The history of comedy

A Jewish kid asks his father for $50 the father says $40 what do you need $30 for

As Rob Reiner says I can tell that joke because im Jewish so Even though im making a Jewish stereotype, im denigrating himself

Irish melancholy

Dave revisiting an old topic, the Irish depth of soulfulness. I’m reading a book called The Imortal Irishman, this phrase just stung me, ‘ the shredding of a nation, one in four gone by emigration or starvation. The former would never forget; the latter would never be forgotten. That burden of memory was never heavier’. That lays out the connection to the sources of sadness..

Facts. Love

Bertrand Russell’s Advice for Future Generations

Bertrand Arthur William Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, he was a prominent anti-war activist and a Nobel laureate.

Advice from Bertrand Russell when he was interviewed in 1959 by John Freeman for BBC’s Face to Face.

Asked what advice to future generations he’d give. Facts n love. See the video interview

Irish sadness in song

Dave revisiting an old topic, the Irish depth of soulfulness. I’m reading a book called The Imortal Irishman, this phrase just stung me, ‘ the shredding of a nation, one in four gone by emigration or starvation. The former would never forget; the latter would never be forgotten. That burden of memory was never heavier’. That lays out the connection to the sources of sadness..

Nice tight writing

This long weekend I spent a wonderful 5 days with my old army buddies from the mid-80s, including a pool hall night, an awesome blues club night, a round of golf on the lakeshore, Second City, a Cubs game (that we won in the 13th inning!), another blues club night, and today a highly profitable afternoon at the casino in IN. Then an evening watching war movies and telling stories about our military experience. They just left and this long-awaited reunion officially ended–but we do this every year and I look forward to the next, which will be in Porland Maine next Labor Day. So glad, for so many reasons, that I did my hitch in the army back when I was young enough to do it, and to make such enduring, resonant friendships. We were soldiers once, and young.

Un-ending: working towards balance

Our clients come to take Pilates for many reasons. Whatever their reasons, we find out in their early sessions that they are imbalanced. We recognize their imbalances and use the method of Pilates to restore balance to this body and mind. It is a constant process; un-ending. There is no balance, there is only working-towards-balance. That is The Truth.


“Ripshit smart, kind and generous heir to his fathers great heart”

Wishing a very happy burfday to my nephew Perry: expert backgammon player and poet extraordinaire, Georgetown senior and cool college radio DJ, ripshit smart political and intellectual wizard, verbal legerdemain artist, sports wonk of the first blush, and a wonderful nephew whom I can’t wait to see in DC in a month. And most importantly by far, a kind and generous heir to his father’s great heart–I’m proud to call him my nephew. Happy 22, kiddo!

Found alternative ways to feed the compulsion

Steely Dan
Don winslow
Blow the movie
Grateful Dead
Netflix pablo escobar, etc
Fixing or Mixing drinks for others

Blazing . . . Mr. Winslow’s keen attention to drug culture isn’t going to keep readers away from him. He’s too damn good to be polarizing. His characters are smart about their self-interest. His dialogue is tight, laconic, and razor sharp; if Elmore Leonard or Lee Child discovered surfing, they might sound something like this.” (Janet Maslin The New York Times)


So sad that the only way we get relief from the denial that blinds us is through feeling the pain of such consequences. Hopefully this “moment of clarity” will enable your son to see that abstinence itself is not equivalent to recovery. It is simply the precondition to recovery mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, socially, and recovery is the means to prevent further addiction – induced pain. Very scary for him to admit he needs to abstain completely and indefinitely from not only alcohol but all other mood – altering drugs in order to recover. How else will he cope with uncomfortable feelings? That is of course the fear that fuels the denial – denial of the existence of addiction and the need to treat it beyond simply abstaining, selectively and for awhile. And that is of course what fellowship (meetings), mentorship (sponsor) and spiritually based cognitive behavioral therapy (the twelve steps) provides.

An addict has precisely two choices: complete, continuous abstinence and indefinite participation in a program of recovery, or eventual return to the devastation of active addiction, and the great pain that brings to the addict and anyone who loves the addict. Perhaps xxxx would be benefit from reading this – sent as a physician with 25 years of experience in addiction medicine and 27 years of personal recovery, and as a person who fell in love with his fine heart when I watched his video about his gap year. I hope he chooses recovery, so he can live according to his heart, and stop breaking his heart by the consequences of active addiction, such as beating up his friend. I’m also very willing to help in any way I can if xxxx seeks my help.

Writing style

Ali–you can say a lot of simple things about him, but two stand out: when I was a kid in middle school in southern California and bullied quite a bit by neighborhood toughs, I watched Ali and learned one very important thing: circle your opponent dancingly, so most of his puches fly behind you, which really did work in schoolyard fights, and–much more importantly, and was something I simply couldn’t do–throw the left jab, normally a stopgap punch that just slowed and fatigued the other guy, like a brick in a glove–something unteachable and brutal and tremendously, casually effective. If you could throw a simple jab and demolish people with it, you could not lose. He floated, danced, threw a lot of jabs that hit like bricks in gloves, and when he got angry he was the most beautiful, clinically destructive boxer who ever lived. We will miss him.


Michael Botticelli: I often say that substance use is one of the last diseases where we’d let people reach their most acute phase of this disorder before we offer them intervention. You’ve heard the phrase “hitting bottom.” Well, we don’t say that with any other disorder. So the medical community has a key role to play in terms of doing a better job of identifying people in the early stages of their disease, in doing a better job at treating people who have this disorder.

Notice that word: “disorder,” Botticelli prefers it to “addiction.” He wants to lift the stigma by changing the language as he did this past October in a rally on the National Mall.


‘Or I could tell someone the truth. Nobody knew the most important facts about my life. So really my self was a false self, it was a working self for dealing with the world, and behind that wall was total chaos, just this sort of swirling blackness, and I just found it totally unbearable, second by second, being me. So I thought, I have to stop it or get some help.’ Edward St Aubyns

mention in the moment

follow up later

smoke weed last night?
thanks for sharing. change topic – what do you want for dinner

deeper dive

consequence for driving in car with someone who smoked
not a consequence for smoking

Lifes journey

Officially, Dr. Zingerman. It was a long journey filled with laughter, stress, frustration, long nights, doubts, hopes, dreams, introspective self realizations and acceptance. There is no way this would be possible without the help and support of my family and friends, or the camaraderie of our class, which has turned into a life long network of dear friends, colleagues, and family. Thank you all for your support, friendship, and guidance on this journey. You all mean more to me than you may realize.

Teen drinking n driving


I would ask all parents to have their teenage children read this post. This past Monday, my wife and I gave three talks in Shaker Heights, Cleveland to approximately 1000 people including 9-12th grade students at both US and Hathaway Brown High Schools as well as an evening presentation to a large group of their parents. The topic was Teenage Drinking. At the end of our first presentation which was at US school, a senior student stood up and asked this one question, “If you don’t want us to drink alcohol then when are we allowed to make our own mistakes?” The question was very blunt but legitimate. My answer was this: “I don’t pretend to think that you as a teenager will never drink alcohol. But I do expect you to think about the consequences that can result from it.”
Remember, every situation that you put yourself in leading to a mistake has a direct consequence attached to it. Obviously, everyone makes mistakes in life. Yet with every situation, you need to consider the possible consequences of your action and determine if it is worth it. For my oldest son Brian, he was drinking with friends at a party one Friday night, became intoxicated, drove drunk and struck a tree at high speed one mile from our home. His consequence was dying alone in a car at age 18. In his right mind, Brian was against drunk driving. In his intoxicated state, he drove drunk. When you drink alcohol, you will do things that you normally would not do.
As a neurosurgeon, I have seen numerous teenagers who have been injured or died as a result of alcohol. Imagine being paralyzed from the neck down unable to breath or talk on your own. You are awake, sitting up and strapped to a wheel chair, as a breathing machine keeps you alive. Every aspect of your life that you once knew gone. You are now completely dependent on others to feed you, bath you and care for you every hour of every day. Or worse, you injure or kill someone else as a result of drinking alcohol and driving drunk. When you awake in the morning, you find yourself arrested and taken to jail in handcuffs. You are then convicted by a jury and sentenced to 20 or more years in jail for vehicular manslaughter. You took the life of an innocent person and you may not even remember what happened. As you sit in your jail cell alone and unable to see your family and friends, you ask yourself, “why did I drink last night.” And You Only Wish That You Had a Second Chance To Do It All Over.
These are consequences that most teens do not consider as they take their first sip of alcohol for the evening. A simple lapse of judgement for a split second can change everything.
Yes, everyone makes mistakes in life. It’s called being human. But there will always be a consequence to follow. I ask you to not put yourself in situations that can drastically alter you and your family’s life without warning. This would especially include drinking alcohol and becoming drunk. If you could stand at the bedside and witness a family saying there final goodbyes to their teenage daughter or son. A child lying there brain dead after being involved in an alcohol-related accident. To think that this loved one was fine yesterday and now today is awaiting the process of organ donation. No hope of returning to the life they once had. Only painful memories left for the family who remain.
As I concluded my answer to this young man, I asked him to consider again what happened to my son Brian. A young man who just turned 18 and was looking forward to his bright future in so many ways. He carried a 4.5 GPA throughout high school and scored a 32 on his ACT. He was three months away from graduating high school and starting a new life. He was accepted to his college of choice with the intent of becoming an Orthodontist. He Is Dead Now. Never to come back home and never to fulfill his dreams. We as a family stood over his lifeless body in the emergency department in the early morning hours of February 2, 2013 wondering how this nightmare could be happening and why? Why was Brian lying there dead on a cold gurney when he had only gone out earlier that evening to have fun with friends?
My wife and I are here today so you can bear witness to a real life story exemplifying what drinking alcohol and getting drunk can result in. In this specific case, it resulted in the death of our son. It happens! Our son Brian was a real person, with a real family and real dreams for the future. Alcohol took all of that away. Our talk to you today is not about lecturing on what you can or cannot do. You will need to make those decisions for yourself. Our talk is truly about Second Chances. A second chance to learn from the tragedy of others. Brian made a bad decision to drink the night he died and that decision cost him his life. Use our son as your second chance to make a better decision when it comes to drinking alcohol. Think of him as you are deciding to take your first sip at a party. Remember, Brian was not expecting to die that night as he started drinking with friends. He was out to have fun just like you. But you now know better that anything you’re not expecting to happen, can happen. Please be careful and choose wisely when considering to drink alcohol. Remember Brian Hoeflinger.

To learn more about Brian and our mission, please visit our website at: and read my book titled, “The Night He Died: The Harsh Reality of Teenage Drinking” which can be purchased through our website or through Amazon. I promise you that the read will be worth your time.

Brian Hoeflinger

as parents not alon

Hey xxx

Susan and I really enjoyed the road trip with xx! Cold as it was, terrific fun to see Joanie and John, Steve, Jodi and meet some of the Raider faithful. Good to get hugs from Jake and Grant. And always great to watch some live lacrosse. Then good to great as Susan got off scott-free with a friendly warning for her lead foot! xxxx and I remained silent as mice as Susan weaseled her way out of it (the spotless driving record may have had something to do with it).

xxxx shared xxxx’s adventures with drinking and subsequent close encounter with LEO and the southern Ohio judicial system. Susan and I have been passing in the night but she mentioned she had reached out to our legal eagles in Cincy. Sounds like our friend found you the “guy”. Admired your decision to have Will make the call himself!

My trigger in writing this isn’t because I have any insight and opinion one way or the other about the situation Will finds himself in (not my place to take another person’s inventory as we say in AA). This is just one dad sharing with another dad my experiences with cooper and michael (and to a lesser degree, max).

As this video link highlights, xxxx on his gap year discovered he had clinical depression and was an alcoholic drinker on the way to being a classic alcoholic. (could take 20 more years like me) He goes to AA now. Through his behavior while impaired in blackouts, he subsequently got to seei his shadow with us, his brothers, friends, girlfriend, her parents and a family counselor, Mic realized he had a problem – and that that problem was a genetic/chemistry issue, not a character defect. A key discovery as the self-loathing was growing inside him as he was repeating his mistakes even when he tried to limit himself to “just one drink”.

In keeping how genetics can sometimes play a role in addiction, xxxx is battling an addiction to weed. He has a desire to stop but can’t. Fear of getting found out by political adversaries on campus as the president of the student body and co-founder of mental health initiative has prevented him from seeking help and attending his first AA meeting. He has plans post graduation to get help. He will look back and discover this was a silly conclusion as AA has a fairly big foundation construct in anonymity.

xxxx has started experimenting with weed and to a lesser extent alcohol (outside lax season). We know this because he told us. He is cognizant of the genetic component that runs deep in our family. A challenging role for Susan and I to play as we encourage self-reporting but do not ever want to even hint that without consequences from his parents that we somehow condone what he and his buddies are doing. We don’t. xxxx joins his parents in sharing with xxx the perspective you run the risk of harming yourselves at this age as their brains and bodies are still baking….as well as the potential consequences with LEO and HHS.

Most parents keep this stuff well hid and so Susan and I were honored you guys reached out and shared what was going on and sought some experience sharing. And by way of this email, you may take some comfort in knowing the three of you are not the lone wolves as you navigate a winding road.

Best – DC


It all began with a few stolen sips,” Harrison wrote in the piece, titled “A Man’s Guide to Drinking,” in the October 2001 issue of Men’s Journal. “The first time I got drunk was at seven in the evening on a New Year’s Eve. My mother made me get in a hot bath, where I vomited my thirteen-year-old heart out.

“In my forties, I turned to wine with a passion,” he continues. “I tested 34 Côtes du Rhones in search of a house wine I could afford … I could have become a wine snob, but didn’t. The escape was narrow, but my salvation was several near-bankruptcies …. I will not be stopping on the way home from the office for one of the syrupy California ‘cabs’ so favored by nitwits …. Money can distort the buying and drinking of wine just as it distorts art in the gallery and auction businesses.”

The Essential Jim Harrison: A Reading List
But above all, it seemed the virtue Harrison most wanted to extol to readers was that of moderation (no, really).

Jim Harrison’s Principles of Moderation

Quite some time ago I turned a corner with the emotion of wanting more consciousness. The following list had a wondrous, albeit slowly evolving, effect on my life. These are relatively mild pointers, though the consequences of ignoring them are as fatal as shooting yourself in the head in a curious time warp wherein the bullet takes many years to reach its inevitable target. -Jim Harrison

1. Drinking causes drinking. Heavy drinking causes heavy drinking. Light drinking causes light drinking.

2. The ability to check yourself moment by moment has been discussed at length by wise folks from the old Ch’an master of China all the way down to Ouspensky. This assumes a willingness to be conscious.

3. The reason to moderate is to avoid having to quit, thus losing a pleasure that’s been with us forever.

4. We don’t have much freedom in this life, and it is self-cruelty to surrender a piece of what we have because we can’t control our craving.

5. Measurement is all. A one-ounce shot delivers all the benefits of a three-ounce shot. A couple of the latter turn one into a spit-dribbler. Spit-dribblers frighten children and make everyone else nervous.

6. With any sedative there is a specific, roomy gap between smoothing-out and self-destruction. There is no self-destructiveness without the destruction of others. We are not alone.

7. Naturally there are special occasions. When you get older like me, it’s once a month, if that.

8. It’s hard to determine pathology in a society in which everything is pathological. The main content of our prayers should be for simple consciousness. The most important thing we can do is to find out what ails us and fix it. Often we need outside counsel, for clarity and to speed up the process. (I’ve had more than 20 years with my mind doctor).

9. A lot of overdrinking comes from feeling bad physically. One over-drinks to feel better in physiological terms. This can be avoided by vitamins, exercise, and a reasonable diet. Again, it’s a cycle: Overdrinking causes overdrinking because you feel bad.

10. Another source of the problem is the unreasonable expectations we get from others and ourselves. Unreasonable expectations can be removed by thinking them over. They can’t be “drownt” pure and simple. Everyone can’t get to the top, or even the middle.

11. Oddly enough, our main weapons in controlling drinking are humor and lightness. The judgment of others and self-judgment (stern) are both contraindicated. When we fuck up, we mentally beat ourselves up. It doesn’t work at all and has to be expunged. The reason to slow down is to feel better, and it works real good.

12.You begin by cutting it all by a third. After a few weeks you go down to a half. After that your soul will tell you, when you listen. Often it is simply a matter of one drink too many.

13. We need always to separate the problem of virtue from the problem of lack of control. Certain countries — France, for example — drink more alcohol but have fewer problems. This is partly due to the predominance of wine, which has less of a stun-gun effect on behavior, but also because drinking isn’t connected to virtue or nonvirtue. It is a practical problem. Drinking has to be strictly self-controlled the moment it negatively affects our character and behavior.

dr don perspective on generation

Don’t worry…Academics related. I have attached the prompt for your review. But here is some context and then a few questions to help me write this paper.

We are study Generations and the labels, assumptions, stereotypes, characteristics, etc that come with them. Additionally, the course is comparative in nature with moments for reflection after, so painting a picture of the differences from your perspectives is important.

Howe and Strauss are referenced in the prompt. Feel free to look of there hypothesis. It breaks down into a four part cycle between all generations.
Civic Generations, the Hero
Adaptive Generations, the Artist
Idealist Generations, the Prophet
Reactive Generation, the Nomad
Mainly, please help me answerer these questions and others you deem appropriate. This is due tomorrow so a quick turn around would be much appreciated 🙂
What generation do you consider yourself? Mature – senior citizen – how unbecoming.
What are unique characteristics of your generation? Sizeable majority willing to put selves on the line for political and cultural movements – civil rights, opposing the war in Indochina. Probably made a difference though of course those older than us called the shots. Jail, physical abuse and attacks, verbal abuse and shunning, financial and educational sacrifices, some deaths. Don’t see the same potential in the upcoming generation now in their 20s, despite causes worth fighting for and perhaps more – the systematic destruction of species, environments (mangrove forests, ocean reefs, rivers and watersheds, farmland, tropical forests, temperate forests, aquifers, the atmosphere, lakes and indeed oceans); the cynical use of faiths and creeds as cover for sociopaths to pursue power through cruelty and murder; the obscene robbery of property, value, culture from the great many to the tyrannical self-absorbed tiny minority facilitated by their well-kept political and media prostitutes in the guise of patriotism and progress and in the service of greed never before seen; the pharmaceutical/medical/political cabal that swallows up the lives and livelihoods of the many while depriving them of health care and health; the bombing of hospitals and mosques and churches and schools by US, Russian, French, Canadian, British air forces and the whole obscene concept of “collateral damage” – and the systematic numbing of minds with hours per day on video games, endless narcissistic facebook, twitter, twattle and other mindless and meaningless postings of what I think about that fashion or that iPhone or that actress and her affairs or that musician’s drug use or that hair style or that latest diet and exercise and supplement and self-actualization guru or….
What are unique characteristics about yourself? Well-read. Passionate. Giving. Interested in what you say and think and not just in turning the conversation over to what I say and think. Willing to act as if the planet and our species has a hope in hell when there’s lots of evidence to the contrary, instead of “oh, well” and making feeling good a justification for living. Opinionated for sure but do the work to study and learn. Trust that God is Love and that anything that contradicts that is BS, period, that love conquers all fear and that fear is the enemy of love, of God, including the fear spouted from pulpits and other stages to scare people into behaving themselves to avoid going to hell instead of inspiring people to trust in the transforming power of love so we are enabled to do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Are you mainly similar or different from your generation; are you mainstream or abnormal? Not unique but statistically I think I’m highly abnormal in many of my beliefs and ways of living; prior to recovery I was wildly abnormal in drug use yet sadly normal in self-centredness, selfishness and self-reliance.
What are your opinions of my generation? I know many young people whom I admire very much and who inspire me immensely. They seem to me to be highly abnormal as well in that they don’t devote themselves to hedonistic escapes and self-indulgences and turn their backs on reality and the terrible processes and events around them; they are curious, open, confident yet humble, enthusiastic, willing to be vulnerable despite being betrayed and let down, willing to sacrifice for others without expectation of return, eager to learn, well-read, amazing to me and I want to protect and encourage and comfort and inspire them all. Sadly, I think the majority of this generation has been cowed by fear of not measuring up to the expectations of others/financial insecurity/not looking good enough or having enough or controlling enough or being numbed enough. Not surprising. It’s a scary world in a scary time and the value of oneself is no longer defined by one’s character and hard work and compassion and wisdom but by baubles (human and otherwise) and bombast and the reification of stupidity and ignorance, which is not accidental – how better to subjugate and to profit from the overwhelming masses than to disparage anything they can achieve by their hard work, character, diligence and sacrifice and exalt image and possessions and power as the only qualities worth living for?
Do you see trends in generations as we progress through time? Generation before mine – loyalty, hard work, endurance, don’t object to status quo, stay fed and sheltered and clothed and keep your kids fed and sheltered and clothed, excessive obeisance to authority and trust in leaders. My generation – mix of noble motivations and perspectives with degenerate “feel good” drug-induced and other escapisms but still each of us responsible for our own lives and effort. Not so willing to trust in leaders including religious authorities. Not so willing to sacrifice or determined to make a difference. Not so automatically devoted to offspring, including not so willing to endure the emotional pain of teaching them values and responsibility and consequences – many exceptions and probably not the majority, but my generation was the first to reject parental responsibility – and marital commitment – openly and even flamboyantly. Not against progress or change. Just against irresponsibility and self-indulgence and disrespect of the spiritual principles exalted for at least 5,000 years in every culture and creed and faith.
Biggest moments of your generation? Legal victories in Civil Rights Movement and their transformative effects in the lives of millions of people. Assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King. The Filmore West, Otis Redding, Phil Ochs’s suicide, the US destroying democracy and hundreds of thousands of lives in Latin America and elsewhere, the cynical fascism of the USSR in Angola, Cuba, Afghanistan, eastern Europe; the fall of the Berlin Wall and dissolution of the USSR, the US deposing the government of Iran and installing its puppet Shah, the US giving Saddam Hussein the means to wage gas warfare and other weapons in an 8-year war against the Soviet-backed Iranian despots and funding and arming the mujahedeen in Afghanistan vs. the Soviets who then became the Taliban who then bombed the World Trade Center after which the US invaded Iraq which had zero weapons of mass destruction and no role in 9/11; the Chilean 9/11 of 1973 in which the US deposed the democratically elected socialist government of Salvador Allende and replaced it with the fascist Pinochet regime that murdered its poets and union leaders and workers and made Chile safe for US business, Victor Jara’s life and music and heart and spirit and his murder in the National Stadium in Santiago, Greenpeace, the end of commercial whaling, CITES, abortion made legal, the refusal of the UN (due to the refusal of the US to call it genocide) to prevent 800,000 brutal murders in Rwanda because after all who really cares about black people, the genocide in the Balkans, AIDs and advances in its treatment, Biafra, liberation theology, the Six-Day War, the music of Phil Ochs and Leonard Cohen, Amnesty International and Mededins sans Frontieres and Oxfam and Jane Goodall and Dian Fossey and Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela…
What big moments did we share? The Big Short. The end of Apartheid. The debacles of Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, the Congo, the Ukraine. Disasters in Nepal, Indonesia, New Orleans. People actively caring for each other without expectation of return, forgiving the unforgivable, sacrificing comfort and possessions and security selflessly, coaching kids in their neighbourhoods, staffing food banks as volunteers, cleaning up toxic spills, restoring wetlands, rescuing and treating injured wildlife, ecumenism, tolerance, love.

