Wednesday, May 09, 2012

The Hedgehog Principle

I have gathered with basically the same ladies every Tuesday night for the past 7 years. Over the years we have had guests but last night was a first, we had a pet visit. Not your ordinary cute puppy or average house cat but a hedgehog. I have seen one before but never interacted with one or had a close up and personal encounter with one.
Vlad the Impaler

My friend Lauren brought little Vlad to join us for coffee. No, Vlad did not partake of the coffee - or the belated Margaritas and chips and salsa (we missed Cinco de Mayo so we had Ocho de Mayo- I'm always late for everything so it seemed fitting) anyhooo...  but he did have a little cilantro, so he was in the spirit of things. Funny thing he would do is eat the cilantro and then kinda spit it back up onto his back, I looked it up and it's called Anointing or Self-Anointing - for real - it has a name this is what the website said:

[The act of frothing at the mouth, arching the head back over the shoulders and depositing the frothy saliva onto the quills. Triggered by pungent smells and new tastes. The exact purpose of anointing is unknown.]

At first I thought he would remind me of a rat, (he is not a rodent but a mammal) but really, not so much, HE was cute! Well, cute but not really cuddly cute, more of a small distance cute. He would puff out his little quills and Lauren said he does lose them occasionally (he has between 5 and 7 THOUSAND) and they are more painful in the night then a lego block, and I remember all too well, embedding one of those in the fleshy part of your foot in the dead of night. He would also hiss a bit when we got too close but only curled up in a ball once, I took that as a sign he actually liked us but was being coy.

The funniest thing to watch was Vlad and his beloved toilet paper tube. He would poke his little spiky head inside, and move to something stable so he could get it on snuggly and then walk around. Then almost like he was in a drunken stupor he would just kind of fall over. -and before you PETA people, get your no animal product panties in a bunch..... HE chose to stick his head in it, and if you took it off, he did it again, so it was his choice, no animal cruelty here! Lauren is one of the best pet-parents I know, so don't be a hater.

 Another thing Vlad enjoyed was playing in his strips of fleece, he would burrow under them until one was caught on his back and strut like he was wearing cashmere Chanel. A little prickly fashionista, he was.

You know, I always enjoy coffee and laughter with my friends, but having Vlad the Impaler was great entertainment, I would welcome him back anytime.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Podstock's Senior Moment

I know I've talked about Podstock before, I mean we have had this conference for the past 4(?) years always in Old Town in Wichita - WE LOVE IT THERE!

I hear you thinking....

"So what is Podstock? It's a tech integration conference. But it's more than a conference. It's conversation. It's family."

It's a bunch of cool folks getting together to learn more about how to improve education. Podstock is about creativity, about inspiration, about what’s good for kids. And we'll use whatever it takes - technology, PBL, gaming, online tools . . . we'll try anything as long as it helps kids learn. And we want YOU to be a part of it.

Every year we have a theme based on a different decade, last year was the 50's and centered around a diner-ish theme. This year it's the 80's, yep dude, totally the bombdigity. Our sub-theme will be senior year. You know, with the prom, homecoming, picture day, class rings and of course, GRADUATION! Woot, legit for sure. Although not all our presenters, and definitely not all our attendees were seniors in the 80's, we have been collecting senior pictures from all the different decades. See them on the Podstock facebook page.

I had a lot of fun designing the tshirt and we've all had fun wearing our "nerd" glasses around the office.

And it always brings back memories when listening to the music of the day. I am also working on a staff "concert" type shirt, that is proving to be a little more challenging since I want a bazillion colors on it....I am not good at the minimalistic type design.

Our conference book this year is going to be a year book type design, I've been working feverishly to gather all the "stuff" to put in inside, it's still pretty rough but here is a sneak peek.

Something we've not had before is a preconference, this year we are adding that to the mix, it's an iPad precon, we've held a few of them here in the office and they always hit capacity.
Our keynote is Brad Flickinger we presented last year at Podstock2011 and everyone loved him. You can watch his teaser and get a good taste of what will be in store for this year.

One of the most amazing things about Podstock is that it's not your ordinary sit and get conference. It's like at camp, where everyone brings a can of something and you dump it all together and have a very tasty blend. A melding of ideas, seasoned with whackiness and simmered until you get a stew pot full new techniques and usually a side of different software solutions. Wow, suddenly I'm hungry for vegetable soup......

So, if this sounds at all like something you'd like to participate in, check out the link for more information or better yet, load up the leg warmers and get your Cyndi Lauper look on and get to the Hotel at Old Town, in Wichita July 18-20, 2012.

In the mean time, enjoy a little bit of Cyndi right here.