Category: Effective Writing

Lessons From a Toaster

When it comes to household appliances, I am not usually prone to blanket generalizations. But, in this case, I am going to make an exception: My toaster is way smarter than my coffeemaker. You may find this surprising, since coffeemakers, with all their bells and whistles, are the alpha males of the small appliance community: sleek, powerful, sexy. Toasters, on the other hand, have been around forever – I guarantee you that Harry Truman owned one. And they have barely changed in decades: a couple of vertical holders for the bread […] Click to read more…

Car Talk

I’m a long way from what you would call a “car guy.” I don’t care how fast they go – my wife is always accusing me of “dawdling” on the highway. I don’t care about cargo space – I own nothing that needs moving. I don’t care what they look like – I’ve got bigger appearance challenges. So you won’t be surprised to learn that my car of choice for the past 15 years has been the Ford Focus. Reliable, inexpensive, easy to spell. In keeping with my minimal level of vehicular interest, I […] Click to read more…

Communication Complication

I’m not really sure how old my children are – I’ve kind of lost track in all the commotion. But they don’t live with us anymore, so I’m guessing that they are adults. Unfortunately, and while I try not to take it personally, not one of the three lives in the same time zone as my wife and me. In fact, none of them live in the same time zone as each other. We’ve got Pacific, Mountain, Central and Eastern represented.  In terms of degree of difficulty, arranging a family Zoom call […] Click to read more…

In a Pickle

Maybe you’ve heard. Tennis and Ping Pong had a baby – they named it “Pickleball.” This game/sport is kind of a hybrid of the two, played with paddles, a wiffleball and a court with painted lines and a net strung across the middle. I’ve been playing it for the last couple of months, something I never anticipated. First, because I decided long ago that I would commit what little competitive testosterone I had left to playing basketball. But with that shut down for the foreseeable future, I was in search […] Click to read more…

What To Say Now

(Listen to this post, here.) Assuming the weeks haven’t morphed into one continuous day by then, causing time itself to cease, come this June, it will have been 20 years since I quit my job and went off to work on my own. Back then, this newsletter had about 30 subscribers and was called, Different Rules, Different Tools. I gave it that name for two reasons. First, because I love rhyme and alliteration (even on vacation). Left to my own devices, my daughter’s name would likely have been Kitty.   Second, because back […] Click to read more…