Thursday, June 30, 2005

Irag Really IS Getting Better

Here's a very intersting post from StrategyPage.

What a difference a year makes. Many American units arriving in Iraq now have as many as half their troops there for the second time. The differences are startling. The towns and neighborhoods are a lot quieter, and friendlier. The big difference has been the arrival of police to drive gangs of terrorists and criminals out of neighborhoods. Before this, locals were terrified by the armed men living in their area. And the bad guys made no secret of what bad things would happen to anyone who was seen, or even suspected of, talking to the Americans. But once enough police move into an area to maintain full time control of the streets, the bad guys have to clear out, or get hit with a raid. Once the gangsters go, they have a very difficult time operating in that area any more, because people will tell the cops. If the bad guys have too much muscle for the local cops, the Americans can be called in. The terrorists and gangsters cannot deal with this. Well, they try. More and more of the attacks are roadside bombs and suicide bombers. The roadside bombs are harder to plant, with more police patrolling the streets, and more civilians calling in tips on bombs, or people seen planting them.

Suicide bombers have largely been foreigners. As Iraqis are quick to point out, Iraqis are not into this sort of thing. Neither are the foreigners any more, many of them refusing to undertake missions that just kill Iraqi civilians. So more and more suicide bombers are not volunteers, but men kidnapped and told to carry out the mission, or see family members killed. The bodies of car bombers have been found handcuffed to the steering wheel. Many suicide car bombers have dual detonation systems, one under the control of the driver, another under the control of a distant "supervisor," ready to set the bomb off if the suicide bomber is seen to get confused, or tries to get away from his fate.

Another difference is the change in public opinions among Iraqis. It's no longer as fashionable to blame Americans for everything. A new Iraqi government has been in power for a year. Watching Iraqi democracy up close has been embarrassing, and educational. It's changed attitudes, and made more Iraqis realize that they have to take charge and make things work. This is not a normal attitude in Iraq, or the Middle East. For a long, long time, strong men ruled Iraq. You were told what to do, and talking back was often a fatal act. Now, talking back is necessary. You have to decide what to do, do it and, hardest of all, be responsible for what was done. All this has caused more Iraqis to look at themselves, their history and their reaction to the fall of Saddam. Americans are no longer the bad guys. Sunni Arabs and foreign terrorists, plus Iraqi gangsters, are the bad guys. The police are also becoming the bad guys, as the corruption so common with the cops in the past, is coming back. This is getting so bad, that there have been riots by people trying to get jobs as policemen. The money-making opportunities in being a bad cop are that great. Corruption, in general, is getting worse as the economy continues to grow. Dealing with democracy and terrorism has been a lot easier than coping with corrupt practices.

Posted by Ted on 06/30/05 8:25 PM | Link


Hear, my son, and accept my words,
that the years of your life may be many.
I have taught you the way of wisdom;
I have led you in the paths of uprightness.
When you walk, your step will not be hampered,
and if you run, you will not stumble.
Keep hold of instruction; do not let go;
guard her, for she is your life.
Do not enter the path of the wicked,
and do not walk in the way of the evil.
Avoid it; do not go on it;
turn away from it and pass on.
For they cannot sleep unless they have done wrong;
they are robbed of sleep unless they have made someone stumble.
For they eat the bread of wickedness
and drink the wine of violence.
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn,
which shines brighter and brighter until full day.
The way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
they do not know over what they stumble.

Proverbs 4:10-19

Posted by Ted on 06/30/05 9:11 AM | Link

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mission Accomplished

Dasher-1 glided in for a landing at about 21:30 tonight. The mission was successful. Although we didn’t accomplish everything the client wanted, I did accumulate over 30 billable hours. I always consider that a success.

One of these days, I’m going to have to get me one of those new fangled laptops. Then I can post a few entries from the hotel room. Although I look at them in the Dell website, I haven’t made up my mind which one I would want.

Posted by Ted on 06/29/05 10:24 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Ocean City, NJ

The Vorlon Wife and I went to Ocean City, NJ last weekend. The ocean was unusually calm – as you can see.

Posted by Ted on 06/29/05 10:22 AM | Link

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

The Vorlon Wife's Astilbe

This is the Vorlon Wife’s Astilbe. It’s an unusual flower – almost like a bush. It comes up every year. She has white ones and pink ones.

Posted by Ted on 06/28/05 10:14 AM | Link


Hear, O sons, a father's instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight,
for I give you good precepts;
do not forsake my teaching.
When I was a son with my father,
tender, the only one in the sight of my mother,
he taught me and said to me,
"Let your heart hold fast my words;
keep my commandments, and live.
Get wisdom; get insight;
do not forget, and do not turn away from the words of my mouth.
Do not forsake her, and she will keep you;
love her, and she will guard you.
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom,
and whatever you get, get insight.
Prize her highly, and she will exalt you;
she will honor you if you embrace her.
She will place on your head a graceful garland;
she will bestow on you a beautiful crown."

Proverbs 4:1-9

Posted by Ted on 06/28/05 9:10 AM | Link

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Music Pier in Ocean City, NJ

The Vorlon Wife and I visited Ocean City, NJ last weekend. I shot this photo, as I like the geometric shapes it brought together. As a former engineer, I like regular geometric shapes.

Notice the single Laughing Gull sitting on the roof.

Posted by Ted on 06/27/05 11:09 AM | Link

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Return To Base

The Vorlon Wife and I just returned from Hedgesville, WV. A distance cousin to the Vorlon Wife hosted the Orrell Family Reunion yesterday. I piloted Dasher-2 down and back. We left about 09:45 Friday and arrived at our destination about 13:45. Traffic was excellent. We left this morning and glided Dasher-2 onto the home strip about 14:00.

I have quite a few photos to post, but that will take a while. I’m packing and doing my preflight on Dasher-1 as we speak. I’m set for launch about 16:00 for North Jersey.

I am setting up camp at the remote firebase so I can be on-site for combat operations at 08:00 tomorrow morning. I am scheduled to return sometime this Wednesday. Should you Email me, do expect a quick response.

With luck, I will have the photos of the weekend posted by next weekend.

However, I have scheduled something to post each day in my absence. I hope you enjoy it.

Posted by Ted on 06/26/05 2:20 PM | Link

A Very Tiny Bee

Sometimes you just get lucky. I was shooting photos of the Vorlon Wife’s, this tiny bee came by, and I got lucky. I got this photo of him hovering in mid air.

Posted by Ted on 06/26/05 10:05 AM | Link


Do not say to your neighbor, "Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give it"--when you have it with you.
Do not plan evil against your neighbor,
who dwells trustingly beside you.
Do not contend with a man for no reason,
when he has done you no harm.
Do not envy a man of violence
and do not choose any of his ways,
for the devious person is an abomination to the LORD,
but the upright are in his confidence.
The LORD's curse is on the house of the wicked,
but he blesses the dwelling of the righteous.
Toward the scorners he is scornful,
but to the humble he gives favor.
The wise will inherit honor,
but fools get disgrace.

