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Running the Race Personal Checks

The Finish Line

personal checks product page Kasey SteinbrinckYou have your eyes on the prize. You are running this race not against the hundreds of others who press on alongside of you, but against your own limitations.

Whether you are running a marathon, or just a mile, you have one objective…crossing that finish line!

There are moments when you think of how easy it would be to stop. But you don’t. You keep running until you reach your goal.

Anyone who’s ever pushed themselves to carry on will be able to relate to Running the Race Personal Checks from Check Advantage. This exclusive design features the original artwork of someone who knows the victorious feeling of finishing.

If you’ve pushed through the pain, stretched yourself and reached the end of the race…you are a true champion!

Get your own Running the Race Personal Checks right now!

Order them today for as low as $10.95 for singles or $13.95 for duplicate checks.

Ordering your personal checks from Check Advantage is easy!

Just follow the step by step instructions below, fill in the necessary information, and then choose the number of checks you need by clicking on the price chart at the bottom of the page.

It’s okay if you have questions. Don’t be afraid to call us at 1-888-657-9758 for a little help.

View original Running the Race Personal Checks product page.

7 Tips To Get Off Unemployment ASAP From Someone Who’s Been There

Online article on job hunting for JobMob

If you’re out of work and hunting for a job, you’re not alone. At first, that may be kind of comforting, but it also means there’s plenty of competition.

Not too long ago I was in your shoes. The syndicated radio company I worked for as a producer shut its doors in January of 2009 – not a very good time to start a job search by any means. It took me about nine months to find a part-time job and more than a year to get back to full-time employment.

But I learned a few things along the way (many of them the hard way). I can’t guarantee you that following these seven suggestions will make your time unemployed completely pain-free, but I know they’ll help make it shorter.

1. Look Busy

You’ve probably heard it’s a good idea to do some volunteering, freelancing or consulting work while you look for a new career. That’s often easier said than done. Looking for job can be a full-time job in itself. Believe me – I understand!

However, it really is important to make it look like you aren’t sitting around in your underwear all day.

In fact, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently held a hearing looking into cases where employers were screening out jobless applicants. Some businesses even come right out and say it in their want ads, but most will simply toss your resume in the trash.

That doesn’t make much sense – especially in today’s economy when plenty of good people are looking for work. But the harsh reality is that many potential employers are short-sighted enough to assume that if you got laid off, you’re lazy and worthless.

Don’t let them think that! Find some way to be productive.

When I lost my job a couple of years ago – I’d never written a blog post in my life. As I was applying for jobs, I found some companies asking for links to my work online. I didn’t have any. So I started a somewhat-goofy personal blog. That got me noticed by a newspaper, and led to the job that got me off unemployment.

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer – you might be surprised at how easy it is – especially if you write about what you know. Check out sites and services where you can write How-To articles and explain things from your industry. You never know who’ll find that material and what it could lead to. At the very least, you’ll establish yourself as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

If you’re just not into writing, look for other ways to stay busy. Volunteering can lead to connections, and it lets potential employers see that you’re a good citizen who contributes to society. Visit networking events and job fairs in your community too. Shake some hands and meet some people. Opportunities like that can be even more valuable than an actual job interview.

2. Get Sharp on Social Media

You wouldn’t walk into a job interview without taking a shower and making yourself look presentable. The same goes for how you present yourself online. You might need to clean things up a little bit.

It’s a smart idea to look up information on the people who interview you, as well as other power players working for potential employers. Just remember – if you can Google them, they can Google you.

Only now am I realizing that my profile photo on LinkedIn probably wasn’t helping my job search. It’s a photo of me with a cheesy smile wearing my trademark baseball cap and giving a thumbs-up. I thought it had personality and maybe a little class (since it is in black and white).

After taking a second look at the pic – I understand just how ridiculous it might appear to someone else. Others have told me that it makes me look really young. I can just imagine potential employers looking at the picture and immediately labeling me an immature rookie.

Take some time to think about the kind of image you want to project online. Get the keg party photos off of Facebook, and stop dropping f-bombs in your status updates (at least until you’re gainfully employed).

3. Make Your Resume and Cover Letter Stand Out

Buying some parchment paper for your printer is no longer the best way to make a nice-looking resume. That’s about all I did when I first found myself looking for work.

Nearly seven months into the hunt, a friend helped me jazz it up a little bit. She added some color, borders and headers. Then we saved it as a PDF file that could easily be emailed to prospects. I was kicking myself for not doing that sooner because call-backs definitely became more frequent.

Cover letters are another area where I messed up. For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to include my tragic unemployment sob story in the letter. Maybe I thought it would show off my writing skills or that they’d see me as some triumphant overcomer – but that was not the case.

When they say to keep your cover letters short and to the point – listen to them. I just had the opportunity to hire some graphic designers, and now I know it’s totally true. H.R. reps and interviewers will appreciate concise cover letters highlighting the positives of your career and education.

Save your life story for the interview.

That being said…it is wise to write unique cover letters for each job opportunity. To save some time, you may want to create a form letter with one or two short paragraphs you can adjust for different individuals and companies.

Just try to keep everything organized. I once sent the wrong employment application to someone because the file names were both Application.doc. Talk about awkward!

4. Lower Your Standards

During those first few months of unemployment, I was pretty picky about jobs for which I chose to apply. I soon found out just how tough the job market was including how competitive things were out there.

Sometimes you just need to get back in the saddle and start working again – even if you feel like the job is beneath you. I can understand that you don’t want to miss out on your dream job, but the longer you wait the harder it gets to explain that nasty gap in employment.

You should also realize that in many cases, you can still collect partial unemployment insurance benefits while you work a part-time job.

There are times when temporary gigs and part-time jobs can lead to something better. However, in this cost-cutting economy, keep in mind that some employers will do whatever they can to avoid paying benefits. For that reason – it’s always smart to keep looking for the next open door.

5. Expand Your Search

Don’t rely on just one source for job openings.

I can remember getting email alerts for job opportunities at businesses that had already rejected my application. That’s annoying. It may also be a sign that you need to stop looking at the same websites every day.

Think about places where you’d like to work. Go right to their company websites and look for openings posted there. Even if there’s nothing available, you can still make connections and send off your resume and/or portfolio to the powers that be.

