Non-Stocking Articles

Chicago attorney Marc Cooperman, who has represented a toy company in lawsuits involving Beanie Babies’ names, hit the nail on the head when he said he believes Ty Inc. got what it wanted in its release of the Sasha and Malia dolls that “were not intended to bear the likeness of President Barack Obama’s daughters”: PUBLICITY.

I would suspect that the company knew when it introduced the two dolls, they would cause some commotion and the company would get some press out of it.

All proceeds from the sales of the Sasha and Malia dolls, which have been renamed “Marvelous Mariah” and “Sweet Sydney,” will apparently be donated to charity.

Maybe now we can all move on to the next Obama saga, saving our economy from economic collapse.


Who knew that my son was born on National Pancake Day? Maybe he did, but I didn’t discover it until I read tonight about IHOP’s promotion. According to their Web site, IHOP is giving away free short stacks (three) of their famous buttermilk pancakes to anyone who visits between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Tuesday, February 24, 2009.

All they ask is that you use the money you would have spent on the pancakes as a donation to support your local children’s hospital or another local charity of your choice.

In 2008, IHOP patrons raised more than $875,000 for charity during the same National Pancake Day promotion. Their goal this year is a cool, ambitious $1 million. To find the IHOP location nearest you, click here.

Children's Miracle Network

Saw a sign with these words on it

this morning when I dropped my mom off

at the adult daycare. Wow – what a life

we’d all have if we followed this simple recipe!


We have July 4th; Australians have January 26th. Happy Australia Day!

Learn lots more about this festive national celebration.

I’ve mentioned before that as a marketer, I have no general opposition to sales and entrepreneurship. Making things and selling things – it’s a large part of what makes the world go around. Michelle Obama’s anger irritation with the Ty toy company, though, is understandable – even warranted – in my opinion. I went back and reread the story, and Michelle’s own word for Ty’s actions was “inappropriate.”

Those who claim that Michelle and Barack used their daughters as part of their political campaign are misguided. How soon they forget Barack’s anger when the cameras followed him and Sasha through their Chicago neighborhood on Halloween. The girls are smart and beautiful – and a cherished part of what makes the Obama family so special. The two times we’ve seen them boldly and publicly were Election Night and at the Inauguration, as we should have.

If you want to talk about displaying kids for political gain, you need look back no further than Sarah Palin dragging her infant son around till all hours, only to have her youngest daughter care for him. And the pregnant daughter and fiance-by-force. And the son in the military. Give me a break, you folks who can’t/don’t/won’t see reality for what it is.

One question in the midst of the commentary was how the Obama girls are being harmed by these dolls. The mere fact that their father is now the most scrutinized man on the planet will affect these girls’ lives in ways unimagined, and in ways far more sustained than having toy likenesses made of them. But that doesn’t make Ty’s position right. It’s hard to argue that this is anything other than profiteering by Ty.

Not sure whether it warrants a full-fledged boycott, but I know I won’t knowingly be buying or recommending Ty toys as stocking stuffers anytime soon.

Just my two cents, for what their worth.

UPDATE, 25 Jan. 3:06 p.m.

Not being the denizen of the Internet (or the blogging world) that I am, my sister hadn’t heard or seen any of the bruhaha surrounding the Obama girls dolls. Her opinion, succinct and common-sense as ever: Michelle and the Obama family have much bigger/more important things to worry about. These dolls are the least of their concerns, and she would have been much better off just letting this go without any public comment. My sister may have a point…


Is there a special place where your brilliant and/or inspired ideas come to you? While you’re driving? Doing the dishes? Mowing the lawn? Jogging? For me, it’s in the shower, and today was no different.

Today’s epiphany was that I have a habit, when I get frustrated, irritable, or confused, of saying out loud to myself, “I don’t know.” Or, more likely, “I don’t know what/how I’m going to ____________.”

Understanding the Law of Attraction as I do, it amazes me that it took me this long to catch on to such a limiting piece of self talk.  So today, I asked myself, “What would happen if, instead of saying ‘I don’t know’ you said ‘I do know!'”? (How’s that for some serious punctuation?)

And so I shall!

I do know!

Eye due no!



I DO know!

UPDATE (345 p.m. Jan. 21, 2009)

What a difference 2 letters can make

I once heard that the two most dangerous words in the English language are “I know,” because of what they represent. We think we know, so we close our minds to new opportunities, ideas, or ways of thinking. However, adding those two little letters, d-o, in between those two small words makes a world of difference! It goes from being a shutting down to an affirmation, a validation, a flinging open the doors of possibility.


Actually, the Cardinals worked their asses off to get to the playoffs and to win today’s game . . . so it’s a bit misleading to say the win was a gift. I suppose it would be more correct to say, “Christmas came a few weeks late for Cardinals fans.”

And what a game it was for the fans. I attended a playoff party with some friends and the whooping, hollering, and high-fiving that went on after every score was deafening. I thought to myself, “You’d think these people had made the play themselves.”

I guess that’s part of being a fan. The word, in fact, comes from “fanatic.”

Never having been much into football (something tells me that’s related to the fact that the only deficiency note I received in high school was for failing a written test on football in PE class), I’ve always been a baseball lover – but sports fans are sports fans. We have our teams, look forward to game day, bask in the glow of glorious wins, and shake our fists in frustration when our teams fail. This Cardinals’ playoff season, though, has drawn me into the game of football like never before.

One thing I noticed about today’s game was how easily – and seemingly sincerely – some of the Eagles players congratulated the Cardinals on their win. It may happen more often than I realize, but I don’t really recall having seen such graciousness after a tough game and a hard loss.

So we’re off to see the Steelers in the Big Game in Tampa. Did you catch that? We. Funny how that happens, isn’t it? Now I’m part of the we  . . . this team, this city, this collection of fans.

Regardless of who wins, I’m just grateful for the observations and experience of the last few weeks.

* * * * * * * * * *

P.S. – I attended an all-girls Catholic high school. Till the day I die, I will never forget them telling us the reason we had to learn the game of football (yes, we really had written tests on the rules!) was so that we would have something to talk about with boys. Crikey! But don’t get me started…

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