Friday, May 27, 2005

May the Blog be with you

Let us always remember
This Memorial Day, while we’re enjoying hotdogs and burgers, take more than a minute please, to remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to allow us the freedom to do so. I came across this story about the time when a tropical storm was bearing down on Washington DC a few years ago. The House and Senate bailed (of course) and the soldiers who guard the Tomb of the Unknown were given permission to stand-down until the weather cleared. To a man, they said “NO SIR!” So they stood guard, soaked to the skin and carried out a duty they considered an honor and a privilege. Hooah!

Remember us?
I don’t think anyone is quite sure exactly what sort of “compromise” was reached in the Senate this week. We have heard a lot about the Republicans winning, or the Democrats winning. Sadly we haven’t heard anything about the taxpayers winning! You know, the folks that pick up the tab for insurance and retirement benefits Senators enjoy, but hardly anyone else does.

Your Tax Dollars at work
Convicted Sex Offenders in the State of New York are getting free Viagra. Yep. And it’s paid for by Medicaid. The list includes one offender who committed his crime against a two-year-old!

$461 thousand dollar question
That’s the amount spent on the 1st Birthday Celebration of the Transportation Security Administration. Wouldn’t a little cake and ice cream sufficed?

The Power of The Force
$158.5 Million: Opening weekend box office for Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith
$627 Million: Estimated cost to the economy because of American Workers playing hooky from work to watch the movie’s opening day.

Warren Report
Actor Warren Beatty, speaking at UC-Berkeley, used some of his time to slam Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.,2933,157303,00.html Beatty said California was his “home state,” perhaps alluding that the Governator originally came to America from Austria. Actually, Beatty’s home state is Virginia! Maybe Warren should apply for a gig at Newsweek!

Carrie’s the one!
Even with half-a- BILLION votes cast, the outcome was never in doubt. Carrie Underwood is the new American Idol. Her Oklahoma voice came sweeping down the plains and charmed a nation. And fans of Bo Bice need not fret, his millions of fans living outside his sweet home in Alabama will line up to buy/download his music as well.

OK, I clicked. Now what?
Vacation time is upon us. And gone are the days when you’d let rolls of film lie around, then wait days to have them developed. In this age of digital pictures, pictures are a simple click and you can store or send images on your computer. It’s amazing how many people we hear from who have a digital camera, but really don’t realize just how much they can do with those images. Adobe Photoshop is a super program that will turn you into an artist. Our Photoshop tutorial will teach you how to make ordinary pictures look extraordinary! Except maybe, for that picture of Uncle Bernie in those plaid shorts.

Spammers, scammers and flimflammers
The more we find ways to protect ourselves; the more crooks find a way to sneak into our computers and steal personal information.,aid,120886,00.asp ID Theft is something we take seriously here at Video Professor. I was a victim myself. We have a section of our own website devoted to protecting you and your family.
The Feds are getting serious too.

Office buzz
Look for a new version of Microsoft Office in 2006.

Users already know what a terrific suite of tools Office provides and early word is that the new version coming next year will be better than ever. This might be a good time to improve your existing Office skills.

Mail Call
Got a nice note from reader out on the West Coast. “The 3 Video Professor CD's on MS Front Page 2002 got me through the impossible in trying to learn it and secondly using them as reference to build with my purchased version of Microsoft's MS Front Page 2002 to my now 99% complete Internet web page.”

Site o’ the week
This is addictive and just might drive you “Daffy.” Elmer Fudd loves this one!

My cyber door remains open 24-7; contact me at Nothing pithy please. Those go to Mr. O’Reilly only!

John W. Scherer

Friday, May 20, 2005

It’s my blog and I’ll blog if I want to

Newsweek says ‘Oops!”
Newsweek Magazine last week reported that our troops at Gitmo flushed copies of the Koran down toilets. This set of protests in Afghanistan and other Muslim Countries. At least 15 people died and hundreds more were injured in rioting. Only problem is; the story isn’t true! Newsweek blew it but say they are sorry. Sorry? Wonder how many folks are going to say, “Oops… cancel my subscription!”

Our Tax Dollars at work
Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska is giving his colleague Senator Robert Byrd a run for his money as King of Pork. Stevens is getting 1.5 million of our tax dollars allocated for a bus stop in Anchorage. Yep, one bus stop. I can’t wait to see what the bus looks like! (See last week’s blog about term limits)

Tim nails it on the head
"In my years in Washington, I've never seen it this bad. Whether it's Iraq, Social Security, judicial nominations or Tom DeLay, the atmosphere is poisonous, and I don't see it getting better any time soon," NBC's Tim Russert said in an interview with The Des Moines Register.

X Marks the spot
Bill Gates and Microsoft have announced their latest game machine, the Xbox 360. It’s available just in time, maybe, for Christmas 2005. The machine will play games in HD and if you check out the specs, do a whole lot more as well. By contrast, the first video game, Pong, came out 33 years ago! I lost a lot of quarters on that puppy!

