A Samurai Without a Sword is Still a Damn Samurai: 7 Reasons Why

When it comes to violins, the Stradivarius has no equal.  Their value can go into the $10-million range and to have one in my hands would be against the laws of the universe.  Unless I hit my head and wake up a virtuoso, I will never master that kind of skill. No violin will make … Continue reading A Samurai Without a Sword is Still a Damn Samurai: 7 Reasons Why

If at First You Do Succeed, Try, Try Again

Somewhere, back in the early 1800’s, Thomas Palmer, in an effort to encourage American schoolchildren to do their homework, he wrote in his teacher’s manual, “’Tis a lesson you should heed, try, try again.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  Shortly after that, Edward Hickson put the phrase in his ‘Moral Song’ … Continue reading If at First You Do Succeed, Try, Try Again

I Can’t Swim the Lake if I’m Chained to the Dock

There was a time in my life when the people around me encouraged me to, just sign up for welfare.  Imagine that!  This was the atmosphere I grew up in.  It was not a nice neighborhood. I have a library full of “excuses” I could legitimately claim, but this is not an origin story, so … Continue reading I Can’t Swim the Lake if I’m Chained to the Dock

The Threat of Heaven and the Promise of Hell

“So Rob, tell me; are you a God-fearing man?” Almost twenty years ago in Nashville, I was having lunch with one of my rep agencies.  There were about eight of us.  When my salad came, I began to eat it while conversing with the group.  As their salads came, they waited for everyone to get … Continue reading The Threat of Heaven and the Promise of Hell

The Case for Care in the Face of Sympathy

I come from a rough neighborhood; that’s no secret.  Where I grew up, people were gruff, rough, and tough.  In fact, here’s a typical greeting; and seriously, no bullshit, verbatim: “Joe!  How the hell are you, you fat fucking bastard?  Life treating you good or what?” Realness.  You know this guy cares about Joe; asking … Continue reading The Case for Care in the Face of Sympathy