Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Welcome to Chiquita-ville, Chiquita-boro, Chiquita USA!

The Q.C.! Queen City! One sign downtown reads: Tree City USA. Charlotte is home of the Panther’s, Michael Jordan’s Bobcat’s, Billy Graham’s birthplace, it’s the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Charlotte Douglas International Airport and now the world headquarters of Chiquita Banana’s.

Not too good! Students in the Charlotte Mecklenburg school system will spend the next six months attempting to spell banana. Does it have two side by side “N’s” or can we get away with texting monkey food?

Chiquita will set up shop in the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

Not too good! Who associates banana’s with racing? How long before a long haired country boy steps up to the Channel 3 microphone and accuses local leaders of stereotyping oval fanatics, “We passion the sport we ain’t gone banana’s for it?”

The arrival of Chiquita peels away the recession adding fruit to the environment in the shape of 400 plus jobs that fork out over a 100 grand a year. An increase in housing sales will blanket the front page of the Observer, with people comes money to shop at South Park, Carolina Place, North Lake and Concord Mills. Sales tax cha ching means no reason to bleed an already dried turnip.

Not too good! The invitation to come to Charlotte came with a 22 million dollar tax break incentive. That’s 22 million that could’ve been spent on another unknown artist statue on the corner of Queens, Queens and Queens.

Seattle has Microsoft and Boeing. New York is blessed with Wall Street and David Letterman. They still make movies in Hollywood. Orlando brags about Disney World. Nashville whoops and hollers with the best in Country Music. St. Louis got the arch. Dallas was blessed with the Cowboy cheerleaders. The Golden Gate Bridge is in San Fran. Butte, Montana was once the home of professional wrestler Brett the Hit Man Hart and daredevil Evil Knievel. Charleston has Southern hospitality. Elvis came from Memphis and Charlotte is now Chiquita, NC.

Actually…that kinda has a ring to it. It goes perfect with Hendersonville’s annual Apple Festival.

“Where you from?”

Not too good! If the Charlotte Knights ever move downtown, the new stadium will be branded Chiquita Field. Players will hit the diamond sporting yellow suits with an easy to remove blue sticker in the center of their back.

Wait! This just in! Where is Larry Sprinkle from NBC6 to break this story?

Exotic plant lover’s with Caribbean tastes that cake their homes and backyard decks with palm tree looking things purchased at Lowes, Home Depot and roadside horticulturalist no longer have to waste Saturday afternoons trying to explain why such a leafy green machine with an assumed strong trunk can’t survive within the warmth of our coldest winters.

The banana tree God’s have sent us their messenger!

Congratulations Charlotte, North Carolina you landed the big fish that didn’t get away. Stuff that nanner and put a nail in the wall; time to enter another great moment on our walk of fame. Maybe now we’ll get enough money from Raleigh to finish I-485. I heard they love bananas in the decision portion of Chiquita USA.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

2012 The Journey Back to America...

In 2010 and 2011 I took the mask off breast cancer and shared the story on my Lite 102.9 station blog of Zondra. From the first doctors visit to the surgery to our most recent loss…the blog has been read by people in Singapore, France, Canada, Russia, Germany and beyond.

I take our station web page serious…maybe too serious. And then the broadcaster in me is introduced to the next chapter.

A new writing project has stepped from the shadows that walk between us.

It’s going to require lines to be crossed, daily challenges to appear on opposite sides of the fence at the same time, to disconnect from harmony while helping to share visions where hope used to be a neighbor.

Writing is how I breathe… Sharing is air.

Your eyes are leaves from a tree. Trees exude oxygen and in return we give back carbon monoxide.
When reality isn’t being met by those who want to learn versus the constant push away; it becomes my ambition to socially network the paint I push into the corners so often assumed.
I’m going to introduce you to Scott; a well educated extremely successful business man known for his strength to climb un-attempted peaks while scaling numbers that garnered him relationships dreamt of one day greeting.

Scott doesn’t have cancer, he became a cancer; homeless by the age of nineteen. History tells not his story because if it had there might be a cure.

As a writer, poet with a pen, on-air radio talent that’s discovered more faith in his listeners than research delivered by consultants; in 2012 the Journey Back to America will unveil hell on earth while exposing what you’ve taught yourself not to learn.

There’ll be days when your heart can handle the depths introduced and other ticks and tocks on the wall clock that’ll be too heavy to digest because the weight of reality stares at you from beneath the bed, from the closet and below the house in a crawl space never visited. The fat of this nation is Corporate American made and legally it’s fed into the veins of a nation addicted to good times and plenty of booze…everything’s gonna be ok because we’ve learned to make donations.

Once described as unstoppable; today The United States of America is third world.

2012 the Journey Back to America will force you to respond, continue to ignore and creatively disguise fears of tomorrow, unwritten, unspoken, unforeseen stories until it gets here.
Homelessness is how many paychecks away?

What if someone not connected to politics, a church or shelter held the keys to possibility? What if the answer’s been to hell and the guarantee to be set free required a journey to seek the message makers that’ll help invite sunlight to America’s darkest secret.

Rather than feed them fish shouldn’t the goal be to teach them how to fish?

Every Saturday Angela’s family rushes to a giant church kitchen to skillfully layout a path for the homeless to be properly nourished. I want to know the faces they feed realizing that no addiction can be met unless the identity of the problem becomes truth.

I’ll introduce you to a Charter School assistant vowing to neither promise nor guarantee; the better need is to feed the children dropped off at 6:30 AM then expected to learn on an empty stomach.
I want you to know Clarence; a chef that’s located a purpose no longer linked to the tallest buildings and most profitable CEO’s in uptown Charlotte but opening walls so tall they naked eye becomes clothed without depending on donations and other hand me outs.

