New SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp URL, Same Illegal Advertising

EDIT: As of 10/20/2012, the SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp signs have begun to reappear.

For the time being, it seems like this issue is resolved. Click here to see the current status of this issue. The below content is kept as a record of events.

Because it is the 4th of July weekend, I was let out of work a little early today. I decided to spend that extra time hunting down and removing snipe advertising. If you see less “snow removal” signs on telephone poles in south Minneapolis, that’s all me.

When I hit Lyndale Ave, I came across a boot camp sign I had never seen before! This one was for MPLSBootcamp.com. Was a new boot camp hitting the town and trying to out-spam SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp?

A quick and easy search on Whois.net showed me that this domain was registered to Timothy Peterson. You probably know him better as SGT Peterson.

New URL. Same illegal advertising.

What’s really funny is the MPLSBootcamp.com website has no contact information on it, and nothing to tell you who runs it. There is simply a form to fill out for more information.

But the registration information tells all. And it only costs an extra $10 to hide the registrar information when buying a domain name.

So close!

And keep a look out for kickboxingminneapolis.com, onsitebootcamp.com, and operationspeedcamp.com coming to a snipe sign near you.

Update 07/05/2011
Digging a little deeper, out of curiosity today, I took a quick look around the internet for the pictured testimonials:

Of course, I can’t say if people did or did not say these things. But here is where a few of the images came from:

Jessica’s picture from Getty Images
Jacob’s from France on Flickr
Jackie’s from Taiwan on Flickr

With the photos being fake, I have a feeling that the testimonials might be fake too. You know. Just a hunch.

SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp Knowingly Breaking the Law

EDIT: As of 10/20/2012, the SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp signs have begun to reappear.

For the time being, it seems like this issue is resolved. Click here to see the current status of this issue. The below content is kept as a record of events.

On June 9th I had a lovely conversation with Tim “SGT” Peterson over email. He wanted me to remove anything about his company from my blog. I wanted him to stop doing illegal things.

In the end, neither of us got what we wanted. My blog on SGT Peterson’s illegal advertising stayed up and SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp put up more illegal signs all over Minneapolis.

So, I went out today to capture the illegally placed signs on video. Enjoy and pass it around. Maybe then, SGT Peterson’s will stop littering in our lovely metropolis.

UPDATE 06/29/2011
I almost thought this issue had come to a close today. I saw this on the @SGTPetersons Twitter feed this morning.

SGT Peterson's Sold to Bally Total Fitness

What followed was a really weird press release, saying someone had JUST purchased 51% of SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp and then had sold it right over to Bally Total Fitness. SGT Peterson himself would only receive 10% of the $350,000 purchase price.

They also claimed to have entered into an exclusive agreement with Groupon. Groupon confirmed this in a separate email.

Oh yeah. And then the press release claimed that SGT Peterson’s would be taking over the Bally’s personal training program and kicking out anyone who wasn’t up to their quality and “core value” standards.

If this press release was true, then it would be great news for me! I wouldn’t have to keep cleaning up the SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp sign spam from around Minneapolis anymore! Happy day!

Then this came through on the separate @SGTPeterson Twitter account.

GOT YOU! WE (I) WILL NEVER SELL OUT. Especially to Bally Total Fitness! We just wanted to make sure you were all paying attention.

Aww nuts.

The Neglected Lawn

No Lawn Mowing Today!One big issue that comes with being focused on your creative projects is you focus to the determent of your non-creative responsibilities. Let’s just use, as an example, my lawn.

I haven’t mowed my lawn this year. I’m going to do it today! I swear! But here is a little story that comes along with the lawn neglect.

I do not live near a body of water, but ducks love to nest in my backyard. So, this Saturday, I stepped out into my yard to see if any waterfowl were making themselves a nice home.

While I was standing in the middle of the yard, my backyard neighbor lady (technical term, I know) leaves her house. Noticing me in the yard, she says “hope you’re thinking about mowing.”

Okay, yeah. The yard is a mess. And I will mow it. But, first off, that’s a weird thing to say to anyone in passing.

But second, these are the first words she has spoken to me in the four years I have lived in my home. If I had any presence of mind, I would have said “nice to meet you too.” But I didn’t. Oh, missed opportunities.

So, somewhat out of spite, I didn’t rush to mow my yard. I went inside and worked on some podcast projects.

But I will mow lawn. And, a nice “how are you” would be a better first time greeting, backyard neighbor lady.

Add Another Project to the Pile

I can’t help myself. If I have a neat idea, I need to make it happen. Excitement trumps laziness every time. So I purchased my millionth domain name and created Better Strangers.

The idea had been percolating for a while. I realized that, even with my good friends, I don’t have any deep or meaningful conversations. So…what if I recorded myself getting to know my friends for a podcast?

Too easy.

I needed something more. The number of “two friends gabbing” style podcasts equal the number of domains I claim to have purchased (a million). This podcast idea needed to be much more unique.

