I’m a pondering man

Some of these things are well-known if you’ve listened to my podcasts for any length of time.

Some other things are more…well, remote.

The longest passion of my life is storytelling.

First, here are some URL’s that all point to this website:


My top 4 albums of all time (in no particular order)

• Jackson Browne – Late For The Sky
• Ry Cooder – Paradise & Lunch
• Tom Petty – Wildflowers
• Counting Crows – August & Everything After

This is VERY hard because I listen to vast amounts of music. This list isn’t static. It’s subject to change.

I know more about the guitar than anybody who doesn’t play the guitar should. Yes, that includes model numbers and more.

Mark Knopfler is my all-time favorite guitarist.

I’ve probably listened to John Prine every week since I bought his first album in 1972. Not kidding.

I listen to Tom Petty and Counting Crows every single week. Sometimes multiple times weekly.

I also listen to a lot of Randy Newman, Dawes, Mandolin Orange (now Watchhouse), Billy Strings, Counting Crows, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, REM, Counting Crows, Little Feat, and AC/DC…and much, much more.

I’m currently listening to a lot of Fretland, The War and Treaty, Billy Strings and The Heavy Hours.

I’m especially fond of female singers. From Adele to Florence + The Machine, from H.E.R. to Emily Rowed, from Maggie Rogers to Annie Lennox, from Shawn Colvin to Roberta Flack. It’s a diverse group, but I enjoy the tones of great female singers.

I currently have 2,029 songs in my Shazam library.

I have owned up to 10 pair of headphones, at one time. I’m NOT including earbuds or headphones that connect to my iPhone. I currently own four pair of headphones: Sony, Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser and AKG. I also own two pair of pretty good earbuds: Shure and Denon. I spend more than 4 hours a day with headphones on — sometimes many more if you include nighttime wearing! 😉 

According to Myers-Briggs, I’m an INFJ. That stands for Introversion (I), Intuition (N), Feeling (F), and Judgment (J). Here’s of summary of what that means, produced by the website Introvert, Dear on the strength of being an INFJ…

INFJ: Basically a psychic

Of all the Myers-Briggs personalities, the INFJ is the type most likely to be an empath, in the purely psychological sense of that word. (Of course, other types can be empaths too.) For INFJs, it’s about seeing into your soul, reading your thoughts and feelings as if you were an open book.

This isn’t actually a psychic ability, of course, as it has more to do with noticing subtle cues you didn’t even know you were giving off. The INFJ will pick up on your tone of voice, body language, and the words you’re not saying. They easily see behind the mask everyone wears in public. They know when someone’s hiding something, and when “everything’s fine” is anything but. It’s a powerful ability, and if you don’t believe us, here’s a test: try lying to an INFJ. We dare you.

Luckily for the world, INFJs are also deeply compassionate people, and they tend to use this power for good. Although they notice almost everything about you, they keep it to themselves. Basically, they’re a walking catalog on human psychology. No wonder they relate to others so well (when they choose to do so). No wonder they’re world-changers and game-shakers.

Just don’t mistreat them, or you’ll see what happens when someone who can see your soul takes the gloves off.**

** That last sentence strikes me funny. True, but funny. It’s not what you think though. I don’t know who researches this stuff to unearth it, but I find much of it remarkably accurate. That “gloves off” thing is known as The INFJ Door Slam. And yes, I have done it and do practice it. Sparingly, but regularly.

Forgiveness is my number one character strength according to the VIA Survey. You can take it here. It’s free!

I’m addicted to music. 

I wear a beanie when it’s cold or cool – 24/7. Yes, even when I sleep.

I also sleep in socks. Almost 100% of the time, no matter the season.

For years I’ve carried a Taxi wallet. Fred Dobbs is responsible. He’s the founder/owner of Dobbs-Stanford, a rep firm for some of the best consumer electronics around. He gave me one over 25 years ago and got me hooked. I recently broke out a brand new red one. 

Dogs over cats. I especially love Westies and currently serve on the Board of Directors of The Westie Foundation Of America, Inc. (a non-profit that promotes the health of the breed)

Boxers over briefs. Except I mostly prefer Reebok Men’s Performance Briefs. (too much info?)

