Category Archives: Personal

Creatures Of Our Generations

Earlier today I was officially introduced to Google Buzz on Ari Herzog’s blog Ari Writer. That link will take you to his synopsis on it, as well as a video showing what it’s all about. Very informative stuff.

The main thing about Google Buzz is that you have to have a Gmail account for it all to work. I don’t have a Gmail account. Truthfully, it’s never occurred to me to get a Gmail account. Not that I don’t understand how many people use it; I just have my own hesitations in even thinking about using something like that, and therefore I won’t do it.

What are those hesitations? It has to do with giving out too much of my information to one entity. I talk to many people who use things like this, and I notice that overwhelmingly most of the people are much younger than I am, at least 10 years younger. Not that there aren’t some people who are my age or older that aren’t using these things, but it’s not common.

I’ve been wondering more about these types of things, wondering why it seems to be going that route. At what point did the generations decide it was such a good thing to be sharing so much of their personal lives with so many other people? At what point did recognition of such a high magnitude become vogue?

Sure, I guess one could look at me and say “you share things about yourself through your blogging.” I’d have to agree with that, but at the same time, what I share is controlled. The skeletons are buried very deep; not that I have many of them, but there are things that I’ll never divulge anywhere. You know what’s even better? I’m the keeper of secrets for many more people, the one person they felt they could trust with their lives, and since loyalty is at the top of my list of morals, with trustworthy being second, those things are theirs and mine forever.

You don’t see that kind of thing these days, though. I hate to be the one saying this to you folks who are parents, but at some point your daughter, if she’s either attractive or is interested in some boy, is going to have a picture taken of her that she’s going to later wish she hadn’t done, if she hasn’t already done it. Truthfully, it might not even be her taking it, but she knows about it. That’s something I don’t think women from my generation would have jumped at; as it is, there are women my age who won’t even put a picture of themselves up on Facebook or Twitter, for fear that someone will recognize them, and will give very few personal details either. That second part I fully understand, but the first… I guess I get it to a degree, but I’m of the mind that once you establish yourself in some fashion online, putting your image next to it will keep others from thinking you’re someone else with that same name. Then again, I’m Mitch Mitchell in a world competing with Jimi Hendrix drummer, so my take on that would be a little different. lol

I remember being at a seminar in 2008 when one women in her early 30s was talking about a problem she was having with the school her 12 years old was going to. Seems she gave her 12-year old daughter a cell phone so she could call her mother whenever she wanted to talk to her, and whenever she wanted to talk to her daughter. A teacher took away her phone because the daughter was using it during a class, and the mother was livid, saying she had the right to talk to her daughter whenever she wanted to, even if it was during a class. I was stunned at that; when I went to school, parents weren’t even allowed in the classroom, then they were encouraged to come to the classroom after I was gone, then parents can now be arrested if their kids skip school and now parents want to talk to their kids while in the classroom?

Do you notice the differences in how people’s perceptions on things change depending on being in different generations? I’d love to hear it if you’ve noticed it in any way. Oh yeah; Happy Valentines Day!

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Some Random Sunday Things

I’ve been on quite a clip lately in writing this blog, my other blogs, other people’s blogs and all the articles I’ve been writing as well. I could have taken today off, and I kind of am because this is a quick hitter to mention a few things that have entertained or mentioned me lately.

The first is another online radio interview I did with Beverly Mahone of Boomer Diva Nation, the same group that named me as one of the top Baby Boomer Men of 2010. I thank her for that, and I hope to be able to live up to it for the year. Here’s the interview, which you can download as a MP3.

The second is both an honor and some confusion, I guess. I was listed on Not A Pro Blog by Jordan Cooper as one of the 20 Bloggers To Watch Out For In A Back Alley (at least I was; seems the actual Problogger bought this particular blog in April 2010, so the rest of this paragraph makes little sense, but I’m leaving it here anyway).

There’s a video that picks on 20 of us guys, but when he gets to me he compares me to Magilla Gorilla. I missed the reference, my wife isn’t happy for some reason (probably that “equating a black man with a gorilla thing), but I like that I got a mention anyway. I’d have commented on his blog but he has Disqus, and you know how I feel about that, so I figure he’ll see the trackback. His blog is pretty good, and I subscribe to it, so go ahead and check it out.

