3 Hindsight Thoughts Through COVID Quarantine

I have to give full credit to my wife… she saw this one coming. Day after day, week after week… all through the build up of it all — I kept thinking, “Nah… it’ll pass… it’s isolated in Asia… it’s not as bad as all that… blah blah blah.”

Well. I was wrong. The world is getting rocked… and, **shrugs** — I’m not too big to admit when I’m wrong. LOL, I’m wrong all the time. However, through this learning experience, as a husband and father… and, a somewhat-protective-paranoid one at that… here are some hindsight thoughts that have surfaced — not just on the quarantine and all… but also about life approaches in general.


1. Wait For Nothing

As I mentioned on my 10 Year Wedding Anniversary post: We went to Disney World… for business trip 😉 … the Fall before COVID-19 broke the world in Spring of 2020.

For that trip in Fall: We had the best time ever. THE BEST.

We were SUPPOSED TO go to Disney World again for our 10 year… but yeah… that didn’t happen.

It came to me, more solidly than every before… if you have a desire, a goal, a dream — WAIT FOR NOTHING. Go get it.

Tomorrow is not guaranteed to you. Next week is not a sure thing. The coming month, who knows what will happen? Next year? HA.

Have a goal? Start now.

Have a dream? Take action.

Want swag? Buy it… it may not be there anymore “next time” — this is something we found especially true as huge fans of all things Disney. Soooo many times, there was something at Disneyland or some Star Wars swag we had our eye on. Too many times, we said, “if it’s there next time… we’ll take it as a sign and get it.” More and more often as of late, there was not a next time. It was gone… forever.

Time is the one precious resource you can’t get back, make more of, exchange, or cheat. It keeps going, with or without you.

So… why let it pass you by?

Life: Wait for nothing.

PS. This doesn’t mean I’m encouraging you to be frivolous, foolish, or capricious. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to liquidate everything, run out to Vegas, and place everything on black at the roulettes. What I AM saying is this: If there is something existentially precious to you — then wait for nothing. Be it. Get it. Form it. Find it!

2. Get Everything In Twos

Supplies come to mind. On our final grocery run, my wife and I divided and conquered. I went to one store, she went to the other. We were texting back and forth to make sure we got what we needed.

And, I realized that no matter what I got that day… we would likely need more. Now, there were plenty of times I grabbed stuff in “extra” to my current needs. HOWEVER, I didn’t clear shelves.

I grabbed stuff in Twos.

Whether its supplies, inventory, swag, or even shoes — to which, for running… having two pairs of the same running shoes is very helpful — stuff works better in twos.

We had already done this at a habit with jugs of milk, cartons of eggs, and the like. However, in this crisis… it only made things more real… if you need, desire, or think you might want something… grab two of them.

3. Don’t Be “More Professional Than Thou….”

It’s Okay Not To Be Okay. This is something we talked about on an up and coming (given that I’m writing this 4/9/2020) episode on The Duck Legs Podcast.

Typically you hear the phrase, “Holier Than Thou.” Well, here in 2020, we seem to have this strange fixation on that if you are a professional, then you must be held at a higher standard in everything.

I’d like to suggest that such is true — to be held in a higher standard… but, in MOST things… not all.

Right now this worldwide lockdown, shut in, quarantine is a great example about how disruption of normal daily life is creating an enormous mental, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual strain on individuals of all types of backgrounds — many who are at the forefront of dealing with this crisis — highly intelligent, well trained, thoroughly educated, healthcare professionals.

It’s a tough and sucky time right now.

It’s okay not to be okay. It’s okay to not be professional when you’re not at work, when you’re not in clinic, when you’re not on campus, and/or when you’re not on the air.

It’s okay to be human.

And, it’s okay to not have anything positive to say, anything optimistic to uphold, or anything hopeful to cling to. Sometimes… the situation just sucks.

Being a licensed professional doesn’t make you immune or some how more resilient to the suck factor. Let it suck. Accept it. Deal with it. Then, push through.

Lives depend on it… yours included.

The sooner you embrace the suck, the sooner you’ll be able to adapt and adjust to this new normal.

They Were Wrong | Dad Thoughts While “Sheltered in Place”

Thanks to COVID-19, we’ve all had a lot more time to… think. At least, that’s the case if you’ve been living in a “shelter in place” / don’t leave home situation — thinking is the one thing you’ve probably had too much time for. That said, I wrote this list before the outbreak… and, today’s post is really more of just that: A list of short thoughts.

They Were Wrong About…

1. Pens vs. Pencils

“When you grow up, adults use pens… not pencils.” WRONG… And, NEITHER. The most common way we write… is with our fingers… in the sand — I mean, on a screen.

