Thursday, October 10, 2013

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

   Like many quotes, this one from Oscar Wilde is easy to say, and casually think "Sure, that's me".

   I'd say being yourself requires an incredible amount of energy. The forces of the universe conspire against you. Without knowing it, we conform in ways both large and small. When we buy a brand of any type, or expound particular beliefs, how was the decision really made?

   In fact, being yourself requires a conscious effort to examine the beliefs that dictate the lifestyle we lead, the lunch we'll eat, the vacation we take, the candidate we'll vote for in an election. For each of these, there is likely someone with a vested interest trying to influence you.

   How to fight it? Only by deciding conciously what you'll do. Even then, the myriad of influencers swirl around in such abundance it is hard to know where reality ends and spin begins.

   Will Rogers summed it up, "Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like." So the problem isn't new.

   If you consistently ask yourself if what you are doing is important to you that might be a start. Everything hinges on your ability to be honest with yourself.  If you can do that,  you are on your way.

   The rewards are fantastic once you get past the darting glances. There is nothing people have more trouble with than looking in the mirror. By being yourself you confront their anxiety over the same issue. 

   Don't wait for thank you cards. You won't get any.  Instead thank yourself for stepping off the treadmill. 

   Living your life on your terms is something to be truly grateful for. Enjoy it.  

   But keep a wary eye on yourself.  You can change, but the world won't stop trying to lure you back.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


   Borrowed from my beloved urban dictionary, the e-void is:

   Avoiding someone electronically such as on Facebook, e-mail, IM, or text messages.

   It's ok, from what I understand this is a common phenomena with newly minted authors. You send friends your new book, figuring that they'll gladly bound through it. LMFAO. Not! 

   Apparently asking people who know you to read your book has a powerful cosmic effect on them, rendering them unable to respond to your queries, calls or any other commonly used means of communication. My guess is that they think that since they know you, they figure wtf could possibly be interesting about your writing. 

  Perhaps valid. But it is an interesting phenomena. Several people who I do not know, have raved about "Alphabet Success", with a couple people asking about potential speaking gigs. No exaggeration. Since I am "unknown" I am possessed of special powers. The old rule "A good consultant is one is who has flown in" is certainly at play.

   My guess, it is sort of the rejection of the familiar. If you know me, I must have already told you any important stuff you'd benefit from, and the fact that I decided to organize my thinking means reading the book would be like repeating a grade in high school (not desirable).

   Having said that, I think if I sent the same people an e-mail that I had re-built a 68 Corvette, and they should pop by for a look, they'd be there post-haste. Just to be clear, I am not going to re-build any sort of car. A dirty keyboard is about as close to manual labor as I get.

   Of equal importance, the new book doesn't mean I am going to wear a bow tie and cravat. Nor will I start smoking a pipe in my favorite leather chair and start wearing blazers with patches on the elbows. But most importantly, if you don't want to read it, just have the balls to say so. One friend bowed out, and I am completely cool with that.  I didn't make it this far in life as an emotional cripple. 

   But since there is an obvious e-void into which I have entered, I want to public acknowledge complete amnesty for those who don't want to read, or even discuss the book. But I'm still putting it on you to "man-up" and say as much. Isn't that what friends do?

   Anyhow, I'm not mad, just a bit surprised by people's hesitation to just bow out gracefully.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Read it, apply it, realize it. FREE! Umm....did I mention....FREE!

   My last post was about the fact that my book had finally made it on to's Kindle site. So that is the first step in a process. Great to "write it down", quite another to get people interested. I'm all dressed up and alone at my party! Boo-hoo... But wait, maybe you can help!

   With that idea in mind, I am promoting the book today to reducing the price to the incredibly democratic price of ZERO. Yep, today you will be able to download the book for FREE beginning at midnight PST in the USA, which is 9:00am for those of you in Central Europe, 10:00am in the UK and 3:00am for insomniacs on the East Coast of the USA.

   My motivation? To get people to try it. What would I really like? Seriously? A positive review on Now you might think, what will my review do for this book. Plenty. Given my private feedback (even from my remarkably, brutally frank, friends) has all been positive, I think you'll find it worthwhile. So, "do me a solid", and pop your loving review onto Amazon when you are done.

   Thanks in advance. You rock!

