Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Giuliani Endorsement Gives McCain Visible Boost Going Into GOP Debate

Rudy Giuliani formally dropped his presidential bid and endorsed John McCain Wednesday, setting up the Arizona senator with valuable support and big press heading into the GOP primary debate in California.

Giuliani pledged to campaign with McCain wherever he is needed, and touted his former rival as an “American hero” and “the most qualified candidate to be the next commander in chief of the United States.”

Giuliani spoke at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., where the GOP debate is set to be held just two hours later.

“He came from way behind to go way ahead, and once again displayed his tenacity, his courage, his ability to focus, his ability to get things done,” Giuliani said, referring to McCain’s surge from behind over the past two months. “I can’t imagine a campaign that better demonstrates who the person to be president of the United States should be.”

On his plane en route to The Golden State, the former New York City mayor said that he opted to end his faltering campaign because he did not want to eat into McCain’s support on Super Tuesday, when just four remaining candidates will battle for the 1,023 delegates allocated from 21 states voting that day.

“It’s disappointing to lose a race for president because you believe you’re the best candidate, but I had made it clear before I had to make this decision who I thought the other best candidate was,” Giuliani said.
Edwards Drop Out, Too...

From the Sydney Morning Herald
Former Senator Edwards withdraw after finishing third in the last three primaries - but has not endorsed the remaining two candidates in the Democratic race - Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.

Flanked by his wife and children in New Orleans, where he had begun his campaign , Mr Edwards said: "We as citizens, we have a moral responsibility to this country. We must do better."

He said that both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama, the remaining candidates in the Democratic race, had both pledged to carry on his agenda into the campaign and into their presidency.

"They have both pledged that they will make ending poverty central to their campaign and their presidency," he said.

Computer Update

Toshiba says No Problem Found.

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Computer Update

My computer has been returned from Toshiba. I'll test it tonight.

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Giuliani Reportedly to Drop Out & Endorse McCain


NBC News and the National Journal reported Tuesday night that Rudy Giuliani will drop out of the race for the GOP presidential nomination and endorse John McCain on Wednesday in California.

Following a disappointing finish in Florida's primary on Tuesday, Giuliani referred to his candidacy repeatedly in the past tense — as though it was over — in speaking to supporters.

“We’ll stay involved and together we’ll make sure that we’ll do everything we can to hand our nation off to the next generation better than it was before,” he said.

A senior Giuliani official told NBC of his plans to drop out and endorse McCain on Wednesday in California, where Republicans are set to debate at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley.

Giuliani ran third in Florida, his best showing of the campaign, after spending most of his money and time in the state ahead of Super Tuesday. But it was not nearly good enough to make his last stand in a state that is home to tens of thousands of transplanted New Yorkers.

“The responsibility of leadership doesn’t end with a single campaign, it goes on and you continue to fight for it,” Giuliani said Tuesday night, as supporters with tight smiles crowded behind him. “We ran a campaign that was uplifting.”

Asked directly if he was dropping out of the race, Giuliani said only: “I’m going to California.” Tuesday’s result was a remarkable collapse for Giuliani. Last year, he occupied the top of national polls and seemed destined to turn conventional wisdom on end by running as a moderate Republican who supported abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.

“Elections are about fighting for a cause larger than ourselves,” he said at one point, echoing one of McCain’s most popular refrains.

The results seriously decimated Giuliani’s unconventional strategy, which relied heavily on Florida to launch him into the coast-to-coast Feb. 5 nominating contests. He largely bypassed the early voting states, figuring that the early states would produce multiple winners and no front-runner.

But Florida proved to be less than hospitable. The state’s top two Republicans — Sen. Mel Martinez and Gov. Charlie Crist — endorsed McCain. And Giuliani, who once led in state polls, saw his support swiftly erode.


My New Commute

If you've been around here for long, then you probably know that, up until just a month ago, I had quite a long commute for work. For the past four years, I have commuted anywhere from ninety minutes to two-and-a-half hours to work. That's each way.

On December 28, 2007, we moved into our new home in Indianapolis, and my commute ever since has been from 20 to 25 minutes. It has been very, very nice only driving across the city instead of driving half way across the state. It has been nice to get an extra hour of sleep each night and have an extra hour with the family each night. And the money I've saved in gasoline has been very nice -- enough to make up half of the increase in our house payment. WOW!

But the commute hasn't completely ended. Just before moving, my wife and I decided to become members at the church we have been attending since the tragic 9/11 attacks. We've both felt very moved lately to become closer to God and more involved in our church. Having recently made the decision to settle down into a church home, neither one of us is ready to start searching for a new church in Indy.

Instead we have decided to make the commute back west every Sunday to go to church. It's roughly the same drive I used to make every day for work, but now we're making the commute only once a week, and making it for a reason of our own choosing -- for a reason that we both feel is the right reason.

There's just so much benefit for us to continue going to the same church that we have both come to feel so at home with. Not only do we feel very comfortable and very welcome there, and very in touch with the message, but the bonus is that my wife's parents are going to church with us every Sunday evening. Until we moved, they were only occasional attendees. Since we moved, they haven't missed a Sunday. It's been a very positive development!

For more info on our church, click here.


Rudy on Leadership: Making Decisions Pt 2

Rudy Giuliani on Leadership:

  • You cannot generate heartfelt debate unless the participants believe that the outcome is not predetermined.
  • Sometimes the best way to stimulate the debate you need to make an informed decision is to take a step back.
  • Once you've made a decision, you must stick to it; but up until that point make it clear that you'll entertain changing your mind even on subjects that seem cut and dried.
  • A leader has to be strong enough to make his own decisions, and stick to them even when they're unpopular; but he also must be self-confident enough to solicit opinions and change his mind without worrying that he'll appear weak.
  • Important, complicated decisions require both statistical analysis and intuition.
  • Statistics can provide the necessary data, but unless you provide your own intuition, gathered from your own experience, you are just a computer spitting out formulas.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bogus Info On New Presidential Dollar Coins

The following email has been circulating, and the information in it is incorrect. First, the email, then read on for the corrections.


