Monday, February 20, 2006

Miami Beach Boat Show 2006

The horns are blowing in concert. And at no point since moving to South Florida have I felt more certain. It’s 6:01 PM, a cacophony of sirens, like a gaggle of dolphins mating and celebrating, resound outside my sliding glass doors. Boat Show 2006 is officially over and the story I made up (and believe is real) is that this shouting of horns is the ritual ending wafting off Collins Avenue - the Boat Show's uptown HQ. Tonight's sounds of conclusion make way for tomorrow's voyage. The sweet sound of my community. Harmonious and resonant. Riotous and bellowing. Oh, the traffic and congestion. Yet, I've learned to drive uptown to go downtown. This is my home town.

I gave up midtown New York for midtown Miami Beach. It's February 20th, 77 degrees at 6:03 PM, the clearest of skies, a setting sun. So much for work. So much for life. You know my tip. Buy!

PS: With all this talk about boats... allow me to add.... Hillary, I support you to protect our ports!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Responding to a Business Slump

I was asked today to write a response to what small business owners can do when they face a slump in their business. Here's my response:

Too often we get inner focused when trying to solve a business problem. Instead, step out. Think about what you can contribute to someone or some other business. Offer to help, make a connection, introduce two people who could benefit. It’s like when someone is depressed. Sometimes the best antidote to depression is helping someone else. Maybe it’s simply listening to them and offering some comfort. Notice how you feel better after helping someone? No reason this shouldn’t apply to a business going through a “depression.” Reach out to someone else. Get out of yourself and your own way. Stop thinking about what you can get - instead – think about what you can contribute.

Stir up some positive energy and watch how you and your business come back to life!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Bundle Up for Valentine's Day

Fun and surprising article! Credits given below from Knowledge News.
Bundle Up for Valentine's Day !
Say "bundle up," and you probably have memories of mom insisting you wear mittens on a cold winter day. But the history of bundling is a far more romantic affair. In fact, it's one of history's sexiest little secrets. This Valentine's Day, snuggle up with your sweetheart and learn how your ancestors got away with more than you ever imagined.

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Love in the sack
Bundling was the practice of two young lovers sharing a bed without undressing. Though it allowed courting couples a rare and thrilling opportunity for pillow talk, the custom was mainly a practical one.Before planes, trains, and automobiles, a suitor might have to ride or walk some distance to see his sweetheart, and guests often spent the night. Economically minded parents could sleep tight knowing they'd saved money on costly candles, fires, and guest beds, since two teenagers wrapped in a quilt could produce their own heat.

But bundling was hardly an invitation to free love. Since a damaged reputation (or worse) had huge consequences, the rules had to be strict. There were lots of ways to ensure a safe and successful bundling. The oldest method, dating back to the Middle Ages, was to use a bundling board--a nearly body-length piece of wood secured upright between the lovers. Parents using this method relied on the modesty of the couple, as eager bedfellows could easily jump the board.

Another, more popular technique was to sew the boy or girl into a "bundling bag," a linen sheet that would bind, confine, and conceal the legs, and consequently, the potentially offending parts of the body. For especially determined lovers, more extreme restraints might be employed. Boys with Houdini-like talents might be bound right up to the neck in a bundling bag, with their hands tied behind their backs. Judging from the large number of children born out of wedlock throughout the 1700s, they escaped more than once.

Those Wayward Welsh
Eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English historians routinely blamed other cultures for any suspect practice that washed up on native shores. Sodomy was known as "the Italian vice." (Ironically, the Italians called it "the English vice.") Revolution? The French disease. Drunkenness? The Irish curse. In this same vein, bundling was laid at the feet of the Welsh, thanks in part to the region's remoteness.
By the late 1600s, Wales's supposedly relaxed sexual mores had become a running joke, with the scarcity of Welsh maidenheads the tired old punchline. But was it all xenophobic slander? In 1797, the English author of a travel diary observed that "the lower order of people do actually carry on their love affairs in bed," though he pointed out that it was all done with perfect innocence.

The author describes one young Welsh suitor who walked 11 miles every Sunday to see his chambermaid sweetheart. After attending morning prayers, her master permitted the girl and her boyfriend to spend an hour in bed together fully clothed, which they did every Sunday for two years until they finally married. Another visitor to Wales reported that female servants were so fond of bundling that they refused to work unless their lovers were permitted to share their beds.

Travelers reported similar customs in Germany, Scandinavia, England, and other parts of the Old World. In the Netherlands, bundling was referred to as "queesting"--literally, "searching." One observer of local Dutch lovers described how after a girl went to bed, her lover was permitted to sit beside her on top of the bedsheets. Of course, Hans often roamed, searching for the girl.

Bundling in the New World
When the Dutch sailed across the pond to the Hudson's shores, they brought their bundling boards and bags with them. In New York, the term "queesting" quickly anglicized to "questing." From there, the custom spread throughout New England until it was recognized as a Yankee phenomenon. Over time, the Old World origins of bundling melted away. Travelers to America who saw bundling in action generally identified it as a strange instance of colonial rusticity.

New York's early court transcripts and local parish records provide a glimpse into how bundling was viewed by those who practiced it. In 1658, the principal witness in a case against a young Albany woman testified that "when we were visiting together, we slept together in the garret." He insisted the lady remained "perfectly virtuous."

Yet not everyone agreed that the practice was an innocent one. In his History of New York, Washington Irving, under the assumed name of Diedrich Knickerbocker, gently mocked bundling as the reason for "the unparalleled increase of the Yanokie or Yankee tribe; for it is a certain fact, well authenticated by court records and parish registers, that wherever the practice of bundling prevailed, there was an amazing number of sturdy brats annually born unto the state, without the license of the law, or the benefit of clergy."

