Wednesday, August 30, 2006
So, a local county library started a "Food for Fines" program that is just excellent! Say you have an overdue library book. Bring in a can of food for it, the fine is forgiven. Not bad, eh? The food then goes to help food banks that were strained by the power outages.
Libraries are one of those local resources that are ignored treasures. Most folks haven't set foot in a public library for years. This is just shameful. By the Jefferson County libraries taking on this "food for fines" program, I hope it'll encourage library use AND replenish the food pantry stock.
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
With all the crap the media fed us after Katrina, a group of documentarians in D.C. went to N'Orleans to find the stories the media was NOT telling us. The good, heartfelt stories of people helping out their neighbors in a time of crisis. They focused this on the seniors at Franklin High, the fall semester they could not be in their own school, their return to the school in January of this year and all the usual class "stuff" that binds a senior's memories of their final year to a place.
What struck me most was one senior (now college freshman's) remarks: "If I could change Katrina, I wouldn't."
Anyone else feel like this young man? That, even through some of the worst experiences imaginable, good still rose to the surface and overshadowed the bad? I do. And I'll continue to choose to see the good in the bad. In this tragedy and in others. And props to Jordan Bridges, the young man who said just that, for having the maturity and insight to see Katrina as something that adds character to his life.
Monday, August 28, 2006
If you're in the state and have kids, you probably already know this stuff. Either way, it's a great example for other states to follow to help keep our little friends out of harm's way.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Yet, the part of the program that struck me more than the epidemic of AIDS among black Americans was the set of remarks made by one of the most recognized leaders of black America, Jesse Jackson. If you caught the show, I'd love to know your thoughts, especially on Jesse's comments. Leave your thoughts on the comments here! Thanks!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
As a kiddo in the early 80s, I can vividly remember watching tons of old cartoons from the 40s and 50s where smoking was seen and basically glorified. Since both my parents are non-smokers, I was made aware that smoking wasn't a good thing to do – even if cartoon characters did it.
I commend Turner Broadcasting for this, but really, isn't it about three decades too late?
Monday, August 21, 2006
We'll be releasing the 2nd edition of my autobiography,
On Oct. 27, I will hold a 45 min. program,
To see more about the new version of my autobiography,
DIRECTIONS TO THE BOOK RELEASE EVENT
Sunday, August 20, 2006
Friday, August 18, 2006
So, just bought a new laptop and had my fav computer company, NCD Tech, set it all up. I lovingly refer to this company as "the cavalry." Why? Because they are the reinforcements I call in when I need help. My technological 911. They did an excellent job, not only working on my new machine, but helping to iron out any problems that arise due to the screen reading software I utilize. So, I share this info with you and, if you're local, try out the company:
Thursday, August 17, 2006
bring a brown bag lunch
don't be afraid to dig things out of the trash
instead of taking a date to dinner, go for a walk on the beach or in the woods
Anyone else see this as a total slap in the face? The folks are about to lose their jobs and what idiot in the company thinks it's a good idea to now show workers how to save bread? Ridiculous.
What surprises me more than anything isn't the idea, but how many steps this has to go through. No where along the way did someone say, "Ya know, this doesn't seem real smart." Think of it: the board room to the wordsmiths, the graphic designers, the printers, the distribution, the passing out of the book to the employees. As if a potential pink slip isn't bad enough!
The sheer insensitivity of people is sometimes shocking. Okay, okay, often shocking.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
My degree from Missouri State University is sociology. I often call soc the most useless degree on earth. Yet, that's not true. I often compare soc to communications - no one will ever give you a job as a communicator nor a sociologist (unless you have a doctorate), but no matter what job you do, these social sciences will help you do that job better. Why? Because at the heart of every job, there is human interaction.
If you work with people in any capacity, those who go to the top are those who can communicate. Long live the useless social sciences! We may not make much moolah coming out of college, but we'll surpass your earnings later!
Monday, August 14, 2006
So, clients in the future should expect to meet my friend, editor and administrator, Marvelyne. She'll likely accompany me to programs where I'll be selling books and products at the back of the room, and, hey, she's my best friend, so I'll likely bring her along just so she and I can have fun!
Thanks to Southwest Airlines for making my life a bit easier (and more fun) with this program!
Sunday, August 13, 2006
One of the greatest character traits one can possess is the ability to shine in the face of crisis. In today's STL Post-Dispatch, there is a real touching article about one such man and the follow up, some 50 years later. Take a read!
Saturday, August 12, 2006
This is something I really haven't thought of. Maybe it's because I am not a hurricane relief worker. Okay, that IS probably it. What kind of emotional distress does a hurricane relief worker go through when finding rotting corpses in a home? How does he/she manage those feelings? Well, obviously the Dept. of Health and Human Services sees a need for these services. In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, the world was rallying to help. Now that that explosion of support has gone by the wayside, how do workers continue to do the work that still needs to be done? I don't know. But, now, at least there's a resource for them.
