Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Ukraine, Sick Kid, and a Driving While Rocking Initiative

We're orange blogging today in support of Freedom for the Ukraine!

Sorry about not posting yesterday. After The Divine Mrs. M. left last night for ho-ho-ho shopping, Daughter No. 1 was felled by an ear infection and I spent the night calming her bloody screams down. She especially like the story of when I worked for FedEx and fell asleep in a box at the airport and was shipped to the African Savanna and had to make my way to Indiana by marrying a midget albino, being adopted by a lonely gorilla, being kidnapped by pirates, fighting 50 men, and finally hitching a ride with a she-male trucker who wrecked us into a ravine. Sleep finally came at 1 ish. The Divine Mrs. M took her to the doc today to get loaded up on anti-biotics.

Here's a new law I'd like to see passed: It's called Driving While Rocking. Traffic fines based on what's on the radio. For example, if Radar Love is playing, I think you should get 30 mph credit before any fine is imposed. I am forced to go faster. The same for Born to be Wild, Springsteen's Born to Run, and Welcome to the Jungle. If any of these songs are playing, the cop has to check a box on his little pad that says, "Driving While Rocking - Catch and Release."

You get a 25 mph credit for Saturday Night's Alright for Fighin (admit it, when they wanted to Elton and Bernie could rock!), Prince's 1999 falls into this section.

Ok, I know these examples are dated, but so am I. I need to flesh out the 20, 15, 10, and 5 mph credit brackets before I submit the legistlation so offer up your suggestions. And don't be just a rocker. John Denver's Rocky Top gets me going as, embarrasingly, does this.

BTW, I should be a freebee anytime I'm playing my Hole CD.

Stay You, Stay Orange.

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Sunday, November 28, 2004

This Week's Sunday Challenger Article

The entire edition of this week's Sunday Challenger is dedicated to religious & social services agencies in Northern Kentucky.

Mine is on the Northern Kentucky InterFaith Commission. The bearded guy in the Roman collar is my pastor. The Indian guy is a minister at a Disciples of Christ church in Covington, Kentucky. I hope you enjoy the article. The Commision does alot of good in my community and that's important this time of year. I'm not much of a religious guy (see here) but I think they will like what I wrote and won't mind the publicity.

In my more misanthropic moods, I always ask myself why do people go out of their way to help others during Christmas and then forget about them come January (or earlier). We do; I guess it's human nature. I started reading Dicken's A Christmas Carol to Daughter No. 1 this past week. I've seen about 73 movies and stage adaptations of it, it's about time I read the original. With some sumarizing and synopising, Dagny gets the gist of it. Anyway, early in the book, some local merchants come to Scrooge to ask for donations for the poor. One of them states: "We choose this time because it is a time, of all others, when Want is keenly felt, and Abundance rejoices." Scrooge then tells the guy to go fornicate with himself, but it's true. Too true. Go make a donation to your favorite charity- it's Christmas and "Abundance rejoices."

Stay You.

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Friday, November 26, 2004

Somewhat Silent Sara Reviews The Pure Investor

Somewhat Silent Sara isn't silent - especially when it comes to reviewing my book The Pure Investor. Go check it out...go on now.

It's feels great when someone reads something that you've written and lets you know they've read it. It's even better when they've given it some thought and then written about what you've written. That's too cool!

Sara takes a liberal/conservative tack to the review. I really tried in the book to keep neutral on the politics but I guess it wasn't to be. I hate high taxes but I also go after "conservative" things like the church and CEOs. She takes me out of the group which she calls "regressive" by which, I don't know what she means. If it's the likes of Pat Buchanan, yes, please take me out of that group, Sara. I find his politics horrible as do many conservatives.

My favorite bit o' Sara:
One very important reason: he's not attacking us and our beliefs. This book is not "against Liberals", the way Regressive books are. It's for everyone, from a conservative viewpoint.

That goes to the heart of the matter: "it's for everyone." I wrote the book even for those that don't have a portfolio.

Sara's not going to agree with some of my politics, but probably more than she would guess. I'd like to steer her towards Burke or send her a copy of The Road to Serfdom (the book that changed my world) or the Friedman's books. I'd like to change her mind, but I like her the way she is.

So thanks, Sara. Thanks for your open mindedness and thanks for giving my writing some thought and thanks for giving it some publicity - it needs it.

Stay You.

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Day After Thanksgiving Christmas Shopping

I'm angry.

I'm at the office. It's 7:25 a.m. on the day after Thanksgiving. Due to circumstances, I have to be here.

What I'm angry at is people. A lot all of you people. I'm angry at things like this. Target has a wake up call for people to go shopping today. Across from my office is a nice shopping center with a Best Buy, a Dick's Sporting Goods, a Panera Bread. Down the street is a Target and Hallmark Shop and a few other things I can't remember. The parking lot is packed. Day hasn't broken yet, but I can see by the light of the flourscent glow people hustling in and out arms full.

I don't want anyone anywhere anymore giving me any crap about not being able to enjoy time with the family or life being too stressful or busy. You people that are out at 7:25 a.m. in the morning chill shopping have been given a perfect time to sleep in with loved one's; to enjoy a good read or some good movies. Hell, enjoy some bad movies if you want. You can lounge around and play a board game with your kids or try to learn their x-box. No! You decided to haul your fat American suburban consumerist ass out of bed earlier than you do for your job to go elbow other fat American asses to get some piece of crap that you won't be able to remember this time next year. In a couple of hours your going to go home tired and exasperated and bark at your wife who spent all day yesterday feeding that growing gut of yours into a tryptophanic coma or your going to snipe at your husband who spent the last 11 months of this year dragging himself out of bed to earn the cash for your little spending orgy when all he wants today is some damn quiet.

