BLAINESWORLD 742 with pictures


In this issue:

1. Reflections
2. FYI
3. Those were the days
4. Reviews . . . BLACK SWAN, etc.
5. TV alert
6. Salesman’s delight
7. Websites
8. Computer tip
9. Senior texting
10. A quote I like
11. Thought for the day
12. Advance planning department


1. Reflections

A. Cynthia, my beautiful bride, and I had another fun day with her “little sister” Amanda (Cynthia is a volunteer in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program) . . . we first went to see A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Flat Rock Playhouse . .. the setting was magnificent, and it was well-acted . . . but overall, the play left us somewhat flat . . . it could have been the dark nature of the story or maybe . . . the direction? We can’t quite put our finger on what exactly was wrong with it, but it was one of our least favorite productions of the many we have seen there.

From there, we went for some shopping at a local Ingels . . . I thought we were buying just a few items, but instead, we saw a bunch of stuffed animals and to quote the late Paul Harvey, the rest of the story is that “Harmony” is now an official part of the Greenfield clan.

We then went to the Flat Rock Wine Shoppe for dinner . . . I enjoyed the flat bread pizza with BBQ chicken, pineapple and provolone cheese, Cynthia liked her trout entrée, and Amanda said her chicken fingers were good.

The restaurant recently moved from Flat Rock to downtown Hendersonville . . . I was saddened to hear the longtime owner had just recently died and am hopeful that the place flourishes, in that the personnel were all very friendly—including Heather, our server . . . for more information, please click:

A few nights later, Cynthia and I went to our association’s annual Holiday Party . . . a local eatery, the Mosaic Cafe, provided the food . . . it was fantastic, as it always is; for more information, please click:

Richard Shulman, a talented composer/recording artist, did a fine job playing keyboard throughout the event. To hear some of his music or for more information, please click:

He even had us singing Christmas carols (that’s us on the left), along with a bunch of our neighbors and friends.

KUDOS to Marilynne Herbert, Debbie Widen and Karen Foley for all their hard work in running things . . . and SPECIAL THANKS to Judy Warren for her rendition of a “Rindercella,” a story that had everybody in stitches . . . if you’ve never heard it before, please click:

(As good as this version is, Judy’s was better!)

B. Earlier in the week, I attended the Client Appreciation Party, hosted by my favorite realtor: Suzanne Smith and her business partner Susan Lodato . . . the food was good, as was the friendship . . . for more information about Suzanne’s excellent firm, please click:

That’s yours truly on the right, along with Suzanne and her fiancé Mike. That was the first time I had heard about their engagement; BELATED CONGRATULATIONS to them both.

And also during the week, I participated in my second Board of Directors meeting for my Biltmore Lake community . . . Christina Lief (on behalf of the Safety Committee) needed a volunteer to demonstrate a defibrillator that was being recommended for purchase . . . three guesses as to the person she chose for the demonstration!

The good news: I survived . . . and the Board recommended purchase of the item, in large part because of Christina’s great presentation.

C. CONGRATULATIONS to Frank Burke in New Jersey . . . he is retiring this month from the Small Business Administration after 35 years with that agency (and 40 years in government service) . . . he will be missed.

I had the pleasure to work with Frank when I was chair of the statewide Advisory Board for the Small Business Development Center . . . he reminded me in a recent email of one of the things we worked together on; i.e., an SBA-sponsored workshop in 1999 on Y2K . . . as he noted: Do you remember how we were told planes would fall from the sky, all computers would crash, satellites would drift aimlessly in the heavens, etc?

Fortunately, none of that stuff happened . . . yet I did lose some hair . . . OK, OK, a lot of hair . . . if the flyer he sent me from the event is to be believed!

D. THANKS to Mary Beth in Pennsylvania . . . if memory serves me correctly, she was the first reader who made the suggestion to use anchors, thus making it easier for you to get around in this missive . . . what this now means: when you finish reading any particular section, you can go back to the contents by clicking the link below . . . or you can just continue reading what follows . . . another advantage is that if you want to skip around while reading, you can do so directly via the contents; e.g., to get to a joke (Sections 3, 6 and 9) or any other section that might be of particular interest.

In addition, SPECIAL THANKS to Danny in North Carolina for designing the template that I’m now using to put together each week’s issue . . . he has been my computer guru for the last two years, and I’m most appreciative of all his help . . . should you want him to help you with almost any computer issue, problem, etc., you can reach him at One other great thing about working with him: He can do most of this work remotely, meaning you might not have to even bring in your computer.


