Category Archives: The 86TH Floor


an article from The 86th Floor

stamp2I am a huge Doc Savage fan. Doc ran the business of his personal and professional life off of the 86th floor of an undisclosed New York skyscraper. The posts from here are about the business of life. Both personal and Professional.




The word Blitzkrieg is German for lightening war. This was a military strategy employed by the Nazi’s. The idea is to break through the enemy’s line of defense through a series of short, fast, powerful attacks. Heavy armor divisions preceded by saturation bombing speared-headed enemy lines. Followed by ground troops to mop up the remaining resistance.

When I first learned the term I was watching a film in school about world war II. From then on anytime I had something I needed to get done that seemed overwhelming I thought…


Do you ever have tasks that seem overwhelming?

By using short controlled concise attacks on those overwhelming chores  you can be more effective without suffering the physical and/or mental strains that longer efforts demand.

Mom said clean my room…Blitzkrieg!

The boss said get it done now…Blitzkrieg!

Wifey’s to do list was getting longer by the minute…Blitzkrieg!

The idea is really simple but effective. Take a few minutes and don’t think about how daunting the task is… rather think of how to chop it up into smaller time increments.

Prioritize these…


If you are not certain of how to prioritize then think in terms of difficulty. Put the worst first. Then mentally as you go the things will seem to be getting easier. If you prefer… put the thing that you hate doing the most first. By eliminating your biggest obstacles you will find that the rest fall under your onslaught quick.

Life requires you to be a tactician. learning to tackle formidable obstacles should be a life skill everyone learns. While the idea of Blitzkrieging may seem childish the reality is you learn to break down tasks into their base elements in order to achieve your goal…free time.

As a smoker for over 32 years I learned to work this way in order to run out for a smoke. I would assess the work I needed to accomplish then when I achieved it I rewarded myself with a smoke break.

It was my own version of the carrot and stick.

However negative smoking was it worked. The more I did and the faster I did it…the sooner I could smoke.


I have effectively used this system over a few hours as well as days. I find this method far more effective than trying to marathon to get things done. Even things as simple as detailing the car does not have to be an all day event but can be done over time.

Depending on the state of your life or home will determine how long your battle is. Maybe you just need to organize that home office or clean that garage. Maybe it’s just getting those taxes filed. What ever the task… Blitzkrieg!

What I like to do is use longer pieces of classical music both to motivate as well as time my efforts. For example  Ride of the Valkyries is a classical that runs just over ten minutes. The music sounds like war and is long enough to be an effective sound track for my efforts.

However I find that AC/DC’s soundtrack to Iron man 2 is equally effective. The point is try to make it fun. By breaking it down into workable elements we are not spending the best parts of ourselves on mundane tasks. We will have the energy for that free time when it comes.

One of the other bad habits I realized I have is in the area of completion. I tend not to finish what I start. Even when I eat I never clean a plate. I always leave something. The final stage of the Blitzkrieg is the ground troops. Once the aerial assault and heavy armor attacks have breached the defenses the ground troops are sent in to mop up.

I find that I tend to leave something unfinished that comes back to haunt me later. learning to leave no man standing and decimating the enemy is something new for me. As you near completion make sure you completely finish  off your task. Leave nothing that can rise up against you later.

Elements of the Blitzkrieg

  • Aerial Assault- assess what needs to be done. Break these into smaller tasks. list priorities from worst (or most hated) to easiest.
  • Armored Divisions– By starting with the worst first your efforts become easier once you break through. This is the heaviest part of you efforts.
  • Ground Troops– the mop up is also important. Be sure to finish off everything. Remember it’s not over until it’s over. Leave nothing standing that can come back to haunt you later.
  • Sound Track – put music to it if you can. It will help motivate you as well as help you time your efforts. I believe that all of life should have a sound track.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper


Looking Ahead

stamp2On The 86th Floor we will discuss all aspects of business in our personal and professional life. If you are like me, I am always trying new idea’s and new strategies to stay on top and keep on top of my responsibilities in life. Being who we are each day we should be masters of. I have been me my entire life, so I should be good at this by now, right?



 Planing your Year


This is my planer for 2014. It is hardbound planer produced by Barnes and Nobles. Every year I get one and spend a week or two filling in the entire year.

Looking Ahead into a New Year gives you a sense of a fresh start. A chance to try again. An opportunity not to make mistakes or to be caught off guard the way you were the prior year. Taking the time to plan, to think and to strategize helps to improve the quality of your life for the year to come.

Several years ago I wiped out on the surf board of life. When I washed up on shore I was divorced, foreclosed and in Chapter 13 for five years. Any one of these events are major life changes. Any one can take years to recover from. If you have experienced any of these then you know how devastating these changes can be.

Once the shock and sorrow wore off I took stock of myself. One of the things that I realized was that there are things that I could see coming and there things I could not see coming. While we can not control the unexpected, we can control or at least plan for those events in life that we can see coming.

So being Geekus Extremus I employed what I call the Extremus Method and began studying effective life planing or ELP.

One of the first things I realized that I was doing wrong was not looking ahead. Studies I read compared the success of graduating college seniors who had plans for where they wanted to be five years after graduation vs. graduating seniors who had no real definitive plans.

The same applied for business models. The most successful businesses are the ones that make a plan and stick to those plans no matter what. These studies went on over the course of decades.

The individuals and businesses that planed ahead were far more successful than those that did not plan.

It makes sense if you think about it. People who have direction and purpose will be more successful than those wander though life the way I was simply reacting to whatever happened next.

Another great reason to plan ahead is monetary. You can plan for life’s expenses when you know they are coming.

How about vacations, seasonal events or special events throughout the year? Ever find out there is a concert happening after it was sold out? I missed out on seeing Rush’s 2010 Time Machine tour because I wasn’t consistent as a planer.

Ever get stuck working a holiday because you waited to long to turn your off day request in? Ever miss out on a vacation package because you didn’t book  in the off-season?

I think you get the point. Planing is a good idea.