The third is just a bit of funny that I saw that I wanted to pop up here, though I’m not sure I’m really allowed to do. If I’m contacted, I’ll take it back down, but I’ll get a bit of fun out of it first. This is how you take someone’s power away when they don’t really have it to begin with. I wish I could have thought of saying stuff like this back to people when I was a kid; now I don’t have to deal with such things. I bring you Get Fuzzy:

Finally, some quick football picks. I’m obviously not the best guy at picking games, but I’ll have my fun with it anyway. In the AFC, I expect Indianapolis to win big, but I’m pulling for the NY Jets. They have to be the emotional pick in this game, and all week we’ve been evoking the memories of Broadway Joe here in NY state. In the NFC, man, I really don’t care since my Cowboys lost, but since I have to make a pick I’m going with New Orleans, though for no particular reason.

Indianapolis versus Minnesota would have way more back stories to tell, and the networks would love the Manning vs. Favre comparisons, and of course that game would easily draw in more visitors and make more money than a Jets versus Saints Super Bowl, but most of the world will watch no matter who’s playing, and I’ll have a legitimate betting interest in the game then (Scott, get ready!). By the way, the Jets prove why you play these games rather than just anoint the teams that should be there. No one saw the Jets making it this far with a rookie QB and new coach; fantastic stuff.

That’s it; a “short post” that ended up being more than 500 words anyway. Enjoy your Sunday y’all!

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My Top 12 News Stories Of The Decade

You know, doing lists like this one are hard because there’s just so many news stories to pick from, and at the same time there’s a lot to try to remember.

There will be a lot of top whatever stories coming for this first decade of the century, even though there will also be debate as to whether the decade ends on 12/31/09 or 12/31/10. In my mind, the first year of the millennium was 0, not 1, so 2009 is the end of this decade. Heck, my blog, my post, my rules. 🙂

Here’s the thing with my list. These are actually my top 12 topics as much as my top 12 news stories. By that, I mean it might have been one specific thing, or it may have been a lot of things that made the story so significant in 2009. Also, I’ll own up to this right now; this is obviously from an American perspective, though I tried to make all of my stories pertinent to the world in some fashion. I believe that only a couple are specifically American news stories, but in their own way they affected the rest of the world.

So be it; it’s another topic to generate conversation and controversy, and I’m betting it’s not going to get a lot of conversation. I think, overall, that I enjoy these posts more than other folks do, because they make you think more than just teach you something. I guess we’ll find out. So, without more ado, here we go:

12. Michael Jackson – Some people might wonder why Michael Jackson merits news. If there’s one person who was more than just an entertainer for decades, let alone one decade, it was Michael Jackson. The decade began with his last released studio album of his career, Invincible. Critics called it a failure; that “failure” sold more than 13 million copies worldwide, the best selling album of 2001, and won him a Grammy, to date his last. Then there was the interview with Martin Bashir that almost brought his career down. There was the child molestation trial, which exonerated him, and encouraged him to leave the country and never live here again. And finally, there was his passing this year, shockingly, in June, weeks before he was going to be doing his last live performances, and 2 months before his 51st birthday. He immediately became the number one best selling artist of the year, his funeral was the 3rd most watched funeral in history. He’s the only artist in history who had one album sell more than 100 million copies; that’s more than 50 million albums than anyone else. He’s won more Grammy’s, American Music Awards, and world music awards than any other person in history. He’s up for more Grammys this year. And he’s my favorite singer of all time. If he’s not one of the top news stories of the decade, then people have no concept of what news is.

11. Y2K – The beginning of the decade changed a lot of things without really doing anything. There was so much worry that big and small businesses went out, changed their computer systems, bought new electrical equipment, and had people sitting by waiting for the world to come crashing down at midnight wherever they were in the world. Some airlines even stopped flying until after midnight, just to make sure nothing happened. It was the biggest news story that ended up not really being news, but it was fun while it lasted.

10. Space – There was so much that happened in the past decade regarding outer space or the concept of how the universe was created that to not talk about it would be a fallacy. Scientists found the coldest place in the universe, and it turned out to be our own moon. We saw it snowing on Mars. There was water found in both places. There were planets found circling other stars in other galaxies in other solar systems. They landed a module on an asteroid; they put another one in the path of a comet. We saw some amazing pictures; we learned that there’s a black hole in the middle of every galaxy. They declassified Pluto as a planet, creating a major uproar. China joined the space race. We had another space shuttle disaster, this time as one was coming back from space, Columbia. And we started flying civilians into space, turning it from being primarily a government thing to more of a citizens event, meaning anyone with guts and at least $20 million of expendable cash can go into space. Man, think of what the next decade is going to bring us.

9. Fidel Castro resigns as Cuba’s president – Who can say they saw this one coming? Fidel has been in the crosshairs of America for almost 50 years, defiant as anything as he took his country into poverty but stuck to his principles. He finally stepped down “officially” as president of the country in 2008, and now his brother Raul is president. We’re not really sure who’s running the country, because Fidel is still sending out missives and commenting on world events, but Cuba is starting to progress, albeit slowly, and finally an American administration is talking with them about the possible thaw in relations. I guess soon we won’t be seeing any more of these Cuban cars.

8. Bush 2000 election – Man, was this ugly or what. For the first time in American history, a president was actually elected by the Judicial branch of the country rather than the people of the country. It all came down to Florida and 16 votes, Florida being the state where the president’s brother was governor. There were allegations of voter fraud and we all had to learn the term “hanging chads”, but in the end Bush won the presidency by a 5-4 vote in the Supreme Court while losing the popular vote to Al Gore by more than 540,000 votes. We all have to wonder how different things might have been if Bush hadn’t been in office then, or with both #3 and #1 on this list.

7. Social Media – This was probably the quickest change in history, and has brought the world closer together in a big way. When the decade started we only had newsgroups, some instant messaging, and most people still were on 52K dial up. By the end of the decade most of us are on some kind of high speed internet connection, are connected via Twitter or Facebook, blogs are the rage and are more than just diaries for the love lorn, and we have multiple business sites for different industries or blanket business ventures for everyone.

Many people around the world can connect via Skype for free; there’s video conferencing also. And, with the release of Windows 7, computing could become more interactive with touchscreen technology; yeah, we had it with those weird thick pens and green CRT monitors in the 80’s, but this is something much different.

I guess we could tie in text messaging and the demise, at least in my opinion, of instant messaging, but it’s probably modifying instead of just going away for good. Social media has taken over our lives, and as we migrate into Web 3.0, I’m sure there are going to be some amazing changes in the next decade.

6. Avian, West Nile, Swine Flu – As we deal with this supposed pandemic (lots of people are getting sick, but few are dying) known as H1N1, or swine flu, we have to remember that the decade started out with something known as west nile virus, then the avain or bird flu virus. We were suddenly looking at animals as the ends to our destruction, and people went nuts all around the world.

Of course, none of these compare to the ebola scare or bubonic plague, but the thing that’s made all of it much more scary is that the news gets out faster, there’s more news sources to keep pumping it into our consciousness, and therefore people are panicked beyond belief. I hate to think of what might be coming in the next decade.

5. World Recession – We’re dealing with this now, but anyone who had their minds open saw this one coming as early as 2006. Gas prices shot up, then jobs started leaving America and going to other countries, which meant high unemployment here and no buyers for products coming back into this country. Around the world jobs were lost, houses were lost, people started going hungry, stock markets crashed, and many banks started to close.

When things really got bad, it proved something I’ve been saying for a long time, that all that money that was being lost wasn’t being lost; it never existed. Bernard Madoff proved that, as did banks that lost their existence because those bad loans they made to people who didn’t see it coming came due, and no one had that kind of money to pay things back, and we all learned once again that the stock market in every country was overvalued.

Right now, “experts” are speculating that it could be as long as 2012 before things really get better. I’m a bit more optimistic than that, but that’s because I believe in people, and believe that, somehow, world governments are going to step up and help people and businesses do the right thing. And what is the right thing? I haven’t written that post yet on my finance blog, but it’s coming.

4. 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake/Tsunami – This was the day we all learned where Phuket was, and that it really existed, but rich people have always known. Within hours of a massive underwater earthquake, a killer tsunami came through the Indian Ocean and killed more than 230,000 in 11 countries. It was scary because a lot of it was caught on tape, and we could see the devastation occurring before our eyes. It had a magnitude between 9.1 and 9.3, the second worst earthquake in recorded history, fourth largest since 1900, lasted nearly 10 minutes, and caused earthquakes in other areas around the world. We really saw what nature can do to us and there’s nothing we can possibly do to keep it from happening anywhere.

3. War – I thought about selecting one specific war, but I decided that two wars in particular had to be talked about. Yeah, there were some other skirmishes here and there, but the war in Afghanistan and Iraq are the two biggies because each involved more than two countries. Both, in their own way, were related to the #1 news story of the decade, in my opinion, although in different ways.

One seemingly had an air of legitimacy to it; the other seemed more vindictive, with false information generated to convince us and the world to join forces and go after Saddam Hussein. I don’t weep for him, as Bush Sr. should have taken him out when he had the chance, and in my opinion, would have lessened the possibility of the first attack on the Twin Towers of NY in 1994 and other attacks around the world. The problem now is that we’re still conducting both wars, with little sign that either one is going away, although there’s a supposed time frame for each one to wind down. For two wars that seemingly were resolved so quickly, they’re turning out to be really costly and the loss of life almost doesn’t seem worth it anymore. Almost, that is, because terrorism has changed and the world has changed. But we also have to acknowledge that the war has probably contributed to the recession.