Proverbs 3:28-35

Posted by Ted on 06/26/05 9:59 AM | Link

Saturday, June 25, 2005

A Little Artistic - Maybe

I used my PaintShop Pro to give one of my flower photos the effect of an oil painting. I’m not 100% satisfied with it, but I don’t feel it’s too bad. With a picture like this, it makes me wonder why I worry about being in focus.

Posted by Ted on 06/25/05 10:59 AM | Link

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Flowerblogging

This is one of the Vorlon Wife’s Tiger Lilies. I rather liked the frame I used on this one. I think the frame shape and size match the flower nicely.

The lilies are now coming on hot and heavy. In fact, many of the flowers are doing very nicely. The Vorlon Wife has many many Impatienses, but I have yet to get a satisfactory shot of them. Thank goodness for digital film.

Posted by Ted on 06/24/05 3:55 PM | Link


My son, do not lose sight of these--
keep sound wisdom and discretion,
and they will be life for your soul
and adornment for your neck.
Then you will walk on your way securely,
and your foot will not stumble.
If you lie down, you will not be afraid;
when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
Do not be afraid of sudden terror
or of the ruin[d] of the wicked, when it comes,
for the LORD will be your confidence
and will keep your foot from being caught.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,[e]
when it is in your power to do it.

Proverbs 3:21-27

Posted by Ted on 06/24/05 9:58 AM | Link

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Evil Genius Karl Rove Speaks Out

Bush's evil genius, Karl Rove, was quote in the NY Times saying . . .

Conservatives saw the savagery of 9/11 in the attacks and prepared for war; liberals saw the savagery of the 9/11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers.

It's OK for Harry Reid to call Bush a loser and for Howard Dean to say the Republicans never did an honest days' work in their lives, but don't let Rove question the liberals being soft on defense.

To quote the Instapundit, Heh.

Posted by Ted on 06/23/05 9:48 PM | Link

Strange Military Recruiting Problems

This is an intersting post from StrategyPage on military recruting challenges.

As the U.S. Army struggles to recruit enough people to maintain its strength, the U.S. Navy has the opposite problem; how to get rid of 50,000 excess sailors. The navy has to lose more people than the army is short. What’s going on here? It’s simple. The army is at war, and the navy isn’t. You get shot at, you don’t like it. Most folks can figure that one out for themselves. But it gets rather more strange. The army recruiting problems are with their non-combat troops. It’s much easier to recruit troops whose primary job is fighting.

[. . .]

The army generals are not in a panic over this situation. They have a solution that works, but will cause a big stink in Congress. No, it’s not the draft. The last thing the generals want are reluctant conscripts. The way you get more volunteers is to offer more money. There is no shortage of volunteers, usually men with military experience, to take civilian security jobs in Iraq. These volunteers get paid at least three times what the troops get, and that makes a big difference. The army is already moving in that direction, one small step at a time. Special pay for those serving in combat zones has been increased several times already, and will probably go up again. This sort of approach is not new. During World War II, a lot of men who volunteered for parachute units said a major reason for taking on that dangerous job was the extra pay (about $500 a month, in current dollars). It turned out that being a paratrooper was safer as well, as the parachute divisions had lower casualties than the regular infantry divisions. This demonstrates another reason why people are reluctant to sign up for non-combat jobs. They know they will be less well trained for combat situations, and will be out there waiting to get hit, while the combat troops go looking for fights. This makes a difference when it comes to stress. To be in control of a situation is a lot less stressful.

So the army plans to solve their recruiting problem with more training, more money, and turning a lot of non-combat troops into stress-proof fighters. This is not the kind of “transformation” the army was expecting before September 11, 2001. But wars always bring unexpected change, and there it is.

Posted by Ted on 06/23/05 9:22 PM | Link

Another photo of the Vorlon Grandniece. Is she a future heartthrob or what? Look at those bedroom eyes. She’s going to have guys dropping like flies.

Posted by Ted on 06/23/05 8:40 PM | Link

Did You Ever Have One of Those Days?

This is my Grandniece Nuriel. Man, I think I know how she feels. I think I felt this way when I got up this morning. On second thought, I feel like this EVERY morning.

Posted by Ted on 06/23/05 8:28 PM | Link

Watch What You Eat

From the Darwin Awards

A terrible diet and room with no ventilation are being blamed for the death of a man killed by his own gas. There were no marks found on his body, but an autopsy revealed the presence of large amounts of methane dissolved in his blood.

His diet had consisted primarily of beans and cabbage, just the right combination of foods to produce a severe gas attack. It appears that the man died in his sleep from breathing the poisonous cloud that was hanging over his bed.

Had his windows been open, the flatulence wouldn't have been fatal, but the man was shut up in a nearly airtight bedroom. He was an obese man with an unlimited capacity for creating the deadly gas. Three rescuers became sick and one was hospitalized.

Posted by Ted on 06/23/05 4:01 PM | Link

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Sales & Prospecting Analysis

I had my last sales class today and I have some work to put my sales process together.

I was doing a little numerical analysis of what I might be able to expect from this. This is based on some guess and a little data. I can make about 60 dials an hour. It would appear I can get the person I need to speak to about 15% of the time.

Now comes the real guesswork. I’m going to pretend that 2% of the people I make my offer to will set an appointment to see me. So far, I don’t have any good numbers on that. I hope that that will come with time.

The HPS instructor says that the average HPS salesperson has a 75% closing ratio. I’m going to pretend I can get the same closing ratio.

Based on this analysis, if I prospect six hours a week, I would make 0.8 sales a week or about 3.5 sales a month.

2.5 sales a month would be terrific and I think six hours of prospecting per week is a doable goal.

The key will be actually doing the prospecting and keep detailed records. We’ll see how well I do.

Posted by Ted on 06/22/05 9:49 PM | Link

What's Really At Stake in Iraq

Austin Bay reports from Iraq in an interview with General Abizaid.

I asked GEN Abizaid one question: “This is a long war. The military has played the central role in this war. What can the American people do to get involved and stay involved in this war?” I’ll get his complete answer up when we get the transcript (tomorrow?), but the gist of his reply was this: Americans need to understand the stakes.
Posted by Ted on 06/22/05 8:59 PM | Link

Bush's Flypaper Strategy

Essayist David Warren explores Bush's Flypaper strategy against the terrorists and finds it is winning.

I do feel sure, that while the continuing terrorist carnage in Iraq, especially, but also in Afghanistan, must disturb us as conscientious human beings, we have less reason than ever to be alarmed by it. We are witnessing what amounts to the purposeful bleeding of a septic wound, as the most fanatic Islamist incendiaries from within Iraq and abroad take their best, hopeless shot at bringing down the new Iraqi constitutional order. It is a matter of life or death for their cause, and we could hardly expect them to abandon it easily.

As the author of the much-mocked "flypaper theory" -- the phrase I used to describe the implicit strategy behind the U.S. invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan -- I am more and more persuaded it has worked. All ground indications are that large numbers of Islamist terrorists who would otherwise remain dangerously under cover, not only across the region but in Europe and elsewhere, are irresistibly drawn towards these theatres of action, where they sooner or later get themselves killed.

As terrorists, they were, almost invariably, in a position to be more effective where they were. They are lured away for emotional reasons, or "spiritual" if that word can be applied to something that is essentially not Godly but demonic. It is the Islamist analogy to the way young socialists, anarchists, and adventurers from across Europe were drawn to Spain during its Civil War in the 1930s.

In addition to being annihilated, themselves, they deflate their cause by showing it to be losing. And what began as a recruiting inducement, soon becomes the opposite. For the near-certainty of getting killed oneself, in the cause of murdering (mostly) defenceless civilians, is not as attractive a motivator as the incendiaries make out.

In the longer term, Iraq and subsequent budding Middle Eastern democracies become a draw to the opposite sort of adventurer: the much larger numbers of Arabs, Turks, Persians and other Muslims who had emigrated because there was neither opportunity nor freedom back home. Most people will, when prospects are good, remain in or return to their own countries. The exceptional cases do eventually assimilate abroad.

For these reasons I think the struggle against violent Islamism, though it will take years more to complete, during which there will of course be plenty more carnage, is already won. And we are right to turn our principal attention towards the greater dangers offered by such rogue states as Iran, North Korea, and possibly Saudi Arabia, as they pursue nuclear weapons.

Posted by Ted on 06/22/05 8:48 PM | Link

Ahhh . . . New Socks

As I was dressing the morning after my morning bath I put on new socks purchased yesterday.


One of life's little pleasures is new socks on clean feet.

Posted by Ted on 06/22/05 2:00 PM | Link


The LORD by wisdom founded the earth;
by understanding he established the heavens;
by his knowledge the deeps broke open,
and the clouds drop down the dew.

Proverbs 3:19-20

Posted by Ted on 06/22/05 9:57 AM | Link

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

More High Probability Selling

I had my sales class yesterday. The instructor made an interesting comment. He said, “Always be aware of your market, where it's going and if you can make money in it. Some salespeople get themselves into positions where they cannot make good money.”

Good food for thought.

He covered the Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI) a bit more. He said that somewhere in each of us is a hurt child. As we grow older, we create fairy tales of our childhood.

He said that at the end of the TRI we should be able to say specifically whether or not we trust and respect the person and why.

He then went through the HPS 13 questions one asks the prospect after doing the TRI. The TRI and the 13 questions take about 25 minutes. At that time you should have know whether you have a very high probability of a sales or whether you should just walk away.

I have been attempting to do TRI’s, but I am still having difficulty getting to the person’s childhood pain. The instructor did say it takes practice and a willingness to do things we feel uncomfortable doing.

Today I got myself to do two hours of telephone prospecting. Three people asked for literature. I ONLY email literature to people. It’s quick and it costs nothing. One person asked for literature, but didn’t have email.

When I get a chance to make my offer and the prospect says no. I can almost hear their surprise when I say “OK. Goodbye.”

A good sign is that I’m starting to get impatient with people. When I ask for an individual and they say, “Wait a minute, I’ll get him.” I give them two minutes flat. If I have not response, I hang up and dial the next person. My goal is to make at least 50 dials an hour. Good prospectors can make 70 to 80 dials an hour.

They liken it to going through a deck of cards trying to find the jokers. In my case, I think it’s like going through two decks of cards looking for a single joker. In either case, you go through that deck as fast you possible.

That’s what I’m starting to do.

Posted by Ted on 06/21/05 9:32 PM | Link

Durbin Apologizes

I was pleased to see that Senator Durbin raised the white flag and apologized - as you should. I could ask him why he didn't apologize sooner or even why he said what he did. It was after all a prepared speech and not an impromptu one.

However, if those he offended, the U.S. Military, the victims of the Nazis, the victims of the Soviet Gulag, and the victims of Pol Pot can forgive him, so can I.

They were the ones slandered, not me.

Posted by Ted on 06/21/05 9:23 PM | Link

Here's a quote that Durbin should find interesting

The Winds of Change has a post on "Red-on-Red" fire in western Iraq.

Late Sunday night, American marines watching the skyline from their second-story perch in an abandoned house here saw a curious thing: in the distance, mortar and gunfire popped, but the volleys did not seem to be aimed at them. In the dark, one spoke in hushed code words on a radio, and after a minute found the answer. "Red on red," he said, using a military term for enemy-on-enemy fire.

[. . .]

Real leadership in Tal Afar lies with the 82 tribal leaders. Angered by the attacks and emboldened by the enlarged American military presence here, some sheiks [tribal leaders] have become outspoken critics of the insurgency. On June 4, at great risk to their own lives, more than 60 attended a security conference at Al Kasik Iraqi Army base near here. To the surprise of Iraqi and American commanders who organized the gathering, many sheiks demanded a Falluja-style military assault to rid Tal Afar of insurgents and complained that American forces do not treat terror suspects roughly enough.

I recommend reading the whole post.

Posted by Ted on 06/21/05 2:57 PM | Link

How about Condi Rice?

How about Condi Rice? She goes into the belly of the beast – some of the most dysfunctional regimes on the planet and says, “Repent! The end is near!”

Well OK, she didn’t exactly say that, but she might as well have. What she DID say was the cold war is over. You know the U.S. policy for this region for the last sixty years? It’s over.

There’s a new sheriff in town and he’s going to clean up this swamp. It was OK when you guys just fought amongst yourselves. But the beast that struck us on 9/11 was bred and raised in this swamp.

The new sheriff is going to drain this swamp so that beast can die and never threaten us again.

Look what the new sheriff has already accomplished. Afghanistan has the closest thing to a real government in 1,000 years. Iraq is a coin still poised in mid-air slowly flipping end-over-end.

The Ukrainians stared down the Russians and now have a fledgling democracy. Libya has decided the WMD business is not a good one with the new sheriff and has sworn off their addiction to it. Syria has departed Lebanon.

Not bad, not bad.

Posted by Ted on 06/21/05 10:48 AM | Link

Austin Bay reports from Iraq

Austin Bay is in Iraq and makes an observation that worries many.

This return visit to Iraq, however, spurs thoughts of America -- to be specific, thoughts about America's will to pursue victory. I don't mean the will of U.S. forces in the field. Wander around with a bunch of Marines for a half hour, spend 15 minutes with National Guardsmen from Idaho, and you will have no doubts about American military capabilities or the troops' will to win.

But our weakness is back home, in front of the TV, on the cable squawk shows, on the editorial page of The New York Times, in the political gotcha games of Washington, D.C.

It seems America wants to get on with its Electra-Glide life, that Sept. 10 sense of freedom and security, without finishing the job. The military is fighting, the Iraqi people are fighting, but where is the U.S. political class? The Bush administration has yet to ask the American people -- correction, has yet to demand of the American people -- the sustained, shared sacrifice it takes to win this long, intricate war of bullets, ballots and bricks.

Bullets go bang, and even CBS understands bullets. Ballots make an impression -- in terms of this war's battlespace, the January Iraqi elections were World War II's D-Day and Battle of the Bulge combined. But the bricks -- the building of Iraq, Afghanistan and the other hard corners where this war is and will be fought -- that's a delicate and decades-long challenge.