The method I am about to share is my own. My intention is to share with you to encourage you to do the same. Many times when we don’t know where to start we learn by the example of others. I call this modeling. We model ourselves after other people then modify their example to suit our own life styles.

Why a planer? With all the electronic devices and Apps why do I choose a vintage style of planer?

Never put all your eggs in one basket. I start with the vintage planer and from there the information feeds out to self syncing Apps next.

Most of our invitations or reminders tend to be physical mailed items.Birthday invitations, that post card reminder from your doctor’s office or that discount oil change coupon. By using a planer you have a place to keep this information as you receive it. If you have kids then things like field trip forms, picture day notices as well as copies of the school calendars go here.

Ever forget market day?

I even keep my bills here.

The other reason I like the vintage style planer is that I feel it gives me a real sense that I am holding a year in my hands. The contents of this planer represents the next year of my life. This gives me not only a sense of direction and purpose but one of responsibility as well.

This is the game plan for the next year of my life.

So where do we start?

We will go through from Macro to micro…Year>Month>Week>Day

so let’s get started…

The Year

The planer I use already has things like seasonal holidays and Federal holidays marked. If you chose one that doesn’t, go through and mark these dates.

Then go through and mark all your birthdays, anniversaries,etc.

If you have kids copy the schools calendar. While the federal holidays may be marked things like teachers institute days are not. At the same time copy all the events like picture day from the calendar.

The next thing we look at are our annual commitments. For instance annual fees or annual memberships. Yes things like Xbox live go here.Mark these renewal dates. I like to include the price.

In fact that’s another good point. I mark all my expenses in my planer and on my App calendar.

Now we are going to plan our time off. When are we going on vacation and using those personal days? You don’t have to book the vacation just block the time. I don’t usually put in for all my days. I tend to hold back some days for Just in Case events.

Now there maybe other annual commitments you might want to include. Like doing your taxes.

Maybe you volunteer your time at Christmas or help with Toys for Tots include these dates as reminders.

Since everyone’s lives differ there maybe other annual events you include that I have not. This is when you want to include them.

The Month

This is really pick your month. The idea here is when are you going to do the things that need to be done throughout the year. We will also look at up coming events we want to plan for in that particular month.Let me give you some examples of what I mean.

If you have kids they need school supplies, school cloths and vaccinations. So are you buying clothing in April for summer and again in August for school? Mark the dates.

How about doctor, dentist and optometrist visits? What month do you want to do these things? Pick the dates.

What about auto maintenance? Oil changes, tune-ups and preventative maintenance should be planed for. What month? Pick the dates.

What about concerts or shows ? are there hockey tickets or car shows or plays that you need to get tickets to in advance? What month do these take place in ? When do the tickets go one sale? Be sure to mark the date and the cost down.

What about the house? do you need to have the furnace or central air serviced? what month?

What about winterization? When?

Now these are just ideas for things you want to include. I can not tell you when to do these things or what to do because everyone’s life is different. But I think you get the idea.

The Week

This is where we are going to look inside the month on a month to month basis. At the beginning of each month review and update.

I start by marking all my pay days. Then I mark all my bills and their due dates. I include the dollar amounts for the fixed expenses.

What events happen in the month? how are you going to plan for them?

Your parents anniversary is in June. When are you buying cards and mailing them? Do you need to book diner reservations?

April is when you have to sign the kids up for swimming classes so they can go in June. Mark the date.

What about scouts or bowling or other things you enjoy? Do these events happen on Wednesday nights? Mark them.

What about appointments like haircuts? Do you go once a month on the first Tuesday? Well mark it.

Is Friday night pizza night? mark it.

The idea here is that we are looking into each month and thinking what actions do I need to make within that month.

The Week

Once a week I sit with my planer and review and update the events. I will review the month and then look at the week that is coming up. This is where I failed and missed on concert tickets.

What bills need to be paid? do I need to drop off dry cleaning or pick up a birthday card? Is there a discount on oil changes?

Looking at the week ahead helps create your daily To-Do list.

The Day

Part of my daily routine is to look at what coming tomorrow before bed. This creates my daily To-Do list.


There are events in life that happen like birthdays that you can not control when they occur. Then there are events like oil changes that you can control when these happen. By looking ahead and planing in advance you are prepared for the all of these.

Review monthly/weekly/daily By using this review method you up date the month then week to week then look into the next day.

I currently use the App’s Google calendar and Out of Milk. Out of Milk includes a To-Do list that syncs with my phone and tablet. The Google calendar also syncs.

If you enjoyed this try


Fred's Mountain



May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper




The Bat Phone

Dark Knight Security III


” Your fathers death was three weeks ago,” Renny said at last.

Doc nodded slowly. “so I learned from the newspapers-when I got back today.”

Renny groping for the words,said finally ” we tried to get you in every way. But you were gone-as if you had been off the face of the earth.”

Doc Savage The Man of Bronze by Lester Dent (aka Kenneth Robeson)


This is taken from the opening of the Man of Bronze. Doc had retreated to his fortress of solitude in the arctic.  There he was cut off from the world. Completely isolated. Even his closest friends could not reach him. Using today’s slang we would say this secret isolated location was completely off the grid.

Going off grid originally meant unplugging from utility companies. Being off the power grid. Then the term was used by people who went vacationing in areas were phone services did not reach. Now the term is used in reference to cell phones and social net works. People who withdraw from these interactions say they went off grid.

In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there. MK 1:35

Even Jesus withdrew from those around him to find a quiet peaceful place. The need to be alone at times is understood by all. Whether its to pray or to think or to study or relax. Solitude is a necessary part of our lives.

For almost a year, week after week,  I bugged a co-worker to sell me his car. It was a 74′ Pontiac Le mans fastback. The car was black and chrome and had mag wheels. The day he finally sold me the car I took off and drove it everywhere.

I was gone for three days.

When I got home my father meant me at the door. “ You can’t call?” he said looking irritated. I was living at home and paying rent. The agreement I had reached with my parents was that I could come and go as I please. So it must have been the look on my face but my father backed off a little.

” Your mother…she worries.” he explained.” You should call her.” I nodded. The truth was my mother was fine. It was my father who was concerned. ” Here’s a quarter next time call her.”

“I’ve got money Dad,” I said. He just stood there holding it out. When I took the quarter from my father I understood what he meant.

We, each one of us, has a responsibility to the people who love us. We can not just shut them out. At least not without warning or checking in. I also realized that they may need to get a hold of you in case of emergency.

My current solution to this is the Bat Phone.

Again we use a slang term. The Bat Phone is urban vernacular for a second phone line. This of course is a private line. The number is only given to the most important people in our lives.

Most people carry a cell phone. Many no longer have a home phone. Their one phone covers all their needs. For the most part this is how I operate. The Bat Phone I use is a phone service that operates over the internet. I plugged an inexpensive phone into my computer and for a low annual fee I have a phone if I need one. Like when your cell phone is dead or you drop it in the toilet or you can’t find it or the dog eats it.

The reason I like this internet phone service so much is if my computer is off or I don’t answer,  the voice mail drops me an email. The audio message is sent as an attachment. When I go off grid I still monitor my messages. With this I will hear the audio.

People can still reach me if necessary.

No one wants to experience what Doc experienced.

Being Batman is to always have a plan. And a back up plan. So a second phone is a good idea.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper







In 2011 this was lake Shore Drive in Chicago. Over twenty inches of snow fell. Hundreds of motorists were stranded for over 12 hours. Winterization is the term we use in the Midwest. It means to be prepared for winter.

As you know our motto is Be Prepared. So discussing some of the things we should be ready for wouldn’t hurt. Especially after seeing the first snow flake. I remember growing up my parents actually had a fall-to-winter routine. This included everything from packing away summer clothing to making sure we had flash lights and candles.

Maybe you don’t have a fall-to-winter routine or a check list. Maybe like a lot of people you are trying to develop your own way of doing things. Here are things you might want to think about and some things you may want to get in order before winter hits.

At least twice a year you are going to want to give your car the big once over. The most important is the one before winter. If your vehicle is routinely maintained then this is nothing new for you. If not here is a list of things your going to want to inspect.

Your Car

Battery- Check your battery and starting system. Most shops will test the ignition system for free. You want the car to start so you don’t freeze and die. This will ensure your car is working at optimal level.

Brakes- free brake inspections are everywhere. Get one. The last thing you want is brake problems on icy roads. Dying in a car crash is not how you want to be remembered at holidays.

Tires- have your tires checked, balanced and rotated. Have them inspect the spare tire as well. Better to find out you have been driving around with a nail in your tire now rather than later. If you need tires get them. Better that than skidding off into a ravine and die.

Heat- is your heat and defrost working? Check that thermostat.  Is your coolant at the proper ratio? Flush that radiator.Check the hoses and clamps. Is the water pump orifice leaking? Do it now of be stranded on the road. Frozen dead commuter is not who you want to be. Your choice.

Belts- have them check the belts and the pulley tensioner and idler pulley. If the belt is slipping your battery will not charge properly. This means the car will not start.

Fuel Filter- many people don’t change this filter as often as they should. A plugged filter will leave you stranded. Frozen dead in a parking lot or road side. Not good. Change it. Do the air filter also.

Oil Change- you already have it in the shop so you might as well. Don’t be cheap.

Misc- change your wiper blades. Maybe pick up an extra set.  Snow brush, ice scraper and jumper cables are also a good idea. This months Q article isEDC is for the car so watch for the article.

Along with your car you are also going to want to ensure your home is ready. The furnace not working or the power going out are things you have to plan for.

Your Home

Gutters- make sure they are clear. Normally it rains heavy then the snow comes. Then the snow melts. If the gutters are not clear the ice will build up and destroy your roof. Then the melting snow has no where to go.

Sub pump- Make sure your pump works. The rain and melting snow needs to drain. You don’t want the water in you basement. Maybe get a back up.

Furnace- Have it inspected. Make sure you have filters. The last thing you want is to be without heat.

Space heaters- one for each bedroom. If the furnace fails you have heat.

Wood- purchasing wood for the fireplace is better earlier in the year. The price doubles in winter.

Drafts- window and doorways in older homes tend to be drafty. There are a lot of products designed to help prevent these drafts. From plastic to cover windows to rubber gaskets for doors. These will help keep out the cold and help your home maintain heat. Gas bills are high enough.

 Flash lights and candles- The days are shorter so nights are longer which means you are in the dark more often. Having flash lights in each bedroom and the kitchen is a good idea. Having jar candles for each room is also a good idea. These don’t have to be expensive. You just want candles that will burn a long time.

Most people tend to think in terms of getting ready for winter.  Where most people fail is when they have to Winterize themselves.

Your Self

Vitamin C- bumping up your vitamins is a good place to start. If you don’t take at least one daily multivitamin you should.

Pom- I drink Pomegranate juice daily. This is hundreds of times stronger than orange juice. We are doing everything to boost our immune systems. Drink this juice.

Green Tea- A daily mug of tea with honey and lemon is loaded with antioxidants. There is also something wonderful about coming in from the cold to a whistling tea kettle that is wonderful.

Chicken Soup- always be ready to make a pot of chicken soup. In fact a small pot of soup once a week is a great immune builder and Yummy good.

Sleep-go to bed and sleep eight hours. You don’t want to fall asleep and hit the back of a snow plow truck on the express way do you? Plus we are doing everything to boost our immune systems right? Get some sleep.

Hand washing- antibacterial soap used on the hands is more effective than hand sanitizer. Make it a practice to scrub like a doctor at the start and end of each day. Then throughout the day wash often. Especially before meals. Which is a habit you should already have right?

Hand sanitizer-This is not a substitute for hand washing. However if you are going to be in contact with large numbers of people or you are in public places slather it on heavy.

Antibacterial Wipes- shared work areas where phones, office machines and computers are constantly changing hands is loaded with germs. Using wipes to clean an area is a great way to avoid flu contact.


