Sunday, July 9, 2017

Marriage Sermon

I am blessed to have had a real once in a lifetime opportunity for most people. I was asked by my good friends to preside over their marriage in New Orleans Louisiana. I became registered with the Universal Life Church and registered with Orleans Parrish as a minister.

Writing a marriage ceremony was challenging as I obviously wanted to make the moment memorable. I also wanted to make it personable and not sound like a copy of any old wedding sermon. Fortunately I was able to fight off the urge to use the lines from the  movie Princess Bride.

"Mawwiage. Mawwiage is what bwings us togethew today. Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement, that dweam within a dweam. And wove, twue wove, wiww fowwow you fowevah and evah… So tweasuwe youw wove"

In the end I believe I did okay, the wedding went off and it was a great time. Immediately after we even got to do a second line parade through the French Quarter! How cool is that!

Thank you E'lise and Michael and I wish you a life of happiness and love :)

The Sermon:

Elise, Michael… it is my honor to be up here today officiating your wedding ceremony.

I have known Elise and Michael since grade school, then high school, and ultimately we became good friends during our college years.

When we were all growing up individually in our home town, I know none of us predicted standing here today… in this spot… for this reason.

Despite not being able to predict the future, I was able to look back into the past when you both approached me about doing this.

MIT Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Entry

I recently attempted to apply for and attend the MIT Entrepreneurship Bootcamp 2017 held in Brisbane Australia.

This is a post of my entry content. While I was ultimately unsuccessful in making the cut I did make it to the 4th round of selection and was weight listed. Plus I had a blast challenging myself to think outside the box in my essays, submissions, and application.

For more information please see the MIT Entrepreneurship website here:

1. The final task was to create a 60 sec pitch video of anything of your choice. The exact wording of the task was:

Please create a 60-second* video that best describes the following:
  • Who is your customer and what is your customer's problem?
  • What is your solution?
  • How will you deliver the solution in an economically superior way for the customer, for you, and in a sustainable way for the world?
P.S. We are interested to learn how well you are able to clearly articulate the responses to the above questions.

I think I ultimately failed on this task but it was fun none the less. Doing all of that in 60 seconds is challenging.

 *All rights reserved in this video to the original content holders. This was purely a fun creative exercise and in no way represents a real product or is intended to generate revenue.

2. One of the other tasks involved creating a 10 slide pitch deck. I decided to create an imaginary company that focused on large data, analytics, internet of things, and cloud computing. My imaginary company was called Accreation Energy Analytics.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Life Strategy

"The two worst strategic mistakes to make are acting prematurely and letting an opportunity slip; to avoid this, the warrior treats each situation as if it were unique and never resorts to formulae, recipes or other people's opinions." - Paulo Coelho

I love the game of American Football. Football is the perfect balance of intellect and pure raw athleticism. Each play is a unique situation, a new opportunity to make something happen, lead a comeback, or break the game open. In football timing is everything... from the right play call at the right time to timing the snap of the ball perfectly to get that extra edge... timing is a critical component of the game. I think there are a lot of fundamental reasons why Americans love football so much but to me the most likely answer is because it relates to their day to day lives. Therefore a lot of parallels can be drawn between navigating life and a football season.

Paulo's quote resonated a lot with me because left and right all around us we are told how to live our lives and given formulas on how to be successful. Each life is different, each situation is different, and each day is different. There is no general formula for success and a true "warrior" as Paulo puts it is ready to take on each situation with respect and diligence. Taking each situation and making the best call possible with the information available. Blindly following others opinions or sticking to a single formula for every situation may get you to a certain point but will ultimately fail. For example the most successful football teams are the ones that can adapt to any kind of scenario, or do not become one dimensional in their approach to the game and can't be figured out on film. The teams that take an "every snap is unique scenario" approach are the most difficult to predict, and ultimately the hardest to beat.

Ultimately the Seahawks took a different approach than the "usual formula" for the fateful play pictured above. Everyone and their mother said they should have run the ball. They treated that down like a unique scenario and most definitely did not listen to others' opinions. So why did they fail? Well that's just life. Even though they failed on that particular play that lasted ~2-3 seconds they general formula got them to back to back super bowls, and won one. I'd say that overall they are a successful team that has a great strategy for winning, and I can't wait to see what they do this year.

My life strategy... Do everything I do with passion. Learn everything I can from all the people I can in order to make the most informed decisions I can. After that just take it play by play. There is no formula or one person that is going to know how to get me from point A to point B better than myself. I think Paulo would agree.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

Lily visit :)

Lily Comes to Visit!

