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Holidays Library

We Salute Our Heroes ….

Today, we pay tribute to the young men and women who defend the freedom we hold so dearly. And, it is never more poignant and meaningful than when our men and women are serving overseas in harm’s way.

For me, this quotation on an Arlington National Cemetery memorial states exactly why they deserve our respect, admiration and support.

Our soldiers don’t wonder “why”. They “do their duty” and selflessly accept their mission to defend our freedom and the values we cherish.

Take a moment from your busy day . . . shed a few tears as I always do . . . and remember the sacrifices they have made through the years … and continue to make every day … at great risk … but with an unwavering dedication to the service of their country.

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Rudolph led his team across the world. You can, too!

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of spiced egg nog in hand.

“Seriously?” my wife said. “You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so.

Rudolph, The Entrepreneur?

Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head.

Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas?

Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe because my daughter’s little yorkie, Lulu, is wearing her “Ludolph” outfit?

Maybe all that … but  for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it  … yet ….

There’s a timeless message in Rudolph’s story.

Then, it dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world. Here’s the message Rudolph has to share …

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You can certainly sing this! The 12 Pains of Christmas

The holidays are here and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to get it all done.

So, instead of asking you to work at something – anything – I’ve decided to give you a gift of holiday music.

Elmo did it, so did Ren & Stimpy, Winnie the Pooh, Shrek, the Muppets … so with animated competition like this, what can go wrong with my first effort at song-writing?

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime.  Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. — P.J. O’Rourke

Yeah, I know, don’t quit your day job.

So, feel free to sing along to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. Key of D Sharp, please.

All together now:

The first thing in business that’s such a pain to me… is the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The second thing in business that’s such a pain to me … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The third thing in business that’s such a pain to me … meetings, meetings, meetings … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The fourth thing in business that’s such a pain to meKeep going … there’s more pain coming …

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We Salute Our Heroes ….

This day is never more poignant and meaningful than when our men and women are serving overseas in harm’s way.

Memorial Day

Today, we pay tribute to the young men and women who defend the freedom we hold so dearly.

Over 4,000 children lost one of their parents since September 11, 2011. Each of them cherishes the respect and admiration we pay to their fallen heroes … and ours … who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Our soldiers don’t wonder “why”. They “do their duty” and selflessly accept their mission to defend our freedom and the values we cherish.

Take a moment from your busy day . . . shed a few tears as I always do . . . and remember the sacrifices they have made through the years … and continue to make every day … at great risk … but with an unwavering dedication to the service of their country.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

This year is likely to be a trying time for many of our friends and colleagues as well as ourselves.

Let’s vow to act urgently when someone calls on us for aid, be positive about the those things we can control and be compassionate when misfortune comes calling.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2013 for you and your family.

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The 12 Pains of Christmas

There is a remarkable breakdown of taste and intelligence at Christmastime.  Mature, responsible grown men wear neckties made of holly leaves and drink alcoholic beverages with raw egg yolks and cottage cheese in them. — P.J. O’Rourke

The holidays are here and we’re still trying to figure out how we’re going to get it all done. So, instead of asking you to work at something – anything – I’ve decided to give you a gift of holiday music. Elmo did it, so did Ren & Stimpy, Winnie the Pooh, Shrek, the Muppets … so with animated competition like this, what can go wrong with my first effort at song-writing?

Yeah, I know, don’t quit your day job. So, feel free to sing along to the tune of the 12 Days of Christmas. Key of D Sharp, please.

All together now:

The first thing in business that’s such a pain to me… is the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The second thing in business that’s such a pain to me … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The third thing in business that’s such a pain to me … meetings, meetings, meetings … stuff a-cumm-u-lating … and the never-ending stinking eee-mail.

The fourth thing in business that’s such a pain to me(more…)

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It’s not about stuff – it’s about them!

 To tell the truth, I really just wanted to cry.

That was my reaction as I scanned the dining room at the Assisted Living facility into which my 93-year-old mother just moved.

Not because it isn’t a terrific facility.

It’s one of the nicest I have ever seen, visited or heard about, with a wonderful and genuinely caring staff. No, it’s not that at all.

It wasn’t weariness, either, although it did follow on the heels of a draining four-day transition, including a crushing array of painful and tedious sorting, organizing, shopping and hauling to massively downsize and, sadly, to discard even more memorabilia from a rich life of living.

This article was originally intended as my holiday message to you. It was published in the December 26 electronic edition of the North Bay Business Journal, but published in the print edition on January 9. Its spirit, however, is eternal.

Not all of it mind you.

There’s a lot of important family history to preserve

Two big boxes of family history are headed my way, as I’m the last stop for any chance to digitize and preserve almost a century of living so it can be shared throughout the widespread family.

All of the forthcoming scanning and cataloging will be a dose of dullsville … invited and welcome, yes … but infinitely time-consuming nonetheless.

It includes hundreds … more likely, thousands … of photographs, yearbook pages, commencement programs, newspaper articles, announcements and the collective minutiae that memorialize a life, two lives really.

My father, who passed away 10 years ago … as one who never let a piece of paper slip through his hands … successfully squirreled away records and magazines from as far back as the 1940s and 1950s that escaped our notice in the decade-earlier downsizing round.

It’s not just sentiment or nostalgia

You might figure that the tears are sentimental or nostalgic. I wish it were that simple. (more…)

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Take a moment to remember and respect ….

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Rudolph made it. I knew he would!

If you woke up this morning with sugar plums dancing in your head, most likely Santa made it down the chimney … and Rudolph is stretched out on the ottoman with a cup of egg nog in hand.

“Seriously?” my wife said. “You’re really singing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer while you’re getting dressed this morning?”

I’m afraid so. Honestly, I have no idea how that song got into my head. Maybe because Rudolph … along with Santa and Frosty … are the most iconic images of a secular Christmas? Maybe because Santa brought me some cool loot?

Maybe all that … but  for just a moment, I stopped to consider the words … mostly to figure out how to convince my wife that I hadn’t lost it  … yet … and it dawned on me that there’s a very timeless message in this simple tune that applies to all of us entrepreneurs … and everyone else trying to find their way in this world. (more…)

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The 12 Days of Christmas – Prices UP!

We knew that 2010 was a pretty “fowl” year didn’t we … but did you think that the price of a French hen would increase by 233%? Or that two turtle doves would now cost 78.6% more? That a lone partridge would go up 20%?

Not that there’s anything wrong with a basket of assorted swans, geese, French hens and turtle doves … I’d prefer a beef tenderloin myself … but who expected that in 2010, the  “Christmas Price Index”, which has closely tracked the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for most of its 27 years, would rise by 9.2%, the 2nd largest increase over that period (2nd only to a 16% jump in 2003), according to the NY Times report?

It’s PNC Wealth Management that has tracked the cost of the fanciful mix of gifts heralded in the classic carol “The 12 Days of Christmas” for more than a quarter century. This year, they’ve included a popup book on their web site about this index.

Of course, this basket of good is much narrower than the CPI, but there’s one other interesting “nugget” in here … namely that the price of “Five Golden Rings” is up 30% to $650 this year, although a lower increase than last year’s 43%. Should have bought a bunch of gold a few years ago, huh? (I’m such a great rear-view investor, it’s actually scary.)

BTW, if you want to give all of the gifts featured in the song … repeats included … it’s 364 gifts for a total of a mere $96,824, up 10.8% from last year. It only costs $23,439.28 for just the 1-12 gifts. Oh, that’s all? Feeling better already ….

At least there’s one piece of good news in here. If inflation rears it’s ugly head, we can put it on a plate and serve it for dinner!

Happy Holidays!

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