Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Merry Christmas

It was an exciting Christmas season at our house this year, truly a Christmas of firsts.

Our first attempt at outdoor Christmas lights. I was so excited to be one of the pretty light up houses!

It was the first time we had a Christmas party. People actually came, and not just my Mom and Dad!

It was the first time we opened presents as a family at our house instead of at Mom & Dad's:

And wowee-zowee talk about grown up Christmas. John & hosted what I call "Big Christmas," the dinner with my mom's side of the family. We had about 30 people show up and it went great!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

His Dark Materials: A Recommendation Rather Than a Review

Over at the The Fabulous Life of Lopez, I noticed Jaimie's been reviewing the books she reads. I loved the idea because I always like hearing about the books other people read. (Even if it's the kind of thing I'd never read myself, you know know like nearly everything John reads)

So I decided I would review the latest book I've read. Although really I listened to it rather than technically reading it,and really it's a trilogy rather than a single book, and really I'm not going to review a whole heck of a lot because three books is a lot to talk about and the best part of the series is the surprises.

I decided to read His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman after John and I saw the movie based on the first book, The Golden Compass. Initially, we only saw the movie because of all the hype about Pullman being an atheist. We thought it was worth seeing just because so many people didn't want us to see it. If all you see is the movie, even if all you read is book one, the hype won't make sense. The movie itself doesn't have any anti-Christian themes. The book doesn't either, unless maybe you are a super hard-core Jesus freak and then you're used to being offended, right?

Book two has a fair amount of blasphemy. There are several passages that will make you realize why groups were protesting the film's debut. By book three we are in a full-blown interdimensional war on god. If you aren't easily offended by this sort of thing, Pullman's ballsy jab at Christian theology is really pretty amusing (in a oh-no-he-didn't kind of way).

The books are part fantasy, part science fiction. We follow Lyra and her demon (an animal manifestation of a person's soul) Pan on their quest to uncover the mystery of Dust. By way of big surprise number one, we learn that Lyra's world is not the only world. There are 1,000s of worlds and a handful of explorers have discovered various ways to travel between them.

Honestly, I can't remember what happened in which book. By the end they all blend together. The overarching story is so predominant that you'll want to the read the whole thing. The best thing about the series is there are three of them, so you can drag it out for a bit. It's definitely one of those books you are sad to see end.

I'm purposely dancing around the story line. I really think that the slow plot reveal makes the series. The universe Pullman creates is entertaining enough to keep you happy until you figure it all out. There are scholars and pirates, talking bear warriors and witches, ghosts and angels. By the end you think nothing else will surprise you but it does. Each book has some pretty big shockers (the movie was a big departure after about 2/3, so the ending hasn't been given away).

Monday, December 1, 2008

There's Only Ever One Bonnie

A couple months back I was auditioning for The Cover of Life. It seemed half the women there shared a name. There were Sarahs, and Michelles, and probably a few more I can't remember now. There were enough that when it got to my turn to introduce myself, someone asked "So where's the other Bonnie?"

I quickly corrected her. "There's only ever one Bonnie." And it's true.

When I was little, I was sometimes jealous of the Melissas and Jessicas. It was like they were born into a special club. Like Heathers the movie, only without the suicide-murder-cover-up. The closest I ever came to a name buddy was a brief friendship with a new girl named Julie Maxwell. We were dubbed Cain's Coffee and Maxwell House, which is really not too bad when it comes to name mocking.

By high school I realized how convenient it is to be the only one in a class of 600 with your name. It actually simplifies a lot. When you are talking about Bonnie, it's me, always me.

I have met a few Bonnies, mostly grandmas. But I've never really known another Bonnie. I occassionally have people tell me they know another Bonnie, but our paths never seem to cross. Honestly, I prefer it that way. Once, a Bonnie applied for a job in our office. I told HR they absolutely were not allowed to hire her, because There's Only Ever One Bonnie.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Meet Kate Miller from the Neck Up

Opening night for The Cover of Life is now less than 3 weeks away. Things are really coming together; I'm so excited to a part of this one. We're going off-book (no more scripts for rehearsals) today. I've been doing my research on 40s-era hair and makeup. Below are some shots of my hair and makeup test run.

