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20 years ago today, you said "I do"


My dearest Colleen, it was 20 years ago that we first pledged our commitment to one another, but it seems like just yesterday that I was standing across from my new beautiful bride. We have been through a lot together - laughter and tears, joy and sorrow - and through all those times, I can honestly say, I loved you every step of the way. Today, I want to renew those vows and again pledge my love and life to you. I promise to be there for you , as we age, in good and bad hair days. Whether you feel thin, fat, beautiful, or ugly,  I will always think that you are perfect - perfect for me. I am here to be your supporter, your confidant, and your best friend. You are my honey-do. I have been blessed for the last 20 years and am thrilled that I get to spend the rest of my life with you. I love you


Today was a very good day!

Today has turned out to be a very good day... Not to mention that it is Friday to boot. It started this morning with a VIP tour and overview of the processes we use at our six clinic locations. The tour was for a vendor / partner that is proposing some software solutions we may use. At the end of the 90 minute tour, the VP made it a point to pull me aside and let me know how organized our staff and processes were and that he was going to make it a point to let my CEO know.

This afternoon, I was in the office of another clinic when a patient happened to see my name tag. She asked are you the Michael that helped me with my billing issue. Turns out that this was a lady I spoke with on the phone over six months ago, who had an insurance claim issue. I corrected it with her carrier and we were able to get the claim paid. - I do this every day, but she made it a point to pull me aside and let me know.

Right before I left this afternoon I received an email from a over the road trucker who is based in Florida. He had visited our Northglenn location for a simple laceration and then made a point to go onto our website and complete a customer inquiry form just to pass along the kudos because he had a great customer experience.

Bottom line, I feel great today - and I also realize that I don't do that enough. We all complain when it's bad - I'm going to start complimenting more when it's good. Pay it forward....



Very interesting idea for a new company that came out of SxSW - Why can't I think of these things?

Re-blogged from Mashable

Scan a QR Code & Save Your Place on the Restaurant Wait List

Name: WalkIN

Quick Pitch: Take the wait list with you and get notifications when your table is ready.

Genius Idea: Scan QR codes to save your place on multiple wait lists.

Proving that nine guys can successfully launch a startup in 48 hours on a bus, WalkIN is walking away from SXSW Interactive a big winner. The now one-week-old startup, which lets users save their places on restaurant wait lists by scanning a QR code at the door, shared the top prize in the StartupBus grand finale and is on its way to becoming a legitimate company.

The WalkIN experience is straightforward. Consumers use an iPhone or Android app to scan a QR code to reserve their place on the wait list. Merchants manage the queue via an iOS or HTML5 app, adjust wait times and manually add new guests to the list.

The first version of WalkIN launched at SXSW is QR code-only, but the founders now realize they need to add an SMS option to the service to reach all consumers.


The StartupBus environment helped make WalkIN a winning idea, says co-founder Bhavin Shah. “It was magic that was occurring,” he says. Team members naturally gravitated towards each other and worked harmoniously, circumstances that helped the nine guys evolve their ideas rapidly, beating out their competitors across the six-bus fleet.

Those excited by WalkIN’s promise to keep their place in the line should temper their enthusiasm for a more few weeks. Being just days old, WalkIN ins’t accessible to consumers just yet, though Shah explains that this will soon change. The startup is already talking to a handful of restaurants in New York, San Francisco and Sydney who are interested in testing the service in the coming weeks.

WalkIN’s idea is not entirely new, and there’s a smattering of competition in the virtual line space. But, with other startups such as Textaurant securing funding and no clear standout that owns the local merchant side of the equation, there’s plenty of opportunity here.

The young startup has fielded investment offers of its own, but has turned them down. WalkIN is going through a transition phase, according to Shah. Its unusual origins mean that team members must individually determine whether they want to peruse this full-time or keep their day jobs, he says.

Still, the startup is ready to graduate from the hyper-accelerator format of the StartupBus to a real-world environment. The team’s first order of business is to add new features, get merchants signed on and improve the overall user experience of the apps.


How I consume news now - and why newspapers are definitely dead.


I'm probably much later to this than most tech geeks - but I had an epiphany yesterday based on some research and a confluence of technologies that all came together for me.  For about the last six months or so, I have been consuming most of my news and information via RSS feeds.  RSS (Really Simple Syndication) is a network protocol that allows you to subscribe to a website. (that orange icon on the right) Anytime a website that supports RSS changes, or receives new information  it is then sent to you. Rather then have to check six or seven of my favorite websites for whats going on each day the information comes to me sort of like a daily paper, landing on my virtual driveway.