I'm a capitalist. That's what my book is about. But I also work with the public daily and hear their petty little gripes and moans and bitches. Spend your money, I don't care. But next time you want to engage in some onanistic whining about how rough life is just remember this day. The calender gave you day - a whole day - to spend with those who matter to you. It's given you a day to reconnect with the kid of yours or to cuddle your wife in the morning or to give your soul some nourishment through a book or quiet or a vigourous walk in the park and you - you - decided to go shopping! Hope you enjoy that piece of crap you bought.

You disgust me.

Don't Stay You.

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Thursday, November 25, 2004

I'm now a School Board member (sigh)

I've been appointed by Sr. Mary Luke to the School Board of Daughter No. 1's school. Tuesday night was my first meeting. It's a Catholic school and I'm a Lutheran by marriage; I fill the non-parish, i.e. he's-not-one-of-us, representative slot. Bellevue is a very Catholic, very German community. I didn't know places like this existed until I moved here. They don't have any comprehension of why anyone would not be a Catholic. Hey, I'm sorry. I was born that way. I kid: they were all very nice people and are giving my daughter a top-flight quality education.

So it's me, 3 nuns, 2 priests, and a couple other parents sitting around a table in a church rectory for 2 1/2 hours working out where to park buses, when to move into the new Jr. High, etc.

When did my life become so exciting?

I know that it's good to be involved in your kids education, blah, blah, blah, but doesn't writing the tuition check every month make me involved enough? Apparently not. Something inside me didn't let me say no to being on the board.

Speaking of religion, SomewhatSilent Sara has a nice post I felt to comment on.

Stay You.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wall Street Journal on Immigration - Again

My post yesterday on immigration drew some fisty comments. Let's try for some more. Here's today's from Rupert Murdoch. I especially liked this part on the guest worker plan:
It would help our security forces stop wasting resources now spent on hunting down Mexican waitresses and start devoting them to tracking the terrorists who really threaten us.

I know Mr. Murdoch is evil and all that, but his network has put on The Simpsons for the past 68 years so he gets a big pass from me. But he makes a good point.

There's two other things I'd like to toss out there:

First, the immigration law vis-a-vis Mexicans is flying in the face of human behavior, nature, conduct. Think Prohibition. When a law trys to counteract human nature, it just isn't going to work. We want cheap labor, they want to work. Free markets are a natural force. You can't legislate against that.

Second, and I'm just proposing a thought here, but the U.S. side sees this issue as an economic one only. For us it is, but is it on the Mexican side? Or is it a race issue? In the past few years, my community has seen a large influx of Mexicans. I've had limited dealings with them, but they seem like nice people. A large family moved in around the corner and they've put a ton of money into the place so heck I'm happy. One thing I've noticed though is that none of them look like Vicente Fox. Is Mexico exporting it's race problem? What are the implications? I don't know. Just something to think about.

Stay You.

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Monday, November 22, 2004

The Wall Street Journal on Immigration

Immigration Control is one of The Five Taxes I detail in The Pure Investor. The Journal wrote this great piece on it today and give a warning to right-wingers on why bashing Mexican's who want to work is a losing proposition politically. I don't know how to say it strongly enough, but these people want to work. Let 'em!

Stay You.

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Rubic's Dork

I went to my parent's house for an early Thanksgiving. Waiting in the garage for me was a box marked Chuck's Stuff. The final clearing out of my old room had occured 16 years after my departure. (Why, you ask, is the box not labeled Howard's Stuff. You haven't been reading much.) Anyway there were a few things that brought out the Wayback Machine.

The first was my collection of Rubic's Cubes and the puzzles of Those-That-Wish-To-Cash-In. The 2x2 cube was called a Pocket Rubic's for those that must Rubic on the go. There's a couple different sizes of the traditional Rubic's including a Chex Mix tie in and a 4x4 monster Rubic's Revenge. I still have the book to solving Alexander's Star, but I can't remember the names of the other puzzles - the chain one, the ball, and the pyramid. Anyone out there know them? Honest to Allah, I could solve everyone one of them; I was that cool So much wasted time!

After the Rubic's et.al. phase I moved on to juggling. My old set of Juggling Clubs is posted below. Yes, I can juggle them still - it's a heck of an upper body work out. This was my Bible. Anyway, this was a big life lesson on the mentality of people. I learned to juggle balls. Great, after I did this in front of someone the next question would be, "Yeah, but can't you do clubs?" So after a few weeks I learned to juggle clubs. After a few minutes of showing off the question was, "Yeah, but can't you do more than three?" Lesson is: It's never enough for some people. So Screw 'em.

After juggling faded, I moved on to my guitar, banjo, and harmonica which are now packed away in Daughter No. 1's closet. I was pretty good on the harp; somewhat less so on the guitar, and a joke on the banjo. But here's another life lesson learned: High school and college girls are way too impressed with some dork who knows 5 cords and was playing with Rubic's cubes just a few years before - way to impressed.

