Our Blog

Twice a week, each of my kids have their own special “talk” time. Tonight was Anya’s talk, and we watched some old Schoolhouse Rock videos on YouTube. Despite the older production quality, she was fascinated by “Verbs”, the 70s funk learner. Then we watched a Honky Tonk stomper called “Nouns” … which not surprisingly taught us that a noun is a person, place or thing.

Before closing the iPad so we could talk about her day, she pointed out one other video she wanted to see – one of my favorites from when I was a little kid, “I’m Just a Bill.”

We watched it, and when it was over, I asked her if she’d learned anything. She said she did.

“Will I be learning about nouns and verbs when I’m in first grade?” she asked. We have three more weeks of Kindergarten.

“I’m sure you will,” I replied. And I asked her about the Bill video. “Did you learn anything from that?”

She told me she was a little confused by it, so I explained that each part of the country – each state – has congressmen and congresswomen that go to Washington, DC, to try to tell the rest of the country what the people in their area want. So if there is a problem and there needs to be a law, then the leaders – called politicians – can talk about it and make a change. I used an example of the cafeteria lunches at her school. She sometimes tells us that she’s glad she brings her own lunch, because there aren’t always “healthy things” that her classmates eat. “Like the corn dogs. And pizzas.” She did say that she sometimes wants to eat a cafeteria lunch so she can have the yogurt and salads. My sweet girl. 🙂

Anyway, I asked her if there were any things she wanted to write to her congressman about. And of course, after we had just talked about it as an example, she wanted to write a letter about the food in her school. I am not writing this as an attack on our school’s cafeteria or anything like that – every time we’ve visited for a lunch or parent breakfast, everything has seemed very nice, with healthy options. But we had our topic!

The conversation led to how First Lady Michelle Obama is very interested in helping people lead healthier lives. Anya loved hearing about how Mrs. Obama has a garden on the grounds of the White House.

“Can I write the letter now??”Anya Souza-Ponce, Healthy Lunches Letter, Letter to First Lady, Lette rto Michelle ObamaAnya Souza-Ponce, Healthy Lunches Letter, Letter to First Lady, Letter to Michelle Obama

Of course, love.

So armed with a fresh sheet of paper, Anya wrote this letter to the First Lady. I only helped her on the spelling of “grade” and “healthier”.

I’ll send the letter in the mail tomorrow to Mrs. Obama.

 Here is the text:

Dear Mrs. Obama

I am Anya and in grade K. I live in San Antonio. Daddy told me that you have a gaden (garden) and I think that school lunches shold (should) be healthier.

from Anya

 Schoolhouse Rock – A Noun is a Person Place or Thing

Schoolhouse Rock, “Verbs”

We have a new principal at Scobee Elementary, Ron Tatsch … the kids welcomed him at their assembly this morning with a flash mob!

Anya’s class performed Chica Chica Boom Boom, and she was one of four kids who got to deliver a line at the microphone.


Looks like Ben Folds Five is getting back together! This is big news to an old fan like me. I first heard BFF in 1996 on a college radio station while driving an hour every day to Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York. It was the same period that I started listening to Ani DiFranco … these new raw driving songwriters wrote part of my soundtrack for my time in western New York.

Anyway, as I follow Ben Folds on Twitter, many recent posts have been about (and promoted) the new project. I followed one of those tweets and it brought me to this video on YouTube posted by Ben Folds Five.

Basically this is a promotion to get people to And it worked … I pledged $10 and tweeted that #ImaDamVP … Vice President of Promotion, they’re calling it.

Here is a link to the terrific, driving new Ben Folds Five single, Do It Anyway

Anyway, in the video, if you pause at a couple of points, they’re sharing lyrics of what appear to be new songs … and if you were hoping for something that you could play with your kids in the car, you might be out of luck. One song is apparently titled “If You Can’t Draw a Crowd Draw Dicks on the Wall” …

The lyrics visible on the page were:

I ordered something

it took a while

This morning something

Finally arrived

What’s this I’m holding

Time capsule order

(something) … I’m a brand new man

(something) … don’t think I want it.

And there’s another glimpse of another song … is that called “Frank”? I can’t quite tell in the video. Includes an apparent date of 3-24-12.

So, without further ado … here is the text that appears in the video …

We Are

Ben Folds Five.

Darren Jessee, drums

Robert Sledge, bass

Ben Folds, piano

When we started in Chapel Hill, NC, in 1994, it was the heyday of grunge music.

It was all guitars and NO HARMONIES.

Many said we didn’t know what we were doing.

They were right.
And in 2012, we still don’t.

But we’re not alone now.
Because in 2012, NOBODY knows what they’re doing.

