#247 – If I Die

I recently witnessed a new Facebook app in action. It’s called “If I Die.” According to the marketing material, a user can create a video to be published on his or her Facebook wall after death. The user appoints three trustees who each have to confirm the user’s death in order to post the video. Two days ago, Art Williams’ “If I Die” video appeared in my Facebook newsfeed. Art was an acquaintance from high school. Except for the tidbits I’d seen in his posts after accepting his friend request, I knew nothing about his adult life. I certainly had no clue about his addictions and the havoc they’d wreaked.

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#248 – Asking for It

Fielding an appeal from an employee for a pay raise can prove almost as nerve-wracking as requesting one, especially if the boss hasn’t been in such a position before. When a secretary first asked me for a salary increase, I lost sleep worrying whether she deserved it and, if so, in what amount. Those were the thoughts running through my mind when Jimmy sought my advice today, after receiving his first ever raise request.

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#249 – Bouncing it off You

In my opinion, all gift givers fall into one of five categories: 1) those who care only for recognition of their “generosity”; 2) those who give what they think the recipient should have, whether or not that person actually likes the present; 3) those who investigate a recipient’s actual wants and needs and try to fulfill them; 4) those purchasing the first remotely acceptable item they can find, in order to cross shopping and gifting off their to-do lists as soon as possible; and 5) those who subscribe to the adage that it’s the thought that counts, although the recipient hasn’t the vaguest idea what the giver could’ve been thinking. Ava’s father apparently falls into the last of these categories.

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#252 – Be My Valentine

The unusual Valentine’s Day experienced by my favorite old lady, Betsy, demonstrates the worth of a couple of trite but true expressions: “seize the day”; and “you’re never too old for love.” I heard all about the lessons she’d learned when I had coffee this morning with her granddaughter.

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#254 – Surprise, Fatso!

Jimmy, Ron and I had a roundtable discussion about weight loss programs this morning. In particular, the three of us debated whether a membership in one can ever be a suitable gift for your wife. Not that any of us want to see our women third-world thin; still, we’d rather forego having spouses whose dress sizes run in double digits. The question is what can a man do when he sees his formerly-svelte bride heading in that ominous direction?

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#255 – The Love Meter

While chatting last week, my friend Ava once again bemoaned the crappy attitude of her youngest son. Unlike his fifteen-year-old brother Stephen, the now-thirteen-year-old Luke shows no respect to his mother, underachieves in school, and treats his home like a garbage dump. I half-jokingly told Ava she wouldn’t have these problems if she’d stop treating the two boys equally. As I put it: “Why show both kids you love them the same, when one of them seems far less deserving than the other?”

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#263 – Parking Problems

Last night, I witnessed a momentous event. The President of our Homeowners’ Association vowed at last to take action against the selfish residents who park their cars overnight on our neighborhood streets. He seemed utterly serious too, if a tad draconian in his intended measures. Though I tried to tell him he lacks the authority to impound offending vehicles, assess $10,000 fines for a first offense, and perform a citizen’s arrest of violating homeowners, in the heat of the moment I doubt he heard me.

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