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What Would YOU Do With Mitt Romney?

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I'm a sucker for the Claw Machine.  It's tough to pass them up...

It's my addiction, and not a bad one to have when compared to other addictive things out there...

One morning I was coming back home from the gym, when I decided to stop by my local grocery store for a Rockstar (another addiction of mine) and to see if I won the Powerball jackpot (I didn't).

My grocery store has a claw machine, and I peek inside from time to time to see if there is anything worth grabbing.  Nine times out of ten it is filled with garbage, and today was no exception...

Until I saw it...

Half-buried in the mess was a plush Mitt Romney doll.  I stopped, stared, and laughed at the stupidity.

But then, Mitt won me over.

I made my purchase, cursed my losing lottery ticket, and was exiting the store when Mitt called out to me...

I had to win it.

See the look of worry on his face?
And win it I did, because (again) I am fucking awesome at Claw Machine games...

...he only cost me one dollar too... It's like he wanted to come with me...

So now the big question, my wonderful readers:  What am I going to do with him?

Do I give him to my dog, let her rip him to shreds, and become a YouTube sensation when my video is featured at next week's Democratic National Convention?

Do I cut a slit where his mouth is, whip out my willy, give him the old what-what and send a picture to Todd Akin, asking if this is considered 'legitimate rape?'

Or do you have a better idea?

Please leave a comment below, telling me what I should do with Mitt.  I'm using Disqus commenting now, which means you can up-vote and down-vote other comments as well.

The comment with the most up-votes by Tuesday morning (I'm taking Labor Day OFF) wins, and if it's blog-worthy, I'll show the aftermath.

You speak, I listen.  Now show me what you're made of, and let's have some fun with Mitt!!


Faith or Peer Pressure?

One of my former bosses was the 'sex drugs and rock & roll' type, until he found religion in his thirties.  He now goes to church every Sunday and is a leader at his chapel.

My sister in law became an atheist in her twenties, and decided growing up in the church was a waste of youth.

And you know what?  Whether I agree with their views or not, I have more respect for them (and those like them) than those that are born-and-raised Baptists/Hippies/Buddhists/etc.

Why?  Because they made a decision as an adult.  One that was informed and thought-out.  They matured on one path and decided it wasn't for them.

Now I know a lot of you have had your own religious Rumspringa and feel like you've weighed all options.  If you have, I'm not really talking to you.

I'm talking to the people who say "I'm a Mormon because my parents are Mormon" and that's good enough for them, like my example below.

This post started from a new video from Big Think, involving Bill Nye the Science Guy:

I'm a 90's kid and grew up watching Bill in High School Biology.  (BILL!  BILL!)  In this video he talks about parents not raising their kids to be creationists.

While I see the validity of his argument, I'd like to disagree with you, Mr. Nye.

The Flying Spaghetti Monster
Parents, take a part of Bill's advice.  Don't raise your kids to be Creationists.  But don't raise your kids to be Atheists either.

Don't raise your kids to be Pastafarians.

Don't raise your kids to be Mormon.

Don't raise your kids to be Democrats.

Don't raise your kids to BE anything, but an open-minded thinker who sees ALL SIDES of an argument and makes a rational decision on their own.  Faith isn't something to be rushed into, just like a three-year-old's decision on a career path isn't set in stone.

As we mature, our views on the world, on religion, and on BIG IDEAS should mature as well.  We shouldn't be programmed at a young age to think "...and that's the way it is..." about anything.


Parents, don't raise your kids with limits.  With boundaries.  With disadvantages.

This sign says it perfectly.  When we begin to think for ourselves and question everything we see, we begin to get answers that make sense to us.

If I was content on the views that were spoon-fed to me by my parents, I'd be a Jehovah's Witness that only votes Democrat (regardless of issue or candidate), smokes cigarettes, smokes pot and hates Mexicans.

That doesn't sound very fun, does it?

So.  Adults.  Sit down.  Look at who you are.  Is this who you are, or who your parents raised you to be?

The answer can be both, but if 'B' is your only choice, it's time to do some self-evaluation.

When I was working at an Idaho car lot, I had a Mormon friend I would hang with.  We'd go to the bar once a week after work (Jack Mormon, so he drank) and the topic eventually turned to faith.

Him:  So, what religion are you?

Me:  I'm not.

Him:  So you're an Atheist?

Me:  No, they're a religion too.  I have a belief in a higher power, something beyond our comprehension, I just see the major religions out there as corrupt and misleading.  I don't believe, in one way or another, that we have all the answers.  Most religions think they do, and know how everything is and was and will be.  I think that's really cocky on their part...

Him:  ....

Me:  So, why are you Mormon?  You drink, you swear... do you believe in the Mormon teachings?

Him: (without hesitation)  Absolutely.

Me:  So why do you drink beer?

Him:  Because I think that's ok, even though the church says otherwise.

Me:  Are your parents Mormon?

Him:  Yeah...

Me:  Is that why YOU are Mormon?

Him:  *Silence*

Six months later we met again, and he told me I was right.  He was going to church because he felt he had to.  He left the LDS church and was going to think and study about what faith means to him (if anything).

He was 'believing' for all the wrong reasons.

And there are a lot of people out there, just like him.

No matter what you believe: religious, political, etc.  If you came to those decisions on your own, I salute you.  You are the few, the proud, the lemmings that survive instead of run off the cliff because the person in front of you did.

Your move, Bill.  While I agree with what you are saying, I think you're leaving things just like the creationists:  In a little box of "...and that's the way it is..."


To Brag or Not To Brag: Linking Your Blog On A Resume

As Bloggers, we love to toot our own horn as much as we possibly can.

In fact, as I am writing this post I am about 2 weeks from hitting 1 million pageviews (accomplished in less than 20 months) and am averaging between 25 and 30,000 pageviews weekly.

Toot, toot.

Because of this, my blog is ranked about 67,000 in the US for website popularity.  The average small-to-midsize business website is around 300,000-1mil.  The best website in my current industry is at 97,000.

My blog is getting WAY more traffic than the average business website, and I am in the Sales & Marketing business.  I can, mister employer, help take your digital presence to new heights.

I'm not necessarily looking for a new job, but I always like to be prepared in case 'the deal of a lifetime' falls into my lap.  Because of that, I spent part of this weekend redoing my resume.

As I put everything together, the thought of mentioning my blog popped in and out of my head at least a dozen times.

I want to get a job in Marketing, working with Social Media.  I can use my blog as proof of concept...

...but I swear a lot on my blog, and cover a lot of controversial (sometimes offensive) topics.

I was leaning toward leaving it off, when I had an empty space in my left header... I had no idea how to fill it, when the BLOG-thought shouted loudly in my head.

I ended up doing this:

The QR code links to a post where I talk about helping increase the intake of tips at a coffee shop by making the tip jar more fun.  It worked well, got a lot of positive feedback from commenters, and has been viewed over 15,000 times from search engines and word-of-mouth.

Creative, unorthodox marketing.  I specialize in bringing new concepts to the table (things they don't teach you in business school).

This example is a good ice-breaker, but if an employer hits the 'home' button on a day where I talk about sex, mormons, idiots or anything else offensive, I'm done for.

Feedback from twitter says 'don't do it.'

...but I am torn.  Most businesses don't understand Social Media Marketing, and SEO is an unknown abbreviation.  My blog proves I'm damn-good at marketing a brand (in this case, the Brand of Brandon) but the topics covered aren't exactly of a 'professional' nature...

What do you think?  Some people blog about business, some about their social life, some blog about anything and everything.  Would YOU list your blog on a resume, if you thought it showed off one of your unique skills?

Or are you like me, where maybe the writing isn't exactly work appropriate?


