All posts by Mitch Mitchell

I'm an independent consultant in many fields, so I have a lot to share.

King Holiday #24

This is the 24th year that there’s been a holiday commemorating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s only the 10th year that every state in the union has celebrated it, as South Carolina, obviously the bastion for racial diversity (sarcasm; after all, they still fly the confederate flag), held out until that year. Actually, most people don’t know this one, but the city of Hiroshima, Japan, also celebrates the King holiday, being the only city in the world outside of the United States that celebrates a U.S. holiday.

You know, Dr. King never wanted to be a civil rights leader. He just wanted to be a small country preacher. But he stepped up to the plate and did what people needed him to do. He was beaten, kicked, and thrown in jail. He had his house fire bombed. He was stabbed in New York City. He was followed by the FBI and put on Edgar J. Hoover’s hate list. He both feuded with then lauded by Malcolm X. He led marches, gave speeches, and inspired a heck of a lot of people to positive, non-violent actions that conquered Jim Crow and segregation. And he took a bullet for it while supporting a cause that had nothing to do with civil rights, but the overall rights of others.

The past few years I’ve posted a video and some sound files on the King holiday, either on this blog or my business blog. One of the things proven by my last post, where I had to go back and correct all these videos, is that those things can easily disappear, and suddenly the message is missing. Instead, I’m going to change up just a little bit. I want to quote a passage from a speech he gave on July 4th, 1965 at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA. If you’d like to read the entire thing, you can check it out here. Here’s the two portions I want to share; happy birthday Dr. King:

“Now ever since the founding fathers of our nation dreamed this dream in all of its magnificence—to use a big word that the psychiatrists use—America has been something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against herself. On the one hand we have proudly professed the great principles of democracy, but on the other hand we have sadly practiced the very opposite of those principles.

But now more than ever before, America is challenged to realize its dream, for the shape of the world today does not permit our nation the luxury of an anemic democracy. And the price that America must pay for the continued oppression of the Negro and other minority groups is the price of its own destruction. For the hour is late. And the clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now before it is too late.

And so it is marvelous and great that we do have a dream, that we have a nation with a dream; and to forever challenge us; to forever give us a sense of urgency; to forever stand in the midst of the “isness” of our terrible injustices; to remind us of the “oughtness” of our noble capacity for justice and love and brotherhood.”

and

“Are we really taking this thing seriously? “All men are created equal.” And that means that every man who lives in a slum today is just as significant as John D., Nelson, or any other Rockefeller. Every man who lives in the slum is just as significant as Henry Ford. All men are created equal, and they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, rights that can’t be separated from you. Go down and tell them, You may take my life, but you can’t take my right to life. You may take liberty from me, but you can’t take my right to liberty. You may take from me the desire, you may take from me the propensity to pursue happiness, but you can’t take from me my right to pursue happiness. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights and among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (Yes, sir)”

Life Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Price – $16.11








Videos On This Blog, 2007 – June 2008

You know, when I started out on this quest to link to posts of mine that have videos on them, it never even entered my mind that I might have gone to the video vault as often as I seem to have gone. Once I got through February 2008, I realized that I was going to have to break this up somehow, otherwise this post could have been a major mess. Therefore, I decided to go only through June 2008, and since this blog began December 2007, that’s included as well.

It’s funny, but early on my posts were relatively short, so sometimes I only had one paragraph and then a video. I think I’ve come a long way. Still, I wanted to have a link to videos because every once in awhile I’m looking for something, and, well, I think some videos are just entertaining as anything. And who knows, you might find something in here you like and want to check out. So, here are the links to the videos, with a brief take on what the post was about:

I Still Believe – I love Mariah Carey and I love the song in this music video, even when Brenda K Starr did it.

Stout Hearted Men – If you ever watched Wonder Years, you probably died laughing when this scene played surrounding the boys glee club.

