An Ad That I Love Vol. VI

I’m going to take this opportunity due to a power outage at work to do one of my favourite things! An Ad That I Love post! Today’s ad came out almost two months ago but I doubt that many people have seen it on the TV. It appears to be an internet only ad and definitely making some waves especially from such a large player in the market.

The company is Kmart and it is currently the 3rd largest discount chain in the world (behind Wal-Mart and Target). I know I haven’t personally heard much from Kmart in the last couple of years besides financial troubles, especially after the company purchased struggling Sears* (date was 2005 according the sources). They have a convenient pharmacy which I believe is the last time that I really went into the store for anything. It brings to mind a saying that was tossed around in business school, something along the lines of “If you’re not in the top two, then you should not compete in that industry.”**

*There is a point to be made here that traditional brick and mortar department stores have struggled with other retailers with more and more people shopping online. These electronic retailers (Amazon, ebay, Zappos) do a great job of keeping costs lower than department stores but do have an issue with clothing wherein most shoppers still want to physically touch and try on clothes before purchasing. (Side, side note: Universal sizing, can that be a thing already? See: The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women’s Clothes) Sears has been able to pull through by aligning itself strongly with a tools/hardware as Kohl’s or Macy’s with straight to wear fashion and home goods. Department stores showing surprising resilience and maybe making a comeback? 

**A problem that I run into frequently is that I keep great quotations in my head but have no idea where I heard or read it. This is a problem cause I feel like 40% of the time when I’m having an intelligent conversation and want to incorporate information that I learned (or a great quote) I don’t put in that potentially excellent point because I think I have about a 60% chance of misquoting or misinterpreting the information and/or using a less than reliable source (see: reddit). 

So in the discount chain area, Kmart is in slow decline but with thousands of stores still open and a hefty network of suppliers and great some notable in house brands (Martha Stewart collection?), what is a company to do? Viral video ad campaign?

Oh boy, that made me laugh so much the first time I saw it. So it is an old established brand resorting to what really is the lowest common denominator. It is unexpected, crass, and very funny. Let’s break it down:

First things first, the service Kmart is advertising is having items shipped directly to stores for pickup. This has proven to be a particularly effective generator of sales for rival WalMart and Target as these brick and mortar retailers seek to tie in online presence to the store. The idea is simple, if you find something that you like when you’re shopping online, you can have it shipped for free to your local store where you can pick it up (usually within a day or so) and try it on and touch the item. At the same time, that is bringing you into the store with the opportunity for additional purchases (“while I’m here” type of thing). And it really doesn’t cost the company all that much extra as the lines of shipping between stores is existing at some level or another anyway.

The presentation is fantastic, while Wal-Mart and Target may have had established systems in place, both failed to make such a splash in the market, with the video above scoring nearly 19 million views on the official Kmart channel.***

***It is important to note that, especially on youtube, once a video begins to become “viral” several copies will be made on various channels in order to take advantage of the popularity. People will “repost” these videos in order to bring attention and views to their own channel which generates the channel owner revenue (through ads). Therefore any given video, such as the above ad, may have several million views outside of the “official” channel. 

Does it work?
Hard to say. According to this ABC report at the end of May, Kmart is showing a decrease in sales for the quarter but there really hasn’t been enough time to evaluate its effectiveness. There is a lot of buzz around the ad and personally, it is the first time in a long time that Kmart has really done something to stick out. I look forward to seeing how much of an affect this campaign has not only for the bottom line for Kmart but for the industry as well. How cool would it be if this helps Kmart sweep to some sort of fantastic resurrection?

Here is the latest ad:

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As always, let me know if there is an Ad that you love and it might be featured here!

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New Adventures

Let me (once again) apologize for not writing more frequently. There have been a number of developments that have radically changed my circumstances.

As a refresher, this blog was originally a class project for an undergraduate marketing class. The intention to give everyone in the class a platform to create or expand on a professional online presence. There were other things taught as well such as making sure that you had an updated LinkedIn profile for networking purposes. (My LinkedIn) But mainly it was to make sure that you had something other than what is likely a poorly maintained facebook page for employers to look at, a chance to showcase a portfolio of interests, written communication, and whatever limited technical skills required to update a blog. More and more jobs have online applications and many of them ask for any sort of sites that you might have a profile and having a blog is a great place to include information so that the employer can get to know you without actually meeting you in person first.

This leads me to my current placement.

