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21 Feb

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Reasoned Audacity Milestone: 300,000 visitors!

February 21, 2007 | By | 3 Comments

Thank you so much for reading Reasoned Audacity!

If you think you were our 300,000th visitor — see below, please comment. The first commenter will receive a copy of Charmaine’s book Mother in the Middle: Searching for Peace in the Mommy Wars, published by HarperCollins. If your comment is not the first, but is more clever than creditable, we might send you a book anyway.

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Alert Readers will remember that Reasoned Audacity will be two years old in two days. We launched on 23 February 2005 writing about Tocqueville. And the freedom of association of blog writers and readers.

Thank you for reading at least one of our 1,197 posts.

We remain in your debt, Charmaine and Jack.

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Bill Maher with Mother in the Middle.

James Brown Dead on Christmas Day 2006

December 27, 2006 | By | No Comments

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James Brown ca 1965 James Brown is dead at 73.

I’m so glad I got to hear him sing in person last year. He was an amazing performer.

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UPDATE: Yes, he was an amazing performer. But. How do you want to be remembered at the end of your life?

Brown is survived by his partner, Tomi Rae Hynie, one of his backup singers, and at least four children two daughters and sons Daryl and James Brown II. . .

At least?

Seems like the precise number children you’ve contributed genetic material to should be one of those things that, well, ought to be fairly easy to nail down. Just for the record, if nothing else.

22 Dec

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Rocky Balboa: Courage, Integrity, Faith, Victory The Movie

December 22, 2006 | By | 6 Comments

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Rocky

at the base of the steps Your Business Blogger was in Philly recently and wondered about the Rocky statue that was briefly at the top of the 72 steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Since September, the statue is now at the base of the steps.

So I decided to ask the man who might know, Sylvester Stallone.

Why? I asked him.

Rocky Sly says, It’s better where it is — at the base of the steps. At the top was the completion — the end — but it’s not the completion that counts — it’s the journey. The Effort; The Passion.

Or, as Rocky says in the movie, The Beast trying to get out.

The step-climbing, the process, the journey, reminded me of Earl Nightingale’s definition of success: The progressive realization of a worthy goal.

Success on this side of eternity and finishing the fight, the race, for the other side of eternity. The passion and The Passion.

The new Rocky movie was about the beast, the fire in the gut getting out and lighting up the world.

The Completion and incidentally, The End.

Your Business Blogger and Charmaine were guests for a premier showing of the film in Your Nation’s Capital a few weeks ago. A must see. Blood and a beating and a victory…although not quite what you would think. And not quite a tie.

The pre-screening was at the Regal Theater on K Street in Georgetown, DC.

After the viewing, we were invited with a few dozen of our closest new best friends to meet Sylvester Stallone at the Four Seasons.

I made a little wager with Charmaine: when Rocky walked in, he’d get a standing O. Charmaine said O, no — it will be respectful silence.

As it happened, we were both right; both of us winning. (A nice way to end a marital debate, as well as a movie) When Sly walked in (with only three handlers, security out of sight) there was enthusiastic applause — but not standing and shouting as I would have thought, and I almost did, Charmaine enforcing a restraining order on my arm…

Sylvester Stallone at three score years and zero body fat and six Rocky movies (Rambo et.al. aside) strolled in wearing a comfortable-looking blue long sleeve shirt and blue jeans and funky shoes Charmaine could not ID. He sat at the head of a long conference table to talk about The Final Rocky Movie.

His Faith made him do it. And Jesus was in the details.

The music score kept up the motivation: A big score for a little man, he says.

The music alone is enough to have Rocky Top any opponent.

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Rocky Balboa at the Top

Museum of Art, Phildephia

Totally Rocky.com But not without effort. Stallone says that he’s one of three Republicans in Hollywood — and that influences getting work — don’t let anyone say otherwise.

No wonder Sylvester Stallone was comfortable in Washington, DC: Congress now looks just like Hollywood…

Except Hollywood might have more conservatives than Congress.

Sly (we are on first names, natch) is a real professional at work, especially in how he worked the room. He is immediately likable. I’d vote for him. And see his movies.

(And he embodies the difference between liberals and conservatives:

Reagan was an Actor who became a Politician.

Clinton was a Politician who became an Actor.

