A Last, Quick Marketing Tip For 2011…

To brand yourself and your business on any or all of the social networks you need to provide three essential components of identifying information.  They are: business name, photographs of self, and filling out your social network profile. After these three items are completed to the utmost degree and quality, you identity is established and constantly revealed. This happens by the messages and ads you send to people, how you react and respond to messages sent to you, and the manner in which you treat customers and answer their needs and demands. 
Is your business name original, catchy, compelling, interesting, and applicable to the service or products you sell?  Are your pictures on Facebook attractive, upscale, clear, and represent you in a positive light?  Is your profile on Linkedin thorough and complete as well as written in clear, concise, accurate, and compelling English? Is the style of writing clear and understandable and written in a manner to impress and convince? And is the tone of your writing cogent and clever and maybe even conversational and friendly? For let’s not forget, social networking is primarily about meeting people and making friends. A conversational and friendly tone and even some humor can go a long way to make people like you, want to network with you, then read your ads and consider buying what you have to sell.  Cold and impersonal might work in law offices and accounting firms. But not on Facebook or MySpace or Twitter. Not even if you’re selling caskets and cemetery plots!

“The Voice”

There might be but a handful of famous singers and male vocalists to whom I would confer the title, “The Voice.” Roy Orbison is definitely one of them, with a remarkable singing voice and vocal range off the charts. And a master at singing (and writing!) torch songs. Here’s one that perhaps many of you have never heard before. Goodness, it’s a beaut, and I can’t imagine listening to anyone other than Roy Orbison singing it. What would be the point?

LINK TO SONG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eohOfg5F1o&feature=fvwrel


Artist: Orbison Roy
Song: The Comedians
Album: The Essential Roy Orbison

I sat there alone upon the ferris wheel
A pastel colored carriage in the air
I thought you’d leave me dangling for a little while
A silly twist upon a childish dare

Below I saw you whispering to another man
Who held the lever that could bring me down
He’d stop the world from turning at your command
It’s always something cruel that laughter drowns

And I’m up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians

I can hardly hear the music from the carousel
The wind picks up, the carriage starts to sway
As one by one the lights go out, it’s closing time
I see you take his hand and walk away, walk away

They say that you will always be the last to know
They say that all that glitters is not gold
It’s not just that you’re never coming back to me
It’s the bitter way that I was told

And I’m up while the dawn is breaking
Even though my heart is aching
I should be drinking a toast to absent friends
Instead of these comedians



I hope everyone of merit and goodness enjoyed a wonderful Christmas yesterday, and it was filled with lots of love and friendship and good times and obscene food.  And maybe a few tasty stiff drinks, too, for those of age and who know how to drink and drive others to having a great time the mature and responsible way.  But enough political correctness and sensitivity disclaimers. 

I believe the world is a better world today than it was a hundred years ago or even fifty years ago.  But there are still evil in this world and lots of bad folks out to ruin things and destroy all that has been made civilized and better.  For them, I wish their destruction and an end to.  For all of the rest of us–especially those who need help and compassion and charity and understanding, I wish for them strength and courage and a 2012 that will smile upon them.

For all of us, I wish a better world and one where goodness triumphs over evil as never before.  And may truth and justice also majorly prevail, and love and kindness lead the way.  If I fail to convince anyone of these things in an obvious and outspoken way, then maybe I can accomplish it in this strangely subtle yet hyperbolic manner…in this poem it is now my pleasure to share with you.  I trust in its hyperbole and metaphor it may evoke the call to brave endeavor that is crucial to standing up against evil and dedicating ourselves to the difficult task of positive change.



Long I have traveled dungeons
and waded through
the cosmic seaweed of the sea,
and stood a little taller
for not having become their slave.
For if I had to confront my adversaries
who in anger travel on,
I would place them inside a tomb
and bury them with peace.

Years I have journeyed ruins
and struggled over
the cosmopolitan wastelands of the heart,
and leaped a little higher
for not having become their warrior.
For if I had to confront my antagonists
who in bitterness and cynicism journey on,
I would dangle them from a scaffold
and strangle them with hope.

Centuries I have wandered deserts
and survived amidst
the planetary refuse of the mind,
and been a little stronger for
not having become their victim.
For if I had to confront my opposition
who in doubt and disbelief wander on,
I would tie them to a burning stake
and cremate them with truth.

