The Addiction Process

Coming soon--a new Mark Rollins Adventure

Coming soon--a new Mark Rollins Adventure

It is not pleasure that drives the drug addict, but pain. The road that leads to addiction, however, does begin with pleasure. The first few times, the user gets a feeling of euphoria from consuming opiate drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine and Hydrocodone. The desire to repeat that wonderful feeling leads to taking more of the drug. Each time the drugs are taken the desired feeling of euphoria becomes less achievable and is replaced by “the black dog”, (depression, pain, a feeling of un-wellness) when the individual is not under the influence of a sufficient dose of their drug. This is the point of addiction. The point where the individual “just wants to feel good again”.

The addiction process occurs as opiates rewire the brain to shut off the body’s natural production of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals produced by the brain that transmit electrical signals within the nervous system to regulate feelings of pain. More endorphins lead to feelings of wellness, warmth, even euphoria and they modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones and enhance our immune response.

The good feeling is the result of opiates flooding the body with endorphins, many times more that the body produces naturally. That excess of endorphins, tricks the brain into shutting down its own endorphin production. When the brain throws that switch to the off position, seeking pleasure through drugs turns instead to avoiding pain. Taking more and more of the drug is the only way to make up for the lost endorphins. Without the drug, the individual suffers.

 # # #
Look for “Diversion!”
Illegal drugs, murder, a missing girl, a plot to shut down American military drones.
  It all points to one place and to the twins.

Coming Later This year.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

What Employers Look For

An area university recently ask me for my input regarding their MBA program.  They were trying to answer the question what do employers want when hiring a graduating MBA.

They had already done an excellent job identifying and building into the curriculum the tool box of skills that will be expected of the MBA graduate.  That means every single graduate will have the tools to do the job.

Does her or she have the tools to do the job?  It is first question and easiest question an employer will want to answer before hiring.  Unfortunately, it is the other questions that are harder to answer that will determine success or failure on the job.  Those questions are:

Will he or she do the job?
In this environment?
With these people?

In the end, the individual tool box of skills only qualifies an individual as candidate for the job. It is his or her apparent traits that will get them the job and their traits on the job will determine his or her success in that environment with those people.  Successful people tend to be those whose behavior reflects a commitment to the following qualities (traits):

Integrity
Common Curtesy
Responsibility
Emphasis on Quality
Discipline
Sense of Teamwork

The all women blog, Literally, Darling, has an insightful post: “How to be Human 101: Basic Common Courtesy.”  Go to http://www.literallydarling.com/blog/2015/03/19/how-to-human-101-basic-common-courtesy/.  Also another blog you might want to check out is the post by Erin Schreiner,  “Five Characteristics of a Good Work Ethic.” Go to http://smallbusiness.chron.com/five-characteristics-good-work-ethic-10382.html.

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Look for “Diversion!”
A new Mark Rollins Adventure Mystery
Coming Later This year.

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

The Best Advice I Ever Received

money sques.jpg

The best advice I ever received came from my father-in-law. He was a typical southern business owner of his time. He always wore a suite, tie and usually a hat. 

Working in his garden on a hot summer evening, he made a concession. The suit coat was left in the house, but hoe in his hand he still wore a white shirt and tie. I was had just started by career and confessed how difficult it was to live on a budget. Without looking up Mr. Reed said, “Yes, I know. I tried it once and decided the only thing to do was to make more money than I was spending.”

Mr. Reed was the founder of the Tennessee Book Company, which in his mid-sixties he sold to the Ingram Corporation. Ingram went on to build an empire as a software distributor. On another occasion, I recall my father-in-law remarking that he was lucky not to have gone into business for himself before age forty because if he had he likely would have failed. Looking back on my own career, I understand now what he meant by that. When it comes to business, you are a lot smarter at forty.

