NFL 2012-13 Season: Desperately Seeking Cinderella

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Today comes close to a religious Holiday for nearly every red-blooded, sports lovin’ fan in America, the first Sunday of the NFL Season. Every year there is at least one breakout or Cinderella team that comes out of nowhere and captures the hearts of a nation. Who will it be this year?

This year I pick the Buffalo Bills. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick led a high powered offense to crushing victories of two playoff teams last year (KC beat 41-7 and Denver beat 40-14). I predict the offense got appreciably better in the off-season with the injury recovery of RB CJ Spiller and another year of the same offensive system.

The Bills defensive line adds the NFL’s highest paid defensive player, Pro-Bowler Mario Williams. On the other Defensive End position the Bills add Mark Anderson. My sleeper reason for picking the Bills: Safety George Wilson and his iPad. See below for a great interview with Wilson and his discussion that pro football is 90% mental and only 10% physical. The DesignerPhoenix technology has improved to the point that players are able to watch the game film within an hour of the end of the game, this used to take 24 hours. Who do you pick?

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The ‘Little Red Hen’ Shall Define the 2012 Election

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My wife, Tanya, and I were talking this weekend about the upcoming Republican National Convention happening this week in our hometown, The Tampa / St. Petersburg area, and who will win in November.

Tanya’s opinion is that the outcome of the election will be determined by where voters stand on the parable of the ‘Little Red Hen’. What? I was not savvy on the parable so she explained that The Little Red Hen is parable that teaches a lesson about respecting, valuing and appreciating hard work. She further went on to mention that she always tried to instill values of the little red hen in our three daughters.

In preparing for this post I ran across a version of the parable told by President Ronald Reagan in November 1976 on one of his radio programs. I think he does a great job drawing out the differences between members of our society that are “Little Red Hens” and those that want to enjoy the spoils without being part of the hard work necessary to “bake the bread”. See below for a link to a YouTube video where Reagan tells the modern version of this Russian parable. If you can not click on the video below – copy and paste this URL into your browser: http://bit.ly/LittleRedHen

By Ronald Reagan in November 1976

Once upon a time there was a little red hen who scratched about the barnyard until she uncovered some grains of wheat.

She called her neighbors and said, “If we plant this wheat we shall have bread to eat. Who will help me plant it?”

“Not I”, said the cow.

“Not I”, said the duck.

“Not I”, said the pig.

“Not I”, said the goose.

“Then I will”, said the little red hen and she did.

The wheat grew tall and rippened into golden grain.

“Who will help me reap my wheat?’, asked the little red hen.

“Not I”, said the duck.

“Out of my classification”, said the pig.

“I’d lose my seniority”, said the cow.

“I’d lose my unemployment compensation”, said the goose.

“Then I will”, said the little red hen, and she did.

At last it came time to bake the bread. “Who will help me bake bread?”, asked the little red hen. “Oh that would be overtime for me.”, said the cow.

“I’d lose my welfare benefits.”, said the duck.

“I’m a dropout and never learned how.”, said the pig.

“Well, if I’m to be the only helper that’s discrimination.” said the goose.

“Then I will .” said the little red hen.

She baked five loaves and held them up for her neighbors to see. They all wanted some. And in fact demanded a share. But the little red hen said “No. I can eat the five loaves myself.”

“Excess profits!” cried the cow.

“Capitalist leech!”, screamed the duck.

“I demand equal rights!”, yelled the goose.

And the pig just grunted.

And they painted “Unfair” picket signs and marched round and round the little red hen shouting obscenities.

When the government agent came he said to the little red hen, “You must not be greedy.”

“But I earned the bread!” said the little red hen.

“Exactly!” said the agent, “That’s the wonderful free enterprise system. Anyone in the barnyard can earn as much as he wants, but under our modern government regulations the OrangeCountyDigiart productive workers must divide their product with the idle.”

And they lived happily ever after. Including the little red hen. Who smiled and clucked, “I am grateful, I am grateful.” But her neighbors wondered why she never again baked anymore bread. I guess a lot of us have been wondering something like that.

Did I Wake Up in East Berlin?

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Driving to my office in Downtown St. Petersburg, FL has me passing by Tropicana Field where the Rays play baseball and opening ceremonies for the RNC will be held Sunday night. The barricades normally used to create the Grand Prix track on our bucolic city streets have been moved into place around the stadium and around the Police Station and fences have been reinforced with barbed wire at the top.

Berlin Wall in 1962

Buildings in Downtown Tampa near the convention center are being boarded up on the first 3 levels and employees have been told not to report to work next week. A stash of bricks and pipes were found on a roof in Tampa allegedly to be used as weapons. Rumors of Anarchists sleeping in local parks filling plastic “Easter Eggs” with acid abound.

