Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happy Twitterversary To Me.

I joined Twitter on November 30, 2009. My primary reason for joining Twitter was to test my belief that Twitter was an ideal tool to drive demand during off-peak hours in a B2C environment. That test has long since ended. My hypothesis was proven wrong, but that was due to lack of participation from the business owners not a Twitter deficiency. By the time the great experiment was over, I was hooked on Twitter.
source: Wikipedia
The first three Twitter accounts I followed were Ana Marie Cox, Rachel Maddow and Zach Zaidman. Zach answered a tweet I sent about the Chicago Bears the first week I followed him. I'm still following Rachel. I had to whack Ana Marie after a year due to a following/follower imbalance with the Twitter API, but I just refollowed Ana Marie while getting the link for this post.

My first follower was Sima Dahl and if you're not following Sima, what are you waiting for? Sima returns each and every one of my tweets, FB posts and email. I'm both proud and grateful of building a friendship with someone I have yet to meet face to face.  Enough about Sima, I'm sending her a thank you email today.

I'm following over 3500 and have approximately the same number of followers. The following has been built one at a time, no 'bots. I have fallen in with a bunch of Social Media denizens: novices, enthusiasts and experts (real experts, not self proclaimed experts). I have met and connected with numerous activists/advocates. I have been adopted into and joined multiple tribes. I have also developed relationships with a ton of fine fun people. I am not listing names for fear of accidentally excluding someone.

So to everyone I treasure on Twitter (you know who you are): Thanks for the support, exchanges and RT's. I look forward to another great 12 months and thanks for being in my life.

Monday, November 28, 2011

It's Time To Meet The Muppets, But Not In This Movie.

The lyrics conclude: On the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, Muppet-ational, This is what we call the Muppet Show.  Alas, it wasn't three of the aforementioned adjectives. It did have the Muppets.

For our monthly family outing we took Mario and Little Suzy to see "The Muppets" the day before Thanksgiving. I didn't hate the movie. I had hopes for more than I got. In the sake of full disclosure our December family outing is to see "Chipwrecked". I don't have the same expectations for "Chipwrecked" as I did for "The Muppets".
The Cast:
Jason Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, Jack Black, The Muppets
The Plot:
Gary's (Jason Segel) brother, Walter (a Muppet) overhears Tex Richman (Chris Cooper) an evil oil magnate plotting to claim and implode The Muppet Theater for the oil underneath the theater. Walter, Gary and Gary's girlfriend of a decade, Mary (Amy Adams) team to help Kermit reunite the Muppets and foil the oil magnate's plan.
  • Can Gary negotiate his love and dedication for his brother Walter and his love and dedication to his longtime girlfriend Mary?
  • Can Kermit and Miss Piggy either rekindle their relationship which has fallen into disrepair due to decades of inertia  or alternatively put old wounds on hold and reunite with the gang to save the Muppet Theater.
The Great:
  • Chris Cooper gives an outstanding over the top performance as the scenery chewing, embodiment of evil Tex Richman. Cooper goes to the top of the Muppet villain list.
  • Amy Adams channeling Judy Garland as the loving but growing impatient Mary, wondering if her good-hearted schlub of a boyfriend Gary is ever going to figure it out.
  • The writers'/director's/producers take on what passes for entertainment in the form of current reality TV.
As for everything else in the movie, nothing was bad, merely a compilation of requisite components. There was the plethora of celebrity cameos, the road trip, the "show", Miss Piggy's petulance and Kermit's huge heart. All these movie pieces had their moments but the Muppet gestalt was absent.

Jason Segel as writer/producer/star was a large part of the drive to bring the Muppets back to the big screen after a decade+ hiatus. Segel clearly has love and reverence for the Muppets (he even brought back Mahna Mahna) and therein lies my disappointment with "The Muppets". At their core the Muppets are chaotic and irreverent. I found the chaos scenes (where is Sam the Eagle's requisite diatribe at the kidnapping of Jack Black?) in "The Muppets" a bit flat. Jack Black, the king of irreverence, chaos and any combination of both, is under utilized. Sure the reprise of "The Rainbow Connection" tugs at the heart, but is this generation going to get stuck with a Muppet reunion tour and nothing more?

If you're going to get stuck seeing a kids movie, there is a whole lot worse than "The Muppets". Did I mention I'm going to see "Chipwrecked" in December? Still, the Muppets are capable of much more than "The Muppets".

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

Perspective, A Fairy Tale.