More importantly I want your words, wisdom, magic touch and coldest nightmares. My email address is Be open, be honest, be a different name but don’t replace the face that’s become homeless.

We’ve ignored it too long.

2012 the Journey Back to America

Starts now on

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Map Toward Metal Treasures!

Where have all the heroes gone? Or is this part of getting old? Is Steven Tyler of Aerosmith this generations Frank Sinatra? If so, does that make David Lee Roth Tony Bennett?

VH1 Classic has creatively latched onto the roots of heavy metal in America by pulling from the grave the unsung lyrics beyond what Rollingstone and Creem Magazine boldly tried to print in their headlines but were out sold by free posters in Tiger Beat, tell all rumors in People and unexpected pictures in US Weekly.

Although it feels like ten minutes ago; Alice Cooper singing Schools Out every three hours mutilated the once tame genre of sound held by Burt Bacharach, John Denver and everything Motown. Steppinwolf vowed to erase extremely long drawn out guitar solos by delivering the message faster than Tweets on Twitter while KISS levitated the rock power ballad with a B sided orchestra driven Beth that a rule breaking radio disc jockey from Georgia tossed on the air because Detroit Rock City wasn’t doing it for him.

Rock radio has seen more star wars than Darth Vader: base beats from 70’s Disco, 80’s safe happy programming of Phil Collins, Michael Bolton and Steve Winwood Adult Contemporary and an unexplained addiction to Country music that sounds more like mid-70’s Poco and Fleetwood Mac than Hank Sr. and Waylon. Metal has evolved within the times experiencing more reinventions then Madonna.

80’s Hair Bands weren’t meant to be a generational movement just as much as Kurt Cobain didn’t set out to collect millions of plaid shirt wearing supporters. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam took on Ticketmaster! Billy Corgan from

Smashing Pumpkins writes and produces today but no longer waits to release his hand in metal…he posts it for those who’ve always supported. Lars Ulrich of Metallica didn’t attack Napster; it was a simple question that required an answer, “How could a piece of unfinished music he left two hours earlier be available to the world? It wasn’t fair to the artist!”

Again, Rollingstone Magazine has printed a story about how the Rock radio industry is dead; calling the recent firing of radio legend Jim Ladd the nail in the coffin.

How many times does the average person have to hear Party Rock Anthem, Boom Boom Pow and Rascal Flatts before they hit search on I Heart Radio?

Metal hasn’t changed only those who enjoy receiving it.

When a grey haired, face completely caved in eighty year old camper whips out a Droid to latch onto a sniff of modern rock; that tells me the beer buzzes that once shaped his concert going path three decades ago still places importance on Rock’s presence in the 21st century. The only difference between us are the stories held tightly by guitar licks and drum rolls that remind him of a deeper rock history therefore he uses it to bridge the generational gap introducing me to the music makers that forced Ted Nugent to create a garage band called The Amboy Dukes.

Where have all the heroes gone?

Lady Gaga stepped way ahead of the pop music crowd by designing an earth shattering Thanksgiving special that did more for the Post War, Boomer, Xer’s and Y generations than Harry Potter.

Why did Aerosmith captivate the masses of the lazy Capenter’s, Kenny Rogers, Cat Stevens 70’s radio scene? The message you’ll never read at Cleveland’s Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is that Joe Perry filtered nothing which gave his guitar a personality like that of a horn section so often attached to pioneers like Benny Goodman, Buddy Rich and Guy Lombardo.

The evolution of Rock will never be challenged by religion because those born to play it were already standing straight up.

When will the pages expose the makers of permission; those who stood before the gates of change and enlightened leaders to use Rock as part of their Sunday morning message. Can you say Stryper?

I’ve yet to hear how Rock Music as a whole has had a labor dispute forcing fans of the sound to wait until after

Christmas to watch the game. There’s never been a walk out. There’s never been a players strike. Radio didn’t enforce a lockout…nor is this part of getting older.

You haven’t lived unless you’ve tried to scream like Robert Plant. You don’t have a hair on your butt if you don’t bravely walk up to a karaoke microphone and belt out You Shook Me All Night Long.

Is Rock really over? I Heart Radio…

For the first time since 1984 David Lee Roth is pumping his California soul into the raging riffs mysteriously presented by the guitarist that once stood in front of Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley asking to replace Ace Frehely. I can’t stand the idea that Michael and Sammy aren’t part of the twist but like the road warriors they are; neither of them need Van Halen to continue spitting metal between their teeth. Where will you hear the songs? I Heart Radio!

Where have all the heroes gone? They’re on I Heart Radio…

Banking CEO’s come and go as do motivational speaking guru’s and major corporations that biggie sized not because its legal but it’s within our appetite to have a Super Wal-Mart and Lowes Home Improvement somewhere nearby.

We’ve stood witness to the mightiest of strength falling and will hold nothing against those that convinced us to throw away every album and cassette to purchase the compact disc then Ipod.

Free radio still exists without there being anyone but you in control… I Heart Radio.

My god this sounds like a cheap Wayne’s World designed free plug! Wow! I guess I deserve that punch. The reality is…I’m a radio junky that supports metal and don’t need a mining city to scoop up a shovel of what brings the house down. If I bump into something great…it’s my job to share it.

Rock n Roll will never die!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

I'm going away for 32 days...

I guess its my weakness. I never look at a person and wonder how old they are. While at Zondra's wake last night I did the math. She was only 32. I don't do well with the rules of life and find myself battling the makers when chapters don't finish the way you dreamed. I still believe they should've never met in Sleepless in Seattle. 32... and it will be that many days that I will disappear from all of social media. To take the time spent typing and writing to better understand the path to which I will learn from so that when I return in late December I can be much wiser and more prepared for the things that happen to those who've been gifted daily with air to breathe and a heart that creates music.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Something more to ignore...

