Tag Archives: cali-lewis

Caption This Conference Photo

While at Openca.mp last weekend, I couldn’t help but ham it up for Ian Aberle’s camera. Your task is to caption these pictures, either here in the blog comments or directly on Flickr. Let’s see how much more hilarious you can make these shots by adding your words.

The Many Faces of Chris Pirillo

I personally think that one of these should become my new profile picture… but which one?

Skydiving for Dummies

As mentioned already on Twitter and Facebook, I jumped out of an airplane yesterday. Yes, intentionally! I’m quite afraid of heights, but that didn’t stop me from jumping (pun unintended) at the opportunity to skydive with the Golden Knights.

It was a terrifying – and awesome – experience. Be sure to check out my other skydiving photos.

Keep in mind, I had difficulties climbing a narrow ladder to a platform to swing on a trapeze at last week’s final Gnomedex party – and, even while doing THAT, I thought about backing out from the skydive. Even this couldn’t prepare me for what was going to happen:

Seriously. A few weeks ago, Cali Lewis reached out to me and asked if I wanted to jump with the Golden Knights – given that this is what they do “for a living.” These are the same people who jump with former presidents and other various dignitaries. So… why were they asking bloggers to do this with them?!

It’s easy: the United States Army (like every other organization on planet Earth) is trying to grok social media and embrace it to build community and foster two-way communication. That’s kinda what I do.

Cali invited me to participate in OpenCamp a few months ago, and I was more than willing to do so. She’s one of the most genuine people working in this industry (which is saying A LOT). Both she and John reassured me that these guys (and gals) knew what they were doing. That’s what gave me enough assurance to agree in the first place.

I’m glad I went through with it.

I was more nervous on those rungs last week than I was 15,000 feet above the ground. Michael Elliott has over 9,000 – OVER 9,000 – jumps under his belt, and that’s the guy I was strapped to:

Every step of the way, he was reassuring me – and long before we left the runway, I yielded control to the Golden Knights and trusted that they would keep me safe from harm. I granted them more confidence than I’ve ever given a single amusement park roller coaster – and that faith paid off.

It was surreal.

Minutes before the jump, I wasn’t thinking about anything in particular. My mind was blank. I didn’t want to second guess my decision to do this; I wanted to live in the moment. Still, I couldn’t focus too much on the moment without risking the possibility of abandonment.

As the straps were tightened, I remember thinking that I was nothing more than a passenger. The Knight knew what he was doing, and I was ready to trust him with my life.

And with that, all nervousness disappeared – believe it or not.

I only needed to follow a small set of directions: (a) resting my head against Mike’s left shoulder during the exit; (b) arching my back and grasping the straps tightly to help Mike gain stability before we let our arms float freely; and (c) lifting and holding my legs during our landing in the LZ (Landing Zone). I didn’t have to do ANYTHING other than enjoy the ride.

I am absolutely not a daredevil, but I’d jump again… with the Golden Knights (and NOBODY else). These men and women are absolute champions, and I hope they opt to allow more civilians to jump with them.

Oh, and I’m happy to report that only a few bugs were sacrificed during this experiment.

So, thanks to Cali and the Golden Knights for enabling me to experience something I never actively sought independently – and for giving me the ride of my life.

How to Survive Jumping Out of an Airplane

My name is Chris and I am afraid of heights. I’m not talking about the type of fear where you sweat a little bit. I’m talking the kind where you warn an entire state that they may see yellow “rain” in the very near future. This is the stuff that movies are made of, and doctors get paid big bucks to cure. However, I’m also the type of person who cannot walk away from a dare and is willing to try almost anything once.

Thanks to my stupidity willingness to meet a new challenge head-on, I jumped out of an airplane today. Lucky for me, @gkmikett has done this a couple of times in the past and did not let me die. I have a feeling that I held on a little too tight at times. My hands didn’t want to unclench themselves even after we were safely on the ground.

I have to admit, though… it was pretty damn awesome. There is no other way to describe it. Even being afraid of heights… it was the single most exhilarating experience of my life. Would I do it again? Let’s not push your luck.