Best post series-- originally posted 2013

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DIVERSION!
Coming Later This Year
A New Mark Rollins Adventure

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

The Addiction Process

percocet.jpg

Later this year, a new Mark Rollins adventure mystery will be available for readers. The new book, Diversion, delves into the world of the addict—including the user who takes otherwise legal drugs, opiates or pain medication, illegally for recreational purposes and the pill mills that write prescriptions for cash. The diversion of these drugs to recreational use has a devastating impact on the user and those who love him or her. So why do they do it, and how does experimentation lead to addiction?

It is not pleasure that drives the drug addict, but pain. The road that leads to addiction, however, does begin with pleasure. The first few times, the user gets a feeling of euphoria from consuming opiate drugs like heroin, morphine, codeine and Hydrocodone. The desire to repeat that wonderful feeling leads to taking more of the drug. With each dose, the drugs become less effective, and when the individual is not under the influence of a sufficient dose of the drug, euphoria is replaced by the “black dog” (depression, pain, and a feeling of unwellness). This is the point of addiction. The point when the individual “just wants to feel good again.”

The addiction process occurs as opiates rewire the brain to shut off the body’s natural production of endorphins. Endorphins are the chemicals produced by the brain that transmit electrical signals within the nervous system to regulate feelings of pain. More endorphins lead to feelings of wellness, warmth, even euphoria, and they modulation of appetite, release of sex hormones, and enhance our immune response.

The good feeling is the result of opiates flooding the body with endorphins, many times more that the body produces naturally. That excess of endorphins, tricks the brain into shutting down its own endorphin production. When the brain throws that switch to the off position, seeking pleasure through drugs turns instead to avoiding pain. Taking more and more of the drug is the only way to make up for the lost endorphins. Without the drug, the individual suffers.

 

# # #

DIVERSION!
Coming Later This Year
A New Mark Rollins Adventure

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Leadership Styles

Success in any organization will depend on how well you match your approach and style to your organization’s environment and people. One leadership style doesn’t fit all. In fact, a study by Harvard and GE confirmed that negative things can happen due to a mismatch in style.
Appropriate leadership style and tools will depend on where your organization’s team fits in relation to the four quatrains of the Agreement Matrix:

Leadership

When a consensus on objectives exists, the organization needs someone out front leading the charge. The key here is pushing activity— “Let’s get done!”

In those situations where no consensus exists, various factions within the organization are often pulling in very different (sometimes opposite) directions. It takes power, command, and enforcement to realign the organization behind common objectives. This is the classic call for a leader who can say and back up the statement: “I don’t care if you agree or not, get on board, get out, or suffer the consequences.”

For those organizations where a consensus exists on both objective and the strategy for achieving it, management’s job is to reinforce the vision through the organization’s culture—folklore, rituals, tradition, planning, etc.

However, when there is agreement on the objective but weak or little consensus on how to achieve that goal, leadership must focus on training, standard procedures, measurement and rewards.

For more on “The Tools of Cooperation and Change” published in the Harvard Business Review, go to https://hbr.org/2006/10/the-tools-of-cooperation-and-change.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

DIVERSION!
Coming Later This Year
A New Mark Rollins Adventure by Author
Tom Collins

 

How do you create something out of nothing?

When the Dot-Com industry erupted on the world economy, entrepreneurs like Kevin O’Connor did just that.  And they made a fortune doing it.  What sets O’Connor apart is that he tells us how he did it in his book, “The Map of Innovation.”  His book is about how to generate ideas and select the right one (or ones) to pursue for success and wealth.  He calls his process BPT or Brainstorming Prioritization Technique.

Here is Kevin’s BPT checklist: 

Get the right people in the room.
Define the problem (question or issue) carefully.
Spend up to twenty minutes brainstorming, no discussion.
Explain and talk about the ideas until everyone is clear on what they are.
Combine similar ideas.
Number the ideas.
Divide the total number of ideas by three.  This is the number of votes each person gets.
Only one vote per idea.
Circle the top three to six ideas.
Ignore everything else.

While the above process may sound rather mechanical, it produced fortune building ideas for he people Keven got in the room.  When you put smart people in a room they are going to have great, perhaps even ground breaking, ideas—too many of them in fact.  Perhaps the most important part of Keven’s BPT process is the part about Ignoring everything other than the best three to six ideas.  It that everything else that gets in the way, and keeps most people from succeeding “big”.

He writes something very profound in one of his early chapters; yet, it sounds so elementary:

All businesses, no matter what business you are in, really boil down to answering three questions:
1.Who are your customers?
2 What are their needs?
3. How can you solve those needs most efficiently?

O’Connor’s book is available in print and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.   

Map of Innovation.jpg

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Look for DIVERSION! 
a new Mark Rollins Adventure by author
Tom Collins
coming later in 2017. 

Idiocracy, More Science Fiction or …?

As our march into the future continues, our future increasingly looks like the dystopic world depicted in the black comedy, Idiocracy. Who can forget the “Great Garbage Avalanche of 2505.”. Well as sad as it is, the NBC and Reuters headline for April 17, 2017 read, “Sri Lanka Garbage Dump Disaster: 100 Feared Dead After Trash Pile Collapse.”

NBC reported that “Hopes were fading …for the survival of some 100-people trapped under the mud and debris of a landslide at a giant garbage dump in the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo.”

Reuters Africa reported “The 300-foot-high dump in the Meethotamulla area on the border of the commercial heart of Colombo collapsed …… burying many homes.”

So, the controversy continues. Is Idiocracy just another science fiction movie, or as some suggest, did the writers actually time travel to the future and simply create a documentary? In an article by Cory Dudak, she identifies ten Idiocracy occurrences that have already taken place since the release of the film in 2013.

The “Great Garbage Avalanche of 2505” gets closer every day!

Idiocracy.jpg

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Download One of My Books for Free

Smashwords' free book promotion, March 5-March 11, is over. While most of the Smashwords digital editions of my books have returned to their regular price, I have continued to offer the first book in the Mark Rollins mystery series for free. To download a free copy go to https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/470351.

The promotion added 36 new people to my reader base.  Most of the new downloads were for my adventure mysteries featuring Mark Rollins. The Language of Excellence gained some new readers as well. While I am happy to offer that leadership handbook in digital form, it really deserves paper and is available in both paperback and hardback on amazon. You can also purchase signed copies or buy multiple copies of the guide book at a discount by going to  http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. 

The Language of Excellence is a powerful training tool, one that makes doing and saying the right things a habit. It is also the perfect gift for business clients or prospects. Some companies use the book as a door opener—a gift, for the very important decision maker, that has the capacity to increase his or her profits and growth. 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Smashwords' Promotion--Free and Discounted Books Through March 11, 2017

Download Free Smashword editions
of my books through March 11, 2017

https://www.smashwords.com/

Mark Rollins' New Career and the Women's Health Club by Tom Collins

Against the backdrop of daily life in his fitness club for socially elite, wealthy women of Nashville, Tennessee, Mark Rollins investigates the disappearance of a club member's investment banker husband. The mystery reaches far beyond Nashville's city limits and puts Rollins and team in the gun sites of an organized criminal enterprise.

Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker by Tom Collins

It’s Nashville and someone wants to kill Bunny’s much older husband, a prominent attorney, the law firm’s public face—its rainmaker.

Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer by Tom Collins

It’s Nashville and If you are looking for booze, women, song, or anything else, you go to Printers Alley. And that is where they found Mark Rollins's friend—a lawyer and rising political star—with a bullet through his head!

The Claret Murders by Tom Collins

It's Nashville... with a devastating flood, a beautiful lawyer, a deadly secret, and wine to kill for!

The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins

This book is simple. It is about the pursuit of excellence through leadership. It will give you the tools to empower others with the confidence to take the right action while they are on the front line.

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/tomcollins

Get Ready for The Wild Ride Ahead-i.e.-Trump!

