Episode 024: Brevity and Clarity with Charlene Jaszewski

Ivan Stegic and Charlene Jaszewski chat about several issues of mutual importance, particularly the role clarity and brevity play in delivering good quality content.

Here's what we're discussing in this podcast:

  • Who is Charlene Jaszewski
  • The paths of work and life
  • Writing vs. editing
  • The best beef brisket is in AZ
  • The joy of technical writing
  • Content strategy
  • A book is brewing
  • Richard Feynman, Theoretical Physicist
  • Sugar pushing
  • Marshmallows

TRANSCRIPT

IVAN STEGIC: Hey, everyone you're listening to the TEN7 podcast where we get together every fortnight to talk about technology, business and the humans in it. I'm your host Ivan Stegic. In this episode of the podcast, I'll be talking to Charlene Jaszewski a creative, who's an editor, producer, strategist and delicious sweets maker. Charlene, welcome to the podcast,

CHARLENE JASZEWSKI: Good morning. I'm laughing because how you pronounce my name I've never heard that one.

IVAN: Well, I couldn't remember how to pronounce it but I have to be honest and so I tried to do as much pronunciation look up on the Google.

CHARLENE: You'll never get it. I promise.

IVAN: I can get it if you tell me how how do I say last name?

CHARLENE: It's pronounced yah-sheh-ski. Yeah, nobody ever gets my name. Don't feel bad about it. I even found out that I was pronouncing it wrong from some old Russian woman in New York. I used to say Yah-sheh-skee, and she saw my name on a credit card or something, she goes "your name Jah-shev-ski" That's funny, so even I was pronouncing it wrong.

IVAN: So it's so the "sz" I thought was an "sh" sound. That's why I said at the way it did. So it's Russian? 

CHARLENE: No, Polish. Pretty much anything with a "ski" is gonna be Polish and - it's that whole bag of consonants thing is also shared by Russians so and this was in... no, I'm sorry... it wasn't the Russian it was in the Polish section of Brooklyn. I've only been out of New York a year, and I'm forgetting everything already.

IVAN: You're not from Brooklyn though. You're from Wisconsin right?

CHARLENE: I am from Wisconsin! The land of cheese.

IVAN:  The land of cheese! Where did you grow up?

CHARLENE: I grew up on the west side of Wisconsin. In a town where sadly its claim to fame is having the most bars on one street. That was actually in the Guinness World Book of Records, if that tells you anything about the culture of my hometown.

IVAN: Wow, what's the name of the hometown?

CHARLENE: Should I say? I'll never be allowed back. 

IVAN: Say it.

CHARLENE: La Crosse. It's La Crosse, Wisconsin. It's a beautiful town. It's nestled in some river valleys and it's gorgeous, but there's not a lot going on there! So that's why I got out.

IVAN: I have been to La Crosse, Wisconsin. I know it's about you have to go down to Rochester, and then go east.

CHARLENE: Correct. Yeah stay on I-90, and then just hop off when you hit the Mississippi.

IVAN: The most bars in La Crosse Guinness World Records when they write it out. Is the abbreviation for La Crosse LAX?

CHARLENE: Yes, because it's a cross. The question is: why is Los Angeles (the airport) abbreviated as LAX? Where does the x come from there? It makes no sense. 

IVAN: That doesn't make any sense. Okay, so you grew up in Wisconsin went to school in La Crosse.

CHARLENE: Went to school in Madison, actually.

IVAN:  In Madison. So wait, so you were born in La Crosse and moved to Madison.

CHARLENE: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you meant college.Yeah, actually I was born in a tiny town called Bluff Siding, and it's just what it sounds like—there are eight houses on the side of a hill and lots of bars. I want to write a book about just how towns grow in Wisconsin, because it seems like people land, and then bars happen.

IVAN: It's probably true. It's probably true for every little town across the world and bars yeah, right. So you went to Madison to go to college and studied some sort of art is my guess.

