The Talk Pod has Sprouted!

The way we receive information is changing. One of the more exciting and welcome changes is the ability to easily access original, on demand audio content. You can now listen to the personalities you love, anytime and anywhere, thanks to digital technology.

A couple of years ago, due to a number of factors, the world of traditional radio began, what many consider, a decline. Some radio stations, either by choice, due to budget issues, or maybe even short-sightedness, let some of their most popular personalities go. Some of the most dedicated, disappointed fans were those of the once great and powerful KGO Newstalk 810 in San Francisco. New owners of the station apparently had a “different” vision for the station’s future, and cut all but a couple of the station’s longtime favorites. Fans were not pleased by the shake-up, to say the least, but as they say, when one door closes, another often opens!158459361

Ed Baxter and I first worked together with him writing a column in ALIVE called Making Sense. Alongside the column, Ed contributed regular audio commentary to our ALIVE Eastbay website, and eventually ALIVE published Ed’s first book, Waiting at Red Lights. Ed had been aware of my longtime efforts to merge various types of media—print, video, web, TV—as he had been doing much of the same thing, particularly focused on audio.

Enter: The Talk Pod.

In time, Ed and I became friends and our natural “progression” led us to form a new media company—Media Progression, LLC—with the goal of expanding into new digital formats. Our first project together is, “The Talk Pod.” It is perfect for us because it takes the best of the best of traditional media’s spoken word, and blends it with the digital experience of the web. Going to will bring you into a community/exchange of spoken thought, information, and opinion.

The Talk Pod features professional broadcasters offering original content that has not appeared anywhere else. It is a unique digital experience. The contributors express themselves in their own portals and are able to “visit” each other, much like neighbors going in and out of each others’ doors. The only limit on The Talk Pod creativity is that all of our commentary be produced in good taste—it’s a “no foul language zone.”

Our contributors are amazing. They are professionals who have talked with millions of people on a daily, weekly, monthly and career basis. Many are members of the Bay Area Radio Hall of Fame. Many have won numerous national awards. Some are authors.

Ed is overjoyed at being reunited with my his KGO on-air partner, Rosie Allen. Also on board are John Rothmann, Barbara Simpson, Joe Starkey, Ken Dito, Bill Wattenburg, Lloyd Lindsay Young, Stan Burford, Malou Nubla, Elizabeth Kate and and the Flick Nation crew of Dennis Willis, Steve Wagner, and Steven Kirk. As you can see, we have a plethora of experts onboard!

The Talk Pod is easy to navigate any time you want the content. It is available on desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile device. The Talk Pod iPhone and Android apps are coming soon, to be followed by auto/audio in your car via a USB port.

We are starting The Talk Pod here in the Bay Area because we have access to this wonderful talent, and because this is our home. We will be expanding and growing as we find more avenues across the country for our “Media Progression.”

Digital is the new way to share communication. It is on-demand and original. For all of our contributors, it is a work of love and passion. Our motto is “Let’s have some fun and give listeners what they really want!”

The Talk Pod is has sprouted! This is your project as well, so please tell us what you think and what you want to hear. As our Pod opens to the world, there are no limits!

Visit The Talk Pod at




Bohemian Grove

The Bohemian Club of San Francisco is one of the Bay Area’s best-kept secrets, and is considered to be one of the premier private men-only clubs in America. It boasts an elite membership, past and present, of some of the nation’s foremost power brokers, policy-makers, and several generations of Fortune 500 leaders. 477652603

Within the sanctuary of the exclusive club, men of both patrilineal wealth and big business self-achieved titans enjoy the camaraderie of friendship and success. The Club is unabashedly a personal retreat for the elite socio-economic and well-connected men in American society who can relax in the milieu of like-minded men.

This gentlemen’s club with an old-world atmosphere of interlocking business and the arts, and imbued with the spirit of gentry and civility, attracted the Crockers, Spreckles and Hearsts, as well as railroad, shipping and city builders. It has not deviated from its original mission to attract the most powerful and influential men of the moment.
At any given time there is a fifteen-year waiting list of about 20,000 sponsored applications in the pipeline to be vetted by a committee prior to acceptance. And with an initiation fee of $25,000, and about $600 in monthly dues, it doesn’t even faze the eager male aspirants.

An invitation to join the Bohemian Club is often a validation of one’s success and standing in society, by other men of influence who are part of the powerful network. As one of the world’s most exclusive men-only clubs, it is also one of the most maligned by its detractors. Why, you may ask? It’s because the private men’s club membership attracts some of the most influential leaders, moneyed power brokers, and decision-makers in America with a global reach.

The Bohemian Club was founded in 1872 in San Francisco by a group of Chronicle journalists with a mission to forge bonds by blending business and the arts; literature, art, music and drama. Membership swelled to include businesses, industry, banking, building, and national media, providing an art colony of sorts for writers, artists, poets, actors and like-minded intellectuals who craved artistic culture and camaraderie in the post-gold rush frontier days.

The 19th century co-founders, Daniel O’Conner and Henry “Harry” Edwards, chose the term “Bohemian” that typified free-thinking avant-garde and art-focused intellectuals, and the word best described their objectives to promote a devotion to the Seven Arts.

The present membership roster is secret; however, past members were involved in the public domain, and reads like the Who’s Who in global politics, government, military, finance, utilities, industry, science, national media, and the arts.

Post launch-period Bohemians in non-chronological order: William Keith of the Barbizon School, was a member, as were poet George Sterling, Jack London, Samuel Clemons (aka Mark Twain), and Bret Harte. One of only four females to ever have been granted honorary membership in the male-only club was Jack London’s mentor, poetess Ina Coolbrith, the club’s librarian.

Other esteemed members include: Theodore Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Henry Ford, Henry Kissinger, Ike Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, George H. Bush, and every Republican president as well as many Democrat presidents. Academia is also well represented in the club by several university scientists, presidents and trustees. Political affiliation is not a membership prerequisite. Liberal Walter Cronkite was a member, as is Paul Pelosi.

Guest speakers at the elite club cover diverse subjects. Chris Matthews and Conan O’Brien were recent presenters, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown was a regular, and Peter Ueberroth and General Stanley McChrystal have been Lakeside guest lecturers. Other members include newspaper barons William R. Hearst I and III, Earl Warren, S.D. Bechtel and son Riley Bechtel, James Lockheed, Alan Sproul, Ralph Bailey of DuPont, David Packard, William Casey Jr., Colin Powell, the Rockefellers, Google’s Eric Schmidt and astronauts, and the late Robert Mondavi and Tony Snow, and many International Press Club members.

To retain their ‘Bohemian’ allegiance to the arts, about ten percent qualify for membership in the artistic and entertainment realm: Tennessee Ernie Ford, George Shearing, Clint Eastwood, Herman Wouk (The Caine Mutiny), Grateful Dead rockers Mickey Hart and Bob Weir, and Jimmy Buffett. Past guests included Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and many big bands, jazzmen, and concert pianists.


The San Francisco-based club on Taylor Street owns the Bohemian Grove, a 2,700-acre retreat nestled in the giant redwood forests 75 miles north of The City. The ‘Grovers’ convene annually to celebrate High-Jinx in June, the other a mid-summer two week “Encampment” fest where the elite 2000+ men camp in the woods in rustic bunkhouses.

As part of merriment in the woods, Bohemians enjoy gourmet dining, fine wines and gallons of booze in clearings under canopies of heritage redwoods. Untoward activities or ungentlemanly behavior at the safe sanctum is unacceptable. On occasion an offending member has been escorted to the gate.

The club prohibits the discussion of business dealings and the use the encampment as a forum to solicit clients or promote ventures, as dictated by their motto “Weaving spiders come not here.” It is impossible to monitor private conversations or any clandestine planning in the bunkhouses and dining rooms, but it is presumed the venue has spawned a slew of schemes and strategies down the global pike.

