Friday, January 3, 2014


Wednesday January 1st, 2014 – Tucson, AZ/Roswell, NM

   A new year begins with a new attitude and new direction. I couldn’t feel any better about all of it, but I still can’t figure out why it took this long to get in the game. It did, but I’m here now and that’s all that’s important. I have a lot I want to do this year, and sniveling about the past isn’t it.

   I’m glad I went to Tucson, but now I have to make the long drive back to Chicago. Apparently there’s going to be a lot of snow for the next several days, so that’s going to be interesting. All I saw in Tucson was sunshine, and that’s what I’m seeing on the inside too. I want to keep that up.

   I feel like I’ve been dropped into another person’s body or something, and I’m growing to love it more with each passing day. I’m thinking clearly, and am in a stellar mood. There are still idiot drivers on the road for example, only now I don’t flip out like I used to. I’M the changed entity.

   Rather than question, I need to just let it happen. I know I’ll have bad days and make some bad choices, but those will be the exception rather than the rule. I feel like I’ve established a winning vibe, and right now it feels like I can keep it indefinitely. If I have my way, I’ll never get rid of it.

   My focus for 2014 is going to be marketing, showmanship and improving everything having to do with business. I plan on keeping immaculate tax records, and making it a weekly maintenance task rather than an annual stress fest trying to untangle it later. I am making rock solid decisions.

   I’ve got a list of the first dozen books I want to read this year, and hopefully I’ll get to a whole lot more than that. I am also making time to exercise daily, if nothing else just a 30 minute walk. These are all things I’ve done off and on forever, but this is the year it all needs to become habit.

  There’s a Sweet Tomatoes salad buffet restaurant a block from the hotel, so I stopped there for my first meal of 2014. It never hurts to run some roughage through the pipes, and I did just that. I then stopped at a grocery store and bought some water for the trip so I can start drinking more of that as well. It’s something we all should do, but my kidney stone of 2013 converted me for life.

   As I drove east on I-10 I saw signs for a tourist gimmick I stopped to see years ago called “The Thing”. I’m not sure exactly what it is, but they advertise it for miles on billboards. The $1 cover charge is never mentioned until one enters the building, but by then curiosity has been aroused.

   I had to pay another buck to see it again. I wanted to study how they handled it as marketers to see if I could reallocate any concepts for whatever I might be doing in the future. I thought their display was mediocre at best. If that were my attraction, I’d shine it up a lot more. But that’s me.

   Apparently they know what they’re doing, even though I was the only sucker that forked over the buck out of all the people in the gas station. I know it’s a holiday but there were some drivers on the road. None of them had the desire to see “The Thing” except me, but I’m still glad I did.

   The most important observation I made was that it’s not really important what the product is if it gets promoted strongly enough. That’s going to be the continuing theme for 2014 and beyond. I made it to Roswell, NM, and got an expensive cheap motel. This is another operation to study.

"The Thing" is an attraction at a tourist trap at exit 322 on I-10 in Arizona.

There are signs heavily advertising it for miles in both directions.

All that hype and $1 later - this is what it is. Welcome to the wonderful world of extreme disappointment.

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