Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Show, Don't Tell.

I've always loathed advertizing. It's an omnipresent thing in the world we live in. It's like a nagging child, always struggling to get your attention; never relenting and always needing your mental bandwidth. I can't even count the avenues that the marketing pros have developed to tell you about the latest thing they want you to buy. I mean, it serves a purpose right, other that to convince people that they need stuff, right? I guess...

Anyways, I think I have figured out what makes advertizing, storytelling, and communication in general very effective. There is an old adage that I have always thought of as underrated: "Show, Don't Tell". I never realized how important it was until I was watching a car commercial. Irony is awesome.

I have an idea that I want to share, let's see if I can pull it off...

It was the end of the day. I was weary and worn down by computer simulations, phone calls, emails, and just general work shenanigans. Caught the shuttle over to the repair shop, and my car was getting a wash when I got there so I had a few minutes to kill. I grabbed a cup of coffee from the waiting room as I stared blankly at an old episode of Friends that was playing out. Something about getting ready for Chandler and Monica's wedding. The commercial came on, and it was a nice looking Audi driving down the street. The driver had a smug smile on his face as he was driving down the shady neighborhood street. All of a sudden, a child started running in front of the car. The driver reacted quickly and braked and avoided the child. I didn't even realize it, but I breathed a sigh of relief.

So what happened there? I tried to do to you, what the car commercial did to me. I wanted to invite you into my world, and have you there with me seeing feeling what I felt, and seeing what I saw. I wanted to bring you into my experience, and show you, not tell you, what I saw.

I could have just said, "Hey, anti-lock brakes are really awesome and could save some kid's life". That doesnt really communicate anything though, it doesn't engage you and just falls flat. It just tells you what you already know.

The commercial showed me the advantages of the newest driving and braking technologies. It didn't spout off technical specs, babble or flashed words on the screen. It pulled me in and engaged my imagination and emotions. In that small time period, the small Audi story became a living moment that I shared with "it". That is the power of showing instead of telling, not only do you engage someone else into the story you want to tell, you allow someone else to share in the creation of that world.

Great storytellers can create such vivid worlds that their listeners/readers/viewers become engrossed and actually start to fill in the gaps with their own ideas and creating a world they want to see. This is the power of showing. I felt emotionally connected with the driver, because I was adding some of my own paint to the picture; applying what I saw to who I was.

Showing takes time, care, skill and practice; not everyone is going to get it, but those that do will have a much stronger connection with your story and your idea. Let your audience connect the dots, and don't spell everything out for them. Leave them clues that they will feel something about connecting.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hardcores n' Casuals

I posted this in my guild forums because we were having a sissyfight between the Raiders and the Causals. Seems to hold up pretty well in general to the WoW community. For what it's worth...some strong language ahead:

Hey Hardcores,

You guys are terrible at this game. Whoopty fucking doo, you cleared a nerfed instance. Grats to you. If I was handed a nerfed kill, I would just fucking kill myself cause there is no glory in it. Be the best at this game, and then you can act high and mighty towards everyone else. Back in my day we did Heroic Halion uphill both ways in the snow. Spine is pussy shit. "Back in my day" everyone gave group hugs and handskies before AND after raids, and we still killed progression content. Nostlagia is awesome and all, but right now, some of you come across as dicks. If you want everyone in the community to see you in that light, I guess that's cool. Hardcore raiders that don't want to be seen in that light might want to do something about it. I mean, some of you probably don't have much going on in your lives, and you can live on the internet posting image macros without having one original thought going through your head. I've played with better people, who actually have interesting lives, and who are better at the game than some of you. Some of them are Casuals.

Hey Casuals,

Put your adult pants on. Seriously quit getting hurt in your vaginas, and play the game with the rest of us. We are a raiding community. We raid. I know some of you think that this is ultra mega happy hello kitty fun hour, but some of us play this game to have fun and to master something we love. It upsets some people that you think you deserve the same rewards and the same fun for putting less of yourself into the game for it. For you to think that you are on the same level as those people is retarded. Go ahead, whine about it. As you whine more, I give a shit less. Do what the hardcore raiders did and solve your problems on your own without crying about it. Do you play this game because it is a sanctuary where you can feel awesome and important, just to bitch and moan about how horrible other people are making your lives? I really doubt anyone is actually out to get you personally. Actually, I am sure of it. Don't be a martyr.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shiftin' Liftin'

So, I've been hitting the gym hard since I broke up with my trainer. I've gotten back to lifting after doing rabbit food workouts with the dude. I incorporated a couple new exercises into my routine, working out my "core". I'm not sure exactly why core workouts are so awesome and great for you, but I am pretty sure they don't hurt.

Here is my current workout routine:

Even workouts:

-Renegade Row
-Barbell Squat
-Shoulder Barbell Press
-Power Clean
-Mountain Climbers/One Foot Toe Touches in between sets.

Odd Workouts:

-Hanging Knee Raise
-Barbell Squat
-Bench Press
-Barbell Deadlift
-Mountain Climbers/One Foot Toe Touches in between sets.

Until this week, I had been doing sets of 8 on my barbell lifts. I would rather not become a muscle bound dude. I want to be strong, but not inflated. So, I am taking my sets of 8 and moving them up to sets of 12 and shaving about 20lbs off. This week felt pretty good with the new routines. My muscles are a little more sore, and my heart rate stays up during the sets, which I'm hoping will aid a little more in weight loss.

I'm aiming to lose weight ultimately, but not for the sake of just weight loss. I want to get stronger, run faster, and have more endurance. So far, I haven't lost much weight in terms of just the scale. It's a little disappointing, but I can feel healthier regardless of what the scale says. My clothes fit better; in particular I own a pair of pants with a button snap which used to come undone ALL THE TIME. I'm wearing them right now, and I haven't had to rebutton them in a couple weeks, even when not wearing a belt. So go me.

The weight loss will come, but at not at the expense of getting stronger. My diet is still on the heavy side, and that will need some work before the pounds really start coming off. My diet isn't even bad per se. I'm not drinking soda, not eating a lot of fatty foods, not over indulging in carbs and the like. I even cut beer and alcohol out for the most part. I will have one beer/drink per week and even then only with friends. I'm cooking almost all my own meals and making them as healthy as possible. The next step is to start logging all of my meals and take stock of what is going into my body. I'm not ready to do this yet though. I'm still focused on the exercise part.


Log food intake.
Take more pictures for progress.
Get a tape measure to track progress.