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Golden Pig

Sometimes an event occurs that is so memorable that it defines all similar events.  When Kanye West got on stage and stole the spotlight from Taylor Swift, it was something so unclassy and unexpected that it became known as the “Kanye”.  It wasn’t the first time that a drunken stooge got up on stage and humiliated himself and ruined a celebration.  However, it gave us a new name to call these special occasions.

This weekend, I had a “golden pig”.  It occurred at a Euchre card game in Aberlyne, Wisconsin.  I had never played Euchre before and I had no idea what I was getting into.  The card game was an annual event and all the players were seasoned veterans.  It’s a team game where four people play at a table and two players are paired up.  The winner moves on and the loser stays at the same table. 

For the first hour, I never moved.  I was a blight upon any Euchre player partnered up with me.  Despite their best attempts, I just wasn’t getting it.  The second and third hour were not significantly better but I started to enjoy myself and accept my plight.  Between meeting all the new people and learning the game, I was having a great time.

After the game, the host gave out awards.  I earned the best award ever – a large wooden pig painted in gold a bottle of male sexual health pills.  There were only 57 pills in the bottle of 60 and it had expired in 2004.  However, the pig was the real prize.  It has such an awkward, silly grin.

I came to an event were I knew no one, I embarassed myself, and I left with a golden pig.  I had no expectations and I had an awesome time.  I later realized that this wasn’t my first golden pig.  I have a special talent. .

Polar Bears or the Poor?

“It is interesting how often the impact of climate change is illustrated by talking about the problems the polar bears will face rather than the greater number of poor people who will die unless significant investments are made to help them” – Bill Gates, in his 2009 Annual Letter

Polar bears or people?  Unfortunately, it’s obvious that the impact of climate change on Polar Bears would resonate more with a Western audience than hordes of suffering people in Africa.  Even more unfortunate is that this statement is applicable to almost every world problem.  If underserved populations around the world looked more like sad puppies or disheveled kittens, perhaps we wouldn’t have to market global issues this way.  Kudos Mr. Gates… you’ve used a single concise statement to describe the frustration of millions of social workers.

My work is getting more intense as we approach a major deadline.  I’ve had a chance to reflect on some of my key decisions over the past few months:

  • I did not apply for an MBA.  Given the state of the economy and the fact that I’m already in an organization that I would join post-MBA, I’m happy with the status quo.  I’ve recognized that movement within the Gates Foundation is more difficult than I imagined.  An MBA might not be the right degree to help me get to the positions I want.
  • I’m downsizing my material possessions.  It’s time to go back to the basics… getting rid of the 52″ LCD TV, netflix subscriptions, most of my gadgets, and potentially most of my furniture.  I plan to reinvest this into the community using my 3:1 Gates Foundation match.  My job gives me an option to be a social entrepreneur in my community.   I’m going to take full advantage of it.

Another Workoutrageous competition has started.  This would be the 5th one since I created the site.  For the first time, someone else is the Administrator.  I plan to make updates “in game” based on her feedback.  The code base is stable.  I’m excited about how it will go… maybe my mistake in previous games was being the Admin.  While I’m great at development and solving the technical side of the game, I have definite weaknesses on the social side of it.