Wednesday, December 8, 2010

think now, or forever lose your direction.

Does anyone else ever get the urge to drop what you're doing, in life, and leave. I'm not talking about looking for a new job. Its the idea that you could be running through the African savanna, getting chased by lions, fishing for some exotic delicacy while be swarmed by jellyfish, or building awesome snowmen in Nepal only to have them get blown away by the raging winds. Not what you were thinking?

Me neither. 

I'm not talking about physically leaving. I'm suggesting leaving the main understanding and creating your own. I live in a city and frequently I ask myself, "do I really want to spend my life in a concrete jungle?"  Tarzan would be pissed if you brought him to this jungle. That's not fun. The location of my desire isn't so physical as its what mindset I want to have with me. It is the suggestion that I want to enforce the wandering and waves of fresh and different thoughts to float in and out at will. If you know me well, you know I like the little things in life. Especially those that aren't demonstrated in an instruction manual or guidebook. Example: I posted this picture on twitter the other day.

Applesauce spoon 

Boom. Spoon. No extra waste.

I enjoy the challenge of finding other ways to do things. It lets me think, and sometimes something useful clicks. New, improved, and reinvented. The three coolest strategies of thinking. Expect more altered uses of normalized life items. Discoveries are my favorite, smiling is second.

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Monday, November 1, 2010

Dedication: (noun) throwing your all in to something.

The Rangers lost, the Cowboy's lost, and my fantasy team is winning. I care about the first two, as I am a native Dallas-ite and have followed the teams off and one since I read the sports section with my dad, some time around 2nd grade. I recited the stats, kept up with records, and collected memorabilia (i.e. cards, hats, pennants, etc.). However, even with all my interest, I had no direct impact on the teams. I was left with emotional ups and downs sitting and watching how the games unfolded. Looking at my fantasy team, I have some control.  If I forget to set my lineup, its my fault, not the millionaires' on field performance.  What I'm alluding to is I can walk away from a game. Happy or sad, I'll get over it, knowing "it was just a game." In fantasy, if I lose in the playoffs because I forget to trade my injured QB (Romo) for a healthy one, then I'll know I made the mistake.

That intro isn't versed to tell you that I place fantasy in the clouds of glory and on an all high and mighty threshold of importance. It may be for some, but what I'm moving toward (at a painfully slow pace I realize) is the dedication that you put in to something of which you can directly affect the outcome.  

Passive vs Active.

Which role do you want? Personally, I'd much rather participate and feel the highs and lows, knowing with each swing in emotion that my experiences [hopefully] teach me something. With a negative outcome, I learn and improve(again, hopefully). With a positive outcome, I remember and re-implement. At least, that's the game plan.

Would you rather do monotonous tasks daily, or would you rather try to make an improvement or create a solution to a lingering problem?  Would you rather questions are dumb, but its relevant here.

I classify doing things in to two categories; events and activities.  Events, you can sit, watch, be passive, and enjoy. Activities, you're participating.  I won't list examples.  Its suppose to be vague, and I'm not going to define how to think. I may even change what I think is an event or activity down the road; furthermore, why create "rules" when rules are subject to change, debate, and set limits. Boring. Dumb. _____. 

To summarize my tangents, let me get dirty. Allow me to tinker and brainstorm. Odds heavily suggest my interest and involvement will increase and passion will root. Feedback is encouraged. If you disagree, awesome. If you agree...why? If you don't care, double why?

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Art of Blog Articulation; Thought Provoking Dialogue

Over thinking things is my forte. It doesn't matter what the concern at hand is either. I have an overwhelming mental juggle of "am I getting the best deal for my ___." In the blank, fill in words like time, money, caffeine intake, food consumption, sleep hours, tweets, etc. The humorous part is, due to my indecision or waste of time thinking about it, I do exactly that; waste time. I've been battling this and reconsidering why I think like I do, but really, I'm just doing the same thing. This neither a rant, nor is it going to develop in to one; however, I AM trying to thrust your brain in to 3rd gear. I want to share with you a post that really hit home. It made me think....IN A PRODUCTIVE WAY. Sorry for the caps, just defending myself.

I saw something about it in a tweet from Chuck @charlesriccardi, but decided I would wait until I went through recent friend blog post. Then, BOOM, it was commented on my friend, Johnny @jschrep. He posted a lot of good stuff, and seeing as he's practically my digital mentor, I HAD to expedite my reading Chuck's post.

Please check out this post. I promise its good stuff, especially for anyone like us 3, mid-20s and pondering Life.

I am pleased to introduce, Chuck:

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Monday, September 6, 2010

I Just Want Simplicity

This past week, I have been greeted with two new platforms to like/friend/follow on top of my already overloaded assortment.  Keeping up with MY OWN social media and blogs is hard enough, especially when added to checking out ALL of my "friend's" endless stream of personality-defining data.  Being a digital native is a full time job.  Last week, Apple decided to throw another course in to the already gluttonous meal that I try to digest daily.  Now I should monitor my web community's music interests?  I swear, if Chipotle or Starbucks comes out with a social media platform, where I get to see every burrito or drink that my friends are consuming, I'm going to yell....or just tweet "ahjsdfkjajsdklfalk ahsdlfkhaslkdfjlaks kjahsdf;l kjas~~~!!!!!"  


I have a novel idea that I wish someone could create for me.  Just for me, since I know no one else has the problem mentioned above. 


How about you take the platform of Google Reader, but allow me to uber-customize it for all my social media, with expandable folders/tabs that are my feeds.  Take the folders and pretend that each is Facebook, Twitter, Ping, LinkedIn, blogs, Google Buzz, and of course the google reader news feeds I already use. Then, you could customize it with folders that highlight specific Facebook friends, organized in groups, Twitter groups, pictures, comments, etc.

And while you are at it, include the options of two OR three columns.  I was too lazy to photoshop my examples in, so use your imagination.  




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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Twitter's Undiscovered Utility

I say it is undiscovered, yet I picked up this idea from my WWW BFF(Yes, that's world wide web best friend forever. go ahead. laugh. we're comfortable with our relationship.).  Dave mentioned that he was setting up a new twitter account, as a blog/space to jot things down, and my first remark was "When are you going to follow me?"  I figured he wanted to make an account, untied to his normal stream of friends, as a channel to vent, ponder, and express other thoughts, but this was not his strategy.  He said he wasn't going to follow me or anyone for that matter, and he was going to protect his tweets.

Well, that's weird.  

Actually, its insanely smart.  He's not using it as social media; in contrast, he's using it as the ultimate notepad.  He can log on from anywhere: mobile, work, home, or anywhere web accessible.  Thoughts, questions, observations, things that pick his brain, to-do lists, notes, etc. are all simply saved with a little 140char tweet.  You have mobile apps that have web and notepad-style functionality, but he's already in the habit of checking twitter...frequently.  

Pretty clever, or so I think; moreover, he found a second utility of something he already uses.

Nice work @dmbcalvert


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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fruit vs Vegetables

Instead of going to a Farmer’s Market or grocery store for my fruits and veggies this morning, I dropped in AT&T and Verizon shops. I’ve been debating for quite a few weeks on the pros and cons of AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ), without much success in establishing an ultimate victor. What a frustrating debate. Two years ago, it was clear(to me) that the iPhone 3G trumped all phones, at least all phones in the market that I admired. Recently, however, these robot phones and the powerhouse Google, decided to add 50 new variables to the mix. Thanks a lot Google (but say that line as Alan would say, “Thanks a lot Bin Laden.” If you don’t get this, we probably cannot be friends.).

I miss the Blackberry vs iPhone debate. #sad

These robots and their android software looks Incredible, wait, isn’t that the name of one of HTC’s robots? Odd. The diversity and slight differentiation of the heard of smart phones has become more grueling than picking a topic for a college research paper. Here’s MY stereotyping, and this helped a little:

iPhone 4 – That fun, cool kid in high school that hit up every party

Motorola Droid X – The stud athlete that is having a stellar season so far (Let’s just hope it doesn’t suffer the Madden Curse).

HTC Incredible – The smart kid that everyone likes, but is ½ step behind the party animal and captain of that sports team. “Guys, check out my keyboard!”

Motorola Droid – The extracurricular king. Need help with a project? “I have a keyboard too!”

Motorola Droid 2 – The new kid on the block. Who knows what they’ll be like, but my bet is a standout, with a keyboard. Might appeal to everyone?

Samsung Captivate – The new kid, hanging in the iPhone’s group. Who’s going to be top dog next semester? Seems fun and one of my AT&T reps pushed this pretty hard.

That debate, well, just sucks.

Next step, let’s analyze the services, maybe that’ll help me cut some fat. AT&T claims to cover 97% of the USA; however, my retail representative at Verizon commented to this statistic, saying, “That includes landlines.” I asked if that meant that if someone had AT&T for business, a home landline, and/or a mobile phone, if that counted as double or triple. Her response: a smile and a brief nod. Hmmmm… If that is true, those folks in the marketing department are getting more and more clever (I have not actual stat or fact to support this.). She was Incredibly helpful either way.

