Interesting or Amazing

Florentijn Hofman: Rubber Duck: Hong Kong 2013 / Crazyisgood Art Installation / SML.20130508.6D.05448“Interesting” isn’t good enough. An utterance of “huh” doesn’t come close to a “wow.” This is why creation is paralyzing and thrilling at the same time. There are a lot of “good enough” ideas out there that come along fairly easily. The challenge is to push past the desire to settle and waste time on something that is okay and wait for the truly inspirational ideas to hit.

At times it may feel like nothing is happening. Periods of lukewarm ideas can lead to self doubt. Maybe the spark of creation was lost or never existed. That’s the price of being picky and working to make the best. The valleys are low and filled with shadows and stomach acid.

Working on a plain is worse than the valleys. Okay ideas may pass, but the dizzying euphoric highs of an amazing idea crush the mediocrity of time wasted doing projects that don’t matter or inspire. A clear and obstruction free horizon are not a goal to work at. It’s the undiscovered peaks of the mind’s mountains that matter. The ideas that nobody else has discovered. Fresh footprints in the snow of untouched country.

Creative works should inspire and challenge. They shouldn’t settle for “interesting.” “Interesting” is how people describe scalloped potatoes with pinch of cumin added. It’s the “nice” used to describe a wallflower.

Don’t create with the goal of production. Always create with the intention to amaze. Otherwise nobody will care enough to remember. There is no point in making something forgettable. There is every reason to make something to astound.

A Talking Cat!?!: The Movie: The Tumblr

I’ve created a Tumblr account for the movie A Talking Cat!?! Why? Because it’s the most amazingly terrible movie I’ve ever seen and I’m in love with it.

The A Talking Cat!?! Tumblr page is for dissection and humorous commentary on the best cinematic experience of 2013. So, throw that on my ever growing pile of websites. But, man, there is so much to say about this movie!

Oh, A Talking Cat!?! is also streaming on Netflix. Throw some of your time at it. You won’t be sorry. Or, you might be very sorry.

NoisePicnic: Creative Podcasts from Creative People

Let’s get back on track, shall we? Creativity! Inspiration! Laziness! Go!

So, surprise surprise, another new website. But, to show off my true laziness, announcing it isn’t even my scoop. The PlopList, a comedy podcast hub, has beaten me to the punch twice. Sure, I gave them the interview and told them about the website in the first place. Just, you know. I’m lazy, so I didn’t write it up myself right here on the website where I write about my projects.

But I did create the project! So there’s something. Anyway, let’s talk about it. Yeah?

NoisePicnic is a Minneapolis based podcast community focused on providing talented Minnesotans with the resources they need to create and publish their own podcasts. There is a staggering wealth of talent here in the Midwest. Podcasts are a great and easy way to share it with the world. I wrote an explication point after that sentence, but deleted it. Sounded too cheerleaderish.

The site was born when Mike Fotis, of improv and storytelling fringe fame, started up his own podcast for Metro Magazine (I wrote “megazine” by accident. The internet didn’t kill magazines. Megazine did!). But Mike didn’t have a place to put his archived podcasts and didn’t have an RSS feed.

So, I says. Why don’t we throw all our podcasts in a pot and invite other people along? And with a little inspiration from Wolf Den and Seth Godin, we were cooking.

Currently, the site has three podcast. All from the two of us. But there are three more podcasts in the works. And hopefully more to come after that!

So, NoisePicnic is in the Twin Cities to help create a podcasting community out of the already massive creative community. Also, you know. It’s also a good place to go if you want to listen to podcasts. That’s kind of the main point of it, right? It’s not just creative people sitting around and patting themselves on the back. That’s the Oscars.

The SGT Peterson’s Signs Have Stopped

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

After my email exchange with Tim Peterson took a menacing tone, I thought it might be a good idea to get the press involved. You can find the Star Tribune article right here.

With Tim Peterson publicly stating that his company will stop putting up illegal signs (again), it seems like this one particular sign battle is over. And so, as the nice guy I am, I am taking down the below Google review.

SGT Peterson's Review

Assuming he truly has stopped, then my “continues to” statement is inaccurate. Of course, if more illegally placed signs pop up, then the statement becomes true again.

But, really, I hope this is the end of this battle. Feel free to contact SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp and take a class there. I have nothing against the business. I have something against illegal advertising practices. And since those practices have stopped, I don’t have anything else to say.

As the article states, we have the right to pluck illegal advertising out of the ground and off of utility poles. Keep your neighborhoods beautiful. Be proud of where you live. I’ll help out the best I can. You see, I get busy sometimes.

Still Busy, Still Lazy

Hey, how about a non-snipe-advertising update? I have another website in the works. It should be up sometime this week or next. I’m excited about it. It signals a move from passively going after success with my projects to making an effort to lead myself and others to success.

Then again, it might not work. Who knows? I’m trying, right? That’s half of succeeding.

More illegal MPLSBootcamp.com street spam for SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp

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.

This Twitter message alerted me to the fact that Lyndale was swamped with more illegal MPLSBootcamp.com (a website domain owned my Tim ‘SGT’ Peterson of SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp) street spam. I rushed to the scene and performed sign removal surgery on the road. The patient made a full recovery. You can find video and pictures of the procedure below.

Emails with SGT Peterson

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.

While you have seen a few exchanges with Tim Peterson of SGT Peterson’s Boot Camp on my blog, he has continued to contact me over email. Here, for your reading pleasure, is the extent of our conversation.

And, yes. My first email is full of errors. But I’m presenting these as is. Enjoy.

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
CC: XXX, YYY
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 1:59 PM
Subject: Please STOP!

Please remove all mention of my company from your blog. Thank you in advance.

Please do not post again to any of my company’s, employees or my personal websites including all social media platforms or I will be forced
to take swift action.

We were hoping you had a sense of humor but you have take this way to far with your latest facebook post.

Thank you.


Tim ‘SGT’ Peterson
Visionary
SGT Peterson’s
1313 Chestnut Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
www.sgtpeterson.com
Mobile: 612-399-6080
Toll Free 1-866-877-3110

Please connect with me!
http://www.sgtpeterson.com/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/sgtpeterson
http://twitter.com/SGTPeterson
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sgtpeterson

From: Aric McKeown
To: Timothy Peterson
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Tim,

Everything posted on my blog is from conversations viewable by anyone with access to the internet. Nothing is from hidden or private conversations. It stays up.

Why do say that you will not longer continue to post signs illegally, yet not even a week ago you are post on Facebook that you are looking to illegally hire people to post more illegal signs, which you know is illegal several times over, within Minneapolis? If you stop doing illegal things, then I have nothing to write about. But you have proven, time and time again, that you’ll say one thing and do another.

Sense of humor has nothing to do with it. You and your company continue to break the law. And it’s the public’s right to know about. So either cease your illegal advertising or accept that your illegal actions will be monitored.

I have nothing wrong with your business. Boot camps are a great idea. I do have a problem with illegal activities, and you should too.

Aric McKeown

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
CC: XXXX, YYYY
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Aric,

You drew the line posting on my company’s facebook page.

If you want to have a blog that is one thing. Anything more is slander, and anything other then a blog post from you on your blog will be viewed as such from this point on.

Maybe that was a test to see what you would do……

You also do not have permission to use my logo or on your website or any were for that matter. That in itself is illegal.

It’s also illegal use the other trademarked company’s logo’s on your site even in a video.

Please stop this nonsense. Thank you.

From: Aric McKeown
To: Timothy Peterson
CC: XXXX, YYYY
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Tim, XXXX, and YYYY,

The photograph on my website is considered commentary and is protected under the terms of Fair Use.

There is no intent to slander you or your company. Facts are being stated and commented on. This is allowed in any public forum.

I am a citizen advocate against illegal advertising, and I have no tolerance for letting this matter go without recourse. You cannot intimidate me into revoking my civil right to complain about this illegal practice. If you continue to press me on the matter I will escalate it. Your best course of action at this time is to cease and desist your illegal advertising campaigns, which I am monitoring.

I don’t harbor any ill will against your business, but I do vehemently oppose your trash littering my city. Cease your illegal activities and we will have nothing further to discuss.

Aric

From: YYYY
To: Aric McKeown, Timothy Peterson
Date: Thu, Jun 9, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Tim and Aric,

I do not wish to be a part of these messages. I hope you are able to resolve this issue.

Respectfully,
YYYY

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
Date: Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 4:01 PM
Subject: I will be forced to my lawyer

Please stop your continued harassment.

Thank you.


“Inspiring the world with more then just a workout”

Tim ‘SGT’ Peterson
Visionary
SGT Peterson’s
1313 Chestnut Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
www.sgtpeterson.com
Direct: 612-399-6080
Toll Free 1-866-877-3110

Please connect with me!
http://www.sgtpeterson.com/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/sgtpeterson
http://twitter.com/SGTPeterson
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sgtpeterson

From: Aric McKeown
To: Timothy Peterson
Date: Sun, Jun 26, 2011 at 9:46 AM

As long as you continue to knowingly use illegal means to promote your business, I will continue to use perfectly legal ways to point it out. Please stop doing illegal things.

Aric

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
CC: XXXX
Date: Wed, Jun 29, 2011 at 9:40 PM
Subject: Three Options

Aric,

#1. We can meet in person and solve this issue like gentleman ASAP, like in the next 48 hours.

#2. You can remove everything you have about us online forever including reviews and never post on anything we are affiliated with again. In exchange I will insure you never see another SGT Peterson sign again.

#3. I will go another route that YOU, and I WILL NOT ENJOY. I see no point in this but your continued assault on my company WILL NOT go on.

First I was trying to have fun with this, now I am doing my best trying to be civil about this.

If you choose two take option 2, you will get your wish and I will get mine.

#2 is simply a win for both of us, and a cooperative effort to simply solve the issue. No more no less.

