Well, I’ll be a moniker. Equal rights ploy, desperate PR move or both?

It may be the first time The Boeing Company’s business and practices go down in history categorized as most equal rights employer. Regardless of the timing, this article–pulled from the advocate should be read.

Extra, Extra!


So, this is an article that a friend of mine posted to his Facebook page and tagged me in.  My friend Joel and his partner Craig are benefitting from Boeing’s recent decision to include same-sex spouses as beneficiaries. Joel has been building his retirement profile with his company since his hire in 1994. As he is about ten years in, he qualifies for a little more profile activity than many of his coworkers now.


Gleefully, Joel has began posting excerpts of his pension paperwork just because it refers to Craig as his “spouse”. So, are we to expect more sharing of these lengths the Boeing Company has offered employees? I suspect yes.

For any publicly traded company on the NASDAQ, this is a well-calculated PR move. With the Boeing manufacturing 787 crises topping a zillion media channels, print and online, what is being circulated in the HR office in Bothell, Wash, is truly making the headlines with at least one employee in 10 feel warm and fuzzy and included in the married community and his honey is listed as “shared beneficiary”.

Whether or not Anne in HR is realizing that the posts of this single pension plan are being publicly shared is a good question. The answer being that it most certainly is–with any number of other “rainbow loving” statements on Joel’s page.

I think that the allowable benefits of Joel’s employment with the Boeing company–unwittingly branding itself as equal-friendly all-inclusive employer can keep members of the equal community [and their Facebook families] a buzz through the 787 crises–but the social-networkings of retro pension recipients are not posting their love for these changes. They are not posting at all. Lucky for the Boeing company, eh?

As a child of two Boeing Company retirees, I can attest to the fact that Boeing has been very good to both my parents who, having worked over thirty years in the company and have summarily retired with lofty pension packages with spouse benefits, are now being asked to revisit their investment in the long-term employer–and they are not so thrilled about the “changes” in said retirement for them set to take affect in 2014.

What the advocate does not mention in its article are the changes in the existing retiree packaged benefits. My parents, the married equivalent of Joel and Craig of 1979, are now 74 and 65. Though my parents divorced in 1980, the married benefits are currently enforced by their twin retirements–as the company refused to recognize said divorce.

What began as an element of frustration for my parents as they both remarried while still employed by the Boeing company, was the option of “shared beneficiaries” on their retirement plans.

Both of my parents remarried other boeing employees. My dad’s second wife also has a secondary plan with her first husband Jim, where she is named “shared beneficiary”. My mom’s husband Andrew shares a benefits package with his first wife Geri, and a secondary retirement package with my mom.

I hope that you know where I am going with this…how much is too much sharing? I hope that whatever retirement plan matures for all of these couples and their respective spouses and ex spouses, the inclusiveness will actually be relative to their excitement.

to be continued…






This PR Daily blog post says ‘Newspapers of the AP persuasion might be of the anti-Oxford comma faction, but look where that’s gotten them—struggling to adapt in an all but digital world. As more news publications spar to stay alive, they look to alternative revenue streams. At The Boston Globe, this means leasing its office space.’

I have always loved the Oxford comma—albeit that many of my fellow classmates have absolutely no idea what it even is, let alone why I am even talking about it. One of three of my twenty-something-year old editors past skillfully omits them without regard or allegiance, while my nearly forty-year-old brain inserts them ad dominium. I came upon this clever ‘memeish’ graphic today and I thought I would paste it into my blog for this week.


Oh, but wouldn’t the Nikes be proud?

Q: The article begs the queries: How often do you consider the origins of the typical, and atypical, punctuation in your prose? Where do they derive—and what’s up with ampersands?

These are all good questions.


A: Commas: Who cares about the Oxford kind?
Ah, the much maligned comma. “It is over-used, under-used and nearly always abused,” said a writer at Oblique Angles blog. Indeed, the comma is dangerous territory for writers. It’s punctuation that some editors prefer and speckle throughout your prose; others revile and remove it with little regard for your tastes.

So is there an origin story for the little grammatical swoosh?

Although the comma can be traced back to ancient Greece, Linguists at San Jose State University attest it first appeared in circulars of printed English in the mid to late 16th century.

Until that time, printers, led by England’s first -ever printer, Sir William Caxton, employed only three punctuation marks: the colon, period, and stroke (/), whose purpose most closely resembled the comma of the day.

