Social Media For Your Business

Social Media For Your Business


Working a lot this week on "where I'm going," but before I forget, I'd like to take a few minutes to talk about where I've been.

I mentioned in my Odd Day post that we were headed for Camp Akita for our annual family camping trip in the Hocking Hills.

Today, I'd like to tell you about Camp Akita and what it means to me.

1992- City boy Jimmer, and his lovely wife Netter head off to a place she describes as one of her favorite in all the land. "It's not your normal camping," she tells him. "You'll have fun. I promise."

Cautiously I had agreed to the trip, but as you can see I was not doing such a great job of putting up a good front.

"You want me to do what?!?"

Netter, on the other hand, was obviously very happy to be sharing this place with her husband.

"Come on! It's fun. I promise!"

When we arrived, I could see that Netter was right. This wasn't traditional camping at all. Our cabin slept 10, had 2 full bathrooms, and a complete kitchen.

"Okay," I thought, "I can live with this."

The first night we walked down to the lake to do some fishing.

FISHING?!? I hadn't fished since I was a little boy, I'd only been twice in my life, and frankly worms gave me the heebie jeebies.

Still, I had promised I would try everything. Patiently, Annette and her Dad began to try to teach me how to cast. It didn't go so well. I've told this story before in a post last year.

Essentially, Dad and I just needed to come to an understanding about the expectations of a first time fisherman.

Once we had gotten that out of the way, Annette informed me that we were going to take a canoe out fishing. As I said, I was in for the whole nine yards so off we went.

Wouldn't you know I caught my first fish on my fourth cast. I still point out the spot to Annette every year and talk about that fish like it was the thrill of a lifetime because, well, because it was.

I've caught a lot of fish since then, but I don't think I've ever felt so elated, so happy as I was when I caught that first one.

Every year Akita still makes me that happy.

You know that place where you can go and know you'll be happy no matter what, that place that you can find peace and feel like you're in control, or that sometimes it's maybe okay to not be in control?

You know how sometimes you don't care about a schedule, or a clock, especially a clock, and you're tired of the television, and the technology and you just want to find some peace for your mind and your body and your soul?

Go to Akita.

That's what I do.

What time is it? How 'bout breakfast time, lunch time, dinner time, to read a book, to take a nap.

To draw a picture,
Time to go fishing,

Time to go on a hike,

Time to take your dog for a walk or a swim.

Time to go for a ride in a canoe.

We have made this trip almost every year since 1992.

We go on Mother's Day weekend, and celebrate Grandpa's birthday, (and later my nephew Joe Joe's).

We play games. We watch movies with Grandma. (There is a DVD player, but no television reception.) We do jigsaw puzzles. We make fun of the snorers. (Yes, that includes me.) We laugh when Grandma goes to bed early and says we're not to have fun without her.

And we smile when we find the notebook full of stories about people who come to Akita to do the very same thing at other times of the year.

I often talk about the peace I find on the ice when I'm skating, but that's fleeting, only an hour or so long.

The peace of Akita lasts far longer than that.

It's a special place, a special time - and I'm glad that Netter made me go those many years ago.

Rhythm and Tempo, not for Golf only

Recently, I've been trying to make some lifestyle changes, including sleep patterns, eating habits, church attendance, work-style habits, etc... and a lot.

I haven't been as successful as I might have liked and I've been trying to figure out why. What am I doing wrong?

Reading my friend Seth Simonds' Primal Stride blog, I've learned a lot about focusing on my strengths, finding what works best for me, and trying to make my adjustments with those things in mind.

Still, whenever I try to make changes I find myself out of whack, no rhythm, no tempo, and I quickly resort to my previous behaviors.

What am I doing wrong? What am I missing?

I found some needed perspective courtesy of my Uncle Dale.

He's a great guy, likes to tell jokes, likes to tinker, has more tools than Bob Vila, and only recently, i.e. within the last 3 years or so has decided to take up golf.

I'm glad that Uncle Dale took up golf mostly because his primary reason for doing so was so he could join us to play in Golf for Joy, our annual outing honoring our daughter Meghan Joy's memory.

But when Uncle Dale gets into something, he doesn't just take it up casually. It consumes him.

Outfits, instruction manuals, DVD's, books, you name it - he's been checking it out and trying to improve his golf game. He is convinced that with enough practice and the right methods, par golf or better is right around the corner.

No really, he believes it. For the non-golfers in the crowd - well, let's just say that while not impossible this idea is a little far-fetched.

Still, I love my Uncle's enthusiasm, his willingness to try anything and everything to improve his game.

