Goof Sentiments: Sawyerhood from the West to the East

CLEVELAND 2011 (repost) – It’s hard to put into words when people ask (or tell) you to talk about your experiences and life in general.
Because what you’re asking about is magic.

I can tell you; I can show you by experiencing and sharing life with you, but it’s the individual way we perceive, think about and process the world around us that makes perspective “deep, magical or surreal”. Perhaps because I’m bipolar I; I don’t just see black and white; I’m captivated by the spectrum and everything in between. That being said,
This is for the geeks. Goof, dork, dweeb, ham … (insert nerd jargon ___  here.)

Growing up between Rochester, NY and California; dreaming, Disney and similar shenanigans were commonplace in our household.

As a hyperactive kid, there was always something to do: reading, movies, getting lost in the woods, climbing trees, catching alligator lizards at my Grandpa’s cabin in Grant’s Pass, OR and essentially anything that would move. Typical Sawyer-ish nonsense.

One of the best things about summer is time, or perhaps the absence of caring about it. Always a good time for reconnecting with old friends, family and some much-needed travel.

I remember Cape Cod, seafood, sand and surf…the smell of NO-AD 4SPF dark tanning oil (which I still use) and sun lotion in general.

Heading over to Sunday School in Dennis for a banana split or pistachio ice cream. Nom nom.

ice cream Dennis Massachusetts

Dennis, MA

Watching my family steam live lobster fresh from the pier (while us kids had french fries and chicken nuggets), and the smells wafting through the cottage as the adults imbibed over euchre, gin rummy and miscellaneous family card or board games (that quickly become a sort of heirloom).

Waking up in the morning to sunny-side up (and over-easy) eggs, hash browns and the fixins, climbing down the ladder that led to the kitchen and living room from the overhead loft, where my sister’s and my Harry Potter-ish twin beds lay adjacent.

I’m impartial to Backgammon, Scattergories and Scrabble –and naturally have become a bit of a Jekyll about winning. Okay, I’ll err on the side of modesty:

I don’t lose. If I do, it clearly must have been someone else’s fortuitous luck lol.

I remember those arcane trilobite creatures that were both fascinating and creepy: horseshoe crabs. Fish, slider turtles, barnacles and the sounds/muskiness of marine life and seashells. I could spend all day snorkeling and finding starfish; other random treasures.

ocean creature critter horseshoe crab beach Massachusetts


We would also frequent relatives in southern California where I was born, from Del Mar to Laguna Beach, and would roadtrip through the hills and wine country to visit grandparents in Fairfield, San Francisco and as far up as Oregon.

I remember the magic of looking for and seeing humpbacks breaching on the coast, and the whale watch in Cape Cod.

Traversing the Redwoods and wilderness near my Grandpa’s in Oregon; the solitude of cabins in Ontario and the 1000 Islands.

river nature outdoors Oregon wilderness


I remember tents and storytelling in front of the fire, marveling at the wildlife and the elusive, chilling call of the loon (or is it heron?). Canoeing/kayaking out to an island and grilling out fresh catch, s’mores, corn on the cob and brats.

Staying up all night telling scary stories, talking about girls and fighting the endless debate of USA versus Canada. (Coke’s better than Pepsi…Hockey sucks! Lol).

Listening to the pitter-patter of the rain and wind against the tents, seeing how far we could rock the hammock before it flipped –and trying to hold on. And of course, as mentioned in the last post, King of the Raft.

A sense of comfort came with the unfiltered, unknown wilderness: a sense of belonging and discovery that stays with you. Through the crossroads, turning points and valleys along the way, remember to remember.

Pretty cool thing about life: there’s always something or someone that can knock you out of your lens and show you something new, something crazy, something poignant.

We just have to be receptive and ready.

Media, movies and entertainment had their place too: They were reserved for the road and on flights. Though I’ll save that for another day/post, I’ll leave you with boyhood sentiments via Max Goof:


Ohio Blogging Association Antlers Up with the Lake Erie Moose Society

CLEVELAND  – A guy named John Muir once said ““In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks…the mountains are calling and I must go.”

Laugh if you want, but growing up with summer cabins in Cape Cod and vacationing in the wilderness of the Algonquin, 1000 Islands and Grants Pass, Oregon;

I (unsurprisingly) had a bit more time to graze with the rogue moose (which, according to Wikipedia, has no plural form) of the group than my colleague, friend and fellow university alumni, Alicia Hansen (her recap here >> Poise in Parma: OBA Cleveland June Blogger Meet Up with Lake Erie Moose Society).

But, being the Genteel elk that I am, I bought her off with a glass of riesling to toast our recent collaboration over Mozart, Mothers and Mashable. Gentleman, take note: what better way to a woman’s heart than wine? Nothing, that’s who (other than pitchers of Labatts), says this young Bucc (pun intended a la SYTYCD, UrbanDictionary lingo).

Cleveland society University Circle blogging bloggers Byron Fernandez John Muir

Photo courtesy of Alicia Hansen and the Ohio Blogging Association

I digress, again. Started dreaming of kayaks and canoes, fishing, tetherball, base-jumping and King of the Raft (on a wooden platform out in the middle of the lake in Combermere, Ontario…I was the smallest and quickest kid out there: which meant King had nothing to do with brute size or strength lol. In fact, the biggest guys were the easiest).

ohio blogging association OBA Cleveland University Circle

Courtesy of Alicia Hansen and the Ohio Blogging Association

Tangent over.

