Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what I'm reading. Show all posts

Friday, July 12, 2024

WIRTW #723: the 'A Portuguesa' edition

I love to travel for two primary reasons: to see things and to experience things.

On my vacation to São Miguel in the Azores Islands, I saw lots of amazing things — beautiful coastal viewpoints, crater lakes from both their rims and from inside, bubbling volcanic baths, dolphins, whales, waterfalls, cows (so many cows), and lush green landscapes.

But one experience will stick with me as the standout memory of this vacation.

Portugal was playing France in the quarterfinals of the Euros. Since we a) are a soccer-loving family; and b) were in Portugal, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to watch the game with the locals.

We gathered in the Campo de São Francisco in the capital city of Ponta Delgada, where the local government had set up a large viewing screen. More than a thousand football crazy Azoreans joined us. It was special.

The crowd rose and fell with the highs and lows of what ended up being a 0-0 draw that went to penalties. While the match didn’t end how we wanted, the experience will live with me forever.

Here's a quick snippet of the crowd singing the Portuguese national anthem, A Portuguesa, pre-match.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 28, 2024

WIRTW #722: the 'Até logo' edition

I'll be back with a fresh spirit and fresh content on July 10. This lawyer is officially on vacation.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 21, 2024

WIRTW #721: the 'Left of Boom' edition

Being as active as I am on social media has allowed me to amass some pretty cool friends over the years. I recently had the chance to sit down with two of them virtually, Phil Wilson and Mike VanDervort, on their The Left of Boom Show. We discussed all things going on in the world of labor relations, including Starbucks, 10(j) injunctions and the Supreme Court, the future (or lack thereof) of Chevron deference, and Anchor Brewing.

You can watch or listen here, and also via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

Here's what I read this past week that you should read, too.

Friday, June 7, 2024

WIRTW #720: the 'Azores' edition

Last summer, my family and I fell in love hard with Portugal. So, this summer we are going back, sort of.

In a little over three weeks we leave for the Azores, an autonomous region of Portugal. It's a subtropical archipelago of nine islands known as the "Hawaii of the Atlantic." 

We'll be on São Miguel, the largest of the islands, choosing to explore that one island in depth over the span of 8 days instead of hopping between islands and only getting a smaller taste of several. It's renowned for its stunning landscapes, which include green hills, crater lakes, and ocean-side miradouros (viewpoints), volcanic hot springs, black-sand beaches, marine life, and cows. (In fact, there are twice as many cows on the island than people.)

For any of you who've been to São Miguel, what are your must-sees and must-dos? What are your favorite hikes? What off-the-beaten-path sights are worth our time? Which tours do you recommend? How about some A+ restaurant recommendations?

Thanks in advance for playing tour guide for me. I'll reward you with pictures and stories after my return.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 31, 2024

WIRTW #719: the 'pomp and circumstance' edition

Tomorrow, Norah, will graduate from high school. Earlier this week, we attended the Senior Brunch, an annual tradition at her school celebrating the graduating seniors. At the end of the ceremony, Norah took possession of her time capsule, a thoughtful project that the mom of one of her fellow classmates organized from kindergarten through 7th grade. That mom held on to them for 12 years. Now, Norah has it. 

That night, we sat around the kitchen table after dinner and opened each of the envelopes. Contained within the kindergarten envelope was a letter I wrote to future Norah for her high school graduation.

Here's what I wrote.

May 29, 2012

Dear Norah,

We've watched you grow so much as a person and as a student during your kindergarten year that I am not sure exactly who will be reading this letter 12 years from now. What I do know is that you will be the same loving, compassionate, empathetic, confident, smart person you are today, just with 12 added years of maturity.

I know that your mom and I will be proud of the young lady you will have become, and all that you will have accomplished as we prepare to send you off to college. I know that we will trust you to continue to make the good, wise decisions that have served you well to this point in your life. I know that whatever you do, and whatever choices you make, we will be proud of you and support you. And never forget that no matter what, you will always be our little girl.

