Hi, I'm Bugsy

Teamwork rules!

May 29th, 2009

Have a friend in need? Perhaps a baby squirrel? Teamwork is amazing. Teamwork solves all sorts of puzzles from small to large. This is one of my favorite videos. Determination and creativity can solve anything.

Four red dots

May 26th, 2009

Abbott Road, East Lansing, MI

Imagine four little red dots on a map. One pair of the red dots work together as of a week ago. The other pair of red dots have been working together for a few years. The older red dots with more gray hair have both been incredibly influential and instrumental in the success and drive of each of the younger red dots.

These four dots have never all been together before. A month ago these four little red dots tried to all come together, but one of the red dots (I won’t say who) decided to go on a date instead (a date that was not worthwhile).

The two younger red dots were unsure if they wanted to attend a networking event this one particular night, but they decided it was for the best. After the two red dots enjoyed a couple beverages they agreed it was time to go.

One red dot spotted one of the gray-haired red dots. That old dot was shaking hands with the other old dot. A quick u-turn was taken (it’s beyond me that at this incredibly busy intersection there was actually no car coming the other way). These four dots, bonded by creativity, all came together and crossed the exact same point on earth within a matter of seconds.

Coincidences happen all of the time. Especially small world run-ins with say two people. But with four? I have never ran into the gray haired dots in public. Tonight I ran into both of them, two of the most influential people in my life. It was a situation where at least this young red dot acknowledged that something like this has never happened to him before. Both young red dots will be going to bed ecstatic and excited. There was a grand amount of amusement.

Bonding Five Seconds at a Time

It is my strong belief that some of the greatest bonds between people in life are built five seconds at a time. When people have a mutual respect and look forward to seeing this other person, that’s all the time it takes.

Having a mere 5-second random walk by with is enough to elicit smiles, enjoyment, and a feeling of joy because you ran into someone you truly admire and respect.

From my opinion, I say that these little 5-second moments build and build and build on each other. This entire encounter that the other young red dot and I had lasted only a couple of minutes (there was a high-speed pursuit that followed). But the enjoyment of those two minutes grew more on to the relationship between the four of us. And it all started with a 5-second decision between the time we say the first gray-haired dot to the decision of making a u-turn.

From the standpoint of networking, business development, and relationships of all sorts there is a priceless value to it. I’m happy with the social life I’ve found in the last week. If I wasn’t out and about, if I wasn’t pro-active, of if I was a hermit none of this would have happened.

I’ll never forget it. These are four very specific red dots and a few seconds is all that was needed for them to finally all be in the same spot.

P.S. Is it a requirement that Yoopers must always know where to find a barrel of hay?

My first week at work

May 25th, 2009

2pm Office Nap
Photo by The Pretenda on Flickr

I successfully finished my first week of work. A few of my co-workers asked if I would be returning to work now that I put in a full week with them. And yes, I’ll be getting up at 7am and headed right back to it.

I think the last time I worked a 40-hour week for someone else doing the 8-5 thing was the summer of 2004, that’s five years ago! But the transition has been great so far. Monday was a big adjustment, I was overdressed (yes, even I dress up once in a while), didn’t know where anything was, and was concentrating on just being able to remember everyone’s name.

Remembering Names
As a side note… this is one of the skills I’m most thankful for obtaining on my trip. Before my trip I had a much more difficult time remembering a person’s name when I first met them. That is one small thing that my trip solved. I had to meet so many people that I just found a way to better remember everyone’s name from the start. It’s very helpful.

Anyways… what a great first week of work. My desk had a basket full of various Post-It Note products and I’m very happy to have a sticky note for every purpose. I had my first meeting. I had my first day of travel where I went to Detroit to learn about the digital transformation the Detroit newspapers are making. I had my first co-worker birthday party, we went to P.F. Changs for lunch (I went with the chicken lo mein). And today I had my first BBQ with co-workers including the owner.

A good week.

Learning My Boundaries

The biggest challenge for me at the moment is not the work itself. I understand the work, am confident with my abilities, know what needs to be done, etc. But what’s new to me is the work environment. It’s been nearly three years since I’ve had an employer that wasn’t myself.

I’m a little cautious and uptight perhaps. Being careful not to overstep any boundaries, step on anyone toes, etc. And I’m busy stressing about what’s appropriate to wear to work, because anyone who knows me well knows that I’m a very casual guy, though not without a keen eye for fashion.

And in reference to the photo, yes, I am happy to say I have been having a little fun as well.

Ode to Marquette

May 14th, 2009

My Second Ever Lightning Capture
Photo by Yours Truly – Taken at Marquette’s Lower Harbor – Summer 2008

Now that I’m moving to Lansing I have sort of made a bucket list of things I want to do in Marquette before I leave. A few of them I’ve been able to do already. Well, without a doubt there are going to be a number of things I’m going to miss about Marquette.

I’ve been living in MQT for a year now and it has been fantastic, I really have fallen in love with this town. This is a great town full of awesome people. As others have mentioned I really wouldn’t be too surprised if I end up back here someday. It is a good place to live, so who knows. Also, I will be coming through town every now and then, I am sure of that. It’s on the way between Lansing and home in Baraga. So here it is…

The Top 10 Things I’ll Miss in Marquette & the U.P.

