December 30, 2008

Walk This Way


I recently realized that I have successfully developed a completely fictional walk.

In junior high, I remember seeing an older kid in the hallway, and noticing how cool he looked when he walked. And then, after watching myself walk by a mirror, I realized how dorky I looked using my natural gait.

The main difference was speed. His casual pace produced an aura of cool. I wanted it. And I consciously remember controlling my walk to match this person's.

I don't remember when I stopped having to think about it, and now it has become natural. But, it wasn't mine to begin with.

How much of my personality, demeanor and aesthetics have I stolen from others who I've admired?

December 29, 2008

Universal Sign for Choking


The idea of asking someone who's choking whether or not they're choking was always a comical idea to me when we learned that first step rule in school.

Until recently. When my wife, during dinner, began to choke.

I sympathetically responded with, "Ugh! What are you doing? Go over the sink!"

I had thought she was trying to spit something out she didn't want to eat. She was merely trying to breathe.

So friends, make the sign. And public education, I apologize.

December 24, 2008

Santa Cat


So, you know how you dress your animals up, and hold them in front of the mirror so they can see how awesome and creative of an owner you are?

It's always disappointing when they don't show interest. And we always think it's a shame that they're too stupid to understand that it's their reflection.

But, maybe they do. Maybe they're just not as arrogant as we are, and are creeped out at the idea of gawking at themselves like we so often do.

On that note, Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2008

Why Bottled Water?


Studies have shown that tap water is as, or even more pure, than most bottled water because of the stricter regulations that public water resides under.

The cost of a bottle of water is about 150 times what it costs to drink the same amount of tap water.

And in terms of environmental damage, those billions of plastic bottles a year have to go somewhere.

So, why on Earth would I buy bottled water?

TASTE! I actually like Lake Michigan tap water, but our home is just outside the zone to get it. So, the taste difference between my tap and a bottle is night and day.

What exactly is the taste that I prefer, you ask? The taste of nothing.

December 22, 2008

The Many or the Few?


My work had been giving out $10 gift cards on a monthly basis, for successfully tracking billable time, on time, as we migrated over to a new system. Nine months ago, they removed this incentive system, and replaced it with a winner-take all $1000 grand prize at the end of the year, with a smaller 2nd and 3rd prize.

Shortly before the drawing, I suggested that whoever wanted to, could go in together as a group, and if any of us won, we would split the money evenly.

I had no takers.

After the drawing, three people left happy. I was not one of them.

I would have been happy with my gift card and think this was a poor business decision.

1) Do you agree? 2) Would you have gone in with me?

December 19, 2008

"Ugh, Beethoven Sucked!"


Let's say that was my response after attending a 4th grade band concert and hearing a bunch of 10-year old miscreants butcher "Ode to Joy". That would be unfair to Ludwig, would it not?

Then why would we blame religion for the perpetrations of the angry who claim to be followers of one?

December 18, 2008

When Do You Learn?


Have you ever learned anything from a period of suffering?

It's times like that where you learn the most, isn't it? Then, why do we try so hard to prevent it?

December 17, 2008

Let's Make Up a Word


I need a new word that fits the definition of "logic gap; unbeknownst hypocrisy."

Let's say someone says, "Torture is horrible! I think we should torture the guys who torture prisoners."

That statement would be a _____.

Seriously, this comes up a LOT, and I need a good word for it.

December 16, 2008

WNBA - The W stands for Why


The Houston Comets, a four-time champion and one of the WNBA's original teams has shut down due to financial reasons.

My biggest question remains, "How are ANY WNBA teams still financially viable?"

Have you ever been to a WNBA game? Do you even know someone who has?

There's a reason the NBA Top 10 ESPN highlights typically consist of 10 dunks. It's because they're awesome. They're one of the main reasons the game is so exciting to watch.

Instead, during a WNBA game, the most exciting play-by-play you get to witness is a block-steal, thrown up court, where a lone woman goes up for a dynamic...layup.

Either lower the hoop to 8 feet, or kiss the league goodbye, ladies.

December 15, 2008

Make a Person's Day Better


My mother has been temping lately, and has grown a new-found appreciation for kind people that make her day a little more fun.

So, when I was visiting the other week, I noticed how she tried very hard to not just be polite, but to genuinely interact with people we met.

While I pride myself on offering a "thank you" to everyone from the Walgreens cashier to the toll booth collector, I have realized that these common pleasantries don't really help make the person's day any better. It simply makes me more cordial than my fellow man.

Let's set the bar higher. Take the time to entertain someone today. It means a lot.

December 12, 2008

Money Better Spent (Part Two)


a continuation from Tuesday.

Let's say a man named John Wilson makes $250,000 a year. And a man named Bill Smith makes $40,000.

Would you be willing to sign a bill that takes some of John Wilson's money and gives it to Bill Smith?

December 11, 2008

Land of Lincoln


So, on TV today, an Illinois government official claimed shock and awe at the egregious acts of the governor, claiming they had no idea this kind of behavior was going on.

