Posted in SocialMedia

My First TweetUp!

A friend of mine, Brian Smith,  who works at Rebel Interactive, invited me to a local TweetUp on Facebook.  Looking at the confirmed event attendees list I saw that Katie Knapp Schubert, from my most listened to radio station KIOS-FM was going to be there!  I have an awfully long commute to work each day and I have heard her voice for the last several years. I’m the type that achieves a certain level of satisfaction in being able to put a face to a name, so I just had to go.

California Tacos and More was the location of the event.  I had completed my homework and made a list of all the Facebook confirmed attendees–I annotated what line of work each attendee is in and was prepared to experience my first TweetUp.  It sounds simple enough, but I didn’t want to make any assumptions about what I was going to get out of it.  I arrived a few minutes after 12pm to a long line of people.  The place is rather smallish but the food is absolutely wonderful.  I recognized one of the ladies from her Facebook profile and recognized the familiar bubbly infectious “social media” user personality.  I realized right then, regardless of the purpose/outcome, I was bound to have a good time.

I introduced myself to Marjorie and carried on conversation with her and two other people who joined.  After ordering my food and sitting down with my drink, a gentleman by the name of Jim sat down right across from me.   He was a cattle farmer and said he was adding poultry to his farming operation and wanted to get his organic product into food stores.  Well, little did he know that I recently returned from a visit to my brother-in-law from Arkansas who just received his NPIP Certification for his Microbiology/Chemistry Lab.  NPIP stands for National Poultry Improvement ProgramWhitbeck Laboratories is one of the few privately owned laboraties in the Nation which is authorized to conduct Salmonella testing and consult with chicken farmers backed by the standards required by the USDA.  He passed onto me two documents that he put together about his operation with his contact info and asked if I would pass them on.

After finishing my meal I decided to chat a little more to Katie from KIOS-FM and sitting next to her was a gal named Jennifer.  She just happened to be a CBS Home Real Estate representative.  After discussing my families plans to sell our home and purchase one closer to downtown Omaha, she offered to do whatever paperwork necessary to obtain approval from our bank to become an authorized agent for my banks Movers Advantage program.  I met several other fine outgoing people.

All of the attendees were folks I could imagine meeting up for coffee just to hang out, or play board games, watch movies, or go camping with them.  It was amazing how comfortable I was amongst strangers.  I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised because the crowd at this TweetUp are probably representative of the social culture that is fairly open-minded, flexible, positive people.  Conversation varied between personal / professional…typical “getting to know you” type discussion.  If you have never been to a TweetUp, I highly recommend it.  Just remember, you don’t have to be an expert user of Twitter to tweet or attend a TweetUp.  Everybody starts somewhere!

Have a great weekend everyone.  Follow me on Twitter @justasked.

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Tales & Adventures of the Sale of a 100 Year Old Home!

Acreage For Sale
100 Year Old Home for Sale By Owner

Here’s just a peek at what one home-owner goes through in prepping a 100 year old house to sell.  If the chore list isn’t long enough for the work that needs done outside a home….goodness, you just can’t believe the list for inside!  They say timing is everything, but yeah…no kidding, who has the answer to that cliche?  No time is ever perfect to begin such an endeavor.  If the economy isn’t in the toilet, then its the toilet that needs work!  Now we’ve watched our share of Home & Garden Television (HGTV.)  But after seeing the incredible transformations on TV, you look around your own house and wonder, where’s all my enthusiastic supporters?

So, starting off with that simple and fresh coat of neutral paint…who knew that the perfect blue tape you use to keep from painting parts you don’t want to are just going to rip the old paint you want to keep right off?  I mean really?  Who designs this crap…or maybe I just didn’t read the fine print.  Another thing about the walls–they tell you to “de-personalize” the walls so the prospective home buyer will be able to visualize their stuff in your space…its also supposed to make the room look bigger!  Of course they don’t mention the impact–moods of teenager occupants of these rooms your de-personalizing. Sighhh–who knew you’re making them put away their icons of comfort?

Bambi and Her Mother
Bambi and Her Mother in the Orchard

It just never seems to end! You finish one room and it looks so good you just can’t leave the next room like it is…its like potato chips–can’t stop with just one!  So the saga continues and today I broke down and bought $150 in 12X12 ceramic tiles to lay in the laundry room to get rid of the cheap sticky-backed linoleum tiles.  With that project yet to do and the repair to the front steps, hanging a new ceiling fan in the living room and planting the front flower bed–I’d say all of my free time is booked until our first Open House scheduled for 8 May…yes, that’s Mother’s Day!  You gotta strike while the iron is hot.  We’re getting all sorts of gawkers coming by our place now that Spring has decided to grace us!

One thing I must say I’m grateful for is YouTube! Amazing resource for anybody looking for answers and how-to demonstrations for all those odd tasks/jobs.  You can find a lot of professionals who do construction or remodeling for a living who share their ideas/expertise.  One site I found with a lot of helpful videos and information is AskTheBuilder.com.

