66 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Conscious Life Conscious Death: A Book by Craig Scharton
Paul and Craig talk about Craig’s newest project: his book Conscious Life Conscious Death! Transcript Transcribed by AI (not 100% accurate) [00:00:00] This is the two guys talking Fresno podcast, the podcast with two guys talking about Fresno. Your hosts are Craig sharp, a lifelong Fresno who loves his community, even though it drives him bonkers and Paul gin, a transplant Freston, who’s lived in Fresno for more years than he has it. And he wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s time for two guys to talk Fresno. Here’s Craig and Paul on the two guys talking Fresno podcast. Paul: Here we are long time. No, see Craig. I know, Craig: but I’m wearing the same shirt today. One of those pictures, I only have two shirts. So I guess the odds are that I’d be wearing the same shirt Paul: I do too. I’m wearing my Fresno Grizzlies Like this is an old school, Fresno baseball. T-shirt from way back when, and it’s perfectly comfortable. Oh, it’s the perfect, [00:01:00] t-shirt perfectly Craig: new crying. You cry when you first feel that first hole or see that the seams are starting to go. Paul: Yeah, I’ve got a couple that I still have the hole in, but I’m still keeping them anyway because it just feels so nice to wear. So, but then with two guys talking Fresno, I can act like this is theme oriented rather than comfort, so right. Have Craig: you planned Paul: it ahead? Yes, exactly. So we haven’t done a lot of podcasts lately, but here we are back and we’re going to jump back into it. Craig: That’s good. Yeah, we both needed a little break last year was, uh, not only COVID but politics and all that stuff. And I think we were just worn out. Paul: Yeah, I think, I think we needed that debrief time. Everybody needed that. And then it kind of ran its course. And I, I think we got through the election and that guy wasn’t reelected and we all kind of yeah, Craig: yeah. [00:02:00] Until January. Paul: Yeah. It’s not to say there wasn’t craziness in the midst there, but, uh, and still is, but the good news is we’re going to get back to talking a little bit more about Fresno. We had to talk COVID we had to talk politics and now we can talk forever. Craig: Yeah, well, we had to some of our, uh, great, uh, listeners or Watchers, you know, commenting saying more Fresno stuff, more Fresno stuff. So that was a good reminder for us. And we do listen to your comments or read your comments and, and take that to heart. And that’s what we started for. So you just brought us back to where we meant. Yeah. Paul: And if people have ideas, post them on our Facebook page or send us an email through the website to guys fresno.com and let us know what you’d like for us to talk about, because we are getting back to being two guys talking about Fresno. And today, Craig, I’m really excited because we’re going to talk [00:03:00] to a great Fresno author. He’s fairly new to the, uh, the, the title of author, but it’s been coming for quite a while, but he’s very well known by presidents, Craig: right? Well, we will see you’re turning the tables on me. Paul: I wrote my book. I got to be a guest on the show and today our very, very special guest is author Craig Sharpton. Welcome to the show, Craig. Craig: Thanks Paul. It’s a, it’s an interesting process. That’s for sure. Paul: Go ahead. Craig: Well, I always, you know, I, every time someone becomes an author, I always say there’s, you know, 98% of the people are working on a book and there’s a few that, that actually get it to be a product. And I always admired that people. So, uh, but I’ve got to say, it’s, it’s a weird feeling. When you say you’re one of them, you see your baby in [00:04:00] print. It’s very strange. Isn’t it? It Paul: sure is. And the book is called conscious life conscious death. It’s a, that’s an intriguing title for sure. Do you have it with you? Can you hold it up? Craig: I said, so lighthearted comedy, a little, Paul: little tome conscious life, conscious death. Show us the cover. That looks cool. No, Craig: I’ve got the highlighter in there. I didn’t want to drop, probably have a little bit of glare. Yeah. Paul: Hold it up just a little bit higher. So it’s, that’s a ladder with two Craig: pencils. Yeah. So it’s an, uh, an idea for a new religion. So principles represent the idea and, uh, the latter represents something I’ll read about in a little bit. If you Paul: ask me to, I will, and I want to get to the idea that this is about a new religion. Is this a then a heretical book that you’re putting out? What is conscious life conscious death about? Craig: [00:05:00] Well, let’s see. I, uh, so it is an idea that, um, there’s a whole bunch of people that have their own religion. No, right Paul: off the bat. You’re going to forget your elevator pitch down a little bit better. Craig: Well, you’re my first, this is the first interview. It’s all a little squishy for me, but yeah, there’s people that have their own religion. And then there are people that don’t like religion at all. And so this is something in between. It is not a. Uh, DST religion. It’s not a, uh, it doesn’t have a goddess component to it. It is for people that would like to treat, uh, raising their own consciousness as if it were a religious person and make it a religious pursuit. So it’s really about my consciousness is here. I would like it to be here. I’m going to work on that and it’d be really cool to work on it with other people as well. And we could encourage each other [00:06:00] and support each other. And I could post a book that I read and you can tell me about a conversation that you had or a speech that you went to. And, uh, and we could continue to inform each other on ways through science or philosophy or even religions to, uh, to have a more conscious life. Paul: So there’s a lot of people that write books about religion. I’ve got a bunch of them on my shelves around this room, but you’re, you have literally written. Creating a new Craig: religion. Yeah. Well, and that’s, that’s the, that’s the weird part. That’s the part that feels a little bit like jumping off of a cliff. Um, because I know that’s an unusual thing, but I also, I, religion is such an interesting thing. The way that it affects our lives is, you know, having been a religious person, it is always on your mind. It is in your activities. You know, you, you know what you can eat and can’t eat based on your religion. [00:07:00] When you’re supposed to wake up who you can marry, how many kids you can have or not have, like all of these things, you know, how you give thanks for your food. It’s all tied up in your religion. So there’s really nothing else, like a religion that affects every part of your life. And so if you want to raise your consciousness, Treating it as if it were any other religion, um, taking that into everything that you do, you know, we’ll hopefully give you the focus and the continued reminder, and then Centive to keep, keep working on your consciousness. Paul: So is, is it, uh, a religion with, with rules and is it, is it at, in multi with other religions? Are you trying to take people out of their religion into something new? Craig: Well, uh, not really. Um, you know, it really, uh, a lot of it, you know, is a little bit libertarian, I guess every person is [00:08:00] ultimately responsible, should they choose to, to increase their own consciousness. And, um, and there are as many ways to do that as there are people. Um, you could certainly bring your thoughts about your existing religion into this. And in fact, most religions have kind of an esoteric, uh, wing to them. Uh, there are certainly esoteric Christian beliefs, CA you know, within Catholicism, within Judaism, uh, within Islam that are much more consciousness focused. Um, this just as it, without the baggage of that, you don’t need to have that stuff. You can just simply say, I’m this level of consciousness. I would like to see how high I can get if I continue to work on my consciousness. Paul: So is there, is there a deity in your religion? I think you mentioned that and R and R you it, Craig: no, in fact, I am the flawed leader that [00:09:00] nobody should follow. I am not making any claims to any special knowledge. Um, I’d say that the thing that I really bring to this as a person who has run nonprofits and businesses and, and worked in government and all these different things that I’ve done in my life is it’s really given me more of, I would say my. My participation in this is really understanding organizationally how it could work, um, rather than thinking about dogma or those kinds of things. I really want to simplify it too much to say, if we’re not sure about something you go back to, I want to increase my level of consciousness. Number two is we want to increase our level of consciousness as a group. So how do we help each other out? And then the third part is also in the name. Also the catchy little title is thinking about how to have a conscious death. Um, and those are the three main things. [00:10:00] Anything else is up for grams? Paul: I think that’s important to define cause I’m sure. I mean, it’s a it’s it’s catching and people are going to want to hear when you say this is a new religion, but just, uh, it can throw people for a loop perhaps in good to define that you’re not creating a new deity. You’re not creating a new Bible. You’re just talking about ways people can reach higher consciousness. Right. Maybe that’s something we’ll go ahead and say, and then let’s define consciousness after you respond to that. Yeah. Well, Craig: I w I would say that, uh, it is possible to read most of the existing religions as, um, as avenues to increase your consciousness, but I would, I would submit, and I think I could come up with enough evidence that rather than focusing on consciousness, uh, they tend to get sidetracked in, you know, arguing over what a word means or passage, or as you know, is this a [00:11:00] shellfish or is that a shellfish? What’s a clove. And have, you know, like, there’s, there’s a whole bunch of stuff. Paul: Are gay people going to heaven or are they not doing crazy stuff? Craig: Yeah, it does. Does the earth revolve around the sun or is it flag around. We can get, we can really get wrapped up in all of these side arguments, I would say, instead of keeping that focus and that focus is really what this is about. If you don’t have the focus to do the work, to increase your consciousness, it’s far less likely that it will ever happen. Paul: No, I’m pretty convinced when you read that story about this guy, Jesus, he didn’t actually come to create this exclusive religion. I think he was displaying what living life to the full looks like, which may play into what your higher level of consciousness looks like. So let’s define consciousness. I think you had an excerpt from the book you wanted to [00:12:00] read to show us what consciousness is. Craig: Well, and, and consciousness is really, uh, a big subject of science right now, too. And that’s really just about, you know, your awareness or, uh, you can even say, uh, If you go back to Maslow, you know, being self-actualized and bullying beyond yourself, be it going beyond where you are right now. Um, making decisions based on something other than your own internal programming. I want this, I want that. Or external programming. You need to be like this. You need to be like that is starting to know who you are and start to make decisions based on that information kind of free of those, of those other pressures or constraints. So, yeah. Cool. Yeah. You got Paul: an excerpt to read on Craig: that. I do. Cause you asked me to have an extra, so I did Paul: one. Yes. We always want to hear an author reading his own, his or her own. [00:13:00] Craig: Okay. That’s the first time I’ve done it. You know, I like it. Alright. Paul: Consciously, other than the last time where we recorded or didn’t record this project, but that’s a whole nother Minnie won’t know, hearing this podcast that we did this podcast once before and somebody on the screen, I won’t say me forgot to hit the record button. So here we are again. Craig: Wow. We call that dress rehearsal. Yes, Paul: we do. All right. Read your excerpt for us. Craig: Consciousness is an ideal. I think of ideals as distant goals that we can strive toward without ever reaching them with each bit of progress that we make towards our ideals. They reveal new insights, understandings, and perspectives. I imagine that increasing our level of consciousness is like climbing an infinite rope ladder. It takes work and energy and maybe even encouragement to climb. But as we climb with each new run that we [00:14:00] advance our perspective changes, we can see further as the horizon lengthens. So that is the latter reference in the, in the, uh, on the cover as well. So, you know, you can just imagine that climbing up. It does take work. It does take focus and effort. Um, and that as I read philosophy or religion, it’s not a, it’s not a soft thing. You know, I can’t just take a vitamin or light an incense or, you know, put, wear certain clothing. That’s going to get me there. It’s going to be something that I have to work on. Um, but as we do that, and I have worked on these things in my life and your perspectives do change. And I’m sure you’ve seen that too. As you, as you meditate on the golden rule about loving your neighbor as yourself, you know, when you read it as a kid, it’s this one. And then you read it a little bit later and it’s a different thing and it just keeps [00:15:00] changing. And then you find yourself putting it into practice, you know, like you see a car broken down, you know, in the middle of nowhere at night. And you’re like, well, I don’t really want to stop. And then you think, well, what if that was me? Or what if that was someone I love? And then you stop and then you help someone and your life expands each time you do that. Right? Regardless of what that is. As, as we begin to practice that, now we know we’re not doing it perfectly, right. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I know not yet. At least I still have a long way to go, but I do know that each time I make progress, I go up another rung in that ladder that I am, I’ve become a better person, which means I’m probably better to the people around me. You know, I have more to contribute, man. Um, I could help someone else. Maybe who’s just beginning to think about it and share what I’ve learned or [00:16:00] experience. And we can take that, you know, that ideal is one, that’s obviously a huge one, but we can focus on that the rest of our lives. And there are other ideals that we can do as well. You know, we can talk about how do I live on this planet in a healthy way that can be a big deal. Um, or how can I, you know, one that I know I struggle with is how can I, um, live a healthy life, right? How can I physically healthy? You mean? Yeah, mentally healthy, physically healthy, spiritually health, all of these things, as we work on them, we can get better at them just as if we were learning a new language or a musical instrument or whatever it is with practice. We get better. You know, and then hopefully you get, you know, some amount of practice and then all of a sudden things really start to begin to make sense. And, and, uh, the ideas kind of coalesce in you. Hmm. Paul: It hasn’t that sort [00:17:00] of the goal of life, you know, if I’m know I’ve learned from the mistakes my parents made and try not to make the same mistakes to transfer them onto my kids or, or for, you know, some who’ve been divorced. Can I learn to do this better or have relationships in a better way? I mean, isn’t that the goal of life, and even then generationally, can we hand something better to the next generation then than what we were given? I know that’s not necessarily being displayed in the current generation perhaps, but isn’t that the goal of life? Craig: Well, and that’s that’s yeah, it is. And I think part of why we don’t get there, you know, I’m not sure. I don’t want to bad mouth existing religions, but I will say that, you know, we know that they get off base, you know, it’s, they can miss the point of why they exist. And I think that’s what happens. And when that happens, you know, like any other entity, you know, and [00:18:00] this is something we, we always have to be careful of is they start becoming self-protective and then they want their growth. And they, you know, it takes on a life of their own, you know, we see that with government or business or religion. And so this is kind of stripping it all away and say, let’s not have all those sorts of stories that we need to fight about whether there was a burning Bush or whether it was actually lightning or what, you know, like a fireflies, like who cares. Right. That’s keep going back to the point. And I would argue that the point of all of it is to become more conscious beings. And then, um, You know, try to live in this world together better, uh, you know, with others. And also, you know, the proof is in the pudding on how we treat our plan, you know, which, yeah. I don’t know how you believe in the garden of Eden and then, you know, think it’s okay. That wildfires burning all around you [00:19:00] and your children breathing smoke. I mean, I don’t see how existing government or religion or business are going to change things fast enough on their own. We can’t wait for them to change. And so that would be part of my reasoning is we need to just start over focus on the main thing and hopefully end up with a different result. Yeah. And if Paul: we just make humanity a little bit better in each generation, move it forward a little bit, then, then we’ve really done something. And so that’s, that’s a that’s great stuff. By the way, you said the goal, the golden rule is actually do unto others as you would have them do unto you. You’re right. You’re right. And what you quoted was Jesus making the 10 commandments into two commandments. Love your neighbor. Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Craig: Yeah. Thank you. That is, that is true. I agree with you. Yes. Distinction, Paul. Paul: Yeah. Yes. That was great [00:20:00] consciousness, but I think you’re right. I think religion in its exclusiveness and really what we see now is religion in the west. That’s exclusive around nationality as not just religious beliefs, but nationality and race, or at least cultural norms as well. Um, it’s it is going to push against us becoming better as the human race. Craig: Yeah, well, and that’s it as it pushes away. And we’ve seen this before. I mean, one of the greatest, you know, the greatest, uh, example I’ve seen in history is, you know, you start with, you know, love your neighbor as yourself and, you know, few hundred years later, you’re burning people at the stake, you know, like how do you get that from that core message over to this aberrant behavior? And, and I think that’s what happens. And I think that’s, what’s happening now with a lot of that, you know, whether, whether it’s jihadism or whether it’s, you know, white [00:21:00] evangelical fundamentalism or the Catholic church, you know, and, and, uh, issues with, uh, child abuse. I mean, you know, you just have all of these abberant behaviors that come out and I’m, I guess I’m saying let’s just start over. Let’s start out with something very basic. Um, don’t follow anyone. Don’t follow me. Like, can we agree on some basic principles? And then let’s just focus on that. And then through absolute a hundred percent transparency, um, some mechanisms I’ve tried to put into place that could keep us from getting off track, um, at least as far, or staying off track, um, you know, that maybe we can keep, I referenced this. I remember a lady that, uh, an elderly lady that I know she had this, uh, magnet on her refrigerators that said, uh, remember to keep the main thing, the [00:22:00] main thing. And it’s just one of those little, little sayings, but if you take that, literally, it’s really a very powerful saying and, and that’s, that’s, that’s really, I think what I’m trying to do with this to say let’s strip all the nonsense. We’re never going to figure out most of these things we’re arguing over. Anyway, many of them happened 4,000 years ago. So, you know, it’s just my opinion versus you have your opinion ultimately, and we’re arguing over something that’s been edited and rewritten, you know, by who knows how many people. So let’s just skip all of that and go back to the main points. And, um, and I, I would argue again that, uh, consciousness is one of those, one of those main points. Paul: Yeah. And I, and I honestly believe, um, and you and I have been walking this journey with me a little bit of my belief system being changed in all of this. And I, I think what you’re [00:23:00] talking about really is the story of, of Jesus that Jesus saying. Let it be on earth as it is in heaven in the Lord’s prayer was saying, let us bring this idea of goodness down and see it exist on earth. And it, and none of it was about getting people to say a sinner’s prayer and join a particular church and declare everybody else is being dying in the flood. Yeah. Craig: Outsiders equal. Yeah. Paul: It was about self sacrificial living for everybody. And that’s what Jesus demonstrated. So I, I don’t think this, what you’re saying is, is truly at antithesis with the story of Jesus at all. It may be a little bit, uh, would be difficult for some Christians that I know today, but not the original guy that they sort of point to for Craig: all of this. Well, and I, after this, I won’t say the idea occurred to me, but it started crystallized in me about conscious life consciously. [00:24:00] I re-read the gospels something I’ve read several times or a few times I should say. And, and it just screamed at me. I was like, this is, this is the point. Like, you know, it’s, uh, it really is, could be that, you know, one of the great conscious life conscious, just stories in history about, you know, I, I, Jesus had the ability to not do what he did. Right. Right. Even in the Christian texts, it’s like, you haven’t, he had ways out of it, but you thought about it bottle, like up to the end, he kept going like this really Paul: there’s gotta be another way. What are we Craig: thinking? What, who came up with this plan? But, but he did it eyes open, you know, carrying that cry. Getting abused. Like he did it like that is the conscious part. Right. [00:25:00] And, um, Socrates, very similar kind of a thing, you know, very wrongfully accused. Um, actually the people that didn’t like him didn’t like him because he was doing really good things and they just found a way to blame him. And, um, you know, he had the hemlock to drink and his friend said, look, we can get you out of here. In fact, the people who were condemning him were hoping that he would just, you know, go, go live on an island somewhere and quit bothering them. And he said, no, I’m not going to be able to make the change if I sneak off in the middle of the night, you know? And, and he went into it eyes wide open. And, you know, I, I just see that throughout art, throughout history, throughout philosophy, um, we see that kind of thing where. You know, your, your, your life has completely, I mean, you could, you could look at the, uh, at the star wars movies. Right. You know, I mean, obiwan is a classic [00:26:00] mythological figure and, you know, he, he quits fighting and lets himself, you know, be killed. Right. And that is a classic, uh, you know, Joseph Campbell was involved with those, a great mythologist to make sure that those first two movies really followed the classical mythological lines. And, and that’s part of those stories exist everywhere in the world, you know? And then it is a consistent thing. Paul: It’s interesting. I do keep comparing this back to sort of the GAO Christian Bible, uh, because I was having a discussion with someone this week about. You know, the why’s of why, why would an omnipotent omniscient God allow a child to be repeatedly molested, you know, kind of a thing and, you know, and, and have the answer. Well, you know, who, you know, God’s ways are higher than our ways, you know, that kind of answer. And did you see, you know, job, 38 is all about God telling Joe, who are you to [00:27:00] like question me because I, and so I went back and read, I like you, I went back and read the story and read the book of job. And the, the conclusion of the book of job is job saying, I’m going to ask questions and you’re going to answer them. You know, him talking to God or talking to heaven, I’m going to ask questions. You’re going to answer them. And I’m going to go from being a person whose ears had heard about you to somebody who’s eyes has now who eyes have now seen you. And I thought that was such a fascinating thing that, that he was saying through the, through the suffering and maybe, you know, being present or conscious as you’re talking about through the suffering, asking the questions of why is this happening to me, wrestling with those subjects. He comes out at the end saying my eyes. Now I’ve seen, I know something I didn’t know before and life is better because of it. And, uh, so anyway, I guess that, is that a sense of what you’re trying to tell us through this? [00:28:00] Yeah. Craig: Well, and that’s, I would say it’s, it’s it shines through I, once you see it, you’ll see it start popping up all over the place. Um, you know, some, some very, you know, I, I. I look at movies, stories, whatever, and it pops up, especially in really good ones. Um, like dead man walking is an interesting one that, uh, Susan Surandon, uh, was in that movie as the nun. And, uh, Sean Penn was a, you know, troubled prisoner. And, you know, at the end, you know, the true shall set you free, which is another ideal that you can strive toward your whole life knowing you’ll never get it perfectly, but you can keep moving toward that ideal. And, you know, and there’s that scene at the end where he’s getting executed and they haven’t laid out. And it basically is like a cross. And, and that, that [00:29:00] conscious awareness that he finally went into at the end, you know, changed everything. I mean, it just, it changed his, his death, but it changed everyone around him. And, you know, it was. It’s a, it’s a quite a consistent theme. Um, so yeah, so I wouldn’t say that, you know, I think for a Buddhist, I mean, you know, they don’t get quite as wrapped into, you know, us versus them as much, uh, by a long shot. But I think for some of the other maybe Abrahamic religions, uh, it’ll be challenging for some, um, but you know, we have friends that have read early manuscripts of this, helping me out you and a few of a few others. And none of them was really horrified by the blast for me, or, you know, the radical nature of it, because that’s really not what it’s about. In fact, um, a couple of them have said, you know, as I move into what a church could be, they’ve said, [00:30:00] yeah, this is what we’ve always thought a church should be is, uh, operating differently than, than we’ve we’ve had them operate in traditions. That’s Paul: good. Well, we want to tell people how to get the book in just a second. Let’s let’s take a quick break. We always do a segment on the show called know your guests. So when we come back after this little break, we’ll ask Craig the Telus to answer the big questions about who he is. And, uh, and then we’ll ask how he came about writing this book. As two guys talking, Fresno continues, Craig: got a thought. Send us a comment on the two guys talking Fresno, Facebook page or on our website too guys. fresno.com. We’ll answer back. We promise now back to the issues. Two guys talk in Fresno, Craig and Paul: Paul. All right. Two guys talking Fresno, Craig and Paul and Craig Sharpton. We want to know our guests, tell us who you are, where you came from and what high school you went to and, and [00:31:00] help us to know our guests here. Craig: All right. Well, yeah, I was born in Fresno at the old Glen Agnes hospital over on fruit. And, uh, I have lived here all but three and a half years of my life. Um, in the late nineties, I was up in the bay area in Pleasanton, but, um, but somehow my life and Fresno’s life got intertwined when I was young. And, uh, I emotionally got interested in, in how we could, uh, fix the neighborhoods in our downtown, um, that ended up in some very bad shape, but I also was a kid that was always very fascinated by religion. Um, I, uh, I went to church, you know, sometimes, uh, my dad would wake up and drive me to church and drop me off and come pick me up. Um, we weren’t an anti-religious house, but we weren’t really dogmatically religious [00:32:00] house by a long shot. Um, and I, I loved it, you know, I loved going to Sunday school and vacation Bible school and learning and, and, uh, I just couldn’t soak it up enough. I started reading the Bible. I read the whole Bible chapter by chapter, um, at a fairly young age. I always say I skipped the begats, you know, once even, I don’t even remember which book that is now, but, you know, when it gets into like two pages of who began at home, um, I lost, I glossed over that part. Um, good for you. Yeah, but, uh, but, and I was also up and I had several friends in, uh, high school and junior high school that were Mormon and I would go to church with them. Um, my neighbor, Mrs. Vaughn behind us would take me to people’s church with. Um, I went to the Catholic church a few times with my friends across the street and, uh, a girlfriend in