Given the vicious enemy we face, five years, perhaps 15 years from now, occasional bullets and bombs will disrupt the political and economic building. This is the Bush administration's biggest strategic mistake -- a failure to tap the reservoir of American willingness 9-11 produced.

Posted by Ted on 06/21/05 8:34 AM | Link

Monday, June 20, 2005

Durbin still in the doo-doo

The odor of Senator Durbin’s remarks continues to stick to him. Here's a letter from Paul Galanti. He spent seven years in the Hanoi Hilton and is not pleased with the Senator.

Senator Durbin,

As one who was held in a North Vietnamese Prison for nearly seven years and whose definition of torture and bad treatment is somewhat at variance with yours, I deplore your senseless comments about alleged "barbaric treatment" at our terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo.

Your remarks comparing Guantanamo to the regimes of Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot are outrageous. I tried to think of why a rational human being could make such an outlandish statement but I keep coming up short. I thought I'd seen it all when Howard Dean performed his infamous scream in Iowa but your diatribe yesterday eclipsed Dean's moment of Hannibal Lecter lunacy. And your moment of pique will be infinitely more damaging to members of our Armed Forces serving in harm's way.

I noted, when searching for your contact information, that the first item Google came up with was al Jazeera's joy at your comments. You, sir, for having aided and abetted the enemy in time of war, have been relegated in my mind to the status of Jane Fonda and your colleague, John Kerry as contemptible traitors.

I hope not too many of our valiant members of the Armed Forces have to suffer for your stupid comments. Shame on you.

Paul E. Galanti
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Hat Tip to Citizen Smash

Posted by Ted on 06/20/05 9:14 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (1)

Sniper Shots?

Those .50 Caliber Sniper videos I referenced here may not be accurate. It now appears they are really Prairie Dog sniping. Click here for a link to more Prairie Dogs biting the dust.

Posted by Ted on 06/20/05 8:51 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)


Blessed is the one who finds wisdom,
and the one who gets understanding,
for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.
She is more precious than jewels,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who lay hold of her;
those who hold her fast are called blessed.

Proverbs 3:13-18

Posted by Ted on 06/20/05 9:57 AM | Link

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Bloody and brutal, but hopeful

StrategyPage has a post on more efforts to destroy the terrorists flooding into Iraq. It ends on a hopeful note.

The government is broadcasting the pictures and videos captured from the terrorists, showing how Iraqis are tortured or killed (often by beheading) for resisting. The fact that many of the terrorists are foreigners, especially Saudis, makes many Iraqis angry. These self-righteous foreigners preach how they are in Iraq to “liberate” Iraq from foreigners. Yet the terrorists are never seen doing any good works, like the Americans, only killing and torturing Iraqis. This is turning Iraq into the most anti-al Qaeda country in the Middle East. That, in turn, is resonating in other Moslem countries, where Islamic terrorism is becoming less popular, as more of it is directed against Iraqis.
Posted by Ted on 06/19/05 9:31 PM | Link

Brutally graphic .50 Caliber Sniper Fire

StrategyPage has a video of U.S. snipers using their .50 caliber sniper rifles. Click on the link if you want to view it, but be warned. This is extremely graphic in nature, but it is part of the war that is being waged.

Posted by Ted on 06/19/05 9:20 PM | Link

An Evening at Ocean City, NJ

The Vorlon Wife and I went to Ocean City, NJ last night. We had dinner on the Boardwalk, walked a good length of it and back again, and got home about 10:00 pm. The picture you see here is looking north along the shore at the Music Pier.

This photo is three stitched together. I seem to have trouble getting good panoramas at the shore. I think the continuously changing waveforms messes up the software.

There was a slight land breeze last night so it was actually quote warm. I think it was cooler at home than down to the shore – an unusual circumstance. One of the effects of the land breeze, aside from making the shore warmer, is the waves are greatly reduced. I took a photo, which you can see on the right. Notice how completely calm the ocean is with the waves breaking almost on the beach and they are very smooth. It was almost eerie.

As always, just click on the thumbnail to view a larger image.

Posted by Ted on 06/19/05 8:42 PM | Link

Not enough troops? Hogwash!

Jason Van Steenwyk, Army reservists that served in the recent war, beats the "not enough troops" mantra to death. I recommend you read his whole post. In summary,

Amateurs talk tactics. Rank amateurs talk strategy. Professionals talk logistics.
Posted by Ted on 06/19/05 10:44 AM | Link

Saturday, June 18, 2005


My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline
or be weary of his reproof,
for the LORD reproves him whom he loves,
as a father the son in whom he delights.

Proverbs 3:11-12

Posted by Ted on 06/18/05 9:56 AM | Link

Don't mess with this beauty shop

An armed bandit picked the wrong shop to rob.

An armed robber brandishing a revolver and some tough talk entered Blalock's Beauty College demanding money Tuesday afternoon.

He left crying, bleeding and under arrest, after Dianne Mitchell, her students and employees attacked the suspect, beating him into submission.

Mitchell tripped the robber as he tried to leave and cried aloud "get that sucker" as the group of about 20, nearly all women, some wielding curling irons, bludgeoned him until police arrived.

Posted by Ted on 06/18/05 9:25 AM | Link

Friday, June 17, 2005

Turban Durbin - Aid and comfort to our enemies

Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois hasn’t just put his foot in his mouth; he has slandered every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine in the U.S. military. In comparing the treatment of the terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the Nazi death camps, the Soviet gulag and Pol Pot, he has given Al Jazeera a month of propaganda.

One of the first rules of management is, compliment in public; criticize in private. Had the senator truly had concerns, he could have privately queried the White House and the Department of Defense.

But the senator was not interested in getting to the bottom of anything. He simply saw it as a way to score political points and demean the White House, the war effort and the U. S. Military.

I have seen the salient points of Turban Durbin’s speech. He didn’t just bemoan U.S. treatment of the terrorists. No, he built a dramatic parallel to most ruthless regimes in recent history and compared the U. S. Military to them.

I find his behavior despicable. How many jihadists has he helped to create? The next time a suicide bomber kills a U. S. military person, will the senator take responsibility?

I find the senator’s comments so offensive that I am forced to give fair measure. As he criticized in public, I will do the same to him in the most public venue available. Eye for eye and tooth for tooth, senator.

I could call him a lot of things, but patriot would not be one of them.

UPDATE: I just faxed this basic letter to both New Jersey senators as well as Durbin.

Posted by Ted on 06/17/05 7:43 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (4)

Friday Flowerblogging

Lillies! The Vorlon wife has many Lillies. These are the first that are starting to bloom. Unlike most lilies, these have a rather leathery flower. They’re not as delicate as some. But they are still pretty to look at.

Posted by Ted on 06/17/05 6:57 PM | Link

Strong Words from High Probability Selling

I was perusing the High Probability web site this morning and came across the post, “Most Salespeople are Professional Wimps.” Here’s what I think is the salient quote.

