Hello again fans of quality rock music:

I hope the New Year has gotten off to an amazing start.

Please check out the CD below especially since the chances of me applauding any artist after 1979 is rarer than a winning Lottery Ticket.

Have a fantastic week,

Craig

******

April Martin- Pennies In A Jar 2010

http://www.aprilmartin.com/

The chances of an artist or band that secured a record contract after 1979 making its way to my ears would be as prevalent as a Lunar Eclipse coinciding with the Winter Solstice.

April Martin’s magnificent effort possesses all the ingredients to be the exception to the rule.  The music is the star; she is unassuming throughout the fourteen tracks, recalling her influences while chiseling the road ahead, and all along the journey always comfortable in her own skin thanks to the success of her day jobs (the practice of psychology and public speaking).

April’s admiration for Joan Baez, Buffy St. Marie, and Peter, Paul & Mary from the 1960’s folk scene is evident and the same can be said for the hankering of the Everly Brothers, the Beatles, and Carole King.

April’s collection of songs came to the attention of Peter Calo (Carly Simon, numerous other session works, as well as a recording artist in his own right).  Peter produced the CD with the culmination that properly articulates April’s vision while splendid to the senses.

The conjurations of the folk oriented tracks are evident from the initial listening.  “Pennies In A Jar” doesn’t take a multitude of attention before you appreciate the contentment between the lyrical and music content.  From the openings notes of “Out of My Hands” (a defectless choice to start the festivities) to the final seconds of “Warrior of the Heart”, April has guided us through a rippleless sea.

I’m irresolute to remove the disc from the CD player knowing it may be another couple of centuries before I’m enthralled again by a release of recent vintage.

All the best,

Craig Fenton

Author: Jefferson Airplane Take Me To A Circus Tent

Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonight

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Hope the Mother’s Day Weekend was all you wanted.  I miss my parents everyday of the year.

Have you ever come across a product that you hoped would live up to the hype, the technology would be advanced enough to give you the level of satisfaction you seek?

Recently I thought I found something that would be a tremendous way to promote the new speaking/writing course Painting My Room In A Colorful Way.  It’s a software that converts text from an article to a video.

There is some work involved and it isn’t as user friendly as it should be but if it had made the grade of at least a B+ I could overlook the imperfections.  The short story on the inner workings is you take an article and paste the title and the text into the appropriate boxes.  You can upload a photo if you would like or use one of their stock images.  You have the opportunity to upload audio or use one of their files.  They offer different type of backgrounds and fonts but not font sizes (that is one of the many facets that needs improving).

Once you have pasted the text in the box you are forced to make the words separate paragraphs regardless of how you feel about this.  Each paragraph gives you the opportunity to use 1 of 8 voices (4 female and 4 male).  An imperfection that came up right away was sometimes only one voice would work.  Other times all eight could be selected but a few sounded overly robotic.

The text must all be in English and the software doesn’t understand ” or ‘ so you have to make sure to remove those before getting into the final phases.  Another surprising failure is at times a basic word is not understood.  If you could imagine my surprise when “Dog” freaked out the system.  None of the voices understood the word but could read circumvent or superlative.

There were times I had to close out of the software because the voices picked up completely unrelated gibberish.  Instead of reading the text a series of numbers that had nothing to do with the article were being articulated.

The overall start to finish time is about 3 minutes per article but it would be far better to be 10 and have the error rate go down considerably.

My first inclination and using the product only enhanced my view is that it was released too soon.  There are so many issues that could use tweaking.  At the very end of the video the author’s information is shown in such small font Superman couldn’t read it with X-Ray vision.  The eight voices are not recorded at the same level so there is not a consistent tone throughout the presentation.

I have a link to a video I uploaded and the result isn’t bad but it is only because as a former disc-jockey and somebody that has been around audio/video forever I was able to use some tricks of the trade.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geUgs-pDTjM

Thanks for your time and enjoy the day.
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Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, and phone coaching).  He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite.  Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

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A Centrist Point Of View On The Price & Profit Of A Gallon Of Gasoline

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

By a quick show of hands how many would agree to pay 1.00 American money for a gallon of gas from this day forward and forever? I proved my point already. Since I constructed the article I do hope I can ask you to indulge me with two minutes of your time to read the rest.