Martin Luther King Jr – The Finale – this was Dr. King’s final speech before he was assassinated the next day; timely since tomorrow is the King Holiday.

Turn The World Around – Harry Belafonte & the Muppets did this as the last song when he was on the Muppet Show. Turns out to also be the song performed by Belafonte at Henson’s funeral.

Lizards dancing to Thriller – This was my favorite commercial during the 2008 Super Bowl, which figures since it used a Michael Jackson song

Blame It On The Boogie – A Jackson’s music video and song I happened to like.

I’m Every Woman – Chaka Khan music video.

Amp – I questioned whether this commercial during the Super Bowl was effective advertising or not.

Web Design Rap – I thought this was a pretty creative educational video about web design.

Pulp Fiction? – the Muppets take on Pulp Fiction; got an idea how much I love the Muppets?

The Oil Crisis – this is a pretty long video by a guy who says he has inside information that oil prices are being falsely manufactured to kill us with high prices.

Push It – I started out talking about human beatboxes, then decided to put in the full Salt ‘n Pepa video that the Amp commercial bit a chunk off.

A Video Parody – if anyone remembers when that goofy kid got on video and cried while telling the world to leave Britney Spears alone, they you’ll like this video, which was a parody of that one telling people to leave PCs alone during the Vista disaster & Mac commercial period

2 Legit 2 Quit – MC Hammer’s video, my favorite video & song of his.

I Want You Back – my favorite song of all time by my favorite group of all time with my favorite entertainer of all time; ’nuff said.

Never Saw It Coming – a funny video involving pandas.

Art Poster Print Michael Jackson The King of Pop By Wishum Gregory Print Size 24 x 20 inches. Image Size 24 x 20 inches.

Price – $35.00






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Are You A Lurker Or Participant In Life?

A few days ago I went in what I consider a minor rant about Ning and how it didn’t seem to be all that active or engaging. Dennis wrote a comment asking if I was disappointed in Ning or its “lousy” (yeah, he used a different word) members.


Lurker
Lurker

It got me to thinking more about things I’ve mentioned here and read elsewhere as it regards Facebook and Ryze and Twitter and LinkedIn and even blogs. The common thread with all of these things and with things in general is that there are a lot more people hanging out around the fringe, aka lurking, than there are participating.

It’s an interesting phenomena that deserves to be looked at in a few different ways. Let’s start with this question; why? I personally think it’s been indoctrinated into most people throughout history; it’s almost our instinct to kind of watch and take things in rather than to actually get into things. This doesn’t mean if you’re not forced or encouraged to participate you won’t; in the rough and tumble caveman days, it took a group of hunters to bring down prey sometimes. What it means is that you might not have been a participant in making the plans. These groups usually had one or two members who did the planning and lead the assault, and everyone else just came along to help out; after all, they wanted to eat also.

That happened in history, and it happens now. Most meetings you go to will have a few people who do most of the talking, while everyone else is pretty much just there. Unless something is talked about that specifically draws them out, most people will stay silent, barely paying attention, until the meeting is over so they can go back to their normal jobs and feel like they participated in some fashion. But it’s not participation just being somewhere; it’s lurking.

There’s nothing wrong with lurking, and if you’re a lurker on this blog I appreciate having you here. However, I have to ask if there’s much productivity going on if you’re lurking without participating? Last week I talked about going to a goal setting retreat. There were 5 of us that participated; I probably talked at least 35% of the time. I didn’t go out to be a dominant person in the room. What I did want to make sure of is that I got my money’s worth, even though it was free. In other words, if I was going to commit 4 hours of my time to something when I could have been using that time doing something else, I was going to make sure I wasn’t just sitting there not trying to become a better person. After all, I do have goals to reach, and not a really clear direction on how to get to all of them sometimes, and any assistance I can get I’ll take.