poppie perspective on generation

#1 We are the silent generation. #2 Conformity during formative years post ww2, peace, jobs, TV, happiness, cars,rock& roll, civil rights movement, women stayed home to raise children, if they worked it was as teacher, nurse or secretary. men pledged loyalty to their employer, once u had a job it was for life. Marriage is for life, divorce and and out of wedlock babies were not accepted. Big band swing music.#3.Disciplined,self sacrificing,polite,respect authority,belief in God. #4. I am mainstream.#5.Your generation is self absorbed, lacks respect for authority, too casual in attire, too casual when it comes to drugs,alcohol,sex and very short on religion.Pro sports athletes and entertainers are your role models and most emphasis on instant gratification. All of the latter results in making our culture more crass.#6. Trend lines blurred. Major value systems,culture, religion national character have been dumbed down. Our generation traits that were important were duty,honor,country and they have been supplanted be the me,me,me generation currently.#7. Biggest moments 1925-1945, won WW2, capitalism spurred the rise of the middle class.#8. Share love of Country, industrial revolution, cure polio, medical breakthroughs- cures for measles,chicken pox,diptheria, open heart surgery, fast foods,bottled water, joint replacement. Pet supply stores, big box stores, full service gas stations now self service, specialized medicine Vrs family doctor.Cloth diapers Vrs throw away diapers today. Microwave,hot tubs exercise facilities.Internet. Let us know your grade on this report.Cheers, Poppie


Chapter 2: Helicopter vs Free Range Parents

Helicopter Parents vs. Free Range Parents
Its not an either/or. Its a little bit of both Middle ground –

Didnt want to choke you on a bunch of extra-curricular activities but Rule #1 in HS is 3 sports Freshman year and then you can dial it back from there; however, if not playing a seasonal sport, you gotta be involved in something substantive.

Feel the burn. Stove
Feets dont fail me now. Cleats
Be late

Chapter 1 – Foundation

Great Papa Charlton – His #1 life lesson after living 100 years – Attitude is Everything.

Charles Swindoll’s “Attitude”.

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company … a church … a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude … I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you … we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

Einstein – “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

EO How can you be depressed? You’re the most positive guy in this group. Snap out of it.

Rich Man, Poor Man > Rich Dad, Poor Dad
Max Strategy (Experiments Never Fail, etc)
Napolean Hill

Lesson 1: Definiteness of Purpose
Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life.

Lesson 2: Mastermind Alliance
The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others.

Lesson 3: Applied Faith
Faith is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent.

Lesson 4: Going the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is the action of rendering more and better service than that for which you are presently paid. When you go the extra mile, the Law of Compensation comes into play.

Lesson 5: Pleasing Personality
Personality is the sum total of one’s mental, spiritual and physical traits and habits that distinguish one from all others. It is the factor that determines whether one is liked or disliked by others.

Lesson 6: Personal Initiative
Personal initiative is the power that inspires the completion of that which one begins. It is the power that starts all action. No person is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own.

Lesson 7: Positive Mental Attitude
Positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure.

Lesson 8: Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is faith in action. It is the intense emotion known as burning desire. It comes from within, although it radiates outwardly in the expression of one’s voice and countenance.

Lesson 9: Self-Discipline
Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs. Self-discipline calls for a balancing of the emotions of your heart with the reasoning faculty of your head.

Lesson 10: Accurate Thinking
The power of thought is the most dangerous or the most beneficial power available to man, depending on how it is used.

Lesson 11: Controlled Attention
Controlled attention leads to mastery in any type of human endeavor, because it enables one to focus the powers of his mind upon the attainment of a definite objective and to keep it so directed at will.

Lesson 12: Teamwork
Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary and free. Whenever the spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.

Lesson 13: Adversity & Defeat
Individual success usually is in exact proportion of the scope of the defeat the individual has experienced and mastered. Many so-called failures represent only a temporary defeat that may prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Lesson 14: Creative Vision
Creative vision is developed by the free and fearless use of one’s imagination. It is not a miraculous quality with which one is gifted or is not gifted at birth.

Lesson 15: Health
Sound health begins with a sound health consciousness, just as financial success begins with a prosperity consciousness.

Lesson 16: Budgeting Time & Money
Time and money are precious resources, and few people striving for success ever believe they possess either one in excess.

Lesson 17: Habits
Developing and establishing positive habits leads to peace of mind, health and financial security. You are where you are because of your established habits and thoughts and deeds.


My knees buckled at the sight of your mom as she stepped inside that tiny church on that tiny island. An island where we’ve made some great family memories with more to come. Mom radiated happiness and calmness as she walked up the aisle on Walter’s arm, her smile, blond streaked hair and suntanned shoulders, the beautiful hand-me-down dress from Beth, the engagement ring from your Great Grammy Charlton and the borrowed pearls from Aunt Peanut took on a magical glow as the southwest Florida sunshine flowed through the open doors and back-lit our scene. Never before and never since has something literally taken my breath away. (Well maybe with the exception of that lacrosse game against Medina when Coop stripped Shell in the final seconds for the win!) In minutes we would be married, your uncles would be ringing the church bell and that happy photo on me and mom that hangs in our bedroom would be snapped.

25 years later, Mom and I sat in the same church on Christmas Eve, surrounded by you three guys! One rounding third and heading for graduation at Michigan, one getting ready to start a gap year and another a rising sophomore in high school. This book is written for each of you.

My goal in writing this is to give you something you can “edit vs. create”. As you strive to position yourselves for personal, professional and profitable success, think of this book as just another resource to turn to. Think Gestalt – shared family stories that might help you see a way forward as you prep for a new opportunity or wrestle with a new challenge. Blessed with ADD chemistry, you know I believe in the pursuit of progress, not perfection. As such, these pages are much more reflective than prescriptive. Its a catalog of what worked, what didnt or what we simply stumbled upon as Mom and I partnered as parents.

I’ll share our philosophies, vision, mission, strategies and the tips, tricks and techniques we used to raise the three of you. Lessons learned? You bet! We made some big mistakes, boatloads more on my part than Mom. Will I take an unflinching look at my character defects? You bet.

Are they true stories? All I can say is it’s true these are stories and with age I’ve probably gotten some of the details wrong. At the end of the day, will this book be useful to you? As experiments never fail, you’ll get the blessin’s, lesson’s or both! The power of the “And”.

Love, Dad

Voice, tone, style for book

Fascinated by the process actually. Paul Rieser wrote a few advise type books about parenthood back in the day….. A little lighter tone than you might be aiming for but if you check em out you may find a little help with ‘the voice’….also if you and Susan are going to overtly share your unique takes, ‘Younger Next Year’ co authored by a physician and a patient cum advocate….they alternate chapters…while covering topics from their frame of reference. Also see Larry Czonka and backfield mate Jim Kiick who co wrote a book about their exploits in Miami, one in regular type the other in italics, so you knew the unique voice as you read…

Pay it back by paying it fwd

Jim – You’re the best! Thanks for helping a kid out! Sam promises to pay it back by paying it fwd to another kid when he’s in your position.

Sam, I’d like you to meet Jim Barsella – Jim knows my family well and I coached his high-achieving son in lacrosse way back when. Jim, I’d like you to meet a sharp kid looking to learn from other’s success, Sam Distler.

I will get out of the middle and let you two take it from here. The ball is in Sam’s court to reach out to Jim based on the days/times Jim has provided below.


Small talk

Introverts and small talk…“Introverts do not hate small talk because we dislike people,” she writes in her book. “We hate small talk because we hate the barrier it creates between people.” People who are introverted tend to prefer substantial conversations about philosophy and ideas rather than chit-chat. In fact, introverts can get easily intimidated, bored or exhausted by small talk. They’d much rather be real with someone and talk about more weighty topics.”

I am fine with both. Small talk is what Malinowski called phatic communion: a way to signal ongoing good will.

Keeping certain secrets only validates feelings of shame

Substance abuse

Secrets kept by children and or family
Our son’s illness, when we finally became aware of it, was a magnitude 8 earthquake in our lives that came without any warning. It was a calm and beautiful day in July when I found him the first time he tried to end his life at age 21. The mechanics of saving him, calling 911, unlocking and opening the door for the rescue team, calling my husband, and following Jonathan’s ambulance to the hospital all happened on autopilot. The moments at the hospital crawled as I waited to hear whether my son would live and with what possible damage, and wondered in complete ignorance and fear what the next steps would be.

How could this possibly be happening? How was it possible that I, who had spent countless hours talking with Jonathan, didn’t realize the trouble he was in?

He made it through that episode alive and with minimal impairment to his body. Once out of the hospital he appeared to be the same Jonathan that he always was: kind, loving, caring, bright, engaging, witty. He begged us not to tell anyone what happened—not that he needed to. Of course we would keep this a secret, for so many reasons. We didn’t want to have our son labeled “crazy”; we didn’t want him to endure any comments or knowing glances from well-meaning people. We were private people who never revealed our innermost issues to anyone outside our family. And we certainly didn’t want our son to feel exposed.

Without realizing it, by keeping this secret, we validated Jonathan’s feeling of shame. Not only would he have to battle his illness, he would bear the burden of shame about it as well. From this point on, our family would have to present an outside face to the world that did not represent our inner reality. We didn’t comprehend the gargantuan weight we would assume with this decision. Would we have acted the same way had Jonathan been diagnosed with cancer, gastrointestinal illness, severe cardiac illness, or diabetes? Absolutely not. Ask me now and I will tell you that I wish I had shouted it from the rooftop, done anything, taken out an ad in The New York Times: “My son has a devastating mental illness. Can someone, anyone, offer me some advice to save his life?

Opening Up About My Son’s Suicide

Great Santini

cross between Lt. Col. Wilbur “Bull” Meechum, aka “The Great Santini” and fred rogers / dr wayne dyer
bill moyers pbs joseph campbell

jerry garcia and richard nixon (pre-watergate)

Seasons of a Man’s Life

Mic – I wish I had packed “Seasons of a Man’s Life” into your knapsack. Timely reading for you in Kenya, pre-college, pre-career with time to think deep and meaningful thoughts..

In short there are, based on research, identifiable stages in a man’s life that with awareness, can help you (or any young adult) think through a life plan / vision. This is the crux of the book.Its not rocket science but proven research thats easy to absorb..

While you haven’t read the book, I sense the timing is right to highlight a perspective as you marinate, percolate and ruminate on your business ideas and your life in general.

Specifically, I sense in the case of Cooper – and possibly you, there might be an “either / or” mental model framing how you are looking at things as you build the foundation for personal, professional and profitable success. I think much in life can benefit from the “Power of the And” (a great philosophy developed by the business consultant and author Jim Collins (good to great, built to last).

A blend of both, like mom and me in you or a nice salad with oil & vinegar, might be a more powerful way to think through choices. As in I can either do A or I can do B leads to “but not both”. Why the fuck not?!…why not a blend of both.

While it may have been a throw-away comment, I heard recently Coop frame his career decision as “I can either take the money by working in sales OR do something more meaningful with my life.” Why not both? You’ve got a job you are really good at AND you take some of that money and do good with it. Think the founder of Patagonia, Yvon Chinouard

As you’ve heard me say over the years, finding a job that hits the trifecta where you are passionate about it AND a master at it AND create real wealth with it is a long-shot. Not impossible….but a long long shot.

Consider, taking a professionally challenging, profitably rewarding day job, AND then to feed the soul & spirit personally, use some of your earnings to do “good” – volunteer, philanthropic deeds, mentoring, etc.

Example of the college years season (not pushing this plan, just illustrative) – sketching out your next 4 academic years and the respective 3 summers. Over next 4 years you could be a pre-med/business major, playing club soccer and lacrosse and have a start-up based on your idea #4 in your last email. During this time of your life you are focused on your JOB (school), with an eye towards a future career with internships, stay active and healthy w/out the varsity time commitments playing soccer and lax, consult rising HS seniors and their parents for gap years and wind up having a very full and rewarding collegiate career. Maybe as you matriculate, drop one of the sports as junior or senior so you can dive deeper into internships or take summer volunteer trips, either funded in part my Mrs Willen’s Live Like Ally Foundation (good on ya!) and/or earnings from your Gap Year Planning business, book sales, gap year funding site commissions, etc..

The family years season: Like Michael Todd, after an investment of many dollars and years at school, you could, for the next 50-60 years have a rewarding career in medicine (business side, clinical side or a little of both as the years and your interest change and opportunities arise), be there for your kids and wife and community where you live, easily afford to go on exciting trips to do good, not just chill on a beach. Keep Neah home(s) well maintained and the watercraft well oiled! I’m thinking Mrs. Nye’s life relative to the volunteering trips to Haiti.

Customize your world with the power of the AND while keeping in mind the predictable seasons of a man’s life! I love hearing that you are using the time to think the deep and meaningful thoughts about the life life you want to create for yourself and your future family.


Love Dad

Well Crafted Obit

Nancy Ballantine Bell 93, died February 11, 2016, in Louisville.

Born on Green River in Calhoun, KY in 1923, Nancy was the youngest and last surviving of eight children of Wilmot Bewley and Tilden Hendriks Ballantine. Her family was distinguished: her father operated the toll ferry across Green River; her mother was the first woman in McLean County to hold a driver’s license. During the flood of 1937 they moved to the second floor, where from the landing she and her sister made daily assessments of the room arrangement as the piano floated across the living room.

After high school Nancy attended college in Bowling Green, then worked for the FBI during the war. In 1944 she married John Bell, a Navy doctor from Hopkinsville, after a year of correspondence arranged by their sisters. When he completed his residency in New York they moved to Louisville, where they raised five children.

She was a delegate to the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, served on the Kentucky Council on Higher Education, and was a long-time supporter and board member for Wellspring.

Nancy loved bridge, cross-word puzzles, a well-crafted letter, Lake Michigan, and dogs. She loved politics, FDR and John Kennedy, Nixon not so much. Through her final days she loved the people she encountered and the stories of their lives.

Nancy was preceded by her son John in 1968, son-in-law Tom McKune in 2007, and husband John in 2008. She is survived by four children, Jane, Walter, David, and Victor; and nine grandchildren, who will miss her dearly.

The Bell Family wishes to thank the able and forever-patient staff at Treyton Oak Towers. They were genuine friends to Nancy and to her family. A memorial celebration of her life is planned for April.

Playlist for my 3 sons

Assemblying a collection

“We’re carefully assembling a dream list of chefs, operators, street food and hawker legends
from around the world in hopes of bringing them together in one New York City space.”

—Anthony Bourdain

Early detection of disorder (addiction)

Michael Botticelli: I often say that substance use is one of the last diseases where we’d let people reach their most acute phase of this disorder before we offer them intervention. You’ve heard the phrase “hitting bottom.” Well, we don’t say that with any other disorder. So the medical community has a key role to play in terms of doing a better job of identifying people in the early stages of their disease, in doing a better job at treating people who have this disorder.

Notice that word: “disorder,” Botticelli prefers it to “addiction.” He wants to lift the stigma by changing the language as he did this past October in a rally on the National Mall.

Full story

Pope francis 12/17 bday

Dialogue is born from an attitude of respect for the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. It assumes that there is room in the heart for the person’s point of view, opinion, and proposal. Dialogue entails a cordial reception, not a prior condemnation. In order to dialogue it is necessary to know how to lower the defenses, open the doors of the house, and offer human warmth.


Compulsion… an irresistible urge to behave in a certain way, especially against one’s conscious wishes.

“It was just one drink. It was just one toke. Cant remember if it was the thirteenth or fourteenth”, so said one author


Seems few things in life are just one thing and not combinations. But Yup the root cause is Genes. As in gene pool. Its a disease, sista☺

As far a triggers I’ve never relapsed and when i drank i drank and drugged solid for 22 years with no breaks.

I wasnt molested, i was loved by my parents unconditionally, i have great supportive friends, i was a successful athlete and while i struggled academically, life was a pretty good as in good time charlie.

But it all started at 18 when a mixed drink felt so good at making me not feel socially awkward….and coupled with my positive gene for substance abuse, i guess there you have my trigger…social anxiety

Boys in the boat

Such a great book — and such an unusual sport … definitely lots of pain, but Lyon says that that feeling of rowing in sync with your fellow oarsmen is surreally cool — and that when everything’s clicking, you feel like you’re flying!!

Why medicine

My guess is dna (papa d, mike todd, uncle ed and odie ems), odie telling him all his life he has hands of a surgeon and with genetics, big data, info tech, smart phones devices, pharma and personalized medicine, the future looks fairly bright for personal, professional and profitable success somewhere in the field of medicine and the internet of things

DI or DIII or both?

Hey Mic – I have not done a very job communicating my guidance to you on DIII schools during your college search. I do love, admire and am so proud you are looking at the money/debt/ROI factor of each and every college/university. But don’t rule out the expensive DIII’s just yet;-)

Let me be very clear – touring, interviewing and applying to DIII schools with strong academic reputations is something I wholeheartedly support. Yes, they are wildly expensive and seem to flunk the ROI test; however, interviewing and applying to DIII liberal arts schools is a “be wise, my son” move.

Like reinforcing the benefits of HHS for yourself by interviewing and applying to WRA, visiting, interviewing and applying to the Kenyons/Denisons/John Carroll’s will reinforce your likely final choice of a DI “big school/university”. End of day, you decided that academically, athletically and socially HHS was a better fit for you than WRA….and it was $100,000 – $120,000 less expensive over 4 years! By deciding what isn’t a “good” fit after tour/interview only serves to strengthen the decision behind what is a better fit.
Then again, by trusting in the process and early-stage not ruling anything out, who knows, maybe a DIII school comes up with a financial package (leveraged by soccer and/or lacrosse and/or gap year experiences) that drops the cost comparable to an OSU/Miami (for instance). It’s always good to have more vs. fewer options.
Best – Dad
PS Timely sidebar: Here’s one guy’s predictions for the next 5 years and beyond as you think through how best to position yourself with degrees, majors, minors, courses. Context: He’s a former WRA classmate.
Don’t click on this until you have 50 minutes of uninterrupted time. This is his gift of insight. Honor it. Keeping in mind the many fields of medicine, the big pharma industry, big data, smart phones, biology, sciences, ethics, philosophy, history, etc are all keys to a broad-based liberal arts education to prepare for yourself a hearty foundation that allows you to be adaptable in this ever-changing world versus specializing at such an early age.
I sense it’s relevance for you is giving you more information to afford yourself the opportunity of syncing an undergraduate education with these trends in mind – a thoughtfulness that will help position you for personal, professional and profitable success in the future. I wish I had access to something like this when I was your age…

Obit (by James)

I’m deeply grateful for all the kind words of sympathy and condolence that people have been sending in these past two days.
Thank you.

