Monthly Archives: December 2011

French Horn Season!

Tis the season to be jolly and what could make anyone more jolly than the sound of a french horn? Or better yet, a french horn choir? Here's what I've been up to the last few weeks along with a photo that I've kept off of fb!

Lets run down the schedule. I've played for church programs the last two Sundays, each involving 2 rehearsals beforehand. It's always a blessing to play at my own church and I was equally blessed to be at First UMC in Nederland last week. You just can't beat the feeling of being around brothers and sisters in Christ during the Christmas time. Everyone there was super appreciative and excited about celebrating the birth of Jesus.

In addition, Vanissa, who plays for the local symphony, organized a group of horn players to go caroling. We practiced once last week and hit the streets of Beaumont Thursday and Saturday morning, playing for several older folks that are home-bound as well as ministers and crowds at the local CFA, McAlister's, and mall food court. Everyone was gracious in letting us play, though one nameless deli put us where we wouldn't be heard well, and we were well received by listeners. Yesterday, we followed up by touring Mid-County playing for friends, grandparents, and the other CFA. The Mid-County playing was especially good with the exception of one poor band director we visited, a performance we will blame on the lack of light and abundance of wind.

IMG_0227_1-400x300Here is our silly picture from Thursday night.

IMG_0232_1-400x300And the car shot.

Needless to say, we had a blast on each outing and look forward to horn caroling again next year, and will be looking for other opportunities to play throughout the year.

After all this playing, my chops are in the best shape they've seen in probably 6 years. Now the challenge is to keep them there through the break until the Lamar Civic Orchestra starts back up. BTW If you ever need a horn player or other instrumentalist, just let me know and I'd be glad to recommend someone. What else, what else? I'm dreaming of all my rides and races coming up in the spring. Follow that link on the sidebar to sponsor me for the MS ride. More info coming soon on how you can sponsor me for Bike Out Hunger.

Merry Christmas, All! Take a minute and tell me about your Christmas plans!

Later Days,

Online Footprints

What does your online presence say about you?

A few days ago a friend said he'd seen my site and asked why I bother with it. The answer is simple and maybe a little bit silly. I got tired of seeing Aaron Chinn — the model from Maryland — and Aaron Chinn — the Ob-gyn in California — showing up above me in web searches. The point being that if someone is looking for me, I want them to see me first and not a half (or more) naked man. I may not be at the top yet, but there's a lot of intentionality in my online presence and I'm getting closer. If you're on fb, LinkedIn, or Google+, it won't take long to find me.

Pew Internet, a part of the Pew Research Project just compiled a study about online reputation and social media. As anyone would expect, the internet and particularly social media sites are a huge part of how people we meet learn about us. Whether it's a new acquaintance or a potential employer or mate, people are looking at what you and I do. For example, I've been contacted about jobs several times as a result of maintaining a LinkedIn profile.

So what do others see when they look for you? What's your technique for managing an online presence? Mine should be obvious; I want to GO BIG. And since I try to be visible, I only post what I don't mind others seeing or limit who can see it. You may be different. If you don't want to censor yourself, you probably need to make sure you keep an eye on those privacy settings. I know it's easy to get to my contact info for people that may need to, but you ladies might not want to leave your cell number or email out there for the world to see.

I say all this so that you can be aware — aware of your visibility and the fact that people are indeed watching. So make the best of it. Market yourself by actively managing your accounts, spiffy up a bit, and put your best digital foot forward!

Talking About Finances

The rule for older generations has been that the big three — money, religion, and politics — were off the table for conversation. They're taboo. Untouchable. But growing up, I've never been around people that shied away from them. My friends wanted to know and wanted to be known. Even when we didn't agree about politics or faith, those subjects have tended to come up. They define us as individuals, don't they? Maybe I'm imagining it, but it seems the Gen Yers just aren't as judgemetal as boomers were about these things.

Getting out of college I was pretty surprised at how open other grads were about their salaries. Even during school, most of my class knew how much the coop students were making during their semesters off. And since then there have always been at least a handful of friends that have know my finances pretty well, so I'm wondering: Have the rules changed?

The reason I've started to think about this is that my friend Lindsay over at downswithdebt has opened up to share her family's situation as they climb out of the red. Kudos to them for resolving to get out and for getting some financial accountability. So here are some questions for you. Do your friends talk about their finances? Do you think it's OK to talk about how much money you make? Do you and your friends spur each other on to make wise decisions with your $$ or is there more of a race to get the coolest stuff? Put your thoughts in a comment!