Sad & Good things about #usguys

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#Usguys is a Twitter Tribe that has been around for over a year. It started out as a Social Media garage where the main emphasis was conversation around marketing, social media topics, seo, new tools, and outrageous comments from Dan Perez.  To learn more about what is #Usguys surf here.  Many would argue that the Tribe as it is constituted today has many excellent strengths and I will let them argue that point in the comments.  In this post I want to lament some of the things lost along the way.

1. Losing the #AMCommute.

I miss chatting with @SeanMcGinnis and @PeterfromOttawa during the #AMCommute.  There was something special about knowing Sean’s conductor was named “JJ” and hearing thoughts from Peter while he transited around Ottawa. There are many other great conversations lost as well from those early days.  More on this later.  If you know what I’m talking about leave a comment…

2. The Fab who?

It’s funny, as I was contemplating this post @TomMoradpour made a rare visit to the hashtag he helped establish. More recently the @RealChaseAdams has been in/out of the tag.  But, let me let you in on a secret.  They never meant to create a Tribe.  There was no thought given to the “institution” of usguys being or meaning anything.  It was 5 guys talking about the Gap Logo fiasco and people were drawn to the conversation.  You, me, “we” actually do them a dis-service by thinking they “created/founded” usguys as we know it today or even 11 months ago.  Disagree? Make your point known below.

3. What Web site?

At one point in time there were a few out of Twitter points of reference to #usguys.  Chase Adams started a Posterous blog and had aspirations of making something more permanent. Several people jumped in to help and TheUsGuys.com  had a brief hey-day say February / March of 2011.  Bet you that the most recent additions to the hashtag have no idea a site exists.  Plans for an even better, more community driven site seemingly died in the Lab.  Maybe #usguys doesn’t need a website anyway, what do you think?

4. The Flight to the suburbs.

As a Twitter tree house or the Bar “Cheers” on Twitter it is kinda cool that many hashtag champions will stop in for a drink or two (#Beer, #Wine, #Coffee, #Chai).  Maybe this was only ever going to be the ‘role’ of the hashtag.  But, still, it’s kind of sad to see some of the early gang move on and establish highly successful Twitter chats out in the Burbs…  We still have #Usguyschat on Mondays at 3pm, but it is not secret that I’ve questioned if @Ken_Rosen and @SMSJoe should take that out as well.  For context, there were once plans to have “channels” on the hashtag so that you could tune into WordPress or SEO or Coffee or Business or Marketing, you get the idea…  What do you think?  Sad or just the way it should be?

5. Facebook or LinkedIn?

@RicDragon remarked on Saturday 12/11/11 RT @RicDragon: hadn’t looked specifically at #usguys stream for a bit; seems more of the convo has moved to the other SoMe platforms! Actually, it has not just moved but fragmented.  There are at least 3 Facebook groups, several versions of circles in GooglePlus, a Google Huddle, a defunct for now #Skype chat, and a couple of different iterations of LinkedIn groups.  Add the scattering of former usguys pundits like  @samfiorella  @jolewitz @SeanMcGinnis to whole other areas of interest on and off twitter and it seems to me that we as a community have lost something. Your thoughts?

6. School yard fights.

Along the way we’ve had a few different school yard fights.  I’ve always found these to be sad when they could not be repaired.  A few good people have simply walked away from the group because they were in it at the wrong time.  People are people and the occasional spat or misunderstanding will happen.  I think we need to quickly move it off of 140 to something a little more robust like a Skype call or video.  Anyway, a few people I really enjoyed moved on because of some of these spats.  Makes me sad, how about you?

7. What? Did you really think it would be 12 sad things?

Well, there go Six sad things about the #usguys Tribe.  No doubt you can add your own. Like why the name Us Guys (I agree with @Nakisnakis’s POV).  However, I have a theory about the eventual fate or course of the Tribe which I’ll try to sum up in point number 12…  Please, agree or disagree in the comments.

8. Meetups.

Starting with the Inaugural #UsGuys East Coast MeetUp on January 23rd, 2001 in Philadelphia, there have been many such meetings on both coasts and in the middle. If you have not experienced the joy of a Tweetup yet check out this video “One Tribe” by Ty Sullivan to get a feel for one.

