My wishes get me nowhere. My dreams get me anywhere. My actions get me there.


After owning two businesses for two decades, I finally got a real job... dream job actually! Combining my passions of technology, education, and skydiving, I was hired in January 2017 by the United States Parachute Association as Director of IT. Sadly, I am no longer taking on new web programming projects, but I'm still skydiving and teaching certification courses through Xcelskydiving and of course writing! Also, I am still available for public speaking events... just email me. This blog site serves to display my numerous previously published works as well as satisfy my continued urge for sharing my insights... you know, those thoughts you have at 4 o'clock in the morning.

The tape recorder in my head

"What's wrong with you?"
"For being so smart, you sure are stupid."
"You're being lazy."

The mean person saying these things to me is... me.

These phrases come from the tape recorder in my head that plays over and over. We all "beat ourselves up" with our dysfunctional internal dialogue. It's not helpful. But how do you erase these phrases and record better ones? That process has been a long, ongoing one for me, but I have four hints that might help you if you are trying to rewrite that fundamental self-talk which greatly influences our thinking and productivity.

Notice everything.
The first step to being able to re-record your internal tape recorder is to start noticing when it plays. Often, we talk to ourselves without realizing we're doing it. The phrases in your tape recorder most liklely came from well-meaning caretakers during childhood, who guided us and repeated advice that we likely needed at the time. Because we were young, and the tape was largely blank, some phrases are embedded very deeply, maybe disproportionately to their true significance or usefulness. Still, because this is an unconscious process until we make it conscious, we're likely to apply a phrase to a situation that doesn't warrant such emphasis.

Notice the tape recorder. Notice when it happens. Notice how it happens. Notice what triggers it. Is it when you wake up? Is it in the middle of the night? Is it right after you made a mistake? Is it right before you have to make a big decision? Being conscious about this common process can draw your attention to how to start recording purposefully.

Replace instead of remove.
Sometimes, when I first started noticing how often I told myself those phrases from childhood, I began to beat myself up even more, by telling myself STOP! JUST STOP THINKING THAT! Of course, that made everything worse. How could I be so stupid to allow unconsciousness to drive my life? Ironically, I was re-using the same phrases to scold myself internally about using those very phrases! It's very difficult to using "STOP" as an action, because by nature, stopping is inaction. If you stop doing something, you're doing "nothing" and that is equally unproductive. Instead, I started approaching this as a replace instead of remove. Once I noticed an unwanted phrase popping up in my consciousness, I decided to replace that with better advice I had heard recently.

Make a list.
Some of the "better" advice I would replace with, was not always applicable or even the best advice. So I set out to make a conscious list, predetermined, of things I wanted to tell myself. Here are a few that stuck, after some iterations of trial and error:

  • What you do comes back to you.
  • Struggle does not equal Accomplishment.
  • Relax - Arch - Neutral
  • Hate never dispels hate. Only Love dispels hate.
  • Look away, steer away.
  • They only try and tackle the one with the ball.
  • What do I want? One thing.
  • How are you going to make that happen?
  • Projection: sometimes people are talking to themselves.
  • Take out the trash.

Take action.
The funny thing about talk, even self-talk, is that talk is cheap. The only valuable idea behind talk is that thought spurs action. What is in your head comes out anyway, but if the unconcious becomes reality without our intervention, we are allowing ourselves to be led along. We are not truly living our own lives. So, after one of these dialogues with myself, I try to come up with what will I do, the very next thing, and when. If I'm speaking to myself in the middle of the night, this allows me to feel safe to go back to sleep. And if it's the middle of the day, this allows me to focus on what I'm doing instead of worrying about something that I can't deal with at the moment.

I realized after being able to re-record my own phrases onto my internal tape recorder, that I had the power all along. And it was easy to do. All I had to do was recognize it, replace bad with good, consciously select the good advice that worked, then act on it!

  • 11 March 2018
  • Number of views: 73
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"What's wrong with you?"
"For being so smart, you sure are stupid."
"You're being lazy."

The mean person saying these things to me is... me. These phrases come from the tape recorder in my head that plays over and over. We all "beat ourselves up" with our dysfunctional internal dialogue. It's not helpful. But how do you erase these phrases and record better ones?

  • 11 March 2018
  • Number of views: 73
  • Comments: 0

Rule Number One: Be Lazy

My new job has me with set office hours, so even though I'm sure I'm still getting some exercise, I have struggled with feeling more sedentary. But how do I ride this change without ill side effects?

I bought a treadmill desk.

  • 5 June 2017
  • Number of views: 1232
  • Comments: 0
Risk Management vs. Risk Assessment

A skydiving student of mine remarked to me recently, “My non-skydiving friends just don’t understand why I skydive.  They don’t take chances with their lives.”  I replied, “That’s not true.  Do they ever drive on a two lane highway? When another car comes from the other direction, there’s a closing speed of 120 mph, same as our closing speed to the ground when we are in freefall, yet at a distance of only a few feet.  The difference is, I can see this huge planet Earth coming at me 10,000 feet away, but I can avoid hitting it at deadly speed simply by pulling a little handle.  On the highway, you never know what that guy in the other lane will do at the last second. He could be messing with his cell phone or under the influence… or eating his sandwich or texting grandma.”

What are the risks we accept unaware, without thinking? 

  • 19 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1626
  • Comments: 0
The only thing that stays the same is that things change...

After being DZO of Skydive Kansas for 21 years, I accepted a full time position at USPA as Director of IT. I'm still traveling to teach courses as an eXaminer with Xcelskydiving. But I have never believed in spreading thin or watering down. After much contemplation, I made the bittersweet decision to close my dropzone. In an email to regular jumpers, I explain by starting with:

The only thing that stays the same is that things change.

  • 11 March 2017
  • Number of views: 2137
  • Comments: 0
Programming Projects

Here's a collection of some of my best projects I developed throughout my work as, web programmer. They included e-commerce, e-learning, data management systems, and high functioning websites.

  • 3 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1784
  • Comments: 0
The Kansas Lifeline Magazine

Here are some articles I've written for Kansas Rural Water Association over the years.

  • 3 March 2017
  • Number of views: 1635
  • Comments: 0
The Dunning-Kruger Effect

In the third century BC, Aristotle penned the timeless words, “The more I know, the more I know I don’t know.” Since then, countless people in numerous time periods have restated this realization using various wording. Aristotle’s statement and the others like it are the hallmark of those who are recovering casualties of the Dunning-Kruger Effect, a phenomenon explored in a series of experiments by David Dunning and Justin Kruger at the Cornell University Department of Psychology in 1999. These experiments—reportedly inspired by a bank robber who knew that lemon juice could be used as invisible ink and covered his face in it thinking it would render him invisible—set out to test a human psychological trait many before have witnessed: People with below average skill or knowledge tend to grossly overestimate their own abilities.

  • 1 July 2015
  • Number of views: 2088
  • Comments: 0