Friday, June 25, 2021

Resume / Curriculum Vitae (CV) of Aaron S. Robertson

Aaron S. Robertson, MSM
P.O. Box 771, Muskego, Wisconsin 53150
therobertsonholdingsco@yahoo.com   414.418.2278
www.linkedin.com/in/aaronsrobertson

Passionate about bringing out the best in students and helping them discover success in life and career. Teamwork, collaborative thinking, and building meaningful relationships are integral to accomplishing this and to all that I do.

Education & Professional Development

 
Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership with an expected graduation date of 2021
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin – An interest in China’s artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, entrepreneurial climate, and Belt and Road Initiative (BRI); classical realism and realpolitik in International Relations (IR); and U.S. – China Cold War theory.

Master of Science in Management (MSM) 2013
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, Minors in Sociology & Philosophy 2007
Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Additional Coursework in International Relations (IR)
All coursework taken through Udemy.com, non-credit 2020
 
• "International Politics Mastery 2020: Think Theoretically" – taught by Kamil Zwolski, Ph.D.
• "International Relations Theory: Realism" – taught by Kamil Zwolski, Ph.D.
• "International Relations and Politics: The Origins of NATO" – taught by Paul F.J. Aranas, Ph.D.
• "The Rise of China" – taught by Kasim Javed, political analyst
• "Understanding of U.S.-Russia Relations in the Asia-Pacific" – taught by Andrei S. Golobokov, Ph.D.

Software & Online Teaching and Learning Tools
  • Microsoft: Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, Excel, Teams
  • Google: Gmail, Docs, Slides, Calendar, Meet, Blogger
  • Kami
  • Canvas
  • Zoom
  • QuickBooks

Advanced Training:
  • CPR certification through the Greenfield, Wisconsin Fire Department / American Heart Association, 2019-2021.
  • Online courses and certifications covering various special education, substitute teaching, online teaching, tutoring, and educational psychology subjects through Vector Solutions/SafeSchools, STEDI.org, Professional Learning Board, Udemy.com, and the National Tutoring Association (NTA). (2019 – Present)
  • Nonviolent Crisis Intervention certification through Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Certified from July 24, 2018 – Present.
  • STEP – An intense, two-day workshop for Stericycle supervisors and team leads on effective management and coaching techniques. (May 2015)
  • Certificate in integrated leadership and a non-credit certificate for a course in entrepreneurship. (2006 – 2007)
  • Instructor-led online courses for a variety of professional certifications in areas including supervision and management, leadership, effective communication, and marketing – Waukesha County Federated Library System. (2015 – Present)

 

Professional Work Summary

 
Special Education Assistant – Cross-Categorical 2021 – Present
New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
(School District of New Berlin, New Berlin, Wisconsin)

Provided 1:1 and small group academic support to students in grades 7-12; supported regular education students across all six grade levels and a variety of subjects; significant experience working with medically fragile students, including feeding and toileting assistance, utilizing various assistive technologies and equipment, and monitoring for possible health emergencies; responsible for maintaining my own detailed sub plans; responsible for maintaining worklogs for Medicaid billing through the Accelify platform.

Special Education Assistant – Foundations program 2019 – 2021
New Berlin Eisenhower Middle/High School
(School District of New Berlin, New Berlin, Wisconsin)

Provided 1:1 academic and behavioral support to students in grades 7-12 with significant disabilities; in some cases, provided feeding and toileting assistance, along with the dispensing of medication; responsible for maintaining my own detailed sub plans; responsible for maintaining worklogs for Medicaid billing through the Accelify platform; supported regular education students across all six grade levels and a variety of subjects; proctored practice ACT tests and supported an ACT science strategy session; volunteered for practice sessions to support the school’s academic decathlon team; served as a chaperone for the 2021 senior dance; assisted with the 2021 commencement ceremony; provided 1:1 academic and behavioral support for a student enrolled in the 2021 summer school program.

Substitute Teacher and Paraprofessional Aide 2020 – Present
EDUStaff
(A company based in Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Served as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional aide in an on-call capacity in several area school districts. Experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and in both regular education and special education environments. Primary focus at the high school level.

Private Tutor 2019 – Present
Working with middle school, high school, and college undergraduate students
(Greater Milwaukee area)

General subjects available, in no particular order:

ACT and SAT test prep - Research Skills - Study Skills - Self-Advocacy - Writing and Essays - AP courses: English Language and Composition, Comparative Government and Politics, Macroeconomics, Psychology, United States Government and Politics, United States History - Career Readiness & Workforce Development (mock job interviews, resume help, soft skills, career assessments, field trips, networking opportunities, help identifying majors and education tracks) - Business and Management - Marketing - Online marketing and social media for business - Entrepreneurship - Leadership - Personal Finance, Investing, and Economics - Organizational Culture - U.S. History - American Government - Political parties and movements in the U.S. (present and historical) - Soviet Union: general history, government, politics - China: general history, government, its current artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives, its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), its entrepreneurial climate, & U.S. - China Cold War theory - International Relations (IR) - Realism in International Relations (IR) - Political Theory - Economic Theory - Sociological Theory - Philosophy - Psychology - Test Prep - Advice on scholarship application essays

Publisher 2018 – Present
Mr. Robertson’s Corner blog
(MrRobertsonsCorner.com)

Meaningful reflections, stories, ideas, advice, resources, and homework help for high school and college undergraduate students. We explore history, philosophy, critical thinking, the trades, business, careers, entrepreneurship, college majors, financial literacy, the arts, the social sciences, test prep, and more.

Special Education / Instructional Aide 2018 – 2019
Whitnall High School
(Whitnall School District, Greenfield, Wisconsin)

Supported both special education and regular education students across all four grade levels and a variety of subjects; co-taught English 11; co-advised Film Club; authorized driver of district vehicles; prom chaperone; led marketing efforts for a golf outing to raise funds for the athletics/activities department; utilized my background in marketing and event planning to advise the booster club of various challenges and opportunities in a changing donor and volunteer landscape; served, on occasion, as an internal substitute teacher.

Substitute Teacher and Paraprofessional Aide 2018 – Present
Teachers On Call
(A Kelly Company, based in Bloomington, Minnesota)

Served as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional aide in an on-call capacity in several area school districts. Experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and in both regular education and special education environments. Primary focus at the high school level.

Head of Marketing and Public Relations 2018 – 2019
DandiLion Daze, formerly known as Muskego Community Festival / Muskego Fest

Responsible for developing and implementing a robust marketing and PR strategy that included social media messaging, signage, radio, and press coverage for an annual festival supporting nine local community service clubs and organizations; crafted a donation request letter for potential event sponsors; assisted with booking music acts.

Business Manager 2017 – 2018
Reidy, Inc., DBA Estate Services
(A Muskego, Wisconsin-based remodeling and construction contractor)

Leveraged expertise to perform in a broad scope of areas, including general bookkeeping, preparing written reports, office management including the paying of invoices and the billing of clients, negotiations with vendors, strategic planning, customer service, marketing, lead generation, and sales support.

Strategies included:
  • Performing the duties of a social media manager, guiding the company’s social media strategy and online presence.
  • Providing advice, guidance, and research on a broad scope of business and financial areas.
  • Producing creative and engaging copy for printed marketing materials.
  • Utilizing QuickBooks for general bookkeeping, payroll, and tax prep for the company’s accounting team.
Specific projects included:
  • Procured a $50,000 line of credit for the business.
  • Procured a legally-binding contract and a more detailed lien waiver form for use between the company and its clients.
  • Worked with a design team at GoDaddy to replace the firm’s existing Web site from before my arrival – I personally provided the site’s copy and engineered its search engine optimization (SEO).
  • Researched and hired a collection agency to pursue uncooperative clients.
  • Researched and hired a credit card processing firm to accept credit cards as a form of payment from clients.
  • Revived the company’s Facebook page after remaining dormant for some time before my arrival, building an engaged following and a viable lead source.
  • Redesigned the firm’s client invoice and estimate paperwork to better represent and showcase the company and, in effect, provide another viable marketing opportunity for the business.
 
President 2015 – Present
The Robertson Holdings Co., Inc.
(Founded a successful online media publishing company specializing in delivering business and career development advice through an extensive network of blogs and Web sites)

Strategies included:
  • Undertaking the responsibilities for executing traditional, digital and social media marketing strategies.
  • Serving as a consensus builder on the importance of having multiple customer touch points across all digital platforms to drive sales and generate company profits.
  • Leveraging expertise to move the needle and push the boundaries of career and business engagement endeavors to drive customer value proposition.
 
Customer Experience Team Lead 2012 – 2017
Head of Online Marketing
Trainer
Spectrum Communications
(A telephone answering service and call center in Brookfield, Wisconsin acquired by Stericycle, Inc. in 2014, becoming part of the established portfolio of Communications Solutions)
 
As Customer Experience Team Lead, a position held from March 2015, I was charged with spearheading and overseeing a broad scope of staff development, coaching, and mentorship initiatives. Additionally, my responsibilities included staff scheduling, attendance, conflict resolution, disciplinary action, client relationship management, and submitting direct reports to senior leadership.

Strategies included:
  • Training a performance-driven team of customer experience agents (CEAs) on delivering enhanced account management services to best help bolster client relations.
  • Attracting, retaining and coaching a team of diverse professionals that span all aspects of Spectrum Communications/Stericycle with a common vision and mission.
  • Functioning in a myriad of areas pertaining to Web marketing and customer engagement strategies, personnel training and team development processes.
  • Influencing and handling customer inquiries for a variety of products and services by way of a prepared script and on-going professional training.
  • Managing the company’s Web site, blog, social media campaigns, and search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives, resulting in significant increase with online traffic and client engagement.
  • Providing exceptional customer service and value-added services to callers while maintaining strict adherence to corporate policies and government regulations.
  • Initiated, coordinated, and authored, The Spectrum Scoop, which became the firm’s most widely-read internal employee newsletter.

Correspondent 2011
Muskego Patch

Strategies included:
  • Developing highly-successful techniques for aggregating information and performing a variety of functions by way of key interviews, thorough research and analytical reporting.
  • Wrote on a broad scope of topics ranging from features and human-interest stories, municipal government, political, and business news, and opinion pieces.
  • Establishing exceptional, collaborative relationships and motivating coworkers to meet and exceed company goals.

Publisher 2010 – Present
MilwaukeeBusinessOpportunities.com

Strategies included
:
  • Writing, editing, organizing, researching and aggregating content for a well-trafficked blog.
  • Facilitating in a range of functions; performing exclusive interviews, gathering information on various metro-area business news, networking groups and events, festivals, attractions, and polls.

President & Shareholder 2007 – 2013
Intrepid Innovations, Inc.
(An Internet marketing firm specializing in strategic marketing solutions for businesses looking to generate online traffic, increase sales, and maximize Web growth)

Strategies included:
  • Developing a range of effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies aimed largely at small to mid-sized businesses.
  • Establishing online social media profiles and providing continual maintenance with updates and relevant activities.
  • Performing all content management functions including, but not limited to, press releases and editorial writing, advertising/copy editing, and promotional releases and distribution.
  • Cultivating strong client relations with full responsibility for networking, contract negotiations, client meetings, general bookkeeping, and operational management.

Additional Experience
Correspondent 2007 – 2010
Muskego Chronicle

Professional Licenses & Certifications

 
Level 2 Intelligence Analyst certification
Udemy.com – taught by Lt. Col. Robert Folker, USAF (Ret.)
Obtained August 2020. No expiration date.

Level 1 Intelligence Analyst certification
Udemy.com – taught by Lt. Col. Robert Folker, USAF (Ret.)
Obtained August 2020. No expiration date.

Special Education Program Aide License – 5 Year
State of Wisconsin, License 4070061674 – Valid July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2026.

Teaching – Short-Term Substitute License – 3 Year
State of Wisconsin, License 1910046232 – Valid July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2024.

Notary Public
State of Wisconsin, License 204996 – My commission expires July 19, 2022.

Business Community Leadership Roles

 
Founder & Facilitator 2014 – 2018
Genesis Networking Group
(Business networking group that met over breakfast twice per month at Genesis Restaurant in Greenfield, Wisconsin to discuss relevant business and professional development topics of interest and assist members with referrals)

Secretary 2009 – 2019
Hales Corners Chamber of Commerce

Board Member, Ambassador 2008 – 2018
Muskego Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism

Memberships & Affiliations


National Tutoring Association 2021 – Present
Member

Whitnall Park Rotary Club 2018 – 2019
Muskego satellite club

Past President 2014 – Present
Muskego Lions Club

Library Board President 2010 – Present
City of Muskego

Zoning Board of Appeals 2008 – Present
City of Muskego

Past 2nd Term President 2008 – Present
Kiwanis Club of Muskego

Public Service Campaigns


Candidate 2009
Muskego-Norway School Board

Candidate 2008 & 2010
Wisconsin state Assembly ▪ District 83

Elected Student Government Roles


Senator 2018 – Present
Representing graduate students
Cardinal Stritch University

Vice President of Legislative Assembly 2006 – 2007
Cardinal Stritch University

President 2005 – 2006
Cardinal Stritch University

Publications

 
Competing in the Call Center Industry: The Case of Spectrum Communications 2013
Capstone Research Product Title
Advisor: Thomas A. Lifvendahl, Ed. D.
Available at https://digitalcommons.stritch.edu/etd/114

Beyond Majors and G.P.A.: A Real Philosophy for College and the World Ahead 2007
Second Edition. Lincoln NE: iUniverse
ISBN: 0-595-46517-X (pbk), 0-595-90815-2 (ebk)

Media Appearances


Simandan, V. M. (2014, June 24). “You have to embrace innovation”: Interview with Aaron S. Robertson from Spectrum Communications.
Retrieved from http://www.simandan.com/?p=11535

Laughtland, A. (2014, April 5). Meet Aaron S. Robertson, freelance journalist. With Five Questions. Retrieved from http://www.withfivequestions.blogspot.com/2014/04/meet-aaron-s-robertson-freelance.html

Shea, J. (2014, April 3). Interview with Aaron S. Robertson, head of online marketing at Spectrum Communications. Voices of Marketing.
Retrieved from http://www.voicesofmarketing.com/written-interviews/interview-aaron-s-robertson- head-online-marketing-spectrum-communications

Johnson-Elie, T. (2009, February 3). Networking club has youthful focus. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Lawrence, J. (2009, January 10). A new networking site for students and recent grads. OnMilwaukee.com. Retrieved from
http://www.onmilwaukee.com/buzz/articles/intrepidnetworking.html

Catholic Knight. (2008, Fall issue). Book smart: Young author offers his philosophy on college and the world ahead, pp. 14-15.

Paulsen, D. (2008, March 6). Muskego man part of new business that taps the power of the Internet. Muskego Chronicle, Business, p. 1.

Interviews & Writing Credits


1. Branscombe Richmond, Hollywood television and film actor; stuntman. September 2011.
2. Dr. Terence Roehrig, professor, U.S. Naval War College; Korea expert. December 2011.
3. Carl Giammarese, lead singer, The Buckinghams; singer and songwriter. December 2011.
4. Alyssa Bolsey, filmmaker; director, The Jacques Bolsey Project. December 2011.
5. Godfrey Townsend, New York-based guitarist and singer. January 2012.
6. Carl Bonafede, legendary Chicago radio personality, band manager, music promoter, record producer, and booking agent. January 2012.
7. Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, drummer, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Creedence Clearwater Revisited (CCR). June 2012.
8. Mark Dawson, lead vocals and bassist, The Grass Roots. September 2012.
9. Chris Szebeni, lead singer, Boxkar. November 2012.
10. Rebecca Romney, rare books expert and occasional guest on the show, Pawn Stars. February 2013.
11. David White, founder, Danny & The Juniors; singer and songwriter. April 2013.
12. Stu Cook, bassist, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Creedence Clearwater Revisited (CCR). July 2013.
13. Mark Hall-Patton, administrator of the Clark County Museum and occasional guest on the show, Pawn Stars. May 2014.
14. Jefferson Grizzard, guitarist and singer. June 2014.
15. Samantha Lukens, designer and MFA candidate. September 2014.
16. Paul Spiegelman, best-selling author and culture executive. January 2015.
17. Bill Turner, former lead guitarist for Bill Haley in the 1970s; Front man, Blue Smoke. March 2015.

