Airscape Photography Is Ready For Takeoff!
Posted on 01.21.17 by Danny Glover @ 12:28 pm

The image to the right doesn’t look like much, but what it means is that I passed my remote pilot’s test. I’ll soon be certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (where I also happen to work as a contract editor and writer) to fly small unmanned aircraft for clients.

I’m in the process of creating a new brand within my communications company, Tabula Rasa Media, which I organized as a limited liability corporation four years ago. This entails registering the offshoot as a DBA, which is short for “doing business as.”

Under the name Airscape Photography, I will offer drone photography and video services to clients who want to capture aerial images of their homes, businesses or properties. I’ll also shoot photos and videos of scenic landscapes and architectural landmarks to sell individual prints.

I plan to take regular road trips to shoot footage, just like I did with my first professional camera three decades ago. My home state of West Virginia will be a regular destination because the scenery doesn’t get any better than in “Almost Heaven.”

Below are recent pictures from my hometown of Paden City and of New Martinsville, including one of the Wetzel County Courthouse:


Filed under: Aviation and Business and Photography and Technology and Video and West Virginia
Comments: 1 Comment

Of Redskins And Rednecks
Posted on 11.05.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:30 pm

For years the speech police have been pressuring Washington’s professional football franchise to change the name of its team from Redskins to something that isn’t “offensive” to American Indians. Team owners past and present have ignored the outcry, but back in June a federal judge voided the Redskins trademark.

That led to an interesting legal brief from the Redskins organization this week as it appeals the ruling. The team challenged the notion that the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board can overturn a brand name because it is “disparaging.”

Rednecks get a shout-out in one section of the brief. It rebuts the claim that the government’s continued allowance of the Redskins mark could be interpreted as an endorsement of the term.

The team’s lawyers make their point by listing several other potentially offensive terms the trademark board has approved. “Redneck Army Apparel” is right there in the middle of them.

That’s the first time I’ve seen anyone as enlightened as a big-city lawyer admit that “redneck” is a disparaging word. Granted, the Redskins legal team is arguing that entrepreneurial Americans should be free to use brand their products with a stamp of redneck approval, but at least there is an implication that “redneck” just might be a slur, depending on the context. That’s progress.

On the other hand, “redneck” may be a moneymaker. I entered the word into the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s search system, and it generated 649 results. “Hillbilly” and other similarly disparaging terms make appearances, too.

The takeaway from this stroll through the bureaucracy: Sometimes it pays to be offensive, whether you own a football team or just have a marketing gimmick geared toward rednecks.


Filed under: Business and Government and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and Rednecks and Sports
Comments: 1 Comment

The Manassas Of Tomorrow
Posted on 10.14.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:25 pm

The character of Old Town Manassas changed for the worse about three years ago when the local newspaper ceased publication. The building it once occupied has been vacant ever since, looking somewhat like this but at times concealed by weeds and shrubs:

That will be changing in the coming months. The City of Manassas announced today that people who have been parking in the vacant lot will have to find new spots as of Oct. 19 because the property is going to be redeveloped.

The lot will be the future home of Messenger Place, which, according to the land lawyers who helped negotiate the deal with the city, will look something like this:

I hate to see a storied building like a newspaper office disappear, but over the past several years, the city has done an admirable job of ensuring that such properties in Old Town Manassas are redeveloped in appealing ways. Messenger Place is billed as “a five-story mixed-use building with 3,500 square feet of retail/commercial and 94 upscale apartment units.”

I like that the developers incorporated the “Messenger” name into the property, and I look forward to seeing how well it blends into the community.


Filed under: Business and Government and Media and News & Politics
Comments: 1 Comment

Enlightened Rednecks Expose Volkswagen
Posted on 09.25.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:04 pm

Behold the power of enlightened rednecks:

Volkswagen was recently brought to its knees when scientists discovered the company had installed a device in its diesel-powered cars to fool emissions tests. Its stock price tanked, its reputation has been damaged, and its CEO resigned on Wednesday.

So who made the discovery that sent the German car giant into a tailspin? A group of scientists at West Virginia University.

Remember that the next time you read an article trashing West Virginia or hear some elitist tell a joke about those hillbillies in the Mountain State. A little redneck common sense made the researchers at my alma mater skeptical, and a little hard work on their part exposed the alleged deception of a multinational corporation.


Filed under: Business and Education and Government and News & Politics and Rednecks and West Virginia
Comments: None

Fill ‘Er Up With W.Va. Pepperoni Rolls, Sheetz
Posted on 07.27.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:47 pm

I’m totally jumping on the bandwagon of angry West Virginians rolling virtually toward Sheetz’s corporate headquarters in Pennsylvania. The cause: Mountain State pride in pepperoni rolls.

The outcry started Friday, when Rogers and Mazza’s Italian Bakery in Clarksburg, W.Va., announced on its Facebook page that Sheetz abruptly canceled the company’s contract to provide pepperoni rolls for 117 stores in West Virginia and other states. Worse, they lost the contract to a company outside West Virginia, the birthplace of the pepperoni roll.

