August 2017 Newsletter

1Rob Churchill



As promised, this issue will be dealing with industry related issues……..well, most of it anyway 🙂

Let’s start out with a recent happening that is actually a precursor to an upcoming event.

I recently received a call from a very talented, and famous (or should I say “infamous”) friend. I’m talking about the one and only “Rob Churchill” !

For those of you who are into custom work, you know the name well. For those of you who don’t, you need only to google his name, sit back, and prepare yourself to get blown away by his work!

Rob called me a few weeks ago to inform me of the upcoming “Airbrush Art Circus”, to be held in San Antonio Texas September 25th thru September 29th.

Many of you will remember The Paint Spot attending, as well as sending several of our customers to one of these events a couple years ago. In that event, “yours truly” actually took one of the classes. Truth be known, although I’ve painted thousands of projects, and done my share of stripes, graphics, flames, and custom paint jobs, I had zero artistic ability!

As a matter of fact, when I was offered the chance to take part in the airbrush class, I told the instructor “I can’t even draw stick people”. “Gary Worthington’s” (the instructor) response was “you will in a couple of days”…………and man was he right!

So, Rob not only informed me of the upcoming event, he offered to do a couple “how to’s” at The Paint Spot……..for free!

Not wanting to “look a gift horse in the puss”, I jumped on it! The first one took place on Saturday August 12th at our Buda location, and the second took place August 19th at the Canyon Lake location.

Although I was unable to attend the first class (I’ll get to that a little later in this issue), I was able to attend the second. All I can say is WOW!!!!!

All of our customers were invited to come in, and have a chance to get up close and personal with a legend.

During the second show, I had a chance to talk to Rob on a more personal level. I brought up the fact that I was impressed with the ability and willingness of the instructors involved in these events. To not only teach a complete novice how to literally create profit on their very first project, but their willingness to take what took a lifetime to master, and freely give it to us.

Rob told me that it wasn’t always that way. He reminded me of something I already knew……….masters at anything considered their technique “top secret”, and definitely NOT to be shared.

   That’s what makes this upcoming event so unique. You are literally going to learn how to generate custom art from THE BEST OF THE BEST!

I’ll now include the official flyer for the show. Mention “The Paint Spot”, and you’ll receive a special discount!



As I mentioned in the previous segment, I was not able to attend the Buda show. That’s because I had already scheduled a little vacation / road trip.

About three months ago, a friend of mine mentioned that around the first of August, he was taking some time off work, and was riding his motorcycle to Sturgis, South Dakota.

I guess the timing was right because it instantly resonated with me. I decided right then, that I would be doing the trip with him.

As time went on, several friends became interested in doing the “road trip” also, but one by one, they all fell off. Some had very good reason, and some just knew they didn’t have what it takes (talkers……NOT do’rs).

I basically had 3 bikes to choose from for the 3,000 mile round trip. A 1989 FXSTC that I bought new back in 89 (and gave to my son several years ago), a 1961 Pan head, and a 1951 Pan head. The 89 hadn’t even been started in 6-7 years, and I figured it would be “cheating” to take such a new model machine anyway. The 61 has “ape hanger” handle bars, a “springer” front end, and although it’s the bike that I ride most often, I figured it’s more set up for short distances than a cross country trip. I decided to ride the oldest bike of them all. There were several reasons for choosing this bike…….it is the oldest, it’s the most original, it’s the hardest one to ride (it has a foot clutch, and a suicide shift), it’s “rigid” (no shocks, just a solid frame), and the biggest reason: Because I’ve been told by every so called “expert”, that it couldn’t be done! I heard repeatedly “that bike will never make a trip that far, and under those kind of conditions”, “you’re too old”, “you’ll need a kidney belt”, “your back won’t be able to take it”, “it’s only got 4 gears”, “it’s too hot this time of year”, “it’s 6 volt, and it has points “, “there’s no electric starter”, “the lights aren’t bright enough”, “it’ll break down and you can’t get parts”, “those bikes were never made to do that kind of trip”, and get this………..”you need to ride a Honda Gold Wing”!!!!!

That last comment really got under my skin, and made me hell bent on doing the trip on that old Pan head!



The 51 hadn’t been ridden in 3-4 years, so I got it out and went to work. A friend of mine by the name of “Tim Murphy”, knows those old Harley’s better than anyone on the planet, and he helped get the bike in shape. He also was very positive on the idea of putting it on the highway, and going for it! It didn’t take much to get it in tip top shape. Cleaned the carburetor, cleaned the points, adjusted the push rods, put some of the missing “original” parts back on it and got rid of the “after market”, adjusted the chain, and set the tire pressure, and it was as ready as it could get.

About a week and a half before we were scheduled to “hit the road”, my son asks me if I thought the 61 would / could make the trip. I told him that I knew without doubt that it would, but because it was so bastardized (custom), it would be a very uncomfortable journey. He then informed me that he wanted to go!

My son really never got into the bike thing. Although I gave him the 89 some years ago, he virtually never rode it (once or twice, but very short rides), and he had only ridden that 61 a handful of times (again, very short rides). I decided to get to work real quick on that bike, and change a few things up. I put original floor boards, forward controls, front crash bar, highway pegs on it so he’d have options for his feet. We left the ape hangers, low profile seat, and upswept fish tails on it.

I attempted to convert the primary chain to a “belt drive”, but couldn’t get the clutch to work right, so we changed it back just hours before we left……….”sun up” Saturday 8/4/17.

Shawn had ordered a back pack on line, that was made to fit the “sissy bar” (no, I’m not talking about a place where democrats hang out to drink), so he packed his clothes, some tools, and oh yes………..a 45 caliber 🙂

I had original “saddle bags” on the 51, and the guy who got the whole trip started “Rodney”, had a late model H.D. “Ultra” with a pull behind trailer. We woke up at 4:30am, got our gear secured, kick started those old Pan heads, and hit the road!

We decided to ride during the day only, to avoid the deer and other creatures at night. About 2 hours into it, we ran out of hill country, and into the August in Texas heat!

We did about 500 miles that first day, and outside of having to reset the primary chain on the 61, and it using a little oil, we had no problem. Halfway through the next day, we finally crossed into Oklahoma (the roads suck in that state), then into Colorado. The next day, we crossed into Nebraska and 30 miles outside of “Alliance”, Rodney’s Ultra lost a rear wheel bearing. Not only that, but it seized up at 65 miles per hour, with a trailer attached, and snapped the rear axle! The only thing holding that wheel on was the drive belt and the brake caliper. Luckily, he was able to keep the bike straight and coast it to a stop.

Rodney was pretty much convinced that he was done, as it was not looking good. I was a little more optimistic though. All of the sudden, a guy pulls up and asked if we needed help, and we said yes. The guy calls a friend that owned a motorcycle shop 30 miles back in Alliance, and an hour later the dude shows up with a trailer to pick up Rodney and his bike. Shawn and I followed them back to the shop where Rodney’s bike was promptly put on a lift for tear down. The name of the shop is “Tom’s Auto & Cycle Shop” located at 927 West 3rd Alliance, Nebraska 69301. The reason I put his address in this issue is simply because Tom and his wife are two of the finest human beings I have ever met!

Tom has a complete machine shop, and literally made a new axle for Rodney’s motorcycle. That axle looked like a store bought part, and was several times better than the original! Furthermore, Tom allowed us to actually do much of the labor, in an effort to save cost!

Tom had Rodney’s bike back up and better than before the break down in 1 day. He also shared a lot of secrets related to our old bikes, including why the 61 was using oil. He told me that the rear cylinder had a bad valve guide, and that he could fix it over night. Because we lost a day, and because the 61 valve guide issue wasn’t life threatening, I decided to finish the trip to Sturgis South Dakota (about 300 miles away). In the meantime, Tom ordered head gaskets for the Pan head engine, and a retainer for the clutch that never worked quite right, because our plan was to stop by in a few days on our return trip.

While I was at Tom’s place, he showed me all his “toys”, which included several Harley Davidson bikes (mostly “Shovel Heads”), and an older Dodge pick up. No wonder we got along so good……anyone who likes old Harley Davidson’s and Chrysler products, is my kind of guy! The Dodge truck was pretty tricked out as far as the drive train. The body was in excellent shape, but the paint was horrible. He told me that he had done all the body work, and had a guy at a local body shop do the paint work. I told him that whoever painted that truck either lost the “window” between base coat and the clear coat, or the used some bullshit paint, like Sherwin Williams…………that shit was delaminated to beat the band! It really bothered me to see that pristine truck in such deplorable condition, especially considering the fact that Tom was going out of his for us, and I’m the body & paint guy who couldn’t help him back…………or could I ? I’ll get into that in a minute 🙂

We said our good bye’s to Tom and his wife, and continued on our journey.

About 30 miles outside Alliance (almost where the break down happened a day earlier), I saw a mean storm coming out of the east, and heading west. It was right in front of us, and it looked about 20 miles long. I knew the shit was fixing to hit the fan, took the lead, and continued cautiously. Shawn was behind me, and Rodney was behind him. Since it was a linear storm my gut feeling was that it was more than likely very narrow. I ducted my head down when I started feeling droplets and HAIL, and motioned for my son to follow. In a matter of seconds I was completely soaked, and thank God we had helmets on because that hail was quarter sized. The storm proved to be about 3/4 mile wide, and then the sky turned to bright sun and totally clear sky. I pulled over at the top of the first hill after the storm, and found that Shawn and Rodney were nowhere to be found!

