S1 E112 —  When Was the Last Time You Wrangled Your Past?

In the dead of winter with temperatures in the single digits and low teens I completed basic training at Fort Dix. Within days they had me popping salt pills like they were candy desperately trying to adjust to 95 degrees and 95% humidity when my flight landed in San Antonio, Texas for advanced training.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Your present will play out according to how you see your past.  It’s never too late to change that story.” Aries

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book

Hi and welcome to Friday’s Episode 112 in the first season of ” My 1-Year Natural Experiment” on this 1st day of November in the fall of 2019, also known as Day Six of Scorpio Time.


It was clear that McQueen’s and Nash’s point was to spend some time today wrangling the past. So, it was back to working on Marc Maron’s fake interview of me. (S1 E110, and S1 E109)

Marc:  What about Washington University?  How does that fit in.  Before or after your induction?

Steve: So, we discovered certain kinds of graduate training programs qualified you for a deferment.I applied to and got accepted at its Law School. So, this was before. After I “graduated” from the Army I received my masters degree in psychology at David Letterman’s alma mater — Ball State University.

Marc: Where’s that? In Indianapolis? I used to know this from doing panel on his show.

Steve: No in beautiful downtown Muncie, Indiana.But, Letterman was the weatherman at an Indianapolis television station before making his way to the Comedy Club out here. He did everything, but tell us what the weather was going to be the next day.

Marc: Haha. So, you go directly to Vietnam?

Steve: As in “Do Not Pass Go”? No. I went. But not until I completed basic training at Fort Dix in the dead of winter with temperatures in the single digits and low teens and then went on to San Antonio, Texas with 95% humidity and 95 degrees.I was popping salt pills like they were candy.

Marc: Were you in for three years?

Steve: No, that’s if you enlisted.I was drafted for what was supposed to be two years, but I got out a few months earlier to attend Ball State.

Marc: So, let’s go back a little.You grew up in New Jersey and Ohio.Your parents moved to Detroit and you went to Vietnam.

Steve: My parents moved to Bloomfield Hills, a suburb north of downtown Detroit, and I left my apartment in St. Louis to report for my induction the morning after my honeymoon.

Marc: So you got married before you shipped out?


Marc: Did you have to?

Steve: Yeah. I mean we were engaged and all for about a year while she was finishing up at college and I tried to stretch a deferment out of law school for more than the 90-day extension.

Marc: But she didn’t see you for the whole time you were in the Army?

Steve: No she joined me in San Antonio while I was stationed at Fort Sam Houston and my son was born at Brooks Memorial Hospital. I had been stationed there up until the last seven months of my commitment when the Vietnam lottery happened.

Marc: Vietnam lottery happened?

Steve: And a Catch – 22.

Marc: Like the book and movie?

Steve: Sorta. See I had applied and had been accepted to the Masters Psychology program in the Graduate School at Ball State starting in the fall, which technically meant I only had 5 months left in the service.

Marc: And the Catch 22, then was?

But enough about Marc and Steves excellent adventures for now.  

What can we learn from our Holiday Tau — we meaning Zahn, Winkler, Emma the Baroness and me?

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: “You have to unlearn in order to learn today, to clear before you can build, to drop your beef with someone before you can love.” Scorpio

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

Processing, mining — whatever you want to call it is a blessing and a curse for me.  And if you knew me well, you’d think nothing could be further from the truth. 

I’m the same guy who advised “Chief Reinvention Officers” and cultivated Paradoxy-Moron clients helping them capitalize on the future before its time.

“5”  Steve Nash, 45:Even a half-hour spent processing the past will make a world of difference. Think of it as a spiritual stretch to keep you limber.” Aquarius

Haha, tell me about it Steve.  

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): Your present will play out according to how you see your past.  It’s never too late to change that story.” Aries

Sure, Howey’s Holiday Tau makes sense, but I’m on a different wavelength today.

“3”  Steve Howey, 42:Part of being proud of what you do is showing it in its best light. Put effort into the presentation because this helps others understand both the work and you.” Cancer

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

S1 E52 – Missing Chapters and Paths Not Taken

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book


June 2019

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “You’re drawn to unexplored territories today, and you’ll map out the terrain for those who come along later.” Pisces

Hi and welcome to this June 21st Edition and Day 52 of My 1-Year Experiment.

What’s been going on? 

