The Shopper: Kevin Bradley

Kevin Bradley

What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: February 23, 2016 - 10:03 am

The pundits of motivational writing seem to agree that each and every one of us has a special talent which we are uniquely qualified to perform better than anyone else can. This seems like a tall order with the Earth’s population topping seven billion people. Skepticism is warranted given the odds that every person on the planet has a unique talent that none of the other seven billion people do. How is that even possible? Surely someone else must either share my talent or excel at it, right? Perhaps not. While there are many similarities amongst the human race, there are as many differences as well.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: January 28, 2016 - 1:14 pm

Americans are obsessed with instant gratification. Look at Powerball fever. People will wait in long lines to spend money for a chance at becoming instantly wealthy, even though the odds of winning the jackpot are one in 292,201,338 (One in 11,688,053.52 to win a million dollar prize). You have a much better chance of being struck by lightning (one in 960,000) than winning even the one million dollars.

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Circus Party In NWI - corrected
Posted: August 05, 2015 - 10:50 am

I made a mistake in last week’s column. People make mistakes all the time. The thing is, when writing a newspaper column your mistake becomes public. Here is the paragraph with the mistake.

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Circus Party In NWI
Posted: July 29, 2015 - 3:59 pm

Most events we attend we simply watch the event from a distance, having no personal contact with the performers. How would you like to attend an event where the lines become blurred and you are thus immersed so as to be one with the event its self? Such an event is forthcoming. A circus themed party, complete with astounding entertainers performing not on stage, but while mingling with the crowd. A circus without rings and grandstand seating, but up close and personal….more intimacy with the performers.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: April 02, 2015 - 2:59 pm

A lifetime of following your passion, allowing it to continue developing within you, becoming more and more involved throughout the years, perhaps even decades…will no doubt bring you inner happiness. Today’s journey begins in 1972, when Wade Jessie purchased his first comic book. Shyness kept him from being very social. He was looking to expand upon a love for the original Anime adventures on broadcast television such as Speed Racer, Becoming engulfed in the fantastic worlds within the pages of comic books gave Wade access to entire universes which he could let his imagination bring him into. Wade discovered Anime, similar to comics with heroes and villains, but more adult themed and with much deeper, richer character development.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: March 19, 2015 - 10:25 am

“I was stillborn. The midwives laid me aside, thought I was really gone. I laid there about an hour, and they picked me back up and tried again, ‘cause my body was still warm. The Good Lord brought me back.”

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: March 12, 2015 - 3:54 pm

The other day I was talking with my mom. We were talking about books and authors. I mentioned that I was interested in reading books by John Sanford. She said, “I have some books by John Sanford.” I was surprised. She said, “Would you like me to take them out for you to read?”

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: March 03, 2015 - 1:10 pm

Several weeks ago I found a story in this very newspaper informing the public that the Crown Point Community Theater was going to be having a class on Improv Comedy. It seemed to me that that would be a fun class to take….definitely something different to do. I had never done any live theater or comedy. Class was on Monday nights, which was convenient for me as well. What did I have to lose? If nothing else, it would give me a new life experience and that’s what our lives are quintessentially: The essence of the sum of our experiences.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: February 27, 2015 - 1:52 pm

The older you get the more you realize that today is a nightmare, tomorrow but a dream, but yesterday was bliss. 

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 18, 2015 - 2:35 pm

Freshman year of high school, when she dressed up for her first cosplay experience at the urging of a friend, Jessica Cwik knew she had discovered her life’s passion. Playing Elk from the .hack anime series and game, she fell in love with cosplaying. “I think what really got me head over heels into cosplay was the ability to express your love of something by creating art of it and then engaging in a community of people who appreciated that art. It’s a really heartwarming experience to be recognized and complimented on your representation or interpretation of a character as popular or obscure as they might be.” Peer group validation brings satisfaction.

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02-04-15 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: February 03, 2015 - 12:00 am

In the 1980’s Daryl Hall & John Oates teamed up to produce several hit Pop songs. Personally, I was not a big fan of their music back then, which was considered the height of their respective careers. Since I was not a fan, I did not follow their musical journeys over the years. As recent as 2014, however, Daryl Hall reappeared on the radar of my ears. I am an avid music listener. At that time I had discovered Palladia, a music themed television station which plays many musical genres.

