word salad.

Swine Time
September 29, 2009, 10:00 pm
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image-4-for-swine-flu-masks-gallery-997776666I’ve been hearing a lot of scary things about the Swine Flu lately. I’m pretty sure that a.) It’s going to be okay or b.) Were all going to die. If I fall victim to Swine and you look back and read this thinking about how foreboding it was that I wrote this entry, consider this me speaking “beyond the grave”, also know that I will haunt you forever and make it my after-life mission to scare the bejesus out of you every night of your life. So get some good sleep in now. I’m sure I’ve properly pimped myself on my blog enough, but it’s mine so be reminded  can do what I want. I made a free course on the Swine Flu. It even got a stellar shout out on the Brandon Hall Research Blog. A few of my cohorts took it, after my urging. The last thing I need at work is people’s coughs and snots giving me the Swine Flu.

Next week one of my favorite coworkers, Doug (or Dough as I professionally addressed him in the e-mail for the first time) is headed to the 2009 SHRM Conference in Virginia Beach to introduce LearningZen to the HR community. I wish I could be there by his side. Mostly so we could postmortem it over a bonfire with a six-pack of Blue Moons. Godspeed Dough, knock em dead! (Since you’re going to be around a bunch of strangers, you should probably rock the mask featured above…you know, for health & safety purposes).

Slowly but surely, my inner geek is basically oozing out of my ears. While most people judge me a nerd by my glasses,  love for reading, and occasionally using large words when they really aren’t necessary; they don’t know the half of it. When I was younger, I used to play a medieval role playing game called Gemstone. My sister and I were devastated when they began charging 14.95 a month to play. Since this was before the era of twelve year olds having credit cards we were at a loss. We commemorated our characters by making dolls of them, that I think are still collected dust somewhere in my basement. Believe it or not, it is still around and they offer a free 30 day trial. I am tempted to sign up, but I’m worried it will only make me actually want to purchase the monthly deal.


Dancing Queen
September 21, 2009, 11:05 pm
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There are certain glorious things that truly resonate in one’s heart. A simple something that could take any Monday, and immediately flip it into a “fun day”. As my co-worker sat in his office with the light’s off as “Desperado” played with candles flickering (the latter may or may not be true), I was reminded of the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine dates a man who gets hypnotized every time he hears the song “Desperado”. When asked if could be their song he replies “No, it’s mine” and tells her to find her own. She chooses “Witchy Woman” by the Eagles, in case you were wondering.

In regaling about our favorite Seinfeld-esque moments, this unnamed coworker admitted that he found Elaine oddly attractive when she danced. If you need a Seinfeld refresher, please refer to the video below:

danceThis is actually a great representation of what I look like when I’m dancing. The fact that I took dance classes for 11 years is actually incredibly decieving. They always stuck me on the end for recitals because I was so “tall”. Thinking back that was their nice way of hoping I blended into the curtains enough for people in the audience not to notice me. I’m 5’8 sans heels and about 75% of my body is constituted of my legs. This leaves a lot of room for awkwardness. I imagine watching me dance was kind of like putting a giraffe in an ice skating rink and watching it flail around. I apologize to everyone who came to see their amazing daughter dance and was too distracted by my magnificent train wreck to actually watch their own kid.

One year I decided to get my pictures taken by the “professional” photographer (aka, a thirty something man who most likely lived in his mother’s basement and had a creepy moustache) who came to the recitals. All the cool girls in my class were doing it. Lesson Learned: DON’T DO SOMETHING BECAUSE PEOPLE COOLER THAN YOU ARE DOING IT. As I changed from one terrible, uncoordinated pose to the next I knew immortalizing these images would only haunt me later. I don’t even know how to explain these pictures, or begin to justify while I still have them around. A.) Nobody let me know I apparently looked like Skeletor in High School, and B.) What an embarrasing fist pump. I’d like to think it was a triumphiant “Ole!” I and I was channeling Jennifer Lopez (as I was dancing to one of her songs, if you can call them that) but I’m pretty sure if a Black Panther saw a picture of this somewhere, they’d probably be offended.

Thrown for a loop
September 17, 2009, 10:19 pm
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I like to believe that every imperfection that exists in my life is a direct result of genetics. One of the greatest fails that genetics has bestowed upon me besides acne and the slight chance I may develop female pattern baldness, is what my sister and I call the “Sapula sense of direction.”

intentI called upon my largest critic, to sum up her thoughts on the matter and she had this to say: “The thing that shocks me is that you really have no idea where you’re going. It doesn’t matter whether you’re walking or driving. The best thing is if I didn’t say anything, you would just keep going! One of these days im just going to let you go for it and see where we end up.”

