Do it for the dog

This weekend I got to do something I haven’t done for probably close to 20 years. Stay alone – overnight – away from home – with a dog! [woof]

Throughout my adult life, there had always been some sort of animal living with us. (Considering some family members you could say that has been true for my entire life, but that’s a different post for a different day.) When the last dog who had my name on her license as owner went to that big off leash park in the sky, I was already battling Wegener’s and was having difficulty keeping a strong hand on the care part of the care and feeding of pets. I knew my limits, and pet owner was not within them.

Not so though for my daughter who continued the tradition and is and has been for many years the proud dog mom of a now maybe 6 or 7 year old pointer/husky/yeti. There have been times that I have been called upon to provide doggie day care services and have successfully and enjoyably fulfilled those duties, not to mention the meeting the daily expectations of proud grandpop to the grandpup. But when the daughter needs dog sitting of the extended overnight sort, I am not the one called into service. Not that I wouldn’t, I just couldn’t. Let’s say if I were to take the dog for his evening or morning stroll, and upon spotting a follow member of the canine community, or one of the more feisty neighborhood rabbits, and he so decided to pursue fellow canine or feisty rabbit, he would never be accused of being in violation of the leash laws, being firmly attached to a strong, appropriate length lead. It would nevertheless be a questionable defense as it would be very unlikely that the other end would still be firmly attached to my right hand.

Thus, when the daughter anticipates overnight travel (that doesn’t involve an airplane (he doesn’t do well much higher than ground level)) she considers pet friendly destinations or arranges alternate billeting for the pupster. For this occasion she was unable to secure either and I was called and asked if I felt up to just one night with the little fellow. “Of course I can” I replied and oh so nearly convincingly told myself I could do it. Given that she has a fenced in backyard and I don’t, and that the dog, although getting older by the day, still thinks of himself as young and energetic, it was decided I would visit him rather than he stay with me.

And that is how I found myself, Saturday morning, packing an overnight bag including laptop (with drafts for 2 articles and a speech all due within the next month) and heading out the door for the quarter mile walk to the daughter’s domicile. And straight into a pouring rain. A veritable downpour. A like “pair up the animals and ready the Ark” type rain. Concern for the environment be dammed, I headed straight up the driveway and plopped myself behind the wheel of my car for the short but soggy trip, and even that seemed not quite up to the challenge but I don’t own a boat. I felt right then that the next 36 hour period was going to be a mismatch. Unfortunately, when I could be accused of either hyperbole or understatement, I tend toward understating.

To make a long story short (I know, too late), he enjoyed our time together immensely! He was at his tail waggingest, face lickingest, muddy pawed jumpingest best behavior, which for him, are all the things that exhibit good behavior. He never tried to take advantage of an unsuspecting keeper and ate very little of my meals off my plate when his bowl was filled with yummy kibble (and only when I wasn’t watching), did not hide the television remote too well among his toys, and let me have the pillow in bed Saturday night which was only fair since he was using my legs as his. All in all he seemed to have enjoyed my company.

Me? Well I did get to unpack my laptop though never actually opened it, only had to go outside once to forcibly drag him back inside when he refused to come in after treeing some unsuspecting woodland creature, and discovered the desktop cup warmer I got my daughter as part of her Christmas stocking last year works really well. I guess you could say I seemed to have enjoyed his company too!

Well, that dog story was a good story of perseverance. Sort of. Here’s a better one in the most recent Uplift! We know we can do it, whatever the “it” may be, but someone else feels we can’t, but we will try anyway. Because the realty is we believe in ourselves. And reality is more important than feelings. Approximate reading time – 3 minutes



Motivating the motivators

Readers who read my posts all the way through know at the end of each I have to link to some other blog (Uplift!) at some other place ( If you never read all the way through, now you know too.  While this blog is (usually) fun and (almost) always lighthearted (last week’s post notwithstanding), it generally reflects how I’m feeling at the moment. ROAMcare is a different animal. In partnership with my dear friend and once upon a time work colleague Diem, we created a space where you can go to “Refresh your enthusiasm for life by dealing with challenges, confirming your choices, or just finding that extra motivation you need to push through the day!” I know. It says so right on the home page. Something to Uplift! our visitors. We’re not psychologists, behaviorists, sociologists or any kind of -ist, just a couple people who’ve been through and seen a lot and want to share our experiences with others. And in fact, those blogs are born of Diem’s and my experiences, most often only one or the other, although occasionally we might be doing the same or a similar something.

