Sunday, February 28, 2021

I pity the fools

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

Are you on Clubhouse? Should I be on Clubhouse? Does Clubber Lang hang out on Clubhouse?

I grew up with the Rocky movies. My favorite (other than Rocky I) was Rocky III with Mr. T as Clubber Lang. Even though it was back in 1982 I can still hear James "Clubber" Lang quotes in my mind:

  • "Dead meat!" - Clubber Lang to Rocky Balboa.
  • "I want Balboa" - Clubber Lang.
  • "No, I don't hate Balboa, but I pity the fool, and I will destroy any man who tries to take what I got!" - Clubber Lang.
  • "Prediction?  Pain." - Clubber Lang.
I'm making the assumption that if you are reading this, you have already watched Rocky I, II and III. In Rocky III, the now rich and famous Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) triumphantly pummels a succession of boxing challengers until he encounters Clubber Lang (Mr. T). If you watch the opening montage of Rocky III, it becomes clear that while one fighter is enjoying the spoils of his success, the antagonist, Clubber Lang, has the Eye of the Tiger, and is working his ass off to dethrone Rocky. 

I guess my brain is hard-wired to associate "Clubhouse" with Clubber Lang. And guess what - now so is yours. You are welcome. 

As of this blog, I am NOT on Clubhouse. I really don't know what Clubhouse truly is, but people that I know are on Clubhouse. I am active on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. I post pictures from time to time on Instagram. I think I activated a TikTok account many months ago. And I keep getting emails from Classmates, telling me that people I know from High School are looking for me. 

People. From. High. School. 

I am an Android guy, but I do have an iPad. It is my understanding that Clubhouse only works on Apple devices (for now). I am told that Clubhouse is a "social audio" platform that allows people to join "rooms" and listen in and sometimes participate in conversations about various topics (defined in the room's name). 

I am NOT on Clubhouse. Sounds like High School cafeteria to me. Sounds like people will experience clique type behavior, where the "cool kids" (and the cool kid wannabees) look down on the peasants. It sounds like, it feels like you are either one of the cool kids (moderators) or you will be struggling to be heard. 

I was wrong about Twitter. I was wrong about Skype (call me on a real phone). I started on Twitter back in around 2006, but never really used it. Today, Twitter is my "go to" platform. Should I be on Clubhouse? I am told not so much for marketing, but for networking, yes

OK, fine. Networking. But networking - with who? Do I really want to network with the great unwashed? Will they let anyone in this joint? 

And as life usually works, there are some people who are telling me "OMG! You need to get on Clubhouse!!!" But these are the same people who told me to get Google Glass, and Snap, and of course, TikTok. 

I asked my kids if I should be on Clubhouse. They had no opinion. 
That....does not bode well for Clubhouse. 

I live alone. I train alone. I'll win the title alone. ~ Clubber Lang

Trust Yourself. Find Your Passion. 

Who do you want to be? It's possible, and advisable in specific instances, to solicit the advice of others. But remember to develop a vision of what YOU want to become based on what makes YOU happy, regardless of the opinions and advice of others. 

Whether you are an athlete, a student, or a professional, to attain any degree of success, you need to have a vision of what you want to become. You have to decide what you want to be before seeking the path to success. Once you have a clear vision, you can assemble the steps to reach your goal. 

Having goals and a plan to reach them is paramount to achieving overall success, no matter how you define success. The plan is a critical component - the short-term goals along the passageway to reach the long-term goal. 

As of this blog, I am still NOT on Clubhouse. I live alone. I train alone. I'll win the title alone. ~ Clubber Lang. I don't think Clubber Lang would have been on Clubhouse. I have 17,000+ followers on LinkedIn, and add 10 to 20 every day. That feels better than random people in my random room. But hey, I'm not on Clubhouse, so maybe I'm wrong. Tell me: am I wrong? 

I am probably going to do a factory reset on my iPad and use it to go on Clubhouse. If I don't I'll feel like a hypocrite. So, I need to taste the food, if I'm going to be a food critic. 

But if Clubhouse, in anyway, is like High School, I'm not going to stick around. We all deserve the right to be heard. No one should ever feel discarded, left behind, no longer important, or never important to begin with. And all humans are working from the perspective of their own story. Their own journey. If the cool kids get to talk, and everyone else just gets to listen, I'll be soon kicked out of the Clubhouse club. 

I was wrong about Twitter, and Skype. I was not wrong about Classmates. Gee, I wonder if the founders of Classmates ever heard of this thing called Facebook? Ya know, the platform to connect with people... from High School? 

The Clubber Lang character was loosely based on a combination of Sonny Liston, Larry Holmes and George Foreman. Clubber Lang is not real - but the Rocky statue in Philadelphia is very real indeed. 

"OK, Google. How do I do a factory reset on my iPad?" 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

What you talkin bout, Tommy?

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

What comes to mind when you hear the iconic catchphrase, "What you talkin' bout, Willis?"

Nothing? Well if you are old like me, in your mind's eye you see Arnold, played by Gary Coleman, who is expressing disbelief or befuddlement (or the writers of the show just needed a laugh). Coleman would scrunch up his face, and deliver his trademark line. "What you talkin' bout, Willis?" which became a household phrase in the 80's. 