Posted by Hello

Juggling Clubs

No girl ever dreams of sleeping with a juggler. Once learned; these were put away. Posted by Hello

Turkey Cookies on the March

I came home tonight and The Divine Mrs. M and Daughters No. 1 & No. 2 were building an army of Turkey Cookies for their paramilitary organizational meeting tomorrow. Constructed from the basics of all good military units (oreos, fudge stripes, candy corn, etc) they will go forth into battle tomorrow. Will they prevail? Will any come back for me to eat? There's no saying. The only thing we know for sure is that they have more brains than the Islamofacists. Posted by Hello

Site Changes

I didn't spend my time blogging but making changes to my side bar. How do you like? Tomorrow's topics include immigration, Turkey Cookies, and scenes from my adolescense - the year 1982.

Sound Exciting?

Stay You.

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Friday, November 19, 2004

National Treasure, the Freemasons and Me

Nicholas Cage's new movie National Treasure comes out today. Gonna see it? Me? No. Unless it's animated or on the dish, we don't get to see anything. But the movie has raised some interesting discussion at the office. The premise of the movie is that the Knights Templar of old Crusading days stole some gold from ancient Egypt. The Knights Templar became the Freemason's who made up America's Founding Father's - Washington, et. al. Sounds fun, action packed, romantic. But I'll wait for the DVD.

Here's where I come in: I'm a Freemason. Here's my lodge. Contrary to internet conspiracies, idiots in my office and Jerry Bruckheimer, we aren't pulling the strings of American society. In all honesty we can barely pull off a pancake breakfast fundraiser. (Notice the broken pic on the website.)

This is not to disparage any of the guys in my lodge. They are good guys, but they're normal guys. The lodge is a voluntary thing for them and they all have lives. I haven't been there since I decided to dedicate most of my time to building my investment business.

The weirdo, X-File watching, internet freak conspiracy types find us interesting because of a couple of factors. First, we are a long-lived organization - a fraternal organization - similar to the Elks, Moose or Eagle Lodges that first became public in 1717 or so. Second, we do what sounds like weirdo stuff. Basically, the ceremonies or degrees that a mason goes through teach moral lessons through speeches and symbols and allegories. That's all, that's it. If your curious about a lodge, call one up and talk with them. They'll be glad to hear from you because most of their members are an average age of 113.

Each state is different, but here was my experience in the lodge (as much as I can tell):

There are three degrees to become a freemason. They are Entered apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. In these degrees stories, or legends, are told and lessons are given. It's very 18th centuryish. It culminates in the Master Mason degree which is a morality play telling the story of the murder of Hyram Abiff, architect of King Solomon's temple. In Kentucky, these are given on three different nights and before a man (only men can join a lodge) can move onto the next degree, he has to pass an oral exam regarding the preceeding one.

That's it. Your a Mason. You are now asked to help send flowers to the widows of deceased brothers, serve at the pancake breakfast, help put other people through the degrees, walk in the 4th of July parade, and come to a monthly boring business meeting where we give money to various charities after which you eat cold cuts off white bread seasoned with mayo - sometimes there's mustard. There's no grand conspiracy. Like I said, we have a hard time putting together fundraisers.

These first 3 degrees are called the Blue Lodge. If you wish you can go into some other Masonic organizations. The most prominent of which is the Scottish Rite which have an additional 29 degrees plus one honorary one. Again, these are lessons taught through theatre and speeches. When you hear of a 32 degree or 33rd degree Mason, this is who they are referring to. I belong to the Scottish Rite of Covington. I went through the degrees in two days. I pay $40 a year. They do things like this and haven't been back since those two days. There's another popular - at least where I'm at - group called the York Rite. I don't know anything about them. After you reach the top of these groups - like I said, I did in 2 days - you can go to the Shrine. They put on that circus.

If you would like detailed descriptions of the degrees check out these books: Born in Blood is somewhat conspiratorial but has a good description of the degrees. Moral and Dogma is a doorstop of a book that details the symbolize and meaning of all the degrees.

Stay You.

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Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Happy Anniversary Mrs. McEwen

I meet Alicia in May of 1989 on the first day of our both starting a new job. She had just finished her sophomore year and me my freshman at Ball State. We were both back home in Fort Wayne for the summer. We'd been hired to spend the summer working answering the customer service phones for a toy company.

There was no intention on my part on doing anything at that point in my life besides having some fun. But then I met her and grew up. Sure I was still a dumbass, but I shifted my thinking into a more grownup gear. Education, career, etc. Because when I met here sitting in the reception area on the first day of that job, I was hit by a thunderbolt. I needed to work to deserve her love. It was powerful. In my mind a changed occured: this was it; she was the girl; the chasing women part of my life was over. And we've been together ever since. As I said at the time, she's a rarity because she is one of the few people who can tolerate me.

There are things I would like to change: things I've said, things I wish I hadn't said, things I wish I would have done. There a long list. She deserves better, but, thankfully, doesn't realize it - I hope.

We dated through college, she moved off to grad school (MA at Wright State in Industrial Organizational Psychology). I finished up my BA at Ball State in 4 1/2 years. We saw each other every other weekend or so. Mostly she drove to me because she had a car. Depressed most of that time, I lived like a bearded, unbathed hermit. Not a happy time for either of us, but we survived. Each visit got me through to the next one. Thanks.

So after I graduated, we moved in together. Yes, as my mom would say, we shacked up, lived in sin, and condemned ourselves to eternal damnation. We couldn't be happier...or poorer. Still, happy times. Making house for the first time, we began our careers, got use to each other again and started a new phase of maturity. We moved from Dayton, OH to Highland Heights, Kentucky. We - or maybe it's just me - are homebodies. We watched alot of movies, cooked alot of new-to-us food, went to plays, opera, read alot of book. Happy times. But there was an itch.

