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Showing posts from February, 2012

Visit California Conference

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I had the opportunity to attend Visit California's "Outlook Forum" conference on Thursday at the Sacramento Convention Center. It was exciting to learn about how California is working to bring in more tourists from around the world and to see how more tourism means more jobs for Californians. One of the most interesting panels for me discussed how sites like Facebook, Google Travel and Klout can help drive tourism. Between advertising across each of the networks, giving away trips and making sure that users tell their friends about their trip, the power of social media is still an underutilized tool to drive tourism across the world, but California is among the leaders working to change this.

President's Day at the Bradley Lodge

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Although there was a serious lack of snow at the Bradley Lodge this year (last year we got five feet while we were there), we had power and found plenty of ways to have a great time. On Friday evening we all enjoyed pizza (cooked in the oven, not on the BBQ for the first time in a few years since we actually had power). On Saturday my grandma taught us how to make noodles for for chicken noodle soup and then went sledding with the kids.

Our chicken noodle soup dinner was spectacular and fed all 16 of us with plenty of leftovers. It also helped as "carb-load" for skiing at Bear Valley on Sunday. Despite Bear Valley having only a few feet of snow we were able to challenge ourselves on a few runs and teach my four year-old nephew how to ski. He did great for his second time on skis and hopefully we will get him out there a few more times next year to refine his skills. We finished our time at the lodge by eating ... Blake and Kara made Carne Asada then Monday Luke and Levi mad…

New Fence ... Lodi Edition

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After repairing and replacing a few fences at my parent's house, giving my dad and I the chance to perfect our technique, we took our show on the road. We headed to Lodi to work on a fence at my grandma's house that hasn't been replaced in 60 years. We started with about two hours of demolition and loading all of the old fence into our trailer, while also cutting a few tree branches in the process.

Once the trailer was full and we got our mess cleaned up it was time to start work on the new fence. The base of the fence is cinder-block, which saved us from having to dig holes and set posts, a huge time savings. We were able to build the frame on top of the cinder-block, securing it to bolts that stuck up from the wall. Next we cut the fence boards and started to build the fence, tall boards on my grandma's side and the shorter boards on her neighbor's side. This allows for both of them to have a finished side of the fence without having to see the frame. We arrived…

Social Drinking

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Social media has an interesting common thread ... drinking.

On Tuesday I headed to Downtown Sacramento'sDeVere's Irish Pub to meet with people I mostly know via Facebook and Twitter with the Sacramento Social Media Club. It is always great to talk to these online friends in person, enjoy some great food and, of course, have a pint of great beer. Another upside to these social events, the raffle. I won a Sacramento Zoo family fun pack that included tickets to the zoo, a nice reusable bag and a small, plush lion.

On Thursday I took part in my first social media chat. This particular chat was for Fresh&Easy, a chain of grocery stores making their way into the Sacramento region starting in March. Their PR team provided me with three bottles of wine to sample and as I tasted them I needed to tweet what I tasted and thought. It was very simple, the wines were all good and I cannot wait to check out the new Rocklin store when it opens in about a month. Although I enjoyed each of t…

Super Bowl of Food

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The good food started on Saturday night when a friend came over for dinner and continued on Sunday. The Super Bowl was a great game to watch, although it would have been better if the 49ers had won a few weeks ago. Plus, the commercials were good, Facebook and Twitter friends were busy commenting on the commercials and at Fort Bradley there was lots of food. My roommate and a friend enjoyed the game with me as we ate three courses from Papa Murphy's (cheesy bread, chicken bacon artichoke delite pizza and s'mores pizza), plenty of chips and a few beers and wines.

Facebook Menlo Park

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I was fortunate enough to visit Facebook's new campus in Menlo Park on Monday. I was able to have lunch with my sister-in-law, see her new office and meet some of the amazing staff. Facebook has around 3,200 employees, yet is valued at $75-$100 billion according to many. Nearly 500 million people log into Facebook daily and nearly one billion log in at least one a month. The numbers are astounding, but what strikes me is how normal and how dedicated each and every employee is. All are working towards the organization's mission of giving its users "the power to share and make the world more open and connected."

Below are a few pictures from my most recent visit. The campus is still under construction, which is a fitting backdrop for a company that continues to innovate and create new models for users to engage with its product, partner companies and advertisers.
CNBC was able to go to a few places I wasn't, check out their slideshow.