This nation is in great peril. How can we expect the great and talented to step forward and offer to shoulder the burden of leadership when the price we ask them to pay becomes so great?  Even those who despise Trump must marvel at the price he and his family are being ask to pay. As a collective population, we are our own enemy engaged in the destruction of the institutions and the fibers that have long held us together. If we succeed in our destructive efforts, we have no one to blame but ourselves.

Yet, in spite of the pain inflicted on him and his family, I’m on the side of those who expect “huge” things to happen under the Trump umbrella. I don’t, however, expect the ride to be a smooth one. There will be no soaring to new heights without some brutally damaging, downward bumps especially in the early days of his administration. We are about to experience BIG changes and that doesn’t happen without initial and painful downward spikes in virtually every aspect of government’s impact on us. If you are a proponent of the book, The Language of Excellence, you understand the change curve.


We change to make things better -- to move to a higher level of benefit or performance. That is why Trump won the Presidency. Unfortunately, we know that progress toward those goals is never achieved in a straight-line fashion. Change, especially big change, results in an immediate decline in performance or delivered benefit counter to our expectation of improvement. It is only over time that that the change curve can be turn upward and the goal eventually reached.

changecurve

For the downward spike in performance to be reversed, incoming members of the new administration must reacquire the job knowledge “that walked out the door” with the change in the administration. Knowledge alone, however, is not enough. Like an athlete building muscle memory, the newcomers have to become fully competent incumbents for whom making sound decisions becomes almost habit.

In business, we explain the change curve’s performance this way. To reverse the downward spike and reach the goal of higher performance requires KASH—new knowledge which combined with the right attitude leads to building new skills which over time become habit.

During favorable circumstances, we benefit from push and pull forces that shorten the downward spike. Today, we don’t have many forces encouraging success. Rather than a favorable press for example, it is pushing down—a negative force deepening the likely downward plunge in an almost “I told you so” effort to prove that the voters made the wrong choice. Luckily, we do have an incoming president, who like the god Atlas, is trying to push up on the curve with all his might. But he does so without a lot of help. His fellow Republicans are not carrying an honest share of the load. For them, it is his burden. They “put in an appearance” but only to share the glory of success, and they act with enough caution to avoid blame if Atlas falters. It has been said a thousand ways —victory is claimed by all, failure to one alone

I’m pulling for Atlas. I want “huge” changes. I only hope his (Trump’s) shoulders are strong enough to keep this shaky nation aloft. 

Competitive Cyclists take to the Virtual Road.

It was raining on Christmas Eve in Franklin, Tennessee. My son (50- year-old son) is a committed competitive cyclist and recovering from a detached retina. You would think it is a good time to put another log on the fire and just enjoy the season.  But noooooo!

I’m reminded of the motivation difference between a hen and a pig. The hen is motivated and involved producing her egg on cue without complaint. But the pig—now providing you with the bacon to go with that egg requires real commitment. A true cyclist is a commitment, and rain, sleet, snow, or injury is not going to keep them off the road.

Just to prove it, unable to ride in the inclement weather and with one bad eye—son, Stephen, and his pal, Dave, have gone virtual.  They are in my garage in Franklin running a real race against real people but in a virtual world.  Believe me the grunts, the sweat, and the pain are all real.

Not only are the people they are racing real, they are racing in real time – they are really there on the bike run, yet they could be doing so from locations in France, Germany, Austin, Napa Valley, Austria, England, etc. Technology has collected them and deposited them in a competitive race in a virtual world where each is out to outdo the other or conspiring with a partner to beat the other by forming friendly teams. Some of the places they race are fictitious, but others are places they have raced before and know well including familiar routes of the Tour de France.

