"" bshawise: February 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

BESTOV '10: OK sign

Thanks to JP Monsterface for showing me this one.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So I saw a NASCAR race this weekend. Leah and I, along with 200,000 other folks got off the highway to attend the same event. Massive gridlock. We eventually found our way to a parking lot and walked a mile to the track. It was a spectacle that you really have to see to believe. Outside the gates are what seems like hundreds of semi-truck trailers full of embroidered hats, shirts, coozies, stickers. It seemed like every major corporation had some kind of enormous booth letting you learn about their product in an interactive fashion. Did you know Coke bottles get turned into yarn? People are tailgating everywhere. RVs with Dale Sr. memorials painted on them are parked bumper to bumper as far as the eye can see.

Then you get inside. Thousands of semi trailers, RVs, buses, trucks line the infield. The track is 2.5 miles long and everywhere you look there are people. It's an absolute mad house. And when Dale Jr. and the gang take off... it's one of the more intense things I've ever seen. It makes the roar of the crowd at Ohio Stadium seem like a mouse fart. It's awesome. For about 20 laps. Then it's monotonous and confusing.

It's easy to make fun of NASCAR and write it off as a bunch hillbillies who like to watch their cousins turn left real fast. That would be a mistake. NASCAR fans are simply members of a sub-culture. We all are. Maybe it's church or Facebook or knitting club. But the more knowledge you gain about a the ins and outs of a particular sub-culture the more interesting it becomes. NASCAR will now be more interesting to me because I know a little more. If I decide to keep learning I may become a fan. If I decide not to keep learning it will never be more than a confusing novelty.

After gaining knowledge comes shared experiences and interactions with other people on the same track and before you know it, there's a 200,000 person-strong community. The kind of community that will travel the country, sit in traffic, grill bratwursts and drink Budweisers, wait in lines for porta-potties and sit in metal chairs for six hours. They do that because they understand the sport AND they've spent time with other people enjoying it.

Knowledge + shared experiences = sub-culture aka: community. NASCAR is church with beer and burnt gasoline.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Daytona 500: video of the digs

Download now or watch on posterous
IMG_0378.MOV (5461 KB)

Everyone's room gets stocked full of Daytona stuff from Kroger. Crazay.

Click download to watch in this window.

Posted via email from Brad's posterous

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Marcus Buckingham's StrengthsFinder program was a big part of my previous job. Hiring decisions were made based on these strengths. Every staff member had a framed list of their top five. It was a part of the culture and every day language. My top strength was/is adaptability. Here is its brief description: People strong in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.

During a staff meeting, many of us were asked to talk about how we thought we developed our top strength. I have no idea really, but I hypothesized aloud that maybe diabetes was to blame. I was thrown a life-changing curve ball at the age of ten and had to adapt. Then, every day from then on required me to adapt to a non-diabetic world. That sounds overly dramatic. Here's an example of what I mean.

Playing sports as a teenager as a diabetic is hard. I was always one of the smallest kids on the field/court so I was constantly scrapping for playing time. It wasn't just given to me. Having a low blood sugar episode at practice or a game was a strike against me because the last thing I needed was the coach thinking I couldn't go 100%. So I'd have to figure out how to solve the problem without drawing attention to myself. The same thing happened at various camps, sleepovers, parties, etc. I was constantly taking a MacGyver approach to blood sugar control.

That (I think) translated to my professional skill set. Much of what I do at the Vineyard involves creating and executing ideas with gum wrappers and paper clips. I love last minute ideas and the thrill of pulling them off. I love change. I love it so much that I constantly want to create change just to mess with people who hate it.

Maybe that comes from my diabetic roots, maybe it doesn't. Here's something I find interesting, however. My love for change and adaptability doesn't translate to my current diabetic maintenance. I operate out of what I learned in sixth grade. New technologies have been developed. I've adopted some. But for the most part I have a way of doing things that "works" for me. And I haven't really changed that system in almost 20 years. The first question people will ask whenever they find out I'm a type 1 diabetic is, "Do you have a pump?" I always answer, "No, I have my own system that works for me." And it does I guess. But for the past couple months, I've been mustering up the courage to ask myself if it really works. And could it work better?

Why do I embrace change with nearly every aspect of my life except the most important? Diabetes is going to kill me one day. It's inevitable and truly I'm OK with it. But I've come to own that I can make changes to keep it from happening earlier than it should. So I've decided to start over. I found a diabetes specialist and in March I am asking her to start from the beginning. I need to relearn everything. I am open to new systems regardless of how different they are from my current one. If that means getting a pump I will. This is no small deal. This is changing a way of life that I've "lived" with every hour of every day for 20 years. And it's way more than just a physical change in how I do things. There are some deep-seated issues that center around pride wrapped up in all this.

But I can change. I am changing and adapting in nearly all aspects of my life right now except one. And it's a big one. So wish me luck. And if there's something big that you need to change in your life, join me. If I can change this- anything's possible.

Monday, February 8, 2010

BESTOV '10: Superbowl commercial

In my humble opinion, this was far and away the best commercial I saw last night. Simple, clever, sweet. Can't argue with that combo.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Diff'rent Strokes

Get it? His name is Mr. Drummond. Drummin' rhymes with Drummond. That's why it's so hilarious. HAHAHA;LFAJS;LDJFA;LSDJFAL;J.

Now before you post inane comments like, "Brad, you have too much time on your hands" and "I hate how unfunny you are" know that I spent less than 90 seconds on it. And that seems worth it for an idea cooked up while microwaving quiche. My next one will be Arnold Drummond's head on the Governator's body. Get it?

Friday, February 5, 2010


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Perhaps you're like me, and sometimes a good quote from a smart, dead person is like good medicine. When things feel a little murky or shaky, it's nice to digest a little nugget of truth from someone who's been there. I found myself digging around for some today. Then, for whatever reason, I wanted to try writing my own. Almost like I'm a freelance fortune cookie writer. Feel free to turn them into posters with jumping whales. Just a few thoughts I had this morning...

"Instincts are easier to trust when the stakes are low. But when they're high...that's when you find out if you got moxy."

"Sometimes your critics are looking thru different glasses than you. The trick is getting them to trust that your vision is less fuzzy than theirs."

"Listening to your gut gets harder the longer you stay in the ring."

"A bagel is good by itself. Its even better with sausage, egg, cheese, hot sauce and ranch."

"Pipe dreams don't magically turn themselves into plumbing. They need a passionate group of plumbers and pipe benders willing to crawl into the dark, dirty places."

"Take risks. But only if you have some bounce left in your tanks."

I'll leave you one last quote from the Clarke girls. It's an axiom that I've followed for over 15 years. "Dance like you feel."

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010


I watched The Grammys last night. It was a mixed greens salad of art and awkward. My two favorite performances were Lady Gaga and Pink. My least favorite were the Black Eyed Peas and Jamie Foxx. They're all attempting to shock and awe us Dick Cheney style, right? But there's a tangible difference between the good and bad. Pink and Gaga get it. BEP and J.Foxx are just guessing. Pink and Gaga are sophisticated in their shock. BEP and J.Foxx are sophomoric. Same intentions and same prefix. Very different results. In my opinion.