I am quite a fan of watching thunderstorms, most of the time. Something about watching a thunderhead build slowly in the afternoon heat and merge into something so powerful has always been an event that draws my attention.
When I lived in College Station during school, I was very fortunate to live on a 90-acre piece of property, on top of a hill, and about 8 miles from Texas A&M campus. I could walk out my front door and see Kyle Field on the horizon. I enjoyed being able to see the lights kick on and then off for Midnight Yell Practice, but what I really enjoyed was watching a storm build up. They would start south of town about mid afternoon and eventually build up to a light show. I could sit in the sun and beautiful weather watching a storm pour down on College Station. The storms would eventually move my direction, but the whole process was incredibly interesting to me. Some of my best writing came when I was on that porch watching a storm.
Now I live in Oklahoma and I do not enjoy all storms. They still interest me and I will still sit outside for as long as possible to watch a storm build and lightening light of the sky. Some storms are too strong or destructive to watch for long, but even for those, I am sitting on the front porch of the Railhouse, trying to get a picture while I can.
In College Station, I could watch the storm develop and see it moving my way. This was always the calm before the storm and I enjoyed it. Some of the best fishing can be done at this time and it is an interesting transition from relative calm to a major event. Nature is just interesting.
I feel like that right now.
We are on the cusp of our busy season at Old Hat. Projects are starting to line up in the queue, photo shoots have been booked, and the plans are starting to be laid for another round of amazing Old Hat work. To me, this calm before the storm is different. There is still that nervous anticipation of what will come out of all this. Where will we be on the other side of this storm? Storms like this always change things in some way. Often times for the better, but change will happen regardless.
I am excited for this busy season. I am excited to look up at my board and see that our projects have multiplied by five in the last week. I am excited to see the amazing work that we create AND I am excited to see what changes may come.
It may be the calm before the storm this time of year, but this is the storm that Old Hat Creative gets excited about.
My wife and I recently headed west for a trip to California. It was part vacation, and part honeymoon that we never really took two years ago when we were married. We each had things we wanted to see. For me, it was Alcatraz and AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants. My wife wanted to see Yosemite, Chinatown, Fisherman's Wharf and other San Fran landmarks. We were able to see just about everything we wanted in a week, even after losing a day because of delayed flights and luggage mishaps at the start of the trip.
Much like several of my co-workers, I'm on Instagram, though my use has been minimal. Now that have plenty of content, maybe I should post more. If I find the time...
I took over 2500 photos, so picking from them was tough. It didn't really matter which direction you pointed the camera - you were going to find a great shot. Anyway here's a few highlights from our trip.
Yosemite (Mariposa Grove, Half Dome, Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley)
The floor of a hallway in the cell area after Marines dropped grenades to end a prisoner riot and hostage crisis in 1946.
Fortunately we were able to escape the island
Various sites from open air bus tour and around San Francisco
Painted Ladies (Cue Full House theme)
AT&T Park - game was entertaining (Giants won 13-8 over Padres) with a view unlike I've ever had for a baseball game
Splash down in McCovey Cove, though it was a foul ball.
Other San Francisco sites (Madame Tussauds wax museum, Aquarium of the Bay, San Francisco fog, Lombard Street, Coit Tower, cable car ride)
I can't believe it is almost July already. It seems as if this summer is flying by! That might be because I spent the month of May flying around the world and part of June driving across the country.
I don't travel that much, but when I do, I like to do it all at the same time...
So it all started back in early May. I took a 10 day trip to Israel with my college roommate Robin and 38 other people. Our Israel flight left from NYC, and just to be safe, we figured we should arrive in town a day early. At that point, we then said, "Well hey, let's just make a weekend out of it!"
After three days of exploring NYC, we were on our way to Israel. We had both been there before, but oh my gosh, what a place. I strongly recommend going there if you ever have the opportunity. It is mind blowing how much history took place in such a small area. I could not wrap my head around how old some of the ruins are that we were looking at.
Fast forward to June...it's NACMA time! This year, we road tripped it to Orlando. Here - watch our documentary!
Last night, I went to see the new Disney movie, Inside Out. If you haven't heard about it, then you must be living under a huge rock the size of Texas. It is getting really good reviews because it is unlike any previous animated movie that Disney has produced. It's super original and thought provoking. It is a really fun way to think about emotions and how they work. It's fun for the kids because it has bright colors and some funny jokes, but I think Disney really made this more for the adults that like cartoon movies (me).
I don't want to give anything away, but I left the theatre thinking, "It's okay to be sad". These days, we try to show all of our awesome lives on social media, trying to one-up everyone else. I gave up facebook a couple of years ago, but I have noticed that slowly, Instagram is becoming a replacement for me to compare my life to others. It seems like everyone just wants to show everyone else taht their lives are awesome and they go on all these fancy trips and their significant other is better then anyone else's, but behind all those pictures, there could be so much more going on. This movie tells you, hey, "It's okay to be sad sometimes, just not all the time". And ya, it is. Be real with people, show your sadness, and people will be sad with you, but also help you get out of it.
