Archive for July, 2010

What I am Reading This Week: Blink

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Next in the leadership series…

Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking


Malcolm Gladwell

I liked this book very much, maybe even more the second time than the first.

Five stars!


That’s all I’ve got.  Also, I took careful note of the cover on this one.  White like the rest of his books.  Classy white, not boring white.  I love it.

Bunny Trails: Now I want to go back and read Tipping Point, Outliers and What the Dog Saw again.  Malcolm Gladwell may very well be my favorite author.

More Bunny Trails: Click here to see a video of my brother Dave Nelson of Secret Penguin and Matt Helt playing paddleball with Malcolm Gladwell.  That would actually lend itself better to a discussion of Tipping Point, but once again, that’s what I’ve got.  And how fun!!

What I am Reading This Week: Freakonomics

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

I started working through my pile of leadership books I began piling after reading the July 2010 Veterinary Economics article, 25 Books for your Summer Reading List.  I have restrained myself and only started three books.  The first one I finished was…



Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Five Stars!


Disclaimer:  The books I do not enjoy, I do not talk about, and the ones I do enjoy I rave about.  Who wants to hear about a book that was sort of ok??  No one!  So books get five stars or no mention.  This book gets five stars.

In case I am not the last person in America to read this book, I highly recommend it.  Things you would not expect to bother you will, and things you would expect to really, really bother you – so much that you may have avoided thinking much about them before now – will prove worth analyzing.

The first thing I noticed was the cover.  The names of the authors made me think of the scene in Benny and Joon where Joon gets Benny two goldfish whom she has named Steven and Stephen.  I DID like the cover as soon as I saw it (I assume because it reminded me of the Benny and Joon scene), so this is one book I actually bought instead of borrowing first to make sure I liked it.

My kids pointed out (after I had finished reading the book) the cool picture on the cover of an apple with orange innards (signifying I suppose that things are not always as they seem).  Maybe I should not judge a book by its cover, because I do not notice the things normal people notice.  But in this case, it turned out fine.

I expect much of this book to echo around in my head for a while.  The bonus material contains a very sad recounting from Steven D. Levitt’s own family life which will probably be the part of the book that stays with me permanently, even with all of the crazy, fun turn-what-you-thought-you-knew-on-its-head stories that make up the body of the book.

I will also remember the thirty second thing.  The authors point out in a subpoint to an argument mid-book that drowning can occur in thirty seconds.  When we were in Turks and Caicos for my brother’s wedding in 2007, my daughter went under water and lost consciousness.  My husband pulled her out, and she made a rapid and full recovery.  Those few seconds have changed us forever, and I read the second half of the book with a horrible stomach ache.  I did not know the thirty second thing.

The rest of the paradigm shifts, the ones the authors create on purpose, perhaps should have given me a stomach ache, but did not.  They were well-told, jarring in an entertaining way, and made me want to learn more about things I had not previously even given a second thought…sumo wrestling and real estate agent commissions among them.

I do not know whether or how this will make me a better veterinarian or leader, but maybe.  I still have some thinking to do.

Bunny Trails…Now I want to read SuperFreakonomics by the same authors and wander around their blog, Freakonomics, The Hidden Side of Everything, at the website of the New York Times.  I still have several leadership books to read, so I need to stay focused!  Next up…Blink by Malcolm Gladwell or The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell, whichever one I finish first!

What I am Doing This Week: Attending Camp Kindness Again, Taking More Rat Pictures

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Tuesday, July 20 was another day of Camp Kindness, a day camp for kids at Nebraska Humane Society.  You know I am super neurotically protective of kid pictures, and Camp Kindness is all kids everywhere…which means of course, more pictures of Fuzzy and Wuzzy!

Still, I didn’t want you to think I ONLY ever take pictures of my gorgeous rats, so I also took one of Kerry Ecklebe, the Director of Humane Education at Nebraska Humane Society…um, holding a rat.  OK, so maybe I am obsessed with my rats!  There are worse maladies to have!

I do not even want to know how many website design rules I am breaking with this layout.  I just love huge pictures of Fuzzy and Wuzzy!  They are so goofy looking, and I love that you can see whiskers and wrinkles and everything in the pictures…

Kerry Ecklebe holding Fuzzy

Kerry is a class act, and one of my favorite people.  NHS is blessed to have her!

What I am Reading This Week: Veterinary Economics

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Hmm.  Reading Veterinary Economics has become less passive and more active these past couple of months.  I can’t wait to see what the August issue has in store!

The July 2010 issue had an article about leadership books.  I just stared at the photographs of the books and said, “Yes, Veterinary Economics journal!  I will read the twenty-five books you suggest!”

Click this link to see the article that made me want to put down my Stephen King and Bible in a Year and switch to a leadership kick for a while. (Just kidding Stan! Still reading.)

McFerson T. 25 books for your summer reading list. Veterinary Economics 2010;51(7):18-24.

Tom McFerson got four other veterinary field related professionals together, and they each listed their five favorite leadership books and challenged us to read them all.

So far, I have asked 11,758 people to read with me and Russ has said yes.  Yay!  This will be fun.

Maybe I should NOT start a second pile of books…

If you have whipped through those, or previously read them…here’s some more suggestions…

From Russ:

Fish by Stephen C. Lundin, Harry Paul and John Christensen

Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson

From Phil Barnes:

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

What Clients Love by Harry Beckwith

From Me:The Tipping Point and then everything else Malcolm Gladwell has ever written and will ever write, even if (maybe especially if) it is on the back of a napkin at dinner.  His brain just seems to think faster than even he himself can process – I love it!

