Ice Melts – The Bengals F’ing Blow Up! – 2016 AFC Wild-Card – Pittsburgh VS Cincinnati

After letting the pain and emotion of the 2016 AFC Wild-Card game subside for a few days, a game that’s quickly become known as “The Meltdown At Paul Brown Stadium”, I have to admit that despite the way that game ended the Bengals had an amazing year. Twelve wins and four losses. With each of the four losses coming against teams that would all advance to the playoffs.

And after our starting quarterback Andy Dalton went out with a thumb injury, things could have easily fallen apart, but they didn’t, they still managed to win with a rookie backup quarterback from Alabama named AJ McCarron.

And the amazing thing is, with that backup quarterback the team scored more points in the second half of that playoff game against Pittsburgh than in the second half of all six previous playoff games combined. (That’s just from memory but I’m going for it)

And with under two minutes left in the game, with under two minutes left till our first playoff win in 25 years, we had the lead, we had the ball, we were easily within field goal range, and the game was all but in the bag.

But time and chance and a pro-Pittsburgh bias have their effects on all things. (That’s an exact quote from Ecclesiastes and I’m sure of it) But seriously, the more I pay attention to it, the more I see that pro-Pittsburgh bias everywhere. Keep your eyes open and I’m sure you’ll start to see it too.

So, should we have won? Absolutely. But we didn’t. And it was an ugly, excruciating, can’t sleep for days, kind of loss. And if you’re like me it would have been easier to live with had we not scored all.

Can we blame the Refs, Jeremy Hill, Vontaze Burfict, or Adam Jones? Sure. But after 25 years of losing in the post-season, what good would it do? Because in my opinion, even when things seem so simple and obvious, they seldom are.

Despite recent improvements, the Bengal’s franchise, the franchise the legendary Paul Brown built, has been somewhat of a train wreck for close to 30 years now. We all know the knocks on the team. We hear them every week from a biased national media, and from that one neighbor we all have who flies a Steelers flag every Sunday. And we all know that when it comes to the Bengals, we cheer for them, invest our time and our emotions in them, at our own peril.

My hope for next year is that the core of the players, and assistant coaches, stay on.

I can’t say I have that same hope for the Head Coach Marvin Lewis, or Mike Brown the Team’s Owner. Because, other than the name of the team, they are about the only common denominator in the longest playoff losing streak in the NFL. But at this rate, we could easily spend the rest of our lives with those two right where they are today.

What bothers me most about that is outwardly they don’t seem to care about their lack of playoff success as much as their fans do.

And after a meltdown like we saw in the 2016 AFC Wild-Card game, I for one want to see their pain. Pain like we saw on Hill’s face as he stood alone on the sideline after the fumble, or the pain in the frantic and exaggerated Burfict explaining how he tucked his shoulder to avoid a more serious hit on the Pittsburgh receiver, or the pain as Jones cried on the bench, his head buried in his hands, as the game ended.

Finally, I want to know that Marvin Lewis and Mike Brown have a plan to make sure a meltdown of such epic proportions never happens again. Because without at least that, for myself and many real Bengals fans, the pain is simply too much.

CFR Christmas Party 2015 – Speeches Are Easy – Titles Are Hard

Merry Christmas 2015Good evening.  And thanks for being here. It’s hard to believe another year has passed and we’re once again back at John’s for our year end Christmas party

But it is nice to see you guys with a beer in your hand someplace other than behind your desk. Which reminds me, I have a few friends who think for that reason alone, that we have the best jobs ever!

Anyway.. as some of you know, every year for as long as I can remember, our Christmas parties have include some great food, wonderful gifts from Rose, a few silly awards, and an inspirational speech from John.

Well..This year things have Changed!

The awards and the speech from John will be noticeably missing. And that’s a good thing.. of course I mean that “CHANGE”.. that change is a good thing.

