DOTS: Direct On The Spot Kiosk Is Extraordinary

Direct On The Spot Kiosk

photo (12)

If you want convenience while buying your auto insurance, look no further. Direct Auto Insurance has made purchasing auto insurance excuse free with the Direct On The Spot Kiosk. I once was a car salesman at a Ford dealership, and I remember all of the things that people had to do in order to get auto insurance coverage for a new car. It was pretty difficult and time consuming. Not anymore!! Direct has put themselves a step ahead of the competition.

I had to see what all of the excitement was about so I headed to Rivergate Mall in Nashville Tennessee to see for myself. When I got there, I met Chris Watkins who is the Director of Kiosk development. Chris invited me to step right up and give the Direct On The Sot Kiosk a try. So, I did.

Chris Watkins

photo (14)

The first thing I did was put my driver’s license under the bar code reader and the machine took it from there. It pulled up my information and asked me to verify everything. It pulled up most of my previous autos and I just had to delete the ones that were gone. It then gave me a quote for auto insurance right on the spot. I could save it in the system or pay the machine on the spot. Yes, I could have paid for the insurance cash or credit ON THE SPOT!! This all took maybe 3 or 4 minutes. I was an instant fan.

At this point, I just sat back and watched as people lined up to give it a try. They loved it! I asked a couple of potential customers about it when they were finished and it was pretty much all the same. It was fast, easy, and convenient. I heard one lady on her cell phone talking to someone about how great it was. People were very impressed.Oh, and for a limited time, if you go try it out you get a $10 gift card.

I did have a chance to ask Chris Watkins a couple of questions. Check it out.

Well, what did you think? In my opinion, this is just brilliant. I don’t see why someone looking for insurance wouldn’t want to give this a go. There are Direct On The Spot Kiosks around Nashville Tennessee at select locations. Do yourself a favor and go give it a try. Tell your friends too.

Southern Bella’s Big Daddy and JJ Hightail

photo (13)

Disclosure******I attended the Direct Auto Insurance DOTS event on behalf of Direct Auto Insurance but all opinions are 100% my own.

The Day Of The BBE July 9TH 2001


The nurses had stopped the contractions with medicine about three times now. Wouldn’t you know it, now mom had to be induced. We went in to River Park Hospital early that morning. The doctor came by, on his early rounds, and ordered the IV medicine to be started as he broke mom’s water. Now, we wait.


It seemed like this day was dragging and dragging. Nano was with us all day and other family and friends were on the way. The contractions were getting worse and worse and we were finally progressing toward our first encounter with our new life as a family.

A little after 2:00 PM, things went from dragging to rapid fire. The nurse was checking on the progress and the next thing I knew the doctor was coming into the room. Little did we know that you were coming with a vengeance.

We started out sweet talking your mother and then we had to really urge her on. The doctor was trying to get you to come on out and you were battling back. About that time, a really violent storm developed and rained down upon us. It was almost scary. The doctor stood up, kicked his stool out of the way, and told your mother that she had to push. He had to use a lot of tools in his toolbox but forceps seemed to do the trick. I was watching the whole time and was amazed at the strength and determination of your mom as she was going through the toughest, greatest time of her life.


FINALLY, you came into our world!! You sprayed the doctor and the nurses on the way in to voice your frustration. They all had to change clothes…that’s my boy. Buddy, I am telling you that you were as big as a 3rd grader.I don’t even think that we were able to put you in newborn clothes for more than a week. BIG, I tell you.

Once everything settled down and your mom and I got to hold you, it just felt Amazing. I knew, at that moment, that I had never felt the love and the bond to someone as I did right then. I loved that doctor he loved me….just kidding. Wanted to see if I still had everyone’s attention. Son, there was not a happier time in your mother’s or my life up to that point. I was hooked. I am still to this day.


You are my BBE! Best Buddy Ever!

Hyatt Regency McCormick Place

***Disclosure: I received a complimentary stay as compensation. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.***


Let me tell you about Hyatt Regency McCormick Place in Chicago. I LOVE IT!! The last 3 times that I have been to Chicago have all involved me staying at this place.As long as they have the room available, this is the residence that I will occupy every time that I visit the windy city. The people that work there are very skilled in guest relations and are eager to make you feel welcome.

Mccormick Place

The rooms in The Hyatt Regency McCormick Place are spacious and appealing. The views, from the rooms I have been in, have been beautiful. The first time that I laid in one of the beds I was amazed. It was so comfortable that I didn’t want to get up. Besides that, there were several other features in the room.


