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Monthly Archives: April 2012

I Remember -10 minute exercise

I remember the really hot days in our huge backyard.  Some summers we had a slip and slide,  some summers we had enough clean mud (clean mud has no rocks or bricks or pesky grass to impede your slide). One summer we had garbage bags at the end of a metal slide, we must have had that hose running down the slide and into the mud-pool for hours. I know we started with the sun up, and ended when the sun was down. Our back yard served as a mini ball field, playground, festival grounds, and parking lot in the summer.

The small cement platform in front of the detached garage was a basketball key. My cousin and his friends used to build ramps in the backyard to launch their BMX’s. In my memory, they launched those bikes as high as the rotten apple tree in the corner of the yard. Those apples were born rotten and grew that way and until they were swatted like baseballs over the fence and into the street. I’m sure there is a metaphor for the rest of this story somehow. I remember having bitten one or two-to no avail. That huge backyard also had a metal woodshed in the other back corner, and it was always full of wood. For a decade it was full of wood. I know we had a chimney in the house, it protruded from the roof, announcing the house’s age and tradition. Any fireplaces there once were had long been removed before they were ingrained in my memory. I remember all that wood being removed at one point as well. Bicycles being were then stored in it. The huge garage had become an unfit place for them.

That garage was half automotive laboratory and half butcher shop. There were auto body parts and evidence of carnage and engine torture devices hanging from the walls. Pools of oil from poor cars  -I seem to remember at least two orange tanked Triumphs- being subjected to mediocre auto craftsmanship. The butcher shop half, was lined with wipe-clean white plastic panelling, and had been used for butchering at one point. This at least was the explanation given when the dogs would dig up jaw bones from the “dog area.” This was the off-limits area between the two sheds, where the dogs would often do their business. The slip and slides and mud pits would certainly not be set up there. Any balls, kicked batted, or bounced, would be declared foul. It was certainly the potential condition when they had been retrieved.

All of this comes back to me as I wound up the garden hose today. I smelled that warm rubbery water that used to be just fine and acceptable to live on from April until September.

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Posted by on April 29, 2012 in 10 Minute exercises

 

Wanee Day 3 (Saturday)

Wanee Year 3

Rain Delay for Trigger Hippy

Saturday was a little wet. We woke up and made breakfast, A big pan of scrambled eggs with onions and peppers. We had cowboy coffee, home-fries and bacon. Without fighting with the damp fire wood, we were able to cook over it. We didn’t have a strict timeline today, but we needed a good meal, it was going to be long day no matter what. There was a lot of music to be had today. We made it down to the fair grounds about 1pm, right before a band called Trigger Hippy came on. We wanted to here what they had to say, because it was Joan Osbourne doing the singing. Her hit debut record was incredible and I think St Theresa is one of her best performances. They were delayed because of a little rain, but they came on as soon as they could. While they were sound-checking and warming up, Joan treated us to a soulful a capela “I Cant Stand The Rain,” When they started playing it was a great 45 min set, again abbreviated by a rain delay, but well worth it. Bands at Wanee want to play for us.

 

Gov’t Mule was coming on at 3:15. We have a dedication to this band. It was on line at The Ritz in Ybor City that I was first told about Wanee. It was one of the first dates between The co-founders of Conservative Hippyism. I ran out and bought tickets the next day and have vowed never to miss a Wanee since. It was Warren Haynes rendition of Sugaree during that Ybor show that made me fall for The-Curly-Blonde-Haired-Girl-with-Whom-I-Live, and that live version was played at our wedding, all 11 minutes of it. Eddie Vedder’s Longing to Belong is our official wedding song, but we danced to Mule’s Sugaree as well. Warren & Co cam on and started rocking us from word one. He had to be pulled off the stage and unplugged when the rain came, or else he would have kept playing. He played for us as long as he could while we danced in the downpour. Thats a man who loves his fans. We took the hint, and started the refugee march in the mud back to the campsite. It was a trail of cheers. It was also a good excuse for us to go get some much needed rest. We got back to camp and had to rearrange some things in the tent which had gotten wet. We made a little snack, and then called it quits, the two of us crashed for about an hour. Our Man Clint was lounging outside of the Captain’s Van under his tarp as well. A rain nap is great. When we shook it awake, Furthur had come on and we caught the last part of their day 2 show, in fact we made just time for Shakedown Street.