This simple action will make a strong statement. Just Do It.

Please help do this.. refuse to accept these when they are handed to you. I received one from the Post Office as change and I asked for a dollar bill instead. The lady just smiled and said 'way to go' so she had read this e-mail. Please help out....our world is in enough trouble without this too!!!!!

U.S. Government to Release New Dollar Coins

You guessed it
If ever there was a reason to boycott something, THIS IS IT!!!!


Together we can force them out of circulation.
As usual, this is another case of someone jumping to conclusions and over-reacting before they know the whole story.

"IN GOD WE TRUST" is indeed included on the coin.

Don't fall for the hype. It should be crystal clear to any American that, at least under the current leadership in Washington, it isn't very likely that we would put out a currency that excludes the phrase IN GOD WE TRUST.

Please forward this along to anyone who might have sent you the phony email. More details of the "edge incused inscription," as they call it, can be found here.


Rudy on Leadership: Making Decisions

Rudy Giuliani on Leadership

  • Making the right choices is the most important part of leadership.
  • The longer you have to make a decision, the more mature and well-reasoned the decision should be.
  • A readiness to make decisions has a positive effect.
  • The generation that succeeds the originators of an idea will often take it to a new level, to make its mark.
  • Leaders must find a balance between speed and deliberation.
  • One facet of making decisions involves knowing how to act when there's not much time to deliberate.
  • The need for quick decisions is strongest in times of crisis. People are afraid and uncertain, and need to feel that someone is in charge.
  • Even though leaders should take as much time as available to make decisions, the process of making the decision should begin immediately.
  • If a decision is due in five days, the time to start researching and considering the matter is now, not four days on.
  • Sometimes people just want to see issues being addressed, even if they don't always agree with the result.


Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Joe Show #59

New this week on

The Joe Show
featuring Average Joe American

Episode Fifty-Nine:

Free MP3 Download

Perspective by Jeff Caylor
courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

This week's show is going to be a little bit different from what you've heard in the past on The Joe Show. Before I explain why, and what you'll hear, I want to talk for a moment about the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.

This past week, Fred Thompson announced his withdrawal from the race. I have been a supporter of Fred Thomspon since before he was a candidate for President. I have always thought that he had the most solid political platform and stood for sound conservative principles.

After hearing the announcement of his withdrawal, I was faced with the decision of what candidate to put my support behind. I gave this some serious consideration. Knowing that the Democratic candidates were completely out of the picture for me, I had to decide whether to stand behind the best candidate, or the candidate with the best chance to win in November. Whether to choose a solid candidate, or a candidate with solid, widespread support.

Both John McCain and Mitt Romney have a solid backing of supporters. They've been the most successful in the primaries and caucuses, and many in the media have virtually declared this a two-man race.

Both Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee are experienced, conservative candidates. Both speak well and seem to perform solidly in the debates.

And then there's Ron Paul. But I don't intend to completely throw away my support. Sorry Ron.

After giving it much thought and consideration, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one candidate that I can in good conscience stand behind right now. One candidate that I have long thought could be a solid, successful President. One candidate that I've supported since long before Fred Thompson even became a grass roots movement. It is for this reason that I have chosen the candidate with the most experience, the most real-life tested wisdom, the best leadership skills, and the truest patriotism of them all.

It is for all of these reasons that I now stand strongly in support of America's Mayor for President. Rudy Giuliani stood strong under adversity and led this nation's largest city -- and the entire nation, by extension -- through the most difficult, tragic moments of our nation's history. Because he built a sound, strong management team in New York City that had the ability and autonomy to think on their feet while at the same time understanding the importance and the need to remain accountable to the people that they served, New York -- and the nation -- was able to bounce back, come together, and stand united against the enemy. It was as much for the leadership of Rudy Giuliani as for that of President George W. Bush that the United States remained united against an unseen enemy.

There is no candidate that can bring to the Oval Office the combination of wisdom, knowledge, foresight, experience, and sound business judgement that Rudy can. All of the other Republican candidates possess some of those traits, but not one has demonstrated a solid grasp on the whole picture as Rudy has.

But there is one concern that you might hear voiced by other conservatives. One issue that has long been a matter of great importance among conservatives and liberals alike. One issue that has been the deciding factor for many Americans when deciding how to cast their vote on election day.

Abortion. Regrettably, Rudy Giuliani has taken a pro-choice stance on abortion. Regrettably, because his stance on this one issue could be the thing that keeps him from taking the oath of office next January. I have given this issue great consideration. I am firmly and unmovably opposed to abortion, at any time and for any reason. I do not feel that there is ever a situation when abortion is justified.

I have considered this greatly, and thought long and hard about Rudy's stance on the issue of abortion, and I have come to this conclusion: it really doesn't matter. Now, before you go off thinking I've lost my mind, hear me out.

Abortion matters. Life matters. Protecting these innocent unborn babies from murder matters. What doesn't matter is what the President thinks about abortion. You see, the American form of democracy is such that there is nothing one man can do to change the law on abortion. The President, for all of his supposed power, cannot effect change on the issue of abortion without the broad support of Congress and the Judicial system. It was the Judicial branch of our government that legalized abortion, and every conservative, pro-life politician since has been unable to do anything to change that. Only you can change that. Each and every one of you, individually. Which is why today's episode of The Joe Show is different.

Today's episode of The Joe Show is about abortion. The rest of the show will feature an artist who has been featured on the show before -- Scot Longyear -- in a way you've probably never heard him before. In addition to being an accomplished independent musician, Scot Longyear is my friend and pastor. Last week he presented a very thought-provoking discussion on abortion. Today, I share that with you.

