How to train your dragon

I almost fell over when I saw the online charge for the tickets my wife bought to take our three daughters to see the new Dreamworks film, “How to train your dragon.” Not having spent much time in the movie theaters lately, left some sticker shock as to how the prices have gone up in the last 10 years or so. Relying on the world of Netflix has kept my views sheltered.

The three girls were excited to be going to a movie on a Sunday afternoon, the cost having been well worth it for the entertainment value. We found ourselves laughing at certain parts and saddened at others and thoroughly enjoyed our family time together learning “How to train your dragon”. The characters and their voices presented in the film were a perfect fit. The names were especially well selected such as Hiccup, Astrid, Ruffnut and Tuffnut (fraternal twins), Snotlout, Fishlegs and Stoick the Vast to name a few of the Vikings. The dragons portrayed in the movie showed both their tenacious sides where they would terrorize  and attack with viciousness and fire throwing as well as their ability to snuggle up upon one another for comfort.

After his family had battled dragons for years, Hiccup figures out that everything they knew about them was completely wrong. After he takes one down during a battle and finds it trapped and helpless the next day, he realizes that he is unlike the rest of his brethren who want to be the Dragon Slayers and instead he releases the Night Fury he names Toothless, who ironically had plenty of teeth! Due to an injury, toothless is unable to fly away and the process of Hiccup becoming a Dragon Trainer begins. He realizes a little TLC is all the dragons really want and it becomes similar to training a dog. Through careful observation of toothless, Hiccup is able to use items such as a striped eel, grasses and a nice rub on the neck to lull other dragons into a sleep while he is taking classes to become a Dragon Killer, but instead continues to work his “magic” as a Dragon Trainer.

As Hiccup struggles to prove himself to his father, his ability as a Dragon Trainer shows true at the end in the dramatic struggle that takes place that ultimately destroys the “queen Bee” and allows the dragons to live happily ever after with their original hunters. Having completed both my Undergraduate and Graduate degrees at SUNY Cortland, I can see how I would appreciate a movie on “How to train your dragon.” I am a Red Dragon at heart through and through!

In commemoration of this movie, I have designed a Dragon Trainer logo that is available on a number of different mediums and can be seen at http://CafePress.com/BarefootSales

DragonTrainer-KidsBaseballJersey
Dragon Trainer Kids Baseball JerseyDragon Trainer-Sigg Water Bottle


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Addicted to Information

I sat and watched a quick 5 minute video the other day by Mike Dillard about information overload and finally took the plunge(r) and flushed many of my emails down the internet drain.  If you are like me and are addicted to information, it is easy to try and sign up for everybody’s list to find out the next best thing to hit the market that will be sure to make your business the best out there and be able to rake in a boat load of cash.  The problem is there really are some great products out there that I want to work with.  Lack of time though has kept me from maximizing some of the products I got as promos or those I personally paid for.  I have gone through many of them with others in line, but the addiction continues as I get slaughtered on the inbox front with hundreds of emails each day.

I finally made good on my recurring thought to unsubscribe from many of the lists I was on as they seemed to be sending me this way and that way everyday to some other product that was going to make my business the best out there and be able to rake in a boat load of cash!  Sound familiar?  So this past weekend, I think I might have unsubscribed from about 50 lists, while I try to pick a few more each day as they come  in.  I haven’t read many of them in months anyways with the exception of a few marketers, who give me content each time and not just a pitch.  It is these wise ones who will stay with my inbox and I will continue to read when I get them as they seem to have the most value and are not just out to get a buck for themselves.

Regardless of whether or not you have heard of Mike Dillard, he is one of the Marketers I will continue to read. As I said above, he put together a 5 minute video on Information Overload you might find interesting for his Whats Working Now program that is coming out soon.  I seem to have spent too much time in the past on all this email and now that I am getting less, I have time to do what matters such as Blogging (hence you are able to read this) and working “on” my business instead of being someone wo just claims to be working “in” the business.  As BobTheTeacher taught me and I have written on a piece of paper in my pocket (that falls apart every few weeks!) I like to follow his TARL idea of Take Action Revise Later.  As a teacher myself, this is a great idea.  If you do not act and make adjustments to those actions as time goes on, you will never get anything done.  So you could say my Whats Working Now theme is TARL!  We all want an endless stream of traffic coming with no or minimal efforts, but the reality is that there is no reality in that.  Action must occur in order to attract people to your sites.

Check out Mike’s video and give it a quick watch at –> Whats Working Now and get back to me and let me know your thoughts on information overload and the TARL idea.

