Monday, January 25, 2016

Top 10 Rules for Success

Go to and search, "Top 10 Rules for Success." This is great stuff!!!

You'll see a whole range of stars, entrepreneurs, and leaders talking about their top 10 tips.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Oakie, Creamy Finish at the Back of Your Throat

Yesterday I had a little victory and decided to celebrate by buying a bottle of wine, so I walked into a convenience store and bought a jug of Boone’s Farm.

LOL!!! Uh, no. That was college. In fact, I don’t even know if they still make Boone’s Farm. And, I’m still about half-way convinced that Boone’s Farm was basically rubbing alcohol with Lifesavers dropped in it for flavoring.

Anyway, my friend, Elaine,  loves wine like the royals love jewelry, and she’s wonderfully knowledgeable about it. I, however, know about as much about wine as I know about nuklar fiziks. If you wrote cow wine on a jug of milk I’d try it, but I’d probably lie about being able to recognize the grassy finish and barn-like aftertaste. I mean, I’m pretty simple. I like wine, but only some kinds; sweeter whites in hot weather, and reds, like cabernet sauvignon or merlot, in cold weather. 

I strolled into Total Wine, looked around and saw nothing but…wine. Racks and racks, shelves and shelves, bottles and bottles of…wine. Even if you only like wine a little there’s an instant in which you want to grab a big, iced tea glass and start pulling corks. In the next instant you’re just overwhelmed. So, I thought, “Why not prove women everywhere wrong. I’ll be a guy who asks for directions.” 

Unfortunately, there were no snooty-looking sommeliers (that would be wine stewards if you’re playing at home) in tuxes walking around with slicked-back hair, a thin mustache and one of those big, spoon-looking things hanging around their necks they use to taste-test the wine. There was, however, a guy sitting behind a counter looking like a TSA agent and wearing a white shirt with Total Wine embroidered on the pocket.

Ah, the authorities.

“Excuse me,” I said, “I don’t buy wine a lot and I’m a little out of my element. I’m looking for cabernet sauvignon.”

Considering the look he gave me I thought he was going to say, “License and ticket, please.” But, he didn’t. He simply looked to his right, my left. I followed his eyes, turned my head and there, about 10 feet away was a sign that said…right…Cabernet Sauvignon. I had been standing beside the sign when I walked in the store and looked around. I kept turning my head and saw Cabernet Sauvignon signs and bottles along the entire length of the wall to the back of the store; and it’s a doggone big store.


A young guy (come to think of it, almost everyone is young-looking to me nowadays) in the same white Total Wine shirt, was unpacking boxes about half-way down the wall. He was a good-looking kid and gave a big smile as I approached. I ran down my I’m an idiot about wine spiel and he showed me four or five cabs in various price ranges. He said something about, “Oakie finish, and creamy tasting on the back of your throat,” but for all I know he might as well have been saying, “The wine is actually the sweat of aliens from the planet Thorlon and we find the bottles out back in the ditch.”

I said, “Thank you,” grabbed two bottles—like I’d know the difference—and headed for the checkout.

Driving home I thought about missing the sign when I walked in and the look of the TSA guy. I immediately thought of a couple of people in my life who, when I would be totally flustered about not being able to find something, had the annoying talent of simply walking in and finding the missing item…usually about two feet away from me. They both would say, “You know, Mike, sometimes you have to look down.”

In life, if you’re running wide open, physically and cognitively, looking down may not occur to you. Two years ago a wonderful study debunked the myth of cognitive decline. It said that as we age we have so much flying around in our heads it’s difficult, sometimes, for us to slow down and find just the right word, or the tv remote, or the wine sign.

So, if you’ve had one of those moments, chill out. Slow down just a tad, be glad you’re above ground, and keep moving. Kick back, have a glass of vino, enjoy life, and appreciate that creamy finish at the back of your throat.

No, wait, that was the Breyer’s Extra Creamy Vanilla late last night.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Come Over Here, Little Girl

While some of my friends are breathless about the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Quentin Tarantino’s  The Hateful Eight, I can tell you I’m underwhelmed.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was pleasantly entertaining, but it’s a mish-mash of the first three. The Hateful Eight was so boring I left after the first hour of the 3+ hour, Tarantino ego trip. And, I LOVE Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walter Goggins, but they couldn’t talk me into suffering through a minute more. 

ALERT**** You are getting ready to read something I never thought I’d say/write/draw/video/or dance interpretively….here it is: If you miss Inside Out, the animated look inside the head of an 11-year old girl, Riley…you’re nuts.

Riley moves from Minnesota to San Francisco and her emotions, Joy (voiced by comedian Amy Poehler), Sadness, Fear, Disgust, and Anger (voiced by comedian and Carolina alum Lewis Black), go into hyper-drive, as you can imagine.

This is an incredibly smart movie. In fact, the only other movie this season that even comes close in the smart department is The Martian; Matt Damon’s flik about an astronaut stranded on Mars and thinking his way through to survival.

Inside Out takes a wonderfully colorful look at thought, emotions, memories (long-term and short-term), character, logic, and all the processing that goes on inside our heads and makes us who we are.

At one point I panicked when I realized how clear the analogies were and how right-on the connections were in terms of how I think, and it hit me, “Damn, are you serious?!! I think like an 11-year old girl?!!” Then I realized we ALL use the same processes to think about and deal with life.

I’ll say it again: If you don’t see this movie and get past the fact that, on the surface, it’s a kids’ movie, you’re really missing something. It’s impossible to watch it and not have many of the situations kick up memories of your own. 

And, if the self-sacrifice of Bing Bong, the elephant/cat/porpoise that is Riley’s imaginary friend doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re pretty heartless…and that’s the second sentence in this blog I never imagined I’d ever write…or dance interpretively.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Getting Eaten By a Shark In Your Own Tub...

The only thing I’ve seen that has higher odds of happening than winning the lottery is having a meteor hit your house. 

You have a better chance of getting eaten by a shark or drowning in your own tub than you do of winning the lottery.

Wait, wonder what the odds are on getting eaten by a shark in your own tub?

So, I’m not one of the folks in three states who is splitting the Powerball jackpot. Heck, I’m not even one of the thousands who won thousands…I’m not even a hundredaire!!!

But then, I pretty much knew I wouldn’t be. I stepped into the lottery knowing that I’d probably lose, but I did it anyway. As I noted in the previous blog I play the lottery for reasons other than winning the money…and because I do, I always win.

There are folks out there, though, who play the lottery expecting to win and spend big chunks of money—money they probably could use in better ways—and then are grievously disappointed when their number doesn’t come up.

Think about that…they keep doing something that, down deep, they know isn’t good for them…but they keep doing it. Habit is a powerful thing…ain’t it?

Here’s the question of the day: What are you continuing to do that you KNOW is not good for you? 

It’s a habit that is hurting you but the hurt is so comfortable you keep doing it. 

What if you stopped? And yes, there’d be some short-term pain if you stopped doing it.

Would it feel good or bad, over the long term, if you stopped doing it?

Go buy another lottery ticket and think about that. 

No, wait…the payoff now is only $40 million…that’s not enough to waste a trip to the store.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Might As Well Not Buy a Lottery Ticket...I've Won Already!!!!

Have you bought your lottery ticket? The jackpot is somewhere around 150 gazamakitillion dollars now.

Let me save you the money…the winning lottery ticket is sitting on my counter even as I write this. Well, if that’s not the winner then the REAL winner is sitting right beside it.

The other night I asked a person in one of my seminars if they had bought a lottery ticket and they looked at me like I had puffs of glitter coming out the top of my head.

He said, “That stuff is for suckers! You know what the mathematical odds are of winning don’t you?”

“No,” I answered, “What?”

He kind of fumbled around with some math that sounded like it was from the planet Thorlon and mumbled, “Well, I know it’s a LOT!”

I buy a ticket about once every couple of weeks. When the amount jumps into the hundreds of millions I buy one a week.


A variety of reasons: For one thing, it fits one of my basic philosophies of life (no, not that one, the one that’s legal), it’s that we all have the same tiny chance of winning. Someone is going to win sooner or later and it might as well be me. If you aren’t willing to even try, then don’t complain if you don’t win.

Another reason I like the lottery is it’s cheap fun. Where in our society can you—for $3—set in motion the dreams that the possibility of winning the lottery conjures up? I love dreaming those dreams. I also love asking folks, “What would you do if you won the lottery?” Whatever they tell you is usually a wild combination of BS, selfishness, true nature, and childlike wonder.

In fact, I’d love to have a truth X-Ray machine that would show you what people are really thinking when you ask them questions. They’d be saying, “I’d fund the feeding and clothing of poor people around the world,” while the video on the machine would show helicopters dropping big bags of poop on all their neighbors.

The final reason I think buying a lottery ticket is a good thing is that, when you see the winning numbers and they have about as much in common with your numbers as a cat does with the Eiffel Tower, you come back to reality. 

After you’ve kicked the chair and hurt your toe, if you’re even halfway smart, you should think, “How much of my dream could I make come true if I got off my butt and really worked at it?” 

Sometimes that ticket on the counter is a reality check…and we all need that once in awhile.

But, that helicopter idea is rrrrrreally appealing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A Heads Up from The Coach

“If you are bored with life, if you don‘t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things--you don‘t have enough goals.” Lou Holtz, former head coach at NC State and Notre Dame

Monday, January 4, 2016

Eggs, Bell Pepper, and Screwing Up

How much trouble has FaceBook gotten people into, regarding food?

Every time I click on FB I see some recipe or food prep idea that looks really GREAT AND FUN!! 

Come on, folks! Put a live kitten in a blender with a little taragon, Texas Pete, and some kind of spice made from ground tarantula stinger and hit HIGH!!! It’s great! Try it!

(And yes, you were appalled that I said, “live kitten,” but admit it, you would have been OK if I had said, “live snake,”….power of language)

Anyway, about a week ago I saw a video about cutting rings from bell pepper, putting them in a pan with a little olive oil, cooking for a minute on each side, and then cracking an egg into each ring. After a couple of minutes you put a top on the pan to let the egg steam cook and WAH-LAH!! 

Tried it and the first thing I noticed was that you have to be really careful how you cut the pepper, ‘cause if it ain’t absolutely straight on the edge the egg will run out underneath and go everywhere. And, the four eggs we tried were all running together and sticking to the bottom of the pan and the top on/steam cook thing wasn't working either.

Soooo, I take a fork and knife and cut it all up and throw in two more eggs and some cheese and make a pile of scrambled egg/pepper/cheese…which WAS great!

The whole point here—especially on a Monday morning—is that things often don’t work out the way we’d like, but with a little imagination, ingenuity, and what the hell attitude, it’ll likely work out fine. 

So relax. Just get out there and DO something!