Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Ransacking my own grocery cart

Today I ransacked my own grocery cart, mid-shopping.

I was on the phone with Allison, talking about what to buy, when I realized I no longer had my phone (what remained was only the bluetooth headset I was using).

I took everything out of my grocery cart looking for the phone.  No luck.  Allison remained on the line, not surprised.

The Trader Joe's associates called the phone (but it was on silent) and checked lost and found while I searched around the Ezekiel bread, onion powder, and coconut yogurt aisles.  Nearby shoppers kindly offered to help.

10 minutes later I found the phone near the frozen blueberries. People around celebrated.

20 minutes after that, I got home and realized I didn't buy the sweet peppers, which is what Allison had called me to ask me I buy.

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

So fast so slow

In trying to go too fast, I ended up spending time cleaning... (an act I’ve starred in before)

Of course, I did this right after the floors had been vacuumed.

On the bright side, I had just finished the granola that was inside the glass jar.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Granola Fail

 My goal was for the granola to go 𝒊𝒏 yogurt, not all over the counter. 🤭

I failed, but as usual, my failure led to an unexpected benefit. 💡

I got the idea to weigh what remained of my homemade granola so that I could better ration it for the rest of my trip.

This was a small benefit from a silly mistake, but examining failure in many contexts can bring benefits of all sizes.

How would our world, teams, and families be different if we discussed failure more often to learn from it? 🤔

And what if we laughed at insignificant, sloppy mistakes instead of letting them upset us? 🤔

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

It's warm in here

We're in a heat wave. Yesterday was 110 degrees Fahrenheit, which is very hot for where we live.

My office is the hottest room in our house because it faces the morning sun and because I have the most electronic equipment running.

We don't like to run the air conditioning, but on heat waves like this, we sometimes do, and we are doing so now. But three days into the heat wave I realized that my office vent was closed... 

So I'm realizing that the the last couple of days I cooked myself a little more than needed.

Thursday, June 30, 2022

Friends' house, under the furniture, returned car rental, where is it?

Loved this post from a great editor I've worked with before:

With so much bad news I want to share this good news: After searching everywhere for four days, have finally found where I left my favorite mug. (The handle is extraordinarily comfortable.) Went to friends house to see if it was there...looked under every piece of furniture... Even made my sister check with the car rental. Yes, finally livin' the dream. Of being a full time writer.

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Friday, January 21, 2022

Hiking on ice

Today we went for a beautiful hike in Santa Fe. Loved it.

But there was snow and ice in places.  In one of those spots, Allison, who was walking ahead of me, warned me that it was slippery and to be careful.  So I attended carefully to the ground, then I hit my head against a branch that she had walked right under.

It hurt surprisingly little.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Right side up

When Allison went to feed the dog, she dropped his food bowl. Unfortunately, it landed right side up, making the picture only moderately interesting, especially since it doesn't show the chicken broth all over the floor.


Monday, November 1, 2021

Not what she was hoping to eat

When Allison went to open the microwave to retrieve her warm food, she ended up with something different than she expected: the microwave handle.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Darling, I lost my wedding ring, because my shoes were too smelly

Darling, I lost my wedding ring, because my shoes were too smelly.

How convenient that Sir Andrew Barron Murray OBE lost his wedding ring and not his Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) medal from HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge.

Luckily, eventually the knighted husband did reunite with his wedding ring.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Volume miscalculation

Volume miscalculation. I should have taken a picture of everything that ended up on the floor, which was substantial.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Random abstract

Allison and a colleague were surprised to find out that their research article was published online with the abstract to a different article. Hopefully there's still time to fix it in the physical journal.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Natural Tan

We are painting our house. Allison exited the house briefly to put something in her car and, when she returned, the painter had the dog in his arms, and the dog had Sherwin-Williams "Natural Tan" in his paws. Not only did he decide to paint his nails, but he also decided to flip the paint container. Luckily the painters had the floor well covered.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Keynote under the stars

Last night I woke up at midnight to do a virtual keynote on growth mindset for senior leaders in Europe and Asia, but the power in our house and neighborhood was out, so I had neither internet nor lighting. Nothing is Santa Fe is open 24 hours, so I resorted to setting up an impromptu desk outside and used my phone as a hotspot and the two car headlights as my lighting. It worked! Doing a keynote under the Santa Fe stars was a first!


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Suspicious hacker

I got an email notifying me that a suspicious person tried unsuccessfully, three times, to unlock my phone:


There was 3 attempts to unlock the screen lock on this device.

Device Model: Samsung SM-G960U1

Picture taken and uploaded:

Thursday, April 29, 2021

My second COVID vacccine

I drove over 4 hours each way to Amarillo, TX, to get my first COVID vaccine, because NM was taking a long time to open up availability to people my age. I planned to get back to Amarillo for my second shot, but was very glad I was able to schedule to have my second shot near home, but it wasn't easy to schedule.

I wanted to make sure I made it to my appointment on time, so about an hour before I had to leave, I realized I better take my mask and so I put it around my neck.

