Open for Business

Open for Business

Where to begin?

First: successful blogs – define that however you’d like – tend to have a central theme or focus that drives traffic, readership, ad sales, etc. You can find blogs that dig into just about anything, from sports to sales, life as a single dad to lessons from the pulpit.

Stone and Sea has never had that kind of clarity. As such, it’s always been a source of, if not frustration, certainly confusion for me. In other words, I’ve always struggled with the question of what this blog is really about, and what I’m trying to accomplish.

I think I’ve finally figured it out, though, and while I’m satisfied with where I’ve landed, it’s pretty clear to me that “successful blog” might not be in the cards.

Well and so.

Second: it’s been a really, really long time since I’ve written here. I’m talking seven-plus years. And while there are countless reasons/excuses for the absence, it can, I believe, be boiled down to one thing: I didn’t make it a priority. And that’s all me.

Part of it was certainly the problem of focus mentioned above. What the hell do I write about this week? Some of it has to do with the hectic schedule I (and anyone else with kiddos) have to navigate on a day-to-day basis. Some of it’s been my – we’ll say fluid – career path. Free time has often been spent researching potential contract gigs, submitting resumes, etc. More on that to follow.

But, again, I just didn’t make the time.

That, my friends, ends now. Moving forward, here’s my commitment to you (and me):

I will no longer stress about a lack of focus here, and instead embrace it under the heading of: What would my kiddos find interesting about their old man if/when they read these posts twenty years from now? That not only gives me all kinds of room to maneuver, but also changes the type of content/posts I’ve written up to now not in the slightest. So, win-win.

I will write regularly, so don’t expect a “Gone Fishing” sign any time soon. Countless times over the last year I’ve felt a pull/need/desire to get back here and write, and I’ve ignored that inner voice. More the fool, me. Consistent writing – writing that’s done for pleasure rather than those hours pounding away at the keys in my professional life (Content Marketing) – is something that’s been missing for far too long.

I guess I’m trying to say that I’m excited to be back, and I’m grateful that you’ve stopped by.

Talk to you soon.


Sometimes I just love advertising

If you haven’t seen this Axe commercial about dirty balls you’re missing out. It’s (fairly) safe for work and cracks me up every time I see it. And the absolute complete silence during the shot where the moderator is examining a couple of golf balls is priceless. Enjoy.



Happy Birthday, Marine Corps – 2010 (belated)

Eagle, Globe and Anchor

One of the things I’ve done here at Stone and Sea for the last couple of years is to include the birthday message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps that’s distributed each November. As my Corps’ birthday is actually 10 November I’m a little late, but I imagine he won’t mind. Ooh-rah, Jarheads…


Sixty years ago, the United States Marine Corps—as it has throughout our history—demonstrated its vital role as America’s Expeditionary Force in Readiness. Just weeks after North Korean Communist forces crossed the 38th Parallel, the First Marine Provisional Brigade landed in South Korea, forming the backbone of the perimeter around the city of Pusan. The efforts of the “Fire Brigade” at Pusan allowed for the daring amphibious landing at Inchon and set the stage for one of the most savage campaigns in our Corps’ history—the Chosin Reservoir. As we pause to celebrate our 235th Birthday, we pay special tribute to the Marines of the Korean War and recognize their contributions to our enduring legacy.

This past year marked the end of Marine Corps combat operations in Iraq. Beginning with the invasion in March 2003 and through the next seven years of fighting, our Corps acquitted itself valiantly in the Anbar province and throughout the country. Locations such as Fallujah and Ramadi have taken their place in the illustrious battle history of our Corps. Our efforts in defeating the insurgency helped to build a brighter future for all Iraqis.

For 235 years, at sea and ashore, Marines have succeeded in every clime and place . . . where hardship and adversity have often been the common thread. Today, in the rugged mountains and valleys of Afghanistan—and recently in earthquake-damaged Haiti . . . in flood-ravaged Pakistan . . . or off the coast of Africa—we continue to protect our Nation, just as we did 60 years ago in Korea.

To the Marines and Sailors deployed overseas, to those training and preparing for their next deployment and to the warriors who no longer wear our uniform . . . we honor your selfless service to the Nation. To our loved ones who endure the many difficulties that come with being part of the Marine Family, I want to extend my sincerest thanks for all you have done and all you continue to do.

Happy 235th Birthday, Marines!

Semper Fidelis,

James F. Amos
General, U.S. Marine Corps


A little post-Valentine’s Day sweetness

I hit a site called PostSecret every Monday. I’ve written about it before, but for anyone passing by this blog since then it’s worth repeating. The short version is that people send in postcards with thoughts, observations, realizations, that they want to express anonymously. Some are sad, some are funny, some are just plain weird. But they’re all, generally speaking, fairly interesting. 

I found the following this week and thought it was not only interesting, but pretty cool, too. If you’d like to see the rest of the posts for this week, you can visit the site here.

The lies we tell, part 2

A better title for this post might actually be, “The lies we don’t tell.” Not long ago I wrote a bit about how I’m going to handle my bright, lovely, and inquisitive daughters and the questions they’re almost certainly going to ask one day about difficult topics. The original post is here, if you’d like to check it out.

The gent that commented, bless him, said basically this: be honest; appropriate to the point of their maturity and emotional ability. Good advice, right? It was this kind of thinking, coupled with the Graham essay I quoted in the post, that caused me to blink, shake my head a bit, then re-read a post titled, “Talking to children about evil.”

It’s by a wonderful and witty writer named Delia Lloyd; a journalist who currently lives in London and writes about adulthood, politics, family, and a host of other topics definitely worth reading. Check her out.

You can find the post I’m talking about here, but the first paragraph reads thus:

My daughter came home from school yesterday and told me that her best friend had a “hate list.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“It’s a list of all the people in the world that she hates.”
“Don’t make one yourself,” I said quickly. “That’s not nice.”
“Yeah, but I only have one person on it,” she responded.
“I don’t care. You’ll hurt someone’s feelings.”
She looked up at me, wide-eyed. “But it’s Hitler.”

“But it’s Hitler.” What the hell do you say to that?

I won’t spoil her post, but I’m left with another point of view that’s both valid and worth consideration. It doesn’t conflict with Tim’s comment, necessarily, but it might provide a different definition of what’s “appropriate.”

What do you think? 

Image by John-Morgan

A query about pigskin. Kind of.

First, I should say that my father traveled all the way from PA and stayed with us this weekend. For reasons passing understanding he drove, but that’s a different conversation. It was actually a pretty nice visit. His trips typically include at least a few moments when we’ve rubbed each other the wrong way and temperatures rise. Blame it on genetics. Not so this weekend. Things went smoothly and we hung out, played with the kiddos, and enjoyed each other’s company.

So that didn’t suck.

While he was here I had the opportunity to do something I don’t often get – watch a little football with a guy. Don’t get me wrong, Sarah enjoys football just fine and she’s always down for kicking back and watching a game, but watching it with a another guy is, well, different. It was nice.

So my question: since Minnesota’s absolutely ridiculous loss to the Saints I keep thinking about Brett Favre, his last play of the season (as well as the look on his wife’s face one of the multiple times he was pounded into the ground) and continue to draw a blank.

So let me ask you: Does he come back next year?

Face, BA, Murdock, and Hannibal – on the big screen

In case you haven’t heard, a feature-length A-Team is scheduled for release this year. Color me stoked. Goofy, campy, more than a little silly, and unlikely to win any awards, this film still calls out to Young Me and I can’t wait. Check it out: