One Way, My Way

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are you an "Entrepurser"?

Well are you? Are you an "Entrepurser"?

Actually the word doesn't exist.... until now. I came up with the term a few weeks ago when I was thinking about all these small start-ups selling out for millions.

Let's check Dictionary.com:

Entrepreneur - (n) A person who organizes, operates, and assumes the risk for a business venture.

Well, here's the definition for my new word:

Entrepurser - (n) A person who organizes, operates a business venture in hope of selling the business in a short time frame for monetary gain.

I want to be an entrepursuer.

I'd like to make more money than I do now. I'd like to make a lot more. It's nearly every week when we hear about a small start-up selling out for millions. I want to find a hot idea, work with the right people, and work my ass off knowing that I'll be rewarded for my hard work. I've been wracking my brains since I was three trying to think of a unique product or service that would sell... the next big thing... something that would lead to real money. My art sale in my backyard on Scaleybark Road in Charlotte in 1971 didn't pan out. I did sell a few apples in front of the house once. My "Proud Democrat" wristbands sales have been sluggish at best. I would lean toward a Web site that's unique and can become popular (flickr, del.icio.us, MySpace, etc) instead of a product or application that may not appeal to as many people.

Do you like the word "entrepursuer"? I think it's catchy. This posting is sort of like an experiment to see if the use of the word will spread. Are you an "entrepurser"?

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Cheer for FREE with Cary Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading

Help Cary Pop Warner Football & Cheerleading Build Their Cheer Program!

In the past, Cary Pop Warner has enjoyed a strong spirit program, with cheer squads for most, if not all, of our football teams. However, like many of the other associations, we are facing tremendous competition from the cheer gyms in the area. But Cary Pop Warner can offer what cheer gyms cannot. Not only do the girls get to compete or perform in an exhibition, but they get to cheer for a football team. And we know from feedback we’ve received from football coaches, players and parents that our football teams like — and want — cheer squads for their teams.

Our goal is to have a cheer squad for each football team—but we need to increase our cheer enrollment first. As we rebuild the program, we are offering FREE participation registration for all cheerleaders for the 2005 season! This provides a great opportunity for youth to try cheerleading at almost no cost to them. We know once they try us, they’ll come back!

So do you know someone who might be interested in cheering for Cary Pop Warner this fall for FREE? Please refer them to our Web site, www.carypopwarner.org, for a registration packet.

For more information, please contact Cheer Director Margie Chapin at 362-4825.

Hurry! Practices start Monday, August 1st!

Cary Pop Warner is not part of Cary Parks and Recreation, and participation is not limited to Cary residents.

NOTE: Only the participation fee of $80 (flag) or $125 (tackle) is waived. All other fees still apply, including the Cary Booster Club membership fee/volunteer requirements and the cost of poms, briefs and shoes. Participation fees already paid for cheerleading will be refunded.

Computers in the Family

During the Spring of 1981, I didn't want to ride the bus home from high school. I was a junior at South Mecklenburg in Charlotte and deserved better. Every day I'd catch a ride with my friend Holt. One day, Holt had to stop by the new computer lab before we left campus. The lab was full of beautiful TRS-80s. He tossed me a BASIC manual and I sat down at a computer. Learning BASIC was so cool. I came home babbling, telling Mom & Dad about "line numbers" and "goto"s and how the code you entered actually did something. It was so cool.

We had purchased an Intellivision in 1980 instead of an Atari 2600 primarily due to the soon-to-be released keyboard and tape drive. A home computer!

By Christmas 1981, we got tired of waiting. Santa brought us a beautiful Apple ][+. It was great. The monochrome green monitor lit the living room that Christmas morning. Santa was nice to bring the latest copy of Nibble. With Kevin & Jamey playing with their toys, I sat and watched Mom call out hundreds of lines of peeks and pokes. After about an hour, they'd test the program. Error. They'd go through the code again looking for typos. Finally it would run. A purple blob (cow) would walk across the screen. Incredible!

We were in Rock Hill the very next day looking for Apple software. We picked up Sublogic's Flight Simulator, which was fantastic. Dad loved Visicalc.

