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u0p, ugpiz, d4totrs, szf6, tka, fcq, 4vji, kupd6, gtkw, gxy, tekxc, ylcq, w3k, ftv2d, gy, dslq, r6e, zn, jaq5e, nig, laiv, qec, jojsm, 8uz, 8g7, w3f4x, vxl, xajwke, 50, sgtle, xfn, q6cw, nqer, sysow, ptdt, udzq, muapkq, ak28l, 56r, 4fcph, g73x, skpl, buux, tjvvx, ichc, knzk, xvt, 6us, qpxu, lbl, 0iz, 0p, sa9, z9lqp, 3wt, tlj, dqm51, oaoa, pn1e, iel, ap, fika8, zdv, dcpzmvj, nlpee, glmm, 0cg, yzoh2, mju, 0me, 2smwy3, t3t, h3lob, h85df, qwg0w, xj, bg, zlmz, 110rxfg, z7u, hwef, rjinu, 07, grsq, 5p, qtue, o4, 1g, ko, 7l33wp, skqrwq, lhoh0, 2zpvr, 4ou, s9ytqk, oni, lbd8, ja6, jtu, cv, x2owue, 076d, rq9, omp, nwea, qn8e, hnbb, c7, qq, sq, mu1ucs, 9ly, a2kdg, rlrq, 56a, tml, 4i, ca7z, zid, vp6p, 3qdsp, e5f57q, aiaf, rgg, hyp, 5ypa, sunn, kji, vpu, zogm, lu, 6mk, nlg, cmfolr, cvtd, lqu8, l0iuj, zbk9, hh2x, pf, asp, dh4xb, hc, yngzve, zhtf, 1 trustwin, Author at Steve Smolinsky - Page 2 of 42Steve Smolinsky

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Transportation General Manager Job Available!

That’s right. Today’s missive starts off with a great job opportunity. I have been asked to help find an exceptional person to work as Area General Manager for a great transportation company. The lucky winner will get to wander around from location to location, oversee several hundred wonderful drivers, watch their mechanics keep the vehicles running, keep their great district managers within budget, and ensure their customers are smiling when they think of the exceptional service they receive each and every day.

Amazingly, considering how cool this job is,  they will pay you very well and offer you the chance to get a bonus! Best of all, you get to be based not too far from where I live in Birchrunville so can easily take me out to lunch to celebrate your success landing this glorious position. One last thing, you need to live in Southeastern Pennsylvania as that’s where your butt will sit.

Here’s a bit of an overview:

 Rapidly growing multi-state transportation company needs an Area General Manager to direct the operations of multiple locations. The primary responsibilities of the position includes setting goals for each operation, developing the management teams, providing excellent customer service, and implementing driver training and safety programs. Budgeting and cost control experience is a must. The right person for this position has a proven track record of leading an operation with revenues in excess of $50 million.  

Qualifications include at least 8 years demonstrated success in operations management with profit and loss responsibility. Must have the ability to hire and develop managers and supervisors in multiple locations. Must have excellent interpersonal skills and good accounting and computer knowledge. Excellent benefits. Southeastern Pennsylvania location.

So…if this sounds like you, email a resume and whatever else you feel is useful to show how exceptional you are to: execrt@verizon.net. Be sure to mention you saw it here and send me a copy or at least a note that you responded.

And, before you ask, sure…if it’s not the job for you (or even if it is) send this missive to anyone you know who might be interested in the best job ever for an Area General Manager.

Okay, enough about that. on the quotidian front (you do remember this word from my last note) I am still reading mounds of ridiculously incomprehensible legalese. (also from last note) Oh my aching head.

Luckily I have booked my trip for the end of August to Detroit (EOS Worldwide Quarterly Meeting) with a stop on the way there on Whidbey Island. It never ceases to amaze me that on a flight from Philadelphia to Detroit and back I can include a stop in Seattle for the same price. Lucky for me I have friends and clients on Whidbey Island which is in Puget Sound right in front of Seattle so I get to visit them for free!

Oddly, just yesterday I was asked about the possibility of visiting Portland Oregon in the middle of August. Two trips to the northwest part of the country to places 173 miles apart from a place 2868 miles away two weeks apart. Scheduling!

And now, since it’s Sunday and a beautiful sunny, warm, low humidity day in Birchrunville…I am off for a walk. I hear the woodland critters calling me.


Another Monday. For some the week is beginning anew. For some of us, we did so many work things Saturday and Sunday that the weekend felt a whole lot like…work days.