Ikea, Mormons and the Striped Polo Shirt

This is going to be like a sitcom with two plots running parallel, and at the end everything merges into one symbiotic mess.  Bear with me until the end, when my train of thought will finally reach the station...

A few weeks ago I noticed a phenomenon dealing with Mormons and striped polo shirts.  I was at the grocery store and was blocked at the entrance by two LDS families.  Two husbands, two wives, and seven children (all boys).  The two females wore nondescript outfits, but the clothes for the 9 males jarred me:

Polos.  Striped polos.  Horizontal-striped polos.  All of them.

The men, the boys and the infants were all adorned in striped polos.  The twins from one family wore IDENTICAL striped polos.  It was like a 'pod people' movie where normal thinking humans were replaced by striped-polo aliens, hell-bound on destroying the Earth.

From that point on, I started taking more notice.  Striped polos were the LDS shirt of choice.  Not all of them wore striped polos, but it seemed to be a good bet that you'd see them in one more often than not...  If the men aren't in suits or a shirt/tie combo, a polo will do.

Fast forward to last week, when I was in Utah for work.  My girlfriend usually has me get things while I'm down there, since Utah has more options for retail and food.

My last Utah trip, I ended up bringing home Chipotle for dinner...

This trip, she needed me to run into Ikea to pick up a half-dozen organizer rods.

If you have never been into an Ikea, lucky you.  They are designed to be lab-rat mazes, and will essentially take you through every single square foot of retail space before allowing you to check out and make your purchase.

Just in case you lose your way, they have these to guide you:

Little arrows on the floor, to guide you from entrance to exit.  From first floor to second, and back down again.

Looking for these rods, I spotted a display using them.  The displays usually have tags like 'this item can be found in textiles' which is exactly where it said to get the rod.

So I walk.

And walk.

And follow the arrows like a good little boy.

The textiles section happens to be the last section before the end of the maze, and of course, the rods were not there.

I began to backtrack.

This meant going the opposite way the arrow was telling me to go.

People looked at me with shock and disgust, like I had just murdered a kitten... YOU CAN'T GO THE 'WRONG WAY' IN AN IKEA.  That's more blasphemous than mowing your lawn on a Sunday...

I go back to the beginning, and scour every section.  Finally, after 45 minutes, I found the coveted rods, and headed back to the exit.

And now that I wasn't blindly following arrows, I noticed something...


Scores of children.

About 2/3 of them were in striped polo shirts.

Above the torrent of twisting toddlers, I noticed a sign.

"IKEA:  Kids eat FREE on Tuesdays!"

It was Tuesday.

....for the love of God, it was Tuesday....

There were at least 3-4 children for every adult, and the food court was the halfway point between entrance and exit.

And I had to pee.

I decided to hold it, because I didn't want to go into a restroom that has suffered the constant assault of little kids.

I managed to escape without losing a limb or getting ketchup smeared on me.  The rods were $21 and change at the checkout, but I felt like I paid a much higher price than that... this trip took about a year off my lifespan.

Lesson learned:  If you go to an Ikea in Utah, don't go on 'Kids eat free' day.  The tornado of striped polo shirts will try to sweep you away.


The Best $10 I Have Ever Spent

When I was a kid, this was simply called 'being an asshole.'  Today it is referred to as 'trolling.'

Either way, this is hilarious, and I have to share this story with you.

I spend a lot of time on the road, and have found a love with Buffalo Wild Wings.  I can get a good cheap lunch/dinner there, and the atmosphere is fun.

I probably spend about 2-3 nights a month at various Buffalo Wild Wings locations in Montana and Idaho.

One of the fun aspects of BWW is the fact they have a jukebox.  At any time, you can go to the jukebox and change the house music to any tune you like, as long as it is on the playlist.

This day, I was bored and none of the sports channels were catching my eye.  The place was packed:  Girls' Night Out group, a table full of Air Force dudes in camo, and families all over the place.

I decided to people watch, and use the jukebox as my wingman.

