Wednesday, November 29, 2006

read this: RED FRIDAY

Thanks to a friend I am glad to share this post:

"Last week, while traveling to Chicago on business, I noticed a Marine sergeant traveling with a folded flag, but did not put two and two together. After we boarded our flight, I turned to the sergeant, who'd been invited to sit in First Class (across from me), and inquired if he was heading home.

"No," he responded. "Heading out?" I asked?  "No. I'm escorting a soldier home."  "Going to pick him up?"  "No. He is with me right now. He was killed in Iraq.  I'm taking him home to his family. "

The realization of what he had been asked to do hit me like a punch to the gut. It was an honor for him. He told me that although he didn't know the soldier, he had delivered the news of his passing to the soldier's family and felt as if he knew them after many conversations in so few days. I turned back to him, extended my hand, and said, "Thank you. Thank you for doing what you do so my family and I can do what we do."

Upon landing in Chicago the pilot stopped short of the gate and made the following announcement over the intercom.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to note that we have had the honor of having Sergeant Steeley of the United States Marine Corps join us on this flight. He is escorting a fallen comrade back home to his family.  I ask that you please remain in your seats when we open the forward door to allow Sergeant Steeley to deplane and receive his fellow soldier. We will then turn off the seat belt sign."

Without a sound, all went as requested. I noticed the sergeant saluting the casket as it was brought off the plane, and his action made me realize that I am proud to be an American.  

So here's a public "Thank You to our military Men and Women for what you do so we can live the way we do."

RED FRIDAY – Join the great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason?  Americans who support our troops used to be called the silent majority.  We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers.  We are not organized, boisterous or overbearing.  Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simply want to recognize that the vast majority of America supports our troops.

Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday and continues each and every Friday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that Americans who support our men and women afar, will wear something red.

By word of mouth, press, TV, let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, coworkers, friends, and family, it will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let our troops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more than ever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is "We need your support and your prayers." Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example, and wear something red every Friday.

WE LIVE IN THE LAND OF THE FREE BECAUSE OF THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO, OVER THE PAST CENTURIES WITH THEIR RED BLOOD bought and paid for your freedom.  It was and is their sacrifice and patriotism that gives you the freedom to agree or disagree.  It is our "freedom" that draws millions of immigrants fleeing from their homeland because they don't have the FREEDOM to disagree.   

Just copy and paste the link into your browser.


Thanks Ellen for sharing this.  Share this with everyone.

Eric Standlee
Prospered not to increase my Standard of Living,
but to increase my Standard of Giving

PS. Would you be open to showing referring organizations how to receive **hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars** for their ministry or faith-based non-profit without asking anyone for any money whatsoever?

Take this entrepreneurial quiz:

See what our Team Members have to say:

Download Slay Your Giant (originally $29.95) at no cost quick before this link stops working:

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears - New York Times

I tested this audio without telling my kids and they complained about the tone. It works because I didn't hear it at all. The funny thing is the dog didn't react either.

A Ring Tone Meant to Fall on Deaf Ears - New York Times

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Coupon codes for retail stores

The creator of has launched, which provides coupon codes for retail stores, without the privacy-infringing registration requirements. A very useful tool.

Many online stores allow for a "coupon" or "promotion" code when you order to automatically assign discounts, deals and freebies (kinda like money for nothing). is a place for finding and sharing these coupon codes.
So… when you buy online, check here for discounts first (unless you're frikkin crazy).

Via GoodExperience

Email me if you found this useful

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Real Story

The Real Story

Watch this video and see what's really happening in Iraq.

But, Iraq is the sidelines compared to extreme Iran getting a nuke.

Pray everyday that they don't get it and fire it on Israel or any other free country.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

To Blog or Not to Blog

In case you need more information on this subject...

To Blog or Not to Blog

For those of you wanting to "read all about it" from a reliable source on blogging, try out this new study report, The Blogging Success Study, from Northeastern University and Backbone Media.

The report cites the Mississippi Hospital Association as a great example of a successful blog. They also site multiple other small businesses and organizations, so this is NOT a pie in the sky report about corporate or tech blogging - it is applicable. It also addresses customer experience via the blog, which is a key element, in my opinion to small business success in the blogosphere.

Fwd: Microsoft releases six security updates

Watch out for the latest patches.  I don't know if any of these will crash your box, but be forewarned.