Anyway…now you know there’s another blog out there and it’s always been more of a motivational tool than this one here. Something else we have on that site is what we call our Moments of Motivation (and the real reason for this particular post). These Moments of Motivation are quick, hopefully catchy and easy to remember nuggets of positivity that we post every Monday to all our social media sites and to the website. Over the last couple years we posted 90 of these little guys. Here is last week’s, which is probably the least motivating moment we’ve posted.


The point to all this is that over the last couple years of doing what we can to motivate others, I found myself being the most motivated I’ve been in years. Many years! There was a time when I thought that eventually we would run out of motivation. “Who is going to motivate the motivators?” I would ask. Even Norman Vincent Peale must have had a couple negative thoughts. Didn’t Steven Covey have any bad habits? Are we sure there wasn’t at least one guy who could tick off Will Rogers? Surely they all had their down times, as these were people with credentials who knew what they were doing. How could we hope to refresh anybody’s enthusiasm or give them that extra motivational push to make it through the day. Ah, but thought was fleeting. So fleeting I barely remember having it, because before you knew it, we were back brainstorming motivational moments.

Our process was simple. Every so often we get on the phone, or online, or or a video call and talk. What lifted our spirits this week? What good things happened and why if we know. What held us back from doing something? Then we distilled those thoughts into 4 or 5 word sayings. We’d work on a plan of how we’d match phrase to picture and create the graphic. Then I’d expand the thought to a 20 to 30 word blurb, add a link and the tags, and post away every Monday morning. (You can find this week’s sometime after 8am Monday at ROAMcare on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, even Twitter, and at You’d think turning it into such a production would turn it into work and the words become just words for us. I don’t know how all the -ists manage it, but for me, that’s what made it even more motivating!

Maybe it’s because we spend so much time saying aloud the things we find motivating. Maybe it’s because we take each phrase and rephrase it 3, 4, 5, more than 5 times and hear it over and over. Maybe it’s because we spend so much time with each phrase. Or maybe I’m just easily motivated. But it’s true. I’ve been my most motivated since we started these motivating moments. Do you need some extra motivation. At the risk of putting myself out of business, maybe you just have to tell yourself, “Get motivated and do!” Moments of motivation. Moments that really do add up to a lifetime.

Oh, where were they when I was working for a living?

No job is just one job, but a series of steps to an ultimate goal. Is “You had just one job” a punch line or a new learning opportunity? We give you our take in that in the latest Uplift!



I had a very busy month the last couple of weeks. Yes, you read that right. I had more things going on in April than there were days in April! Some of them resulted in more than a few hilarious moments and were more than blog-worthy. Somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to write about any of them.

Last week there was an unsettling piece in the local news.  Four and a half years almost to the day after the Tree of Life shootings added Pittsburgh the list of cities that had hosted mass shootings, jury selection finally began for the trial of the man seen on camera, walking into a local synagogue and shooting 13 people, 11 fatally, while they were attending Saturday morning services. Four and a half years those families had to watch other families of victims of violence find some solace and maybe even some closure from crimes that happens years after the massacre that took their loved ones. Are we so jaded by killing we can take our good old time seeking justice?

During those 4-1/2 years over 1,900 mass shootings have happened in the US (I’m using the definition of mass shooting is one where 4 people excluding the shooter are killed or injured in a single incident.), 53 in April. Perhaps the most heinous was one of the most recent occurring on April 29 when 5 people were killed after asking a neighbor to stop shooting his gun in the front yard in Cleveland, Texas.