Gertrude Woodard Taylor (1921-2015) was the daughter of a Massachusetts fisherman and the wife of a North Carolina doctor. She devoted her life to her marriage and her five children, four boys and a girl, all born in the span of six years between 1947 and 1953.

She raised us in the home she built in Chapel Hill, NC and, since she never lost her Maritime New England roots, made an annual summer migration to Martha’s Vineyard Island.

Her two homes, in Chapel Hill and Chilmark, were works of art into which she channeled her constant creativity. But she was also an accomplished painter, a weaver (spinning her own yarn), a photographer, a distinguished horticulturist and a killer cook, whose talents in the kitchen were celebrated by anyone fortunate enough to sit at her table. This included the illustrious James Beard who introduced the world to her “Chilmark Bouillabaisse.” Everything she put her hand to became a work of art.

As the wife of the Dean of Medicine at the Universary of North Carolina, she shouldered the burden of official hostess with a warmth and sophistication that was an invaluable asset to my father, as he built a world-renowned School of Medicine and assembled its faculty.

She ended her days in her simple, elegant cottage overlooking her beloved Stonewall Pond, surrounded by dear friends and four generations of family.

As she liked to say: “Life is finite, but love lasts forever…”

~ James

Drinking books

8 weeks to optimum health (only a teeny tiny bit related to SA)

Power of habit is another key book that helped

So too are 3 autobiographies…Lit, Drinking- A love story and a drinking life – a memoir

The last 2 i read the night before i quit for good and Lit helped me laugh may way through some stressful periods when i could have relapsed. Lit is a hilarious horror story hoot

withdrawn and angry

at time scaring his family. devastating. there were definitely times when wasn’t sure if she might harm herself or me or somebody

open, thoughtful self-reflection after bad experiences. Commit to change ends up as espoused theories when habit begins again



When did you start praying?


When I got sober, in 1989—twenty years ago now. Only with prayer could I stop drinking for more than a day or two. Once I made three months clean, but it was a white-knuckled horror show. Call it self-hypnosis, prayer, whatever. To skeptics I say, Just try it. Pray every day for thirty days. See if your life gets better. If it doesn’t, tell me I’m an asshole. People tend to judge a faith’s value based on its dogma, which ignores religion in practice. It’s like believing if you watch enough porn or read enough gynecology books, you’ll know about pussy. For me, being a Catholic is a set of activities. Certain dogma seems nuts to me too. I’m not the Pope’s favorite Catholic.


Feel better. Stop


i think it was a NGG centerfold…the map of the world wide web 1995
a few years later i was lucky to get a gig with xx (formerly OE) during the frantic and anxious lead-up to Y2K. As Director of eBusiness applications our RAID team was installing Plumtree portal software across the company. We were working with select business units cranking out ROI-based deliverables every six weeks. A pace that drove the traditional 900+ IT department to fits and among other intrapreneur issues got me fired.
We’d meet with SVP in the morning, listen to their vision, strategy and goals for their business unit. We’d listen real hard. We’d ask them “if you had a magic wand, what would you start, stop or keep doing even better to move your business forward?” We’d either find pains or opportunities to enhance and accelerate what they were doing with our emerging tech. These RAIDs bridged the Business and IT divide and changed the conversation from IT saying tell me exactly what you want me to build you to finding ways we could give them something visual to react to very quickly that could help move them forward to
mine for pains and have a prototype up and running to look at before she went home.
cross-functional teams. IT geeks who learned the buzzwords of ROI, strategy and selling skills and sales guys like me that could help bridge the two worlds.
Our mission: to expose critical data trapped in disparate systems and silos (aka, applications “owned” by employees who didn’t always wanna share and play nicely) via gadgets or portlets. Emerging themes of openness and communities I remember hearing for the first time. I remember, too, we all had Palm OS-powered Kyocera 6035’s. Openness, communities were emerging themes within our team.
we wanted to understand their strategies as well as they did and then re-imagine (loved that book by tom peters)
dale dauten’s The Max Strategy. experiments never fail
i arrived at xx sometime in 2004. a business and industry that had changed little since i left the family business 15 years prior to spread my wings. not unlike LNG, gasoline and electric utilities, wholesale distribution of lubricant oils was becoming more and more a scale business. i didnt have the capital to go bigger. try and be distinctive. i liked granite rock’s story, which jim collins illiminated.
at the time i was reading a bunch of authors like peter drucker, jim collins, tom peters, jack stack, verne harnesh, napolean hill, Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovich (given to me by one of best friends Joe feidler, jazz trombonist and sesame street musician, arranger, composer.
recalled pulling in data from the fossil generation group and the 13th floor situation room to monitor the grid we helped build with smart dashboards. lets find a way to “see” into our customer tanks to figure out how to optimize deliveries to take not too much and not enough oil to fill the tanks. monitor, sensor.
experiments never fail. its amazing how easy and empowering it is these days to experiment as we pursue ideas to better service our cradle-to-grave customers. we have moved from improving administrative and operational efficiencies (improving quality of life with life style changes) by digitizing people- and paper-based processes to imagining and quickly building out apps to create new tools for enhanced or accelerated gains. genetic testing, big data and internet technologies and smart phone adoption that gets these apps/tools into the hands of people that can really benefit. no longer stuck in silos, held hostage by.

level devils with conduits, cables and modems. transmitters and receivers. cellular radar, wireless, wifi, cloud based centeron, tankscan to kickstarted twine sensors by

Either drowning in EPA paperwork or starved for the paperwork that would prove compliance in the event of a superfund or pollution claim..

cradle-to-grave traceability app which is extending itself as a utility to track our customers’ sustainability initiatives, not just key EPA and DOT compliance doc paper-trails.
smart phone as remote controls, various cloud-based collaboration platforms, experiments never fail and an a growing community of businesses assembled like a soccer team and led by managing partners much like the model we’ve adopted from zingerman’s community of businesses in Ann Arbor
reduce consumption through condition-based testing, reuse, reclamation and recycling technologies and programs.
neil deGrasse tyson quoting carl sagan “….responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with on another to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
its an exciting time for a guy with undiagnosed ADD to be working with a team that has embraced a philosophy that experiments never fail

the guy…

who was the one to get the drinking started

was the last one standing

was the one who went out looking for more when it was all gone

was the one who threw up, wiped off and kept on drinking

wedding night


car crashes

wedding night


all manner of boorish behavior

broke hand


Xx and xxx (girl friend parents)

Hopefully things went well for you guys and xx on Friday at your home. We didn’t have a chance to debrief with xx before he boarded bus for NYC. Hard to get a gauge on things with the heartbreaking site of xx and xx saying their goodbyes. Whoosh. Reminded me of me with my highschool girlfriend at same age as we headed to our respective colleges.
Sidebar – Had to laugh at thought of God belly-laughing at us and our perspective of “never say never”. I never imagined xx and I would bless a sleepover with a girlfriend. When we woke them up early Saturday morning, they looked so teeny-tiny asleep in eachothers arms. A stolen moment gazing upon a picture of young love in all its sweet innocence before they woke and reality came crashing down. (For what its worth, fully clothed:-)
The trip was fairly eventful with a bus breakdown, loneliness and arriving on an island only to be deposited at a birthday party not knowing a soul. Homesick for his comfort zone back in Ohio, it was a long slog getting him to calm himself down when he got to his “shed” – not exactly what he was picturing. Not unkindly, if you are anything like us, bet you guys are thankful for a moment or two to catch your collective breaths with Big xx out of town:-)
That said, thanks again for all the love, acceptance and encouragement you have bestowed on our son. The Bible, “This Too Shall Pass” and the many nice words of encouragement (and forgiveness) will hopefully be somethings he turns to as he works his way up and out of the funk and into a more healthy place for himself.

this is like a jail cell. this is shit

Funny, my xx just flew to Utah last night. He shared with me that he was nervous and mentioned a few days ago that it was going to be strange traveling to a place where he knew no one… bless their hearts, they are growing up. He landed in Salt Lake City last night at11pm. Had to navigate a cab because there were no Uber cars available at that hour… made it to where he needed to go. Sent a pic of his temporary dorm room saying “am I in jail? very depressing”. I reassured him it’s just a place to sleep and that I hope he would do that well;). I’m sure the next 6 days are going to be challenging for him as he goes through orientation today and tomorrow and then onto the swoop camp Wed-Sat. These are all great growing opportunities for our kiddos. God bless them everyone!!!

sleepover – the girlfriend kind

Not sure where you guys are on the pre-marital sex topic. Guided by xx we champion abstinence until engaged – but when we pull our heads outta the sand we champion safe sex within the context of a long-term committed relationship. xx and xx followed this path in HS and with a slight deviation or two at xx, (he gets quizzed often by xx) xx has pretty much stayed the course.
Helicopter parent sidebar – xx and I were at a graduation party Saturday night (damn, she cleans up so well – whoosh still takes my breath away). Anyways, we were chatting up two moms whose sons have headed off to college already (football players). As part of packing for their sons (WTF?), they bought and stuffed into their bags….condoms. As xx said years ago – “if you are too embarrassed to buy your own condoms, you are too young to be having sex!”. Sheesh
Back to Michael and xx and never say never. These two were utterly heartbroken to be saying goodbye. xx is really good friends with her mom and dad, so after dinner together they hung at her house. Then they came to our house and stayed up late, then later and then xx gets a text from xx – “Can xx sleep over?”…..hmmmm….
Next morning when we went in to wake them up so we could get xx to the bus station we found them in his bed, sound asleep, in eachothers arms. They looked so teeny-tiny small and fragile and just the most beautifully innocent two people on the face of the earth. A stolen moment looking upon our son holding on so tightly to something/someone he loves so dearly, oh so slowly slipping away, like an archipelago. For some reason, gazing upon them, it just brought immense comfort to xx and me as we navigate our own swirl of emotions with his departure out into the world. (BTW, I’d like to add, they had all their clothes on; I think they cried themselves to sleep)
As we drove home from the graduation party, we talked about how we never could have imagined any scenario where would would ever in a million years green-light a sleepover for a girlfriend.

xx and I too have championed no sex first, then safe sex within the context of a long-term relationship…However, I was also that mom that packed a box of condoms in xx’s “first aid” box…YIKES, as Julia would have said!!! I will not be doing the same for xx. I guess I just wanted to make sure he got the message which is silly. He is capable of buying his own (and has) – so the message was received. I also don’t think he’s a ‘ho neither.


Last summer xx & xx had their girlfriends come up to Michigan and stay at our cottage for a few nights. I made sure everyone had their own bed! However, it got a little dicey and crowded and xx (I think innocently) wanted to stay in his girlfriend’s room – on the couch in the attached little den. Well that caused a kerfuffle and xx didn’t think xx’s girlfriend’s parents would appreciate that scene. Much to xx’s dismay he slept on the floor in our room… (Back track to last fall and xx snuck a sleep over at his girlfriend’s house. Not cool. And they got busted and in trouble. xx came to tell me about it and then met with both of her parents to apologize. I think he handled it really well. And I believe it was innocent. xx asked him, and xx said they had decided they were not going “there”…)

It’s a big old goofy world, my friends. xoxoxo


We’ve taken the “safe sex within the context of a long-term relationship position” as well (in addition to ‘long-term’, I usually throw in ‘committed’ and ‘monogamous’ to the adjectives modifying ‘relationship’ — just for good measure … : )

underage drinking

Hmmmm….when I first read your email my mind went blank. If I had to choose, leaning towards “no, he didn’t really own the drinking incident.”

I don’t think he really had a chance to see his shadow in our session together. I sense rather than seeing it as an “explanation” and taking responsibility, he blames solely the alcohol as the excuse for the incident. His defensive walls we now realize went up when I shared the description of his behavior from others…at that point kind of shutdown. The no going over to his girlfriends house was a clunker – later, we deemed it the right place for him to go so he could apologize and close the loop with her parents.
We kept him home Thursday (which was a roller coaster of emotions. He was still discovering that what he did was violence against someone (for some reason he defined violence as throwing a punch). As the afternoon worn on, with several neutral corner moments, he invited us out to dinner. It was reflective, poignant and just what the doctor ordered; however, the overriding emotion was he was going to miss his girlfriend – I sense this is getting in the way of the deeper insights required. Recognizing GF and their relationship was really his only tangible thing he could “hold on to” (and “control”), it became resoundingly clear again to me and Susan this is an incredibly young 18 yr old and in a very fragile state of mind.
He got a goods sleep that night (for once) and next afternoon/evening saw his girlfriend and her parents. He definitely did see his shadow that night. Her parents, we all talked prior to him seeing them. Incredibly cool and understanding. We were all on the same page with everything, with a laser focus on the drinking and physical abuse. Unfortunately, the next time we had him alone was the few minutes before we put him on the bus. Looking back this is turning into a long email so I will tighten it up from here.
The bus had a breakdown somewhere in middle of Pa. He became unhinged. He eventually got himself on another bus and had a good time with a family friend in the city. Next day at a birthday party, he became agitated again. First time anywhere solo, with no friends, no family (another first experience). Then he got to his room where the summer help sleeps and he went off the rails again. “Of all people, Dad, I thought you would put in a position for success. This is not what I need.” To keep from escalating the situation his mom spent the next 2-3 hours trying to settle him down (ditto older brother). I was losing patience and was coming close to pursuing a traditional Dad-track to “nut up, take responsibility and quit acting like a spoiled kid.”
Hopefully a little sun, a bunch of physical labor, no cell phone until he gets home from work and a little time will center him. The labor is hard and he his body will be sore for next 3-4 days. Easy sailing is a ways away!


Fwd:Just sent to …  Fwd:At Jeff Durrs office for some counseling.  Jeff just shared with mic all anxiety comes from thinking about future – he’s been having anxiety attacks.   One day, one task at a time he advised. As much as one can, be present – a gift to yourself

what about a bike? pg year vs gap year “structure”

not sure yet.
might take one with him on bus or
get him out there and he can get lay of land/sand and think through borrowing/renting/buying/stealing (haha) bike on island
gap year all about enhancing and accelerating growth triggered by kid “being on his own” and responsible for advocating/playing outside his comfort zone…bumps, bruises and all.
instead of a PG dorm room and the structure of a 5th year at the hill academy with the Merrill’s, mic’s will be a gap year shed and the structure of a 5th year at fishers island oyster with sarah and steve

beer bongs, shark attacks and wave runners

Mike and Wayne

Thanks for sharing your sons with us. Relieved to get them back to you in one piece. A couple more NC shark attacks yesterday. A quick recap of the week follows.

Did your sons mind their Ps-n-Qs? Yes. Kerrie, Suzanne and Ann Landers would be proud
Did your sons behave like gentlemen? Yes, sir
Did your sons offer to help out whenever & wherever they could? Yes, maam
Did your sons “enjoy themselves”? Without question, yes sir, officer;-)
Did your sons build as well as resurrect / refortify new and old friendships? For shore
Did your sons make some good memories? Hoo-ah!
Was it a treat for the parents to watch the boys play together? A big treat
Hug ’em tight.
You two dads, along with their moms, have raised two great sons!
From what we saw and heard, your sons are ready for the next step ….are you? Haha. Break out the hankies and good luck holding back the tears;-)

Awesome. I’m so happy Max got to experience this. And it’s best it happened with his mother making herself busy getting ready for a graduation party in Hudson.
Yesterday when Matt Wallace showed up at the party, he came straight up to Max and they embraced in a way that is created with time, beers, and sunshine. I think last week definitely forged a new friendship there.
And Michael and Max have been friends, but last week creates next level shit.
He loved his roommates, he loved his time. I’m grateful and jealous that you had a front row seat!
Good Stuff. Thanks!

summer rules and shed people

Hi Walker and James (and Michael),

We have been pre occupied with the upcoming wedding, so this is coming later than I intended. My intention is to send this missive with both love and firmness. There is no wiggle room.

Before the summer gets away from us….. we would like to firm up the chores for the summer. The major chore we are going to ask of you (James and Walker) is to scrape, sand and prime the end of the house facing the water (our bedroom and the side of the house above it). The painters out here said that it would take two of their guys 2 1/2 days to do it and estimated it would take two college kids 5 days. We would like this job done by August 9. But feel free to get it done earlier so you can enjoy your summer.
Smaller scale chore. Both our yard and our neighbors’ yard need 2 more lawn mows and weed wacker attention before Michael takes over yard work mid July. One of those mows has to be this Tuesday after work prior to the wedding weekend. No weed wacking necessary in our yard. But weed wacking done in the Essenlohr’s yard. A thorough job will take you 3 hours. The 2nd lawn mow has to be done by July 2nd. James and Walker, please decide between yourselves who will do which one, or whether you will work together.
Everyday chores. Counting on the shed people to keep their bathroom (guest bath) clean at all times. All your beauty products kept in your dob kits in the cupboard, your wet towels hung up in your sheds or on your own laundry lines that you set up near your sheds. Your shower (the outdoor shower) neat and tidy – put empty containers in recycling, etc. (Bathroom in the new addition is off limits as of today). If you are looking for privacy, there is always the workers bathroom in the kennel.
Smallest chores for James and Walker. Just guessing that in general you will be the last in in the evenings. Please make sure all lights are turned off and there are no wet dishes on the wooden counters around the sink.
If you are looking for extra ways to help the operation run smoothly, there are usually dishes to deal with. Please learn where things belong and jump in to empty and load the dishwasher, etc. Also hanging out with our grandchildren outside will always warm our hearts!
The most important summer rule: NO DRINKING AND DRIVING. We suggest that if you need a truck to move wood for camp fires, do so, then bring them back and ride your bike to wherever you plan to be for the evening. Michael – bring a bike. If you have a car, you cannot bring it to the island – it must be left on the mainland.
Our work trucks are available for your use, as unimpressive as they are, keep in mind that every one of them is important to our operation. (Also, because we are concerned for your health and are conscious of our carbon footprint – we always prefer you ride a bike, instead of use a truck).
Other important rules: No underage drinking, sex (underage or otherwise) and no drugs on the premises. We are not personally opposed to any of these things, but this is a multi-generational household and we do not want any confusion or questions. We have raised 6 kids and we are worn out!
We need to count on the people associated with us to be safe, compassionate, and smart. And kind and considerate to everyone you meet. We are friends with everyone on the island and count on you to also be friendly to everyone you meet. Our good friends work in the gas stations, post office, grocery store, ferry, etc. This is a small island. Everything you do reflects back on us.
Michael, you can count on 4 hours of yard work a week in trade for your room and board. Aside from the lawn mowing there will be invasive species pulling. We are a chemical and fertilizer  free property and aim to be part of the nature corridor. to that end, we are trying to eliminate all invasive species and encourage native plants and trees that promote species diversity and health. This requires constant vigilance!
Steve, am I missing anything?
The most important person to keep happy is me.  A good rule of thumb, if you are ever wondering whether or not you are doing the right thing, recognize that you are probably considering doing the wrong thing.
We are looking forward to a productive summer for everyone.

BS: Baseless speculation

World health organization
National institute of heath

Habits of teens
Napolean hill success pleasing personality
The other book mic read from his photog

Baseless Speculation
A vision without execution is hallucination


ditto eggs n basket. butter in pan. swirl bread one side and flip. add egg. salt pepper. flip. add cheddar cheese


Ok. I was just able to watch… This “nostalgia” is something I deal with on a regular basis — especially now that my kids are flying the nest… Bitter sweet life is.


On Mar 2, 2015, at 3:08 PM,

I was helping our high school senior discover there’s wisdom in packing in as much living as he can in his early years. 

Sidebar: he is deferring college and taking a Gap year 2015-2016. He is working on assembling a broad array of internships, jobs, shadow sessions and volunteer gigs. Being a very young 18 yr old, it has him way outside his comfort zone and he’s a little tentative on saying yes to some new things, people and experiences.

Anyways, “nostalgia” came to mind. My feeble attempt at parenting came up with the more he can pack into these wonder years (14-25 or thereabouts), all the more to dine and wax nostalgic on when he is older (great reruns as it were). This Mad Men scene about the Kodak Carousel proved to be a handy illustrator of the point.

The video clip got me thinking about Robby. Made me think of you guys.

Keep the faith

I remember this wise quote from team 1 days with cooper, mom and me. And it now it helps guide Mic, mom and me on team 2 and eventually max, mom and dad on team 3. When life gets confusing, annoying and overwhelming…..

Trust in the process and keep the faith. The latter being so eloquently conveyed below by MLK.

“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.

Oh, and be sure each day to laugh your ass off and shred a tear or two (joy or pain doesn’t matter). JimmyV said it best….