The itch to get married. There was no time that we had broken up and I had considered ourselves de facto married but the de jure part was lacking. There's a certain level of nakedness of standing up in front of people and professing your committment to one another. After we did that on November 18, 1995, our relationship deepened further. Now, after the stressors of kids, home buying, career changes, I don't think there's anything that can break our bonds. If there was, it would ruin me.

Alicia, I love you. Thanks for 9-years. Wanna keep it going?

Stay You.

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Property Rights

In my book, I wrote about property rights and said:

A country that guarantees these property rights will prosper and attract
individuals who yearn for the assurance that they can keep what they build.
My newspaper - The Sunday Challenger - ran this article about students at Northern Kentucky University "pirating" music.

Here's the money quote:
The student said he sees nothing wrong with getting his music this way. "I
don't want to pay $18 for a CD with two good songs on it, it's pointless," he
said. "It's really the record companies' fault for putting out so much
garbage that it's not even worth buying the album."

Whatever his excuses, he stole the music. If he steals one of my books, I will stop him - with lethal force if necessary. It might be crap music, but some artist worked at it and some record company risked alot of money to try to get a return on it.

In my book, I was speaking about property rights being infringed upon by government action. I use the building moratorium in Lake Tahoe as an example. Either way, if people are not able to use their property as they wish and earn a return on it, they will not invest. That's the first step to shutting down the entire economic system (see economic sclerosis of Western Europe, USSR).

Today is the 9th anniversary of my marriage to The Divine Mrs. M. We agreed not to do anything big. I found out through talkative No. 2 daughter that she bought me Henry V which I've been wanting. She wants this John Mayer CD. We both paid cash and respected the artist's property rights, ok?

Stay You.

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Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Traffic Report

Has all blog traffic slowed since the election or is it just my site?

I know I'm tiny and haven't done a lick of promotion but the drop off seems strange. I went from an average visit count of 25/day on November 1 to 16/day now.

I enjoy writing and enjoy being read even more so I will continue to post. Also, I'm met some interesting people with interesting things to say whether it's Madame Butterfly's Daughter's Turds or the travails of some Confederate Med Students. Most of them are listed on my new blog roll. My only problem is I don't like doing anything for free. So I've given myself an assignment: December will be The Pure Investor Blog Promotion Month.

Here's my plan:
1. Read alot more until December 1 on how to promote a blog.
2. Begining December 1, start posting intelligent comments on more blogs.
3. Expand my blog roll. Right now, I've capped myself out on who I read because of time.
4. You tell me. Post your successful blog promotion ideas that I can try.

So with your help and my diligence, I think I should be able to get my average daily visits up to what? A hundred? Let's see what happens.

Stay You.

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Monday, November 15, 2004

I'm a Racists and anti-Semite?

I was doing a interview for an upcoming story in The Sunday Challenger with the Executive Director of a religious group when he mentioned that they have an annual holocaust rememberance service.

I think, "This is great and I agree wholeheartedly that we must 'never forget'."

But I did have one question: Why is it that we focus only on the Jews killed by Nazis? There have been millions killed by totalitarian regimes in the 20th century. What about the Ukrainian engineered famines or Pol Pot's killing fields or...well, take your pick. I asked why does there seem to be an annual holocaust movie, but nothing on any other attrocities.

I've raised this point here before.

Maybe I asked the question awkwardly, but the interviewee - a pastor - seemed to get a little tense and defensive. He didn't really have an answer - which is fine. I was just curious; but after I hung up my imagination started working and I pictured this guy called the Anti-Defamation League to report me as an anti-Semite holocaust denier. Truly, I don't want to take anything away from the horror that the Nazis inflicted on the Jews, but by concentrating all attention on them we tend to ignore other victims.

So feeling nice and anti-Semitic I was driving through Cincinnati's west end, aworking class area, when a racist thought crossed my mind. I asked myself, "Are black people the only ones who actually care about how they are dressed?"

The black guys didn't dress like I would (I have absolutely zero hip-hop influences), but they looked like they gave some thought about what they were wearing before the walked out the door in the morning. There's a certain sense of style they carry about them. They also look clean cut. I've noticed this at other times in other places.

Most of the white people I see walking around looked they like they were wearing whatever it was that they passed out in last night. The clothes don't look clean or pressed or coordinated. They look dirty, unshaven and slovenly. Don't they try.

What makes the black guy take that extra 15 mintues in the morning? I'm not sure it's a positive or a negative, but it sure as heck looks better.

Again, I'm not trying to be racist - just curious - just something I noticed.

Stay You.

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Friday, November 12, 2004

Brownies and Red Mind in Blue State MegaIdea

Last night for Veteran's Day I attended an allegiance rally for a paramilitary youth organization my eldest daughter belongs to known as the Brownies. The Divine Mrs. M is their leader, aka Guide, aka Fuehrer. THe cool part is she's a smokin' hot Fuehrer. A good time was had by all. It was well organized and executed with the traditional church basement cookies and punch afterward.

Pictures will be posted over the weekend.

Tony over at A Red Mind in a Blue State sent me the following e-mail:


You book isn't listed in the Nassau County Library system-- so I asked my wife, who is the President of our Library to add it to the buy list-- that'll mean 2 things-- the book will be purchased and it will now be listed in all 52 libraries in the system.

