Thursday, June 17, 2010


Because of a couple of classes I took through the Chamber of Commerce this week, I feel immersed in the world of social media like never before. I used an AOL Buddy List in 1995 and signed "guestbooks," and now here we are in the explosion of sites that allow you to connect to people, businesses, causes and groups through posting, blogging, microblogging, liking, supporting, joining, friending, tweeting, commenting, tagging, on and on. I guess it's an identity thing. We now have more information about each other at our fingertips than we ever had before. No need to ask a person who their favorite band is, what their political views are, where they graduated high school, etc. if you can just access their Facebook page. Anyway, I'm not going to rant about it. I just want to start organizing my thoughts from a business point-of-view.

As soon as I can get a couple of hours with nothing pressing, I'm going to start writing a marketing strategy for the company I work for that takes advantage of these channels. I think about brands that I like to identify myself with that I'm loyal to, and I wonder, what will it take to get ABC there in the mind of somebodies? Some brands and companies I who's horns I don't mind tooting:

Villa Montez
Hudson Printing
On The Border
Claussen (yes, the pickles!)

I follow H-E-B and Villa Montez on Twitter and have found them to have a good handle on it. I enjoy seeing their posts and have even get a useful one from time to time. The big thing that resonates with me is that these are local companies. I believe the company I work for has that exact same charm. I think it is a huge opportunity to give our loyal customer base a place to not only brag about us, but identify and take pride. I think we have already built a great foundation for that, we just need to encourage and provide an outlet for them to express it. What brands are you loyal to and why?

Friday, June 11, 2010

Made for Me?

Wow, it's like my iMac (see below) but retro and orange!!!  Orange must be a hot color right now in electronics.  That's ok with me (c:  There is only one thing I don't like about this juicy beauty.  Make me one that runs OSX and I'll start saving my nickels (c:

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Newfound Respect for Apple

Steve Jobs (CEO of Apple) has taken a stand against porn. He wants to have all porn-related sites blocked on all Apple products. Critics say he is taking away freedoms, but he says he is giving "freedom from porn."

I'm just so excited about this I want to reiterate the whole article, but you should read it for yourself!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

May Photos

Last month we did some pretty fun things.  I didn't get pictures of everything, unfortunately, but hopefully this will give a glimpse (c:

We went to see my cousin, Colleen, graduate from Sam Houston University in Huntsville.  The man in a wheelchair is Attorney General Greg Abbot.  He was a great speaker, and not too long-winded either so we give him props.

Now why I have a picture of him and not of my beautiful Colleen, I will admit is just plain wrong.  #sad

The company I work for sent me on a business trip to San Antonio.  They put us up in the Marriott on the Rivercenter.  This is part of the view from our 16th-floor room.  That's the Rivercenter, folks (c:

Ryan on the phone with his parents.  They came to meet up with us shortly after we checked in at noon.  Oh yeah, it was his birthday.  How much fun is that???

Got to give the Marriott props for its linens.  Although we didn't really like the three small pillows instead of just two regular ones.  We spent a bit of time wondering how on earth this could be more efficient. *shrug*

Myspace photo op!

Another part of the view.

Went to see the fam in New Braunfels for Ruthie's performance in her school's The Wizard of Oz.  She was a Jitterbug.  Yeah, I don't remember that part in the story either.  Regardless, it was a great part of the show!  The play was at the Brauntex Theater which is right across the street from Seekatz Opera House, where Ryan and I tied the knot just a little over 11 months before.  Coincidentally, some kids I knew from Tree of Life were getting married there right that very moment.  Made me very nostalgic and kind of sad that my wedding was over (I don't plan to ever have another one).  But then I realized that we were heading back to one of the most romantic cities in the world and staying in a froo froo hotel for the next two days (c: 

I attended the conference all day on Sunday and Ryan used the time to visit his grandma in Kerrville.  Then we met back at the hotel, cleaned up, and went to a cocktail party on the 2nd floor.  It was actually in a hoity toity restaurant that they closed for our party.  They could make you anything and it was all free (c:  I learned what a Mabry was and promptly had two of them.  We laughed and talked politics and business and oil spills with my coworkers and the Exxon Mobil guy.  Then we and two of my coworkers accepted an invitation to dinner with a vendor.  They whisked us away in a taxicab (I don't think I had ever ridden in one before) to one of the oldest buildings in San Antonio, the Little Rhein Steakhouse.  Of course it was right on the river and we ate on the patio.  The vendors wanted to splurge on us... so we let them.  Ryan and I follwed Don's lead (he is my coworker who got us the invitation) and ordered what we wanted.  It's definitely the most expensive restaurant I've been to.  Ryan and I estimated that they spent at least $450 for six people that night. 

How was the food?  Ryan said his steak was superb.  I ordered chicken though (my bad) and it was just ok.  Ryan had red wine with his steak for the second time in his life.  The first time was the day before at the Cheesecake Factory, where his parents took us to celebrate his birthday.  This was turning out to be a good birthday weekend for him, indeed!

On Monday we stopped at the Witte Museum on our way out.  I had memories of going there as a child and knowing that Ryan loves museums and Texas history, I felt he would really enjoy it.  We visited the native Texans, mummy, and dinosaur exhibits, but his favorite was the Texas art.  It was pretty fantastic.

The Witte Museum has a special exhibit for kids called the HEB Science Treehouse.  It's 3 stories and a basement of themed science activities that are just so much fun.  Since I had been there as a kid, there were several new things and I was really glad to know that it continues to be a feature at the Witte.

This is the pulley exhibit.

Yay, H-E-Buddy!


The water system was one I always remembered.

Beautiful, HUGE cactus.

Hey honey, let's take a picture in front of the cactus! lol  (the sun was really really bright!)

Ok we give up.  Ryan doubles over with laughter whenever he sees that first picture.

Well there are more, but alas, it is late and I'm tired.  Hope you enjoyed!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Contract 64

Too cute.

In My Element

What would I be doing if I were in my element?

Sometimes I get so excited about something and I just want to drop everything and go for it! Usually they are entrepreneurial type things like paint portraits or open a resale shop. I don't know if anyone else gets a bug like this from time to time, but if you do, you know that it can be something different all the time. Which may sound haphazard, but when I take a closer look at my collection of passions, I realize they're all in the same vein.

Here I am in my cube sitting at my computer all day. I'm on my lunch break now so I'm using a little personal time to develop my thoughts by writing them out. I do things that I get excited about here and there, but nothing like the indulgent pleasure of dropping this and doing what I really want to do in this moment. If I were allowed to do these things the instant the idea hits me, what kind of person would I become? What would my world look like?

Today, I want nothing more than to garden. I want to tie my hair up, change into cutoffs and a tank top, and feel the sun on me while I dig in the dirt. I want to plant things and water them and work up an appetite, eat a good supper, then go to bed exhausted and sun-kissed. I want to physically work for it.

We have no yard. Only a cement-covered patio. There are a lot more obstacles to this dream, too. But I even savor making the plans to get there. Finish our lease. Move to a house with a yard. Begin work. I have started asking myself, "what's holding you back?" when I get excited about something. Overall, money, I guess. I hope once we're out of debt (3.5 years and counting down!) I'll realize the freedom to do these things.

I wonder if God gives me these bolts of ideas or if they're just the product of boredom. I tend to want to believe that he's giving them to me and, although I'm sure he understands my restrictions, he is calling me. I can feel it getting closer and if I look back, I realize I've already done some of the things that I used to consider out of reach. These are things that now enrich my life.

I wonder what the world would be like if we were all allowed to follow our passions? What's holding us back? Too much )c: