question of the day

Is It Better to Knock or Test the Knob on a Bathroom Stall?

One of the pleasures of working from home is that I never have to worry about the intricacies of potentially awkward social interactions. It’s just me and the cats. I was reminded of how lucky I am today when I watched a debate between Ed Helms and Stephen Colbert about a common office situation: If […]


The Question of Counter-Protesting

The Question of Counter-Protesting

I had an interesting discussion with someone today about the appalling white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. We talked about a number of different aspects of it, but one element remained debatable, and I’m curious to hear your thoughts. It’s about counter-protests. At first, the idea was expressed that simply ignoring a rabble of angry, […]


Is Tuesday Really the Best Day for Tacos?

Is Tuesday Really the Best Day for Tacos?

Margarita Monday, Taco Tuesday, Wacky Wednesday, Throwback Thursday, Freaky Friday…these are just a few alliterations used by restaurants, social media, and movies. But do alliterations matter as much as we think? I’m here to find out. The other day, a friend mentioned that it was Taco Tuesday at her house. It was Tuesday, and she […]


Do Friends Swindle Friends?

Do Friends Swindle Friends?

When I was a kid, I swindled a friend. Magic: The Gathering was all the rage among my friends back then. We played for fun, and we didn’t know the value of the cards (some were worth more than others)…that is, until I bought a magazine that revealed the values of each card. I used […]


How to Bark Back

How to Bark Back

I have a dog situation. A few weeks ago, I started hearing a dog barking in my parking lot. My building faces several apartment buildings, so it took me a minute to figure out that the barking was coming from the balcony of one of those buildings. A dog is often on that balcony–it appears […]


Is It Better to Stage a House or Empty It?

Is It Better to Stage a House or Empty It?

It’s been a long time since I moved, and based on the fact that moving is one of my 5 least favorite things, I’ll most likely spend the rest of my life in this condo. But I have a friend who recently purchased a new house, and they’re trying to figure out the best way […]


Is There Any Reason Not to Wear Deodorant?

Is There Any Reason Not to Wear Deodorant?

Ever since I hit puberty (just a few years ago), I’ve applied deodorant every day. I think I used the Secret brand when I was young–that’s what Mom bought for us–and as an adult I switched over to All Spice Pure Sport. Really, I’ve never questioned the idea of wearing deodorant. It’s deeply embedded in […]


What Will You Select as Your Grandparent Name?

What Will You Select as Your Grandparent Name?

A few years ago when my sister had her first child–my niece–I was fascinated by the discussion that ensued so my parents could select their grandparent names. It seems like there are very few opportunities in our lives to decide what people call us. We’re given a name, and occasionally we start using a nickname […]


What’s Your Favorite Thing to Find Inside of a Chocolate?

What's Your Favorite Thing to Find Inside of a Chocolate?

I’m not really into receiving gifts, but I’m always happy to acquire fancy chocolate. Recently a business partner sent me a beautiful box of specialty chocolates, and I’ve been savoring them at a pace of 2-3 a day ever since. There were at least 20 different types of chocolates in the box, and none are […]


The Tip Dilemma

The Tip Dilemma

I recently had a Seinfeld-style tip dilemma. I’ll describe the situation and what I did, and you can tell me what I should have done. My cable box was acting up, so I called Charter and they sent over someone to fix it. Julius arrived right at the beginning of the 2-hour range of time–a […]


Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

Is Learning New Games Good for Your Brain?

I learn and teach a lot of board games. It recently occurred to me that learning a new game engages my brain in a way that hasn’t happened since I was in school. And not just learning the game, but remembering all of the rules. A gamer’s brain is a veritable library of game rules. Is learning new games good […]


Public Services, Voting, and a Dystopian Scenario

Public Services, Voting, and a Dystopian Scenario

In South Fulton County, Tennessee, if you want firefighters to show up at your house during a fire, you need to either pay a $75 annual fee or a $2,200 fee during the fire. If you don’t pay and there’s a fire, your house will burn to the ground. This is essentially an elective tax. […]


Who Doesn’t Choose the Booth?

Who Doesn't Choose the Booth?

