Category : Video


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!

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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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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 —

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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!


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North Iowa, Video

Blabbing About The Computer Guy: Webster City Chamber Interview

I had the chance to be interviewed by Deb Brown, the Chamber Director at The Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce as part of their Member Blab Series.  These are 15 -20 minute interviews to give members time to speak on their business, with a few leading questions.  Deb and I have known each other for 10 years or so, so the interview went very smooth.

As of 2016, I will have been in business for 20 years, as I started in 1996 while working at KLMJ Radio.  I decided to go to a full time status as of 2006 after Midwest Wireless claimed I violated their “non-compete” clause as they were getting into computer repair as well.  Funny, I don’t hear the name “Tech Pros” anymore.

I talked about how things got started in 1979 when I helped my Father when he brought our first computer home program it so it could figure out the “perfect” batch of concrete, whether it be for a quarter of a yard or a eight yard load.  The program was written in “BASIC” language, a language that I got pretty good at programming.  I wrote tons of programs and I even got paid for some of them!

We discussed how people from Hampton and from Webster City sometimes take their communities for granted on what we expect from them.  I don’t know the term, but we need to knock it off.  If we host a visitor from another town, complaining about what we don’t have is not going to want to make them stay.  In High School, I hated Webster City, because we always played them for Homecoming…and they were good.

Deb asked me about computer tips and tricks, so I do want to make sure people follow me on Facebook at my business page of

The easiest way to contact me is either a call or text to 641-420-1234 — The EASIEST number in North Iowa!

Enjoy the interview!

(Sorry for the big yawn at the end.)


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