Month: March 2011

Unfair Competition

Occasionally, discretion really is the best part of valor. The endearing heavyweight boxing champion, George Foreman, won over 90% of his matches. He is slightly bigger and has a four inch longer reach than one other heavyweight champion, David Haye, who has also won about 90% of his matches. Nonetheless, George would be well advised...

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I Do It

Kathrene Pinkerton was a prolific, 20th century writer of both fiction and non-fiction books. In Three’s a Crew she tells her own story, including how she and her husband managed during the Depression years. She speaks of organizing an artisan’s co-op and how, by banding together, the participants generated more income than they were able...

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Butcher, Baker and Candlestick Maker

When asked what the “Gerber” brand means, most moms would say ‘baby food.’ This is partly why Gerber’s foray into selling Buster Brown clothing, strollers, and insurance was doomed. Gerber lost sight of its specialty. It was not the only famous brand to forget its identity. Contributing to Sears’ demise was confusion about its specialty....

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He, Me and We?

Last week my husband asked me to pick up some yogurt for him. While this news will leave most of you unmoved, I expect that our children and close friends are gasping in astonishment. To put it mildly, my husband is not a yogurt person. Not only does he not eat it; he recoils at...

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Who’s the Puritan Now? – originally posted March 5, 2009

One delight of Pacific Northwest living is the sheer pleasure that a sunny day provides. Shortly after we moved here, a guest at our Shabbat meal told of a meeting that took place around his company’s conference table, overlooking Puget Sound. A representative of top management, flown in from the east coast for the occasion, was...

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Ties that Bind

Recently, I received exactly the same answer from two separate people to whom I had asked two separate questions. I asked the first about marriage and the second about business. The first person told me that his daughter was engaged to a ‘gem’ of a man. I challenged him on how he knew that his...

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Evil Never Fades

Despite the horrifying pictures and videos, it is difficult to imagine the vast devastation which struck Japan a few days ago. But, if we step back a minute we’ll see something else which is quite incredible. Americans are moved by the suffering of the Japanese, donating money for the victims, sending volunteers to help and...

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Glamour Girls – originally published on February 24, 2010

The Purim holiday, as described in the Book of Esther, is only a few days away. A truly joyous day, Purim festivities include a strong tradition of dressing up in costumes. For very young girls Purim has routinely been the day when they can glop on lipstick, blush and eye shadow, don their mother’s discarded...

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Exit Laughing

Have you ever met someone who simply doesn’t have a sense of humor? A few years back, I used a computer program to plan one of our daughter’s weddings. By entering data online, I could more easily keep track of invitations mailed, responses received and even table seating. Unfortunately, the program’s instructions were so confusing...

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