Hello New Job, Same as the Old Job

Well, not exactly the same but pretty similar.

As of December 26, 2016 (which was Day 1 of Fiscal 2017 for my employer) I no longer work for The Kansas City Star but instead work for excelerate, the digital ad agency that McClatchy started in summer 2016.  However, I still sit in the same spot that I sat previously doing pretty much the same work.

We (Isaac Hindle and I) still provide support (using marketing research and other resources) to all of McClatchy’s local markets (including our newest market in Durham, N.C.) but we will now work closely with Carlos and Brian (who are both located in North Carolina) to support the research needs of excelerate.

I’m also still serving as a Smokejumper / design thinking coach for McClatchy (in fact I’m currently serving as a coach at McClatchy’s Innovation Academy in Sacramento) and I’m still helping out with communications regarding Project Warmth which works at #ComfortingKansasCity with its coat and blanket collection on the first Saturday of November and financial donations throughout the year.

I worked at The Kansas City Star for 6 years from 1998 to 2004, left for a year and a half to work for Decision Insight, and then returned on April 10, 2006.  During 2016, I received the Full Nelson Award, which can only be given to someone once during their career at The Kansas City Star.  Little did I know then that I got it just in time.

I love Kansas City (and apparently you should too) and I also love what I do as my job; now, I’m doing my job for our cool new digital advertising agency.  You can now reach me via email at Mark@exceleratedigital.com or by all of the ways you previously contacted me.

Resolutions

I’m not normally too thrilled with the concept of New Year’s Resolutions or giving up something for Lent or other lists tied to a holiday but I liked this post by Megan Baylerian and I’m simply sharing it here with a quick comment: The 4th resolution is one that I’ve already been working on and that’s “Be more present” or as I like to think of it, “whatever you’re doing, give it everything you’ve got” and don’t worry about anything else in the moment.

So, I challenge each of you to help create a better you … and don’t wait for the holiday to do.

Now, here’s her actual blog:

17 UNCOMMON (BUT USEFUL!) NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017

Forget your standard New Year’s resolutions this year. Here are 17 uncommon but useful New Year’s Resolutions to set you up for success in 2017.

Mind

    • Change negativity to positivity
    • The world needs more positivity anyways, right? Try this: instead of apologizing for being late to a meeting, thank the group for being so patient as they waited for you.

      • Learn a new language
      • Just because you’re not in school anymore doesn’t mean you can’t take on learning a new language. Choose something common or less-known—

Rosetta Stone

       is packed with over 25 different languages to choose from.
      • Learn a new skill
      • Be a DIY master this year. Pinterest is full of fun (and easy) projects to try in a variety of fields, from woodworking to sewing. If you need help getting started, check out this

DIY table

       we’re in love with, found on Pinterest.

Be more present

          Enjoy the moments that you’re in. Put your phone away when people are talking, make more eye contact and spark up more conversations.

     

    Body

      • Drink more water
      • Water does more than wash down the food that you’re eating—it flushes out toxins, helps aid in digestion, improves mood and more. The most commonly recommended intake of water is eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon. Having trouble downing that much liquid? Try adding a slice of lemon or fresh fruit, giving your water a splash of flavor.

      • Stop texting while driving
      • Put the phone away. We promise that text, tweet, snap and post can wait. Pro tip: Put your phone in the backseat in an unreachable area, eliminating the possibility of texting while driving altogether.

        • Stop hitting snooze on your alarm
        • Wouldn’t it be great to actually get up when your alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze 3+ times and rushing to get out the door in time? The free

    sleep cycle app

         can help with this, detecting when you’re in light sleep, making it easier to get up and out of bed.
      • Learn self-defense
      • Knowing how to protect yourself is always a good idea. Hit up the local martial arts classes in your area. If you’re pressed for time, some communities offer a one-day class to help you learn the basics.

      • Grow your own fruit, veggies and herbs
      • Growing your own produce and herbs doesn’t mean you need to commit to a garden. Take a few pots and plant your favorite fruits and veggies in the spring, summer and fall. In the winter, herbs keep well indoors—just remember to water them!

        • Stretch more
        • An increase in flexibility helps decrease the risk of injury and increases blood flow to your muscles. Basically, stretching is the unsung hero in a lot of people’s lives. Take 5 minutes a day to stretch your muscles out and your body will thank you.

      Meal prep on Sundays

            Prepping your meals ahead of time frees up your weeknights to do more of the things that you enjoy. Cook up a few pounds of chicken, your favorite veggies and a healthy grain. Package each meal up in a separate containers and they’re all set to grab in the morning on your way out the door.

        Soul

            • Reconnect with old friends
            • Haven’t seen your high school or college friends in a long time? They probably miss you as much as you miss them. Schedule a coffee date or a weekend getaway somewhere and reconnect with some old friends.

            • Be more adventurous
            • You don’t need to hike the Pacific Northwest to be adventurous. Make a bucket list of local spots and events and explore your city. Wintertime is great for ice skating, visiting a museum in the area or staying a weekend in a wilderness lodge. You never know what you’ll end up really enjoying!

