A World In Turmoil: Dads, Let’s Step Up Our Game

Mar 12, 2011 by

Now we are living in the midst of one of the most prolific times in our history. 

Half the Arab world is at war or in protest.  The prices on everything are going through the roof.  Gas prices are nuts.  Inflation is beginning to be talked about regularly on the news.  Add to that the devastation to the Japanese through the 8.9 Richter Scale earthquake, the deadly tsunami that even affected the coast line of the United States, and now this whole nuclear reactor meltdown business. We are at war in Afghanistan.  We have a national debt that’s rising at a rate I’ll probably never make in my life time with every tick of the clock.  We have people in Wisconsin angry because their elected leaders are trying to trim back the costs of their state government because what’s going out, isn’t over pacing what’s coming in.  In Washington, we have gridlock unparalleled from what Admiral Stockdale blurted out in the 1992 presidential debates.  There are millions of people in the US who can’t find work.  Just as many and more who do not have health care.  And the list goes on.

Like our previous generations, when duty called, they stepped forward.

Today, more than ever, we need to do several things to do our part.

The first, pray.  It was 364 days ago that a situation in my own home crushed my dreams then of a happily ever after.  Today, with a client meeting in two hours and the prospect of being a part of an incredible change they are developing in the health care industry, life feels much better. God led me on a journey this past year that if I’d not endured, I’d not be having this meeting today.

The second, focus on your family.  Yes, the stress levels everywhere are rising.  But we’ve got to ensure we leave a legacy going forward that can also rise up to their challenges when the day comes for them.

And third, get involved.  Find someone in your life who you can assist.  Whether it’s a phone call, words of encouragement/support, a card, an unexpected check, whatever, right now is the time to help your fellow man, woman and child.  We must stay strong in this time.  We must apply common sense solutions and stop not thinking about tomorrow.  That kind of thinking has led to the kind of messes we’re in today.

Please, join hands.  We can make a difference.  We can prosper.  We can overcome.  And we can leave the world a better place for our children, no matter what gets thrown in our ways.

For us dads, it’s really time to step up our games.  There’s much to be done.

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Japanese Earthquake

Mar 11, 2011 by

My heart is breaking today for the people of Japan and the Pacific rim who have or will be affected by the earth quake and the tsunami today.

CNN photo of Japan devastation

I’m headed to Huntsville, Alabama for a massive client meeting.  Please keep me posted on updates from Twitter!



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The Adjustment Bureau–Go. See. It. Friday.

Mar 2, 2011 by

Out of no where over the weekend I received a tweet from @KloutPerks saying that because of my Klout score, which depressingly has dropped from a 63 lately down to a 57, I was going to enjoy the benefits of a reward–a free screening last night of The Adjustment Bureau with Matt Damon, Emily Blunt and Mad Men‘s John Slattery. When I arrived at Northpark Mall’s AMC Theater in Dallas, I was ushered off to a long line of people waiting to also see the film.  But when one of the event promoters asked me for my ticket and I showed her my Klout invitation she said, “Honey, you’re not supposed to be in a line.  Go straight to the table at the door for a wrist band and they’ll show you to your reserved seat.”  And so, past the other 200-plus people in line I went!

After watching some entertaining displays of six people giving their impersonations of Matt Damon and learning about GordonAndTheWhale.com, a movie review and premiere event company here in Dallas and Austin, Tx, they started the movie.  I mean, they literally started the movie.  None of that turn your phone off video, no other Coming Soons “In A World….” stuff.  Boom.  Movie begins.


The Adjustment Bureau

Now I’m not going to do a spoiler review.  I’ll wait till Friday to post the intricate details of the movie.  But here’s what you should know going in.

Go to this movie to have fun and to enjoy the feelings of falling in love and doing everything in your being to be with the person you know is “The One.”   Damon is good, but he’s not doing marshal arts and grabbing guns out of people’s hands before they can blink.  He finds a woman who he was only supposed to see once and never see again in the streets of New York City and it’s crowd of nine million other people.  The rest you’ll have to wait for.


