Phone a friend

I’m going to dial that number, just to see who answers. Sure, I’d be happy to chat about access with this friendly fella:

But I’d be more excited if the person who answers is the ORIGINAL “Mr. T” from 1976 TV show Mr. T and Tina:

Yes, that’s Pat Morita, who left his role as Arnold on Happy Days to star in a sitcom created by James Komack, who had a few hits under his belt with The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, Chico & The Man and Welcome Back, Kotter.

Here’s the Wikipedia synopsis:

Pat Morita starred as Taro Takahashi, a widowed Japanese inventor who is sent with his family (an uncle and sister-in-law) from Tokyo to set up the Chicago branch of his employer, Moyati Industries. He hires scatterbrained and free-spirited American Tina Kelly (Susan Blanchard) as the live-in governess for his children, Sachi (June Angela) and Aki (Gene Profanato).[3]

Mr. T.’s inventions included underpants with a built-in transistor radio and the “flash in the can”, a coin-operated sunlamp in a restroom.[4]

They had me at “underpants with a built-in transistor radio”…

You might be shocked to discover the show didn’t make it. Even with a great lead-in show:

And a great follow-up show in the lineup.

Not only that, but Mr. T and Tina had a pre-Love Boat Ted Lange in the cast as ” hipster Harvard the Handyman”…

They wound up shooting a mere 9 episodes, and only 5 made it to the air before the plug was pulled.

Plots for the few shows produced focused on Mr T’s inventions and the unintentional Americanisation of the Takahashi children at the hands of Tina, who taught them words and phrases such as “cool,” “the pits,” and “neato,” much to Mr T’s chagrin.

The Japanese-American community complained about the racial stereotyping in the show and the ratings flagged quickly. (Source: https://nostalgiacentral.com/television/tv-by-decade/tv-shows-1970s/mr-t-and-tina/ )

You can’t blame Pat Morita for leaving Happy Days. The show sounded “neato.”

But it wound up being “the pits.” That’s OK, because somehow Pat managed to rebound from his TV bomb.

6 of one, half dozen of the other

Singer/songwriter Kristin Hersh (Throwing Muses) is moving, and her son has an interesting take on labeling the moving boxes:

May your day be filled with both!

Varmints!

The power briefly went out on our street a week ago. Duke energy suspects squirrels.

I have no doubt it was those darn squirrels… also known as “rats with a better PR agency.”

Because the outage happened so close to Christmas, I suspect they cut the power on purpose, due to jealousy.

They hate hearing that inane Chipmunk Christmas Song almost as much as I do.

While I have no doubt the squirrels hatched this powerless plot (to mix metaphors), they might have hired someone else to do their dirty work.

Really small business Saturday

If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s side hustles that make absolute no money at all. In fact, you’re soaking in one right now.

In addition to this blog (time investment: 1-3 hours/week. Net revenue: $0/year), I also send out a weekly “this week in live music” post to a mailing list of 100+ fellow music fans (time investment: 2+ hours/week. Net revenue: $0/year).

But I finally came up with a sure-fire, can’t-miss, 100% guaranteed to make money idea: T-shirts with goofy slogans on them!

Why, what nearly- or newly-licensed young man wouldn’t want to wear this snazzy yet snarky shirt?

And what nearly- or newly-licensed young man OR woman wouldn’t want to have this shirt?

Stunt driver, get it? Oh, so wacky!

The answer to both questions, thus far, is: every darn kid in America.

But that’s just because they can’t find these shirts. Or more likely, because their parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, in their desperate search for a 16th birthday gift that’s slightly more affordable than a $400 phone and/or $170 headphones, have yet to stumble upon these gems on Amazon.com (starting at the low, low price of $14.99 for the “stud” t-shirt!).

But they’re on Amazon. They’re also on Teepublic. And Redbubble, where in addition to t-shirts, you can get bumper stickers, coffee mugs, phone cases and dozens of other products emblazoned with the professional artwork shown here.

However, in the “long tail” world of online retail, it’s a bit of a Catch-22. You can’t sell merch until people know about your stuff, but they won’t know about your stuff until you sell some merch.

That’s where you come in, my friends. I suck at shameless self-promotion (present blog post excluded). I barely have a Facebook presence. Ditto for Instagram. I don’t do Pinterest. And if I order 10 t-shirts on Amazon and have them all shipped to my address, that won’t help get the ball rolling… Bezos will see right through my sham sales.

But if YOU buy a shirt, that will boost my “best seller rating” and move me up the search ladder, from my current status on the 361st page of search results, to — dare to dream — the first page! If you buy a shirt AND write a review? Jackpot! The tiny sales snowball will turn into an avalanche, and I’ll be laughing all the way to the bank with my $1.37 commission.

Yes, I know, I’m asking you to open your wallet. And I feel a bit like a slimy televangelist for doing it.

But surely you know someone who is just getting their driver’s license. Hook ’em up with a crappy t-shirt AND help out your old pal dubbatrubba at the same time. Win-win. (Except for your wallet.)

Even if you don’t spring for a shirt, please share an image of the shirt(s) and the Amazon link within your social networks. Post it, Pin it, Gram it… make a TikTok… whatever. (Right click on the t-shirt image above, then choose “save image as” to save it.) And if you know anything at all about Facebook ads or Amazon sponsored ads, let’s talk.

When I make my first million, we’ll have a giant party on my yacht and you’ll be invited. Pinky promise!

Thanks for helping promote the smallest small business in America!

We’re #1… and we’ve got the beer belly to prove it!

Cincinnati’s pro football team is abysmal. Our baseball team is dismal. But in spite of that — or perhaps because of it — we’re #1 in another cherished sport: beer drinking!

Smartasset (great name, btw) used 5 factors to rank the cities:

  1. Total number of breweries
  2. Breweries per 100,000 residents
  3. Average number of beers per brewery
  4. Bars per 100,000 residents and
  5. Average price for a pint of domestic beer in each city

Relative affordability and variety make the city a savory option for even the choosiest of beer lovers.

Smartasset.com article

We truly are #blessed when it comes to #beer. I’ll drink to that!

They’re not pooches, they’re mooches.

Our household has four pets. The two low-maintenance, no-muss, no-fuss cats? Those would be mine.

The “wake up” and “be awesome” parts are optional.

The two giant, stinky, dirty-pawed, have-to-let-them-out-no-matter-the-weather beasts? Those belong to my wife.

However, I usually get up before my wife, and as soon as the dogs hear signs of life, they are rarin’ to go. So I have to let them out each morning, and feed them breakfast. But dogs being the tricky creatures that they are, with no self-regulating stomachs, would bust out the “puppy dog eyes” when my wife got up, and act like they hadn’t just been fed.

Exhibit A: Hope, as in “I hope she falls for it.”
Exhibit B: Bibo, the poor widdle pupper-wupper who is STARVING!

But their days (and nights) of doggie double dipping are OVER, thanks to a state-of-the-art solution called an “index card.”

“Breakfast” on one side, “dinner” on the other. Once we fill the bowl, we flip the script.

Don’t call PETA on me, these dogs are in no danger of starving anytime soon. They still use those puppy dog eyes to get a spoonful of peanut butter every day… and they occasionally help themselves to whatever food is within snout’s reach on the counter.

Be sure to tune in next time for Episode 2: Dogs taking up the entire bed.

%d bloggers like this: