Monday, January 30, 2012

The Italian way....................

I like the old guy's glasses and mustache!

Thanks to Mike Massaro for passing this along.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Tuesday night fire & a good nieghbor..............

Second floor fire, terribly dirty job tearing down the ceilings

with insulation falling all over you.
No one was home, but the cat

Alive with difficult breathing, O2 was administered

After the cat is mobile, a kind neighbored agreed to take the cat into his home

until the owner arrived home.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In person, the best way to market yourself.........

From Valet:
Confidence is key.
A proper introduction calls for a firm handshake, eye contact and a smile. A good attitude is contagious. It makes it easier to bring up what you're passionate about, and it makes them actually want to listen to what you have to say. And remember to dress the part. What you're wearing is essentially the first impression you give someone, even before you open your mouth.

Practice makes perfect.
Of course, it helps to be an outgoing person, but networking is a skill that can be perfected. Ask a buddy to help you out—have him or her turn to you at unexpected times and play the part of the person you're hoping to speak with. If you can tune out distractions and get your point across succinctly, you're good to go.

Ditch the sales pitch.
Just go for a natural conversation. Show interest in the other person by asking questions about them. This will create authentic opportunities for you to bring up what you do (and what you're looking to do).

Keep it short and sweet.
Nobody wants to be cornered and you don't want to be remembered for commandeering someone's time. This is mingling, so keep the conversation light but relevant. After 15 minutes you should know whether or not this is someone you'll want to follow up with.

And then follow up.
If things went well, you likely exchanged contact info or swapped business cards. Make sure to follow-up the day or two after, with a quick email or note reminding them of your conversation and what you can do for them. This is your opportunity to briefly outline your potential in whatever goal you're looking to accomplish, be it a job opening or collaboration.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Are you emitting sparks...................

“So many men in this world are going nowhere in particular that when one comes along…who is really and passionately going somewhere, what a stir he communicates to a dull world! We catch sparks of electricity from the very friction of his passage.”
- David Grayson
The Friendly Road

Sean Carpenter relays in a recent post that we are responsible for setting a "spark of electricity" with the following three questions:

What are you going to do today to be that person?
How can you create “sparks of electricity” in your business and personal world?
When will others start saying that about you? Or do they already?

Sean also at the end of his post placed a twist to his theme of building relationships, solving problems and having fun to: Build better relationships. Solve tougher problems. Have more fun…on purpose.

The photo above is a photo of Sean and his mother of whom I was very lucky to meet last month at a company party. Mrs. Carpenter said one thing about her son that I will never forget: "Sean started to read well at a very early age and then stopped for the longest time."

Monday, January 16, 2012

TSA Compliant Cupcake.............

If you aren't up to speed on what the Transportation Security Administration has labeled Cupcakegate, here's a quick synopsis. Traveler Rebecca Hains of Peabody, Mass., last month had a cupcake confiscated as she passed through airport security at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. The TSA maintains the cupcake raised suspicions because it came in a jar and contained "gel-like" frosting that was deemed to have exceeded the 3-ounce limit.

The TSA Compliant Cupcake....
Colgan redesigned the cupcake with security in mind. It's made of basic vanilla bean cake topped with exactly 3 ounces of frosting and packaged in a standard 3-1-1 one-quart see-thru bag. It costs $4 and even comes with its own boarding pass -- and, if you like, comes decorated (see photo) with a Richard Nixon photo and the words "I am not a gel" or other security-related message.

Click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times article.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Kindergarten readiness..............

Came across an editorial in this morning's Newark Advocate and it really made me think of how parents are preparing their toddlers for school. I realize as many, you just don't drop off your child the first day of school and say "Good Luck". There is a five year prep time for parents to make sure they are ready and being realistic, not enough parents make the effort.

Kindergarten readiness should be priority

Kindergarten really isn't the beginning of a youngster's education. Children begin learning from birth, at home and through avenues other than formal education.

That means some are better prepared than others to begin school. Children who enter kindergarten and first grade without adequate preparation too often fall behind classmates and never catch up.

During the past decade or so, educators have come to understand their work needs to begin before kindergarten, sometimes as early as age 3 in preschool programs. Ohio has a reasonably widespread network of such facilities, certified by the state Department of Education.

But state officials, encouraged by the private sector, want to do better. As a result, the state applied for and is to receive a $70 million federal grant to improve programs that prepare children for kindergarten. ...

The idea behind Ohio's grant proposal is to improve the quality of preschool offerings and to develop better methods of evaluating whether children are ready for kindergarten. ...

Too many Ohio children are left behind before they ever enroll in kindergarten or first grade. Changing that, with or without federal grant help, should be a priority.
-- The (Warren) Tribune Chronicle-- The (Warren) Tribune Chronicle

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cleaning is...............

Thanks to Tara Murphy for passing this along.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Secret Service "Impressions & Observations"

Secret Service views of Presidents and First Ladies

Here are snippets from a book of "Impressions & Observations" of Secret Service personnel assigned to guard U.S. Presidents/First Ladies, and Vice Presidents.

