Undeniable Proof That Everything’s Going To Be Okay

With all the political upheaval, economic chaos and mass shootings going on, it’s hard to have a positive outlook on the world. But trust me, everything’s going to be okay. IDisneyland Parking 1 have irrefutable proof that the humanity in this world will save us from the constant disaster you see on cable news.

My proof is this receipt, from Disneyland, the Happiest Place On Earth. Driving into the parking lot the second day of our visit, I was feeling beat down. Like many parents heading into the park, I was bleeding cash. Over $1500 for a two-day visit.

Approaching the parking lot cashier, my Manic Impressive tendencies took over to salvage some economic dignity. I cut the young woman off before she could quote me a price by saying,      “Oh, it’s okay, we’re not parking.” Confused as to why I was heading into the parking lot not to park, she shot me a quizzical look. I continued. “We’re just going into the park for a while, gonna go on some rides, have some lunch, get a few souvenirs and we’ll be on our way. So we’re not parking.”

The quizzical look turned sly, and she said, “Oh, well since you’re not parking, then I guess I shouldn’t charge you anything.” And in that moment, an employee of the Most Capitalistic Place On Earth risked the wrath of Michael Eisner and played along. She rung up $00.00 on the cash register and wished us a great day.

I was pretty damned thrilled. After I didn’t park the car, we enjoyed the park and I stopped sweating the dollars. Sure, she only saved me $12, but it was, to me, a significant omen.

Why did she cut me slack? Here’s my theory: Continue reading Undeniable Proof That Everything’s Going To Be Okay

3 Crucial Stages to a Successful Launch


My favorite part of flying lasts about 2 seconds. It comes after the worst part of the flight, when we’re strapped into our full upright positions without our electronics or air conditioning. Then the engines fire, noise fills the cabin, and we’re barreling down the runway as the whole craft bumps and shakes.

At about 180 mph, the nose of the plane points up, the rear wheels leave the ground, and there is a moment where we physically break Earth’s gravitational force.

This is my favorite part. My stomach gets queasy from the torque of breaking Earth’s grip. But in less than 2 seconds the queasy fades and I feel joy  – we’re up, we’re free. Then we climb, level off, seats and tray tables recline, the AC kicks in, and we’re in that effortless place of just maintaining altitude. Continue reading 3 Crucial Stages to a Successful Launch

Why You Should Stop Specializing and Become a Jack of All Trades

vitruvian man

“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”  Robert Heinlen

In olden times people were encouraged to produce creative work in their daily lives. A man would build his house, plant his garden, paint landscapes, write sonnets, perform music, and make all types of household goods like furniture, belts and brandy. The world was full of people with interesting skills, and they were celebrated for their wide-ranging talents. 

A Renaissance Man, as he would be called, could do it all, and with flair. A Renaissance Man was an artist, athlete, carpenter, mechanic, medic, musician, poet, philosopher and writer. Depending on the situation, he could also be a gentleman, a rascal, a fighter or an imp.

But he was never just one thing. He was all things (*She was too, but for the sake of brevity I’m using the masculine form. Ladies, you can be a Renaissance woMan too).

Then along came the 80’s and everything changed. You had to specialize. Nobody was interested in you being “well rounded”. No one wanted you to look “distinctive”. You could have a mustache but no beard, and short hair wasn’t allowed. You had to choose between a feathered wave parted down the middle, or a mullet (business up front, party in the back). Big hair was mandatory (*ladies, you had big hair too, but please substitute panty hose for Mullet).

This era brought in the idea that creative men (*yeah, yeah, you get the drill) were focused. They specialized so they could become expert in one area. You needed to know a lot about a very few things to be useful. If you knew a little about a lot of things, you were a Jack of All Trades, Master of None. Very bad thing. Not the path to success. Continue reading Why You Should Stop Specializing and Become a Jack of All Trades

The Greatest

Ali Atlanta IIIIn 1996 the Olympic Torch was run 1300 miles by 800 people across the country of Greece, then flown to Los Angeles. There it began a 16,199 mile journey across the United States to the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Over 12,000 Olympians and American citizens ran a flaming torch across 42 states, on bicycles, boats and trains, to the opening  of the games.

4-time gold medalist Al Oerter ran the touch into Olympic Stadium to begin the opening ceremony. He handed it off to bronze medalist and reigning heavyweight boxing champ, Evander Holyfield, who passed it to swimmer Janet Evans. Winner of 3 Olympic gold medals and 4 world records, Janet had been given the honor of running the torch the final lap around the track.

Janet finished her lap and headed up the final ramp to the Olympic Flame, symbol of the games. But she did not light the flame. Instead, she lit the torch held by another Olympian, hidden in the wings, perhaps the most respected and beloved human on the planet.

Muhammad Ali.

He stood there a moment holding the torch, arms  shaking with the palsy of his disease. Millions of us stood in front of our TVs, cheering along with the crowd in the stadium, in one of the most inspiring, poignant, and emotional moments in Olympic history. Then, in his final Olympic appearance,  Ali lit the flame and the games began.

Last week, 20 years after that moment and a decades long battle with Parkinson’s disease, Muhammad Ali died at age 74. Continue reading The Greatest


CommutersFirst, I want to thank all you commuters out there. Thank you for doing it so I don’t have to. I admire your strength and endurance.

I don’t believe in commuting. Sure, I used to, but after a strong, concerted effort, I got local. That was 7 years ago and I haven’t commuted since. Until yesterday. Had a big important meeting in the City. Left home at 7 am, got home at 7 pm. Stood for close to 2 hours on packed trains.

I was out of my normal routine and making a mess of things. Got out the door late. Wasn’t going to make my scheduled train. In traffic, I slowly realized I wasn’t going to make my backup train either. Not at the station at the end of the line where I’d get a seat. Diverted en route to a closer station. Better to stand than to be late.

But there were no open parking spaces. Desperate, I parked in a permit-only space, ran across the pedestrian bridge, forgot to pay for parking, and in the time it took for my credit card to fail twice, I missed my train. Technically I made my train, but not into it. The doors closed right in front of me and I could only groan as it slowly pulled out of the station. Without me.

Mathematically, I could still be on time. The next train was scheduled to arrive 2 minutes before the start of this super important meeting. If I hustled and took the right exit from the station, just maybe… Continue reading Grace