After each of the 1,940 mass shootings in the last 4-1/2 years, calls for gun control have been made and successfully opposed in the name if the Second Amendment. You remember that one.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Some day, somebody from the NRA can tell me how killing 5 of your neighbors because they asked for some quiet, or killing 11 of them while they worshipped their God, is “necessary to the security of a free State.”

I’ll try to find some hilarious anecdotes for next week.

Too often we are defined by the work we do. Is that because we surround ourselves with work friends? We owe to ourselves and our closest contacts to see that our “loved ones” truly are our loved ones. In the most recent Uplift! we talk about why.


A day in the life

Has anybody else been blogging long enough to remember when the “my day” posts were popular? A blogger, typically with pictures, would take his or her (or its) readers through a pictorial tour of a particular day. Typical or atypical, both were fair game. Typically, both were quite boring.

Oh look, here’s my chai tea to start the day. I haven’t had coffee since I found out about the fair trade laws and how few roasters comply.

Oh look, here are my clothes laid out for the day. They look so small laid out in the bed. It must be due to the 487 pound weight loss I recently experienced.

Oh look, here is my designer cockapoo. I would have preferred a schnoodle but the breeder said I have to wait at least 7 months and even then he couldn’t guarantee a champagne schnoodle, so little “Doodle,” the champagne cockapoo, came home with me. Doesn’t he look a dear when he has to go wee wee.

And so on and so on throughout the day.

I never considered doing a “my day” post. First of all, any one of my days, typical or atypical, would bore the most ardent reader. For example, let’s take a look at my last week.

Sunday, I went to breakfast with my daughter. Typically we do a Sunday lunch, one of us hosting and cooking. Because I was scheduled to move Wednesday, most of my kitchen was packed, but because I was going to be unavailable for much of Monday and Tuesday, I needed her help packing the last of the “all but the most last of the last minute” items, so it made more sense to eat early and eat close to me, then we’d work together until everything was packed as planned. So for Sunday, my photos would be of my eating a local diner special, cheesesteak omelet (which was very good!), and then putting stuff in cardboard boxes. Yawn.

Monday, I worked. Snapshot of me at the computer reviewing charts for 10 hours. Double yawn.

Tuesday, I waited through 1&3/4 of the 2 hour arrival window to meet the internet service provider technician at the new location who did the install of the lines and modem, then wait through the two hours for him actually to do the install. After that, I rushed to the old apartment to disassemble and pack the computer pieces. Yawn and a half.

Wednesday, moving day! The only part of the whole day that I remember is the movers hoisting the living room sofa up onto the patio, one fight up from ground, to take it through the patio door because it wouldn’t fit through any other door.  That would have made a good video had I known where my phone was while it was happening.

Thursday, because I was scheduled to work Friday and Saturday, priority was given to unpacking, re-assembling, and connecting the computer, and second priority to making the kitchen cookable and the bedroom sleepable.  My sister came to help and we could have gotten some action shots of her emptying boxes or me unthreading 135 feet of various cables. I did take time that evening to go to my Toastmasters club meeting. With all that was going on, why would I take off for two hours of prime unpacking time. Because they’re fun meetings with good people and because I deserved it!

Friday and Saturday were work days. See Monday.

Sunday, we were back to our normal Daddy Daughter Lunch dates with lunch prepared in my new kitchen and more unpacking by the two of use, assisted(?) by her dog, after. Maybe we could have gotten a decent picture of me making chicken enchiladas but mostly another yawn day.

So now you see why I never did a “my day” type of post. And if you’re still here after hearing about “my week,” hehe, my plan worked!

Have a good week!

Life lessons from hockey? Yes, hockey holds many lessons on how we can be better people. From courtesy and respect to people and time management, the most recent Uplift! explores how hockey could be the best life coach ever!

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Something I said?