One such historic scheme that occurred in September 1942 in the Bohemian Grove is well documented: the Manhattan Project. Ernest O. Lawrence, Donald Cooksey and Robert Oppenheimer discussed the project at the Grove’s river clubhouse with scientists and the military top brass. This historic rendezvous is a source of great pride for the club, as the development of the atomic bomb was to end World War II in 1945.

One wonders what other plans affecting the outcomes of elections, world banking, and expansionism may have been hatched at the Grove since 1872 by men of power, men who control the money, and the men who virtually rule the world.

The remote wilderness-meeting place is innocuous, serene and pristine where great men gather in the backwoods to bond and forge friendships. The encampments in forest clearings are about 118 rustic camps and each having private clubhouses, dining rooms, decks, bars and sleeping quarters. Camp compounds are collectively owned, often patrilineal, who are responsible for annual dues, upkeep, steward-valets, and share in responsibility for the comfort, welfare and supplies of the residents and guests.

Members are invited to join and must adhere to strict rules: no tipping, cameras, cell phones, tape recorders, radios, pets or firearms. At no time are autographs to be requested. Each camp is considered private with an atmosphere of civility, and owner Bohemians invite other members to enter.

The hundred plus individual camps are identified by names: Mandalay regularly houses presidents; Hill Billies the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Hillside has the Military Generals; and Cave Man houses the Think Tank, banking and defense sect. These rustic bunkhouses are where some of the world’s wealthiest, most influential and powerful men enjoy fellowship in the forest. Directors and CEOs of many of the nation’s 800 corporations have Club representation.

To keep everyone happy, fed and watered, the club employs over 500 seasonal workers. Top chefs and crew run their own butcher shop, bakery, pantry and catering service, working night and day to prepare the best gourmet food and serve the finest of wines to as many as 1500 raucous revelers seated 26 to a table in the al fresco Dining Circle.

The Bohemian Grove retreat is a fun-filled event with “walkie-talkie” nature walks, lectures, live concerts and theatrical performances under the watchful eye of a 40-foot moss-covered owl totem shrine behind the lakeside stage. The seating encircles an open air auditorium-like theatre shaded by redwoods for lakeside lectures, plays and concerts.

The annual kick-off to encourage the Bohemian revelers to discard all outside cares is the ‘Cremation of Care’ ceremony whereby an effigy is set alight on a small barge in the lake like Beau Geste’s Viking funeral. This century-old ceremony, imbedded in tradition, has brought ire from detractors as being a human sacrifice ala ancient Druid practices in the forests of Anglesey.


Each encampment season protesters demonstrate outside the compound Bohemian Avenue gates. The activists oppose everything that the Bohemian Club stands for, and as long as print media gives ink, and television gives airplay, the activists will continue to bombard the gates. The Monte Rio annual events attract the wrath of sundry activists: environmentalists, anti-war protesters, occupiers maligning the One Percent, feminists, and other causes du jour that inflame the agitators that relentlessly dog the club.

One of the most vocal groups is the redwood environmentalists who accuse the private club of cutting heritage ancient trees to harvest 500,000 board feet of lumber. The club maintains that the felled trees were not ancient redwoods, but trees under the timber management program. The Bohemian Grove management insists their private land tree-cutting programs follow federal guidelines and remains in harmony with nature.

The Bohemian Grove is fully contained during encampment events with doctors and staff in a medical centre and it maintains its own fire department.

As the Bohemian Grove property is off-limits to non-members and the public, the private men-only membership, has drawn condemnation from detractors. Maximum security at the grove is of utmost importance, as some of the world’s most high-profile leaders, military generals, captains of industry, oil companies, and CEOs attend the events. The high-value members and guests are collectively vulnerable to infiltration, sabotage and possible targets of terrorist danger.

Trespassers are apprehended, photographed, fingerprinted and added to their database. Members’ guests are screened, vetted and wear laminated identification tags at all times. Security is tight; guards travel on golf carts and are immediately alerted to security breaches. They do not take trespassing lightly and do not allow casual non-guests at any time. Tours are not permitted. Member’s families may visit at non-event periods and only during daylight hours.