high school, [00:33:00] uh, early on, was Catholic. And I went to mass with her and, and then ended up dating, uh, uh, Shawna Kirkwood, who we had on an earlier show. And, uh, her dad, wasn’t a Pisco, both priests. So, you know, I, I kept going all the, you know, even until I was in college, I would go to church by myself and, and, uh, I would go, especially, we had this one great guy, Dean Roth at St. James, the late great Dean Roth. And he would, you know, he had just this wall of books of psychology and the theology and, you know, every poet and, you know, and he would incorporate all of that into his sermons. And, um, you know, he, he and I could just sit and talk in his study for hours, you know, so that was very interesting. Um, You have to kind of have that component of my life. And I’m glad I did because it, it, you know, a lot of what I’d say I learned later, you know, and then I [00:34:00] became an atheist and then I, now I say I’m an agnostic because I don’t think anyone really knows. So that’s much more interesting for me to try to try to wonder and learn then say I know stuff. Paul: Yeah. I think it takes great faith to be an Craig: atheist. Yeah. Yeah. It’s, it’s just a little, it’s kind of a little annoying, but, uh, but I do have a lot of atheist friends as well. In fact, one of my really fun nights when I had peeves public house down on the Fulton mall was I had a group of my LOL neighbors were meeting in one corner, uh, all Christians and then the, the. Atheists. I can’t remember what they call themselves, but they’re an atheist agnostics group. They would meet there too. And it turned out they were there on the same night and I introduced them to each other and they just talked for hours. It was fantastic. That’s what I learned. But I went out, I went to Bullard high school. Yes, I [00:35:00] did in 1980. And, um, I will be 60. And, uh, we’re recording this on August 9th and I’ll be 60 on August 11th. And, uh, you just went to my birthday. We just Paul: celebrated you your 60th birthday. And now were you on the swim team at Bullard? Did I see swim team pictures in your little montage there at your party? Craig: Yeah, the, the, the pictures of the Speedo. Yeah. I started swimming when I was five at Figerdon swim and racquet club and my parents dropped me off. The coach yelled at me to start swimming and I swam. And, uh, I, I jokingly say I became a backstroker because I got tired of looking at the black line as is, from my fun down. At least I could look up the sky and see clouds, um, and then played water polo, which, you know, after you’ve been swimming [00:36:00] for six or seven years, when someone throws a ball in the pool and you get to play a game. Oh my God. Yeah. Much better. So, but it gets ugly under the water there. Doesn’t it? Well, it does. Yes. In fact, our coach would actually, they would teach us how to cheat, uh, uh, which was part of the game. Like how to pretend like you got fouled and you know, all that, our foul without getting caught. Paul: It’s not like cheating, cheating. It’s it’s everybody knows it’s if you can get away with it. Craig: It’s okay. Yeah. We had this one guy in and you’d be sitting there like this waiting for the, for the ball. And he was behind you. You know, trying to, you know, get, keep you from getting the ball. And he was so strong with one leg. It could pull you under the water without having his hands going, but just one leg he’d pull you under. You’d be drowning. And he’s just sitting there with his hands in the air. No file here. Paul: That’s great. Well, you kind of alluded to it, but how did, how did all of [00:37:00] this lead to you writing this book? Where did this inspiration come from and deciding I’m going to sit down and write a book about this all. Craig: Well, I have in the mid nineties, I had, you know, a really, uh, uh, what would you say? Like, uh, I had a whole bunch of things all crashing in my life at the same time. Um, so I, I, you could call it a midlife crisis or, or, um, you know, just know life reset, life reset. Yeah. That’s a good way to send just a whole bunch of stuff happening bad and good. Uh, and I just ended up at a place where I suddenly was really hungry for learning about the things that used to matter with me. I mean, one of them was my, my thyroid cancer came back and, you know, I had, you know, a bunch of lymph nodes taken out and all that. So I, um, I jokingly came out after I got the [00:38:00] diagnosis and looked at the sky and said, I prayed for growth, not a growth, but I knew I was the joke to myself was I knew that there were one in the same. So I, um, you know, I, I started going back to reading, um, and I was just reading stacks of books again, philosophy from Plato to Carl Young, to Joseph Campbell, to the Bible, to, um, Buddhism, to gosh, psychology, a lot of psychology. And just really looking at where they overlapped, you know, rather than look at the differences which you can do. You can also look at what is, what are the common themes, holding these, all these things together. And consciousness seemed to be the thing. And I was reading about, you know, how to be more conscious from a variety of writers over history and in one of them, uh, [00:39:00] he’s asked, uh, why do you want to live a more conscious life? And, uh, he answered to have a more conscious death. And I thought that ties all of this together, back to the gospels, back to play, uh, Socrates back to Joseph Campbell, talking about the American Indians work cry, which was today is a great day to die and having just had cancer again, it was, it was, and I was going to. Training to become a hospice volunteer and all of that. And just, I was facing my own mortality. And as I’ve done that in my life, my life always gets better. I say that the day after you have cancer, you know, the colors get brighter. Once you, once you realize that you’re a mortal and that you have a given amount of time here and, um, you know, it’s scary to people and it seems more of a descend people [00:40:00] terrifies, you know, many, um, but you know, once you face it and if you do face it squarely, then, um, it loses power over you. And it also makes you appreciate, well, made me appreciate things more. Um, I became more grateful and more loving. Um, I took risks that I wouldn’t have taken. I mean, I would have never run for city council. I would have never opened a restaurant. Um, but my goal became, I’m more afraid of wasting my life than, um, you know, then having people laugh at me or ridicule me or failing at something, um, that all changed. Um, and so is Paul: that what conscious death means? You have a book called conscious life, conscious death. That’s a, that’s a religion and it can make you think of, uh, you know, the crack suicide squads in life of Brian, where they all run up and commit suicide Craig: and it’s [00:41:00] over Paul: the movement has ended right there. But so conscious death is about knowing you fulfilled your purpose sort of, or have filled the time. Well, Craig: yeah. And the Stoics do this quite a bit, which is, you know, Like facing your mortality and, you know, and remembering that every day might be your last day, you know, before you go to bed, say, I don’t know if I’m going to wake up and when you wake up, you go, well, I woke up again, here’s another great day. What am I going to accomplish? How am I going to grow? How am I going to affect the people in the world around me? And so it’s not morbid. I mean, our society is just so desk, death averse, you know, we all know this. We all say, uh, you know, people hooked up in tubes and all that stuff. And they say, I wouldn’t do that to my dog. Every one of us has had that conversation. Right. I, I, that I know of. Um, but we’re just so afraid of dying. Um, and it actually starts to eat [00:42:00] away at your life. So this is a way, you know, to say, no, I’m going to face it. I’m going to know. One do it, like if I die, am I going to leave a whole bunch of mess for a bunch of people, I’m going to get stuff cleaned up. So I’m not laying on my death bed or in a car at the bottom of a ravine going, God, I should have done this, you know, remove all of those. I should have done this things. You know, I should have told my sister, I loved her. Or, you know, those kind of like start living your life in a way that when you do eventually croak, which we’re all going to, I like that. I like that word. Um, right. Very precise. But when we do, we want to leave it in a way that we can look, look back and go like, yeah. You know, I, I, I, I think I did pretty well all in all, you know, I, you know, I, uh, I tried to do, but you know, tried to leave it better than I found it. And yet I met, I messed up, but I [00:43:00] mostly made amends. And, but on balance I did a pretty good job and I can feel, I didn’t. There aren’t things that I regret not saying or doing. Um, I didn’t just Bumble through unconsciously, just making messes and, and, uh, you know, destroying the planet and throwing a bunch of trash out for my neighbors to have to deal with. And I didn’t rip people off those kinds of things, like, think about all of the, like the 12 step programs. Even I learned a lot from, from those during this time period as well. You know, how do you make amends? How do you keep your own side of your street clean? How do you give yourself grace? One of the greatest things I ever heard them use, wasn’t the one day at a time it was progress, not perfection. And that is just such a beautiful thought. So it kind of is incorporated into all of this, taking all these things I’ve learned and try to coming up, try to come [00:44:00] up with a very simple outline. Um, that I know would help me in and I think might be helpful to others. Is Paul: there any aspect of post death life in that? Craig: You know, they’re, I would say, uh, mostly not, uh, because it’s unknown, it would be one of those things that we could sit and talk about forever, but you know, whether you think there’s heaven and someone else think that there’s Nirvana or, or rebirth, or like, we really don’t know. So let’s, let’s say we don’t know, but let’s live our life that maybe if there is something that will, you know, be able to go into that, whatever that next thing is, you know, more successfully like that that’s the Batten book of the dead is really this, uh, like two week prayer that, you know, your loved ones gathered around you 24 hours a day, you know, as you’re dying [00:45:00] and after you die, And it’s all about steering you away from the monsters and toward the good guys, you know, so you, you end up going where you, you, you know, where you’re better off, you know, they’re there to help you. And, and that’s another thing that shows up and in multiple, especially the old religions or, or more of the native peoples religions, um, that there is that guidance. Um, so again, I would say that’s, that’s part of the agnostic part is we don’t really know, but we do know that if we lived a more conscious life, then we’re likely to have a more conscious death. And if we have a more conscious death, we can look back and say, good job. You know, you did pretty well all in all. Paul: And if I’m doing something good and you’re talking about how this theme shows up all over the place, and I could talk about places in the Bible, but even in the story of Les Miz, this, this idea of laying down your life, [00:46:00] No, it starts with the priests, you know, not only giving the silver, but then the candle sticks as well, that that has this ripple effect that changes all these people’s lives. But so many characters in that story are okay to go to their death because they’ll sh they’re doing that out of selfless love for somebody else. And then there, you know, there’s the big line at the end of, you know, to love another person has to see the face of God. So I, I love that concept. And even if whatever happens in eternity and I, I think there’s something of our goodness, that’s going to go on into eternity somehow in some version. But to say, when I’m living selflessly and walking consciously into serving, and even if that leads to death, I’m going to die. Knowing that I did everything I could to make the world a better place. And then it does become less scary. Craig: Well, and, and, you know, If you have faced your mortality, then you’re not [00:47:00] so fearful that you, you know, you know, someone’s being hurt. You’re you’re, you’re, you’re I feel much better about going over and going, Hey, leave that person alone. Get out outta here. I’m calling the, you know, taking that, that action that a fearful, you know, I’m going to hang onto my life. Even if that person’s getting beaten or raped or whatever, I’m going to look the other way. Now you’re getting into a point where you you’re not. So, uh, you’re not white knuckle hanging onto it as much. Um, and that you’re more willing to go out and, and do good. Right? Right. Or you realize you need a career change and you’re just like, I can’t do it. You know, it’s, my mom wanted me to be this and society rewards me for being this certain way. I can’t break away and live my own true life. Be my own true self. And you’re like, no, you’re, you’re really not holding onto something. What you’re doing is you’re being fearful. You’ve talked [00:48:00] about this in your coaching. Like let go of that stuff and, and be free and life just gets better. Right. And you know, that’s really part of the idea with this is, is having a culture within a culture because we can’t change our bigger culture, but we can create a culture of people that are supportive of those ideals and are willing to learn from each other and share with each other. And you know, Paul: so when somebody reads your book, What, what do you hope they do? And, and what are you going to sort of organize around what you hope people do after reading the book? Craig: Well, I’m not sure how that’s going to work one, cause I don’t know what the response is going to be. So, you know, I try to imagine a variety of scenarios and, and I do hope that it, um, some people read it and go, yeah, this is, I’ve been looking for something like this. Um, you know, the early adopter kind of [00:49:00] mentality or maybe the person even is, you know, frustrated with trying to do things on their own and haven’t been able to achieve the results that they want. So they’d like to be around a group of people that is like-minded. So a lot of it has to do with the idea of what a church could be. Um, and that, that could be a place where, uh, you know, you could go, you could live for. A few weeks or a month or something like that, you could meditate. You could like really take stock of your life. Here’s where I am. Here’s where I want to be. What are the steps I need to take to improve various facets of my life and being a community of people that are all supporting each other toward those goals. So, um, health is a big part of it. Um, conscious communication, um, meditation, um, just basic things that we know are healthy for us that we don’t always do. [00:50:00] Again, it’s something that we struggled to do individually. Um, but as a culture, we know that there always, whether it’s your phone or your TV or your job, or whatever, always pulling at you, you never quite get around to working on your consciousness. This would be a group of people that prioritize conscious. Paul: And your hope you’re hoping to build into a community and possibly even a place for community. Craig: Yeah. Church basically is more like a community center where people can gather for meals. They always know they can get a healthy meal there. Um, they know that the food is going to be grown health in a healthy way. That’s a place where you could, uh, learn job skills or education. Um, you can exercise, you can learn how to do like Quito or yoga or something to, you know, gymnastics, whatever it is. And, and it becomes something that [00:51:00] is constantly there to allow you to be in a group of people who are, are supporting your efforts to, to grow. Um, and, and you know, to me, that’s the church’s epicenter of that. It’s not Sunday and Wednesday night. Seven days a week, all the time you might run by and have breakfast and grab a box lunch to take, to work with you, and then come back later with your family and then you all might sit. And one of you read an interesting book and does a presentation about some psychological research or someone else might talk about something they’ve learned about how to do breathing exercises or any number of things. Someone might want to become a computer programmer or a writer or massage therapist or whatever, and they can learn about those things. So, you know, uh, much of our society is very individualistic and it’s on you to succeed or fail. And this doesn’t [00:52:00] remove that still, ultimately it’s up to you to do these things, but within a society, within a subculture of people who are there to be supportive of each other, Paul: It gets a little bit easier. So I have your web address. What, what do you, where can people get the book and, uh, and is this where they find out more? Craig: Yeah, they can get the book here. Um, you know, I did it as self published. Um, it’s only, I think it’s 96 pages. I tried, I spent more time editing it than I did. Right. I mean, this has been a project I’ve been working on for 30 years, 20 years, uh, 25 years maybe. Um, and I really tried to make it as simple and straightforward and clear as I can. I repeat myself several times because I want to keep it focused on the goals. Um, but they can go to this website, uh, get the book. Um, if I have events, I’ll be posting them there. [00:53:00] Um, uh, we’ll post this podcast on that website. Um, and anything, you know, we’ll, we’ll eventually have profiles and, and things like that. We’ll have group chats and things like that will be happening as we get more into it. But part of, part of this is I’m not going to be able to do all of it. You know, I have some skills and I have some things I’m really bad at, and I’m hoping that we can attract some people with different skills and backgrounds that can, um, help us flesh flesh out into a way that helpful to a lot of people. Paul: All right. See ya. Well, we’re talking like video. This may be some people may be listening. And so C L C D conscious life conscious death CLC D community.org. Craig: Yep. That’s it. You can get firstname.lastname@example.org. Um, so I’m not getting these at my work email. I’m getting them at my, [00:54:00] my, uh, my new religion. Paul: All right. It’s a new religion, conscious life. Conscious death is the book by our own Craig chart. And then, so congrats, Craig, this is exciting. You’ve hit your 60th birthday. You publish a book now. And so those are, those are big life coagulation moments. And so congratulations on coagulating. Yeah, Craig: so, and, and so, uh, so what was your reaction when you saw the title? Like, cause I didn’t give you any forewarning. What was your reaction when you read that? Paul: Good. Good question. Um, yes. Conscious life conscious death. Your, your first thought is, well, you’re not going to sell many of these because no, one’s going to be like, oh, I said, if I’ve got this book about how to die consciously. Um, and so it’s definitely a title that, that, uh, I may have even said, like, you might reconsider the title. Um,[00:55:00] but as I, as I read it and, and just, you know, the concept of like, oh, here’s a new religion, great. Uh, you know, we’ve got a new Joseph Smith, uh, bringing a new prophetic word to the world. Um, but then as you start to read it, you start to see how, um, the, the mysticism of religions. Is taken out and it’s more about life, purpose and passage and how to walk out life. Well, and just being on the journey of, of faith and religious consciousness that I’m on, it was like, yeah, this is exactly what I’m trying to learn to do. Because one of the things that I found, you know, I think probably is Carl, was it Carl Marx or John Lennon? One of those, uh, not John Lennon, uh, Lennon from Leningrad, um, who said religion is the opiate of the masses. And, you know, Christians hate that saying, but one thing I recognize about [00:56:00] my Christianity is it did cause me to live in, in a similar sense of denial that this idea of, well, God’s just gonna make everything work out. And if you just prayed, it will be okay. And, and my moment of life coming kind of crashing in on me. We’re starting to recognize. Now there are actually really painful things that have hurt me in life that I need to be present to and, and conscious to and about. And so this has been the journey of my life as is physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, and spiritual wellbeing, trying to figure out how to do all of those well and have wellbeing and all of those areas and thus the coaching and everything. And I, I thought you were presenting a way that people could do this, that it, that they could not just read books and say good idea, and then never do them again and be proud. They have the book on the shelf as all of us do. That’d be able to say, Hey, this may be a practical way. I can, I can walk this out in community and get it done. So I find it very, very fascinating [00:57:00] and very much in line with where I am in life in the world right now. Craig: Well, thanks. Thanks for that. Paul taking the time to read it and discuss it with me afterwards, you and a few of our, our fellow. Tavern theology folks and a few others, I think maybe five or six people have read it. So Paul: yeah, proud too. When somebody shows you their manuscript, I know this is you’re literally, it’s your baby. It’s something you’ve created that you’re like, like me and you don’t just show it to anybody. You, you have to have a great trust in who you’re showing a manuscript to. So, so I was honored by that, but I think you’ve got something and I hope people will read it and consider, this is a, a way to live that isn’t in conflict with, with anybody’s religion. Other than if your religion causes you to be unhealthy or divisive or hateful towards others, but, uh, can, can really [00:58:00] walk in parallel with people’s religious beliefs, uh, toward a healthier way to walk. Craig: Well, that’s, that’s great. Cause that, that was the goal that it didn’t feel that way. So beautiful that came through and it is a pretty simple read, I think it’s, I think you can crack it out and two or three hours at the most. Paul: Yeah, I think it went pretty quickly. All right. Anything else we need to know about conscious life conscious death, Craig? Craig: Um, I would say that the last piece that we didn’t touch on was really that, um, part of my, uh, interest in, um, communities and the health of communities, I think that’s something that’s kind of differentiated. Um, like the people that are doing psychological work or philosophical work or religious work, um, we’ve interviewed some people. I think that, you know, Joe, uh, Joe White, for example. So a lot of the work for [00:59:00] me would be that this would be a religion. Doesn’t run to where the rich people are, but really locates itself and neighborhoods and communities that have been kind of passed by. And that, uh, that an active part of this would be to help people in those communities and to actually physically make those communities better places. Um, so that’s something that I haven’t seen, um, really as a part of a lot of other of these, uh, consciousness efforts. And I think just with my background, that’s kind of a unique spin on it that I think, uh, really, it, it, it, it plays together really well with the other ideas. So, um, I know that there are some very popular, kind of new agey churches up in the bay area in LA that I’ve seen. And, uh, that’s good. And the people are very happy that go there and that’s all great. But, um, I do really think we have to get in. [01:00:00] Places that maybe not everyone is comfortable going. Um, and that’s, that’s part of, of, of the path forward that I would imagine. I mean, ultimately if you’re going to make a difference, you’re going to do it in the places that need it the most. That’s good. Like Fresno, California. Paul: Yeah. Shit needs it a lot. And that is sort of our household deal that, uh, th the Christian Bible says, pray for the welfare of your city for, in its welfare, you will find your welfare or you’ll find your wellbeing or your Shalom. And so I’m with you. I think making sure that that idea of the least of these is if there is a suffering part of my community, I’m not as well off and not as much into wellbeing as I could be. Just moving away from the problems. Doesn’t fix the. Craig: Yep. Well, and that’s, it’s an easy trap of use. As you have seen to move where the rich people are. Cause then you can [01:01:00] build a bigger building and pay better salaries and you know, all the other stuff. Um, yeah. Uh, so I want to be a place where really, um, everyone is getting served from the wealthy to the homeless and everyone in between. Paul: All right. CLC D community.org. That’s the place Craig shorten is the author conscious life. Conscious death is the Craig: book. Hey, one more quick thing. Yeah. Hey, uh, Alycia Johnston. Paul: Oh, that’s right. Let’s see. Nah, there she is. Ah, well done, Craig. I forgot. Yeah. Now we wanted to introduce Alycia. She’s our new producer. Alycia: Hello All Paul: She’s one of the things that kept us from doing the podcast for awhile was. The editing and uploading and the show notes and all those things that Paula and I just did for a while and gotten to the point where we just couldn’t bring ourselves to do it [01:02:00] anymore. So we reached out to our good friend, professor, Betsy Hayes at Fresno state, and she, she sent a superstar away there. Alycia: Hopefully it all works out well. You didn’t know you were a superstar, Alycia? Alycia: No, I thought I was a normal one Craig: . Now you’re, you’re the one allowing us to do this and keep it moving forward. So we’re very grateful that you’re part of the team. Alycia: Well, I’m glad to be here looking forward to many, many shows with you guys. Paul: Absolutely. And so Craig, our plan is to do one of these a month now. Yeah, I think one or two, depending we maybe we’ll record a couple back to back when, when we have a few guests and um, Alycia can help us make sure that we stay on track. Stay on and hit record. Yeah. So we’ll do that from now on. Well, awesome. It’s good to be back, Craig. Good to be back chatting with you. YouTube hall. Craig: It feels Paul: [01:03:00] great. And happy birthday. Once again. 60 has no time. Craig: Yeah. It’s a milestone that that’s one of those you can’t really deny. I remember being a kid and my grandparents were like 60 and I was like, oh my God, their age, they could just drop it any second. But uh, you know, uh, it doesn’t feel that way at all. In fact, I’ll celebrate my birthday by going for a hike. Paul: And, and we celebrated with a sing along with puff the magic dragon, which was your, your song you sang with Cole right on the way. Craig: Yeah, well, yeah. I used to sing it to my dog named Patrick. And part of my mission in life is to tell people it is not a drug song as was portrayed and meet the Fockers. It is a song about how children lose their imagination as they get older. And, uh, and it’s a really beautiful song. And just like so many of these things that lasts [01:04:00] forever, there’s a really great message in there. And that’s why these things last. Um, so it was interesting to watch people because, you know, it’s just like, oh, it’s just a kid song and they were reading it and people were crying. Like when you realize the depth of, of the message of that song. Um, and that’s really all around us. There’s so many great, great things like that. I can’t give it a single, let it be. And, or, you know, all you need is love and just saying, you know, just going along and then you stop and think about the words and it’s really. You know, the message is right there for us. If we choose to Paul: accept. So puff the magic dragon is not about smoking marijuana. Craig: That’s just what I saw that in that movie, I’m like, oh my God, this is such a setback for the meaning of this song, but that Robert DeNiro, I love Robert DeNiro, but his character in that movie, [01:05:00] uh, did not do us any favors regarding that song. And it Paul: is a tragically sad song at the end. Craig: It is, but it’s, it happens to all of us, right? You have that childhood, you know, fantasy, you know, imagination and, uh, you know, where you could play with your little toys for hours, you know, you had all these stories going and then, you know, one day you’re thinking about punching the time card at work. You know, whether you like the boss or not, and how you’re going to hit your goals and all that stuff gets pushed to the back. And that’s what I like about that song is it’s saying, you know, maybe we can, you can consciously hold onto those things, like the artist and the, or the songwriter and stay in that world of imagination. Paul: Very cool. All right. Good stuff. Happy birthday, Craig. And we’re glad to be back on two guys talking Fresno. Well we’ll see everybody again in a couple of weeks or a month, whatever Craig: it takes. All right. And [01:06:00] um, this will be, if you’re watching this, it means that the book has actually been published, so it’ll be available. Paul: All right. See, I’ll see D community.org and two guys, fresno.com to get the podcast. All right. For Alycia, Craig and Paul. We’ll see everybody next time on two guys talking Fresno. Craig: Thank you both.
