Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Church Of Nature

The High Holy Church of Earth has a High Priest- Al Gore.

I know, that like the Catholic Church holds the Pope to be infallible, so the Church of Earth holds AlGore to be also...but this piece that ran in the Chicago-Sun Times today must certainly get the 'faithful' to at least open their eyes and look to their left and right.

I do think that the forces behind man-made global warming, extreme environmentalism and the like are a flat-out religion. The moment people that have a sound and logical reason to question and doubt that global warming is man-made started being labeled 'deniers' and 'unbelievers' it became clear to me.

God = Earth
Son of God = United Nations
Holy Spirit = Positive Power of Mother Earth
Heaven = Pure water, air, earth, and the end to global warming and Hummer's. And no one eats meat. And everyone is a democrat. And the American lies down with the Osama's. And the people of the earth beat their swords into bicycles
Billy Graham/The Pope = Al Gore
Church Services = LiveEarth / Global Warming Rallies
The Bible = Al Gore Books and Movies
Salvation through Jesus = Salvation through buying a Prius and reducing one's carbon footprint
Satan = George Bush

I could go on, and on, and on, but I guess I should get to the article that started this ranting. Enjoy:

Alarmist global warming claims melt under scientific scrutiny

June 30, 2007

In his new book, The Assault on Reason, Al Gore pleads, "We must stop tolerating the rejection and distortion of science. We must insist on an end to the cynical use of pseudo-studies known to be false for the purpose of intentionally clouding the public's ability to discern the truth." Gore repeatedly asks that science and reason displace cynical political posturing as the central focus of public discourse.

If Gore really means what he writes, he has an opportunity to make a difference by leading by example on the issue of global warming.

A cooperative and productive discussion of global warming must be open and honest regarding the science. Global warming threats ought to be studied and mitigated, and they should not be deliberately exaggerated as a means of building support for a desired political position.

Many of the assertions Gore makes in his movie, ''An Inconvenient Truth,'' have been refuted by science, both before and after he made them. Gore can show sincerity in his plea for scientific honesty by publicly acknowledging where science has rebutted his claims.

For example, Gore claims that Himalayan glaciers are shrinking and global warming is to blame. Yet the September 2006 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate reported, "Glaciers are growing in the Himalayan Mountains, confounding global warming alarmists who recently claimed the glaciers were shrinking and that global warming was to blame."

Gore claims the snowcap atop Africa's Mt. Kilimanjaro is shrinking and that global warming is to blame. Yet according to the November 23, 2003, issue of Nature magazine, "Although it's tempting to blame the ice loss on global warming, researchers think that deforestation of the mountain's foothills is the more likely culprit. Without the forests' humidity, previously moisture-laden winds blew dry. No longer replenished with water, the ice is evaporating in the strong equatorial sunshine."

Gore claims global warming is causing more tornadoes. Yet the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in February that there has been no scientific link established between global warming and tornadoes.

Gore claims global warming is causing more frequent and severe hurricanes. However, hurricane expert Chris Landsea published a study on May 1 documenting that hurricane activity is no higher now than in decades past. Hurricane expert William Gray reported just a few days earlier, on April 27, that the number of major hurricanes making landfall on the U.S. Atlantic coast has declined in the past 40 years. Hurricane scientists reported in the April 18 Geophysical Research Letters that global warming enhances wind shear, which will prevent a significant increase in future hurricane activity.

Gore claims global warming is causing an expansion of African deserts. However, the Sept. 16, 2002, issue of New Scientist reports, "Africa's deserts are in 'spectacular' retreat . . . making farming viable again in what were some of the most arid parts of Africa."

Gore argues Greenland is in rapid meltdown, and that this threatens to raise sea levels by 20 feet. But according to a 2005 study in the Journal of Glaciology, "the Greenland ice sheet is thinning at the margins and growing inland, with a small overall mass gain." In late 2006, researchers at the Danish Meteorological Institute reported that the past two decades were the coldest for Greenland since the 1910s.

Gore claims the Antarctic ice sheet is melting because of global warming. Yet the Jan. 14, 2002, issue of Nature magazine reported Antarctica as a whole has been dramatically cooling for decades. More recently, scientists reported in the September 2006 issue of the British journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series A: Mathematical, Physical, and Engineering Sciences, that satellite measurements of the Antarctic ice sheet showed significant growth between 1992 and 2003. And the U.N. Climate Change panel reported in February 2007 that Antarctica is unlikely to lose any ice mass during the remainder of the century.

Each of these cases provides an opportunity for Gore to lead by example in his call for an end to the distortion of science. Will he rise to the occasion? Only time will tell.