I introduce to you, Kate Miller (from the neck up).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Homecoming: A Photo Blog

Homecoming 2008 came and went. John was out of town for the weekend so Sarah and my buddy Victor hit Walk Around with me. It was a blast as always, house decs, fair food and tons of pokes. What's not to love.Orange Never Dies was the first dec we saw. They did great with their theme, but I'm not really sure what it had to do with the overall theme Generation Cowboy. Note the crowd; this was taken before Walk-Around had even officially began.

The Indiana Jones dec was next. Who doesn't love Indie? Victor and I thought the stadium front with "Temple of Boone" was particularly clever. Too bad the mine train never worked. That would have put them in my top picks.

It was so crowded I didn't even notice the Fain Family was in my shot. Hi Lisa!!

The 80s-themed dec was a huge hit with everyone. Victor and I both put it in our top 3, and Sarah's crew all loved it too. They don't even remember the 80s! Nor do the kids who put this together. But, it was great just the same. The Polaroid picture of Old Central slid in and out of the camera, there was a moving Tetris game, and 80s music played the whole time.

I decided this one was my favorite. Not only did it have the Library, which really put it over the top for me, but also it was by far the prettiest one. Sarah and I snuck around back and touched it. Hey it's not like we're Greek; we don't know what pomp feels like!

Some other decs had moving books, but this one was by far the best execution of the concept.

Pick number 2 (in the very unofficial Bonnie-poll): Dr. Seuss! How could you go wrong with that We loved the turtles with pistols firing. Go Pokes!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My First Media Interview for "The Cover of Life"

If you haven't heard, I've been cast in the Stillwater Town and Gown's latest production, The Cover of Life. It's written by R.T. Robinson and directed by Kevin Worley. I'll be playing Life reporter Kate Miller. We open on November 13, maybe I'll see you there.

My title is a bit tongue-in-cheek. Joyce Cox, one of the regulars at the theater, is putting together an article for the local papers. She emailed the whole cast and asked a few questions. Here are her questions and my responses. Consider it a There's Only Ever One Bonnie exclusive.
  1. What will the audience find "special" about this play?"
    The script is amazing. Not many people have heard of the play, but everyone I know who has read it loved it instantly. The characters are great; each one has its own story.
  2. The set is in the round...Is being this close to an audience difficult or rewarding?
    I try to tune out the audience. It’s easy to do on traditional stage because you can’t see anyone with the house lights down. In our theater it takes some concentration to ignore them.
  3. How have you approached your character?
    We can really only know what the author gives us in the script, but I’ve spent a lot of time pondering Kate. I’m trying to fill in the blanks so she’s a whole person to me, not just a couple hours of dialog.
  4. Does your character "change" during the show...if so, how?
    Most of the characters change. There is a shift in how they see themselves and their acceptance or rejection of how others see them.
  5. What is the most difficult thing for you as an actor to get across to the are you going to try to do this?
    I hope for the duration of the play, the audience won’t see Bonnie playing Kate. I want them to just see Kate. This is especially hard when you know so many people in the audience. I’m not sure how I do that, really. I guess when you’re in character you think more about how the character feels than what they are actually saying. I don’t think I’m much like Kate, so that helps separate how I would behave from how Kate would.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

PRSA-OKC Advocates Clean & Fair Campaign Communication

Just one example of why PRSA-OKC rocks. Today, we received this from our fearless leader, Danielle Walker, APR.

I wanted to let you know about an exciting initiative that the Oklahoma City Chapter, Public Relations Society of America, is undertaking.

PRSA-OKC is taking part in a national effort to challenge local political campaigns to agree to uphold the highest standards of ethical practice in every facet of their campaign communications. This dovetails with the PRSA national office's challenge to the McCain and Obama campaigns, which launched last month. PRSA formally requested that campaign communications directors Robert Gibbs (Obama for America) and Jill Hazelbaker (John McCain 2008) sign a pledge obligating them to abide by the PRSA Code of Ethics in their campaign communications. Specific guidelines relevant to campaign communications policies under the PRSA Code include: being honest and accurate in all communications, acting promptly to correct erroneous communications, investigating the truthfulness and accuracy of information released on behalf of those represented, and avoiding deceptive practices.