If you want to go to the movie in character, this is your chance to pull out your Mad Men clothes a few months early and wear them to the film.  John Slattery, aka, Roger Sterling, turns in a John Slattery performance and at times you just think you’re going to see him bum a cigarette off someone or pull a bottle out of somewhere.   But then, after four years of Mad Men, how can you not just see Slattery and get a grin on your face knowing there’s probably no way of knowing what he’s going to say next. 

Essential point–if you want to have fun–wear a Fidora to the movie.  You’ll feel like you’re even closer to the film.

The Movie Critics

The critics are being a little rough on the film. Criticizing it for not being as dark or hard-hitting or something Bourne-ish.  It’s not meant to be.  At the heart of this film is a love story.  One that will take you back into your younger years and remind you what it felt like to find someone who you knew was the right person, and then adds a twist, tries to keep you and the person from ever seeing each other again.

Go see this movie.  Go and have fun with it.  And if you’re taking a date, make sure you have extra tissue with for her.  She won’t boo hoo, but she’ll be doing the happy tears thing.


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CarMD, you need this for your car

Mar 2, 2011 by

There are just some moments in life where you’re sitting there clicking through channels on the TV set on a Saturday morning and stop for an instant on those paid-programming advertisements infomercials and realize, “Wow.”   Okay, really, honestly, that almost never happens.  And in the one or two times in my life when I’ve actually responded–like ordering that foldout deal that looks like a cool carrying bag, that I’ve actually ordered  something–Two for $19.99!  (I don’t recommend them.)

Comes now CarMD.  You can find them on Twitter, too, and that’s how they found me. When I saw their infomercial I sent out a tweet saying I loved the concept and would love to try the product.  

Many thanks to Eric Huang from CarMD who sent me one of their very cool gizmos to review.   Honestly, from the instant they got their elevator pitch said in the infomercial, plus the visual of what this product does, I was a fan.  A big fan.

CarMD And The Computer Hookup On Your Car

So what is CarMD?  Well, how many times have you had a check engine light or a readout come up on the dash of your car saying it’s time to “change the oil, tire pressure is low, or please stop the car, it’s about to blow up?” Cars made in America since 1996 have been required by the federal government to have a docking station, which usually is located under your steering column, where when you take the car to a mechanic, they plug into this machine and know instantly what’s wrong with your car.

The first time this ever happened to me was back in the late ’90s in Montgomery, Alabama.  The guys at “Expert-Screw” hooked me up to their read out machine for a cool $85 assessment.  When I okayed them to fix whatever was wrong with the car, (which didn’t cost $85) they took some of that off the total bill, but it was still enough to make me feel sick to my stomach.

Now since then, I think most shops have cut the price of this down.  Indeed, when the mechanic I use for my 2004 Chrysler Sebring convertible checked it the last time I had a light on, he checked it for free and then reset it.  It’s been more than a year and even though at the time it was saying I needed to replace my thermostat, knock on wood, I still haven’t had to.

CarMD Does The Same Reading And More

So why was I amazed when I saw CarMd?  Simple.  With this gadget, before I even go to a mechanic, I can hook it up to my car and do my own check.  Once completed doing the analysis of my car, it shows me via buttons green, yellow and red, if my car needs attention and the gravity of the situation.   Once completed, I also can bring the gadget into the house, hook it up to the USB port here on the Mac, and it will download it’s findings.  The program then runs an online analysis and it spits out a report of what’s wrong with the car and just as importantly, tells me a ballpark figure for what we’re talking about it costing to repair.

This is ideal for circumstances when you wind up with a mechanic from or currently working for “Expert Screw.” Their whole business model is to sell, sell, sell while they’re fixing your car.  That’s how dealerships make their money.  It’s not off the sale of your car.  Well, they make a little, but the bulk of their money gets made from you being responsible and bringing it back in every time it goes around two city blocks for an oil change, tire rotation, etc., etc, so they can give your car the once over and tell you that even though your hoses are pretty much brand new, for the price of an arm and two fingers, they can go ahead and change them now.

