We do a lot of traveling, Estelle and I. That means a lot of hotels and restaurants, sometimes a taxi and other necessities of the road.

Angry diner berating the waiterI am a tipper. I don’t go by a per centage of my cost. I look at the time and trouble involved and the merits of the person who helps us. Everybody gets a tip — usually a generous one. Not only the people who are good and cheerful. Heck, I wouldn’t be in a good mood if I had to do some of the things these working people do. In fact I have.

Right out of high school, I washed dishes in a truck stop for $1.10 an hour. Minimum wage at that time was around $3. My girlfriend was a waitress there (she got me the job — well, a no-show dishwasher actually got me the job) so I knew what she had to put up with and how little she made.

That’s why my stolen quote today is from my favorite marketing guru — he’s not only wildly successful and a great role model, but he is about my same age and went through some of the same things I did while growing up.

“You can absolutely make some working stiff’s day with a kind word, a few minutes of conversation, a decent tip.”
— Dan S Kennedy, Marketer

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Manufacturers have millions of dollars to spend promoting their message, which researchers don’t have and government won’t use.

What we end up with is marketing and PR claiming the majority of headlines and sound bites with biased or just plain fictional results.

Also, the general public really doesn’t know the difference between opinion and legitimate test results. Thus we see messages such as “4 out of 5 dentists recommend” such and such a toothpaste — and the claim is not challenged. How much documentation can you put on the tube of a toothpaste?

Once the claims are in the public record, they can be used to fight policies that would limit their damage (as in the history of the tobacco companies) or to promote unwise and unhealthy products or practices as beneficial in some way.

Then we have the “apples and oranges” arguments, such as studies on exercise being used as proof of dietary recommendations. Coca Cola had a massive campaign about consumers increasing their exercise instead of reducing the intake of Coke to fight obesity. Of course, they are fighting the various state and federal attempts to tax soda drinks. It is a typical “follow the money” logic to see what their real agenda is.

Big budgets are usually more successful at promoting a message than science is at promoting the truth.

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Do you enjoy public radio?

I drive a lot and prefer PBS — mainly because these kids and their modern music with the hipping and hopping and …. but back to topic.

It bothers me that public radio now has commercials. Isn’t it supposed to be non-commercial? Oh yeah, their are contributors and grants and such. But when revenue started falling off, they started giving more detailed credits to their contributors to convince them to sink money into what is supposed to be a public service. Yes … now instead of one sentence like, “Funding for this program was provided by the Ford Foundation” they give you a full 30 seconds of, “Ford — where the rubber meets the road. See your local Ford Dealer for the new Escalade 9Mz, the going choice of drive-by shootings!”

Then, on their free and unfettered news, they have health spots by Kaiser Wilhelm Permanently Al Dente news service — which is always about what is going on the the Kaiser’s hospital. Did you really think that was NEWS?

And they STILL do their week-long fund drives. But instead of twice a year, they do them monthly.

Do you like public TV? Did you know they show infomercials? And Advertainment? Oh yeah

Every time fund drive comes around (again and again) they show Dr. Whizzbang and his miracle cure for tongue warts — a 90 minute infomercial …. and then Dr. Whizzbang is on during the “break” when they overtly ask for money and give you the 9 DVD collection of Dr. Whizzbang’s entire miracle library.

So has this cut down on listener/viewer contributions to public media? Well … it has cut down on at least this one donor’s contributions (fair disclosure — I used to be one of the dweebs on the phones in the studio — but no more!)

Now … back to classical music. {CLICK}

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If you are ready to give up on losing weight, if you are sick and tired of diets that don’t work, if you arDetective interrogating cop.e depressed that you follow all of your doctor’s advice and still gain weight, if you think you are unfairly blamed for “cheating” and being lazy …

We want to band together to fight for our health and make progress in the quest for a leaner, healthier body.

I hearby officially announce a new Meetup group named Irvine Overcoming Overweight Meetup, co-moderated by my wife, Estelle Toby Goldstein, and me.

The first meeting is scheduled Thursday, Sept. 29 at 25 Mauchly, Suite 322 Irvine,CA 92618. Go to the Meetup page linked above, and please RSVP as we have very limited space (about 30 people).

A great big thank-you to Nutripy™  and CEO Jeffrey Moore for allowing us to take over their warehouse for this meeting. You can park in the rear of the building and enter through the back door.

