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Tribes by Seth Godin

Posted on 14 November 2009 by Tim

After publishing 10 wildly popular books on marketing including Purple Cow and Permission Marketing, Seth Godin has unleashed his latest creation – Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us.

Tribes by Seth Godin

What you’ll find inked on the 147 pages of Tribes, is a general outline about how to build your own loyal following and the motivation to follow through. Tribes is a short, punchy tome that is easy to blaze through but will likely draw you back for re-reads.

One of my favorite quotes from Seth is, “The easiest thing is to react. The second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.

The quote ties into one of the key points – you need to overcome fear and gain a following through action.

Some of Godin’s main points:

  • We’re not just marketers – we’re all leaders!
  • We get stuck when we embrace a factory mindset. Think tribe!
  • Enable and enhance communication among tribe members.
  • Develop a common goal to inspire a passionate response.
  • Create change through action.

I found the section on micromovements on page 102 extremely helpful. Godin lays out the key elements of igniting a micromovement with five things to do and six principles. I plan on using these elements to grow this blog! After reading this section, I was able to see how these five actions and six principles have been applied successfully by celebrities and business people.

Tribes is easily digested thanks to Godin’s direct writing style. It’s also far more entertaining to read than most business books. There are case studies to illustrate points and insightful quotes to mix things up. You may be surprised to find a lack of to-do lists and hold-your-hand exercises. That’s because you have to do the work of becoming a leader yourself.

Every tribe is different. Every leader is different. The very nature of leadership is that you’re not doing what’s been done before. If you were, you’d be following, not leading.

Tribes Book Image by raaphorst

Interviews & Reviews:

Who Is Seth Godin?

Seth is the Founder and CEO of Squidoo.com, a social networking site. He is also the author of nearly a dozen books including Purple Cow, The Dip and Permission Marketing.

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ZOMBIES! Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks

Posted on 05 November 2009 by Tim

Funny-man Max Brooks has unleashed another zombie tome on his eager mass of readers – Recorded Attacks.

Recorded Attacks by Max Brooks

The new book is a graphic novel recounting zombie attacks from around the world. Although it’s light on reading content, both text and sheer volume, the book is teeming with awesome zombie fight scenes and eerily enticing scenes of death and mayhem.

Max teamed up with artist Ibraim Roberson for the illustrations, which are pretty sweet! The locations are quite varied and well portrayed – Africa, Japan, Siberia…

Since there is little informational content here, and only a sprinkle of text (even for a graphic novel), you’ll want to read The Zombie Survival Guide. What the book does well is serve as a powerful visual reminder of what is in store for those who are unprepared.

It is said that we often repeat history. Luckily, Max provides us a resource we can learn from so we don’t. Teeth will be gnashed, flesh will be shredded and blood will flow. They’re here…are you prepared?

When talking about zombies it should go without saying…but for the dense people here’s a warning – this graphic novel is indeed graphic. Blood, gore, and even a few minor scenes of nudity are inside. Parents have been warned.

Who Is Max Brooks?

Max is the author of The Zombie Survival Guide and the New York Times bestseller – World War Z. Among his other accomplishments, Max worked as a writer on Saturday Night Live, Roseanne and 7th Heaven.

Check out Comic Impact’s review of Recorded Attacks. Multiversity Comics has a great review too!

Zombie Girl Image by kevindooley


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60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Paul Gerald

Posted on 28 September 2009 by Tim

Hiking is probably one of my favorite outdoor activities. It’s fun and simple. You don’t need much more than good shoes and some water.

If you’re looking for a resource to help you find new trails for hiking Oregon and southwest Washington, then you’ll want to consider 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles by Paul Gerald. This fine little hiking book centers around Portland, Oregon and covers trails from the Oregon Coast to Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens.

The catch is, many hikes are outside the “60 mile” radius the title suggests. Distances to trails are measured from Pioneer Square in downtown Portland. So, if you live in Vancouver, Washington some hikes will be further and others closer and same if you’re in a suburb of Portland (Beaverton, Hillsboro, Clackamas, Gresham, etc.).

Paul Gerald grouped the hikes into rough geographic locations – Columbia River Gorge, Around Mount St. Helens, The Coast and Coast Range, etc. This works pretty well and makes it easy to narrow down your choices. The hikes are numbered 1-60, starting with Angels Rest-Devils Rest and ending with the Willamette River.