This week, it goes to Tammy Silver–an employee with the Buncombe County Public Libraries.

I’m both a big fan and user of the above (and especially the Enka branch) . . . it is a good system, though I think the overdue fine policy could use some revision.

A few weeks ago, I had a problem with renewing some items online . . . Tammy provided the assistance that I needed to resolve my difficulty, and she did so in a prompt and helpful fashion. She then answered several follow-up questions, and she listened to and forwarded some suggestions I made on how things could be even better.

Buncombe County taxpayers should be proud to have Tammy Silver working for them.

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2. FYI

“Can you really change your own beliefs?” asked Ken.

“You sure can. Humans are the only species with imagination. That can work against you—for instance, look at the tragedy Cindy made of our professor’s outburst. Or you can make imagination work for you. The key is the power of yet.”

Kris gave Ken a moment to write this down, before asking him, “Could you tell me one of your dreams or goals that you have not achieved?”

He thought of several, and chose to say: “I’m not a millionaire.”

“How do you feel when you say that?”

“A little bit down on myself.”

“Okay, now try adding yet to that sentence.”

“I’m not a millionaire yet.”

A smile broke out on Ken’s face. That’s amazing, Kris. Adding yet immediately changes my outlook. It makes me feel more positive and as though I should keep on trying. I can even feel it in my body—I feel a surge of energy and well-being.


THE 1% SOLUTION FOR WORK AND LIFE (see also Sections 4C, 10 and 11) by Tom Connellan


This newsletter does not have two thousand readers yet. (See, I’m learning!) However, I’m working on that goal and with your help, I’ll get there.

So if you like what you read, please feel free to invite others to subscribe . . . the easiest way is to forward this whole issue to your friends and relatives, along with your recommendation . . . tell them all they need to do is send an email to and put SUBSCRIPTION in the subject line.

FYI, part 2

* Lee in California (with a SPECIAL OFFER):

We would be delighted to offer the book to JUST your readers who are smart enough to follow your suggestion to use it [the outstanding book WAYMISH, reviewed last week] for ANY business.

How about this? The normal price is $16 plus, $2.50 in handling and shipping for a total of $18.50 on Amazon (plus tax for CA and NY).

How about we offer the book to your readers for $10 plus shipping and tax if necessary?

All they have to do is email me at, say they want the book and we’ll send it with an invoice we’ll trust them to pay when they get it. And, just to be sure, add BLAINESWORLD somewhere in the email.


Last week’s issue warned you about bad guys being able to scan your credit card through your purse or wallet. There is now a company selling protectors; however, at the end of the segment, the host said at the least, fold your credit cards in . . . foil!

* Asheville was cited by Yahoo! Finance as a great retirement designation:

* Jo in Pennsylvania:

I am astonished at the ignorance of our Bucks County Commissioners grasp of health care reform. I have already written a blog in response to their irresponsible comments.

* Kevin in Pennsylvania:

William Ury, author of “Getting to Yes,” offers an elegant, simple (but not easy) way to create agreement in even the most difficult situations–from family conflict to, perhaps, the Middle East.

* Gary in North Carolina:

Eminem’s tells a story about the struggles of being a musician, father, etc

* Natalie in Pennsylvania:

Just wanted to share this with all my friends. Please support this movement for peace through music in the world. It is what the world needs now more than ever.

* Pat in Pennsylvania:

Great oldie I came across. Remember this song? Ok . . . maybe the hair, makeup and outfits are outdated in this video. But still an all time favorite to sing along with. Enjoy!!

* George in Pennsylvania:

North Point Community Church’s iPad Band! You’re not going to fall asleep in this church!

* Trish in North Carolina:

This is information about David Nieman, a human performance researcher out of Appalachian State:

* Marty in Texas:

You recently had in a website in BW #741 showing an African Dancer. She is not only flexible, but did you know she suffers from a disease known as Ehlers-Danos Syndrome?

Amazing what you find out on the Internet. It also helps to have a cousin with an MD at the end of his name.

Keep up the good work with BW. I always look forward to the “Cynthia, my beautiful bride, and I” updates.

* Susee in New Jersey:

I found coconut amino’s at Delicious Orchards here in Colts Neck, NJ and have been using it ever since! It is terrific! Recently, I saw it at Wegman’s as well. Perhaps if more of us use it, the price will come down!!!

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3. Those were the days

When my daughter Risa was four, I should have known better to take her shopping with me. I spent the entire time in the mall chasing after her. Finally, I’d had it. “Do you want a stranger to take you?!” I scolded.

