August 29, 2009

Wakeboarding & Minnesota Summers

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 4:32 pm

For the first time in about four years, I was treated to a wakeboarding expedition on Forest Lake with a few coworkers. The guy with the lake lot owns a Malibu boat, I didn’t ask which model, but it was NICE. It had a full ballast system and the wake was the biggest I’ve yet seen or ridden.

As a youth, my bread and butter consisted of videogames and wakeboarding (kneeboarding initially evolved into it, never learned how to ski). Videogames just aren’t that interesting to me anymore. I don’t know when it happened, but it now feels like a large waste of time. Nothing really comes out of it. I still dig playing coops and Street Fighter 4, but can’t get down with most everything else. Case in point: I’ve had Resident Evil 5 for months and haven’t attempted passing the second stage. That is one of the best games on earth and I can’t seem to muster enough time and energy to enjoy it properly. Wack, eh?

Wakeboarding the other day was nothing like it. The rush and enjoyment I get out of being on the lake in the sunshine knows no bounds. It’s my youth. And now I’m feverishly day dreaming about getting a Super Air Nautique 230. Soon. Before a house. That’s very likely a poor financial decision, all things considered. But I don’t care. BTW the difference between an average boat and a nicer wakeboarding boat is absolutely immense. With enough time and inherent talent on a good/great rig, many people could be doing the same tricks pros do. Plus, it’s luxurious. Huge motors and sound systems mixed with comfortable seating for eight people equals good times.

People that don’t get a chance to be out on the lakes during Minnesota summers are missing the boat. Yeah. It’s the absolute best thing about living here. And I intend to spend my aging years tugging around friends on Lake Ida and eventually some spot closer to the Minneapolis area.



LULS @ Wikipedia!

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 4:10 pm

I was reading this awesome page on common misconceptions and witnessed the fallacy of an open Wiki page:


  • Warts on human skin are caused by viruses that are unique to humans (Human papillomavirus). Humans cannot catch warts from toads or other animals; the bumps on a toad are not warts.[68]
  • The claim[69] that a duck‘s quack does not echo is false, although the echo may be difficult to hear for humans under some circumstances.[70]
  • The notion that goldfish have a memory of only three seconds is completely false.[71][72] They have been trained to navigate mazes and can recognize their owners after an exposure of a few months.[73][74]
  • Lemmings do not engage in mass suicidal dives off cliffs when migrating. They will, however, occasionally, and unintentionally fall off cliffs when venturing into unknown territory, with no knowledge of the boundaries of the environment. The misconception is due largely to the Disney film White Wilderness, which shot many of the migration scenes (also staged by using multiple shots of different groups of lemmings) on a large, snow-covered turntable in a studio. Photographers later pushed the lemmings off a cliff.[75][76]
  • Bats are not blind. While most bat species do use echolocation to augment their vision, all bats have eyes and are capable of sight.[77][78][79]
  • Mammal blood is bright red or scarlet when oxygenated and a darker red when not oxygenated. It is never blue. Veins appear blue through the skin because of differential absorption of wavelengths of the blood’s color by the overlying skin and flesh.[80]
  • My balls are huge.
  • It’s a common myth that an earthworm become two worms when cut in half. This is not correct.[81] An earthworm can survive being bisected, but only the front half of the worm (where the mouth is located) can survive, while the other half dies.[82] On the other hand, species of the planaria family of flatworms actually do become two new planaria when bisected or split down the middle.[citation needed]
  • According to urban myth, the Daddy Long-Legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) is the most venomous spider in the world, but it is harmless to humans because its fangs cannot penetrate human skin. This is false as Pholcus phalangioides can pierce human skin, however, the toxicity of this spider’s venom has just a weak effect on insects, let alone humans.[83] In addition, there is also confusion regarding the use of the name “Daddy Long Legs”, because Harvestmen (order Opiliones, which are not spiders) and crane flies (which are insects) are also commonly referred to as Daddy Long Legs, and share (also incorrectly) the myth of venomousness.[84][85]

August 25, 2009

Your People Are Your Brand

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 1:22 am

Marketing folks are an odd lot. Some of us are eccentric, some flamboyant, some methodical, some factual, some salespeople, some happy go lucky and some competitive. There are many different personality types in a multitude of industries.