2. President Barack Obama – When Rep. John Lewis of Georgia announced he was switching his support from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama, he was asked why. His answer summed up the entire election: “It’s hard to go against a movement.” The campaign of Barack Obama was more about the dream and vision people had of America than anything else. My dad would have been proud.

Every one who supported him had something they wanted. I supported him because he was a black candidate; I’ll admit that, mainly because he wasn’t my first choice, and I didn’t decide I was voting for him until he won the Democratic primary. For once, I wasn’t voting against someone, but for someone, though that was my only reason (otherwise, I would have been voting against someone, so my vote wouldn’t have changed). Some people supported him because they thought he would end the war. Some people voted for him because they believed he’d get a national health care plan pushed through. Some people voted for him because they thought he’d support gay rights.

Whatever it was, it was a movement, and it was euphoric the night he won, and again on the day he was elected. Right now, he’s proving why most of us would never want to run for president; it’s ugly, for sure. But for one night and one day, he changed history, and over the course of this year, he’s helped the United States raise its standing in the world, helped bring some peace in international relations, and I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt. For now, that is.

1. 9/11/2001 – What really needs to be said? This was the biggest act of terrorism in history. More than 3,300 people were killed on this day. We saw the attacks on the Twin Towers, the second one live. We saw the remnants of the attack on the Pentagon. We later learned about the plane crash in Pennsylvania, when a bunch of heroes decided they’d rather down the plane, Flight 93, and give up their lives instead of allowing a bunch of stupid hoping-to-be martyrs crash their plane into another building, supposed aiming for the Capitol or the White House, which they’d have never gotten close to because, finally, military planes had been scrambled and were ready to shoot down any plane approaching Washington D. C.

That one act of terrorism defined the decade, setting the stage for most of what came afterwards around the world; war, recession, and more terrorism from extremists who think they’re actually winning. It was the first time the Stock Exchange was closed, for six days no less, and other stock markets around the world closed. Planes didn’t fly for 3 days or so. It was an attack on America, but the world felt it and still feels its effects, and I still have this image of Arafat laying on a table giving blood that was supposed to be sent to America. How weird was that? And yeah, 8 years later I’m still mad.

There you are, my top news stories of the decade. Did you see anything there that you want to comment on? Is this one too long for you? Luckily, you can listen to it if you want, so lay back, close your eyes, and enjoy it. Then comment; I’m sure some of you have something you think should be on the list.

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Thanksgiving; My Last Favorite Holiday

As a kid, I used to enjoy holidays mainly because it meant we had days off from school. By the age of 13, there was only one holiday that I actually cared about anymore.

That holiday was Thanksgiving. I cared about it even more than Christmas because it was the only time of the year that my mother would make her cornbread dressing. Actually, as a kid, it was also the only time of the year we would have turkey, but turkey didn’t mean as much without the dressing.

Why not Christmas? Sure, on Christmas you get all sorts of gifts, but when you think about it, you’re always getting gifts. You get gifts for your birthday. And, being an only child, your parents are always giving you stuff here and there. Actually, I think most kids probably get gifts, or other things during the year, and don’t think about it as anything special. I have always thought that the stuff I got was pretty special because I figured my parents didn’t ever really have to give me anything. So, Christmas was never really anything all that special; and no, I’m not religious either.

So, it was always Thanksgiving for me. The family would get together, and, odd enough, it was often the only meal of the year that all of us would sit at the same table for dinner. How strange is that? All of us have always had our own TV’s, and most of the time we watched different shows, so we rarely shared meals with each other either.

The last Thanksgiving all of us shared with each other, my dad knew he was really sick and probably wouldn’t make another one. It was my dad, mother, grandmother, wife, and myself. I wasn’t feeling all that thankful because I felt like I knew what was coming also; lung cancer, diabetes and renal failure doesn’t give one many chances for a full recovery. My mother really went all out for the meal, and for one day, Dad didn’t worry about sticking to this strict died they’d put him on. We had a blast on that day, and forgot everything for a few hours.

After that, things were never the same. I brought my mother and grandmother to my house a couple of years. Mom made her dressing only one more time. One of those years, Mom went on a trip out of town with some group, and my grandmother stayed with us, but we didn’t do anything overly special.

Now, Thanksgiving doesn’t mean as much to me anymore, and, since it was the last holiday I cared about, it means that I have no more holidays that I care about at all. I see it as a special day whenever I see my mother or grandmother, which means I don’t need one day to call a special day. Mom has stated she’s never making the cornbread dressing again, so I’ll never have that in my life again, as I never learned how to make it.

Last year we had food from Cracker Barrel, which was okay. This year we had food from Boston Market, much tastier. It’s easy food to eat and heat up, and it seems that’s the way we’ll be going from this point on. The day either my mother or grandmother aren’t here anymore, if they go before me (and that’s not guaranteed), nothing else will change because my wife and I know we can get food elsewhere, since we don’t know how to cook a real Thanksgiving meal either.

What we will miss is the opportunity to sit and have a meal with Mom or my grandmother; that will be sad for sure. But it won’t have to be Thanksgiving anymore.

So, I’m thankful for every day from this point on; but Thanksgiving itself… I wish everyone else a happy one, and of course I wish happiness on you every other day of the year also.

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34 Questions

The other day I asked whether we could consider ourselves good marketers if we couldn’t get our friends and family to sign up for our stuff, or to subscribe to our blogs and the like. Tonight, I’m going to be somewhat thankful that most of them don’t subscribe.

Many of us don’t dare take the opportunity to answer questions about ourselves to begin with, let alone in person. Our friend John has been doing a series of questions that he’s been answering on his blog John Dilbeck & Friends over the past few weeks, and I’ve been examining myself along with him.

Tonight, I learned about a blog from Kristi’s Fetching Friday post on her Kikolani blog that had posted 33 Questions that actually turned out to be 34 questions, a blog called Dragosroua. I decided to go ahead and answer these questions based on how I’m feeling at the present moment after a pretty good Friday; honesty is my thing, even as it pertains to myself.

I doubt many folks will want to try this one, but hey, I have no fear:

1. What Do You Do For A Living?

I do a lot of things: health care finance consultant, internet marketing consultant for small businesses, executive coach, leadership/management/diversity trainer, professional speaker

2. Who Do You Love?

My wife of course 🙂

3. Do You Have Enough Money?

Is there such a thing?

4. Are You Healthy?

I’m better now, but overall, I guess I’m just above average

5. Do You Think You Are a Good Person?

I believe I am; could always be better, I suppose

6. How Old Are You?

50

7. Who’s Your Best Friend?

Not sure I have one; that’s a shame

8. What’s Was Your Childhood Dream?

I wanted to be a cowboy; do kids think about that anymore?

9. How Often Do You Laugh?

Not as much as I should

10. What Makes You Smile?

The original question said to list 10 things; all I can think of are my wife, babies, puppies and chocolate

11. Who’s Your Most Dangerous Enemy?

me

12. Where Do You Live?

Liverpool, NY

13. Do You Think You’re Strong?

As I come to grips with my mortality, no

14. What Was The Most Important Thing You’ve Done So Far?

Wrote a book on leadership

15. What Was The Most Stupid Thing You’ve Done So Far?

I’m not sure; lots of stupid, but nothing colossal

16. Do You Love Yourself?

No, I wouldn’t say that

17. What Do You Fear The Most?

failure

18. What Is Your Favorite Word?

Man,…

19. When Was The Last Time You Cried?

end of September

20. What Is The Best Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

get a big contract worth a lot of money

21. What Is The Worst Thing That Could Happen To You Right Now?

not getting a new contract of any kind

22. Picture Yourself In 5 Years From Now

Not sure how to answer this one

23. Do You Regret Anything?

too many regrets to figure out

24. What’s The First Thing You Do In The Morning?

check email

25. What Are You Thinking Just Before Going To Bed?

nothing; if I do, I don’t sleep

26. What Was The Highest Point You’ve Ever Been To?

I was on Mount Fuji as a kid, but I have no idea at which point

27. If There’s One Thing In Your Life You Want To Change Right Now, What Is It?

I’d like to be more sure of things

28. What Are You Proud Of?

I’m proud that I’ve actually lasted in business for 8 years on my own

29. Sum Up Your Life In One Sentence

Lots of lost potential, but still a new opportunity every single day

30. Name The Thing That Annoys You The Most

making mistakes

31. What Is Your No 1 Question To God?

since I don’t believe in god, I have none

32. Do You Have Secrets?

Well, who doesn’t have secrets?

33. What Makes You Laugh?

Seeing little kids trying to figure things out and puppies doing almost anything

34. Are You Happy?

No, but I’m working my way towards it

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