Happy Veteran’s Day to all those who have served, or are currently serving, in the Armed Forces. From the Revolutionary War right on up to the present day, our veterans have always been there to answer the call. It is with deep and profound gratitude that I say a humble “Thank You” to all of them – past, present, and future.
On Veteran’s Day I also feel a different kind of gratitude. I am incredibly grateful for the eight years that I served in the Army. It made me understand what I was capable of and made me realize my own strength. The person that I was while I was in the Army was the best that I have ever been. The Army enabled me to have experiences that I never would have had otherwise. It turned me from a small town girl into a citizen of the world. It brought me life-long friendships and introduced me to the love of my life. I would not have the life that I have today if it was not for those incredible eight years.
So, to Uncle Sam I say a heartfelt “Thank You” and to all my friends and comrades from the old days – Hooah!
Back when I was young (a really, really, long time ago), road trips were so easy. If my college aged self got a chance to go on a fun road trip, I pretty much just tossed a toothbrush in my purse and off I went. Now that I'm an old woman I still love a good road trip, but it is so much more complicated!
I am currently on a very short road trip. It is literally down one day and back the next. My total time away from home is about 36 hours. Yet, I still wound up packing TWO full bags of toiletries! Twenty year old me was fine with sleeping in my makeup. Old lady me is very particular about having all of the appropriate lotions, potions, toners, cleansers, and serums. The fight against wrinkles can never pause!
Of course, technology makes travel easier, but it definitely adds to the packing. I always have my phone, iPad and Kindle with me when I travel. I have to be well stocked with audio books and TedTalks to amuse myself in the car. Of course, all those things have their chargers that you can't forget!
Old lady me also likes to be well prepared for any minor inconveniences that might come up. I'm well stocked with headache medicine, allergy meds, antacids, and pretty much every other type of over the counter med you can think of. I've also got to be sure I have a change of shoes and a sweater or jacket in case the weather turns chilly. There is no rain in the forecast, but my umbrella is packed just in case!
Sometimes I miss my free spirited younger self. It was nice having the spontaneity to just jump at opportunities. But, I have to admit that road trips are much more comfortable when I have my magic bag of tricks with everything I could possibly need.
How about you? What are your road trip essentials?
So, I woke up at 4:00 a.m. today and was convinced I had died and gone to hell. It was so hot in my house that surely Lucifer himself had to be in residence. I've always thought I was basically a good person, so I was a little surprised to find myself in the pits of Hades.
After my head cleared a bit I realized that the air conditioner had gone out. I should have know it. Even hell couldn't be as hot as Texas in the summer with no central air.
Thank goodness the repair company that we called was able to come out quickly and get it running again. It wasn't even that expensive a repair. Of course, I would have paid any price just to get that wonderful cold air blowing again.
Now, pardon me as I go dowse myself in water and lay under a vent with a glass of ice cold lemonade.
On my way home from work yesterday I stopped for gas. Not exactly an unusual occurrence, until a limousine pulled up to the pump next to me. Obviously limos need gas, too. You just don't expect them at a tiny little gas station in the middle of nowhere. On this particular stretch of road it is usually me, a bunch of big pick-up trucks, and lots of rock haulers & dump trucks. Cool change of pace!
I am so proud of my little dog! We were having a quiet family evening at home a couple of nights ago. My pup, Piglet, was curled up in my lap being very sweet and peaceful. I don't remember the show we were watching, but the scene took place in a busy office building. A man walked into the office, took over, motioned to the one woman in the room and said, "Grab us some coffee".
Piglet immediately jumped to her feet, looked at the television, and growled. As soon as the man walked out of the room she laid back down. But for the rest of the show every time he came on screen she jumped up and started growling at him. I am so proud of her for looking out for a sister! My girl may be just a pup, but it looks like I am raising her right!
So, my goal for the week is to take after my pup. If I see anyone being treated as 'less than', I am going to growl. Um, I mean call attention to it. If they don't pay attention, then I'll growl!
At long last, Texas Comic Fest is today! I was doing a quick surf of the internet before I head out to finish set-up, and discovered that we made the Dallas Morning News list of Top 20 things to do in Dallas-Fort Worth this week-end! To say that I am excited is a wee bit of an understatement!
Texas Comic Fest is coming up this week-end and I am so excited! This is the first comic con we have hosted and it has been an amazing experience. I thought I’d take the next few days to tell you a bit about some of our guests and encourage you to come out and meet them.
First thing though, you need to know the when and the where…
Date: June 13, 2015
Hours: 11 AM to 6 PM (VIPs get in at 10:30 AM)
Location: 1165 S Stemmons Frwy, Lewisville, TX 75067
Price: General Admission $15.00, kids under 10 are free* *With paid adult admission
Today I will introduce you to our fabulous media guests. Come by later this week to meet our comic creators and our pro athletes!
Emilio Rivera– Sons of Anarchy, Gang Related, Next Day Air, Weeds
Mo McRae – Sons of Anarchy, Murder in the First, Wild
Glenn Morshower– 24, Transformers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Bloodline
Tim Murphy – Sons of Anarchy, Criminal Minds, True Detective (2nd season)
Erin Cahill – Power Rangers Time Force
Jason Faunt – Power Rangers Time Force
Moses J Moseley– The Walking Dead (Michonne’s Pet)
Theshay West – The Walking Dead (Michonne’s Pet)
Michael Koske– The Walking Dead
Santiago Cirilo- The Walking Dead
Michelle Helmeczy– The Walking Dead
Of course, this amazingly talents folks have lots more credits than I could possibly list here. Come on over to TexasComicFest.com to learn more!