I immediately had a sick feeling in my stomach, and it got worse when I tried calling their cell phones repeatedly with no response. I knew it was suicide to go back into that raging shit storm, which by now, I could clearly see, was no longer heading west……….it wasn’t moving at all!

I couldn’t just sit there, so I reluctantly headed back. Now, the storm was worse than ever, and the hail was in full tilt. I was literally getting the hell beat out of me by the time I spotted the guys. Not only that, there were lots of other vehicles (bikes and cars) stopped along the highway. I stopped right across from them, and noticed they had pulled out a tarp from Rodney’s trailer, and stretched it over their bikes as protection. When I got off my bike and started yelling at them to get on their bikes and get the hell out of there, my engine died. They looked at me like a deer staring into your head lights, and tried to get me to join them. I didn’t exactly have the time to launch a full blown debate, so I yelled “this storm is about 20 miles long, and it’s not moving, if you don’t get on those bikes, you’re going to be sitting ducks for whatever comes next, there’s sunshine less than a half mile from here”. I said all that while trying to kick start my bike, as the water was trying to wash me off the embankment. It finally fired up, I turned around, and I headed toward sunshine.

About ten minutes later, here comes the guys. We dried out for a few, and I let them know how pissed off I was that they stopped instead of sticking together. From the top of that hill, they could clearly look back and see what a foolish decision they had made, but at least we were safe……….which is more than we could say for the rest of those poor saps that decided to just sit there!

A few hours later we were in Custer South Dakota. We were hungry, the sun was setting, and we were still partially wet, so it was getting cold. We found a cabin for $60.00/night, and it had a little space heater, which worked out perfect.

The next morning, we got up, ate, showered, and in a couple hours we arrived in Sturgis!

We intended on being there for a few days, so we set up camp, then went down town. We hit a couple of the local spots, had a couple beers, and went back to the camp site. The town was overflowing with people and bikes, and to be honest with you, it was a depressing place to be compared to all the nature and scenery we had been exposed to during the trip. We decided that we would go back into town the next day, get some souvenirs and our official patches, and leave the day after that.

When we went into town the next day, we parked on main street & 3rd right next to hundreds of other bikes. We were gone about one and a half hours, and when we rounded the corner, Shawn started running………..our bikes were being towed away!

There was a couple of local cops, and a couple tow truck drivers there. My 51 was already on the back of a truck (along with some other guys bike), and Rodney and Shawn’s were getting ready to be loaded. We were told by the tow truck driver “give me $100.00 cash each, and you can have your bikes back”. The two cops just shrugged their shoulders as if to say “we can’t do a thing about it”. That’s when the crowd around us started saying “there’s nothing saying they can’t park here, and ya’ll are scamming these guys”. I was so pissed, I really wanted to kick the living shit out of that tow truck driver.        He was a real smart ass, and deserved an ass whip’n. He even said “one hundred bucks cash right now, or you can pay $250.00 at the impound”. Rodney was even more pissed than me, and I could see where this was going………they had a nice little scam going, and the cops were in on it, and if we didn’t bite our tongue, it was goanna get worse!

We paid the $100.00 EACH, and then the cops handed us each, a $10.00 parking ticket on top of that! I had no intention of paying that fricking ticket, and Rodney said “they’ll have a warrant out on you”. My response was “so what”, but Rodney decided to go straight to the city hall and argue the point. When he confronted the clerk with the fact that we were NOT parked illegally, they checked it out, and found that we were right, so they dismissed the three tickets, but couldn’t get involved with the towing scam!

We were so pissed off, and so done with “Sturgis”, we went back to the camp, packed up, and got the hell out of that place!

My take on Sturgis is not good. There’s way too many people, most of which have no business owning a motorcycle, let alone riding one. It’s way too commercialized. It’s all about money. And, there’s obviously way too much corruption. In other words……………….


There’s way too many beautiful places to experience other than that corrupt hole in the wall town. I’ll definitely go back to South Dakota, but I will NEVER enter that town…..EVER!!!!!

We rode past Mount Rushmore, through the Black Hills, saw lots of Buffalo, Prairie Dogs, Deer, lakes, and rivers on our way back. As planned, we pulled into Tom’s shop just before dusk. We had a hard time finding a room, as they were all booked due to the upcoming Solar Eclipse. When we did find a room, the owner informed us of Harrison Ford booking up the majority of the rooms because he was flying in with a whole bunch of friends to watch the eclipse……..imagine that, the idiot actor that wants nothing to do with leaving a big “carbon footprint”, flying his big ass jet into Alliance Nebraska, to entertain a bunch of “Liberal Losers”……what a hypocrite lying prick !

We went out to eat with Tom and his wife, and after that, Tom took us site seeing in his SUV. Have any of you ever heard of “Carhenge”? I remember seeing it once on discovery channel or something, but it’s right there in Alliance. It’s a replica of the original “Stonehenge”, but instead of stone, it’s made out of old cars! Complete cars standing on end, surrounded by corn fields! How cool is that?

The next day Tom completely rebuilt the head on the rear cylinder of the 61, and had it back together in no time. I actually helped in the process, as well as Rodney and Shawn.

We gathered up our gear, and said goodbye to what had now turned into a solid friendship with Tom and his wife, and were on the road.

Other than another primary chain adjustment on the 61 (that chain was getting wore out), the only problem we encountered was a flat rear tire on that bike. We were already back in Texas (west Texas), when all of the sudden Shawn experienced his first flat tire on a motorcycle. A flat on anything is bad enough, but it’s a real “E ticket ride” on a motorcycle! He handled it perfectly, even though he was doing about 65mph when it suddenly went. We had it towed into the next town (about 15 miles), where we had called ahead and found a shop that had a new tube. When we tore the wheel off, we quickly learned the cause. The idiot in San Marcos Texas, where I had new tires and tubes mounted before the trip, put the wrong tube in the rear wheel. The position of the valve stem was on the side of the wheel, and this dumb ass put a center valve stem tube in it! This forced him to twist the tube just to make it fit, and apparently it took 2500 miles before the tube gave out. That idiot doesn’t know it yet, but his little stunt is going to cost him PLENTY!

We pulled into Slix around 11:30pm 8/14/17, as we decided to ride the last couple hundred miles at night. The end of that trip came as “bitter sweet”. “Bitter” because we all knew it was over, and we were definitely going to miss being out on the road.

“Sweet”, for so many reasons: At 61 years old, I actually accomplished this major ordeal!

“Sweet”, because we did it as a real team!

“Sweet”, because those old rigid antiques were just as worthy and reliable as anything built today!

“Sweet”, because as far as I know, we are the only ones who actually rode our bikes all the way there and back………everyone else pulled theirs with trucks and trailers (pussies).

And “Sweet”, because my son was right by my side !

We’re already planning another trip next year 🙂

Oh, and getting back to our new friend “Tom”………….turns out, I can help him with the crappy paint job on his old Dodge pick up.

I sent him a gallon of MPB (Matrix Premium base coat), a half pint of MX-57 (base coat hardener), a gallon of Matrix reducer, a gallon kit of MP-210 (Matrix direct to metal sealer), and a gallon kit of MS-42 (Matrix premium high solids clear coat).

I guarantee this……….it’ll be the last paint job that truck will ever need! I also paid a visit to the local NAPA, where they sell “Martin Senior” (total shit), and schooled them on Matrix Automotive Finishes (I may have started a little war in that town, as “Car Quest” sells Dupont)   🙂



“Whatever it Takes”

Rick Ciotti


July 2017 Newsletter Return

The Paint Spot Newsletter
(July 2017)

It’s been one year since I wrote the last issue, and I’ll bet ya’ll thought I either “gave up” or, God forbid…….”turned Liberal” !
Actually, I was very actively involved with the Trump campaign, as well as a few other things. One of the projects I started is a book. I won’t talk about the title or the subject matter until it’s finished, only to say that it’s an autobiography with a twist! I could care less if it sells one copy, as my objective is “reality”, “honesty”, and “fact”. I didn’t want to run the risk of the Newsletter contaminating the subject matter of my book, or vise versa, and that’s one big reason for not writing an issue for so long.
This issues subject matter will contain real facts that have accumulated in my life over the past 4-5 years. Some of you will be shocked by the following, and some of you won’t. Keep in mind……..THIS IS REAL !


Political Indoctrination
(…..and some of you thought this wasn’t even “a thing”)

            As many of you already know, I have a daughter that attended college. She started 4 years ago, and graduated in May of this year. Within the first week and a half, she sent me a copy of a “Political Compass” test. I took this test, as well as every employee here, and we virtually all came out “Left”. Since I financed my daughters education, and because I am anything BUT “left”, I was furious! I asked my daughter to ask the professor for the “Conservative” version, and was shocked to find out her answer… “there isn’t one”. I was so pissed off, I reworded all 62 questions (took 2 1/2 weeks), to yield a different outcome (there’s a Conservative test now thanks to yours truly), and told my daughter to get the professor to take it……..she refused. I gave her one more chance, and attached the fact that if she refused, I would send it to: Bill O’Reily at FOX She didn’t, so I did! Matter of fact, I sent it twice, and never heard from FOX 🙁

Continue reading

The Paint Spot Newsletter (June, July, August) 2016


Ya’ll have to forgive me, but I just haven’t been into writing the newsletter lately. It’s not that I haven’t been every bit as involved in writing my thoughts and observations, or that I don’t care, it’s actually due to my attention being placed on another venue.