Certain personality traits are valuable in marketing. Outgoing, gregarious individuals do well for themselves. You HAVE to be able to sell yourself. If you can’t sell yourself, you can’t sell anything. Despite that prerequisite, there are different personality needs for different brands.

Important: If you were running a company, who would you choose to market it?

This question is proportional in importance to the number of people in the company OR the number of people directing marketing. What I mean by that is that a CMO MUST be skilled and have the personality type needed for your organization to thrive, given that the company operates hierarchically. So the levity of the question is higher for that position. The importance scales to other marketers in the organization, but it’s most important at the top.

Conversely, a small business must place similar importance on each employee. Any one employee may have the ability to single-handedly make or break a start up. If they are the only person running the register, the only person answering the phone, the only person working there; they are the business. They are the brand.

Your people are your brand, in their personalities and especially the actions they take.  Choose wisely.  To those people working as marketers (read: anyone working), remember that your actions are what people see the company as.

August 22, 2009

Specialists & Multi-taskers

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 3:53 am

Some employees do one thing really well.  Some do a lot of things well.  There is a certain thought process in the market that if you are a multi-tasker, you can’t be the best in the world at any one thing.  But there’s also something to the idea that you can be the best in the world at working for a company that needs a lot of things done well.

It may not be a great strategy if you want to climb corporate ladders.  I think the specialists are more apt to achieve those ends.  Still, if you want to grow with one company (likely a smaller company), making yourself needed and valuable can be achieved easily by doing a lot of things well.  In fact, I’d argue that small businesses thrive due to a few select individuals who outperform on a bevy of tasks.

“Big Iron” companies aren’t looking for that.  They have specified roles.  Attempting to go above and beyond can be construed as stepping on other peoples’ toes for personal gain.  It’s all very contextual.  Peep the context.

August 8, 2009

The Difference Between Wily and Daffy

Filed under: Personal Branding, Philosophy, Random — Robert John Ed @ 5:43 pm

There is a huge (HUGE) difference between being wily and daffy.  Eccentric people are often viewed as the latter when they may well be the former.  I think it stems from the fact that many can’t actually understand eccentricity.  So they view eccentric people as “out there.”  They will label them as insipid or even crazy.  Yet some of the most misunderstood people are the truly gifted.

The reason this is coming up is the importance of personalities within businesses and life in general.  I’ve met a lot of people in work and in school, and the majority are pretty darn smart.  They know what they are doing and bring a lot to the table.  Their personality is the sticking point.  If ability is table stakes, then personality and likability are the true differentiators.  They’re a wild card, because different situations and teams merit different personality traits.  The key is adaptability, can you blend into the crowd when needed?  Can you stand out from the crowd as necessary?  Can avoid the crowd completely if that’s the best option?

Really interesting people, to me, are often “out there.”  I’m very much out there, and it’s fun.  Life inside the lines is pretty boring, and it can be really poor marketing.  This isn’t to say everything you do should be avant garde or blatantly deter from a beaten path.  It shouldn’t.  Yet something there is to the person who isn’t afraid to do things differently.  To be something completely new and remarkable, even in the little things.  Those people are cited as daffy by some, when in all truth, they may well be wily after all.  You’d be well put to investigate people fully before appraising their worth.


July 29, 2009

Whoa Nelly. Summer is Flying By.

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 10:39 pm

By the beard of Zeus?!  Summer is going, going gone, baby, ghandi–Mahatma style.  All benevolent and whatnot.

Turns out I’ll be working an extra two weeks at my internship, which is the teh awesome.  Still, I can’t help but feel this is ultimately the fastest summer I’ve ever experienced.  Quite possibly one of the best aside from my adolescent meandering with little to no responsibilities or concerns.  Frankly, life is good.  Great coworkers and fellow interns.  Fun weekends and an incredible experience overall.

