No Branch Grows Alone

This is a piece about politics, promises, and a healthy dose of reality.

I purchased my first house in November 1995. I spent the first winter fixing up the interior, but by the time spring rolled around, it became clear I would need to turn my attention to the yard.

The first summer, I cleared brush, trimmed trees and decided to re-route the gravel driveway. The driveway change was part of a longer-term plan to eventually build a garage.

The summer ended and as before, I spent the winter working inside. When spring came around again I began the process of clearing the part of my yard where the garage would go. Marking the outline of the building to be, the first things to go would be two trees. […]

Beyond The Shadow Of A Pine

A few weeks ago I learned that two golf courses, in my hometown of Penfield New York, are up for sale.

This may sound like no big deal. In a town of 36,000 people we have four golf courses, and several more in adjacent towns. On the surface this is simply luxury real estate changing ownership.

Except it’s not.

One of the golf courses, Shadow Lake, is being marketed as a golf course, but the other property, Shadow Pines is being offered for real estate development. The word on the street is that the 18-hole course could be turned into as many as 290 new houses.

This is a problem. […]

Flowers Are For Proms

Sunday morning I was sitting on a pew in our church. As the service got to the part where we pray for the recently deceased, the lector spoke a name I recognized. My eyes immediately shot over to my daughter, who was on the altar as a server. A wave of pain and helplessness came over me as I watched her try to hold it together, but ultimately she had no choice but to reach up to wipe her teary eyes.

Last week, for the second time in as many months, my fifteen-year-old daughter was shaken by the sudden passing of a classmate and teammate. […]

A Heads Up Would Have Been Nice

A few decades ago, before cell phones, GPS and all the tricky technology we count on today, a new mall opened up somewhere out west.

The mall was enormous. The building itself was grand in size, but the parking lots surrounding it were even larger. The architecture of the mall was spectacular, but such was the design that the building looked nearly identical from every approach.

Before it opened, the owners of the mall realized it would be very easy for a shopper to lose their car in the expansive lots. Making matters worse, if they happened to exit the mall from a door different from the one where they had entered, the lack of distinguishing qualities in the building design would lead to people getting even more lost.

So, in anticipation of this problem, the mall hired a team of highly trained parking lot attendants to assist shoppers should they be unable to find their car. The team drove up and down the lanes of the parking lots in golf carts looking for wayward shoppers. […]

I don’t need a network, do I?

This story was originally published on May 9, 2014. After encountering some trouble installing a new printer this morning (it was a bad network cable), I figured it was time to update and re-post, especially in light of all the new devices opened and connected during the holiday season.

So, you think the Internet is a magic thing that just works all the time? Think again.

One day a few years ago while enjoying an eleven-hour drive with my wife and our four children, one of the kids asked “why don’t we have wi-fi in the car?” Before I could even inhale, to begin the list of reasons why that is never going to happen, the child continued, “and don’t even tell me you don’t know how to make that happen.”

This got me thinking about the evolution of the Internet in our home and how my children really don’t know a world without completely reliable and fast information access, everywhere, all the time. […]

They Might Be

They Might Be Married

December 1995 was right in the thick of my twenties. On the 12th of the month I turned twenty-seven. Six weeks before, I purchased my very first house, where I lived with my two dogs: Sylvia and Jodi.

I was still working in the marketing department of Crest Audio in Paramus, NJ. I had a good life, a good job and great friends. I was lacking a girlfriend, but I figured that would sort itself out soon enough.

I have written before about how my job in the pro audio industry afforded me many opportunities to see concerts in all sorts of venues. One of these venues was a club called Tramps, at 51 West 21st Street in New York City. […]