Cleon Joseph’s “Navigating Through the Valleys of Success”

Photo by Cheyanne Joseph

Cleon Joseph is a family man, entrepreneur, civil servant, guru, dreamer and so much more.  As a man of passion, he fulfilled one of his life aspirations in publishing his new book, “Navigating Through the Valleys of Success,” just in time for the anniversary of many of his major life milestones (and his twin brothers Birthday today).  (Offering book signings in the Los Angeles area at this time for the release.)

“Navigating Through the Valleys of Success is a book specifically targeted for entrepreneurs as it navigates through Mr. Joseph’s life experience as the child of a greatly successful entrepreneur who did the unimaginable and became an entrepreneur himself, despite of it all.  Whether you want to be a small business owner or a billionaire, this book will take you down familiar paths of tribulation and self discovery.  As a copy editor for this book, I found the context to be honest, insightful, spiritual, hilarious, heart warming and intelligent.  The official website can be found at

Because of the writing style that Mr. Joseph has chosen to share his entrepreneurial endeavors, this book not only relates to career driven individuals, but also anyone that is looking for relate-ability in life’s challenges or complexities.  Reflecting on family dynamics, social and economical conflicts, evolution of growth, and balancing dreams with family.  This book truly gets deep down and personal.

Removal of Racism?

Much like the rest of the country, Helena, Montana was quick to respond to the national uproar addressing the memorializing and preservation of confederate monuments and other landmarks that commemorate the ideas behind what people have narrowed down to Racism or racist though.

I wanted to get a picture of the landmark before it was torn out as a documentation of history, but the city was too quick to follow through with their promise. See the original article here:

Now this is what is left:

Whether the city plans to replace the monument with a new landmark, I have yet to hear and have not taken the time to inquire, but I would think something in memory of why this was changed would be a good artistic approach. Rather than reflecting on hate and tragedy, acknowledge what good might come from removing this place setting.

My opinion, the civil war was about many things. Though racists participated in battling against their opposition, the purpose of that war had nothing to do with freeing slaves or independence from discrimination and freedom from hate. Promising freedom was just a bonus for extra bodies. Black men and women were treated worse in the North than they were in the south in some cases and suffered just as much after the North won the war because they had to find paying jobs in an overflowed market that despised them for their circumstance.

Racists still participate in battles now. Focus on their hate towards who they’re attacking is ignored, because rather than those people being our neighbor, they’re overseas. What will you do to the monuments that remember the longest war in history? How will we memorialize what has yet to truly end.

How do we remember our history in order to learn from our mistakes when people that can’t stand to look at them erase what’s passed? I would appreciate these things in a museum, where they can be acknowledged properly and considered. Invaders all over the world wiped out various cultures, history, documentation and identities by erasing what exists to pass on those stories. Private collectors covet them while they’re being removed from the sight of common man. Much like book burnings, I don’t approve… but I’m just one person and that’s my opinion.

I am a minority. I am a first generation. I have a respect for history and use it to remain vigilant. I pray that with all of this anger and hasty action people do not forget why they’ve made the choices they have when generations look back at this time (if they even have any real record of it to look back on to).

Speak your mind about the Silos

Tonight was the beginning of some major forward momentum for making future hopes of the Silo’s development in Townsend a reality. Community members joined together to discuss possibilities to already proposed ideas for the area and where we can go next in terms of moving forward with proposal plans. 25 community members were in attendance, representing various parts of the community with interest of what was going to become of this beloved recreational area.

Tonights efforts were about helping to develop ideas to add into the framework plan for designing and developing the Silos recreation area along Canyon Ferry Reservoir. Community driven planning is being combined with city and county collaboration with the Federal Government to best decide how to beautify and evolve the resources and landscape available at the Silos. Adding recreational opportunities, additional resources, beautification and functionality.

The hope is to get constructive community feedback to develop a good plan to be able to move forward with an environmental assessment and implement the introduced conceptual ideas for opportunities to attract local business to the area along with supporting tourism that regularly comes through the area that may very likely grow over time.

Establishment of long term and short terms goals of the development intentions is the agenda. Low, moderate, and high development plans are being formulated through community opinion and establishment of possibilities so that the county and Federal Government can best respond to the needs and opinions of the public as the land is governed by the Board of Reclamation.  Having the variety of options and strong feedback will give a strong image of what these development opportunities could include.