Besides the normal job search engines, try checking out state employment websites, and don’t forget about Craigslist or sites specific to your industry.

One thing I’d say you should never do is pay for someone to give you job listings and opportunities. That includes job postings from many staffing agencies that only give vague descriptions of the opening. Make some calls, do a little detective work, and find out who’s hiring for yourself.

6. Expand Your Horizons

Maybe it’s time you stopped working for someone else and started your own business. Working for yourself is the true American dream, and if you ask me – it would be great there were more successful small businesses in this country.

Small businesses are the fuel that powers job creation. A study by the Kauffman Foundation (PDF) found that startups create around 3-million jobs a year in the U.S.

Now may be a great time to let your entrepreneurial spirit run wild. Just be aware of what you’re getting into. Running your own business is often time-consuming, especially at the beginning when it’s also tough to make a profit. This is not an option for the faint of heart.

However, you may also be interested in less stressful forms of self-employment. Look into things like affiliate marketing opportunities and other ways to earn passive income.

If you don’t have the ambition to be your own boss, you should still try to be open-minded about your career path. Think outside of the box about areas where your skills could be useful. You’ll stand out from the pack when employers see your resume because you have something different to offer.

Just don’t pigeonhole yourself into one type of career.

In my first couple of months on unemployment, I interviewed with a marketing agency for a job as a blogger for some of their big clients. At the time, I was really focused on being a media producer. I told them I thought “I’d be bored just writing all the time.” Needless to say – I did not get the job, and they made it clear my attitude toward was the main reason why.

I didn’t mean to have a bad attitude. My point was I thought I had even more to offer. But I learned you shouldn’t try to turn a job opportunity into something it’s not – at least not before you get hired.

7. Have Stories to Tell

We all know it’s important to prepare for those job interviews. We read up on the company history, review common interview questions and rehearse in front of the bathroom mirror. But all too often your plan goes right out the window.

The bottom line is every employer wants someone who can solve problems and overcome challenges. Think of a few different stories from your career, schooling and life in which you emerged victorious.

You’d be surprised how the same stories could be an answer to a variety of questions like “What’s your greatest weakness?” “Tell me about a time you struggled to meet a deadline” or “What kind of work environment is best for you?”

It may take some practice. But if you have five different stories to tell in the interview – you’ll be in good shape. The worst thing that can happen in a job interview is that you let the interviewee ask all the questions and do all the talking.

Keep Your Chin Up!

One of the toughest things about being unemployed in a time like this is dealing with the rejection and the stress. But guess what? “How do you deal with rejection” and “How do you handle stress” are also common interview questions!

It ain’t easy…but you can’t let yourself get depressed about your situation.

We’d love to hear your tips and suggestions for job hunters! What have you learned that helps shorten your time being unemployed?

View original article at JobMob.

Route 66 Personal Checks

The Main Street of America

Copywriting sample Kasey Steinbrinck - Check AdvantagePay tribute to the most famous roadway in the United States with these cool personal checks from Check Advantage!

Route 66 originally ran from Chicago, Illinois all the way to Los Angeles, California. Countless dreamers would travel the scenic route carrying with them the hope of a better life out west.

The real Route 66 was removed from the list of U.S. highways more than 25 years ago as the interstate system slowly made it obsolete. But the so-called “Mother Road” has a rich history that lives on.

Get your kicks with Route 66 Personal Checks from Check Advantage! Each design features a different vintage vehicle. They’re the kind of cars you would have taken on a road trip to Hollywood during this storied roadway’s heyday!

These unique retro checks will remind you that life is a highway, and you’re the driver!

Order your own Route 66 Personal Checks right now!

Get them today for as low as $10.95 for singles or $13.95 for duplicate checks.

Ordering your personal checks from Check Advantage is easy!

Just follow the step by step instructions below, fill in the necessary information, and then choose the number of checks you need by clicking on the price chart at the bottom of the page.

It’s okay if you have questions. Don’t be afraid to call us at 1-888-657-9758 for a little help.

View the original Route 66 Personal Checks product page.

Rediscovering the Magic

Walking through the park with my young daughter, I noticed her watching the changing leaves drift to the ground.

She knelt down and started examining each leaf individually. Finding her favorite colors and shapes, she stuffed them in her pockets to take home.

Kasey Steinbrinck Copywriting sample Check AdvantageI wished she could always look at the world with such a sense of wonder. But I knew there would be a time when such simple things would no longer have the same magic about them.

At least for that afternoon, I was able to go back and witness the sort of amazement that can only be experienced through the eyes of a child.

At Check Advantage, we made sure to give a little extra attention to each leaf pictured in our Autumn Leaves Personal Checks.

As always, these designs can only be found at Check Advantage.

Make our Autumn Leaves Personal Checks your today!

Get them for as low as $10.95 for singles and $13.95 for duplicates.

Ordering your personal checks from Check Advantage is easy!

Just follow the step by step instructions below, fill in the necessary information, and then choose the number of checks you need by clicking on the price chart at the bottom of the page.

It’s okay if you have questions. Don’t be afraid to call us at 1-888-657-9758 for a little help.

View Original Autumn Leaves Personal Checks product page.

Are We Losing Our Creative Edge?

creativity article - kasey steinbrinck

Is there a creativity crisis in America?

According to an online article from Newsweek, research shows that while we are becoming more intelligent with each generation, it seems that Americans are becoming less creative.

That’s not a good sign.

Creativity and intelligence may be correlated, but they are actually two very different traits. Long-term studies on creativity conducted by E. Paul Torrance show that a person’s level of creativity has a direct effect on their success in life – specifically as an entrepreneur or innovator.

Entrepreneurs and small business owners need to be creative. So if we are losing our creative edge – what does that say about the future of small businesses in this country?

Creativity is one of our passions here at The Folder Store. We love creating folders for businesses like yours, and we love hearing about the creative ways you use the custom folders even more!

Because creativity is such an important part of what we do – we wanted to take a close look at the issue and what can be done about it.

What Studies Show

Research conducted at the College of William & Mary just a few months ago found some surprising results concerning creativity. As part of the current research, 300,000 children and adults took test developed by Torrance in the late ’50s to measure creativity.

