Saturday, March 25, 2006

Teaching An Old Airdog New Tricks

Do you ever get that nagging feeling in the back of your head that you haven't punished yourself enough lately? Last night I got that feeling big time, so I hit the slopes with my cousin and uncle to take on snowboarding.

I'm sure most of you are snowboarding champs, but this was my first time. I never thought it was humanly possible to take as many unintentional face plants as I did. I now know differently. It is a little humiliating to watch an 8 year old kid catch air on a jump while I'm doing my best not to catch an edge.

After about an hour and a half of bunny hill action and tail bone destruction, I was able to do some basic cutting back and forth, but still not very aggressively. I was feeling pretty good, so I figured I'd take on a real hill with the rest of the group. We went down a fairly straight path down the front of the hill, and I was feeling like a rock star, only one fly swatter! The next time, we took the back path, and it curved right the whole way down, which meant I had to ride my front edge for the majority of the trip. That is when things got ugly. Nearly every 50 feet I was on my knees and wrists. Ouch. Towards the end I felt like I was really starting to get the hang of it, but I have a little bit of work left to do.

For those of you who have never done it, I was surprised at how much more fun snowboarding is than skiing. At least on a recreational level, snowboarding seemed to be much more technical, with balance and foot control much more important than in skiing. There is a common misconception (I had it myself) that snowboarding is much like skateboarding or wakeboarding. The balance and turning in each of these is much different than snowboarding. The dynamics of traveling on a slanted surface along with the difficulty of cutting into hard snow or ice as compared to water or ball bearings makes getting down the hill a much more challenging experience. It is the challenge though that makes it all worth it.

A time or two more and I have a feeling I'll be feeling pretty confident out there.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

One Year

I just realized this month makes one year that I have been blogging. Since my first post I met the most wonderful girl, did some traveling (Atlanta, California, Kansas City, and New York), did some nutty dancing, and started up again with school. If I would have known all that all of this would happen so shortly after blogging, I would have started much earlier ;-)

Thanks everyone for a great first year of blogging! I hope this has been as interesting and helpful for you as it has been for me!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Matching Time To Values

I was reminded again today, by two different people regarding two different situations, about the importance to be keenly aware your values and to structure your life and time commitments around them. Lately I don't think I have done as good a job of that as I could. I know I've posted on this topic before but, it is always good to have a reality check from time to time.


To my surprise, I learned that today was the start of the NCAA tourney and the bracket that I am in. I'm guessing a key part to having fun with this sort of thing is paying attention to what is going on. Having never cared enough to pay attention to the event in the past, this requires serious effort.

How do you guys keep up with this stuff? I suppose the standard way is to watch the games, read the articles, and check the scores, but I'm having a hard time understanding where the entertainment aspect comes into that. It must be a lot like cigarettes, coffee, or Splenda, an acquired taste.

We'll see if I can acquire it.

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Weekend's NYC Trip

The blinds. They taunted me. They mocked me. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but this was the third trip I've attempted to hang blinds in my girlfriend's appartment. Her ceiling is made of cement, which proved quite difficult to screw or drill into. They resisted every effort I made to put them up from requiring a drill to requiring masonry bits and finally screw mounts. Well, they couldn’t continue to stand up to my efforts, and they are now successfully hanging in her windows! It only took 3 trips to NYC to get all the proper tools in the proper place, but it is done!

This trip I had the opportunity to ride the famous “Staten Island Ferry” from Manhattan to Staten Island. I was surprised to learn the ferry is free, about the only free thing available in NYC. The ferry runs near the Statue of Liberty and provides a great view of the statue from the water. I had been to the Statue about 7 years ago, but it is a completely different feel seeing it as those who came in to Ellis Island would have seen it. I understand how the site of it would be so welcoming after such a long voyage at sea.

If we would have planned initially on going to Staten Island I would have done a little research to see what there was to do/see while there. From what I could tell, it was nothing but residential and minimal business, almost a suburb. There are plenty of New York trips left, so if we ever get back to the island I hope to be more prepared.

Only In New York

New York continues to surprise me. Saturday night I went out with my girlfriend and a few of her work friends for a drink at The Stone Rose. The place had great atmosphere, and was exactly the James Bondish type place you would expect a New York bar to be. Almost everything was in classic New York black. The chairs were black, the table tops were black, the waitresses were wearing black, and most of the customers were dressed in black, many in suits. I came in a white striped dress shirt and jeans, but I figure underdressed is my style.

We had a wonderful time chatting, laughing, the whole bit, all in all a pleasant experience. After we paid the bill however the waitress came back and asked us if there was a problem with the service. After saying no, she asked again, and again we said no. Then she asked again. Apparently she didn’t think we tipped enough and wasn’t shy about saying so. Granted they weren’t the 3-4 dollar drinks you would find in a regular city, but how much are you suppose to tip someone to bring you a single drink? And even if she thought we were too cheap, why on earth would it be necessary to keep beating the point? Only in New York!


You'’ve heard that one? Ok, well how about this:

A guy books a flight for 8:00 a.m., with hopes of getting back to the office by noon. Bad weather comes in and the flight is pushed to 11:30. He isn't happy, but deals with it. A few hours later the 11:30 flight is also canceled and he gets put on the 1:30, so much for getting to work at a decent time. Well, this guy finally lands at 3:30 after a three hour flight, only to wait a full 2 hours for his luggage. Yes, at this point is officially a bad day. A 11.5 hour travel day for a 3 hour flight.

No, I didn't forget the punchline, there wasn't one. In any event, it wasn't long ago, approximately 3 months ago, that I said to someone that I actually enjoyed flying. If you hold that same belief, you obviously haven'’t flown enough yet. After today I have now flown enough.

Monday, March 06, 2006

School Update - David Gets A Big Head

I'm sure at least 2 of you are wondering how school (my marketing class) has been going. I have good news: school is going great! After I nailed my first paper, my confidence in the class hit an all time high. Not to brag, but paper #2, due this Wednesday, is set to be a sequel worth remembering.

I think I'm starting to figure this grad school thing out a lot better. I'm not saying I know what I'm doing, far from it, but at least I'm not drowning in ignorance anymore. I can actually concoct logical arguments around course subject material and demonstrate knowledge in an easy to understand way.

The class is split into teams, each working on a different presentation related to a marketing topic, and my team is smokin'. While we all have different ideas about what a good presentation should look like, we are able to get our work done on time (well, every team has that 1 guy) for group meetings and are willing to put in the extra effort. Much better work ethic than even my senior level undergraduate teams.

So, if you happen to have some markets that need segmenting or some groups that need focusing, let me know. I'm a trained and dangerous!


Stop me if you've heard this one.

A guy brings his car into the shop with engine trouble. The mechanic says, "No problem, we just need to replace this one part and you will be on your way!" After hearing the estimate, the man is a little taken back, but reluctantly agrees to move forward with the proposed work. A day after the work is complete the check engine light comes on and the owner of the vehicle realizes that nothing has been fixed. He goes back to the mechanic. The mechanic says, "No problem, we just need to replace this one part and you will be on your way!" After hearing the estimate, the man is enraged, is able to get the repairs done for 1/2 of parts and free labor, and walks away swearing to never do business with said mechanic again.

Yeah, last week hurt.