Monday, November 30, 2020

Through the Keyhole - December 2020


Through the Keyhole
Take a break from your day...

Not your typical company OR newsletter
"Over 300 languages are spoken here and six ravens guard the Tower of this city.  Over 170 museums exist in this city (*pre-Covid) and the "Eye" was not the first big ferris wheel here...and ladies should never order a pint of beer." Can you guess the location?

TURNkey sports a new look...

It has been nearly 25 years since "TURNkey Network Systems, Inc." began.  In the beginning it was all about finding a niche and an identity that would allow the company to survive.  At the age of 26, I started the company with a couple of friends from Purdue.  Although they are long gone from TURNkey, I still remember how excited and terrified I was stepping into a world where if you didn't succeed, you were out of business.  In 1996 the world had just embraced Windows 95 and AOL was the way we all communicated.  "You've got mail" was the most heard phrase when we checked our inbox and Novell servers ruled the day.  Over the next few decades, we saw new versions of operating systems - from Windows 98se to Millennium to XP, Windows 7 to Windows 10 Pro.  Over that time, it has always been the mission of this company to provide world class service so that our customers can focus on their businesses no matter what technology was en vogue. 

As time has gone by, and for a small business like TURNkey, there really has been only one way to grow the company - one customer at a time.  Simply put, we have put one foot in front of the other for decades remaining focused on the idea that every customer matters and their goals are our key objectives.

When the virus hit us in full force this March, I was very cognizant of the plight of the small business and how we were all going to survive amid lockdowns, voluntary closures and fear.  To that end, I thought our customers would need more than just a solid technological infrastructure to survive and thrive post Covid-19.  

In the next few weeks (hopefully sooner than later), you are going to see a new look to the TURNkey brand.  The website has been completely redesigned to showcase these new offerings.  We are still steadfastly focused on IT services but will be adding Business Consulting and Marketing to our masthead.  This small pivot reveals an opportunity for our customers to really dig deep into their businesses and find profit centers and opportunities that may be overlooked.  

Keep your eyes peeled for these new changes and if you have questions or a specific need, please do not hesitate to contact me as we evolve and embrace the small business community in a more meaningful way..

Who won Christmas?
Guess the Location Game

Last month the winner of the guess the location game was Heidi Libershmidt
 who guessed the right answer.  I appreciate all of the participation.  THANKS FOR PLAYING!
ANSWER: The White House
"This location is where tomorrow a Nationwide election will be held to determine the occupant (yet to be finalized as of this publication).  Regardless of your political affiliation, I strongly encourage you to get out and vote.  As an American citizen, you have the right to choose your leadership. Please do so." Can you guess the location?" 

The official home for the U.S. president was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the 1790s. Rebuilt after a British attack in 1814, the “President’s House” evolved with the personal touches of its residents, and accommodated such technological changes as the installation of electricity. The building underwent major structural changes in the early 1900s under Teddy Roosevelt, who also officially established the “White House” moniker, and again under Harry Truman after WWII. Counting the Oval Office and the Rose Garden among its famous features, it remains the only private residence of a head of state open free of charge to the public.

Not long after the inauguration of President George Washington in 1789, plans to build an official President’s House in a federal district along the Potomac River took shape. A contest to find a builder produced a winning design from Irish-born architect James Hoban, who modeled his building after an Anglo-Irish villa in Dublin called the Leinster House.

The cornerstone was laid on October 13, 1792, and over the next eight years a construction team comprised of both enslaved and freed African Americans and European immigrants built the Aquia Creek sandstone structure. It was coated with lime-based whitewash in 1798, producing a color that gave rise to its famous nickname. Built at a cost of $232,372, the two-story house was not quite completed when John Adams and Abigail Adams became the first residents on November 1, 1800.

Thomas Jefferson added his own personal touches upon moving in a few months later, installing two water closets and working with architect Benjamin Latrobe to add bookending terrace-pavilions. Having transformed the building into a more suitable representation of a leader’s home, Jefferson held the first inaugural open house in 1805, and also opened its doors for public tours and receptions on New Year’s Day and the Fourth of July.

Burned to the ground by the British in August 1814, the President’s House was nearly left in its smoldering remains as lawmakers contemplated moving the capital to another city. Instead, Hoban was brought back to rebuild it nearly from scratch, in some areas incorporating the original, charred walls. Upon reassuming residency in 1817, James Madison and his wife Dolley gave the home a more regal touch by decorating with extravagant French furniture.

