January 2011

Events

To being the month, I watched parts of the NHL Winter Classic. The next day we left Scottsdale and began the 5 hour drive home. Right after we got home it was back to work and the normal grind. That also meant that we had to do something about our bathtub.

In December, we noticed that there was a hairline fracture beginning. Now that our vacation was over it was time to start looking at our options. We hit all the usual places and began to look at tile and tubs. Late in the month, Samantha, Michelle and I all stayed at my parent’s house in Carlsbad for a week and one day as we waited for the work on our new bathroom to be completed. Each day I or Michelle would drive up to Irvine and watch the workers progress through the project. We had the old tub and shower enclosure removed. When they had that out they put in the new tub and then put tile up the walls. We are really enjoying our new shower and bath.

Quick note on that image of the bathroom, before and after.  I created it using a free online tool called Aviary Phoenix.  Next time you need Photoshop tools, but don’t have access to Photoshop try Aviary, it is free. [update:  is now an app and not a free tool it seems.  Thanks for the heads up Carole.]

I challenged myself to read 60 books this year. Last year my goal was 50, I read 54 books. It’s time to improve on that number and hopefully, I can exceed my goal again.

My Starbucks addiction continues. The Barista at our local Starbucks knows my order before I open my mouth and my Gold card came this month as well.

At work, things are getting exciting. On the 11th our executive team announced that we will begin selling the iPhone in February. Very cool and about time!

I started two social media classes this month. These are my last two classes in the certificate program in Social Media at UCI. I’m taking Social Media Measurement and Evaluation and Transmedia Marketing Through Storytelling. I am enjoying both very much.

Lastly, here is my favorite picture of Samantha from this month.

Celebrations

1 – New Years Day
11 – Eric Lesile’s Birthday
13 – Keith Parrish’s Birthday
16 – Philip Higson’s Birthday
17 – Martin Luther King Day
22 – Anniversary of Michelle and my first kiss

Books

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss – 2 stars, I wanted to like this book. I really did, but it was just to stale.

Unsolved Mysteries of History: An Eye-Opening Investigation Into the Most Baffling Events of All Time by Paul Aron – 2 stars, this book could not deliver on its promises. It was not eye-opening. It is a rehash of a bunch of histories mysteries that aren’t even very fascinating. Much better mysteries out there to explore. It wasn’t a total waste of time though. I had not heard of all the events it covered, but can’t say I’m better off for reading it.

My Antonia by Willa Cather – 3 stars, an interesting story of foreign families that come to live on the plains of Nebraska. This was a book from my classics list that I’m trying to work through. This book is not for everyone, but if you enjoy you might like this.

Fire Underground: The Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire by David DeKok – 3 stars, this book was actually really good for what it was. It was just so much information that it was a little overwhelming. This is the author’s second book on the subject. I thought it was a very good story of the town that has a mine burning under it, for almost 50 years now! The fire still burns too! I have a more detailed post on this on the historyonair website.

Spook Country by William Gibson – 2 stars, a good story, but somehow the presentation just wasn’t there for me. The story didn’t seem to flow. There was a lot of movement between the character’s stories and they didn’t flow.

The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stepenie Meyer – 4 stars, Excellent. Very quick, but that didn’t lessen the book. Great to get some more Twilight in.

Star Wars, Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back by George Lucas – 5 stars, this was an audio presentation. Excellent! Had some of the original cast’s voices! Will listen to this again!

Empowered by Josh Bernoff – 4 stars, Read this for a class I’m taking on social media at UCI. Great book. Answered most of the questions that Groundswell, Bernoff’s first book created for me. This book was much better than Groundswell in my opinion. More time spent addressing the hard questions and less telling us what our problems were.

Web Analytics 2.0: The Art of Online Accountability and Science of Customer Centricity by Avinash Kaushik – 4 stars, A great reference book, filled with insightful tips. Great way to look at the data. Lots of common metrics explained. Author gives lots of direction on what different kinds of websites should be looking at. Even covers how to track social media campaigns.

Movies

Dorian Gray – 0.5 Star, Lowest possible rating for this. It was horrible! Read the book, its better, but not much.

The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor – 0.5 star, perfect example of taking a franchise one step too many. This was really horrible!

The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising – 2.5 stars, looking back on this one, the movie was pretty boring. Not sure it deserves this rating. I would not recommend it.

How to Train Your Dragon – 4 stars. Funny movie. Great for the family. Although, I think Samantha was a bit too young for it, because it lost her interest fairly early on.

Eat, Pray, Love – 4 stars. I liked this movie a lot. I think I even liked it better than the book.

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