Most of all, I want you to know that we love you very much and we are always here for you. Now go do great things, like you always do.


The thing is, if I was writing that letter today it would say much of the same. 

Now excuse me while I go find a tissue. These "allergies" are murder on my eyes.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 24, 2024

WIRTW #718: the ‘fireflies' edition

"Do you want to bring a backup guitar with you?"

That was the question I ask my daughter as we load up the car to leave for her Sunday-night gig opening for Rhett Miller.

"No," she responds. "I'll be fine with just my main guitar."

Flash forward to 7 pm that night. "Please give it up for norah marie!" And guess what? No sound from her guitar. Not one single amplified note. As it turns out, the guitar had a dead battery. After a few minutes of down time to swap dead for live — which included a very kind and gracious Rhett offering Norah his own guitar to play during her set — she was up and running. 

Despite the glitchy start, Norah was great as always. 

You can watch the (edited) video of her whole set here, or just the clip of her singing Rhett's song, "Fireflies," with him, which includes a sweet story of Rhett's own technical glitch when he was a 17-year-old opener for Rosanne Cash.

I know I'm fighting a losing battle when I offer dad advice to a stubborn 17-year-old, but I can continue to try, right?

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 17, 2024

WIRTW #717: the ‘donut' edition

I love donuts. At 51 years old, however, I try not to eat them too often anymore. The weight just doesn't come off quite the way it used to. But it doesn't mean I won't indulge every now and again, including on a recent episode of The Triple D Podcast: Donuts, Disability and Discourse.

I sat down with local disability rights attorney Michael Liner to discuss my work as a labor & employment lawyer and craft beer lawyer, the types of clients I work with, my roll managing marketing and business development at my law firm, and the challenges and opportunities of working in a post-Covid world. I also shared my review of the outstanding craft-beer-based donut I sampled at Brewnuts, our host for the episode. 

You can watch the entire discussion here.

Finally, there are still some tickets left for the Rhett Miller/norah marie show at the Music Box Supper Club this Sunday, May 19, 🎟️ here. Doors are at 5, and Norah's opening set starts at 7.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, May 3, 2024

WIRTW #716: the ‘new kid' edition

On June 5, 2014, Rhett Miller, founder, front person, and lead singer of Old 97's, promised my daughter (then a mere 9 days past her 8th birthday) that once she was playing her own paid gigs, he'd have her open for him. That conversation took place in the green room of the Beachland Ballroom, and the adjacent photo was taken just after that conversation.

A decade later, Norah is an established, working musician, and Rhett is making good on his promise. He's coming back to town to play a solo gig at the Music Box Supper Club. To make a long story short, when the club announced the gig, Norah reached out to Rhett to ask about opening for him; on May 19 she'll be doing just that.

To hear the longer version of this story, tune in to the most recent episode of The Norah and Dad Show, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, the web, and everywhere else you get your podcasts. 

As for me, I'll be front and center at Music Box on May 19, singing along to Norah's and Rhett's songs. It's gonna be a great night! If you're interested in joining us the Music Box still has some tickets available here. (You'll find a running list of all of Norah's gigs here; click "Follow" for notifications of new gigs as they're announced.)

Here's what I read this week that should read, too.

Friday, April 26, 2024

WIRTW #715: the ‘over the top' edition

Another successful Craft Brewers Conference is in the books. 

I spent a few great days speaking (on how to craft a harassment-free craft brewery); seeing old friends and making new ones (I love my craft beer tribe); networking with brewers and other industry professionals (at the Start A Brewery lounge my firm co-sponsored and at nighttime events at breweries around town); eating (the fried chicken at Yardbird in the Venetian is better than advertised, and they advertise it as the best in the country); and, yes, drinking (mostly within moderation; CBC is a marathon, not a sprint).

I also spent an evening supporting an incredibly worthy cause. Wild West Access Fund held its Brewsters Arm Wrestling event. Women, non-binary, and trans people in beer took the stage in a single-elimination arm wrestling competition to raise money to provide financial assistance to those seeking abortion care in Nevada.

