The Wrong Rocket For The Right Reason

Every Fourth of July, my Dad told the story. It must have been true, because he always told it the same way.

He was about eleven years old. Family members, friends, and neighbors of the rural community had gathered to celebrate the holiday. There, under a big shade tree, were tables loaded with food ready to soon be eaten, and surrounded by everyone having a good visit.

As expected, the four boys there, including him, were roaming around looking for something to do. Sure, as all boys always are, they were hungry. They had already eyed the tables and were … Read the rest “The Wrong Rocket For The Right Reason”

Thirty-Four Pounds Of Goodness

Honest, I just got back from a good ride and felt I had to tell you.

Back in 1994, I was walking down a dock at a marina in Stuart, Florida. With hands in pockets and nothing on my mind, I saw a small folding bicycle to which was taped a scrawly written sign reading: “For Sale — $39”.

Yes, said the well-tanned captain who emerged from the innards of a nearby sailboat, it belonged to his former wife. At different ports along the U.S. east coast and throughout the Caribbean, she’d used it to go buy groceries or other … Read the rest “Thirty-Four Pounds Of Goodness”

Steady As She Goes

Dawn was beginning to break. The woman and her dog were standing there looking out across the river. As I approached, she looked at me, smiled, then turned her face back toward the brightening sky.

The sun had already cleared the horizon, but water vapor and thin wisps of clouds were keeping the dazzle from being too difficult to look at.

She acknowledged my presence and said she generally walked the dog at the same time every morning.

Neither she nor the large and obviously old dog seemed to be in a hurry. On this particular morning, neither was I, … Read the rest “Steady As She Goes”

Being Scared While Having Fun

Rick called me the other day. No reason, he explained. Just wanted to talk.

He told me he’d finally gotten around to starting what I had urged him to do — write a book about his life. He’d already given it the tentative title of My First Life As I Remember It. He’d told me enough about his adventures when he was years younger that I agreed the title was most appropriate.

I mean, this guy has stories that will have you on the edge of your chair anticipating or falling off it with laughter.

He’s already written poems so … Read the rest “Being Scared While Having Fun”

The Quest For The Best

In a recent interview, a retired CEO of a large corporation said that if he were to do it again, he’d greatly slim down the usually overstuffed Human Resources section.

Gone would be such supposedly necessary components as younger staffers screening older job seekers, forms filled with trick questions, and tests involving play-acting. Instead, he said, all he’d need is five minutes of eye-to-eye conversation with a job candidate to know whether to offer the applicant a job or thank them for trying.

In similar fashion, I can relate to that. As a journalist I had only a few minutes … Read the rest “The Quest For The Best”

Notes Of Life’s Song

Here’s an unfolding of your life with you filling in the blanks according to the correct age bracket. Following those are some general points to think about.

In your twenties? Most of your life has been devoted to formal education. At last, you’re venturing into the job market, trying to find what best matches your interests and skills. Your social life is maturing. You’re discovering the challenges of becoming an adult

In your thirties? You’ve probably found a partner. Your mission in life is finally taking shape, your passions being realized. Although the learning curve is steep and moving at … Read the rest “Notes Of Life’s Song”

The Challenge And The Thrill

Read most any account by or about the world’s greatest explorers such as Magellan, Columbus, or Byrd, and you’ll find this common thread: Repeatedly challenged by what was required to get there, they were excited by what they found.

Back then, “challenge” was a one-word term that covered a wide range of conditions.  Some were expected or anticipated, others were surprises because early explorers had little to no information with which to guide their actions. Instead, and often with loss of life, they had to discover for themselves what they suddenly and without warning had to overcome.

Upon arriving, however, … Read the rest “The Challenge And The Thrill”

The Illogical Side Of Logical

The new and already occupied house was down the street, around the corner, and on the same side of the canal as our Florida vacation house.

Five years after that and soon after we’d arrived for our usual late winter stay, I noticed the house was vacant. Grass lopped over the sidewalk; overgrown shrubs crowded the house. Inside, the floor was covered with dust and dirt.

On the porch, however, was a box with a USPS label indicating it had been delivered more than a month before. The label included the recipient’s name and address plus that of the sender, … Read the rest “The Illogical Side Of Logical”

Yesterday’s Treasures For Today’s Challenges

The question isn’t whether this is a valid topic, but rather from which mountain can it best be approached. Take the high road and you’ll see this sign: The past is the only sure thing in the world. Everything else is a possibility.

The past can’t be changed or eliminated. Good, bad, or indifferent, it’s here to stay. Indeed, the past is what drives the future. Technology does that by improving what we’re already doing and converting dreams into reality.

One of the best examples of that is the strategy Steve Jobs used to make Apple one of the world’s … Read the rest “Yesterday’s Treasures For Today’s Challenges”

Could, Should, And Dare Do

If you’ve been waiting for a push, you’re about to get it, starting with what you’ve longed to do, but dared not try — not enough grit or courage, not enough time or money. Beginning now, though, you’re going to change every “no” to “yes.” It’s time to create the memorable.

Here are a few examples to fire your imagination and get you started. If none are a good fit, come up with your own along with a plan of action.

Fly around the world: Pick a city from which to leave, then fly around the world and return to … Read the rest “Could, Should, And Dare Do”