Results showed that creativity scores – like IQ scores – had been on the rise until around the year 1990. That’s when CQ scores started a downward trend and lead researchers call the decrease “very significant.”

Keeping your creative edge is vital to your career. An IBM poll of CEOs identified creativity as the top leadership quality of the future. So if we know creativity is crucial – why are we letting things slide?

Possible Problems

It’s unclear what’s really causing a lack of creativity in America. But other countries around the world are gaining ground while the U.S. is falling behind. The way we teach our children may be one of the causes.

Even in China – many schools are now veering away from a strict curriculum and leaning toward a style that lets students learn through their own experimentation.

Here in America – we seem to be going in the opposite direction. Many public schoolteachers have become frustrated with hard-core curriculum and standardized testing. They spend most of their time making sure students pass those tests so the school the work for can keep getting funding from the government.

As a result, children only memorize answers and aren’t really learning. They aren’t developing creative skills.

Other culprits often blamed for the lack of creativity are TV, video games and other forms of entertainment.

Media can often encourage creativity. But it’s like food. If you eat too much of anything you’re going to get fat. Perhaps our culture spends so much time consuming all the different forms of media – that many of us have no time left to create!

What is Creativity?

The accepted definition of creativity is the “ability to produce something new through imaginative skill.”

Creativity doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an artist, musician or actor. Having creativity means you can think outside the box to solve problems and come up with new ideas.

The Newsweek article explained that creativity requires both the right and left side of the brain. It involves divergent and convergent thinking. Divergent thinking means coming up with a variety of new ideas and possible solutions. Convergent thinking is the process of working through those ideas, combining them, and coming up with the best way to solve the problem.

If you feel like an uncreative person – don’t worry. While some people may be born with creativity in their genes, it is also a skill that can be learned and developed. Think of your creativity like a muscle. The more you work it, the stronger it gets.

CLICK HERE to view original post on The Folder Store Blog

Casting Brett Favre the Movie

(Written July 2009. Long before much more Favre drama would transpire)

casting brett favre the movie

Being unemployed can have its benefits. Since I was just sitting around at my computer job searching, listening to Pandora, watching viral videos and whatever…I found out very quickly that my once childhood-hero who I now loathe has decided to stay retired this time. Or at least we all hope so.

I could go on and on complaining about Favre and how this is a relief, and how maybe now we can all forget about it…but I won’t do that. Instead I realized that if this really is the end to Favre’s football career, I can finally start writing that screenplay. Favre: From the Bayou to the Bay of Green to the Jets and almost to the Vikings. Ok it’s a working title.

What’s even more fun is casting the actors I want to play in the movie about the greatest most indecisive QB of all time.

Another blogger joked about Ethan Hawke playing #4 and I think that’s a pretty good pick.

Not only is Ethan a great actor but he can still play young-favre as well as crotchety old-man-favre, and even strung out on Vicodine Favre.
For Favre’s wife Deanna we have to go with someone classy who can really show a lot of emotion. My pick…Jennifer Connelly. However, if Nancy Pelosi were a few years younger and into acting she’d also do well.
The most influential person in Brett’s life had to be his dad Irv. Irv was a tough one, I wanted to cast someone who could really connect to that hardened blue-collar angry type of character. So Irving Favre will be played by the incorrigible Tom Sizemore.
Two of Favre’s best-buds in his glory-years with the Packers were Tight-End Mark Chmura and Center Frank Winters. For Chmura Dean Cain was an obvious choice. Both Chmura and Cain have a Superman connection, both love to charm the ladies, young and old. Or is Dean Cain gay I forget?
I had to pick just the right guy for Frank Winters. He’s obviously going to be the comic-relief in this film. That’s why despite his youth, I chose up and coming comic actor Jonah Hill to play Frankie-Bag-o-Donuts. I can totally here Jonah making wisecracks as he bends over and Ethan Hawk puts the back of his hand up against his taint.
So what about the guys at the center of last year’s Favre Controversy. The head-coach and GM who took all the crap from fans. Well General Manager Ted Thompson wasn’t too hard. I called up my good friend and comedian Steve Martin who jumped at the chance to play the deadpan football businessman. Steve thinks it will be the role that gets him his first Oscar nomination. It’s about time Steve!
For Packers coach Mike McCarthy we may have to pull off a miracle. I really want Elvis Pressley, but I’m not completely certain he’s available. The verdict is still out, but if Bubba Ho-Tep is an accurate historical film then I should be able to find the King somewhere.
What about other influential coaches from Favre’s past. Steve “Mooch” Mariucci was Favre’s mentor in Green Bay. Mooch is a dead-ringer for Kurt Russel if you ask me.
Of course we can’t tell Brett Favre’s story without the head-coach who shaped him into the quarterback who took the Packers back to the Super Bowl. I was in talks with Wilferd Brimley, but he had a prior commitment, and is a little too old anyway. Instead I found a very talented WALRUS to play Holmgren.
Every great athlete needs a rival. For Brett Favre, one of his biggest on the field was Warren Sapp. Who can forget the confrontations those two had. But Warren also has a goofy side, that’s why I chose The Miller High Life Guy for his role.
I think this film will also need a sports journalist character to help tell the story and provide exposition by filling in gaps and stuff. The sports anchor I know best is Drew Smith from FOX 11. As luck would have it, Drew’s little brother Eric Artell is an accomplished actor. You remember the Pepsi can that fell in love with the hot-dog? (that’s Eric) I’m not really sure who changed his last name Drew or Eric, maybe both.
Drew’s co-host from Inside the Huddle and Favre’s favorite target for much of his career will play himself. Come on, Donald Driver was made for acting! Haven’t you seen those commercials? “The smile is everythang” –ding~!
That’s what I have so far. There’s still a lot of roles yet to be cast. So leave a comment and tell me who you think could play other people in Favre’s life. For instance…Agent Bus Cook is still up for grabs.

Favre Movie Casting Follow-Up

Due to the overwhelming response from my half-dozen readers, here’s a follow up to the Favre movie casting. Thanks to some of you for some great suggestions.
If there are any investors out there with Hollywood connections, please contact me. I truly believe in this project. I’m pitching it to ESPN next week and if I have some cash behind it, that would be sweeeeeet!

First I have to start off with a correction. I know I was just being stupid when I said a WALRUS should play Holmgren. Holly Krause had a much more realistic idea, and suggested the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz.
I threw out some other names and got some pretty good responses. Justus Cleveland suggests comedy-great Tim Conway to play Favre’s agent, Bus Cook.
My buddy Zak Bruss must have been reading my mind when I asked who should play Majik-Man Don Majkowski. Matthew McConaughey was born to play #7.
Speaking of #7, how about Aaron Eckhart playing the QB who crushed the Packers repeat dreams at the Super Bowl? Eckhart’s got that John Elway chin for sure!
Of course the Minister of Defense will have to be in the movie. Maybe he’ll even have his own flick someday. I’m thinking Michael Clark Duncan for Reggie White, although I had to photo-shop some hair on him.
Finally, I’ll wrap this crap up with two choices for the future of the Green Bay Packers. And you can find both of them working at Dunder Mifflin. Ryan might be a little closer looks-wise. But last year when Aaron Rodgers had to answer questions about Brett, he usually looked at the camera with a Jim smirk and a shrug.
Then again, maybe I’m moving too fast here. Maybe it ain’t over yet. Who knows? Quarterbacks go down, or stink it up, and by mid-season teams are looking for someone who can throw. Maybe Brett will feel the itch yet again. I’ll have to keep that in mind for my fantasy team. Either way, the ending Favre left me with kind of sucks. Hopefully something else happens that gives the script some closure. And since it’s Brett, I know I can count on plenty of tears.

Beatlemania is back with BritBeat at Waverly Beach

beatles tribute blog post - kasey steinbrinck

Written for The Post-Crescent/Fox Cities Hub January 18, 2010

2010 marks 40 years since The Beatles announced their break-up to the world.

The milestone comes along with last year’s resurgence of Beatlemania. Thanks to The Beatles: RockBand video game and the release of digitally remastered albums, new generations are discovering the Fab Four while longtime fans can hear the band in a whole new way.

You can relive Beatlemania through a tribute show featuring Chicago-based band BritBeat this Saturday (Jan. 23) at Waverly Beach in Menasha.

The four members of BritBeat are definitely a dedicated tribute band. The show consists of three acts, each focusing on a different era of Beatles history. It begins with “The Ed Sullivan Show” era complete with mop-tops and black suits, moves to the psychedelic Sgt. Pepper era, and wraps up with the Abbey Road recording sessions. This will be the band’s third visit to Waverly Beach.

“We’re really excited to be at Waverly Beach again, the crowds there have been wonderful,” says 28 year-old Chris Getsla who started the band and portrays Paul McCartney in the show.

Getsla discovered the Beatles in junior high school when his parents suggested he use the tune “A Hard Day’s Night” for a school project. The song struck a chord with the young teenager, and he quickly became a die-hard Beatles fan.

In high school, Getsla teamed up with his friend Danny Leavitt, who plays George Harrison, to perform as The Beatles in a school variety show. The performance was a hit, and that was the start of BritBeat.

“We actually rode the bus together to school,” says Getsla of his partner and pal Leavitt. “That was the same way that the real Paul and George met.” Other current members of BritBeat include James Lynch as John Lennon, and Dave Robinson as Ringo Starr.

In 2002, the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau chose BritBeat to play in a concert welcoming Paul McCartney to the city during McCartney’s Driving USA tour.

In 2005, BritBeat had the opportunity to play with original Beatle’s drummer Pete Best to mark the 40th anniversary of the band’s 1965 concert at Comiskey Park.

Getsla says all the recent attention to his favorite band comes as no surprise.

“In fact from year to year it’s been an increase in interest in The Beatles,” he says. “It doesn’t seem to be waning, it seems to be increasing.”

Getsla claims BritBeat’s show is one of the most authentic tributes you’ll find. If you’ve seen them perform in the past, he says new songs and new lighting effects have been added.

There is a $10 cover charge for this Saturday’s show at Waverly Beach. Tickets may also be purchased in advance. The concert starts at 8 p.m.

Check out the YouTube video of BritBeat below: You can also visit for more on the band including information about an upcoming Mexican cruise.

What Dad Can Expect When Mom Is Expecting

Kasey Steinbrinck with Max

Last October, my wife Ashley shoved a positive pregnancy test in my face and proceeded to jump in the shower. She left me standing there holding our then 11-month old son wondering how this could have happened…again…already!

The truth is we were planning to try for kid No. 2 in about a year. I’ll spare you the details, but sometimes things happen a little earlier than planned, and you have to suck it up and smile. Realizing that there are many people who have a hard time getting pregnant – and often pay big bucks to do so – helped me to stop freaking out.

The benefit of having your first two children so close together is the fact that all the stuff you learned about pregnancy and bringing home a newborn are still pretty fresh in your mind.

You’ve probably heard of the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and the whole series of books that follow. They’re like bibles on babies. Obviously, it will be a little tough for me to cover everything you’ll run into during your family’s pregnancy adventure.

Every situation is unique. But my goal in writing this article is to let you know about some of the common situations we as dads must endure. I’ll include some of the basics, and answer some of the questions you might be afraid to ask.

What to Expect From “The Pregnant One”

The biggest thing that differs among pregnancies is what the woman carrying your child is going through. Not only will the pregnancy experience be different from woman to woman, it can be very different from baby to baby with the same woman.

It seems a little backwards, but for some reason that first trimester is usually the toughest for many moms. That’s when they often get morning sickness as their bodies are going through a lot of changes.

Most women say they feel pretty good during the second trimester. Then things can sometimes get ugly again towards the end of the third trimester. That’s when they start feeling uncomfortable and just can’t wait to get the baby out.

This might be tough to hear…but sometimes it will seem like your wife is going through nine months of PMS. So be prepared for an emotional roller coaster ride. Just don’t tell her you feel that way unless you want your head ripped off.

Your wife or significant other may seem like a completely different person during her pregnancy. My wife is usually a very social and slightly hyper-active overachiever. But especially during that first trimester, Ashley was constantly fatigued, unmotivated, and could even be a bit of a loner.

Remember to try to cut the mom-to-be some slack if she doesn’t have her usual energy, or isn’t as pleasant as usual. Although I have to admit that I let Ashley know when I felt like she was spending a little too much time on the couch.

