Ericast.com Podcasts - DWEEB THOUGHTS

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ericast 306 - RIP Russell Whitney

People live. People die. I get that. But sometimes things line up in a way you didn't quite expect. If you ever wanted a peek inside my fascination with get-rich-quick celebrities, here's your show.

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Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

We're continuing with "the weekly podcast that comes out about once a month."  And while I'd much rather be upstairs sleeping right now, I came down to Studio A because the chances of me getting a podcast out on a Friday night are slim, and then we're in June already!

Growing up reading magazine ads but having no money to send the $9.95 and the SASE.  The famous "What is this woman doing?" ad that I can't find any sign up; that might be my summer research project.  (Anyone know what it was?)

Whether they knew it or not, people know the kind of world I'm talking about because Don Lapre was popular, and popular enough to be parodied by David Spade on SNL.  He'd set up a half-hour informercial where he'd stand someplace exotic like a beach and tell you the magic of "placing tiny classified ads..."

Well, that didn't end well.  "Lapre died on October 2, 2011, while in jail awaiting his trial, which was scheduled to begin on October 4, 2011."

The other infomercial king at the time was Carleton Sheets. His informercial theme was real estate, and his videos usually featured palm trees between him and the ocean.  In search for more information years and years ago, I came across the website of John T. Reed.

John T. Reed maintains a website of "real-estate-invesement gurus" and in addition to discussing Carleton Sheets, he spent a realy long time documenting his lawsuit with a guru named Russ Whitney.  Those lawsuits were settled in 2005 and that information is gone now... but it stuck in my head.

So, fast-forward to the fall of 2017.  I had signed up for some sort of "internet investing" seminar that was being held at the new Radisson Blu hotel attached to the Mall of America.  If nothing else, it'd be cool to see the hotel.  So I went, and the speaker introduced himself as "Russell Whitney".  That sounded realy familiar.  Long story short, this was Russell Whitney Jr., who's the spitting-image son of Russ Whitney of 1980s real estate marketing fame. The seminar was for MOBE, which was an internet-marketing Ponzi scheme (which then got shut down by the FTC last summer).

Prior to that shutdown, Russell gave an interview on a marketing podcast talking about overcoming his (major, dangerous) drug addictions and staying 100% clean because of his addictive personality (NSFW language in the podcast, but it's a really great interview: https://www.droppingbombs.com/russ-whitney-be-rich/ )

Last September, he posted an Instagram photo with a touching note that concluded: "I love my wife and son with all my heart. They have made my life complete. # success # familymatters"

(You're right; this story doesn't end well.)

Miami-Dade is an open-records county and less than 24 hours after I requested it I got a copy of the coroner's report: Russel Whitney Jr. died on November 20th, 2018 of "Acute Combined Drug Toxicity (Heroin, Fentanyl, Acetyl Fentanyl, Oxycodone and Cocaine)"

What do you do when you have a "comeback story" and the comeback doesn't stick?

Monday, April 29, 2019

Ericast 305 - Names Have Meaning

People, businesses, faith communities - they all have names. But do they really mean anything? Yeah, I think they do. Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

I had intended to batch some shows, but we see how that went.  So this is live-to-harddrive on April 29th, after an amazingly strange past few weeks.  Many of us had to take a detour from things like podcasting, because we were shoveling.

So, I'd intended to get this show out before Easter, when it would've made sense, but I didn't.

Better than last year's Minnebar blizzard, I have to say...

The Ericast Studio A is slightly less cluttered now and we'll see what summer brings.

Questions?  Comments?  701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC) or drop a note to me (eric) at ericast.com, or find me on the social medias.



Saturday, March 30, 2019

Ericast 304 - Springtime in Minnesota

A few weeks back, listener Digital Dan pointed out it had been 45 days since that last Ericast. Want an update? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment


The weekly podcast that now comes out about once a quarter. That's not good. Amber googles, smart bulbs, etc. Tuya bulbs. Winter was hard! This is one of the most scatter-shot, thrown-together Ericast episodes in a long time.

But you can still reach out! 701-645-3742 (a.k.a. 701-645-ERIC), or via your social media method of choice.


Friday, January 11, 2019

Ericast 303 - No More 'Ummmm's

It's a new year and time for resolutions of sorts. Wondering about my top priority for 2019? Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment


You know, "2019" seems to roll off the tongue pretty well. My wife was trying to get our Alexato play the podcast and she discovered that it's hard to find this "Ericast" but there's at least one other "Eric Cast" out there.  But I'm pretty sure I'm the original.  I know at least one other person listens to the Dweeb Thoughts feed, so in 2019 I might try to be more regular about that.

But the real thing I'm focusing on is getting rid of saying "ummmm" because I'm realizing it's really distracting!  Maybe I'll make that an official 2019 goal, or at least a quartly one.  (Mark Mason mentioned "The 12 Week Year" in his Late Night Internet Marketing podcast, episode 159: Keys to Achieving Your Goals in 2019)

Also, I'll do fewer personal details (I think, maybe?) because I noticed when going through the back-catalog that it's hard to get to the meat of a podcast topic while slogging through the basics of my life.  That won't change for the nearly 14 years of back-catalog on the podcast, but maybe it'll be better in the next 14 years.

Listener feedback will still be key to the Ericast.  It's one of the best features of Seth Godin's "Akimbo" podcast so I'd like to keep that up here.

Closing with the life updates rather than opening with them (because you didn't think they'd disappear entirely, would you?) I have a weird problem where something is syncing old photo collections into my Photos directory, which causes my fairly small SSD drive to fill up, which causes Windows 10 to turn on automatic compression so it can function.  Very odd. So I'm declaring auto-syncing bankruptcy right now and am uninstalling Google Drive (that was easy) and iCloud (which is taking forever... leading me to wonder if that's what was causing the syncing problem).  Stay tuned to find out more.

As always, share your thoughts. Next week I think I might talk about what's on my podcast roster for 2019 -- I did that before but it's been a few years now, and tastes change.  Questions?  Problems?  Worries?  Call 701-645-3742, email me (eric) at ericast.com, or reach out on social media.


Friday, December 28, 2018

Ericast 302 - 'Even Great Theology'

I've always promised to mix in a bit of theology into the Ericast, and this is one of those episodes. Regular listeners will love it. Some in the "silent majority" might not. But I really, really believe in this message. Here's your show.

Website viewers: Click here to listen to this week's episode!
Podcast listeners: Click here for a link to the show notes page!
Everyone: Call 701-645-ERIC (701-645-3742) and comment

No, that episode title isn't a typo; this episode is focused around a three-word quote from Paul Prins, who I first met when he demoed Freshvine at Minnedemo in July 2013.  (In fact, I just realized that I mentioned it on an Ericast at the time, entitled MinneDemo 2013 Hipsters...)

Anyway, this episode talks about the importance of Grace and Forgiveness. Sure, sure, we know it's important.  No, it's really important.

Agree?  Disagree?  Comments in general?  You know what to do.  I'd love to hear from you.