The building’s South and North Porticoes were added in 1824 and 1829, respectively, while John Quincy Adams established the residence’s first flower garden. Subsequent administrations continued to overhaul and bolster the interior through Congressional appropriations; the Fillmores added a library in the second-floor oval room, while the Arthurs hired famed decorator Louis Tiffany to redecorate the east, blue, red and state dining rooms.

William Taft hired architect Nathan Wyeth to expand the executive wing in 1909, resulting in the formation of the Oval Office as the president’s work space. In 1913, the White House added another enduring feature with Ellen Wilson’s Rose Garden. A fire during the Hoover administration in 1929 destroyed the executive wing and led to more renovations, which continued after Franklin Roosevelt entered office.
Architect Eric Gugler more than doubled the space of what was becoming known as the “West Wing,” added a swimming pool in the west terrace for the polio-stricken president, and moved the Oval Office to the southeast corner. A new east wing was constructed in 1942, its cloakroom transformed into a movie theater.

A final major overhaul took place after Harry Truman entered office in 1945. With structural problems mounting from the 1902 installation of floor-bearing steel beams, most of the building’s interior was stripped bare as a new concrete foundation went in place. The Trumans helped redesign most of the state rooms and decorate the second and third floors, and the president proudly displayed the results during a televised tour of the completed house in 1952.

Over the course of 1969-70, a porte-cochere and circular drive were added to the exterior of the West Wing, with a new press briefing room installed inside. Following a 1978 study to assess the exterior paint, up to 40 layers were removed in some areas, allowing for repairs of deteriorated stone. Meanwhile, the Carter administration set about adjusting to a new information age by installing the White House’s first computer and laser printer. The internet made its debut in the mansion under the watch of George H.W. Bush in 1992.

The White House today holds 142 rooms on six floors, the floor space totaling approximately 55,000 square feet. It has hosted longstanding traditions such as the annual Easter Egg Roll, as well as historic events like the 1987 nuclear arms treaty with Russia. The only private residence of a head of state open free of charge to the public, the White House reflects a nation’s history through the accumulated collections of its residing presidents, and serves as a worldwide symbol of the American republic.

Christmas 2020 Decorations at the White House ~1 min.
The interior of the White House  ~6 min.
Virtual Field Trip of the White House ~3 min.
This is one photogenic dog...
Stella Awards...

It's time again for the annual " Stella Awards"! For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee
on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico, where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right?

That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stella's for this year:


Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.


Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles, California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.


Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish. 


Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.


Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.


Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000....oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure.


This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was: Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down?  $1,750,000.  PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Scary Snowman PRANK
This is pretty good.  ~5 minutes
The Graduation Sneeze
They walked in tandem, each of the ninety-two students filing into the already crowded auditorium. With their rich maroon gowns flowing and the traditional caps, they looked almost as grown up as they felt.  Dads swallowed hard behind broad smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears 

This class would NOT pray during the commencements, not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine until the final speech received a standing ovation. 

A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened.

All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED !!!! 

The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, 


And he walked off the stage... 
The audience exploded into applause This graduating class had found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.
Bad Day?
Remember Chuck Norris?
Skipping Ball Hole in One - Masters
Crazy shot ~4 minutes.

How Bridges used to be BUILT...

Amazing innovation..... ~3 min.
Got the picture at the right moment.
Blow up bra...
This sweet lady tells a really funny story - VIDEO ~ 4 minutes

Woman Hilariously Recreates Celebrity Instagram Photos

Cooking Fails...perfect for the Holidays.

Cheesy Funeral Potatoes
(a real Mormon recipe)


8 tbsp. butter
1 medium onion, chopped
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 c. milk
2 c. chicken stock
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar, plus more for sprinkling
1 c. shredded monterey jack, plus more for sprinkling
2 lb. frozen hash browns, defrosted
1 c. sour cream
1 c. Cornflakes, crushed
2 tsp. Chopped chives

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until beginning to soften. Sprinkle with flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in milk and chicken stock. Bring mixture to boil and let simmer to thicken, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat then stir in cheeses.
  3. In a large bowl, combine cheese sauce with hash browns and sour cream. Check for seasonings and season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Transfer mixture to a a large casserole dish.
  4. Make topping. Melt remaining butter and stir it into crushed cereal. Spread over potato mixture and sprinkle with more cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, until the mixture cheese bubbly.
  5. Garnish baked casserole with chives. Serve warm.
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