I often find it difficult to comprehend why on a plethora of topics people gravitate to the left or right and never consider the middle of the road? Since we are talking about the Oil Companies and billions in profits why not continue with the theme. On one side you have people yelling that the profit made in four months time for some of the oil corporations in 2008 were the largest in history. On the flip-side of the coin individuals yelled back that the amount of total taxes paid by the oil industry is probably the highest in North America and they directly or indirectly employee millions of people of all wage levels. Both sides have valid points but are leaving something out of the equation.

Why should the profit a corporation makes at the end of a fiscal year raise your eye? Shouldn’t the bottom line be the price and the value of the service. In 1976 wasn’t a gallon of gasoline roughly fifty-five cents in the United States? Oil executives still were driving the luxury cars and taking their families on trips around the glob. Resentment was minuscule because common sense dictated that if you can get a gallon of gas for under one dollar you have received total value for your hard earned money.

You can use an infinite amount of industries to further solidify the central point of view. Sports would be a perfect one for the next example. In 1973 George Steinbrenner purchased the New York Yankees baseball team for ten million dollars. Last week it was revealed that even with an economic recession the club is worth 1.5 billion dollars. The Yankees are a cash cow for the sales sold per game, the revenue generated from their own television network called YES, merchandising, and several other marketing gems. If you can’t afford to see the team play in person every game can watched on television and listened to on the radio. They show twenty games a season on free TV and a basic cable package on many systems grants you access to the YES Network. From 1995-2007 the team made the playoffs every year.

You can see that in a capitalistic society if a product is legal and ethical we shouldn’t begrudge the Steinbrenner family for being able to own a billion dollar enterprise. As long as the product is competitive and a fan can follow the team via the media outlets mentioned above, the amount of revenue they receive should not be an issue.

Why don’t we all put our heads together on finding ways to keep gas prices stable and in a legitimate price range. If turns out we accomplish the goal let the executives have the house in Maui and Beverly Hills because we can fill-up without mortgaging our own property.


Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, email, and phone coaching). He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite. Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer. http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

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WWTCD What Would The Colonel Do? The KFC Grilled Chicken Was Nowhere To Be Found

The big day is here! No, it isn’t the moment the beautiful lady neighbor agreed to go out with me, but on my calender in bold it states “Kentucky Fried Chicken KFC Grilled-Chicken Product Launch.”

Thus far the test marketing had been superlative. Containing less fat, calories, and cholesterol the new product on the block was ready to take a front counter seat as a healthier alternative to the fast food artery clogging ingredients.

This morning I am the first person through the door at the local KFC. In my possession is a hungry appetite and a pen and paper for my own review. As I break the land speed record from the front door to the service line I was delivered a blow to the head. Not all locations regardless of the population of the town have been set up to offer the new grilled chicken sandwich for sale. Perplexed as usual I could barely utter the words to the polite employee behind the counter. How can this be with all the hype and time for the product launch?

The word communication would be the answer, sort of. As it turns out not only did all the KFC’s not receive the okay to offer the new product today but the employee had no information as to when they will be approved.

In no way did she act indifferent about the situation. It sounded as if her goal was to try the product as soon as possible. I got handed an address and phone number (which in no way were they obligated to do) of the closest Kentucky Fried Chicken location that offers the grilled chicken.

Since the corporation didn’t articulate their thoughts and game plan correctly the local branch lost several customers today. When I left the premises a husband and wife, and three co-workers were right not far behind.

I learned many phenomenal lessons from my parents (missed more each day) and one of them is to be proud of your community and try to keep money within a close proximity of where you live. Each dollar spent helps keep the economic blood flowing and the publicity of the town positive.

These words are something I hope that the representatives of Kentucky Fried Chicken heard today. Every intention was made to support a new product and do so within a few miles from the home. The best laid plans. The rest of the quote we can finish later, because I’m hungry.


Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, email, and phone coaching). He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite. Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.
http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

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Next to your dog are you looking for a new best friend? Don’t worry your pet will never be jealous. Here are three hints, the word is nine letters long, starts with T and ends with S. Are you on the right track? That was a great guess, but not what I had in mind.

