Saturday, September 30, 2006

Question of the Day:

Is it possible to be passionate about something and have balance in your life?

Post #101

I just realized I hit the 100 post mark without saying anything about it. There's something special about making 100 posts. A lot of people make a note of it. Sam, just hit his last week (and he started blogging after me!).

I think my 100th post is a pretty good one as it is. I'll make plans to celebrate #200.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Hugs and Kisses

The day after Maggie was born, Hannah wrote a book about her. Her teacher stapled the pages but Hannah wrote it all by herself without any prompting. It made my heart melt when I read it. Here it is:

By my count Maggie got 20 "kisses", 17 "hugs" and 6 "loves" from Hannah. That's a pretty good first day if you ask me.

Confessions Of A Dangerous Crumpler

"Daaaaad" she said. "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daaaaaaddddy! Look at me. Aren't I doing a nice job of folding my toilet paper?"

"Yes Grace" I said. "You are doing a great job folding your toilet paper. Who taught you to do that?"

"Emma taught me. I used to be a crumpler. It wasted a LOT of toilet paper before. Now I am a folder."

"That's great Gracie. Keep up the good work. Do you think you could teach Hannah?"

"Nope. Hannah's on her own. Gotta go! See ya!"

"Wait a minute! Get back in here. You've still got to wash your hands."

"okey doke!"

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

She Huffed And She Puffed And...

she signed an eviction notice. Apparently that wasn't enough so the landlord, Mary Duff, called in the elite squads of Epi and Dural to complete the job. Together they calmed things down enough so that the two parties could work out an agreement.

After a twenty hour stand-off that started Tuesday evening Baby Duff #3 was ousted forcibly from her home Wednesday evening at 5:25 PM. A little worn out from the confrontation the baby's first words were "waaa!"

The squatter was later officially identified as one Margaret Ellen Duff, aka Maggie Duff. Weighing in at 7.6 lbs and a mere 18.9 inches, the landlord was please at the ease and quickness of the enforcement of the eviction once papers were officially served.

Big sisters Hannah and Grace have met Maggie and agree that she is "cute" and "little" and have invited Maggie to live with them until she is old enough to attend college or they fight over Barbie dolls. That will occur soon, but for now Ms. Duff is in custody at a local Medical Center for physical and psychological examination after her ordeal. She is slated to be released with the next 24 hours if all things check out okay.

Mary Duff stunned her real estate investment partner Dan Duff by announcing that given the right circumstances she might consider renting the space again. Dan Duff did not immediately respond, but later issued a statement stating that "while my wife has good intentions, we are going to wait until the medication wears off before making any further decisions on renting to new tenants".

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Smash Therapy

I've been thinking about this one for several years now. It's solid and given the right location could be a money maker.

Name: Smash Therapy

Concept: A place where you can go and break stuff

Holden Caulfield inspired this idea. He smashed out the windows in the family garage the night his brother died. Peter Finch did too with the scene in Network when he announced on a broad cast "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore" and then promptly urging everyone to toss their TV sets out the window. Heck, David Lettermen does it all the time when he drops stuff off the side of the Ed Sullivan Theatre.

Whether you're frustrated, angry, want to vent or just like to break stuff Smash Therapy is a place for you. You can bring your own items to break or destroy. Like that picture of your cheating ex and that stuff teddy bear they gave you. Why not post the photo on the target wall and tagged it with a paint ball gun, then put the bear in the industrial size shredder. Or just break some beer bottles against a brick wall (we're into recycling here). Or line up for the bowling ball smasher where you can pick a ceramic item, set it up on a pedestal and fling a bowling bowl attached to a chain (mounted on to the ceiling) and smash the object to pieces.

Still need to vent? Why not sign up for a minute in the sound proof yell room? Before you go in be sure to write what your angry about on the chalk board. A sound meter will rate your decibel level. Highest decibel gets a gift certificate. The options for destroying items is endless and constantly being updated. Bring your friends. Make it a party. Have a theme night (Raider Hater night in KC would be a hit). HR departments could include gift certificates with pink slips.