The cost is $1 per song, and I put in a ten dollar bill.  The first song I picked was a bar standard, something current and 'pop-ish,' so nobody would notice what I was doing.

I found Beyonce's 'Single Ladies' and selected it.  Over and over.

The first time it came on, the Girls' Night group let out a "WOOOOO!!!" and danced at their table.  Nobody else really paid attention.

The second time it came on, a few people giggled.  Maybe this was a glitch...

The third time it came on, people started to groan and grumble.

By the 5th 'Single Ladies' in a row, the natives were getting restless.

When Aerosmith's 'Love in an Elevator' came on, there was a collective sigh of relief from the restaurant.  Some people clapped.  The vein in one Airman's forehead went back down.  People began eating in peace again.

But remember:  Intro song, Single Ladies x5, and Aerosmith.  That's only 7 songs...

...I spent $10...


When Steven Tyler faded out and Beyonce came back with a vengeance, people flipped.

The ladies groaned.

One of the Airmen shouted "OH COME ON!!"

For every one person laughing, there were about 20 people genuinely upset.

And me?  I have a poker face.  I'm just watching, and enjoying the fun social experiment.

Sadly, some of my $10 was wasted, as a manager finally intervened and bypassed the jukebox.  I really didn't mind, since I definitely got my money's worth.

(Sidenote:  I was tempted to use Justin Bieber's 'Baby,' but come on... I'm not THAT big of an asshole!)

(Side sidenote:  I guess I'm not retired yet, here comes Dude Write 11!)


Stand Up Comics and My Ex Wife (starring @JohnHeffron!)

I love comedy, and Stand-Up in particular.  Seeing a comic in front of an audience, doing their act and dealing with (sometimes uncontrollable) audiences is always a great experience, and I have a LOT of respect for what they do.

I like going to comedy clubs as often as I can.  Hard to do in buttfuck Idaho, but I used to live 5 minutes away from the Ontario Improv in California.

This is a story of the first (and last) time I took my ex wife to a comedy show.

It was 2005, and Last Comic Standing was still around (and relevant).  One of my coworkers had a massive crush on John Heffron, and I was looking for a date night idea for the wife.  Lo and behold, he was playing at the Improv!  Date Night + Jealous Coworker = Fun for me.  (Sorry, Belinda)

I like John Heffron.  He's extremely funny, and won Season 2 of LCS for a very good reason.  I didn't want to aggressively molest him like my coworker did, but I'd at least go and laugh and clap.

Wifey loves the idea, so we go.  We get dinner first and I load her up with alcohol, because she's a fun drunk (plus it's easier to have fun at a comedy club when you're tipsy).  We get 'front of the line' seating and are next to the stage.

The opening acts come and go, and John comes to the stage.  His act is like a snowball: he starts slow, and builds and builds until it's just rolling along.  About 2/3 into the show, he starts to interact with the audience.

He targets us.  My wife, ever the alpha, does the talking for us.

John:  "So you two married?"

Ex:  "Yes, going on 4 years."

John:  "How many kids do you have?"

Ex, with a straight face:  "We can't have kids."

His reaction?

She fucking stunned him silent.

For a good four seconds.

If you have ever been on a stage, four seconds is FOREVER.

The audience was silent.

Eventually he segue'd out of it and kept going, but the rest of the night just kind of felt a little weird after that.

She liked to "TMI" a lot from time to time, but this took the cake.  Why not just say 'no kids' and leave it at that?

You are at a comedy club.  It's happy joke time, not time to discuss our conception issues in front of 150 strangers.

I felt sorry for John.  A heckling "fuck you" or a "you're not funny" is hard enough to handle, but a "oh, we can't have kids, thanks for rubbing salt in THAT fucking wound, dude" is like a kick to the nuts.

It was still a great show, but I never suggested 'let's go to the Improv' ever again with her.

...but the funny part of it all?

A few months later, my oldest son was born.  We traced back the night of conception, and it happened to be that night, the night of the show.  Because of that (and a few other reasons), my oldest son is named John.

