Monthly Archives: December 2015

Day 94 – Thankful for an Accomplished Goal – 25 Books in 2015

Today I’m thankful for an accomplished goal, 25 books in 2015.

Ahh…  Victory!  Mission accomplished.  Goal accomplished.  25 Business books went into my brain this year!

Here’s the Top 10 Most Impactful:

  1. Talk Like TED (read 3x’s this year):  Excellent how to for putting together a presentation.  This one helped me a ton with putting together my presentation.
  2. Great by Choice:  One of my all time favorite books, Jim Collins wrote a masterpiece to show how businesses choose to be successful.
  3. How The Mighty Fall:  This one was the last one I read this year and it was a punch to the gut.  He hit the nail on the head of some of my struggles this year.
  4. Rise of the Robots:  This fired up some crazy thoughts and ideas.  Incredibly thought provoking.
  5. A More Beautiful Question:  Ahh…  Questions, the tools of my trade.  This book was wonderful at sharing many new ways to phrase questions more effectively.
  6. Work Simply:  Want to be more productive?  Start here.
  7. Off Balance:  Want to be happier?  Start here.
  8. Mindset:  This book explains one of my most core values.  Anything is possible, you just have to figure it out and focus on enjoying the journey more than the destination.
  9. Scarcity:  Interesting concept discussing how scarcity can help in the short term but is very detrimental in the long term.
  10. Get the Truth:  From the same team that wrote Spy the Lie, this book helps you learn to ask questions in a way hat helps walk you to the truth in very difficult situations.  In some ways this was the most impactful book of the year as it helped me make a couple of incredibly tough decisions.

And the others I’d recommend:

  1. Life is a Series of Presentations 
  2. Getting to Yes With Yourself
  3. The Small Big
  4. The Power of Understanding People
  5. The Art of Stillness
  6. How to Fly a Horse
  7.  Misbehaving
  8. Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs
  9. How to Design TED Worthy Presentations
  10. Poke the Box
  11. Insanely Simple

And the ones that were pretty meh:

  1. Street Smarts
  2. Increasing Effectiveness Through SLII (the system itself is fantastic, the book?  Not so much.)
  3. Guerilla Marketing
  4. Why We Make Things & Why It Matters

So there’s the 2015 reads…  

And I’ve picked up an oldie but goodie to start the year, Decisive by the Heath Brothers.  Here’s to another 25 in 2016!

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Posted by on December 31, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 93 – Thankful for Police

Today I’m thankful for police.

I took the day off of work today and spent the entire day working on a project (more on that in a future post, I’m sure).  When I got upstairs in my workshop I realized I had forgotten to re-charge my speaker battery.  As opposed to working in silence, I fired up the police scanner from my grandparents.  

Talk about something that brings back memories of my grandparents’ house!  There are too many sounds that make me think back to any time we were there.  

We got drilled by the snow storm last night and the roads were awful.  This meant the scanner was about 10 times more lively than usual.  As I was kind of listening to all the calls coming in I couldn’t help but be in awe of what they must deal with on a regular basis.

My step dad will tell me stories of some of the crazy stuff they deal with, but it wasn’t until listening today that it really sunk in just how much stuff they have to deal with.  I can’t imagine the patience it must take on a daily basis.

Between traffic accidents, drivers assaulting other drivers, calling in to have a road plowed, calling in to have salt put on icy patches of a parking lot, doing a well check and everything in between it was crazy how busy they were!  Throw in a countless number of times they had a phone call coming in that they had to have a message taken and the crazy number of accident reports they had to file.

It really hit me just how much I appreciate all they do for us.  While my blog doesn’t do them justice please check out this link for a much more eloquent description of why I’m thankful for police:

What Are Policemen Made Of? Paul Harvey
What Are Policemen Made Of? By Paul Harvey

A Policeman is a composite of what all men are, mingling of a saint and sinner, dust and deity.

Gulled statistics wave the fan over the stinkers, underscore instances of dishonesty and brutality because they are “new”. What they really mean is that they are exceptional, unusual, not commonplace.

Buried under the frost is the fact: Less than one-half of one percent of policemen misfit the uniform. That’s a better average than you’d find among clergy!

What is a policeman made of? He, of all men, is once the most needed and the most unwanted. He’s a strangely nameless creature who is “sir” to his face and “fuzz” to his back

He must be such a diplomat that he can settle differences between individuals so that each will think he won.

But…If the policeman is neat, he’s conceited; if he’s careless, he’s a bum. If he’s pleasant, he’s flirting;if not, he’s a grouch.

He must make an instant decision which would require months for a lawyer to make.

But…If he hurries, he’s careless; if he’s deliberate, he’s lazy. He must be first to an accident and infallible with his diagnosis. He must be able to start breathing, stop bleeding, tie splints and, above all, be sure the victim goes home without a limp. Or expect to be sued.

The police officer must know every gun, draw on the run, and hit where it doesn’t hurt.He must be able to whip two men twice his size and half his age without damaging his uniform and without being “brutal”. If you hit him, he’s a coward. If he hits you, he’s a bully.

A policeman must know everything-and not tell. He must know where all the sin is and not partake.

A policeman must, from a single strand of hair, be able to describe the crime, the weapon and the criminal- and tell you where the criminal is hiding.

But…If he catches the criminal, he’s lucky; if he doesn’t, he’s a dunce. If he gets promoted, he has political pull; if he doesn’t, he’s a dullard. The policeman must chase a bum lead to a dead-end, stake out ten nights to tag one witness who saw it happen-but refused to remember.

The policeman must be a minister, a social worker, a diplomat, a tough guy and a gentleman.

And, of course, he’d have to be genius….For he will have to feed a family on a policeman’s salary.


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Posted by on December 30, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 92 – Thankful for Bringing My Big Buddy to Work

Today I’m thankful for bringing my big buddy to work.

Dominic had the day off of school and wanted to spend a day at work with me to see what I do.  He got to see everything from a start of the day meeting to conference calls, to touring a machining company to spreadsheets and a one on one coaching session or two.  He got to spend some time working on my to do list, playing on the iPad, scribbling notes on the whiteboard, doing some math, and even helping me fill out a tax form!

All in all it was great to see what he thought of the whole thing.  He said some of his favorite things were all the math, the tour at the client, and doing paperwork.  His biggest regret was that there wasn’t more forms to fill out (not sure if he’s really my kid after that comment!).

It was a pretty cool learning experience for me too.  There were times I caught myself alsmot saying something and then stopped myself, thinking of whether or not that would be the right thing to say or do as a role model.  Why don’t I stop and think like that all the time?  I also stopped to slow down to explain things better, I’m pretty sure I don’t always do that well all the time.  There were also a few comments about how much I was smiling today, where’s that smile everyday?  Sometimes I get bored or frustrated with parts of my career, but when Dominic pointed out how cool somethings really were it caught me off guard and made me realize I take a lot for granted.  

It was a pretty awesome work day for both of us, one we’ll hold on to for a while.  I’m thinking this may have to happen more and more often.  Not just for Dominic and Gavin’s sakes, but for my own happiness, well being and positive attitude!


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Posted by on December 29, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 91 – Thankful for a Beautiful Fall Hike… In Late December

Today I’m thankful for a beautiful fall hike… in late December.

After lunch we took advantage of the great weather and went on a family hike.  We packed up the boys and dogs and headed out to the Quarry trail.  The sun was shining, the temp was nice, and the hiking was awesome.  There were even fall smells in the air!  For all we knew it could’ve been a chilly Octover day.  

We had an excellent time hiking, enjoyed some great family time, and will always be able to talk about the hike we went on during the unusually warm end of December.

I’m thankful for this hike, it’s one that will be remembered for quite some time.

Oh yeah, I’m thankful for one more thing.  I’m thankful that the Packer game is finally over and we can be out of our misery for the week. đŸ˜„


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Posted by on December 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 90 – Thankful for Random Tickling & Wrestling on the Bed

Today I’m thankful for random tickling and wrestling on the bed.

Okay, before the pervs out there start making jokes (just like I would be, LOL), I’m serious.  Seriously, no innuendos or implied sexual jokes from me in this post…   Also, while there isn’t a pic of the event I’ve added one that kinda captured the same type of feel.

Becky and I were giving each a little shut about a few different things as we were getting ready to head out of the house.  One thing led to another and Becky’s tackling me on the bed.  I get a nice reversal to get in control and commence the tickling.  

Next thing we knew we’re laughing, giggling and having a blast.  Gavin tagged in at one point and first helped me and then the little traitor switched sides.  The reason we finally stopped was because Becky was laughing so hard that she almost couldn’t breathe.

That is one of those moments that I’m sure I’ll remember for a long time.  Nothing else in the world mattered, it was just us goofing around, laughing and having fun.  It was a perfect moment, the kind that writing this blog helps me to remember and enjoy daily.

If there aren’t moments like this in heaven, I’m not sure that I’ll want to go when my number’s called.


