Missing Dave on the 649

This week the 649 lost one of its riders, a great guy, and a good friend. Ever since there was a life on the 649 for me, there was Dave sitting next to me, sharing laughs, dreams, plans, interests, and of course the ride. Over the last year I have not been working in the city, so I have not had to take the train in. But luckily a few months ago, when I took the train in for a meeting, I ran into him and shared laughs and stories without skipping a beat. That was the last time I saw him.
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80

Today my dad would have been 80 years old. I can’t believe so much time has passed, and how much of my life he would have seen. Just thinking about having children, moving across the country, changing jobs and working through issues, enjoying holidays, and certainly spending time on the golf course. I can’t help but appreciate what my father has done for me, the struggles he must have had, the issues he must have thought through, as I walk along the same path, only separated by years.
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Sunny and 50

With the Autumn in full swing, and with the leaves changing on the East Coast, this is the best time of year for many people. Where I live we are just past the full vibrancy of the fall colors and even so, there are moments that stop you in your tracks, and remind you of the beauty in life. Yesterday, October 28th, was one of those days that leaves you breathless. It was 50 and sunny and, well, so was I – fifty years old and sunny. Continue reading

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Taking Gregory to College

It’s 5:00 in the morning and I can’t sleep.  I am back in Los Angeles in the house where I grew up, sequestered in the bathroom because I don’t want to wake up the dog, who will in turn wake up the rest of the house.  But I had a story that wanted to come out, and I was lying awake in bed, and so the bathroom is where I will write today.   I was going to make a joke that the bathroom is no different than the train car, but that’s not true…it’s much better. Continue reading

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Life…on the 649

As you know, the last week has been a rough one for me, with my oldest brother passing away.  And with the outpouring of love and support, I see that so many feel deep sympathies and sadness for me, and their support has been really comforting, lightening the burden of grief.  I have learned a couple of things about the true meaning of life through this event, and I wanted to work it through and share it here. Continue reading

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Remembering Charlie

Today we bury my oldest brother. There are so many questions on why this happened and how could it have been prevented? Were there any warning signs, and did we all miss them? But all of those answers just inform those of us who are left to perhaps live the rest of our days smarter and wiser. And what is going to happen now? What about all the unfinished business? How do we continue on without him?  Continue reading

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Waze for the rest of life

Today is the day after the bombings in Brussels.  The news is all about it, and the talk is related to the terrorists, the hunt, the political ramifications, the security, the role of NATO, and many other things.  As I sit on the train, I think about what can be done, not only at a government level, but also at a personal level.  I see this crisis as I see so many others, both big and small, and ideas come into my head.  One stands out and makes me immediately hit the iPad to write:  What if there was a Waze-like app for the rest of life? Continue reading

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Before you save the world

For so many days, I sit on the train and I think about the next big thing, how to save the world’s big problems, and what I am going to do in the next chapter of my life.  That’s what life on the 649 is all about, right?  As I sit in my seat today, I realize that before I go solving the problems of hunger or clean drinking water, before I find solutions for rural people who have just lost their local Walmart store and need new jobs, I should figure out what to do for a suburban family with parents who work and have children who spend their time on electronics rather than working to be the best they can be and helping around the house. Continue reading

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Subtle Shift That Changed Everything

Recently a subtle shift has happened within me and I don’t know why this has changed, but I like it.  Before this, when I would go out to dinner with the family and the bill crept or lept over a certain amount, I would get upset.  As we got busier and ate out more often, the rising cost of eating out for a family of five was something that raised my anxiety!  Over time though I realized that eating out for meals just cost a lot more than it did before.  But now the shift in me is that I don’t really care about the cost, as I am more grateful for us all being together. Continue reading

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Letter to my Son: College Thoughts

Hi Gregory,

I am on the train right now and doing my normal routine of jotting down three things I am grateful for and also meditating.  As I thought about things, I wanted to express some thoughts about college that maybe you have not heard.  And I wanted to give you the space to ask your questions, whatever they are. Continue reading

