28 April 2010

This Week on Bear radio: Who needs the ratings agencies anyway?

In this show, the Optimistic Bear (and friends) discusses the role ratings agencies play in finance, and whether their judgments hold any value for investors.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

27 April 2010

PS: Software automation tools

In this episode Stephen Heffner explains how automation tools can improve both the efficiency, and quality, of software development. Code generation tools still aren't all that useful, but there has been a lot of progress in automation systems that check code for best practices and quality.

You can check out Stephen's company (which makes software automation systems) at http://www.pennington.com/.



NOTE: Practical Software is the official podcast for the Software Engineering Productivity group on Linked:In. You can listen to other episodes of Practical Software. Other content for the SEP group is stored in our resource center.

EPNW: Invest in yourself - go solo

In this episode Lenora Edwards shares the wisdom she's gleaned from 20 years of working with entrepreneurs to explain how success requires a willingness to invest in yourself. A burning passion, confidence, and family support are important, but entrepreneurs also have to see themselves as worthy of serious investment. After all, what better stock is there to put your money in than yourself?

You can check out more of Lenora's ideas at http://www.lenoraedwards.com/.









Powered by Podbean.com


NOTE: Check out the complete podcast directory of discussions with entrepreneurs. If you would like to be a guest on Entrepreneurs Northwest, to talk about your business venture, contact Michael Surkan.

job search tales: Making the recruiter your best friend

In this episode Ryan Lum explains how building relationships with recruiters can pay-off. Good recruiters know the value in bulding a network of quality people who they can call on for information or jobs. Recruiters can offer insights on employers, and give tips that help those interviews go over the top.

You can find more information about jobs available through Ryan's agency at http://www.greythorn.com/.









Powered by Podbean.com


NOTE: Please contact Michael if you are interested in being a guest on "Tales from the job search trenches" podcasts. Michael would like to discuss your job search strategy, and brainstorm ways to improve it with you.

26 April 2010

Poll Taxes

At my private school, the faculty are encouraged to contribute to two faculty scholarships for graduating seniors. Those who contribute to the scholarships are allowed to vote on the recipients, but those who don't contribute are excluded from voting. Were I to point out how undemocratic this restrictive voting policy is, I would be understandably scorned.

Strangely, many of the same people who would spurn such a suggestion at this local level, believe that restricting political franchise to taxpayers would be unamerican and immoral. Is it any wonder that we continually choose leaders who redistribute the wealth of the minority to those who contribute the least in taxes?

21 April 2010

This Week on Bear radio: The case against Goldman Sachs

In this episode, the Optimistic Bear and Elliott examine both the moral, and legal, cases against Goldman Sachs. A perusal through Goldman’s past shows that they routinely wind up with egg on their face every time the economy goes south. The Optimistic Bear tells about how this is all reminiscent of the trouble Drexel Burnham Lambert and Michael Milken wound up in when the junk bond market tanked in the early ‘90s.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

14 April 2010

This Week on Bear radio: Could anyone have foreseen the financial crisis?

In this episode Elliott, Jeremy and the Optimistic bear wonder if the claims to have been blind-sided by the financial crisis by pillars of the financial community, like Greenspan and ex-Washington Mutual executives, can be taken at face value. Frequent caller Ray Pepper updates us on the growing number of defaulting homeowners who stay in their homes when the lenders are unable to produce the note.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest

job search tales: Finding a job is all about marketing

In this episode Dennis Buckmaster explains how the search for a job is a marketing and sales challenge. Job seekers shouldn't waste their time doing an excessive amount of networking, instead they should directly approach the companies they wish to work for with the same determination, and strategy, of a star salesman. A resume is your brochure, and interviews are the face-to-face sales pitch. This is not a time to be bashful: you have a product to sell, and you have to close.

You can find more information about Dennis' ideas for building a successful job search at http://www.dennisbuckmasterassociates.com/.









Powered by Podbean.com


NOTE: Please contact Michael if you are interested in being a guest on "Tales from the job search trenches" podcasts. Michael would like to discuss your job search strategy, and brainstorm ways to improve it with you.

Why do the Poor Teach the Rich?

As a teacher in a respectable private school, I'm starting to wonder whether the fact that lower middle class teachers, often educated in public schools, teaching upper class students is not just an ironic juxtaposition, but a necessary relationship. Often the students in my classroom have never had to perform basic household chores, light a match or learn the plethora of life skills that a lower class teacher learns by necessity.

As I contemplate the justification for spending $17,000 dollars a year to send a child to middle school, safety, nurturing and academics come to mind, but is there more to it? Maybe the fact that we poor teachers spend considerable time learning basic survival skills and street smarts growing up qualifies us to prepare these privileged children for the bump and tumble challenges of life. What are the students receiving for their parents' $20/class?

Meanwhile, we teachers can appreciate the fact that we don't have to go as far out of our way to teach our children to appreciate what they have: we can't afford a maid, and they'll have to work their way through college. Perhaps their challenges will on day qualify them to teach the wealthy.

Getting Older: Back to Basics

As I get older, I find my interests and awareness slowly evolving to become more like those of my parents, who are now grandparents. Simple pleasures like spending time with children, playing cards, and gardening are becoming increasingly fulfilling, and intellectual debates about saving the world are fading in their allure.

A heightened awareness of the wonder of nature is my latest rediscovery, as I marvel with my young daughters who are discovering it for the first time. The clich├ęs about staying young by seeing the world through their eyes have some truth to them, but I believe the more fundamental reason for the evolution of interests is a greater awareness of what really counts. By this point, I'm fairly set in my intellectual ways, so rehashing them doesn't accomplish much, but I seldom tire of spending time with family and friends.

After I learned how to play hearts a few years ago, I quickly thought I had mastered the game and it became boring. When I play it now, I recognize seemingly endless subtleties that not only help me to become a better card player, but seem to parallel life. Knowing which cards to pass off and which ones to hold is akin to coming to terms with our daily dilemmas. In life, finding pleasure in what others reject or ignore is also much safer than searching for the holy grail. It isn't really important whether I win the card game, but rather whether I play my hand to its full potential.

The same analogies apply to parenting and teaching, my chosen vocation. Regardless of what others are doing, I can always improve myself if I only take the time to contemplate my situation. Is this what it means to grow old?

08 April 2010

job search tales: 5 biggest job seeker mistakes

In this episode Matt Youngquist shares his decades of experience in career coaching to tell about the 5 biggest mistakes job seekers make. Matt explains how many people spend too much time on resumes and innefectual networking activities, amongst other things.

You can check out more of Matt's ideas at http://www.career-horizons.com/.









Powered by Podbean.com


NOTE: Please contact Michael if you are interested in being a guest on "Tales from the job search trenches" podcasts. Michael would like to discuss your job search strategy, and brainstorm ways to improve it with you.

07 April 2010

This Week on Bear radio: Impacts of a Chinese currency revaluation, and balance of trade nonsense

In this episode Elliott and Jeremy ponder if a floating Chinese currency would really behave as experts expect. We also talk about how misleading the balance of trade statistics really are.

Download the sound(right click and save as link) : Download

You can find all the Optimistic Bear shows here: Optimistic Bear

You can find all the Entrepreneurs Northwest shows here: Entrepreneurs Northwest