When we played together last month he was very excited to show me his new swing technique, the stack and tilt. (The link is for the golfers in the crowd.)

Now, I love my Uncle, but from my vantage point his swing technique looked a lot like the tilt-a-whirl rather than anything resembling a golf swing. By the end of the day I had to confess to him that while I believed there were DVDs and instruction manuals of his method, clearly something was missing.

Last week, Uncle Dale sent a copy of the DVDs and lo and behold I was right. He was doing it wrong.

That got me thinking... (You saw the smoke right?)

As I have developed my own golf swing over the last 17 years, I learned the importance of rhythm and tempo in finding a good golf swing.

Is it possible that I simply need to apply the patience and effort I put into my golf swing to develop a rhythm and tempo for other areas of my life?

Uncle Dale called me last night to ask what I thought of the swing method. We laughed and joked about how he'd been doing it wrong. He said that he had talked to someone familiar with the method who helped him correct some flaws. The new approach took quite a few strokes off his next round of golf.

We talked about how his new swing method was among many not endorsed by golf pros primarily because most want to teach their own thing.

Then I mentioned to Uncle Dale that I thought that there were probably a number of valid golf methods, all of which were just fine as long as they keep some core ideas at the forefront, including:

rhythm and tempo.

"Yes, those are important," my Uncle reasoned, "But not everybody has the same rhythm and tempo..."


There's a saying in golf that says: "If it feels funny, you're doing it right."

This doesn't really jibe with rhythm and tempo, but it makes sense.

I just need to find a way to apply it to myself, to make it my life swing thought.

What's your life swing thought?

With all due respect to teachers...

As I'm sure most everyone is aware, I love to train. I love to teach. I love to coach.

A friend recently asked me why I didn't become a teacher. "You'd be really good at it," she said.

I looked her square in the eye, and I said: "No, I would really suck at it and I'll tell you why. I couldn't lie to kids and tell them that what they were going to learn was going to prove to be useful in their life experience."

Now, I'm not saying that the three R's aren't key to being a good citizen, but when push comes to shove... Well, be honest how much of what you learned in your later years in school do you really use everyday, or even most days?

That's what I thought.

The truth is that kids don't really learn how to live in the classroom. They learn it on the playing field. They learn it on the stage, and in the arena. They learn it by just living and experiencing everything.

To deny that, at least from my perspective is to deny the obvious.

Recently, our local school district's decision makers, (you'll note I did not say leaders) decided to take that opportunity for learning away from our children, or at least put it in jeopardy so it was eventually taken away.

The deal went something like this. Vote FOR the levy, (that did not pass in the fall) to continue to support our bloated budget and lack of fiscal responsibility, (admittedly exacerbated by the current economy) or we will take all extracurricular activities away from your children.

No, I'm not kidding.

"Pay to play?" you ask. Not an option.

This is the same school district that, when they didn't pass their last levy decided to go to split sessions.

Fortunately, our girls were in Catholic schools at the time and unaffected.

Still, I'm here to tell you, nothing will make a voter change their mind more quickly in the voting booth than watching a kid get off the bus sometime between 6:00 and 8:00 at night...

on Halloween.

Again, not kidding.

So this time, though our feet were again put to the fire - as you may have guessed our district did not pass the levy. The nays took the vote at 56%.

Of course, although I felt pressured to do so, we voted FOR the levy as it directly impacted our children.

I'm not sure what exactly to make of the folks who voted "No." While I understand that they are tired of paying more taxes, I can't help but wonder what they think will happen to their property values.

I'd venture a guess that the amount lost in property value is much greater than the comparatively small amount of extra tax money that would have been paid.

Can you imagine trying to sell a home in a school district where the doors to the school close at 4:00 and don't open until the next morning?

You read that right. Absolutely no activities. You name it, that after school program has been nixed.

I found out last week that drama, choir, and band, i.e. the activities my kids are involved in are part of the regular curriculum - so my girls will not lose the ability to learn those things.

But they will miss out on the opportunity to learn the things that come with those things, the true reward of the Friday night performance, the joy of hearing the crowd cheer for your effort. The things that make kids work harder, try harder, learn more to come back and experience again...

Gone. Buh bye!

Oh, they say they'll have "in school performances," but I'm not holding my breath to see how those turn out, or how many parents, and family members will be able to take the time off from work, (you know - where they earn the money to pay those taxes) to attend.

Of course it goes without saying that my heart goes out to those athletes who cannot perform "in school," including my former neighbor a sophomore next year, and a pretty darn good quarterback by all accounts.

How good? Well, let's just say a former OSU quarterback just spent some time with him, and discussions were under way to work together during the summer.

"The extra time, the extra mile, working toward a greater reward, learning about being a responsible member of a team, finding confidence when you may not have in the classroom..."

Gone. Buh bye!

The final irony here is that our kids have been told from the day they entered junior high, and high school that involvement in these same activities that are now being taken away from them were to have been key to their continued academic success and advancement. How are our children supposed to process the loss of that key?

So what now?

Word on the street is that we'll have a special election in August to try and pass this levy again. I will be there voting yes, but I wonder if the district really thinks they're going to change that many minds.

Are they just trying to teach us a lesson? I wonder what that might be?

I do know this; when you take the vote, a treasured American institution, and make a mockery of it with the threats, and the bullying...

Well, I feel like all my kids are learning is that the bully wins.

3 Odd things for Odd Day

In the spirit of my friend Cat's 3 good things - I'm spinning Odd day into 3 odd things.

1. I have not had a cup of coffee since before noon today. If you know me, you know that is odd. Of course the last cup I had was a black eye so maybe that had something to do with it.

2. I will be unplugged for the next two days. No computer. No cell phone. Nada. Zip! Zilch! Zero. We are going on our annual family camping trip to Camp Akita in the Hocking Hills. From, well now until Sunday morning I am out. I don't remember the last time that happened. Quite honestly it may have been for this same trip last year. Yikes!

3. I will be missing the Red Wing's game tonight against the !@#$%^&*() ducks of Anaheim. During the playoffs, especially the second round - I don't miss these games - except for this trip.
Of course, my friend Jess has promised to text me a score so if I can find just one point where I can get cell phone reception, maybe I'll at least get the score by morning - maybe....

Or maybe not. Sometimes it's a good thing to take a break. It makes me appreciate the technology, and more importantly the online community - that much more.

I really do appreciate each and every one of you.

Have a great weekend everybody!

I Love the Detroit Red Wings, but the CBJ Have a Softspot in my Heart

Getting right to the topic at hand and addressing the poll about my last post -

I ran out of time. More importantly, I also thought the post was getting a little long.

If you follow me on Twitter and / or Facebook I'm sure you know by now that NOTHING could sway my love for the Detroit Red Wings.

Oh, I follow the Columbus Blue Jackets pretty closely and have since their inaugural season. If you look closely at the Red Wing poster in my last post you can see a puck from the Jacket's first game on the shelf below the poster. A friend gave that to me. (Thanks Steve.)

My mother-in-law gave me this jersey signed by members of the Blue Jackets first team. (Thanks Mom.)

I am a fan when the Jackets are playing every other team in the league, and I will admit that it doesn't bother me quite as much as it probably should if the Wings lose to them during the regular season, as long as it is a well played game. (You'll note - I didn't say it doesn't bother me at all.)

When I am in attendance at games between the Wings and Jackets I can very often be heard cheering for both teams. This sometimes confuses fans around me, but I really want those to be the best games I watch all year.

It's hard not to be taken in by the CBJ. I love hockey. They are the hockey team in my new hometown. They are (finally) a growing young team with a lot of fight, a hard nosed coach in Ken Hitchcock, a budding superstar captain in Rick Nash, and an amazing young goaltender.(photo credit: Jack Wolf.)

I always want them to play well.

I have to admit I laughed at the notion, but I was thrilled to see this t-shirt for sale at the local Kroger when the CBJ finally made the playoffs this year. I am so happy for my friends who are true die-hard fans of the CBJ.

But I'm not giving up my Red Wings.

The Red Wings overwhelmed the Blue Jackets in their first round playoff series. The Jackets were clearly hitting a wall from fighting their way into the playoffs, and found out rather quickly that there is a steep learning curve when it comes to playoff hockey in the NHL. In my opinion, their veteran leadership that had that experience didn't do a very good job of helping the team stay focused, and the first three games were really no fun to watch at all.

Thankfully, in the 4th game there was finally a spark, a hint of what might come for this Columbus Blue Jackets team. I want my friends, and all CBJ fans to experience that time and time again. A well played spirited game with great plays on both ends of the ice.

I was thankful the Red Wings won that game, but I was very public in voicing my displeasure with the "too many men on the ice call" at the end of the game.

In retrospect, (first WOTD) I don't think I would have been so bothered if the Wings opponent had been just about any other team. As much as I understand that the call was correct, and had to be made I thought my CBJ friends deserved much better.

I hope that next time the Jackets go to the playoffs they draw a different match-up in the first round so that I can cheer with my friends, instead of against them for at least one series anyway.

After that?