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Archive for October, 2011

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 9 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, October 31st, 2011

After Sunday’s games we have 17 people TIED (including Bob T and J.R. Venza who have already won this year) with 10 wins. Interesting that none of the 17 picked the St Louis Rams to win. If the KC Chiefs win tonight there will be a 2 way tie and more likely the Chargers win and then there will be a mad scramble to see who wins this week’s pool.

Congratulations to last week’s winner Kelly Christine Delaney (the first female to win this year) who joins Rick Hurwitz, Clay Dethloff, J.R. Venza, Sam Picchiotti, Bob Tekampe & couldbStu in the championship week!

To see the current standings, click here. Erin Jewell has the top spot followed by Andrew Dixon in the cumulative rankings. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

Remember, the weekly winners will receive $50 and be given a spot in the grand prize pool during week 17 for an opportunity to win $400 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 months. In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standing will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

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

Good luck to all.

Attention Parents And Coaches! What Do You Think Of This Type Of Incentive?

Friday, October 28th, 2011

It was another day in Texas with great weather and baseball. My son J was about to take the mound as the starting pitcher but first I needed to speak with him to give him a few pointers and a little advice.

Here is what I said:

“J, you have a strong arm. All you need to do is play catch with Will (the catcher) and you will be great. Throw strikes. Don’t worry about how fast you are throwing.”
As he was walking away I said (not sure why) one more thing. “For every strikeout you get today I will give you $2 and for every walk you give me a $1.” He said, “Seriously, Dad? Really?” I said, “Yes, does that sound fair?”

Before I tell you what happened let me say that J is a GREAT kid and he has a strong arm BUT he isn’t usually that accurate and tends to walk a lot of people.

The 1st inning started. He threw a lot of strikes and hit 2 out of the first 3 batters. He settled down and then struck out 2, walked 1 and gave up 2 runs. As he is walking off the field he says to me, “You owe me $3.”

Maybe this is going to work.

The second inning comes and goes. His line for the day was 49 pitches (50 is the limit) with 38 strikes, 21 balls, 4 strike outs and 3 walks. His team won 12-2, he was the winning pitcher and yours truly is out $5!

  • What do you think of the incentive I used?
  • Do you agree with what I did?
  • Have you done something like this for your kids?
  • Do you believe the incentive helped his performance?
  • Should I offer him the same incentive for next week’s games?

I look forward to reading your comments.

You Want To Insure What?

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

Did you know that Gene Simmons (lead singer for KISS) has his tongue insured?  Tom Jones actually has his chest hair insured and Keith Richards has his middle finger insured.

I guess you can have everything insured. With that said, I would like my personality insured. W.M (my insurance broker), is that possible? How much will it cost? Maybe this will give me a little peace of mind as I get older in case I get Alzheimer’s! Or at least it will allow me keep my sense of humor while it is happening.

  • What is the oddest thing you have ever heard someone insuring?
  • If I am paying the bill, what would you like to insure?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 8 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, October 24th, 2011

I had almost a perfect sports day yesterday. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend the Cowboys & Rams game and then drove the 1/4 mile to park and see the Texas Rangers shutout the St. Louis Cardinals in game 4 of the World Series! Wow – what a day. Sorry I digress back to the Football pool. As of right now Kelly Christine Delaney and Brian Bussetti are tied with 11 wins and it will come down to a tie-breaker tonight.

Congratulations to last week’s winner Rick Hurwitz after a 13-0 perfect week! Rick joins Clay Dethloff, J.R. Venza, Sam Picchiotti, Bob Tekampe & couldbStu in the championship week!

To see the current standings, click here. Erin Jewell has the top spot followed by Steve Schlesinger in the cumulative rankings. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

Remember, the weekly winners will receive $50 and be given a spot in the grand prize pool during week 17 for an opportunity to win $400 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 months. In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standing will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

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

Good luck to all.

Money, Money, Money

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Today’s blog is a little different. The subject is money! Probably everyone doesn’t have enough money but that is not what I want to discuss today! I would like to start with a quick story. I was at CVS last week buying a few items. My transaction was $6.52 and so I gave the terrific customer service person a $20 dollar bill. She gave me the correct change, which was $13.48. She handed me the bills which were 3 (ones) 2 (fives) and some coins and as I was putting my change into my wallet she gave me a very odd look – almost like she was saying, what are you doing?  What I was doing was putting my bills in my wallet smallest to largest and all the bills facing forward.

I never thought that was odd but she did. As I started to look around, the next person who paid had her money jammed into her wallet folded lots of different ways. This really got me to think –is the way that I do it the norm? I assumed it was but perhaps not? Also, this got me to think about how we really don’t use cash for much anymore – I wonder how much money my friends and industry contacts typically have in their wallet?

So I ask you:

  • How do you arrange your money in your wallet?
  • Do you think I am strange for having the bills smallest to largest?
  • Do your bills face forward like mine do?
  • I usually carry $200.00 in my wallet – What is your average?
  • How often do you go to an ATM?
  • When I go to the ATM I usually take out $300 – How much do you usually take out?

I really look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Sometimes Coaches Are Funny And Sometimes A Little Nuts! It’s Time To Share Some Stories…

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

A few weeks ago the sun was shining and I had the pleasure of watching my oldest son play in a baseball game. Everywhere I looked I saw smiles and laughter.  As the sold out crowd settled in (ok maybe about 35 parents) the umpire yelled, “Let’s play ball!”  Let me say this is the second year of kid pitch. To give you a sense of a game, my son’s team scored 10 runs on 3 hits the week prior. Funny my son was 1-1 with 2 walks and 5 steals. Ok, back to the game.

