I posted the top image mere moments after the bottom image was posted. I'm a little freaked out by the similarity - but maybe it's just me?
I was at the gym recently and wanted to use their wifi, since my workouts are dependent on Spotify and punk rock in equal measure. A few taps on my phone, and it became obvious that the price for using the gym's wifi was Liking their Facebook page.
I hadn't encountered this particular scheme before. I'll admit, I thought it was fiendishly clever.
I assented and thus became a fan of theirs on the 'book. Marketing triumphs again.
These are my gym kicks, by the way.
I read 12 books in 2012. That's the most I've read since, hm, high school probably. I'd like to read twice that number in 2013, but before I do I'd like to look back on my dozen with a mix of pride and confusion.
The Name of the Wind - It's about a guy who does magic. A case of the author loving his protagonist waaay too much. He's perfect. Knows everything. If not for the very interesting magical world he described, this book would have been worthless. I don't expect to read its sequel.
Fablehaven - It's about a sanctuary for magical creatures and some kids. I got fed up with the reliance on childish whimsy as a means of advancing the plot. Large chunks of the pace made no sense. As with the book above, I will not be reading its sequels.
World War Z - It's about zombies. This was awesome. Multiple narrators describing multiple vignettes, housed within the same world ravaged by zombies. Highly recommended.
I, Robot - It's about robots. I expected something much different and much darker. As it is, it's a fun read. Little stories about robots held together by a larger (if flimsy) narrative. Good, though. Robots are always good. Except when they go bad.
Foundation - It's about the triumph of math and psychology over barbarians. I loved it. So many smiles.
Foundation and Empire - The sequel to the previous book. Things get more complex but just as good.
Second Foundation - The last of the 3 main Foundation books (though there are plenty others), but I'd had my fill. Great story, great twists. I gasped once or twice. Loved them all.
Shadow and Bone - This is about a girl who does magic. I liked the world more than I liked the actual characters. Does that happen a lot? I feel like I'm complaining a bit too much. Sorry. I'll probably read the sequel, but I fear I won't like it.
Pretty Monsters - This is a bunch of short stories about strange stuff. I loved it. I love short story collections, and these were all different and magical enough to be worthwhile. I want more. I want moar.
The Last Werewolf - This is about a werewolf. It was a pretty dumb book. I shouldn't have read it, but I liked the title. Get used to the phrase "Everything happened at once" when the author can't figure out how to make sense of the events taking place. Ugh.
The Magicians - This is about some kids who do magic. I liked big chunks of it and disliked other bits. Overall pretty strong. I haven't read the sequel, but I don't know why.
Ender's Game - This is about a little kid who's totally hardcore. Why can't all books be this amazing? It's dark and harrowing and probably has a message. I don't know. I thought it was great. I need to read other books in the series, but I haven't gotten around to it.
There you have it. Make fun of my choices all you like. I hope to have twice as many for you to belittle early next year.
After 7 months of being a hoodlum in Amsterdam, I returned to Boulder for a holiday visit with my fiancee Stephanie. Here are the highlights thus far:
- Having a chat with Kent, during which we realized that it makes no sense for men to have a femur, when a he-mur is so much more appropriate.
- Collapsing onto Sarah & Rich's LoveSac and wondering why I never owned one of those bean-bag beasts.
- Watching the Hobbit and questioning whether I'll ever find time to go on an adventure with dwarves before my 40th birthday.
- Discovering that Rachel cannot juggle and that I am powerless to help her learn.
- Learning from Steve and Morgan that kids named Dylan are 35% more likely to be jerks than children not named Dylan.
This is a town full of terrifying lessons. I'm now doubly glad that Stephanie got me a Moleskine for Christmas.
This is what I had for breakfast. It was awesome.
Only my nerdiest friends will care about this. "Care" is probably a strong word. Regardless...
I finally got around to killing this guy last night:
That's Deathwing, the Big Bad from the current World of Warcraft expansion. I took a break from playing but recently got back into it since the new expansion is coming out later this month. I figured it'd be bad form to begin a new arc of content without completing the big stuff from the current one.
So anyway. I killed a digital dragon with 24 other people. That makes me happy.
I attended Day 1 of the first annual Got Game Conference in Amsterdam. Dedicated to "perpetuating and growing the video game industry through the exchange of knowledge and ideas," the event provided an excellent opportunity to meet the local gaming community as well as some big-brained industry visitors.
The best part, however, was the branded energy drinks that were given to attendees.
I haven't seen this before, but it's a fantastic marketing idea, given the audience of app developers and gamers.
I don't know how much they cost to produce (I have an email out to the event director to find out), but it's something I wish I would have done for the last Boulder Startup Week -- though there's a good chance that Boulder's health-conscious nerds would have run me out of town for trying to pump poison into their veins.