Satisfying Survivor Finale
New York City Firefighter Tom Westman was likely the most popular winner ever of Survivor. He outwitted, out played and out classed the competition. Tom gets a million bucks and a very fancy Chevy Truck. Think Chevrolet will give him a red one? And do you think anyone could beat a New York City Firefighter at anything?

Reality Check
As we predicted, it’s down to Bo and Carrie as the final two on American Idol. Both will become big stars. Kendra is the first female apprentice to work for Donald Trump. Note to Tana; next time don’t keep the Governor of New York waiting and make sure he gets an American Flag. And always say nice things about your team. But Kendra is one talented and creative executive to be! Catch up on everything reality at

All Darth all the time
George Lucas has made an art form of promotional tie-ins. Prior to the release this week of Star Wars Episode III-Revenge of the Sith I’ve seen Lord “Call me Darth” Vader in commercials promoting everything from ring tones to hamburgers to M&M’s. Kind of makes it hard to take him seriously playing the heavy of all heavies on-screen. Opening night gross: 17-million dollars and counting.

Kudos to the Class of ‘05
Students across the country, accompanied by the strains of Pomp and Circumstance are getting ready to enter the business world. All of us at Video Professor congratulate you and wish you well as you start your careers.
Here’s what many prospective employers are telling us. It’s important you have skills using programs like Outlook, PowerPoint and Excel.
We have Video Professor computer self-tutorials for these three plus many others that will make your resume stand out from the rest.

As one executive recently told us, “Who do you think gets noticed more at review time? The employee watching the PowerPoint Presentation, or the person PRESENTING it?” Check out our complete library of computer self-tutorials at They’re available on both CD-Rom or online to stream directly to your computer. (For high-speed Internet users.)

Making our Day
We try and donate our Video Professor computer tutorials to various charitable groups whenever we can, especially groups that offer a helping hand instead of a handout. One such group is the Salvation Army Rehabilitation Center in Milwaukee, WI. They have a small computer lab using donated computers and we sent them several of our popular Video Professor self-tutorials including Windows, Outlook, Excel and PowerPoint which are used to teach clients computer skills to help them in the job market.

They called us this week and told us that their students, many of whom used to be intimidated by computer learning, are having a ball using our lessons and are feeling (many for the first time) a real sense of personal accomplishment by learning skills that will help them become productive members of society.

It’s the kind of news that makes our day!

Say goodnight Dan
CBS has announced the cancellation of the Wednesday edition of 60 Minutes. “You can fool some of the people all of the time and you can fool all of the people some of the time. But you can’t fool all the people all the time.”-President Abraham Lincoln

Site o’ the week
Speaking of Honest Abe and PowerPoint. Here’s one fun site showing how he might have used one of our Video Professor computer tutorials!

My cyber door is open as always, 24-7. E-mail me at

John W. Scherer

Friday, May 13, 2005

Planes, Blogs and no Automobiles

The good, the bad and the stupid
Quite a scare over Washington DC on Wednesday. A couple of pilots wandered into restricted air space over the capital, flying within three miles of the White House. The good news is that a couple of F-16’s and a Blackhawk chopper were scrambled in plenty of time by NORAD to intercept the small Cessna. And evacuation plans at the White House and the Capital Building worked just fine.

But if you were a city worker in DC, you didn’t even hear about it until 15 minutes AFTER it was all over. And the Mayor isn’t pleased.

The wandering pilots, who for many, many reasons should have known better, were released. Apparently there is no federal law against being dumb. We do hope the FAA takes sterner action. Better yet, send them the fuel bill for those F-16’s!

Your Tax Dollars at work.
The U.S. Senate voted Monday to establish a federal boxing commission that would seek to ensure the integrity and improve the tarnished image of the sport in the country. A better idea might be a commission to monitor Congress!

Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse
A new Gallup Poll shows just 35 percent of Americans like the way Congress is doing its job. That’s the lowest rating in 8 years. And the dissatisfaction is bi-partisan with Americans holding both Republicans and Democrats in equal disdain.

Mr. Steinbrenner would like to see you
It’s been a tough week for George. His high paid but underachieving New York Yankees are 16-19 and his race horse Bellamy Road finished 7th at the Kentucky Derby. Is it possible to fire a racehorse?

Start me up!
62-year-old Mick Jagger and the Rolling Stones tour America late this summer and fall. 63-year-old Paul McCartney will also tour America this year. And yes we’ll still love both of them, even when they’re 64. Just how popular are they as they start their FIFTH decade of rock and roll? Their shows are sell-outs and just check out the prices for tickets on eBay!