At AT&T (I went to two AT&T shops, but I won’t differentiate and confuse you.) my rep suggested, for better call quality, that I disable 3G and use EDGE. “You will still be able to use voicemail, but data may be slower,” she points out. I had to verify, because what was all the craziness about 3G and awesome calling when it came out a couple years ago?? Apparently this is true, verified at my second AT&T stop. I’m lost. Why have two networks, one superior at one task, the second the forerunner at the other? Ideas of [in]efficiency and logic are zipping around my potentially soon-to-implode brain. Am I missing something? Shouldn’t the focus be on the ULTIMATE network? Wasn’t 3G, a.k.a. 3rd Generation, suppose to be the next step in the awesomeness that is cellular phone service? Is this similar to saying let’s recruit a stud power forward to take this team to the next level, and we will pay stupid $$ millions to sign him; however, we’ll keep the old guy around because he’s better at...ESPN Classic?? Shouldn't this investment be to move the strategy forward? This is probably why I don't own the LA Lakers. (Side note: the Miami Heat could easily disprove this thought overthe next couple of seasons.)

Verizon’s service seems solid, right? I don’t know. I don’t have it, but people that do like to chuckle(or is it chortle?) whenI drop a call OR when I pull the [Verizon] “can you hear me now??” I actually was talking to a friend, who works for Verizon, and when I called them back…after my call was dropped, I didn’t receive a “Hello/Hey/What’s up?” No, upon accepting my call, all I heard was “hahahahaha.” Jerk. Oh the little things in life.

Price: for unlimited, about the same. That doesn’t help.

Music: Android software(maybe the Droid phone) converts iTunes music in to mp3 when loaded to phone.

Camera: All great. Captivate cannot record HD video(didn't ask on a couple). iPhone has face-side camera as well.

Contacts: Android syncs with Google contacts. iPhone with Address Book on Mac(Google contacts on Windows?).

Service: 3G (or EDGE...)

Screen: Big and crisp all around. What is the marginal benefit if the screen is better than my eye can actually process? Zero?

Included: Standard chargers, but I already have car charger and extra chargers for iPhone (about $20-30 for car charger?).

It’s coming down to which fruit or vegetable do I like. The Android software is full of social-aiding minerals and vitamins, but an Apple-a-day keeps the doctor away. After all, most of my techie toys are fruits. Maybe I should stick to simplicity and consistency. Then soon enough, my mom will be Facetiming me to ask why I don’t call as much as I “should.” #Awesome.

What do I choose? Apple (fruit) or a Droid (vegetable - whatever, vegetables have minerals. Robots are made of metal; minerals. Use the transitive property of addition.)?

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Get/Got Punked

What makes you like to run errands?  Anything?  I'm not a fan, especially after a mentally draining day doing the work thing.  However, there are a help places I enjoy visiting.  You may know the first couple; coffee shops, bookstores, Chipotle, and REI.  The other end of the spectrum includes liquor stores (judgement is always passed on your purchase), grocery stores (temptation everywhere), movie rental stores(now obsolete), and automobile-related places(always $$$). With that being said, I dedicate this post to a great dude, who works at Firestone Complete Auto Care on Forest Lane @ Greenville, in Dallas.  


As I said, today was mentally draining. I would tell you more, but I can't/don't want to freshen the memory.  Leave work, think, I need to get my tires rotated. Cue iPhone 3G (NOT 4...sad) Maps feature.  BOOM. There is one near work.  Quick side note, when you buy tires from Firestone, they give you "free" tire rotations for the life of those tires. I quote 'free', because tires are EXPENSIVE, and it's not like they are super important or anything.  Upon completion of the rotational service the talented employees preformed, "Mr. Watson, you're car is ready."  Sweet.  Let's blow this joint.  "Ok, that'll be $354.76."  I froze, would have stuttered if I could think of words fast enough, and had the standard "What the..." shock look all over my profoundly confused face.  3 long seconds later, laughing "I'm just kidding. I got you man.  You should have seen your face."  Giving this a few seconds of my own to sink in, I joined the laughing sesh.  


If you know me, you should realize that I appreciated this.  What any awesomely punk move to make.  Naturally I thanked him for breaking up the flat-lining mood of the day and told him I respected his move.  


The relation of this event to my blog trend: my day took a turn toward the pondering world.  It's the little actions and comments that make me appreciate that event.  Obviously this move wouldn't work if you were a Congressman and told the US public that this bill was going to cost $12 trillion, the threw out the "HAHA GOT YOU!" 

