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Archive for September, 2009

Attention Baseball Fans: Did The NY Yankees Peak Too Soon?

Wednesday, September 30th, 2009

I’m sure that some of you already have an opinion prior to reading this posting. Since a lot of you are passionate and knowledgeable baseball fans, I respect that and look forward to hearing your comments.

The question is, have the NY Yankees peaked? Did they hit their stride too soon in 2009? As I write this, there are still 20 games to go in the season and yes the AL East is theirs, all theirs! The Redsox will not catch them. They have NO chance. Ok I said it. I threw in the towel and readers and fans like AJ, Jeffrey L, Jon L, Jennie L, Jeremy B and many, many others are very happy. The real question is does it matter? They won the AL East, (and by the way, will have the best record in baseball) which means they will have home field advantage in every series that they play.

Again does it matter? Did they peak too soon? Before I answer that question I need to give a little bit of my opinion. First of all CC and Tex are amazing–exactly what the Yankees thought they would be and after paying millions and millions of dollars for them, they got what they paid for. On the other hand AJ Burnett isn’t that good. He leads the AL in walks and frankly hasn’t figured things out. Yes he can dominate lesser teams, but remember: in the playoffs there are NO lesser teams. I am not sold on Joba or Pettitte. Joba to me is a head case. A hard thrower, yes. But a little above average and Pettitte throws junk and isn’t what he used to be. Lots of playoff experience will help him. Yes Rivera is amazing and awesome, but you need the starters to do their job to give him the ball. But overall, this pitching staff isn’t that scary.

The hitters are amazing. They pound the ball, hit a ton of home runs and frankly are pretty awesome. The intangible that fans need to be aware of is: sometimes the best team doesn’t always win. In fact in baseball the best team with the best record rarely wins. Let’s look at the history over the last 7 years. Here are the teams with the best record in baseball:

2008 LA Angels
2007 Cleveland
2006 NY Mets/NY Yankees
2005 St Louis
2004 St Louis
2003 NY Yankees/Atlanta
2002 NY Yankees/Oakland

What do all those teams have in common? NONE . . . I repeat NONE won the World Series. Three out of the last seven years the NY Yankees have had the best record in baseball and NOT won the World Series. That trend will continue this year as the Philadelphia Phillies will repeat.

What are your thoughts?

  • Did the NY Yankees peak too soon?
     
  • What are your predictions for the playoffs?
     
  • Who will win the 2009 World Series?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Isn’t The Time To See A Doctor . . . Now?

Monday, September 28th, 2009

Maybe you are sick maybe you aren’t. Maybe you feel great and maybe you don’t. Regardless, it’s easy to put off seeing a doctor – in fact very easy. Many people do it. Are you one of them? I remember the scene in the movie Arthur when John Gielgud (who played Hobson) was asked "have you seen a doctor?" John Gielgud responded "Yes, and he has seen me." I loved that movie and always remembered that scene.

As I have gotten older the questions have changed that I have asked my friends:

  • In my teens it was: "What sports are you playing?"
     
  • In my 20′s: "Who are you dating?"
     
  • In my 30′s: "How are the wife and kids?"
     
  • And now in my 40′s: "How are you feeling?"

We all know tons of people who aren’t in the greatest of health and I am sure that lots of them are very young. In fact younger than you would expect someone to be sick at that age.

Last month I had another physical. (I go twice a year to have my cholesterol checked) and my doctor has said I’m in good health – thankfully. He has said the same thing for a few years.

For me it would be very easy to put these visits off for months or even years. I try not to do it and hope you don’t either!

  • When was the last time you have seen a doctor?
     
  • How often do you go?
     
  • Do you put it off like a lot of people?
     
  • As you get older what are you doing to stay healthy?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Sports Fans: Time To Come Up With A List Of The Greatest Players Who Played For At Least Four Teams!

Friday, September 25th, 2009
Ernie Banks
Ernie Banks

The days of players like Al Kaline who played 22 years with the Detroit Tigers, Mike Modano who has played for the same franchise for 19 years, or Ernie Banks who was "Mr. Cubs" for 19 years are close to being over. Free agency clearly has taken care of that for sure. The reality is if athletes want to make more money (and they have that right) they probably will need to switch teams a number of times in their career.