The crowd at the BACK of the field during Shakedown Street

This show was broadcast live on Sirius XM Grateful Dead Channel. They played a long show, and we had about forty-five minutes before The Brothers came on. We checked out EOTO at the Mushroom Stage, who was good. We knew we wanted to be ready For ABB, who would be making up for a delay the night before and a few gaffed improvs. THe night cleared when they took the stage. I kid you not, the clouds disappeared and the stars came out. I asked the folks in front of me, since they had their Skymap App running, which planet was shining so bright;y to the West. It was Jupiter. Planets don’t twinkle is the rule. This ABB set was incredible. It was also being broadcast on Sirius Xm, on the Deep Tracks Channel. Jessica, with a little Watchtower interlude, The best Into the Mystic I have ever witnessed, and then Luther Dickinson came out.  He’s practically and Allman Cousin, or Step-Brother. His style is waaaay grittier and stripped down, and so complimentary to The incredible soul of Haynes and manic slide of Trucks. During Walk on Gilded Splinters, in a feat I will try to explain but is impossible to do justice, They started trading. The three of them each had a solo, then they traded 16’s and for a few, then 12’s, then 8’s for a few, then like the gods of chaos, threw 4 counts seamlessly between them at least 4 times before returning completely unscathed to the harmony. Fucking amazing. And the fireworks punctuated the routine. The smuggled explosives set off in an uncontrolled, highly populated and wooded area, how tame compared to the music we just witnessed.

The set ended and an encore of Neil Young’s The Needle and The Damage Done was a perfect little comedown, and a double encore of Southbound, with a bunch of cameos (except L.D. who was setting up his own show) did the trick. I had been baptized in fire and rain again.

North Mississippi All Stars Closing Wanee

We decided that we had luck leaving our chairs and finding them again, so we left our chairs and went to the Mushroom After Midnight show. Remember what I said earlier about the chair tradition and culture. When we got to our chairs I saw to people just getting comfy and settling in. I apologized and asked them for our chairs, thinking they would follow the tradition and evacuate. Tough guy (with the hula-hoops) looked at me, picked up the chair, folded it and handed it to me. I kicked his hula-hoops, stepped on them and the grabbed the other chair. Not very Wanee of either of us, I admit. We found a good spot and watched the Dickinson brothers, Luther and Cody give Wanee 12 the closing salut it deserved. North Mississippi All Stars is a raw hard pounding blues band that specializes in incredible percussion (Cody) and hard roots deep riffs (Luther). It was a great way to end an incredible night of music andthe the cherry on top of the Wanee cosmic cupcake. Cody Dickinson blessed us with the electric washboard. We folded our chairs and I couldn’t put it back in the bag, that was gone. We walked back to the Peach Stage to retrieve the chairs we left, and they were gone. Since the last show was the last show, the field was dragged clean. Our chairs weren’t in the pile of discarded chairs either. A little disappointing, especially since a favorite quilt was in the back bag of one of those chairs. On the way our of the festival grounds we recognized on of the chairs next to a dumpster, it had been torn and mangled. What the heck had happened? Oh well, off to bed, build a fire and eat some marsh-mellows before bed. Thank you Wanee, it was a small sacrifice for the weekend.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Wanee

 

Wanee Day 2

The stars the night before whispered me a promise of blue skies and sunshine. Their word was made good. Getting that damned fire started was the job of The-Curly-Haired-Blonde-Girl-with-Whom-I-Live.  She was creating some kindling from the logs we had bought. Our hatchet was not sharp enough, regardless of the viscous talking to I gave it, and the metal file. Turns out she was also spraying them with insecticide to get them to stay lit. We got the fire going and cooked bacon and potatoes and scrambled eggs. The coffee came up cowboy style, meaning you either let it sit, or filter it through a paper towel, or both. Our Man Clint had a Natty. Can.  I wanted to yell, “Beer for breakfast, Two-Bit?” but I though it would have come off as condescending when I had to explain my vague reference, ( not giving it to you here, either). Now I wish I had at least given him the respect of a shot.