I’m also the kind of person who doesn’t really like sitting back and letting someone else kind of control what I’m going to be doing or how I might participate in something. I don’t belong to a lot of groups in the “real” world, but I do belong to some. I’m on the board of an organization called Arise, which works with disabled people to help bring them a better quality of life as well as give them equal opportunities to do what everyone else does. But I’m not just on the board; I’m the head of the finance committee, heading into year 3. And, when the entire board gets together, I always make sure I get my opinion out, waiting my turn of course, because I want people to know where I stand. Shrinking violet; not me!

I’m also on the board of an organization called the Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York, a group geared towards addressing the issues that independent consultant’s face. I run their website and write the monthly newsletter and help put the meetings together. I believe that I’ve been instrumental in helping to change the focus of many of our meetings to get closer to what our stated mission is, making sure I give my opinion on things once again.

And finally, I’m the president of an organization called Mid York Medical Accounts Management, though I just took back the presidency. I’ve been on the board for 12 years or so, and this will be my 3rd go round as president. I also created the template page (I’ll be gifting them their own website one of these days), and I’ve written the newsletter for those same 12 years as well. As president, I either get the speakers for our meetings or help get them, and try to make sure that all aspects of the organization are taken care of in some fashion.

Lurker? Me? No way! At least most of the time. For instance, I’m a member of the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, as I live in a town called Liverpool. It has a lot of members, and I’m not on the board, nor have I ever tried. Because of this, I find that there are a lot of events I don’t go to because they don’t interest me. I’m not happy with their website; it should have been revamped 3 years ago, and they’re going through a revamp right now that’s taken almost a year, and little change has been made so far. I’m not crazy about the format of the newsletter. In other words, I have gripes, but because I’m not an active member of the board, basically I’m at the whim of those people who are on the board. In essence, I’m kind of a lurker with this group, and thus I don’t really enjoy it as much as I probably should; I certainly need to be working harder on using it for my own local business purposes.



Lurker

When I’m a lurker, I’m not a happy guy. I need to participate in something in some fashion, otherwise I might end up going away. That’s why I participate by writing this blog and looking for other blogs to participate on. That’s why I hate things that get in the way of my participating on blogs, such as Disqus and Intense Debate and Blogger and any other blogs that want me to sign up to play the game (and there’s starting to be more of these things). I’d rather drop most of them and get on with participating in places that engage me and welcome me in better.

Why do I vote? Because I believe if one doesn’t vote then they have no right to complain about anything. It’s also a bit more personal for me; people died so I would have the right to vote, and I’m going to honor what they gave up, whether anyone else cares or not. I’m not a total participant when it comes to politics, but I’m not a lurker either. I at least know what’s going on, and make informed voting choices when I can (although some of these local elections for small office; how the heck are we supposed to know who these people are most of the time when even the newspapers don’t tell us who they are? A different rant for another time).

Okay, time to close; this is turning into War and Peace. I ask you this question; why do you believe more people lurk rather than participate? What makes you participate if that’s what you do? And how do you see whichever action is the norm for you making your life either better or worse? Inquiring minds want to know.

Bulova Diamonds Gold Ladies Watch

Price – $149.99


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I Love Natalie!

I don’t know how I found this young lady, but I can’t get enough of her videos. Her name is Natalie, and she either lives in Australia or New Zealand as far as I know. I know what got me to watch the first video; she’s just the cutest thing. But she’s funny as sin. She has a great take on a lot of things, and most of them are things that I believe we think of all the time and either just let them go or wonder the same thing she does.

If you decide to look it any of the three video below, you’ll find that she’s very creative as well. She’s figured out how to put multiple copies of herself into the video, and she loves to dress up as well. Sometimes she even has her mother in a video, and I don’t know who the guy is, or whether it’s multiple guys, but she’s not always alone. Near the end of each video, she will also show pictures of people she’s run into who want to have their picture taken with her, and then she does a brief rundown of some of the comments are videos of received.

You want to think about how powerful YouTube can be? According to her statistics, there’ve been more than 26 million views of her videos. Someone’s got to put this young lady on TV!

