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Archive for October, 2013

What Is Your Biggest Daily Worry?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

I think this is a very interesting question. I realize that everyone worries about a ton of things on a weekly basis but what do you worry about on a daily basis. Is it:

    • Job security?
    • The health of your parents?
    • Should I quit my job?
    • Should I sell my house?
    • How much money do I need to retire?
    • Will I ever have enough money to retire?
    • Where will I live when I retire?
    • What college will my kids go to?
    • I hope my kids turn out ok?

For me I think about a lot of things but at the top of the list is my parents, their health and what the future looks like for them. As I am thinking about that I am also trying to figure out all the things I want to do with them; which is a very long list!

Ok your turn:

    • What is your biggest daily worry?

I look forward to reading your comments.

51 Down and Hopefully More Still To Visit – By Guest Writer, Ed Sugar

Monday, October 28th, 2013

As regular readers of this blog know, I am a very passionate baseball fan. This past September I reached a personal milestone, as I attended games at Yankee Stadium and Marlins Park. This meant that for the second time in my life, I could boast having seen at least one game at all 30 major league ballparks, for a lifetime total of 51 MLB parks. I had previously accomplished this goal back in the summer of 2005, but subsequently St. Louis, Minnesota, Washington DC and both teams in New York erected new “Fields of Dreams” for me to seek out and enjoy. Slowly but surely I was able to find my way to these five ballparks and once again “evened out the ledger.”

But little did I know that my visits to ballparks #50 and #51 would provide me with a lifetime of memories and underscore the old adage that the beauty of baseball is you never know what you’re going to see when you attend a game.

Ballpark #50 was on Tuesday, September 24th at Yankee Stadium. Joining me that evening were JB and MG (thanks MG for securing great seats). What should have been a tight battle for a playoff berth between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Yankees, turned out to be the greatest promotion fiasco in baseball since Bill Veeck’s 1977 Disco Demolition Night in Chicago. If you are unaware of what happened that night in the Bronx, click here for the full story.

I am not sure what was more satisfying, having the Bronx Bombers lose 7-0 or witnessing thousands of adult Yankee fans having meltdowns as they had to wait in line for over two hours for a 10 cent plastic figurine.

Ballpark #51 was five days later at Marlins Park, as the hometown Marlins played host to the Detroit Tigers. Thanks to Victor C. I had a fabulous seat, 12 rows behind the Miami dugout. Other than this being the first time an inter league game was being played on the last day of the regular season, it was a match up with no major significance. The Tigers were resting up for their post season run and the Marlins were closing down a 100 loss season. Two hours and six minutes after Marlins pitcher Henderson Alvarez threw his first pitch, he had notched the first no-hitter on the final day of a regular season game since 1984, as well as the first solo no-hitter that ended on a walk-off run since 1952. To make it even more bizarre the winning run came in on a wild pitch, with the bases loaded, two outs, while Alvarez was standing in the on-deck circle, bat in hand, hoping to complete his no-hitter.

Weeks later these two games are still making me smile, laugh and feel like there is no greater sport known to mankind than baseball.

I am curious to know:

  • Do you have similar dreams of visiting every MLB park, NFL stadium, NBA/NHL arena, NASCAR track or prominent NCAA venue?
  • Have you been able to attend a game at every MLB park, NFL stadium, NBA/NHL arena, NASCAR track or prominent NCAA venue?
  • What is the most bizarre and unexpected thing that you have witnessed at a baseball game or any other major sporting event?
  • Is it worth two plus hours of your life to wait in line for a bobble head doll or any other promotional item?

I look forward to your dreams, memories and comments.

Lose Your Job, In Transition – Time For A Vacation…

Monday, October 21st, 2013

In the past few weeks I had heard from a number of friends of mine who have lost their jobs. All of them were irritated &frustrated. Yes, they have a right to be and a few of them were blind-sided, confused and shocked. All of them were very upset! My advice to all of them was the same.

Take a two week vacation! Read a book, go to the gym, go visit your parents and complete all those little projects that all of us put off BUT don’t start your job search! Don’t call your contacts and don’t reach out to anyone. In my opinion it won’t do any good. As I was sitting across from a number of people who were in transition, I could easily see the pain on their face which was way too fresh to move forward! I truly believe the best advice is to do nothing, try and get over some of the pain, accept what happened and then move forward.

And in my opinion that takes a few weeks.

  • Do you agree with me?
  • Is that the advice you would give?
  • What other advice do you give?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Congratulations to 16 year old Jake Hurwitz who won week 6 and won the football pool for the third time in less than a year! Jake joins Alice Butler, Jane Rosen, Bill Glenn, Karen Dawson, John Sadler & Steve Kennedy who all have qualified for championship week. Jake won a $50 American Express gift card.

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

Week seven had 287 participants and the winner will receive $50. Remember, the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool and join the weekly winners for an opportunity to win $500 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 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 week 6, Dan DeSantis, Michael Mermelstein, Colleen Nelson and Steve Kennedy are all tied with 65 wins.

Please use the same name and email address when you enter your picks. This makes it much easier for us to track the cumulative scores.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, October 24.

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 Boston Red Sox are one game away from the World Series!

Dad, I Couldn’t Possibly Be Any More Proud Of You…

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Like all of you I am sure you love and look up to your dad. I always wanted to be an accountant because of my dad. I am very quick with numbers, stoic and competitive, all because of my dad.