Selected Thought Leadership Writing Samples


Robertson, A. S. (2019, September 21). The importance of reflection. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/09/the-importance-of-reflection.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, March 9). I was a slacker in high school. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/03/i-was-slacker-in-high-school.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, January 31). The many benefits of volunteer work. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/01/the-many-benefits-of-volunteer-work.html

Robertson, A. S. (2019, January 26). The double-edged sword of technology. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2019/01/the-double-edged-sword-of-technology.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, December 8). Creating a resume and applying for work. Posted to https://www.mrrobertsonscorner.com/2018/12/creating-resume-and-applying-for-work.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, July 26). It’s time to think inside the box: The education moment delivered to the BNI Boundless Business networking group on July 26, 2018. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/07/its-time-to-think-inside-box.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, July 15). The value proposition in your business. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/07/the-value-proposition-in-your-business.html

Robertson, A. S. (2018, June 27). How to generate more and better business ideas: The education moment delivered to the BNI Boundless Business networking group on June 28, 2018. Posted to https://www.milwaukeebusinessopportunities.com/2018/06/how-to-generate-more-and-better.html

References & Recommendations Furnished Upon Request
therobertsonholdingsco@yahoo.com   414.418.2278

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Wisconsin Apprenticeship System

Are you looking to enter the trades or technical fields through an apprenticeship program in Wisconsin? Here's your brief guide to accessing the Wisconsin Apprenticeship System.

This past Sunday (6/13/21), an article appearing in the Business section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel written by Ricardo Torres focused on Wisconsin's system of apprenticeships. In short, the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has obtained grant funding to support the hiring of five "apprenticeship navigators," whose sole job is to match those who are interested with various apprenticeship opportunities across the state.

You can read the full article by Torres appearing in the Journal Sentinel on 6/13/21 by clicking here. The article does a great job of getting answers from the DWD based on a list of key questions posed by Journal Sentinel staff.

Below are the names and contact information for these navigators, taken from the article. Four of the five are serving residents in specific counties, while the remaining one is serving former inmates anywhere in the state. 

 

Jessica Gitter

Counties served: Buffalo, Crawford, Jackson, Juneau, Kenosha, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Monroe, Racine, Trempealeau, Walworth, Vernon. 

Contact info: jessica.gitter@dwd.wisconsin.gov; 262-894-5624.

 

Dawn Pratt

Counties served: Barron, Chippewa, Clark, Dunn, Eau Claire, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Ozaukee, Pepin, Pierce, Polk, Sheboygan, St. Croix, Washington, Waukesha, Waushara, Winnebago.

Contact info: dawn.pratt@dwd.wisconsin.gov; 414-216-4926.

 

Jessica Williams

Counties served: Adams, Ashland, Bayfield, Brown, Burnett, Calumet, Door, Douglas, Florence, Forest, Iron, Kewaunee, Langlade, Lincoln, Manitowoc, Marathon, Marinette, Menomonee, Oconto, Oneida, Outagamie, Portage, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Shawano, Taylor, Vilas, Washburn, Waupaca, Wood.

Contact info: jessicae.williams@dwd.wisconsin.gov; 920-404-6877.


Jeff Kennedy

Counties served: Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Grant, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Lafayette, Marquette, Richland, Rock, Sauk.

Contact info: jkennedy@wdbscw.org; 608-249-9001 x. 230.

 

Milton Rogers

Counties served: Works with former Department of Corrections (DOC) inmates statewide.

Contact info: miltonj.rogers@wisconsin.gov.

 

If you found this post helpful, you may also enjoy the following posts from this blog:


The real purpose of K-12 education 

Description: "We have to realize that K-12 education should be about preparing students for life, not university, and that some of the greatest, most rewarding career opportunities out there can be found in the vast vocational/trades/technical college realm."

Technical college scholarships

Exploring careers in the trades

Manufacturing and the trades in schools

Description: "A look at the return of manufacturing and the trades in schools and in conversations."

