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Archive for October, 2012

Everyone Loves Pets – The Question Is… What Is The Most Unusual One?

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

As I was driving my kids to baseball a few weeks ago, I decided to quickly but safely turn around into a parking lot so I could have the kids get close to a few donkeys. Someone in town has a few of them as pets and they are very friendly, gentle and will even allow you to rub their noses – should you have the desire.

As usual, this got me thinking about what pets people have that are the most unusual.  Here are a few pictures to get us started:

  • What pet do you have now?
  • What is the most unusual pet you have every had?
  • What is the most unusual pet your friends or relatives have or had?
  • Assuming you had the space, money and were allowed to have an exotic pet, what would it be?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Pro Athletes: Get Used To One Year Contracts!

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Living in Boston for as long as I did, I always was amazed at Tim Wakefield. Yes, he pitched for 20+ years and threw a knuckle ball effectively for most of those years. Those are things to be impressed with but not what I am going to refer to today. You see, Tim Wakefield in a lot of ways was ahead of his time. He actually was doing something for years that now will become normal – let’s call him a trend setter!

For years Tim signed a one year contract. It didn’t matter how he did, he always signed a one year deal. Perhaps he was most comfortable with that or the team insisted it or there was some other reason. The interesting thing in my opinion is that it is what the future will be for most pro athletes. By most I will define as 75%. Yes, superstars in baseball, basketball, hockey and football will always get their money and longer term deals than the average athlete. The thing is, there are not a ton of superstars. Perhaps 20 or 30 in every sport and to be frank, but how many of those superstars turn out to be worth the money and the big contract they sign? AROD, Josh Beckett, Gary Mathews Jr., and AJ Burnett all signed big deals – none of them were worth it. That will be a topic for a different day.

Let’s get back to one year deals. The extra expense of the luxury tax for these professional teams is as real as the fact that most athletes aren’t worth a long term deal. This will force most of them into one year deals.

I believe this helps the teams with financial freedom and also minimizes ugly long term contracts that ultimately affect the paying customer (you and me) with higher priced seats.

It might take a number of years to get to the level of one year deals that I am referring to, but I truly believe it will happen.

What do you think?

  • Am I right?
  • Would you like it to go this way?
  • Do you believe most long term contracts aren’t worth it?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Last week we had  6 people with a perfect score of 13 wins! I doubt that will happen this week since only 13% of the participants picked last night’s upset of the Minnesota Vikings. Congratulations to B Nixon who won last week and joins Doug Golab,  Tal Shahar, D Dolphus, Laurel Glenn, Brandon Bettaga, Jessica Cons and Sharon Gautschy who all qualify for the Championship week and a chance at the grand prize of $500… And more importantly, bragging rights for the next 9 months!!

In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standings will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners. As of right now Tal Shahar has 75 wins followed by Steve Larson and Rich Zeichner who have 70 wins.

We are trying to make the football pool a little more fun and have added a few quick questions prior to making your picks.  Here are a few tid-bits:

  • Favorite NFL team: Dallas Cowboys 27%, New England Patriots 9%, NY Giants 8.4%
  • 34% of the pool participants are female – interesting since most of the winners this year have been female.

Remember, if you use the same email to enter a friend, colleague or a family member, our system will count the most recent email as your picks.

To see the current standings, click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

All picks need to be in by 11:00am (CST) on Sunday, November 4.

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.

PS. My son Justin has 67 overall wins and is beating me by 8 wins.

I Know I Need Glasses But This Just Never Made Sense To Me…

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Let me know if this sounds familiar. You are at Wal-Mart, Best Buy or Target and you are looking at the DVD section for a movie to watch with the family and you see a movie that you aren’t 100% sure you have seen before. You go to look for the date the movie was released or you find a movie you might like, but you want to see the rating because the kids will be watching it with you.

Do these scenarios sound familiar? The next think I do and perhaps you do as well is look for the date that the movie was released and the rating. The problem is I can’t read it because the font size is 4. It’s too small for most people unless they are walking around with binoculars or a magnifying glass – which I am not!

  • Is this a struggle for you as well?
  • Why is it like this?
  • Why can’t the movie industry pass a law that key information has to be big enough for people to read?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Yes, I Want To Know You Better… And Here Is A Quick Quiz To Help!

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

During the course of a week, we get over 1,100 hits on the blog and over the last 6+ years, almost 20,000 comments. Many of the readers and people who comment I don’t know. As a way to get to know them better, I am asking everyone to take this quick quiz.

Click here to take the quiz.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Week 7 started last night and 83% of the participants correctly picked the San Francisco 49ers.  Last week Doug Golab won the pool in a tie-breaker and joined Tal Shahar, D Dolphus, Laurel Glenn, Brandon Bettaga, Jessica Cons and Sharon Gautschy who all qualify for the Championship week and a chance at the grand prize of $500… And more importantly, bragging rights for the next 9 months!!!

In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standings will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners. As of right now Tal Shahar has 63 wins followed by Steve Larson who has 60 wins.

We are trying to make the football pool a little more fun and have added a few quick questions prior to making your picks. We will be sharing the data with the participants and never anyone else.  

Remember, if you use the same email to enter a friend, colleague or a family member, our system will count the most recent email as your picks.

To see the current standings,click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, October 25.

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.

PS. My son Justin has 58 overall wins and is not only crushing me he is tied for 6th overall in the cumulative rankings – very impressive!

Is It Time To Write A Book?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

For a number of years I have always said I would write a book or two. The question is never “Will I do it?”, but “When will I do it?” I have a number of ideas that I have considered over the years:

  • One of those is Merrillism – things I have used in my business life that I believe to have worked and can enhance success
  • Another thought is to take the best of the blog and expand on some of the most commented blogs I have had over the past 6 years.
  • Or perhaps I talk about leadership for mid-size companies – something that is critical in today’s economic environment.

And there is always the fallback book of my struggles of being a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan!

I have been told I look at things very different than most and would be appealing to readers.

  • Do you agree?
  • Any ideas on what I may want to consider writing about?
  • Have you written a book?
  • How was the experience?
  • Any best practices you would like to share?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Is Today The Day You Review Your 401k Choices? I Say… Time To Read On…

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Over the past week I have had over 10 discussions with friends and colleagues regarding 401k programs. The interesting thing is most of the conversations go like this:

  • Are you part of the 401k program? Yes.
  • Originally how did you make your choices for which investments to choose? I looked at the different options, history and went with what I thought was the right options for me.
  • Did you have a professional or a financial analyst help you make the decision? No.
  • How often do you review your choices? Not that often, I look at the quarterly statements and don’t do much about it.
  • So you have never changed your investment choices? That’s right – I haven’t.

Before I ask the next question most of them say I don’t really know what I should do and it tends to be a little confusing, so I just leave it alone.

  • The last question I ask is, “Do you know how important it is too review your choices?” Everyone says they do and they will very soon.

Does this sound familiar?

Most people are aware of the volatility of the economy and how important this is. The fact is they are long overdue from reviewing it alone or with a professional. I called a few contacts of mine who are financial analysts and asked them how often they look at their own 401k choices and what they recommend for their clients. Most responded with a few times a year.

So I ask you… Is today the day you review your 401k choices? I say yes…

  • What do you say?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 12th, 2012

Week 6 started last night and yes, there was another upset. Only 10% of the participants were able to predict the outcome of the game including my daughter who knows little about football but made her pick based on the name of the team – Tennessee Titans. Last week Tal Shahar and D Dolphus won the pool and joined Laurel Glenn, Brandon Bettaga, Jessica Cons and Sharon Gautschy who all qualify for the Championship week and a chance at the grand prize of $500… And more importantly, bragging rights for the next 9 months!!!

For the fourth week in a row a female has won the pool!

In addition, the two people who have the highest cumulative score (these standings will be updated weekly) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners. As of right now Tal Shahar has  54 wins followed by Steve Larson who has 53 wins.

Remember, if you use the same email to enter a friend, colleague or a family member, our system will count the most recent email as your picks.

To see the current standings,click here. The results page shows this week’s current standings as well as the cumulative rankings.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, October 18.

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.

PS. My son Justin has 50  overall wins and is still kicking my butt in the pool!

Don’t Rules Apply To The Rule Makers?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

A few weeks ago I was working out on a treadmill and the person next to me who was also working out on a treadmill was one of the personal trainers for the club. She was talking to another club member during her workout. About 30 minutes later she was finished with her cardio session and left the workout facility. I finished a few minutes later and got a paper towel and the spray to wipe down the machine. As I was doing this it struck me that the personal trainer never did that. The same person who probably put up the sign in the gym saying, “Please wipe down the machine after using it,” didn’t do that. My guess is that she has special sweat and doesn’t feel the need to follow the same rules as everyone else.

A few months prior I was with AVS at a 5th grade graduation for little MT and the principal for the new middle school showed up to say hello and meet some of his new students and parents. It was a very nice gesture and made lots of the kids feel comfortable. What I thought was very interesting was that the entire time he was on stage, which had to be over an hour, he was chewing gum. He was chomping away, never hiding the fact that he had gum in his mouth. In the school most of the teachers don’t allow gum chewing and even if they did, no one would suggest it is OK to chew gum on stage at an important event… like a 5th grade graduation.

  • What happen to setting an example?
  • What happened to following rules that you set?
  • What happened to doing the right thing?
  • Is all of that gone these days?

I look forward to reading your comments.