Tonight I’m going to watch the Twins sweep the Chicago White Sox (ultimately my second or third hated team on the planet after the Yankees and potentially the Packers) in a sky suite!  Gravy.

Time to write has been somewhat low, but a lot of my inactivity stems from outdoor jubilation acquisition.  Tradeoffs.  It’s all about the tradeoffs.  We’ll catch up soon.  Promise.

July 14, 2009

UFC 100

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 12:23 am

Watched the UFC 100 event on Saturday downtown.  During one of the vicious knockouts, it struck me.  The replay was showing a combatant who had knocked the other out and jumped down to hit him one last gruesome time across the skull.  All of a sudden, the Roman Colosseum came to mind, with thousands of onlookers cheering or jeering someone with the misfortune to in the ring.

Today, the combatants aren’t slaves, but well paid misanthropes with a chip on their shoulder.  I wonder at human nature sometimes.  Can it be suppressed at all?  Or do we just give it a new name?

June 29, 2009

Sunday Summary

Filed under: Blog Explanations, Random — Robert John Ed @ 2:25 am

It seems like the last few weeks the only time I’ve had to write is later on Sundays, when a great deal has already transpired.  I cook a bunch of meals for the upcoming work week (usually chicken and veggies), do dishes, try to get some writing in and read before sleeping.  There’s never enough time.  Keeping some cadence to thought process and writing is important, and this last month was the lowest in terms of output since I started this blog over a year ago.  I’ll work on that.

I’m listening to Plans by Death Cab right now, I’ve been wanting some new music for a time.  Went to Cheapo and everything is incredibly expensive, all of the CDs I want are $16 and I’m just not OK with that when I can order them online for a solid discount off of that pricing.  I went in expecting to buy Solid Gold, Yeasayer and a few other things but instead walked out with DCFC and a New Pornographers disc, Twin Cinema. Oh and a Saddle Creek sampler.  So instead of getting to listen to new artists, I’m filling in the backdrop of some older favorites.  The good thing about Death Cab is that you always know what you’re getting and it’s usually quite good.

This weekend was spent in Cross Lake, MN.  Once per year all of my friends from high school get together out of town for a weekend of debauchery and high jinx.  As always, it was a really good time.  It’s fun to see everybody doing their own thing and building their lives.  We all have different paths, but it’s great that we can catch up once a year; hopefully it continues on even when people are having families and additional responsibilities.  Lately the long term keeps jumping into my head, and it seems like a transformative stage.  I can’t quite put a finger on it at this point, and struggle to devise a moniker for much ado about nothing, but perspectives and importance weighting are altering, for the better methinks.

Finally, the I watched this documentary on the division in America due to politics.  It was a good documentary, although there isn’t a poignant ending, much like the political discussions we have today.  I’d recommend it.  The inability for people to have lively and diplomatic discourse on topic matters regarding the government is really disappointing to me.  We need to discuss everything, and we have to have rational thought processes behind our reasoning in those discussions…with open minds yet behind those.  In upcoming posts, I’ll try to have more cogent information on topical pieces and not such a mish mash of random things.  Sorry.  Hope everyone had fun this weekend.

June 24, 2009

Supersize Me! (No Thanks.)

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 3:30 am

So last night I watched Supersize Me on Hulu.  If you don’t use Hulu, you should consider it.  It’s a free television service provided by large networks in efforts to combat Youtube and other net video services that don’t allow the networks to monetize their content.  It’s well done and easy to use.

The movie really seemed to develop groundswell a few years ago five years ago!  Time flies, wow.  I haven’t eaten fast food regularly since being in high school, though I do have a Chipotle fetish.  When your young, bullets bounce of you and ten feet is average height.  But something funny happens in college, you realize that you are getting fat.  I ate the equivalent of fast food by subsisting on frozen pizza and fried foods for 80% of meals.  I couldn’t even pronounce “vegetable.”  My food pyramid consisted of cheese, cereals, grilled and fried meats, with a solid base of bacon.  Not to mention beer.  As a sidenote, I usually spent a total of $25 per weekend.  $18 on a case of Labatt Blue and the rest spent on a burrito Sunday during football or baseball games.  Rad.