This is one place where you are welcome to bring your excess baggage!

My goal is to lose 100 lbs. How about you? You have a lot to lose? Maybe we can work together and reach our final goals happy and healthy!

Come join us — I’ll look forward to seeing you there.



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My family always made a big party out of Easter.  My grandparents were very religious (Methodists) and we all went to church, but afterward it was your typical family feast with all the relatives.

My Grandpa Roy and Grandma Lee hosted (until they got too old) and we had a big egg hut for the kids in their yard. We also had small gifts — nothing like Christmas, but little things.  Also Easter was a time to buy new clothes (usually “Sunday School” clothes but sometimes everyday stuff).

Painting Portrait Of Wade On Easter Egg

Always A Good Egg

The food was outrageously good and plentiful — lots of stuff with all the good Midwestern-type of picnic food — every kind of salad and Jello dish you can think of — all the baked goods from cookies and brownies and fudge to cakes and pies, and of course LOTS of ham, potatoes and that stuff.
Then — whenever we had a big gathering — the men would churn home-made ice cream.  Grandma made her own special vanilla mix with a hint of lemon extract — I have never found any commercial ice cream that tastes quite like it.  We would fill the tub with ice and take turns cranking the mixer … Grandpa Roy would start, then poop out and my dad would take over, and when we got older, the boys would finish off (it got more difficult as the ice cream solidified).  One person would keep adding ice and rock salt as it drained off (of course you did this outside because of the water flow. )

Great memories.  I think after we found all the eggs, sometimes we nagged the adults to hide them again!

Most of the day was spent watching TV (adults) and playing board and card games.  It was a real close, extended family.  My Uncle Bill and Aunt Bee (Dad’s sister) had two kids about ten years younger than me, so it was like a new generation and my two brothers and I moved up into the adult roles — hiding Easter eggs, helping make ice cream and whatever else men did (this was back in the day when the women did all the real work — cooking, serving, washing dishes).

Great memories.  And I really miss every bit of it.

Hope you and your family have a very happy Easter.

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Stephen Colbert will succeed retiring David Letterman — and I think there is no better choice.

After growing up with legends like Jack Paar, Johnny Carson and Steve Allen, I have been very disappointed by the choices networks have made for late night show hosts.

For years, David Letterman was the only one I really could stand.  When NBC chose Leno over Letterman, I was bummed out, but I came to understand that NBC is the National Bland Company and couldn’t handle the edgy Letterman.  He flourished on his own terms in his own show.

I really don’t want to get into criticisms of Leno or Conan O’Brien or Jimmy Fallon or Seth Myers.  I find Craig Ferguson watchable and enjoyable — in occasional small doses.  I like what Jimmy Kimmel does with his skits — occasionally.

The real talk shows and the real talent in the past decade have been on Comedy Central — Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

The faux-conservative character of Colbert was such a delight and always fresh.  But I was amazed to discover the depths of his talent over the years (did you know he sang — on Broadway?).

Colbert will be worth watching, and we know he can keep up the quality every night.

Jon Stewart may stay at his current post until he retires — he has built a wonderful experience.  I just wish he could get the viewership Colbert is going to get on a major network.

Vive la Letterman, vive La Colbert!






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Music theory — ugh!

It’s like the musical equivalent of long division. Nobody likes it, nobody wants to learn it, it’s hard!!!!

Well — that’s why we lazy boys (TM) love to find shortcuts.  And today’s shortcut is  a way to remember the Circle of 4ths/5ths.

Oh boy!  Ain’t We Got Fun! OK — let’s get into it, kiddies.

First of all — why do we need these pests?  Eddie Vedder don’t need no steenkin Circle of 4ths.  Justin Timberlake neether!

But those who want to remember little things like how many sharps or flats are in a certain key, or what the major chords (and relative minor chords) in a guitar song will be — here is today’s magic trick.

Four Crazy Guys Drank At Ed’s Bar
Freddie Can Get Drunk At Every Bar
Fidel Castro Gets Drunk At Every Bar
Fred Can’t Go Driving After Eight Beers
Fat Cats Get Down At Ed’s Barbecue
Four Chorus Girls Danced All Evening Bare
Four City Girls Dance An Excellent Ballet
Father Christmas Gave Dad An Electric Blanket

These are really amusing little bits of gossip — but they are also the order of Sharps in a key

Read more on You’d Better C# Or You Will Bb…

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