On the local level, today our chapter is sending letters to campaigns for the Oklahoma Corporation Commission, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, asking them to take a pledge to commit to the principles of the PRSA Code of Ethics in these last weeks before the elections. We have also distributed to the local media an OpEd article regarding our challenge to Oklahoma's candidates to make a formal commitment to accurate, truthful and respectful discourse.

The OpEd article also communicates that PRSA-OKC is responsible for representing, educating, setting standards of excellence and upholding a stringent code of ethics for not only our members, but the public relations profession within our state. In that role, PRSA-OKC is committed to advancing ethical communications practices and the free flow of accurate and truthful information. These principles not only guide our members and the profession, but also support fundamental rights of free speech and the public good.

Many thanks to you all for what you do each and every day in upholding the standards and ethics of our profession.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Social Media & Service Delivery: Part 3

The final installment of my social media presentation...

"My second example I wanted to share is the Library's online pressroom. I developed this with the help of my Communications Intern, Maggie Kierl. Again, we started by researching online pressrooms, and we used the Library's delicious account to share our research as we went. We found examples of other pressrooms that we liked and we found several great articles on how to build a pressroom. All of those links are still there in our delicious account, so if an online pressroom is something you are interested in, you can go check out our research there.

First we have the media contact information front and center, then we added links to the documents we get the most media requests for: our mission statement, organizational chart, stats, directions, past releases. We included basic information we thought would be useful: hours, personal directory, policies. Under Background, we have items that help our beat reporters generate story ideas: a link back to our current headlines, events calendar, high res photo and logo to download, and links to our current publications. Then you can also choose how you want to receive news from us: you can be a fan of our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, get an RSS feed from our Twitter account or an RSS feed from anything we tag as news in our delicious account.

The real highlight of our online pressroom and the piece that I was really excited to get off the ground is our electronic press kits. Each one is a little different; some are more in depth than others. But we've been trying to do one for all major events (and we leave these posted for about a month post-event) and we have some on our special collections.

If you pop one open and take a look, you'll see we start with contact information and a standard media advisory. Then we have links for more information. We try to present electronically the kind of things you might include in a more traditional press kit. So, there are links to photos, online invitations, online ticket sales, a full press release on the topic, and we try to include in each press kit a purpose-built delicious page, which means that link will take you directly to the Library's delicious bookmarks and open a list of everything we have tagged for this topic.

The great thing about using delicious as opposed to including the list of external links in the press kit is that you can send it out and still continue updating. So I can email an electronic press kit at 5 pm, and then find 3 more great links. I tag those new links in delicious and I've just update a press kit I already sent out. And if you have a really big story or something that is going to play out over time, people can subscribe to an RSS feed of your delicious tag and get an update anytime you bookmark a new page.

Just like our Facebook page, there are several big things I'd really like to add the press room, but I got it to the point that I thought it was a valuable tool for our reporters, and I put it up there. I really think you can't obsess over the idea of being finished, because it's never finished. You have to think of it as a living document that will continue to evolve. You put out something that is quality and worthwhile even if you don't consider it done."

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Social Media & Service Delivery: Part 2

If you missed part 1, just scroll down. The Social Media presentation continues...

"We're talking today about using these tools strategically. I think one of the keys to doing this is to go where your audience is. At the Library we have several key audiences; one of our largest constituents is undergraduate students. Any guesses what social network you might find undergrad students using?


I checked this week and there are over 24,000 OSU students on Facebook. That's a lot of students that are already part of a community we can join. Our foray into Facebook began a few years back. My boss and I were at presentation on Millennials. We came back and she told me to go figure out the Facebook thing the kids are using. I logged on, built my profile invited a couple friends and started looking for other people who were talking about the library.

