BLAINESWORLD (formerly STUFF)--the newsletter--contains some jokes, hopefully not too risqué; websites; reviews, etc. It began in 1996 and has come out on a more or less weekly basis since then.
For this missive to work best, it needs to be a two-way process; i.e., you need to share your thoughts and ideas. I will do likewise. And toward that end, I'd like you to think about the following: If I gave you a dollar, and you gave me a dollar back, we'd each have a buck. However, if I gave you a joke, quote or idea, and if you gave me one back, we'd each have two.
Past Issues In the unlikely event you are not already a
subscriber and want to see a past issue, please click here:
A. Cynthia, my beautiful bride, and I are looking forward to the upcoming "Walk a Mile" event in downtown Asheville on Saturday, May 3, at 11 a.m. All funds support the efforts of Our Voice, an organization devoted to serving women and men affected by sexual violence.
Pictured, l-r: the BLAINESWORLD team from last year: Blaine Greenfield, John Russo, Steve Liebenthaut, Justin Gaylard and Steven Green. (Not pictured: Tyler Winkler.)
There's still time to join my team this year. If interested, please click:
Or kindly consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support my team's efforts by clicking:
If you need more information, please send me an email (email@example.com) or give me a call at 828.633.1049.
B. We had a blast at the recent Jazz for Justice event that benefited Pisgah Legal Services, the marvelous local organization that helps thousands of people struggling in poverty. In the top photo, we're with Marcy and Tom Gallagher; in the bottom photo, we're with Mark Bennett.
Also, we recently spent a lovely afternoon with our friends Paul and Layne Cutright--viewing beautiful crafts at the Grovewood Gallery. (Our only disappointment was that the nearby Estes-Winn Memorial Automobile Museum was closed.) From there, we went across the street to the Grove Park Inn for a delicious dinner at the Sunset Terrace that was made even better by the fact that our server--Sidney--was so outstanding. That's Paul and Layne in the top picture and in the bottom one, you can see the view from the restaurant.
C. In addition, we got to spend time with our friends Neil Raphel and Janis Ray. They were visiting from Vermont, so naturally we had to take them to Vinnie's--our favorite Italian restaurant. From there, we gave them a tour of downtown Asheville.
D. Congratulations to:
(1) Terry Van Duyn on her upcoming nomination from Van Duncan, Buncombe County Sheriff, to fill the unexpired term of the late, great Senator Martin Nesbitt.
Note: I try to keep politics out of BLAINESWORLD, for the most part, but I'll make an exception in this case. Terry is an outstanding individual, and she would make a fine addition to the North Carolina Senate.
(2) Paul Cutright for having one of his images featured on one of the best mobile photography blogs on the web, Art of Mob, created and curated by the wonderful Geri Centonze. To view it, please click:
(3) Annette Ewing for having one of her poems (see below) chosen as a winner in the Miami-Dade Dept. of Poetry Works contest. As a result, it will be a road sign--somewhere in Miami!
(4) Ezra S. Shanken on his appointment as new Chief Executive Officer of the Jewish Federation of Greater Vancouver.
(5) Jeff Thompson for a great article about his band in MOUNTAIN X:
(6) Ruth Anne Wood on her new ebook, HOW I SAVED MY CLIENTS FROM PENDING FINANCIAL, LEGAL & RELATIONSHIP PROBLEMS. To get your free copy, please click:
(7) Asheville for being listed #3 among the best cities for hippies. To read more, please click:
(8) Meridith Elliott Powell for her appearance on Good Morning Tennessee. She was interviewed on the strategies for Winning In The Trust & Value Economy.
(9) Steve R. in NY, winner of CONTEST #6: a copy of THERE'S A BETTER DAY A-COMIN' by Ronda Rich. All told, there were 7 entries. And that reminds me that's it is now time to announce:
***** CONTEST #7 ******
One lucky winner will receive a copy of HOW TO WIN A PITCH: THE FIVE FUNDAMENTALS THAT WILL DISTINGUISH YOU FROM THE COMPETITION by Joey Archer.
To quote from the book's description at amazon.com: How to Win a Pitch will help you learn how to: Develop presentations that win contracts. Create connections to secure business relationships. Identify, discuss and fulfill client needs effectively. Veteran business coach Joey Asher has helped his clients win over five billion dollars in new business contracts. He uses his former experience as an attorney and journalist to help readers and clients rise above their competition.
