Father and Son Time in Philly!

Over Memorial Day weekend, my father and I set out on trip to Philadelphia. We flew out of Detroit Metro (and scored the new Motor City Badge). After an extra hour delay once we boarded the plane (they couldn’t have figured that out 10 minutes earlier so we didn’t have to sit on the plane?), we made our way to Philly.

The whole reason for the trip was for my dad to check out a 2002 Ford Thunderbird he had been eyeing online. He’s long been a T-Bird guy and even still owns his first new car, a 1978 navy blue T-Bird. He recently decided getting the “new” Thunderbird would be a lot less hassle for a mechanically challenged individual like himself than picking up a classic 55 version. I always thought this was a hypothetical, but a couple weeks prior I got a phone call asking if I wanted to go to New Jersey (where the car was, but just over the border) with him. After a little bit of planning we found a flight to Philadelphia, set up a hotel and reserved a rental car.

After arriving Friday morning, we got our rental car and headed to New Jersey (Side note: Chrysler 200s are a much better car than I had ever thought). We arrived at the dealership and took the T-Bird for a spin. The car was in incredible shape. I expected it to be nice, but this was almost brand new nice. The low mileage, decent price, perfect color and all the loaded features made this the right car for my dad. As I told him when he asked me what I thought he should do, if that is the car you’re looking for, you’ll never find it like this again. So, obviously, he went for it. It’s currently traveling back to Michigan as we speak.

The weather was pretty crappy that first day. It was raining and a bit chilly (hence the earlier mentioned plane delay). We left New Jersey and headed back to Philadelphia to check into our hotel. On the way we figured we could stop for a bite to eat, but apparently New Jersey has barely any place to stop. We ended up driving way out of our way to track down a McDonald’s.

By the time we made it to the hotel, it had been an extremely long day already. We settled in a bit and with the weather the way it was and being so exhausted we opted not to try and attempt any touristy things that night. I used Foursquare to pull up some dining options. I found a Penrose Diner not far away so we headed over. Their menu was massive! I went with a cheese steak, because, well, it was Philadelphia after all.

Independence Hall from across the mall.

IMG_1320Saturday was our day to do stuff. I knew I couldn’t miss the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, despite how truly touristy they are. They’re still big parts of American history. I can honestly say both my dad and I were incredibly impressed at the tour of Independence Hall and neighboring Congress Hall. They have such deep history, even more so than I had though/remembered from school. Definitely worth checking out if you find yourself in Philly. The bell was cool to see, since you hear about it so much. Unfortunately it was rather well guarded so I wasn’t able to sneak in a lick and see if it tasted like freedom. I guess I’ll just take your word for it, Ted Moesby.

While at the visitor center, we noticed an ad for a Supremes exhibit nearby. My father is a HUGE Supremes fan so he had to go, even if we were the only white dudes at the African American History Museum. It was pretty entertaining though. Some of those costumes they wore were absolutely crazy in detail and color. It was also fun to hear my dad reminisce about seeing the Supremes where certain outfits on TV and concerts he had attended.

Next up was the art museum. I had heard a lot about it. It’s huge, the steps are extremely famous if you’ve ever seen a little move called “Rocky” and we decided as two former art majors, we should give it a look. It really is huge. It was a little difficult getting to the appropriate lanes sometimes on the way there, but in the end we saw a lot of good stuff.

Originally I had planned to play the only disc golf course in the city, but due to weather (rain, wind, extreme wind) it did not happen. I also was interested in the Franklin Institute but we just ran out of time.

Sunday ended up just being an airport day as we didn’t have enough time to do much in the morning and the weather wasn’t great anyway. Overall, I’d like to go back and explore more. I barely got to experience any of the cuisine and there were a few other stops I’m sad to have missed out on. It was a great trip though, and I’m glad I could share in it with my dad. It was also a great trip for Foursquare badges. I ended up with four, and I think I narrowly missed out on a fifth. They’re below.

