Friday, May 11, 2012

ROL: Be Righteous.

ROL (Return on Life) is a qualitative counterpart of the quantitative marketing analytic, ROI. ROI greatly increases when a little input generates a significantly greater output. Likewise, ROL increases when small life changes produce a greater quality of life. This week's ROL is about being righteous. To avoid any potential confusion, being righteous is the polar opposite of being self righteous.

I was wandering through the Super Mega Ginormous Big Box Mart on Sunday evening, looking for some sweets to temper my wife's sadness at the impending loss of her friends, the "Desperate Housewives." ( As an aside, who is the most unlikable character on concluding TV series: Hugh Laurie's drug addicted narcissistic Gregory House or Teri Hatcher's babbling perpetual victim Susan Mayer Delfino?) Before I settled on a below average Turtle Chocolate Cake for two, I passed by a huge display of grilling stuff and grabbed a large bottle of mustard.
In big print, the label on the 18 oz. bottle of mustard said "50% MORE" and in small print the label added "than our 12 oz". Nowhere did the label say "our relish offers tips on long division."

The label on the mustard is in fact 100% right. Since there was no mention of "50% more for the same price as our 12 oz.", I can only conclude that the differential in font size and font style was intended to mislead the consumer. I further postulate that if the mustard maker feels a need to confuse me about size, there may be other facts the manufacturer is trying to hide.

A friend of mine that also happens to be a Rabbi is fond of saying "Being right and being righteous are not the same." I heartily agree.

How do you feel when people hide behind being right instead of striving to be righteous? Any examples?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Commitment To Excellence.

I posted in April about tracking my nutrition in order to gain (longevity) by losing (weight). 4 weeks in and 4 pounds lost. 7% down and 93% left to go. As an early evaluation, 4 pounds lost is better than 3 pounds lost but not as good as 5 pounds lost. Along with the good news of slow but steady progression comes a new but familiar challenge.

I have hit the next phase of healthy eating. Since as a civilization we haven't been in the era of plenty for nearly as long as we were in eons of scarcity, my body is interpreting my change in eating habits as a lack of available food. My appetite has been on over-drive and my sweet tooth is singing a siren's song.

The choice is mine. I can give in to my cravings and regain the lost weight (and then some). Or I can make a few small changes (adding a little more exercise to allow for an occasional sweet treat) and forge ahead.

So it is with most things in life. I can chase something more appealing knowing full well that the end result will most likely lead to regression. Or I can continue on a proven plan for success making minor alterations as circumstances dictate. Given my desire to lose some weight, the choices I have made in the past are apparent. The end result with my current commitment to excellence has yet to be determined.

Given the option of moving forward with a steady program or chasing something (apparently) sweeter, what choices have you made? How did it work out? In the end, how did you feel about your choice?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekend Magazine: Public School Education

Friday, May 4, 2012
Brookview Elementary School
Rockford, Illinois

7:30 A.M.

8:15 A.M.
9:00 A.M.
for the

The value of a public school education.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Muffins For Mom.

I took Little Suzy to the annual "Muffins For Moms" before-school get together at Suzy's elementary school. Mommy couldn't go and I didn't want Suzy to feel left out, so I was surrogate mom. When I got to the table with the food, I asked for 2/3 of a bran muffin with flax seed and a mineral water with a twist of lemon. No one laughed. I was planning on going dressed in a flannel shirt and hiking boots, but my wife threatened to kick the crap out of me if I dressed like that. Good thing, it appears the economic depression has finally gotten to every one's sense of humor.

If I'm dryer than I am funny, here's Betty White on SNL/NPR's "Delicious Dish". Now that's funny. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

ROL: Think For Yourself.

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 making decisions yourself.

Indictments have been handed down in the hazing death of a Florida A & M band member. This incident goes beyond the extreme reported in a north suburban Chicago high school hazing from a decade ago. I am aghast that the participants including the victims, in these (or any) initiations find these behaviors acceptable.

Although we consider ourselves an evolved society we are not far removed from activity like the above hazings being the norm. Within the last hundred years:
  • We have denied the vote and other rights based on race in the USA.
  • Japan has decided leadership based on lineage.
  • Europeans were murdered en mass on the basis of religion.
  • Women are guaranteed the right to vote via the 19th Amendment in the USA. 
Creating an environment that does not allow the perpetration of physical or mental abuse on another human must be built on an individual basis, so... You do not have the right to beat, taunt or humiliate your spouse, child, employee or colleague. Ever. Similarly, you do not have the right to allow yourself to be beaten, taunted, insulted or treated as less than an equal by anyone. Ever.
Think for yourself. 
It's the singular path to a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It Must Be A Secret.

This past weekend I was helping my wife pay bills. We pay most bills online, but for some reason our account does not play nicely with two of our utilities. I regularly sacrifice 10 minutes of my life monthly to pay these two utility bills by phone.
source: Wikipedia
For some reason that defies explanation, I was listening closely while paying the bill for the utility that might rhyme with Eye-Corp. Eye-Corp outsources their pay-by-phone to a service agency with a name like MBP. MBP is owned by the the equity division of a financial services firm whose name isn't KQ Noggin Catch. But I digress. When I opt to pay by phone I am informed that there will be an additional fee beyond the amount I owe the utility. How much? They didn't say; it must be a secret.  As the service asks how much I want to pay, I am informed there will be an additional amount for using pay by phone. How much? They didn't say; it must be a secret. When asked to approve the final amount, I am finally informed of the charge for using pay by phone.
source: Wikipedia
I'm unsure of the reason for not informing me of the extra charge for pay by phone at the onset of the phone call. I can only assume the service agency is afraid I might hang up when I hear the additional amount for using pay by phone. Here's a tip: If you're doing something you find embarrassing, stop doing it.

Are there any other areas you have discovered that hide charges that should be expressed up front?