57 minutes | Dec 16, 2020
Paul & Craig talk shelter-in-place eyecare with Thomas Casagrande of 20/20 Eyecare of Fresno. Transcript: Transcribed by AI (not 100% accurate) [00:00:00] Paul Swearengin: all right, Craig. You ready to go? Craig Scharton: I am ready. Paul Swearengin: All right, let’s do it. Okay. Welcome to the show, everyone. Hi, everybody on Facebook, we love your comments. Let us know you’re watching out there. It’s time for a two guys talking Fresno podcast. Craig, we’ve gotten a little irregular with these, but it’s good to be back together Craig Scharton: again. We have, I know we both had things taking over our lives and And Paul Swearengin: like our jobs and our income and Craig Scharton: yeah, those little things, it is a catches catch can, which we said at the beginning, but we were more, we were pretty regular before and I think. Maybe after the new year, we can get back to our a once a week. What do you think? Paul Swearengin: I think 20, 20, 21, 2020 has been odd for everybody. And so when we get to 21, I think maybe it’ll get back on course here a little bit. We hope, but Dr. Tomas Casagrande: maybe it’s just a number to Paul Swearengin: be, could be, but I was going to say, speaking of [00:01:00] 2020. That was going to be the perfect transition. We have Dr. Thomas Casagrande from 2020. I care. Is that right? Did I get them Dr. Tomas Casagrande: well? It’s the tuna is 2020 optometric of Fresno, and I picked that name in 1986 and I never thought that someday it would. I thought I can’t wait for 2020. It’s going to be cool. I don’t 2020 in 2020. and then boom, March. Paul Swearengin: you haven’t changed the name. That’s good. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. Yeah. we’ll keep the name because 2020 means, as you all know, if you have 20, 20 vision that’s normal vision. So that was the idea there behind them. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. So we’re glad to have Dr. , we’ve all been doing a lot of screen time, Craig, and I see that you have glasses that are built to help you with that. Craig Scharton: Yeah. and, Dr. Casa grandad doesn’t know it, but, when you, and he [00:02:00] talked about having him on. Paul said, it’d be really good because of all the screen time and how it’s messing up people’s eyes. So when I went to my, Kaiser appointment, I said, Hey, I hear that the screen is messing up people’s eyes. And they said, yes. So we’ll give you a glass of this specifically with, at the distance of your computer. So even though I went through Kaiser, cause that is my insurance company talk, Dr. Costa grandad still steered me in the right direction. So I don’t know that I ha I didn’t help you financially that way, but in karma, You just got even better car, but Dr. Tomas Casagrande: that’s right. as long as you can, as long as it’s done properly, we’re happy. Paul Swearengin: So is that true? People doing a lot more zoom meetings working remotely? Is it having impact on eyesight? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: what’s happening is when the, I think if you think of what we were doing a hundred years ago, 200 years ago, [00:03:00] a thousand years ago, we, weren’t looking at something so close for eight hours a day, which is going on right now. And then people there eight hours a day, and then they come home and they’re on a furnace four or five hours. And I wasn’t made for that because when it looks at that, something that close it’s, there’s a lot more muscle action in the eye causes a lot of eye strain. That’s where you get the burning eyes. you’ll get a little brow headaches. Some people they’ll even go, I’m playing a little headaches right here, right above, right inside their eyes. If you get that, these are all symptoms of minor eye, conditions that are easy to correct with the right pair of glasses, but it’s done. And then you could be clear and comfortable on your computer. So yeah, we’re seeing the kids, especially because they’re all zoomin. we’re, I’m seeing. Oh, easily, double or triple the amount of problems since, since, since they all started [00:04:00] going, I call it zoom. And since they all started zooming, so it’s, it is definitely a, an issue that we deal with daily. Paul Swearengin: So Craig styling, new glasses there have a purple tent on them. Is that Dr. Tomas Casagrande: what it is? What we’ve learned over the last years or something. there’s high energy wavelengths that come off the computer it’s called, they call it blue light. And actually it’s little light with a little bit of ultraviolet light. Somebody figured out that certain wavelength causes the small gland and your there’s a small gland called the pineal gland. That’s in the brain, little smaller than the pituitary gland that produces melatonin, that allows you to sleep well. The blue light. So to speak off of the computer, it stops that from being produced now you can’t sleep. I have had patients, there are, especially when you go to one or two screens, then [00:05:00] three screens, that’s more blue light. So if you have the filters that a really good one, I know Amazon sells Swan and a few other ones, you want a really good, Quality one, that’s going to block some of the glare off and really get rid of that blue light. And what happens is now your prenatal gland works better, produce melatonin and you sleep better. I’ve had patients before they, we put the filter on, they were on to a second pills a night and they got their glasses. They were all seated pills. The next day. Which is this crazy, amazing stories, but, there that, that really does happen. Paul Swearengin: You noticed the difference, Craig. Craig Scharton: Yeah, it’s and melatonin, connects to our circadian rhythm. like when it gets dark and the melatonin starts, it prepares you for sleep a couple hours earlier. And so it’s really important. that’s a lot of people take melatonin, but [00:06:00] you shouldn’t take it right at bedtime. When you want to go to sleep, you take it a couple hours before. And it’s exactly what the doctor is saying. I’ve been sleeping like a baby since I started using these, it’s really Dr. Tomas Casagrande: pretty interesting technology. Craig Scharton: I’d never had that. I didn’t think about it from this, but I was getting at an eye headache. Even while I slept and I’ve never had that in my 59 years. And it’s going away now that I’m wearing these, grown-up Dr. Tomas Casagrande: glasses. Craig Scharton: I’ve never had, I’ve never had real glasses in my life to last week. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: What I was going to add too. Not only does it deal with the mental toll on him, but. The high energy wavelengths that gets all absorbed in the front of the eye, which is the cornea, mostly the cornea that’s where you get the burning eyes and the eyes can aid. So the type of filter that you have, it blocks that. So now it’s [00:07:00] not that high as you will a wavelengths not affecting the cornea. So it’s definitely makes a difference there too. Paul Swearengin: what do you recommend do we step away from our computers periodically through the day? Does that, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: there’s a couple, there’s a couple of things. You got to do. One try and I’m gonna, I’m going to try and do this. Let’s see where my hand is there. What’s your hand out to where your computer is and where your fingertips are and that’s a good rule where you should put your computer. You don’t want to put your, you want to have your computer about 26 to maybe 30 inches away, 26 to 30 inches away. You don’t want to be. You don’t want to be the closer people think. I want to get closer things look bigger, but when it’s closer, you’re making the, I have to over-focus and you and computers make our eyes or focus too much anyway. So you’d never one. You don’t want to be too close to try and get a good distance. Number two, if you’re [00:08:00] wearing. Those of you who are older wearing progressive lenses. Remember your progressive lenses that the bottom half of the lens is where you want to see for the computer. So that means you want your computer down and I’m going to show you here. I want it down like this. I don’t want it at eye level. I want it down about four inches below eye level. That’s very important. You can’t believe the amount of people that don’t do that because we’re, if you’re looking at eye level, you’re looking through the distance portion of your progressive lenses. So very important that you lower that computer about four inches below the Midland w where your, your eyes are looking. So those are very important points. I’m gonna Paul Swearengin: have to work on Dr. Tomas Casagrande: that very important points. Yeah. And if you, now that some of you can’t move your screens down, that’s when you go see your eye doctor and say, Hey, I’m having trouble because of my neck’s getting SARCs, I’m doing this. and he’ll make you a pair of [00:09:00] computer glasses with your exact prescription set at 28 inches, 30 inches, 26 inches. And now you wear those for those of you who are on computers for eight hours a day. That’s not a bad idea because you got to think about it for eight hours a day. You’re in the wrong prescription. If you’re looking through the distance portion of your glasses, if you’re over 42 Craig Scharton: and that’s what minor for that there. I just leave them on my desk. They don’t go in the car. They don’t do anything else. So Dr. Tomas Casagrande: they’re just for the computer. And when you think about it, Like I’ve got patients, they’re there, they’re on the computer and then they go home and they play games on their computer. They’re on there 12 hours a day, and they’re using the distance. They’re using a pair of distance glasses. They need a pair of glasses for those 12 hours set at that distance. Paul Swearengin: I was just at your office yesterday. I may have to change my order real quick. [00:10:00] Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah, those are progressors. Yeah. You need to look down a little bit. Yeah. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. I’m going to have to work on that. So remind me of what, so the distance is in the middle, on the progressive Dr. Tomas Casagrande: no, that’s distances in the, from the, if you look here, I’m going to show you right here. So the top half of the lands on my glasses here. The top half that’s set for infinity for driving. Okay. so the bottom half. Okay. About two thirds of the way down, maybe for this, the way they were, my finger is that’s the sweet spot for the computer. So in order for you to see that you have to put the computer down so you can look at that spot without moving. So your head doesn’t have to move up like that. Gotcha. So Paul Swearengin: very important. And that’s, if I have the 26 inches, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: yes, it’s very important. You don’t want to have your computer any closer than that. Paul Swearengin: Okay. All right. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Now the other thing too lot of people say, I don’t wear glasses for distance and I’m fine, but when I’m on the computer, I’m getting all this, [00:11:00] I’m getting some eyes eyestrain and I’m only 35. you may have a very light prescription. That’s not a big deal for distance becomes a big deal when you’re on the computer, because. If the eyes aren’t working exactly well together. it’s, you’re on it for 10 minutes. You’re not going to notice for the Shriner for four or five hours. You’re going to notice it. That’s when you get the eyes straight and that’s when you gotta come see your eye doctor, get an eye exam so he can balance the vision out in both eyes. Cause you got a memory of eyes. Don’t work independently. They work together. So if one prescriptions off just a little bit, it will cause some eye strain. And you have to correct that. So very easy to do with a thorough eye exam. You want to make sure you get a thorough exam with somebody that with an eye doctor is going to listen to everything about where your computer set up, how far away it is, how many computers are on, they’ve got there’s a number of questions that [00:12:00] you should getting a thorough exam that, that needs to be gone over. Paul Swearengin: J Craig, before you ask your question, let me jump in and say, we do have some folks on Facebook with us and Jeffrey’s watching and Jeffrey are two Jeffries. Becky David wan. Anybody wants to ask a question of Dr. on Facebook, commented in there, but we have Dr. Thomas Casagrande with us from 2020 optometric office over on Blackstone and Shaw, or there’s that the only officer do you have more than one? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: it’s funny, you said that because when I was a young. 30 year old. I thought I’m going to have 2020 out to medical, Fresno, and then a Visalia and Clovis. But what I found was you can’t split your, you need, people want to see you, so you can’t be in three places at once. So I decided let’s just have one nice place. We’ll make it the best that I could make it. Have the best selection of eyewear, have a lab that we can do our own quality control, have the best lenses, give the best service so on place. And I’ve done that for 34 years right [00:13:00] here. it’s on we’re one block North of Shaw on Blackstone on East Blackstone. We’re more, it must be a number of the more, furniture storage right in that center right there across the cuttings golden horse. And I’ve been here 34 years and God willing, we’ll be here another 20. So Craig Scharton: I’ve been in there cause you’re, not just an eye doctor. You’re also an inventor. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: That’s right. We’ve got the, I’ve got a patent now, on a piece of equipment that’s going to make like the progressive lenses that Paul’s where it makes them more accurate. and so we’re very excited about that. very interesting. when you develop something from scratch, I’ll, it’s a, it’s an interesting journey, getting it and getting it, The prototypes had gone through seven or eight prototypes testing. And we finally happy with what we have or excited about. I’m excited about getting that to market because it [00:14:00] turns out in our industry anywhere from 10 to 30% of progressive people that are wearing progressive lenses, their measurements are off. So this type, this machine will make them more accurate. now the. The practitioner, whether it’s an optician or an optical dispenser to get the measurements correct. And Mo some of you out there weren’t progresses that, you’ll have one pair. I like these glasses. I don’t like these other ones. That’s good. It’s probably because the measurements are off and it’s very common, especially in, eye care practices where you have new people that you’re getting to train. If we work in half millimeter steps, you can be off a half a millimeter. It makes a difference. this new invention wrong, make it’ll make the glasses more accurate, makes for a better pair of glasses for her patients. And it’ll be easy to make it easy for the, it’ll make it easy for the optician to get the measurements. That’s pretty cool. That’s Craig Scharton: real cool, because 10 to [00:15:00] 30% waste means that Dr. Tomas Casagrande: price it’s millions of dollars. Yeah. When you look at it and in our industry, it’s the biggest, one of the biggest problems is making sure your measurements are correct. Craig Scharton: And then there are a lot of people that are not as comfortable and happy as they would be if they worked right. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: there’s a lot of you out there that have tried Progressive’s and you go, Oh, it didn’t work for me. it may be that the measurements were off. Cause that’s the national average, it’s not 30% redo in every office, but a lot offices. It is it’s, common to be 10 and 15% off. so we, we think we can knock that under 4%, or 5%. That’s what we, that’s what we’re finding with the w we’re using, some prototypes in our office right now. We have been for a year and it w we’ve seen it work. So what we want the automatic version of the unit, because nobody wants to work on [00:16:00] something that’s they have to like the analog it’s they want the automatic version. We’re working on that right now. Craig Scharton: I just think it’s really cool. Smart, creative people, never their brains never stop. Always trying to find a new, better Dr. Tomas Casagrande: way. I have to thank Mr. Diaz, my little dog, because I walk him every morning and I was walking up one morning. I was mad about some, a patient had progressive lenses that were off the measurements and my Mr. Gibbs stopped at a Bush and I’m waiting for him because he’s doing this thing on the Bush and. th the revelation came to me. Oh my God. that’s a good idea. And then I went home and I jotted it down and brought it to the office. And Matt that works in the back of my it guy goes, I got an idea for something, and he looked at it. He goes, Whoa, that’s a good idea. So then boom, that was on January 24th, 2017. So it’s taken three years. Excuse me. So it’s been almost three [00:17:00] years, Paul Swearengin: mother necessity. That’s how we get our inventions. It’s Dr. Tomas Casagrande: amazing how it just it’s been. It’s been fun though. Cause it’s, and I’ve showed it to people in the industry and they’re like, wow, why didn’t I think of that? Paul Swearengin: So I have, somebody clay on Facebook is asking prebiotics slash probiotics and vision. Any relationship. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Prebiotics. Yeah. So Craig Scharton: is it any of that stuff? So with gut health, they’re doing research now, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: how Craig Scharton: gut health helps everything helps or hurts everything in our body. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. The only thing I’ll say about that is what we’ve learned is you want to take the, you got to get, there’s a lot of micronutrients that you need for the retina and the optic nerve, and you want to make sure you’re getting. Good absorption. A lot of pills out there. You’re not, you’re getting like 20% absorption, especially the ones that are a solid pill. And I forgot that’s not working. Yeah. So [00:18:00] you want to take the vitamins that have the powder in them or a liquid. they get absorbed better. And that’s what that gets to the cellular level. Otherwise you’re just, you’re not getting all the nutrients. Now that’s a good question. Does the knee, does that, have you seen a difference? Have I seen a difference in my office? Absolutely. Especially, but only with the people that have that diets, you’re eating and we’re not going to go or that everybody knows you gotta eat fresh vegetables, eat your berries, walnuts, almonds, get, eat your vegetables and have lots of color. But not everybody does that. And then they don’t get the right nutrients, your carrots, your beta carotenes, I see it all the time. People come in, I’m not seeing very well at night. Then I’ll put them on carrot shoes and tell them, start eating raspberries, blueberries that come back like a mustard, a wow. I am seeing so much better just cause they were nutrient, they were deficient in [00:19:00] certain nutrients, but you gotta be careful because people will say, I’ve taken. Vitamin B12. And I’m taking this. you want to take a, well-rounded vitamin a with everything and Sears there’s ones out there that have certain herbs that are good for us too. Like the Gingko and, all there’s a few other ones. There’s a lot of the ones that I could talk about zeal, xanthan, is not, herbs, but, the lutein. people talk about, you’ll hear a lot of talk about, Oh, I’m going to take lutein by itself. If you eat one spinach salad a week, you’re getting 64 times the amount of leaching that you’d get in a pill. so it’s, you’re you want to get it in your diet, the best that you can, and then you’re doing all that you can, but those of you that don’t, that just don’t eat very well. Go get your vitamins, get them, get the right vitamins and better absorption. Craig Scharton: Yeah. And clay works with a really cool company, helping farmers with a [00:20:00] product that is going to help the plants pull more nutrition out of the soil. So then you have healthier plants. So if you’re eating healthier plants, you’re going to become healthier too. It’s really a very amazing company. So they do. Products for health as well as for our ag industry. So it’s all going back to that same thing. If you’re not feeding your plant, the right minerals and vitamins, and you’re eating that finish, that’s not healthy. You’re Paul Swearengin: not going to Dr. Tomas Casagrande: go, we used to call that crop rotation. Yeah. Proper rotation. Yep. You get the nitrogen in the soil. The farmers all know about crop rotation. Yeah. Craig Scharton: he’s a cool guy. He was with our Fresno EDC for a number of years. And. Found this company and he’s taking it all over it’s gang gangbusters. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: That’s great. Paul Swearengin: Let’s do our, no, your guest segment, we like to learn a little bit about you. When we have guests on doc, as we’ll call you, they call you at the golf course. So [00:21:00] tell us where you grew up. Where did you go to high school? All that usual stuff. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I’m I’m native California, born and raised in Taft, California. The oil town West of Bakersfield. So I’m a current County boy, worked in the oil fields out of high school college. So I could get my, get myself through school, working on the rigs and other things in the oil fields. And then we went to Fresno state, 1976, loved Fresno when I moved here, after graduating from chaff college. And I got a degree in zoology from Fresno state and then, met a lot of great people in Fresno. worked downtown back then, as a bartender going through school just, and the friends I met in Fresno are still my best friends today. and then I went onto, optometry school in Southern California college of optometry in Fullerton, stay down there for five years and then decided. I want to move back to Fresno. Cause I love to [00:22:00] fly fish. I love to backpack. So Fresno was a good place. I love the people of Fresno Clovis it’s that was a no-brainer to come back. my twin brother, is Tim. He worked for the County health department. He was, he was in charge of the environmental health department for 32 years. He, he was already always up there, so it was easy to come back, be with my brother. So that was, the, so in that, so I’ve been outside. I started 2020 author metrics, in 1986. And, then here ever since, and, I love my Bulldogs. Love my Dodgers. I even love the giants, when they’re, with, with chick Chancy, I love, I love all kinds of sports and, a lot of my, Clovis, East Timberwolves. So that’s where my kids went to school. I have three children. my wife, April, of course, we’ve been married for, it’s going to [00:23:00] be, 30 years in 2021. And then I have, two, two children that are teachers one’s in Parlier teaches the Parlier high school. The other one teaches, Fancher Creek. Madison teaches math and Aleisha teaches in Parlier. And then I’ve got a son that’s down San Diego and he’s working down there. So I got, and I got two grandchildren that I love to death too. One, one, one to two, son-in-laws one, two to be in one, and then they’ve all hit the ball farther than me in golf. And they’re great. Paul Swearengin: It scared me for a second, third, cause you said two grandchildren that you love to death and two sons in law one. And then I thought you could say one who, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Madison they’re trying to get married with COVID. They were supposed to get married in July and then it got moved to November now. No it’s next July in case get a move [00:24:00] because of COVID, which is happening to a lot of people that are getting married. Paul Swearengin: Why’d you major in zoology? what was your goal? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I figured I was either going to be an optometrist or I was going to teach biology and I did teach for a little bit before I got enough time with your school. And But that was the emphasis. Sarah was, I got worked towards a teaching credential and, but I loved zoology. We used to, it’s, was a great major for Fresno because we’d go up. you could go to the, you could go to the mountains and trap animals. we went to the coast and worked on the, at the tide pools and you work, we went to the desert. California was that’s. That was a great major for California. I always felt sorry, the people in Kansas, they just go to the, where do they go? They go to the wheat fields. Not much no, it was, and, stuff as well. You study animals, which is humans are animals. And of course I TA, chemistry when I [00:25:00] was at, in, at, in junior college and ITA human anatomy with the cadavers when I was in Wednesday night, optometry school. the zoology degree, w I took a lot of anatomy, physiology, and psychology, and a lot of classes that you believe it or not. You use it in this, in my, what I do. I, it helps you to understand what’s going on with your patients. Yeah. Craig Scharton: my zoology, professor at Fresno city, Dr. or, McHenry, he was brutal because he said some of you are going to end up being doctors, and you’re going to know what you need to know, and you’re going to be proud that you came through my class. It’s every one of us and like zoology 10. Had to add, to be learning just everything just in case we were a doctor someday. So it was pretty intense. Did you take any classes from Dick Haas at Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Fresno? Yeah. I had that from, I had one class with Dr. Haas. Yeah. I went to the [00:26:00] desert with him on a field trip and that was pretty cool. It was Dr. Mohs doctor. I had Dr. WoodWick, which renowned, histology teacher. And, Dr. Oh, Stein there was, I had some great teachers that president doctor, Dr. Woodward was there. it was, I was very fortunate. They were all older teachers, but they had seen, and Craig Scharton: then all over the world. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah, they had, they were, they had such a wealth of experience. They brought to the classroom that. That was just, incredible. Paul Swearengin: I remember Dr. Haas saying some people remove the H in the, a, at the front of my name and add an S onto the end of Dr. Tomas Casagrande: that. H a S right? Yeah. Yeah. Dr. Haas. Yeah, he, I always thought about, the little eggs, Pause. Pause. Pause. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. Oh, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. Paul Swearengin: 30 what’d you say 34 years. Is that right? From 86. So what has [00:27:00] changed in optometric since you started your business? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: so much, it’s not even funny. I was talking to a patient yesterday, when you have a melanoma in the eye, when I graduated, you just took the eye out. And then the patient ended up dying because of metastasized to the rest of the body. Now you put a little radiation pellet back there. If you see a melanoma, what’s, you’re pretty rare, but then, the patient doesn’t die because the eye that the cancer doesn’t metastasize. that’s one issue. what else has changed a lot’s changed, but a lot stayed the same because physics is physics. No, you’re still bending light to correct people’s vision. Whether it’s with the contact lenses have, have gotten more breathable, more comfortable, the ones that we were using early on, they didn’t raise very well. I’ve caused a lot of infections. And then, I was w I was one of the first doctors to. To actually, do LASIK. I [00:28:00] co-managed LASIK in 1996, 95, when I was sending them to Canada, just CA it was approved in Canada. I about a year before it was approved here. So the ones that say, Oh, I want to go, okay, let’s go to Toronto. So we fly to Toronto. So I was on the early ones of, of lace of doing laser surgery. But I got to be on the early, see all the early laser, how lasers can improve and save vision with diabetics and with, other conditions that we can treat lasers with, not just, not just LASIK, but then, there was R K early on in the eighties where you did the cutting, I wasn’t, I got to see that. and then as we moved into the nineties, the technology on how we look at the eye has gotten so much better when we can take, we can do we have machineries now machinery in the office now where we can take a 3d picture of your eye. we can look at the, [00:29:00] at your retina, the 10 layers of the retina and find out where there’s a problem we can look for glaucoma, get, we can figure out whether you have a coma a lot earlier now. because of the new technology that we have that we didn’t have even 10 years ago, some of you have had an Optum map done where it takes a huge, very, a 200 degree picture of your whole retina. That’s very interesting because it picks up, conditions in the eye that sometime years ago would get missed, like certain retinal tears and, Retinal holes or even cancer on the, I would get missed you. Don’t miss it. Let the optimum out of it’s very easy to see. Craig Scharton: one of the things that I just found out was a huge improvement is, the law. When I went in a couple of weeks ago, they don’t do that thing where they blow your eye on you. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah, we have. Now we have a little unit. [00:30:00] That it’s magnetic. So those of you who are like, there’s a lot of you out there that won’t come for an ice edge, you don’t want the airport. I know. Yeah, because it’s the air puff. it’s like traumatizing. So for a lot of people, we, this office side, my office, we don’t use it. We haven’t used it for about five years, probably half the offices in town, still, probably more than half still use the aircraft, but you don’t have to there’s other technology now. Craig Scharton: I was very happy. I was very happy about that. I never understood why I didn’t like it, cause it didn’t really hurt, but I really hated it. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I told a patient that I saw yesterday. I go, you, she goes, I w I haven’t been here in cheers. I remember that airflow. I said, Don’t you hear my great personality first and then the air puffs. Second. What does no, I remember the first, then you’re a good personality. Second. I said, okay. I take a second seat. So the air, but it’s funny because most people are, remember, [00:31:00] they look around for it and they go, where is that thing? I don’t know. When are you going to do that? I always tell them we’re not doing that today. Paul Swearengin: Now we just get that really bright flash in our eye. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: It’s a map. That’s the optimum. The other thing that’s changed is, the lenses of Don thinner, the frames of dot and the wider, a better technology with a better selection of frames. then it was, when I graduated. And then also the progressive lenses have gotten now there are called digital wishes, but really that doesn’t mean anything to patients can say they’re digital or WhatsApp. Me really, the distortions are less in the Progressive’s. There they’re much easier to adjust to than they were even three years ago, four years ago. So that’s been really neat for patients because. a lot of times we’ll take them three months to adjust to a progressive lens. Now it takes, just take just a couple of days Paul Swearengin: and you got rid of the lines on the bifocals to [00:32:00] remember my grandmother’s. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: yeah. that’s what that does. Craig Scharton: Yeah. So I have to, so I mentioned before we started that, I finally got my first pair of grownup glasses and I got them, I think last week and I’ve already scratched them. w what do I do I Dr. Tomas Casagrande: take now, Craig Scharton: or, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: you want to, if, you want to go back and make sure that, you want to make sure there’s a good scratch coat. Whenever you get an anti reflective coating that you want to make sure there’s a good scratch. Go put on it. Otherwise the coding will scratch off and. We need to know about those glasses, whether it had a good scratch. Craig Scharton: Okay. So I’ll go back and check. I can’t just take it out with my buffer and, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: you can’t both off people asking the outside. Can you buff off the scratches? Oh, I can do it, but then I’m going to put a wave in the lamps. And then you got a real fine grit Craig Scharton: sandpaper in the shed. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. Yeah. That won’t work either. I remember whenever you both [00:33:00] everything on a lens, you’re changing the prescription. Craig Scharton: Yeah. I’ll take him back in Dr. Tomas Casagrande: hundreds of a millimeter. So Paul Swearengin: here’s a V Oh, go ahead, Craig. Craig Scharton: When you think about sunglasses, I’m horrible at wearing sunglasses. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: it’s a good question. If you were a D if you’re outdoors and you were, and you liked wear hats, that’s good. You want to keep that helps believe it or not keep a lot of the ultra bright light out of your eyes. is you’re outdoors a lot though, and you’re getting a lot of sun from, work, then a good quality sunglass of it. It has a UV 400 filter is always better because it’s going to ultraviolet light will age the eye. just put your newspaper outside for a week. It turns yellow. That’s from ultraviolet light. So it’s doing the same thing to your eyes. It does it to the front of the eye and mainly all the way to the lens, but, so you’re going to get cataracts sooner if you’re outdoors a lot. You’ll [00:34:00] see people that I had a lady in yesterday as a patient. She’s 75 years old, her lenses inside her eye, they look like they were like a 45 year olds. I go and I asked her that and I said, Hey, when did you start wearing glasses? She goes, I started wearing when I was eight. that kept the whole smile line out of her eyes. It was a great test. A great example. she had glasses on since she was eight. She just kept fields probably a lot out at horizon. Sure. She has 75. she had the lenses. Just Claire. You’re her natural lenses inside her eyes. So Paul Swearengin: a really important 2020 question, not 2020 vision, but the year 2020 is how do we keep our glasses from fogging up when we’re wearing masks? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: It’s not an easy answer there isn’t we’ve tried a lot of different things. I had a patient that patients come in with home remedies, like shaving cream doesn’t work. I had one says I put vinegar on it. don’t put vinegar on your lenses. That’s an acid [00:35:00] over time. That’s going to eat them up. we have, we’ve found a, there’s a spray that we sell here and I can’t tell you the name of it because we just put it in the bottles that helps some, but there’s not a really good answer. The best answer is try to wear a mask that seals right here. that’s, where you’re sealing it right here. And that’s the best it can do, but it’s, there’s not an easy answer, wearing a mask all the way up, a little further up. so it’s. But if you have a good seal, then that’s probably the best answer, but we haven’t found it. Paul Swearengin: I’ve been using this. I don’t know if you could say it’s called cat crap, but it. Cat crap. Yes. That’s the name? Cat crap. I can’t get it to focus on it, but Dr. Tomas Casagrande: you get that in your backyard. Paul Swearengin: I heard that skiers use it for their goggles. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. yeah. And the sprays do help. We have one, they’re not they’re enough. You They do work. [00:36:00] Paul Swearengin: That would be my answer on it. It’s better than nothing, but it’s not. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah, I know. We’ve it was backward. When we ordered, the spray, I kept asking them, Hey, we’re gonna start spray. It’s backward. It’s backward because they ran out because the whole country was using. Paul Swearengin: and, so Jeffrey says on Facebook, the way to keep from fogging up your glasses is not to breathe. I’m not sure. That’s great advice. Craig Scharton: Jeffrey, that’s very funny. That is a perfect, Jeffery, humor, encapsulated right Dr. Tomas Casagrande: there. I have a lot of some patients, they just wear the shield, And then they don’t wear the mask that I tried to wear the shield. It distorted too much for me. Craig Scharton: Also, if he has a stigmatism, Kenny do LASIK. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: The answer is yes, but you have to have an evaluation by some, by a good optometrist that knows [00:37:00] that’s a LASIK that does that. Like I’ve done about co-managed about 10,000 LASIK patients since 1996. So some most astigmatism you can do, it’s gotta be done right by the, by the right surgeon. Some surgeons are better at, than others. Depends on the amount of astigmatism. And it depends on, but th the answer is probably yes, probably 90% of the time. Craig Scharton: we’ll bring you some of his probiotic. You guys can barter. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I’m always open to, to anything that will help my patients. Paul Swearengin: So I found out a little bit yesterday at my visit to your office, that cataracts are both of my brothers who are both older than me have had cataract surgery. And that’s our cataracts, just a natural part of what happens as we get older, or how do we avoid cataracts? What do we do about them? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Okay. If you, all of [00:38:00] us live long enough, we’re going to get cataracts. Now I had a lady in a month ago. She’s a hundred, we just did our first cataract. She goes, what do you think? Do I need my other one? I said, you’re a hundred. So that’s the extreme on that. And what’s interesting. I see a lot of Indian patients that come from India and over there, they’re not very, good about wearing sunglasses over there. It’s not a big deal, but they’re along the equator and they would come over here and I would see these 45, 50 year olds with cataracts that were just like, Where I’d usually see them when they’re 20 years older. So what am I saying? A lot of ultraviolet light causes cataracts, and that’s, so you want to, we’re in Fresno, so there’s a lot, there’s a lot of ultra light if you’re outdoors. So where are your sunglasses? if you’re wearing your sunglasses, you’re probably gonna save yourself 10 years before you, if you’re going to get them at 70, you might get them when you’re 80. if you’re really [00:39:00] good about that? I will say this, that if you’re looking at what your mom went through, if your mom got cataracts at 75 and you’re 50. Yeah. You’re probably going to get them at 75 too. it’s genetics has a play. I see that a lot. We’re finding out that genetics as a play and usually from mom’s side on a lot, what goes on in your eyes, but you’re going to start for Fresno. W we start seeing most people are going to get cataracts past 70, but unless it’s in your family tree where yeah, my mom got them on, she was 50, 52 that happens. And that’s not that’s a genetic marker. Also, if you’re diabetic, get your diabetes under control because. Metabolic conditions like that will cause cataracts and they can be aggressive growing cataracts where it’s like, what’s going on. I’m 48 years old. Why do I, why am I getting a [00:40:00] cataract it’s a diabetic condition to do that so that there are some other. other things besides this growing old, that causes cabinets. Paul Swearengin: So you can get asked an interesting question to that in any, tie between COVID and vision. Have we ever seen anything? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: we do know that COVID causes, what’s called conjunctivitis, which is the white part of your eye turns red. I. It’s not a big issue. We haven’t seen vision loss from COVID. so that, so I would say we have that COVID we haven’t seen any problems with that, like side effects, from the virus. We do know that if you wear it for those of you are in situations where there’s, COVID around, maybe you’re working in a hospital setting, wearing your glasses is a protection. Because remember the [00:41:00] droplets, they just have to hit a mucus membrane. there’s mucus membranes in your eye. And so if you want, so you want to wear your mask and you want to wear your glasses. If you have glasses, And that’s that offers protection from COVID because COVID can get into that. So they can’t get into the body through the eye. that’s it’s a well known, back on that, Paul Swearengin: ah, interesting stuff. so do you want, Craig, should we do what’s on my mind? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I want to say this about cataract surgery, so don’t worry about cataracts. If you have them nowadays. It’s stitched us procedure, no blood, no stitches. You walk in, you walk out the cert that, the surgeons that we have in town are very good at it. you’ll, we’ll probably not need glasses for distance, or if you do, it’ll be a very small prescription. there’s actually multifocal now lenses. We could put in your eye where you’ve been read and seen the distance there. the techno, when he asked me what’s [00:42:00] changed in technology, that’s a huge thing because we used to put stitches in the eye and make you sit with sandbags. when we did cataract surgery, that doesn’t happen anymore. So you’ll walk in, you’ll walk out, you’ll see right away. It pretty much, you’re not laid up at all. You’re not in the hospital. So it’s, it’s, that’s a huge, But then when I first graduated, Craig Scharton: we almost lost the co-host on that one. Paul Swearengin: All right. We, w we didn’t prep you on this doc, but we do, we always finish with a segment called what’s on my mind where we talk about something totally unrelated to everything else we talked about. so be thinking of. Just something that’s on your mind in general, in the world. and, we’ll so we’ll take you last. So you have a little bit of time Dr. Tomas Casagrande: to think about it. I do. I only get one thing I bought 20 things. Paul Swearengin: No, just Dr. Tomas Casagrande: my number one thing, [00:43:00] Paul Swearengin: Craig what’s on your mind. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: You’re not going to be the Raiders. Okay. Craig Scharton: we’re going back into the lockdown, now and, it’s a, an interesting, continued interesting reaction from the public, but I do know a business in town and I won’t mention who they are, that their entire executive team got it because they’re all in proximity to each other. And, I thought that was really interesting because I tend to think of. one person gets it here and one person gets it there, which is how I’ve seen it unfold. But if you think about many of our businesses, if you lose the CEO, CFO, HR director, all the way down that whole core, it’s just like how people. don’t write in the same plane or the same car, because if it’s just a disaster for the business to have everyone go out for two or three weeks. And, I just want people, even though, some people are still having to work and, get [00:44:00] out there just still be really cautious. I have had between Suzanne and I, we know at least 10 people in the last. 10 days or so that have gotten it. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: So Craig Scharton: it’s really out there folks. And, it’d be nice to keep our numbers down and not have it affect you. Yeah, I, my, housekeeper, one of the three housekeepers got it. And the other two didn’t because they wear masks while they were cleaning houses together, they still were able to avoid getting and get from one to the other three. and they were in my house, and I wear a mask when they’re here. And it just, you really just have to be on your toes and not get too Paul Swearengin: comfortable. Yeah, definitely something to watch out for. And there was a story yesterday, a pastor in Fontana of a church down there that was, they’ve been. Broaching the orders of the state and one of their lead pastors died, this week, which was tragic. But yeah, so it [00:45:00] sounds like if we can just hang on for a little while longer, there’s vaccines coming and things can turn around. And, in fact, I just heard Dr. Fowchee yesterday, they were asking him, you like sports doctor cost grounded. They were asking, when will we see fans back in arenas and stadiums for sports? And he said, Joe, Like the July NBA playoffs are probably too early. We probably won’t see fans in arenas, particularly indoors by then, but he said by the fall he suspects fall of 2021, we will see full football stadiums again. And so that was hopeful to hear. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: That is really good news. I didn’t think he would say that. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. Yeah. So that was good. Considering how my fantasy football has been totally screwed up by the Baltimore Ravens, getting COVID or getting everybody on the COVID list. It’s been a little bit brutal. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: That’d be worse. You could be a Denver fan and have your you’re tied in be the quarterback. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. At some point you’re like, why are you even play the game on [00:46:00] that one? so what’s on my mind today is the social media platform, Tik TOK. I don’t know if you guys are on Tik TOK, but. Yeah, it’s all my fault. I jumped on to tick talk, because social media folks are giving me advice said, Hey, if you’re trying to reach a younger audience, go to Tech-Talk. Now it used to just be like 15 year olds dancing doing lip sinking songs, but it’s expanding some and. So I was at six followers on Tik TOK and woke up the next morning a couple of weeks ago and told my wife something’s wrong. I have 2200 followers on Tik TOK. It says, so they’ve got something wrong here. but it turns out I had a post going viral, as they say. And now to this point 440,000 people have watched that video. And I now have some 22,000 followers on Tik TOK and, So I am now officially an influencer on Tik TOK, invited into their [00:47:00] creator fund and all these other things. So yeah, it’s been fun. Everything is 62nd videos at 60 seconds or less. So you have to be really creative, how you share a message in 60 seconds. but just everything I put out there get a ton of people interact with it. it’s a pretty cool audience. So I’m having a lot of fun on Tik TOK. Craig Scharton: I wouldn’t be on there if it weren’t for you, but, but it is, it’s always interesting to learn these new formats. My question was, Like with Twitter. If I woke up and saw that there were 2000 notifications on my Twitter account, I’d probably have a heart attack. Cause that your first response is, Oh my God, what did I do? Paul Swearengin: Did Craig Scharton: you have that? Did you have that moment? Paul Swearengin: Absolutely. Absolutely. And, and I’m thinking who, seeing this now, and it was funny cause I had actually three. Children of friends of mine say, Hey, you popped up on my, for [00:48:00] you feed on Tik TOK. I know you. and so I did start hearing from a lot of people. I hadn’t heard from it a long time. Most of them saying my kids said they saw you on Tik TOK. So Dr. Tomas Casagrande: that means you’re irrelevant. Paul Swearengin: Yeah, that’s right. That’s right. I am I, whatever the word is for hip these days, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. Craig Scharton: I think Dr. Tomas Casagrande: the only time you hear him now is a replacement. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. I think I’m closer to the replacement than I am to actually being at, with the young people today. But yeah, that’s been a, that’s been a lot of fun. Craig Scharton: It’s been fun to watch it and I’m dying to actually have some time to. Ask you how you produce all of those. Cause it’s really cool. It looks very Paul Swearengin: good. I’m learning as I go. I made one today, actually that is, I tried to do the ending to every eighties movie that’s ever been made. every eighties kid movie, you know how back then the, every movie ended with somebody starting the slow clap and then everybody else would join [00:49:00] in and they’d be clapping. So I did it. I did my rendition of that today. Craig Scharton: You’re having too much fun. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: I liked what you said the eighties. Not you didn’t go back to the seventies. Paul Swearengin: Nah, I’m a little, I’m not quite there. I’m an eighties kid for sure. All right. Dr. Cuss grinding what’s on your mind. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: a lot is always on my mind because it’s always moving, but probably the number one thing on my mind right now is. You go on the freeway and you see the sign that says this, this section of the freeway is, supported by such and such. And that’s what I found out was that all goes to one entity that’s in LA. That’s supposed to take care of picking up the trash and all that. And our freeways, especially 41 Oh one 80. It is the worst I’ve ever seen it. And I’ve been here since 76. I was here when the water tasted good, I can deal with that with water purification in my [00:50:00] house, but I can’t deal with going down the freeways and seeing all the trash it’s just disgusting. And we need to all call. The our people, our elected officials made to find out where’s that money go, that we that’s, if you look into it, these people, we pay money to have that done and it’s not getting done and everybody sees it. it’s it’s. And when people come, through Fresno to go to Yosemite, there’s a lot of people and they see that. they go back and they tell everybody else what a dirty city that we have. So not only is it, we don’t like it, but it’s the people that come here. They’ll give us a bad name. And then maybe some buddy wants to come here and open a business. And they think, I don’t know if I want to open a business there. So we all need to talk to our elected officials, whoever they are from the mayor on down and from to Jim Patterson, to. [00:51:00] To Jim Costa to whoever else will listen. Supervisors. Paul Swearengin: I think that’s Caltrans. Isn’t it? Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Chris trans Caltrans is, but who’s Caltrans. who’s lighting a fire under their feet, so you’re right. It is Caltrans, but it’s not getting done. Craig Scharton: Yeah, no, that’s, it’s the state representatives for sure. Need to hear about that. And, and this you’ll be an example of no matter who they are. If I agree with them regardless to party or what their other stances are, I agree with them. And I’ll disagree with someone Gary Bretta filled with on almost everything. Really, almost everything has been on the forefront of trying to get the freeways cleaned up. And Paul Swearengin: I give him credit for that. Craig Scharton: As you said, what is Gary Bretta felt then that you like that’s, that would be the only thing that comes to my mind. But he, he has been on the bandwagon for [00:52:00] this and making a lot of noise and really that’s what it takes is the whole council to be passing resolutions and people calling, my friend Joaquin and Jim Patterson and, Andrea’s Borgias and the other people at the state level. And just tell them, don’t pass the budget until Caltrans has the money to fix these things up. And. Yeah, by the way, we have a bunch of unemployed people. why aren’t we putting people to work, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: doing Craig Scharton: what we need to get done? Let’s connect the dots, unemployed people that need skills, job that needs to get done Dr. Tomas Casagrande: together. let’s try make it out and do it. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Craig Scharton: When did we see the idiots throwing stuff out of their cars? Like the entire bags of a KFC or whatever? I heard one time there was an interview and they were saying, how many thousand dollar fines for littering do you really do? And it was like one I’m like, that’s bullshit. Either have the deal or don’t have the deal. But I want to know some [00:53:00] people are getting their ass handed to them for throwing crap out onto that. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: It looks so bad that then people go, I’ll just throw it out. I’m just going to add to it. Nobody cares. And you can’t have that. No care attitude. Craig Scharton: and like you said about a business and think about like people coming up to consider going to Fresno state or not, they’re coming up 41 turning off on Shaw and going nah, I think we’ll pass. If these people don’t give a crap, then they’re not going to give a crap about anything. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Yeah. I think that’s very true. Paul Swearengin: Yeah, we were driving by and then Blackstone 41 entrance just yet yesterday or the day before. And one of my kids pointed out like, look at that mess over there. and he’s like, why doesn’t somebody fix that? And my wife was saying, nah, that’s Caltrans. Like that’s even in the city. But see that’s it’s their job, Dr. Tomas Casagrande: but see, here’s my thing. Maybe it shouldn’t be Caltrans. Maybe it should be the rotary club. [00:54:00] Maybe it should be lions. Maybe it should be, all of us getting together and say, Hey, let’s all get together on a Saturday with some paper bags and let’s crank out a mile. Let’s crank out a fourth of a mile and just get that done and what’s wrong with them? Close off the close off part of the freeway or whatever, with some orange cones and let’s go clean up our city. If they’re not going to do it, why isn’t it? Why does it, let’s talk to Brandao over at the, and talk to the city council. Somebody should say, they’re not going to do that. And then let’s do it ourselves. I Craig Scharton: always wanted to do a big blockade. I think we should just get a whole bunch of people. We’ll all throw couches and stuff. A block off the freeway and till they get it fixed, what do you think? Paul Swearengin: I think you’re going in the opposite direction. that’s what, the doctor’s talking about here. Craig Scharton: I will park all of our, all of our trucks and block the freeway. How does that sound? Paul Swearengin: Yeah, I think the [00:55:00] other thing on the freeway is I’ve heard talk of a, a toll. at the North end of 41, because we’re going to be, Fresno is going to carry the brunt of all these people driving from Madera County, and, the maintenance of the roads and things. And so there is some talk that maybe we help people help us offset that as they’re driving in from their homes North of the river. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Craig, that day you do that. I think I’m busy that day. Paul Swearengin: All right. Very nice. Craig Scharton: That’s it? There’ll be Paul Swearengin: golf carts. Craig Scharton: Yeah. Will blockade with golf Dr. Tomas Casagrande: carts. Paul Swearengin: Nice. All right. Hi, Dr. Casa Grande day. Appreciate you coming on and tell us everything there was to know about the eyeball in 2020. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: we scratched the surface and there’s a lot more there. Paul Swearengin: Optometrists humor. I like it. All right, Craig. Good talking to you again. Craig Scharton: Good to see a Tom. Dr. Tomas Casagrande: Good to see you both. Paul Swearengin: And thanks to [00:56:00] everybody who joined us on Facebook and all the gang. So always Craig Scharton: this will help a lot of people. Thank you. Wear your Paul Swearengin: mask up. Everyone. There you go. I like it. Alright guys, we’ll see you take care.
51 minutes | Dec 10, 2020
Fresno’s Second Oldest Business is One of the Most Innovative
Matt Nicoletti, Business Development Director for Fresno’s Penny Newman. ————————————————————- Transcript: Translated by Artificial Intelligence Two Guys Regenerative Farming Craig Scharton: [00:00:00] Matt Nicoletti is in charge of business development for penny Newman, which we established, we think is the second oldest business in Fresno. Uh, Fresno ag has you beat by two years. Pretty close Matt Nicoletti: though. You, you, Craig Scharton: you still Matt Nicoletti: look pretty young. Paul Swearengin: So how, how old, how old is his number? Is the number two oldest company in the history of France. Matt Nicoletti: I’d have to do Craig Scharton: subtraction, but it’s 1878. Matt Nicoletti: So let’s see. So is that one 42, one? Uh, yeah, 142 years. All right. And your, Craig Scharton: your younger brain cells worked very Matt Nicoletti: well. Yeah. Um, well it’s, uh, yeah, um, phone number. I should be tracking readily able to answer. Um, but, uh, yeah, no we’re, um, penny Newman, um, uh, uh, like we said, was founded in 1878 and it was an agricultural dry goods store. It wasn’t all too different from Fresno [00:01:00] ag in that respect back in the day. Um, but evolved into a commodity trading business, marketing of grain. Um, uh, marketing of planting seed, um, and then it evolved into a feed business. As the livestock sector really exploded in California and the production of grain and feed type of ingredients really declined significantly in California. So that industry became more heavily reliant upon industry structure, um, that was owned and operated by companies like penny Newman. That could bring in large quantities of grain and feed type of ingredients from out of state where, which are the largest production, larger production sheds of those types of agricultural goods. It’s kind of inverse of what you would think of California, because we’re such a net producer, net exporter of agricultural goods. Um, but these types of commodities that make up penny Newman’s core competencies were very much a net deficit state. Craig Scharton: And yeah, he had to keep buying bigger and bigger quantities, which is kind of an unimaginable volume. I just can’t even picture it [00:02:00] when we were talking about it the other night. Um, but we are a huge producer of dairy products. And so you’ve got to get the grain into them. Right. Matt Nicoletti: Indeed. Yeah. And we they’ve th the, the California produce stuff that the dairy sector consumes here. It’s mostly byproducts almond, wholes, obviously being a really popular one. We just harvested our largest almond crop ever, you know, 3 billion pounds, um, byproducts from the food processing. You know, we’ve got a lot of grapes and the great pumice from the winery sector, the, um, bakery waste, the mill feed bride products from all the flour milling that we have in the state. Those are. Those are very much, you know, staples in the dairy ration, but the, the most th the, the most high value, um, commodities in the dairy ration are for the most part coming in from either out of state or even overseas. Craig Scharton: Yeah. And what, and what we wanted to kind of jump to was I was really excited to hear Matt Nicoletti: about, Craig Scharton: uh, your, uh, interests in, [00:03:00] um, In regenerative ag. So we kind of nerd it out about that, uh, through our mutual friend and, uh, your employee fan Telus, and I, um, Uh, had a beer in my backyard a week or two ago. And, uh, we just, we really went pretty, pretty far off the nerd cliff, uh, Matt Nicoletti: for most people, Paul Swearengin: but Craig Scharton: it was very fun to have someone local that I could do that with. Matt Nicoletti: Thrilled to see that you were so interested in it as well with the op-ed piece and everything. I mean, it’s, it’s great to see that, you know, we’re not stepping out too far in the, in the lunacy, uh, ledge by, by, by really committing to this movement. But it’s something that I just continue getting proof of concept with in the field and, you know, with every. Every grower that, you know, we participate with. And the more sophisticated we get about collecting data and realizing the potential of taking a more biological approach to crop production, the more I believe in that [00:04:00] legitimacy of this movement. So it’s, it’s really, really exciting, um, to see folks, you know, coming to the table and, and, and really realizing the potential. Well, and Craig Scharton: it’s, I think with Paul, you know, being a pastor and he’s been doing some interesting, um, panel discussions, you know, it all starts kind of lining up. Like if you believe in a creator and creation or whether you’re more science-based and you believe in the biology and, and, and, uh, you know, the inner workings of, of, uh, Chemistry about how all of these things are starting to line up with people. You know, all, all, it seems like Matt Nicoletti: all of our needs can Craig Scharton: kind of be met if we start working toward or walking toward the, the programs that you guys are putting out there. So how you D you defined, uh, regenerative ag in your, uh, September [00:05:00] newsletter. I thought really well, Matt Nicoletti: if you remember Craig Scharton: what that was, how, how do you state it for a person that’s just tuning in, or even for a farmer that’s heard about it and doesn’t really know what it means. Matt Nicoletti: Yeah. So, and I appreciate that question because it’s super complicated. If you were to Google it, I mean, the answers you’d come across are. Diverse. And in a lot of times there’s an emphasis on the practice. It’s about integrating livestock with crop production. It’s cover crop. It’s no till or conservation tillage, it’s X, Y, and Z. And you know, what we tried to, uh, really convey in the newsletter is what are all of those things intended to accomplish? And really in our opinion, the simple definition is farming with an emphasis on soil health. Um, and I do think that is a succinct definition, but right. What the heck does soil health mean? You know, so you’ve got to sort of take it one step further and define that. And, um, really, you know, no over simplification would be to say so healthy soil is that, which is [00:06:00] rich in organic matter. And biodiversity, it supports a robust population of microorganisms, bacteria, and Michael, as a fungi are the two that, you know, are sort of the main ones when it comes to the, the, the, uh, uh, the, uh, microbes that are doing the work that the plants are ultimately beneficiaries of. Um, but the organic matter it’s, it’s really great. I mean, they can create an environment. Those microbes are what create the organic matter. It’s organic material. You know, the leaf falls off the tree when that leaf breaks down and gets incorporated into the soil. It’s being decomposed by those microbes. Right? And so that organic material becomes organic matter, which creates an environment that is more suitable for more microbes, which are doing all the hard work of mining the nutrients and transporting the nutrients to the plant. So you get this crazy myriad of benefits from both a productivity perspective. And an environmental stewardship perspective. It was honestly hard to believe when I really first started diving [00:07:00] into the science and the potential behind all this stuff. So, but to answer your question, it’s farming with an emphasis on soil health and, you know, it’s just a healthy living soil is really what we’re trying to accomplish with regenerative agriculture. Paul Swearengin: So it’s, it seems like long-term having healthy soil is going to have, you’re going to have a good return on that investment. Is it. Does it lower the profit margin short term. Uh, and, and you’re doing it for charity and generosity to the earth, or does it have a, is it profitable to do regenerate work the way you are doing it? Matt Nicoletti: So a part of our sort of ethos and strategy is everything that we’re. Implementing on farm. We like to see a return on investment in year one. You know, long-term, if you’re really, really taking a plunge and implementing every practice, that would be a part of our full program soup to nuts. You might be slightly exceeding your standard conventional budget, you know, and there’s. Well, weird conflation and confusion with what’s the difference between organic and [00:08:00] regenerative. Um, organic, there is a huge premium and the production costs with the, just the premium on the fertilizers. The, you know, generally expected compromising yield. Um, but organic is all about what you can’t use. Right. You can’t use synthetics. It’s not just the pesticides. It’s also this instead of synthetic fertilizers and most of our fertilizers are synthetically produced. Um, but in the case of regenerative, it’s all about what did you accomplish? You know, are you moving the needle in a direction towards healthier soil? And what we like to see is growers get that return on investment in year one. I mean, we have a number of products that can be used as a standalone where we say use this instead of this. Make room for the budget in this, by getting rid of that other thing you’re using, which by the way, is adding, is compromising your soil’s ability to propagate microorganisms and, and host that biological life that is, you know, essentially the bedrock of regenerative agriculture. So, um, use this other alternative [00:09:00] instead. And if you see, you know, a percentage increase in yield and quality to the point where, you know, You’re generating a significant ROI in year one, then, you know, it’s hard to argue against it, right? Because a lot of the, the, the, the challenge with different environmentally based movements, they require such significant upfront capital intensive investments, you know, clean energy, cleaning up after yourself costs a lot of money. Right. And one of the reasons I’m so optimistic about regenerative agriculture is because of how often we see an ROI in year one for our growers. Craig Scharton: Well, without naming names, you’ve, you’ve been doing some kind of on the ground research already. Right? So Matt Nicoletti: what is that, Craig Scharton: what is that yielding? What are you, what are you learning? Matt Nicoletti: So, you know, when we first started getting into this, it might be fun for me to give you guys a little bit of context as to how we got here to, uh, because it was serendipitous. Uh, admittedly, I’d love to tell you that I was. You know, incredibly forward thinking and doing a lot of outreach and trying to figure out how we [00:10:00] can get into this space. And there was a little bit of that in there, but, um, really it’s, it can be attributed to one gentleman by the name of Dennis butcher who walked into our office a few years ago. Um, gentleman from Utah that had an idea for a soil amendment. And we said, great. You know, that’s a market, we’re not really that active or participating in. Tell us a little bit more about that, your idea for it. And, um, you know, you know, as, as we started, as I started gaining a better understanding of what his amendment and his agrinomic program, he has since introduced us to quite a number of other products that make up our agronomic program, um, I’m also, you know, becoming aware of this growing movement with regenerative agriculture. And I realized that everything he is promoting, um, is exactly what this movement is calling for. It’s the emphasis on the soil health, the soil biology, the microorganisms. And so, um, it, uh, I realized I’ve got to figure out how to connect these two things, right? How do I take advantage of this movement to at [00:11:00] least just increase awareness around what we’re doing, or figure out how to reward growers for, you know, hitting these new environmental standards and those sorts of things. But one thing that I recognized just simply in our sales process, and you know, again, we’re new to this game relatively is you have to prove what you’re saying. These things do are actually being accomplished in the field. Right. So, you know, in the case of regenerative, are we seeing an increase in organic matter? Are we seeing increased micronutrient uptake without the addition of micronutrients, um, you know, growers spend an immense amount of money on micronutrient for, for fertilizers, zinc, boron, and the like, um, whereas, you know, what, what we’ve one thing we do in particular that is really unique is with a soil analysis. Um, Or your standard soil analysis only shows what’s quote unquote available. It doesn’t show what actually exists. There, there is a signal in, particularly in the West. We have very minerally, nutrient dense soils. And so when you look at a, um, [00:12:00] standard soil analysis, it, it there’s because of the bonding between those minerals and the ratios being a bit out of whack and the lack of the, um, uh, bacteria that are there to break the bonds and make those things available to the plant. Um, you’re actually not seeing the availability of what’s there, there might be 200 times more calcium in that soil than what’s showing available. So what we like to do is. Something called a natural nitric acid or totals test. Um, and not a lot of folks are doing that. It blew my mind when I found out, found out that that’s not status quo, that we’re not trying to figure out what’s there and mind what’s actually there that we’re adding these, you know, expensive, typically synthetically derived inputs to make up for that deficiency. And I think a lot of folks don’t recognize that, you know, we’re really aren’t that deficient in, in, in mineral nutrients, we’re deficient in biology. Out here. And, um, so a lot of the stuff we’ve been doing is revealing the, uh, the, the potential that our soils have simply [00:13:00] by just nurturing them in a way that allows you to, um, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, harvest what’s there and reap the benefits. And so just being, and it’s, it’s super simple stuff, you know, are we getting better nutrients? Take are we increasing the soil organic matter? Are we getting better water infiltration? Um, but we are going to start getting more geeky with it. We’re going to start counting earthworms and things like that too. So, uh, Paul Swearengin: how do you count earthworms? Is, is it a per, uh, per a, a particular measure and you just pull up some dirt cubic foot of dirt? Yep. Okay. Matt Nicoletti: regenerative agriculture. Paul Swearengin: I love it. Counting earthworms that you get paid big bucks Matt Nicoletti: for that totally. It’s a labor intensive process. And that process is yet to be automated. So it’s costly, Craig, it looks like you’re on mute. Paul Swearengin: I lost you, Craig. You’re not on mute. Craig Scharton: Oh, there you go. That’s my it’s my microphone. [00:14:00] Paul Swearengin: Okay. Craig Scharton: My grandsons don’t know I’ve been training them for that job for several years. Uh, I bought them a couple of kids size shovels a couple of years ago for Christmas. And when I come over, they go let’s hunt for earthworms, grandpa, Matt Nicoletti: and we just start Craig Scharton: digging in the yard and pulling them. So I’m working on your, uh, Matt Nicoletti: your labor force mat. That’s