What will kill a dream?

June 22nd, 2011 No comments


“It only takes one excuse to kill a dream. To make your dreams come true make no excuses. “#MooreThoughts


“You can’t live a perfect day without helping someone who will never be able to repay you.” John Wooden

Submitted by Mike Moore, Making Customers, Inc., 858-354-2802

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When do our lives begin to end?

June 20th, 2011 No comments


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Submitted by Tom Kovach, City Council, Norman, OK

The Impact of a Father

June 18th, 2011 No comments

A tribute to all our fathers and those of our readers who are fathers – with special thanks and blessings for who you are in our lives.

Posted by TransformStudios on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8H30UBTRkE&feature=related

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What is expected of a business leader today?

June 15th, 2011 No comments


“A business leader has to keep their organization focused on the mission.  That sounds easy, but it can be tremendously challenging in today’s competitive and ever-changing business environment.  A leader also has to motivate potential partners to join the cause.”

Meg Whitman


Making choices, right judgment and manufactured housing news

June 15th, 2011 No comments

We have all picked up a movie, publication or book that we thought would be good, and turned out disappointed by its contents.

We have all worked with people that we later regretted working with, but hind sight is 20-20.  Looking back, at the time, we may not have known better.

A plumber called out to do a job may have totally different politics than the home owner whose house he is repairing.  Should the plumber be condemned for repairing a problem, even if other problems exist?

Should the auto mechanic who is paid to change the tires refuse the job, because the engine needs a tune up and the interior of the vehicle needs cleaning?

The worker at McDonald’s is not responsible for serving hamburgers that could – if repeated and combined with numerous other food choices – result years later with someone ending up with clogged arteries.

If that McDonald’s employee can get a new job with a quality health food store, terrific!  The health food store manager may shudder at the thought of fast foods.  But if they look past the word McDonald’s on the resume, they might learn that this person did fine work.  Can the experience at McDonald’s be a useful one?


The closed mind by definition can’t learn.

We are all at times branded by a perceived association that may not exist.

If a media outlet is liberal, does it benefit their readers by having a conservative columnist?

I’ve often picked up sound ideas from professionals I disagreed with.

In fact, when I come in to do a turn-around for a client, one of the first things I have to do is observe what is currently being done.  It may be dead wrong!  But by observing (or reading 😉 from others, even if they are wrong about many things, the right approach may come to light.

You may also find some things that were good, even in the midst of chaos and confusion.  Keep what is good, toss out what isn’t.

The mechanic whose job is to change the tires of the car may notice that the engine needs a tune up.  He may offer to do that work, or to clean up and detail the dirty interior of the vehicle.   But if the customer says, ‘No thanks, all I want are those new tires,’ that is what the mechanic does.  We shouldn’t blame the mechanic for doing the job he was hired to do, if that part of the job was well done.

In the manufactured housing news, tips and views business, you shouldn’t check common sense at the door.

There are times when the most interesting commentary on American news comes from a source like the BBC.

Ask questions.

Probe for facts.

Sift past appearances and seek the truth of an issue or idea.

You may or may not like the source of an idea personally.  While understandable, let’s not let the source of a good idea alone blind us.

I do not ask a mechanic about their politics or religious practices or the lack thereof.  What I want to know is, can this person do the job well?

If someone is given the resources and authority needed to do a job and consistently can’t produce results, that is what they should be judged upon.

But the opposite is also true.  When you find someone who manages to advance a cause or effort in spite of a lack of resources or sufficient support, bring that person on!

A look at the person, not some label hung upon a person.

All raw diamonds need cutting and polishing.

An open mind to ideas, even if we question the source.

First impressions may be right or wrong.  The flashy cover on that DVD may conceal a dull video.  The subtle or obscure cover may be hiding a gem. # #

L.A. ‘Tony’ Kovach, MHM – Publisher, Marketing Director and Industry Consultant
Manufactured Home Marketing Sales Management trade journal
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com aka MHMSM.com aka MHProNews.com

Which road are you taking?

June 12th, 2011 No comments


Alice came to a fork in the road.  “Which road do I take?” she asked.
“Where do you want to go?” responded the Cheshire cat.
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then,” said the cat, “it doesn’t matter.”

~Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

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Buggy Whips Bailout News Item, 100 Years Ago Today

June 4th, 2011 No comments

Editor’s Note: We recently saw this article, written in 2008 at the time when the auto bailouts were imminent, and found it inspiring and relevant today.

Washington, DC Monday, December 9, 1907

Upon their arrival in the nation’s capitol this blustery December afternoon, the presidents of the three major manufacturers of buggy whips held a joint press conference.