Thrilled, she yelled back, “Will he take me to the zoo?”

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4. Reviews

A. BLACK SWAN is being advertised as a psychological thriller about an ambitious New York City ballet dancer who lands the lead role in SWAN LAKE . . . don’t believe the great reviews the film has gotten . . . I thought it was terrible . . . Natalie Portman is OK in the leading role, and I liked the work of Mila Kunis as her rival ballerina . . . but unless you want to see to see something that’s depressing and has a lot of blood in it, don’t waste your time . . . rated R.

B. EASY A is now out in DVD format . . . my review from BLAINESWORLD #730 follows:

EASY A is an easy-going comedy about a high school student who relies on her school’s rumor mill to advance her social and financial standing. Along the way, complications set in. See it to catch Emma Stone’s breakout performance as the girl who everybody is talking about. I also liked the performance of Thomas Haden Church as her teacher, as well as the work of Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as her parents. The film is not great, but it’s watchable–and a lot better than other stuff that’s currently in the theaters. Rated PG-13.

C. Diets usually don’t work. The same is true about New Year’s resolutions. Tom Connellan does an excellent job in explaining why this so in THE 1% SOLUTION FOR WORK AND LIFE (see also Sections 2, 10 and 11), a short but powerful story about a guy who discovers “secrets” to improved performance as a result of a series of conversations with successful people in varied fields.

The format of the book is not that original; however, that’s not to say that you won’t take a lot away from THE 1% SOLLUTION-especially if you buy into the premise that you don’t always have to make major changes in life . . . sometimes, it can be the little things that make all the difference . . .or as the author points out:

* You can’t be 100 percent better than everyone else, but you can be 1 percent better on hundreds of things.

Also, I liked his point about making improvement in any field–be it work, golf or coaching a team. All you need to do is start doing something-anything, in fact and the more you do, the more you’ll be motivated to do other things. However, to become a top performer, that’s going to take a lot more time and effort as the following passage points out:

* “My granddaughter actually is a top classical musician, Ken. A violin soloist. I’ve seen the hours she puts in. Someone’s even studied how much time people like her spend practicing: A psychologist named Anders Ericsson got together with some other experts and studied violinists at an elite music school. Divided them up into the ones who were bound to be stars, the ones who were really good and could play professionally, and the ones who were good but not great and who’d probably become violin teacher.

“The only difference they could find? The number of hours of practice the musicians put in. The ones who were good enough to teach–they’d put in 4,000 hours. The ones who were really good and could play professionally–8,000 hours. The cream of the crop, the brilliant soloists?” he said, looking to Ken for the answer.

“Let me guess…10,000 hours.” The two men shared a smile.

“The scientist couldn’t find one single natural-someone who got to the top without all that practicing because they were just brilliant, “Bob. “And you know what’s great? They didn’t find any sad old grunts who were practicing their hearts out but not getting anywhere.

“The take-home message here is: If you put in the time and effort to practice, you will see improvement. And if you want to see improvement, you have to put in the practice.”

In addition, the book had a lot of suggestions that you could immediately start to apply–such as this one:

* “First, look down at your belt buckle.” Ken did so, and Kris looked at her watch. When 10 seconds had passed, she asked him how he felt, his head still hanging down.

“I feel tired. It’s been a tough week. And I’m back to feeling a bit flat again, to be honest,” he said.

“Okay, raise your chin and breastbone up high.” He did so, and she asked, “How do you feel now?”

“Wow, I feel the say way I felt when I added yet–lighter, more positive. Less tired.”

“Any time that you’re feeling discouraged–about anything you’re striving for–try using this exercise.”

I’m not sure that the book’s subtitle will hold true; i.e., I’ll learn HOW TO MAKE THE NEXT 30 DAYS THE BEST EVER . . . but I will at least give a shot . . . and purchasing THE 1% SOLUTION should help you get off to a good start.

D. Heard the CD version of THE AMERICAN JOURNEY OF BARACK OBAMA by the editors of LIFE and read by Richard Allen.

The first half of the book presents a comprehensive biography of the man . . . it gave me a better understanding of his upbringing in both Indonesia and Hawaii, as well as for his meteoric rise to political fame . . . I especially liked the account of his one political defeat and his analysis of why it happened.

The second half contained original essays by Gay Talese, Charles Johnson, Mellissa Fay Greene, Andrei Codrescu, Fay Weldon, Richard Norton Smith, Bob Greene and several others . . . some of these were interesting; others were not . . . I did enjoy Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s foreword . . . the latter helped me better understand why he chose to endorse Obama over Hillary Clinton.

