Sword Tips, the Exkalibur Newsletter: January 6, 2022


Sword Tips is continuing to evolve as we work hard to provide a user-friendly format.

  1. Click any title in this new Table of Contents to take you directly to that section.
  2. You can also click the logos along the right side to return to the Table of Contents.

There are a lot of issues on your plate. If you only pay attention to The 12 Course Tasting Menu of Business Excellence, you’ll make 2022 a more successful year.

Yes, for the most part, New Year’s resolutions are dead … or will be in a few more days. There’s a much better way to ignite and fuel your success in 2022.

Each week, we’ll ask a question to get your best idea on a particular topic. The following week we’ll share your best tips.

Ready for a little magic? Check out the world’s greatest pickpocket. This short video reveals how easily a good pickpocket can, well, pick your pocket. Shin Lim also appears.

Drink more coffee! That’s what the experts say but not more than 5 cups/day? Lower heart risk and a better mood?

There’s little doubt that the Spin Factory is alive and thriving in Washington D.C. This is a perfectly funny example.

Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon, and Nick Saban, football coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide, are legendary leaders with some valuable counsel to help you succeed in 2022.

Love Guitar Solos? Check out this list of the greatest guitar solos of all time … along with my addition of one they missed.

If you’re not using it already, having a way to easily and accurately replace text you repeatedly use, is built into iOS, iPadOS and macOS. You’ll learn it in only a few minutes.

What is most of the universe made out of? What causes Alzheimer’s? What’s the oldest possible age a human can reach? Are brain surgeons smarter than average?

The critics aren’t big fans of this movie but with Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio &  Jennifer Lawrence along for the ride? It’s quite the hoot!

I’m taking stock of all of the books I read in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre in 2021. Some good ones I think you’ll really enjoy if you love novels in this genre.

Sword Tips, the Exkalibur Newsletter

Sword Tips is continuing to evolve to bring you the most valuable content relating to Leadership, Life and other nuggets across a wide spectrum of the workplace, culture, the arts and more.

This week, we’ve introduced a new Table of Contents which I hope will enrich your reading experience and make Sword Tips easier to navigate. Click the new “Return to the Table of Content” icon sprinkled throughout to get back there.

Let me know what you think by adding your thoughts in the comment section at the end of the newsletter.

The 12 Course Tasting Menu of Business Excellence

I know you’ve already got a long list of things to do … executing the annual plan, inspiring your team, committing to a new level of productivity … and so it goes.

To give you a headstart, I’ve prepared a 12 Course Tasting Menu of Business Excellence … and since Santa has a lot of time on his hands these days, I asked him to deliver it. Each one of these courses is worthy of a meal unto itself.

I hope this provides a simple checklist to help you focus on what counts most in 202.

Choose your Single Word to Fuel 2022

There’s a better way than the customary New Year’s resolutions to fuel your success in 2022.

Follow my guide in What Word Will Fuel Your 2022 Success? to choose the Single Word that will be your mantra for 2022. I’ve provided a step-by-step approach and a starter list of words to consider. I’ve also shared my word for 2022.

This Week's Question

If you could keep only one of your tech tools … either your laptop, tablet or or mobile phone, which one would you keep and why?

Let me know in the comments what you’d keep and we’ll summarize some of those thoughts next week, no names used of course.

Anybody up for a little magic?

You may not think Apollo Robbins is a magician, but he’s considered one of the worlds greatest pickpockets.

This short video reveals how easily a good pickpocket can, well, pick your pocket.

In case you’ve not been one of the 150 million viewers of his magic, you’ll be amazed by Shin Lim and his incredible superpowers.

He won 1st prize and $1 million on America’s Got Talent in 2018.

Drink More Coffee

Science Says You Should Drink This Much Coffee in 2022.

It's All About the Spin

Judy Wallman Biden, a professional genealogy researcher in South Dakota, was doing some personal work on her own family tree. She discovered that President Joe Biden’s great, great uncle, Remus Biden, was hanged for horse stealing and train robbery in Texas in 1889. Both Judy and President Biden share this common ancestor.

The only known photograph of Remus shows him standing on the gallows in Galveston, Texas. On the back of the picture Judy obtained during her research is this inscription: “Remus Biden horse thief, sent to Galveston State Prison 1885, escaped 1887, robbed the Galveston & Southern Flyer six times Caught by Texas Rangers detectives, convicted and hanged.

So Judy recently e-mailed the President for information about their great, great uncle, Remus, and a few days ago President Biden’s staff sent this response back:

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Remus Biden was a famous cowboy in Texas in the 1880s. His business empire grew to include acquisition of valuable equestrian assets and intimate dealings with the Galveston & Southern railroad. Beginning in 1885, he devoted several years of his life to government service, finally taking leave to resume his dealings with the railroad. In 1887, he was a key player in a vital investigation run by the renowned Texas Rangers. In 1889, Remus passed away suddenly during an important civic function held in his honor when the platform upon which he was standing collapsed.

Now THAT, folks, is how it’s done in politics!

Valuable Advice for 2022

Jeff Bezos, Founder and Chairman of Amazon, and Nick Saban, football coach for the Alabama Crimson Tide, are legendary leaders with some valuable counsel to help you succeed in 2022.

