My Musings

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What Goes Around...

My reputation as something of a history buff distinguishes me from very few men in the critical 51-110 year old age group that history advertisers target. And yet I tend to train my lens less on major world events, like wars and tsunamis, than on the mundane and commonplace.

For instance, what about urinals? There must be history there. It’s not like God gave us urinal-producing trees to pluck our urinals from. (Yes, I’m aware, if urinals grew, they would do so on the ground, like cabbage or watermelon, not in trees!).

Well, with the internet allowing any old fool to publish anything he wants, the blogger can quickly pivot from a treatment of the history of urinals, the bait so to speak, to an anecdote about this one time when, en route to the west branch of the Penobscot River in Maine, he stopped at a brew pub for his last bit of sustenance before heading into the wild, and the men’s room urinal was actually a repurposed beer keg!

Maine urinal

What a hoot.

There is some synergy here, as beer makes the average blogger (not me) need to pee, and also I’m going to be in the woods, where basically everything is a urinal. 

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Brand Strategy

Sometimes, late on a hot summer night when everyone is asleep, I sit on my porch with a cold glass of lemonade and look up at the stars. And when I do, invariably my thoughts turn to my brand. Have I done enough to promote my brand? Have I used social media in a way that gets my brand name out there? Am I tweeting out messages consistent with the Patrick McVay brand identity? Is my brand connecting with the right influencers who can create interest in my brand and increase my sales? Do I have any sales? Why am I not hitting you over the head with advertisements? Are you even listening to me?

The answer to all these questions is no. Except the question about hitting you over the head, because “no” is never an answer to a “why” question.

One of the reasons that my brand isn’t succeeding like, say, Nestle, or Canada, is that I don’t have infrastructure in place to run focus groups on my products, and I don’t have a constitution that lacks a second amendment. The Canada brand seems to be doing quite well without a second amendment, but don’t go telling that to Canadians. Before you know it they’ll be whining about needing a well-regulated militia to protect their brand.

To hell with the Canada brand and their meek and mild prime minister!

By the way, Russia says that they didn’t meddle in our elections, so that answers that question.

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Card Reading Etiquette

When an unknown voice at the other end of the line asks for your credit card number for some sort of purchase you’re about to make, do you ramble it off in one long stream-of-consciousness flow of numbers, or do you pause between each four-digit array?

Or are you one of those people who needs to get feedback from the disembodied voice, a grunt or “OK” after each set of four numbers is conveyed to indicate that s/he has recorded the digits without which you’d be unable to buy that set of awesome pocket squares you were dying for? “And the expiration?”


“And those three numbers on the back of the card?”


I find that most people taking my order expect my verbal commas and like to chirp “uh-huh” after 4th and 8th digits are read, and add “OK” after the 12th digit. I hope the nation’s psychologists are investigating why this pattern exists.

Also, did I tell you I’m moving?

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J'Biden Era Haikuage


People's Arms. That's right!

200 million shots

In 100 days


We are good people

But we still have far to go

Repair. Restore. Heal.


There's nothing new here

The Affordable Care Act

We're restoring it 


America's Day

Democracy is fragile

The world is watching 


Strategy is based

On Science, not politics

Truth, not denial



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