I wear undershirts under every shirt. Except for other t-shirts. And I only wear Gildan Men’s DryBlend T-Shirt, Style G8000.

We split time between DFW, Texas and Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. We remain Texas residents, as we’ve been since 1990, but we spend a considerable amount of time in the forested mountains of Arkansas.

I once rode a Greyhound (maybe it was Continental Trailways) bus from New Orleans to Detroit. It was about 36 hours, after which I got zero sleep and immediately started loading a U-Haul. Slept a few hours then got up and drove said U-Haul truck from Detroit to Baton Rouge. I remember very little about the entire ordeal except that I was offered some cocaine somewhere during a stop in Ohio. I turned it down – about the only wise decision made during the entire trip!

I’ve been shaving my head for over 20 years. I use a Gillette Fusion5 Men’s Razor. Sometimes, I mix it up by using a Gillette Mach III (it’s actually a better choice I think for head shaving).

I’m a Christian, a member of The Church of Christ. I was baptized into Christ for the remission of sins when I was 11. Click on the tab, In Thy Paths, if you’re interested in hearing some of my sermons. Go here to hear a more polished gentleman preach, Let The Bible Speak.

I got married to the girl of my dreams in 1978. Yes, we’re still married. Yes, she’s still the girl of my dreams.

I’m apolitical. I don’t vote or bother myself with politics. I prefer sporting events.

I purchased the first Mac in 1984, along with an Apple Imagewriter printer. Together it was over $3,000. The Mac was $2,500 and the Imagewriter was over $650. Oh, and the Mac had no hard drive. Here are the specs of that computer and printer. I have owned many versions of Mac through the years, including Macbooks and iMacs. My current computer is a 2023 Macbook Pro – 14″ with M2 Pro chip, 32GB RAM and 2TB hard drive. I also have multiple external hard drives in the network.

I enjoy mysteries and thrillers. Books, movies, or TV shows.

So far, I’ve experienced just enough success to outweigh the failures. I’m always working to stay one step ahead of failure. 😉

I’m baffled at the over-cussing of society. It’s not merely religious convictions in play…it’s just off-putting to me. All the F-bombs wear me out.

I currently have 3,197 albums in my iTunes library. It’s held on an external hard drive. It’s 108 days worth of music consuming 241.14 GB. It grows constantly. And I use iTunes Match to have access to every bit of it no matter where I go.

I subscribe to Apple Music for live-streaming just about any song or artist I want.

I do not watch the NBA or MLB until deep into the playoffs. 

I love the Dallas Stars, but don’t care that much about our other local pro teams. Yes, I do watch all the Dallas Cowboys games. I currently am not able to watch the Dallas Stars because of the moronic TV rights deal with Bally Sports. Thankfully, the Stars are looking into launching their own free streaming platform. I hope they do it.

I’ve always loved OU Sooners football. The hazards of being born in Oklahoma I suppose. I have faith Coach Brent Venables has this thing going in the right direction. I remain optimistic about our first season in the SEC. Time will tell.

Decades of retail experience have corrupted me to scrutinize the customer experience. I have a low tolerance for poor, negligent service. I still don’t understand companies that ignore their customers! Or companies that fail in the details of customer experience.

I enjoy reading and studying a variety of topics, but psychology, leadership, and business have long been my top 3. Biographies and history are common subject matter, too. These days, I’m not reading very many business books because I’ve kinda “been there, done that.” Building high-performance cultures and high achieving groups/teams continue to fascinate me.

When the VCR was invented I quickly recorded every single episode of The Andy Griffith Show thanks to WTBS. I own at least 2 books on that TV series. When I got the entire series on DVD I threw away all my old homemade videotapes. 

I fell in love with music and became a seasoned audiophile when I was in junior high. It continues today, but digital music has altered the audiophile part of my life drastically. The great stereo systems gave way to headphone life. For now. I miss having a great system and sitting around listening to records, but I’m not romantic about vinyl like some folks. Mostly, I’m puzzled by so many vinyl snobs who don’t have great turntables! Pointless. 

