New Year! New Podcast! New Security!

February 1, 2023


In our ninth episode Bryan, Karen, and Micah find themselves talking about…

  • Ben Lomand Security installation and layout discussion with Tim Sharpe
  • Security Smart Home devices to enhance your home or business with Blake Thomas
  • The latest at Channel 6, the Connection magazine and indoor events around our area
  • Micah’s Trivia and more!

Show Notes

Transcripts have been lightly edited for clarity and readability.

Bryan Kell: Welcome to the BLC Connection podcast. I’m Bryan Kell.

Karen Wilson: I’m Karen Wilson.

Micah Lawrence: And I’m Micah Lawrence.

All Hosts: Let’s get connected.

Bryan Kell: Welcome back to the BLC Connection Podcast. The, what is it? Cloud Nine Edition, I guess of this podcast. It has been some time. We have with us Karen Wilson.

Karen Wilson: Yes, I hope the audience remembers us.

Bryan Kell: That’s right. It is Karen Wilson. And you are Micah Lawrence?

Micah Lawrence: You know me?

Bryan Kell: It’s kind of weird that we’ve taken about a three month – I hate to even say break, guys, because when we look back over what November and December has had for all of us here, we rounded out 2022 pretty busy gang, right?

Micah Lawrence: Absolutely. Really busy.

Bryan Kell: I mean, we had the canned food drive.

Karen Wilson: Yes. And then taping of all of the parades and things like that and Christmas festivities.

Bryan Kell: November election coverage that we did live from the Warren County Administrative Building that saw some changes in some different areas and all that stuff. And you guys, Micah, wrapping up managed IT, security, all that. I mean, we had our plate full, and we turn around and go, we got to get another podcast out there. So we welcome everyone back for another edition. We hope that we’ve got a pretty good way to kick off 2023 with this first podcast that we’ve got here. Karen, we’re going to find out a whole lot of stuff that’s happening in the month of February, both inside Ben Lomand and out.

Karen Wilson: That’s right. We’re going to touch on the new episodes we’re filming at Channel Six. The Connection Magazine got some great articles that are in the January/February/March edition. And then so many events coming up, you know, as winter leaves us and spring begins to be on the horizon. The FRS Youth tour is coming up and some scholarship opportunities for students, so lots of great things.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, absolutely. Definitely a lot to talk about in that segment, that’s for sure. Micah, we’ve talked a lot about when it comes down to kind of the computer security side of things, business, even protecting some stuff at connected devices at home. But we’re going to be talking about security now, right?

Micah Lawrence: Yeah, that’s right. We’ll be talking a little more about a lot of different home security stuff that you can get and all the components associated with that.

Bryan Kell: It can be a smart, really smart security system, right?

Micah Lawrence: That right. Smart security security.

Bryan Kell: Yes, exactly. And so and you’ve also brought, I see, the bag over there. You brought your bag of trivia with you as well.

Micah Lawrence: Absolutely. I hope you guys can get it.

Bryan Kell: Okay. It could be another stump, the Karen and stump the Bryan time, but we’ll find out. All that and so much more. In fact, next, we are talking to you about next level security or security security, as we’ve said, with Tim Sharpe and Blake Thomas. All that and so much more here on the BLC Connection Podcast.

Bryan Kell: All right. We are now into our segment on security security is what we’ve called this security, right?

Micah Lawrence: Security security, yes.

Bryan Kell: Yes, it’s the security. And with that, it’s our residential security guru. I like that word a lot. Mr. Tim Sharpe. Tim, welcome into the BLC Connection Podcast.

Tim Sharpe: Hello guys. How’s it going?

Bryan Kell: Yeah, it’s good. Glad you’re able to join us.

Tim Sharpe: Thanks for having me.

Bryan Kell: Tell us about you. Years with Ben Lomand, how you got started with security, all that good stuff.

Tim Sharpe: Well, it started back in 1997. I started doing security for a company locally, actually. We did security all over the state of Tennessee. We did local, and we did other states around Tennessee: Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, places like that. I worked there for probably about 20 to 25 years. And I got a call from Ben Lomand one day that I decided, hey, we want to get into the security business. So that was about 11 and a half years ago.

Bryan Kell: Cool.

Tim Sharpe: That’s how I came to be here at Ben Lomand.

Bryan Kell: Well, we’re glad you’re here. We’re definitely glad you’re here.

Micah Lawrence: So, Tim, we know security has seen a lot of changes over the years, you know, with different pieces of equipment, wired, wireless, you know. Talk about some of those different changes that you’ve seen, and how are people using security nowadays?

