Introduction to My Blog
Introduction to My Blog
Peter J. Mancus
Attorney at Law
Definition of Blog
The wordÂ Blog is computer geek slang and an abbreviation forÂ weblog.
AÂ Blog is that part of a personal web site that maintains an on-going, diary-type, chronicle of information that is updated daily or frequently, with commentary and links to articles on other Web sites, with the ability for readers to post their comments to the Blogâ€™s content and to comment on other readersâ€™ comments.
I started this â€œIntroductionâ€ with a definition ofÂ blog because 1) words have established, legitimate, definitions; 2) definitions have meanings; 3) meanings have consequences; 4) using words correctly facilitates effective communication; 5) many disputes have their origins in the failure to use words consistent with their established definitions; 6) mature critical thinkers communicate with fidelity to wordsâ€™ established definitions; 7) I want to communicate effectively; 8) until I investigated what is aÂ blog, I did not know what one is, and I wanted to know and use that word accurately, and 9) I suspect that some people, like me, also do not know what a blog is.
This Blog is a Hybrid: a Blog and an Electronic Newspaper
This blog is not a typical blog, as defined above. Instead, it is a combination of conventional blog and an electronic newspaper that focuses on topics that interest me and that, hopefully, will interest you, too.
The content of the newspaper-like side of this blog will tend to be provocative, comprehensive, meritorious, opinion-editorials that challenge the conventional wisdom. It will also be heavily laced with other factual and educational, provocative features, such as â€œA Wall of Shameâ€ and â€œA Wall of Honorâ€, were certain people, respectively, are rebuked or praised. Other features will include product reviews, book reviews, movie reviews, and photography tips.
Why You Should Read This Hybrid Blog
Do you value constructive candor? Intelligent, insightful, commentary? Unconventional thinkingâ€“not a regurgitation of what the conventional media has chewed over and spewed forth as newsworthy?
Did you ever wish you could pick the brain of a lawyer, or several lawyers, and/or experts? For free?
Are you smart enough to comprehend that something available to you, here, for free, has valueâ€“real value, forÂ you?
Do you have a sense that something is seriously wrong with the United States?
Are you concerned about current events? AboutÂ your future?
If your answer to any of the above questions is â€œYesâ€, this Blogâ€™s content will broaden your thinking, will educate you, will better equip you to cope, to understand, to develop one of lifeâ€™s most illusive, prized, commoditiesâ€“an intangible calledÂ wisdom, and another intangible calledÂ power, arising from another intangible,Â knowledge.
By reading this Blog you make an investment in an important personâ€“you.
You are well advised to avoid the tendency to think that because this content is provided to you for free it has no value.
Another reason to read this blog is . . ., we might end up friends or at least be mutually helpful or you might become friends with someone you meet via posting commentary to this blog.
You can also educate others and express yourself by sharing your ideas via the comment feature.
Comments are the life-blood of a blog and a major reason to visit and read a blog.
Dear Reader, you are encouraged to read, to poke around to find something of value, to learn. There are vital things worth reading and exploring here.
Who This Hybrid Blog Should Appeal To
This blog-electronic newspaper should appeal to people who love liberty and those who should, which covers just about everyone, including tyrants, tyrant wannabees, oppressors, usurpers, and their useful idiots, supporters, champions, and defenders.
If you take your liberty, if any, for granted, donâ€™t.
If you think you areÂ free, heed this advice: BE PREPARED FOR A REALITY CHECK IF YOU GET CAUGHT RESPONSIBLY EXERCISE ANY OF YOUR VITAL RIGHTS ENSHRINED IN, AND, SUPPOSEDLY, GUARANTEED BY THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. SADLY, MANY AMERICANS LOATHE THOSE RIGHTS AND THEY WILL MORPH YOUR EXERCISE OF THOSE RIGHTS INTO A LIABILITY AND USE THAT PERVERSION AGAINST YOU, UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
Conversely, if you are too scared to dare to exercise your rights, you are well down the road toward tyranny and a personal disaster. Stop! Reverse course. Suck it up. Dare to function as an American.
Burn these truths into your psyche:
â€¢ RIGHTS ARE NOT SELF-ENFORCING.
â€¢ USE THEM OR LOOSE THEM.
â€¢ IF YOU DO NOT GIVE A DAMN ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS IT IS LIKELY NO ONE ELSE WILL EITHER.
â€¢ STAND IN FRONT OF A MIRROR AND. LOOK AT WHO SEE. YOU WOULD THEN BE LOOKING AT THE PERSON MOST RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CARE AND SAFEGUARDING OF YOUR RIGHTSâ€“YOU.
â€¢ RIGHTS AND LIBERTY ARE NOT PASSED ON FROM ONE GENERATION TO THE NEXT VIA DNA OR LAWS.
â€¢ LIBERTY CAN BE LOST IN ONE GENERATION.
â€¢ THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA HAS MORE DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF ITS CONSTITUTION THAN IT DOES FOREIGN ONES AND MANY OF THOSE DOMESTIC ENEMIES ARE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES WHO DRAW A PAYCHECK PAID FOR BY TAXPAYERS WHO ARE CONSTITUTIONALLY IGNORANT AND UNDULY DOCILE AND COMPLIANT, WHO SUPPORT THESE DOMESTIC ENEMIES OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AND BLINDLY, FOOLISHLY, AND IRRESPONSIBLY OBEY THEM.
â€¢ WHEN SOCIETY, ITS INSTITUTIONS, YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS, GOVERNMENTS, AND GOVERNMENTSâ€™ AGENTS DISRESPECT YOUR RIGHTS, DEVALUE U.S. CITIZENSHIP, UNDER-ENFORCE OR REFUSE TO ENFORCE AND UPHOLD YOUR RIGHTS, ULTIMATELY, REALISTICALLY, THE ONLY RIGHTS YOU HAVE ARE THE ONES YOU ARE WILLING, ABLE, AND READY TO EFFECTIVELY FIGHT FOR AND TO KILL FOR TO ENFORCE AND TO UPHOLD, AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF THE MAJORITY, AGAINST GOVERNMENT, AND AGAINST GOVERNMENTSâ€™ AGENTS WHO FUNCTION AS DOMESTIC TERRORISTS, UNDER COLOR OF LAW.
â€¢ AN OPPRESSOR WILL OPPRESS UNTIL HE/SHE ENCOUNTERS EFFECTIVE RESISTANCE.
I am the holder of what is arguably the most coveted title in the worldâ€“a United States of America citizen, native born.
I was not born with a saddle strapped to my back or a yoke around my neck.
I know of no man and no woman with an ass fancy enough to sit on my back and ride me into the ground.
My dad, deceased, was a retired U.S. Air Force aero-evacuation flight medic.
My dadâ€™s major imprints on me are: A) he was a benign tyrant who loved to joke there is the right way, the wrong way, the USAF way and the Sgt. [name withheld] Mancus way, and only the Sgt. XYZ Mancus way is the right way. Over all, I did not enjoy life in his household; B) I tasted enough of arbitrary, unreasonable, unaccountable tyranny under his reign as head of the Mancus household. That disagreeable taste is a major source of my passion for Liberty, Freedom, Justice, Accountability, Autonomy, and Reason; C) via my dadâ€™s stories about the patients he brought back during the Korean War and the Vietnam War I learned in my formative years that â€œFreedom is not free.â€; D) I also learned from my dad that, â€œThe devil is in the details.â€ and it pays to be hyper-vigilant and thorough; E) I am certain that my love of photography and airplanes has its roots with my dad. This is because I was around USAF airplanes throughout my formative years, e.g., when he took us to the base to drop him off for a flight or as my mom took us to the base to pick him up after a flight. I was also fascinated with my dadâ€™s Canon 35MM range finder film camera and how he, using that camera, could show us the exotic places and people he had seen on his travels. I comprehended the value of a camera and photography as a documentary, educational, creative, and fun, tool.
I earned a BA with Honors in Political Science from the University of California in 1968. As a student, I was not a seat polisher. I was serious and intense. I did my homework. I know where I stand on Historyâ€™s time line, and I know when a political whore is lying to me.
I earned a Doctors of Jurisprudence from the University of California in 1971.
I have been a member of the State Bar of California in good standing from 1972 to date.
I am a former prosecutor and a former judge pro tem [voluntary judge].
I have been self-employed in active private law practice from 1976 to date.
In the mid-1980′s I was affiliated with AIRPOWER and WINGS magazines as the Director of Photography for those magazines. I wrote two entire issues for those magazines and co-authored articles for them.
I have contributed many pictures that were published in books and magazines authored by others.
Hundreds of thousands of my pictures have been sold as 16 x 20 inch color posters.