But speaking of change, it would do us all well to remember that the only constant in life is change, and more importantly, that life does not get better by chance, but by change. And the same can be said of our jobs, our marketing efforts, and the company as a whole.

I for one think we have certainly seen a lot of good things happen this year because of change. From new procedures to new ways to market our services. A few changes that come to mind are more of a business to business focus using LinkedIn, and believe it or not, even some old fashioned marketing using the Unites States Postal Service. And no discussion of change would be complete without remembering some good people that have moved on, or mentioning some new good people that have taken their place.

But despite all the change we’ve gone through in the last few years. We are still not where we need to be. However, thanks to the efforts of everyone in this room, we’re not where we use to be.

So, tonight I’d like to challenge each of you to help shape the change necessary to move us toward our goals in 2016.

Goals of better customer service, better customer and vendor communication, better prospecting, better blogging, more effective content distribution, and more innovative and more personal social outreach. Just to name a few.

And this is not just wishful thinking. This is critical thinking, because let’s be honest.. the competition is tough. And the rental, security camera, and computer service industries are as tough as they come. And for every vendor in one of our industries who sees us as a marketing partner, and who’s thankful for our business, there’s another who sees us a competitor, and they would just as soon see us fail.

And these competitors, these people who would prefer we just go away, they’re smart people. They’re motivated people who know their business and  most are way bigger than we are. And what their marketing efforts lack in creativity, time, or effort, they make up for with money and outsourcing.

And that’s what we are up against.

So the way I see it, our only chance to survive, our only chance to be back here next year, is to work harder than our competition, to work smarter than our competition, and most importantly to have a better team than our competition.

And we do that by coming to work every day, staying focused on our goals, working together, and always moving a little close to where we need to be as a company.

But we can’t fool ourselves into thinking that will happen if we just come to work and sit quietly in our own little safe space. Because it won’t.

We each have to join in and participate in discussions and share out thoughts with the team, we each have to  help others around us, help our vendors, help our customers, and we each must do this in every way we can, and across every platform we can, every day. Because that’s what it will take and that’s what good social marketing does.

And if we do that, I know 2016 can be our best year ever, and in no time we’ll make it back here together… but we can only make it together.

Thanks again for all your hard work. Thanks for listening. And Merry Christmas!

Andy Wendt

The Real Top 10 Reasons Your Company Needs Security Cameras

10 Real Reasons A Business Needs Security CamerasIn case you missed it, the company I work for, CFR Inc, has a division called They, as you might be able to guess, sell and install security camera systems for businesses nationwide.

The other day I was having some fun with the staff brainstorming a top 10 list.

The top 10 list was to help explain why businesses needed security cameras. Simple, right?

Well, it appears my top 10 list was not quite the politically correct content the marketing guys had in mind. So, in the spirit of truth and honesty, and with a little bit of a “toughen up cupcake” attitude, I’ve decided to publish my list myself. Which I will call the top 10 REAL reasons your business needs security cameras.

And now without further delay…

The Real Top 10 Reasons Your Company Needs Security Cameras

10 – An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
9 – National Take You Kids To Work Day is real. Just let that sink in.
8 – 1.2 million shoplifters a year wont’ catch themselves.
7 – Things actually do go bump in the night.
6 – Americans spend over 100 billion dollars a year on illegal drugs. That money has to come from somewhere.
5 – Trust But Verify!
4 – There are 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S.
3 – If you want to know how your business runs when you’re not there.. watch your business when you’re not there.
2 – “Screws fall out all the time, the world is in imperfect place.”
1 – If you want your business to do all it can for you.. then do all you can for your business.

And that’s the real list!

If you ever need an honest opinion of your company’s security camera needs give me a call anytime.

Thanks for reading,

Andy Wendt
Vice President
877-422-1907 x226

The Strangest Thing I Saw In Charleston

It was a hot day in Charleston, it was a Tuesday, and it was a good day.. right up to the point that it wasn’t.