Tim Sharpe: Sure. Probably the biggest change that we’ve seen over those years is back in the days in the eighties, all our systems were hardwired. And when I talk about hardwired, that means that each of your door sensors, your motion sensors, your whatever type sensor you might have in your house or your business, we had to pull a cable from that sensor all the way back to a main panel. Nowadays, everything’s pretty much wireless, everything except for the keypad, of course. It’s got to have power. So that’s the biggest change probably we’ve seen throughout the years.

Micah Lawrence: So when you say wireless, is there a house too big that wireless doesn’t work in, or is it you got different ways to fix that?

Tim Sharpe: Yeah, we actually have some ways to accomplish that now. Some houses are too large for one or a house like with the controller. So we have to add repeaters into those houses. And it’s actually working on the 2.4 gig system now, but it’s a different part or different spectrum of it, you know?

Micah Lawrence: Gotcha.

Karen Wilson: So I guess a basic residential security install has changed a lot since a lot of things are wireless. Let’s talk about or tell us how much time we’re talking about that it takes you all to do that. Does it depend on the size of the house, or how does that work?

Tim Sharpe: Yeah, it really does depend on the size of the house. The basic kit that we offer is going to be your main panel with a couple of doors or however many perimeter doors you may have. And then motion sensor, at least one, maybe two, and it depends on, again, like you said, the size of the house. It might take about 4 hours for a basic size house, but when you go larger than that, then it just depends on the house.

Karen Wilson: Right, so it’s not like a matter of just sticking things on the wall, basically. Everything has to talk back to that security panel.

Tim Sharpe: We have to make sure that that way that it’s getting back is working correctly.

Karen Wilson: Right. And then I guess everything has to be kind of programed, so they talk to each other properly.

Tim Sharpe: That’s correct, yes.

Micah Lawrence: So, Tim, you know, you mentioned our initial kit. When people are looking at security, do they have to have every door and every window in their house secured up with –

Tim Sharpe: That’s a good question. You don’t. But we do recommend that each perimeter door have some type of sensor on it. Your windows don’t basically have to have a sensor on it unless it’s a window that you can get into easily. So we look at that on a case by case basis usually.

Micah Lawrence: Okay.

Bryan Kell: We talked a little bit here about the residential side of things. Let’s talk business. What do folks, you know, folks who are listening here that are maybe owners or managers of business, and they’re considering security. What do they need to be considering before they’re calling us, or while they’re calling us?

Tim Sharpe: Yeah, when we get into the business and the commercial side of it, it’s going to be a complete whole new ball game there. So, yeah, you need to think about what you’re wanting to protect there. We need to know how many employees you’re going to have that’s controlling in the system. And basically you just need to call and get an appointment with us so we can come out and give you an idea of what we think and what you think so we can get together on our thought processes.

Bryan Kell: And those appointments are free, and you’ll even, I think, fair to say, do layouts and suggestions and all that is part of just a free service.

Tim Sharpe: That’s correct.

Micah Lawrence: So, Tim, I learned something new here. It’s called a one-go-all-go sensors. What is that? And, you know, we hear that it’s a life saving feature, but what is it doing? How does that work?

Tim Sharpe: Yes, so what that means is our smoke detectors and our CO detectors. Now, of course, they are wireless sensors, back to the panel. So if you have smoke in one area of your house and a smoke detector picks that up, it’s going to alert you that it’s in that area. But not only that, it’s going to talk to all the other smoke detectors in your house. In case you’re in another end of the house, so it’s going to wake you up. That’s basically what that means, smoke detectors and CO detectors.

Bryan Kell: And will the panel also go off, as well, so that’s another point there that will go off?

Tim Sharpe: Yes, that’s correct.

Bryan Kell: Okay.

Micah Lawrence: So if I’m a heavy sleeper, you know, what do you do about that?

Tim Sharpe: What we can do there is we offer an indoor siren now. So if you have a spot in your house where maybe you don’t have a smoke detector nearby, but you want to wake someone up, then you’re going to put an indoor siren in that area.

Micah Lawrence: Oh, great.

Bryan Kell: It’s kind of piggybacking off your indoor siren. I’ve heard of folk, is that the same thing as some of the sirens that – I know my grandmother at the house that you’re, what was it? I always told you before that your mom had a house that my grandmother ended up getting from her before her? I forget that. It was on Ridgecrest or whatever, but –

Karen Wilson: Yeah, yeah. My mom and stepdad live there.

Bryan Kell: That house. At one time when my grandmother lived at that house, she had a siren up in the attic and that thing was crazy loud. May still be up there, who knows? Is that different than the indoor siren, or do they have different types of sirens?

Tim Sharpe: It is actually different nowadays. Everything now, the electronics can’t push those large outdoor sirens like they used to. You know, there are ways of fixing that. We can add a module that can do that. So what we’re talking about is just an indoor wireless siren that’s going to run on a battery of some sort. So it’s going to be crazy loud inside your house, but outside not so loud.

Bryan Kell: Gotcha.

Micah Lawrence: So you mentioned the batteries here. As far as everything being wireless and batteries, do I worry that the battery is going to be dead when, let’s say, smoke is actually in the house? What do I have to worry there?

Tim Sharpe: No, actually, what these things do, they’re all lithium batteries nowadays. So lithium batteries are going to last anywhere, the manufacturer tells us from 3 to 5 years. But you don’t really have to worry about that time limit because these things are continually talking back and forth from the panel to the wireless sensor, from the wireless sensor back to the panel. So if there’s any type of trouble, any type of low battery, anything like that, it’s going to alert you way before that thing goes dead.

Micah Lawrence: Great.

Karen Wilson: I’ve had that happen in the night before. That wasn’t fun..

Tim Sharpe: 2:00 in the morning.

Karen Wilson: That’s right. So tell us about this new pro series line we’re using now, and how it’s a little bit better than the previous lines that we’ve carried.

Tim Sharpe: So with Honeywell. We’re a Honeywell dealer, of course, and Honeywell.

Bryan Kell: Or Resideo.

Tim Sharpe: Or Resideo. That’s correct. That’s their home portion of it now. For years and years, they’ve come out with or they came out with the Vista 20p, and it’s been out there for years and years. And that’s kind of the head of everything in the security industry as far as Honeywell and Resideo goes. So what they’ve done over the years is they’ve tried to recreate these wireless panels to be as reliable as that Vista 20p. And with this new Pro Series panel, they’ve really probably accomplished that as far as hardwire to wireless, because like I said before, these sensors can not only talk back to the panel, the panel talks to the sensors, so they are continually checking in on each other. So that really helps a lot.

Karen Wilson: Make sure everything is working properly. And then if it’s not, I think, doesn’t that talk back to not us directly, but it’s kind of monitored and if something’s not talking properly, then we know about it.

Tim Sharpe: That’s going to be going back to your monitoring service, which is monitoring at 24 hours a day. So if anything goes wrong, whether you’re home or not, you’re going to know about it because the monitoring service is going to get that signal, and then they’re going to call you.

Bryan Kell: Tim, I think when I first started here at Ben Lomand, I think it’s fair to say that that the Total Connect app just seemed like maybe, I don’t know, 20% of the people would take it, maybe even 15 to 25%. Now I’m hearing from you guys and from the sales department over there, that now it’s like 85% of people, 90% of people take the Total [Connect app]. I mean, it shows you, I guess, just how much has changed just in less than ten years as far as smartphone apps and just the people’s need to to have that. So talk about the Total Connect app and also maybe what some of your favorite features o the customers features that they seem to really like are.

Tim Sharpe: Yes, you’re right. It’s totally turned around in the last ten years. We all want an app now for everything that we do. So that’s come along with the Total Connect. And you’re right, we didn’t do a lot of Total Connect before, but now everybody wants that Total Connect app because they want that control in the palm of their hand right there. So what they can do. Say they leave, go to work. They forgot to set their alarm, or they think they forgot to set their alarm. They just grab their phone, look at their app, and they can arm it right from their app, right there. So that really gives them a good sense of being able to handle that, right?

Bryan Kell: Control.

Tim Sharpe: That’s right. And then another thing that they like, you know, it’s monitored 24 hours by a central station. But with that Total Connect app, you’re going to get a push notification right away, right then. So you’re going to know it in two or three different ways that something’s going on at your house.

Bryan Kell: Yeah. Just like I said, total control, Total Connect, all that.

Micah Lawrence: So we also know that with Total Connect and the panels and everything, we can add some indoor cameras, something kind of like a nanny cam. Tell us a little more about that.

Tim Sharpe: Yeah. So we’ve got customers that may want one or two cameras. Like you said, indoor cameras in their house, not a full blown camera system. So what we have are the total cameras, and they go hand-in-hand with the Total Connect app. So it’s basically you plug it into an outlet, and it’s going to talk to your Wi-Fi, which then it’s going to go to your Total Connect app. So that’s basically what those cameras are meant for. That way you can unplug it, move it to another location if you decide you want to on your front door or back door, wherever you need it.

Micah Lawrence: Gotcha.

Bryan Kell: Tim, thank you so much. I mean, you’ve answered so many questions here. If folks are listening to this and they’ve got more questions, you can do a couple of different things. You can reach out to us through the email that Micah is going to give at the end of this podcast. Or just call your local Ben Lomand Connect office. Tim and another guy we’re going to be talking to here in a minute, Blake Thomas and really a lot of our sales folks can help answer those questions for you. And I’ll say this, go to the new Ben Lomand security web page that is now up on And you’ll see videos and lots of great explanations on things that are being offered in this Pro Series line, Total Connect, all of that. And so we would just encourage you to reach out to us or reach out through our website to get that information. And Tim, you’re a wealth of knowledge always on security. We can’t thank you enough for being here.

Tim Sharpe: Thanks for having me, guys.

Bryan Kell: All right. Up next, Mr. Blake Thomas as we talk Smarter Security Security here on the Ben Lomand Connection Podcast.

Karen Wilson: This is the BLC Connection Podcast, and it’s time for our Connected Home segment. I’m Karen Wilson, and Micah and Bryan are back. Actually, this time you did not leave, so you stayed with us to talk about the new Resideo Pro Series with Mr. Blake Thomas. Welcome to the show, Blake.

Blake Thomas: Thanks, guys. Good to be here.

Karen Wilson: So let’s start with something that we’ve offered a version of this, the Medical Alert Transmitter. This functions a little differently than our Secure Care Medical Alert. Tell us how this works with the security system.

Blake Thomas: So along with the medical alert, you get a pendant just like you would with the Secure Care that you can hit in the case of emergency. The only drawback to either one. With a medical pendant, it’s not an extra added cost to your monthly bill, like the Secure Care is. You get the same coverage. They’ll call you, send 911, whoever they need to. But you have the added, they’re going to call a family member first before they send anybody.

Bryan Kell: Okay. And I’ve got a question on this, too, because I’ve had this to asked of me. With Ben Lomand Security Medical Alert, is it a two-way conversation that you’re having, or no?

Blake Thomas: It is not.

Bryan Kell: With the person hitting the –

Blake Thomas: It is not.

Bryan Kell: Gotcha.

Blake Thomas: They’ll actually call you on the phone, if you can make it to the phone. If not, they’re going to call down the list and dispatch 911.

Bryan Kell: Gotcha.

Karen Wilson: So your Secure Care would probably work if you do not have a security system in your home, you don’t really think about that. But if you have the security system, this would probably be the best way to go.

Blake Thomas: This would be a better option without the added cost of the Secure Care.

Bryan Kell: Real quick, Blake, how long have you been at Ben Lomand?

Blake Thomas: I’ve been at Ben Lomand for six years. I think May will be my seventh year, and I was a contractor for five years before.

Bryan Kell: Yeah.

Blake Thomas: So I’ve been here a total of about 11 years.

Bryan Kell: And you got lumped into heavy on the security side, when was it? One or two years ago on doing a lot – mostly focused on security or like a year ago?

Blake Thomas: Really probably two years ago. I’ve been security certified for over three. And two years ago, I looked at it as this is going to be part of my job, so I need to learn it. And I guess it got to the point where they needed help, you know, putting in and stuff. So I said, “Hey, I’m your guy.”

Bryan Kell: You got a pretty good guy to learn from too, don’t you?

Blake Thomas: I got a lot to learn, though.

Bryan Kell: He’s the guru. As far as another add-on that is getting more and more popular with folks is the smart home thermostat. And this thermostat really goes above and beyond we’re used to seeing with our, you know, still the one that I’ve got at my house, and I’m sure many others were. Can you just talk about what all goes into this Honeywell Resideo thermostat?

Blake Thomas: So the thermostat is still going to operate the same as your normal thermostat. You’re not going to have the buttons you click on the bottom, but it is all touch screen. You can set it. You can set schedules on it, if you leave the house at 7:30, it turns the heat down to say 68. And at 4:30, when you get ready to get off work, be home at 5:00. You can set it back to 72 in the house so that it’s to temperature when you get home.

Bryan Kell: And I know that we’re running some videos out there and some commercials that showcase almost like a secondary screen that folks are sitting around in the living room, and they’re able to kind of do some. They can raise their thermostat from that screen or even from their Total Connect smartphone app. So there’s a couple of different ways that folks can be able to kind of mess with their thermostat without having to get up and go like, I’m doing today and do that.

Blake Thomas: Yeah, if you’re laying in bed at night and you’re a little chilled, you want to turn the heat up, grab your phone, turn it up. Or if you’re hot, turn the air on. You can do all that from your phone, or you can do it straight from the security panel. If it’s on the side of a house, you don’t have to walk to the other side of the house to turn the thermostat up or down.

Bryan Kell: Very cool.

Karen Wilson: And so I was – I’ll interject here about that panel. I was so impressed when I saw the panel, because first thing you think about when you get up in the morning is what’s the weather going to be like today? How should I dress? It actually displays the weather on the panel these days.

Blake Thomas: It does. So, yeah, usually first thing, what I do when I get up in the morning is I go, and I turn the alarm panel off to let the dog out. So it is displayed up in the top right corner. You can press the temperatures is what it shows, and it will bring up a full five day forecast of your area.

Bryan Kell: Very cool.

Micah Lawrence: Nice. So, Blake, I know another one of the things that you can add on to this system is a way to detect any leaks or freezing going on. So we know, of course, this time of year when it gets really cold, worried about those pipes busting. And so talk a little bit about what that does, how all that works.

Blake Thomas: So with Residio, there is a leak detector. That we can add in a laundry room, or there’s a hot water heater, a bathroom or an outside bathroom, if that’s the case.

Bryan Kell: Can it be underneath the house?

Blake Thomas: It could be underneath the house. It does have its own transmitter, and it has a wire that comes down, and you’ll put it, say, on the ground or close to the ground. And if there’s water that pulls up to that, it will alert the monitoring service, and they will call you and say, hey, we’ve got a leak detected in your home.

Karen Wilson: And it looked like you have like you would get a detector for each area if like if you had three sinks in the house, and they’re very reasonably priced, I thought. You would have one for each sink or hot water heater, that type of thing.

Blake Thomas: That’s right.

Micah Lawrence: And I know with this, you know, when we talk about security and some of these smart home features, you know, with local insurance people and different insurance companies, they can give discounts for certain functions and services we provide, like, I know, burglary, smoke and then, of course, with the leak detection, you know, you could get some discounts on your homeowner’s insurance, or anything like that.

Blake Thomas: We give a form to every person when we install, whether it’s just a burglary or a fire or if we do the leak detectors as well. Everybody gets a form for their insurance company to take to them, and they save a little money.

Bryan Kell: Very cool. Didn’t know that. That’s awesome. So we talked a little bit about the the thermostat, but there are so many other different things with this smarter security security or, you know, home security that we’re talking about here that can really help folks save some money over time, some big dollars in some respect over a year or two years, five years. And being more efficient. So can you kind of talk about, we’ve already talked about the thermostat, but maybe some of the other things that we’re not thinking about that could over some time be able to help save some people some money?

Blake Thomas: Yeah. So along with the thermostat, there are lamp modules that we can install, and so you can plug a lamp into it. It plugs into the wall, and we can create scenes where at a certain time that lamp turns on. If you’re not going to be home, door locks. We can set those up on it as well. So if somebody is not going to be home, and but you need to let somebody in to take care of the dog or what have you from vacation, you can do all that from your app. You can unlock the door, let them in. Nobody has to know any kind of secret passcodes or codes to doors so they can go and they’ll call you when they’re done. Say hey, lock it back up.

Bryan Kell: And we might as well go ahead and say this since you bring up the door lock is that this door lock device is Greg Smartt certified. I mean, he loves the door lock that you all ended up doing some time back for his. When we were going into this podcast, he’s like, be sure and mention and tell folks the fact that I love that door lock capability. He even said too, and you’re going to go yes that he can be able to, as he’s coming into his, you know, driveway or coming home, he can go ahead and unlock the door. And as soon as it’s unlocking the door, it’s basically turning his security system off. So he’s not having to do two different things at once. He can, it just goes ahead and ties them both together.

Blake Thomas: It does. So you don’t have to exactly do it on your phone. Yeah, we can set it to where when you type in your code on the back door, it’ll unlock the door and disarm your system at the same time.

Bryan Kell: Real quick, because it shows this in the video, too, that we’re running on a lot of different things and on social and on BL TV, but it also has the capability too, I thought, that when you come in and if you’ve got Total Connect on your phone, that isn’t it almost reading your, like a Bluetooth capability there, to where it will basically turn off your alarm by just being able to realize that you’re coming through the door.

Blake Thomas: Yes. So it does have Bluetooth technology, and it will pair with your phone when you walk in the house, and it will disarm automatically and seize your phone.

Bryan Kell: That’s pretty cool. Not having to punch any buttons at that point.

Blake Thomas: That’s true.

Bryan Kell: That’s pretty awesome.

Karen Wilson: Which takes away the error, the human error.

Bryan Kell: There you go. And leaving. Yeah. And as you leave automatically, will go ahead and basically arm it.

Blake Thomas: Yes.

Bryan Kell: And to go along with it, we also have the ability to do a doorbell with a camera and everything like that on there. Correct?

Blake Thomas: We use Skybell, and it is a doorbell. The only drawback to that is there has to be a wire there for power to that. It’s not wireless, and it doesn’t have batteries that you put in it or can charge. So that’s the only drawback to it. But a lot of your older homes already have that wire there, so.

Micah Lawrence: Right.

Karen Wilson: Yeah.

Bryan Kell: And we’re stepping all over Kris – Kristen, that’s my wife. This is Karen.

Karen Wilson: I’ll answer. Whatever.

Bryan Kell: But we’re stepping all over your questions that you’ve got right now.

Karen Wilson: Well, no, that was it. I mean, I’m amazed, I guess, and sitting here thinking I’m like, I don’t want people to feel intimidated by this. It’s really, you guys do all the work and the programing and everything. And then basically they’re just looking at an app on their phone and some of it is fully automated and it does it, you know, how it automatically when they, like you said, walked in the door.

Blake Thomas: We pretty much ask you what you want, and within reason, we can make anything happen that you want to happen.

Karen Wilson: And also, tell us about the driveway alert, which is a neat feature, I think. Which is a little separate than, is that a separate feature than the Resideo? Is it part of the Resideo?

Blake Thomas: It is not part of Resideo. It is a separate piece altogether. Again, Greg Smartt approved. Yes. He loves.

Bryan Kell: Yes, he does.

Blake Thomas: So what we do is inside the house there is a chime that plugs into the wall outlet, and it’s got many different chimes that you can set it to. And the photo beam goes outside on a tree or a wooden post or something across the driveway so that you’ll know whenever someone comes in your driveway.

Bryan Kell: Tell the story real quick about you having to adjust Greg’s though, because why?

Blake Thomas: Yeah, so Greg’s was on a metal post, and we figured out that that sometimes doesn’t work. So we mounted it on a tree and he said, “Turn it up.” I said, “Okay.” So we turned it up. And as people drove down the road, it was dinging while we was inside. So we had to turn that back down.

Bryan Kell: Just a little.

Blake Thomas: It work really well.

Bryan Kell: Yeah. That’s impressive.

Karen Wilson: Cause he’s on a pretty busy road right there. I’m sure it’s ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.

Bryan Kell: But it really speaks to how powerful that thing is. If you’re saying crank it up, and he sits back a little ways from the road. The fact that it’s picking that up is impressive.

Blake Thomas: Yeah, but we figured it was only people coming towards it, not people going away from it.

Karen Wilson: Well, that’s neat. I think I need that for the next Halloween season for yard rolling. I would like to bust some kids for that. That would be fun. And that would be neat, I think, to do that little detector. They would never know, and I could just be up there ready for them.

Blake Thomas: If they come up the driveway.

Karen Wilson: Yeah. Yeah, they usually do.

Micah Lawrence: I have a confession.

Blake Thomas: Oh, you rolled Karen’s yard?

Micah Lawrence: Maybe.

Karen Wilson: I used the toilet paper by the way.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, but one of our board members, we tried to roll his yard one year when I was younger because he goes to church with us. He busted us. You know how he busted us?

Bryan Kell: How?

Micah Lawrence: A driveway alert.

Bryan Kell: Oh, wow.

Micah Lawrence: So it does work.

Bryan Kell: Wow.

Karen Wilson: Well, good to know. I’ll be anxiously awaiting to, you know, to utilize that. Well, thank you so much, Blake. That is a ton of customization that is possible with this system. It is amazing to see how far security systems have come.

Blake Thomas: Just in my time, they’ve come a long way.

Karen Wilson: You know, we mentioned the Skybell. I kept thinking of 007 and Skyfall, and I feel like what gadgets are next? You know, it’s really coming. I look forward to maybe a year or two from now talking again and seeing what else has been added. So these systems go way beyond security. And we appreciate you coming and explaining all of these gadgets to us.

Blake Thomas: You’re welcome

Bryan Kell: Great job. Thank you.

Micah Lawrence: Welcome to Connect with BLC. Karen, what can we know more about Channel Six or The Connection Magazine?

Karen Wilson: Well, right now Channel Six is busy recording new episodes of Table Talk and Reels to Rentals and Soul of Warren County, all things new coming up, planning our year out. We’ve got a lot of great things in The Connection Magazine. Interesting articles on protecting yourself from phishing. That’s with a “p.” P-H Phishing. Nutrition labeling for broadband, which is an interesting article. Also, I did want to bring up as far as the events go, it is time to get your FRS scholarships in for students that are looking for college scholarships, whether for a college or a secondary education. Yes. And then, of course, it’s time to apply for the FRS Youth Tour. This year, they’ve opened it up for 15, 16 and 17 year olds. So that’s a little bit younger than normal. There is no paper required. We’re going to do an interview process. The deadline for that application is February 17th, and the application is on the Ben Lomand Connect website.