For while, we really just lurked, and that a great way to learn about the culture before you invest too much. I was really excited to see how many people were already talking about the Library and were already building their own groups around a Library-theme. It gave me confidence that this would be a good place to try to connect with people.

We started by placing ads with Facebook. It's a great place to start experimenting with online ads, because they make it very easy. You can customize who see your ads and can choose between pay per click fee structure or a pay per impression fee structure. Facebook will track for you how many impressions and clicks you get each day.

Then Facebook started their business pages. Until that point an organization was not allowed to have a profile. So we started researching how we could make this work. My staff and I looked at every other Library business page out there and took notes on what we liked, what we didn't, how many fans the other libraries had. We used this information to brainstorm ideas of our own and we started putting together a page.

This is a good time to mention how helpful it is to identify existing expertise in your organization. Many of the new tools you're thinking about implementing for your organization are already being used by someone who works with you. It will be worth your while to spend the time to find those people and employ their help. I have a young staff in the communications office. Four people work for me and they are all in their 20s. Facebook is their world, so I really just handed this project over to them and encouraged them to be creative and experiment.

We have all the basic information on the page: hours, contact info. some photos. We post notes: there are couple right now about upcoming hours changes, there are links to our Chat & IM services, create event pages, and occasionally we send out notice to our fans. And we still have so many good ideas we'd like to implement. With social media it's an ongoing time commitment, you have to update and keep things fresh. It's never going to be done, that's something you have to get comfortable with.

For our office and what we do, the one feature that has been the most useful for us is the event pages. Any of the administrators can go in and create an event for the library. The event basically gets its own Facebook profile. You can upload photos, we usually post the invitation or a print ad we've already used, you can link press releases or external sites about the topic or speaker, and there's a wall where guests can talk about the event.

Then you invite people. The response I got from the first event I created for the Library blew me away. It was 3 days before the event when I posted the page and invited 24 friends. By noon the day of the event over 900 invitations had been distributed. Now, I'm not going to try to tell you 900 people showed up, in fact the vast majority declined. We had about 24 yeses and 50 maybes. But it was an amazing example of how quickly and how far our message went by using this network."

Stay tuned for the second case study...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Social Media and Service Delivery Part 1

Last month, I was very excited to be invited to serve on a panel for the YWCA Regional Conference in OKC. I was a bit of a last minute emergency fill in, but it was still an honor to be asked.

I can do this, I thought. It was a low-tech crowd with little marketing experience. Our job was to get ideas flowing. They wanted concepts, not technical how-to. With just 2 1/2 days to prep, I frantically scripted my 15-20 minute remarks. Now I have an 18 min talk on Social Media & Service Delivery. What to do with it? Ah-ha I'll put it on my blog.

I had a great co-presenter, Shane Kempton of Phase2 Interactive. He started us off with an overview of social media: what is it, how is it different, how did we get here. Then I gave some examples of how the library is employing social media in our service delivery.

This is what I told them: "In way of introducing myself and telling you a bit about my background, I put together a list of new media tools I use personally. Now, obviously this isn't everything I've ever tinkered with, but this are the ones I tried and liked and stuck with: Twitter, Delicious, Facebook, Oklahoma Social Media Club, LinkedIn, Flickr, MyRagan, AIM, a family Web site, personal blog, and MySpace.

I show you these also because long before I implemented any of these tools to promote the Library, I tried them out for myself. To use these tools strategically, we have to start by doing our research, and that in part means learning about the community you want to join. There are cultural norms within these communities. If you want to be effective, you need to understand what's appropriate there. My personal accounts often started as research for work projects.

When I was preparing this talk, I started by making a list of all the new media tools we use at the Library. I was actually kind of surprised at how many things kept occurring to me. If you sit down and think about it, you are probably already using some new media at work. So you might try thinking about ways to expand or improve what you are already doing.

I took what we do, and broke these up into internal and external tools. Internally, we publish a twice-a-week email newsletter for employees, we use personal text and IM accounts to facilitate our work flow, we use delicious to share research on joint projects, We have an intranet and our Reference Librarians have built a wiki to share information and build a collection of commonly asked reference questions.