Stallone is genuine. Authentic. Transparent.)

He spent some 40 minutes sharing his Faith and eternal values and how that made the movie moving. He loves Jesus and Liberals hate him. (Both Jesus and Rocky.)

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The Diva and The Dude with

Art in Philadephia There is room all over Philly for all manner of “art” but not Rocky at the Top of the Museum of Art. The Rocky Statue is not considered art but only a “movie prop.”

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ROCKY

A. Thomas Schomberg, 1982 Where marketing meets real life.

DAN GELSTON, AP Sports Writer, says in Stallone still packs punch with Rocky

Besides filming most of the movie in the city, mostly in Kensington and South Philadelphia, Stallone has made several trips the last few months. The Rocky Balboa statue returned in September to the base of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, not far from the steps where the fictitious hard-luck fighter made movie history. And Stallone promoted the movie at a Philadelphia Eagles game earlier this month, earning another boisterous reaction.

Not many movie characters are as synonymous with a city as Rocky and Philadelphia.

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Rocky Balboa

Faith Based Resource Kit

GET THE BOX

free Also see Faith Based resources

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Management training tips and for more on Philadelphia and business, see:

John Wanamaker, Half of my marketing budget is wasted…problem is…I don’t know which half.

Benjamin Franklin, A success story — read how Franklin got Benjamin’s.

John Kerry, Learn how swiss cheese cost him the election at Pat’s Steakhouse.

Clowns in Philly, What two groups of people should never be at a negotiation table?

Rocky Balboa is in theaters now. And be sure to stay to the very end — terrifc clips of common tourists running and boxing at the top of the steps. Required activity when visiting Philadelphia. Like eating at Pat’s.

Full Disclosure: 2 movie tickets were provided at no charge, no popcorn and no request for a favorable review. I did attempt to sell out. The PR team didn’t bite.

See Movie Review: Rocky Balboa.

In Brief: ROCKY BALBOA

RottenTomatoes has more.

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27 Nov

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The Nativity Story. One family. One journey. One child who would change the world forever

November 27, 2006 | By | 7 Comments

Your Business Blogger and Charmaine and the Penta-Posse were honored to attend a private screening of The Nativity Story Saturday morning before last, in Northern Virginia. This is an unpaid review. We even bought our own popcorn.

(Multi-plex Theaters: the movies are a front; The real money is in the concession stands.)

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The Nativity Story

Pope Benedict XVI turned down an invitation to attend the premiere on Sunday, November 26th, even though nativity_joseph_mary_jesus.png

Joseph and Mary and

baby Jesus it was screened in his backyard, The Vatican. The Nativity Story is a (true) story about an unmarried pregnant woman. The Catholic Church frowns on such conditions.

You would have thought that the Pope would have granted an indulgence for this one exception, this one out-of-wedlock birth.

Maybe just this one. Mary’s. The Pope should have watched The Nativity Story.

For the Baby Jesus: Prophet, Prince and King.

I don’t blame him, though, for being leary of a Hollywood interpretation of the Savior’s birth. Given their track-record. But they played it straight, remained faithful to the original script, and have made a movie well worth seeing.

The movie opens on December 1st. Even though the Pope didn’t see it; you should. Go see it this weekend and let us know what you think.

Charmaine didn’t care for the Deep Space 9/Gabriel the archangel character. Too much a-blending of science fiction and theology. Not that Godless liberals could tell the difference.

The film gets its PG rating for the violence. Which really wasn’t all that bad for our times, or for the turn of the last millennium. The movie opens with Roman soldiers drawing their short swords to chop up all the baby boys under two. No blood, no gore was depicted. (The Dude, pre-teen, was mildly disappointed.) But the scene was terrifying enough. Your women-folk will cry.

However, no actual babies or animals were harmed in the making of the film. Only in real life.

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The Three Wise Men

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Herod, right and his son. Really Bad Guys.

One of my favorite parts was where Herod’s tax collectors would extract interest and penalties totaling one-third of a man’s estate. Crucifixion compels compliance.

However.

However, we haven’t seen a 1/3 tax rate since, well, Christ was born.

Goodness, tax collectors nowadays take 45% of our income each year.

Maybe the Romans were more civilized than we are today.

