Sign in

Travel geek. Productivity nerd. Husband, father, son, brother, friend, joker. I once met Stevie Wonder. I’ve played competitive ball hockey for 30 years.

A surprisingly simple FBI tactic to keep a conversation going

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

“Two words: deaf chick. It doesn’t matter if I can’t talk ‘cause she can’t hear me.” — Raj Koothrappali explaining the type of girl that might be attracted to him

You probably remember the character Raj Koothrappali from the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”. He was the brilliant astrophysicist who was also brutally awkward with girls.

Poor Raj had a tough time in the dating world because he was so nervous in the company of a female that he couldn’t utter a complete sentence. …


A writer questions where and how we came to accept black and white as descriptions for skin color instead of, say, brown, tan, or pink

A group of African American women wearing various white outfits and posing in front of a painted wall mural.
A group of African American women wearing various white outfits and posing in front of a painted wall mural.
Photo: Clarke Sanders/Unsplash

At about 9:30 a.m., I turned away from my laptop, leaned back in my swivel chair, pulled down my mask, and took a sip of the piping hot black coffee that was just delivered to my desk. I could see that everyone else in the office was doing the same.

We all spun around in our chairs and kind of wheeled ourselves into position so that we were more or less facing each other. This little impromptu meeting of colleagues happens every day. We call it Coffee Club.

At Coffee Club, we don’t talk about work. On that day, the…


The First Lady’s comic book struggles to find herself

Photo Source: Twitter

On the evening of July 18th, 2016, when now First Lady Melania Trump was introduced to the world at the Republican National Convention, she delivered a speech that many have claimed was plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic National Convention speech.

Once the gaffe was identified in the media the next day, there was at first a denial from her husband Donald Trump’s campaign team, and then there was an admission of guilt. It wasn’t her fault, some had said. It was the speechwriter.

They asked the public to believe that she was the victim, not the perpetrator of this…


An effective way to get back on track when you lose your way

Photo By Rido

My friend Sandra has gained 43 pounds since the start of the Pandemic. Prior to March, she had been going to the gym regularly and eating well.

After the gyms were shut down, Sandra’s habits took a turn for the worse. She never really got into a routine of exercising at home, and her diet also went progressively downhill.

Nowadays, her gym has reopened but they only allow a limited number of people in at one time.

Yesterday, she tried to book an appointment online but the slots were all full. Sandra drove down to the gym, and waited in…


How is it possible that ex-cops responsible for the killing of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor could question their dismissal?

Protestors hold signs saying “I can’t breathe” and “All Eyez on Justice”
Protestors hold signs saying “I can’t breathe” and “All Eyez on Justice”
Protesters march in Minneapolis, Minnesota on March 28, 2021. Photo: Christopher Mark Juhn/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

A good reason to be fired?

A few years ago, a postal worker was fired for stealing gift cards—a measly $200 in gift cards, to be precise.

“It probably wasn’t the first time she stole something,” my wife said when I read the news article to her. “She just got caught this time.”

“You can’t assume that,” I replied.

Strangely, even though the postal worker had taken the items out of an envelope addressed to someone on her delivery route, she still delivered the empty envelope to the correct house.

The receiver eventually filed a complaint with the post office, saying that the cards were missing…


The sitcom as high art and historical record

Picture Source: NBC Twitter

In Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant film “2001: A Space Odyssey”, there is a scene where Astronaut Dave Bowman, the main character, sees himself on his death bed. Simultaneously, he pictures himself as a baby, and as a middle-aged man. Kubrick explains the scene like this:

“In a timeless state, his life passes from middle age to senescence to death.”

Dave experiences timelessness, and he sees his entire life as a whole.

In the same way, when a TV series is canceled, the entirety of it is finally visible. When you watch it, in reruns, you are watching it in complete context…


For the first time ever, I’ll tell you who killed our family pets

Free Use photo from Canva.com

When I was four, my parents bought me an ill-tempered yellow budgie named Chirpie. That bird made it obvious that he hated me and I was too scared to put my hand into its cage to give it water or birdseed.

My grandfather was one of the few people that the bird loved. One summer he trained Chirpie to fly around the room and land on his bald head.

It wasn’t long before my sister Melanie decided that she wanted to get a companion budgie, and so my parents bought her a beautiful blue one for her birthday. …


A ridiculously simple hack for minimizing misery, while getting things done

Free Use Photo from Canva.com

It’s hard to be happy when you know you have to do things that make you miserable.

For example, I’m completely over email. There was a time in my life where I got hundreds each day, and it resulted in me being totally cured of my cravings for electronic messages.

To my younger self, the familiar high-pitched screeching sound of my old dial-up modem as it connected to the internet was as beautiful as one of Beethoven’s symphonies, played by an 80 piece musical orchestra.

“You’ve got mail!” was a phrase that released an instant surge of dopamine into the…


A simple strategy to brighten a friend or loved one’s special day.

Royalty-free Photo from Canva.com

When I graduated from high school, my friend Kruno wrote the following phrase in my yearbook:

“ConGraduation on Your Gratulations!”

The comment was a stroke of genius, in my opinion. Creative. Different. Funny. As a result, I remember it to this day, more than 30 years later.

Kruno was a brilliant writer, and he could come up with phrases like that at a moment’s notice.

For me, on the other hand, being asked to sign a yearbook or a birthday card is a special form of torture. …


This simple psychological trick can take you from ghosted to un-ghosted

Free-Use Image from Canva.com

Last month, my wife was scrolling through posts on one of her Facebook groups and noticed that a Speech and Language Ph.D. student from the local university was trying to find volunteers to be part of a special speech therapy study.

We were excited to apply, as our son requires regular speech therapy. This particular study would be free and would utilize a type of therapy that was meant for his particular speech challenges.

Excitedly, we immediately sent the student an email expressing our interest, and why we thought we would be a fit for the program. She replied within…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store