Wednesday, November 5

Video From a Visit to DC

We visited friends in Washington, DC this summer shortly after I had gotten my new Canon Vixia HF10 HD video camera. I finally got around to doing some video editing using Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9. The Song is Such Great Heights by Iron & Wine.

DC Visit in B&W from billwildered on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 4

20 Years

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years--20 years ago today, my father took his own life. For years now, this day has passed for me without much thought. In fact, there have been years when I only remember its passing days or weeks later. But this year, it's been on my mind a lot. I'm not exactly sure if it's that I've been melancholy or depressed. I don't think so. At least no more so than the typical late 30-something family guy. I guess it's the "20" milestone.

Most of my thoughts have been about regret. Not so much the regret that I should have said more or done more when he was around (it lingers, too). But the regret that he's missed so much--my graduations from college and grad school, my wedding, and the birth of both my son and daughter, not to mention my sister's children.

Nevertheless, his absence has had at least one positive effect on me and my life. It's given me perspective. At an early age, I learned that no matter how crappy life can be, it's worth living. And that things get better so long as you remember what's important.

So most things, well, just roll off my shoulders. The best example I can think of is my job. Don't get me wrong, I love my job and get a lot of satisfaction from it and the team I have the privilege to work with. But I work to live, not live to work. My time and worries are better spent trying to be a better husband, a better father, and a better man.

Which begs the question, am I better at these things?

I don't know. Ask me in 20 years.

Monday, September 3

What a Difference a Year Makes

Monday, August 28

What I've been doing while not posting

Chasing this one all over Bethany Beach:

Thursday, August 3

Social Commerce - Part 2 - Stylehive

In my second look at social shopping sites, I tried out Stylehive, which seems to target fashion as its name suggests. I really liked the layout and found it very easy to use. It has all the web 2.0 goodness you'd expect from a social site (i.e. profiles, tagging, RSS feeds, widgets, etc).

As far as social sites go, it's more in the vein of a social bookmarking site like than social networking like MySpace. The big limitation that I saw is that there's no concept of adding other users as friends. They have a page called "My Hive," but it's really just a place to manage your profile and import contacts.

Using the site is very easy though. The site provides a quick step-by-step tutorial for getting started. After creating a profile (see mine here) and adding a bookmarklet to your Favorites, you can add items you find on the internet to your account. Unlike Gifttagging (which I write about here), Stylehive grabs pictures, prices, and text from the page, making it easy for you to select which image to use, add tags from their automatically generated keywords, and post the item to your account.

You can also browse items on Stylehive by criteria like recently posted, featured users, most popular bookmarks, and most popular tags. Any items you like are easily added to your account by simply clicking the “quick copy” button next to any bookmark.

Aside from not having a friends capability, I don't like the fact that when you click on the bookmarklet, it renavigates your browser window. I would think popping a separate small browser would be better. For instance, Stylehive grabs every dollar figure on the page in its list of suggested prices. Not being able to reference the original page when adding a bookmark is an unnecessary obstacle in what otherwise is a pretty straightforward process.

Stylehive is still in alpha stage, so there are few users (the highest bookmark I saw had 19 users who had bookmarked it). I read that Stylehive was trying a "Calacanis-like" approach and offering to pay certain bloggers to post original items on their site to attract users and increase content. While I have some credibility issues with pay-for-post models, it also suggests to me that maybe they lack a viable business model. But I do like the site, so hopefully it works for them.

Lastly, another reason that I find Stylehive interesting and think they have some innovative ideas is that they recently hosted a virtual fashion show in Second Life. If you're not familiar with Second Life, it is a virtual world that has been getting a lot of press lately. It has its own economy and has spawned some interesting ideas with regard to commerce. But that's for another post.

Saturday, July 29

My unforgettable dancing queen

Memory is a funny thing. It can be fleeting at times. Things that just go in one ear and out the other. I have my share. Just ask Kerry, my wife. I've also had my share of experiences that no matter how much you try to forget, you just can't shake them. I remember the night of my father's suicide almost 19 years ago so vividly; it's as if it took place yesterday. I remember the knot in my stomach as I got down on my knee in front of Kerry over nine years ago and pulled the ring out of my pocket. I remember the excitement and anxiety as I sat in the delivery room waiting--for what seemed like an eternity--to hear Ethan's first cry while trying to keep Kerry calm. While some of the details get fuzzy over time, the big events, they stay with you.

But other times, little everyday moments occur, and just something about them--something I can't quite put my finger on--tells me with every bone in my body, I'll remember that moment for the rest of my life.

I had one of those moments tonight with Sophia.

She had just had her tubby time with Kerry, and I was getting her dry and into her pajamas. I had the High School Musical Soundtrack playing for Ethan. Sophia was getting a little fussy, so I just started dancing with her in my arms. And she was giving me some great big belly laughs. So I kept on dancing with her, and after about 15 minutes of me doing the white-man's overbite with her, she put her head on my shoulder. A few more songs played, and she just faded off to sleep as I danced away. She gave a couple of soft moans and nuzzled into my neck a few times. And as I lay her in her crib, she gave a soft dreamy giggle.

Now I've danced with her a hundred times, and she's even fallen asleep on my shoulder a bunch of times, but this...this time I'll remember forever.