(As an aside-- you may want to have your friends and family across the country request the book at the public library-- very often libraries have budget lines for such purchases that go unspent. Even one request will often result in a purchase & as important, the adding of the book to the shelves)

I look forward to reading it!



I thought this brilliant. Friends and family? Well, my family have proven themselves to be of little help so that leaves my friends. Locally, I have all the libraries already stocked with my book; Hamilton/Cincinnati (3), Clermont County (1), Kenton County (1), Campbell County (3) and even in a place called Lawrenceburg, IN where I drew my biggest audience for a book discussion. So local friends can't help further here.

That leaves my internet blog buddies. Next time you are in your local library could you please ask them if they can order a copy of The Pure Investor. Maybe even print out the Amazon page of it. Possibly you can just send them an e-mail. I make about $1.50 per sale so if I can get my true and loyal readers help, my royalties may break $20 this quarter. Yeah! Life's all about small victories.

Now, what do you get in return. Since Cincinnati is a Delta hub and has a few major interstates running through it there's bound to be a time when you are here. When that day occurs, I shall meet you at the airport or highway reststop and say "hi." A bright and sunny "hi" always makes traveling easier. If you don't look like a scary freak, I will even buy you a drink - unless you are a female. The Divine Mrs. M says I can't go meet women that I meet over the internet for drinks at the airport. She's sooooo closed minded.

Stay You.

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Thursday, November 11, 2004

Thank You Veterans

Over the last 3 years I've read alot about American imperialism and even fascism by alot of people who don't know what either one is. Americans have not gone to war for either.

Colin Powell said the following:
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in.

Stay You.

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Wednesday, November 10, 2004

A Pure Investor Book Review

I realized I never posted this article about The Pure Investor from the Cincinnati Business Courier. Hope you enjoy.

Also, NYCSara posted some nice thought in the comments section a few days ago and wanted to draw your attention to them:
Your book is an interesting one. I liked how it was written in a semi-story format--it makes it appealing to even people who don't agree with the pure capitalist/investor's mindset. As such, I've reccomended it to several people, including my sister--who has a hard time not giving her money away left and right. Does this translate directly to sales for you? I don't know. :)

No, it doesn't translate in sales for me, but pass it around anyway. Maybe someone will like it so much they'll want their own copy. Thanks NYCSara.

Stay You.

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My Last Book Event

Last night I had what I think is my last event for this edition of The Pure Investor. It was at a library near my office on the suburban westside of Cincinnati. These things have not been a roaring success, but at least I tried.

I had three people this time which is a little light. The first was a client who shows up for everything. Very nice lady. If I had a hundred clients like her and her husband, I would be a happy advisor. The second was a lady who thought I would give her some good stock tips and let me know she was disappointed that I wouldn't. Maybe I was a little too blunt, but I asked her "Do you really think you'll get quality hot stock tips from some guy offering a free seminar on a Tuesday night in a public library in Cincinnati? Well, do ya?" She thanked me for my time. The final attendee was a stunning woman of about 25 who was finishing up her doctoral thesis in economics and worked for the local Federal Reserve bank regulatory arm.

I was done in an hour and have learned alot about promotion over the last year or so. Here are some of the more oddball:

The first is never leave the marketing up to someone else. Librarians are not a go-getter bunch. Many times they just forgot to put my event in their newsletter or they forgot to put up the posters I gave them. I pick on librarians but most people are the same. My event is just something in their day to get out of the way. It's all up to me - nobody and I mean nobody is going to help...or care.

Second, people say they want help with their money, but most simply don't. There's too much on t.v. to watch. You can't pry them away from that soft glow with a book event at the local library. However, since I announced my freelance reporter position, I've had lotsa calls from people who want exposure from their idea. A few of these people wouldn't return my phone call before. Ha!

Third, don't to a book event at a library during the winter in a urban area. All you attract are the homeless who are trying to get warm. I've never felt lower than when I was reviewing the missteps of the Federal Reserve during the 1930s to a couple of vagrants one of which had already fallen asleep using a copy of the collected works of William Shakespeare for a pillow.

Finally, people don't throw money at you just because you wrote a book. Often times they are intimidated and don't think they can ask you to work with "just them." I can. I will. There's nothing to be intimidated about. I just sat at home and pounded out some words over a couple of months.

All in all the whole book experience was good. I still have 10 on the shelf above my head here and I can order some more. So can you. Christmas is coming. I give them away. They are like an expensive business card I hand out.

It makes me feel better when I watch Booktv on C-Span 2 and see some nationally known author with a big publishing house with a million dollar ad budget speaking to 15 people at a Barnes & Noble in Northern Virginia. My own B&N event was cool, but come on, if a national book can't pull people in I should be happy with the 5-10 that I averaged.

Stay You.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Chuck Chuck Mo-Buck, Bananafana, Fo Fu....

My full name is Howard Lorne McEwen, Jr. but The Divine Mrs. M calls me Chuck. So do my parents and friends from high school. Even in college I was known as Chuck. All clients and people I've met post-college know me a Howard. All people I've met through The Divine Mrs. M post-college know me as Chuck.

Why the name game? Here's the story I tell:

Obviously being a Jr. I'm named after my father - the Sr. I'm a sequel, but, like the Star Trek movies, better than the first. My father was named Howard after two brothers name Howard both my grandparents had (Grandad had a brother named Howard, and Grandma had a brother named Howard) who were the family pride since they were both physicians (that's two Dr. Howards I have as great-uncles). Lorne was my grandfather's name. I don't know where that came from. So my father was named Howard Lorne McEwen.

Then I was born in April of 1970 and given the same name as dad but with the cute little "Jr." tag.

Here's where the problem comes in. My mother hates the name Howard so she called me Lorne. My father - because of animosity towards his father - hates the name Lorne so he called me Howard. What to do? Natural, fight about it for several months. Finally, it's Christmas 1970. Recently discharged from the Navy, my parents move in with my grandfather Lorne for a short time. This makes it impossible for my young mother to yell "Lorne!" at the top of her lungs when I mess the diaper. A large row ensues, I'm told. Finally, looking at the television playing A Charlie Brown Christmas my father declares, "Fine, we will call him Charlie." Trying to call his bluff, my mother agreed. Neither gave in and I was called Charlie until 7th grade.

This entailed several first-days-of-school trying to convince the teacher that I wasn't Howard or Lorne but...Charlie. Finally, in the 7th grade Allen "the Waz" Wasvick decided I would be called Chuck. Hey, Chuck, What's up, Chuck? I kind of liked it, it sounded more mature at the time that "Charlie." This stuck all the way through college. This now makes it very hard for people who want to trying to track me down because many look for Charles McEwen.

After graduation, I decided enough was enough. After a brief flirtation with using Lorne, Howard took over. Except that The Divine Mrs. M calls me Chuck since we met in college. So when she introduces me it's Chuck, except when I then introduce myself it's Howard.

I've had this story in my head for years, but it never looks so ridiculous as now after I've written it down. Time to sign off and go do a full Menendez on my parents.

Stay You.

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Sunday, November 07, 2004

My First Article

The Sunday Challenger published my first article today about a local jewelry store. Ok, I know it is a puff piece, but that's all I really want to do. I have no ambition of blowing the lid off of some government scandal. I just want to meet interesting people that are so impressed with me that they ask me to manage their money.

Is that so bad?

I'm proud of this paragraph:
That trust leads to making custom pieces like the one Milburn wears on her wrist. This is a daily activity at Herzog. Clients are encouraged to bring is sketches, magazine clippings or just the vague idea for a piece of jewelry they have in mind. Such was the case for a client who wanted to buy his wife a pendant. The client knew his wife loved a gem called aquamarine. Joseph Koester sat down with this long-time client at the Herzog office and together with pencil, paper, and imagination they sketched out a aquamarine gem surrounded by four carats of diamonds that the client - and one hopes his wife - will find stunning.

Joe Koester is a local political player and a good contact to have but I'm most impressed with the fact that he seemed like a decent guy and treats his clients like royalty. Finally, special thanks goes out to Madame Butterfly for a basic knowledge of jewelry making and some points to bring up during the interview. Why don't you go check out some of her creations?

I hope you enjoy it. I'm already working on my next story with an interview tomorrow on an ecumenical organziation of churchs working in the area. If you have any thing you'd like to ask a group like that or have special insight on questions to ask, let me know.

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Friday, November 05, 2004

Doubting God, Arafat Dies Quietly; Doubting Myself

It's not like I have alot of religious faith to begin with, but come on?

The fact that Yassir Arafat gets the Nobel Peace Prize and now is going to die quietly sedated in a Parisian Hospital and not in the P.A. where he's hasn't created hospital qualified to treat him really doesn't help me with the man upstairs.

Arafat, a toad of a man, has taught children to kill children and make their parents proud of them. He's attacked soldiers of a democratically elected government. He's paid his militants to blow up horny teenagers in Pizza Parlors. He's impoverished a people and served as the lynchpin of global anti-Semitism for 30+ years. He was involved in the Munich Olympic murders, for God's sake.

Why God would not let this man die slowly writhing under the desert sun smelling his own wounds fester after a fatal gut shot from a Israeli Uzi while his family watched and laughed and scorned is beyond me.

May God damn him to hell.

On a lighter note, it's been a while since I published my book The Pure Investor. I've been blogging for a few months. Yesterday I got my quarterly royalty check from my publisher: $14.73. I think I've given away more books than I've sold. I checked my google blog ads. So far I've made $1.33.

Is this a financially feasible activity to put my time to? My wallet says no, but The Divine Mrs. M. says I'm much less of a pain in the ass to put up with since I began blogging. Clears the brain and whatnot.

So onward I blog. But in the meantime, check out the sponsors and buy my book.

Stay You.

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Thursday, November 04, 2004

Democracy Questioned

We got these questions in '80 and '84. We get them 20-years later.

What scares me about headlines like these and teapot controversies like the CNN a--hole picture post is that I know it's not limited to the media. It permeates the academy and is riddled all through the intelligencia and lives in Hollywood. When elections like these happen as often as it does, there's only one logical conclusion that these people can reach. Democracy doesn't work - or at least when left to flyover Americans it doesn't.

Call me an alarmist, but I think when newspapers and other opinion makers and shapers questions the intelligence of 59,054,087 citizens it's not far off for them to think imposing an E.U.-type superstate bureaucrat-for-life is the way to go. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

We're not the Spanish

Yippee! We’re not the French. We’re not the Spanish. We're not the Swedes. We’re Americans.

Please see my plan for retribution from a few days ago.

Since Kerry capitulated, a few actions need to be put in place.

Fallujah needs to be cleared out. Let our men go to work.

Bush needs to make a phone call: “Tehran? Pyongyang? W. here. Tag your it.”