It felt good to do good. While my friends who competed did not win — sorry, Julie Rhodes and Dr. J — it was an amazing night for an amazing cause.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, April 19, 2024

WIRTW #714: the ‘today's post is brought to you by the letters W, G, and A' edition

"No one wants to see a picket line on Sesame Street," said Writers Guild President Lisa Takeuchi Cullen.

Earlier this week, Writers Guild members at Sesame Workshop unanimously voted to authorize a strike if management does not agree to a new collective bargaining agreement before their current contract expires later today. Absent a deal, picketing will begin on April 24.

The writers are seeking industry standard annual raises, improvements to residuals, and union coverage for Sesame Workshop's animation and social media segments.

Anyone who follows me on the regular knows that I'm no fan of labor unions. The demands of these writers, however, seem fair and reasonable. They will also have public sentiment on their side.

"Millions of parents and families around the world are going to have a lot of questions," said Lisa Takeuchi Cullen. "They might ask why the bosses at Sesame Workshop are ignoring their company's own messages of kindness and fairness."

Ouch. Your business has a serious problem when your actions don't match stated values. And that's brought to you by the letters, B, A, and D.

Here's what I read and listened to this week that you should, too.

Friday, April 5, 2024

WIRTW #712: the ‘OH-WOOO’ edition

I will officially have a college student in a little over four months. The "if" was never in doubt, but there "where" definitely was … at least until a couple of weeks ago.

Norah chose Ohio Wesleyan University — OWU, or, as it's affectionately called, OH-WOOO. She'll be a Battling Bishop.

"Fit" might be a four-letter word in the employment law space, as employers often use it as a pretext for discrimination. But for Norah's college choice, it was all about fit.

✅ Small liberal arts school
✅ Small class sizes
✅ Within a shortish drive from home
✅ The ability to double major in early childhood education and French
✅ Opportunities to study abroad
✅ A cute campus with off-campus amenities within walking distance

OWU checked all of these boxes. It also didn't hurt that OWU awarded her a Wesleyan Scholarship (one of its highest academic awards) and accepted her into both its Honor Program and Global Scholars Program.

To listen to Norah talk about the "why" of her college choice and the process she used to make her decision, tune in to this week's episode of The Norah and Dad Show, which you'll find on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Overcast, via your browser, and any everywhere else you get your podcasts

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 29, 2024

WIRTW #712: the 'lunatics are in my hall' edition

On April 8, Cleveland will be in the path of totality for a solar eclipse.

One hasn't happened here since 1806; the next one won't be until 2444.

People are losing their minds. Businesses and schools will be closed. Hotels have been fully booked for a year or more. Festivals are occurring. Bars and restaurants are holding special events. Traffic is predicted to be a mess for miles and miles around. All for a few minutes of the moon blocking out the sun, which you can't see without special glasses to keep you from going blind.

You know what? I couldn't care less. It's a hassle, not a celebration.  I'm an eclipse scrooge.

What about you? Are you "Team Eclipse" or "Team Meh"?

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 22, 2024

WIRTW #711: the ‘podcast’ edition

"Jon, tell us about your law firm and your legal practice."

"I'm so glad you asked, Lorain County Business Insights Podcast."

I recently sat down with host Ed Skimin to discuss that and more. We talked about Wickens Herzer Panza's comprehensive legal services for small to mid-sized businesses, our global reach through Mackrell International, the scary implications of artificial intelligence, and the unique challenges of representing craft breweries.

Listen via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, on the web, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

Here's what I read (and listened to) this week that you should, too.

Friday, March 15, 2024

WIRTW #710: the “if it ain’t broke…” edition

If you have a child applying for college this year, you know the pain that we are currently feeling. This year, Congress decided to change the process to apply for federal financial aid. The changes to the FAFSA ("Free Application for Federal Student Aid") were supposed to make applying for financial aid easier. Instead, it has caused delays, uncertainty, and stress. 

