Thursday, March 26, 2009

Scored a Big One Today

It is rare for a PR professional to bring the boss around to her way of thinking. And when you do it, it's HUGE!
I need a high five!

I went in armed with statistics cause that's the way he thinks. 79% of the people I work with are between the ages of 32 and 50. The median age of a LinkedIn user is 40 and the median age of a Twitter user is 31. The use of the internet to gather news doubled in the last year over newspapers.

The boss wanted to pitch the improvements of the organization since its inception 12 years ago and thought one news article would be good.
I wanted to launch a major publicity campaign at every grass roots outlet I could think of.

I talked about Facebook. He talked about newspapers that don't exist anymore.
I mentioned blogs. He talked about print articles.

I want RSS Feeds, YouTube videos, podcasts. He's thinking radio spots.

I'm getting nowhere!

So in one last ditch effort, I pitch Twitter. It's microblogging - like texting all in one place. The boss rubbed his chin and proceeded to philosophize about the evolution of the organization.
So then I showed him a screen shot of a closed Twitter site, which just means that only those people we approve have access to it. He perked up.

I thought it would be a good idea to punch out snippets from the staff meeting. Only 12 or so people attend, which means more than 300 people in the organization get the information second hand or not at all.
When I told him I could Twitter out all the info from the meeting, he actually almost clapped his hands....SCORE!

And as he's walking me out, he clears me hot for Facebook, Podcasts, blogging, whatever. Ha! There are good days at work!

(My twitter site is in the link)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Escape through Van Gogh's "Starry Night"

John Keats is my all-time favorite poet. Being high on laudenum one night, he wrote "Ode to a Nightingale." And tonight, as I was staring at my Mr. Lee original painting of Van Gogh's "Starry Night" I couldn't help but be reminded of Keats in his high talking to a bird about life issues. Don't have to be high on an opiate to escape for a few minutes.

Stepping through Van Gogh's painting and around his cathedral, I make my way down the main street. The bright sky illuminates enough of the way that I don't need a lantern. And a lantern is what would be used because the era would be pre-19th century. I'm wearing a bone crushing corset and a heavy, wool cloak. Horses whinny from the street. The crisp air bites my nose but fills my lungs. It's quiet in a non-industrial age way. Simple. Traditional. Perfect.

This is a place that is easy to get lost in. Survival is the focus of those who live here. Not snagging the latest iPod or biggest house or computer. Friends and family are important. Community. Lanterns shine through the windows of the building in the middle of the street. Laughing strings of a fiddle can be heard. Peeking my head in, the entire town is dancing and clapping.

The wind picks up. It's louder and louder. Sounds of televisions, radios, phones blare in my head. I'm being sucked backward by the wind. It feels like I'm trying to swim through glue. Like when you wake up from being under anaesthesia. The sounds and the wind are pulling me faster and faster until I fall backward on the couch.

Back to reality.
Short trip.
Everyone needs that escape every now and again.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What's in the bag? Small child or golf clubs

Walking out of the airport, I'm following a man with strange, long white hair - Dr. Emmett Brown style - and he's pulling a long, dark blue bag with white stripes down the sides. It's a little ratty and has a long, ragged hole on the right side in the middle. Sagging near the top where he's dragging it by the handle, the bag is obviously not full.

I can't pass him because we're both headed out to long-term parking and there's only one very small path to it. So as he is meandering under the weight of whatever's in the bag, I can't help but think what could be in it. He's carrying a backpack and wearing an old-school, green hooded windbreaker. That white hair flipping over the hood in the wind. A little creepy.

At first I think golf clubs. But no guy would treat his clubs that way. And this guy has probably never set foot on a golf course.
Then I think clothes but what a weird bag to put them in. He does have a backpack so probably not.
Small child? Would fit - the bag and the style he's sporting.
Then it hit me...if this is what I'm thinking, then what the hell am I doing walking so close to him?!

I look around. No one is anywhere near us. It's getting dark. We're in a near empty parking garage. So my brain goes to rape, dismemberment, robbery. And then I remember that I was taught Brazilian jujitsu and kickboxing. Sure, I could kick his ass. He's only 6'2, 200 pounds. No problem.
No cops anywhere. Don't see any security cameras. Even if I scream, the sound of aircraft taking flight would totally drown it out. Now what to do?

Then this poor guy takes a right, goes up the stairs and out toward his car. Wow - It's a good thing people aren't mind readers!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Biking around the flightline

So I finally got my bike fixed. Well to be fair, a good friend fixed it for me. And then we decided to go riding today for PT -- 14 miles around the flightline at work. It took about 45 minutes to ride the whole thing.

What's cool about biking around the flightline is the view -- C-130s and incoming aircraft. Just watching as they fly over, getting closer and closer to me; lower and lower. The landing gear is so close I can almost see inside the wheel wells. The sound of propellers and the screech of the brakes on impact. There isn't a sound in the world that can bring up images like baseball, apple pie and mom like the sound of an aircraft on an Air Force base.

What makes this ride even better is that the perimeter road runs beside what is generously called a lake. Even though it small, it is surrounded by trees and shrubs and has enough water to satisfy an outdoorsy quick fix. The smell of fish and pine through the wind is intoxicating. There's nothing more salt of the earth than riding in the outdoors by water.

Between one of my favorite sites, the flightline, and my other favorite places, the lake, it was a ride that just melts stress away. You just gotta love being in your two favorite places talking to good friends about life or nothing at all.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Those Darn Construction Zones

Snail's are moving faster than we are!
Steamrollers and back hoes litter the median.
Tar smell pervades the air in the truck cab.
Time has stopped.
The wheels on the truck have stopped.

Screeches from the guy riding his brakes rattle my brain.
Cars, trucks, motorcycles, big rigs jam together on the 4-lane
The sun's dipped out of sight,
The 18-wheeler next to us blocks our view.

Nothing to do but wait.
Blare the hardest music we can find.
And munch on our stash of bananas.