Author Archives: Patrick Palmer

North Iowa, Social Media, Video
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Random Access – Show #8 – Do You Want Fries With That?

A few months ago, I noticed a new business page on Facebook that offered food delivery in Mason City and North Iowa. The page was called “We Got It.” It looked like two guys were starting up a service running food all around town. They mentioned a few places and talked about their travels. It made me wonder, what kind of a commitment must this be and how does this all work?

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and I reached out to them and asked them how it was going and if they’d like to be my guest on this blog and right away they said, “YES!” So, I lined it up so they could meet me at Social Media Breakfast in Mason City and I’d just chat with them after the program. Little did they know, they were going to get the BONUS plan, because KIMT-TV was planning on coming after the breakfast to interview Sara Broers and I about our new venture of Home Grown Social Media and our NEW on-line school that we had just launched.

When Sara told us that KIMT was on their way but running behind, Jonathon sort of kicked at the ground and said, “Gee, I wish KIMT would do a story on us.” I said, “Hold on boys, don’t leave — I’m thinking we can work this out.” Right away there were smiles and a few “WOWs” and sure enough, after our portion was done, the boys from “We Got It” were interviewed …and played on that night’s KIMT 6:00pm newscast. Click for their KIMT interview.

Meet Trysten Swanson and Jonathan Marinero — the guys who will go the extra mile for your culinary cravings — just call them and order your food at (641) 210-8699.

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PS: I think they’ll be back to Social Media Breakfast!

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Random Access – Show #7 – Happy Trails To Rex Allen Jr

As long as I’ve been going to country music shows, I’ve had the chance to see Rex Allen Jr, probably a dozen times or so over the last 30 years. Always pleasant, always jovial and a hit with the audiences no matter where he goes, I thought it was time to catch up to him on his “Sunrise To Sunset Tour” that will wind up in September — right here on Random Access.

I first learned of his retirement from the road in November of 2016 when he appeared in Emmetsburg, Iowa at the Wild Rose Casino. The crown gasped when he announced it and I also couldn’t believe it’s true. All good things must come to an end, and in this case, Rex Allen Jr was a good thing.

While waiting to get my photo signed, I heard him talking to the fans. Naturally, they remember his Dad, Rex Allen and the many shows he was on and that country radio just isn’t the same as it was. When asked about his plans, Rex told one fan, “I want to get my music on CD and I want to get Dad’s music on I-tunes. I think it will be quite a project, but I’ll get it done.”  When you’ve spent 50 years on vinyl, maybe it’s time to do some updating. Rex will have plenty of time for that.

I wish Rex the best in his retirement from touring — and if he ever wants to get back on the road, I’ll be first in line to buy a ticket!

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Random Access – Show #6 – Chapel Con Hits Albert Lea, MN

Let’s me honest here… I like meeting famous people. About 6 months ago I was driving home from God-Knows-Where and saw a poster for something called “Chapel Con 2017.” Now, I’m not a CosPlay person and really don’t get into the costumes and all of that stuff but the poster caught my eye because of the name “Lou Ferrigno!” It was right then and there I pulled out my phone and snapped a picture of the poster and put the event in my Google Calendar.

Fast forward several months and now I’m seeing Facebook posts and billboards on the event. Added to that is Married With Children’s David Faustino who played Bud Bundy and I’m all over that. SO, I finally bought the tickets for the wife and I to attend, given the fact that I don’t really think she knew anyone who was going to be there — but she played along.

I bought the standard admission ticket and we rode the shuttle to the event. No big deal, but I could have seen how some people wouldn’t care to ride the school bus. By the way, when did school bus seats get so small?? It’s a given that Becky and I didn’t share a seat.

Once inside there were all kinds of people playing “dress up” but they were VERY cool. I can tell that some people REALLY take this seriously — and good for them. For me, this is a hobby and it takes the place of other things I guess I could be doing that cost more money. We don’t smoke and don’t party too much anymore, so we take in shows like these as a hobby.

The first person I had to meet was Lou Ferrigno who played The Incredible Hulk. His handshake was SOOOOO soft. It wasn’t girly or wimpy, it was just soft. I knew that he could crush my hand like a grape, so thankfully, he took it easy on me. He didn’t say much, I made small talk like “Have you been to Minnesota before?” He said, “Yes, but not this area.” and I asked him if he ever had Spam and he said “No, but I heard it’s very good.” (Obviously, he never had Spam before.) He seemed a bit irritated that there was no WiFi and that’s an issue that Gilbert (the organizer of the event) told be that he would rectify in the future. A picture WITH him was $40 and an autograph was $40. I had a picture with him first…went over in the corner and cried and then went back to have him sign a photo. The sticker shock was a bit much for him.

