Are you ready?

Are you ready for what comes next?

Of course, you’re not. No one is.


Are you preparing for what’s next?


And that’s the key to forward progress. Prepare, adjust, move.

Again. Repeat.

The cycle of preparing, evaluating, tuning, tweaking, and making new plans never ends. It’s hard work. It’s not for everyone.

Life isn’t set in stone. There’s no predetermined path. You have to make it, walk it, and be ready to rumble in the jungle when a tiger appears.

Let’s hope you packed the proper tools.

Enjoy your journey. Prepare accordingly.


Something about a bus…

I got my CDL (Commercial Driver License) in 1998, shortly after graduating from high school. I was hired at Kent State’s Campus Bus Service, and drove as a student all four years of undergrad college.

No doubt, one of the best part-time jobs available at the time, and with an employer who really understood the “student first” mentality. “Got a final to take? No problem. We’ll reschedule your shift.”

Driving a bus is not only rewarding in so many ways, it grants you entry into the world of professional drivers. A different crowd, to be sure, bus drivers and truck drivers speak a different language, get up earlier than you each morning, and know what it’s like to scrape the windshield in zero-degree temps before heading out on the route.

It’s a rough but rewarding job. And physically demanding, too. Maneuvering a bus takes skill, stamina, and eye-hand-foot-other-hand coordination of a different kind.

Bus drivers, particularly school bus drivers, know how to read the road, and operate their signals, brakes, levers, and buttons – all while driving in the dark, and with an extremely high safety record.

Driving a bus stays with you in your core, and ever since I started doing laps on the Campus Loop in a Gillig Phantom back in the day, I’ve been connected somehow to the profession. In my last year at Kent, I subbed for Stow and added my school bus endorsement.

Now I arrange regional ROAD-E-Os for drivers all over Northeast Ohio, flip buses on their side for fire training, and speak at conferences about transportation stuff.

I tell this story when people want to know…

When I started working in my current district, I “made the mistake” of letting the Superintendent know I had a CDL. When the Transportation Department needed leadership, I was chosen to pick up the pieces, and get it running right.

I drove plenty during that time – as a substitute when a drivers called off, taking athletic teams to games, and so on. I quickly learned, and got pretty good at, the office stuff, too.

Of course, it wasn’t a mistake. Just a new challenge. A new door to opportunity.

Routing, student management, state reports, inventory, fuel treatment, HR stuff, union grievances, driver development, capital expenditures, and so on… it’s certainly not a dance on roses, and it’s not glorious. It’s early mornings, late afternoons, and weekend coverage 24/7.

School bus drivers typically work multiple jobs, drive as much as they can, and do it all for little pay and no recognition. “How do the kids get to school?” I ask teachers all the time. “Not sure…”

In the past few years, I’ve started advocating at the state level, too, for our public school bus drivers. I’ve been active with the Ohio School Boards Association and hold a Director at Large seat with the Ohio Association for Pupil Transportation.

Sharing the message with others about what happens in the bus garage at 5 AM is no small task. School transportation is often treated as its own entity, tucked away on an island in the middle of nowhere in a school district or outsourced altogether.

Now, our Transportation department reports to me, and I work with a wonderful staff there that makes the day-to-day operations run as smoothly as ever. Even better, some might say, and I agree. 😉

Our team connects with our principals and teachers like never before, truly partnering in student management and discipline issues, work with parents to resolve disputes, and accommodates for student needs each day in a way no one thought possible. We can always do more, and are always looking to improve. It’s a good place to be.

I can now leverage our drive team with other teams on campus to create experiences for our students, staff, and community members. Need a field trip with bagged lunches to-go? No problem…

At the heart of this operation lies our people.

You want something done with precision and skill on a rainy Saturday morning in the cold? Call a school bus driver. They’ll show up. They’ll get you where you need. Every time. On-time.

This year I’ve held a CDL for 25 years. I’ve driven thousands of hours (no joke) in Class B vehicles – the Gillig Phantom, MCI Coach Buses, and Bluebird, IC, and Thomas school buses. I’ve driven box trucks, the Army’s HMMWV, deuce-and-a-half, 5-ton, Bradley Fighting Vehicle, and yes, an M1 Tank… what’s next?

Once you can take the largest vehicle on the street around town safely, there’s nothing that can stop you. Literally.

I’ll never forget CJ screaming, “Are you sure it’s gonna fit!?” as we approached a small bridge on an even smaller country road somewhere in Portage County while on a bus tour with me. “I guess we’re about to find out!” I shouted back over the roaring diesel engine.

Interested? We’re always hiring. I’ll train you, too!


I’m sorry.