Bryan Kell: I’m excited about this interview process thing. That was an idea that you came up with Karen, and I think this is a chance to be fun for the students going through that and also for us too.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, and the youth tour is great. I mean, it’s an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. It just opens up a world of the – it’s a jam packed schedule. You and I both have chaperoned that. It is not for the faint heart or the weary feet.

Bryan Kell: It’ll wear out a Fitbit real quick. That’s for sure. It really will. And we’ve got a chance to, you know, through the kids and stuff, got a chance to really shine a light in a place that can be kind of dark sometimes. D.C. So it’s great, like you said.

Micah Lawrence: I want to go to Washington, D.C. Can you interview me?

Karen Wilson: Yes. We need to recruit you for a chaperone.

Micah Lawrence: Oh, I don’t know about that now.

Karen Wilson: But you got to like early mornings and late nights.

Micah Lawrence: Oh, I don’t know about that. I’m not a morning person.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, it’s late nights and early mornings, that’s for sure. That is for sure.

Micah Lawrence: So, Bryan, what kind of events can we see around our service area in February?

Bryan Kell: Well, when we kicked off the podcast close to a year from now, we’re coming up on at least one year of having this thing around. We always talked about these winter months and a lot of stuff moves inside, and so we don’t have quite as much going on with Ben Lomand or events that the Wi-Fi van is at or different things like that. So we kind of like to highlight some of the events that are going on in places that entertainment can be done inside. And I will say this, every one of these places are fantastic customers of ours that I think it’s fair to say love their Ben Lomand fiber, and it works out well for them. So that’s, you know, we appreciate them and so. At Warren Arts located on Manchester Highway, “Annie Jr.” from February 24th through March 5th, and then keeping with the junior theme at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, it’s “Frozen Jr.” from February 17th through March 26th. At the Park Theater, a group I know that me and Karen are very familiar with, but it’s “Barracuda-America’s Heart Tribute.” So if you’re a heart fan and who really isn’t, then you’ve got an opportunity to hear some great hits from them. February 10th at the Park Theater. At the Caverns in Pelham, it’s country music singer Larry Fleet on February 25th. And at the Palace Theater in Crossville, his first time there ever. This guy is no stranger to any of us, but Karen and I grew up with him on the TV quite a bit, but believe it or not, he’s also, if you didn’t know this, a country singer. Seven top 40 country hits, including number one, “A Memory Like You” in 1985 and a top 40 pop single crossover hit, “Now Or Never” in 1981. He is Bo Duke. He is John Schneider. So he’s going to be there for the first time in Crossville, February 10th. That is a look at some of the things that are happening indoors in February.

Micah Lawrence: Awesome. Sounds great. So are you guys ready for some trivia?

Bryan Kell: No. Yeah. Sure.

Micah Lawrence: All right. So I’ve got a couple of questions. I want to see if you guys can guess, and if you have a clue as to how much something cost. So Mount Rushmore, you’re aware of that. Got George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. How much did it cost to create Mount Rushmore?

Karen Wilson: I don’t know. Maybe like, lowball it, say $130,000.

Micah Lawrence: $130,000. Okay.

Bryan Kell: And we’re talking about the dollars back then.?

Micah Lawrence: That’s right. And it took between 1927 and 1941, so to kind of give you a time period.

Bryan Kell: $250,000.

Micah Lawrence: Okay, both of you guys are extremely low.

Bryan Kell: It’s probably like a million.

Micah Lawrence: It’s right at a million.

Karen Wilson: Wow.

Micah Lawrence: $989,992.32. They said if you adjust that for inflation today, that would cost around $17 million.

Bryan Kell: Wow. 17 million.

Micah Lawrence: 17 million dollars. So now the next one, it’s kind of fun. You guys remember the game.

Bryan Kell: We’ll be the judge of that.

Micah Lawrence: Oh, okay. All right. You remember the game of operation?

Bryan Kell: Yes.

Karen Wilson: Yes. Loved it.

Bryan Kell: Owned it. Did you have one?

Karen Wilson: Maybe. Yes, I did.

Micah Lawrence: Now, did you know the character on the board of Operation has a name? Do you know his name?

Karen Wilson: I kind of have heard that before, but no, I do not.

Bryan Kell: Leroy?

Micah Lawrence: Leroy. (laughs)

Bryan Kell: That’s my guess.

Karen Wilson: Yeah. Sam?