Separate Beds, Please
By the mid-1800s, bundling was on the wane in all but the most rural places. Cape Cod is often credited with being one of the last areas where bundling was practiced. A local Cape doctor writing in the late 1860s fondly reminisced to a writer friend about bundling with his paramour. She stayed wrapped the whole time, apparently, in her day dress and secure bloomer-style trousers, pulled tight with knots.
By the 20th century, modern freedoms and central heating had put an end to bundling. But the memory lingered on. In fact, in 1969, Time magazine featured an article on the "Society to Bring Back Bundling," in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Apparently sick of bad weather, drive-in theaters, and a lack of local necking spots, Pottstown teens tried to revive the old custom. While the editors of Christianity Today supported the idea as a call for "a new moral code," Pottstown parents nixed it. You have to hand it to the kids for trying.
by Claire Vail February 13, 2006

Want to learn more? Peruse The Art of Bundling, a 1938 look at the colonial custom

KnowledgeNews.Net * 110 West Main St. * Urbana, Illinois 61801 * USA
Contact for subscriptions or information.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

International Coaching Week

In case you missed this press release blast - I'm extending coaching week for another week!

February 5 – 11, 2006 – Marian Morgan Offers Complimentary Coaching Sessions and free copy of “82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace”

MIAMI BEACH -- International Coaching Week* kicks off on February 5, 2006 and in celebration Miami Beach-based business coach, Marian Morgan** offers complimentary coaching sessions; a free pdf copy of her booklet “82 Tips for Thriving in the Workplace” and helpful tips to determine if you need a coach, how to pick a coach and how to work successfully with a coach. To schedule the complimentary session with Ms. Morgan please call (305) 861-9155 or email For information about Ms. Morgan and her coaching practice please click on

“No one needs a coach. However, if you want to dramatically influence the outcomes and results in your business and life, a coach will get you there with greater velocity and dynamism then if you took the typical linear path, plodding along on your own,” says Ms. Morgan.

To determine if working with a coach is the right choice ask yourself these questions:

Are you overwhelmed
Do you feel like your staff is running you
Are your clients driving you crazy
Are your leadership skills up to par
Do you have a big idea you want to make real
Are you transitioning from one life stage to another
Are you are creating a new business and need a powerful sounding board
Have you hit a wall in your business or life

If the answer is yes to one or more of the above questions than the next step is finding the right coach and according to Ms. Morgan this is much more complicated than looking through the phone book or online. “A coach doesn’t need to have experience in your profession, their expertise is coaching, what they do need is a good solid coaching program,” states Morgan. There are criteria that should be considered:

How much experience does the coach have?
What type of education does the coach have?
Has this person completed a certified coaching training program?
Does your personality and that of the coach mesh?
Does the coach “get” where you are coming from?
Does the coach understand your obstacles?
Are you challenged by the coach’s questions?
Ask for a “test drive” or complimentary coaching session to determine a level of comfort and in-depth answers to the above points.

“If you go to an “accounting coach” who is trained as an accountant, but not as a coach -- because, for example, you need help with your finances -- your coach may have all the education she needs but what you’ve really hired is a consultant. If, on the other hand, you are looking to create a business and life aligned with your values and need to work on some spending habits, a trained coach is what you want,” continues Morgan.

To actually find a coach, start with referrals from friends or associates who may be already working with a coach. Or go online to one of the many coaching referral sites including: International Coaching Federation’s (ICF) referral service at or the service available through Coachville at

Once a coach has been selected it is important to get the best from the commitment that one thus makes to self-improvement. Herewith a few final tips:

Demanding a lot from oneself is the best way to get the most out of a coach.
Do all assignments on time
Take the coaches suggestions
Be proactive in the relationship

# # #

Editor’s Note:

*International Coaching Week was founded in 1999 by Coach Jerri N. Udelson from Massachusetts. The mission is to educate the public about the value of working with a business or personal coach.

**Ms. Morgan is a graduate of Coach U and a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and a founding member of Coachville and the Graduate School of Coaching. Prior to formally entering the coaching profession, she earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and specialized in the field of Employee Assistance (EAP). Before obtaining an MSW, Morgan spent ten years in publishing and national advertising sales and marketing.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Appreciation Day

I've designated this "Appreciation Day." It started this morning when I was walking my dog Jackie on the beach, me bundled up in fleece and socks - Jackie au natural. It was a brisk, absolutely gorgeous Miami Beach morning and I had a lot to complain about. Yeah, you read that right. Health problems were dogging me (sorry Jackie), slowing me down and taking up a lot of my time. Of serious concern but nothing life-threatening, still I am accustomed to perfect health and these problems were challenging and inconvenient - not to mention an affront to my ego and self concept. Wasn't I going to be like a teenager forever?

The sun was blazing and I sat down carefully - not an easy task considering in addition to everything else, I injured my back the other day so getting up and down isn't easy. I even say "oye" now when getting up, fitting in perfectly with the older locals and vacationing seniors from Long Island. Jackie sat up-beach, in sight of me but alone. She's in that always rapprochemont phase. She knows I'm there for her.

But can I complain. I'm living in paradise and could stop right there. But the truth is I have great family and friends, awesome clients and a growing coaching business and opportunities. So why let a little discomfort blow my serenity.

This bright Thursday morning, I decided to feel grateful for the twists in turns of my health as a reminder. I don't have to wait until something really awful happens to have those life changing moments when people take stock. I can hold an appreciation day, today.

So here's a tip I left out of my booklet. Take stock now and count your blessings. That may sound like a cliche but trust me, you'll feel a little sunnier inside. You'll find you can face whatever's on your plate with more vigor and confidence when you stop, pay tribute and have your own appreciation day.