Aloha Friday: Why I Wish I Was Going To #BlogHer12

In under two weeks’ time, BlogHer 2012 will begin.  I really wish I could go.  I went way back in 2010 and had a blast.  I met so many great people, connected with interesting companies, learned a lot of new things, and – let’s face it – left with some really cool swag.  Sadly, I can’t make it this year.  My schedule and finances simply do not allow it.  Of course, this year BlogHer is back in New York City which means it’s a tantalizing three hours away.

Of course, while the swag was cool, I don’t need more miscellaneous stuff.  And the sessions and company connections, while intriguing, aren’t a big enough draw for me.  What I really miss is the opportunity to see some online friends who I’ve never met in person.  In particular, I’d love to meet Anissa Mayhew and JC Little (aka LittleAnimation).

My Aloha Friday question for today is: If you went to a blogging conference and could meet any blogger or anyone active on social media, who would you meet?

P.S. If you haven’t already, try out my Twitter applications: FollowerHQ and Rout.

Thanks to Kailani at An Island Life for starting this fun for Friday. Please be sure to head over to her blog to say hello and sign the linky there if you are participating.

Aloha Friday by Kailani at An Island Life

Aloha #148

TechyDad After Dark: The #BlogHer10 #EdenFantasys Party

This is a warning. The rest of this post is NSFW. It involves "toys of an adult nature" and photos. No, the photos don’t show the toys being used for their intended task, but some of the toys themselves aren’t safe for viewing in the office. So I’m providing a break below. Click the "read more" link to read the entire post. If you’re in the office, don’t click and wait until you get home. If you can’t stand the sight of "realistic looking toys", then just forget that this post ever happened.

» Read more

Cheating and Desire at #BlogHer10

I’m in a long term, comitted relationship that has lasted many years. The two of us have produced many great things together. Yet, while at BlogHer’s Sparklecorn party, I looked at Louise at MomStart and felt a certain desire. I even cheated a bit.

Now, before I start too many rumors, I’m not talking about the relationship between B and me. The “long term relationship” is with my camera. I’ve had this camera for about 3 years now and the “great things produced together” were the many, many photos taken. The desire I felt was not towards Louise herself (though I’m sure she’s very pretty, I just don’t desire women other than B). No, the desire was towards her camera. I don’t even remember the exact make or model. Just that it was a DSLR. And it was a beauty.

A little history. My first digital camera was purchased in 1999 just a short while before my sister’s wedding. It was 2 megapixels and had no optical zoom. Yet, it was pretty good for a consumer camera of the time. Before B and I decided to seriously try to have kids, we went on a “last hurrah” trip to Las Vegas. (Little did we realize, NHL was tagging along.) I took 110 photos using my camera. That number is burned into my brain. I just wish the photos were burned in there, because at some point heading home the camera was lost or stolen. We were pretty sure when/where it happened, but were told that no investigation would be done and we would only get a police report to help with insurance.

Luckily, my insurance company was great and I was able to buy a camera with 4 megapixels and a 3x zoom. Before long, I was delving deep into the world of digital photography. I was shooting macro photos, landscapes, whatever I could. A poster I made still hangs on my wall. It depicts a small flower I macro-photographed which, upon examination on the computer, turned out to have tiny ants on it that I didn’t see before hand. The poster’s caption: “Even the tiniest flower contains and entire world just waiting to be discovered.”

During a trip to a local park, I was switching out lenses. Holding my camera in my left hand, I unscrewed the lens with my right hand and then reached into my camera bag with my left hand to get the case for the lens. Unfortunately, I forgot I was holding the camera and I watched in horror as it dropped to the concrete and bounced. Luckily, except for a few scuff marks, it seemed fine. But, over time, it started having more and more problems focusing.

That’s when I bought my newest camera. 4 megapixels, a 12x digital zoom and anti-shake controls so that it doesn’t blur with the slightest twitch. Plus, it does video with sound! (This was amazing to me when I first got the camera as many cameras at that time did video but didn’t do sound.)