As the game began I noticed the other manager was really, really intense and almost screaming at the kids. After every pitch he would yell to the batter, “Reload! Reload!” which means the batter had to step out of the batter’s box and wait for a signal. I understand signals but at 10 years old? There is no one on base and you are giving signals? Really? I have been playing ball for over 40 years and the only strategy to me when you are the first batter in a game is wait for a strike and hit the ball. Ok I will get past the reload and all of that stuff.

During the game we had lots of interesting stuff like catcher interference and a few balks, which guess who was involved in that? Mr. Reload Coach. All that is fine (I guess) until an interaction in one of the late innings.

Our coach said to Reload Coach who was on the third baseline, “You are in the baseline and in the way of our player who is getting ready to throw the ball and you almost got hit.”

Instead of saying, “I’m sorry, it won’t happen again, I didn’t realize,” he said, “Well there aren’t any coaching boxes.”

I am sorry but that is no way to teach kids. The art of baseball is not to circumvent the rules. He is right in that there weren’t any coaching boxes but since he has coached for 15 years (just a guess) and studies the rule book before he goes to sleep he know where they are and what to do.

This same coach questioned a number of other things during the game. I give him credit for giving his time but I do believe you need to do it the right way.

What are your thoughts?

  • Have your kids had some challenging coaches?
  • Do you think some coaches take it too far?
  • What are your thoughts regarding what happened in my son’s game?

I look forward to your comments.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 7 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, October 17th, 2011

First J. R Venza goes 16-0 which was amazing and now Rick Hurwitz runs the table and stands at 12-0 for the week which means tonight’s game doesn’t matter! Congratulations to Rick Hurwitz for winning the pool, a perfect week so far and a place in the championship week. You have joined: Clay Dethloff, J.R. Venza, Sam Picchiotti, Bob Tekampe & couldbStu – by the way all of the winners this year have been men – ladies time to step up!

For the cumulative standings Steve Schlesinger (the only person out of the entire pool to have at least 10 wins a week) shares the top with Erin Jewell, Andrew Dixon and Casey Turner who all have 66 wins!

To see the current standings, click here. Four people have 56 wins and are in the lead in the cumulative rankings. Included in the list is Willie Martin who has at least 10 wins in every week. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

Remember, the weekly winners will receive $50 and be given a spot in the grand prize pool during week 17 for an opportunity to win $400 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 months. In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standing will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

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

Good luck to all.

Imagine If Flight Attendants Could Give Tickets…

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Once in a while I think about what I would do if I were in charge, if I made the rules and if everyone had to listen to me. So there I was, I just boarded a plane, I was trying to get into my small yet comfortable seat and prepare for a 2 hour flight. The next thing I knew everything was pretty much utter chaos! No one was listening to the messages over the loud speaker, everyone was pretty much doing whatever they wanted, when they wanted and where they wanted. I am sure this all sounds familiar. Well, I have an answer. Since no one listens to flight attendants, give them the power to give out tickets! Yes, tickets, if customers continue not to listen to the rules.

Here is a sample of offenses and ticket prices:

  • Boarding a plane is ONE-way. The aisle doesn’t accommodate two-way traffic. Going the wrong way is a $100.00 fine.
  • Bringing a meal on the plane at your own risk. If you drop the entire meal in the aisle (yes, this happened a month ago) the cleanup is a $200.00 fine.
  • If you try and get your luggage out of the overhead bin while landing you get a $300.00 fine.
  • If you are Speedy Gonzalez sitting in row 26 and believe you can push and shove to beat the person off the plane who is in row 8, you are not only out $500.00, you are told to sit down AND will be the last person allowed to get off the plane.

I realize that some of you are saying, ‘Wow, I am glad he isn’t in charge,’ while others might be saying, ‘Merrill might be on to something.’

  • What do you think of my plan?
  • Do you believe the fines are the right amounts?
  • What other things would you fine passengers for?
  • How many people would have gotten fined on your last flight?

I look forward to hearing your comments.

Attention Sports Fans! Did You Hear The Story About Ron Artest? He Did What? Really?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

I would like to say that I was surprised, but these days NOTHING surprises me about today’s athletes. A few weeks ago Ron Artest officially changed his name to Metta World Peace.

One of the reasons Metta World Peace changed his name was so he could be a role model to kids. REALLY? I forgot to mention that Metta World Peace had to wait to get his name changed because of all of his unpaid parking tickets. Not just one ticket, but many. Metta said he was so excited to change his name but he couldn’t even attend the hearing. He wanted to be there but his schedule would have caused him to show up 20 minutes late! If you are that excited and want to be a role model – here is a thought – change your behavior!

Yes, people can change and I hope Metta does, but right now I hope my kids and others don’t look up to Metta World Peace as a role model.

What are your thoughts?

  • Do you agree with my position?
  • Did this story make you chuckle?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Are You Ready For Some Football? Join The Week 6 Merrill Dubrow Blog Football Pool

Monday, October 10th, 2011

The Buffalo Bills win again, the NY Jets lose their 3rd game in a row while the Philadelphia “DREAM TEAM” Eagles lose their 4th game in a row and Jason Miller was in 1st place with two games to go. Sorry Jason you fell out of contention with a GB Packers victory last night. Clay is in 1st place with 11 wins and can win it outright with a Lions victory. If the Bears win he would be in a 4 way tie race with Sharon Gautschy, Steve Benson and fashionista. Good luck to all!!

The 4th person to qualify for the week 17 championship is J.R. Venza who joins Sam Picchiotti, Bob Tekampe & couldbStu as the first three members of the club.

To see the current standings, click here. Four people have 56 wins and are in the lead in the cumulative rankings. Included in the list is Willie Martin who has at least 10 wins in every week. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

Remember, the weekly winners will receive $50 and be given a spot in the grand prize pool during week 17 for an opportunity to win $400 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 months. In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standing will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners.

Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

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

Good luck to all.