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Change The Temperature

Is there a way to willfully warm up the house like you can do with a thermostat, yet do so emotionally?  Can I affect all of my family’s lives and convince them to partake in treating each other nicer, to be more cognizant of others, to come up with ways to make life happier for all?  Can I be a more considerate husband, and positively affect my wife’s daily life? Are there conscious things I can do to make an unconscious temperature shift to where our lives are more comfortable and happier? Continue reading

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Remembering Dad

I was in church yesterday evening and the priest was talking about All Saints’ Day, referring to the day after Halloween, and which became the theme for the weekend.  Being reminded of those who have died and who have passed on, and how we are just “renting” this body temporarily, got me thinking about my father, who died in 16 years ago on Thanksgiving at age 61.  I remember the morning of his death being one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen, and of course I am reminded every year at thanksgiving time.  But thinking of All Saints’ Day and of my father reminded me of something else, which is the perspective that nothing lasts forever, and that we are here for a short time, and for all the aspirations and worries and stresses that we face, we are all going to die and hopefully go on to a better place. Continue reading

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Promoting the Brand of You

Today is my birthday, yay!  Normally I get depressed around this time of year because daylight is getting shorter and sailing days are over.  I guess Mother Nature has decided to give me a break this year with wonderful weather today and even many days lately.  And my daughters have given me the gift of saying how they love the fall, which has given me a brand new perspective. And so today I am up early before the sun and the family, and I am taking the day off!  I will enjoy today’s nice weather, celebrate my good health with some exercise and pampering, and do some necessary personal work.  The personal work is preparing myself for the upcoming merger at work, and the transition that will take place in my career.  As I lay awake before dawn, the title of this blog was running through my head:  Promoting the Brand of You.

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Mom Turns 75

How do you describe the essence of Mom, my mom, in something short and sweet? Is it even possible? It’s like describing the richness of a forest by describing the trees – it just doesn’t capture the mystery, the beauty, the experience of life within that space.  Or by describing the seashore by talking about sand and water – it leaves out the power, the world of life under the surface, the changing nature and the endless possibilities as far as the eye can see.  Maybe it is useless to describe for others what my mom is to me. So I will just tell her. Continue reading

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Holding Overwhelm at Bay

Today I left the house and Kecia was feeling overwhelmed.  It was not that one task was taking her over, but rather that multiple events were weighing on her and that weight was overwhelming.  With so many things hitting her at once, it felt like they were all connected, when really they were separate. This was obviously bringing her down.  Have you ever felt like that?

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Intent

This is another afternoon edition of LO649, so I may be a bit more brief and to the point.  How do you get on the same page with someone else?  How does life feel like you and others are pulling the rope the same direction and not playing tug of war? Continue reading

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Back on the Train…Happily

I can’t believe I would ever say that I am happy to be back on the train, but I am.  With that admission, I feel like some sort of recovering addict!  Here’s my story.  After almost five years of commuting into the city, spending two hours each way, I realized that much of my life (up to 88 hours a month) has been spent in transit.  I’m sure there is a metaphor there or some life lesson, but today’s blog is more about what I did to make a change. Continue reading

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The Game Plan

In my last post I described the need to coach my kids through college prep, using the analogy of a football game.  Well if we are still in pre-season, I need a game plan, a set of plays that can be used for practice and in the game.   Continue reading

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Where’s Lombardi When You Need Him?

When it comes to college planning, it feels like being on a see-saw, with emotions and plans and advice bringing you up and down.  My son is going into his junior year of high school and “this is the year.”

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Commuting In Heaven

Can you believe that during the middle of summer I could have 3 weeks of commuting heaven?  Even coming in on Fridays?  Unbelievable as it sounds, it is true.  For the past 3 weeks, Gregory has been riding in and back with me on the train.

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