When you go to the movie, do get there on time, it starts fast with little credit rolling at the beginning.

And as Keith Appell from Creative Response Concepts says, “Prepare to be entertained.”

My hero of the movie, and on this side of eternity, would be Joseph. His actions taking care of Mary, make him a better man than most. Especially for the shame he’d have to endure.

The other (anti) hero would be Herod, for keeping taxes low.

The Nativity, The Birth changed the world. The movie could change your life.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Publicity for the private screening was ably handled by Creative Response Concepts who invited Your Business Blogger, Kith and Kin to attend the screening for New Line Cinema.

For Cinephiles by a Cinephile has analysis and links.

UPDATE: Drudge reports The Nativity Story booted out of Chicago public festival.

By DON BABWIN, CHICAGO (AP) – A public Christmas festival is no place for the Christmas story, the city says. Officials have asked organizers of a downtown Christmas festival, the German Christkindlmarket, to reconsider using a movie studio as a sponsor because it is worried ads for its film “The Nativity Story” might offend non-Christians.

New Line Cinema, which said it was dropped, had planned to play a loop of the new film on televisions at the event. The decision had both the studio and a prominent Christian group shaking their heads.

“The last time I checked, the first six letters of Christmas still spell out Christ,” said Paul Braoudakis, spokesman for the Barrington, Ill.-based Willow Creek Association, a group of more than 11,000 churches of various denominations. “It’s tantamount to celebrating Lincoln’s birthday without talking about Abraham Lincoln.”

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Rush Limbaugh Does DC for the Fisher House Foundation

November 23, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Rush Limbaugh, the program

Rush Limbaugh gave a red meat speech to a red state audience to a sold out crowd at the Warner Theater in Washington, DC last week. The 1,800 plus capacity was treated to a two hour stand up of vintage Rush.

Rush led off with Howell Heflin’s old joke about Ted Kennedy’s “off shore drilling.” It is funny the first four times one hears it. But most still laughed.

His delivery and timing were that of a practiced professional — Rush referred to his “notes” infrequently. Notes in quotes because it looked like he scratched out something on the back of a cocktail napkin.

His talk was done from memory.

And it was entertainment and education at its best. Charmaine and Your Business Blogger were honored to be in the class as the guests of Rebecca Hagelin, the VP of Communications for Heritage.

The real purpose of the evening’s show was raising money for the Fisher House.

There is at least one Fisher House TM at every major military medical center to assist families in need and to ensure that they are provided with the comforts of home in a supportive environment. Annually, the Fisher House TM program serves more than 8,500 families, and have made available more than two million days of lodging to family members since the program originated in 1990.

Consider a contribution to the Fisher House. Denzel Washington donates as a trustee of the Fisher House.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Rush Limbaugh’s speech transcript and audio available at Rush 24/7.

Management Training Tip: When your presentation is important, memorize it.

More on the Warner Theater at the jump.

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Carnival of Cinema Is Up at Nehring the Edge

October 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Visit Nehring the Edge

for movie reviews Nehring the Edge is hosting a terrific new carnival of cinema.

See Westminster Wisdom for a must movie review read on Memento. Charmaine and I saw the movie and determined that we would have to see it twice or thrice to completely understand and appreciate and enjoy. Gracchii explains why.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Memento is not to be confused with Mentoes …and Coke. Children, do not attempt without adult supervision.

Cynthia Grenier: An American Beauty; An American Treasure

October 13, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Gun Deck

USS Constitution Last night at the Center for Military Readiness Celebration, Charmaine and I had the honor of having dinner with our dear friend Cynthia Grenier. Alert Readers will know her as a frequent contributor to The Weekly Standard. Many will remember her interviews with Faulkner, Moshe Dyan, Ingmar Bergman, Audrey Hepburn, Albert Finney and Hugh Hefner. And many of our Alert Readers will have actually read her many articles in Playboy… where she made her reputation as a gifted writer. As an ink-stained wench. Not the normal career path for women in that organization.

Yes, she interviewed Faulkner.

We remember her husband Richard who passed on and is still deeply missed, but his many works live on. His eulogy was given by Senator D. Patrick Moynihan. Richard is proof that good did once come from Harvard. He buried in Arlington National Cemetery, not far from my dad. One of Richard’s books The Marrakesh One-Two is Cynthia’s all-time favorite.

