Friday, February 19, 2010

(Clever Title re: Links)

Thought I’d share some note-worthy sites I’ve stumbled upon the last week or so:

The War Eagle Reader - OK, I’ve actually visited TWER before, but since they scored an interview with Brian regarding LUCERO’s first-ever show in Auburn, they deserve some link-cred. Also, check out the Vintage Auburn posts (HT: Zandura101)

FreeThinkBham’s "Hipster’s Guide to Birmingham" – I have no interest in “progressive action and info”, but this Guide seems pretty spot-on (I doubt I’d even qualify as a young professional or “executive” hipster though). I’ve only been to Urban Standard for lunch once, but it was tasty (HT: BhamTerminal).

A Trip Down South - I'm no fashionista (J. Crew and “Banana” never look good on “husky” fellas like myself), but this blog is pretty good stuff (apparently there’s a whole ‘nother world of male sartorial blogs out there). I did subscribe to GQ once, but it’s been a solid year since I purchased something from Brooks Brothers.

The Selvedge Yard - Stephen sent me this blog which seems to celebrate all things classy (classic) and manly (Reminds me of EDSBS’s Digital Viking: Guide to Spicy Living). The old school (60’s and 70’s) pictures are pretty sweet.

Archie McPhee – Yes, I’m a dork. I bought a Seth Godin action figure. This website is AWESOME and flipping through the catalogue, I could easily blow $100. Reminds of the magic shop in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure. PS – I think you know what to get me for April 16th??

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I and Love and You

One of the best parts of my day is rocking our sweet baby girl to sleep. We have a couple different playlists on my iPhone and she really likes the Avett Brothers (BTW, how sweet is having a speaker in the iPhone? It’s like having a portable baby boom-box). Anyways, we’ve been listening to them since we were at the hospital, and we both like our special music bonding time . . .

I love my wife. I love my daughter. Life is good . . .

Hope you and yours had a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


After running out of too many excuses/delays on my part, and being inspired by Chad’s recent P90x success, I finally decided to get off my arse this week and sign up for a gym membership.

That’s right folks, 1997 140lb Cross Country TMF’H is BACK!!!!!!! (Ok, maybe I’ll settle for 2002ish, 185lb TMF’H)

Unfortunately, the sleeve monster has been pretty hungry in Hoover, so I’ve seen my fair share of meat heads getting their pump on. Yes, I know it’s ironic that I’m (out-of-shape) the one casting judgment on these (in-shape) folks even though we’re in a “Judgment Free Zone”??? I just want to know when it became cool to wear muscle tees when you’re working out?? Do chicks dig muscle tees???

Anyways, the gym is a great place to wear t-shirts not otherwise suitable for a young professional father like myself.

Today I wore my Yard Dog (Folk Art Gallery) t-shirt I picked up in Austin four years ago. PS - If anybody is looking for really nice 30th or 35th Birthday ideas, a Jon Langford print would be pretty sweet!!

It’s a pretty cool shirt, but today I realized someone else at the gym might mistake it for a TapouT t-shirt!!?!?! I mean from across the room, the logo is definitely a similar shape (and I’m sure the black t-shirt doesn’t help). Let me be clear, if I EVER even think about wearing TapouT (or Affliction) apparel, you have complete authority to punch me in the face.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


A couple weeks ago, I mentioned I had a “few” books on my reading list, and last Sunday, I was able to check Linchpin off that list. Now, I’ve got to tell you something.

Seth Godin has completely blown my mind.

Seriously, this book was entertaining, inspiring, and a (relatively) quick read. (It’s difficult to summarize 240 pages into one post, but) Seth basically explains how the world (economy) has changed, and the only way to succeed in this new environment is to be indispensible (a linchpin). The last 250 years, we’ve lived in a “factory” society (it makes no difference if the factory makes cars, food, health care, or tax returns), and according to Seth, the American Dream was:

Keep your head down
Follow instructions
Show up on time
Work hard
Suck it up
. . . and you’ll be rewarded.

As we’ve seen the last decade (what with bankruptcies, lay-offs, economic uncertainty, etc.), this path is no longer a guarantee to a comfortable life. The new American dream is:

Be remarkable
Be generous
Create art
Make judgment calls
Connect people and ideas
. . . and we have no choice but to reward you.

But Seth isn’t necessarily imploring you to create art with a paint brush or a musical instrument. We are all artists, because "art, at least as I define it, is the intentional act of using your humanity to create a change in another person."

No one said being a linchpin would be easy. We’re pre-disposed (our “lizard brain”) to fight this notion of standing out and being remarkable. It’s much easy to just “do your job” and collect a paycheck. But if you want to be successful (aka happy), you can’t give in to this resistance.

There’s so much more to this book, but for the list-oriented people like myself, to be indispensable you must:

Provide a unique interface between members of your organization
Deliver unique creativity
Manage a situation or organization of great complexity
Lead customers
Inspire staff
Provide deep domain knowledge
Posses a unique talent

But what inspired me to tell you about how completely mind-blowing this book is??

I’ve been following Seth’s blog for about a year. In December he gave his readers a chance to get a preview copy of Linchpin a few weeks before it was released. Pretty sweet, huh?? All Seth asked in return was to make a donation ($30 minimum) to the Acumen Fund and share your thoughts on the book if you so feel led. In 49 hours, he raised over $108k. When I received my copy in early January he included a note thanking me for the donation and said there would be another surprise a few weeks later (aka now).

Like I said, I finished this book Sunday and I feel like I’ve been telling people about it since. Monday I even mentioned it to our Training Coordinator and said it would be a great book to deliver a training session on (I told him I’d be happy to help, of course). This is the kind of book you want to buy for all your co-workers, friends, and family.

Well, today I get home from work and see a random package from Barnes & Noble addressed to me??? (Did the LOML pre-order me The Big Short???). I opened it up and inside was another note from Seth. He said an important part of being indispensible is generosity, and he wanted to give me a SECOND COPY of Linchpin to share with a friend. ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?

Seth, you’re a gentleman and a scholar, and you’ve got a new convert in your tribe. Thank you for writing this book.

PS – the Tuna Tartare Burger I had for lunch today at FLIP Burger also completely blew my mind.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Jay Reatard

I've always* been really proud of the local music that's come out of Memphis. Besides the obvious (Lucero), I could easily put albums by the Glass, Reigning Sound, Pawtuckets, Corey B, Snowglobe and even Augustine (one LP wonder!) among my favorite records.**

A few weeks ago, the Memphis (errr, global) hipster community was rocked when Jay Reatard passed away at the age of 29. I'm gonna be honest. I had never listened to any of his music. I remember seeing the Final Solultions and Lost Sounds mentioned in the Memphis Flyer from time to time, but I can't claim that I'm some Reatard super-fan (I did watch p4k's A>D>D interview with him last fall though). I always thought the coolest thing about him, was the bass player in his band went to my high school ("boring rich kids") and escorted my sister for Spirit Court six (?) years ago.

Well, today I've been streaming (FOR FREE) a good bit of his stuff on his website (and myspace) and I'll say it's pretty good. Nothing helps you tie down a Statement of Cash Flows like crazy, lo-fi, jangly noise pop (with a touch of faux British accent!). But seriously, he put some good stuff out there, and you should at least check out his (major, errr Matador) indie label debut, Watch Me Fall.

* Accidental Mersh notwithstanding

** I know it'd really impress you if I said I liked the Oblivians, too.