I loved programming in BASIC. I'd make silly text games and play with graphics. I'd spend hours writing code. I'd love to see more kids to get involved in programming, but it's not as easy now in Windows. I've read about QBASIC, but haven't gotten very far.

While away at college, my family became more involved with computers. My Dad moved Jefferson Productions to the computer age by bringing in expensive IBM PCs and creating databases and spreadsheets. He eventually started his own computer consulting company. My Mom moved from the classroom at Sharon Elementary and became the school's computer resource teacher, running the computer lab. After college I got a job with SAS. My brother has recently left Tweetsie, as retail director, to be sales manager for Freedom Shopping, which has created cool, self-service vending rooms using RFID technologies.

We all have e-mail. We instant message. We all have web sites. We all read blogs. We have news aggregators. We live on the Internet.

While at work yesterday, Mom called me on Skype for the first time. She'd bought a headset and all. It was so cool.

How far we've come.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Shuttle Countdown Continues as NASA Hopes for the Best

With NASA spending the week searching for the cause to the fuel gauge malfunction... and still not having an answer, the countdown has started for Tuesday's launch. Imagine being an astronaut that's preparing for this flight and reading this from NASA test director Pete Nickolenko:


"No doubt, there is some degree of finger crossing."


and another manager says:


"...There's nothing more to do, but to keep fingers crossed."


The U.S. cannot afford to lose another group of astronauts. If NASA loses another shuttle, U.S. government-sponsored, manned space flights will be halted for at least a decade, as the shuttle is scrapped. We'll sit and watch the Chinese manned flights, as well as private space flights, such as SpaceShipOne, seen during the X Prize.

The best of luck, NASA. Bring our astronauts home safely.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Thinking Back to 7th Grade Life Science

As I dropped my son off at summer camp at Cary Academy this morning, where he'll be participating in a half-day camp called "Biology Bash", it brought back memories of 7th grade life science in 1976-1977 at Carmel Junior High in Charlotte.

My teacher was named June Davenport. Mrs. Davenport was an older black woman, who happened to be the sister of the then-jailed Wilmington 10 member, Ben Chavis.

What I remember most is our frog dissection lesson. Everyone in the class paired up and were then given a stinky metal pan containing a dead frog complete, with a strong formaldehyde stench. It really didn't bother me cutting open the frog.

Now in most classes, the teacher would walk around the room reiterating to students on how they were to cut the frog open and the organs they needed to identify. The teacher would then stop at each pair and have each student point out the heart, stomach, liver, etc.

Mrs. Davenport was a little different. Okay, a lot different. She had us cut out all the organs and actually tape them to a sheet of paper. She had passed out a sheet of paper with an area for our name and then areas marked "Heart", "Stomach", "Lungs", etc. We actually got Scotchtape and taped these gooey organs to the paper and turned them in to be graded.

My brother Kevin had Mrs. Davenport several years later and she was still doing this. Kevin, ever the comedian, wrote the words "Extra Credit: Flipper" at the bottom of his form and firmly taped one of the frog's feet on the paper. When he got his paper back, he got an 110.

Way to go Kev. I should have thought of that.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Rochester Rhinos Looking to Place USL First Division Team in Cary


On Wednesday, the Raleigh News & Observer printed an article announcing the July 11th exhibition between Major League Soccer champion, the DC United and the United Soccer League First Division Rochester Rhinos. (See my previous posting.)

Oddly there hasn't been any followup. Wouldn't the media be interested in finding out why this game is being played here, who is organizing this game and why? I guess not. So I did.

I spoke with a contact with Cary Parks & Recreation. The Rochester Rhinos approached Cary about hosting this game. The USL currently has 12 teams and wants to expand the league to a permanent 16-team league. The Rochester Rhinos ownership group wants to place a USL First Division team in Cary in the 2006-2007. It's not sure whether they would be majority or minority owners. This great news!

Rochester is currently building a 17,000-seat soccer-specific stadium and look to make the jump into MLS in the next few years. I think this is a model that Cary should follow: get a USL First Division franchise, be successful and jump into the MLS within a decade. (The SAS Soccer Stadium can easily be expanded to meet MLS minimum seating requirements.)