The Referral of a Lifetime by Tim Templeton

The Loyal Customer, A Lesson From a Cab Driver by Shep Hyken (If you’re getting overwhelmed by this growing list, start with this cute little book.  My kid just read it in twenty minutes.)

The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren

From Dad*:*I’ve been waiting for these suggestions.  Like Russ says, if you want to be a good leader, pay attention to what Bob does.  Bob Nelson is my Dad and he is the most successful person I know.  He was pretty excited to hear about this project, and here are the books he pulled off his shelf to add to my pile…

The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

Soar with your Strengths by Donald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum

Where Have All the Leaders Gone? By Lee Iacocca

What I am Doing This Week: Dreaming

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

I just wrote a blog post for dvm360 at the invitation of Veterinary Economics Editor Kristi Reimer.  Ok, so it was not a direct invitation, it was the introduction to the June issue of Veterinary Economics, sort of a “Draw This Turtle” for veterinarians.

I opened my June Veterinary Economics and read it from cover to cover like I always do.  The last thing I read (It was on the front page – I read magazines and journals from back to front – I think it’s a lefty thing) made me space off and dream for the rest of my lunch break.  Kristi said (to me!) “We’re on the lookout for user-generated content.”

Earlier in the year, Charity, who I work for at Carefresh, suggested I write a list of every company I would like to write with.  I already have my dream Mom-Veterinarian-Writer career.  Really, could it get any better??

I write HERE (which I LOVE – thanks Dave!!) and for (which I also love – thanks Jordy and Morgan!), Banfield occasionally asks for my input for their blog and journal (Thanks Nina!) and I had just accidently landed my dream job with Carefresh (Thanks Charity and Tom!)  Was it even OK to dream bigger?

But I do everything Charity tells me to do.  So I started writing out my dream list.  And at the very top of my list was dvm360-Advanstar Communications.  They are the team behind most of my favorite veterinary journals.  I knew it was just a dream, but sometimes dreams can become Real Life.  And writing lists is fun.

Thank YOU for coming with me on this crazy (good-crazy) adventure.  It has been fun, hasn’t it? : )And look, they let me post this…

Twitter for Veterinarians

It had to be said – When the world of veterinary medicine (eighty thousand+ veterinarians) intersects with the world of twitter (six million+ tweeters), it is such an amazing thing.  It just is SO uncommon!  (Four hundred sixty-two veterinarians/hospitals on twitter by my count)  I wanted to make jumping into twitter easier for vets.  So I hope it does.  If you don’t see more veterinarians posting on twitter in the next month or so, assume they are, as always, busy preserving and saving lives, not that they are unable to figure out twitter, because now I hope they will be!

What I am Doing This Week, Celebrating Independence Day

Monday, July 5th, 2010

July 5, 2010  As far as I know, all the pets in my life got through yesterday with just a little nervousness.  Great job pet parents!

PLEASE vote for Fuzzy and Wuzzy for cutest pet in Banfield’s Pet Photo contest!  Silly as it is, I LOVE pictures of our rats, and these ones are really cute.  The other pets entered are very cute too, and you can vote for as many as you want.  I voted for all of them, because, as you know, I have yet to meet a non-cute pet!

To vote:  Go to Banfield’s Facebook home page, and “like” Banfield.  Scroll down to Fuzzy and Wuzzy’s picture and “like” their picture.  Thank you so much!!  How fun.

July 17, 2010  Thank you everyone for voting for Fuzzy and Wuzzy!  They won third place!  Woo!  Not bad for a couple of ratties, huh?

What I am Doing This Week: Meeting Olive Jane ♥

Monday, July 5th, 2010

…obsessing about my brand new niece, Olive Jane Nelson!  She was born July 3, 2010 to my brother Dave (the genius behind this fun website) and his wonderful wife Sara.  Their dogs (and now Olive’s dogs!) are Riley and James, the Great Dane and Mastiff after whom the website is named.

I like this picture of Olive because it was taken when she was making baby coos yesterday, and my husband Russ was trying to hear her so he could answer her.  ♥Happy Day Three in the world Olive!  I love you so much!!

Pets-n-Baby Tip:  While you are at the hospital with your new baby, have a friend bring something of baby’s (like a blanket or onesie) home to your dogs and cats.  Let them get used to the smell of your new babe.  When they actually do meet the new baby, in their minds, they will have already met him or her before and this will ease the transition for everyone.



What I am Doing This Week: Gathering! Restating! Linking! Helping! Publishing!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

(If you don’t mind, imagine the next sentence fragments in the voice of Flint Lockwood, from Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs.  You know I LOVE to be boring, but sometimes I love to SEEM exciting, so I thought maybe that would help.   Thanks.)

Gathering!  Restating!  Linking!  Helping!  <running around the living room> <pushing big red button>  Publishing!

I know it’s been said, but I just wanted to make sure you and your pets have all the resources you need for this Independence Day!  So this week I am gathering and reposting information about storm and firework phobias.  Add any tips or resources you have!

Scared on the Fourth of July – Last Year’s Posting With an Update

Thunderphobia – Trainer Eric Goebelbecker’s Great Posting on Dr. V’s Pawcurious Website

Fourth of July Fireworks Safety Tips for Your Pets – brand new article from Dr. Patrick Mahaney, Veterinarian and Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist

Thundershirts! – Too late to order them from the website for Sunday!  And as you know, yahoos in Omaha are already shooting off fireworks, so the poor dogs are already pretty worked up.

Nebraska Humane Society has some Thundershirts, but they are running low!  Quick, go push someone out of the way and grab theirs.  (Don’t really.)

Happy Independence Day! Make sure your pet is with you or safe at home this weekend.  Here’s to a safe and wonderful weekend for you and your family!  God Bless America!