Bad TV Commercials, Magic Jack, and Bouncing LLC

Should I Revisit Magic Jack?

Perhaps I should revisit Magic Jack, after my Vonage renewal is up on September 11.  I found a couple favorable reviews by the Wall Street Journal at ptech.allthings… and Consumer Reports at  blogs.consumerr….  Magic Jack is now sold through Sears, Best Buy, Walgreens, Target,  Radio Shack, OfficeMax and Kmart. I can test it when Vonage disappears and see how it compares with Google Voice/Gizmo5 and Skype.  Keep in mind that I run Gizmo5 via Grand Stream Budge Tone 201 hardware, along with Skype, over Ipevo phone hardware – all this separated by a Linksys router.

Bad TV Chrysler commercials

Here’s the scene. A minister is marrying an attractive couple. The wedding is fully of guests from the husband and wife side of things. Then – out of the blue – the minister gives a big song and dance. Chrysler is having a big sale.

Which creative director approved this one?

Or take this Chrysler TV commercial, where an announcer with a funeral parlor voice, talks about the big Chrysler sale? Have you ever watched the Munsters? Herman – the household family head – worked in a funeral parlor. But his boss, who’s as dead as the parlor, speaks in a monotone voice.

Now you get some inkling what this commercial sounds like. Then the announcer surprises us. He says something to this effect: “nothing can be more exciting.” Then a monkey appears on the scene, carrying an explosive plunger. The announcer, echoing his monotone personal, says, “wait, here comes a monkey.” As the monkey hits the plunger, we see some paper fly out about 3 feet. It’s like the Joker from Batman – he shoots a pistol and out comes a sign saying “bang.”.

Meanwhile, back to our funeral parlor persona announcer: “I stand corrected.”

Kia Rap

You can see this one at… – don’t take my word for it. Some might actually like rapping hamsters driving toasters or cardboard boxes – I don’t.

LLC questions with SCORE and SBDC

If you wish to know what SCORE and SBDC is about, look at my About page tab. I did ask a local college SBDC program the following questions. I knew they had an attorney who was an SBDC volunteer, so I asked the question to be directed to them:

  • In the state of Illinois, does a single member LLC offer legal protection (or only for an LLC with more than one member)?
  • If one sells goods on the Internet throughout the 50 states, can an LLC registered in Illinois allow that – or do I need to register an LLC in all 50 states?

One SBDC director (who had a lawyer who volunteered there part time) interpreted these questions, along with my request to have the lawyer volunteer answer the questions, as “seeking legal advice” Anyway, here is how I responded to them:

“I was looking for the best person on staff to answer the question. So here’s the question – am I seeking ‘legal advice’ or ‘the best qualified person to answer my question?’ I guess it would depend on how someone interprets it, since it is just a general question.”

“Here’s how it works with SCORE, when I am selecting a mentor, to address an online question. I would type in LLC into the global search. You need to first establish a new SCORE account, or log in, with an existing account. I would get a list of mentors to ask the question, along with their backgrounds.

For the questions I addressed here, I would select someone with either an IRS, accounting, E-commerce, or legal background. Perhaps I would address the question to 2 mentors – one to someone with an small business accounting background, and the other to someone with a legal background.”

“So back to my intentions at XXX College SBDC. What I was seeking is ‘the best qualified person to answer my question (i.e. question 1).’ If this gets interpreted as seeking legal advise, it was not my intention – either explicit or implied. If someone at XXX SBDC was an expert in online E-commerce, I would view them as the best qualified person to answer question 2.”

Follow up note to SBDC

“Just a follow up note here.  I did ask the same question to 3 SCORE online mentors I selected – 2 had accounting backgrounds and one had a legal background (i.e. corporate lawyer for 30+ years).  None of the 3 advisers said anything about asking for legal advice.”

“But this does raise some confusion in regards to the SBDC.  You did answer my question, which you interpret as asking for legal advice.  So here is my question.  Is it OK to ask any question (even if the questioner doesn’t know they are asking legal advice), as long as someone with a law background doesn’t answer it?  I’m confused!”

A parting note

Not ALL SBDC facilities would take such an approach.   At another SBDC facility, I periodically talk with a director who’s a CPA.  He doesn’t complain that I am seeking “accounting” advice.  Why not just forward my question to the attorney volunteer?  If I was asking legal advice, then let him or her communicate that – not the director.

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