# # #

For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the

TomCollinsAuthor.com

. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of

The Claret Murders

go to

http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI

. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

2016 Christmas Wine—Tasting or Science? Maybe Both!

Christmas isn’t over, but we decided to open our Christmas bottles early. We actually opened two bottles. The first was a 1982 Chateau Cheval Blanc, a widely hailed great vintage from the Saint-Emilion 1st Grand Cru Classe house of the white horse. This bottle has been in my loving care since its release. There can be no issue of cellar abuse. I had wanted to save this great vintage for a very special occasion, but I could no longer ignore reports of its seeming decline. It was open it now or never experience it’s greatness. Alas, I was a bit too late. The 1982 was a wonderful drinkable wine that went superbly well with the fat rich rare prime New York strip streaks. But Cheval Blanc needed the food! It lacked the stand alone character that would make you just want to enjoy the wine—maybe with a little cheese or pâté.  Its fruits had faded when opened but rebounded after about an hour in the decanter; nevertheless, the 1982 bottle could have been any really good drinkable wine, maybe even a pinot or ,of course it’s true colors, a merlot.  “If you have them, smoke them.” There no reason to keep this any longer. It is not going to get any better.




The next bottle was an antique—a fifty year old Chateau Lafite Rothschild that had lived a questionable cellar life, at least from its outward appearance. Now this was interesting.  There is no question than the wine is well past its prime, but it still had a character all its own.  Unlike the 1982 that you just wanted to enjoy with the steak. You kept wanting to go back to the Lafite for another sip—another taste. What is the wine telling me now?  Some time old wine is more like a science experiment and maybe the Lafite was near that edge.  When first opened, you questioned its drinkability. Then things started to happen—but it was not the fruit, color, or nose of a young wine.  It was dried flowers. It was the taste of and nose of autumn.  Where the 1982 needed the food, the 1966 added something else to it but didn’t really need the food. It wasn’t part of the menu; the wine stood alone.  It was not a wine to drink—it was a wine to sip. The ‘66 Lafite was a wine to be taken in small doses with amble resting time between those taste. You wanted to observe its evolution once freed from its fifty-year imprisonment.
***
It is the next day and as you would expect there is nothing left of the 1982 Cheval Blanc, but there is still a little of the Lafite in the carafe, and I just repeated the experiment—another sip. The color was and still is very light-darker than a Rose but bourbon like. The point being that it’s color  has faded with age.  The taste is old but no tannins; it is leather and dried flowers—a walk in the woods.  But you know I still want another sip.  As for the 1982, I have done that and checked it off the list. However, I would love to try another ‘66 Lafite, just to see if that other bottle, maybe treated with better care, is any different. I’ll remember the ’66, and that is the difference character makes. It is unique. It is memorable. Where the 1982 gave you all its answers; left you with no questions. The ‘66 just may still be hiding something that another bottle might answer. 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.



An Antique Wine for Christmas 2016

Soon we’ll celebrate another Christmas. And as our new tradition continues, we will enjoy another antique wine during the holidays. One I will tell you about when the season is over and that last drinkable sip has been drained leaving behind a little residue from the bottle’s years of resting in its cellar.

If you recall, it was an antique 1947 vintage of Chateau Cheval Blanc that was a central character in my book The Claret Murders. The ‘47 Cheval Blanc is considered by many to be the greatest wine every made.  I did have the great fortune of tasting a small share of this extraordinary wine at a tasting dinner several years ago.

In the animated hit Ratatouille, feared critic Anton Ego visits Gusteau's, the restaurant in which the movie is set, and orders a bottle of 1947 Château Cheval Blanc to go with his meal. The wine critic, Mike Steinberger, noted that the film which is full of delicious insider moments for foodies did so as wink to the wine lovers. He explained,
 “That's because the '47 Cheval is probably the most celebrated wine of the 20th century. It is the wine every grape nut wants to experience before he dies.”


Today, seventy years later, a single surviving bottle of the 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc purchased, rather than retrieved from one’s cellar, can cost as much or more than $12,000.

Last year’s antique treasure got close but miss this greatest of all wine by just one year. We celebrated that Christmas with a 1948 Cheval Blanc.