Well, I really wish I could spend more time sharing with you, but the rest of the plastic Easter Eggs need to be stuffed for tomorrow’s hunt, and I’ll be getting up early to make French Breakfast Puffs for the kids.  Take care everyone and Happy Easter!

The pictures are ours…. of our house that we are selling ourselves and of deer in the orchard (orchard has nine fruit trees).

Follow me on Twitter @justasked

Posted in Writing

National Poetry Month

This is my attempt at honoring National Poetry Month!  One goal this year is to acquaint myself with all the National Holidays and special days recognized and celebrated by all the peoples of the United States of America.  So, I did a little research and came up with over seventy reasons to celebrate throughout the year!

At first, I wrote my poem and decided because of the content it should be titled “Spring, Sprang, Sprung!”…but I did a quick check on Google to see if I would be stepping on previous author’s toes and decided to steer clear.  So, here’s my attempt to capture my favorite season and celebrate National Poetry month!

Spring Demands Attention!

The wind chimes clang

as mornings rays gently pry

tender crocus, tulip and daffodils rejoice

tis Spring cries the Robin!

Soils perfume a moist radiant air

a mix of cut grass and tree blossoms bright

the panorama is a bouquet of celebration

Winter’s spell is broken honk the geese!

Children frolic and explore the earth reborn

clouds herald the supply of natures drink

bees buzz excitedly at each colorful revelation

“Arise!” demands the sun!

By:  Ed Milligan

I’m excited at what I will learn about people and culture in this little self-imposed continuing education assignment to explore and understand the history behind each of these holidays.  I’ve added a few links to help you learn a little more about the history of National Poetry Month and how you can participate:

The history of National Poetry Month (started in 1996)

Poets.org A hub for poets everywhere!

April 14th is “Poem in Your Pocket Day!

Find out what’s happening in your state to celebrate National Poetry Month.

For those in NebraskaPoetry Menu (great contests, opportunities for educators!)

 

Go ahead now!  Its your turn.  Try it–you may discover you have talent hidden in places forgotten!  Have a great weekend everybody!

Cheers (follow me on Twitter @justasked)

Posted in Relationships

Thought Soup

Icon-type silhouette of an airplane. (Mainly t...
Image via Wikipedia

It’s been a whirlwind week!  Since Sunday I have flown to Washington D.C. on business, landed back in Omaha and within 30 minutes received a warning citation from the police for failure to signal and a malfunctioning tail light; purchased and installed a new built-in dishwasher; worked late (past supper time) two nights; and just this evening started to drive away from the gas pump to hear a noise and realize I hadn’t replaced the nozzle!  When you meet yourself coming and going you know its time to take a break!!  Slow down a little and breathe–smell the coffee and count your blessings!

The week hasn’t been all bad though.  I enjoyed the company of a traveling mate on the Washington D.C. to Atlanta leg of my trip who recommended the book “Shadows and Streetlights” and “Warriors Rage”  I’m greatly impressed at times by some traveling companions.  You never know what you’re going to learn if you take a chance and share yourself with others.  Many times you’ll find that people just want to be left alone.  But if you stop and think about it, most flights are three hours or less (especially if you have connecting flights)…what is it going to hurt you to reach out and shake a hand and introduce yourself?  After 9/11, I became aware that I was mentally on auto-pilot regarding my commuting behaviors.  Now, if alone, I listen to news, or books on CD…if surrounded by others, I at least try to get to know a person’s name and where they’re from.

On the Atlanta to Omaha leg of my journey, I met a wonderful Radiologist named Rick with a local practice in Omaha.  A great family man with three teenage children.  We talked about every topic possible in our two hour journey.  By opening up to others, you find out you are not alone…that like others, the parenting years are a flourish of activity and logistics.

I am three fourths of the way through Stephen King‘s “Dreamcatcher” and am just enthralled by how creatively vivid his mind is.  Each time I finish a reading session, it takes a while for me to accept reality.  His writing talent pulls you in, challenges you to figure out, question, and begin making assessments about where the story is taking you.  His character development acquaints you in such a tangible way that you feel you know these people.  Why is it that we don’t live life with the same anxious intrigue and anticipation the way we “exist” when reading a good book or watching a long-awaited movie?  Is it possible we allow ourselves too much “auto-pilot” mental time?  I think that as adults we lose our wonder and excitement about living because of what value we assign to the “stuff and work of life.”

When I stopped my vehicle this evening after hearing the nozzle yank out of my fuel tank and land on the ground, I put the car in park.  I was anxious that my carelessness wasn’t going to create a fire/explosion.  I picked up the nozzle, placed it back in the pump, screwed my gas cap back on and made a “phew” gesture with my hand at my forehead just in case I was being observed, and then got back in my car.  Thinking aloud I said, “Ed, it surely is time for a vacation!”  I need to refuel my emotional/mental stores and spend some much needed time with my family–turn off “auto-pilot” and be present in the now….appreciating and soaking up the living life has to offer.

If you are reading this post, I hope all is well in your world!  I am grateful for time…without it, we would never have the chance to recover from mistakes, heal our wounds, or achieve our dreams.  Have a great weekend everyone!