During my first few weeks in the Netherlands, I ended up canoeing to Germany with my girlfriend's family. The matriarch of this particular clan of Dutchmen and Dutchwomen was celebrating her 60th birthday with a day of canoeing, pancakes and an amazing dinner.
The latter two activities are favorites of mine. The first one really rustled my jimmies. Canoe who?
Despite my fear of canoes (aside from not knowing how to swim), I gave it my best effort as we all hopped in canoes and tried to paddle into Germany. There were three or four of us in each canoe, which we had to pull out of the channel every few miles, run a small distance, then put it back in the water. It was madness.
We came very close but were ultimately too tired to complete the journey. Instead, we ate pancakes.
It was the hardest thing I've done in a long time. If you doubt my account, here is proof that it went down:
It was hard, friends. We paddled for at least four hours.
I love my backpack. It's the Vandal by Mission Workshop. Sturdy and huge and my best friend on these Amsterdam streets. Just wanted to show it some love, after getting a few nice comments on it recently. What are the three best things about it, you ask?
- It's bigger than my ego, which means it will fit pretty much anything you need inside it. 4,000 cubic inches of space, homeboy.
- It's weatherproof. In some areas, it's waterproof. I don't know what those terms mean precisely, but I've worn it in the rain, and my stuff was dry like a bony thing with dragonwings.
- It looks super cool. I must look super cool at all times.
A little over two weeks ago, Stephanie and I arrived in Amsterdam. The first few days were a blur as I personally struggled with the time change. Amsterdam is eight hours ahead of Boulder, so the 9 a.m. environment we stepped into upon arriving at the hotel was like 1 a.m. It took my body longer than I expected to adapt.
Anywho. Here is an easily digestible Q&A for you to read:
1) What do you regret not packing?
My beard trimmer and my Newton running shoes. They're both on their way or in Customs.
2) Any run-ins with the law?
Yes. I was questioned pointedly by the Amsterdam police after visiting some friends at Spotify. They thought I was a burglar. *Shaggy voice* It wasn't me!
3) Have you learned any Dutch?
Brood is bread. Kaas is cheese. Once I figure out how to say ham, I'll be the mayor of Sandwich Street.
4) Aren't you supposed to be posting loads of travel photos like everyone else does?
Yeah, I don't do that. Here's a bag of chips, er, crisps that I found.
5) How is Amsterdam different from Boulder?
They like mayonnaise a lot more here. It's freaky.
Reviewing anything I do is an inevitably flawed mission. My perspective is skewed not only by knowing waaay too much about what went down, but also by fatigue. Boulder Startup Week 2012 wore me out. If you didn't know, I've served as the five-day event's head organizer for the past two years -- guiding it from a creative, purpose and community standpoint.
It's a sprawling, distributed affair that requires loads of communication across many fronts in order to stay afloat. It concluded a few days ago, and I've laid relatively low in the meantime, gathering my wits with gardening gloves. Despite my current double-vision and hazy gaze, I wanted to jot down a few notes before they slipped from my memory.
What we did right:
- Started early. According to my email records, we got started planning this business in December 2011.
- Added more team members. Last year's BSW consisted largely of myself and Ryan Wanger. This year, we added Elaine Ellis (on PR) and Sarah Jane Griesemer (on scheduling). If I were going to run 2013, I'd add even more folks.
- Flew in more people. One of the big imperatives of BSW is to drive acquisition of tech talent. There are so many open tech jobs in Boulder that we decided to gather as many sponsor dollars as possible to fly in candidates with the hope that they'd fall in love with Boulder and move here. It's happened before. Last year we flew in 6 folks. This year we flew in twice that number. Shall we double it again next year? Yes.
What could use improvement:
- Moar shirts. I made quite a few enemies after ordering only 200 shirts this year. Sorry, all.
- We need to be a little meaner to people to ensure that the event's purpose(s) are kept in mind. Being a pushover is fine if you're hovering above a ball pit at Chuck E. Cheese. It's not fine if you're hovering over an alligator pit. Mo' backbone at all times.
- Better RSVP system. We used Plancast this year and last year. It's easy, but it lacks a few items. I'm sure the team will track down something solid.
I wish I could say that I'll do everything I can to make Boulder Startup Week 2013 even better. I can't. I'm moving to Amsterdam and have left the event in other people's hands. However, I'm absolutely certain they'll bring the flava to your doorstep, drastically increasing the property value of your abode.
If you made it out to Boulder (or out of your house), thank you. If you didn't, circle the month of May on your 2013 calendar. Boulder wants your bones.