Archive | January, 2012

Route 66 and Holbrook, Arizona – 1950s

30 Jan

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Here’s some Route 66 info — the header photo above is from a postcard of the Motaurant Coffee Shop that was located on the old Route 66, about half-way between Gallup, New Mexico and Flagstaff, Arizona in the town of Holbrook.  Holbrook is currently on Interstate 40 (which replaced Route 66 in 1984). The population today is about 5000, so I would imagine that it was a very small town in the 50s, when this photo was taken.

This is a great shot of a nice collection of some 50s era cars. There are several Fords there, a couple Plymouths and a couple Chevys, but no Toyotas, Nissans, Volkswagens or any other “foreign” cars.  The VW “bug” was just getting started in those years. I was in high school during the mid-50s and was very interested in cars. I only knew one guy who had an old VW — a friend of my dad’s — I think it was about a 1953. Also I knew a school teacher who had a Humber Super Snipe (from England), and there were a few Jaguars, Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, MGs, Triumphs, Porches and others.  But, the most successful import at that time was Volkswagen, and that was due to some very clever advertising from Doyle Dane Burnbach of New York.

The driving force behind the Volkswagen campaign was William Bernbach of DDB.Bernbach is considered the father of the “creative revolution” in the advertisement industry. “All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level,” Bernbach said, insisting that you first learn how a client’s products related to their targeted audience. Only then did he decide how best to convey those elements in print. The Volkswagen ad campaign was unlike any before it, ushering in an era of modern advertising that truly changed how advertising agencies accomplish their trade.

Here’s one of the famous ads that put VW on the map in this country:

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The other ad that made a big impact in the world of advertising was the “think small” VW series from Doyle Dane Bernbach:

 Notable campaigns included the 1959 Think Small series of Volkswagen advertisements, which was voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 The Century of Advertising.

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So, from Fords to Chevys to VWs… now on to an important health consideration…

INCLINED BED THERAPY. For over three years, I’ve been sleeping on a bed where the foot of the bed is six inches lower than the head (see photo below – I built this with No. 2 pine – natural wood only – no plywood). There are many benefits. Best way to find the benefit list is to Google “inclined bed therapy.”

Here’s some info for an old friend who has Parkinson’s — it may be helpful to employ this therapy (I think it WILL be helpful, but I have to say “may”)… here’s some important info… (see below for site link).
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The benefits of inclined bed therapy are many: including the improvement of circulation, the decompression of the skeletal system, the increase of hydration, the removal of toxins, the repair of spinal cord injuries, clearer skin, an improvement in several diseases (including MS, Hashimoto’s, and Parkinson’s)

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/032808_inclined_bed_therapy_health.html#ixzz1kvhUAAs5
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I no longer have problems with GERD; I only get up once for the bathroom run (used to get up every two hours); no longer cough at night; and, sleep quality improved.

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Put a good quality mattress on that bed frame and you will change your life.

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Home Depot job update…  I’ve done everything I can – took the drug test last Monday, and Saturday morning, I got word from the background check people — I “meet the Home Depot hiring criteria.”  The longer it takes to hear from them, the lower the hiring chance will be.  Silence can be an answer. When you ask a question (or ask for a job) and you get no response — that’s your “no”… silence is no.  The sound of silence is an inaudible “no.”  Even a hesitation can be your clue. If you ask someone an important question and he or she hesitates… that’s your clue. Time to move on…

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Time for me to move on, as well.  Gettin late and I have signs to print tomorrow and several errands to do …

later

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brez

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One step closer…

29 Jan

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Heard from LexisNexis today – they do background checks for Home Depot. Their conclusion was “meets THD hiring criteria” — I’m assuming THD stands for The Home Depot. So, that’s another step closer. I took the drug test on Monday, so they have everything they need to offer me a job.  But, no call today… maybe tomorrow.  I like to make stuff, so this would be a fun job for me… making signs (actually posters) all day long — right up my alley.

One of my good high school buddies, Richard Peck, is coming down from Mission Viejo next Saturday. Piano lesson time.  We graduated from University High School in ’57 and then went to Santa Monica City College together. He was learning how to play jazz piano in those days and I showed him this exercise:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg-mDGAigxE (14,800 views so far).

He’s been playing over the years and is very good now — has a nice style. I like the way he plays.  But, he wants to get some more ideas and chord voicings, so we’ll spend a couple hours at the piano Saturday afternoon.