Now CarMD isn’t going to tell you about your hoses, etc. but for the price of $119.95, you can have a little insurance policy for the next time you have to take your car in and know beforehand if your mechanic is shooting straight with you or trying to sell you a new car.

This is a unit I want to have whether I have a brand new car or an older model car.  My former Nissan Armada always had a check tire light on and it was annoying as hell.

I’m going to do a video in the next few days to show how well this cool gadget works and I’ll make sure it’s well highlighted when it posts.  But for now, I really wanted to write a heart-felt review and encourage you to check them out on CarMD.com. This is an infomercial product worth having.

(The ironic part of trying to do this video report is that my car is actually working!  I’m working on hooking it up to a couple of cars I know are having issues.  When I hooked it up to my car, I got a green light!)

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Tonight’s TV News–The Highway to Hell

Feb 23, 2011 by

I joined in to see Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News at 5:37 pm and caught the end of the issues in Libya.

Then they did a story on the earthquake situation in Christchurch.

Then a story on the Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker prank call(Apparently Megan in Mad Men isn’t the only person who will put a call from anyone through to her boss–at least she didn’t have Caller ID.  Who knows, maybe they don’t have it in Wisconsin either.)  By chance has the AG in New York or Wisconsin checked to see if any laws have been broken in either state over this, or maybe even federally?

Then a story on how our President Obama now thinks prohibiting gay marriage in America is unconstitutional and no longer will let government lawyers defend the position.

I then turned off the TV in disgust.

In summary, the world is going to Hell.  Our president is leading the parade. The Wisconsin Governor‘s Chief Of Staff should be fired.  Citizens of Christchurch just need money.  And Libya’s dictator is still wearing dresses.  Thanks for watching.

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Will 2011 be the year of political protests?

Feb 21, 2011 by

It looks like many, many people of the world have had enough.  Things are so volatile right now, seemingly mostly in the Mid-East, but even in the past five days, we’ve begun to see unrest in places like Madison, Wisconsin.

In the Arab world, from most media accounts, people are rising up in protest of the abuses their dictatorships have held them under for decades.  Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Bahrain and other countries each have had widely-reported clashes between citizens citing the need for change, and their rulers either ignoring them at first and leaving in the end, or sending troops into their masses and firing at will.

Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty Images

In America, in Wisconsin first, those protests have come because governmental leadership has said we can’t afford to keep doing all the things that we’ve come to rely on government to provide.  The global fiscal crisis, run-away logic of insuring pension plans that have had the bottom knocked out of them by this economy, have taken their toll.  The days of runaway government spending are over, or, they should be.  Far too many of our city, county, state and federal governments have been spending like there’s no tomorrow.  Sure, there are requirements in most US governments to have a balanced budget–excluding the federal government–but trying to put the brakes on is becoming hugely unpopular.

The Republicans are in a big pickle.  They’re trying to reign in government spending, and yet they’re pissing off the people who have become so dependent on that very spending.  Unions.  Don’t get me started.  Tenure for teachers.  Don’t get me started.  We’ve put in place so many protections that those who are the ones in many levels of government who need to go the most, can’t be let go without costly and time-consuming documentation and hearings and re-hearings.

So, on one hand, the US GOP is trying to reign in the spending and they’re going to take a big hit for this.  At the same time, Mr. Obama is trying to increase spending and play funny with the numbers.  What he’s strategically trying to do is make the US citizenry so mad at the Republicans for 2010, that they throw them all out, re-elect him and send a fresh new slate of Democrats to give him four more years of unparalleled runaway government spending.  Do you see the problem with that?  We can’t even afford what we’re doing now….

In other countries of the world, people are just yearning to be free.  Or free-er.  We’re arguing about spending more freely or tightening the belt to live within our means.

Makes you wonder where the next protests will be.  What happens when Hispanics from Mexico and South America have reached an even higher population level in the US than they have already?

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