Individual heat and A/C control
Designer bath products
iHome Stereo with iPod® docking station
Oversized work desk with enhanced lighting
Iron/ironing board
Wired and Wi-Fi Internet access
Coffee makers
Video on Demand
Cable/satellite TV
Cribs and roll away beds are available upon request
37″ Flat panel TVs in all standard guest rooms
Hyatt Grand Bed®
Windows that Open
Technology Jack Packs
RFID locks
Full length make-up mirrors
Dual waste baskets


Whether you are just stopping through, like our last visit, or planning an event. This is your place. I have attended a conference there. I have attended the Chicago Auto Show there. I have also just crashed there for the night. The last time I was there, I believe that I saw a wedding party as well. There is quite a bit of room for anything like meetings, weddings, conferences, or anything like that.

There is so much more to Hyatt Regency McCormick that I can’t list it all. Just take my word for it, you’ll love it and you can’t go wrong. Give it a try.

Get a DEAL When you Book Today!

Stay & Play Package: Great savings! This package includes complimentary self-parking ($34/day value), premium WiFi ($15/value), and a $20 food and beverage credit valid in any of our restaurants (includes alcohol). The value is $69, but typically this rate is only $20-30 more than our rate of the day.

Social Media Rate: We love our social fans! And people who find this rate online can save 20-60% on our rate of the day on select dates. Availability varies, but if you get it, rates are sometimes as low at $60-70.

That Amazing 4th Of July 10 Years Ago

PicMonkey Image

On the night of, July 3rd 2004, my wife started having contractions. We were still a few weeks away from the baby’s due date at that time. As the night progressed, the contractions became unbearable for Kas so we headed to the hospital to check things out. My wife’s doctor was concerned about the baby coming too early. She said that the lungs needed a little more time to develop and decided to try an stop the progression with medication.


Well, the contractions didn’t stop and the decision had to be altered. The doctor decided to help my wife rest for the night and deliver in the morning.The next morning came quickly. I had to go somewhere for something but I just can’t remember what it was. I know that it had to be important because we had a baby on the way and I wasn’t going to miss that. I almost did though.

Mama sick

I got back to the hospital and they had already taken Kas back to have a c-section. They handed me a gown, hat, mask, and shoe covers to put on. You may as well have handed me a space suit because…well…who knows how to get all of this on without help. The nurse had already bailed on me. Thanks a lot!!!

So, I finally got in my outfit and headed in the delivery room. It was like I was in a trance. Kas was already opened up and I walked right by that and up to be with her. I remember telling her that I loved her and she told me to tell the kids that she would always love them and passed out….the longest 3 seconds of my life started at that point. Had I just lost her? No, thank God. The anesthesiologist just turned a knob and she woke back up. I said do not pull that crap again!!! Suddenly, I heard her. Our little Isabella was born.


The cord was cut and she was put in my arms. The nurse said that we had to hurry and take her down the hall. She was grunting and that was a sign of trouble with her lungs. We hurried off down the hall and entered the NICU. They took Isabella from me and bounced me out. I was worried to say the least. I headed back down the hall to be with Kas but they wouldn’t let me back in there either. I walked back to the room we were in all night and called my mother to tell her everything. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew that I was going to lose it. All she said after I told her what happened with Kas and Bella was, “Are you okay?’. I couldn’t get any words to come out of my mouth and tears started flowing down my face….NO I’m not! finally escaped.


After, I hung up with my mother, the doctor came in and told me Kas was fine and she was going to go check on Bella.I got myself together and waited for the opportunity to go see my baby girl again. That time eventually arrived after they had her cleaned up and settled in. She had to be under a oxygen hood for a few days they told me. I went in to where she was and saw her. There she was! My beautiful baby girl. The fourth of July means so much more to me now. Daddy loves his little firecracker.


Behind The Scenes: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare aims to deliver an immersive player experience. Sledgehammer Games Animation Director Christopher Stone and Art Director Joe Salud describe how performance capture, facial animation, and character skeletons are bringing detail to a photorealistic level.


Pre-order Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare now:

A Mountain Of Stone Not That Far From Home



When I was young, my mother took us to Stone Mountain in Georgia. I remember looking at that thing for the first time and just being amazed. My aunt, uncle, cousins, brother and sister were all with us. We decided that we were going to walk up to the top of that mountain. It was a hike, but I felt like I could run to the top back then. It was such a great time and I have been trying to get back every since then. Fast forward to yesterday. Mom, was going  out of town, talking about swimming with dolphins. So, we took her to the airport and set out on a four hour journey. The kids had no idea where we were going. I had downloaded an app on my phone for them to look at on the way. They got really excited, as did I, because we were about to have a great #DaddySonDaughterDay!!

Sometimes, we ride all the way with no radio on at all. Yep, we talk, cut up, laugh and make weird noises to entertain ourselves…..BUT….this time, I had a play list on Spotify and couldn’t wait to use it. I tortured them with LL Cool J, Bobby Brown, Kiss, Guns N Roses, and Pink Floyd. They wanted to test my skills in Name That Tune….I BEAT THEM DOWN!!! I knew every one except for the Culture Club song. I don’t know how that got on my play list by the way. Must have been my wife. Anyway, great road trip down.


It was an hour later in Georgia than where we live in Tennessee. So, I was looking at the ticket prices and if we waited for one hour we could get a twilight package. It would give us full access to the park, laser show seats, and Popcorn and drinks. We decided to walk to the lawn and take a look at the mountain. It was MAGNIFICENT!! The kids immediately said, “Can we walk up to the top?” I quickly responded NO! How about we ride that cool SkyLift to the top? Thank goodness they were down for that! I would have died!


We went up to the top of the mountain and the ride was great. The view, however, was amazing. I never realized how fast the lifts move but we were up there in a hurry. I just started snapping pictures on the way up. Once we were up on top, the kids wanted to go straight to the edge. Now, I went to the edge when I was little……IT’S THE SAME CHAIN LINK FENCE AT THE EDGE!!! My son eases up to it like he should….But BELLA….this child is like me. She will find a way to trip over her feet and bounce over the damn fence. She makes me nervous! She tripped, I know, two or three times while we were up there. I quickly ended this portion of the tour.


We headed back down to the attraction area and the kids got to it. They started out on the SkyHike which is one of those things that you climb on with ropes, bridges, beams, and other crazy stuff high up in the trees. Kind of like the one they did in Mall of America a few weeks ago. They went all the way to the top. Gabe is not a real fan of tall stuff but he stuck it out because the girls were watching. This took about an hour so I just hung out at the bottom. After they were finished they tried to climb the wall. They both started slow but Bella eventually took off up the wall. #MonkeyBella.

IMG_1180 IMG_1184

Next on the list was Geyser Towers. Another Jungle gym type thing with lots of water. They were soaking wet when they finished here. They wanted to try and hug up on daddy but that wasn’t happening. I played dodge the huggers for the next hour. We headed in to watch a 3D-4D Movie. It was, Journey To The Center Of The Earth. Pretty cool indeed. Next was Miniature Golf. This was a whole lot of fun and very competitive. Gabe hit his first hole in one. Not me though…not even on the guaranteed hole in one. So I guess Gabe hit two and Bella hit one. Dad, a BIG FAT ZERO!! I won though…Just Sayin.


LASERSHOW SPECTACULAR!! This is what I could not wait to show them. It did not disappoint either. They even threw in Let It Go from Frozen. I loved this as a kid and my two kiddos loved it as well. It ended with an awesome firework display and some very happy exhausted fans. What a day.


Well, it was time to make the drive back to Tennessee. It was late  but we hit that great Atlanta standstill traffic. We did not move for an hour on the interstate. I truck or something had lost a load in the street. Once we started moving, I had just got up to speed and ran over a beam or piece of lumber in the road. SCARED ME TO DEATH!! The car felt funny, after that, of course. So, we pulled over and luckily did not have a flat! I did, however, look down and see a spark coming from my I-Phone charger. It had split and burned. Just throwing that out there. We did get back on the road and did get to Tennessee. We also found the worst lightning storm that I have been through in my life. Gabe woke up to see it but we let Bella sleep through that one. Home at last! We got home around 2:00 AM and all crashed. I don’t think that any of us moved until noon the next day. Well worth it. This was a great day that we spent together and I can’t wait to find our next adventure. I’m sure mom had a great time with the dolphins, but I wouldn’t have traded this day away for anything………………………………………………………………Well, maybe I can’t say anything. I mean there might be a couple of things maybe.


Just kidding! There is nothing that is worth more than the time we spent together.  

photo (5)

Dollar Shave Club…It’s For Real

Do you know how much it is to buy replacement cartridges for a razor? If I buy three, it costs well over $20. It gets really expensive really fast to avoid looking like Grizzly Adams. So, as I was floating through Facebook, I noticed an ad for Dollar Shave Club. I looked it up and found this cool commercial. Check it out.

Anyway, I ordered my first round and they had it sent in just a day or two. It arrived in a package complete with Easy Shave Butter, A four pack of cartridges, a razor, Flushable Moist Wipes, Free drink coupon for any bar in the country. Oh, they’re just kidding about the drink!


Let’s talk about Dr. Carver’s Easy Shave Butter. I usually use a shaving gel of some sort but today I tried the Easy Shave Butter. It has a lemon or citrus scent to it but I’m good with that. I just put a little in my hand and patted it on my face. Like the directions said, I let it set for about 15 seconds and then got to the shaving. What a smooth feel! My face felt amazing!

Now, there are choices for razors. You can get The Humble Twin, The 4X,or The Executive. I received The 4X to try.They call this one The Lover’s Blade. It has 4 stainless steel blades and a lubricating strip for comfort. Guess what! This is your new razor as well as you girlfriend’s new razor. You know she uses yours anyway!