A great example of opportunities of development was mentioned to be the Goose Bay Marina. The comparison of development and how the property is presently managed and funded is a consideration that should be verbalized when sharing opinions. It is directly addressed in the survey provided at the website below. Take the time to voice your opinion and be heard about how you feel this public entity should be developed, maintained and managed.

Two more meetings are schedule to take place and open to the public for attendance and participation. The meetings are scheduled to take place August 24 and September 28 from 6-8 pm at the Townsend Library in the Community Room.

In the mean time, please visit to review the website and participate in the survey that allows community members to voice their opinions about planning and ideas. The website will be updated regularly with updates on the progress of the planning and development. Notes from this evenings meeting will be available for review and feedback. Responses towards survey results will be presented in future meetings and posted on the website as part of public feedback and statistical information.

Key questions to consider:

What do people want to see at the Silos to maintain and grow community?

Should the development focus on local use or focus on accommodating a larger demographic?

What should be done about expansion of parking and boat ramp availability for long term use and occupancy growth?

Opportunity for development on the land and/or surrounding area?

Accommodations for large groups?

Consideration for land capacity, paving, and applying for the use of federal land access funds to help with the development?

So much more….

Presently, existing concessions will continue to manage the area until alternated decisions arise. Outlooks should consider the 20-year growth of economic development and expectations.

This development is a huge step towards increasing commerce within our community, maintaining and preserving the natural resources while updating the area and making it more appealing for tourism. Please consider making your ideas known to help make this face lift one that everyone can be proud of.

Where have all the campers gone?


Goose Bay Marina is a well known gem in Southern Montana. Many community members were broken hearted when the location had to be shut down for repairs. Outdoorsmen and women come from all over the country to enjoy Canyon Ferry Lake. This little gem is a great spot to take your family. My favorite little secret about the camp site is the Huckleberry Ice Cream Sandwiches hiding in their ice box for sale at $1 each. The little shop is fully stocked with provisions, bait, and basic survival gear for water fun and camping needs.

What happened to cause the closure? The Bureau of reclamation managed the land as it is publicly owned. The location was declared condemned by the Bureau as the well and septic system were contaminated. Goose Bay Marina reopened towards the end of may last year and has been open since April 15th for this season. The Bureau bull dozed everything and rebuilt the site to its present glory over three years. This site is more family oriented and geared towards satisfying the needs of people with children and do not sell cigarettes.





With its open picnic area near the water, full resource facility for campers, boat dock and ramp, along with the many hosted and open camp sites for tent and RV spaces you would think that this place would be packed! Goose Bay Marina has a walking path, room for bicycle riding, and spaces to play games.


Spread the word that the renovations have been completed and the boat dock is in full use. We’d like to see this public resource thriving. The camp grounds will not be open for much longer as summer is slowly coming to an end. Take advantage of this beautiful space while the season is still going strong. For more information about the camp grounds visit or call (406) 266-3065. For press information call (406) 587-9054. Publish reviews at


Canyon Ferry Walleye Festival closes another year of competition

Sunday marks the end to this years 19th annual Walleye festival in Townsend, Montana.  Traveling more than 200 miles from Fort Peck Lake to Canyon Ferry Lake, fisherman dedicate these two months concluding spring to rake in the winnings by reeling in the largest (and sometimes smallest) catch for the end of spring circuits that run back to back through the weekends of May and June.

The community really comes together to support this long standing event.  “There’s a lot of information on the Montana Walleye Circuit website about this tournament and all the other tournaments throughout the state.  From Fort Peck, Tiber Lake, Fresno Lake, and then here.  We’re the last tournament to decide who’s the angler of the year,” said Director for Canyon Ferry, Matt Zeadow.

The zebra muscle watch and boat washing stations haven’t scared these true contenders away.  More than 135 boats participated as team entry’s.  Winners for these two-person teams completed the years final two-day charge as follows:

$10,000 go to Colby Tognetti and Kyle Vine with 37.5 lbs.

$4,500 go to Patrick Evanston and Justin Krieger with 34.34 lbs.

$2,500 go to Wayne Wilcox and Owen Wilcox with 28.83 lbs.

See official scores and winners post at


Categories were so graciously explained to me by the director as we watched contestants bring in their catches for weighing:

“We give away many many prizes: the Wee Walleye.  So, the smallest walleye that is brought in [sponsored by Kip Meyer from Meyer Electric, they’re the ones that sponsored that]. Whomever brings in the smallest walleye today gets $100.  And then the Large Walleye was V-Dubs in town here: they did a sponsorship for that for $250 to whomever brings in the largest northern.


We do Big Walleye, where all the participants put in $250 a day for that, and the $10 per day goes towards the largest walleye.  The largest today will be over $1,000 for today and tomorrow.  We give away day money and hourly money.  The local flooring (Townsend Flooring) in Townsend helped to make that possible.  There’s a lot of money coming through to support this event.  Estimate of mid to high $30,000 range,” explained Matt.

Winnings ranged from $200 to $10,000 for most pounds caught.

This event is used to raise money to fund and support Canyon Ferry Lake.  More than 40 volunteers came out to help with the event as the year long preparations came to fruition.

Next year, there are hopes that a new face will rise up to the challenge for Canyon Ferry’s Director position.  It takes a lot of work and dedication, of which much of the community already proudly contributes in the many functions this town upholds year round.  Matt is looking forward to establishing his predecessor.  You can find information for the many helping hands for these events on the Montana Walleyes Unlimited website at

Walleye Unlimited is a nonprofit organization.  Sponsorships and support of the event is welcome and greatly appreciated.  Contact the organization at (406) 781-2799 for more information on how to contribute to future events.  Entry forms for 2018 contestants will be made available at  Renew your membership for the coming year.  Click on the FP Circuit tab to SIGN UP NOW for the Governors Cup and the Hell Creek Tournament at the Fort Peck Reservoir.  Other tournaments run through the end of August.

Packed at the Made in Montana Trade Show

Finally settled in at our new home in Southern Montana. What do we decide to do with our very first free weekend? We wander into the Lewis and Clark Fairgrounds in Helena just in time to experience our very first Made in Montana Trade Show.  As we walked towards the main hall we were immediately met by a line that quickly began to wrap around the building.  Thankfully, there wasn’t much of a wait as we were all huddled together in 30 degree weather as it slowly warmed up and the snow was quickly melting all around us.  More than 6,000 consumers were in attendance for this years event.

“I’ve been to this trade show for the past two years and there has never been a crowd like this.  I guess it’s a good thing.  They’re getting more attention,” said a woman standing behind me in line as she waited with her husband.

Once meeting the main entrance we were greeted by a list of the more than 150 businesses in attendance for the Made in Montana Trade Show this year.  The organization supports thousands of local businesses that specialize in goods made in Montana.  They are proud of the fact that the products that are made here are also sold everywhere and that 40% of the revenue that is produced comes from out of state distribution.  Something could be found for everyone at this years show.

Along with the many businesses that specialize in home grown and manufactured produce were hand crafted art work, apparel and jewelry, and so much more.  Tastings could be found in every isle.  Accompanied by a crowd of patient natives simply waiting for a sample.  Each delectable bite had a flavor all its own.  Perfect for accompaniments with your favorite local beverage or speciality food.  Here are just some of the many options we encountered:

Raw honey and natural hand crafted products made from beautiful bee’s housed at Hindu Hillbilly Farms & Rivulet Apiaries in Missoula, Montana. Co-founder, Kavita Bay, featured holding a bar of soap.

Hindu Hillbilly Rivulet Apiaries specializes in making raw honey, skin care products, oils, soaps and scrubs, and beeswax luminaries.  As the bee’s housed in this Missoula apiary thrive on knapweed, clovers and wildflowers, four different types of raw Montana honey were on display and available for tasting from this fantastic vendor.  My favorite of this unfiltered, unheated glob of goodness was the Osha Elderberry.  It was a smooth taste with a subtle sweet flavor that you could enjoy with anything.  I would definitely enjoy it in some tea or even on top of some vanilla ice cream.

You wouldn’t believe my excitement when I found these distributors:

Mr. Rick & Mrs. Deb Wheaton of Gluten-Free Prairie. Offering non-gmo all natural products and recipes for the health wise clean eaters.

