Happy Birthday USMC

10 11 2019

Today, November 10th, 2019 is the 244th birthday of the United States Marine Corps (USMC). I was in the Marine Corps from April 1969 to April 1973. In looking back, I can truly say that these were important formative years for me and I’m proud to have served my part.

I met some great people and a few truly unique characters to be sure. Our son Eddie was named after Eddie Hunt III, the son of a Master Gunnery Sargent Dorine and I knew when we were stationed in Kaneohe, Hawaii. Mr. and Mrs. Hunt became close friends and we had some great experiences with them during our first two years of marriage.

Happy Birthday Marine Corps!

MDE Enterprises, Inc.

26 04 2019

I created my company, MDE Enterprises, Inc. on September 1, 2000. In the beginning, I didn’t know what I really wanted to do other than I wanted to do something with the Internet and probably avoid consulting work.

At the very start, we were a consulting company with a 3-month contract with my last company where I had been their CIO. This eventually went for 11 months before we parted ways for good. It was good revenue for us in the beginning and allowed me to focus on developing the real MDE company for the future.

During this first year, I decided to write a book and try to sell it on the Internet. So, What To Look For in a CIO was written. Mid-way in the development of this book, it dawned upon me that I really needed to write a series of books to discuss how to do things that an IT manager needs to be able to do to achieve success.

What happened was that I had an eye-opener, , , what I needed to do was to do what I had been doing for my entire career, , , teach others how to manage an IT organization successfully.

I still remember doing the “all nighter” when I drafted the Table of Contents of 9 more books that I thought I needed to write. All of a sudden, I have an immediate road map and I’ve sort of settled into what would become my company’s mission, “helping IT managers of the world achieve more success“.

After a year, I completed the last of the 10 books I had set out to write. Once completed, I embarked immediately on creating the IT Manager ToolKit to give to “early buyers” of my full series of books. After completing the 2nd book, IT Management-101: fundamentals to achieve more, I created a web page and started selling the entire series (10 e-books) for $179.00.

Yep, I started selling all ten books even though only two of them were completed. What was amazing is that by the time I completed all ten (about 10 months later), I had sold 104 sets of the unfinished full series. I call these people “early buyers”.

When I completed the IT Manager ToolKit, I sent them all an email message with a download link for a free ToolKit, something I hadn’t envisioned creating until I was working on the 8th book.

I gave them more than what they paid for because of the good faith and trust they had placed with me. It felt really good.

In addition, I immediately increased the price of the full series of e-books including the ToolKit to $279.00 which is what it is today, 17 years later.

I went on to write 5 more books and develop a considerable amount of training that has taken me around the world, , , posts for a later date. Nine years after publishing the full series of 10 books, I rewrote them and changed the covers to reflect that they are all part of a series.

The “full series” of the Practical IT Manager books




18 03 2017

When I worked at IBM in the late 70’s and early 80’s it was something very special. I have great memories of the clients I had and the IBMers I worked with. These experiences had a major impact on my career development.

One of the things I remember from the very beginning of being with IBM was a theme of “THINK”. This brand was part of IBM’s culture at the time and there were little reminders to reinforce it.

One was the THINK desk plaque shown above. You would see this plaque on desks and in many other places in an IBM environment. I would see them on top of IBM computer systems in a client’s office quite often , , , probably still a few of these roaming around companies who have been with IBM for generations. I still have mine.

Another item they gave me during my IBM Rookie days was a THINK Notepad.

It was handy for carrying with you and taking notes when with a client. Very small and functional. I used up many fillers for my notepad.

I also still have this item in my box of career memorabilia.

I probably didn’t think much about the message embodied within this brand of “THINK”, but it makes sense and was simple and to the point, , , just like IBM wanted, I imagine.

I think of the IBMers I worked with quite often. They hold a special place in my heart and memory bank. They were without a doubt some of the most professional and fun people to work with in my entire career.

Maybe it had to do with the fact that I was right out of college and still young and impressionable, but I think more of it was the sense of teamwork and camaraderie we had in the General Systems Division (GSD) of the Jackson, Mississippi office.

Another item we had that was handy was IBM note cards. They were simply blank 80-column cards we used in the old days of card systems with the message “THINK” printed at the top.

I think our local office had these made up and we simply stocked our supply with them to use as needed, , , sort of like nice golf clubs put out free golf tees for players to grab on their way to the first tee.

