. Also, I love the videos of the demonstration of these games.

I'm also adding a link to the Tucson Chapter of APICS. I presented a seminar for them yesterday, and Introduction to Lean seminar. I titled it Leaning Towards Excellence. I also gave a presentation at their dinner meeting. That was titled Selecting the Right Tools for the Job, which is based on my book. I recorded the presentation, and sent the audio and the slides to the Tucson Chapter, so check in on their site and look for both the audio and slides of the presentation. I started this with the Mission Peak Chapter of APICS, and they're now recording all their speakers and posting the presentations on their website. I did a presentation for them earlier this month. The audio wasn't working that night, so I re-recorded the audio in my "personal studio" (i.e. my hotel room). Check in on their website for that presentation - Lean & Six Sigma: Working Together.

I'm going to post these presentations to my website, so check there too. The wifi connection is a little slow here at times (I'm on the road), so it might take me a couple of days to get it up there.

Next up is a blog dedicated to the music business; Your Music Business. The gentleman who authors the blog, Liam Abramson, contacted me because he wants to post an article that I wrote on his website (he has an arts business consultancy, focusing on the music business); Tips for Managing Your Small Non-profit Organization.

New Rugby Links:

I found this blog a while ago, but didn't add the link because the posts were so old; Coaching Rugby. But now Just Call me Coach has been making posts. Her posts are quite good, and she has some great links to excellent rugby coaching resources. Rugby coaches should definitely read this blog, and all ruggers should check it out too. Well worth your time.

I was just contacted today to join this Yahoo Group; World Rugby Masters. This is a group, from "Trapper" Dan, dedicated to Masters Rugby, also known as Old Boys or Old Farts. There are different groupings, but generally Master Rugby is considered over 35 years old. I'd love to play some rugby again (when I get in shape), but if I do it would have to be Old Boys. Don't let that fool you. When I first started playing rugby and still in my teens, one of the best players I met was about 50 years old. Jim Sims (sp?), first of Durango, then Santa Fe. He was one of the toughest guys I ever met, not very big, but solid, and it felt like you were running into a rock when you tackled him. He's the one who taught me how to tackle. We asked him to come down to Socorro to help us out, and he spent one night giving us some tips. I remember the tackling drills. It must have worked. When I moved to Albuquerque and started playing club rugby, for a good team (Albuquerque Aardvarks), my tackling skills were noticed. I had to fight for my position (number 6, or blind side flanker) with one of the fittest and best rugby players I knew. I finally won the starting spot, but in tournaments we often alternated games. I remember, though, in one tournament I was selected to play in the finals when it was the other gentleman's turn. I was selected for my tackling skills, that would be especially needed against the team we were playing in the finals. Sure made me feel good.

So, I'm still in Tucson, Arizona. It was cold the first couple days I was here, but it's been warming up since. I went on the downtown walking tour today, with my wife's aunt. It was great fun. I'd never walked around downtown before. Found some new coffee shops and restaurants. I love Tucson.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

On the road again...

I'm on the road again. I'm in Tucson, and I love it. If you've never been to Tucson, you should come, it's a great place. But just come to visit, I like it the way it is size wise. I got up and went for a run this morning, and just about froze my buns off. Yes, Tucson, Arizona in March, and coooold! And yes, I'm a bit out of shape, but I'm officially in marathon training. My wife dragged (drug?) me down to the Honolulu Marathon Clinic last week, which is what I needed. If - When - I run this year, it will be my fourth marathon. I missed the last couple of years, but I'm going to do it again this year. The Marathon Clinic has been going for 30 years now and is a great program. It's really designed for people who have never run a marathon, or even really run before. The clinic starts in March, because if you follow their program, you can finish a marathon with nine months of training. The basic premise is you have to run for one-hour, three days a week. Ouch!

Well, I know I can go out and run for an hour, so I don't really have an excuse to not get in shape. At this point, there's a fair amount of shuffling, as opposed to actual running, but it's a good start. I'm not a natural born runner, like some people, but I like it. I played rugby for about six years and thought I was in pretty good shape. Thought I did a lot of running. But I was wrong. I joined the army and we ran quite a bit in basic training, or so I thought. Then I went to airborne school and learned about running, among other things. I have to admit I don't know if I would have made it without help. My help came from a guy I met on the bus down to Fort Benning. The guy was amazing, like a lung with legs. When I started hurting and thought I was going to drop out of a run, he'd just grab hold of me and drag me along. I don't know how my legs kept moving. Of course, if he hadn't made me drink beer all night after training and wake up with a hangover I probably could have made it a little further until I needed that help.