It's not entirely just about breaking stuff. It's a safe outlet for getting out aggression. Smash Therapy also provides information on real therapists and access to help lines. Scented candles, soothing oils, books, tapes, you name it are also available. The goal of Smash Therapy is to bring in angry customers and send them away knowing they were able to go to a place to safely vent their frustrations.

All this can be yours should you choose to implement it for the low, low, price of: give credit to Dan and the 1%/1% deal stated in earlier posts (to be referred to from this point as the "One for me/One for charity" arrangement).

Oh, some possible tag lines "Go Break Something Today", "Da, da, da, ta, da...I'm breaking it!", "Get Smashed", "Smashing Baby. Simply Smashing!"

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Another Biz Idea!

This one comes from my brother. He said it was cool to share as long as he gets credit.

Name: Saved By The No Bell

Concept: An on/off switch for the doorbell

Someone must have thought of this one before, haven't they? Kevin emailed me to tell me about a conversation he and his wife had while at dinner a few nights ago at the home of some close friends. They all have kids ranging from teens to tots. Here's what he said:

"It came out of a conversation we had with friends over dinner last weekend in which we were kvetching over solicitors and zealots ringing the bell when babies are napping. I'll bet almost all parents have experienced this concern, which is what makes it an attractive idea."

So there you go... an idea for someone to implement.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Free Business Opportunity Idea

I have lots of ideas. Lots. And quite a few are for new business opportunities. I know that there is no way I'll ever implement some of these, so instead of just letting them sit in the back of my head collecting dust, I've decided to share them. I am sharing them with anyone who will put these ideas into action. All I ask is that if you end up using one of these ideas and have any success, that you simply send me 1% of the gross revenue and give 1% of gross revenue to a charity. Hey... I gotta make a living somehow right? The charity can be anyone of your choosing. In the interest of all I'd like to know which one you choose. Deal? Okay, here's my first of many free new business ideas:

Name: Funny Gram's

Concept: Singing telegram's delivered by retired Grannies.

I got the idea while traveling back to Kansas City from Chicago via Amtrak. While sitting in the viewing car I did some people watching and noticed a group of what I could only describe as cute, little, old granny types, sitting at a table playing cards. It dawned on me that as Baby Boomers get older, more and more will be hitting retirement age and might like a fun way to earn a little "mad money". All they need is to have reliable transportation to get to assignments on time and be willing to sing a song that would be written for the occasion. They could do it how ever they wanted. The more creative grannies would of course earn bigger tips. Wouldn't that be a hoot?

All orders could be taken via web site and then farmed out to various grannies who have signed up throughout the U.S. Heck, this could be global!

So, there you have it. A business idea cooked up on the train in about three minutes.

Let me know if you give it a shot!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Troops Vs. Soldiers

Somebody help me understand this please. Why do media outlets report "4 U.S. Troops Killed In Iraq" vs. "4 U.S. Soldiers Killed In Iraq"? I don't get it. Troops is plural. Troops is supposed to refer to a group of soldiers or a military unit. Referring to a soldier as a troop makes me feel like we are distancing ourselves from the individual. It seems more like an anonymous drone that is being referred to, rather than an individual who is performing a very specific, often dangerous role at the direction and discretion of our military and government leaders. I'd much rather know that an individual gave their life for our country than hear that a "troop" had been killed. I'd really rather hear that no one was killed, but troops seems too distant and we need to be closer and real and understand that those who are really at risk have a name and a face and are individuals. Okay...short rant, but this really bugs me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Consider Creative Commons

I first read about Creative Commons about four or five months ago. I wanted to learn more and so I did some poking around at the site and learned that it's a pretty cool thing. There are a wide variety of types of Creative Commons Licenses that you can put on your site. What they do is let visitors to your site know how you feel about people using your creative property. Your creative property can be anything from photography, music, lyrics, short stories, articles, artwork... anything you create. And it's free.

I decided that with all the surfing going around, sharing of links and at the off-chance that a visitor to my site might possibly like what I have posted and want to use it that I had better get a Creative Commons License on the site. Heck, what if someone wanted to use my stuff and couldn't find me to ask for permission? A license on the site tells them right away how I feel about using my stuff.