It’s the often overlooked marvel called a thesaurus. If you want to improve your writing and speaking ability for business, scholastic, and or personal use this is a tool that can only benefit and never result in negativity.

A thesaurus will enable you to take ordinary words and exchange them for those that have power, passion, and makes the listener or reader focus on your content? Why? Most people are using the simplest word or terminology for their written work or oral presentations and there isn’t anything that differentiates John Doe from Jane Doe or Joe Person from Jill Person.

To give you an indication of what a thesaurus can do why don’t we experiment. A typical sentence will be articulated as follows “It was an important speech.” Let’s use the handy thesaurus and try again. “The speech was incomparable.” “The speaker clearly distinguished himself from all others.”

How often do you hear the word awesome overused? It is at the point that the meaning has lost luster because some people say awesome every other sentence. Why don’t we try to substitute something more powerful? The normal sentence reads “The rainbow that followed the storm was awesome.” The colors of the rainbow following the storm were majestic.”

Why be run of the mill when you have the ability to excel. There is no reason a person of any age can’t build a strong vocabulary and be more confident and comfortable in their expression. The thesaurus is remarkable for the results you can achieve regardless if you are a professional writer or speaker. Each time you use it not only will your results be more superlative but you have increased vocabulary skills for future reference.

If you decide to put a thesaurus under observation on your computer or purchase the actual product, the end will more than justify the means. It’s never too late to be the best you can, especially when the cost is not humongous. Pet the dog and let him know he’s always number one and gets the gold metal, you can save the silver for the thesaurus.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

Thank you for the kindness of Chris for making this part of his Blog Carnival!

http://www.purposepowercoaching.com/site/?p=362

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Painting My Room In A Colorful Way is the ultimate guide to better speaking, writing, and self-confidence with a book, audio files, email support, and phone coaching. With a price that won’t leave you speechless. Includes a money back guarantee.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

One of the latest social networking phenomenons is Twitter.  It seems to be on the mind of every celebrity, politician, student, business owner, and social maven.

If you aren’t aware of what Twitter is, here is a brief description.  Twitter lets you post (the catch is 140 characters total or less) what you are doing, thoughts on a subject, a plug for a product, or a hello to your friends.  You follow Twitter users and they can follow you as well.

Here is where I have found a new use of the site.  One of the exercises I am currently teaching is how to say what you need to in articulate sentences while still staying in the 140 character restriction.

Yes, there are ways to circumvent the limitations such as using u for you or 4 and not 4 but when you can get a full impact to the reader without having to abbreviate your thoughts, you have learned a valuable tool.

When you speak or write the key is to keep the attention of those that you are communicating with.  We often find ourselves endlessly explaining something that could be stated in more concise patterns.

The exercise is can be advantageous for the sports commentator that has to get his point across between each pitch of a baseball game or in between downs of a National Football League broadcast.  It can help somebody on a job interview think faster and better their choice of words.  Maybe you are a business owner and need to get the attention of a future client in a couple of sentences, or you are writing a headline for a blog post.

Whatever the reason why not try this.  Think of a message you want to get across to friends, family, co-workers, and so on.  Start to write the contents in Microsoft Word.  When you have finished check the character count and if it is over 140 try to condense it without using abbreviations and losing the meaning of your thoughts.  The next thing you can do is to take something that you have already posted or written that is over 140 characters and see if you can truncate this as well.  It is not always feasible to be effective with a word or character limitation but for practice it can only benefit your speaking and writing capabilities today, tomorrow, and further down the road.  What have you got to loose but a few words.   Good luck!

**********

Craig Fenton is the creator of Painting My Room In A Colorful Way (the ultimate speaking and writing course with written, audio, and phone coaching).  He is the author of the Jefferson Airplane book Take Me To A Circus Tent and the Jefferson Starship Have You Seen The Stars Tonite.  Craig lectures with a one time member of the Grateful Dead and a legendary American Rock & Roll Photographer.

http://www.learnpublicspeakingskills.com

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Not speaking and writing your best isn’t as funny as this video.  Enjoy it.

Thanks!

Video is here:

http://odurl.com/nC
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