Looking Up

I’m on the 6:15 am Acela out of New York heading home. We emerge from the Penn Station tunnel and on the left is one of the great sights anywhere, the New York skyline, East River, and then the Hellespoint Bridge. The first class car is pretty empty, and the three men sitting on that side are all immersed in their iPhones and newspapers. No one looks up. I know they’ve probably seen it before, but I used to live …


Dining Out

We dine out every evening with rare exception, so I feel qualified to offer some advice to the restaurant industry (oh, yeah, I’m also not a bad consultant): Your hostess is the first and last person with whom I interact. If she can’t smile and be pleasant, fire her. Her job is to seat me quickly and cordially, not to do her paperwork or romance the computer. “The chef will be preparing” and “the veal will be coming with….” are …


Credit Where Due

The Social Security Administration is a wonderful surprise among government bureaucracies. The “hold” times are brief on the phone, the agents are incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and the web site is intelligent and informative. Is there any way they can take over the DMV?



I received this today in response to the June 12 Monday Morning Memo, which can also find here on the blog: Dear Alan Each day the American people exist, civilization thrives. So, please, go forward! And boldly. Thank you for your insights. Roberto Lopes Photoghrapher and Writer Light Pilgrim  –  Creativity and Photography for Prosperity and Peace Curitiba – Brazil


Nesting Syndrome

Some of us build nests that are so comfortable we try never to leave them. Here are the conditions: Unconscious competency: We have insufficient self-awareness to realize what must be changed and/or improved. Allowing the continuance of what merely works and not trying to shake things up. Not offering new value to existing clients. Not soliciting referrals. “King of the Hill Phenomenon”: We’re never challenged by others. We become great at problem solving but fail to innovate. We don’t make …


Wait, What?

We’re dining last night in a restaurant next to the venue where we’re about to see a ballet, where my wife is a long-time board member. As we’re about to leave, my wife spies two of her fellow board members across the way. She says to me, “You MUST go over and say hello, they see us here!” So, I turn the charm dial to maximum (“I can’t give you any more power, Captain, or the warp drive will surely …


Give Me the Ball, There’s Still Time

The Boston Celtics won their opening round playoff series after losing the first two of the best-of-seven games at home. They won the next four in a row on the road and at home. Now they’ve won their first game in the next series, for five playoff wins in a row. The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl after being down a record number of points early in the third quarter. The Boston Red Sox won a World Series …


Lifestorming

I find that too many “experts” are trying to identify the age we live in. Is it digital, or information, or global, or chaotic? At the time, no one knew they were in the agrarian or industrial ages. Retrospect and history provided those identifiers. Who knows what today will be known as in a hundred years? Who cares? We need to stop labeling things—particularly generations of people—as if they all can be categorized and dropped into a neatly defined drawer. …


All Aboard

It’s 8 am and the Acela is pulling out of Penn Station in New York, silently and stealthily, passing hundreds of arriving commuters from local train mere feet away from the tracks. They are trudging, infantry-like, down the platform and up the escalators, heads down, backpacks swaying, resolute and without choices. They are marching into a never-ending battle that will always be a stalemate, because no matter what they accomplish or fail to accomplish today, they will be doing the same …