CHARLENE: Why would you think that? But it's true, actually. I was studying art and journalism, and I went back and forth for many years because I love both, but then I got tired of being in college, and I had to graduate and so I had more credits in journalism. That's what I got my degree in.

IVAN: Did you get directly into journalism as soon as you graduated, or did you kind of take a...

CHARLENE: No because my family was very poor and had no money, and so I got through college on the graces of student loans. And honestly journalism would not make enough money for me to be able to live on with all my student loans. So I had been a lifelong geek, and then I happened to tumble into tech support when I got out of college.

IVAN: So you were on the phone with people calling in, and you were helping them out.

CHARLENE: I was and I really liked it, and I was really good at it, too. Like I had the—I don't know what you call it—like the best record for "first call" solving of things. So that was fun, but then they figured out that I could write, and then they're like "oh we need training manuals" at the company I was working at and so I did that and then they started sending me all over the country, doing training. This tells you how long ago this was, when newspapers were switching over from typesetting to computers. So the company I worked for was training people how to use computers to set up classified ads.

IVAN: Wow, and was that also in Wisconsin?

CHARLENE: No that was in Minneapolis. I moved to Minneapolis after college.

IVAN: Was that in the 90s?

CHARLENE: That was in the 90s. I was just thinking...they sent me to the east coast. I was in New York and Boston and both places had Teamsters who were very unhappy about things changing. They weren't hostile to me, but they were very unhappy. This is fun story—there was this guy—what was his name...I think it's name was Tony in Boston. He kind of ended up being the protector for me and this other trainer that came— and he would like literally be the buffer between us [and the Teamsters]. And I had never been to the east coast before and you know all those stories about Italians you see on TV [done in exaggerated accent] the way they talk and I remember walking down the street literally this guy was like a block away, and he starts yelling to Tony, "Hey Tony! You look good!" and he yells back, "You look good too!" 

IVAN: Yeah, you've been to Minneapolis. You've been to New York. You've been to Boston. I know you're in the Pacific Northwest now, where else have you been? It sounds fascinating.

CHARLENE: I was in Minneapolis after college for about 7 years, and as many do, I got really sick of the winters, and I had always wanted to check out the West Coast. An opportunity came from a friend of mine in college, so I went out to Arizona. And I hated every second of it, and there were only three things I liked in Phoenix: I liked the orange blossoms in Spring. I liked the sunsets, I liked this little Jewish deli that had the best beef brisket I've ever had and that includes New York. But I got out of there, and then I went to San Francisco, and I was there for the internet boom and bust which was fun / not fun. Then I came back to Minneapolis for a few years, and then I went to New York because I always wanted to check it out. You know some people have a home base, and then they just travel. I just travel. I mean, I just move places because I think you can get to know them a lot better if you live there.

IVAN: And have you been using your journalism skills and your tech support skills and your writing skills the whole time or have you kind of changed that aspect?

CHARLENE: I've used it, and I've morphed it. When I got to Arizona, I ended up working doing PR and that was interesting, because I'm not really a PR writer, and I'm a very good technical writer, user guide writer— things that are very fact-based, and PR needs more fluffing. The woman who was my boss was fantastic, and she knew exactly how to work me. Everything I turned in, she's like, "Charlene, it needs 30% more fluff," and then I would just add adjectives. To me it just seemed excessive, but she would always say "that's perfect! perfect fluff." When I was in California, I did the more tech writing and tech publications. When I got to New York, I sort of morphed into content strategy, and I'm sure you know what that is. Content strategy is also different—this could turn into another giant story. Just what people call content strategy could be something as simple as sourcing articles. I had one gig it was just sourcing articles for a pharma company on arthritis, and they called that content strategy. Then one other gig was just matching up pieces of content into Excel spreadsheets—that was their content strategy. So it's all different, but a lot of content strategy jobs tend to be in pharma, finance and health, which you know isn't the most interesting stuff and can be sort of soul-sucking when you're talking about pharma. Then I really missed writing, so then about when I met you, I had come back to Minneapolis. After my dad died it was weird, it's like, I just said to myself, "you know what? I'd like to do more writing," and then our mutual friend connected us, and then I got to do writing for you, so that was really fun.

IVAN: And it was technical in nature at the time as well. I remember you salivating at that idea.

CHARLENE: Yes exactly like I'm not gonna write books. I'm not going to write a cookbook or something, but technical writing! I love to dig my teeth into that.

IVAN: Did you grow up wanting to be a writer?

CHARLENE: I had this funny dream [when i was young] that I was gonna be like a journalist in like war-torn Beirut. I remember having that thought, but again after I got out of college there was....I can't...there's no way ...it just had that specter of debt hanging over my head, and I could just never even consider it, so I didn't do it. [pause] That sounded really sad. I did let myself have one dream though. You know I finally did get my student debt paid off after a while, and I was doing all this content strategy, and then I had another technical writing project and I had a cushion of money, and I thought, "You know what? I want to edit books. I've never gotten to edit books." Just pure editing nothing else, no marketing, no nothing. And so again—it magically happened. As soon as I had that thought, I heard about this company on a podcast and I looked them up, and I got hired to edit books. That's been really nice. I gave myself that gift, but sadly editing doesn't pay very well either, but it's been really fun to do for the last couple of months.

IVAN: Why editing over writing? 

CHARLENE: There's two ways I can describe it. The "heady" theory is I really appreciate good writing and clear writing and brevity. But I realized the other day that there's something weird about me. Okay, so you know what synesthesia is.

IVAN: Tell the audience.

CHARLENE: Okay synesthesia is sort of like when your senses get crossed, like there are some people who can taste colors. You're nodding. Does this sound familiar? They see the color red and has a taste to that. Or numbers have a feeling...

IVAN: Or a sound...

CHARLENE: Yeah, exactly. So I am that way with writing. So if I read something and it's not written well, or there's a question that comes up that is not answered, it feels jagged to me, and it's like it hurts me almost. And so as I edit things and smooth them out...that's just what happens. It feels smooth to me, and I can relax.  Normal people, when they read something bad, they just go about their day. Me, it just bothers me so much that I have to write the person that wrote it, like "Do you realize that this word is incorrect?" I'm one of those people, but yeah, it feels good to edit. That's my main thing, but I also do appreciate well-written content and brevity. Brevity is the soul of wit, as they say.

IVAN: They do say that. So brevity and clarity is hard isn't it? Why is it so hard, do you think?

CHARLENE: It's really not hard, but you have to have an eye for it. Well there are two problems. We were talking about this on the phone the other day. Brevity and clarity a lot of times we just don't have time for it today. I think there's still there are two reasons. It's maybe not valued—the editing to get things to be brief and clear. There's not time for it, or the other problem is people maybe don't know what they're trying to say. If they haven't taken the time to figure out what they're trying to say, it's really hard to be brief about it. I think the best ideas are the briefest ones. If you really know what you're talking about if really easy everything you're trying to say is clear. I mean to you. It's obvious to you. You can say it clearly. I think.

IVAN: Richard Feynman used to say that if you can't explain a concept to a child, you haven't understood the concept yet.

CHARLENE: Thank you for bringing up a physicist quote. He's one of the most entertaining people regardless of anything else he's contributed to physics, and I highly recommend people read his books by the way. 

IVAN: I agree he's amazing and very interesting to read especially what his ideas are and the way he explains things are just mind-boggling and so we kind of...

CHARLENE: Can I say what you just said about technical things, whenever I try to explain technical concepts, I think, "How would I explain this to my mom?" She's not a child, but she is in the ways of technology, and I think if you can explain things so your mom can understand them, you're doing okay.

IVAN: I think you're right. Absolutely right brevity and clarity are not the same though right. I mean if they were, Twitter wouldn't be as successful as it is or maybe it would be more successful. I don't know. 

