Monday, November 19, 2007

the old train

I figure the siblings will like this one... remember the train we used to pull around... well Kate apparently had a run in with it at one point. Here she is at Mumsies.
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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

She was a damn good dog.

(note: If you've never loved an animal please don't read any further just go somewhere else -- for the rest of you, I'm pretty sad so just bear with me)
Rosie (bobo) was Cammie and my first purchase together. We got her before we even got married. She went missing on Saturday and our neighbor found her today. She died within 50 yards of our house, and we had called and called for her, and looked all around. We feel pretty sure that someone, (possibly the mean neighbors in the back) poisoned her. She had been fenced in, but when her underground fence wire was cut she didn't seem to notice, and when she did last week, I made an appointment with Cammie to fix it... I guess it wasn't soon enough.

I can't say enough about what a really good dog she was. She didn't beg for food, didn't chew everything in sight. She was great with Kate (who doesn't even know). I'd love to have another like her. I just don't ever see having enough time to spend with her to train her as well, and she'll never be replaced in my heart. We had lots of great memories, her getting "the bird" and hunting with me, playing with Kate. Even the times she got really sick and created gross memories seem fond now.

Rosie, we'll miss you. There won't ever be another like you. Maybe one day Kate will get a granddog of your 20 offspring and raise and train her. You were a faithful partner Bobo, you never let me down. You always admitted when you did wrong. Often before we knew what you did, we knew you did something by that guilty look. You ate Cammie's Nativity scene when we were in Starkville, I'll never forget the laugh we shared after that. I though it was funny, Cammie thought it was a one of a kind heirloom. I'd let you eat anything in the house if you could come back for another 6 years (well anything except Kate). Farewell Bobo, you'll be missed.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was watching a sitcom the other night, and the subject of age came up. One of the characters said "look age is just a number" the other retorted "yeah, a pretty important number!!!"
Important or not, my age is 365 days away from 30, and it does lend itself to some thinking about the past, and that my 20's are almost a thing of the past. I haven't made the million dollars that I was going to make by 30, so I guess I have a pretty busy year lined up too. ;) But I do have the sweetest child, and a great wife and lots to be thankful for. I was out of town (actually still am) last night and Cam sent me photo's of Kate who looked like she was dressed up like Tina Turner. That made my day. I got to have dinner with Cleatus (aka Christy) last night and that was really special. She's been a great little sis as long as I can remember. But since I'm getting so old, I guess my memory could be failing some. I also saw a few old friends while I was traveling around the countryside, and I'm amazed at how fast Starkville is changing. The downtown has really come alive, it was dead when I was there. Parking which every community complains about wasn't great, but it was closer than from the back of the wal-mart parking lot, to sporting goods on aisle 19.
I'm glad to see Starkville coming alive a little more. That's great. College kids seem so young these days, I don't remember them being that young looking in the past.
I also got to see my old Marketing Prof, Dr. Rob Moore, who gave me a pop quiz on his internet marketing class from the day. I was happy to know that I passed with flying colors. It was fun to get to share my success with him as he's encouraged me a ton over the years, and given me sound advice, and even tossed some good opportunities my way.

Enough reminiscing, even a birthday boy has to work to pay the bills!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Live in overdrive

Things are really crazy sometimes, life comes at you pretty fast. It's a mess sometimes, but it's also fun. How is it, the same day my daughter vomits in the bed with me right there, that she also is the funniest and cutest she's ever been later in the same day. She's been hilarious recently, and she is so funny when music plays, she starts dancing, and insisting that mommy and daddy get in on the action too.

Work. Wow, I've never had more fun working in my life. Cammie has been so helpful working with me in the business, we've had some personnel issues and moving / changing bookkeepers, banks and more has made it a little more messy to do business. But it has been great. I've been doing business coaching, and we've been working on some great businesses, and great projects that will change businesses direction for the better. I'm excited about several projects that are underway, and I'll post something about some of that news when it gets finalized.