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Friday, June 29, 2007

Its 2:44AM And Lights Out

My flight home from LA was supposed to land at 12:40AM in Nashville. The Southwest flight from Burbank to Las Vegas was delayed, and then the flight from Vegas to Nashville was delayed as well. We landed at 1:40AM.

I had skipped lunch, and didn’t have time for dinner, so I was about ready to eat about anything. Thank goodness for the 24-hour McDonalds drive through near the airport. There’s only one problem with 24-hour places once midnight hits…the only people that will work those shifts are not exactly quick, efficient, service-oriented professionals.

I can picture the discussion with management: “Billy-Bob, your performance this quarter has been dismal. You have given out boys happy-meal toys to girls at least 27% of the time, never put ketchup or straws in peoples bags and on at least two occasions customers have complained that you left the bathroom without washing your hands. I’m going to have to assign you to the 2AM-6AM shift. Sorry Billy.” Either that, or when they hire someone new, they tell them “the late shift is all about paying your dues…someday if you work hard you’ll get to wear a manager’s hat like mine.”

Either way, the value meal #2 with a diet coke ordered at 1:50AM took about 15 minutes. I was now hungry and very, very angry.

By the time I arrived home it was almost 3AM and I spilled mustard on my dress shirt and diet coke on my car floor. All around crappy day. But it was good to be home.

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Thursday, June 28, 2007

There Must Be Something In The Peanuts

I have a theory that there is some sort of chemical in the honey roasted nuts on Southwest flights that makes people paranoid and aggressive.

There is also some sort of unnatural desire that comes about to stand in line hours before a flight starts to board.

Several years ago I witnessed a fight break out in a hot and steamy Southwest gate at the BWI airport in Baltimore. As I stood to assemble towards the back of lane A (at the time it was 1-30), pre-boarders were called. A man in lane C (61+) yelled at a man and woman that were pre-boarding (the woman was in a wheel chair) that he had seen them check baggage and the woman most certainly had no real medical problem that required her to be in a wheel chair and that they were faking a physical challenge to get on board first. The pre-boarding man acted offended and screamed at the accuser that his wife had multiple sclerosis and he could prove it. The yelling escalated, and right in front of me one man took a full-on roundhouse swing at the head of the other connecting right on the jaw. Blood spattered, and chaos ensued.

I swore I would never fly Southwest again.

Now 8 or 10 years later I have no choice. The world has been assimilated into Southwest’s borg-like march to dominate all US cities and control all flights shoving peanuts, and little snack-packs featuring 100 calorie short-bread cookies, dried fruit and fat-laden cheese crackers down our throats.

Tonight I was sitting down on the floor of the B section waiting to board when a verbal war broke out in lane A. It seems a lady snuck up and deposited herself right behind passengers 1 and 2 in line, cutting in front of close to 30 other passengers. The husband and wife previous occupying slots 3 and 4 were not amused. They confronted the lady but she totally ignored them, seeming to be fascinated with something on her cell phone. The voices raised, and the lady read something or other on her cell phone even more intently.

Finally a Southwest employee came over, learned what happened from about 5 or 10 nearby passengers and confronted the line-cutter. She finally looked up, admitted she cut, but said there was a little space here that no one was occupying and it was her right to slip in. She was sent packing to the back of the line, but not after she put up a fight and asked for the Southwest employees name. He responded- “its right here on my shirt, cant you read?” The passengers around him giggled in support and line-cutter-lady headed to the back of the line.

Insane people. I heard a rumor that Southwest may start assigning seats. Oh please, please, please, please.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I'm A Loser, But The Pad Thai Was Good

Paul McCartney is to make a ‘surprise’ appearance at a Hollywood record store tonight.

I read about the upcoming event in an email yesterday, and told someone at my client’s office I would be going. To say I am a Beatles fan, and a fan of each Beatle individually, is an understatement. I am a life-long and devoted Beatle-freak.

I was told to not even try. People were likely already camped out the moment the news came out yesterday, and if I thought I had seen bad traffic, I hadn’t seen anything yet. Not to mention the massive crowds packing in and around a record shop hoping to hear Paul belt out 2 tunes, wave and leave. He made a good point, and despite the fact that I am a huge fan, and that I happened to be in Hollywood this very day I decided I would skip it.

Big mistake.

Here is a write-up about the experience from an industry blogger/newletter writer that pulls no punches. If it had sucked, he would have had no problem expounding greatly on the suckiness. The fact that he said it was an amazing experience has sunk me into a deep depression for skipping it and instead grabbing a quick Thai dinner and hitting the hotel room to catch up on email. To quote Lennon/McCartney- “I’m A Loser.”

Bob Lefsetz:

It was positively MINDBLOWING! If you weren't at least ten or eleven back in '64 you've got no idea, you've got no concept of BEATLEMANIA! And that's what was in evidence this evening at possibly the world's most famous record store. I mean I'm standing with Felice and Peter Paterno and you can hear WHISPERS! In the row behind us, it's RINGO!

Yup, Ringo Starr. With his cropped hair and sunglasses. Barbara Bach at his side. Smiling like he's in the sequel of "A Hard Day's Night". And next to Ringo it's Olivia Harrison. And next to her Barbara Orbison. And then Jeff Lynne. And, right behind them, leaning against the bin, was Joe Walsh. You see they remembered. When we all had short hair and loved to play baseball and suddenly "I Want To Hold Your Hand" came over the radio and our lives changed...FOREVER!

Why am I living in California? Well, that's because of Brian Wilson. But why am I writing this, why are you reading it, because of the BEATLES! In ONE DAY our lives changed...IRREVOCABLY! We all bought guitars, grew our hair and formed bands. We wanted IN! Math, the National Honor Society, WHO CARED! The most important thing was those black pieces of wax, containing a whole LIFE! And taking the stage was the cute one, the one all the girls fell for, who could sing sweet or yell like Little Richard. THAT guy was in Amoeba tonight, fewer than TWENTY FEET AWAY!

And, I'll tell you, I'll never be the same.

Oh, it wasn't quite like seeing the Stones, we didn't have to wait an hour and a half. But forty minutes after the anointed time, at ten after eight, Paul bounces on stage, looks right to Rusty and left to Brian and then as that lick embedded in our DNA starts to come out of the speakers, steps up to the mic and sings:

"Ask the girl what she wanted to be
She said baby, can't you see
I want to be famous, a star of the screen
But you can do something in between"

He was playing DRIVE MY CAR! He's supposed to start off with one of the new numbers, or a classic blue chip, not the coolest track that wasn't even ON the American version of RUBBER SOUL! Every time I went to Marc Goloff's house I played his English version of the album, just to hear that opening cut. It's not exactly a secret, but it wasn't one of the Capitol priorities, and now FORTY YEARS LATER PAUL McCARTNEY IS PLAYING IT RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

It was like that SNL skit. You know, the parody of Oprah giving away Pontiacs, where people's HEADS WERE EXPLODING! The girls were screaming, my jaw was dropped, it was the sixties all over again, it was BEATLEMANIA! Oh, he played "I'll Follow The Sun"! God, I can tell you exactly where I was, talking about "Beatles '65" on Christmas Day 1964 in the lobby of Skylight Ski Lodge in Manchester, Vermont. Yup, our entire LIVES are Beatle memories. He picks a song, and a movie starts playing in your head.

And he's playing them so naturally. He's not missing a NOTE in "Blackbird". He's got that acoustic strung left. He's moving his fingers on the fretboard. It was enough to make you cry, overcome with emotion, that what you'd dedicated your life to was worthwhile.

Yes, it was a religious experience.

And the banter! He told us not to shoplift the CDs, he interacted with the hecklers. He told stories. And he played like he MEANT IT, he was giving it his ALL! All those gigs in could see evidence, in Paul's confidence, the way he manipulated the audience, the way he went off script and jammed if it felt good to HIM! Yes, it was like being in the garage with the world's best band. All of a sudden, just when you can't pick out the song anymore, you realize they're starting to JAM! Paul's picking out notes on his Les Paul, he's looking at the other players, it didn't even matter that we were THERE!

But oh, we were.

My body tingles to think of the assembled multitude singing "Hey Jude". Oh, you might think you've heard it enough in YOUR lifetime, but the guy who wrote it, who sang it, when he's banging it out on the keyboard, when you come to that endless coda, you can't help but sing along, like you did in your car again and again and again, all summer long back in '66. Oh, he's even adding the fillips from the record...JUUDYJUUDYJUUDYJUUDY!

I'd forgotten to turn off my BlackBerry, it was buzzing in my pocket, but I didn't want to even reach in to turn it off, I didn't want to distract myself for ONE SECOND, I wanted to soak it all in, because at some point, this was going to END, and I'd be aching, just wanting more.

Not that Paul punched the clock on us. He played for an hour twenty five. INSANE! These private shows, hyping the new release, they're twenty minutes at best, the players are going through the motions. But Paul was giving it his ALL!

Paul... That's really him. With that baby face. That guy who made it all the way from Liverpool to worldwide fame. It must be tough to be Paul, everybody looking at you everywhere you go, but how can you do otherwise, it's HIM! He played "Lady Madonna". That was on a compilation album I remember seeing in a record shop on my first trip to Aspen in February 1970.

And he played "Let It Be". With Rusty nailing the guitar solo. With me thinking of Paul's mother, and... We know the guy's complete story, but do we know HIM? He's not edge-less. He got pissed at some girl for interrupting one of his stories. Oh, he didn't lose his cool, it's just that he wasn't worried about the camera, his image, he'd earned the right to be HIMSELF!