From my rather gloomy post reviewing paperwork and making calls to dealers/back offices/shareholders in Kansas City, I passed my one year anniversary with my mutual fund services company with little pomp. I was internally very excited though as this meant that I was free to pursue other opportunities within not only the company itself but also the parent company and the many branches that were spread among several industries. Among them, a small but rather successful mutual fund servicing company in Denver, Colorado. I filled out a number of applications and was pleasantly surprised to hear back from Human Resources who, (after verifying I knew the job posting was indeed in Colorado and I did indeed plan on relocating,) set up a phone interview. Long story short, I said the appropriate things and was invited for a day trip out to Denver for a face to face interview. (I must remember to write a post about how neat it was to have a day business trip.) A week or so later I was offered and accepted a position on a projects team. About a month after that, I packed up some belongings and drove myself down I-70 9 or so hours to the mountains.

So far it has been almost everything that I could have asked for. People have been very welcoming and pretty friendly. I live downtown and am enjoying the hustle and bustle of the city (albeit with many more cyclists and beards than I had previously imagined). The view from the office is just fantastic as we have a lovely view of the mountains on the 8th floor. There is a lot for me to learn and I think for a time it will be a struggle to keep my head above water. The main thing the office is focused on is making the transition to the parent company’s technical systems, the systems that I had just left in Kansas City. While that experience is nice, it is hard to make that transition from user to the man behind the curtain, especially when expectations were initially so high. It is suffocating when I have no way to even flash any of my previously celebrated skills. Just a blank slate, starting back at the beginning. But then, I suppose, no one said change was ever easy. And Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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And it is strange, I don’t have to be who I was at all. I knew a handful of people in the entire state before moving out here and thus, I can be someone completely new to all the people that I meet. I can have whatever nickname I choose, I can pick whatever new favourite drink and pretend I’ve been drinking it for years. Anyone who has ever obsessed over an avatar will know how I have been feeling over the past couple of weeks. You can create a whole new person, what little things would you have them do or say? And then that person is representative of you moving forward. I have been filled with excitement, anxiety, fear, and encouragement all at the same time and yet as I sit at my desk, the main feeling is:

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“Sedated” I think is the word. Everyone sitting, quietly, focused on the task at hand, a phone rings, the rat-at-tat of a hundred keyboards which represent the whole of the transfer agency combine with the tick-click of a hundred mice drawing impossibly endless circles on a hundred desks barely separated by short little cubicle walls to make a sad sort of percussion section in the grand orchestra of the office. Every once in awhile there is a mumur of conversation but not the same repetitive security verification and confirmation numbers that tumbled monotonously out of all those mouths in Kansas City. Thankfully there is something more, but only just. A paper cup pops as someone sets down his coffee before returning hands to the work that continues on and on as the shadows grow and fade on the mountains, majestic and tantalizingly close, timeless in their watch over the city.

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Happy to be writing again. Thanks for your patience.

 

Frederick visiting Red Rocks.

Frederick visiting Red Rocks.

Adidas Energy Boost

 

If you want to try to get into Adidas Insiders, click this link : AdidasInsiders

A couple of pictures of the shoes:

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Let me know if you have any questions about the shoes, anything about how I’m testing (or have been asked to test them). Also follow adidas for updates:

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A Further Exploration on Education Pt. 1

“The idea is to establish a good habit of curiosity to continue education.”

That’s what my professor said when describing his reasoning for wanting us to read the Wall Street Journal every day. Not to read it cover to cover like a book but rather to skim through and if something is interesting, read it. Perhaps there is something to that when it comes to education. Let’s revisit the discussion about the shift in education to “teaching the test.”* Having students not learn from a rigid structure rather than promoting a more organic development quashes creativity. Maybe this is not the worst thing. There are a lot of children out there who are constrained by time. With all the extracurricular activities that often take precedence to academic achievement, who has the time (or the money) to develop a flexible, more personalized plan for educating students as individuals.**

*From an economic standpoint there is good reason to teach in this way. Schools are currently evaluated by test scores, ranked against the other schools and districts in order to help determine funding. While the students will have to deal with the issue of not actually being educated, the teachers and the schools can only be a “going concern” if test scores are good. It has come to the point where in some districts teachers are paid a bonus if their classes outperform district/state/national levels. So we see the motivation for the teachers to serve the metrics.