Life. This week has been one of the best weather weeks that I can remember. It has been incredible here on the coast. Perfect shorts / jeans whichever you choose wear. It has been beautiful at night, the moon tonight looked incredible as I took dinner off the grill. I haven't had enough time to spend with my friends, but I'm hoping as hunting season nears, to try and remedy that situation a little better. I talked to my friend Ryan last night, and he told me he killed a doe, it made me somewhat jealous. I can't wait to hunt, and maybe I'll get back out to Texas soon. I hope that several ducks meet their maker sometime this winter in a duck hole that I can visit. (any offers delta readers?)

It's been a good week to reflect, we have to take Kate to a ENT tomorrow, and along with that, taxes are due... Yuck. Not one of my favorite subjects, but we'll get it taken care of. Fun times on the coast. Come visit, it's beautiful.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Some Beach - Somewhere

Thanks JBC for taking this great shot... Me in a day at the office!
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Friday, September 14, 2007

Week in review

So I haven't blogged much recently, some of you know I've been busy, others of you may just think I've been lazy, it's been a combination of both, so much to tell, but I'll try and hit the high points. I've been working a lot -- which might come as no surprise to many of you. I've taken a position as a Business Adviser / Marketing Coach / Analyst with Halo Business Advisors in Kosciusko, MS. No, I haven't moved, we just travel from time to time. (weekly often). I've been working on some exciting projects, including Taste Of Gourmet, in Indianola, MS and their re-branding and packaging project. My good friend Jonathan Shull from Propeller in Jackson, has been doing the design with Kyle, and I have to post this logo -- because it's so incredible. We've been working like crazy to get their marketing ramped up, and their new product line pricing and labeling ready to go, along with a new catalog and more...including the blog with the most personality on the internet. Evelyn's Blog. (
She's Mississippi's own Paula Deen -- A woman that loves good food and well, I also found out last week that we share a similar taste in beverages.

We've also been cranking out some web site designs. One of my favorite designs ever is the Mockingbird Cafe in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. (oh we did the city site too this summer).
Kate just turned two, and she's still daddy's walkin' talkin' dream. She says so many words, and can say "hello" and "mommy" and "Dad" which is what i'll likely hear in the morning before our weekly pancake breakfast. Mumsy is in town tonight, and we'll get up and cook some breakfast and have a big time with KT in the morning. She loves her mornings, and we always laugh and play and sometimes I take her to "skool" where she loves playing with her friends. She is such a ham, she laughs and talks and tells even complete strangers "hello" and "goodbye." She's not afraid of anything, she loves "Elbow" her favorite Sesame street character (elmo). She loves to go to the beach, and she loves "bobo" her chocolate lab.
Cammie has had some bouts with medical stuff, but she's doing good. She's my new bookkeeper and husslah, at the company. She keeps me on track and has been a great helper. Her company stuff continues on. She's now doing "Dwell Well" and if you don't know how to do that, it's probably time you learn a little about organization and order in your life. Growing up the middle of 7 kids, I didn't ever have anything organized in my life, (except my baseball cards) but she's got me hanging up towels, and having my sock drawer organized (you can fit more in there that way). She's a great mom to Kate, and she's been doing a great job teaching her about life, I'm so proud of her, and all her hard work. She still is the Scheduling Coordinator at Lagniappe Church here in the Bay. She works very hard, and sometimes get a chance to come on work trips with me as well. I'm very proud of all that she's been able to do in the last few months. We've been working on this thing called 'marriage' and it's been a challenge. Two imperfect people living together, what could be easier right? We've learned a lot about communication, and I've learned about how little I know about communicating. (I guess I've gotten it honestly)

It's been a great few months of learning, and growing, and Kate has been a real trooper, been through some sickness recently, and I think she's getting better now. She had a hacking cough but she's been on some pretty strong meds, and she's doing great now.

I'm headed to Louisiana next week for the Destination Downtown conference in Nachodics (ok I can't spell it without googleing it). They are the oldest settlement in Louisiana and home of the movie "Steel Magnolias." Without going in to the whole story, we almost stayed in the house where it was filmed, but we'll be staying down the road. $200 bucks cheaper, speaks volumes. Thanks Cam, for putting up with me, and going on the trip. I'm looking forward to seeing all the folks from the Mississippi Main Street Association. It should be a good time to learn about some of the newest information about downtown revitalization, and more.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

New Employee

I got a new hire today. She gets paid in kisses which is nice. I always can afford to give out a couple extra of those. We colored invoices and sent them out today. Tomorrow sales training begins.
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Saturday, July 21, 2007

5 years

It's been five years now, since the day I got married... and things have changed (see below) ;). We had a great dinner at the Sycamore House in BSL, and it was great. Thanks to Helen who babysat for us. Kate had a big day today, and we went downtown to the BSL depot Days. Be sure and check out the new BSL web site, it's gonna be a big hit. This is Kate with her MSU cheerleading outfit on, she loves it, it's her very fav. She'll be 2 pretty soon, and that's pretty amazing.
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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

fun times

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Back in action.

It's been over 5 years since I 've really played at the ol' watering holes. I think the last time I played at a bar was the day Carl and Shea got married. Wednesday night I played for about 50 folks here at a bar called Clyde's ( coming soon ;).
We had a blast, I have always made up songs off the top of my head, and so I did about 3 numbers, making up stuff about some of the people in the crowd... They loved it, I had a blast. People always ask, "what do you play?" The answer is hard. Everything from Journey, to Willie and Waylon, Old Country, New Country, Queen, John Prine, CCR, Nanci Griffith... plus I've written so many songs that people are starting to ask for by name.
So I guess, what I play is whatever I want to play. I don't have the Steve Perry voice, or the Willie Nelson grinding silk voice, but I LOVE singing. I've always thought that I had to be able to sing like Eddie Vedder, or Randy Travis to be able to do something with music. I've realized I'm wrong. I can be me... And I'm going to start being me a lot more often. It's been requested by many of the folks there on Wednesday. Get ready, cause here I come.
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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy father's day

I know, I am the luckiest dad ever.
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Monday, June 04, 2007

Life continues on and I haven't done much in a while on the guitar other than an occasional Sunday AM. But I've recently gotten back in the ol' saddle writing again. I've got a new song that I'm working on, it's going to be a top 5 hit on the country charts, it has to do with Fishing. You'll love it. Kate and I had a big weekend this past weekend. Cammie was out of town and we had the house to ourselves and spend time playing at the beach and going to visit the Coffee Shop called the Mockingbird Cafe' where Kate has made friends with all the servers. She gets a special milk with a squirt of chocolate...and of course some whipped cream.

Things are busy here in the Bay. Kate seems to be growing up and learning words so fast is scary. I've been getting busy with my company Fox Web Company and trying to keep it between the proverbial ditches. We've also started getting involved with more community stuff, and I've been playing "Cabbageball" which has been fun. It's like softball only without gloves and with a bigger softer ball. But you play it with grown men (and women) and it's a blast.
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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Oh to be there... and not here.

Sinus infection, complete with deep chest cough, I'm actually feeling worse than terrible. You might know what thats like. One of the places I signed up with a while back sends me vacation locations ... This is where I'd like to be. But only if my troubles stayed back in MS. Can't you almost taste that cold beer looking at this spot. Wow... I can.So if you want to book this, and invite me, I'll post the link.
Link To Home

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Insurance - Free Market - Conglomerates

Often while I'm around and about in the Bay, people mention in conversation how much their insurance has gone up. The general consensus is that we need to do something. I don't think the solution is to move somewhere else, because I'm not so sure that it's not just a coastal problem but a problem across the country. Even when we were in Louisville, I was hearing things like "if you call your homeowners insurance carrier too much to ask about claims or file a claim, your insurance will go up..." Insurance is now tied to credit scores, assuming (perhaps rightly so) that if you have credit problems, you are more likely to file a claim. So I started thinking about that. In a sense my company is like an insurance company. People pay us to take care of their web servers, email and web programs. They pay us monthly, and they are paying so that when they have a problem (ie. claim) they can have it handled. Even this morning at 9 AM on a Saturday, I helped a client with his email, by changing a password for him. But the point is, you pay a monthly fee (or yearly fee) and we handle it. Some clients don't ever have problems, some do have more problems, and thats usually the ones with more users to handle. But what if, someone called twice, and I said, "ok your bill is going to double!!! You are paying for my service, but if you actually use it -- I'm going to charge you more! " I'd be in business about 2 weeks before I'd have run off good customers and hurt my bottom line, and people would take their business somewhere else. There are literally probably hundreds of thousands of companies that do what I do across the world. So what if I wanted to leave my insurance company here, and go some where else, I've only got a couple of choices, and even fewer that actually do homeowners insurance. Lack of competition is a problem from the consumer (look at gas prices for instance). Fewer players, means higher prices. Markets where there are many people providing that same service, seems to drive prices down. They call that a free market.