** Warning ** This post is really long so if you want to just skim for the pictures that may be advisable. I apologize but thank you for reading anyway.

So after having been here in Norway alone for awhile my beautiful girlfriend Lily came and gave me a visit. She is an elementary school teacher and had a week off for their spring break. Even though it was only for about a week (3/22 -3/28) I was so excited to have my best friend come and be with me, and we tried to cram as much activity into the trip as possible. A lot happened and we took a lot of pictures so I will try my best to include everything and talk about what happened along the way.

Lily Arriving

First lily had to get here. All in all her flight took over 24 hours because we found a cheap flight :D. Thankfully Lily was a good sport about it. Gainesville FL > JFK > London Heathrow > Bergen.
Once she got to JFK the  international plane arrived!

Goodbye NYC USA.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Ski Retreat!

Wow I got really bad at this whole blog posting thing. But NO MORE! I am turning that around right now. No more excuses.

Working in Norway sure has its perks! The group I work with in the office in Bergen was going away on their annual team building ski retreat and they were nice enough to invite me along. I tried to tell them that being a Florida boy they probably did not want me tagging along as I would just slow them down. Well Norwegians are extremely nice and hospitable people and they insisted I come along. Lars even lent me some skis and we were all staying in the personal cabin of Roald. We took turns cooking meals, went skiing, drank, hung out, and had some team building exercises. All in all it was an absolute blast. Plus the weather was perfect! I took a ton of pictures and I will comment on a few but mostly I will let the pictures do the talking. 

The cabin and ski resort was in the area of Norway called Hallingskarvet about halfway between Bergen and Oslo. It took about 4 hours to drive there.


Heading out:

We carpooled up into several different cars on the way out. From the backseat of the car I was in I was able to take quite a few good photos. As always click on them to enlarge.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Catching Up

Sorry for the long time between posts here. I had spent a lot of time out at the shipyard and away from a computer. I haven't been able to spend as much time exploring as I would have liked but this post will cover a few more of the interesting things I have seen / noticed while in Bergen and Songefjord.

A few more Bergen things:

I have found my current favorite (widely available) beer in norway. Hansa is a Bergen based brewery and this IPA you can find in most grocery stores.

Current favorite
Another picture from my walk home but this time the sun is peeking through.

Hello Sun!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Another week In

Well I have spent another week in Norway and it has been spent mainly at work. During the week I really will not have much free time I can tell. But that doesn't mean I can't take the time to notice the small things.  Here are some of the things I have noticed, and a trip I took to a more remote region of Norway for work.


First thing is first. Europe, and the majority of the rest of the world, is on a different point of sale system than the US. For their credit and debit card transactions they use a "Chip and Pin" system. This system does not require you to swipe your card in order for the merchant to get your bank information. Instead a "Chip and Pin" card requires you to enter in your pin into a microprocessor that hashes it through a decryption algorithm to spit out a result. If the pin was the correct pin then it will release your bank information to the vendor. That of course is an overly simplified explanation of the system and infact may still be wrong. In order to be more educated you can read about the system HERE. To the point though this system drastically cuts down on "hackers" stealing your card information right off the magnetic strip. BUT being in the good old US of A we are late to the ship on this one. WHY? Because we were one of the original adopters of the point of sale system meaning our entire infrastructure (every gas-station, store, atm, and ice-cream stand) was built on older technology. In order to switch over it is going to cost billions of dollars. About $9 billion roughly.

So what is the point of me writing all of this? In order to tell you if you are an American planning on travelling to Europe or anywhere that uses the "Chip and Pin" system, plan ahead. Either get your bank or credit company to issue a chip enabled card, or get a pre-paid card that you can transfer money onto.

If neither of those are a viable option for you then there is still the possibility of using the traditional swipe and sign method. However most cashiers / places don't even remember how to do it from my experience. After many failed attempts to pay with card and having to resort to cash, I finally figured out the trick. Swipe your card as you normally would into the machine depicted below instead of sliding your card in like show.

"Chip and Pin" reader or more formally EMV
Then when the system asks you for your pin number..... don't panic. Simply hit the RED button telling the system that you are instead from america and laugh at danger. Then it will ask you if you really want to sign for the transaction instead. Hit the green okay button letting it know that yes you are aware you are susceptible to credit card fraud, and wallah! You can now tell the cashier how to handle the next American that walks through the door. Fear not though you will likely only have to worry about this until October of 2015 when a large portion of US companies are planning to switch over.