Fear Not

In the movie “A Charlie Brown Christmas”, Charlie Brown notices a lot of commercialism and bad behavior.   After struggling with this for a while, during the practice for a school Christmas pageant, he yells out “isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?!” Linus steps up to a microphone at the practice, and begins […]

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Ken Buddy

I live in the Philadelphia area, and have had two jobs in Princeton, NJ.  Princeton is about 60 miles from where I live.  I worked in Princeton from 2005-2008, and then again from 2011 to end of 2019. When I first started commuting to Princeton, I noticed a memorial on the side of the road.  It was a […]

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The Shell Game

I watched a scene in a movie this week where one of the main characters steals meat from a meat truck, and then sells it to a third party. I was reminded of the word “grift”, which means to “obtain money or property illicitly” (thank you Merriam Webster!) When I was little, I remember seeing […]

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Please Remind Me

I have a chore that I am supposed to do once a month in the utility room of my house. It takes about one minute to do this chore. I need to look at something. That is all the chore involves. But I only do this chore about four times a year, because I forget […]

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Bring a Snow Shovel

A month ago, I agreed to call a contractor and ask him if he was available to do some work in our house. I made the call. That week, I asked someone at work to do something. Also during that week, I called three landscapers to see if any of them would like to do […]

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You Get What You Pay For

I had a conversation with a friend yesterday about how we create financial profit. Our conversation turned toward the idea of industries that profit from misfortune, or even create misfortune in order to make money. Healthcare: this is the largest expenditure in the 2019 U.S. budget. Total planned 2019 healthcare spending by the U.S. government […]

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Hungry Children

I was travelling to visit my daughter at college this past weekend, and an article appeared in my news feed: “Colleges Should Not Have to Have Food Pantries” (The Nation). The article was about the growing problem of hunger and homelessness among college students. The article cited a recent survey (College and University Basic Needs […]

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What the Devil Wears

Theresa and I watched “The Devil Wears Prada” last night. It is a movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway, about a young woman who works for the editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine. Meryl Streep plays the editor-in-chief, and portrays a “win at all costs” mentality in the work force. The character played by Meryl […]

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Choice Anxiety

Consumer researchers have done studies in supermarkets, and learned that the more choices are available for certain products, the fewer purchases consumers make. That seems counterintuitive. I would expect that more choices would equal more purchases, but it actually works the opposite way. As consumers, we say that we want more choices, but when it […]

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