During junior year it was starting to dawn on me that this lifestyle wasn’t fit (nor were my grades) and I changed.  I started running again.  I worked my butt off to get better grades and really began networking and searching out marketing jobs.  It wasn’t easy, but nothing worthwhile is.  My grades picked up, my eating habits improved.  Yet it took another five years before my bad eating habits were really altered.  This movie really points out the hazards of eating such horrible foods high in saturated fats.  The protagonist begins a thirty day binge on nothing but McDonalds with  clean bill of health and after three weeks is very much under duress as phsyicians are seeing his liver begin to fail and unable to adapt.

It’s not a long film and although I didn’t become disgusted with the corporation as I’d heard from others, it was disturbing.  That year, a few girls attempted to sue McDonald’s for allowing or pursuading them to eat the food every day.  I’m sorry, but at some point it can’t be someone elses fault.  You have to take responsibility for your own body, no matter how hard it may be.

Eating a months worth of fast food breakfast, lunch and morning is quite a feet.  My body would not handle that well and the protagonists didn’t either.  He gained over 20 pounds in 30 days!  His overall health dissipated vastly and the only variable was the food.  A good point was made about how smokers can be berated for their behavior as it’s socially acceptable, but larger people who continually eat poor foods and fail to exercise are off the meat hook.  I wonder when that will change?  Should it?

Either way, it was a decent movie.  Hardly great, but I can see why it hit critical mass and altered some perspectives.  Worth seeing, but only once.  The funny thing about all this?  Fast food generally sucks.  Yet we keep hurding to the trough.

June 22, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Filed under: Random — Robert John Ed @ 2:21 am

I really have no idea why, but writing has been very low on my to do list lately and it shows on this blog.  So I’m trying to catch up now.

Just yesterday I saw an AMAZING concert called Rock The Garden at one of my favorite art venues (maybe my favorite) the Walker (cool website btw) in uptown MPLS.  This is a great organization, I’ll likely become a member once I’m out of school again.  One of the best parts about this city is the arts.  Although I haven’t explicitly met them, Minneapolis is filled with people who obviously love art of all kinds and make it a point to offer it throughout our lovely landscape.  Beyond the beauty of the parks and lakes here, there exists a vibrant, breathing art community filled with compassion and transcendence for upcoming generations.  It makes me smile often.

Today I visited the Minneapolis Art Institute and was absolutely blown away by it.  It’s huge and there are rooms, corridors and wings dedicated to multiple types of art from all areas of the world and dating from ancient history to present day.  There was a community learning and education center downstairs.  There was a clay sculpture presentation where a model was being cast.  I walked around for at least an hour and there is still a great deal to see; I’ll certainly be back, hopefully twice a year or so to catch differing displays.

Rock The Garden was spectacular.  Yeasayer, Solid Gold and The Decemberists (my favorite without a doubt) were all great.  The latter played all the way through Hazards of Love, which is an epic rock opera and sets a precedent for me for an ongoing song.  The album is quirky, there are wonderful parts and songs, but seeing it performed live really emphasizes the work.  Frankly I doubt it will be touched in terms of how enjoyable it was.  Above all, being outside under the sun with an energetic crowd felt ridiculously good.  Summer in MN is truly a blast, you have to soak it in while it’s here.  Here’s a video excerpt of a similar concert:

UPDATE:  Here’s an actual video from last night, Colin was very witty.  This is Engine Driver, one of my favorite Decemberists songs.  Seeing them throughout dusk and hearing so many good songs from albums past was assuredly the highlight of my summer.  Plus, the closed with a cover of “Crazy On You” from the 80’s that rocked the shit out of that place.  Rock.  The.  Shit.  Duders.

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