Thank You Very Much

I bemoan service standards in Europe, Australia, and South America (and Canada) as being far below those of the US. But Asia is right up there, and far better on the airlines. At JAL first class, a woman escorted us to the proper area and another came out from her station and invited us to check in. This was handled within two minutes. A man appeared and removed our luggage from the cart, and a second took the checked bags …


Japanese Choo Choos

The train system here in Japan is very impressive. The efficiency makes the Germans seem like bumbling amateurs, and I was always impressed by the German excellence in engineering and precision. These trains run at about 200 MPH normally (my Bentley’s top speed is rated at 205, but I wouldn’t try that unless I was on a sand flat in Utah). Our 787 landed at about 190 MPH. They pull into the station two minutes prior to departure, and the …



The Grinder

In the early 1950s, a very old man would walk to the neighborhood ringing a large bell. He carried a heavy grindstone on his back. He’d set it down on a corner and women would come down (or send children down) with scissors and knives to sharpen. He would carefully turn the wheel and hone the blades for five cents a piece. When he was done, he’d haul the wheel onto his back again, pick up his bell, and walk …


Adventures in Germany

• I returned to enter the meeting room while my partner, Matt, was running the program. A manager in the hall stopped me and said, “That meeting is already in session, are you sure you’re in the right place?” I pointed to the picture of me on the wall with the meeting name.  He did a triple take. “You are so much better looking in person, sir,” he said as he opened the door for me. • I told one …


A Christmas Story

Some mornings I take the dogs for coffee and biscuits to Dunkin’ Donuts. The (mostly) women behind the drive-through window are cordial and fun at 6:30 in the morning. They smile, talk to the dogs, are very polite, and are clearly appreciative of the small tip that the change represents. Many of them have their hair and makeup attractively done, which means their day must have started around 5 or so. I’m guessing they work for minimum wage or close …


My Average Day

Okay, so I began my day talking to two world-class thought leaders to appear at my events, then wrapped up the 25th Anniversary Edition of Million Dollar Consulting, which McGraw-Hill is thrilled about, then became a carnie and ran the Minion booth for our church festival. The classic was when I showed up and the volunteer supervisor asked, “Do you think you can handle this?”


Wind

I’m in the study of our house in Nantucket, the breakers 30 yards away. It’s 6:30 am on a cloudy, blustery morning. The flag, down near the water and waving from a 40-foot pole, is taking a beating. The hammock on the deck is roiling like a restless sleeper having a frightening nightmare. Even the waves are losing their crests to the unforgiving winds. Meanwhile, a rabbit sits a few feet away on the lawn studying the breakfast options surrounding …


The Dog Star: FedEx Discretion

(The Dog Star is a symbol of power, will, and steadfastness of purpose, and exemplifies the One who has succeeded in bridging the lower and higher consciousness. – Astrological Definition) I hear the bridge alarm this morning and go out the front door holding onto Bentley. The driver walks up the steps, and I said, “Sorry I can’t send him to fetch it.” Driver: “Looks to me like he’d fetch a body part….”  


El Capitan

Have you been reading about these two guys free climbing the toughest face of El Capitan  in Yosemite Park? “Free climbing” means you use no ropes (except as an emergency in a fall) and climb only using hands and feet in crevices in the rock face. This particular climb is on a rather sheer rock face, with overhangs and some requirements to leap to the next possible indentations in the rock. They often fail in a move, and the safety …