As a newly discovered wheat intolerant individual, finding gluten free options in Montana have been a little challenging.  this family owned business has put it all together to make gluten-free all natural non-gmo eating easier!  There are cook books, recipes, ingredients and ready made merchandise directly from Gluten-Free Prairie.  Apparently this vendor was a returning favorite!  People were swarming to their booth to pick up products they have already come to love and were talking about how excited they were to see the company here again and how much they love the cookies!  You can actually follow Deb’s gluten-free friendly blog at for tips on adapting to a gluten-free lifestyle.

Changing things up a little bit.  We found this BBQ sauce among various others at the trade show, but what really stood out for its flavor is the sweet traditional flavor that goes well with pulled pork or even fish.  As we were tasting the sauce on crackers with cheese I stopped to realize that this sauce would be truly delectable as a sauce alternative for pizza!  The sweet bbq taste would be the perfect base for a bbq chicken pizza with loaded toppings of any fancy.  I know for some it might be blasphemous, but I have to say it!  This would even be awesome with a pineapple topped pizza!

Pauline’s Rocky Mountain Premium Barbecue Sauce is available in various grocery stores around the state and online in various sizes.  Originally located in Drummond, Montana.  In this picture the star of the recipe is working hard feeding the desires of the crowd.

People were swarming for samples of this old time favorite.  The company has been in operation for decades.  Sells the one product that has never changed its recipe.  Apparently when you get it done right the first time its best to keep it as it is.  Pauline’s is a one woman show and she’s been doing quite well for herself.

Now, everyone laughed when I found this next vendor.  Roots Kitchen and Cannery was covered with wholesome jarred produce that is healthy, and not only tastes good but soothes the soul.  On display were jams and pickled veggies.  So I immediately saw the beets and had to ask, “So do these taste like dirt?  No matter how anyone makes beets they still taste like dirt.”

My husband answered behind me, “Yes, that earthy taste is one that could be lacking in the desire department.”

The vendor quickly chuckled and told me, “Absolutely not.  These are quite delicious,” and insisted I try them.  He wasn’t kidding!  No earthy flavor or after taste!  They were actually quite good.  I could totally see myself enjoying them as a snack.  The vendor offered recipes to use with the products they had on display for cooking various meats, using their products as side dishes, or even adding them to sandwiches for a twist in the traditional.

Co-owner, Patrick Burr, showing off the beets I am shockingly in favor of. Handmade sauces, pickles and preserves. Located in Bozeman, Montana. Specializing in creating harmony with agriculture and consumption.

I have yet to see anyone beat these beets!  Very happy I found them and will be looking forward to continuing my patronage with them.

On the sweeter side, we found Pine Mountain Candies covered in chocolates and caramels.  These chocolaty deserts are are creatively named for unique characteristics identifiable with Montana life.  We found the candy to be a bit pricey, but we didn’t know what we were missing as we didn’t get to try any of them.  Apparently the company is doing very well!  They’ve survived 25 years and distribute to various places across the country.

Pine Mountain Candies from Missoula, Montana. Creative Montana emulated confectionaries.

The candies can be purchased in jars and boxes for gifts and bulk sized orders.  If anything, the creative names of the chocolates is what stands out the most with this company: Huckleberry Grande’s, The Black Country Baar, The Walleye Baar, The Old Goat Baar and so much more.

If you’re looking for sweets but don’t want to be tempted by all the guilt that comes with those empty calories you can always imagine you’re delighting in decadence with Shannon’s Country Bumpkins candles instead.  They’re shaped like flavorful deserts, jarred, and offered as decorative decor for the home.  Maybe the look and smell will suffice for that sweet tooth?

Country Bumpkins Home, Health, Bath and Beauty products hand made by Shannon Brown Derudder from Bridger, Montana.

Maybe not… but she has made the largest mason jar candles I’ve ever seen!  Some of her inventory come with wooden wicks.  The candles are soy based and safe.  All hand made and absolutely adorable.  Add in their collection of beauty and bath supplies and you’ve made yourself an at home spa.  Very cute supply.

She wasn’t the only vendor with such products.  There were at least two others that had bath bombs shaped like cupcakes and cake pieces; soaps; lotions and more.  All hand crafted and made with love.

Here’s another larger vendor that I found selling toiletries that had a bit of a humorous twist to them:

Dayspa Body Basics has a little bit of something for everyone in their allergy free apothecary.