In the mid-1980′s I completed U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and U.S. Marine Corps training to earn â€œa back-seat cardâ€ so I could fly in high performance two seat military jets as a photojournalist on a strict not-to-interfere basis, which I did, in various jets, for a total of about 45 hours. On some of those flights I experienced supersonic flight, aerial refueling, dive bombing, strafing runs, foul weather tight formation flying, a moderately large number of dissimilar aircraft dogfighting, high speed, low altitude, terrain masking flying, cable arrested landings on aircraft carriers, and catapult assisted take-offs from aircraft carriers. I also experienced flights in 1) USAF and ANG Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft; 2) USMC Lockheed KC-130 Hercules aircraft; 3) various USAF, USA, USN, USMC, and Army National Guard helicopters and a variety of lesser type fixed wing aircraft; 4) forward deployment with ANG flying units; 5) embarkations on U.S. Navy super-aircraft carriers; and 6) one embarkation on a U.S. Navy amphibious assault helicopter aircraft carrier.
I am still an active attorney.
I am the owner of Cloud9Photography.US.
I intend to make Cloud9Photography.US one of the Internetâ€™s best single sources for a comprehensive, excellent selection of world-wide military, airliner, warbird, and private aircraft, where excellent photographers who cooperate with me have some of their best work showcased along with mine.
B. Types of People I Do Not Like
Liars; perjurers; contract breakers; promise breakers; thieves; cheats; disingenuous; charlatans; conniving; lazy; shirkers; cowards; verbal snipers; back-stabbers; scatter-brain; public serpents [public servants who morphed into political whores, mis-leaders, traitors, usurpers, tyrant wannabees]; useful idiots and/or enablers for public serpents; tyrants; terrorists; bad cops; bad police chiefs; fudges [judges who shuffle the law like a card shark shuffles a deck and do not function as Guardians of Liberty]; arrogant [especially without good cause]; know-it-allâ€™s; BS [bull fecal matter] artists; the unteachable; unreliable; forgetful; rude; inconsiderate; physical bullies; mental, intellectual, and/or emotional bullies; elitists; self-anointed; liberty thieves; freedom haters; control freaks; champions of victim disarmament laws; unprincipled or disingenuous history revisionists; racists; mean; incompetent; conspiracy whack jobs; phony patriots; unduly smug; social climbers; frivolous; drug addicts; alcoholics; debilitated by severe mental-emotional problems; hypocrites; lack a good command of history; incapable of sustained, mature, critical thought; exceedingly judgmental; true believer, narrow-minded, zealots who harp an ideology without a comprehensive understanding of same; people who jump to conclusions; people who easily succumb to peer group pressure; sheeple [people who lay down on their rights or are unduly compliant]; sheeple herders [officials who love to heard sheeple]; people without any talent; people who have given up and lack ambition; people who go with the flow just to get along; people with no valuesâ€“who stand for nothing and fall for anything; and fools,
C. Types of People I Like
TheÂ opposite of people I do not like.
D. My Core Personality Traits
â€¢ I reason from and to the United States Constitutionâ€™s text, as written. That text is my guiding star by which I navigate my way through legal controversies;
â€¢ I do my utmost reasonable best to make a principled, defensible, decision based on the United States Constitutionâ€™s text, as written;
â€¢ I am prone to quickly declare my position and to stand up and be counted for what I believe is correct, based solely on the merits of an issue, regardless of the personalities involved, without doing a risk-averse calculation as to how my interests will be served if I were to engage in a political calculation, namely, whose butt should I kiss for expediency;
â€¢ I focus on the facts, the controlling law, and the merits of a contenderâ€™s argument;
â€¢ I am prone to re-evaluate and to promptly change my position if and when I am apprised of new relevant, outcome determinative information.
