7-29-14 | Outside my study window, our garden is visited constantly by birds. Cardinals, redpolls, finches, doves, grackles, catbirds, downy woodpeckers, flickers, evening grosbeaks, bluebirds, owls, even two big gorgeous hawks. This week, they have become my muse, because they know how to do something that I needed to learn.
7-22-14 | This week a sad thing happened: it was announced that some 12,500 employees are being laid off at Microsoft’s devices unit. What elevated this event from merely a shame to an outrage, and at the same time a sort of uneasily, weirdly hilarious outrage, was the way they found out.
7-15-14 | Apparently I’ve been ambling in and out of Amazon’s “Top 100 Most Popular Self-Help Authors” list for the past nine months. I had not really thought of the stuff I write as “self-help,” exactly. Whenever I thought about the term, it would invariably call to mind the wisdom of Steven Wright.
7-8-14 | When my older son Nick was a toddler, he used to sit in the kitchen and smash trucks. It went like this:
7-1-14 | When you go through something difficult or painful (or both), what’s the story you tell yourself about it?
6-24-14 | I’ve been chopping down trees again. I should be using an ax — but instead, I’m using my head. Ouch.
6-17-14 | My bank account offers a feature, common these days, that lets me set up automatic payments for all my bills. They started offering it ages ago. But month after month, year after year, I somehow never got around to signing up for it.
6-11-14 | One fine day as I idled at a red light in Allston, Massachusetts, two hopped up guys stepped into my cab, trained a gun on me, told me to turn off my dispatch radio and drive up Summit Avenue to the top of Corey Hill, where they were going to shoot me dead. (Note to self: lock door at red lights.)
6-3-14 | You’ve probably read this quote before: “You are what you repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Wise words from the sage Aristotle. Except for two problems. One, Aristotle never said them. And two, they’re not true.
5-27-14 | There was once a young man named Jack who had a dream of being a great pilot, maybe even an astronaut. He joined the navy and went into their aviation wing, intent on laying the foundation for a soaring career in the skies.