just finished reading a new novel from one of my favorite authors. After I finished I noticed something that I had not seen before, I think its called product placement. For the first time that I can remember, the author keeps dropping product names as well as places such as favorite restaurants into the book. He mentions hotel, cigarettes, airlines, restaurants as well as clothing brands. I know this is a common practice in television as well as movies since I have a friend who used to make a living doing this. I guess it was just a matter of time before the practices spilled over into the literary field.

I was curious as to how this worked and so I called my friend and asked him how anyone got paid for this. He told me that the manufacturers of brand products often paid big bucks just to get their name mentioned in any form of media, whether it was a movie, television, newspapers or whatever. If they didn’t actually pay in hard cash, they would often send the author or producer a sample of their product or a year’s supply as a token of their good will.

I’ve written this column for over twenty five years and I cannot think I have ever been so desperate as to stoop this low and try anything such as this. In my mind this totally destroys the concept of non biased journalism and column writing. I do not see how anyone who does this could possibly live with themselves. Imagine getting paid to actually endorse some product or service through the use of a written column that is read by thousands of people each week. How crass.

While I was sitting at my desk drinking the rest of my delicious ice cold Coca Cola, I suddenly realized that I hadn’t picked up the mail in a few days. So, I grabbed an old Ralph Lauren Polo shirt that was hanging on the door and rushed out to my car and headed off to the post office. The day was wonderful and I decided to let the top down on my Lexus convertible and enjoy the weather while I still could. Summer would be upon me before I knew it.

As I passed the local McDonald’s I remembered that we had not had lunch so I turned back around (this car drives so smooth) and ordered a couple of things for my wife and myself. I started to get one of their new coffee drinks, but decided to wait until tomorrow as I wanted to grab a copy of our local paper at the Starbucks on the way back home. I almost passed Home Depot before I thought about their plant sale and rushed to buy a couple of my favorite rose bushes. The Lowes across the street had a nice assortment of gardenias and I grabbed some of those as well. On the way back to the car I noticed that I’ve worn a hole in the side of one of my Sperry Topsiders and should grab me a new pair the next time I go into the mall. I need to make a note to myself and look for a new watch for my wife at some place like Zales.

I was just about to pull back into the drive way at my house when a friend of mine called me on my new IPhone (these are wonderful). He told me that he and his wife had just arrived in town and were staying at one of our local Marriott hotels. We chatted for a few minutes and then he suggested we meet for dinner tonight at Ruth Chris Steak House. I told him I was certain we could make it at eight.

Sitting back down at my desk, I felt the occasion called for something stronger than a soft drink so I grabbed a bottle of Dos Equis beer and looked over my notes for this week’s column.

As I said before, I think the blatant practice of trying to capitalize upon a media outlet for personal gain is horrible in my opinion and should be stopped. A person should not use their neutral position for personal gain.

That about wraps it up for this week..I have to get on line and book my flights on American Airlines for our upcoming vacation.