            • Spend less time on social media
            • If you haven’t taken a “social media” hiatus, now may be the time. For one week (or longer!) delete your social media apps and notifications to prevent you from looking at them. The time away from Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can be extremely refreshing and rejuvenating.

              • Volunteer more
              • Non-profits ALWAYS need more volunteers. Take a peek at some of the

        non-profits in your area

               and see what kind of help they may need. Think: homeless shelters, humane societies and food banks.
            • Call mom & dad more
            • Give the two people that raised you a bit more time on the phone this year. Try calling mom & dad at least once a week and watch how it brightens their mood and lifts their spirits.

            • Adopt a pet
            • Adopt, don’t shop! There are so many furry friends out there who need some love. Stop by your local animal shelter and check out the pets they have for adoption. Not ready for that kind of long-term commitment? Try fostering a pet, giving them a home and some much-needed love while they are looking for adoption.

        Categories: Holidays, Social Media Tags:

        Life is not like Star Trek

        This is not original but it’s too good to not share …

        Life Will Not Be Like Star Trek
        (Written by Scott Adams, published in “The Dilbert Future” by HarperBusiness. Copyright United Media, 1997. Please keep this notice with the text if you forward it by e-mail.)
        [Edited]

        There are so many Star Trek(tm) spin-offs that it is easy to fool yourself into thinking that the Star Trek vision is an accurate vision of the future. Sadly, Star Trek does not take into account the stupidity and selfishness of the average human being. Allow me to describe some of the more obvious errors in the Star Trek vision.

        *Medical Technology*

        On Star Trek, the doctors have handheld devices that instantly close any openings in the skin. Imagine that sort of device in the hands of your unscrupulous friends. They would sneak up behind you and seal your **ahem** shut as a practical joke. The devices would be sold in novelty stores instead of medical outlets. All things considered, I’m happy that it’s not easy to close other people’s orifices.

        *Transporter*

        It would be great to be able to beam your molecules across space and then reassemble them. The only problem is that you have to trust your co-worker to operate the transporter. These are the same people who won’t add paper to the photocopier or make a new pot of coffee after taking the last drop. I don’t think they’ll be double-checking the transporter coordinates. They’ll be accidentally beaming people into walls, pets, and furniture. People will spend all their time apologizing for having inanimate objects protruding from parts of their bodies. “Pay no attention to the knickknacks; I got beamed into a hutch yesterday.”

        If I could beam things from one place to another, I’d never leave the house. I’d sit in a big comfy chair and just start beaming groceries, stereo equipment, cheerleaders, and anything else I wanted right into my house. I’m fairly certain I would abuse this power. If anybody came to arrest me, I’d beam them into space. If I wanted some paintings for my walls, I’d beam the contents of the Louvre over to my place, pick out the good stuff, and beam the rest into my neighbor’s garage.

        If I were watching the news on television and didn’t like what I heard, I would beam the anchorman into my living room during the commercial break, give him a vicious wedgie, and beam him back before anybody noticed. I’d never worry about ‘keeping up with the Joneses,’ because as soon as they got something nice, it would disappear right out of their hands. My neighbors would have to use milk crates for furniture. And that’s only after I had all the milk crates I would ever need for the rest of my life. There’s only one thing that could keep me from spending all my time wreaking havoc with the transporter: the holodeck.

        *Holodeck*

        For those of you who only watched the ‘old’ Star Trek, the holodeck can create simulated worlds that look and feel just like the real thing. The characters on Star Trek use the holodeck for recreation during breaks from work. This is somewhat unrealistic. If I had a holodeck, I’d close the door and never come out until I died of exhaustion. It would be hard to convince me I should be anywhere but in the holodeck, getting a massage.

        Holodecks would be very addicting. If there weren’t enough holodecks to go around, I’d get the names of all the people who had reservations ahead of me and beam them into concrete walls. I’d feel tense about it, but that’s exactly why I’d need a massage.

        I’m afraid the holodeck will be society’s last invention.

        *Phasers*

        I would love to have a device that would stun people into unconsciousness without killing them. I would use it ten times a day. If I got bad service at the convenience store, I’d zap the clerk. If somebody with big hair sat in front of me at the theater, zap! On Star Trek, there are no penalties for stunning people with phasers. It happens all the time. All you have to do is claim you were possessed by an alien entity. Apparently, that is viewed as a credible defense in the Star Trek future.

        I wish I had a phaser right now. My neighbor’s dog likes to stand under my bedroom window on the other side of the fence and bark for hours at a time. My neighbor has employed the bold defense that he believes it might be another neighbor’s dog, despite the fact that I am standing there looking at him barking only twenty feet away. In a situation like this, a phaser is really the best approach. I could squeeze off a clean shot through the willow tree. A phaser doesn’t make much noise, so it wouldn’t disturb anyone. Then the unhappy little dog and I could both get some sleep. If the neighbor complains, I’ll explain that the phaser was fired by the other neighbor’s dog, a known troublemaker who is said to be invisible.