Facebook is where I’ve concentrated my efforts ever since the election started “ramping up”. Because I feel that there is nothing more important than the survival of our country, I decided that my attention was best placed where I could do the most good. I really don’t care for Facebook because people expect you to be too nice, which equates to “political correctness” in my book……….and I don’t like being overly nice or politically correct! I’m more the “fair, firm, and friendly” type, with a touch of “brutal honesty”.

I fully expect to delete my Facebook account, and return to the monthly newsletter pending a Trump victory in November. If he doesn’t win, it won’t matter, America will be in “Check Mate”.


Ok, so it’s no big secret that “Quest” (the mother company that owned Matrix) got acquired by Valspar about a year ago. Initially, when the deal went through, I thought it was a great opportunity in that, so many of the areas that Matrix was lacking, Valspar wasn’t………and vise versa.

In the “jobber / W.D.” meetings, the possible integration of technologies was not only discussed, but it was highly anticipated. Brian and Ernesto were questioned constantly regarding what we, as jobbers, might expect from the Valspar line.

Because of the way things are set up in the corporate world, there’s layers of management, and because of that, things (people) don’t move as smooth and quick as we’d like them to. Finally, I was told that there would be an accountable manager attending our next meeting, that he was Brian and Ernesto’s boss, and that his name was “Jaime”.

I made it to that next meeting early thinking it would give me time to not only meet Jaime, but to go over specific questions I had for him………but he showed up late……2 hours late!

When I finally had the time to talk to him, I was amazed at how out of touch he was with anything regarding Matrix. When questioned on it, his reply was “I don’t know much about Matrix or accushade and I don’t need to”! That response was so wrong on so many levels!


The sole purpose of the meetings is to educate us jobbers. The very first meeting uncovered what I had long suspected, and what Brian and Ernesto had to confirm.

The questions: Were Matrix sales down because Jobbers were lackadaisical? Was Matrix too expensive? Their territory too competitive? Matrix wasn’t versatile enough? Or was it …….were they properly trained and educated on all that Matrix was capable of?

As I stated earlier, it turned out that it was a complete lack of education. I am not a genius, but I do paint, and I do understand and use the “complete” Matrix system, and I do write this newsletter, which keeps me connected to my fellow Matrix counterparts all over the country. I have known for along time that I am able to do more with Matrix than others, and because I’m pretty close to Brian we brainstormed (on many occasions) what it would take to get everybody up to speed. He knew that jobbers all sitting in the same room discussing what to do and how to do it, could prove to be a violent endeavor. After all, most of us were foolishly convinced that our “secrets” were the only factor for our success. If we were to share them, we would all surly be doomed!

That’s kind of where I shine. I am a hands on guy, I know the system better than anyone in the country. Have a fairly successful store with 2 locations. And, I openly discuss and divulge any and all of my “secrets”, not just the ones regarding Matrix! Furthermore, I don’t let the meeting get too “techy”, too “corporate” (power point presentations), or too “sales oriented” from a mfg perspective. My objective is to make sure what is discussed can be turned into tangible profit for the attendees……immediately!

We no sooner concluded our first meeting, and it was learned that the Warehouse Distributors (W.D.’s) need the education every bit as much as the jobbers, so Brian and Ernesto added them to the meetings.

Getting back to “Jaime”………..he had been informed of these meetings, but apparently didn’t really understand the value that had come from them. He also had no idea that I had questions for him. My questions were very basic and very deliberate. I already knew that whoever was running Matrix, was doing so with the idea that they had a better product than others, and therefore deserved more of the market share than they were used to having. I also knew that “this guy at the top” thought he had hired the right people, and put them in the right positions to accomplish this. Now I knew that those people had failed him miserably! Who they are specifically……..I don’t know and I don’t care, but I know who it will not be! It absolutely will not be anyone immediate to “The Paint Spot” or any of the jobbers / warehouse distributors I have worked so hard to help!

So, unbeknownst to “Jaime”, there was a little “Q & A” session, or “vetting” process that he was going to have to pass prior to us moving forward.

Questions included: How long have you been in the business? Do you know how to paint? Do you know the accushade program? Are you familiar with what Valspar has and what Matrix has? What is you expectations from your subordinates (Brian and Ernesto)?

The only thing Jaime knew for sure is what he wanted from Ernesto and Brian, and I guaranty you……..he learned that from his boss! He also promised results on integrating Valspar fleet and industrial products into Matrix jobbers.

Results: He failed!

Fast forward to July 12, 2016…………..

I am attending a warehouse distributors “customer appreciation” event in Houston, Texas. I was invited there personally by our “A.R.D.” rep, and I knew that Brian Lynch would be there with his new boss “Skip”. I was to meet Skip, and discuss some of the things that Jaime had “dropped the ball” on several months ago, which by the way, Brian had progressed on, even though it was totally not within the scope of what he had access to!

In pretty short order, I’m being introduced to none other than “Skip”. We shook hands, and I shared my thoughts on a particular person whom I had recently interacted with at Valspar headquarters……I’ll get to that later, and then moved into a conversation about Valspar being a “direct” line as opposed to being distributed through warehouse distributors, and that as a guest and customer of A.R.D, I hope that can somehow be worked out. Skip informed me that “all the big and successful paint companies like Dupont, PPG, and Sherwin go direct for a reason, it’s better for you, we can give you a better price”. He went on to let me know that he was definitely no fan of warehouse distributors, and I cut that kind of short by saying “you know we’re in a warehouse distributors facility now, and you were invited don’t you”? From there, we went into a little Q & A session.


How long have you been in the business?

A: 26 years with Dupont / Axalta.

Q. Do you paint?

A. No.

Q. Do you know the Matrix line?

A. Not really.

Q. Do you know the Valspar line?

A. Not really.

Q. Do you know the data base for Valspar or Matrix Accushade?

A. No, and I don’t need to.

Q. What is your position in relationship to Brian and Ernesto?

A. I’m their manager / boss.

Q. What are your expectations of them, oh, I’ll bet you want them to sell more product to people like me?

A. Yes.

Q. Well, how are you supposed to do that when you just told me that you don’t paint, you don’t know any of the product line, and you don’t know the data base?

A. Listen, my boss doesn’t pay me to know those things!

I think you’re wrong about that, and besides, I think you’re confusing your boss with the guy who signs your paycheck. Dave Brunori might sign your paycheck, but actually I’m your boss, that’s why I’m asking all the questions……….just like everyone who comes into The Paint Spot.

Q. Do you know about the meetings we have, and how they’ve helped both W.D.’s and jobbers understand what they have access to, and how that’s helped us all increase our sales?

Q. Did you know that we have the meetings here at ARD?

No answers from this point on. Skip did what NO seasoned corporate guy should ever do…….He lost his cool, and showed his ass!!!! I am no stranger to getting someone out of their comfort zone, and instead of Skip going on the defensive, he should have had the “managerial experience” to reason the situation out! Brian attempted to calm the situation down, but Skip wasn’t having any part of it, which bares the question: Why is a guy like Skip in a higher position of authority than Brian? Here’s another question: I wonder what Skip is going to think when he finds out about this story, via the newsletter that I write, and then finds out that they’re all signed with “Whatever it takes”? Think about this……He is middle management for a huge corporate firm like Valspar. Making God only knows how much money, and I’m the dirt on his shoes with the “Whatever it Takes” attitude…..which includes driving to Houston and Dallas, on my dime and my time, for zero money, all in an effort to help educate my counter parts, and the people above me, on the products made by the company that pays him!

Ironically, the reference I made to the story I’d get back to later. You know, the one when Skip and I were first introduced, was about an employee who needed recognition. I figured since Skip was farther up the food chain, he could get a message of appreciation for “over and beyond” expectations from a position that I was 99% convinced was doomed for utter disaster! Routinely, I get requests for colors that are either obsolete or next to impossible to find, and I’m not into telling a customer “sorry, we don’t have that”. We have a 4 part protocol for how to handle such requests, and calling the color department is number 3. It used to be #2, but since Matrix has had so many personnel changes, I really couldn’t rely on calling that number. I won’t mention names, but I have actually had Valspar and ProSpray employees answer that line that had no fricking business answering a telephone ANYWHERE!!!!! One of them even laughed and thought it was funny that I actually wanted a formula and thought I could get it from him! I shit you not!

So, can you imagine how shocked I was NOT ONCE, but TWICE in one day, when weird request came in that required me to call the color department……..and I got help?

It seems that one “Maryanne Cale”, from the “ProSpray” line, has assumed the position of filling some pretty big shoes! I admit, I was spoiled by the likes of Chris Butler, and McKenzie Brunori. Furthermore, I had zero hope that after leaving, that department could or would survive, but Maryanne blew my mind! In going through a little Q & A session (that sure didn’t go the way it did with the “Skipster”) I learned that she was from the ProSpray line, learned the Matrix line, has access and uses the Valspar, and DeBeers lines, has my favorite obsolete chip cabinet, understands how PPG relates to Matrix, and get this……she actually said “Whatever it Takes for the customer is what I’m here for”!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe that??????? She’s literally like another “Jennifer Mastro”!!!!!! The perfect employee, and I prefaced my meeting with the complete and utter opposite with Kudos for her.

Food for thought: “If you can’t beat em, buy em”……….that is why big companies often acquire others, and I’m 100% convinced that’s why Matrix has changed hands so much lately. So why are we seeing so many Dupont, PPG, Sherwin Williams, Valspar, Prospray people assuming Matrix related responsibilities? Other than Maryanne Cale, who is obviously a self motivated super star (she personally told me that she doesn’t care one bit about what paint brand she’s working with, it’s the customer that deserves her best), the rest seem to be part of the reason they couldn’t compete against Matrix in the first place!