I feel like a hypocrite…

If it came across as such I won’t apologize choosing instead to take the higher road of identifying the problem followed by generating a solution.

As a Broadcaster, blogger, author and a tax paying citizen of the United States it’s become a goal to further my education and awareness as to who, what, where, when and why The Wall Street and other city Occupied protesters are beginning to fight.

We’ve seen so many pictures of the 60’s that physically watching angry people chanting, being arrested and thrown off property our taxes paid for in 2011 looks more like a PBS or HBO special. Rollingstone Magazine reports daily on what comes across as being the truer conditions and yet how can I believe it when Brian Williams on the NBC Nightly News can only scratch up a few pictures and mentions.

Do you think David Crosby woke up a few months ago and said, “Oh hell no…I did this stuff already! Please don’t make me the Poet with a pen!”

I’ve been blinded by propaganda. What is or isn’t real? Is this a marketing project designed by the right vowing to defeat the left? Like it or not the human is the mammal family’s biggest follower; an unfocused gathering never sees the farmer rise before the sun to plant the perfect face, thought control and innocence required to sway with the winds that come off every tall mountain.

The Electric Slide, YMCA from the Village People, Cha Cha Slide, Wobble and The Cupid Shuffle wouldn’t be if people didn’t want to be led.

If you study the front covers of every magazine featured in the grocery store line; the subliminal message is the masses can’t afford drugs or alcohol to numb the pain so we’re in dire need to find a swifter rush and reading about Kim Kardashian’s divorce instantly makes Bank of America’s decision to lay off thousands digestible.

Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity and Al Franken aren’t voices of the people; just as much as I can’t change the world over a seven second Christmas song. We’re entertainers, showman, voice jockeys trained by the programming staff and over educated by consults to get into the heart, body and soul of a passerby.

Taylor Swift writes and performs about boys and the broken hearts they deliver. Every little girl at Time Warner Cable Arena last night truly believed they’ve been there.

Get enough people to believe in your purpose and the decision to make the right choice becomes the wrong investment. Or does it? Face Book, Twitter and a Friday night get together with my neighbors doesn’t waste an ounce of energy on the NBA’s decision to ignore the fans that put in 8 to 15 hours of worry and fear at a job they may not have tomorrow to pay for their exaggerated life and style.

Not playing this year means Carolina Panther fans don’t have to flip a coin as to which professional sport is gonna get access to their ATM.

How did we get on this subject? Three or four paragraphs ago I was publically admitting my weakness of not being supportive of the Wall Street Occupiers until scenes of people being arrested were fed into the daily process of digesting as much media as they’ll give us.

It’s extremely difficult to support any issue these days because the walls that Humpty Dumpty fell from no longer exist. Or do they?

Does anybody believe Ashton is a Billionaire on Two in a Half Men? Do you think the success of the CBS show 2 Broke Girls is based on it being funny or is it 20 minutes of something a lot of broke people can relate with? Tim Allen has three daughters and one of them is a very young single mother. In The Middle puts focus on Patricia Heaton’s working Mom career but you never see what the father does. Family Guy and American Dad are brutal on abuse and not one group is standing up to calm down Seth MacFarlane.

Don’t like the Black Eyed Pea’s I Gotta Feeling…hit the button; can’t stand the commercials on TV hit the fast forward; life becomes too real to slip into your day jump on Face Book and vocal up the frontlines. You aren’t doing anything wrong!

Following is a safe place to be.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

By God! I was there!

Today is Wednesday the most boring day of the week!

As a writer, author and as Julia Cameron would call it: a painter of the room…I shall describe this ripened moment as being the perfect recipe for an optimistic pessimist’s balmy ocean front property; the week is half finished with a long drawn out entirely different other half to go.

To make it fun I’ve shattered the code of silence that protects travelers of time and entered the realm of the 16th century to do nothing more than steal from the village the powers of the King and Queen at the Carolina Renaissance Festival by officially declaring this day: Blog something stupidly weird day!

Glasses! Not what you wear to read fine print and not necessarily the type you drink from during moments when the body just…can’t go on…until you pour something of liquid value from a bottle of choice. Not from Belk! Not even from Wal-Mart, a pesky flea market or early bird Saturday morning garage sale!

I’m talking about those tall, colorful when they get cold, purty printed kitchen cupboard space takers that robbed you blind while on vacation. It’s a mile marker keep sake that says, “I was here and I have the glass to prove it! Wanna fight about it?”

Late summer 1999; after a blinding whiteout high atop Mount Rainier boldly planted in the core of the soul of Washington State…I stood in the center of self serving ego maniac hell trying to decide how getting kicked off that skyscraping snowcapped

Mother nature created pimple before reaching the summit could be turned into a positive.


Wait! Not a bottle, cup, jigger or something as tiny as a water source…I was in a mood and this drinking moment had to be 1,000 times better than the food. I wanted an instant release from reality and it had to come in that extremely expensive very tall collector’s edition cylinder that featured more ice than buzz maker.

“But sir…the drink you’re asking for doesn’t come in that glass…”

“It does tonight!”

I didn’t want just one! I had to have four! To complete the set while proving to my neighbors, friends and people forced to become my coworkers back home in the Carolina’s could see that I nearly, almost, kind of made it to the top of Mount Rainier!

I had never forked out so much money for something so stupid and yet after twelve grueling years that most would choose to forget but because I write every morning at sunrise I’m reminded of the rooms I paint every damn second of every single twenty four hour period I held in my hand this morning one of the four very tall glasses from the great state of Washington filled not with alcohol but an energy powder called N-sane.

