This week's podcast is special for two reasons. First because it is bonus content from the interview I did with Chris Barnardo back in Mid June. Chris and I did a test earlier that day to just shake down the equipment and make sure everything worked like it should. So what you'll hear here is our very first conversation with each other EVER. Chris is a fantastically interesting person to talk with and has amazing stories about his career and experiences that I'm sure anyone would find thought provoking and enjoyable to hear.
Second, after this episode premieres this week, I'll be going on hiatus to get my "batteries charged". But I didn't want to just leave you all high and dry, so look for four episodes of a previous series that I did on Mornings at McFarlanes". In 2017 we celebrated our 100th anniversary here at McFarlane Mfg in Sauk City Wisconsin. As part of that celebration I produced with help of the great team at 99.7 MaxFM a series called "Century of Change". Each of the four episodes covers a 25 year period of time and explores National, Regional, and local events that were significant during that period of time. You'll find out about all sorts of interesting and odd things like Charles Lindberg's visit to Sauk County and how he helped a local Doctor that needed to make a house call. We also did some really fun interviews with local celebrities like the founder, owner, and recording engineer of a private Record company in Sauk County called Cuca records.
Watch for Season 3 in the Fall!!!
Welcome to frame of reference informed intelligent conversations about the issues and challenges facing everyone in today's world, in depth interviews with salt counties, leaders and professionals to help you expand in and form your frame of reference, brought to you by the max FM digital network. Now, here's your host, Rauel LaBreche.
I haven't said anything about this until now, but this is the last show of season two. We've been going solid since March of this year, and I realized it's time for yours truly. To go on hiatus. I need to recharge my batteries, and more importantly, spend some time pre recording some episodes with more great guests that will help us all change our frames of reference. But before I go, I wanted to leave you with one last episode that was recorded back in June of this year. Remember the episodes I did with Chris Bernardo at the wand company? Well, Chris, and I actually did a pre show test before that shows recording. Given that we were going to be talking between America and the UK, I thought it would be a good idea to make sure the whole thing was going to work. Well, Chris and I turned what was supposed to be a couple minute test into a 20 plus minute discussion that proved to me we were going to be recording a great episode later that day, as we say, in America, we hit it off right from the start. It was smashing. Got to use a British colloquialism in there too. Anyway, I've wanted to share this content because to me, it typifies what my podcast is all about having intelligent conversations about subjects that matter, Chris and I jumped into that mode with full force, we did the equivalent of a cannonball dive into the pool of ideas. I had to get pseudo pithy comment in there. It was fun. It tells you more about each of us because because we were candid and transparent with each other, which makes for sparkling conversation. So here we go with my preview conversation with Chris Bernardo, founder and CEO of the wand company, the premier prop replica company for shows like Star Trek, Harry Potter, Doctor Who, and more. We'll be right back after this commercial break with that interview. Here's something important you need to know about Macfarlanes at 780 Carolina Street in Sauk. City, from our power equipment, farm parts and service departments. We're always rolling from our biggest farm equipment to your home tractor will take good care of you from sales to service, no matter what the size Macfarlanes one block south of highway 12 At seven at Carolina Street, where service is a family tradition. How are you sir?
Very good. Thank you very much indeed.
Well, is it all right? If I start talking in some sort of a bastardized British accent at some point, will you take that as a good chap, or you will get upset?
A lot get upset. I'll do my best not to talk in a lousy
I'm sure even your worst days you wouldn't talk in a lousy accent that would be I would do want to warn you though. i My wife tells me more and more that I'm getting so hard of hearing that my my most common response to anything she says is what? Why? You walk. So
what you should say when they say when people say what you should say yeah, he invented the light and the steam engine. Then hopefully, I just think with my kids, they used to go like it was like red, and I say what? Orange, like red only with more yellow. And then every time they said a like thing, I would try and think of something on the spur of the moment that was like that, but not quite the same. Anyway, after about two weeks of that it completely cured them of saying like
I was as a young man in what we call, I think, I don't know if you you have the separation, but we had Junior High School in high school. So the middle school ages. When I was in middle school, I use the word man all the time. You know, this was early 70s. So it'd be like oh, man, what's going on, man? Oh, man, that's so hard, man. I don't know man. And one of my actual friends got so upset with me. He formed the Rauel LaBreche hate club. And that was kind of the turning point for me realizing okay, if I'm using the word man so much that someone wants to form a club against me as a result of it perhaps I should consider a change.
Yeah, did you change it to do?
Yeah, no, I'm not a big fan of dude. I tend to use dude as one of those words when I want to make a point about you know, this is really silly. This is stupid dude. But so you are well, you're all set.
Yeah, we are all set. Well, I've had both injections. What else can I say? It was beautiful sunny weather here, which is quite unusual, very hot. And it's a bit rainy and stormy last night. And so it's quite close now. But I think despite the fact obviously global warming is a massive disaster for everybody. There'll be a few years before the North Atlantic drift turns off whilst the UK has balmy summers after that, we'll just be plunged into some kind of ice age. So
it is a terrifying, terrifying prospect that unfortunately, too many people don't take seriously.
But there's lots of things in the world people don't take seriously. So yeah, but that is a that is a global thing that I don't think anything, anyone could have really understood this pandemic. And the way it's planned to panned out, because clearly, it's it's quite a shock to people to have had something that's taken away so many freedoms.
Yeah, yeah. And to have had the sort of emotional reactions that we've had in the States, I don't know, if the UK has been quite the same. But we've had almost diametrically opposed to reactions. And as people either believed that it was a serious problem, a prevalent problem, or just denied the fact that it was it just Yeah, made the rift form deeper and deeper, and then they became politicized. And, you know, if you were Republican, you thought it was a big hoax. If you're a Democrat, you thought, you know, oh, my God, are these Republican Republicans brain dead? Or what's going on? You know, so
I think the global warming thing is, I mean, it's, it's up there in the pantheon of religion and politics, that sort of like, separates people. Yeah. But there is a certain element of, I think, looking the other way, hopefully, that hopefully, God's looking the other way, the common sense of sneaking out through the back door. And because I think these things are serious, I think everyone's hoping that there'll be some technological answer to it. And also, from years of governments lying to us generally about things that didn't suit them to be truthful about, you might think they're doing it in a way to what's the word, I guess, to sort of feather to some feather some objective that we don't know what they're doing? Right. So I didn't get this one. I feel the the chitchat between Putin and Biden. And I wonder what goes on and whether they say, Look, we need a certain amount of unrest, because we've got huge military budgets, we'd like to keep everything normal level. So I want to make sure that that everything stays in a kind of quiet a tension state so that we can basically milk it. I mean, they got a lot to gain from that. I don't really understand what Russia would have to gain by invading the UK or bombing the US. I just can't see it myself. I don't see why that would that would make anybody's life better.
I'm sure they'd heard how good the fish and chips are. I mean, wouldn't that be a worth conquest? I, you know, there certainly have been sillier things that we fought wars over, you know, over the period of
Yes, yes. Wasn't there something in Boston that happened over those? I don't know. Maybe I can't even trust history anymore. That's part of the problem. So all right. Well, I don't think we're gonna have any problem chit chatting as it has my my indicators here show. So do you have any questions about the the format? I know you said you had read through things and that it looks like
I've had a look at the list. I'll put that out. Later I wrote, I off. Off the hip. I wrote answers to the questions. Okay. Just thought that sometimes when you're presented with other questions like, Hey, what's your favorite colleague? Yeah. You sound a bit dopey. What's your favorite book? And then afterwards, you think my father used to call it last Freda Scalia, which is when you're walking down the stairs from the meeting, you have all this thoughts that you could have said these witty lines you could have used? And he called it the spirit of the stairs, the screen of Scalia, it's a yes.
Yeah, let's breed this scam. Okay.
Yeah, the spirit of the stairs, which means is like, as you say, you know, the things you could have said when he said to me, I could have been so witty if I just said that right. So I got a quick look through. Normally what I do when I present is I would do some kind of presentation. I don't I don't do it now. But I would do a presentation I would actually write it and then I would get rid of all the text and just leave the pictures in it the PowerPoint presentation or whatever. Alright, and then when I and then I would not take my notes because once I've read it, I don't need the notes anymore because it's in my head what I'm thinking and it's more natural. If you just say, off the top of the head what you what you're thinking, of course and if you do a sort of PowerPoint presentation, it's just pictures then you don't get that horrible goalless thing where the the audience just reading the slides as you're reading them out, you're like, you know, like, yeah, it's just horrible.
I've noticed that we've had, yeah, cat does the same, some of the presenters use that same technique that you're talking about. And it's always so much, I think more engaging, because the pictures are enough to typify what the speaker is talking about, and to draw you in, but they're not, as you said, bullet points that you just Yeah.
And there's a thing about that a boss of mine, I used to be in advertising years and years ago. And he said, if you have a picture of a child, with a begging bowl, and African a BF, and with a begging bowl, and it says, this child hasn't eaten for two weeks, he doesn't, or would, the worst one would be this child is is a begging bowl and the child, that doesn't tell you anything, that's that's not already in the picture. If you say they hadn't eaten for two weeks, it's kind of adding a little bit to it. If you then put the headline underneath it. So something like 1% of the world has 90% of the money in the world, for example, that is saying two completely different things. And the net result is that you that picture is imprinted in your mind with the concept that it's about unfairness and stuff. So I think when people show pictures, or when they have marketing communications, and they basically state the obvious, and then it doesn't do as much. So I think in presentations and things if you can challenge people to think then they really start to engage with what you're saying.
Yeah, yeah. And that's what I hope people will do. As we're talking right, you know, that will we'll, we'll be able to off the cuff to some extent talk about things that are, you know, meaningful, both to trekkers and Trekkies, but I think that's the thing I've appreciated the most about Star Trek is that it gives us the hope that we'll get past global warming and world war three and whatever else, you know, we might fall into or blunder into. I don't know if you're familiar with the series, I believe it's called Dark Mirror. The mirror Black Mirror. Thank you. And there, have you watched that show? Charlie Brooker? Yeah, I love his concept of, you know, 15 minutes in the future, if we're clumsy enough, you know, it's just, yeah, there's
lots of dystopian views. And I mean, I'm a great I mean, I wouldn't say I'm the world's greatest sci fi fan, because I know that there are people out there who who I interact with on a regular basis who seem to be they do nothing else except study the last nuances of these things. Sure. I have written in the past, I was a fan enough to write us a Voyager episode and submit it to us to see Paramount's if I could get it
really. Yeah. Wonderful. Wonderful. So I love the
whole thing. And I've read quite a bit of science fiction, the stuff that I like. In fact, you asked me what's one of my favorite books and I would guess, illustrated man by Ray Bradbury is probably probably the book that sort of changed. I used to go to this we have this house we used to go and stay in it's made of to train carriages. And the person that lived there before us, who owned it left a bookcase with a whole bunch of books in it all sort of thumb that thumbs and sort of like dog eared and sort of like creased up and kind of had in it a few Ray Bradbury books and Somerset mourns. And he baits sort of writers, and I mean, some grown up stuff. And you know, and as a kid going there, I just, we had no television there. So I used to just spend my holidays going through the books one by one reading them all. And that's when I discovered science fiction.
Interesting. Yeah, interesting. Oh, all right. I can already tell where the time will fly by so Well, I appreciate you taking time out earlier in the day. So the time still works fine for you. I think it's around seven o'clock your time, we'll start talking. Okay.
And do you? Are you planning to edit what we're talking about?
You know, I'll leave that somewhat up to you. If there's something that we end up saying that you you don't want. And I can certainly go back and find it. I'm, you know, I have no desire to make this any kind of opportunity to know what people think sometimes with, Oh, I got this soundbite. I want it to be as natural an interview as it can be in a chat. But honestly, if there are things that you interested in looking at the questions, or the things you'd like me to make sure I've kind of steer away. Or, you know,
I thought the questions are very good. I mean, I generally as you can tell, I don't have a problem talking to people. So that's a good thing. And I, I don't genuinely have a problem. I mean, I say I looked at the list and I wrote some things. It's not that I have a problem. Collecting my thoughts quickly. It's just that I would like to say something, maybe I do tend to go on a bit. So I'd like to say something in a most more succinct way. Of course. And so being a bit prepared was was probably a good thing. Well, you
and I are Ramblers, I can tell but in that that's a good thing, I think in this format in particular, so I wish we were closer i It's it strikes me that it would be nice to have have more conversations. But it's hard to find people that you can talk with these days. I don't know if you're finding that oh,
yeah, totally get that. And, and I do enjoy the interaction with fans about the product. So you'll you'll see from our, for it from the very I'm, to be fair, I don't want this recorded, but I do go on the forums and have a look. But I but I decided that the forums were the place where fans could blast off about things and talk about stuff. So whilst I look at them, and I basically take on board what they're saying, if they write to me directly, or they write to to our particular blog, and they leave a note on it, then I will quite often reply to it. I've always found that because if you think about what you're doing carefully, and you do something for the right reasons, then if somebody else wants to troll you and kick off, there's always a reason that you can go back to and say, Yeah, well, you've got a point of view, and I completely accept it. But on the other hand, I'd be thought, This is why we're doing this. And lots of people, they have no real idea how much effort a thing takes. And that's not to be a winner. And saying that, when I first went to my first design company, and I was a studio junior, and we're talking about 40 years ago now, I was shocked and flabbergasted to find out somebody had typeset the phonebook on this one, but multiple phone books all over the world and not just typeset them on a computer in these days, right in the old days, actually used cold lead to lay them out right? In single mistake or getting them all in alphabetical order. I mean, it's a mind boggling task. And thing is you get a phone book and you come through it, you just I have somehow always thought it just existed somehow. There's always like, phone books.
Yes, this popped out of someone's eyes one day
consideration of how he actually done and I think with modern technology is so complicated. And so in so many ways, so capable, you think I'll just load a JPEG, I'll just play a video, I'll just play a sound I'll just do this just probably just is one of the I would say it's probably the meanest word in English language is just, yeah, it covers so many things that involve a lifetime of work of so many people just do X, there's a team of maybe 1000 people doing just that I make work for you, right. And in a company like us, where there's only eight people and we have a small team. And there's one person responsible for writing the code, including an operating system for display of various things. There's no just about anything, right? It's it's two or three years work of somebody's life.
Nothing to work and they're personally invested in it. It's so deeply that if something is wrong with it, or someone points out some little detail that Oh, you missed this, it feels like you know, oh my god oh my god, you know, you're just feel so I think this respected at one at one level, but also so on appreciated for
what Richard has mentioned, my business partners, the watchword was saying we mustn't come across as defensive. And yeah, when you get hundreds of good comments, even 1000s, and then you get one or two really sort of like cut through to the quick, right. But when I was doing the pip boy, ice, I worked for nine months, and I worked. I got up at eight, five in the morning, and I went to bed about midnight, I had no weekends, because it needed nine months to do an 18 month project that I was doing on my own pretty much I traveled for 72 days back was unfortunately America to the US from sorry, from America to China and back. And when I did I put the manual together, designed it illustrated it, wrote it whatever somebody wrote, who did the manual, they must be really lazy. Let me take you through one of my all my hair fell out in stress, but I think it's people and then you have to think well, they don't know. They don't know how well, your team 50 people doing it.
Right? Ignorance is such a bully though. That's the problem with it. Right? You know, we, without knowing anything, we stumble into these, you know, just obnoxious comments to folks. And then, you know, some people learn from and say, Oh my God, why did I say that? I'm so sorry. Because we see the emotional impact of it. And other people are like, well deal with it. You know, I mean, like, you owe you anything. Right? To
be fair. In the end, we sell a fair number of them. I don't really care.
There we go being pragmatic.
I think that it's more a question that for my own self having done the customer care thing and which Charlotte does Now, having done it before Charlotte started working for me. I realized that you get so much more when you want something if you're nice to the person at the other end and you consider their point of view. I think that's one of the things you asked So this is the big thing segment, where do you get rochet? perspective, I think be ready to negotiate and try to understand the other person's point of view. Because if it were the sad news recently, Edward de Bono died. The great and if you know him, the great thinker, oh, Edward de Bono, lateral thinker is just it was about 90 or something. He just just took him out, he came up with the most he came up with a term lateral thinking for a start thinking outside the box, but it's about negotiation is about thinking about the other person's point of view, and trying to help them see your points of view. Alright, so I think that when I hear what someone says, and I try to think, what is their point of view, and how can I change it? Well, anyway, let's have a chat about this. Yeah,
yeah, that's good. I because I, I can relate to that as a theater director. So we can chat some more about that. And I will like between now and then I will look up some things on Edward de Bono because it lateral thinking, I've heard of lateral thinking, so I guess I'm not putting that together.
But he asked children questions about how would you get a cat and a dog to be friendly? And he used the answers and realize that the answers which kids gave loads, were all the strategies for bringing two warring nations to the same table to negotiate. And it was really clever that Oh, my goodness, feed them both so that they're not, they're both full up. And they're not, you know, they're not angry with each other, put them in cages near each other so they can see each other see each other so they can get friendly. And all the things that kids came up with. He did another question, which was how do you get an elephant to stand on a weighing scales. And it's, it's the simple things he asked children. And then he just applied those things to real life and said, these are strategies that we use in real life to get someone to do something or to get to be able to negotiate two countries that have been warring for years to understand each other's point of view. And they're amazing. But there's more than that. I mean, the whole thing of lateral thinking it should be taught in schools and it's not but
well, we will have school this evening then that will be fine. So anyways, thanks so much for your time. I look forward with incredible excitement for this evening. I think it'll be just a wonderful chat. So eat well. Okay, eat well and where we were in our cages so we don't have to worry we'll be fine. Bye bye.
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I hope you enjoyed listening to that as much as I did recording it. Chris and his staff have created toys that bring me back to my childhood and the excitement I felt thinking about traveling among the stars at warp speed. I still think we'll get there someday. Remember, we spent 1000s of years trying to fly it before we finally did. So who knows? While I'm on hiatus, I'll be rebroadcasting a series of shows that I did back in 2017 called century of change. They were done in order to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Macfarlanes in 2017. And I think I accomplished something and rare and broadcasting. They were informative and fun to listen to. As well as a special bonus. The topics covered in the people interviewed went way beyond sock County in their scope and significance. In each episode, we cover a 25 year spectrum with my special co host, Paul Walter to look at the world, our nation and our localities events to both remember where we came from, and to understand better how we got to where we are today. So I hope you'll all go back and listen to any episodes you missed while I take a brief break. Tell your friends about the show and keep working on your frame of reference. I'll be back sometime in October. We've already got some great guests lined up so Season Three should be better than ever. Now if we can just find a decent host don't forget if you have suggestions or questions visit us at www.forsauk.com Stay well