But what are we doing externally to communicate with our audiences about Library services? We have a Facebook presence, and I'll talk in more detail about that in just a second; our librarians answer questions via chat and instant messenger; the communications office uses blogs. And I want to mention here that to utilize blogs, you don't necessarily have to have an organization blog. We have one department in our library that has an "official" blog, but we also
have several employees who blog and they will occasionally blog about our services. We've also had some luck pitching stories to external bloggers.

We use Google Alerts to monitor external conversations, the Library twitters, I mentioned that we use delicious internally, but we also use delicious externally in our electronic press kits, we send a monthly email newsletter to the University Faculty, and we are starting to develop video tutorials. Not all of these I would consider successes. And in Q/A I'd be happy to talk about what didn't work well and why I think that is, but now I'd like to focus on a couple success stories..."

Actually, this blog entry is just a teaser. I went over two examples-our Facebook presence and our online newsroom. I'll blog those in Part 2 and 3.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A Blog Breakup with Yahoo

Basically, I given up. I have been defeated by the craptacular piece of junk blog-thingie that came along with our Geocities site. I think Yahoo has given up on it too. They don't even seem to be supporting it at this point.

So if you found me from and are looking for those fascinating few entries from the original J&BLog, they are supposedly archived at If you are looking for John's blog, it's on his MySpace page.

Drumroll, here it is: There's Only Ever One Bonnie.


Friday, August 8, 2008

All A-Twitter

I'm a twitter-pusher. If you talk with me personally on a regular basis you already know this. In the last few days I've started to push my Twitter goodies on young unsuspectings. I decided it'd be easier to do in mass.

So here's the why: Mostly I'm talking to young PR/communicators or young soon-to-be PR/communicators. Social media is the "it" thing in our industry, right? It goes without saying (except that I just did say it). Everyone is looking for a new hire that can help with "social media efforts." So how are you going to convince anyone that you are in-the-know if you are not already part of the conversation when you walk in the door.

Sure, you can Facebook and MySpace. You can blog, YouTube, and Flickr (you can do all this, right?!). People complain about social media taking over our lives for a reason: it's never-ending. Prepare to meet your newest obsession.

The How: go to, create an account. Simple, right? Now don't sit in Twitter all alone and go "this sucks." You have to follow people and be followed. It's simple, just play for a few minutes and you can figure out the basics.

Still want me to draw you a picture? Someone else already did:

Ok, so who should you follow? Well, for starters, me, of course! Just type FOLLOW BonnieAnn or go to and click the follow button.

Who else? Here are some PR/communicators I follow. Following people in your industry is great. Twitter becomes a professional community where you can get feedback 24/7.

@samsims @kamichat @eschipul @lindsaylaird @dpkpr @publicityhound @jenniferds1127 @knhalvorsonapr @holleym @vtrammell @muddypebbles @cluster_funk @ncoggins @okprdustin @daniwalker76 (these are just a few mind you!)

Just fun: @okstatelibrary @okc @cnn @twitter @thebloggess @pickensplan

And folks I love: @sarahelaine @vbaeza @andrea862

You might be surprised who tweets. Maybe your congressman?

Don't stop there. These folks will lead you to other folks. If someone interests you, teaches you, or entertains you, follow them.

Alas the madness won't stop here. If you want to establish and maintain a reputation as an innovator or even an early adopter you'll have stay on top what's new, and that seems to be changing daily.

I'm not saying you have to like it all (I hate RSS!! Just for example). I'm not even saying you have to use it—for long. But you have to understand it enough to explain why it is or isn't appropriate for a project, client, etc. and when if ever it would be.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Skydiving: Bonnie's Story

I feel like every morning for the rest of my life I'm going to wake up and think, "I jumped out of an airplane."

This feeling will surely pass in a week or so, but our sky diving adventure will definitely remain as one of the most surreal experiences I've ever had. Stepping out onto the wing of plane, clinging to the strut with your feet dangling 4000 feet above the ground and then just letting go is not the kind of thing you have any context to understand. My brain does not know what to do with these sensations.

