My flickr pictures

Thursday, September 28, 2006

To Be a Highschooler Again...

Last night I was shopping at one of my favorite grocery stores, Byerly's, when I saw a group of young guys fully decked out in lacrosse gear walk by my aisle. I mean full-on gear: pads, sticks, jerseys, helmets--the works. I stared open mouthed in confusion, and then a few seconds later a guy with a video camera followed. Ahhhh -- high schoolers.

The moment was a mix of two movie scenes for me: 1. the scene from Garden State, where Zach Braff's character wakes up on the couch after a night of partying to see a medieval knight walking around the kitchen; and 2. the scene from Strange Brew where the McKenzie brothers are walking around the brewery in futuristic-looking hockey uniforms.

I guess you just had to be there.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Krusher Kowalski

Stan "The Krusher" Kowalski spoke today at my company's United Way kick-off meeting. He's definitely not as nimble as he used to be, but he's still got a lot of life in him. He takes giving back to the community very seriously, and it showed during his passionate speech. So serious in fact, that he let us all know we were just one incident away from "getting up on the high bridge". He didn't explicitly say what would happen once we were up on that bridge, but he definitely hinted that it would involve jumping off, and resulting in a not-so-lively outcome.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Disc Golf, Heee-Heee

As I was leaving work tonight I was surprised to see young professionals in my company playing disc golf out on our campus lawn. Being a fan of the sport myself, I stepped outside to see what was going on. It turned out to be a Newcomer's Club sponsored event, complete with free discs stamped with a picture of the Doughboy from Gotta Go Gotta Throw.

I played a couple rounds, and was impressed by two things:
  1. the layout of the course. It was actually pretty good.
  2. the quality of the grass that blankets our campus. I'm talking top notch stuff. I think we should get into the sod business or something, because it was plush. I'm sure having a perfectly manicured green space adds shareholder value, right?

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Dumb and Dumber?

The weather in Minneapolis tonight was a chilly 58 degrees and raining. So what would a group of young, educated, and semi-intelligent men do? Play soccer. Yes--outside. Why? I don't know. But it was fun.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'll Take One of Each

A good question was recently posted in reference to the marriage and pistol license pictures uploaded to my Flickr account. What was I doing at the Dekalb County Courthouse do you ask? But more importantly, why was I looking for a marriage and/or pistol license?

My friend Tyler was getting married in Georgia, and went to the courthouse with his fiancee to get their marriage license. Reliving the trip, he commented, "I kept teasing Michelle that we should at least get a pistol license too, since we were already there. She was significantly less amused than I was."

After he moved on to Chicago, he asked me if I would do him a favor and take a picture of the signs, so they could be documented along with all of their other wedding memorabilia.

In his own words:
I just love the idea of walking up to the counter and stating, "Hi. We're lookin' to get hitched...and uh, do we got to get in a separate line for the pistol license or can we do that now too?"

God Bless the South.

Monday, September 18, 2006

If I Were an Engineer for Apple...

...I would design a wireless adapter for the iPod. Apple already has a product called the AirPort Express with AirTunes. It allows you to wirelessly transmit your iTunes music to any stereo --not only is it a great product, but it is perfect for DJing parties as well. The only problem is if your computer isn't centrally located, you will be constantly running back and forth managing your playlist (you may be asking yourself, why not just create a playlist and leave it? My answer to that is then you wouldn't be a very good DJ then, would you?).

So what if your iPod could wirelessly read your computer's music library? (for you techies out there, I was thinking you could just sync your library's XML file) You could zip through your entire iTunes library in the palm of your hand from any room, and cue up that perfect song with one quick thumb tap.

Outside grilling and want to put on some U2? Just pull out your iPod. At the dinner table and the music is just a hair too mellow? Sneak your iPod out of your pocket and cue up some Jack Johnson. Just chilling and want to listen to a jazz-trio cover of Iron Man? You know what to do...

Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Sign?

I just got back from Iowa a few minutes ago. I had gone down with some coworkers to present to ISU students what it is like working in IT for my company.

This morning I had a few minutes to spare, so I headed over to the Ames cemetery to see my friend Katie, and wish her a happy (belated -- she would have turned 27 yesterday) birthday. I smiled upon arrival when I saw a few Happy Birthday balloons flapping in the wind, anchored to some flowers and small gifts.

I stood there for a while, not really thinking about anything, but just staring down and enjoying in that moment (as much as I could) the beautiful sunny day. I was getting pretty sad, and decided to squat down close to the ground.

The wind this entire time was blowing away from me, toward the east. But the second I knelt down close to her grave, the wind changed direction and one of the Happy Birthday balloons smacked me right on the head. The next second, the wind changed back and was blowing east again. I started laughing out loud and a large smile crept across my face. I think it was Katie's way of saying "hi".