So does it bother me that a huge percentage of "search" goes through one company? Sure it does. What about Cingular, and BellSouth, which is becoming the new AT&T? Does anyone think they'll get better service now? Better prices? I doubt it, I know the service side of it was horrible every time I've ever had to deal with Cingular and BellSouth. It just means we have fewer choices in yet another market. Which means, we have less cheap supply, and demand that is constant which will drive up prices. It's time to do something, and give people a chance to get in to some of these markets and compete -- for instance that Oil & Gas market, with record profits last year of BILLIONS, don't you think that some folks would be getting in to that market. If people are doing great at real estate, you might see that opportunity, and get in on it, and start brokering some deals, or buying land and you can be a player in that market. But oil, thats a different story. I'm not pretending to know all about the oil markets, but I know you don't hear about new people getting in to those markets, and new oil companies. You simply hear about them buying each other, and getting bigger, and prices getting higher, and profits being record breaking.

I'm a firm believer in de-regulating as many things as possible, and keeping the Feds out of as much of our business as we can. It seems like the FEDS can only screw up things when they get involved. Look at immigration and other things that good ol' uncle Sam is supposed to be watching. Our insurance companies need to have an opportunity for more competition, so that prices can come down. Otherwise, only the people who can self insure will build back this region, and prices will fall on everything... I'm sure the market will correct and compensate soon, home prices will surely come down as the supply of them goes up, and they won't have to be insured for as much if the price per sq foot goes down, which will help part of the problem.

I was going to rant about my health insurance going up by a third too, or I can keep my premium the same, but raise my deductible another 1200. I think I'm paying around $1200 a month in insurance right now. Maybe more than that counting my insurance for my company.
If I could simply self insure, and have no major problems, in 4 or 5 years, I could really be doing pretty well on my self-insurance account.
Oh well, not trying to be glum about the subject, but with everything going up higher and higher, it seems like there has to be a better way to offset this inflation.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week in review

It's the first day in a new week, a week in which the first couple of days will be extra fun because of the time change. I love the long summer days, when it's light until 8:30 at night, and if we have to go through the silly clock setting routine twice a year, I guess its ok. We just got back from Emily's wedding. We are all exhausted, everyone except Kate of course, who is fired up and ready. She's been playing with "bobo" Aka the dog, whom she apparently really missed. They've been playing on the floor, sharing carrots and cheerios. She's on antibiotics right now, so we let her eat off the floor even more than usual. Ok, I'm kidding about the floor, but she seems to be in very high spirits today, and was hamming it up with the family this morning at the hotel. She got a couple of her aunt's to hold her that hadn't seen her much, and we took a gazillion pictures.
Speaking of pictures.... I just added about 600 pictures to my computer. All from Emily's wedding. Since she didn't have a traditional photographer, she had several cousins who are very good, and my mother, who is very good take pictures. I ended up being the loading zone, and dumping all the photo's on my laptop. So now I guess I need to get them all put together for E & R.... Plus I have the 250 or 300 we took of kate in the past couple of days, that I need to pare down to 20 pictures.

Last week was a good week, thanks for the comments and the shout outs from the blog-0-sphere. We'll have more to say and I'll find more pictures to post soon.

