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Archive for December, 2010

Hey What’s Your Favorite App?

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

It really is so funny how things change. Growing up when you heard the word “app” you would always think about appetizers (at least I did), now years later it means something very much different.

You won’t believe this but there are now well over 200,000 apps available for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and, surprisingly, many of the best are free.

Some of the more popular are:

  • Facebook
     
  • Twitter
     
  • Dropbox
     
  • Thetrainline
     
  • Wikipanion
     
  • Kindle

So I ask you

  • What is your favorite App?
     
  • Do you ever pay for Apps?
     
  • What is the ONE App you can’t live without?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 17 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, December 27th, 2010

Finally I was right – I knew the NY Giants would lose to Green Bay. They have imploded and probably will be playing golf this time next week. I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year and hope everyone has enjoyed the holiday season so far. Thank you for participating in the Football Pool. When we started this we weren’t sure how many people would participate but clearly with over 160 people playing week after week it turned out to be very successful and exceeded my expectations. THANK YOU!! Currently we have a 4 way tie for first place with 2 games to go. There have been many twists and turns during the football season and another one happened yesterday with the Philadelphia Eagles game being postponed until Tuesday Night. What that means is this week’s winner will be known Wednesday morning and they will be included in the championship week.

Congratulations to Gwen who has two entries, Sarah Baird, Jacob Adler, Jennifer Acosta, Mike Perdue, Jessica Cons, Patricia Wakim, Amy Sawyer, Stacey Zontini, Susan Hayes, Meg, Marty, Ben, Amy Shields and Robert Harrell. All of you have won a week and have qualified for the Championship week.

Here are the rules for CHAMPIONSHIP week:

  • Only the weekly winners can win this week.
     
  • No one will be able to see any of the picks prior to Friday night at 5:00 pm CST.
     
  • You still make your picks the same way the only difference is they will be hidden for a few days.
     
  • I will send out reminders to ensure all of the winners get their picks in.
     
  • Since we only want one champion there will be 2 tie breakers:
     
    • The first one will be the total points of the Titans/Colts game.
       
    • If there is still a tie we will have another tiebreaker which will be the total points of the Chargers/Broncos game.
       
  • If there is still a tie after those 2 tie breakers, those people will be co-champions and each be awarded a $400 American Express gift certificate.

Whoever doesn’t qualify for the championship can play along FOR FUN. Their scores won’t count but they can see how they would have done against the weekly champions.

THIS WEEK THE DEADLINE FOR PICKS WILL BE FRIDAY AT 5:00PM CST!

REMINDER THIS IS FOR THE CHAMPIONSHIP AND THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO QUALIFY ARE THE WEEKLY WINNERS.

Here is a link to see the scoreboard.

Here is a link for you to do this week’s picks.

REMEMBER TO GET YOUR PICKS IN AND THEY WILL NOT SHOW UP UNTIL FRIDAY NIGHT!

Good luck to all.

REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEK IS FRIDAY AT 5:00 CST!

Time To Go Shopping In A Wal-Mart In China. What Are You Buying?

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

In the last 4 years I have gotten a tremendous amount of emails and topics for blogs. I must admit I really enjoyed looking at what is being sold at a Wal-Mart in China. I must admit I am fascinated with different cultures.

So get ready, sit back and look at 9 different items that are being sold at a Wal-Mart in China:

Crocodiles

Bulk Rice

Mixed Meat for the Choosing

Orange Juice and Cooking Oil

Wal-Mart Brand Spirits

Rib Cages

Beautiful Boxes of Liquor

A Large Selection of Chopsticks

Diet Water

I hope you found that very interesting. I did for sure! A number of things. I was surprised that they sell orange juice and cooking oil together? In fact it looks like they sell them as a package. The different style of chopsticks was very cool as was the beautiful boxes that Liquor comes in. Ok I also will be the first to admit the crocodiles scared me a little bit.

  • What did you think?
     
  • What are you buying?
     
  • Have you been to a Wal-Mart in China?
     
  • If so, what was the experience like?

I look forward to reading your comments

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 16 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Ok I thought for sure that Pittsburgh would crush the Jets. I also thought that New England would destroy Green Bay who was playing with a backup quarterback in New England. Can you believe the NY Giants blew a 21 point 4th quarter lead? What a GREAT week of football and what a GREAT year of this pool. We had over 220 different people enter the pool (and 176 this week – the most ever) and this is the LAST WEEK to win and enter the championship which will take place next week! Currently Josh Epstein and Robert Harrell are tied with 12 wins and if the Bears win it will come down to a tie-breaker. If the Vikings win than Eric Baird will create a 3 way tie.

THIS WEEK THERE IS A THURSDAY GAME SO THE DEADLINE FOR PICKS WILL BE THURSDAY AT 5:00PM CST!

