Tag Archives: Clearly Right

I’m Offended at Those Who Are So Easily Offended.

8 Apr

People have different beliefs regarding faith, politics, family, etc. In the United States of America they have the right to express those different beliefs without persecution from the government, at least that was the idea in decades past. Now one cannot practice those beliefs if one, just one, person is offended. I’m sorry, actually no I’m not, it’s time for people to get over it.

No where in the founding of the United States is it written people do not have a right to offend one another. Quite the contrary. By having the right to freedom of speech, being offended by something is guaranteed to happen. Someone will at some point say something to offend someone. What has gotten out of hand is the ridiculous oppression of speech by those who are so easily offended.

I’m offended on a daily basis by what I hear some people say. I have two choices, let it go or get worked up over it. Sometimes I let it go and sometimes I get worked up. What I do not do is run to some slimy lawyer and sue the person. Only the weakest, wimpiest people on this planet do something like that.

I’ve had just about every thing about me made fun of in my life. And yet, I’m still alive and breathing. I’m working and contributing to society financially (even after having the government steal money from my paycheck) and in various other ways. I cannot imagine what posses people to be so worked up they go out and get some waste of space lawyer to sue someone for being offended.

It’s time for people to get their feelings off their shoulders and “man up”. Don’t like the way someone did something? That’s fine. Have an opinion and feel free to voice it. Just don’t get offended when not everyone agrees with you. Welcome to the real world. Welcome to reality. Welcome to planet earth. Life’s tough, wear a helmet.

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Half Baked: Chris Baker Leaving KSEV, Edd Hendee Coming Back

24 Jan

All I can say is it’s about time! Chris Baker is finally leaving Houston’s KSEV 700 AM radio station. I wrote a piece last year about how I was done listening to KSEV except for the morning show on occasion. Well it appears I was not the lone ranger in doing so.

I was tipped off to the idea Baker was leaving after I saw the piece about KSEV starting to get a lot of attention recently. Apparently people were searching for news about his departure. My initial thought was Baker did something to really upset the listeners of the station and people were, like me, just hoping he would leave.

My initial research didn’t turn up any news, until today. I came across a short, but definitely sweet, article noting the changes coming to the lineup of KSEV talkshow hosts. As my eyes ran over and my brain processed the words ” ” I couldn’t help but feel some satisfaction. Finally Baker and his arrogant, know it all, faux conservative attitude would be gone. It was like a belated Christmas present!

The line will turn out to have Edd Hendee in the mornings (great for the drive into work) and The Mack Show will move to the afternoons. Many people have missed Edd since he had to step down as a show host after the tragic death of his son. He did fill in work here and there and was, as far as I could tell, always welcomed back with open arms. I would imagine the news of his return again will be overwhelmingly positive. I hope it is not temporary though and he will remain on a more permanent basis.

As I have said before, I like Richard “Mack” Machowicz and his unique perspective on events. He brings a fresh set of eyes and a voice to the KSEV team. He did have an uphill battle against competing morning shows like Joe Pags (who is a great listen als0). While Mack has done a good job, there is always room to grow in a new field.

I would have enjoyed an Edd-Mack morning show immensely, a Dan-Mack afternoon show could very well work out better. Mack will get the chance to learn from a seasoned veteran in the talk radio industry. I have yet to see where learning from a mentor is a bad thing. I can see Mack growing quickly under Dan’s tutelage as.

So with some excitement and anticipation I give a and sincere thank you to Dan Patrick. While not everyone will like a host, I honestly believe the upcoming changes will improve the listener base at KSEV. I know it will win me back as a listener. Well played Mr. Patrick. Well played.

 

Source –
Baker leaving, Hendee returning at KSEV radio – Chron.com

Friday Funnies – Misc

11 Jan

Match Game: Target Set to Match Amazon Pricing Year Round

8 Jan

Brick and mortar retailers are facing increased pressure from their online counterparts. More and more consumers are “showrooming”, the process of going to a physical store, touching and testing a product, then using their smartphones and some apps to find the lowest price available to purchase the product. Many times the lowest price is at on-line retailer. Not only have the brick and mortar stores lost sales, but they have to still pay all the expenses which go along with having a physical location.

Target has apparently had enough of this situation and is aiming directly at one of the on-line “big boys” in battle: Amazon. According to Target’s CEO, Gregg Steinhafel, “We know that our guests often compare prices online.” While going directly at on-line retailers, like Amazon, Target is also going after other brick and mortar companies as well by matching their on-line prices. Target will be matching prices from Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Toysrus.com and Walmart.com.

The rules for the price match work when “a customer buys a qualifying item at Target and then finds an identical item for less in the following week’s Target circular or within seven days … Target will match the price.” Of course there are other specific rules a customer must follow, and this is where Target will be able to squeeze out of some of the price matches.