Yesterday, for Zoom CEO Eric Yuan's 51st birthday, we took Zoom Talks LIVE.
[ keep reading for a sneak peek ]

What you talkin' bout, Tommy?

YES!  Exactly!

If you know me even a little bit, you know that NYDLA (and now NADLA) is powered by Zoom. We love all carriers, we sell, market, promote, install and represent pretty much everyone in the telecom and technology space - but we really love Zoom. If we were Footlocker, Zoom would be our Nike. 

Well, in the spirit of David Letterman's Netflix specials "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" and with a tip of the hat to talks, (still in beta) is now LIVE. We did not tell THE WORLD yet, but you are special, so we told YOU. And the Zoomies are still tweaking the site, so...

OK, fine. If you want a "sneak peek" behind the curtain, you can click >>>  here
But we are still making the sausage, as they say. 

Conor Neill was our first Zoom Talk, a Coffee In The Clouds veteran. We are loading more Zoom Talks as you read this blog. 

Actors. Authors. Athletes. Comedians. Entrepreneurs. Politicians. Scientists. Via the power of Zoom, we are spending 60 minutes with people who are (already have) changed the way we live, learn, work and play in the clouds. 

Dan Rather just came out with a new book. LeBron James is paying it forward. Patton Oswalt is using his celebrity to make a difference in the world. Last night Patton hosted a virtual comedy show, with proceeds going to our favorite charity, Alice's Kids

Teaching, training, coaching, mentoring - all via the cloud technology of the day. And then it hit me, while watching Patton make the world laugh last night (from my home): I don't have a favorite comedian. There are several that I would pay to see LIVE, and there are several that I would watch if they had an HBO special. How many people are there in the world who are actually FUNNY but never make it in the business? We have interviewed 20+ comedians for our Coffee In the Clouds series, and they are all FUNNY! But not all have made it to fame and fortune - or the big "Comedy Money". 

Years ago, if you were a comedian, and you made it to "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, you MADE IT. That was the Super Bowl for a comedian. Later, it would be the same for a comedian doing "Letterman" but not as big as doing CARSON. From 1962 to 1992, if you were a comedian and you did your set on CARSON, you were inducted to a special club. As the host of that nightly program for nearly three decades, Carson had an unprecedented influence on a generation of television viewers. His decision in 1972 to move his show from New York to California was instrumental in shifting the power of the TV industry to Los Angeles.

Ray Dalio & Eric Yuan

COVID and the pandemic changed the world forever. I don't think there will be a pre-COVID and post-COVID world. I think that the way we live, work, learn, play in the clouds is now forever. Just like Johnny Carson's move from New York to LA. The world changed forever. 

Johnny Carson had to move to LA. 
I had to move into my spare bedroom to host Zoom Talks

My father used to say to me, "Show me your friends, and I'll show you who you are." That was HIS catchphrase. I must have heard him say that to me a thousand times. OK, Dad, I got it! 

So to honor my Dad's catchphrase, here is my upcoming guest list (wish list?) for Zoom Talks

Ray Dalio, Eric Yuan, Melinda Gates, Mark Cuban, Marc Benioff, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Michael Jordon, Robert Downey, Jr., Jerry Seinfeld, Oprah Winfrey....  and then NEXT month we can have...
[ see, I'm funny too! ]

Hey, I guess I'm going to need  to hire a sidekick to say: and heeeeeeerrrrrrrrsssss Tommy!

[ hat tip to Ed McMahon and "Heeeeeere's Johnnyyyy!" ]

Johnny would have made a GREAT Zoom Talk!

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Best course of action: take the coarse course.

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

Since the pandemic, does it not seem like EVERY college and university in the USA has a certificate program? Of course it does.

Now what can I say rather than saying: of course?

Well, I can say absolutely, certainly, definitely, positively, surely, undoubtedly. But if I did that, this Sunday blog post would quickly become coarse. Which, of course, would make my blog of ordinary or inferior quality or value. You know, coarse

Now let's assume that you are still reading my blog... 

A course is a series of lectures or lessons in a particular subject, typically leading to a qualification. Like a certificate. A class is a course of instruction. 

Course is the broadest term for the study of a subject. It could be used to refer to a certificate or an entire degree program, but is most appropriately applied to a specific subject such as First Year English Literature. 

Class is more specific and is most properly applied to a section of a course taught by one instructor to one group of students at a certain scheduled time.

Lesson is the most specific and implies a particular unit of instruction, such as would be delivered by a particular instructor to a particular class on a given day. Like "I learned my lesson" today because I read Tom's blog. Yeah, like that.  

Land the plane Tom, land the plane......

Years ago, your parents (and grandparents) would say: "You've got to get a good education" because good education = good job

A good education is (was?) the foundation to a better future. So, you would (physically) GO TO COLLEGE, to get yourself that good education, to get yourself that good life you heard about. The path to a good life was through education - and a college degree was your proof that you DESERVE that good life. But you had to GO to college, and maybe borrow money to do it. As in, pack up your stuff, and live in a closet (aka dorm room) for a few years. Time (years) and (big) money, all was a smart investment to get that good life. Go get 'em college boy! I just had a flashback to Bullwinkle attending Wossamotta U back in the 60's. 