We kept in touch in the 60s, but then I lost track. So, thanks to that great product that Mark came up with, I was able to connect with him again.. 40 years later. That Facebook is an amazing re-connection tool. I’ve been able to find several people I knew in high school and college and those re-connections would not have been possible without Facebook.

Another excellent business connection tool is LinkedIn. It’s the Facebook for business contacts.  You can present your product or service to business people you know… much better than cold call.  Here’s my listing:

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-c-bresnik/b/194/b85

Here’s an interesting item — I have the original 78 rpm recording of “Route 66” done by the “King Cole Trio” — it was recorded in 1946. It was the first recording of Bobby Troup‘s famous song that he wrote while traveling from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles in 1946 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Route_66_%28song%29)

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Here’s another one of my favorite Route 66 images. I take old postcards from the 30s, 40s and 50s and put them through a Photoshop process. The finished prints are fairly large — anywhere from 16″ wide to 36″ wide.

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This print is of a portion of a postcard of a gas station 77 miles east of Albuquerque, New Mexico — taken in the 40s somewhere.

That’s it for now….

later

brez

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Amelia Earhart and Uncle Albert

27 Jan

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I am currently getting ready to sell some of my Earhart prints on eBay. Here’s the first listing of several that I’ll be posting:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200706054212

My uncle, Albert Bresnik, was a professional photographer who focused on the Hollywood scene. He photographed most of the famous actors of the the 1930s. He was also hired by George Putnam, Amelia’s husband, to be her personal photographer. In 1987, 50 years after Earhart disappeared, he pulled out his 4×5 negatives of her that he took at the Burbank Airport early in 1937. He made several prints which he displayed and sold at various events that year.

He gave five prints to me and I have scanned them and made digital images on the Roland printer I had up until October of 2009.  It was a 30″ digital printer — easily the best piece of equipment I ever owned (http://www.rolanddga.com/products/printcut/versa/).

Here are a couple prints I did a few years ago…

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So, that’s my project for this week — to get some of these prints on eBay and see what happens.

That’s it for now…

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brez

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One Half Dome… coming up…

25 Jan

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Got an email from John Adler this afternoon. He asked us if we’d like to climb Half Dome in Yosemite. He has seven people signed up and has room for another five (he takes teams of people up Half Dome every year). I asked Sylvia if she wanted to go… got a “yes,” of course.  She’s game for any physical challenge. She climbed Mt. Whitney last September with John and his team, so she’s ready for Half Dome.

In California there are three climbs you must do to be in the “club” — it’s like doing the Ironman in Hawaii — it’s the best of the best. The three climbs are Mt. Gorgonio (the highest peak in Southern California at 11503 feet), Half Dome (8,836 ft.) and Mt. Whitney (the highest summit in the contiguous United States with an elevation of 14505 feet ). Since October of 2010 – 15 months ago, Sylvia has done the Dublin Marathon, rode her bike for 100 miles in the Solvang Century and Climbed Gorgonio and Whitney. She’s 71 years old — how can a 71-year-old woman do that?  That’s impossible.

So, one left to do — Half Dome (http://www.yosemitehikes.com/yosemite-valley/half-dome/cables-tips.htm)

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I’ll do the preparation and will be going along for the ride, but I’ll hang out at the base camp when they go up — I have a big problem with going to high places — no can do.  So, the trip is scheduled for August 16-20 — plenty of time to prepare.  Then, on August 21st she leaves for a three-week visit with our daughter and family in London.

Here’s Sylvia at the top of Mt. Whitney — she and the team were on the trail for fifteen hours that day.

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That’s about it for today. Never a dull moment around here….

brez

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Game changer…

24 Jan

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Looks like I’ll have a part-time job very soon at Home Depot as a “sign-maker.”  I had an interview almost two weeks ago, and just got a call on Sunday to pick up the drug test form. I guess that’s a good sign. I’ll know in a week or so.  That would be a fun job because I have always enjoyed making signs and their system is computerless. So, all signs there are made “by hand” … which I have been doing since the 50s.

The game-changer part is that once I have a part-time job, my wife will not be very happy if I give it up in order to take this trip in April.  It took five years to find a job and then to leave it after three months doesn’t make a lot of sense. Also, since I don’t have a cargo van for the trip, that reality contributes to a no-go decision.  So, the common-sense action will be to work this job for a year or so, save some money, and THEN go on the trip.  So, that’s the current thinking…

All for now…

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brez

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Does goal setting work?