Dress properly- if it’s cold wear the appropriate clothing. You are not a kid. This is not school. Hats, gloves, scarves and heavy jackets are the right thing to do.  Be a grown up. You also want to have heavier clothing at hand like insulated overalls, snow mobile gloves, a face mask and insulated boots in case you need to work in the cold for any length of time. Like digging yourself out on Lake Shore Drive.

I hope these suggestions inspire you to Winterize now rather than later.

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper



Dark Knight Security II


What would you expect to find in Batman’s safe? How about contingency plans devised by Batman to incapacitate his Justice League teammates should they ever go rogue? How about a Kryptonite bullet? I could suggest any contingency. No one would argue. Batman is a master strategist. He always has a plan.

Recently I went looking for last years tax returns. It took me quite a while to locate them. I couldn’t find my hard copies. I thought I deleted the digital copies. You know that quiet discomfort that begins with where is it…  and ends in blind panic. Frantic you begin tearing the house apart searching for something that should be in a safe place. When I finally found it, my self annoyance did not pass.

Be Prepared is our Motto remember?

So why wasn’t I?

My father use to say, “the road to hell was paved with good intentions.” Growing up I never I understood what he meant. Now I know. An Intention is not an action. As any Batman fan will tell you,” its what we do that defines us.” I was not the prepared person that I thought I was.

Most of my life I have used a metal strong box (a.k.a. the Bat Safe) to keep important documents in. Somewhere along the road of life my strong box was lost. My papers no longer have a safe place. Which lead me to start thinking about getting a safe.

Yes an actual safe. The problem with that Idea is what I like to call the Truman Capote factor. In his classic In Cold Blood Capote tells the horrifying story of a man and his family who are killed during a home invasion. The killers chose this man because of rumors that he had a safe filled with cash in his home.

I started looking at safes in some of the office supply stores. But the idea of getting hit over the head on my way in and waking up zip tied and duck taped to a chair while some drugged out freak snips off my sons fingers with pruning shears because he wants the combination to my safe kept racing through my mind.

Things that you want to keep secret never stay secret –Geekus Extremus

If you have a safe people think you have cash. When people become desperate they do desperate things. My father use to say locks are to keep honest men honest. A thief will always get in. In the end the Truman Capote factor prevailed.

I got nothing.

So I was talking to my daughter on the phone. Funny how life does these kinds of things. She was complaining that she keeps losing her important papers. I didn’t tell her anything about my missing taxes. She brought it up. I asked her why she didn’t just get a bullet proof box. This is my term for these fire-proof water proof strong boxes they make. Her mother and I had one. In fact I realized that’s where mine went. Her mother got the strong box in the divorce.

So I’m Geekus Extremus which means nothing is as simple as going and getting a new strong box. My autodidact nature started kicking in. I began studying not only strong boxes themselves but what should be kept in them. Then the scenarios of how it should be used filled my mind.

Most strong boxes offer at least 1/2 hour of fire protection. However the more exposure to a higher the degree of temperature it can withstand the heavier, larger and more expensive it becomes.  If you are home and a fire starts you have two minutes to get you and your loved ones out of the house. Two minutes is not a long time. Large and heavy is not something you’re gonna want to deal with in a fire. Something portable with a handle seems preferable.

The second selling feature is that the strong box is water proof to some degree. Yes disasters happen. Rain and floods and the fire brigade can bring a deluge of water to your door. But do you really need a water proof box?  Maybe you just need some large zip lock storage bags. This is my chosen method. You can use a sharpie to mark the outside of each of the bags with the documents that are inside. Don’t rely on the fact that the manufacturer claims the box is water proof. Be Batman. Use the zip lock bags. Make sure its water proof.

The third selling feature is how long will it take a thief to get into the strong box. Something portable with a handle means that it is easy to steal.The thief will just take the entire strong box.

So how do we keep a thief from stealing your strong box?

Leave the key in the lock. Most home invasions are for cash. Usually motivated by the need to purchase drugs. If they can open the box and see that it’s just papers they will leave it. Most thieves are looking for cash or jewelry or items they can pawn or sell. Your personal papers are not important to them.

The other reason your going to leave the key in the lock is so you know you have the key. Two minutes remember?  Two minutes to get you and your loved ones out. The last thing you want to worry about is where that damn key is right?

Now the cash issue. Should you keep cash in your strong box? No you should not. Whether it’s a thief or a noisy neighbor you don’t want to give them a reason to steal your box. The purpose of the box is to have a safe place for your important papers. While Ben Franklin does appear on some of your more important papers you don’t want to store them with your important documents. Cash goes in the bank. That is what a bank is for.

The next issue is placement in your home. You don’t want to hide your strong box so well that it becomes a Mission Impossible Operation to get at it. Two minutes remember? Most of us have what I call run ways or landing strips. These are areas in your home where you leave your things. Your house keys, car keys, your wallet, purse, check book, cell phone etc. For some people this is the entry way to their home, for others it may be the top of a dresser or a bureau. While you don’t want to leave your strong box out in the open, you do want to think in terms of your exit strategy.

The other placement consideration is fire. You don’t want to keep it in an area where a fire is likely to start. Like the kitchen. Or the laundry room. Keep it near an outside load bearing wall near an exit. This way if you are not home when a fire starts it has a good chance to survive. Inside that extra refrigerator in your attached garage is your best option.

You laugh but think about it.

You are pushing the wife, kids and spot your burning wonder mutt out of the house. Most likely through the garage. Why? Large open space, large door and a concrete floor… best exit option right? So you walk over pull the strong box from the fridge, toss it in the car and pull the car out of the garage. You don’t even have to worry about car keys. They are in the box.  This is exit strategy.

If your worried about someone seeing it disguise it  with some cardboard. Mark the outside with something like pickled herring. That will keep the kids out of it.

So our next big question is what do we keep in the box? I went on-line looking for a comprehensive list. I was disappointed. Nothing out there of any use. So I started brainstorming. Here is what I came up with. If you think of other items please leave a comment. I will update the article to include them.