As I was watching Pedro Martinez pitch a few weeks ago, I was thinking about how great he is/was depending on what side of the debate you are on. Clearly he was dominating for many years and has played for 5 teams! I was shocked when I looked up his stats. It gave me reason to pause and start to write down other great players who have played for 4 teams. Here is what I came up with quickly:

I must admit I miss the good old days when you bought a Larry Bird, Mantle or Yaz shirt and you knew you could wear it proudly for 15 years and there was little chance they were changing teams.

  • Who makes your list?
     
  • What about hockey and football players?

I look forward to reading your comments.

With Regard To Research Projects, Today Is The Time To Share Your Success And Failures On Social Networking Sites.

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

With the conference season about to start, one thing is for certain: every conference will include many sessions regarding social networking sites. A few people–probably not that many–might ask, "Why is that?"  For many reasons.  And at the top of the list is the buzz that these social networking sites have created and how they might be able to help in terms of research projects.

My sense is that companies are starting to have some success with social networking sites and starting to figure out their place in the research world.

I assume companies are:

  • Using these sites to increase their respondent data base?
     
  • Using them to recruit for focus groups?
     
  • Using them to do incidence checks?
     
  • Creatively using them to find staff?
     
  • Also monitoring the sites to see what the most relevant discussions and buzz words are and using that information to develop a questionnaire or moderator’s guide.

Am I right?

  • I would love for you to share success stories (no need to mention clients names at all – please keep that generic)
     
  • Also can you share some of the mistakes that you may have made?
     
  • What learnings have you had along the way?
     
  • On what sites have you had the most success?

It would be great to hear from a lot of people and get a good discussion going on such an important topic. I will also ask our Field Department and some of our project staff to share our experience as well.

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Have You Been To Or Plan To Go To “The Shack?”

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Close your eyes and when you say or hear the words "The Shack", what comes to mind first? For me it is either Shaquille O’Neil or a greasy spoon restaurant at the beach–somewhere I would go wearing a bathing suit, no shirt, sandals and sun glasses. Well there is another meaning for The Shack. The Shack sells lots of stuff and the Shack just became the Shack very recently. Prior to being called the Shack, it was a company that was founded in 1921 close to 90 years ago as RadioShack.

I realize that over time things change and the word radio means less than it ever did. Yes technology in the past 90 years has exploded and come away from the traditional radio that my parents and their parents listened to music and ballgames on.

I won’t argue the name change. I don’t pretend to be a "name change guru" and perhaps they needed to change the name of the company.  But The Shack? A 4 billion dollar company with over 35,000 employees is called The Shack!

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t get it.

I must admit I don’t shop there and can’t even remember the last time I was in one of their stores. So I might be missing something. I believe there is a Shack in one of my towns but it isn’t in an area that I go to often, so I never go in.

  • When you hear the word Shack what comes to mind?
     
  • What do you think of the new name?
     
  • Does it work for you?
     
  • What other names could they have gone with?
     
  • Did you shop at RadioShack?
     
  • Will you shop at The Shack?

I look forward to reading your comments.

How About Some Friday Fun? Read On To Play True/False

Friday, September 18th, 2009

This contest is now closed. Click here to see the final results and answers to the quiz.

Time For Some Quick Friday Fun — True Or False?

Click here to play.

The contest will close Monday, October 5 at 3:00 PM CDT, and the winners will be announced later that day.  As usual, the quiz will be timed as a tie-breaker.

Good luck to all.

Amnesty Day: Have You Done Any Of These Six Things?

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

So there I am.  It is early in the morning and I just left my hotel room. After a decent night’s sleep I am up early for a quick breakfast and then a day of meetings. As I am walking towards the elevator I notice a housekeeping cart and a person walks by and takes something off it–I think it was some shampoo or lotion. I paused for a minute and thought this might be a fun post.

Have people done certain things in their life?

  1. Have you ever taken a newspaper that was in front of someone else’s door at a hotel?
     
  2. Have you ever taken the "do not disturb sign" off my door and put it on another?
     
  3. Have you ever filled out the breakfast order card and hung it on someone else’s door?
     
  4. Do you take things off the housekeeping cart? 
     
  5. Do you try and board a flight before they call your section?
     
  6. Do you not put back items in a grocery store that all of a sudden you don’t want?

Six things you could have done. The question is yes/no – have you done them?

For me, I say "yes" to numbers 1, 4, 5, 6 and "no" to 2 and 3.

