Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 MLS Cup Playoffs - Picks & Predictions

As the MLS Playoffs begin, Portland is embracing their first postseason 

With the Knockout Round Matches today and tomorrow, I wanted to revisit my preseason predictions and prognosticate the journey to the 2013 MLS Cup.

Revisiting the Predictions

I am pleased to report when revisiting A MLS Lifer Looks Forward I picked eight of the ten clubs in the playoff field:
  • In the East, I only missed on New England as I had expected Chicago to complete the final five
  • In the West, I only missed on Colorado as I had picked San Jose to make the final group
There is quite a bit of talent on the outside looking in as this was an amazing campaign for the fans leading up to the very last match of the season.

Predicting the Post Season

Before the season I had predicted that Los Angeles would win over Kansas City. As I complete my bracket I see a different final:

From the East - New England
Montreal beats Houston and loses to New York as New England surprises Kansas City as well as New York to get to the final

From the West - Portland
Seattle beats Colorado and loses to Portland as the Timbers defeat Salt Lake to take the West.

For the Final - Portland Timbers
My pick is 2-0 Portland at home on December 7th - There's something special about this year's team.  I may be biased as a proud member of the Timbers Army but it's hard to see it anyway else.

Enjoy the matches!


Monday, October 28, 2013

Listen To Lou

My appreciation for Lou Reed goes back to my freshman year at Bowling Green.  Thanks to the generosity of  Bob who lived across the hall sharing his love for "All Things Lou" by playing his music repeatedly and loudly I have a great appreciation for Lou Reed as a musician, artist and influence to so many.

In an interview with Charlie rose he talked about the importance of ignoring trends and writing things that would still sound good thirty years later - not easily done but he accomplished both things.  So today, as I listen to the music and lyrics to 'New Sensations' ("sometimes I got lost and had to check the map."), I encourage you to Listen to Lou today and Learn Something About The Man.  You'll be glad you did.  

Thank You and Rest in Peace Lou - #MusicMatters

hat tip: @CharlieRose @GuardianMusic @UniWatch and image from @PopDose 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Change is Good at #ChangeConnect13

Change is Good

Today I am off to the second Change Connect symposium at Nike World Headquarters.  Last year's event was a great networking opportunity to meet fellow change practitioners and hear first hand about industry trends.  This year's event looks to be great with a lot of interesting breakout sessions and keynote speakers Josh Allen Dykstra today and Joseph Grenny tomorrow.

There's an app for that

If you're attending today make sure to download the app created for the event for Apple, Android, & Windows Mobile and open the Attendees section and Register to share your contact information and a bio with other attendees. Hope to meet you there!

Will be tweeting from @gurnick throughout the day with the hashtag  

Change is Good!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Saving Face

It appears that I have not been doing this correctly after many years according to the Wall Street Journal.

At this point I am just happy to have a face.  Easy does it going forward...

Hat Tip @WSJ


Thursday, July 11, 2013

What's Your Metadata Story?

There's a very timely New York Times Bits article, 'Using E-mail Data to Connect the Dots of Your Life'
 about the metadata (data about the data) that defines your e-mail and how it is different than the actual content.  With all the recent talk of NSA and Prism, it's interesting to see your data visualized and the story that it tells.

The Immersion team at MIT Labs is doing some interesting work where you can see first hand the metadata view of your gmail account. It's secure and also allows you to delete once your complete and provides a much more detailed and interactive view than the summary I've provided.  I encourage you to try it and see first hand your e-mail metadata story and share what you think.

Thank You: @NYTimesBits and MIT @MediaLab



Saturday, July 6, 2013

In the news: Hip Pockets & Hick-Hop

Reading the newspaper so you don't have to here are a few items to share:
  1. Hip Pocket - Yelp has been using the metadata tag hipster since 2011 for their users. The result is this interactive map of 14 cities including Chicago, London, New York, Paris, Portland and San Francisco.

