Category: Uncategorized

Learning Like Your Life Depends On It

There’s a school of thought that says the best learning is for “just in case” you need to know something. There’s another that says the best learning is “just in time.” I’ve dabbled with both. But today I had one of the rare experiences of learning almost as if my life depended on it. I […]

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Crises Need Prepared Capitalists

I have to admit a failure. For all of my knowledge of the crisis at hand (I have amazing access to information), for all of my will to face it, and for all of the small preparations I made for my own safety, I’ve lived in such a way that has made me – for […]

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All (Good) Manual Workers Are Knowledge Workers

Wheels. Levers. Pulleys. Ramps. These basic machines are profound innovations that form the basis of nearly ever other physical labor-saving technology we have today. They’re also the creation of men with far less technology or understanding of physical science than moderns. They emerged in a time of wood and stone, and they operate with principles […]

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The Best Way To Learn a New Language? Find a Job

For all of my Duolingo lessons and high school Spanish coursework, I’ve always felt self-conscious about using Spanish. Why embarrass myself and maybe even offend a native speaker with my poor attempts? So Spanish as a skill has remained firmly in my back pocket: until recently. I’ve spent the last month working with an (until […]

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The Extra Work Makes You the Owner

Most days after I finish my tasks at the stables, I’ll spend a little extra time working. I clean in the corrals, check on the horses, fill up water buckets, or pick up some trash – some extra contribution to the upkeep of the stables. I take more care of my charges than I’m asked […]

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In Praise of Good Old Boys

He drives a truck, makes his own moonshine, and chews tobacco. He’s good with his hands. He’s working on the farm, at the feed store, or at a construction site. He’s got a thick Southern drawl, multiple guns, and dogs. He loves to hunt and fish. He’s the classic good old boy. And I have […]

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Being a Prepper Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Anti-Social

Maybe it’s just the latent Boy Scout in me, but I’m getting more and more into being prepared. The back of my car is full of gear for all kinds of situations: traffic cones, a toolbox, a safety vest, jumper cables, extra engine oil, a waterproof bag, a fly fishing rod, some first aid supplies, […]

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The Essential Manliness of Dry Humor

If you hang out with the world’s most masculine men, you’ll note that the best of them all have dry senses of humor. This is especially true of blue collar workers. If you’ve worked a farm job, a landscaping job, or another dirty job, you’ll know that the real pros can deadpan a new joke […]

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3 Good Reasons To See Your Extended Family More

Yesterday I got together with more than a hundred of my aunts, uncles, and cousins for a family reunion. We ate barbecue, shared life updates, played sports, shot skeet, and watched babies play. The weather was gorgeous, the times were good, and the people were happy. It’s a blessing to be able to have family […]

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We Don’t Recognize the World’s Justice

“. . . the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” If you don’t think that evil is punished and good is rewarded, I get it. A fair number of corrupt people seem to enjoy wealth, status, and even long lives. Lots of war criminals and ordinary criminals get away […]

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No, I Am Not “Finding Myself”

When I told a family friend that I was planning not to go to college, he tried to backpedal any judgment by asking kindly if I was going to “find myself.” Now that I’m getting ready for a new (and quite different phase of life), another friend dropped the term “soul-searching” to describe my next […]

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The Joy of Disagreement

There are some people with whom it’s a joy to disagree. A dear friend and colleague is independent-minded, intelligent, creative, opinionated, and maybe a little stubborn (like me). I love her for all these reasons. And it’s for those very same reasons that we may find ourselves on the opposite sides of issues from time […]

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Courage: Use It While You Have It

“What do you fear, lady?” [Aragorn] asked.“A cage,” [Éowyn] said. “To stay behind bars, until use and old age accept them, and all chance of doing great deeds is gone beyond recall or desire.” – The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien “Gone beyond recall or desire.” What Tolkien’s female Lord of the Rings heroine […]

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Keep the Really Awesome Stuff Secret

“But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” – Jesus in the sermon on the mount I haven’t been on Instagram in a long time. In general, […]

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Your Obligations To the Coworkers Who Have Moved On

“Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead.” – G.K. Chesterton At 23, I’ve been longer at my company than most people. I have a memory of five years of effort, mistakes, successes, and disappointments. And that’s changed my responsibilities somewhat.  While I […]

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What’s The Point of Beauty Queens?