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01-28-15 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: February 02, 2015 - 12:00 am

There seems to be no end to new workout videos and exercise machines on the market, especially prevalent on television infomercials. Each one trying to be unique. Many of them unsurprisingly similar. Each with its own infomercial trying to convince us that this is the holy-grail that will transform our bodies into the amazing shape we desire them to be in, some even promising to do this in an impressively limited amount of time, with such little effort that anyone can do it. Of course there are also the magic pills that will melt away the pounds, and target the difficult areas. Each year millions and millions of dollars are spent on these videos, devices and supplements. The question is: What, if any of them really work?

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01-21-15 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: January 22, 2015 - 12:00 am

Where’s the bright spot? What bright spot? You know, the silver lining? Silver lining? Ah, that can often be hard to find….very elusive indeed. As we travel through this little adventure we call life, sometimes things just don’t seem to be going our way, as if the cards are stacked against us. We somehow manage to miserably mutter through our day feeling somewhat less than ourselves….less than a human should ever feel. It is during these times, when our mettle is tested, that we see what we are really made of.

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12-31-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: December 30, 2014 - 12:00 am

With the New Year comes new hope, new life for old dreams and new dreams for the New Year. It is also a time to reflect upon the previous year’s events. What went right, what went wrong; what did we enjoy, what not so much? This self-analysis can lead us to an awareness of our existence…an understanding of who we are and whom we wish to become. Further examination and contemplation should besiege our brains with conundrum: We are at point A and wish to get to point B, so how do we get there? This equation has as many answers as there are life paths on the planet. However, regardless of life paths chosen, there are some simple truths which hold true for all.

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12-24-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: December 22, 2014 - 12:00 am

Quantum physicists believe there are ten to the 500th power alternate universes. We may have alternate versions of ourselves living different lives in different worlds within these universes. To illustrate how many universes that is…. if there was a hypothetical being capable of counting these universes, and began counting them at the onset of the Big Bang at the rate of one every millisecond, the being would only have counted ten to the 20th power thus far. Creationists need not stop reading here…these same quantum physicists cannot disprove the existence of a God who may have created the entire multiverse. Some even believe there is evidence everything we know is an elaborate illusion broadcast upon a sort of giant screen with some sort of being (perhaps God) viewing from the other side.

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12-10-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: December 22, 2014 - 12:00 am

Some days just refuse to turn out as we’d like them to no matter how hard we try to make them. EVERYONE has bad days. Even those people who try and project the image of having the perfect life, such as Hollywood elitists, have bad days. Bad days are simply a part of life. Bad days can bring out the best or the worst in you. The choice is yours.

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12-17-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: December 22, 2014 - 12:00 am

Every entrepreneur develops their own secrets for success; those things that work for them time and time again. This time of year we think about a special man who has been delivering happiness and joy to many a good little girl and boy. Of course I’m talking about Santa Claus. I’m sure there is much we can learn from such a great man. He has been running perhaps the most successful enterprise ever for several hundred years, making him the longest tenured CEO on the planet.

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12-03-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: December 02, 2014 - 12:00 am

Every one of us is unique. Like snowflakes, no two of us is exactly alike. Even identical twins have their differences. The world is full of many creatures, each with their own unique attributes and skill sets. Diversity exists throughout nature. From the octopus to butterflies, from bumblebees to hippos, from humans to bacteria that infect them, we are vastly unalike. However, we all inhabit the same world, developing our own skills necessary for survival.

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11-26-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: November 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

If you can survive a Chicago style winter, you are capable of anything. Let’s face it; we have a harsh and inhospitable climate which begins creeping in about now and usually continues until sometime in March. Temperatures fall to uncomfortable levels capable of causing frostbite to exposed skin. The evil wind-chill-factor makes the absurdly irritable temperatures even more unbearable, chilling your body to its very core. If the temperatures aren’t irritating enough, we may be dealing with snow, slush, sleet, or icy roads or walkways on any given day. This inhospitable winter weather occurs, not only in Chicago, but across much of the northern United States. Could you imagine living in Buffalo NY right now?

