Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Boulevard Chocolate Ale hunt

Boulevard Chocolate Ale 2012

Only Boulevard would give me a legitimate reason to leave work at 10 a.m. to buy beer.

I got my bottle. The liquor store was rationing and only letting people get out with one bottle at a time.  At 10-bucks a pop, I figured one was more than enough.

Monday, January 30, 2012

VIDEO: Kansas City LEGO Challenge

It took me a while, but I finally got around to downloading the video from the camera.

Here is my Round One (Animal Theme) video. Enjoy it and its 30 minutes of Lego glory.

There is a few more videos of my talking to the judges and building in Round Two over at the Wednesday Weekly YouTube Page.

Big thanks to Miss Mia Cole for shooting video all day for me. I did not realize she shooting the ENITRE 30 minute round until afterward when I started reviewing the clips.

That, team, is what we call commitment.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Diversity: more than just an old, old wooden ship

An Anchor Man joke? I know, pretty juvenile... but considering a white, suburb-raised 20-something male is about to talk about Diversity, I thought it seems right.

There are far more intelectual and lofty publications out in the world that deal with diversity in higher education and I don't exactly think I am going to contribute any new thoughts or idea.

Still, I wanted to share at least something about this new Master's class I am taking through Park University. The class itself is an introduction to public policy and government management. It's the starter class for the larger Master's in Public Affairs and Administration.

As we went around the room introducing ourselves we were supposed to say our name, where we are from and what our future plans were with the MPA from Park.

Out of the 12 students in the room, I was the only white male.

Now, this is nothing new. When I worked in the Kansas City's Northeast neighborhood this was pretty typical. In Brooklyn, I lived and worked in a predominately Caribbean neighborhood. Even at the Community College the level of diversity (while not ideal) is pretty high when compared to some suburbs in the region.

No, what was fascinating to me was where everyone else was from:

Five of the students in the class are from Saudi Arabia.

One student is from Azerbaijan.

One students is from Africa (I regret not being able to hear from what country specifically).

All of them had roughly the same story; they came to the U.S. specifically to get a Master's Degree in Public Affairs and then would be returning home once they graduated.

Most of them said they worked for the government in their respective countries (or worked for a type of NGO) and that they would be returning to that job when they returned home.

That is quite a move to attend a private university in the middle of the county.

I did not want to be rude or insensitive, but as a marketing guy, I wanted to just pick their brains about what drew them to Park or even Kansas City. How they found the program or even how they made the decision to up-root home and family (one guy had enrolled with his wife) to come to Missouri for two years.

I mean, I thought traveling to the Park campus just across the river was going to be a chore every week (luckily I am at the downtown campus just a few blocks from my apartment).

It is already a wild ride as we talked about how different students don't see the freedom of speech as one of those untouchable rights. Even to hear someone talk about America's "drinking problem" raised a few eyebrows (we were talking about the constitution's amendments and recent hot topics).

Buckle up, team, because I get the feeling the ride on this old, old wooden ship is going to be a lot of fun.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

LEGO Brick Factor KC: building like a top 40 champ.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012


With more than 200 LEGO builders from five different states competing for the title of Master Model Builder, it was an intense day of building.

Even though I did not make the cut for the final 10, I managed to get into the semi-finals with the top 40 builders from around the region. With that badge of accomplishment, I feel like I represented well this weekend.

The competition itself was a blast. It reminded me of the old high school debate days. Saturday, like back then, was filled with about an hour of intense competition and then a lot of sitting around waiting for judges and results to be posted.

It was great to have not only family and friends, but also a small contingent of blog fans come out to support me as I competed.

For Round One we were told the theme was Animals. Most every had about 30-45 minutes to think about what they wanted to build.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

The only problem with planning ahead was that you did not know what bricks you were going to be dealt. Judges even mentioned that they put relatively basic bricks to see how creative the contestants could be.

For 30 minutes you have to not only build a model that will impress the judges, but you have to also interact with the crowd that is gathering at each table.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

With so many red bricks in my first round draw, I thought a ROCK LOBSTER would be fun.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

I finished the lobster pretty quickly. So, I started asking the kids watching my table what they think I need to add. Some said I needed sand for him to live in, other said food. The finished product.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

Round Two was even more insane as the crowd was bigger and the competition included 39 other incredibly good builders. The theme for this round was to build something we thought represented Kansas City or the Midwest.

I thought I could play off the City of Fountains motif.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

Of course, it would not be a KC Fountain without a bum wading around in the pool.

LEGO Brick Factor KC 2012

Like I said before, I missed the final cut but was still pleased with how I performed all day. Plus, the final 10 all had some amazingly creative models and it will be interesting to see what they put together in the final round.

I have A TON of photos from the LEGO event on my flickr page.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

TMI... or follow me on twitter #Scopy2012


Well, team, we are in the throws of prepping for my very first colonoscopy. I thought I would share with you the recipe that is my afternoon:

In a shaker, add:
10 oz. Magnesium Citrate
285 grams of Miralax
64 oz. of Gatorade

Shake vigorously over rocks. Pour into a pitcher-sized Goblet. Garnish with two doses of laxatives. Drink within 1 hour. Brace for impact.

The weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

That's what she said...

Back when I worked at The Old Paragraph Factory, I had an editor teach me to always re-read your writing as if you were a 13-year-old boy.

The idea, or at least one of the ideas, was to catch any accidental penis jokes or sexual innuendo that might have been left in your copy.

Think of it as a 'That's what she said' rule. Don't write anything that leaves the youngest person in the room giggling...

That rule, of course, can apply to just about any copy you write anywhere. You hear that Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts email? The KPAC is advertising the massive organ it just installed in the Helzberg Hall.

Here is email I received today...

To: Wednesday Weekly
From: The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Subject: A magnificent organ, a momentous occasion


Sorry, I don't mean to bring down the Classiness of the KPAC and its ... hehe ... organ.

Friday, January 06, 2012

LEGO competition at high noon in KC

Hell's Bells, Kansas City, make way for this LEGO Champion.

Next weekend, I will swagger jack this LEGO competition from some sad 10-year-old who thinks his Cowboy Space Castle is "da-bomb" — or whatever it is the kids say these days.

In preparation for the new LEGO Discovery Center at Crown Center, the Master Builders from around the country will be on hand to watch a bunch of child-like men and women attempt to compete for the coveted job of Kansas City's first LEGO Master Builder.

It's three rounds of timed building and only the top builder will be offered the job.

Yes, I will be competing. No, I never really stopped being 12. So save your judgement for another day...

I have been brushing up on my LEGO skills and watching film from previous competitions to see what is in store during the first few rounds of speed building. I just need to be on my game and ready to win.

If you are free Saturday, Jan. 14 at Noon, swing by the Crown Center to support your hometown hero (me) and play with some free LEGO sets!

I am really going to need is a sweet cheering section... I think it might be the only way to psyche out the competition and really make them feel inferior right out of the gate. Because, let's be honest, as much as LEGO means fun play, this is no longer playtime... it's go time.

If nothing else, if I lose, I will want to drown my sorrows with good friends and a lot of booze (from a mug build with LEGO).

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

What's on tap for 2012

New Years 2012

Well, there goes another year.

So, let's see what we have scheduled for 2012:

Get married, grad school, buy a house, kite festival, eat healthier, drink less, exercise more, write more, take more photos, learn more graphic design elements, produce more videos, pick up some freelance work, see middle brother graduate, watch more basketball, take a week-long vacation, cook more at home, start baking, vote, teach cats to do tricks, get a hair cut, get a colonoscopy, get a better video camera, volunteer more, backup my computer, organize the storage closets, blog more often, go skydiving, travel more...

That sounds like a good start to the year.