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Archive for May, 2010

What Do/Did You Collect?

Friday, May 28th, 2010

When I was a kid I couldn’t wait to run to the store and buy baseball cards. I loved the sport, loved watching the sport, loved going to Fenway Park and even though I wasn’t very good I loved playing baseball. At night I would always take out my shoebox of baseball cards and look at the players bio’s, stats and try and answer the trivia questions. Ok I will admit it I collected baseball cards as a kid. I still have a ton of cards and planning on giving the collection which includes a ton of autographs to my kids.

When I was younger I also collected stamps but didn’t have the same passion I did as baseball cards. Even though I am not sure I would call it a collection (maybe I should) I have over 1500 books (estimate) with subjects ranging from sports, to research and business.

Lots of my friends collect different things that range from plates, magnets, postcards, maps, beer cans and many other things.

Now your turn:

  • What did you collect as a kid?
  • What do you collect now?
  • What do some of your friends collect?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Bye Bye Stadiums — So Long, Thanks For The Memories!

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Was Sunday April 12, 2010 just another day? Perhaps some may think so. It is 7:00am and the sun is about to come up, this morning was different than most since in the blink of an eye Texas Stadium home to the Dallas Cowboys and 5 Super Bowl trophies is being imploded! I thought about going and watching it live but decided that I would watch it on TV.

It is amazing watching stadiums that have so much history and tradition reduced to rubble in a matter of a minute.

Over the years I have been to a tremendous amount of stadiums that are no longer with us or no longer in use. Here are the first ten that came to my mind:

  1. Boston Garden
  2. The Vet in Philadelphia
  3. Jarry Park in Montreal
  4. Kingdome
  5. Tiger Stadium
  6. Shea stadium
  7. Old Yankee Stadium
  8. Chicago Stadium
  9. Busch Stadium
  10. The Forum in Los Angeles

As you know I love going to stadiums and sporting events. Some of my favorite moments at stadiums that are no longer with us include:

  • A trip to Jarry Park in 1971 with my parents and having Steve Carleton tossing me a ball — which I actually caught!
  • A trip with E.S. to the 1993 NFC championship game at Texas Stadium – wow I still get chills thinking about that game
  • The 1984 NBA finals at the old Boston Garden between the Celtics and Lakers

Now your turn:

  • What are you favorite stadiums that are no longer with us and why?
  • What stadiums have you been to that are no longer in use?
  • Have you watched any stadiums implode?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Nice Use Of Words TARGET — Keep Up The Good Work!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

Over the weekend I was at a Target store and after purchasing a few items I was standing in the checkout line. The line had maybe 3-4 people in it and as I was looking around for some impulse items to buy (yes I am guilty of that) I noticed something interesting on the cash register. As the person in front of me was paying I noticed something come up on the register that I had never noticed before. It said “The guest is entering their pin number”. I assumed the person in front of me was using a debit card and no, that wasn’t the interesting thing about this. To me it was the word guest! I thought that was a GREAT word to use. To me they could have used a number of other words like client or customer. But they didn’t they chose to use the word GUEST.

When I think of the word GUEST I think about someone coming to my house or going to someone’s house and be treated very nice or very special almost like a special occasion.

  • As a retail shopper don’t you want to be treated special?
  • Don’t you want to be treated nice?
  • Doesn’t the word GUEST imply that?

Ok you may think I am a little nuts for noticing this on the cash register but I do pride myself on noticing everything. So please get past the point that I might be crazy.

  • What do you think of the word GUEST?
  • Have you noticed this before?
  • Should that word be more prominently displayed in their stores?
  • Are there other words that you like to describe a customer?

I look forward to your comments.

Time To Go Camping Are You In Or Out?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Last week I was talking to a buddy and the conversation ended up going into a discussion about camping.  He was telling me that he was going camping with his son and wanted to know if I have ever done that, liked doing that and would ever consider doing that?

Then we started chatting about funny camping stories and found ourselves laughing up a storm at stories we have heard in the past.

My funniest camping story was when I was in college my buddies and I had rented a tent, all the other stuff and drove down to Cape Cod to rent a camping spot. We were all excited except one thing didn’t cooperate the weather of course… It basically poured and we couldn’t set up the tent. Ok I am not handy but my friends were and after battling the elements for a few hours, we ended up in a hotel room and tossed the tent in the corner for the weekend.