Gerald provides a wealth of information about each trail including obvious ones like length and difficulty and less obvious ones like permits, trail conditions, exposure and even wheelchair access. Each hike described in the book includes driving directions, a trail map and an elevation profile. The only unfortunate thing is that pictures are sparse and none are in color. Along with all the data comes a well written description of what you’ll see when you hit the trail.

I’ve enjoyed using 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles. I included some pictures from all the hikes I’ve done thanks to Paul Gerald’s trail guidebook. If you’re new to the Portland Metro then you’ll find this book especially useful. However, there are some trails in here that I’ve never even heard of.

The directions are accurate, the descriptions are useful and the variety is challenging. Can you do all 60 hikes? That’s my goal.

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Gothic Charm School by Jillian Venters

Posted on 07 August 2009 by Tim

You see, “gothic” has become a shorthand in the media for “depressed crazy person who is a ticking time bomb.” – The Lady of Manners [more]

Who is Jillian Venters?

Jillian is a Gothy woman (obviously) that writes the popular blog Gothic Charm School. She reminds us that for many being Goth is not a costume but a lifestyle. Jillian will be a guest columnist in the Winter 2009 English-language Gothic & Lolita Bible from TOKYOPOP! and will also be a panelist at Innocente Seraphim Gothic Lolita and Ball-Jointed Doll convention on August 8th, 2009.

Gothic Charm School: The Book

The Lady of Manners, Jillian Venters, author of Gothic Charm School read a few chapters of her new book to a primarily goth-leaning crowd at Powell’s Books. She was perched up on the wooden book platform behind the podium in a black and white striped dress, with little bows in her hair. We found out that, like most of us, she loves Powell’s Books and can usually be found in the horror section.

After sharing tidbits from the book, she opened up for some Q&A. The questions and answers are not verbatim but are a close approximation.

Q: Any tips for goths growing older?
A: Be aware of your age and wear a style that is appropriate. Also, have a good skincare regimen.

Q: What is your take on steampunk?
A: The style is nice, but why create a character persona? Just be yourself and wear the clothes.

Jillian figured the idea of creating a character for the outfit grew out of literature and other sub-cultures.

Q: At work, do you have a problem with people taking you seriously?
A: Generally, no. It was more of a problem working at Wizards of the Coast. But at Microsoft things are much better.

Q: What is a snarkling?
A: It comes from a combination of snarky and darling. Snarkling!

If you’re interested in finding out more about Jillian and the Gothic Charm School, she will be interviewed live on Glass of Win. The show will air on BlogTalkRadio August 13th. Show info here.

Jillian Venters of Gothic Charm School

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Kanzashi in Bloom by Diane Gilleland

Posted on 05 August 2009 by Tim

Diane Gilleland, of CraftyPod.com and DIYalert.com, wrote a nifty book about a craft style she enjoys called kanzashi. As you can see, her book is titled Kanzashi in Bloom. I noticed Diane’s book signing from Powell’s Books event calendar and although I was a bit out of place in the crowd, I’m glad I went.

In fact, Diane noticed me and came over to introduce herself, which caught me a bit off guard but was a pleasant surprise. She politely listened as I stumbled through explaining why I was there.

Anyway, I’m sure you’re dying to know what the heck kanzashi is! So let’s get rolling…

What is Kanzashi?

Diane explained that kanzashi is an ancient craft from Japan that started in 1600 during the Edo period. It began as a decorative addition to the elaborate hairstyles of geisha. Later this style was adopted by geisha-in-training known as maiko. Traditionally, kanzashi utilizes silk cloth. However, a variety of materials can be used including precious metals, wood and tortoise shell.



Unfortunately, kanzashi is a dying art. According to Diane, there are only 5 masters in the world! She met one of the masters and, at the book signing, passed around an elaborate hair pin with a small bloom and flowing petals to demonstrate the fine craftsmanship. I have to say, it was pretty impressive. I’m quite sure my big clumsy man-fingers couldn’t fold such intricate patterns!

If you’re interested in more of the history of kanzashi go here.

Kanzashi in Bloom

Diane’s book demonstrates in full-colored detail how to make 20 Simple Fold-and-Sew Projects to Wear and Give. Kanzashi in Bloom shows you how to create the floral patterns with a plethora of quality photographs, taken by Diane’s mother, along with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

The method of crafting these floral designs has been simplified from traditional processes to make it easier to learn. Diane also modified the process to account for different material types, since most crafters will not be using silk or other pricey material.