Under the former system, students would have already received their offer letters from the colleges and universities to which they had been admitted, including the full breakdown of all financial aid and the net cost of attendance. That "net cost" is what enables us to make apples-to-apples comparisons of schools and to help our high-school seniors make an informed decision about the best academic, social, and financial choice. 

Instead, the Department of Education has struggled to process the information it has received under this new process. As a result, the DOE has not yet even started providing FAFSA information to colleges and universities, which, in turn, are scrambling to assure students that they will know their financial aid packages and cost of attendance before freshman orientation.

Congress, we know how dysfunctional you have become. You can barely agree on what should be your most core function — legislation to keep our government open — let alone meeting our nation's more pressing needs such as funding for Ukraine, immigration reform, or protecting women's productive rights. Then again, given how you've botched what should be the lowest hanging of fruit when you actually do something, I'm not sure you're actually qualified to govern anything.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 8, 2024

WIRTW #709: the “opener” edition

My home, and this Friday space, have been consumed by music for the past few weeks. The 27th and final Tri-C High School Rock Off has come to a close. Norah played a killer set of 2 originals — Potential Spam (which reporter Malcolm X Abram called "a cool near-shoegaze original") and Boys Like You — and 2 covers — a PG-rated You Oughta Know that included an Alanis singalong that filled the Rock Hall's glass pyramid and Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. I loved every second of watching her completely own that massive stage and crowd. You can tell that she's living her best life. Norah did not win or place in the top 3, but that's not what truly matters, is it?

You can watch her full set here.

The Rock Off might be over, but Norah's 2024 of music is just getting started. There are gigs at venues all over town, a music festival appearance in August, and, on May 19, she'll be the opening act for Rhett Miller of the Old 97's when he plays at the Music Box Supper Club. Given that Norah first sang with Rhett 10 years ago, it will be a fitting full-circle moment to cap her K–12 years less than 2 weeks before graduation. Tickets are on sale now

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, March 1, 2024

WIRTW #708: the “boys like you” edition

Tomorrow night, I'll be at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame trying not to be a nervous wreck during the finals of the Tri-C High School Rock Off. The reality, however, is that no matter the result's, Norah has already won. 

She advanced to the finals, joining 11 of the best high school rock bands in the country in one the premium events for high school musicians nationwide.

She got great, constructive feedback from the panel of music industry people that judged her semifinal round, and will do so again in the finals.

She's received some great recognition and press (including recording an episode for the Rockin' the Suburbs podcast that aired earlier this week). 

And she went into the studio at Tri-C to record a song for the Rock Off's compilation album. "Boys Like You" — a jangly piece of acoustic power pop that will get stuck in your head — released today. You can listen to it here.

Rock Off tickets are still available for purchase (code: norah), but don't wait too long. This event is always a sell-out. 

If you're attending, Norah plays at 7:10 pm. If you're not attending but want to know where else you can see her play, click here for a full list of her gigs. (Pay close attention to the one on May 19 … it's a biggie.)

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, February 16, 2024

WIRTW #706: the “final exam” edition

I left y'all with quite the cliffhanger last Friday. How would Norah do in her semifinal round at the Tri-C High School Rock Off? "No matter what happens tomorrow night, I'm so proud of her." That's what I wrote last week. Of course, however, I really wanted her to advance to the Final Exam. What parent wouldn't?

In the semifinals, the acts draft their performance slot for the night, with the draft order set by ticket sales. Norah ended up drafting 5th. After saying for weeks that she did not want to close the show, she then chose to close the show. The 10th band out of 10. A singer-songwriter choosing to take the stage in a rock 'n' roll competition after 3-plus hours of loud music played by driving rock bands. "A baller move," we told her when she texted us from the Rock Hall. Her response: "Go big or go home!"