** I do have to mention that I haven’t been properly trained as a teacher. I really haven’t had any formal training in education at all. A lot of my information is outsider perspective from what I have read and understood about educational policy, drawing on personal experience in classroom attendance, and a number of stories from various teachers that I know. I am by no means a subject matter expert and my opinions should not be treated as if they did come from one.

So don’t teach the test, is there something specific that we can do to make people curious? Its hard to say, but there is something there about using real world examples which leads us back to case study. I think I’ve firmly stated my feelings regarding case study, but the more that I talk with people (professors) the more that my general disgust kind of lessens. Case study kind of encases the main things that I support in education. Using real world examples, applying the information taught, trying to keep things open ended and giving students the ability to express opinions based on the personal knowledge and the information given. It is a great idea. I should stress however, the difference between letting students learn a case and teaching a case (as in teaching a test). Does the teacher/professor really focus on what is the best result or the process and the analysis. I’m biased though cause I am pretty big into analysis, break it down so it can be understood. That is part of my problem, I tend to focus on the little things a bunch more than taking a step back to consider the larger picture. I’ll save a lot of little things rather than understanding that in the long run, it probably won’t mean that much.

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I had a conversation with one of my corporate facilitators about how she saw her job (corporate education is something that I may want to transition to in the future) and was surprised that there is a great deal of emphasis on more than just the ability to present and to know the information. While that may seem simple, how it was described to me was that there is sort of fine art to interpersonal communications, feeling out the room. To actors or other types of performers I’m sure that this fact is not particularly ground breaking but I found it curious, the suggestion to not focus so much on the information but presentation skills, conflict resolution, and message delivery.***

***This is an appropriate time to take a break and discuss voices. Obviously the language you use in a professional situation is different from that in a more personal situation. One of the main things to take away from any basic public speaking/effective communication course is knowing the setting and the audience. You may know only know my voice here, (I would like to imagine you thinking it was semi-formal, expressive, informative, and occasionally funny, (not funny in a “laugh out loud” kind of way but rather more of a “good for him, I hope he appreciated that joke and didn’t work on it too long” kind of way (which I really do work on them too long))), but it is not an accurate reflection of my day to day language with friends or family. On that note, I’m looking to actually practice speaking a little more so I may make that a more regular part of the blog in the future. (Remember the video series I did on racing? Weren’t those fun? And I have a number of races lined up for this next year which should be lots of fun!)

And while we’re on teaching styles, let’s take a minute to discuss passion. So far at Rockhurst I have been really pleased with the professors because they seem passionate about their subjects, and that enthusiasm is infectious. Really at any level, showing a little enthusiasm for what you do can go a long way.  I understand this is a job, (and a rather cushy job as it stands), but if there is a premier job that is not widely celebrated for its passion it is education. The problem is that many teachers are not properly compensated for their work (obviously) and there is definitely less emphasis on the education as a whole in this society. Referring back to the first paragraph, the emphasis on the need for well rounded students particularly in sports and other activities outside of school is shifting the structure and levels of expectations inside the classroom. Monopolizing the time of a child sounds great. Keeps them out of trouble, sure, develops other skills outside of the classroom, yes. But the problem lies when those other things outside of the classroom hinder development of standard communication and academic skills. It draws back to what I like to call active followership, not active leadership. One of my more favourite concepts of undergraduate studies is this topic which simply means that not everyone can be a leader. Attempting to pump out this “be a leader” mentality for a whole generation leads to a workforce that feels like they need to be in charge but at the same time catered to day to day with the ideal that if there is something that isn’t going your way, there is a problem with the system.

One of my favourite statements was from a Truman professor who stated, we’re teaching you how to manage cause there are tons of employees who need to be managed coming out of Columbia (state school Missouri University). They say there’s a sucker born every minute.

Bond, the Perfect Model

Skyfall!!!

Let me take an aside and talk about how much I am a fan of James Bond. There was a magical time when there were these things called video stores where you could go and rent video cassettes.* I want to say that there was a deal on Wednesdays or Thursdays where the rentals were really cheap and you could have them for the weekend. In any case the family kind of went through a phase where we watching a different James Bond movie a week. I think I was particularly interested because a video game was released about the same time that some have called one of the greatest video games of all time Goldeneye 007 . But I think the appeal of a 007 movie is that you know the formula walking into it. Like a typical action movie but with a semblance of class, of real machismo. I suppose that is the general formula for any action movie though.

