Happy Birthday!

Every time I see a birthday notice in my Facebook feed, I make sure to write them a little birthday note .  This is a 180 degree turn for me.  I used to ignore them, and even took sort of a Scrooge approach to it.  I have no idea why; I just did. I’m also at the age where I’m not longer psyched about birthdays.  They’re just one step closer to 40.

I decided to stop being a jerk and start doing this soon after my birthday this past year.  I usually get annoyed by those little red notices alerting you that someone has posted on your wall, but it rocks seeing a bazillion well wishes on your Facebook page on your birthday. I’m kind of on this whole, let’s be more positive and less critical kick as well (let me know if it’s working).  I now figure that if I can push those birthday well wishes from a bazillion to a bazillion-and-one, well, why not be part of the awesomeness.  If I’m Facebook friends with you, then we’re close enough that I can give you a little birthday love.

So if I’ve missed your birthday, (those helpful little notices don’t show up on the mobile) then here’s a happy belated birthday to you!

Seven months in. Almost eight.


I am actually surprised that I’ve kept this up for as long as I have. Over seven months. Not bad. Longer if you count when I was posting once every six months (see 6 posts in 2006 vs. 81 in , but I’m not. It was that Integrating Technology into the Classroom class with Greg Thweatt that inspired me to get this thing going and keep this going.

It’s totally therapeutic for me to put my thoughts down on paper. Um, I mean the Internet. I always thought that it was the action of putting ink to paper that I loved (I even wrote that here).

Nah, it’s just the act of getting thoughts out of my head onto something I can read and reflect upon.

Has this blog changed since January? Yes.

It’s changed names three times at least.

The photo and crap on the sides has changed quite a bit.

Topics have changed from class, to work, to personal.

Pivotal moments/posts:

Florida Training Trip 2008 – I wrote a blog post about the new communication plan that I came up with because I was unsatisfied with our current e-com plan.

Integrating Technology into Curriculum – Got it started and built momentum. Loved that class. Greg Thweatt is an incredible teacher. This was my best post. I love that analogy that I made up all by myself!

Jay Peak
realized that I’m often more creative outside the office than in it.

New Media Douchebag: When I decided not to be a douchebag.

www.alittlespunk.com: Yeah I get the sexual inuendo. It’s my dad’s nickname. It’s on his business card. I swear. You should try calling him Spunk in a pub in England. That’s when it gets really awkward. And p.s. despite what my wife says, I’m totally bringing the nicknames back when we have kids.

EduWeb: Sitting in front of Brad J. Ward. Since eduweb, I’ve had some serious traffic to this site. For me, considering what I write about, I’m psyched that I have about 15 or so visits a day. 20 plus when I post. Thanks, Brad.

Other people started reading, and I started advertising. My url is on my gmail signature now. So what does that mean? Well, self imposed censurship. I know some people that I work with read this (Conor, get off your blackberry and stop trying to get me fired). I think webguy might. Others may too.

So say I didn’t want to work at SMC anymore. Say I wanted to get a development job at Dartmouth. I couldn’t announce that in my blog. I also can’t rant about change anymore like I did here or our support staff like I did here.

In someways I really miss that anonymity that I had before, but I also like the positive encouragement I get from people from time to time. So what to do?

Hang it all out there and hope I don’t get bit?

Or self censure? It takes me away from the original purpose of this blog. Vent and reflect.

Stop it!

Dear U.S. Media,

Please stop comparing Usain Bolt to Michael Phelps. They are not the same.

Please stop saying that what Usain has done is more impressive than what Michael Phelps did. It’s not. It is impressive, but it’s not as impressive as what Michael Phelps accomplished.

Please don’t forget what Phelps did or diminish it by comparing it to 2 events in track and field.

Here’s why:

1. Usain Bolt raced in two races (not including qualifiers over) three days. He dominated both races, showboating through the finish of the 100m. He set two world records while doing so.

Michael Phelps raced in 8 finals (as many races as Bolt raced in total) over one week. He set world records in 7 of his 8 finals. He dominated in most. He did so with class and without showboating.

Advantage: Phelps

2. Bolt ran the 100m and the 200m.

Michael Phelps raced in the 100 fly, 200 fly, 200 IM, 400 IM, 200 free, 4×100 free relay, 4×200 free relay, and 4×100 medley relay.

This is the equivilent of running the 100m, the 100m hurdles, the 200m, the 200m hurdles, the 800m, the 1500m, the 4x100m relay and the 4×400 relay.

Advantage: Phelps

3. The 100-200 double.

Bolt became the first person since Carl Lewis to win both events in the same Olympics. Okay, that’s been a long time. I get it. But what they are telling you is that Bolt is the ninth person to acheive this feat. Here’s the list.