On Memorial Day I always feel compelled to say something deep and profound in honor of those who have lost their lives in service to their country. This year I decided that any words of mine would just not suffice. So instead, I am sharing a stanza of the haunting and beautiful “For The Fallen” by Robert Laurence Binyon.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
I recently had the opportunity to work on a very interesting project. Vanbreed Studios is hosting their first Comic Con in June. Since I just so happen to be married to the owner of Vanbreed, I wanted to do whatever I could to help out. However, since I am still pretty new to the comic world I wasn't really sure what I could do that would be of value. After all, my specialty is Customer Relationship Management systems. At first glance it didn't seem that my expertise would be of much use. At least, that is until I had an “A-ha!” moment. Managing a comic con entails an awful lot of data.
There are vendors and artists that want to purchase space, so there needs to be a way to keep track of who has submitted orders and who has paid. Not to mention, it is critical to keep track of who has purchased which space so nothing gets overbooked.
There are celebrities and guests to keep track of. Not only do you need to keep track of who has been invited & who has accepted, you also need to keep track of the status and details of their contracts. In addition, travel details need to be managed to ensure that everyone is at the right place at the right time.
In addition to that, there are vendors. Which food trucks are scheduled? How much pipe & drape has been ordered? Who do you call if there are problems at the site?
Let’s not forget the marketing contacts. Did somebody send payment for the billboard? Who is our contact at the radio station? How can we set up a marketing campaign to send information to local comic shops?
Once we really started to take a look at the data, it became obvious that a CRM system was exactly what we needed. Straight out-of-the-box functionality wouldn't work for us, but with a little bit of customization I could create exactly what we needed. I decided that SalesForce would be a great fit for this project since we needed something that was customizable, cloud-based, and mobile-friendly. We only needed a couple of licenses since we are a small company, so that was also an important consideration.
I have customized our lead and contact forms so we can easily different between artists, exhibitors, vendors, guests, press, etc. I created a custom object to hang off the account record that allows us to keep track of travel arrangements. We are using web-to-lead to manage signups for our newsletter. There are quite a few other customizations, but those are the ones that have had the biggest impact.
So, what is the moral of this story? Basically, when it comes to CRM systems keep an open mind and don’t ever feel constrained by out-of-the-box functionality. Even if your business model doesn't follow the classic lead/account/opportunity sales flow, there is still an awful lot that a CRM system can do for you.
Quick plug for the Comic Con…
The Texas Comic Fest will be coming to Lewisville, TX on June 13, 2015. The Texas Comic Fest is a one-day celebration of pop culture. The best thing about the show is that it benefits the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Texas!
We will have creators from the comic and animation industry, celebrities from popular TV shows such as FX Sons of Anarchy and AMC's The Walking Dead and of course, awesome vendors.
IDW Publishing Managing Editor, David Hedgecock, will be doing artist portfolio reviews!
There will be panels plus a celebrity tag-team trivia contest called Tag Team Trivia Turmoil that you won't want to miss!
Admission is only $15 at the door with $10 of each admission going to the Boys and Girls Club of North Central Texas.
I am a little late getting up a Leonard Nimoy tribute, but I couldn't rightfully call myself a geek if I didn't do one. Although there was a whole lot more to him than the character of Spock, that is how most of us know him. So, in honor of Leonard Nimoy, here are my top five favorite Spock quotes.
1. Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end.
2. History is replete with turning points. You must have faith that the universe will unfold as it should.
3. Insufficient facts always invite danger.
4. Once you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.
5. Change is the essential process of all existence.
My absolute favorite quote, however, is from Mr. Nimoy himself. His very last tweet was absolute perfection.
Leonard Nimoy and his always wise alter-ego, Mr. Spock, will live on in the memories of all of us. To borrow his words, “Live long and prosper.”
Last Sunday was a kinda weird but amazingly fun day. The hubs and I have been talking for quite awhile about changing our lifestyle and starting to live more simply and organic. This week-end we decided to finally put those plans into action.
The day started with us planting two new fruit trees. By "us" I mean "hubby" - I stayed inside and made a grocery list. Poor guy had to dig two big holes in the clay that we call soil. He then planted the trees and put lots of good new soil around them. I can hardly wait until they start blooming so I can share pictures.
The next big event of the day was mine. I have been fascinated by the art of bread baking for as long as I can remember, but I had never tried it. I was really intimidated and afraid of failure. On Sunday I finally got my courage up and decided to teach myself to bake bread. I did lots of research, then just dove headfirst into the flour. It worked! I produced an absolutely delicious (if I do say so myself) loaf of bread and pan of pull-apart rolls. I am so proud! It was actually not as hard as I expected and I had so much fun. There will definitely be more bread baking in my future.
My first attempt at bread baking. Pretty awesome, right?
The last new thing for the day was setting up our new composter. We got one the kind that is fully enclosed and spins so you can keep the greens and browns nice and mixed up. After I cooked dinner I went out and proudly deposited the potato peels into it. Now I just have to get in the habit of doing it regularly. We will be planing a vegetable garden this spring, so I can hardly wait until we have some compost to put on it.
By the end of the day I was feeling very much like a tree-hugging granola-munching earth mother and I LOVED the way it felt! Here's to many more week-ends like this.