Who are you?
I’m “Daddio” to my little girl, “LeBow” to old friends, and the husband of an amazing woman who believes that my real soul mate is the dog. I’m an artistic spirit that enjoys seeing the humor in life, under-appreciated musical genres, and making a positive difference. I love anything on two wheels.
I’m a State Youth Development Specialist for Missouri 4-H, which is one of the world’s coolest jobs. I provide leadership to our organization’s youth leadership and communication programming, working with teens and supporting our faculty in every county as they develop life skills in children ages 8-18. I get to involve myself in statewide educational programs like photography, filmmaking, public speaking, citizenship and all things social media.
As a youth development professional I’m in the spotlight, so I tend to have a professional focus in my social media presence. It’s good for youth to see their adult leaders as real people who have friends, fun and a life outside of their work role, but there are some obvious responsibilities that come with that. The young people I work with include amazing artists, hip hop dancers, superheroes, filmmakers, photographers, engineers, scientists and many other things…their potential is limitless.
What do you do for fun?
My work is my play, but fortunately it doesn’t end there. With my wife Deidre, I love rediscovering the world through the eyes of our 2½ year old daughter. Other fun usually involves two wheels, six strings and some miscellaneous: exploring old dirt back roads on my ’88 R100GS Beemer, and commuting around CoMo on my bicycle; playing old cowboy songs and basic classical on my nylon string guitar (I get lots of requests, but I keep playing anyway); and following Mizzou and Sacramento Kings basketball (which works out rather well because their fortunes tend to balance each other out). Another love is travel, but after spending 7 years traveling the world professionally I’ve come down to earth a bit.
I would characterize my relationship with technology as:
Love it! Technology is addictive and self-rewarding, allowing me to connect to others and do more, much faster, in a fun and collaborative way. There’s always more to learn! There are some downsides of course. The mobilization of technology makes it harder to compartmentalize my life – the Internet is always “on” – and I feel a little guilty asking questions in the Google age when an entire world of information is literally at my fingertips. Still, when I’m somewhere without a mobile Internet connection I feel claustrophobic and jittery.
Smart or dumb phone? What kind? If smart, what are the three apps you use most?
I’ve switched to a Droid X smart phone. For awhile it seemed like Motorola’s version of the Yamaha Vmax – a motorcycle that has more engine than the rest of the bike can really handle – but the recent OS upgrades seem to have done great things. It was fun having the most current phone out there, for a week or so…
My Droid basically turned out to be a gateway drug to social media apps. TweetCaster, Facebook and the web browser are the ones I use most frequently, but honorable mention goes to Real HDMI. This app allows me to turn a digital tv screen into an extension of my smart phone for social media trainings.
Mac or PC or Other?
It’s a sad story, really. During my graduate internship I was dragged away from my Mac, kicking and screaming, and into the PC world where I regretfully went native. While I love what those beautiful Mac’s can do, my PC knowledge took awhile to accumulate and I’m just not ready to recommit.
I use Twitter:
My Twitter account is less a professional presence than a personal one. I use Twitter to engage with real-time news, check in with my uber-interesting network, and make connections with communications professionals that I learn from. On our official Missouri 4-H account, I use Twitter for increasing the 4-H network, promoting 4-H educational programs, celebrating youth achievements and for quick news blasts that draw our “customers” to the state 4-H web site.
I use Facebook for:
My Facebook presence leans more towards the professional side. I use Facebook to connect with the youth I serve (and their parents), keep youth-adult partnership projects moving forward, and monitor the backchannel for feedback on state 4-H programs and events. On the personal side, I also use Facebook to share photos and keep in touch with family/friends.
Do you read any blogs? What are three of your favorites?
Twitter has become a gateway drug of it’s own for me. As a result of my new Twitter buddies, I’m now reading a few local blogs, like The Guavalicious Life and the CoMo Cycle Chic at The CoMo Collective. I’ve also become a more regular watcher of KOMU News as a result of the great work being done by @komuSarah.
Go-to menu item and restaurant in CoMo?
The Hobgobbler with Mashers at Flat Branch, definitely. When I lived out of state, I always made it a point to stop in and order it when I was passing through, even though it was no longer on the menu. Apparently I wasn’t alone because it made its way back, but some small part of me still quietly claims full credit. A close second is the Singapore Rice Noodle at Peking, which isn’t on the menu either (ask for Annie!).
Complete this sentence: Archers of Loaf is:
I believe the Archers of Loaf were a legendary brigade from medieval times, that protected a village of rather lazy people.
(I know you were thinking I should just Google the band name–but that’s just what the Archers of Loaf would expect me to do.)
Friends are visiting from out-of-town. You’re for-sure taking them to:
On the MKT Trail if they’ve brought their bikes. Otherwise, to the Pinnacles! But not during tick season…
I think the Pinnacles are one of the best kept secrets in the Columbia area. With a little caution and common sense, you can have a great afternoon climbing and hiking.
My second-favorite city/town/hamlet/state/country/province in the world is:
Newport News, Virginia, where I lived for 7 years, followed by Heidelberg, Germany, in the winter, but only because we’re talking towns. One of my favorite spots on earth is a tiny little stretch of beach on the big island of Hawaii that has the most amazing snorkeling. Hanauma Bay has nothing on this place…