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16.Apr, 2017 0

Remembering My Teacher: Ruth Chapin

There’s a saying: “If you can read this, thank a teacher.” I’ve had a lot of teachers and professors in my time. I’ve not thanked them enough. The standout of all my teachers was Ruth Chapin, my sixth-grade English teacher at L.C. Curtis Junior High in Santa Clara, California, for the 1963-1964 school year. Mrs. Chapin died recently at the age of 96. What made her such a standout? She cared about her students. She wanted to make a difference in our lives not just for the time we were together but for the long run. She was an exemplar…

11.Sep, 2016 0

The 15th Anniversary of 9/11

I remember 9/11 it like it was yesterday. 10 months after the horror of 9/11, I joined E-ONE, a fire/rescue vehicle manufacturer in Ocala, Florida, to help them implement mass customization. We had fire/rescue vehicles on backorder for the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) as a consequence of that fateful event. Most of that backlog was for our Saulsbury brand of stainless steel heavy rescue trucks then manufactured in Preble, New York, just outside Syracuse, NY. 343 firefighters died that day and about 80 fire/rescue vehicles were destroyed when the Twin Towers collapsed. That’s a staggering number of people…

17.Jul, 2016 0

Life Is A Puzzlement

Every week, I ponder what to write about for “Thank God It’s Monday.” Somehow, I hope to come up with something that will be of interest to you. Over the past month, it seems the world has gone mad. I’m sure you are feeling this, too. We’ve seen: 49 people die in the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting Police officers assassinated in Dallas (5) and Baton Rouge (3) Black men killed by the police in Minnesota and Baton Rouge who never should have been killed Horrific acts of terror in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia, Nice and Baghdad A failed coup in Turkey,…

4.Jul, 2016 0

Istanbul On My Mind

About 3 years ago, I traveled to Istanbul to write stories in about women in the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network. The day my plane left, citizens rose up in protest over the unilateral decision by then Prime Minister Erdogan to kill 600-year old trees in Gezi Park for a construction project. While these protests were not directed at Americans or any other international group, the tension kept us from seeing as much of Istanbul as we might have. I absolutely loved Istanbul: the people, the food, the entertainment, the ambiance, the entrepreneurial spirit, etc. I can’t wait to return….

26.Jun, 2016 0

Brexit Or Forget It?

The U.K. has decided to leave the European Union. In a forum last week, I wrote that I wasn’t sure that a decision of such import should be left to the citizenry via a referendum.. And, while my position may have been utopian, I had hoped that a decision might come from those elected to make such decisions through calm deliberation. It didn’t happen that way. Word has it that many who voted to leave the E.U. voted that way as they wanted to “send a message”, not because they actually believed they would actually end up leaving the E.U….

5.Jun, 2016 0

Muhammad Ali–The Greatest

Muhammad Ali was an enigma. When I first encountered him back in the 1960’s, I thought he was egotistical and full of braggadocio. But, as Ali said: “It’s not bragging if you can back it up.” And, back it up he did. His battle with Parkinson’s disease for over 3 decades was admirable. His humanitarian work–most of which none of us really know much about–was most impressive. He helped prevent someone from committing suicide. He helped non-profits raise huge sums of money. He stood up against the Vietnam War at a time when none of us really knew why the…

29.May, 2016 0

Honoring U.S. Military Veterans Who Died

We hear a lot about Memorial Day Weekend being “the unofficial start of summer.” It’s a time for family outings, outdoor barbeques, retail sale extravaganzas, etc. This misses the point. Memorial Day, which falls on the last Monday in May each year, is to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country during combat. As I’ve written before, veterans often say those who died were heroes. I’d argue all who serve are heroes. Using the veterans’ definition, let’s look at the numbers* of those who died in combat: Revolutionary War: 4,435 War of 1812: 2,260 Indian Wars: 1,000…

3.Apr, 2016 0

Family Joy

Yesterday was a day of celebration in the Gardner family: my father’s 90th birthday party. We had the whole family in, people from his church choir, a couple of guys that he had worked with at Panasonic just prior to retirement, his 93-year old sister and her 2 daughters, my 2 best friends and their wives, our realtor for life (Moe Moghadam) and more. The big surprise for my dad was tracking down a doctor who has supported our entire family and has now retired. Thanks to all who attended and made this such a special celebration–we are most grateful….

28.Dec, 2015 0

Our Political Process and The Golden Rule

When I was a teenager, I worked at a private country club. There was a men’s only room where cards were played, copious amounts of alcohol was consumed, and off-color jokes and stories dominated the conversation. As I look back on this, it was good that this area was off-limits to women: most women would have been appalled at what was being shared and laughed at. Donald Trump grew up in the culture of a men’s only back rooms in the country clubs where men speak their mind and there is no “politically incorrect” speech. If only Donald Trump believed…

16.Nov, 2015 1

Heaven On Earth

I don’t live in constant fear of being impacted by terrorist actions such as occurred in Paris this past Friday. I’m not suggesting that such acts can’t or won’t occur in the U.S. It’s unacceptable that terror attacks occur anywhere. Despite our best efforts, terror attacks may occur on U.S. soil again. Attacks such as occurred in Paris did not require great sophistication or planning to be effective. We see this in mass shootings that occur with all too great regularity in the U.S. I don’t see a great difference between a mass shooter and a terrorist attack. Victims of…