Are you smart enough for your phone?

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“We live in a globally connected world.” We hear this all the time. It was not long ago when we were connected to something else, the world right around us. I remember the warm mid-Atlantic summers as a kid. I would wake up and change from my Star Trek pajamas to my plaid pants, with the blue sewed on knee patches, and a rugby shirt. Then off to the kitchen for my favorite Saturday morning breakfast, a bowl of Captain Crunch and a glass of Tang. After breakfast, I headed out on my hand painted metallic purple bike, with the blue banana seat, for a day at the tree fort in the woods near my home (no helmet by the way). Continue reading “Are you smart enough for your phone?”

We the people…

ronaldreagan183966

I was out for a run this morning with my dog Scout and thinking about what to write in my next blog. Scout is a 7 year old yellow lab-golden mix. He is a good dog, but admittedly, not a great dog. What he lacks is trail manners. He means well, but some hikers don’t appreciate it when Scout introduces himself to their well-behaved, often leashed, Fido. Scout listens well at times, but only when he is really tired and ready to go home and catch up on his 20 hours of daily sleep. But it’s tough to run or bike with Continue reading “We the people…”

Lost in America

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I was on a business trip recently to a small town in upstate New York. This New England style town reminded me of visiting my Grandmother’s house in Pittsburg when I was a kid. I can still hear the sound of the wooden floorboards creaking on my grandmother’s grand staircase that had something you called a “banister.” This town was clearly an old industrial town that held the promise of what used to be. No Starbucks for 20 miles and people actually drank water from the tap. While there, I never saw a redbox, and I’m guessing if I asked about Uber someone would have handed me a Kleenex. It felt locked in time. A time without cell phones, Internet, or bottled water. A time of kick-the-can and family trips in the station wagon. When I handed my credit card to the waitress, Sam, at the diner, she stared at me and said, “We don’t take credit, only cash.” Uh-oh, how am I going to eat this week?! “Apple pay?” I asked. “What?” She responded, “You want to pay with apples?” I glanced out to the parking lot to make sure I hadn’t arrived here in a silver DeLorean. Anyone here know Marty McFly? Calvin Klein perhaps?

Continue reading “Lost in America”

Socks with Sandals

Socks-Sandals

I never was much of a sandals guy. Even as a kid, I never wore flip flops, I’d rather go barefoot than have that rubber piece stuck between my toes. I’m still not big on wearing flip flops or sandals. I do, however, enjoy wearing socks with sandals. It’s comfortable and it still let’s my feet breathe. My kids laugh at me and tell me it’s “socially unacceptable.” This from the generation in which girls wear their PJ’s to go shopping and guys wear “man-buns!” Maybe it’s the white socks that’s the problem. “What if I wear black socks?” I ask, “day-glow green perhaps?” Socks with sandals was voted the biggest faux pas of all time back in 2013, according to Debenhams Press Center.

But social norms are, well, often not normal when you take a long view. They change with each generation and sometimes come back a generation or two later. If my wife styled her hair like women used to do in the 80’s, my kids would think she got her finger stuck in the electric socket. Even my 80’s hairstyle brings laughter when we look at old pictures. See, I was 5’10”, but 6’1” with the afro (what a great line from Airplane!). On the other hand, in the 90’s, I used to have a pair of high top converse with one red shoe and one blue shoe. It was always a conversation piece, but today converse are in style and multi-color would likely catch on quickly (hey, maybe I started that trend, why don’t my kids realize just how cool I am?).

From my point of view, if it’s comfortable, you like it, and it’s not vulgar, go for it and don’t worry what others think. If it really is comfortable, others will feel the same way. You may be starting the next trend. Oh, and by the way, both David Beckham and Justin Bieber have been seen recently wearing socks and sandals. I’m sure there are plenty more closet sock-sandal wearers out there. Who knows, my kids may be among them!

I’d love to hear what you think. Post a comment in my blog and share where you stand within the sock-sandal debate.

“Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1)

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Well Day…

After an intense month at work, I decided to take a day off and get in a day on the slopes. I was talking with a guy in the gondola who asked about my work. Since it was a Wednesday, he concluded that I must be taking a sick day. “Actually,” I told him, “I’m taking a well day.” I explained that you take a sick day when you are sick and need to get well. You take a well day when you are well and want to avoid getting sick. “Hmm,” he responded, “So you’re taking a vacation day?” I replied, “Not really.” See vacations are well planned events that may, or may not, result in your returning to work refreshed and ready to dig in. How often have you heard the expression, “I need a vacation from my vacation?” We all love Disneyworld, but a visit with Mickey often ends with sore feet, exhausted parents, and a much lighter wallet! A well day, on the other hand, is spontaneous. It is a down day, R&R, some much needed recuperation time. It is in direct response to the feeling of, “I really need a day off!” Well days rejuvenate you and, if done properly, can have you back at work with vigor and a clear mind after just one day away from the office.

I know what you are thinking, but don’t, I am dedicated to my work and I’m sure you are too. In fact, here in America, we have a reputation for hard work, long hours, and taking shortened vacations where we remain plugged into the office. A recent article in Forbes states that Americans average 47 hours of work a week. That’s nearly a full extra day of work a week! The result, stressed out employees slamming down coffee as they tackle the many tasks and emails in front of them. Many corporations are incorporating wellness programs and adding foosball tables and relaxation pods to the corporate break room. So why not add “well days” to the offering? A recent study (here) states that happy employees are 12% more productive at work. These well days should be used sparingly, but one or two unexpected days off during the year just might boost productivity and create a happier workforce!

Remember that guy on the gondola? His phone rang during the ride. He didn’t answer it, but told me that he only brought the phone so he could take a picture and send it to his workmates who were stuck at work. I’m not sure if that was good for morale, but it seemed to make his well day all the more satisfying!

“Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while” Mark (6:31)

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Play Ball!!

“Play ball!” we hear from the deep, commanding voice of the umpire. It’s springtime and across the country ball games are in full swing. From Little League to the pros, it’s time for America’s favorite pastime. At a time when the earth is waking up around us, optimism fills every city, town, and rural community. This could be the year! And so it is in the land of opportunity. The great American spirit, and the promise for the future, make us all believers. Don’t miss the excitement! Take time this week to get out to a local ball park and support your team. Who knows, your team may go all the way. For me, I’m optimistic. With opening day happening this week, my team is still undefeated!

Facebook, the real me…

My sister-in-law recently posted the following quote on Facebook; “If only your life was as good as you make it out to be on Facebook.” I got a chuckle out of that. So what’s not to believe about my Facebook life? Of course I spend every day hanging out, hiking, biking, attending concerts and ball games, and enjoying an adult beverage. Oh and I smile non-stop as well, because I got that Facebook kind of life! In reality, I spend less than 5% of my time doing things that I would post on Facebook. Who wants to see me sitting behind a computer screen, in traffic, or eating potato chips while watching Andy Griffith reruns? But this is one of the great things about humanity. We are optimists and we remember life grander, funnier, and sunnier than when we first experienced it. Facebook becomes a tool Continue reading “Facebook, the real me…”