Wednesday, December 28, 2011

P90x

So this blog is stale because I hate writing about boring things.  I prefer to tweet links to great articles (you can follow me on twitter @daledenham).

But, in order to kick start my blog, I'm going to post some random thoughts on my P90x experience.  I started Monday and am committed to following the excercise portion (hopefully the diet too).

I'm in good shape, or so I thought before I started this.  Man was I sore.  Then last night I tried to do plyometrics.  I couldn't do most of what was being done and I'm a runner.  So hopefully I'll be better on day 90. 

I'm 20 pounds heavier than I'd like to be and would be thrilled if I can drop 10 in 90 days while also improving my overall health.

So far, the best part of P90x is my 2.5 year old twin girls doing it with me.  It's quite cute, and sometimes annoying as they get in my way, to see them trying the moves.  I suppose it is better than my 7 & 9 year old boys who just play video games while I do it!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Geographically challenged

Until I moved from FL to PA, I probably could not identify most of the states on the east coast, let alone the entire country.   It just had no meaning to me.  I wasn't interested.  In school, I memorized what I needed to know and passed the test.  But there was no reason to learn this information.  Moving changed that for me.

And in some ways my kids, but there world was still focused around the state we lived in.  Until this weekend.

This morning, my boys are asking me questions about what is the capital of this state, and what state borders Canada and more.  Now, they have a map and they are looking for this information without my help.

And, I'm learning too.  Why?  It's all thanks to stack the shapes (http://bit.ly/tCX0c6) on my ipad.  I paid $.99 and my kids are dying to learn about the states.   My 8 year old Evan, who turns 9 this week, said "Dad, can we buy stack the countries?".  I said after he finishes stack the states.

Kids today have access to an amazing teaching tool with the ipad and android tablets (I prefer the ipad for now but am awaiting my kindle fire in a few weeks).  If you have kids, or if like me you are geographically challenged, download stack the states.  It's a fun way to learn.  While I don't like playing it myself, it's great to have my kids ask me the questions and learn when I don't know the answer.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What the HELL!?

On Sunday, my 8 year old (soon to be 9) playing on the computer says "WHAT THE HELL". 



Ahhh, the sound of HELL coming from the lips of an 8 year old.  It's like country music to my ears...

When I was 8 (now I know I'm old), if I said hell I thought I would go there.  I was taught not to say bad words.  But hell is not a bad word.  It's a word that is not appropriate for an 8 year old, at least for my 8 year old.  In fact, A**, S***, and all the other "curse" words are not bad words at all. They are words that some people find offensive and others use all the time.

So I have taught my kids from the time they were old enough to understand, that there are no bad words.  There are words they are not old enough to say yet.  I started with DARN.  They had to be 7 to say darn.  What?  Really?  Yes, because Darn leads to Damn and I don't want them saying that until they are 16 or older.

The problem with telling kids "that is a bad word" is that when other people use those words, they assume those people are bad for saying bad words. 

We need to stop teaching kids that curse words are bad words and teach them that when they are old enough, they can choose to use them or not.

One final note, I think I learned this lesson when I sent my 10 year old niece a card about 8 years ago.  The inside of the card had the word crap in it.  She was so offended and couldn't believe I would use crap that her mother didn't know what to do.  Now of course she is 18 and couldn't give a s***.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Back to blogging?

I often want to share information with people and do so via twitter, facebook or linkedin depending on the topic.  But sometimes I need to share more.  Sometimes it is personal, others it is business but I just let the idea pass.

I often think, I should blog this.  But I feel there are too many blogs.  Yes there are.  Perhaps what I blog can be helpful to the people I'm close to and provide them good info.  We'll see.

I plan to start blogging more, not for traffic, just for a place to point people once in awhile.

It will also serve as a bit of a journal for me so I'll be mixing personal thoughts and ideas with business.  I'll tag them appropriate so people can avoid my rambling.

I'm starting out very relaxed and perhaps over time I'll make it more professional and polished.  So if you are reading my blog, keep your expectations low.  And if no one reads it, it will still be good for me. :)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Good strategy or wasted money?

Yesterday, Group buying site LivingSocial.com offered a $20 Amazon gift card for $10 (http://bit.ly/gIfhii).  I have not yet jumped on any “group buy” offers but this one caught my attention.  I buy from Amazon all the time so this was an easy decision for me.  But the deal was so good, I shared it on facebook, linkedin & twitter.  I can’t remember ever sharing a “buy this” offer on all my social sites but this one actually seemed like a deal I thought my friends should enjoy.

When you read the terms & conditions, Amazon apparently did not have anything to do with this promotion.  So it appears that LivingSocial “sold” 1.3 million $20 cards for $10 and thus this promotion cost them approximately 13 million dollars.  13 MILLION DOLLARS to acquire 1.3 million customers.  Even assuming they received some discount/incentive, they spent 5-10 million dollars to acquire customers for their group buying service.

Good strategy or wasted money?

Well, if you have the money I think it could turn out to be a good strategy.  Many people have heard of Groupon but few have heard of LivingSocial.  That changed yesterday because over a million people around the country bought the offer and then shared it with their friends (if 3 people bought, you got yours free).

Whether or not it is a good deal really depends on their typical customer acquisition cost.  If the typical cost is $5 than this was expensive but if it is $20, this was a bargain. My bet is this was about their normal acquisition cost and the publicity they got on top of it was worth millions as well.

For me, I watch all the group buying sites because I’m fascinated by their business.  The model works well for a few businesses but the market has become so crowded with the group buys I think it is going to be tougher to stand out.  Thus as the emails keep coming with offers that are less than enticing, people will tune out and/or unsubscribe.  But in the meantime, it’s interesting to watch to see where these business models go.