There have been so many times during his life that I have been proud of him. During his retirement at the young age of 51, I was fortunate to be one of the people who roasted him in front of hundreds of friends and business contacts. He defended this great country and had a very powerful right arm and could toss a baseball so fast that my hand would hurt trying to catch it. Over the years he has been a great mentor to many people and truly has affected thousands of people in a positive way.

He is and continues to be a great dad, has a love for animals and loves to garden.

In the past few years his memory isn’t what it used to be, he does repeat himself a lot now and that has caused his neurologist to tell him that his driving days were over. The neurologist stressed that it was dangerous because his reaction time was very slow. In some ways I actually think he knew before the doctor said anything. Who knows? Maybe he was relieved. A few weeks prior he bought himself a new car. I’m not exactly sure why. Perhaps it was a gift for my mom without saying anything. Yes, he was hitting a number of curbs and made me wait at the airport for over an hour because he kept getting lost.

Not once since the neurologist gave my dad the news has he said anything. The keys are gone, reduced to driving a golf cart. He hasn’t complained at all, just accepted it as a progression of life and moved on.

  • How many people would do that?
  • Will that be my reaction when it happens to me?

Probably not, but then again I am not my dad, just a fraction of him.

Thanks dad for making me so proud!

  • Has this happened to your parents?
  • How did they handle the situation?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Attention Baseball Fans: The Tampa Bay Rays Are Moving To…?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

As I am watching the Boston Red Sox beat the Tampa Bay Rays in game two of the ALDS, I can’t help but wonder how few fans will show up for game 3. I was thinking how easy it is to get a ticket and how empty the Tampa Bay stadium will probably be.

Let’s take a quick look at the numbers in 2012. The Rays had 1,559,681 fans show up to watch them play, the lowest in the major leagues. You would think that a playoff team in 2013 would be able to exceed those paltry numbers. In 2013 the Rays did worse and averaged 18,646 fans to every baseball games. In fact in 2013 there were only 30,000 fans in the stands for opening day and 6 other games! Are you kidding me? They play in the same division as the NY Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, that alone should draw tens of thousands of fans.

There is no question that Tampa Bay should not have a baseball team. The real question is: Where should they move to? Here are a couple of ideas:

Nashville, Tennessee – a great and upcoming city. They have fantastic restaurants, seem to have a passion for life and I would bet they would support a major league baseball team.

Raleigh, North Carolina – Yes, it is best known as a college city but with a population of almost 450,000 people and a stone’s throw away from the famed Durham Bulls, they could support a team and beat what the current Rays are drawing in Tampa Bay.

Ok, I have tossed out two different choices for them to move to.

  • What do you think of my ideas?
  • Where should they move?
  • I would love to hear from some Tamp Bay Ray fans who can explain what is going on and why they don’t draw.

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Congratulations to Alice Butler & Jane Rosen who won week 5. Alice & Jane join Bill Glenn, Karen Dawson, John Sadler & Steve Kennedy who all have qualified for championship week. Alice & Jane each win a $25 American Express gift card.

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

Week six had 288 participants and the winner will receive $50. Remember, the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool and join Bill, Karen, John & Steve for an opportunity to win $500 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 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 week 5, Dan DeSantis and Michael Mermelstein are tied with 56 wins.

Please use the same name and email address when you enter your picks. This makes it much easier for us to track the cumulative scores.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, October 17.

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. Please cheer on my Boston Red Sox to beat the Detroit Tigers and advance to the World Series!

Attention Research Leaders: What Is Your Best And Worst Month To Date?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

I must admit that 2013 has been a very odd year. Not a ton of consistency and months that usually are solid are weak; months that are usually weak are the best.

With 9 months in the record books for 2013, our weakest month was February and our best month was July, of all months, July! I still can’t believe it. Traditionally July is a soft month and a month that you most definitely want to forget. Not this year! July was the best!

I am not looking for numbers just a few quick answers.

  • Has your year been as odd as ours?
  • What month was your best so far?
  • What month was your weakest year to date?

Look forward to reading your comments.

PS: I hope you feel comfortable answering these questions.

20% Of Employees Can’t Access Facebook At Work. Really?

Monday, October 7th, 2013

It’s very early in Dallas on this brisk morning and one of the first articles I read included a chart that said 20% of American’s can’t access Facebook at work, basically employers have blocked it.

I was very surprised to read that the number was that high. Yes, I have seen the staff here and other offices on Facebook during the day. In fact I will do it once in a while as well. I wouldn’t miss it at all but I wonder if others would.

  • Does your company block you from getting on Facebook or any other social media sites?
  • As a manager or owner have you thought about blocking sites?
  • How much would you miss it if Facebook was blocked?

I look forward to reading your comments.

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

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Congratulations to Bill Glenn who won week 4 and joins Karen Dawson, John Sadler & Steve Kennedy who all have qualified for championship week. Bill also wins a $50 American Express gift card.

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

The fifth week had 284 participants and the winner will receive $50. Remember, the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool and join Bill, Karen, John & Steve for an opportunity to win $500 and of course bragging rights for the next 6 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 week 4, Karen Dawson is the leader with 48 wins followed by Steve Kennedy with 47 wins.

Please use the same name and email address when you enter your picks. This makes it much easier for us to track the cumulative scores.

All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, October 10.

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. Less than 46% of the participants live in the same city as their favorite team.