So thanks, I guess, to John Heffron.  Maybe her ovaries just needed some public embarrassment to kick them into baby-mode?


Gimme Some Lovin! (80's Style)

Ah, the 80's.  I love the 80's.

I was born in the 80's.  So was Nintendo.

'Airplane!' was released in 1980.  It was a PG movie with boobs, and delivered the famous phrase "I am serious.  ...and don't call me Shirley" as well as many other timeless moments.

And this box of incense was made in the 80's.

This came from rummaging through some boxes of an elderly relative, while looking for things to toss and things to sell at a yard sale.

20 sticks came with this pack.... 16 remain...

Think about that for a second...


I'll wait...

I am in love with this packaging.  Not only does it take me back to a time where nudity wasn't as offensive as it is now (America, Y U NO embrace nudity??) but I mean, come on.   Afros need to make a comeback.

You see two afros in the picture.  You don't see the other two, carefully concealed...

Because this is the 80's.  Nobody shaved back then.  You KNOW they both had freaky amazonian bushes goin on down there...  Their crotches were hairier than Tom Selleck's chest.

Bro.  Don't hate...

20 sticks came with this pack... 16 remain...  What was counted cannot be un-counted...

I think, to properly honor this black couple and all their lovin glory, I need to do a giveaway.

Yes, I'm going to be giving away this slightly-used-for-geriatric-boinking pack of 'Love' incense to whomever wants it.

All you need to do is include "Gimme some lovin!" in your comment below, and I'll put you into the drawing.  I'll pick a winner in a week and email you if you won.

My only request?  If you do use this incense for sex, you need to have some old-school "bow chick-a-wow wow" music playing as you get it on.  Al Green or Barry White are acceptable alternatives, but you got to get your throwback groove on.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play some Tetris and watch old Voltron cartoons.  Go go gadget AWESOME!


The Sip n Dip - A Bar's Bar

I am in Great Falls Montana where I just found the bar to end all bars. Montana.

In 2003, GQ Magazine voted the Sip n Dip Lounge in Great Falls as the greatest bar in the world.  While not as cool as some of the Vegas clubs, this place is awesome.

The best part?  It's in a so-so hotel in a so-so part of town.  I think this just adds to the flavor.

Located inside the O'Hare Motor Inn in downtown(ish) Great Falls, the Sip n Dip is decked out in island decor.  They specialize in tropical drinks (including 'The Fishbowl' which is as big as a, well...)

...and Mermaids.

Yes, Mermaids.  This place has two chicks swimming around in a swimming pool, blowing kisses at the patrons and swimming through hoops underwater.

Pure cheese.  And I love it.

To add to the camp, meet Piano Pat on the electric organ:

It just gets better, doesn't it?  She reminds me of a piano dealer los angeles I used to know.

The food is mediocre and overpriced, so just go there for drinks.  The atmosphere is awesome, the fun factor is top-notch, and mermaids.


Although one was wearing a sequined bra instead of a bikini top.  A little odd...

If you are ever in Great Falls Montana (you poor fool) you need to go here.  If you are ever loaded with airline miles and want to blow them on something cool, you need to go here.   Celebrities frequent this place on a regular basis, so bring a camera (apparently Ron White was just here a few days ago...).

When you do come here, enjoy the fun.




Wait wait, before you unfollow me because of the crass title, hear me out.

This is kind of a tongue in cheek joke.

(But BRANDON, abortions are not a joking matter!!!)

Again, just hear me out.

We are less than 100 days from the 2012 US Elections, and I am already tired of both sides.

Look at this billboard posted on Lady E's site.  The right is trying to say that Obama want all babies aborted.

Meanwhile the left is going after Paul Ryan and his stance of 'no abortions, even for rape victims.' (I'm paraphrasing, but the essence is there...)

