John Y. Brown, III

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Recovering Politician

THEN: Secretary of State (KY), 1996-2004; Candidate for Lieutenant Governor, 2007 NOW: JYB3 Group (Owner) -public affairs consulting firm; Miller Wells law firm (Of counsel) Full Biography: link

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Product

jyb_musingsTonight for the first time in my life –and at the considerable age of 51 — I bought and used “Product.”

For my hair.

The friendly and talkative hair stylist kept asking me what kind of “product” I used and I politely explained I had never used product before and wouldn’t need any, thank you.

But she persisted.

Finally, she had me pull out my phone and Google Patrick Dempsey (who is an actor and plays a character named Dr McDreamy in Grey’s Anatomy) and told me that with the right product I could look like him.

“His hair,” she clarified.

That was good enough for me.

So tonight I look like a doctor. Who doesn’t look like Patrick Demspsey. But who does look like he uses hair product.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Life stages of how we “Greet the world” in the morning

jyb_musings1) Childhood — “Welcome to my world, everyone else is just living in it.”

2l Teens — “I can’t believe I have to deal with this lame ass s***”

3) Young adult — “How will I ever find my place in the world –much less take it over?”

4) 30’s — “I think I can….I think I can”

5) 40’s –“It’s Mr Brown to you, son.”

6) Early 50’s — “………….What? Oh. Yeah,, I’m here.”

7) Late 50’s “Well, I may not have become President of the United States but I did make it to director of my division. Not bad. Not bad at all.”

8) 60’s — “Life is good. Not dead yet….hehe”

9) 70’s –“Not dead yet.” (But without the “Hehe”)

10) 80’s and over “Still not dead…but can’t believe that bastard down the street is still alive.”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Being Judgmental, Hypocrisy, and the iPhone 6

1549316_10154662767060515_3327043670837143695_nThis morning as I left a business meeting I spotted a long snaking line outside an ATT store as people waited for a chance to buy the new iPhone 6.

I self-righteously shook my head and muttered sarcastically to a guy snapping a picture of the line, “Wonder if any of those people would wait in line that long to talk to someone on their new iPhone?” We snickered condescendingly like adolescents and he responded, “Pitiful, isn’t it?” After he stepped aside, I snapped this shot myself and got in my car and left –off to do something more important than anticipating the new iPhone.

45 minutes later I was driving by a different ATT store and parked outside the store to do a conference call. After the call I had a few minutes to spare and wandered inside just to see what the new iPhone 6 looks like. The sales rep started pitching me and encourged me to hold the phone, which I did. He smiled at me, “Feels good, doesn’t it? Looks good, too.” I replied, “You are good….but I am just looking and not buying” and I scurried out the door.

Two hours later I had another meeting at the coffee shop by the ATT store in this picture. I got to the coffee shop about 15 minutes early and decided to stop inside ATT since there was no line and because I wanted to just “look” at the new iPhone one more time.

As I stared at the display model and was about to touch it a sales rep interrupted me and asked if I would like to get one and said they still had a few in stock.

jyb_musings“Probably just in white, though. Right?” I said discouragingly.

“Actually we have a few silver and black models left.”

I pointed to my watch and said, “Thanks anyway but I have to meet someone in 15 minutes and don’t have time to get a new iPhone today even if I wanted to and had the extra money.”

“Fifteen minutes is plenty of time” the sales rep assured me, “and under our new plan you don’t pay anything down and only a monthly fee of about $30.”

“Really?” I responded dumbly.

Twelve minutes later I walked out of the ATT store with a new iPhone 6. And I felt good about myself and happy to be an “early adopter” as they call it. As I walked toward the coffee shop I looked back where the line had been this morning –the line that I had smugly taken a picture of to post in Facebook later tonight to poke fun at people who seemingly had nothing better to do today than make sure they got the new iPhone the day it went on sale.

But I didn’t do that. I did post the picture—but posted it because even though I am not standing in that line in the picture, I might as well have been. In fact, I was worse. I doubt any of those eagerly waiting in line this morning went to three stores before buying their phone. And they were happy, not ashamed, to admit their enthusiasm.

Fortunately for me I don’t think anyone in this picture bothered to snap a photo of a smirking guy standing a few yards away taking a picture of them— and then post the picture of me on Facebook under the title “Pitiful.”