I paid for that, but I needed to vent.

We’ve all heard about those notorious cravings during pregnancy. At first I thought most of those stories were old wives tales. But a lot of couples have told me about strange cravings like salted watermelon or pickles and peanut butter. During Ashley’s first pregnancy, she had a taste for stuff like macaroni & cheese and mashed potatoes. This time around it’s been Thai food – a bit more expensive.

You can expect to be the one sent out to the grocery store and to pick up take out. The good news is that you get to partake in the cravings as well.

As men, we’ll never understand exactly what the women we love go through during pregnancy and childbirth. We tend to want to solve all their problems. But that’s just not possible. What we can do is be there for support.

Expect to listen to a lot of complaints while giving backrubs as well as the occasional foot rub – and don’t expect the favor to be returned. The foot rub thing is kind of a tough one for me because I hate feet, but NY Jets Coach Rex Ryan would love it.

What to Expect In the Bedroom

This topic is number two on the rundown because I know how much you’re wondering about it.

I’m sorry, but I can’t tell you exactly what to expect as far as the future of your sex life. It’s true that some women experience an increased sex drive during parts of their pregnancy. However, that’s not a guarantee.

You should realize that your wife might be feeling very self-conscious about her body. Letting her know you still find her attractive will probably pay off later.

Here’s an interesting fact. Pregnant women often have very vivid sexual dreams. She’s probably going to want to tell you about these crazy dreams, and you never know where the conversation could lead (wink, wink).

After the pregnancy, your love life might dry up a little as well. Realize that she’s going to need at least a couple of months to let her body heal. Plus, she may still be feeling a little awkward about her physical appearance. You should let her know you’re interested, but be patient and sympathetic at the same time.

I know I sound like a couple’s therapist here – but….the most important thing you can do for your relationship is to keep the lines of communication open.

Even if you aren’t sticking to your normal love-making schedule, find a way to stay passionate with each other and spend time together. It’s going to get harder to find moments for just the two of you with a kid in the picture.

What to Expect From Your Kids

If this isn’t your first child, you’ll also have to think about how the pregnancy is affecting the kids you already have.

Make no mistake, bringing a new baby home changes everyone’s world, but it can be especially hard for the new siblings. You may have to deal with jealousy and other behavioral issues as your children adapt to the change.

In my case, our son Max will be 20 months old when his new brother or sister arrives. He probably won’t even remember life before the new baby arrived, although it will certainly have a big impact on him.

I’ve been trying to clue Max in on what’s happening. We look at pictures of his mom when she was pregnant with him. I’m sure it completely blows his one-year-old mind when I try to explain that he was once inside Mama’s tummy.

It’s good to be open with your kids about what’s going on. You may even want to use the opportunity to explain a little about the “birds and the bees” and where babies come from. Maybe you don’t want to get into all the dirty details, but it might be easier to explain things to a younger child who won’t get the giggles. They’re going to learn about it from somebody someday. So it might as well be you.

Bringing another child into your family will also have an effect on who your current children become. I recommend reading The Birth Order Book by Kevin Leman to find out more about how family dynamics can play a role in the development of your kids’ personalities.

Whatever the case, as a parent of multiple kids, your challenge will now be to make sure that each child gets the attention they need. Consider scheduling some outings with your older kids after the baby is born so you can spend some one-on-one time with them.

What to Expect Financially

Having a baby can cost you quite a bit of money. You’re going to be writing a lot of checks to pay a lot of bills. Not only are there medical bills, but you’ll also have to stock up on baby items including clothes, cribs, toys. Then there are also the diapers, wipes and formula. Eventually, child care may also figure into the additional cost of having kids.

You may even have to purchase a new vehicle to make room for car seats. I’ve got one of those 3-door Saturn Coupes. It was working out alright with one kid, but I’m going to have to figure out something different now.

If you’re feeling down about possibly becoming a mini-van owner, just keep telling yourself that they have a lot of storage space. Think of it as more of a work van instead of a grocery getter.

Don’t be ashamed to accept hand me downs and visit secondhand stores and garage sales. In most cases, baby stuff is barely used anyway.

It’s smart to sit down with your significant other and try to map out how this new baby is going to fit into your budget.

Find out if she’ll still be getting paid while she’s on maternity leave. Ask about the possibility of paternity leave for yourself. Look into your health insurance coverage to make sure you know what’s covered and what might not be. I’d suggest beefing up you savings account so that you can both afford to take some time off when the baby comes home.

What to Expect In the Delivery Room

The “big day” is another aspect of pregnancy that can be different every time. The best thing you can do as the dad is be on high alert when you get down to the last couple weeks before the due date.

Hopefully, you paid attention in those birthing classes (aka Lamaze), because you may need to act as a coach for the woman who’s about to give birth to your child. On the other hand, she may decide to throw everything she learned in those classes out the window.

Your top priority in the delivery room should be to offer encouragement. Let her know it’s going to be okay, and that she’s doing a great job. That is…unless she tells you to shut up. Many times women don’t like hearing their man’s voice when they’re pushing out an eight-pounder. I can understand that. She probably needs to focus, right?

My wife was extremely worried about pooping during the delivery. Yes it happens. Think about it. It’s like your squeezing a tube of toothpaste. It has to come out somewhere. If your wife is concerned or feels embarrassed, make sure you let her know it’s no big deal, and tell her it wasn’t that much – even if it was.

Watching someone go through labor and bring a child into the world can be exhausting. I know it’s much worse for the mother, but you’ll certainly feel some empathy. Nobody likes seeing the woman they love in pain.

When my son Max was born it was the most euphoric thing I’d ever experienced. I felt proud, relieved and extremely happy at the same time. I even got to cut his umbilical cord. As far as that goes, it was a lot more rubbery and tough than you might expect. You have to give the scissors a good squeeze to cut all the way through.

To be honest, I completely forgot about my wife after Max emerged from the womb. Ashley was getting stitched up while I was following the nurses around taking pictures as they cleaned him up and weighed him.

What to Expect When The Baby Comes Home

Your family’s world will change immediately once a newborn baby enters the picture. It will keep changing as the baby changes.