It reminds me of this video from the Simpsons, made in 1996 during the Dole/Clinton election (16 long years ago, and hence the peculiar title...):

(pardon the poor quality)

I don't want to hear from Romney why Obama is a piece of shit, and I don't want to hear from Obama why Romney is a piece of shit.

STOP SLINGING MUD, BOTH OF YOU.  You're acting like goddamn children on the playground.

Tell me why you're the best for the job.  Tell me what you would do with four years in office (or an additional four years in office).  Short term goals.  Long term goals.  Getting us back in track.  And with a solid plan, not just "I'll get you more jobs!  I'll put you back to work!"

Dammit Mitt.  Talk about your credentials, your history.  You shout AMERICA NEEDS A PRESIDENT WITH EXPERIENCE but you won't go into detail about your own experience (and any potential skeletons in your closet).

I think Obama did a poor job his first term.  Yes, the deck was severely stacked against him, and we are slowly turning around, but does he deserve another term?  Meh...  I don't like people that over-promise and under-deliver.  (Granted, it's harder than you think to pull the breaks on a bigrig rolling downhill...)

Conversely, is Romney the right man for the job?  I don't think he is re-electable at all, which leads me to this question for the Republican higher-ups:  Do you give Romney the reigns of the party, let him serve 4 years and give the Democrats back the office in 2016, or do you lay down this election and take 4 years to find a truly decent candidate?

Bob Dole
G W Bush
John McCain
and now Mitt Romney

Come on, conservatives...  You can do better than this.  You gotta know when to hold em, and know when to fold em.  I think Romney/Ryan is a hand you fold, and see if you get better cards the next go-round.

One of the parties (I really don't care who...).  Give me a great leader.  Give me a unifier.  Give me a Reagan.  A Clinton.  Give me a better choice than this, or else I'm going to suggest a new National Anthem:

Either/or, I'm lukewarm about how we are going to fare in the next four years.


Fun Alternatives to #SharkWeek

If you have basic cable and are a fan of the Discovery Channel, you are probably aware that this week is known to the masses as "Shark Week."

Yes, it's that time of year where we all spam Twitter with "OMG IT'S A SHARK" tweets with hashtags of #SharkWeek and #SharkWeek2012.

Nerds will fight over the most badass sharks, whether Killer Whales are tougher (Why hasn't a 'Shamu vs Jaws' movie been made yet??  SyFy, I'm looking at YOU...) and other things that, well, really don't matter.

Now here's the part where I alienate my readers.  I do this from time to time, but mostly when I talk religion or politics.  Now, I do it with sharks.

I'm not really a fan of sharks, and I don't watch Shark Week.


Yep, the secret it out.  I often look for Shark Week alternatives whenever I can.

Thanks to Conan O'Brien, this year I can be entertained by Shaq Week.  Could Shaquille O'Neal, in his black-irish awesomeness, take down a shark?

Probably not, but I bet he could dunk on one.  Maybe even outrap it.

And, I mean, come on.  Shazam?  SO much better than any shark movie out ther-- wait.  Nevermind.

So, thanks to Team Coco, I am offering some other alternatives to Shark Week (just in case you're not a fan of the Shaq Attack...)

How about, in honor of Game of Thrones, we do 'Stark Week?'

Or maybe snark week, where bloggers everywhere unleash their inner smartass and wreak havoc on the internets?

Oh wait, we do that every week don't we?

How about bark week, where we celebrate wood in all its woody glory?

Lastly, I'm a big SciFi nerd.  I love me some Star Trek.  What about...


What about you?  Are you a fan of Shark Week?  If not, what alternatives would you suggest?


Sunday Silliness: Cats Are Evil

Cats are evil, even to their own kind:

I have three, and it is definitely love/hate for all of them...


How World of Warcraft Could Save Your Business (Utility Druid LFW)

"I would rather hire a high-level World of Warcraft player than an MBA from Harvard."

With that sentence, John Seely Brown from Big Think had my complete attention.