And then there’s the spicy.  There were lots of options for people that want a little spice in their lives.  Our new found favorite of the hot sauce infusions is Arthur Wayne Hot Sauce.  Their small batches of sauce made from all natural ingredients and locally grown peppers (where possible) had amazing flavors in every bottle.  It’s not only about the heat.  The mixture of herbs and sauce with the peppers give each type of sauce they sell a distinct flavor that meets any hot sauce lovers taste buds.  I’m more of a milder gal myself and the Mango Habanero was as far as I would go, but the Spicy Tomatillo had great flavor and would go fantastically with any grilled red meats.  My husband went home with the XXX Carolina Reaper Haba Haba “Dime” Sauce, which was the most hot sauce they were offering at the trade show, and their new flavor.

There is also a Huckleberry Ghost and Scorpion Pineapple flavored hot sauce that we have yet to try.  As the names of the sauces get more eerie the Scoville units apparently do as well.  Thankfully, unlike many other sauces that prioritize the heat, they do not sacrifice taste.

Another tasty treet that is sold primarily as a beverage, can also be used for marinading meats: Parker’s Hangover Tonic was originally intended to be the answer to finding the best bloody mary mix.  It started as a small idea that quickly became a large project and has been thriving since 2010.

Founder, Amy, of Parker’s Hangover Tonic Caesar Drink Mix is intended to be added with vodka and tomato or clamato juice to create that perfect bloody mary flavor without adding anything more. 

The ingredients for this blend basically make up a flavorful horseradish hot sauce that can be used for more than just bloody mary’s.  Definitely not as health conscious.  Worth the cheater moment.

Tired of food?  I know it seems like a lot of a little things all over the place.  So much more cool stuff to show off!

I, of course, am particular partial to the artists and there surely was not a shortage of talented individuals showing off their work.  John Ashley is a fellow photographer specializing in the fine arts and hails from Kila, Montana.  I loved his images of animals in their natural habitats and the vibrant colors he maintains in his photographic style.  In respect for his photographic work I did not take a picture of the booth, so instead please visit his official web page to admire his pieces at

Jeff and Heather Kempka of Salvage Signs Rustic Wood Art from Hamilton, Montana.

I had managed to catch Jeff and Heather off guard as they were trying to take a snack break through all the bodies trying to make their way into their unique booth that displayed their many custom made signs that are created from recycled up wood and given new life as home decor.  The beauty in the aged wood makes all the difference.  Each piece has an antique distressed look that adds to the rustic wilderness feel.  Their signs and silhouette’s bring the outdoors home.

Talk about sporting wood; this guy’s got some beauties.

Owner and craftsman, Eric Winegart of Missoula, Montana for The Growler Girdle. Specializing in handmade growlers, bottle cases, growler carriers and accessories.

I immediately fell in love with his wine box that he is holding up in the picture as part of his display for the Made in Montana Trade Show.  Lined with red velvet, the boxes are custom designed for gifts and hand crafted from various types of wood that the company gets from a local supplier just three miles from their workshop.  Many options are offered for wood types, all stained for a natural look.  These growler girdles are brilliant: they protect the growlers, keep the beer fresher a little bit longer because they aren’t as exposed to light through the glass, and have an awesome look to them.  I’m half tempted to see if they work for river/lake floating and help the bottles float along with the rafts…  Too expensive of a challenge.  Wouldn’t want to ruin the hand craftsmanship.  Eric, if you’re reading this, please consider that for a new product option?  Maybe the markets already been taken.

Another amazing craftsman, Michael Meissner, works with wood and various other mixed media for displaying his print work and custom artwork.

Artist, Michael Meissner of Glendive, Montana creates various types of art with wood. Visit for a full list of items.


Along with Meissner’s carved wood is his collection of prints that have been sold around the globe.  They focus on the surreal, landscapes, wildlife and more.

These electric guitars are taken apart for the whittled detail and then put back together.  Michael carves through both sides of the pieces and leaves subtle surprises in each piece.  We were also admiring the many hiking staffs that were on display in his collection.  The staffs made from populous wood were my favorite.  Light weight, soft, yet strong.

Sharon Wald was also present as a vendor for the Made in Montana Trade Show.  Featuring her mixed media art work that displayed her prints in hand crafted frames that use nature for a three dimensional effect with her drawings of local wildlife.  Her series is called “Making Tracks.”