  1. Hick-Hop - The WSJ covers the unlikely rise of this new genre of music and it sounds like a must to look into and experience.  They also mention some additional genres that have emerged naming Folk Metal, Epic Doom, Vaporwave, Disco Polo, Zeuhl Music, Chicken Scratch, Cowpunk, Japanoise, Nitzhonot, Kindie Rock, New Wave of New Wave, New Mexico Spanish Music, Trap, Celtic Gospel, Newgrass, PBR&B, Antifolk, and Carolina Beach Music. 

Closing on the topic of music. Blondie and X will be touring together this fall together as the 'No Principals Tour' - leaving you with Deborah Harry of Blondie demonstrating the pogo and the seasonal favorite '4th of July' by X.

Thank you: @tdmrussell, @Oregonian, @urbandictionary, @WSJ, @slicingeyeballs, @sullydish, &  @YouTube




Friday, June 7, 2013

Spanning The Globe - Brazil, Japan, China & Russia

A few links to share from around the globe today in no particular order:

Tech in Brazil - A print ad from Nivea that can charge your phone while your out in the sun

Source: @viralblog

Big in Japan - Making an art of displaying and stacking books

Source: @MargRev

Made in China - Everything from homemade submarines, prosthetics to rickshaw walking robots

Source: @TheAtlantic

Russia - Not your average dancing bear

Source: @MeanwhileRussia

and which countries are the happiest (ranking of 35 countries)

Source: @OECD

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Portland Winterhawks - Modern Day Portland Buckaroos

The Portland Winterhawks quest for The Memorial Cup begins today in Saskatoon as the top four teams in junior hockey meet to decide who will be crowned the best team for 2013.  There will be plenty of NHL scouts watching as the matches begin.

Portland has gotten behind the Winterhawks in such a way that it solidifies their link to the Portland Buckaroos and their place in the city's history.

May the spirit of the Portland Buckaroos be with you as you play on the road in your quest for the cup.

Go Winterhawks!


Friday, May 17, 2013

A Name Above The Title Name

'The Name Above The Title' is an entertaining book by the accomplished director Frank Capra about old Hollywood and his path to success as told by a great storyteller.  The title has always interested me in that if you are bigger than the movie your name will get top billing. Keeping that in mind, are there any name above the title names out there that help you reach top billing?

Each year I read the annual story on the most popular baby names and I think about how well these names will stand the test of time and if they will be a help or hindrance to the owner.

My interest in the name selection process is higher these days with a friend at work having her first child. The naming ritual always intrigues me.  Some people openly share the name they are considering while others (my wife and I fell into this camp) kept it to ourselves until the name could be put to the face and then shared as a whole.

I recently read The Ladders The Blog. 'On a First-name Basis with Success? Your Mom Chose Your Name Wisely.' which ends with the advice that a shorter name correlates to the likelihood for more earned income as well as "doing a simple linear regression, it looks like every additional letter added to your name accounts for a $3,600 drop in annual salary."  I have also provided a link to the 'All Things Data' response.  

I have a hard time believing that a person's name will increase their chances of success but rather may just help them out a bit along the way. Is there any correlation with the success you've achieved based on the name you've been given? Have you ever wanted to change your name or met someone and secretly wished that you had their name?

As for my friend from work, she had a healthy baby boy and his name is Wyatt.  I think that name will suit him just fine.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Treat People Fairly - Lessons from a Capuchin Monkey

There's a very simple message in this video excerpt of a TED talk from Frans de Wall on Moral behavior in Animals.

It's been said that "we're all just monkeys with car keys."  Treat people fairly and equally. It's how we all wanted to be treated.

Thanks to The Awesomer for posting this original video


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Speedboat & Rattlesnakes - Renata & Lloyd

For me, it was very exciting news when The New York Review of Books reissued Speedboat by author Renata Adler last month.

