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Archive for July, 2011

Great Sayings…. Which Is Your Favorite?

Friday, July 29th, 2011

A few weeks ago I got an email from an old college friend (thanks K.D.). The email had some really cool pictures and great sayings. I thought I would share a few and hope that it brightens your day:

I Believe… 
That just because two people argue, 
It doesn’t mean they don’t love each other. 
And just because they don’t argue, 
It doesn’t mean they do love each other.
I Believe…
That we don’t have to change friends if 
We understand that friends change.
I Believe….
That no matter how good a friend is, 
they’re going to hurt you, 
every once in a while 
and you must forgive them for that.
I Believe….
That it’s taking me a long time 
To become the person I want to be.
I Believe…
That you should always leave loved ones with Loving words. 
It may be the last time you see them.
I Believe…. 
That you can keep going long after you think you can’t.
I Believe…
That either you control your attitude or it controls you.

These are all great sayings and thoughts. I have two favorites:

  1. “I Believe… That we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change.” Wow, this one really hits home for me. As most people know I put a very high value on friendship and have a lot of friends whom I have known for over 20 years. During that time people change and experience lots of different things. You need to realize that, accept it and be ok with it. There are a lot of great lessons in this saying.
  2. “I Believe…. That it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be.” Do you ever become the person you want to be? For me, probably not. I am always trying to be a better person, friend, father, business executive, athlete and so much more. I’m not sure I will ever stop trying to be the person I want to be.

Now your turn:

  • Which is your favorite saying?
  • What does the saying mean to you?

What Are The Important Life Changing Dates That You Remember Exactly Where You Were?

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

There are so many things happening in the world every day – some good and some not so good. The interesting thing for me is what events do you remember EXACTLY where you were when they happened?

I can remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with during:

  • 9/11
  • The O.J Simpson white Ford Bronco car chase on the LA freeway
  • Prince Charles & Princess Diana’s wedding
  • The death of Princess Diana
  • The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion
  • The death of Michael Jackson

I was too young to remember when JFK was killed and I wasn’t even born when Pearl Harbor was attacked. For some major events, like the first moon landing, the Oklahoma City bombing and Hurricane Katrina, I can’t remember exactly where I was.

  • What events do you remember exactly where you were when you saw or heard the news?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Time To Talk About Hobbies And Collectibles

Monday, July 25th, 2011

When I was growing up I loved baseball cards, and not just because of the cards, but also because of the gum that came with the cards! It was long, thin and tasted great – a ton of sugar no doubt! I used to love chewing 4-5 pieces at once.

I still have a fairly large baseball card collection. I have a lot of cards in the protected sheets. In fact, I put thousands of cards in sheets before my 10th birthday. I collected cards way before it was a big business. Today, I still like looking at all the old cards. I can remember flipping cards as a kid and playing other “color” games with the cards with my friends – the good old days for sure! If I am at a flea market I will still search out a vendor selling cards to see if I can get a good deal. I never thought about selling my collection. I always planned and still do plan to pass it down to my boys!

I also collected stamps as a kid but I didn’t really enjoy that as much. I also used to collect shot glasses. I probably have over 100 of them in all shapes and sizes.

  • What did you collect as a kid?
  • Do you still have the collection?
  • Do you plan on passing it down to your kids?
  • Do you collect anything now?

I look forward to reading your comments.

Check Out These World Record Holders!

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Based on the title you may have thought I was talking about people. Surprise, surprise, I was actually talking about a different type of record holder. A few weeks ago the World’s Biggest Burger weighed in at 777 Pounds – yes, almost 800 pounds! It debuted at California’s Alameda County Fair, a record-shattering behemoth:

Here are a few other Guinness World Record holders:
World’s Longest Hotdog:
Stats:375.06 feet
created in Monterrey, Mexico on September 27, 2008
World’s Largest Cheesecake:
Stats:4,703 lbs
created by Philadelphia Kraft Foods Mexico on January 25, 2009
World’s Largest Cupcake:
Stats:1315.2 lbs
created by Passion for Pastry in Boca Raton, FL, on October 3, 2009

Ok, I will admit I am a little hungry!

The Texas Fair is a few months away and there is always someone trying to break the world record for largest pumpkin, cow or pig. It is always fun to see if anyone has broken a record.

  • Have you been to a county fair and seen any record holders?
  • Have you ever been driving and stumbled onto a record holder like in the movie Vacation where they stopped to see the largest ball of yarn?

I look forward to reading your comments.

I Have A New Hero! Read On To See Who It Is…

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

Many times the newspaper, internet and TV is filled with news that makes your skin crawl. The news is full of violent crimes that sometimes are really tough to watch or read about. In the sports world a typical day might be a DUI, another investigation of a college sports program or a retired athlete busted for drug possession.  However, a few weeks ago it was a little different. This day was filled with an announcement from a National Baseball Hall of Fame player. I read a statement from one of the most feared hitters of all time, Harmon Killebrew. He said:


“It is with profound sadness that I share with you that my continued battle with esophageal cancer is coming to an end. With the continued love and support of my wife, Nita, I have exhausted all options with respect to controlling this awful disease. My illness has progressed beyond my doctors’ expectation of cure.