Everyone knows that you aren’t going to get a lot of sleep with a newborn that needs to eat every couple of hours. But what you’ll hate even more is constantly being asked if you’re getting enough rest, or if the baby is sleeping through the night yet. Seriously, if I had a nickel…

If your wife is trying to breastfeed, she may run into some difficulties. It’s important to let her know that it’s not her fault if breastfeeding doesn’t work out.

Diapers will quickly become a part of your everyday life. Don’t worry; you’ll be a pro in no time. The nice thing is those baby poops start out pretty mild, and get worse as their diet changes. So you’ll kind of ease your way into the real stinkers.

However, brand new babies have what I refer to as tar poops. That’s called meconium, and it’s because they are getting rid of the amniotic fluid he or she breathed while in the uterus. Your baby will only have a few of these and might be done before coming home.

Finally, I’d like to congratulate you. In my opinion, being a parent is probably the best thing you’ll ever do with your life. Enjoy every moment. I’m already realizing that kids grow up very quickly!

Thoughts and Stories for Those Expecting

If you have tips for new dads, or if you can think of something important that I missed, please leave a comment and share!

CLICK HERE to view the original article published on the website Couple Money.

Local TV Lives On With Ned the Dead

ned the dead chiller theater press release

Distributed  October 2008

In a time when cable and satellite television offer viewers hundreds of choices, one program in Northeast Wisconsin keeps on giving its audience entertainment with plenty of local flavor.

Ned the Dead is coming up on his 25th Anniversary as he continues to “Spank the Plank,” and deliver forgotten films and cult classics with a “Roll it Lester.”

On Saturday October 25th, Ned the Dead celebrates his 25th Anniversary at DeWane Asylum, a haunted house at 507 N. Broadway, Green Bay.

Ned is marking the event with the winners of an online contest for passes to DeWane Asylum, and hospitality provided by Titletown Brewing Co. The episode of Chiller Theater airing that Saturday night will feature George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead.

Since its birth in the mid-eighties, Ned’s program has undergone many evolutions, and shown up on various stations in the Green Bay television market. Ned the Dead’s Chiller Theater is a production of Midwest OmniMeda under the leadership of executive producer Matt Haney and guidance of creator Steve Brenzel. It currently airs Saturdays at 11pm on WACY 32. The show now features more content than ever including wisecracks and commentary from Ned and his partner Doc Moreau.

The press is invited to join Ned the Dead at DeWane Asylum on October 25th at 8pm.

Interviews with executive producer Matt Haney and Ned’s alter-ego, Steve Brenzel, will also be made available upon request. Call (920) xxx-xxxx to learn more about future plans for Ned the Dead on television and online at

Contact: Matt Haney Midwest OmniMedia Phone: XXX-XXXX  Email:


Personal Checks: Online Retailer Check Advantage Still Sees Benefits

Distributed June 2010 by PRWEB

View Original Online

Appleton, WI (PRWEB) June 22, 2010 — Most wallets and purses are stuffed with a variety of plastic credit and debit cards making it seem likely that personal checks will soon be on the endangered species list of payment options. However, online business Check Advantage has just begun offering more than 100 different personal check designs, laughing in the face of what seems like some major uphill battles.

When online visitors log on to, they’ll find dozens of original designs. Styles include Animal Personal Checks featuring a menagerie of wildlife, as well as Nature Personal Checks depicting breathtaking landscapes and scenic views.

While it is true personal check usage is declining, the people at Check Advantage are confident that using checks as a way to pay won’t become a thing of the past anytime soon.

Take the two biggest players in the check business for example: Deluxe Corporation, and Harland Clarke.

According to its 2009 Annual Report, more than 63% of Deluxe Corporation’s $1.3-billion in revenue came from the sale of checks. That’s more than $852-million spent on checks alone. Harland Clarke indicated in its 2009 Annual Report that checks and related products equaled 72% of its revenue last year, for a total of more than $1.2-billion.

None of this is surprising when you take into account the fact that, in its most recent study, the Federal Reserve estimated around 33-billion checks are written every year.

As a successful online company, Check Advantage saw an opportunity to claim its slice of the personal check pie. It became apparent that many visitors came to the Check Advantage website looking for personal checks. Now the company is giving customers exactly what they want at prices they can afford.

Of course, many of the major suppliers of personal and business checks are deeply concerned about the state of the U.S. economy. It makes sense to assume that since people are spending less, they are writing fewer personal checks. However, the people at Check Advantage see things differently.

Americans have made the tragic mistake of relying on their credit cards to make purchases and now they are literally paying for it. According to the Federal Reserve, Americans have more than $1-trillion in credit card debt, and that number jumped 25% in just the past five years.

As people get back to basics, they’ll also turn back to personal checks. One major advantage of using a personal check as payment is that instead of making a purchase with the flip of a wrist, the consumer must actually write the number on the check. That makes spending money a little bit harder for the average person.

Many experts in the financial industry agree with Check Advantage’s view on the future of checks.

“It’s too early to be shopping for headstones just yet,” says Bob Meara, senior analyst at Celent’s banking group. In a recent blog, Meara compared the United Kingdom’s plan to eliminate the use of checks by the year 2018 to the decline of checks in the U.S.

Meara lists numerous reasons why checks would remain a viable option in the U.S. For one thing, he mentions the absence of a Check 21 system across the pond. That means personal and business checks still need to be physically processed in the U.K. instead of the more efficient digital processing used in the U.S.

“The U.S .is well behind the U.K. – at least a decade – in overall usage rates of decline…Don’t hold your breath in other words,” Meara writes.

Even if there are table scraps for a company like Check Advantage to feast from, it still needs to differentiate itself from competitors. One way the online business found it can accomplish this is by offering personal checks with original designs.

Other websites selling Internet shoppers the opportunity to buy cheap checks online use stock photography in their designs. That’s not the case with the personal checks from Check Advantage.

The company sent its very own photographers out into the field and into their personal archives to create checks designs that are 100% unique. The Check Advantage team wants customers to be able to find personal checks that match their individual personalities.

Bargain shoppers searching for cheap personal checks online will be happy as well. Prices on all Check Advantage personal checks are as low as $10.95. That’s not an introductory rate that will change when customers reorder. It’s the low price people are offered all the time.