I realize of course I will continue to buy products or try out free ones and get on people lists, but a suggestion I have to you is to get your lists organized and determine which ones are just making for internet clutter in your inbox and plunge them yourselves.

Whats Working Now-Mike Dillard

 

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Lacrosse Packguy to the rescue….Lacrosse what?

BasicLacrosse.com Here is the Business Card I made along with a 6 foot banner with Vista Print for a great price.

I  took my daughter to the Gary Gait Lacrosse clinic today in the Syracuse, NY area at the CNY Family Sports Center at Jones Road.  The sports center was packed and both boys and girls were instructed through dodging, shooting, agility drills and more.  I was fortunate enough a few days prior to the event to get a hold of someone  who was sponsoring the program and was able to get a Lacrosse Packguy in as one of the raffle prizes.  Why not get a little publicity at the same time as my daughter learns from one of the greatest players ever.

I showed a couple people (parents) who were waiting and watching their children and they took interest of this new product developed in Syracuse, when the creator’s daughter kept losing her mouth guard.  Over a series of molds and trials, the Lacrosse packguy was made to be rugged and “do things a bag can’t,” explains Pat Guy, when I asked about the organizational tool.  The piece itself is made from rubberized plastic and can hold all of your Lacrosse equipment, but does not put undue stress on the head of the stick, which can be easily removed when needed, without affecting the equipment.  Unlike a bag, it can get wet and easily hangs on a hook of some sort to allow gear to dry.  It contains a specific spot for both a Lacrosse ball and mouth guard, so that you do not have to search all over the bag to locate it from your previous practice or game.

The Lacrosse Packguy is so easy to use, even my 8 year old mastered it in about 1 minute and even helps with promoting it for me.  She is the star in one of the videos listed at http://BasicLacrosse.com, where you may see a demo by both me and one of my daughter showing just how easy it is to use.  Mom’s and Dad’s all over will love how it can easily hang up when at the house, so there are not piles of equipment laying all over.  The fact that it promotes drying will help to prevent the smell from progressing, which often results when wet gear is left in a bag until the next practice.

As the raffle got under way, my bright yellow/gold Lacrosse Packguy seemed to stand out against a sea of dark shirts, Frisbees, hats and of course the sticks and other equipment that was being offered.  Kids kept coming up and looking right over the Packguy.  The helpers would move it somewhat to promote that it was there and perhaps get a taker.  Finally, Gary Gait himself picked it up and was telling the kids it was a Lacrosse tool to hold all your gear (as some started to give odd looks and question what it was). Finally when all the Lacrosse gear was basically gone, Gary passed it to a boy of about 14-16 who seemed somewhat confused.  I was able to catch up with him when he was coming off the field to show him how it worked, after which he seemed a little more grateful that he had won this prize.

As the Lacrosse packguy is new to the Lacrosse world, it might take some time getting use to the stares and questions.  I am looking forward to talking to people about this great new organizational tool and showing them just what they are missing by not using one.  As time goes on and the news spreads, they will become more comfortable with the item and will want to get one or give one to someone else as they know the value it possesses.

After the event, I waited in line with my daughter for an autographed poster of the 2010 Syracuse Women’s Lacrosse team (THANKS GIRLS!!!) I was able to show and talk to Gary Gait about the product again.  He said he had seen it at a summer tournament (at the school where the Developer sends his kids ironically) but was not using it currently with his team.    I gave him my card of course and will definitely contact him about working with his team in the future in regards to this product.

We were taught early on where I played at Shove Park and West Genesee, to never lean on our sticks, but instead to value and respect them.  We would though always throw all of our equipment onto the head when we were bringing it home for the weekend or over the summer to box Lacrosse etc.  The same continued at college where I was a Red Dragon at Cortland State where it would  go on the stick itself or in a bag.  When you wanted to play catch again, you would have to take everything off and leave a pile behind which didn’t always make people happy.  Now all those problems are easily solved with the Lacrosse Packguy!  Everything fits on this new tool.  There is even a place to hook your carabineer up for your keys so you do not lose them.

If you are sick of your, or your children’s/friend’s/roommate’s/neighbor’s gear being all over the place, then head over to http://BasicLacrosse.com where you can find out about ordering and having the Lacrosse packguy shipped to your house.  Team rates apply for larger orders and you can contact DaveGardner@BasicLacrosse.com to determine a price.