What can I tell you, he played I'VE GOT A FEELING!!! And MATCHBOX, even talked about how Carl Perkins wrote it, laying down a little history for those who didn't know the author of "Blue Suede Shoes" wasn't a one hit wonder. And, in the multiple song encore, he didn't play "Yesterday", he surprised us with something better, something for us...

"Jojo was a man who thought he was a loner
But he knew it couldn't last
Jojo left his home in Tucson, Arizona
Bought some California Grass"

The Friday night before "Let It Be" was released I was driving in my mother's Country Squire to see Traffic's reunion show at the Fillmore East and WNEW was playing the album from start to finish. The FM radio in my mother's new car only played the left channel for some reason, so I leaned down to listen through the static, even though a girl I had a serious crush on was riding shotgun. Because, ultimately, people come and go, but we can count on the music, the music doesn't disappoint us, we can depend on the Beatles.

Oh, by this time I already had my escape plan in motion, in my mind anyway. I was gonna leave the uptight, dreary east coast for CALIFORNIA! Where the girls wore bikinis, it never rained and it was about possibilities rather than limits.

And when Paul hits that line, the whole room ERUPTS! Because we know EVERY LINE! In everything from "I Saw Her Standing There" in the encore, to "C Moon" close to the beginning.

And it wasn't like there was a wall between us. The connection, it was PALPABLE! He was our leader, he had us in the palm of his hand. He was taking us on a journey to the center of our minds, our best selves, when music was ENOUGH! And I'm sure that every other person in Amoeba felt the exact same way. This wasn't de rigueur, this wasn't something you shrugged off, this touched your SOUL!

It was too good to be true.

I'm still pinching myself.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Burbank To Hollywood Commute

In LA and I get to pretend to live and work here for a week. I am working out of a clients office in a part of LA a good 25 miles from my hotel room in Burbank. I made quite a mistake picking the Burbank Marriott Hotel and trekking to Culver City, through Hollywood, each morning.

It looked relatively close on the map.

Not being well-versed in LA commutology, I did not appreciate the challenge of moving south through the hills and valleys south of Burbank, getting through Hollywood, and over and around to Culver City. A 25 mile commute in Nashville means about…oh…26 minutes driving time.

From Burbank to Culver City in the morning is closer to 2 hours if you leave at 8AM.

I have been all over California many times over the last 15 years, and the weather and beauty of this state never ceases to amaze me. But the traffic these wonderful people in LA struggle with each and every day absolutely crushes the human spirit. It takes almost all the life out of me…nudging through traffic, standing still on highways, watching my fuel meter needle tick towards empty like a second hand on an analog watch, only backwards.

Next time I will be sure to book a hotel NEXT DOOR if at all possible. If one is not available, I will rent a large car and sleep in it.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Goodbye Carnival

It seemed like a good idea at the time. I discovered the blog carnival world through a friends amazing series of posts about incrasing blog traffic. At the time it seemed the natural thing to do. Start a blog. Update the blog. Figure out how to get more people to read the blog.

I now have officially reached the point where I no longer can run The Carnival of the Storytellers the way I think it needs to be run. Sure, I can take the InstaCarnival form and copy/paste the submissions, throw them up on my blog and call it a day…but I cant bring myself to do that. I enjoyed taking the time to read each and every post sent in, boot out the crappy ones, and commentary to the ones I thought were worth reading.

Since I don’t have the time to do that anymore, I shall proclaim it dead.



Sunday, June 24, 2007

A Sicko, 2 Sleepyheads and a Lame Excuse

We missed church again. Not sure how many Sunday’s in a row we’re on now…4 or 5? Maybe more.

Contributing factors:

1) K & L went on a trip with my mom to help clean up the Duck River in TN. The volunteer effort was billed as a morning canoe trip picking up garbage on the river. It turned out to be an 8 mile trek on one of the hottest days so far this summer with a group of ill prepared people. Since it was supposed to be a short trip no one brought food or extra drink. At one point L had to beg a soda off of a fisherman and his son. When they finished about 3PM, they were sunburned, exhausted, and promising never to volunteer to clean up another river in their entire lives. Sunday morning K & L were just a wee bit hard to wake up.

2) Michelle is still not feeling well. Not sure whats going on, but she’s had a low grade fever for sometime now.

3) Work. I am heading to LA on Monday, and there is just too much that too many are counting on for me to get done.

Maybe next week.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Relient K's 'Five Score And Seven Years Ago'...

... is a Rock-Pop Masterpiece.

I've written before about how our family discovers a song and it becomes ‘our song.’ It’s played regularly in the car, at home, on various digital music players and music phones, off of Rhapsody, out by the pool.