Diane has made crafting kanzashi so easy (and fun) that everyone in the audience at Powell’s, including me, successfully made two different flower petals. The picture to the left here are the two I made. Not too bad, right?

After you’ve made a bunch of petals then you can take a needle and thread to string them together. Then arrange the petals into a flower shape and add any additional decorations.

Take a look at what readers have made from Diane’s book!

If you’ve read the book, and tried out the designs, let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. Thanks!

Made by Tim


Kanzashi in Bloom - Thumb

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Jeff Johnson on His New Book Tattoo Machine

Posted on 29 July 2009 by Tim

“Rich and horrifying” is how Portland, Oregon based tattoo artist Jeff Johnson describes his first experience tattooing a customer. Jeff is an interesting guy and a natural storyteller. He is co-owner of the Sea Tramp Tattoo Co. and has been a tattoo artist for over 18 years. Although we weren’t able to see during his speaking event at Powell’s Books, Jeff is not only an artist but a customer and he cracked a few jokes at his own expense about how wimpy he is when getting a tattoo.

TIME magazine says, “…the Portland-based inkman shares some of the weirdest, wackiest and most disgusting details of his profession, from cleaning up after chudders (look it up) to the time he tattooed a serial killer (he thinks).

Jeff Johnson author of Tattoo Machine

Jeff’s Book: Tattoo Machine

Jeff introduced his book talking about the day he received his brand new tattoo machine and the excitement which he could barely contain as he opened the package and laid everything out in the kitchen. He goes on to point out an interesting tradition where the artist tattoos their inner right thigh. Apparently, it’s a great place to hide that first (read: amateurish) tattoo. Then, in order to test out the equipment, Jeff called up one of his buddies and invited him over the check out the new equipment. After a few drinks, his friend Miguel ended up leaving with his first tatt – the Star Trek logo.

In the book, there is much more about Jeff on the road to becoming a tattoo artist. But, another funny story Jeff shared from his book was about his foray into tattooed portraits. He grabbed some magazines and sketched up some samples for customers to see. Although no one decided to buy any of the portraits Jeff had posted, one guy asked if there were any tattoos he could get for free. Seizing on the moment, Jeff offered to do a portrait. The satisfied customer was soon sporting a portrait of Bill Murray, from the movie Ghostbusters. Soon after, another guy comes in looking for the same portrait. Jeff later found out that these two were prison inmates on a weekend pass.

Before opening up for questions, Jeff read a part from his book about a tattoo gone wrong. One lady came in, a few days before her wedding to get her husbands name tattooed on her shoulder. No one knew that the woman incorrectly wrote down her husbands last name which was fairly long and of Greek origin. After the session was complete, the woman was beaming with loving pride at the tattoo. At least until her mother-in-law saw it and mentioned that the spelling was wrong. Jeffs description of this tragedy was hilarious. One of many chuckle-friendly stories you’ll find in Tattoo Machine: Tall Tales, True Stories, and My Life in Ink.

From Random House:

In Tattoo Machine, Johnson lifts the curtain on an art form that has undergone rebirth and illuminates a world where art, drama, and commerce come together in highly entertaining theater. A tattoo shop is no longer a den of social outcasts and degenerates–it’s a workshop where committed and schooled artists who paint on living canvases develop close bonds and bitter rivalries, where tattoo legends and innovators are equally revered, and where the potential for disaster lurks in every corner.

The book signing went really well. The audience at the event was a diverse group – young, old, tattooed, and the curious alike. Everyone enjoyed the friendly, conversational atmosphere and Jeff’s humorous style.

Around the Web:

Jeff Johnson Author of Tattoo Machine

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Governor (and Doctor) Howard Dean Discusses Health Care Reform and President Obama’s Plan

Posted on 24 July 2009 by Tim

I was pleasantly surprised when I picked up Powell’s Books Calendar of Events earlier this month to see that Governor Howard Dean would be coming to speak about his new book. Gov. Dean’s book is titled, Howard Dean’s Prescription for Real Healthcare Reform: How We Can Achieve Affordable Medical Care for Every American and Make Our Jobs Safer. That’s a monster of a title but don’t worry it’s a quick read at only 160 pages.

As you may or may not know, Gov. Dean served as the Governor of Vermont and after running for president in 2004, he became the Democratic National Committee Chairman. Howard Dean led the 50-State Strategy which helped Democrats pick-up seats in the House and Senate, even in traditionally conservative states. Now, the Democrats lead the country as the majority party.

Full-Length 2-Part Video Below! Watch and Leave A Comment.