Meet the Press.

The usage of the comma and the insertion into printing presses launched the ongoing war on comma usage, which fires up the debate over the Oxford comma. Aka the serial or Harvard comma is used immediately before a coordinating conjunction (usually and or or, and sometimes nor) preceding the final item in a list of three or more items.


I bought coffee, milk, and cheese.
*[That second comma is of the Oxford persuasion.]

Ambiguity unresolved.

If I eat a breakfast, the morning special can read: sausage, ham, and cheese sandwiches (in which case the sandwich contains only cheese) or it can be a sausage, ham and cheese sandwich, in which case I’d be only getting ham with my cheese. I use commas for clarity to show or tell a complete thought, idea, or situation.

To each Her own

Comrade Jessica, a feminist writer and journo student at UCLA claims my use of the Oxford comma is redundant –and asserts that it is an archaic symbol used by scholarly MEN only–saying that the “and” separates the two back-to-back descriptors sufficiently and most accurately.

She adds that I should “Come to the sunny side of the street with AP Style.” I wonder where she studied prior to UCLA—certainly not Oxford.

Wikipedia says:

The Times once published an unintentionally humorous description of a Peter Ustinov documentary, noting that “highlights of his global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector”[16] This would still be ambiguous if a serial comma were added, as Mandela could then be mistaken for a demigod, although he would be precluded from being a dildo collector.

Why the name? Oxford English Press pushed this usage.

“There are people who embrace the Oxford comma, and people who don’t, and I’ll just say this, never get between these people when drink has been taken,” Lynn Truss wrote in her best-selling book on grammar, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” (notice no extra comma).

In my own writing, whether on blog or page, I prefer the embrace.

The effect of t…

The effect of the current changes in the news ecosystem has already been a reduction in the quality of news in the United States. On present evidence, we are convinced that journalism in this country will get worse before it gets better, and, in some places (principally midsize and small cities with no daily paper) it will get markedly worse.

Steve Buttry’s two blog posts are based upon this quote. Just one quote. Find article below.


Last Poem in 2009

Last Poem in 2009

you are right here where I left you
one lightbulb missing in ten twists of twinkle lights
silk kite grounded in the sudden rain
tied to a lamp post in Venice beach
never tied to a tree stump
teeth chattering crepe paper smile
there is no more civil war in the south
than any revolution occupation of people turning 49
50 is the new 50
there is nothing on T.V
nothing on sale worth buying
just the tandem back-and-forth stocks pedalling tricycles
for a new .99 cents store
there is no meat in the soup
cockroaches in the cupboards
no gas in the tank and the kitty is hungry
there is no fetus in her belly anymore
now that you peed on her leg and beat your chest
small as it is and hairless as a dingo’s ass
showing her the door and then walking through it
over and over and over and over and over
the ramparts glow like Roman candles in your dying eyes
never going to say nothing else about anything
that you never wrote down before
that is the way you die a little more everyday
just in case anybody is still watching

Salute To Business Special Advert Supplement Dec. 2012 – Daily Record

This is my first freelancing assignment as a PR professional. It was a series of small advert pieces that I wrote for local businesses in the college town where I live. The local rag does not offer the section online, or in their archives, so I am reproducing every story here on my blog. Enjoy.


1. Alpine Glass Company 


Kelly Hill owns Alpine Glass Company. He has been an Upper County business owner for 15 years. He started with Alpine Valley Construction and branched into the glass industry almost 3 years ago, hiring a know-how-to duo was the first step.

BJ Bator really knows glass. A twenty plus-year veteran of the industry, he is the installer and expert on residential, commercial, and Auto glass projects.  Bator has been working with glass since he was a teenager at Snell Glass,the first shop in the Upper County. Bator works his magic at Alpine Glass Company, located at 407 Swiftwater Blvd. in Cle Elum. His office manager and co-worker Jodi Snyder sings his praises, and their customers do too.

“Bj is really an expert on glass. I have never taken a job to him that he could not complete in a timely fashion and he always knows how to save the customer time and money,” Snyder said. “BJ can do anything. There is not anyone more educated in the glass industry than BJ in  the Upper Kittitas County.”

Open for business Monday through Friday, Snyder says she can come out to meet customers on the weekends too.  “Our shop is a great alternative to the big box hardware stores in service and experience. Customers should know we are not high pressure sales here, we work with you and for you every step of the way.”

Alpine has been serving the community’s needs in projects big and small. Whether the customer is looking for a single window replacement or a new building project, Alpine offers the options to fit the project and the budget.

“We want you to know that you are in control of your project,” Snyder said. “For new construction, replacement and rebuild projects, and even special orders. Table glass, picture glass, and even furniture glass, and we make sure that you get something you are going to be satisfied with.”

Snyder and Bator have worked at multiple glass shops in the region–in and around the construction business and now they are continuing the tradition of their service and skill that is the standard at Alpine Glass, still shining brightly in Upper County.

For a detailed list of our providers and services, visit us on the web at http://www.alpineglasscompany.com and like us on Facebook



2. Bloomtime Nursery & Design 


Nancy Barnes is reinventing her business, and realizing her dream. After change in health, change in life, move to a new location, and change in focus; Bloomtime Nursery & Design offers a second chance at greatness.

“We really know our business now,” Barnes said. “This is not like we are winging it, we have focussed on what we do best, and we service a community and a clientele of gardening friends.”

From her petite design shop and the built-out greenhouse, she works her magic with two employees. Nursery design, know-how-to landscaping advice, and a crop of vendors, who, Barnes says, are ‘the best at what they do’ make Bloomtime the right choice for the apartment window-box gardener to the DIY landscaper, the girl looking to doll up an office with a quick bouquet of Friday flowers, and old friends coming to see what has just come into season.

Barnes closed her old location at the end of June–and now, with the help of close friends and fellow designers, the nursery is open for the Christmas season. Nursery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m every day of the week.

Barnes has recently offered a floral designing position to one designer, she says, who is beloved for many years in both upper and lower Kittitas County for his stunning designs.

“What our Walter can do to a tabletop, a garland, or a centerpiece is just plain fabulous.” She proudly shows a table arrangement with a mix of fresh holly boughs and artificial florals that offer the perfect touch to local holiday hearths.

“We’re looking forward to opening our next services in early February. We are planning to have Walter designing bouquets in time for Valentine’s Day.”

Aside from being highly seasoned in landscape and design, Barnes celebrates her partnership with recently retired husband Bill, who lends a hand whenever duty calls. A walk through the newly painted French doors, or a wander through the garden shop will make you feel confident in all of your decorating needs.

“This is a really great location for us,” Barnes husband Bill Barnes said. “Before too long we will have the whole place finished, in time for spring flowers.”

In the meantime, as the snow flies, the Barnes’ and their small concierge of conifer-clipping, holly picking, wreath binding designers will assure that your home is festive and ready for the holidays–in that Bloomtime style all her ‘garden friends’ have come to enjoy.

Visit us on the web and follow us on twitter! For even more fun, like us on Facebook.               1663 Vantage Highway, Ellensburg, WA : bloomtime@fairpoint.net



3. C.W Barbershop


Meet Kelsey Schmidt, C.W Barbershop’s owner and lead barber. From her tiny shop on University Ave., she and her single employee Audrey Robertson are a scissor-snipping duo with twin chairs turning out flattops and gentleman’s cuts every twelve minutes. The barber girls shave, shape, and style a lot of heads and there is room for one more.

“We’ve actually been looking for a third barber, we are busy enough in here,” Schmidt said. “I guess it is tight quarters, but it is what it is.”

C.W Barbershop is nestled right across from the University and specializes in cuts for heads of all ages. Schmidt is an Ellensburg girl,running a small town business that she says she never planned on doing fulltime. A natural with her customers, she provides a custom cut and greets every crop at the door, quarter after quarter–serving walk-ins only, six days per week.

The decor is hometown chic. The walls champion the college spirit in crimson and gray, with comfy black couches and chairs at the door. It has been nearly five years since Schmidt took over the business from her former boss, who took over the barbershop from his boss, collectively barbering in the same location for forty years–a welcomed advantage to her growing business.

The barber girls, while busy at their chairs, greet customers with a grin and a nod to each as they wait in line.

Lastly, and most importantly, Schmidt provides a quality cut at an affordable price. Offering a cut for $11, a beard-inly trim for $5. The shop warmly offers special pricing for Military, senior, and junior patrons.

If you need a straight cut or just a neckline trim, C.W Barbershop is a one-stop shop. Many of her customers say they started coming to the barbershop as young wildcats themselves–and they still come back today for Kelsey’s smile.

808 University Way in Ellensburg, WA. 509.962.2599