Box Office blues
The bean counters in Hollywood aren’t happy. The past nine weeks’ receipts are down from the same period a year ago. Just a suggestion, but why not try making better movies? House of Wax “starring” Paris Hilton? Wake up and smell the popcorn folks. Aniken Skywalker’s transition to Darth Vader next weekend ought to pick things up a bit.

Coach Gretsky?
The great one is set to coach the Phoenix Coyotes (formally known as the Winnipeg Jets) Now all he needs are players and a league to play in. (formally known as the NHL)

Nice people do finish first
Uchenna and Joyce Agu are the winners of The Amazing Race. Reality show vets Rob and Amber finished 2nd.

Carrie, Bo or Vonzell?
The cream has definitely risen to the top on American Idol. All three are talented, have distinctive styles and deserve whatever fame and fortune awaits them.

You’re hired!
FINALLY Donald Trump hires a female apprentice! By the way, any CEO is only as good as his/her President and COO. In my case, it’s Bettye Harrison. She’s been a valued executive and friend for 18 years. Bettye makes every day special here at VIDEO PROFESSOR. Donald doesn’t know what he’s missing!

Site o’ the week
If you’re the next contestant on Survivor, this site may come in handy.

My cyber door is open 24-7. Write to me at

John W. Scherer

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Merry Blog of May

Term Limits. It’s time.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) has led the charge against Majority Leader Tom Delay (R-Texas) for taking junkets paid for by lobbyists. Turns out Rep. Pelosi actually takes more of these trips than Delay!

Without delay, both need to go home, and stay there as soon as their current terms expire. In fact, why wait? Go home now. You’re not doing anything anyway. While you’re arguing about who went to Paris and who paid for it, deficits grow, 50-thousand sex predator’s roam around freely and illegal immigrants flood across our borders. NOTHING is getting done.

Congress, Baseball and Steroids Part Two
Uh, there is no part two. After all the showboating, nothing. Please re-read above item on Term Limits. Call your representative today. Just have them paged at the ballpark.

It ain’t over ‘til the Red Headed Stranger sings
As this is being written, the Colorado Rockies have a 6-19 record. (Worst record in baseball) The Rockies may want to think of this fan promotion: Willie Nelson Night. During the 7th Inning Stretch, instead of Take Me Out To The Ballgame, fans sing, “Turn out the lights, the party’s over.”

Tough times for al-Qaida?
Their #3 man was captured this week. And an intercepted letter talks about poor morale. I imagine it’s hard to motivate the troops when your business model involves blowing up yourself and fellow countrymen.

Semper Fi
We hear that a young Marine caught on tape killing a terrorist in Iraq WON’T be Court-Marshaled. We asked him to do a job; he volunteered to do it, risking his own life in the process.

Media bias? You bet!
A survey just released by the Missouri School of Journalism shows that 85% of Americans feels the news media is biased. 48% of those surveyed say the media tilts to the left, while 30% say the right. 3 out of four people think news is too negative.

Take my husband, please
Hope you had a chance to see First Lady Laura Bush’s comedy routine at the White House Correspondents Dinner last Saturday night. She brought down the house! She zinged her husband and mother-in-law with some hilarious barbs! Wonder if she’ll get a cameo on Desperate Housewives?

May Sweeps
Just used a TV Biz term. February, May, July and November are important times for networks and their local affiliates. These are months where audiences are measured and that determines how much I have to pay to run a Video Professor commercial. So that’s why you see your local stations doing all sorts of “special” series. May is especially important because that’s when hit shows like Desperate Housewives, CSI, Lost, Amazing Race, Survivor, The Apprentice and American Idol pull out all the stops to make sure you’ll tune in again next fall. And for some shows, if they survive until next fall!

Can you feel The Force?
Star Wars III-Revenge of the Sith blasts into theaters shortly. Expect to be bombarded with all sorts of commercial tie-ins and we’ll finally see how Anikin Sywalker went over to the Dark Side to become the fearsome Darth Vader and exactly what the heck a Sith is! The series of space epics has generated over 3.5 BIILLION dollars at the box office. May The Force be with you, especially when you’re waiting in very long theater lines! Early word is the film is AWESOME.

Monster Burger
If you’re hungry and in the Clearfield PA area, drop by Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub. They just launched a 15-pound burger. 10.5 pounds of ground beef, 25 slices of cheese and a cup and a half each of mayo, ketchup and mustard. All for 30 bucks. No word from McDonalds, Wendy’s or Burger King if they plan on adding something similar to their menus. Wonder if they hold the pickle and hold the lettuce?

Kudos to Walt Disney
More than a few people said Walt Disney was crazy trying to turn an orange grove into a theme park. Disneyland turns 50 this week. And the young kids who were there on opening day, likely will return this week with their grandkids! Disneyland remains the happiest place on earth!

Site ‘o the week
What goes up must come down. Just move your cursor over the bears. Enjoy.

My cyber door is always open,

John W. Scherer