Being that I am directionally challenged, I won’t lie and say I wasn’t a little apprehensive about taking my friends down to Moab and being the leader of the pack. We arrived late Monday afternoon, and our plan was to immediately drive into Arches National Park and do a scenic and seven-miler called the “Devil’s Garden Loop” before dusk settled. The picture above shows our intended route. Pretty simple right? Looking at it one would think: What could possibly go wrong?

I’ll tell you what could possibly go wrong: Me as the ring-leader. It’s like the blind leading the blind. At first I thought we were on the right whoopstrail, but somehow had started the loop backwards (as I’ve done the loop before). Two hours of hiking later we came to a sign that denoted “End of Trail”. Befuddled, we opted to simply head back in the same direction we had come from. We ended up at the Double O Arch. I was relieved to see people for the first time in hours, and a landmark I was somewhat familiar with. As there were several paths stemming from the arch we asked two women the quickest route back to the trailhead and headed on our merry way. This is where all hell broke loose. When the two women we spoke to pointed us upward my gut instinct was, “They don’t know what they’re talking about.” However, there were visible rock stacks; so we took their advice. We were led to a fairly open area situated between two large rock formations which formed somewhat of a canyon. At first nothing seemed awry until further exploration revealed trail end markers on one end, along with various rock stacks that led nowhere. This is represented in blue in the picture. We probably spent less than an hour navigating our way out, but with the impending sunset it seemed much longer. We were able to hike back to the Double O Arch, find the correct path (my intuition with those women had been right) and successfully make it out alive.

Now that may sound dramatic, but while Courtney and Jaime played it cool I was thinking about how we would survive the desert night and who would get eaten by a moutain lion first.  I’m not sure what the exact moral of this story is, but in any event; don’t trust me to lead you anywhere. I will (and this is a promise) get you lost and you will most likely be eaten by something. The end.

Shine a Light
September 11, 2009, 4:41 pm
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We need 20 (well, the more the merrier really) more votes to even be considered for the next round of the Shine a Light contest. It’s awards a small business with a nice little chunk of money to be used in grant and marketing support. Help a sister out and vote for LearningZen!

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September 9, 2009, 10:42 pm
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What is so freaking special about 9/9/09? I’m pretty sure there was a 7/7/07, which was then followed by an 8/8/08. Confused by the celebration, I put on my Sherlock Holmes hat and took out my corn cob pipe.

The first thing I found is, was that apparently I wasn’t the only person googling “9/9/09”, it was among the top 100 things searched on Google yesterday (everyone was preparing?). So what are the crazy people of the world up to on this glorious day?

elvis-impersonator-wedding-031.) Getting Hitched. To me, nothing sounds greater than beginning your marriage based on superstition. I read in an article on CNN that, “the mind of many around the world hope the date will translate to a life on cloud nine.” It could also mean the marriage will be annulled in 9 days; especially since many casinos are offering marriage specials at $99.09. I feel bad for anyone in Vegas who gets caught up in the spirit.

2.) Balls. Baseballs that is. Nine innings, nine players, nine strikes per inning…coincidence? I think not. I’m not sure what exactly what that means for the world at large. There are 15 (sadly, not 9) MLB games going on today, so maybe you should watch one.

3.) Gimmicks and Cheese ball Marketing. What would such a special day be without companies trying to take advantage of it?repub Hotels.com has a 9 day sale, for rooms priced $99 or less. If you’re paying $99 or less for a hotel room, you’re staying at a Motel 6, so I don’t know how much of a “deal” that really is.

4.) Republicans are Hip! At 9 pm, Republicans want you to twitter and are hosting the largest “twitter tea party” EVER. I’m not even sure what that’s about, but I’m sure the democrats are throwing a kegger so you can find me there.

ONO5.) The Beatles. Not only is the new Beatles “Rock Band” being released, but so is their entire music collection-digitally mastered. I think the latter was supposed to be a surprise, but Yoko Ono blew it yesterday. Typical Yoko.

6.) Domo Arigato Mr. Roboto. Tim Burton’s new sci-fi movie about hand stitched robots (awesomeness) in a post-apocalyptic world comes out today. Maybe you should be a total nerd and go to the 9 pm showing.

7.) Mathematical Madness. September has nine letters. It is the 252nd day of the year (2+5+2=9). There are a few more magical math tricks, but I got really bored after reading about the first two, so I’ll save you the headache.

8.) The World Might End. They were wrong about the millennium, and about 6/6/06, but theorists are speculating that we might get sucked into a black hole today. It didn’t happen at 9 am, but there’s always 9 pm to look forward to!

