I don't know how I got to be so lucky, but my blog days have fallen on the past few holidays. Which makes it pretty easy to blog. I mean, you're not going to NOT write about a fantastic holiday, right?

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I figured no one would mind if I wrote about the best foods to eat and the best games to watch. If you're the kind of person who goes to a restaurant expecting a beer or wine pairing to accompany your choice of wings and/or nachos, then this blog's for you.

Food: Nachos, assorted cheeses (including the kind in a can)

Game: Packers v. Lions at 12:30 p.m.

Green Bay fans wear cheese on their head. Packer fans also wear cheese in the belly. Yeah, it's true. Just ask them. If you don't want to seem like a Packer faker, then eat things with cheese on them. Problem solved!

Get some tortilla chips, a big (I mean BIG) bag of assorted, shredded cheese and dump it all on a baking sheet. Toss on some jalapenos, meat, olives, bean dip, salsa, more cheese and bake that sucker for a while. I don't know, maybe 10-15 minutes at 300? I'm not a chef, I'm a designer.

If you prefer to root for the Detroit Lions, substitute cheese for hotdogs. I didn't know the favorite food of Detroit so I googled it and a bunch of hot dogs came up. Specifically coney dogs. 

Food: Traditional Thanksgiving meal

Game: Cowboys v. Raiders at 4:30 p.m.

Now is the time to enjoy your traditional meal. And here's why: Tony Romo, who is a huge TURKEY, is going to BEET the Raiders and the Cowboy defense is going to STUFF and casseROLE (spelling, give me a break) Oakland. GREEN BEANS!

I'm laughing to myself in the office. Thankfully, there is no one here to listen to these jokes.

Food: Sweet, sweet pies and desserts

Game: Ravens v. Steelers at 8:30 p.m.

By now, you've probably cracked open the plastic container of cookies someone brought over, but didn't notice how many you ate. That means, technically, you never ate any. You see, eating is all mental. If you think you ate a lot of food, your body is going to want gain some weight, lay around, be lazy. The better way to do this is to think you didn't eat much so you don't gain weight while you lay around and be lazy.

Point of my story is, go nuts and eat a bunch of pie and sweets, but don't think about it while you're eating. 

Think about football and how nice it feels to have everyone out of your house. Did I forget to mention it's time to kick everyone out after the Cowboys game? The Ravens and Steelers will play an epic matchup but not as epic as the disappointment you'll have if you share dessert with your family. All the pie will disappear so quickly and that's sad. 

So there you have it! A guide to an excellent Thanksgiving. If football isn't your thing I'm sure you can find a Lifetime movie to watch. 

Side note: Thanks to my Old Hat family, I'm going on a Thanksgiving shopping spree at Trader Joe's in a few hours. Since I'm in Salt Lake City all by my lonesome (with Steve "Basketball" Jones.com) I'm going to eat like a king thanks to them. 

Yay, food holidays.

What is up with all this frozen precipitation in November? It's not even technically winter yet - I just like referencing Game of Thrones like everyone else, okay? Snow/sleet just does not happen down here before Thanksgiving (and usually the New Year if it happens at all).  I wasn't completely caught off guard or anything because I have 3 different weather apps on my phone that I can check within a second of each other but it did catch me off guard as a life-long southerner. Basically, over this past weekend, I learned the Pros and Cons of having a dog when the wind chill is in the teens and there is frozen water EVERYWHERE.

Pros:

In the market for a space heater but don't want to inadvertently burn down your house while you sleep? Boom. Dog. Dani and I spent a little extra time in bed over the weekend. My 80lbs baby girl loves to cuddle and even lets me be the little spoon sometimes! However, it is important to keep open flames like candles out of reach of a wagging tail if you want that whole "not burning your house down" thing.

Cons:

Dogs are living, breathing, eating and yes, they relieve themselves, beings. This means that Dani had to be taken on walks. So I had to put on my biggest jacket and bear the arctic outdoors. And even though she hardly ever pulls the leash while we walk, of course she's going to do it when the earth is covered in ice. Luckily, I never fell, but there were plenty of times I came close (and Dani wasn't even there to cause all of those instances).

Ok, so maybe I only have 1 Pro and 1 Con... The list is still in the works. Like I said, winter isn't even technically here for almost another month. But there are plenty of other Pros of having a dog of course, I just can't think of any that have to do with the cold weather. Obviously, the biggest Pro is adding another loving member to your family. I know my mom is basically counting down the hours (and has been for a week or more) until she gets to see me and her "grandpup" tomorrow. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend time with the people who have been counting down the hours to see you!

Nellie Logsdon was my grandmother.  She passed away when I was 18.  But one of her many philosophies was this one.  Now, by no means did she intend to say that you shouldn't apologize when you screw up.  What she was really saying was, "Don't screw up."  She knew how badly it sucks to have to admit when you've failed someone.  Looking them in the eye and admitting that you made a mistake and then apologizing for it is really hard sometimes.  And she knew that the only way to avoid it was to not make mistakes.

Well, we all make mistakes.  And she knew that too.  I think that a subliminal part of her message was to say that when you screw up, you MUST apologize.  Some people say, "Failure is not an option."  But I think she'd say, "Not admitting failure is not an option."  And that's the philosophy we have at Old Hat.  I cannot tell you how many times we have dealt with vendors that simply will not admit with they've screwed up.  And further, they won't try to fix the mistake.  Nothing could be more counterproductive to building a loyal client base in my opinion.  

Old Hat turns out an absurd amount of projects in a given month.  Hundreds of videos/animations, numerous websites and thousands (yes, thousands) of print projects every year.  And the amount of times we just completely screw up is nearly 0%.  We have many systems in place to prevent such failure.  The problem is, we're human and we mess up.  Not often, but we mess up.  Sometimes we make the most boneheaded, inexcusable mistakes.  So what do we do when that happens?

I'm sure all of you have watched a basketball game at some point and seen a player commit a foul.  Most of the time, the player (like most vendors) acts like he did nothing wrong.  He/she look at the ref as if to say, "Are you crazy?!  That was NOT my fault."  But sometimes, you'll see the player just nod his head in agreement, point at himself and take responsibility for the mistake.  That's Old Hat.  

When you fail, you have two choices.  You can either embrace it or act innocent.  Either way though, the person looking at you knows you failed.  Embracing that mistake shows that you are taking responsibility for it and while you may end up looking like you failed, you certainly don't look like a failure.

How to Apologize

We screwed up recently.  A couple of times, actually.  First step to take when you realize you've screwed up is to do anything and everything you can do to fix it.  If we make a typo on a print piece, WE call the printer to see if it's too late to send a new file.  We volunteer to go back to the office at 9p on a Friday to revise the file.  And if it can't be fixed, just apologize.  If you can't fix the problem, at least take responsibility for it.  It won't change anything but it'll sure as heck make your client feel better to know you accept responsibility.  And don't be afraid to accept responsibility even when it's NOT your fault.  "Yes, we just copied and pasted the information you sent us but we should have caught that."  Chances are at this point that tempers are high and you should just be seeking to calm things down.  The client will remember that rather than being a tool about it, you admitted fault.  And it's likely that 24 hours later they'll realize that it really wasn't your fault and they'll respect you even more.

Finally, and most importantly, after a few days have passed, the person responsible for the mistake (designer, client rep, etc.) will send a handwritten note to the client further apologizing for the mistake.  By this time, the client is probably totally over it.  Which is the perfect time for you to apologize again.  Don't just tell them you're sorry.  It's imperative that you also outline the steps you will take to make sure that same mistake never happens again.  They care that you're sorry... but they care even more that you're not going to let it happen again.  They need to be reassured that this isn't going to be a reoccurring thing.  

Nellie was right

Your best bet is to follow Nellie's advice and just never screw up.  But when you do, nod your head and point at yourself.  

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