I hope you will take the time to hear it out. Regardless of your stance on the issue of abortion, this discussion is sure to make you think. And shortly after the discussion begins, you'll hear the song "Amazing Grace." I have added this song into the discussion to fill a long period of silence. During this period of silence, there was a visual presentation. Scot will explain that, and it will become clear to you what the visual presentation was. Imagine, as you hear "Amazing Grace," sitting in a silent church for the full three minutes, experiencing the visual presentation that Scot describes. It was a very moving experience.

I hope you enjoy today's show. More importantly, I hope you can keep your finger off the next track button and hear this show through to the end. If not for yourself, give it a listen for the 46 million innocents who lose their lives to abortion every year.

Amazing Grace by Susan Bailey
courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

A discussion on Abortion, with Scot Longyear, Independent Musician and Pastor of eXchange at Maryland Community Church, Terre Haute, Indiana.

Change This Heart by Sidewalk Prophets
courtesy of the Artists

Artist Hotline: (317) 644-6129
Feedback Line: (206) 600-4JOE
Email Feedback:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Palm Devices & Accessories ***SOLD***

WOW! Barely 15 minutes after listing on eBay, the package has SOLD!

I'm selling off all of my Palm devices and accessories on eBay.

For more details, you can check out other pictures, etc., here.



Rudy On Leadership: Hiring & Motivating

Thoughts on Leadership from America's Mayor:

  • A person's resume won't tell you the full story.
  • A leader must have confidence in his own decision-making about people. He has to know he'll make the right decision eight or nine times out of ten, and be willing to accept responsibility for getting it wrong a few times.
  • No matter how much success a leader has in hiring, it is still necessary to stoke the fires.
  • Continued competition is one reason why a certain amount of turnover is a good thing.
  • Allowing employees to encounter challenges on a regular basis accomplishes two important goals. First, it provides experience -- employees who are exposed to challenges and allowed to use their heads to respond to them become better at it. Second, regular challenge invigorates the staff.
  • Morale isn't an end in itself, it's designed to create better performance. It can't be an afterthought -- it has to be central to everything you do as a leader.
Now that Fred Thompson is out of the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, and I've thrown my support to Rudy Giuliani, I'm finding this book Leadership by Rudy Giuliani even more interesting. I'm finding that the Management and Leadership tactics and techniques that he describes in the book -- those that helped him to successfully lead the largest city in our country through the greatest tragedy of our time -- are sound business skills that can (and should) be used not only in my own daily Management job, but also in the highest office in the land.

If you have any doubts whatsoever that Rudy Giuliani is the most qualified current Presidential hopeful, I strongly urge you to read this book. For more excerpts from the book, take a look here.


Friday, January 25, 2008

More On Toshiba's Poor Customer Service Attitude

Yesterday, I shipped my notebeook computer off to Toshiba for them to either figure out what's wrong with it and fix it, or to replace it. You can find the complete history of the thing here, but briefly, it has been in the repair shop several times. The long list of replaced components includes a Hard Drive, two USB boards, and three System Boards. Now it also has a failed display screen backlight.

So I mailed the think off yesterday, and I receieved a notice in my email today from the Better Business Bureau -- with which I have filed a complaint against Toshiba -- that there has been activity on my complaint. What activity, you might ask?

Company's Final Response
Final Response - Posted 1-22-2008

A TAIS representative has contacted our customer, we are currently assisting the
customer with a repair. At this time we will consider this matter closed.

My computer hasn't even made it to Toshiba yet for them to figure out what's wrong with it, and they've already CLOSED my BBB complaint? And it doesn't appeart that the Better Business Bureau even gives me the chance to comment, etc., on the status of my complaint.

I've got news for Toshiba. There's much more looming on the horizon about this issue. More of that to come later.

In the meantime, you can view the entire complaint history here.


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Throwing My Support To Rudy

Since Fred Thompson announced his withdrawal from the race for the Republican Presidential nomination, I have been giving some serious consideration to whom I should cast my support behind going forward. I'm going out on a limb here and announcing my support for someone who is currently not the top contender for the nomination. Why? Because I feel that, of those currently in the race, he is the best overallcandidate for the office of President of the United States. I don't agree with his stance on every issue, but am convinced that he is the most solid candidate to take us into the next four years. He has long been my second choice, behind Fred Thompson.

After much consideration, and because I feel that whether he is the most likely to beat the eventual Democrat nominee or not, he is clearly the best current candidate for President, I have decided that with Fred Thompson out of the race, I must support Rudy Giuliani for the Republican nomination for President.


Rudy Giuliani on Leadership: Team Building

Leadership wisdom from America's Mayor:

Surround Yourself With Great People:

  • When hiring, I would no more refuse the best person because of a relationship than I would hire the worst person because of a relationship (don't show favoritism in hiring, but don't reject the best candidate just to prevent the appearance of favoritism).
Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses:

  • The first part of choosing great people is to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses. The goal is to balance your weaknesses with the strenghts of others, then to evaluate the team overall.
  • Establishing a dynamic that brings out the best in each player is one of the toughest facets of leadership.
Learn From Great Teams:

  • Successful sports teams are never built on only one person. Even transcendent stars like Michael Jordan or Babe Ruth need strong supporting casts -- and the proof that they're true leaders is that those other players were better around Jordan or Ruth than they would have been otherwise.
  • Battle experience is invaluable, and difficult to replicate. It's tough to know in advance whether those around you will handle pressure.
  • You can't totally predict who will get along and who will work well together. Sometimes very different people will form a harmonious unit, while those with a lot in common can't be in a room together.
  • Matching the person to the job is not only a matter of what position is right for them, but also what is right for you.
  • Don't allow someone's alleged strengths to decide how you use him or her.

