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Archive for December, 2014

Attention Sports Fans! Who are Your Top 5 Athletes of All Time That You’ve Watched in Person?!

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Let the debate begin!

Who are the top 5 athletes of all time that you have watched in person? Not on TV, not on DVD or a replay…but you were in the stands to watch!

Let me start by listing my Top 5:

  1. Walter Payton : one of my favorite athletes of all time – soft spoken athlete, who had more moves than a professional dancer – one of the classiest athletes of all time
  2. Bobby Orr: watched him many times at the old Boston Garden including the Stanley cup finals (with my dad) when he scored the winning goal flying thru the air – amazing talent who was way ahead of his time
  3. Secretariat: growing up I always had the pleasure of going to Saratoga Springs (Tagline – The August Place to Be) I still remember going to the track with my Uncle and cousins and watching this great horse dominate in the summer of 1972 before he won the triple crown!
  4. Michael Jordan: his court presence was off the charts. Saw him score 60+ points in a game at the garden and couldn’t believe what I was watching. He could dominate a game from the locker room!
  5. Jack Nicklaus: great golfer, who was always in control!

Now your turn!

  • What do you think of my choices?
  • Who are your Top 5 athletes of all time that you’ve watched in person?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

  • Next Up: 2015!!

    Monday, December 29th, 2014

    Amazing how fast 2014 came and went! For some reason, the years seem to go by quicker than they did before. With 2015 only a few days away most people take a little time to reflect and come up with some new year’s resolutions.

    I ask you:

    • Do you have a favorite memory from 2014?
    • Any New Years resolutions for 2015?

    I really look forward to reading your comments!

    Happy New Year!!

    P.S. If one of your New Years Resolutions is to become a better writer, let me know and you can be a guest writer on this blog!

    Take a Minute Away from Shopping and Enjoy These Holiday Cartoons!

    Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

    I hope some of these bring a big smile to your face!

    • Do you have a favorite?

    On behalf of the entire M/A/R/C Research family: Have a safe, festive, and joyous holiday!

    I look forward to reading your comments!

    Attention Business Owners and Executives: Don’t Be Like My Son!

    Monday, December 22nd, 2014

    A few weeks ago, I was playing cards with my son (R.D.) As usual, he had a permanent smile on his face. We were playing gin, which I love to play; it brings back so many memories with my mom/dad/sisters and best friends (A.S./G.S/A.B./S.S.) I truly love all aspects of the game: the fast pace, the competition and especially the strategy. After one specific hand that we finished, I asked my son to tell me what cards he thought I might have in my hand. For those who aren’t familiar with the game, you are dealt 10 cards and you alternate picking up cards until one person has either 3 or 4 of a kind or a run in the same suit…basically everything in your hand matches. Before he answered my question, I said to him, “let me tell you what I think you have.” Then I proceeded to tell him to lay his cards down as I guessed them. One by one, I was able to correctly guess 9 out of the 10 in his hand.

    Then, it was his turn. He looked at me a little puzzled, smiled a little bit more and then said, “Dad, I don’t have any strategy, I just go”.

    I must admit, I did chuckle a little.

    As a business owner and an executive, strategy is very important!

  • How long have you been preparing for 2015?
  • Who participated in planning your 2015 strategy?
  • Have you communicated your strategy to your team?

    I look forward to reading your comments!

    P.S. Please don’t be like my son without any strategy and “just go”.

  • Are You Ready for Some Football?! Join the Week 17 Football Blog!

    Friday, December 19th, 2014

    WOW! An amazing year of football! With many teams still fighting for playoff spots, these last two weekends should be very, very exciting. Congratulations to Michael Halberstam who won last week with 15 wins. Here is the list of winners this year:

    1 Bobbie Kirkland
    2 Brooks Deaton
    3 Ryan Rojas
    4 Colleen Nelson
    5 Lynn Stalone
    5 Jane R.
    6 Jason DeVoe
    6 Ryan Barry
    7 Scott Waller
    8 Ken Troupe
    9 Chanttel Allen
    10 Colleen Nelson
    11 Harold D
    12 Yes, Yes, Yes
    13 Amy Nyce
    14 Jeff Spitzer Sr
    15 Michael Halberstam

    Additionally, the two people who have the highest cumulative score will be given a spot in the championship week along with the weekly winners. As of week 15, Curtis Cook is leading the way with a one game lead over Phillip Savage. The question is… Can they hold on? One bad week and Scott Cairey, David Leicht and Scott Koenig will catch them!

