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Sunday

I'll Never Forget 9-11


'the Red Zone' click to enlarge
 I took this shot from about the 20th floor of the World Finance Center Building II on November the 1st, 2001. It's 'the Red Zone' inside Ground Zero. Smoke is still seeping out of deep pockets. The air is a fog of dust and will be for a few more weeks before the snow and rain bring the floating debris back to earth.
  Rising 400 feet above stands Big Red, the largest mobile crane in the U.S.A. It was perched on the spot that was once the World Trade Center I foot print.
  The Houston company that owns Big Red flew the American flag at its peak, just above the flag of Texas. Grapplers the size of semi trailers worked 24/7 in the dust and haze that never goes away. In the background on the left, the skeleton that was World Trade Center 2 leans against the remains of buildings 8 and 9. From back center to right are the burned shells of buildings 7, 6, and 5.
If you expand the photo and look closely you can see the billowing dust covering both vehicles and their operators as a grappler dumps its load in to the waiting semis. 

Wednesday

School Lunch 101

 This is my friend Chef Steve DeShazo. He is the Director of the El Centro College Food and Hospitality Institute in Downtown Dallas.
  El Centro is a hotbed for cullinary arts and has produced many fine chefs in it's history that spans nearly 60 years.
  With the new school year underway comes the responsibilities of providing easy, nutritious, and enjoyable lunches for your ravenous little ones.
  On this video clip provided by CBS, Chef Steve gives some simple and practical tips to packing a lunch fit for your prince or princess.
  If you believe in the Apple a Day theory, there is a clever tip included!
School Lunch 101

- J.B. Blocker is a media consultant based in Collin County in North Texas. Advertise with J.B. by calling 469-334-9962.

Simply refreshing Gazpacho


Gazpacho
By J.B. Blocker
   When my eat healthy gene kicks in I have a tendency to go on auto-pilot when I grocery shop around the fresh produce section.  
  That is when the spirit of my recently passed chef mentor, the great French Master Chef Jean La Font speaks to me.
  “Gazpacho”, he whispers! 
It has become one of my go to dishes. My really healthy comfort food. It gets even better on day two and three but it rarely last that long. I don't even use a bowl. I fill a mug and add some chilled shrimp if I have it ready.

Sunday

Signs, Signs, let your Signs Shine!


What Is Your Sign?

There are real people behind those signs! Do you get to know them before you vote?  How do you do it?
  In today's electronic era, it is not that hard to study up on candidates and find out when they will be locally available for public viewing.
  Many get started Surfing for Candidates very early in the campaign cycles. They want to be part of the system. They want to project their voice. They want to find someone who hears them.
  You can google, yahoo, bing, linked-in, facebook, twitter, etc.etc. 
  
  It is an honor, a pleasure, and a challenge for me to help you know that person behind the sign. 
  Your responsibility as a concerned citizen is to take the time to know the candidates and then speak up for the ones you believe can be a dedicated voice you trust.
 
They come in all sizes. They are on hats and shirts and pins. On the highways and byways, private property, personal property,and automobiles.
  Some say that they are distracting, or that they are a nuisance, or even a driving hazard. Are they necessary? I say YES!

  And if you don't eventually have any signs in your yard, on your vehicles, or even worn on your shirts, hats, or luggage then I say 'You haven't become passionate about your leadership! And let me add, you have no right to complain!'
  
Do those signs influence you?
  Do you remember all the names of candidates you see covering every available green space? Do you research these names on-line and then take the time to meet and hear them? 
  What effect do those signs have on you? Do they annoy, entertain, inform? You can leave a comment. 



Tuesday

Recruiting a Winning Team

The Andrew Principle
Campaigning 101
jb blocker

John 1: 40  One of the two who heard John speak and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He found first his own brother Simon and said to him, "We have found the Messiah” (which translated means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas" (which is translated Peter)
  
  You don’t hear much about Andrew the apostle. We know he was one of the first to be chosen by Jesus along with James and John. Later in the Bible, he is the one who brings the boy to Jesus with the fish and loaves that feeds thousands. He is also at the resurrection. But Andrew is also mentioned for one other thing that has resonated throughout the ages.
  You see, Andrew met Jesus and went to his brother Simon to tell him he had found the Savior! Simon's named was changed to Peter. "Upon this rock I will build my church."
  That is some really good recruiting! That is like finding Babe Ruth and introducing him to baseball. 

