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The power of self improvement

Poked and prodded

I love Persian accents. They’re unique and pleasant to the ear (at least for me). Hard to replicate.

I was at the doctor’s yesterday. Young guy. Friendly. Persian.

Four needles were staring back at me. Waiting patiently to fulfill their destinies.

“How do you handle these?” he asks.

“Generally you…


Spoiler alert: I reveal part of the conclusion to an episode of Psych below after wholeheartedly recommending the series.

The first time I showed up, he did this thing with his arms across the room. Each one was raised up, horizontal at his side, fingers outstretched. He just left them…


Ending the 40-hour workweek

Because your position is exempt from overtime pay, your salary will compensate you for all hours worked.

-Standard employment agreement

Through a glass, sharply

I don’t know what he thought about me. He never looked through the aquarium glass.

“That’s the life,” I thought to myself. “Be outside all day, have a sense of…


A day late and a president short

I told you so

I didn’t vote in the last election. I was tired of being stuck with terrible choices each election and “holding my nose” as they say. My family and friends were aghast.

As someone raised in a conservative tradition and by then having become more libertarian, I refused to support the…


Leaders should harness the jester

One of my favorite movies is Dumb and Dumber. Just so many good lines. Jim Carrey is at his finest, and Jeff Daniels plays the perfect foil (producing plenty of his own laughs).

I’ve seen it at least five times, but it’s been a while. So I am only 98%…


The Harvard Business School case that gnawed at me for 10 years

The flop

I distinctly remember a particular ‘case’ at Harvard Business School. The task for my class (‘section’) that day was to debate whether cheating in business was okay.

The “cheating-is-cool” side of the argument amounted to an “everybody’s-doing-it” rationale. This justification could have been easily and rightly dismissed by every person’s…


A fad diet’s hidden demons

In my first post on intermittent fasting I focused on one of the major benefits of this hunter-gatherer regimen: mental focus. Over the last three years, though, I’ve noticed some detrimental effects from IF for me personally that often counter the benefits.

I find that this “diet,” if I can…


Sport informs life

The killer domino

As an adult the epic follies of your own youth-era athletic training become crystal clear, especially once you’re a parent. I suspect that this clarity helps explain why those parents take their daughter’s soccer game way too seriously. …


Only a few brave souls want to take this hill

Undiscovered country. That’s what I’d walked into. The woods ended with me standing at the vertex of a ‘V’ formed by the treeline, opening onto a meadow shrouded by mist. Untouched, dew-topped green beneath phantasmic gray and white.

I’d been walking for some hours already, but I didn’t feel the…


Ellen DeGeneres, Tilda Swinton, and human relationships on AI

Author’s note: I suppose everything in here is technically an “author’s note,” but a lot has changed since I first published this story on Medium. Years ago I included Ellen DeGeneres as a character in this post on the presumption that she was “obviously likable.” Since then a number of…

Sri

Not Siri. Sri (shree'). Navy SEAL, podcaster, machine learning, father. Trying to understand jazz. Trying to find huevos rancheros.

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