While listening to the Wolf Den podcast with Jeff Ulrich, he stated that there was plenty of room on internet for more podcasts as long as they were unique. That little notion kicked my brain into high gear, where a fully formed podcast idea was born.

I would combine my previously stated lack of conversational skills with my social awkwardness. A podcast that combines the exploration of what makes a conversation with me getting over my fear of talking to new people.

And so, Better Strangers was created. A podcast where I would only talk to strangers. It would be awkward. It would be interesting. And I’d learn how to talk to people.

The first podcast will be up this Monday. And, if we don’t know each other, feel free to submit your name and phone number and I’ll give you a call. We’ll talk. It might be awkward. It might be great. It will be entertaining.

And, hey, if you know someone I don’t know, tell them to take part. What’s the worst that could happen? Someone hangs up. No biggie.

Minimize

I’ve started using Google Tasks to help me organize what projects I need to work on. I can even have it as a little window on Gmail so I am constantly reminded of what needs doing.

Too bad I keep minimizing it because it annoys me. And then I forget about what is on the list. Time to pull it back up and keep it up.

The Deafening Echo

Yell - BarnstapleI was going to use a “does it make a sound” title for this post, but I already did that. It’d be a shame to start repeating myself so quickly. It might not matter to anyone aside from me, but it’d still matter.

There wasn’t a blog entry yesterday, and that destroys my latest attempt to “blog every day.” Hold on a second while I look up “bootstraps.” Hmmm. The origin of that phrase makes little sense. Let’s not get hung up on it.

This site, which is in its infancy, only gets traffic when I bug people on Twitter or Facebook about a new article. If there is no new entry for the day, the same amount of people visit the site as would if I wrote an entry and didn’t bug the world about it.

It’s really just an excuse, but it’s still hard. Creating without outside reaction is lonely. That’s probably why any god who creates the universe also needs to make people, so they can say “See? Yeah? Pretty good, right?” But then who will react to the people that the god creates? Let’s not get into paradoxes, okay?

So the site keeps rolling, waiting for things to catch on. Waiting for RSS subscribers and links from other sites. Until then, I’ll have to keep yelling out into internet with the hopes that someone will hear the yelling and like it.

Nobody likes yelling. I’ll speak at a reasonable level.

Always Someone More

There is always someone more (blank) than you, from talented or lazy. For example, I consider myself pretty antisocial. But them I met the lady who reeks of cigarettes and reads a paperback alone at lunch while drinking milk she brought from home in a mason jar.

Besides, talent and laziness come in waves. Even if you are the best or worst at something, it’s temporary. You’ll have an off day or a great day. You should probably stop worrying so much about what you are and just do what you do.

To Extremes

Tiger on ParadeI take things to extremes when confronting fears. These aren’t “afraid of tigers” types of fears. If I lived in an area where a tiger might pop out at me for a quick snack, I’d probably stay inside and cry quietly on the floor. No, these are the social kinds of a fears. Like not having anything to say in a conversation besides “unh huh.”

So what do I do? Improv. On a stage. In front of people. I go from the fear of having nothing to say to one person all the way to deliberately going in empty handed in front of a crowd of people expecting entertainment. The stakes are high and I love it.

I’m getting into a rather annoying habit of starting each sentence with a question. I was going to say “did it help?” But now I don’t want to. Let’s try something different.

Fifteen years later, I’m still quite socially awkward. But I have improv to point to. I can say “See? I’m not like this all the time!” Most people are shocked when I tell them I improvise. This leads me to believe I should bring more from the stage into everyday life.

The improv has helped. However, my personality hasn’t done a 180. I’m still who I am, and that person seems to be pretty awkward. But I know I can go to the extreme opposite. It’s in me, and that gives me something to hold on to and continue to work on.

Other extremes? I was a vegetarian for a year because I was bored. Not sure that helped with anything. Oh, son of a gun. I started this paragraph with a question.

Cleaning House

Mr. Clean Sample Bottle, 1958This isn’t an article about how you should brush away the cobwebs of ideas in your own brain and let the sunshine in as you dig through what has been stored in your head attic. This is literally about cleaning house.

I have the next week off of work. And what fun things will I be doing? I’ll be cleaning the house.

In the past, I have been unrealistic about similar situations. I thought “I’ll take a week off and get the house in perfect order!” And then I spend two days cleaning and the next three days thinking that I should be cleaning.

Thinking about cleaning is stressful.

It’s time to get real. I know I’m not going to use the full week to clean. I’m going to make sure I do some steady cleaning for two days, and then a little the next few days in between the playing of video games.

There is no use in fooling yourself. Reaching for the stars doesn’t apply to cleaning your house.

Something to Talk About

Want another reason to try out an idea? Too bad, here it comes anyway. It gives you something to talk about. Something that isn’t the weather or what you had for lunch.

Don’t get me wrong. “How about that tornado yesterday” is a pretty good piece of conversation. But “supposta be 50 today” is boring. Talk about that what you’re doing! And listen when someone talks about what they’re doing.

If folks are bored by what you’re excited about, you have a whole separate issue to deal with. Like, why do you hang out with jerks?