Why are blogs meant to be forgotten? by Joseph Palumbo

Real Life vs. Virtual

Every blog is conceived with the best intentions, but all too easily they fall by the wayside. It's too easy to live passively as a consumer rather than live actively as a producer. 

But even then, it's such a challenge in this new world of social media to be both present and active in the real world while stopping to update the virtual one. Tonight at dinner, at Schilos, I kept stopping to tweet and take pictures of what was going on around me because that's what I see so many people doing, but it kept me from being engaged with my family in the present. 

Always kind of a tough one, to figure out the balance. 

 

I'm frustrating my wife by Joseph Palumbo

I've been married to Elizabeth for over 12 years now, though we've been together for over 20 years. She's my writing parter. While I'm good at writing basic joke structure, setup + punch, she's the master at adding short, zippy tags. 

Tonight we went for a walk. I was going over my 15 minute set with her, telling her about some new jokes I wrote and how I streamlined others. As always, She added a few strong tags to the mix. She proposed changing the order of the jokes. She explained that by swapping jokes (putting one in front of the other) it would be a better build up to the now second joke. 

We worked through this and at the end of the day it required too many words to segue between the two in the new order. She explained that despite the words, it was still a stronger order. I told her she was probably right, but my experience over the last month writing and delivering shorter, setup + punch jokes on stage has proved to me that one of the immutable laws of comedy is e as ruthless as possible when eliminating the words between setup and punch, and between punchlines in sequential jokes. 

She pleaded her case again. And once again I explained that the proof was there. Even though the build up was good, I feel more comfortable saying fewer words on stage. 

Why post this one my blog? Because I've been a writer all my life. Up to now I've had the luxury of writing things and then sending them out into the world with little to no repercussion if it wasn't good. Now, when I write something bad or poorly structured, I'm forced to say it in front of a room full of people that will determine in a second or two if it is funny. A much different situation, to say the least. 

Really, the purpose of this post is to tel my wife, Liz, and her sick sense of humor for helping me with my act. 

A house divided... by Joseph Palumbo

This a strange time to be an American. I never seen our country so divided. It breaks my heart, really. And I'm sure our Founding Fathers would be heart broken as well to see us seething at each other from the farthest ends of the ideological spectrum. 

Half of this country supports a megalomaniacal narcissist who uses 3rd grade grammar to cyber bully his opponents when he's not over sexualizing every women around him. 

The other half supports one of the most powerful women in the country. A card carrying member of the 1% who panders to middle America with a "I'm one of you" persona. 

For the sake of our country, I hope Kanye and Taylor Swift patch things up soon. I don't know if America can take much more of this.

Two weeks at a startup by Joseph Palumbo

For those of you that follow me on social media (or know me IRL), you already know that I recently left Cisco (after only 3 months) and joined a local startup called Filepicker.io. Although I've never worked for a startup before, most of the teams and projects I worked on at Rackspace were completely new and operated very much like a startup with the larger organization acting as investors. 

Read More

5 Things Entrepreneurs Can Learn From Kanye West by Joseph Palumbo

Kanye West has been getting a lot of attention these days, and not always for the right reasons. He's pompous. He's megalomaniacal. He's obnoxious. And that makes him the focal point for a lot of criticism and derision. But that doesn't mean we can't learn from him, especially if you're an entrepreneur. Yes, when you look past all of the flash and hyperbole there are some things that we can learn from Yeezus when it comes to braving the harsh entrepreneurial currents of the modern business world. 

Read More

Minimum Wage and The Struggle of Starting by Joseph Palumbo

The hardest part of any endeavor is fairly predictable. It's the beginning. The phase when you're filled with enthusiasm, but short on wisdom. When your maximum effort yields minimal results. Humbling to say the least. But learning how to put the start of any new endeavor into a larger context of cumulative success is a key skill for achieving great things over a long enough time line. And when it comes to success, time is what we tend to have a in excess, but little patience to utilize it appropriately. 

Read More

Palumbo Vs. Burt's Bees: The Saga Continues. by Joseph Palumbo

For those of you who know me you know that I have an ongoing challenge of consuming a single tube of Burts bees from beginning to end. It seems silly because it is. But it's one of those things in your life, a personal challenge, that just makes things more interesting.

I was well on my way, close to using a full tube of Burts bees lip balm, I think I was at the halfway point. However, an unexpected dip in the Columbia River while I was trying to paddleboard with the Burts bees in my pocket unfortunately ended my streak.

It's one of life's many lessons. To be able to absorb tragedy and setbacks of any size and still have the gumption to keep going on. 


 

  Here my new tube of lip balm which I will carry with me and which will hydrate my lips on a regular basis. The challenge continues. 

 

Here my new tube of lip balm which I will carry with me and which will hydrate my lips on a regular basis. The challenge continues. 

Perspiration as Differentiation by Joseph Palumbo

Most of the time success in life comes down to how well you can market yourself. This form of marketing abides by the ABDs of marketing - Always Be Differentiating. How clearly can you communicate why you're different from the next candidate while planting the seeds why that might difference will lead to a benefit for a potential employer or their organization is a powerful strategy for opening doors and getting inside them? 

There are a number of ways to distinguish yourself from a group of applicants or other creative professionals, but probably the only way that will routinely win you new business or open the door to accolades, is the differentiation that comes from old fashioned perspiration. Perspiration is the best differentiation!