I have owned at least 3 great sound systems (hi-fi stereo systems). The most satisfying system consisted of a pair of speakers made by a hillbilly in South Carolina, Ed Schilling. They were spectacularly good – and consisted of a single full-range driver. I miss that system the most.

I have mostly owned manual transmission vehicles. I still prefer them, but since manufacturers are opting out of making them…I figure my current car will likely be the last standard transmission I ever own. We’ll see. It all depends on how long I live. 😉  Update: I sold my car because Rhonda and I have decided we’re now going to be single car couple. It makes sense in just about every area and it mirrors are commitment to practical minimalism.

I wear an inexpensive Timex T44921 Men’s Expedition Field Easy Reader Indiglo Classic Analog Watch. I also wear a digital Timex Expedition every now and again, but I enjoy analog. It gives me a visual of the past, present, and future while digital is simply always now, now, now. 

I’ve only had one cell phone number. Ever! 

My first car was a truck, a 1954 GMC pickup truck. My grandfather bought it from a farmer, fixed it up so it’d run, and reupholstered the seat. I painted it hunter green and painted the four fenders orange. It was the most fun I’ve had with a vehicle. Somewhere online there’s a picture of me and the truck.

I’ve kept notebooks for as long as I can remember. Taking notes. Writing down ideas. Making journal entries. I love notebooks and pens. And the ideas I can capture using them.

Learning to type in the 7th grade may be the most practical skill I ever learned. I’m a very good typist.

Most of the space Inside The Yellow Studio (versions 1.0 and 2.0) was taken up with books, music, cartoons, and lots of cool things the grandkids love to fondle. During The Great Purge of 2022 I managed to jettison about 90% of my books, donating them to the local library. I also managed to get rid of about 90% of everything I owned, including clothing. It was exhilarating! I’m currently occupying The Yellow Studio v3.1. Up next? The Yellow Studio version 4.0.

I burn Gonesh incense. My favorites are Spring Mist #8, Vanilla, Lavender, Jasmine and Honeysuckle.

I’m subscribed to 526 YouTube channels. Many of them are music or guitar-related. I recently eliminated over 100 that I wasn’t interested in any longer. I need to thin the herd some more. Okay, a lot!

I never remove my wedding band unless surgery or a medical procedure requires it.

I wanted to become a cartoonist. When I was in high school some thought I’d pursue a career in that arena. Or something related. I didn’t.

I gave up drawing when I began to write more. I enjoy using words more than pictures (because I’m better at them) but have a fondness for those able to use both. My dream job would have been to be a novelist.

Ballard Street is my all-time favorite cartoon. I also loved Herman (Jim Unger, the creator of Herman passed away in 2012). I’d give The Far Side a strong, honorable mention.

My 2 favorite pens are Pilot G2 gel in blue 0.7mm fine and Papermate InkJoy Gel .5 fine.

My favorite notebooks are Field Notes and Moleskine Squared Notebook (5 x 8-1/4)I’m also a fan of Reporter’s Notebooks by Portage.

I have a favorite bowl and a favorite fork. I also drink only from one “glass,” an Artlion 30 oz Tumbler Insulated Tumbler that glows in the dark. 

I drink over 100 ounces of water daily. No, I don’t have diabetes.

I prefer New Balance athletic shoes. I also wear a pair of black Skechers with suits. I recently added a cheap, but ridiculously comfortable pair of Under Armor shoes. And I now am the proud owner of a pair of all black ASICS Men’s Gel-Contend 7 Running Shoes. I’m officially old because I only wear athletic shoes now. Even with suits. I did discover a pair of dress “sneakers” that look like dress shoes – Bruno Marc Men’s Plain Toe Oxford Shoes Business Formal Derby Dress Sneakers. They’re ridiculously comfortable, and inexpensive!

I wear Gold Toe dress socks.

In the winter I love flannel and fleece. 

I get a bad cold every winter. Without fail. I’ve tried ramping up vitamin C intake. And taking zinc. And washing my hands compulsively. Nothing (so far) has worked to ward off my annual cold (which includes lots of coughing). 

hoodieMy favorite hoodie is a Gildan Adult Fleece Hooded Sweatshirt, Style G18500I don’t know why anybody would spend big money on a great hoodie. These are under $20.

My favorite hiking shoes are Merrell Men’s Moab 2 Vent Hiking Shoes.

My favorite daily “wear-around-the-house or anywhere else” pants are TBMPOY Men’s Lightweight Hiking Pants Breathable Mountain Camping Fishing Running Active Jogger PantsThey rival the best of the big name “sports” pants for a fraction of the cost.

Around the house I regularly wear overalls. My favorites are Liberty Men’s Rigid Denim Bib Overalls. Men's overalls

My favorite everyday shirts are Duluth Trading Wrinklefighter Relaxed Fit button-down long-sleeved.

I love big, heavy quilts – comforters.

My hobby is podcasting. I use it for work, too. I currently have 3 podcasts that I produce – Grow Great, Leaning Toward Wisdom and Hot Springs Village Inside Out. You can go here to see the podcasting gear I now use.

I’ve spent untold hours in self-examination. Self-awareness is a very big deal and I don’t claim to have fully harnessed it, but I’m trying. I need to up my game in self-control, too. Don’t we all?

Even though I’m apolitical (which means I’m uninterested in politics). I’m intrigued by think tanks and the power brokering that happens in Washington.

I love business and have been “practicing” since I was a teen. However, I’m not a zero-to-60 guy. True entrepreneurship, in my mind, is when a person loves (and is pretty good at) the start-up game. I’m not. I’m terrific at going from 60 to 200…profitably, but I hate the start-up or the “getting going” phase.

Business models fascinate me.

I started employing intermittent fasting some months ago. I consume 100% of my daily calories between 6 am and noon, followed by fasting from noon until 6 am the following morning. I don’t pay much attention to what I eat, but I’m not foolish either. This works well for me. However, recent life events have gotten in my way. My schedule is currently too chaotic, but I’m looking forward to jumping back into this effective routine.

I love cherry, vanilla, milk Dr. Peppers (put a green olive in it and it’s awesome). I haven’t had one in years, but I’d love one right now. Packed with Sonic Drive-In ice.

In the past year, I’ve listened to this band the most: Billy Strings

I’ve never been better. I’ve never been this experienced, this comfortable with who I am, or this confident in what I do well. And I’ve still got tons of energy and ambition.

I eat a protein food bar for breakfast. Almost every single day. When I don’t, I’ll eat oatmeal.

I was once the South Central Zone Coordinator for USA Hockey Inline (an appointed volunteer position). And I served on the rules committee for a period of time, too. I was very involved in roller hockey here, operating one of the largest leagues in Texas. And did a fair amount of coaching, too (from 6-year-olds to college guys).

Since about 2008 I’ve had a document in DropBox (shared with my wife) entitled, “When I Die.” As you might imagine, it’s about what I want when I die. The first version was about 3 pages long. It’s currently a single page. The longer I live, the shorter it gets. My goal is for folks to learn about my death after I’m gone!

My inner circle is smaller than it’s ever been because the old men in my life died. I prefer fewer, but deeper relationships. I hate crowds. My wife and my son are my closest confidants. They’re without peer for me. I don’t rely on anybody else nearly as much because they are safe, and honest with me. They want my best outcome. With age comes a tightening of the circle and I’m good with it. 

There are 9 people who are the most important to me. They’re members of my immediate family, including 5 grandchildren. 

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in recent years is “who you surround yourself with matters.” For me, it’s also been a lesson in the negative side of that. Be careful who you allow into your inner circle. The wrong person can do extensive damage. Be on guard.

Too many people are pursuing a wasted life and have surrendered to self-centeredness and surrounded themselves with destructive “you go girl” kind of people. Yet, almost every person I know who is pursuing a valuable life has given themselves to serving others and surrounded themselves with people of that ilk. I’m growing increasingly more discriminating in whom I allow deeply into my life.

This little story best illustrates how I prefer to live. I love it and use it often when people ask me to describe my preference for helping others. I’m not ideally wired to fret about “scope and scale.” Life is more personal than that for me.

Eternity changes everything.

That’s it. For now…

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