I’ve been working through the missing chapters from my 5-book volume I’ve been calling “The Knowledge Path Series” and just published “High Country Cowboys and Eagles in Whitefish” in my blog, Knowledge Banking: Wealthy Choices. Healthy Lives. What was it about?  Here’s how I described it: 

With the help of our knowledge bank, you can choose for variations in your new neighborhood by:

Does that make me a paradox grandmaster?  Maybe.  But, not for the reason implied in the second sentence.

“5”  Steve Zahn, 51: “You are the grandmaster of paradox today.  For you, doing nothing is more difficult than doing something.” Scorpio

More from what I described two months ago on Day 26th illustrating our Holiday Tau then: 

In my original field research about “work” which I tested in workshops and advising sessions with hundreds of Executive MBA students I’ve been exploring disruptive change — as driven by a specific type of organization named “Paradoxy-Morons” and at a specific stage of growth companies feel either desperate enough to enter or innovative enough to bake it into their Organizational DNA — reinvention. 

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

And the paradox continues with how I responded in Day 45 on 6/7/19: 

I developed a reverse order negotiations worksheet for those in my Executive MBA career classes.  It ends with weighing the trade-offs among three offers.  But it begins with all the other factors most candidates weigh at the last minute.

“5”  Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980): As generous as an offer may be, if it doesn’t work for you, then move along without fuss or regret.” Aries

Is Howey’s Holiday Tau messing with me?  It feels like a hall of mirrors.  Should I read less into it?

“3”  Steve Howey, 42: Yes, this looks a lot like what you’ve already seen, but it’s not.  If you approach it like you already know, you’ll miss what’s really there.” Cancer

Sure, I’m all about understanding.  And as an introverted idea-packager it’s my temperament and you might say obsession to drill down to identify all the variables and aspects to why somebody lies — like our current President.  My best reference, if anyone else is interested, is “Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History” by Kurt Andersen. 

“5”  Steve Nash, 45: “Sincerity is better than falsehood, but one person’s truth won’t make a difference for all involved.  You go 10 steps beyond to really understand and present solutions likely to help.” Aquarius

Not, just for today, but for as long as I can remember.  Thank you Jobs for allowing me to swipe your Holiday Tau.

“5”  Steve Jobs, (1955 – 2011): “You’re drawn to unexplored territories today, and you’ll map out the terrain for those who come along later.” Pisces

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate

Day 3 of My 1-Year Experiment

The Tau of Steves: What You Don’t Know Could Fill a Book


March 2019

That was fast. It’s Day 3 on 3/1/19 and it’s already spring.  And you know what they say, “Hope springs eternal.”  Who says that, right? 

So far during the infancy of this experiment I haven’t come across the quote yet.  But, who can say what the future will bring? 

Shall we see?

What’s the Holiday Tau for Steve Zahn, Henry Winkler, Emma the Baroness and Me?

“3”  Steve Zahn, 51: Your ambition is high gear, but the question that keeps coming up is: At what cost?” Scorpio

So my ambition is high? I don’t think so.  I’d color it low and maybe more reasonable.  I’m struggling with answering the second part of the Holiday Tau personalized for me — at what cost?  

Okay, here’s the big reveal. I’m an Introvert.  If you look for me on the Myers-Briggs personality temperaments, you’d see me described as an INTP.  

Somewhere in my exhaustive research, the attribution is hard for me to place my hands on right now, I seem to recall the numbers of Extroverts vs. Introverts is something like 60% to 40% or a 70 / 30 ratio.  

But,  as a unique and special kind of introvert, my chances of attracting an audience that’s interested in my writing falls far short of 30% of potential readers to under 5% and maybe as low as 3%.  

Luckily, I’m fortunate that I don’t have to write to earn a living and, unlike many writers and gig economy workers who freelance,  I can afford to pay an unexpected bill like a car repair or medical bill totaling $400. 

I hope you are so fortunate too.


Any TauBit of Wisdom worth stealing from Aoki, Smith, or the two iconic musicians, Winwood and Wonder?

Random ones that make me want change my sign.

No, not really.

If I’m honest as an introvert, it is definitely true that I suffer from an overactive inner critic, but I’m not getting the prescription.  Conserving energy is a major issue for us introverts, but I’m not so sure I’ve met my inner ambassador or inner cheerleader.  So, Mr. Aoki keep your Holiday Tau.

“2”  Steve Aoki, 41: “You do have an overactive inner critic; it’s true. But your inner ambassador also has a lot of energy, as does your inner cheerleader. Pit them against one another if necessary — whatever it takes to do your best work.” Sagittarius

I do see paths and road trips as energizing, though.  

