Coming up I hope :)

I have requested two interviews.

1. Eviction Lab, want to know what is happening with evictions in the USA. Check this site out it's not pretty but it's important to talk about. So i have emailed and asked them for some insights.

2. I also contacted a site that does specialty tea sets. I hope to have someone from the site based in the UK contact me soon for an inerview.

3. I have also sent a request to two more people one expert on heat waves and a company that provides expert witnesses for trials.

C. T.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Betty In The Sky With Suitcase Full Of Funny Airline Stories

While listening to one of my favorite Pod-casts, The Stuph File Program with Peter Anthony Holder I heard the interview he did with Betty Thesky. Betty is a Flight Attendant on a major airline and has logged thousands of hours and miles in the sky. Beginning in 2005 she began to recount some of the more interesting moments while flying in a Podcast of her own Betty In the Sky with a Suitcase and recently she wrote a book about some of the more funnier moments up at 30,000 FT.

In a world where lately flying seems to have become a pain rather than pleasure with all the rules, not to mention the time you have to spend at the airport before even getting on a plane. I have to say, it is refreshing to find that humor in the air still exists.

Betty thanks for doing a Candid Conversations interview

B. Thesky: I understand that flying has become more of a hassle but the fact still remains that if you stuff 300 people in a metal tube for hours crazy things are bound to happen!

Cliff T.: Lets begin by getting an idea of what your podcast is about exactly what is Betty In the Sky with a Suitcase about?

B. Thesky: When I first started flying I especially enjoyed the funny stories the senior flight attendants and pilots would tell. When the new medium of pod-casting came about I started digitally recording pilots and flight attendants telling outrageous stories. My podcast is similar to an old fashioned radio show, it became so popular that a publisher came to me an suggested turning the best stories into a book. Life can be so surprising, I was not intending to write a book yet all the sudden I’m an author?

Cliff T.: How long is the podcast?

B. Thesky: I do a thirty minute show once a month. At first I was doing a show a week but quickly realized that since I edit and post the show myself I couldn’t couldn’t keep up the pace and fly full time.

Cliff T.: I bet the hardest thing is deciding what to put into the show as I am sure that you get lots of material, just how often do you get updates on the funnier side of flying?

B. Thesky: Lucky for me people the traveling public are always doing zany things.You would think that after 23 years in the air I would have seen and heard everything... But, people still surprise me!

Cliff T.: You also wrote a book with the same title. Betty how did you decide what material would get into the book?

B. Thesky: My co author and publisher did a lot of the editing. We wanted the book to appeal to everyone including kids, so some really funny stories that were too racy or off color didn’t make it into the book. There may be another book in the works to include them.

Cliff T.: Who would you say is funnier the passengers or the crew?

B. Thesky: Oh that is a tough question. Normally I would say the passengers but, did you hear that last week an Air France flight attendant was arrested for stealing from sleeping passengers on flights from Europe to Asia! I bet when she was saying goodbye and THANK YOU at the end of the flight she really meant it?! So I guess crazy is crazy whether it’s the passengers or crew, and I love the crazy people since they make the best stories!

Cliff T.: Wow that is crazy, I will have to sleep with one eye open if I fly trans Atlantic. Now I got to ask Betty, are any of the stories ones that include yourself?

B. Thesky: Of course! I star in many of the stories, I actually love to make fun of myself.

Cliff T.: Can you give us an example or examples of some of the things that you have seen while flying that is in the book?

B. Thesky: A passenger mistakenly flushing her dress down the toilet, a couple attempting to join the mile high club but forgetting to lock the door and landing in a pile in the first class aisle! A flight being delayed due to a ticking...not a bomb but a ...vibrator! Or general high jinks that the public are never privy too like... Once on a long haul flight to Honolulu, I was chatting with the pilots in the cockpit and the jump seater from another airline was talking about a prank he had seen crews do on a ferry flight (a flight with no passengers) involving toilet paper. You tuck the end tail of the toilet paper roll down the lavatory then unwind toilet paper the length of the airplane, then flushing. The powerful suction of the lav would then suck the toilet paper down, like a kid slurping spaghetti. Well, the captain just had to see this in action, even though we had a completely full flight. He told me to get everything in place and then call him when it was ready. I got one fellow flight attendant to guard the door to the lav in the back of the plane while I walked backwards up the aisle, unrolling toilet paper as I went. It must have looked outrageously insane to the passengers but it was, after all, a long flight in the middle of the day to a vacation destination, so I figured everyone would be willing to play along. I just kept telling people ‘it’s an experiment!’ and that piqued their interest. When the toilet paper was laid out the length of the aircraft, I called the captain and, when he stepped out of the cockpit. I gave the thumbs-up signal to my accomplice in the back and, she pushed the flush button. Well, that piece of toilet paper lifted in the air, waved in the air like a noodle, and SWOOSH! went down the lav. The entire plane erupted into applause and cheers and, the captain said it was the neatest trick he had ever seen on a plane!

Cliff T.: Are you planning a second book?

B. Thesky: Yes it’s in the works, I hope to also include some travel stories in the second book. I do a lot of adventure travel and have great stories, like... jumping of a moving train in Morocco and losing our camels in the Sahara Desert! We may call the next book Betty and the Jets!

Cliff T.: What does the airline think of your tales or have the even commented?

B. Thesky: I never say the name of my airline for fear of getting in trouble. I still really like my job and want to keep it. At one point I got an e-mail from the chief pilot and thought...oh no...I’m finally going to get in trouble! But he was e-mailing me to say how much he likes the podcast! Boy was I relieved.

Cliff T.: Have you had the proverbial hey I know you, your that person with the podcast and book reaction?

B. Thesky: I have managed to stay under the radar on the airplane. Except I did a book signing at JFK airport, I had gone though security in my uniform. Went into the bathroom and changed to do the book signing in a vintage stewardess outfit complete with a pill box hat. Would you believe the book store was right next to the gate I was flying out’s such a big airport what is the chance of that? But, I changed back into my real uniform for my flight home. A passenger said “How did the book signing go” since I try to keep the book and podcast apart from my real job I said “I wasn’t doing a book signing” and the guy said “so why is your hair still pointed like a cone head from the pill box hat?” That was too close for comfort!

Cliff T.: Well it sounds like you have a lot of fun on and off the the plane. Thank you very much Betty for sharing your story I think it's great to see that the funny is still alive and well in the air.

Betty Thesky is an airline employee pod-caster and author. Making her one very busy bee. You can find out more re the podcast and the book at her website which is, the link to the pod-casts and her book are on the site. You can also download the podcast in Itunes and the book is sold on

I spoke with Betty who is somewhere in cyberspace, maybe she was on a plane. I don't know. Got an interesting story person you want me to interview or cool gadget that you heard about that you wan the inside track on. Send me an email, the address is Thanks for reading and come back soon.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Step 1 Buy Book Step 2 Read Book Step 3 Make Wedding Proposal

Hard to believe that in a couple of days I will have the pleasure of saying happy anniversary to my wife, 13 years ago June 21 was the day we tied the knot. My proposal was not grand in any way shape or form. You see I had asked my bride Dar to marry me back when I was 17, back then she said no. But, at 33 years of age I caught up with her and told her that I would still marry her at the drop of a hat, that was the proposal. Short and sweet and to the point.

Many guys have a tough time coming up with marriage proposals. Even more want to do something to get the girl but, do not want to look like a fool especially in public. There are many ways to pop the question and just as many people offering tips and tricks on and offline on how to make a proposal that will get the girl and be memorable at the same time.

To that end a couple Carmelo and Andrea Di Salvo have published a book titled Creative Marriage Proposals: How to Pop the Question....with Panache. The book is geared towards men and offers tips on how to make the leap into a marriage proposal that will get attention. Andrea and Carmelo thanks for doing a Candid Conversation, welcome to the blog.

Di Salvo(s): Thanks for inviting us to do this interview, Cliff. We’re excited to cyber-be here.

Cliff T.: some might say there is nothing new under the sun here that this has been done before, yet you decided to jump in and write a book for potential grooms on how to make that jump from wanting to ask to asking that big question. What prompted you to do that?

Andrea Di Salvo: I’ll be honest; in the beginning it was an idea to make money. I’d been to a class with Internet marketer Tom Antion, and he was making money selling e-books about wedding toasts and eulogies, so we wondered how we could do something similar. People don’t spend money on things they don’t need or want, though, so we started looking for an unfilled niche and a way to fill it. The more we worked on it, the more it became about helping the men for whom we were writing rather than ourselves.

Carmelo Di Salvo: I agree. One of the best things you can do is to help others. And when it comes to romance and wedding proposals, guys really need help!

Cliff T.: in the book there are over 100 templates that readers can pick from, how did you choose them?

Andrea Di Salvo: Some were common sense or common practice, like our classic romantic proposal template for a “Nice Restaurant” proposal. We just added concrete steps and advice on how to make them go smoothly. Others were things we’d heard of or seen done. For the rest, we let our imaginations run wild. If we thought of it and thought it could actually be done by most guys, we put it in there.

Carmelo Di Salvo: Not only that, but because couples come from so many backgrounds and varying interests, we tried to cast a wide net of ideas for wedding proposals. If one idea does not appeal to someone, there are several other ideas that will definitely appeal to the guy.

Cliff T.: In your press release you mentioned that Creative Marriage Proposals touches on a variety of ideas and themes including hobby related proposals, I have to ask what kinds of hobbies are included?

Andrea Di Salvo: We tried to cover the gamut of activities women are involved in—because the hobby involved is either the woman’s or shared—so you’ll find topics as diverse as rock climbing and antiquing. There are also proposals for other outdoor activities, arts and crafts, and even some sports like bowling and hockey.

Carmelo Di Salvo: Our approach was to come up with the most creative ideas possible. We did the ‘heavy lifting’ so to speak. All the guy has to do is to pick from the selection of ideas and run with it. We’re confident that ideas and themes we offer will bring the groom-to-be good success.

Cliff T.: It is also noted in the release that you have several degrees and careers between you, did you draw on these to write the book?

Andrea Di Salvo: My degree is in journalism, so I definitely used it at all stages of researching and writing the book. I’ve worked in several marketing positions, among others, so that helped with post-production marketing…like the press release that caught your attention.

Carmelo Di Salvo: My background is in economics, business, and strategic leadership, so if a potential groom is looking for a wide selection of creative proposal ideas at a great price, then yes, it applies. Other than that, if he needs help with his taxes, give him my phone number!

Cliff T.: I have seen some wild proposals myself and often wonder if I had done that how much would I have to pay for it to be done, do you give readers an indication of costs associated with a proposal?

Carmelo Di Salvo: We mention that it is best to contact the necessary people first. For example, if a guy wants to propose at the botanical gardens, he will need to contact them directly to first get permission, and then find out any costs as well. The groom-to-be will need to make some phone calls ahead of time.

Andrea Di Salvo: That’s a great idea but, for the most part, no. Prices vary so much from place to place…even Internet prices depend on where the company is based, so we didn’t want to list prices that may be way off from what guys in other areas would experience. On some of the pricier proposals we mention that there is a cost involved, but an “up to” or “more than” price is usually the best we can do.

Cliff T.: What is the weirdest one you have in the book or shall I say the most whimsical?

Andrea Di Salvo: We prefer “whimsical.” Really, what a person thinks is strange depends on the person. For me, the Knight in Shining Armor proposal is pretty strange…but a friend of ours actually used it! Carmelo?