“I have spent the past decade of my life promoting hospice care and educating people on its benefits. I am very comfortable taking this next step and experiencing the compassionate care that hospice provides.

“I am comforted by the fact that I am surrounded by my family and friends. I thank you for the outpouring of concern, prayers and encouragement that you have shown me. I look forward to spending my final days in comfort and peace with Nita by my side.”


Amazing! How many people would have the courage to do that? To say good bye knowing you are going to pass away in a few short days? I would like to think I would have the strength to do that, but I am not truly sure and I probably couldn’t/wouldn’t do it.

As a kid I watched Harmon play in Fenway Park against my Boston Red Sox every year. He was as good a player, gentleman and feared hitter as there ever was. Our seats were very close to the field so I could always so a big smile on his face. He appeared to truly love the game.

I won’t razzle and dazzle you with all of his statistics or where he ranks on the all-time list. Let’s just say he is in Baseball’s Hall of Fame.

Harmon, thank you for all you did. Even though I never had the opportunity to meet you, I respect you more as a person than as a player. I will always cherish the your autographed ball I bought years ago and remember your courage and strength for the rest of my life.

  • What do you think of what Harmon Killebrew did?
  • Do you think you would have the courage to do what he did?
  • Who is your hero?

I look forward to reading your comments.

What Is Your Response To “Good Morning, How Are You Doing?”

Monday, July 18th, 2011

It was early and I was out of town, sitting on a bus on my way to the airport. As everyone got on they said, “Good morning, how are you doing?” to the bus driver and other passengers. The responses were interesting. A number of people had standard answers:

  • Great, I have never had a bad day in my life!
  • I couldn’t possibly be any better!
  • Not bad.
  • Great. And you?
  • I am doing fine. How about you?

Those were a few of the answers I heard during the 3 minute wait for the bus to leave for the airport.

You might be thinking, “What does Merrill say?” My normal response is:

  • I am doing well. How are you doing this morning?

It is interesting to see how different everyone’s response is.

  • What is the best response you have heard?
  • What do you say?
  • Does your response differ depending on your mood?
  • Is there a response you really like or dislike?

I look forward to reading your comments.

How Well Do You Notice Things?

Friday, July 15th, 2011

Noticing things is perhaps the most important skill in business. If you notice everything it will allow you the opportunity to react, make critical decisions better and most important, move your business forward.

I am going to ask you to look at 6 pictures and after 10 seconds a question will appear. It will be important for you to be honest with your answers in order to see how much you do indeed notice.


Click here to test your perceptive skills!


Thanks for playing!

My Next Birthday Is A Big One And I Need Help Planning It!

Wednesday, July 13th, 2011

I am getting older and I have had a lot of birthdays. However, next year’s is an especially big one for me. The first number is a 5 for the 1st time! I’m not sure how I will feel. Perhaps it will be a big day and really impact my life or perhaps it will just feel like another birthday.

The question is what should I do?

  • Should I have a party with friends and family?
  • How about a trip with some guys friends and take in a sporting event?
  • Should I do something a little more pricey and meaningful and go to a baseball fantasy camp with my dad and uncle?
  • Should I rent a big house somewhere on a beach for a week and invite the people closest to me?

Clearly, I have lots of choices and time to think about what I want to do.

I could use your help:

  • What is the best birthday party you have ever attended?
  • Where was it?
  • Have you ever thrown yourself a birthday party?
  • Any other ideas about what I should do?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

To Delete, Or Not To Delete, That Is The Question…

Monday, July 11th, 2011

I had a discussion a few weeks ago with a friend of mine about a lot of different things, including the upcoming birthday of a mutual friend who has passed away. Both of us not only knew about the birthday, but we each had it written in our calendars. This raised a few questions, which were:

  • Do you still have his contact information in Outlook?

  • Are you still connected to them on facebook and LinkedIn?

  • Are they still following you on twitter?

I paused for a minute, and then said “yes,” to all of those questions. I gave it some additional thought and realized I still have information for a lot of people who are now in a different place. I haven’t yet and I won’t delete contact information of people who have passed away.

I asked a few other people how they handle this situation. Some do the same thing as I do, while others delete the information right away or when they come across it.

When I think about why I don’t delete it, I come up with a few reasons:

  • I want to ensure that I think of the person during the course of the year.

  • It is a reminder to call their spouse or siblings and comfort them during a potentially difficult time.

What do you do?

  • Delete, or not delete?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.

How About A Quick ‘Did You Know?’ Quiz On A Friday?

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Today is about a fun ‘Did You Know?’ quiz. All you need to do is answer yes or no, depending on if you knew the answer prior to the quiz. Have fun!

Click here to take the quiz

Thanks for playing!