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11-19-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: November 18, 2014 - 12:00 am

You’re never too old or too young to change the world. Instead of sitting on the couch and paying bills until you die, start living. Develop a hobby you already have, or try one you think you might enjoy. Do or learn something you’ve never done or known. Be the person you wish you were, the person you’re dog or cat thinks you are. Always support your kids in their entrepreneurial endeavors, given that we each develop unique perspective, theirs’ may lend them to achieving something great.

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11-12-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: November 11, 2014 - 12:00 am

We all look at the world around us and perceive that which we see as reality, but is it really? Quantum physicists are constantly questioning this, along with many other as of yet unknown quandaries of the universe. In fact, they have evidenced that a multitude of universes, perhaps many more than we can imagine, exist simultaneously, and that ours is but a proverbial drop in an ocean of universes.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: November 04, 2014 - 12:00 am

A reader recently E-mailed regarding what direction to go after you’ve invented a product. He was interested in either trying to sell the licensing rights for the product to a manufacturer or producing the product at home and starting a company. Either way he decides to go, I would highly recommend first securing patent protection.

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10-29-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: October 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

It’s Halloween and smoke and mirrors haunted houses have opened up all throughout the land. Thrill seekers will no doubt be lining up to enter the doors of these establishments of horror entertainment. This year, however, there is cause for concern. For this is the coming of the thousandth year of image reversal.

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10-08-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: October 10, 2014 - 12:00 am

The sun shines bright and beautiful outside today. Unfortunately the sun is not shining upon our economy as much as the talking heads are telling us. I am seeing an alarming trend of more and more vacant foreclosed homes in the area. This appears to be occurring in every neighborhood I drive through. The Midwest is traditionally a bastion of home price and ownership stability, making me wonder: If things are this bad here, what is going on in the rest of the country?

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10-01-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: October 03, 2014 - 12:00 am

My friend was recently kidnapped. I could have begun this story hundreds of ways, but I chose to open with that sentence. It catches your eye and makes you want to know more. It is also true. My point in talking about an opening line to a story is simple. If you catch a reader’s attention, they will be far more inclined to read on than if you begin with a wishy-washy opening line. For instance, I could have opened with, “My friend had a bad hitchhiking experience.” That is not a terrible opener, but not quite as exciting. I could have said, “My friend’s car broke down.” That is a pretty mundane opening. How many people want to read that story? On the other hand I could have said, “My friend was kidnapped by local drug crazed teenagers.” That is certainly more sensational than the opening I chose to go with. Any of these lines would be true to the story, but some certainly make the story appear more interesting.

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09-24-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: September 23, 2014 - 12:00 am

I recently ran across something titled “Advice From a Cactus” by Ilan Shamir. It seemed to have some strong points (ha ha)…so I thought it was worth elaborating on.

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09-17-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: September 23, 2014 - 12:00 am

“Stop complaining for twenty four hours, just twenty four hours. Not a single complaint about anything. Could you do it? Do this and watch how your life begins to change.”

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09-10-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: September 09, 2014 - 12:00 am

The latest technology of today is the canvass for the dreams of our youth. I became fascinated when I discovered 3-D printing. These machines are capable of creating usable, three dimensional objects from raw materials, in a similar fashion to a normal printer creating an image upon paper. Upon investigation, I discovered that three dimensional printers were already being utilized within many industries, performing functions previously unattainable. For instance, automotive manufacturers are using 3-D printers to create intricate parts for vehicles, parts which were previously too difficult to create with traditional manufacturing methods. The technology is also making headway in the medical industry, being used to create new skin for burn victims.

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09-03-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: September 03, 2014 - 12:00 am

“The world is moved along not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”— Hellen Keller. The wisdom of this statement reminds us of the importance of each individual making a worthwhile contribution to society. It emphasizes that the world around us is shaped by not only the influence wielding wealthy, but by those leading a simpler existence as well. It alludes to the fact that we are all connected, that each of our actions affects others sharing space on the sphere known as Earth. The old saying states that, “It takes a community to raise a child.” Well….It takes an entire global community to develop a society.