Sikkens vs. Matrix

So, I think everyone is aware of LKQ distributing Sikkens automotive paint, along with all sorts of auto body supplies, including parts. Between them and the internet, it’s really giving us traditional jobbers (and warehouse distributors) a run for our money. The only thing we can do to keep ourselves ahead of them is “be what they cannot be”, and that is exactly what The Paint Spot has ALWAYS been! To accomplish this, one thing that is absolutely essential, is that our suppliers and the manufacturers of our paint lines must “have our backs”, hence, the reason for me “vetting” the players.

The Paint Spot has always been praised by our customers as having an untouchable ability to match color. Sadly, our ability to do so has very little to do with support from our number one paint line “Matrix”, with the exception of me figuring out how to use something that they developed and then lost faith in. By the time I figured out how to get what we needed from this “tool”, and was comfortable putting it in customers hands to either talk intelligently over the phone or better yet, them use it to make a color, they had deemed it obsolete! I scrambled to get back some I had received and put in with systems to shops that really didn’t need them, and bought up all I could find elsewhere, then placed them. One such shop is located pretty far away, and the owner actually serves as an extension of The Paint Spot for small paint orders, and specifically color matching. He recently was having a tough time matching a color, and happened into a friends shop that was using Sikkens. The guy brings out a hand held camera / computer, and in less than 5 minutes my guy had a pint of paint that was a 98% match (the Sikkens computer displayed that information before mixing). He actually “panel painted” a hood on a 1934 Ford, and you could NOT tell !!!!!

As loyal as he is to Matrix, he told me “Rick, I have got to move into the future, do you have any idea how much time and money I have wasted using Matrix”?

Yeah, not good ! I immediately called Brian Lynch to plead my case, saying “Can’t you move the technology that I know you already have into our hands”? “Why does it take so long to get anything done”? “Do you not know Sikkens is making a painters job easier”? “I have seen this technology from Matrix several years ago (Zolotone), and I’ve recently used the Valspar version”!

They wonder why I write this newsletter, and why I say the things I say………it’s because the bigger you get, the farther away from reality you become. How many times have I made mention of the fact that at Matrix there seems to be little or no problem identifying a need, not all that much problem producing it, but invariably ya’ll screw up the marketing? Then, to add insult to injury, you discontinue it for lack of sales!!!! Don’t get me started down this path, but I would love the opportunity to set face to face with Mr. Brunori and bring up all the part numbers and items that Matrix totally and completely dropped the “marketing ball” on!

All I want you at Matrix, Valspar, Quest, Sherwin Williams, or whatever you’re calling yourselves this month to do is LISTEN TO US !

Dave Brunori: I know you have the skills to “get things done”, and you certainly should have the capital to do so….PLEASE MOVE ON THIS !



Ok, it’s no secret that the only gun I endorse and sell, is an Iwata! I can get any other gun on the market, but I refuse to sell anything but an Iwata……period! The reason is simple, they are the best! This being said, can anyone tell me why a company like Iwata would sell a diaphragm regulator to accompany their world class spray guns, that was of a quality standard like that of a Yugo?

Similar to the Matrix scenario, is the fact that Iwata has become the big boys. With it seems to be some of the confusion that multiple layers of management brings. However, when I called our vendor “Asset”, and wanted answers……..I got them, and I mean right now!

Thanks to one “Nick McDaniels”, I found out that the regulator failure has been an ongoing issue. It seems that “outsourcing” to China is what’s been the problem, and their “back up” was supposedly built in Mexico. (God bless Donald Trump, he’s the only one who will stop this madness).

I was extremely pissed off by the time I got to Nick, due to all the pissed off customers who I had sold faulty regulators to (one even threw a regulator at me) . Nick took the abuse, and then squarely admitted the problem and set about trying to resolve the fiasco. However, his options were pretty much exhausted, so I said that if he could send me Iwata branded gauges, I would search the country for an American made diaphragm regulator that was as good as the gun they would be attached to OR…..better! Well, guess what?

     I found one…………………… “Wilkerson”!

50 anniversary

Not only is this completely made right here in the United States of America, but the folks representing the “Wilkerson” line, at “Compressed Air Systems”, are the most knowledgeable and accommodating people I’ve ever done business with! I learned so much about how and why a diaphragm regulator works, that I think I could teach paint gun mfg’s a few things…lol! I now have two regulators that we will sell, and I know which is to be used for which purpose, something I never knew prior.

We will not sell an Iwata gun without a diaphragm regulator and an education on why you MUST use this style over a “restrictor” style to achieve perfection. Because we sell only Iwata guns at The Paint Spot, I have the corresponding “Air cap gauges” to accurately be able to tell the purchaser of the gun “8 – 10 lbs at the air cap IS 19 – 21 lbs at the gauge”… long as it’s an “AK1R2 regulator” (this information may change with the introduction of the Wilkerson regulators).

Thank you Chris, James, and Jack for your time spent educating me, and thanks for bringing Nick into the loop as well.

Thank you Nick McDaniels for being so proactive, especially when dealing with a potentially embarrassing such as this. Not just anyone would absorb the blame and then work with the customer to resolve it…….especially when the fix was going “outside” of the sanctioned supplier! That being said, I would love to see you (Iwata) change suppliers from foreign sources to American Made “Wilkerson”. I have spent my own money with them already for the sole purpose of outfitting Iwata guns belonging to everyone who purchased a defective “RTI” or “AK1R2”. They will be replaced by me at no cost.

Going forward, I will say that “good work ain’t cheap, and cheap work ain’t good”! So if you have to pay a little more for a better product, then DO SO, and give us the option of buying quality or buying shit. I’m willing to bet most Americans prefer “Quality”.







“Let’s Make America Great Again”


“Whatever it Takes”

Rick Ciotti



May 2016 Newsletter

The Paint Spot Newsletter

(May 2016)

 memorial day 2016

Ok, well the “Political Correctness Confessional” sure generated some response! We’ll get into that in a little bit, but first I need to touch on some things that didn’t get any attention last month, but did generate some questions from you.


Matrix_System_Logo MAY2016_-_Small


Specifically, “what will happen to them”……I’m not a fortune teller, but I kind of look at it like this: Sherwin Williams has never been a big player in the automotive refinishing business, at least not in my neck of the woods. The only time I ever ran into it was either their low level brands that were sold through auto parts stores, or industrial type customers. In both cases, it was pretty much regarded as “Shit”, and sometimes “expensive shit”. The industrial line was sold “direct”, which made it (on the surface) hard for me to compete with. If I was lucky enough (or even wanted to pursue the issue) to get a demo, it was “all she wrote” when I walked in with “Northstar”. Cost, quality, performance, and longevity with our Northstar literally “Smoked” Sherwin Williams every time…… exceptions!

Sherwin Williams base coat had it’s own reputation……..and it wasn’t a good one.

On the streets it was (is) known as “sure will peel”, due to clear coat delamination issues.

In fairness to Sherwin Williams, I started Slix many years ago with “Ultra 7000”, and I never had any problems what so ever.

So, all that being said, I can see why Sherwin Williams would want to acquire the Valspar line. Matrix would allow them to at least gain back lost ground in the Automotive refinishing arena, and hopefully Valspar fleet and industrial lines could fill in those respective “gaps”. One thing is for sure, gone are the days when Matrix was the most versatile, and gone too, are the days when you could call in and get answers to problems or question from qualified staff.

As far as I’m concerned, they can go away completely, as I have long since learned to do “Whatever it Takes” to get done that which they can no longer do.


Lusid Technologies:

Ok, “for every action, there is an equal but opposite reaction”. Lusid Technologies is the company that makes our “Northstar” line. I’m sure you all are well aware of the Northstar label and how awesome this paint is, but have you heard of their new “Industrial” line? It’s called “Globalstar”, and there’s 29 toners to the line (that’s more than double the standard 12 toners of other systems). In true Lusid tradition, it comes with an extremely impressive color selector system for matching everything imaginable…..”PMS”, “RAL”, “Specialty colors”, “Metallic”, and all the “Northstar” formulas. This may not seem like a big deal to the average paint jobber, but having access to this information allows you to compete at any level. Most paint jobbers are completely lost when it comes to “Pantone” (PMS) colors, and that’s due to weaknesses on the manufacturers part, like Matrix. Had I not been a printer for twenty six years, the willingness to overcome the Matrix System pitfalls, the “Obsolete Matrix chip cabinet”, and a PMS book, I would have missed out on countless opportunities! Example: Ever been asked to mix “Texas Longhorn Orange”?

How many of you know that it’s PMS 166? How many of you know what PMS 166 looks like? How many of you try to mix it anyway? Now, how many of you had to pass up the order because you had no Idea how to accommodate your customer? Well, you’ll never do that again with Globalstar. If and when you need assistance or have a special request, Lusid is independently owned and operated (like Matrix used to be), so you can always get qualified assistance!


Political correctness confessional

It sure wasn’t long after uploading last months issue that responses started coming in. I pretty much knew what I was going to write about this month, that is, until this response came in: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”.

Ok, this quote was made famous by John F. Kennedy. It is one of my favorites, and one that I have used quite often, but never had I considered this………”JFK would have turned this country socialist along time ago, this country had its government formed to serve its people, and now its reversed, the people are serving its government (paraphrased). This came to me via “Ray Inmann”, and his perspective was so unique that I felt compelled to use it.

Ok, now on the surface that statement seems to imply “get off your ass, go to work, support yourself, stick up for the country you live in, and don’t expect your government to coddle you”. Personally, that’s the way I always looked at it, but what if Ray is right?

What if JFK really meant “your country (government) is going to give you everything you need, and you should offer your life and services to your country (government) automatically”?

The only way to know for sure would be to give JFK some truth serum and ask him, but since he is long since dead, that’s not going to happen. Another way of determining what he had in mind is to research his presidency for clues to that type of agenda.

From what I see, I can’t make the connection, but I’m open to feedback.

I do, however find it interesting that the Democratic party flaunts its “anti racism” status as being the party that’s “got your  racial back”, when in actuality (and recorded history) the Democratic party is the party of racism! Now, Johnson did sign civil rights legislation, but there is tons of evidence to suggest this was done to secure votes (sound familiar).

Regardless, Ray does make a good point………we are serving our Government now days!

Since our government is supposed to be “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people”, apparently the government has “flipped the script”!


Donald Trump is definitely one “OF” the people. He is definitely being supported “BY” the people, and his sole goal is to work tirelessly “FOR” the people………..and the “Establishment” (government) is fighting him every step of the way. Furthermore, they are using “We the People” to do most of the fighting, which gives credence to Ray’s claim that “we now serve the government, instead of them serving us”!


Bernie Sanders has made quite a splash with his open “Socialist” agenda. Now, it wasn’t too long ago, that anyone making the claim to be socialist, and wanting to turn the United States of America into a socialist country, would have been in serious jeopardy of having visits from men in black suits. Even though we have turned into a so called “politically correct” and “tolerant” culture, even the media was giving Bernie an almost ZERO chance of success, saying “America will never elect a socialist” I’m willing to bet nobody ever thought they would hear Americas youth openly defending socialism, but they sure as hell are!

Bernie, has become a serious player in this election cycle in case anyone hasn’t noticed. Coincidentally, the majority of his supporters are age 18-30. (I’m aware that there are older individuals as well, but there’s always been “fringe idiots” that think doing something stupid is cool)

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the only way for that to be, is with changes being made to our public schools and universities, specifically “history”. It’s actually much more than that, like “home economics”, “current events”, “government”, and even “industrial arts” classes being eliminated from most curriculums.

It’s “the perfect crime” when you think about it. These college graduates are all “henchman” for political agendas, and they have a built in defense mechanism……”EDUCATION”. You stand a snowballs chance in hell of convincing a college educated person that they are the victim of “brainwashing”. That they are doing the dirty work of manipulative politicians to further their agenda. The very same agenda, that when fully implemented, will forever corral and restrict the very participants (henchmen) that got it enacted!

Even though there is factual evidence to support my claims, they cannot and will not admit their thinking is unrealistic, non factual, ideological, utopian, unsustainable, dreamy, and dangerous. Rather than even approach the conversation, it’s much better to “grin and bare” this situation, and reinstitute that which is missing (or has been removed) from the educational curriculum………”fight fire with fire”.

Donald Trump not only holds the best chances of accomplishing this, but in doing so, he stands the only “real” chance of eliminating corruption on a global scale. Don’t believe me?

Look at Mexico for a prime example: The people of that country have always been known to be exceptionally hard workers. I know first hand, I have hoed cotton, picked grapes, oranges, olives, and cherries right next to them. They are also known for their sense of family unity, and warm nature. Again, I know this first hand. Their country has an abundance of natural resources, and is anything BUT a poor country. So, tell me why its citizens live as if they have no ability to accumulate wealth……….it is, and it has always been “because their elected officials are corrupt”!

Sadly, the brainwashing extends into other cultures. Just look at the “mind bending” that’s taking place regarding Hispanics and Trump. Don’t fall for it folks, you need not go very far to figure out you’re being manipulated. Look outside the states, and to other nations to know what Trump has already started.

Argentina: President “Macri” gets elected in December 2015 to replace the “Christina” administration. She was the one running that country for 12 years (she modified elections to stay in power longer than traditional terms allowed……..sound familiar?), during which she created many entitlements (sound familiar?). Macri was educated in the US, speaks perfect English, and is a businessman (sound familiar). In just four months, he has indicted, seized ill gotten assets, and jailed much of the previous administration (sound familiar…….I sure hope so). He has restored much of the lost economy and pride to the Argentine people, and has paid off the debt to the United States. He vows not to stop until Argentina’s people have jobs and prosperity. Venezuela has similar changes happening, and the list goes on and on. So, be part of the solution folks, and VOTE TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT !

A little bit about health:


Gallbladder removal is a very trendy operation these days. The gallbladder is about 1.5″ X 3″ and is attached to your liver. It’s purpose is to be a kind of “staging ground” for “Bile” which is sent there by your Liver. Not just any amount of bile, and not just any time, it is sent the exact amount to counteract or break down specific amounts of fats and oils consumed. When this is complete, the toxins can be expelled through normal elimination processes. Because of our diets (or lack of) the gallbladder is often inflicted with stones (gallstones). When this happens, it’s extremely painful (right abdomen under lower rib, but can also feel centered). The treatment according to “modern medicine”: Surgical removal of the organ…….”no known way of removing the stones any other way”!

Since we’re talking about “Brainwashing”………we’ve been brainwashed about “modern medicine” too folks!


One of my employees had severe stomach pain, went to the emergency room, was diagnosed as having an infected gallbladder, and scheduled for immediate removal surgery……….she no longer has her gallbladder!

A year later another employee wound up in the hospital emergency room with the same diagnosis, and the same remedy was offered up…….removal. However, he called me, asked what I would do, and I told him…..RUN! I had given him some holistic information that I got from a reputable source, and he told the doctor about it, and that’s when the doctor told him I was full of shit, and that there is “NO WAY OTHER THAN REMOVAL”. My employee asked if he could have one more shot of morphine for the road, and the doctor cussed him out….true story ! He left, I went and gathered all the ingredients for the “cleanse” (which were all purchased at the local super market), and met him at his house.       I went over the procedure with his son, and made sure he could supervise his dads ordeal. Three days later the “impossible” miraculously became possible! That was 2 years ago folks, and guess what? He not only has his gallbladder, but he knows exactly why it gave him problems to begin with. He’s blood type ‘A’, and he was eating like blood type ‘J’…….(junk).

Last week I decided to do the same cleanse, even though I have never had any issues. I’m reading a book about cleanses and detoxing, and saw the one he did, along with a Kidney cleanse (kidneys can become inflicted with stones also). For legal reasons, I won’t get into specifics, only to say that there are several ways to clean and detoxify your organs. Any medical doctor telling you different is either lying to you, or is ignorant to “real medicine”. Furthermore, they like to remove the appendix at the same time, kind of a “Two for one” or “package deal” I suppose. They will also tell you that God made a mistake by actually putting in you a few organs that we’ve either evolved past the need for, or never needed ! That’s pretty telling right there, and proves my theory that man has a hell bent quest to out do God!!!!

BTW: My results were: Painlessly passing between 50 – 100 stones, and like I said, I never had any obvious symptoms. Judging from the colors of the stones, they had been in my gallbladder for several years (the information I read included a method for determining how long the stones had been there), which seem to coincide perfectly with when I changed my eating habits, and started eating to my blood type ‘O’.

“Whatever it Takes”

Rick Ciotti


Political Correctness Confessional
Ok, this segment is experimental, and comes to me by way of something said by a facebook friend. In that conversation I suggested she pursue a forum for discussing political correct issues, and that’s where I coined the phrase. Whether or not she will actually go for it is unknown, but I thought I would give it a go here.
The purpose of this segment will be to get your feedback regarding what you consider “politically correct” words, phrases, ideas, laws, mandates, or even fantasies. I will research whatever you come up with, and then dissect it, disseminate it, debunk it, or prove it, using history (Biblical predominately), common sense, and examples.
So please feel free to give me examples of “political correctness”, regardless whether you are for or against it. I will take it wherever the facts, common sense, agenda, or brainwashing takes me.

“Don’t live in the past”