The Bat Safe List

  • Birth Certificates
  • Social Security Cards
  • Passports
  • Baptismal Records
  • Confirmation Records
  • School Records/Transcripts
  • Immunization Records
  • Diploma
  • Military Discharge Papers
  • Marriage Certificates
  • USB Drive/Divorce Papers
  • USB Drive/Alimony/Support Records
  • Copies of Medical Cards
  • Copies of Insurance polices
  • Copies of insurance Cards
  • Life insurance Polices
  • Death Certificates
  • Wills
  • Living Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Deeds to Burial Plots
  • USB Drive/ Funeral Arrangements
  • Real Estate deeds
  • USB Drive/ All Tax Records
  • Stock and Bond Certificates
  • Car Titles
  • Spare Keys to Everything
  • USB Drive/Family Photos/videos
  • USB Drive/Warranties
  • USB Drive/ Serial Numbers of all devices
  • USB Drive/ Photos for insurance
  • USB Drive/Music
  • Blank Checks

Other things you might want to consider is an address/phone book in case you don’t have your cell phone. An encrypted USB drive containing banking records, credit card numbers, pin codes, passwords, etc. is also a good thought. You might be thinking that some of these items should be in a safe deposit box. In considering all the scenarios things like bank accounts and safety deposit boxes can be frozen in the event of a death. In my planning I considered my loved ones needs first in the event of my death. But again this is your Bat Safe. What goes in it is up to you. These are only suggestions.

You have to make your Bat Safe a habit. Immediately return any paperwork to the box once your done with it. Update and review the contents on a monthly basis.The idea is that if the worst events happen you can rebuild on whats in your strong box.

Be Vigilant…Be Prepared…Be Batman…

…and yes we are getting a Lego Batman figure… it’s coming.

May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper



Being Batman

Dark Knight Security I


When we think of personal security aside from our own physical well-being we think of identity protection. Bank account numbers, debit pin numbers and ATM access come to mind first. Followed by credit card numbers, our social security numbers and identification numbers like our drivers license.

Many of us have learned it’s better to deal in cash than to hand a waiter or waitress a credit card or debit card and let them wander off out of our view. We have learned to shred everything. We have learned not to leave personal papers like bank statements lying around in the open. We have learned that it’s better to use Pay pal then to load your credit card or debit card information into a website.

One of the places that we never hear of or never think of is our email. We give our email address to anyone who asks from department stores to business forms. Until recently I never gave much consideration to just how much I have attached to my email. All of my personal receipts, business receipts as well as month bills were attached to my email account. Pictures, links, jokes and other things that had value or that I wanted to save were stored in my email.

As a result of a kid screwing around I lost my access to my email. Somehow through a gaming system this kid hacked my email account and was able to take over my sons gaming profile. In the process I lost access to my email.

For 48 hrs I thought someone had access to all my personal information. In a blind panic I began changing password and security information for everything in my life. In the end I was able to reverse the situation by doing to this kid what he had done to me. I recovered my sons gamer profile and the contents of my email archives. I did loose my address simply because MSN no longer offers a @MSN.COM address for their hot mail accounts.

How big of a problem is this … HUGE !

Every discount card, every special offer, all my email alerts and all my subscriptions have to be redone. I have been changing out my address on accounts for the last two weeks and I am still going. Every time I think I have changed them all I remember another account that I had or a subscription or club or video update alert. In the end I wonder if I will ever be able to recover everything the way it was.

Which leads to the reason I am writing this article. The lesson I learned from this experience is be Batman.

Am I talking about sitting around your home in a Batman costume…no.

Am I talking about owning the Batmobile…yeah, that could be cool. Especially the 1966 Barris version of the car. But no that is not what I mean either.

Batman always plans for the worst possible scenario. His sense of security is  unmatched. In fact he keeps Kryptonite bullets just in case Superman goes rogue. Batman keeps files and both friends and foes just in case. This sounds paranoid until you live through 48hrs of panic.

Since our motto is Be prepared who better to look to as an example of security. The vigilance of the Dark Knight in this area is unparalleled.

How did I change as a result of what happened?

Well I created a large number of email addresses from more than one source Yahoo,Google,MSN, etc. Then I arranged them as follows: I created one email address to handle all the junk. This is the address that I give to stores, contests,etc. This email address represents my public face. This is where I have all my coupons, discounts, value cards,etc. This is also where all sites that I subscribe to send up dates. This is not to be confused with This address at is for the emails from  businesses that you actually want. is the address you are going to give online gaming services. Never use a credit card or debt card in a gaming system. is the email you are going to give friends and family. This is the one you attach to YouTube and Twitter. is the address you give your lawyer, your tax agent, your insurance agent. all your online billing, all on-line all purchases and all payment records are kept here. address you give to no one. That is right no one but you has this address. You are going to forward all email correspondences that you want to keep here. This address acts as a backup storage area. This is the email Bat-safe.

Where and how do you start?

Well I wasn’t given a choice. But the best way is to take a month and as you establish these new addresses change what you need to change in order to get the emails flowing to these new addresses. Once you have everything flowing to these new addresses and your sure you not over looking anything delete the old address.

At first it seems complicated but the truth is most of these emails only require you go in them once a month. Which actually helped to reduce my daily in box. For example I only need to go to when I have made a payment and want to store the payment confirmation. This is for me once a week. Really you can just do this once a month. is once a month to delete mostly. is monthly also.

I look at on my days off. This is where the coupons and discount offers go. I look at daily. By using this method I have a lot more free time. I am not waking up to 50-60 emails that I don’t want to deal with just to get to the ones I do. is monthly also. Please remember to always forward all important emails to this address as you go. Create this habit day one.

This method has been working great for me. Again the improved sense of security I have and peace of mind I have has made this worth while. The efficiency  was an added unforeseen bonus. Being able to go directly to the emails I want and dealing only with the ones I want has made life so much easier. My in box has always been a place of chaos. Hopefully this helps you on your path in life.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper




Fred’s Mountain

Consistency III


“If an eagle flies to a mountain once a year to sharpen it’s beak, over time,” Fred explained, “- if he lives long enough, the eagle will wear the mountain down.”

I was working in a large distribution warehouse. The warehouse manager was named Fred. He was a good leader of men. He had been in the military for 25 years. He then took his skills into the private sector. While Fred wore a white shirt and tie, as the job required, he did not hesitate to come out into the warehouse help us. The fact that he actually new what he was doing earned him respect.

Fred of course was old school.

The warehouse was new and was the size of a city block. As time went on, product came in from three different manufacturing sites and the place really began to fill up. We were running out of room. We kept asking Fred what we were going to do. His answer was “there is plenty of room in the air.”

No one understood this until the trucks rolled in with racking material. Rather than installing racks on day one, when the warehouse was empty, the company decided to wait. This was  a “we will cross that bridge when we come to it” decision the company made. The racks showed up the day we completely ran out of room.

As I said, Fred was a good leader of men. Every morning on the warehouse floor we all had coffee together. By doing this at the start of the shift Fred got everyone on the same page. He got our minds focused on the job. He also gave us direction and purpose. And he did it all in ten minutes.

“If an eagle flies to a mountain once a year to sharpen it’s beak, over time,” Fred explained, “- if he lives long enough, the eagle will wear the mountain down. We will do the same with this racking. Eventually we will get it done”

Fred went onto explain that the company wanted to get the racks installed without overtime. So his plan was simple. Everyone would work for 90 minutes at the start of each day assembling racks. Then they would resume their regular duties. Like the eagle we would eventually where the mountain down.

This racking was large and heavy. The uprights required forklifts to stand. The cross members required two men to lift. Then these men needed to be lifted by forklifts. The racking went 20 feet into the air. This is what Fred meant by “there is plenty of room in the air.”

The first few weeks we were terrible at rack assembly. We had no idea what we were doing or how to do it. Eventually we finished our first isle. A maintenance crew came in and bolted and anchored the racking. Then we filled our first racks with product.

Funny how we take pride in our achievements. After that first isle something changed. We got better at rack assembly. More efficient somehow. Isles began going up faster. The mountain began to crumble.

Finally the day came when the last rack in the last isle went up. It was almost a year later.  Each rack motivated us to build another. Each isle another isle. When half the warehouse was done Fred actually bought us all pizzas. Out of his own pocket. He did it again when we finished. Never have I seen a project work as effectively as Fred’s Mountain.

If we analyze Fred’s mountain what we find are  key elements of being consistent. By learning these key elements we can then apply them to any projects or tasks in our own lives. Whether its cleaning the garage or preparing a business proposal these keys are important in order to be effective.

The Nine Elements of being Consistent

The first thing you will notice is nothing kept Fred’s racks from going up.This is our definition of consistency. The definition is constant. Think of the things that are constant in our world. The sun rises. The sun sets. The tide rolls in. The tide rolls out. These are constants in our world. Everyday just like the sun rises we worked on racks. Building racks became a constant in our lives. No matter what was going on or how busy we were these racks go built.

The second thing you will notice is that we did this first each day. We came in, had our coffee and started building racks. Fred understood by having us start this first thing we would have the energy to do it. By attacking the mountain first the rest our day somehow seemed easier.

The third thing is by building the racks first it  created momentum. By accomplishing something first thing you want to do more. A body in motion stays in motion.Once we had momentum it carried us the rest of the day.

The fourth thing is that we got better at what we did. By doing something repeatedly you gain proficiency. In the beginning you are unsure of yourself. You have difficulty finding your stride. As time goes on you find your rhythm. We became masters of the mundane. We became great rack builders.

The fifth thing you will notice was a dedicated time. We built racks at the same time everyday. Knowing mentally what you are going to do and when reduces stress. This means that your cortisol doesn’t spike. Your testosterone stays high and you are more effective.

The sixth thing you will notice is that there was a time limit. By having a time frame, we know when we will start and when we will finish each day. By working in time increments we can focus our effectiveness and energy. This allows you to blitz rather than marathon.

The seventh thing you will notice is that the time is constant. We did not work 90 minutes one day and 20 minutes the next. We did not skip days. The amount of time and the time frame in which we worked was the same each day. By doing this you create a habit or routine.

The eighth thing you will notice are milestones. Each rack at first was a milestone. Then each isle. We never looked at what was left. We only looked at what we accomplished. By setting milestones or goal markers you have positive feelings about what you accomplish. Your desire is to continue rather than feeling overwhelmed by the size of the task.

The Ninth thing you will notice is the rewards. For us it was pizza. You can set your rewards to be anything at any point. Use the milestones you set for yourself. Reward yourself as you reach each milestone. Small rewards for each small milestone. Larger ones for larger milestones.

The truth is every time I find myself washed up on the shores of  Limbo I find my way back by applying these simple steps to establish consistency again in my life. I encourage you to try these very simple steps and see if you don’t find your life improving as a result.

Remember: Consistency + Time = Effectiveness


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper



Everybody Limbo

consistency II



Before we go any further we need to discuss something. I am a Cinephile. Cine from the French ciné  possibly a short for the British cinéma and -phile is a suffix which indicates affection for or loving. In the plain language I love movies. Since I love movies I am giving you homework. In the Film Inception by Christopher Nolan the main character ends up in limbo.  He quite literally washes up on the shore of oblivion. Everything in this article is about the idea of falling to limbo. I am using limbo as a point of reference. So you have to see the movie before reading this article.

That was a great film yes?

In both our personal and professional lives everyone has gone to limbo. When Cobb returns to limbo the world that he and Mal had created is in ruins. Why? Because they failed to maintain what they built. They were no longer there to care for what they created. How many projects have you started at work or at home that you failed to follow through with ? How many commitments have you made but failed to keep? How many times have you started and then just let go of things ?

Limbo happens. It’s my word. I create. I fail to maintain. It falls to ruin. I am in Limbo. I am Cobb washed up on the shore of oblivion. In fact in writing this article I fell in head first. You see I have been writing for a few months and wanted to get ahead on articles. There are 10 categories on this blog. I have committed to write one article a month for each. Then there is the Captains Log. That makes 11. I was doing great until I had to write this article. Then WHAM… everything stopped.

