When Boring is a Good Thing

Our American society celebrates, appreciates and rewards the bold and visibly successful. President Trump rose from real estate developer’s son to reality television star to President, in no small part due to his outspoken personality and flamboyant lifestyle that flies in the face of the boring politician stereotype.  Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Atlantic airlines, and Mark Cuban, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, are frequently in the news because the media knows their exuberant personalities and visible wealth appeal to many people. We don’t like settling for average, another word for… [read more]
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Rebuilding After Madoff

On Saturday, May 20th, HBO released its new film, The Wizard of Lies, which depicts the events leading up to and following the arrest of Bernie Madoff.  While it does a reasonable job explaining how Madoff ran the largest Ponzi scheme in history, its core storyline is about the type of person Madoff is and how he justified continually deceiving virtually everyone in his life.  It details the impact of his crimes on his investors, many of whom had no idea their investments were even associated with Madoff, and the impact to his… [read more]
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Kick the Buckets

Commercials are the worst.  I avoid live television altogether except for things like watching Xavier in the Elite Eight, but even then, I still avoid the commercials.  I will literally pause the TV when it goes to a commercial break and sit there until I think enough time has passed that I can fast forward through them. The other day, though, I must have been off my game.  I was watching some show and without realizing it, I got pulled in to the commercials.  One came on for the new, the amazing, the super powerful…Dyson… [read more]
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To Keep or not to Keep – That is the Question

They say opposites attract.  Well, they were right when it comes to my husband and me.  I am a neat freak and he is a pack rat.  I love clean surfaces and being able to see everything when I look in a closet or cabinet.  He loves saying yes when anyone offers to give us anything.  Old sink – yes, we want it.  A third set of used speakers – send them our way.  Twenty place settings of holiday dishes when I do 90% of my cooking in the microwave – of course!  His collecting… [read more]
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When Good Beats Perfect

Did you go to the gym this morning?  Did you notice anything?  It’s already starting to empty out, isn’t it? As we move through the second week of 2017, many deeply resolved, well-laid plans have already gone the way of the dodo bird.  Statistics tell us that in just a few more weeks, most all will be a thing of the past. It is difficult to change habits.  We get comfortable with our routine and are willing to defend, consciously or subconsciously, against any outside influence looking to cause us discomfort.  That’s how they became… [read more]
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Beware the Prognosticators

While pondering topics this week for my final post of 2016, I’ve been inundated with periodicals, industry publications and online headlines full of projections about hot stocks, interest rates and where the overall market is headed in 2017. I started linking stories above to make my point, but there are so many, it’s tough to choose just a few.  Linking to one headline suggesting that the Dow is heading to 40,000 would show preference over a claim that it’s headed to 2,000.  If you’re curious, search virtually any financial media site after you’re finished reading.… [read more]
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React, then Reflect

On June 23, the United Kingdom voted in favor of what has become famously known as Brexit, a referendum instructing the British government to exit the European Union.  This vote surprised most every poll and odds maker who ventured a guess on the outcome. That day, the Dow Jones Industrial Average* (the Dow) closed before election results were known at 18,011.07. The next day the Dow lost more than 610 points in response to the surprise outcome.  As concern spread over the weekend, the average continued another 260 points lower on Monday, closing at… [read more]
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Trust but Verify

If you are seeing this – congratulations!  We made it through November 8th and can return to some semblance of normalcy in our news cycles, television ads and Twitter feeds.  Barring a truly horrifying outcome of an electoral college tie, we have a new President.  While I don’t know who that person is as I write this, I can say with some amount of certainty that a good number of you feel pleased, a bunch of you feel appalled and a small number are indifferent. That’s to be expected.  People are built to have… [read more]
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Blind Spots

I hope by the time this blog goes out that the havoc caused by Hurricane Matthew will have begun to subside.  As I’m writing this, there are still hundreds of thousands without power and many looking for rescue from flood water as high as 5 feet. As some cities begin to clean up, others are still facing further damage from flooding rivers. Given the magnitude of this storm, it’s actually astounding the damage and lives lost weren’t greater.  I think a lot of the credit for that goes to the meteorologists who mapped the storm’s… [read more]
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Ice Cream Causes Drowning

(or, The Importance of Critical Thinking) There is no doubt that the age of big data is upon us.  While most agree we’re in the very early stages of realizing its potential, we are now able to capture and crunch vast amounts of information in order to learn all kinds of things about ourselves and our world. While listening to a recent episode of the TED Radio Hour podcast on the “Big Data Revolution,” I was reminded of the power of big data and the impact this will continue to have on the… [read more]
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