Deflated Balls and Inflated Egos

When I spoke at chapter meetings for professional speakers, and I was the most successful person in the room by a factor of 1,000, some people would say, “He’s really a consultant, you can’t judge your success against his.” When I spoke at consultants’ meetings with the same ratio, they would say, “He’s really a speaker, you can’t judge your success against his.”   This is how small minds react to excellence: find a way to discount it and pretend …


Aging Gracefully

Here’s what I’ve learned about aging gracefully:   It’s no big deal that you don’t even recognize the featured guest on a talk show or presenters at award ceremonies. They’ll be gone and replaced in a few months. You’re not losing your sense of humor or relevancy because you don’t think late night talk show monologues are funny. They’re not, and this is the worst bunch in memory. Not being able to recognize or name half of the cars you …


BOO!!

I live in Rhode Island, yet I was astonished to hear Denver fans booing Peyton Manning during the Bronco’s loss to the Colts yesterday. And now there should be a penalty for piling on, as the press salivates about Manning having to face retirement. At the outset of this season, quarterback Aaron Rodgers was questioned in Green Bay (to which he replied famously, “relax”) and Tom Brady was supposed to be over the hill in New England, where they also …


Provocative Thoughts At Year-End

Will we finally ignore the Chicken Little alarmists who insist that everything from Ebola to dandelions are a global threat, and we’re all doomed? No one should be allowed to critique treatment of terrorist prisoners without acknowledging that ISIS beheads innocent civilians. Restoring ties with Cuba is long overdue and capitalism will undermine the Castro revolution as long last. This is probably the single act of Obama’s in six years I can fully support. Anyone who insists their child not …


Random Thoughts

• I’m starting to root for the zombies in “The Walking Dead.” Unlike the unsatisfactory endings for “The Sopranos” and “Boardwalk Empire,” I know how this one should end. Slurp. • Remember when we were going to have $5 per gallon gas prices? The price is under $3 in many places now. • Imagine if 10% off all funds raised for these mid-term elections had to be donated to disease research and cure? • Only in America can we have …


The Commuting Conundrum

I’m sitting in my New York hotel catching up on email and writing with the TV on in the background at 8 am. Bear in mind that I am originally a New Yorker and I’m here very often. I know the place well and thrive here. Few things surprise me. The TV traffic reporter is noting matter-of-factly that the delays at the George Washington bridge are 30 minutes, the Holland Tunnel 20 minutes, and the Lincoln Tunnel 40 minutes. That …


Questions

Some nagging questions that go unanswered: • Why are so many people globally trying to learn English while so many people in the US aren’t bothering? • Why would a restaurant hire a woman with no personality whatsoever and make her the hostess? • Why do only 10% of the drivers in Rhode Island know how to parallel park? (Some have to take a cab from where they leave their car to the curb.) • Who buys a condo on …


Why I Love London

• The cabs are clean, can hold 5-6 people comfortably, and the drivers know where everything is. You’re lucky if you get a cab driver in New York who knows where the Empire State Building is, and the cab will stink while he yaks in a foreign language on a cell phone. • No one honks car horns. The city is bustling, streets are crowded, but the noise level is very low. • Harrods. • Tipping is not an issue. …


I Spy

Now there’s a kerfluffle about our spying on our good friend and ally, Germany. I would imagine we “spy” on a lot of people, just as a lot of people spy on us, including our allies. All countries operate in their own self-interest, and gathering intelligence seems like a necessity. (For example, are the Germans providing the means for their companies to make money by breaking the embargo against Iran? I have no idea, but our government probably feels it …


California Dreaming

Remember the Momas and the Papas? California Dreamin’ was one of their best efforts. I”ve been here for the week, in Beverly Hills, probably in one of the best suites in one of the best hotels—The Peninsula. We’ve wined and dined lavishly, and here are my current reflections on the California Dream: • The place is so over-regulated it makes Obama look like a hands-off guy. There are warnings and rules and laws about everything. This morning, a formal wall …