Saturday, March 31, 2007

Longhorn gets fantastic review in Express News

While I was in Vegas, Paul Weir, my racquetball buddy and client, called to say he got a great review from John Griffin, the editor of the Express News, in Wednesdays San Antonio Express News. Now that I am back in SA and able to look at the web again (see my previous post), I was able to read John's nice review on the Longhorn:

A toasted bun that's hot to the touch. A mountain of shredded lettuce with a few pickle chips and thin slivers of tomato. Slices of crisp bacon. A dollop of mayonnaise and a smear of mustard. Oh, yeah, and a big old patty of ground beef that's dripping with juicy flavor.

Is your mouth watering yet? If so, then you know the reason why so many people keep returning to Longhorn Café.

The people in the kitchen know what makes their 'Big Juicy' work.

Sure, there are variations on the ingredients listed above: slices of cheese, jalapeños, mushrooms, refrieds and guacamole. And Longhorn makes sure each ingredient is as good as possible, which goes a long way toward explaining why you can find lines at any of its four locations in San Antonio.

John had done a previous review of the Longhorn that wasn't too flattering about three years ago. With a little work on my part, Paul was able to change his perspective on the changes he made to the restaurant.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas (Not)

Just got back from "Lost Wages" aka Las Vegas for the ISC West trade show. On the business side, it was a great trip as both my clients -- MDI Security and Armida Technologies -- got excellent opportunities to talk to the editors of the leading trade publications. As well, I got a chance to talk to some new international magazines specializing in the security sector.

My biggest highlight of the trade sow was seeing the Doobie Brothers perform Wednesday night at the Pelco 20th birthday party. Sloan Foster, the chief marketing officer, Armida, scored some tickets to the event. Seeing that show was like going into Marty McFly's Delorean and going back in time. However, while leads Tom Johnston and Pat Simmons have gotten a little older, the show was very tight.

Seeing the Doobies was the personal highlight of the trip. However, the stay at Circus Circus was a little disappointing. Yes, I knew I was staying in a moderately price hotel when I booked it, but not having your room cleaned in two days was disappointing. When I spoke to their managemet, their cleaning staff said I told them that I didn't want service. Kindof hard as I was out of the room for the most part of the trip. Overall, if you are looking for a roof over your head and you don't mind lots of children, the hotel is not that bad, but understand too that you are going to a hotel with a "terrible" service mentality.

On another note, the hotel and most of the Strip also could improve the availability of wireless access. After three or four times trying to access my usually reliable Sprint card, I gave up on the email. If you are a friend/client/associate, please know that I am working through the weekend to get back to you.

P.S. I think the folks at the Ever Ready Battery have the wrong person to represent their product. Instead of their well known bunny, they should replace him with my client/friend and buddy Sloan Foster (see pix above.)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Twang and Mike's Lemonade

With the completion of Twang's special packaging deal with Mike's Lemonade, I am look forward to getting the word out about my client's special flavoring for the adult beverage. Chris Day, my boss at Twang, did a great job of convincing the beverage distributor to promote their drink with his company's seasoning. I spoke to my good friend, Andi Rodriguez, the columnist for the San Antonio Business Journal, who suggested that we tie in a Fiesta tag. Fiesta is a good reason to take a spring vacation in San Antonio, and most people take a couple of days off to celebrate.

Roadie to Houston proves inspiration for Twang

I am in Houston today on "bidness" on behalf of my client -- Twang ( I am going to meet with some restaurant business development and marketing types to promote Twang and to get some contacts for future articles. Last night, I walked from my hotel on Richmond Street to the Scott Geritners Sports Bar to have a burger and a fries. The fries were pretty good because they used Lowry's Seasoning on it. However, as I told the manager there are better seasonings such as Twang's chili-lime flavoring or pickle salt. So, the trip has given me the inspiration to pursue the idea of fry seasonings. And, I will continue to work with my friend and client, Paul Weir, the owner of the Longhorn Cafe, to get him to season his fries. Weir's burgers, especially the mushroom burger, is one of the best ones in San Antonio, but his fries need some special seasoning. It will probably take a game or two of racquetball to get him convinced.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wrapping up SATAI video

I almost done with finishing the interviews and helping the field production of the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative's video for their April 5 banquet. While I can't release the name of anyone but David Spencer, this year's Tech Hero, it was great to meet some wonderful innovators and entrepreneurs. Many of these ventures started over a cup of coffee, and through SATAI's help, they became viable businesses. And as for David, you have to salute someone that has done some much not only for San Antonio but Texas. He has truly helped not only San Antonio but other businesses throughout the years.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

SATAI and Business Journal to produce special supplement

After some negotiation and a little effort on my part, it appears that the San Antonio Business Journal and the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative will produce a special eight to 16-page supplement to honor some local "tech heroes." The issue will appear April 6, the day after the banquet. The details of the honorees are still being worked out, so I can't say much more now other than to note that I am working with Chris Day, the "el jefe" of On the Edge Promotions to coordinate info with the SA Business Journal and to help co-produce a video.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Riverwalk Hilton to feature Twang green beer salt for St. Paddy's Day

If you have plans to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in two weeks, plan on stopping for a pint at Dirty Nellie's pub in the Hilton Palacios del Rio hotel. The famed Irish pub will feature the lime beer salt of my client, Twang for its margaritas and draft beer. Victor Cervantes, the hotel's food and beverage manager, tried some samples yesterday, and he loved the flavoring so much that he is going to add it to all his bars just in time for the patron saint of Ireland's official feast day.

Victor also helped Twang by using their Cocktail Candies flavorings on several drinks during a segment on WOAI's Living Show in early February. Gotta say that I appreciate Victor's help in promoting the Twang brand.

Hooking up with the Mickster

Fellow ISU Vidette alum, Mick Hubert, the radio voice of the Florida Gators

I am not one of those guys who, unlike my wife, is good at Christmas Cards and staying in touch. However, thanks to my alumni magazine, I am starting to find some old classmates. One old classmate is Mick Hubert, a fellow ISU Vidette and WIGN staffer. I worked with Mick on the radio station, where he and I did a weekly NFL picks show. Sad to say, Mick had a better record that year. From there, he and I worked together on the ISU Vidette. Today, the Mickster is the voice of the Florida Gators, and that's pretty cool because my wife, Jackie is a '74 Florida alum. Somehow, after the basketball season, I will try to drop Mick a line to catch up.

The unique thing about ISU (aka Illinois State) is that so many of my colleagues from the Vidette staff have done well in the communications field, despite the fact that my alma mater didn't have a journalism or true TV school.

Friday, March 2, 2007

MDI gets major press after winning $25.3 million contract

I was busy yesterday helping MDI Security Systems get the word out about their 25.3 million deal for educational security products. I know that both the Express News and San Antonio Business Journal ran stories on this major deal with Stratis.

Bill Zalud, editor of Security Magazine, and a guy that I owe a cerveza or two.....

I also worked with the security trade publications working with editors like Bill Zalud at Security Magazine and with Ralph Jensen at Security Products Magazine to get the story into their online web sites.
Ralph Jensen, editor of Security Products Magazine, and a fellow DINFOS trained killer

Ralph is another DINFOS "trained killer," a graduate of the famed Defense Informtion School that was originally based in Indianapolis but has now moved to Fort Meade, Maryland. By the way, two former vice presidents -- Al Gore and Dan Quayle -- both are fellow graduates along with regular working stiffs like myself and Ralph.
Like me, Dan Quayle is a proud graduate of the Defense Information School along with Al Gore and Pat Sajak of "Wheel of Fortune" fame.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Art Scanlan and BIF Technology in national press

Just got an email and an Adobe PDF copy of Art Scanlan's six page article that appeared in the Medical Group Medical Association's "MGMA Connexion" entitled "Balancing act -- using the clinic scorecard to improve practice performance." As BIF Technology's public relations guru, I helped pitch the article and worked with Art to put it together. Via email, Art said several of BIF Technologies clients including Dr. David Schmidt, the San Antonio Spurs team physician, had seen the article. And what makes working with Art fun as well is that his cell phone has an Edgar Winters "Frankenstein" ring tone.