I thought I'd be scared. I actually wondered if I might chicken out. As it got closer and closer to go time, I couldn't believe I was actually doing this. This is crazy; normal people do not jump out of planes. They only do this in movies, right?

Surprisingly, it really wasn't scary. In fact, watching John jump was 10 times scarier than doing it myself. As the plane rose into the air, I ran through the protocols in my head. I kept waiting for the terror to come, but it never did. We'd drilled and drilled all day, I found that I really did feel ready. I knew what expect, I knew what I needed to do, and remarkably I had complete trust in my instructor (who would be pulling my shute for me).

As prepared as I felt when Waz asked "Are you ready to skydive?" I was, not in fact, prepared when he opened the door and shouted "Feet out and stop!!"

Waz told us it was windy. He did not stress that it is, in fact, so incredibly windy that a 140 pound woman will need her instructor to hold her down lest she blow away. When I tried to place my second foot on the step, I couldn't put it down. The wind was that strong. Waz grabbed my leg and pressed it to the step. I leaned close to the strut and grabbed hold as I'd practiced.

If it hadn't been for Waz's firm grip on my pack, I'm sure I'd have been straight out, flying alongside the plane like superman.
Waz let go and my feet flew off the step. I hung from the strut for moment, enjoying the ride. I thought one last time about my body position and let go. That was when things really deviated from the plan.

I thought I was arching, I really did. But the wind hit me and I started to tumble through the air. I did a complete backflip before my shute opened. I was convinced my lines would be tangled, and I stared for a few seconds in disbelief trying to locate the line twist that was sure to be there. It was good.

I started navigating my shute, spinning 360's and generally enjoying the ride to the ground. It seems like you're barely moving. That is until you're about 20 feet from the ground, then you realize you're actually coming in at a pretty good clip. I was ready to put on the brakes, though, and my landing was perfect. I was so excited by the perfect landing that I forgot to collapse my shute and it promptly knocked me to the ground, but that part was fun, too.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Taking the Plunge

John's birthday is coming up and after much prodding, he has decided on a birthday present. We're going skydiving!

On July 27, we take the plunge. We'll both be doing our very first solo dive after 4 short hours of training. If you happen to be in the Cushing area midday that Sunday. Look skyward. You may just see two redheads plummeting towards Earth.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

In which I am very very humble...

As requested, here is my self nomination for the Outstanding Employee Award. I know, I know, it's pretty cheesy to nominate yourself, but come on! It's $1500, don't say you wouldn't do the same. Besides I really am pretty outstanding.

Cain Nominated for 2008 Outstanding Library Staff Award

For Immediate Release

STILLWATER— The OSU Library administration recently revamped the Library’s award structure and unveiled the Outstanding Library Staff Award. Bonnie Ann Cain, one the Library’s most outstanding employees is taking full advantage by self-nominating for the new honor.

“There are so many individuals who come together to make the OSU Library a great institution. It’s really an honor to just be nominated for the Outstanding Staff Award,” said Cain.

Cain’s noteworthy library career began in October 1995 when she joined the OSU Library family as a student in the Circulation Department. Her exceptional work led to an official promotion to Student Assistant II for the Billing/Fines Unit and unofficial promotion to Library Princess.

Upon graduation in May 1999, Cain joined the Library Dean’s Office where she has devoted her career to the promotion of the OSU Library. In 2001, she stepped into the role of Coordinator of Communications and Publications (now Senior Communication Specialist). In this position, Cain has worked consistently to expand the scope of the Library’s publicity efforts.

“I am so fortunate to have a forward thinking leadership team that fosters my creative genius and innovative spirit. We are Edmon Low, 2.0!”

Always on the cutting edge, Cain has incorporated many new media technologies into the Library’s promotions efforts. The Edmon Low Library has its own profile on Facebook; over 900 invitations to a recent collection opening were sent through the social networking site. Social media is even creeping into the Library’s web site. Every online press release offers six different social bookmarking options, and the news site was recently expanded to include an online pressroom.

One of Cain’s inspired projects actually bears her name.

