2008 Archive

A Salmon and a Dancing Hula Girl

Sun, 21 September 2008

Yesterday was a beautiful September morning. I convinced my friend Scott to get up early and join me for some salmon fishing off the mouth of the Genesee river on Lake Ontario. While Scott drove the Fish Fry I worked on setting the lines. As I was choosing which fishing rods to use, I saw the rig I took from my grandfather’s basement earlier this summer after he passed away. Even though it had 15 year old line on it, I asked grandpa if he’d help me out this morning with some luck. I put onto that rod, the lure I affectionately call “the dancing hula girl“. It’s a green Spin Doctor with an Atomik Fly (like this guy used) trailing behind it. It is a weird rig that I’ve never caught a darn thing on. I put down a good variety of other spoons and had the lines set by 6:45am.

Scott and I were chatting and not paying attention, and I looked over his shoulder from the drivers seat at about 7:15. I said “Hey, Scott!!! That’s a fish, could you go grab that?!” So he jumped up and grabbed the rod. With the line zipping out, I cleared the rest of the downrigger lines, then I grabbed the camera and shot this quick video:

Scott Ingraham catching his first big salmon

The fish fought for about 15 minutes, and at one point was more than 200 feet off the back of the boat. It was good to see Scott start to fatigue a bit as he got his first taste of horsing in a big one. Finally we tired out the salmon more than Scott, and unlike last year, I actually had a big enough net to get the fish in the boat.

Scott’s Salmon
15 lb. King Salmon

Kris with salmon
Striking a pose with the catch of the day

It was awesome to find out that the fish came on grandpa’s rod, and the ‘Dancing Hula Girl’. Thanks gramps, that was pretty cool! Scott and I both had a big smile on our face the rest of the morning even though we never got another hit. I went home and cleaned our fish, then Tricia and I cooked it for dinner on the grill. Grilled salmon marinated in Santa Fe Marinade is mmm…mmm…good.

This was enough excitement to last me until next year. I think Scott was pretty pumped because when I dropped him off his vacuum packed fillets at church today (good charter captain I am) he still was sporting that grin. Thanks for a fun morning Scott!

Posted in: Fishing, Life | 1 Comment »

“24” in 1994. Check out the Old School Internet.

Mon, 11 August 2008

This is a great spoof video showing the show 24 as if it were 1994. It reminds me of how far we’ve come in a very short period of time. I love when the boss picks up the phone and cuts off AOL – priceless. There isn’t any point in trying to explain vinyl records and cassette tapes to my kids anymore. Even the interweb look vastly different than it did before they were born. They’ve never even heard modem tones.

Posted in: Life, TV | No Comments »

Another CMO Bites the Dust: Joan Blackwood Out, Ted Gilvar In

Mon, 04 August 2008

Another CMO gets eaten

Monster moved their marketing program on to seemingly greener pastures by replacing Joan Blackwood with Ted Gilvar as Chief Global Marketing Officer. I met with Joan recently at the Monster Customer Advisory board, 6 months after I was critical of Monster’s new branding campaign. She and I discussed the circumstances of the campaign and both agreed that the timing was pretty poor. Monster hadn’t upgraded their product in months, so the promises of the campaign were not well delivered by the product. I can only imagine the pressure she was under to launch something new. The quick hook (14 months tenure) further bolsters the volatility of the CMO position, and ought to scare the crap out of anyone looking to move up in the marketing profession.

I know that Monster has some pretty extensive product changes coming down the pipe, so perhaps Mr. Gilvar’s original campaign vision will come to life. I can’t wait until our first meeting.

photo by dospaz

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Job Boards | No Comments »

Thousand Islands Mini-Vacation

Wed, 30 July 2008

For our 10th anniversary weekend we headed off to Chippewa Bay in the 1000 Islands for a couple days of fun with our friends Marc and Janet and their kids, Mia and Lucas. On Sunday morning we hooked up our boat and left the house at 9:45. We took a really nice drive east on 104 through all of the eastern Lake Ontario fishing towns like Sodus, Pulaski, Oswego, and Mexico. We arrived at around 12:30pm at the public boat launch. There, we left our boat trailer locked up and drove the boat over to the cabin which was less than half a mile away.

Jesse’s Island
The cabin is at the end of a steep road to the water’s edge. On the land where we stayed was the owner’s cabin, and a guest cabin that the 8 of us stayed in. The cabin is on Jesse’s Island, which I would suppose is one of the 1,793 islands that make up the area.

Mia and Anna on Jesse’s Island
Mia and Anna on Jesse’s Island

Here Fishy Fishy
The 2 boats at the dock
I brought the Fish Fry, but the best “yacht” in the place was the pontoon boat
We took the boat out fishing while Marc’s family went on the 24 foot pontoon boat they had rented. We spent a good amount of time out on the water drift fishing with worms. We got tons of small perch. As we peered over to the fishin’ barge we saw Janet hook a nice 3.3 pound walleye, and a small Northern Pike. We knew who we were fishing with the rest of the trip for sure. The pontoon boat worked out much better to get the whole crowd of us to have fishing fun together.

Anna pets a Northern Pike
Anna pets the nice Northern pike lovingly.

