johnlamb1

Native Mainer who works in public relations and communications. Former broadcast journalist. Avid photographer and owner of an energetic collie. Masters in Mass Communications/Media Management, as well as Accreditation in Public Relations (APR).

Homepage: https://johnlamb1.wordpress.com

If my dog could speak

Molly just turned 2, which I’m told is the adolescence stage for a dog. The teen years.

She’s a terrific dog and great companion, but I am seeing the emergence of a stubborn/independent streak. Makes me wonder what she’s thinking.

 Here’s a possible list of her thoughts:

  • I know you’re late for work, but would you chase me around the house for 45 minutes?
  • Seriously? It’s raining.
  • There’s that cute Golden Retriever. Don’t embarrass me.
  • How’s your steak? I’m having dry Purina for dinner.
  • I let you win at tug-o-war.
  • You had me at belly rub.
  • Are you really going to carry that bag around? It’s embarrassing.
  • You haven’t petted me for 10 minutes. Did I do something wrong?
  • Reindeer antlers aren’t as funny as you think.
  • I like to mess with you by barking into the darkness.
  • How about a trade—I’ll swap a a bowl of this delicious Purina for a couple of small bites of your greasy, overcooked steak.
  • Oh, and your breath is always minty-fresh?
  • Give me the word and I’ll rid this neighborhood of squirrels.
  • Why did you throw that away that perfectly good piece of grizzle?
  • My time on this earth is shorter than yours and I want you to have good memories when I’m gone, so let’s play fetch using pieces of that steak.

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Who said it? Test your knowledge of movie quotes

With much of Hollywood slowed by the pandemic, many of us are turning to old (and old-ish) movies. Let’s see how well you know them by identifying which movie that included these quotes.

  1. “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”
  2. “Quid pro quo, Clarice.”
  3. “Rosebud.”
  4. “To infinity and beyond!”
  5. “I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks.”
  6. “Say hello to my little friend.”
  7. “I’m the king of the world!”
  8. “I’ll be back.”
  9. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?”
  10. “Mischief Managed.”
  11. “Back off, man, I’m a scientist!”
  12. “We have a hulk.”
  13. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”
  14. “Wakanda Forever!”
  15. “You ever hear Dad introduce us to people? “This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie’s sister.”

Answers

  1. “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” – Jaws
  2. “Quid pro quo, Clarice.” – Silence of the Lambs
  3. “Rosebud.” – Citizen Kane
  4. “To infinity and beyond!” – Toy Story
  5. “I do believe in spooks. I do believe in spooks.” – Wizard of Oz
  6. “Say hello to my little friend.” – Scarface
  7. “I’m the king of the world!” – Titanic
  8. “I’ll be back.” – Terminator
  9. “Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?” – Raiders of the Lost Ark
  10. “Mischief Managed.” – Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  11. “Back off, man, I’m a scientist!” – Ghostbusters
  12. “We have a hulk.” – The Avengers
  13. “Here’s looking at you, kid.” – Casablanca
  14. “Wakanda Forever!” – Black Panther
  15. “You ever hear Dad introduce us to people? “This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie’s sister.” – A League of Their Own

Scoring
0 – 5 correct: No popcorn for you
6 – 10 correct:
11 – 15 correct: Director’s Chair

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Random thoughts for the new year

Rather than making New Year’s resolutions that I’ll break by afternoon, let’s look at some random thoughts that have been rattling around in my head.

My dog may be smarter than me. While my focus is on work and managing the house, she clearly knows how to prioritize — eat, play, sleep. Repeat.

Eliminating the CAPS LOCK on the keyboard could reduce my typing errors by as much as 63 percent.

Most things in life can be explained by an episode of Seinfeld.

A popular song says you’re never fully dressed without a smile. Add iPhone to that.

I’m holding a box of chocolates for a coworker and have resisted the week-long urge to open it. Truly, a Christmas miracle.

Charlton Heston’s appearance in Wayne Worlds 2 may be the greatest cameo ever.

Back to the dog … as we walk through an area inhabited by coyotes, she’ll periodically stop and stare into the woods. She’s clearly messing with me.

TV personality, author, Broadway performer, marathon runner. Is there anything Al Roker can’t do?