   Have a question or comment? Just reach me at

A sweet moment, that I have awaited for a long time...

This just in! The moment I have been waiting and working for quite a long time now.

This is the opening sentence of an e-mail I just got from

"Congratulations, your book "Alphabet Success" is live in the Kindle Store and has been enrolled in KDP Select. It is available* for readers to purchase here. "

The beginning of this book began over ten years ago. I was driving across the Howard Franklin bridge and thought it would be kind of cool to create a book that used the alphabet to convey some simple, yet powerful insights into success. 

After a variety of events, including the sale of a business, the usual personal things that happen, and the distraction of having suddenly had my dream come true, I finally got around to finishing the idea.

Today is the day. 

Needless to say, I am one very very happy guy.

ABC - Always Be Committed. I knew I would finally finish this book, and now it is finally out for the world to see. Will it succeed as a "book"? That is my next application of the principles in the book.

After all, if a guy who promotes success can't get people to buy his book, well, that'd be pretty lame.

But that isn't going to happen...

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Another beautiful day...

Up early,  sun shining,  a breeze blowing and not a cloud in the sky. The potential of the day awaits.  Everyday has the possibility of being absolutely life changing and fantastic.  Or just "another" day.
In the end, it will most likely be something in the middle.  But we won't really know until later. Must steer the ship carefully.
Enjoy your voyage.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The 4th Away from Home...

   From afar, sitting just outside the Swedish capital, the voices of the USA sound like a not so united set of states. Part of that may be the din of the media,  or the louder voices seeming to dominant the airwaves.

   Regardless,  today is a good one to remind ourselves the things that bind us together.  Not only our nation,  and language,  but our shared history of weaving discord and rancor into a rich tapestry binding us ever closer.

   It seems most often that we find the thread which holds us together when we discard, if only for a while, our particular ideology or politics.

   We all want our nation to remain great. We want to live in safety and prosperity. We hope that our children and friends will make it home safe, and that nobody will be telling us someone we value is gone.

  Amidst all the discussion on how we want to go about things, most of us desire the same destination.  If we focus on the destination and work toward common methods of getting there we are much more likely to succeed than if we begin wedged in our "trench".

   Our freedom of speech ought best be used to find our commonality and community. Our strength is our brand. Our brand is our name. We are the United States of America.

   Have a safe 4th of July.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Check out

My new blog...

The book "Alphabet Success" is forthcoming. Starting the drum roll. Please join in the fun.


A while back I ended up as a "producer" in a film called "Sun Don't Shine". Initially my involvement was limited to providing some temporary housing for the cast and crew. My relationship with the director,  Amy Seimetz, was a tangential friend of a friend sort of thing.

Later, my interest piqued,  I ended up a bit more involved in the movie. In addition to the local St. Pete Beach connection, it turned out the film was premiering in Wroclaw where I happen to spend part of the year. The litany of coincidental connections along with the knowledge that the referring friend is a bright person surrounded by similar people sealed the deal. FWIW - "producing" is limited to a financial involvement.  Good thing, as I know nothing about making films.

Fortunately,  Amy knows plenty. Which is why the movie ended up being a great gritty view of the "backstage" of Florida.  If you haven't seen the movie,  do so. You will never look at the Sunshine State in quite the same way afterwards.

While I don't know much more about the film business than when I started,  it is a pleasure to be associated with such an excellent directorial debut. Kate Lynn Sheil and Kentucker Audley in the lead roles, do an admirable job as well.

Along the way Amy has become an increasingly well known name in entertainment. Deservedly so I might add. A simple search for Amy Seimetz will give you the inside scoop on this emerging force in the film business. Go Amy Go!

The film is currently in distribution by Factory 25 -

Back to Stockholm...

After a lovely and productive journey home in Wroclaw, we are off  (with one of my daughters) to Stockholm to see my son and some friends.

As with any journey I am a bit nervous (even after innumerable trips) and excited. My excitement is now two fold.

1) As before I look forward to swimming in the Baltic, seeing friends, and enjoying the lovely (if expensive) environs of Stockholm.

2) It will afford me the opportunity to experience a myriad of business interactions. Some positive, some negative. But all which are likely to appear on

This is part of my build up to the launch of my book "Alphabet Success". Available in Kindle format for the first 90 days. (Sorry).