Carmelo Di Salvo: Actually I thought the Knight in Shining Armor was pretty tame. For me, it’s the one where the guy dresses up like a cowboy in an old John Wayne western…oh wait, that idea is in book two!

Cliff T.: Ok I have to ask this one of Carmelo, is the one you made to Andrea in the book?

Carmelo Di Salvo: The proposal I did for Andrea is actually a combination of the romantic dinner followed by the proposal at the beach. I might add though that the night I proposed was absolutely perfect. The night sky was clear with a full moon over the ocean. So yes, the idea is in the book, but no, I can’t help with the full moon!

Cliff T.: In Creative Marriage Proposals is practicing the proposal encouraged?

Andrea Di Salvo: Preparation of every kind is encouraged! Actually, we would discourage men from going over and over the words they want to say, even though we recommend having some idea of what “speech” they want to use, because a man doesn’t want his proposal to sound canned. Some of the proposals are pretty complicated, though, and we do encourage doing a dry run of whatever scenario is chosen.

Carmelo Di Salvo: Asking your girlfriend for her hand in marriage is a big step. It’s not like going to the store to buy milk and eggs. So it’s important to practice where you feel comfortable, but like Andrea said, it should not sound canned either.

Cliff T.: What about a second marriage, or a retaking of the vows could any of the proposals in the book be used to repop the question?

Andrea Di Salvo: Not specifically. We’ve actually thought about writing a second edition that includes those aspects, or even a whole new book. For now, though, almost all of the proposals in the book could be used in those situations.

Carmelo Di Salvo: I agree. All of the scenarios we stated would be an excellent way to propose the second time around. Just because someone may not be new to the altar does not mean the proposal from the first marriage has to be used. Choosing a new and exciting proposal could pave the way to a successful second marriage.

Cliff T.: Have you heard back from any of the men who have used any of the proposals in the book? And if so what kind of reaction did they get?

Carmelo Di Salvo: The book hasn’t been out very long, so we haven’t received any specific feedback from it.

Andrea Di Salvo: But we’d love to!

Carmelo Di Salvo: Yes, we’d love to. Some of the ideas were used before we put the book together. It’s kind of like a good recipe; you try it out first before you have friends and family over for that special dinner. For example, I suggested to a friend the idea of the Knight in Shining Armor. He went all out and rented a horse and made his armor out of cardboard covered with tin foil. The proposal was caught on videotape and caused excitement in the neighborhood as family and neighbors looked on. Naturally we used this proposal idea in the book because it does work

Cliff T.: This sounds like it was a fun book to do, was it?

Carmelo Di Salvo: I had a great time using my imagination to come up with exciting proposals for guys who need some assistance.

Andrea Di Salvo: It was a blast! We tried to keep the proposals within the realm of the practical, but these are “creative” marriage proposals, so we let our imaginations run a bit. It was a lot of fun thinking of different ways a motivated man could pop the question.

Cliff T.: If anyone wants to get a copy of Creative Marriage Proposals, how can they go about doing that?

Carmelo Di Salvo: It’s available from in paperback, download and ePub formats, for $15.39 and $7.95 respectively. We’re also making it available on’s Kindle; it may even be in the Kindle store by the time this is posted.

Cliff T.: Excellent, I am sure that you will have great success with the book and I want to thank you again for taking the time out to tell Candid Conversations readers about it.

Di Salvo(s): Thank you so much for giving us the chance to share about our book with your readers. We hope some of them have the chance to read it and use it to their success!

Cliff T.: Carmelo and Andrea Di Salvo have three graduate degrees and several careers between them, but agree that their most important life’s work is their two-year-old daughter. Creative Marriage Proposals is available from in download, eBook and traditional paperback formats. The Di Salvos wrote to us from Heppner OR which is about 200 miles East of Portland.

For more information about what the Di Salvos do visit