October 2009 Issue

Happy Halloween!

It’s time once again for the annual whoop-la over that evil, most satanic of all holidays when small children are encouraged to disguise themselves and collect tasty tributes from their hapless neighbors under threat of vile pranks and scary doings!
So here comes the annual debate over pagan worship and the dark origins of this traditional celebration. You’d think, after all these decades, that the evangelical anti-Halloween protesters would have climbed down from their high moral perspectives and accepted it as simple proof that kids like candy, costumes, scary stuff (as long as they know it’s really safe), and a little friendly competition.

“I got more stuff than you did!!”
“Yeah, but the stuff I got is really super stuff!”
“Race you to the Kaopectate!”

The really scary part of Halloween is not the kid’s pranks, or ghosts and goblins… It’s the monsters rumored to be hiding behind ordinary front doors, stuffing razor blades into bonbons, sewing needles in popcorn balls, and hallucinogens in the cider!
In reality, most of the stories about tainted Halloween treats are just urban legends with little or no basis of fact.

Sadly, they are based on an actual case from 1974 when Ronald Clark O’Bryan of Waco, Texas, distributed poisoned candy to his son, daughter, and a couple of other children. Tim O’Bryan, his son, died as a result. Large life insurance policies were involved, and “Candyman” Ron ended up on the wrong end of a lethal injection after being found guilty.

For you concerned parents, here are some simple suggestions to pass along to the kids:
... • Limit your trick-or treating to the early hours.
... • Do not eat any candy or treats until it's been thoroughly examined.
... • Do not eat anything that has loose or open wrappers.
....• Do not eat anything that has not been store wrapped.
... • Take advantage of the hospitals offering their x-ray machines for detecting foreign objects.
... • If anything tastes "funny" spit it out and save it for any evidence that may be needed.

Otherwise, go out and have a really swell time with the rest of the godless little spawns of the devil swarming the streets. Scare somebody!


Sick As A Dog?

Probably the first think you want to know is whether you have the flu, or just a common cold. And, since treatment differs greatly depending on which one you have, it's a good idea to know how to tell them apart. So, here's a little folksy chart to help you figure it out. Keep in mind, I am not a doctor (although I have played one in commercials). You safest course of action is to see your family doctor. But if you're like me (cheap and stubborn) check this out:

Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
Stuffy Nose
Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
Sudden Symptoms
Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat
Sore throat is commonly present with a cold Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

Now, don't you feel better already?


Had Your Annual Review Yet?
Quotes taken from actual performance reports:

1."Since my last report, he has reached rock bottom and has started to dig."

2."His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity."

3."I would not allow this associate to breed."

4."This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely won't be."

5."Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."

6."When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there."

7."He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."

8."This young lady has delusions of adequacy."

9."She sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."

10."This associate should go far - and the sooner he starts, the better."

VO For Lunch!

No, it's not the Air Force Diet, and Seagram's isn't involved! It was an idea and an event promoted by a successful Charlotte, NC voice talent guy I've haven't met yet.

Bob Souer is a "storyteller", who specializes in long-format, non-broadcast video narration. And I hear he is quite good at it! I met Bob through the on line social network "Voiceover Universe", for folks who do what we do for a living.

I thought I knew all the VO people in Charlotte after 34 years of doing voice work in this market, but it appears there are a bunch of 'em here that move in different circles. Bob put together a luncheon at a popular sports bar in Charlotte on Oct. 2nd and issued invitations to all North and South Carolina talent through the VU website and email.

I had an emergency job pop up that morning, or I would have been there to meet a host of other area performers I've been missing for years. I hear it was a great success.

Bob... I hope you do it again soon!


Word of the Month...

So, what is the truest definition of Globalization?

Answer: Princess Diana's death!

Why, you ask?

Consider this: An English princess with an Egyptian boyfriend crashes in a French tunnel, driving a German car with a Dutch engine, driven by a Belgian who was drunk on Scottish whisky, (check the label before you question the spelling), followed closely by Italian Paparazzi, on Japanese motorcycles; treated by an American doctor, using Brazilian medicines.

This definition was originally sent to me by a Canadian, using Bill Gates' technology.
You're probably reading this on a computer, that uses Taiwanese chips, and a Korean monitor, assembled by Bangladeshi workers in a Singapore plant, transported by Indian lorry-drivers, hijacked by Indonesians, unloaded by Sicilian longshoremen, and trucked to you by Mexican illegals.....

That, my friends, is Globalization!


If You Love Acapella Vocals...

...Get a load of what they're doing in Slovenia!


Soup's On!!

Warm the cockles of your heart (or any other cold cockles you my have) with this hearty, easy recipe:

Roasted Squash & Apple Soup


3 cu. chopped, seeded, and peeled Butternut squash
1 cup chopped onion
1 baking apple, cored and quartered
2 med. carrots, quartered & halved
1/2 tsp. canola oil
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger root
1 large clove garlic, minced
6 cu. Stock (Chicken or Veggie) divided
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cu. Evaporated skim milk
2 oz. Low or no Fat cream cheese, cubed


Combine squash, onion, apple, carrots and canola oil in bowl. Toss to coat. Arrange in a single layer on roasting pan(s). Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes.

Add roasted veggies to blender or food processor and add ginger, garlic, and 11/2 cups stock. Puree, adding stock if needed. Use a little more stock to deglaze roasting pans and pour into large soup pot over medium heat. Combine 2 tbsp stock with cornstarch in bowl and whisk until smooth
Toast curry powder in dry skillet until aromatic. Add cornstarch mixture, curry powder, remaining stock, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to soup pot. Cook until thickening begins, stirring frequently. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Add milk and cream cheese, and heat through until cheese melts.

Correct seasonings to taste (turn up the heat with more pepper, add more cream cheese to tone it down a bit...). Remember, after cooling and sitting in the fridge for a couple of days those flavors will really settle in and take charge!

Serve hot with garnish of minced chives, and splash of sherry wine, if desired. Serves 12.

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