While slurping down that green apple flavor like the true mountaineer I used to be it occurred to me, “My God Dude! This glass is the Twinkie of vacation purchased junk! You hold in your hand the cockroach that nuclear war can’t step on! 12 years of dishwashing, 144 months of me tipping dropping it on the deck, patio and during unheard amounts of fun New Years Eve celebrations! It still has the amazing power to scream, “You didn’t reach the summit because of an unexpected whiteout!”

Did I toss it? Did I break it into a billion snowflake pieces? Would I sell it to help pay for the dollar menu at McDonalds? Never!

It’s evolved into a new challenge; can I outlast the very tall glass?

If I pass before a single crack is created then it shall be willed out to my Mother in Montana to place in a safe box in her bone chilling cellar where corn, potatoes and jelly are stored; and with it a tiny note that which I scribbled on a boring Wednesday where half the week is over but the long drawn out other half remains: To whom it may concern—this isn’t just the glass that kicked my a**…let it serve as a purpose why you should never say no to your kids and spouse. The importance of purchasing vacation trinkets and dream catchers seems materialistic until you realize memories will forever be marked in the books of history as being priceless and it’s always more fun to share when you can prove you were there.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Stop busting your ass trying to be one of them!

Brian Andreas is an author/illustrator who’s comical as well as thought provoking. The depths of his quotes can either move you or slide the unwritten into slivers of darkness to later be found by a different generation during a different recession.

I laughed out loud at his quote, “My great aunt told me to remember that old people need bananas.”

Instantly I could hear the vocal tones of countless teachers; be it a brother, mother, preacher or former 60’s child turned next door neighbor…we’re all invited to the quirkiest places when meaning well turns into a blurred moment I call: What the hell are you talking about?

Because 98.7% of what I write daily, share on the radio, sing by way of giving a poet a voice or pout like a child about while trying to figure out the constantly changing surface of a dead American economy I can spew out heartedly on the subject without shattering the protective devices that shelter the innocent from such political incorrectness.

What? Exactly!

Brian’s great aunt reminded him that old people need bananas. I on the other page have mastered the fine art of run on sentence structure; having a willingness to turn what could’ve easily been a simple thought into a skyscraper weight on life’s paper plate.

Wal-Mart, Target, Kohl’s, Kmart and Exxon are great examples of the purification of communication. It doesn’t matter where you travel the term “locals” has been replaced by “everybody’s the same.”

I remember reading a newspaper article about the president of Food Lion who clearly made it his daily goal to guarantee shoppers that no matter where they purchased Food Lion groceries they’d always find the items in the same row in Salisbury, NC to Charleston to Invisible town USA.

Fifteen years down the road such practices hit me in the temple while in hot pursuit of a product.

My wife looked at me with shock asking, “How did you know it was here? You’ve never been in this store!”

“Tom told me!”

Today, while the hygienist performed her magic I found myself being 98.7% over her head. She went 99%.

I learned so much about life in pre and post Soviet Union/Russia during the Gorbechev years that I’m now a certified history teacher at Independence High School.

That’s what’s missing from our daily duties! Rather than focusing solely on a universal presentation of discussion the true mission is to make your own statement. Create a voice and stick to its character.

I love it when people say I suck on the radio. The Broadcaster in me perks up and pays close attention to the shape of their conversation. Not everybody wants to talk about the Occupying protestors making headlines in Oregon, NY and I’d say Charlotte but their purpose hasn’t been justified. Has anyone heard a burp, fart or tooth picking from any of them? Oh wait…it’s that Wal-Mart thing…you don’t really have to make noise just put a store in anywhere USA.

I was shocked to learn that Jennifer Roberts has publically unveiled her political plans and it no longer includes another run for city council. Her vocal strength and ability to move through a defensive line of aggressive deal makers has always been incredibly inspiring.

I had to write to her in my Arroe 98.7% way!

Is it selfish to have wanted you as our Mayor? Then to see you are leaving our council. Your leadership is unlike anything. You are strong, bold and caring. You are the type of leader that inspires as well influences positive change while setting out to offer change. Whatever your plans I am so proud of you and your strength to lead in a time when such positions are places of weakness. The future belongs to you.

She wasted no time writing back:

Thanks so much for your support. There is much I am interested in, so after this coming year on the Commission I will be exploring many new ways to serve this community. I am not leaving this community, nor am I walking away from service. I am taking time to thoughtfully and deliberately find the next place to apply my energy and talent!

Missing from our world is the term “Locals.”

It’s our language…from writing, to talking, whistling to humming a few bars while slowly walking through the huge collection of perfume scented lanes at Belk South Park. You could blind fold me and I’d know that store from the billions trying to copy its style.

I sat with a business owner recently whose mission is to sell Lake Wylie property. Being a Carolinian of only 27 years I cranked up my local to 98%.

What is the true term of Lake Wylie?

What club sat on the corner of Tyvola and I-77?

Why are there so many roads named Sharon in south Charlotte?

What did John Boy and Billy call the statue they wanted to put outside of the old coliseum?

Why is it called the Grady Cole Center?

I’m just saying…a little over the head conversation is a good thing on days when everything around us has been designed by

out of towner’s that have no fricken clue what Charlottean’s do, say or react to. Make fun of us during the threat of snow but don’t you dare tell us BBQ from St Louis is greater than that secret something something they douce on the pork in Lexington.

Be you even if it means someone’s gonna look at you with no intent of paying attention. You weren’t born to make the world happy. The day has come that we put our vocal foot down and realize businesses don’t make the people. People make the business. What you bring to the center of that companies energy is the very reason why so many companies used to keep their doors open for 50 to 100 years. Now that businesses have decided to shape their people the only thing we see are out of business signs.

Just saying…

Monday, November 14, 2011

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Old dogs can be taught new tricks...

Do you remember Think and Do books?

Before smart boards, Ipads and teacher approved solar powered calculators elementary students were taught how to add, read and write through coloring book sized bundled papers with your name in big black print on the front.

Ten minutes after getting mine Mrs. Knight, Keefe and Stephenson would shout, “Stop drawing skyscrapers, mountain houses and pigeons coops on the front!”

It’s the Think and Do book that influenced the publisher to design my first book “One Man’s 1,021 Thoughts” almost too big to hold. He believed if my true goal was to invite readers to write, the pages needed to be exactly what we’ve grown accustom to.

Big Business mogul and author Art Williams might be on the same path… If the Kindle, Nook or smart phone is your book worm fetish, Art’s leadership guide Pushing Up People towers over Mount Mitchell in size!

But you can’t judge a book by the size of its cover.

Pushing up people is Art’s way of learning how to restructure the daily arrival of employees. Although we’ve spent the past twenty years being talked down to and taught just enough basics to survive; the recession, outsourcing and Wall Street supported downsizing has left the walls of many onetime success stories bare.

Art believes inside qualities are more important than outside. Family backgrounds and education don’t necessarily lead to business success. He points to American history as being a key source of information based on the enormous amount of hard working, dedicated and loyal people that made this nation an industrial empire.

Ford didn’t hire college graduates to build the worlds set of wheels.

In his words, “Universities and big business make every day average people think they’re failures.”

We see and hear it on TV, the radio, Face Book and Twitter: You can’t reach a higher level of life and style without dumping thousands of dollars in the pockets of: We can take you there.”

Inside Art’s heart, “Victory doesn’t always go to the smartest people. Brilliant minds tend to talk a good game while totally intimidating people. Smart people spend too much valuable time analyzing.”

An incredible picture to watch is a martial arts class where the Master or highest level student stands in front of thirty to fifty path makers shouting out commands which are immediately followed by a class room echo, “Yes sir!”

I’m not a rule breaker just a tester. On several occasions I’ve dropped the seventh article of student commitment of establishing trust between teacher and student spouted, “Ever thought about joining us in this sweat bath? It doesn’t seem fair that we’re doing 50 squat thrusts and I’ve yet to see you do one!”

This is very much the reason why I removed my black belt and started the journey over in the back of the class. You learn a lot as a leader when the choice is to no longer be afraid of getting your hands muddy.

Art Williams knows of another leader dubbed the pretty people; not as in looks but privileged. The attitude is bent on being a little better than most with an end result of over confidently seizing control of a department they get credit for running but ultimately it’s the white belts holding true to the sport.

I study everyone I meet…

Keith Hawthorne is a hawk. I first met the car dealer in 1993; an upbeat full of big dreams but deeply dedicated to achieving them kid that hand washed cars so those purchasing them would instantly take note of that new car smell. His loyalty, determination to learning the art of salesmanship while crafting the skills of marketing and finance has lifted Mr. Hawthorne to a center ring inside the core of a of living tree.

Jeff Siegel the man behind the curtain at the Renaissance Festival. A passion for the circus opened his eyes to uncover the roots of entertainment. Not a Ringling Brother’s shout it out loud, “Come one come all…” but a heart held together by strings constantly connected to visualizing how every one of us has the potential of being something great and better. I love listening to him tell me the stories about knowing Penn and Teller before fame caught up with them. I crave his chapters based on collecting circus toys of rides he jumped on while dressed up in kid’s clothes and one day dreams.

I’ve now been introduced to Scott from Tucked Away Storage; proof there’s life after death. Economic twists and unexpected arrivals of unheard of fate put this man on the cold lonely often ignored street. He was homeless! He could’ve turned to drugs, cheap alcohol and handouts from people he’ll never meet but chose instead to lift up his day during every sunrise. From the outside his invested purpose is firmly planted in American business but in reality his every hour vow is to put his open palms back into the channels of lost and thrown away and give life to new beginnings. It’s my mission to make his story wrap around the World Wide Web globe.

Art believes inside qualities are more important than outside. Family backgrounds and education don’t necessarily lead to business success.

He continues, “There has never been a test, there never will be a test that can measure the heart of a man and woman. You can’t look into the eyes of a person and know what they’re made of. You’ve got to put them on the playing field then offer them true leadership that takes on the shape of success.”

I will always believe in you first…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Do you know anything about tomorrow?

Every so often I judge a book by its cover but if first impressions determines the distance the heart travels…I’ve gotta wonder why someone would suggest the book The Dream Manager as a must read.

Its opening pages feed the curved and constantly changing river banks of an ocean floor not yet shaped making no room for snails and starfish to paste themselves to. That’s my poetic way of saying, “There’s a disconnection between the head office and worker bees with no mediator to bounce the ball back into play.

No wonder the NBA is locked up and fans are without!

Matthew Kelly and Patrick Lencioni pen out, “Even the most cynical manager will admit that one of the most important competitive advantages a company can have is the ability to keep and motivate the human capitol that is in short supply.”

Short supply? Is the NBC Nightly News propaganda?

From this side of the white picket fence the media has painted rose colored glasses on spoiled Gen Xer’s, Boomer’s and the unemployed occupying New York, LA, Atlanta, Charlotte and other major corporate cities around the world. Radio talk show hosts come across as selling out to big business because if they chose to support the occupation they risk losing valuable fourth quarter advertising revenue.

The distant image softly represents a presence created by a companies need to create a short supply. Then to complain they’re losing the competitive edge that made them a success?

Who’s playing Robin Hood?

