Quarantine Crossroads: Tip #79

How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Scarcity This Coronavirus pandemic has hit us in ways we never imagined possible in today's modern world, making us rethink what life is supposed to be all about. While countless suffer in heartbreaking ways, many of us would benefit by using this time to reevaluate our lives. … Continue reading Quarantine Crossroads: Tip #79

Quarantine Crossroads: Tip #2

How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Scarcity This Coronavirus pandemic has hit us in ways we never imagined possible in today's modern world, making us rethink what life is supposed to be all about. While countless suffer in heartbreaking ways, many of us would benefit by using this time to reevaluate our lives. … Continue reading Quarantine Crossroads: Tip #2

A Book about Less

I've been thinking about what kind of book I want to write next, as I have several themes in my head that are clamoring for expression. I recently spent a weekend in the reclusive seaside town of Cedar Key, Florida, and then I saw the article below about the Diderot Effect. These seemingly unrelated incidents … Continue reading A Book about Less

7 1/2 Billion Universes

Feeling a need to revisit “the basics,” I decided to open up one of my most valued books, Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. I can’t even guess how many times I’ve read this treasure; it's one of those books that can define your life. Right there on the first page I discovered, for the first … Continue reading 7 1/2 Billion Universes

Life Tip #18

You can’t buy your kid love and happiness. On a morning news program several years ago, on December 26th, there was a news segment entitled “Getting through the Holidays” that had been running for several weeks. On this particular day, the newscaster and a guest were discussing the problem of entertaining your kids during the … Continue reading Life Tip #18

Life Tip #169

Be more like Carlitos. On a recent cruise throughout the Caribbean, my wife and I spent a full, glorious day in the tiny country of Belize. We crossed the entire country on a tour bus to visit some amazing Mayan ruins, followed by a traditional Belizean lunch. Just as remarkable as the ruins was the … Continue reading Life Tip #169

Life Tip #138

Your life’s purpose may sound insane to most people. One man’s insanity is another man’s dream, after all. But in the end, if you fulfill that dream, that purpose, you just might inspire others to pursue and find their own. Center of the World, Felicity, CA My son and I experienced two examples of this … Continue reading Life Tip #138

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

 “If I have seen a little further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Sir Isaac Newton ~~~~~ All of my giants have fallen. In the first half of this year, I’ve lost the most towering figures in my life. First, we lost Grandpa Charlie Stangl, and while only my grandpa-in-law, he … Continue reading Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

Anything We Put Our Mind To

My source of unconditional love, my go-to person for getting grounded, my Dad, passed away last night surrounded by family. He got in one final, solid nap before the big party in heaven began. Dad taught me many things during our time together, more by his example than by words. Yet there is one thing … Continue reading Anything We Put Our Mind To

Life Tip #76

Empathy is the best, nay only, way to move about this world full of people. People, right? You can’t live with them…. People can really be annoying. People can really tick us off. People can really be first class jerks. I used to always see the bad in people and get irritated or angry with … Continue reading Life Tip #76

Life Tip #166

Perspective! “You kids don’t know how good you have it!” This is one of the lamest things we say, but it is still funny, and true. There really is a lot of truth to the “how bad it was when I was your age” advice, relatively speaking. This Life Tip could be its own book. … Continue reading Life Tip #166

Life Tip #73

Everything is relative. When I was younger, my friends and I went through a phase when we would say about anything and everything, “It’s all relative.” We thought we were being so clever and funny. Yet in reality, there is complete truth in that statement. Everything is relative. Things we think are awesome and wonderful … Continue reading Life Tip #73

Life Tip #142

Instead of focusing on living longer, make the years you live more meaningful. When I was a young adult I used to look forward to insightful and inspirational columns by a Catholic priest, Father Lou Guntzelman, in the county’s weekly newspaper. In one column, Father Lou was reflecting on how we are desperately focused on … Continue reading Life Tip #142

Life Tip #202

Write your own script. Don’t let others, or circumstances, or your past set the agenda for your future. Don’t let your mom, or your dad, a friend, or a sibling write it for you. Don’t even let your significant other write it for you (although I strongly suggest that you include your significant other in … Continue reading Life Tip #202

Life Tip #184

How many more times will you ask yourself, What if? I love learning about histories: histories of people, societies, nations, everything. And I often find myself asking “What if” questions, like “What if the U.S. hadn’t entered the fight against Nazi Germany?” or “What if this or that politician had won an election instead of … Continue reading Life Tip #184

Life Tip #163

Be kind to our homeless brothers and sisters. I realize that there are many homeless people who scam us, some who make us nervous, and even some who seem ungrateful. But the vast majority of homeless people need our kindness, and they need that as much as our money if the truth be told. Look … Continue reading Life Tip #163

Life Tip #59

God’s dream is not the same as the American Dream. One of my favorite American pastors, David Platt, really woke me up to a new reality just a few years ago as I listened to one of his sermons on YouTube. He said that God’s dream for us is wholly incompatible with the American Dream. … Continue reading Life Tip #59

Life Tip #164

Give, and volunteer, in secret. Above all, give without expecting anything in return. Give without expecting a thank you. Give without expecting attention. I puke a little bit in my mouth every time I see a so-called “random act of kindness” that just happened to get filmed on someone’s smartphone, which then just happened to … Continue reading Life Tip #164

A Reality Thanksgiving

The following piece was first published in the Cincinnati Enquirer way back in November of 2004. I like to keep it close at hand whenever I feel myself losing my appreciation for all that I have. Maybe you will gain a bit more appreciation yourself after reading it. A Reality Thanksgiving In this season of … Continue reading A Reality Thanksgiving

The Few Books that Shape my Life

What do Willy Loman, Ebenezer Scrooge, and Ivan Ilyich have in common? I’m currently working on my own first book project, and the thought occurred to me that a handful of books I’ve read have significantly shaped my life. I feel lucky to have grown up when schools still made you read some of the … Continue reading The Few Books that Shape my Life