Monday, March 05, 2007

May I always walk beside her

Kate and I walked along the beach in Gulf Shores, AL. Cam took this photo. I hope I can always walk beside her. She doesn't hold my hand yet, but one day she will, and when she's ready to reach up, I'll be there, reaching down.
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Since there are a couple readers out there

I guess I should continue on... Life on the coast is different than anywhere I've lived before. It's a crazy mix of people, with crazy norms in life, and people are different here than many places I've lived. It's not just the Cajun influence, it's something else I'm pretty sure. I jokingly talked to my friend Dan the other day about it. He noted "down here the girls get pregnant at 17, have a couple of kids and get married, then at 24 or so, they get divorced and want to start their real marriage..."
After Katrina, the desperation of so many is obvious. Last week, I was in the office when my friend grabbed me and said she needed me to do her a favor. I could tell there was terror in her eyes and voice so I grabbed my keys and drove her to the house she needed to go to. It turns out that she had asked me to take her to a crime scene of a prestigious family from the Bay who were involved in a husband & wife, murder suicide. I'll never forget the faces of the family members huddled around, sobbing, saying "I knew it was hard, but I didn't know it had gotten this bad..." It was her husbands cousin, who was involved, and she was terribly upset. I was in shock at the scene, the apartment door covered with a sheet, so the news crew hovering nearby could be held at bay.

What could make someone become this desperate, to loose hope, to let the rage and frustration of life come out in such a way? I know the answer, we all hold it in when we are frustrated, but when you've been through something like this, the wind and the waves of Katrina wash away some of life's inhibitions. We all have, as Jean so keenly puts it "our own personal Katrina" in our lives. Whether it is family problems, drugs or alcoholism, anger issues, or so many other things, we all live in our own little Katrina. We don't all deal with it the same way. Two weekends ago, we drove over to Gulf Shores for a quick get-a-way at Martinique on The Gulf, our favorite place to go. Even though GS had been hit by Ivan not long ago, the place was looking much better, and lives were back to normal it seemed. But it's different here. Things are better, but not normal. I heard the statistic, that over 80% of Waveland residents are still in FEMA trailers. I can believe it. We've seen 4 on our street removed since we moved here in June, but still there are many within eyesight of our house. It's been 18 months since Katrina hit the coast. We have a constant calendar of that timeframe because Kate was born 10 days afterwards. However long she lives, her age will simply be a landmark for how long ago Katrina hit this area. I've heard more news people talk about weather forecasts for the next "hurricane season" and frankly I don't care. It's not in their hands.

In other news I've had a big awakening with my Company and our goals. Our new employee has been doing a great job, and she's making my life much easier, and the company more profitable. Two much needed things for us to be able to get to what I like to call "the next level." I've often heard that it takes 4 or 5 years for a business to become profitable, and that most businesses fail in the first 18 months of their operation. I certainly am aware of many, many mistakes I've made with my company. Some of them in hiring people, some mistakes, in charging too much, and missing an opportunity to get in with a company, some not keeping up with customers enough, and losing that contact which allowed them to go to another vendor. I came to a decision today to rename my company, and re-brand it with a stronger marketing presence and name. We are going to be "Fox Web Company." For those of you who might think of a guy named Carl from Memphis, don't. ') A fox is a cunning and crafty animal, who is smarter than his competition. This is the new Big River Systems. The problem with Big River Systems, was that we weren't really spending the marketing money, letting people know that BRS meant "Web" and "Web site development." No longer the case. I'm hoping to get our new site and branding launched by the end of the month. We'll see if we can get it done. I'm also hoping to have a FWC blog, that talks about business stuff, weekly, to let our clients and potential clients know what we are up to. A footnote to the fox name, is that Cammie's family in Jackson is Fox. We also knew that being in a new location, with virtually no market awareness of who we were, this would be a great time to change names, and market the "fox." I haven't finished the final look of the logo, and branding, but the look above is what we are working with. Any comments you might have would be welcome.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

One of my favorite days in recent history

Happened here. Kate was a bit under the weather, but had a great time playing on the beach and in the pool. She loves Martinique and will surely want to come back and visit her cousins over and over... Here she sits, perched on her daddys shoulders. Having a good time in the good life...
Leave a comment if you still read this thing. I'll try and do better about keeping it up.
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