Please do not make this be a lose for both of us.

Thank you for the time.

P.S. If I do not hear from you within 48 hours I will assume you choose option #3.


Inspiring performance through camaraderie and movement with, “more than just a workout”.

Tim ‘SGT’ Peterson
Visionary
SGT Peterson’s
1313 Chestnut Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
www.sgtpeterson.com
Direct: 612-399-6080
Toll Free 1-866-877-3110

Please connect with me!
http://www.sgtpeterson.com/blog/
http://www.facebook.com/sgtpeterson
http://twitter.com/SGTPeterson
http://www.linkedin.com/in/sgtpeterson

From: Aric McKeown
To: Timothy Peterson
CC: XXXX
Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 1:09 PM

Dear Tim and XXXX,

Perhaps you have forgotten my original Google review. I took that down as soon as you agreed that your advertising was illegal and you claimed it would stop. I will take down the review if I see evidence that you have stopped your illegal advertising, as you would no longer be continuing to “knowingly practice illegal advertising methods to gain business.” I have proven this before. But I don’t know what evidence you can provide to me that will prove you have stopped. 30 days of streets clear of your signs is a start.

And, of course, Google offers their own options to remove inappropriate reviews. I assume my review has not been removed by Google after your complaints because it is factual and legal.

I intend to write an addendum to my blog posts when you have finally stopped your illegal activities. Again, I have the same reservations about you actually stopping your illegal advertising as stated above.

As for your threats in option three, I am well within my legal rights to say everything I’ve said where I’ve said it. My attorney has assured me of this. So if you are planning on a losing a civil suit in an effort to cost us both money, I think we’d both be better off continuing as is. Of course, your threat was rather vague. If you are planning on some illegal form of retaliation, there isn’t much I can do about that.

Your vague threats are a form of coercion, which is very illegal. Do not think for a moment that I am helpless in this situation.

All I have wanted from day one is for you to stop posting illegal advertising in my state. You have even agreed to stop. You have even agreed that it was illegal. But you have continued.

You can not infringe upon my civil rights. There are institutions set up to guarantee and protect freedom of speech. Especially freedom of speech that contains no lies. If you believe that I have been slanderous, then you are in denial of the very admissions you have made. This entire situation has been well documented.

If you are willing to remove your signs and stop any further illegal activities, I am willing to make edits to my current published materials to make that clear. But what has happened has happened. It is public record. I will not be bullied into submission.

Aric McKeown

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Aric,

I have nothing to gain unless you remove everything from the internet.
Writing an addendum does not remove any damage that has been done to my company from the past.
It will remain there forever. That is a very long time.

If this info remains on the internet forever what do I have to gain by meeting any of your demands?
The answer is nothing.

This must be a win, win situation. Or it just does not make sense.

What you have purposed is not a win, win situation at all.

Aric your win equals no SGT Peterson’s signs immediately.

My win equals all things off the internet immediately.

Its that simple, there is no bullying or civil rights being infringed on.

If you can agree to that you will get your wish.

If not, then I will be forced into a corner that I do not want to be in and I will be forced to fight my way out.

Just like you I believe in standing up for my beliefs and I will not back down.

I am open to any win, win solution.

From: Aric McKeown
To: Timothy Peterson
CC: XXXX
Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Tim,

You should stop doing illegal things because it is the right thing to do, not because you’ve made a deal. There is no corner you have backed into; You have done illegal things, you continue to do illegal things. You can stop doing illegal things or not. It is not my choice to make.

I am an observer and an objector in this regard, a citizen exercising free speech. Any proposal you make to silence my voice is coercion, which is also illegal. I have my beliefs. If your beliefs give you entitlement to break the law, your issues aren’t with me, they are with the City of Minneapolis.

If you stop doing illegal things, out of integrity I will write an addendum to my articles. This is not a deal. This is what I would do regardless. I am stating the facts of the situation. If you move to discontinue your illegal advertising, then that is a fact I would write about.

You have made and continue to make demands in regards to my civil rights. You cannot coerce or threaten me, and I owe you nothing. I am well within the law and you are outside of it. Any legal move you make would be frivolous, and my legal counsel is briefed and confident in my actions. If you advance any further on this issue, you may want to read into my rights before you threaten them again. I have.

Aric McKeown

From: Timothy Peterson
To: Aric McKeown
Date: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Aric,

When everything comes down that you have written about us, you may see action on my end.

This has not violation of your rights.

You have every right to say and type anything you want. I have fought for you to have the right.

I have the right to do the same, if you want me to do something I do not want to do, you will have to do the same.

Until then the issue remains, and I hope that it turns out to be everything that you expect it to be.

P.S. Not all of the communication you have had with my company is from me and many of your facts are inaccurate at best.

Please stop he attack and work on a solution.

I didn’t answer back. At this point, it was completely futile.

It has been 2998 days 1 hour 20 minutes 53 seconds since my 48 hour deadline expired.

New to the blog? Here are the past articles on this topic:

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.

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.