A highlight for me was the opportunity to chat with two ladies from the recent workshop with Joe Pulizzi at Hyland Software, Heidi Cool and Susie Sharp. Naturally, I was fascinated with their deep knowledge of the technical aspects of blogging, content marketing and social media.

All the new phrases being thrown around throughout the night were also pretty jazzy: Dream Host and Blue Host, which Cool finds more valuable than Go Daddy (emphasizing the distinction between domain registering –Go Daddy — and domain hosting through Dream or Blue).

Seems that bloggers continue to define and explore more efficient and effective resources based on the goals they set out to accomplish as individuals and businesses, and the same can be said in content marketing, which we touched upon at the last meetup:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do? (Calls to action – this is not a passive undertaking)
  • What are your goals and objectives (not limited to sales/financial…what is your return-on-objective [ROO]?)
  • How do you define and measure success? 

Ironically both women recommended a joint called Shaker Launch House in town, which I’ll certainly have a Look At soon.

Which begs the question: what are you Looking At this summer?

The Life of a Blogger: TweetUps, Round Tables, MeetUps and Fests (Oh, My…)

CLEVELAND – There’s no other way to describe it than this: Blogging’s pretty slick, dude.

Have you heard of SXSW (aka South by Southwest)? For those of you who haven’t, SXSW is an annual film, interactive conference and music festival held in Austin, TX. And no, I didn’t get to go this year lol. Meh. But I know this guy, who knew this guy… ;-)

I have, however, been to Coachella, BonnarooEric Clapton and Dave Matthews (have a feeling I’ll still be going when my kids/grandkids are…Marching Ant incarnate) since high school and college. Other favorites: Garth Fagan, STOMP, the Cirque shows in Vegas (KÀ, Mystère and Jersey Boys are more recent ones…ultimately I wanna see them all). And yes, as of November 2009, one of GaGa’s “little monsters.” She transcends cultures, genders – pretty much everything (I liken it to sensory overload).

I remember my first music concert (other than classical ones, which I naturally grew up with during the vocal and concert pianist years of training): Relient K in Buffalo, NY. It was then that I first learned what moshing was lol (and ringing ears for the next week). Ah, the days of Sadie Hawkins, Young Life summer camp at Lake Champion or vacations in Cape Cod, the Algonquin and/or 1000 Islands, Ontario. Come to think of it, I was spoiled rotten growing up….we used to frequent DisneyLand and DisneyWorld, too. Never a dull moment when friends and family line the West coast (and global trail)…

What was I talking about? Oh yea, music…film, arts, technology. Ah, the convergence of all. How many of you have been fortunate to grow up immersed in the arts? My wish is that everyone know this life. It’s wicked fun.

So anyhow, I’ve been learning a bit since my debut in the ‘blogosphere.’ Chiefly:

1) The internet has no borders. I’ll say it again: The internet has no borders. It’s unreal. In the past week alone, I have been in touch with bloggers and web developers from Australia, Boston, Canada, Dubai and South Africa. Quora has also quickly become one of my newest vices.

2) Bloggers are some of the most fascinating, supportive and genuine people I’ve interacted with on the virtual level. Everyday I learn and create with an established or new contact, and someone says thank-you, or well-done. So much love to go around. It’s like we’re all connected … (pun intended).

3) The passion and euphoric rush we get out of writing is something that builds an instant rapport/bond, regardless of what we’re blogging about. As Guy Kawasaki recently quipped, “Nobodys are the new Somebody” in social media.

4) The timeless buzz of stortytelling and ‘breaking news’ largely conducted via the Pony Express, newspapers, magazines and other traditional channels throughout the past is very much alive in the social media realm. As Erik Qualmann said in Socialnomics, online word of mouth is the new ‘world of mouth.’ Crazy.

5) The most valuable (and exhilarating) part? Making the virtual to human transition and touch point: where we step from outside our computer screens and desks and meet in person, bridging the gap between our online identities, Twitter handles and personal brands for some well-mannered public face-time. These curious events are apparently called “TweetUps” or “MeetUps.” At the end of the day, this is what it’s all about.

Nice to Tweet You

Speaking of community events, anyone in the Cleveland area interested in joining my group for the 22nd annual Majestic Steel 5k Walk for Hunger Saturday, May 14 is more than welcome. Each year during Mothers’ Day weekend, fundraisers benefit the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland’s over 100 hunger centers and hot meal sites. The walk through downtown Cleveland includes free breakfast, lunch, and entertainment, and over 2000 participants are expected this year.

The deadline to register is Friday, April 15th. The cost to enroll is $35 and is due by Wednesday, April 27th. Feel free to contact me either directly on here (via the comment section below), or via whichever social network you use most often (Googling me will pull up all my media channels).

Other than that, I look forward to lunch tomorrow out in the Tremont district (Cleveland’s East Side) with a PR and marketing contact I met over the New Year. I’ve never been to the 806 Martini & Wine Bar, so a Yelp review will likely ensue. Stay tuned…

Courtesy of, the Indians and Digital Sports Network

And finally, those of you interested in the upcoming Ohio Blogging Association’s Round Table at Touch Supperclub in Ohio City are also free to contact me for further details.

Until then, happy blogging!