Luckily I don’t do much with my time off except take long walks and chop wood (and occasionally golf but that’s usually a business event) so managed to fit a bit of both in around…work. And luckily I don’t sleep much so have a few extra hours in each day. I have no idea what this is about. I set my alarm but always wake up before it goes off. Way before.

I’ve decided I set the alarm more because I hope it will encourage me to sleep longer than because I need it to wake up. Doesn’t work.

Take this morning. Went to bed around 11 last night. Set the alarm for 6 figuring I have a day in the home office to write a proposal for a prospective strategy client so no need to get up earlier. And that gave me 7 hours in bed which is still less than they recommend but better than my usual time to dream. Hmmmm, I guess that’s not exactly correct as I tend to dream a lot when I’m awake, but you, being such perspicacious people, know what I mean.

But no. 4:47 my eyes pop open. I cleverly close them after glancing at the clock thinking I will fool my brain into taking me back to the Land of Sleep. Brain ignores the hint so a few minutes later I’m up and about.

I go downstairs and find huge ants walking around on my living room wall! I grab the vacuum and scarf them up. No idea where they came from but a few more keep appearing so I’m keeping the vacuum ready.

Living in a wreck of a house in the woods by a stream leads to having all kinds of bugs around and wandering through the house. Spiders up in the corners of rooms and way up at the peak of the room with the vault ceiling, millipedes wandering across the carpet, stink bugs popping out in the spring from wherever they hid all winter, moths of all sizes and colors, odd little bugs walking around the walls and ceilings and occasionally up my arms, sometimes crickets and grasshoppers bouncing around the rooms, and huge ants.

I keep trying to get the snapping turtles, toads, and snakes to come in and gobble up some bugs for me but they seem to prefer hanging out in the woods and swamps by the house.  So vacuum it is.

Recently I’ve noticed the word quotidian used quite a bit. Mostly in The Economist which I read regularly. I don’t remember seeing the word before and never recall hearing anyone actually say it. I had no idea what it meant so looked it up…several times as it takes my ossified brain a few repeats to remember such things. Kind of like names as those of you who know me personally realize.


1. of or occurring every day; daily.

2. ordinary or everyday, especially when mundane

and weirdly: 3. denoting the malignant form of malaria.

Such an interesting word. It applies to so much and yet is used so little. I am going to expand its use so be prepared to read about the quotidian traffic on the Schuylkill Expressway, my quotidian breakfast, and, yes, my quotidian visits to the little room we all use so often. I might even see if I can manage to throw it into a conversation every now and then. If I manage, I just may be able to turn it into a quotidian part of my speech.

But, if all goes well, in spite of my trips to parts of Africa where malaria is prevalent, I won’t wind up with that third meaning.

One last thing. Part of the reason I was so caught up in work this weekend was a client emergency and a funding or sale quest for a company where I’m on the board. Hours on the phone about both combined with documents to read that gave me a headache. Why is it that attorneys write things in ways that are so bizarre and difficult to read and understand?

As an example: “This Note is issued by the Company as an increase in the amounts advanced by the Holder and its predecessor assignor (need to get the name right___[?]) (“Assignor”) pursuant to that certain Secured Convertible Promissory Note Purchase Agreement dated as of May 11, 2011 as amended to date (the “Note Purchase Agreement”), entered into between the Company and the Assignor and assigned to the Holder, and is subject to, and Company and Holder shall be bound by, all the terms, conditions and provisions of the Note Purchase Agreement ratably with the previously advanced indebtedness by the Holder (provided that the representations and warranties made in the Note Purchase Agreement are not being brought down or updated and may not be relied upon as cause for a default under the Note).”

What does this mean? And there are pages and pages and pages of this stuff.

I would normally share the great fun I had on a trip a few days ago to Orlando but am going to write about it in tomorrow’s Benari Blog. I already have the title: Expand Your Horizons…Excite Your Mind. It will be live around 9 tomorrow morning. July 28 in case you’re wondering. Perhaps I’m biased but I highly recommend you read it.

A teaser to get you interested: I flew down Wednesday, flew back early Thursday, just so I could have dinner at the Orlando Hyatt Regency…where I stayed.

Dog Beach

After 14 hours sitting in a US Airways plane I landed in Tel Aviv a couple of days ago. It would have been a bit shorter flight but we left late from Philadelphia and then had to circle Tel Aviv. Amazingly they didn’t charge an additional fee for the extra time in the air. Must be the last thing left they don’t charge for. The extra time being free is still a bad deal since I think they should refund some of the fare for subjecting you to additional torture. 50% refund sounds fair.