I call it ‘The Andrew Principle’.
  In campaigning for a civic office, you really need a few Peters. He or She are the one who thousands listen to. They have a network, respect, and usually access to donors.
  But Peters are hard to get to.  They are very protective of their resources and are exceptionally aware of how their good name can be used or misused.  You often have to go through others they trust just to get to them.
  Every Peter has their Andrews. They can’t be that successful without dependable trusted people in their lives. Whether those are family or friends, they are the people who can unlock the doors that lead to the Peters.

Looking for Andrew

Sunday

Learning American

‘The Big Book’  (1893-1993) R.I.P.
Recognizing one of this country’s greatest teachers.   By JB Blocker

The Millennials don’t know about this. Much of the GenX Generation don’t either. As an immigrant from the ‘60’s, the Sears and Roebuck catalogue was one of my best friends. It taught me America!

  The first true Sears catalogue was produced and distributed in 1893. Many others were to follow. It became an iconic life line of what people wanted and needed across America. It you had a mailing address, you could own anything in those pages.
  Clothing, toys, guns, farm tools, kitchen, living room, garage items, even houses and cars stirred the imagination of families from the city streets to farms, fields, and newly discovered parts of this growing country.
  I remember in the early ‘70s listening to some old cowboys at the local pool hall in my panhandle farming community. They got in to a discussion about the new Christmas catalogue at the Montgomery Ward’s one day. 
  The talk started over the price of things. But the discussion moved to how they had been making their wish list from those catalogues most of their lives. Those pictures of what the world looked like outside of their world gave them reasons to save their money.
  Studying catalogues allowed America to become aware of the choices they never had before and how much money they would need to save.
  A few of those senior citizens also talked about the catalogues as a teaching tool. You could learn how to read while you were learning the value of all those items available from the pages of pictures, descriptions, and prices.
My Crash Course


Tuesday

Justice has been served!


From Sondra Ortega and family to the Collin County District Attorney,

 This is about my family’s 16-month journey to the edge of hell. I won’t go into it, but the case is over now and of public record. It was a terrible experience that could have been so much worse had it not been for the professionalism of the Collin County D.A. staff.

 Our family recently had the experience of having to go through a life altering incident, that will forever leave me changed as a person and a mother.
  I was thrown into a situation that was my living nightmare as a mother, wife, and stepmother.

  I am writing this to address the outstanding service and attention that was received through it all by the Collin County Criminal Court System including District Attorney’s staff and the Court of Judge Barnett Walker
  

Saturday

Great Chefs and Coffee


Romancing the Bean Series
by Caffeine Cowboy

 
Tales from the Old County
  I count among my friends and mentors some venerable and highly respected chefs and hospitality specialist.  These gentlemen are revered in the Dallas culinary community. They are iconic.
  Many learned their craft in the shadows of WWII. Swiss, Austrian, French, and German influences ignited their love of exquisite dining that they eventually brought to a booming Dallas of the 70’s. It was time of great hotels and the explosion of fine dining in downtown Dallas that brought these adventurous young chefs that changed the image of dining and brought European luxury and elegance to the table.
  I always felt that they liked me, but after the research for this story I realized that my charm my have been secondary to my devotion and accessibility to great coffees! 
Chefs Karl Hass and Klaus Curley 
  Many thanks to Chef Karl Hass and to the late great men Chef Werner Vogeli and the consummate G.M. Helmut Frenzen who as a team, made the 69th floor City Club in Dallas a legendary experience. 
  My 1st Dallas account as the Caffeine Cowboy was the City Club. I would tell people, "the closest coffee to heaven in Dallas was mine!"
  They shared pieces of their personal memories of coffee in their post war youth with me.  jb