Social Media Promotes a Real World Encounter

Last night I was shopping for some snacks at Lucky’s before going to a friend’s house.  As I was walking toward the checkout counter, my friend Rawlins ran up from behind and surprised me.  It was a great surprise because I have not seen Rawlins in a little over a year since he no longer lives in California.  He was back in the Bay Area for the weekend visiting family, and my Foursquare check-in had tipped him off to my whereabouts.

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Words With Friends: Cool Tile Pattern

Are you addicted to Words With Friends?  If you want to play a game, feel free to hit me up. My username is bmohr05.

Check out this word play combo: Kay-Ad-Kay

Although it only scored 27 points, I hope that you too will appreciate the symmetry of this play.  I will also point out that the tile values are Fibonacci numbers: 1 (A), 2 (D), 3 (Y), 5 (K)

Ok, I know, I’m totally geeking out over here, but I thought it was too cool not to share.

Happy Friday!

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Book Recommendation: Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks

Have you ever received a great book as a gift, and failing to read it, let it sit on your shelf? This is exactly what happened a few years ago when my mom loaned me her copy of Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas Sparks and Micah Sparks. I was intrigued by the title, and my mom had given it a glowing recommendation, but at the time, I already had an every growing pile of to-read books sitting on my bedstand. And so it went unread…

Fortunately, I arrived at a point in my life where I am going through a bit of transition, and I welcomed an opportunity to deviate from my standard list of business and personal development books. My decision to read the book was also motivated by my upcoming trip “home” to North Carolina for the holidays and the excitement around the opportunity to spend a few days with my own brother.

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Sunset on Long Island

Over Thanksgiving weekend I returned “home” to Long Island, New York for my 10 year high school reunion.  While I was there, I drove by some of the locations where I had spent the years of my childhood.  I passed by my elementary school and drove along the causeway of Lloyd Neck (near Billy Joel’s old house).  The drive took me along the northern shore and right by the coast of the Long Island Sound.  During my drive, I embraced the feelings of nostalgia, and in addition to reliving some great childhood memories, I was lucky enough to be at the waterfront as the sun was setting.

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Movember Mania! A Global Cause.

I am typically a clean-shaven dude. It is only on rare occasion that I have grown some facial hair, and in the past, going unshaven was simply an act for my own selfish amusement. However, when I heard about Movember and the global effort to raise money for men’s health, I became inspired.

I had some initial reservations about joining the movement because my 10-year high school reunion is scheduled for the Thanksgiving weekend. Did I want to rock a moustache at an event where many pictures were going to be taken? Since I don’t typically have a moustache, did I want to capture this moment in time with a soup strainer on my face?

After some careful thought, I decided…Hell Yeah! I’m gonna rock a moustache at my reunion and spread the word about men’s health.

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Do You Have An Honest Auto Mechanic?

A great dentist and an honest mechanic are two people who you want to have in your network of personal connections, but that you hope not to have to visit too frequently.  I consider myself blessed to know both.

Fortunately, I have not been in many accidents — but, for the minor dings, dents, and mishaps that have occurred, I am lucky to have a good friend who is an auto mechanic.

If you live near Redwood City, CA, I recommend that you visit Ray’s Auto Repair.  Will Velasco owns the shop, and he has helped me out on more than one occasion.  His service is quick and efficient, and I know that I am getting a great price.

If your car is in need of help, visit Will at Ray’s.  Tell him Brian sent you!

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Worlds Collide: Icebreakers, Common Friends, and Social Media

Last night I had a very interesting experience when social graphs intersected and an introduction between “strangers” took place in the real world. I found the coincidence of last night’s encounter to be hilarious, especially given the circumstances of events that had occurred earlier that day.

Earlier that day…

I was at a sports bar to watch the Stanford vs. Oregon State football game (Stanford won 38-13. Go Card!). The first half was nearing a close, and I was just finishing my chicken wings, when I received a Foursquare check-in notification on my iPhone saying that my friend Tommy Leep was watching the game at another sports bar just a few blocks a way. It had been quite some time since I had last seen Tommy, so I finished up my chicken wings and headed for the other bar. Thanks Foursquare!

It was nice to walk into a crowded bar and be able to look for a familiar face. I quickly found Tommy and asked if I could join him and his friends. I pulled up a stool, and joined a table filled with Cardinal fans, to watch the second half of the game.

It was fun catching up with Tommy while watching the game. Tommy has a love of startups and social media and we talked about which apps we like best. He gave me the recommendation to use Oink, the first app from Milk (Kevin Rose’s startup lab). He also told me that he uses Instagram, the popular photo-sharing social app. I had previously downloaded the app to my phone, and had even created an account, but have not used it very much.

Tommy also shared with me his own idea for a social media app that he and a buddy have in the pipeline for development. He has a great concept. It’s definitely an app that I will use. Expect big things from this guy!

Later that evening…

My friend Thomas Ferrick and I headed for Santana Row to meet up with our friend Mark Karake. I love going places with Mark because we always have a great time. Mark has a gift for engaging people in conversation, and we always end up meeting interesting people and making new friends wherever we go.

After a while, Mark walked over to a group of people standing near us and struck up a conversation. A couple of minutes later, Mark waved Thomas and me over to introduce us to some new friends. I had a lively conversation with Kristen about her experiences teaching preschoolers. I shared with her that I had been a camp counselor for the Munchkins (ages 3 and 4) and had taken a few child development courses as part of my psychology major. She asked where I had gone to school. When I replied Stanford, she asked me if I knew…wait for it…Tommy Leep!

I replied that I had just spent some time with Tommy that very afternoon. Tommy had also been a camp counselor for the Yahoos (ages 9 and 10) that same summer that I had worked with the Munchkins. I asked, how she knew Tommy… “I’m his sister,” she replied. My jaw nearly hit the floor. Hilarious!!!

We took a picture together and sent it to Tommy via text message. We also posted the photo to Instagram.


Look Who We Found!!!

That evening I also met Kristen’s friend Cristie. During our conversation, they shared that they were excited about an event taking place next Friday (11/11/11) called Nerd New Year. Another coincidence — I had just bought my tickets to the event that afternoon using Groupon.

Nerd New Year, Groupon

I’m definitely looking forward to Nerd New Year next Friday, especially now that I will be going to the event with some new friends.

Me, Cristie and Kristen

Stay tuned for an upcoming post about Nerd New Year…

Comments – I’d love to hear from you!

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