Except Steve Jobs and Amanda Palmer
(image of Jobs and Palmer shows, then image of Palmer grows larger and lingers)

Steve Jobs and Amanda Palmer

Steve Jobs and Amanda Palmer

… but I digress.

Ben Folds Five are completing our first album in 12 years.

And inviting you into the process.
Albums outlive all of us.

Like books. Or buildings.

of our de facto record label
We’ll immortalize you in the vinyl LP artwork or subsequent poster art.

And like any good label, we’ll find crap lying around to give away.
Come be a fly on the wall at our studio.

Create images. Make videos. Send the mour way and we’ll spread your creations. And send traffic back to your site for your artistic endeavors.

Stay tuned for pre-sale details of the new Ben Folds Five album.

Entitled …

… entitled …

Well, it’s not finished.


… Anyone else looking forward to the new Ben Folds Five album?


UPDATE: Just saw this post from Ben with more information on the process and songs …

Here is a little Cri-Cri … these are Mexican children’s classics created by Gabilondo Soler. Emi has told me about Cri-Cri for years …

Cri-Cri is known as the “grillito cantor” or “the singing cricket”.

During a recent Affiliate Boys of Summer podcast, we discussed baseball card collecting.

A couple of years ago, I scanned a bunch of my baseball cards in hopes of selling them on eBay and making a killing. I ended up selling a couple of packs of cards from the early 70s, as well as a thrashed Mays 1955 Topps. Didn’t get anything out of them, and decided I’d never sell baseball cards on eBay again. I was tempted to buy some cards back to make up for my stupidity of selling some of my beloved older cards.

Anyway, here are some of the cards I have in my collection.

OK, reality is starting to set in. We’re planning to move to Seattle, Washington, at the end of June / early July.

This is a fantastic thing … we’ve loved living in San Antonio, and it’s been great for us to bring up the babies. But now that Emi is finishing her fellowship, we’re ready to head back to the west coast! And Emi’s new job was her first choice … so we’re very excited about that.

NOW comes the fun part. Selling our house and finding a new one in Seattle! And planning the move … and packing … we’ve already painted the interior of our home, and have done some yard work to prepare it to look as good as it can for potential buyers. We’re signing the papers with our realtor today and then will officially be on the market on Monday.

The tentative plan is to drive to Seattle, since it will take time for all of our belongings to be shipped there anyway, and we’d have to pay for car transport, temporary car rental and airfare anyway if we were to fly.

Below is the route we are considering … should be a lot of driving, but will be a lot of fun!

  • Day 1 – San Antonio to Tucson would be the longest day, about 13 hours.
  • Day 2 – Tucson to Anaheim … dinner at Disney hotel (Goofy’s Kitchen) – 8 hours
  • Day 3 – Anaheim to Marin … see a couple old friends and show the kids SF / Sausalito – 6 hours if by I5; 8-9 hours if 101
  • Day 4 – Marin to Eugene, Oregon, via Arcata – about 9 hours
  • Day 5 – Eugene to Seattle – 5 hours

View Larger Map

Long ago, our ancestors were favored to have a magical guacamole tree. During the one special month of the year, the entire community focused on the harvest. The guacamole dripped from the trees, and men, women and children tried to collect as much of the treasure as possible before it hit the ground.

Unfortunately, due to an untimely meteorite, global warming and infighting due to a diminishing fan base, the guacamole tree was forever lost to us.

But all hope is not lost! My family has passed down this recipe throughout the years which simulates the amazing guacamole that once fell freely from the hillside trees.

So today, just in time for the Big Game, I will share with you the secret guacamole recipe.

First of all, start with avocados that have a little give to them … you don’t want rock-hard avocados – they need to be mashable. I usually use five large avocados when I make it.

Get out a large sharp knife and cut them through the center, to the pit. When separated, one side will still have the pit and the other will be just green goodness. Take your knife and “pop” the pit so the knife will cut into the pit a little bit … then you can pull out the pit on the knife and knock the pit into the trash by hitting the handle of the knife on the edge of the trash can.

With a spoon, I scoop the avocados into a large bowl. I then cut them up a little bit so they’re chunky, but now yet mashed.

Now, here is one of the secrets passed down for generations which I am willing to risk family banishment to share … it’s at this point that you add the salt. I prefer kosher salt, but when you mash the avocados with the salt, it makes such a difference.

Then I use a potato masher and work it all into a slightly-chunky texture, but still pretty creamy. I add freshly-squeezed lime juice, which gives it flavor and also stops the browning of the guacamole.

I add chopped-up cilantro (a pretty decent amount – just the leaves of about half-a-bunch), finely-chopped onion (I like to use red onion to give it a little more color) and two or three chopped tomatoes.

If you are a little adventurous, then chop up a couple of serrano chile peppers. Finely chopped if you want to get it all through the mix, or you can do slivers if you want to be able to pick them out. If you want them to be less spicy, then remove the seeds and veins from the inside of the chiles.