I have to thank Cali Lewis and the OpenCamp team for convincing me to give this a try. The US Army Golden Knights were hilarious dudes to work with. If you’re going to risk your life, there’s no one better to do so with than any of these guys: @gkmikett @gkjoe and @gjdave – follow them now!

Even hours after we landed, I was still flying high during dinner at the May Dragon Chinese Restaurant.

Do you Monitor and Mold your Reputation Online?

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Geoff Smith created the most amazing ring tone for me! He emailed to thank me again for hooking up Cali Lewis and himself during the iYule launch party, and for the video I made regarding this project. He wanted to show me a project that he is doing for the iPhone. The project he is talking about can be found at RingToneFeeder. He recorded this just to thank me for the time I gave to the iYule project.

RingtoneFeeder is a weekly automated delivery of original ringtones exclusively produced and optimized to sound great on the iPhone. When buying content on CD or DVD we have come to expect bonus material as part of the deal – such Special features often include deleted scenes, exclusive sound tracks, bloopers, wallpapers and many other goodies. When you subscribe you will instantly get the latest 5 ringtones released and then at least one new ringtone every week for as long as you remain subscribed. At only $1.98 per month or $19.98 for a full year, it’s a great deal.. and will make you the envy of all your friends.

I’m not only bringing this up to thank Geoff. There is something that many people overlook when they have a presence online… their reputation. The more bad things you do, the more people who will not want to interact with you. They won’t want to talk to you, trust you or believe in you. With online communication, all you have is your reputation. This is why I am as happy-go-lucky as I can be. This is why I reciprocate as many friendships as I can. That’s part of my reputation. What is my rep? To me, I’m all about having fun, meeting people, and helping as many of you as I can. I do my best to maintain a healthy reputation. I’m very transparent about myself, with good reason. I don’t want to ever be perceived as having something to hide.

When I was visiting my family last week in Iowa, my Mom clipped out an article from the Reader’s Digest. My brother also mentioned the same article. My brother Adam is now doing some live streaming of his own! It’s really cool. He’ll listen to some music, and then sketch a picture to go along with it, all on the stream. He’s a great artist, and a lot of fun. So be sure to check him out! Anyway, I digress. What I learned from the article is that there are younger people online who don’t care about their reputation. They are rude, and break rules on nearly every site they join. There are many people who have been kicked off of the University of Iowa’s football team, due to things they posted online that they shouldn’t have.

Too many people have the misconception that things done online cannot impact your “real life”. There are things I did online over ten years ago that I wish I wouldn’t have, of course. I try to stay very cognizant of the fact that anything I do online can be tracked, and leads back to my reputation.

What kind of reputation do you have online? More importantly… what are you doing to keep that reputation intact?


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Cali Lewis Live at Gnomedex, 2007

Chris | Live Tech Support | Video Help | Add to iTunes

http://live.pirillo.com/ – Cali Lewis live at Gnomedex, 2007

About Cali’s Geek Brief

Geek Brief TV is a 3-5 minute video podcast, released 4-5 times a week. We cover news about technology, consumer electronics, and Web 2.0 projects.

We’ve gotten a lot of requests to make the Briefs longer than five minutes. So why don’t we? Our goal with Geek Brief is to keep people up to date on what’s happening in technology without investing a lot of time to do it. We don’t think technology should be boring, and we have a lot of fun producing Geek Brief. Plus, we’re two people, and as it is, one 5 minute Brief takes 7-12 hours, so increasing the time of the show would increase the production time. We’ve got to sleep at some point! 🙂

Geek Brief’s audience includes a wide range of people, from IT professionals to stay at home mothers, from teenagers to the age of 65 (if you’re older than that, I want to know about you!)

Our Story
We released the first Geek Brief TV December 23, 2005, never having done anything with video production, on camera or off. Three weeks later, we had 3,000 viewers, and got shut down by our hosting company because we were using too much bandwidth. PodShow came to our rescue and got us back up and running on their servers.

We now have millions of downloads a month. At exactly the 5 month mark, we announced that PodShow Podcast Network had made it possible for us to quit our day jobs and podcast full time.

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