In this 6 minute video, Brown talks about the collaborative and creative aspects of this massively popular online game.  He says what gamers have been saying for years:

"Do not think about it as just gameplay, but look at the social life on the edge of the game."

As someone who played WoW for over four years, I can relate to everything he is saying.  If you have 6 minutes to watch this video, please do.

Since I am a former player, let me elaborate on his ideas a little bit.

BACKGROUND:  I was a Druid, a utility-class character.  I had others, but this was my 'main' dude.  Druids can serve as every single role in the game.  They can tank (take the blows from an enemy while others attack), do damage (both physical and magical) and can heal others.  When you change your specifications one of four ways (or a hybrid combination) you can be a formidable beast.

I was in a high-ranking guild on a heavy-population server.  Most people can do one role very well, and fill in other areas as needed.  On a server of over 20,000 players, I was the #4 ranked Druid Tank and the #6 ranked Casting Druid at one point.  At the same time.  I think I was ranked in the 30's or 40's for healing as well.  Unheard of, and this took a lot of effort/planning/preparation on my part.

Healing metrics for a boss encounter.  LOTS of data to analyze.

Brown talks about how the guilds are "meritocracy based" and good players/groups are doing constant self evaluation.  Every top-tier player wants to be in a top-tier guild, and has to be interviewed, evaluated, and 'earn their keep' on a regular basis.  If you falter, there is a miles-long line of people ready and willing to take your place.  Like I do in the business world, I made myself an invaluable part of the team.  I was "the glue" that helped hold things together.

In a guild environment, all players evaluate themselves and other teammates on a regular basis.  From the top-down, from the leader to the newest member, everyone critiques each other.  No one is exempt.  Weak-points within are identified and either repaired or replaced (leading incorrectly, bad heals, etc).  The guild is a living, breathing organism; constantly changing, learning, and growing (or dying).

In a business environment, how often do you get to give a performance review to those above you??

As Brown states, WoW is a "fundamentally collaborative game" on the high end.  When you are a part of top-tier guilds, you go into encounters with 10, 25, sometimes 40 players.  As a raid leader, you need to:

- Know the roles of all players, and what they are doing during the entire encounter.

- Know the strengths and weaknesses of all teammates, with contingency plans in case one (or more) of the players fall or fails to show up.

- Know the strategy of the encounter, and constantly come up with new ideas and 'angles' if Plan A does not work. well as ensure players have the proper resources, are 'specced' correctly, etc.  A lot of this is self-managed (a good player, like a good employee, comes prepared) but a leader's job is to make sure all the pieces fit, and all players are on the same page.

A bad leader will sound like this during an encounter:

(Have you had experience with bosses that sound like that dude?  I have.... in both the gaming world and the business world...)

Teamwork drives the game, just as teamwork drives business.  Everyone needs to do their job in order to reach the intended goal.  In the gaming world, players are always self-evaluating and looking for ways to improve and advance.

Take that concept into the business world.  Do you measure your performance on a regular basis?  Are you constantly striving for improvement?  Do you better yourself on a regular basis? 

Why not?  Whether you are the top of the food chain or just a cog turning a gear turning a dial, you serve a purpose and a function.  Why not be the very best ___ you can be, without someone 'managing' you and telling you how to function?

My favorite quote is how Brown ends his video.   "It (gaming) is an amazing learning environment with powerful learning tools, that I think... we in the management world can learn from.  But it gets back to the notion of passion, of curiosity, and this interest-driven phenomenon that unleashes exponential learning."

Man oh man, I wish I could use that same phrasing to describe my nine-to-five.  I like what I do, but I can't say that about my job.

....but what if we could?  Brown hears the phrase "if I ain't learnin, I ain't havin fun" a lot when he plays.  That should be every business' new slogan, if they want to succeed and grow in today's environment.


Ladies Love the Magnums

(After writing this post I knew, in my heart of hearts, that this would be my Dude Write 9 submission...)

My girlfriend was in the mood (and we were out) so she sent me to the local Drug Store for a box of Magnums.