Note: I favorably reviewed this book in BLAINESWORLD #894. Methinks you'll like it as much as I did.
To enter: Put "CONTEST #7 in the subject of an email and send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org. . . make sure you include your name AND snail mail address in the body of the email . . . all entries must be received on or before 9 p.m. on Monday, April 7.
***** BLAINESWORLD BEST AWARD *****
This week, it goes to the many dedicated Asheville SCORE volunteers who have been writing articles that are being run each week in the local press. These have included the following:
Don't Take Small Business Cash Flow for Granted
by Vanessa Freund-Marte
Take Practical Approach to Small Business Pricing
by Bob Bond
Ethical Workplace: Easy to Say, Difficult to Do?
by Ron Ashe
From Business Planning to Growth Planning
by Ron Gallaway
Asheville SCORE Helps Small Business
by Elizabeth Pou
Get Comfortable With Networking Situations
by Gayle Sovinee
Build social media into your marketing
by Blaine Greenfield
To read any and/or all of them, please click:
One more article on Encore Entrepreneurship, written by Maceo Keeling, was published in the URBAN NEWS:
Special kudos to Bob Bond for spearheading the effort to get the above into print!
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On getting at the truth (if you want to put a smile on your face)
1. Print media
A. The Borowitz Report
This is a satirical news column that has millions of readers around the world, for which he won the first-ever National Press Club award for humor
B. The Onion
The Onion is an American digital media company and news satire organization. It runs an entertainment website featuring satirical articles reporting on international, national and local news.
C. This Is True
This is True is a weekly e-mail newsletter which reports on bizarre-but-true news items from legitimate news outlets from around the world. Each story ends with a comment--a tagline which is humorous, ironic or opinionated (or with luck, some combination of the three).
2. TV and/or the Internet (for clips)
A. Bill Maher
Maher eschews political labels, referring to himself as "practical." In the past, he has described himself as a libertarian and has also referred to himself "as a progressive, as a sane person." He has also referred to himself as a "9/11 liberal", noting that his formerly liberal view of Muslims changed as a result of the attacks on September 11, 2001, and he differentiates himself from liberals in his opinion that all religions are not the same.
B. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
Describing itself as a fake news program, The Daily Show draws its comedy and satire from recent news stories, political figures, media organizations, and often, aspects of the show itself.
C. Colbert Nation with Stephen Colbert
Stephen Tyrone Colbert is an American political satirist, writer, comedian, television host, and actor. He is the host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report, a satirical news show in which Colbert portrays a caricatured version of conservative political pundits.
Note: Note: I've previously prepared a similar-type listing for getting at the truth from a serious standpoint; e.g., if you want to debunk rumors, falsehoods, etc. If you haven't seen that yet and would like a copy, send an email to: email@example.com and put TRUTH in the subject line.
FYI, part 2
(1) Chuck F. in NC: Warhol said we all have 15 minutes of fame. Greg Fink [Chuck's talented son] has 14.5 minutes still to go. Here's commercial #2. He's the last guy with a line before the spokesman ends the spot.
(2) Edie W. in PA: Hug flash mob
(3) Layne C. in NC: When a baby elephant sees the sea for the first time
(4) Allisone W. in NC: Man vs. lawnmower
(5) Chanah M. in MO: When you wake up and can't find your phone
(6) Julia R. in NC: Happy, the world's first 24 hour video
(7) Meshuganas on Passover on the Daily Show
(8) Cynthia G. in NC: What We Do
(9) Joe H. in NC: Brian Williams Rap
(10) Preston D. in NC: How to do a cartwheel
B. Other tidbits from readers
To read each of the following contributions in full, please click:
(1) Elizabeth P. in NC: Loved the 1 A (1) pix of you and Cynthia. (2) Marty S. in PA: These Are Some of the Best Lines I've Ever Heard. (3) Bob P. in NC: You need to read a non-fiction book that I have just finished called Why Nations Fail. (4) Sharon B. in NC: I remember you saying that you had a basal cell carcinoma removed. (5) Natalie K. in PA: Watched Robot and Frank last night. (6) Deborah A. Scannell: A large body of my landscape work [photos taken in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park] that is guaranteed to lower your blood pressure. (7) Suzanne W. in NC: Please consider donating to help make Buncombe County a NO KILL community.
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3. Joke 1
Just before a boy enters the barbershop, the barber tells his customer, "This is the stupidest kid in the world. Watch." The barber puts a dollar in one open palm and two quarters in the other and asks the kid, "Which one do you want?" The boy takes the quarters and leaves. "See?" says the barber, laughing. . . . Later, the customer passes the boy, who is coming outside an ice cream store. "Why'd you take the quarters and not the dollar?" he asks. . . The boy licked his cone and replied, "Because the day I take the dollar, the game is over."
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A. THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL tells the story of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. They work together to recover a priceless Renaissance painting. Though it has gotten great reviews, I didn't like it. There were few laughs and aside from some imaginative camera work (in the second half), there's little for me to recommend about the film. Rated R.
B. Netflix now has AND YOUR NAME IS JONAH available via streaming. Do what you can to watch it via that method and/or if you can find it on DVD. It is a moving 1979 TV movie about a deaf boy who has been misdiagnosed as retarded. Sally Struthers is excellent as the mother, and I also liked the work of James Woods as the father. However, it is Jeffrey Bravin as the youngster who steals every scene he is in. Unrated, but certainly appropriate for anybody 10 or older.
Note: I was so impressed with Bravin's performance that I wanted to find out more about him. It turns that he is deaf in real life. For more information, please click:
I also found out that he is now the Assistant Executive Director and COO for the American School for the Deaf.
C. Disclaimer: I'm perhaps not completely objective about the following review, in that I'm a friend of the book's author.
That said, I was thoroughly engrossed by EPISODES: A POETIC MEMOIR (ABLiA Media) by Rodney Richards.
It is the amazing story of a dedicated New Jersey civil service and deeply religious man who attempts to lead a normal life despite the fact that he is bipolar.
His descriptions of what that entails were frightening, especially his account of a 9-day trip overseas that he took on the spur of the moment. I felt myself genuinely concerned for his safety.
I give Richards a lot of credit for not only attempting to master his condition, but also for sharing his story with the rest of the world. In addition, kudos to his wife Janet for patiently staying with him during his various ups and downs.
If you want to have a better understanding of what mental illness is all about, please read EPISODES.
D. Heard HOME RUN: LEARN GOD'S GAME PLAN FOR LIFE AND LEADERSHIP (Hachette Audio), written by Kevin Myers and Jon C. Maxwell and read by Myers and Peter Ganim.
I was interested in this book because I had previously read and/or listened to several other efforts by Maxwell, a leadership expert and coach. His stuff has always been on the mark. I had not been familiar with Myers, but I was impressed by the fact that he is the senior pastor of 12Stone Church, one of the largest churches in the U.S.
In addition, I was intrigued by the baseball analogy that was used. The authors employ it to help readers keep their priorities in order by following a pattern that entails:
* Connection with God: Winning Dependence
* Character: Winning Within
* Community: Winning With Others
* Competence: Winning Results
Myers' story was inspiring, and I enjoyed how Maxwell commented and presented relevant applications.
HOME RUN has many references to the Bible, so if that bothers you, consider yourself forewarned.
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5. TV alert
A. Season 2 of "Mr. Selfridge" opens on MASTERPIECE CLASSIC with the London store celebrating its fifth anniversary. According to THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, [this is] "a series that is improving with age." Begins Sunday, March 31, at 9 p.m. on PBS.
Note: PBS times and dates often vary, so check local listings.
B. Several new shows have either recently started--or they'll start in the near future:
(1) FRIENDS WITH BUTTERFLIES is a new comedy about a group of friends. It stars James Van Der Beek, Kevin Connolly and model Brooklyn Decker. Mondays at 9 p.m. on CBS.
(2) SAINT GEORGE features comedian George Lopez in a semiautobiographical comedy. Thursdays at 9 p.m. on FX.
(3) SURVIVING JACK, starring Christopher Meloni, is a sitcom set in the 90s. Thursdays at 9:30 p.m. on FOX.
Note: If you've seen any of the above yet, I'd be interested in your reaction . . . especially if you recommend viewing. I've been watching another new show, ABOUT A BOY on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC, and really enjoying it.