The book describes Gov. Dean’s experience as a physician and his critiques of the healthcare industry, specifically the for-profit health insurance industry. He is very precise in his critiques and draws great comparisons to other countries and even demonstrates the efficiency of Medicare to show how much money can be saved. His argument is that we should at least offer every American the chance to utilize the same quality care and service that people over 65 years of age enjoy when they use Medicare.

Howard Dean’s Speech

Gov Howard Dean Talking About Healthcare
Dean was going to begin by signing books but since some people had taken their lunch break to attend he switched gears and launched into a clear and passionate speech about the problems we face and how we can fix them. Just moments into his speech, a heckler starts harassing him about single-payer healthcare. The heckler was roundly shushed by the audience and Gov. Dean asked him to please respect other people’s time and when it comes to Q&A he will be called on to speak. However, the guy wanted to be a pain and he was eventually asked to leave by Powell’s employees. Another heckler attempted the same thing shortly after and was again shushed by the crowd and asked to leave by employees. After that it went without a problem and was very informative.

Gov. Dean Answering Question About Big Pharmaceuticals Points to take away:

  • We offer efficient, government run healthcare already for veterans and the eldery. We should expand this to everyone.
  • Medicare only costs 4% of every dollar to administer. The best private insurance can do is 20%. Huge savings potential.
  • Primary care physicians in the British healthcare system typically make more money than primary care physicians in America.
  • Prevent health problems instead of overpaying for expensive treatment in the case of preventable diseases.
  • President Obama’s plan will offer a huge benefit to small business by relieving them of the expense of providing health care. With a public option.
  • American businesses will become more competitive with foreign companies who enjoy lower employment costs due to their own governments’ universal healthcare plans. (Example, Toyota from Japan is gobbling up market share due to low costs. Please note: This is my example and not one Gov. Dean pointed out.)

Gov. Howard Dean’s Speech Part 1:

Gov. Howard Dean’s Speech Part 2:

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New Book: Empire of Illusion by Chris Hedges

Posted on 22 July 2009 by Tim

Pulitzer-Prize winning author Chris Hedges debuted his new book Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle at Powell’s Books on Tuesday, July 21. The book is essentially about the devolution of our society from a literate, critical thinking mass that can separate reality from illusion into a society focused on spectacle and shallow entertainment to the detriment of our society and the world as a whole.

Chris Hedges Receives a Standing Ovation from Oregonians

Michael Jackson

In his talk at Powell’s Books, Mr. Hedges started out by talking about Michael Jackson and the spectacle of his death. Hedges said that Michael had his childhood stolen from him and was “surrounded by vultures” who preyed on his insecurities. Michael turned himself from a masculine African-American man into an androgynous, effeminate individual whose “chalk white skin” became a “Caucasian death mask”.

The point was certainly not to mock Michael Jackson but to illustrate America’s disturbing obsession with the rise and fall of celebrities. Hedges goes on to describe the odd spectacle of Michael Jackson’s funeral which was turned into an entertaining media event complete with singing children, performing artists and even a plug for KFC chicken courtesy of Magic Johnson.

Politics and Brand Obama

In his critique of politics, Chris Hedges discusses the vast sums of money required to run for Congress. He also points out that economics trumps politics as demonstrated by the unregulated bail out of the financial sector. Although Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and others get special attention, Hedges zooms in on Bill Clinton for some precision strikes against his welfare policy and NAFTA. Both of which, as Hedges describes, are major contributing factors to the economic problems our nation faces.

Chris Hedges Speaking at Powell's Books on July 21st.

Regarding Barack Obama, Hedges refers to his campaign as Brand Obama since he was portrayed as something new and fresh, willing to change the old ways. However, Brand Obama has been unwilling to consider the “prosecution of the Bush Administration” and has not repealed many of the spying programs nor has he “reinstated habeus corpus”.

The Economy

Hedges points us in the direction of Henry David Thoreau to learn more about living a simple life so we can achieve a real sense of happiness rather than chasing the latest trends and celebrities to escape our existence. Following that, he delves into the shift in our economy from production to consumption.

A great point Chris makes is that life is not just about “tangible success but of resurrection of integrity”.

After about an hour of speaking, with occasional bursts of applause, Chris Hedges took questions for about 30 minutes or so. It was a very stimulating presentation and discussion. I’m glad I was able to make it out to see him speak. A big thanks to Powell’s Books!

Chris Hedges Around The Web:

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