I’ve been writing about “The Knowledge Path: Live. Love. Work. Play. Invest. And Leave a Legacy.” The idea came to me after I fell in love with the Wild West.  

“3”  Steve Smith, 30: “No need to agonize about your choices today because there won’t be any wrong paths, just paths that get there a little sooner or later.” Gemini

The story of wagon trains leaving Missouri with families intent on making a better life for themselves in California with stops along the way mesmerized me as a child. 

Much later, in a U-Haul dueling with truckers over four days while listening to rock and roll on my radio outside the Navajo Nation, and hearing the DJ introducing hit songs in his native tongue, I imagined myself riding horseback in the 1800s from east to west.  

Some of the US 40 route dipped into portions of the iconic Route 66 where I picked it up in the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo.  

Staying on the beaten path got me to Santa Monica Pier quicker, but checking out portions of Route 66 felt more adventuresome.  

Both got me to my destination. 

Then I realized one iconic road dumped me into a second.  Route 66’s east to west connection intersected with the more scenic Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica, California. 

And, the aha! moment gave birth to my Best West Road Trips website.

Not being too superstitious and maybe not necessarily for today, but at different times on a whim, my curiosity has turned out to be lucky for me.  

“3”  Steve Winwood, 71; Stevie Wonder, 69: “Doing things differently to satisfy your own curiosity will be lucky for you.” Taurus

For once in my life, during my consulting career after a late morning meeting with a client at a Starbucks on MacArthur Blvd. near the airport with three names — SNA (Santa Ana), Orange County and John Wayne — I took the less traveled path back to my office.  

I parked my 4-Runner in  University Town Center across Campus Avenue from the University of California, Irvine’s campus and began wandering in the warm noon sun which felt good on my back.  

I walked past tables with students eating, drinking and taking a break probably calling it quits on an early Friday afternoon.  

And, quite by coincidence I heard my name called out as I walked past another set of outdoor restaurant tables.  

Long story short.  

My acquaintance wanted to know what I’d been up to and wanted my business card.  

Two weeks later she escorted me into several interviews which led to a long-term, multi-year retainer. 

Which was lucky, right? 

And, incidentally illustrated Zahn’s Holiday Tau at the top of the day — “at what cost.

Image Credit: Alan Light, Wikimedia Commons

Inspired by Holiday Mathis – Creators Syndicate 


60-Minute Habit

Day Two:  “Gather learning materials to help you practice your service before taking on a client.”

First Cup at Zero Dark Thirty
Now what?  I’ve gathered boxes of stuff and identified 11 ways of working through a process.

Reviewing this step described by AnyWired now, dredges up my feelings of confusion.

Instead of the blank page problem any author encounters before (or after) that 5 a.m. perked brew, I faced the opposite.

Feeling overwhelmed.

Awash in a Sea of Papers

Too many materials gathered, digitized and sitting in desk piles on my first floor home office.

While this should be mainly direct practice (doing rather than reading about), you will need to gather materials to guide you here.”



“This includes articles, interviews and tutorials.”


Look, I was moonlighting and running out of time I budgeted before my morning commute.

It will take me more than an hour just to figure out some sense of order with all this stuff.

Reports, Articles, Printouts

Travel articles from the LA Times profiling destinations and vacations along the coast in Southern California and Northern California.

Indexed in an old Mac version of Microsoft’s “Entourage Notes” with full text of the article and linked to their file categorized by:

“Lone Eagle”;

  • Listing of best places by year from 2005 – 2010 and
  • Tools / websites for finding the best; and
  • Regions – western states and Hawaii / Tropical.

And by another category – by “Do What You Love Scenarios:”

  • High Country Eagles,
  • Permanently Temporary,
  • Wealthy Influentials and
  • Wireless Resorters

(16 Lifestyles, 4 for each).

I’m panicked.

Just then a thought bubble popped above my head.

If Only. What if?

What if somehow customers and clients could use my system for tagging the Internet sites and articles on Delicious, the social book marking site?

But, why and how?

Focus mainly on developing techniques you could actually see yourself using in client work.

1.  List of online resources?

2.  Seasonal comparison summaries by categories:  Best Places, Green Planet, High Country Eagles and Wireless Resorters?

You should spend at least 1 hour per day just developing your skill.

I know,

I know.

  • Maybe I could write about how to use delicious (aka knowledge bank) for the sequence of initiating coverage of a best place community?
  • How to use the Internet to build a knowledge bank for finding the right place?
  • How would a potential reader, customer or client?
  • It may begin with a vacation to a favorite destination.

For the first time you’ll want to figure out your route and itinerary, right?