But, I digress. I'm on the road again. And what have I seen so far? Well, let's start with the flight over. I fly United. I fly United almost all the time, so I'm a Premier. That means I get to use the less crowded check in kiosk, get the extra legroom seats, and get to board with Seating Area 1 . Or so I thought. For some reason I've been demoted to Seating Area 4. Now that's not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but from a customer service point of view it's not good. I still fly enough to be a Premier level customer, but they've demoted me for some unknown reason without telling me. And airlines wonder why they can't make money.

Rented a car while I'm here. We mostly use Dollar. I like them. You can reserve a car online or by calling them, and you don't need to leave a credit card number to reserve. That just make it easier and less of a hassle. They're usually a little cheaper than the "major" rental companies, but they have the same cars. I've never had a problem with them, and when I returned my car in San Francisco last week their check-in person helped me out and saved me some money. I couldn't find a gas station before the airport (first time renting a car in SF), so just took the car in on empty as was prepared to pay. But the lady gave me directions to the nearest gas station and a ticket to get out of the parking garage, and that saved me a good chunk of change. That's the customer service that keeps me coming back.

My hotel got a lot of extra points for several things, but got a ding when I checked in. I had to call a couple of times to make changes, and they were wonderful on the phone, even at 3:00 a.m. Everyone's been more than pleasant since I got here. But when I arrived to check in, the person at the desk was talking to someone else (not sure if they work here or who they were), talking about another guest who didn't speak English, and left me to wait for a minute. Just kind of turned me off a bit. Customer service rule: always put on your best face.

I was heading down south to Green Valley this morning, but ran into a couple of problems. First, there was a parade downtown, which I ran into. If I had known, I could have taken another route, but I ran into the detours and ended up slightly lost. I know my way around here pretty well, but then ran into problem two; highway construction. The construction itself isn't a problem, but just a thought to the city of Tucson - have clear directions through the construction. On the way back into town, on the interstate, there were very clear directions and signs that no one could miss. Directions and signs like that on the major streets leading to the access to the highway would sure go a long way towards making people's lives easier. Even governments need customer service.

Well, past my bedtime again and I have to get up and run again tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Winding Down, stage 1

Finished stage 1 of this tour. I gave a presentation to the Mission Peak Chapter of APICS (that's in Silicon Valley) tonight, titled Lean & Six Sigma: Working Together. They had a good turnout, and I got to meet a few new people. If anyone has a work history of process improvement and Lean and Six Sigma, I met someone who's looking for a Continuous Process Improvement Manager, so let me know I and I can send you the contact info.

I broke one of my cardinal rules. I had a wonderful conversation with a young woman (I can say "young woman" 'cause I'm old), but I didn't get her card. She's looking for work in the Operations or Supply Chain field, in Silicon Valley, so if anybody is looking for an entry level person, she is someone you should seriously consider. Hank thinks highly of her, and if Hank recommends her, that's all I need. Again, if you need an entry level Operations/Supply Chain person in Silicon Valley, let me know and I'll send you the contact info.

If I haven't said this before; professional organizations = learning + networking = career success. Get involved!

Last night I gave a presentation to the Sacramento Chapter of APICS. I did my Effective Strategic Planning presentation. It's always interesting, because the topic really involves the top level management of an organization, but the people who attend the presentations represent all levels of management. It's important for everyone to understand Strategic Planning, even if they're not involved in developing it. For one, some people will rise to the top, and they need to understand Strategic Planning. For many people, they won't be directly involved with much of the planning, but they are an important part of the Strategic Planning process. Because it is a process. It's not something you "do" once a year then pull out the next year and review. But I digress. What I was going to say was that I met one gentleman who works as an inventory manager and has been having some ongoing frustrations. This talk has nothing to do with inventory management, and is at a much higher level than some ongoing inventory issues. But he got a lot out of the talk and said I gave him some things to think about. Hopefully this will help him down a path that will get rid of some of those frustrations. It just goes to show you that sometimes, instead just trying to fix a problem that has been going on and on, you should step back and look at the big picture. It just might give you a different path to explore.

So tomorrow I'm back to Hawaii, for about a week, then I'm off to Tucson. I've still got some work to do for that trip, so I'll be busy.

I didn't make any tour t-shirts for this tour. Last time a did a tour like this I made up some t-shirts. I figured if the Rolling Stones can have tour t-shirts, so can I. I made a few up myself and gave them out as "gifts". I'm sure most of them are cleaning up oil stains, but I thought it was fun. This was going to be my "Joey Bag of Doughnuts Tour". I guess I can still print up some shirts.

Well, it's way past my bedtime, and I've got to get up and catch a plane in the morning....