what’s next? – part 2

Napkin graffitti

SXSW12 graffiti

recap from part 1 – Lunch was great!

The dust has settled after SXSW12, and we really had a great time overall.  Plenty of party time, and plenty of people watching to go with it. We were fortunate to attend the Flurry VIP party at the TenOak, the House Party with Rocksauce (Thanks Guthrie & Q), and a Wine tasting at Cru.  If you get to Austin, check them out.

Big RayBans, and skinny leg jeans were all the rave during the convention, too.


Tiger Legs














A couple of observations:

Loud Music graph

Music graph


booze and inspiration













We have teamed up with Rocksauce studios in Austin, for the next version of our App.  We are always looking for feedback and reviews of our current version, while we dream up some cool options and improve the current version.  It’s one of the best ways we are going to get better, and find our important niche amongst the billions of Apps. (okay, not billions, but it feels like it sometimes).

ver 1.1

ver 1.1


Look for some exciting changes coming soon!

What’s Next? – marketing? Part 1

It’s 7:28 am in Austin, and I can’t sleep. I’ll bet I’m not the only one. With ideas floating around my head, it’s time to jot them down before they get lost in the ether. This post is going to be more of a raw stream of consciousness than a coherent “beginning”, “middle”, and “end”.

Like they say in the movies; “We’ll edit it in post”

So, first real day of the SXSW12 convention, and we have no place to go.

What’s next?

More importantly, what now?

No pity party here, it’s not in our nature. But, we found out last night that our marketers decided to NOT have a booth on the floor during the Interactive part of the convention. Okay, time to adjust fire right? Shit happens.


Shit is supposed to NOT happen when your trying to get a toe in the door of the App landscape, and shit is supposed to NOT happen when it comes to managing expectations. What’s next when you’ve spent the money on a banner, business cards, travel, booze, and a fair amount of emotional equity getting geared up for just the smallest of opportunities to present your idea, just to have that opportunity taken away?

Have a plan, but don’t fall in love with the plan, right? How about having the common decency to manage expectations. It’s a convention for Christ’s sake, not rocket surgery. The decision of the marketers to focus on getting new clients by NOT going to the convention floor happened last night? What about the email traffic and phone calls and Twitter feeds leading up to this point? What about the fact your name isn’t even listed in the G’damn directory of exhibitors?

What’s next?

The dog eating your homework?

This is going to be a very expensive business lunch for someone.

Balls to the wall

Well, where does one start when having to write about testicles?




How about on Fat Tuesday at a tavern.

Mardi Gras literally means “Fat Tuesday” in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from “to shrive,” or hear confessions), Pancake Tuesday and fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.

Carnival comes from the Latin words carne vale, meaning “farewell to the flesh.”

web link for my reference

Ahhh, farewell to the flesh. It’s got a great ring to it, doesn’t it?

So this is basically a cheap beer night with free pan fried testicles thrown in for good measure. It started about 15 years ago in Ashton, WI at a small tavern called “Connie’s” and eventually became so popular they needed more space.

Fast forward to modern times to the Springfield Inn. And, yes Virginia, there is a town named Springfield, WI. In fact there are 5 different Springfield(s) in various counties, in Wisconsin, the most important one is Springfield Corners, an unincorporated “community” in Dane County’s Springfield proper.

More like a commune at the crossroads of Dane, Prairie Du Sac, Middleton, the West Side, University Avenue, and the mighty Wisconsin River. Here you’ll find farmers, cops, local politicians, suburbanites, college kids, fellow bartenders, and of course their own set of regulars.

Why not get ’em all together and hand out shreds of deep fried turkey served on cafeteria trays, picked at by every unwashed hand in the joint. Why not pass the paper plate of butter soaked Rocky Mountain oyster goodness to that same crowd. And why not wash it all down with your favorite frosty beverage in a can or bottle.


Damn, now that sounds like a carne vale, doesn’t it?!

Screw the beads on Bourbon Street. Come to Springfield, WI.

Great story Mike! Coulda been way worse….what if your phone got damaged!?

Mike LaMonica's Blog

So about 400 of us gathered together at BarCamp Miami 2012 at Miami Dade College in downtown Miami on Sunday.