I was speaking with a friend who was stuck for something he couldn’t remember. “Oh, you know. It was something you said, you must remember.” “Something I said?” “Yeah, something you said. Oh, we were at, umm, give me a minute, hmm hmm hmm,” and that point he started humming. Humming.  A tune, a little ditty, a song. It could have been my imagination stemming from his comment “something you said” added to the fact that I and just gotten out of the car and the David Benoit song, Something You Said, was playing on the radio, but I was certain that was the tune he was humming. Whatever it was, he had hummed his way to remembering. “Yeah, I got it. You said…” and off we went into our conversation, that to be honest, right now I don’t remember at all. Maybe I should start singing to myself and it will come to me.

All sorts of people, from the giants in cognitive sciences to everyday bloggers, have written about memory. There are tips and tricks to tackle, vitamin pills to pop, herbs to brew into faux teas, and almost none of them work…except for the one that works for you. I’ve heard that if you want to tell somebody something and you don’t remember what, go back into the room where you first thought of it and it will come to you. I’ve heard if you recreate the original environment in which something happened, it will comeback to you. Cook something from your past, look at pictures from your past, all great ideas except…how do you know what room to go back to if you don’t know what you want to remember? How will cooking Grandma’s almost famous pear butter help you remember where you put your insurance card and car registration the nice police officer just asked for? If you remember that you forgot something but you don’t remember what it is, how will you know what environment to recreate? You could be reliving your third date with the second person you dated in your first year of grad school when you should be soaking in a hot tub on the back patio with fireworks booming over the city just on the other side of those trees.

It is said scents are a powerful memory aid as is music, but I think those are more for abstract memories. You smell something and it reminds you of something you did or somewhere you went. A particular song jogs free a recollection of a specific event or a special, or even not so special person in your life’s past. But if you want to remember where you put the combination to the suitcase locks that you use maybe once a year, sniffing all the pineapples in the produce section isn’t going to loosen that bit of information, not even if you want the suitcase to pack for a week in Hawaii.

No, for that kind of memory jogger, I believe we’re stuck with the classic folk remedies and you might as well get to retracing those steps and rebuilding that scene. Actually, there is something to those methods, and to my friend’s humming interlude, that is far superior to the “fling everything in the air and see if you can spot what you’re looking for coming down” method of remembering – they all force you to calm your mind.

I’m no cognitive scientist so I’m likely wrong about this, but I don’t think it has anything to do with where you are, what you’re smelling, or what size kettle Grandma use for that pear butter. Think about it, when you retrace your steps. What are you doing? You are saying to you self, “Self, look around and see what seems special about here,” or, “okay, Grandma had 3 really big pots, now what color were they?” or, “why did I tie this string on my finger?” All of them are other ways of saying, “calm down and think. You can figure this out.” It doesn’t matter whether those old wives tales are true because they aren’t actually jogging your memory. But it matters that for you, there is a truism among them because it is the one that gets you to calm yourself and allow you mind to pull that memory into your consciousness.

So the next time you need to remember something, just tell yourself, “I can do this. Let me think calmly and rationally. After all, it was probably something I said.”

In the most recent  Uplift! we explore not just wanting to help but actually doing something to help, being passionate about being compassionate!


As I Like It

Guess what? Today is not the day we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe next week.

Lately I’ve had a lot of random old posts garnering new “likes” which is nice that people find something in an older blog post that still generates a smile today, but is also a little disconcerting because I don’t think there are real people behind all of those thumbs ups. Why would I question their validity or even reality you reasonably inquire? Well…

I seem to get these random “likes” in waves. Someone (or perhaps “someone”) will like a post from 2017 and within a week, 20 other people (or maybe “people”) have liked the same post. It is possible the “someone” made mention of that post in his/her/their/its/one’s blog and all the “people” who follow him/her/them/it/one all rushed over, read it, and liked it just as well and wanted to make their (whew!) own acknowledgment of likedness. (No, that’s not a typo.) Then the following week, a post from 2020 suddenly captures the attention of a dozen random readers (or “readers”).