I was able to 'produce my own newspaper', it contained the sections I wanted to see by the producers and authors I liked, and left out the junk I did not care about. I could subscribe to my favorite tech blog, Mashable, read up on geek gadgets at Engadget, stay in touch with whats going on at my favorite company at Cult of Mac and get a little social commentary at Dvorak. Real news comes in the form of amazing photo journalism at The Big Picture and don't forget a dose of off-color celebrity gossip from The Superficial. This was a huge benefit, but also produced a problem.

What problem you ask? Well, I don't consume all of my media in the same place. I may be on my work laptop, or in my home office, or on my iPad on the couch. I was getting three 'newspapers', one in each location. What I really needed was a way to synchronize the feeds so that they knew - yes, I've read that already or no I haven't read that yet.

Enter Google reader - a way to subscribe to multiple feeds and consume them on multiple devices and formats, while keeping track of what I have seen before and what is new. On my Mac's I use NetNewsWire, on my iPad, Mobile RSS HD and they all sync with Google. If I happen to be on my work laptop, and stuck in the Windows world, Outlook makes a great portal into the info. - Articles appear in a separate inbox just like new emails and if I have already read them someplace else, they are there but don't appear as new. You have to modify your preferences a bit. In the all mail items column on the left, right click the RSS feeds icon and choose properties. in the window that opens, go to the home page tab and check the show homepage by default button then make the address

Walla! - your entire newspaper, magazine and blog post collections, neatly packaged into a single pipe and consumable across multiple platforms and on multiple devices. If you read something cool (like this post) you can share it on Facebook, or Twitter with just one click.

Add my blog to your virtual newspaper stream with this link.


3D Printers. Why your and my kids, kids, will make their own toys.

I have been watching 3D printing technology for a while. If you are not aware, a 3D printer uses plastic, resin or another medium and 'sculpts' for lack of a better term, items from scratch. It is not new technology, as manufacturers have been using 3D printers for quite a while to produce molds or mock-ups for new items prior to production runs.

The technology allows you to create a 3D image of an item on a computer then have that item produced in real life rather then just a picture of it, on paper. What is absolutely amazing is that these machines are starting to pop up everywhere. They used to be tens of thousands of dollars and only produced plastic replica's of items to give a designer a feel for what the end product would look like.  Now you can buy a makerbot thingomatic kit one for a grand. The bike on the right was entirely produced by a 3D printer.

Recently a group of college students created a printer / robot mash-up. It produced its own Lego pieces, then stacked them to build a house. It could build any house you asked for, based on a picture you chose. From resin goop to house instantly. The new super expensive ones can use multiple types of raw materials and combine them, or change color or texture as needed, based on the design. Sure they are expensive now - but so were computers.

Fast forward another 20 years and these things will be as common in a house as laptops or iPods are now. Need a new dog bowl - just print one, how about that new superman action figure - poof here you go.



What will be really intersting is when we get to the point of using a 3d printer to create a 3d printer....


Do you sometimes write passive agressive emails without knowing it? Then this Outlook plug-in is for you.

I learned early on in my career that when someone pisses you off, and you have a loaded, cocked email program in your hand no good usually comes from it. This is even more prevalent in the age of iPhones and Blackberries where the handiness of the weapon is literally holstered on your hip like a 6-gun.

I have been known in my history to fire off a flaming response on occasion. I have no doubt, that at sometime in my career, I have been passed over for promotion or missed out on an opportunity because I stepped into a pile of unnecessary shit. I'm sure I have had a boss that has said "I like the guy, but man, on occasion he doesn't seem to have a filter"

Yes, I have utilized the tried and true techniques, and they seem to work for the most part. When I'm really mad, I count to ten, wait until the next day to respond, re-read my response, etc. I have gotten pretty good at ensuring that I don't send something blatantly offensive unless I actually intend to. Lately, however I seem to be doing it unintentionally. My verbiage seems innocent enough and is meant to make a point or initiate action where apathy seems to prevail. Alas, however, I inadvertently offend someone and that festers into issues.

Enter ToneCheck, an Outlook plugin that sits on the bottom corner of your outgoing email messages and silently reads them as you pound away at the keyboard. Say something that might not be taken in the best light and it flags you with a scale of five red lines. I know I'm no Ms. Manners, but if this thing can keep me from stepping into a pile of poop... it's worth every penny! (BTW it's fee)


Interesting concept for a new website - your online "credit" score

Re-Blogged from Mashable....

Danielle and Taylor - take note - what you post now, will follow you.....


Your credit score carries significant weight in your financial life. Want to rent an apartment or buy a car? Good luck doing so with a bad credit score. The same logic applies to landing a job if you have a negative online reputation.

So says MyWebCareer, an early stage startup that has developed algorithms to run your “Career Score,” a credit check for your professional web persona. The service analyzes your Facebook profile, LinkedIn network, Twitter account and Google juice — evaluating more than 200 different variables in the process — and spits out a score between 350 to 850.

Where you fall could be an indicator of how employable you are and indicate your overall professional attractiveness.

Credit Check


Once you grant MyWebCareer access to Facebook and/or LinkedIn, the service works to retrieve employment history and searches Google for references to you in any of the positions you’ve claimed to have held. The startup is also running semantic analysis on your Facebook updates, checking out your Stack Overflow profile, if you have one, and factoring in your Klout score, among other things.

The resulting score — which remains private until you opt to share it publicly — is evaluated against your peers in three areas: your connectedness, professional online brand and internet search footprint. The service will highlight potentially offending status updates and make specific recommendations for how you can improve your score.

If a search query doesn’t bring up results, for instance, relating to past jobs, MyWebCareer will call your attention to these eyebrow-raising issues.

The public beta service, only having launched in February, is far from complete. Co-founders Greg Coyle and Nip Zalavadia say they want to make the Career Score as reflective of your online reputation as possible. This means they’ll continue to add data sources — like Quora once there’s a publicly accessible API — in the future.

The Credit Bureau of the Web?

If MyWebCareer’s calculation is meant to be a credit score for your digital life, then the startup aims to be like an Experian or Equifax.

This presents it with the challenge of convincing consumers, and eventually business users, that its score means something significant, beyond the novelty of the site itself. Because other startups also traffic in reputation management (Brand-Yourself) and online influence scoring (Klout), this will not be an easy sell.

In a month’s time, the startup has acquired more than 4,000 users, according to Coyle and Zavaladia. Not overly impressive numbers, and more interesting, perhaps, is that a significant subset of users are openly sharing their scores via Facebook or Twitter and helping to bring in new members — 20% of new users sign-up through this network effect.

In the product pipeline are new features that could better drive home the utility of the service. A premium version is slated for early April release and should offer the full breadth of everything that MyWebCareer evaluates for a small monthly or yearly fee.

Also in the works is an enterprise version that will allow employers to evaluate content without giving them direct access to a candidate’s Facebook or LinkedIn profile, says Coyle and Zalavadia. This will eventually be positioned as a recruitment tool that employers can use to discover potential talent with high Career Scores in certain industries.

So long as MyWebCareer can figure out what their score really means, it could have bright future. Employers are socially screening candidates and employees are more likely than ever to have blemished online records, so there is an audience for the product.


Are you looking for a new book? This one is pretty cool (and its free!)

Makers by Cory Doctorow is a new book that I am currently reading (well listening to) I actually gave up reading books a few years back and now consume all my fiction via Audible. There is just something really cool about listening to someone else read you a book that I find strangely compelling. It also makes commuting go by very quickly. I love audio books - but that's a blog post for another time....

Anyhoo - Makers is a present day science fiction technology story about people who hack hardware, business-models, and living arrangements to discover ways of staying alive and happy even when the economy is falling down the toilet. Doctorow is a quirky writer that really gets technology and spins very cool stories around it. Think Jurassic Park or Sphere from Michael Chrichton.

Doctorow is also very anti DRM - as a result you wont find any of his stuff on iTunes or in Audible where DRM is still mandatory for books.  He does offer them free to download directly from his website here. (granted it's the text version only) but still completely usable on a Kindle or a brand new iPAD 2!  If you want to listen, however - you do have to pay for that version.

He also pens young adult novels, that I thoroughly enjoyed (not sure what that says about me ... comment below if you wish...).  Little Brother and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom are also both great.


Live in Denver and like wine? - this is your place!

The International Wine Guild.  Colleen and I discovered this place about six months ago. On the Metro campus at Auraria, they have everything from single evening layperson courses on discovering wine 101, single week certification and home cellar master courses, to a full blown Sommelier program. We went to their into to wine class a while ago and really learned a lot. Only $50 and you get to tase a bunch of different wines from both the old and new world. (See - I can even use the vernacular)  - Very Cool. Here is the Syllabus.

If you are in town and are not doing anything on Friday night March 11th - come join us for Wine 102 - This class covers the other half, taste Sparkling (including Champagne), Fortified and Late Harvest Wines.


Countdown to Hawaii!