What is going on?

Great Illinois Stone with State MapThat is the question The Great Illinois Stone has for East Dundee residents, Village officials, and Otto.

The answers will determine on which side the Stone will fall.

Speaking of sides … every story has two sides … much like the Stone itself.

The Stone is most stable when it can be on one side or the other.

When the Stone is in its edge (yes it can happen in unsettling situations) it could fall one way or the other.

So the question is …

What’s going on in East Dundee?

There have been great improvement in the infrastructure of East Dundee in recent years.

Residents have seen derelict buildings torn down, old building remodeled, new buildings constructed, roads improved … and the Village has show that there is a plan to revitalize the community.

The Village has a Plan.

During that time Otto has been identified by signs and news reports as a key partner in that effort.

It appears that much of the work has been supported … even heavily funded by … Otto.

Otto has been a big supporter.

The Great Illinois Stone noticed Otto several years ago and liked what it saw.

The Village has been through some rough times.

Otto has probably had some tough times, too.

Hasn’t everyone?

Things appear to be getting better.

Now it seems …

There is a disturbance in the force.

The Great Illinois Stone has learned of a letter recently delivered to East Dundee area residents.  The letter was from Otto … actually Tom Roeser … Otto Engineering’s president.  No less than the Chicago Tribune ran a story about the issue.

Tom says that the leaders of the Village “are not being good stewards of our community.”

Wouldn’t you like to know the truth?

The Great Illinois Stone has also endorsed the development efforts of the Village.

It is also known that politics, personal agendas, and petty feuds have caused East Dundee … and the world at large … to make decisions detrimental to the community our leaders were elected to serve.

A source in Village administration tells the Stone that Mr. Roeser knew the Village would be responding and on what day, but generated a news story and sent the letter anyway.

Is there a solution that is satisfactory to all parties?

Maybe this is a simple misunderstanding.  But … that’s doubtful.

Could be it is all about miscommunication or unclear expectations.

The Stone would like to see everybody getting along.


The Great Illinois Stone would like to hear both sides of the story.

The Great Illinois Stone

Your comments are welcome!



I don’t want to see underwear on web pages after I visit the Jockey site.
Consider this …

I’m a guy.

I buy briefs 1 or 2 times per year.

This is not a big decision.

I don’t invest much time considering underwear purchases.

Consider this too …

I do find that the “six-pack & package” shots inspire a “delete” reaction.

What do you think will happen?

Imagine the impact such advertisement photos might have in a business setting.
Not a BIG thing now, but it could be …
Fortunately, underwear is the most egregious product placement in my recent experience.

However, I hear from others that this practice can become absurd.

Fix this … please!
This was prominently displayed with a Forbes article regarding the Windows 10 Upgrade.

Jockey package and six-pack image
I don’t need to be reminded that the elastic in my underwear has been sagging for months.

Jockey … turn it off. 

Forbes … consider the impact of improper ad placement on readership.

Each time I see that ad … I think of changing brands .. and finding new news sources.

Maybe … Fruit of the Loom and the Daily Whatever.


Who Is Tooting Your Horn?toot-your-own-horn

I would be preaching to the choir if this article listed the things we all know.

You would be irritated and bored listening to someone toot their own horn.

Most people aren’t comfortable frequently extolling their virtues.


Everyone who is buying or hiring wants to hear about you, your work, or your product from someone in a position to know.


You probably have a handful of glowing recommendations from some of your strongest LinkedIn Connections.  Maybe you have a whole laundry list of accomplishments & accolades.

But think of this …

Has anyone ever mentioned they learned something special about you from one of your LinkedIn Recommendations?

Probably not.

Here is an idea describing how to make your LinkedIn Recommendations work for you.