“I hope that long after I’m gone Bonnievision will still be in use. No one may know why it’s called that, but it will be just one of the many legacies I have left the OSU Library,” Cain mused.

Her illustrious career of nearly a decade is bedazzled with accomplishments. Cain has held leadership positions in both the University Staff Association and the Edmon Low Library Staff Association. She now serves on the boards for the Guthrie Public Library, Public Relations of America Oklahoma City Chapter, and the Friends of the OSU Library.

Cain’s work on the Edmon Low Library’s 50th Anniversary garnered a John Cotton Dana, the second such award for the OSU Library. While juggling her work duties, Cain also managed to complete both a master’s degree in mass communications and the arduous Accreditation in Public Relations.

Cain will humbly tell you, “My APR is one of my greatest accomplishments. It is truly a mark of distinction for me personally as a professional, as well as the institution I represent.”

For more information contact (405) [removed] or email at [removed].

Sunday, April 13, 2008

What is a Duckmaster?

As I mentioned, The Peabody is most definitely all about the ducks. There were duck shaped soaps and butter pats. Ducks on the bath mats and ducks on the shampoo bottles. There was a bar called the Mallard and a gift shop full of duck this and that. The building itself was branded with huge ducks that could be seen from the street or from the air. The elevator floors were tiled with duck mosaics.

And yes, the ducks do actually swim in the fountain, not 20 yard from the entrance to the restaurant.

Ruth, my graphic designer, challenged me to seek out and document the Duck Palace. I did that and one better. I befriended the Duckmaster, Lloyd and he made me Honorary Duckmaster. I was officially proclaimated in front of the audience for the evening duck march, I got my own cane and Lloyd and I marched the ducks!

Check out the photo gallery for the full photo essay:

Evidently, Honorary Duckmaster duties are bestowed on special guests of the Peabody. Oprah, Lou Dobbs, and most Arkansas First Ladies have been Honorary Duckmaster, just to name a few. It's kind of a big deal.

Overall the PRSA Regional Conference in Little Rock was great. I met some great and really interesting folks. I had a blast hanging out with old friends and new.

You can also check me out as Duckmaster on Ed Schipul's Flickr photostream.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Deal with the Ducks

I'm posting it here, because next week I'm off to cosmopolitan Little Rock, and evidently at the Peabody (where I am staying) they are nuts about these ducks.

The ducks are prominently featured in the hotel's logo, decor, gift catalog, etc.

To set this up, you must understand that the Peabody touts itself as totally fancy-schamcy. A highlight of it's fanciness is a daily "duck march" where the ducks walk a red carpet through the lobby (yes, the lobby!) of the hotel and into the fountain. Get the whole story here:

I am so amused by the whole concept, that I have decided to blog the ducks from the conference. I'm sure you are eagerly awaiting more!

With any luck I will make it to the "duck palace." I'm bringing the camera and will document everything for the amusement of all.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Boogie is running with a bad crowd

Our new neighbors have these two huge dogs. I think they might be St. Bernards. Tank and Todd have been regularly escaping since day one. The neighbors have been trying everything to keep them in, but nothing seems to work. They’ve poured concrete at the base of the fence, put the dogs on leads, electrified the fence. All to no avail. Tank and Todd regularly go on little outings.

A few hours after John and I brought them home a couple weeks back, we found Boogie sitting in the front yard when we came home from WalMart. We joked that she saw Tank and Todd do it, and they gave her ideas. Since then we’ve found and repaired two holes more than big enough for her to escape (we’re pretty sure she took herself for a couple walks when we were at work) and we’ve found and repaired 2 more beginner escape tunnels.

Last week, I was playing with Boogie before work and realized that Tank and Todd were out again. Tank came by the fence to say hi to Boogie. He went straight to the freshly repaired escape tunnels. And that's when I realized that Boogie may (or may not) actually be innocent in the creation of the escape tunnels. I think after seeing Tank, and seeing the shape and size of the holes, that Tank and Todd might have actually dug Boogie out.

The St. Bernards have been coming over during the day, and digging a hole for Boogie to come out and play with them. She is literally running with a bad crowd.