No sooner do the “likes” start popping up that new “followers” hop on board the RRSB bandwagon. Of course they could be real people. If they are, they really should reconsider their blog name. Perhaps they are just trolling for followers of their own and forgive me questioning the sincerity of Icangetyoudiscounttraveldealsdotcom, but really, he/she/they/it/one can do better than that!

Please know that I have nothing against people liking my posts. “People” liking them is another thing. I’d rather have 2 people like a post than 22 “people” liking it. Nor do I scoff at followers. I can use all the followers I can get. Tracking followers isn’t as easy as one might think. According to WordPress, my blog has 938 followers but my average visitor rate is 121 views. My blog posts are distributed in their entirety in the email blasts that accompany the online publication, so an email recipient can read the entire post and never enter the blog site, thus not be counted among the readers. I doubt that means 817 people are reading this particular blog in their emails every week. In fact, I know it doesn’t. The follower count never goes down. People unsubscribe, leave the platform, mark the emails as ‘junk,’ or otherwise give up on reading blogs – in general or mine specifically [sniff]. When that happens, it happens, but it isn’t reflected in your followers. This blog has been running for 7&½ years. Over that time, subscribers have given up on it but who knows who or how many.

If tracking followers is difficult, tracking “likes” should not be. People read a post, their like it, the click on “like.” Occasionally they click on “comment” and, umm, comment on it. I can pretty much be sure those are real people. Advancements in AI notwithstanding. And typically within a week, everybody who is going to read a post and either “like” or “comment” on it, or not, will have done so. But then every now and then, something strange happens in the world where posts never go to die. Are there really random people who genuinely liked “Remotely Technological” from August 2018?Perhaps, but 27 random people?

Sounds more like “people” to me.

Although our days are finite, they offer us infinite opportunities. Even when you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, there is always enough time for what’s important. Ask any turtle. Better still, read about it in the latest Uplift!


Springing up all over

This is it, today is the day, the day we’ve all been waiting … okay I’m not going to do that again. I have no idea what you’re waiting for but indeed, today is the day I have been waiting for, for today, at 5:24 this afternoon (per the Old Farmer’s Almanac), winter turns to spring!

As far as winters go, this has been the mildest winter I can recall, and I recall a lot of winters.  But it started output terribly cold, super cold, super terribly cold even, and I never got over the coldness of those first few days of Winter 2022-2023 even when some of the days in February approached and in at least one case exceeded 70°F. I think it might be because in between those 70° days there was always a 30° day. Do you know what that’s like? Well if you lived within 10 or 12 miles of me you do. Anything outside that radius and you were having you own weird winter weather that may or may not have had daily 40° temperature swings.

Of course that was only in February. In March, it has been just plain cold. It snowed the past two days. It snowed 4 days out of the past 7. The temperature hasn’t been above freezing since Friday afternoon. I’m done with this. Today I fully expect at 5:24 this afternoon to hear birds singing, see flowers blooming, and watch trees leaf out before my very eyes. If that doesn’t happen, I want to know right now, who to go to for a refund. The old Old Farmer’s Almanac never let me done before. I expect it to not let me down now.

I do hope I haven’t led you to believe that I’m being unreasonable about this. I think as I get older, and Heaven knows, I’ve gotten older(!), I’ve grown less tolerant of cold, but more less tolerant of these crazy temperature swings. I’m sure I would have been not as disconcerted with this winter if it had just stayed being winter for it’s duration, or maybe a gradual and slight warming as we approached this year’s vernal equinox. (Good word, no?) Rumor has it, La Niña, the lesser famous but more troublesome Pacific wind current, is, after three years, winding down. Those who know say this has been a major contributor to the weird weather patterns we’ve been experiencing. (Please note, I said weird weather patterns, not concerning climate conditions – there is a difference.) If we get a year of neutral weather influences we might see seasons that actual look like Currier and Ives envisioned and that would be okey dokey with me. But for now, I’ll settle for birds singing, flowers blooming, and leaves once again covering those bare branches, sometime later today.

So then, what is the day we’ve all been waiting for. Altogether now – TODAY! Thank you very much. I knew I could count on you.

Anything worth having takes effort. With trust in the process what is worth having can be yours. In the latest Uplift!we explore why making a good life is like making good pizza!


Tuning in to the nature channel

Tomorrow is the day everyone is waiting for. No. Wait. I’ve done that not much too often already. Maybe tomorrow is. It’s Pi Day, but I already wrote that one to death. Maybe it’s Wednesday, the Ides of March. (Nobody ever talks about other Ides although every month has one.) (Hmm, is that right? Oh yes, every month has an Ides, but grammatically, it’s that right making Ides a singular?) (I think it is.) (where was I?) (oh,yes…) In truth, any day can be the day that somebody is waiting for. And that’s a good thing. It shows we are still alive and looking forward, rather than being withdrawn and looking back.

Spring is naturally a time to look forward. Vernal, the fancy adjective for all things spring-like (think vernal equinox) can itself be replaced by the not so fancy adjective, youthful. Spring truly blooms with new growth, youthful buds beginning their journey to full fledged flower-hood, or leaf land, or whatever they may grow to be.

In most American living rooms you find a similar furniture placement. A nice comfy sofa, loveseat, or couch, an easy chair with or without matching ottoman, and/or a recliner (or two or three) aimed facing or providing an obstructed view to — the centerpiece of American culture, the television. The bigger the better! Everything happens on that screen: sports, dramas, movies, upcoming coronations, bits of news, and Saturday Night Live.

My living room isn’t much different than that prototypical gathering spot. There is one addition though. I am fortunate to have one wall in my living room that is all window. (Maybe not so fortunate during the heating months but poetically speaking, fortuitously fortunate.) And I have facing that window a small couch and in that couch I sat the other day and looked out the window at the real life movie called spring. (This was before the snow squalls of this past weekend [sigh].) Out there the trees were budding and birds were looking for a good spot where they might anchor their nest. Other birds could be heard singing, and the grass in the field behind the trees was taking on that lush green we’ll only see the first few weeks of spring. And it’s not even spring yet! It was like watching the coming attractions on my own movie screen that looks out to nature.

So yes, tomorrow is the day someone is looking forward to. And tomorrow’s tomorrow will be the day someone is looking forward to tomorrow. And so on, and so on. Any day can be the day somebody is looking forward to. Even the birds. They told me that the day I sat in my spot, when I was tuned in to the nature channel.

How well do you thank your cast and crew? We talked about our supporting casts in the most recent edition of Uplift! at


The most wonderful time of the year

It’s almost here. The day we’ve been waiting for. (Don’t you just love ads, articles, blogs even that start that way. Like all of the world is “we.” It’s like the YouTube videos that begin, “You’re doing [something incredibly common and impossible to do wrong] wrong.”) (But I digress.) The day we’ve (cough cough) been waiting for is almost here.  Yes…[dramatic overture type music]…it’s Oscar time. (You know I’m really not allowed to say that. It’s copyrighted and a couple years ago they were going after those using it without permission hard. Yeah, well, tough on them! I said it!) Now where was I. Oh yes, it’s Oscar time!

For movie buffs, it really is a big time. Those awards still hold a mystique among awards, and people who live and die for movies have no real life. 

I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to say that.

Take 2! People who live and die for movies look forward to this time of year like normal people look forward to Groundhog Day. And I can say that because I too look forward to Oscar season. Oh not for the awards. I mean I guess they’re okay even though they really have gotten away from awarding the best performances and replaced that with awarded the performances that have the most to say but then sometimes that happens to be the same picture like last year. That was a good movie and I can’t wait to se it again when it’s like 40 years old. Umm…

Oh darn,I lost my place again. Don’t go anywhere. Hmm, people live and die. Look forward to too. I’m one of them. Oh yeah, I found it.