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

Love you guys.

Bets – Dad

adolescent brain and addiction

learning and synapse drinking

marijuana has different aspect of the teenage brain than the adult brain

stress…during teen years. Wired up for future life

Pot blocks learning and memory

Silent diseases like depression n addiction get started in adi

full-fledged adulthood mid-thirties

dr yansine. The teenage brain

Synapses being conditioned


In the quote below, if you substitute “young adult” (age 14-25) for “the country”, you have, I believe, a recipe that, if pursued now, will help position each of you for great personal, professional and profitable success as an adult…life at 25 and older. The key is now, between the ages of 14-25, keep trying things, keep experimenting. Keep pushing yourselves outside your current comfort zones.

The country needs, and unless I mistake its temper, the country demands bold, persistent experimentation. It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails admit it frankly and try another. But above all try something.”

another key area to start early on is saving and investing your money. The power of compound interest and divided reinvestment are a couple aspects. Congrats to mic for finally getting grammy to commit and purchase some stock, in this case the pharmaceutical Merck. Consider buying some more stock with the 18th birthday cash.


another perspective on which to marinate. Start with the obvious….you have a little bit of mom and a little bit of me in you.

on the whole i’ve never been much of a joiner. fraternities and clubs and associations are not really my scene…though I’ve been a member from time to time. i know myself well, though…i enjoy my solitary time but know when to step up and play the social game. i can make folks feel special and comfortable and be very engaging and fun to be around.

that said, i do spend a bunch of time in my own head. its where im most comfortable (other than with the four of you). i can while away the hours so contentedly thinking about all sorts of stuff. thinking, reading, thinking, writing down lists, drawing things.

i’m coming to my point… “love” is different at 51 than it was for me at 18, my identity to myself is different, too. as time marches on the adventures, activities and things done in youth take on an even greater color and importance for me. they become even more special and treasured memories and reflections of myself. Nostalgia.

a natural thing that happens to all humans as we age is we find ourselves yearning, longing for our youth….there’s a great Mad Men scene when don draper is selling the vision for a new ad campaign for the brand new piece of technology – the kodak carousel project – that scene speaks beautifully to this point that things done in youth take on even richer hues as you age. Nostalgia. thats why you want to pack as much living and experiences into your youth and young adulthood (14-25). You (and your spoyse and kuds) will “dine” on those memories the rest of your life

here’s my share: one thing i like about history is i played competitive sports in high school and college. i like how it helps define me as an athlete even when im too creaky to actively take the field. my regret is i didnt fully leverage my natural talents to work even harder to achieve even more leverage and success. but hey, thats a lesson learned. all the dad’s and all the moms who played sports share this same connection, feeling and powerful, healthy identity. we are all grateful that we played sports in college. again nostalgia.

connecting the dots: since we are related by blood and you have so many other relatives’ athletic and competitive dna coursing through you (grammy drohan for sure), please reconsider your decision not to play lacrosse in college…at least use it as leverage to get into a really great school for pre-med and then if it does indeed get in the way of studies, you can pull a Moose, like coop’s roommate at Michigan did.


Heres a link to the mad men scene video

leverage lacrosse

I wish there was some way to help him discover that getting back involved in lacrosse and using it as a tool to get into a really good school is a no brainer.

Squandering his natural resources that can me monetized via scholarship or allow him the extra edge to get admitted by an otherwise impenetrable admissions process with the help of the lacrosse coach

Ideally he would agree to play on the burning River Club this summer to get some exposure to some colleges talking to him and find a place to go to college even before he starts his his Gap year

keys to a long marriage – karl pillemer

follow your heart when choosing a spouse

use your head – will they be financially responsible and a good parent?

look for someone with similar values


put your relationship first

lighten up on in-law relationships

stay out of debt

focus on small things to keep spark alive

enjoy intimacy

respect each other

talk, talk, talk

tread carefully when discussing difficult topics

most divisive issues facing our culture

open, dont narrow, passages.

why is it often framed as all or nothing, good or bad, win or lose, this or that?

frame it with “i’m struggling with”…..

in times like these splintered and partisan times, with many adopting an approach that is “unflagging in adherence” to an ideology, faith gets trampled.

Supporting an “allergic” teammate

Here’s a perspective shared from a conversation I had last night with KS.
JS, in the eyes of a medical person they have been talking to, is genetically predisposed to being “allergic” to alcohol (and any other addictive substance). Sounds benign but we’re not talking spring allergies but like some deathly allergic to a bee sting that will die if no epi-pen handy.
J has 5, male blood-relatives with substance abuse/addition problems. With this gene-pool trait, built into J’s DNA lies the same disease waiting to be awakened.
The medical experts opinion is that drinking prior to 25 years old puts J at tremendous risk of ending up like his dad, whose disease made him choose booze over his kids.
As you and your senior friends and teammates discuss whether to party or not during the X season (which in my mind has already started), think of J as a 17 year-old with a family history of substance abuse, alcoholism and addiction, not to mention an awful lot too lose with police, AD and college and a X career if he gets caught.

Matisse the cut-outs

Colors, shapes, sissors
Great pain, joyful art
The kitchen table…
Last night Susan and I went to see the movie/documentary on the new MoMA exhibit: Matisse The Cut-Outs. So much to say about it….the paper, paint and colors, the scissors and shapes and the incredible burst of creativity in his last 10 years…..the physical pain but beautiful art…..hard to describe the wonderful effect this presentation, this artist, his art, his narrated philosophy had on us in an empty theatre on a cold Tuesday night in Ohio.

One thing I can share, and Susan said on the drive home she knew what was going on during the movie, I felt the presence of your mom, Rachel. Even now the emotion overwhelms me as I sit here eating my lunch in a University of Akron parking lot with a freight train chuggin by.

Can’t really put into words the how or why…..but she showed up early and stayed with me through his breathtaking Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence. Love. Art. Nature. The kitchen table….

Left me peaceful and smiling through the tears:-)

Hopefully both of you’ll have a chance to catch the movie or visit Matisse and his cutouts at MoMA.

underground tunnel

Hi David,
I love that story (rumor).   While there is no clear evidence to say that it is true, there is evidence to say it is not.  As much as this congregation was deeply involved in abolition, that part of our history would have taken place in our former meeting house which stood where the current town hall is now located.   Seeing as the current sanctuary was dedicated on March 1 of 1865 and the Civil War ended five weeks later, the building would have been built at too late a date to have been used in the underground railroad.   There is evidence of a former tunnel under the sanctuary.   I have been told that it was a ventilation shaft for a cheese factory.  I’m not sure that is true either, but it sure is a lot less exciting if it is.
Many thanks!

college essay and standard format

Ok — I’ve thought about this a little more and want to clarify a few points.

“Abandon all format” is a little bit of an overstatement. What I really meant was that the traditional, five paragraph essay that kids are taught in school is NOT the right format for a college essay — too restrictive, repetitive … and “letting it flow” is good — essays should really flow and not seem forced. When I mentioned your particular writing style, David, I was trying to highlight the heartfelt, vivid (there’s that word again!) way that you write … but I don’t want to give the impression that punctuation, spelling and grammar don’t matter in a college essay — they really do — again, remember that the reader is tired, overworked — and if there are mis-spellings, or if the essay is hard to follow,etc., it’s just plain irritating …

Also — when you say “pick one” below — all those are great ideas, but it doesn’t HAVE to be one of those — and it doesn’t HAVE to be Neahtawanta … I just figured that that was probably pretty fertile territory. You’ll see in the packet of essays (that I will forward to you shortly) — there are quite a few that play upon that theme of family ties that you are encouraging Michael to explore (I’m always a sucker for that type of essay …)

A great role for parents to play is to brainstorm with the kid before he ever writes a single word — helping the kid recognize some of his own attributes that he might not even be fully aware of … and then helping him recall anecdotes that illustrate that point … you should all take a look at the current Common App essay prompts together — they might trigger some ideas … and “topic of choice” (which used to allow a kid to write about anything) has been eliminated … the prompts are general enough that most topics can be made to fit one of them, but they shouldn’t be disregarded all together.

And “make it longer; too short” … is not a hard and fast rule — a good college essay can be the length Michael’s was — but it should be jam packed with VIVID images … Michael’s wasn’t … The current Common App guidelines say the essays should be 650 words or fewer …

Remember that you have very little space in the Common App to tell the admissions committee who you really are — and you don’t want to waste that opportunity. Another name for the college essay is the ‘personal statement’ — I think that’s a much better name … you are trying to give colleges a glimpse of who you are as a person … “college essay” just sounds like one more writing assignment.

I’ve pulled together some good personal statements and will email them to you shortly … I think you’ll “get it” after reading a few of these …

Good luck!

expressed beautifully


I’m running out the door so rachel may expand on this but I sense Molly’s primary coping mechanism are distraction, humor and more distraction when “dealing” with the loss of her son and now another member of her family, Poncho.

If Robby comes up when I’m on the phone with her or in person it’s really only a passing glance. Once she shared that if we start talking about it or she starts thinking too much about his not being here, “I would just crumble”. “Now David, my wine glass needs refilling”;-)
So….as gently as I can…while it comes so tenderly from your heart to help her with this reading, I sense a couple recommendations of comedies from netflix or dvd’s from the Hudson Library would do her grieving process well;-)
Love you Mather and even more so as you are thinking of ways to help Molly through an experience that to anyone, let alone a single mom, is utterly unimaginable, unfathomable as a parent
Ram dass. whoosh….

Let me die a young mans death

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a clean and inbetween
the sheets holywater death
not a famous-last-words
peaceful out of breath death

When I’m 73
and in constant good tumour
may I be mown down at dawn
by a bright red sports car
on my way home
from an allnight party

Or when I’m 91
with silver hair
and sitting in a barber’s chair
may rival gangsters
with hamfisted tommyguns burst in
and give me a short back and insides

Or when I’m 104
and banned from the Cavern
may my mistress
catching me in bed with her daughter
and fearing for her son
cut me up into little pieces
and throw away every piece but one

Let me die a youngman’s death
not a free from sin tiptoe in
candle wax and waning death
not a curtains drawn by angels borne
‘what a nice way to go’ death
Roger McGough

gentle suggestion (fitbit)

David, sorry to hear about your illness.  I do want to give another shout out for the Fitbit you gave me.  Getting back in to running is just something that didn’t sound appealing to me anymore, but hitting 10,000 steps per day is something that I can easily do and actually look forward to the evening walk around Wooster.  And, more importantly, the pounds are slowly shedding off.  In fact, I’m enjoying it so much I’ve thought about upping my goal to 15,000 sometime soon.  When you gave me the Fitbit, I thought it might have a chance of motivating me to exercise, but I didn’t realize it would have this kind of impact.  Thank you again buddy,



adolescent brain

10 12 13 14 till 25 puberty

15 year period of adolescent.

adulthood. Staying in school longer. Not getting married until 27 or later

the book age of opportunity…..lessons from the new science of adolescence

osho and langer




Mindfulness. Inquisitiveness. Noticing. Charasmatic. Present.

expecting change leads to stability


people who are mindful are living. people who are mindless are dying

fishers island oysters

FIO’s the BEST! you’ve heard all the reasons why so here’s a few cute takeaways from several folks who had never eaten a fresh oyster

“Tastes like ocean”
“My God! These are delicious”
“So clean. I thought they’d be all sandy, hairy, dirty” (chuckle; might have had a bad experience with a mussel)
“Love the briny, salty taste” (then someone poked fun and said “yeah, its briny and salty, too!)
“They don’t smell” (another chuckle)
“This is the coolest idea for a cocktail party ever!”

Only 3/14 had shucked an oyster. Those that tried, were thrilled beyond words; such a cool sight to see their big smiles at their big accomplishment when they finally got em opened and then the satisfaction when they popped em in their mouths
naked or just a couple drops of lemon, fresh horseradish, tabasco or some mignonette sauce susan made, 100 was perfect # for 14. 15 if you count our max (katie’s 14 yr old godson) who came home from basketball practice (said he likes deep fried best;-)

Hudsonites from every decade starting from the 1950’s through ’00 filled this 1860’s kitchen on a cold cold Hudson night. A freshman daughter home for thanksgiving from Miami (oxford) walked in and surprised her shocked and happy dad who couldnt hold back the tears. a hudson football coach whose team is just 2 games away from state championship game got a chance to chill and NOT have to talk about about football;-). happiness everywhere you looked

Poor mans champagne – prosecco, local great lakes beers, dogfish head 60 minute ipa, someone bringing a bottle of shramsburg which was my grandparent’s favorite champagne all complimented the main attraction. they only time i got to shuck was before they arrived. they all jumped in and shucked the night away and i never got back behind the counter.

they reminded us we only entertain about once every ten years. last time was a frogmore stew party on a big farm table out in the yard under a big tree on a starry summer night. i dont want to wait that long for another box!

They all were so very interested in the Hudson connection of family farmer Sarah (the attached pictures helped me tell the entire back story). Which then got every one talking about their HS girl or boyfriends and then how each of us met and got married! At one point everyone was naming their top 5 bands from their childhood. The oysters just took us so many places last night. Most everyone checked out your website and got to know the harbor school, BOP and 1% for the planet. Sidebar: one of the gals is a big fan of bracelets and bangles. she saw the FIO home page and the hand that holds the two oysters with the gold bracelet which she admired. Looks very similar to the one my Latin (life) tutor wore;-)

All cups recycled for a couple who buy bulk shucked oysters and make dozens and dozens oyster rockerfeller trays which they deliver to a bunch of very lucky friends every xmas eve

The sensation of briny ocean freshness hitting your mouth….joyous
The twinkle in the eyes and shared smiles after each……joyful
So too an unexpected surprise of a consistent vibe throughout the night of attitude of gratitude from everyone (maybe because the holidays or around the corner or an evening made distinctive, special with your oysters?!
An open oyster bar evening at a home was a first experience for all and the planned 6:30-8:30 eat-n-run cocktail party ran out of oysters at 9 and the friends didnt leave until 11:30!

joy in a box…fishers island oysters were the center piece for a most special night with family and friends!

thanks for sharing, sarah

xo David

college essay

This is a MUCH better college essay topic — way more personal, appealing, vivid … I really liked it! He’s got some lovely images — i.e. “1 room, 3 beds, 3 brothers, 14 years” — great stuff!
This essay fits well with the prompt which goes something like “tell us about a place where you feel totally content” … so I think he’s all set there …
And as far as a cohesive “story” goes … a story is not really necessary — it’s fine to just provide a glimpse or slice of the kid’s life … which this essay does successfully.
What this essay does need is some careful proofreading — he’s got a few hilarious typos — i.e. “the closet members of my family” … and probably would benefit from a little tightening as well, but all the material is right there on the page — great job, Michael!!
Is he applying to a school with a Nov 1 deadline — i.e. tomorrow??

senior essay for college admissions

DRAFT #5 11-16-2014


As iTunes shuffles through the “Ride to Michigan” playlist my dad and I know the road to Neahtawanta is just around the next bend. Soon we will be winding along Peninsula Drive past cherry and apple trees, fields climbing with hops and sunflowers and hillside vineyards whose grapes will soon be harvested. We are moments away from ascending the hog back and drinking in the turquoise East and West Bay views of Lake Michigan.


The time in summer has arrived where my Dad and I road-trip to the northern tip of Michigan to spend time with our relatives in Neahtawanta. Beyond the natural beauty of the place, it’s the multi-generational nature of our daily lives that makes Neah so special. You see, it’s not just my immediate family, but grandmas, grandpas, aunts, uncles, cousins and life-long, summertime friends and their relatives that make it so distinctive. These relatives and friends come together each summer to live, love, laugh and play on Lake Michigan during the day and each cold Michigan night tuck in to century-old, un-insulated cottages.


All year long, no matter where I am, I can close my eyes and picture the last hour and a half of the trip. The warm, fresh air coming off of Lake Michigan is always recognizable. Seeing the same cottages and docks I’ve been looking at since I can remember creates a nostalgic feeling. The overwhelming anticipation to make the most of each and every day and night is our number one priority as we have limited time.


When the asphalt changes to dirt road, I know I am truly in Neah. I jump out of the car to greet and hug everyone. My brothers and I sprint off to see everyone I haven’t seen since last summer. These reconnections seem to be more and more heartwarming with each passing summer as I’ve been growing up with them since I was a baby. These people, this place and the views create a suspenseful feeling.


My mom’s 50th birthday celebration is tonight. Family and friends are nestled together under the Pavilion at West Bay enjoying Frogmore Stew cooked on the open fire. When dinner ends and my mom has blown out the last candle on the cherry crumb pie, she surprise us with a gift. Mom combed the beaches for a special stone for each of us. She wants us to make a wish on this stone, to carry it with us for the next year, to remember just how special a place Neah is and how blessed we are to have one another. To remember family, friends and Neah until our return next summer. Another day in Neah ends as the purple and orange sunset turns to star-filled skies and we head back to the cottage to snuggle into our wonderfully cramped bedroom: 1 room, 3 beds, 3 brothers for 14 years. Wake and repeat.


Boat rides to Suttons Bay for burgers. Wakeboarding on smooth waters at sunset. Day trips to Great Bear sand dunes with a Bad Dog Deli picnic. Jumping off a 15 foot dock on Power Island. What makes every memory better, is having your family and closest friends with you. Words fail to accurately describe the atmosphere of Neatawanta. The natural beauty is the easy part. What’s hard to describe is the presence of some instinct that draws us back along some ancient migration trail as families return summer after summer to share the same tiny patch of sandy land on Lake Michigan.


The best part of Neah is knowing I will be in Northern Michigan again next summer seeing, hearing and feeling new memories being created with the people I love. A feeling of knowing I will be going to Neah for the rest of my life is exciting. I have never felt more at peace than I do in Neah. Neahtawanta will forever be known as a sacred place to me, myself, and I.

no regrets (according to aarp)

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have not honored even half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they’d made, or not made.

It’s important to try to honor at least some of your dreams along the way. It’s too late once you lose your health. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

This came from every male patient I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks, and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks: love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called comfort of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to themselves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is your life. Choose consciously, choose wisely and choose honestly. Choose happiness.

personalized medicine, genetics

Go to where the puck s going to be. Personalized medicine not one size fits all. Improve and extend human life. Genetic science genomic and fiscal responsibility. Cleveland Clinic innovations. Behavioral modifications wearable devices sensors prevention as in wage peace.

All the paper, paint and clay

 I hear the attached story originated with you. So heart warming. I sent it to Molly.
    I want to thank you for the lovely packet from Brownie Bakers funeral!! I had the “Little Red Canoe” but now I can give a copy to my grandson.  The funeral program looks lovely. Never get tired of Amazing Grace (200 years old, written by a minister who used to be a slave ship captain).  I just heard from Nancy that she missed the funeral because when was in Colorado awaiting the birth of her first grandchild.  So terrible when you are stretched between two places that you really want to be. Ugh.  I just told a friend today about the art classes that Brownie used to have in her basement on Wednesdays after school. It was heaven for me.  All the paper and paint and clay I could want.  Muffie Poor, who became Maggie and died young of cancer, but went to Laurel with me and also lived on Baldwin Street was a regular. So was my sister Sarah and Amy Winklepleck.
   Hudson, was a particularly sweet place to grow up. I don’t know if we will ever really get over it. Baldwin Street is really so imprinted on my brain. Can’t believe you live there. Bet you have lots of trick or treaters?  Rachel lives in a similarly pretty town.  Hope you and yours are well. Love, Robin


“Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night.  Rodney Dangerfield

“There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL.”  Lynn Lavner

“Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope.”   Camille Paglia

“Sex is one of the nine reasons for incarnation. The other eight are unimportant.”    George Burns

“Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship.”  Sharon Stone

“Hockey is a sport for white men. Basketball is a sport for black men. Golf is a sport for white men dressed like black pimps.”  Tiger Woods

“My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.”  Jack Nicholson

” A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is.”  Barbara Bush

“Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man’s genitals through his wallet.”      Robin Williams

“Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place”  Billy Crystal

“According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful.” Robert De Niro

“There’s a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what’s the problem?”
Dustin Hoffman

“There’s very little advice in men’s magazines, because men think, ‘I know what I’m doing. Just show me somebody naked !” Jerry Seinfeld

“See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time.” Robin Williams

“It’s been so long since I’ve had sex, I’ve forgotten who ties up whom.”       Joan Rivers

“Sex is one of the most wholesome, beautiful and natural experiences money can buy.”
Steve Martin

” You don’t appreciate a lot of stuff in school until you get older. Little things like being spanked every day by a middle-..aged woman. Stuff you pay good money for in later life.”
Elmo Phillips

” Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same.”  Oscar Wilde

” It isn’t premarital sex if you have no intention of getting married.”      George Burns

senior essay plus pall bearer

Loved, loved, loved the pall bearer story … am going to circulate that one to some of my peeps!

