Kill the rabbits

I live in Texas. In Texas, like in many places, there is an inexplicable population of rabbits. Okay—maybe not inexplicable. We all know how prolific those rabbits are.

When you drive on country roads in West Texas, you see them darting about. Not one or two. Dozens. They raise their ears above the grass, look you in the eyes, and sprint away leaving you watching the tuft of their bums.Read More »

Big Dream Howdy,

It was the first day of school for my daughters. We arrived early, but the doors weren’t quite open. The line of parents and children snaked from the front doors around the building. We stood on the sidewalk in the heat of the rising Texas sun.

As we looked down, we saw sidewalk chalk phrases kindly written by teachers to encourage students as they began the year.Read More »

Praise what you want more of

My first management job was as assistant manager at a 14-Screen cineplex for Cinemark. I worked my way up from fluorescent bow ties, visors and suspenders to a suit and tie in under 10 months. It felt great to know that my Manager Delibra Wesley trusted me with so much.

I was good at many things. There were aspects of management that came naturally to me.

But, there were 2 things I sucked at: giving praise and saying I’m sorry.Read More »

Is email holding you hostage? Use these 6 steps.

There you are. You open your email on Monday morning and see the count—hundreds of emails. That badge of unread messages says, “You know you can’t do anything else until you deal with me.”

You spend hours skimming them. You trash some. You keep others thinking, “I’ll respond later.” After all of the new emails are read, you try to move along to other work.

Of course, you leave your email open. Across the organization others are doing the same thing as you as they try to catch up on cluttered inboxes.Read More »

What I learned from a yellow loogie on a windy morning bike ride

It was a chilly morning in Texas. The cloud cover was low. The temperature was around 50 degrees, and we set out on a 42-mile bike ride.

It was a short ride by most accounts. I have completed several 100-milers, and I prefer to stick near the 60-mile range. As I tell people, 60 miles is the dividing line between fun and work.

In my time as a cyclist, I have endured a broken humerus, mended by plates and screws. It wasn’t funny at all. I took another spill when my front wheel was pinched in a crack over a rickety wooden bridge. I slid across the grassy slope and might have ended up in the creek if not for a sapling that I gripped with one hand.

Despite all my stories from cycling, none of those are the ones that prompted a blog post.Read More »

If you don’t write, you’re wrong.

Back in 1995, as the world was beginning to wake up to the potential of the World Wide Web, I sat in a high school computer lab. Rather than spending lunch outside, I would bake in the glow of that RGB screen.

It was heaven — far better than listening to the honk and hiss of our dial-up modem at home.

I spent endless hours in Dos typing commands to download games by FTP.

I found chat rooms to troll.Read More »

What I learned from angry bees in the Valley of Fire.

It was the tail end of a 26-day camping trip that took us from Texas, to New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Home again. It was at the peak of the 2017 Phoenix heat wave — 117 degrees outside — and we were journeying toward a place known as the Valley of Fire.

I opened the car door at a gas pump 15 miles from camp. The wind blew the door wide — as if it might rip it from its hinges. I stepped out into what felt like a giant hair dryer. I might have looked like Beaker from the muppets if not for my shaved head.
Read More »