I’m thinking the The Dream Manager has the upper hand, “Manager’s and Human Resource professionals have traditionally focused most of their attention on levers like compensation and benefits. They’ve raised salaries, increased bonuses, awarded stock options, increased vacation time and let people bring their pets to work. The end result is limited success.”

Shocking and almost as unsightly as SAW1-2-3 and 4 is this quote, “Few people, if any, work for money alone. But when it comes to inspiring people and creating the kind of environment where employees laugh at the notion of leaving there’s something far more powerful and less expensive that companies have largely overlooked…”

Please fill in the blank ____________________________________________

The Dream Manager clearly believes employees are actively disengaged. People don’t feel connected not only with the organization but those they work with. Like a wildfire set free on a mountainside it infected morale, efficiency, productivity and profitability.

But that’s big business talk!

Where are the books and blogs that embrace the overworked, underpaid now divorced or turned into a drug abusing alcoholic because numb was better none? Where are the voices of radio, television and newspaper that represent real people?

We lost Andy Rooney and John Stewart is too funny to take serious. Brian Williams is reimaging his NBC presence with a Monday night variety of conversations while Anderson Cooper has gone daytime. If Howard Stern took the filth out of his performance he’d be the only radio voice of reason.

One hundred years from now a brilliant media executive will do a VH1 Behind the Music special on the early decades that shaped the 21st Century and within a single breath he’ll captivate the imaginations of Gamer’s and Iphone 64 junkies when he text, “Lost…”

We are the Lost Generation.

I can hear my Mother’s voice, “its 7:30!” It was her way of saying the chickens needed to be fed, the trash taken out,

Cocoa needed a fresh bed of hay and school demands need to be met.

Like Buddhist Monk Tich Nhat Hahn who was invited to protest the presence of American forces in his home country of Vietnam; he raised no banner, he shouted not once, he didn’t gather with angry at heart…he walked in peace…that’s who I am.

After four years of truly being misunderstood which led to multiple arrests due to protests, in August of 1980 Lech Walesa put real people on the map in Poland when helped negotiate ground breaking agreements that began the process of protecting the people.

The Dream Manager continues, “The right people are an organizations greatest asset. Large or small for a business to become successful employees need to become actively engaged. The goal should be to retain talent.”

Why can something so simple be so visible but neither side feels inspiration or influence to move?

We are the Lost Generation. Does anyone have Lech Walesa as a friend on Face Book? Just checked…he ain’t there. The Queen of England is though. So is Casey Kasum and Gene Simmons of KISS.

What were we talking about before this?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Happy Birthday to a true world hero!

Happy 93rd birthday to Reverend Billy Graham!

Over six decades of on the job training with no desire to dock the origin of his purpose.

His written thoughts have inspired, influenced, offered options while taking all that’s crowded in the separate worlds we keep and lined billions of shelves with a committed understanding that’s better explained as being an item called unconditional love.

In an age of constant change and quicker avenues to locate answers or assumed solutions, through choice Mr. Graham has served Presidents, decision makers from other nations while never locating reasons to stop placing a writing instrument between his index fingertip and thumb; for what he’s set free for newspapers, book and blogs readers to pick up is what champions words like loyalty, dedication, determination and integrity.

I’ve not met too many that don’t have a personal Billy Graham story; be it waking up early on a chilly fall

Sunday morning expecting to watch Bullwinkle only to stop channel surfing on a face you knew, so for that moment you called him friend. ..or putting everything in life on hold to pull the legs that brought you to the dance into a giant arena where Billy spoke and the message shared never came across as a dare but rather an invitation that through choice fed the rivers of too many questions with a reason to believe in yourself a little more than yesterday.

A friend told me she reads Billy’s human friendly questions and answers printed locally every day; through devotion a set of eyes he’ll never meet changes.

I love the title of his new book: Nearing Home!

Millions know of the home he speaks of while others might hold a different landscape that of a barn shaped museum with a tiny log cabin behind its strong stature.

The Billy Graham Library is barely a mile from where I’m currently sitting; I pass it every morning knowing the repercussions of what happens when choice becomes your guide. Billy symbolizes choice. He chose to listen. He chose to react. He chose to believe. He chose to help heal. You don’t have to have an ounce of religion in your spirit to know that having a choice is one two gifts handed to you at birth. It became his choice to share it.

The other…is trust…

In 1994 I stood high atop a mountain in Montana staring in the soul of six glaciers, one hundred foot free flowing waterfalls diving in a lake over a mile deep and on that day I came to the conclusion that no matter how creative I am there’s nothing I can do to masterfully design something so incredibly breathtaking.

Then I read Billy Graham’s autobiography…

This should be a national day of celebration!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pretending to be Morgan Fogarty...

Honest talk…up front, to the point, no beating around the bush.

Whoa…it almost sounds like I’m doing a promo for the ten o’clock news on Fox 18 WCCB with Morgan Fogarty and Israel


Simple question: Why do we publically discuss a person’s weight loss more than weight gain?

Example: 1. Are you experiencing a lot of stress? You’re losing weight.

2. I’ve noticed some changes, are you sick and don’t want to tell us?

3. Wow! You look different! Everything ok at home?

Being from both sides of the white picket fence that gives me politically correct permission to shout out.

Weight gain is an extremely touchy subject; instantly you’re branded rude, crude and unfriendly yet if someone had questioned the path I traveled before my heart attack it could’ve been prevented.

I’m no expert but over the past couple of years I’ve deeply studied the cause and effect of what happens when the ego teaches itself to ignore the signs and road blocks the body hangs in front of you everyday. I was convinced that being actively involved with a workout program my chances of becoming ill were lessoned. And that’s where we are wrong.