Some reporters and activists have admitted to trespassing, and their stretched stories have caused getting a valid interview almost impossible. Any form of publicity about the Bohemian Club is shunned and denied.

The Internet is ablaze with the intrigue of conspiracy theories, “eyewitness” accounts of activities, illuminati-style mind-control, clear-cutting heritage redwoods, and accusing members of ritualistic atrocities, including Druid-like sacrifice and devil worship in the commune. Many are even outraged that some men are guilty of micturition—peeing in the forest!

It is understandable that the compound, where some of the world’s most influential power brokers gather each summer, has the nation’s best post 9/11 security, employing ex-CIA and FBI agents to guard the perimeters of the vast property, a monumental challenge to say the least.

Though the redwood forest property spans 2,700 acres, only 109 acres are cleared for Grove activities in buildings, bunkhouses, dining hall, and al fresco dining arenas. The rest of the forest that borders the Russian River is preserved for the glory of the grove.

The rest of the acreage is wild, where one imagines that shafts of light pierce the canopies, lichen and tree moss clump on bark, and deer and wildlife roam among sword ferns in the perennial wetness of dappled shade. Fog hangs on the redwoods’ crown giving watery life to the untrammeled forest floor where light filters like clerestory windows of a cathedral, and where the giant trees have survived for over three millennia, giving a misty Arthurian mystery to the wilderness.

During my investigations I could not locate a website or email address. Media packets seem to be unavailable, and activities are not advertised by the club. I have written the facts to the best of my ability and have reported fairly without sensationalizing. Most information is gleaned from old news reports and the Internet. Much information was extrapolated from a 160-page dissertation on socio-economics, purportedly sanctioned by the Bohemian Club, by a sociologist’s study on American clubdom, consensus building, and the bonding of elite men in society.

About 20,000 membership applicants will wait fifteen years or so to be vetted and hopefully accepted. If they meet the stringent requirements, they will become ‘Bohemians’ in one of the world’s most exclusive clubs. And with a heavy initiation fee of 25 grand and 600 smackers a month, they will have entered the rare stratosphere of America’s socio-economic elite, and be privileged to rub shoulders, and raise the cup, with the highest echelons of the nation’s most powerful band of brothers who make our world go around.

Everyone Has a Book in Them

It’s been said that everyone has a book in them. Not literally of course. That would be grossly uncomfortable. Suffice it to say that we’re all filled with stories or life experiences that could or should be translated into book form.

Take me for instance. Many years before the international acclaim of my first book, Alive and Kickin’:  Sideways Views From an Upright Guy, my wife had convinced me to record some of the bedtime stories I had been telling our two daughters on a nightly basis. These stories were made up whimsical tales utilizing characters they were familiar with such as friends, relatives, pets or dolls and stuffed animals from their rooms. It was a challenge to create nightly adventures that would gently hold their interest while often times trying to weave in some type of life lesson. I don’t proclaim to be Barbara Park (Junie B. Jones), Laura Numeroff (If You Give a Pig a Pancake) or Ian Falconer (Olivia the Pig series), but Hannah and Claire seemed to enjoy my stories as they drifted off to sleep.

The point is, once I purged them onto the computer, I never did anything with these brilliantly crafted pieces of my soul, until now. With the help of Eric Johnson at Alive Book Publishing, I plan to put together a book entitled, Would Someone Please Tell Me a Story, a collection of bedtime stories from a real life dad. I may never sell one copy, but I’ll be able to leave the book to my daughters hoping one day they’ll read our stories to their children/my grandchildren just in case I’m not around to do it myself. Don’t feel embarrassed if you’re starting to tear up as you read this article, I have a tendency to tap into people’s emotions pretty easily.

A Trip to the Big City

In a quaint little house in the suburbs, there lived two sisters, Carly and Libby. Carly was 10 years old and Libby, 8. The sisters loved to play together, read books to each other and go to the movies. Cary and Libby also liked their visits to the big city. Once every three or four months, Carly, Libby and their parents, take a 45 minute drive to the big city to shop, see shows, eat at new restaurants and explore the various districts that make up the metropolis. Mom and Dad call it cultural, but Carly and Libby just call it fun.

For their visits to the big city, the girl’s always dress nicely, do their hair and they each are allowed to bring one doll. Their favorite thing to do in the big city is to walk the busy streets. They love to buy inexpensive jewelry from the street vendors; they feed the pigeons in the park and they meet interesting people everywhere they go.

On one recent trip to the big city, Carly and her Mother were sitting at an outdoor café while Libby and their father were inside ordering lunch. Off in the distance, Carly noticed a young girl about her age, sitting with an elderly woman on a bench across the plaza. Carly smiled at the girl and although the girl looked sad, she did smile back. Carly noticed that the girl had worn and ragged clothes, smudges of dirt on her cheeks and her shoes were almost worn out.

Carly asked her Mother why the girl looked so unhappy. When Libby and their father joined Carly and their mom for lunch, the girls’ parents explained that some people in the city were homeless. Carly and Libby were unaware that some kids didn’t have homes to live in, food to eat or nice clothes to wear. They both felt very lucky and at the same time compassionate for the other children.

Carly asked her parents if she could walk over and talk with the little girl on the bench. Her parents said yes and kept a close eye on her as she walked across the plaza. Carly introduced herself and gave her doll to the girl. The girl was so surprised she started to cry. The elderly woman, the girl’s grandmother, told Carly her granddaughter never had a doll. Carly had a warm feeling in her heart knowing she had done something special. When she returned to Libby and her parents, she explained what had transpired. Her parents were very proud of their daughter. Later that day, Libby gave her doll to a baby in a stroller.

From that point forward, whenever the family went to the big city, the girls always brought a toy, stuffed animal, sweater or jacket and some food to give to one of the homeless families. The girls loved their trips to the big city.

What sets ALIVE apart as a publishing company? ALIVE is a local publishing company enabled with the tools and expertise to effectively position, market, and advertise your book using a vast array of media. While the basic essentials of book publishing are certainly important, they comprise just one dimension of what ALIVE Media accomplishes. Their publishing foundation is based upon something quite different from that of other book publishers. Their experience is based upon not only books, but eight years’ experience publishing a monthly lifestyle magazine. The ALIVE Team knows what it takes to market and actually sell editorial products because they’ve been doing it successfully, every month for over eight years. When it comes to marketing, public relations, and advertising, they’re not “middle men,” like most publishers—they actually own the tools of production and have the hands-on experience required to create and conduct a successful public relations and marketing campaign for your book.

Moo, I’ll Take Care of You

On a big farm, in the middle of California’s Central Valley, there lived a big, beautiful Jersey milking cow named Kaye. Over the years, Kaye had birthed a great many calves all of whom had grown-up to be fine cows. As Kaye grew older, she missed taking care of little ones so she started mothering any stray animal that found their way to her farm.

One cloudy day, a baby duck showed up on the farm. The duckling had become separated from her flock and was all alone on the farm. Kaye watched as the duckling wandered around the barnyard for a few days trying to find someplace to fit in until Kaye moseyed over to say hello. The little yellowed feathered bird looked up at the enormous bovine and said the only thing that came to mind, “Quack”. Kaye gave the adorable little quacker a sniff, smiled and responded simply by saying, “Moo, I’ll take care of you” and from that day forward Kaye watched over the duck as if she was one of her very own calves. She rustled up grain for the foul to eat, gathered lose down feathers to build a bed and learned all types of duck games to play. Kaye was the only mother the duck ever knew or needed.

Several years later, a gray and white Tabby kitten showed up on the farm scared and lonely. None of the other barn animals knew where the kitten had come from or what had become of its mother. Kaye could see that the kitten’s coat needed cleaning and in one lick of her enormous tongue the kitten was clean and shiny. As the kitten purred with delight, Kaye sniffed the little ball of fur and said, “Moo, I’ll take care of you.” Kaye found the kitten milk to drink, yarn to chase and a warm safe place to sleep. Kaye was a perfect mother to the baby cat.