Sharon Wald of Kalispell, Montana, with her series, Making Tracks. Specializing in sculptured scratchboard art prints.

Stepping away from the traditional art, we found an amazing group of women who work with glass.  Mary Harris is another artist that works with mixed media to create home decor that is both large and small: from lighting, to coffee tables and more.

Mary Harris of Harris Art Glass of Helena, Montana.


Lynn Knight of Designs by Knight glass art.

Sharing her booth with friends of similar talents, Mary was featuring pieces by Lynn Knight alongside her work (who is holding a votive candle holder that she enjoys making with her spare time).  Lynn also makes larger pieces of similar design for chandeliers and light fixtures.  As Lynn said, “The glow of the light makes all the difference.”  Regardless, every piece from each of these ladies is hand made and custom designed.  These quick pic’s don’t do them justice.  They’re absolutely gorgeous in person.

Now, for the story teller:

Stories by James P. Sticka of Bigfork, Montana. Featuring his latest childrens book, “Jacob and the Giant.”

Jacob has made quite an impact on the young readers of today.  Mr. James Sticka let us know that his readers truly admire his book so much that they often send him thank you cards for writing his book.  As we left his booth he was quickly greeted by a young lady who looked to be about 9 years old.  She quickly told James how much she admired his story and asked for an autograph, which James happily obliged.  Jacob goes on an unexpected adventure through the woods  as he attempts to escape the clutches of a giant in this first book that Sticka intends to expand into three novels, according to his promotional page.

Unlike most other writers, James has committed to contributing all of his profits to children’s charities throughout the United States should the book do well in publication.  Children were the inspiration for writing the story and he feels that they deserve the benefit in his appreciation for their spirit.  The book is recommended for ages 3 and up.  It is an easy read and very well detailed.  Illustrations by Shane Morgan.  Truly an old fashioned bedtime story that stirs together simple life, before the industrial revolution, with the Hans Christian Anderson type of fairytale theme.  Though, that might not be fairly stated, since the internet documents history of giants existing before the settlement of Europeans in the U.S. as Native Americans drove them from this land and remains of their large bones were all that was left to be found.  Maybe this truly can be considered an original western-american fairytale as it was passed down from generation to generation.  James is very eager to receive feedback from others.  Visit his website and tell him what you think of his story.

If anything, this book is about taking on a new adventure.  What better way to have an adventure than to go exploring through the wilderness that surrounds us everyday.  Hike734 was among the groups promoting their detailed hiking guides at the trade show Saturday.

For guides on hiking Yellowstone, Zion, and various other national parks and recreational areas throughout the country, Jake’s website is definitely one worth visiting.  He explained to a guest that he hikes through specific trails, taking detailed notes and pictures, and publishes the information a year later for other people to take the opportunity to experience the trails as well.  His best selling hiking books have detailed maps and information for the traveler to take advantage of as they are exploring through the wild.  His attention to detail was what got me most.

Not last, and not least, we found this Medicine Springs Mineral Therapy company sporting red long johns at the end of one of the isle-ways telling people how to take baths.

Brandon and Julie of Medicine Springs. “Harnessing the Geothermal Healing Powers of Mother Nature.” 

The Medicine Springs team established their bath salt combinations with the specific intent to naturally help people suffering from specific pains and conditions that can be soothed and helped through proven treatments from various natural hot springs that were said to have healing properties around the world.  This water was tested for chemical aspects that have proven to help the body heal and implemented in the creation of the products displayed.

Joint Therapy, Skin, and Sport

Brandon and Julie had a rolling bath on display for people to rest their hands in to see wha the product can do for consumers.  Brilliant idea.  Bring the hot springs home.

Finally, saving the best for last, as a new member to the community I just discovered the Helena Industries non-profit organization at one of the booths at the Made in Montana event.  This organization offers vocational rehabilitation and employment services for improving the growth of individuals with special needs.  The organization has been in operation in Montana since 1970 and maintains its headquarters in Helena, Montana.  Products provided by the organization include wood work, textiles, mailings and other tasks that are intended to help businesses with custom solutions for their service needs.

Featuring custom made pallets. Visit for more options on services.