Read More

It's really a sickness (can't sleep) by Joseph Palumbo

By now it's the 5th of July, but not that long ago I was sitting on my niece and nephew's front yard watching the sky light up with the customary fireworks celebrating our country's declaration of independence from the anglo oppressors on the other side of the Atlantic. Loud explosions and the smell of gunpowder are the hallmarks of this holiday. Since this year's 4th is so close to the landmark SCOTUS decision declaring that marriage is a right all American's should enjoy, I coined the phrase "Gaytriotism" to describe the patriotic pride for our country doing the right for so many citizens. 

But I guess being around all that barbecue, gunpowder and patriotism was a little too much for me, because now I can't sleep. And what's worse is that I tend to be very sensitive to disturbances in my sleep pattern. So for anybody who has to work with me this upcoming week, I apologize in advance. 

So, the sickness thing, I was referring to buying watches. I just bought an Omega Speedster Profession (Calibre 1861) not more than two weeks ago and I'm already hankering and scheming to buy the next one. Which one? Well, I still really want the Rolex Submariner, but I'm actually looking at the Rolex Explorer this time around. 

Rolex's statement on what a straightforward, functional time piece should look like. 

Rolex's statement on what a straightforward, functional time piece should look like. 

The stupid thing is that I keep buying watches that are under the $9K mark with the justification that they are less than the Rolex Submariner that I was originally going to purchase, but at this point I've spent significantly more than if I would have just bought the watch that I wanted. So now I'm back at it again, thinking about adding another watch to my collection, in part, because it is a "bargain" when compared to the watch I was going to get. And then I start thinking about trading one of the watches I currently have for the Rolex, but I'd hate to get rid of any of those watches. 

It's late, about 2:16AM, and I really need to get some sleep. 

Satori On Via - The Preface by Joseph Palumbo

People hate traveling...because people are bad at it. Yes, you can be a bad traveler, a bad lover and a bad customer. Traveling, much like loving and customering, is a skill and like any other skill. It can (and should) be practiced and perfected over a period of time. One of the easiest ways one can become a better traveler is to be a "tourist" in your own hometown, which in my case means forgoing the familiarity of my beloved Bavarian chariot ("Bavariot"?) and taking to my city's only* municipal transportation, Via

Read More

Beginner Podcasting Mistakes by Joseph Palumbo

I've been podcasting now for almost a year. It's been a journey fraught with many mistakes, poorly worded questions on Reddit's r/audioengineering and a lot of money spent trying to get a consistently good quality podcast. In a recent attempt to save some novice podcasters a lot of headaches, I cobbled together a Keynote presentation called Podcasting 101: Turning Your Voice Into A Brand and spent two hours teaching some members of the San Antonio Online Marketing Group the basics of how to start their own podcast. While the entirety of my presentation is too large for a single blog post, this covers a single slide entitled "Beginner Mistakes" which is a collections of things I wish I knew when I was first getting started. 

Read More

Ramblings 1 by Joseph Palumbo

To keep up, or rather to build, a cadence of regular blog posts I will sometimes have posts titled "Ramblings". This is when I've got nothing particular to say about one subject, but rather a bunch of fragmented thoughts scattered around several topics. 

Psycho Bunny = Gluten

While shopping for some casual collared shirts the other day I ran across a brand called Psycho Bunny. Instead of the elitist silhouette of a man on a horse, mid-swing of a polo mallet, it's a hollow-eyed bunny skull hovering over crossed bones (femurs, I think). It's the Bugs Bunny version of the classic Jolly Roger that flew over so many hollywood pirate ships. 

It's a small detail, a rebellious take on a sartorial icon that is normally reserved for innocuous caricatures of animals like penguins and crocodiles, but it garners so much attention and elicits so many comments. Every time I've worn this shirt I get at least one comment and a question about the brand. Which makes me think of three things: 

  1. The proverbial devil really is in the details, so pay attention to them. 
  2. Branding is a powerful thing. It builds a relationship with the people who encounter it. It communicates so much about the ethos of a company. Pay attention to branding, especially for yourself. 
  3. Psycho Bunny isn't the first company to embroider a small icon on the left breast of a polo shirt - not by a long shot - but they put their unique twist on it, unique, which makes it their own and makes it compelling. A reminder that you don't have to be first to market, you just need to find a new angle on an existing constant. What they did was both expected (icon on left breast) and unexpected (it's a bunny skull!). Don't be afraid to play around with existing paradigms and make them your own. 

Today in fact, this morning as I stood in like to get a cup of swill that Starbuck's calls coffee, the girls behind the counter commented on my shirt, "look at his shirt," one said to the other, "what do you see?". Both agreed that it was very 'cool', or whatever word kids are using today that indicates a certain inherent and transcendental level of hipness. Which leads me to my next rambling...

The world wants me to have gluten

I have found that the universe almost invariably acts as a counterbalance to aspiration. What this means is when you make up your mind to do something you will surely encounter friction that wasn't there before. I have two theories about this. The first one is more cosmic, which is to say that the universe is conspiring against us. The second, more pragmatic, says that when you look in a certain direction, you become focused on the barriers that lay along the path. So the sheer fact that you are making up your mind to do something, to move in a particular direction, means that you newly notice all of the potential barriers. 

In my case, my quest to remove gluten from my diet was comically threatened by a Starbuck's barista, who really liked my Psycho Bunny shirt, giving me a warm chocolate croissant for free. I walked around with this croissant for several blocks, surprisingly not tempted to eat it, but enjoying the comedy behind it, until I finally disposed of it in a trash can. I know I could have given it to somebody on the street, but c'mon, if a guy wearing a bunny skull and crossbones on his shirt offered you a free french pastry, would you take it?