A basic tutorial and four potential strategies to save face for the non-sports fan

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

It’s that dreaded time of year again for people who have no idea why everyone is talking about brackets for a whole week. You get all sorts of invites on Monday to join a bracket pool or group and you ignore them hoping no one will notice. It’s too complex for a non-sports fan.

Rest assured, after reading this basic tutorial, you’ll not only be able to fill out a bracket — but you’ll actually look like you know what you are doing! The beauty of it is that you don’t really need to know anything about basketball.

The Basics

Here’s what coming to your TV set for next 6 weeks

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Promises of organized team sports rising from the coronavirus lockdown are only several weeks away IF things work out with the proposed 22- team NBA “bubble” in Orlando.

But until then, after the undeniable success of the NBA HORSE Challenge on ESPN (Congratulations to Mike Conley), here’s what you can expect to hit the live sports world very soon:

Wall Baseboard Coin-Flipping LIVE with host Michael Jordan
Since being featured in “The Last Dance,” TV’s best event since the pandemic so far, people everywhere are into this game. All you need is a coin and a wall. Michael Jordan will also…

(*to be alive)

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The incomprehensible pain below my abdomen started a few hours ago. Amazon Prime delivered the surgery kit. My surgery would start soon…once I figure out how to get the webcam to work.

After the traditional “I think you are on mute” and “I can’t see your camera”, we are ready to go. The surgeon and his assistant are both on my monitor in rectangular video panels. The surgeon has the iconic background of a beach with palm trees and his assistant is standing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge.

I’ll admit — I have some slight apprehension as we…

Cloud Layers of the Olympic Mountains, photo by Author

Six tips to save money on things you probably do everyday

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I’ve had a stable income for many years, but I still find that I don’t like to spend any more than I have to. It’s one thing if I intend to donate money to a cause, or splurge on something, but so many of us just give money away for no reason at all in our day to day lives. Some may call me a cheapskate. Maybe I am. I prefer to think of it as spending where I want and not where I don’t want to.

Here are six tips that I’ve practiced that I calculate save me about…

Examples: Joe’s Garden Center, Mo’s Dry Cleaners, Iowa Democratic Party

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So, I’m a freelancer that lives in small Iowa town in my parent’s basement. When I’m not playing computer games or watching TV, I code apps for mobile phones. It helps me get some spending money so I can buy outfits for my Fortnite character or order my Taco Bell on GrubHub.

One of my favorite projects was the “Kitty Kam” App for Bob’s pet store. Kids all over Oskaloosa can now see kittens in cages with just a click or two. I think of all their happy faces enjoying those kitties because of the fruits of my labor.


Ignore those financial advisors who tell you to invest instead*

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If I had a dollar for every ad I see trying to convince people to “cash out” the equity in their homes, I’d be able to afford a second home. It is painful enough that the standard mortgage is thirty years long. Few people today actually are in their home long enough to reach payment #360.

Nearly everyone agrees paying down high rate loans or credit cards is the best use of funds. Also, investing to maximize your employer’s 401(k) match or meet your IRA contribution limit certainly makes sense…

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I’ve had the privilege of interacting with many business school students over the years and one of the more common questions I get is “How do you find work-life balance?”

After my standard disclaimers that I far from perfect at managing my own life and that there is really no such thing as true work-life “balance,” I answer with the following visualization:

Imagine in your mind a standard four-legged stool.

Now, imagine each leg of the stool represents a different area of your life.

Leg 1: Your Career

Leg 2: Your Family

Leg 3: Your Physical Health

Leg 4: Your…

*If they offered labor and delivery as an option

photo by author

I admit my family has a serious problem. We seem to spend a lot of our money at Costco. Like all of it.

Based on the behemoth size of the Costco parking lot, I don’t think we are alone in our dilemma. Let’s face it, many suffer from the same affliction. Let’s just say we’d probably live inside Costco if they had on-site housing.

I paid for my membership and I intend to use it. I get exclusive deals for everything I need, want, may need, may want or may never need or want. All under one giant roof.


Jon Fischer

Development executive who wants to be a fiction writer when he grows up.

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