Bailey Farnham, president of Ace Carriage & Buggy Whip Corporation, spoke first, summing up the state of the industry; “We realize that times are changing, and perhaps we’ve been caught a bit off guard, but our designers and engineers are working steadily at new designs and manufacturing techniques to make sure that our products will continue to serve the needs of the public, and our loyal customers.”

“Some have said that the time of the buggy whip has come and gone,” commented William “Rhett” Braxton, director of Braxton Industries’ Whips, Quirts and Crops Division. “We must remind them not to be fooled by fads, or short-term trends,” Braxton added. “The horseless carriage is noisy, nasally repugnant, and unreliable. It may seem like these self-powered hansoms will someday rule the road, but the required fueling infrastructure alone will make wholesale uptake impractical—if not impossible—in the long run. Every family is still going to need one horse and buggy for backup transportation, and yet another animal for rescue missions when the horseless claptrap breaks down.”

“All three of you gentlemen traveled to Washington by virtue of locomotive energy, by rail from your respective states of Indiana, Kentucky, and Minnesota. In velvet upholstered private corporation cars, at that. Do you believe this sends the right message to the public, that not one of the three of you, arriving to make your case before congress, even needed a buggy whip to get here?”

Nervously tapping their cigars, ashes falling to the cement in the chill air outside the capitol, the three whip czars looked at each other.

Arne Jurgens, president and founder of Oshketonka Tack and Tackle Manufacturing Company LTD, tossed his cheroot underboot and stepped forward– “Expedience,” he said, then paused and stared hard at Williams, “…expedience required utmost haste,” he continued drily. “Our industry is at a crossroads. Retooling and redesign will take time, and sacrifice. We’ve put aside our usual competitivity and come to Washington united for the sake of our companies and our workers. You can’t just motorize everything. Our industry just needs a little federal assistance, three small suspension loans to keep us liquid, and we can turn the corner when better times–and wiser heads–prevail again.”

Farnham shouldered his way free of his two fellow manufacturers and waved the buzzing crowd to silence; “A recent issue of Buggywhip Executive—the authoritative journal of our industry—predicts that the number of horseless carriages will never exceed horse-drawn carriages, based on a scientific poll,” he shouted, with an emphatic finger thrust over his head.

A grizzled and gray reporter holding a leather-bound pocket-sized notebook stepped forward and held his notebook up. When the crowd quieted he put the notebook in a jacket pocket, and stood savoring the silence for a moment before sticking a thumb in a wide lapel and speaking; “Jack Collings, editor of Buggywhip Executive magazine. That scientific poll was populated by yourselves, gentlemen—executives in the carriage trade.”

Another voice in the crowd took over… “What makes you think a shorter handle, a braided core–or a dainty pink whip–will turn around your fortunes? You’ve lost touch with your public, your customers. You need a complete turnaround, not a retooling.”

Jack Collings strode into the space they vacated. “We’re offering advertisers a new publication, by the way, first issue January 7.” he called, waving to the crowd… “Horseless Journal.”

Posted by Town Andrews at 9:47 PM, Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Source: file:///C:/Users/TONYKO~1/
Used with permission

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Preparing for Memorial Day

May 28th, 2011 No comments


Keep it
Moving, please, even if you’ve seen it before.

Let us Remember:

It is the
Not the preacher,
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is
Not the reporter,
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is
Not the poet,
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is
Not the campus organizer,
Who has given us freedom to assemble.

It is
Not the lawyer,
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is

Not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the
Salutes the Flag,

It is
Who serves
Under the Flag,


We can be very

Proud of our young men and women in the service no matter where they serve.

God Bless them all!!!

Makes you proud to be an AMERICAN!!!!!

Please pass this link onto your friends and associates

We the People – Memorial Day 2011 – Not on My Watch

May 27th, 2011 No comments

The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America reads as follows:

We the People of the United States,
in Order to form a more perfect Union,
establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,
do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.

The famous second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence reads in part:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, —That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Memorial Day 2011 is upon us.

We are an Industry in crisis in a Nation in crisis.

As we remember the sacrifices of soldiers, aviators and sailors, as we think about those who protect life and limb from harm, foreign and domestic, let me invite you to consider the following.

  • Will we let freedom perish in our land? Not on my watch.
  • Will we extinguish justice in the name of security? Not on my watch.
  • Will we lose our economic prosperity to foreign powers? Not on my watch.
  • Will we allow the younger generation to be raised with less opportunity than we enjoyed? Not on my watch.
  • Will we be so busy with our own affairs that we will not take the time to understand and act as needed in American political action? Not on my watch.
  • Will we let free enterprise be regulated to death? Not on my watch.
  • Will we allow our businesses to be regulated out of existence by perhaps well meaning, but I’ll advised politicians and regulators? Not on my watch.
  • Will we forget that caring for our customers is the life blood of any business or industry? Not on my watch.

