Thursday, January 30, 2014

1-30-2014 Lunch Ripple, Social Media Predictors, Network after work

This day was a busy one.  At lunch I went to an event called the 8 minute ripple. The event was put on by a guy named Steve and he had a great speaker named Harry Lakin.  Harry talked about hiring capacity.  He pointed out that many tests are misused.  He contends that the ipsative tests where you get forced answers are great for team building but not good for capacity building.  He does and OMS questionare that takes 5-10 minutes.

Harry Lakin gave a great talk

Then the Ripple started.  This is where you break off  and you talk to people about whatever questions are on the projector.  You don't talk business you don't talk about what you do.  You just talk about what is on the screen.  The concept is that you need to build a relationship and then you can establish a business relationship.  Normally you just talk business with everybody and that is the only thing you know about them.  I thought it was fun and went well.

Then we were off to social media predictions.  This was a very nice talk about the future and the a lot of the talk focused on how the young people are leaving facebook and the social media landscape is much more fragmented than ever.  They talk about focusing in on a good solid conversation and paying attention to the top social networks and "sticking to your knitting"  Use a common sense approach.

Many times I hear that the kids are leaving because their parents are on facebook.  My contention is that young people use lots of social medias and each for it's own best uses.

After the social media predictions we went over for a happy hour to discuss more about social media.  These guys use tools that cost thousands per month and they get really in depth.  It was nice hearing what they can do and I am sure that these tools will be available for us to use in the future for much cheaper.

After that I went over to the Networking after work social event.  It was a lively place and I talked to several interesting people and I got a bunch of cards.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

1-29-2014 Meetup at Capital Factory and Trivia

We worked all day at home and then Eric went to a meetup called "startup scene in Austin uncovered".  Cara went and got our trivia game started at Toasties subs.  We met up and took second place (mainly because not many people played)  We won 15 bucks!

Damon?  He laid out the startup scene in Austin

1-28-2014 Green Drinks at TreeHouse in Austin, TX

As it turned out, I (Cara) went to my first Green Drinks event in Austin while Eric was at his first class at the Tech Ranch.  It was at TreeHouse, which is an amazing home improvement store that focuses on green solutions.  I was so pleased to find store sections like "Solar Power", and "Non-Toxic Paint".  Amen!  (We really need one of these in Indianapolis.)  I enjoyed the presentation and met several really cool people, and I'm sure I will see them again and stay in touch with them.

The group started fleshing out, and people were enjoying free drinks from Dripping Springs Vodka.
(Thanks Dripping Springs - the cocktails were yummy!)
Find green stuff to clean your home, take care of your dog, and much more.
(The solar power section is in the distance.)
Sarah Talkington (engineer at Austin Energy) gave a nice data-filled, yet humorous, presentation about Austin Energy's
new Power Partner Thermostat Program.  If you buy certain Internet-connected thermostats (like from Nest or Ecobee)
then you can enroll it in their energy saving program and get $85.
TreeHouse actually has this huge space in the center of their store that is dedicated to hosting all kinds of
green-focused events, meetings, classes, etc.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

1-28-2014 techranch classes begin

Last year in Austin we found out about a place called the Tech Ranch.  It is led by a passionate guy named Kevin Kohm. He has put on 22 8 week startup classes.  The purpose is to connect you with 20 other people like you and then work together to work through exercises designed to help you visualize what your next steps need to be.

I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into and after the first night I see that I have bitten off a great deal.  My goal is to just listen carefully and do what I am told.
Class is breaking up

Friday, January 24, 2014

1-24-2014 c-boys heart and soul

On Friday we ventured out to a new club that is supposed to have really good music.  We ended up hearing a really really good band (name to be substituted later).  They really played their hearts out and they put a unique twist on the covers that they sang.

the downstairs of c-boys features a stage and a dozen tables

the upstairs has a hipster vibe
I think there was a modest cover here, but I am not exactly sure.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

1-16-2014 BASHH (big ass social happy hour)

Once per month they hold a BASHH networking event.  This time it was at the Brew Exchange in downtown Austin.   They have an interesting way to sell their 100 + beers.  Each beer is divided into a class like Lager, IPA, etc.  Then as you buy a beer then the price goes up while the prices go down for the poor selling beers in the same category.  It is interesting, but you really never know what the beer will cost.  There is a ticker and a board, but who really studies it?  During happy hour the beers are much cheaper.