    REMEMBER, THE DEADLINE FOR THIS WEEKS PICKS IS: Sunday, December 28 at 11:00am CST.

    None of the picks will be posted until that time. We will highlight all of the people who qualify for the championship week and there will be a second tie breaker game just in case we need it to determine a winner.

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

    In addition, there will be a winner for this week as well and that person will receive a $50 gift card.

    Click here to participate in this week’s pool.

    Good luck to all.

    Bill is Listening…What Would You Like to Say to Him?

    Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

    Recently, I received an email from Bill Marriott thanking me for giving him my business. As most of you know, I tend to be brand loyal and when I need to travel I enjoy and feel safe and comfortable at Marriott brands.

    Please read the message that Bill wrote.

    So, I ask you:

    • Do you like the Marriott Brand?
    • What do you think of Bill’s message?
    • Is there anything you’d like to ask Bill?
    • Did you receive a similar message from other hotel groups?

      I look forward to reading your comments!

    Sorry Lawrence, You Didn’t Do the Right Thing…

    Monday, December 15th, 2014

    A few weeks ago, I was at a Best Buy with my oldest son J.D. buying some mindless movies (for the record: they were for me, not for him) and as we approached the checkout counter I noticed another end cap that had some additional, not-so-stellar movie choices, which, of course is right up my alley. As Lawrence (the cashier) was ringing me up he said my total was $61 and I asked if I could add one more movie. He agreed and said that my new total was $85. I finished chatting with my son and told Lawrence that I didn’t believe the total was correct, Lawrence kind of looked at me with an odd look, so I told him that my reasoning was that my original total was $61 and I added a movie which made my new total was $85 but, I turned and pointed to the sign, which was directly behind me, showing Lawrence that the end cap price clearly said, “Blue Ray $14.99 and DVD $9.99”. Based on those calculations, I didn’t see how the total could be correct. Lawrence tried hard to fix it but ultimately had to call his manager who came over quickly and did whatever she did to override the system. As she was walking away, she asked Lawrence to take down the current price tag from that end cap. Lawrence took down the price tag, finished our transaction and we were on our way.

    In the past month, I have been really teaching my son about business, strategy and lots of other things and this was another perfect example that I could drive a point home. As I was leaving the store, I asked my son what he thought about what just happened (I’m sure every reader is excited that they aren’t related to me and don’t have to endure all these stories). He wasn’t really sure what to say. So I mentioned a few things. If you want to be successful in business you need to pay attention to details and don’t just do your job, BUT also think about doing your job!

    He understood the detail part very quickly. We reviewed what happened and how Lawrence did a nice job listening to the supervisor but didn’t really think about doing his job. The reason I say that is: He was told to take down the sign that was wrong…which he did. What was left said: “Blue Ray $24.99 and DVD $9.99”. That makes no sense. There is no chance that was right. Both signs, which were sitting next to each other, were wrong. What should have happened is Lawrence should have also checked or mentioned to the supervisor that the DVD price was wrong as well. If he had, he would have changed it as opposed to having another issue or charging the wrong price to a future customer.

    1. What do you think about what Lawrence did?
    2. Did Lawrence pay attention to the details?
    3. Should the supervisor have done something differently?
    4. What does it mean to think about doing your job rather than just doing your job?

    I look forward to reading your comments and sharing them with my son!

    Are You Ready for Some Football?! Join the Week 16 Football Pool!

    Friday, December 12th, 2014

    Let me start by saying: This has been an amazing year of football. A record number of participants with mostly new winners! This is the LAST WEEK to qualify for championship week! Congratulations to Jeff Spitzer Sr. (who, like many,) was shocked to find out he had won week 14 of the pool and will get a $50 American Express gift card. For winning the week, Jeff joins Amy Nyce, Yes Yes Yes, Harold D, two time winner Colleen Nelson , Chanttel Allen, Ken Troupe, Scott Waller, Ryan Barry, Jason DeVoe, Lynn Stallone, Ryan Rojas, Brooks Deaton and Bobbie Kirkland to qualify for championship week.

