Who is this Penny Collector?
And what does he want?
Steve Nazarian is The Penny Collector. A writer, a blogger, a speaker, a husband and a father, Steve created this site to make the world just a little bit better. You can BUY THE BOOK, or READ THE BLOG. or just hang out in THE COMMUNITY. No matter what you choose, we're glad you're here and we hope you tell your friends.-----
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This post was originally published in March of 2015 as part of a series called 500 Words To Save The World. Given the political maelstrom in which we find ourselves in 2016, it struck me as worth re-issuing. As the Irish statesman Edmund Burke aptly said,
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Do whatever you must to avoid being one fitting his description.
One day I received an email from my library informing me that my card was about to expire, however if I had used it within the last year it would automatically be renewed, no further action necessary. By simply using something, I was permitted to keep using it. […]
I know I am not alone in this. As the last weeks of summer have begun to give way to the beginning of the school year, I have been glued to Netflix, watching the oddly compelling story on Stranger Things.
If you have not watched any of this eight-episode Netflix original I will not ruin it for you here. However, if you spent any time as a kid in the 1970s or 1980s, loved Stand By Me, or The Goonies, or Close Encounters… you will absolutely flip for Stranger Things. […]
Friday morning as I was making breakfast for my kids, my daughter was doing her daily “flip around” the major cable new channels.
My daughter Charlotte may be the best-informed sixteen-year-old in America. She makes a point of watching all the different news channels with their respective “leanings,” so she can get a clear picture of what each side is saying about the other. She does not take any one source of information on faith but instead requires multiple points of reference before deciding her own truth.
Back when there were still more than a dozen candidates for president, she read all of their most recent books… all of them. However, what I’m going to talk about today has nothing to do with politics. […]
I am writing this on day seven of an eight-day vacation with my bride of seventeen-plus years, and my three sons, aged 15, 14 and 12. We have enjoyed amazing adventures and wonderful family moments, but as is the case in all families… there are limits to how much togetherness one can truly tolerate. Lucky for us this vacation appears to be just the right length.
From the day they are born, all children test boundaries. When our first child was born in 2000, my Father (who at that point had 30+ years of experience as a pediatrician) offered us only one piece of parenting advice. Holding our day-old daughter in his arms, he looked up thoughtfully and said,
“Make no mistake about it… you start raising your teenagers, today.”
As our oldest grew, and we added to our family at a brisk pace, and the sage words of my Father echoed in my ears every time I was tempted to give in to the boundary testing antics of our four children. […]
As I sit and watch the political ping-pong, zing across the inter-webs like so many Sneetches, I have done my level best to stay out of the fray. If the experience of my forty-seven years has taught me anything, it is that another’s point of view has never been swayed by a single pithy comment, image of Willy Wonka or rapier-like jab.
No matter how smart you think you are, and no matter how clever your delivery; odds are at least one-third of the universe thinks you (and your opinions) are equivalent to the hind-end of some slovenly livestock. […]
I have written before about my elementary school, but I will recap with a single sentence. It was a freaky 1960s experiment where all the rooms were shaped liked hexagons and the classrooms had no walls.
One of the things I remember vividly from my years at Harris Hill Elementary, was a movie we watched called, For The Love Of Fred. For this film to have burned itself so clearly into my mind, it must have been shown with great frequency. Either that, or my unofficial position as school’s “projector whisperer” exposed me to more viewings than most. […]
When I was in my thirties, I had a conversation with an old friend from high school. We were talking about our respective kids, and all of their activities when she said, “You know, my dad was a successful lawyer and my brother and I had everything we needed, and most of what we wanted. Your parents managed to do the same for you and your siblings, but they were always there.”
A bit confused I turned and asked, “I always thought of your parents being there for you, what do you mean?”
She continued, “Yes they were, emotionally and financially, but what I meant was… I don’t remember a cross-country, meet or a track meet where your parents weren’t there, cheering you on from the sidelines. I was well provided for, but my parents were rarely there.” […]
This story first was first published more than two years ago, but it is one of my very favorite for Independence Day. How better to celebrate the birth of our nation than with an inner tube race down a local creek. Enjoy!
I love Independence Day. Christmas is a fine holiday for sure, and Thanksgiving has its positive attributes, but from the time I was about eight years old, the Fourth of July has been my favorite.
Maybe it’s the idea that all Americans have the same stake in the celebration or the fact that each year, my parents granted me a little more personal independence, but make no mistake – parades, picnics and fireworks served up in the early July heat are my idea of a good time.
Today we celebrate Memorial Day, which honors all those who died in the service of our nation. For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, there are not enough words to express the debt of gratitude all free Americans owe. That said I’m going to try anyway.
My regular readers know I like to tell stories to make a point, and today is no exception. As you read, you may begin to think I got a little too much sun on a 3-day weekend, but soldier on, you won’t be disappointed… I promise. […]
Ties, so simple yet so misunderstood.
Welcome to the latest episode of “A Few Things Every Man Should Know About:” Every week this series will cover 3-4 interesting facts on a single topic.
This week we’re talking about ties.
No matter what you think you know – take a few minutes and have a look, you just might learn something. Even if you don’t, you’ll at least confirm that you already know a lot, which is always good for the ego. In the comments section, tell us topics you’d like to see covered. If you have info to add, please share that too.
This series is meant to start conversations, not just be a pile of facts
So, again this week we talk about Ties. Believe it or not, you could look even better than you already do. Watch, listen & learn!
Welcome to the latest episode of A Few Things Everyone Should Know About. This week we’re talking about… meat.
Every week this series will cover 3-to-4 interesting facts on a single topic.No matter what you think you know – take a few minutes and have a look, you just might learn something.
Even if you don’t, you’ll at least confirm that you already know a lot, which is always good for the ego.In the comments section, tell us topics you’d like to see covered. If you have info to add, please share that too.
This series is meant to start conversations, not just be a pile of facts
This week we talk about meat. So, grab a fork and prepare to fire up the grill. We look forward to seeing you back here next week. And be sure and download the cheat sheet beneath the video. […]
Two months ago, I began writing for a very popular website called The Good Men Project. My submissions have met with some success, but with their millions of readers, I was hoping for a little more traction.
I took some time, and did a little soul searching on how I could… do what I do, but at the same time rise above the noise. As is my custom, I came up with a clever approach and below you can see the result.
Since the website on which these pieces are initially published is The Good MEN Project, the series titles are man focused, but the information is useful for men, women, and everything in between. […]
My wife and I were watching season four of House Of Cards the other night (don’t worry, no spoilers here). At one point we had to pause the stream to figure out what the hell was actually going on.
There was what we knew to be true, which was different from what some of the characters believed to be true, but compounding it all was additional information that had only be suggested, but net yet confirmed.
As we sorted through the information in front of the frozen screen, it occurred to me that the writers were employing a complex implementation of the primary tool used by magicians. Although not physical “slight of hand,” nearly every plot line and twist we were trying to untangle was obscured by misdirection… and everyone was falling for it. […]
Right after college I moved back home to save money so I could move to New York City. The plan was to pursue a career in acting/directing/writing, and to do that I would need some cash in the bank. By December of 1991, I had enough socked away. I found an apartment on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and I prepared to move.
As regular readers of this blog are aware, I like to cook. I do the vast majority of the cooking for our family and I have even been known to cater a party for more than 100 people from time to time.
Keeping the bellies of four teenagers full is no small task.
Not a day goes by without someone crying, “There is nothing to eat in this house!”