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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Milwaukee Brewers 2014: The End of a Season

Like many Milwaukee Brewers fans, I'm sad and disappointed. What began as an exciting baseball season full of hope and eagerness for a post-season Playoff berth, fell apart in September. The Brewers started the season in April with a 20-7 record, and they stayed atop the National League Central division for five full months. During that time, they never gave up first place. But in September, they crashed with a 9-22 record to end the season at 82-80.

Third place. No division title. No wild card. A fantastic season that ended with a heavy thud.

Yeah, I'll miss my Brew Crew. I'll miss watching the games. I'll miss the crack of the bat. But, like every disheartened life-long fan (of any losing team), I'll put the depressing fall behind me, wipe the slate clean, and hope that next year tells a very different story.

Six months until the 2015 season. The long winter wait begins.

"Brewers collapse leaves immediate uncertainty"

-Jon


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Monday, September 29, 2014

Quote of the Day: Listening

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand."
- Karl Menninger

-Jon

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

The 23 Most Scenic Train Rides In The World

I love trains; I love riding trains. If I could retire today, and travel the world on trains, I would. In a heartbeat. Trains are the most laid-back -- and often most beautiful -- mode of travel. You can just sit there in your seat (or, my personal favorite, the observation car!), and enjoy the view. Magestic mountains, pristine snowscapes, vast rocky gorges.... trains pass through them all!

For your viewing pleasure, here are 23 of the most scenic train routes in the world. My own personal love affair with train travel began on old trains in Colorado, and was reinforced aboard The Empire Builder (#16 on this list). Which if these trains have you ridden aboard?

-Jon

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A Live Painting of a Woman's Life

South Korean illustrator Seok Jeong Hyeon created a "live" drawing of a woman's aging process from infancy to old age. It's an ever-changing video that captures the beauty of this girl's aging process in a wonderfully captivating way. Click play, sit back, and enjoy!



-Jon

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

Quote of the Day: Afternoons

"Spend the afternoon. You can't take it with you."
- Annie Dillard

Enjoy the day. Enjoy what you do during the day. Because that day will never come again.

-Jon

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

It's not about you.

You love what you do. You have fans who love what you do. But there are always those who seem determined to look down on your great work as uninteresting, stupid, or downright boring. The truth is, you can't please everyone -- no matter how hard you work. Do what YOU love, and give your dedicated fans something to enjoy. Everyone else... well, they'll find other things to appreciate.

It's not about you. Seth Godin expresses this quite well:
"Right in the front row, not four feet from Christian McBride, was every performer's bĂȘte noire. I don't know why she came to the Blue Note, maybe it was to make her date happy. But she was yawning, checking her watch, looking around the room, fiddling with this and that, doing everything except being engaged in the music.
McBride seemed to be too professional and too experienced to get brought down by her disrespect and disengagement. Here's what he knew: It wasn't about him, it wasn't about the music, it wasn't a response to what he was creating.

Haters gonna hate.

Shun the non-believers.

Do your work, your best work, the work that matters to you. For some people, you can say, "hey, it's not for you." That's okay. If you try to delight the undelightable, you've made yourself miserable for no reason.

It's sort of silly to make yourself miserable, but at least you ought to reserve it for times when you have a good reason."
-Jon

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Blogger's Block

I have no idea what to blog about right now. And that annoys me.

Years ago, my blog was very well read -- popular -- it was even reviewed in the local media as one of the best blogs in Wisconsin! Of course, back then, I was in a very different place in life, and I had more time to write down my thoughts. These days, I'm a busy guy. There's always something pulling me in one direction or another. Either I'm working on a creative project, or I'm working hard to market that creative project. My blogging has slipped to the back burner.

The thing is, though, busy or not, I enjoy blogging. I miss blogging. I love dancing with the written word. But when it's so much easier to post my thoughts during a busy day on Facebook, what becomes of this blog? What happens to this once-great blogging platform? What do I write here that isn't already shared on the big "F"?

Part of me wants to continue the, "this is cool, I found it on the inter-webs" blogging angle that I've been pursing the past few years. I like discovering things. I like learning new bits of knowledge. But then there's the other part of me that wants to go back to those early days of blogging -- twelve years ago -- when I recapped my post-college days, and the ponderous thoughts flowed freely.

It's a tough decision. And it bugs me. Maybe my brain is being tapped out as a result of all the creative work that I do. Maybe I need to scale back the work, sit down... and write. Write whatever comes to mind.