Here's my problem with this. If you read the transcripts that have been released, no one who the governor is having these meetings with is yelling out,
"Holy crap! You're a freakin' pyscho! Are you seriously trying to bribe me? Who do you think you are?!?!"

It makes me wonder if these acts are as rare in government as I'd like to believe.

December 10, 2008

The Next Batman Villian


Let's say you have the sole power to appoint someone to one of the most highly sought after political positions in the nation.

Why wouldn't you weigh some offers, and give the appointment to the highest bidder?

See how it must have made sense to him?

Unfortunately, he is not the CEO of a private business. He is an elected official of the State of Illinois.

And he has just reached a new level of super-villain status. It's pretty impressive, to be honest.

December 09, 2008

Money Better Spent


Let's say you see $5 sitting on your boss's desk, and you take that money and donate it to a local hospital who offers free health care to the uninsured.

Did you do the right thing?

And does your answer depend on whether or not your boss makes over $250,000 a year?

December 08, 2008

What a Tease


My wife received a text on her cell phone last night, to the effect of:

"Hey. That was so cool you writing your phone number on my arm last night. You made me feel like a total stud."

Now I know what you're thinking. But, my wife has an alibi...being that she was with me the entire weekend, because we were out in Maryland visiting my family.

So, the lesson we can learn from this story is that on the other side of this exuberant kid was a girl giving out phony numbers to nerds, and laughing about it with her friends.

Ah, to be young.

December 04, 2008

The Cost of Conviction


I had a headlight go out the other day, and I couldn't install a new one myself, because I am obviously, not really a man.

So, I called up Jiffy Lube and asked how much it would cost for them to install a new bulb that I would bring in myself. $29.

So, I called Walmart. $4.50.

Now, let's say you have a moral problem with Walmart's business practices. How high could a Jiffy Lube or other place, provided you liked their business practices, charge you before you decide to cave for the cost?

FYI: I'm traveling this weekend. See you on Monday.

December 03, 2008

Continual Wedding Album


Wedding days are hectic. Photo shoots seem to get squeezed in, and it's hard to get all of the fun shots you'd like.

That's why my wife and I took a post-wedding shoot a full two years after our wedding. We were able to go to an arboretum, relax, play in the leaves, and we love the shots we got.The only problem is, one day my kids might ask why I have more stomach and less hair in those wedding pictures.

But, it got me thinking.

What about a continual wedding album? You bring your wedding dress, or a cheapy replacement, with you on every major trip you take with your spouse. 20 years later, you'll have an amazing album of wedding photos from around the world.

December 02, 2008

Physician's Reference Tool Idea


After reading the book "Wikinomics", I've been on a big kick thinking about the future possibilities for mass collaboration. Here's my idea for a medical device. I'd love your thoughts.

This tool, designed to help physicians and healthcare professionals better diagnosis their patients, is a portable tablet that practitioners can use whether they’re seeing a patient in their office, at the patient’s home, or in an emergency situation.

As one evaluates their patient, they mark the symptoms, vitals and relevant medical history on the tablet within a universalized analysis chart.

When they submit the evaluation notes through a satellite connection, it travels to a wiki database of other physician analyses’ and conclusions, omitting patient names for privacy purposes, and through statistical correlations, offers the physician a list of possible and probable outcomes.

Let’s say a physical therapist completes an evaluation, and the database confirms the therapist’s original diagnosis that these are common symptoms for one who has recently undergone shoulder surgery. The therapist is then directed to the treatment section of the user-created database, where a host of peer-submitted exercise and treatment plans are available for use. These treatments can include in-depth medical illustration charts, audio advice, and video tutorials that can be shown to the patient immediately, as well as e-mailed directly to the patient for reference if being assigned take-home exercises.

These treatment plans can also be rated by the community, so that the highest quality and most informative diagnosis treatments will be featured.

This collaborative reference tool will help apply group-think to each and every patient, making sure that the physician makes their diagnosis with the best possible information. This tool will prevent misdiagnoses, and most importantly, will serve as a great research tool that will help practitioner’s to better understand the possible treatment options for their patients.

December 01, 2008

Plan for the Worst


If you live in Chicago, how many people at your work were late this morning due to the traffic?

That's because we tend to makes plans based on the best-case scenario. If I have a 9:00 appointment and I know that I can get there in 20 minutes, I'm not leaving until just before 8:40.

And that is why we often run late for things, because snow happens, among other things.

When our current administration was playing around with the idea of an Iraq War, the best-case scenario thrown around was probably something like this: 1) remove one of the most evil and savage dictators in the world 2) secure a near-eternal supply of oil at an amazing price that will allow the U.S. to indefinitely remain the global economic leader 3) catapult Iraq into a thriving democracy which domino effects to bring peace throughout the Middle East 4) which ends Islamo-facism and makes the world a much safer place for everyone.

Perhaps we need to start planning for the worst.

Don't Approach A Commercial Property Investment With A Residential Head

This post has been contributed.   Image source Investing in any sort of property is a pretty sound bet to make, but please don’t think...