Are you process-based or results-oriented?

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Photo by Hu Chen on Unsplash

No, that didn’t make me a superhero, Jedi Knight, or a character in a Hong Kong martial arts movie. Just a professional athlete.

As a tennis player, my life revolved around chasing and hitting a fuzzy yellow ball before it bounced twice on my side of the court.

Over and over again, for as many hours as it took to play a match.

If I won, I got up the next day to repeat the process.

If I lost, I spent my time ready getting for the next tournament.

My focus was on mastering my craft, training, strategizing, learning new skills, networking, and working to control my emotions and maintain focus while under pressure. …


SATIRE

Michael Jordan exploring every avenue to protect his GOAT status

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LeBron James, guilty as charged, raises his arms before his arrest. (Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports)

On March 6, 2020, LeBron James passed Michael Jordan in career scoring. To add insult to injury, LeBron did it with over 1,200 less shot attempts than the Bull/Goat.

As someone famous for taking umbrage against players (and teammates) who never slighted Jordan in any way, allowing some young upstart to score more points demanded retaliation.

Michael Jordan found the perfect way to remain the undisputed GOAT — just stop basketball from being played anymore.

Only five days later, the NBA suspended their season due to the pandemic.

Coincidence? I think not.

By financing the development of the virus, Jordan accomplished two goals: he stopped LeBron from continuing his conquest of every record in basketball, and; it allowed him to air his doctored-umentary “The Last Dance” during the greatest void in the history of entertainment. …


AMERICAN POLITICS, PART 2

Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse, Trump finally crossed a line that forced some Republicans to put country over party

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John Minchillo/AP/CP

I hope the word thug will take on a new meaning. The first thing I want you to think about when you hear the word thug is this guy:


AMERICAN POLITICS, PART 1

Cartoonist Walt Kelly (creator of Pogo) wasn’t just kidding

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Source

Here’s a list of three problems facing the United States today, and their historical origins.

Fake News

While it would be easy to point at Fox News (aka Bullshit Mountain, per Jon Stewart on the Daily Show), it all started with a different media source.


A retrospective steeped in gratitude and laughter

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“Thank God 2020 is over!” Photo by Isaac Quesada on Unsplash

Note: I did not steal this idea from Roz. I stole the idea admitting I stole the idea from Roz from Sarah, who admitted she stole the idea from Roz. The only problem is I haven’t had any hits this year, so all I could do was recount the mishits.*

In jest, I wrote “If Medium’s algorithm were a hamster, I can understand why it would hate my guts.”

Based on my dwindling readership, I guess the algorithm has feelings. And tiny sharp teeth.

But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have fun.

There have been so many strange and amusing events worth remembering this year. …


Unwrap these musical gifts each day until January 20, 2021

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Source

Oh wait, you didn’t think I was talking about the pandemic, did you?

Look, this is still a serious problem and millions are suffering, but we also need to count our blessings, like the removal of Agent Orange from the White House.

And to help you celebrate, I scoured the internet to create The Inauguration Advent Calendar (IAC).

You can consume these delicious treasures once a day until decency returns, or better yet, you can consume all of them right now!

Unlike a box of chocolates, the beauty of the IAC is that you can listen and laugh at these works of art as many times as you like. …


ADVANCED ANALYTICS IN MUSIC PART 2

A deep dive into hand -clapping virtuosity

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Author illustration using Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The bad new is I didn’t comprehend the depth of this rabbit hole going in, so it took forever to finish this two-part quasi-treatise. The good news is, by the time you finish reading it, we may be out of quarantine.

I found so many great songs, my all-time top 10 became a top 20. Songs number 1–10 go mano a mano because hand-clapping fills the entire song. Songs number 11 through 20 offer quick bursts of hand-clapping nirvana and can be found in part 1.

Methodology

For the top ten, I tried to pick the best song of each music genre and from the perspective of how well the old classics hold up in present times. …


Our bumbling gumshoe and his main squeeze are trying to save the Holidays and need your help!

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Photo by Wicked Monday on Unsplash

Wait a minute.

We’re in another shutdown and you’ve turned Jeff Bezos into Santa Claus with all your Amazon orders.

And you’re ordering turkey and cranberry sandwiches, or whatever, through Grub Hub.

The fact is you shouldn’t be out and about, or doing much of anything right now.

How about writing a new chapter for “A Very Stark Christmas,” our collaborative parody of noir fiction?

We’ve had so many talented writers add their unique style to our past stories, I hope you’ll come back within the fold.

There’s plenty of room within the trench coat.

So how about it?

Can we get any takers to deliver the goods in time to be placed under the tree for Christmas morning (Hawaiian time). That’s 8 p.m. Greenwich time. …


NBA 2020–2021 Preview, Part 1

Even if they can’t fix the rules, they should fix the announcers

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Shaq is still crying about his free throws. USA Today

And the only thing more boring than the intentional foul itself is the way announcers call the play.

The dead time during these plays should allow announcers to shine creatively by telling funny stories.

Except when Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson provide color commentary — just turn off the sound because the entire game is dead time

At the very least, announcers should work on finding new catch phrases to replace the long-obsolete Hack-A-Shaq.

O’Neal hasn’t thrown up a brick in nine years, unless you count his comments on Inside the NBA.

Come on, NBA announcers, I’ve made this easy for you with a new and improved list of some of the worst free throw shooters in the NBA and humorous ways to describe their torturous journeys at the foul line. …


A Stark Mystery

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Photo by NOAA on Unsplash

Oh, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we’ve no place to go
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Like picking up dinner in a snow storm, spoiling a perfectly good pizza with anchovies and peppers (hence the two boxes), and singing Christmas Carols.

But I was love shacked up with my lady, Helen of Queens, at a motor court near LaGuardia Airport for an extended stay because bad weather had cancelled all her flights.

For the first time in my life, I appreciated the lyrics to “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! …

About

Lon Shapiro

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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