Friday, June 29, 2007

GameDay Crew Goes To VTech for Opener

gameday.jpgESPN made a great decision this week. No...it wasn't that they're going to move away from their East Coast bias and stop burying the Big Ten in the middle of SportsCenters. They've decided that they're going to take their wildly popular pre-game show, College Gameday to Blacksburg Virginia, home of the VTech Hokies on opening day. The games a dud against Eastern California, but it shows that someone's thinking out in Bristol.
"Virginia Tech is a special place and the community is one of the most respectful and passionate we have visited," said Norby Williamson, ESPN's executive vice president of production. "Our coverage will be considerate of the emotional day facing the students, faculty, and people of Blacksburg and the country."

Virginia Tech football head coach Frank Beamer added, "Every time College GameDay has come to Blacksburg it has been exciting. This time, I think there will be a greater togetherness than ever before."

They could have been out in Berkeley for a great Cal v. Tennessee opener, but they decided to go to VTech. Some might think it is opportunism, but I'm holding out that they decided on VTech because they thought it might help the community there.

Now...GameDay guys. Get to Champaign. Please.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I’m Lovin’ It

hamburglar.gifI have a confession. I've been going to McDonald's. Yup. Guilty. I'm apparently not alone. The Sun-Times Ted Pinkus writes that McDonald's profits are soaring and has widened its lead as the world's largest restaurant network with an all-time high market cap of $60 billion, vs. $17 billion for Yum! Brands, $3.52 billion for Burger King and $3.18 billion for Wendy's. Natalie's hooked, too. No, we're not scarfing down Big Mac's and Fries, but we're there a few mornings a week picking up iced coffees and yogurt parfaits for her and the BIG 42 oz soda for me.

The article speaks to the methods in which McDonald's has really spread out it's offerings and they've done things to appeal to folks like Natalie and I. The drive through also helps, as our Starbucks doesn't have one. I'm not going to go out to McDonald's for lunch anytime soon, but they've filled a nice niche in our eating lives. Kudos to them for figuring that out.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Life of A Salesman…

With my new role at the new company, I've taken on some additional responsibilities when it comes to travel. At FeedBurner, I'd make the occasional trip for a conference or to call on a customer, but it wasn't a constant. From the looks of it, we'll be here in NYC quite often and maybe even a trip every once in a while to visit Rick and Don in Mountain View.

I've had other roles with different organizations that required traveling (for those keeping score at home, I used to sell Drywall Screws in a 5 state territory), so it's not something I have to get comfortable with. There's all the normal headaches of travel like delays, bad beds, lack of exercise, etc. With plenty of things brewing on the homefront, it's a little harder to get away this week. We have some major decisions coming up that give me pause, but there are also just the little things that aren't any fun missing.

Yesterday, one of those little things came and went. My little girl, Maisy turned 2! I can't believe we've had her for almost 2 years. Seems like it was just a few weeks ago that she came home. We went to the dog store in Frankfort and bought her a little cake to celebrate.

maisycake.jpg


Happy B-day, Rooster. See you soon!

Monday, June 11, 2007

From the Farmer’s Market to the Super Market to You: Locally Grown Food

scstickers.jpgLast week, just like my colleagues, I spent some time in the New York Office. There were plenty of things that were mentionable, but one item struck me particularly: in the cafe, they listed on a grease board all of the local farmers where their food supplies arrived from. They were boasting about the "Localness" of their offerings and for good reason. Serving the volume of food that they do, a company of our size can have an impact on local growers. I'm glad that they're so proud of helping bring local food and produce to the employees. There's a movement afoot in places like South Carolina to try to bring more locally grown food to residents. Sometimes it's hard to determine where things are coming from. Unless you go to your local farmer's market, it's difficult to know for sure if something is local or not.

In South Carolina though, things are changing. Agriculture officials there have unveiled a new effort to brand locally grown produce. The campaign will label apples, watermelon, tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables with "Certified SC Grown" stickers starting in June. Television, billboard and print advertisements will run concurrently, and within three years the campaign will expand to include all of the state's agricultural and manufactured products, including shrimp, soybeans and forestry products. Officials are hoping the program will lift state pride, boost agriculture revenue, contribute to rural economic development by driving the demand for more diversity and availability of homegrown products, and preserve open space by keeping farms operating.

The best part? Farmers can participate for free! They've built a great website which features recipes, stores and roadside stands that sell the state's produce and a calendar that shows when produce is in season.

Come on Illinois. Lets get in gear. I think I know of a few legislators who could benefit from sponsoring something like this. Wouldn't it make you buy something more readily if it was grown locally?
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