CHARLENE: Why do you think Twitter expanded from 140 to 260? Were there people complaining that they couldn't be concise enough? 

IVAN: I don't know. I want to say it has to do with their business model.

CHARLENE: They could cram more links in that way? 

IVAN: Maybe. I remember there was a trend where people wanted to say more than 140 characters and one of two things happened, you either wrote it out in a Word doc or somewhere else, and then you took a screenshot of it, and you tweeted the screenshot. Or, you started using a thread, and you would comment on your own tweets to get a thread going so maybe there was market demand. Maybe users wanted it to be longer. I kind of miss the days where it was 140 characters, and you couldn't...

CHARLENE: I know. Me too. I was already a good writer, but that really made me focus on whatever it was that I wanted to say even more than I did already, and I thought that was great. But I have to say, it also had a bad effect. I think it's sort of destroyed my ability to do long form writing. Just because why should I do it in two pages if I can say it in, you know 50 characters? 

IVAN: What's harder for you writing or editing?

CHARLENE: Writing, definitely. I'm a I think I'm a good writer. I think I'm a fantastic editor.

IVAN: Do you edit your own work because isn't that really part of writing?

CHARLENE: It is. I do edit my own work. That said, I think everybody could benefit from an editor. I think I'm a great writer, but there are things that I'm not going to see in my own writing that someone else could improve upon. But I feel like I can get about 90% there, and then I could have someone else do the 10% and polishing. I was talking about this with an editor friend of mine—it used to be we had in writing and publishing people had the editor, so they only had to get their quality up to about 50%, and then the editor would fix it. But now they've cut out the positions of editors. You know newspapers and such, and that's why you're seeing a lot more...well and just blogs—nobody has an editor, and most writers they're not up to 80-90%. They're still at 50%, and that's why there's a decline of good writing online. 

IVAN: Why have they reduced the amount of editing?

CHARLENE: Money. I don't know—and also speed, I think. It takes time to be like, "Okay you need to write this you need to send it to the editor, and they need to clean it up and fact check it and blah blah blah," and then they've got to get it out. So it's just they write it, and they get it out.

IVAN: So speed of publishing is more important than the facts and tweaking the words so that they sound right.

CHARLENE: Yeah, in a lot of ways. I worked at a gig recently where the boss basically said, "I care less about quality than impact," and the impact was done by driving traffic to the content. And that made me really sad.

IVAN: Who inspires you? On the flip side...

CHARLENE: Who inspires me? I hate that question because I don't have like one person that inspires me. I have a whole group of people that inspire me, and those are the creators—the people that can create something from nothing. I'm so inspired by them, and I wish I could be them, but that's just not the way my brain works. My brain is the editor of anything. You can give me anything, and I will improve upon it. I will make it better, but it's really hard for me to come up with something from scratch. And I really wish I could do that in so many realms. I just can't. I'm good at what I do—a lot of creators can't edit so there you go.

IVAN: It's a synergy, isn't it?

CHARLENE: It is!

IVAN: And it's not just a synergy between writers and editors. It's everyone who's a part of the whole creative loop in this...

CHARLENE: Ooh. Ooh. Ooh, you just made me think of something. I have a book that I want to write. And here's the concept. There are three kinds of people: there are people who create, there are people who curate and there are people who appreciate, and I think I've covered everybody in the creative model that you just said right. What do you think about that?

IVAN: I think that you probably have captured everyone. I think that some people will fall into more than one of those three categories. Maybe you're in a different category or mix of categories depending on the stage of life you're in.

CHARLENE: That's true too.

IVAN: Like my kids. They are probably more appreciators than creators right now. I guess what you're doing. I guess it depends on what you're doing. Because they're creating during the day at school, but after school, they're appreciating YouTube videos.

CHARLENE: That could be a whole other podcast conversation, the advent of so many things to watch and listen to on the web have made us all the appreciators and the curators as opposed to the creators of things. I was a lot more creative when I was younger. I mean I had all kinds of crafty hobbies and whatnot—I don't do any of that anymore. But again that could be a stage of life thing where I'm just tired.

