Category : Video


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

Let’s be 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!!


Read More

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!

essany-west essany-blair
      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!

Read More

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!


Read More
North Iowa, Video

Random Access – Show #3 – Let’s Grab A Cup!

Imagine a simpler time, 1921, let’s say — but with some of the technology and expectations of today. You stroll into an old-time coffee shop and order a cup of Joe straight up black. Well, you COULD do that, but you could also order one of MANY varieties of coffees, lattes, and mocha beverages. Team that up with smoothies and silky hot chocolate and you have yourself one heck of a coffee shop.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!  Yes, sweet treats and even biscuits and gravy on Saturday mornings.

What am I talking about, you ask??  Well, it’s called Block 10 At 1921 City Hall in downtown Sheffield, Iowa. Yes, it’s the old Sheffield City Hall that’s been converted into a coffee shop AND a rentable hall in which they are having weddings, banquets and other events. It’s a piece of history and I’m glad Holly Coffee and her husband have invested in this small North Iowa Community that I called home in the 70’s during the summer months at my grandparents’ home.

A few weeks ago I decided to give Holly and UN-announced visit with my video camera, yes, she wasn’t prepared, but sometimes that makes for the best video. After some mild arm twisting, she said, “Let’s do it!”  Now, I’ve known Holly and her family for 30+ years and I’m very happy to see her in this location with her daughter fixing up treats for the locals and travelers who are on their way to work. It’s worth the stop and the scones are WONDERFUL.  Just tell them Pat Palmer sent you by and watch Holly smile!

Their hours are from 7am – 10:30am Monday through Saturday, but I have a hunch of you are there a bit before 7 am, you will be taken care of. You won’t be disappointed.

Check them out on Facebook —

Read More
North Iowa, Social Media, Video

Random Access – Show #2 – What Am I Bid??

So, MANY years ago — probably around 1989 or so, my Dad said, “Hey, let’s go see Leroy Van Dyke in Fort Dodge — he’s the world’s most famous auctioneer!”  I said, “Sure!” Leroy ran through his normal set of songs, then concluded with “The Auctioneer.” Now, my Dad being a huge fan, tried to sing the song all the way home — epic fail.  Since then, I learned the song and sing it now and then at karaoke whenever the chance presents itself, now more than for any other reason as a tribute to my Dad. I also have a general fascination with auctioneers because all I did was memorize a song, these folks have to handle all sorts of situations from bid calling, clerking, accounting, logistics and even social media.

I’ve heard of The Worldwide College Of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa for a long time, as it’s been around for about 80 years. Paul Behr is the president and along with his partner Vicky Ginder run the training program that has turned out some of the best auctioneers in the country. My friend Sara Broers of Social Connections and my partner in Home Grown Social Media handles their social media training and she told me to stop by!

Students ranged from the young to the young at heart and also featured former Denver Broncos’ Running Back Reggie Rivers who is there to hone his skills in the area of benefit and collectible auctions. I also was prepared and picked up his autograph as well.

I plan on going back this Friday evening for the Student Auction and see how Blake and Reggie have progressed over the rest of the week!


Read More
1 2 3 4 8