And eons I have threaded purgatory
and endured beyond
the universal garbage of the soul,
and celebrated a little longer
for not having become their god!
For if I had to confront my enemies
who in hate and resentment thread on,
I would stand them up against a wall
and execute them with love.

If I had to confront my indifferent foes
who in selfishness and greed accompany me on,
I would destroy them with a handshake
and murder them with a smile!

You Should…

‘Tis the ultimate holiday season, the one for which everyone always intones: “Goodwill to all people [men],” and the time to be especially caring and compassionate and charitable.  Three Big Cs are these three special words.  Add the Big L word (love) and the Big F word (friendship) to them and you pretty much have cornered the market on what the Christmas season is supposed to imbue–along with the fact that it was and is the birthday of this guy who was a prophet who lived some two thousand years ago and who many believe was and is “the” son of God.   

Keeping it all in prospective and of course desirous of avoiding unnecessary controversy, I have no problem celebrating the whole holiday season and December 25th for all these sentiments and good meanings, especially in consideration of the Big L word and that gentle prophet who, no matter what you believe or say, was a man of love and peace.  In any event, here is a poem I wrote a few years ago that accentuates some of these goodwill to all people qualities, I do believe.  I hope they are qualities you share and this is a poem you enjoy reading.  And of course, you experience a wonderful Christmas!



It doesn’t matter if your heart is misunderstood
Or if the love you give others does not outlive them.
Though you have been cheated and betrayed and seen no good,
When someone begs for forgiveness–you should forgive them.

And it doesn’t matter if your heart feels misbegotten,
Or if the love you give others is years above them.
Though you have been lost and deserted and forgotten,
When someone prays and pleads to be loved–you should love them.


For a long time now it has been suggested that the issue of prohibiting smoking in and near public buildings is about health, and not about individual rights.  But the fact is, the health of non-smokers has never been at risk from second-hand smoke.  This is true, especially when you consider the few places (bars and restaurants, for example) in communities where smoking is still permitted, that it is in cordoned-off areas far from where privileged non-smokers are free of second-hand smoke.
Consider also that smoking is already prohibited in the vast majority of public establishments in most major metropolises.  Yet, evidently, a good number of non-smokers are not satisfied with having almost everything pretty much their way.  They want it all.  And woe to anyone who seeks his little piece of low-key real estate at no one else’s expense.
But at far greater risk and which no one seems the least bit concerned about is the health risk of second-hand air.  Everyone inhales and exhales germ-filled air, and does so in public and frequently in close proximity to other people.  This unfiltered, germ-filled air is in greatest quantity at all times throughout indoor locations and where the spread of cold, flu and other airborne contagion are regularly breathed.  Yet no one has suggested that those with asthma, runny noses, wheezing lungs, severe coughs, on oxygen support or who are just heavy breathers be banned from public places.
Studies conducted on the hazards of breathing second-hand smoke is, at best, anecdotal, inconclusive and hyperbolic.  This is because those tested for exposure to second-hand smoke are also exposed to second-hand air, automobile exhaust and thousands of other airborne contaminants and chemicals that exude from walls, floors, partitions, surfaces, furniture, refrigeration and cooking appliances, carpets, drapes, clothing, and all forms of contact between living bodies.
Moreover, industrial pollution, sewage and acid-rain, along with automobile exhaust, are so prevalent that it is impossible to obtain an accurate reading or study (controlled experiment) as to who is affected by what, how much or how often. 
Consider studies that have concluded exposure to carbon monoxide and other automobile pollutants for but a few seconds can equal exposure to the second-hand smoke of a thousand cigarettes!  But one would have to be exposed continually to those thousand cigarettes, and not intermittently or occasionally to some second-hand smoke every few days from each of those 1000 cigarettes.  And this pertains to only a few moments exposure to exhaust from a single automobile and does not account for the minutes, hours and days one is exposed to pollutants from dozens–even thousands–of motor vehicles and automobile exhaust each year.
Yet no one dare proposes banning cars, trucks, RVs or motorcycles, not to mention planes, trains, boats and theme-park rides!  
It has also been suggested that because some major cities have adopted smoking bans that others should follow suit.  Well, I have it on good authority that not only cities but entire countries have banned anything from jewelry, spitting, wearing flashy attire and public displays of affection, to guns, books, music, computers and free speech. 
Yet if we applied this same rationale, we would find ourselves and our land of the free, via piecemeal, in the same impoverished, enslaved condition as other third-world nations.
Smoking is a health issue to those who smoke, just as obesity, diabetes, high-blood pressure and clogged arteries are to those who consume junk food, don’t exercise and elect to live any number of stressful, unhealthy lifestyles.  But neither smokers nor overweight sugar addicts are a threat to non-smokers or skinny people.  They might be an occasional blight or annoyance to some.  But most smokers can attest to how annoying, self-righteous and tyrannical are some non-smokers who have the audacity to affirm that the rights of others end where theirs begin. 
What they really mean is: “I don’t like your face” or “the way you dress” or the fact that “you have a personal lifestyle you enjoy too much, and I don’t.” 
Therefore, such people believe it is their right to choose to prohibit you from your face, the way you dress or the pleasure you’re obtaining–not them–from smoking or eating.  But this right they are fervently, even violently scrambling to take from you today, quite naturally will translate to other rights seized from them tomorrow.
While this will be poetic justice for smokers later on, it remains despotic, self-serving and fairly stupid of non-smokers right now.

The Stranger

In this holiday season I think I see more silence and despair than usual.  It seems to me that more people are barely surviving and making ends meet, and the Christmas season seems to only accentuate the travails and adversity they are experiencing.  I see more local shops and businesses gone out of business or barely hanging on.  I see more homeless people than before, and more people barely existing from week to week on paycheck to paycheck. 

Meanwhile, prices keep going up and our government keeps spending more money and raising their own pay and benefits while nothing nowhere seems to cost less or come with a discount. 

Sometimes I hate the holidays because I can’t but help notice all these despairing things, and more.  One: a lot more people aren’t celebrating Christmas; nope, no holiday shopping for them.  A Christmas tree, dinner, and lots of gifts for everyone?  Forget it.  It’s McDonalds for Christmas and forget even going to the movies and enjoying a popcorn, soda, and candy bar.  That’s almost thirty bucks just for one person!  Likewise, it feels more accentuated the plight that others are experiencing not only in loss of income and business and work, but the loss of friends and loved ones–important people to us who have become ill or died from disease or crime or were a casualty from one of our recent wars in the Muslim world.  It’s all accentuated to me, and all so palpable.  In essence, so much looks so bleak.   

So, all I can do is pray and get religious.  And look to spirituality to amend or end the plight and suffering of so many, maybe including me.  Feeling this very same way a few years back, one thing I could do and did was write a poem.  And herewith is that poem I wrote.  I’m not sure if it will make you feel better.  I certainly hope it does.  It certainly made me feel better after I wrote it and now every time I read it.  So all I can do…is hope.  Hope that 2012 will be a better year for the world and all the people suffering in it.  And hope that you and yours may enjoy a warm and bountiful holiday season.  Or at the very least, The Stranger will come and give you strength and courage.  And hope. So that you and yours may find some joy during this difficult holiday season.   


Now surrounded here by death and doom and disaster,
Despair is my pilot and tragedy my master!
(And my only hope is to be saved by a Stranger).
But yes, I knew a life of warmth and joy and laughter
And one that was guided by faith and the Hereafter;
It was one that could confront any fear or danger!

But now when I became a drowning man in the sea
With nothing around but drowning waves and tides and me,
I would pray some stranger came to set my life anew.
And though I have no hopes or friends here now to save me
Nor even the faith in God that God Himself gave me,
I pray to hear His voice say: “Hold on, I will save you!”

I Use The Soap

The pop/rock group Bread was undoubtedly the group that began easy listening music in the late ’60s and early ’70s and inflluenced a whole lot of artists including John Denver, Jackson Browne, Dan Fogelberg, The Eagles, Janis Ian, Carol King–the list goes on.  This song here is one of my favorites of Bread, and not so readily known by even Bread aficionados.  But it’s a charming torch song and one that’s superbly written by David Gates, the band’s famous lead singer/songwriter.  If you can appreciate a sensitive, beautiful, and beautifully-written ballad, you should like this one.

LINK TO SONG:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_sGVaNJxVc
LINK TO LYRICS:  http://artists.letssingit.com/bread-lyrics-i-use-the-soap-david-gates-2cp9wsk

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