Brand USA’s Visit the USA website, which encourages travelers abroad to, well, visit the USA, just published another article I wrote:
Tag Archives | Kentucky
Today’s Louisville Courier-Journal quoted me talking about Derby Home Rental (my side gig) and the benefits of Derby-weekend home rentals for Louisville, Kentucky:
Wells Fargo Advisors’ Lifescapes newsletter just published my latest article: “Planning Your Trip to the Races in Louisville.”
Derby Home Rental LLC, my business that advertises Louisville, Kentucky-area homes to rent on Derby weekend, just added a Flipboard magazine and About.me profile. Will they make a huge difference in helping renters find my site in 2016? Not sure, but they can’t hurt.
They join social media accounts Derby Home Rental already has on
Derby 2015 was another record year for Derby Home Rental LLC with 58 homes advertising and 38 of them renting—both all-time highs. And 2016 looks like it’s off to an even better start.
After discussions with Churchill Downs Inc., the URL kentuckyderbyhomerental.com has changed to louisvillederbyhomerental.com. (For six years, I’ve owned and operated Derby Home Rental LLC, which helps Louisville, Kentucky-area homeowners advertise their homes to rent during Derby weekend.)
For the next year, the old site will have a message directing visitors to the new one. It’ll take a little bit for search engines to digest and process this switch. We had record traffic last year—9,840 visits and 41,108 page views—and I will monitor the site’s search engine status and work to continue that growth.
Relatedly, my email address for that business has changed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No humility in this brag: when my Louisville friends who were heading east stopped at their local liquor store to pick up this bourbon order I’d placed, the shop’s owner said, “Whoever ordered this knew what he was doing.”
It feels a bit strange not covering Kentucky Derby on site (first time in five years) or being at Churchill Downs for some part of this weekend (first time in seven years). So here are the thoughts I jotted down when handicapping the race. (Human-interest lines don’t factor into my betting, but I suspect I’m in the minority on that one, so I included a few here.)
1. Vicar’s in Trouble—Strong sire, beat tough competition in Louisiana Derby, increasing speed figures last three races. Jockey, Rosie Napravnik, would be first female to win Derby.
2. Harry’s Holiday—Heavily raced, doesn’t have the speed, doesn’t have the breeding
3. Uncle Sigh—Out of his league, doesn’t have the speed, part-owned by Wounded Warriors
4. Danza—Won his biggest race, but got a clean trip; lightly raced; dam’s sire breeds for distance; strong workouts
5. California Chrome—Not good breeding, already raced 10 times, due for a setback, will be over bet
6. Samraat—Poor breeding, doesn’t have the speed
7. We Miss Artie—Out of his league
8. General A Rod—Lightly raced, bred for distance, competitive, may not have the speed
9. Vinceremos—Horrible last race, but it was on Polytrack; does much better on turf; bred for distance
10. Wildcat Red—Outperformed his pedigree; super competitive
12. Dance With Fate—Doesn’t have the speed, hasn’t run on dirt this year
13. Chitu—Dam’s sire bred for distance, lightly raced, has the speed, may be out of his league
14. Medal Count—Bred for distance; great workouts; coming back off just three weeks rest and raced eight days before that; poor showing on only dirt race this year, but had a bad trip
15. Tapiture—Strong jockey-trainer combo, not great speed figures, sire breeds for distance, lost to two other in field last time out
16. Intense Holiday—Bred for distance, sped increased last four races, only raced three times this year
17. Commanding Curve—Lightly raced this year, likely out of his league, doesn’t have the speed
18. Candy Boy—May not have the speed, lightly raced this year
19. Ride On Curlin—Lots of wide trips might mean he’s used to the distance–or that he’s terrible in a crowd; well bred, and for distance; three straight faster races; over raced. Jockey is Calvin Borel, three-time Derby winner, which is good for him but bad for betters as he’ll be over bet.