Well, she went big. She played the best 15-minutes of music of her life and breezed into the Final Exam. Choosing to close was absolutely the right choice for her to make, especially when your last song is her chill-inducing version of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit." You can watch her full set here

Tickets for the Final Exam are on sale now. The event is the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on March 2 at 6 pm. Your $20 ticket ($15 for students) not only gets you a few hours of music from some of the best high school rock bands (and high school singer-songwriters) in the country, but also full admission to the Rock Hall during the event. You can buy your tickets here (code: norah). I'd love to see you there, and Norah would love your support.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, February 9, 2024

WIRTW #705: the “3.33 percent” edition

I believe that it's important to celebrate our victories, not just in our careers, but also in our personal lives.

Tomorrow night, my daughter will stand on stage at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in front of 1,000-plus people and play a 15-minute of set of original music and covers. It will be just Norah, her voice, and her guitar. This will be her sixth (and final) time playing the High School Rock Off. She participated for several years as a School of Rock exhibition. Then, in 2020, she entered in two separate bands and took one to the finals.

In total, Norah has played the Rock Hall's stage more than every other artist who is inducted in the Rock Hall combined. At the age of 17, she's a seasoned veteran of the local music scene.

Which is why I was surprised when, in the car on the way to school this morning, Norah told me that she's a little nervous about tomorrow night. "I've never played in front of that many people solo," she said.

No matter what happens tomorrow night, I'm so proud of her. It takes guts anytime you get on stage and perform. It takes a ton of guts to do it solo, without the support of loud rock band backing you, and even more so when you're sharing your inner-most thoughts through your own songs.

It doesn't matter what the judges say tomorrow night, Norah has already won.

(From The Chronicle-Telegram's Rock-Off preview)

If you're planning on attending the Rock Off and don't yet have your ticket, they are on sale here (code: norah). It's the best deal in town for a Saturday night — $20 ($15 for students) for performances by 10 bands plus a full admission to the Rock Hall.

If you can't make the event but want a taste of what you'll miss, last weekend Norah recorded a "tiny-desk style" session. Thanks to Jeff Koteles of Banzai Sound for offering his space and providing the audio mix, and to Digital FX Media for recording the video and supplying the finished product, which you can watch here.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, February 2, 2024

WIRTW #704: the “backyard” edition

Live Nation and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced that this year's Rock Off will be the final Rock Off, at least sponsored by Live Nation and held at the Rock Hall. Barry Gabel, the senior vice president of marketing and sponsorship sales at Live Nation and the Rock Off's creator and biggest champion, is pulling the plug after this year's event because of staffing issues. He told Cleveland Magazine, however, that there's hope that the Rock Off will continue in some form in 2025 and beyond.

We're getting tons of calls from so many different venues and people that don't want to see this end, and while I'm not really available to discuss if there can be something that will follow after this year — it most probably will not be with Live Nation — but who knows. There are just too many great venues around town and too many great local clubs and passionate music people that don't want to see the Rock Off end. So we'll see what happens.

Well, Norah and I have an idea to save the Tri-C High School Rock Off in years to come. The Norah and Dad Show Rock Off!

Tickets for this year's Rock Off are available here (checkout code: NORAH). Norah performs next Saturday, Feb. 10.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.

Friday, January 26, 2024

WIRTW #703: the “guitar” edition

Did you know that in addition to being an employment lawyer and a craft-beer lawyer, I’m also a podcaster?

A couple of years ago my daughter and I started a podcast together. While episodes have become more sporadic lately, The Norah and Dad Show is still very much a thing.

We just dropped a brand-new episode — "Rock 'n' Roll High School" — in which we discuss Norah's upcoming gig on Feb. 10 at the 27th annual (and final) Tri-C High School Rock Off at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (Tickets here; use code NORAH.)

We reminisce about Norah's past appearances at the event and lament the end of the Rock Off as an annual event. Norah also shares a story about buying a new guitar, which she'll be showcasing from the Rock Off stage.

You'll find the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts, Overcast, on the web, or wherever else you get your podcasts.

Here's what I read this week that you should read, too.