Phelps is the only person to ever have won 8 medals in one Olympics. He’s the only athlete ever to win 14 gold medals. Here’s the list: Michael Phelps.

4. Everybody runs. Not everybody does the butterfly.

I saw this argument in an article posted on somebody’s bulletin board. Really? That’s why Bolt’s accomplishment is more impressive? Because everybody can run? Seriously?

I ran in high school. I was slow.

I swam in college. I was slow.

What the hell do either of my athletic talents have to do with Bolt’s? Nothing. They’re both better.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I’m a former swimmer and a college swim coach. I’m a fan of swimming and watched every race. I haven’t really watched anything since. (Okay, I admit it I watched the women’s beach volley ball, but I swear it was for the sport.)

I really don’t see how you can honestly compare the two accomplishments. What Bolt has done in his two races is incredible, but I bet we’ll see it again. Phelps? We may see that again too, but we’ll see another 100-200 before we see 8 golds in one Olympics and before we see anyone overtake Phelps’ career total.

Well, the wait is over. Maria is finally on Facebook.

It’s funny that it happened this weekend because we were talking about it in class on Friday. Somebody asked me why she was holding out, and I told them that it was because she had no interest in it. I didn’t think she’d ever sign up.

What happened?

Her friend and college roommate sat down with her and set it up.

We had a couple of long distance friends (Mike from Chicago and Donnie from San Diego) at our house this weekend. They were both on Facebook and talking about how great it was when keeping in touch with everyone. Donnie convinced her that it was time to give in and sign up.

It’s new and she seemed to like it, but I wonder how long she’ll really stay with it. This will be like a little experiment.

What in the hell?

So I just bought an iPod Shuffle. Well, my wife bought it for the charger that came with it as she seems to have misplaced hers. The charger by itself costs $30. A brand new Shuffle costs less than $50. (You’re shocked by this I’m sure) My old iPod died a while back so she just went ahead and bought a whole new one and now we’re sharing chargers and have two Shuffles.

Anyway, I’m getting of track. I’m sitting here at our dining room table, reading for class and listening to this neat little gadget. I’ve been here for an hour or so and at least three times I’ve said to myself, “What the hell is this and where did it come from?”

Is this a sign that I have too much music?

Is my taste in music really this bad?

That’s what fun about these little shuffles, and completely annoying at the same time. If you allow it to add music randomly, you’ll never know what is coming next. Of course, if you in the mood for that one particular song, good luck finding.

Now playing, some song by Weezer off of some album.

About Me

What’s A Little Spunk ?

Well, when I started this thing I had planned on writing mostly about higher education and marketing, Web 2.0 and technology. My plan was to essentially be one of those New Media D— (see this May post).

I discovered that I didn’t want to write about that stuff. I wanted to write about other topics – family vacations, neat things I found on the internet, making beer, and other stuff that just popped into my head.

So that’s why I decided to redesign. And toss out everything – url, title, etc. The only thing I’m saving is the layout (I like the simple design) and the photo of that special place of mine in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

If you ever see a car with a NEK euro sticker, guaranteed they’re not originally from the Kingdom. They’re either from Connecticut or Massachusetts.

So why “A Little Spunk”?

Well, this blog idea has been through a couple of different redesigns. It has been Drew In VT, Millin’ in VT, Millie in VT, and in its latest installation, edu-Mill. Those were all pretty lame. I liked the edu-Mill the best out of all of them, but it stopped making sense when I stopped writing about higher ed.

So, I came upon “A Little Spunk”.

My Dad’s nickname is Spunk. He comes from a family where they were all given nicknames in addition to their Christian names. My mom, in her good sense, put an end to this with our generation.

My grandfather from time to time would call me Little Spunk or Spunky Jr., but otherwise, there were no quirky names for us.

So when pondering a quirky and witty title for his blog, I thought back to my grandfather calling me Little Spunk, and thought it would be a neat title. There’s a nice play on words in there too.

Like: It will add a little spunk to your day.

Now there is some sexual innuendo there. We’ve learned not to call my dad “Spunk” in say, England where it means something inappropriate. But I’ll live with it. Who knows, maybe it will drive more traffic to the site?

Now on to me.

I live in Northern Vermont outside Burlington where I work in the admission office in one of our many private colleges. My focus is mostly on social media and e-communications. I know a little html and css, but just enough really to get by, adjusting size, changing colors, etc.

My wife and I have two stupid pugs. You’ll see photos of them from time to time. I love traveling, skiing, beer, and my family’s camp in the NEK.

Writing for me is therapy. I write about what’s on my mind. I’ll try not to censure too much, but knowing who some of my readers are, I have to be smart. I clearly can’t write something like, “I hate my job and am desperate to GET OUT!” That could get me in trouble.

I hope you enjoy this.
Now playing: Grateful Dead – Big River
via FoxyTunes