IVAN: So I kind of thought that we have the ability to either be a creator or a consumer. For me personally, I want to be more on the creator side than on the consumer side, because that seems like it's more fulfilling, and I want my kids to be more on the creator side and less on the consumer side and that's kind of a struggle as you alluded to now, because of all of the media that exists. And so you know I guess that it maps to the two out of the three categories you mentioned. What do you mean by curate? So create is easy right? That's make. Appreciate, that's kind of consume right? What do you mean by curate?

CHARLENE: Okay, so every person has sort of their area of expertise, right? Even on Facebook, you're a curator. My friends know that I like anything about marshmallows, so they send me stuff about marshmallows I curate an interest in marshmallows. I also tend to post a lot of things about art. I'll post a lot of illustrators. I'm curating this subset of artists that I think other people might enjoy. I think we all do that on the web. I mean in that way, it's sort of a form of creation. I'm creating the set of things to present to other people.

IVAN: You're really editing aren't you?

CHARLENE: *sigh* Yeah pretty much. You know and I do that. That's the thread that runs through my life, I realized the other day. You know how I move around a lot? I'm starting to think I might not like moving, I might like purging and editing my belongings. That was sort of a sad conclusion I came to the other day.

IVAN: So because you move so much you're actually editing your life as you move.

CHARLENE: Exactly! And I have this process I go through every time I think I'm going to move, well I know exactly when to start going through my belongings. I'm thinking, "What can I sell right now?" because you have to have a lead time to get things sold. Where am I going to live? Then I get to research all these places that I might get to live and I get to research all these apartments and I get that's something else I do yeah... I'm just ruined I think.

IVAN: I don't think so. You mentioned marshmallows. Now I know you are a sugar pusher. I've seen you described as a sugar pusher online.

CHARLENE: So that came from two places. Number one, I used to make and sell marshmallows, chocolate covered orange marshmallows which were the shit. I'm not doing that right now, but I should and it was the name I came up with, Fluff Marshmallows. But then I started writing and blogging about sweets, and I needed a good domain name—and that's something else I do is collect the names—and I came up with Sugarpusher, which of course, I'm not big in the drug scene, I didn't know that "booger sugar" was another word for cocaine. So yeah real unfortunate naming on my part. I'll tell you what—my "SugarPusher" business card is a hell of a lot more fun to hand out at networking events than a card that says "Hi, I'm a strategist and an editor." And people are like "WHAT IS THIS??" And then we have this conversation about food, and food is the great connector, I've found at networking events.

IVAN: It always is. So why marshmallows?

CHARLENE: Because they're awesome and they're made by fairies.

IVAN: You're a fairy? 

CHARLENE: No. I'm sorry, that's a joke that I didn't connect. People are always asking, "How do you make marshmallows? It just seems so hard." And I'm like, "Well first you grind up some fairies and then..." HYou know that company, Russell Stover, they make candy, and they used to make these amazing orange marshmallow chocolate covered pumpkins for Halloween and then one...

IVAN: Wait wait wait, orange marshmallow chocolate covered pumpkins?

CHARLENE: Obviously you're not in the know in the sweets community, so let me introduce you. Easter candy is exploding now in the candy aisle now, it's like three aisles at the store Russell Stover stuff. This is a really bad time for me this time of year. I have to be very careful not to eat too much candy. Anyway, so the quality of the pumpkins went down. It was just really crappy and I just like I NEED MARSHMALLOWS, and I'd just gotten back from California, and I'm decompressing from 80-hour work weeks of startup life. And I thought, "you know what? I'm gonna come up with a good marshmallow recipe myself." and I spent a couple of months in R&D and I came up with the perfect recipe. And I'm like, "well this needs chocolate," so then I had to research the perfect chocolate with the perfect mouthfeel and I figured it out. And that's when I got bored! I came up with the perfect recipe and now I'm done. But then people wanted me to sell them, and I sold them online for a while, and then I sold them through some local coffee shops. People still stop me in Minneapolis, because that's where I was when i did it. I did that in like 2009, and one time I was home in 2013 and literally this woman yells at me from the other side of the coffee shop, "You're the marshmallow lady!" She comes over to me and asks, "Are you still doing that? Can I have some?" and then I let her down easy.

