How Boogies and Jesus Prepared me for COVID-19

I’ve lived my life by one rule. Everybody picks their nose. Don’t deny it. It’s true. How is this relevant to the current pandemic? The answer is simple. I’ve spent a good portion of my life avoiding touching things that others have touched. For example, I always take the second cup from the Slurpee cup dispenser. Yes, it is possible that somebody took of the top cup and rubbed a boogie on the second one just to get my goat, but it’s not incredibly likely. The same goes for valet parking. I see my car almost as an extension of myself and I believe I’m not alone in this philosophy. Read the rest of this entry »


All Hackers Are Phonies (Sort of)

Fixed fortifications are monuments to the stupidity of man. If mountain ranges and oceans can be overcome, then anything built by man can be overcome. ~ George S. Patton

Let’s face it. Unless you are trying to fix a busted drainpipe or something similar, your adversary is a living, breathing being. You can hunt deer, fish, a wolf, a serial killer, or even a hacker. And conflict can be easily boiled down to living beings and their tools versus other humans and their tools. Read the rest of this entry »


Eulogy for an Angel

Eulogy for an Angel - Jutta JJ HolmesLast week, I flew back home to South Jersey to be with my family to attend the funeral for my Aunt Jutta “JJ” Holmes. I was honored for my cousins to ask my sister and me to stand in the receiving line with them as we accepted condolences. It was delightful to see the people who came to say goodbye one last time. I was one of three to deliver words to the folks in attendance. I wanted to share my words with you: Read the rest of this entry »


We Can End War. Here’s How.

mikhail-gorbachev-and-ronald-reaganOn September 21, 1987, then-President Ronald Reagan addressed the United Nations General Assembly with a message about world peace. I was seventeen years old and we were on the brink of nuclear war. That threat came to an end when the United States and Russia found common ground. We all love our children. We’ve lived through two world wars, where each atrocity was only matched by the next, and nuclear annihilation was a reality. And this simple principle kept strangers from killing one another. Here is my favorite excerpt of his speech:

“In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of war?”

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Yes and…. How Improv Teaches Loyalty

improv comedyIn our 20’s, my wife took improv classes at a really cool studio on Fairfax in Los Angeles right next to the famous Canter’s deli. Her comedy troupe “Mama Likes it” headlined there Friday nights for almost a year and I was always in the front row and stood proud watching Wifey be funny, along with her talented colleagues. I learned from her training is that rule #1 in improv is to never, ever resist your partner’s suggestion. In other words, no matter what is said, your response needs to reflect the sentiment of “Yes, and…” To summarize, improv training teaches individuals to trust one another and to follow along, no matter where it may take you. And, yes, no matter the cost. Trust your partner. I took this as advice for life and have never deviated. Read the rest of this entry »


How a Change in Routine Can Bring you Peace

How a Change in Routine Can Bring you PeaceIt’s Monday night. New Year’s Eve. Work was good. But I’m in this funk that I can’t seem to shake. I really hope I can get myself out of this emotional rabbit hole in 2019. I’m at home lounging in my sweat shorts and tee shirt with Chauncey by my side. Chauncey is a White West Highland Terrier, a little larger than the norm. According to the American Kennel Club’s snooty standards, he should be between fifteen to twenty pounds. He’s a solid thirty but not chubby at all, just a big ol’ farm boy bred in Arkansas. I’m watching the latest popular true crime docuseries streaming on television. Read the rest of this entry »


How I Learned a Great Business Lesson From Wesley Snipes

parachuteWhen I was freshly-landed in Hollywood and enamored by a number of my screen legend heroes, one of them was Wesley Snipes. At that time, he had been on a hot streak with hits like Major League, Mo’ Better Blues, Demolition Man, and Passenger 57. When his next film, Drop Zone, came out, I was living two blocks away from the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. On opening night, back in 1994, I made sure I was there. The plot of Drop Zone was simple and fun. Wesley Snipes and company needed to parachute into a fortress that could not be infiltrated by land or any other means. Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Truth About Suicide

Suicide can happen to anyone. Especially on the worst day of a person’s life. Experts, pundits, and all others who want to pretend that it is something that only happens to ‘other people’ say that there is a sickness or syndrome that causes a person to clock out. The truth… the real truth… is that the same person who made this claim is probably one step from the act themselves (now or in the past), but decided to mask it out of shame or superiority. I’m here to tell you that you need not feel shame about contemplating suicide, nor sympathizing for friends or family members who have decided to commit this ultimate act. Of course it is not a choice to aspire to make, or to be happy of the outcome. However, understanding the choice and sympathizing for those who consider or commit this act is most important to our humanity. Read the rest of this entry »


Bad Funny vs. Funny: What’s the Difference?

In the early nineties I drove from New Jersey to Los Angeles by myself in order to pursue a career in stand-up comedy and screenwriting. I performed my stand-up routine about a hundred times, wrote two screenplays, and produced a well-received short film called “Spytown”. During that time, I also pursued a career in the family business: private investigations. Turns out, I found myself making a lot more money catching bad guys than making people laugh. So now, fast forward more than two decades, I’m the CEO of a successful private investigation firm and still have the bug for being an entertainer. In addition to developing a few writing projects while running my company, I’m also in the Los Angeles comedy scene performing the occasional stand-up spot. Read the rest of this entry »


Reputation Management Lessons From Roseanne

There are very few things more important to a company than reputation management and Roseanne Barr has inadvertently helped rewrite the handbook. I was in my early adulthood when Roseanne’s ground-breaking television show was in its prime. In its original nine year run, “Roseanne” led the charge in advocating homosexuality. Not only was “Roseanne” the first show to feature prominent homosexual characters, but she backed it up by stating that her two real-life siblings are gay. As ground-breaking and inclusive as the show was, I never cared for it. Read the rest of this entry »