  1. Copy all your LinkedIn Recommendations to a Word document.
    1. The example below started out as a three page document with 10 point fonts.
  2. Remove all unnecessary and overly repetitive statements.
    1. Then go back and remove some more.  I know … it can be painful.
  3. Reduce each recommendation to one phrase … two if both are outstanding.
  4. Review your remaining quotes, and cut more words.
    1. This is a case where “less is more”
  5. Use [brackets] t0 change your [Name] to [he] or [she] or to shorten [part of the quote]. The example below will show what this means.
  6. Arrange the quote snippets into logical groups
    1. Job Categories
    2. Industry Groups
    3. Or like a story … a brief description of yourself.
  7. Include a “Source” reference with a link to your LinkedIn Profile
    1. This adds credibility if someone wants to “fact check”.
  8. Share it
    1. Add it to your personal website
    2. As a link in your email signature information
    3. With your resume (electronic or paper)

Here are a couple examples

I created this example to assist my wife as she searches for contract recruiting & employment opportunities.


Click here to see an example using Brian’s LinkedIn Profile.


Brian Jacobson is a Salesforce.com and Marketing Automation Business Systems Analyst.

He is also the designer, writer, manager, and web administrator for these sites:


Lin Jacobson is a Technical Recruiter and Project Operations Manager with a robust network of Engineers, Scientists, and Mid-to-Upper Management professionals in Pharmaceutical, Medical Device, Life Sciences, and a broad array of Manufacturing industries.



What a sneaky treat!

The Trader Joe’s person sharing wine and beer on a recent Saturday suggested I buy one rather than the $11 six-pack.  Just in case I didn’t like it.
She was right.
I didn’t like it.
At first.
Less than a minute later I thought … hhmmmm.
Hell or High Watermelon Statue of Liberty

Hell or High Watermelon Statue of Liberty

That’s refreshing. It’s light.

If it was hot, I’d love it.
Consider this.
When the summer has been hot …
When the growing season has gone so well …
When you have worked hard and need a refreshing brew …
Choose …Hell-or-High-Watermelon-Bridge
Hell or High Watermelon

This Idea Could Save Millions of Lives




I wrote the following paper in 1969 for a college English course.

Hope you enjoy the story.

Counsel for the Defense

It wasn’t a unique gathering.  From all outward appearances it was only a friendly gathering of three members of each of two families for an evening of conversation.  It was more, though.

Mrs. Martin, a rather outspoken woman was expounding on the historical events that had come to pass in our small town during the week.  Mr. Martin sat quietly pulling easily on his pipe.  He seemed to be off by himself even though he sat between Mrs. Martin and my mother. The smile my mother had painted on as the Martins drove up the drive was holding up well.

Ordinarily Mom would not sit and listen to gossip, but she had other things on her mind and was waiting for us to discuss the real issue. My father sat calmly sipping scotch and water breaking his own silence occasionally to toss in a quip that would silence Mrs. Martin for a second — but only a second, mind you. Ross Martin, a long-time friend, and I carried on a light conversation of our own.

Both of us were anxious.  If this did not work, we would both be condemned to institutionalized living.  Ross’s arguments had been in vain.  He now hoped that I could convince my parents and in turn have my parents convert his.  I was invoking all the gods I had ever read about to intervene in our favor. This confrontation was long in coming.

Tempers had flared several times during the past year, but an actual discussion of the problem was always put off until the proper time.  The proper time was about to arrive. Should Ross and I be allowed to live off-campus at school was the question at hand.  The alternatives we had been offered were dormitories or a fraternity.  A rather simple issue except that Ross and I have had a series of interesting experiences.

By the end of our first year at college we had pledged a fraternity and before the end of the quarter subsequently de-pledged.  We moved into a house with three other students and had a series of problems involving bills, studies, parties, and dogs.  The other three fellows wanted to party, eat well, and raise dogs, but forego paying their share of the expenses or clean up after the dog.  That was all topped off by the landlord who decided to keep our deposits when we moved out of the house.  We were physically and legally unable to retrieve our money and that was a very tender spot for all of us.

Spring quarter we moved into a small trailer, which worked out fine for about two weeks and then Ross was involved in an accident which kept him out of school for the remainder of the quarter.  This left me with a large share of the burden of the expenses as well as having to learn to cope with the deafening affects of silence. All this left our parents with a great deal of ammunition.  One battle had already been lost.  Mrs. Martin had already decided against us, but they wanted to make sure Ross would be happy.  They had two daughters, but Ross was their only son.

Dad and I had already discussed the issue several times — all fruitless.  In fact a couple times he had given me a definite “No!”  But my seven brothers and sisters and I have a little understanding about our father.  The first time he says “no”, he probably didn’t understand the situation.  The second time he says “no” you probably didn’t present your case properly.  The third time – forget it – he meant it the first time.  This would be the third try.  I had to do it right.  We couldn’t have it put off again.  Class would start in three weeks and we had to give the landlord a definite answer by the end of the week. I was ready.  I had been preparing for this final showdown for several days.

Mr. Martin and my father are both successful businessmen.  For them financial figures talk.  With this in mind, my main appeal had to be to the pocket.  Our housing expenses off-campus would be comparable to if not lower than if we were to live in a dormitory or a fraternity.  Also, in a residence meal expense is set so if you miss a meal, you are out of luck.  By buying and preparing our own meals, we would pay only for what we ate.  And by not being required to participate in residence functions I would be left with more time to devote to my job.  This would give me more money to use to cover my expenses.  I had even resorted to using statistics, comparing the different costs for the different residences against living off-campus.

After exhausting the discussion of factual material I planned to move to an appeal to the independent spirits of my parents.  Over the years I had picked up several examples of the independent nature showing in them when they were young and I planned to play them to the hilt.  Also, I could give them many examples of the disadvantages of living in dormitories or fraternities.  Most of which they had heard me tell before, but it would be more effective used all at once.

Dad rose from his chair and went into the kitchen.  He returned in a few minutes with fresh drinks for himself and Mr. Martin.  He sat down and I almost breathed a sigh of relief when he said, “Well, boys, I think it’s about time we got down to the matter at hand …”

K. Brian Jacobson
English 205
December 19, 1969


Editor’s Note

— The author received an “A” for the story.

— He and his friend moved to off-campus housing.

Poppet is Gone


Poppet is Gone

I feel like I jinxed her when I said on Facebook, “She always returns for breakfast.”


Two days later … she didn’t.

Lin was feeding our deerhounds on the deck, which is usually when Poppet gets her second round of breakfast. That is when we both realized we felt she wasn’t coming back.SAMSUNG

As I walked toward the patio door that looked out on the deck, I saw a serious look on Lin’s face.

I asked, “What’s got your attention?”

She said, “I just saw a coyote cross the street carrying an animal; it looked like a cat.”

Moments earlier, I had been thinking about Poppet’s free-ranging excursions and wondered if they should be limited by us … even though she seems to want a more open-door relationship. I made an effort to push those negative thoughts from my head.

When Lin made her observation, a chill ran through me.

We went to work. I immersed myself as much as I could to avoid thinking about the possibilities.

I got home before Lin; around 6:00PM. Poppet is usually waiting for us by 4:00. She wasn’t there.

Don’t think she is coming back …


Twenty Minutes after writing the information above …

She showed up.

She was cowering in the corner of the deck … under a chair.

I was able to approach her, but she was tentative.

She allowed me to pick her up.

When I held her close, she tensed … then relaxed.

She was home.


Months later …

Haplo & Poppet on MattressShe was very affectionate when I greeted her in the morning.

As her breakfast was prepared, she talked to Lin.

Sometimes she would stretch toward the top of the counter

And be shooed down.

She greeted our hounds then enjoyed her breakfast.

After some grooming and stretching she left the yard to start her daily rounds.


 An hour later …

I poured another cup of coffee then stepped out on the deck.

A disturbance among the shrubs just beyond the fence

Was followed by a squeal of panic and pain.

Moments later a coyote crossed the street with something in its mouth.

My stomach clinched.


That night …

She didn’t show up for dinner … or a sleep-over.


Next morning …

No Poppet.


For the next two weeks …

We searched the neighborhood.

Asked people if they had seen her.

Checked the streets and highways near our home.

No Poppet.


Poppet is Gone.


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