5 Minutes for Your Next 50 years

Jeff Bezos, as I’m sure you know, is the founder and chairman of Amazon who built Amazon from the ground up to over $400 billion in revenue.

In this video (5m),  he talks about a leader’s role in the workplace, with a lot of wise counsel for young leaders.

Nick Saban is the legendary coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide football team which is playing for his 7th national championship on January 10.

He’s also been a featured speaker at Leadercast and shares some inspirational thoughts about why complacency is the biggest threat to excellence. (The video is 6:42m. You can start at around 3:15 to catch his comments about complacency.)

And a few more items of interest ....

The Greatest Guitar Solos of All Time

There may be nothing more controversial than who played the greatest guitar solo of all time, so GuitarPlayer ask their followers what they thought.

Here’s the list  … and then tell me how Joe Bonnamassa’s guitar solo accompanying Beth Hart’s rendition of I’d Rather Go Blind on their Don’t Explain album isn’t on this list? It’s my favorite rendition of a song made famous by Etta James. If you want to get to the 2 minute guitar solo, start just before the 4 minute mark but listen to the end.

Bonamassa makes that guitar talk! Let me know in the comments if you think it belongs on the list. 

The invaluable tool of Text Replacement

There are countless, maybe millions of productivity tools around in every shape, size and color.

One tool that won’t be replaced … is Text Replacement. This tool has universal value to make it easier for you to repeat text snippets … over and over again … with the assurance they will be correct and never misspelled.

Text Replacement on iOS and iPadOS

If you’re on the Apple platform, you’ll find Text Replacement on both macOS as well as iOS and iPad iOS. If you haven’t already discovered it, you’ll be glad you did. It makes any writing effort a lot simpler.

I’ve created a short video, below, to show you how to use it on iOS and iPadOS

The same capability exists on macOS

First, Open Preferences (under the Apple menu in the upper left corner of your screen) and start there. The images below- Text Replacement on macOS –  will be helpful.

  1. Click the KEYBOARD icon. That will reveal the KEYBOARD menu.
  2. Click TEXT. When you do, you’ll see …
    1. The left column entitled “REPLACE” which is the snippet code you’ll type to get the result you seek, and
    2. The right column entitled “WITH” is the text you want to insert … what you want to “replace” the snippet “with” … whenever you type the snippet code

Yes, it’s that simple.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

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Mysteries that Scientists Can't Solve

Unexplainable is a a science podcast that Vox launched in March to explore the most important, interesting, and awe-inspiring unanswered questions in science … the big questions that inspire scientists to do their work — questions that fill them with wonder or a sense of purpose, or remind them that the universe is still an enormous place with untapped potential.

To investigate some of the biggest mysteries in science, you have to venture to some pretty far-out places: the bottom of the oceans, inside the human brain, the tops of mountains, and even the end of time.

Here are 11 epic mysteries scientists totally can’t solve.

Rocket Scientists and Brain Surgeons Aren't Smarter Than Average

Rocket scientists and brain surgeons aren’t necessarily more clever than the general public according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.

We kinda knew they weren’t smarter than us, didn’t we? Didn’t we? Hello?

Don't Look Up

The critics aren’t big fans of this movie but most movies fans ARE fans…including me. It received four nominations at the 79th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture – Musical or Comedy, and six at the 27th Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture.

The movie was released on Christmas Eve with a marquee cast including Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lawrence, Tyler Perry, Kate Blanchett, Ariana Grande and more. It’s a comedic, over-the-top satire on the state of politics and social media in America. It’s exaggerated but the point is pretty spot on. An hilarious spoof on the state of the state. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.

2021 Reading in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre

At the end of the year, I usually tabulate how much fiction I’ve read during the year.

This year, I read 14,687 pages in the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre. That’s about 282 pp/week or 1,223 pp/month. I’ve read more like one book/week in the past, but a few books this year were longer than usual. Estimates of how many words appear on a page in a typical novel range from 250-300, so I read between 3.6 million and 4.4 million words. Whew!

It covered 42 novels from 30 different authors. In 2021, I was finishing the Spenser series from Robert B. Parker (1932-2010) who has long been acknowledged as the Dean of American Crime Fiction. As a lifelong aficionado of the Mystery-Thriller-Suspense genre, I’m finally digging into his Spenser series which started in the early 1980s. I have to say I love the Spenser character … witty, charming, tough, wise-cracking PI that he is. I’m long overdue to recognize Parker’s wizardry.

If you’re familiar with the old TV series, forget that. Robert Ulrich was miscast in that role but the books are great. Parker wrote 40 Spenser novels, which I read in order except for the last two which I’m savoring. Ace Atkins has taken over the series, so I’ll check out those soon. If you love books in this genre, don’t miss the Spenser series. Start with the Godwulf Manuscript, #1 in the series.

All of the novels I read in 2021 were series characters except for 2 novels in P.T. Deutermann’s WWII series and two great novels I also think you’d enjoy, Win by Harlan Coben and The Unwilling from John Hart … books also worth your time.

Make it a Great Week. Don't Stop Leading!

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