My early retirement has frequently prompted the question: "How did you do that?" Now I am attempting to answer the question en masse.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Bit of Inspiration, and Reflection from Gabriel Byrne

A Prayer for My Daughter

You are born in love and pain.
Given to us for a short time only.
Before we must let you go again, with love and pain.
One day you'll come to know how close they are, one to the other.
You are a treasure, a blessing, a prayer's answer,A jig in my Irish soul.
You are me, and I am you.
You are both of us, the love of your mother and me.
Let me be worthy of you.
Let me lead you to truth, to beauty, to the mystery of the universe.
You will ask me great questions, and sometimes I will not know the answers.
Perhaps we are not meant to know some things.
That is life too... a seeking.
It may be our only purpose here.
All things are changing, always.
Yesterday is dust, tomorrow a dream.Our gift is now.
And so, my sweet angel, may you know love, and be loved in return.
May you know truth, and laughter, and peace, and happiness,And may the great spirit of the universe enfold you in his arms, and keep you safe, for always.


Gabriel Byrne

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Troll on the move...or watching?

These little folks are located throughout Wroclaw.  Originally a symbolic part of the Solidarity movement,  they seem to be secretly breeding at night. I'll be on the lookout for any that resemble Edward Snowden.  Although the mini-statues may be part of another NSA program. 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Midsummer's Eve Lunacy!

Every summer solstice in Sweden they pay homage to an ancient pagan tradition and have massive celebrations.  This is no exaggeration.  On midsummer eve and day it is akin to Christmas.  Businesses close early on midsummer eve and celebrations carry on from morning and in some instances into the following morning. 

It is worth seeing. Essentially a festival for the sun god (as good as any I suppose). People dance around a fairly phallic pole and sing songs. Many people wear special floral wreaths and occasionally a traditional costume.

As with many celebrations in the western world, it frequently involves a substantial consumption of alcohol. 

If you have a chance to visit Sweden to experience it, I suspect you will find it quite charming.  Even better for those without a local contact would be to reach out through or and see if you can wrangle an invite to an actual midsummer party.

Have fun....

Friday, June 21, 2013

Turbo traveling.

As those who know me are aware, I travel nearly nonstop. To do so requires financial freedom, or a job without geographical constraints.  But even those with less ambitious travel plans can benefit from getting some basic travel knowledge.

First, sign up for AAA (if you are from the USA) and if you are old enough (50 & from the USA) AARP. You get good discounts and extras which if you travel even reasonably often more than pay for membership fees.

Second, and this requires decent credit, get into the mileage game.  I will offer some extra thoughts later, but plenty of advice can be gotten from:, and If you want to see the world these sites help.

Mind you, I prefer to use miles exclusively for business class international air travel. The hassle to get a free ticket in coach isn't worth it to me. Esp. if the flight is less than say four hours.  But if you want to go to Asia,  the Pacific,  Africa or Australia,  a seat you can truly sleep in makes a huge difference.  Forget the "snob" appeal, it is great to hit the road as rested as possible.  A tall order on a 12 to 18 hour flight in coach.

Anyhow,  there is a start. A little homework goes a long way.

Good luck and safe travels! 

More Elk, CA photos. ..

Let the images inform you....

Northern California - Elk

When I book travel for an area that is a bit "off the grid", there is a certain degree of skepticism that floats around in my head.

Nonetheless,  Elk sounded sufficiently interesting so off we went. Our accommodation ended up being the Elk Cove Lodge.  Fantastic.  As is the area.

To me you get the Big Sur experience and views without the throngs of traffic. The downside is that your dining and accommodation options dwindle considerably.  To me, well worth the trade. But everyone has their own personal preferences.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Mount Rainier

A fantastic final day on our west coast tour of the USA.  Magnificent.

Back with my friendly Android....

With the ability to post smaller notes (not quite of Twitter constraints) perhaps we shall stumble forward with the blog. Facebook remains in the rear view mirror.  Too much for my personal taste.  Obviously a minority opinion.  And so we begin.

Currently renting a house that I sold four years ago.  Still love it. Though love renting it much more than owning it.

Nestled in the archipelago outside Stockholm it is in an idyllic natural setting.  Plenty of walking swimming and wandering in the woods. 

A nice start to seeing the kids for the summer.  We have plenty of memories here. Now we have a week to create even more.