Now, I have to say, I never get tired of buying these.  Every time I bring a box of Magnums up to the register, I get that knowing look.  Even moreso if the cashier is female.

They know I'm "that kind of man."  Four times out of five, I'll get a certain smile from the cashier...

This last time was extra special, and you'll soon find out why.  Here is the dialogue between me and the cashier.  She was 17, maybe 18... very cute and very ...forward.  Needless to say, this conversation had me blushing.

Her:  Are those Magnums?

Me:  Yep.

Her:  *stammers for a second*, what's the occasion?

Me:  My girlfriend sent me out for these.  We're out, and when she wants some I can't tell her no.

Oh, IT'S ON.
Her:  Lucky girl, to have such a caring man like you in her life...

Me:  *smiles*

Her:  *awkward silence*  Hey, how many are in that box??

Me:  *looks*  Three, why?

Her:  I know we just met, but, I don't suppose your girlfriend likes to ...share?  How about you save one of those bad boys for me?

Me, startled:  Um, I dunno... I think I would have to ask her first.  She may not be cool unless she knows what's going on...

Her:  Are you sure?  It could be our little secret... she doesn't have to know...

Me:  I think she'd notice if I came home with a box of three with only two in it...

Her:  Ok, good point.  I guess I'll just buy some myself when I get off my shift.

It was hard to say no, because she was so persistent...

...I mean, don't they look delicious??


Idaho Idol (Yes, It Has Come To THIS)

American Idol is, what, in its twentieth season by now?  Judges have come and gone.... and come and gone... and now we're left with Mariah Carey, rumors of a Jonas Brothers, and probably Joan Rivers' left boob.

Yes, to say American Idol is past its prime is, well, an understatement.

So much so, this year they are having online auditions for the very first time, as well as a tour bus that is rolling through small towns in flyover states.

Wait a second...

I live in a small town...

I live in a flyover state...

Could that possibly mean...

Yep!  The Idaho Falls roach-coach was in Idaho Falls this past weekend, looking for whatever talent may be in the local area.

...and big surprise, they got a lot of crap.

As a non-auditioner and non-press, I couldn't get too close.  However, I DID hear a lot of Mormon hymns being sung, and at least a dozen prayer circles.

Apparently if you're in a church choir, you're going to make a GREAT pop star...

I was half-tempted to audition, just to be on TV as one of the 'fools' they have every year, but this was the C-list bus.  No star judges, no TV cameras.  You have to make it through the first cut in order to audition in front of the real AI screeners.

So no Brandon in a banana suit this year.

However, I am happy to report that out of the 1,500+ that auditioned, ONE person made it to the next round (whatever that may be).  In other words, there is one talented singer in the entire state of Idaho.

Unless they were all at the rodeo.  There was also a rodeo this weekend (the largest in Idaho, YEE HAW) so there's a safe bet that all the REAL talent (cough) was there...



How To Easily Increase Your Web Traffic

Like most website managers, I am always looking for ways to improve my overall web presence and grow my traffic.

There are many articles on SEO, Social Media tactics, and different strategies galore.

But, in simple terms, I just showed you how to do it.

Yep, it's that simple.

What did I do?

Look at my title:  How To Easily Increase Your Web Traffic.  Do you know how many times a day people type those exact words into google?  The terms "How To / How Do I / How Do You / How Does One" are used on search engines more than any other phrasing out there.

In fact, you would be surprised on who uses these search terms on google:

While this post may not be informative as "How to add an image slider to your webpage" or "How to create a landing page for your Facebook profile" it will serve a purpose.  Within 6 months, this post will be in my top 5 overall (25,000 views or more) simply because of the common search term.

So this leads me to the point:  What do you do well.  What do you know how to do that other people are interested in?  What "How To" post can you have on your website to generate more traffic, and increase your overall brand awareness?

Think about it.

Then do it.

And promote it.

And watch your overall traffic grow and grow.