source: the original image was cropped (license: Creative Commons CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

I was writing my response to Sky Collection quote prompt №27 by Samantha Lazar and thought I would include this. It seemed to me that it strays a bit too far from the format of that collection so I created this separate post.

People seem to love lists nowadays, so here is mine: If any parents of teens are feeling the terrible impending doom as you watch these horribly overconfident and underskilled people wander around the world bumping into every possible obstacle, here is the good news from the other side of the finish line:

  1. They are listening but don’t…

Photo by Benjamin Manley on Unsplash

Whether you are an affluent Montessori parent or a struggling single mother, authoritative or overprotective, we all face the fear of losing control of our teenagers and watching them go down the wrong path as they leave the nest.

Kids grow up so fast! We don’t have the time to do everything we “should” do. We also believe in our hearts that if we do a good job, we will become obsolete. They will not need us anymore.

I wait, rapt and curious, as these tiny beings learn.
I smile and get a smile back. Talking returns conversation. …


I got asked this question a few days ago. I had previously thought that the answer was obvious: I don’t have the right or the time to get in the middle of the business of other people. But it got me thinking …

What value does advice have if it is unsolicited? Does it have any value at all? Is parenting advice different? Does it have some side effects that we are dangerous? Forcing opinions on anyone who isn’t asking can’t be a good thing, can it? I’m not sure that I know the answer, but I’m taking a try…


Can’t Stop the Signal, Mal

“If you aren’t paying for the product, you are the product.”

Paying for customers.

This is a quote about television advertising from the 1970s. The earliest known reference is shown in this YouTube video. It was circulated in various forms, but the one nearest to this one was tweeted in 2010 by publisher Tim O’Reilly.

It is about the subtle brainwashing that has been known to be very profitable for companies selling food, beverages, cars, clothes … in fact, just about anything that is sold. People sell products and services. Businesses sell information. Nations sell sovereignty. …


(This was originally a question asked of me on Quora, but I thought it would be valuable on Medium, also. Here is a short version of the answer in case you just feel you won’t make it to the end of this whole thing …)

TLDR: So, what is the solution to all of the whining?


Photo by adrian on Unsplash

By calling something a privilege, we cheat ourselves day by day out of the rights we all have. Being treated respectfully, and our other rights that our American ancestors fought and died for, are not given to us in a special package addressed to only a few. If we accept that there is an express lane reserved for some special type of person, we are admitting that they are ‘more’ in some way … and that we are less. Do not sell so cheaply that which was won so dearly.

I just happened to spot this short post. It said…


There are two kinds of people in the world: those who understand data, those who think they understand data, and those who can’t count.

If a portfolio is used to show off to friends or to highlight your best work, then do whatever you want! It’s fun and exciting to create your own little piece of the internet, a permanent home for your design taste and eccentric ideas.

If your goal is to represent your professional career or brand, then a bit more thought should go into it. Whether you are a ‘hardcore’ developer who prefers to stay ‘close to…


Photo by Melissa Askew on Unsplash

What is beautiful in the world? What is worth understanding and passing along to our children? Don’t answer so quickly. Think it over. The more we consider this question the more daunting it seems.

The power of insignificance

In the immense space we call our world, we are absolutely insignificant. If we could stand next to our nearest star, we would appear so small as to be undetectable by any means known. Not to worry, the tremendous radiation of the sun would burn us to dust and then turn our dust into ions before we got anywhere near our mark.

This magnificent globe of…


Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

My poetry brings joy to the world. My art is thought provoking. My code is efficient and ingenious. My habits and routines are productive. My love is warm and beautiful. I have tremendous skills. I work hard. I am honest. I care about my children and I prove it every day.


Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash

Your mindset is the secret that wins the game.

1. Start!

You already have training, experience, education, and a very good plan. What else do you need? Nothing! Realizing that is the first skill.

To start your journey, hatch your plan, or open the doors of your business, you do not need any more than you have right now. You are a complete person. You have the assets to start … and starting is the most important step.

The longer you ‘plan,’ the more you will add to your list of ‘things you need to get started.’ As that list gets longer…

Mike Treanor

Mike is a software developer, chemist, motivational speaker, parent, and musician who writes about creativity and human nature.

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