A letter of gratitude to AMC

In 2014, AMC premiered a show called Halt and Catch Fire. Airing right after the mid-season finale of Mad Men‘s final season, the show began with a large number of viewers and dwindled down to almost non-existitent ratings within the course of 10 episodes. Most networks would have ended things then, but for whatever reason, AMC decided to give Halt and Catch Fire a second season. Ratings didn’t improve. Then they gave the show a third season on a different night. Ratings got even worse. Just when it looked like the show would meet its end, AMC surprised everyone by renewing Halt and Catch Fire for a forth and final season, which premiered August 19th, 2017.

What a season it’s been. What a series it’s been.

Thank you, AMC. Thank you, too, to show creators and show runners Christopher C. Rogers and Christopher Cantwell for creating a television series that was (and is) unlike any other. Read More »

I Don’t Care Anymore…

I read recently that the average American adult has an attention span of 8 seconds. That’s roughly the same a goldfish. The author went on to suggest that the actual data indicated 8 seconds may be too long, but that the researchers didn’t want to insult people by saying that a goldfish has a longer attention span.

Is the 8 second attention span real? A joke? A faulty conclusion based on bad science?

Does it matter?

If you’re somene who pays attention to things like news and politics, you’ve probably noticed a pattern. Someone will say something. It will get blasted all over the news, all over social media, and seemingly around the world. For a brief, shining moment, it seems like everyone is talking about this event. Then, it’s forgotten. Poof. Almost as if it never happened. Read More »

CS Hope In-Ear Headphone Review

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I was supposed to post this on Tuesday. I forgot. These are CS Hope nylon-wrapped headphones. The audio quality is tuned heavily toward bass and mids, but I’ve found it perfect for podcasts and audiobooks and it’s not pad with most of my workout music, either. I’ve taken these to physical therapy and they’ve been hung in equipment, dropped, snagged, and abused — and they’re still working fine.

Read More »

On the Fallibility of the Mind… and How You Can Exploit It For Your Own Gain

Fake news and alternative facts are terms we’ve all grown sick of hearing by now, I’m sure. The current state of American politics aside, history is filled with examples that tragically illustrate how lies told boldly, often enough, are believed by many.

“We tend to think of memories as perfect little time capsules—important records of past events that matter to us and made us who we are, as unchangeable as a dragonfly stuck in amber,” says Dr. Julia Shaw. And she’s right. Yet, how often do we check the accuracy of our memories? How often do we check the accuracy of our beliefs? And how often to we examine the way our memories shape our beliefs? Read More »

Truth and Resurrection

This weekend, Christians around the world will celebrate Resurrection Sunday, a memorial of the day Christ rose from the grave as depicted in the gospels. Already, my social media feed is filled with images of crosses and caves with boulders rolled aside, most imprinted with a verse from the gospels.

One, particular, struck me: “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32

Truth is a thorny subject. Read More »

Revealed: The Dirty Little Secret to Stealing Your Attention

A good magician never reveals their tricks. Why would they? They make too much money selling the illusion. It’s the bad magicians, the ones who can’t sell out venues, who don’t have the marketing and public relations savvy to become big stars, who usually end up making those “secrets revealed” exposes that were so popular in the late ’90s.

Think of me as a failed magician. I know the secrets, and I’m willing to share them with you right now. If you let me, I’m going to give you a very cynical way to look at the world. I’m not trying to sell a book that explores these ideas further. I just feel the need to put this out there so people can be aware.

Knowledge doesn’t equal awareness. You have to choose to be aware. You may choose to dismiss everything I’m about to write. You may think it’s too simple or flawed. That’s fair. But it’s free.

Want to know more? Then keep reading. Read More »

Customer Service: It Matters More Than You Think

Nobody becomes a successful salesperson by treating customers poorly, especially in a competitive sales environment. That’s why almost all entrepreneur training drills deep into the importance of providing an exceptional customer service experience.

So why is it that big, well-established companies think they can succeed and become market leaders when their customer service experience is horrible?

I’m going through a nightmarish drama with a too-big-to-fail retailer right now. It’s triggered my investor mind far beyond the $20 being held hostage by this retailer to a fundamental question of where executive priorities are and whether the customer service experience itself is a precurser to shifting market trends.

Here’s what happened. Read More »

On Being an Individual… Or Not

A man stands on a mountain.It’s hard to tell people to quit letting other people tell them what to think. I mean, if they listen to you, aren’t they then allowing you to tell them what to think?

Tough question.

We all have people telling us what to think. The media, our friends, religious leaders, politicians — and all these people influence so much about us. What we wear, what we watch, what kind of music we listen to.

Rare is the individual who makes up their own mind, who refuses to go along with the crowd. Society tells us to be individuals, but if we individually choose a path that our peers don’t like, what then? We’re ostracized, we’re ridiculed, we’re pressured to conform.  Read More »

Americana is Dying: Sears Sells off Craftsman Tools

A hand holding an end wrench.

A couple of days ago, I saw the shocking news that Sears was selling its Craftsman brand to Stanley Black & Decker. To anyone with even a vague interest in working on cars during the last half of the 20th century, Craftsman is a legendary brand, the tool with a lifetime guarantee. At one time, Craftsman tools were a standard bearer in the world of tools, rivaled only by Snap-On and Mac among my gearhead friends in the ’90s.

For many who remember life before the internet, Craftsman is synonymous with Sears; the brand was only available at Sears stores until Sears acquired K-Mart and began limited Craftsman tools sales through K-Mart’s retail stores. Read More »

Can 2017 Really Be Different?

A ring of light around the moon.2016 was an awful year.

I’m being political. I ended 2015 in a major medical crisis. I spent most of 2016 trying to get well. I will forever remember 2016 as a year spent taking muscle relaxers, doing physical therapy, and learning how to cook the foods I love because I couldn’t leave the house to eat.

Many people I know had an awful 2016 as well. Sickness, financial loss, career setbacks.

It left me wondering if 2017 could really be different? Read More »