“I would suggest and appreciate everyone writing this company with their displeasure on their decision,” Rogers and Mazza’s urged its fans — and they did.

Those complaints prompted the Charleston Gazette-Mail to run a story today. It caught my attention on Facebook, and here’s what I have to say to Sheetz after reading it:

If you don’t give your contract for pepperoni rolls to Rogers and Mazza’s or some other West Virginia company, I will give my business to anyone but Sheetz.

I live in Virginia, where your stores don’t even sell pepperoni rolls, and I prefer mine freshly made anyway. But I do regularly buy gas, soda and snacks at Sheetz, and I will symbolically stand with my enlightened redneck family across the border on this issue. If you’re going to sell pepperoni rolls, especially in your West Virginia stores, they had better be made in the Mountain State.

Pepperoni rolls were invented in my home state, and since 2013, they have been the official state food. Bizarre Foods traveled country roads to West Virginia, not some other pretender state, to do a story on our delicacy.

Perhaps you didn’t know that history before. Now you do. Correct this great injustice.

UPDATE, July 30: Sheetz has caved to the pressure applied by West Virginia’s angry rednecks. Here’s what the company said in announcing that its Mountain State stores will sell West Virginia-made pepperoni rolls: “Our customers told us loud and clear that it is important to them to have those rolls provided and baked by a West Virginia company. I couldn’t be happier to have that feedback and we are committed to executing upon it.”

UPDATE, Aug. 17: Rogers and Mazza’s paid the price for biting the hand that fed it a contract for pepperoni rolls for years — the bakery lost the contract to another West Virginia-based competitor, Home Industry Bakery. “The company went through a thorough evaluation of West Virginia vendors and selected the best partner to supply all 49 stores in the state,” Sheetz announced.

Thank you, Rogers and Mazza’s for exposing a potential injustice at the hands of Sheetz. You took a hit to your pocketbook for West Virginia pride, and I, for one, appreciate it.


Filed under: Business and Food and Media and Social Media and West Virginia
Comments: None

A Girl Scout Named Mary Jane
Posted on 02.07.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:02 am

Back in the good old days, when potheads existed on the fringe of society, no one paid much attention to the pet names they gave their various drug concoctions. But now that marijuana has gone mainstream in 23 states and the District of Columbia, their sales gimmicks may start to matter.

A case in point: Girl Scout Cookies.

To the 2 million Girl Scouts and 800,000 adults who lead the troops, not to mention the millions of people who binge eat the sugary snacks, Girl Scout Cookies is the umbrella brand name for Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and all the rest. Girl Scouts of the United States of America has been selling the cookies for decades, both to raise money and teach girls how to be entrepreneurs.

Every year at this time, scouts hit the streets (and now the Internet) to enlarge the empire, and newsrooms across the country dig for fresh angles to justify yet another round of cookie stories.

But to marijuana lovers, Girl Scout Cookies means something entirely different. I won’t get into the pharmacological specifics here, but the gist of it is that Girl Scout Cookies is a strain of Mary Jane that hit the market in California back in 2010 and quickly became popular. It has won multiple awards within the marijuana community.

I learned all of that this week when news broke of the first marijuana vending machine. The machine’s promo for “Girl Scout Cookies” jumped out at me and made me curious. It also caught the attention of the first customer, who bought one gram of Girl Scout Cookies for $15.

The question is what the Girl Scouts organization thinks of its signature brand being associated with a hallucinogenic drug. One scout caused a stir last year when she sold cookies outside a marijuana pot shop in California, but the new vending machines raise the stakes to a whole new level, one of intellectual property rights.

The head of American Green, the company that owns the machines, seemed surprised and defensive when a radio reporter grilled him about the legality of selling pot as Girl Scout Cookies. Stephen Shearin’s responses included:

  • “There are a number of ways one could interpret the words ‘Girl Scout Cookie.’ It doesn’t look like a cookie … it’s not packaged to be a cookie, and it’s sold in a controlled environment.”
  • “[I] assumed there was some kind of common language once things hit the common sphere. …
    It’s been in pretty common use for well over a year at hundreds of locations. Long before we touched anything.”

But now that the vending machines are getting national attention, the real Girl Scouts are taking the apparent copyright infringement seriously. A spokesman told the station, “Girl Scouts of the USA is aware of our trademark being misappropriated. We take these trademark misappropriations seriously and, when applicable, will send a cease and desist.”


Filed under: Advertising and Business and Culture and News & Politics
Comments: 1 Comment

Say Yes To Snow-shoveling ‘Solicitors’
Posted on 01.29.15 by Danny Glover @ 7:14 pm

When a snowstorm hit Bound Brook, N.J., this week, a couple of enterprising young men bounded from their warm homes into the streets to try to make some money by shoveling snow.

It’s the kind of energy we see all too rarely these days among teenagers who prefer soft bean bags and video games to hard labor, and it should be celebrated. Instead, a police encounter ensued when a grumpy, get-off-my-sidewalk citizen complained.

The police could have ignored this citizen and let the teenage boys serve their neighborhood, even if for a fee. Instead, Police Chief Michael Jannone made excuses for the stop when another citizen publicly chastised the police for intervening.

At first he said officers stopped the snow-shovelers because they were outside during dangerous weather. That lame defense wouldn’t fly once the boys told a different story. Then Jannone trotted out the tired and phony cliche I called out a couple of weeks ago: “We don’t make the laws, but we have to uphold them.”

Hogwash! Police never have and never will enforce every law on the books. And a good time for them to exercise discretion not to enforce a law is when an obnoxious citizen complains about harmless behavior like asking to shovel snow.

Anyone with common sense knows that anti-solicitation laws are aimed at door-knocking salesmen, not the young entrepreneurs in the neighborhood. The better police response would have been to ignore — and perhaps even scold — the whiner who deemed snow-shoveling to be a matter worthy of taxpayer-funded police intervention.


Filed under: Business and Culture and Government and News & Politics
Comments: 1 Comment

‘This Is Target!’
Posted on 12.05.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:04 pm

If you’re a manager at a Target department store and deliver a rousing pep talk to your staff before the store opens on Black Friday … you may be an enlightened redneck.

The entertaining redneck in this case is Scott Simms, a manager at the Target in Westminster, Md. His colleague Chole Frebertshauser captured the pep talk on film, and it’s making the rounds via YouTube to the tune of nearly 2.5 million views as of now.


Filed under: Business and Holidays and Movies and Social Media and Video
Comments: None

The Enlightened OECD vs. Redneck America
Posted on 10.07.14 by Danny Glover @ 8:54 pm

Hey, West Virginia is movin’ up in the world. The Mountain State bested not only Mississippi but also Alabama and Arkansas on a list of worst places to live based on factors such as health, education, jobs, technology and the environment.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development assigned the ratings. West Virginia scored a 52.2 out of 100 overall, putting it fourth from the bottom. Courtesy of a redneck-hating writer at The Washington Post, here’s the breakdown by category and on a 1-10 scale:

  • Politically engaged: 1.3 (50th)
  • Health: 1.8 (48th)
  • Safety: 4.5 (22nd place)
  • Job opportunities: 5.8 (45th)
  • High-speed Internet: 6 (43rd)
  • Clean environment: 6.6 (39th, tied with Iowa, Kentucky and Missouri)
  • Earn a living: 7.6 (43rd, tied with New Mexico and South Carolina)
  • Best educated: 8.6 (39th, tied with North Carolina and Tennessee)
  • Finding a home: 10 (one of 15 states with the top score)

That last one is the only bright spot for we hillbillies, but of course, we could have told you our state is a perfect 10 for places to call home. Now ask any of us whether we care what the elitist snobs at the OECD and the Post think of our state.

All of their brains put together are incapable of comprehending the intangible factors that make the redneck region of America, and especially West Virginia, the best place to live.


Filed under: Business and Culture and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and Technology and West Virginia
Comments: None

A Rant From Inside The Box
Posted on 06.11.14 by Danny Glover @ 7:49 pm

Every evening on Fox News’ “The Five,” the co-hosts close the show with quick rants and raves about the “One More Thing” on their minds. I say a hearty “Amen!” to Greg Gutfeld’s tirade tonight because he mocked the phrase “outside the box.”

I hate that phrase so much that I once wrote a local newspaper column called “Inside the Box.” This is the essay that started my own weekly rants:

Where The Weather Is ‘Fine As Frog’s Hair’
Originally published in the Prince William Journal, Jan. 28, 1998

By K. Daniel Glover

If we are to believe the managers of the world (you know, the boneheads who have made a rich man of “Dilbert” creator Scott Adams), there are two ways of thinking: “inside the box” and “outside the box.”

I do my thinking inside the box. I know that only because a former supervisor once told me during a review that if I wanted to move up the ladder within the company, I had to start thinking outside the box.

What does it all mean? I wish I knew. I think it has something to do with eating McPizza, drinking New Coke and dating the office intern, but I’m not quite sure. I left that company to take a job inside the box.

What I do know is this: If I think inside the box, the powers that be in the Prince William County school system definitely think outside the box. How do I know? Because they closed down the schools a couple of weeks ago on what The Washington Post later called “a pretty standard cold, wet day” and because I thought they were absolutely crazy for doing so.

But maybe I’m just nostalgic. I remember the stories my Grandpa Tumblebug told — of walking two miles to school each day, uphill both ways and through three feet of snow in sub-freezing temperatures — and I long for those days.

OK, Grandpa Tumblebug didn’t actually make that trek each ay, and he didn’t even tell me those stories. His real name isn’t Tumblebug, either. But that’s what I called him and he does tell some good stories — and he did live in an era when men stood tall in the face of bad weather.

People in those days — like the dedicated postmen who delivered their mail — saw rain, sleet, snow and hail not as an excuse to miss a day of school or work but as an obstacle to overcome.
(more…)


Filed under: Business and Culture and Education and Family and Food and Government and History and Media and People and Weather and West Virginia
Comments: None

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