Thursday, December 07, 2006

Merry Christmas

This great time of the year is ALL about the birth of Jesus. Thats it. Nothing more. The whole gift thing relates of course to the three kings/advisors/magi, who sought out this miraclous birth, and brought something, to give to Mary and Joseph, as an honor of their new child. Thats it. If you're a card carrying member of the ALCU, remember, its ok to say, think, sing and post Merry Christmas.

The funny thing is that lots of business people will tell salespeople, or anyone else for that matter, to " on me, after the new year". Or, my favorite, "...I'm too busy right now with the Holidays, call me after the New Year". Now I just told you the great truth about Christmas but remember, the "holidays" are just three days: Christmas, New Years eve and New Year's Day. Today is December 7th, the "new year" is 4 weeks away. The sad thing is that when people tell you that they are just "too busy", with the holidays, they are OVER investing into those three days. Hey, despite this rant, just have a Merry Christmas. That number again, is Merry CHRISTmas.

The Most wonderful time of the year

Yes, I am back. It is peak time of year for Fedex, UPS, USPS, and retailing everywhere including those at the mall and online. For my regular readers I work in those industries and I really appreciate the flow of stuff. To go to the airport and see the tugs hooked to dollies, filled with containers (ULDs) of stuff...Pampered Chef, Ipods, Cellular phones, Dell Computers, Flat Screens, frozen sea food, goodies from The Cheese Cake Factory, Cuddle Duds (last year it was the Ipod, THIS year, it is Cuddle Duds)...Ah....its a great time of the year! Whats great about America, is that we are consumers. We consume, we buy stuff and we keep cargo planes flying above our heads every night, filled with that stuff. I love this country.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Everyone has a voice

This is hardly the first reference but thanks to Google, who made possible, everyone can have their blog. I said EVERYONE. All it takes is the ability to express one's self and the ability to access the internet. Even if you live in a homeless camp in a city, and have access to the public library internet, you can blog. If you live in a blue state or red state, rich, poor, ride the bus or drive a Hummer, eveyone can have a blog. Some blogs are intelligent and others seem dangerous. Since I am interested in issues of the state and public policy arena, I am excited about what role bloggers will continue to play in our national elections, (Congressional and Presidential votes). NO MORE can MSM state with accuracy that they are the source for news, it is now we the people, we the bloggers.

When I was growing up as a kid, (I am 42), my dad knew the truth; He taught us that the liberals had the upper hand at reporting the news, according to their agenda, and that we were forced to see that agenda from the daily newspapers, radio and TV. That was in the day of broadcast only network TV. Three networks with national news programs that we Americans watched every evenng from 530pm until 6pm. Whatever Walter Conkrite said, was the word on anything. It didn't matter if he was broadcasting the latest on the space program or VIet Nam, network news anchors were gods.

Ha Ha NO MORE. No more "mainstream media". No more MSM. Bloggers and voices on the internet DOMINATE. There are so many choices to read, listen to a podcast or do a search, that it is overwhelming and oh what a delight that is! When ABC news does a commercial for themselves, and they say, "...more americans get their news from ABC News....", they are lying to you. Ask ABC news to prove it. They can't. They might show you a survey, of 567 people but it is bunk. I can come up with over 568 different blogs on news and politics right now. Everyone has a voice whether they are credible or not, we all have a say, We all have a voice and that is very cool.

My point here is that we have a responsibility to voice and write our thoughts, but we must do so with discernment. We need to be truthful, detailed, follow the 5 W's and 1 H, of sharing and reporting. For those of you that didn't take English 101, the Five W's are Who, What, Where, Why, When and How. Take any issue and answer the Five W's and 1 H, and you're on your way to a signficant piece of writing with that one voice that everyone has.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Home Improvement : The Journey

Back in October of 2005 my wife and I signed a contract with a local contractor to add on to the back of our home. We added 13' to the back which meant that we added a new room in the basement, expanded our kitchen, expanded our master bedroom, moved our master bath, redid a deck, put dry wall into our exisiting basement, added a Beam vacuum system (to both old and new portions of home) and a new roof.