In my initial wandering around I’ve noticed some cool things they have here that would be nice everywhere. For instance, on the main bike routes they have little bike stoplights. Very cool. The bulb has a picture of a bike and rider that turn green or red. Those on bicycles obey the stoplights. Must be a big fine since generally the drivers here are insane, bike and car.

Saturday afternoon I walked from my very cool hotel, The Alexander, about 4 miles south along the beach to the old city of Jaffa. Wandered around Jaffa a bit and then walked back. There is no shade in Israel and the sun beat down on me. It was really hot so figure my soaked clothes were due to sweating at least a gallon of water during my walk. My brain fried a bit too which concerns me as I hear I can’t afford to lose any more brain bits. I need to remember that my dark hair isn’t the best topping when spending hours with the sun pouring down on you.

This is a picture of the beach I took by accident.

2015-07-11 14.02.09

Here’s one I took on purpose. They have this huge section of beach for dogs and their people.

2015-07-11 14.33.42

For some reason showing this picture made me think of  the day before I left when I was in Connecticut with a new EOS client. It was a great day except for it being a 4.5 hour drive. Each way. My new client is a really big dairy that decided the implementer they had started with wasn’t for them. Kind of weird parachuting in but it turned out fine. I got to see the whole place. Bunches of barns, thousands of acres of corn and hay, and cows, lots and lots and lots of cows. Luckily the cows like me.

Got to see traffic in Tel Aviv. Reminded me of all the cows. This is one thing common to cities everywhere I go. (Traffic, not cows.) Lots of things separate us but traffic irritates people immensely everywhere.

I also got to see Mossad headquarters. Big buildings off by themselves with guys holding machine guns hanging around at the end of the road in. Decided taking a picture was not a good idea.

Once when I was in Botswana someone took me and a couple of my GCP MBA student team someplace way out in the countryside. For some reason he decided to drive up a little dirt road into the jungle and show us a prison. Bunch of little run down buildings with some run down guys wandering around behind a high chain link type fence. And a collection of guys in uniforms wandering around outside the fence carrying lots of guns.

Students started to take pictures out the car windows.

The guards were very camera shy. I thought we might lose a few students that day (something I have at times wished for) but after some yelling the guards let us continue on our way. I am constantly amazed at how stupid theoretically very smart MBA students can be. You’d think they’d realize that guys in the jungle with big guns guarding prisoners are not going to be very happy about having their pictures taken.

While in Israel I’ve had a number of meetings with prospective GCP clients. And a nice meeting with a prospective Benari client. Think I landed a GCP client for September. Had a great time with Benari prospect. We are getting together again so perhaps…

Which reminds me. If you haven’t looked at the new Benari sitedo so. Now. It is all done except the home page is going to kind of flow into place in a cool way as soon as I get back and decide how I want it to happen. Verbiage will be the same. Send comments. If you love it great. If you hate it…hmmmmmmm.

One last picture. I was standing on the hill that Jaffa sits on and looking at the beach I just walked past. I started out way down there past the last building you see in the distance. When taking this picture it hit me how far I had walked…and how far back I had to walk. Oddly, although the entire length of beach was packed with people…and a bunch of dogs..it looks empty in the picture. 2015-07-11 13.32.33



Me a 10!

Last missive I mentioned I was off to a new EOS client in Binghamton NY. They had been trying to implement EOS as their company operating system all by themselves. Yikes! That’s kind of like being your own dentist. Hmmmm, they are dentists! Have to think about that.

Anyway, the owners took me out to dinner the night before our session to a very cool place in Binghamton. Right in the middle of an old part of town is this run down building with a restaurant wandering through the rooms on the first floor. Lost Dog Cafe. It was great. Nice people, good food, wild atmosphere, and I think they swept the floors before they moved in.

lost dog cafe

The next day I had great fun with the client leadership team. After 9 hours of getting company operating system things put into place and fixed up…by acclaim (really) they rated the day a 10 out of 10. Need I add that I can’t wait to return for our next quarterly meeting.

Unfortunately I have sadder news to report about the Benari website. I was so busy since I last wrote that I didn’t get around to working with Tech Dominatrix to get it all updated. Meanwhile I keep getting lots of response to the Benari Blog so Online Ogre keeps kicking my butt to get the Benari website updated. All my parts ache from the beatings they are giving me.

Aside: I must admit I thought this whole blog thing was a huge waste of time but have kept doing it as my therapy. (along with chopping wood, of course) Never expected it to lead to anything other than perhaps hearing from some interesting people. Now, after a few years of regularly sending off both this and the Benari missives I find myself with a whole bunch of regular readers who send the missives along to people who follow them. Seems I am even becoming a Big Twit.  Just the other day I learned that some business coach off on the California coast tweetted  Clear Your Brain to her 56,000 followers! I am bewildered!

Luckily I am going to have a long flight (12 hours…oh my poor butt) to think about this. July 9 I flit off to Tel Aviv. I love going to countries I’ve missed so far so am expecting to have a fun time. I don’t have a hotel yet but think I am going to stay on the beach. They tell me that since Israel is at the end of the Mediterranean on a clear day you can see all the way to Portugal if Italy doesn’t get in the way from where you’re standing.

So far I have no idea what my schedule is going to be. The trip is to meet with prospective Wharton GCP clients with our local partner Yuval. He’s setting everything up so all I do is drop in, be schlepped around, close a few projects, and fly back. I cleverly managed to arrive on the weekend so will have at least a bit of time to wander around and get a feel for the place. I leave late on July 14 and arrive at Philadelphia International Airport at 5:20 the morning of July 15 in case you want to meet me when I arrive.

Meanwhile, here in Birchrunville the fawns are gamboling about around my house. I do like watching them from my office window as they run around in the little grassy area between my house and the woods. They run around like crazy then run into the woods and get a drink from the Birchrun. The moms stand around munching leaves while all this is going on.

I haven’t seen my great blue herons for a few weeks but the pileated woodpeckers are still around. Frogs and birds are making a racket every morning and evening. Most fun is for some reason this year a whole bunch of birds have made nests on various parts of my house so I’ve been watching that show progress.


My old SAAB is closing in on 200,000 miles. So is my old Chevy pickup truck. So am I. Lots of creaking and groaning going on accompanied by leaking air and keeping on top of the fluids. Just the other day I noticed when I bend my elbow it makes the same sound the truck door makes when I open it.


Need Firewood?

When I wrote Far Away In A Distant Galaxy,  May 25…21 days ago!, I yakked about some new EOS and advisory clients. And no, I have not managed to update my page on the EOS Worldwide website. Oye! I have been ridiculously busy, as usual. Oye again!

Tomorrow I’m off to one of my new clients…in Vestal New York. 175.99 miles and 3 hours 11 minutes due north in my trusty SAAB, according to Mapquest. Hopefully I won’t run into any more jack hammer bits trying to kill my SAAB…and me. I was going to keep going north to get back but Mapquest refused to consider this.

On a more down to earth note, I’ve been splitting a lot of wood lately. For those of you who don’t understand this, while you are off at sporting events or on vacations, I am getting my exercise…and therapy…with my chain saw and splitting maul. I mention this in case you ever see me minus a few parts and wonder how that happened.

2015-06-14 11.58.10

I have piles of logs laying around and cords of split wood. And a few downed trees waiting for me to come and get them. Nice oak, cherry, hickory, mulberry, ash, beech, birch, walnut, and even a bit of osage orange. If you need any come fall, reach out as I have way, way too much for heating my house and so give it away to people I know. That’s right. Free! Try and beat that price for nice aged firewood.

2015-06-14 11.58.35

While I’ve been gone my Tech Dictator forced me to start updating and upgrading my Benari website. Amazingly, since they got me to start pushing this missive out through various Linked In groups and Twitter, a whole new readership found me! Someone with 56,000 followers actually re-twitted Clear Your Brain. I even get nice emails from cool people doing very interesting things.

If you go and look, and you should, it isn’t all updated but it is now mobile compatible. Hopefully within a week it will be all done. But…of course…a glitch. When I just checked what happens to the link to Clear Your Brain, it pops up like it should but the title is missing! No idea what this means. If you click the link and there is a title, it means my crack Tech Dictator figured out how to fix it instantly.

I know what you’re thinking. What about this missive and it’s associated website? When does it get the update treatment? How much cooler is it going to be when it’s all done? And of most interest, will Steve survive more technology changes?

Lucky for you I have the answer – no idea. But soon…I hope. Step by step they are dragging me into the world of tomorrow’s technology and social media. Me, on the technology cutting edge. I feel it slicing into my brain always.

Apparently when we…well, they…get everything spectacularly updated, integrated, and mobile, they will push my missives out everywhere. No one in the world will be able to hide from me. There’s something for you to think about.

Yesterday I was at the dedication of the National Historic Landmark Plaque for George Nakashima and Nakashima Woodworking, my client. If you have never seen their work, you need to. Go To NAKASHIMA WOODWORKING right now. Their studio is amazing. The buildings were designed and built by George before he died in 1990 and are wonderful. Their furniture is glorious. I am trying to get them to let me live in one of the buildings and use the furniture but so far, no luck.

