The End Of Toby’s 30 Hour Journey

Today started with such sadness. We felt terrible for taking Toby to the Pound. We felt like bad people, criminals. We felt like we had given up on him. Would he get a good home or would they put him down? Did we let our anger cloud our judgement?

So went the self-doubt and second guessing. The pain kept coming around. We talk. We hemmed. We hawed. Did you make the right choice? Was it for Toby or for our convenience? On and on it went.

Separately, my wife and I decided we had to call. We want the Cincinnati SPCA to know that if they could not get him adopted, we would take him back. We didn’t want him put down. The fact is, we wanted him. Our hearts rang out to an animal that didn’t know what was going on.

By 4 o’clock, it was settled. We called the Pound again. We were coming to get him. We had to pay the dog license fee. They then had to find him (seems he was misplaced). He was happily reunited with us. We thanked the workers at the shelter and took him home.

I shot a second video about Toby.

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The Most Terrible Of Days

I love animals, especially dogs. I grew up with dogs and we have a few. Not long after my wife and I got married we rescued a dog from the local shelter. We named her Woflie (eventually to morph into Woofie), made a donation for free obedience lessons and my wife and she went. She was a smart little dog and caught on very quickly.

Woofie is gone now. So is Adam. And Jake. And Maggie. Our current dog Snuggles, is 16 and getting quite old. Today though, isn’t about her. It is about Toby.

Last fall we had to put two dogs down. One was an old Shepherd/Collie mix that we had kept as a favor to a co-worker of my wife’s. A year later, he was getting bad quickly and it was his time. A month later and our old dog Maggie stopped eating. She was about 14 and everything was shutting down. I still cry when I think of that day in November when I said goodbye to her for the last time.

Back in February, there was a stray running around our neighborhood. Having one old dog, I was looking forward to being without one. The kids wanted to keep this dog and we did. My daughter named him Toby. We have no idea how old he is. Sometimes he is the sweetest dog around, the next moment he is snapping at you, biting.

We had him fixed. He still chews, pees in the house, snaps at people. We tried to train him. Some days were better than others. One day, he chewed some prized possessions of my daughter’s. She started to not like him.

The good got better and the bad got worse. He chewed more of her things. Now she really hated him. He chewed things from everyone. We got him toys. We played fetch with him. Some days good, others bad, very bad. He puked in the house. Peed. And pooped. We took him out more. Gave him less water. Nothing really changed.

Today we had to take him to the most depressing place on the planet, the local SPCA shelter. A place I once took a stray I kept for too long in 1992 and swore I would never take another dog. I was sick. I cried. I do miss him.

Toby, please be a good dog and get a home. You can be such a good boy when you try. Out there is a 9 year old boy who needs a dog to play fetch. Let him find you.

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Keywords, they suck

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

Keywords. Keywords. Keywords. That’s all I hear from various network marketers. They say to go to Google and use the adword tool. Find keywords. Use them. Work them into your content. Why?

Keywords are like bait. No, not the negative bait and switch. Rather a positive lure to pull an audience to your content. Keywords are how people are searching on content related to yours. Keywords is how search engines like Google and Bing determine what to do with your content. Keywords are what build the path to you.

Doing search for keywords is a good exercise. It let’s you determine your topic and how you style your content. They are how you organize your articles and blogs. Keywords will either lay a path to your content or leave you out in the woods.

Keywords should be specific, yet general enough to pull in more people. Get too specific, too narrow and no one will find you. Get too general, too wide and the noise will overwhelm you. Channel in between and you will pull the right amount with the right mindset. That’s the key.

Keywords are a tool. They are a tool you can use to bring the right audience to your content, whatever that may be. Know your audience. Understand what they use to search. Pull them in and grow your influence.

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Some Say I Am Obsessed

Yes, it is true. There are some, ok not some, nearly many, who say I have a obsession with

Shania Twain
Cover of Shania Twain

Shania Twain. Not in that stalker kind of way, in that fan and “OMG! She is so lovely” manner. Yes, it may be true. And yes, my beautiful too.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I would be reviewing Shania Twain’s song “Today is your day”. This came to me when I was listening to the song. No, truly listening to the song. I realized that it is far more than a feel good song and actually contains the “secret” to success. Holy cow! It was quite the strike of enlightenment. This song encapsulates the way, the path, the steps to success! Yes! I have to blog about it.

That articlehas finally been written. I have no way of knowing if Eileen, I mean Shania, will ever read it. I absolutely love how this song brings the path to song. This is why Shania keeps back up when knocked down. Her parents where killed at the very start of her career journey. At its height, she went through a very painful divorce. Still, she went on. She saw her younger siblings to adulthood. She sees her career now returning. She knows she will win. She knows she has to begin.

There is no telling how a week can go by. Stop wasting time. Start on your path to business success. You deserve to have your desires. IF you have the will to begin. Move.


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Behind Making Today Yours

Shania Twain, live in Wembley, UK
Shania Twain, live in Wembley, UK (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The more I listen to Shania Twain‘s song “Today is your day” the more I realize the power behind the lyrics. It is far more than a song giving good vibes or the pat on the head “it will be ok” attitude. It is a song about how to make today yours.

So much is this realization taking over my mind, that I am writing a long article on HubPages about the song, breaking down the lyrics. The song shows one must have a plan, have believed and persevere through everything. Only then will today be yours.