According to Target’s rules the “price guarantee states that the price-matched item must be the identical item, brand name, size, weight, color, quantity — and even model number.” The last part is where Target gets the out. There are times when an identical item is made but a retailer may have a different model number than another. This will leave Target a out by telling a customer the product they purchased is not the “exact” same as the one they found on-line.

The frustrated customer can then either try to return the item to Target, which is notorious for being very picky on returns and will store customer information with a third party for possible denial of returns in the future. Or the customer can keep the product, choose to not shop or greatly reduce their shopping at Target and use them as a showroom.

Of course Target could be very customer friendly and match the prices of products which are clearly the same but have the technical, purposefully changed model number. This would be very good customer service, which is another reason customers didn’t buy from a brick and mortar store. From the Market Watch article:

Among shoppers who say they engage in showrooming, 40% say that they actually never intended to shop online, but did so after experiencing poor customer service and support in stores, according to a recent survey by the Kellogg School of Management. Of the 1,900 shoppers surveyed, 59% say they received poor or average service in stores where they recently shopped.

So while matching prices is a big step, if a retailer, on-line or not, doesn’t treat its customers well, they will go elsewhere. Some additional food for thought and the retail business gets even more competitive in the coming year.

 

Source –
Target vows to match Amazon’s prices – Market Watch

Tabled Discussion: Could New Table PC from Lenovo Bring Families Back Together?

7 Jan

The mantra from many marketers is the world is more connected now than ever before. In theory, sure people can now find out what is going on around the world and communicate with those people more than ever before. The idea of being isolated from current events, no matter how trivial is something one has to work to do instead of it being the default action in life.

However this “connected” world we live in now comes at a cost. People are not near as engaged with each other on a personal level than previously. Could technology actually help in bringing people back together in real life? Lenovo thinks it just might have an answer.

The company is set to release the IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC. Lenovo is calling it the “interpersonal computer”, a twist on the personal computer label many people are familiar with. The idea of the device harkens back to when a Microsoft Surface device was previewed as a big table and not the recent tablet. The idea and concept was intriguing at the time, and still is to an extent today.

Think of this Table PC as an massive upgrade to the old coffee table. Now instead of boardgames being taken down, setup, played and put away (a somewhat time consuming and arguably annoying process), they can be installed and run on the table. According to the AP article [1], the Table PC is said to be “big enough to fit four people around it, and the screen can respond to ten fingers touching it at the same time.”  Monopoly anyone? No. How about Pictionary instead? The possibilities are pretty much endless.

And with the ability to upgrade the software, even more functionality is possible. So what is limited to ten fingers today could be 20 by the end of the year, or sooner. Now think of using a device like this in an educational setting. The idea of dissecting animals just got an upgrade. Multiple students could be a one table and take turns doing the process multiple times in varying ways. How about looking at the stars but up-close and personal as a group? Again, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Having some realistic idea of what one could do with device at home and else where currently should temper the grand ideas of its potential use. As most people do with any first generation device. Another possibility is it being a “second screen” to a media program being viewed on a TV.

The cost of the Table PC isn’t as “cheap” as a tablet. This summer when Lenovo says the table will go on sale, the retail cost will be $1699. If successful (which is anyones guess what defines success for a device like this) it is not out of the range of possibility for furniture manufacturers (big-box to mom-and-pop) to beign creating table shells which fit devices such as this. I’m generally not a first generation device purchaser but if I had an extra $1700 lying around, I could see giving this device a try.

Some specs on the device [2]:

  • Up to 3rd generation Intel® Core™ i7 processor
  • Up to Windows 8 Pro
  • 27″ backlit full HD (1920×1080) multi-touch display; 16:9 widescreen
  • Up to 2 hours battery life
  • Up to 1TB HDD
  • Up to 8GB DDR3

 

See it “in action” here:

 

References –

  1. Lenovo to release giant 27-inch ‘coffee table PC’ – AP
  2. IdeaCentre Horizon Product Page – Lenovo

Feeling Peppy: Prison Entrepreneurship Program

3 Jan

The United States, being a nation of laws, must enforce them to keep our relative peace. By doing so prisons were created to house the varying degree of law breakers. Some of them are there for “small” crimes others for things much, much worse. Over half of those who are released commit a crime and go back to prison. As noted in Wikipedia, “A 2002 study survey showed that among nearly 275,000 prisoners released in 1994, 67.5% were rearrested within 3 years, and 51.8% were back in prison.” [1]

The cycle habitual return to crime (ie. recidivism), is a problem for society as a whole. People who go to prison are rarely rehabilitated. This is a key to breaking the cycle of recidivism. Is there anything being done to creating the key? Enter the Prison Entrepreneurship Program, PEP.

