High Speed, Low Service

I’ve traveled in first class on the high speed trains in the UK, France, Spain, and Italy. They all go faster than the US Acela, which can reach 186 MPH in theory, but usually only hits about 150 MPH and then only on limited stretches of track. (To give you a comparison, my Bentley is rated at 205 MPH, and let’s just say I know it can go over 150 without breathing hard. It’s faster than the train without traffic.) …


Pick Up the Check

I’ve had people in my workshops order internet in the conference room so they had access and attempt to put it on my bill! I’ve had people who ordered special food—lattes, or eggs—to augment what I was offering, and charge it to me. I had one guy, who thankfully left my community for good when he was ostracized, try to order Louis XIII when I offered after-dinner drinks on one occasion (it goes for $250 a glass). I’ve seen people …




On Your Feet!

I attended still another mediocre, self-absorbed, theatrical conceit last night, and the audience members dutifully jumped to their feet at the conclusion. The actors were certainly outstanding, with a single exception, so I’d like to think they were the ones being honored more than the production, which was an idiosyncratic bore for the entire first act. One of the greatest declines in society has been the loss of taste. It’s as if a limited amount of class and substance have …


Days of Yore

My son used to call my own adolescence as “the days of yore.” Yet there are some interesting memories. My cohort is the eldest of the Baby Boomer generation. Our grammar school, in an inner city, was a former cheese factory, where there was always poison positioned for the omnipresent rats.   Periodically, a doctor and nurse came into the classroom and checked each student’s hair for lice. If any were found, the student was sent home and had to …


In Case You Were Wondering What I Was Thinking

• We muster all this fuss and media attention over a gambling endeavor, PowerBall, and we can’t generate even a tenth of that for the decrepit nature and outdated policies of inner city schools? Are we simply raising kids with the hope that someday they’ll hit a zillion-to-one shot? • Say what you want about Ted Cruz, he’s the first person to put The Donald in his place in public, and brilliantly so, in last night’s debate. • The “great” …


2015 Enigmas

Amy Schumer is bold, off-color, risk-taking—and not very funny. After hearing so much about her, I watched her HBO special (directed by Chris Rock, no less, but how do you “direct” a standup comedy routine?). I laughed three times over the course of an hour. When will the other candidates realize that Trump grabs headlines because he’s refreshingly different in a process where everyone is vanilla and bland? Who on earth thinks that automated phone calls will convince someone to …


Get Rich Quick (Or Maybe Not)

I recall the old multi-level marketing (Ponzi Scheme) pitch that went: “I’m making more money part time today than I did in my full time job. Come to our meeting tomorrow night.”  At the meeting, some guy with a diamond pinky ring and an ostentatious Caddy showed us how we could make money selling detergent or phone cards—oh, and also by recruiting new members. Today, we’re asked to subscribe to series of videos and seminars to learn what? To learn …


When I was young, my friends and I spent a lot of time trying to stay OUT of trouble. Our parents would yell from the windows if we played ball in the streets (we’d move around the block), or if we were in a fight, or if we were making too much noise, or whatever. Our teachers would scold us for talking in class, sending notes, not completing assignments, making fun of classmates, and so on. Store owners would warn …