And I can say that because I too am one of them. One of the them who look forward to Oscar season but not for the awards. I look forward to this time of year because my favorite television station, TCM, plays an entire month of Oscar nominated and winning films from when they really were really good. I’ve said many times, my passion is old movies, preferably pre-1950s, certainly pre-1960s, and a rare one after that.

There was a difference in the movies from 70 and 80 years ago. There will never be a movie couple so well matched as William Powell and Myrna Loy. There will never be an actress so perfect in every role she played as Audrey Hepburn. Nor a musical as free spirited as Singing in the Rain, or a drama as soul searching as The Red Shoes. And there will never be another Casablanca. What made so many of the great movies of the golden age of movies such great movies is something we will never see again in movie land. The studio system. So completely controlling of all that went in the it should be The Studio System.

Take Casablanca as an example. Every part was perfectly cast. Not just the leading roles which none of the leads were who the producer Hal Wallis wanted but who the studio gave him. Even the director Michael Curtiz was not the first choice. All off the minor characters filled their roles like they had been doing those jobs for ever. And they had. Actors then were on contract to the studios and they all filled a niche. You want a bartender? They got an actor who played a bar tender so often he’d be a better bartender than a bartender. Do you need a street vendor? Central casting has a dozen to pick from, what do you want to sell? The system worked. Casablanca was nominated for 8 academy Awards and came away with 3, best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay.

So next Sunday while most movie maniacs will be glued to their sets to see who gets slapped this year, I’ll be halfway through a smorgasbord of the best movies, some that even won for being the best movie when being the best mean being the best and the only message was “let us entertain you.”

Every moment of every day has the potential to be one that will be never forgotten. Those memorable moments can be anything and happen anytime. Last week in Uplift! we asked, will some moment today be your most memorable?


Ad Wars – Holiday edition

I am so looking forward to tomorrow, it is palpable! Feel it in the air! Capture its essence on the wind! Yes, I’m talking about Holiday Advertisement Armistice! We can all breathe a sigh of relief!! For a day or two.

I know I’m not the only one who can tell the season by the ads on TV and now on line too. Fragrances? If it’s snowing outside we must be coming up on Christmas. If there are birds singing it’s getting close to Mothers Day. Otherwise, you better have a good deodorant if you want to smell good. Televisions, really big televisions and power tools? Fathers Day will soon be here with the tools needed to build a world class man cave and the electronics to fill it. Caribbean resorts flooding the airways? We must getting close to Thanksgiving so we can plan for some warm sunny days on white sand and leave the white snow behind. And jewelry? Clearly Valentine’s Day approaches. Oh there might be some token pieces in May for Moms Day, and Christmas is always good for a nice necklace, but they pale to the brilliance of the gems you find on air during the first two weeks of February.

Personally, I’m getting sick of finding pictures on diamonds the size of baby heads mounted on rings of the shiniest metals retouching can allow in my Instagram feed. Maybe I’m in the minority but I wouldn’t even consider proposing, or want to be proposed to, on February 14, January 1, December 25, or my intended’s birthday. Show a little originality! Make it a moment that will always be remembered for the special occasion that it is. It should be a special day only those two share. In 40 years when she turns to he and says, “Do you remember when you asked me to marry you?” the answer shouldn’t be, “Duh, yeah…Valentine’s Day. I remember cuz it was right after the Super Bowl. That reminds me. We’re out of beer. [Burp!].”

But then what do I know. I’ll be the one spending Valentine’s Day with my therapist and then going to the neighborhood pub for the Tuesday hamburger lunch special before heading home to check and make sure the ring I bought back then is still in its case, in the back of the sock drawer, just in case someday (but not Valentine’s Day) she changes her mind.

And I’m looking forward to a few days of respite before images of green milkshakes clog up Instagram.

We all owe something to someone for our existence. We explore how we repay them in Uplift! On