what happens when the bear overcomes the urge to hibernate

Published / by Rob

501st Legion Stormtrooper Walks Over 600 Miles to Comic-Con to Honor Late Wife | Nerdist via

Published / by Rob

The End and Beginning of Microsoft’s Mobile Strategy | Technossus via

Published / by Rob

Technossus named as a ‘Best Place to Work’ in Orange County | Technossus via

Published / by Rob

So kinda out of character for me to be the sensitivity police, but this irked me last night given my twitter feed was mostly dominated by (mostly asinine) tweets about the murders in Charleston. And apparently T-Mobile CEO John Legere’s reputation for fast reaction is merited.

Now, @DavidCarey who he cc’d has his description as “Protector of T-Mobile”, so he’s either in charge of getting rid of stupid stuff T-mobile has done on social media… or of getting rid of people who point out stupid stuff T-mobile has done on social media.

If you don’t hear from me after this, we’ll know which…


Ridemakerz Makerz Me Happy

Published / by Rob

20141013_150604I’ve been known to (ab)use my social media platform to shine a spotlight on especially miserable customer service I’ve received. Today I’m happy to do the opposite and give some kudos for a truly exceptional experience.

Ridemakerz is a fun place where kids can build a car themselves, starting by picking a body and then wheels, rims, accessories, stickers and putting it all together. If you know ‘Build-a-Bear’ – same deal, but with cars instead of teddy bears.

Yesterday, my twins attended a birthday party at the Downtown Disney location and had a great time. Ryan did a Batmobile with add-on police lights; Dylan chose a Spiderman racer with working “web shooters”. All was joyous, until we got home and found that Dad and Mom had misplaced one of the “web” missiles. Much misery ensued as poor Dylan was crushed that his perfect car was no longer complete.

Seeking a replacement, this morning I checked for locations closer to me than Disney; besides the distance, that isn’t a place one gets in and out of casually. (One does not simply walk into Downtown Disney). No luck on store locations, but I noticed that Ridemakerz seemed to have an office location near my own office in Irvine. So, I did what any normal person would do: I emailed their CEO, Norman Pozez, and asked (begged) if there was any chance I could get my missing missile from that office.

A few hours later, I got an email response from Matt Elhadad, VP of Retail Operations. No, I couldn’t pick the part up in Irvine; the office actually moved to Anaheim closer to Disney. But they’d be glad to bring the part to me at my office!

And so Customer Service Manager Kim Nunley coordinated with me and soon enough, I was shaking her hand in my building lobby and receiving a new complete web-shooter kit. I offered to pay for it but she said of course not.

I can’t wait to get home tonight and be Hero Dad when I deliver the magic missing missile. And the thanks goes to the good folks at Ridemakerz. Sure, not every customer is going to happen to be within a few miles of their office so they can offer to drive stuff over (and I hope this post gets them plenty of positive attention, but doesn’t swamp them with delivery requests 🙂 ).  But I know plenty of organizations that in the same situation wouldn’t bother to help. As a Dad, I’m grateful, and as a professional, I’m impressed that they had the wisdom to see an opportunity to delight a customer and make a friend for life — and had the organizational nimbleness to execute on it.

Great job folks; I know I’ll be thinking of Ridemakerz for events and in general going forward…




Memorial Day Links: Support Veterans & Their Families

Published / by Rob

On this Memorial Day, take a few moments and give support to one of the many organizations that support our veterans, those serving, and their families. Listed below you’ll find many to choose from.

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with some of the fine men and women who have served in our military, and all the organizations I am highlighting came from their recommendations.

And yes, I know the difference between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day. But the best way to honor those who have fallen is to take care of those who returned, are still serving, and their families.

Semper Fi Fund (@SemperFiFund)
“The Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and its program America’s Fund, are set up to provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Since establishing the Semper Fi Fund in 2004, we’ve issued more than 71,500 grants, totaling close to $91 million in assistance to over 11,500 of our heroes and their families.”

Special Operations Warrior Foundation (@SOFWarriorFnd)
“The Special Operations Warrior Foundation is a top-rated nonprofit organization that supports the military’s special operations forces and their families through three programs:

  • College Scholarships for the surviving children of fallen Special Operations Forces
  • Family Services, including educational & family counseling and advocacy support
  • Wounded Special Operations Forces Support, including immediate financial stipends of $3,000″

Green Beret Foundation (@GreenBeretFound)
“The Green Beret Foundation provides unconventional resources to facilitate the special needs of our wounded, ill and injured and imparts unique support to the Special Forces community in order to strengthen readiness and uphold Green Beret traditions and values.”

Special Forces Scholarship Foundation
“The Special Forces Scholarship Fund (SFSF), is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization. The purpose of SFSF is to award merit based post secondary educational scholarships to the Daughters and Sons of current and veteran Special Forces Soldiers.”

Fisher House (@FisherHouseFdtn)
“Fisher Houses provide military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury.”

America’s Fund (@americasfund)
“America’s Fund is a program created to direct urgently needed resources and financial support to injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.”

Soldiers’ Angels (@soldiersangels)
“Soldiers’ Angels provides aid and comfort to the men and women of the United States Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard, and their families and to improve the lives of a growing veteran population.”

Tunnel to Towers (@Tunnel2Towers)
“The mission of our Foundation is to honor the sacrifice of firefighter Stephen Siller who laid down his life to save others on September 11, 2001. We also honor our military and first responders who continue to make the supreme sacrifice of life and limb for our country.”

Hope for the Warriors (@Hope4Warriors)
“The mission of Hope for the Warriors is to enhance the quality of life for post-9/11 service members, their families, and families of the fallen who have sustained physical and psychological wounds in the line of duty. Hope For The Warriors® is dedicated to restoring a sense of self, restoring the family unit, and restoring hope for our service members and our military families.”