C. I remember being dazzled when I saw LAWRENCE OF ARABIA as a 13-year-old back in 1962. I'll be curious how the film profile of the British soldier holds up. Wednesday, April 2, at 9:45 p.m. on TCM.
D. James Naughton performs the songs on Randy Newman on LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER on Friday, April 4, at 9 p.m. on PBS.
Note: PBS times and dates often vary, so check local listings.
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6. Joke 2
It's about time!
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A. To find new friends and/or those with similar interests, please click:
Specifically, for Asheville, please click:
Last I checked, there were 224 matchups!
Ironically, as I was putting this together, my friend Arta S. in PA sent me the following email:
Do you know, or know of Ken McArthur?
I went to his meetup at Paneras in Feasterville and thought that you two should know each other.
The meetup was fun and productive, and I plan to go again. For more information, please click:
B. Chandler S. in NY shared this fantastic song, which appeals to me for obvious reasons and is rapidly becoming one of my favorites:
Cynthia She's a Really Cool Dancer! Lyrics
Note: The above describes Cynthia, my beautiful bride!
C. BLAINESWORLD, the website, remains up and running . . . to view it, please click:
If you're not familiar with the YOMBER Principle (one of my favorite techniques for dealing with irate customers, students, etc.), please click "Consulting" to the left and then "Article Samples." You'll be glad that you did.
D. Are you on Facebook? In the unlikely event we have not yet connected as friends there, please feel free to send me an invite by clicking:
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8. Technology tip
Thanks, Doug Burak, at Bucks County Community for allowing me to reprint the following that applies specifically to Bucks--but has relevance for any computer user:
ON THE BEHALF OF THE TLTR DATA SECURITY AWARENESS TEAM
As you may have heard or read in the media, there have been a variety of cyber scams and data breaches in the news recently - from Target to Neiman Marcus to the University of Maryland. Data security and your own personal identification information (PII) are at risk, which is why we'd like to take this opportunity to remind you to: Stop. Think. Connect.
For the rest of this informative letter, please click:
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9. Joke 3
A cowboy appeared at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter asked, "Have you ever done anything of particular merit?". . . "Well, I can think of one thing," the cowboy offered. "On a trip to the Black Hills out in South Dakota I went up to a gang of bikers who were threatening a young woman. I ordered them to stop, but they wouldn't listen. So I approached the largest, most tattooed biker and smacked him in the face, kicked his bike over, ripped out his nose ring and threw it on the ground. I yelled, 'Now back off or I'll kick the sh*t out of all of you!' " . . . St. Peter was impressed. "When did this happen?" . . . "'Couple of minutes ago!"
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10. A quote I like
"In pursuit of your passions, always be young. In your relationships with others, always be a grown-up."--Tom Brokaw (born 1940), American television journalist and author best known as the anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News from 1982 to 2004
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11. Thought for the day
Unconscious coupling (a Facebook post)
by Emily Shaules
Am I the only on applauding Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin for their conscious uncoupling? Haters in the press are going on and on about their separation and how divorce is tough and they are delusional for striving to make the process as love-filled and conscious as possible. Well, I for one love it and believe it is an indicator that we are moving to a more open and honest place regarding adult relationships in society.
To read the rest of this insightful post, please click:
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12. Advance planning department
Note: To reach about each of the following events in full, please click:
A. NC events
(1) Members' Showcase at Jubilee. (2) Man and Superman at the Masonic temple downtown. (3) Jerry Crouch in NC: Asheville Community Theatre's 69th Season Reveal! (4) Join us for A TASTE OF SART. (5) 2 upcoming SCORE seminars. (6) Last show of the season for Asheville Vaudeville. (7) Vocal Blast Benefit Concert. (8) Barbara Brady: Please join me for a talk I'll be giving: "The Illusion of Control." (9) (9) FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR.
B. PA/NJ events
(1) Dr. Scarpati to host weekly self-hypnosis and mediation seminars. (2) Jeff Baumeister: CD Release Concert. (3) David Brahinsky and Friends in a Sing Along.
C. National events
(1) Preview of a movie called e-Motion. (2) Seth Godin webcast.
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PS. Make it a wonderful week!