This is a MUCH better college essay topic — way more personal, appealing, vivid … I really liked it! He’s got some lovely images — i.e. “1 room, 3 beds, 3 brothers, 14 years” — great stuff!
This essay fits well with the prompt which goes something like “tell us about a place where you feel totally content” … so I think he’s all set there …
And as far as a cohesive “story” goes … a story is not really necessary — it’s fine to just provide a glimpse or slice of the kid’s life … which this essay does successfully.
What this essay does need is some careful proofreading — he’s got a few hilarious typos — i.e. “the closet members of my family” … and probably would benefit from a little tightening as well, but all the material is right there on the page — great job, Michael!!

College essays

the college essay reader is tired, they miss their families and they die a little bit when reading the typical center soccer back essay. be VIVID, don’t use the standard HS format of intro, 3 points then conclusion. Hook your reader. Answer the prompt.
Sooooooo … Just did a quick read … and am wondering how attached Michael is to this particular topic?? The reader doesn’t learn enough about Michael in this essay — and I think part of that is the fault of his chosen theme of ‘silence’ which is sort of cold and impersonal by definition.
And he really needs to answer one of the prompts — I think he might be doing “describe a place or environment where you are perfectly content” … But his silence theme is sort of a stretch for that prompt … It seems to me like he’s trying to impress the reader by being sort of deep — but it feels forced …
Does he have any other essays in the works? I’d be happy to take a look at another one …
When’s his first deadline? I take it that he’s applying this year — but thinking of deferring and doing a gap year?
Fyi .. I’m no longer working for Yale admissions because I’ve taken a full-time grant writing position (but I still think my instincts are pretty good).  I just don’t think this essay presents Michael in the best light … I’d be happy to spell out my concerns in a phone call if you want, but it’s too hard to explain more fully in writing.
Sorry to not to be more enthusiastic : (

Ok — I’ve thought about this a little more and want to clarify a few points.

“Abandon all format” is a little bit of an overstatement. What I really meant was that the traditional, five paragraph essay that kids are taught in school is NOT the right format for a college essay — too restrictive, repetitive … and “letting it flow” is good — essays should really flow and not seem forced. When I mentioned your particular writing style, David, I was trying to highlight the heartfelt, vivid (there’s that word again!) way that you write … but I don’t want to give the impression that punctuation, spelling and grammar don’t matter in a college essay — they really do — again, remember that the reader is tired, overworked — and if there are mis-spellings, or if the essay is hard to follow,etc., it’s just plain irritating …

Also — when you say “pick one” below — all those are great ideas, but it doesn’t HAVE to be one of those — and it doesn’t HAVE to be Neahtawanta … I just figured that that was probably pretty fertile territory. You’ll see in the packet of essays (that I will forward to you shortly) — there are quite a few that play upon that theme of family ties that you are encouraging Michael to explore (I’m always a sucker for that type of essay …)

A great role for parents to play is to brainstorm with the kid before he ever writes a single word — helping the kid recognize some of his own attributes that he might not even be fully aware of … and then helping him recall anecdotes that illustrate that point … you should all take a look at the current Common App essay prompts together — they might trigger some ideas … and “topic of choice” (which used to allow a kid to write about anything) has been eliminated … the prompts are general enough that most topics can be made to fit one of them, but they shouldn’t be disregarded all together.

And “make it longer; too short” … is not a hard and fast rule — a good college essay can be the length Michael’s was — but it should be jam packed with VIVID images … Michael’s wasn’t … The current Common App guidelines say the essays should be 650 words or fewer …

Remember that you have very little space in the Common App to tell the admissions committee who you really are — and you don’t want to waste that opportunity. Another name for the college essay is the ‘personal statement’ — I think that’s a much better name … you are trying to give colleges a glimpse of who you are as a person … “college essay” just sounds like one more writing assignment.

I’ve pulled together some good personal statements and will email them to you shortly … I think you’ll “get it” after reading a few of these …

Good luck!


What we look for

Around McKinsey you’ll find common qualities in our people such as:

  • passion, dedication and energy
  • commitment to high standards and core values
  • entrepreneurial spirit
  • interesting personal hobbies and pursuits

These are just a few of the qualities that make our people and our clients successful. . .and make working at McKinsey fun.

There are five aspects we consider as we look for new people to join the firm:

Personal impact

We look for people who can develop and implement creative solutions in the face of challenging goals—and often differing opinions, personalities, and backgrounds. Skills in interacting with people in sometimes tough situations are critical to driving distinctive client impact.

Entrepreneurial drive

We look for people with an entrepreneurial spirit—who are innovative by nature, and always working to create new approaches, products, services, and technologies.

Problem-solving skills

We look for people who can help clients solve tough problems using not only strong intellectual capabilities and rigor but also good judgment and a healthy dose of practical sense.


We look for people who possess the natural drive and fortitude to get things done, who thrive on achievement and helping others achieve their goals.

Leadership abilities

We look for people who strive to lead—lead themselves, their teams, their communities—and can  foster effective teamwork in order to drive results for clients and positive change overall.

We thrive when our teams are made up of people from different backgrounds, cultures, genders, education, training, interests, and skills and all have a common base of these five important qualities. And you can thrive by joining us.

A good friend

the three of you have proven time and time again you are good and faithful and loyal friends to those you are close to. in that spirit, here’s some feedback i got yesterday that made me feel good.

“I loved our time together today. Shame on me for waiting so long. Good on you for being steady. Good for me for having a faithful friend….for he who has found one has found a great treasure..”

Be Brave!

Was in Hudson Sept 12-14 for my dad’s 91st. My mom and I went to visit Molly for an hour. They are both so cute. Molly has her own short term memory problems and combined with my mom’s dementia it is a trip! They get caught in these circular conversations AND DON’T EVEN KNOW!!! I was dying and had to interject and redirect so we didn’t talk about the same things over and over. Too funny. Meanwhile, her cat Arthur was ignoring her. He finally went to Molly and I looked back to where he had been and there was a dead bird on the carpet! I brought it to Molly’s attention and she was completely unfazed, handed me a KLEENEX and told me to take it out to the woods. OH MY GOD. So I’m a little freaked out, ask for rubber gloves, my mom steps in and wants to do it and Molly pipes up, “Absolutely not Julie, sit down, Abby will take care of it”  and says “Now Abby, be brave!” So I ask for a couple more Kleenex and take it out to the woods. UGH! God bless Molly… Robby would have been 51 September 10th.


Miss you guys – love the idea of a winter ski/whatever escape out west…

Mountain Bikes

Mountain bikes come in a few price categories that equate to performance and capabilities:


$400 -500 = not for frequent or semi serious offroading

$500- 800 = starting to get capabilities, heavy, slower handling, avoid full suspension at this price

$800- 1500 = valid off road machines, weight is dropping, upgraded components, full suspension will be 30+ lbs

$1500 – 2500 = Solid upper line brand trail bikes

$2500- ? = Light weight, solid components, state of the art performance


If you are into a project, buy a Chinese carbon frame and build one.

lucinda williams – depression


I think I’m gonna make myself a little something to eat,
Get a can down off the shelf, maybe a little something sweet.
Haven’t spoke to no one, haven’t been in the mood,
Pour some soup, get a spoon, stir it up real good.
Go out with a friend, they know the music might help,
But I can’t pretend – I wish I was somewhere else.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Put on my coat, go out into the street,
Get a lump in my throat, and look down at my feet.
Take the long way home, so I can ride around,
Put Neil Young on and turn up the sound.
Drive up the coastline, maybe to Ventura,
Watch the waves make signs out on the water.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Stand in the shower, clean this dirty mess,
Give me back my power, and drown this unholyness.
Lean over the toilet bowl, and throw up my confession,
Clense my soul, of this hidden obsession.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

I wanna watch the ocean bend,
The edges of the sun,then
I wanna get swallowed up
In an ocean of love.

Good Meeting behaviors, Attitudes and Techniques

  • Start with an agenda (ideally distributed in advance)
  • Depending on the setting and the context, go around room and ask each to say what they hope to accomplish or learn or decide by the time meeting is over to consider the meeting a “success”
  • Assign time-keeper and scribe (key technique)
  • Put up a parking lot (“great idea, good question”; have the scribe add it to the parking lot. its important but outside the scope of the meeting agenda)
  • Honor time contracts (start & stop on time; time-keeper needs to be brutal)
  • Headline ideas (what time it is versus how the clock was made)
  • Help ideas over the wall
  • No heat-seeking missiles
  • “One meeting, please” (no sidebar conversations)
  • During brainstorming, problem-solving sessions, there is no “bad” idea
  • Give ’em something visual to react to (say it with charts, tell a story, paint a picture)
  • Keep the faith (determination & optimism in the face of challenges/adversity)
  • Fist-to-Five (take the temperature often; fist/zero/=no-go; five = green light)

cut that shit out

“. With the album, Waits asserted that he “tried to resolve a few things as far as this cocktail lounge, maudlin, crying-in-your-beer image that I have. There ain’t nothin’ funny about a drunk […] I was really starting to believe that there was something amusing and wonderfully American about being a drunk. I ended up telling myself to cut that shit out.”[1


A successful student-athlete could be described less by the win/loss record than being know as:

  • coach-able
  • respectful
  • a great teammate
  • mentally tough
  • resilient and
  • gives their best effort all the time

Hold for Springsteen

Hey guys,

I want to pass on a story that Jane told me when she visited last month: Years ago, Robby bought a guitar at a garage sale for $50. He knew it was undervalued and that he’d gotten a screaming deal … and he truly loved this guitar.  Shortly before he died he decided to sell it, so that it would be one less thing for Jane to deal with after he was gone. They have an old friend who works at a sort of iconic music store in Minneapolis, so he took it there — and they bought it for $3500 … Rob was thrilled.

Fast forward to this spring — apparently Bruce Springsteen has ties to this same music store and was talking to the owner one day who mentioned that he had a guitar Bruce might like to check out … Bruce expressed interest so the owner put the “Hold for Springsteen” sign on it (which Rob’s friend then photographed and forwarded to Jane – see below). The long and the short of the story is that Bruce ended up deciding to buy the guitar — so Rob’s old guitar is now owned by Bruce Springsteen!! Apparently Bruce typically plays a different kind of guitar and this is the first of Rob’s type he’s bought (I think it’s called a ‘Fender’ ??) … so the friend said that if you ever see Bruce with a Fender, it’s probably Rob’s guitar!!

Ain’t no shame

Bobby, mark and i just slurped some bowls of kimchi at airport. Piping hot, spicy soul food. A killer Cart recommendation. Feels like the ideal comfort-food send-off to a bittersweet couple days in MSP. Grilled cheese and soup when i get back to ohio. Thanks, Pute.

Such a hard trip to make. Truth….closure is a fucking myth. (Yup just figuring out!) Im just as weepy and forlorn as when i walked off the plane thursday night. Back here row 31 seat D, its tissues tears and raybans. Yet as mesy as it all seems to be so glad were all together for this moment. So easy to be with you guys to celebrate and mourn, laugh and cry.

Grateful for Libbo and Mic and Donna giving us places to call home. Grateful, too, to susan for gently nudging me along by booking the flight.

Im sticking with this…aint no shame holding on to grief….as long as you make room for other stuff.

I discovered some new and wonderful things about our dear friend Robby. And had all the stuff i knew in my head and heart affirmed to the N-degree.

Short straws. Long straws. Wheels up and safe travels. Signing off, Im kinda warming to the notion and comfort found in Jane’s story that we’re all walking eachother home.

Love, David

Ps writing this ive gone through half box but now im giggling like a madman. You know the laughter you try to suppress in church?! My seatmmate is wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I need medicated! Where are the cookies, syd? Haha. Anyways Live at the beacon Dont keep me wondering by allman bros is absolutely fucking cranking in my ears. And i realize in my subliminal mind its robby and not butch trucks just beating the shit outta that drum kit. Hes all in and just giving it all hes got. Playing his heart out just standing up there giving it all his might. Smilin that big toothy grin. The final note and he tosses his sticks into the audience. Arms up and open wide.

White Out.

Guest DJ

Suzzanne vega
Old crow medicine show
John Mayer

till I met thee – Cody Chesnutt

what you know – two door cinema club

dream chasin – chiddy bang

pumped up kicks – yonas

sweater weather – the neighborhood

mother we share – chvrches

child’s play – SZA

motionless – spooky black

gone gone gone – Phillip Phillips

Toxic Work Environment

victims may blame themselves: A child/young adult may be reluctant to disclose abuse out of fear that they had somehow caused the abuse or did something bad to deserve the abuse. Children/young adults need help and support to understand they didn’t do anything wrong and the abuse was not their fault.

Signs of a toxic workplace:

  1. Widespread anger and frustration
  2. Workplace bully is admired
  3. Scapegoats are always blamed
  4. Dysfunctional relationships
  5. Dysfunctional meetings
  6. Obvious hypocrisy
  7. Overly restrictive systems
  8. Incompetent or powerless HR manager


Teenage Years

These high school years are so the challenge.  I believe there is much more pressure to understand who you are earlier than we ever experienced.  It is so hard to watch them work through questions many 40 years olds have yet to answer while still physically and emotionally maturing.  I can’t begin to imagine the amount of emotional complexity that comes from being the younger sibling

Change and stress

jp hypertension and bp 160/90. Out for two
Troy utterly wiped out. Out for two

Both had other jobs for 6-15 years
Stress of finding, negotiating, quitting, starting and learning new job, meeting new people and way outside comfort zones

I heard the news today, oh boy

I heard the news today, oh boy. 

Rachel emailed Boo, Jess, Morton, Mather, Emily, Pute, Gallo, Fitz, Rog, Voz and me this morning. As soon as I read Rachel’s last sentence that “my heart is breaking as I am sure yours are, too” I boogied over to see Molly. 

With Poncho and Arthur at her feet, there sat Molly…..knitting and sipping her half-cup of coffee. The same half-cup with a little half-n-half Sue constantly keeps refreshed (but only a half-cup at a time!). As always Molly greeted me with a big smile as i leaned down to get a fuzzy peck on the check. Poncho waddled up for a pet and Arthur gave me the look that he needed to go out to do his bidness. 

“David, you should be at work. What are you doing here?” 

“I got the news about Robby.”

She’s keeping the conversation loose, light and moving as she has done ever since the cough started and the diagnosis came in. I gingerly asked if she wanted to do a road trip to SP to see you. I told a story about using the iPad to to a video chat with you and she said the pillar of strength would crumble in a few


Saving 10-15% of your income

2 portfolios

Portfolio…retirement. Tax deferred until withdrawal. Conservative.

Secondary portfolio….discretionary.,creating wealth to enjoy . take more risk.

Always be diversified.

No more than 20% in same sector.

If no time to pick stocks, put in s&p index fund.

Getting out in cent of bad news

And I have a little different thoughts. If coach does come up to him. I made a mistake, had a consequence and have had to sit out the game. If more questions come…I was caught at a party. Can be way more cryptic with him. 

I still think that the same approach is ok with college coach, BUT IF approached, then own up n take full responsibility n admit mistake and taking consequence, like David said in his email. 

These are some food for thought for you guys to take it or leave it…:)


$1-$2 per day for housekeepers at hotel


Working class best tippers. Worst are wealthy

Anyone who touches your bag gets tip

Can’t give mail mail cash. Muffins. Gloves

No excuses

When he was in trouble, he got out in front of the bad news and told his coach. “hey coach, Ive got some bad news to share with you. I wanted you to hear it from me first.” pause for effect. “I screwed up, made a bad decision and got caught. now I’m paying the consequence. Nobody’s fault but mine. I wanted you to hear it from me and not someone else. I’ve learned some tough lessons and now It’s chin up and moving on from here.”

If he was pressed for details he’d just say I got caught at a party. No need for anymore details.

For a club coach situation like obrien possibly coming to scout during suspension, after the game if he comes up or calls to find out why Trent wasn’t playing, he say “I had to sit out the game.” Why? “I got caught at a party.” that’s it and move on. 

Decision making process

30 days, reaching out to a bunch of people to get their perspectives based on their experiences, sleeping on it, writing it down, sleeping on it some more. Trying it on for size. Talking it through. Thinking it through. Feeling it through

Resurection ecology

At the end of the ice age for example retreating glacier leave behind bare ground at the 2002 ecosystems cytus wonder for haps other species me survive on the ice for thousands of years in reviving the glaciers melt give you a very different way of understanding the biodiversity other reason

The challenge is how to keep a fusion reaction going long enough to generate usable power energy. Holy grail.

Jurassic Park was one thing but we’re talking about real animals real plants real organisms that have been suspended for a very long length of time wild cloning mamis remain speculative reviving dormant organisms is now passing out of its proof of concept stage research could lead to using revival to help poster endangered species the biodiversity of a region resurrection technology champions resurrection ecology or bacteria which spend much of their time in a state of dormancy

Resurrection ecology after being frozen for more than 1500 years the moss growing again Fusion 30 year dream that will always be 3 years out the future

Cajun ketchup

Avery island

Noted theologian Karl Barth

Karl barth….I take the bible too seriously to take it literally. Bible isn’t the definitive answer to every question. Bible isn’t the end of the discussion, it’s the beginning. Opens discussion. Check out video archive for the authors names. 3/16-2014 FCC.

“The readers of Luke’s gospel, like most people in the ancient world, did not make a sharp distinction between myth and reality.  That is to say they were less interested in what actually happened than in what it meant.” (p. 31)

I am most interested in what the Bible means about who God is and who we are.  My faith is not based on whether or not Jesus was born in Bethlehem or Nazareth.  It’s not based on whether or not Mary was a virgin, although I believe that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and with God, nothing is impossible.  But it’s deeper than that.

Karl Barth

The bible isn’t a manual or the answer to every question. The bible is to be use to start conversation versus close down conversation. Not to end conversation. When we take the bible and it has every answer in it. Conclusion of the journey versus launching us on a journey with god. The bible is a starting point.

William Sloan Kauffman

The bible is not t be used to end a discussion it’s there to begin a discussion. Open, not close down. Not concludes journey, starts journey

How can we know the fullness and completeness of god. Let god grasp us. Let god be god. Not us to grasp god. Fit him into our own construct.

God sent his son not to condemn the world but to save the world.

Not to just embrace god, but to embrace everyone.

Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
As quoted in Finding the Magnificent in Lower Mundane : Extraordinary Stories About An Ordinary Place (1994) by Bob Stromberg, p. 69


Double goal coaching and competition state

High performance team
High performance player (mastery)
Striving to win AND teachingģlearning life lessons

Power of the AND

Systems approach
Systems approach
Systems approach

Systems thinking

Ive put forth the plan and now holding accountable

Scoreboard scorecard definition…results
Mastery definition….Effort

Try hard…lots of calls and quotes and few closes
No effort……no closes

Mental mistakes…..over and over. Pricing. Not using special prices

Anxiety goes down. Confidence goes up

Big picture…systems approach…

Work system. Be in control. Work with confidence

Building resilience
Skake it off
Snap out of it
Flush it
Wipe sweat

Not trying to tear you down. Not trying to drain your tank. But my leadership style is benefits before concerns

Truthfull and specific praise
Expressing appreciation
Im not seeing signs of trying

Benefits before concerns.

Ill meet to listen.
No verbals

1st principle
Double goal
2nd principle
Magic ratio
5:1………. 5 Positives to 1 criticism

Holding yourself to high standards even when others dont.

Respect for

Whats culture on the team. Defining and nurture the culture. This is the way we do things here.

This isnt the way we do things here


Operating a vehicle after underage consumption

Beer shot 4oz wine liquid content different, alcohol all the same alcohol

Half can of beer.

Beer goggles. Judgement impaired. No one has changed, just your perceptions

Buzzed and you know it

Forget. Tell same story. Hearing dulled. boorish

Diminishing returns. The happy buzz is now giving way to arguments and violence

Tunnel vision. No periphery. Alcohol dulling pain receptors

Trashed. You still think you are sober. Argue with people.

No clue of physical injury. Fall down flight of stairs. Not enough info getting to brain. Choke on vomit and die

Brain doesn’t recognize color red. Green light yellow light and black and white light.

Pass out.

Numbed so much surgery can be done.



Cols showers and coffee don’t work. Only time

Using music to make the sorrow deeper

Dave, very soulful tune, I do remember it from Ken Burns Civil War series, which itself was so deeply dealt and soul filled, it made you feel as if you knew the individual soldiers.

So I gave the Irish maudlin thing a little more thought, as I tend to do.  I think the Irish connection to sorrow is borne of two things, poverty being the first; the Irish were so poor, so terribly poor, until quite recently, the only thing they could ‘own’ were their feelings.  The happy music of a good ‘session’ is uniquely Irish and a good time will be had by all.  Conversely the music of their sadness, whether individual in mourning a personal loss, or national in mourning the death toll of the Potato Famine and the wealthy and healthy English doing nothing to ease its pain (from 85 miles away).  To compound the tragedy of that time, most Irish could not afford to emigrate to their favored targets…America or Australia at that time, (not coincidentally two places who had wrestled their freedom away from England), so they were forced to make the much shorter trip across the Irish Sea to for all intents and purposes enemy territory and try to scrape out a living in England and support the family back home from there.  The number of ballads and sad and mournful tunes that speak to that particular time are countless.