            Ok, we’ve all heard this before, and in modern times, it’s commonly applied to someone (or a group) that resists or doesn’t accept “something new”, or “change”. It is virtually always used in a “negative” sense, as if we are so much wiser than our predecessors, or as a means to discredit ones way of thinking as “obsolete”. This is generally done as a means for redirecting ones thoughts and perspective to change to that of the person (s) asserting the quote.
In researching this, the earliest reference I found was Isaiah 43:18 (King James 2000 Bible) “Remember not the former things, neither consider the things of old”.
Ok, first of all one would really have to go back into the past to even find this example, which basically discredits the quote already. Secondly, if it were to be used as an example….(“see there, even the Bible says it’s not cool to live in the past”), the context in which it was used had to do with the Israelites coming out of enslavement in Egypt and looking forward to the promised land.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”
(An Aphorism by “George Santayanna” from the latter part of the 1800’s)
Here, the message is obvious and a stern reminder that for those who do not pay attention to the past, your future can and will be adversely effected.
So to put this in perspective using common sense and history, it becomes crystal clear that this quote “Don’t live in the past” could have a legitimate place depending on the context. As far as society is concerned, the quote is a divisive and derogatory term meant to push an agenda of “change”. However, this “change” cannot be good if you consider the “counter quote” and “real history”.
I will conclude our analysis of  “Don’t live in the past”, with a quote of my own…….”Always keep the past alive within you”.
My objective here is to open the mind of the average reader. I have zero intention of replacing “free thought” by attempting to get ya’ll to think my way. I do want the reader to “THINK” though. Question everything, including me, but think! Today’s quote is used frequently, and as I mentioned before, not with good intention. No matter what your political position, with this kind of examination, you will know who’s right and who’s wrong. When you find that history has either been left out, changed, or altered to make an agenda more plausible, mark that agenda as FALSE
Whether or not you believe in God, or the Bible my hope is that you’ll use it as a historical point of reference and a general source of human values.
My ultimate intention is to disprove a (what I believe to be) common myth “you can’t teach common sense”. You see, I think it can be done, and I think this is the way!
Business stuff:
            You can tell from the segment above, as well as reading this newsletter in general, that my thought process works a little differently than some. Doesn’t mean that I’m any better than anyone else (actually it seems like a curse most of the time, because I can’t just blow things off like some) it just means that I take things a lot farther than others. With that being said I’ll now explain how the latest acquisition of Valspar by Sherwin Williams ties in with both “Nature” and “Capitalism”…..I know, what a frickin stretch! LOL!
The cycle of life pretty much depends on a “food chain” or “pecking order”. The small fish get scarfed by the big fish, and the big fish get scarfed by the bigger fish. Well, that’s exactly what has happened with Matrix, Quest, Valspar, and now Sherwin Williams.
Some would say that this isn’t fair, but in life, it is absolutely essential to the “balance of Nature”. In business, it is absolutely essential for capitalism to work too. Now for short minded individuals, they will bad mouth capitalism for swallowing up all the “mom and pops”, “small businesses”, or “sole proprietors”. In reality (and by examining the situation as we did in the previous segment) you will find that acquisition by the “big fish” actually triggers a “smaller fish” to come in and do what the big boys can’t !
Example: Kent Gardener starting Matrix all those years ago !
I chose this topic for two reasons;
#1, To let you know the recent news regarding Matrix.
#2, To inform any of you that may think Capitalism is anything but the greatest system on earth.
Do as I recommended above, and question my perspective and comparison. I want to hear how any other form of society mirrors nature, and the next time someone says “I think socialism would be great”, hopefully you’ll be able to enlighten them to the fact that according to the laws of nature, it is capitalism that most closely resembles that which God created.



Pair of Northern Cardinals

For those of you that have been with me for awhile, you know how I feel about this month. Even though “New Years” is traditionally celebrated on January 1, and the official first day of spring is March 20, I refer to the beginning of April as the “real new year” (does that make me an “April fool”?).
The reason is pretty simple. If I didn’t have a calendar, or any means of keeping track what day or month it was, mother nature has a way of doing it for me. Not so much in Southern California (where I came from), but out here in the hill country of Texas, you can bet the bank on the season changes! New grass, new wild flowers everywhere, new leaves, new deer, new levels of the rivers and lakes, new warmth on our backs as we ride an old Harley Davidson shirtless through the hills (sucks to be a non biker lol), and my personal favorite, new “Cheezer” birds !
The “Cheezer” bird was given it’s name by me several years ago because of its unusual and relentless call…..”cheezer cheezer cheezer”, “cheezer cheezer cheezer”. It was at least 10 years into this ritual that I noticed it always started on or about April first! Furthermore, it was always heard first thing in the morning, but never seen!
One year I started whistling back at it and even saying “cheezer, cheezer, cheezer”, and that’s when it escalated! Before I knew it, that illusive “heckler” was taunting me. It started changing it’s vocabulary (I’m telling ya’ll the God’s honest truth) and I started looking forward to mornings just to hear what that sucker had to say. When it got to “rickity, rickity, rickity, rick” I realized It was getting serious enough that I had to write about it (think it was 2012), and this year it got really interesting……..
As many will recall, my mom passed away April 28, 2014 after a six week stay in the hospital. That particular year, I was explaining my reasons for calling April 1 “New Year”. In the April 2014 issue (which would have been written in late March) my mom is quoted as saying “Rick, I think I’m going to rake some of the leaves in the yard”. When she said that, it occured to me that the winds of March were natures way of clearing off the branches so the new leaves could grow, and that got elaborated on instead. Bless moms heart for inspiring me that year, but it lead to no mention of the infamous “Cheezer Bird”.
Last year there was no mention whatsoever of my fine feathered friend either. Frankly, the reason is because I was reminded of mom, and so bummed out that I got off on a Holistic medicine tangent instead. When I went back and read some of those two old issues (in prep for this issue) I figured out where and how that rant came about……I was pissed off! The surgeon that was to repair my moms stomach lining was so preoccupied with removing her gal bladder (that had nothing to do with why she was there) that he overlooked a golf ball sized hole on the back side of her stomach. Then the dumb ass waited five days before he thought to double check his job…….that ended up costing my mother her life! I probably should have sued the hell out of that idiot, but I’m just not into that scene. Besides, it’s not like a lawsuit would bring mom back.
One year before mom passed away ( April 2013) the “Cheezer Bird” revealed his identity to me. It was the Cardinal, specifically, the Red Male Cardinal. Here’s the significance, this particular bird is very distinguishable between other birds. It also happens to be my favorite, and it seems to have gone way out of its way to get my attention………for years!
During the winter, something popped up on facebook that really got my attention. It was a short story of how the male Cardinal is said to embody the spirit of passed loved ones! Their presence indicates deceased loved ones coming back to visit you!
Is it any wonder that this year the Cardinal’s vocabulary has changed again? This year it sounds like “ree chard, ree chard, ree chard”………..the only time I’ve ever heard that was from my mom when she was sarcastically saying or calling my name!!!!!
I don’t know that I’ll ever understand what’s at play here, but I know what I see and what I hear. I know that I’m not the most receptive to superstition or super natural stuff. I also know that I’m not an avid bird lover. I do know that this bright red Cardinal is a male, and that they are seldom (if ever) seen hanging out together (they are territorial, and they are either seeking, competing for, or hanging out with the less attractive female), but last week when I came out from the house, on my way to work, there was three bright red Cardinals on the roof of my car! I knew right away that it was mom, dad, and grandpa 🙂



Ok, so last month there was no newsletter, and the reason for that is simple…….I didn’t feel like writing one!

That’s weird, today is the 3rd of March, and I wrote that first sentence on the 27th of February. I just can’t get into this newsletter thing anymore!

Ok, so here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to attempt to write about why I don’t want to write this newsletter……..does that make sense?

I think most of my loss of passion started a couple months ago, when we lost a good customer. It’s literally the first time we’ve ever lost a real customer. Now, through the years we have certainly parted ways with people, but that’s pretty much been “our call”. In one case, there was a situation where a shop owner (and friend of mine) married the office manager of a competitor, so he pretty much had to leave….lol!

So, this customer that left a couple months ago did it for monetary reasons, but that’s where it got weird. He was offered to replace both Northstar and Matrix with PPG for “LESS” than he was paying us! He was also given some really cool and expensive freebies. Now this comes directly from the owner of that company via a face to face conversation I personally had with him.

In that conversation I remember “Steve” telling me “Rick, it’s not personal, it’s a matter of money, you would have done it too”. I totally understood, and I have no ill will towards him, but between dwelling on, and finally processing the matter, I’ve come to the conclusion of…..”no, I’m almost positive I wouldn’t have”. I can feel myself starting to get on a roll here, so bare with me…….I think this is exactly what I needed. God only knows how this is going to “read” by you guys, but it is what it is!

Ok, on the surface one could say “it’s just business”. I know that, but ya’ll have to remember that I started this thing in an effort to straighten things out with regard to out of control suppliers that were literally holding the shops hostage! Our original mission statement “To change the world, one body shop at a time”, and the one that stuck “Whatever it Takes”, are not just lip service, they are words reinforced with actions. We’ve got so many years of history now, that it’s pretty easy to go back and see the changes that we “The Paint Spot” have brought to the industry, and I’m not talking about just our local territory! Honest to God, we have actually made a global impression. I can say that, because I can prove that!

So, getting back to the loss of a customer. The first thing that struck me is: How the hell can PPG be sold cheaper than Matrix or Northstar? It occurred to me that in an effort to make a statement, sometimes a company will take a hit. It’s not exactly the smartest strategy, but depending on how badly they want to make that statement, it may be the only thing they can do. There’s also hidden costs which will surface later, that tend to offset their loss. It just so happens, that for what ever the reason, it cost two Paint Spot employees their jobs (laid off), and some serious “sole searching”. That’s what’s probably kept me from getting into the newsletter the most.

Here’s what I’ve decided to do about it, and this speaks to why I’m so sure I wouldn’t have done what Steve did…….

First of all, any of you that switched from PPG to Matrix need to get a hold of your nearest PPG supplier and ask for the same deal. Fair is fair…..don’t you think?

Now, it’s not just that they’re cheaper, I was selling this particular customer his materials at “fleet” price, which as it relates to Matrix is “case” price.

Example: Matrix MT- 84 Base Coat White (which is PPG’s DMD 1684) Case price $300.33/gallon (so you should get a cheaper price than that from your local PPG distributor).

So, if that’s not “brutal honesty” at “my” expense, I don’t know what to tell you!

Now, if you need any price checking, call me and I’ll be happy to tell you what a Matrix equivalent is selling for.

Northstar is just collateral damage, as the PPG that replaced it was done as part of the package.

A word to our competitors:

I know two shop owners now who have told me face to face, that they are paying less for PPG than Matrix, so think twice about retaliation. I will testify in a court of law to what I have just written!

Not all of this is aimed at PPG though. Matrix has definitely gotten a bit too big for their britches.

As a matter of fact, I damn near lost another customer over pricing, and that’s what led to us going into this system and literally erasing the latest price increase from Valspar (Matrix). It seems that they think they are so big now, there’s no reason to be “the cost effective answer to PPG”. Only one problem with that…….They are NOT PPG, and don’t have anywhere near the offerings that PPG has. Like “Spectrometers”, “Point of sale” software, “Estimating systems”, “Spray Booths”, “Harley Davidson” colors, “various toners”, and “Effects”. I don’t mean to “rag” on Matrix, everyone knows how loyal I am to that company, but the truth is the truth. Furthermore, since Valspar acquired Matrix, I’ve seen absolutely nothing but incompetence from the executive level. It actually seems to me that instead of one hand communicating with the other, there’s a bunch of ass covering and paycheck collecting. I was actually told by a “Pro Spray” employee, that answered the phone (after my third call) that he didn’t know how to use “Accushade”! I shit you not! Then (a week later) I attended a meeting in Dallas, where I met a manager from the Valspar side (with 35 years experience…name withheld because he’s being given until our next meeting to step up) that when asked “so, do you understand the Matrix line (s), and “Accushade”, his answer was “no, and I don’t need to”! My response was pretty colorful, and included this: “first of all, you negate your right to expect anything from these two guys (Brian and Ernesto) until you know what you’re talking about, and furthermore, yes you do need to know Accushade”. He actually lost his cool with me temporarily (can’t blame the guy, I was on a mission to find out if this guy was the type that really wanted to take the bull by the horns or just another corporate hack with a big ego and a salary to justify it), so that’s when I told him “look man, by the time our next meeting rolls around, you better know accushade, I will call you out on it”. I then asked him if he’d ever been involved in meetings that included W.D.’s, Jobbers, and with me, representation from the end users as well. He said “Yes, all the time” (I knew he hadn’t) but something told me this was his first meeting in which he found out that “shit rolls uphill too”. LOL!

I don’t want to sound like the lion in the room, but as I later shared with this guy, we use those meetings as a means of education, and how do you think it looks to the W.D.’s and the Jobbers when an upper level manager sits in on a meeting and admits to “not needing to know what we’re teaching”, especially when the results speak for themselves. Besides that, we’re talking about  the company that signs his paycheck!

Trust me, when the meeting is over, everybody leaves with high spirits and something tangible they can turn into profits!

Finishing my point…….

So basically what we have here is a situation where two players were competing for the same customer. The Paint Spot did it with “Price”, “Service”, and “Quality”. The other guy did it with “Price”, “Service” , “Quality” (lesser, as Northstar and Matrix are both superior to PPG), and “Freebies”. All is fair in love and war, and actually I feel a bit flattered that I have become a worthy enough adversary for this particular competitor to offer up so much.


I do however, see the writing on the wall. This is a sign of the times, and I fully expect it to get worse before it gets better. For this reason, I think it is time for The Paint Spot to make changes that will allow this company to grow to the point where it can compete on the same level (or higher) than the competition. There’s two ways to do that #1 Stay really small so that you don’t assume all the overhead and debt that the big boys have. #2 Get really big, so the competition just can’t compete.

I’ve considered both of those options and fully intend to enlighten all of you when the time is right. Until then know that everything here is extremely stable, we’re in the “growth mode” and no one need be concerned about our ability to accommodate your requests.

What I will say is that I’m going to be 60 in June, my house and mortgages are all paid off, I have never had “all my eggs in one basket”, my youngest child has only one more year of college, I’m in better shape physically than I was at 25 (ya’ll really need to pay attention to the “holistic” segment), and I have a whole shit load of old cars that need to be finished at Slix (where I’m sure my son could use an extra hand once in awhile).


Alright, now that I got that other stuff off my chest, I feel like writing!

Donald Trump is someone I’ve written about a time or two. As a matter of fact, I was one of the first to do so……way back before he was considered cool to write about. So I think it’s only fair that I tell you that I kind of cheated. Yep, I’m copping to knowing more about him than I let on back in the summer of last year.

You see I know him to be a Type ‘A’ personality (like myself). I also know him to have an unrelenting ego with a passion for “the best” (way more than me). I also know that he is not a quitter, and considers anything less than a win a “loss”. Lastly, his ability to “win” is directly attributable to the fact that he practices the golden rule of “always hire people that are smarter than you” (Like Lee Iacocca).

So, the “cheating” comes into play because I have always drawn from famous leaders like Ronald Reagan, Lee Iacocca, Mike Ditka, Ennio Ciotti (my dad), etc. I knew through testing a long time ago that I had a Type ‘A’ personality, and to direct it (more like gain control of it), I had to read about others that knew how to use it. It didn’t even really start off that way. I bought biographies on those guys because I just like reading that stuff, and in the process I figured out that I exhibited a lot of the same traits. Anyway, I recognized Donald Trump for the president he could be early on (I’m sure I’m not the only one, but I’m the one writing this newsletter….lol!) and the folks I just mentioned are the reason why.

Apparently, I am not the only one that thinks so highly of Mr. Trump. He is far and away the most popular Presidential candidate in our country. He has a no nonsense, common sense, take no shit attitude the likes of which, none of us ever thought we would see associated with our Government.

He also has a real shot of pulling this off, in that he has managed to pull Democrats across party lines, inspired dormant voters to come out and vote, captured the hearts and minds of the independent voters, and totally revitalized the Republican party.

So why has there been so much talk about getting him out of the race?

Why is the opposition coming from so many sources?

Answer: Because the “Shit” that’s been plaguing this country for years is literally being exposed right before your very eyes!

I sure hope someone is keeping a list of names, because Donald’s no nonsense, politically incorrect approach is forcing the Rats out of the woodwork and into the open. There’s plenty that I even thought were good people! Republicans, Democrats, The Pope (can you believe what a piece of shit that guy is?) But the one that pisses me off the most is that crooked son of a bitch from south of the border……Vicente Fox!

Why would an “ex- President” of Mexico get involved with our politics? More specifically, why would an ex president of another country get on “live” TV and use the “F” word toward one specific person?

Answer: Because the “shit” that’s been plaguing this country and that country for years is literally being exposed before your very eyes! (same answer as above, what a coincidence)

Vicente Fox isn’t just a past president, he was supposed to be a different kind of Mexican President, but as it turned out, he was just another wolf in sheep’s clothing. Judging from his demeanor and his vocabulary, how much you wanna bet this son of a bitch feels his little empire is threatened by Trumps infamous “wall”? I swear, the first thing that came to my mind when he made his famous statement was “this dude doesn’t sound anything like a President, he sounds like a member of the drug cartel”! Fast forward to Sean Hannity’s interview (2/02/16), and you really get the feeling he’s trying to hide something.


A word to all Mexicans: You are so against Donald Trump, and your reasons are virtually the same words that Vicente Fox uses. Why? Are all Mexicans mindless clones that share one common brain? Do you not aspire to be “Individuals”? Do you not value “independent thought”? Did you not dislike the Presidency of Vicente Fox? Do you not ask yourselves why Mr. Fox is so concerned about Mr. Trump building a wall? Would you not build a wall to protect your country if it was being invaded? Have you ever thought of why you had to leave Mexico in the first place? Corruption? How well off are the citizens in Mexico because of the American industry that went there? How much of that revenue gets to the people? How much gets to the corrupt government?

Did any of you stop to think that with what Donald Trump is going to do, it’s almost inevitable that the corruption that has plagued South America and Mexico for decades will have to change? That wall will stop a lot more than “illegal” aliens, it’s going to put a real crimp on drugs! Time to stand up as individuals and think for yourselves. The country that you took so many chances getting into, for an opportunity to better your lives, and the lives of your families back in Mexico, is in trouble! And for the grace of God, we have a man that is willing to put his money where his mouth is (ZERO CORRUPTION) to do what no other has or could ever do, and he deserves all of “our” respect.


“Whatever it Takes”

Rick Ciotti

New Year 2016 Health


Ok. before I get into this story, I want to acknowledge that I know how much this segment has been missed. I also know that I am not a doctor and do not profess to be.

I am just a dad who found out by accident that holistic medicine did what absolutely no “medical doctor”, “specialist”, or “pharmaceutical medicine” could do. Since that time (11 years ago) I have changed my diet, read a mountain full of literature on the subject, and have seen my once “sickly” daughter grow up to be a beautiful, healthy, 20 year old, who is now in France completing her third year of college.

So, now that I know what I know, my choices are simple……either I shut my mouth and let ya’ll find out the hard way, or, I share what I’ve learned with anyone who will listen. I choose the latter, and I believe that’s called “Giving Back”………………………….


Back in October a friend of mine asked me what I thought of a certain health situation she had going on. I gave her my thoughts, which included for her to go see a holistic doctor. Along with that advise I reminded her that not all people agree with my opinion that a “real doctor” is a holistic doctor, and a “quack” is the M.D. She decided to make an appointment with my doctor, and here’s what happened: Before she was accepted as a patient, she had to attend a “work shop” type conference that Dr. holds after hours a couple times per month. This work shop serves as a means to explain to the perspective patient that wellness is achieved by maintaining “balance” of the body. That treating diseases per say, is NOT what he does, but rather find out why the body is not in balance, and assist in getting back into balance. In achieving this balance, the body can and will heal itself! I went to that work shop (and have gone to several), and in my terms I explain it like this…….with a traditional “medical doctor” (quack), you have 1% skin in the game and they have 99%. With a “holistic doctor” (a real doctor), you have 99% skin in the game and they have 1%.