JOHN & JACQUELINE KENNEDY : A philanderer of the highest order. **She ordered the kitchen help to save all the left-over wine during State dinners, which was mixed with fresh wine and served again during the next White House occasion.

LYNDON & LADYBIRD JOHNSON: Another philanderer of the highest order. In addition, LBJ was as crude as the day is long.**Both JFK and LBJ kept a lot of women in the White House for extramarital affairs, and both had set up "early warning systems" to alert them if/when their wives were nearby. Both Kennedy & Johnson were promiscuous and oversexed men. **She was either naive or just pretended to "not know" about her husband's many liaisons.

RICHARD & PAT NIXON: A "moral" man but very odd and weird, paranoid, etc. He had a horrible relationship with his family, and in a way, was almost a recluse.**She was quiet most of the time.

SPIRO AGNEW: Nice, decent man, everyone in the Secret Service was surprised about his downfall.

GERALD & BETTY FORD: A true gentlemen who treated the Secret Service with respect and dignity. He had a great sense of humor.. **She drank a lot.

JIMMY & ROSALYN CARTER: A complete phony who would portray one picture of himself to public and very different in private, e..g., would be shown carrying his own luggage, but the suit cases were always empty; he kept empty ones just for photo op's. Wanted the people to see him as pious and a non-drinker, but he and his family drank alcohol a lot. He had disdain for the Secret Service, and was very irresponsible with the "football" nuclear codes. He didn't think it was a big deal and would keep military aides at a great distance. Often does not acknowledge the presence of Secret Service personnel assigned to serve him.**She mostly did her own thing.

RONALD & NANCY REAGAN: The real deal --- moral, honest, respectful, and dignified. They treated Secret Service and everyone else with respect and honor. Thanked everyone all the time. He took the time to know everyone on a personal level. **One "favorite" story which has circulated among the Secret Service personnel was an incident early in his Presidency, when he came out of his room with a pistol tucked on his hip. The agent in charge asked: "Why the pistol, Mr. President?" He replied, "In case you boys can't get the job done, I can help." It was common for him to carry a pistol. When he met with Gorbachev, he had a pistol in his briefcase. Upon learning that Gary Hart was caught with Donna Rice, Reagan said, "Boys will be boys, but boys will not be Presidents." [He obviously either did not know or forgot JFK's and LBJ's sexcapades!] She was very nice but very protective of the President; and the Secret Service was often caught in the middle. She tried hard to control what the President ate, and he would say to the agent "Come on, you gotta help me out." The Reagans drank wine during State dinners and special occasions only; otherwise, they shunned alcohol; the Secret Service could count on one hand the times they were served wine during their "family dinner." For all the fake bluster of the Carters, the Reagans were the ones who lived life as genuinely moral people.

GEORGE H. & BARBARA BUSH: Extremely kind and considerate Always respectful. Took great care in making sure the agents' comforts were taken care of. They even brought them meals, etc. *One time Barbara Bush brought warm clothes to agents standing outside at Kennebunkport; one agent who was given a warm hat, and when he tried to nicely say "no thanks" even though he was obviously freezing, President Bush said "Son, don't argue with the First Lady, put the hat on.." He was the most prompt of the Presidents. He ran the White House like a well-oiled machine.*She ruled the house and spoke her mind.

BILL & HILLARY CLINTON: Presidency was one giant party. Not trustworthy --- he was nice because he wanted everyone to like him, but to him life is just one big game and party. Everyone knows of his sexuality.*She is another phony. Her personality would change the instant cameras were near. She hated with open disdain the military and Secret Service. She was another one who felt people are there to serve her. She was always trying to keep tabs on Bill Clinton.

ALBERT GORE: An egotistical ass, who was once overheard by his Secret Service detail lecturing his only son that he needed to do better in school or he "would end up like these guys" --- pointing to the agents.

GEORGE W. & LAURA BUSH: The Secret Service loved him and Laura Bush.He was also the most physically "in shape" who had a very strict workout regimen. The Bushes made sure their entire administrative and household staff understood to respect and be considerate of the Secret Service. KARL ROVE was the one who was the most caring of the Secret Service in the administration. She was one of the nicest First Ladies, if not the nicest; she never had any harsh word to say about anyone.

BARACK & MICHELLE OBAMA: " Clinton all over again" - hates the military and looks down on the Secret Service. He is egotistical and cunning; looks you in the eye and appears to agree with you, but turns around and does the opposite---untrustworthy. He has temper tantrums. She is a complete bitch, who hates anybody who is not black; hates the military; and looks at the Secret Service as servants.

Friday, January 6, 2012

For guys, a great find is often multiplied..........

Came across a New York Times article via Valet about how men buy clothes differently from women. Most women find shopping as a social activity. Men find it as a must do event when something is worn out. Men have the tendency to hoard what they like.

This NYT article pretty well describes myself and my closet. Yes my closet is full, but almost every item has an exact mate if not multiple duplication.