Once upon a time, a long, long time ago a whole bunch of businesses owners and managers reviewed office productivity for the day following Thanksgiving. The productivity review showed that between scheduled days off, "sick calls", out of town visitors and overstuffed employees, the day after Thanksgiving wasn't very productive at work. So the wise businesses owners closed the businesses the day after Thanksgiving. The employees received an extra holiday, although not every employee got a paid holiday.

With an extra day off work and gift giving holidays just around the corner, many of the employees spent the new holiday shopping. Wise retailers started to offer "extra-special specials", encouraging shoppers to come into the "we have specials" stores. It seemed the stores were busier in the afternoon, so the better specials were in the morning. Some specials were limited to the first few hours the stores were open. Some stores even started opening early on this extra holiday, some as early as 6 A.M.

source: morgueFile
As more and more stores started opening early with "extra special quantity limited" specials, the extra holiday was named Black Friday. Some wise store owners and managers realized that shoppers have a limited amount of money to spend. These wise store owners and managers began to offer "really extra special specials with extremely limited quantities" and opened their stores at 4 A.M.  The "really extra special specials prices with extremely limited quantities" were dubbed "Door Busters". Many shoppers started lining up at 2 A.M. or earlier to buy these "Door Busters." It began to seem that Black Friday was becoming more important than Thanksgiving.

source: Wikipedia
After a while Black Friday shoppers and store owners became more obsessed with Door Busters and profits. Stores started opening earlier (2 A.M., midnight, 10 P.M. on Thanksgiving) and some shoppers were trampled to death trying to but the Door Busters. Employees at the stores really didn't have much of a Thanksgiving and some people started to plan their Thanksgiving around their Black Friday. It seemed that what was once a wonderful extra holiday had lost it's luster.

The moral is yet to be determined except that I shouldn't write any more fairy tales. Enjoy your post Thanksgiving turkey salad, turkey sandwiches, turkey croquettes, turkey soup and turkey omelettes.

Any thoughts about Black Friday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful Every Day.

We got a call from Mario's pediatric neurologist in November, 2004. Mario's head CT didn't look right (Mario was still having a terrible time potty training at 5 1/2, so everything was being reviewed).  We were referred to a pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. Standish, at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.
It's All In His Head.
source: morgueFile
Dr. Standish is kind and soft-spoken. Dr. Standish doesn't own a TV. If you have to see a pediatric neurosurgeon it's comforting to know he's not staying up late, hooked on "Survivor". Dr. Standish pulled up the CT and showed us a blob in Mario's frontal lobe. Dr. Standish believed the blob to be an arteriovenous malformation (AVM). Mario was asymptomatic and with the neurosurgery suite at Children's being upgraded, Mario would not be scheduled until renovations of the suite were finished. Dr. Standish expected to call us with a late January, early February date. As it turned out, Mario didn't get scheduled until April, 2005.
The Day Finally Arrives.
Dr. Standish wasn't sure if surgery was required or even possible. CT scans are a big improvement over 2 dimensional X-Rays, but CT scans don't show everything. So we took young Little Suzy to Grandma and Grandpa, packed a weeks worth of stuff (Dr. Standish told us normal recovery time from brain surgery was about a week as a inpatient) into the Caravan and headed to Children's Memorial Hospital.
Good News.
We arrived at the hospital and went through the normal check-in procedure. After a while, the staff carted Mario to the neurosurgery suite and Mommy and I went to the cafeteria for a little sustenance. Mommy and I checked in at the OR waiting room after a short breakfast and settled in for what we expected to be a long day. I hadn't read more than two pages when the radiologist struts in all gowned up, looking for us. "Good news", he says. "It's not an AVM. Dr. Standish will explain in detail, but what Mario has doesn't require surgery. There is a small chance the artery could rupture so we will have to monitor the artery annually (now biennially). Mario will have to lay on his back for six hours and spend the night here, but you can all go home tomorrow morning." Mommy and I exhaled, got Mario through the six hour lay down, spent the night at Children's and we all went home the next morning.
Post Script Surprise.
I hadn't told many people about Mario's pending surgery, but there will still a few phone calls of joy to make. Mommy and I each called our sides of the family. I called our Rabbi and then I called Godfrey, the best man at my wedding. "Godfrey", I said, "Good news. No surgery for Mario."  "Hey Barry", Godfrey interjected, "I can't stay on the phone long. I'm at Evanston Hospital. Hortense (Godfrey's wife) is in surgery. Seems she has necrotizing fasciitis (flesh eating bacteria). The doctors were able to stop the spread and now they are removing a small amount of dead tissue from Hortense's hip. Can we talk tomorrow?" Necrotizing fasciitis is so rare that it is often diagnosed too late to save a patient's life. So on that day in April, 2005 I could have left the hospital (after Mario's surgery) to arrange a funeral for my best man's wife. Instead I took my son home the next day and after getting Mario home, called Godfrey to talk about the Cubs.
It Can Always Be Worse.
Since that day in April, 2005, I've had good days, crazy days, quiet days, happy days, sad days and tough days. But since that April day, I've never had a bad day. That's why I'm thankful every day.

