2009: A Brief Year in Review

Well.  Here we are once again. Another year come and gone. For some reason this year I feel like I didn’t really accomplish as many things as I’d hoped to.  I really threw myself into working with my Point B friends / colleagues to help our clients and our firm weather the storm, which took its toll on my personal time especially since my work assignments have been at client locations 30 to 45 miles from home, sapping away precious time driving on the days I need to be in the office.  I also gave up quite a few evenings for work-related outings plus business trips to Frankfurt (once), Hartford (several) and Seattle (once).  I believe it was worth it, but hoping to take a small step back in 2010.

Still, I did manage a few other things.  Made personal trips to Kīhei, Bismarck and North Platte.  Sold off my ’88 Jeep Wrangler and acquired an ’03 Flagstaff 208 pop-up camper.  Spent 300+ hours on soccer from coaching practices and games to coaching education and even playing.  Plus at least 100 more hours doing work with / for our soccer club’s board.  Soccer has become my number 1 hobby, dominating weeknights and weekends alike.  Made a batch of beer.  Built new friendships in the neighborhood where I live, which is something sort of new to me as I tend to hang out with work colleagues.  Thanks to John, Tinna, Mark and Cee Cee for the good times this year!  And thanks to Julie for getting me out of my office to socialize.  Helped out Erin with her school’s Flat Stanley Project.  Hosted Thanksgiving for 11 including my first fried turkey (much to learn about that process).  Sitting at 591 LinkedIn connections and 259 Facebook connections.  Posted to this blog a dozen times and 8 times on RockyMtnFuller.com.  I say it every year, but I need to write more!  Supported Bal Swan Children’s Center and Hope House of Colorado.

Now for some New Years’ resolutions.  I need to run, ride and swim more.  My mileage (e.g. only 358 run miles in 2009) was pushed down to the bare minimum and that has to change.  More beer making.  I need to work with Grace on posting to the family blog.  She’s become a wonderful, imaginative writer and should be leveraging the outlet.  A bit less soccer (although I’m not sure how I will make that happen yet).  Put the new camper to use and accrue a lot of outdoors time this coming summer.  I live in Colorado.  Time to get back to why we live here.

And I leave you with this: JibJab’s usual irreverent compilation of recent events encapsulated in their short film entitled Never a Year Like ’09.

Micro Movie Magic

If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you know I’ve spent a lot of time in the air this year. Since I always ride in coach and there’s no room for my 6’3” body to work with a laptop, I end up reading or watching movies whenever I’m not sleeping. In terms of films, both South African Airways and Delta Air Lines have pretty good in-flight entertainment systems with individual on-demand video systems.  As a result, I count 26 movies watched in the air this year. I thought I’d devote a post to movie reviews. However, since they have little tiny screens on airplanes, these are just little tiny reviews. Enjoy.

  1. Juno: A quirky perspective on teen pregnancy.
  2. Beowulf: All CGI. Angelina Jolie’s digital instance is pretty awesome.
  3. Atonement: A little depressing. My one chick flick for the year.
  4. We Own the Night: Not buying Marky Mark and Joaquin Phoenix as brothers, but there’s a really unsual car chase in a rain storm. I love car chases!
  5. Knocked Up: Incredibly funny. Seth Rogan is great and Katherine Heigl is very sweet.
  6. Dan in Real Life: Oops. Another chick flick. With Steve Carrell and Dana Cook, I expected it to be really funny, but this is a serious movie. Still pretty good.
  7. Cloverfield: Not sure I’d see it again since the outcome is spoiled now, but everyone should see it once. Good, clean monster movie fun.
  8. I Am Legend: A better kind of zombie movie. Check it out.
  9. Jumper: Just okay. Don’t expect Anakin to wield any light sabres in this one.
  10. Into the Wild: I gave up. Sean Penn goes overboard with the artistic stuff. I did like Vince Vaughn as the leader of a gypsy harvest combine crew.
  11. Charlie Wilson’s War: Surprisingly good. I don’t agree politically with the real Charlie Wilson, but the movie was a lot of fun.
  12. Elizabeth – The Golden Age: I fell asleep.
  13. National Treasure – Book of Secrets: How can Nicolas Cage play this kid-friendly, quasi action hero role, then go off to another movie where he’s a complete psycho? Whatever. A good addition to the Nat T franchise.  And it has a car chase!
  14. Gone Baby Gone: I usually hate this kind of “kid in peril” movie. But it had a lot of twists and turns and I enjoy Ed Harris (who was also in NT: BoS).
  15. Semi Pro: Goofy. Silly. Prototypical Will Ferrell.
  16. Be Kind Rewind: This is an odd little film. It was shot to look like a home movie which is funny given the plotline. The movie is a little Weird Science and a lot something else.
  17. The Bank Job: Jason Statham is cool. Typecast, but cool. I can imagine him playing David Beckham in a soccer biopic.
  18. Drillbit Taylor: Owen Wilson is slipping a bit. Just okay.
  19. I, Robot: An oldie, but goodie, as they say. High quality sci-fi is a weakness of mine. This is almost as good as Minority Report.  And it has trucks-full-of-robots-chasing-a-car chase!
  20. An Inconvenient Truth: Way better than I expected. The scariest part of this film is that it was made by a politician with clarity and who seemed to make sense. The situation must be much worse than it appears for that to have happened.  But no car chases.
  21. Leatherheads: George Clooney and Renée Zellweger try a wee bit too hard to have chemistry, but it’s not every day someone makes a football movie from this era. Good for a view.
  22. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Another favorite classic. I need to go to Wudan school.
  23. 21: The book was better.
  24. Master & Commander – The Far Side of the World: The next best thing to a car chase is a 19th century round-the-world tall ship chase.
  25. 10,000 BC: I didn’t realize that in ancient Egypt there were massive mountain ranges full of mastodons, vast jungles with super sized flightless vultures AND the giant deserts you normally associate with the region (plus you could pretty easily walk across all this terrain in a few days), but it’s right here on film.
  26. Vantage Point: This movie is good up until about the 4th run through of the assassination sequence from a different point-of-view, then it started to get a bit repetitive (literally).  Still it’s not bad.  And there’s a great car chase through the streets of Mexico City (the movie was “set” in Salamanca but not “shot” there).

Jägervison

The other day while driving to a meeting, I looked in my rear view mirror and noticed a large RV hanging behind me with an orange logo on the front. It only took a fraction of a second to realize I was being tailed by a Jägermeister-branded tour bus. I grabbed my BlackBerry Curve and frantically shot a picture out the back window.Jägermeister Tour Bus on my Tail

Much like St Hubertus and his own encounter with a white stag bearing a crucifix between his antlers, I asked myself: “What could this mean? What shall I do?”. Unfortunately, unlike the stag in the legend, this bright orange vision behind me provided no clues, gave no instructions.

I was perplexed, nay, distraught over this experience as it had to have happened for a reason, but I knew not why.

Then it hit me… marketing! That was it! Here was clear evidence of a higher power (Mast-Jägermeister AG in Wolfenbütte, Niedersachsen, Deutschland) raising awareness of their brand. Obviously, advertising is rare in the US, so I had to learn more.

I visited their website and soon found the Jägerbus was not their only “vehicle” for promotion. They sponsor JägerMusic concert tours and have JägerRadio pumping out the tunes of their tour acts over the Internet, there are Jägerettes & Jägerdudes to froth up crowds at events, they have an on-line JägerStore with all sorts of logo gear (want a gravity fed Jägermeister tap system in the rec room?) and they have produced a proprietary mixology of JägerRecipes.

They even have something called Toughest Cowboy where I think competitors tackle three events each night (bareback, saddle bronc & bull), ride the Jägerbus to a bar, do Jägershots with their fans until closing time, then get up and do it all over again the next night. Sounds tough. Clearly, the good people at Mast-Jägermeister are a creative bunch and deserve recognition for their JägerVison.