Friday, August 11, 2006
Thursday, August 10, 2006
Apparently, he started hitting the bottle again recently and, as a proactive measure, checked himself back into rehab. Props to him! I still think that checking oneself into rehab is one of the gutsiest things that can be asked of anyone. It takes a ton of humility and strength and bravery to admit... "yep, I'm outta control. I either admit it or I die."
Many addicts I've known say that for so long, they wouldn't admit they had a problem. Then, by the time they DO admit it, they're in so far over their heads they wonder if they can get out. Again, props to Robin Williams for not allowing himself to get in over his head a second time.
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
A few days ago, I was having a convo with a friend and the subject of ear wax candles came up. Do they work? Are they dangerous? Could I cut my visits to Dr. Hartman if I used these? If you're not familiar, ear wax candles are approx. the size of the taper candles you set on the table during a romantic evening. So help me God, you lay your head on a table, stick one of these minature torches thru a paper plate and into your ear. Then you light it on fire and let it burn down to a mere couple of inches. This process supposedly causes a vacuum that sucks wax and debris from your ear canal.
While Dr. Hartman had me in the chair, I asked his opinion on this freakshow medical technique. He admitted that he's never seen an ear canal before and after a candle treatment. Being a brave soul, I ask, "You want a guinea pig?"
Now, think of this: if I do this and it works, I may take a bite out of his business. Still, Dr. Hartman tells me the truth - that he's willing to experiment and maybe find a way to eliminate his services.
Friends, I think this takes a lot of integrity. He could have just suggested himself right out of a job. And yet, the patient's needs come first. Props to Dr. Hartman for being up front and honest AND for keeping his patient's needs at the forefront of all interactions.
Tuesday, August 08, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY (Aug. 8) - Reconstructive surgery is now done on both of the twins who had been joined at the midsection.
It took a total of 26 hours to separate and then do the other necessary surgery on the four-year-old girls. Both are now in side-by-side beds at the pediatric intensive care unit of a Salt Lake City hospital. They'll likely be hospitalized a month.
The twins were born with a shared kidney, liver and pelvis. They also had just one set of legs. Surgeons distributed the legs and organs among them.
Meyers said the surgery, while complicated, had not presented any major surprises for the team of six surgeons, two anesthesiologists, two urologists, one radiologist and more than 25 nurses and medical technicians.
But the days ahead will still be tough, she said.
Erin Herrin, 25, broke into tears and fell into the arms of her 26-year-old husband, Jake Herrin when the couple was told the surgery had been successful. Relatives applauded.
"I don't know that it's set in yet," Jake Herrin said. "We're not going to feel totally comfortable until they're out of the OR and everything's stable."
"And we can hold them," his wife added.
The couple, who also have a 6-year-old daughter and twin 14-month-old boys, said they were eager to tell the girls how brave they had been and how proud they have made the family.
Jake Herrin even cracked a few surgery jokes.
"Most people say, 'You made it through in one piece," he said. "We can say, "You guys made it through in two."'
Monday, August 07, 2006
Special thanks to Ginny, Ed, Karen and the multitudes
of young people who made this event such a great time!
Thanks for welcoming Carson and I into your conference!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
Woman Gets Stuck on Toilet, Suffers Burns
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (Aug. 3) - A woman who became stuck to a toilet seat in a shopping mall restroom was treated at a local hospital after paramedics used fingernail polish remover to free her, officials said.
The 53-year-old Council Bluffs woman suffered burns to her skin in the incident, which happened Wednesday, officials with the Fire Department said.
Investigators said they believe someone placed a cement compound on the toilet seat in the restroom at the Mall of the Bluffs.
Investigators say they are treating the case as an assault and vandalism.
The woman, who wasn't identified, told KETV in Omaha, Neb., that the burns are painful and that the incident was one of the most embarrassing moments in her life.
Friday, August 04, 2006
The long-awaited book release event for the second edition of my autobiography,
On this night, yours truly will do a 45 minute lecture and guitar/vocals performance where I'll play many of the songs and musical influences that helped form these books.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
While hate has never killed a person, DWI kills over 15,000 people in America every year. Look at that number again: 15,000. That is five times the number of people as were killed on 9-11. And where's our war on impaired driving? Where's our outrage and literally tens of thousands of hours of talkshow time devoted to something that actually kills people? It's no where, at least not when talking about ol' Mel.
Look, Mel Gibson was drunk as a skunk and driving over twice the speed limit when he was pulled over. Do we look at that? No! Not as much as the fact he lipped off to an officer about religious bigotry which hurt NO ONE except Gibson himself (i.e., hurt his name by making him look like a hater).
Let's get off this kick of looking at his views and start persecuting him for the real crime.
Wednesday, August 02, 2006
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
So, today I was looking around on the web site of one of my faorite singers, Michelle Shocked. In the liner notes of one of her albums, there reads a very formal and legal-sounding disclaimer about copying, re-distribution, selling, etc. etc. etc. and how it's all illegal. Then, after all that jazz, she has written, "But anyone who sings these songs is a friend of mine."
Sister Shocked, this is why I love you! How can an artist create but not share? Michelle Shocked knows what's up and I now have one less thing to fear when I play "Come Along Way" while out and about.