great. Yeah. Except I’m not sure the legalities of that. We have pretty strong labor laws here in California, regulatory intensive. So, um, we’ll figure something out there, correct? Craig Scharton: We like to say, uh, well, they can volunteer, I think maybe Matt Nicoletti: a volunteer. Um, and I think Fenn was telling me he got your soil, that soil, that analyses done for your backyard there so Craig Scharton: bad, Matt Nicoletti: we can help. Craig Scharton: It is so bad. I need Paul Swearengin: more earthworms. Craig Scharton: I do. Matt Nicoletti: What’s your average organic matter out there? Did, did he tell you Craig Scharton: what it was? It was really bad. Matt Nicoletti: Is it below [00:15:00] 1%? Yeah. Craig Scharton: Uh, we did three at the joke, you know, of, I call my place Sharpton acres, even though it’s like a fifth of an acre. Um, so we called the three samples that he did the front 40, the middle 40 and the back Matt Nicoletti: 40, uh, but it’s really square feet. Craig Scharton: Um, he’s right there. He should yell. He should yell what it is. So I don’t look for it, but it’s like one was over one and the other were below one. So. Uh, so I think what we want to do is, is I’m going to challenge Finn. I don’t know, a hundred bucks or something, and we’re going to see who can increase their soil, uh, organic matter, like in a year’s time or something. And turn this into a, um, a man’s Matt Nicoletti: sport. Are you going to be, are you going to be using fin for any, any sort of product support and guidance Craig Scharton: stuff till I challenged them for a hundred bucks and then he was like, Matt Nicoletti: you’re on your own. Paul Swearengin: We should probably [00:16:00] tell people tuning in that fin is sitting in the, in the background off, right? Matt Nicoletti: Yes. Paul Swearengin: Yep. Let me see. You can do this, Craig, if you guys can hear this, it’s been a while since we’ve done an actual podcast. So let me see if our, if our bumpers work anymore, hang on here. Oh, wait, if I can’t even hear that. Okay, nevermind. So let’s do a know your guest, Matt Nicoletti: Craig. Craig Scharton: We’re out. We’re out of shape. Paul Swearengin: We are. Geez. I don’t even know how to make this stuff work anymore. Anyway, let’s do a know your guests. Craig Scharton: Matt, tell us, tell us about yourself. Matt Nicoletti: Um, I’m 32 years old. I just got married in August. That’s no good wedding. It was supposed to be a big blowout ranger in September because my wife and I and our families are pretty S pretty social bunch. Um, so, uh, it was around maybe may when we realized that our plans were not going to be coming to fruition in the way that we’d originally hoped. Um, so we, uh, we still got married. We just did took the plunge, just our [00:17:00] immediate families, um, on the beach, uh, down in Santa Barbara. And we are hoping we can have that big party at some point next year. Um, but, uh, yeah, I grew up born and raised in Fresno. I went to high school at San Joaquin Memorial, played football there. Uh, I went to USC on an academic scholarship. Uh, after I graduated, I moved to San Francisco for a few years and worked for a startup. Uh, called Eventbrite. You guys might’ve used it for live events or to stuff. They were, you know, just a few years old. When I went to work there, I was the 80th employee. By the time I left, there was 600 of us. It was pretty crazy. Um, and then they, they S they, they IPO it a few years ago, actually. Um, but I was on the music and entertainment team. And then that’s another passion of mine is music. I’m a hobbyist musician, musician. I played with a group of guys up there and played in college and. I’ve got a music room right over there, one hallway over here. So, um, definitely something I intend to get involved, um, within the community, uh, [00:18:00] as years go on and I increased my personal bandwidth outside of the office. Paul Swearengin: Awesome. I buy music. Are you a singer musician Matt Nicoletti: producer? Yeah, so I, I percussion, I can mess around on a bass guitar and a guitar, but, um, but percussion was my thing mainly. Paul Swearengin: Very nice. Cool. Craig Scharton: So, so like in trying to think about what this regenerative ag thing could do, Paul Swearengin: by the way, Craig, let me jump in real quick. And we, somebody named Mark Mitchell, is that somebody you guys know Matt Nicoletti: yeah. From Aquile. Paul Swearengin: So Mark says preach it. Mat soil biology is the next wave in agriculture. Growers are finally waking up to this Matt Nicoletti: Mark. Appreciate the shout out. Craig Scharton: What does the Valley look like in five to 10 years? If we really Matt Nicoletti: embrace this plus dusty. Craig Scharton: That’s huge though. Right? Matt Nicoletti: That’s fine. But that’s one of the things [00:19:00] that, like, I just get super motivated by. I mean, we didn’t get into the long list of environmental benefits and it can get a little bit dense if we start to do that. But one of the, one of the, one of the cool things about the benefits of increased soil organic matter is the ability for soil to retain water, right. Uh, and infiltrate water better water is a huge issue here. We need to get, we need to be able to make. The most out of what little scarce water we have here. And the best way to do that is to emphasize soil biology, soil organic matter. And for every 1% increase, it can retain between 20 and 50,000 gallons, more per acre. So think about if we have more Craig Scharton: for one sec, right? Yeah. So one acre of land, you increase the soil biology from. Matt Nicoletti: Two to Craig Scharton: 3%. That means little critters in the soil would save would hold more than 20,000 gallons of water on that acre in the soil. [00:20:00] Then if it, if it doesn’t improve Matt Nicoletti: and that’s per 1%, you said two to three. So two to three, you would expect the multiple, right? Yeah. Craig Scharton: So I would say if it goes from 2% organic. 20,008, 20,000 gallons per acre, or more Paul Swearengin: over what period of time. Matt Nicoletti: In a year Paul Swearengin: and a year. Matt Nicoletti: Well, I mean, the there’s, there’s sort of not necessarily a time correlation it’s if it’s just, if you get that 1% increase, no matter how long it takes that water should be able to retain them or that, excuse me, that soil should be able to retain the water to that. And when you see a healthy soil, it looks like a spongy, you know, they refer to it as kind of a chocolate cakey type texture, a lot of aggregates. Um, and, and that’s another benefit of planting cover crop, and things like that is, is, is the. Uh, prevention of erosion from, from, from dust, it caps the soil, it, it retains the moisture. Um, it’ll prevent loss from runoff erosion. [00:21:00] And then, you know, of course in our case, come, come August. We start getting pretty dusty around here when we start shaking trees and, you know, making passes. Um, so that is, that is when you say, what does it look like? What’s the big difference? I would say if we, if we could collectively raise. The level of organic matter in California by 3% within that timeframe, which I think that’s a pretty tall order. I mean, we are setting out and committing ourselves. That is our mission in life right now. Um, because California is our backyard. That’s a big enough market for us to, you know, focus all of our efforts on, although we do have aspirations to expand elsewhere. Um, it. That would just really, really just bring a tear to my eye if we could pull that off and really, really see the visible benefit when you’re driving to work and when I’m driving to work and I’m looking at downtown Fresno and I can, and it doesn’t look like I could eat, you know, take a piece of the cotton candy sky and eat it, you know? Um, that would be really fulfilling. Well, Paul Swearengin: that is it. [00:22:00] God Gregory Craig Scharton: better air holds more water. I think about like the economics, like if the farmers are more profitable though, because they’re spending less on inputs and they make more money, which is great for our economy. Right. Matt Nicoletti: Totally. Craig Scharton: Um, and then, you know, I think just too about like being a leader in this tends to get Matt Nicoletti: people. Attracted Craig Scharton: to steady it and learn the skills and all of that as well. Like being progressive in terms of being on the front end of Matt Nicoletti: whether it’s Craig Scharton: technology or health or business, whatever it is like, can we really embrace something and become a leader in it? Matt Nicoletti: Yeah. Yeah. Um, it would be it’s it’s, you know, I, I remember from our conversation, uh, Craig, when you mentioned how there’s a bit of a. Uh, uh, Midwestern flavor to a lot of the regenerative ag stuff that’s been going on. And you mentioned the, the economic, [00:23:00] um, benefits, which again are part of the reason that I’m so optimistic mystic about it and why? I believe it has such legitimate future. It can stand up on its own two legs and a capitalist society, you know? Um, but. California farmers haven’t struggled as much as Midwestern farmers. I think that’s one thing that gets overlooked. You know, the commoditization of that broad acreage crop, corn and soy wheat, you know, their options are limited and all the infrastructure, the, the, the, the, the processing facilities, the ethanol plants, the big corn elevators that. Quite frankly, load unit trains and ship them to the penny Newman’s of the world. Um, they, those growers don’t have a lot of options, you know, whereas in California, we’re next to the premium consumer. Um, we grow crops that are difficult to grow elsewhere. So there’s been, you know, just more supply control and really great, you know, a couple of really, uh, excellent marketers, you know, in groups of marketers out here pushing the health benefits of the things that we’re known for, you know, fruits and nuts and whatnot. So, um, [00:24:00] there’s been less pain points. In California, um, from an economic standpoint, driving folks to adopt regenerative practices, but per my previous comment about just harvesting the largest almond crop we’ve ever had, almond prices have taken a nosedive, uh, and a number of other commodities that are California production driven or, you know, core commodities here are, are, uh, the economics are, are, are starting to feel a lot more pressure. So this hopefully will motivate folks to adopt these new practices, but. I think we all know out here from a regulatory standpoint, we face the most burdensome environmental regulations and things like that. So if this is a way in which you can preempt regulatory compliance and get rewarded for it in the short term, I mean, and that’s the thing, like one of the hardest parts of our job is convincing people that we’re not just. Blowing smoke up their butt with that kind of a grandiose claim, you know? Cause that’s too good to be true, but it’s like, Hey, you’re going to have to do this in 10 years. Anyways. We’re just going to show you how to do it. And by the way, you’re going to save money and [00:25:00] your yield and quality is going to increase that’s. I mean, when, if you actually went and gave that whole pitch, you’d be laughed out the door. So we’ve gotta be, we’ve got control. It helps, uh, in the sales process a little bit just to make sure we don’t have that sort of reaction. Paul Swearengin: So, let me ask you a little bit about, about the business for, for people that don’t know a lot about it. Um, I see it started as a, as a mercantile store and, and I see kind of all the different things you do, but did I hear you say most of your, uh, your business is done in the state? Matt Nicoletti: Yeah, so we are destination market. Like our grower direct reach is predominantly California based. Um, and most of our, you know, Grower isn’t the right word necessarily. Cause our largest market that we’re serving is the dairy industry. We’re a feed supplier. Uh, and we, we, we procure California based byproducts. Like I mentioned, almond wholes, and those sorts of things in market that is dairy feed. But again, you know, uh, really the, the, the vast majority of what we do comes from out of state or overseas. Uh, and [00:26:00] there was a paradigm shift with the railroads where you needed to be able to build a facility that can receive a hundred rail cars at a time in order to be competitive in a given market. So that led to big solidation amongst the companies that were handling feed and grain in California. And there’s really. Five penny Newman, white companies left of the 30 plus that there once were in the feed industry back in, you know, only a several decades ago. So, um, that, uh, the, the, we, we kind of view the rest of the country as an origination, like speaking to our core business, the rest of the countries where we originate stuff, California, Idaho, Washington is where we sell stuff. For the most part and that’s dairy, um, pet food has been a really big growing market for us as well. Um, we sell it, we originate, you know, grains for milling, you know, human consumption, flour, those sorts of things. Um, And then with this division of our business, it’s it’s fertilizer and soil based. So, you know, a lot of, all of our dairy customers, you know, they grow their, their own feed to some degree. Um, and many [00:27:00] of them have smartly diversified into other modes of crop production. Uh, and then of course, all the folks that we’ve sold, planting seed and bought grain from throughout the years, they’re the same folks, you know, that are now growing tomatoes, almond and citrus. Everything. So, um, it’s one advantage that we had was just having the sort of household name out here in the customer list and the relationships, it, it gave our guru Dennis, some at-bats to go out there and get his product tried. And, you know, as, as we were learning. You know how this worked and how legit it was. We kind of had to keep pinching ourselves because it was just good news after good news after good news. And then, you know, we were like, let’s really build something here. The principals bought in and they’ve been supporting, uh, Dennis and myself and our team. And we were able to bring fin on and Finn’s been kicking butt. He’s out a lot, added a lot of professionalism to what we do. And, um, I think is, you know, like Craig very impassioned about the potential for, um, uh, regenerative agriculture to heal some of the wrongs we’ve done. Hmm, [00:28:00] Paul Swearengin: sorry. I was interested in that and that you spoke to that a little bit, but how, how do you get a company that’s been around that long to be, to be innovative and want to do something new? Matt Nicoletti: Um, well, uh, I will say that, um, uh, we, we faced our share of challenges and we have to be kind of, uh, tasteful in terms of what we ask for, uh, as far as resources to support us, continuing to build this, um, We were lucky in that it didn’t take an immense amount of risk for us to get started, to give that guy Dennis, his platform to, to start getting product out there. But I will not pull wool over anybody’s eyes. When I say that initially we were Jerry rigging it a little bit. Um, it was hard for, on him, a lot of work, and, but now we’ve gotten way more. I mean, we’ve got him dedicated infrastructure, a fleet of ball tanks and trailers, and, um, you know, a number of employees that are being trained around this is our sales process. This is our ethos. And so the way to a way to get a company like that to, um, invest in [00:29:00] innovation is show that, that show that we can build a business out of it, you know, shows successes from the field. So positive feedback in those early years from our growers is what we needed. And we got that. So, and now we’re proving it with data. So which, which reinforces that even better? Well, Paul Swearengin: this is cool Craig. Cause I think we always love to highlight local central California businesses that are doing things. And when we think we don’t have anything like this, it’s always good to know. Hey, there is, there are great companies that are sending out widgets and bringing in, uh, economic growth into central California and that they exist and they exist here. Craig Scharton: Yeah, I think it’s really going to be good too. Cause there’s really been a, I think a big split in our state. I don’t know. Every once in a while I’ll hear Matt Nicoletti: like Craig Scharton: there’s an assembly district that kind of is calf. Like it goes a little bit into the Valley, but it’s mostly in the Bay area and you know, they’ll just run [00:30:00] ads going. Like I will stand up to those horrible polluting Valley farmers and I’m like, Wait a minute. How did this land on, on the central Valley radio station? And, and I mean, they actually get political gain political ground by beating up on us. And I think that’s, you know, being from here, I don’t, I don’t like that. And I think it just perpetuates these false lines. But I think a lot of what you guys are doing there, Matt is really gonna flip that around to where people start viewing the, the Valley really is the solution, not the problem. Matt Nicoletti: And we can Craig Scharton: really lead the way I think. Matt Nicoletti: I I, yeah. I mean, I sure hope so. I mean like one anecdote I would have for, you know, you guys were asking about the difficulty of getting this whole thing started. And, um, you know, when this gentleman Dennis came in with this idea for the soil amendment and was teaching us about soil health and microbes and all those sorts of things, uh, as mentioned, you know, he, he, [00:31:00] wasn’t talking about this regenerative agriculture movement. He wasn’t a. You know, a coastal elite idealist coming in, you know, with some sort of fantastical, uh, approach without understanding the real nuances and challenges of farming. This is somebody who. In the was, is educated in the dirt in the soil, I should say. Um, and, and, and, and was just taking a very pragmatic approach. This is the best way to farm. This is how you get the best yield and quality and be good steward of costs with your inputs. And so, you know, from my perspective, if I didn’t have dentists, they’re telling me that, and, and the firsthand observations of the results we were getting, if I was just reading the ideologically driven. You know, mostly, you know, coastal elite type of driven publications that are publishing most of what we’re hearing about regenerative agriculture. I would approach it with a hefty dose of skepticism. I’d be going, you guys don’t understand how hard this actually is. And in fact, that’s kind of how I used to [00:32:00] be. So, um, you know, when we, when we were in the midst of the drought years, you remember you, everybody remembers the gallon of water to grow one almond. Right? And so I have. All right. And it’s the coastal elites that just loved, they latched onto that stat and it was published everywhere and it’s like, we’ll stop eating almond butter. Then you know, your, your, the ones you drink, you probably drink more. I’m going to go, can we do? Um, but, uh, you know, it’s, it’s what’s to your point, Craig, it’s, it’s awesome because we can totally flip that narrative. You know what I mean? Instead of just. Ha like reducing the environmental burden of food production, which that’s very much what it is. There’s no denying it. Like, like all things production related and energy production related. It has negative byproducts and consequences, but agriculture is the one thing. That through doing it the right way. Um, we can actually heal the planet. Like there’s not a lot of healing solutions that are being presented. There’s a, Hey, [00:33:00] let’s slow it down type of solution rather than. We can sequester atmosphere carbon. We can produce more nutrient dense food. We can clean our water. It’s amazing. And it’s all, it’s all the microbes. It’s the power of microbes. I’ve totally bought into this. Obviously drinking the Kool-Aid or combined, I should say Craig Scharton: that’s the microbes. Paul Swearengin: Yeah, Craig Scharton: that, that is really cool. And then, so you’re actually, and you’re trying to create. Create a market for these products. So there’s higher value return. Matt Nicoletti: Yup. I mean, longterm, that is the goal. I mean, like I said, you know, there should be an ROI for the grower in year one. Right. But why should they not be rewarded for hitting these new standards right. That consumers want to see and consumers want to see, I mean, there’s, there’s other folks out there doing it, right. If you look at general, general mills, They’ve pledged to transition 1 million acres to regenerative by 2030 Cargill, 10 million acres, [00:34:00] right? Some of the largest food and ag businesses in the world, general mills is an end-user a consumer of so many food ingredients, things that we produce right here in California. So if we can help the growers. Implement these practices that accomplish these outcomes, tell them more about these outcomes, help them identity, preserve what they’re producing here and go to those brands. And off-takers then hopefully we can help them be rewarded by, uh, even more than what they should be. Just. Without that premium incentive, right. Uh, or that access to this new category, um, that is that a lot of folks are racing to develop right now. Organic is not going to be the only thing out there that consumers have as an option. That’s better for them and better for the environment. Paul Swearengin: So we have a couple of comments and appreciate everybody, uh, on Facebook with us. And our friend D says, Oh, those evil farmers. And then last, and then she said, Craig, quit trashing the coastal elites because her sister lives in. Yeah. So we’ve, we’ve [00:35:00] been one Craig Scharton: now. I don’t think we fit the elite category, but I, we have lived there. Matt Nicoletti: Don’t Paul Swearengin: you just become elite when you live in the Bay area, doesn’t it just sort of naturally happen. Matt Nicoletti: Yeah, I lived there and it didn’t feel that way. Craig Scharton: You have to be on guard all the time. Uh, and when you find yourself with your Birkenstocks wearing your hemp clothes, uh, at the Sonoma farmer’s market, it can be real, Matt Nicoletti: you know, Craig Scharton: in mill Valley or something. It can be real dangerous. Very, Matt Nicoletti: very much. I Craig Scharton: remember being at the Sonoma’s farmer’s market in the first Gulf war had just started. And, uh, and this lady goes, I just think we’re on Matt Nicoletti: the brink of world. Craig Scharton: Peace man. You live with a really nice bubble. I can’t can’t quite get Matt Nicoletti: it. Paul Swearengin: How was Memorial’s football team when you were there, Matt to ask a really important question Matt Nicoletti: for them? Well, we were really good up until my senior year when I was the captain [00:36:00] of the team finally. And we started the year, I think with five straight losses. So. Uh, we ended up getting our, getting our act together when we won league that year. But then we won our first lost our first game in the platelet playoffs. So we had a great run my freshman to junior year and a Valley championship my sophomore year. But, uh, I don’t know something happened when I hopefully my leadership of penny Newman, um, out matches my leadership. It’s football time. Craig Scharton: It’s a lot better to learn your lessons on the football field than, than Matt Nicoletti: in the middle of the company. Yeah, that’s for sure. Absolutely. Paul Swearengin: No, I Matt Nicoletti: haven’t been back because of it. Paul Swearengin: Do we want to do what’s on my mind, Craig? Matt Nicoletti: Sure. Paul Swearengin: Alright. What’s on my mind time where we talk about nothing in particular or whatever is on our mind. So Craig, you want to kick us off? Craig Scharton: Yeah, cause I’m going to kind of tie it in together. So I, I got bunnies, Paul. Paul Swearengin: Ooh, nice. Matt Nicoletti: I got four bunnies. Craig Scharton: Uh, so [00:37:00] when, uh, Matt and Finn came over the other day, uh, you know, like I said, we’re turning it on this male, uh, competition thing. Matt Nicoletti: Um, Craig Scharton: females might not, might do that too. I’m just not one of them. Matt Nicoletti: But I Craig Scharton: know among males, we can do this thing where, you know, who caught the biggest fish or whatever example you can think of. So Finn goes, well, when are you going to incorporate animals into your regenerative farm here? Sharpton. Matt Nicoletti: Yeah. And I’m like, Whoa. Paul Swearengin: Uh, Craig Scharton: so I said, all right, I, I can’t get. I can’t get chickens. I can’t do this. I can’t do this. I can get rabbits. They’re legal. Matt Nicoletti: I Craig Scharton: can have ’em. They can eat a bunch of stuff I grow and they can poop and I can put that poop out. And that gets the biology of the soil going. So, because of that, and so. We have another mutual friend, Andrew, uh, sensing from, uh, Tavern, uh, Matt Nicoletti: as a Craig Scharton: biology [00:38:00] professor and a farmer from the Midwest. Uh, and I had taken them a couple of rabbits that I had trapped a few years ago Matt Nicoletti: and he’s kept breeding them. Craig Scharton: And so I called them, said, Hey, if you ever have any baby rabbits, uh, let me know. He goes, Oh, I have some that just when they’re ready this weekend, Matt Nicoletti: I was like, Oh Craig Scharton: crap. And so, yeah, so I’ve, uh, been building a hatch and, but stuff at whities forum. And he gave me four rabbits back, uh, on my investment or two that I gave him. Matt Nicoletti: And, uh, and they’re eating like crazy. Like Craig Scharton: there’s no amount of Matt Nicoletti: kale or Craig Scharton: lemon leaves or anything that I Matt Nicoletti: can put Craig Scharton: in there. I’ll go back after this and it will be completely gone through again. And so I’m going to have to, uh, Matt Nicoletti: be Craig Scharton: planting more crop. I might have to buy more acreage Matt Nicoletti: just to Craig Scharton: keep my rabbits fed. Matt Nicoletti: Has Finn got your cover crop mix yet? Craig Scharton: Not yet. [00:39:00] Okay. Matt Nicoletti: But over there right now, Craig Scharton: but I got to get that. Oh my gosh. I’m so embarrassed in my little organics in my soil. Matt Nicoletti: I’m just horrified. Paul Swearengin: Hmm. What’s on your mind today, Matt? Matt Nicoletti: Well, um, you know, I’d mentioned that I just got married and uh, I, you know, with COVID rearing its ugly head again. Um, I just, I would like to know whether or not we’re going to get to have that big, old party that we wanted to have originally, you know, I really miss live music. Um, so, so dearly and every time I think about it, I just feel this like aching pain in my chest. When is the next time I get to go shake my booty at a music venue? You know, that’s that, that is what’s on my mind these days. Paul Swearengin: That’s really sad. I mean, we’re all COVID fatigued, but, uh, yeah. To kind of lose your wedding in the midst of that, uh, definitely feel for you guys. Matt Nicoletti: Yeah. [00:40:00] Craig Scharton: Father-in-law saved the bank Matt Nicoletti: and, uh, yeah, yeah, yeah. He, he’s definitely, you know, silver lining for him and he was cheating too. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. Yeah, I heard, and we’re recording this on November 16th. I heard we’re back into purple today and fairly significantly back into purple. And so schools are in doubt again. Um, I heard even, uh, curfews could be in the mix, so it’s going to be interesting to see what happens here and makes us wonder if we had taken this a little more seriously early on where we would be today, but. Matt Nicoletti: Yep. Some decent news with the vaccines, uh, as of late. Um, but if those don’t get deployed, I don’t know. I might be signing up for Russia’s Sputnik vaccine, um, hilarious name by the way, where they beat us. They beat us with something into orbit and they just tend, they beat us with the vaccine deployment and they use the name Sputnik. Oh, that is [00:41:00] in our face. Just petty there’s there’s there’s really, really petty competitiveness between are the leaders of our nations here these days. Paul Swearengin: I wonder how brutal they’re approved, you know, their testing and approval processes. Matt Nicoletti: I think that’s why they beat us is probably not very, they can seem to get volunteers a lot more easily too. I imagined Paul Swearengin: my volunteer Matt Nicoletti: here. We don’t call them volunteers here. Paul Swearengin: More like human lab, rats, perhaps there’s cheese. Um, yeah, Craig Scharton: we’re hoping. Paul Swearengin: What’s on my mind is Tik TOK, man. Do you got you guys big on Tik TOK? I don’t. Maybe you’re maybe your parlor guys. I don’t know. No, no, but, uh, yeah, I delved into the end of the crazy world of Tik TOK and like people dancing and 62nd videos and drinking ocean spray and all of that stuff. And did a video called why I didn’t vote for Donald [00:42:00] Trump. And that video has now been viewed. 442,000 times. Uh, I went to, uh, I went to bed two weeks ago. I went to bed on Wednesday night with six followers on Tik TOK. I woke up the next morning. I had 2000 followers and as of. Well, as of right now, let me look. I have 19,200 followers on Tik TOK. So I am, I’m blowing up on Tik TOK right now. Matt Nicoletti: That is unreal. I haven’t honestly, that’s one that I just haven’t been paying that much attention to. I’ve sort of, I still have my social media accounts, but I’ve like for a number of reasons, sort of abandoned them a few years ago. So I haven’t really kept up with things, but the virality of that is crazy. Or maybe you just put out. Some really good content there. Paul, I’m going to have to check that out, Paul Swearengin: check it out. I mean, and so since then now, I mean, I I’m, you know, I do a couple of videos a day and, and some of them, uh, you know, like today [00:43:00] with the one I put out, it’s only gone to 3,569 people. So that’s a big disappointment because I’ve had others go to 179,000. Uh, 16,800. Anyway, I don’t know it’s so I’m doing this tick-tock pastor thing and it’s kind of taken off and people are liking it. And I, you know, my, I had a friend Craig Scharton: telling Paul Swearengin: me and people find you and old pastor Paul is my handle on tic-tacs Matt Nicoletti: pastor Paul old Paul Swearengin: pastor Paul. Yeah. We’ll look at it. My, yeah, my, my social media manager told me this was a couple of years ago and he said, so Facebook is 60. And in a very short time, it’ll be 75. He said, Instagram is 30 in a very short time, it’ll be 50. And he said, Tik TOK is now 16. And in a very short time, it’ll be 25. And so, yeah, I’m trying, I I’ve been wanting to reach a younger audience because shockingly. Boomers and older Xers like me don’t change their minds very easily or hear differing opinions anymore. So I figured I would [00:44:00] go to tick-tock and try a younger audience and they seem to like it. So it’s Matt Nicoletti: kind of parameters. So like Craig Scharton: it’s a, it’s a length of time, Matt Nicoletti: right? Paul Swearengin: So you can do a 15 second video or a 62nd video. And that’s it, which is it’s really fun. Cause you, you have to be very creative, very succinct. You have to know what you’re saying and, but, but you’d be amazed what you can say in 60 seconds. And, uh, and then I’ll tell you it’s crazy, but it’s addicting. You get on it and you just start flipping through. And the next thing you know, it’s, you know, it’s midnight and you’re like, wow, I’m still flipping through Tik TOK. So it’s, it’s pretty fun. Craig Scharton: Does it stay up there? Is it like these other things where if you look at it, it’s then gone forever or Paul Swearengin: no, it stays up there. It stays up forever. The one thing and tick-tock as your lives, don’t stay up. If you do a live, it, it goes away. It’s just live and then it goes away. But no, the videos stay up there and people continue to, to share them and you can do this thing called a duet. So if you like. Yeah. Like what somebody says, you hit duet and [00:45:00] then it’ll go on your feed and it’ll be your picture while you’re listening to them, do their thing. And, uh, so that a lot of people find it’s fun to do that. And so then you can promote somebody else’s video and, uh, so yeah, I’ve, I’ve really ended up. Kind of enjoying it. So one of the big ones I did is, uh, I took a scene from West wing and I mouthed Martin Sheen’s words and, uh, and it, it’s now been viewed over 101,000 times. Matt Nicoletti: All Craig Scharton: right. Paul Swearengin: Do you want to see it? I could probably show it to you. Matt Nicoletti: Yeah, definitely. Paul Swearengin: Let me see if I can, let me see if I can find it. Yeah. Now that I said that. Okay. Talk amongst yourselves while I, Craig Scharton: I want you to do one on regenerative ag Paul. Paul Swearengin: Well, you’ll have to, you’ll have to point me to it. All right. Let’s see if Matt Nicoletti: Ben’s volunteering. He’ll be in it too. Paul Swearengin: Very good. All right, here we go. Here we go. Let me tell me if you can hear this. Matt Nicoletti: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President, Paul Swearengin: the Bible does. Matt Nicoletti: Yes, it does. Leviticus Craig Scharton: 1822 Paul Swearengin: numbers. I wanted to ask you a couple of [00:46:00] questions while I Matt Nicoletti: had you here. I’m interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery. A sanctioned in exit is 21 seven, but she’s a Georgetown. Sophomore speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table. When it was her turn, what would a good price for her B while thinking about that? Can I ask another, Paul Swearengin: my chief of staff, Matt Nicoletti: Leo McGarry insist on working on the Sabbath. Exit is 35 Paul Swearengin: to. Matt Nicoletti: Clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself? Or is it okay to call the police? Here’s one that’s really important because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean Leviticus, 11 seven. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame, Ken West point Paul Swearengin: tick-tock. I was right there. Craig Scharton: All right. Matt Nicoletti: You’re having Paul Swearengin: fun. Sorry for the use of the old name of the Washington football team, but Oh yeah, [00:47:00] but that’s it. You just do something cracky like that and a, and 101,000 people watch it and say, cool, Matt Nicoletti: fun. What a world. Craig Scharton: It’s good to see. You’re still stretching and trying new stuff. Matt Nicoletti: Paul. Paul Swearengin: Yeah. And by the way, there are like 15 year old girls that just go on and dance for 15 seconds and they get like 98 million followers. So I’ve got a ways to go to catch up with that. Craig Scharton: Um, have you danced yet? Paul Swearengin: I’ve I’ve done a little bit of dancing, but, but very reserved dancing, but, uh, yeah, I celebrated a 10,000 followers with a little dance, so Craig Scharton: now I have to check in for sure. Paul Swearengin: All right. Yeah. And by the way, uh, you know, now China has all my private information, but that’s just, I guess, part of the deal you make. Matt Nicoletti: That’s everybody’s got everybody’s information. Yeah. That ship has sailed. Paul Swearengin: Yeah, Matt Nicoletti: I agree. Paul Swearengin: I watched social dilemma, but I think [00:48:00] that’s the deal we’re like, all right. The privacy thing is over. We’re just going to have to learn to live with it. Matt Nicoletti: I Craig Scharton: think the penny Newman would be a good name for a dance. Matt Nicoletti: Matt penny Newman. Craig Scharton: That penny Newman Matt Nicoletti: will go to work on it. I’ll go. I’ve got to work on producing the background music. Okay. Craig Scharton: Yeah. You’ve got the rhythm. So you got that going Matt Nicoletti: for you. You said Craig Scharton: shake, shake your booty earlier. So you know all the cooling Matt Nicoletti: indeed. Oh, I think that was a pretty old school lingo. There Paul Swearengin: was old one. Craig Scharton: I was shaking my Matt Nicoletti: booty. Paul Swearengin: Yeah, absolutely. Well awesome. Matt, thanks for coming on and talking a regenerative farming Craig’s favorite, favorite, favorite topic Craig Scharton: only because it saves the creation that you’re so happy Matt Nicoletti: that it was created. Paul Swearengin: Sure. Should we all have our yards analyzed for their soil value or whatever you guys were talking about? Matt Nicoletti: We’ll do it. Gracias pro bono. So, um, we, yeah, it’s, it’s [00:49:00] a growing trend. Backyard, veggie gardens. So love, it would love to help consumers grow more regenerative nature, just like we’re helping the real pros out there. Paul Swearengin: So how does somebody get, get you to do that? Matt Nicoletti: Um, you can go to our website, find information there, submit inquiries, um, and, uh I’ll and Mr. Tellis may follow up with you directly, personally. Paul Swearengin: Okay. We’re doing, we’re actually in the midst of a redesign of our backyard right now. So we may, we may need that input. Matt Nicoletti: Cool. Craig Scharton: Yeah, I do on that point. I think it’s really important for people, not just to say those farmers ought to do this. It’s something, if you own a plot of land, that’s something we can all do have to just be everyone else should do something different. We can all we can all chip in and do Matt Nicoletti: our little part. Yeah. And that’s a big part of the movement too, is creating the intimacy between, you know, the way our food is produced, which we’ve sort of lost over the last couple of generations with the sort of efficient modernization of the food system. So hoping to rebuild that. Paul Swearengin: So if we [00:50:00] get, if we get rid of our grass, but we don’t want to pave it in though, right? That’s not, that’s not good Matt Nicoletti: that well, There’s not a whole lot of options you have at that point. Craig Scharton: Yeah. That would be a very slow regenerative Matt Nicoletti: process. Paul Swearengin: All right guys. Good stuff. Great Matt Nicoletti: talking to you. Thanks for having me. All right. Craig Scharton: Thanks Matt. Matt Nicoletti: Keep up the good work. Paul Swearengin: Appreciate it. And thanks to everybody listening on Facebook. Always a pleasure. Correct. Craig Scharton: You too, Paul. Thanks for putting up with my, uh, regenerative ag passion.
68 minutes | Dec 3, 2020
Longing to Belong: A Conversation About a Book and a Calling
Shawna Marie Bryant. Fresno Author.
83 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
Propositions Anyone? Can We Disagree and Still Discuss?
Paul and Craig talk with Guillermo Moreno and Stacy Williams who represent opposite sides of the political spectrum and have a reasonable, non-combative discussion about the propositions on California’s ballot.
58 minutes | Oct 2, 2020
Climate Change and Christians: Science? or Heresy?
Paul and Craig talk with Former pastor Tom Cotter and current minister Tyron Carter, two Christians who are committed to fighting climate change and stewarding well the planet.
64 minutes | Sep 13, 2020
Paul and Craig Debrief about the President’s Sanity and the Danger of At Home Schooling
Listen to Paul and Craig Debrief from July 27.
100 minutes | Sep 13, 2020
Two Guys Talk About The Importance of the Local Newspaper
Local news papers are disappearing across the country. Paul Myers of the Tulare Sun-Gazette discusses this issue with Paul and Craig. The video version of this podcast is currently available only to our Patreon Subscribers at Patreon.com/TwoGuysFresno.
59 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
Two Guys Process Together
Paul and Craig discuss the happenings in the world in a recent Facebook Live.
71 minutes | Aug 11, 2020
The Two Guys Talk Regenerative Farming
60 minutes | Jul 15, 2020
The Two Guys Talk to City Council Member-Elect Tyler Maxwell
The Two Guys, Paul Swearengin and Craig Scharton talk to Fresno’s newest City Council member (to be, come January 2021, Tyler Maxwell of Fresno’s District 4.
50 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
Two Guys Talk Software with Local Business Leader Tim Goetz of Aplos
Tim Goetz Aplos Derek Scharton The Well Community Church Fund Accounting Every Neighborhood Partnership Neighborhood Thrift Sermon Spice Know Your Guest Habitat for Humanity Fresno Dan Kimball How to start a nonprofit.? What’s On Your Mind? Out of town tree trimmers! Cow Lasso 13th (Show on Netflix) ———————- TRANSCRIPT (Transcribed by AI, so not 100% accurate:) 060820_TimGoetz [00:00:00] [00:00:00] Two Guys Open: [00:00:00] this is the two guys talking Fresno podcast, the podcast with two guys talking about Fresno. Your hosts are Craig Chardan, a lifelong Fresno who loves his community, even though it drives him bonkers. And Paul square gin, a transplant for us nun. Who’s lived in Fresno for more years than he has it. And he wouldn’t live anywhere else. [00:00:24] It’s time for two guys to talk. Fresno. Here’s Craig and Paul on the two guys talking Fresno podcast. [00:00:32]Paul Swearengin: [00:00:32] All right. And we’re still a social distancing and, and working through zoom here. And hi, Craig, how are you today? [00:00:40] Craig Scharton: [00:00:40] Good, Paul, how are you? [00:00:41] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:41] Good. Has the governor allowed us to come? I mean, when are we going to be able to see each other face to face and do this? [00:00:48]Craig Scharton: [00:00:48] well, I think we probably could. I think we’re essential. [00:00:56] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:56] True enough. [00:00:56] Craig Scharton: [00:00:56] I am. I am still the, although I’m a little less [00:01:00] conservative about it than I was, but I’m still being pretty darn careful. Cause I don’t want to get this thing, but, [00:01:06] Paul Swearengin: [00:01:06] it’s a weird, it’s a weird space. I I’ve I’ve had people ask me to meet out and I’ve said no, thus far until Wednesday, I’m going to have my first. [00:01:16] Lunch date in a while, and I’m still a little freaked out by it. I’m not sure exactly what it’s going to look like, but I’m going to venture out and try it. And I think my son’s going to start baseball practice this week. So it just, it feels still a little odd to be thinking about life. [00:01:34] Craig Scharton: [00:01:34] Yeah. Well, and I, you know, as we’ve talked about it, I’m a little bit on the, a little bit age sides, definitely asthma and all of that. [00:01:41] So I’m, I’m gonna. I’m going to play it a little more, or probably quite a bit more defensively than, than I would. We were talking about that. If I were 32, I’d probably be first one at the pub or whatever. Nothing can hurt me. [00:01:59] Paul Swearengin: [00:01:59] I’m looking [00:02:00] forward to face to face meetings. Cause I am kind of tired of zoom meetings, but now I got to start thinking in terms of drive time again, and I’ve totally lost. [00:02:09] All sense of drive time around meetings. So it’s going to, I’m going to have to readjust to that. [00:02:14] Tim Goetz: [00:02:14] Well, with [00:02:15] Craig Scharton: [00:02:15] my computers I’ve and zoom I’ve realized that I still have to get to my meetings 10 minutes early. It’s just like when I was driving, just to make sure the damn things up and up and zoom lets me end up my own meetings and all of that. [00:02:30] Paul Swearengin: [00:02:30] I think one thing that’s going to be interesting as I is, is truly the, the, the protests, have not been socially distanced as we’ve seen. And, and I even heard some. Some leaders in the black community saying over the weekend, like, Hey, don’t forget your masks. Don’t forget to try it as social distance as you can. [00:02:49] So it’s be interesting to see if we have some spikes that come out of, out of protest and we pray not, but it’ll be interesting to see in a couple of weeks, if there are numbers on that. [00:03:01] [00:03:00] Craig Scharton: [00:03:01] Well, I’m just, when I do meet with people it’s outside, I, I do feel a lot safer. [00:03:06] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:06] Yeah, that’s a, that’s a big thing, but yeah, I mean, pro sports are gonna start up again without crowds, I guess. [00:03:14] And so we’re just gonna start feeling our way back into this thing. And as I’ve talked to people in healthcare, you know, they kind of say this yet, some points you gotta be exposed at some point, we have to have that, that herd immunity and find out if we have it or not. And so I guess we’re just leaning into that a little bit. [00:03:31] Craig Scharton: [00:03:31] Yeah, well, the Oakland A’s are way ahead of the curve playing without crowds for decades. [00:03:39] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:39] Yeah. Well introduce our guests. [00:03:41] Craig Scharton: [00:03:41] I love the can. I’ve been to their games when they were in 2000 people in the stands [00:03:47] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:47] you can kid because you love. [00:03:49] Craig Scharton: [00:03:49] Exactly. Tim gets is our guest booth. That’s a little bit of a tongue [00:03:54] Tim Goetz: [00:03:54] twister. [00:03:55] Craig Scharton: [00:03:55] It’s the CEO of Apple close, which is a, [00:04:00] locally headquartered technology company. And just for disclaimer purposes, my brother, works for and that had absolutely no bearing on us, getting to him or, even thinking about it until I. So I’m yesterday and went, Oh yeah, I should tell you we’re here having them on the show tomorrow. [00:04:18] So, I don’t think he has a razor, a bonus coming because he’s talking to Fresno podcast. That’s [00:04:28] Paul Swearengin: [00:04:28] good to see you too. [00:04:30] Craig Scharton: [00:04:30] Yeah. Tell us about, we’ll ask you about yourself in a little bit, but, how did you come up with the idea for and tell us what you guys do. All right. [00:04:39] Tim Goetz: [00:04:39] Yeah. Thanks. yeah, so, I, I, it starts kind of back in, 2008, 2009. [00:04:46] I was the executive pastor at the well community church. And, we were using QuickBooks for our accounting, and in the church and nonprofit space, you have to do your accounting a specific way. You have to do fund accounting. [00:05:00] So you can track that money separately. and, you know, my background isn’t in is accounting. [00:05:05] I’m a CPA. And, we always struggled to get the reports out of QuickBooks that we needed. and, at one point I, I knew it was, we needed to do fund accounting. And so I started searching for fund accounting software. And, the only thing I could find back then does a product by Blackbaud called financial edge. [00:05:25] It was. A desk, it was a down, it was a product where you to host your own servers and put it on your servers. And it was tens of thousands of dollars and it just was not realistic for a church or most nonprofits to it stopped. And, my, my assistant at the time at the church was. A lady named Darlene Hanson. [00:05:45]she was, Eric Hansen’s is Eric. Cancer’s his wife. And she would come in and put up with me at the office for, you know, 20 hours, 30 hours a week. And so I asked her, I said, Hey, can I can’t find anything? Can you help find something? And she [00:06:00] says, she comes in to report that weeks later. I, I can’t find anything. [00:06:04] And I said, my reaction was, man. Eventually someone’s going to do something about that. and I’m an entrepreneur. I love starting things. I love blazing new trail. I, I have a CPA license, but I am, I, I enjoy risk. so I, you know, that was my comment. And I guess she went home and told doc, you know, Eric and at a staff retreat at the well, Eric one point corners me at a dinner and says, Hey, that software thing, you should do it. [00:06:37] I’m like what, what software thing? And he says the accounting software thing. The thing that Darlene told me about I’m like, Eric, I just, I don’t want to do anything about it. I was just complaining about it. [00:06:51] Paul Swearengin: [00:06:51] Isn’t that the way isn’t that our way, just let me complain. [00:06:55] Tim Goetz: [00:06:55] Right? So he goes, no, really you should do it all. [00:06:59] I’ll [00:07:00] help fund it and you do it and we’ll figure it out from there. And I’m like, ah, and this is how naive I was on the technology side of things. I have, my response was Eric, it could cost like a hundred thousand dollars. We’re like, yeah. We’re like, yeah, we’re, we’re, we’re a little beyond that at this point of investment, into building a software, you know? [00:07:20] So. anyhow, I, I started thinking, man, well, shoot, I guess I need to look at this maybe through a different lens. Like, are there, is there really nobody out there and how many pages back to that quick on Google. And so I started looking at it and I wanted to build a easy to use fund accounting product for the nonprofit space. [00:07:42] So Apolis means simple in Greek. We wanted it to be easy to use. Accounting is scary and. Most nonprofits don’t have an accountant doing their books. It’s a, it’s a volunteer, it’s a, a business savvy or administrative type brain person. [00:08:00] and it’s just, it’s just scary. So we wanted to create something easy to use. [00:08:04]it doesn’t have to be scary. It doesn’t have to say debits and credits, you know, but we wanted to do it for the nonprofit space. Built for nonprofits is fund accounting. and it was about that time that, both E every neighborhood partnership and neighborhood thrifts got started, and those guys were setting that up and they’re asking me, Hey, well, so what should we use for our County software? [00:08:24] And I’m, I’m like quick, I