Then again, maybe those ponderous thoughts aren't flowing freely because I'm stuck in a rut of familiarity. I'm comfortable, I'm occupied. I'm content. And what I'm really having a hard time with is -- taking bigger steps into the unknown. Perhaps those early blogging years were so fascinating because I had just graduated from college, and I was wading into the waters of uncertainty.

There's always something to blog about when that something is fresh and new.

Perhaps what I really need, is to focus more on the new, and less on the familiar.

Maybe that's the block this blogger is struggling with. The question is: where do I start?

-Jon

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Marketing"

"Time, energy, and talent can be more important than budget."
- Scott Harrison

Money does not always buy what you need or want to acquire. More often than not, time, dedication and pure determination carry a heck of a lot more value than the local currency ever would.

-Jon

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Monday, May 12, 2014

"Do You Wanna Go To Starbucks?"

If you've seen Disney's "Frozen", and you like coffee, then you'll probably enjoy this. If you ask me, I think it has "viral" ("shareable") written all over it! Enjoy!



-Jon

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

"How We're Feeling (on Twitter)"

Now this is a fascinating website:

How We're Feeling grabs tweets in real time looking for one of 32 hashtags related to how the tweeter is feeling. On the website, the hashtag circles light up as new tweets come in, and the "total tweets" are the number of tweets that been received today. The "positivity rating" is a percentage of how many tweets express a positive emotion.

Right now, as of this post, Twitter is 84% positive.

Take a look at the website, and see how Twitter is feeling right now -- in real time.

-Jon

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Wednesday, April 02, 2014

"The Expert (Short Comedy Sketch)"

I've worked with clients like this. They have a great idea, something that looks amazing in their own minds, but in reality, it isn't nearly as easy to achieve. Sometimes, when an idea like this is placed on the table, the best answer really is, "I'm sorry, I can't do that".

Sit back, and enjoy. This comedy sketch will confuse you, elicit sympathy, and entertain you all at the same time. And, for some, it may even remind us of moments in which we were in this exact same situation. Creativity can achieve the impossible -- but it does still have limits.



-Jon

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Dogs"

"He is your friend, partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion." - Unknown

I grew up with cats, I've never been much of dog person. However, my in-laws have dogs (four dogs in related families), and I'm slowly growing to appreciate canines as the years pass. Will I own a dog of my own? I'm not at that point yet, but I most definitely appreciate them for the unconditional love and devotion they offer.

That being said, I came across this quote today, and thought I'd share.

-Jon

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Disney's Frozen: "Let It Go" by Idina Menzel"

I'll admit: I'm a fan of the Disney movie, "Frozen". It is, without a doubt, my favorite Disney animated film, followed closely by "Tangled". The "Frozen" music, story, digital animation, it's all well done. I've never really considered myself a big fan of Disney films, but, in recent years, they're changing that perspective a bit. I'm willing to come back around.

That being said, I'm also a big fan of the film's signature song, "Let It Go", performed by Idina Menzel. It captures me with the power, the musical range.... and the emotional story of Queen Elsa. I've included that song here for your viewing pleasure. Sit back, turn up your speakers, and enjoy the Academy Award-winning Best Original Song of 2013.



-Jon

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"Quote of the Day: Victor Hugo"

"Have courage for the great sorrows of life and patience for the small ones; and when you have laboriously accomplished your daily task, go to sleep in peace. God is awake."
- Victor Hugo

This has always been one of my favorite quotes. It seemed appropriate to share again today.

-Jon

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Your Relationship With the Future"

I admire Seth Godin and his insight into the world of marketing. Always have. His advice, his tips, his perspective have helped me better develop my own unique brand(s) in this wonderfully creative world we live in. Here's another bit of helpful insight, this time as I look to the future.
"Some people believe that tomorrow is likely to be better. Better opportunities, better technology, a brave new day to make a new kind of difference.

Others think that yesterday was a lot better than today. Tomorrow represents diminished resources, fewer opportunities, one step closer to the end.
We call tech geeks, "early adopters," and it's worth highlighting that they are not, "early adapters." Adaptation implies that people aren't eagerly going forward, they're merely tolerating what gets thrown at them.
As a marketer, then, there's a real choice here--to market your wares (new to this market) to people who are eager for change, or to get very good at marketing to people who would prefer not to change.

As a human, the question is even more profound: What relationship with the future will you choose?
The thing is, the future happens. Every single day, like it or not. Sure, tomorrow is risky, frightening and in some way represents one step closer to the end. But it also brings with it the possibility of better and the chance to do something that matters."
-Jon

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