The time came and I left driving for the pharmacy. When I was about 5 minutes from the pharmacy, I realized I hadn't brought my vaccination card with me, which they probably would need. If I turned back I would be late and didn't know whether they would take me, so I called Allison to see if she could bring me the card. She kindly could, so she got it and left for the pharmacy.

About 3 minutes later, I realized I didn't have my wallet either, so Allison had to drive back home to get that too...

That was the first and second mistake. The third was from the person who injected me. When he went to put a band-aid on me, he mentioned he couldn't find the mark of the needle so he'd just put a band-aid on me anywhere near the spot as a sign of courage.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

When I lost my wife's key

 My wife's key to my car was broken, so I took the initiative to have a new one made, along with a clicker for my car which she has never had. I went to pick them up, came back, and had everything except my wife's original key, so I was one key short. I called the key place and they looked for it in the store and sidewalk. Then I called the drycleaners where I stopped afterwards and they looked in the store and sidewalk. Nothing. I figured eventually it'd reappear.

Two days later we took the other car, Allison's car, out for a long weekend. When we returned from being out of town, I went to put something in my car and there was the key, inserted in the outside of the passenger side door.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Navigate to dinner

We traveled to Amarillo, Texas, for me to get my COVID-19 vaccine. We arrived before dinner and we were hungry, so my wife found a place with outdoor sitting that looked good and asked me to navigate us there. The restaurant was in Falls Church, Virginia, a 23-hour drive away.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Sedona style

We're spending a few days in Sedona and we're enjoying the natural beauty. We've hiked so much.

We didn't expect it to also be such a fancy, fashionable place, but it is, and my wife fits right in. Today, after she went for a 7-mile hike with me, and then picked up lunch at a restaurant, she realized her shirt was inside out.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Mailbox treasure

Allison walked to our mailbox today, which is about a quarter mile away, and found a treasure: my bluetooth headset, which was on the floor and she recognized. Glad she's a #TreasureFinder.

I'd checked the mail a couple of hours prior and hadn't yet started looking for my missing headset all over the house.


Wednesday, March 10, 2021

First AARP

 My wife has a birthday and I'm the one to get my first AARP solicitation?


Monday, March 8, 2021

It's chilly in here!

Wife: it's warm out today, but for some reason I feel cold in here.

Husband: Me too! Oh, now that I think about it, I think I know why. Yesterday I turned off the heat to replace the furnace filter and I think I didn't turn it back on. 

Friday, February 26, 2021

Backwards pants, backtrack trek

This evening, Allison realized she had spent all day with her pants on backwards. Then she drove to Target, 20 minutes away, and when she parked she realized she didn't have her purse, so she just came back home.

I don't know where she gets it from. But last weekend we went out of town to Taos and I forgot my wallet at home and didn't have it for the whole weekend. Luckily they didn't ask for my ID to pick up my prepaid ski lift pass.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Starting with the end in mind

As I was putting dirty rags in the laundry machine, Allison passed by.

I said: “I’m going to wash these, ok?”

To which she replied: “Sure.  You know that’s the dryer right?"


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Port Jefferson train station, again

This morning I woke up earlier than planned, so I checked Google Maps and saw that there was an earlier train than the one I had planned to take.  Rich, my father-in-law, who was planning to take me to the train station, was up and could take me.  So I got ready and we left.

We got to the train station at 7:26am, with plenty of time to catch the 7:35am train.  But as we were pulling into the parking lot, I went to get my phone out of my pocket and I didn’t have my phone.  Instead of the phone, I had put my vitamin cases in the pocket, to remind myself that I wanted to take the vitamins with breakfast.

I asked Rich to call my phone but he realized he didn’t have his phone either.  I looked on the backseat, but there was no phone anywhere.  So decided to drive back to the house.  We didn’t think we could make it there and back, but we would try.  It would be close.

When I got to the house I went in the house and looked for my phone, but couldn’t find it.  I grabbed the house phone to call my phone and started dialing and then I felt it.  It was in my pants backpocket the whole time.

I didn’t make the train.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

A tad salty

When I make popcorn without noticing that Allison just refilled the salt container but hasn't yet put the cap back on...

Thursday, March 21, 2019

New type of hair brush

This is not the instrument I used this morning to brush my teeth.

It is the instrument I used this morning to brush my hair, after my comb was nowhere to be found.  I had to use a toothbrush (from the travel bag they gave me in the airplane) to brush my hair as I was tight on time to go downstairs to do a keynote, participate in a panel, and be interviewed on film. (my hair didn't look any worse than usual, which is not saying much).

The next day I realized that I did have my comb after all.  I had put it in the wrong compartment.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

When the perfect meal evaporates

I was so excited for the perfect cachapa.  My mom had cooked it and I had prepared carefully by placing the perfect amount of cheeses on top of it and heated it up in the microwave.  It was going to be delicious.

But when I took it out of the microwave, the plate was very hot.  I dropped it.  There was melted cheese all over the stove and floor, and Corelle (sharp) pieces all over the floor.  My wife commented she didn't know Corelle could break.

I considered eating the remains on the floor but was convinced not to.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

The energy to look for keys

Allison went into my office saying: "Can I borrow your keys to my car?  I can't find my keys and I don't have energy to look for them."

Ironically, she was on her way to the gym.

So she left with my keys.  Later I saw them by the front door.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The great phone search

Usually when I can't find my phone around the house, I use another phone to text a special code to my phone that takes it out of silence mode and makes it start ringing, which makes it easy to find.  But this time, right when we were about to go for a hike with my parents and sister, it didn't work.  So we had to look for my phone for a good 15 minutes before leaving the house.  Eventually, I thought to use a browser to instruct my phone to take a picture to see if I could identify the scene.  I did so right as my sister was finding the phone.  (or maybe she was hiding it?)

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Renaissance hatch

Today at Renaissance Faire San Jose, we sat down on the grass to eat lunch.  When we finished and stood up we realized that Allison had been sitting on a banana peel.  It didn't hatch.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Cathedral souvenir

We left St. Canice's Cathedral and were a third of a mile into our leisurely walk toward Kilkenny Castle when we stopped to eat and I realized I had walked out of the cathedral with their laminated visitor's guide... I put on my high gear to walk back to the cathedral...

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Ooops, I'll be right back

When keynote to over 200 people yesterday, I told them we would do an activity that involved my reading a passage to them.  I gave them instructions on what to do, and when I looked for the passage, I didn't have it on me.  There they were waiting for me to start reading.

I said "Hold on" and I walked off stage to my bag and searched for the piece of paper, while the stage was empty and people didn't know what to do.  Luckily I found it, came back, and reflected on my mistake as a teachable moment.

Later I learned from my pro wife that in that situation I could have asked them to talk to their neighbor, which would have been a lot smoother.

Lesson learned: bring with me on stage the passage I want to read to them...

Monday, January 22, 2018

Goodnight headache

Allison has a headache so she decided to take an Advil.

But after she took the pill, she realized it wasn't an Advil, but an Advil PM.  It's 5:30pm.  She'll be going to bed early tonight.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas lottoparty!

A programming error in a South Carolina's Christmas Day lottery game generated an overabundance of winning tickets.  $19.6 million worth.

A store manager described a frenzy of people rushed in to purchase winning tickets.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Faulty Christmas lights

Pennsylvania woman receives $284 billion electric bill

"We had put up Christmas lights and I wondered if we had put them up wrong."

Horomanski said the $284 billion bill caused her to ask her son for a different Christmas present this year.  "I told him I want a heart monitor."

Photo: Vouliagmeni

Sunday, November 19, 2017


I was wondering whether the parking lot was flooded. Luckily they had a sign to let me know.

Monday, October 30, 2017

"I have to get back, I have a lot to do"

"I have to get back, I have a lot to do", thought Allison to herself.  Then she realized she was half asleep in the bathroom in the middle of the night and what she needed to do was get back to dreaming, because she was very busy in her dreams.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Natural tools

This morning I woke up and went to eat my staple breakfast when I'm traveling (a Chipotle burrito bowl) and I realized I hadn't brought to my room a napkin or a fork, so I had to eat it with the tools nature gave me.  Two silver linings: (i) I realized this before I showered, and (ii) it was delicious.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Talking a lot

"You're talking a lot.", said my wife, as I tried to make conversation in the car.

Back to silence.  Stereo on.  That song for the millionth time.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How much is gas in New Jersey?

Have you ever wondered how much gas in New Jersey costs when you throw in the cost of the pump?  A friend just found out, per her Facebook post:

Getting gas in Jersey and the guy says "Have a nice day" so I pull away and...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mother & daughter spice up travel

Yesterday, while passing through security at JFK airport to fly to Denver for Lauren's bridal shower, Fran realized that her license expires 6/17.  Her flight back is on 6/18.  So she may get stranded in Denver (more time to plan the wedding onsite!)

Here's the text Allison, her sister, and aunt got (along with Allison's replies) :

You can almost hear the tone of frustration in Allison's replies.  I could hear it in stereo.

The next day, Allison left home to fly to Denver.  About 20 minutes later, once she was at the airport, I got the following text (from a good Samaritan, whom Allison asked for help)

Mother and daughter sure know how to make travel more interesting, and they have a peculiar way to engage the rest of us in it.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Are those your socks?

"Are those your socks on the street?", asked my wife, as we approached our car after attending the San Jose Earthquakes soccer game.  Yep.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

One unfolding surprise after the next

"Be whisked away by one unfolding surprise after the next", read the brochure for the hotel where my hosts lodged me.  And indeed, I was surprised rather frequently during my stay, mostly by the beautiful artwork all over the place, like this wall one saw upon exiting the elevator on my floor:

or the artwork in the lobby:

or the time when I came back to my hotel room to find in it a lit candle.

But my greatest surprise came my second day there, when I exited the elevator on my floor and was taken aback to see that they had switched the artwork in front of the elevators!  It now looked like this:

I walked to my room and saw that the cleaning crew was in it.  When I peaked inside the room, I was even more surprised to see that none of the items in the room looked like mine.

 I was on the wrong floor.