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Showing posts from February, 2022


Ford Motor Company recently announced they are suspending orders for their Maverick (A) compact truck because they have outsold the company's capacity to manufacture them. The Maverick is an anomaly in today's pickup truck market, where bigger is better, and even bigger is even better. My "midsize" Toyota Tacoma is as large as many full-size pickups from the early 2000s. A new full-size F-150 or Silverado wouldn't have looked out of place at a monster truck show in the '70s.  The major truck manufacturers justify their increasingly enormous vehicles by claiming "no market" for smaller trucks. The success of the Maverick, however, would seem to contradict that.  The Maverick is based on the Ford Escape compact SUV, and while it is slightly longer than the Escape, it is significantly smaller than any other pickup currently sold in the U.S. It does not have the towing capacity or off-road capabilities of larger trucks, but it should work just fine for t

FIELD NOTES: Spring football

If you watched the "big game" on Sunday, you know that the Los Angeles Rams scored a touchdown with less than two minutes to play to earn a come-from-behind win over the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a fitting end to arguably the most exciting NFL playoffs ever. It was undoubtedly a better finish than most of the Super Bowls of my youth, which were almost always blowouts. There was a stretch of games in the '80s and '90s where the only drama was whether the absurd margin of victory would exceed the previous year's. During much of that run, I watched the games at a party that was my boss's signature annual event. He always went out of his way to make it a fun time, even when the score was entirely out of hand by halftime; great food and drink, and prizes for things like the total points scored by quarter or the number of passing attempts by a particular QB. But when the party was over, I would always walk out into the frigid Ohio night and think, how will I get th

FIELD NOTES: Rejected!

In his song “Too Soon To Tell,” Todd Snyder sings, “I can still take rejection, but it does get harder to do.” Whether it’s a job interview, choosing sides for kickball, or that cute girl at the school dance, we’ve all experienced rejection, but I have to agree with Todd; it seems like it digs a little deeper and is a little more challenging as we collect miles on the odometer.   I suspect that has to do with opportunity cost. As mentioned in my “Hall of Fame” column a couple of weeks ago, job-seeking, when I was 25, was a game of numbers. I applied for every job I was vaguely qualified for, and whatever rose to the surface stuck. If I interviewed with J. Crew, Graybar Electric or Abacus II (all of which I did, by the way) and struck out, well,  that was fine because I knew eventually I’d find something. These days, I have traveled so far down a relatively narrow path that only a handful of jobs open up each year, so each one is exponentially more important.  The same goes for personal

EVENTS: Author Talks, Hampton B. Allen Library - Monday, February 7, 2022, 11:15 AM

This Monday, February 7, 2022, at 11:15 AM, John will be the featured guest on the Hampton B. Allen Library Author Talks series. He will be discussing his new book, his career as a writer, and his life in rural North Carolina. This will be an online-only event on Facebook Live.