        And if that doesn’t work, a photon torpedo is clearly indicated.

        *Cyborgs*

        Given the choice, I would rather be a cyborg instead of 100 percent human. I like the thought of technology becoming part of my body. As a human, I am constantly running to the toolbox in my garage to get a tool to deal with some new household malfunction. If I were a cyborg, I might have an electric drill on my arm, plus a metric socket set. That would save a lot of trips. From what I’ve seen, the cyborg concept is a modular design, so you can add whatever tools you think you’d use most.

        I’d love to see crosshairs appear in my viewfinder every time I looked at someone. It would make me feel menacing, and I’d like that. I’d program myself so that anytime I saw a car salesman, a little message would appear in my viewfinder that said ‘Target Locked On.’ It would also be great to have my computer built into my skull. That way I could surf the Net during useless periods of life, such as when people talk to me. All I’d have to do is initiate a head-nodding subroutine during boring conversations and I could amuse myself in my head all day long.

        I think that if anyone could become a cyborg, there would be a huge rush of people getting in line for the conversion. Kids would like it for the look. Adults would like it for its utility. Cyborg technology has something for everyone. So, unlike Star Trek, I can imagine everyone wanting to be a cyborg.

        The only downside I can see is that when the human part dies and you’re at the funeral, the cyborg part will try to claw its way out of the casket…

        *Shields*

        I wish I had an invisible force field. I’d use it all the time, especially around people who spit when they talk or get too close to my personal space. In fact, I’d probably need a shield quite a bit if I also had a phaser to play with.

        I wouldn’t need a big shield system like the one they use to protect the Enterprise, maybe just a belt-clip device for personal use…

        *Long-Range Sensors*

        If people had long-range sensors, they would rarely use them to scan for new signs of life. I think they would use them to avoid work. You could run a continuous scan for your boss and then quickly transport yourself out of the area when he came near…

        And that’s why the future won’t be like Star Trek.

        Categories: Movies, TV shows

        Olympic Memories

        The 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio began with the flame being lit by Brazilian runner Vanderlei Cordeiro de Lima who, in 2004, was leading the men’s marathon when he was attacked.  He managed to still finish and win the Bronze but was also awarded the Pierre de Coubertin medal for good sportsmanship (the award was named after founder of the modern Olympics and is also known as the International Fair Play Committee Award) and it ended with Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino receiving the same honor.

        This isn’t a case where everyone gets a participation medal; in fact, this honor has only happened 17 times in Olympic history.   This is a reminder of true sportsmanship.

        Whom should my grandkids be inspired by?   I was impressed by the athletic accomplishments of Michael Phelps, Katie Ledecky, Simone Biles and Usain Bolt.  However, I was even more impressed by those that remembered the importance of being a decent human being.

        I also enjoyed the stories of those that made a comeback from setbacks in previous Olympics or that were inspired by others.  This time around, some participated without a nation but instead competed under the Olympic flag.

        Categories: Sports Tags: ,

        Highlight of D.C. was in a classroom

        I’ve been attending the Newspaper Association of America (NAA) mediaXchange this week in Washington, D.C.

        It’s been a great conference and I always enjoy seeing colleagues from throughout the industry.   I’ve been fortunate to hear lots of great speakers including Washington Post Executive Editor Marty Baron (whom many will now associate with the Oscar-winning movie “Spotlight“) as well as several interesting companies such as Blendle, American Press Institute, Stringr, and this little startup named Google that you might have heard about.

        However, the highlight of the week was not actually at the conference but instead it was in a classroom a few blocks away.  On Monday evening, I met my friend & McClatchy co-worker Julie Moos for dinner.  Julie and I met in early 2015 when we were being trained by the Stanford d.school on Design Thinking.

        After dinner, I joined Julie as she taught her graduate class at Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.  Once there, I got to share some about the sessions at NAA mediaXchange, hear from the students about their background and interests, and be interviewed by Julie about my career. Then, after Julie gave them a refresher on Design Thinking, it was time for them to enter the Testing Phase and I got to provide them with feedback.

        It was nice to see these student journalists at work and to hopefully help guide them to continue to seek feedback, fail fast and come up with the next big thing. For an early look at what they’ve been up to, please visit their projects:

        Thanks and enjoy Washington D.C. through the work of these journalists!

        I love that AUMC has a Community Garden; read all about it in this post, “This Week in Avondale”

        Spring isn’t here, officially, but per the weather, we need to start thinking about growing things. Friday the Avondale Community Garden got its beds tilled in anticipation of planting to sta…

        Source: This Week in Avondale

        Categories: Uncategorized

        Lent

        This is a blog by someone at my church where he reviews what our Senior Pastor said about Lent.  I meant to share it at the time but neglected to do so.  Better late than never as there’s still several weeks left during Lent.

        Source: Lent

        Categories: Church Tags: ,