Today is not giving to those who wait for it. It is given to those you pursue it will all vigor, never quitting, never giving up, no matter what happens or what comes your way. It is only through total commitment, total believe, total faith, total endurance, total strength, total mind and total effort that today becomes yours.

Grab it and go for it. You can do it.

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Out, out, ideas!

There are few things more annoying than great blog posts that come through my head while driving and are gone long before I am near anything with a keyboard. Oh come on!

This month is off to a very good start. The video challenge is bringing new ideas and techniques to the forefront. Postings will soon be made tagged as part of the challenge. Come on and join the fun.

Blogging is a dance betwixt art and science. The latter being the subject, the former being how it gets presented. It is an exercise in delivering well read content, captivating the audience and pulling the reader along to the next point. It is a great way to express yourself and be heard.

Blog on.

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June 2012 video challenge…finally….

It is finally up. The video everyone has been waiting for. The video announcing the June 2010…I mean 2012 video challenge. So, it is time to embed it right here:

Yeah, that’s right. It is time to get out and make some videos. Time to expand your horizons and learn something new and do something exciting. Everyday, challenge yourself in new ways. Everyday, something different.

Go out. Have fun. Be creative. Forget subjects. Make videos. Too many people concentrate on their message too much to the point it is lost. Forget the message for a month and make videos. Any kind of video.

The rules, such as they are, have been previously posted. Read them. All four of them and get creative! The month of June awaits.

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Announcing a new video challenge

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

It is time for something different. It is time to push the boundaries of our experiences. It is time to get out of our comfort zones. It is time for a video challenge. It is time for the June 2012, Video Challenge!

There have been other challenges on YouTube. Some were to make a video a day. Others to shoot twice a week. Some were on a give topic: photography, marketing, introductions, etc. Others had none. This challenge needs to be something different. Something not yet seen. Something real.

Today I did shoot the video announcing the challenge and it will get created and posted. Here is the announcing blog post. What better place than a blog about the future? What are the rules, you ask? They are quite simple.

Rules for the challenge

  1. Have fun – above anything, before everything, have fun making your videos.
  2. Do anything – make a video about cheese, make one showing the wind, it doesn’t matter. Make what ever you want. Capture motion, computer generated, PowerPoint screen capture, it doesn’t matter.
  3. Get out of your box – do something you’ve never done before, go somewhere you’ve never been. Usually make videos inside? Go out? Like the outdoors, do one in the city. Use new techniques and ideas. Explore. Expand.
  4. Runs to the end of June, 2012

That’s it, other than the YouTube guidelines, of course. Post one a day or six. Post as much and as little as you like. It doesn’t matter. The whole point of the challenge is to get out there and go stuff.

Ready. Set. Go!

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Time to Bottle

Today has finally arrived. Today I set about bottling my first pale ale containing rye malt

Pale Ale
Pale Ale (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

as a specialty grain. Today is the day I get to see if it has survived secondary. Today is the day. And I’m starting late.

On weekends, many times I don’t set my alarm. I wake up at 6am anyway or the dogs get all manner of excited and want to go out by then. Not today. No noise. No barking. Up at 8:15 am. Ugh. So much to do: stretch, clean kitchen, move fermentor, sanitize bottles, prime beer, bottle, label, etc.

Oh yeah, and post about today’s activities.


I have decided to take a more personal turn with my blogs. Yes, I’ll still write about marketing strategies, business practices, interpersonal relationships, changing the lives of others and so on. I have listened to your voices and will make good changes. The topics upon which I have received the most feedback are, in order of responses, most to least: photography, personality types and homebrewing beer. Awesome. More attention to them and today it is beer‘s turn.

Next up? Bill Cosby.

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Are You Voiceless?

Do you feel like you are speaking into a dark hole? Like your marketing efforts are only appreciated by ghosts and crickets? You are not alone.

Many of us feel like we speak, but no one hears our voices. The end result is feeling voiceless in the world. Which is worse? Be able to speak, though not heard or not being able to speak? Is there really a worse? Are not both results the same? No responses. No leads. No customers. No sales.

Pulling from the weeds

Marketing is about placement and message. Where you say is as important as what you say. Writing great copy for the wrong audience will not succeed. First, define your audience and know where they. Pull yourself out of the weeds and into the fairway of success. Do not spend your time and efforts with those known to not buy what you sell. Get out of the tall grass.

Once your audience is defined, now develop marketing to meet their pain or in pull them into their pleasure. Spend your time with them. Get to know them. Build a relationship.

Plotting a new course

There are so many expressions for finding success, they seem like cliches: start with the end in mind, know what you want and get it, define the end and plan backward. All of them have two things in common: a clearly defined goal and a way to get there. Clarity of goal and path are a must. One must know exactly what one wants and how to get there. A poorly defined goal will lead to a poor path.

Suppose you are in charge of building a bridge across a river. They only given requirements is that it must join two particular roads. Is that enough to start building? No? Why not? Why do people start a business with a less defined goal?

To build such a bridge, there are many factors to consider: length, structure weight and strength, type of bridge, building materials, design, function, etc. Scale models of various bridges will be built. Sight lines with the surrounding geography will be considered. Plans have to be approved. Bids for construction have to be made. All of that before one scoop of dirt is moved.

Do not set out into the world of business without defining your goals as clearly. Know your send. Make your plan. Start moving.

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