Now when I say everything I mean K-RASH. It is as if life stopped. Nothing is getting done. I am just going through the motions. Barely. I actually started taking vitamins hoping to snap out of it.  I started training for  a 5K run. Which after 32 years of smoking this is a long distance for me. Usually starting something new gets my blood going. This training has been hit and miss. I know how to train yet I have gotten blisters and body pain. Why? because I have no gyroscope, no magnetic north, I’m all flotsam and no jetsam.

I’m in Limbo ! ( read that again as a scream)

The second time did you hear an echo ?

I did. Just wondering.

So the question is why? Why do we have things we like but fail to care for? Why do we have loved ones we fail to hold close? Why do we start projects that we never  finish? I have heard excuses from depression to procrastination. Some have suggested it’s diet. That explains the vitamins. Hydration is at 3 liters. It’s not the water.

What is it?

Well possibly it is push back.

My profession on the stress index is a 10 out of 10. Trying to stay on target both with customer demands and my employers expectations makes the daily grind hard. I live in one of the most stressful cities in America. I have loved ones that I care for. Interests which I pursue with great zeal and passion. At some point rest is required.

More Human than human that’s our motto… Believe it or not this is my motto.

I’m Relentless. The problem is  just like physical over- training my mind is over taxed. It’s over worked.  My focus, intensity and concentration are spent. They are over worked.The road to becoming Hyborian Strong is also taxing. My body hurts.Which also taxes the mind. Training of any kind taxes the mind. My mind needs to recover so it pushes back. For me this means sitting in the comfy over-stuffed club chair all day. And yes there could be dozing. Dozing happens.

If I have to describe myself I’m an introspective analytical autodidact. So the last time I fell into limbo I swore the next time I would examine and study its root causes and learn from these errors. Yes this is how I operate. Theory and experiment. Trial and error. Data analysis. My life is like a giant lab. Whether it’s experiments like cooking, or physical training or building a thought palace…life is lab work. The problem is that I tend to be obsessive compulsive about it. I  mean this in the sense that I am excessively meticulous, perfectionistic, absorbed and otherwise fixated. This is the intense way I approach things. This is why Limbo is horrifying to me.

Limbo is the opposite. I am not doing anything. Nothing is getting done. And the harder I try to press through it the more my mind pushes back. Take the other night. I went out to walk the distance I am going to run. The distance is just over three miles. In order to marshal my efforts and push a little harder I started calling cadence in my head. This is the same cadence service men use when marching. I did great in spite of the onset of limbo. It was the fastest I have made that distance yet. Of course the problem came  yesterday morning. I woke up feeling like I had been hit by a car. Literally. My lower back, hips, knees and ankles hurt. Pain was the word for the day.

Funny thing is I know better.

Vacation is a concept that I now understand. Sometimes we need to push away from the table and rest. While I did post the article Shore Leave I did not use it wisely. While I did not post articles that entire week I wrote almost twenty. More human than human remember?

So right now here is what we are doing. We are going to consistently do nothing. Rest, relax,regroup and recharge. The four R’s. In fact I have realized that I need to make limbo part of my life. I need one do-nothing-day a week. In fact I’m even going to follow Sabbath rules. I will cook the day before so I don’t even have to do that.

No alarms, no exercise, no chores, no phone, no emails, no social sites, no news, no mail, no work of any kind. Just rest. I will go from the zero gravity chair on the deck to the comfy club chair. Comfy chair is the answer. Dozing happens.This is also going to be eat what you want day. No restrictions.

The truth is I over do everything.  For years I worked two full-time jobs without a day off. Without vacation. I push without rest. I burn the candle at both ends. I don’t go to bed. I fall out. Then I wind up in limbo and wonder why.

So how do we keep things spinning? Well its much easier to marshal your efforts if you know at the end of your week you get a day off. I mean a real day off. A do nothing day. A stay in you PJ’s sleep in the hammock day kind of day.

Rest one day in seven. Do this consistently. Think of it as a combination of hibernation and regeneration. If you don’t your life begins to fall apart.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper








Like a Rock



‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.‘ James 4:8

Here on the 86th floor we are going to discuss how to run the business of our personal and professional lives. Before we can discuss things like organization, effective time management, etc. we need to begin with the single most important attribute in our skill set. No skill or discipline or systematic philosophy are as important as consistency.  Your simplest to your most complex efforts are futile if they are not applied with consistency.

Simply listen to how this sounds, inconsistent parenting, inconsistent car maintenance, inconsistent attendance…how effective are you if this is your pattern of behavior? Many of us live our lives this way. Always loosing track, always late, always behind, always forgetful, always scrambled, never sure of where we are going or of how we are going to get there. This sends out a clear message to everyone in our personal and professional lives that we are not reliable, that we are not dependable, that we are responsible.

Now consider the people around you. The people who rely on you. Are you creating a stable environment for your children ? Do they feel secure if they see that you are always in a state of chaos? Have you created a stable home environment for them or are they feeling the stress of the crisis lifestyle your living? How about your significant other do they have confidence in your commitment to the relationship? Are they feeling the weight of carrying your portion of the responsibilities in the relationship? Are they covering the management duties because you’re not consistent ? How about your co-workers and your employer are you the person they look to when things need to get done? Are you trusted ? Do people in your same position have more responsibilities than you do? Why ?

Before we begin discussing how to be consistent we need to set for ourselves a visual image of the nature of consistency. Above is a picture of a large rock sitting in an open field. This rock will be in this field day after day in the exact same spot never moving. The rain and snow will covered it, the wind and hail will beat on it, the warmth and cold will burn and freeze it but it will be as you see it now. Yes it will take its share of hits and  scars. But it will remain a constant in this field.

Constant Unmoving Unchanging Unyielding Steadfast Enduring this is the nature of the rock in the field. This is the nature of consistency. Now how do we incorporate these attributes into our personal and professional lives ?

he’s my rock…you can set your watch by him…I gave it to him that way I know it will get  done…he’s never late…he crosses his T’s and Dots his I’s…he never makes a late payment…he’s honest…he’s a true blue kind of a guy…he’s a straight shooter…he walks the talk…he’s always there for his son…

Being consistent with the people in your life, with your responsibilities and with your things, begins first with you being consistent to yourself.

What you constantly do is who you constantly are.”  -Geekus Extremus

Here is our first rule to effect any change in your life. When you make a decision to change you can not be selective about when you will change. Your commitment must be absolute. Do or Don’t Do…Be or Don’t Be…either your light switch is On or Off… but don’t flick the lights.

‘Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.‘ -James 4:8

You are probably asking why an article about consistency begins with a passage of The Bible. God is the one true constant in the universe. His timeless truth permeates all creation and is eternal. His Word is the constant unchanging truth. To understand consistency we first must understand the nature of God. To understand what James has written here lets look at the prodigal Son.

The Prodigal Son

11 And He said, “A man had two sons. 12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me.’ So he divided his wealth between them. 13 And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. 14 Now when he had spent everything, a severe famine occurred in that country, and he began to be impoverished. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would have gladly filled his stomach with the pods that the swine were eating, and no one was giving anything to him. 17 But when he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have more than enough bread, but I am dying here with hunger! 18 I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired men.”’ 20 So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.’ And they began to celebrate. -Luke 15:11-24

In Christs’ parable the fathers love for his son is unchanging. The sons nature is inconsistent. The father like God is the constant. The son first drew away from his fathers love. In the world he felt lost, alone and afraid. He then drew closer to his father again. The father seeing his son drawing closer drew closer to him. This truth is repeated in James.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” -James 4:8

This truth is again repeated at the cross.

The Crucifixion

33 When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 34But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves. Luke23:33-34

In spite of the actions of the men who were crucifying him, God’s love is unchanging. It is the constant. Let’s look a little further…

39One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation ? 41 “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds ; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom !” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”Luke 23:39-43

Here again we see the father and son parable and the passage of James. The criminal is the lost son and Christ the father receives him with love.

10 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. –1 Corinthians 10:1-4

You see Christ did not say one thing and do another. He walked the talk. Exactly what He taught in His parable, was exactly what He did at the cross, is exactly what He  revealed  by  the Holy Spirit through James. God is the only constant in the universe.

What you constantly do is who you constantly are.”  -Geekus Extremus

If you are constantly refusing the love of God in your life, then you are what you constantly do. Like the prodigal son you open yourself to the chaos of the world. Chaos is your constant. We see from Corinthians that Christ is the rock. He is the foundation upon which consistency in our lives is built.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. -Matthew 6:33

The articles to follow will discuss the nuts and bolts of consistency. However they are useless unless useless unless you have consistency in your soul. Change begins within. Go to your father he waits with open arms. His love for you is the constant that never ends.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper





bsa_seal_clipart_bwI was in the scouts growing up. The scout motto was  “Be Prepared.”

Be Prepared in Mind by having disciplined yourself to be obedient to every order, and also by having thought out beforehand any accident or situation that might occur, so that you know the right thing to do at the right moment, and are willing to do it.

Be Prepared in Body by making yourself strong and active and able to do the right thing at the right moment, and do it.

The idea of planning ahead has always agreed with me. Knowing that you have done your best to prepare for whatever the day might bring puts you in a much better state of mind. It doesn’t mean that adversity will not come your way. But planning and fore thought give you an edge. You move from being Reactive to Proactive.

You will find that if you have the “Be Prepared” approach to life you will be less stressful, more confident, more self assured and others will look at you as a leader. For thought is actually a sign of intelligence.

Lets take a everyday example that all of us have experienced. You go to the store to do your shopping.  You have a good Idea of what you need and want to cook so you grab a cart and start shopping. You pull together the things you feel you need and head for the register.  The checkout line is long. The woman in front of you hands the cashier a stack of coupons and looks at you and says,” they have great deals going right now” because she sees you have similar items. But you have no coupons. The sale paper came to the house and was also at the front of the store but you didn’t go though it. Now your paying full price. The cashier then starts ringing up your items. She asks if you have a value card. The paper also advertised this new card and you didn’t see the sign or the registration area by the doors.  Now your loosing on future gas purchases. You get home and realize because you didn’t make a list you forgot a key ingredient for the dinner you were planning. Now your going back to wait in those long lines again.

Be Prepared means you used a little forethought. Lets look in the cupboard and make a list of what we need. lets cut some coupons. Maybe look for deals. This actually happened to me. The store is Food for Less. The value card gives discounts on gas. I was spinning my wheels and getting nowhere.

I have found the most stressful times I have are when a don’t think ahead and prepare. These are also my worst days. The idea of planning ahead has always agreed with me. I didn’t say I always plan ahead. Sometimes I act without thinking.

That’s why I have been trying each day to reaffirm in my life the scout motto of  “Be Prepared.” Taking the time before bed to ensure my clothes are pressed, my shoes are shined, my lunch is packed and that the coffee maker is set up.

If it’s going to work or going to an appointment I would much rather be early than late. I  keep cab fare and a bus schedule with me so I know I can get to work . If I need to make an appointment I leave early and look at alternative ways of getting there.

Take a look at your week. Start with your work days. What would help make life less stressful ? Would it be a better day tomorrow if you spend 20mins before bed to ensure your day starts right? How about the sink, is it empty? Is there still laundry in the dryer? are you wearing those clothes tomorrow? Did you gas up the car on the way home so you don’t have to fight traffic in the morning?

No you don’t start doing it all at once. Tonight set up the coffee. Tomorrow night set up the coffee and pack lunch. Then the next night lay out your clothes. Then look at your mornings. Have your coffee and think about those little things you need to get done. Is there a birthday card you need to pick up? How about some dry cleaning that needs to be dropped off? Do you need milk? gas ?

I find that if I just start and then try a little each day to Be Prepared that I’m happier and get more out of each day. If your rolling out of bed each day and your life seems like scrambled eggs maybe you just need a new motto.


May the Love of Christ be with you always….

…Live long and Prosper