If I hadn’t been with Master Todd Harris at Martial Arts University I wouldn’t have learned the valuable art of listening to the body speak.

I knew something wasn’t right a month before the heart attack. I sat on top of my house trimming the limbs and without warning signs or an angel’s sweet soft vocal my lungs stopped asking for the future. Gradually it grew; pushup levels dropped to barely ten, I couldn’t run longer than a minute in class, I was no longer participating with members of our school choosing instead to slip the black belt from my waist so I could stand in the back.

The doctor replied, “Your blood pressure is a little high, I can get you a pill. “

He said nothing about being a six foot one inch Montana man that weighs 242 pounds. Records clearly show the preferred weight should be 195.

My addiction wasn’t alcohol, drugs, work or too much play…it was fast food. I constantly craved the mixture of catsup, mustard, a pickle or two topped with a sliver of beef from the dollar menu. To have just one was never enough…the lucky digit was five. I’ll work it off tonight in class. And that’s where we are wrong.

Only one person stood up; Bob from the avid movie premiere patron walked up and placed his hand on my stomach and said, “Maybe it’s time you back off.”

Offended but not as taken back as I am during these extremely controlled days; is it because weight loss is connected to sickness but we’re too afraid to say the other way is too?

This is why I’ve chosen to be like Fogarty and Balderas and ask the questions that truly involve the chapters you write.

We’re six inches shy of walking under the brightly lit holiday spirit but three feet from January and February where we want to work it off.

There’s nothing I can write, share over the intro of a song on the radio or deliver face to face that isn’t going to offend you when in reality it’s nothing more than a six foot one inch Montana man openly admitting he’s been to Hell and doesn’t want you to stop in for a visit.

Why do we publicly discuss a person’s weight loss more than weight gain?

I’ve made the mistake of congratulating someone who wasn’t pregnant. The embarrassment and guilt continue to haunt the path. I also watched myself grow in the mirror and pretended it was muscle but in a more rounded less grocery store magazine way. And that’s where we are wrong.

The web is over saturated with innocent questions based on how to better handle every situation connected to weight; be it gaining or losing too much. The real solution is to physically face a professional. Keep asking questions and never settle on the first answer.

December 2010; inside a week the frame that carries my name dropped seventeen pounds inside seven days. Christmas Eve was spent listening to a doctor scream, “Your body is telling you to slow down!”

And that’s where he was wrong.

My body was telling me the medication he had me taking was reacting in a negative way and muscle degeneration had reached a dangerous level.

Keep asking questions and never settle on the first answer.

And that’s where you’re going to be right.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The weakness of this nation are bosses that want to see your resume...

Las Vegas night club crooner Dean Martin set hearts on fire when he’d torch the stage with, “Everybody needs somebody…to love.”

Yeah ok…

Outside those four nicotine stained walls it’s a different game reality plays; everybody wants to be somebody and love is the billion dollar chip dropped on the alcohol flooded floor.

Reaching such a point has evolved into the new millennium/post recession back into another recession guessing game. How can companies survive when those in control of budgets and decisions are stuck in the middle of believing they can do it all by them self?

Bosses are just as much injured as worker bees! Companies that once promised can no longer be trusted because somewhere on the food chain is a pyramid of investors expecting a high return that isn’t being met.

Dented is the American dream with no inspiration, influence or leadership to properly grow the mind, body and soul.

If we can resurface a seventy five year old California desert hot highway there’s hope to be found in what little is left in our desire to keep giving and not receiving.

Author and big business mentor Art Williams clearly paints the truth, “Too many managers fail to recognize their people’s potential.”

Walk through any door in Whoop tee doo U.S.A and the stories are the same. From bank tellers to Wal-Mart greeters, Big

Mac Builders to roofing specialists that have just learned insurance companies will pay for hail damaged tiles; work being done doesn’t reach quality status because managers have been trained or have elected to let go of seeing the importance of recognizing someone’s full potential.

One of my pet peeves is the over used have nothing better to say because it hurts to be creative, “You da man!”

For the longest time I’d be a smart a** and quickly return, “If I was truly the man I’d be in Los Angeles or Chicago. Not in Charlotte, NC.”

One problem…such sloppy talk infected what the city reflected. Faded from the city were the tingles the Charlotte skyline generates even on cloudy windy bitterly cold mornings. The Boom Boom Pow was 2008 and I was extremely late. Gone was the passion to play in the streets electing instead to stop dreaming of being and just do…nothing.

Art Williams has a solution, “True leaders recognize the hidden qualities that bring about success, and focus on the specialness of their people.”

Which walks side by side with Julia Cameron’s book The Artist Way At Work; a room blessed with overachievers, over sellers, eager to get success, an ice addicted fanatic, two computer nerds and an employee that seemingly never brings anything to the meetings…which one do you want to invest in?

The quiet one that never brings anything to the game; while everyone else seems connected to the spirit of winning for the team…they aren’t interested in bending their ways to improve the game. The quiet one is the thinker. He quietly waits to plan things out. The quiet one doesn’t need an ego stroke to feel important. They appeared at the meeting as told and will continue doing a brilliant job when the leader unties their grip and lets them slip back into a normal workday.

Art explains, “There’s a difference between someone who thinks they’re special and someone who is someone. We all know a person who’s attained the right to lead. They helped the company pull in the bucks while motivating the staff to give, give and give a little more. But do you see yourself as that person?”

People want to sit in the giant chair but once there…hmmmm

I sit with Broadcasting interns everyday and although we’ve been introduced to internet radio, IPods, MP3 players, I Heart Radio, YouTube and blah blah blah…landing that morning radio show gig is still the big stick they want most, “I can do it! I’m ready right now! I just need someone to believe in me.”