Ok stop laughing please – we tried and failed. Actually I am not a camping guy and hope I don’t have to do it anytime soon.

Ok your turn:

  • Do you like to camp?
  • Have you run into any animals in the wilderness?
  • Any funny camping stories to share?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Attention Sports Fans — Who Is The Big Three Of All Time?

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

A few weeks ago I was having a sports debate with a few friends A.T, S.S., and M.N., The discussion was about who are the best 3 players to ever play together. Over the years the media has referred to this term as the Big Three. When I give myself a minute to think about this here is what I come up with:

  • Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, Robert Parish
  • Bobby Orr, Phil Esposito, Johnny Bucyk
  • Mariano Rivera, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada

I lived through both the Celtics and Bruins Big Three and as much as I would love to admit one of them is the greatest of all time I don’t believe it is. The Yankees Big Three is amazing. Mariano and Derek are 100% first time hall of famers and Posada has a chance to get in. All of them have been together for 16 years! Yes 16 years – that will probably NEVER happen again in the history of any sport. In addition they have too many World Series rings… It hurts too much for me to name all the years or count all the rings.

  • The question is are they the best of all time?
  • Who else should be in the discussion?

I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

Life Is Way Too Short So I Challenge You To Call Someone You Haven’t Spoken To In At Least A Year!

Monday, May 17th, 2010

As I get a little older I have noticed I am getting a little more sentimental. I am thinking about the past and people who have been in my life who for some reason I have lost touch with. Perhaps it was someone in college or a city I used to live in, someone I may have had a disagreement with or a relative that for whatever reason I don’t speak to or at least haven’t found the time to speak with.

Perhaps as you are reading this you have gone through some of the same things as I have and perhaps regretting not being in touch with some people in your past. Or maybe you are curious as to whatever happened to them.

Well if that is the case I challenge you to pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in at least a year! I have actually done what I am asking you to do and it was an amazing experience. I called an Uncle of mine who was the only person who wasn’t in my immediate family to attend my graduation. For some dumb reason I haven’t spoken to him in at least 10 years so I decided to pick up the phone. You know what? It felt great, we had a really nice discussion and that discussion was followed by a really nice lunch. Recently I also called a person I hadn’t spoken to in almost a year. I wasn’t sure the reaction of the person. That situation was very different since I was the one who asked him not to work at our company anymore. It was the right decision all the way around but a real difficult one for me. We spoke and after a few awkward minutes we had a nice 15 minute discussion.

Ok your turn.

  • I challenge you to pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in at least a year!
  • Remember life is way too short so do it today!

I look forward to hearing who you called and how it went.

Here Are Some Of My Best Practices For Flying

Friday, May 14th, 2010

Ok I must admit life has really changed for me. I used to love flying, love business trips and love to explore but now not so much. Flying to me is not as much fun because of delays and mysterious mechanicals that lead to cancellations and rescheduling appointments.  To me flying now is part of the job. It gets me from one place to another and allows me the opportunity to conduct business.

I try to be as efficient as I can and well prepared on flights so here are some of the things that I do:

  1. Always have a bag of trail mix with me. Simple reason – I don’t like plane food and I anticipate delays and getting hungry
  2. Always have bottled water with me – see number 1
  3. I use Airport Valet in Dallas — great service, great price. $19.00 per day and saves me a few minutes
  4. I try not to fly on the morning that I have a meeting – I find it too risky these days.
  5. Have a file in my briefcase called reading material – always like to catch up on business articles etc while I am flying
  6. Try and take flights that have Gogo (web access). You can actually go online to see which flights have web access.
  7. Be aware of other flight options in case my flight is cancelled
  8. Always have rental car company, hotel, and airline phone numbers programmed into my cell phone. This seems so obvious but most people don’t have the information and are struggling to locate it
  9. Always try and secure a window seat – in case I nod off it’s easier to sleep and no fear of the beverage cart taking out my knee!

Ok so those are some of the best practices that I live by.