Those of us who didn’t experience Beatlemania simply cannot imagine how big the Fab Four were.

Does anyone really look like their driver’s license photo?

Stephen King’s 11/22/63 may be the best book I’ve read.

Finally, a serious note: COVID isn’t going away anytime soon. My wish for 2021 is that join together to fight it. Please wear a masks, practice social distancing, and wash your hands regularly.

Happy New Year!

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Are you prepared?

September is National Preparedness Month, a reminder that a disaster can hit at any time, and the best way to minimize its impact is to be prepared.

During my days at the American Red Cross, I often spoke with groups about fires safety and prevention, so let’s look at simple steps you can take to keep you and your loved ones safe.

One morbid statistic, before we begin. If fire strikes your home, you have about 2 minutes to get out. That’s not much time, so being prepared pays off.

Smoke alarms
You should have one on each level of your home, in every bedroom, and in hallways outside of bedrooms. Test and vacuum them monthly — they collect dust that can impact performance — and change batteries twice a year.

Have a plan
Every household should have, and practice an escape plan. Identify two ways out of each room, as well as a meeting place outside for the family. And practice you plan. If you have young children, include them in the planning to better engage them.

Grab one to go
Make a “grab bag” for every member — human and animal — of the house. The bags stay near an exit or somewhere where you can “grab” them quickly on your way out the door in an emergency, such as fire or weather event. Include whatever you think would be needed if you have to leave home, such as:

– Emergency clothing

– List of medications

– Important phone numbers

– Cash

– Flashight and batteries

– Small games to occupy the kids

– Dog food, extra collar and leash, etc.

– A book or a deck of card (in case you land in a shelter)

The list of possible items goes on — and differs for reach person. Spend a few minutes thinking about what you’d need to function if you were driven from your home.

Hopefully the only time you touch your grab bag is to dust it, but if you ever need it, you’ll be glad it’s there.

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Before you say ‘yes’ …

Many years ago, a speaker at a conference shared a story about working with the Dutch. He said while it’s very difficult to get them to make a commitment, once they do, they’re in 100 percent.

He paused and said, “Now, think about Americans.”

He makes an interesting point. As a culture, we don’t like to say no, and often regret saying yes too quickly. However, that often leads to overextending ourselves, and not having enough time or energy to follow through on what we promise.

Worse yet, it’s becoming harder to say no.

What’s the answer? I suspect it’s a combination of becoming better at prioritization, letting go of details that are less critical, and yes, learning to say no.

Implementing and following a solid time management system is also a big help.

Your turn. How do you manage all of your commitments and requests?

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A lesson in business and life from the Dutch

Years ago, a conference presenter spoke about doing business with the Dutch. He noted that while it generally took them much longer to commit to something, once they signed on, he said, they were committed 100 percent.

The speaker paused and then said, “Compare that to Americans.”

Wow, he’s right. How often have you seen people offer or promise to do something then miss a deadline or completely blow off the project? We’ve all been pulled away by competing priorities, and while it’s often understandable, the odds are good that someone was let down by the change of direction.

Years ago, the acronym DWYSYWD began circulating around Corporate America. It’s meaning, Do What You Say You Will Do, must seem obvious — perhaps even silly — to the Dutch. After all, why do you need to be told to do something you agreed to do?

Food for thought…..

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Want to become a millionaire? One expert says you can.

I’m in the midst of an interesting book, Everyday Millionaires, by financial guru Chris Hogan.

The book is based on a survey of more than 10,000 U.S. millionaires. Using the data, Hogan dispels many of the images we have of the wealthy, and argues — quite strongly — that a seven-figure net worth is within reach.

Who are the millionaires?
Hogan found the vast majority of millionaires earned their wealth through hard work and by prioritizing savings — living well below their means — and that they continue to follow these habits.

Hogan spends considerable time debunking the myths of how people became millionaires. Most came from humble beginnings. Seventy-nine percent received no inheritance from their parents, and eight out of 10 came from families at or below middle class.

Education matters, as 88 percent earned a college degree. Incidentally, 68 percent of the graduates never took out a student loan.