The ticker tells what a beer costs and the cost of a beer is always changing.
After BASH we went to Chinatown for some karaoke.  We didn't sing, but enjoyed ourselves none the less.  When we got to Chinatown we were greeted by over 100 sorority girls....and they were really pounding the sake and beers.

I learned that college girls like to pee in groups of 6-10

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

1-14-2014 Meetup at The Capital Factory

This meetup was at the Capital Factory and was  a meetup for Maker.  Maker is where students get together for 8 weeks of intensive soup to nuts programming coursework.  When they emerge they are ready to be developers.   This meetup highlighted some of their efforts.

I must say that I was very impressed by their enthusiasm and the product that was produced.  It really makes you think about going and learning to code myself.

Before the meetup we ate at Ancho's and the review is posted here 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

1-12-2014 Ride on Rainey Street

Rainey Street is a hip little enclave near downtown Austin.  It is right on the river and is just east of downtown.  High rises are building that way.  Rainey street is a collection of old houses that people live in, and mostly old houses that have been repurposed to businesses.  It is a bit run down almost like nobody wants to put any money into something big because they know that soon highrises will be there.

Below you will see an interesting shipping container bar that is going in.  It is fascinating what they are doing and it will be neat to chart their progress.  I have always been very interested in shipping containers.

We rode around for a while and we were going to eat at Rainey street, but they were out of the Veggie Burgers so we went to How Do you Roll?  Which is a sushi fast food chain.  I didn't review the restaurant.

Friday, January 10, 2014

1-10-2014 bike update

Well, I have been running around 100 MPH with my hair on fire lately.  With that said I renew my vows to keep the Blog Up better.

Since 1-3-2014 we have been setting up our place here in Austin.  We have a small one bedroom apartment right on the river at Riverside and South Congress.  For you less familiar with Austin, this is just across the river from Downtown.

We will be here until April.

We ended up getting some Electric Hybrid bikes that combine a 250 watt electric hub motor with a regular bike.  It gives you 3 levels of assist and goes about 15 mph or so.  This starts an experiment of live without a car.  It is hard to park in Austin and costs money too.

Stock Hybrid bike from Sams Club for $899
We just got the bikes and now we have to work on waterproofing and customizing the bikes.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

1-2-2014 New Year's in San Antonio, TX

We didn't know prior to Christmas that Eric's brother Dan, his wife Stephanie, and several friends had planned to meet in San Antonio, Texas for New Year's.  We had already planned to drive to Austin, so it only made sense to meet up with them as well, since San Antonio is only about an hour from Austin.  We all made it to San Antonio the day before New Year's Eve, and we stayed for three nights.  We enjoyed lots of eating, drinking, walking on the Riverwalk, the free street party at Hemisfair park, and the Alamo.

Night view of the Riverwalk - all the trees have lights in them, and it's beautiful.
Oh, it's the Mariachi Band again.  Better get out my wallet...
The Mariachi Band at Rita's on the Riverwalk was a huge hit!
One of the crazy drinks at Howl at the Moon
The Alamo
Live Oak tree in a courtyard at the Alamo
Daytime view of the San Antonio Riverwalk
The guys
The infamous blinking hats, that thankfully did not cause a seizure in anyone.
The free festivities at Hemisfair Park.  It was crazy crowded, with probably more than 200,000 people!
More of the free festivities near Hemisfair Park.
Arneson River Theatre on the Riverwalk - just finishing up a performance on New Year's Eve.
Arneson River Theater
This was one crowded plaza the night before on New Year's Eve.  On New Year's Day it's a quaint old courtyard again.
Old building in La Villita area of San Antonio
Another old building in La Villita
Hugman Dam on the Riverwalk
The Locks & Dam at the west end of the Riverwalk
Beautiful bench by the Southwest School of Art.  It's right on the Riverwalk - how inspiring!
Another awesome bench along the Riverwalk
A "hidden" waterfall at a hotel on the Riverwalk
Another view of the "hidden" waterfall
The Alamo at night
Christmas Tree in front of The Alamo
Part of the plaza that is all lit up in front of The Alamo