Drayton HallMy Southern bell wannabe girlfriend and I were on our second day of vacation. We were staying in downtown Charleston at the Francis Marion hotel and we were loving it. We had gotten up early to get in a full day’s worth of sightseeing. Our first stop that morning was a tour of the Drayton Hall plantation. A Georgian Palladian plantation house that was completed in 1742. Beyond its beauty and its history I still find it incredible that in close to 300 years not a single effort was made by any of the seven generations of Drayton’s who inhabited the mansion to add electricity or plumbing. Just keep thinking about that.

After we left Drayton Hall our next stop was to be Patriot’s Point Naval and Maritime Museum which is located directly to the East of Charleston, across the river, and across the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. It’s an interesting place with the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, and the destroyer USS Lafey, moored there and open to the public. We had seen the ships in the distance the day before from our ferry as we took a tour of Fort Sumter on Memorial Day. Fort Sumter is in the middle of Charleston Harbor and I would say it’s a must do if you’re ever visiting the area. But back to the trip, we had just left Drayton Hall.. so being addicted to technology we simply punched Patriot’s Point in our GPS and started driving to wherever we were told. What could go wrong?


Which in hindsight reminds me: “Screws fall out all the time, the world is an imperfect place.”

After a few minutes of following those GPS directions and wondering why in the world it had us going the way it did and how could 15 miles take over an hour.. we did what any rational adults would do, we turned the GPS off. Problem solved.

Those brief moments of carefree driving lasted until we noticed a Highway Patrol car blocking the on ramp to the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. The bridge was closed in both directions.. and that’s when this good day wasn’t so good anymore. Lacking any better plan to get across the river and continue our sightseeing we headed back to downtown Charleston and the river’s edge to catch the Water Taxi that runs from the East side of the Charleston peninsula across the river to Patriot’s Point.

Of course we weren’t the only ones to have this idea. There was quite a crowd waiting to catch the Water Taxi as the bridge closure had left few good options to get across the river. As the Water Taxi emptied on its return trip from Patriot’s Point the captain came up and announced he only had room for 10 passengers. The waiting crowd numbered into the 20’s. That’s when I noticed a well dressed polite man asking out loud if anyone would mind if he was one of those 10. He explained he had a meeting with Ben Carson in a few minutes and he was afraid he might miss the meeting if he couldn’t get across the river soon. Of course hearing this I had to ask if he was meeting with “THE Dr. Ben Carson”. To which he politely replied “yes”. Though not quite sure where I had seen his face before at least then I knew he had to be somebody.

No one in the crowd objected to the man taking a spot to leave immideately, and with more gratitude than I’ve seen publicly expressed in my life, the well dressed man boarded the Water Taxi.Bridge

As luck would have it within minutes of that Water Taxi leaving another arrived. The remainder of the crowd boarded and we were all off to Patriot’s Point. Ultimately the two taxis arrived at the dock at almost the same time.

There was some talk about the well dressed man on the ferry ride over, and after hearing his name I expressed my regret that I did not place his face earlier. I also expressed a little frustration that he would not follow me back on Twitter. Because as any Twitter addict will tell you, there are only two types of people, those who will and those who will not follow you back. #duh

Water-TaxiAfter later becomming stranded at Patriot’s Point, as the Water Taxi company was totally swamped with passingers, I realized the only saving grace to this day, and it was a day that by the end needed saving (just think heat, lines, hours of waiting with the feeling of being helplessly stranded on an island and missing your dinner reservations all because a half billion dollar modern marvel of a bridge was closed due to some buffoon overturning a semi full of toxic chemicals) was that someone of this man’s importance and position was stuck in the same heat, the same lines, and had to deal with the same nonsense we did to get to where he needed to go. Yes, what I’m saying is misery does indeed love company.

But to wrap this up, and to get to the strange part, when that well dressed man got off the Water Taxi… he took off running! And lets face it, you dont see adults dressed in business attire run all that often. At least not since they canceled the original Hawaii Five-O.

