Ice Stormed

My 6th birthday was January 27th, 1967. Having a birthday during the winter can limit the options for birthday activities, but at least it was a month past Christmas, so I never felt like I got cheated by combining my birthday with the holiday. There was enough distance to justify presents for both, even if […]

Spelling Bee

Even though I’ve never been a star athlete or big trophy winner, I’ve always been competitive. Whether it was playing Chutes and Ladders or racing bikes from school to home, I always competed to come in first. That rarely paid off in wins, but I still fought to do as well as I could. Since […]

Hood Ornament

Today, cars are full of safety features. Air bags, anti-lock brakes, stability control are common. Many cars even have anti-collision features that automatically stop the car in an emergency. In the 1960s, cars weren’t nearly as sophisticated. Seat belt use wasn’t a common thing back then. Mom’s safety protocol consisted of swinging her arm out […]

Through the Wringer

I’ve always been fascinated by mechanical things. If it rolled, rotated or ran, I wanted to figure out how. Grandma lived next door to us, and while Mom was at work, I was home from school, or just bored, I spent a lot of time at Grandma’s house. Grandma gave me a lot of freedom […]

Quitting Time

Have you ever been so frustrated (or tired, or upset)….that you just wanted to quit? I know the feeling. I’ve been there lots of times….from jobs that seemed to be going nowhere, to relationships that didn’t seem to work anymore, to goals I’ve been pursuing……that didn’t seem to be worth pursuing as much.  Some times, […]

Too Right Makes a Wrong…

Have you ever felt that you HAD to be right about something? When the local radio station reads their daily trivia question, do you rush to the phone to be the first caller with the right answer? When someone misquotes a famous saying, gets a fact or figure wrong or makes a mistake, do you […]

A Part of Something Bigger….

Tomorrow morning, at 7:55, I’ll be running in the 39th Marine Corps Marathon. It’s my 2nd MCM, and 3rd Marathon….although it’s been a while since the last one. I ran my first marathon in 1989. I got into NYC, and woefully undertrained for it. On top of that, I made the mistake of starting near […]

Hump Day

I’m sure lots of us have seen the GEICO commercial where car insurance customers are ‘happier than a camel on Wednesday’. The middle of the week is a place where we’re more focused on the upcoming weekend than the start of the week. Thursday and Friday, things seem to go just a little bit smoother […]

Goal, Interrupted

How many times have you set out towards a goal, only to have life throw an obstacle in your path? Did it stop you, slow you down, or send you in a different direction? I can’t count the times that I’ve set a goal, committed myself to it, made it public……only to have something get […]

Customer Detention

Many of us have had to wade through circuituous interactive voice response (IVR) systems, or struggle through clunky call agent scripts to deal with a customer service issue. Few people, however, have experienced the epic service battle that AOL VP Ryan Block experienced. After 9 years with Comcast, Ryan chose a new provider, and called […]