Archives For joe

Mathematician or Jerk?

joe —  Sat 1-Aug-15 — 2 Comments
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Speeding dog“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?” George Carlin was a comedic genius. His knack for getting to the heart of our irrational engine of thought and self-preservation was typically spot-on.

I learn a lot about myself while in a car, especially in the quagmire that is Atlanta rush hour. Last week I was a passenger as my friend drove through a series of lane closures. A gentleman in the lane next to us decided to wait until the very last moment before merging into our lane. “What a jerk,” my friend Sam exclaimed. I was taken back by his comment. Sam is the nicest of all known men. In his vocabulary, jerk is a four-letter word. Clearly this guy had done something that hit a nerve with my friend.

Continue Reading…

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Quick, Give Me Three…

joe —  Fri 22-May-15 — 3 Comments
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ResolutionsIt was December 29th, 2009. I remember the moment well. For the first time in forever I had decided to cave in and make a New Year resolution. I haven’t made one since. Why should I? That one still stands as something I have yet to accomplish.

“Therefore, I hereby declare that in 2010 I resolve to ask more questions.”

It seemed like such a simple thing. I was really good at it when I was 5 – annoyingly so. Somewhere along the line to adulthood I decided that what I knew was more important than what I didn’t. Continue Reading…

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Knot Today

joe —  Sat 9-May-15 — 2 Comments
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AliensI am both fascinated and frustrated by knots. I love how, with just a couple of twists and turns, a simple rope can turn into a device that helps propel a man up a mountain or anchors a ship to a pier. I am frustrated by the fact that every piece of chain, string, or hose in my shop always ends up in knots just by laying in a box.

I was untangling my headphone cable the other day as my mind replayed a recent conversation with a friend. Pete’s job had given him a good beating over the past several weeks and he needed a place to vent. He was all knotted up, much like the headphones I had in my hands. Pete wasn’t mad or angry, just frustrated. The frustration came not from one particular event, but from a series of small events that started to overwhelm him. Continue Reading…

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The Dream Crusher

joe —  Fri 10-Apr-15 — 1 Comment
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Christmas Meets MinIt was a Monday. I don’t think I made a very good impression that day. I was only a few weeks into my new role as the head of a team that had been together for quite while. I recall the day because of the look one gentleman in particular gave me after a comment I had made. It was as if I had crushed his dream. What I said was right, but that didn’t seem to matter. I still crushed his dream. With two simple words, I also dented a number of other ambitions, as well.

The words “Meets Min,” short for “meets the minimum requirements,” is not an aspirational phrase. There aren’t any motivational posters praising the emotional excitement of doing only that which is absolutely required. Yet, that is the advice I had given Steve that threw him into a tailspin. Continue Reading…

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…and Thanks for All the Fish

joe —  Sun 15-Mar-15 — 2 Comments
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Ronald In CustodyI hate goodbyes. I can’t imagine anyone really likes them, but I loathe them. Everything is so awkward. Should I hug or is a handshake the best protocol? What if I say the wrong thing? What if someone starts to cry?

A couple of weeks ago I had to say goodbye to my coworkers – friends who I had really come to love and respect. Having just tendered my resignation, the two weeks that followed became a swirl of emotions. Those two weeks also taught me some lessons that I wished I would have learned much earlier in my life. Continue Reading…

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My Biggest Fan

joe —  Sat 7-Mar-15 — 2 Comments
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Beagle fanMy wife left me a love note the other day. She was on her way to Sanibel to spend a week in the island sun with her mom, my mother-in-awe. She finished with, “Thank you for being my biggest fan.” My wife and I say that often. We are each other’s biggest fans in every sense of the word.

The other day someone at work asked what I thought about a coworker. I had said, “I’m a big fan of Daniel.” Clearly, the fanaticism I have for Daniel does not compare to that of my wife, so I stopped to think about what it meant to be someone’s fan.

My sports-loving friends would laugh if I ever called myself a sports fan.  Continue Reading…

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Nice Tool

joe —  Fri 20-Feb-15 — Leave a comment
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Whatzan ipodLike many of you, I grew up poor. I also grew up jealous. Every kid on the street had a better basketball than mine, a newer football, or a more expensive horn. While inside I was stirring in a pool of green, on the outside I was mocking them. Here I was with my cheap, dented trombone sitting first chair to three others below me that had shiny new instruments with expensive attachments.

I developed a chip on my shoulder early in life when it came to expensive things. I used to laugh at those that were using ALTA A1 level tennis rackets while their game was clearly C3. They had money but no game. Same thing happened as a cyclist. Here I was on my first $1,200 bike riding much better than the guy with an $8,000 custom bike. I didn’t understand why people spent so much money on tools that had features that didn’t matter at their skill level. Continue Reading…

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