Computer Update

Shipped my notebook computer to Toshiba today for diagnosis.

This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Rudy Giuliani on Leadership

What I learned today about Leadership from Rudy Giuliani:

Accountability Across The Board:

  • The best indicators don't simply measure performance, they improve it.
  • So long as the person on top believes in the system and makes sure that everyone beneath him buys into it and has the necessary support and resources, no one person is irreplaceable.
  • Those who need their hands held and want every move to originate at headquarters will never succeed.
  • The leaders job is to set the tone and agenda, including specific targets for managers in the field, and to supply whatever advice, encouragement, and resources are needed to meet those targets.
  • Every leader needs to internalize the idea that being open and honest about the enterprise is always the best course.
  • Disclose bad news sooner rather than later.
  • Any organization is better off when everyone answers to each other.
Do What's Possible, Try What's Not:
  • No matter what you're tracking, comparing results to previous indicators, then demanding improvement, is the best way to achieve anything.

I've said in past posts that I don't necessarily support Rudy Giuliani for the Republican Presidential nomination. Unfortunately, today the candidate that I do support has withdrawn from the race. I'll be considering where to throw my support going forward.


    Fred Thompson Withdraws From Race

    January 22, 2008
    For Immediate Release

    Statement from Sen. Fred Thompson
    McLean, VA - Senator Fred Thompson today issued the following statement about his campaign for President: "Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people."

    So what does this mean now for those of us who have supported Fred Thompson? Frankly, we need to find someone else to support. But who? McCain? Romney? Huckabee? Giuliani, even? The way the race looks now is that we may be choosing our party nominee between Senator John McCain and Governor Mitt Romney. At least, that's how the early primaries make it look, and how the media is certainly spinning it.

    Who will you choose? Will you sit back and wait to see if Fred throws his support behind one of the other candidates? Sadly, for me, my second choice is not likely to win the nomination, either. From where I sit, the Republican party has a pretty good bunch of candidates. I actually think that almost any of the Repblican candidates could do a decent job as President. Almost. I'm not sold on Ron Paul, and I'm not sold on John McCain.

    I admire John McCain's service to his country. I just don't think he's a sound candidate for President. Maybe it's just that he wants it too much. Maybe it's that I'm not sure he can beat the eventual Democratic nominee. I don't know. And Ron Paul, well, I think he's just another Ross Perot.

    For me, I've been considering the options for quite some time. I don't know that I'm quite prepared to choose a new candidate just yet. I know what my leanings are, but I want to give this a little more consideration before getting behind another candidate.

    For now, thanks to Fred for making the race interesting, for speaking up for Federalism and the Reagan coalition, and for making us all think. It's a shame you won't be sitting in the Oval Office next year. Maybe a spot on the winning ticket is in the future?


    Computer Update

    Backing up, purging, and prepping to ship my computer to Toshiba.

    This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

    Monday, January 21, 2008

    Rudy on Leadership: Preparedness & Accountability

    What I learned today about Leadership from Rudy Giuliani:

    Instill Preparedness In Others
    • Creating reasons for those who work for you to establish their own culture of preparedness is part of being a good leader.
    • Create a culture that values preparation.
    Everyone's Accountable All Of The Time
    • More than anyone, leaders should welcome being held accountable.
    • Nothing builds confidence in a leader more than a willingness to take responsibility for what happens during his watch.
    • Nothing builds a stronger case for holding employees to a high standard than a boss who holds himself to even higher ones.
    • The mere fact that one knows that one is going to be called to account will provide the motivation to try new strategies.
    • For any system to remain effective, it must continually challenge itself.
    • A leader's role is to raise the bar.
    • Success relies on acting as a team, sharing ideas, holding each other accountable, relying on one another for support.

        It should be said that I do not necessarily endorse Rudy Giuliani for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. I'm just enjoying reading his book, Leadership.


        Computer Update

        Now my laptop screen back light doesn't work.

        This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

        Sunday, January 20, 2008

        The Joe Show #58: U. F. Joe

        New this week on

        The Joe Show
        featuring Average Joe American

        Episode Fifty-Eight: U. F. JOE

        Free MP3 Download

        Common Place by Chris Ayer
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        The Ballad of Jon Turner by Jeff Caylor
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Jeff Caylor Podcast Episode 001 from Jeff Caylor on Vimeo.

        IN THE NEWS: U. F. O.s

        Where The Truth Lies by Jeremy Rowe
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        from *Robert
        Ezekiel 1:4-21 (The Message)

        The Sweetest - Intro by Richard Snow
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        See The Sound by Spring Clock Wonder, featuring Ian Baird
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Look Alive by The Freefall Effect, featuring Ian Baird & Kevin Reeves
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Normally brought to you by The Christian Comedy Podcast.
        This week, the comedy minute comes to you from Scot Longyear during worship service last Sunday at my church.

        Goodbye Daughters of The Revolution by The Black Crowes
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Counting Crows by Bridgefield
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        WHATS ON MY MIND? Social Networking

        SINK OR SWIM
        Lighten Up! by Shawn David Madden
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        In Perfection by American Angel
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Artist Hotline: (317) 644-6129
        Feedback Line: (206) 600-4JOE
        Email Feedback:

        Friday, January 18, 2008

        My Social Exodus

        If you've been following me on any of the many social networking sites (Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce, Utterz, etc), then you might have noticed that I have been much less vocal online lately -- through the social networking outlets, that is.

        I guess you could call it a sort of exodus from social networking for me. There was a time when I was quite vocal on Twitter, and Pownce, and made somewhat regular submissions on Utterz. My wife constantly told me that it was all I ever did. I, naturally, did not believe her.

        But since taking twelve days of vacation to move into our new home, then returning to work last week, and being without my computer several times over the past few months due to system board problems, I've realized that just maybe she could be right.