The second part to me is something I took from a movie, Out of Africa……… speaking of soundtracks….  There is a time in this true story where the main characters have a very romantic time out camping under the stars, and he washes her hair for her…….  Later in the movie she is visited by tough time after tough time, tragedy after tragedy and when asked how she copes, she says, when I think I can’t go on, when it is all too tough, I think back to that wonderful time when camping, and in doing so I make my misery a little more difficult to bear, and then when I get through that, I know I can make it through whatever I am dealing with……….  I think that same mentality might be at work in the mournful music, it makes the sorrow deeper and more unbearable seemly, but then having made it slightly worse by virtue of the cello, fiddle and bag-pipped soundtrack of their sadness…….. they step through and endure…. knowing they will eventually come out the other side.

Food memories

Mcdonalds before drug and alcohol workshop (clash I fought the law and the law won)
Shake shack NYC max and me
Gatorades on goba with mic bonking
St Bart’s Maya’s
Legumes and fresh grilled snapper
Chocolate croissant
Spinach at
Pastabilities wine and food pairing
Fried cheesecake at trout club
Chip étouffée at Russo’s
Canes with max
Skyline in Glendale
Skyline with boys
The wink
CPK with mic after soccer
The temp twice baked potatos and fried oyster basket
Grouper samiches
Shawn’s burger with fried egg
Zingermans deli
Zingermans roadhouse
Dons drive in



Brush with bold strokes as you paint your 2014 summer masterpiece. Make room for the “power of the And” by leaving a healthy amount of white space, though. 

God, the fates and the randomness of the universe will knock with opportunities. Life’s seasoned travelers always leave room for improvisation. I learned this from my very best guy friend, Joe.

Love, Dad


Twinge in your heart – Greek pain from an old wound is nostalgia. Creates a twinge in your heart

Carousel – we go round and round. Takes us back home. To a place we know we were loved.

Back home again

To a place we know we were loved


Home movies

Technology is the glittering lure

Sentimental bond with the product

Success is standing out

Don’t want to be the needle in the haystack. Wanna be the haystack

“new” creates an itch. Put your product in there as a sort of Calamine lotion

Twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone

Obituaries is a time machine. Goes round and round and always brings you back home. A carousel. Goes backwards. forwards. Takes us to a place we ache to go again.

Let’s us travel the way a child travels. Round and round and back home again. To a place where we know we were loved.

Coin star for loose photos. Machine to dump your photos in. Turns em into digital images. Auto uploads to or flickr or animoto.

Mashup with flickr and iTunes. Mashup with animoto.


Google maps with a picture of person at that time

Jib jab feature to send cards.

Jib jab to create stories about papa

start, stop and keep doing

Coming home from dinner the other night, guest DJ Max dialed up John Mayer Gravity (Live). Neat moment as we sat in the drive way, lights out until the song ended.

BAT (behavior, attitude and technique). If you get the nomination and are elected to serve as the SAAC president, here’s a killer move to position yourself for even greater success. For awhile you will be President-Elect. During that time, schedule meetings with everyone you can (AD, UM President, outgoing SAAC President, former SAAC Presidents, etc). The framework for the meetings is 3 questions. If you were the incoming SAAC president, what would you start, stop and keep doing?
Spend the president-elect period listening.
i did this at FirstEnergy in 1999. I did this at Rice in 2006. Positioned me for above average success in leading both organizations (which is leading people; I established early on i was inclusive, a good listener and encouraged input. built tons of social capital while getting great insight from people who knew a lot more than i did)


I got a chance to finish reading…………I love your vision and am so glad I get to be a part of it. Personally….I know that I am finally right where I need to be…at Rice!…very well written and easy to understand…:-)

The line that stuck out in my mind…”We are changing the world with every transaction.”

waves of grief

Awwwwww … I remember when Liam Neeson’s wife died … such a weird, freaky accident … and your description of grief washing over you like a wave at unexpected moments is right on target in my experience …

dave matthews…waves knocking you down

Grief: Caught by a wave my back to the ocean.
It knocks me off my feet and
just as I find my footing
here you come again!

aint no shame in holding on to grief, as long as you make room for other things

Comfort food

Bobby, mark and i just slurped some bowls of kimchi at airport. Piping hot, spicy soul food. A killer Cart recommendation. Feels like the ideal comfort-food send-off to a bittersweet couple days in MSP. Grilled cheese and soup when i get back to ohio. Thanks, Pute.

Such a hard trip to make. Truth….closure is a fucking myth. (Yup just figuring out!) Im just as weepy and forlorn as when i walked off the plane thursday night. Back here row 31 seat D, its tissues tears and raybans. Yet as mesy as it all seems to be so glad were all together for this moment. So easy to be with you guys to celebrate and mourn, laugh and cry.

Grateful for Libbo and Mic and Donna giving us places to call home. Grateful, too, to susan for gently nudging me along by booking the flight.

Im sticking with this…aint no shame holding on to grief….as long as you make room for other stuff.

I discovered some new and wonderful things about our dear friend Robby. And had all the stuff i knew in my head and heart affirmed to the N-degree.

Short straws. Long straws. Wheels up and safe travels. Signing off, Im kinda warming to the notion and comfort found in Jane’s story that we’re all walking eachother home.

Love, David

Ps writing this ive gone through half box but now im giggling like a madman. You know the laughter you try to suppress in church?! My seatmmate is wondering what the hell is wrong with me. I need medicated! Where are the cookies, syd? Haha. Anyways Live at the beacon Dont keep me wondering by allman bros is absolutely fucking cranking in my ears. And i realize in my subliminal mind its robby and not butch trucks just beating the shit outta that drum kit. Hes all in and just giving it all hes got. Playing his heart out just standing up there giving it all his might. Smilin that big toothy grin. The final note and he tosses his sticks into the audience. Arms up and open wide.

White Out.

On Feb 4, 2014 6:08 PM,

Start up academy

Skills I have (40/50)

My top-three skill sets have been honed within highly competitive team environments

Inspirational leadership skills where my dominant style is collaborative, not authoritative
Ruthless time management skills
Setting and achieving SMART goals (specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, time-based)

Skills I want (62/100)

Front-end (UI) code development and stronger Powerpoint skills for faster prototyping to give stakeholders/potential investors something visual to react to…faster
To acquire an arsenal of guerilla techniques to become a much better shameless marketer (e.g., 1-800-GOT-JUNK)
To develop a stronger “engineering mindset” that enables me to see even more questions to ask to “further scratch the itch of curiosity”


What’s your favorite startup? And why? (146/150)

A 50 year-old company in start-up mode is my favorite. They cannibalizing their core business and starting over. Why? Bigger, better-capitalized competitors circling in for the kill, declining revenues due to legacy sales force and commodity products in a shrinking market. Change or die.


They’ve tapped into the resources of Zingerman’s and rewriten their vision, mission and recruited a brand new team with a start-up mentality that is focused on growth, hustle and hard work. Open-book management has been implemented. Internet technologies made possible new services allowing them to change the game they play (Blue Ocean Strategy). So why is it my favorite start-up? They have tapped into the wisdom and economic benefits of sustainability. Pursuing sustainability and the triple bottom-line has enabled them to pivot their business model and position this 50 year-old start-up to not just survive, but thrive, for the next half-century.



What’s currently stopping you from starting up? How are you going to fix that through the Startup Academy? (204/200)


Resource constraints: time and knowledge. First, as a student-athlete at Michigan, SAAC rep and Student Ambassador, there are precious few hours left each week to head out on my first entrepreneurial journey without a map. Second, I’m not stupid but I am ignorant; I don’t know what I don’t know about the start-up process. As I analyze my situation, I have two choices if I remain on my own: 1) I can spend my time on the start-up idea OR 2) I can spend my time learning the methodology to start-up; but I cannot do both.


Through the Start-Up Academy I can gain access to three specific resources: one, I’ll have the privilege of being ensconced in an inspirational team environment that will move me from the weary theories of the classroom to actually getting things accomplished; two, teaming with like-minded and driven future entrepreneurs will enhance and accelerate my own efforts; and lastly,  I’ve been told my whole life by teachers and coaches having someone like me on the team or in the classroom makes those around me better. Contributing to another’s success is something that fills me with joy and I’ve learned the more I give the more I get back.

Some themes

Multi sport athletes a good thing and why
Summer club teams and fall try outs
Strength and conditioning
Nutrition and fuel
Recruiting start early. Using lacrosee as leverage to get into a great school
Stretching stretching stretching
Being a good freshman rat all 4 years
Shake coach hand say hello no matter how scary he is
HHS varsity defensive sets
Books that have helped, inspired and challenged you
Perspectives on a pg year
Tactical building a website and why

Daily Gameplan

Have boys write down their goals for camp and next season. 

Playing time and hard work beating talent

Ran into a number of you over the past week and a theme began to emerge. When I asked how your sons were enjoying HS lacrosse, “frustrated” was the word I heard most often. With few exceptions, “too little playing time” was the root cause. Unsaid but I’m guessing some conversations at home are focusing on whether to go out for lacrosse next year, let alone play this summer. Susan and I as you know, can empathize. Coop’s story has been told too many times so I wont bore you again.

Oh, if we could only turn back time. Your former MS coaches have 30+ kids on the 6th grade team and 30+ kids on the 5th grade teams. These boys and their parents really dont appreciate how good things are right now with our commitment to equal playing time. That will change in June when we go to Ohio’s Cup and for the first time in my memory, we will “cut” and take a select team where equal playing time will give way to “play to win”. Right or wrong, back when our boys were 6th graders, we went to Ohio’s Cup and stayed with equal playing time. Equal playing time is gone, baby gone for the Class of 2015, isnt it?
Looking at the pipeline of MS lax players on the way, the current crop of HS players, the relatively small number of seniors who will be graduating, the competition is fierce to say the least.
If history is any guide, the summer between freshman and sophomore year there’s a tipping point. Physically, the boys will go through more growth spurts and gain some new edges athletically. Two, mentally they will decide whether or not to stay committed to the sport or move on to other activities. The “playing field” will look different next school year. We are glad we stuck with lax and bball even in the face of the likely prospect coop wouldnt make the team and/or would never play.
Sure, looking back its easy to see The Charlton’s stayed on the right path; however, as the freshman season ended with Coop having not moved up from JV B, a season of little to no play and a ton of other poles and the upper classman seemingly stacked high in front of him, we had many sleepless nights wondering what to do. Honestly, Susan and I just wanted him to stay involved, busy and get some exercise. The big guy needed it! Ha Ha. He wasnt bitten by the lax bug, yet, but liked being part of a “team.” With basketball we went through this same drill all the way through senior year when every year it was a crap shoot whether he would make the team or get cut.
After the fact, we know now Hudson coaches want kids on their team that work hard, care about fellow teammates and give their all in practice even if they dont get in. Grady Forkin was the heart and soul of the basketball team. Rarely got in but all the coaches wanted him on the team because of his attitude and work ethic (just as long as they were insured his parents wouldnt email them constantly or ever about his lack of playing time). Grady just wanted to be a part of a team, any team so when he looked back on his HS years, he could check this off his bucket list. Looks like he did it again with rugby.
Coop reset his expectations in the face of his mom and dad laying down the law that he had to be involved in something, anything, 2 out of the 3 seasons. Coop made the upperclassmen and his peers better for game day because he played so tough against them in practice. Frosh, soph, jun and senior years he was told he was the last guy on the team, would never play and if he could deal with that, he was welcome to be part of the team. Some harsh truths but his expectations were set and he sallied forward. Looking back, he’s grateful he did.
With basketball throughout HS and lacrosse as a rising sophomore, Coop repeatedly pressed Susan and I real hard, very convincingly, to allow him not go out the next year because it was “hopeless”. He wouldn’t make the team and if he did he would never, ever get in. A time or two we almost relented, but then stuck to our guns that our kids need to play 2 sports in HS or play 1 sport and then be in a play or get a J.O.B. Anything to keep them engaged and busy and growing.  Funny, he had no interest in being in being a thesbian so it was back to sports. We just didnt like the prospects/pitfalls of cooper dealing productively with all the free time if he wasnt playing sports. We didnt “force” him to play lax or bball, but he knew he had to do something each season. I think he secretly wanted to NOT make the teams and be able to say “I told you so” but fortunately that never happened.
Coach Blues summer teams and camps, lax camps at colleges like UM, goalie camps (Bill Pilats at WRA), summer leagues, wall ball, Burning River, Under Armour Tryouts in June (for the experience; none of our boys will make the team at this stage/age), draft teams at colleges, there are a ton of summer options to take things to the next level, have fun and meet new people in this fastest growing sport on two feet. Check out Crooked Arrows, a movie out this month to stoke the fires.
I’m glad we hung in there for many reasons but one most especially: on our watch and at an ideally impressionable age and stage, Cooper got to learn an invaluable lesson: hard work can beat talent when talent doesnt work hard!

reading material

2:58 PM (18 hours ago)

to undisclosed recipients

This was supposed to go out last week, but I got a little distracted with the birth of my daughter!  Mom and baby are doing great and I appreciate the well wishes.  I already have her slated in for Hill Lacrosse class of 2030—unfortunately she will not have a choice in the matter.


As I have mentioned a number of times, the summer is really a time to set yourself apart.  Every college program will expect you to show up in shape and at The Hill we will expect the same.  Also, you cannot overlook the importance of keeping your mind fresh and prepared for academic workload that will come in September.


Print out the attached documents and if you commit to following the program, you will experience progress.  If you have any questions in regards to the workout out plan, you can contact Coach Noble directly.


For Hill Alumni, commit to continuous improvement!


Recommending Reading:  All returning lacrosse students are required to read one of the following books and provide a one page summary.


The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

Mind Gym by Gary Mack

RAFA by Rafa Nadal

Coming Back Stronger (a must read if coming back from an injury) by Drew Brees

The Heart and the Fist: The education of a humanitarian and the making of a Navy Seal by Eric Greitens



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American Athletic Institute Research Shows Alcohol’s Effect on Athletic Performance.pdf
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extra step to greatness

mic, you took an extra step to greatness at the Lax-in-Nati Lacrosse Tournament. You came to the rescue of someone when they needed a helping hand. Good on ya! It was the right thing to do. You were approachable and while a little unsure because it was a new situation, you suited back up and went to help another team that was a player down due to an injury. sometimes, when you go the extra mile you are rewarded. you got moved up to that higher level team

Passing on your right: stupid or ignorant

you are on a 2-lane highway. the speed limit is 65 mph. there’s a driver poking along in the left lane, the high speed lane, the passing lane. we roll up behind them as we are going our normal 9 mph over the speed limit. the program is to pass the slower cars and then signal and move back over into the right lane. this driver is just poking along between 60-65 mph. we end up having to pass on the right. as we pull alongside and look left at the cat behind the wheel, i’m always wondering do you know better but just want to piss people off? or are you just clueless. either way, this is probably the #1 thing in life that consistently gets under my skin.

Bad news doesnt get better with time (aka, tell the truth asap)

you guys have all learned to tell us the truth the first time. through consequences, you discovered the consequences are far more severe than simply telling the truth the first time when asked. Or better yet, getting out in front of it before the question is asked. heck, i loved it the other day when michael found me and said,

"dad, can i tell you something without you getting upset?"


"I was practicing my shot and it hit pipe and the ball broke the barn window."

I appreciated the honesty, taking responsibility and telling me before I found out myself. We all know how I would have reacted to the "surprise" seeing a broken anything and no one stepping up to task the "R" (responsibility).

Next step is you calling the window repair guys (Coop has the number..ha ha) to schedule them to come out, repair it and you paying for it out of your savings, not investment, piggy bank.

At UNH, I engaged in some under-age drinking (stupid), over served myself (ignorant of BAC) and ended up vandalizing a fraternity's alumni tent (I ran and tried to swing around the pole that held up tent and broke it in two). I was seen running down the street with 20 pissed Phi Delts chasing me. They gang tackled me and one guy cocked his arm back with a clenched fist to clock me. Why another brother said "No, don't hit him" I'll never know. Why the guy decided to listen who knows.This cornered freshman rat sobered up fast and took responsibility. I apologized and promised I would fix it just as soon as I went back to my dorm and got my roommates tools. End of story? I fixed the tent and they asked me to pledge their fraternity! Man up, tell the truth, make no excuses and fix your mistake fast. The truth will set you free.

Coops code of conduct violation and meeting with coach brink.

Radiohead: under promise and over deliver

last night at blossom, radiohead further endeared themselves to their hardcore audience. most bands come back for one or two encores. after a vigorous performance, they came back for four encores. go the extra mile. under promise, over deliver, wow people and earn fans for life! thom yorke and his bandmates added an extra touch by consistently acknowledging and thanking the crowd for coming out to see them.

its not an accident. all of this is part of the plan and built into the system. just ask Zappos. these smart people are the technicians and artists of the exceptional customer service experience. yet, its not an “act”. sincerity can’t be faked for that long. Radiohead, Zappos, Patagonia, Skyline Chili, Coach Paul at University of Michigan and the guys at Midwest Lacrosse….they all care, go out of their way to show it and their efforts are exponentially rewarded.

Student-Athlete. TOSU vs. UM

Hill School (Ont.) postgrad defenseman Cooper Charlton grew up in an Ohio State-dominated area in the Northeast portion of Ohio, but he picked the Wolverines over the Buckeyes:

“It came down to OSU and Michigan,” Charlton said. “I liked Michigan because it’s a program that’s just starting. But my biggest focus was academics. I like Michigan’s academic program better.”

Power of friends, power of habit. Before and after with the power of habit

A big shout out to Susan Terkel. In a chance meeting she shared her story and a couple key books that helped put me on a new path at the same time as she guided my hand in writing this book.

More on that later.

When I started writing this book, I hated most parts of me, not my charmed life. My marriage and my relationship with my wife was rock solid and fulfilling. I am in awe of her ability to gracefully juggle the family calendar for 3 boys, herself and myself while tending to,her relaionships with her mom and dad, my parents, her sister and brother, her sister-in-law and all of her childhood and college friends, not to metion all the women ins her EO spousal forum. My relationships with my 3 sons were all healthy and joyful. Personally, I was pretty dark on myself. I had aches. Pains. low energy. Not tipping the scales like a worlds biggest loser contestant but for me 30 pounds over weight was just another big symptom of a life coming off the rails. Low sex drive (which for my busy, harried wife and mother of 3 boys wasn’t a source of too much spousal angst!) Tingles in my right arm. Spikes of pain in my chest. Headaches. Adult onset allergies. Mild Depression. Blood work ups show elevated cholesterol, blood sugars and….no exercise. Back surgery that didnt correct the problem. Siatic nerve issues. Numb toes. High blood pressure. Hypertension. No exercise. No walking, no spinning, no fruits, no vegetables, no water.

Daily habits: Wake. Put a pinch between my cheek and gums. McDonalds #2 with medium coke every morning. A large coke with oatmeal raisin cookie, bag of chips and 6 inch tuna fish at lunch. Snacks when I get home. Double servings of whatever Susan cooks for dinner. Bowl of Graeters ice creame. Chew. Sleep. Repeat.

Yet since I was 19 and mowing lawns for the City of Hudson, on and off (mostly on) I have chewed tabacco. All day long. First thing when I wake. Last thing before I fall asleep.

I laugh when Coopers friends who chew say they’re not addicted. “It’s just a hobby”.

I ran into one dad and on a dare at age 14, he tried it. 30 years later he’s still chewing even though he doesn’t want to.

Another dad has elevated his relationship with chew this way: “This is the only thing in my life as a husband, dad and owner of a company that’s all mine. I don’t have to share it with anyone.”

I go through 2 cans of snuff or chew a day. I’ve tried to kick many times. Why so difficult? I quit cold turkey drinking years ago after a good 25 year run. No relapse. One and done. Yet chew comtinues ro get my butt and I do t ant to chew anymore.

First time at 27 on my honeymoon. Figured they wouldn’t have an Kodiak on St. Barts. I was right. I was also screwed going cold turkey and spent most morning curld up with cramps and sweats and headaches that incapacitated me to the point that for most of the honey moon I couldn’t get out of bed for hours as Susan walked the beach and waited for me to come out of it. 72 hours of withdrawals.

Cleveland Clinic and Doc E. this is 19 years shabits he first of many attempts and island fever. He asks what I’m addicted to. When I say chew he gets a sad look. He explains he and I would have had a much easier time if I was addicted to just about anything other than chewing tabacco. Coke. Weed. Smack. Pain pills. Alcohol. He tries to cheer me up by saying it’ll be easier than meth and bath salts.

