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Books Read in 2013

I was very busy in 2013 launching Date on Purpose, and unfortunately did not read as much as in past years. Still, even though I read less, I enjoyed a lot of what I read from this past year. Notable titles included Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (go watch her TED talks right now if you are unfamiliar with her), Tina Fey's Bossypants (hilarious), and The Four-Hour Work Week by Timothy Ferriss (an inspiring, get off your ass book). I also reread The Hunger Games trilogy and enjoyed them just as much the second time around.

Happy Holidays and happy reading!

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
To Sell Is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel H. Pink
The Impact Equation: Are You Making Things Happen or Just Making Noise? by Chris Brogan and Juliet Stanwell Smith
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
A Working Theory of Love by Scott Hutchins
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Shift by Wayne W. Dyer
Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward H…

Been Awhile

I haven't blogged much this year, but not because I haven't had thoughts and ideas. I've been away for a number of reasons, but mostly because I spent a lot of my excess time this year working to launch Date on Purpose.

If you haven't heard of Date on Purpose yet, this is a sustainable business that gives away half its profits to charity. To do this, Date on Purpose has brought the traditional bachelor/bachelorette auction online and provides a platform allowing users to bid on dates with eligible bachelors and bachelorettes for charity.

Date on Purpose launched in my home city of Buffalo, NY. Our first online auction went live in September 2013 and the dates for that auction and launch party took place on October 18, 2013. With no major sponsors or outside investment, we were able to raise and donate $2,500 to Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

Date on Purpose news and pressDate on Purpose launch event photos My thanks to an amazing startup team who were all…

WNY Iraq / Afghanistan Memorial (IAM) Fundraiser - September 21, 2013

My fellow firefighter Dan Frontera, a Veterans Service Coordinator, regularly runs in WNY races to remember those soldiers from WNY who lost their life in Iraq and Afghanistan and raise funds for a WNY Iraq / Afghanistan memorial.

Thanks to Dan's efforts, the memorial is going to be a reality, and there will be a fundraiser in September. Below are the event details

WNY Iraq / Afghanistan Memorial (IAM) Fundraiser
September 21, 2013
3pm-9pm
Harvey Morin VFW Post
965 Center Road, West Seneca, NY 14224

$25 donation per ticket

For tickets, access http://www.wnyiam.org/.


Western New York Hero Rush Obstacle Run - My Impressions

On Saturday, June 8, I participated in the Western New York (WNY) Hero Rush Obstacle Run. This is an event designed by firefighters that breaks up a traditional 4-5K race with firefighter-themed obstacles that require lifting, crawling, climbing, and more.

The WNY Hero Rush course was at Chestnut Ridge Park this year and I participated with members of my fire company, Reserve Hose. Our team ran in the 343 Charity Wave, a heat dedicated to firefighters lost on 9/11, with each runner wearing a commemorative racer bib listing the name of a firefighter who lost his life.

The race itself was incredibly fun -- it was muddy, messy, and tough, but a real blast and adrenalin high to run and work through all the obstacles. Beyond the athletic enjoyment, I also enjoyed the opportunity to run with my fellow firefighters. As volunteers, we don't always get to see one another that often, and it was great camaraderie to be able to participate with them.

I was particularly honored to be able to r…

What’s Next DC 2013: Go To Where the Puck Is Going

“Go to where the puck is going.”

It was Sonny Ganguly (@sonnyg), one of the What’s Next DC speakers leading off day two and quoting hockey legend Wayne Gretzky. Sonny was extending the Great One's maxim to marketing technology in the all things digital era. Those who can best make sense of the rapid changes we’re seeing in technology and position themselves as early adopters and influencers will find themselves with the puck and a one-on-one opportunity to beat the goalie.

Fortunately, for those of us in attendance at What’s Next DC and the many following along on social media, nearly all of the conference speakers shared their insight about not only current trends in digital but what's on the horizon.

From Responsive Design to Responsive Content

Many of the speakers commented on the continued growth of mobile and responsive design. George Alafoginis () informed us that Facebook is now a “mobile-first” company, while Sami Hassanyeh () of AARP expressed ho…

Ancient New

I received my advance copy of Ancient New yesterday. This is the anthology that will include my speculative fiction story "The Anachronism" -- about one of the few remaining human football players in a sport that has become dominated by stronger and faster robot players.

I'm so excited that I wanted to share some images from the advance copy until the book goes on sale in a few weeks.




Guess These Famous Science Fiction Novels By Their First Lines

I really enjoyed the recent Book Riot post Guess These Famous Novels By Their Second Lines. As an SF fan, it made me wonder about famous second lines in speculative fiction. And first lines.

Some searches revealed many posts of famous first lines in SF, but as I browsed I noticed many of my favorite first sentences from SF novels weren't well represented. So I decided to compile my own list as a quiz, in sincere imitation of the Book Riot quiz that inspired this effort. Like the Book Riot quiz, answers are in hidden (white) text next to the ANSWER label.

Good luck!

1. The Deliverator belongs to an elite order, a hallowed sub-category.

ANSWER: Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson

2. "I always get the shakes before a drop."

ANSWER:Starship Trooperby Robert A. Heinlein

3. His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before.

ANSWER: Foundation by Isaac Asimov

4. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

ANSWER: Ne…