Just say I’m sorry
It’s not the hardest thing to do
Just say you’re wrong sometimes
And I’d believe you ’cause I love you
Just say I’m sorry

Songwriters: Alicia Moore / Christopher Alvin Stapleton

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry life is tough.
I’m sorry you’re having a hard time right now.

I’m sorry your work sucks.
I’m sorry your boss is difficult to deal with.

I’m sorry your employees are cranky.
I’m sorry it’s hard to get things done.

I’m sorry there’s nothing you can do.
I’m sorry you won’t help.

I’m sorry the project is behind schedule.
I’m sorry to be out of energy.

I’m sorry the world is a difficult place to be.
I’m sorry you have to grow up in a world full of hate, distrust, fear, and greed.

I’m sorry, but you have to do it.
I’m sorry, it’s going to hurt.

I’m sorry that I’m sorry.
I’m sorry it wasn’t different.

There, I said it.
I’m not sorry I did.

I’m sorry I didn’t say it sooner.
I’m sorry you think I didn’t mean it.

You don’t have to feel sorry about it.
It’s ok if we’re different.


Change of taste?

As we grow older, our tastes and preferences change, right?

Never liked beer? Now you do… even IPAs!

Didn’t care for social settings, and now you cruise a hotel ballroom during a cocktail reception like a pro?

Used to love drama, high energy, and now you’re more of a “latte in the morning person”? Sweet, to salty & bitter. Just like my mood sometimes…


Our taste and preference changes as we go. From sweet to salty. From warm to cold. From “let’s go!” to “let me ask some questions…”

And that’s ok.

Think about what got you to where you are today. Those steps influenced you somehow, and of course, you’ll experience change just by doing what you do. Everyone around you changes, too. You have to react, realign, and retool.

You were probably told as a kid that starting the day with a hearty breakfast was the right way to go. And now it bothers your stomach, and you wait until noon. Some call that intermittent fasting. I call it a new normal. For me. And for the record, it’s different when it’s not a workday.

No rush. No deadlines. Just coffee and toast.

Embrace change.

Embrace your new preferences. And stand up to those around you holding on to levels of attachment that aren’t healthy for anyone. Be proud of the new you.

And guess what?

You get a new version of yourself each day. It’s up to you how you present it to the world, and how you utilize the latest update.

Wanna drive change faster? Try something new today… Could be a new idea, a new experience, or a new topping for your toast!

Guest Post

Got self-confidence?

Fair warning, dear reader: This is a guest post written by my 9th-grade daughter. She’s like her dad. Straight to the point.

I’m currently in high school, which means there are a lot of people around me that are different than me. I’m learning about a lot of new opinions and ideas that are new to me, and many people disagree with my ideas.

One big thing I’m learning is that many other people my age have pretty low self-confidence since this is a time in people’s lives with change and hormones. Many kids don’t know who they are yet, and are still discovering themselves in many ways.

I am very confident of who I am, and I still know down the road that I may change. I intimidate a few people I’ve met for that reason, and I’m very proud of that.

My morals and ideals are close to set in stone and some people who have been mean to me or teased me have been very caught off guard by it.

Classmate: “So, do you have a boyfriend or something?”

Me: “No, I’m not interested in a relationship right now. If I meet someone I like, I might date them, but I’m not actively looking or anything.”

Classmate: “Oh… ok.”

It’s funny looking back on times when people tried to be mean, then I just left them speechless by not being speechless myself. Self-confidence is something that people need to build up over time, and I’m lucky enough to have a lot already.

It’s ok not to be fully prepared for any questions that come your way, but it’s also ok to absolutely destroy the other person in a causal debate in history class.


Time theft.

I’m over it. It’s 2023.

Why do we continue this nonsense of messing with time “because that’s the way it’s always been…”?

It hasn’t always. There was a time when we lived in harmony with nature. When it was dark, we went to bed. When it was daylight, we did some work.

Hawaii and Arizona don’t even care.

So let’s go. End Daylight Savings.

It ruins the lives of those who live with young kids, pets, and anyone having to come in to work the next morning destroyed from yet another tumble in the timewarp machine that Daylight Savings offers. So, pretty much everyone. No one’s immune to the antics of bureaucracy for bureaucracy’s sake.

Daylight Savings sucks. It saves no one, and we all have access to flashlights or other artificial light sources so you can light your own way if you need to.

My whole weekend is ruined, and I’m bracing for a week or so worth of “oh yeah, right now used to be 5 AM, but it’s 6 AM, so… how does that make any sense when it’s still dark?”

And don’t even get me started about the farming argument. You’re not a farmer and certainly wouldn’t poke around in your little vegetable plot before the first cup of coffee, regardless.