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Big Moo

I just finished reading The Big Moo, edited by Seth Godin. It consisted of 33 anecdotal stories on how to remarkabalize your organization. I don't know about you, but I couldn't find "remarkabalize" in the Oxford English Dictionary. It makes me think of all the crappy buzzwords (and mis-spoken buzzwords) out there that my friends and I like to poke fun "strategerize".

Yet amazingly enough, people eat this stuff up. According to The Big Moo's website, the book was a Wall Street Journal Top Ten Bestseller in its first week in print. All the proceeds from the book go to charity, so maybe that's why people are buying it. Either that, or Tony Robbins is promoting the book as part of his find-the-inner-winner seminars.

I wouldn't recommend the book, but I did like one chapter, titled "Where do Ideas Come From?" The basic idea was to get out of your comfort zone in order to discover new ideas. Love football? Take a dance class. Like steak? Try eating as a vegetarian for a week. Are you an environmentalist? Read Guns & Ammo. I think you get the point.

Now go out there and strategerize!

ATL, Georgia

I went down to Atlanta this past weekend to celebrate Lauren's upcoming birthday. It was a very welcome break from reality and recent events, as we had a great time hitting up our favorite haunts (Decatur CD, Bab's, Taqueria del Sol, etc.). I had a lot of time to think today, between taking MARTA (itSMARTA!), chilling at Java Monkey, and waiting at the airport.

I've realized that when I have time to think, I find myself with a lot to say. Or in this case, write. There is a ever-growing list of topics I'd like to blog about, but don't find the time to share. That may be surprising because I'm a fairly quiet guy. I'm guessing the creative/analytical/imaginative side of my brain shuts down when I open my mouth. Go figure.

Anyway, I think I'm going to start a routine "If I were a [blank], I would do [this]" posting to capture my random ideas. Think of them as sort of mad-scientist journal entries. That way when a similar idea is actually acted upon and is part of our society I'll look back and say my favorite phrase in the English language: "I shoulda". It will be very therapeutic I'm sure.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Life isn't Fair

I helped bury one of my best friends yesterday.

I know that's a shocking statement, but that's exactly the way I feel -- shocked. Katie was and will always be one of my favorite people on this earth. She had a smile that would light up a whole room, that cheerleader perkiness that you couldn't help but laugh at, and an amazingly bright and open mind.

I was honored to be one of her pallbearers. Emotionally, it was the most difficult thing I've ever done. I couldn't contain myself walking out of the church, hand on her casket. I simply broke down. Afterwards, I kept asking myself "Why?", and thought to myself that I didn't want to go through that again for a very, very long time.

I hope Katie was watching us gather in her honor. I think she would have been so happy seeing the turnout. I just wish I could have told her one more time how much respect I had for her, and how much I appreciated her and her friendship. I can't stress enough how great she was.

Katie and her husband, John Milleman, were on their way to Iowa to join their families in celebrating their 1-year anniversary. The car accident happened on September 2nd -- one day shy of their wedding date.

We all love you Katie.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Dentures, Part 3

I apologize for this long-overdue posting. I’m sure you’ve been waiting on the edge of our seat to see what would come of the Affordable Dentures saga. (If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you may want to do your homework and read my previous posts).

It was my very last day of work in Covington, and I knew that it was now or never. Admittedly, I was nervous about the task at hand; but gosh darn it, I was going to follow through. The closest I had come to any physical interaction was the drive-by, and even then I was nervous. I kept thinking to myself, “What if they are on to me? What if they chase after me in their beat-up old trucks, weathered confederate flags flapping in the wind? What if they bite me with there brand new (yet affordable!) fake pearly whites?”

This was the risk I was willing to take – for you, for me, and for our freedom. I was going to solve the mystery of Affordable Dentures.

I drove down Interstate 20, camera, pen, notepad, and ball cap in the seat next to me. I was wearing shorts, a college-looking t-shirt, and flip flops. The customers waiting outside Affordable Dentures would never suspect that I wasn’t a Georgia State student, swinging by to write an article for my journalism class.

As I passed Conyers, I practiced my lines in my head. I didn’t want to show up and be a bumbling idiot. I tried to think up a fake name too. I’m pretty bad at fake names. I always seem to take a famous person’s first name, and a different star’s last name. So I end up with something like Tom Elway, or James Hefner. I’m not too creative in that department.

It was about 7:45am as I drove past Affordable Dentures on the interstate. I was happy to see a healthy line of people waiting outside. I took the next exit and pulled off into a gas station parking lot. I put on my hat and took out my camera to check its settings. If I ended up having only one opportunity for a close-up shot, I wanted it to be a good one.

At last, it was go time.

The only problem…there was nothing to go on. I pulled into the Affordable Dentures parking lot just in time to see the last person queuing outside walk in the door. They had just opened up for business, and I had just lost my line of interviewees.

But don’t fret. Although I didn’t unravel the mystery, nor take a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, my father came to the rescue when he sent me this: