It is the beginning of Lent, one of my favorite annual events. No matter your religion or thoughts on religion, it is fun and challenging to try and better yourself for 40 days and nights.
Like sports, you can talk about Lent with almost anybody. At FlagandBanner.com we talk to people all over the country and often find ourselves in conversations about sports. For instance, you can be in Arkansas and bring up the Super Bowl with someone from Wisconsin and boom you have made a friend. Lent is similar; not everyone participates, but almost everyone knows about it and has a story or opinion.
This year I am giving up coffee. I have needed to for a long time and Lent was the catalyst to make it happen. My hearts says, “I’ll miss you old friend,” but my stomach says, “Thank you, at last!” I am sure all of my employees will be happy, too. A less stressed boss is a better boss.
Flag and Banner
Need sports flags and banners visit: http://www.flagandbanner.com/flags/sports-flags.asp
According to Webster Dictionary there are two words tied for “Word of the Year”…Socialism and Capitalism. The third word, and my personal favorite, is Malarkey. Not surprising really, since 2012 was an election year.
Socialism: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
Capitalism: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market
Malarkey: insincere or foolish talk
If I were to choose the “word of the year” I would choose Posturing, for obvious reasons.
Posturing: Taking a position on an issue strictly because it is politically advantageous to do so
At FlagandBanner.com we sell lots of political and some not so politically-correct products. After all it is America and everyone has the right to representation. In past years one political party would stand out in America’s buying cycle, but in 2012 there was no such “Product of the Year”. All political partys seem to be divided equally.Flag and Banner
Remember when President Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you but what can you do for your country”? Maybe it is time we revisited that sentiment. What if every American citizen that could work, did? It would reduce our deficit and increase our tax base. Citizens could have a direct impact on healing our country.
It doesn’t matter if you are a Republican or a Democrat; many of my smart, educated, able body friends are taking government hand-outs. And when asked why, the say “Everybody else is, so I deserve it too.” Almost everybody I know is getting money from the government; Social Security, disability, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, or school grants.
We don’t have an economic problem as much as we have a work ethic problem. Some of my friends are turning down $40k a year jobs because they want $60k a year. Some are living on unemployment because they want to enjoy some time off. Some of my disabled friends aren’t really unable to work but are handicapped enough to claim disability. I know they think they are being clever but really who are they hurting?
Statistics show that people who don’t work have low self-worth, are less happy and are generally in poorer health. In addition, when an unemployed person tries to get back in the job market they find it harder to find a job. Employers like to hire working people.
It seems the hardest working people in America are not the natural born citizens. So what is wrong with us? Why when given the opportunity are humans so self-destructive? Everybody knows a productive life is a better life, so why act otherwise?
Come on Americans; do your part….get a job, any job. You never know where it will lead you. I didn’t plan on selling flags for a living, but it was the only job I could find and look at me now!Flag and Banner
This has been a particularly hard year for Razorback fans. I haven’t agreed with many of Jeff Long’s decisions as athletic director, starting with NOT hiring Gus Malzahn back in 2008. But when Bobby Petrino turned out to be one of the best Razorback football coaches of my life time, I thought okay, Long may know what he’s doing. All too soon, my suspicions that Jeff Long had poor decision making skills came to fruition. First he fired Patrino for his off duty indiscretions, next he cried on national TV, and then he hired John Smith to coach our Heisman trophy quarterback, Tyler Wilson. If I was Tyler’s mother, I would have yanked my son out of that school. Now, he has hired the Wisconsin defensive coach Bret Bielema. What is wrong with Jeff Long! Hiring Bielema is like hiring Ken Hatfield or Houston Nutt again. Bielema can’t score in the RED ZONE. Jeeeeezzzz
Lest we remember, athletic director, Frank Broyles, was no walk in the park either. He too always had a lot of controversy swirling around him, but he’s turned out to be an Arkansas icon. One of my favorite events of the year is the Frank Broyles Award. Long-time friend, local celeb, and founder David Bazzel, has started a legacy for himself and our state with his annual assistant coach award. For 15 years Rotary Club 99, which I am a member, has been the main sponsor. For three years, I have had the privilege to usher at this great event. I met a lot of the football coaches I watch on TV every weekend. This year the Frank Broyles Award went to a good catholic boy, Bob Diaco of Notre Dame. A list of impressive assistant coaches have been given this prestigious award, Gus Malzahn won it last year. You can read more at the official Broyles Award Website.
Maybe one day, I will usher at an award ceremony for Jeff Long and hear the good things he has done for Arkansas. But right now, Arkansas Flag and Banner’s sale of Razorback gift items is nothing to brag about. I wonder if Jeff Long thinks about the businesses that support the Razorbacks? Or how his decisions affect the economy of not just the U of A but of our whole state? I vote to upgrade ASU to 7A status, so retailers like Flagandbanner.com can have another school to support while Jeff Long flounders. Maybe he will find his footing or get fired.Flag and Banner
If you know me now, you’ll find this next confession hard to believe. Like so many kids in middle and high school, I felt like a fish out of water. Too thin, too flat, too tall, too loud, too dumb, too hyper and too self-conscious. My confidence was so low, that just knowing I had to take a speech class – in order to graduate high school – caused me to start fretting in the 10th grade. I was one of the 95 percent of people that would rather die than make a speech.
I guess you could say I was lucky that my ambition was stronger than my fear. I did all kinds of things in my early career that kept me awake at night. One such task was TV interviews. I may have been scared but I was not stupid, I knew the power of TV. So if any reporters wanted to come do a news story on flags, I was always available. Eventually, I became comfortable with TV, radio and newspaper interviews.
That’s why, when my marketing director Brian Shaddock, asked me if I would like to be on The Buzz radio show (103.7) with Pat Bradley and Justin Acri every Friday at 11:30 from now until December 16th, I agreed. Yes, it’s a sport show but I like sports. I do not have the male DNA to remember all the games and stats but I do watch a lot of sports and have a real girl’s point of view. But the real reason I’m on the Buzz, is to talk about all the Razorback items at Arkansas Flag and Banner.
Many retail stores have female purchasing agents, but not AFB. We have a male, Jeremy and he loves buying Razorback stuff!Flag and Banner
Recently, I was asked to chair the Red Cross Blood Drive for my Club 99 Rotary group and I couldn’t have been happier. I have always liked the Red Cross. Part of my duties was to inform and invite our members and to solicit volunteers to help. I started thinking about what I knew about the Red Cross. A host of memories began to flood my mind. My favorite memory, and the one I decided to tell, was one of my father’s. After you read my short speech below you will again be reminded of why they are called “The Greatest Generation”.
My speech went something like this:
Everybody has heard of the Red Cross and knows they collect and distribute blood exceptionally well. And that there name seems to be synonymous with disaster relieve. But they are more than that.
Can you remember the first time you heard or learned about the Red Cross? Can you remember what you thought?
My father was a prisoner of war during WWII. Shot down in Germany in 1944. He spent 2 years in Stalag 13. Yes, it was the same Stalag number as Hogan’s Heroes, but it wasn’t like the TV show.
Like so many war veterans, my father didn’t like to talk about the war. He didn’t want to think about the hard times and the people he killed, or the people he saw killed. But as time went by he healed and became proud of his service, the colorful war stories, and his purple heart.
I was about 12, when at the dinner table, father began to talk about the end of the war and how he was released from prison camp. That is when I heard about this magical organization, called the Red Cross. Dad said, “The day the war was over, we were released from prison, and walked out the prison gates to a Red Cross truck loaded with coffee and donuts. They were the first Americans we saw. We were so happy.”
At the time of my father’s release from prison, he weighed 90 pounds.
The Red Cross story was the first positive thing my father ever told me about the war. I believe there are many more Americans with similar stories of hope brought by the Red Cross.
I hope you will all join me in supporting our local chapter. This month we will be having a Rotary Blood Drive for this great organization.Flag and Banner
So with the thanksgiving holidays I expected our Weight Loss Challenge to, well… gain weight! But that was NOT the case. We overcame, against all odds, and defeated phase one of the holiday weight gaining season.
With Thanksgiving behind us we can focus on preparing mentally for the challenge of Christmas!? So, if you’re making Christmas cookies, send them some place else!!!
Here is what the Guru had to say about this weeks weigh in -
Thanksgiving couldn’t keep you guys down! Some fantastic results this week people.
Team Red: dropped 10 pounds for a total of 28 pounds lost from initial weigh in, sitting at 1252 right now.
Team White: Dropped a pound, for a loss of 31 pounds since initial weigh-in, sitting at 1033.
Team Blue: These bad asses are taking no prisoners! Dropped another 9 pounds taking them down to 48 pounds lost since initial weigh-in, sitting at 1092 total right now.
Great job everyone! You proved that the holidays don’t have to be an excuse to gain weight. I’m hopeful that you all had a great Thanksgiving anyway. Some of you were shocked that you actually lost. I contend that once you become keenly aware of what you are eating based on the eating plan I put you on, you make more decisions that you are aware of that limit the amount of fat-gaining calories you would normally consume without realizing it
We are going into the home-stretch to Christmas right now so let’s stay focused on our goals and keep up this momentum. If you can get through this first round and actually drop you will all have a head start on the January resolution crowd. You should all be very proud of yourselves for that accomplishment.
