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“And He’s On It!” May 25, 2012

It’s May in Indianapolis and it still just doesn’t seem the same without Tom Carnegie’s booming voice over the PA at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  The man was an icon. He was as much a part of the track as any driver. Rivaled by no one, maybe even more part of the Yard of Bricks than the actual drivers who drove over them. Andretti, Unser, Foyt, Mears in my opinion couldn’t hold a carafe of milk higher than Tom.

I had the honor and the privileged of knowing this man personally. Tom was the kindest, most personable man you would ever have the chance to meet. Humble, remarkably humble. Tom would always be genuinely surprised when someone would ask him for his autograph, he always considered it an honor. If he met you he would never forget your face or your name. If you asked Tom about any race he could tell you the slightest detail about anything. He was the encyclopedia of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, a true marvel to be around.

I first met Tom at my grandparent’s restaurant. Tom was a regular and my family welcomed him in with open arms. During the month of May was when Tom really brought out the heavy artillery. Tom brought hundreds of people into the restaurant from out-of-town. He brought drivers, mostly rookies who just wanted to say that they hung out with a legend at dinner. Tom started at the Speedway in 1946, so by the 1980’s he was a legend. I remember my grandparents telling my sister and I to bring Tom anything he wanted and we did. He always laughed his booming laugh and clapped his hands as if he were surprised to get the attention, even though we treated him exactly the same way the weekend before.

Tom was not only loveable, he was incredibly driven. Tom was afflicted with polio his junior year in college. Persistent and stubborn, Tom would not let his disease stop him. Tom swam on the swim team to keep up his leg strength. In the mean time he picked up another hobby, the debate team. During one competition he entered a sports radio contest, which he won. Then his career in sports took off.

Tom was the sports director at WRTV-TV from 1953 to 1985. He always believed his success was directly linked to helping other people, which lead him to always encourage and give opportunities to others. I remember a story Mark Patrick told once about Tom while he was an intern for Tom at WRTV. Patrick remembered how Tom asked him to go out to interview the visiting team the Pacers were playing the next night. The team happened to be the Chicago Bulls and the interviewee just happened to be Michael Jordan. That was just the way Tom was, selfless, always wanting to inspire others. Tom had a special gift seeing talent in others they didn’t necessary see in themselves at the time.

I remember when Tom finally retired from the Speedway. I don’t think there was a dry eye at the track when he took his final lap around the Yard of Bricks. And that was enough for Tom. He didn’t want money. He didn’t want fame. Just being driven around the track one more time brought so much joy to him. He would tell the story as if it were yesterday with his booming voice and love of life laugh.

I remember how sad Tom was when my dad passed away. Tom and my dad shared a passion for high school basketball. He pulled some strings to get my dad on the Indiana High School Basketball Hall of Fame Committee. My dad was thrilled and I believe it was just as much of a thrill for Tom to get him on the committee. I remember he held my hand and said “Your dad was a class act, Stephanie.” What great words coming from such a great man.

When Tom passed away in 2011, I remember being sad. He was such an incredible man. Then I remember thinking about someone who took life and squeezed every opportunity given to him and had the grace to do the same things for others. He lived the fullest live of any person I’ve ever known.

While it was hard to say goodbye to Tom, my hope is to have someone look back on my life and say I lived it to the fullest because Tom Carnegie certainly did.


To Tweet Or Not To Tweet? May 16, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 5:34 pm

That is the question.

Look at that cute, little bird. He’s nothing to be afraid of. I meet people all the time who say they’re scared of Twitter because they think they might say the wrong thing. I always try to assure people to have fun with Twitter when they’re first starting out. I give the advice to not post anything  you wouldn’t say to your grandmother. Then again, most of you haven’t met my grandmother. In most cases that’s pretty solid advice.

I’m on Twitter most of the day either personally or for clients. Part of what I do is monitor what is going on or what people are talking about on Twitter. Sound boring? I’m here to tell you it’s not in the least bit boring. I’ve seen great conversations. I’ve jumped into conversations that have inspired the way I do things at work. I’ve gotten great recipes for dinner. I’ve met some of the coolest people and some crazy ones. I’ve seen a flat out fight of tweets between people on Twitter. Let me give you an example.

I remember a couple of years ago when I was first starting to use Twitter.  It was after a football game, a important football game, ok, it was the Super Bowl. During sporting events is absolutely the best time to be on Twitter. Don’t believe me? Check it out. Not naming any names but someone said something bad, I mean straight up inappropriate on Twitter about the team who won the game. I saw the tweet. I thought this should get interesting and man did it. This person got barraged with tweets. I mean that tweet went out and people let the person have it – mostly about how absurd, rude and unkind the tweet was.  This person – after getting several, I mean, I have no idea how many tweets – decided to delete the tweet. Unfortunately for that person someone had already taken a screen shot of the tweet and retweeted it. It just went on and on and on. I never chimed in, seeing what everyone else was said was enough for me.

So the advice after writing this would be, have fun on Twitter – that’s what it’s there for. Just remember the Internet is written in ink and grandma might know how to do a screen shot.

Just sayin.


Why Your Social Media Stinks May 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 7:22 pm

Social Media.  You hear it everywhere. Meetings, on the phone, walking down the street, picking up your kid from daycare, even watching the 10 o’clock news reminds you to follow them on Twitter or Facebook. Me, I hear it in my sleep. Self-confession: I have woken up at 3:30 a.m. just to check Twitter. I have quietly snuck out to the kitchen to check Facebook statuses. I know I’m not alone, the business of social media is a fast moving one, and those of us in the profession want to be the fastest. Think about the commercial where someone says “X player is injured, but looks like he might be returning to the game,” and the other guys holding their smart phones look annoyingly at him and say “so 35 seconds ago.” That’s what people in the business of social media want, to say “so 25 seconds ago.” (Shaving an extra ten seconds just for good effort on my part).

So you’re a business owner, you’ve got all the stuff –  Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and a blog. You’ve got ALL of it, and you’ve hired outside your company because you don’t have the time to do “it” (it being Social Media) yourself. The people that you’ve hired are social media consultants, so they know what they’re doing.

Perfect, here we go on the social media highway, it’s going to bring you lots of customers and lots of money – right?

Likely, but not in two weeks.

Companies have a problem. Sometimes, they hear only what they want to hear. They see the bright shiny lights, and the words like big and profit, and somewhere in the middle they stop listening to me and start fantasizing about their Twitter handle on the 10 o’clock news. It doesn’t work that way. After being in the social media business for three years, I can promise you, it doesn’t work that way.

The minimum, and I mean the absolute minimum anyone should give social media a shot is six months, and that is the bare minimum. Quitting after a month, that’s not even giving it a fair chance. Social media is a lot like any new relationship, whether business or personal that you’re trying to develop. Let me explain.

You meet someone, he seems nice enough, you exchange business cards and you’re on your way.

Next thing you know he’s following you on Twitter. That’s nice, so you tweet hello, but you don’t hear from him for two days.

When he finally responds, he don’t answer your question. Instead, he tells you about the great sale going on at the Tire Store he works at and and won’t you come by?

Then you block him, because all he wants to do is sell you something.

It takes longer than two weeks to cultivate what you hope will be a long standing, mutually beneficial, business relationship. People want to know about you first, you can get into the business stuff later. That might not move as fast as you would like it to, but a really good business relationship rarely does because it takes time to build trust.

At Somnium Media we believe in long standing business relationships. We also believe with the right strategy and commitment from your business we can accomplish great things.

Give us a call, we’re happy to help.


I Use To Think My Dad Was Crazy May 1, 2012

Filed under: I am still learning,Stuff,Uncategorized — stepheppichdaily @ 3:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Storms, hate em.  Although not as much as I use to.

My Dad loved the weather, his mother loved the weather, and I married an Engineer with a Bachelors in Meteorology.  Coincidence???

Anyway when I was little I remember my Dad would always have the television on watching the nightly news talking about the weather.  When cable tv came out with the Weather Channel, holy hell, was my Dad in heaven.  He could watch hurricanes happening in Florida while it was snowing in Minnesota, it was Epic, in a very Eppich sort of way to him.  I on the other hand didn’t like it, not one bit.  I would look at the tv and see green, yellow, and red – now, I don’t know what all that meant, but my Dad was happy to educate me.  Once I knew that yellow and red were bad, it was all over for me.  God forbid there would be hail, that was it for me, I was in the basement or in the tub in our bathroom.

My Dad was always on the front porch.  Looking out into the storm.  Even with tornado sirens going off, even with hail, he would just stand there looking.  I would say “Daddy come in here, it’s dangerous!”  He would look at me and smile and say “Baby this is nothin, come out of there.”  I refused.

I remember in 1996, I was working at an insurance agency and I happened to be over at my parents for dinner.  With the Weather Channel on, my Dad was checking out the movement of the storm between bites when the lights went out.  My Mom went to find candles, and my Dad went straight to the front door.  Sitting in the bathroom I could hear the tornado sirens, I could also see my Dad on the front porch looking at an ominous, swirling, green sky.  Then it started to hail, I don’t think I could have pressed my body any closer between the wall and the toilet.  I said “Dad get in here” he didn’t even turn around, he just waived his hand and continued to stand out there.

I could never understand why he would just stand there.

Last night when our power went out, Kameron seemed a little scared about it.  Of course Mr. D was tracking minute by minute on tv, until the electricity went out, then there was the weather app on his phone.  It wasn’t raining that hard, I couldn’t believe the power had gone off.  (By the way, I’m not as wimpy as I once was about the weather.)  We hung out for about a half hour, but Kameron had homework do to.  I suggested Mr. D take him up to the library which is just a few minutes down the road.  He said “what will you do?”  Being in my pj’s from this terrible head cold I’ve had, I said “I’m just going to lay down.”  He said “in the dark?”  “Yes, Mr. D in the dark.”  So they went on their way to the library and I headed back to bed.

I miss everything about my Dad.  I think what I miss most is being able to pick up the phone and ask him a question, or tell him something exciting that has happened.  To hear his voice was honestly my home.  It’s hard to believe it’s been almost three years since I lost that soft place to fall, where I knew everything would be alright.

So while I was sitting back on my bed playing solitaire on my iPhone, listening to the rain come down, I thought to myself, what would my Dad be doing right now?  I thought listening to the rain.  So I did, I put down my phone and just laid there listening to the rain coming down.  It was peaceful and quiet.

After about fifteen minutes of that my type A personality started thinking (when is the damn electricity going to come back on?)  Still laying there a thought, or maybe a whisper, came into my head.  It said “check the circuit breaker.”  I got up, went outside, opened the breaker box, and the lights came back on.

I turned around, just stood there, and looked at the rain.