But again, somehow seeing something so simple reminded me that sometimes even “important” people fall victim to time and chance. But on the bright side, despite all that well dressed man has gone through in the last few years, and the fact that he had to be a hot sweaty mess by the time he found Dr. Ben Carson, at least I’m sure his house has electricity and plumbing.

P.S. That well dressed man mentioned above, and seen in the blue shirt running in the video below, is the former Governor of South Carolina and the current U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, Mark Sanford.

And that was the strangest thing I saw in Charleston.

And A Man Will Worship Something

Having just seen a tweet about a “freedom from religion group” and a reply that accused them of “Nihilism”, I am reminded of this very true quote from Emerson:

The gods we worship write their names on our faces; be sure of that. And a man will worship something;  have no doubt about that, either. He may think that his tribute is paid in secret in the dark recesses of his heart, but it will out. That which dominates will determine his life and character. Therefore, it behooves us to be careful what we worship, for what we are worshipping we are becoming. ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Shorter Of Breath And One Day Closer To Death

Because it never gets old:

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain.
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you.
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again.
The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older,
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

Every year is getting shorter never seem to find the time.
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I’d something more to say.

Time – Pink Floyd 

P.S. Thanks to @JessRighthouse for sticking this in my head this morning! #CoffeeTweets

A Life Of Illusion


What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come nearly all that we call human history—money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery—the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.

God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing. — C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

Thoughts On Life And Ferguson

Thinking: You “judge” men one at a time. Not in groups. But by what they do in this life. Not by what their parents did, where they came from, what color they are, or how rich, or how poor they might be. But if we judge men through the stained lens of history, then in a not so small way we perpetuate that history.. giving it life today, and for countless tomorrows.

Happy 25th Anniversary – Sometimes The Treasure Is Not In The Vault

Twenty five years ago I was working part time for the City of Middletown, Ohio. I had the good fortune to work in their IT department with some great people. I was majoring in Systems Analysis at Miami University and driving to Oxford, Ohio for classes. I was living in a small one bedroom apartment and paying $230 a month in rent. A gallon of gas was $1.12. It is most certainly a time long gone.

Then one day I noticed a help wanted add in the newspaper. A local company was looking for a full time computer technician. The next day I put on a pair of dress pants, a shirt and a tie, grabbed a few copies of my resume, and walked out the door. While watching the addresses change as I drove down First Avenue, I crossed an old set of railroad tracks and finally came to a stop, the road had ended.

Of course in 1989, with no cell phone or GPS, every such trip was an adventure. But I had found the office of Parking in a gravel lot, and walking toward a half abandoned paper mill, I could not have imagined how my life was about to change. A few minutes later I found myself in what could best be described as a wood paneled throwback to the 1950’s. Stepping into a small office across from a giant vault door, I met John Beagle and Bill Schiering. John was the CEO and Bill the Sales Manager. They explained to me that they were in the business of renting computer, tablets, and other IT equipment to businesses in south west Ohio.

After answering a few questions about DOS, what I was currently doing for a living, and my driving record, I had a new job. January 16, 1989 was my first day at my first full time job. More than that.. it was the first day of a career. I was twenty five years old.

Today, that all seems like a dream. One of the only things that remains the same is the amazing opportunity I have every day to work with John Beagle, who is perhaps the most innovative and generous individual I have ever known. And every day we try our best to make things better for our customers, our employees, and our vendors.

Though I can’t possibly begin to share all that we’ve been through in these twenty five years, I can tell you it’s been fun, challenging, and a lifetime’s worth of good fortune to work for such an amazing company.

So, there you have it, a little bit more from my real life.  A post about my 25th anniversary. And yes, there was a party and the cake was awesome! Cake with champagne.. that must be an acquired taste.

Thanks for reading, and again, a special thanks to John Beagle,, and everyone over the years that I’ve had the pleasure to work with!

For a few pics of the party, and my drive to work that morning (I can’t resist a good sunrise) click here.