1. Bad guy does something nefarious
2. Good guy tries to stop bad guy
3. First confrontation loss
4. Good guy recovers and has an awesome montage
5. Good guy gets better with help from romantic interest
6. Something happens to romantic interest
7. Good guy gets fired up and confronts bad guy again
8. Short lived victory then bad guy looks to completely triumph
9. Good guy remembers something from his montage/help from romantic interest
10. Good guy triumphs and hooks up with the romantic interest

In this perspective, James Bond is not unlike too many other action characters.*** From what I remember, the James bond books were born out of the romantic period of espionage. When there was idea that there were spies running some sort of complex web of information, assassination, and sexiness. And he was British! I’m a big fan of the British. Likely based on the history, the football, the accent (obviously), or James Bond. The movies were cool, James Bond wore a suit, was one of my first exposure to puns and drank cocktails rather than beer, slept with pretty women with clever names. James Bond did amazing things in sleek foreign cars, had unique gadgets, got out of impossible jams with a combination of intelligence, skill, and a bit of luck. What was there not to like?

*Thank goodness we haven’t talked about Blockbuster v Netflix in MBA school yet. That case was beat to death. TO DEATH! But now every business major/minor knows that you have to consider the internet as a new tool for delivering goods. Also to make sure that you are aware of new technologies and adapt to them. No company or industry is safe from small companies with innovation. DUH!!**

**I say “duh”, but that is not to say that there weren’t people at Blockbuster who didn’t lose millions of dollars and franchisees that lost everything because Blockbuster was ill-equipped to rapidly adapt to the new environment. A lot of executives who were either too stubborn or too blind to make that change. It was similar to the change when Blockbuster was stuck with millions of VHS tapes when making the transition to DVDs. Think of the investment that was essentially obsolete within a year or two and needed to be (expensively) replaced. 

As a marketer, there is everything to love about James Bond. As I have outlined above, there is a given formula for the movies. Writers can be clever but again it would only be within the same, proven action movie formula. James Bond provides a rather steady sort of income for whomever currently holds the rights. A set of actors and a company would take over for several movies and then it would pass on to the next generation, the next group to try and build upon. Sequels are a much safer bet than something new an original. And should you have the unique opportunity to have the rights to the franchise, especially a long living franchise, a significant amount of money is coming your way, despite the quality. **** James Bond is significant that every generation seems to have its own James Bond. And that puts the proverbial and literal butts in the seats. The stories have been compelling enough to keep people interested and while Skyfall has not been critically acclaimed, it has had good general reviews among the populace. One of the nice gauges that I like to look at is RottenTomatoes  which rates movies based on “freshness” which is a nice simple tool and it is not singularly biased on a reviewer, rather, takes the accumulation of many people’s ratings. (Skyfall is sitting at 91%).

***There are several terrific movie rating sites. RottenTomatoes among them. But as I’ve said before, with so much media and so much information out there, it is important to define your media mavens, those sources of information on which you can reliably trust. For movies, may I make a recommendation to check out Tony’s movie review tumblr. I like the reviews, Tony is a fantastic writer and funny to boot (at times). Worth a look if you have the time.  

****Just look at Star Wars. While that franchise has not changed hands save for the recent sale to Disney, the franchise itself had quite the revenue stream recently with the “prequels”. These first three films were roundly criticized for the cheapness and how the story was not as epic, too convenient, and ultimately not up to the standards of the original trilogy. But I’ll be damned if I did not watch all of them, follow the buildup to the release of the next movie, and explicitly love certain parts. I, as with most people, are drawn to see what happens next in story, despite good or bad. Especially if it is something that was very engaging, very much tied to a ideal. Generational, fandom, a number of other mental ties. 

So what does that all mean? The main point I’m trying to get at is that James Bond may be an example of the ideal marketing model. James has the cars (Aston Martin & BMW), the signature drink (Vesper Martini*****) , the suits (Tom Ford this time), and one that I didn’t realize was the tourism. I was intrigued by the world travelling Bond, all those exotic locales around Europe does indeed paint a romantic picture of some already beautiful spots. In Skyfall, MI6 had a Sony Vaio computers and systems and for once, Bond stepped out of the cocktails and had a beer, specifically Heineken. I’ve included some of the commercials below for your perusal. We also got to see  a couple of Audis driving around. And why not? What safer investment could there be to see an iconic franchise (in its 50th year and 23rd film) using your goods. For the price of several million dollars (I would imagine, don’t quote me on that) your brand will be seen by hundreds of millions of people. And when the DVD comes out, those same people probably several times. Bond is sexy, classy, and almost universally While occasionally I would roll my eyes at the blatant product placement, it didn’t take me too much outside of the movie. Finally there is the song. Each Bond movie has an iconic singer perform the opening song and this time, using Adele (also below). A chance to tie in the another industry while leveraging your core competency (in this case Bond as an icon). More moneeeeeyz for everyone!