Now, this camera has been good to me, but I’ve often fantasized about a DSLR. I would love to have one of those around my neck. At one point, during Sparklecorn, B and a few of her blogger friends wanted their picture taken so I agreed. I was handed a beauty of a DSLR and snapped a few photos. I loved it, even though I only got to take two quick photos with it.

I’d love to run out right now and bring home a nice DSLR, but there’s a little matter of money. DSLR’s tend to be pricey and we have bills to pay for things that are more important than a new camera for me. Plus, I haven’t figured out a compelling argument to get B to agree why I need to plunk cash down for a DSLR when my current camera still works well. Oh, well. Until I can find a nice, used one for not too much money (or somehow land a DSLR review *wink* *wink* *nudge* *nudge*), I guess I’ll just have to continue to have Photo Geek fantasies while I take more photos with my current camera.

#BlogHer10 Memories Part 6 – Balance, Session Fail and Parties

After lunch, B, CutestKidEver and I went to separate sessions. Before my session started, I waited outside of Anissa Mayhew’s session hoping to get to say hi to her. I saw her and suddenly no words popped in my head. I quietly said hi as they passed and hurried into “ROYO – Screw Work/Life Balance, We Need Work/Life Policy!”

Here, though the lone dad voice amongst moms, I felt completely welcomed. Everyone in the panel recognized that work/life balance wasn’t just something moms needed. In fact, it wasn’t even something only parents needed. A person might need it to take care of their ill spouse or parent. You can read more about what I learned here from my DadRevolutions post.

After this, I attended the “Creating (or Massively Altering) a WordPress Theme (Int. to Adv.)” session. This I was extremely interested in. I do freelance work on the side and would love to do WordPress theming for people’s sites. Unfortunately, this session was a big dud. During my previous Geek Lab session, I found out that half the room was without surge strips. So I positioned myself at the other half of the room. Unfortunately, after the session was supposed to start, I realized nothing was happening.

We were eventually told that there were 2 sessions in this room. When both speakers speaking at the same time didn’t work (duh!), we were told that the beginners (who weren’t even listed as a session) would have the first half of the session and then the advanced folks would get to work. I was being asked to sit twiddling my thumbs for half a session to possibly learn something before time ran out! Session FAIL!

Needless to say, I left the session. I went into “How to Run a Group Blog for Fun, Advocacy and/or Profit” (where B and CutestKidEver were) but spent too much time trying to catch up so I’m afraid I didn’t learn as much as I might have had I been there from the start.

When the session was over, B and I returned to our room to organize our swag for the return trip the next day and to change for the night’s parties.


When party time came, we met CutestKidEver and headed to the Warwick for the Eden Fantasys “decorating” party. Here, we saw Jenn again. We were presented with…. “adult items” as well as glue, feathers, pipe cleaners and various other items for decorating. There were also chocolate lollipops in various… uh, shapes. It was all a ton of fun. Yes, I took photos during this event. No, I won’t be sharing them… Not in this post at least. Maybe I’ll make a “TechyDad After Dark” post with those. (So people can avoid NSFW images if they want to.)

After about an hour, we left our creations with Jenn to dry and headed over to A Green Affair and Bloggy State of Mind. Unfortunately, these parties didn’t seem as interesting and the Eden Fantasy’s party. We finally started talking about dinner options since we were all getting hungry. We opted to walk around the corner to…..


NYC Pizza FTW!

We waited quite awhile, but it was worth it. We carried our pizza back to the Chill Space and enjoyed some delicious slices and conversation.


We also met CoupleDumb during this point and talked with them a bit. Eventually, we realized that SparkleCorn should be starting up. We got our sparkle necklaces and rings out and went to the party.


We had a blast walking around seeing all of the pop culture posters and standees.

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Then, we saw the amazing cake and heard it was from Charm City Cakes. Yes, Ace of Cakes’ Charm City Cakes! Sadly, no sightings of Duff or anyone else from Charm City Cakes. Also, sadly, it won’t be featured in an Ace of Cakes episode. It was delicious, though.

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While at the party, we also met up with a bunch of people that B knew and some people we met previously (including Jenn and Dadarocks).

