Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Working in the Mad Men era #1

I just read something that said that since the TV show Mad Men people have been fascinated by anything having to do with the work and times that the show is set.  So even though this may be a reach forthis blog I worked in NYC in the (late) 60s in advertising.  I'm giving away my age but it was a low level position.  But it was advertising.  One of the companies that's occasionally mentioned on Mad Men and it was in the creative department.  Just like Don Draper.  I had some nice and not so nice bosses but I'm not sure any of them were as clever and smart with the campaigns as Don Draper.  I am sometimes in awe of what he comes up with.  Especially the ones for the Kodak Carousel and the Hilton hotels.  The company I worked for was more about research than clever advertising campaigns.

I worked in what was then called the PanAm building and it was a glamorous building to be in.  The lobby areas were designed as part of the building and the newspaper stands and the telephone booths (yes booths, and there were plenty of them) were all designed to be part of the building look.  Lots of metal and wood.    There were also a number of Restaurant Associates eating places in the building.  A Zum Zum, part of their chain of somewhat German-style food places and an Italian restaurant whose name I don't remember.

And yes plenty of drinking during the day in the offices and plenty of affairs going on.

More in later posts.                  

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eating On $1 A Day -- Extraordinary Couponing

This blog is a wonderful read.

Not only does he manage to eat well on $1 a day through truly imaginative couponing he also donates to the local food bank. It's an offshot of a project of his to take a penny found on the street and turn it into $1,000,000 worth of food donated to a food bank.

He really works the couponing angles and he does a good job of explaining how it works. One of the best explanations I've found of how you can use sale and coupon items to get overages in supermarkets to buy food or at stores like CVS to get money you can spend later.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Multitasking -- Don't do It

Multitasking may seem like a time saver. You're thinking I can check my email at the same time that I watch television and talk on the phone.

Study after study shows that multitasking actually makes tasks take longer and they are done less efficiently. Way back in 2005 a study at the University of London showed that multitasking was the equivalent of a drop in IQ of 10 points. You may seem like you are getting more done but you're doing things less efficiently and taking longer.

*Do one thing at a time. As painful as this may seem it will actually save you time in the long run.

*Set your priorities. What task is more important and should be done first.

*Don't get distracted. As seductive as it is don't get pulled in to answering your cellphone, watching television, checking your email or whatever you should not be doing while concentrating on the task at hand. Everything will wait.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Disaster Preparedness -- Again

I've done many posts on disaster preparedness and Do to the recent earthquake in Haiti I think it's a subject worth revisiting.

Have you done anything to prepare for a disaster or do you just put it off. The problem with putting it off is that if the day shoudl unfortunately come when you need that preparation you'll be caught short.

For some of the simple preparations have you stockpiled any bottled water or canned or freeze-dried food. Drinkable water and food are of primary importance when all systems go down. In today's modern American world where we have plenty (often too much) to eat and no shortage of water it may be hard to think that there will be a time when it won't be available. But think not jsut earthquake but blizzard or power outage or flooding -- anything that can be a disruption.

Are you prepared to hold out for three days or three weeks or maybe even three months? make you lsit now and get started on storing provisions.

I'll be blogging about disaster preparedness over the next few weeks. There's much too much to cover in one or two posts.

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Friday, January 08, 2010

Parting With Items of Sentimental Value

It can be somewhere between easy and excruciating to part with things. For those items of true sentimental value it can be so very, very difficult. Children's artwork, things that belonged to a dead friend or relative or memorabilia from happy times in our lives.

If you can't hold on to everything but are having trouble parting with it because you'll never see it again then take a picture of it. You can store the photos on your camera or computer or print them out and put them in an album. But this way you have captured the item and can keep it and see it but you no lognerhave to have the physical thing.

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Spending Time Together

According to a recent article in the NYT Americans are spending less money but are spending more time together as a family. So maybe something good will come out of the Great Recession, as some are now calling it.

Are you spending more time together? Are you playing board games? Watching movies at home together? Going to a nearby park? Reading aloud? Going on picnics? Eating more home cooked meals and maybe making them together? Doing crafts projects? Going to a museum? Going to a concert?

These are all ways to spend mroe time together and spend less.

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Monday, January 04, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

How could I let this time of the year go by without a blog post on New Year's Resolutions.

We've all made them, few of us have kept them. My past is littered with resolutions to lose weight, keep in touch with friends more often and simplify my life. All common resolutions that are often broken.

Instead of making resoltuions this year I've decided to just think back over the past year and think about where I want this year to go. I've decided not to be so hard on myself (I'll never do everything right anyway -- plus there are sometimes things beyond our control), to do more things that please just me (not what other people want) and to spend less time watching TV (a real time sink of wasted time).

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