Am I the only one that thinks this is messed up? When did we become so divisive as a people and not united that we fill Easter Eggs with acid to make our point? How did we lose our ability to peacefully sit down across the table from one another and work out our differences for the benefit of us all? What happened to creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and working a compromise? In any compromise we win some points and lose on others. This is The United States of America not East Germany. It is hard to blame the police and secret service for their over the top response to the threats both real and imagined. If they were not this proactive and anarchy did reign through Tampa Bay over the next week certainly some enterprising trial attorney would sue for billions.

No matter your personal political leanings I think we can agree that bringing riots and mayhem to this discussion would make our NewYorkDesigner ill and it eliminate any credibility from the argument.

Here is a classic video clip of the last American President that cut across party lines and united our country…

You can also view the link in YouTube by cutting and pasting this link: http://youtu.be/C-PSq2dy754

Categories: Florida, St. Petersburg Tags: Tags: , ,

Overnight Success at Contact Synchronicity, Twenty-One Years Later

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By David Repka, C0-Founder MinneapolisDigiart

Hi, my name is Dave and I’m a deal junkie. I’ve made a living connecting people, opportunities and capital since the mid 1980s. My primary assets are the relationships, contacts and connections I have nurtured over my 26+ year career. My contact management system has evolved over the years to handle this growing network:

  • keeping business cards in a 3-ring notebook
  • then I discovered a Rolodex
  • then I discovered a Windows based computer and created my own database in Excel
  • In 1991 my friend, Jerry Rosen, showed me Act! for Windows (thanks, Jerry!) and I used that for 10+ years until it stopped syncing with my Treo 650 (remember those?)
  • I stopped using Act! and pretended Outlook was a real contact manager… it is not!
  • I switched back to the Mac platform with a MacBook Pro and pretended Entourage was a real contact manager… it is not!
  • When I replaced my Treo with an iPhone I thought Mobile Me would be the answer… it was slow and creeky… time to find a real solution…
  • In August 2009 I switched my e-mail host to Google (they host business accounts for $50 per address per year). Google has “contacts” built in. I use Google contacts and calendar to sync with my iPhone wirelessly through the cloud using exchange server (very easy to set up especially for a Microsoft product).
  • It is a simple, elegant solution that just worked until I got a new iPhone 4S and I messed up a setting or two. Rather than staying in the Google ecosystem and got fancy and tried to get one unified database from all sources and software collected over the years. Big mistake!
  • My contact database went out of control grabbing contacts through multiple platforms and devices over the last 21 years. My database had 2 to 8 duplicate records per contact and soon ballooned from about 10,000 contacts to well over 24,000.
  • I did some Google research and found an application called Scrubly that promised to fix my problem
  • I said a little prayer and purchased annual subscription for Scrubly.com for $25 then used this strategy:

1. Scrub my main contact database in BisonFinancial.com e-mail on Express setting using Scrubly (before the scrub the software backs up the database to their cloud which is nice)

2. Turn off Exchange Server contact sync radio button in iPhone & iPad so they are “out of the loop”

3. Export a backup of all contacts from Mac Address Book to SugarSync – Backup all contacts from Dave@BisonFinancial.com on Google Apps to SugarSync (that way I had a backup to the backup – a little anal retentive, but my contacts are the lifeblood of my business)

4. Go into Address Book on the Mac and DELETE them all (yes, delete them all)

5. Delete all contacts on iPhone – after struggling to do this in iTunes I bought app for $0.99 called DeleteQ (they are the number 15 app in Spain so how bad could that be?) that deleted all my contacts from my iPhone (it timed out a few times and needed to be restarted, but it deleted close to 12,000 contacts)

6. Do a hard reset of iPhone and iPad (just in case)

7. Reset Radio Button on iPhone and iPad to Sync with Exchange Server

8. 9,777 contacts on BisonFinancial.com – iPad – iPhone perfectly SYNCHRONIZED for the first time ever! Yes, ever! Thanks Scrubly!

Now if I could only figure out how to get all this to sync with the Apple iCloud and all the social media connections I’ve built through LinkedIn, Twitter & Facebook! But, I’ll worry about that another day.

Seeking Branding Company with Exceptional Follow Through Skills

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I am humbled that a uber-successful friend has asked me to help him create a branding strategy for his rapidly growing private equity investment firm.

It is one thing for me to manage my personal brand and my core company: Webservices-Milwaukee from the comfort of my sofa on nights and weekends. It is quite another thing for me to manage AND maintain someone else’s brand and social media engagement for a growing, successful business. Wanted to reach out to all my social media savvy connections for advice on creating, maintaining and growing a brand. We are looking to position my very capable friend as an expert in a rather esoteric niche and need assistance in getting out the message to a very small group of targeted (but International) prospects. From my School of Hard Knocks experience at social media branding and networking even more important than the initial set-up is the constant, ongoing and never-ending maintenance and cultivation of the brand.

