$20 an Hour

What would you be doing if you had to pay $20 an hour to do it?

In the early twentieth century, physicists devised a technique to test the new theories of relativity and quantum mechanics dealing with the very large and very small – places where you couldn’t actually go.  […]

When It – a Crisis – Hits the Fan

A client recently brought back memories of one of the most difficult moments/crisis in my naval career – I was the Deputy Assistant Supervisor of Shipbuilding in Pearl Harbor, HI and I received two days’ notice that my Contracting Officer was retiring.

Panic can’t describe what I felt at the […]

When You Make Mistakes

We all make mistakes.

Last night, I was making vegetable broth.  After straining out the vegetables, I decided that I would concentrate the broth, so I put the broth back on the stove and turned up the burner.  Then with the arrive of a visiting friend and a good book, […]

Getting Stuff Done

In my company, my job title is Director of Getting Stuff Done.  There’s two primary reasons for this title – (1) We hate the job title inflation that’s common in modern business, i.e., one-person companies having CEOs, etc. and (2) I get stuff done.  I achieve the second reason […]

Foresight is Crappy

I love to study history – there’s always something to learn.  In fact, my children claim I can relate ANYTHING to the battle of Midway because I did so many times when they were at home – Mostly during dinner time conversations when we would discuss their day’s activities […]

The Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal”

I was recently asked for my take on the Apple Battery Slowdown “Scandal” by a nephew who works in the tech industry (Apple’s response is here).  My first impulse was what scandal and my second was submarine batteries – it may seem a weird connection but there is a […]

2017 Holiday Season

“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour, by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little […]

Conflict is Inevitable, Happy Resolution Isn’t

I’ve been struck by the story of Samson found in the Old Testament Book of Judges, chapters 13-16.  With the gift of unusual strength, he was the spark to freeing the Israelites from Philistine domination.  Be he had a fatal flaw – a rampant narcissism – that lead to […]

One-Offs – or Why What You Want to Do is Not Going to Work

Years ago, I read a short crime story in a society that had a computer that could predict crimes.  One day it predicts that there will be two murders.  The police quickly start tracking where and who will be involved in the murders.  Meanwhile, a woman is directed to […]

Three Mistakes to Death

In the 1980’s, I had the opportunity to take a course on submarine design from CAPT Harry Jackson, USN Ret.  CAPT Jackson had participated in the design of more submarine types than any other US naval officer.  And while I could still design a submarine based on what I […]

Learning is the Ultimate Skill – Part II

We wrote last about how learning is important and that there are the traditional and new opportunities to learn.  Today, I want to talk about why learning is important.

There are two reasons to learn something new:

To gain knowledge
To gain a new skill

Knowledge is learning how the world […]

Learning is the Ultimate Skill

Long ago, I realized that my only hope to move ahead in this world was to learn something – anything.  In grade school, the only skill that enabled me to stand out was being able to catch the ball in dodge ball better than others.  But dodge ball has […]

Sexual Harassment – When the End Comes

You may not believe it – but there is a connection between the Falklands War and the sexual harassment of Harvey Weinstein.

I had the pleasure to hear the noted naval historian and analyst Norman Polmar speak on the Falklands war between the United Kingdom and Argentina.  One story has […]

Sexual Harassment, Why So Long?

The news is full of another powerful male’s fall from grace for sexual harassment and/or assault.  It’s a brutal and sad commentary – there’s not enough words to describe the revulsion that’s felt at the description of the events or enough tears to salve the hurt to the victims.  […]

Don’t Attribute to Malice What Can Ascribed to Incompetence

The title of this post is a reference to a quote by General Curtis Lemay about not being about to tell the difference between treason and incompetence – the results were the same.  And results are really what we deal with every day.  Something happens and we immediately start […]

Volunteers are Golden

I recently participated in the Artistry in Wood show sponsored by the Spokane Carvers Association.  It’s an event showcasing the talents of the wood carvers in the Inland Northwest.  This year, the Inland Northwest Woodturners (INWT) participated by having a single table with wood turned objects, mostly bowls, vases, […]

It’s Expensive Being Cheap

I recently received an email from a client that asked:

“Our quality teams are floundering. I’d like to do training for each team on how the team should function and the roles of each person on the team. I am sure you have a lovely infographic in your library of […]

In Disasters, Preparation is Necessary But Luck is Key

I’ve written before about emergency response and preparation here.  But there was one aspect of emergency response and preparation that I neglected to mention – luck.

I bring this up because in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, some Texas politicians are calling for people to NOT donate to the American […]

Persistence – or How to be Successful

When I was a young man, I would read Analog magazine – every issue. In one issue, there was an editorial by Robert A. Heinlein.  He wrote about a time he was invited to address the cadets at the US Naval Academy.  When he got to the Academy, he […]

Who’s REALLY to Blame?

Unfortunately, we’ve had a wonderful opportunity to see human behavior at its worst this weekend.  There’s no denying that any rational, emotionally feeling human won’t be repulsed by the events that occurred in Charlottesville with the deliberate murder and attacks on people doing what they are guaranteed the right […]