You have to give up on being the most courteous, most agreeable, and most accommodating salesperson on earth. That's not who you really are and that is not the kind of person whom the vast majority of prospects and customers trust and respect.
Posted by Ted on 06/17/05 8:11 AM | Link

Thursday, June 16, 2005

God's Creation

I heard this in my Toastmasters meeting last night and thought I'd pass it on.

On the very first day, God created the cow. He said to the cow. "Today I have created you! As a cow, you must go to the field with the farmer all day long. You will work all day under the sun! I will give you a life span of 50 years."

Cow objected "What? This kind of tough life you want me to live for 50 years? Let me have 20 years, and the 30 years I'll give back to you." So God agreed.

On the second day, God created the monkey. He said to the monkey, "Monkey has to entertain people. You've got to make them laugh and do monkey tricks. I'll give you 20 years life span."

Monkey objected. "What? Make them laugh? Do monkey faces and tricks? Ten years will do, and the other 10 years I'll give you back." So God agreed.

On the third day, God created the dog. God said to the dog, "What you are supposed to do is to sit all day by the door of your house. Any people that come in, you will have to bark at them! I'll give you a life span of 20 years!"

Dog objected. "What? All day long to sit by the door? No way! I give you back my other 10 years of life!" So God agreed.

On the fourth day, God created man and said to him, "Your job is to sleep, eat, and play. You will enjoy very much in your life. All you need to do is to enjoy and do nothing. This kind of life, I'll give you 20 years of life span."

The man objected. "What? Such a good life! Eat, play, sleep, do nothing? Enjoy the best and you expect me to live only for 20 years? No way, man!...... Why don't we make a deal? Since Cow gave you back 30 years, Monkey gave you back 10 years and Dog gave you back 10 years, I will take them from you! That makes my life span 70 years, right?" So God agreed.

AND THAT IS WHY..... In our first 20 years, we eat, sleep, play, enjoy the best and do nothing much. For the next 30 years, we work all day long, suffer and get to support the family. For the next 10 years, we entertain our grandchildren by making monkey faces and monkey tricks. And for the last 10 years, we stay at home, sit in front of the door and bark at people.

Posted by Ted on 06/16/05 9:09 PM | Link


Honor the LORD with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
then your barns will be filled with plenty,
and your vats will be bursting with wine.

Proverbs 3:9-10

Posted by Ted on 06/16/05 9:55 AM | Link

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

World Trade Center NOT destroyed by attack?

Sometimes I wonder what goes through people’s heads. Here’s an article in the Washington Times from a former Labor Department Chief Economist under Bush’s first term. Mr. Morgan Reynolds claims the World Trade Center collapse not because of the attack but rather from a controlled demolition.

This economist doesn’t understand much about engineering or good logic. If you notice, in both towers the collapse started at the point of impact. You should also observe that the tower attacked second collapsed first.

That’s because the point of attack on the second tower was at a lower floor level. Being lower on the tower means more weight above it. That why the second tower went first.

Once the first floor collapsed, the momentum with tons of weight behind it would keep the momentum going. It probably picked up speed as it progressed. Once all floors had pancaked, the momentum continued the floors above the initial impact point to also collapse.

Later the first tower followed the second one to the ground.

The second point I would make, can you imagine, in the middle of the mayhem, a team going into the tower to plant explosives. If you look at a real controlled demolition the team spends days planting and planning their explosives and doing damage to the structure to weaken it.

Mr. Morgan Reynolds sounds like he is off his rocker. His hiring was obviously a mistake.

To think he now teaches others. Sheesh!

Posted by Ted on 06/14/05 8:07 PM | Link


Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh[b]
and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

Posted by Ted on 06/14/05 9:55 AM | Link

Monday, June 13, 2005

My Secret's Out

I had my High Probability Selling class today and the instructor mentioned my blog, Vorlon Whisper – although not by name. Apparently, they stumbled across my blog. In fact, if you enter “high probability selling” into Google, a Vorlon Whispers entry comes up on the second page.

Tonight I received an email from one of my classmates asking for a link to my blog. Joe, if you’re reading this, Hi!

Today we again reviewed doing the Trust and Respect Inquiry. Our assignment is to do at least two with who ever we can corral. The class exchanged phone numbers so we could practice on each other. There not a lot of time for this to take place as the next class is on Wednesday.

A couple of months ago I also took a distance learning 90-minute course on fear. As part of the course they sent everyone in the course a recording of what transpired. I’ve been listening to them and I find them thought provoking.

Posted by Ted on 06/13/05 9:03 PM | Link

Recruiting Shortfall - The Rest of the Story

From StrategyPage . . .

The U.S. Army continues to have problem attracting recruits for its non-combat jobs. All the other services are exceeding their recruiting goals this year, but the army is coming up short. The current fiscal year is eight months gone, and the army is 17 percent short of its annual recruiting goals. But all the other services met or exceeded their goals, putting overall recruiting short eight percent. That’s some 8,000 troops, in a force of 1.4 million. The reserves are doing better, with an overall shortfall of a few thousand recruits in a force of 1.2 million.
Posted by Ted on 06/13/05 8:21 PM | Link

Sunday, June 12, 2005


Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
in the sight of God and man.

Proverbs 3:3-4

Posted by Ted on 06/12/05 9:54 AM | Link

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Better Selling Through Chemistry

Some research at the University of Zurich found that when people sniffed something called oxytocin, they had greater trust in other people. After reading the article in Science News, I wondered how applicable this would be to the real world.

On problem I would see is it might work, while one was with the prospect, but after you left, the effect would wear off and the buyer would suffer buyer’s remorse. Then you’d get that phone call telling you they changed their mind.

Posted by Ted on 06/11/05 8:08 PM | Link

Friday, June 10, 2005

Friday Flowerblogging

This is the Vorlon Wife’s Phlox. She got some seed from the Vorlon Parents and now they come up every year. They’re more of a wild variety and they sometimes get nearly six feet tall. I was surprised to discover that they have a sweet aroma.

Posted by Ted on 06/10/05 7:18 PM | Link

A query from London, England.

At my office, I received an email from someone in London, England. They wanted a quote on Great Plains.

I was surprised at the query, but declined to quote. I gave them a link to Great Plains’ web site which had various contact links. Why would they ask someone in New Jersey when I’m sure they have many fine Great Plains dealers in London already?

I prefer to do business with people that I can form a relationship with. I think London, England is a little far for a relationship to form.

I suspect they were just looking for a quote they could use against someone else.

Posted by Ted on 06/10/05 9:00 AM | Link

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Another High Probability Selling Class

I had my High Probability Selling class yesterday. We have moved out of prospecting and into the selling phase. Yesterday we covered what they call Trust and Respect Inquiry (TRI).

The instructor made the point that people don’t buy from a salesperson because they like them. They buy from a salesperson because they trust and respect. The TRI is a method that allows you, the salesperson, to determine if you trust and respect the prospect.

It turns out that if you trust and respect the prospect, they in turn, will trust and respect you.

I have tried doing these in the past with people as practice, but have never really done them well. When I have met with prospects and clients, I have wimped out.

It’s something I need to do. Successful salespeople do them and do them well.

Posted by Ted on 06/09/05 7:35 PM | Link


My son, do not forget my teaching,
but let your heart keep my commandments,
for length of days and years of life
and peace they will add to you.

Proverbs 3:1-2

Posted by Ted on 06/09/05 9:53 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Howard Dean - the gift that keeps on giving

I always wanted Howard Dean to the head of the DNC, but I never imagined it could be this much fun. The Bush Derangement Syndrome seems to have infected most of the Democratic Party.

In Dean’s case, the malady seems to have reached critical proportions.

I love it. Long may the good doctor reign at the DNC.

Posted by Ted on 06/08/05 8:44 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)


My son, if you receive my words
and treasure up my commandments with you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight
and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver
and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
For the LORD gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk in integrity,
guarding the paths of justice
and watching over the way of his saints.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
discretion will watch over you,
understanding will guard you,
delivering you from the way of evil,
from men of perverted speech,
who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil,
men whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.

Proverbs 2:1-15

Posted by Ted on 06/08/05 9:42 AM | Link

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Another High Probability Selling Class

I had my High Probability Selling class yesterday. The instructor spent the time reviewing everyone’s prospecting results. He used them as examples and gave advice and encouragement.

I was a little surprised in the some people seemed to have been caught flat-footed by the assignment. I will admit I had to scramble a bit to get a list and start calling. But some people didn’t even go so far as to acquire a list.

The best prospector appeared to be our student in Germany. I think I heard him say he made about 150 dials over two hours and gave about 60 offers. Although he made no appointments, those are excellent results. His offer rate is about 40%. That is very good indeed. The higher your offer rate is the larger list you can prospect.

Out instructor said that this was our last session on prospecting now the class moves into High Probability Selling.

Today I got in another hour of prospecting. I think I’m going to tweak one part of my script. I have a response for the Gatekeeper when they ask, “What is this call in reference to.”

Previously I said, “I’m trying to find out if he/she wants accounting software that keeps track of all customer orders and how much inventory you have on hand.”

In the future, I’m going to say, “I sell Microsoft Great Plains accounting software. I’m simply trying to find out if he/she wants accounting software that keeps track of all customer orders and how much inventory you have on hand.”

Although it’s not critical yet, I’m going to need to do something about tracking my results. HPS heavily stress good record keeping. You won’t be able to figure out what works, if you don’t keep records.

I will admit to having some trepidation doing this. It’s an emotion I need to get over. I attended on of the HPS phone seminars on fear and yesterday I received a recording of the seminar. I have been listening to it and I’m finding it informative, but not transformative.

As with almost everything, we are our own worst enemy.

Posted by Ted on 06/07/05 9:09 PM | Link

What the environmentalists don't understand about cars

As I sit behind the wheel, I can feel the cool night air through the open window. The whole car shakes with each firing of each cylinder from the big-block V8. The high-lift cam engine barely stays alive at idle. Each cylinder firing sounds almost like it’s last one. There is just enough inertia in the flywheel to turn the crankshaft enough for the next cylinder to fire.

The two banks of header exhausts consolidate on each side and exit just below the rocker panels. There is a radio in the car, but it’s turned off, as you could never hear over the engine’s slowly beating heart.

A couple of quick punches of the accelerator turns a barely beating heart to an ear-splitting roar and then back to the beating heart.

I push in the clutch and push the gear shit forward. The Hurst shifter clicks into first. The headlights give a preview of the road ahead.

Down goes the accelerator and out comes the clutch. The engine roar returns with a vengeance. I am slammed back into the seat. In any other situation, the sound would be painful, but not now. Undoubtedly, the rear wheels are emitting the mournful wail of banshee and the back end is engulfed in the smoke of burning rubber.

Barely a second has passed and the tach is already redlined. Down with the clutch, up with the gas, back goes the shifter, out with the clutch and down on the gas. Now the car starts to pick up some real speed.

Again, the tach is redlined and the shit into third is made. More smoke from the rear wheels until their speed matches that of the pavement flowing under the vehicle.

Now the tachometer and speedometer race each other around their respective dials. The dashed white centerline in the road turns into a line of gray. The dashes no loner distinguishable.

The tachometer reaches the end of its travel and bam, the fourth and final gear is engaged. From outside the car observers hear the roar approaching, pass them and fade into the night. The exhausts glow dull red in the dark while fire blast from the exhausts along the rocker panel and past the rear tires.

The tachometer is approaching its limit. This is as fast as the car will go. Small imperfections in the road surface feel like rough potholes.

What a glorious feeling. To be in control of such a powerful beast. Going flat out like a bat out of h*** in the middle of the night. It just doesn’t get any better.

Wait, what’s the flashing read light in the rearview mirror?

Posted by Ted on 06/07/05 8:48 PM | Link

Monday, June 6, 2005

How to Make More Money

If you're into making more money, let me recommend the Carnival of Captiatlists.

Posted by Ted on 06/06/05 12:21 PM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

How to lighten the shadows in your digital pictures

On our recent trip to the Skyline Drive, I took 174 digital photos. I happen to like to frame my photos with a tree or other natural object. When I got home and downloaded them to my computer, I was surprised at how dark the shadows were. Look at the photo below and you’ll see what I mean.

I came across a tool called Light Machine. The examples on their web site sold me. I downloaded the trial version and was impressed. After test-driving it, I plunked down my PayPal money and downloaded the real version. Look at the results below.

The tool runs as a Plugin in my ancient PaintShop Pro. I just tell it how much I want to lighten the shadows, it then looks at my photo, figures out where the shadows are and gives me a photo that looks almost like I used a fill-in flash.

It’s like magic.

It can also be used to darken overexposed portions of your photo. Look at my Memorial Day tribute photo. Click on the thumbnail to view the orginal photo I started with.

I used Light Machine to lighten the shadow from the tree. But the part in full sun was over exposed. So I used Light Machine to darken the "hot" spot. I'm not very skilled with this tool yet, but click on the thumnail to see the final result.

The only drawback I see so far is, it seems to add some noise to the photo and it also leaves a "halo" around some of the shadow areas. But, as I say, I'm still learning how to use it and those results may be due to my ineptitude.

Posted by Ted on 06/06/05 10:44 AM | Link


So you will walk in the way of the good
and keep to the paths of the righteous.
For the upright will inhabit the land,
and those with integrity will remain in it,
but the wicked will be cut off from the land,
and the treacherous will be rooted out of it.

Proverbs 2:20-22

Posted by Ted on 06/06/05 8:47 AM | Link

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Could that Euro be coming apart

I found this article particularly enlightening. I think this paragraph is telling.

This is part of the fun of following politics: the relation to reality is generally delayed, but is always there in the end. Unreal schemes often appear and even dominate for a time - fascism, Communism, the League of Nations are examples. But the truth eventually finds them out. I am sure that the "ever-closer Union" on which the European Union has been built from the beginning is one of these unreal schemes, since it believes in two falsities - uniformity where in fact there is diversity, and the primacy of government over people. The two main instruments by which truth reaches politics are votes and markets, which is why political Utopians instinctively dislike both. In Europe, the voters have told the truth, and now the markets are watching.