Milwaukee Brewers Happy music video

A co-worker of mine, who also works for the Milwaukee Brewers, recently shared this with me, and it's too fun not to share it with you. Here's a fun tribute to the Brewers done to Pharrell Williams' hit song, "Happy". Enjoy!


Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Great music playlist for working

Howdy! It feels like it's been a while. I hope you're doing well and about to embark on a fun, restful, and well-deserved summer break after one hell of a school year! I'm looking forward to catching a few car shows, Milwaukee Brewers games, church festivals, and the Wisconsin State Fair, among other things.

For those of you who have graduated high school or college, congratulations! Wishing you all the best as you prepare to head out on the next part of your journey.

I'm busy today working on some ideas and planning for this blog, and I thought I'd share the music that I'm working to. Here's my playlist today, along with a few brief notes and memories to go along with each song. For more great music from a variety of genres and generations, check out my occasional, ongoing series, "Exploring the world of music".

Here's to you and your success!

Mr. Robertson

"Rockin' All Over The World": John Fogerty

Forever linked to his role as frontman for the iconic 60s band Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR), John Fogerty has managed to build quite an impressive solo career since CCR's breakup in 1972. Here he is performing "Rockin' All Over The World" live. I always enjoyed this tune. It's fun and upbeat. Check out my exclusive interviews with CCR drummer Doug "Cosmo" Clifford and bassist Stu Cook from June 2012 and July 2013, respectively.



"Killer Joe": Quincy Jones

I first came across this 1969 jazz hit by Quincy Jones as a freshman in high school in 1997. My band teacher was a big jazz fan, and he played the recording for us one day in class. I rediscovered it recently. I love it. The definition of "cool".



"Sometimes When I'm All Alone" and "Pony Express": Danny & The Juniors

From the legendary late 50s - early 60s Doo Wop group out of Philadelphia comes these two classics that are perhaps somewhat undervalued. Assuming you ever heard of Danny & The Juniors in the first place, you probably only know of them by their two smash hits, "At The Hop" and "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay". I had the pleasure of interviewing the group's founder, David White, in April 2013. I was saddened to hear of his passing a couple years ago.





"Gimme Some Lovin'": Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, and other guests - Live in London, 1983

I absolutely love this live 1983 version of this summer anthem first recorded in 1966. It brings the song's original vocalist and organist, Steve Winwood, (who recorded it as a member of The Spencer Davis Group) together with an all-star lineup of guests that includes Eric Clapton and Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts.



"We're An American Band": Grand Funk Railroad

Not much to say about this 1973 hit. The music and lyrics speak for themselves. This song is a must for any decent rock playlist. Fun and lively.



"Done Somebody Wrong": The Allman Brothers Band

Recorded live in March 1971 as a part of the band's Live at the Fillmore East album, this is an old blues tune first recorded by Elmore James, a master of the slide guitar. Check out this previous post I dedicated to Elmore James. In it, I included his original version of another hit covered by the Allman Brothers Band, "One Way Out".



"1965 Belgium TV Appearance (Complete)": Chuck Berry

Growing up as a kid, I fell in love with a lot of 50s and early 60s Rock 'n' Roll, fueled largely by the music played at family parties, company picnics, weddings, and during car rides while listening to the local oldies radio station here in Milwaukee. Buddy Holly. Bill Haley. Little Richard. Ritchie Valens. Danny & The Juniors. Jerry Lee Lewis. Del Shannon. Gene Vincent. Early Beach Boys and Beatles. I can go on and on. And one of my all-time favorites from that era is Chuck Berry. I recently came across this show he did for Belgium TV in 1965. It's just under 30 minutes long, and he goes through a good number of his hits, including "Johnny B. Goode" at the end.



"Can't You See": The Marshall Tucker Band

This version of this Southern Rock anthem was recorded live in September 1973 at the Grand Opera House. I never really got into The Marshall Tucker Band, but like many others who never did, we at least know this hit of theirs. Beautiful and brilliant.



"Honeydripper": Big Joe Turner and Count Basie

Recorded in 1974, this tune brings together two legends - blues shouter Big Joe Turner and jazz pianist & big band leader Count Basie, both of whom enjoyed 60+ year careers that spanned from the 1920s-80s.