So let’s go. End the misery. Pick a time and stick with it.



You can microdose a lot of things. Advil. Love. Skills.

All kinds of things.

The key is to do something.

You can probably walk one lap around the neighborhood, right? A micro-lap.

You can probably say one nice thing to your spouse today. Micro-compliments.

You can probably take a small nap if you feel like you need it. A micro-snooze.

And sure, you can microdose LSD to feel better about yourself. I don’t know anything about that, but it seems all the rage on social media. I’d recommend you not. But I’m not your doctor, either.

Instead, keep moving forward. One small step at a time.

Learn a new skill. Do you know how to sew on a button, for example? Time to micro-learn something new.

What about a pivot table in Google Sheets? You can do it.

Often, it’s near impossible to learn everything there’s to know about something all at once. It takes years of exploration, use, testing, and poking a stick at something until you know what you’re doing. Micro-steps. For a long time.

So the next time you’re faced with a big task, or a new job, or something you know very little about, start with small steps. Microdose your progress.

After all, micro-dosing is how you become invincible to iocaine powder. A little goes a long way.

It’s more than most are willing to do.

* Iocaine powder is among the deadlier poisons known to man, and as you know, one can build up a tolerance to iocaine by gradually ingesting trace doses over time.


The AI is here…

AI is here. How are you dealing with that?

As I see it, you have two (2) options.

One (1), freak out, block it, and run for your life, or…

Two (2), embrace it, use it, and let it augment whatever you’re doing now.

In my previous blog post on fixing potholes, I argued we should change a few things. How can AI help?

It does some of the magic for you…

Need a form letter? Need a blog post? Need an argument?

Here’s what ChatGPT helped with. I’ll share what I prompted the AI with, and how it responded. Your mileage may vary…

write a letter to a government official asking to fix the roads and get rid of potholes

Dear [Government Official],

I am writing to express my concern about the poor condition of the roads in our community. As a resident of this area, I have noticed that many of the roads are riddled with potholes, cracks, and other types of damage, which make driving difficult and potentially dangerous.

These road conditions not only damage vehicles and cause discomfort to drivers and passengers, but they also negatively impact the overall safety and quality of life for everyone who lives here. I have personally witnessed numerous accidents and near-misses due to the poor condition of the roads.

I strongly urge you to take action to address this issue as soon as possible. I understand that road repairs and maintenance can be costly, but I believe that the safety and well-being of our community should be a top priority.

I would appreciate it if you could provide me with information on any plans or initiatives that the government has in place to address this issue. I would also be interested in learning about any opportunities for community involvement or input.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. I look forward to hearing back from you soon.


[Your Name]

write a blog post recommending kids to wear bright clothing or reflective safety wear while waiting on the school bus in the morning so they can bee seen by other motorists and the bus driver

As a parent, your child’s safety is your top priority. One of the most important things you can do to ensure their safety is to make sure they are visible to motorists when waiting for the school bus in the morning. This is especially important during the fall and winter months when it is still dark outside during the morning hours.

One of the best ways to make your child visible is by having them wear bright clothing or reflective safety wear. This can include items such as reflective vests, jackets, or even backpacks. By wearing bright colors or reflective materials, your child will be much more visible to both motorists and the bus driver.

The benefits of wearing bright or reflective clothing are clear. Drivers will be able to see your child from a much greater distance, giving them more time to react and slow down. This is especially important in areas with poor lighting or where there are lots of trees or other obstructions that can make it difficult to see pedestrians or children waiting for the bus.

Additionally, many school buses today have reflective tape on the sides or rear of the bus to make them more visible to drivers. However, it is still important to make sure your child is visible while waiting for the bus, as it can be difficult to see children who are standing close to the bus.

Another benefit of wearing reflective clothing is that it can help your child stand out from the crowd. This is especially important if your child’s school has a lot of students who are waiting for the bus at the same time. By wearing bright or reflective clothing, your child will be much easier to identify, which can be reassuring for both you and the bus driver.

In conclusion, wearing bright clothing or reflective safety wear is an easy and effective way to help keep your child safe when waiting for the school bus in the morning. By taking this simple step, you can help ensure that your child is visible to both motorists and the bus driver, reducing the risk of accidents and helping to keep your child safe. So next time your child is getting ready for school, make sure they have some bright or reflective clothing to wear to help keep them safe.

write an argument for universal free healthcare in the united states

Universal free healthcare is a fundamental human right that should be available to everyone, regardless of their income or social status. In the United States, a country that prides itself on being one of the wealthiest and most advanced in the world, it is unacceptable that millions of people are still unable to access basic healthcare services.