To honor their efforts, I have decided to change the e-mail address for this blog. Henceforth, you can reach me via JägerMail at openkimono at jagermail.com. You must be 21 or over to e-mail. Please spam responsibly.

Jägerstag

2007: A Brief Year in Review

On the Eve of my 38th New Year, I find myself camped out in a Scooter’s Coffeehouse in Bellevue, NE catching up on e-mails and pondering what the next 365 days will bring. It’s been an interesting year with family time spent, a business venture built, new friends made, old friends found, soccer seasons played, frequent flyer miles accrued, road trips executed, coffee drank, XM radio enjoyed, pounds gained and lost, miles run, chores completed, more dark hair converted to gray and blogs written. And a bunch of other stuff I can’t remember right now (I was up until 2:00am last night enjoying a few barley pops with my father-in-law Bob).

What will happen in 2008? Hopefully, more of the same. I’ve enjoyed life in the last year tremendously and cannot wait to see what’s next. To my loyal readers (all 3 of you!), I’d like to wish the best of luck in 2008 and may one day always be better, at least in some little way, than the next.

And I leave you with this: JibJab’s usual irreverent compilation of recent events encapsulated in their short film entitled In 2007.

Season’s Greetings

Tis’ the season, as they say. Normally about this time of year, I’d be drafting an annual recap to include in our Christmas card envelopes. This year, I thought we’d leverage technology a bit and announce the goings ons for the Rocky Mountain Fullers on-line.

Erin

As usual, we start with the youngest. Erin turned 5 this past October and is in the midst of her second year of pre-school at Bal Swan Children’s Center. While she claims school is boring, she comes home each afternoon bragging of new knowledge gained. She’s become a proficient swimmer and made great gains on the soccer field, while continuing to show a flair for performance with impromptu Hannah Montana impersonations breaking out constantly. Her top priority at the moment is some day making it on American Idol, much to her mother’s pride (huge fan of the show) and her father’s chagrin (not).

Grace

Meanwhile, Grace turned 7 in August as she entered 2nd grade at Aspen Creek K-8 School. Grace loves school especially those study units that emphasize science. She remains a sports fanatic and enjoys any game with a ball and running at high speed, particularly soccer where this past season she played up and down the field as a forward, defender and goalie. Grace is also a rock hound and was in heaven during a recent trip to Utah and Arizona, returning home with several pounds of new samples for her collection. She currently aspires to be both an archaeologist and geologist when not playing soccer professionally.

Dave and JulieAs the kids’ activity levels have accelerated, Julie continues with her volunteer work at their schools. She’s maintained her leadership role for the Bal Swan Ball Decorations Committee while taking on the Board Secretary position for the Aspen Creek K-8 PTA.

If you’ve been reading this blog the last year or so, you may have picked up a few things I’ve been up to. First, there was building a new business that included a great deal of travel around the US (California, Texas, Michigan) and a couple trips to the UK. While in the UK, I managed some quick excursions to Edinburgh to see my younger sister Corey. Along the way, I’ve threaded in coaching activities for both the girls’ teams as well as taking a Board position with the Broomfield Soccer Club where I’m responsible for Technology. And of course, I’ve been blogging.

Somehow with all the school, sports, work and volunteer activities, we managed to squeeze in a week on Maui, HI (both girls learned to snorkel in the Pacific Ocean!), made our traditional early summer run to Omaha, NE to see Julie’s family and capped it off with a Thanksgiving week trip to Sahuarita, AZ to see my folks. Busy year.

Finally, 11 year old Sam the Dog keeps his time filled with sleeping and trying to relax more. His big achievement this year was establishing his own web presence on Facebook. If you have an account, be sure to look him up.

BONUS: The Rocky Mountain Fullers make fools of themselves… CLICK HERE… it’s a little slow to load so be patient.