Look Around – Nature is Painting with Light, Awakening Our Senses

The Arrival of Autumn Provides Welcome Reminders of Nature’s Beauty

Fall is finally starting to arrive in my neck of the woods. Not a moment too soon. I, for one, had enough of a long, hot, dry Summer weeks ago. How great it is to feel the first hints of crisp air. Last night we slept with windows open to savor the cool night air. Halleluiah! This has always been my favorite time of year.

Such weather invites one to spend more time outdoors. We are fortunate that our back patio is completely private and very scenic.

Tell Me a Story and I Will Tell You Mine

Nothing Comes Close to the Power of Storytelling for Human Communication


This time of political divisiveness and isolation reminds me of the power and grace of storytelling. It is, at once, a social convention and an art form. We need it now more than ever.

Like most people, I have always enjoyed a good story. I am fortunate at this point in life to live in an area that revers good storytelling. Here in Appalachia, storytelling is celebratedand practiced widely. It is still a primary means of communication and of social bonding.

Random Thoughts from a Mind Adrift

Assorted Thoughts About Everything and About Nothing

Do you ever have one of those days where your brain will not be still, but neither will it focus? Yeah, me, too. I have decided that when such periods appear, one might as well enjoy the ride. It’s a bit like high speed cruising through a bookstore you like. All sorts of interesting odds and ends can pop up.

I made one of those “bookstore drive throughs” recently. I thought I would share with you what popped up. I hope you find some of it amusing,

The Fortune 500 List is Out. You Should Care About That


Some Really Interesting Trends Merit Our Attention, America

The Times, They Are A-Changing

Every year, Fortune magazine comes out with a list of the world’s top 500 corporations, with accompanying analysis and articles.

I don’t know the detailed history, but I would feel safe in betting that for many, many years, that list was about 90% American companies. More on why that is important later. For now, just note that there is a lot more diversity on the list – and another giant.

It was inevitable that American dominance of that list would decline.

Words are Magic. Writers are Wizards

Two Recent Events Remind of the Power and Universality of Great Writing

The title from this blog post comes from an anonymous source. Whoever first said these words has my undying gratitude. Truer words have rarely been spoken– or written. This phrase runs through my mind often. Partly as confirmation of a known truth, partly as a challenge to write better.

Two recent experiences underline this truism for me. I am thinking you can relate to both.

A Lesson Close to Home

The first is more local and personal. The community I live in has a small gathering once a month called Writers Read.

Planning for “What If” vs. Planning for “When”

Which Mindset We Have Can Make a Big Difference

The most recent series of mass shootings (think of what I just wrote there – the MOST RECENT mass shootings. Can you believe this is part of our language now?) brought home yet again that bad things can happen to anyone, any place, at any time. More than one survivor of this latest carnage said it well. “If you think it cannot happen to you where you are, you are kidding yourself.” It more likely is ‘when,’ not ‘if.’

This need not be a reason for living in fear and paralysis.

The Power and Peril of People in the Streets

Recent Events Remind Us of History’s Lessons


There is a line in a Mel Brooks movie wherein someone comes in to alert the king, “The peasants are revolting.” To which the king, completely misunderstanding the warning, says “They certainly are.”

Well, the peasants are revolting around the world of late, and “kings” must take note. This is how the Arab Spring started. That movement did not end well, but leaders were toppled.

You may have noticed of late that people are protesting. They often times do so in staggering numbers,

“I Think You are Great, But That is a Really Dumb Idea”

We All Need Someone Who Can Regularly Tell Us Why We Might Be Wrong

As I have watched the Trump Show these last few days (the photo session with the Pakistan Prime Minister was amazing. I kept checking the TV to see if I had stumbled onto Saturday Night Live), and the Mueller hearings on Wednesday, I was reminded of an old truth that is as powerful today as ever.

If Everyone Agrees with You All the Time, You Need a New Circle of Advisors

Any time a leader surrounds himself or herself with Yes Men,

Random Observations on the World at Large

  1. The Last Few Days Give One Pause to Ask: “Really?”


Almost any week seems surreal these days, especially in the world of politics, but recent days seem even more so.

A Few Examples to Ponder

  • What possible goal does Iran achieve in seizing a British ship? We get it they are not happy about their ship being seized in Gibraltar, but their actions of late seem designed to play into Trump’s hands. They are busily alienating those in the West most interested in salvaging the nuclear deal and all that could flow from that foundation.

What Do Your Small Preferences Say About Your Large Traits?

“Mustard or Ketchup?” This May be a Bigger Question Than You Thought

Personal Peculiarities

I have been developing a theory of human behavior and I am curious as to what you think. My theory is based on zero scientific process or any compelling logic, but it feels right to me.

Ever since I can remember, even as a very young child, I have preferred mustard over ketchup. Tart over sweet; savory over mild. I have always preferred ice cream with nuts or fruit in it rather than artificial colors or flavors. My preference is for odd numbers,