It was the first full day of Wanee. That meant the ceremonial dress was called for. The kilt and the Allman Bros. cowboy hat. That get-up got me a yes to a marriage proposal a year earlier. All I’m saying.

We started our day on the great lawn of the Peach Stage. I had known Bruce Hornsby from his days with The Range and his hit Mandolin Rain.  I heard his improvisation and Jam style on the radio and really gained an appreciation for his roots. The lawn was packed. The guys on front of me said it best, “I need a nice energetic set to get this day going.” The fella, cant find the word, next to him was the freak show for the morning. Amid the dreadlocked white folks, and blue fairies with wings, the walking dead, the half naked and Frisbee jocks, this guy stood out. The mpb and tight-form mustachio with JustforMen fadeout, the bright green polo (starkly contrasted logo) collar popped, stiffly popped,  was a beacon. In the bright cloudless day, he was a beacon. The unfortunate thing about this from the get go was that he did this intentionally. The little cartoon whale playfully spouting water in it’s uncanny, nonchalant needlepoint playground that was a belt. Vineyard Vines. Parrot-Heads think this site is corny-white-people-shit . The belt was only visible because the polo was tucked in (to his underwear no doubt). Let me say right here that I know how meant this section is, but it’s for his and your own good. Yes, It is. And the shorts that fucking belt was keeping up were were so short I thought I may have seen his…anyway. The pale man thighs just kept getting slathered with sunblock, over and over again he did it, ankles (no socks, duh) calves man-thighs, bald head…over and over again. The capstone on this altar of awkwardness was the bag hanging on the back of his chair, it was embroidered with the logo and seal of Harvard Graduate School of Design. That’s the bag you bring to Wanee. Alright, I’m done. That was unfair, but seriously, you should have seen the poor man.

Hornsby was great. He also honored Levon Helm with his rendition of The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down. It was seriously moving. It’s a great song, done right you can’t go wrong. I never thought I would have reverence for an account of seeing Robert E. Lee’s ghost and one Virgil Cain’s account.

We left that stage to go to the Mushroom and see British blues savant Matt Schofield. He could summon lightning like Thor’s hammer from his guitar. I had never experienced him before and I’m glad we did. The early afternoon air was cool and the sky was as clear blue as my son’ eyes. The seats we left there the night before were still there. They always are. (read on) Its one of the great things about Wanee. People will sit in them and keep them for you when you are away and immediately get up and say thank you when you get back. I was embarrassed at how surprised I was that this worked so well. It’s part of what spawned Conservative Hippyism. We sat in the shade and bobbed our heads to the beat. The-Curly-Haired-Blonde-Girl-with-Whom-I-Live bobbed and weaved until she fell asleep for a few.

Zeus and Athena

We returned to the camp-sight for lunch. Kielbasa and sauerkraut did the trick, and we made it back for one of big draws and favorites of ours: Tedeschi Trucks Band. My only complaint is that while Susan Tedeschi has a couple of solos, this band doesn’t let her go crazy like I know she can. Her voice might be proof of divinity. Her husband’s unmatchable slide guitar and fierce aggressive style is proof of a lower power.  It’s blues and Gospel with proof instead of a warning.

We stuck around for Furthur. They were a headliner and responsible for the VIP tix selling out. With Phil Lesh and Bob Wier of the Grateful Dead at the wheel, the Boomers came in full force. The yuppie sector apparently got the memo as well. The age range went up my at least two administrations. Widespread Panic the last two years drew younger crazier SpreadHeads. The DeadHead faction mostly hold jobs and have become all they they thought they were fighting in their youth.  Further opened with Not Fade Away, got the crowd singing along from the beginning. The next hour and a half was nonstop jam. From song to song, Fire on the Mountain to Touch of Grey, it was a 90 minute session set. Impressive as hell. The dread locks were flying everywhere. The ocean of tie dye ebbed and flowed in the changing beats and rhythms.

We used the set break to go have some dinner. We fried the leftover Indian food we had stopped to eat on the ride up, and washed it down with chili and wiener. Some boiled cowboy style coffee and we were right back to the stage. The Brothers were coming on soon and we didn’t want to be late for that. Thank goodness we rushed or we might have missed the hour delay. As reconciliation the set was peppered with appearances by Susan Tedeschi and Bob Weir. They gave us Midnight Rider. I announced that Devon’s version the day before was better. The lady in front of me said that was the third time she and heard that and that Bruce Hornsby’s version was good too. I had left to early to hear it that morning.  The Levon Helm tribute, “The Weight” went off pretty good. Blue Sky is a favorite, especially when mine was there with me. It was a blessing to be able to sing it to her and have the Brothers back me up. The highlight of the performance was the impromptu pirate pyrotechnic display. During a guitar duo by the great Haynes and Trucks team, mortars launched from the crowd and exploded in burning hydrangean sunrises. It surprised the band too but they seemed to get juiced up. Only at Wanee is it not okay to bring your own drinks into the fairgrounds, but explosives in close quarters are alright, man.

We made the trek over to the Mushroom stage and claimed the seats that were so graciously being kept warm for us, and watched about an hour of Particle. These guys have been imitated, but never outdone. Conspirator the night before is even a little different. Particle does what they do best. The drummer is constant and energetic, the guitars are improvisational and melodic, the whole thing is conducted by the keyboardist and computer/laser jockey. The Mushroom after Midnight was incredible this year, and Particle was the High Point.

We got on the trail and back to the site about 1:30 am. A long great Day of Music was behind us, and there was another one just like it coming with the sunrise. We conjured fire one more time and ate some marsh-mellows before crashing to sleep.

 
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Posted by on April 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Wanee Day 1

Wanee Day 1

 

I woke this morning with a pounding head and dry mouth. Not cotton mouth, completely bone dry mouth, teeth, gums, tongue and throat. Luckily it was just the result of a head cold forcing me to breath through my mouth all night. couple that with the Nyquil geltabs and the sleeping pill I took, what was I saying?  The Curly-Haired-Blonde-With-Whom-I-Live was already awake and finishing the Wanee Weeks food prep.  Conservative Hippyism was born at Wanee. We packed and left in a little haste. We forgot our broom to sweep the tent. I guess we’ll be bringing some North Florida Dust back to mix with the Central Florida Sand-Dirt. We remembered our Almond Joy coffee creamer and Nedi Pot. We could minimize our operation a little anyway.

will call

will call AT Wanee '12

The three hour drive to Live Oak was over in a blink. Only a gas and pee break after an Indian (dots not feathers) lunch delayed us. The Will Call line was not quick. The anticipation was killing me. I felt like a kid trying to get into Disney World after hours strapped to my seat, only to have to wait just outside the gates in the burning sun. The Suwannee staff was patient and quick, Canahelpya’s were coming every 2 minutes or so. We weaved our way, wristbands qualifying our presence, through the campground areas, the place was jammed already. Tie-dyed tapestries and tents sprouted from tree lines like lichen in the damp forest. The lakeside sites were taken, which isn’t an option for us anyway. This time of year the lake is usually low and a little dank. The creepy unprotected field camping was full. The field camp is what a modern day POW camp would look like, if the war were between people who don’t care and people who don’t fight.

We ventured all the way out to F camp. Where there is plenty of space and canopy. It too was nearly full. We chose a spot and were immediately warned by neighbors to make sure we weren’t accidentally setting up on “the road.” Our neighbor’s name was Clint and he was from Georgia. He drove a 6 door van with a lift and all-terrain tires. He spoke slowly. Maybe he was just choosing his words. Maybe I’m justa damned yankee who speaks to quickly. We saw him again at the jambalaya tent down on the festival grounds. We spoke of bacon and quantities thereof packed for the trip. In the heat of the afternoon we made a pct to look after one another’s camp. Ironically neither of us were doing that at the time.

Ray Manzarek

Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers band

The first act we caught was Ray Manzarek and Roy Rogers Band. The two played with the Doors and blessed us with Riders on the Storm. Shit like that gives me the feeling I have broken on the back door of a museum I am not old enough to get into. Two years ago when I saw Greg Allman perform Melissa acoustically I knew I was getting away with theft.