When all was said and done, my 8 year old daughter was tired from all the drills she completed and starving as it was about 7:30 by the time we left the sports center.  She enjoyed the day and again helped me out in letting people know about the Lacrosse packguy!  Now, if I can just learn some of the tricks that Gary Gait has mastered, I would be all set.

Packguy for Girls LacrosseLacrosse Packguy comes in many colors to meet your needs
Packguy for Boys equipment
The Lacrosse Packguy will soon come with College Affiliations

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Ice Damage

My wife and I packed up the kids yesterday to go over to her parents so we could take down the Christmas trees and clean up a little for them while they were away.  After going out to look for a garbage bag in the garage I noticed there was a pretty nice sized icicle hanging from the INSIDE of the garage over my father in laws car with bits of sheetrock on the roof and window.  Looking furthur, I saw more ice damage in that it was also melting and tearing apart the sheetrock.As I went inside to see if there was furthur damage in the house itself, I knew I would need to look in their closet to see if the leak was there as well.  upon kneeling down to see anything, my knee was instantly wet as the carpeting was saturated as it had also leaked in at this level.  Moving stuff around for about a half hour I found wet clothes, wet rolls of wall paper, wet sides of a few picture frames as well as a dart board set that had swollen up some due to absorbing all the water.  When everything was out of the way, I then realized there was actually ice in the closet as well.  It made for an interesting evening for sure.  Now it is time to give the old insurance agent and contractor a call to see what can be done before it becomes too extensive as well as expensive.

As you may be living in an area where this could potentially occur, it is important to make sure your house is well sealed to the elements such  as ice and water.  We actually have other issues in our own house such as a garage that was built with a drain that leaks into the basement where I have found salt residue all over my stuff when the water drips there and evaporates.  I have since set up a large container to catch the leak, but need to look into other methods of stopping it from occuring at all.I  guess with major disasters that have occurred recently, such as the earthquake in Haiti and the Solomon Islands tsunami (where I  served in the Peace Corps 10 years ago) these home issues are minor but remind us of the power of mother nature .

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Tweetglide makes twitter easy

When I first started using Twitter, I was little a little lost bird tweeting whatever I could, but not really focusing on the program itself and how I could use it to my advantage.  Figuring out who could get a “direct message” (DM) or figuring out who had given me an “at mention” ( @BarefootPaintin for example) was the last thing I was concerned with.  What bothered me though was the rapid pace of the timeline of everyones posts.  If I tweeted a little, then logged out for a couple days, I would have no idea when someone mentioned me in one of their posts as it was buried into the depths of the Twitter nest.  I wondered how I was supposed to develop relationships with followers if I never got back to them.  Not that I was intentionally ignoring them, but due to a little ignorance perhaps on the part of the program, I was not doing my part to develop the necessary bond with others to start being successful.

I had heard about programs like Hootsuite and TweetDeck, but never took the time to check them out in order to maximizing my Twitter experience.  What finally got me going was Mike Filasaime.  I have invested in many of Mike’s programs and trust his work.  His new program TweetGlide was recently released and one day while I was home with a sick child (gotta love the swine flu outbrake) I decided to give it a try and see what  the fuss was all about with these programs.  After installing the ap I was able to get right into my account and instantly saw four columns  containing tweets from the following:

1) My followers/those I was following

2) Sponsored tweets: which allow you to earn points for ads, should you choose to post them and have them be read by other TweetGlide users.

3) Direct Messages

4) @Mentions: This column itself made my day as all of a sudden I realized I had a small group of people who had mentioned me in their posts.  Wow, was this an eye opener….and you can bet I instantly responded back to them once I knew this was happening.  To this day I still haven’t seen how to figure this out on the actual Twitter page myself, but why would I need to now with it being so plain and simple with this new program.

I later was able to add a column for a group I am in and can easliy access their comments and postings instantly instead of having to use a site like Search.twitter.com.  This might be similar to the group function in the regular program.  If you do not Twitter a lot, adding the facebook link as well might maximize your time in lieu of having to log into and update your status over many different programs.  I would suggest not doing this if you send out a “Flock” of tweets each day.  Facebook does not always take nice to those who send out massive updates.

Another benefit is that the program easily allows you to retweet posts, or direct message people, with one simple click on their picture.  You can also look up their profile and follow (or unfollow) them with one click too.

I have now been using TweetGlide for a couple weeks.  It already has had some updates for the better which have made this sytem enjoyable to use for me.  If you are experiencing some of the same issues I had mentioned above, and have yet to add one of these applications onto your computer, you might want to check it out today to save time so you can spend more instead with your loved ones and families.

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