And that's just what happened. Rod Taylor at CoActive Marketing was doing some research on an article he was writing for Promo Magazine and came across this blog. He liked several of my posts and wanted to use excerpts in his article. I found out later that he tried to reach me to talk about this before he submitted the article, but silly me did not have my email address on my blogger profile (I do now). But because I had the license on the site he knew what my comfort level was with repurposing my stuff. The license I chose basically says that as long as you give me credit and do not alter it without my permission you can use it however you want. And thus he did.

Oh, and the article? What was it about you ask? What else but the Wienermobile. If you are interested you can read the article here.

I emailed Rod after I read the article to give some props for a great piece and that's when I found out he tried to contact me but couldn't. I don't have actual confirmation that the license on the site gave him peace of mind to know that he could use it without actually having to speak with me about it. But he used it the right way.

When I started writing this blog I did not think that someone would use my posts as content for an article or really anything else. Signing up for Creative Commons license was just a lark... you know just on the off chance that it might happen. Looks like that happened sooner than expected. And that is fun.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Do You Squidoo?

Seth Godin is at it again. He's started something new. Something called Squidoo. Here's a brief description from the site itself:

"We have built a new online platform and community that makes it easy for anyone to build a single page--called a lens--on a topic, idea, product or cause he is passionate about. These lenses in turn help finders get unique, human perspectives instead of computer-selected and often irrelevant search results. Not only can Lensmasters spread their ideas, get recognized for their knowledge, and send more traffic to their Web sites and blogs—they could also earn royalties..."

Well, that was all I needed to read...spread my ideas, get recognized for my knowledge and send more traffic to my blog. Oh, and earn royalties?!?!? I'm in!

It took about an hour and a half to build my lens and get it up and running. All without a clue as to how to write HTML or anything like it. And just what lens did I create? What do I dare to think I'm an expert on? The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile of course. Okay, I may not have all the info on the big dog, but I did drive it for a year, visit well over a thousand grocery stores, hospitals and schools. Not to mention handing out all those wiener whistles, going to the SuperBowl, All-Star game, getting on the Today Show and getting quoted in every major newspaper in the country. There's also the time it was towed, driving without a heater in Buffalo in the dead of winter, hanging with Little Oscar and that little run in with the Canadian government we don't talk about... enough experience for me to feel comfy saying I have a bit more knowledge than the average bear on the subject.

So, check it out:

There you can find links to all things Wienermobile related. Photo sets on Flickr, recent posts on blogs from technorati, auction items on ebay, books and movies about the dog at as well as a whole list of links I've supplied to various sites on the web with info on the vehicle, it's history and how to become a Hotdogger.

Now that I've got an official site on the subject I think Mary just might let me take the boxes and boxes of Wienermobilia I've collected out of the office closet and put it up around the house. You'd think she'd be open to it. After all, if it wasn't for the Wienermobile and my Hotdogger-in-crime Jeanne, Mary and I would have never met.

Oh and while your there please leave a comment or ask a question. I'll be updating the lens all the time. And please share the link to my lens with everyone you know. My goal is to get in the top 100 of lenses. Right now I'm lens #4,765 out of 37,000+ lenses.


Friday, September 01, 2006

Things That Amaze Me, Volume 1

  • Asparagus Pee
  • Breathing
  • Love
  • Watching Our Children Grow
  • How funny farts are
  • How much Mary hates the word fart
  • People who can play the piano
  • That the while the West Coast has Leno and the East Coast has Letterman & Conan, that the Midwest has no one.
  • David Byrne
  • The concept of time
  • Memories
  • The beauty of a well written Haiku
  • That even when I was able to fit 43 grapes into my mouth, Kevin was able to get 50+ in his.
  • Snarfing a piece of Eli's Cheesecake
  • The debate: Toe Cheese vs. Toe Jam
  • That people still smoke
  • The popularity of
  • Dick Hoyt
  • That Pluto is no longer a planet, but Uranus is because Uranus is bigger.
  • That thing under there
  • That I just made you say underwear
  • That just because you get older most people think that means that you have to grow up