  • Usually you have a region in mind, with some ideas where you might want to visit.
  • You may start with a map of a region within the West or of Hawaii.
  • You can start saving bookmarks about potential places, to revisit later.

Or you recall a trip you took out west a few years ago.

  • From California to Nevada and Arizona.
  • Up to Colorado and back through Utah and Nevada to your return to California.

A name rings a bell when you read an article about the list of top places to retire published by AARP – Loveland, Colorado.

Loveland, Colorado. The Gateway to the Rockies
  • You spend a little time on the Internet and discover, it’s been singled out as a great place to retire on the water.
  • In 2009 it was singled out as a best place to live.
  • You recall the fun you had hiking through the nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • What were the names of some of those other places you saw on the way?
Awesome Views from Rocky Mountain National Park

You wonder if it is right for you?

  • After all US News & World Report ranked it 7th on their top 10 places to live in 2009;
  • right ahead of San Luis Obispo, California and
  • behind front-runner Albuquerque, New Mexico, # 3 Austin, Texas and #4 Boise, Idaho.

Now you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Here’s a way to find out.

1.  I recommend beginning with Wikipedia and WikiTravel for a quick summary, local history some pictures and the zip code or zip codes.  You’ll see a map of the state, a subset of that map for it’s county.  WikiTravel profiles vacation attractions – directions and transportation, where to stay overnight, where you should eat and play.  It gives you ideas for visiting local attractions and doing more when you consider a broader vicinity.  So you can plan for a long weekend or a one or more week vacation.

2.  If you aren’t interested in Loveland you can stop there and consider San Luis Obispo next.  Maybe, for this time of year you want to visit the desert instead of the mountains.  Or take a vacation along the coast. Or islands – like Catalina off the coast of Southern California or one of the Hawaiian Islands. If you like lakes and rivers, then Loveland may be worth further investigation.

3.  For our purposes, we are assuming that you really want to move, invest in, work in and around, start a business or retire in a new community that doubles as a vacation resort and with pristine quality of lifestyle activities.  Otherwise, why bother?

4.  So, grab the zip code and go to Google and search on the 5 digits.  You’ll find a map which will show you where this destination is in relation to its surrounding area.  You see photo slide shows and videos of the area.  You can switch to satellite views and hybrid map views.

5.  Still believe this town maybe a keeper?  Jump to Claritas to check out the types of people who already live in the neighborhoods.  Birds of a Feather Flock Together.  Neighborhoods change slowly.  They attract the same kinds of people over time.  If you plan to move, invest, work, start a business or retire, you’ll want to see if residents match your criteria.

6.  We’ve already done the heavy lifting for you by identifying neighborhood characteristics by age and stage of life of their residents.  Single (20-20, 25-54, or 30-44).  Couple (55+ or 65+). Family (20-44, 25-54, 35-54). Empty Nests (55+).  Mid-Lifers (30-44).  Baby Boomers (45+ or 55+). Seniors ( 65+).

7.  And, we’ve compared neighborhoods by status and density.  From Wealthy Influentials and Wireless Resorters to High Country Eagles and Permanent Temporaries.  And from Metropolitan to Suburban to Small Cities and Country Towns.  So, if you want to narrow your focus to neighborhoods with 25-54 year old families in Wireless Resorts, then you can find a list that no other top 10 magazine list can provide.

8.  Let’s say you’ve compared and narrowed your search for real estate investments.  Check out City-Data for in-depth demographics and regional, county and zip code statistics – including the number of registered sex offenders.

9.  If you plan to move, you should search by zip code on Weather Underground to find a wealth of weather patterns including tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters for each season, but especially for January and June to determine just how inviting your new vacation resort will be.  You may just decide to live there for six months and somewhere else for the other.  In the mountains for skiing and snowboarding and then at the beach for surfing and sun bathing.

10. Need a job?  Check the openings by zip code from two Internet sites – Indeed and Simply Hired.  You’ll want to take a couple of job hunting or house hunting trips before your final decision.  Make a vacation of it by returning to WikiTravel to line up the best accommodations, or visit My New Place for a listing, map and photos of rentals by zip code.

11.  We know that the best positions are hidden.  You find them by a chain of referrals and introductions.  How do you create a new network?  Use your zip code and key word description of the town in LinkedIn’s advanced search function and begin contacting the first few of 100 local introductions.

Now what?

Is this really a business?

I’ve gathered boxes of stuff and identified 11 ways of working through a process.

And, I know it will take more that another 60 minutes.

Day One: Behind the Scenes