REMINDER THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF THE POOL SO YOU NEED TO WIN TO BE PART OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP!

Reminder we have added a few things for you to follow along and enjoy the fun. We have an updated leader board located on the right side of the main page of the blog that updates every 30 minutes during the games and within that page you can see the results from the prior weeks.

Here is a link to see the scoreboard.

The fifteenth week we had 176 participants so the winner will receive $75. Remember the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool which will be in week 17. The winners so far are: Gwen has two entries, Sarah Baird, Jacob Adler, Jennifer Acosta, Mike Perdue, Jessica Cons, Patricia Wakim, Amy Sawyer, Stacey Zontini, Susan Hayes, Meg, Marty, Ben and Amy Shields fighting for bragging rights for the next 6 months.

Here is a link for you to do this week’s picks.

Feel free to share the link and have friends, colleagues, relatives, kids and anyone else you want join the pool. REMEMBER THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF THE POOL!

Good luck to all.

REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEK IS THURSDAY AT 5:00 CST!

Looking To Buy A Gift Card For Someone – This List Might Help!

Friday, December 17th, 2010

I am sure all of us have had trouble buying a gift for someone and no doubt it will happen this month. The question is what do you do about it? If you are like me you scratch your head a few times and then come up with the clever response a gift card! I was reading an article recently that highlighted the top 20 gift cards that I thought I would share and actually comment on. The list was compiled by Giftcardrescue.com and had 6,000 people interviewed from January to October 31.

Before you review the list think about retail stores, your purchases and any gift cards you might have bought in the last year.

Here is the list:

A few comments:

  • How is Starbucks NOT number 1 or at least in the top 3?
     
  • How did BP, Shell and Exxon make the list?
     
  • I thought Best buy would be in the top 3
     
  • Amazon and Wal-Mart are no surprise and I thought for sure they would be in the top 5
     
  • I can’t believe Barnes & Noble didn’t make the list?

Ok now your turn.

  • What do you think of the list?
     
  • Who is missing?
     
  • When you give out gift cards what stores do you usually buy them from?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

A Blog About What? Prisoners? Are You Kidding Me?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

For over six years I have lived in the great state of Texas. Recently there have a been a few stories that involved prisons that I didn’t fully understand why they couldn’t find easy solutions.

The first one was that inmates are somehow getting cell phones in prison. These devices are being smuggled in and in a few cases have been used to commit crimes on the outside including homicides. Clearly I am NOT a detective or a martial arts expert. I would imagine that a cell phone somehow some way can be used as a weapon against the guards or fellow inmates. Also they could make calls (until the battery runs out) and plan a breakout or another crime.

Solution – Don’t they have metal detectors that would easily detect them? Also even if they get past the metal detector isn’t there some type of jamming device that would not allow these prisoners to use the cell phones. I understand that the guards wouldn’t be able to use their cell phone but maybe that would help with issue number two.

The second issue I have been seeing on TV and reading about is all of the prison breaks that have happened in Texas. Most of these prisoners are in prison for life and have little to no chance of getting out unless they escape which is what lots of them are doing and in one case they got out and murdered a couple a few days after breaking out.

Solution – why don’t all prisoners everywhere who are in for life get some type of tracking device put on them or inserted in them. Ok the inserted wouldn’t work because there would be a ton of backlash but why not a light ankle bracelet?

Just my two cents.

I realize that this might be a controversial subject and people might not be comfortable providing a comment but I hope some will.

  • What do you think?
     
  • What do you think of my solutions?
     
  • Any other ideas for the great state of Texas?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 15 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Wow – I thought there was a chance I was predicting two upsets this week. I thought that Washington would beat Tampa and may have if they didn’t mess up the extra point with 10 seconds to play in the game and the other upset was the Bears beating the Patriots and I was only 40 points off on that one! Currently Kim Osterberg, Jeff and Amy Shields are tied with 12 wins (a very impressive number). There are still two games left and a number of combinations that could happen to have more people in the mix.

THIS WEEK THERE IS A THURSDAY GAME SO THE DEADLINE FOR PICKS WILL BE THURSDAY AT 5:00PM CST!

Reminder we have added a few things for you to follow along and enjoy the fun. We have an updated leader board located on the right side of the main page of the blog that updates every 30 minutes during the games and within that page you can see the results from the prior weeks.

Here is a link to see the scoreboard.

The fourteenth week we had 160 participants so the winner will receive $75. Remember the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool which will be in week 17. The winners so far are: Gwen has two entries, Sarah Baird, Jacob Adler, Jennifer Acosta, Mike Perdue, Jessica Cons, Patricia Wakim, Amy Sawyer, Stacey Zontini, Susan Hayes, Meg, Marty and Ben fighting for bragging rights for the next 6 months.

Here is a link for you to do this week’s picks.