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Finally, we attended CheeseburgHer. As I don’t eat cheeseburgers and lounging on a bed with a group of lady bloggers whom I didn’t know didn’t appeal to me, I really couldn’t get into the whole thing. It looked like fun, but I was beginning to get partied out. (Must be getting old, right?) We stopped by Sparklecorn for a bit longer, talked with some more people, then dropped back into CheeseburgHer. B took some cheeseburgers and a steak wrap to bring back to our room. On our way out, I saw Anissa Mayhew for the third time that day. (The second time was as we were entering Sparklecorn, I spotted her leaving.) As before, I wanted to say hi but there were a bunch of people around her and no words came to mind, so I walked on. (Anissa, if you’re reading this, consider this a belated “Hi!”)

B and I retired to our room to get things ready for the next day’s trip home. We were exhausted but felt sad knowing that BlogHer 2010 was over! (Next up, our trip home.)

#BlogHer10 Memories Part 5 – My legs! My poor legs!

I began my second day of BlogHer by myself. B had an event to attend, so I went to get breakfast by myself. I’ll admit, sitting down at the table by myself, with other tables filled with people talking amongst themselves brought back some uncomfortable memories of High School. I wanted to pick some random table, sit down at it and strike up a conversation with the occupants, but wasn’t feeling brave enough. The food, however, was great.

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As I finished my food, some ladies from XhaleIsProVoice sat down at my table and we struck up a conversation. Before the planned BlogHer speech began, I excused myself. I had decided that I wanted to go to the suites during this time instead of sitting and listening to speeches. As I got up, I felt my leg ache a bit but ignored it. I went to the 43rd floor where I found… nothing. The Microsoft suite was open but they told me they were seeing people by appointment only and had no open appointments at that time. The FireFox suite wasn’t opened yet. I went to the 42nd floor but didn’t fare any better.

Then I thought to myself: How often to you find yourself in a 44 story building? So I took the elevator to the top and took some photos from really high up.

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Then, I decided to kill time by going to street level and walking around for a bit. I wandered only a block or so taking photos along the way. During my walk, I almost fell into the street as my leg gave out. Not a good sign.

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Finally, I got a message from B and CutestKidEver that they were returning to the Hilton. I met them out front and we proceeded to the MomSelect Swag Suite where we got some swag, but more importantly met up with Deb (Mom of 3 Girls), Kailani (An Island Life) and Xenia (Thanks, Mail Carrier).

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After this, we proceeded to the MyBlogSpark suite where we spoke with many company representatives, learned about a bunch of great products (and even tried some) and, yes, got free stuff.

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Following MyBlogSpark, we headed on over to the S’mores Snacktivity suite and got to make some S’mores. My only complaint here was that I found out they had dark chocolate only after eating a milk chocolate smore and was too full to make and eat a second. I guess that just means I’ll need to make a S’more at home!


By this time, my legs were really killing me. We planned to go back to our room to drop off our swag before heading to the Expo for awhile. Unfortunately, the elevators were full so B suggested taking the stairs. Did I mention my legs hurt? Every step was filled with pain and the fear that they would give out sending me toppling down the steps. Luckily, my legs held out and we made it to our floor…. the opposite side of our floor! Our hotel room was now down a loooooong hallway. *sigh*

After putting our swag away, we went down to the expo and walked around, chatting with company representatives and checking out more products. Yes, collecting more swag also.

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One note here. We didn’t try to grab everything shoved our way. We even passed up on some swag that we felt we just wouldn’t use (or couldn’t give away as gifts). However, there was so much out there that we wound up accumulating a lot of swag. That’s ok, though, because we plan on slowly putting it all to use in some way, shape or form.

Back to the story, though. Our journeys were leaving us hungry. Luckily, it was lunchtime! And, as usual, the Hilton did not disappoint food-wise. One nice touch were the signs on each dish letting people know which were vegetarian, vegan and/or glutten free.

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After lunch, we split up again to attend more sessions. But the story of what transpired there will need to wait for another day.

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