Like many couples who think of adding on, we did our research: we poured over magazines, books, walk through Home Depot, Lowes, furiture stores, watch all the shows: HGTV, Trading Spaces, While You were Out, Clean Sweep, (and my favorite, House Lift, do a search on We went to open houses, remodeling "shows", took in all the Lawn and Garden shows that are held in abundance here in the midwest. We went to IKEA and got ideas--loads, etc. We were stopping and starting as to whether we even wanted to remodel or just move. My banker that I talk to a real estate agent about our plans, and get his take. As it turns out, the agent we were referred to,, was an established agent but was dating a parent, whose daughter wasn't the kindest to our daughter.... We did entertain him and listened to the fact that our home probably would be, by the time it was done, "...the most expensive house in our neighborhood, and that we'd never get what we put into it, when we go to sell it...." Yea, yea, blah, blah....yawn. It is obvious that at that time, we'd made our decision to remodel.

Now, had I been really intelligent, I would have blogged everything that has happened since those early days. Well, instead what we'll have here is some real intelligence about how one contractor works. Now to his credit, the majority of our home is complete but we are still longing for a few items to be finished and complete. To his credit, the majority of the work has been first class, looks great, and I am proud to brag about what we've done.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Way Cool

This morning, on my way through Panera Bread, I ran into Mike Sansone, the guy who introduced me to blogging. He answered one simple question, and now I am Hyper linking! It sure beats trying to figure things out the other way, like placing the URL manually at the bottom of the text entry, see "Driving a Bus for RAGBRI". BTW, if you need great advice on blogging or you want to see the living definiation of a gregorious individual, look up Mike Sansone

World Trade Center

This movie is coming out next week and like all the other 9/11 movies, everyone needs to go see it. I saw a preview a few weeks ago when we went to go see Cars (which, despite sounding like a "kids movie" was a great great movie. That movie, reflects alot of what inspired me to start this blog).

As I was saying, people NEED to go see the 9/11 movies. I guess there has been at least two hollywood produced movies, Flight 93 and now World Trade Center. A & E had a movie on Flight 93 ("The flight that fought back"), and...check out or at least do a search on for 9/11 movies. Now just a warning, there are many folks who think 9/11 was a set up by Bush which I violently disagree with. Those people who believe that, are kooks and dangerous. 9/11 was a plan to attack this country, by zealots who were committed to what they believed. Whether you agree with the war in Iraq or not, we are in a war against global terrorism and 9/11 was a wake up call.

In addition to seeing the 9/11 movies, you need to read the 9/11 report that government put out. They have it at Barnes and Noble, for $12. Its got an interview with Osama Bin Laden that I think ABC news did a few years ago. In that interview, Osama spelled out that he was out to kill Americans--Republican, Democrats, Christians, Atheists, the whole lot of us. It didn't matter, he was and still is intent on seeing us eliminated.

I read this week in a local blog, Juice, The Des Moines Register, that it is too early to see 9/11 movies. The blogger, a woman suggested that 9/11 is too political. Too political? Its like intensely human and intensely American. What happened that day in New York and Washington, DC was a human, American event. Everyone remembers where they were on that day. Just ask your Mom and Dad where they were when they heard JFK was shot. Go see the 9/11 movies. Flight 93 actually gave me hope that if the passengers had gotten in he cockpit sooner, they might have been able to save it. We'll never know of course but we can hope. Hope. What America offers to each of us.

I have not been to Ground Zero in New York but when i go later this year to New York, we're going as a family and we're going to find all the museums that have photos and memorials. If you're an American and you're human, you need to go and see and settle up with what 9/11 is to you. Start by going to see one of the movies.