"Stormy Monday": B.B. King and Albert Collins - Live in Memphis, TN, 1993 as part of B.B. King's Blues Summit concert and album

I've heard so many takes of "Stormy Monday" in my life from countless blues musicians and rock bands. I love it. I love this version, in particular. It's a combination of King's singing, the organ in the background, and Collins' guitar work that does it for me. I had the pleasure of seeing King perform live in downtown Milwaukee back in 1998. I was a sophomore in high school. Went with my dad, and we had seats in the very front row. I was fortunate to score King's autograph on the CD jacket for the Blues Summit album that I brought along with me. While traveling to Missouri in the summer of 2015 to see family, we made a brief stop in Memphis, where we explored Beale Street, including B.B. King's club, where this was recorded.


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

1-833-664-3312

Did you receive a call from 1-833-664-3312? If so, it's a scam.

Yesterday, 5/18/21, I received a call from a Renee Bennett, who claimed in a voicemail to be with the mediation department of a law firm called Jacobson and Wright. Renee, who knew my name, claimed that I was in a breach of contract, and that there were allegations against my Social Security number, including allegations that I may not be aware of. She said it was important I call her back at 1-833-664-3312, ext. 105.

I'm posting this here as a sort of public service announcement. Sadly, many people fall victim to calls like this, and I seek to do what I can to educate others about these types of calls. Two major clues that quickly stood out in my mind that this was a scam call - I know I haven't entered into any contracts lately, and it's safe to assume that a legitimate concern or dispute would have prompted a letter to be sent to me. I've received no letters in the mail. Furthermore, Renee mentioned "allegations" against my Social Security number, which immediately smells fishy. I didn't call Renee back, but if I did, I most likely would have been prompted to "confirm" my Social Security number, and/or "verify" other personal information.

Be on the lookout for calls like these, and do not respond.

For more tips, check out this previous post, Protection from hackers and scammers.  

Friday, May 14, 2021

The benefits of a community garden

Get to know your neighbors by creating a community garden

Creating a community garden is a great way to get to know your neighbors. After all, the seeds of friendship are often planted as people work together toward a single goal. Even valuable networking opportunities can grow out of a community garden project.

So, what's the first step in creating a community garden? Deciding when and where to hold a community garden meeting. Ideally, aim for a date in early spring before planting season arrives. Once you've decided on a place and time for the meeting, post the meeting details on a community notice board or spread the information between neighbors through word of mouth and/or social media. Many neighborhoods and subdivisions now have their own social media pages and groups where news, information, and recommendations are shared by neighbors and local businesses.

On the day of the meeting, have the group decide the specifics of the garden. Will it be a visual garden, a vegetable garden, or both? Also, decide who from the group will obtain any needed gardening supplies and take up a collection to cover the expected expenses.

Once it's time to create the actual garden, seek out the experienced gardeners in the group and pair them off with the group's novice gardeners. Such pairings can create instant connections among group members and will allow those of all skill levels to contribute to the project with greater ease.

Please note that certain locations require residents to obtain a permit or other permissions before implementing a community garden project. If this is the case in your area, then be sure to get the proper permissions before undertaking such a project.

End-of-season clothing sales

Save money on clothes by shopping at end-of-season sales

If you don't mind not having the very latest fashions, you can save plenty of money by shopping at end-of-season sales. Moreover, if you can wait for an item to reach the most discounted rack in the store, then you can expect to save up to 80 percent on your purchase.

To give you a better idea about when to shop for your different wardrobes, here is a general timeline for end-of-season clothing sales:

Spring clothes: April through June
Summer clothes: July through September
Fall clothes: October through December
Winter clothes: January through March

It should also be noted that certain specialized items tend to go on sale around the same time each year. These items include formal party wear in January, bridal gowns in April, athletic clothes in May, and bathing suits in August.

Also, keep in mind that while the larger discounts do tend to occur near the end of a sales cycle, the longer you wait, the less of a selection you'll likely find. If you wait too long before buying an item, it may sell out at your local retailer. If there's a particular piece of clothing that you have your heart set on owning, consider purchasing it at a mid-range discount to lower your odds of it selling out in your preferred size, color, or style.