There are many reasons why universal free healthcare is necessary in the United States. Firstly, healthcare is a basic human need. It is necessary for people to be healthy and productive members of society. When people are unable to access healthcare, they are more likely to get sick, miss work, and require more expensive medical treatment later on.

Secondly, universal free healthcare would ensure that everyone has access to preventative care. Many illnesses and diseases can be prevented or treated more effectively if they are caught early. However, without access to healthcare, people may delay seeking treatment until their condition has worsened. This not only results in more expensive medical bills but also can have serious long-term health consequences.

Thirdly, universal free healthcare would help to reduce the economic burden on families and the economy. Medical bills are one of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States. By providing free healthcare, families would not have to worry about paying for expensive medical bills, which can lead to financial instability and stress. Additionally, free healthcare would encourage people to seek medical treatment when they need it, which can lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, reducing the overall cost of healthcare in the long term.

Furthermore, universal free healthcare would promote equity and social justice. Currently, low-income families and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the lack of access to healthcare. Universal free healthcare would ensure that everyone, regardless of income or social status, has access to quality healthcare services.

In conclusion, universal free healthcare is a necessary and fundamental human right that should be available to everyone in the United States. By ensuring that everyone has access to basic healthcare services, we can promote equity, reduce the economic burden on families and the economy, and ultimately improve the overall health and well-being of our society. It is time for the United States to join the many other countries around the world that have already recognized the importance of universal free healthcare.

See? Helpful, isn’t it?

So stop freaking out about AI.

If you want to kill it, just unplug all your devices before she takes over your home, your life, your social relationships, your grocery shopping lists, your… you know, the stuff you already trust a device with.

Enjoy the next 24 hours.


Fix it!

I want our roads to be better. And some other stuff, too…

Every day on my commute, I hit at least one, if not multiple, serious potholes in the road, which makes my whole car shake, rattle, and roll.

Fix them!

Every day on my commute, I see wires up in the air transporting electricity, cable TV, and other communication infrastructure.

Bury them!

Every day on my commute, I don’t see the kids waiting on their school bus because they’re dressed in all black.

Wear something reflective!

Every day on my commute, I listen to the radio tell me about all the horrible things that happen in the world and how we can’t do anything about it.

Sure, we can!

We’re the wealthiest country on earth. We have everything we want.

How about everything we need?

Build perfect roads. I’m tired of tire alignments.

Bury in the ground, and safeguard important infrastructure, like power lines and telecommunications. I’m tired of power outages during freezing rain.

Install proper street lighting to see pedestrians and kids waiting on a school bus. And send every kid a reflective garment when they start school.

Give us universal health care, too. Hawaii has it. Did you know that?

Yes, yes, I know… now you’re going to talk about taxes, and me and my, and what you want, and why we can’t do it.

Why don’t you check yourself, instead?

If we can build F-22 Raptors for $45B, we can fix the goddamn roads, too. If we can afford to not collect any tax from GE and Amazon, we can give everyone perfect, top-notch free healthcare in this country, too. Free lunch at school. Free college education. Free prenatal care and support. Free access to… I could go on and on…

If we cared even a little about our society, we’d do all those things.

For us. For our kids. For the future.

But instead, we waste it all on loose talk and empty promises.

A good first step?

Travel to another country – I’m going to suggest Scandinavia – and take a look at how other people live. No potholes. No fees for seeing a healthcare professional. A society based on safety and security for all. Quality of life.

And we pay the same effective tax rate. No joke.

We can do it. The ones who control the money just don’t want to…

What’s your next move?


Give me the cream, please.

I’d like what I asked for, please.

I’m a coffee drinker, and no, not the kind that’s all snobbish about grinds and origins. Black, with some cream, please. Ok, fine. Light roast if you have it… 😉


So often, there’s a follow-up to the coffee order.

Me: “Coffe, light roast if you have it, with a splash of cream, please.”

Alleged barista: “Ok, yeah man, I got U, coffee with some half-half…”

Did I say that?

The same thing is true when I check into a hotel.

Front Desk: “Last name, please?”

Me: “Johansson.”

Front Desk: “Ok, let me see…. Hanson… Hanson… what’s the first name?”

Me: “No, it’s….”

Ugh. [hand over face emoji, here…]

You asked, and I answered. Listen to what I said, please.

All of the extra steps to get what I want or what someone asked me to provide, removes the little extra, the customer service, the personal touch.

If you ask me for my coffee order, I’ll give it to you. If you ask me for my last name, you’ll get it. Assume you’re getting what you asked for. Please.

I know Johansson is a difficult last name. For you.

I know cream has fat in it. I want it.

Give me what I want. Give me the cream. Listen to what I’m telling you. It’s what you wanted in the first place…