Would appreciate any help in finding a single, experienced group that can help us create and maintain:

  • website / blog via WordPress or other social media savvy platform
  • FAQs
  • SEO
  • Social Media integration
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Traditional PR
  • Quoted “expert” in niche topic
  • Radio
  • Television
  • Books

Please contact me via a comment to this article or to my bisonfinancial e-mail address. Thanks!

Young Men with Unlimited Capital Seek Compelling Investment Opportunities

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By David Repka

In an earlier blog post I mentioned my relationship with a “socially conscious” investor looking to invest equity in companies (and commercial real estate projects) that can get Floridians back to work.  If that post was the view from 50,000 feet let me bring the view down to 10,000 feet so some additional details can be seen. We have been honored to view dozens of business plans and have clarified what our investors like and more importantly, what they don’t like. What we like so far:

    • Medical Practice Management Companies (Dental – Urgent Care – specialty)
    • Medical Office Buildings in close proximity to hospitals
    • Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) / Memory Care Facilities
    • Hotels (2.5 star or better – we would call newer, purpose built Holiday Inn Express / Hilton Garden Inn the base of what we are seeking)
    • Single Tenant Retail Leased to Credit Tenants / Small Retail Centers Leased to Nationally Known Tenants / Retail Shopping Centers that are Old, Tired, Riddled with Vacancies and Need a Refresh
    • Green Businesses focused on Recycling & Sustainable Practices
    • Open to new ideas that are logical, repeatable and scalable

Florida is first… Texas is next!

While the politicians in Washington and on the campaign trail talk and talk about creating jobs, I’m aligned with investors that are actually writing checks. If you have an opportunity to discuss please call me, send me an email or a connection request on LinkedIn. Our investors obviously can’t do every deal, but promise to review your presentation quickly and get you a definitive “yes” or “no” answer rather than a long, drawn out “maybe”.

My Thanksgiving Theme for 2011: GRATITUDE

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Backstory: Since 1996 my wife and I have been honored to host Thanksgiving Dinner at our home for friends and family with 30 to 60+ guests not uncommon. We assumed this family tradition after the passing of my father in 1996. My late father was an English major at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY and an attorney / judge by profession. He took his task of preparing the Thanksgiving prayer as seriously as preparing for a Supreme Court case. I’ve done my best to honor his legacy by keeping up that tradition. Here is my Thanksgiving prayer for 2011… 

GRATITUDE

One of my favorite stories from my misguided youth is that of the young boy on a cold Buffalo Winter afternoon…

This boy that was so poor that he had to walk home from school with big, giant holes in his boots.

He was cold and feeling depressed about his condition. “Why me? Why must life be so hard for me?

I don’t even have boots that will keep me dry!” he cried out. Then he came across a little boy sitting in the alley, who had no FEET!

He walked the rest of the way home with joy in his heart and never complained another day in his life.

 

It took me many years to truly appreciate the lessons from this story. Above all the last year has taught me to be grateful no matter how many holes I have in my boots.

My prayer for 2011 is one of simple thanksgiving. As the great Christian mystic Meister Eckhart once said, “If the only prayer you ever say is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

Let us bow our heads:

My heart is filled with thankfulness for the continuous flow of God’s good.

And while I earnestly give thanks for specific things, occurrences and people,

I also maintain a grateful state of mind regardless of outer circumstances.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL !!!

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11/11/11 Is Nigel Tufnel Day

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This Friday is Nov. 11, 2011 (aka 11/11/11). Or, to put it another way, it’s Nigel Tufnel Day. 

Enthusiasts of loud (if not necessarily critically acclaimed) music know all about Tufnel. He’s the fictional rocker from the semi-fictional band Spinal Tap who loves to turn his amps up to 11 when he needs that “extra push over the cliff.” What better time to celebrate and salute the man and his technique than on 11/11/11?

We first learned of the unofficial holiday through Facebook, where folks are preparing to honor the great guitarist. One fan writes, “Friday, in Honor if Nigel Tufnel Day and Veterans Day, I will be turning it up to 11 and rocking the Star-Spangled banner.” Web searches on the holiday are on the rise, jumping 20% over the past 24 hours.

 

View Original Article on Yahoo

Happy 236th Birthday United States Marine Corps

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Today we celebrate the 236th Birthday of the USMC. Let’s not forget the gratitude for their never-ending vigilance. May God Bless the United States Marine Corps.

 

The Marines’ Prayer
Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of Thy presence and obedient to Thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose in deed and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones and Thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold. If I am inclined to doubt; steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer. Amen.

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