  1. Lake Superior – I have always told myself that I must always live next to one of two things: large mountains or a large body of water. Well, Lansing is as flat as can be and hardly has a trickle of water. Gitchigumi will be greatly missed. Growing up here I took it for granted. When I went to MSU for five years I learned just how special Lake Superior is.

  2. Skipping stones at Presque Isle – Most of last summer I got into a habit of skipping stones. It was fantastic. Almost every Sunday evening I would head to Presque Isle to skip stone and relax. It was the best way to clear my mind. And I’m getting pretty good too!

  3. Being able to walk everywhere – From my apartment at the corner of 4th & Baraga I can walk to many awesome locally owned restaurants, downtown, the bars, Lake Superior, and the events at Lower Harbor. I have found a passion for living somewhere that allows me to walk everywhere.

  4. Seeing my parents frequently - Up until living in Marquette for the last year I have always lived either at home with my parents or hundreds of miles away from my parents. But for the last year I lived just a mere 71 miles from home. That’s close! It has been fantastic to see my parents more frequently than any other time since high school. I think my relationship with them has prospered because of it and I will miss seeing them every couple of weeks.

  5. Four full seasons – Unlike the Lower Peninsula I’m used to four incredible seasons in the U.P. They are very distinct and all have their pros and cons. And they absolutely all have beautiful and unique qualities. In the L.P. the winter just isn’t as exciting, the fall colors don’t quite compare (though MSU is incredible in the fall), and summer is too hot for me down there. Yes, sometimes the weather in the U.P. can be a bit obnoxious, like the snow we had on Saturday, but I have a deep appreciation for it.

  6. Events – There are some great events in the U.P., top notch really. The U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race, bike races, Bridgefest, Winter Carnival, the events at Lower Harbor, and of course things like the Trenary Outhouse Race.

  7. Simplicity – What a simple place to live. People don’t expect you to have the latest and hippest clothes, the shiniest car, etc. People of all social classes hang out together, quite frankly because there aren’t enough rich people for them to all hang out together. There aren’t things to deal with like traffic jams and parking tickets. It’s very nice that our news doesn’t have murders and immense crime to report on very often at all. It’s a simple life and good life in the Upper Peninsula. There are a number of people I know who are committed to living here. The U.P. may not have the world class events, or Fortune 500 companies and huge shopping centers, but people find what they need to do to get by just so they can live in this majestic place.

  8. Hockey & Snowboarding – Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, I just didn’t get to play hockey and snowboard all winter like I wanted while living in Marquette this last year. Despite that, I will miss the importance hockey and snowboarding have in the culture in the Upper Peninsula. They are two hobbies I am immensely passionate about and they just don’t have anywhere near the same presence in the Lower Peninsula as they do up here.

  9. My Favorite Restaurants – I have to give a shoutout to some to some of my favorite places to eat. I’m going to miss them. It blows me away how many amazing locally owned restaurants there are around. And when you get to the bigger cities downstate all you see is chain restaurant after chain restaurant. So to name a few I’ll really miss: Stucko’s, Keweenaw Brewing Company, The Ambassador, Irene’s Pizza, L’Anse Hilltop, Baraga Drive-In, Vangos, Vierling, 3rd Street Bagel, and Togos.

  10. Only in the U.P. – There are certain things that one witnesses in the U.P. that makes him or her think, “Only in the U.P. would you see that.” I’ll miss all of those spontaneous, curious, and unpredictable things. I’ll leave you with just one short anecdote that’s fitting. I was sitting at my desk here in my apartment at 4th & Baraga while I was looking out the window facing the intersection and just watching a few cards drive by. And then, out of nowhere, a Zamboni pulled up to the intersection. The drive stopped, looked both ways, and continued on. It was fantastic.

Word of mouth

May 4th, 2009

On Facebook this evening I was checking out my sister in-law’s Facebook page and saw that she’s excited to get a new laptop that my brother suggested to her. Very cool.

Here is a thread of comments that people posted.

word-of-mouth

Incredible!

During my advertising classes in college we often talked about word of mouth. My professors always talked of its importance and that it’s the best advertising a company can have (when it’s positive word of mouth anyways).

The old way to do it was to actually pay some mom to talk about Tide laundry detergent while talking to other mom’s at her son’s little league game. That always seemed a little dishonest to me, and it’s probably still done with some products in some places. But the internet has changed everything.

When my professor’s talked about word of mouth Twitter didn’t even exist yet and Facebook was only limited to a select number of colleges. Only a few years after that and it’s an entirely new ballgame.

Apple Computers couldn’t be doing any better. What an incredible testament that thread of comments is to their brand loyalty and the excitement their users generate over their products.

There are some companies that pay money to people to leave comments like this. Well, the good companies don’t have to. The good ones don’t even have to advertise. Some products are just that good.

Social media has completely changed the game for word of mouth advertising. It’s amazing to see a thread like this (and of course I’m a die hard Apple user myself) where customers do all the advertising for the company.


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