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

    Remember, the weekly winners will be given a spot in the grand prize pool during week 17 for an opportunity to win $500 and, of course, bragging rights for the next 6 months. In addition, the two people (as of today Curtis Cook leads the pool with 145 wins followed by Phillip Savage with 143 wins (these standings will be updated weekly)) will be given a spot in the grand prize pool along with the weekly winners.

    All picks need to be in by 5:00pm (CST) on Thursday, December 18, 2014

    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.

    I Wear Women’s Shoes, and it’s Merrill’s Fault! By Guest Blogger, Ed Sugar

    Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

    Yes, you read correctly, I wear women’s shoes and I have the host of this esteemed blog to thank for that.

    Back in January of 1994, MD and I were in Dallas for an American Marketing Association meeting and found ourselves with a free day to play in the Metroplex area. I believe this was MD’s first visit to the Lone Star state and high on his “bucket list” was to purchase a pair of “real” cowboy boots.

    I had never owned a pair of cowboy boots and was quite intrigued by the thought of purchasing my first pair. The minute we walked into the store I knew exactly what I wanted: a black pair, with the sharpest-tipped toes available. Since the British Invasion of the mid ‘60’s I had always wanted a pair of sharp-tipped, pointed boots or as they were commonly know in Los Angeles…”cockroach killers”.

    When I asked the sales person to show me a black pair of boots with toes as sharp as nails, he gave me a cockeyed look and explained, “Only ladies boots come with sharp pointed toes.” Yep, my choices were non-existent in the men’s section, which consisted only square and round-toed boots. Sharp, pointed-toe cowboy boots are made mostly in women’s sizes and are regarded as “riding boots”. But this quest was not going to be denied because of some silly country western tradition. Thus, I insisted on trying on a pair of ladies boots and ended up purchasing this lovely pair.

    My taste for cowboy boots is an exercise in style over comfort. I now own two other pairs of women’s cowboy boots (one grey, the other brown), both with sharp-pointed toes.

    I fit into a women’s size 10, which can be tad tight at first, so they take a bit of time to break in. My podiatrist is always lecturing me that wearing boots like these are horrible for my back and hips, so I tend to wear them just on Sundays for church or for semi/formal events that last no more than 4 hours, where there are ample opportunities to sit.

    So, I’m curious to know:

    • Do you think I’m crazy to wear women’s boots?
    • Are you a fan of country western apparel? If so, what strikes your fancy?
    • Do you wear clothing that is made specifically for the opposite gender?

      I look forward to reading your comments!

    I Hope I am this Exact Same Way!

    Monday, December 8th, 2014

    A few weeks ago I was speaking to my Uncle J and, unfortunately, he didn’t sound great on the phone. I quickly told him that I would follow up at another time since I could easily sense he wasn’t having the greatest of days. When I called back the next day I said, “Uncle J you sound much better! You have a lot of bounce in your step!” He played it off a little bit and said “yes, yesterday wasn’t a great day.” After a few minutes, I asked him what he has been doing and he mentioned that recently he was able to cross something off his bucket list and was very excited about that. I asked him what it was and he told me that he went Soar Plane Flying with his son, daughter and beautiful wife. He said it was an amazing experience, especially to do it with his family, but that he had nothing left on his bucket list and he needed to add a few more things. I asked him to list a few things that he had crossed off his list. Here are a few things he mentioned:

    1. While in Switzerland, he climbed the Matterhorn
    2. Climbed Mount Kilimanjaro
    3. Gorilla trek in Africa
    4. Hang Gliding in New Zealand
    5. Visiting the Galápagos Islands

    There are a lot of interesting things about my Uncle J…certainly the list of things he has done, the experiences he has had over the years are all amazing. He is, without question, one of the nicest people you will ever meet; the list goes on and on. With all of that said, the most impressive thing to me is: at 76 years young he wants to do more! In fact, a lot more! He can’t wait to talk to his family and add things to his now empty bucket list!

    Uncle J!

  • Thank you for being who you are!
  • Thank you for showing me the way over the years!
  • Thank you for always being positive!

    I ask you:

    • Do you have an Uncle J in your life?
    • Do you think this is the way you will be?
    • How often do you cross off/add things to your bucket list?
    • Since his bucket list is empty: Do you have a suggestion for my Uncle J for something to do?

    I look forward to reading your comments!