Archive for June, 2007

Night three at MUSC

Saturday, June 30th, 2007

It has been a rough few days for our family.  My son Caden remains hospitalized after a surgery that he had on Wednesday.  We expected to be discharged in less than 24 hours.  We are in the middle of night three at MUSC.

It has been reassuring to read 2nd Timothy this week during daily reading. I found myself reading one of my favorite verses in such a timely fashion. I have spoke this verse out loud during several prayers since Wednesday.

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Remembering this truth and reading about Paul’s sufferings and his encouragement for Timothy has helped to keep things in perspective this week.

I hope my kids can’t remember

Wednesday, June 27th, 2007

…the first time I ever prayed with them.  I know that sounds weird, but stick with me on this one.  I was listening to a pastor on the radio while on my way to a meeting at the church last night.  He talked about how dads really should be setting the example for their kids.  Many parents tell their kids, “Give me a kiss and then go on up to bed…oh, and don’t forget to say your prayers.”  If the statistics being thrown around are close to being correct, then this sort of dialog is much more likely to be the norm in most Christian homes.

Some of you parents may have heard something like this before, but I am going to say it again.  Way more is caught than taught.  You can not sit in your recliner and give the old “do as I say and not as I do” speech and expect it to work.  That dog won’t hunt, especially with the older kids.  Get up and join your children in their bedtime prayers.  Teach them how to talk to God by your example.  Do you remember the last time you prayed with your children other than when giving thanks for food?

I hope that my kids are not able to remember the first time I prayed with them.  I want prayer to be so much of a routine part of our lives that they can not remember when it started because it was farther back than their memory can stretch.  I challenge all dads to get a similar mindset towards prayer and daily devotional with their kids.

Prayer for Caden

Tuesday, June 26th, 2007

Caden the French Fry KidPlease add my son Caden to your prayer lists. He will be going in for surgery on Wednesday 6/27. You can read more details about what is going on with him on Caden’s Page.

Fathers Day Anniversary

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Today for the first time ever, I get to celebrate Fathers Day and my wedding anniversary together on the same day. What an awesome combination.

Happy Fathers Day to all the dads!!!

Lawsuit puts BurnLounge in Hot Water

Monday, June 11th, 2007

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed suit against BurnLounge and former University of South Carolina football player Rob DeBoer has been named in the suit.  BurnLounge and DeBoer are being accused of running a pyramid scheme and misrepresenting the earnings investors made with the company.

My personal experience with BurnLounge is much like that of SC Attorney General Henry McMaster.  According to The State newspaper, “McMaster suspected the company [Burnlounge] of being a pyramid scheme after hearing a sales pitch for the company with his wife.” 

A friend recently tried to recruit me into BurnLounge.  He had asked me to visit a website called yourburnteam.com, call a toll free number for more information, and then attend a presentation by former USC quarterback turned attorney Todd Ellis.  Ellis is mentioned in the article linked above.  I visited the site and called the number.  Then I proceeded to warn my friend via email by saying, “This program is a multi-level marketing (MLM) strategy at the roots.”  

 BurnLounge retailers are expected to get customers simply due to having a personal relationship with folks.  The customer buys music much like they would on iTunes.  This lawsuit is likely resulting from the questions raised from potential retails like reading thins like this:


  • The investment is $430 per year in U.S. dollars, plus $14.95 per month. This may change for different geographies to reflect local economic realities. ($609.40 per year total with no guarantee)
  • The upside is almost unbelievable, and Australia and Canada are the first countries that we are moving into..
  • In the first year, we had over 50 people earn over $100K, and several who earned from $400K to $600K in personal earnings. The amount of personal income that you create is up to you, but the opportunity to achieve life-changing income is real and attainable. (These bullet points were taken from the “Investment vs Return” section of a promotional email I received in late April 2007.  My emphasis added in bold.)
  • Those talking about downloading the most music say they use torrents and P2P solutions.  Those who buy their music fair and square from iTunes or Walmart.com have already busted past the initial impulse music purchase after acquiring a new digital music player for the first time.  After a brief informal survey of friends using services like iTunes, I found that all fell squarely in the middle of the estimates made by David Caulton, a Zune contributer as reported on the Electronics Design Strategy News web site.  David says:


    “iPod owners initially buy 30 tracks in the first three months, but then drop off to one track per month or less on average.”

    Based on the above information and a couple of things that grabbed my attention in the “Back-end Compensation Tutorial Residual Sales”  presentation on the myburnteam.com site, I was led to my decision to not participate

    -Single orders totaling less than $9.90 DO NOT count towards your sales quota
    -A single order with (1) 99 cent track DOES NOT count towards your sales quota
    -A single order with 10 or more 99 cent tracks DOES count towards your sales quota

    These bullets were taken directly from the “Back-end Compensation Tutorial Residual Sales” presentation on the Burn Team site.  To see it for yourself, go to http://www.yourburnteam.com and enter as a Guest.  Click on the menu icon once the Rob DeBoer flash video starts.  You will find a section called “Compensation Training” that includes this “Back-end Compensation Tutorial Residual Sales” presentation.  Oh, this presentation does not play well with Firefox.

    What all this tells me is that if the numbers give by David Caulton are even close, then revenue for a BurnLounge retailer from music downloads will be nonexistent after the first month a person joins.

    As a web site and blog builder, I can not image gambling $430 to see if I might be able to generate some revenue in much the same way I am already doing so with affiliate relationships that are FREE.  I spend less than that per year in total web hosting expenses.  

    I believe that BurnLounge is preying on the ignorance of those who have never built a blog or web site before.  Intensionally? I don’t know.  The amount of revenue a burn page retailer will generate is directly proportional to how effective they are at delivering visitors to their web pages.  Any experienced web site owner will tell you that drawing traffic is not always a cakewalk, unless you are [uhm] something like a former college football celebrity with the name recognition that might be able to immediately draw a ton of Internet traffic. 

    After you run through the references in this story, if you find that you just can not live without becoming a BurnLounge retailer, then I will hook you up with my friend.  On the other hand, if you want to make money on the Internet the old fashion way, then just drop a comment in this post or send me an email (check the about page).  I will be glad to help you get started for way less than $609 per year.

    Wojcik’s National Tour

    Sunday, June 10th, 2007

    Wojcik familyThe Wojcik family has departed the low country of SC on a one month RV tour of the USA. The father and RV pilot of the Wojcik family is a friend and co-worker Marty Wojcik. I think I might remember how to spell his last name by the time I get done following him across the country via this blog.

    I can take at least part of the credit for Marty starting this blog. He was going to just update static HTML pages on the free space that Comcast gives with Internet service. I showed him how Blogger and WordPress.com work behind the scenes and he loved the idea of journaling his trip using a blog format. You will notice that Marty shamelessly stole my header graphic. I told him I didn’t mind of he used it.

    Understanding Blog Visitors

    Thursday, June 7th, 2007

    Got Jesus Visit Statisitc

    I have been a little bit obsessed with my blog statistics at times in the past. I believe as a serious blogger you need to be concerned about where visitors come from and why they come to your site if you want to understand what your blog is really accomplishing. The visits like the one above help motivate me to stay in the blogging game. This is only one of the interesting visits that came from a search engine recently.

    About one third of all the traffic across all of HOEI.COM (six separate blogs) comes as brand new visitors from search engine results. Most land on this blog or Caden’s Page. I posted a more detailed article on my new front page HOEI blog. I am focusing that blog on blogging tips and other blog related subjects. The new post on HOEI also contains a couple of new acronyms to throw into your bowl of Internet soup.

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