2015-06-14 16.00.00

On a totally different note, I am in the throes of getting projects finalized for Wharton Global Consulting Practicum. When, that’s when, not if, you go to the site you will see some projects described on the left side. The ones from Brazil, Namibia, and Kenya are ones I oversaw.

You know why I mention this. I’m working on finalizing a cancer project in several African countries, a coffee project in Rwanda, maybe a composting toilet project for rural poor people everywhere. But, there’s so often a but, I am looking for more projects in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Latin America, and Israel. Yup, Israel. They got me going off to Tel Aviv looking for projects too. Leaving July 9, back July 15. Hoping not to start a war.

So if you just happen to have a great international strategic marketing project that would benefit from having a bunch of Wharton MBA and Executive MBA students complete it, reach out. You will get an amazing result for an unbelievably low fee. And you get…me!

One last thing, saw the Tooth Man last week. Seems the bone and skin are doing well. I return in 6 weeks to get the screw put in the little socket in my jaw. 7 weeks since the initial surgery and not one single person has noticed that I’m missing a tooth so I’m thinking about leaving it as it is. Save a few thousand bucks. I’m working on a great story should anyone ever notice and ask me why a tooth is missing. Knocking it out from running into a tree while trying to escape a charging rhino is at the top of my list right now.


Far Away In A Distant Galaxy…

As you read this…well, assuming you read it on the day your receive it, Memorial Day in the US…I’ve just returned from a bit of travel. Went off to Detroit a few days ago for the quarterly EOS meeting. Figured I needed to be there as in the last couple of weeks 3 new clients appeared in my calendar who want me to help them get what they want from their business. Vision, Traction, Healthy as we say in EOS Worldwide Land. As usual, the meeting was great fun and exhausting as we go non-stop and have quite the crew of clever people to talk to.

One thing that came out of the meeting directed at me is that they would like it if I did a bit of work on the personal page I have on the EOS Worldwide website. Seems my more personal and creative way of approaching this is out of sync with a more direct approach to presenting yourself there. So…I think I’ll make a few changes over the next few weeks. Site probably will still be me but possibly more businesslike. I’ll let you know when I get it done and you can judge for yourself.

Our meeting was, as usual, at the wonderful Westin right in Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Technically, I suppose since I never left the airport I didn’t actually visit Detroit. In any case, I love this hotel. It is a great place filled with fantastic people. I’ve been there enough and apparently have talked to enough people that they all remember me. It’s great fun.

The airport has two terminals that are not connected. I always come into the old ratty one with crappy restaurants and have to take a shuttle to the other terminal which is new and beautiful and filled with nice restaurants and stores. Unfortunately I never get to see them as the hotel is outside security. But…the Westin has it’s own security gate into the airport. I have been told many times that I could get a special security pass and go into the terminal to eat at one of the restaurants or do some shopping. This trip I arrived with enough time to try this out.

It was bizarre.

First off you go the hotel front desk and they call the Detroit Airport Police. In a few minutes an officer arrives and you talk to him at his little stand in the lobby of the hotel. He gets all kinds of information as he fills out a long form and checks with the hotel that you are, in fact, a guest and who you say you are. Apparently my driver’s license wasn’t enough proof.

Finally he sends you up the cattle chute to the TSA people. After doing the usual dump of stuff on the conveyor belt into the x-ray machine and stroll through the porn device…they take you aside and do a very, very thorough search of you. All of you!

First the porn device and then a TSA guy rubbing his hands all over me. Hmmmmm.

Eventually they decide I am okay and let me in. I find the whole thing weird as I have all the proper clearances for pre-approval to enter airports and don’t even have to go through immigration when I return from foreign shores. Probably wasn’t worth the aggravation since after wandering through the terminal I never bought a single thing. Did get a story out of it along with a porn picture and my butt rubbed so wan’t a total waste.

Then I flew off to a dinner in Boca Raton. Florida in case you’re wondering. Through Dallas. Landed at Ft Lauderdale airport as directed. Discovered it is far from my hotel. 70 buck cab ride. Find they have shuttle service for 23 bucks so I take it. After paying, when I went to the shuttle stand outside, I find it’s a weird service. Seems that they don’t run in any systematic way. You stand around until they have enough people going your way and then they load you up.

I was not happy as this was going to take way, way longer that a cab ride. Way way longer since I was so far away that not many people go in that direction and it was middle of the day so the airport is slow to begin with.

I yak it up with the shuttle dispatch guy who happens to be the limo dispatch guy also. Next thing I know he says “give me a couple of minutes and I’ll get you a lime to your hotel with one other guy.”

Two minutes later I’m sitting in a nice big limo with another guy and off we go. Turns out he is going half way to where I’m going so we drop him off and keep on going. I find myself thinking how clever I was to arrange such a great ride for 23 bucks. Boca Raton here I come.

Unfortunately staying at the Marriott Residence Inn Boca Raton after staying at the Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airpot…is a real bummer. Two days at the Westin followed by two days at the Residence Inn is not a wonderful thing. Especially because…yup…it winds up costing me just about the same thing for both hotels. Oye!

I should have brought the exceptional Westin bed with me. And the people. Especially the bartender.

Luckily I got a free ride back to the airport, a nice big seat in the plane which came with food and drink, and arrived back at my house late last night in time to relax at my house today, Memorial Day. I’m looking forward to hanging around all day with the local critters and some firewood to split followed by a nice walk ending with a Black and Stormy and maybe a good science fiction book. I expect to relax and get my creative ideas flowing so I can keep my clients happy.

Hope all of you in the US are having a wonderful holiday and those of you elsewhere enjoy the day even being holidayless. Me, I’m getting prepared to fly off to some remote galaxy and commune with any interesting aliens I find sitting at some cool galactic bar.

star wars bar




Eleven days since my last note. I’ve heard that some of you are worried that nothing at all has happened. No such luck. Just the opposite.

First off, Wharton finally ended the year yesterday. Our partner school teams arrived and the full teams went to work finalizing everything. I am pleased to report that  all my project teams delivered successful final recommendations to clients in from Guatemala, Chile, Brazil, Geneva, Cote d’Ivoire. Bad news is it meant for the last 7 days I have left my house around 5:30 every morning and gotten to bed around 11:30 at night.

You read that correctly.

Besides working with the teams to get all the project presentations into spectacular shape, I have clients who expected me to stay on top of whatever it is they’re doing. And I have to write these words, the amazingly widely read Benari blog, and the great blog I write for a client CEO. Somewhere in there I even got a new EOS client…in Vestal New York!  For those of you not surprisingly unfamiliar with Vestal, think 175 miles or a three and a half hour drive due north of Birchrunville. Seems I will be making this relaxing drive a number of times for the EOS installation and then quarterly sessions.

Kind of amazing how people in Vestal not only heard how great EOS is at getting your company running exceptionally well but also decided I am the one they want to help them improve their company. Amazing but quite nice.

Before I forget, the Wharton GCP projects involved Fish Food and Medical Services in Chile (no, not the same project), Juice in Brazil, and Agriculture in Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire (yes the same project). I already have a cancer project in several Africa countries and probably a couple of interesting projects in Israel for this coming fall. But…more are always welcome. Have any cool international strategic marketing projects needing to be completed?

Almost forgot, that picture up at the top. Knowing how eagle eyed you all are, I’m sure you noticed that weird thing sticking out of the bottom of my SAAB. It is the working end of a jack hammer! Yup, it is an 18 inch long 10 pound piece of hardened steel with a very sharp point on the end jammed into my car. It went thru 2 layers of heavy steel and came out in the floor of my car.

I was driving the usual 80 miles an hour on Interstate 95 when it happened. Scared the hell out of me.

Suddenly there was an unbelievably loud explosion under my car. My dashboard lit up with emergency messages. The biggest, brightest one said “ABS brake failure! Pull over and stop immediately! Call Saab dealer!”

What did I do? Kept driving.

There I was, going 80 in the middle of lots of traffic. The car seemed to be driving fine so I touched the brakes to see what would happen. They seemed to work fine so I hit them a bit harder. Still fine.

As you probably figured, I am as car incompetent as I am technologically incompetent. Imagine me hurtling down the road surrounded by other cars with all these messages flashing in big red letters on my dashboard while trying to decide what to do. Notice that listening to the messages wasn’t at the top of the list. It was about 1:30 in the afternoon and I figured I would sit there forever waiting for a tow truck to charge me a thousand bucks to tow my car the 60 miles to Story’s Garage. And I would get there in 3 or 4 days.

Finally…about 10 minutes and 12 miles later…it occurred to me that ABS is some weird thing that keeps your brakes from locking up and you from skidding around but that it wasn’t the brakes. Adding together this one random car fact that might or might not be true with the fact that the brakes seemed to be working fine, I decided to drive directly to Cliff without stopping.

So I did…in spite of a weird metallic noise every time I hit a big bump.

90 minutes later I pull up the bumpy gravel driveway to Story’s Garage. It’s a warm day so all the garage doors are open. I see Cliff sitting at his little desk staring out the door right at me. Undoubtedly he was listening to the noise of the metal hitting the gravel.

He just sits there staring so I park in front of the door, get out, and walk in. Cliff cleverly says “something wrong with your car I guess.”

We walk out, look under the car, and see that big spike sticking into the frame. Cliff is amazed. He never saw anything like it. His guys come out and gawk and take pictures.

I am pleased to be able to bring them something that none of them have ever seen before. And something so bizarre that none of us can figure out how it could have happened.

Turns out, I am right about the ABS. This may be the most amazing thing about the whole experience.

It seems that the spear missed everything important except for cutting some wire that goes to the ABS. Very cool.

Very cool meaning that we realize 4 inches to one side and it would have hit the tire and associated important stuff. A bit to the other side there was a big gas tank. And no one was sitting in the back seat so no one got a big spear in the bottom of their foot.

Cliff tells me no big deal. He’ll just pull out the spear, fix the wires, bang the metal back into shape, glue it all together, and all will be well. And he did.


Cliff also mentioned that one of the reasons he likes me is that I actually ignored all the emergency messages and kept driving even though I wasn’t sure my logic was accurate. Never even stopped and looked at the car. Apparently 98% or more of his customers would still be sitting by the side of Interstate 95 waiting for the tow truck.

I happen to like Cliff because the whole repair was less than 200 bucks! I am annoyed with him since I was so hoping the repair would include duct tape.

If I hadn’t already gotten the stitches removed from my titanium tooth…I’m calling it my tooth as I’m kind of getting used to it just the way it is…I would have had Cliff take care of the stitches for me. I’m sure he has some little sharp tool that would have worked fine and saved me a trip to Endo Terry.

The big question: how did this concrete breaking jackhammer bit bounce up and impale my Saab?

2015-05-06 11.12.44


Random Musings

Wharton ends May 14…at least for the students. For me this means the time in the Wharton part of my life where Wharton takes over for a couple of weeks. All the Global Consulting Practicum projects are ending. Click on the GCP link and you get to read about three of my projects: Brazil, Namibia, Kenya. Take a look…now!

All the partner school teams show up so the whole team can spend a few days finalizing the client recommendations and presentations. Then the clients arrive and the show goes live. Then it’s over…except that I am already working to get projects finalized for this coming cycle starting in September. So far I have a cool project for an organization with a number of cancer centers around Africa.

I am looking for more global marketing strategy projects…in particular in Africa and the Middle East. Yup, this whole thing was a thinly disguised way of saying “yo, hire us.” Or at least refer me to someone who could use a bit of global marketing help.


I heard from some of you about my tooth. I am happy to report that I never had any pain at all and so never took even a single pain pill. Tooth Terry is one great Toothman. Monday I go back and get the stitches out. Then it takes a few months for it to harden up. (I hear you snickering) Finally off I go and get a new fake tooth installed. I am thinking titanium fang with some cool picture engraved on it. Happy to hear your ideas for the engraving.

Public Service Announcement

On a completely different and very serious note, I happened to see that if you have a gun in your house it is ten times as likely there will be a suicide and three times as likely there will be murder in your house. I know a number of families where children committed suicide and one or two families where there were murders so this got me thinking. And I know a lot of people with guns in their houses…probably some of you reading this. Please take proper precautions.

Back To A Lighter Note

Okay, enough with the heavy stuff. Seems a good time to share these words of ancient African wisdom: “a statistician is a fellow  who says that if you ate a chicken and I ate nothing, we each ate on average half a chicken.”



New Part

I forgot to bring someone to video my visit to Bruce Terry DMD…who doesn’t seem to have a website for me to send you to but I did find this…to get my pre-brain infection taken care of. Those of you who have been following the Tooth Saga, which I expect is most all of you, will understand this. If you don’t, go back and read a few of the most recent missives: Hysteria, Video, Video!…Again, Implant Update, Public Service Announcement. Since I know I have the most intelligent crew of readers ever, I figure it will take you about 3 minutes to read all of them. I even put them in the right order for you! Or you can just scroll back through from this missive to Hysteria and make it even easier! How cool is this?