â€¢ I am no nonsense oriented;
â€¢ I do not suffer fools, usurpers, mis-leaders, or frivolous people well or for long;
â€¢ I tend to be candid; blunt; confrontational;
â€¢ I tend to be a constructive person who gives encouragement, renders help, and solves problems;
â€¢ I strongly prefer quality to quantity;
â€¢ I am intense, goal oriented, classic â€œType Aâ€;
â€¢ I am tenacious and inclined to get to the bottom lineâ€“fast and get â€˜er done;
â€¢ I am logical, analytical, detail oriented, and reflective;
â€¢ I am an independent, high grade, second rate, thinker who goes out of his way to read and hear what first-rate thinkers read and say;
â€¢ I am a self-starter;
â€¢ I am content to be alone and to be left alone;
â€¢ I admire an array of talents, skills, and creative works;
â€¢ I appreciate and respect othersâ€™ and their legitimate interests and rights;
â€¢ Upon first meeting a stranger, I will be leery and observant, and I will give the stranger the benefit of 100 positive points on a scale of -100 to +100, +100 being the highest possible. I will wait to see if the person, by their conduct, takes away any of those freebie points. To the extent a person crosses me, without good cause, I will often be, toward them, as callous as the hardest metal known to Man. In that case, I willâ€“conceptually, place them in a steep, greased, shit can, close the lid tightly, sit on it, and leave it to them to figure out if they want to get out, and, if so, theÂ how is up to them. Once a person crosses me badly enough that I cerebrally place them in that shit can, I assign them to an unenviable categoryâ€“theÂ Living Dead. I will shun them and deal with them minimally, if, and only if, I absolutely have to deal with them.
E. My Main Interests
Creative things; photography; beauty; law; constitutionalism; politics; usurpations; history; airplanes; aviation; people; music; travel; animals; pets; controversial issues; the origins of human beings; liberty; justice; developing this Internet site; developing, maintaining, and nurturing friendships.
F. My Main Goals
Be a force for good; be constructive and creative; stand up for what I believe is correct; create a body of photographic work of which I can be proud; die on the right side of Godâ€“free.
My Core Orientation: What I Believe, Fear and Want
I believe: 1) there are bad people, mean people, evil people, stupid people, and misguided people who threaten my legitimate vital interests who should be publicly rebuked and discredited with superior ideas and sound reasoning; 2) the Untied States of America is headed for â€œa perfect stormâ€ from which she might not survive; 3) I am virulently disgusted with Americans who have lost their love of liberty and/or who have broken faith with the United States Constitutionâ€™s commands and its text, as written; 4) the U.S. is probably in a descending spiral, and it will not recover from same unless it embracesÂ constitutionalism and promptly begins to use its natural resources and human resources intelligently; 5) I am an unapologetic, fierce, nationalist, still favorably predisposed toward my comprehension of what it means to be an American and what America stands for or should stand for; however, I also believe that a compelling argument can be made that the United States has been hijacked by a prolonged string of Domestic Enemies of the United States Constitution and/or incompetents and/or disingenuous people with a sinister agenda, and I loathe much of what these people have done to the United States, my liberty and the value of U.S. citizenship; 6) I have important things to communicate, and I will communicate them. I will throw cerebral thunderbolts and those bolts will hit raw nerves; and 7) I want the United States to end its decline, to end its free fall toward tyranny, to survive, to embrace a return to constitutionalism, and to thrive. I do not want it to implode or morph into something I fear or will experience to be insufferable.
My Primary Reason(s) for Creating and for Contributing to This Hybrid Blog
â€¢ To educate and teach why certain tangible things and intangible ideas are important, are worth fighting for, and, if necessary, are worth homicidal acts, namely, killing human beings;
â€¢ To stimulate readers to think anew, critically;
â€¢ To re-examine â€œsettled issuesâ€;
â€¢ To publicly rebuke people who deserve to be rebuked. [These people will be identified by name on a â€œWall of Shameâ€ feature in this Blog and the reasons for the rebuke will be stated.];
â€¢ To praise others who have earned an â€œat-a-boyâ€, to encourage them to continue with their good behavior, and to encourage others to emulate that behavior. [These people will be identified by name on a â€œWall of Honorâ€ feature in this Blog and the reasons for this favorable recognition will be stated.];
â€¢ To use Freedom of Speech in the Market Place of Ideas to promote a return toÂ constitutionalism, namely, citizens and officials function with fidelity to the U.S. Constitutionâ€™s commands and text, as written, not as interpreted away by officials or as some citizens wish that text was written;
â€¢ To promote an unbreakable bond between the United States Armed Forces and the United States citizenry, joined together in a principled, intelligent, effective, prudent, time-cost effective, pursuit of certain vital goals, which include a return toÂ constitutionalism and a harmonious, principled, peaceful, co-existence, based on mutual respect and mutual support, calculated to avoid a civil war with the U.S. Armed Forces and the Militia at each otherâ€™s throat, going for broke in â€œhot bloodâ€ to defeat the other;
â€¢ To communicate politically incorrect, factually correct, information and meritorious opinions and analysis that is not commonly found in mainstream print or electronic media;
â€¢ To promote, show case, and spread the meritorious opinions of others.