They had better things to do.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Apology Form

apologyThis is my first “Apology Form” to Rebecca and I checked “Other” for the reason for bad behavior –and wrote I was merely “creating a growth opportunity” for Rebecca.

Rebecca appreciated the effort and felt like it was “a start.”

And asked if I got several pads of Apology Forms for the future.

Rebecca also noted I put down the wrong date (11/13). I told her I would fill out a new form with the correct date and to just hold on to this one for me to use in mid-November.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Theological Questions

jyb_musingsTheological question:

If you say something to someone at church that is supposed to be humorous –and only moderately inappropriate –and the other person sighs, shakes his head, and says he will pray for you, is it OK to tell him you prefer he didn’t because “I don’t want God to know we are friends”?

(Note: I did not say this. But thought to afterwards and may try out the line some time. I tend to get this comment a lot.)


Remember when you felt as excited about the iPhone 5 as you do today about the iPhone 6?

And thought you always would?

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Facebook Messenger

jyb_musingsI have received multiple “messages” today from Facebook’s new “Messenger” app. It essentially forces you to download it by making it too complicated to figure out how to avoid the irritation of the constant requests by Facebook to download it—and so you just downloading it to stop the requests to, well, download it.

And then I seem constantly to have a tiny person pictured in a circle in the bottom right-hand corner of my phone who just messaged you. The messaging itself is fine, of course, but the giant bubble of a person appearing on your phone –and, again, being too complicated (for me anyway) to figure out how to get rid of– is making this exciting new Messaging app on Facebook too burdensome for simple low-tech people like me to want to mess with.

Besides, bubbles just aren’t a good contour for me personally. I look better inside a rectangle or square.

I would message this message complaining about the new Messenger app to the right person at Facebook if I knew how to –and who at Facebook to contact. But there doesn’t appear to be a little bubble of a Facebook person to “message” about such things. Maybe the folks at Facebook don’t care for that little irritating bubble person on their phones either. I can’t say I blame them.

Sometimes, perhaps, the best “app” is the one you don’t create.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Mondays

jyb_musingsSlow down people.

It’s Monday. We have all week to get on each others nerves.


Some mornings I wake up and look over at my lovely wife Rebecca and am overcome with joy at how lucky she must feel to be married to me. God is good.

I just smile and let her sleep. And keep my happy thought to myself.


Deep thought:

If thinking something –but not saying it— is almost as bad as saying it, does that mean that saying something –but not thinking it –is almost as bad as thinking it?

Note: I didn’t think about this or say it out loud before writing it. I just wrote it. And am probably going to keep it that way.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Morgan Freeman

jyb_musingsI am at a point in my life when it would really help a lot if I had a voice that sounded like Morgan Freeman’s so people would listen in wonderment when I spoke to them.

Instead I often am asked to repeat myself. And I do. In my non-Morgan Freeman-esque voice.


I sometimes like to tell myself that ice chai tea latte is really a cover for some sort of secret super human jet fuel.

That way I don’t feel as guilty for drinking so much of it.


“You can still say the wrong thing later.”

Food for thought before I blurt out an unneeded opinion in a tense situation.

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: Kiboshing Klout

jyb_musingsKiboshing Klout

I just got an email update that my Klout score has dropped another point.

I am emailing Klout back to tell them I don’t give a **** anymore and suggesting they make up some new imaginary vanity metric and to please leave me out of it.

Here is my email:

“Dear Klout, I am good enough, I am smart enough. And doggone it, people like me.

So please **** off”

John Y’s Musings from the Middle: WWE

wweWWE superstar Damien Sandow pitches me on a unique idea.

“I can see it now, John. Imagine the marquee.. Champion Damien Sandow vs challenger John ‘The Body’ Brown in an epic wrestling match at the Louisville YUM Center.

It has all the classic elements of a great athletic drama. Youth versus Age; Strength versus Weakness; Speed versus Slowness; Agility versus Clumsiness; Exciting versus Dull; and Height versus Width.
It could be a wrestling match for the ages.”

As you can tell from my expression, I’m intrigued but still need some convincing before I accept this seemingly sensible –yet bold — proposal.


John Y.’s Video Flashback (1995):

John Y’s Links: