John Klossner's Ink Tank

In defense of teleworking

At the risk of blog nepotism, I have to tell you that my wife was on the phone for seven hours recently trying to get a flight. That might sound like another airline horror story and, unfortunately, in a way it is. But those seven hours, starting just before dinner, going through our children's bedtimes and ending after I had fallen asleep, weren't spent in search of a great deal on some vacation hot spot. She was trying to find space for 11 people and 4,000 pounds of supplies to get to Haiti.

For the past three years she has been assisting in media relations, fundraising and delivering supplies with a small 501(c)3 organization that has been building a school outside of Cap-Haitien in northern Haiti. The school and its community were not physically affected by the recent earthquake, but the woman who heads this operation, Lucia Anglade, is a Haitian-American who lives outside New York City and whose brother and sister live in Port-au-Prince. Besides the harrowing days of waiting to hear from them — she is one of the fortunate ones: they both survived — Lucia spent the time gathering supplies from individual donors and looking for a way to get them to Haiti. Her sister is a nun who runs a nursing home, Asile de St. Vincent de Paul in Leogane, west of Port-au-Prince and actually closer to the quake's epicenter. Her compound houses homeless, sick, orphaned and elderly residents. The compound of buildings was destroyed, and 10 residents and one nun died in the quake and its aftermath. Lucia turned her attention to providing whatever supplies her sister could use — tents, sheets and linens, utensils, medical supplies, clothing, etc.


Posted by John Klossner on Feb 08, 2010 at 12:19 PM1 comments

The funniest thing about mandating security certifications

If I accomplish nothing else as a parent, I want my children to know that the TV show America's Funniest Home Videos isn't. Funny, that is.

Most of you may know this already, and consider this a pointless goal given its obviousness, but I am finding this to be a bigger challenge than I first thought. At a recent social gathering of families, I came upon a group of kids flocked around a television watching AFHV, and laughing uproariously. I have to admit, I'm not an expert on this production, but I've seen enough episodes to help me get the gist of the format. The particular episode my kids were watching seemed to have a theme of people riding vehicles — bikes, wagons, skateboards, etc. — that ended up crashing into things.

My kids were not pleased with me as I commented, "That's not funny," after every clip of someone riding their bike off a roof.  (I think I may have been embarrassing them in front of their friends.) I pointed out to my captive audience that the show cut away after every "funny" accident, never showing the participant getting up and walking away from the scene. The children got especially touchy when I started listing the injuries I imagined the people in the videos suffered— "Oooh, that's probably a broken collarbone"; "Ouch, he tore his ACL," etc. — and they asked me to leave when I began chanting "That's not funny, that hurts" after every video.


Posted by John Klossner on Jan 19, 2010 at 12:19 PM8 comments

How insourcing would work as a New Year's resolution

I take our dog for early morning walks in the woods behind our home, before the world in our neighborhood has woken up. Sometimes we rouse deer that bed in these woods. This past summer there was a doe and yearling bedding in a small field surrounded by brush. I know this not because I ever saw them in their beds but, as the leaves fell last fall, I could watch them run away from us through the bare trees. Usually my dog didn't notice them until they were in motion and had gained some distance from us, at which point she would take off in pursuit, never really coming close.

One day the deer's alarms hadn't worked, and we came across them in their beds. I watched our dog take off after them, running alongside them through the trees. As she neared the doe's haunches, she had a look on her face that said "Now what do I do?" She then pulled up and let the deer run off.


Posted by John Klossner on Jan 14, 2010 at 12:19 PM2 comments