Last night I was walking by a bar with some friends when I noticed that the Miss Universe contest was on a TV. Miss Vietnam was standing next to the show’s emcee, and I wondered out loud how anticlimactic it must be to go through so many pageants only to arrive at the final result […]

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When In Doubt, Travel To Your Friends

Wondering how to start traveling to more places? If you’re like me, you probably find it a bit overwhelming to look at a globe and start tallying up all the places you’d like to see. You probably also find it daunting to plan, accumulate resources, and then spend those hard-earned resources to go to a […]

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An Idea for Making Business Cards More Fun

Have you ever traded sports cards? When I was young, I briefly owned a collection of baseball cards. Even though, I didn’t follow professional baseball at all, I still enjoyed owning cards for talented players, players on cool-sounds teams, etc. It felt good to have cards for prestigious players. That feeling of exclusivity appeals to […]

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Don’t Forget Your Dreams

Mere forgetfulness is underrated as a killer of dreams. As I get older, time seems to get faster. And as time gets faster, it’s all too easy for me to drop into my routine and do exactly what I’m used to (with occasional interruptions) day after day. I try to stay out of this automated/unconscious […]

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You’re Not Failing – Your Tactics Are Failing

I’m insecure about not measuring up at work. It especially bothers me to think that I might ultimately fail despite all my efforts – that I might discover that I am a failure. As I measure and consider the work I’ve done, I feel that anxiety sometimes. But there is another way for me to […]

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One Sick Haiku

Between tossing waves Spirit hovers o’er still deeps Room for creator

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Be a Trail Tourist

What do you see when you visit a new city, state, or country? Restaurants, monuments, shows, museums, and parks are all worthy places for your time. But what about the nature? Most of the time our idea of tourism keeps us on city pavement, but if you want a full picture of a new place, […]

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You Only Get To Use Your 20s Wisely Once

“You’re only twenty-something once.” I respect the advice for what it is. It’s true that we’ll only ever have our 20s once. The idea here is that we might look back in regret later if we don’t do enough to have fun now, when there’s probably no more forgiveable time to do stupid, short-term-minded things. […]

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The Gods Whose Sacrifices We Neglect

The old gods have a lot to teach us. Sure, we all know that the Greek pantheon – Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Hades, Ares, Athena, Artemis, Demeter, Dionysus, and the rest – don’t *really* exist. But there is a reason people chose these characters to personify their understanding of the world. As psychologist Jordan Peterson points […]

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How I Find Focus In a Busy Office

The thing about working in a growing company is that you have to be ok with working around more and more people. People are lovely, but they can make focused work a bit difficult, especially in open office plans. And headphones and music only count for so much in the fight to stay focused. Here […]

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The Joy of Turning Someone Loose

Through a strange series of twists and turns, I’ve become a sort of de facto A/V guy at my company. And largely my colleagues have been content to be dependent on me when the use of a microphone is involved. Today that changed: a new office team member stepped up, despite technical challenges and lack […]

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Marketing and Business Resources for Startup Marketers (v1.0.0)

I’ve followed a far from conventional path to becoming (and staying) a marketer. So my curricula isn’t easy to track – it’s an assembly of experience (there’s a lot of that), teaching moments from coworkers and consultants, articles I’ve read, podcasts I’ve heard, and more. Here are a few of the resources that I remember […]

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Why You Should Start a Book Club at Work

Wish your relationships with your coworkers didn’t stop at “what did you do this weekend?” There are few better ways to get to know people than to engage them in true intellectual conversation. And while that might be hard in the ordinary course of work, it’s not hard in a book club. So why not […]

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A Defense of Unsatisfying Stories

What makes a story “satisfying?” To answer that, it might help to think about the kind of stories that *are* satisfying. Consider the Western where the cowboys win against the corrupt marshal and cattle barons, the ne’er do well gives up his ne’er do well ways, the old cowpoke finds peace and quiet, and the […]

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Game of Thrones Philosophy Breakdown: S8E6 “The Iron Throne” – Idealism, Governance, Meaning, and GRRM

*SPOILER ALERT FOR GAME OF THRONES, OBVIOUSLY. Don’t listen to this if you haven’t watched the show!* Well, this is it. The last episode of Game of Thrones had many missteps as well as some glorious moments, and it gave us the bittersweet ending its author George R.R. Martin promised us. It also came with […]

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