JPFlag and Banner
Our company wide weight loss challenge looks to be back on track this week.? No big losses by any of the three teams but collectively we had a pretty good “loss” for the week!
Here is The Guru’s message for the week -
Progress! Good job everyone. Some pretty good progress was made this week. Let’s ride this wave of success to the next level.
Kerry, I think it’s time to have the talk… Everyone seems really motivated but they lack the tools they need to succeed. After this talk, everyone will walk away with useful and applicable knowledge… They will OWN it! Like that seen in the matrix when Tank uploads all that data to Neo’s brain… You’ll walk out of the room saying, “I know Kung Fu!”
Another factor that will impact fat loss progress is something we haven’t really addressed yet… Exercise. After talking to a few of you today I have determined that there is enough interest to propose a workout program that can be done in 10-15 minutes right here at F&B without having to even go to a gym using inexpensive resistance training bands as the equipment that will rev up your collective metabolisms. More on that later.
Here are the numbers today:
Some upsets today… White has come from behind for the first time since this contest started to tie it up with team Red. Team Blue dropped behind, but only by 1 pound.
Red: 1255 lb, down 3 pounds this week and down 25 pounds from initial weigh-in.
White: 1039 lb, down 25 pounds from initial weigh-in (a loss of NINE pounds this week!)
Blue: 1247, up 3 pounds this week, down 24 pounds from initial weigh-in.
The total F&B loss is 74 pounds from the initial weigh-in, so you are all 3541 total pounds as of today.
Keep sending me questions. I think you’re all starting to figure this stuff out, so don’t be shy. I want all of you to succeed!
Good job guys!
JPFlag and Banner
So, about a month ago we started a company wide weight loss challenge.? Every week we have a fitness guru (Jean-Paul Francoeur of JP Fitness) come in and weigh all the participating employees.? We are divided into 3 teams – the red, white, and blue teams.? The team that looses the most weight by the end of the year wins the pot!
And what is in the pot you might ask? Well, to begin with it was a nice wad of cash that Arkansas Flag and Banner put in to seed-the-pot.? Each week if you, individually, gain any weight from the previous week you have to put in a dollar.
And I’m proud to announce that to-date we have lost a combined 100 pounds!? But we have a long way to go to reach many of our individual goals.
JP is good about sending us motivational emails after each week’s weigh in… I thought I would start sharing them with you.
Here is last weeks, and NO… I’m not dressed like a hooker!
AFB CREW – Looks like we’re getting back on track. If last week helped let me know. Don’t be shy about emailing me questions either. If you’re okay with everyone else benefiting from my reply just send to “all.” If you prefer to ask questions privately I’ll respect that too. I want to see a major loss this week!
Somehow (I don’t know how) Red team held on to their lead, but only by 3 pounds. Blue is hot on their heels. Red actually gained a pound last week, as did White team. Blue had the most loss this week with a drop of 6 pounds!
Red: 1382 (up one pound from last week and down 34 pounds from initial weigh-in)
White: 1217 (up one pound from last week and down 28 pounds from initial weigh-in)
Blue: 1240 (down six pounds and down 31 pounds from initial weigh-in)
Total amount lost from the entire staff since the weigh-in is back on track at 93 pounds. Congratulations F&B crew!
I want to issue a challenge this week. I think that if every person in this contest were to drop at least one measly pound we would have a 20 pound loss. IF you guys can lose a net of 20 pounds, Kerry has agreed to spring for a nutrition lecture by yours truly. And Kerry will dress up like a prostitute and walk downtown at lunch for an hour and try not to get arrested. (Just kidding on that last part)
Here’s how you can do it. It’s a simple matter of caloric restriction. Follow the guidelines I sent you last week but in addition to that, drop your regular serving size portions in half, and skip all dessert and beer for one week. Just try it for one little ol’ week.
Blue team, you’re only 3 pounds off… Every time you sit down to eat remember that you could pass Red this week and take one for the team! White, get back in the game. No more taking up the rear. Show ‘em that you’re still a contender.
I’m out… eat trout,
**************Flag and Banner
So Sunday morning I am sitting at home sipping coffee, when the phone rings. It is Today’s THV reporter, Faith Abubey, she says, “Is this Kerry McCoy owner of Arkansas Flag and Banner?”
Faith had seen Dreamland Ballroom’s press release about our new nonprofit status and wanted to do a story on the place. Faith and I laughed about it must be a slow news day for her to be calling me at home and that I didn’t need a shower because it wasn’t smell-a-vision. So a time was set for us to meet in the Ballroom for the interview. She is a great women. She works alone with a camera and a mike. She records, writes, edits and narrates her own stories, all while wearing heels and makeup. What a girl!
The story aired Sunday at 5, 10 and 6 the next morning. I think she did a really good job but you be the judge…here it is…Flag and Banner