balance restored


i’ve been in funk lately.   something has been off.   i happened to put the volume up loud and i instantly felt better.  i realized i had NOT been listening to my music at above acceptable levels in a while.  the volume has been at 11 for the past 24 hours.

life at 100db.  good for the soul.

Image result for bose chair add

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Art, Technology, Nakedness


IMG_2091We recently held an art opening. We featured 6 artists from the Friends of Fenway Studios. Friends of Fenway Studios is a non-profit organization committed to supporting Fenway Studios in The Fenway Cultural District of Boston’s Back Bay.

We’re not an art gallery. We’re a bunch of guys selling TV’s and stereo’s, if you run with the stereo type we have within the residential construction industry we operate within.

What’s the connection?  We are actually a home technology integration company. If TV sales never happened again in our company…we wouldn’t lose sleep over it.  Audio -video is an ever shrinking portion of our business.  IT support, lighting/shading control, HVAC scheduling, power management,  remote access control, CCTV,  phone/intercom systems….that’s what we do.

How does technology in the home meet art?  Well, say that sentence again, slowly.  The reality is that our clients have art, they also have lots of other nice things in their homes.  Our product is usually not so nice, not so nice to look at , that is. One of the big challenges for us, as a company and with in our industry, is to make our product and services sing and dance without having big black boxes and what we affectionately refer to as wall acne. ( just picture a 7 light switch plate)

We take the time to make sure interior designers love us. We work hard to understand the aesthetic of our clients homes and develop solutions that hide our gear and still achieve the performance, form, and functionally our clients demand from their technology.

Our showroom is based on presenting just that, a display of technology shown in a setting that could be your living room.  The art work gave our space the something extra that made it feel  warm and finished. Much the same way a home can be transformed with something on the walls that give it color, texture, and depth.

We took the opportunity to work with local artist to provide them with some space to show some of their work. They made our showroom more like home.  Walls with nothing on them are naked and bland. Add some art to your home. If you have some technology in the way,  we can make it go away.  No Naked Walls…..

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No Naked Walls


No Naked Walls
To benefit Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island
Event Details:

No Naked Walls Fine Art Exhibit
Thursday, December 6, 2012: :5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
870 Commonwealth Avenue | Boston

$75 ticket in advance | $100 ticket at the door
Click Here  “Purchase Tickets”
___________________________________________________________

On Thursday, December 6, 2012, party-goers and art lovers will be granted first glance at the No Naked Walls Fine Art Exhibit on opening night.

The art party fundraiser will be a glam time for revelers interested in art and supporting Make-A-Wish® Massachusetts and Rhode Island! Guests will be treated to seasonal dishes prepared by Pepper’s Fine Catering and tasty, art-inspired cocktails by Boston’s own mixologist, Bill Swanson.

The Experience Center, Audio Concepts’ Boston Showroom, will feature abstract, modern and traditional art that explores a variety of subjects by six talented artists from Fenway Studios.

Contact:  Erin Flaherty, Special Events Coordinator, Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island, 617-367-9474, eflaherty@massri.wish.org

About Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island:

Make-A-Wish Massachusetts and Rhode Island grants wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with
hope, strength, and joy.

Wishes are as unique and special as each of the wish children.  For a child with a life-threatening medical condition, a wish granted brings with it a profound moment of joy: the moment a child fist comes face-to-face with a favorite celebrity; arrives at a tropical destination; or experiences a lifelong dream of singing on stage.  But the power of a wish – and the power of your support – extends far beyond this single moment in time.  A wish provides lasting hope that a seriously ill child needs –
to keep fighting, dreaming, and striving for the future.


– CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE EXHIBITING ARTISTS –

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No Naked Walls


 

Teaser to a year long project…..starts Dec 6th…. watch this space for updates…..

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Bird Condo Part Deux – Learning To Fly


Update on the birds…..

As luck would have it, I was taking out the trash and I checked on birds residing in my garage.  There were 3 in the nest.

Turns out today was the big day for the birds.  I set up camp in the garage with the camera and after about 10 minutes, they go used to me being there.

I was able to shoot about 25 minutes total of video of these 5 little guys trying to learn to fly.  Due to my superior filming skills most of the video was not really that great.  Here’s some of the better pics and a few videos.

It was really neat to sit and watch the mom and dad bird try to coax the little one towards the window.

Then I had to take a break myself and feed my kids. When I returned an hour and a half later, I made it just in time to watch and follow the last two out of the garage and follow them thru the back yard for a little bit.

And Finally,  the siblings stick together thru the brush as sun starts to go down.

Bye Bye Birdies.

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Leadership. Born or Bred?


As a student of leadership theory I often wonder if leadership is something that you’re born with or bred for.  There are people with personalities that seem to make them natural leaders. Or is it that these certain people pay attention to the actions that are effective and continue to hone those skills and traits to make them more effective?

This current thought was prompted by a conversation with a young man I had several days ago.  He’s in his early 20’s and through sheer force of will has started a non-profit organization. It’s in its infancy, less than a year old. He has been interested in doing this work for the past 10 years or so. Recently he decided to jump completely into his passion and make it a real entity.  It is a real organization; it has structure, a rock solid vision and mission statement, advisory board, departments, marketing, etc.

The conversation center around the challenges and difficulties of staying organized and managing the 20 to 25 people who are part of this organization.  Clearly driven by his passion and commitment, he has assembled this group and is leading them towards vision of his mission statement.  I won’t say he has all the makings of a leader, he is a leader.

The challenges he has faced and continues to face, he handles in a decisive way, but in a manner that is not abrupt, demeaning, or inconsiderate.

The conversation was based around my trying to assist him with some of the challenges he is facing. My intent was to share my own experience as a leader/manager over the last 20 years or so.

I have always felt my own experience grew out of nurture. I was fortunate enough to have had excellent mentors early on in my career, those who took the time to invest and share with me their experiences and wisdom. I have also always invested in continued self education where I could.

The question still remains born or bred?  Did others see in me what I see in this young man? Maybe? Did they decide to share what they could with me the same way I’m trying to in this situation? Is it a case of nurture?   On the other hand, the determination and self driving will of force to create something as substantial as he has in such a short time at such a young age seems to indicate that nature is the reason here.

My take is that it’s a balance of both.   The basic will to open yourself up to the things you have to do to learn and grow is something that’s your born with. The wisdom of others must be consumed to learn enough to be effective in time enough to make a real impact as a leader.

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Bird Condo


About a month ago I noticed a bird flying in and out of a broken window in my garage. (it’s on the list of things to fix).  A little investigation revealed that this industrious little bird had constructed a nest in an old clothespin bucket I had on a self.

 

Clever spot,  seems to be the perfect bird condo.

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks later, 5 tiny eggs,  I could only get two in the pic without disturbing the nest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of this Saturday, 5 little chirping chicks.

 

 

 

 

Here’s mom with some breakfast for the chicks. Some more to follow when the chicks a little bigger.

 

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Cool and Green


I was perusing  LinkedIn Group American Society of Landscape Architects this morning.  There was a post  from economist.com  Reclaiming the suburbs . The article discusses how a San Antonio based company Rackspace, reclaimed an old, empty mall as its new headquarters.

Intrigued, I did some poking around  and found a few videos showing the space.  The company recently completed the third phase of development  of the space using 600,000 sq ft of the 1 million plus building.  There are a few links below showing and describing the space and the culture that is now housed in this former mall. The building is gold LEED certified and has revitalized the local community.  Somewhere in the videos the project is referred to as a massive recycling project.  It’s a brilliant approach to reusing dead space, solving needs of a business, and all with out massive disruption to the local community and environment.  Kudos to Rackspace.

Take a few minutes and check out these guys.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqZnlmBAsyQ

http://rackertalent.com/videos/the-mall-is-open/

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New Years Resolution – Do Something Epic


I decided a few years ago I wasn’t thrilled with who I was. I put some serious effort into exploring around to see what made me tick, what could made me a better human, and generally tried to be a happier person.

Things like book club with some friends and with my daughter, karate with my son, theater set building for a local school,  blogging all started to become part of the routine for me. I started to focus on working on work/career skills. I read every gimmick book on how to be a super manager/leader/time management guru/etc. All these things had a great positive impact.

As this exploration was taking place it started to occur to me there was a component of all this that was not sitting correctly. I started to wonder what was missing, what was it that was not making me feel complete or fulfilled.  I doubled my efforts to focus on things that were struggles, tried to exert effort into the things I shied away from. Each push with renewed energy and vigor ended with me back at a gray place. Each push resulted in a shorter time back into this funk.

Ultimately I knew I needed to make some dramatic changes, adjust my life to something that was a real change, get out of the routine I was unable to break.  I realized I needed to put some effort into the things that I was good at and not the things I wasn’t. After a year of completely committing to new goals and growth with the same results, I came to the conclusion that I had to do something very dramatic.

New years rolled around and after sorting thru the lists of new years resolutions, I discovered none of them would result in the change I needed.  2012’s New Years Resolution – Do something epic.   Simple, specific, and grand enough to really shake up my situation.

After two months of having this floating in my head and a series actions, inaction, decisions, and non decisions, it happened. Some times you just have to let the barn burn to the ground and start anew.

So here I am , at 41, newly acquainted with something I have never dealt with before, unemployment.  It’s an interesting position to be in, after years of relatively steady success and promotion. I do not regret the events that ultimately lead to to this situation.

Conventional wisdom states you should plan and make calculated steps to transition.  In my case I’m OK with being fired out of a canon into the dark unknown. It has been good so far. It has resulted in some real clarity.  I have come to understand the things I like, the things I’m good at, and more importantly the things I’m not so good at. I’ve been able to step back far enough to see the things I need to work on, improve, and grow.  There’s some real power in understanding that about yourself.

I’m very excited to see where I land.  There are lots of possibilities. Considering them all is it’s own mini adventure. Whatever it is , I feel more energized at a much deeper level than I have in very long time. However this ends, something epic is in motion for me.

Chris’ New Years resolution accomplished.  How are you doing with your resolutions?

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Kis Ka Dee


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Coffee shop today….. my Fav spot to catch up on my digital life. Also my fav work from home spot. Tends to be one of the most productive days for me when I have loads of paperwork.

Today…. Black Tea. (And not $100 kind).

Next stop, KA ra TEe. To pick up spawn the younger.

Bundle up and stay warm on this snowy day.

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