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Network World's Security News Alert, 11/15/06

Microsoft releases six security updates, 11/14/06
Microsoft has issued six security updates, fixing critical bugs in Windows components ranging from Internet Explorer to the Microsoft NetWare client service.

Editorial comments: Write to Site Editor Jeff Caruso
Advertising information: Write to Associate Publisher Online Susan Cardoza

Network World, Inc., 118 Turnpike Road, Southborough, MA 01772

Copyright Network World, Inc., 2006

Reaching International Audiences?

Advertising on the internet even in America and you might get people who only speak Spanish.  You need to know what they say when they reply and you need to be able to translate what you are saying if you want to continue the conversation.  While automatic translation isn't perfected yet, there are some free services that make it pretty easy to get close.

I recommend

I just recently had this situation and being able to translate back and forth between English and Spanish has been helpful.


Fair Tax Blogburst

by Terry Dillard of The Right Track

Well, the elections are over and I've heard everything from "It's a sure thing" to "No way it'll even make it out of committee now" regarding the FairTax.

One thing I do know -- never underestimate the power of a grassroots movement. Democrats were shown in 1994 not to take their power for granted, and Republicans had that same lesson hammered home to them a week ago. The American people have no hesitation whatsoever about "flushing the toilet" as I prefer to call it.

Whatever your political orientation, it's been amply proven by now that lower taxes produce a stronger economy -- if we can keep spending in check. Giving Americans the ability to choose exactly how much they pay in taxes via the FairTax is a win-win situation for individuals and our government.

I found an interesting blog article that managed to work the FairTax into a post on national security. From "Freedom Is Always the Right Answer", the post is titled "Defeating China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran in the Cold War of Terror". The post begins:

China and Russia are allied and using all the tools at their disposal, including supporting North Korea and Iran, and to a lessor extent Venezuela, to defeat us in a new Cold War of Terror. China and Russia have supplied weapons, diplomatic cover, and economic support to these rogue states to drain American resources, our respect in the international community, and generally create chaos. China is stealing our technological secrets through a coordinated program of traditional intelligence and computer infiltration. China and Russia are threatening our satellites. China constantly threatens our ally, Taiwan. We can use the lessons from the first Cold War to figure out how to win this new one.

The author postulates that winning the war against terror and those who sponsor it -- directly or indirectly, it would seem -- will require the same tactics used by JFK to get the missiles out of Cuba, and by Reagan to defeat the Soviet Union. Part of this, of course, is economic in nature. According to the author's theory:

Once we put China in this position, it won't allow North Korea to be the tail that wags the dog. China will be upset with the U.S., as will the rest of the world who will call us dangerous cowboys, like they did Reagan, but China's only good option would be to work for a nuclear free Korean peninsula. China would suffer the economic pain (no more Kentucky Fried Chicken) of losing the world's greatest consumer as a costumer, plus it would be in the untenable position of being at the mercy of the madman in North Korea. America could get China's support for regime change or some other policy to remove the nukes in North Korea.

America would also suffer economic pain (T-Shirt prices would rise) from these trade restrictions, but domestic policy would limit that pain, and turn it into an advantage. By adopting the FairTax, America would begin to return as a manufacturing juggernaut. Reducing government interference in the free market would assist this process. American products, no longer burdened by the income tax, would compete with Chinese made products on the world market, further enriching America and hurting China/NK. This American growth in manufacturing would drive prices lower to compensate for the price increases from restricted trade with China/NK. This would put pressure on China to democratize. [TD - emphasis added]

But aside from National Security, the FairTax is just a good idea. The Kodiak Daily Mirror came out in favor of it because it is grassroots in nature. You know, "We the people" kind of thinking. In "New Tax Act Gives Power to the People", the Daily Mirror gives its reasons for supporting the FairTax:

A proposed bill, The Fair Tax Act, would change the way our government collects our tax money. It sounds the death toll for the Internal Revenue Service, paycheck withholdings and tax returns. As the replacement, a national sales tax, designed to fund our government at its current rate, would replace our old system. It relieves the burden of an overly complicated tax code as special interests lobby for loopholes.