Grown ups don’t write in cursive with a fountain pen… they mash on letters with their thumbs. You know… because, I said so!

2. “When you grow up, you won’t be carrying a calculator everywhere you go.”

Guess teachers didn’t see that coming when they made us buy TI83s! 😒

3. “Video games will melt your brain.”

Playing Video Games Really Does Make You Smarter, Study Finds. Not to mention, most of our learning software and e-learning platforms are essentially video game platforms in their own way… they may not exactly look like a real time strategy game or a scrolling game like Super Mario — but, it IS a digital interface with rules, goals, and aims.

The thing is, you aren’t going for coins or points — your gaming for grades and degrees.

4. Cartoons Distort Your Sense of Reality.

There are waaaay too many examples — but, I have to say that productions in the 90s were WAY ahead of their time. My example of the day: X-Men, with great social lessons on discrimination, women in leadership; “different yet same” as with the character Master Mold, stating that there are humans that hate mutants — this is an oxymoron as mutants ARE human.

“So often in our history, unhappy misguided people have created scapes goats — blaming those that are different for the problems in their own lives.

Professor X, X-Men The Animated Series

Wow… right???

5. Sci-Fi is Pure Fantasy.

First off… in Star Trek, everything became real or is becoming real… and, very likely will otherwise be as such in due time… mostly. Maybe not Q… maybe? Who knows! But, here’s something for consideration:

ALSO: The Next Generation (TNG), Deep Space Nine (DS9) and Voyager also had some of the best “early” examples of inclusivity; strong female characters, women in leadership/career paths, diversity driven story arcs, females in story arcs that don’t necessarily involve a romantic interest, etc.

So yeah… They were wrong 😉

Just because something worked for one generation doesn’t mean that such success will transplant across to the next.

10 Year Anniversary: Life Tile Achievement, Disney World, and Social Distancing

Yes, 10 years ago — it all happened 🙂

*Bad-Dink!* — 10 Years Married
LIFE TILE ACHIEVED.
We were supposed to go on a two week vacation — well 10 days. Something like this not to unlike this…?

Then… this happened…

COVID-19 … aka: Coronavirus

And then, sadly… all of this:

Which meant… our 10 year anniversary trip to Disney World which had literally been 10 years in the making… was cancelled.
Social Distancing Began…
Wait… one meter??? They said 6 feet… 🤔
Where… if you got lucky, the aforementioned achievement now became a game of…
Which fortunately, at least in California… you were allowed to do so long as you stayed 6 feet away from folks.

Nevertheless… while disappointed, we were determined not to be defeated by the happenings. So, this is how it all went down.


1. My First True Straight Razor Shave

Why not? I had been shaving with a straight razor shavette for a while; and, felt it was appropriate to be cleanly shaven for my anniversary. Wifey likes. Hint to the wise, be what wifey likes 😉

In any case, having been shaving with a shavette for about a year and half, I felt it was high time to invest in a high quality straight razor and all the accoutrements — brush, bowl, canvas and leather strops, and pyramid of whetstone grits… after all, I wasn’t going to send in the razor… I was going to be my own honemeister — especially having a side hobby of sharpening knives and axeheads, why not???

And, I must say… it was a joy and a success. No cuts!

2. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse… I mean, Take House… I mean, Take OUT

We WERE going to have Teppan in Japan, ECPOT, Disney World. But yeah… NOPE! So, we did the next best thing which had become a micro-tradition for us: Ruth’s Chris.

And, truth be told: We were in it for the Creme Brûlée.

As I ordered everything over the phone, stuff was ridiculously half off for most orders. In retrospect, that was because 1/2 the experience at the restaurant is truly the plating. So, Chilean Sea Bass… 1/2 off — and also really made realize I just prefer fish raw. Sushi is my kind of seafood.

A bunch of sides… 1/2 off. Bone in Filet Mignon. THEN, two orders of Creme Brûlée. Half Off. Weird, right?

Well… that’s because they don’t have any plating or containers for the dessert… so it was 50% OFF…… served as a “bless their hearts” trying Creme Brûlée in a Cup… well, takeout box… all smashed up .. LOL. meh. what are you doing to do?

Answer: NOTHING.

3. “We did nothing, we did NOTHING!”

A hilarious bit by John Mulaney… we did nothing. Life has been so ridiculously busy. It was actually a spiritual reprieve to just be… to rest… to be still.

4. Play with Nathan for hours.

I’m not even kidding on this one. We’ve been playing for HOURS. I’ve been exhausted lol… it’s striking how much energy children have, how vibrant their imagination is, and how genius they can be in their thought.

