Airports and the importance of being silly

Image of a terminal

I love airports. Many people don’t I think. I have never conducted a scientific study to determine that statement, yet I think most people view them as a necessary evil. There is the whole dealing with security and the inevitable lines as you get shuffled through the process. Until you finally find your seat on the plane, and then wishing and praying you sit next to an interesting person (at least that is what I wish for, I know others probably wish they don’t sit next to me, since I may actually talk to them for a bit and get to know them). Prior to getting on the plane people are always busy moving about seeking their gate, a magazine for the flight, a loved one that is returning home, or getting in that last bathroom break that doesn’t involve an aisle walk.

I am not saying I am not busy doing all of those things as well. I mean I literally give myself the absolute minimum time needed to make the flight, so I am definitely that guy who is running with a laptop on my shoulder to catch a plane. That sort of gets me to my point actually.

In many airports when rushing off to your gate you have the option of speeding up your walk by walking on a moving walkway, or if you are not rushing you can just stand and relax as you get moved along to your destination, or at least the next walkway.

Next time you have the opportunity, instead of just walking up to the moving walkway and stepping on it, I suggest you give yourself a little kick start and jump onto the walkway.  Obviously your technique is up to you, but I prefer the surfer stance on landing (arms out and everything). Not only is it fun to get a running start, but it applies a very important principle that many of us forget.

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Lady Friends

toddjammin
I wrote this for all of the amazing women I have had the privilege to call friends.

My lady friends wear silly colors
dance with each other in their own company
My lady friends raise bees for honey
some dance for money and they don’t come cheap
My lady friends they’re raising families
making their ends meet with smiles on their face
My lady friends are waiting on princes, teaching Spanish to young kids, and serving drinks at the bar

My lady friends are wiser than Gandhi
can balance out your chi and teach you to breathe
My lady friends take care of their mothers
seek out adventure and live baby bear
My lady friends are proud of their choices although different voices they’re united in name
My lady friends have seen the worst in men
have grown from the ashes being reborn in the sky

All my lady friends shining bright as stars
All my lady friends you’re perfect as you are

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Confessions of the Bullied

Bluto

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
― Mahatma GandhiAll Men are Brothers: Autobiographical Reflections

Remember that time we were in fourth grade and we…and then in sixth grade we…wow that was nuts when…those were the days right?

If you have ever been in a conversation like this where people are referencing childhood memories like they just took place a few weeks ago, then you will have experienced something I rarely am able to grasp. I have forever joked that I must have been abducted by aliens a number of times when I was younger, because when it comes to happy childhood memories most of them are a collection of images that I have either done a good job at repeating in my head (staring out the window of the family car as we drove somewhere far away because we couldn’t afford to fly, and wondering if the trees could communicate, as they danced slowly back and forth as if they were whispering to each other some ancient secrets), or they are a collection of fake images that I have compiled through parents and family members telling stories of my childhood. I am not even sure if they are real, but I have created them to fill in those gaps in my memory.

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On Potential

Crippling is the fear to know ones true destiny.  Staring into its eyes there is nothing but a blank stare in the other direction.  Are we meant for such knowledge?  There are those that claim they can see into times playbook.  It is impossible to judge such a statement, since I have never met a person that can undoubtedly perform such an act.  However, I believe it is a possible act.  The extent of the human mind is so vast that anything truly is possible.  It is a frustrating debacle being so primitive.  We peer into greatness only to find a genetic error that must be a problem.  To hear a symphony and then play it back like a recording, yet not being able to form simple sentences is not an error or a genetic malfunction.  It is a glimpse into our potential, a mere peek at the capabilities of the human mind.  Have you ever sat daydreaming and a song enters into your head?  The song is played exactly as the true recording had been played previously, even if heard only once before.  Note by note an entire symphony is playing inside your head.  Every clang of the cymbal, beat of the timpani, phrase of the violin, is played beautifully by your vast mind.  Yet, try to hum the symphony as you hear it, or recall every note as your mind has just played it and you will probably fail.  The reason is the human mind is like the fierce wolf who roams the countryside devouring a farmer’s livestock at will.  The wolf will hunt and at times stay still so that you may actually see the wolf, but in a flash it is gone.  The farmer may set up traps to cage the wolf, to trick the wolf into revealing itself, but no cage can hold the beast.  It is not meant to be captured, but to grow and breed traveling from one farm to another.  Learning more and more as it goes, the beast like the human mind will never stop its pursuit of the hunt.  It will grow and grow and to our dismay stay concealed in the wild trapped in our primitive form.  Damn the beast they will say, but it is the beast that keeps us hunting.  As the beast hunts so shall we.  We will hunt until we have met our maker, our seed giver, our God, creator, our reason for living, and when the hunt is over we will begin a new journey in search of more answers.

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Some small back patting

Next President?

I attended a conference a few months ago and had the pleasure of giving some thoughts on social media behind the firewall and a product I manage called Jive SBS.

Jive then featured my company and showcased my video and picture. I was surprised to see myself among CEOs of major companies, and had a good laugh at my presidential photo dreamed up by Jive marketing, but it is nice to get some recognition for the work I do in the Government. As a contractor we are seen as the mercenaries who work behind the scenes to make things happen. For most of the awards we have received, someone else from the Government has had the honor of accepting, but my team and I are the ones who did the work and pushed forward the principles behind the products.

