Tag Archives: vaughanmatt

USA Vuvuzela Fever

It’s overcome us since the goal heard round the US and A yesterday.

I personally have had it ever since the release of 2002 Fifa World Cup for Playstation 2 where I scored over 163 goals with Landon Donovan through 5 years of college. Then in 2006 I had my first HD TV and almost vomited in excitement as though I was on the pitch during each match.

The fever has spread so quickly that I’d venture to guess thousands of people took off work yesterday to watch the game.  I know a few myself that not only were able to see it but were photographed by the second largest paper in North Carolina (in terms of circulation).  The potential results of such a situation were well chronicled in the Seinfeld episode “The Letter.”

In 1992 the internet was not such a big part of our lives – now it is. Skip work, get photographed, get got. Kudos to each individual in these photos for not only skipping work but for going through the entire gamete of emotions displayed without having a brain aneurysm.

Next up: Ghana – Saturday, June 26 2:30 PM*

*No need to be concerned about photographic or video evidence due to the match falling on a weekend.  Just watch, scream and bring a Vuvuzela or at least the Vuvuzela iPhone App.

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Filed under General Fodder, Sports

Not LOST anymore: A map of The Island

This could be one of the 5 greatest images/maps/pictures in the history of the world.  Jonah Adkins, a cartographer who has been makes maps for a living (and for the government), is a huge LOST fan and just made each one of us pee a little bit.

Ever want to know were the Heart of the Island was in relation to Tarawet?

Henry Gale’s balloon in relation to the Barracks?

I literally wanted to know everything that is included in this map and am still geeking out.

If I can help spread the word to more LOST fans then this is my good deed of the month.  Kudos, Jonah.

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Everyone is LOST – They just need Faith

Attempting to collect all my thoughts and put them into a series of coherent words that may or may not create sentences has been quite a task.  I do know now what 121  episodes of LOST has done that no blatantly religious show ever could have – make me seriously think about faith and how it affects our lives.

When Oceanic Flight 815 landed on the Island 6 years ago I was pretty psyched. Awesome scenery (Island/Women). Great Special Effects. Solid Cast. Sci-Fi Undertones.  I never thought that when the curtain call came I would view the entire series as an allegory for faith and relationships and how important both are to our fulfillment/enrichment/redemption.

The best way for me to explain how I came to this conclusion after spending hundreds of hours watching and re-watching episodes looking for clues to god knows what is to give you some short thoughts on what I always considered the main characters and what ultimately brought them to their enlightened state.

Jack Shepard

I honestly can say that I related with Jack the most in regards to his struggle with the inability to accept there were certain things he couldn’t fix. He couldn’t fix Boone, save everyone on the island or even figure out the give and take or relationships (Christian, Sarah, Kate).

It took Jack 4 full seasons to even begin his transformation from a man of science to a man of faith and he still didn’t fully accept it until he saw the lighthouse.  Despite his anger at realizing that his life was being watched from above – he began his ascension to protector of the Island.

The fundamental realization he came to was that faith in something greater and belief in some type of destiny is what is really important in life. This life on earth is just a piece of the proverbial puzzle and the relationships we have while we are on it is what makes us who we are.

John Locke

Locke has always been my favorite character even before he became the ultimate bad ass in season 6 (a performance that either gets an Emmy or the Emmy’s are forcibly disbanded).  A man whose life was so pathetic and so awful but still blindly had faith in something – the island.  When he woke up after the crash and could feel his toes he knew something bigger was at work. It didn’t matter that he was following a false entity or the Anti-Christ or whatever you believe the Man in Black was – but that he had faith in something bigger than life.  You have to admire someone like that.

When Locke left the island however and lost his faith and ultimately was killed – I wondered if he would ever get his redemption.  I believe he did end up enlightened because despite blind faith he fulfilled his destiny and without his sacrifice all the dominoes wouldn’t have fallen into place.

Plus – he did explain the entire plot of LOST to us in the Pilot.