From me and mine I want to wish you and yours

Monday, November 21, 2011

It Only Hurts When I Laugh.

The title of the post is the punch line of an old joke and the title of a not-as-old autobiography. The author and subject of the autobiography is one of the funniest people in America: 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's radio, comedy, cartoon and advertising legend, Stan Freberg.

Freberg is the son of a Baptist minister. He generates his laughs with no profanity, using satire like a rubber mallet to make his point. Freberg's description of the depth of the relationship between Columbus and Queen Isabella is truly masterful.  As an ad man, his campaigns for Chun King Chow Mein, Jeno's Pizza Rolls and Sunsweet Prunes are legendary. So why Freberg today? This week?

As I posted Friday, the holidays bring joy but often stress accompanies that joy. Laughter is the best medicine. So take a moment and enjoy this great Freberg Thanksgiving nugget, Pilgrim's Progress/Double Turkey.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Seasonal Stress.

Home for the holidays. The sentence invokes images of Norman Rockwell prints or Currier and Ives plates. These idyllic portraits are great but holiday time isn’t perfect for everyone.  The holidays can be stressful even in the strongest families, especially when dealing with a recent death. With this in mind, here are some practical guidelines for loss/death related holiday stress:
source: Wikipedia
  • If this is the 1st set of holidays after a death: You may notice the new absence when your loved one’s “specialty” occurs: (ex: making the stuffing, carving the turkey, putting up the tree, serving home-made pies or just sitting in a recliner watching TV all day).  You might cry, or not. The holiday may feel the same as last year. It’s also possible you’ll feel nothing, like Novocain without the tingling. Don’t expect a schedule for experiencing new emotions.  Give yourself a break, you’re human. Don’t apologize, no one expects an apology.
  • If you’re beyond the first full year cycle, you are not immune to sadness induced stress. Pain related to death does not have a schedule and does not fight fair. There is no announcement of an impending crying jag; no time to protect yourself. This manifestation of grief will hide around the corner and kick you in the face when you least expect it. Don’t fear this pain, embrace it. It comes with the territory.
  • Note: If the pain is so great you can’t leave bed for days, you may require professional help. Do not try and solve this problem alone.
  • Finally, rely on friends and family. That’s why they are there. 
Over time you will come to understand the source of this stress and though still saddened by the loss, you will smile at the memories.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

ROL: Seek Inspiration.

ROL (Return on Life) is a weekly post. ROL is the life style enhancing metric similar to the business measurement ROI (Return on Investment). Just as ROI increases with incremental additional investment generating large gains, ROL is about small life change strategies that can provide significant increases in quality of life. Today's ROL is about seeking inspiration.
" I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o'clock every morning." - William Faulkner
I enjoy blogging. Sharing my thoughts is my pleasure. When I express my self so clearly that others find a reason to comment, I'm absolutely over the moon. Of course, since I've set two regular weekly features (ROL, Weekend Magazine) and now post five times a week my joy is equal parts trepidation. Many times I go to bed Sunday night unsure of where the Monday post is going. (Hopefully, it doesn't show in my writing). Still, I find a way to make it through the 5 posts a week (No picture lined up for Weekend Magazine, yet).

source: morgueFile
Even though I don't know any brain surgeons, composers or ditch diggers, I'll bet it's the same for brain surgeons, composers and ditch diggers. I do have dinner prep responsibilities 5 days a week and I can tell you I am not always inspired to deliver a meal at dinner time. Still five nights a week, there is something tasty, filling and nutritious (OK 2 of 3) served for dinner. Why? Because there isn't a better alternative.

Anything worth doing requires persistence and discipline. Many choose the inspiration/perspiration formula. I prefer to think that success is as much about attitude as it is about aptitude. No matter which metaphor you choose, it's easier to find your muse when you routinely search for a spark.