A new thing is developing here at the DigitalRich home…it’s ‘our album.’

The new record from Relient K is a rock/pop phenom. A masterpiece in my humble opinion. The whole family is digging it- even little 5 year old R. I’ve liked Relient K’s stuff for years, but this record has full power from track 1 to 14 all the way through.

I went ahead and loaded it up on my TuneFeed player here at DigitalRichDaily, so if you want to check it out, head over to the left sidebar and hit play. Hope you enjoy it. Its encoded and uploaded at low quality, so if you like it, support the guys and go buy it at iTunes to get the full sound. You wont regret it.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Brisket Tacos And Blogging

This was the plan- I had a meeting at 5:30PM that would wrap up at 6:30PM, and Michelle and the girls would meet me for dinner out on the town. Afterwards Michelle would drive our two oldest over to my parents house to spend the night while I took the two youngest home.

K and L are getting up early to head out with my mom to do some sort of ecological cleaning up thingamajig at some river or other.

Things didn't work out. Michelle called to say she would just head straight to my parents and get McDonalds on the way- I was on my own.

As I left the meeting and headed to any fast-food joint that happened to be in my way, I thought for a second. Wait! I am ON MY OWN. As in, I TOTALLY get to pick where I will eat dinner. No discussion. No argument. No voting. Its me. All me!

Straight to MickeyRoos Texas BBQ I went. The place I took the family to once more than a year ago. All 4 daughters and my wife swore we would never go again. Of course, I loved it.

I walked right in, ordered my fave- 3 beef brisket tacos, layered with guacamole in corn tortillas, super spicy hot baked beans, French fries and a bottle of Lone Star Beer. Mmmmm.

After I got home tonight I did an amazing thing. At least I think so. I finally caught up on my blog. My work and travel schedule has been so horrific the past week that I haven’t posted a single story in more than a week. My goal of always posting once a day was shot.

I sat here and fired off 10 brand new posts, including this one, in 2 hours. Not bad, huh?

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

All Grown Up

About 8 years ago while at EMI a friend of mine in the A&R department called and asked if he could bring a young artist and her mom to my office to meet me. Of course I wanted to meet her- love to meet new young artists before they get molded and packaged. It’s a great way to see who they really are before they become too mature and practiced.

In walked a little girl- Rachael Lampa- and her mom. She was about 14 or so and we had a nice conversation full of small talk. They played a cut of her music for me and I was amazed at her voice. So powerful and full for such a little girl.

Today, 8 years later I met with her again. One of my clients has an opportunity I thought she may find interesting. Now 22, a lovely woman, and an artist searching for her next musical venture and direction, I reminded her that we had met some years ago in my office at EMI Music.

She had no earthly idea what I was talking about, but took my word that we had met.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Headed Home

NYC is done and over with. Licensing show is over for me. Headed home.

Good news- I got aisle on both flights. Bad news. Both flights delayed and landed at midnight. I thought Southwest was always on time?

It was a very successful trip, but I want to try to avoid ‘the city’ for at least another year. Los Angeles next week. Yeah!

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Open Bar

A full day of Licensing Show. Many meetings, walking the floor, taking notes, processing ideas and trends.

With the day almost over I make plans with my client for dinner and head to my hotel room to get some email done and freshen up before dinner.

Seems I missed all the fun by cutting out early.

My client- the CEO/Founder and two of his staff stayed on the floor until closing. As they headed out they noticed a crowd at a big booth and saw it was a party. They crashed it and discovered the well-to-do host, American Greetings, had provided an open bar for their guests.

When they showed up for dinner they were SLOSHED. Between the three of them they estimate they downed 15-18 drinks. “Hey- we don’t normally drink this much, but it was free, man!”

It was a very entertaining evening.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Boarding Pass- Group B

What does a Group B boarding pass on Southwest get you? Sometimes bupkiss.

New York City again. For Licensing Show 2007. The city has about lost all its wonder for me. Its now a place with tall buildings, stinky streets, stinker cabs, small hotel rooms, convention halls and conference rooms.

I had to take a Southwest flight to Chicago Midway, in the middle seat, tucked between two people almost as large as I. When there’s an army of dads, moms and small kids, wheelchairs and people faking serious disease you can lose out on a window or aisle seat even with a B card.

Early afternoon arrival. Straight to the hotel room to get work done. Thai room service. Sleep. And onward to a new day full of meetings.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

No Church Again

It’s been several weeks since we've been to church. There was the week when I was not feeling well. Then the next week Michelle was sick as a dog. The next week Michelle’s mom was in town and she had an early afternoon flight home.

Last Sunday Michelle’s sister was so ill that Michelle had to sleep over her house to take care of her. The plan was for me to take the girls to church and Michelle would meet us there.

