How Charles Zook Rescued Me From New York City

My intentions weren’t entirely honorable when I struck up my first conversation with Charles Zook eight years ago. He was sitting next to me poolside at an unconventional retreat in Northern California, and I was admiring the redheaded woman he was with. She was naturally pretty, poised, and exuded intelligence.…

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Why Facebook Should Fear CrossFit’s Greg Glassman

I wouldn’t want to mess with Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit. You might mistakenly perceive CrossFit as just a gritty gym in your neighborhood, but it’s a global network of 15,000 facilities in 160 countries, generating an estimated $100 million in revenues. Glassman is reportedly also worth…

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Lessons Learned from Doggie Parenthood

I dreamed of owning a dog from the moment I watched my first episode of Lassie. For those born after the series ended in 1973, it was a TV show about the heroic adventures of a Collie named Lassie who was always rescuing people and saving them from misfortune. Lassie…

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The Perilous Trend to Regulate Journalism

In his book “The Other Side of the Story” about his dealings with the media, Jody Powell, President Carter’s press secretary, presciently observed that if Americans knew the people responsible for covering the news, they wouldn’t believe anything they read. In Powell’s day, cable news was in its infancy and…

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Road Runner Sports: Fitting Feet So Good

I don’t get Nike, New Balance, and other athletic footwear manufacturers. They spend billions on research and development creating and refining their increasingly sophisticated sneakers yet they are forever flatfooted educating customers about the competitive advantages of their respective products. The industry’s front-line product specialists are mostly kids working part-time…

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The “Socialism” of Bernie and AOC

My fantasy job would be to oversee the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau serving under a president who supported the agency’s mandate. While I’m a free markets guy, the markets aren’t free if they aren’t fair. Technology and deregulation have allowed companies to screw consumers in unprecedented ways. The playing field…

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R.I.P. Bed Bath & Beyond

I’ve had a soft spot for Bed Bath & Beyond since an ex-girlfriend took me there to buy sheets there some two decades ago. It was before the ubiquitous age of Amazon, and I was delighted to find a wide assortment of household products at great prices in a free-standing…

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Protecting Rover and Kitty from Wall Street’s Greed

I once had a client who earlier worked as the CFO for a Wall Street firm buying up veterinary practices and hospitals. He liked the number crunching part of his job but disliked another function he was expected to perform: Chastising vets for not meeting the company’s targets for X-rays,…

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When Almost Isn’t Good Enough

“I vant you should bring me HOT tea and I vant you should make it snappy!” The barked command to a geriatric nurse is the last memory I have of my grandfather, Abraham, while visiting him in what was then known as Toronto’s “Old Folks Home” shortly before he died…

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The Selfie Culture of Equinox Fitness

As a young adult in my native Toronto, I worked out at a dilapidated gym known as the “Old Jewish Y.” The moniker was due to Toronto’s Jewish community moving miles north and building a suburban state-of-the-art community center. The original facility was left open as a sop to the…

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