I was also reminded of this one meme I came across… and, has since changed my ideation of “PLAY” forever. And so… we played. For hours 🙂

5. No Disney, No Cry!

Because… we have Disney+. LOL, but really… I have been quite up and down since coming to terms with the fact that our epic 10 year anniversary trip is dashed… ours and everyone else. And yeah… I’ve seen that Canadian kid. But, I’m not Canadian (and unlike popular opinion)… I’m not that nice! hah.

But, one night, I was browsing Disney+ content and found this “Melody Time” medley and stumbled across a wonderful bit that I had plum forgotten — Johnny Appleseed.

I cried. No seriously… it made me cry and remember how much I truly have to be thankful for.

Then… it reminded me of the other day, watching X-Men The Animated Series… content which was DECADES ahead of its time. That and Star Trek TNG. Trust me on that one, I think it’s still on Amazon Prime.


Oh, and… I hadn’t really known it but I was honored and pleasantly surprised to be named a Top Dad Blogger 2020. I know, right?!

Down for some lessons learned? Down?? DOWN!!!


LESSONS LEARNED

1. Wait For Nothing

I am so blessed — even relieved… that we took that spur of the moment trip to Disney World as a family, and, that we recently had gone to Disneyland AND was able to (through a very generous series of events) experience Rise of the Resistance. Yeah… we did, it happened, and it was amazing. #SorryNotSorry

This even ties in with getting my straight razor. With the COVID-19 situation, shipping has gone to putt… unless it’s deemed essential, you won’t be getting your purchases for WEEKS…. not the usual 24-48 hours you’re accustomed to.

Want swag? Get it. It’ll be gone. They won’t make any more. We see this happen all the time at Disney Parks.

Want to achieve something, work up to something, try something out? Start now… RIGHT NOW. If anything, write it down in a piece of paper and tape it to your refrigerator.

If you write it down, you’ll be that much more likely to do it.

2. It Takes Strength To Be Kind

For reference, click here to view this Instagram story I posted. TLDR…er. Watch..??… it was about me buying a basket of food for someone who needed it. The amount of shock to kindness received was reward enough. It was my turn to be kind.

I can only imagine how the world would benefit in this outbreak of COVID-19 in such a time when fear is running amok, kindness would be that much more wonderful.

PARTICULARLY during a night where I was broken by the news of Racist Attacks Against Asians Continue to Rise as the Coronavirus Threat Grows: Countries worldwide are reporting an uptick in assaults against citizens of Asian descent. Yeah yeah… I know, it’s People Magazine. But, I dare you — Google it. It’s corroborated by many outlets… and, please remember…. I have quite a bit of mixed heritage.

At risk of hijacking my own thoughts… let’s just end this all with: Be Kind. Be Generous. Give Often.

3. Resilient. Relentless. Resolved.

The world is a rough place. Life isn’t fair. People aren’t always nice. And, there’s but a small group of people you can truly count on to watch your back.

Therefore: Be resilient in your walk. Be relentless in your pursuits. Be resolved to finish your path.

I teach my son as much and as often as I can about grit. I told him…

Grit: “Never give up. Finish the job.”

—Daddy In The Raw

LOL, yeah I just quoted myself. Common, you all know that I like to be happy. I like liking things — I have 90 minutes of me fanboying out and saying so, right here on the Duck Legs Podcast: Life Lessons from Star Wars & TROS Review with Dr. Ben Fung & Dr. Scotty Butcher [E].

Final random “dad” ideas…

During this time when we all seemed to be shelter in place…

ONE: I was thinking of doing a regular dad hour…. eh… dad 10 minutes broadcast/video-podcast/raw thoughts. Daddy In The Raw Food For Thought? LOL… yeah it’s late and it’s been a week… we’ll come up with a better name for this hair-brained-idea.

And, TWO: I was thinking about taking up comedy. I realized in all my public speaking, I tend to embed quite a bit of humor… dad jokes…… I got a great one regarding body chills, but, I’m not allowed to tell it (yet).

Michigan: March 2018 — Thoughts, Musings, Reflections

Soulful thoughts in 3… 2… 1


Okay… after this paragraph.

So, in an incredible round about way, I was invited out to the Michigan Physical Therapy Association for their Student Conclave 2018 conference to speak on career development and job market readiness. It also so happens to be where I’m from (which is a hilarious gag when people ask me “Hey, where you from?” And, I say the heart of automotive America… and, they kinda go “Huh?”); and, where much of my paternal in-laws family hails from (literally, Ann Arbor, #HailToTheVictors #GoBlue #MichiganWolverines). And, if you know my academic past, you also know that I got my MBA from the University of Michigan. AND… despite the loss, I’m still proud of my team for their run in #MarchMadness2018.