  • What about you?
  • When you are flying what do you do to make your life easier?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Beautiful Day And You Are At The Zoo…

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

I love animals. I really do! I really like going to the zoo; especially a beautiful one that has lots of different animals in their natural habitats. Some of the zoos are just amazing and really go to the nth degree to make sure the animals are taken care of.

Over the past few years I have enjoyed going to Walt Disney’s Animal Kingdom, the San Diego Zoo and the Washington Zoo. One of my favorite animals I have ever seen is a giant anteater which was at Animal Kingdom in Orlando. I was there with J.S. and was so amazed at how beautiful and graceful this animal is.

Some of my favorite times with my family were going to the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago and the Milwaukee Zoo. We would take a Sunday trip and often would end up at a zoo.

  • Do you like going to the zoo?
  • With so many animals and choices what are your favorites?
  • What animals could you look at for hours?
  • What animals are you amazed at?
  • What are some of your favorite zoos?

I look forward to reading your comments.

The Boston Red Sox Are The 2nd Most Hated Baseball Team! Are You Kidding Me?

Monday, May 10th, 2010

I was sent a link (thanks B.L.) to a story that involved baseball teams and how much they were hated. Basically they built a hatred Index. The research was done by an Internet algorithm built by Nielsen Co. that analyzes how people feel about certain things. This service typically uses various keywords to find out whether people have positive, negative or neutral reactions to different brands and products

Based on their algorithm here are the top ten hated teams:

The Hatred Index
Using an algorithm designed by Nielsen Co. that measures positive and negative reactions on the Internet, here are the 10 most despised teams in baseball (scale is -5 to 5).



1. Cleveland Indians 0.9
2. Boston Red Sox 1.1
3. Cincinnati Reds 1.5
4 Houston Astros 1.8
5. New York Yankees 1.8
6. Washington Nationals 1.9
7. Chicago White Sox 2
8. Baltimore Orioles 2
9. New York Mets 2.3
10. Los Angeles Dodgers 2.4

After I reviewed the list I was surprised that the Red Sox were second and SHOCKED that Cleveland was the most hated team in the majors – absolutely shocked. I am a huge baseball fan and I am not sure they would make my top 15! They aren’t even close to my radar screen. Not sure why anyone hates them. Cincinnati and Houston are also in the top 4. Wow!

If I was to have a debate/discussion with sports fans, my top 5 list would have been this way:

  1. NY Yankees
  2. NY Mets
  3. Los Angeles Dodgers
  4. Boston Red Sox
  5. San Francisco Giants


  • What shocked you on the hatred index?
  • What do you think of my top 5?
  • What would be your top 5?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time For Another Contest!!!!! Yes There Is Money Involved.

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Good morning. I am sure the title got your attention a little bit. This contest will be a little different. You don’t have to answer any questions! In fact it is my strong belief that everyone who enters will thank me because it can help you move your business forward.

A few weeks ago I was the Keynote speaker at the NY/Philadelphia MRA chapter meeting. During my presentation which was entitled 12 Strategies to Move Your Business forward I highlighted staying connected as one of those strategies.

To me there is NO BETTER TOOL than LinkedIn to stay connected to people: Here are 8 reasons that I use LinkedIn:

  1. I use customized “Tags” to group my contacts
  2. Export my contacts for targeted mailings
  3. View my contacts by industry
  4. View my contacts by geography
  5. To see who is attending conferences
  6. To see what books people are reading
  7. To view contacts by company
  8. To participate in discussion groups

Ok here is the contest. We will award the top 2 people $100.00 who get the most connections on LinkedIn for a period of one month.

All you need to do is respond to the blog and say you want to participate and include how many connections you have now. We will track that and at the end see how many you have and will award $100 to the 2 people who have added the most connections. Anyone who participates and gets more connections than me during the contest will get a $10 Starbucks gift certificate. The contest will start as soon as you sign up and end on June 11 at 4:00pm CDT. The sooner you sign up the more chance you have to win. Also feel free to LinkedIn to me and I promise to accept your invitation.

Make sense?

Trust me even if you don’t win you will thank me for getting you involved if you don’t believe me just ask Ed Sugar and Amber Jones.

I look forward to having people sign up.