Archive for May, 2012


Friday, May 11th, 2012

I am going to sell the PixieMobile.

I do love it so and we have been on many adventures together, including the cross country odyssey about a year ago.  It is the most fun car I have ever had and I will miss it, but the reality is I am  working from home most of the time now and only driving it about once a week.  The little silver bullet deserves to see more action. (I do too, but that is a whole other story.)

As the car has been garaged for the winter I made an appointment to have it washed and detailed so it would look purty for the ad I will place in Auto Trader.  I took it to Classique Auto Spa in Liberty Village which is not only close to home but got great reviews on several websites that I perused.  I dropped it off in the morning and returned a few hours later to retrieve it and noticed a chunk of paint was missing from the front bumper.  Not huge, about a silver dollar size (you can see it in the photo below – the black dot to the left) but definitely not there when I left it earlier.


I have been trying lately to take a more philosophical approach to life and to not let things affect me too deeply.  Realistically this was an injury to a car, and not a grievous one.  With that thought in mind I took a deep breathe, squared my shoulders and went to talk to the owner (who, by the way, looks like Don Cheadle’s much better looking younger brother.  That didn’t hurt.)

He looked at the car, looked at me and proceeded to not only apologize for the damage but to assure me he would have his body shop guy take care of it free of charge and that he would make sure that he made it up for the inconvenience of having to bring the car back and have it be off road for a couple of days.  I found myself reassuring him by saying that it was an unfortunate mishap that could happen to anyone.  He replied “Not to me. Or my customers”.

At this point my head got a little swimmy.  A calm, rational and reasonable individual taking responsibility for his company and their services delivering a calm, rational assessment of the situation and offering a prompt solution without argument, blame or obsequiousness.  So, service.  Really good service.

I got the keys back so I could drive the car for the weekend along with a promise that the matter would be taken care of on Monday morning and left to drive around High Park with the lid off whistling a happy tune.  It isn’t often that an accident can leave me with a smile on my face and a hearty corporate endorsement, but there you have it.  Service.  It’s a beautiful thing.


Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

I sit here today, taking a break in my extremely unstructured day to nosh on a little thawed something for lunch.  The food in question which emerged unlabeled from my freezer turned out to be some sort of thai chickeny something which I have absolutely no recollection of having either cooked or purchased.  I munch away, throwing all gastrointestinal caution to the wind, and find my thoughts turning to the concept of failure.

Perhaps it is a bad omen to be contemplating the nature of failure at exactly the time that one is building a new business and I certainly hope not to expand my knowledge base  in this area anytime soon but I wonder if I have been going about it all wrong by being morbidly afraid of not reaching all goals.

The concept of failure in an exercise regime is an extremely important one.  If you do not know how far you can push yourself before you can absolutely go no further you cannot glean what a reasonable level of effort truly is.  I was taking an exercise class recently (5 days a week at 6:30 AM, but we shall examine my sanity at another date) where the instructor routinely pushed the entire class to the point where they failed.  The result was an interesting one.  In many exercise classes there is a definite strata of ability and it can inspire a willful yet unspoken competition.  When everyone in the class is ultimately going to founder it breeds a real sense of camaraderie.  You encourage the people who suck because, well, you do too.  It is very friendly and I found I really liked being in the class, even though I was routinely collapsed in an unruly pile on the floor.

I have recently been taking an improv class.  The instructors reiterate the fact that “improv is 80% failure” (though in my case I suspect it is significantly more).  You cannot pre-plan an improv sketch and the second you TRY to be funny, you aren’t.  The excellent moments are never ones that are preconceived, they are the weird left turn reactions that people take and that everyone just decides to run with.  Improv teaches you to relinquish control and to just let things unfold which for a life long producer by trade and control freak by nature is no easy task.

I will never lose the fear of failure and I don’t think it would benefit me if I did, but I am glad that I am learning to embrace the fact that things going wrong can often teach the most valuable lessons.

Its a fun concept in terms of goals – to be the best failer that failure has ever seen.  I certainly hope I don’t start with my internal organs from ingesting this dubious freezer offering, but I am intrigued to discover what lessons lie in the future.