Personal Growth

It’s Not My Fault I…

“If you weren’t such a good cook I wouldn’t have eaten the entire half of pie”.  “I wouldn’t have parked in the Handicapped space had I found another one.” “It’s not my fault I got the speeding ticket, I couldn’t be late for the meeting”. “I wouldn’t have tossed the burger wrapper ou......... more »

Crossings:  Negotiating Change

Transition: Leaving the Known for the Unknown To live is to come to what the Irish call the ‘thin places:’  the places between this world and the next, between what has been and what will be.  At such times, whether it is the first day of school, the start of a new relationship, the end of an old one, the begin......... more »

Why Robert Plant is The Boss:  (and 5 Ways That You Can Be, Too!)

I saw Robert Plant in concert a few days ago.  I love live music, especially outdoor concerts and  this one was really special because he was vibrant and because the crowd was so awesome. How can a “rock” crowd be awesome if their average age was in the mid-60’s?  Most people had gray hair (and those of us ......... more »

Consistency…Oh What a Drag

I continue to be shocked about how easy it is to “deteriorate” in SO many ways when I am inconsistent, especially now that I am older.  Oh let me count the ways… Eating one double scoop ice cream cone and gain 5 pounds   Go to the opera in the big city, and return home at 1:00 a.m. End up drag......... more »

Of Spiritual Journeys

I never really got tangled in wars between religion and science. Contrary to Larry Mitchel’s experience, related in a couple posts on this page, it didn’t all “start with science” for me. Rather, for me It started with a sense of the presence of God, and seeking to figure out what he meant to say. I passe......... more »

Goal-Setting and Emotions

Thanking about setting some goals for this year? Psychologists have learned that how we describe a goal actually influences the emotional experience of pursuing that goal. Specifically, they have identified three types of personal goals we humans set, and discovered that each goal type has its own emotional profile. ......... more »

Two Views of Manhood

A First Glance I exited childhood in the 1950’s with beliefs about “being a man” that have gradually become myths to me over the last 60 years. I believed what I was taught back then – just by watching and listening:To be a respectable man, I must have a successful career Competition brings out the best i......... more »

Sticky Fingers

The character of your existence is determined by the energies to which you connect yourself.   (Hua Hu Ching: The Unknown Teachings of Lao Tzu, Chapter 24)   Back in ‘17 Way back, long, long, ago…in 2017 it seemed that most people I came in contact with were desperately trying to hold on to something st......... more »


Okay, so remember – when we left off, Prof. Emeritus Harold Clark had asserted that radiocarbon-based dates of once-living things were BS, since they gave us age-dates before the Great Flood of Noah, and even before the Creation of All Things (about 6,000 years ago)! Impossible! Besides the “evidence” from Genesi......... more »

Shipwreck 101!

"The chief task in life is simply this: to identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control. Where then do I look for good and evil? Not to uncontrollable externals, but within myself to the choices that ......... more »

Jumping Through Hoops

Thursday morning we left Port Townsend for a long getaway weekend in Walla Walla, Washington. As we were traveling East on I-90 we began to make our way up the rain soaking mountain pass (please contain your shock at us having rain in Washington) when we came upon a military caravan. The vehicles appeared to be much......... more »

Caution: Retirement Ahead

The very first patient I saw in my new practice when I moved to Sequim, Washington was a lady I will call Mary. After a few initial pleasantries I asked her why she was here. Without a moments hesitation she said, “I woke up in the middle of the night again last night. I had the kitchen knife in my right hand looking......... more »


A little context first. This will seem on the surface a tempest in a teapot, where the tempest is the age-old conflict between science and religion, and the teapot is a middle-sized conservative American Christian denomination. It is those things, but it is also as universal as The State of Tennessee v. John Thomas ......... more »

The Gulf

I had an experience the other day that made me very sad, both for myself and for the future of our country (and this was before Charlottesville). I was in the parking lot at the Sequim Safeway. Deborah and I had come up from Seattle after a day at work.  That meant I was a little dressed up; nothing fancy but in c......... more »

On “Making a Difference”

Do I make a difference? For men, facing this question at some point in life seems almost inevitable. More so, perhaps, when it’s time to retire. Inevitable, yes, but also understandable. Because many men still feel a subtle pressure to measure their value by success at work—what is accomplished, and how much is ear......... more »

The Anthropology of Aging: Biking Across Kansas

“Miles later and the heat is just ferocious. Sunglasses and goggles are not enough for this glare. You need a welder’s mask.” Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1974) by Robert M. Pirsig.   In our culture, as we grow older the process of negotiating transitions with ourselves and others is a cons......... more »

Fitbits On the Amazon

I was reminded of the importance of daily exercise when I read the article titled "Heart Healthy on the Amazon" (NY Times, April 6, 2017). An article by the Times regular writer on fitness Gretchen Reynolds summarized an anthropological study of the Tsimane people, a group of subsistence hunters and farmers living deep......... more »

Life in the Middle

An accordion. That’s what my life feels like right now, with pressure from two sides. I reflected on this in my first “Fine Winer” article, that I’m feeling the “middle” in “middle age.” My wife, Joy, and I are dealing with the growing pains of our young adult kids, and with aging parents. We worry a......... more »