How do you find regular inspiration to produce whatever you need/want to produce? Or do you just wait for a moment that moves you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Company We Keep.

Alleged serial child rapist Jerry Sandusky has hired another member of the Penn State family as his lawyer. Attorney Joe Amendola knocked up a 16 year old client. I can't wait for the list of character witnesses.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Everything Old Is...Just Old.

The last couple of weeks have been nice. I've had the chance to spend time with Little Suzy. Halloween, Doughnuts for Dads and just hanging out with Play-Doh has been really good. Suzy is on the express for eight years old. Mario was different (I know they're all different) at seven,  with the ensuing Asperger's diagnosis just down the road.
source: Wikipedia
Saturday, Suzy was doing her Play-Doh thing at the kitchen table while I was cutting vegetables for crock-pot stew. T.V. was in a time-out due to a joint venture between Suzy and Mario. I took the opportunity to indulge and queued up "Beatles For Sale". The boys hadn't even reached the bridge in "No Reply" when Suzy said, "Dad, why don't you play music kids like, like the stuff on Bob-FM." Bob-FM is the local we're so cool we play whatever we want format station.
     I said, "Suzy, they play the Beatles on Bob-FM".
Suzy said, "No they don't."
     "Suzy", I said, "Everything they play on Bob-FM started with the Beatles".
Suzy said, "No it didn't".
At that point I stopped talking and enjoyed the music.  Later, Little Suzy said, "Eight Days A Week doesn't make sense. Everyone knows there are only seven days in a week." At that point my head blew up.

I realize Suzy is still too young to understand that much of what we see, feel and hear is based on what others have seen, felt and heard before us. I assume as Little Suzy grows, she will gain perspective. Then again, she might subject her kids to the musical stylings of "Lemonade Mouth."

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekend Magazine: #Movember Update.

Movember 11, 2011
Movember 1, 2011

                    I'm actually trying to grow a mustache.
It's good that Movember has 30 days.

Friday, November 11, 2011

No Parades, No Protests. Just Patriotism And Pain.

I asked my friend and neighbor John for a picture for today's post. John is a US Vet and I was planning on a picture (of his) and a few sentences for a post. John suggested I devote some time to US overseas armed conflicts after Viet Nam and before Iraq. Not only did John offer me good idea, but how can I turn down a Veteran on Veteran's Day? Besides, it's his picture.
Roll Tape.
The USA evacuated personnel from Viet Nam hastily in April,1975.  The USA entered the Gulf War noisily in January,1991. There were cameras, reporters and press coverage for both. The time in between seems to have been lost.
 Unseen, But Ever-Present.
What did the US Military do from 1975-1991? Aside from staffing bases around the world, the US Military has been ready to defend our freedoms at the drop of a hat. Forget philosophy and budgets, this is about the men and women of the US Military. During the unpublicized era between Viet Nam and Iraq, US personnel have taken up arms and taken bullets in (list incomplete):  
US Military personnel were also killed in the bombing of the US Embassy in Lebanon, 1983.
Reunion. Source: John Linquist
Cold Sweats.
A few years back, I hit a deer while driving home. Occasionally that vision wakes me up at night.Whenever I see a deer by the roadside, it's all I can do to keep driving. I drive white knuckled during deer season. I can't imagine what it's like to dodge bullets or feel explosions. I don't have dreams of the person next to me being blown up by a grenade. I have no idea how are Service Personnel reassimilate to society. I know some (many) never find a way to fit back into "normal" life. That's exceptionally sad.
An Insufficient Thank You.
So to all Veterans: Thank you for the hardships you have chosen to endure so I can maintain my luxuries. Special thoughts are reserved for those that fought in places I didn't know we fought. And John, thanks to you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Value Of Your Soul.

Thursday posts are usually reserved for ROL (Return On  Life). ROL is about making small incremental changes to lifestyle that disproportionately increase QOL (Quality Of Life). There is nothing incremental about identifying the value of your soul.
source: Wikipedia
Please Stop Calling It Happy Valley.
Apparently, there has been a whole lot of horrible involved with Penn State University for a very long time. In case you've been in a cave (without access to the internet) former assistant football coach and honored faculty member Jerry Sandusky has been serial raping young boys for well over a decade. Various administration members, faculty members and employees of Penn State were aware of the rapes, yet no one did enough to stop the sexual assault of children. The tip of the iceberg is revealed in the Grand Jury report.
Heroes Victims And Villains.
The list of people not doing enough to stop child rape is just being written. I doubt that list will ever be complete as is the list of lives ruined by decades of callous indifference. I have a bubbling cauldron of anger, confusion and righteous indignation. I don't need anyone's cauldron of the same to add to my cauldron and I will return the courtesy.

