Forget the Little Old Lady From Pasadena, watch out for Margaret from Michigan!

At 102, Margaret Dunning puts any younger grease monkey to shame. For 63 years, she’s been personally caring for her classic Packard car, changing the oil and keeping it running all on her own. And apparently it hasn’t been too long since her last speeding ticket. We can only hope we not only all get to live as long as Margaret, but also have as great a trip as she’s had. Read more about Margaret and her car here.

Meet Sassy, One of Our Four-Legged Associates

It’s no secret that at Modus Direct we don’t just engineer savvy and successful DRTV campaigns: We’re also a big bunch of softies. Especially when it comes to our four-legged friends. Jean Rebel, our Associate Media Director, recently discovered a fabulous resource for local animals in need and those who love them, Kickapoo Rescue.

“After my Maltese, Herbert, passed, my veterinarian suggested I foster or adopt a dog from Kickapoo Rescue”, Jean explained.  “I was very upset on Herbert’s passing and originally said ‘No’… but the house was so quiet and lonely without Herbert that I gave in”

And whom did Jean end up taking home? Certainly not your run-of-the-puppy-mill kind of dog.  Jean recalls how her heart was stolen by, “Miss Sassafras” (Sassy for short). “She’s a 12 year–old Chihuahua, Miniature Pincher mix. She was blind with no hair around her neck and her trachea was pushed in. Kathy (who runs Kickapoo Rescue) found her in a concrete cell with a big dog who would pick her up and throw her around. She had horrible dandruff due to poor diet, was underweight and had three broken ribs. I was sitting on the floor and she walked over to me and kissed my hand. I picked her up, her tail wagged, I lost my heart to her and the rest is history”

Sassy’s not just Jean’s pet, but part of the extended Modus family. “In large part, one of the reasons Sassy became so well adjusted after her rescue was me being able to bring her to work a few days a week. Everyone at the office is very kind to her and she really enjoys being here with them. Not to mention it makes me extremely happy when she is here”

You can find out more about Kickapoo Rescue and how you can get involved in supporting this great organization by visiting their website here.


All of Sarasota Wins with the Super Boat Grand Prix!

Tampa may host the Super Bowl again someday, but Sarasota always has the Super Boat Grand Prix! Modus Direct’s offices overlook the pristine Sarasota Bay, just steps from the Super Boat Grand Prix festivities. From our office windows, our team enjoyed the magnificent super-boats making their way through downtown Sarasota. But the real party was watching from the beach. Each year, Sarasota’s biggest sporting event brings residents and tourists from all over the world together on our beautiful sugar sand shores to sip daiquiris and watch the speedboats rocket past at up to 170 mph.  Not to mention the millions of dollars generated in revenue for local businesses. Hmm. Maybe we have the key to our economic recovery: Boat Races! (And daiquiris).


Dog TV?

Yes, Dog TV. A new cable network will soon launch aimed specifically at… Dogs. The idea being keeping the TV on for your pooch while you’re out and about will help them feel less lonely or bored. The “shows” will be segments around three to six minutes long, showing images of natural settings, dogs being loved by humans, doggie toys, etc.

We better get cracking on a Thundershirt campaign that sells directly to the wearers!

Check out DogTV here.



Sixteen Things Calvin and Hobbes Said Better Than Anyone Else

How can you not get a smile on your face with Calvin and Hobbes!

To paraphrase E.B. White, the perfect sentence is one from which nothing can be added or removed. Every word plays its part. In my more giddy moments I think that a simple comic strip featuring Calvin, a preternaturally bright six year-old, and Hobbes, his imaginary tiger friend, features some of the most lucid sentences committed to print. And when I sober up, I usually think exactly the same.

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes ran between 1985 and 1995. His comic strip managed to infuse wondering (and wandering) on a cosmic scale into an ageless world of lazy Sunday afternoons, snow goons, and harassed babysitters. I’m not saying that you should take moral and philosophical guidance from the inventor of Calvinball (a game that runs on chaos theory), but you could do much worse.

So here, in no particular order, is a selection of quotes that nail everything from the meaning of life to special underwear. Enjoy.

On life’s constant little limitations
Calvin: You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don’t help.

On expectations
Calvin: Everybody seeks happiness! Not me, though! That’s the difference between me and the rest of the world. Happiness isn’t good enough for me! I demand euphoria!

On why we are scared of the dark
Calvin: I think night time is dark so you can imagine your fears with less distraction.

On the unspoken truth behind the education system
Calvin: As you can see, I have memorized this utterly useless piece of information long enough to pass a test question. I now intend to forget it forever. You’ve taught me nothing except how to cynically manipulate the system. Congratulations.

On the cruel reality of commercial art
Hobbes: Van Gogh would’ve sold more than one painting if he’d put tigers in them.

On the tragedy of hipsters
Calvin: The world bores you when you’re cool.

On the tears of a clown
Calvin: Isn’t it strange that evolution would give us a sense of humour? When you think about it, it’s weird that we have a physiological response to absurdity. We laugh at nonsense. We like it. We think it’s funny. Don’t you think it’s odd that we appreciate absurdity? Why would we develop that way? How does it benefit us?

Hobbes: I suppose if we couldn’t laugh at things that don’t make sense, we couldn’t react to a lot of life.

Calvin: (after a long pause) I can’t tell if that’s funny or really scary.

On the falling of sparrows (or providence’s lack of a timetable)
Calvin: Life is full of surprises, but never when you need one.

On why winter is the cruellest of seasons
Calvin: Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.

On the gaping hole in contemporary art’s soul
Calvin: People always make the mistake of thinking art is created for them. But really, art is a private language for sophisticates to congratulate themselves on their superiority to the rest of the world. As my artist’s statement explains, my work is utterly incomprehensible and is therefore full of deep significance.

On playing Frankenstein with words
Calvin: Verbing weirds language.

On realising God is more Woody Allen than Michael Bay
Calvin: They say the world is a stage. But obviously the play is unrehearsed and everybody is ad-libbing his lines.

Hobbes: Maybe that’s why it’s hard to tell if we’re living in a tragedy or a farce.

Calvin: We need more special effects and dance numbers.

On why ET is real
Calvin: Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

On looking yourself in the mirror
Hobbes: So the secret to good self-esteem is to lower your expectations to the point where they’re already met?

On the future
Calvin: Trick or treat!

Adult: Where’s your costume? What are you supposed to be?

Calvin: I’m yet another resource-consuming kid in an overpopulated planet, raised to an alarming extent by Madison Avenue and Hollywood, poised with my cynical and alienated peers to take over the world when you’re old and weak. Am I scary, or what?

On the truth
Calvin: It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy…Let’s go exploring!


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