Our 1948 bottle was very much alive—wonderful, but no longer a characteristic Claret. It smelled of plums and raisins with the taste of an exceptionally smooth port. We paired the wine with cheese and rich fat hamburgers that brought back the richness of the wine and showed its nobility as a great Claret from the house of the white horse.

What makes the experience of an antique wine so exceptional is the realization that you are one of the last people on earth to have the opportunity to taste the wine—through the experience you time travel back in to its birth. It is the product of soil, weather, and the light hand of the wine maker at that precise place and time in history. Like a snowflake—it is unique and can never be repeated.



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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.



EMPLOYERS – WAIT, WAIT DON'T DO IT!

Qualifying for a Tennessee carry permit requires mandatory training and being tested on the firing range. In spite of the sustainable personal investment in time and expense, many Tennesseans have gone through the process becoming responsible gun owners. One of the things they learn during training is that firing a deadly weapon exposes them to civil and criminal prosecution regardless of the reason for doing so. The only justification for aiming a weapon at another human is that you believe you or someone else is at risk of being killed or suffering grave bodily harm. Their judgment as to that circumstance will be questioned. They will surely have to defend their decision in court. Responsible gun owners have a lot to lose and thus take their responsibility seriously. Based on experience, we have much to fear from criminals with guns and almost nothing to fear from the licensed individual. In fact, those licensed for conceal carry provide an additional level of security—security that could one day save your life or the life of someone close to you.

In spite of the potential benefit the licensed individual provides, fear of guns in anyone’s hand has led some businesses to adopt a no guns on the premises policy. However, a company’s right to bar guns has limits as Steve Collins humorously explains below:

“Hey, Harlan, I heard Louise has got a shiny Colt Detective 38 Special locked up in her trunk.  She's always pushing the rules.  There are no guns allowed on company property.  I've had it with Louise.  This is it.  I'm firing her."
Wait, wait don't do it.  In 2014 Tennessee passed Tennessee Code Annotated 39 17 1313, commonly referred to as the "guns in trunks law."
Since Louise has a proper Tennessee carry permit and since her Colt Detective 38 Special is locked up in her trunk, she is protected by the law.  The law allows Louise to transport and store her gun in her vehicle.  That law applies to the company parking lot.   All Louise has to do is be on the property legally, be parked legally, and her have her gun and ammunition 'kept from ordinary observation'.  A gun locked in the trunk is 'kept from ordinary observation'.
Also if Harlan does fire Louise she can bring a lawsuit against the company charging that her statutory right to have her gun locked in her trunk has been violated and she can in turn seek and receive damages from the employer including her attorney fees and litigation costs and she can get an injunction prohibiting her employer from violating that law and taking an adverse employment action against her.  These remedies for Louise are provided for in Tennessee Code Annotated 50-1-312. The result is that an employer of any size is now prohibited from discharging or taking an adverse employment action against its employee in Tennessee 'solely' for being in compliance with 'guns in trunks'.
Be aware and wait, wait don't do it.  Tennessee Code Annotated 50-1-312. Became effective July 1, 2015.

For more WAIT, WAIT DON'T DO IT advice to employers check other Steve Collins post at http"//spicefirm.com/news.html.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Time Off to Vote—It is a Right!

With the election of our next President only days away, employees and employers need to start thinking about voting plans.  Imagine the following conversation between employee and employer:
“I need to take off to go vote today."
“Wait a minute Joe, you do that on your own time.”
“I’ve got to vote!”
“Well, if you leave work, no need to come back."
Steve Collins with the Knoxville law firm Spicer Rudstrom, PLLC says, “EMPLOYERS – WAIT, WAIT DON'T DO IT!” Tennessee Code Annotated 2-1-106 provides that the employee on the day of an election must be given "a reasonable period of time, not to exceed three (3) hours, necessary to vote during the time the polls are open in the county where the person is a resident.” The law also provides, however, that Joe has to make application for the time off at least before 12:00 noon on the day before the election. Further, the law provides that if the employee's work begins three or more hours after the polls have opened or ends three or more hours before the polls close in the county where the employee is a resident, then the employee is not entitled to the time off. The employee “may not be subjected to any penalty or reduction in pay for such absence.”




"Termination of an employee for a protected right, protected by a statute or regulation, can give rise to a retaliatory discharge lawsuit.  If Joe makes an application before lunchtime the day before the election and if Joe's work does not start three or more hours after the polls in his county open or his work does not end three or more hours before the polls close in his county, you better let him off to go vote."

"In the case of Hodges v. S.C. Toof & Co., 833 S.W.2d 896 (Tenn. 1992) a Tennessee jury returned a verdict of $575,000 for a plaintiff found to have been wrongfully discharged  for engaging in a protected activity (jury duty).  So, wait, wait don't do it!"

For more "Wait, wait don't do it!" advice from Steve Collins go to http"//spicefirm.com/news.html


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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.



Aunt Enie

Aunt Enie
April 21, 1920 - April 14, 2016

We said goodbye to Earline Rogers, a.k.a. Aunt Enie.  Actually, she wasn’t legally my aunt; she was everybody’s aunt. She passed away several months ago at 97 on April 1 4th, 2016.  On August 22nd at the Woman’s Club of Nashville, we celebrated her life—a life wonderful for everyone who knew her—a life of giving that will continue because she set up a trust to provide college scholarships for generations to come.

Aunt Enie will be remembered by all walks of life in the Nashville and Centerville area including her Juris, Inc. friends.

Aunt Enie was an honorary member of the Juris, Inc. team complete with logo jacket and a Juris business card with the title Official Executive Guest Chef and Expert Biscuit Maker.  For years Aunt Enie and Lee Ann’s Herron’s mother prepared a Christmas time breakfast-lunch for the Juris home office team members—Country Ham, Grits, Eggs and Aunt Enie’s Biscuits—with all the fixings.  If you were one of those Juris team members, you remember those world famous biscuits.  She left behind her recipe so that you can continue that Christmas tradition:

I can’t possibly detail all the credits she accumulated during her life, but let me remind you of just a few. Known for her unfailing smile, everyone she met became a friend. She was widely traveled. As a senior citizen she was a government courier for top secret documents. In her seventies, she went Heli-hiking in mountain terrain. She entertained sick children as a clown. She loved bridge and often played at what he called her second home, the Women’s Club. She was at home anywhere with anyone, but she always retained a little air of country about her. She became a lady of means and a generous one. As one family member said, “Aunt Enie believed in keeping money circulating.” She did and she enjoyed it!

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Surviving a Terrorist

What happened in Orlando is another reminder that all of us are at risk of becoming targets in this war against radical Islam. The odds are low that you, I, or family members will find themselves in the middle of an Orlando type attack.  But it could happen just as you could be a storm or earthquake victim, so you need to be prepared to take action to survive. Action is the key. Those who act in the first seconds are the survivors. Try to be aware of your surroundings. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable, get out. If you see something suspicious tell — call 911 or the authorities.  Enter the FBI as a contact in your phone. You can contact your nearest field office or use the national tip line, 202-324-3000.   It is a good idea to have the fire and local police numbers in your phone as well.

If you are in a public location, know where the exits, restrooms, stairs, and fire extinguishers are located. 

Most people will mentally try to rationalize a threat away—shots are probably just fireworks, screams are just teenagers acting up, etc.  Survivors think threat first. They quickly assess to grasp the situation and they act.  They run, hide, or fight.

Get out of harm’s way if you possibly can. Once out, contact the
authorities and give them as much information as you can. The best way you can help others is too first save yourself. Only if you are alive can you help save other lives by assisting authorities and later helping those hurt or wounded. 

If you cannot run, hide. Make yourself disappear or as small a target as possible. Put a barrier between you and the terrorist. Preferably one that both hides you as well as stops bullets or debris from an explosion—a closed off room, a concrete wall, behind equipment, furniture, etc.