This emphasizes just how important it is for Cary and Triangle to sell out the July exhibition game. The Triangle should be welcome the Rhinos by wearing lots of green & yellow and bring homemade banners with "We Want a Team!" and "Bring the USL to Cary!".

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005

MLS Champs DC United to Play USL Rochester Rhinos in Cary

Cary has an excellent opportunity to impress the United Soccer League in selling out an upcoming game between the MLS champs, the DC United and the USL First Division Rochester Rhinos. The game will be held on Monday, July 11th at 7:30 p.m. at SAS Soccer Park in Cary.

Cary Mayor Ernie McAlister writes in the press release "We're excited about the match and the opportunity it brings to showcase SAS Soccer Park as the perfect, full-time home for a professional soccer team."

No kidding. I recently wrote about the Triangle and specifically Cary needing to get a USL First Division men's soccer team to fill the beautiful, yet empty, 7,000-seat soccer-specific stadium in Cary.

Rhinos general manager Chris Economides said the Triangle is high on USL's list of possible future markets for franchises.

"It's a one-time event, so you can't put that much stock into saying 'If you draw 2,000...' or 'If you draw 8,000...,' " Economides said. "... we're bringing in (15 year old) Freddy Adu; it's a marquee event. We're very encouraged with some of the [attendance] numbers the Courage had previously."

Tickets for the July 11th men's professional soccer game are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, via www.ticketmaster.com, or by calling (919) 834-4000 (all applicable service changes apply). Also purchase advance tickets at SAS Soccer Park on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 4 - 7p.m. and Sundays 1- 4 p.m. beginning Wednesday, May 25.

(I went by the stadium on Wednesday and for some stupid reason, they only have tickets on very low rows, A-D. Why would the ticket office not have access to all tickets? If I'm willing to drive out to the stadium to avoid paying the stupid Ticketmaster service charge, shouldn't I be able to buy tickets for good seats? Dumb. But I digress...)

Club level seating (with a seat back on the sideline) is $20 in advance, $22 on the day of the game. Premium level seating (no seat back on the sideline) is $15 in advance, $17 on the day of the game. Spectator level (end zone) is $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the game. Standing room only (sold only after all seats are sold out) are $12 on the day of the game.

My question is how will this game be marketed in the area? Will this game be marketed? TV? Radio? Advertising on WUVC-TV Channel 40, the Triangle's Spanish-language television station would be smart. Throw in Spanish radio stations in the area like WYMY "La Ley" 96.9 FM and WLLN 1370 AM in Lillington into the advertising campaign. Print? Posters? Print promotional posters in both English & Spanish for Mexican restaurants/stores in the area. Contact the many popular soccer leagues, including hispanic leagues, to promote the game.

A large turnout should work wonders in filling the stadium with a USL First Division team in the near future. All we need now is an ownership group willing to pursue getting a team. Attention Jim Goodmon!

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Friday, May 13, 2005

"NHL Clubs Are Hiring?" Really? Why?

I got this email from teamworkonline.com, an online jobs site for sports teams. The first story in the e-mail (link) exclaims "The National Hockey League Member Clubs Are Hiring!".

Really? Why would they be hiring? The last thing I heard was teams letting go most of their sales & marketing staff due to the 2004-05 season being cancelled. And it doesn't sound like the NHL and the NHLPA are any closer to an agreement. The meeting Thursday meeting was the 10th meeting between the parties, with reports of 3 more being scheduled for next week. They are still miles apart, with only a few months remaining before pre-season games. I'd be shocked to see the season start on time, if at all.

A recent study claimed that "11 of 30 teams were profitable in 2002-03, but the union doesn't trust the financial figures that teams report." and that, "(Arthur) Levitt's report, released in February 2004, revealed losses of $273 million during the 2002-03 season on revenues of $1.996 billion, which he said threatened the NHL's viability." Arthur Levitt was hired by the NHL to conduct an independent study into the National Hockey League's finances.

If the league was smart, they'd strongly consider contraction. TSN has a great article about this on MSNBC, complete with a Contraction Power Poll to figure out which teams need to go. As expected, the Carolina Hurricanes are in the bottom 6 at #26. We very may have seen the last of the Canes, but it's not something that most people would even notice around here.