Somewhat surprisingly, the key to wealth isn’t landing a high-paying job. Hogan found that less than one-third earned more than $100,000 a year. Can you guess the top three occupations of millionaires? Engineer, accountant, and teacher.

Keys to success
So, what is the path to wealth? Hogan identified several characteristics. Topping the list are discipline and consistency. The tortoise definitely beats the hare on the path to $1,000,000.

Hogan found that millionaires:

  • Save consistently, largely by living below their means.
  • Avoid unnecessary risk and get-rich-quick gimmicks.
  • Practice patience, realizing that it takes time to build wealth.
  • Believe that they control their own destiny (but also ask others for advice and guidance).
  • Invest in retirement plans. This was identified as the biggest contributing factor.
  • Establish and reach financial goals.

Whether or not you fit these criteria, the book is a worthwhile read. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find yourself in the next millionaire survey!

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Best baseball movies? Here’s my starting nine

Baseball returns this week, so let’s wrap up the preseason with a look at my picks for the best baseball movies:

A League of Their Own
Gena Davis and Tom Hanks star in this terrific movie about the Women’s Professional Baseball League.

Bull Durham
Minor league catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Kostner) tries to keep his shot at the “show” alive, while also mentoring a young pitching prospect (Tim Robbins) and trying to win the heart of the team’s biggest fan, played by Susan Sarandon.

Damn Yankees
A middle-aged fan makes a deal with the devil (Roy Walston) and becomes a major league star in this popular 1958 musical. Who said there’s no singing in baseball?

Eight Men Out
Based on the infamous Black Sox scandal that ended the careers of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his teammates on the 1919 White Sox.

42
Before he was Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman played Jackie Robinson, the Dodger great who broke the color barrier. An important move, and at times, difficult to watch the abuse Robinson experienced.

Major League
Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger lead the hapless Clevelend Indians from last place to first. Silly fun.

61
A brilliant retelling of the 1961 season, when Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Barry Pepper), chased Babe Ruth’s single season home run record (60) amid near-constant media pressure. Directed by die-hard fan Billy Crysal. The DVD’s extras are worth a watch, too.

The Natural
Robert Redford plays slugger Roy Hobbs, an aging ballplayer with a mysterious past.

The Rookie
High school coach Dennis Quaid promises his players that he’ll tryout  (again) for the majors if the team can turn things around. Based on the true story of Jim Morris.

That’s my list — what’s on yours? Field of Dreams? The Sandlot? Moneyball?

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What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?

“If I’d only known…”

Every catch yourself saying this? We all do from time to time. Imagine the mistakes we’d avoid and the time saved if we could go back in time and give advice to our younger selves.

What would you say? Study harder? Travel? Save more?

Here’s my list:

Trust your gut
That little voice inside is correct far more than you think.

Learn from your elders
They’ve been around for a while and are happy to share experiences and wisdom that they’ve picked up over the years.

Find balance
There is more to life than work. Travel, spend time at the beach, and relax by doing hobbies and activities that you enjoy.

Don’t expect to have all the answers
Not sure? Say so. People generally won’t judge you for not knowing something, especially if you promise to do some research and find the answer.

Take care of your body
Now is the time to establish life-long fitness habits, but pushing too hard at this age brings aches and pain down the road.

Take calculated risks
Too much risk is bad, but so it too little.

Stick to mutual funds
Set a 60:40 ratio of stock to bond funds, and other than rebalancing your portfolio yearly, leave it alone.

Use your ears
You learn far more by listening than talking.

Give back
Find more time to volunteer. It’s really a win-win.

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More than ever, short and simple is better

Ever feel like you’re on a treadmill that’s going faster and faster? That seems to be the new norm, with less downtime to just sit and relax for a moment.

As people feel the constant tug for their time and attention, the importance of clear, concise communications becomes more important.

So how do you reach someone who is reading your message while making dinner, helping the kids with homework, and answering an after-hours text message from her boss?

Some thoughts:

  • Begin with your most important message.
  • Use bullets. They help break up copy and make reading easier.
  • Opt for simple words and avoid jargon, acronyms, and words that readers may not understand.
  • Use examples to illustrate complicated points.
  • Offer a contrast or comparison to create an image in your readers’ mind (“The ship is the length of two football fields.”)
  • Stay away from too many fine details.

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