Problem is that since Michelle wasn’t home Saturday night I lost all self-control and worked until 3AM. I woke up about the time church started.

I know God still loves me… but I’m not sure about my bible study teacher.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007


This past Thursday was exauhsting. I am working on adding a partner to my consulting firm. We spent time on Thursday on the phone with potential clients pitching ideas and our services. While I am way past capacity for any more work myself, I need to get Mike a good batch of business to work on.

Until this point I have not had to do any prospecting. Forgot how hard the work is.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

I Couldn’t Make This One Up

Allow me to set the stage. A nice party for a girl’s softball team- players, coaches and parents at one of the parents homes. Cookout. Beer. Firepit. Loud music. Screaming girls. Parents huddled together trying to have conversation. My wife was not feeling well and stayed home with my other 3 girls so I was batching it. Got it?

I was in conversation with my co-assistant coach John and his wife when another parent joined in. Her daughter was over with the rest of the girls waiting her turn for karaoke by the fire pit. I was enjoying my second incredibly good cheeseburger (cookout food tastes WAY BETTER when I don’t have to do the cooking) when the conversation turned spiritual.

We all talked a bit about the churches we attended and why when the new comer chimed in (I’ll call her Sue).

John and his wife attend Fellowship and I attend The Peoples Church in Franklin. Sue mentioned that she had attended both of those churches when she moved into the area but did not find it to her liking. She and her husband settled on a church that I had not heard of some distance out of town. We asked her why she didn’t like our churches, assuring her we would take no offense- each to their own.

She leaned in closer as the music got much louder...and the girls did too. Sue explained that she found our churches, and several others, to be just too…well…casual. She preferred a more formal church and liturgical service. When pressed to explain further she opened up. Turns out that she feels there is a lack of modesty and reverence in our more modern and emergent churches. Men in golf shorts and jeans, girls with skirts cut up to here, and low cut blouses ‘advertising to all the world what you’ve got.” She found it just too disrespectful for a church service.

Back to the stage-setting. As Sue is explain this to us, and leaning in close so I could hear her above the din, I noticed, though I tried my BEST not to, that her low cut and loose shirt billowed open 2 feet from my face. And there in all their glory were a couple things I don't think she realized she was 'advertising.'

At that exact moment it was her daughter’s turn on karaoke. As I averted my eyes and looked over Sue’s head at the girls, her daughter launched into a perfect version of Fergie’s “My Humps” belting out all the lyrics by heart, and dancing the Fergie music-video moves as if she had been practicing them for a year.

"My Humps" by the lovely and modest Fergie

What you gon' do with all that junk?
All that junk inside your trunk?
I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps (Check it out)

What you gon' do with all that junk?
All that junk inside that trunk?
I'ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
What you gon' do with all that ass?
All that ass inside them jeans?
I'm a make, make, make, make you scream
Make you scream, make you scream.
Cos of my hump (ha), my hump, my hump, my hump (what).
My hump, my hump, my hump (ha), my lovely lady lumps (Check it out)

See…I told you so.

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

Psst...Hey Dude...Got Any Lamb?

“Rich- can you drive to Fly TN and meet Stacy and I there to hand off the lamb? Its about halfway between your place and ours- we could meet in the parking lot of Fly Market. We can keep it for a day and have our developer get a quote done on the project by tomorrow.”

Does that sound strange to you? Did to me too. I am working on a project with a client that involves a super-secret new product for kids. The company is ThingamaKid (very cool video and music label making fun kids…ummm…video and music).

As I stood in the parking lot of a small market in Fly TN handing off a stuffed animal to another grown man like a secret drug deal, I noticed two good ole boys sitting on the market's front porch watching us intently.

I felt just a bit weird.

I haven’t heard or thought of Fly TN since Michelle and I first started to look for land to build on back in 2003. A friend and co-worker- Joey Elwood- owned 50 acres out there. He said it was for sale, and I told him I might be interested. Its about 30min south of where we are now in lovely Leipers Fork.

I came home from work and told Michelle we would add good ole Fly TN to our regular weekend drive-around list. Each weekend we spent a few hours checking out land for sale. She refused.

“Rich, there is no way I am going to live in a town called Fly. Period. Its gross.”

Scratch that one off the list.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Carnival of The Storytellers 11th Edition

Welcome to the June 11, 2007 edition of carnival of the storytellers.

A few days late this edition. It seems to be the norm for me now. I still enjoy blogging and this carnival as much as I ever did, but the time has gone. Left me. The early morning blog-time now stolen by work. Back to normal I guess.

This week 17 entries…and 10 made the cut. Elvis didn’t make it with his first post, but managed to tell a second story without gratuitous sex and language problems. In his rejected post he really out did himself using every one of the 7 forbidden words. Yikes.