Kate Austen

I think her storyline boiled down to her inability to understand the importance of love and relationships.  She was a loner that always felt she could do everything on her own and anytime she tried to do something for someone else she always managed to get hurt.  She obviously helped sabotage each relationship she was in based on her commitment issues from the beginning until the end from her mother to her ex-husband to Sawyer and Jack.   It wasn’t until she became a de-facto mother that she began to realize the importance of having someone else to care about and care for you.

She was always meant to be with Jack and I fully believed that. Sawyer was something easy for her. Something she knew she didn’t have to be fully committed to. Jack loved her for who she was – he just needed to understand himself first.

Hugo “Hurley” Reyes

Hurley’s interactions throughout the show with Sawyer, and later in the show and to an even funnier extent, Miles, were the comic relief desperately needed in such a heavy show.

In retrospect, Hurley was always special because his tie to the island was so deep as the next protector after Jack.  The island had to make sure he got to where he needed to be.  I think Hurley’s enlightenment, although watchable and interesting, was forced. The only thing he needed was to be told what to do. I understand this wasn’t the way of the show, but when the time came for Jack to give him the torch he was ready. Hurley cares about people and mirrored Jacob the most in that way.  I have a feeling he kept very good care of the island for quite a long time cracking jokes along the way.

James “Sawyer” Ford

Mr. “Every Man for himself” kept his distance from others and focused his entire life on revenge because of the man (Anthony Cooper or John Locke Sr.) whose long con led to his father killing his mother and then pulling the trigger on himself.

Sawyer became what he swore to defeat – a con man who ruined people’s lives.  He used insults to keep people away and never found enlightenment until he fell in love with Juliet. The Dharma doctor gave him a sense of purpose and was the first “real” relationship he ever had.  His love for her turned him into a leader and gave him faith that there was good in people. Their relationship, although short in regards to on-camera time, was the most poignant of the series.

Sayid Jarrah

The Iraqi Republican Guard always let other people define him despite how much faith he had in Islam and love for others making him one of the most tragic characters in my eyes.  His vice was almost caring so much about what other people say and think that he would do exactly what they asked no matter the consequences.

I fully believe Sayid was killed and lost his soul when he was taken to the Temple. I also believe that whatever the pool did it offered him a chance at a human life again – albeit with a more tortured soul. Any soul can be redeemed however and Sayid’s decision to sacrifice himself for his friends was the most noble thing he could have done.

Sun & Jin Kwon

I always loved LOST for its diversity and think that Sun/Jin not only represented the bond of marriage but how foreign marriage can be for us all. Their battered relationship that grew to be so great and was then ripped apart across multiple timelines was fantastic to watch. I honestly believe they reached their enlightenment in Season 4 when Jin forgave his wife for her infidelity and found out the baby was his.  The struggle after that for them to find each other was merely for entertainment purposes. Their death scene was the hardest to watch in the series though after…

Charlie Pace

Former Heroin addict that just needed to find someone who cared enough about him that he felt his life had purpose. He found that in Claire and Aaron and their island “family.” His death remains the most tragic and heroic we ever saw on LOST and set the show into its crash course to the finish.  You all everybody, Charlie. You all everybody.

Desmond Hume

If you have made it this far into the post than you, like me, are a nerd. Desmond was the real Sci-Fi element on the show from the first time he was introduced and always had me watching his breakout episodes over and over for clues (The Constant is a Top 5’er in my book).

His relationship with Penny produced some of the most dramatic sequences in the show and it was because of his special ability to see his entire life from various timelines/angles that he could enlighten everyone in their purgatory state (that and the whole not-able-to-be-hurt-by-electromagnetism thing).

Ben Linus

He wasn’t ready yet and I think it was because he had yet to give up on being the island’s No.1 and his actual death had yet to come. As Christian Shepard said, “Many of them died before you and many long after.”  I think Ben was still unable to accept the all-time No.2 role and until he does he will never go to a place much better than earth or the island.

Any Questions?

Where there any major questions that weren’t answered for you? I know American’s as a whole love to have simple plots wrapped up in nice neat packages (Just look at the Top 10 grossing movies of the last 5 years) so I’m sure there are some even if you really did love the show and finale.  Here are mine.

