Get Updates

SEARCH

Saturday

RING THOSE BELLS




You Too Can Bring Change
Ezekiel Elliot didn't seek out that Salvation Army bucket. It was right there in front of him and he didn't run around it nor did he try to avoid it. He jumped in feet first. In that one moment, he changed the perception of thousands of people who also jumped in to motivate hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.  

find out how you too can help

By J.B. Blocker
  I used to feel uncomfortable about passing Salvation Amy ‘Bell Ringers’ everywhere I would go during the holidays.     It’s not that I am ambivalent about giving. But I am discerning about who I am giving to and how the money will be used. And one other thing… I feel that giving is not seasonal.
  That all changed when I answered the call and found myself working in the ‘Red Zone’ of Ground Zero on September 24th as a Disaster Recovery Supervisor.
  Now, I look for Bell Ringers. I am grateful to each and every one of them for the time they are taking and the effort they are making for a calling that is bigger than most of us know.
  From the first time I stepped in to the Salvation Army’s Main Supply and Support area located just outside of the Century 21 building and in front of the burnt out remains of Buildings 4 and 5 of the World Trade Center complex I was a believer, fan, and supporter. Before I knew it, some ‘Proud to be Cajun’ was handing a strong cup of coffee and offering me a Po’boy.
  I left New York a few months later with a huge respect for the work of the Salvation Army and an enduring love for the staff and volunteers I have met along the way. Were ever I follow disasters from coast to coast, they are there with giant hearts to go with well-prepared teams.
  One friend I made as soon as I returned to DFW is Pat Patey, a long-time S.A. Executive. We have stayed in contact over these past 15 years. Recently I told him a story I had not shared. I immediately realized it is a story that must be told.
  I was reminded of it during a Bible study about serving humbly. Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus washed the feet of Jesus and wiped theof ry with her hair. You can find that story in Luke 7: 36-50.
  Also in John 13: of  is the story of Jesus washing the Disciples’ feet.
  Both Bible lessons came together for me in the guise of a Salvation Army volunteer within a few short days of my arriving at Ground Zero as a Cat Super. Cat for Catastrophe!

ANGELS come in many forms

Friday

A Real John Wayne, Congressman Sam Johnson

   He epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon. He is famous for his distinctive voice and walk. He is also known for his conservative political views.
 
 by J.B. Blocker
   In another time, John Wayne would have been the perfect actor to play Sam Johnson as the Fighter Pilot POW in "Captive Warriors." the Congressman’s autobiography. But Sam's heroics came during Vietnam and the Duke was finishing his career by then.

Wednesday

Cleaning up an infestation!

When the government gets in the way, what do you do?
by J.B.Blocker 

  You are on a family vacation and anxious to get to your cousin’s home. It is night and you pull off to a side road at Mile Marker 13. You really have no choice because nature is really calling loudly and it is a few more miles to the next town. The boys have got to go and so do you.
  To your wife, 13 is already a bad sign and she decides she can wait. But the boys can’t and now neither can you. In the moonlight you find yourself in an area that is dried and desolate with dead fall and the remains of a recent fire. 
  The scene is spooky. You can’t wait to get done with your business and leave this stop far behind.  It is so daunting that no one even steps off the road. The boys just stand in front of the car and hope no one comes from the other direction. It is a place you never want to see again.
If you had been here a month earlier there would have been a real problem!
  You arrive at your cousin's home in the next town and make plans for a picnic the next day.  Morning comes and your families are headed to a favorite local swimming hole. There will be picnic areas, a clean sandy beach area, hiking paths, and great fishing. 

Paradise is what they call it.


Sunday

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

Monday

Great Chefs and Coffee


Romancing the Bean Series
by Caffeine Cowboy

 Chefs Werner Vogeli and Karl Haas share childhood memories.
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 Haas and Peter Klaus Curley 
  Many thanks to Chef Karl Haas 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

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.