"Nobody died that year. Nobody prospered. There were no births or marriages. Seventeen reverent satires were written - disrupting a cliche and, presumably, creating a genre. That was a dream, of course, but many of the most important things, I find, are the ones learned in your sleep" 
 Castling - Renata Adler

Speedboat won the Hemingway Award for Best First Novel in 1976.  It's a piece of fiction unlike anything that I had read before. It's a collection of seven disjointed stories that at first don't seem to have any relation to each other yet somehow find a way to fit. For me it's very much like an album you would listen to again and again that somehow ends up telling a complete story in the end. 

This seems very fitting since I was introduced to Speedboat in 1984 through the music of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions and their first album, Rattlesnakes. On this collection the song 'Speedboat' is one of the many outstanding tracks on this album.  Lloyd was in the news recently when it was announced that he will be releasing a new set of music this summer that was crowd funded by his fans. Over the years he has assembled a great body of work that is definitely worth a listen.

"She looks like Eve Marie Saint in On The Waterfront
As she reads Simone de Beauvoir in her american circumstance
Her heart, heart's like crazy paving
Upside down and back to front
She say ooh, it's hard to love
When love was your great disappointment"
Speedboat - Lloyd Cole

I really appreciate the visual storytelling of both works and think that you will too. If you are looking for some enjoyable music or a good summer read (and really isn't it nice to have both) I strongly recommend that you look into Renata Adler and Lloyd Cole. I feel like they are both old friends that I've known for years that are always there for a good story and some fine music as well. Thank you Lloyd and thank you Renata - I'm your fan.

Friday, April 5, 2013

It's All Fleeting

The recent announcement of the end the RSS tool Google Reader caused quite a stir to a loyal (myself included) and devoted user community. If things continue as planned Google Reader will become another product that has been discontinued that will be missed by many.  Now with news of Roger Ebert's passing and the passionate reaction to so many that were influenced by him it reinforces how fleeting things are.

From day to day there's uncertainty around the length of time for so much of what is a part of your routine such as:

  • The current team you work with will be intact
  • The co-worker whose work you appreciate and you enjoy working with will be working with you
  • The person you've heard great things about but have had the time to introduce yourself
  • The opportunity to reconnect with a former colleague or friend you've been out of touch with
  • The new product or service that people are talking about  
Perishables are one of the few things that have a clearly stated expiration date from the start. You know when the product needs to be used and (most of the time) you act accordingly and find the right time or way to use them

Things don't last - it's just how things are
If you like something the best thing you can do is share it with others. Become an advocate. Reach out to others around you to make a connection as they may not be there the next time you think about it. Take the time to reach out directly to the company as well to tell them what you like or how it can be approved. They want to hear from you. It's one of the best uses of social media. Act now to share what you care about. Also take the time to tend to those local connections by reaching out directly. People like to hear from others - it's human nature and it's what helps with getting the necessary traction for things to keep moving forward.

Things will remain fleeting.  Before I head off to use my Google Reader I'll ask one simple question: What is one thing that you will advocate today?

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A MLS Lifer Looks Forward

As a lifelong fan of Major League Soccer, today is my opening day. It's Release 18.0 of First Kick version 2013 and the league has achieved a respectable level of success. I remember heading back to Ohio in 1996 to watch the MLS opener with a high school friend that I played with. I also recall the thrill of being at the 4-0 home opening win of the Columbus Crew over DC United in Ohio Stadium and thinking that the sport had finally arrived.  I even met Brian McBride after that match and later interviewed him for a weekly column that I wrote for at the now defunct MLS Review website called 'Comments from the Corner.' I remember the excitement and buzz around that evening like it was yesterday.

The dog days are over
I also remember being part of sparse crowds of matches at Mile High Stadium and Arrowhead stadium and seeing "the contraction" of Florida with the folding of the Tampa Bay Mutiny and Miami Fusion franchises. There were plenty of times I also had to defend my league in front of fellow soccer (or football) purists.