        Since moving into our new home, my quality of life has been greatly improved from that of the past. I sleep in almost an hour later, get home from work almost an hour earlier, spend much less on gasoline, and get much more time with my kids. I spend the evenings after dinner playing with my kids, my computer still packed away and forgotten until they go to bed at night. I've found that things have been so much nicer, being away from the demanding social networking sites.

        Not that I'm completely gone from them, mind you. I still follow several people, and browse through their updates, and make an occasional post myself. But the practice of texting what I'm doing several times a day and making several other posts via Pownce have come and gone. For me, the social group that I most want to network with right now is my family.

        Thanks for now, TweetPeeps, and others. It's been fun.


        Rudy On Leadership: Prepare & Visualize

        Wisdom on Leadership from America's Mayor:

        Prepare Relentlessly:
        • Preparation -- thus eliminating the need to make assumptions -- is the single most important key to success.
        • No one, no matter how gifted, can perform without careful preparation, thoughtful experiment, and determined follow-through.
        • Any leader will know some parts of his enterprise better than others.

        Visualize Things For Yourself:
        • Visualize things in your own mind.
        • Thorough preparation is never a waste of time.
        • Sometimes, you have to know the material as well as the experts who work for you. That's the only way to develop an independent view and not be held captive by the people around you, who may want to spin in one direction or the other.
        • You don't want to micromanage or undermine the authority of the good people you've hired, but on occasion there's no substitute for firsthand experience.
        • Your people should be ready to make decisions when they can't check with you.
        • Relentless preparation means not just preparing for disasters but anticipating potential trouble.
        • Prepare for everything you can think of so that you'll be prepared for the thing you haven't thought of.
        • Put in place systems that will identify potential trouble and start dealing with it before it happens, even if you don't know exactly what might occur.

        It should be said that I do not endorse Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. If you've been to the site before, it should be clear to you that I'm a Fred Thompson supporter. I simply am enjoying Rudy Giuliani's book on Leadership.


        Thursday, January 17, 2008

        Computer Update

        Shipping my notebook to Toshiba next week for repair.

        This mobile text message is brought to you by AT&T

        Fred's Not Dead -- -Yet


        Thursday, Jan. 17, 2008

        Fred's Not Dead -- Yet

        Fred Thompson's campaign, left for dead after a lackluster effort in last fall's run-up to Iowa and New Hampshire, is showing some signs of life in South Carolina. On the days of the New Hampshire primary, Thompson headed south and began digging in for what could be his last stand.

        Is it paying off? Yes and no. According to the latest Palmetto Poll, conducted by the University of Clemson, Thompson remains in a distant fourth, garnering just 10 percent. John McCain leads the GOP race with 29 percent, Mike Huckabee gets 22 percent and Mitt Romney is third with 13 percent. In the August Palmetto Poll, Thompson led the field with 19 percent.

        But while Thompson's poll numbers might not be soaring, his rhetoric has gotten sharper over these past ten days. Just yesterday, the former Tennessee senator took aim at each one of those currently ahead of him. Thompson accused Romney of pandering and said his approach to the economy is less-than conservative. "Romney was very effective in Michigan doing what he does best and that is tailoring his message to a particular audience," said Thompson. "He basically - as I could pick up with it - promised that the federal government was going to come in and bail out Michigan when he got elected president. Very conservative notion, don't you think?

        While taking it easier on his longtime friend McCain, Thompson still managed to get in a dig about his support for last year's failed immigration reform bill. "I knew that he was on the wrong track," he said of McCain. "And the American people said so and they rejected that bill." Thompson then took aim at Huckabee. "At least McCain's record's been out there for about 20 years. We've got some Johnny-come-latelies now that don't want to talk about their record and they're hoping there's not enough time for anybody to even to examine it, because where they've been in the past."

        This is the feisty Thompson that has been on display at the most recent debates and it's made him a much different candidate than the laconic manner in which he carried himself throughout the fall and early winter. Despite the rejuvenation, it may be too little, too late even in an incredibly jumbled and unpredictable field.

        But Thompson could prove to be a spoiler in the race. After finishing second in Michigan, McCain needs a win in South Carolina to reclaim the small burst of New Hampshire momentum which vaulted him to the top of national polls. Huckabee needs a victory in South Carolina to prove that his Iowa win was no fluke and that his claims of Southern appeal are solid. (Romney's win Tuesday takes some of the pressure off of him in a state that would be difficult for him under most circumstances). Between McCain and Huckabee, who does Thompson pull support from most? Should he win on Saturday, McCain might want to throw Thompson onto the list of people he needs to thank.

        Wednesday, January 16, 2008

        Rudy on Leadership: The Small Stuff

        Notes on Leadership from America's Mayor:

        Always Sweat The Small Stuff
        • God is in the details.
        • Understanding how something works is not only a leader's responsibility; it also makes him or her better able to let people do their jobs. If they don't have to explain the basics of what they need and why they need it every time they request more funds or different resources, then they are freer to pursue strategies beyond simply spending what they're given.
        • No leader can know everything about a system. A confident one won't hesitate to seek advice -- publicly and privately -- from those more expert in an area affecting the enterprise.
        • "Sweat the Small Stuff" is the essence of the Broken Windows theory: a seemingly minor matter like broken windows in abandoned buildings leads directly to a more serious deterioration of neighborhoods. Someone who wouldn't normally throw a rock at an intact building is less reluctant to break a second window in a building that already has one broken. And someone emboldened by all the second broken windows may do even worse damage if he senses that no one is around to prevent lawlessness.
        • One might suppose that attending to the details would assume less importance during times of crisis, but the reverse is true.
        • The best way to assure that your staff, and others who rely on you at such times, feel that someone is leading the way is to show that you're as focused as ever on the details.
        • Thomas De Quincey: "If once a man indulges himself in murder, very soon he comes to think little of robbing; and from robbing, he comes next to drinking and Sabbath-breaking, and from that to incivility and procrastination."