My navy blue sweaters are a fine example. I remember years ago traveling with my father when he finally asked "Do you have any other color of sweaters" being tired of seeing me every day in the traditional navy blue, boiled Shetland wool crew.

Last year I had a serious problem, down to one navy Shetland with the elbows patched and the crew neck raveling I found myself in replacement mode. Searching Ebay, retail shopping and direct factory outlets on line throughout the summer proved to be stressful and not fruitful. Finally the sweater was found, true to my specifications and I ordered two.

Why two? I figured if I keep my sweater in good repair and clean it should last 10-12 years. Figuring that I am sixty now, the new sweater will last until I am 70-72 years old. The un-packaged hoarded sweater will last me until when I am 80-84 years old. After this I will no longer be worrying about the sweater, Andrew has directions just to tell me in the nursing home that I am wearing a navy Shetland even though it is a gray cardigan with the funny pockets. I won't know the difference within minutes after I ask the question.

Click here to read the NY Times article, it will appreciate your buying habits.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The legend lives on........................

BRUNSWICK, Maine – A nearly century-old hunting boot is catching on with a younger generation that sees the utilitarian footwear as hip.

L.L Bean's familiar duck boot with leather uppers and rubber soles — designed for slogging through mud and snow — has become something of a fashion statement owing to its new found popularity on college campuses, the company says. Another reason is new styles, including something Leon Leonwood Bean surely never envisioned in 1912: bright blue and pink leather, new for spring.

Thank you to Andrew Guanciale for tweeting this article.

Monday, January 2, 2012

2012 Eliminate debt......................


Just because our governments can not figure a way to get out of the deep hole of debt, it does not mean personally you can not start digging yourself out during 2012. You have to like your money and being debt free more than your toys!

A little advice from Men's Health:

Strategy 1. Slash Your Expenses
Aim to cut 10 to 15 percent from your monthly expenses. Yes, you can eat more at home, buy a cheaper wine, and clip coupons. But you can also start making phone calls. You'll be surprised at how much you can save by simply asking. Cellphone: The average cellphone owner uses about 422 minutes a month, according to J.D. Power. Yet cell providers often tout 600- and even 900-minute plans as their "most popular." Reducing your allowable minutes from 600 to 450 would save you that magic 10 percent. And if you use less than 400 minutes a month, prepaid plans are always a better deal. Cable or satellite TV: Look for a special introductory offer from a competitor and ask your current provider to beat it. Many companies will ante up a "customer loyalty" discount—ranging from 10 to 25 percent—that's typically good for a year. Utility bill: Older water heaters eat up to 25 percent of the energy you use. Put a $10 water-heater blanket around it and you'll reduce your bill by your target 10 percent. Auto insurance: Raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 will save you up to 40 percent. And be sure to mention that you're shopping around; you may find that you're suddenly "eligible" for a reduced rate.

Strategy 2. Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance
Take the money you save from strategy 1 and apply it to your monthly debt payment. Say you owe $5,000 at 21 percent interest. Paying $100 a month, it'll take almost 10 years to satisfy the debt. Pay $110 a month, though, and you'll finish 2 1/2 years earlier.

And make sure to heed his advice as well:
+Don't schedule automatic payments around due dates: Credit-card companies shift those around, hoping to sock you with a late fee and raise your rate. Another reason to be early is a creepy practice called universal default. "Many companies have a system set up so when you're late on one card, other cards raise their rates, too," says Carmen Wong Ulrich, author of Generation Debt.
+Pay off your highest-interest balances first, and consolidate debt as efficiently as possible through balance transfers. (Look for a permanent rate and no annual fees; visit to find the best deals.) "If your interest rate drops from 20 percent to 10 percent, that's an immediate return," says Nicholas Nicolette, a certified financial planner and the president of the Financial Planning Association.
+Hit the ATM. Starting forcing yourself to keep more hard cash on-hand—studies have shown that people spend 30 percent less when paying with paper, not plastic.

Strategy 3. Budget for the Inevitable
It's happened to everyone: You're sticking to a smart budget, and then bam—your tire blows out or your dishwasher breaks. Suddenly, you're in the red. "We need to move past this idea that these are 'unexpected' bills," says Shannon Plate, author of Degunking Your Personal Finances. "Cars break. Houses break. People break. It has to be part of your budget."

Plate suggests socking away $50 a month for car repairs and another $100 a month for house repairs, assuming you own one. Likewise, set a realistic monthly entertainment budget—for everything from beers after work to poker night with buds—and be a slave to it. Then, at the end of the month, sweep what you didn't spend from all of the above into your emergency fund; financial planners recommend having enough liquid assets to survive 3 to 6 months of unemployment.

A great place to park your rainy-day fund is a high-yield money market. (Visit to find the best rates.) CDs aren't a good idea, because emergency funds need to be available quickly. And resist the urge to dump this money into stocks. "You don't want to expose this money to risk," says Nicolette. "The same conditions that can lead to layoffs also drive down the market."