A few nights ago, I went out to a restaurant for ramen. When the host greeted us, he asked, “Would you like a booth?” It’s a fair question, but I realized as he asked it that I don’t think there’s any situation with 2-4 people when I wouldn’t choose a booth. Does anyone ever say […]


When Do You Eat the One Onion Ring?

When Do You Eat the One Onion Ring?

Today a question was posed online that stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink everything. Where I once had answers, I now only have questions. Where I once had words, I am lost in a sea of silence. Everything is a mystery now. The question: When do you eat the one onion ring? This […]


Is Thanksgiving Too Close to Christmas?

Is Thanksgiving Too Close to Christmas?

Let’s travel back to 1999, when young Jamey was a freshman at Washington University in St. Louis. Thanksgiving was in late November, as always. The next week was the last week of classes, followed by study week, then exams. By mid-December–just 3 weeks after Thanksgiving–it was time to head home. I love my family, but […]


What Would You Tell Your Past Self If You Spoke Today?

What Would You Tell Your Past Self If You Spoke Today?

My TiVo only records one show at a time (it’s an old TiVo), so sometimes it only catches a few episodes of a show. This season, Frequency is that show for me. The premise is speculative: A woman starts talking to a man on an old ham radio. The man turns out to be her father…20 years […]


How Would You Respond to a Shark Tank Ultimatum?

How Would You Respond to a Shark Tank Ultimatum?

I continue to be fascinated by the TV show Shark Tank. I’ve written about this before, but today I wanted to focus on a specific aspect of the show: ultimatums. At least once per episode, one of the investors will propose a deal to an entrepreneur, and they’ll end it with something like: “I need […]


Would You Accept Today’s Job Offer If Tomorrow’s Might Be Better?

Would You Accept Today's Job Offer If Tomorrow's Might Be Better?

I need your advice. For a friend, not for me. (I’m quite happy with my job!) A friend of mine has been applying for jobs, and he got an offer today. He actually missed the phone call–the offer is on his voice mail. He hasn’t called back yet, and the organization didn’t give him a […]


How Did You Decide You Were Ready to Buy a Car?

A long time ago, someone gave me this advice: The best time to buy a car is when you don’t need to buy a car. The idea is that when you aren’t in urgent need of transportation, you have more flexibility and negotiation power than when you need to buy a car now.  Yesterday I wrote […]


Would You Live in an IKEA House for Free?

Would You Live in an IKEA House for Free?

What if I told you that you could live rent free for 2 years in a tastefully designed home filled with modern furniture? You’d probably ask if there were a catch. And there is. In return for this opportunity, you would need to offer frequent feedback about the furnishings. You would also need to participate […]


How Do Celebrity Photos End Up on the Wall?

How Do Celebrity Photos End Up on the Wall?

Last week I was waiting for the chiropractor to arrive when I noticed that the walls were jam-packed with photos of celebrities. Most of the photos were autographed headshots. I’ve seen walls like this before, mostly in bars, restaurants, and doctor’s offices. But it had never before occurred to me to ask the question: How […]


Do Some Vets Accept Human Patients?

Do Some Vets Accept Human Patients?

One of my favorite Seinfeld subplots is when Kramer takes a dog to the vet to diagnose and treat his own cough. If you haven’t seen it, treat yourself to these 2 and a half minutes. Today was Walter’s annual checkup. He’s fine–much healthier than Biddy–though he was pretty stressed to be at the vet. […]


If You Could Pay to Teleport Home, How Often Would You Do It?

If You Could Pay to Teleport Home, How Often Would You Do It?

I saw Star Trek Beyond on Friday. One of my favorite aspects of Star Trek is the teleportation technology. It’s similar to one of the core technologies in the Hyperion series of books. As my friends and I waited for the movie to start, I posed a question to them: “If you could teleport home […]


What Would You Do for Friends and Family If You Won a Windfall?

What Would You Do for Friends and Family If You Won a Windfall?

Let’s say that you get a $20 million phone call tomorrow. Maybe you win the lottery or sign a huge contract or sell your company–whatever matches with your life. The point is, you’re getting a huge sum of money. Do you spend any of it on friends and family? If so, how do you spend […]