        It should be said that I do not endorse Rudy Giuliani for the 2008 Republican Presidential nomination. If you've been to the site before, it should be clear to you that I'm a Fred Thompson supporter. I simply am enjoying Rudy Giuliani's book on Leadership.


        Last Best Chance

        Before you vote this year, Watch this.

        Then Go here for more information.


        Tuesday, January 15, 2008

        Rudy on Leadership: Set The Tone / Start Small

        What I learned today from Rudy Giuliani on Leadership:

        Set The Tone
        • The principle of taking care of first things first extends beyond the morning meeting. So does the concept of taking control early.
        • Learn as much as you can about a challenge as early as you can.
        • One of the best parts of any leadership role is getting the chance to let people know how much their work means to you.
        • Setting the tone early and often is not only good for your employees and for the organization, but for you as well.

        Start Small With Success
        • Whenever you start a new endeavor, look to have a clear, decisive victory as early as you can. It doesn't have to be a large initiative, and in fact is usually better if the problem is small enough so that it is easily understood and yields an unambiguous solution.
        • The power of starting small with success: by combining several small victories we can achieve the larger result.
        • Small successes can in themselves boost the morale of anyone in an organization who might be feeling left out.
        • This approach shouldn't be limited to one's own initiatives. Part of good leadership is giving others under your authority the same tools you'd expect.
        • Early successes, while not of major significance on their own, provide critical evidence that plans can be put into action, and that you expect results.
        • Each subsequent initiative becomes easier to enact because people start to accept the premise that things can be done -- that progress is possible.



        Toshiba System Board Fails Again

        I received my "repaired" Toshiba notebook computer back from the Toshiba Authorized Service Provider Friday afternoon, just four days ago, with a new system board and USB board installed. It was the THIRD replacement system board and the SECOND replacement USB board.

        Sunday evening, just two days after picking up the so-called repaired computer, the USB problem repeated itself intermittently. Again on Monday night, no USB access at times. As of this morning, the USB ports were all totally disabled again. Then at lunch time today, and right now, they seem to be working.

        I attempted to call Guy Lugo, Toshiba's head of Customer Service, at the number he provided to me last week (949-463-4127). I was unable to reach Mr. Lugo and left him a voicemail. At the time I did not have access to the same number I reached him at originally (949-461-4153), but will be attempting to reach him at that number tomorrow. I left him a voicemail today and have received no response as of yet.

        The situation has received some attention on some very interesting fronts. More of that to come in the future.

        Prior posts about the situation can be found at the following links:

        September 3, 2007

        September 9, 2007

        November 27, 2007

        January 2, 2007

        Stay tuned for more information as the situation develops.


        Romney Wins Michigan

        A 3 way split in the Republican primary at this point is a good thing.

        Mobile post sent by averagejoe using Utterz Replies.  mp3

        Monday, January 14, 2008

        Rudy on Leadership: Morning Meetings

        I've started reading Rudy Giuliani's book, Leadership. It's a very interesting book, so far. Here's what I learned today about Leadership from America's Mayor:

        • Begin every single morning with a morning staff meeting.
        • Without a system for processing the day's challenges, the sheer number of issues needing your attention could easily dictate your agenda.
        • The main purpose of the morning meeting is to get control of the day before it gets control of you.
        • The morning meeting should be the core of your approach to managing. It serves numerous purposes -- decision-making, communicating, even socializing -- but most of all it will keep you accountable.
        • The morning meeting is where the chief executive is responsible, and can hold everyone else responsible.
        • One of the best lessons a leader can communicate to his or her staff is that encountering problems is to be expected. But failing to mention problems -- or, worse, covering them up -- should not be tolerated.
        • Your staff should know that if you decide on a Monday that something needs to be done about a problem, you will be asking for a plan on Tuesday and eager to know how the plan is going by Wednesday. If the lapse between those stages is two weeks instead of two days, it is likely the responsible party will take the whole two weeks.
        • Parkinsons Law about work: "Work expands so as to fill the time available for it's completion."


        How Would You Like To Pass This on The Highway?

        What's wrong with this picture?

        Sunday, January 13, 2008

        This Is Hilarious!

        Personally, I don't particularly care for Burger King burgers, and their fries completely miss the mark. However, I do enjoy the Whopper, and this is video is hilarious.


        Be Near Oh God

        Uttering from church -

        Mobile post sent by averagejoe using Utterz Replies.  mp3

        The Joe Show #57: Blue Sunday

        New this week on

        The Joe Show
        featuring Average Joe American

        Show Fifty-Seven: Blue Sunday

        Free MP3 Download

        Love Loss Hope Repeat by Carbon Leaf
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Between The Bars by Elliott Smith
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        featuring Rich Palmer

        Long Way Til Tomorrow by Acoustic Junction
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        DIY by A Band Called Quinn
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network
        video link

        WHAT'S ON MY MIND?

        I Could Sing of Your Love Forever by Big Stuf
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        featuring John Branyan
        courtesy of Mike Williams & the Christian Comedy Podcast

        Average Joe American Exclusive!
        Always by Evan Agee of Richmond, Indiana
        used with permission of the artist

        this segment this week is being replaced by a review of
        Chosen by Ted Dekker


        Ted Dekker is at it again with his tale of the Circle, an epic saga that began with the trilogy Black, Red and White, and continued through Showdown, House, Saint, and even Skin. The latest volumes in this saga are Chosen and Infidel. Though these latest works are targeted at young fiction readers, they're sure to be gobbled up by Ted Dekker fans of all ages.

        Chosen starts off with the hero of the Circle saga, Thomas Hunter, choosing new lieutenants for the Forest Guard from a group of sixteen and seventeen year olds. Times are tough and dangerous, and the 400,000 member strong Horde army is closing in.