So ya, there is my kinda movie review/tip about how you should show your feelings.
I have so much good stuff going on right now in my life, but i'm still going to be sad every once in a while, and thanks to Disney, I'll feel okay about it!
Another year and another successful NACMA in the books for us. We had a great time catching up with current clients and connecting with potential new clients. Overall, the trip was a blast and here are the top nine things we learned:
1. Stuckey's is an American Tradition - Anyone ever heard of Stuckey's? It's a chain of gas stations that I thought had gone the way of the dodo bird. There used to be multiple Stuckey's locations dotting I-35 in Oklahoma but I haven't seen one in years. As luck would have it, there's one right outside Pensacola, FL and we stopped there TWICE on this trip. Stuckey's is a great place to stop if you want really cheaply made chachkis, ugly t-shirts, alligator claw back-scratchers, etc. We decided to pick up surprises for all the staff that couldn't make the trip with us. See below.
2. The back seat of a Suburban is not meant for adults - Six adults in one suburban in a 45 hour (total) road trip is tough. Josie and Hannah are the smallest so we forced them into the third seat for a good portion of the trip. I gave them a hard time for complaining about it but the fact of the matter is, that seat wasn't meant for adults. Holli and I rode back there for a while on the way down there and then started the trip back with a solid 6 hours back there. It was not enjoyable. Here's a photo of me and Holli asleep in the back while everyone else is enjoying their spacious seating.
3. There's Only One Place Left in the World That Still Allows Smoking Indoors... And We Had Our Party There - For all of our clients that are chain-smokers, I'm sure you were delighted to see that the bar we chose for our party allowed smoking. For all of you that DON'T want lung cancer, I'm sure the cloud of smoke was a bit of a shock when you arrive. On the upside, the bar's vending machine DID offer condoms. So we had that going for us... which was nice.
4. Make Sure to Bring $1.25 to Pensacola Beach - Pensacola Beach is a pretty nice beach. Crowded... but the sand is white and the water is clear. But if you have any desire to walk out on the pier, you better have some cash with you. Pensacola must be very proud of their pier as they charge $1.25 to walk on it. It's like a toll road for your feet. We walked over to it but hadn't brought any methods of payment with us so we opted out of the walk on the pier. Oh well.
5. The Lighting is Better in the Suburban than in My Shower - So apparently sunlight through the back windows of a Suburband does a better job of showing missed spots on shaven legs than the lighting in my shower at home. Holli noticed a few spots on the drive out there that she had missed so she hollered at whoever was in the front seat to fetch her the razor she keeps in the glove compartment for this very reason. I'm thinking about installing a shower in the Suburban so she can kill two birds with one stone from here on out.
6. 500 Square Feet is a LOT of Awesomeness - The past few years, we've had a 20 x 20 foot booth space in the tradeshow. This year, we decided to go with a 10 x 40 foot space to mix it up a little. It was a little experiment. Well, due to a longer story than you care to hear, we expanded that to 10 x 50 feet. It was nice to have all that space but I think we'll go back down to 10 x 40 next year.
7. Robert and I have Similar Tastes in Swimwear - I've known Robert a long time... since we were juniors in college, to be exact. And we've worked together for many years. So I know him pretty well. But I have to admit that I was surprised when we got ready to leave for the beach and discovered that our swimsuits were nearly identical.
8. Just Like the Seminoles, My Diet Dr Pepper Record will Forever be Unconquered - FSU was the latest in my trek to have the record for the most Division 1 college campuses upon which a person has been photographed drinking a Diet Dr Pepper. This was number 26 for me.
9. People Would Rather See My Wife Hula Hoop than See Me Do ANYTHING - It all started as a joke. Last year we had a hula hoop at the booth because we wrapped a sign around it. Holli hula hooped with it, I video'd it, uploaded it to facebook and she became a hula hooping sensation. So I decided it would be funny to make this year's t-shirt giveaway an Old Hat University Hula Hooping Team t-shirt and to promote it, I'd have her hula hoop at landmarks all the way to Orlando AND at the booth. Well what I discovered is that videos of her hula hooping are far more popular than anything I've ever done on camera. So far, her videos have been viewed 3,201 times. The most popular was the one of her hula hooping with Nicole Imbrogno. You can view that on the Old Hat facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/oldhat
So today is my two year anniversary at Old Hat Creative. Much like my very first blog, this one will touch on a few things. A lot has changed for me in the last few years, though it seems to be settling down with much of the change coming in the first few months of that stretch two years ago.
The NBA Finals wrapped up last night with Golden State winning their first title in 40 years, finishing off one of the great seasons in NBA history. The Warriors are classy group with a likable cast including Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala and Steve Kerr. Kerr was one of my favorite Bulls back in the day (other than Michael and Scottie) and Kerr has enjoyed success at many of his career stops including playing, coaching or broadcasting. The Warriors also held off a spectacular series performance by one of the great players in history in LeBron James. I've been a LeBron fan for a long time but continue to be amazed / disappointed by all of the hate that's slung his way in spite of his on-court performance. Granted LeBron brings some of it on himself with actions like "The Decision" and "Not one, not two, not three, etc", but he is already one of the top 10 of all-time with several good years left. LeBron and MJ are often compared, many times unfairly because they are different types of players. Can't we be fans of both? I know I am. Jordan won four of his six titles in his 30s and LeBron, who just turned 30, already has two championships under his belt. Even though LeBron is just 2-4 in the Finals, that still holds up when compared to other legends such as Jerry West (1-8 Finals record), Wilt Chamberlain (2-5) or Karl Malone (0-3). Imagine what it would be like if Jordan, West or Chamberlain played in the social media era?
The New York Times reported yesterday that the St. Louis Cardinals were being investigated by the FBI for hacking the Houston Astros player evaluation computer database. We will see how this turns out, but the Internet has already had fun with this one and will call into question the accomplishments of the Cardinals over the last decade. I'm not condoning the hacking/cheating, but this has to be a lesson to create stronger passwords and don't re-use old ones. Especially if you're moving from one organization to a rival one!
Old Hat goes to 11 …. NACMAs. Another successful convention is wrapping up. A time to meet old friends and make some new ones. If you liked what you saw at NACMA or maybe weren't able to attend, check out the ways we use our experience and expertise to make you look good. Like Old Hat Sports Branding. Or court projection videos. Or Fanswers and Fangage. Maybe a print piece, large or small, is what you need. We will make you look good.
So Jared blogged about instagram a couple days ago, and then Robert was all like “let me hop on that bus cause I like to use instagram too” and so now I am like “HEY-is there room for me?!”
I have started using instagram not only as a place to post my super cool pictures, but also a place to stalk weddings that go on every weekend. This is when I am SO HAPPY hashtags are a thing, because you can see all these pictures from weddings or other events and not even have to try! A lot of my followers have been attending weddings over the weekends, so I have been enjoying not only their pictures but all the other pictures linked to the wedding hashtag. I look forward to be able to click my wedding hashtag and seeing everyones pictures from the night. But, like the other two posts before this, here are some of my recent pictures.
Every failure is a lesson. Honestly, the blog could stop here. I know better than to start a blog or a presentation with the final point, but it is how I am going to roll today. If you want to stop reading, just click here.
Thanks for staying with me to this point, I will do my best to make it worth your time. Failure. It sucks, but we all go through it. I am a firm believer that you should constantly be learning and I have said as much in quite a few blogs. Every interaction and every experience is an opportunity to learn. I wish I could say that I always keep that in my mind, but I am human and prone to forget. However, when it comes to failure, I make a point to think back of the situation to see what lessons could be learned.
Recently, we failed on a bid for a project. It happens. We get to do a lot of amazing work, but we also do not always have the winning bid. It is a part of the business and always will be, but what we learn from those failures goes a long way toward us not failing the next time we place a bid. Based on what you have read so far, it is fair to be wondering what the lesson from this failure was and that is the reason I asked you to keep reading. Unfortunately, there has not been a clear lesson from this failure. We obviously failed because we are not doing the project, but the reasoning behind that is something that was entirely out of our control and I HATE IT. I want to learn and improve so I can blog about the amazing project we are working on, not my failure. I want to be better the next time we put out a bid.
As an important person in my life told me, maybe that is the lesson. You cannot control every aspect and you cannot always fix what went wrong. This is not a new lesson, but it is a lesson nonetheless.
Meow, if we wanted to talk about lessons I have learned recently from failures, we could discuss my garden or in all honesty, my pile of dirt, but that is a blog for another day.
I saw the graphic above yesterday on my Twitter feed. 47%, The average amount of life spent lost in tought.
This statistic came from Headspace, an online community dedicated to teaching the world how to meditate. If you've ever been courious of meditation, I encourage you to check out their website, read their blog, and follow them on Twitter at @Get_Headspace for the latest updates.
Here are some of my favorite posts about what meditation is:
The third annual Old Hat Super Fan 5K took place this past Saturday to once again benefit the Mary Abbott Children's House and the Norman Public School Foundation. Big thanks to all who participated or helped - runners, volunteers, sponsors, police, medical and those who showed up in support of the race to cheer on the runners. Congratulations to our winners, both of the Super Fan 5K and the Lil' Duey Fun Run. Shout outs to our sponsors - Accent Glass Services, BancFirst, The Railhouse, Koskie & Eulberg CPAs, CVW Media, Abbey Road Catering, OU Alumni and Academy Sports & Outdoors. Thanks also to Kelby Weiter, Michael Wilson and others at Old Hat for all of their hard work.
Here's a few photo highlights from the day:
Former OU and Dallas Cowboys coach Barry Switzer started things off...
Some serious runners even in the Lil' Duey Fun Run
Congrats to our male and female top finishers, Al and Jan...