Next, I went to hunt down David Faustino, who played Bud Bundy. What a neat guy. We chatted about mutual people we had in common through various autograph shows and he was really nice to talk to. He had a picture/autograph package set up, so his price was a bit more tolerable and made me feel better about the event. Sure, stars have to cover their expenses, but if their prices are too high, no one will spend the money — it’s a vicious cycle. I later found out that on Monday, David Faustino and his friends came down to Clear Lake and rented a pontoon and took in the day on the lake. Another example of the economic impact that Chapel Con had on the region, NOT just Albert Lea.

We looked at the various vehicles, ran into some friends, then headed for the bus. I did see other stars there and pro wrestlers, but since I didn’t have a connection with them, we just looked around. There were over 100 vendors and since I knew a few of them, we chatted about the event. The ones I talked to were very happy and talked “next year” type of things.

I’m VERY positive that Chapel Con 2018 will be better and look forward to attending. This is a good thing for not only Albert Lea, but for Southern Minnesota and North Iowa to get behind. See you next year…. WHOA Bundy!!

 

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Random Access – Show #5 – From The Living Room To The Bedroom!

Back in 2000 or so when cable TV was still $29.99 a month, I was easily entertained by what I would call “Celebrity” Reality TV. There were many programs on The E! Network, VH-1 and MTV that would fit into this arena. Many were elimination dating shows, some were new shows on FOX and then there was my FAVORITE — The Anna Nicole (Smith) Show.  Sure, it was a train wreck, but it was mindless entertainment. I liked that…and still do!

So one night after Anna ended up in another predicament on her show, I left the TV on and went into the kitchen and heard some kid talking to actors, comedians and his side kick from his LIVING ROOM in Valparaiso, Indiana. I thought WOW, what a gig! “The Michael Essany Show” featured his Mom and Dad and a bit of the back story on how they got the guest to show up. There may have been about 10 minutes or so with the guest, but the rest was his trials and tribulations of writing the monologue, the phone calls to get the guest there, some idolizing over Letterman and Leno and then some footage of his Mom and Dad putting up with their son. It was a neat show and from what I remember it was on several seasons and I never missed it…after Anna Nicole’s show was over.

Here’s the Wikipedia Link in regards to The Michael Essany Show.

Fast forward to 2015 and Becky and I are at The Hollywood Show in Chicago (Rosemont, actually) and I see this young guy who I recognize. I paced around for a bit, because — I forgot his name!!  Then it hit me… It’s MICHAEL ESSANY! I walk up to him and he’s as friendly and as personal as can be. I asked him if it would be too much to get a quick interview and he tells me that he’s going to meet a few folks, then I can track him down and we’ll chat. We had a nice chat and then did the interview (See Above) and bumped into each other a few more times that afternoon as we were both celebrating being fans! We are both fans of the same stars — the late Adam West and Linda Blair. I loved his classic photo with Linda Blair from The Exorcist that he posted on his Facebook page. (See Below)

Fast forward ahead to 2017 and NOW, he has a show on Amazon Prime called “The Goodnight Show With Michael Essany!” Naturally, when you are now a proud father as Michael is, you feature your kids in the promo for your show.  Even if you spend time with him watching him in the bedroom!

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      Michael with the late Adam West               Michael hamming it up with Linda Blair

I’ve said it since the first time I saw him, he will go far. I wish Michael only the best and I appreciate him taking time out of his day to chat with me. I’m glad I’m an Amazon Prime Member, because season one of his show is included with my membership!!

PS – And because I know you are all curious… Here’s The Anna Nicole Show as well. Enjoy!

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Random Access – Show #4 – No Fake Noodles Here!

One of the newest restaurants to open in Mason City, Iowa is called Z’mariks Noodle Café. I had a chance to sample some of their great pasta at Social Media Breakfast in late May and then took a tour of the facilities.

The atmosphere is fresh with cute signs and sayings around the store. There was a smile on every face, even a few of the staff who I could tell were still learning, as my tour was during a dry run to help them with procedures and practices. They do have special menu items if you have some food allergies. Their aim is to please, so if you don’t see something, please ask.

Z’mariks is located on Highway 122 in front of the Hampton Inn and next to Caribou Coffee and is the first Z’mariks to have an outdoor dining area. The outside of the store is very neat and clean — a hallmark of Gary Kinseth and his properties. I feel that this will be a good fit for Mason City with some of its Greek Heritage in place already. With lines out the door, it’s becoming a VERY popular noon-time spot because of their efficient service. I will wait a bit until the crowds die down to go back, but it is on our short list of places to visit very soon!

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