Professionally and profitably I’m not setting the world on fire either. 2 lawsuits, weak sales, losing money, bigger, better funded competitors, a leveraged buyout crafted in the more heady days of 2005 that now with a company half it’s size in a sketchy economy that has us underwater most month with no working capital to bridge the gaps between cash in and cash out. Chapter 11?

While Susan and my boys say I’m much more patient, fun and approachable at home, inside it’s everything I can do to hold it together and not snap.

The Docs and the shrink say if I don’t make some healthy changes, I’ll closeout my midlife crisis fat, sick and dead.

Back to Susan Terkle. Power of Habit, Larry Terkles “Meditation” and chewing gum. 8 weeks to optimum health. That’s the plan I’ll work as I write this book for my 3 sons.

I wanted all the aches and pains to go away. I wanted to clean up my diet. I wanted to be healthy and greatly lessen the risk of stroke and heart attack and cancer. I wanted to run a profitable business.

Cooper told his mom and me when we hugged goodbye in Toronto for his PG year, “you guys did a great job, I’ll take it from here.” I want to make sure we remember exactly what we need to keep, start and stop doing so Michael and Max can be in a position to say the same things when they leave the nest and head for their PG year or college.

While I write this book for my boys, it will keep me ever mindful of the joy they bring to my life and will help me dedicate myself to diagnose the cue, the routine and the reward of my chew addiction so I can gain power over it.

I’m going to work on changing just one thing. One habit. I will stop chewing tobacco. I will focus on changing this one “keystone habit”. By focusing on this one pattern, like Charles Durhigg in his book “The Power of Habit” I hope to gain power over it and set in motion a cascade effect that will empower me to reprogram the other unheathly routines in my life.


remember when you all annoyed each other so much? day in and night out there was an endless loop of fights, tears, name calling and timeouts. for some reason this just drove me up the wall. especially the older brother rising to the occasion to prevent it.

habits: be wise my son

conscious decision to say this versus “be good”. kids like to do the opposite what their parents say. opposite of wise is stupid.

are you stupid or ignorant? do you know better but do it anyways or do you just not know any better?

why create a habit loop by calling your kid “shy” when they cling to your leg and hide from one of your friends. “oh, she’s just shy”. how many times does that child hears that and acts that when out in public before it gets mapped in the form of neurological patterns (aka, habits). the kid at some point is gonna have to “erase” those tapes and record over them with new, more positive habits (aka, neurological patterns)


story: getting bullied

strategy: use humor. came up with stories and one liners at home. we didn’t helicopter or make calls to their parents.

tool: when they called you names like whale for your huskerdoo frame, or farlton, you said is that the best you got? ive heard that for years. why not be more original? or focus on your own issues. your mom says you still wear diapers and wet the bed.

lessons learned: own the insult, be self deprecating and then zing the bully back with something humorous to poke at something real or conjured thats embarrassing for him. you guys were encouraged, forced, enabled to take responsibility for yourselves. act like a victim and you’ll be treated like a victim. nowhere did you hear us encouraging you to use your fists, unless you were physically threatened.

your take

my take: kids are mean. the shame that binds them makes them want to pick on the others seemingly less OK or weaker. humor sill set you free.

name dropping

  1. mat wilson
  2. brodie merrill
  3. peter merrill
  4. patrick merrill
  5. tory merrill
  6. skip flanagan
  7. britt flanagan
  8. david osborne
  9. sarah osborne
  10. steve carlson
  11. bill welsh
  12. craig waters
  13. coach john paul
  14. aj auld
  15. brian wilch
  16. doc
  17. tim mueller
  18. sue bunn
  19. susan and andy young
  20. john tobin
  21. tom tobin
  22. katie coulton
  23. katie, natalie and ? krum
  24. andrew meldrum
  25. mrs van
  26. mrs sams
  27. HHS teachers
  28. coulton
  29. parrish
  30. kj
  31. athena diamantis
  32. john elffers
  33. coach david blue
  34. coach brink
  35. officer brouchard
  36. steve ator and bacon peanut butter samich
  37. quint kesnick
  38. connor
for lots of reason it beats the alternative: helicopter parents
its usually a question of timing
its often not a question of limiting yourself to the “either-or”. its usually the power of the “and”
the ohio state university vs university of michigan

Thanks for asking

there’s a guy at work who doesnt eat lunch, ever. but he sure does appreciate being asked if he wants anything when the rest of us order takeout (like some of those delicious subs from Primo’s Deli – Akron’s Best). we always ask. he always takes a pass. he always thanks us for asking. and he always has a smile on his face afterwards.

even if you know someone can’t attend your party, play in a pick up fiddlestick game or already has a ride to the DMB concert at Blossom, its always a nice thing to ask anyways. they will usually say “thanks for asking” and you’ve just put a smile on their face for thinking of them.

Napoleon Hill’s 17 Principles of Personal Achievement

Lesson 1: Definiteness of Purpose

Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement. Without a purpose and a plan, people drift aimlessly through life.

Lesson 2: Mastermind Alliance
The Mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common definite objective. Success does not come without the cooperation of others.

Lesson 3: Applied Faith
Faith is a state of mind through which your aims, desires, plans and purposes may be translated into their physical or financial equivalent.

Lesson 4: Going the Extra Mile
Going the extra mile is the action of rendering more and better service than that for which you are presently paid. When you go the extra mile, the Law of Compensation comes into play.

Lesson 5: Pleasing Personality
Personality is the sum total of one’s mental, spiritual and physical traits and habits that distinguish one from all others. It is the factor that determines whether one is liked or disliked by others.

Lesson 6: Personal Initiative
Personal initiative is the power that inspires the completion of that which one begins. It is the power that starts all action. No person is free until he learns to do his own thinking and gains the courage to act on his own.

Lesson 7: Positive Mental Attitude
Positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in all circumstances. Success attracts more success while failure attracts more failure.

Lesson 8: Enthusiasm
Enthusiasm is faith in action. It is the intense emotion known as burning desire. It comes from within, although it radiates outwardly in the expression of one’s voice and countenance.

Lesson 9: Self-Discipline
Self-discipline begins with the mastery of thought. If you do not control your thoughts, you cannot control your needs. Self-discipline calls for a balancing of the emotions of your heart with the reasoning faculty of your head.

Lesson 10: Accurate Thinking
The power of thought is the most dangerous or the most beneficial power available to man, depending on how it is used.

Lesson 11: Controlled Attention
Controlled attention leads to mastery in any type of human endeavor, because it enables one to focus the powers of his mind upon the attainment of a definite objective and to keep it so directed at will.

Lesson 12: Teamwork
Teamwork is harmonious cooperation that is willing, voluntary and free. Whenever the spirit of teamwork is the dominating influence in business or industry, success is inevitable. Harmonious cooperation is a priceless asset that you can acquire in proportion to your giving.

Lesson 13: Adversity & Defeat
Individual success usually is in exact proportion of the scope of the defeat the individual has experienced and mastered. Many so-called failures represent only a temporary defeat that may prove to be a blessing in disguise.

Lesson 14: Creative Vision
Creative vision is developed by the free and fearless use of one’s imagination. It is not a miraculous quality with which one is gifted or is not gifted at birth.

Lesson 15: Health
Sound health begins with a sound health consciousness, just as financial success begins with a prosperity consciousness.

Lesson 16: Budgeting Time & Money
Time and money are precious resources, and few people striving for success ever believe they possess either one in excess.

Lesson 17: Habits
Developing and establishing positive habits leads to peace of mind, health and financial security. You are where you are because of your established habits and thoughts and deeds.

Read Rich Man, Poor Man the story of Napoleon Hill.

college recruiting


* When narrowing down your schools, have a few schools in each category (dream/reach school, great school, safety/fall-back school), this way you are safe all the way through the process.

* When you e-mail or write a coach about your interest, make sure you include your home address, email, cell number and home phone number, as well as what your cumulative GPA is.  (Be sure to give the most accurate GPA, do not estimate or round up because this will give a false assessment of your academic ability.)

If you decided to take an unofficial visit with your parents on campus or a coach comes to your home, let the player do most of the talking and answer the questions, not the mother or father.  Remember first impressions mean everything!!

* When you play in tournaments where you know there will be a lot of college coaches, make sure that your coach has given the tournament directors the correct numbers and names of the players so the college coaches know who they are evaluating.  You want the college coach to be evaluating you and not someone else because of an incorrect roster.  When you arrive at the tournament check the roster to make sure you are represented properly (jersey number, address, age, year in school, etc….).  It is also a good idea to let coaches know where/when you will be playing.

Be pro-active in finding out about a school, and don’t believe what your friends say or what you read on the Internet.  Your recruiting process will be different from everyone else so don’t follow others lead; it could lead you down a dead end.

When a coach calls you, ask questions to the coach that you think are important and don’t freeze when it comes time to ask them.  Everyone has different dreams and needs and sometimes you go to a place as a freshman and it’s not what you expected.  This often not the coaches fault, but rather the recruits for not doing all their homework on the school.

If you decide to send a coach a highlight video, of you playing, make sure you send an entire game as well.  The perfect video is a short highlight of your ability coupled with a full game tape.  Make sure the video is of high quality and your jersey number is clearly seen.  Make sure you list your number and jersey color on the DVD or VHS tape.

* Make sure to send your player profile (bio sheet) and a cover letter to college coaches so that they can reference your academic and athletic information easily.  Your player profile will allow the coach to determine whether you fit in academically and your cover letter shows that you are proactive and interested in their lacrosse program.

When you are competing in front of college coaches, you are being evaluated on a lot more than how skilled you are as a lacrosse player.  Your attitude, how you treat your teammates, how hard you play and how you adapt to adversity are as equally as important as anything else. Always play hard because you never know who is watching you.

When you decide to take an official visit to a school.  Remember that you are not only evaluating the school you are visiting, but also the coaches, the players and the program.  Also, the current players are evaluating you yourself.  Be a stand up person and carry yourself in a way that is respectful and courteous to those around you.  No matter how good a player you are, if the players and coaches don’t like you, they will stop showing interest in you.

* Remember NCAA D-I, D-II and D-III are all distinctively different when it comes to recruiting rules and procedures.  Make sure to visit the NCAA website ( to read up on rules and regulations for each division.

NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Recruiting Calendar

NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Recruiting Calendar

September 1, 2011 – August 3, 2012

(See NCAA Division I Bylaw 30.10.5 for men’s lacrosse calendar formula)

The dates in this calendar reflect the application of Bylaw 30.11 at the time of publication but are subject to change per Constitution or if certain dates (e.g., National Letter of Intent signing dates) are altered.

September 1 through October 31 –Contact/No Lacrosse Evaluation Period

November 1-25 — Contact Period, except November 10-13 — Dead Period

November 26-30 — Dead Period

December 1-23 — Quiet Period

December 24 – January 4 — Dead Period

January 5-19 — Contact/No Lacrosse Evaluation Period

January 20 – February 28 — Quiet Period

March 1 – May 21 — Contact Period

May 22 – 26 — Dead Period

May 26 through August 3 — Contact Period


Recruiting Terms:

Contact.  A contact occurs any time a coach has any face-to-face contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus and says more than hello.  A contact also occurs if a coach has any contact with you or your parents at your high school or any location where you are competing or practicing.

Contact period.  During this time, a college coach may have in-person contact with you and/or your parents on or off the college’s campus.  The coach may also watch you play or visit your high school.  You and your parents may visit a college campus and the coach may write and telephone you during this period.

Dead period.  The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents at any time in the dead period.  The coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Evaluation.  An evaluation is an activity by a coach to evaluate your academic or athletics ability.  This would include visiting your high school or watching you practice or compete.

Evaluation period.  The college coach may watch you play or visit your high school, but cannot have any in-person conversations with you or your parents off the college’s campus.  You and your parents can visit a college campus during this period.  A coach may write and telephone you or your parents during this time.

Official visit.  Any visit to a college campus by you and your parents paid for by the college.  The college may pay the following expenses:
*Your transportation to and from the college;
*Room and meals (three per day) while you are visiting the college; and
*Reasonable entertainment expenses, including three complimentary admissions to a home athletics   contest.
*Before a college may invite you on an official visit, you will have to provide the college with a copy of your high school transcript (Division I only) and SAT, ACT or PLAN score.

Prospective student-athlete.  You become a “prospective student-athlete” when:
*You start ninth-grade classes; or
*Before your ninth-grade year, a college gives you, your relatives or your friends any financial aid or other benefits that the college does not provide to students generally.

Quiet period.  The college coach may not have any in-person contact with you or your parents off the college’s campus.  The coach may not watch you play or visit your high school during this period.  You and your parents may visit a college campus during this time.  A coach may write or telephone you or your parents during this time.

Unofficial visit.  Any visit by you and your parents to a college campus paid for by you or your parents.  The only expense you may receive from the college is three complimentary admissions to a home athletics contest.  You may make as many unofficial visits as you like and may take those visits at any time.  The only time you cannot talk with a coach during an unofficial visit is during a dead period.

Questions to Ask Potential College Coaches:


1.  What positions will I play on your team?  It is not always obvious.  Most coaches want to be flexible, so you might not receive a definite answer.

2.  What other players may be competing at the same position?  The response could give you an idea of when you can expect to be a starter.

3.  Will I be redshirted my first year?  The school’s policy on redshirting may impact you both athletically and academically.  (D-I)

4.  What expectations do you have for training and conditioning?  This will reveal the institution’s commitment to a training and conditioning program.

5.  How would you best describe your coaching style?  Every coach has a particular style that involves different motivational techniques and discipline.  You need to know if a coach’s teaching style matches your learning style.

6.  When does the head coach’s contract end?  How long does the coach intend to stay?  The answer could be helpful.  Do not make any assumptions about how long a coach will be at a school.  If the coach leaves, does this change your mind about the school/program?

7.  What are preferred, invited and uninvited walk-on situations?  How many do you expect to compete?  How many earn a scholarship?  Situations vary from school to school.

8.  Who else are you recruiting for my position?  Coaches may consider other student-athletes for every position.

9.  Is medical insurance required for my participation?  Is it provided by the college?  You may be required to provide proof of insurance.

10.  If I am seriously injured while competing, who is responsible for my medical expenses?  Different colleges have different policies.

11.  What happens if I want to transfer to another school?  You may not transfer without the permission of your current school’s athletics administration.  Ask how often coaches grant this privilege and ask for an example of a situation in which permission was not granted.

12.  What other factors should I consider when choosing a college?  Be realistic about your athletics ability and the type of athletics experience you would enjoy.  Some student-athletes want to be part of a particular athletics program, even if that means little or no playing time.  Other considerations include coaching staff and style.  Of course, the ideal is to choose a college or university that will provide you with both the educational and athletics opportunities you want.


1.  How good is the department in my major?  How many students are in the department?  What credentials do faculty members hold?  What are graduates of the program doing after school?

2.  What percentage of players on scholarship graduate?  The response will suggest the school’s commitment to academics.  You might want to ask two follow-up questions:

(1)  What percentage of incoming students eventually graduate?
(2)  What is the current team’s grade-point average?

3.  What academic support programs are available to student-athletes?  Look for a college that will help you become a better student.

4.  If I have a diagnosed and documented disability, what kind of academic services are available?  Special academic services may help you achieve your academic goals.

5.  How many credit hours should I take in season and out of season?  It is important to determine how many credit hours are required for your degree and what pace you will follow to obtain that degree.

6.  Are there restrictions in scheduling classes around practice?  NCAA rules prevent you from missing class for practice.

7.  Is summer school available?  If I need to take summer school, will it be paid for by the college?  You may need to take summer school to meet academic and/or graduation requirements.

College Life:

1.  What is a typical day for a student-athlete?  The answer will give you a good idea of how much time is spent in class, practice, study and travel.  It also will give you a good indication of what coaches expect.

2.  What are the residence halls like?  The response should give you a hint of how comfortable you would be in your room, in study areas, in community bathrooms and at the laundry facilities.  Also ask about the number of students in a room, co-ed dorms and the rules governing life in the residence halls.

3.  Must student-athletes live on campus?  If “yes,” ask about exceptions.



This final, regular season email was supposed to be another long,

boring 2,000 word treatise on the lax landscape our boys will travel

in the coming years. Snoozefest. Even I’m weary of me! Ha ha. Instead,

lets live a little more in the present. What do wise men say?

Yesterday is history and tomorrows a mystery?


Courtesy of Maureen Silverman and approved by Connor and his Dad,

Brent, I have been given permission to share something much more

meaningful. Below is the email Connors Mom sent earlier this week. Dig

a little bit deeper, and the gifts of this great sport will reveal



We have seen some special things this season. One very special truth

we came away with is this: Moms and Dads, each of you have raised fine

young sons. From the first day of practice to Sundays last game and

everyday in between, your boys have consistently displayed remarkable

character and compassion. As I mentioned in an earlier email, the

coaches have never seen a group of boys who care so much about each

other. By the end of this email the who, what, why, where, when and

how will manifest themselves. Even then, I find it tough to figure out

exactly who’s gift this is.


Thank you Maureen and Brent. And thank you Connor for your smile, your

willingness to share and your depth of character to take ownership of

the fact that you have overcome so many obstacles. You are an amazing

person, you are an inspiration and we are blessed that you have come

into our lives.


One Love, Rastamon!


Coach DC




The 1st time I emailed John, explaining Connor’s auditory processing

issue, the response has been amazing and accepting. The last 8 weeks

have been some of the most important and defining of Connor’s life. He

is a kid that was born so early he wasn’t suppose to live. After 5

months in the NICU, he came home and hasn’t stopped amazing us, or

smiling, since. As his 2nd grade teacher said, “Connor has never had a

bad day.” Of course I like to say it’s his Irish feistiness!


Our attitude with Connor has always been to treat him as normally as

possible, and make no exceptions. I never wanted to baby him, or

coddle him. Ok, I did-but that’s not the right thing for him.


Fast forward 12 years and he says he wants to play Lacrosse. My

brother is a LAX Coach in Chicago and says, “I don’t know-sometimes

it’s too physical, he may not like it.” My husband doesn’t know

either. But I sign him up and we go up to All Star, I buy all the

gear, and then some-and off he goes.


The 1st practice I watch with my heart in my throat. He’s last during

drills. Way last. My eyes start to water. But he gets in the car, and

says, “that was great!” “my Coaches are awesome.”  His sisters tell

him he looks like a Gladiator in his equipment. Suddenly it’s Lacrosse

talk in this house ALL Spring. He starts showing his sisters the

things he is learning. (they play too) ONLY Lacrosse shorts are worn

to school. The backyard now has a bounce back net. At some point

during those weeks, when I looked for him during drills, it took

awhile to find him. Why? Because he was mixed in with the pack. He was

doing it!


I drop him a bit early to a practice a few weeks ago, and as he gets

out of the car, there are 6 boys standing there. I’m thinking to

myself, “Are they nice to him?” and then I hear “hey Connor/Hi Connor,

hey Connor let’s pass”. Little do these boys, or their parents know, I

drove away with tears again, and the biggest smile you have ever seen.


It’s those things that mean so much when you spend ALOT of time

worried about your son, both academically and socially. And the game

with the Goal, I will remember FOREVER. Even my daughters “got” why I

was so happy.


To hear him rave about the coaches and the kids on his team has been

so great. I have a daughter in 5th and last week Blake Lori yells down

the hall, “hey Caroline-your brother Connor is awesome!” How amazing

is that?


You all have given him an unbelievable confidence. An unbelievable

sense of team and belonging. I know you guys are going to go on and

coach kids with some great talent. Maybe their parents will be

obsessed with fair playing time, going to the Columbus tournament,

etc. But not us. We know our son is a gift, and the fact he was on

YOUR team was also a gift. And through the years we have met some

people who shock us with their character and compassion. People we

will never forget. You are all now on that list. Please forward this

to the other Coaches and tell them how much they changed a kids life,

and how grateful we are. Thank you SO much for more than just a great

season of LAX.  Maureen

Emails, emails and more emails. they cant respond or talk to frosh or sophs

First, traveling with my dad was always a blast. Take advantage of the great food ( zingerman’s deli, There are so many great restaurants, but Zingerman’s Deli is a great organic deli. One of a kind. Although the town is riddled with diamonds in the rough. Take advantage of the time, environment, people and food.  Switch up “DJ” responsibility with the music on the road trip, good fun.

Second, those are all great questions for admissions, tour guides, coaches and students you meet there. Brainstorm everything you want to know, write some things down. You want to have a go to line or sentence that lets people know what your looking for. Mine was; “I’m looking for a school that fits me academically, socially and athletically.” Have goals to help get you to where you want to go.

Third. Emails, emails, emails! Even of you don’t get a response, send emails! Coaches get over 1000s of them a week. Michigan never responded to any of my emails, but when I met coach Broschart for the first time he said he appreciated all of them! Can you send me link to highlight and website? GRADES ARE KEY, MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT OFRECRUITING.