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Posted by on December 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 89 – Thankful for a Relaxing Christmas

Today I’m thankful for a relaxing Christmas.

This was an awesome day, one for the ages.  Wake up after 7am and open presents with the boys.  Kick back and watch them smile as they play with their new treasures.  Make an easy breakfast of eggs, sausage & ham.

Eventually we got ready for church & enjoyed a nice quiet service and both boys behaved.  From there we picked up our Star Wars tickets and then got the dogs.

Chilled at home with no agenda until we went to the movie.  Got there super early and had zero complaints from the boys while we waited.  Enjoyed an awesome movie (seriously, it was AWESOME!!!).

Came home, threw on PJs and proceeded to play some games and lounge around.

Today I’m thankful for a an awesomely chillaxed Christmas!

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Posted by on December 26, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 88 – Thankful for Shooting Rifles

Today I’m thankful for shooting rifles.  (Doesn’t seem very Christmas-like does it?)

When Dominic went hunting with his Grandpa Ken this year he didn’t have a rifle that fit him quite right.  After talking about it We thought about letting him use my old hunting rifle.  It’s a little smaller and we thought it would fit him better.  With the weather still being pretty warm his grandpa said we should bring it up to his house for Christmas Eve and let Dominic shoot it.

So I brought my old rifle as well as my grandpa’s old rifle for a little target practice.  Nothing too crazy, just a few shots to get him used to it and a few shots for me to bring back some memories.  

Ahh… The memories that came flooding back with the feel of holding a rifle again, the smell of the powder, the sounds of the cartridge being loaded and then the shot.  They all brought back different memories.

Shooting .22’s in the gravel pit.  Collecting the spent shells in the orange see through box with the sliding top.  Getting frustrated that I wasn’t instantly good at it.  My dad being incredibly patient while raising his voice to the exact pitch needed for me to understand just how important something was.  Hunting with my dad and my grandpa.  Falling asleep in a tree stand my first time hunting.  Waking up to find my dad sleeping in the tree stand my first time hunting.  Shooting rifles with cousins.  One cousin telling my dad, “Uncle Pete, it’s not my first rodeo,” just before he shot the 12 gauge shotgun with a 1 1/2″ gap between his shoulder and the butt of the stock.  Spending time with my dad and just enjoying the time with him.  

It was pretty wild how something so minor like shooting a rifle could fire up that many memories.  As we were getting things put away I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the start of similar memories for Dominic.  And that’s why I’m thankful for shooting rifles today.


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Posted by on December 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 87 – Thankful for a Thought Provoking Book

Today I’m thankful for a thought provoking book.

What do you get when you cover advances in robotics, labor participation rates, the rising rates of productivity in the face of slowly fading wages, ideas to overhaul the medical system, the insanely wide spread future impact of driverless cars, and ripping on both political parties?  An awesome freaking book, that’s what you get!

This book has got my head spinning with ideas, concepts, business strategy, doomsday scenarios, new perspectives on old topics, and ideas to make life better.

While I’m not sure if you’d get the same, I’d highly recommend this book to anyone who geeks out on data, projecting the future, new technology, social change, and business.  It covers all of this and so much more.

So today I’m thankful for this book, it was a home run in my opinion.  Two enthusiastic thumbs up.  Gotta run, I’ve got a metric crap ton of thinking to do!


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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 86 – Thankful for Christmas Shopping

Today I am thankful for Christmas Shopping.

So today I really can’t get into too much detail, but it is so much fun picking out gifts for everyone!  Over the past couple of days the last couple of gifts have arrived via mail, the boys’ gifts were wrapped by Santa (Actually, pretty sure it was Mrs. Claus), and I’m just wrapping up the last two or three presents online tonight.

Is there anything more enjoyable than watching the face of someone open a gift that was thought out, meaningful, and just right for the person you got it for?  There are a couple this year that I am super pumped to watch people open.

So while I can’t get into which ones they are here, I’m pretty sure there will be future posts about them…  Just a hunch!

I also have to be honest, is it just me or has Christmas shopping gotten way better since online shopping and the availability of damn near anything you could want to give someone online?  It’s great!  One of the last ones I’m looking for tonight totally fits that bill and if all works out it will be one of the craziest I’ve ever given.

Can’t wait for them to be opened!


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Posted by on December 23, 2015 in Uncategorized


Day 85 – Thankful for a Walk and Conversation with My Best-est Buddy

Source: Day 85 – Thankful for a Walk and Conversation with My Best-est Buddy

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Posted by on December 22, 2015 in Uncategorized