Tag Archive: times union


Last night, Rose and I attended the Times Union Baseball and Bloggers event at the  Dale Miller Restaurant in downtown Albany. The event was put on by Mike Huber, the Interactive Audience Manager for the Blogs portion of the site.  Mark McGuire was the MC for the night. Mark is a sports columnist and also blogs for the Times Union.  In the first two hot seats were Jordan Carleo-Evangelist and Chris Churchill.  They both root for different teams, but it seems they put aside their differences when they write.  Jennifer Gish was the third member in the hot seat.  She is a newcomer to baseball, and admitted that she grew up watching football.  I got a laugh when she said they should just get rid of the (Pittsburgh) Pirates.

Personally, I am not a sports fan in the least.  I don’t know much about baseball or any other sport, but I did want to attend to see what it was all about.  Just like the Media 2010: How blogs shape the new conversation blogging event a few months ago, I really enjoyed being a part of this event.  It was fun, informative and great for networking with other bloggers.

Jordan and Chris exchanged a witty banter and had me laughing quite a bit.  Even though I don’t know much about sports, I did enjoy listening to them interact with the audience.  The audience did a great job of participating as well.  Unfortunately, the game was delayed due to rain and the guys stretched it out as long as they could, but had to release us to mingle as the delay was going to be another 40 minutes or so.

Mike did an awesome job of organizing this event.  Dale Miller Restaurant is a beautiful place.  We were on the 13th floor (or P1 as the elevator displayed).  The view of the city was quite incredible from there.  I am glad it rained, because I would have been upset to have that gorgeous outdoor patio with 360 degree views of downtown and not have my camera with me.  If anyone from Dale Miller reads this, I would love to have the opportunity to do some photography from that patio.  The shots I could get from there would be amazing!  End of shameless begging…

I had the opportunity to meet some Twitter friends and writers of blogs I read frequently while I was there.  I finally got to meet Amanda Talar, who may or may not know how to flirt, but she likes motorcycles.  That is OK in my book!  Kari VanAlstyne was there, and so was local self-proclaimed sex symbol Kevin Marshall.  I also met Mike Keane and got to chat him up about jobs and blogs.  At some point he realized that I lost my mouth filter a while ago and I just let things fly.  It catches people off guard sometimes.  They see me dressed in Brooks Brothers slacks and a nice button down shirt,  so they don’t necessarily know that I am a heavily tattooed biker.  I love it.

Oh, and if anyone sees the nice lady that was taking pictures of the guests at the party, please send her my apologies.  I can be a bit of a wiseass.  She came up to us at the beginning of the event and asked if she could take our picture.  I said, “No, you can’t take my picture.  I am anonymous.”  I was totally kidding, and she never took my picture.  Oops.  It is a bit of an inside joke.  As a photographer I hate having my picture taken.  Ironic, isn’t it?  So, in most online sources, you wont see a picture of me.  I will post a picture of my reflection in the chrome of my Harley, or wearing a helmet, but you’ll rarely see my face.  Trust me, I’m doing you a favor.

I really think that a motorcycle blog should be a part of the Times Union Blog section.  I would be happy to contribute with perhaps a few other bloggers sharing the blog.  Have your people call my people and they can do lunch together!

See ya soon!

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Rose and I have both lost our jobs due to this recession that may or may not be over.  She has been out of work for much longer than I have, but nonetheless, we are both itching to find good jobs and get back out there.  I know that this normally is a photography blog, but I feel that this needs to be put out there.

A few days ago, a friend emailed Rose about a job fair at Longfellows in Saratoga yesterday.  All he had was a scan of an advertisement for vendors, telling them that the job fair would be yesterday from 10am til 4pm.  I was excited for the chance to possibly get my resume out to a potential employer or two, hoping I could get back to work.

So, I Google “Job fair Longfellows”, “Longfellows job fair”, “Saratoga job fair Longfellows”, and a few other terms to find more info on this job fair, because I like to be prepared.  It’s also a good hike to Saratoga from Albany, and I didn’t want to drive all the way up there and waste their time and mine if the jobs were not suitable for me or vice versa.  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing came up on Google.  Wait.  One hit.  This crappy little blurb on a job fair at Longfellows and a chance to win $100.  No listings of participating employers.  Who is this job fair for?  Were they hiring staff for Longfellows, or were there actual companies in the area looking to hire qualified employees?  Who knows?

Either way, I really need a job.  So, Rose jumped in the shower, and I got busy ironing my shirt and getting a nice tie to wear with my suit.  I am an old school kind of guy.  If I were to go for an interview at McDonalds making minimum wage, I would wear a suit and tie.  It’s the way it should be.

When we get to Longfellows, there were no signs in the parking lot or on the entryways to the building.  We guessed that it would be in the restaurant area, so in we went.  We walked in and found our way to the area that held the job fair.  There we about 10 or 12 companies in attendance.  Well, at least we made an effort.  If you don’t go, you don’t know, right?