Many involved with this catastrophe either whispered "danger" or stayed silent for fear of loss or in hope to gain. Fear of loss or hope to gain is the same reason.
Plan Ahead.
I don't consider myself a person that cannot be bought. No one has yet reached my price. As we all move through life we face decisions that challenge our self value. Sometimes these decisions are small and simple. Other times these decisions are large and complex. Sometimes decisions we thought small and simple turn out to be large and complex. It's important to know exactly what we all stand for and specifically what we will trade off before critical decisions force us to either act or turn away. If the people that enabled Jerry Sandusky pondered their self-valuation, perhaps there would be a whole lot less ruined lives in State College, PA.

How do you value your self? What conversations or processes do you have in place to help make decisions?

Monday, November 7, 2011

To Everything, There Is a Season.

Once in a great while a blog post stands up and smacks a blogger in the face. Such is the case today.
A Little Help From A Friend.
On Saturday, I found an unexpected surprise in my Google Reader. Margie Clayman had posted and I had not expected to hear from Margie quite so soon. The essence of Margie's post on Saturday was finding a time, place and comfort level to call out when things aren't right. Picking a spot to criticize, complain or condemn can be challenging. Sometimes the best time to scream foul is right now.
In The News...
Jerry Sandusky, a former defensive coordinator for Penn State and coach Joe Paterno has been indicted for sexual abusing minors. Sandusky retired from coaching in 1999 but as a member of the Penn State "family" had access to all facilities. Sandusky also was involved with the Second Mile, a group home Sandusky founded for wayward boys. In 2002, a graduate assistant reported he found Sandusky assaulting a 10 year old boy in the locker room shower. The grad assistant reported the incident to Coach Paterno, who in turn passed the report along to the Penn State athletic director. Following a three year investigation by the Pennsylvania Attorney General, Sandusky was indicted on November 4, 2011 and subsequently arrested on November 5, 2011. The indictment includes 40 counts of sexual crimes committed against young boys. On Saturday when asked about Sandusky, Coach Paterno said "...I did what I was supposed to...".
Trust and Leadership.
College coaches and their assistant coaches go into homes across America and tell parents, "playing (fill in sport) at (fill in university) is more than just playing sports. It's about learning to lead and learning to be an adult. You can trust me with your child." So what do college coaches across the country say about Jerry Sandusky? So far nothing. To be honest, Paterno's quote talked about taking responsibility for being "fooled" along with scores of professionals. The lesson of leadership requires that Paterno quit today, either for being complicit in a cover up or being ignorant of what was going on in his (he's the HEAD COACH) locker room. More importantly,  college coaches across the country need to (back to the beginning of the post) call for Joe Paterno's resignation. College coaches need to reach beyond the fraternity/sorority/alliance of coaching and show leadership. College coaches need to show parents across the nation that their program is really about more than sports. College coaches now need to prove that they can be trusted. And the time to show leadership and earn trust is today.

What do you think? Don't tell me Sandusky is beyond a creep, that's obvious. How would you feel as a parent if your child is being recruited? How would you feel if your child played sports at Penn State or any other university in the last 15 years? How do you feel about the resounding silence from college athletics across the country?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Second Helpings.

Only 15 Weeks Until Pitchers And Catchers Report.
I first posted about the Cubs hiring Theo Epstein in mid-October. Finally, the Cubs officially announced the hire and had a press conference. Then the Cubs hired a few more people and had a few more press conferences. I found it interesting that Epstein talked about system wide changes occurring before results (World Series) will come to be. Imagine that, no such thing as an overnight success.
We're Your Bank And We're Listening, So Long As You're Screaming.
I talked about Bank of America's plan to charge $5/ month for a debit card and the importance of Occupy Wall Street in an October 3rd post.  A month later Bank of America has rescinded the not yet in place monthly fee. All it took was world wide protests and a pile of awful press. I'm sure BOA will find an even more noxious way to recapture those fees. Still the lesson of peaceful persistent protest should not be lost. Also, it's important to remember that prior to showing disgust via the ballot box, calls and faxes to elected officials can be very effective. Let the government know how you feel, on a regular basis. Hell, they work for us (at least in theory). 
It's Still Early Movember.
Finally, I talked about this month being Movember, for Men's Health Awareness, especially prostate cancer awareness. I am growing a mustache (pictures later) to participate in Movember. Still, it takes a while for the mustache to grow in, so I added one to my Twitter avatar. Why not join me? It also gives you the opportunity to tell the man you love most "If you really love me you'll let you doctor stick his finger up your...". Or maybe just suggest it's time for an annual check-up.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great weekend.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

ROL: Knowing When.