PEP is a entrepreneurship program focused on refocusing the minds and hearts of men in prison. It takes the same basic business concepts they were using for their illegal businesses and refocuses them into creating legitimate business which actually contribute to their communities. From the About Us page on the PEP website [2]:

“… Former Wall Street investor Catherine Rohr founded PEP in May of 2004 when she toured a prison and noticed that executives and inmates had more in common than most would think. They know how to manage others to get things done. Even the most unsophisticated drug dealers inherently understand business concepts such as competition, profitability, risk management and proprietary sales channels. For both executives and inmates, passion is instinctive. …”

There is, of course, some initial and understandable skepticism of any program which claims to reform those who have been in prison. The Prison Entrepreneurship Program has the results to prove it is a legitimate and successful model. Some statistics from the Results page on the PEP site [3]:

3-Year Recidivism
Texas: Around 25%
PEP: Less than 5%

Employment
Within 30 days of release: 70%
Within 90 days of release: 100%
Average Starting Wage: $9.51/hour
Average Time to Find Job: 26 days

Entrepreneurship
# PEP Graduate Businesses: At least 106

Housing
# PEP Transition Homes in Houston: 2
# PEP Transition Homes in Dallas: 1
Total Capacity of Homes: 41 beds
% Grads Released to PEP Housing: 65%

Outreach in 2011
Family Members Visiting Prison: Nearly 400
Executive Volunteers in Prison: Over 400
Business Plan Advisors: Over 200

Where prisons are failing, PEP is succeeding. The Prison Entrepreneurship Program is setting a model for others to use and implement. It is also raising the standard for real rehabilitation of those in prison. The net results are more than financial. The healing of families and raising children with solid morals and values makes society better and stronger.

Not every person in prison is able to get into the PEP program. There will always be those in the prison system who are beyond rehabilitation and need to stay behind bars for the safety of society and themselves. But for those who truly want to change, who have the potential to give something back to a society they were harming, the Prison Entrepreneurship Program is a key to changing the game of repeat offenders.

I highly encourage everyone to look into the Prison Entrepreneurship Program and spread the word. If we, as a people, want to see real changes to those who have violated the laws of the land more programs like PEP are a very good place to start.

References –

  1. Incarceration – Wikipedia
  2. About Us – PEP Website
  3. Results – PEP Website

To Boldly Go: Youth Trekking and Learning in Central America

21 Dec

Many youth in America today have an exploring and pioneering spirit which remains untapped. There aren’t many places where that spirit can be let loose and trained. Fortunately, I have found one of those places: Exploration Nation [1].

Team XN

TEAM XN

Never heard of Exploration Nation? Here’s a quick background. Exploration Nation started out as Enzoology. It was a science program created by Pete Monfre and his son Enzo Monfre. The idea was all Enzo’s. His passion and love of science took a home school project and expanded it into a fun series of video enabled lesson plans for elementary and middle school. From there things took off to where now Enzo is part of a group of science and exploration loving kids learning and teaching other kids about the world around them.

What is Exploration Nation exactly? Described in their own words:

“Exploration Nation is a “plug-and-play” lesson program for elementary and middle school students that features engaging videos, complete lesson plans, activities and teacher’s materials aligned to standards. It’s easy to use, dovetails with curriculum requirements and saves time for busy educators. Our team of kid explorers travel the world doing real scientific research. We then create complete lesson programs based on these adventures.”

The desire to educate was passed on from Pete to Enzo and now Enzo is taking it a step further by passing it on to other kids. This passing of the torch is what is missing in our young people today.

Coming up in April of 2013 Exploration Nation is going on an expedition into Central America. The journey of the expedition team will:

“…travel to EARTH University in San Jose, Costa Rica to begin a 14 day series of scientific expeditions that will culminate in setting up a medical and surgical facility for the native people living in San Juan, Nicaragua. ”

Enzo gives Hillary daughter book

Enzo gives Hillary daughter book

This team of young explorers is going where few go, to do what few do and give back to people they have never met. All the while they will be learning and sharing the knowledge they gain with countless numbers of children. The goal for the team is quite simple:

“To show hundreds of thousands of kids that science education their path to raise the quality of life for all people.”

I highly encourage parents and teachers to take advantage of going along, via video, with this group of young explorers into areas they have likely never visited before. Ignite the minds of America’s youth to learn and go beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom by taking them on a virtual field trip across the globe. Click the link in the references section to get the full details of the expedition.

It’s people like Pete and Enzo Monfre who embody the spirit of this country. Doing something different, stepping out and exploring and sharing their experiences with those around them. My hat is off of them and their team. Keep the flame burning guys and gals.

 

References –

  1. Exploration Nation
  2. Team XN: Expedition Central America
  3. Contribute to the Cause