20. Wicked Strong—Bred for distance. speed has increased last three races, strong workouts. Boston connection.
I’m playing a few combinations, but Vicar’s in Trouble, General A Rod, Chitu, Medal Count, Intense Holiday, and Wicked Strong factor heavily on them. Wildcat Red probably would too, but I already have a $10 win bet on him at 60-1 from a future pool, so I’m covered there.
Inspirato magazine’s spring 2014 issue included my final article as a freelancer. Titled, “Kentucky Gold,” fittingly it’s a feature on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Obligatory joke about how fun researching an article on bourbon is goes here ______________________ . Actually, it’s not a joke: it’s damn true.
Anyway, read the article on Inspirato’s website or enjoy the magazine’s hardcopy layout in this .pdf. Or, right now for a limited time, the spring 2014 issue is available for free on Inspirato’s website. The choice is yours.
I also contributed sidebars on Kentucky’s favorite bourbons, bourbon 101, the best pours from the Bluegrass State, and where to enjoy a drink or two in Louisville.
Inspirato with American Express is a private, members-only destination club. Its 180-page glossy magazine is published three times a year. It’s distributed to the club’s members, sold on newsstands, and available for iPads and Android tablets.
Photo: Courtesy Inspirato
Been meaning to share this story for a while:
In January 2010, Richard Marx pulled out of HullabaLOU, a music festival at Louisville’s Churchill Downs. Upon hearing the devastating news, I wrote an article for Louisville.com: “Sorry Louisville, you don’t have Richard Marx to kick around anymore at HullabaLOU.” If you don’t feel like selecting the link, executive summary: it wasn’t flattering to Mr. Marx.
My article led to hateful comments from Marx’s dedicated fans (since lost after Louisville.com switched its commenting system), as well as a nasty thread on a Richard Marx-dedicated online forum (since defunct, because of course).
About two weeks after I published the article, I received this email:
Zach..That last “anonymous” post wasn’t me [a commenter on Louisville.com claimed to be Marx], but…THIS is. Turns out, having zero to do with putting you in your place..whoever you are…I have these insanely loyal and protective fans who not only post online, but then alert this kind of mindless crap to the woman who runs my website (Yep, I do have one…makes me SO cool) and then I occasionally hear about it. I’ve weathered these kind of nasty attacks for over 20 years. Mostly by over-achievers like yourself, who have “Air Canada’s enRoute” as the headline of their resume.
I was actually looking forward to playing HullabaLOU but it was just one show and I was offered a tour in China that, while only 4 shows in country over 8 days, will compensate me in numbers that would fill you with even more envious rage than you already seem to possess, if that’s possible.
Oh, yeah..I’m also still really happily married to a kind and beautiful woman after 21 years; have 3 amazing sons who are great human beings; and I still not only tour and make my own records, but write and produce with a ton of great artists for their records. I love every second. I realize it’s not on par with being editor-in-chief of Louisville.com, but…
See, like or hate my music, I have, for 20 years plus, put myself out there and given 100% to my craft. I’m a pro. I never phone it in and I’ve never taken the 30 million records and slew of hits for granted. I wrote “Right Here Waiting,” which you denigrated, not to be a hit song, but a musical love letter to my wife years ago. Luckily my friends persuaded me to record it. People all over the world sing that song to each other. I just got a letter from a young lady whose husband was killed in Iraq and the lyrics to “RHW” were his screensaver. She wasn’t the first who told me stories like that.
So…upon looking at what’s available about you…and seeing your photo…dude, your photo is so grim…all I can assume about you is that you’re a bitter man who either never got a break, or never had the talent to deserve one.
Vivian will certainly grow up to be so proud.
Vivian, by the way, is my daughter. Who was then not even 1 month old.
Using the sender’s email address, email@example.com, I did some online research (I forget the specifics) that made it appear likely the email was in fact from Marx. It wasn’t conclusive enough though to share publicly.
Then, in January 2013, Salon.com published “Richard Marx hates my guts” by Edward McClelland. The subhead:
I made a snarky comment about the 1980s soft-rock balladeer on my blog. And now he won’t leave me alone. Really.
Well call me a hipster: I got hate mail from Richard Marx before it was cool.