Anyway, Your Business Blogger was still processing the rich background of Cynthia Grenier (pronounced “Gren-yeah”) when I found this email in my box this morning. It was about a recent ceremony to acknowledge Medal of Honor awardees; and Cynthia Grenier writes,

Am impressed and touched to read of the ceremony aboard the USS Constitution. The CONSTITUTION is the vessel my great-grand father Mad Jack Percival commanded on its first round-the-world voyage April 1845 to September 1846. He was quite a character, and one with whom I am deeply proud to share some DNA.

Cynthia Grenier is an American Beauty, an American Treasure.

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Cynthia Grenier

WorldNetDaily.comHugh Hefner would agree.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

The Marrakesh One-Two is available from Amazon.com.

From WND, Cynthia Grenier, an international film and theater critic, is the former Life editor of the Washington Times and acted as senior editor at The World & I, a national monthly magazine, for six years.

Multi-tasking with Podcasts: All Work; All Play

September 20, 2006 | By | No Comments

The business of radio is driven by ratings and revenue. I’d like to add a third driver: Running. R-cubed.

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Your Business Blogger

multi-tasking

credit: The Dude We North Americans pride ourselves on productivity — getting things done — winning. We work while being entertained and are entertained while working.

We fully integrate business and pleasure. And the work/family balance may be moot because our waking hours are consumed with work/play.

So now business podcasts are being enjoyed by multi-tasking over-achievers. That would be you, Gentle Reader, yes? Be honest: I can hear Dave Matthews in the background, this screen is running next to a spread sheet, your boss is on line three, and your girl friend just IM’ed. And what’s that pizza doing in your inbox?

Product and service providers (the pizza maker and that pizza deliverer) and advertisers love you. Which funds radio podcasts. For the six million listeners who downloaded podcasts.

But these days rating are easier to measure. Everyone can now know exactly how many podcasts are downloaded: Ratings.

Advertisers can now target messages with the Holy Grail of one-to-one marketing for greater efficiency and effectiveness: Revenue.

Podcasting News reports that,

Forrester projects that 700,000 households in the US in 2006 will use podcasts, and that this number will grow to 12.3 million households in the US by 2010.

[Charlene] Li suggests that companies focus their podcast efforts on repurposing existing content.

“Content that already exists — such as earning calls, training updates, and executive presentations are all excellent fodder for podcasts,” writes LI. “Think of us poor analysts who must listen to streamed quarterly calls while chained to our laptops! My caution is that companies shouldn’t be dashing out to create expensive original content for a small audience — unless they gain value from being seen as innovative.”

And I’m looking, as we all are, for innovation.

Like multi-taskers everywhere, I look for time for multiple tasks. I combine running and business.

The 26.2 mile marathon is a long distance to run. Goodness, it’s a long distance to drive. In my training, I would sometimes run for hours. Years ago it was with a WalkMan and cassettes by Earl Nightingale.

Today, it’s an iPod with Podcasts. And Anita Campbell. Getting business done on the run.

And it’s not just listening to the business of running, as in SteveRunner.com Or entertainment and music. Runners are listening to podcasts on small businesses, doing business. I’m learning Mandarin while the miles go by. Brad Feld, venture capitalist, is a regular runner with headphones piping in podcasts, and not just when he’s a guest.

For your next workout run, take a podcast. With the kids and your cell phone.

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Six Steps to Your Perfect Introduction From the Podium

September 18, 2006 | By | No Comments

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Steve Forbes

Washington Post A few years ago Your Business Blogger was privileged and honored to introduce Steve Forbes at a fundraising event with 950 of my closest friends. I was tempted to honor him with the most flattering, and shortest intro by saying, “Here’s Steve Forbes, who needs no introduction…”

But most of us will.

Need an introduction.

So when your big break comes, that magic moment arrives — how do you that know you’ll get that classy intro, with just the right touch?

You know your introduction will be perfect. Because you will write it.

History was very good to Winston Churchill because Winston Churchill wrote it himself. Here’s a brief history outline — to write your own story:

1) Short. Two minutes, 250 words.

2) Welcome. Say hello as if to a single person. Forget the other 949.

3) Bio. The current gig, then what you are best known for. Credentials and qualifications.

4) Topic. The topic.

5) So What? Review the key questions of why we are all here and why we should care

6) Clap. Join me in welcoming and start clapping…

Remember, a good introduction serves as a stepping stone, bridge, a segue to the Keynoter to begin for a smooth and exciting transition.

Not a bad introduction. The worst introduction I’ve experienced was a joke. Literally. And I didn’t like not being in on the joke — it wasn’t funny because I swallowed the bait whole.

I was working a trade show and sat in on some breakfast speechifying. The Headliner, a Hal Becker, Mr. Motivational Speaker, supplied — later, we learned — his own introductory remarks, as Your Business Blogger suggests here. However, Becker’s “background” included a series of terminal degrees from Ivy League universities and instructing at medical schools. Very, very impressive. But I should have known that a Nobel Laureate would not be speaking to this group.

This group being any group in which I was a member.

But, I settled back to enjoy the speech. I know a bit about hospitals, my wife knows a bit about academia — I thought I was going to get some learning.

Instead I got surprised. The speaker was only [gasp] an ordinary business guy. I was duped. Which is, well, nothing new.

My expectations were not managed with me not seeing the ol’ switcheroo. Everyone else thought the guy was a hoot.

I didn’t hear the speech, which I am told, was very good.

But this Keynoter Hal Becker forgot Rule One in public speaking: Only experts should use humor.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Hal Becker does have quite a resume, even with a poor sense of humor — he was the number one salesman at one time in Xerox’s 11,000 person sales force. He is well worth his $7,500 speaking fee. Just introduce him yourself.

Seven Rules For MicroPhone Management

September 14, 2006 | By | No Comments

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The wife of

Your Business Blogger

at an impromptu

press conference.In your business promotion, you the boss, will someday be called to speak before a handheld microphone or a bank of microphones to talk about your particular expertise.

If you deign to be interviewed by a reporter, or instead will speak at a planned, orchestrated press conference, here are 7 tips to remember for the handheld or externally fixed microphone.

1) The microphone comes to you. When speaking to a reporter who is holding the microphone, she will move the mic to you. Or there will be a boom mic floating near-by. You do not move to the mic or bob around speaking here or there. Be still. Remember, you are the expert. The center of the Universe. The pro has measured movements.

2) Remain in the frame. Your mouth should be a spread-hand’s width from the mic, just below your mouth. This is to allow cameras to get a better show of your fab face. And to prevent ‘popping’ into the mic — ‘d’s,’ ‘t’s,’ or ‘p’s’ are explosives if directed straight into the microphone. If there is a bank or cluster of microphones, any cameras or the reporters will be centered directly in front of the of the mic stands. Do not move around. Don’t make the camera guys or sounds guys work too much.

3) Watch your back. If the presser is planned by your PR flacks, your backdrop will have your company logo behind you. If not, see what’s over your shoulder. Look for naked statues behind you.

4) Start with your name, rank and the mundane. Practice your FireDrill, your pitch. And like any good lawyer you already know all the answers, but more important, you know and have heard all the questions. Stating the obvious gets your mouth a-motoring and helps the sound guys start to fiddling with the knobs if needed — your self intro will probably get edited out, but it will serve as sound check until you say something important. Assume they can hear you; don’t ask.

5) Don’t handle the microphones. Unless you are giving a 45 minute key noter and the mic belongs to you — leave the equipment alone. There are apt to be a number of speakers coming to the mics. Handling the machinery might create noise picked up by the other mics. But if you must touch them, do it while talking in some connective or redundant phrase in case of noise. That will get edited out.

6) Bend your knees to get in range of an extremely short mic. This is, of course, the trick of tall teenage girls when dancing with short guys. Bending over at the waist gives an ungainly, slouching appearance. You, Gentle Reader, are no slouch. Stand tall. Bow to no man.

7) Lower your voice. Lower your pitch. Your voice may get high pitched as you get nervous. And you better be nervous. If you do not have any adrenaline flowing when speaking publicly, you are too complacent.

The successful small business owner is a successful promoter and leader and speaker. The microphone is now another tool in your professional hands.

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Thank you (foot)notes:

Be sure to review Management: 10 Tips

And visit k-log On Speaking: Being Heard