If I were one of the ten or twelve companies that were there, I would have been very upset that I spent between $400 and $900 for a print and booth package and no one showed up.  The advertising for this event was horrible.  Huge FAIL!

But, wait.  There’s more.

I have also been to quite a few of the job fairs at the Marriott on Wolf Road.  They are put together in a much better manner.  The Times Union does a great job advertising this event on their site and in print.  There are usually 50 plus companies that participate in this job fair.  A lot of times, they are the same ones that are there every single time, looking to fill the same exact position they were looking to fill last time.  A lot of them are life insurance sales that require you to get licenses and Series this and that.  No thanks. To quote Austin Powers “that ain’t my bag, baby!”

Others may be positions I am qualified for, so I drop off my resume and chat them up, hoping I make a good impression. Hopefully, they will like me and call me in for an interview.

As I move about through the job fair, though, I notice lots of things.  I am a people watcher.  I love watching people and trying to figure out what’s going on in their heads.  Let’s go back to my McDonalds comment.  I ALWAYS wear a suit to an interview.  As I walk through the crowds of people, I see sagging pants, baseball caps, jeans and a menagerie of other things that makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with people.  How do you expect to get a job dressed like that?  Or, did I miss the memo?

When did it become OK to present yourself as a slob at a job fair?  What happened to being respectful?

Another thing that really bothers me about the companies that attend these events is that you go there to meet the potential employers and give them your resume.  At a good number of the booths, the companies wont take your resume.  You must go to their website and fill out an application online.

Say what?  Why are you here?  Why did you spend the hundreds of dollars it must cost to be here if you can’t do anything more than chat with people all day?  What a waste of money.  Here’s an idea – take that money and donate it to a local charity, give a valuable employee a bonus, advertise online, something.  Maybe  I am missing something, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Am I really missing something?  Is it just a write-off?  Please comment and subscribe.  See ya soon…

Is nothing sacred?

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

A lonely tree overhangs the steep drop from the overlook area

For the last few years, I have been going to John Boyd Thacher Park to see the vast beauty that it holds.  Whether it be for a picnic lunch and a hike down to the falls, or with a bunch of biker buddies wanting a scenic ride, I love Thacher Park.  I would say that I probably venture up there at least a dozen times a year.  I am sure that figure is a little on the low side.

Thacher Park is a great place to visit with family and friends.  There are a ton of places to hike, picnic, or just hang out and look at the amazing views.  I have taken many photos of the area to capture it’s beauty.  No matter what time of year I go up there, there are always quite a few people hanging out and exploring the mountain.

If so many people love the park like I do, why are they trying to shut it down?  Governor Paterson has decided that in order to trim the New York budget, he is planning to close a number of state parks to make up for the budget shortfall.  What a crappy thing to do.  I am very saddened by this decision.

Why the state parks?  In these difficult times, when people don’t have a lot of extra money to spend in ridiculously overpriced them parks, why would you do this?  Find another way.  I costs next to nothing to go to the park for the day.  There are still tons of people out of work that can’t afford expensive trips and vacations, so they stay close to home and share these parks with their children.  It keeps them active as families without breaking the bank.

A few local media outlets have covered this story, and I want to make as many people aware of this as possible.  I am including in this blog the links to those articles so you can have all the information that is out there about this travesty.  There is also a Facebook group that was created to stop this from happening.

It doesn’t look good for my favorite park.  I hope that something will change and they can find the money elsewhere.  Until then, we need to get the word out and sign any petitions to save the park that we can.  According to this Facebook page, there was a protest at the Capital building last week.  I hope it helped.

If you know of any other sites or petitions, please feel free to let me know about them.  Also, let’s keep this civil and not turn it into a nasty political debate.  Save your nasty comments for someone else’s blog.  Here are a few more pictures I have taken at Thacher Park.  See you soon…

The falls

The falls

The stairs

The stairs

The bikes

The bikes

I am following up on a previous blog I wrote about some of the people I interact with on an almost daily basis.  Some of these you will have seen before, but I have added a few others to the list that I have met over the last month or so.

The coolest of the cool

Dom P. – One of the funniest guys I know.
Jerry P. – Dom’s brother and the other funniest guy I know.
Cassie – Organizer extraordinaire of the Albany Tweetup.
Kelly – See Kelly for special ‘meat’ sales.
Emily – Kelly’s co-worker and photographer.  Check out her blog.
John J. – Albany’s own celebrity.  Everyone knows John.
Bill – Beer guru and tech dood.
Keith – Web designer and all around good guy.
Andrew – Code guru and blogger.
Ellie – Loves her parakeet and her blog.  Self proclaimed techy geek.
Rose – My honey.  She also has a blog.
Brian – Shoots video like a pro with his new 7d
Humbearto – Reporter for the Times Union.  Moved to Seattle and Albany misses him greatly.
CuteElla – Heart of gold and she also has a blog
Jim – Phish fanatic
Stickfigureman – awesome Stick Figure posts
Angelos – Beer and wine brewer
Amy – PR, Social Media consultant and blogger
Kevin – No nonsense, tell it like it is kinda guy.  He has a blog too.  Also a self proclaimed “sex symbol”.
Terri – Our favorite Realtor.  She is the best.  Her blog rocks too.
Sue – Local 911 dispatcher.
AllOverAlbany – Great blog and good people.
John G. – Producer and voice actor in Albany
TonyWeb designer.
IrisiraBlog
Jaci Sabolsky
Jennifer McIntosh
Katie the Intern
MetalFrog – Web site guru

Here’s a few categories of people or companies that I follow and interact with on a regular basis.  Feel free to follow them if you’re interested.