Micah Lawrence: Sam. She’s actually right.

Bryan Kell: Hey.

Karen Wilson: Oh, wow.

Micah Lawrence: His name is actually Cavity Sam.

Karen Wilson: Wow. That was just a out of the blue guess.

Micah Lawrence: I didn’t know that he had a name.

Karen Wilson: Well, he was a funny looking fellow.

Micah Lawrence: Oh, yeah.

Bryan Kell: That nose and everything, yeah. Well, you’re one for two. You’re batting .500 now for 2023. Watch out.

Karen Wilson: I was always a nervous wreck sticking my hand in that. And then the, you know, the buzz sound that would come up if you hit the funny bone or whatever it was.

Micah Lawrence: I can’t do it.

Bryan Kell: Some were easy and some were so tough. Yeah, like the heart was tough. Broken heart.

Karen Wilson: Because you couldn’t get a hold of it with your clip.

Bryan Kell: And like the funny bone was really small, too.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, the smaller, the more difficult it was.

Micah Lawrence: Well, the game that I suffered the most with is Perfection, where you had to take the different shapes and put them in the square –.

Bryan Kell: With the time.

Micah Lawrence: With the time. Because I’d always get close to the end of the timer, and it would shoot up and scared me to death. I just couldn’t.

Karen Wilson: Yeah. Because everything like, blew apart if you didn’t get it, didn’t it.

Micah Lawrence: Blows up.

Bryan Kell: Yeah.

Micah Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. But that’s your trivia for this podcast.

Karen Wilson: I love retro games, too, though. Thank you, Micah.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, that was good.

Bryan Kell: Well, gang, another podcast is in the books. We appreciate our guest, Mr. Blake Thomas and Mr. Tim Sharpe. So as we put the wraps on this, we’ve had some folks, you know, reach out to us in different ways. And Micah, what are those ways that people can reach out to us?

Micah Lawrence: So the best way you guys can reach out to us is you can submit your questions on our BLC Facebook page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn accounts. We do all that, or you can email us at the You can find our podcast on Spotify, Apple, Google, Amazon and all the above.

Bryan Kell: Even ones that we’ve never heard of.

Karen Wilson: Yeah, you know, we got our stats report for that, and we’ve got listeners. And we appreciate those listeners, and we hope that they’re sharing this content.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, and something we mention, well, in fact, it’ll already have been posted, but one of your recent mini podcasts, Karen, with the Beersheba Springs –

Karen Wilson: Beersheba Springs Medical Center.

Bryan Kell: Yes. And so, you know, if you happen to listen to us on these podcasts, a lot of times you can subscribe and that way you get a push notification when we put a new one up there. Whether it’s a mini episode or whether it’s the full deal here. And then also we’d appreciate a rating. Hopefully it’s a good rating because that will just help more people find this podcast. And so if you dig it, we’d love to get a nice review from you. So  consider that, if it’s Spotify or Apple Podcasts or something. But Karen, speaking of the mini episodes, you may or may not want to delve into who’s going to be next, but definitely ones on the horizon.

Karen Wilson: It is. I’m working on some different things. I’m working, I’m wanting to do one on coffee. And all the different – we’ve got a couple of coffee shops in our service territory, and they are doing a phenomenal job. I’m not sure which one it’s going to be yet, but I’m going to work with both of them and see if they’ll come be guests. It’s impressive when you come in, their knowledge of everything and what a warm and toasty thing to think about in the winter months is a nice cup of coffee, and they’re just doing a fantastic job.

Bryan Kell: Yeah, that is nice. And especially what is it, especially in middle Tennessee. Winter in Middle Tennessee, the day we’re recording this, about 68 degrees outside, I think is what or 62. Whatever it is, you just never know when it’s going to snow, or when it’s going to be 60 to 65 degrees outside. But yes, February is typically are one of our coolest, if not coolest month that we’ve got in this throughout our area. And then the next podcast, just like Karen said, she’s got options. She’s looking at. We are too. Could we be on the road? Could it be Sparta? I think we threw out the fact we were going to be in Sparta at our next one, and we didn’t do it. So we’ve still got to get some of our some of our offices. And then we’ve also possibly got some big news that we might want to also kind of spill out to everybody in March. And so we have some things that we’ve got to work through to see where that’s going to go. But regardless, if the creeks don’t rise and Lord-willing we’ll be back here for episode ten, hitting double digits with this thing. And so, gang, thanks so much. It’s been fun.

Karen Wilson: Thank you.

Micah Lawrence: Absolutely.

Bryan Kell: All right. So, everybody, thanks for listening to the BLC Connection Podcast. Stay safe and remember, stay connected.

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