9. IRL Relationships!

Twitter is an amazing way to find new relationships. It’s a little backwards.  You get to know people from a different angle.  You may not know what the names of their kids are or if they go to church, but you get an excellent feel for who they are as a person.  #UsGuys has been the source of many amazing relationships for me.  I’m working with people I love because of Twitter and #UsGuys.  For those who do not yet get Twitter? #UsGuys is a great place to start.  I strongly encourage you to meet people “IRL” or face-to-face whenever you get the chance.

10. SuperConnected.

Where else on Twitter can you go and ask almost any question and get it answered?  Yes, if you know a certain question is best tweeted to #ToolChat or #BlogChat you might get engagement back.  That depends on many factors though…  #UsGuys is a great example of the power of weak links making the world smaller. I would almost bet the degrees of connection starting with #usguys would be 3.  Yes, you are 3 degrees away from anyone or anything in the world.  Try it, let’s play!

11. Causes.

Stick around #Usguys for a bit and you’ll see that people care.  Get to know them some and your cause could become their cause.   @MargieClayman recently discussed this during #Tweetdiner (now found on Thursday nights at 9pm ET).   We also helped @997Dave with his annual #CampbellRiver #ReliefTruck, information about the Campbellriver foodbank.  I’m thinking there is some value here…anyone agree?

12. Timshel.

Just this past Sunday morning @Milaspage reintroduced me to the word Timshel.  Her favorite quote of all time is from East of Eden and involves the concept of Free Will and man’s ability to choose.  For more information you can read this excerpt from Oprah’s bookclub.  For me, when I look at and legitimately lament certain things lost from Usguys and the diaspora of certain peoples and ideas; I also think about how collectively we control our future.

Those of us who are proud of being from the Tribe also have a charge, to choose.  To choose how we will evolve.  To choose how we will conduct ourselves.  To choose to continue to welcome new people by ringing the tribal bell. To choose to be a resource for any who ask. To choose to have fun (including riling up @DanPerezFilms or @PaulBiedermann).  To choose to care, and be friends.

What do you think? What do you miss?  Who do you miss?  What do you think of the current state of things?  More importantly, what do you choose to do/be?  Please tell us…

Photo Credit Creative Commons of Linus Art from Flickr 

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164 comments
spofcher
spofcher

Funny how this post keeps surfacing and resonating.

#UsGuys would make a great SoMe / Twitter case study.

MorberMarketing
MorberMarketing

Great post Josepf. #usguys taught me the power of Twitter - both positive and negative. I remember asking a tech question and getting some of the best answers of anywhere on the web , and in only 140 characters. I enjoyed (and still do) morning #coffee --> c[_] c[_]. I "met" @PaulBiedermann and @PegFitzpatrick and became a member of the @12most tribe. I play #Words with @xDeepS and he usually wins. But I also saw some fights and some of them were hurtful - and the spammers got a bit out of control as well.

jolewitz
jolewitz

Josepf - it has taken me a while to comment here and I'm sorry for the delay. However, there are some very interesting comments driven by your post and first and foremost I acknowledge you for your continued contributions to the SoMe community and your willingness to always say it as you see it.

Now, I'll comment from the place you acknowledged for me as one of the early participants in #usguys. I had lost track of the original and as many of your other commenters underline, I have followed and participated in usguys and various iterations. So, without responding to each point in sequence, here are some comments:

Although it may still be a tribe – or not, that issue has never been in my consciousness – in fact, I never heard it referred to with that trendy term until this post. I always looked at all usguys gatherings (online and IRL) as a place to meet and/or learn from valuable people and occasionally to be able to give something back.

I currently participate in and get value from:

(a) The weekly #usguyschat run by @SMSJoe and @Ken_Rosen

(b) Multiple Usguys IRL meet-ups – in fact you and I met in person for the first time at one of those events. At both events that I attended I also met several online friends there IRL and also met some people for the first time who later became online friends.

(c) The usguys daily published by @myagenda (Jeannette Baer);

(d) #usguys. As a dependable location for valuable info, I constantly monitor #usguys and add the hash tag to a number of my twitter posts so I can share back with the people who have given me so many valuable links and opinions

As to people moving on, that’s not bad – at all. I’ve interacted with some of these people (who by then were “old friends” reappearing in a new environment) in other online locations (you were one of those too) and I’ve constantly met new people who drop in at #usguyschat

Do I miss people who’ve moved on? Sure, a few with whom I connected I can reach out to directly so, once met, they’re never really “gone” unless…

With regards to all usguys segments of the SoMe universe, I hope your post brings more and more new people and causes others to consider popping in from time to time. After all, time is very precious and I don’t get to usguys as often as I’d like so I’m also part of the constant change.

-- JOSEPH

KarltonUtter
KarltonUtter

Plain and simple,I love everyone in the tribe and I continue to make great connections and good friends through it. It is the first place I go for my #coffee in the morning and the afternoon conversation helps me get through the day. I have been in the #usguys since February and has seen it evolve but kind of the same way a family does. New people come in and are instantly accepted, old members come back, and good conversation is always had.

jendragon
jendragon

#Usguys is like the Occupy Wall Street #OWS movement in that it is united by a hashtag bringing together members in conversation, promoting on-line information and directing members to real-life events. Like all horozontally based groups where there is no leader or infrastructure, the dynamism of the group has its ebbs and flows. Sometimes, information is hopping and creativity is vibrant, sometimes its more of a tired connection- a "low five as opposed to a high five". Ultimately, this is to be expected and welcomed as we all need downtime to regroup for the next challenge. What keeps a movement like #OWS going is not so much the occupations in the city parks but the exchange of ideas on line that keeps members connected. The over-arching mission of #OWS, the dissastifaction with the status quo, unites the "brand". Perhaps #UsGuys needs to find a mission, a non-profit cause that serves as a constructive back-drop to the commradery so when the inevitable "down time" occurs, energy can still be engaged in fundraising, promoting and in short putting to good use all the amazing marketing, promotion, advertising and social talent evident in the #UsGuys network. If you look at the history of a fellowship organization, like Rotary International, the professional good-will aspect of the group really found its footing when they adopted their individual talents to helping others. (Interesting tidbit: the first project the original 4 members of Rotary dedicated themselves to was the creation of the first public men's urinal in Chicago). From that WC, grew an organization of millions that has just about eradicated polio from the face of the earth. Maybe there should be a conference, virtual or IRL, where #UsGuys can gather and brainstorm a cause to promote using their amazing talents and formidable social energy. Then #UsGuys would have a compelling purpose that will override transient disappointments and grievances and allow the individual lights of its members to shine both online and off!

spofcher
spofcher

Josepf – It took me some time to digest your post and gather my feelings and thoughts. While this is not the first time these questions have arisen, obviously you have written a powerful blog about #UsGuys that has resonated with a lot of folks. (136 comments and climbing) You have un-earthed many feelings and it is very interesting to see who has responded along with who hasn’t.

#UsGuys is a wonderful place for a lot of us to hang out in. This group is very important for me because it provided a sense of the Twitterverse and of the power of a tweet – I did not feel like I was just tweeting into a black hole. #UsGuys provides a sanctuary where like-minded people can congregate. I have met so many wonderful folks here. It is very interesting that many personalities come through with only 140 characters. I have become friends with people globally, nationally and locally. And wherever I go, I know that I could find other #UsGuys to meet up with and feel entirely comfortable.

Yes, #UsGuys has changed, but what hasn’t? The group is made up of a lot of smart, type A people with strong passions. Of course we won’t agree on everything, but this is what makes the group so vibrant. I have been a member for about 11 months and there have been many changes in #UsGuys directions and active members. #UsGuys is like the Blob. It is an ever-changing, shifting, morphing, growing shape-shifter. I would not want it any other way. I have seen many folks go on and on how great #UsGuys is, only never to be seen a month later. However, there are many that remain in this community.

The group is a study in modern tribes, because it is growing so fast. It is like watching a movie in fast forward.

My answer to most of your 12(Most) points is:

- Things change

- Things happen

Can't stop it..

With so many SoMe platforms to choose from it is hard keeping “them down on the farm.” Most of the #UsGuys are early adaptors and will try new things such as Google+. However, I still like Twitter due to the immediacy and interaction.

#UsGuyschat should not go away. Both @Ken_Rosen and @SMSjoe have done a wonderful job. It is a difficult challenge to moderate an engaging weekly tweetchat. However, the shininess has worn off of Tweetchats and many have stopped participating. Maybe #UsGuyschat should be a monthly event.

In conclusion (whew!) I am very happy to be included in the #UsGuys family.

LauLau81
LauLau81

Now i am more familiar with this post and I thank you for letting us know about this then...

Latest blog post: Chamonix

Steve Birkett
Steve Birkett

I really should jump into these things from the beginning.....so much more difficult to know where to begin after reading 100's of sharp-minded comments (something that I feel, in and of itself, reflects positively on all periods of #usguys).

I think what it comes down to are the bonds that have been forged by those tuning into the #usguys frequency, for whatever length of time that may have been. Even the naysayers are extremely good people (you know who you are...and so does Buddy...) with whom I've connected in a variety of ways across the social media landscape. Everything swirling around that - conflict, trivialities, expansion, origins, and more - is somewhat sundry to the connections and developing friendships.

Remaining the same is, more often than not, considered stagnation. I'm out more than in the stream recently, but I still see amazing things happening between both longstanding and brand new participants, as Dave so brightly illuminated. It's not the same as it once was, but that's hardly surprising and far from a bad thing, given the speed at which things develop online.

If there's something for you there now or in future, fantastic. If not, I'd wager that a vast majority of those that have come into contact with #usguys have taken something positive from it, most often in the form or a new friend or friends. I'm happy and proud to be acquainted with all those of you that fall into that category for me.

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

You know...the more I think about it...I think that all this "whatever" over a hashtag is ridiculous. There are soldiers dying overseas for us to argue about insignificant crap? There are homeless, hungry, poverty stricken people that need help but we have issue with a hashtag or whatever this underlying issue is? I left USguys for a while many months back because of the drama, but what I know is that drama exists in SMmanners, bizforum, 12most, and everywhere else...why? Because humans are involved and we are vain, we are greedy, we are selfish....let's move on folks. Do what YOU want because YOU want to...but hopefully YOU are thinking beyond the tip of your nose. There is a big world out there...there are people that need your help, there are problems to solve...can't we all just get along? No...no we can't, and that's cool too. I'm a happy dude...and I'll be a happy dude with or without USguys or Twitter...because I adapt, as we all do. I have complete respect for each of you for different reasons...butmy middle name ain't DRAMA, it is Liberty!

MimiOrtega
MimiOrtega

#usguys makes me happy. That's all I can say! I have met amazing,smart people, with great hearts and passion. Not asking for more : ) Can't wait to see you again > @Josepf.!!! @DixieLil. @libbytalks. @mimibakermn. @sumnermusolf. @merlinuward. @997dave. @MatthewLiberty. @Jeannette Baer. @BrandonEBC. @BruceSallan. @JohnFeskorn. @Milaspage. @NickyHirst. @RicDragon @StephenJ.Caggiano @sumnermusolf. @solete. @xDeepS.

ken_rosen
ken_rosen

@spofcher Is it safe to assume lots of #UsGuys know the Gartner Hype Cycle? ("Technology Trigger," "Peak of Inflated Expectations," "Trough of Disillusionment," "Slope of Enlightenment," and "Plateau of Productivity").

Would be amusing to see someone map a variety of key events to this cycle--perhaps in a group project. I suspect the mapping would be uncanny.

Ken

Josepf
Josepf moderator

@MorberMarketing@PaulBiedermann@PegFitzpatrick@xdeeps Jeannine, thanks for the comments. Will be great to see you next week in Buffalo! The funny thing about #UsGuys is that despite many of us feeling it's past it's hey day -- there is and I believe always will be an intrinsic power to it. We've been part of something special. And part of what I wanted to do with this post was re-kindle that. We always have an opportunity to wake up today and start anew.

MorberMarketing
MorberMarketing

@KarltonUtter I remember #ringingthebell for you - it was right after I learned what that was all about! Morning #coffee is also my favorite way to greet the day!

DeanClevett
DeanClevett

@jendragon For some reason, Livefyre cut off the first part of my response, so here it is.

Perhaps #usguys already has a compelling purpose, or rather, a number of compelling purposes. Look at how we rallied round (the rest is in my original reply).

DeanClevett
DeanClevett

@jendragon@danperez to support VACC Camp or around @TheDaveReynolds to support the foodbank in Campbell River or helped @milaspage spread the good word about getting funding for good causes from her company. Look at how members are helping each other find jobs and in other ways that are awesome but anonymous.