On Becoming A Quitter…Or Not: Part 2

Perhaps the reason I was never given the opportunity to get on the football field in high school was because I had no talent. I don't know how any coach would know that, since I was never allowed to try, but it was certainly one explanation. However, I had suspicions that it may have been related to my 8th grade experi......... more »

On Becoming A Quitter…Or Not: Part 1

It was June and I was a16-year-old getting ready to enter my sophomore year in high school. I made the decision to go to the try-outs the following day for football. I remember how hot the morning was there in the locker room where I received my helmet, pants, pads, and jersey with #11 on it. To say I was anxious was a......... more »

War Stories

In Erich Maria Remarque’s 1931 novel, “The Road Back” (sequel to “All Quiet on the Western Front”), he follows a group of German soldiers home, as they try to reintegrate into civilian life after Germany’s surrender. They find everything changed—themselves, their friends, their family. When pushed to tell......... more »

MY FRIDAY MARTINI: A Play In 3 Acts-Act One

Act One – Prologue There are certain sins that one can only appreciate when one reaches a certain maturity. An ice-cold, straight-up, gin martini is one of them. The question is, can one forgive oneself? Can God? I was raised in a church where I was taught that one drink of alcohol would send you to the fires o......... more »

Power of Philanthropy: Part II

In our first Power of Philanthropy article, we talked about some ways in which the power of philanthropy is changing the quality of life for those on the receiving end. Now we’d like to talk about the very substantial benefits to those that are on the giving end of these philanthropic efforts. In past blogs we talked......... more »

Never Too Old To Face Our Fears

At the moment I am sitting about 30 miles north of Kona, HI. It is a beautiful afternoon with the temperature about 80 degrees, a mixed-cloud sky, and a soft breeze blowing the palm trees. I feel very privileged to spend some time in this wonderful State during the winter. Even with all the laid-back mojo here on th......... more »

The Trip: Remembering Our Strengths

The year was 1998. That was the year that I decided to ride by bicycle partway around the world. I was twenty years old and my best friend and I decided we needed an adventure. My friend Russ had already done a bit of traveling and we had both cycled locally but I had never taken on anything like this before. In fact I......... more »

Humble Student

Back in the 70”s, when the Japanese automakers began to seriously take market share as a result of their high levels of quality and dependability, we began to study their systems to see what was giving them such an advantage. Turns out that a major contributor was their deep commitment to statistical process control ......... more »

Openings That Make You Continue Writing

Often, we feel we can’t start writing because we are not inspired. Or we feel that we have become “flat” as writers when we look at what we have written. Here are 10 writing prompts inspired by the opening lines of novels, films and a short story. I believe that working from any of these prompts will allow you to......... more »

What is Your “Word for the Year?”

Several years ago, I started picking a word or phrase as a “theme” for the year to motivate my team to focus on what was most important and work toward a mutual goal. One year, the phrase involved “discipline and decisiveness” to help people stay on task and make decisions. Another year, the word was “account......... more »

Simply Perfect

I recently went to our local food co-op in search of some apples. Not only did I find myself confronted with about ten large baskets of different varieties, but also within each basket were various shades and sizes of that same variety. With so many choices what is a guy to do? Without much conscious choice I found ......... more »

WELLNESS TIPS: A Personal Year End Inventory

Many people focus on New Years’ Resolutions and end up feeling disappointed in themselves and depressed by St. Patrick’s Day (or sooner) because they have fallen short of the lofty goals they set for themselves. Instead of (or before) focusing on New Years’ Resolutions, I think it is helpful to take a look back o......... more »

Better Mental Health With Aging

Like good wine and cheese, one's mental health improves with age, new research suggests. The following information was reported in Medscape Medical News. What the researchers found may surprise you. In a study of more than 1000 adults, people in their senior years were found to be happier and more content with their......... more »

Moving In With Dad

It’s the time of life when responsibilities reverse and the parents who raised us now need our care and consideration. For many this means either moving one or both parents into a home of one of their children, or finding a suitable retirement or assisted living situation for them. My family’s chosen another sol......... more »

Practice Empathy

  I attended a lecture by Simon Sinek who was promoting his book “Leaders Eat Last - Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t.” The premise is that “leaders look after those around them.” Leaders are courageous people who charge into battle and work on behalf of the group to protect them and shie......... more »

In Less Than One Second…

In less than one second.... ...the sight of the back of a car appears and I realize the car I am driving is less than five feet away from it. I decide there is no need to look at the speedometer to understand there is a significant difference in the speed between my car and the one that is five feet away. “Better ge......... more »

When You Open Your Mouth Are You Holding Yourself Back?

As a plaintiff’s trial lawyer, I make my living by communicating. I speak to clients, judges, juries, opposing counsel, colleagues, and the media. I convey complex facts, legal theories, and difficult emotions. This, of course, requires a working knowledge of the subject matter and the evidence, as well as experience......... more »

Beginning Again . . . and Again

Anyone who has been divorced or widowed at midlife knows about starting life anew, as do those who have lost their jobs or found themselves at loose ends after the departure of the kids for college—and their own futures. After I found myself suddenly single and uprooted, I took the opportunity to live a lifelong drea......... more »