Now let me explain. For me I will only take someone else’s newspaper if someone took mine. Doesn’t make it right, but just what I do. I will sometimes take a few extra towels off the housekeeping cart. The reason is I tend to workout out when I’m on the road and take a lot of showers and hotels have cut back on towels. Once in a while I might try and board at the end of the first class line and once in awhile if I am with my kids at the checkout counter and I have noticed they put something in the cart that I didn’t know about, I will give it to the cashier and not put it back. With regard to number 3, I was with a friend of mine a few weeks ago who told me he used to do that all the time when he was a kid. I will admit I chuckled a little bit.  The real funny thing is I never ever would have thought about doing that.

Now your turn:

Yes or no to these 6 things?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What Are You Afraid Of?

Monday, September 14th, 2009

Most of the time whenever I post something, I have an idea if people will read and enjoy the topic. Are they engaged in the subject and will they add comments?

Whenever I write about a sensitive subject, I never know if readers will put their guard down and add their comments. This is one of those times.

Everyone has things they are afraid of. Everyone has things they are uncomfortable with and I am no different.

So what am I afraid of:

  • Snakes – I hate snakes.  Always have and always will. In fact I hate seeing snakes in a movie and have a need to close my eyes.
     
  • The water and specifically drowning.  Since I always skipped swimming when I was at camp to play other sports, I am a terrible swimmer and have almost drowned on 3 different occasions (AB & GS remember).  I love to go to the beach BUT rarely will I go over my head in the ocean.
     
  • Failure – Not exactly sure where I got this trait. Maybe from my dad. But I hate to fail and am very afraid of coming up short on things that I am involved with. I try and work very hard to overcome that but I still have a lot of work to do.

Now your turn:

  • What are you afraid of?
     
  • How long have you felt like that?
     
  • Are you trying to overcome it?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Hey Guys! Manicure, Pedicure – Yes Or No?

Friday, September 11th, 2009

There is probably a good chance that some of you are laughing at the title of this posting. Part of me doesn’t blame you – in the past certainly those activities were predominately done by females.

Well times have changed and more and more guys are getting a manicure and pedicure.

The question is:

  • Do I?
     
  • Do you?
     
  • And how was the experience?

I have never had a manicure – ever. Would I? Probably not in the near future. Never say never, but I just don’t think it is for me. Now on to a pedicure. Have I had one? Yes, I have. In fact I had 2. Both of them took place in the past few years.

The first one was at a resort in Mexico. I had no idea what to expect, didn’t ask lots of questions. It was NEVER a topic of conversation with my guy friends. (I wonder if I am or think I am too manly.) But I thought I would experience it. Frankly I was totally surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Because I play lots of sports my feet had lots of calluses on them. The person I went to said it would take about an hour. Well my feet needed so much attention, that over two hours later I was still there. Afterwards I felt like a million bucks. My feet were soft, the calluses were all gone and it was a great experience.

About a year later I went again to a local spa and the experience was the same – awesome!

  • Hey, guys. Do you get a manicure?
     
  • What about a pedicure?
     
  • How was the experience?
     
  • How often do you go?
     
  • Should I actually get a manicure?
     
  • Ladies, do you ever give your significant other a gift certificate for a treatment?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Just Did This For The First Time And Loved It!

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

As a way to stay in shape I have been working out for the past seven years. During that time I have lifted some weights but really my workouts consist of running/walking on the treadmill while I watch Sports Center or catch up on a little reading. I love being able to do that about five times a week.  For me it is a chance to clear my head and think about business, friends, and what is going on in my life.

Two weeks ago I changed it up a little bit. I actually worked out with a personal trainer. I have a number of friends (S.S. to name one) who work out with a trainer all the time and I was curious how the experience would be.

Well the call was made, appointment was set up and the day had come for my session. I must admit I wasn’t even sure if I could last an hour – but soon we would find out. After a brief five minute cardio warm-up we hit the weights. It wasn’t about lifting lots of weight but more about reps, technique and frankly getting to a point where my muscles (glad to find out I have some) were burning. We did a number of exercises like the one where I stood up on an aerobics step on my toes while I was leaning on a big ball and tried to hold that for thirty seconds.  Well, after fifteen seconds I think I had tears coming down my face. It was amazing because it was all about body strength and not about lifting weights.

After one session I felt a little different. My body which usually is very tight seemed a little bit more flexible. I seemed to have a little more energy and felt better.

And guess what? I have already set up two more sessions and can’t wait!

  • Have you been going to a personal trainer?
     
  • Do you like the experience?
     
  • How does it make you feel?
     
  • Any tips you could pass on?

I look forward to reading your comments.