All in all, this trade show was definitely a lot of fun!  From the looks of this years turn out it is very likely that the venue may need a bigger space to satisfy the demand for next year.  With more than 6,000 people in attendance this year and only a fraction of the vendors available for display this event could continue to boom in popularity in the short time between each annual show.  Looking forward to what next year has to offer.






KAABOO is a great close to summer

Pictures taken from KAABOO Del Mar 2016

Pictures taken from KAABOO Del Mar 2016

KAABOO has taken over the Del Mar Fairgrounds to host over a hundred musical artists from all over the world. With artists traveling from all across the globe to be included in this festival lineup, more than 40,000 attendees were present the weekend’s fantastic food, fun, leisure, and a variety of entertainment.

Octopus dish that was sheer perfection by CA'MOMI

Octopus dish that was sheer perfection by CA’MOMI

All the way from Napa Valley to participate in the Palate Chef's competition.

All the way from Napa Valley to participate in the Palate Chef’s competition.

As KABOO looks to feature new and upcoming talent, they have worked together with GigTown of San Diego to host this years ‘Discovery Tour’ which allowed for local artists to show off their talents in hopes of becoming a part of this extensive lineup of amazing talent. For next year’s tryouts, keep an eye on the scheduled events at to take your opportunity in sharing your talents for 2017s big event.

Sunset Cliffs Stage crowd for Third Eye Blind.

Sunset Cliffs Stage crowd for Third Eye Blind.

Every ticket sold for KABOO provides a donation of $1 to the events KINDNESS program: a charitable giving program that contributes the proceeds to local organizations that are designed to help our local communities in San Diego County. This years organizations include the San Diego County Surfrider Foundation, Voices for Children, San Diego Music Foundation, and The Armed Services YMCA. Other causes towards helping our community will be contributing to the festivities of the weekend.

Almost Monday rocking out on stage.

Almost Monday rocking out on stage.

The evenings crowd for GooGoo Dolls.

The evenings crowd for GooGoo Dolls.

Aerosmith Saturday Nigh.  Steven Tyler doesn't seem to ever change.

Aerosmith Saturday Nigh. Steven Tyler doesn’t seem to ever change.

KABOO is in support of taking environmental responsibility and nurturing sustainability. With that, they contribute all food that is not consumed at the event to local food banks, offer recycling bins during the event weekend, offer numerous transportation alternatives for attending the venue and more.

Full Moon view from Del Mar Fairgrounds at KAABOO 2016.

Full Moon view from Del Mar Fairgrounds at KAABOO 2016.

Shameful advertising using Veterans

For years now, Veterans have been sick and tired of companies using them as key factors in their advertising strategies. It has been voiced in various platforms that primarily promote scam jobs. Veterans now have to be warned where to properly search for work as a civilian, not like transitioning from service isn’t complicated enough.

As a Veteran, I spoke up about an advertising for Solar companies hiring Veterans. They fail to mention that they’re strictly commission based companies that can pay well if you make a sale but pay only based on sales commissions. It can take years to truly be making a steady income within these types of companies and most Veterans have dependents and tend to function as a team or as the sole provider for a minimum of a 4 person household or more. Younger Veterans take advantage of their GI Bills and go to college or enroll in specialty schools if they haven’t already made other plans, but the likelihood of that Veteran who needs a job being able to support their families isn’t going to easily coming from something like this.

Solar companies work within specific boundaries to offer government incentives and a buyer has to be able to purchase in full or finance over time. Government incentives and tax breaks only apply within a certain amount of cost that is paid in full. Granted the employee just has to sell, regardless of how a consumer pays, but because of these “limitations” people that consider solar don’t necessarily choose to purchase. Especially if their homes are in need of additional repair in order to accommodate the installation of solar panels on their property.

The advertisement doesn’t say anything of course:

screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-8-26-11-pm screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-8-26-49-pm screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-9-08-08-pm screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-9-08-24-pm screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-9-08-38-pm

Great job telling a disabled veteran who happens to be a photojournalist that they're psycho.  With nothing better to say in order to defend your reasoning for using veterans as a means for advertising your business model.