Life on farm was good, however there were never any children at the farm until one day when the farmer and his wife brought home a little girl about four or five years old. Kaye kept a watchful eye on the adventurous newcomer to the farm whenever she ventured outside to play or explore. Ultimately, the toddler found Kaye or Kaye found the toddler. Regardless, Kaye nuzzled the freckled face mop top and thought, “Moo, I’ll take care of you.” The farmer and his wife were wonderful parents and they raised an exceptional girl, but Kaye liked to think she helped too.

Sadly, Kaye passed on several years after the girl left for college. Once the farmer’s daughter became a woman, she married and had a child of her own. Not surprisingly, the new mother’s first instinct was to look deeply into her baby’s eyes and say, “Moo, I’ll take care of you.”

ALIVE’s Basic Publishing Service Package includes concept & content advisory, interior page layout using author-provided, camera-ready pages or a ABP standard template (up to 300 pages), Custom cover design including up to two stock, Images (at least three spec design options), ISBN, Bar Code, Library of Congress filings, Price point survey & determination , Up to 20 copies of your book, Listing in Ingram Advance Catalog, sent to booksellers & libraries worldwide (approximately four months after production), Submission of your book for Printing on Demand (POD) production, Online POD distribution is accessed through over 30,000 wholesalers, retailers and book sellers in over 100 countries. This provides maximum exposure in the marketplace. Books are normally printed and ready for shipment in less than 24 hours after an order is placed. Online United States distribution companies include: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Espresso, Book Machine, NACSCORP, Ingram and Baker & Taylor. Online United Kingdom distribution companies include: Amazon UK, Adlibris, Bertram’s, Blackwell, Book Depository, Coutts, Gardner’s, Mallory Intl., Paperback Shop, Eden Interactive Limited., Aphrohead and IBS-STL UK. *20 copies provided for B&W paperback. Number of included books will be less with hardcover, color or custom sized book. Additionally, Display advertising in ALIVE Magazine, Feature articles, book reviews & author interviews. Online advertising on the high traffic ALIVE website, TV commercials on Comcast cable channels like CNN, MSNBC & dozens more. Complete website design; shopping cart enabled. Video production and QR Codes & Microsoft Tags on Facebook & Twitter pages.

The Zoo

Hannah and Claire loved to visit the zoo, it was their favorite of many things they could do.
It has been a few months since their last big zoo trip, but they remembered one monkey who loved to do flips.
So Hannah asked Mom and Claire talked to Dad, they begged and they pleaded, it sounded so sad
Yet having nice parents who enjoyed a good time, Mom and Dad liked their idea, said it sounded just fine.
So early that Sunday, they loaded the car, they sang silly songs though the drive wasn’t real far
Once they arrived for their day full of fun, the girls spotted some hippos enjoying the sun
The lions they roared and the camels were snacking, joeys were in pouches the kangaroos moms were packing.
Claire talked to zebras and Hannah to bears, mom whistled to parrots while dad stood and stared.
The girls laughed super loud seeing a monkey wear pants and they were truly amazed watching walruses dance.
At the end of the day, as they all headed home, Claire wore on her head antlers made of soft foam. Hannah sported a trunk that hung from her nose and once in the car their eyes started to close.
Mom said to Dad, “our girl’s sure love the zoo” and Dad nodded his head and responded, “yea, they sure do!”

ALIVE’S Public Relations includes press releases and follow-ups to local, regional and/or national media, Representation, pitches and follow-ups to local bookstores and other venues for readings and signing events, Radio and/or TV interviews locally and nationwide, Guest appearance on Robin Fahr’s Conversations TV Show, Interview coaching for talk show appearances on TV and radio, Production of video or audio session for distribution to TV and radio stations.

If you have ever considered writing a book, there is no better time than the present. Let Eric and his staff assist you, like I did and will again. There might also be an Alive and Kickin’ Volume II sometime in the future. That’s a promise not a threat.