22 Jan

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I’ll start off with an old Route 66 postcard image I had in my collection for many years. This postcard was originally sent in January of 1957 (about three months before my 17th birthday). Here is the back — addressed to someone in Minnesota…

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Here’s the front — I like this one because it represents the typical small town on the road — I’m sure there were hundreds of these small towns along the way.  A place to stop for a meal, some gas, or for an overnight. Then back on that long, and in many cases, straight road…

This is Route 66 going through Shamrock, Texas in the mid-50s.

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Does goal setting work?  Yes, it works if you really intend to do what you set out to do.  I have been able to accomplish my goals like clockwork up until the last ten years or so.  For example, in the early years, I wanted to learn how to play the piano. My dad was a piano player. I used to watch him play and then I would try, but I couldn’t figure out how to play with two hands at the same time. So, one day my dad asked me, “do you want to take piano lessons?”  So, I took three years of classical lessons and then, at 14, it wasn’t “cool” to play classical — it was “cool” to play jazz piano (this was just as rock and roll was showing up, so I got started on jazz before “rock and roll” was a style that was being taught).  Had I learned rock and roll, which was very easy compared to playing jazz, my life story may have been different from what it has been.

So, the goal was to learn how to play jazz piano, which was accomplished by my late teens. At 21, I recorded my first album and it was considered quite good. In fact, the day I recorded that album, on Saturday, August 26,1961, I was offered a job in Las Vegas by a promoter who happened to be there that day…  at Gold Star Recording Studios in  Hollywood.  It was THE recording studio of the day —

The studio was the venue for hundreds of chart-topping recordings by scores of leading pop and rock artists including Ritchie ValensEddie CochranThe ChipmunksThe Cascades, “Route 66” composer Bobby TroupPhil SpectorBrian WilsonSonny & Cher, The Rose Garden, Zane Ashton, Buffalo Springfield,Duane EddyJimi HendrixNeil YoungThe RonettesDick DaleThe Righteous BrothersIron ButterflyHerb Alpert & The Tijuana BrassJan and DeanJoan Jett,Cherie CurrieMeat LoafThe ChampsThe Baja Marimba BandBobby DarinThe CakeThe WhoThe MonkeesTommy BoyceThe BandThe Go-Go’sThe RamonesThe AssociationArt GarfunkelLeonard CohenBob DylanJohn LennonTina Turner and Maurice Gibb.

But, unfortunately, I had enlisted in the Army a few weeks prior to this session and I had to report for duty on Monday, August 28th.  Oh, what might have been…

Back to an earlier goal. When I graduated from Uni High in West LA in June of 1957, I decided to go to college for four years. I said to myself… “I’ll go to college for four years and then I’ll face the military requirement.” The draft was going on at that time, but I got student deferments for the four years.  Then in the summer of 1961 I had a choice — I could either wait and get drafted — the draftees in our area were going to Korea for two years — or, I could enlist and choose my theater.

Since I had no interest in Korea, I chose to enlist in the Army. They had a program at the time where you could choose your theater (location), but you would have to choose either infantry, armor or artillery.  I wanted to see Europe, so I chose artillery (I was guaranteed a spot somewhere in the European Theater). I chose artillery because it seemed to be the safest duty. Infantry guys were in a very high-risk situation, and I had a bit of claustrophobia, so armor (riding in a tank) was out of the question.

Yes, goal setting was working for me at that age. As a teenager, I had wanted to see Europe, but I couldn’t afford the expense of seeing it. So I joined the Army and they sent me there, gave me free room and board, three squares a day and $100 a month spending money.  During leave (vacation time), I saw every major European capital (but, I didn’t get to Spain).  And, all I had to do for them was to play the piano in the dance band and cymbals in the marching band (24th Infantry Division Band in Augsburg, Germany). I thoroughly enjoyed my military experience (of course, it was during peacetime, so that did make a difference).

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Here I am in Augsburg in 1963. I recorded my second album in Munich.

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Backtracking… as a young guy growing up (teens) I had a general plan to do the following: go to college for four years, do my military requirement, meet a fantastic woman (not American – had to be a foreigner), get married at 25 and have a bunch of kids.  I KNEW in my teens that I would get married at 25… how can you know that?  I don’t know how it works, but that’s what happened.

I went to Germany in 1962, met Sylvia in Augsburg (born and raised in Dublin) in 1963, got married in 1965 (yes, at age 25) and we had five children from 1966 to 1977.

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Our wedding day - June 12, 1965 in Pacific Palisades, California

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The next goal was to move to Ireland to live. We did that in 1980. The plan was to settle in Ireland, but after six months, I decided that Escondido and the USA had more to offer for the family, so back to Escondido in July of 1981.

