The Perfect Fast Food

The grilled cheese sandwich is sublimely perfect, no?

It can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Speed is of the essence in our microwave society. We want what we want right now. The grilled cheese isn’t like ordering a pizza because there’s no waiting for a delivery guy to fight through traffic to ring the doorbell.

What’s better than melted butter and gooey cheese on bread? And that question is what makes the grilled cheese so perfect. This sandwich platform is limited only by one’s imagination.

* How about grilling cheese on both the interior and the exterior of the bread?
* What about blending a variety of cheeses?
* Bacon!!! Need I say more?
* Add raw or caramelized onion.
* What about some herbs like basil or rosemary or oregano?
* A slice of tomato or canned, diced tomatoes.
* My daughter puts mayonnaise on her grilled cheese sandwiches. Arrrgh! The thought makes my mouth foam up.
* Or, leftover chicken or pot roast.
* More cheese!
* And on and on and on…

No matter the time of day, I enjoy grilled cheeses. For breakfast, for lunch, for snacks, for dinner, for the hell of it.

I have found that the grilled cheese helps me with to get my daily vegetables. I often go to the cabinet and grab a jar of spaghetti sauce and pour some into a bowl. I use the grilled cheese as a tomato sauce delivery system. That begs the question: Is the tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Hmmm?

And, who has ever turned down a grilled cheese sandwich? Children? Never. The guys who come over to watch a ball game? No way! A date? What woman doesn’t like gruyere and/or brie with some capers and sun-dried tomatoes on sour dough bread? C’mon!!!

And the grilled cheese sandwich goes perfectly with every side dish from fries to any variety of soup to salads, and it pairs perfectly with milk, beer, wines, or Kool Aid.

Are you hungry right yet?

What’s the chance that you have some butter or olive oil in your kitchen? I’ll bet you have some bread and some cheese stashed away in the back of your refrigerator. Doesn’t your mouth automatically water when you think of taking that first bite? Imagine the strings of gooey goodness.

What’s stopping you? Go! Get that butter melting in the pan now.

“Unseen in the …

“Unseen in the background, Fate was quietly slipping lead into the boxing-glove.”
― P.G. Wodehouse, ‘Very Good, Jeeves!'”

Imagine last year’s NFL Most Valuable Player being chased out of his 20,000 square foot mansion by his wife hours before the start of the new football season.  Remember Elin Woods making Tiger crash his auto that fateful November evening?

Note that the MVP’s meltdown includes network cameras broadcasting him calling a teammate a most despicable name on the sidelines just after kickoff of the first game.  Consider that he was involved in a major road rage incident, that his credit card was declined at the gas station, and that he spent a night in jail.

And, his contract with his team runs out at the end of the season.  The team’s owner is a no nonsense evangelical who has little patience with players who have character issues, especially if they’re captains of the team.  Will the team even want to re-sign the MVP?

Picture the MVP’s wife.  She’s wearing a fabulous gown all alone at a swanky charity ball just blocks from the White House.  Imagine her being unexpectedly swept away with just the clothes on her back out of the country on a private jet by an heir to a fortune of billions.

And the MVP finds out in the newspaper!


Game Over is my new novel series that will debut in the spring.  “LIKE” if you would like to learn more about Travis and Siobhan Blackwell.

How to Peel a Banana Like a Monkey

Not yet. Don’t watch the video yet.

Do you remember your last really passionate argument? Veins popped along you neck. Your voice elevated to screaming levels. Your eyes popped out, and your hands gesticulated, punctuating each and every syllable.

But so did your opponent. Her veins popped along her neck. Her voice elevated to screams. Her eyes bulged out of their sockets, and her hands were flying everywhere to make a freaking point.

You were both entrenched in your positions. Neither of you wavered. Logic went out the window, and feelings got hurt, right?

How do you peel your banana? “Huh?” you ask. What do bananas have to do with arguing?
“Really?” you ask again.

