CTP Teams Remedial Class

CTP Teams CTP Teams Class

This is my last day before I get home to Yuma. The last lame post that I can blame on vacation. From here on, my lame posts will need to find another excuse.

Pay attention, class. I know this is summer school, and nobody wants to be here, but some of you failed CTP Teams 101 and need to make up some ground on what this program is all about.

This will be on the weekly exam, and will also be on the final exam. WRITE THIS DOWN AND KNOW IT!

CTP Teams IS NOT a surfing competition. Repeat NOT a surfing competition.

If CTP Teams were a surfing competition, the score would be kept in clicks. Surfing is certainly one way to get Experience Points, but it is not the only way to get XP. If you really want a surfing competition, Start Exchange and Legacy Hits have surf teams and Top Hits 4 U has a dandy monthly competition called Last Surfer Standing.

Some of you more sensitive students might want to brace yourselves for this next part: There is MONEY involved. CTP teams is set up around the business of being in business. There IS NO business if money doesn’t change hands. So if you do not spend any money, and take none in, you are not really in business.

TimTech rewards purchases. Cleverly, these rewards are called reward points. They can be cashed in for everything from coffee cups to game consoles and XP. The XP you purchase can be used when YOU feel the need.

CTP teams is about planning, sorta like business. You need a plan, and you need to be able to execute your plan. Sometimes your plan works perfectly, sometimes you need to adapt and overcome. Sometimes you may not get the outcome that you hoped for. It really is as simple as that.

A Tip of the Hat to Kevin Williams for the line that inspired this column. “CTP teams is not a surfing competition, it is an XP competition.” Thank you, sir for that gem!

I’m just sayin’

Guest Post: Tony Calabrese

My HeroI’m still on vacation, but this isn’t another lame post.  This was written by my friend Tony Calabrese and published on the Lucky 13 blog site.  You can see the original and other great content right here.  I recommend that you bookmark or subscribe, fresh content every day by a new writer…Republished by permission of the author.


I was told by a great writer,a leader and friend Tom Wacker to write for yourself. So here goes.

I have gone through some rough times. It started 3 years ago for me. 1st I lost my job and could not get one being 59 did not help.

2nd my back was screwed up and my shoulder needed surgery. So I applied for disability and got it. That still was not my house payment,so I was living off of my pension and savings.I know not the smartest thing to do. 3rd I went to a pain DR. and he found that I had a tumor on my brain, oops .The tumor was removed and was benign. 54 days in the ICU and 4 weeks in a rehab hospital I went home.I spent 1 year, 3 days a week in therapy were I had to learn how to do everything all over. Still a work in progress.

4th I lost my house and had to move which I did. Now I can’t work even though I want to. The mind is willing but the body ain’t.

5th Someone stole my identity. I was treated like the criminal not the victim.

6th my younger sister-in-law was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and no cure.

7th my oldest son gets pneumonia has to have surgery which gets infected so he has to come and live with us because he needed constant care. He did not have any insurance because his business partner did not think he should have to pay so much and let it laps and never said anything.that’s another can of worms.

8th my mother-in-law dies. Sad but lived for 92 years.

9th my sister-in-law died so sad was only 54.

10th now my son lost everything will be a permanent resident.

11th My wife had to have a hysterectomy on June 10 and naturally had a rough go of it.

Yes I threw my self a pity party.

Yea I have been through a lot but the one person who has been through all of it and has never once said, to me anyway, why me!

My wonderful wife, my true love. My hero.


Written by Tony Calabrese

What You WANT

What I wantSo, I’m still on vacation. I’m putting out another sporadic, lame blog post. Feel free to sue. In fact, go ahead and make it a class action suit…

What do you expect? What do you need? What do others want for you ? What do you think others expect of you?

None of the above. This is about what you WANT.

What You WANT!

It’s what keeps you up at night, the last thing you think of before you go to sleep. (Sorry dear, of course I think of you last). It’s what you wake up with in the morning. It’s what you think about in those moments when nothing else is pressing you.

If you don’t have that, you are in trouble. If the aching, nagging, need is not in you, you simply can not do what is necessary to succeed.

Note that I didn’t say ‘you can’t make any money’. Note that I didn’t say ‘you can’t get by in the world’. I said ‘if you don’t have a fire completely lit under your ass for something, you can’t succeed’.

Which is not to say your shouldn’t start if you don’t know what you WANT. Go ahead, start your business, learn the craft, do the deal. But sooner, rather than later you need to know what you want.

What It Is

For me, it’s really simple. I want to be able to ride my motorcycle when, where and how I want to. That includes keeping up with my business as I go.

This trip, this vacation, is a trial run for me. So far I have identified some things that I need, and need to do to keep up. It’s not written in stone, but I have been out long enough to know that what I want is attainable. The door is open, I just have to barge on through.

