Geeking Out

I’ll admit it. I’ve been accused of being a fan girl. Sometimes Oftentimes merited, I’ve been known to have an un-manly reaction to meeting a celebrity or performer.

The same is true with Geekdom. In the world of social media, it’s not uncommon to have something you post on Twitter be re-tweeted by someone famous. It’s kinda’ cool when you’re able to connect on Facebook with someone of note, be it a celebrity or local personality, and they happen to mention you in a post. That’s the cool thing about social media and the power it has to make the world a little bit smaller.

On Sunday, I marveled when my friend Amber (aka @MissDestructo) had one of her tweets RT’d by Drew Carey. I thought it was way cool, and I think it’s something people plugged into the blogosphere secretly wish for one day. A step up in Interwebs recognition and perhaps – just maybe – the cornerstone of the big break we’ve all been hoping for. It’s fair to say those are geek-out moments, and they are definitely few and far between.

Geeking Out

As you may know, my wife and I have completed our first round of the Fast Metabolism Diet. I wrote about it at the two-week point of the 28 day program, and then again yesterday following our completion of the plan. As usual, I shared my post across various social media platforms. My goal is to get as many possible eyeballs on it as I can, only because I love to go over my WordPress stats and see not only how many views a particular post has received, but also the various countries around the world in which my blog has been read. (I still don’t understand how someone in Bahrain stumbled onto my blog, but that’s the beauty of the Internet).

When I tweeted out my link, I happened to include the Twitter handle for Haylie Pomroy, the nutritionist that designed the Fast Metabolism Diet. My hope was that she’d read the post and know how much Lee and I appreciate her work, and how her diet has literal transformed us in one short month. It was a digital ‘tip of the hat’ to her, and my way of saying thanks. What happened next was something I was not at all prepared for.

That teenage squealing you just heard? Yeah ….. that was me.

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XL Commitment

I still get a kick out of going into Starbucks and ordering coffee with their crazy names for sizes. Venti this and Grande that. I just recently found out they have a new, even bigger size called Trenta. It’s pretentious and awesome all at the same time.

So when I title this post ‘XL Commitment’, I wish I could say it had something to do with and extra-large sense of dedication. I guess in a way it does, but the real meaning behind the XL is not linguistic but, rather, numerical.

The number 40 is mentioned 146 times in the Bible, and it is of significant importance with regards to its association with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement. Having just turned 40 myself, I feel there is a spiritual symbolism that’s calling me to make a change.

I’ve written before about my vocation and how I feel I am called to be the best dad I can possibly be. I’ve even done so while patting myself on the back. Even though I still take pride in my kids and my parental abilities, I also feel there’s not a whole lot for me to celebrate about myself.

My high school English teacher loved to break down literature, and he’d challenge us to determine the tragic flaw of the main character. The idea that everyone has a tragic flaw fascinated me, and it has me thinking of what mine may be. Upon reflection and introspection, I believe my tragic flaw is complacency. It’s a laziness that has rationalized the comfort of ‘good enough’ as success.

What I’ve come to realize is that in surrendering to my complacency, I am failing God in terms of what He has destined for me. Much like the book by Steven Furtick I am currently studying through my growth group at church, I believe God wants greater things for my life. I heard once that good is the opposite of great, and as I keep embracing the safety of good enough, I won’t be able to achieve great things in my life.

So the real question is do I have what it takes to let go of good enough? This translates to do I have the discipline to allow myself to become greater? Can I be faithful in my destiny?

It’s no surprise then both the words discipline and disciple share the same Latin root, one that refers to instruction given, teaching, learning, and knowledge. The disciples followed Jesus to learn from his teachings and model their lives after His. Similarly, being disciplined, to me, means not so much having to sacrifice as it does learning ways to be better and more effective. In short, being disciplined leads to becoming greater.

I’ve struggled with a lot of behavioral traits that result in negative consequences in my relationship with my wife and kids. Particularly, managing my anger and frustration has been quite the challenge. I am sometimes left feeling like Dr. Bruce Banner in the Avengers, except I don’t have the luxury of being able to smash alien life forms that are attacking Earth.

So instead I’ll start with a simple premise: K.I.S.S. >> “Keep It Simple, Stupid.”

And one way I know I can simplify my life is by unplugging from the medium that I feel helps contribute to my inner rage. So as Lent arrives and we begin another 40 day period of probation and atonement, I have decided to take a hiatus from Facebook. I know that most people may see this as a small sacrifice, but for this self-proclaimed social media junkie, stepping away from Facebook is an extra-large leap for me. It is something I do with painful trepidation, yet it’s something I know I must do in order to quiet my mind and better prepare myself to hear what God is asking me to do.

Steven Furtick’s first book, Sun Stand Still, calls for us to live with audacious faith. It is centered around the story of Joshua asking God to stop the sun from setting so he could complete his battle against the Amorites. It was an audacious prayer and God delivered Joshua’s request. The key, however, is not so much the audacious faith Joshua displayed at that moment in battle. Rather, it was the work Joshua did before hand, marching his troops all night long to be in position to fight. To borrow a quote from the book, “If you’re going to pray for God to make the sun stand still, you’d better be ready to march all night!”

Over the next forty days, I hope to be “marching all night long” in preparation for whatever God has in store for me. It’s my own little sabbatical, and I know that through it all, the experience will be great(er).

discipline

Democracy 2.0

Lee and I love being geeks together, and part of that mutual geekdom leads us to get involved in events like Democracy 2.0, a panel discussion featuring representatives from Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp. The event is being hosted by Social Media Club Tampa Bay, a group of which Lee and I are members.

To add to the awesome geekiness, here is some pre-event coverage we received thanks to Jeremy Campbell and our friends at Fox 13 News in Tampa.

If you’re in Tampa on Saturday, August 25 and can make it to the event, we’d love to have you join us.

214/365 Making A Plan

As we work to re-launch the Social Media Club Tampa Bay, we met tonight to discuss the planning of an event we’ll be hosting on August 25. The event will be a panel discussion featuring representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Yelp! (with the possibility of adding representatives from other social media platforms), all of whom will be in Tampa covering the Republican National Convention.

It’s going to be fun and exciting event, and I am very much looking forward to being a part of it.

 

Love (Hate) Letter

Random Writers: Write about activities that make you lose track of time.

Dear Internet,

Consider this a formal complaint regarding your incessant desire to consume my time. This has been going on far too long, and it’s time we address the issue.

I understand you provide me with productive and educational resources. Yes, it’s true. I haven’t written a check – let alone mailed one – to pay a bill in over five years. I concede you have allowed me, at a moment’s notice, to research information to assist my children with their homework or school projects.

Still, your pros pale in comparison to the cons with which you continue to fill my life.

Let’s be honest. Is there anything you can say in your defense that remotely makes up for the time hog that is Facebook? I thought things were bad when you cast upon me that other site way back when. You know, the one with the glitter posts and pictures of pre-teens making duck faces. But that was relatively confined. Now it seems you’ve pushed this child of yours onto the masses, and it’s just killing my ability to be productive as a result.

You make me feel popular. You make me want to keep up with all those people I’ve met once or twice who are now my friends. Yes, if not for you and your Facebook I wouldn’t be able to remember their names, but they’re my friends now dadgummit, and I absolutely need to go through the 1400 pictures you coaxed them into uploading to you.

Are you simply a masochist at heart, reveling in the notion that your presence makes us all suffer as we fall into the black-hole of time suckage that you created?

It would almost be acceptable if it were just Facebook. But you couldn’t stop there, could you? You had to throw things like Twitter and YouTube into the mix. You had to razzle-dazzle my attention with Reddit, Tumblr, and StumbleUpon. Worse of all, you employed my own kind – my friends – to do your dirty work for you. You had them bombard me with their blogs and personal sites. You continue to build your empire upon itself, each new URL a strand in the web you weave around the little spare time I have.

And don’t think I don’t see what you’re doing with that Pinterest thing. You present it as an escape from the mundane, only to drain the minutes and hours out of my life and into your vastness.

Seriously, this has to stop. You have to allow me to do my laundry, clean my floors, and feed my kids. This is insane what you do to me.

But the more I try to pull away from you, the more I feel myself needing to come back.

You’re right. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean all those things I said. I know you’re just trying to be there for me when I need you. It’s not you. It’s me. Please don’t hold this against me.

More importantly, please don’t take away my LOL cats.

018/365 What’s SOPA With You

With so many websites going ‘dark’ today to protest the SOPA and Protect IP legislation under review in the House of Representatives and Senate, respectively, I decided to try and go my part to spread the word to stop these bills.

The image below is of a full page advertisement placed in the New York Times and produced in concert by various companies from Silicon Valley. In addition, I’ve included other links that explain and outline the issues with SOPA and Protect IP.

If you interested in keeping the Internet an open and uncensored environment, please take a moment to contact your legislators and have your voice heard.

For additional information, visit:
http://bit.ly/SOPA_Tech
http://bit.ly/NO_Censor
http://bit.ly/STOP_IBL >> Contact your legislators here.
http://wapo.st/SOPA_WP