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07-30-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

I am writing this column from my motel room in Muncie, Indiana. I am here for the annual Midwest Writer’s Workshop. Last year people came here from thirty seven states and three foreign countries to learn how to better their craft of writing. I expect this year to be much the same. It is quite enjoyable to get away from the mundaneness of everyday life and spend time enriching your mind and spirit.

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03-26-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

Some people seek out their dreams. Some people’s dreams find them. Numismatist (coin expert) Steve McEowen was living in Canton, Ohio toiling away his days in a steel mill when by chance encounter he met Lee Ann Miller of Dyer, Indiana while having lunch at a downtown Chicago McDonalds. The pair hit it off right from the start and, before long, became a couple. After many weekend drives from Canton to Dyer, Steve was granted a job transfer to Gary in order to be with Lee Ann.

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08-06-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

While on my Midwest Writer’s Workshop trip to Muncie, I had the privilege of sharing a table for two with Matthew Clemens one morning for breakfast. Matt has co-authored several crime fiction novels, some of which, television favorites such as CSI, CSI Miami, Bones, and Criminal Minds have been based upon. With credentials like that, the man knows what he’s talking about when he speaks about writing and the publishing industry. Most of our conversation revolved around writing. He even shared with me what he is currently working on, although I won’t spill the beans on that one.

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06-04-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

Whether living your life or running a business, people tend to make plans as to how they would like things to turn out. We set goals and try to map out a path for achieving those goals. We dedicate our efforts to making our dreams and desires into our reality. We strive to move in the direction which we perceive to be a logical path to success. We educate ourselves, enlist the aid of others, hope, pray, practice, and even make wishes that our efforts will not be in vain.

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07-02-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Airbrush Monsters owner Diego Gonzales creates one of a kind artwork, made to order, on shirts, hats, helmets, even motorcycles, automobiles, and wall murals. He custom paints just about anything a customer can dream up on just about any medium desired. This is how he earns his living, doing that which he loves to do. However, Diego’s passion for art runs much deeper than the creation of his own work.

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07-09-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Can you imagine the feeling of elation Orville and Wilbur Wright experienced when the airplane they had designed and assembled left the ground and flew for the first time? They had to feel an immense sense of pride for their great accomplishment. This is a feeling we should all strive for. True enough…we’re not all cut out to make such a groundbreaking advance in technology, however even smaller scale self accomplishments will imbibe our souls with similar feelings.

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What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

Growing up in Chicago, Jocelyn Prue had a passion for the arts as long as she can remember. Her mother and two brothers created art using oil paints. Jocelyn loved painting, but found more opportunities open up for her in the performing arts. She participated in musicals and theatrical productions while maintaining her passion for sketching and painting as well.

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04-02-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

Today’s entrepreneur must continually employ innovative methods for bringing new customers to their table. Staying stagnant no matter how good your product or service is will not maximize your potential. Continuous creative innovation is a must in our competitive society.

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05-28-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

More and more people seem to be becoming disenchanted with corporate greed. People are tired of CEOs and upper management making millions and middle managers scooping up the lion’s share of what’s left while doing little to deserve it. Meanwhile, the people who do the actual physical labor which translates into profits bring home a mere pittance. Paul Henry’s Art Gallery, of Hammond, Indiana is currently hosting an anti-corporate art show sponsored by the South Lake Artists Co-op. The event began with a well attended full day reception.

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06-25-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Diego Gonzales is an innovator who is continuously evaluating and evolving his business. Most recently, re-branding with the name Airbrush Monsters to better illustrate the business’s nature, and moving the location from a Gary Flea Market to Westfield Southlake Mall. Airbrush Monsters is located on the first floor By the Sears entrance near Zumiez and Charlotte Russe.

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06-11-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

One of God’s greatest gifts bestowed upon us is our ability to help others. Making a living out of helping other people improve their lives can be both rewarding and profitable. Developing a passion for such an endeavor can be as simple as noticing how something has improved your own life and wanting to share your discovery with others.

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05-21-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:49 am

Whatever happened to the good old days, when people treated each other with respect and showing common decency was the norm, not the rare exception? Whatever happened to the days when people could be trusted because their word was their bond and they kept it? Whatever happened to common sense and the ability to use it on a day to day basis? Whatever happened to places like the fictional Mayberry where even the bad guys were not really all that bad?