Pretty cool. I not only know what I want, but I know that it is entirely reachable. Now all that I need is some stuff and some more money.

It’s a great life, if I don’t weaken.

I’m just sayin’

More about me and my motorcycles here

Meeting Up is Not so Very Hard to Do

meeting upSo. I’m on vacation. Everybody expects a lame blog post, right? I’ll try real hard not to disappoint:)

Meeting Up

I went to Chewelah Wa, yesterday with the express purpose of meeting Marcus Wahl of the Legacy Team. I was stylishly late, but made it in time to join him on the CSN Spreecast. I got to join in on a couple of discussions about the business, and I got to explain and apologize for the column I wrote about CSN that was less than flattering. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had a great time.

But. I didn’t go there to be on a popular spreecast with four of the big dogs in this industry. I went to meet Marcus Wahl. Trying to guess personality and personability online is a fool’s errand. You can guess at it, but you can’t guess right.

Why does that matter?

You gotta press the flesh. You have to get close enough to see and feel. Skype video is good, and it goes a long way towards really knowing someone, but up close and personal is so much better.

Does this mean Marcus and I are friends? I don’t know. We are certainly not enemies, and at the very least, the basis is there for a friendship. Did you know that Marcus is a tennis player?

What does it mean?

Does this mean that I want to meet each and everyone of you? Well, at least in my case, yes. I am in the process of formulating a strategy that I can meet more people that I work intimately with.

Some I know better than others, already. Let’s take Janelle, Lynn M and Sunny for instance. When I meet them, I already know I am going to like them. Even if they have green things growing out between their teeth, I’m going to be just fine with them. My only worry is that I will measure up.

Meeting Up Again

So. There are a few people in SoCal and Phoenix that I would really like to meet. I’ll work on them, next. I think it is important, this face to face. The more people I can meet up with, the more people I know. The more people that I know, the wider my circle. The wider my circle, the more I make. The more I make, the farther I can go to meet people. Simple, isn’t it?

And In the End
I want to ride more. What better excuse than to be meeting someone that I know online?

I’m just sayin’

The Reason Why

The Reason WhyThis is brought to you from beautiful, exotic Jackpot, Nevada. I am in the process of going to see my Mother and to attend a family reunion.

The Reason Why.

Everyone needs a reason why they work. It’s not just about making money, that just isn’t good enough to get me out of bed every day. No, it’s about what you and I do with that money that makes the reason why we get after it like we do.

My reason is simple enough. It’s posted semi permanently just above my whiteboard. “I just want to ride.
When I want
Where I want
How I want.”

That’s it. So here I am, 800 miles from home, just me and my motorcycle. I got to ride the entire length of Eastern Nevada yesterday, from the pointed end all the way to Idaho. I’ll be in Idaho within 2 minutes of starting out this morning.

I don’t think that most of you realize just how sparsely settled and traveled some parts of the west really are. I was on US 93 almost all day yesterday, and there were times that I would go 20 miles without seeing another vehicle. Gives me LOTS of time to think.

Part of it is looking at what is there. A lot of people just drive through and see empty space. I started out yesterday in low desert, Creosote bush is the predominant vegetation with Saguaro Cactus present. As I gained elevation, Rabbit Brush became the main plant with Yucca and Joshua Trees. Further north, gives way to Sagebrush and June Grass. I know I’m getting closer to where I grew up when I start seeing Sage.

Part of it is thinking about my business. How do I want to proceed? Where do I want to attack? What do I want to highlight?

And certainly, part of it is just the pure, dumb joy of riding a motorcycle. I spend a lot of time just grinning.

So I have my reason, my why. I have my business, which I love. I’m closing in on 3 hours worth here, and I am at least marginally on vacation…

Spend some time today, knowing what your why Is.

I’m just sayin’

Find Time to Write

Time to WriteI’ve had a couple of questions lately about how I schedule my blog post writing. The truth is, I write in 3 or 4 different venues and do the writing for each at a different pace. I’ll try to explain.

How To Find Time to Write

When I started actually writing this post on Sunday afternoon, I thought it was going to be my 300th blog post. But then I remembered another 30 or so. I’ll try to announce 400:).

I write regularly at 3 different places. One is here, my flagship site. One is at the Lucky 13 blog once per week. One is at GadgetMelon, more or less daily. All have different timing and needs.

Here at Tom Wacker dot com, I try to put out two considered posts per week, along with the Saturday Shortstop feature. Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Because I want to have lots of original thought here, I typically start gathering material together 48 hours or more before I post. Sometimes I know exactly what I am going to write, for other times I have a list of possible topics to sort through.

I want to have this post done 24 hours before it publishes, so that I have time to tweak and consider what I have written. I started this post on Sunday PM, and finished early Monday morning. So I schedule some time on Sunday and on Monday morning.