Third continued: Yes, AJ is right, you want to communicate directly. Multiple reasons: Chans personality is his biggest attribute! He’s a great kid and thats what they are looking for, recruiting for character. Talking to the coach moves you up on the radar, regardless if you are a player or not. It allows Chan to ask questions and get to know the coach. A two way interview. You don’t want to spend four years playing for someone you don’t respect, look up to or get along with. Ask questions, laugh, have fun with it and start to build a relationship. Even if the school isn’t for you, you’ve made a contact and they are sure to tell other coaches about you. ( They all talk about everyone! What you say to one coach, guarantee twenty others hear it ). Not to scare you/him but Now and “down the road” are quite similar. It moves fast, so make it a habit of checking emails, making calls and staying positive. Also, make sure Chan is in charge here. You’re great dad and love your kid but you don’t want to be “that parent” who tries to hard. Teamwork on this, but he has to be the one sending emails and making calls.

Who are Chan’s top school? Make a list of fall back schools, fit schools and reach schools. Add 3-5 schools in each category and go from there. Be honest with it and do the research, it is about the feel of the ALL AROUND school, not just the honeys and the lax field.


Kodak Man 1: ‘So have you figured out a way to work the wheel in? Kodak Man 2: ‘We know it’s hard, because wheels aren’t really seen as excit­ing tech­no­logy, even though they are the original’. Don Draper: ‘Well, tech­no­logy is a glit­ter­ing lure, but there’s the rare occa­sion when the pub­lic can be engaged on a level bey­ond flash. If they have a sen­ti­mental bond with the product. My first job, I was in-house at a fur com­pany. This old-pro copy­writer, Greek, named Teddy. And Teddy told me the most import­ant idea in advert­ising is ‘new’. Cre­ates an itch. Put your product in there as a kind of calam­ine lotion. We also talked about a deeper bond with the product. Nos­tal­gia. It’s del­ic­ate, but potent…

… Teddy told me that in Greek, nos­tal­gia lit­er­ally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart far more power­ful than memory alone. This device isn’t a space ship, it’s a time machine. It goes back­wards and for­wards. It takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It’s not called the wheel. It’s called the carou­sel. It lets us travel the way a child travels. Round and round and back home again. To a place where we know we are loved.’


Hill Lacrosse “Non-Negotiables” On the field: -Hill attackmen ride through the mid-line. -Hill wings box out on face-offs. -Hill attackmen run out shots! -Hill midfielders do not pressure the ball in defensive transition; get into the paint. -Hill players sprint off the field on substitutions. -Hill players look at the ref and plant your feet off of change of possessions. -Hill defensemen do not get beat off a stick-check. -Hill players do not get beat off ball when a pole is on the ball. -Hill players do not question the ref. Let the coaches inquire about calls. -Hill players do not “talk trash” to their opponent. -Hill players do not make a flat-footed pass. -Hill players do not slam their stick or swear after a mistake. -Hill players do not question Hill coaches during a game or practice. -Hill players care about team success. -Hill players are players not coaches. -Hill players know the playbook and terminology. -Hill players are “whistle ready” on change of possessions. -Hill players focus on the ball in loose ball scrums. -Hill players do not commit “push from behind” possession calls. -Hill players echo calls! -Hill players lead by example. -Hill players like assisted goals. -Hill players do not point the finger. -Hill players know the difference between being hurt and injured. No self diagnosis. -Hill players do not complain; we embrace adversity. -Hill players look out for one another. -Hill players are continuously trying to improve. Off the field: -Hill players are polite and respectful. -Hill players are committed to being great students. -Hill players dress in full uniform, equipment. -Hill players look professional. -Hill jerseys never touch the ground. -Hill players do not drink pop, or eat junk on the road or at school. -Hill players do not eat fast food and are committed to eating healthy. -Hill players are clean-shaven for road trips. -Hill players play appropriate movies on the road. -Hill players respect their parents. -Hill players are committed to continuous improvement in the weightroom. -Hill players leave visiting locker rooms spotless. -Hill players put the nets away and collect the ball after every practice. -Hill players open the door for other people. -Hill players clean the bus, no matter how late we get home! -Hill players are committed to academics and act professionally in the classroom. “Success is Uncommon, therefore not to be enjoyed by the Common man”

Plumber/golfer and this notebook

Look at this notebook as a tool box or golf bag. For better or worse these are some of the tools mom and I have used thus far to raise a family of boys who are 11, 14 and 18. we set up the tool box first with stuff that worked for us as kids. We left out some tools that didn’t. Then thru trial and error, reading lots of books, going to some seminars and talking with other parents added some more tools and upgraded others. Many times we used the wrong club and hit a bad shot that left both parent and kid in a worse position. Often we went to bed so frustrated; mainly at ourselves if we were honest about it. Sometimes we went to bed thinking it wasn’t pretty but we got the job done. And on some days, they didn’t happen every week or month; but on somedays, one parenting situation went so well, so effortlessly it was magic. Seeing you overcome challenges, try something new and learn a lesson or realize and say this family is awesome, score a goal, start homework and studying early vs last minute, make a sweet pass, box out or score a goal or just have a cool conversation at dinner.

boys we love this game.

body / weight circut

Chin Ups 3 x 10
Push Ups 3 x 20
Jump Squat 3 x10
Body weight Squat 3 x 20
Alternating Lunge 3 x 10 each leg
Rotational Inverted Row 3 x 10
Plank Row 3 x 5 per side
25 yard shuttle 3 x 3 (there and back is 1)

Lax recruit timetable

It’s oct 13, 2011. Coops 2012 university of Michigan recruiting class will go as a team for their official visit on dec 9-11.

UM has almost finished filling their 2013 slots and they even have a few filled for 2014.

Heard OSU has 7-8 offense slots filled.

Current seniors committed for fall 2012 class
Current Juniors committed for fall 2013 class
Current Sophomores already committing for fall 2014 class. Context…they played their freshman year season, as rising sophmores went to summer camps and committed fall of their sophomore year. They have 3 more seasons of HS lax to play before they get to college, play fall ball, do skill development and strength and conditioning over the winter and then see their first NCAA spring lax season in 2015.

It’s fall 2011.

We’ve already begun to see more and more transfers. I sense a possible root cause is 15 and 16 year olds are still maturing academically, athletically and emotionally. It’s hard for them to really know what school, campus community and lax program are going to be the best fit for them. Ditto the NCAA coaches.

It’s just the nature of the beast.

big old goofy world – john prine

Up in the morning
Work like a dog
Is better than sitting
Like a bump on a log
Mind all your manners
Be quiet as a mouse
Some day you’ll own a home
That’s as big as a house

I know a fella
He eats like a horse
Knocks his old balls
Round the old golf course
You oughta see his wife
She’s a cute little dish
She smokes like a chimney
And drinks like a fish

There’s a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
Ooh baby
It’s a big old goofy world

Now elvis had a woman
With a head like a rock
I wished I had a woman
That made my knees knock
She’d sing like an angel
And eat like a bird
And if I wrote a song
She’d know ever single word

Kiss a little baby
Give the world a smile
If you take an inch
Give ’em back a mile
Cause if you lie like a rug
And you don’t give a damn
You’re never gonna be
As happy as a clam

So I’m sitting in a hotel
Trying to write a song
My head is just as empty
As the day is long
Why it’s clear as a bell
I should have gone to school
I’d be wise as an owl
Stead of stubborn as a mule.

drop the inquisition

mic came home from a long day at school, tests, quizzes and soccer game they lost. ’bout 9pm. i just let him chill and gave him the break he needed after a long day and avoided the inquisitions like “how did you do on your math test.” he decompressed by checking his facebook and fantasy football sites. he checked his grades on progress book and then headed in to the kitchen for some chipotle mom brought home

lax as leverage in admissions

interesting article on the recruited student-athlete leveraging lax at a DI-DIII school in admissions process. “recruited athlete was 30 percentage points more likely to be admitted than a non-athlete.” 
believe it or not, a timely article for our frosh lax boys in laying the groundwork to get the grades and looks that hopefully lead to offers at wonderful schools as rising juniors/juniors. remember all the DI slots were taken as coop ended his rising senior summer and started his senior year. (this email assumes a certain vision to play lax in college which i know not everyone in this email shares).
michael, susan and i are actively blue-skying academically competitive DI-DIII colleges where he can leverage lax to get admitted and possibly earn scholarship cash. (we’ve learned too that with athletic scholarships the financial aid process gets some added nuances.) more to the point, we’ve been actively charting the possible summer lax camps to increase “marketing” visibility and enhance his decision-making process. its different for everyone. we never had coop at a specific college coaches summer lax camp; the carlsons did with alex and it worked extremely well for them at airforce (he was able to compare schools/lax programs/military careers as i believe (not certain on details) he attended summer camps at navy, VMI, army throughout HS)
sidebar: when/if you read the article, they talk about jake reed’s nike blue chip camp. our reality was coop never got an invite BUT, most of the college coaches we spoke with during our process didnt see blue chip camp being as high in value to find recruitable lacrosse players as earlier in its history. why? they shared that more and more of the players attending blue chip these days have already been recruited. so “why go and waste precious time” to discover someone when most have already verbally committed to another school. just the charlton’s experience. as this sport continues exploding, the landscape is constantly changing and figuring out how to navigate from “unknown” to recruited student-laxman is a work in progress.
lastly, this article underscores how lacrosse helped coop get admitted to an extremely competitive school that without lax he wouldn’t not have been admitted to. probably goes w/out saying (hey i’m long-winded) but that shouldn’t obscure the need for very good grades. as the article highlights “there needs to be an upper-tier student or two who balances out the superior lacrosse player who has grades on the lower end of the admissions continuum. Strive to be that player who is offered a slot because of excellent work in the classroom, and a history of A.P., and/or honors classes.” grades/lax as leverage in admissions and cash. in hudson we are very fortunate to have in coach blue, among many other positives, a man and program focusing on grades in a very very big way. each year coach has a student-athlete % goal. he keeps inching it up, too!
i trust the very good grades trend continues with your sons. i remember last spring making the rounds at practice asking as many as i could how things were going in the 8th grade classroom. they replied almost universally with high marks. i smiled again when i saw their names in the hudson hub on the merit or honor rolls!

manage expectations. adjust the peaks. try not to always guess the gift.

larry. yoga. meditation. not talking about lowering quality standards. not talking about settling for less. not talking about looking at life as a half empty glass. adjust the peaks of lofty expectations and your yardstick for measuring lifes joys and less will end up being more. dont fall into trap the trap of leaders are only born not made. mom is a steady eddy. i was born with tendancies that go from low to high with little middle ground. im not a natural at this. learning as i go. as you age, hopefully you mature, or marinate and can go deeper in the pose. its about learning to live more in the moment. be mindful of the past and future. history and mystery. the present is a gift. try not to always guess the gift. then again, there are people because of circumstance, upbringing and lifes experiences that dont like surprises. they try and figure everything out or go the extreme and become pessimists figuring it’ll be bad news so when it isnt ill be happier. thats their strategy for pursuing happiness.

pursuit. journey.

sex like life.

who do you want to win? just wanna see a good game together. consider the timing of this source. late middle age. both of us stressing about money, a house full of kids and ever changing schedules. a hurry up and “get it in” before the lighting delay or storm hits. man biological need and thinking about sex every 3 minutes and kids, mom and then dad’s hierarchy of needs operating within the wife’s brains, heart and soul and you have the recipe for mid life sexual malaise.

manage expectations.

project what you want

home is security, safe house

smile when you see people, greet them by name and firm handshake.

 dont always feel like doing this but its the right thing to do, makes people feel good and the returns are more than you put in


6 am day after Christmas
I throw some clothes on in the dark
The smell of cold
Car seat is freezing
The world is sleeping
I am numb
Up the stairs to her apartment
She is balled up on the couch
Her mom and dad went down to Charlotte
they’re not home to find us out
And we drive
Now that I have found someone
I’m feeling more alone
Than I ever have before
She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly
they call her name at 7:30
I pace around the parking lot
then I walk down to buy her flowers
And sell some gifts that I got
Can’t you see
It’s not me you’re dying for
Now she’s feeling more alone
Then she ever has before
She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly
off the coast and I’m headed nowhere
She’s a brick and I’m drowning slowly
As weeks went by
It showed that she was not fine
They told me son it’s time to tell the truth
She broke down and I broke down
Cause I was tired of lying
Driving home to her apartment
For the moment we’re alone
She’s alone
I’m alone
Now I know it

hi mom

Hi mom,

I was just thinking about you and wanted to say hi. No need to respond. Hope you find time to smile everyday. You seemed sad toward the end, before I left. I know you have a lot of stress but our family is awesome. It’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year and since I’ve been away from home at school. Thanks for everything.



Ps thanks again for always making me dinner when i came home late and after everyone else had already eaten. I miss sitting there eating, neither of us talking, just sitting and being together.

gpa: the cummulative effect (or the power of compounding)

we learned that getting off to a slow start gpa-wise and then cranking it senior year, even with 4.4, 4.6 and 4.3, the gpa only rises a little. not enough for any academic scholarships, let alone acceptance into say University of Michigan unless you are recruited by them to play say, lacrosse.

better to start strong and if the grades slack a little senior year, the gpa only dips a little.

its always better to start high as its easier to come down thatn start low. its very hard to dig out of a hole. think of it as a strong foundation versus a weak foundation.

the math is oh so slow to change regardless of up or down

block island, boca grande, st barts and neah

when i die, i’ll be cremated. have your passports ready. in my safe deposit box will be the cash to pay for the flights, hotels and restaurants to scatter my ashes in the waters off:

  • block island, rhode island where i asked your mom to marry me
  • boca grade where we were married
  • st barts where we honeymooned, and
  • neah

my vision is that the three of you will do this together, alone. no girlfirends (or boyfriends if thats the case), wives or kids. solo. the broneah boys.

timing (hopefully I’ll be around a long time) will probably dictate you carve things up in chunks. thats cool. just as long as the three of you do it together.

one last thing: you need to travel together versus meet at the destinations independently. you’ll figure out the “why”.

you never know what goes on behind closed doors

candy and andy and dick and jane. beautiful kids. beautiful wives. wildly successful businessmen at the helms of their own companies. xmas cards from family vacations on st. barts, the cloisters, the serengeti. flash rides. every opportunity to be happy….or so it seemed. the marriages crashed and burned with all the typical collateral damage. both divorces shocked everyone in town.

mom is my best friend. i learned that from poppie and odie. i didn’t know any thing different. same values. very similar backgrounds. very similar tastes, though your mom absoultely knows how to lead a life well lived much better than i do. i just gotta start cranking the cash to enable it. we’ve worked hard at becoming better communicators. a key book there was and continues to be “The Five Love Languages.” recently mom and i were stressing over money and how the heck we were going to pay for University of Michigan. once we got that out in the open, the fear, the uncertainty, we calmed ourselves by re-committing to trusting in the process and the help we are getting from Alex and the crew at College Planning Network. Before we got back to being parents, we both agreed that we are classic examples of a couple “fighting” over money issues. we both agreed that we do not at the moment have any other issues core to our marriage that needs fixing. just keep on nurturing it along.


a husband and wife dont have to be best friends. they need to be great partners with a common vision and cause. being best friends who are partners just works for us.


to date, mom has struggled for most of our marrigae with my entrepreneurism. i live pretty much full-time in the future. mom is very much in the present and that is full of daily money worries. present-day realities do catch up with me now and then and you see the distant, aloof and short-tempered me. the dad flat on his back, up in bed reading a book, getting lost in someone else’s story. beats the alternative i used to turn to: booze.

mom’s a champ and pretty much soldiers on with an even keel that we have all come to depend on.

as one of my mentors shared, “I just knew in my heart I couldn’t work for someone else. I just had to do my own thing. It hasn’t been easy, especially for my wife. But we never gave up and that hardwork and a little bit of luck and enough time, it all worked out in the end.”

grammy and walter had the same experience with the Creekwood apartments. Odie and Poppie with RIce Oil. remember that painting in poppies office in Neah of the cowboy trying to push that wagon stuck in the creek? thats poppie’ symbol for the trail they were on.

work for smart people, be a great employee, then head out on your own


for about half that time, she struggled with my alcoholism.

writing this book for year

i’ve been writing this book for years in bits n pieces. stuff that has worked and lessons learned on stuff that didn’t. stuff we keep doing, started doing and stopped doing in the process
*of raising three boys to gentle-men.
* marriage
* work
this book is for cooper, michael and max. it’s mom and dad’s playbook that we are pretty much making Up as we go. yes, we are setting aside a little bit of any money we might make on this book for you. why? to defray some of the costs associated with the countless hours you’ll be billed by your psychiatrist to undue the damage done by a couple amateurs!

It’s a resource. When the student is ready, a teacher will appear. Use it as you need it and add some for the next guy.

as jimmy buffet sings,

it’s a semi-true story, believe it or not
i made up a few things and some i forgot
but the life and the tellin’ are both real to me
and they all run together and turn out to be
a semi-true story

i dedicate this book to my grandparents, whom I was fortunate to spend many years getting to know, learning from and be loved by.

David Charlton, Hudson, Ohio, 2011

this book dedicated to papa charlton, papa drohan, grammy charlton and grammy drohan

attitude is everything. timing is everything. when the student is ready the teacher will appear.

papa charlton’s wisdom, strong sense of family and apple sauce

grammy charlton’s sweetness, strength and fierce loyalty

papa drohan’s great sense of humor, insatiable curiosity and independence

grammy drohan’s athleticism, resiliency and love of nature

united front

Mom and dad being on same page.

Agree ahead of time if something said in front of kid thatnother parent doesn’t agree with, save it for later.
Learned my lessons when I took away tv for a week.
Rabbit ears vs cable.
No tv

delivering consequences without anger

Set ups. Hot stove top. Forgotten cleats. Habitually over sleep. Miss the bus. Walk to school.
Order own food at restaurants.
Pay pizza man.
Figure tip.
Cussing at next table.
R movies. Family discussions afterwards.
Family meetings.
Oh I was hoping you could enjoy some ice creme with us tonight
After the fact.
Silence for most of the day until consequence meeting
Warrior gets spit in face. Comes back another day.
1000 timeouts in the corner
Sitting nose to nose
Last cookie. One brother breaks in half. Other brother chooses.
Mom can I get this candy. Sure. Did you bring your money?
Apply to wra. Interviews.
Dropmoff for coach interview.
Practicing handshakes. Role play.
Cook a meal for the whole family
Cry all night. Keep everyone up the next day. Never had a sleep issue again.
No eye contact. No words. Just point upstairs.
Routine loves company
Clothes left on ground end up disappearing
Resign from soccer
Toys left on ground get donated. After multiple discussions, warnings.

warrior, king, magician, “lover”

As Susan and I sat in the stands last night, I was so happy for brad. Forget the score and the fact Hudson won. I was happy for brad because I was watching a man ensconced in waves of pure joy. So in the moment. Feeding his soul. The king, warrior, magician and “lover” (great book) all being traversed simultaneously. No small feat for a man in today’s conflicted society. Hey, we know brad ain’t perfect;-) but it was the epitome of the self actualization of the modern masculine psyche. It was beautiful. Those boys he leads are so darn lucky. I was lucky, too, watching it unfold. It was the highlight of my Friday night lights.

Argue with mom

I get mad at him. Mom would then get made at me for stepping in. Round and round

Play our game. He shares and engages. We ask less questions

Didn’t want to come home because we peppered him with questions.

Softening statement.

Prepared ourselves to listen vs over reach, judge and preach.

i’ll take it from here

from rising freshman to pg year in canada to university of michigan. one family’s experience helping their student-athlete take those extra steps towards greatness

  • cash flow for kids
  • no to wra
  • white knuckles
  • officer brouchard
  • love languages
  • rich dad poor dad
  • father and son
  • bac
  • sat mornings
  • pay it forward / under his wing
  • summer jobs
  • goal setting
  • glory vs fame
  • australia and new zealand
  • brothers
  • allowance
  • chores
  • hard work beats talent
  • grind it out. head down and trust in the process. focus, faith, effort
  • timeouts
  • when the student is ready the teacher will appear
  • last guy on team
  • role player in practice
  • from suspension to ray hyser
  • helicopter parents
  • set ups (forgotten cleats)
  • too late
  • no coaches came a callin’
  • help ideas over the wall (cali plan mom and dad dont like but dont tell)
  • no heat seeking missiles
  • better fit academically, athletically, socially, financially
  • marketing
  • website
  • titanium and under armour and king of the hill and reebok canada top 100
  • networking
  • mat
  • hill, avon, deerfield
  • play with fire and second chance with officer brouchard
  • xmas day
  • decision making; trust the process
  • commitment to hill
  • begins to pay dividends
  • UM
  • bo’s lasting lessons
  • way of peaceful warrior
  • bill wlesh
  • internship
  • under water basket weaving
  • scholarships
  • financial aid
  • cuz
  • credit card
  • negotiating: boy to man ritual
  • i’ll take it from here