Take-Aways from George Bailey

It’s a Wonderful Life has been a meaningful part of my Christmas season for decades.  I find as I get older small things such as my love for this classic are enduring.  Every year I’m inspired by George Bailey and his truly blessed life.  George is a regular guy with big dreams who feels beholden to do the right thing, which often means foregoing his own desires.  Even as a kid, George Bailey is an unintentional hero who risks his own well-being for the greater good.  He still wishes for a million dollars like everyone else does.  Hot dog! Opportunities to make … Continue reading Take-Aways from George Bailey

Deck the jail cell with filet and whiskey

Throughout the world cheese is the most popular food item to shoplift, but in the states steak rules the hearts and minds of one in eleven who walk out of a store without paying for an item.  To deal with that pesky conscience, Jameson whiskey comes in second as the most stolen item this holiday season.  I know, I know.  Everything gets blamed on the Irish, but keep in mind that there are a ton of wannabes in the U.S. that think drinking Jameson makes them Irish.  That is simply how Jameson operates.  Daniall Ashley, a Florida man caught this week while attempting … Continue reading Deck the jail cell with filet and whiskey

Muppet-Style Capitalism

In an all-too-familiar effort to draw attention away from the world’s economic and political angst Fox Business Network recently accused the Muppets of brainwashing our children with liberal anti-capitalism ideology.  Anchor Eric Bolling kicked off the discussion by stating that the new Muppet movie teaches children class warfare by pitting the iconic Muppets against the villainous and hugely wealthy oil baron Tex Richman.  Walt Disney furthers their anti-capitalist agenda by energizing Miss Piggy, Kermit, and their friends to revive the defunct Muppet Movie Studio or lose it to Tex who will bulldoze it to drill for oil.  The Muppets do not have … Continue reading Muppet-Style Capitalism

Spending it all on Christmas

When Josh Brolin’s character in Wall Street Money Never Sleeps is asked how much is enough he replies, “More”.  It must have been the Christmas season.  Although we do not openly agree with him, most of us, deep down, wish we had “more” even as we tout how grateful we are.  We talk about the reason for the season, but the truth is Americans plan to spend an average of $700 on Christmas gifts and we all know how those well-planned budgets fail at Christmas time.  The electronic gadgets we crave are guaranteed budget-breakers; my iTouch comes in a close second … Continue reading Spending it all on Christmas

Paris Hilton more popular than Congress

The U.S Congress has hit a new low with a dismal approval rating of 9%, the lowest since the New York Times began tracking it over 30 years ago.  Is it any wonder that Paris Hilton is now more popular than Congress?   Although many of us are perplexed by Ms. Hilton’s fame, even more confusing is what those people up on the hill are doing, or rather not doing for the people they purportedly represent.  Paris’ inane “that’s hot!” ratings of who-cares subjects hold more weight than the President’s, “we can do this” assurances.  I say we cancel their show.  It … Continue reading Paris Hilton more popular than Congress

It’s beginning to look a lot like Wal-Mart

Black Friday even sounds ominous.  Signifying sales that retailers hope will push their profits into the black, it also represents the dark side of Christmas.  A California shopper felt the frenzy of competition when she turned on her fellow shoppers with pepper spray in an L.A. Wal-Mart last night.  That is what the news reported the incident as this morning- competitive shopping.  On any other day pepper spraying a crowd of 20 adults and children would be labeled outright as assault, but in the name of consumerism today it is deemed part of the competition for deals that can only … Continue reading It’s beginning to look a lot like Wal-Mart

Marriage 201 (Prerequisite Marriage 101)

The syllabus for Marriage 201 includes an independent study portion during which the enrollee identifies a specific challenge and develops a plan to address it.  Many of us wish to skip the fundamental lessons of Marriage 101, mistakenly thinking that we do not need it.  It is basic knowledge, after all.  Although the syllabus for Marriage 101 may appear to include sparse enlightenment, these lessons are so difficult that half of the enrollees either drop or fail the course.  There are several variations of Marriage 101, but courses typically contain the following lessons: Another person cannot complete you or fill … Continue reading Marriage 201 (Prerequisite Marriage 101)

The Village

Relocating from the city to a village surrounded by apple orchards and woodlands has been a positive experience, for the most part.  The culture is simpler here; a local art revue with centerpieces of apple sculptures, a Celtic Festival, the annual Town & Country fair, and the small building whose only function is as Santa’s house during the three weeks of Old Fashioned Christmas, epitomize our small-town community.  We know our neighbors and everyone except one snotty couple waves to us when we turn onto our street.  If we want to know the happenings around the village, or even if … Continue reading The Village

Chasing Z’s

Sleep is an elusive and unpredictable bitch that switches up the timing of her escape between very late at night and much too early in the morning.  She requires that I court her all day long in order to gain a slim possibility of a rare eight-hour stretch that will leave me feeling like I won the lottery.  At least once a week I see or hear the sleep courtship rules that we have all memorized by now.  The advice to not drink caffeine or exercise late in the evening is like receiving instructions on how to tie my shoes at this … Continue reading Chasing Z’s

The case of the disappearing 401k

Either I am a cynic or the only one not drinking the Kool-Aid.  The bit I saved for retirement is invested in a 401k with a perfect risk ratio, according to the financial wizards, for someone who wishes to retire in 2035.  I followed the expert’s advice to not fret during the past year, which for me meant not even logging in to review the monthly online statements.  Stay the course is what they say.  The market has always had highs and lows and long-term investors always win.  Really?   I share both a blood type and a Myer-Briggs personality type … Continue reading The case of the disappearing 401k