Tag Archives: TiVo

Mexican Labor in California: can ya even still tuck your own baby in at night?

As much as we would like to bitch and moan at the fact that they’re “taking our jobs,” The undeniable truth is that we would be up a fecal creek without a paddle without our neighbors from the south.  I am not talking about having to order a McDonald’s double double in Spanish, or possibly saying “leche” instead of milk, I am talking about the backbone of the “AmericanService industry.  When was the last time you had an all white crew clean your office?

We just spent a long weekend with our relatives from Chicago. Brother-in-law who is an investment banker, with a great deal of knowledge about the workings of life itself, issued the following observation from a Chicago perspective:

Not only are they willing to do some of the things that we are not, they are actually more acclimated to some of the conditions that we are.  Can you imagine a gringo now days working on a roof at 120° with a tar mop, or a nail gun? We just had our roof completely replaced on an 8000 square-foot triplex, by a “American” contractor. The work was amazing, and the direction did come from Ryan Saber, but I guarantee that not one gringo lifted a hammer. Job well done, but if the truth be known, the actual work was done by the Latin crew.  The skill in acumen of these people has long transcended the ability to take our lettuce and strawberries.  I went on a sport fishing trip over the weekend, and guess what nationality the kid was who is taking care of all of the tackle in managing that none of our lines got crossed?

Of course, when the neighbor had to have four 100 foot palm trees removed from her property, a feat that was accomplished with amazing skill and precision, guess who was called again.  After the cleanup, guess who again was called to install the new landscaping.  As I sat on the porch watching this deficient machine in action (in the company of the two Mexican people that clean my house for me) I was again struck with the fact that it’s been a long time since I’ve seen a white boy bending over with a pick his hand.

What reminded me to post this blog is the following: after putting in an excruciating seven-hour day at my laptop preparing social media profiles and redesigning websites while watching last night’s football game on TiVo, I was relaxing on my front porch by 5 o’clock enjoying an adult beverage when a delivery truck arrived with the neighbors washer and dryer. Although slightly annoyed by the idling diesel and it’s combatant fumes which were interrupting the solitude of my egregiously exhausting day, I stopped to take notice. These guys showed up and performed an absolutely amazing job. It would’ve taken we gringos an hour to do what they did in about five minutes if we have had sense to do it.

Not only did they cut all of the boxes and drop the washer and dryer amazingly skillfully, they had the sense to put all of the attachments i.e. hoses and wires onto the appliances before they even bothered to wield them into the house.

This is not to mention the hundreds and thousands of quote “professional people” that happen to be of Hispanic descent.  The Dr. that I visited an emergency room last night, my Dentist and my Atty.  are but a few that come to mind.

I guess what I’m saying is “since we’re neighbors let’s be friends.” I grow tired of my “patriotic” friends complaining about other people who were not only willing to do things that we are not, but do them far better than we would be able to even if we were willing.

We as a country have lots of things to work out; including welfare, social Security, education, and (frankly) language skills… but the bottom line is that we welcome them into our country every day.  It might be skillful to realize that we do have  things to work out, and to get on with doing that instead of watching Fox news to find reasons to fear and hate.

Both of my children attended Adalante Spanish immersion school. I had a chance to see firsthand how many families were working three jobs, commuting literally hundreds of miles in some cases, and doing everything they could to better their families and contribute to their communities.

I can understand how some “every day working Joe’s” might feel that they are being treated unfairly, and have some resentment about “social benefits for illegal’s.” (I wont even go into the argument of whether they have just as much right to be here as we do). What I really can’t understand, is how some bloated trust fund politician that has never had a real job in their life could have the audacity to challenge the right of an oppressed people to come to America for refuge, and to work hard to make a living for there families, largely doing work that we cannot and are not willing to do any more.


What ever happened to …

“Give me your tired , your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free… ”

Did that have an expiration date that I was unaware of?

Muchas gracias a mis amigos que trabajan duro!


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I Once Was Lost, But Now I’m Found

Was blind, but now I see.  No this not the “Through The Bible Hour”, and we will not be visiting the remainder of the song “Amazing Grace” although the epiphany that has evoked the title of this article is possibly as profound as some spiritual experiences.  The awaking, as it were, for me was the advent of permission marketing.  Having been a product of the ‘60’s where the momentum of interruption marketing, particularly on TV, hit its peak, we were chained to our Chesterfield’s (that’s a couch for you millennials) and fed a steady diet of Coca-cola, Downey fabric softener, and Winston cigarettes.  There was no escape.  Marlon Perkins was extolling the virtues of Mutual of Omaha while wrestling Orangutans in Sumatra, Ronald Regan was spewing forth 20 Mule Team Borax, and Lloyd Bridges was ironically hawking Standard Oil on his aquatic action/adventure show Sea Hunt.

There was no TiVo.  There were no means to zap commercials.  The television volume was elevated to the point that even if you ran to the refuge of the kitchen for a Dr. Browns Cream Soda, the message followed you.  This was the golden age of push marketing, and it was one of the most amazing phenomena to ever smack the unsuspecting public square in the jaw.  Second only to junk mail and Jehovah’s witnesses for obnoxious tenacity, the caissons of Madison Avenue rolled through our collective living rooms like Rommel marching to the sea.  Since much of the advertising was institutional by nature (see the USA in a Chevrolet) it was damned near impossible to track, so with the absence of solid metrics the under girding philosophy became “more is better.”

My brother-in-law ( one of those young Gen X’ers) asked me the other day to explain the difference between push and pull marketing.  What was described in the above paragraphs was definitely PUSH marketing.  Eventually what it made us all do was push back.  It’s gotten to the point that every program I watch is pre-recorded so I can fast forward through the fray, every pop-up they try to send my computer is disabled, and my wife and kids are the only ones that have my correct iPhone number.

So how, you say, does one reach a potential customer now days?  As they say in some of the twelve step programs, attraction rather than promotion.  That means content, lots and lots of great content.  They have to want to come to you, so the only way to make that happen is to have something to come to.  Ironically, and synonymously, there has to be a “where” for prospects to go before they can go “there.”  It might be your website, your blog, or a social media site, but there needs to be some central place on the internet where your brand resides.  Since many of us rarely darken the halls of a brick and mortar “store” if avoidable, the cyber locations make far more sense.  The only problem is that there are so darn many of them, the search algorithms that take folks to different sites are getting so complicated that I’m not sure even Google understands half of what it does.  How does your average Joe that owns a “mom and pop” family business establish a presence worth the effort?   More to follow.


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