***** Martini

Occasionally Footy Pt. I

We have a very special tradition every four years in which we come together collectively and elect our leaders in the US.* Billions of dollars were spent which is kind of nice to think about the people who were actually being paid. Some jobs, albeit temporary, were created and I’m sure thousands of articles and tens of books are being prepared to analyze all the numbers that are released. Which I think is cool, we have a unprecedented ability to take the numbers and the technology available and really analyze trends in voting patterns and tying that to social movements while keeping a gauge on the feelings of the voters who were expressing themselves on social media outlets. I mean think of all the ways you could use that information, not only in a political way but to influence areas with specific advertising or finding out ways to exploit consumer behavioooooooooring! I, not unlike millions of other Amurikins, were quite happy to see the end of the election cycle to finally see the ceasing of the seemingly endless advertisements, mailers, and especially the awkward conversations that were taking place. Pitting friend against friend and splitting families apart! And I’m sure everyone has that one friend who takes it a little too far, gets a little too preachy on one end or another, someone who definitely “drank the Kool Aid“. If you can’t really name that friend then I’m sorry, you are probably that person. And you are terrible.

*Voter turnout numbers appear to be hovering around 120 Million, nearly a 10% drop off since the elections in 2008 and representing something close to 40% of the population. Now the population figures show children and elderly, both who are ineligible to vote** but some places are reporting of “eligible” voters the figures are around 60%. So yeah. That still kind of sucks.

**Just jokes!

All kidding aside, I think that there is definite room to change the election process. There is an inherent simplicity and beauty in the popular vote. It is taking the vote of all the citizens (who choose to vote) and tally who is the winner. Unfortunately this is not how presidents are elected. There is this kind of weird thing called the electoral college (perfect explanation here). So what we have is kind of deviated democratic process. Don’t like it, but that segments nicely to the really important part of this post: Soccer.

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So this season hasn’t been the best as far as my personal soccer fandom. On the one hand I’ve had the opportunity to attend several games at Livestrong Sporting Park* which is just an awesome, awesome experience. If you ever have the opportunity, I would highly recommend a match. The atmosphere is always buzzing and there really is not a bad seat in the whole stadium. The Legends area is growing pretty nicely thus far especially with the addition of the Hollywood Casino this year. On the complete other end, top seeded Sporting KC crashed out of the playoffs earlier this week, unfortunately not able to make up a two goal deficit from the first leg in Houston.

*There is a real discussion about what is to become of Livestrong as both a brand and a major sponsor of a professional sports stadium but that will have to be left for another day.

Two legged playoff matches are a fairly regular fixture for league championships around the world, though the structure is a bit different in the MLS. Most leagues run concurrent competitions which means teams seem like they are constantly playing (especially the better teams) which draws lots and lots of revenue. Plus that means that soccer can be shown pretty much everyday. They are not hampered like the NFL which is limited (legally) to Thursday/Sunday/Monday. For example, in England this week, Premier League matches were played Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. UEFA Champions League played Tuesday and Wednesday. Europa League was Thursday. Friday begins some of the other Leagues in France and Germany and it rolls onward into Saturday’s Premier League. So a team will be competing to win its domestic league (think like our regular season) while simultaneously vying for a league cup (playoff format) or for some of the better teams, international glory as well.

The MLS is structured similarly to the other major professional leagues in the US in that it runs a “regular season” which determines the seeding for the playoff format. The two-legged format plays one team hosting and then switching in a second game. Spreads the game out and kind of gives the opportunity for both teams score some revenue from home tickets and television. Oh and something, something competitive balance.**

For Sporting KC, another disappointing early exit at the hands of Houston after a pretty great regular season. I am glad that KC does have a good sports team to follow though. With the (in order of embarrassment) Chiefs, Command, Royals, T-Bones all flailing around the last several years it is nice to have something to be proud of in Sporting KC, despite the frankly ridiculous name.***

**A good example is baseball and basketball (MLB and NBA respectively) who have 5 or 7 game series. This format not only ensures the aforementioned revenue streams but also gives the theoretically better team to prove itself over multiple matches. So its not just a one-off. It is important to note that probably the best and most dramatic tournament is NCAA’s March Madness Tournament which is a single elimination tournament. The combination of “amateur” players and the tendency for a single game to swing dramatically one direction or another fuels what might be a perfect tournament.

