Life is like driving in Boston

Life is like driving in Boston: opportunities are taken, not given.

Saturday at the Turtle Lane Maple Farm

On Saturday I went with some friends to the Turtle Lane Maple Farm in North Andover, Massachusetts. I guess we're at the age where we do things like that for fun. It was fun, and it was interesting to see something being transformed from its raw state, tree sap, to a fully finished product, maple syrup (and maple sugar and maple candy). Who knew that maple syrup didn't come from a plastic bottle?

The humbling

Now I've heard back from both the MIT Sloan School of Management and the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Both of my applications were outright rejections. I wasn't put on the waitlist, just straight dropped.

That was the unexpected, humbling part. Of course I expected to be accepted -- why else apply? -- but I didn't ever consider missing the waitlist. I hate losing. To anyone. At anytime. At anything.

Heroes from my former life

I'm preparing a speech for our local Toastmasters meeting tomorrow. I'm going to tell the group about my heroes. As I'm organizing my thoughts for the presentation, I thought I'd share a little bit of it.

The fourth hill is harder than the seventh hill

Once a week I do hill running. This involves running up a hill, then going back down. Then up the hill and down. This week it was seven times. Next week it's eight.

The fourth hill is harder than the seventh hill, which is weird. Physically it's the same hill (Fort Hill) every time.

Mentally it is a completely different hill every time.

The Banana Song

A few weeks ago I gave my introductory Toastmasters speech. I wanted to capture that speech and write it for you. I nailed the presentation because that's what I do. Instead of the whole five-minute speech, here are my notes on back of a business card1.

"I apologize in advance" is the social equivalent of dividing by zero

Today I'm aiming my listless, righteous indignation at the windmill of phony courtesy.

Exhibit A: I need you to do [x] for me. Thanks in advance.

Thanks in advance... why not just say what you mean, which is either (a) "thank you" or (b) "I don't think it's important to directly acknowledge you for your help."

Exhibit B is the equally valueless I apologize in advance.

Translation: "I know I'm being obnoxious, but if I'm obnoxious with a limp, indirect apology, I'll feel much better about it."