SO… ANYHOO…..


  ONWARD WITH THE REAL POST!


The real reason for this post was that this trip offered me some concentrated family time and helped me recenter on this very path of working at home… creating now two businesses and supporting the vision of growth using the technological levers we now have that allow for such a lifestyle.

Was was remarkable was the amount of reflection time I had on the severely delayed flight out to Michigan… all the driving we had to do around the state… and, the joy of juggling the time change. PS… Michigan is seriously more East that West, LOL! #PSTissues…

When it all became said and done, I realized some life lessons (both core centric and just for fun’sies) I wanted to better grasp for myself and pass on to Nathan as his father. I want my son to learn:

  1. To be mentally tough.
  2. To be physically tough.
  3. To be emotionally perceptive.
  4. To learn how to cook using cast iron.
  5. To experience martial arts, team sports, and the glory of suffering a hard won task.
  6. Survival skills, urban, oceanic, bushcraft, etc…
  7. First aid, CPR, and emergency response.
  8. To find a passion he can geek out on.
  9. To fail, miserably… and, learn from that failure.
  10. To pick himself back up.
  11. To work under the authority and command of others.
  12. To sell — an idea, a product, a service… to learn the art of meaningful communication.

While in Michigan, it was peaceful. There was a countryside… something you don’t get in the urban environments of big cities, especially in SoCal.

  • There was open country, minutes from downtown Ann Arbor.
  • I was reminded the balance in life is dynamic — you have to keep moving if you are to keep up.
  • I remembered my thoughts about “Physicist” Steven Hawking’s passing… and, I thought to myself how I’d want to be remembered? And, that I must work toward that goal. Ultimately, I think it comes down to philanthropist and/or inspirationalist (regardless of what prior meaning it may have had in the past) — essentially, if I am to be known… I wish to be known for the positive impact I’ve had in the lives of others.
  • It was fun to be in a town where people could live off the land — free range chickens and all… it’s something I’ve always had an interest in.
  • Ann Arbor, being an older town… it has history, charm, personality… a romance, even.
  • Talking to some family and seeing just that different approach in life of the MidWest, one can appreciate that college grads are truly adults, ready to contribute to society… rather than what I fear more and more college graduates are becoming… over educated children still trying to find their way… a cost of a failing-phobic culture and stressed out system of education producing a generally economic welfare that has more uncertainty than it does stability. But, hey… when was human history really that stable??? LOL.. so much for ending this list on a positive note.

I was pleasantly reminded that life isn’t about the “whats”… the achievements. It’s about pursuits… HOW you live your life and WHY. And, to be honest, I was very much attracted to the possibility of living life, honestly and off the land. It’s always been a romance for me — the reality is probably way different 😉


All together, I was thinking a lot on this trip… soul searching… not that I was lost or had something to find. I was merely taking the available time that I had hustled to earn to take time, appreciate, and reflect.

It’s an amazing time.

People can work for companies, miles and miles away. The need for a brick and mortar situation is become less and less a requirement of business and general commerce. Information asymmetry has become less so a thing… so much so that organizations that try to safeguard their secrets actually get punished in the marketplace for doing so… being seen as devious or maliciously trying to hide things.

I guess the other crazy thing is that we’re coming up on three years of me doing this from home. It hasn’t been easy… not in any way. But, has it been worth it? Immeasurably. I can’t even imagine giving my son or my family the type of lifestyle we’ve been having in any other way. Can it, could it, would it come crashing down… I’d still say its worth it. In these formative years, I’m seeing that my son has become a sweet, caring, positive minded kid. He’s not afraid to tussle with me and fight like a crazy person to get out of controlled Jiu Jitsu positions… or, to slam on my focus mitts as if he was training Muay Thai… all before the age of 5 😉

He loves music, spontaneously dances… and, regularly tells my wife and myself that he loves us — all without prompting and just out of the joy of his little heart.

All to say… I think we’re doing something right.

It’s easy to be in negative moments… wondering if the path you are on is any good, or perhaps was a terrible mistake. I’d advise you to take a step back and consider those who are most dear to you… how are they? And, how are they to you, and you to they? If you and yours ultimately have joy and joy abundantly… then, I’d say you’re doing pretty good. And, if there’s room for more, whether by improvement, by growing the capacity you have to love on them… anything of that nature… then chase it, pursue it, and don’t let it go until you have it!

So much for random musings, thoughts, and straight typing… Have a good one!