What was missing from THE AMERICAN JOURNEY were the pictures that were in the hardcover version . . . I was disappointed that LIFE did not bother to include a separate CD with .pdf files that would have made viewing possible.

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5. TV alert

A.BIOGRAPHY explores the Jackson Five on Thursday at 10 p.m., covering everything from their Motown roots to Michael’s death on BIO.

B. MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW, of my favorite films, is a tearjerker about an elderly couple left homeless during the Depression . . . Friday at 10 p.m. on TCM or if you miss it, put down this film to rent.


The last scene has this touching bit of dialogue:

Bark: In case I don’t see you again . . .

Lucy: What?

Bark: Well, anything might happen. The train could jump off the track. If it should happen that I don’t see you again, it’s been very nice knowing you, Miss Breckinridge.

Lucy: Bark, that’s probably the prettiest speech you ever made. And in case I don’t see you a . . . well, for a little while, I just want to tell you it’s been lovely–every bit of it, the whole 50 years. I’d sooner have been your wife, Bark, than anyone else on earth.

Bark: Oh, thank you, Lucy.

Conductor: All aboard.

Lucy: Get going, Pa.

C. WISHFUL DRINKING stars actress Carrie Fisher in an autobiographical stage play that features archival footage from her career . . . she also talks about being the daughter of stars Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, stepdaughter of Elizabeth Taylor, and former wife of Paul Simon . . . Saturday at 3:15 a.m. on HBO.

D. There are very few regular season NBA games that are watching, but on Saturday, you can catch Kobe’s Lakers vs. LeBron’s Heat at 5 p.m. on ABC . . . earlier in the day, Knicks fans can see that team play the visiting Chicago Bulls at noon on ESPN.

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6. Salesman’s delight

John was a salesman’s delight when it came to any kind of unusual gimmicks. His wife Marsha had long ago given up trying to get him to change.

One day John came home with another of his unusual purchases. It was a robot that John claimed was actually a lie detector.

At 5:30 that afternoon, his 11 year old son, Tommy, returned home from school two hours late.

“Where have you been? Why are you over 2 hours late getting home?” asked John..

“Several of us went to the library to work on an extra credit project,” said Tommy.

The robot walked around the table and slapped Tommy, knocking him completely out of his chair.

“Son,” said John, “this robot is a lie detector, now tell us where you really were after school.”

“We went to Bobby’s house and watched a movie.” said Tommy. “What did you watch?” asked his mother, Marsha.

“The Ten Commandments.” answered Tommy.

The robot went around to Tommy and once again slapped him, knocking him off his chair.

With his lip quivering, Tommy got up, sat down and said, “I am sorry I lied. We really watched a tape called Sex Queen.”

“I am ashamed of you son,” said John. When I was your age, I never lied to my parents.”

The robot walked around to John and delivered a whack that knocked him out of his chair.

Marsha doubled over in laughter, almost in tears, and said, “Boy, did you ever ask for that one! You can’t be too mad with Tommy. After all, he is your son!”

The robot walked around to Marsha and knocked her out of her chair.

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7. Websites

A. Even Santa agrees: Asheville rocks . . . this holiday season and/or any time thereafter. Check out yourself by clicking:

B. For a cute version of what’s arguably the greatest rock song of all time, please click:

C. BLAINESWORLD, the website, remains up and running . . . to view it, please click:

If you have no idea what the website is all about, check out the box at the top of the homepage.

D. Are you on Facebook? In the unlikely event we have not yet contacted as friends there, please feel free to send me an invite by clicking:

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8. Computer tip

Here is an email that I recently received. Kindly skim it, then read the “Update” at the bottom.


Anyone using Internet mail such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc.:

This information arrived this morning, Direct from both Microsoft and Norton Please send it to everybody you know who has Access to the Internet. You may receive an apparently harmless e-mail titled “Here you have it” If you open the file, a message will appear on your screen saying: ‘It is too late now, your life is no longer beautiful . . . ”

Subsequently you will LOSE EVERYTHING IN YOUR PC, And the person who sent it to you will gain access to your name, email and password. This is a new virus which started to circulate on Saturday afternoon. AOL has already confirmed the severity, and the anti-virus software are not capable of destroying it.

The virus has been created by a hacker who calls himself “life owner.”





I did read the snopes confirmation . . . while it says the virus is a real one, the good news is that it can be detected by anti-virus software and, also, that it isn’t as harmful as you would think from reading the original warming.