So here is my small pat on my back and some minor showboating for the work we normally do behind the scenes.

Next President?
Next President?

https://www.jivesoftware.com/customers/

The Future of the Creative

sketch

“Go around the middleman; get your music straight to the people, … You’ve got the Web now. Do it. Don’t even hesitate. Because people want to hear real music, and there’s a lot of talented kids out there, millions of them as far as I’m concerned, and they really have something to say. And they just needed their medium, and now they have it. That’s what I tell them. Go to the Web … but do it.” – Richie Havens

Over ten years ago I had an idea to change the world of the creative. Then life happened, and here I am ten years later still slowly trying to bring my idea to the world. I have made some progress, and through my career in the social web I have learned many things, but in case I get hit by a car I thought I would share some of it.

There are millions of creative people in the world who will never share their creative talent with others due to lack of determination, skills, desire, money, luck and a slew of other reasons specific to each person. These millions of people have millions of creative ideas every day in every genre that never amount to anything due to a lack of education on how to bring that idea to the market. Whether the market exists in the creative arts or business, each idea lost is a loss for the world. Some say if a good idea is out there someone will think of it at some point, but how many years have gone by in that time, or how many people could have benefited from that piece of music or business venture. There is no way to determine the amount of ideas never to reach fruition but the problem itself by definition has an impact on societal advancement, or at minimum on society itself. To solve even a portion of that problem you have the ability to change the path of culture.

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Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle

Google-plus

With the recent release of Google+ tech geeks are all in a frenzy trying out the site, documenting its every change, and comparing it to the reigning champion of social networking, Facebook. One of the main topics of discussion has focused on Google’s take on privacy, something its predecessor has continuously been attacked for, and in most if not all cases, the attacks were warranted. Facebook, and founder Mark Zuckerberg, have thus earned a reputation for poor communication of changes that affect privacy, and overall manipulation of user settings to mirror Zuckerberg’s philosophy on social sharing of information. The number of times and the consistency of such changes have left a bad taste in many Facebook user’s mouths, and have paved the perfect road for a challenger. In steps the juggernaut, Google, an icon and master of the Internet, but so far a failure at making their products social. In fact Google has had its own issues with privacy. In 2010 Google released the unsuccessful (yet still around for some reason) Google Buzz, which automatically set up followers based on email and chat behavior, and then shared those followers with the whole world.  Prior to that Google tried to change how we collaborate with the release of Google Wave, also a decent size failure, but something that may later get characterized as too much too soon, and not due to a lack of trying. With its latest foray into the world of social networking, Google+ has taken great strides to convince the millions of new users that they care about privacy. They have done this by providing almost all features within Google+ the ability to restrict viewing and access (minus your profile photo that seems to just exist forever until you swap it out with a new one), and have made doing so very easy with simple to use toggles. Continue reading “Note to Google+ – Our privacy is more than a toggle”

The Unknown

Dumb and Dumber
This is a song about that very exciting and scary part of giving your heart to someone else.

Woke up this morning feeling better than yesterday
I’ve spent a long time healin’ living life day by day
But after mornings come lonely nights
People keep saying it’ll be alright
But I gotta keep moving down this lonely road
Starting to get used to being alone

Take me far away, far away, far away from here
The clouds are starting to clear

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Why Wikileaks and social media have changed espionage

There has been a lot of talk over the past few weeks around Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, but amid the calls for treason and even for his death, there is one discussion that is not taking place. The key element to this story, and the one that seems to be getting overlooked by the media and the talking heads, began back in June when Wired initially reported on a U.S. Intelligence Analyst arrested in a Wikileaks video probe. According to the blog, PFC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland was arrested for his involvement in posting classified videos to Wikileaks, and foreshadowed things to come when boasting to a former computer hacker that, “Hillary Clinton, and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack when they wake up one morning, and find an entire repository of classified foreign policy is available, in searchable format, to the public.” Then came the massive release of documents at the end of November, and the promised release of more documents by Julian Assange, even as he is hunted across the globe for sexually related charges. There are enough people to write about the leaked cables, various diplomats, and the sex scandal. I am not here to write about that, and frankly have no interest in looking at any documents, considering they are still classified, and I don’t have a need-to-know. What I am interested in, and find to be the underlying story within this story, is the role of social media and the psychological factors related to PFC Manning’s alleged release of millions of classified documents. According to Wired, former hacker Adrian Lamo expressed this about Manning, “He was in a war zone and basically trying to vacuum up as much classified information as he could, and just throwing it up into the air.”

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Being Human

Screenshot of Google Image Search Results for Human Beings

Strewn from shore to shore, to lands uncharted in the sky, human beings have withstood thousands of years, in which we have seen plagues, momentous natural disasters, and entire empires fall. We have glimpsed into the mind of God through science and mathematics, and have single handedly affected natures deepest cores. We have produced music and art so powerful to the mind we cannot help but to shed a tear. Our emotions and thoughts are like two passion filled dancers moving majestically through time, trading secrets but always maintaining the dance. Like a cub who wanders too far from its den we slowly drift away from the rest of nature. Upon theory after theory we try in vain to discover our origins, our reason for living, and our destination when we die. We have grown so accustomed to the idea that we are people and not animals that we base entire religions on our existence. The fate of the world and the universe lies in our perceived hands. We are human beings.

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