Every have one of those moments when the GPS tracker in your phone assumes you are someplace that you're not? Imagine the history of locations you are creating that you've never ever been to. When I saw this, I had to screen print it immediately. Really? Please!

-- doug smith

Careful Of Hyperbole

If it sounds too good to be true, somebody might be lying to you.

-- doug smith

When Love Stops

Love doesn't stop because it gets hard. It stops when we get lazy.

-- doug smith

Calls to Action

Values evolve over time. If values are ever true, they refine without denying what once was. They grow. They distill. They find ways to self-generate the results they aspire to.

Choose your path...

Here are some values I've refined into calls to action. I don't just agree with them, I expect to do them. To show them. To act on them. Sometimes it goes well, and often I fall short. The journey is a long one, so keep going.

Here are my current calls to action:

  1. Be your best
  2. Stay curious
  3. Turn toward all offers (bids) to start
  4. Challenge yourself
  5. Reach out with compassion
  6. Expand your possibilities
  7. Appreciate
  8. Play nice, work hard, stay smart
  9. Learn constantly
What are your values? What are your calls to action?

-- doug smith

TMI Department: Not Ready

The house on Elm Street burns

It was about three years ago when I told my therapist, in talking about my ex, "I guess I should feel good that she's happy and wish her well..."

His response?

"That's preposterous. It hurts too much for that and you know it. You can let that bullshit go."

I appreciated his honesty. I understood my own truth in that moment. It was preposterous then.

And, it still is.

Some hurts heal. Some scar over. Some leave sensitive spots. If you can't fix it, at least don't pretend something that's not true.

-- doug smith

Push Against Your Limits

Creativity, like leadership, requires us to stretch. To be at our most creative we must grow. Since we are surrounded by limitations, that can cause some discomfort. Which boundaries should we cross? Which lines are mental and which are metal?

How do we create without getting hurt (or worse, hurting?)

I'm not sure. Maybe that's the wrong question. Maybe the question is -- what limits should we ignore today? What limits should we buck against and stretch?

If a limit is telling you that you are NOT creative -- ignore it.
If a limit is telling you that you cannot grow -- defy it.
If a limit is telling you that the world doesn't need your creativity -- laugh it off.

The world needs you. The world needs your creativity. The world needs you at your creative best.

The creative life pushes against limits.

Keep pushing.

-- doug smith

Cartoon: Blue Collar Crazy (1976)

blue collar crazy - douglas brent smith 1976

My idea of humor in 1976. These are some tough job requirements. Job interviews have always been tough.

Sketch: Balancing Topper

Not much more than a doodle but it brings me joy and seemed brilliant in 1976. Now, I'm not so sure, but I can still smile.

Cartoon: A short treatise on existence

I created this oddity in 1976, in the middle of a disappearing relationship, working a series of very odd jobs including security guard, bartender, and parking lot attendant. Saved for posterity because I'm just too self-absorbed not to, I guess.

You May Not Need Every Tool

Do you have a lot of tools?

I don't. I had a nice collection inherited from my dad (I call them a collection because I collected them but when they were his he actually USED them) until they were destroyed in a fire.

Now, an apartment dweller, I have few tools. I still don't use all of them -- but I know how.

When we are solving problems we have many tools. The temptation is to use them all. It's oddly satisfying to bring out tool after tool. Satisfying, but sometimes inefficient. Simplicity - elegant simplicity is often best.

Use the tools that work, and leave the rest for another time.

It isn't always necessary to overwhelm a problem in order to solve it.

Sometimes the solution is right there in from of you and in need of only one tool. Dialogue. Talk about it and see what happens. You might just solve that problem faster than you expected.

-- doug smith

This entry comes from one of my other blogs: High Performance Leadership and also appears on Centered Problem Solving. I copied it here, just because...

Poem: off again

did i ever tell you
that any of that
or that
       holding out hope
is what i do best?

with your barely open gates
closing and
your once flirtatious musing
silenced you
look at me
          differently and
see another friend
this dance
ending this

didn't you tell me that

you don't dance?

-- doug smith

Photo: Wedgwood Office

FRL Office in Longmont

Are You Sure?

What if every secret was a lie?

-- doug smith

Take Joy

Take joy on those parts of the past that bring you joy and let go of those that do not.

-- doug smith

Collage: The Trill Is On

"The Trill Is On" Collage by Douglas Brent Smith
8 1/2 x 11"

(c) 2018 Douglas Brent Smith

Created in Newtown, PA

Collage: Twice Around The Pass

Twice Around The Pass - Collage image by douglas brent smith
Twice Around The Pass

(c) 2018 Douglas Brent Smith

Created 30 March 2018 in Newtown, PA

You may use this image as an illustration and for your own personal use as well as for sharing but please do not duplicate it to sell in any manner. Please notate is using the original tagging; image by douglas brent smith, (c) 2018

Song: The Mad Again

Mp4 "video"

The Mad Again
              (apologies to Lewis Carol) Lyrics by Harley Halpern, Music by Doug Smith

 ‘Twas Grunin and the P.A.A.
Did grumble on the stage;
All gloomy was the stage crew, 
And the Mad Again outraged.  