Please, please check out such warnings before you forward them to others . . . just because something says something has been confirmed by snopes does not mean that this is automatically true.

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9. Senior texting

Since more and more Seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC (Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you.

Some of you may be getting a new phone for Christmas–so start now to get in practice!

ATD: At The Doctor’s
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
ROFL… CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing . . . And Can’t Get Up
SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTML: Talk To Me Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WATP: Where Are The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil

Feel free to add any codes you feel are missing; send the additions back to the person who sent you this so they can update their list.

GGLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

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10. A quote I like

The One Percent Solution isn’t about suddenly achieving perfection, which is lucky, because perfection is unachievable. The One Percent Solution is about trying every day to be a little better than yesterday.—Tom Connellan, author of THE 1% SOLUTION FOR WORK AND LIFE (see also Sections 2, 4C and 11)

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11. Thought for the day

When I REALLY like a book, I’ll mention it four separate times in any one issue of BLAINESWORLD . . . . therefore, when you read the following passage from THE 1% SOLUTION FOR WORK AND LIFE (see also Sections 2, 4C and 10) by Tom Connellan, you’ll know that I thought the author had a lot to say that I found of value and/or interest:

“Hope is good, but if you don’t follow through with action, it’s not a particularly useful strategy,” Bob replied. “Too many of us think the positive thoughts but don’t put into play a plan that forces us to take the actions that will get us to what we’re dreaming about. You can’t just wish–you have to do.

“Let me give you an example,” Bob continued, as they reached to top and took their seats in the shade, looking out across the water; it had been worth the climb.” I heard Colin Powell speak once, and he told the story of a brand-new second lieutenant who was very ambitious and wanted to be a general. One night at the officers’ club, the new lieutenant noticed a general at the bar and went up to him and said, ‘Begging your pardon, sir, but how does one become a general?’

“ ’Son, you’ve got to work like a dog,’ the general answered. ‘You’ve got to have moral and physical courage. There may be days you’re tired, but you must never show fatigue. There are times when you’ll be afraid, but you can never show fear. You must always be the leader.’

“The lieutenant was so excited by this advice. ‘Thank you, sir’, he said. ‘So this is how I become a general?’

“’No,’ said the general. ‘That’s how you become a first lieutenant. Then you keep doing it over and over, and eventually you’ll become a general.’ ”

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12. Advance planning department

A.North Carolina events:

* Thursday Dec 23rd, two up and coming young musicians, 16-year-old vocalist Tasha Lief and 16-year-old guitar prodigy Adrian Brinkley will be featured at this week’s Blues Jam . . . 9 p.m. to midnight.

Tressa’s Downtown Jazz and Blues
28 Broadway
Asheville, NC 28801

* I’ll be speaking to the 2010-11 Student Business Incubator at ABTech (Enka campus) on Monday, January 24 at 4 p.m. (Rescheduled from December 13.)

Topic: Positioning–How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

You’ll also have a chance to win $500, and you’ll learn the difference between a left- and right-handed pencil!


Send an email to and put JANUARY 24 in subject line.

B. New Jersey/Pennsylvania events:

* If you’re willing to trip into New York City, catch BILLY ELLIOT at a discount (starting in January) by clicking:

This show is one of my favorites from the past few years . . . to give you a feel for the show, please click:

* The Arts Council of Princeton presents the opening reception of its newest exhibition, Raw Beauty: An Exhibition of Sculpture, on Saturday, January 8th from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m.. Raw Beauty, organized by guest curator Rebecca Kelly, includes the work of Carol Cole, Hannah Fink, Lesley Haas, Elizabeth Mackie, Donna M. McCullough, Leslie Pontz, Miriam Schaer, and Leo Sewell. Raw Beauty will be on view from January 8 – February 26, 2011 at the Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, 102 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ. Gallery Hours are: Monday – Friday: 9:00 am – 5:00 p.m., Saturday: 10:00 am – 4:00 p.m.. Parking is available in the Spring and Hulfish Street Garages as well as metered parking along Witherspoon Street and Paul Robeson Place.

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PS. If you’re like me and you celebrate ALL holidays (more food, as well as fun getting together with family and friends), don’t forget that Christmas is on Saturday . . . and to get you in the spirit, make sure you check out the digital story of the Nativity:

And Kwanzaa begins on Sunday . . . to find out more, please click:

Methinks that we also need to pray for the folks who died in the BP oil spill, as well as for our remaining soldiers in both Iraq and Afghanistan . . . while we’re at it, include those in Israel and her neighbors who are seeking peace . . . and perhaps most importantly: Make it a great week, too!



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