Here is out it works

Dollar Shave Club couldn’t be simpler. Select one of our great
razors, pay one low monthly fee, and we send ‘em right to your
door. No more over-paying for fancy brand name shave tech.
No more forgetting to buy your blades.

With Father’s Day coming up and even Mother’s Day go check the Dollar Shave Club out and save money all year long. THUMBS UP Dollar Shave Club!

Soon To Be Father Of A Teenager and SCARED TO DEATH!!


In a couple of months, my son will be heading into his teenage years….I AM SCARED TO DEATH!!! I don’t fear it because I think that my child is a bad kid…He’s far from it. I’m scared because I know all of the things that I did, as a teenager, and luckily survived. I wasn’t a bad kid either…GOING IN…but things changed, friends change, and people change. I also know that my mother suffered through those years and I am the one who made her.

Speed Star 1.0419416  00

Once I was in high school, it seemed like we lost a student in a car accident or at some party a couple of times a year. You still hear about those things now every day. That could have been me EVERY weekend. I just don’t want that for my children. I just don’t want that for my wife and me either. There is nothing that my mother could have done differently back then to change the way I was. She did everything that she could to set me straight and I just wasn’t having it or helping her at all. It just seemed like anytime I was near my family I was angry. They didn’t do anything to deserve this at all and I LOVE MY FAMILY. It was just the way that I was feeling as a teen. There was nothing like being with my friends or being with a girl. I felt like a Rockstar and no one could touch me or talk me off of my stage.


I survived though. I have apologized to my mother over and over about the way that I was in those years. I made my mother hate me. Not me, but the way that I was acting. She loves me again…I think. LOL, I know she does. We have talked many times about those years. I just look back and think about some of the things that I did and some of the places that I went. How did I survive?

So, this all brings me back to my original point. I AM SCARED TO DEATH! What kind of conversation can I have? What can I say that millions of others haven’t already said before me?


We have tried to have an open door with our kids. We let them ask us anything and we will answer. We invite them to tell us things that they have done. Sometimes there are consequences but they know that they can tell us anything. We talk to them about being bullied and we TALK TO THEM about NEVER BEING A BULLY!!!!! We have great discussions and I am hoping that, as we get into these soon to be teenage years, we get a little pay off and a sign that things will be Okay. I know that they are going to get into situations that they feel like they need to get themselves out of and that’s great. I just want them to be able to make the right decisions when it counts and know when to call me to help out. Again, there may be consequences but that is something that we can all live with.

I guess, what it really boils down to, is that I love my children and I worry about them all of the time. The teenage years will be tough but I have a feeling that it will be rewarding as well. I guess we’ll see.


Have you ever felt like you jinxed yourself or Karma got you? I have never been one to believe in things like that….UNTIL NOW!!!

The other night, I joined in on a Twitter Party that was hosted by the guys at HowToBeADad. During the party, you were supposed to tell #ickies. Stories about different gross things and nasty things that the kids, pets, MY Wife, or myself I guess have left behind. It was pretty much the same across the board…LOTS…of poop, piss, and vomit!! I told my stories and laughed at others. It was a great time and I even won $100 Gift Card. SCORE!!!

During the Twitter party, my cat, jumped up on my table by the bed and knocked my drink over in a basket of clean clothes….Really Bruiser!! STAY OFF MY TABLE!!

Looking back, the stories I told were of younger days for my kids and there were cat stories as well. The stories about my kids getting sick were from long ago though. We haven’t had a major puking event for years and I am thankful.


Fast forward to about 30 minutes after the Twitter party. I hear something in the kid’s bathroom and my wife gets up and goes in there to see what it is……BRRRIIIIAAAN!! I need your help baby! I have already settled into bed because I had to work in the morning….BRRRIIIIAAN! I NEED YOU! So, I get up, mumbling something, and head into the area of the call. OH MY WORD!! The bathroom looked like my child had exploded! She popped like a double sided Roman Candle! There was party on the walls, the toilet, the tub, the counter, her clothes, and the cat!! #DAMNIT!!!!! All I could do was just place her in the shower and then I cleaned for about an hour. OH my lovely wife KAS almost added to the party so she had to get out. She became my runner for cleaning supplies.


That has not happened for years. Why did it happen on the night of the #ickies Twitter Party? I think it was all a set up and an evil plan by HowToBeADad!! There is evil among us!

Captain America: The Winter Soldier OPENS TODAY!!










From Marvel Studios comes the highly anticipated “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which continues the big screen adventures of Steve Rogers aka Captain America. Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” picks up after the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, and finds Steve Rogers living quietly in Washington, D.C., and trying to adjust to the modern world.

But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue and mystery that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting
off assailants sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable new enemy—the Winter Soldier.