Life is like publishing a book (part I)

Book publishing teaches many life lessons.

Book publishing teaches many life lessons.

What motivates people to make changes in their lives? Why is it that some people embrace self-improvement and personal growth, while others stay stuck in the same old rut?

As mentioned before, I was stuck in self-defeating patterns of behavior for a good chunk of my young adult life. Even in my early 30s, when I began looking for answers not bound by spiritual precepts, I had a hard time accepting the power our minds hold over us. Often, how we think, and what we choose to fill our heads with sabotages the best laid plans. Continue reading

When the deal doesn’t go down

The last of the old school Celtics.

The last of the old school Celtics.

The NBA trading deadline came and went. Residents of Celtics Nation (of whom I count myself one) were equal parts relieved and disappointed. The relief for many came when the team’s two aging superstars, Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, weren’t dealt. The disappointment camp felt that both of these players, on the downside of stellar NBA careers and sure Hall-of-Fame inductees, could have brought pieces for the future. Some believe not trading one or both of them now will result in their value continuing to diminish. Continue reading

Mending fences

Do you need to do some fence-mending?

Do you need to do some fence-mending?

Strife and conflict seem to be the twins that fuel many people. For these types, there’s always an “issue” or some Henny Penny kind of conspiracy to get behind and wind others up about. Most of the time these people make it their place to ruin your day. Conflict makes the world go round, at least it does seem to be central in the lives of many that’s for sure. Continue reading

Milk problems


Kirk Kardashian's book on the demise of family-owned dairy.

Kirk Kardashian’s book on the demise of family-owned dairy.

Milk is the staple food that every American is most familiar with. It’s as American as mothers and apple pie. As babies, it was our first food.

Growing up, most of us that are of a certain age remember being told, “finish your milk,” and that “milk grows strong bones.” That advice most likely came courtesy of milk’s lobbying group, the American Dairy Association, but it was also echoed by parents, doctors, and even our teachers. Continue reading

Stop Talking and Start Doing

Nike's winning logo.

Nike’s winning logo.

Nike’s marketing slogan, “Just Do It” might be the greatest pitch tagline of all time. Those three words capture everything that their ad campaign sought to convey. The cash registers haven’t stopped ringing since Nike launched that line back in 1988. It helped them double their already healthy market share in the decade afterwards. And the profits just keep coming. Continue reading

Pick your battles, but choose your friends

I know several people that are always amped up about some major public issue. It might be guns, Obamacare, tax policy, the governor’s latest stupid statement…pick the poison.

Here’s the thing I’ve learned. None of these people can affect a damn bit of difference about their issue of the day. I like most of these people, but their sense of doom wears me out. Continue reading

The Swimmer

Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, at 2012 games in London.

Olympic swimmer, Ryan Lochte, at 2012 games in London.

2013 is setting up as a year of pushing boundaries and skirting limits. It’s all about embracing new things and recognizing fresh possibilities.

By the time you read this, I’ll be wrapping up my first swim lesson with my new coach.

In 2010, my lovely wife, Mary, decided that she was tired of all the smack-talking that her co-workers were doing about competing in a triathlon. She decided that she was going to show them what the Mary Baumer Experience was all about. That June she participated in her first sprint triathlon. Since then, she’s completed five sprints and last August, she completed her first Olympic-length triathlon. Continue reading

The University of Autodidactica

Ben Franklin was an autodidact.

Ben Franklin was an autodidact.

An autodidact is someone who is self-taught. In today’s parlance we might call them a “self-directed learner.”

Autodidacts were common in Colonial America. Many of our founding fathers were autodidacts as well as polymaths. Ben Franklin might be one of our nation’s most famous autodidacts. Franklin abandoned formal education at age 10 and we all know how that turned out. Continue reading

Coping with weather and boys who cry “wolf”

When we were young, we became familiar with the story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  It is one of Aesop’s Fables and is numbered 210 on the Perry Index for those who care about these things. The moral of the story, and Aesop’s Fables always had a moral, was that “a liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.” Continue reading

Storm reporting from the snowpocapalypse

Gassing up JBE1 at Pownal Center Store before heading into the teeth of the snowpocalypse.

Gassing up JBE1 at Pownal Center Store before heading into the teeth of the snowpocalypse.

Last night, I watched a press conference by Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick. If this was a comedy sketch, it couldn’t have been funnier. It wasn’t. I posted the video in my previous JBE post, so check it out. Continue reading