Colin Powell – or his replacement – needs to have tea with Kofe Annan and let him know that the times they are achangin’. Then give him a big bitch slap for cashing in on Iraqi civilian deaths.

Finally, Hastert needs to be informed that the spending orgy is over. Bush: “The veto pen is warmed up. Jeb doesn’t want to be president yet so mom says I can gut your pork. You can do it or I can. Got that, fat man?”

Update: Since I wrote the above some news has broke. I guess this post may be irrelevant.

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Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Election Day 2004

I find it very hard to work during BIG NIGHTS. I want to be part of the action, until I realize there's probably not too much action out there. It's up to the voters - damn them.

I started out today feeling kind of like my guy was going to win, but for some reason a sense of melancholy has overtaken me. That's just me; I can find any reason to be negative. The polls closed in my part of Kentucky at 6:00 and the rest of KY at 7:00. We'll know soon whether Jim Bunning beat Doctor Dan. Sen. Bunning is a tough guy. He once told a story to an informal group of politicos I was at how he knocked Mickey Mantle on his ass with a hard pitch very near his head. He also claims the record for beaning the most batters of all major league pitchers. He also is the only human being to throw no-hitters in both leagues. He is a huge man even at this age. His hands swallow up mine. I'm 6'0" and 235 and I feel small next to him; a very intimidating figure. I discussed this with his daughter-in-law once while our kids played and she said something to the affect of "Yeah, I guess. Look! He's just my kid's grandpa." That seemed perfect. I voted for him today.

My congressional race is between Geoff Davis and George's dad Nick Clooney. I met Mr. Davis 2 years ago during his last campaign. I was meeting with his campaign chief who offered some publicity work for my book (remember that?). That fell through but Davis walked in half way through the meeting and sat down and talked for about 1/2 hour. He seemed like a geniunly nice man. I voted for him. Nick Clooney, unfortunately, seemed to have a meltdown during the debate. For those who don't know. Mr. Clooney was a local t.v. variety show host, newscaster, and newspaper columnist. I think every town has one of these guys. Obviously, his son is George and his sister was Rosemary and a few years ago he did the intros for AMC. Mr. Clooney seemed to wallow in nostalga pieces; young men courting, going to the ol' fishin' hole type stuff. When challenged during the debate - I'm told - he seemed like a befuddled old man; a total melt down and everyone in the audience knew it and felt uncomfortable. Too bad.

It's been rainy all day. Like I said, I'm feeling down for some reason - again. I've booked a full day of meetings up until now. I think I helped a lady. Now I'll go home and I'll be up to late.

God Bless America and keep her safe.

Stay You.

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Monday, November 01, 2004

Posing as a Dead Soldier

This bespeckled gray beard is here to save soldiers lives. Why don't I think he's authentic? Posted by Hello

Wider Shot of Protesters

If you look close you can see a man holding a sign with red lettering. He's protesting some gay marriage thingy they are dealing with in Ohio. People like him were on several block corners for about 10 blocks of our walk. They were all African-American people. Are they splitting away from the Dems anything goes if it's through the courts policies? Posted by Hello

The View to my Right

This is the view to my right. Enquirer said there were about 47,000 in attendance on Halloween night. Not bad for short notice. Posted by Hello

And the view to My Left

View to My Left. Stadium is much fuller than I've ever seen it. Posted by Hello

Johnny Bench Introduces the President

Bush with Johnny Bench. The very little figures. Bench did the introduction - which was wicked cool- and Marty Brenneman, longtime Red's announcer, emceed the entire event. There's something about sports people leaning Republican. Posted by Hello

Bush on the Jumbo-Tron

Bush on the Jumbo-Tron. This is how I saw most of his speech. I will say that this is my 4th Presidential candidate viewing and was by far the most well organized. We got in and out easy. It was also the largest. Does that bode well for organization in other parts of the campaign? I hope so.Posted by Hello

The Divine Mrs. M. Cheers

Alicia Cheers Afghan Women Voters. She loves the story of the first voter in Afghanistan being a 19-year old women. That's progress. It's also a little scary that it has been less than 100 years since she would have been able to vote.Posted by Hello

Bush Finishes

Bush Finishes. I miss fireworks. They came out of those two columns just under the plume of smoke and scared the hell out of me. Those are suppose to symbolize riverboat stacks. Get it. Cincinnati? Ohio River? Riverboats? Anyway, I'd never been this high up. My firm's season tickets are in right field just a few rows beneath where the end of the flag furthest to the right is.Posted by Hello

Bush Waving Goodbye

I zoomed in as close as I could, but you can see just how far away I was. That's him in the grey jacket waving with his left arm. Posted by Hello

The Reason I'm Voting Bush Tomorrow

Here they are learning their politics dressed as monarchial princesses. Dagny, the eldest, if very interested in politics and was quite excited to see Bush although the noise of the crowd bothered her quite a bit. Harper is still only 3 but very much the "good-time girl." I hate to pigeon whole them so early, but I think Dagny would be the wonky one of them while Harper will get out there and ask for votes.

To get serious for a minute, I'm voting Bush because these terrorist want to kill us. While I love lower taxes, what's important is that the PNC building (WKRP?) and Scripps Howard (HGTV) building are behind my daughters and I don't want my girls to see them missing. I don't want these psycopaths to make those smiles illegal or rip away their right to vote and be free and ashappy as their are now.

The terrorist need to be killed in large numbers. Bush has done it. Kerry kinda says he will to. Not good enough.