“THINK” has long been an IBM theme. Have you ever heard the term “thinkpad”?

Yep, it is IBM’s (now Lenovo) laptop brand name. They continue to use the word “think” to promote their products and services all these years.

I have three Thinkpads. One is a powerful machine that I use as my desktop, but because it is actually a laptop I can take my entire office with me if I want. It’s larger and heavier so I rarely unhook it from the docking station that has all my desk peripherals connected (monitor, presentation TV on the wall, scanner, external speakers, external microphone, Logitech webcam, etc.).

The 2nd is a Lenovo X1 Carbon Thinkpad that I use for travel. I’ve had this laptop for several years now. It’s highly functional, very light and thin, and has a long battery life when needed. Love this laptop.

The third is an older IBM Thinkpad that I keep around just in case of an emergency.

IBM’s use of the theme “THINK” looks like it has worked out pretty well.

LCHS – 1967 Class Reunion Skit

25 02 2017

Get ready for a few laughs. Our 45th High School Reunion skit was a real winner. We are preparing an even bigger event for our 50th in September 2017.


Hawaii Marine Golf Team -1970

10 10 2016

1970 was a fun year in golf, especially playing on the Hawaii Marine Corps Golf Team. We had a great team with 4 of the 6 members being 21 or younger.

usmc_hawaii_golfUS Marine Corps All Pacific Golf Tournament -1970
Front Row is the Hawaii Marine Corps Team
Tim Derloshon, Joe Capri, Mike Sisco, Gunny “Pineapple” Werner,
Allen Westbrook, Capt. Chuck Kozak






Little League Baseball

29 08 2016

I watched the Little League World Series this past week and it brought back many great memories of my Little League days. We had a blast.

1962 Tri-County All Stars-1Tri-County All Star Team – 1962
from Hohenwald, Centerville, Linden and Lobelville

Billy Marbet (tallest player standing) and Ronnie Pope (2nd player standing from left) are still two of my closest friends. That’s me kneeling with the dark glasses.

Mike Sisco-1
Mike Sisco

Bill Marbet
Billy Marbet

Ronnie Pope

Hohenwald-62Hohenwald Dixie Youth Team – 1962



Y2K Bugs

6 03 2016

It was 1999 and every IT organization in the world was getting ready for what might happen when the clock turned over from 1999 to 2000. Lots of programming work to insure there were no date issues. Then, when 2000 happened, nothing actually happened, , , no elevators stopped working, , , no power grids shut down, , , nothing we heard of that actually happened when the year 2000 rolled in.

To have some fun prior to the eventful night, a few of us dressed up as Y2K bugs in a company contest. People in the restaurant we went to for lunch thought we were a bit strange, , , they were probably right, , , but we won the contest and that was a big deal.

y2k bugsThe Y2K Bugs

Best day of my life – marrying Miss Dorine

6 03 2016

December 26, 1970, , , home on leave to marry Dorine. It was the start of something special.


Dorine Louque “Sisco”, my best friend and now my wife

Dorine_Mike_wedding3The wedding party

Bogey and me

28 02 2016

After getting discharged from the US Marine Corps, I went back to school to get my degree. It was the mid-1970’s and a different time. Sitting here with our Irish Setter – Bogey.


From my IBM Scrapbook

3 01 2015

I began my career with IBM back in the late 1970’s when small and mid-size companies were buying their first computer. It was an exciting time called the “mini-computer days”.

One of the things I remember most was the great fun we had at IBM amidst some very hard work and long hours. It was a great experience where I learned the value of “working hard and playing hard”.

You may be experiencing some of the best time of your career right now. You owe it to yourself to capture a few memories along the way.

Here are a few photos from my IBM days:

Mike Sisco_IBMReceiving an award from Bryan Hathcock, , , Jim Cockerham and Jim Richie

Ginger and I receive Salesman of the Month honors from Macon Lee

After the meeting we played golf and had a big cookout, something we did once a year and it was great spending time on the big houseboat on the lake

A presentation in an off-site event

It was the days of the 3-piece suit and white shirts, , , an early presentation

Ron Scarbrough and me after a sales call

This is what it’s all about, , , my two senior mentors who helped me so much in my early career are on both sides as I receive a Regional IBM Manager’s Award.
Macon Lee, Charles Carroll, Me, Jim Cockerham, Jeannie Brunson

Charles Carroll and Jim Cockerham influenced my career considerably and I’ll always owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

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