A post that references both Princess Diana and Paris Hilton…and yet is still worthwhile to read. Hueina Su presents Practice Detached Involvement posted at Intensive Care for the Nurturer's Soul, saying, "Parenting is one "risky business" with very unpredictable ROI. Sometimes things just don't work out the way you want it, despite your best intention & efforts. What can you do to save your sanity and inner peace? I learned this the hard way back in my RN days..."

Jack Yoest presents Management Training, Military Recruiting: Too Easy? posted at Reasoned Audacity, saying, "If a task is too easy, men won't do it. A team will pull together and accomplish most any project if it is perceived as a "Peak Experience." But most management training and large organizations may not be challenging enough to develop teams or develop leaders. Naval writer Patrick O'Brien speaks to the challenge that men need. In the age of sail and tall masts, sailors climbing"

A sweet story of a little bunny, and like many children’s stories, a lesson woven in. Divya presents Bobby and the Magic Potion posted at inkpenny, saying, "A delightful little story on why bunny's have their teeth sticking out!"

Divya gives us another story for children, with an age-old recipe of a princess held hostage and a brave man to save her. Other than the impossibly to prounounce character names, a fairly interesting read for kids. The Mango Maid posted at inkpenny, saying, "A fascinating fantasy story for older children. Adventure, magic and love - it's got it all."

Here is a fun read about becoming a man through trial and tribulation. A man must pass the great test- fixing a flat tire on the side of the road. I have passed just such a test. A few times. Does that make me more of a man than Anmol Mehta? He presents Today I Finally Passed the Test and Have Officially Become a Man posted at Mastery of Meditation, Enlightenment & Kundalini Yoga, saying, "How I finally passed my big test and hints to help you pass yours."

It’s always a pleasure to read a post from Madeleine Begun Kane. Fun, well-written, and rife with husband vs wife humor that almost any couple can identify with. This post is especially endearing to me since a vacation for me without renting a speed boat to take out on the ocean is no vacation at all. It drives my wife nuts. Perhaps the most conflict we have had on a vacation was the day I used every ounce of persuasive skill I had to get her to go out on the ocean in 8 foot swells. Motor Boating Just Isn?t Our Speed (Humor Column) posted at Mad Kane's Humor Blog.

Perhaps one teacher in a hundred really touches you deep down. A special love, appreciation and loyalty develops. The day you grow up and leave, or they leave for the next chapter in their life is a very hard day indeed. Tony Masiello presents Positive Stories of Insight: Letting go of Mr. J. posted at Positive Stories of Insight, saying, "I'm just learning about carnivals. Thanks for reading my story."

International travel beyond the tourist zone. Someday I hope to travel like this, but doing it with a wife and 4 kids is out of the question. Vanalli presents Meeting people in Kanchanaburi posted at The Lost Boy, saying, "A story about a trip to Kanchanaburi in Thailand last year."

Wow! Loved it! What a great post. My favorite stories are those that show the amazing things that occur in life do to our actions- especially when we don’t find out those amazing things until years later. TherapyDoc presents Teaching posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, "You shouldn't always play by the rules, you know."

Elvis D presents Crippled posted at 365fiction. There is obviously much more to this story that needs to be told. I wonder if he ever fills out his short stories with more content?

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the storytellers using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Money Man

Tonight was the big night. The band I manage, the koo, has come to a point where they need a cash infusion. Just like any small business, cash is king, and these dudes have none.

New record to record in August, production, mixing, art, packaging, radio promotion, marketing and promotion, and a bit more. All for about $15,000. A band on a budget.

Dinner at Blackstone Brewery in Nashville with a money-man. Potential investor. I’m sure the band was hoping we would walk out with a signed check. I knew better. People that have money have it mostly for one reason. They’re smart. And the keep their money as long as they keep their smarts. Unless the person inherited money or won the lottery. This guy did neither- he's built several businesses from scratch.

Hand-crafted brew and a nice dinner did nothing to kill his brain cells. He wants a full business plan, income and expense plan, return on investment forecast, and due diligence done on the potential partners (record producer, radio promotions team, etc). Yay!!! More work for me!

Sarcasm aside, I love these guys and want to do all I can to help them. I will crack open the trustly Microsoft Excel and get to work.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Save A Life, Take A Life

It looks like my effort to save a young Red-tailed Hawk was not in vain. He (she?) faced fairly certain death hobbling along on the pavement at the Hillsboro Elementary & Middle School parking lot last Saturday. Relocating him to our peaceful 11 acre spread seems to have been the right thing to do.

We saw him yesterday sitting high atop our kids playground set keeping a watchful eye for field mice in the yard. I startled him and he flew to the trees nearby. As I watched him fly he looked much better than he had the day I found him.

As I headed out for the day today to catch a meeting I saw him once again on top of the swing set looking as content as a Hawk can look.

It felt good to have helped save the life of that little bird. As I pulled out onto our main road and hit full-speed I thought about how cool it would be if he hung around permanently and added to our rich array of wildlife in the DigitalRich Crew’s backyard.

Just then a large bird flew right into my windshield and died instantly.


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Sunday, June 10, 2007

Picture and Story 3

Have you ever plopped a couple of those tinny tokens in the ride at Chucky Cheese that takes that grainy bad quality picture of your cute kid and then spits it out on cheap thermal paper?

Your lucky if you make it home without it getting all crinkled in your wallet or pocket.

Imagine going through old photos and finding one in mint condition 9 years after the photo was taken.

Here is our girl K, 4 years of age, back in 1997.

Chucky Cheese is most certainly not a regular hang for us. It has the worst pizza in the world, horrible service, bad entertainment, and the play area is a massive bacteria farm. About the only time we have ever gone is when one of our girls friends had a birthday party there. And at each one we have one of these thermal photos.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Red Hawk Down

Saturday morning and a rare weekend business meeting. 8AM breakfast with a kids video company at the Vanderbilt Marriott (while the DigitalRich Crew is still asleep), and then a rushed drive home to get our girl A registered for Kids On Stage week 2.

Kids On Stage is a wonderful benefit of living in Music City- a week long camp training kids aged 7-17 in singing, dance, guitar, art, painting, digital photography, songwriting and much more. A had decided at the last minute she wanted to attend this year, and Gene Cotton, the event director, was kind enough to let her in with hardly any notice. We had exchanged email at 11PM on Friday night, and despite the fact that registration had closed about a month earlier, he said if I got to the school by 11AM the next day he would get A in for the week.

After making it to the school with about 5 minutes to spare, and getting A’s classes all set, I headed out to the parking lot for the quick drive home. A few feet from my car was a gorgeous young red-tailed hawk standing on the pavement. As I got closer he hopped away but didn’t take flight. I decided to try to approach it, and as he noticed I was coming right at him he took flight…barely.

His left wing appeared broken and he got only 3 or 4 feet off the ground before crashing in a rather ungraceful way. I approached again, and he lifted off, only to smack head-on into a light post. He fell to the ground dazed.

He was breathing hard, moving his head up and down very fast, and in all ways looked to be in his last few minutes of life. I didn’t know what to do. My sister-in-law is a veterinarian so I decided to try to catch the hawk and bring it to our birthday lunch for our daughter L that was to begin at our fave Mexican hangout Garcia’s. I grabbed a towel from the car and got close enough to the hawk to throw it over him and carefully lift him up. He became completely still and played dead so well a possum would be impressed.

I stared at him for a full minute and he didn’t move. I was convinced he was dead and so poked him with my finger. He blinked. I smiled.

I drove home with one hand on the steering wheel and the other gingerly holding him in the towel. By the time I got home I thought for sure he was dead again. He was amazing. I called the girls downstairs to the garage and everyone got a chance to admire him. Michelle called her sister Jackie and she told us there was nothing they could do. The hawk would either heal on his own and make it, or die of starvation. The only other option was to call the local wildlife refuge but they were closed on the weekend.

We set him down in the grass near our patio- at least it was far away from speeding cars in the school parking lot. It was a hot day so we doused him with water and put our little bird bath near him loaded up with fresh cold water. He hoped around a bit, then cried plaintively for his mother. I realized then I probably should have left him in the area I found him. No doubt his mother watched me whisk her little baby away and was none too happy about it. We had to head out to lunch so we decided to leave him there and Jackie would return from lunch with us to see the hawk. I figured I would take him back near the school after she looked at him.

When we returned he was gone. We searched the area but couldn’t find him anywhere. I hope he makes it.

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Friday, June 08, 2007


It all started innocent enough. Using relationships from my former job at EMI I made a call requesting help from a nice and lovely lady that used to work for me. I asked her if she could send a message out to some retailers regarding a client of mine- a message that was also- in my opinion- in the interest of my former employer.

Turned out to be a bit of a mistake.

I got a call tonight from the head of the division, a nice man that used to work for me, that took me to task for the incident. Turns out it ticked several people off, and it appeared to some that I had taken advantage of my relationships there to slide something by without normal review and approval processes.

A new policy has been instituted because of me. Now that I think about it, that's not too unusual.

I feel horrible, had no ill intent, and have sent a couple apology notes around to those affected. Ive been out of corporate life a year and a half now, and forgot how political each word and breath can be in business life. I am again disabused of any feelings I might have that I made the wrong decision to leave it.

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