The path ahead
Since then we've advanced to a league comprised of 19 healthy franchises with the majority playing in soccer specific stadiums and Commissioner Garber talking about the goal to be one of the top ten leagues in the world in the next ten yearsTomorrow I will take my place in the Timbers Army as my Portland Timbers reboot the mission for their third campaign with a great deal of optimism. From here the path forward looks very positive.   Here's my bold predictions for 2013 as Los Angeles betters Kansas City for another MLS Cup.

Eastern Conference

  1. Kansas City
  2. Houston
  3. New York
  4. Chicago
  5. Montreal
  6. Columbus
  7. DC
  8. New England
  9. Philadelphia
  10. Toronto

Western Conference

  1. Los Angeles
  2. Seattle
  3. San Jose
  4. Portland
  5. Real Salt Lake
  6. Dallas
  7. Vancouver
  8. Chivas USA
  9. Colorado

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Reliable Sources: Nicholas Bate & ChangeThis Manifestos

The importance of finding and cultivating reliable sources is one thing that has stayed with me from  my Journalism School days at Bowling Green. A reoccurring theme in class that was quickly put into practice was recognizing and cultivating these dependable assets.

For me these are the trusted places I find myself going back to for practical, useful, and insightful information. I also end up sharing them with others with positive results.
  1. Business of Life + Life of Business by Nicholas Bate - Nicholas Bate is an expert on change and how it impacts business culture. His insight is right on regarding the importance of work life balance and is prolific in terms of generating insightful content on a regular basis.   On of my favorite posts is Be Bold 101.  You can subscribe to his RSS feed here and you won't find him tweeting on twitter but he is often mentioned there.
  2. ChangeThis Manifestos by 800-CEO-READ - If you're like me you really enjoy a good manifesto and they deliver a monthly set of manifestos that focus on supporting and spreading great ideas.  The collection this month (Issue 102 in a collector's series) includes Guy Kawasaki & Shawn Welch on the Self-Publishing Revolution, Ninja Innovation by Gary Shapiro, and recognizing Vulnerability in today's business environment by former CIA Officer J.C. Carleson. You can see the archive here of past manifestos as well.
I hope that you benefit from the insight provided by these reliable sources.   What are some of the trusted places you go back to again and again and why?

Monday, February 25, 2013

He Got The Job!

I really enjoyed The Candidate piece at the Inspiration Room.   

They take the interview process and break it down into three areas:

  1. The Kick Off
  2. Medical Assistance
  3. Fire Drill
It's an example of great storytelling illustrating how important it is to think on your feet and the potential result. Congratulations to Guy Lutching as well for landing the job.

How far do you go to stand out in the interview?  What language do you use to distinguish yourself or what is your elevator pitch?

Even before the interview, how does your resume set you apart from the rest of the crowd? Have you considered a different approach then the traditional resume?  Here are three that I saw recently that were very inventive:
  1. The Infographic approach of Simone Fortunini @mr_simonsays 
  2. The Amazon Shopping Cart by Phillipe Dubost @pdubost
  3. The "Resume Bar" Candy Bar of Nick Begley @nickbegley
There's plenty more clever examples as well - It made me realize that I need to update my resume so it tells a better story and at least gets a longer look. 

What are you doing to distinguish yourself from the crowd?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Remembering 'The National'

As Super Bowl XLVII was coming to a close last night and the wraps were being put on an exciting and surreal game, I was thinking about The National Sports Daily and how they would have covered the event.

'The National' was a US attempt at an all-sports daily newspaper back in 1990 and it's Editor-In-Chief was Frank DeFord of NPR.  I remember the quality journalism, tabloid format and the thrill I got (as a Journalism major) of seeing people carrying the folded issue under their arm and sharing the paper and its contents as they revisited last night's game with fellow sports fans.

The venture was a short-lived and expensive one, ending after 18 months and losing by most accounts over 100 million dollars during that time. If you want to know more you should read the pieces in Grantland and mental_floss written by some of the writers that were part of the paper. 

Will we ever see something like 'The National' again in some different approach? I like to think it would work as an app or mobile platform and then I remember 'The Daily' and wonder what's next as I read about last night's game on the web.  

Thanks for the memories....