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07-23-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Life should be a continuous learning experience. To experience life is to continually learn new things. It is important to note that knowledge can, and should be, be attained from multiple sources. We can learn from experts, our peers, and through the experience of self discovery. Having a natural talent for something gives one an advantage, but more important than raw talent is development of talent through experience.

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06-18-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

What do you use as your barometer for measuring success? In today’s society immediate gratification, monetary preoccupation leading to compulsive spending, and possession flaunting have become obsessive thus causing increasing numbers of fissipourous relationships to develop betwixt fellow humans…humans whose natural tendencies would be more amiable towards each other.

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08-27-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may”, “Carpe diem…Seize the day”, “We are food for worms, lads. Because one day every one of us is going to stop breathing, grow cold, and die”, “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race; and the human race is filled with passion.”, “Poetry, beauty, romance, love: These are what we stay alive for.”, “That you are here, that life exists, and identity…That the powerful play goes on and that you may contribute a verse…That the powerful play goes on and that you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?” The previous quotes were made by Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, in the movie, “Dead Poets Society”.

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07-16-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

Did you know that alligators have a rounded snout, while crocodiles’ snouts are more pointed? Did you know alligators regenerate their teeth as needed, going through as many as three thousand in their lifetime? Did you know that an adult is capable of eating an entire deer, antlers and all? Have you ever heard of an alligator getting sick? Of course not, because they don’t. Alligators never so much as get a cold, never get the flu, cancer, or arthritis, and live from 35-50 years in the wild, generally longer in captivity. The oldest recorded alligator lived to be 85. Alligators have distinct personalities like people. Some are friendly, while others are not.

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08-13-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

On Sunday, August 3rd, I picked my parents up to go to a new seafood restaurant opening up in Crete, Ill. I found out about the new establishment form my sister, a schoolteacher. Her teacher’s aide’s husband was the owner. We were all invited to the grand opening. I was going to meet and interview the owner, Bob, for a story in this column…. At least this is the ruse we created in order to get my parents to their surprise fiftieth anniversary party.

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08-20-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: August 28, 2014 - 12:00 am

I recently painted the outside of my house. I figured this would be a two day project, but it turned into a four day project, the first three being preparation. It included cutting down and removing two small trees which were growing where they weren’t welcome, hauling away several old sand bags, many of which had decomposed, leaked profusely when lifted, and were home to many types of bugs, trimming an overgrown bush, scraping, scrubbing, and priming the walls.

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05-07-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:50 am

There are about as many different hopes, dreams, desires, and passions amongst people as there are people. Although some of us may share similar interests, individually that which makes us tick varies immensely; yet collectively we are called the human race. An eighteen year old likely has dreams that differ from those of a seventy one year old. Our interests and desires may evolve throughout our lifetime, yet some may remain consistent. Yet each of us does harbor desires for the feeling of satisfaction derived from seeing something we have worked for or hoped for come to fruition.

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04-09-14 Life Is Like A Sports Team
Updated: February 17, 2015 - 10:50 am

Life is like a sports team. In order to succeed in either endeavor one must make wise choices; create and implement a plan of action, make adjustments along the way to avoid obstacles and pitfalls, remain healthy, and seize opportunities.

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03-12-14 What’s Your Big Idea?
Posted: March 11, 2014 - 12:00 am

When Charles D. Moisant was a kid growing up in Oak Park, Illinois he allowed his mind to wander into a land of fantasy inspired by reading comic books and watching television and movies. His reading tastes gravitated towards the horror genre while he enjoyed shows such as B.J. and Dirty Dragon, Gigglesnort Hotel, Ray Rayner, and Svengoolie. He dreamt of becoming an astronaut until he saw the Beatles’ movie “Yellow Submarine”…which inspired his young mind into believing that he could become a cartoon. He wanted to become a cartoon. He also loved drawing, but became discouraged in the third grade when an art teacher berated him for always drawing the sun blue. He continued to follow his passion by entertaining friends through performing adventures in cartoon voices.

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