IVAN: And so I think if you would like to do a service to humanity you could open source your perfect marshmallow recipe.

CHARLENE: I could. But it's not just the recipe Ivan, it's also the ingredients.

IVAN: Well, you can open source that too and the method and the YouTube. You do the YouTube video, and you allow people all over the planet to make them in small coffee shops at high quality.

CHARLENE: And you know what? They really easy to make. The hardest thing you need is patience for sugar temperature, because sugar is very fickle and you need a standing mixer, but if you have those two you can totally make marshmallows at home.

IVAN: I love marshmallows.

CHARLENE: Did I ever bring any in to TEN7 when I was in town?

IVAN: I think you did, if I remember correctly they were perfectly cubed. Yeah, they were really large cubes. There were unlike any marshmallow ever seen.

CHARLENE: Yes.

IVAN: And I remember them being pure white.

CHARLENE: Yes. 

IVAN: Right? And I do remember them being really good.

CHARLENE: Good. Yay. What did you think?

IVAN: I don't think you used chocolate or orange.

CHARLENE: You know I may not have at the time. I may not have, because I think, no, my chocolate source was no more, so I didn't think I had access to the chocolate, so I just made you the mallows. That's the thing, a lot of people are like, "I don't like marshmallows!" and then I ask, "Have you ever had a homemade one? No? Okay, just wait. And then they get the one and they totally change their mind.

IVAN: Do you have... 

CHARLENE: Sugarpusher: changing the mind of marshmallow haters one at a time.

IVAN: Sugarpusher.com?

CHARLENE: I don't know if I have that domain anymore. Let me see sugarpusher.com. Nope an artist has it now.

IVAN: Well. That's a good name? Do you have any philosophy that you live by?

CHARLENE: I do and it's my favorite one. It's a very good one. You ready? "Leap and the net will appear."

IVAN: Wow.

CHARLENE: Isn't that fun?

IVAN: That's trust in humanity, isn't it?

CHARLENE: It is, but it's also trust in the universe, life, the force, all of that stuff. People are shocked at how i live. They're like, "How can you go someplace and not have a job?" I'm like, "I'll find one it'll work out. I'll get an apartment. It'll all work out." It always does.

IVAN: Why does it always work out?

CHARLENE: Because the universe is a loving place. I don't know.

IVAN: Is it maybe the attitude that you have?

CHARLENE: I'm sure that's part of it, and we can get in the whole discussion of is it magic, is it vibes I'm putting out? Is it the fact that it's just communication, and I don't realize how connections are being made. But I've had so many just sort of serendipitous things happen that there's got to be some magic in the universe and I like that thought a lot better than thinking that there isn't.

IVAN: Would it be bad if there wasn't?

CHARLENE: It wouldn't be bad. It was just...I just like the idea that there's some sort of like maybe mischievous fairy behind the scenes just waiting for me to ask it something to do. Everything is only what we make it, and I don't know— I mean there's still magic to be had in that for sure. Think of all the wonderful things that people have created. And there's so much beauty and laughter in the world that even if there isn't something working behind the scenes, we still have a lot of beauty and magic in the world.

IVAN: What if the laws of physics are the beauty and the magic?

CHARLENE: Physics laws are beautiful and magical! Let's talk about that. Is that why you got into physics? Did you find a magic in the math and the physics and the science?

IVAN: I would love to say that I did, but I was standing in line to sign up for classes, and I needed two majors and I liked physics, so I selected physics.

CHARLENE: Oh, so you happened to be standing next to the physics table?

