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Life update!

Whoa! It's been a while since I've updated this blog. Actually, "It's been a while" might be the understatement of the year. A lot has happened since my last update on November 23rd of 2011:

1) I got married!

2) I moved to a different state!

3) I've got new family!

Those are some pretty drastic changes, to be sure. A few things have stayed the same, namely:

1) I'm still self-employed and my company turned 4 years old on October first.

2) I'm still a big Android fan and totally into technology. I'd better be, seeing as my company provides IT support to anyone that needs it.

I've made some great new friends & I've lost touch with some great friends - life goes on!

I'm a Raiders fan...

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You will get no apologies from me, either. I've been a fan ever since I was about 9 years old. I can remember playing football with my friends and then everybody going to their homes to watch the Bears play. This was back in the mid-1970s. Anyone from Chicago can tell you how bad the Bears were back then. It was actually embarrassing. Even the arrival of Walter Payton did not make much of a difference in the win/loss column. There was no other way to say it: Back in the middle to late 1970's the Chicago Bears were BAD. Actually, the early 80's were not kind to the Bears either.
I usually had the TV to myself back in those days. Watching 6 hours of football was the norm for me. After watching the Bears routinely lose week in and week out, I started noticing the Raiders were on consistently at 3 PM on Channel 5. I'll never forget the game that made me a Raiders fan. The Raiders were playing the Chargers and Raiders Defensive End John Matuszak sacked the Chargers quarter…

Keep your hands off our classics!

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A brief Twitter exchange tonight with Ali Baumann aka @ABaumann really stopped me in my tracks. Is the entertainment industry so devoid of originality that it has to keep re-making the movies and music of the past? Why does Hollywood and to a lesser extent, the music industry, seem intent on trying to make the classics better? Do we really need to see a 2011 version of "It's a Wonderful Life"? Do we really need to hear a 2011 version of Frank Sinatra's "The Way You Look Tonight"?

I really don't think we do. Hollywood, leave our classics alone!

I really have to give Ali the credit for this blog post.

Exhibit A: 


Here is my list of 10 movies that should be "Off Limits":

It's A Wonderful LifeCasablancaEasy RiderOne Flew Over The Cuckoo's NestBlazing SaddlesCaddyShackThe Outlaw Josey WalesBlade RunnerFull Metal JacketAnimal HouseWe've all got lists. What's in yours?

Empire Avenue?

Empire Avenue. It's the latest, hippest, buzzword flying around Social Media these days. But what is it? And how does it work? Well, the "What is it?" is relatively easy to answer - it's a Social Media dashboard wrapped up in a delicious gaming shell. It's treats your Social Media interactions as business transactions. The more you interact, the more attractive you look to other players who "invest" in you. If you interact heavily on, say Twitter for example, your Twitter score will be high. Ignore Facebook and your Facebook score drops. The trick being to have high scores with all of the different, linkable, Social Media platforms because the higher all of those scores are, the better an investment you will be.

For me that just might be the most valuable part of Empire Avenue. It makes me think about interacting on multiple platforms, especially those I don't think about much like LinkedIn. Empire Avenue makes it fun to keep your finger on the puls…

Why I don't drink...

"Hey Tom, what are ya drinkin'?"

For a non-drinker, no other question can cause more angst. Or bring up more questions.

I've found that people tend to generally look down upon and in some cases, not trust people who don't drink. I've been asked if I'm an alcoholic*. I've been asked about my religion. I've been asked if I'm sick. I've even been asked if I didn't like the people I was with.

Now, for the record, let me say that I LOVE Guinness. I LOVE dirty gin martinis. I LOVE Jack Daniels. Hell, I even like wine. So it's not that I don't like to drink. That's not the case at all. So, why don't I drink? Let's jump into the time machine and go back to 1998...

I was in the Marines and while driving in a convoy on I-5 in California, the small truck I was driving was hit by a big truck. You know, the type with 18 wheels. To make a very long story short, I ended up losing my spleen. For those of you that don't know, t…

Shrubbery!! - 10/14/10

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Shrubbery!! - 10/14/10, originally uploaded by TomRubin. Day 284 of Project 365. Another late afternoon on a park bench, enjoying the scenery. You've gotta stop and smell the roses as they say, right? Right.

Crown Foutain at night - 10/13/10

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Crown Foutain at night - 10/13/10, originally uploaded by TomRubin. Day 283 of Project 365. People in Chicago most likely have seen this before, but seeing people's faces when they are from out of town when they first see this is pretty amazing. The Crown Fountain changes colors at night.

Pretty cool stuff.