1. What was the real significance of the Dharma Initiative?

I understand they knew about the islands special properties, but how? Who initially brought them there. Could it have been a disgruntled Charles Widmore or an Eloise Hawking that knew they needed to be there for the greater good?

2. What is was up with Walt and Vincent?

I realized Malcolm David Kelly became an ogre between the ages of 12 and 15 and didn’t match up with the timeline but come on. I have to know the significance of him – and Vincent.

3.  When did the others begin leaving the island and how could they do so and get back?

Just feel like I need to know this as a Sci-Fi nerd. Come on Darlton – help me out on the Complete Series of LOST DVD.

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Vacation Fail Blog

In all my wisdom, I decided to start a blog right before vacation to lose any traction I may potentially be gaining. Another reason why my mother will surely be my #1 fan no matter what blather I post to the Net.

So, in a lame effort to put SOMETHING up as I stew over my LOST series recap blog, I have decided to post a few of my favorite things over the course of the last month. Enjoy?*

*question mark completely intentional

The National: High Violet

When i first heard The National’s album Boxer in ’07 I wasn’t sure what to make of them. A guy the mumbles with a deep voice over a mish mash of instruments was actually my first thought. But for whatever reason I continued playing the record from beginning to end because something about it was haunting to me.

Fast Forward three years and I am one of their biggest fans. I saw them perform at the Lincoln Theatre in Raleigh from the upstairs balcony and it was one of the most memorable experiences of my concert going life.

High Violet is a step towards the mainstream for the band (if there is such a thing for these guys from Ohio) and they have a range of sound on this album.  Just like the previous albums they focus mainly on the American way of life – particularly in the Midwest and Matt Berninger talk/sings.  I’ll let you get a real critics take here  in Nicholas Dawidoff’s fascinating profile from the NY Times.

Big Papi/Little Papi

For those of you who doubted the big slugger – and quite possibly my favorite Red Sox player ever alongside Mo Vaughn, Manny Ramirez and The Teammates – shame on you.

This May David Ortiz is batting .361 with 9 Home Runs and 23 RBI’s and he has 2 more games to add to those totals.  Take away his horrendous April this year and this first two months of last season and Americo is hitting .280 with 36 bombs and 104 RBI.

Now I don’t feel as bad about naming my dog Lil Papi (and cursing Big Papi forever) prior to the 2009 season – especially if we can make a playoff run.

Vince Carter hits full court shot sitting down

I think VC knew this was a must in preparation for his playoff choke against the Celtics.  (Side note – I can’t say I ever thoughts Vince Carter would make it onto a blog created by me once, let alone twice in a month but hey, what can ya do.)

Random Favorites

Gordon’s BBQ in Apex, NC. – Looks like a dump, acts like a dump, tastes like something fierce. $4.99 platter on Tuesday’s.

Over The Limit on truTV – Drunk college kids and idiots trying to drive and/or walk get pulled over by cops and made fun of as the slur their speech and say things Mom is surely to be proud of.

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Filed under Food, General Fodder, Red Sox, TV

10 Killer Social Media Links

As I prep for the second to last episode of LOST ever (tear) I thought this might be a good time to share 10 of my favorite Social Media links.  What is the correlation you may ask?  Well, if I am thinking about work and work related material, I don’t have time for potential salty discharge.

Each one of these links can be used to gather some great content that can help build your personal brand online or help build a social media plan for a client.

Kudos to everyone whose work I share here.

Metrics/Measurement

1. SWIX

Looking for a site that can give you “Google Analytics for social media?”  SWIX is a great start.  Right now is a great time to get in on the ground level too because SWIX is still in Beta mode and you can set up as many accounts as you want completely for free. It has a customizable dashboard, ROI tracker and can link to a good portion of your social networks and accounts online.

2. Argyle Social

Trying to justify the number of hours needed to spend on a social media campaign is tough – Argyle Social wants to help.  This SaaS platform “helps marketers link social media efforts to business outcomes.”  Also in Beta currently, I have taken a trial run and the Argyle guys know what they’re doing. With conversion tracking, quick posting, custom analytics and more I’d recommend giving this a try – now.