IVAN: Something like that, and then I realized well, then I realized that that physics major in college required a math major, so then I had to take math as well.

CHARLENE: Did you have this issue I did when I was in high school? I had gotten like C's in math because it didn't work for me. But then I loved astronomy and when I got to college, I took astronomy, and you needed to taker calculus to go with it. And I I'm like shit—I'm not good at math, but I'm gonna do it anyway, and then it totally worked though. I got A's in calculus. You know why? Because it applied to something. It was working with something.

IVAN: Yeah the application of math can very often help you understand it. That does that does make a lot of sense to me. Going back to what you said about there being magic and fairies. I don't know that there has to be someone behind the scenes. 

CHARLENE: I didn't say someone. This is a whole other discussion also—but I like the idea of the Force. You know, there's just this energy you could tap into it for good. You could tap into it for evil, or not so good, or selfish reasons, and it just serves whoever asks of it. That's the closest thing to sort of religion or God that I've sort of come to. Because I don't like the idea of there being a person up there judging me, and this has now become a religious conversation, which...

IVAN: That's okay. It's okay. What if there isn't a good and evil? Yeah, there is no good and evil.

CHARLENE: I don't think there's good and evil—there's only perception, right? Like was it Shakespeare that said, "There's no good or bad, but thinking makes it so?"

IVAN: He was a smart guy, too.

CHARLENE: He was a really smart guy. Think about gun control. I had so many arguments with so many different kinds of people about gun control lately, because there are gun lovers who think guns are the greatest thing since sliced bread, and there are people who think that guns are a tool of evil and destruction and their people in between, that said you know I'm a gun owner, and I like to shoot things. It's all in how it's perceived and it's also how the tool is used. I had someone try to call a gun a tool the other day, and I'm like "How exactly is a gun a tool? I mean I said I can use the butt of it to hammer in the nail if I want to but you know how is it a tool otherwise."

IVAN: And what did that person say?

CHARLENE: Oh, it was a horrible answer. It was something like, "Well, someone's breaking into my house..." I'm sorry. I'm giving them a Southern accent..."... someone's breaking into my house. I can use it as a tool to make them not want to come into my house." I'm like, "That's a deterrent. It's not a tool." but that's the way they thought of it.

IVAN: And I guess that that kind of perception is subjective and they have the right to do that. I would look at it from a very factual, statistical point of view. To me gun deaths are related to the amount of access to guns that exists, and if you look at the data from other countries as soon as the access to guns has been reduced so the deaths have gone down. It just seems to follow.

CHARLENE: It seems logical to you and I, but to gun lovers? It doesn't. Do you want to hear the best word I've heard for gun nuts? 

IVAN: Okay. What is the best word?

CHARLENE: Ammosexuals.  

IVAN: Ammosexuals. Wow, I have not heard that.

CHARLENE: I'm a one-woman team to popularize that.

IVAN: I think you're I think you're going to succeed. I think it's been wonderful talking to you Charlene. Thank you so much for spending your time with me. It's really been a pleasure. We should do this again.

CHARLENE: We should totally do it again. Good luck on your podcast.

IVAN: Thank you. You can find Charlene on Twitter and Instagram. She's @theredheadsaid. That's @theredheadsaid on Twitter and Instagram. She reviews sweets on sugarpushersweets.com. You've been listening to the TEN7 podcast. Find us online at ten7.com/podcast. If you have a second do send us a message. We'd love to hear from you. Our email address is podcast@ten7.com. Until next time, this is Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.

Ivan Stegic

Founder and President
 
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Ivan Stegic

Words that describe Ivan: Relentlessly optimistic. Kind. Equally concerned with client and employee happiness. Bowtie lover. Physicist. Ethical. Lighthearted and cheerful. Finds joy in the technical stuff. Inspiring. Loyal. Hires smart, curious and kind employees who want to create more good in the world. His favorite things right now: the TEN7 podcast and becoming the next Björn Borg.