Definition: With a quack (traditional medical doctor), all you have to do is show up, and pay the bill (unless you have Obama care, and then the rest of us pay that for you). The quack will do whatever is called for via the pharmaceutical companies (yes, they write the protocol for treatment AND the drugs to be administered / prescribed). So, as long as you’re willing to be a financially responsible guinea pig, and willing to swallow toxic chemistry without complaining, the quack will gladly support his extravagant lifestyle with your generous patronage.

On the other hand, the real doctor will determine what is out of balance with your body, and why it is that disease has now occurred. The determination is made through various tests and procedures, including some that the quacks actually use (but don’t seem to understand). When the source(s) are identified, that’s when and where “you” come in. From that point forward, it is up to you to undo the past (that got you into this mess), and face the future with determination…….hence, the percentage of “skin in the game”.

This is the part that separates “victims” from “patients”.

Definition of a victim: A victim is a person that just wants to piss and moan about their problems. They like the attention that being a sickly idiot brings them, and they want nothing to do with controlling their health. Instead, they prefer “out of control” and the idiotic belief that somehow, someone, will offer them an “anti stupid” pill that corrects their neglect. Here’s the ironic part…….they often find it with the quack (or so they’re told)!

Definition of a patient: A patient is someone that has no problem facing fact. Has little or no problem accepting the fact that “they” have allowed this to happen, and “they” are ready and willing to do “whatever it Takes” (wait a minute, I recognize that quote) to change their habits and behavior in an effort to establish “balance” (optimal health). They’re not looking for hand outs, sympathy, a “magic” pill, or somebody to blame everything on. No, they are looking for help, and “REAL” results. This is the purpose of the work shop…….to determine who’s who. Who is likely to waste precious time that could be spent on someone willing to accept responsibility, and who is there for all the right reasons!


A true belief and understanding in God is an important factor as well. Now, I know I’m treading on thin ice here, but here’s how I have come to see it: Many folks are under the impression that to believe in modern medicine “is” in accordance with believing in God. I am here to tell you THAT IS NOT TRUE! Some think God inspired the modern medical doctors…..No He Didn’t………Pharmaceutical companies did! How else can you explain man taking what God provided, slicing and dicing it, applying for and obtaining a patent, creating the criteria and curriculum for “med school”, writing the procedures and protocol for diagnosis and treatment, and doling it out to the sick? Vs: Using what God provided in it’s original state, and letting “the perfect machine” (the human body) do what it was designed by God to do…….Heal itself! If you don’t get the point by now, stop reading this and stick with the quack…….I definitely can’t be of assistance!

The person in question completed the workshop and was scheduled an appointment. First order of business was to have lab testing done. When the results came back they weren’t good, cancer flags were raised. It seems there were two types of cancer that the lab work indicated, Melanoma, and Breast. The “stage” (which is all but an irrelevant term) could have been looked at as two. The results were discussed, and a plan was formed (I will not discuss specific procedures), but a “purge” was implemented as well as strict dietary changes.

Now, I know this person very well, and she is the type that is very determined once she’s put her mind to it. She also has the complete support of her family, so is it any wonder that at her fifth appointment, and second set of lab tests, she was informed that the numbers indicated no cancer? Furthermore, thermography tests that showed a huge area from chest to throat, now showed a faint (and I mean faint, I looked at it and never even saw anything until it was pointed out) spot about the size of a nickel.

That was five weeks ago, and several appointments have transpired since (including one today at 3:00pm 1/04/16…….yeah, I’m late getting this issue done). Her health continues to be remarkable. Other than leaving for appointments occasionally, she’s never missed any work. She’s had zero prescription medication, zero x-rays, zero mammograms, zero MRI’s, zero radiation, zero chemotherapy, and zero surgery! How do I know all this for certain? She’s my office manager and she works 5 feet away from me!

Coincidentally, a friend of hers had developed cancer prior to her. This person chose conventional means for dealing with the situation (The Mayo Clinic). After a lengthy rollercoaster ride, chemotherapy, radiation, remission, reoccurrence, chemotherapy, radiation, and over $650,000.00 in expenses, this person passed away. Ironically, that bad news came one hour after my office manager got her good news. By the way, her total cost from start to finish is $6,000.00 !

FYI: Radiation and Chemotherapy destroys your immune system to the point, that should you start with that course of action, you need to stay with it. I have heard my doctor say (with a heavy heart) that because of the less than favorable results, post chemo / radiation patients can no longer be accepted.

            Note: I’ve heard it said many times “well, I would go that route, but my insurance won’t cover it”. Well, that’s good, because what honest doctor that actually yielded results would want anything to do with insurance?

Here’s what I say: With the difference I pointed out earlier between the “quacks”, that take insurance and yield zero results, and the “real doctor” that doesn’t take insurance, but does yield results……..what the hell does that say about your insurance? What does it say about the insurance company? What does that say about the term “health care”? I can tell you this: “They” wouldn’t know real “health” if it slapped them across the face, and “they” definitely don’t “care” about you, for anything other than a meal ticket!

New Year 2016

2016 HAPPY

Something Political: (I actually got several complaints for NOT having political content lately)

I think the greatest thing about this year will be knowing it’s Obama’s last year……or is it?

I’m not into the “conspiracy” theories, but I do pay more attention than most in regards to politics and history. Obama is not “just another president”, in which he does what he can, and leaves office at the end of it all hoping history will look at his presidency favorably.

No, this guy has always had a totally different agenda. Everything about this guy is different than virtually any president in history. (I don’t want to say what I think he is, so I won’t…….But, if he was, wouldn’t everything he’s done make sense?) In seven years, “rights” have been made “wrongs”, “wrongs” have been made “right”, “racism” has never been more prevalent, “patriotism” has been frowned upon, “American exceptionalism” has become a bad thing, “losers” are now “winners”, “law enforcement” have become “murderous thugs” and “disrespected”, “murderous thugs” have become “role models” and “respected”. This country has literally been turned upside down and inside out, but here’s the interesting part… all happened uncontested! Only now, since Donald Trump has come out and dared to go up against any and all political correctness, are the “silent majority” coming out of the shadows to be counted. The problem with that is, it could be “too little too late”.

I’ve studied this guy pretty good. I’ve read “Rules for Radicals”, and am reading the Quran now, and here’s what I’ve come up with……..this guy is playing for keeps! He is definitely NOT going to walk away from what he’s started. Here’s what I think is likely to happen: If he sees that Hillary Clinton has a “guaranteed win”, he will back out (superficially) and let things “seemingly” change as usual. At that point, she will continue the irreversible change of the America that “was”. However, if he gets the slightest idea that all is not guaranteed to go his way, he will seize control of this country, and it will happen under UN / Martial law athority!

“What a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive”


I realize the picture I’ve painted looks pretty gloomy, right? Well, it is, that’s just the reality of it…..”the way it is”, but, here’s the good news.

When you set out to deceive people, and especially when your motivation is ideological, you have no “tried and true” history warning you of “all” potential obstacles to overcome, no “true” facts, nothing other than “reinforced propaganda”, “media supported” story line (narrative), “educational indoctrination” (which started mind bending our youth back in the 70’s), and “celebrity endorsement” (sounds shallow, but people eat their trendy opinions up!). Everything in life is “cyclical” folks, and when you’re up to no good, God makes sure to let you know…….”You ain’t as smart as you thought you were Barack”! Donald Trump! He is the “wild card”, the one that Obama can’t factor into his strategy, the one that “crooked Republicans” can’t contain, the one that “establishment” can’t steer, and the “one” that CAN “reverse” the “irreversible”, and unfortunately, the one who has a high likelihood of the same fate that befell John F. Kennedy! If ever there was a “high value” assassination candidate, it would be Donald. I truly think the liberals would go that far, and when coupled with the list of dead bodies a mile long behind the Clintons, well I think you get the point! So, what can “we the people” do? Stand strong, stand loud, stand proud, and stand with Donald Trump. Do not be afraid to bring him up in conversation, don’t be afraid to be politically incorrect (actually, say and do everything you can that’s NOT politically correct). You all are going to have to be more vocal, and fight harder than you’ve ever imagined this next year! Yard signs, bumper stickers, Face Book, banners, bill boards, flags, tee shirts, hats, anything and everything that you can get to promote Donald Trump will also serve as his “safety net”. While providing safety for Mr. Trump, his popularity will aid in exposing the “destroyers” of our country for what they are, and help put those “genies” back in their bottles! Not trying to “doom say” anything folks, just saying what many of you have thought but didn’t feel comfortable saying. This year is not the time for thinking “there’s no way a liberal can win again”……..Hell no, that’s what we thought in 2012! This time there can be NO ONE standing on the side lines. Don’t forget, Obama has hedged the liberal bet by getting voters from segments unheard of in the past (ex felons, illegal aliens, double votes, rigged ballot machines, Obamacare, and the list goes on). We have got to do an overwhelming “BLITZ” this election, for the very survival of America!


Before I get into the next segment, I want to just write this down: Everything that exists, all that we know, everywhere, ALL, is “round”, “circular”, “cyclical”, a “cycle”! Nothing is really “linear”, or has a “start” and a “stop”. I don’t know that this thought has occurred to anyone else, but it occurs to me. I also don’t know that I’ll ever write about it in depth specifically, but I brought it up now for a few reasons. One, to let you know that with this (mentality? belief? mindset?), whatever it is, it’s the reason I see what I see and believe what I believe. Two, to remind you (anyone who doesn’t necessarily believe in God) of what God reminds us of continually (there’s a lot to that, which is why the Bible is so thick). Three, by writing it down (even just the little bit that I did) it will haunt me the rest of my life unless I did write about it extensively! Four, I think it has something to do with this next segment, but ya’ll be the judge……….