73 minutes | Jun 26, 2020
Talking Neighborhoods with Joe White
Several weeks ago we spoke with Joe White, Pastor of Neighborhood Church in Fresno about his lifelong commitment to seeing neighborhoods improved in Fresno and how each of us can be part of that change. Joe White Neighborhood Church Jackson Community Development Corporation Lowell Neighborhood Dickey Playground Edison High School Wise Old Owl Vancouver Granville Chapel Vancouver BC Alta Vista Tract Fresno National Main Street Esther Carver-Lowell CDC John Perkins Hanford Thursday Night Market Place Vision 22 Fresno Paraclete Missionary Baptist Church Paul’s Leadership Coaching Cohort What’s on your mind? Conspiracy Theories Doing Household Projects Andy Crouch Gazebo Gardens Transcript: Transcribed by AI, not 100% guaranteed accurate. [00:00:00] Joe White: [00:00:00] I think it’s the responsibility that we have. Fresno is, we all know it’s fifth poorest city in America. [00:00:04]we have 22 of the highest concentrated poverty neighborhoods, , which makes, pushing big rocks up Hill, very difficult. and so , , the reality is we’re in such a desperate situation. If you do have. resources available to you as I do. [00:00:19] It’s not the time to sit in the stands. [00:00:21] Two Guys Liner: [00:00:21] podcast of two guys talking. Fresno are two guys are mr. Fresno, Craig Sharpton. I’m longtime radio talk show host, Paul swear, engine Paul and Craig talking Fresno on the two guys talking Fresno podcast. Now here’s Craig and Paul [00:00:37] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:37] and we’re zooming [00:00:38] Craig Scharton: [00:00:38] again. Yeah, I love it. [00:00:41] Paul Swearengin: [00:00:41] we are we’re properly social distancing, Ashley and I went and went grocery shopping. I don’t know what the decorum is on this cause there was a dad and his sort of. [00:00:51] You know, older teenage son, and as we’re coming down the aisle, they’ll be coming the other way. And we kept running into each other in that same way. And they didn’t know social distancing at [00:01:00] all. And they had no masks. And like, even with like reach over our cart to get some, I was like, actually, and I laid her, like I was low key, really bugged by this, you know? [00:01:10] And didn’t know, I said, what is the decorum? When do we get to say, Hey, bud, back off with your, with your virus germs, my friend. [00:01:18] Craig Scharton: [00:01:18] Yeah, it was, I talked to a lady who was at the grocery store and, you know, after you’re done the, but you haven’t finished bagging, the checker started checking the next person and the other lady started coming and bagging right next to her and even grabbed a couple of her items. [00:01:37] And she was [00:01:38] Joe White: [00:01:38] like, [00:01:38] Craig Scharton: [00:01:38] I just wasn’t going to kill her. And I had to like yell at the clerk and go, why would you start what with one birth or when the other person wasn’t done called the manager and everything else. [00:01:50] Paul Swearengin: [00:01:50] It’s the other skill we’re having to learn in this time is bagging our own groceries. So that’s, that’s another thing we’re going to come out of this with a lot of skills to zoom [00:02:00] skills, bagging our groceries, making masks. [00:02:03] Craig Scharton: [00:02:03] My pepper spray handy. [00:02:08] [00:02:08] Paul Swearengin: [00:02:08] Alright. We have a great guest today on the show. This is going to be fun. It’s Joe White, who’s the lead pastor of neighborhood church. And he heads up the Jackson community development corporation. And, and there’s an all around great guy. So, Joe, how are you today? [00:02:22] Joe White: [00:02:22] Amazing. And I’m so glad to be talking to the two guys talking smack. [00:02:26] No, the two guys talking Fresno, Fresno. [00:02:30] Craig Scharton: [00:02:30] I’m tying to smack about Fresno, but we live here so we can write. [00:02:35] Joe White: [00:02:35] I agree. [00:02:37] Paul Swearengin: [00:02:37] We can kid, because we love [00:02:43] Joe. Your story is an amazing one as a, as a Fresno. I think because you had the chance to not be a Fresno and, and we always, we love boomerang stories as they’re called of young people that grow up in Fresno and leave and come back. But, so tell us, why did you [00:03:00] come back to Fresno after living in a great place like Vancouver, Canada? [00:03:04] Joe White: [00:03:04] Right. And I won’t want to tell you that, but can I just back up one step before that Paul and I know, and I know the boomerang is the interesting part, but it’s actually the throwing of the boomerang, which, was most impactful. I grew up in the Lowell neighborhood, just North of downtown. I’m the soul, the soil of law. [00:03:20] When I was growing up alone, neighborhood was Fresno’s highest crime, lowest income neighborhood. And, yeah. [00:03:25] Craig Scharton: [00:03:25] Yeah. Nine, nine, three, seven Oh one is still lowest. [00:03:28] Joe White: [00:03:28] Right. That makes you pull [00:03:30] Craig Scharton: [00:03:30] in other low income districts, mad. [00:03:32] Joe White: [00:03:32] Cause I know, well, you got to win at something. And my, my neighborhood, when I was growing up was it was, really a desperate place, multiple gangs battling for turf. [00:03:41] And we were part of a group of families, about six families who decided collectively to live on each block of the neighborhood and just to seek the neighborhood’s wellbeing. And that was kind of the world that was. Tridion. And I just watched a lot of people work really hard to find the best that was in law and maximize it. [00:03:58] Paul Swearengin: [00:03:58] You at that time. [00:03:59] Joe White: [00:03:59] Sorry to interrupt. But [00:04:00] that was a, I was seven. Yeah. So just a little boy [00:04:03] Paul Swearengin: [00:04:03] and you moved from Clovis, is that right? [00:04:05] Joe White: [00:04:05] Yeah. Yeah. That’s right. Yeah. I was, I lived on a, on a, in a suburban neighborhood in Clovis, on, on a street called Ashcroft. There was like a more, you know, is everything a suburban neighborhood has a Mormon family and a golden retriever and a col-de-sac. [00:04:17] It was all right there. And, that was, that was my world. And when I was. Thrust into the Lowell neighborhood. just as a young boy, it really, radically changed me. I saw a Fresno that I didn’t know really existed and that many people had forgotten about a square mile, six blocks running North to South divided by one block, run East to West 6,000 people and a high density and just a whole new world. [00:04:41] My family moved into a hundred year old. The lap of David mansion, six bedrooms, six bathrooms. Each, each room was decorated in a different motif. It was used as a boarding house. My room was decorated like a sailor’s room. They had driven bolts in the side of the walls to make it look like a sailor ship. [00:04:57] My parents’ room was a harem. They had taken [00:05:00] silk sheets and brought it up to a canopy in the middle to make it look like a harem. The downstairs bedroom was all black, black floor, black walls, black ceiling. What happens in a black room? I mean, it was a wild house, like a truly wild house. And, that was the house that, that I grew up in and, went to our local schools, kind of thrust into, into that world a few years after having moved. [00:05:22] And, and so in many ways, my identity, I mean, I’m a Fresno kid. I’m a kid that grew up in Fresno. I’m a kid that grew up in the, in the Lowell neighborhood. All my memories were from people there, Dickey, playgrounds, where I learned by basketball, no blood, no foul. you know, this is the, the, the, the world that I went to Edison high school, not the competency program. [00:05:41] That was for the smart kids. I just went to like a normal one, you know, where you like walk and then you go, you know, that was my world. And so, played basketball for Edison and something profound happened in kind of middle through high school. I hated my neighborhood. I hated how violent it was. [00:05:57] I hated how it made me feel. [00:06:00] afraid all the time. I hated, the, the issues, which were constantly at our doorstep as a family, our family really like was a family. There was very little barrier between the neighborhood and our home. It was, it was like a one was the same, you know, [00:06:13] Craig Scharton: [00:06:13] you had wine in the house, right? [00:06:16] Joe White: [00:06:16] Yeah. Yeah. [00:06:18] Craig Scharton: [00:06:18] Teaching neighborhood kids how to read. [00:06:19] Joe White: [00:06:19] Oh yeah. Yeah. My whole childhood few times a week. Yep. We had reading clubs and all sorts of clubs going on. it was very, very, I was a, I was a tutor, even though I didn’t know how to read, you know, I mean, it’s, it’s it’s I was in it, you know, we were in it to win it as a family. [00:06:34] And for me, that was incredibly profound to watch what it looked like to actually live that way. But it was also exhausting. I just remember feeling, like many of my friends felt can’t wait to get out. You know, can’t wait to experience, experience something else. I mean, I think a lot of the friends that I had grown up, they didn’t look like me, but we lived in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. [00:06:58] And our experience [00:07:00] was, you know, kind of chaotic and difficult, but I had the incredible privilege of having parents who had a bigger vision. And, and so I had the awareness that couldn’t get out, you know, and kind of could, it could explore. And so something profound had happened to me in high school. [00:07:14] In high school, I stopped hating my neighborhood. And I started really f
51 minutes | Jun 9, 2020
Two Guys Discuss Advanced Peace Fresno and the Prevention of Shooting Deaths
Marcel Woodruff and Aaron Foster join the Two Guys to discussion the program called Advanced Peace Fresno to limit gun crimes in Fresno
66 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Paul and Craig discuss Systemic Racism and Troubled Times in Our Country
Listen in and Paul discuss the activities of the past few days in a troubled America TRANSCRIPT: 2Guys_P&C Racism_050120 [00:00:00] Two Guys Open: [00:00:00] This is the two guys talkin’ Fresno podcast. The podcast with two guys talking about Fresno. Your hosts are Craig Scharton, a lifelong Fresno who loves his community, even though it drives him bonkers and Paul Swearengin, a transplant Fresnan, who’s lived in Fresno for more years than he hasn’t and he wouldn’t live anywhere else. It’s time for two guys to talk. Fresno. Here’s Craig and Paul on the two guys talking Fresno podcast, Craig Scharton: [00:00:29] Smooth Operator! Paul Swearengin: [00:00:34] we should call it the shirt. Two old guys trying to manage technology. Let’s do the show. Craig Scharton: [00:00:39] All right. So Paul Swearengin: [00:00:42] yeah. Craig Scharton: [00:00:44] What a week it’s been, do Paul Swearengin: [00:00:46] we have anything to talk about? Craig Scharton: [00:00:48] yeah, the entire world looks like it is coming apart at the scenes. Paul Swearengin: [00:00:53] And I wonder if that’s true or if just our reactions to everything are coming apart at the seams. [00:01:00] Craig Scharton: [00:01:00] Yeah. Well, I don’t know that we are boys in a real, a unifying place for all of this to begin. Paul Swearengin: [00:01:07] Well, the good news is we have a unifying president who will bring us all together in a very calm, calculated thought through way. Oh, is that, is that not the, not the case? Yeah. How about that? How about looting and shooting is where you go on the night as president of the United States as is this is going on and like I said, a very calming influence at the top of it all. In our country. And so we’re all good. Craig Scharton: [00:01:35] Yeah. Well, so, what kind of reflection have you been doing over the last week? Paul Swearengin: [00:01:40] I’ve been reflecting on for quite some time on what is my role in systemic racism in America? have, have I done everything I can to be aware of where I’m a part of it aware of where I can, can engage to be a part of [00:02:00] ending it. And so I woke up really after the event at Miguel res his apartment. And said, okay. I, I, I can’t be silent about issues that are so heavy on my heart. And then when I saw the George Floyd video, I was just like, okay, I, I have to do everything in my power to end this because this is a mindset. What I see there. And, and I think we, we, if we give ourselves the break of saying, well, that was a bad cop, doing a bad thing with three bad cops around him. I give myself permission to not question where I am and where we are as a culture. And it may very well be that that’s a seriously racist cop that had his neck on his is me on George Ford’s neck. But I think as much, he’s probably a product of a system in our country that sort of tells [00:03:00] ourselves there is a group of people that are a little different than the rest of us. And when dealing with. Those people, we have to deal with them differently. And I don’t think, I think many of us would say overtly, we don’t do that. I, you know, the, I have black friends, I have Hispanic friends. I’m good to them. They’re just people to me, but there’s. There’s something in our system that sort of says, there’s a group of people who are just a little bit different and have to be treated just a little bit different. And then if you’re particularly, if you’re a cop and you’re dealing with. High stress situations on an ongoing basis, having to make very difficult decisions and, and you low grade have this belief system already because you just live in it like we all do. And then there’s some training about, well, when confronted in a particular way, you have to respond in a particular way. It sets us up for these types of moments. And I think if we don’t. [00:04:00] Take this opportunity and this season to say, okay, I’m going to lean into the truth of that and, and see where I fit into that. Then we just set ourselves up to continue to have these over and over again. And so bottom line, and then I’ll shut up is I think we all are asking why does this keep happening? And when I’m training somebody on emotional health, I’m saying, whenever, you’re saying, why does this keep happening to me? You are the common denominator in all of those situations. And you have to start to think, is there an underlying root cause? And, and so I think we just can’t say, man, there’s another bad cop that we have to deal with. No, instead is there’s a system that’s, that’s impacting us all on an ongoing basis. So these things keep happening again until we confront it, recognize it, acknowledge it and dig through it. We’re going to continue to see these events. Craig Scharton: [00:04:51] Yeah, well, and I think, I think it is, both us, the stomach problem and something that we all can individually [00:05:00] challenge ourselves at. Right. I, I’ve never really been a person that really cared about anyone’s gender or sexual orientation or race. I mean, it’s never. Seemed interesting to me to care about people that way. or I guess other people would say I don’t give a flying whatever, vague. Thank you. That’s a good precedent way to put it. And I, I really think it’s, it’s boring to view the world through that lens, but I know that we can always do better and we can always think about things, you know, As change happens differently and more sympathetically than we ever were comfortable doing before. So just constantly pushing, but you know, that’s should be all of our goal is hopefully would be to continually become more conscious beings, in all aspects of our life. And this seems [00:06:00] like a particularly should be a baseline, thing that we’re working on. But. so there’s that one thing to me about, you know, I can’t change anyone else. It doesn’t mean you don’t stand up to wrong when you see it or hear it. but I also know that if I work on changing myself to become better, that’s the one person that I have some minor amount of direct control over. but then the systemic issue is just the one that. You know, it just, you know, my fear is that this happens and that we still don’t do more to change and more to make things more equitable for our people to have opportunity. And, and that we just keep going through these, these spasms without any without, well, I shouldn’t say without any change, but it’s not enough change that to really make this an equitable city state country. Paul Swearengin: [00:06:57] Yeah. Craig Scharton: [00:06:59] And I also don’t [00:07:00] know what, if we have a clear goal to find. So if you don’t have a clear target, it’s hard to, it’s hard to know where you’re headed. Right? Right. There’s an S all of sports is about finding a way to, to have aim at a goal or a wall or a wa whatever it is, bowling pin, you know, whatever that is. And I just think we need to have a really clear goal that we can all buy into. Which Paul Swearengin: [00:07:33] one would that be? Craig Scharton: [00:07:35] To me it’s always been, you know, if you look at like the city to say, Fresno’s, you know, our goal, our vision, whatever you want to call it, our mission is to create a community where everyone has the greatest opportunity, real opportunity to become their best self or. Achieve their highest goal or be the best person. They can be like fill in your own language that way. [00:08:00] And if you look at the statistics and say, does every kid born in Fresno have an equal real shot at becoming the best person they can be? You would say, well, according to these statistics, there are people in certain neighborhoods, but. Are not achieving that goal. There are people of certain ethnic backgrounds that are not achieving that goal. There are people with, socioeconomic challenges that aren’t achieving that goal. So to make that goal a reality, you could actually measure some things to show that we’re making progress toward that goal. And that would feel more that feels, I mean, Yes, protest. Yes. Show outrage at an injustice then, but ultimately finding ways to fix, fix the system so that it is more equitable. Shouldn’t be the real goal Paul Swearengin: [00:08:59] of [00:09:00] fixing. Did I just flip my camera around? Did you see that? No, I didn’t see that. Well now it’s my sign. Can you read it straight or is it going backwards? Craig Scharton: [00:09:09] No, it’s going straight. Paul Swearengin: [00:09:10] Okay. Look at that anyway. Sorry to interrupt there, but, I think you’re right. And so I I’ve been grieving some, and I, I think we’re in a, a really important season because I’ve been asking myself for years. If, if I was at Selma bridge, you know what? I walk across with Martin Luther RiNo, doctor dr. King. Or would I have chosen the comfort of my living room while it was going on. And I think in some ways, and this is clearly not the same situation and I don’t want to overplay or underplay anything, but I do think it’s a season where we get to decide if we’re willing to stand up or not. And so part of what I’ve been grieving is watching social [00:10:00] media, seeing people that I know. Taking the way out, I think. And what I mean by taking the way out is if, if we look at the protests and we say, ah, look at the thugs who are out there, looting and stealing. And I think we give ourselves an out
68 minutes | Jun 3, 2020
Two Guys Talk to City Council Member Nelson Esparza
Two Guys Nelson Esparza City COVID phases Stoicism Restaurant profit margin What metrics do we use for phases in COVID. CTEC High School Enhanced Infrastructure Finance District EIFD Fresno Ron Loveridge-Former Riverside Mayor Nelson’s Town Halls Fresno Budget Projection Fresno CARES Act Fund What’s On My Mind Last Black Man in San Francisco Back to the Roots Mushroom Kit Last Dance-Documentary Fresno Local Restaurants Have To Go
53 minutes | May 21, 2020
Opening Churches: Two Guys Talk to Pastor Jim Franklin
Two Guys Talkin’ Fresno-Jim Franklin Show Notes Pastor Jim Franklin Cornerstone to Open May 31 US Constitution Some Churches Spread Virus Surgeon General on Masks Manufacturing COVID 19 Safety Guidelines Judge Opines Churches Should Be Treated the Same as Other Businesses In COVID 19 Waffle Shop in Fresno News What is A.A. doing in Coronavirus? What is Herd Immunity? Wilson Theater Cornerstone Community Care Foundation Mike Der Manuel Podcast Two Guys Talkin’ Fresno Episode Jim Franklin Radio Show
74 minutes | May 14, 2020
Paul and Craig Talk Covid Craziness in Fresno
It has gotten a bit scary and crazy when even wearing a safety mask has become a polarizing subject. Paul and Craig discuss in this latest Two Guys Fresno discussion.
20 minutes | May 8, 2020
Brian Wise, Covid-19 Survivor
What is it really like to contract the Cover Virus, hear it straight from someone who’s had it.
86 minutes | Apr 29, 2020
Talking Shelter-in-Place Sports with Guy Haberman
What’s a former Fresno Sports Radio guy to do now that’s he’s working in the Bay Area and can’t go outside? Paul and Craig talk to Fresno State grad and ex-940 ESPN anchor Guy Haberman. Single Episode Sponsor: Fresno Ag Hardware Picture of Violet Kate Scharton on Craig’s Facebook Guy Haberman Twitter Guy Haberman Podcast NFL Draft 2020 Kibbutz 1430 ESPN Land Line Fresno State Wins College World Series Fresno State Football Loses to USC (Reggie Bush Era) Chris Pacheco Kelly Carr High School Eligibility Dialectic Fresno Ag Ian Williams – Single Episode Sponsor Fresno Ag Hardware James Porteous Fresno Scraper Ian Williams