The history of the signers of the Declaration of Independence has often been embellished. We do not need a lot of hype to recognize this reality, that there is no free lunch. We all have to work for freedom. That is economic as well as political freedom. It will not be handed to us on a silver platter.

We can lose our economic and political liberties simply by doing nothing.

We cannot abuse customers, without expecting them to react.

But if we partner with our customers, if we work for their success, many in turn will work for our success.

We will not always be recognized for the good that we do or seek to do.

But we should do what is right and good, precisely because it is right and good.

We hold these truths to be self-evident. Our Industry at its best serves a purpose that no other type of housing can provide as well as we can! Our industry at its worst is fodder for negative media stereotypes.

We must strive, therefore, to be the living example of our Industry at its best.

We cannot control what the bad actors in our industry may do. But we can by example and exhortation show them why they are better off doing what is right. Nor should we defend what is wrong.

The principles of Solidarity and Subsidiarity brought renewed freedom to Eastern Europe. We are not in the shape they were in under Communism. Solidarity and subsidiarity are elements of what made America great in our founding documents, too.

Let us understand these ideals:


One definition from Wikipedia:

Solidarity is social cohesion based upon the dependence individuals have on each other.

The Free Dictionary says:
A union of interests, purposes, or sympathies among members of a group; fellowship of responsibilities and interests: “A downtrodden class … will never be able to make an effective protest until it achieves solidarity” (H.G. Wells).

Other quotes using the ideal of solidarity:

“Unlike solidarity, which is horizontal and takes place between equals, charity is top-down, humiliating those who receive it and never challenging the implicit power relations.” – Eduardo Galeano

“Solidarity is not a matter of altruism. Solidarity comes from the inability to tolerate the affront to our own integrity of passive or active collaboration in the oppression of others, and from the deep recognition of our most expansive self-interest. From the recognition that, like it or not, our liberation is bound up with that of every other being on the planet, and that politically, spiritually, in our heart of hearts we know anything else is unaffordable.” – Aurora Levins Morales


Wikipedia uses this definition:

Subsidiarity is an organizing principle that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority.

The 10th amendment to the Constitution is an example of the principle of Subsidiarity. This quote will help express the ideal of this principle.

“Will the American people never learn that, as a principle, to expect swift response and efficiency from government is fatuous? Will we never heed the principle of subsidiarity (in which our fathers were bred), namely that no public agency should do what a private agency can do better, and that no higher-level public agency should attempt to do what a lower-level agency can do better – that to the degree the principle of subsidiarity is violated, first local government, the state government, and then federal government wax in inefficiency? Moreover, the more powers that are invested in government, and the more powers that are wielded by government, the less well does government discharge its primary responsibilities, which are (1) defense of the commonwealth, (2) protection of the rights of citizens, and (3) support of just order.” – Reid Buckley

Alexis de Toqueville wrote a book, Democracy in America. Over 150 years ago he described the principles that helped make America the freest, most productive and successful society ever known in the world. Associations were part of what de Toqueville remarked upon and extolled. Make your association(s) the best it can be by taking an active part in making it the best it can be.

Associations at their best are solidarity at work!

We may have never thought about how vital solidarity or subsidiarity truly is. We may never have thought that we must care about our neighbor as well as ourselves, or we may lose our rights and blessings as we watch the same happen to our neighbor.

Solidarity and subsidiarity are not political parties. They are ideals! If we learn and live these ideals ourselves, we can reclaim and make better than ever that which made America the best place to be in the world.

Will we let divisions and labels divide and conquer us?

Not on my watch!

Let us not posture.  Let us not merely moan, sit on our hands and do nothing.

Let us act like free people who respect each other.

Let us lead, follow or get out of the way of those willing to lead us back to brighter days.

Let us seek to understand, and come together in solidarity. Let us work for subsidiarity. When all politics are local, we can access and monitor that which exists to protect us.

When we follow these principles, we will see our business flourish.  We will see our Industry and this great country flourish anew.

Our best days need not be behind us.  If you and I set an example of doing our best, of caring for our customers and our fellows, we can reap the rewards that solidarity offers. # #

Michael F. B. Barnabas (a pen name) can be reached at michaelfbbarnabas@gmail.com.

A glimpse of love in post-tornado stricken Tuscaloosa

May 21st, 2011 No comments

Amidst the heartache and devastation of the recent tornadoes that hit the Southeastern United States, “small miracles” of love reveal the priorities and that keep people moving forward.



Video from on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcDyyCQP2Dk