Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sailing on Lake Erie - Memorial Day Weekend 2015

It had been a while since I had gone sailing, real sailing and I forgot how much I loved it.

It was the Saturday before Memorial Day and my friend Erik Riffel and his 1st mate Lindsey took Nick and I out on one of the Seven Seas Sailing Club boats. Click the link below for more details on the club.


So let's start out with a shot of our beautiful city from one mile out. What a great shot of our city but how small it looks from 1 mile out on the water. Thanks Erik and Lindsey for a fun afternoon!




 So we get down to the club which is off Fuhrmann Blvd off of Route 5. Going through the ship yard was an experience for Nick and I could see he was totally loving it. We met Erik and he said go down to the river and look at all the boats docked. There were so many different one's that I was quite impressed.



We drove away from the club and headed for the NFTA harbor by Doug's Dive. There was the Aluf that was a great boat to take out. Here is the sail being unfurled and raised.  


Lindsey was all over the place getting the full sails going and she made it look so easy!


The weather was great, sunny and it was about 65 degrees out but near the 52 degree water it was close to low 50's with a 15 knot breeze. It was cool but not cold if you dressed properly. 


Nick drove the boat for a while and at 1 point had us keeling at around 25 degrees! 


Then of course I get to drive and Erik made it look easy but your head has to be on a swivel as there is many things to be looking out for. I did love it!






Nick moved up to the front and he said that was the best part of the ride. Looking down at the water as it sped below him was something he talked about for the rest of the day.




The windmills were cranking today!


Erik made the day feel easy and fun even though there was work to be done he made it effortless and he does charters all the time so if you want to go out, I can put you in touch with him!




As we headed home at Wilkeson point has these huge kites flying so I told Nick to take a shot and check them out. Pretty cool!!



All in All it was a great day on the water and I highly recommend a trip using Seven Seas Sailing Club!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Meeting Megan Smith Chief Technology Officer of the United States of America - May 1, 2015 at the Foundry Buffalo NY

An opportunity of a lifetime

As of Thursday April 30 at noon, my Friday May 1, was going to be a normal work day until I got an email from Matt Lehner of Buffalo Lab and he asked if I would like to participate in a meetup with the CTO of the United States! I was like what?!? OK so I had to get some coverage of my work day but once that was done it was on! First off let me introduce you to Megan J. Smith - Chief Technology Officer of the United States of America.

Click on her Pic to see her bio on the Office of Science and Technology Page on the White House website. She is the first female to hold this post and only the 3rd person ever! She also was a VP at Google for 9 years and and is from Buffalo. She was a graduate of City Honor's High School!


So first of all Katie Campos Executive Director for Teach for America was contacted by the office of the USCTO sometime late Wednesday and thought the Buffalo Lab inside the Foundry would be a great place to have the meetup. Well that set the wheels in motion, the Buffalo Lab people started to reach out with the plan of having 20-30 people come out and meet with Megan. I was asked to work with the organizers and away we worked to invite the Tech's of WNY and hoped we could get 20-30. Well when it came time for the event at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, we had over 40 people at the Foundry. I got there around 2:00 and helped setup chairs and talk with Megan McNally the Executive Director of the Foundry and Scott Vader one of the leaders of the Buffalo Lab about what should be said at the opening and then people started to show up and we were ready! 






What I thought was the coolest thing about Megan is, she just walked in and started meeting people, here she is meeting Jon Spitz of 43North. 



Megan met Karl Newell the winner of the #ATTWNY Civic App Challenge!


The seating was set to a circle by Scott Vader which was very open and made for the conversation to flow to anyone who wanted to speak.





Megan McNally opened it all and introduced us to Megan Smith.


This picture below shows you how cool our @USCTO is! 


Scott and his son Zachary spoke about innovation and creating a company and got the conversation started.







Of course I take a lot of pictures but this was a great shot of Megan and I. Kevin Hayes thought it would be cool for me to give her a puck from Dave Sheffield's company called Buffalo Bottlecraft. 

Here she is talking with the creators of HeadsUp Display, Clark Dever is demoing the product!



She also got a T-Shirt from the Foundry!


Here are the folks that run the Buffalo Lab, the coolest place to learn about Technology. I cannot thank Scott Vader, Matt Lehner and Annette Wong for always including me in these great events! 
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!!!!


Thimble is a new company created by Oscar Pedroso that is a Maker project in a box! I love this idea and it could be used to inspire children of all ages to create and make things!


The last picture of our total group! Thanks Navpreet Jatana for taking the photo so I could be in this one!


Thank you again to Megan Smith, Katie Campos, Scott Vader and Matt Lehner for a great opportunity that I will never forget! 


Links to our friends sites:
BuffaloLab
theFoundry
TeachforAmerica
HeadsUp Display
Thimble.io
43North

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Buffalo UnConference April 18, 2015 - BNMC DIG and Z80 Labs spaces!

Buffalo Unconference


Buffalo UnConference
DIG Buffalo / Z80 Labs
Saturday April 18, 2015



On a Sunny Spring Saturday, a conference, no an UnConference, a set of talks about passionate topics happening simultaneously, with no sales pitches, happened at  BNMC / DIG Buffalo / Z80 Labs offices. This is a great place for a unconference like this.




Z80 Labs 






I arrived around 8:30 to see if I could help out, and I had to setup projectors, move chairs and tables around and helped setup some of the white boards for the sign ups. At 9:00 a.m. registration opened. When attendees got to the space they were greeted by a sign in desk and Clark Dever, and the rest of the organizers! Special thanks to AT&T for once again being an awesome community partner for this important event and to infotechWNY as we support great events like the UnConference! And of course special thank you to Z80 / DIG and the BNMC for opening their wonderful space up to our groups!







The hall between Z80 / 43North and Dig's spaces was used for the food area and for breakfast, there were bagels and coffee!



The Z80 office space offered 4 locations for speakers. 3 small conference rooms that held between 10-12 people, and the large open area that could hold around 30+ people. You had to show up early to secure a time and location and the whiteboard's were in every section to get you locked in for your talk. 









Lots of conversations were happening from the start to the finish and it was great meeting new people and catching up with other folks out in the community!








Clark kicked it off at around 9:45 a..m and explained the format of the day. And once he finished the talks began at 10:00 and away the day went! 











I did my talk on Geocaching and it was a lot of fun. Lots of questions and interest in the biggest treasure hunt in the world!







There were talks about, brushing your teeth, BitCoin, Buffalo's Insecurity, Behavior, how to build a robot, take better photos, how to DJ from a laptop, Skills Gap, Branding, Municipal Fiber / Broadband, Integrated Marketing, Marketing Strategy, and more!







DJ Spruke - Bill Boulden rocked it out with his tutorial on DJ'ing from a Laptop! I loved it!




After the unconference ended around 4:00 p.m. everyone helped clean up and then lighting talks continued throughout the afternoon. Talk about committment! 
All in all this was a great day, and was enjoyed by all! 
Great job Clark and Kelly Dever and all that attended!

Buffalo Unconference