It’s a tech and gadget page (I’m still astounded that I CAN write for a tech page) so the information at GadgetMelon needs to be FRESH. Typically, I go way early on any given morning to find a subject. I have several places to check, and I want to be one of the FIRST to write about whatever. Means I find it and write it in basically 2 hours. I’m not perfect with it, and take too long to write a post some of the time. But it’s 2 hours out of every day. I schedule it. Hard schedule.

Lucky 13

I can start this on Sunday evening, but I want to finish it Monday morning just before I publish, so that it a fresh wrap up of the week that just finished. Another Monday commitment. But I also schedule the time for it.

The Total

Monday morning has an 8 hour blog commitment. Kinda like having a job, isn’t it? The only time I don’t completely love it is when the words don’t come easy. I can turn an 8 hour commitment into 16 every once in a while. Part of the process.


It’s really about commitment and dedication, and it requires passion and desire. I just absolutely love what I do, which makes it pretty darn easy.

I’m just sayin’


Saturday Shortstop: Derek Jeter

Derek JeterDerek Jeter. Repeat Saturday shortstop. A really good friend of mine went to Seattle this week to watch Jeter play his last 3 in Seattle. A 3 game sweep for the Yankees, and Jeter was instrumental in all three. Just like any 42 year old in his farewell tour.

CTP teams and the pressure the surfers put on certain servers every time they visit. This week was no exception. Several sites got critically slow this week. If the CTP teams popularity has done nothing else, it has revealed some server vulnerability at some sites.

Speaking of, it is hard for me to understand some of the low scoring teams. You have to have one Kore4 to have a team, so if that person simply logs into CTP everyday it’s worth 2800 points. At 11:00 pm EDT Friday, 5 teams were under that benchmark. Really? You have a team and don’t even log in every day? Begs the question: Why? I really don’t get it.

This week’s hacker watch: Tweetdeck (a popular ap for managing your twitter account), and PF Chang, a popular Chinese restaurant chain. In a related item, a British soccer sponsor managed to tweet the teams passport information just before a friendly match in Miami.

The Lucky 13 managed to move up to 2nd place in the overall rankings last week and to stay in the Premier League for the 7th consecutive week. We still are looking for 2 good team mates with a burning desire to be on the #1 team.

Before the start of the series, the Mariners gave Jeter a seat out of the old Kingdome, he is one of the last players in the game to have played there. They also promised him second base, as bookends of his visits to Seattle. A class act all the way.

Class act doesn’t hurt in business, either.

I’m just sayin’

Team Dimensions

Team PlayTeam Play

First things first. Lucky 13 has openings for two team members. This is NOT about how many points you can rack up. This is not about surfing 5000 pages per day. It is about being teammates on a strong and cooperative team. I am the leader, but I am not the boss. The team is the controlling entity. Feel free to apply.

I have been on lots of teams in my life. Athletically, to be sure, but also in business. Some were wildly successful, some were much less than the sum of their parts. What is the difference?

Team Dynamics

What makes a good team? What makes a bad team? What makes a mediocre team?

In most cases, the difference is not in the players, but in how the team works together. Truly good teams do much more than the sum of the individual. The members are ALWAYS thinking of how to help the team, and not so much about how to help themselves.

A mediocre team often has no real sense of direction, no firm goals and plan to achieve them. Every member may be trying to the very best of their ability, but a lack of specific goals and a firm idea of how to achieve them make the team a compilation of individual accomplishment.

A bad team doesn’t work together. Often include factions and cliques. “I told you that wouldn’t work” is common language here. Some members are doing the bare minimum to get by, and some are burning themselves up trying to excel. Not a pleasant environment, to say the least.

Team Scheme

Is a bad team slated to always be bad? A good team always good?

Nope. I have been on bad teams that ‘got it’. I have been on good teams that spiraled out of control.

The difference, generally, is dedication and direction. Willingness to ‘take one for the team’. A common desire given the opportunity to express itself. Sometimes the difference is so very slight…

And in the End

The biggest hit I remember in my career was a suicide squeeze bunt to win a playoff game. Didn’t travel 50 feet, and the biggest hit of my career. It’s the little things.

I’m just sayin’

Best Advice Ever

Best AdviceThis is one of those posts that has been hanging around unfinished for a while. Might be because it is too good to die, or because it is too bad to publish….

The Best Advice I Ever Got

I was a brand new Life Insurance agent, freshly qualified for my state license, when I went to work for the largest corporation on earth, Mutual Benefit Life. Life Insurance was a tough nut to crack then, it is tough now. When I went to work for MBL I had a 1 year contract with an advance against commissions. Means that they cut me a check every month whether or not I earned that amount in commission. This was well before Yota uttered his epic line “Do or do not. There is no try.” but let me tell you, MBL expected results. Soon.