Look for the opportunity to order even more styles of personal checks soon. Check Advantage will be adding new designs in coming months.

About Check Advantage:

Based in Appleton, Wisconsin, Check Advantage prints and sells both business checks and now personal checks directly to customers. Since it began selling business checks online in 2001, Check Advantage can proudly say more than 99% of orders arrived on time and 99.9% were error free. The Check Advantage vision is to become the top supplier of checks via the Internet by offering quality products at affordable prices with unbeatable customer service.

Fox Valley events give charities a boost

Rock 4 Wishes concert - Kasey Steinbrinck post-crescent article
Rock for Wishes

Written for The Post-Crescent March 25, 2010

A trio of entertainment events taking place this weekend will allow you to have fun and feel good about yourself at the same time. If you want to rock, tempt your taste buds or laugh the day away, you can do it while supporting important local causes.

Rock for Wishes

The Make-a-Wish Foundation will get a helping hand from seven local bands playing a benefit concert at The Wave Ballroom in Grand Chute this Saturday.

Rock for Wishes got its start three years ago when members of the band Hindsight approached Brad Christenson about helping to organize an event that would allow local musicians to give back to the community.

“Make-a-Wish was kind of skeptical that first year,” Christenson admits. But Rock for Wishes has been successful. The event raised more than $8,000 last year, and there are high hopes for 2010.

“We think we’re going to have an even better year than last year,” Christenson said.

Those who arrange and perform in the fundraiser each year found out how their hard work has made a difference. Money raised in 2009 helped build a gazebo for a boy with a rare skin condition who was unable to leave his home.

“It still felt like he was going outside but he was able to protect himself from the sun and wind,” Christenson said.

Christenson thinks Rock for Wishes has a solid musical lineup this year with Wavelength opening things up at 4:40 p.m. and the bands Verona Grove, Lesson Learned and Half Empty taking the stage between 10 p.m. and 1:40 a.m. Since it is an all-ages show, there will be games and entertainment for children starting at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at The Wave and are $5 in advance, $7 at the door. Visit for more information.

Flanagan’s Beer and Wine Festival

This Saturday marks the 20th year that Appleton business owner Pat Flanagan has hosted a beer and wine tasting in the Fox Valley. With more than 100 brews and dozens of wines to sample, the event is sure to present even the most sophisticated palette with something new to savor.

“You walk in the door and it’s like a kid in a candy store for beer and wine lovers,” Flanagan said.

The festival started after Flanagan’s father passed away in 1990. Jim Flanagan used to hold a St. Patrick’s Day parade around this time every year. Instead, Pat decided to hold a beer and wine festival each spring to honor his father.

In the past, Flanagan chose a few charities to help. Now he distributes funds raised at the festival throughout the year because of the number of requests for assistance he receives.

A few of the charities the event has benefited include March of Dimes, United Way and Habitat for Humanity. The festival’s Web site indicates more than $800,000 has been distributed to 37 non-profit organizations over the past 20 years.

Flanagan says if you want to learn more about beer and wine, there’s no method more effective than tasting it for yourself. As owner of Flanagan’s Wine Review and Flanagan’s Stop and Shop liquor store on College Avenue in Appleton, he knows a thing or two about the products.

“I learned more from tasting the wine in two months than I did in two years reading beer and wine magazines,” Flanagan said.

There will be brewery and winery representatives available to answer questions along with people from area cheese factories. You can find out what cheese pairs best with certain beers and wines. New at the festival this year is a gourmet soda section with designated drivers in mind.

Flanagan’s Beer and Wine Festival takes place at Grand Meridian, 2621 N. Oneida St., Appleton, from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $30 in advance and $35 at the door. Visit for more information.

28-Hour Marathon of Comedy

Starting Friday at 7:30 p.m., the folks at ComedyCity in De Pere will try to keep the laughs going for more than an entire day. It’s all to benefit The Angel Fund and Families of Children with Cancer.

ComedyCity co-operations manager John Egan said some members of the improv troupe take shifts while others try to last the event’s full 28 hours.

“It’s just a constant adrenaline rush; you don’t realize it,” Egan said. “It comes kind of natural to most of us.”

Last year the event raised more than $5,000. “But our overall goal is a million dollars,” Egan joked.

Some members of ComedyCity will collect pledges for every hour they can continue to perform. Money also will be raised through a raffle that includes Milwaukee Brewers and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers tickets as well as autographed Green Bay Packers items.

“Actually, we’ve got a Brett Favre jersey this year. We’ll see how that one goes,” Egan said.

You can purchase raffle tickets by visiting or buy them at the event. ComedyCity will hold its usual 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. shows as part of the 28-hour Comedy Marathon. It all takes place inside their new home at The Sports Corner, 500 Grant St., De Pere. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students. Egan said these performances will actually be theme shows. Look for ComedyCity’s version of March Madness, “Survivor” and “The Apprentice.”

Admission is free if you stop by any other time during the marathon, but you are asked to make a donation or purchase raffle tickets.

Governor Jim Doyle won’t seek third term, but still has goals to accomplish

governor jim doyle - kasey steinbrinck news article

Written for August 17, 2009 – View Original Article Online

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle confirmed reports he would not seek a third term. He announced at his Monday morning news conference in Madison he thinks limiting his service to two terms is a “national norm” that “serves a good purpose.”

“But I am not going to go Brett Favre on you. I am announcing my decision now to allow other candidates to step forward and get going.” Doyle’s reference to Green Bay’s indecisive quarterback got a laugh from those in attendance.

The two-term Democrat kept his thanks to family, staff and supporters somewhat brief. He said today’s announcement was not for emotional goodbyes. Doyle made it clear he intends to complete his current term, and seemed to rebuke the idea that he would become a ‘lame duck.’

Doyle expressed the belief that by not running in 2010 he would be able to focus on governing rather than a reelection campaign. The Governor said he feels a lot can be accomplished in his final year-and-a-half in office. This could become a reality considering both the State Senate and Assembly have a Democratic majority. The party could decide to push through legislation for Doyle’s approval, seeing that it’s possible a Republican candidate could win the gubernatorial election in 2010.

Doyle touted some of what he called his major accomplishments in recent months. They included the state’s smoking ban, renewable energy plans, and partnership rights for same sex couples. Some have pointed to Doyle’s falling approval rating as a reason why he may be unwilling to run in 2010. This morning, Doyle told reporters it was too early to tell if that would have been a factor, and added he thought he would have run a good campaign.

As for his future, Governor Doyle said he still hasn’t made up his mind. However, he told reporters he informed the Obama administration he wants to stay in Wisconsin. There had been speculation Doyle could receive some sort of position with President Obama’s cabinet. Doyle also said he would have liked to delay today’s announcement until January, but realized that could negatively affect Democratic candidates and their campaigns.

Names on the short list for the Democratic gubernatorial ticket in 2010 include Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton of Green Bay, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind of La Crosse, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett is recovering in a Milwaukee hospital after getting injured when stepping into a fight to help a woman at the state fair this weekend. Meantime, Milwaukee police say the man accused of hitting Barrett with a pipe has been arrested. No Democratic candidates have officially announced their candidacy. However, Lt. Governor Lawton told the Associated Press in March of 2008 she would consider running in 2010 if Doyle decided not to seek a third term.

Two prominent Republicans have already entered the race; Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former Congressman Mark Neumann of Nashotah. Both spoke out about Doyle’s decision before the announcement this morning. The Republicans talked over the phone with WTAQ’s Jerry Bader on his morning radio program in Green Bay.

LU honors filmmaker for documentary on Liberia’s unsung heroes

Pray the Devil Back to Hell poster

Written for The Post-Crescent March 15, 2010

The documentary film “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” illustrates how ordinary people can cause incredible change when they band together. Abigail Disney, the producer behind the award-winning film, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Lawrence University on Thursday.

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” tells the story of how a group of Liberian women helped end a bloody civil war through prayer, peaceful protest and pure determination.

During the war between the forces of president Charles Taylor and the rebel group that opposed him, both sides committed horrific acts against the people of Liberia. Thousands were displaced and fled their homes to refugee camps because of the violence. Many others were raped or had limbs amputated. Young boys were used as soldiers and fed addictive drugs to coerce them into service. It’s estimated 300,000 people died during the two civil wars from 1989 to 2003.

Disney and director Gini Reticker made it their mission to make a film showing how the war came to an end. The story is told through the voices of the women who pressured the warring factions to finally hold peace talks.

Abigail Disney interviewed by writer Kasey Steinbrinck for Post-Crescent
Producer Abigail Disney

“It just amazed me that I had never heard of it before,” said Disney of what the women accomplished. “Right in front of my eyes, I could see it being forgotten.”

She learned about the bravery of the women while visiting Liberia in support of the nation’s current and first female president, Ellen Sirleaf. Sirleaf’s election was also aided by the actions of the Liberian women.

Disney is the grandniece of Walt Disney and has dedicated much of her life to philanthropic work. That includes work with the Roy Disney Family Foundation and the Global Fund for Women, and she is president of the Daphne Foundation in New York City.

“She came to our attention principally because of the film, which had received a lot of critical acclaim,” Lawrence professor of government Claudena Skran said.

“Pray the Devil Back to Hell” has won numerous awards, including best documentary at Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. It was also featured on the PBS program, “The Bill Moyers Journal,” last year.

LU held several screenings of the film throughout January. The final showing will take place in the Warch Campus Center cinema at 1 p.m. Thursday. It will be followed by a Q&A session with Disney. Before the screening, Disney will receive her honorary degree and deliver a convocation titled “Peace is Loud” at 11:10 a.m. in the Lawrence Memorial Chapel.

“I’ve heard very positive reactions from students,” Skran said. “I think the students were very interested in learning about that region and about the role of this group in ending the war.”

The leader of that group of women was social worker Leymah Gbowee. Disney describes Gbowee as a middle class woman who’s life went downhill during Liberia’s civil war.

In the film, Gbowee says she had a dream in which she was commissioned to gather the women of her church together to work for peace. She started a movement involving hundreds of women who lined the street the former president traveled every morning.

Wearing white T-shirts and holding signs with peace slogans, the women would stand and sing by the road day after day. Eventually, Gbowee took a delegation of women to peace talks in Ghana. The women used their numbers to barricade leaders inside.

“It stunned me how courageous these women had been,” Disney said. She also saw courage in the women when it came to dealing with religion in Liberia. While the movement began in a Christian church, Muslim women also were a part of the protests from the beginning. Muslims and Christians stood side-by-side in prayer, focusing on their shared goal for peace and forgiveness.

Both Disney and LU’s Skran hope “Pray the Devil Back to Hell” will inspire those who see it.

“On one level I think it shows that individual groups can make a difference in politics,” said Skran, who has spent time in both Liberia and neighboring Sierra Leone. “Secondly … people in the United States have a lot to learn from the courageous political activities taking place in other countries.”

“People have really felt charged up and ready to try something,” Disney said. “Whether it’s picking up litter on the sidewalk or helping an old lady cross the street or something more heroic like protesting a war.”

McCain Palin Campaign Stop (TV News Package)

McCain Palin Kasey Steinbrinck TV news package script

Written for WLUK FOX 11 –  September 5, 2008




NATS Please welcome Gov. Sarah Palin, Mrs Cindy McCain, and the next president of the United States, John McCain.


Palin:( 21:05:35) So it fits that we came right from that convention to small town America.


McCain:( 21:17:02) And I’m happy to be introduced by her, and I can’t wait to introduce her to Washington, D.C.

Palin:(21:12:58) John McCain doesn’t run with the Washington herd, and that’s only one reason to put the “maverick of the senate: in the White House.



McCain:(21:23:37) My friends, Americans are ambitious by nature, It’s tough and it’s hard. We’ve faced challenges before. We can do this, and we will do this, and don’t believe those who tell you that we can’t.

McCain:(21:25:21) I’ve reached out my hand to those on the other side of the aisle to work for a common good. Senator Obama never has.


GIBBS: Barack Obama has the judgment and the temperament and the skill to bring this country together and to work across party lines because he’s done it in every job he’s had.



McCain:(21:23:37) My friends, Americans are ambitious by nature, It’s tough and it’s hard. We’ve faced challenges before. We can do this, and we will do this, and don’t believe those who tell you that we can’t.