Time to lighten up & check the Photo Gallery

December 14, 2006

seacave.jpgJust completed 5 days of grading for my most intense class, so I took a few hours tonight to post some personal photos to a new page of ToughSledding. The Photo Gallery shows you a bit of the Sledzik family travels this year and a bit of our life at Sandy Lake.

Of course, I couldn’t let it go with just pictures. Had to surround them in my long-winded blather.

I posted this new page as a way to share experiences with friends and family we won’t see over the holidays, or maybe even in the new year. But I also hope it’ll help me connect better with readers who don’t know me at all.

Once again I find myself indebted to Shel Israel, the guy whose writings prompted me to start blogging. A few of Shel’s recent posts, this one in particular, but also this one, focus more on life than work — or on blogging. Got me to thinking how nice it is to know a bit about the folks we run across in the blogosphere. So now, if you choose to click the tab, you’ll know a little more about me — for better or worse!

P.T. Barnum would love the Heart Attack Grill

December 9, 2006

Phineas Taylor Barnum, wherever you are, raise a glass to Jon Basso, owner ofheartattackburger.jpg the Heart Attack Grill in Tempe, Ariz. The restaurant may not be the Greatest Show on Earth, but you’d never know it from the headlines it’s generating this morning.

The Heart Attack Grill (Tagline: Taste worth dying for), is definitely a “guy” place. Witness its four featured cheeseburgers, the Single, Double, Triple and Quadruple Bypass, that last one with two full pounds of red meat, four slices of cheese and a pile of bacon (8,000 calories in all). Fries, by the way, are cooked in pure lard.

But it’s not the menu that has folks upset with Basso — it’s the scantily clad waitresses, decked out in “naughty nurse” attire, an obvious copy of the Hooters theme. Some will call it every man’s dream: cleavage, long legs and red meat by the pound. Read the rest of this entry »

I get on my knees and pray we don’t get fooled again!

November 8, 2006

200px-whosnext.jpgWhen I woke up Tuesday, I had to hear my favorite Election-Day song — and quite possibly the best rock-n-roll song ever recorded. Ironically, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” was written and recorded by a bunch of Brits — a band called The Who. Maybe you’ve heard of them.

It happens that this political anthem is also the song I most associate with my college days. When I arrived at the East Green on Ohio University in 1971, that song was blasting from every window in the quad. Anti-war sentiment was everywhere, and so were the hippies. I won’t lay claim to the “hippie” title, but I did have the requisite shoulder-length hair, and I aspired to the hippie lifestyle.

I also had a draft card with 1-A status along with a sincere hope that our nation would find its way out of Southeast Asia before asking me to join the fray. Our boys died in Vietnam for a few more years. I got lucky and didn’t have to join them.

Political activism isn’t as prevalent on campus today. But neither are draft cards. You think there’s a correlation? Read the rest of this entry »

Snakes on the brain

October 9, 2006

I hit another snake today while riding my bicycle.

That’s two in as many weeks, but you know that if you’re a regular on green_snake_23570_md.gifthis site. I hit the first one on Sept. 28, and it inspired a clumsy post that brought public relations professionals into a metaphor about roadkill. Hey, we can’t be Hemmingway every day.

Today’s snake, like the first, slithered off into the brush, unhurt. But I can’t help but wonder if someone is sending me a message — perhaps through devine channels. Could the snakes be inspired by those kooky creationists I dissed in my post of Sept. 20? You know, the ones who want to bring the Book of Genesis into apple.gifscience class?

I know I’m being silly. But if another snake crosses my path this month, I’m really gonna worry. Especially if he offers me an apple.

In my other life I’m a laggard

October 3, 2006

I probably shouldn’t admit this, but popeye.jpegwhen I leave the office, I’m a 53-year-old laggard. A throwback to another time. There’s really nothing I can do about it. I am what I am, as Popeye would say — a little slow and a lot deliberate.

According to Everett Rogers, my laggard group makes up 16% of the population. We’re the last folks to adopt products and innovations. “Innovators,” just 3% of the populace, are on the front end of the “adoption curve.” But most of you are somewhere in the middle.

Many laggards are slow on the uptake because they aren’t paying attention — or they don’t care about cutting-edge technology. That isn’t me. I’m just cautious. I want to be SURE an innovation will really enhance my life — not complicate it — before I plunk down a pile of cash to own it. Believe me, I love new toys. Just ask my wife. Read the rest of this entry »

Smart weeds and dumb rednecks

October 1, 2006

Took a two-day break from blogging this weekend and headed to camp in Pennsylvania to meet my hunting pal of the past 20 years. yuenglkng.jpgWe did a little game scouting and hung the treestands in anticipation of the muzzleloader season. Since guns weren’t part of this trip, we also drank our share of fine Pennsylvania lager. It ‘s all part of the “camp” experience, and very much a guy thing.

I’ve been hunting the same 300-400 acres in Southwest Pa. for 30 years now. And every trip there I come across a species of flora or fauna that I haven’t encountered or at least haven’t noticed before. This weekend I discovered two. Read the rest of this entry »

Elmo story tickled me, the media, my class

September 27, 2006

OK, I probably shouldn’t be giggling over the story of a man whose life was threatened when he refelmo.jpgused to give up his new Tickle Me Elmo dolls. It happened in a Target store in Tampa, and no one there was laughing. But how can you NOT manage a smirk over some lunatic who risks a felony charge (he claimed he had a gun and would shoot the other customer if he didn’t give up the dolls) for some goofy $40 toy?

I led a discussion about the story in my Media Relations class yesterday at Kent State, and together the students and I explored three different lessons. Read the rest of this entry »

Celebrating the genius of Pat Jackson

September 23, 2006

I proprsa.gifbably shouldn’t admit this, but I haven’t attended a PRSA national conference in 5 years. Given the info available online, I’ve found more efficient ways to keep up on the business.

My last PRSA conference was in Atlanta in those dark days after 9/11. If the terrorist attacks weren’t enough to photo_pat.jpgcast a pall over the meeting, something else was missing. The 2001 conference was the first one in recent memory to not feature the wisdom of Pat Jackson. Pat died March 22, 2001. So the conferences — at least for me — can never be the same. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m with Holtz: Nothing changes everything

September 21, 2006

If you haven’t read Shel Israel‘s interview with Shel Holtz, you should. You’ll find a lot of wisdom in those 11 questions, along with a sense of humor.

As most of you know, Holtz is an author, consultant and one of the mavens who helped bring public shelbook.jpgrelations into the wired world. His latest book, Blogging for Business, is one of two that are required reading in our new course, Public Relations Online Tactics, at Kent State. The other, not surprisingly, is Scoble & Israel’s Naked Conversations.

What most got my attention in that interview were two profound statements by Holtz — both of which I agree with in spades.

The first: “I also don’t believe that anything changes everything, (emphasis is mine) and as you probably know, I don’t believe new media kill old media.” Later on he adds, “Social media is the next step on a continuum.”

Read the rest of this entry »