For those of you who don’t know what BarCamps are, they are nicknamed “un-conferences” where anyone can speak about anything they want. Mostly social media and techie types attend and many came from all over the state for this one.

The great thing about BarCamps is that nothing is planned. Especially getting hit by a van. Some people had presentations prepared. And some people didn’t. Guess which category I fell into.

I decided that I would speak about Instagram and made up a quick title: Instagram: The most social of the social networks. So right after lunch break, as I was walking back to give my presentation, I spotted a homeless man who wouldn’t tell me his name but as you’ll see let me take a few pictures. We spent about 5 minutes…

View original post 295 more words

In Memoriam…..

Okay, Whitney passed away, and that’s an inevitable bummer.  But, like Louis C.K. says, there are more of us dead than alive. 

It’s different tho’ when someone you can consider a mentor, passes away.

Webster’s dictionary defines the word this way:


noun \ˈmen-ˌtȯr, -tər\

Definition of MENTOR

capitalized : a friend of Odysseus entrusted with the education of Odysseus’ son Telemachus

a : a trusted counselor or guide

We found out just recently that one of our mentor’s passed away recently.  Jimmy was the manager, patriarch, peacemaker, and disciplinarian at a bowling alley, (All Star Lanes) and Lounge/Dance club (Wine and Roses), in Milwaukee, WI. 

Like a lot of things in life, sometimes you don’t realize their impact until much much later.  Both Jean and I had our formative bar tending experiences under Jimmy, in the late 80’s. Yes, the late 80’s!  The obvious choice when you want to supplement an income, bridge a social gap, or party like a rock star during an impending breakup (read “the Big D”ivorce) becoming a bartender.

Enter Jimmy.  Jean answered a newspaper ad, having already been bartending at the Pfister Hotel, and growing up in her folks tavern business. She showed up in  high heels and a business outfit, from her full time job, thinking she was going to be interviewed; nope, it was her first night! Yup, you guessed it.


For myself, it was the impending breakup, and the need for a social life.  It was also my very first gig.  I was handed a vodka bottle filled with water, and told to go home and practice free pouring over the weekend.  It’s seemed odd at the time, but Jimmy was “old school”  and expected us to perform to his high standard. 

So there we are cutting our teeth at a bowling alley, hoping to make it next door to the lounge/dance club.  You had to apprentice at the alleys before Jimmy, and Dean and Joe (the owners) would let you move up to the club. 

With Jimmy’s mentoring, we ended up at the club, and working a racetrack shaped bar at least 4 times as big as the bowling alley’s, and if you really could be trusted, you would work one of the satellite bars near the dance floor. 

We had a good run too.  Working the Gold Rush night on Wednesday, Thursday night was Dance Night, and of course the weekends, and Superbowl, and New Year’s Eve. We also endured the swath of humanity that came through the front doors, along with a few who went back out through those same doors, under slightly different circumstances. Chick hair pullers, stumblers, cheaters, thieves, retirees, cougars, youngsters, cops, and an assorted gang of fellow slingers of booze from a dozen other establishments.

Fast forward to modern times, and Jean and I are once again supplementing our income, and bridging some gaps in our social life by bar tending at the local supper club, Anchor’s Away.  Those lessons learned, the stories we tell, and the ability to pour a solid drink have stayed with us ever since. 

Thanks Jimmy!

Ahhhh, something tropical

In honor of tonight’s Pro Bowl in the Hawaiian islands, and living at the opposite end of that spectrum here in the Midwest, here’s a little something we wanted to share from our App. Feel free to share and send “warm” wishes to all of your friends and family. It helps to toast with a beer or cocktail when pushing the “send” button. Cheers!

"Think Spring"

Think Spring

Something Noble

Here’s our first attempt at “writing what you know or love”!  On our previous post we mentioned the WTA meeting in Milwaukee with Dan Roam. After seeing our guest speaker off to St. Louis (wish you could have stayed longer, Dan) Jean and I headed to the heart of the Third Ward.