Beware the Wilson Mark my son,
The steely stare the haughty frown,
And beware the Young Milk Shell
And don’t eat lunch when they’re around. 

You shouldn’t fool with the master crew
And make them feel upstaged
It’s bound to cost you once you’ve got
the Mad Again outraged
The Mad Again, The Mad Again, The Mad Again outraged
The Mad Again, The Mad Again, The Mad Again outraged

He took his crescent wrench in hand,
And focused lights, and mopped the floor,
He set up chairs and music stands,
Then opened the stage door. 

And there behind the door he saw
The Wilson Mark as dark as night
Battling the Young Milk Shell
He nearly fainted from stage fright.  


One, two, three, four and through the door
The stage technician fled,
But Mark and Shell each grabbed an arm,
 “You now belong to me,” they said. 

Then from the grid, the Mad Again
Let loose the 10-pound weights,
And the Wilson Mark and Young Milk Shell
Both met their gruesome fates. 


‘Twas Grunin and the P.A.A.
Did gossip on the stage
All gloomy was the stage crew
And the Mad Again outraged.

And hast thou slain the Mark and Shell,
For breaking theatre's laws?
The stage crew gathered round her

And broke into applause. 

Under The Hood

Doug Smith and Dave Smith, 1966 Chevy Impala, summer of 1971 perhaps.
Under the Hood

I wanted to be a gear-head. I just never had the tools or the chops for it. But cars have always been fun and I've usually been a Chevy guy. Oh, I've wandered into lots of interesting cars and owned a few.

What was your first car?

Did you name it?

This 1966 Chevy Impala SuperSport was my first car. I'm sure that I paid too much for it because I paid what the guy was asking. I didn't know any better and I really wanted that car. It was fast. It was sporty. And, gasp - it had an 8-track stereo. You have to imagine the joys of listening to "Dark Side of The Moon" on an 8-track that had to fade-out and click-thru to the next track even if the song wasn't finished. Not the medium for Pink Floyd, that's for sure. But Elton John and Rod Stewart and Jeff Beck sounded just great, tooling down the road.

Doug Smith and his Chevy Impala

I've had other great cars, too:

1966 Volkswagen Beetle (this was my dad's but he was willing to trade cars when I had trouble making the payments on the Chevy Impala)

1965 Volkswagen Microbus panel van. I thought I wanted to customize it, but again, didn't have the chops. Still, what a fun car for $300. My longest trip was from Trenton, NJ to Chicago. I was pulled over by a police officer who said he just wanted to see what keeps that thing moving. Considering all the vinyl albums I had in the back, it was something of a miracle, although the person I sold it to told me that he used it to haul lumber in Montana, so the car had some character.

1966 Plymouth Fury. (Salt) My stepfather Jack bought this for $100 as a beater commuter car in Chicago and gave it to me. I drove it for two years and then sold it for $200. It had a powerful engine and smooth ride but oh did it gulp the gas. Zoom.

1969 Ford Econoline. (Buster) I bought this for $500 without test driving it. The first time I took it out, to drive a friend to the airport, it stalled and wouldn't re-start. I gave the tow-truck driver all I had in my pocket -- just short of the $50 he was asking. I wrote a song about this truck. It hauled all my stuff the second time I moved to Chicago.

1972 Plymouth Valiant Scamp. (Prince) A smaller car with a powerful engine, this drove like a breeze and I probably should have never sold it except -- don't remember why we sold it...

1983(?) Renault Alliance. Wow, did this five speed ever get up and go (at first) and get super gas milage. It was a snazzy metal-flake orange, too. Loved it, but sold it when it lost its oomph and was clearly in need of major repairs. 

1990 Chevy Cavalier

1994 Chevy Cavalier

1987 Chevy Cavalier (as a second car) (Bluebird)

1995 Plymouth Acclaim

1990 Dodge Grand Caravan

2002 Chevy Cavalier (Silver Bird)

2014 Chevy Cruz (Marachino)

If you're a driver and you live long enough, maybe you'll get the joy of owning lots of cars. I have loved every single one I've owned, even if they were seldom my first choice.

-- doug smith

Who Is That Masked Man?

photo of doug smith, image of doug smith, douglas brent smith

Photo: douglas brent smith comedy singer

photo: douglas brent smith, image: doug smith
Seriously, some of this is funny.

Image: doug smith training logo

image: doug smith training solving problems achieving your goals

Photo: doug working on a song

image of doug smith working on a song
doug working on a song

Just Pretend Love

Sometimes I pretend that I know what love is without knowing that I'm pretending.

-- douglas brent smith

Enjoy And Learn

elephant photo by doug smith

We don't always enjoy what life is preparing us for but that's no reason to waste the preparation.

-- douglas brent smith

Don't Miss It

When we walk away from the hard work of love we miss what it was all about.

-- douglas brent smith

Do The Work

Love only begins to start when the easy part is over.

-- douglas brent smith


Infatuation will destroy you if you let it. Love is your gift, not your tingly feelings.

-- douglas brent smith

No One Expected Moses

  No One Expected Moses -- collage by douglas brent smith 4 August 1983