I think that we have compelling purposes, but that there isn't ONE big overriding purpose. And perhaps that's a good thing. Many of the service organizations like Rotary, the Lions, Kinsmen, etc, are seeing declining involvement. Maybe, #usguys is what future service organizations will look like: no dues, no uniform or weekly / monthly IRL meeting to discuss business; but instead geographically and culturally diverse people banding together in cyberspace to do good in IRL and having conversations throughout the day and week.

Josepf
Josepf moderator

@spofcher@ken_rosen@SMSJOE Steven, brief "For the record" reply. (I actually called Steven on the phone as I was driving to Kingston NY cause otherwise @lttlewys would holler at me for Tweeting and driving, except I wasn't Tweeting I was reading, oh< I mean glancing, I mean realizing telepathetically :) that Steve made a great post.

To everyone who's replied. Appreciate the dialog... Have a great Holiday Season and see you in the stream. BTW, is anyone going to organize an Ugly Sweater Contest? @realchaseadams excelled at providing us with such "glue"...

Josepf
Josepf moderator

Sandy @sandyhubbard will soon publish her timeline her on this blog as a followup - coda? to this post. Knowing Sandy; it ill be comprehensive and insightful. Can't wait. :) @myagenda @spofcher

spofcher
spofcher

@MatthewLiberty I'm sorry, but this is a knee-jerk reaction. Of course dying soldiers and homeless and hungry and etc. are more important than a hash tag. But you can say this about most anything and any type of discussion. The #UsGuys folks have a special bond internally. And externally it has been seen that #UsGuys are not selfish and unfeeling. They will help others who need help.Also, because the group is so large with many personalities, there will be drama. Not because we are greedy and selfish, but because many in the group are very passionate.

MimiBakerMN
MimiBakerMN

@MatthewLiberty And all this time I thought Liberty was your last name. =) Cheers to what you said. I loved #usguys for what they just did for #CampbellRiver. So yes, good was done here....well there, on Twitter. Good stuff my friend. And being able to celebrate in the new life you guys are waiting for, who could ask for more? *grin*

libbytalks
libbytalks

@MimiOrtega@jeannette@RicDragon Can hardly wait to meet you sometime Mimi, positivity and life just oozes out of your pores. And Jeannette we have discussed. Ric I need a job :)

spofcher
spofcher

@ken_rosen I never heard of the Gartner Hype Cycle. Where is the best place to get more information?

Wondering though:

Google+ = Technology Trigger because many people are still waiting to see what happens?

Pinerest = Peak of Inflated Expectations because it is all the rage and so many people are participating?

sandyhubbard
sandyhubbard

Ok, this thing is 8 pages long already. Maybe I was a bit ambitious to name it "Timeline." #usguys have done a lot in 14 months!

reneemmartinez
reneemmartinez

Hey - I love #usguys - I've made some amazing friends and I enjoy that I always feel that I can connect with people who have similar interests no matter where I am. I'll never forget the excitement and support shared by the #usguys crew when I was in Rwanda last summer - it was wonderful to have the support but also to have someone to share my experience with who genuinely cared. I won't change how I interact with the stream - I really enjoy being part of it. @spofcher @MatthewLiberty

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

I don't feel it's knee jerk at all, my initial reaction (first comment on the post) was far "mellower" than this response. I think people need perspective when we start looking at things in certain ways. Why debate over what #USguys is or was? It is something different for everyone, therefore the debate is for? Beyond that, was Josepf link baiting? Is Sean over sensitive? Who cares? So I bring it back to perspective...there are bigger fish to fry than a hashtag and trying to define what it is or was or what it is going to be. Evolution is normal, I get it, but some want to hold on to things, or spend too much time on trying to define something that is not "define-able". @spofcher

Josepf
Josepf moderator

@MimiBakerMN@MatthewLiberty Wow, a historic post. Perhaps we've all grown up together as a Tribe... or people. Matthew Liberty Browne agreeing with @dan perez as well. Ok, are we done with this topic and on to #Pie making now? I got a contest to win :)

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

My full name is Matthew Liberty Browne, go by Matt. Cheers Mimi, thank you. We are so stoked...can't wait to see the little one!! @MimiBakerMN

RicDragon
RicDragon

@libbytalks have jobs; but unfortunately, all here in the delightful upstate New York :-) How is it out there in Minnesota?

ken_rosen
ken_rosen

@spofcher As often true, Wikipedia does the nicest overview with a useful graphic: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hype_cycle.

You can use the Hype Cycle *either* to trace one technology through it's life or to map the current state of a bunch of technologies.

In this case, I suspect Twitter and the rise of hashtags was the Technology Trigger. The assertions #UsGuys would constitute a new paradigm in global, interest-based communities (heck, with discussion of monetization at one point) was the Peak of Inflated Expectations. The Trough of Disillusionment came with the realization that a hashtag wasn't actually going to revolutionize our business relationships--and in fact would bring some unfortunate baggage. The question is....are we still on the Slope of Enlightenment to realizing ways in which #UsGuys can offer value...and still on our way to some higher ultimate Plateau of Productivity? Or are we already as mutually valuable to each other as the "tribe" will ever go?

Ken

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

I agree Renee, and happy that you have your relationship with the USguys stream. I am not close with everyone in the stream, hell, I don't even have a relationship with my own mother so that's to be expected...can't like everyone. But I certainly am very appreciative of the people I have grown close with in this hashtag, people I think will be life long friends. We each have our own way of interacting with the stream and we each get something different out of it. I'd rather analyze why I love Captain Crunch versus a hashtag on Twitter...there is no finite answer to what USguys is, as it is something different to each person. @reneemmartinez @spofcher

Steve Birkett
Steve Birkett

@MatthewLiberty@spofcher I suppose there are always more important things upon which to focus, but clearly from the number of comments on @Josepf 's post, the past and future of the #UsGuys stream is of significant interest to a number of people. In the grand scheme it may be minutiae but these are the things that add daily spice to life. We also have more input and application into how this develops as (potentially) active members of an online community, where as with many of the worldwide issues we're simply a drop in the ocean, so there's that much-needed element of investment and inffluence in discussions such as this.

On the subject of less in-depth conversations in the stream, I think that we can all choose to either change that by participating more to that end with other #usguys, or simply find other forums such as chats and #Otable to get that fix. If not the former, it's perfectly understandable to see people drift away, as the factor that made it special for them at one point diminishes.

spofcher
spofcher

@MatthewLiberty I luv family stories like this.

My wife and I had kids later in life and they keep us young - ages 10 and 13.

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

Basically the first Liberty Browne in my family was in 1776, his first name was Liberty. From there it evolved into a middle name. It has skipped a generation here and there but overall it has remained intact through the family. My dad and brother both have Liberty as their middle name, although my dads dad did not. Through the decades and decades, I'd say there have been roughly 50 in the family with the name, although I could be off a bit.

Thanks, we have waited later in life to have a child, I just turned 35 and my wife turns 40 this month...we are very excited. We've had many nieces and nephews and in a previous marriage I raised a step son from 3 years old to about 14...so we have some experience.

Thank you again! @spofcher @Almost60Really

spofcher
spofcher

@MatthewLiberty@Almost60Really Cool middle name. Is there a story that goes with this? How many have this middle name? And good to see that you are carrying the tradition to the next generation.

Congrats by the way!! Your life will never be the same but you will never regret it.

Almost60Really
Almost60Really

@MatthewLiberty And will it be for the baby, or is it sex-specific historically? (Of course, things do change, as you said!)

MatthewLiberty
MatthewLiberty

I love ya J, that I know. Just hitting that point of my evening where the opinions flow. I love all the thoughts and opinions in your post and in all the comments...but you know what...my wife and the little person brewing in her belly are 8 trillion times more important than a hashtag. Cheers peeps, I know there's a way to get over ourselves and enjoy this journey together. @Josepf @MimiBakerMN @dan perez

libbytalks
libbytalks

 @RicDragon I still need a job, have you thought of expanding your operation? It's not that I haven't worked, but nothing sticks and I know I'm better than that. Someone else must know too!

libbytalks
libbytalks

@RicDragon Minnesota's cool, cold actually. I'm waiting on a job....still waiting and working my own business in the meantime! :) Thanks for responding! I think you're terrific! :)