Frank Markow, Ph.D.

Helping leaders and organizations thrive through education and consulting

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New Camera in the House!

December 20th, 2007 · No Comments

I recently purchased the Canon S5is camera. I spent a while looking at different cams, and also considered the Canon SD750, SD850is and the very portable SD1000. I settled on the S5is for several reasons. First, it has full manual mode, which means that I can totally control the settings and not count on the camera (though it does an excellent job!) Secondly, it takes excellent videos (for a point and shoot that is), and has STEREO sounds, a feature I could not find on any other camera. Last but not least, it takes excellent pictures. Most of the Canon Powershot and SD series take great pics, I probably would have been happy with these others as well, so I guess the first two features really sold me.

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The Heroes Journey

November 27th, 2007 · No Comments

In November I presented at the International Leadership Association (ILA) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada. I was part of a panel which presented papers under the heading of “archetypal leadership.” If you are familiar with Jung, or Carol Pierce’s work than you are familiar with archetypes. My mentor, Karin Klenke, has developed the concept of archetypes as they relate to leadership. My presentation was essentially my dissertation topic, calling and identity. I tied in the 5 stages of calling development with Joseph Campbell’s “heroes journey” monomyth.  

Here are a few pics of the presentation, along with Suzanne Martin, Viviette Allen, and William Hunsager. You can also see the view out my hotel window of the Davie Street district, as well as an airplane shot.

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New Family Pics

November 27th, 2007 · 2 Comments

Yes, I know everyone is waiting for some new family pics, and now the wait is over.

-Ben, Abby and Matt on Rosarita Beach, Mexico.
-Mom and Dad at 82
-My neice Rachel and her new fiance Chris
-Thanksgiving in Forte Wayne, IN.
-A house across the street from dads, Ft. Wayne.

The “artsy” shots were done with my new camera, the Canon S5is. Check out the other new blog on this.

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Frank joins Facebook!

November 16th, 2007 · No Comments

So, I wanted to find out what all the excitement was about online social networks, so I decided to join one – Facebook. I was told that it is, generally speaking, a more, er, educated crowd that MySpace. So, if you are on Fb, feel free to send me a friend request.  

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MO 6 in Action!

November 12th, 2007 · 1 Comment

In a previous post I threatened to upload samples of the Yamaha MO 6, and so here it is! I have had some time to figure the beast out, and so for your listening pleasure are two very different sonic creations, both of which I think highlight the usefulness of the MO 6 as a creative tool.

 1. The first is a track I produced for our church’s veteran’s day program, and you should be able to recognize the tune, though you will have to supply the melody yourself, since I was only concerned with the background music, I played the melody live on the guitar. This track took probably around 10 hours to sequence, and a lot of that time was “learning curve” time. If I did it again it would probably only take 4 or 5. This is a good example of how the MO can be used to produce full tracks of Motif goodness! Believe it or not, I did begin to hit the polyphony max with this, though there are never more than 5 tracks going on at a time – I think the voices I used were fairly dense and so took up more alloted room. The Mo was a total joy to use, and I stayed up late at night tweaking this, only the though of getting up early the next morning could drag me away ;

2. This is a very improvisational (read: not that good) piece using one of the performance voices (‘chillin’ if I recall). The voices are gorgeous – if only may playing was! But, the point of posting this is this: the Mo has so many quality sound sets grouped together, it makes the creative process easy. All I did for this was find the performance and start jamming, making it up along the way. Again, a total blast which only early morning realities could pull me away from.


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Yamaha MO 6

October 24th, 2007 · 7 Comments

I have been in the hunt for a new keyboard. My last one was a Roland XP-30, which was at least 10 years old. Since “contemporary” changes by the moment, I felt it was time to upgrade my sounds pallette, so thus the search began. I was taken by the Yamaha MM6, the “Mini Mo” as they call it, as it has many of the sounds that their flagship Motif series has. I had demo-ed it a few times in the store and it sounded great, was fun to play, really made composing easy. But maybe too easy. I think this model is aimed at those with fairly limited musical abiliy. Not that I am any sort of piano virtuoso, but I did not need the keyboard to tell me what arrangements to use, what rhythms to use, etc. In short, it felt like cheating a bit, and anything I produced on this I felt I could not take credit for. Then I happened on the Yamaha MO 6. This has the same great sounds as the Motif, plus it is a “real” workstation / arranger, much like the Motif. Guitar Center had the floor model on sale for $799, and Yamaha was offering a $100 rebate, which would have made this around $700. The cheapest I saw it anywhere else was $1200. The only thing better than a great keyboard is a great keyboard at a great price!! So I snagged it.

Along with all the sophistication of this keyboard comes a steep learning curve. Sure, I was able to call up voices and performance patches and play to my hearts content. But the real feature of this keyboard is its ability to compose (up to) 16 track arrangements. You create a pattern, then ad everything you need -drums, bass, keys, pads, etc. This has taken me a few days to get my head around, and slowly but surely I am figuring this thing out. I have been using Reason 3.0 for a while, which is really easy to use. But, with my slower laptop (even my wifes faster laptop which she graciously traded me), it still ran sluggish. In short, Reason is a computer resource hog, and unless you have a new and speey computer, you cannot use it to its full extent. That is a big reason why I went with a stand alone keyboard like the MO 6. I am getting tired of downloading drivers, system hangs and crashes, etc. that come along with computer based music stuff (if you read my review on the Zoom site you will see this rationale for going stand alone with my recording gear as well). So, the Mo has all the contemporary sounds I need, the arranging workstation so I can work out songs, and it DOES NOT CRASH! Never. Not once. Nada. Zip. Zilch. While it is taking time to learn, the end result will (hopefully) be much less frustration. This unit really rocks. The more I learn it, the funner it gets. I was up till almost 1AM last night creating aswesome sounding compositions. Now, if I can just figure out how to record them! That will be my next learning task…

Here is a link to a cool demo of the MO 6. Hopefully I will be able to post some of my own compositions in the near future (I do not plan on making dance music :0

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September 25th, 2007 · No Comments

I hope I am as good as this when I am 17!

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International Journal of Leadership Studies

September 25th, 2007 · 1 Comment

I was recently invited to join the editorial board of the International Journal of Leadership Studies. I am honored to have been asked, and hopefully can handle the load of reviewing the articles. Their are some real scholars on the board, including Charles Manz. Here is a little bit about the journal:

The International Journal of Leadership Studies (IJLS)* is a refereed scholarly journal that exists to provide a forum for leadership scholars within the U.S. and around the world.  Representing the multidisciplinary field of leadership, the IJLS publishes theoretically grounded research that enhances knowledge and understanding of the phenomenon of leadership at all levels within a variety of industries and organizations and seeks contributions that present leadership from different perspectives unique to different cultures, settings, and religions around the world.  To stimulate scholarly debate and a free flow of ideas, the IJLS is published in electronic format and provides access to all issues free of charge.

To access articles and find out more, follow this link.

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Understanding Calling by way of Narrative Analysis

September 24th, 2007 · No Comments

This presentation gives an overview of my research on the topic of calling.  This was taken from my dissertation defense. Please leave me a comment if you make it through this to let me know what you think, letting me know whether my 5 Stage Calling Development Model resonates with your own experience.

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All Amped Up

September 23rd, 2007 · No Comments

Last week I went on a quest to buy a new amp. I have been through several in the last 10 years:

Crate Vintage Club 30 (both the blond and brunette versions)

Peavey Classics. I loved these so much, at one time I had the whole family – a 15, 20, 30 and 50. I also had the 2×12 and 4×10 configurations of the 50.

Vox AC15 (the older, made in England version)

Fender Hot Rod Deville 40 watt

As you will note, there are several things that all these amps have in common: they are all small combo amps, and they all have tubes in both the pre-amp and power-amp section. My friend Jeff in fact calls me a tube snob. I recently ventured into the modeling amp arena with the Vox AD series. I currently have a AD30, and I was seriously jonesing after the AD60VTX. But, after much thought (and playing in guitar stores across LA) I have decided on the (drum roll) Crate Vintage Club 50.

Yes, the good old VC 50. Now, I am sure some of you are thinking, as did the ancient Pharisees, “can anything good come from St. Louis (the home of Crate)?!?” Much like my initial dislike for Zoom (so other recent blog), I was not a huge Crate fan, considering it lower end, entry level stuff. But I tried the VC30 at a music store in Berkeley in 1995 and I instantly loved it. A nice, class A grindy tone, punchy, smooth. So had this and used it for a couple of years, and thought, what else might be out there? This led me to my quest for the Peavey Classics, which I did like for a few years. And on and on. Then recently, almost like an epiphany, I thought, you know, that old Crate really sounds and played great. I had recently bought a Crate VC506 off eBay, a small 5 watt version of this map, and it is an excellent practice amp. After playing this, I realized that I missed this sound, wanted more of it, and started looking for either a 30 or 50 watter. I came across the 50 watter on Craig’s List (LA) for $250, and decided to check it out, and fell back in love, like a guy who hasn’t seen his first love in many years. (ok, I know I’m getting sappy here ; )

Anyhow, click here for a listen to my recent amp quest, let me know if you think I made the right choice.

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