Stepping Into The Blogoshere

MH_1_backdrop-web-thumbI had a great conversation yesterday with Matthew Homann, a St. Louis attorney and author of The (Non) Billable Hour, a blog devoted to "revolutionizing the practice of law, one lawyer at a time." Matt has been blogging since January, and much to his bemusement, is becoming semi-famous in the blogosphere, which is a quasi-bohemian neighborhood in cyberspace that I fully expect to be yuppified in the coming years. In fact my arrival may signal the deluge.

(If you did not understand a word of the above, run out and get yourself a 16-year-old advisor).

Anyway, I think Matt has a great blog, and better yet, it has led me to many other legal blogs (or "blawgs", which….oh, never mind) and marketing blogs.

But beware, this is a great way to lose an entire afternoon. Take my advice and visit on a Saturday. We’ll try to have Matt join us on a future client conference call.

Hurricane Charley Deals Smart Marketing A Glancing Blow

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To all who expressed their concern for us this past weekend, thank you. It meant a lot to us to know that our friends around the country had us in their thoughts and prayers. The photo at left is of our parking lot, 25-30 feet from our office.

Last Thursday afternoon, we packed up everything that can move in our office. Essential items — computers and client files — were moved off site, while everything else was packed into our interior conference room or our utility room. Our office was in the mandatory evacuation area and thus we could not have stayed, even if we had been so foolish as to do so. At the time, there was some half-hearted joking about what a pain it was to dis-assemble and then reassemble our entire office, since the weather stations were telling us that Charley was headed to Tampa, some three hours north of us.

In retrospect, obviously, our excess of caution looked pretty wise.

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Friday, Charley struck. Winds in Naples reached 95 miles an hour, and caused about 150,000 people to be without power. (Lesley was without power at her home for about 30 hours). There was significant property damage, although it pales in comparison to what happened just north of us in Punta Gorda.

(Smart Marketing employees will all make a contribution to the hurricane victims, with a matching amount from the company.)

Saturday morning I visited the Smart Marketing offices and took the photos you can see in the Hurricane Charley photo album (in the right hand margin of the SmartBlog). Inside our offices there were soaked ceiling tiles and wet spots on the carpet, but nothing we couldn’t fix. Our handyman is replacing the ceiling tiles as I write this.

Thanks again to all of you.

And to Charley, goodbye and good riddance.

Startling New Breakthrough In Medicaid Planning!

I thought everyone (particularly those involved in Medicaid Planning) might get a kick out of the following, from Atlanta attorney Chuck KinCannon:

Recently I was checking my 401K account and thinking about retirement, as everyone does when they hit 45. I saw an article about nursing and retirement homes and the expenses. Then it hit me. No nursing home for me!

Here is my plan: I’m checking into the Holiday Inn.

With the average cost for a nursing home reaching $188 per day, there is a better way when we get old and feeble. I have already checked on reservations at the Holiday Inn. For a combined long-term stay discount and senior discount, it’s $49.23 per night. That leaves $138.77 a day for breakfast, lunch, dinner in any restaurant I want, or room service. It also wil leave enough for laundry, gratuities, and special TV movies.

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Plus, I’ll get a swimming pool, a workout room, a lounge, and washer and dryer. I’ll also get free toothpaste, razors, shampoo and soap. And I’ll be treated like a customer, not a patient.

Five dollars worth of tips a day will have the entire staff scrambling. There is a city bus stop out front, and seniors ride free. The handicap bus will also pick me up if I fake a decent limp. Ride the church bus free on Sundays. For a change of scenery, take the airport shuttle bus and eat at one of the nice restaurants there. While you’re at the airport, fly somewhere.

Meanwhile, the cash keeps building up.

It takes months to get into decent nursing homes whereas Holiday Inn will take your reservation today.  And you are not stuck in one place forever–you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city.

Want to see Hawaii? They have a Holiday Inn there, too. TV broken? Light bulbs need changing? Need a mattress replaced? No problem. They fix everything and apologize for the inconvenience.

The Inn has a night security person and daily room service. The maid checks if you are OK. If not, they will call the undertaker or an ambulance. If you fall and break a hip, Medicare wil pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life. And no worries about visits from family.  They will always be glad to visit you, and probably check in for a mini-vacation. The grand-kids can use the pool. What more can you ask for?

When I discussed my plan with friends, they came up with even more benefits that Holiday Inn provides retirees. Most standard rooms have coffee makers, reclingin chairs, and satellite TV–all you need to enjoy a cozy afternoon. After a movie and a good nap, you can check on your children (free local phone calls), then take a stroll to the lounge.

**And don’t forget, it’s double occupancy if your partner (either sex) is still with you.

Three Amigos and the Smart Marketing Get-Together In Denver

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SmoochI haven’t posted in two weeks. The first week I was in Denver for WealthCounsel and the National Network, and this week I have been digging out from under the three weeks of work that accumulated in the one week I was gone. (I think there is a formula. One week out is equal to three weeks of makeup divided by the number of emails and multiplied by the number of phone messages. This will require further thought.) WealthCounsel was very interesting and on Thursday night we had a Smart Marketing get-together. I gave a short presentation on websites, the internet, and search engine marketing and then we settled down to some fun. mr_mrs_horen As seen in the photos posted here (more to come) you can definitely liven up your party by inviting a few crazy Italians. Left to right: Yours truly, Smart Marketing client and Medicaid guru Dave Zumpano (upstate NY), and Smart Marketing client and everything guru Joe Strazzeri (San Diego). More respectable guests included Smart Marketing client Bob Horen (Denver) and his wife Sherry. (Click on the images to see a larger version.)