The car, the casino, and ‘Cub’ – THE infamous bachelor-party tale.

It all started innocently enough (don’t they all??). There was an 18-hole golf course in the morning, a group of some great friends, current relatives, and future relatives. We had some harmless bar-hopping from the course back to our eventual conclusion for the evening – a small rural town that had everything we needed – great Italian food, a few adult beverages, a semi-private basement-housed casino, and a hotel. Great company and great times were all I asked for. It turned out that I got that… plus the story below.     I’m giving our main character the alias of ‘Jim’ from here on out. I do this because it’s common and I can use ‘James’, ‘Jimmy’, or ‘Jim’ depending on what the situation calls for. In any case, it’s not his real name. More on present-day James later, but for now we’ll travel back to 2010-2011.   Old Jimmy […]

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“Pay them well and keep them forever”

(Disclaimer – we own and operate a dental practice. That’s loosely what the below article is about…)   This was the mantra one advisor kept coming back to when Monica and I would ask questions about staff development, turnover, and longevity. How do we find good people? What makes them stay? How can we find out if an employee may be bad, or worse – a cancer – to the team??   This advisor kept coming back to, “Pay them well and keep them forever.”   I narrowly thought he was only referring to the employee’s wage, but over time I started to see how this mantra and attitude permeates into much more than how much an employee earns.     We’ve been in the process of hiring our newest team member for the past couple of months and I’m starting to see the truth in the saying that ‘good […]

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Well… We bought a dental practice!!! (“The Project”)

You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait. He’s not a dentist…?”   Correct you are. My wife, on the other hand – 100% Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS).   I’m writing this article in June of 2017, and as we near our closing date (June 30, 2017) on “the practice” (hereinafter referred to as Monfredi Family Dental – I’ve read so many documents written by lawyers lately…), I cannot wait to share much of what we’ve been through in the past 7-ish months (we started the process for buying this practice in December 2016).   I’ve heard some people that I have great respect for say recently, “…Getting an MBA can be a huge waste of time and money. You should just start a business. At least that way you have a chance to make your money back…”   Well. We indirectly took them up on that offer.   And, although […]

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Pinkeye is contagious – …a MikedUp Blog PSA

We faced this conjunctivitis dragon in the past. She went down. Hard. And the fight was pretty weak if I do say so myself… Where this past experience had the dragon flying solo and targeting only Clara – without backup and the cover of a Quick Reaction Force (QRF), this time was much different.   Maybe we were riding high over the last battle’s landslide victory, or perhaps we had just become too complacent to keep up our preventative protocols… In an honest moment, the conjunctivitis dragon would admit that she had employed a great number of war-fighters to target our entire family in the hopes of complete destruction. We were surprised and completely overwhelmed. Whatever the case, it was the perfect storm of destruction.   The TL:DR (too long didn’t read) version of the story below is that pinkeye is a mother. She’s contagious and she’s unrelenting, especially when […]

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My mother-in-law: a budding naturalist

This title (budding naturalist) is a play on words and if you give me a few paragraphs, we’ll get there. More than that, I think you may enjoy this one… I know I did.     In order to protect the identity of the innocent, I won’t name the individual (Barb – my mother-in-law) that this true story is referring to.   In the span of 6 weeks, Barb’s son, husband, and father-in-law had all undergone surgeries of different types on different areas of the body. All were relatively involved and had a decent amount of time required for recovery. By itself, one surgery for a loved one can put some strain on the other individuals in the family. But adding 2 more? I think we can classify that as a crisis.   The other important thing to remember as this story unfolds is the fact that Barb is admirably pushing herself […]

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I’m not allowed to say “Jiu-Jitsu” for the next 4 months…

My wife had a point…   There was work, our daughter, ‘the project,’ my daily workout, life, the blog, and now I come to her with a detailed, concise, and targeted pitch about why I (and we) need to start training jiu-jitsu.   She stared through me with a bewildered look on her face, let me finish through my rehearsed closer line, and simply said (I’m paraphrasing), “You’re not allowed to say jiu-jitsu for the next 4 months. Don’t think it. Don’t say it. And you know exactly why.”     I didn’t take offense. The comment wasn’t made in a condescending or exasperated tone. It was matter-of-fact. Cold. Straight. Truth. So in order to see it as such in the moment, I had to detach from the situation and see her point of view, because very rarely will she put the foot down so emphatically. “She must have good reason to do so,” I thought to myself. […]

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MikedUp Blog’s 1-YEAR ANNIVERSARY!!

Hi, Team!   Well… Year 1 flew by. Whether you’re new to the site or one of our long-time (can I say this yet?) readers, I want to say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” Seriously. You guys rock.   The feedback, questions, and comments I’ve gotten from many of you make this experience worthwhile. Here are a few examples:   A friend I worked with years ago messaged me out of the blue to say that budgeting saved her marriage and that reading my financial articles brings back so many great memories of their re-kindling. Multiple readers have reached out to me for help with their personal finances and fitness. Seriously! This has been a phenomenal experience! I am working with one individual that is halfway through paying off 33% worth of their annual salary in credit card debt. Another was in search of a routine and some motivation to build muscle… […]

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Tomorrow isn’t promised – get up and choose ACTION

We are not guaranteed today nor promised tomorrow, and once today is gone – the time is spent and there’s no turning back to change events or choices. With something so precious – today, now, this moment right here – we owe it to ourselves to live this moment to the fullest. We need to live. With time’s incredible value in my mind, how could I choose to waste it? I can’t. I won’t. I choose to live life to the fullest and I hope you’ll join me.   When deciding what things are most important in life, there are very few that slot in above you own health. How do we prepare ourselves to be our healthiest version? By eating well, exercising, and taking care of our bodies.   Here, we’ll focus on taking care of ourselves by choosing ACTION over the alternative.     So many times I’ve heard others […]

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Our toddler – future hostage negotiator

Have you heard the quote:   “My wife wanted a cat. I didn’t want a cat. So, we compromised and got a cat.” Can’t remember where I heard it or who they stole it from, so, apologies all around. But it illustrates an important point. Take it away Mick, “You can’t always get what you want.”    Yeah… Not sure that Mick ever met our toddler – Clara. Our advanced 1 year-old (23 months old) would vehemently denounce any such notion that something could be unattainable. I suspect most her age would say the same…   For example: I had Mac-n-cheese yesterday. Whaddya mean I can’t have it today, too? I want to swing! “Honey, it’s below freezing and a blizzard outside…” No factor. SWING!! Hey. I saw you guys playing cards yesterday. Let me see those things today so I can bend ‘em, chew ‘em, and hide ‘em in various […]

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How a sensible waterpark philosophy almost killed our marriage

Don’t get me wrong. I love family time, attending sporting events, and summer walks to the splash pad, but when it comes to certain activities there’s a switch that triggers in my head.   The opportunity to compete physically, for example. I also get crazy about vacations. Most especially during the lead-up. Christmas, a great book, and some weekends can all flip the switch. Monica knows the importance of keeping my building excitement in check for most of these types of activities.   “Hey, chill out…” Is really all I need to hear to detach from the situation, take a breath, and dial it down a notch or 2.   There was a time early in our relationship when that wasn’t always the case.   In those situations, excitement would build and I’d run at a red-line pace until the game ended, gathering dispersed, or until I crashed.   That’s all well […]

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