Great job telling a disabled veteran who happens to be a photojournalist that they’re psycho. With nothing better to say in order to defend your reasoning for using veterans as a means for advertising your business model.  Original url for advertisement:

I contemplated forwarding this story to Readers Digest in order to get more opinions from active duty and veteran readers about how they feel about being used as pawns for promoting businesses that claim to help the economy but actually thrive on poor labor strategies.  No benefits are given to employees in sales; very few jobs exist within the corporate level to receive benefits and full time pay… the list goes on.

Part time employment increases does not improve the economy.  It just leaves the average American with no choice but to work harder in multiple jobs in order to survive in an economy that continuously has rising costs while minimum wage is kept low and the average wage doesn’t necessarily amount to the average cost of living per region:



Stone and Glass of Escondido

James Stone and Carol Rogers of Escondido's Stone and Glass.

James Stone and Carol Rogers of Escondido’s Stone and Glass.

James Stone has been a business owner in Escondido for two years now and has done a great deal to help influence positive change within the community through arts education, public awareness and group interaction. Because of this, the Escondido Times-Advocate has chosen to feature the business for its contribution to local community and in education. Stone and Glass has begun working directly with San Diego Coastkeepers to incorporate the arts with fundraising to help support and create public awareness for Coastal Cleanup Day, Ocean Conservancy, animal cruelty and endangerment.

Glass jewelry pieces by James Stone as they're still being shaped and cut.

Glass jewelry pieces by James Stone as they’re still being shaped and cut.


Molding glass on a Saturday morning for a private order.

Molding glass on a Saturday morning for a private order.

Along with helping to create public awareness for endangerment of our ecosystem and the near extinction of numerous species throughout the seven seas, Stone and Glass has their gallery open to the public from 1 to 6 pm Thursdays through Sundays at 1285 Simpson Way, Escondido, CA 92029. General public are invited to join James and his assistants in taking part in regularly scheduled classes that are geared to accommodate varying experience levels and age ranges. From nine to 90-years old, Stone and Glass has taught people of all walks of life to create custom blown glass pieces. Classes are now available for seasonal pieces that allow guests to create glass pumpkins or ghosts, possibly even make the glow-in-the-dark, or ornamental balls for the holidays that are all a one-of-a-kind. Even create your own custom glassware, have a private party, or take lessons one-on-one. For official information about the company and its endeavors visit
For more information about what Stone and Glass has to offer San Diego County look for the featured article in the Escondido Times-Advocate this September. Printed versions of the newspaper can be picked up from various locations around Escondido and Valley Center, like Mike’s BBQ and Country Junction Deli. Articles can also be found online at For more information about San Diego Coastal Cleanup visit
James Stone has been working as a professional glass blower for more than 15-years now and continues to evolve as an artist. Teaching is all a part of the experience. Having the hands-on opportunity while lecturing on technique, style, creative methods and arts inspirations, Stone’s courses have truly inspired and motivated patrons to return to his classes for more and more opportunities to participate in his creative process and combine it with their own. Stay tuned for many great things from Stone and Glass as James Stone takes his business to the next level in the coming months.

Comikaze 2016 is well underway




It’s that time of year again! Comikaze 2016 is open for purchasing tickets and planning your stay for the Los Angeles Convention Center. This years event will take place October 28-30. You can click the following link to purchase:
Since the event has continued to grow over the past five years, there are more rooms in the convention center that the Stan Lee expo covers! Last year was quite a whirl wind when trying to get across the building to be present in time for whatever special event or panel you want to get to, so be prepared, wear good walking shoes, have lots of snacks hidden in your travel bag and be prepared for fit bit overloads as you’re guaranteed to walk miles if you’re as into this pop culture event as we are!
The past two years have proven to make Comikaze an amazing place to take your kids out for Halloween.  Fitting right in with all the cosplay wandering through the convention center all weekend long.  Stay tuned for the list of special events that take place. Like previous events, lots of cast members are present for autographs, lots of artists and once in a lifetime autograph opportunities. People stood in line for hours for last years autographs. Visit for more information.





Highlights of Stan Lee's Comikaze 2014 by Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery.

Highlights of Stan Lee’s Comikaze 2014 by Anne S. Hall of Syrenia Imagery.











Highlight images from Comikaze 2015 by Anne S. Hall and William Walbourne of Syrenia Imagery

Highlight images from Comikaze 2015 by Anne S. Hall and William Walbourne of Syrenia Imagery