Visualizations/Stats/Graphs

3. New Empirical Data for SEO and Social Media Strategies

A guest post on Building43 from Jason Cohen coughs up some sweet statistics and graphs that can be used to silence an old-timey critic or as companion pieces to plans you may be creating for a client.  Did you know bit.ly links have a 16% greater chance of being ReTweeted than tiny.url? No, no you didn’t.

4. How to Convince Your Boss the Value of Social Media

Hubspot brings us their VP of Inbound Marketing, Mike Volpe, and Social Media stud Chris Brogan in a Webinar PPT presentation catered to the boss that thinks “Playing around on Facebook ain’t worth a damn.” (I actually made that quote up but it sounded about right)  Great free content where you can either just download the PDF or listen to the entire Webinar.

5. Social Media Ebooks

The great Amber Naslund of Radian6 fame has compiled four of her extremely comprehensive Ebooks for free download by anyone who is looking to have knowledge dropped on them. Straight knowledge.

Blogs

Whether you prefer an RSS Reader or just like to click around in the AM as you drown yourself in coffee and begin the day with a nice caffeine buzz and high heart rate – these ninjas spend their time creating content that will make you smarter. Read them.

6. Ignite Social Media Blog

7. Social Media B2B

8. The Buzz by Mike Schaffer

9. Social Media Explorer

10. Online Community Strategist

Anything you can add to this list?  Tell me about some of your favorite resources.

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5.16 Sunday Links:C’s, Delaney, MacGruber and LOST

In an effort to get out of attempting to write something somewhat clever each Sunday, I’m going to instead link up to some of my favorite posts from the previous week. Each link is 10-30 minutes well wasted.

Celtics/Magic: Eastern Conference Finals

Vince Carter Seeks Signature Moment

Vince Cater’s career is defined by a dunk in the 2000 Summer Olympics? I can agree with that to a point because he has certainly never done anything on an NBA court worth talking about.  He shoots too much, has quit on multiple teams, left the Raptors the morning of the biggest game in franchise history to get his diploma and doesn’t play defense. He may be a nice guy but up to this point he has been nothing more than a cancer to each team he’s played on.  He’ll give you 20-5-5 every night and make sure of it – whether it hurts the team or not.

Putting ‘D’ in Rasheed Wallace

Instead of ripping another Tar Heel, I’m going to give some serious props to Sheed.  Granted he played out of shape for the entire season, pulled down fewer rebounds per minute than anyone bigger than 6’9 in the NBA and shot more bad 3-pointers than I do in rec basketball – I have to give it up for Dr. Technical. Maybe he was saving himself for the playoffs??

Delaney’s Decision

Malcolm Delaney Withdraws from NBA Draft

Now we can be the 69th best team in college basketball. See you in the NIT. (I really just had to write this to release some aggression.)

Tech’s Malcolm Delaney will return for Senior Season

I love how reputable news sources quote Delaney from his Twitter page. On another note, Rivals has VT picked as No. 18 preseason since the Hokies return their top 7 players and add Allan Chaney (6’9 transfer from Billy Donovan’s Florida team who red-shirted last year).  This has me quite concerned for some reason.

Macgruber in Theatres 5/21

Macgruber carrying ‘SNL’ baggage

Fantastic read on SNL sketches that go to the big screen.  I have some that I loved and quote weekly (Wayne’s World 1 & 2) and others that I attempted to strangle the pizza faced kid at the ticket counter for lighting my 8 bucks on fire (see The Ladies Man, A Night at the Roxbury).  I will however been in line for Macgruber after hearing Jimmy Fallon say it was the most sick and disturbing (in a hilarious way) movie he had seen in a long time.

Final Week of LOST…ever

Lost Stars Give Scoop on Emotional Finale, and Why There Will Never be a Movie

One of many articles I wasted time reading that tells you very little but gets you hyped even more than you already are. But seriously, read it.

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Filed under Movies, TV, Virginia Tech

That Cat can Shred

I attempted to teach my dog how to play the keyboard but he ended up licking his privates.

Of the 7+ million views – 133,219 are me and my dog.

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