For those of you who may have visited the lakefront for a festival at the Summerfest grounds, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Well, it was effing cold, and not much going on, it was Thursday night after all.
After visiting SPIN, for a beer, and missing the Forrest Gump like tournament, it was time to move on. With my incredible sense of direction we headed away from civilization. About 2 blocks later I was reminded of just how “incredible” that sense was, and we doubled back into a champagne bar named Cuvee.

Well, we were the only two in the joint, so, might as well have a drink and chat up Katrina the bartender. As we sipped our third glass of bubbly, and scotch respectively, we needed a suggestion for dinner.

Here’s where the evening improves.

After having a very expensive dinner with Dan the night before at Bacchus, perfect for the occasion; (I’m not a food critic, so no need to attempt it, too many opinions), but $41 for lamb? Katrina suggested a smaller place on 2nd St., that had opened in the fall, and serves a personalized menu of 3 main courses, and a veggie option, if your inclined. We thanked her for the directions, and headed back into the frigid air.

Remember that sense of direction thing? Yeah, we passed the place twice!

(a recent OnMilwaukee blog)

We hustled across the snow covered street, guessing this must be the place. It was 🙂 Stepping inside, and it’s super cozy. That’s ‘french’ for seats about 20 for dinner, and about 10 bar stools. But, sitting down, and throwing off our coats, you start to pick out all the cool stuff decorating the place, and personal touch given to the details. And, Katrina described the place exactly as we found it.

We had a great appetizer, that was seasonal and simple, and Jean and I shared the duck, and grilled veggies. Perfect comfort food for the conditions of January in Wisconsin. We were both humming along to the classic country playlist, cuz it was exactly the same songs Jean has on her mp3! (um, sorry for the exclamation point, Jean made me put it in) We wrote a note on the brown butcher paper covering the white linens, and adjourned to the bar after some great pineapple sorbet.

We met Frank the chef, and told him “The Hurricane” had sent us.

Did I mention the $? Our entire meal with drinks, and desert, was just less than double the $41 lamb deal at Bacchus. Um, and we had more than one round of cocktails. I think it was 3 rounds…….. but that’s another story…….The Noble Experiment

MyBarNapkin supporters

Try something Noble next time you visit the Third Ward.

Finally getting there……

To our faithful followers on Twitter. We are getting our “act” together and putting out quote requests to help improve our App’s functionality. It’s been frustrating as a small start-up having our developer Appiction close their doors within weeks of our App launching and paying them the balance of the cost, with the promise to fix some of the bugs the App still has.

Well, you can guess the rest. They already had a down payment for our website development too. Adios to those dollars. That knocked our wheels off, and we’ve been finding ways to get our mojo back.

During our research on the whole bar napkin concept, we came across Dan Roam visual thinking at its simplest, and one of the things that is at the heart of our App’s intent. Well, fast forward to last week, and we had the awesome opportunity to meet Dan, and participate in a 2 hour long conference on problem solving with pictures. The Wisconsin Telecom Association sponsored the event at the Milwaukee Public museum.

We’ll be keeping in touch with Dan and hope to create some cross promotion in the very near future!



in “Hot”lanta with a cool Hendricks martini – the unofficial start to the holidays

Tastes just like Christmas

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Here’s an interesting link

I’m taking this morning to do some internet searching and find out if the trusted classic bar napkin is still a part of our social fabric.  With all the technology out there, and all the portable, soon-to-be-shrunken-down-to-your-wallet size devices (Thanks NASA!), does anyone still use paper and pen anymore?  It seems to be on the surface this odd mix of paper and ink, and pixels and qwerty keyboard.  People are still jotting down ideas on paper, when the moment strikes them, but now what do you do with it? File it in the sock drawer? Scan it into your desktop? Cram it into your wallet, and get to it over the weekend, only to find out you washed the whole damn thing Saturday morning?  Can you walk into a bank and get a loan based on what you scribbled onto a cocktail napkin?

It’s great to see in the 21st century that the idea of innovation and entrepreneurship is still being documented in such a classic format.  Despite all of our advances, and digital connections, the paper and pen still hold a deep emotional and visceral link to how people think.


bar napkin idea

Got an Idea?

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