Hat Tip to Instapundit

Posted by Ted on 06/05/05 2:14 PM | Link

Does the "Do Not Call List" make economic sense

There was a short discussion on how to telephone prospect with the “Do Not Call” list laws now on the books. The “Do Not Call” list makes it harder on salespeople and probably reduces their incomes.

I was pondering these parameters and I wondered, what is the economic impact of the “Do Not Call” list? The “Do Not Call” list came of age in 2002. At that time, the economy was in the doldrums.

In passing the “Do Not Call” registry congress went against the economic interests of the country. It is conceivable that the “Do Not Call” registry prolonged the economic downturn.

I wonder of those in favor of the “Do Not Call” registry realized they were forcing people out of their jobs.

Posted by Ted on 06/05/05 10:31 AM | Link


So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman,
from the adulteress with her smooth words,
who forsakes the companion of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God;
for her house sinks down to death,
and her paths to the departed;
none who go to her come back,
nor do they regain the paths of life.

Proverbs 2:16-19

Posted by Ted on 06/05/05 9:46 AM | Link

Saturday, June 4, 2005

More about the Army Warlock

StrategyPage has a post about how governmental bureaucracy is losing lives in wartime.

Military bureaucrats are slowing down upgrades for electronic jammers that save American soldiers lives every day. Last Summer, the U.S. Army began using new jammers to interfere with the radio signals that control many roadside bombs in Iraq. The terrorists use a number of wireless devices (cell phones, garage door openers, radio control toys) to set off the bombs, and there are a wide variety of frequencies to be jammed. Last fall, the manufacturer (TMC Design) of the jammer (called “Warlock”) was told that the terrorists had come up with some devices using frequencies that were not being jammed. The Warlock was quickly updated. Technically, it’s not difficult to modify the Warlock to jam more frequencies. In February, American troops noted that the terrorists had again figured out which frequencies the Warlocks could, and could not, jam, and were again using frequencies the Warlock could not handle. Again, the army asked the manufacturer to add more frequencies for the Warlock to jam. This time, the upgrade was delayed several months as army procurement bureaucrats fussed with additional regulations and procedures. The bureaucrats were more concerned with keeping their paperwork in order than in saving the lives of American troops. Changing the Warlocks is not rocket science, and the manufacturer can work out how to do it in days, or weeks at most. But it takes the army bureaucracy months to sign off on it. This is common enough in peace time, but you’d think a sense of urgency would prevail in wartime.

Warlock was originally developed outside the army procurement bureaucracy, using the Rapid Fielding Initiative program. This is a procedure designed to get needed gear to the troops as rapidly as possible, bypassing the procurement bureaucracy. But once the procurement bureaucracy gets involved, other priorities take over. In this case, the bureaucrats will insist that the delays did not endanger many Americans, as not that many terrorists knew about the new terrorists, and that the exacting, and time consuming procurement procedures are mandated by Congress and so it's not our fault. That's the appeal of bureaucracy, no one is at fault. But it doesn't help the troops. This sort of thing has happened before, during wartime, and will happen again. Don't think it will ever go away.

This is one of those Catch-22 items. If you allow the troops to just buy as they need you're going to get more waste. But if you keep tight controls on everything you're going to lose lives.

Posted by Ted on 06/04/05 9:35 AM | Link | Enter your comments here (2)

That rock may be listening

StrategyPage has a post about the military using RFID and fake rocks to monitor movements in an area.

Without releasing too many details, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that they are building disposable sensors that use RFID technology. RFID is an electronic device that, when hit with the right electronic signal, responds with information contained in it. Right now, RFID is being used for inventory control. Cargo containers, or individual items (like a can of food) with an RFID chip (they are really cheap) attached, responds, when a hand held RFID reader nearby broadcasts a signal. More expensive RFID chips can respond to a reader farther away, say like one in a low flying UAV. The Department of Defense is building motion sensors into fake rocks, small (golf ball size) fake rocks. The rocks will be equipped with motion sensors that can detect footsteps 5-10 meters away, and various type of vehicles moving nearby at ranges up to a hundred meters. These sensors can be dropped from the air, or placed near American troops (who will then monitor what the “rocks” hear via automatic RFID interrogators placed behind the rocks.) These sensors are cheap enough that they don’t have to be retrieved. Such sensors enable intelligence troops to monitor enemy movements over a wide area. With these “smart rocks”, troops in Afghanistan can, for example, regularly monitor the many mountain passes used by hostile forces to sneak in from Pakistan. You could do it in real time, by dropping a large “repeater” rock to work with dozens of smaller sensor rocks. The repeater would regularly poll the small rocks, and transmit the data back, via a satellite link, to a base. The repeater rocks would have to be replaced as their batteries wore out. The smaller rocks would also have a small battery to store data, and time it was picked up. But the batteries in the small rocks would probably last for months.

Sensors like this are nothing new, they were available, in cruder form, as far back as the 1960s. The new generation of remote sensors are, however, cheap enough to use on a wide scale. Hollywood “fake rock” technology is probably being used as well. Movie makers have been producing more convincing, lightweight, fake rocks for decades. These rocks come in many shapes and textures, but are actually light weight and made of a rubbery material (so actors won’t get hurt when they are hit with a bunch of them). This also makes it possible to drop the rocks from the air without damaging most of them. Dropping the “rocks,” at night, in remote areas, means that they would be almost impossible to detect.

Can you picture all these rocks networked and hooked into a smart piece of software? It could give military commanders a complete real time picture of enemy movements in any area. This could be very powerful indeed.

Posted by Ted on 06/04/05 8:35 AM | Link

Friday, June 3, 2005

More High Probability Selling - I telephone prospect

I did some telephone prospecting today. Yesterday I bought a list for relevant area codes and SIC codes from InfoUSA.

I was a little disappointed in that I didn’t get quite the selection I was looking for. I did some refining and boiled it down to what looked like my target market.

The instructor sent us a sample of what he called a “Prospecting Board.” I used his template and created my own prospecting board. I used the same 20” x 30” foam board he suggested. I propped it up on my trash basket and it made a fairly ergonomic arrangement.

I admit to having some trepidation about doing this. Initially I suffered from “getting ready” syndrome. That’s where one spends a lot of time getting ready instead of, as Nike says, “Just doing it.” I experienced a little bit of wanting to do it perfectly, but reminded myself that it was more about doing versus perfection.

I finally dove in and started dialing.

I prospected for three sessions for a total of two hours and 39 minutes. In that time, I made 123 dials. In that 123 dials I was able to make my offer to the decision maker 27 times.

I used the script of . . .

This is Ted Armstrong with Eastern Business Solutions. I sell Microsoft Great Plains accounting software. It keeps track of all customer orders and what inventory you have on hand. Is that something you want?

As per my instructor’s guidance, I went into what I called “robot” mode. That is I recited my offer in a strict monotone and neutral voice.

I had two people that wanted literature. I asked them for their email and told them we don’t send literature. They coughed up their email address and I fired off two emails with an attached PDF and links to both the Great Plains and my own company web site.

I had one person respond with the questions, “How much?” I gave him my scripted response . . .