Good Luck tomorrow, Mr. President. Posted by Hello


I've started a blogroll off on the righthand margin. These aren't all the people that I read but the ones either I find especially interesting or who are overlooked.

I also hit Drudge and Instapundit and all the other big hitters, but what's the use of linking to them. Everybody already does.

Please take a tour.

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Paybacks are a Bitch

As I write this, I believe that George W. Bush will win the election next Tuesday. However, even if he doesn't, something needs to be done on two fronts.

Much of life can be equated to The Godfather. After Tessio and Clemenza's takeover of the family failed, it was time for Michael to clean house. Wack Tessio, Clemenza, and their men, knockoff the dirty politicians and cops, shot Mo Green in the eye, and close the door on Diane Keaton - all while Christening your godson. Yous gotta cut out the cancer to save yourself and if you gotta to cut a hand or part of your liver or whatever so be it as long as you survive and live to fight another day.

Bush needs to do the same and I believe he will. I'm not talking about the Syria-Russia connection or Iraq or th NoKos. I'm talking about the Main Stream Media (MSM) and the U.N. From the payola blocking of the Iraq war in the U.N., to Memogate, to the New York Times Abu Graib coverage, to the missing explosives "story" linking the IAEI, the U.N., the NY Times, CBS, and the Democratic Party, something's gotta be done and Bush needs to clean some house.

First, the MSM. I don't care what the bias is of Rather, et. al. They just need to be forced to admit it. In the corporate world, the CEOs are now certifing their accounting statements under pain of severe penalty. In my profession, I can get hung out by the most unbelievable of client compliaints. Some doctors are running from their profession because they don't want to be bankrupted by a simple human error. But the media can make mistakes without any penalty. Wild stories proven wrong get a shoulder shrug. No one can hold the MSM accountable. I'm a believer in market forces and that less people will be watching CBS or reading the NYT because of their hijinks (I just wrote "Hijinks"?). But that's not enough? Are their monopoly forces at work here? More directly, what's the point of winning an election if you don't throw the power around a little bit? A nice congressional investitgation into media bias. Here's my plan: Media outlets should declare their biases. Once done, they are left alone, but at least it's out there. They can also declare themselves unbiased, but be required to stick to their declaration. Some will say this will have a chilling effect on free speech. Give me a break. All where asking for is for them to state what their intentions are and hold to them. 60 Minutes would demand this of any other industry but their own. It will have a chilling effect on B.S. Bush should go in and knock these people about a little bit. The MSM is always calling for everything to be regulated. Let's make them take a small dose of their own medicine.

Second, Bush needs to whack the U.N. The sins are too numerous but enough is said with: Oil for foood program, Lybia on the human rights commission, anti-Israel (Hate Jews) activity, anti-American activity, etc. Should we destroy the U.N. No. But here's the steps I would take.

First, it must be relocated. Not NY, or Brussells, or Paris, but someplace that really could use it's help. Like a New Guinea or a Manilla or someplace in the center of Africa. Get these people closer to the world. The Western World doesn't need their help. Africa does. Parts of Asia and the middle east do. These plutocrats been educated in the western metro centers let's make them remember what's what.

Second point: no country gets a vote or influence unless their citizenry has a vote on them. You can even tier the system. Democracies get full votes. That would include Europe, South Africa, all of the Americas, and a couple handfuls of Asian countries. The next tier would be benign non-totalitarian countries. They would be observers or "participants." Singapore comes to mind off hand. Taiwan under Chang would be here. So would South Korea before elections were held regularly. I even think Russia under Putin's new rules may drift here. Think of them sitting at the kid's tables at Thanksgiving. They can't determine what's for dinner or when they'll eat, they can also make some noise, but most importantly they get to see how the big people behave. Finally, murderous psycho-states would not be allowed to attend or be present. This would throw out Libya, NoKo, China, and it would be a primary mandate of the U.N. to encourage rebellion in these countries.

I think if Bush can accomplish these two objectives in his 2nd term, his presidential footprint would be felt for years to come. In the first term, he would have liberated 50 million people from theocratic rule. In his second, he would have liberated the west from their self-imposed blinders to moral clarity.

Will there still be tough work ahead? Sure, in the second Bush term, he might have to send Fredo out to pray his Hail Mary's, but these actions along with his first term would dramaticly change the landscape and allow that move to Nevada...sorry, Texas...for retirement.

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Seeing the Bush Campaign Stop

Please read the post below before clicking off regarding Michael Corleone = Bush. I wrote that late last week, but just posted it.

Very busy weekend of trick-or-treating, birthday parties, church events and....the Bush Campaign stop. Read about it here. I've seen all the Republican candidates since Bush '41 and this was the furthest away I've ever been. He was a speck. Pictures to be posted tonight. Anyway, I got to the ball park at 5:00, Bush spoke at 8:00. I took Daughter No. 1 and Daughter No. 2 by myself because of a previous committment on The Divine Mrs. M's part. Gatlin Brothers (another Republican reformed cokehead?), Jason LaRue, various and sundry politicians. I will more indepth blog tonight about it. Hey....who's that hot blonde over there....nice,well, don't stare too long, the daughters are watching....hey....it's.....Mommeeeeeee!
The Divine Mrs. M. shows up at 7:30 after a walk to the stadium across a bridge across the Ohio River and then shows up at the right place...all without having to wait 2 1/2 hours.

Later. Too tired to blog and earn a living.

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