Have you ever stared into the eyes of a morning show talent at three in the afternoon? When I did mornings on 95.1 my worst fear wasn’t waking up late but getting hit by a drunk driver. My three in the morning rush hour was their wrapping up the party hour. I trained myself to never stop for gas that early due to a phobia of walking in on a robbery. Going to bed at eight at night gives you no life so the decision to stay up until eleven makes you feel like a better man which rips to shreds the desire to meet the demands in less than seven hours.

“I can’t wait to do a morning show!” They instantly shout back, “People have always said I’m funny! I can be funny that early!”

That’s the only sprinkle of realty I put at the base of their tree. From that moment forward the door is wide open for them to explore the paths that could very well lead them beyond John Boy and Billy.

I’m sure Wal-Mart greeters get the same people.

Art Williams believes in a Push up Principal: There’s more to a person than what is on their resume. If you want a leadership driven job then you better have the right credentials.

Just because my waist is decorated with a second degree black belt doesn’t guarantee my life will be saved outside the school. Living the black belt path means being on the dirt and knowing the way of peace not clouding up the situation with sparring and wrist locks. Bosses have been trained to exceed the limits of business success without understanding the end results of what it is they’re truly accomplishing. The numbers may show but the people didn’t grow.

The Push up Principal won’t start in the leader’s office. It begins with you. Stop racing around hollering, “You da man!” and get back to proper coaching. Look Cam Newton in those Carolina Panther eyes and say, “You might be good but your team is keeping that end of the year ring from being wrapped around your finger. Be a leader and let’s motivate the quiet ones in the meeting to begin the process of believing even in those that take, take, take.”

I will always believe in you first…

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Use it and lose it...its the American way!

HA! LOL! LMFAO! I love today’s entry from Put three things back where they belong…

Instantly a vision of my overbearing strict commanding Dad begins to play inside the brains movie theater called Memory; a man that held only one rule within his tattered and torn clinched WW II American veteran fist, “When you use something…put it away!”

It’s become his legacy.

I never heard him ask, “Where did I lay the hammer?”

Nor did he lose car keys, single socks, his kids in a mall or a shiny penny picked up on a rocky path somewhere in the middle of those tall snow capped peaks called Montana mountains.

It seems like an easy task; grab a plate, eat off it, put it in the dishwasher then slide it back into the cupboard.

I wish I could say it’s easy! I’d jump on the bike, ride it beyond parental limits, jump off at the park and misplace it somewhere between the Little League Field and the Craft House. If you lose enough things eventually the bank account begins to reflect your faults.

Why is it so important to put things back where they belong?

Being the lowest of the low on the totem pole of radio disc jockey requires a pair of earphones; big, small, expensive or Wal-Mart cheap…it doesn’t matter; they’re the most important tool of the trade. The day you don’t have them is like standing on the corner of walk and don’t walk; what are you going to do? Without them you have no radio show! Everybody knows where the morning people hide their earphones; do you shatter the rules of respect and latch onto it or figure out a way to sway an assumed friend to bail you out?

Call me a freak but I know when someone’s stinky ears have been in contact with what connects me to the music headed straight for a listener’s day.

Why is it so important to put things back where they belong?

One word: organization. When you’re organized you’re in control. Being in control relieves stress. Less stress leads to productivity.

I can’t tell you how many interns have walked into my radio station studio with no earphones expecting to locate success in a business where there’s 3,000 people applying for a single opening. Thank God Taco Bell provides their window order takers with sound devices!

Can you imagine watching an NFL Carolina Panther’s game and Cam Newton forgot his jersey?

“Today, you’re going to be number zero! No wait! Let’s see if the opposing team has an extra jersey with your number on it?”

Lost somewhere in the 80’s was the discipline required to hold people accountable for their lack of respecting tools. Could it be the first step of memory loss? Might it be just a test? I constantly blame my dog Harold for playing Patrick Swayze Ghost tricks on me, “Harold! I’m serious…I really do need to find that hook that’ll hang this painting straight and not lean like everything else in my life!”

If elected into the North Carolina State House of Representatives the first bill I’ll put into motion is the introduction of A bright bold and beautiful tag that clearly states: WARNING: Not putting this away when finished will lead to cussing, accusing and no ice cream before bed!

My luck an elected official from Gaston County will challenge it claiming how unfair the label would be to video Gamer’s that lose stuff all the time, “How dare you attack their lack of commitment!”

I’ve often believed Lowes and Home Depot sprinkle metal devouring salts on their tools that over time dissolve screw drivers, drill bits and carpet nails.

Why is it so important to put things back where they belong?

It saves time. Time you don’t know you have until you get there. When you’ve got extra time you want to spend it! If lost then its back to cussing, accusing and using other items that have nothing in common with the task but by God you’re going to try it and in doing so more damage is done.

Only one time have I forgotten where the car was parked; Laurel, Montana 1979 during a major out of this century celebration without Disco where the cups were tossed and the line to Keg Dive was a great place to meet new people. It was social media the old fashioned face to face way!

By the time I’m 60 the picture taking device in the Droid will take on a new mission: never stop taking snap shots of every destination.

Why is it so important to put things back where they belong?

There is a positive to this blogging message: if you don’t put things back…America might get back to working. The more you lose the bigger the demand for light brown pants worn while working at the Petco. Losing those gloves is a good thing; they’re making more in Spokane, Washington!

Is this why we lose the need to feed our bodies with common sense? Up until the recession, before multitasking and micro-managing; making sense made you a pocket protecting computer nerd; today, if you break enough dishes you won’t be asked to them anymore. Compliments to Kris Stevens from 969 The Kat for that line. At least he brings his own earphones. That makes him an on-air hero!