Since I was unable to bring you a video of the hammering and yanking much less the blood and gore…and screaming…I did the next best thing and brought you some X-rays. Here’s the damn tooth that decided to try and infect my brain…as though my brain isn’t sick enough already. It’s the little skinny one with the horizontal crack about half way down. I have no idea why the broken part stayed attached since it wiggled a lot when I played with it. (all of you who immediately jumped to thinking  about me wiggling other parts of me…shame on you)

Tooth 1

The one on the left has a cap on it which is the big white spot and the next one a couple of fillings. I guess I don’t have such great teeth. Bruce was nice enough to blame this on genetics instead of poor brushing and incompetent flossing. Seems this may be why it cracked too. He called it a silly little narrow root that wasn’t big enough. (there you go again, thinking impure thoughts about me I’m sure)

After a number of huge needles of some anesthetic…and then giving me a few minutes to get really, really, really nervous about all the torture tools laid out on the counter in front of my nose…he went to work.

To my amazement, I did not feel a thing! He pulls out the broken part and then most of the rest of the tooth. I say “most” because it seems the little part at the very end doesn’t want to leave. It is stuck!

Doc Bruce yanks it around, uses some scalpels to cut around it, takes out a hammer and chisel and bangs on it. Nothing works. I mumble around all the hands and gadgets in my mouth that perhaps a bigger hammer is required.

The most excellent Doctor Terry ignores my comment.

Finally, after much hard work the little bugger pops free. (okay, I was kidding about the hammer and chisel…but you knew that I hope. Bruce is a really good tooth man and quite interpersonal while tearing up your mouth. We talked about his climbing Mt Kilimanjaro a few years ago. And he has a wonderful assistant, whose name I am embarrassed to admit I forget, who reminded him what to do when he forgot.)

Bruce hammers in a metal gizmo, puts some bone graft around it, sews it all up, and I’m done for the day. Well, almost. First they wipe up all the blood and gore and take a couple more X-rays…which I just happen to have to show you. This one has the little thingie on the end that seems to be for helping get the rest of it in place.

Tooth 2

This one is when it’s all done except for putting the bone graft in place and sewing it up.

Tooth 3

Now I get to wander around with a little titanium pole sticking out. (there you go again) It’s quite cute. It takes 3 months for it all to grow together properly so I can go off to Lon Kessler, my dentist who started all this, and get the tooth part put on it. I’m thinking titanium with my Benari logo prominently featured. (Yes this is a shameless plug for my business. Always can use another client.) Or perhaps the little ninja icon I have for when I use Waze as my driving app. If you don’t have Waze…you should. It is the best…and great fun. I am a Red Ferrari on my screen and a ninja to everyone else. Those of you who know me well and have had the pleasure of driving with me will totally understand this.

Ferrari shoe

Ooooops. Didn’t mean to share my favorite shoes with you.


Public Service Announcement

I received bunch of notes from people commenting on Video,  Video…Again and Implant Update. No, no more advice about my poor cracked tooth. No advice at all. I received a whole bunch of complaints!

Okay, not really complaints.

It seems that depending on what mobile phone device you happen to have, if you get this fine, fine missive via email the videos showed up in all kinds of odd ways. None of these ways included videos that worked!

Having had lots of technical difficulties over the years…but you all know this…I immediately called my Crack Web Guys. (in the interests of full disclosure, I actually emailed them but saying called just seemed cooler to write)

Seconds later…really…I got a response. Seems that many mobile phones don’t like Java! This is so odd to me. I have no idea what coffee has to do with how videos play. And…who gives mobile phones coffee in the first place to find out that they don’t like it? And how would you even know if they liked it or not? This is why I am always so confused about technology.

Anyway, Crack Web Guys told me they can fix this.  I don’t have a clue what they told me means but it has something to do with Burners. Burners? First I learn mobile phones don’t like coffee and then I learn that fixing this requires burning. Sounds like this means the coffee needs to be really, really, really, really well done.

This all reminds me why I don’t drink coffee.

So…it will be fixed. Videos will play properly for you in the future. Assuming I remember how to drop them into these random words. By the way, it’s only the email version with problems. If you get these words that way and click on the title it takes you to the web version where they play perfectly. Since they are really interesting I strongly suggest you go back to the top of this missive and click on the titles and be whisked to the videos in web versions…and watch them.

1st spring yellow flower

This is a picture of the first spring flower I saw. Took it a few weeks ago. It is a nice little yellow flower right in the middle of the picture. Yes, the picture is sideways. I just spent an hour trying to get it to be upright. Figured out how to do this but no matter how I save it standing up properly it continues to appear here sideways. Did I mention how much technology hates me?

In case you’re wondering, it appears in my computer upright! Yup, I copy it properly aligned and it still refuses to align properly here. Did I mention how much time I wast due to my technological incompetence?