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Friday, July 2, 2010

Participate, don't be passive.

I'm doing the straight hipster move of chillin' in a Starbucks (FREE WIFI!, ok, I'm not really that excited, but its new, sooo why not), hangin' out on my MacBook. Word. Here's the kicker. I'm sporting a Geek Squad shirt. This is the key point to this post. I'm not doing a post about what I'm doing, but I'm taking a new approach to People Watching (capital letters on purpose).

Laugh away.

People Watching, which is easily the greatest activity in airports, coffee shops, during break periods on campus, and pretty much anywhere, is awesome. That's it. What better to do than guess conversations or thoughts or even the story of why Victim X how they are at that moment.

To the point. I rambled, sorry. I'm wearing this shirt, because everyone that walks in to order and does the casual look around notices the shirt. They look/stare longer, and you know they want to ask for help on a reoccurring issue at home/work. Boom. I just participated. Why just be passive, when you can launch the experience to a new threshold?

Ideas for improvement:

How can you set the stage?

Add props?

Wear a rainbow, clown wig.

How about set yourself up to be People Watched. Why not? If you can get people to start wondering "What the hell is HE doing??" Then you have just warmed up the playing field. They're bound to act different. Wear boots, with athletic shorts and a button down (This is actually a personal favorite wardrobe set-up).

OR my current favorite People Watching set-up: At White Rock Lake on Sundays, on the West side, there is a couple that sets up a "Free Advice" area, complete with extra chairs and wisdom. I'm dumb for not stopping by, but think about this one. They get to People Watch, and at some point, they get to solve the daunting (a dude just wandered over to me starring at the shirt, but when I looked up and looked preoccupied, he walked away. Sad.) mystery of "What is that person's story?", because they actually get to talk with Victim X. And, they get to People Watch hundreds drifting around the lake: those Lance Armstrong biker gangs, dog walkers, silly-loner bikers like me, and families(always good).

There you go. Mix it up a bit. Get it shaken, not stirred.

I think I rambled again. Cool. By the way, that's really how my thoughts work...interrupted and tangent-filled.

</end post> (like that HTML bit??)

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Thinking, differently.

There are many, many thinks that make me pause (at least mentally) and ponder over.  

Why do keys still go in to the steering column on many autos?  

Why ado those very sophisticated business card holders/name plates in offices always accompanied by terrible pens (note below)?  

Why don't more vehicles use electric motors in the wheels, which could eliminate heavy transmissions, drive shafts, and axles?

Why do aiding countries expect the conversion of a recently tyrant-removed country to become cleanly and efficiently democratic in 10 years?  It took the USA...well, 234 years and counting to be "efficient."  That is not including the pre-revolutionary years of colonial America.

When will there be a Spice Girls reunion?

Why aren't velcro shoes more prevalent? You don't have to tie anything...


Why don't more people use frisbee's as plates????  Upside down, obviously, a frisbee has a ridge, preventing spills, and its easy to clean.  Even more, all it takes is a baby wipe, and that bad boy is ready to throw around.  This boggles my mind daily.


On to a more defined bunch of thoughts...

How come the creativity of people remains within them?  I took a road trip from Dallas to Minneapolis, and stopping at multiple Chipotle's, I created the defended of guacamole. The hero is covered in medieval-era, metal armor and wields the nemesis of delicious meals everywhere; a fork.

My sister took a trip to Paris with some friends, and check out the fun treats she brought home.  Now, I'll be brief with this one.  Drinking wine out of a straw, yeah, no so great.  But the idea highlights the real excitement here.  Picnicking on a glass-free beach? Problem solved.

My only comment is "Who needs Frosty, when you can hang out with this T-Rex?"  Busch Lights optional.

This is a start. I've started to write notes in one of my Moleskins.  (Keeps the topics fresh)

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Viola the Tiger

I am a cube rat these days, and if you know me pretty well, you'll understand it when I suggest that my attention and attitude are not designed for tiny, plain areas. This being said, I have made it my daily mission to bring some light and laughs to our dismal office space we call the "Dungeon." A 10 second background on Viola: She is ALWAYS great. Me: "Viola how are you today?"
V: "Great!"

You get the point. Meaning the only way to really know how her day/weekend/etc. has been is to infer the number of 'r's' in 'great.' Leading me to create this for her the other night. It's neatly posted on her cube wall for all to see. I hope I didn't make too many copyright infringements....Oh well.

With out any further delay, Viola the Tiger:

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