In exchange for that contract, MBL agreed to give me extensive sales training and assign me to a ‘General Agent’ who had been there, done that, gotten the T shirt and written the book. They also agreed to provide me an office at the most prestigious address in Spokane, Wa. I became what is known as a ‘house agent’. Which meant they paid the rent, they paid for the coffee, and provided the Wall Street Journal. I also had access to a ‘pool secretary’ but since I was so junior, that was not too much:) I learned to do stuff on my own, including the Wang Mini, my first real exposure to computers. I learned how to run the Wang so well that my fellow agents would ask me to do stuff for them on a rush basis. They got to know, like and trust me.

Wild Bill Huestead

Bill was my General Agent. He was from Montana, and had grown up in the rough and tumble just like I had. He knew everything about everything and some stuff that that he didn’t even know. He was a relentless task master on the training, did it all himself. He wasn’t too fond of jackets, so was ordinarily in shirt sleeves, which meant that I could be in shirt sleeves too.

He did stuff by the book. His book. He never varied, never changed. You knew early on what Wild Bill wanted from you, and when. I just loved him, even when he was not so happy with me. One of the requirements in Bills book was that everything had to be written. You could have the brain flash of the century and before you could tell Bill, you had to write it up. No exceptions.

We had a small problem in the office about the distribution of resources. I’m not talking pencils and paperclips but the company leads. In my opinion it was pretty haphazzard, and I never got my share.

So. I wrote a half a page (I had an IBM Selectric RIGHT IN MY OFFICE) detailing the problem and my concerns for staff and personal moral. I screwed up my nerve, called Bill’s secretary to see if I could see him, and walked into the temple of the office. I sat, and slid my sheet of paper across the 4 feet of clear cedar between he and I. He picked it up, read it, UhHm’d a couple of times and turned it over to look at the blank side. Looked at his desk carefully (there was absolutely nothing on it except highly polished wood) and said:
“You must have dropped the other sheet on the way into the office. The one with the solution that you have come up with. A bright guy like you knows that I have plenty of problems, and don’t need you or anyone else to find me more. What I need from you is a solution. Why don’t you go find that other sheet?”

I went back to my teeny office with the steel desk and wrote up a solution to the problem. Took about an hour, and took it to Bill. He looked at it, smiled and said ‘Looks good. We’ll do that.’.

It’s my job to find solutions, not problems.


I said in the beginning that I went to work for the largest corporation on earth (IBM was number 2) Mutual Benefit Life. Yet most of you have never heard of it. Why? Because extreme poor management and the junk bond king Jeffery Milken brought MBL down in 2 years. From the largest on earth to a fire sale for their physical assets in 2 years.

It really doesn’t matter how big you get.

I’m just sayin’

Saturday Shortstop: Don Zimmer

Don ZimmerDon Zimmer left us this week.  After 66 years in professional baseball as a player, coach and manager he leaves behind a zillion stories and memories to last forever.  We’re going to miss you Zim.

Don Zimmer had a specific impact on the game he loved, that will last far longer than he did.  Do you know what that is?

Seventy years ago yesterday the D-Day landings took place.  Don’t forget.

Am I the only one that is just entirely turned off by 100% Auto Assign TEs?  I am not very fond of the whole autoassign process, but 100% is ludicrous.  Why not just put up a sign “And Don’t Come Back.  You won’t have any credits to use anyway”?

Why is it that when you go to sign up for a site you go through the profile and finally get to the point where you can poke the ‘surf’ button.  Here comes the “You must have at least one site in rotation” pop up.  OK, I’m good with that.  I’m brand new, never surfed a page, so I don’t have any credits to assign.  Now I can surf.  No WAIT.  Another pop up!  You have to have a minimum of X% Auto Assigned.  Really.  Why not let a guy surf 25 or so pages and then make them do that to move on.  Talk about an excitement kill when what I really want is to get a look at your new site!

Lynn M wrote a very thoughtful post on the desirability for one day upgrades.  She covers the topic really well here on the Lucky 13 blog.  Since the Lucky 13 has fresh content every day, you might have to scroll down, or better yet, read down to see Lynn’s post.

Rumor also has it that not one but two Lucky 13 TE owners have made the switch and will offer 1 day memberships with the TEAMS events.  WooHoo.

Speaking of the Lucky 13, lots happened on the team that never sleeps this week.  We got a new logo “It was here or jail”.  We found, caught and excommunicated a cheater, and are in a real dogfight for the top spot for the week.  Got a couple of new teammates, too.  One thing that hasn’t changed is that we are in the Premier League for our 5th consecutive week.

In July of 1953 Don Zimmer was struck in the head by a pitched ball.  He lost consciousness and the injury required surgery.  He woke up two weeks later thinking it was still the day of the game.  Because of this incident, Major League Baseball made the batting helmet optional for it’s players.  Phil Rizzuto was the first to wear a helmet in a game.