Photography

Scott BournePhotofocus blogger and photography pioneer.
Trey Ratcliff – AKA Stuck in Customs. Some of the most amazing HDR I have ever seen.
Amazing Pics – They pick out great pics and share them.
Nikon – The best cameras in the world.
Alex Suarez – Photography and technology blog.
Adorama – Photography supplies.
Fluck – Photography blog
Canvas On DemandSite for great canvas prints.  I had them print a 16×20 for me and it was gorgeous.
Peta Pixel – Awesome blog with tips and tricks for photographers.

Motorcycles

Harley Brother – Harley events
Joe Rocket – A motorcycle junkie with some great links
Harley-Davidson© – The motorcycle company, silly.
Kurt Sutter – Executive Producer of Sons of Anarchy.
Motorcycle Fans – Awesome news and a daily photo blog

News

Kristi Gustafson – Times Union’s OTE blogger.
Amanda Talar – Times Union’s East Greenbush blogger.
Naomi Seldon – Times Union’s Simpler Living blogger.
Channel 10 News
Metroland

Cars

Top Gear
Keeler Motor Car

Blogs (Those not mentioned previously)

Rude Cactus Blog
GreebleMonkeyPhotoblog
WordPressBlogging platform
Christa WatsonIt’s Like Christ with an A
Albany InsuranceAlbany Insurance Professional
Rob MadeoMan of a Certain Age
Kari VanAlstineChronicles of Chronic Pain and Wreckless Abandon
Jen HernandezSweetly Tart

Miscellaneous

Uncommon Grounds – Coffee house in Albany and Saratoga
Price Chopper – Grocery shopping
511 Traffic – Local traffic
Boob Emancipate – Who doesn’t like boobs?
InTune GP -My cousin’s husband.  He makes guitar picks for a majority of the rock bands out there.
Newegg – Computer parts at great prices.
Woot – Daily deals.
Wootoff – Crazy specials.
Shawn KingYour Mac Life

That’s quite a few of the people I follow.  Please feel free to add people or businesses that I missed or that you think would be good to follow.  Please follow me at TCRPMG and subscribe to this blog.  See ya soon!

**Image borrowed from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/ ***

So you think you can blog?

Last night, I attended the Times Union’s “Media 2010: How Blogs Shape The New Conversation” at the St. Rose campus in Albany.  This was the first time the Times Union had held this type of event, and I think it went very well.  A few of their top bloggers were tapped to explain how blogging works, how to build a following, and the influence it has on the public.

A few points that I remember off the top of my head are the following;

  • 1/3 of readers only read the paper
  • 1/3 of readers only read online
  • 1/3 of readers read blogs and the paper
  • The TU blogs have an average of about 1,300 comments  day
  • There are currently 155 blogs on the TU site

There were  few more points, but I did not write them down.  One thing that really bothered me that they touched on was anonymity.  Someone spoke about allowing anonymous commenters to say whatever they want.   I think this is a horrible idea.  Anyone can talk trash hiding behind their keyboard and not have to suffer and consequences.  I think it is a cowardly way to act.  They should require every commenter to use a name.  Granted, people could still make up a fake name, but they can do an IP trace and figure out if it is the same person using a different name each time.  Think about it.

Another key point they touched on at the event was to make sure you drive traffic to your site using Twitter and Facebook.  Commenting on other blogs is also another way to get people to your blog.  Networking at events is a good way to get people to your blog as well.  Keep a business card with your name, email, Twitter handle and blog address on it and give it to people you meet.  It can be a valuable tool, not only for driving people to your blog, but also for making a possible future business or personal contact.

I would like to thank Michael Huber and the Times Union for hosting this event last night.  I feel that  it was very informative, as well an excellent networking event.  While I was there, I met a few new people and some people I knew from Twitter, but hadn’t met in person yet.  There are a few that were there that I didn’t get to meet and wish I had.  Here are a few people that I met and their name and the name of the blog they write;

Please be sure to check out their blogs and leave them some comments.  There are some really great blogs on the Times Union web site.  Before I wrap this up, I wanted to ask you a question.  If you were to start a blog, what would you write about?  If you do have a blog, what is it about?

*Edit –  I wanted to add that we got to spend some time with Kevin Marshall last night.  Not only is he extremely straightforward and blunt, he is also a writer, actor and self-proclaimed ‘sex symbol’ in the Albany area.  I have also heard that he is the Lt. Governor.  I can neither confirm nor deny that last statement.

**My Twitter handle is @tcrpmg***