Anyway, I’m sharing three videos that I thought were particularly funny. Warning, some of them might have a bad word here and there, so view it first before you decide to share with the kids. I don’t know if you will find are as funny as I think she is, but I’m betting Sire’s gonna say she’s cute enough to at least watch. Oh yeah; she also makes more than $100,000 a year with her YouTube page, so that might encourage some of you wannabe internet stars. lol

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera / Aqua

KODAK Zi8 Pocket Video Camera

Price – $179.95






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Are You Obsessed With Numbers?

Let me tell you a truth. I am one of those people who sometimes is obsessed with numbers. There are some numbers that I notice all the time, and some other numbers I don’t pay much attention to. I’m probably like a lot of other people, but I’m owning up to it.

I do come by this honestly, though. As a kid around eight years old, I started counting the number of letters in sentences that either I would say or sentences that sounded pretty interesting. I’m obsessed with the number three, so after counting how many letters there are in a sentence, and then start dividing that number by three to make sure that everything comes out as being divisible by three. If it’s not, in my mind I start finding interesting little rules for eliminating letters or adding more letters. I always thought I would grow out of it, but obviously more than 40 years later I’m still doing it.

Anyway back to being obsessed with numbers. The two numbers on most obsessed with these days, as it applies to being online, is my Feedburner subscriber count and my Alexa number. Obviously, since I don’t have any page rank on this blog, I’ll pay any attention to it. I don’t pay any attention to it on any of my other websites, except for my anti-smoking website, which I’m trying to make more prominent so that, hopefully, and start making some of that great Adsense cash. Yeah, I know that page rank doesn’t mean the site will make any more money, but I’m always obsessing about that site wondering if I’d done enough to interlink it so that it’s SEO friendly.

Back to the site. On Monday, Feedburner, over there to the right, said that I had 121 subscribers. That was slightly down from the 125 that I’ve been hanging around, I wasn’t overly worried about it. Today it’s showing the number 85; what’s up with that? I mean really went to check out Google Analytics to see if traffic is dropped. It turns out the traffic is holding steady. Now I’m really confused; what could have caused the number job so far? At this point, I figure it is what it is, or it could be a glitch in Feedburner. Either way, there’s not really anything I can do about it. So I’m telling my mind to calm down and move on. I hope that works, because I don’t like lying to myself about things that I know are bothering me. It’s just strange; is anyone else noticing any fluctuating numbers in their FeedBurner accounts?

Now onto Alexa. Now I’ve been taking on Sire as regards his growth in Alexa over the past couple of weeks. Controversy sells, and he did a great job of starting a couple of posts that really got things going for him. He’s been on a roll over their ever since, and is Alexa number has been steadily looking better. One of my goals for this year has been to get my Alexa ranking under 100,000 also. But it’d been sitting around 135,000 at least a few months, and I figured well maybe that’s just where it’s going to be. So imagine my surprise when I looked at it today and see that it is down around 128,000. How interesting is it that my Alexa rank is getting better and my FeedBurner is going down? Aren’t numbers the strangest thing?

Of course, the numbers I should be obsessing about are the income numbers. And I’ve just about income just as much as anyone else does, but I haven’t obsessed as much about it on this blog. I am starting to get to that point where I think it would be a nice thing for me to start monetizing this blog a bit better. Actually, I think the blog is monetized well enough, but I probably need to kick it up a gear to at least generate a sale here and there every once in a while. After all, how my going to achieve my “problogger” status if I don’t? 🙂 I’ll try not to obsess over that penny I’ve made today on this blog through Adsense; I wonder where that came from?

Okay y’all be truthful, is anyone else obsessing over numbers that they know they shouldn’t be obsessing over? Let’s talk about it, kind of a group therapy session. Maybe we’ll all feel cleansed when it’s over. 😉

Southwest Cooking 2010 Wall Calendar

Price – $10.99






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