And now, sadly due to COVID, online courses are all the rage. A course was a direction or route to be taken. The path, route, or channel along which anything moves, like the course of a stream. The course to advancement or progression in a particular direction, forward onward movement. Ah so, an ONLINE course. Is a CERTIFICATE (or many certificates) as good as a DEGREE? Not sure, but they sure are popular these days. You can now attend a campus in the clouds. Like The Cloud University

As of today, the world is indeed Powered By Zoom. I don't know if classic college education will ever go back to where we were pre-COVID. The student loan crisis, and the fact that the ROI (return on investment) of a classic on-campus college education is now suspect has me thinking that the days of packing up the car and physically "going to college" might be, well, it might now be... corse. (Google it). and THRIVE 
in the global cloud economy.

Sunday, February 7, 2021

I feel bowled over today

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways.

Over the years, I have blogged many times about the Super Bowl. This one, and also this one come to mind, but there are a few more. 

It is never hard to have a muse for a blog on Super Bowl Sunday. 

There will be a TREMENDOUS number of people watching THE BIG GAME today. Where are you going to watch THE BIG GAME? It's THE game, right? Are you watching the game? Normally there would be millions of Super Bowl Parties across North America today. Today, because of COVID, the parties will most likely be Zoom powered parties, where we are all watching the game from home - but still seeking the fun of the party. 

What is the #1 participatory sport among adult consumers? Golf? Nope. And it certainly is not football or soccer. It's bowling. 

45 million people bowl, while only 23 million people golf each year. But it is golf we see on TV all weekend. And the NFL owns a day of the week. After all, today is Super Bowl SUNDAY

We have a neighbor that has a bowling alley in their basement. We - do not. But they have a bowling alley in their basement. Stop right there - how does that make you feel? Don't you have a mental picture in your mind? 

Bowling alley in the basement. 

Those are five very powerful words that make up a very vivid sentence, yes? 

There is a very good chance that you - the person reading this - have bowled at least one time in your life. Even if it was a bowling birthday party when you were a kid. But there is a much smaller chance that you (YOU) ever actually played football on a football team. The likelihood that you were on a football field, with football pads and a football helmet, is very low indeed. 

If I asked you how long a football field is, you would probably instantly say 100 yards! If you said 91.44m you are a nerd, but you would also be correct. 

If I asked how long is a bowling alley - and if you instantly said 60 feet (without using Google) you are also a nerd. Or, an avid bowler. Or - you installed a bowling alley in your basement, so you know exactly how long it is. Yep, it's 60 feet from the foul line to the center of the headpin.

How and why is it that we have bowled many (many) times in our lives, but probably never knew the length of the lanes? Or how we probably never stepped foot on a football field, but we mostly likely knew that it was 100 yards between the goal lines, or 120 yards in total? [Hint: this blog is all about why we know some stuff, but we don't know the other stuff.]

When something really GOOD happens, let's say in business, we shout out TOUCHDOWN! Or maybe HOME RUN or GRAND SLAM! 

But we never shout out 300!

According to mathematicians, the odds of any adult bowling a 300 game are 11,500 to one. The odds of a professional PBA bowler rolling a perfect game are 460 to one. And now you know.

STRIKE! In bowling, that's a good thing. In bowling, three strikes in a row is a turkey. In Baseball, three strikes in a row is an out. A strike can be a good (or a bad) thing, depending upon if you are the pitcher or the batter.

Did you know that the sport of bowling can be traced back all the way to 3200 BC? Archaeologists have found what seem to be bowling pins in ancient tombs, and there are even Egyptian hieroglyphics depicting a game that looks remarkably similar to modern-day bowling. 

Why Three Strikes in a Row is Called a Turkey

During the late 1700s and into the early years of the 1800s, bowling tournaments were a popular diversion for all, from the working class to the aristocracy. The prizes typically awarded at these tournaments were gift baskets of food, often containing coveted items like a large ham or you guess it - a turkey

Turkeys became a common prize for winning a bowling tournament, and as bowling a strike became easier over time, prizes were set for multiple strikes in a row. Bowling "a turkey" became synonymous with rolling three strikes in a row. Back in the day, bowling three strikes - in a row - was considered to be an exceptional accomplishment. So, you win a Turkey. Yay! 

Now, of course, EVERYONE knows that the term touchdown is a holdover from gridiron's early days when the ball was required to be touched to the ground - as in rugby - as rugby and gridiron were still extremely similar sports. The rule was changed to the modern-day iteration in 1889. You knew this, right? That football was called gridiron, you knew, right?

OK, fine. I know you want to do it. Go Google "gridiron". 

If you made it this far in today's blog you probably want to strike something. Maybe one day someone will write a book about why we need to rethink what we know, and why we know it.  

I'm rooting for the guy 
who won a Super Bowl before!