How do you peel your banana? Okay, you don’t eat bananas. Work with me here. You’ve undoubtedly peeled a banana at least once in your life, or you’ve seen people do it. Most just reach up to the stem of the fruit and pull back. Many times you make the fruit mushy.

Now watch the video.

Animals in the wild peel their bananas from the bottom. How many of us have ever peeled our bananas this way? In my more than half century of life, I have never, ever thought about peeling my fruit in this manner.

If we are so blind with such a mundane piece of fruit, then why are we so sure that everything else we believe is so correct? My late father used to say, “None is so blind as he who won’t see.”

Could it be possible that you were right in your last argument? Could you have also been wrong? Hmmm? It sounds like I’m suggesting some kind of double-speak, huh?

There’s an old saying that in any argument there are your side, her side, and some point in the middle. Nobody has a monopoly on being right because we see a problem based on the collective of our life’s experiences, and we react based accordingly.

The next time you’re tempted to run your blood pressure up by arguing with a loved one, a colleague, or someone in traffic, please grab a banana instead. Peel it the counter-intuitive way, rather, unsheath the fruit like a monkey.

“I think that t…

“I think that the best thing we can do for our children is to allow them to do things for themselves, allow them to be strong, allow them to experience life on their own terms, allow them to take the subway… let them be better people, let them believe more in themselves.”
― C. JoyBell C.

My Greatest Mission & Title

As an old soldier and Army combat arms officer, I had the honor of leading this great nation’s fighting men around the globe.  Each promotion bestowed more responsibilities.  Colonels and generals placed medals on my chest and one around my neck.  After the Army, I rose up the ranks of corporate giants like DuPont, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, and Under Armour, earning coveted corner offices along distinguished avenues and great titles such as vice president and director.  My greatest mission is….

And, I identify as West Pointer, businessman, Washingtonian, Roman Catholic-flavored Christian, writer, and jazz saxophonist.  But the greatest title that I shall ever have in this lifetime is….

Yesterday my daughter turned seventeen years old.  The days countdown until I have no more minor children.  In May, my son turns twenty-one.  They are no longer little people.  They are their own decision makers.  I worry about their falls, their mistakes.  I know that I’ve armed them with a Christian belief system, the finest education, and a knowledge that I love them without judgement.  Each time I watch them eat, my heart fills my chest with pride and powerful joy.

In this life, my greatest mission is fatherhood, and my greatest title is daddy.  

You?  What’s your greatest mission?  Title?



Happy New Year!!!  Yes, I’m back.  Nobody has ever yearned for a new year as much I have.  2013 delivered challenge after challenge after new challenge.  Nonetheless, I am abundantly blessed not only to awaken this morning, but I am giddy with things that are on my horizon in this year.

I am not a resolutions dude, but I am all about routine goal-setting.  When I was on a particular corporate staff, we adopted FranklinCovey’s Four Disciplines of Execution.  From it I learned to focus on one or two Wildly Important Goals (WIGs).  The FranklinCovey website says, “The Wildly Important Goal (WIG) is the one that must be achieved, or nothing else you achieve really matters much.”  I will focus on my WIG for a month or a quarter or however long it takes to achieve it.  I put dates to my WIGs.  I get accountability partners to whom I report.  I focus on the daily activities which become my metrics or leading measurements for my personal scoreboard.  I lost 140 pounds without drugs or surgery by making weight loss my only WIG for eighteen months between 2012-2013.

But this approach sounds like a lot of corporate gobbledygook, right?

You create resolutions every year, but you routinely fall short, no?

Take a look at the website below.  Kani delivers a more human approach to goal-setting.  Adopt her SMART methodology and resolve to stick to your realistic goals.

Whether it is the beginning of a new year, or it’s the twentieth day of any month in the middle of the summer, remember that today is the first day of the rest of your life, and there is no better day than today to plan your successes.

Seize the day!  Success awaits you.  Plan it.