ROL is an abbreviation for Return on Life. Return on Life is all about making small incremental changes that yield large returns on life enjoyment. This week's ROL is about the courage to quit.
Hi, Margie.
I met Margie Clayman through a guest post she wrote about the Rolling Stones and Social Media. We exchanged comments and Margie encouraged me to post my presentation "Fab Four Networking". I subscribed to Margie's blog, often sharing and always enjoying her insight. Margie's post yesterday indicated I won't have the opportunity to appreciate Margie's musings for a while.
Bye, Margie.
Margie is taking some time away from social media. Her decision was driven (according to Margie) by many factors including: a collaborator's disloyalty, 2 e-contact suicides and the fact that social media had become a drain instead of a pleasure. Comments, including mine were all supportive. There is a quiet lesson beyond Margie's self-driven sabbatical.
Thank You, Margie.
Our society operates under the notion that quitting is always bad.
  • "Winners never quit and quitters never win."-Vince Lombardi
  • "Age wrinkles the body. Quitting wrinkles the soul."-Douglas MacArthur
  • "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."-Lance Armstrong
  • "Quitting doesn't enter my mind."-Jimmy Buffet (Jimmy Buffet?)
The stories of the athlete/entertainer/business person persevering through failure after failure after failure to ultimate massive success are repeated ad nauseum in a multitude of different packaging. Unfortunately the stories of those that lost spouses, families, years and/or lives by blindly charging ahead without taking a few quiet moments to evaluate efficacy, efficiency and enjoyment are never told. Strength lies not in forging ahead forever. Strength is admitting when it's time to stop.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Happy Holidays. Nominations Are Now Being Taken.

Lest anyone think I might be secularizing a sacred holiday commemorating the birth of their Lord celebrated on December 25, Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays to the rest of us.
Something For Everyone.
source: morgueFile
Halloween is the de facto end of the fall season and with it's passing, the end of year holiday cycle begins. Think about it, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all within 40 days. There is also Hannukah and Kwanzaa. For the pagan community there is the celebration of the winter solstice and Bodhi Day for the Buddhists.  The seasonal fluctuation of the Islamic lunar calendar doesn't leave a Muslim holiday specific to winter. Still, for the Muslims that live and work in the US, at least there are some days off of work. Ditto for the atheists and agnostics. This time of year holds something for everyone, although for Native Americans the season doesn't begin until December (Think about it. Have you ever seen the TV special, "Thanksgiving at the Reservation"?)
Lesser Holidays, At Least In The U.S.
The winter season also includes some recent and/or additional holidays:
  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday are retail invented holidays. Hallmark should have the cards out soon.
  • There's Boxing Day if you can sell it to your supervisor.
  • College Football offers the week long build up to the National Football Championship, with the two highest selected football teams playing each other. I still remember when college football concluded on Jan1. and only four (Cotton, Orange, Sugar and Rose) bowl games were played.
  • "Seinfeld" offered Festivus to celebrate...frankly I'm unsure as to what there is to celebrate when the holiday has it's origin in a sitcom about nothing.
Despite the plethora of holidays, and let's face it any day is a good day to skip work and spend with family, I want to add one more.
And One More.
Within a week of Halloween, there is a very special day. It's a day that offers something for almost everyone, yet asks nothing in return. Snooz-a-pa-gain-a is celebrated in the US on the 1st Sunday in November. Precisely at 2:00 AM on the 1st Sunday in November almost everyone in the USA is to set their clocks back one hour. This gives everyone an extra hour of sleep, provided they don't actually get up at 2AM to change their clocks. The technical name of the ceremony of changing the time is called "falling back" (festive, don't you think?). Of course, there is Snooz-a-pa-looz-a in the early spring, but that's months away.

So very early this coming Sunday Morning, don't forget to fall back. Happy Snooz-a-pa-gain-a.

Are there any other should-be holidays you would like to add?