Devon Allman was the performance I was there for. Last year he did a rendition of Prince’s Purple Rain which almost made me cry. Fu%k it, i cried. I shouted it a few times. He didn’t play it this year. He always does Midnight Rider with a searing solo at the end to make sure you know he owned it now. Someone had a cardboard cutout of his dad. He had to tell the guy that it was creepy. He was soulful and alive. His Honeytribe  is a gritty stripped down trio built around him. It opened up and started pouring during one of his harder solos. POSERS left. You can have’em.

Devon Allman

Devon Allman through the trees.

Hot Tuna played what seemed like a muted set. Not very load and not very energetic. Underwhelming.

Levon Helm died today. I’m waiting to hear Cripple Creek in his honor. Hot Tuna played two undistinguished tunes I didn’t recognize.

We walked back to our camp-sight with the jamtronic sounds of Conspirator mocking us for turning in early. Late night at the Mushroom Stage is a Wanee Sub-Phenomena. You could come for it just that and get all your money’s worth. Mushroom after Midnight deserves its own space.

The Curly-Haired-Blonde-Girl-with-Whom-I-Live made me smile

The campsight was a little wet from the short downpour earlier, but the wood was still dry. After a few dozen tries, we got a fire lit and sustained long enough to eat enough hotdogs to justify marshmallows (at Wanee they’re marsh-mellows) right before bed. The line in the sky where the clouds of the day met the clear star freckled universe of the next day was tangible. The universe was smiling and winking at us. The Conservative Hippy and The-Curly-Haired-Blonde-Girl-with-Whom-He-Lives were back at Mecca. Wanee!

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2012 in Wanee

 

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What’s in a name.

It has come to my attention that some people are breaking out in hives over the Conservative Hippy. Not so much the things we say we or things we stand for, but that we are using the word “hippie” for our own purposes. Basically it’s a case of putting personality before principles, once again.
I’ve been told that you can’t be a hippy if you don’t reek of patchouly. I knew a kid in college that you could smell in the dormitory hallway. Now, dormitories are cinderblock buildings with deliberately fire safe stores. Behind each hallway door was a small study area and communal bathroom. There was another door to get into the bedroom. His personal acquired eu de toilette traveled through that like Kryptonian radiation. Maybe it’s seeped, but typically it was more like Antoine Rockamora a.k.a. Tony Rocky Horror crashing through the greenhouse after being thrown out of the window by Marsellus Wallace for touching his wife’s feet. Patchouly is so obnoxious that it really makes people think that you’re trying to be happy more than you really are. It’s like Pepe le Pew leaving a trail behind him which curdles milk, turns hair gray, and makes feathers fall out of birds. You know when you first smell pot at a concert and you look around see where it’s coming from and you just know what’s going on- and that you’d like to make a new friend. You know damn well when you smell patchouly you look around only want to figure out how to throw that person out of your personal olfactory locus of control. I mean, haven’t we all seen High Fidelity yet?

I was all still told that Conservative Hippyism is a straight up oxymoron. I was told by one person who has no generational qualification nor conservative qualification. But he is a good friend. I was also told by somebody has a huge generational qualification and was part of the avant-garde of New York/New Jersey style northeast hippie-ism. I give it that label because there was definitely a difference between what was going on in New York/New Jersey/Boston/Providence and what was happening in Haight-Ashbury, San Diego and Seattle. The point is, he told me that Hippyism was an all out rebellion against the status quo. Anything that the “establishment” had in mind they would rebel against by all means necessary- to be as counterculture as possible. He insinuated that one of the biggest definitions therein was a complete turn on conservative viewpoints. I agreed, that would have been counterculture to the time and I never hold it against him -the movement he was a part of. Unbeknownst to him he made my point exactly. I thanked him for the advice and vowed to stay counterculture-stay against whatever the current establishment tells me is right and to make sure that by all means necessary I rebel against the current trend. Conservative Hippyism is not an oxymoron. In fact we’re the only Hippies and left. The old guard is now the biggest supporter of “the establishment. “Those of us who never wavered, never sold out, never bought in to the establishments government run ideas of how people should live their life, in general and even down to how we should recycle our garbage and, specifically to the most intimate details of how we should choose to have a child, what to use as contraception, and with the audacity, the audacity to make believe that they have a right to make others pay for it. And then they use women’s health and concerns as a beard to disguise it as compassion.

Conservative Hippyism is not oxymoronic, it is one of the few outlets of actual rebellion- jump on board the love train. If you’re wearing patchouly you’ll be thrown under the wheels.

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Local Reluctant Anti-Hero “Big Mama” Allison Alexander {in progress}

Allison Alexander is the 2nd of 5 sisters, daughter of a Viet Nam vet and a stay-at-home-mother, and a mother of 12. Allison’s teen years were full of acting out and troublemaking. It resulted in her becoming a ward of the State of Tennessee for a time. From humble beginnings etc…In August 2004 she had been living in the Tampa Bay area working as a nanny for a very wealthy and very appreciative family. The promise of financed college-Stetson U-paid for by the family for whom she nannied was not enough to keep her from following a calling. Allison left a cushy job in Florida as a nanny. Her “Nanny Quarters” was a multiple bedroom house and private driveway. She left for Honduras and the life of a poor missionary. The work that she believed she was doing as a disciple of Christ and as a sister of the human family, was teaching and volunteering in an orphanage. The human warehousing was stark there. While it helped kids survive it certainly did not offer them the opportunity to thrive. It was not a home. Babies and toddlers were not crying. Older girls’ whole existence encompassed cooking from wake until sleep in order to feed the rest of the orphanage. And some, shall we say, had concubine duties as well to the orphanage’s director.

After getting close with many of the girls, she began to realize there was a greater potential and unfulfilled mission ahead. Allison gave counsel to one girl in particular whom had become pregnant and was in a gang. This girl was 15. This was not and exceptional case. She convinced the girl that it would be best for for the baby and herself if she left her gang, and had her baby in the orphanage. Allison left the country at the expiration of her visa. Her heart was heavy and somewhat fulfilled with the knowledge that she had done all she could at the time. Or did she? The nagging feeling that more awaitied her weighed on her spirit.

A short time later she was notified that the young woman to whom she had given advice, had followed it. Upon leaving the gang, she was murdered by them while she was still pregnant. The blatant realization was: I could just forget it or do something. Living with it as an Albatross or Scarlett Letter was not an option. There was no blame.

She founded The Eternal Family Project. EFP is Allison’s home in Puerto Cortes, where she raises young Honduran girls whom have been neglected, cast aside, abused, and even maimed.
Honduras was the setting of a near dictatorship, billed as military coup. It currently holds the distinction as one of the most dangerous countries in the world, and it’s second largest city, San Pedro Sula is a murder capitol of Central America.

The internationally recognized mother and missionary, focuses on the mother’s role within the strict confines of diplomatic red-tape, attending to girls of all ages-and varying physical/learning/social abilities- whom all refer to her as mommy. How does this unmarried woman, herself a minority in the culture, promote faith, hope, and love, as well as social justice within the “microcosm” of corruption? The murder rate actually increased three-fold since she has been there. What challenges has she faced in her short parenting tenure?

What can other parents/ missionaries/ human beings and social activists learn from her work? Volunteer and find out.

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Trial White Paper {in progress}

Dedicated Writing for Small Business Specific Goals


Use a Dedicated Creative Copy and Content Writer to Handle Your Specific Needs.  Keep Your Hands Free to Stay in Business.


A Dedicated Copy and Content Author Focuses Solely on Your Business. Just Like You Do. The Author is a Small Business as Well. He or She Recognizes the Hard Work and Creativity it takes to stay Afloat in These Choppy Waters. They are invested in Your Success.


It is a laudable risk to start a small business in this unsure climate. The Dedicated Creative Copy and Content Author can identify and work to improve your business as a means to improve his own.  Customized marketing is crucial for individualized success. Employ a Small Business Dedicated Copy and Content author whose emphasis is creativity, to market your small business in such a way that it is as individual as you are.

The overhead alone costs are higher than ever. The cost of living, labor, and transportation has inflated. This has driven many of us back into our homes to work. Retail space that is affordable is accompanied by far too many empty neighbors to draw the foot traffic needed. Market and brand yourself in a creative way. Stand in stark contrast to the cookie cutter intellectual horizon.

 

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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