        One thing disturbs me early in the story -- and I'm actually writing this before finishing the book, so it may be cleared up -- but in book three of the trilogy, White, Thomas Hunter's wife Rachelle has passed away and gone on to be with Elyon, and Thomas has remarried the converted Horde princess, Chalise. As Chosen opens in a stadium filled with spectators, we discover that one of the spectators is Hunter's wife, Rachelle. With this volume set some thirteen years in the future, I'm hoping for some clarification in the coming pages.


        Having done some research into the confusion surrounding Thomas's wife at, I have come to the conclusion that Thomas still being married to Rachelle in Chosen is probably legit.

        During the Circle trilogy, there is a point in which Thomas Hunter -- the Thomas in Bangkok, not the dream Thomas -- goes to sleep, and Thomas of Hunter lives out fifteen years of his life in the Forests. It seems that I remember reading somewhere when The Lost Books were first announced that they would take place during that fifteen year period to fill in the rest of that story line.

        This sets my mind at ease a bit, and seems credible. I was a little concerned because I havr never known Ted Dekker to make such a significant slip as to resurrect someone from the dead.


        In Ted Dekker's book Skin, there is a scene where it first begins to become apparent that the book is indeed interwoven with The Circle trilogy. A scene where, as a reader, I thought that Elyon as a boy had crossed into the town of Summerville.

        The stories become more interwoven the more I read. About halfway through Chosen, we learn that it was not the boy Elyon at all who had crossed into Summerville, but young Johnis from Chosen. It's this kind of cross-integration among the many, many Dekker novels making up the Books of History Chronicles that makes readers like me keep pining away for the next volume in this epic saga. What J.R.R. Tolkien did for Middle Earth, Dekker does for Other Earth.

        Angel by Kevin Burdick
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        SINK OR SWIM:
        Evereal by Spring Clock Wonder
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Face My Fears
        by Jason Moss, 15 year-old musician from California
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network
        thanks to Jersey Joe for the tip


        Blue Sunday

        "Go Colts" from the Troops

        Artist Hotline: (317) 644-6129
        Feedback Line: (206) 600-4JOE
        Email Feedback:

        Tuesday, January 8, 2008

        Fred T in November

        I'd most like to see Fred Thompson in the White House. Realistically, I think it'll be Obama vs Huckabee or Romney in November. No Hillary, PLEASE!

        Mobile post sent by averagejoe using Utterz Replies.  mp3

        Monday, January 7, 2008

        Go BUCKEYES!



        Action Alert: Call the White House

        Dear Reader,

        Tomorrow the President will decide whether or not the Constitution is still a legally binding document.


        After Congress passed the omnibus spending bill, members of Congress inserted into the conference report that accompanied the legislation more than 9,000 earmarks worth several billion dollars.

        The earmarks were not voted on by the House and Senate.  Yet, Congress maintains that the earmarks are legally binding.  This violates the process for passing legislation in the Constitution of the United States.

        Tomorrow, the President will decide whether he should issue an executive order telling government agencies to ignore the earmarks.  If the President issues the executive order, he will be enforcing the legislative process the Constitution says we must follow.  If the President does not issue the executive order, he will be rewarding Congress for ignoring the Constitution.

        Please call the President at 202-456-1111 and tell him to issue the Executive Order on Earmarks.

        You can also email

        Also, please call Senator Mitch McConnell who is pushing the President to ignore the Constitution.  Tell Mitch McConnell to stop ignoring the Constitution and support the executive order.   You can call him at 202-224-2541.

        All the best,

        Erick Erickson

        Forward This Email to a Friend | One Massachusetts Ave., NW | Washington, DC 20001

        Unwanted Public Performances

        Just a thought: when browsing through demo CDs at a music/book store, listen quietly and let others enjoy their shopping peacefully.

        Mobile post sent by averagejoe using Utterz Replies.  mp3

        Vacation Winding Down -- Finally HOME

        I've been on vacation since Decmeber 28 to pack up, load up, move, unload, unpack, clean up at the old house, and settle in to the new house. It hasn't been much of a restful vacation, and I've only got two days left of it before returning to work.

        My wife's family has been by for a visit, as well as some of my family. We have most of the rooms unpacked and settled, while others (such as the office, where I'm writing this right now) still appear untouched. It's been ten days, but feels like it's only been two.

        It's nice to be in our own home finally. Nice to be putting our money into an investment of our own rather than someone else's. Nice to no longer be throwing our money away in rent. And nice just to finally be HOME.


        Sunday, January 6, 2008

        Average Joe American Show 56: Joe's Got You Covered

        New this week on

        Show Fifty-Six: Joe's Got You Covered

        Free MP3 Download

        America The Beautiful by Gary
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Maybe I'm Amazed by Blake Morgan
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: The Iowa Caucus

        Jessie's Girl by American Anthem
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Don't Stop Believin' by Petra Haden
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network


        Cry Out To Jesus by Big Stuf
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        Daren Streblow
        courtesy of Christian Comedy Podcast

        Blessed Be Your Name by Big Stuf
        courtesy of IODA Promonet

        American Girl by Joe Colledge
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network
        to win a free copy of Joe's album, email me

        WHAT'S ON MY MIND: Toshiba Computers Poor Customer Serivce
        Ruby Tuesday by John Batdorf
        courtesy of AirPlay Direct

        CD REVIEW: Lone Wolf by Ron Rutherford
        Bye Bye Baby Bye Bye by Ron Rutherford
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network
        to win a free copy of Ron's album, email me

        25 or 6 to 4 by California Transit Authority
        courtesy of AirPlay Direct

        Immigrant Song by Ann Wilson
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        SINK OR SWIM
        What Will You Do by Dan Coyle
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Two Tickets To Paradise by Geoff Farina
        courtesy of the Podsafe Music Network

        Artist Hotline: (317) 644-6129
        Feedback Line: (206) 600-4JOE
        Email Feedback:

        Thursday, January 3, 2008

        Reading "Chosen" by Ted Dekker

        I just purchaed the first of two new books by Ted Dekker today -- Chosen. It, along with Infidel, are the latest two volumes in the saga of The Circle.

        I've read the entire Circle Trilogy several times, and tonight will begin this newest edition. It's sure to be a pleaser, based on past works I've read by Ted Dekker, and I'll be doing a review on it here as soon as I've completed it.


        My Daughter

        That was my 20 mo old daughter.

        Mobile post sent by averagejoe using Utterz Replies.  mp3

        Wednesday, January 2, 2008

        Toshiba Computers Disregards Lemon Product Issues

        I'm writing this from one of two Toshiba laptop computers we own. Probably the very last Toshiba computer I will ever buy. The warranty on this computer expires on February 1, 2008: less than one month away. While one computer has been quite reliable, this particular computer (a Toshiba Satellite A135-S2276) has frequently been in for repair.

        From the day that I brought the computer home, the clock on the computer has never kept time properly. I first thought it might have a dying CMOS battery, and returned to the retailer to have it checked out. Then I thought it was a RAM issue. The cause of the problem would later become apparent.

        In June 2007, when the computer was just six months old, I suffered what turned out to be a very common problem with Toshiba notebook computers. A randomly generated BIOS password that caused the system to be unbootable. Toshiba had a BIOS update available on their site that would prevent such an error, but has no method such as Microsoft's Patch Tuesday to push such fixes out. To correct the problem, I had to take the computer to a local Toshiba Authorized Service Provider to have the password reset by shorting across a jumper.

        On September 3, 2007, I first started having critical issues with this computer. Windows Vista described this problem with a code named "Blue Screen." Apparently the computer had spontaneously rebooted itself due to some unexpected error.

        Microsoft Windows Vista, of course, blamed the problem on hardware. Naturally, I didn't believe it. I assumed that the problem was caused by Vista and Microsoft was just trying to pass the buck.

        On September 9, 2007, I learned otherwise, when the hard drive in my Toshiba notebook computer crashed. The only way I could boot my computer during this time was from an Ubuntu Linux Live CD. My computer went back to the Toshiba Authorized Service Provider for two full weeks to have the hard drive replaced. It came back to me with a new hard drive and a new motherboard. I was happy to have caught this problem while still under the manufacturer's warranty. After picking up the computer, the clock now seemed to keep accurate time, indicating that the problem had been with the motherboard all along.

        On November 27, 2007, my computer was ready to go back to the Toshiba Authorized Service Provider. The USB ports were not working. The computer had another motherboard put in, as well as a new USB board. I picked up the computer less than two weeks ago, and everything has been fine since then.

        Until tonight. The computer is exhibiting the same symptoms tonight that it did just before having the second motherboard and USB board replaced. I called Toshiba Technical Support at their published number of 800-457-7777. Knowing that my warranty is due to expire in less than one month, and that the track record has not been very good so far for this computer, I was determined to press for the computer to be replaced rather than repaired. I was immediately told that Toshiba's policy did not provide for a replacement unless the repair has been performed for the same problem more than three times during the warranty period. I asked to speak with someone who could authorize a replacement. I was asked to "hold for two or three minutes" while being transferred to Customer Relations. 68 minutes later, after hearing the same song looped over and over while being on hold, I hung up to answer the front door.

        Moments later, I called back, hotter than ever this time. I explained the situation to another tech support rep and demanded that my computer be replaced. Again, I was cited company policy and offered a transfer to Customer Relations. This time when told the hold time would be two to three minutes, I explained that when I had last been told that I was on hold for 68 minutes. I told the rep that he needed to get someone to pick up the line quickly this time. I told him that I would give them ten minutes to answer the phone before pursuing other options. 75 minutes of the same hold music later, a recording came on the line that said, "We're sorry, your call cannot be answered at this time." Then the line went dead.

        As you can imagine, I was fuming by this time. I went to Toshiba's Better Business Bureau Link on their website and found a contact number for Guy Lugo, Toshiba's Primary Contact for Customer Service (949-461-4153). I was shocked and amazed when, after just two rings, a man answered with the greeting, "This is Guy."

        I explained who I was and that I was a very unhappy customer. Guy Lugo explained that another department could help me with that. He gave me a direct number to reach that department (800-272-0569) and said that my wait should be less than seven minutes, that I would be the second person in the queue. After approximately fifteen minutes a woman came on the line. She took my information and promised me that someone would call me back today.

        A couple of hours later, I received an international phone call (49897805) from Munich, Germany, though the caller sounded like she was from India. It was a Toshiba "Customer Relations Agent." I again explained my situation and was again cited the company policy about exchanges. When I related to her the repair history of my computer, she said that it "is not rare" for one of their computers to have multiple major system components replaced within the first year. After spouting off several threats, I was hung up on by this "Customer Relations Agent."

        Needless to say, I am appalled at this point. My computer is useless. I cannot use the USB ports, I cannot count on the clock to display the correct time, and I cannot expect the computer to reliably boot every time. If I'm not careful, I might even be physically burned by the occasionally hot-to-the-touch mouse pad. And the only support I've received from anyone connected with Toshiba is from the Authorized Service Provider that is contracted with them out of Fishers, Indiana.

        I have no intention to give up this fight. I have 29 days before the warranty on my computer expires, and then I will be personally responsibly for every repair that this lemon of a machine requires. Please, do me two favors. First, do NOT buy a product from Toshiba Computers. It's a waste of your money and your time. Second, DIGG this story (click the link below), blog it, Twitter it, whatever -- just share it with as many people as you possibly can. Help me to get justice in this case.


        Average Joe's Review Store