Feel free to share the link and have friends, colleagues, relatives, kids and anyone else you want join the pool.

Good luck to all.

REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEK IS THURSDAY AT 5:00 CST!

Have You Ever Gotten Pulled Over For A Traffic Violation And Said Why Me?

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Have you ever gotten pulled over for a traffic violation? While the officer is writing out the ticket do you wonder why me? I was going the flow of traffic so if I was speeding then everyone is speeding. So again why me? Why did the officer pull me over? Was it the kind of car I drive? Was it the color of my car? Was it because I am young? I am sure all of us have been pulled over once in our life and perhaps thought about those exact things and said why me!

I was reading an article the other day that may answer a few of those questions.

Quality Planning, an auto insurance analytics firm, examined a year’s worth of traffic-citation data to rank cars that are most and least likely to be cited for traffic violations. I found the information very interesting. I wasn’t surprised that three different Mercedes-Benz Models made the top 10. I believe that the combination of people who have a Mercedes-Benz drive faster than most and also that police officers target expensive cars puts them on the list. The same is true about a Hummer. I was surprised that the Scion made the list with two models and SHOCKED to read that females had a higher percentage of tickets than males in 7 out of 10 categories. Here is more data:

Violation-prone vehicles

Make

Model

Body style

Violations per 100,000 miles driven, expressed as a percentage of average

Average age of cited driver

% cited drivers who are male

Mercedes-Benz

SL-class

Convertible

404%

53

41%

Toyota

Camry Solara

Coupe

349%

50

39%

Scion

tC

Coupe

343%

30

39%

Hummer

H2/H3

SUV

292%

46

73%

Scion

xB

Hatchback

270%

37

40%

Mercedes-Benz

CLS-63 AMG

Sedan

264%

46

58%

Acura

Integra

Coupe

185%

33

60%

Pontiac

Grand Prix

Sedan

182%

40

41%

Mercedes-Benz

CLK-63 AMG

Sedan

179%

47

44%

Volkswagen

GTI

Hatchback

178%

40

44%

  • What do you think of the data?
     
  • Do you happen to drive one of the cars on this list?
     
  • Do you think that certain cars or colors are targeted more than others?
     
  • Do you have a funny traffic violation story that you would like to share?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Yes I Found Something Of Value And Yes I Gave It Back!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was reading USA Today and read an article where a man living in Arizona found a backpack and gave it back to the owner. Sounds like a pretty simple story and what’s the big deal or importance of the story? Well there are a few twists to the story – the backpack had a laptop and $3,300.00 in cash in it and the man who found it was homeless. I think this story and person (Dave Tally) is amazing! Truly! He is a person who has been living on the edge for 11 years. Probably many nights where he was cold and hungry. Probably many discussions with himself that said “why me”, “how do I get out of this situation”. All of a sudden he finds a laptop which he could sell and a pile of money and returns it! What an amazing individual. I obviously have never met Dave but I am very proud of him! So glad he did the right thing!

A few years ago I found a wallet in a cab. I have no idea how much money was in it or if and how many credit cards there were. All I did is find his driver’s license and after calling information spoke to the person who was very happy to hear I found his wallet. When we met he did want to give me a “reward” which I wouldn’t take a penny for just doing the right thing.

  • What do you think of Dave Tally and what he did?
     
  • Have you ever found anything of value and returned it?
     
  • Did you get a reward?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 14 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, December 6th, 2010

I thought I was sitting pretty good with winning 8 of the first 9 games but NO that wasn’t the case – 28 people won the first 9 games! I am sitting with 11 wins which is average this week at best. There are two people with 14 wins (meaning they only got 1 game wrong). Very impressive! The week 13 winner will be Ben if the New England Patriots win and JJBielin if the NY Jets win. Good luck to both of you.

THIS WEEK THERE IS A THURSDAY GAME SO THE DEADLINE FOR PICKS WILL BE THURSDAY AT 5:00PM CST!

Reminder we have added a few things for you to follow along and enjoy the fun. We have an updated leader board located on the right side of the main page of the blog that updates every 30 minutes during the games and within that page you can see the results from the prior weeks.

Here is a link to see the scoreboard.

The thirteenth week we had 171 participants (THE MOST OF ANY WEEK) so the winner will receive $75. Remember the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool which will be in week 17. The winners so far are: Gwen has two entries, Sarah Baird, Jacob Adler, Jennifer Acosta, Mike Perdue, Jessica Cons, Patricia Wakim, Amy Sawyer, Stacey Zontini, Susan Hayes, Meg AND Marty fighting for bragging rights for the next 6 months.

Here is a link for you to do this week’s picks.

Feel free to share the link and have friends, colleagues, relatives, kids and anyone else you want join the pool.

Good luck to all.

REMEMBER THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEK IS THURSDAY AT 5:00 CST!