Motor City badgeHistorian level 2 badgeBET Say it Loud badge Phanatic badge


Let’s Make Kalamazoo “BeerCity USA 2013”

beercityusaKalamazoo is in the running to become “BeerCity USA 2013” and you can help make it happen. Home to Bell’s and a growing list of other micro-breweries, Kalamazoo deserves to win this. As the Vote Kalamazoo site says, “What we’re voting for is bigger than a beverage. We’re voting for our entire community. We’re voting to tell the world about this awesome place we call home. We’re raising our glass and toasting Kalamazoo!”

So I ask you citizens of the Internet, to go and vote for my fair city of Kalamazoo. And if you’re not from around here, be sure to visit and sample our fine beer city.

Happy Foursquare Day!

Foursquare Day Badge 2013

If you haven’t already checked-in today, what are you waiting for? It’s Foursquare Day and time to unlock a badge. Foursquare Day is a great time to spread the love by adding a few quality tips, creating a list or even getting a friend to try it out. A while back I wrote a getting started guide to Foursquare, that for the most part should still be relevant to newbies.

There are Foursquare events and meetups all over the world today. If you can, try to check one out. I’ll be swinging by for a Bell’s Brewery tour later tonight if you’re in the Kalamazoo area. Be sure to check out all the other great Social Media Week events happening around town too.

Kalamazoo Social Media Week

Next week will be the annual Kalamazoo Social Media Week with a variety of events designed to promote social media and local businesses. It also happens to be Foursquare Day (4/16) on Tuesday. Be sure to check out the all of the events and details at www.kzoosmweek.com, and stop on by if you can. I hope to see you there!

It’s Spring and time to Fling [Discs]

Number sixteen basket at Air Zoo Disc Golf Course.The blogging has taken a back seat the last couple weeks because we are finally emerging from another long, cold and dreary Michigan winter. I’m happy to report the season of snow discing is over. It’s now time for good old fashioned, warm-weather disc golf, and I couldn’t be happier. I haven’t forgotten about you, blog, and I promise I’ll return to normally posting soon.

Why the posting has been slow

The last few months I haven’t blogged as much as I would have like. This was due to a number of things but mostly because my Web host (MODHOST, which I highly DO NOT recommend anymore) was throwing errors left and right. Every time I’d contact support they’d tell me nothing was wrong , despite the fact I was clearly getting server errors. Anyway, I’ve moved to a new host and hopefully things will be better. There might be some intermittent down time as I attempt to migrate this blog and all of my other sites over to my new host.


Everything seems to have gone well (knock on wood). Hopefully it stays that way and I can update more regularly again.

New goals for a new year.

It’s that time of year where everyone reflects on the past 12 months and plans out the next 12. I figure it’s probably as good of time as any for me to join in. This past year was pretty splendid. I got married, did a little traveling, checked off a lot of my 30 by 30 goals and discovered the wonderful game of disc golf. http://jones.in/for-a-blog/category/discgolf/ All of this happened while surrounded by great friends and family. I really can’t complain about 2012 but that doesn’t mean 2013 can’t be even better.

I know realistically the chances of a new year’s resolution actually being accomplished is quite slim. That said, I’m going to try and accomplish a few, let’s call them “goals,” this year.

  • Start exercising again. I’ve never been an extremely active person but I want to get into a routine a few times a week. My end game is to lose some weight but I think setting a goal of exercising three times a week is more attainable than setting a goal weight.
  • Set time aside to read books. I’m constantly reading news articles and stories online but lately I’ve had the urge to start reading books again. Luckily e-readers solve all of the problems I have with traditional books and just let me get to the reading. I hope to whip through a handful of books this year.
  • Look into grad school. Abby and I discussed it and we both think going back to school is something that would be very good for me. There’s a lot to still figure out, but I’m determined to seriously sit down and look into my options. I like learning new things and someday I wouldn’t mind teaching at a college level. Right now I’m looking at interaction design or human-computer interaction programs. Grad school seems like a logical thing to do to get me where I want to be career-wise.
  • Blog on a schedule. I really do enjoy blogging but this past year I went in spurts of lots of posts and then long dry spells. I’m hoping to get a better schedule in 2013. I’ll shoot for a post a week and if that goes well, maybe jump to two.

There you have it. Four goals that are reasonable and will hopefully improve my life. I don’t think they’re asking too much of myself and they’re all things I actually do want to do. Here’s to 2013!

How to Use Dashes

A big part of my job lately has been copy editing. It’s not exciting but it is important. Most of the time it’s just correcting little things like extra spaces (there’s only ONE space after a period!), writing out acronyms or fixing capitalization. One of the most common mistakes I come across is the misuse of dashes. Below I’m going to cover the most common dashes and how to properly use them in your writing. Once you get these down, someday a graphic designer will thank you for your well-typed copy.

When most people think of a dash, they probably think of a hyphen (-). Technically it’s not a dash but it is closely related. Hyphens are used in certain compound words like mother-in-law. Most people don’t have issues with using hyphens.

En dashes (–) on the other hand are often misused, or rather not used. These dashes are meant for a range or passage of time, like 8–10 p.m. or Nov. 12–15. Most people end up just putting a hyphen but the correct character here is an en dash. Another thing to note is that you don’t put spaces on either side of an en dash.

The em dash (—) is the largest dash. It’s purpose is to break into a thought. Often times this break is in the middle of a sentence and plops an idea or description in the middle of another thought. The most common mistake here is to use to hyphens instead of an em dash. This is incorrect usage that, like the double space after a period, results from the limitation of typewriters back in the day. Some modern word processor programs will auto-correct a double hyphen to an em dash but it’s a good idea to get in the habit of typing it yourself.

Now that you know a little more about which dash (or hyphen) to use, you probably want to know how to insert them. This Wikipedia article shows the keyboard shortcuts and HTML character codes. You can find a little more reading on the subject of dashes at WikiHow too.

27 Calls for a 30 by 30 Update

One of my first posts on this blog was a list of 30 things I wanted to do before I turned 30. Today is my 27th birthday so it’s only fitting take a second look at that list. After all, I’m down to only three years left to complete it.

Here’s the list, newly crossed off items are in red.

  1. Move to a major city
  2. Start a company
  3. Be a major part of a startup
  4. Get back under 200 pounds (getting close)
  5. Get to all 50 states (I think i’m in the 30s already)
  6. Run a 5k (not necessarily in a race)
  7. Go to Europe
  8. Launch an app in an app store
  9. Blog regularly
  10. Learn to play the guitar
  11. Actively pursue speaking German — I’m almost finished with my first semester of Basic German!
  12. Own my own power tools — I’m the proud owner of a saw AND a drill motor 🙂
  13. Write a screenplay (that is more than 5 minutes long)
  14. Brew my own beer — A west coast pale ale that turned out quite well
  15. Perform a wedding ceremony (that’s Rev. Jones to you, sir)
  16. Go on a cross-country road trip
  17. Kayak down a river — My wife and I enjoyed a great little kayak trip while on our honeymoon.
  18. See all of AFI’s top 100 movies — Progress is being made, just about half-way now
  19. Go to SXSW
  20. Visit Australia
  21. Take an “advanced driving” course (where you do cool stuff like slides)
  22. Get a puppy (named Pixel, not that I’ve had this planned forever or anything)
  23. Punch someone in the face (who deserves it of course)
  24. Fire a gun (at a target, at a range)
  25. Live in another country
  26. Ride in a helicopter
  27. Play tennis regularly (again)
  28. Go to Germany with my father (and visit where my Grandmother was born)
  29. Design and publish an e-book (note I didn’t say “write”)
  30. Become friends with my brother — Thanks in large part to disc golf, my brother and I hang out at least once a week, usually even more.

Sure there are a lot left but I’m happy to be making progress. Some friends, Abby and myself have started watching a top 100 movie together every week or two. That said, maybe it’s time I pick up the guitar again or pull out my tennis racket, I’ve only got three years left!