CONvergence PowerPoint Karaoke Favorites

Since our now-yearly CONvergence audience is by far our largest and geekiest, the CVG PowerPoint Karaoke show last week was jam-packed with slides too nerdy for general audiences. Bill and I went a bit into overdrive.

For those of you who weren’t there (or even those who were and are feeling nostalgic), below the cut you will see some of my favorite slides from the show.

(By the by, I just wanted to announce that PowerPoint Karaoke will be returning to the Bryant-Lake Bowl on a monthly basis in September. I’ll post details when I have ‘em!)

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Slaying the Debt Monster

Fortune #70Folks who’ve known me for a few years know that my life went through upheaval in 2009. My relationship of seven years ended; my home went into foreclosure (and I eventually lost it); my already bad debt problem went into overdrive as my finances plunged into the abyss with my house; and I was unable to file for bankruptcy.

As they say, sometime you have to hit the bottom before you can come back up.

Since then, I’ve paid of $48,600 of debt the old fashioned way. I’m still clawing my way out, but the end is now in sight. The final consumer debt piece will be killed in about 3 months, and I will be completely debt free in 12 months. By the end, I’ll have paid off $62,000 in debt since June 2009. ($10,000 of that number is interest paid.)

Those are terrifying numbers. That’s more than I make in a year. That’s a debt hole of dizzying size to me. I fell like I’ve been chucking bricks into the Grand Canyon for three years. But here’s the thing: if you chuck enough bricks into the Grand Canyon, it will eventually fill up.

I posted these numbers on Twitter a couple days ago and got quite a response. I’m not shy about posting these numbers; while I’m ashamed my life got to that point, I think it’s important to tell others that it is possible to slay this monster. It’s not easy, but you get used to the routine, and it’s pretty thrilling when you start to see results.

Below are some nuggets of advice that I can give. Please keep in mind that I’m not a finance professional, and I know that not all of these tips will work for everyone. These are simply things that worked particularly well for me. Continue Reading →

Quotable CONvergence

My friends are immensely quotable. Here is a collection of the bits and pieces of dialogue I gathered during CONvergence. I’ve attributed the quotes where possible; if I haven’t, it’s because I’ve genuinely forgotten who said it, and I apologize.

"I didn't know He was lost."

“I didn’t know He was lost!” – Pam

“The booty is mine! You cannot have it!”

“I am not having this conversation with you while my penis is out!” – Poe (from inside a bathroom)

“Crispin Cider is the fsking bomb.” – Pam
“You mean Christian Slater?” – Poe

“Pee faster! Twitter is waiting! You have all the hashtags! No one can tweet until you come back!” – Poe (to me, while I’m inside a bathroom)

“I’ve been noticing there’s a bag here that’s filled with nothing but bungee cords and beef jerky.” – Poe

“BREAK OUT MY iPAD AND MY ORDERING PANTS!” – Jason Continue Reading →

CONvergence Highlights

Tim Wick made a lovely list of random CONvergence highlights over on his blog, and it sounded like a lovely idea. This is me, totally stealing that idea.


I spent the 4th of July drinking massive amounts of gin and vodka (not in the same glass) in a Burnsville hotel room with my friends Jason, Pam, and Poe. I’ve known J since I was about 15 or 16, which is when we met on the Benden Weyr BBS back in the mists of ancient history. Stories were told. Twitter was flooded with quotes. Many pizzas were demolished. It was perfect.


Jerry Belich, Cargill, Kelvin Hatle, Eryn Hildebrandt, and several others decided to swede a film during CONvergence. On Thursday afternoon, I got to help them film for a while. Not only did the start and finish all the filming on Thursday, Jerry had a rough cut by Friday morning. HOLY HANNAH. It will need a little post production, but it should be done soon. I’ll post it when it’s finished.

MAD ART LAB PANEL - Panel 1 of 20

Mr. @wdonohue gave me scotch wrapped in MATH! #cvg2012Wdonohue from the world of Twitter turned into a Booze Genie and simply gave me an entire bottle of scotch at this panel, and it was WRAPPED IN MATH. Best scotch ever! (For the record, it was Balvenie 14 year, which had been aged in rum casks. Also, I only drank about 1/3rd of the bottle at the convention.)

The Mad Art Lab panel was excellent! The other ladies from the site put together individual bags full of craft supplies for each audience member, and everyone was instructed to make art while we all talked. Hundreds of photos were taken; I’ll link to them when they go up. Continue Reading →

New Geek Life: The CONvergence Show!

This week, we have the show that recorded live at CONvergence! Hear about a new local Twin Cities film project! Listen to silence as I dash to fill John Kovalic’s glass with scotch that wasn’t mine! Listen to the joy as we give away a Kindle!

Episode 158: Live at CONvergence 2012