My Reservations About This Blog
I believe, as a sweeping generalization, that the people who know the important things that will be or are in this Blog will read it and the ones who most need to know what is in this Blog will probably be the ones least likely to read it. Thus, in many ways I suspect time invested in this blog will be substantially wasted.
On the other hand, I am encouraged by this fact: Infrequently, strangers [Americans and from around the world] have contacted me and told me they read something I wrote that they found on the Internet, they learned important things when they read what I wrote, and what I wrote caused them to think anew and to value their liberty or made them crave liberty.
About This Hybrid Blogâ€™s Content
I intend to give you good content, not useless stuff; thus, I will be selective as to what I post. This content is the primary reason for this Blog.
This content will reflect my interests and opinions, and it will also include opinion-editorials written by others who are worth reading.
The primary focus of this Blogâ€™s content will be a wide range of factual, serious, political, legal, social, aviation, photography and/or people related subjects, plus observations about slices of life, with some humor, reviews, and recommended reading.
I intend to write clearly so you can understand what I wrote, and I intend to be candid. I will not hide emotions. I will not be cryptic about my positions. I will not play it safe. I will not be a bore.
I will not post to this Blog daily. I do not have the time or the desire to do that.
Hyperlinks to Main Components of this Hybrid Blog
This part of my blog is analogous to the Table of Contents at the front of a book.
To find your way around this blog, start here, namely, scroll down through these hyperlinks and click on whatever interests you.
As time permits, new content will be posted under relevant hyperlinks for that content.
Tips and Techniques
Photography gear reviews
Recommended Internet sites
The Mancus-Duxford Flying Legends Airshow 2009 Dispute
Recommendations to Air Show Sponsors and Administrators
Non-Photographic Product Reviews
â€œWall of Honorâ€
â€œWALL OF HONORâ€: Public Servants Who Earned a Place on â€œthe Wall of Honorâ€ for
Exemplary Public Service 100% Consistent With the United Statesâ€™ Constitutionâ€™s Commands
â€œWall of Shameâ€
â€œWALL OF SHAMEâ€: Public Serpents Who Earned a Place on â€œthe Wall of Shameâ€ for
Their Lies, Betrayal of Trust, and/or Usurpations of Power via Their Conduct Inconsistent
With Integrity or the United Statesâ€™ Constitutionâ€™s Commands or Both
EXEMPLARY AMERICANS: Americans Who Did Not Lay Down on Their Rights and Who Functioned asÂ Citizens, not asÂ Consumers,Â Serfs, orÂ Tourists in Their Own Country
EXEMPLARY NON-AMERICANS: Non-Americans Who Courageously Stood Up for Rights and Freedom
Thoughts About Liberty
Thoughts About Judges
Thoughts About Lawyers
Thoughts About Juries
Thoughts About Prosecutors
Thoughts About Cops
Thoughts About Elected Officials
Thoughts About Public Safety Employees [Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters]
Thoughts About Journalists
Thoughts About Government
Thoughts About U.S. Presidents
Thoughts About the U.S. Congress
Thoughts About the U.S. Supreme Court
Thoughts About the F.B.I.
Thoughts About the Department of Homeland Security
Thoughts About the I.R.S. and I.R.S. Agents
Thoughts About the Federal Reserve
Thoughts About the United States Armed Forces
Thoughts About the American Legal System
Thoughts About Constitutionalism: Obeying the U.S. Constitutionâ€™s Commands
Thoughts About Airline Safety Before and After 9/11
Thoughts About Victim Disarmament Laws, a.k.a. â€œGun Controlâ€
Thoughts About the Militia
Thoughts About Treason and Traitors
Thoughts About Paperless Electronic Voting
Thoughts About the United States as a Police State
Thoughts About Americaâ€™s Future
Thoughts About Americans
Thoughts About First Principles
Thoughts About â€œPolitical Philosophyâ€
Thoughts About Various Legal Doctrines
Thoughts About the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution
Thoughts About the First Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Ninth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Eleventh Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Thoughts About Reform
Thoughts About â€œDue Process of Lawâ€
Opinion-Editorials by Attorney at Law Gary Zerman
Opinion-Editorials by Attorney at Law Edwin Vieira, Jr.
Opinion-Editorials by Attorney at Law Larry Becraft
Opinion-Editorials by Attorney at Law Tommy Cryer
Opinion-Editorials by Christian Minister Chuck Baldwin
Opinion-Editorials by Physicist and Russian Emigree Jacob Roginsky, Founder, AMOJ [A Matter of Justice]
Opinion-Editorials by Liberty Activist Nicki Feltzer
Opinion-Editorials by Liberty Activist Jim March
The â€œNuremberg Principleâ€
â€œBitch Boxâ€: The Complaint Department
â€œAt-a-Boyâ€: The Compliment Department
Personal Stories About My Life
Interesting People I Have Met
How to Contact Me
Telephone: (707) 824-1884
Mail: Peter J. Mancus
876 Gravenstein Ave. So., Suite 3
Sebastopol, California 95472
Cloud9Photography.USâ€™s Slogan, a Nun, and the Word Persnickety
Peter J. Mancus
Attorney at Law
I wanted a slogan that described well my Internet site, www.cloud9photography.us , the type of customer I wanted, and my standards. I gave a lot of thought to develop a suitable slogan. After a few months, I had a list of about forty possibilities, but I was not happy with them. I wished I was more creative. I reached out to friends, for their ideas, but I was not happy with their ideas, either. I persisted and struggled. I tried many word combinations, without success for a long time.
Eventually, I decided to use this slogan: PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE.
Many of my intelligent, candid, constructive, friends advised me against that slogan. They opined that too many people would not know what persnickety means because that word is archaic, is rarely used, is too big, and is too highfalutin; however, they also opined that people who could define that word accurately would probably be better educated, able to afford my prices, and would probably want high quality prints, and, assuming that assessment is true, they further opined my slogan had merit if I wanted to attract that kind of a person.
I decided to use the slogan PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE because A) that slogan has the alliteration of the letter “p” three times out of four words, which I like; B) that slogan, being only four words and short, is fairly easy to remember; C) that slogan is unique and somewhat fun to say; D) that slogan uses the word photography, which is appropriate. While the term “Cloud 9″ is suggestive of an aviation theme, Cloud9Photography.US’s images are not limited to an aviation theme. Instead, the “Cloud 9″ part of the company name is intended to be suggestive of a subjective mental or emotional state, such as â€œa happy Cloud 9 feeling” arising from “being on Cloud 9″, e.g., the enjoyment of looking at, savoring, and owning a Cloud9Photography.US print that is as technically perfect as is humanly possible; and E) the word persnickety, as an adjective describing a certain kind of people that I want to attract as customers, describes well a large part of what Cloud 9 is about and what my standards are, namely, ultra high.
I tend to be a perfectionist. I also tend to prefer quality to quantity. I also subscribe to the adages that “Quality is long remembered after price is forgotten.” and “When you buy quality you cry only once.”
About thirty years ago I was invited to watch, and did watch, the making of a TV commercial for the Red Barron Pizza Company. At that event I talked to the owner of that company, and I asked him what was his marketing strategy and why he adopted that strategy. He told me that 1) he caters to people who demand and can afford a high quality pizza; 2) any one can reduce their price and still make a profit if they reduce their quality enough but he refuses to sell junk or have his name associated with an inferior pizza; 3) he knows of many examples where people cut corners to save money and regretted their decision; and 4) he advised me to do what he doesâ€“make an outstanding product second to none, charge a fair price for it, refuse to discount the fair price, maintain high standards, strive for a reputation for having a superior product at a fair price, and never embrace a marketing strategy calculated to increase income by reducing price and quality. Reason: Customers who buy junk from you once will never give you repeat business and will bad mouth your product.
That man’s advice made a lot of sense to me when he shared it, and it still does.
Two true stories illustrate why I embrace that man’s advice.
First true story: When making furniture I needed “C” clamps to hold together glued pieces of wood. I went to a local store to buy the clamps. Contrary to my best judgment, to save money, I bought the much less expensive “Made in Japan” clamps. As I tightened the “Made in Japan” clamps, every one [about eight] broke . . . the first time I tightened them, even moderately! I went back and bought eight American made clamps. In context, I cried twice: first, when I realized I had thrown my money away on the cheap clamps, and, second, when I did what I should have doneâ€“when I bought the more expensive, quality made, American clamps. The American clamps were so well made I could tighten them so tight that the clamps crushed the wood without breaking.
Second example: The manager of the photography department of a large store once told me, face-to-face, that he did NOT want my business! This manager told me 1) I was too demanding; 2) the Kodak photo lab that his store used was optimized for mass production of non-professional quality prints; 3) this lab deliberately inserted a diffuser filter between the film and the paper to reduce the appearance of imperfections which also degraded apparent sharpness; 4) this lab would not take the time to strive for accurate colors; and 5) he, his department, and this Kodak lab would no longer “re-do” my order(s) at no additional charge because they could not satisfy my standards and still be profitable.
I was stunned when I was told that 1) the manager of that photography department did NOT want my business and 2) when he admitted that Kodak deliberately sabotaged resolution by using a diffusion filter. That filter degraded the benefit accruing to me arising from my use of expensive, pin-prick sharp, high end lenses on and off of a tripod.] When that manager told me what he did, I yearned for the ability to have control over the print making process so I could enjoy high quality prints that were either perfect or as perfect as possible.
Current technology, coupled with my personality, skills, and standards, allows me to produceâ€“for myself and for Cloud 9′s customers, ultra high quality prints that are calculated to satisfy customers who are persnickety.
Persnickety means: 1) fussy about small details; 2) fastidious [having high and sometimes capricious standards; difficult to satisfy or please; demanding great care; reflecting a meticulous, sensitive and/or demanding attitude and high quality]; 3) exacting [unremittingly persistent with severe demand for extreme high quality; requiring careful attention and precise accuracy]; 4) requiring great precision; 5) having the characteristics of a snob [one who tends to reject inferior products or services; one who has an air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste].
One day, after I had adopted the PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE slogan, I was at a zoo, photographing animals, using my big Canon 600mm lens, on a tripod. I saw two ladies dressed as Roman Catholic nuns walking toward me. These nuns seemed to be together, enjoying a conversation. One of them was tall and had a big frame whereas the other was short and plump. As these nuns got close to me the tall one kept walking and the short one stopped and talked to me. This short nun was fascinated with my big lens. I asked her if she wanted to look through it. She did, so I lowered the lens so she could look through the viewfinder. She told me she was amazed by the detail and the sharpness. I enjoyed talking with this friendly nun. I gave her one of my Cloud9Photography.US business cards that has my Cloud 9 slogan on it: PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE. I told her if she wanted to see more of what that lens could do she could go to the Cloud 9 Internet site and poke around.
This nun held up my card and acted as if she was reading it. I then saw her smile. At that point she said, “Persnickety! Persnickety is my favorite word. None of my students get a passing grade from me until they know what that word means, spell it correctly, and use it properly in a sentence.” She then looked at me, smiled, turned, and jogged away toward the taller nun who was about 75 yards away. As I watched that short, plump, nun jog after her friend, from my perspective [no offense intended], she looked somewhat like a big dark duck waddling down the sidewalk. As this plump nun jogged to catch up to her taller friend, I heard her yell, while holding up my Cloud 9 business card, “Sister Agnes! Sister Agnes! That photographer let me look through his lens. It is magnificent. The detail! The sharpness! And Sister Agnes, he gave me his business card . . . he uses my favorite word – persnickety – in his card. Sister Agnes, this proves what I have been telling you: persnickety is not archaic; people still use it!”
As I watched and listened to the short nun as she jogged, I smiled and chuckled at my unexpected, welcomed, delightful encounter with her and the humor she created. I was also grateful for two things: first, I now own and know how to use high end professional equipment that allows me to make prints for myself and for my customers who are persnickety, and second, Cloud 9′s business slogan, PHOTOGRAPHY FOR PERSNICKETY PEOPLE, is the truth: truth in advertising, truth in reality, and truth in performance.
I am able to offer, and do offer, a no questions asked money back guarantee because 1) I personally make all Cloud 9 prints, 2) I have total control over the print making process, 3) my standards are persnickety, 4) I do not ship a print until it is as perfect as I can make it to satisfy the persnickety standard, are 5) Cloud 9′s standards are so persnickety I anticipate that the odds that a reasonably constituted customer would ever return an order for a refund are nil.
As of late December, 2009, after selling prints on the Internet for about three years, I can still truthfully say that since Cloud9Photography.US has been on the Internet no Cloud 9 customer has sent a print back or asked for a refund. I am proud of that performance record.
In my life’s experience, I have encountered this dynamic: if you are willing to settle for inferior quality or junk, that is what most people will give you or sell you, but, if you hold out for the best, if you insist upon the best, that is what you will more than likely get, if not readily, eventually.
I will never compromise on quality or stop being persnickety.