The national sales tax will be collected on all new goods and services and takes the place of our income withholdings. The system is blind to income levels, yet ensures the basic necessities of life are not taxed through a tax pre-bate system. This prevents the government from dictating what the basic necessities are and affords us the ability to make our own decisions. [TD - emphasis added]

How cool is that? What a novel idea! Letting us make our own decisions! I like it! The Daily Mirror finishes the article by referring to no less a document than our own Declaration of Independence:

As stated so eloquently in our Declaration of Independence, we hold the power, not the government or our elected officials. It is time for a real change offered by the Fair Tax Act to encourage economical growth and investment. It is time to do away with the burdensome taxation system that we detest and political officials use to gain votes.

All I can add to that is a hearty "Amen"!

The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to host the weekly postings on your blog, please e-mail Terry. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.

FWD: Kristen Silverberg, Brand USA

This was a great article on ERM/PRM and how it can affect countries as well as us:

Today I had an interesting call. I spoke with Kristen Silverberg, the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs. She's a very charming woman, sharing anecdotes about her three year old niece, as well as being as intellectually stimulating as they come.  We brainstormed some great ideas for incorporating ERM (executive relationship management) and PRM (personal relationship management) into international relations.

Kristen brought up the conflicting ideas surrounding our country right now, not only involving criticism from the outside, but debate from the inside as well.  She focuses the bulk of her time on the Security Council working on negotiations with resolution language. Funny, one of the main criticisms the United States faces is that of "going it alone," and this is becoming a dignity issue for the rest of the world. We are starting to appear, from the outside, as though we don't need the help of other countries, and that couldn't be more untrue. 

I couldn't help but see how this relates to each of us as individuals – the struggle with being able to ask for help, and letting other people help. The interesting thing about it is that when a person, or in this case, a country, is brave enough to ask for help, it increases the value of that country as a brand.  I can't remember a time when brand USA was more valued than after 9/11, or when Katrina devastated our southern coast. The pinnacle of intimacy is letting people help you and being able to ask for help. When you ask for help, you're at once showing respect for their abilities and letting them inside your walls.

There are so many things in our lives that make us build up walls around ourselves. The sad thing is that we think our walls are so unique, that no one else has the same ones, but at the end of the day, we all have similar worries and frustrations and we are all looking for the same things, deep mutual understanding with others.  The way we get there is to help people get comfortable to "exhale." Get them to talk about things they are passionate about.  Tell people about our own past struggles. It comforts others to know that we haven't had it easy either, that life is a struggle for all of us. 

Kristen sees this all the time. She said that people in foreign diplomacy are always traveling to ask someone for a meeting, or to ask people to stand on their side.  They want to be sure they haven't been abandoned.  To ask for this kind of help means asking to share some level of intimacy with them.

While some people may look at this plane of intimacy as insincere, it's important to realize that if your heart is in the right place then it isn't trite at all. 

I believe what Kristen is doing is so important and needed right now. I have said for a long time that the "brand" of the United States of America needs some attention, and Ms. Silverberg appears to share that sentiment. Not that we should focus too much on promoting brand USA for the sake of promotion. Without changing our relationships, that sort of marketing would be hollow and only alienates people and countries and groups that could help us, and us them. We need genuine relationships to strengthen our country's brand just like our personal brands.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Today's Word with Joel & Victoria

This is a powerful message and VERY appropriate for those in business.

Getting Comfortable Outside Your Comfort Zone

Today's Scripture

"As they went a woman who wanted to be healed came up behind and touched him, for she had been slowly bleeding for twelve years, and could find no cure (though she had spent everything she had on doctors). But the instant she touched the edge of his robe, the bleeding stopped." (Luke 8:43)

Today's Word from Joel and Victoria

Are your hopes, dreams, and visions way big today? I hope so, because there are no limits for the powerful and loving God that you serve! When God puts a dream in your heart, even a big dream that seems almost impossible, He will also put in your heart the ability and the opportunity to complete it. The tough part is that you're going to have to step outside of your comfort zone, and allow God to give you what you need. The woman described in Luke 8 had a dream of being healthy, but nobody could help her. She kept dreaming and reached out for Jesus to be healed. Reach out for your dream today and watch God do the rest!

A Prayer for Today

God, I know that You have big plans for me. Help me to let You do things that are out of my comfort zone. Thank you for Your power and for the dreams You give me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Read another Word with Joel & Victoria

View archived messages »

Joel Osteen Ministries, 3700 Southwest Freeway, Houston TX 77027

Copyright © 2006 by Joel Osteen

Eric Standlee
Prospered not to increase my Standard of Living,
but to increase my Standard of Giving

PS. Would you be open to showing referring organizations how to receive **hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars** for their ministry or faith-based non-profit without asking anyone for any money whatsoever?

Take this entrepreneurial quiz:

See what our Team Members have to say:

Download Slay Your Giant (originally $29.95) at no cost quick before this link stops working:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

50 ways to find new business and generate leads

Gang, I had to share this wonderful site full of 53+ ways and places to find new business and generate leads:
With these insights and tips, you and your team can drop years of research and discovery time from your efforts and focus on selling. In fact, even the most experienced sales and business development professionals may find the untapped vein of business that “never occurred to me”. Or, you may find one of the ideas becomes the spark to a completely new idea of your own.

May your business overflow!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dare to Believe for Greater Things

I was reading in "Your Best Life Now" by Joel Osteen, and on
page 76 under the heading "Dare to Believe for Greater Things",
the following spoke loud and clear to me:

"God said to Abraham, 'I'm going to bless you so that you can be
a blessing'  God is saying that same thing to you.  He wants to
bless you with abundance, so you can turn around and be a
blessing to other people."

"Maybe you have endured terrible disappointments.  Unspeakable
negative things may have happened to you, to the point that you
have ceased believing for anything good to occur in your life.
You've lost your dreams.  You are drifting through life, taking
whatever comes your way.  You may be tempted to tell yourself,
'I've been living this way too long.  I'm never going to get any
better.  I've prayed, I've believed, I've done everything I know
how to do.  Nothing's changed.  Nothing's worked.  I might as
well give up.'"

"I've had people tell me, 'Joel, I don't want to get my hopes
up.  I've been through so many hurts in the past.  If I don't
get my hopes up and nothing good happens to me, at least I won't
be disappointed.'"

"Friend, that attitude is contrary to God's desires for you.  No
matter how many setbacks you've suffered, God still has a great
plan for your life.  You must get your hopes up.  If you don't
have hope, you won't have faith.  And if you don't have faith,
you can't please God, and you won't see His power revealed in
your life.  Keep hope alive in your heart.  Don't ever give up
on your dreams.  Don't allow discouragement or other setbacks to
keep you from believing what God says about you."

If you are like me, then this part of the book speaks to you
loud and clear.

Friend, I am sure that God wants you to over-come.  You
need to surround yourself with those who agree and affirm that
in you daily so that you can daily affirm that in yourself.

Blessed to be a blessing,
Eric Standlee
"Commit your works to the Lord, and your plans WILL succeed."
-- Proverbs 16:3

Landing page quality update -- You NEED to understand these changes and their affect on your landing page

Landing page quality update

In early July, we sat down with Andrew C., product marketing manager for Ads Quality initiatives. At that time, Andrew spoke of our continuing efforts to improve the quality of our users' experience when they visit an advertiser's landing pages. Today he returns with a heads-up regarding an upcoming development:

In the next few days, we will be making two changes to how AdWords evaluates landing page quality. First, we'll begin incorporating landing page quality into the Quality Score for your contextually-targeted ads, using the same evaluation process as we do for ads showing on and the search network. Advertisers who may be providing a poor experience on their site will notice that their traffic across the content network decreases as a result of this change. Second, we're improving our algorithm for evaluating landing page quality and incorporating landing page content retrieved by the AdWords system.

As with our July system update, both of these changes will affect a very small portion of advertisers, so the vast majority of advertisers will not be affected at all by either change. However, those who may be providing a low quality user experience will see an increase in their minimum bids for and the search network and/or a decrease in traffic across the content network. In most cases, we expect that the higher minimum bids will cause the low quality ads and keywords to become "inactive for search." Since July, we've received quite a few questions from advertisers about our landing page quality initiatives, and I'd like to address the most common ones today:

Why are you focusing on landing page quality?
The goal of our ongoing landing page quality initiative is to improve the experience of our users by providing high quality results not only in the ad text, but also once the user has clicked through to the site. We strongly believe that an excellent experience on the advertiser's site is an essential element in earning the continued trust of our users. Clearly, the better the user experience, the more likely it is that users (who are also your potential customers) will continue to seek out -- and click on -- AdWords ads over the long term. This is to the advantage of everyone: users, advertisers, and Google alike.

What do you consider to be a high quality landing page?
While we suggest landing page and site guidelines, we don't provide more specific recommendations because there's no one-size-fits-all approach to best create landing pages. We therefore encourage you to focus on building landing pages that are best for your users, whether they come from AdWords or other sources. In doing this, it may be instructive to put yourself in your customer's shoes and closely examine what it is that leads you to explore and do business with a site rather than simply click the "Back" button.

Will my landing page quality affect my ad's position?
Not for Google search. While one's landing page quality is directly correlated with the minimum bid required for one's ads to run, it does not affect your ads position (or 'rank', as it is often referred to) at all. However, since there is no minimum bid requirement for contextually-targeted ads, low quality landing pages will result in the need to bid higher to compete in the auction, which could also impact your position on pages in the network.

Clarified that the term 'search' in the second paragraph means 'ads showing on and the search network.'

Posted by Sarah, Inside AdWords crew

Joel Osteen Ministries: Subscribe to Joel's Podcast

I am listening to the podcast "Keep Pressing On" and it is a blessing to my heart.

Each week you can download the 30 minute Joel Osteen Television program in audio or video format to your iPod, PC or MP3 player.
You can listen to audio podcasts, or watch the video ones.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Japanese News Leans to the Left

Some may not know that my second most fluent language is Japanese. It is my home language as my wife and three kids are Japanese.

So, we get TvJapan on Dish to keep up with current events and the drama shows on Japanese TV to keep our language up. It really is a family time and with the DVR we minimize our time in front of the boob tube.

But, with the election tomorrow, the Japanese news and oppinion shows have been focusing on the election. You might not know it, but the affect of the election will be felt as far away as Japan and all of Asia on the other side of the world.

The sad thing, and in fact the most frustrating thing for a conservative like me, is that Japanese TV is more of a puppet head than Alan Combs on the Fox News Hannity and Combs show. Alan's ficticious slanted beliefs about the politics of America pale in comparison to the single-minded far-left slant of the Japanese reporting. The show we just watched would have made Alan proud, as if that is a good thing. The only interviewed people with a negative oppinion on the Bush administratin, the extremely good economy we have, and the ultra-low unemployment that conservative republican leadership has blessed us with. I take that back, they made light of one conservative republican mayor of some country town who was trying to drum up republican votes among her citizens for tomorrow's election.

It was enough to get Sean Hannity red-faced and steamed! I know I was.

Newt Gingrich for President! Clone him and fill the house and senate with him. Thank God for God fearing conservative leadership like George Walker Bush and Newt.

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Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Fwd: [LinkedInUSAF] Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT - USAF Team!!!

Help support those who are surviving having stood in harms way for us:

---------- Forwarded message ----------

I've joined the Soldiers' Angels Project Valour-IT USAF Team. We are
raising funds for injured soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines that
need voice activated/controlled laptops. This is a short term project,
ending on Veteran's Day - 11 November 2006.

If you have a moment, and can spare a small donation, please go to our
blog and help the US Air Force Team stay on top! 

We are in second place, right behind the US Army ... c'mon, we own the
sky, we gotta get on top! And, the Marines are HOT ON OUR SIX, people.
We can't have that, we need to be NUMBER ONE!


In fact, our blog is not the only one. There are a few of our members
that have joined this cause and working to get as many laptops as
possible. Here's the USAF Team roster, so far, and I don't know if any of
you run these sites:

Euphoric Reality 
Cold Fury 
My Weekly Thoughts 
The Adventures of RV-6 N466PG 
Stop The ACLU 
Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler 
Soldiers' Angels New York 
Dude Where's The Beach 
Spec Ops Angels 
Fix 4 RSO 
Exile in Portales 
Radio Patriots 
Defense Tech 
Right on the Right 
No Angst Zone 
Banter In Atlanter 
Townhall Blog 
Bill's Bites 
Gateway Pundit 
Mudville Gazette 
Seraphic Secret 
The Splatter Zone 
Air Force Pundit 
Conservative Thinking 
Gazing at the Flag 

If you visit ANY of these great sites, or know someone that is ex-USAF
(or active duty) and has a blog, get them on the list! And, stop by
their site and donate to this worthy cause.

So, please help up win this year! We haven't done so well in the past,
and, I'm trying everything I can to boost the USAF Team into the
stratosphere!!!   :)  For an inter-branch rivalry, this is where we
want to be hands-down winners!

It's two fold - the Air Force Team wins and so do those in need.

Thanks for listening, and this is a one-time special announcement
regarding this donation drive.


Eric Standlee