Finally, if you can’t run and you can’t hide—try to find a way to fight back.  If it is a terrorist attack, they intend to kill you. At least fighting back provides some possibility of survival. Be ready for an opportunity – an opening such as a jammed gun, an empty ammunition clip, or a distraction. Recruit others if possible. Get a weapon if you can—a sharp object like a broken stick, glass or knife, a hard object like a beer or coke bottle. But your body may be the best weapon—your full weight and fury thrown at the terrorist with blood curling screams, hands ripping hair, knee slamming private parts, teeth tearing ears away, fingers gouging eyes. Separate the terrorist from his weapon.  Hopefully, others will join you and together you can take the terrorist down. 

Fighting is, however, the last option. Terrorists may be working as a team. Yours may be wearing an explosive vest. Your fight may save others but not you. 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

World Peace?


This cartoon was drawn 112 years ago. The clothes we wear has changed more than national behaviors, and the cartoon is missing the new Goliath on the world stage—the Middle East and radical Islam.
   
World peace seems as illusive today as it did 1904 when the cartoonist depicted a helpless Uncle Sam that did little more than sat on the side lines watching the squabbles between nations, while he wished for world peace. Back then, we enjoyed the isolation- of oceans protecting the USA from nationalistic ambitions of adversaries. We could take sides and go to war, but war couldn’t effectively reach the U.S. homeland.
   
No more! Wishing for world peace won’t cut it. Nuclear and space age weapons, global communications, air travel, cross boarder commerce, and porous borders have bridged our ocean moats.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Immigration—It Is Just The Same Old Thing or Is It?


The Puck cartoon pictured above is over 100 years old. Those already here resented each new arriving wave of immigants until they melted into the United States “pot”.  Initially, new immigrats stuck together, and their increasing numbers seemed to threathened our existing culture.  Over time their children and their children’s children spread out into the general population.  Some of their culture, especially their food, became Americanized and  added to the richness of the US. A lot of their old ways were,however,  left behind as the intelopers themself became Americanized.

However, what we are dealing with today is different. We have a large and growing number of undocumented people who stole their way into our country. And they did it at a time of heightened war time security. That is right, we are at war—at war over drugs and with radical religious elements out to do us harm. These undocumented persons are off the grid. We don’t know who they are or where they are.  And the existence of undocumented millions in our midst has become an intolerable risk.

Building a wall will not remove that risk.  At best, it merely keeps the risk from increasing. To eliminate it, we must either remove the illegal people or document them. It seems to me that documenting the undocumented is the logical course.  And, we don’t need to solve the “hotly contested” citizenship issue to do that. Documenting these immigrates is no more complicated than issuing a driver’s license.

We can provide illegals already here with a renewable work permit along with a Non-U.S. Citizen ID Card provided they meet certain conditions and register before a specified dead- line. Registration has to include securing identifying information including finger prints, photo and personal history. The permit would terminate if  the required conditions are violated -- for example, a subsequent felony conviction. This documentation process provides no path to citizenship; nor does it prevent providing one at some future time.

Those who fail to register or fail the requirments for registration must be taken into custody and deported when they surface, and they will.

There are many who feel that doing the above will simply stimulate a fresh flood of illegal immigration. That is why a majority of US citizens wanted the border problem solved first. Unfortunately, the risk of not knowing who they are and where they are has grown to great to wait. 

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

WE ARE BACK

We ran away to Florida for a few days to get away from the cold and snow.
We left things looking like this:



Unfortunately, southwest Florida was having a cold wave of its own and had been hit with the “red tide” which can kill fish and make it hard to breathe. So - when sunny, we spent our time on the beach bundled up against a cold  wind.
















And, - avoiding dead fish and other sea life that had washed ashore as a feast for the pelicans.


All things are relative, however. The food was great and the gulf sure beat the snow and freezing weather at home.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.