Mix it all together, and then WHAM! You have a guacamole just like my ancestors used to make, way back in our homeland of Scotland. And you don’t even have to wait for the annual guacamole harvest …

Enhanced by Zemanta

When I was younger, I used to collect baseball cards. I took great pride in sorting through them, organizing them by number and year, protecting the most valuable in plastic sleeves and memorizing all of the details printed on the back of the cards. I had a pretty large collection for a kid, and I spent a lot of time on them.

However, time has slipped somehow, and I no longer have my old dirt bike to ride to the store for a pack of baseball cards.

Instead, I have found a new hobby! The REAL reason I go to Affiliate Summits is to further my addiction to BUSINESS CARD COLLECTING.

It was quite a natural progression, actually. The cards are similar in size, and I can still use the same plastic sleeves and binders I used for the baseball cards.

SO. What better way for me to prepare for my next round of Card Gathering than to share with you some of my collection?

Business cards are usually pretty standard. They’re typically 3.5 inches wide, 2 inches tall, printed horizontally with basic contact info and a logo. HOWEVER … there are some standouts in my collection! I’ll tell you a little about what makes some of them stand out …

1: Use of QR Code

QR Codes (Quick Response Codes) are those strange square images that have a unique black and white pattern inside. When “scanned” (I use my iPhone’s Qrafter app, though I’ve also used RedLaser) it will provide a data response, whether a website or an email, or a person’s basic contact information.

Here are a couple of examples of QR Codes being used on cards …

Dave Cupples had a great panel at the last Affiliate Summit, but on his business card (Fat Cow Business) his QR Code is so DENSE, it took me two minutes of trying to get the reader to scan it. If I were a normal person, I would have given up. However, Tim Wisner’s card (his title is “race car driver”, by the way – very clever) beings you right to their URL for It took a split second to scan it. And then Stefanie Amini’s card (nicely made for has a simple script font subtly telling you what to do. That’s good – people need to be told what to do. And I bet she has a better response because of it.

2: Die cut cards.

This is a technique that can be used to great effect. It’s when the card is cut in a way that is custom to the elements on the card. For example, it could be a logo, like Has Offers or ClickNKids … this is a way to make your cards stand out.  Though of course it depends on the image you are trying to present. If you’re an attorney, you might not want a cutely trick on your card. You would want a more somber, elegant presentation.

 3: Print styles

I am a big fan of Spot UV and metallics. It’s impressive how a card can stand out due to just parts of it being emphasized with the glossy UV coating, and the rest of it staying matte. Or part of it printing with metallic inks … wow, that can really make it pop. John Rampton from Maple North has a great looking card using the spot UV. Adam Mai from Rate Special also used spot UV effectively with card sprinted through Gotham Press … a little can go a long way, and their simple use was just right.

Also, the use of rounded corners … I approve, depending on the company.

4: Great Art

I met Jen Goode last year at the party in New York, and spent way too much time just looking at the creative talent displayed on her card. It’s great … as an artist, she really did a great job presenting herself. Plus, it has a fairly traditional flip side, so you can still get her contact information easily.

 5: Make Me an Offer

I like what Jill Swartwout did with her card for Along with having the info clearly presented with the branding for her check offers, the backside of her card had a specific action … “Sign Up” etc.

Now, there were also a few cards that I figured I would include as an illustration of what I did NOT like …

First of all, don’t make your cards to be just a LITTLE taller than everyone else’s. That’s annoying … like a card equivalent of a pop-up ad. Make yourself stand out on your own merits – not because your card sticks up a little higher. Makes me want to throw those out.

Most importantly … INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFORMATION! The point of a card is to share your contact information, right? Make sure to do this! I’m not going throw him under the bus, but there is one guy I had the pleasure of meeting who I think had a lot going for him, but he had to handwrite his email address on his business card. He had his website printed on it, as well as biographical information, but no phone or email.

Oops – I almost forgot the most important aspect of business cards … they almost always have phone numbers and emails of the people you meet! How cool is that. So USE them. Organize them, make notes on who you meet, and get back in touch with them quickly via email if possible.

SO! I can’t wait to get to the summit and see what cards I get to add to my collection. It’s even possible I will use some of them for their intended purpose.

I told my webphobic wife this morning that if she truly loved me, she’d read my blog.

Anyone want to take a bet on whether or not she will comment on this?

Instead of doing something myself, I just took code from a free site for a countdown to ASW12 … here you go if you want to add this to your site …

<iframe src=”″ frameborder=”0″ width=”180″ height=”72″></iframe>


Contact Me


Yay! Message sent.
Error! Please validate your fields.
© Copyright 2017 Eric Souza