Driving a bus for RAGBRAI

Ok, so for those who don't know, every summer in Iowa they have this great bike ride across the state of Iowa for a week. I am not that ambitious (although I would like to), to actually ride a bike, all week, in the heat, up and down the hills of Iowa. This year, the great, (almost God like Lance Armstrong), rode for a few days. The talk on the ride, (from what I heard the last 24 hours) was that he rode fast. He also said that he was going to come back next year and bring his buddies for a concert, bla bla. All to promote his anti-cancer agenda. Here is my two cents on that. Iowa is a great scenic, down to earth place to live and explore. It was great that Lance came but please don't come here and hijack RAGBRAI for your own agenda. I guess he's married to Sheryl Crow, a big country singer (I guess, I don't listen to country really--I don't hate it, I just don't listen). I guess HE divorced his wife to go marry Sheryl Crow....but I don't know the real story so I'll stop there. ANYway, RAGBRAI, stands for : "the Registers Great Annual Bike RIde Across Iowa". The Register is the "newspaper that Iowa depends on".....really just a liberal editorial paper, owned by the Gannett Media empire. Anyway, they organize this bike ride, which accomodates a couple thousand riders from the west to the east. I don't have any pictures but just Google it ok? Each night, the riders stop in a town and eat/eat/eat/eat/eat/eat/spend money, and rest. Thats where I come in. This is my second year that I agreed to help out "Team Impact" by driving a bus/van to transport the riders back to central Iowa. This year, I came out on Friday, stayed overnight with them at the last overnight stop and then drove to the end, and picked them up, and drove back in this cool "people mover" bus. I slept on the floor of church where they stayed, made some new friends, met some folks who came up from Texas, Illinois and Arizona, just to ride. The bus that I drove was a new, air conditioned and comfortable. My main role was haul people back to central Iowa but before we left, I shuttled the riders for our team, over to a lunch area and waited for them. It was a blast to serve others. Its been real hot and humid this summer in Iowa and you can imagine how hot uncomfortable it was to ride in the heat. On one trip over to DQ and Subway, I stopped and picked up a guy from St. Louis, who seemed near heat stroke. He just stumbled on the bus and walked to the back. Serving a stranger that is so assume! My thank you to Gerald, Nancy, First Assembly of God Des Moines, and Stephanie and Mike with Iowa Family Policy Center for letting me be a part of RAGBRAI this year. Can't wait until next year!!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Want to save time? Buy your potato salad at the store!

Oh, the 4th of July. We, like probably everyone else in the USA, had a gathering of folks. We had an open house yesterday, since we've been having our home remodeled for the last 7 months. (Yea, I could start another blog on just that experience alone--trust me!). So as my wife was putting the finishing touches on her potato salad, (which I prefer mustard tangy type, and she won't make it that way) and every year, I suggest that she NOT take the time to make potato salad and simply buy some at the store. "Just think of all the time you'll save dear!", I say. Every year, the answer is "no!".

All I was doing was suggesting that we save time of cooking, mashing and mixing it all together. Saving time. Just like most folks should get direct deposit so they don't crowd up bank lines on Friday afternoons cashing their checks or getting money. Saving time. Like checking in for your flight at home, before you to the airport and bug the gate agents for that "aisle seat, as far forward, as possible". Saving time includes gasing up before you leave for a long trip, getting some cash for the road, for tolls, so you don't have to stop and find an ATM and pay the $2-3.00 for a service charge. I did find out in Illinois that if you don't have sufficient change for toll, (or dollar bills on I-88, where the toll is $0.95), you can drive through like you're filming the Blues Brothers II, as long as you send in your money to the state within 4 days. Refer to,1302723,57_1302728:57_1302796&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL.

I can't wait to see the look on their face when I blow through the toll plaza next time. All I have to say is, "honey, I'm going to save time by just blowing off this toll road! You can tell the governor of Illinois (Governor Blagojevich) to take a hike". "I'm going to save time!".