***The CHL team Missouri Mavericks were in the playoffs the last couple of years and actually went to game 7 of the semifinals last season. I like watching hockey but hockey strategy eludes me. It is one of those things where actually playing the game helps to clarify rules and makes it easier to understand strategies. About as far as I got in strategy for hockey was to hit everyone and shoot a lot. Thank you Wayne Gretzky 3D Hockey

Furthermore, my favourite soccer team, Liverpool FC is having a terrible season as well. They are sitting 12th of 20 currently. Quite a long drop for a team that has the second most Premier League titles (18) and had consistently been top 4 for the better part of 20 years. They are currently under new management as club legend Kenny Daglish stepped down at the end of the season after failing to inspire the squad to much success. The US owners, a bit reluctant to splash the cash, were not able to give new manager Brendan Rodgers a second striker outside of the polarizing and often brilliant   Luis Suarez. There is a winter trading window where hopefully this can be remedied. The season though looks to be in shambles a bit. My expectation is if everyone stays healthy, Liverpool climbs back into a Europa spot and maybe if all plays nicely wins the Europa this year but its hard to imagine. YNWA!

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NaNoWriMo!

Glad to announce that I am going to try my hand this month at the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) Challenge! The challenge is to pen a manuscript over the course of November. Though I’m going to take it a bit differently than what is generally prescribed on the website.  My goal is to try and write in the novel or on the blog somewhere around 1,000 words a day.

I think I write pretty well, but as with anything, I wonder how much better I can be if I actually practiced on a more consistent basis. Over the last couple of days I’ve gone back and looked at some of the things that I have managed to save. This includes old blogs, short stories, even some emails that I thought were pretty good. Most of it is not good. Well at the time I thought I was writing something significant but looking back, not so significant at all. But in a way that was good. Kind of an unintentional journal lets me put into a better perspective what was going on at the time. And looking at the current number of subscribers and hits on this blog, it appears I am doing the same thing now. Just a chronicle. (Which is an awesome title for a novel…)

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Quick update on things:

Finished my last road big road race for the year which was the KC Half Marathon. The race went pretty well. 1:53 According to my profile on Athlinks, I’m averaging 1:49 Half-Maras. So that is pretty much right on track. Weather on the morning was a little chilly but it was beautiful right at the start. Nothing too big to report regarding the race, I just felt pretty strong most of the race, tried not to freak out too much, (didn’t want to get over 2 hours), just pace myself through. If I’m doing another run this year it might be a Thanksgiving 5K.

Trying to sort out the calendar for next year. Talking to a couple of people and maybe its time to plan a couple of races outside the area. See if there is races in St. Louis or Chicago or even some of the fun looking races in California. But obviously time and money constraints will apply.  I am also tentatively aiming at the Half Ironman in Lawrence scheduled for June 9, 2013!!!*

*So many french fries will be consumed if that is accomplished. Look forward to a post on potatoes. 

I started my second quarter classes recently. Got an A on my Managerial Communications class. Yay. This quarter I’m taking Competitive Analysis (Econ) and Strategic Marketing (Marketing). Both classes are going pretty well so far. It is interesting talking in my econ class about utility and opportunity when I’m imagining all the other things I might be doing with my time. It is probably worth it though.** The professors seem to be genuinely very interested in the material which makes those 3 hour classes go by a little bit faster. Another thing to consider for next year is how fast I want to have this degree completed.

**Graduate level degrees, especially in business, seem to be the new bachelor’s degree. Unfortunate and adding to the “education bubble” crisis which looms in the horizon.

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Going to leave this last section to brainstorm topics to write about that are not already on my growing list of topics. Most will be rather short but I do encourage people to adjust their email subscription settings. This next month is going to be pretty annoying for you if you have it set to immediate or daily reminders. You have been warned.

Brainpower!/PartyArty/Apple and Case Study/Fantasy/MLS/Youtubes and Content Creators/Elections/Streaming Music