Alright.... I have been thinking about doing this for a while, but just have not been able to find the time or guts to start this whole blog thing. I know that I have friends and family that I hope would enjoy and appreciate the things I have to say, but just getting started is kind of scary. It's almost like public speaking in a way, but at least it doesn't have the aspect of standing up in front of the crowd will all eyes focused directly on you. I hope at least that I will not stumble over my own words or say something inappropriate like I would if I were talking to you all live. This should be fun. Thanks for stopping by and letting me share a small part of MI MUNDO LOCO (My Crazy World).

These are some of my favorite pics that I have stored in Flickr. Enjoy the show.

Tipping Point

Recently I finished reading a book titled "The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference" by Malcolm Gladwell where he talks about why change so often happens as quickly and as unexpectedly as it does and what causes things to change. One of the things he points out in his book is that there are 3 different personality types that play a very important role in social epidemics. They are Connectors, Mavens, and Salesmen. Gladwell defines these types of personalties that people posses as the following.

"Connectors -- the kinds of people who know everyone and possess special gifts for bringing the world together. What kind of careers and job titles would you expect Connectors to have? Connectors are defined by having many acquaintances, a sign of social power, but do you think a Connector privileges quantity over quality? How do Connectors embody the maxim "it's not what you know but who you know?"

Maven -- means one who accumulates knowledge and who has information on a lot of different products or prices or places. Could anyone be a maven if they just have the diligence and desire to learn a specific craft or area of knowledge?

Salesmen -- are the select group of people with the skills to persuade us when we are unconvinced of what we are hearing. Discuss what you think makes a good salesman? Think about the last time you were in a store and what you liked or didn't like about the retail person assisting you? Have you ever felt suckered into buying something or recognized the only reason you bought an item (or even one in ever color) was because of the person selling it to you?"

The reason I tell you this is because after reading this book and especially after reading the chapter that describes Mavens, I have decided that I am definitely a Maven. I am the type of person that wants to make sure that I research any product I buy to the fullest extent. I will make sure that I am buying the very best product for the money and once I have made my purchase and especially if the product is something new and on the cutting edge I want to share that knowledge with my friends.

I'm also telling everyone this because I believe that this forum will be a new way for me, as a Maven, to communicate these bits of information that I might have once only told to a select few friends.

With all of that said, here is my first entry into my blog as a Maven.

I recently was talking with a colleague at work about the new version of Apple TV and all the cool features that it has, like the ability to rent and download movies over iTunes and to show those movies on your massive HDTV. This devices also has the ability to listen to music and view pictures that are stored in iTunes on your TV. Well, unfortunately I do not own an Apple TV and do not really think this device is worth the $200+ that is cost to have this functionality.

What I do have however is an XBOX 360, which is not only a game console, but can also be a media player. The XBOX has the capability to allow one to listen to their music, view pictures, and view movies, but by default it will only work with the media stored on a Windows Media computer or even a Windows XP or Vista computer with the correct patches. It is not configured to work with iTunes, which is kind of a problem. What if I wanted to use all my media stored in my iTunes library in my entertainment center, but didn't want to spend the money for a Apple TV.

After searching for a product that would allow me to use my media, even that stored in my iTunes library on my XBOX 360, I have found a solution that works. It's a piece of software called TwonkyMedia from a company called TwonkyVision. Now I know the name of this is pretty hoaky, but believe me it works. Within maybe 15 minutes of installing this software on the computer that contains my media, I was listening to music and viewing my photos directly on my television in my living room and the computer where I have all this media stored it upstairs in my office. Pretty cool huh...

There is one small caveat to this software... It cannot play anything that has the DRM (Digital Rights Management) attached to the media file. So if you downloaded your music or movies from iTunes, then your out of luck. BUT, if you are like me and you have acquired your music from other sources, then it should all work with this software.

I hope this information has benefited you in some way. Stay tuned for more.




Weekend in Boston

Well I guess I have been busted. Jill Parks is now officially, by my decree, the "BLOGGER POLICE". I have not told a single person, not even Deanna, that I had setup a new blog site and within less than a week Jill has busted me. I went online tonight to find a comment from her. Jill.... Thanks for helping me to open up and admit that I am now a "BLOGGER".

Now on to more important stuff, like what's been going on since my first blog last week. Deanna and I left early Friday morning headed for Boston. I knew from looking at the weather that we would be seeing some snow, but I didn't imagine that we would get 10 inches in the city in about a 12 hour period. The snow was just gorgeous. Even though I have been to Boston many times over the past 5 years that I have worked for Lavastorm, there are so many historical aspects of the city that I have not had the opportunity to experience. On Saturday morning we took a trolley bus tour of Boston where we were able to see and hear about all the incredibly historical buildings and sites throughout the city. We stayed on the trolley for the entire loop of the city, which was about a 2 hour tour, then decided to do some walking around some of the places we had visited on the tour.

Here are some pictures of the things we saw and experienced.

Without having kids in tow we were able to go see a movie Saturday night. After much deliberation Deanna won and we ended up seeing "Fools Gold". It was a light hearted movie and fun to watch, but I was really wanting to see "No Country for Old Men", which I knew was up for the Oscar for Best Film and did indeed win the Oscar on Sunday. Guess I will have to wait 'til that one comes out on video.

Sunday we slept in... WOW, now that was nice. Haven't done that in quite a while. After we got up and around we headed over to Faneuil Hall. This is a really cool place to shop and eat in downtown Boston. I would highly recommend visiting Faneuil Hall if you even travel to Boston. This building is a great part of our American History. The day was shorted by the fact that Deanna had an afternoon flight. We had a great weekend together and of course now I can't wait until we have the chance to get away just the two of us again.



First Blog Ever

Today has been a very crazy and tired day. I returned home last night at 7:00 PM from ANOTHER trip to Monroe, LA for work and then had to turn around and be back at the airport this morning at 5:00 AM for a 6:25 AM flight to Boston. The only saving grace is that Deanna is here with me in Boston for the weekend. Yahoo!!! A weekend away with my beautiful wife without the 3 kiddos in tow. I am so psyched! This is the first time in I cannot remember when that just the two of us have been alone for more that a day. Already today we caught our flight this morning, took a cab over to the hotel, and ate lunch at a cool Irish Pub. We had some VERY GOOD Clam Chowder in a bread bowl and Fish & Chips! Yum! Yum! For those of you who have never been to the North East, there is nothing better than the Clam Chowder up here. It is amazing.

There will be more to come about our exciting weekend in Boston.