Monday, July 03, 2006

I'm leavng on a jet plane II

I stayed up late and finally did it. I bought my tickets for our trip out West last night. I wouldn't say that I got a deal but I did make it so that our time will be used the way we want. I bought a non-stop on Mesa airlilnes, formerly America West, now code sharing and transtioning over to USAir. When you pull up options in, you see the same fllights and times advertised for America West AND USAir. Because I used to work in the airline industry I am cursed with attempting to extract a reservation that is perfect for my personal travel plans. Anyway, ever since,, priceline,com and came online, there are alot of options that allow us to make good travel plans. There are always trade offs, my trade off for a non-stop, is that I will fly non-stop, in a regional jet, over the beautiful country that I love to see and look down on. Plus, I'm a tall guy and those regional jets seats are not Lazy-Boy rated! The other goofy thing about flying regional jets is, well, take a look IN the cockpit when you walk in/off. Often times, it appears that kids are flying that thing!! Now, I am in my early 40s, but the average regional jet pilot APPEARS as if, they are a 20 something. Now before you write me mean notes, all pilots that I know, (which is quite a few), are indeed the mature looking, confident, steady-eddy types that you want behind the controls. They are constantly going through training, evaluations, check-rides, etc. The pilots that I know truly LOVE to fly, and look forward to getting home with their loved ones as much we all do.

BTW, I cannot end this entry without sharing that when you work in the airline business, it is a business that gets in your blood. Pilots, flight attendants, and even the ground operations folks, (like what I did), love the business of planes, organization and being able to fly all over this great country. Make sure you thank them for their time that you've spent with them. Times are tough for many of these job holders. Many of these people are deciding between doing what they love and what makes sense to work at.

We Expect it

WiFi. Wow. Here I am in a coffee shop, waiting for a prospective partner and I discovered, (actually my Apple iBook G4) discovered that they have WiFI. They never used to. I was avoiding this place because they didn't have "it". Oh yea, I could have gone to Starbucks, and paid the day pass with T-Mobile, for $9.99 but why do that when WiFi is free almost everywhere??? What a big country! Actually, for those of us that travel the Interstates of Iowa, almost all rest stops on I-80 and I-35, have free WiFi. They've had "it" for a long time, even before this coffee shop that I am. I will have to say something to Gary Mier, who runs Friedrich's, Oh, did I mention that it is free? My good blogging friend, Mike Sansone, reminded me last week, that Panera Breads, were first amoung eateries, that first offererd WiFi for free. Oh, and another thing, don't let the cellular companies sell you on a WiFi card. if you can agree with to meet with clients, prospects, colleagues, in locations that offer free WifI, or secured networks, that you can access, than seize those opportunities first. In another three years, "it" will be free and plentiful all over this big country.

Friday, June 30, 2006

TEB Teterboro Airport

TEB. "Teterboro Airport is designed as a "reliever" airport that serves vital interests and general aviation requirements of the Northern New Jersey and the New York Metropolitan Area." That according to the airport website, at Why should we care about this airport, that I've never been too? Because almost all mail destined for Irag, for our troops, is labeled and sent on to TEB. Boxes and bags, that are very heavy. Typical postage seems to be about $25-$42. I was going to write something cool related to this but God keeps impressing upon me that beyond sending mail and Care packages, what our troops really need is PRAYER. I can't handle every package going to TEB, but the ones that I do, I place my hand on it, and say, "Father, bless this gift and the giver, may you protect the solider who receives piece of mail, amen". I would encourage everyone to find a name of a solider, perhaps you know one personally, and pray for them EVERY day. Pray for their protection, salvation, their families, girlriends, troops around them. Pray that God keeps them safe and that order be restored in Iraq, that the enemy will give up and seek out living full lives in peace. If you'd like to send a package to TEB, I'd suggest you find someone who knows a soldier and ask them if you can send a package. You can also send one online. I'd suggest going through the USO. Refer to