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Showing posts from April, 2011

Collecting people instead of things

    About twenty years ago, I purchased my first house.  I remember all of the houses that my wife and I visited and looked at before we decided to put in offer on the one we liked.  One house we saw stuck out because of the owner's peculiar collections.  On the walls of his house were framed shadow box collections of all sorts of items including : matchbooks, shot glasses, playing card decks, thimbles, hotel note pads, you name it.  I found it almost mezmorizing how many different things this man chose to collect and display.  Personally, I collected baseball cards as a youth.  I used my lawn-mowing and paper route money to purchase cards that I knew would appreciate in value, as well as certain players that I fancied.  Thirty years later, I am not sure what to do with the cards.  Combined, the entire collection is theoretically around $5000, but realistically, I wouldn't be able to get half that amount by selling them to dealers or on the internet.  Worse yet, even though I d

Instead of fighting City Hall, you may just want to move to a different City . .

 from While I was studying engineering at the University of Michigan in the late 80's, I was continually surrounded by the active protests and political movements of students eager to change the world.  The diverse student body of U of M was a hotbed of cultural expressions brought about the intoxicating need to "take on the MAN".  As a young engineer, I would sometimes take on the establishment at work and school with a bull-headed charge which often resulted in bruised relationships and a reputation for being a troublemaker. Please don't get me wrong, I haven't become a sell-out.  I haven't abandoned the need to be a part of radical change, but I have learned a more subtle, lower-key method of affecting change while not drawing too much attention to myself or my goals.  I am not referring to abrupt political revolution like we have seen recently in the Middle-East, I am discussing cultural changes at work that improve the abil

Back to School: Reinvent Yourself

  Back in the 80's Rodney Dangerfield starred in the movie "Back to School" about a self-made millionaire and entrepenuer that decided to enroll with his freshman son played by Keith Gordon.   The premise is an amusing tale of a successful business man, who never graduated high school, trying to reinvent himself and connect with his frustrated son on the verge of dropping out.  In the real world going back to school is far from easy.  In fact, it is so challenging that many cannot find the motivation to start back into something that was seemingly finished years ago.  The chasm that must be crossed is intimidating.  It is what my father always teaches his students about . . . Reinventing Yourself. Twenty years ago, when I graduated from engineering school, I found a good job, and soon enrolled in a Master's program.  I felt at the time, that if I didn't go back, that I never would.  Four years later, married, with a son, and one on the way, I graduated.  Atte