Depending one what functions and how many users are needed the amount could range between $10,000 and $60,000.

He was looking for something more in the $5,000 range, so I kissed him goodbye.

One person, when I finished my offer responded with “Yes.” For a brief moment, I was completely flustered. I recovered as best I could and made an appointment to see him.

After making the appointment, I then asked . . .

Depending on what modules and how many user licenses you need, a Great Plains installation can run between $10,000 and $60,000. Are you prepared to spend some place in that range?

He said he was looking for between $5,000 and $10,000. I quickly queried him on what modules and how many users and told him it would likely be at least $12,000. We canceled the appointment.

My instructor said to try to prospect for the full three hours with a 15 minute break each hour. He said they found that you become more productive in the third hour. However, more than three hours is too tiring.

I found he was right. I did become more productive in my third session, but I was pretty wiped afterwards.

It was a good learning experience.

Posted by Ted on 06/03/05 8:38 PM | Link

Friday Flowerblogging

This is one of the Vorlon Wife’s Peonies. They have huge white blooms and must be supported or they will fall to the ground. They are also very fragrant. A small frustration is that not all the buds bloom. For whatever reason some buds just turn dark and fall off. However, those that do are very colorful.

Posted by Ted on 06/03/05 7:37 PM | Link

Are some Jew too smart for their own good?

An interesting article in the Washington Times.

A University of Utah study of Ashkenazi Jews suggests an unusual link between their genetic diseases and their higher intellectual ability.

I have never heard of Ashkenazi disease, but I'm not Jewish. I'm a Heinz American - 57 varieties or an American mutt.

The article hypothesizes that the high intellect of the Ashkenazi Jews is due to natural selection. It later makes what I found as a startling statistic.

In the United States, Ashkenazi Jews make up 3 percent of the American population but have won 27 percent of its Nobel prizes. They also account for more than half of world chess champions.
Posted by Ted on 06/03/05 4:05 PM | Link


Wisdom cries aloud in the street,
in the markets she raises her voice;
at the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
at the entrance of the city gates she speaks:
"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
and fools hate knowledge?
If you turn at my reproof,
behold, I will pour out my spirit to you;
I will make my words known to you.
Because I have called and you refused to listen,
have stretched out my hand and no one has heeded,
because you have ignored all my counsel
and would have none of my reproof,
I also will laugh at your calamity;
I will mock when terror strikes you,
when terror strikes you like a storm
and your calamity comes like a whirlwind,
when distress and anguish come upon you.
Then they will call upon me, but I will not answer;
they will seek me diligently but will not find me.
Because they hated knowledge
and did not choose the fear of the LORD,
would have none of my counsel
and despised all my reproof,
therefore they shall eat the fruit of their way,
and have their fill of their own devices.
For the simple are killed by their turning away,
and the complacency of fools destroys them;
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure
and will be at ease, without dread of disaster."

Proverbs 1:20-33

Posted by Ted on 06/03/05 6:15 AM | Link

Thursday, June 2, 2005


Hear, my son, your father's instruction,
and forsake not your mother's teaching,
for they are a graceful garland for your head
and pendants for your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you,
do not consent.
If they say, "Come with us, let us lie in wait for blood;
let us ambush the innocent without reason;
like Sheol let us swallow them alive,
and whole, like those who go down to the pit;
we shall find all precious goods,
we shall fill our houses with plunder;
throw in your lot among us;
we will all have one purse"--
my son, do not walk in the way with them;
hold back your foot from their paths,
for their feet run to evil,
and they make haste to shed blood.
For in vain is a net spread
in the sight of any bird,
but these men lie in wait for their own blood;
they set an ambush for their own lives.
Such are the ways of everyone who is greedy for unjust gain;
it takes away the life of its possessors.

Proverbs 1:8-19

Posted by Ted on 06/02/05 6:12 AM | Link

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

More on my High Probability Course

I had my sales course today and the instructor spoke about one of his students. A father and son team was selling insurance. He said they were doing about $7,600 a month in premiums. After taking the course, the father and sons made a pact. They vowed that between the two of them, come hell or high water, they would put in 15 hours of telephone prospecting.

After six months of religiously doing their 15 hours a week, they were selling $50,000 a month in premiums.

I don’t see how I could put in that much time for prospecting. But perhaps I could do five or six hours a week and that alone might make a big effect in my business.

Posted by Ted on 06/01/05 9:26 PM | Link

al Qaeda taking it on the chin in Iraq

StrategyPage has a nice update on the success or lack thereof of al Qaeda in Iraq.

American troops operating along the Syrian border find that most of the hostiles they encounter, and kill, are foreigners. Saudi Arabians are the most common, but there are men from as far away as Morocco. The anti-government forces are increasingly non-Iraqi forces. Iraq is being invaded by hostile foreigners, who kill hundreds of Iraqis a month. The invaders speak Arabic and say they come in the name of peace.

After Fallujah was cleaned out last November, Islamic terrorists and Baath Party nationalists fled to many other locations. There was no longer one large concentration of bad guys, but many smaller ones. This caused friction, because part of the al Qaeda package is severe life-style adjustments. The women have to cover up, no Western clothing, music or booze, lots of facial hair on the guys, and so on. This was not popular in Afghanistan, nor is it here. Al Qaeda enforcers will remonstrate, beat, kidnap or kill those who continually disobey. This has led to attacks on tribal leaders who disagree with al Qaeda, and refuse to buckle under to their rules. Some tribal leaders have been beaten, kidnapped or killed. The tribes have responded with violence. Throughout May, American troops in western Iraq encountered battles between Sunni Arab tribesmen and al Qaeda gunmen. American marines would get in touch with the local tribal leaders and offer assistance in these situations. Perhaps a few smart bombs? Overhead pictures from a UAV? Recording of al Qaeda radio conversations? Especially the ones discussing what they are going to do to the tribesmen once this impious resistance is put down. Over the weekend, Sunni Arab and Shia leaders agreed on how the new government would be run. The Sunni Arabs, or at least the majority of them, have agreed to work with the Shias, and against those Sunni Arabs who back al Qaeda and Saddam's old Baath Party.

Incidents involving Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED, also known as car bombs) ran slightly fewer in May than in April, which was the worst month ever for such attacks since the war began. Otherwise, the pattern of attacks has remained rather similar to that in April; about a third seem to have detonated against the apparent intended targets, with about a third being partially effective, and the balance intercepted or detonated prematurely. Car bombs have become more difficult to use, as the Iraqi police become better at defending high value targets, and spotting car bombs under construction, and on the move. As a result, the terrorists are making more frequent use of suicide bombers wearing explosive vests.

Posted by Ted on 06/01/05 9:16 PM | Link


The proverbs of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel:

To know wisdom and instruction,
to understand words of insight,
to receive instruction in wise dealing,
in righteousness, justice, and equity;
to give prudence to the simple,
knowledge and discretion to the youth--
Let the wise hear and increase in learning,
and the one who understands obtain guidance,
to understand a proverb and a saying,
the words of the wise and their riddles.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge;
fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 1:1-7

Posted by Ted on 06/01/05 6:09 AM | Link