9.) Cat Videos “Paws-ed”. Cat related videos are banned from apparent humor website URLesque. I say apparent because if it’s that funny, I probably would have heard of it by now. Also, they are only doing themselves a disservice. Cats are amusing: fact.

In true 9/9/09 fashion, I’ve decided to stop right at the magical number. See you later at the Republican Tea Party.

King of Glory
September 4, 2009, 4:47 pm
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Well here we are: Friday. The little day know around the office as “blog day”.  Sure, it’s a little more fun for me; who can write about anything under the sun, as opposed to the developer’s and head honchos who blog about business time. I do end up blogging about work a lot, but it’s not always intentional. It’s just when you spend 5/7 days in one place, and the most significant hours of your day there; it kind of becomes your life. I welcome it.

In work related news, I got to do two really cool things this week. I love when the opportunity arises for me to create some course content, it’s hands down my favorite side task. #1 was a course on how to use twitter. If anyone knows me, they know I have an unhealthy passion for social networking sites, so I gladly accepted the challenge. Honestly my father, who is the most clueless man in the world when it comes to this stuff, could read it and become a twitter guru. #2 was a course I created for a non-profit I met at Airventure. Great group of people.

Speaking of writing, I’ve got two articles featured in the upcoming issue of Flawles. I’m more excited about this issue than the last because I a.) got to write about Rugby and b.) I got to interview comedian Vickie Shaw who I am actually a big fan of, so that was quite humbling.

Karen got into town last night, and it’s so great to see her. She got in pretty late (10 pm) but we couldn’t force ourselves to get to bed before 1 am. We’re those kind of friends that are pretty annoying to hang around as we share way too many personal jokes and have the same offbeat sense of humor that not everyone gets. While the rest of my friends were watching MTV in high school, I was watching Stranger’s With Candy and Upright Citizens Brigade. Now, these are the two best shows ever created and whenever I find someone who is as fanatic as I am with these shows; I know we are destined to be BFF.

I want to end by posting a video of Stephen Colbert on SWC that never fails to make me crack up. He played one of “Jerri Blanks” HS teachers and was quite a character to say the least:

Twitterific Twitter Tools
September 2, 2009, 7:20 pm
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  1. Twitpic. This is my favorite application, and very easy to use. It allows you to easily post pictures in your tweets. When you get to the site enter your twitter username and password where directed. In the upper right hand corner, click “Upload Photo”. You will be able to add a message as well.  
  2. TweetDeck. A free app that essentially organizes the overflow of @ replies, updates, notifications, etc. Twitter can be, rather it is, overwhelming. With TweetDeck you can organize people you follow into groups, and get real time updates right off your desktop. It’s kind of like a “mothership” for twitter, making it easier to manage. In addition, you can incorporate other apps into your TweetDeck Dashboard. Another similar app is called: DestroyTwitter.
  3. TwitterFeed. I also appreciate this app a lot, since I am an avid blogger. This app allows you to submit you RSS feed for your blog to TwitterFeed. This is a great way to promote your blog.
  4. HelloTxt. If you’ve ever seen Facebook status updates that look suspiciously like twitter updates, that’s because the person is probably using an app like HelloTxt to simultaneously post updates to more than one social network. It is pictured on the right. 
  5. TwitterFon and TwitterBerry are mobile applications that allow you to tweet on the fly. TwitterFon is for iPhones and TwitterBerry is for Blackberry’s. TinyTwitter works on any java enabled phone.
  6. BubbleTweet. While it seems as though Twitter is quite simplistic, apps give you a lot of room to let your personality shine through. BubbleTweet allows you to make a 30 second recording that appears over your twitter page and when it’s over it pops and goes away. Webcam required.
  7. TwitVid. If you want to tweet a video, sites like YouTube have a button to post it on twitter. However if you want to upload your own, TwitVid allows you to do so from your phone and your computer.
  8. Song.ly. This app allows you to share and discover music. It first asks you to type in a song title of mp3 link that you would like to tweet. I choose “Don’t Stop me Now” by Queen. After you submit you are taken to a page that hopefully has your option. If so, to the right there is a button to tweet it.  Click on it and it will then take you to your update page where there is script in your update box. Click update.
  9. Twttrstrm. If you like Squidoo, you’ll love the app powered by them-Twttrstrm. Basically you ask any old question, “Is the sky blue?” and it begins a discussion on twitter. It’s called “storm” because if anyone following you clicks and responds, it spread to their followers.
  10. Twtpoll. Create simple surveys, pie charts and all.

This isn’t an app but going to http://bit.ly will shorten your urls. Twitter automatically does it once you post, but if you want to save yourself some space you can shorten it yourself beforehand.