At this point (I was 41 at that time), the goal thing didn’t work anymore.  My goal in my 20s was to  marry a great woman, have a “bunch” of kids and get them raised.  But, my goal-setting process fell apart in my 40s.  My dad was fairly wealthy and I “assumed” that I would be, as well. I was told that I would take over the business and money would never be a problem (I never did take over the business — that’s a long story). So in my 40s and 50s, the goals were not clear anymore, and without clear-cut goals you can’t get much done. If you don’t know where to go, how are you going to get there?

My big problem was that I didn’t include Sylvia in the decision-making process. The failure to do that has the result of me being broke today.  The famous “if only” phrase applies here:  If I had only listened to what she was saying in my 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, I would be in good shape today. But, I didn’t and now I get to reap what I sowed (or what I didn’t sow).  Thank goodness, she realized that I was not paying attention, and she went ahead and saved a lot of money.

So, today we are able to live comfortably. We’re not even close to wealthy, but we’re not broke either (actually, I am, but she’s not — I can explain privately, if you want to know how that works).  No, I didn’t get the house paid for, but we’ve been here for 30 years and the mortgage is quite low. And, thanks to the generosity of our children, we get to visit with them frequently (one in London, one in New York, one in Maryland and two in this area).  Also, they come to visit with us in Escondido on a regular basis.

Now, at 71, I can’t seem to make the goal thing work… not sure why.  But, I know from experience that goal-setting does work.  At the same time, I also realize that having no goal is also a goal.

Many people have a deep-rooted goal to have no goals. They say one thing (I’m going to do this or that), but they don’t really believe it. That way, if it doesn’t get done, they’ll think to themselves “I didn’t REALLY want to do it anyway”… I’m sure that’s quite common. But, if you REALLY want to do something, I’m sure it gets done eventually in most cases. We do what we make up our minds to do. It’s all in the mind. Change your thinking, change your life… that sort of thing.

So, that’s my take on goals (for today, anyway) — yes, goal-setting can work and will work if you’re clear about your goal. Clarity is the issue.  If you’re not absolutely CLEAR about what you want to do, you can’t get it done.  Set a deadline.  If you miss the deadline, set another one — don’t give up on the goal.. just keep on setting deadlines until you get the job done.

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all for now…

brez

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Where did this idea come from?

21 Jan

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We have known the Yphantides family for over twenty years — we attended the same church and our kids knew their kids (we both had five children and their youngest daughter’s name is Pauline and our oldest daughter’s name is also Pauline). They had a “John” and we have a “John.” John’s a CPA and our Pauline’s a CPA… interesting.  So, when I heard that their oldest son Nick had taken a one-year tour of the USA, I thought that would be something that I would like to do.  The following is from his website: http://www.healthsteward.com/MyJourney.htm

“My name is Dr. Nick Yphantides, and I live in San Diego, California.  On April 1, 2001, I loaded my RV van and began a pilgrimage that covered 38,000 miles across the length and width of the great United States!  My pilgrimage, which included a few airplane trips, took me to all 50 states in 50 weeks…”

So, he planted the seed in my mind and I have been thinking, planning and talking about this for ten years. If you have a dream or a goal in mind, it may take many years of planning and working toward that goal before it is realized.  In most cases, people will achieve their goal, but the timing is hard to nail down. Here’s an example of timing from my brother Bob. He’s a world traveler — he has been traveling since the 60s, so he has plenty of experience. But, regarding timing, here’s a recent comment from him:

“It took me 20 years of anticipation & planning to do my year-long run down The Gringo Trail.. then circumstances conspired to make it happen. In the end, I’m not so sure we do the things we do. Maybe the things do us.”

I can always count on “Brother Rob,” as I call him, to give me the encouragement I need to stay on track and keep on going toward the goal.  I’ve had a good deal of success in my life, so far, but I’ve also had a fair amount of failure. The failure’s tend to get too much attention, so I need to be reminded to focus on the accomplishments.

Here’s my Route 66 image for today…

This is Route 66 going through Erick, Oklahoma in the 50’s I would say.

Brian Traichel (business coach) is coming over on Sunday to have a meal with us. As I mentioned in a previous post, he has extensive experience with the process of going from the idea to the reality — how to do it. So, we’re going to work on the primary short-term goal, which is getting me a van…!  He said that I might be able to find a company to loan me a van for six months if it can be tied to a promotional activity of some kind.  More details later.

It’s pushing 3:00 AM, so I’d better get the heck outta here…

See ya

 

 

brez

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