Island Hopping
Perhaps the best part of going to the 1000 Islands is island hopping. There was a nice state park right by where we fished every day, so it gave us a chance to explore. The island had a few tent sites and a beautiful picnic shelter. Someday, it might be fun to camp there.
Cedar Island State Park
We parked the boat on shore and poked around the island.

Mason and Anna Go Down the Tubes
On Monday afternoon the weather was kind of crummy and we had been fishing all morning. Rather than sit inside, I thought we could try a water activity. Heck, we were going to get wet anyway. I had purchased an inexpensive tube and tow rope from Dick’s to bring with us on the off chance that I might entice one of the kids to hop in the water and get dragged around by the boat. Sure enough, Anna was game for the adventure, but Mason wasn’t feeling well.

We took out the pontoon boat, hooked up the tube, and I hopped in for a trial run. Anna saw me getting dragged around having a good time, but was a little concerned when I flipped off the tube after doing some tricks. Nonetheless, she hopped into the tube giving me explicit instructions not to go fast or do tricks to flip us off. Well, I had Marc start off really slow. After a while we sped up a bit more, and Anna was having a blast! We talked the whole time together about how much fun we were having. Then I had Marc goose the throttle a bit more so we could get the tube on plane and get my legs out of the water. That’s when Anna had enough. She started to scream like she does on a kiddie coaster, “This is a nightmare!, This is a nightmare!”. I just thought that was priceless. So, we slowed down and congratulated Anna on her first tube ride. (The pictures are still on Marc’s camera). It was awesome!

Mia and Lucas both had their first turn on the tube as well (with Marc and Janet riding along). They both had a blast in their first experiences too. We went in after the first round of tubing to pick up Mason and Tricia. Luckily Mason was feeling better and he wanted to give tubing a whirl. Tricia was the first to take him out. She had the boat up to full speed, and had Mason outside of the wakes! He loved it. Then it was my turn to go out with the boy. I got even more aggressive with it at full speed, and he just never wanted to quit. Nothing beats the smiles that the whole crew had on their faces.

Mason and Tricia Tubing
Tricia takes Mason on his first tube ride

Kris and Mason tubing together
Kris and Mason go outside of the wakes

Tourist Fun
We also had a chance to check out a few spots in the tourist mecca of Alexandria Bay. My favorite, of course is the 1000 Islands Bait Store, the ultimate fishing shop. My kids really liked our scavenger hunt at Mazeland. Mazeland is a labyrinth of bushes that you try to find your way through. You go through it looking for letters that make up the word of the day. If you get the word of the day right, the kids get a prize, and the adults were entered into a drawing for one too. Mason enjoyed the life sized chess board in downtown Alex Bay. When we got back from the trip all he wanted to do was learn to play chess. That is one of his new favorite things.

Krolczyk family at Cedar Island
The Krolczyk clan in their favorite part of the world

Thanks to Marc, Janet and the kids for sharing their yearly family vacation with us. It was a lot of fun.

Posted in: Family and Friends, Fishing, Life, Travel | No Comments »

Setting Up a Legal Review Center, Reality Style

Wed, 30 July 2008

Live and direct from the Hudson homepage today is the 3rd episode of the online video magazine that has been a labor of love for me. The shoot for this video was a ton of fun. I had never been to Philly before, so visiting a new city and catching a ballgame was awesome.

I also really got to know Ed Caufield, the highest quality human you could meet – seriously. Not many people are enthusiastic about having a camera in their face while they do their job, but Ed embraced the project wholeheartedly. Whereas some people need directing, Ed had the locations for the shoot planned out for us. Ed is also Mr. Philadelphia. He is such a genuine and likable person, that he knows everyone in the building from the top manager to the parking lot attendant. When he walks down the street people honk their horn and say “Hey Ed what’s up!”. He’s just that nice, and that much fun to work with.

So, enjoy the vid, and let me know what you think.

Posted in: Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Projects, Web Video | No Comments »

Has It Really Been 10 Years?

Fri, 18 July 2008

According to the calendar, today is my 10th anniversary. Tricia and I have been through a lot since July 18, 1998. Here’s a quick review:

  • 2 kids
  • 10 different jobs (between us)
  • 5 different home addresses

We’ll probably spend tonight watching the wedding video that I spliced together from some grainy VHS tapes just recently. I’ll save the hour long version for our own personal viewing. Here’s the abridged version of our wedding ceremony.

A special ‘I love you’ goes out to my lovely bride, of course. I so look forward to what adventures the next 10 years will bring.

Posted in: Anniversaries, Life | 3 Comments »

Hudson Launches its First Blog: IT Hire Wire

Mon, 14 July 2008

IT Hire Wire Banner

Last week Hudson launched IT Hire Wire, a blog targeted at professional-level IT candidates. For me, it is the culmination of nearly 10 months of work to test a more transparent way of doing business online for Hudson, and an intense bit of learning in my marketing career (check my tweets along the way). Before I get to outlining the project and some of the lessons learned to date, let me first encourage you to visit the blog, read some entries, and leave any comments that you’d like regarding the project. I appreciate any feedback received.

Making the Case for a Recruiting Blog
IT Hire Wire originated through the same strategic process that brought about our Web Video efforts. As I mentioned here,

…our global marketing team convened to discuss new media and the social web phenomena. At the time, recruitment on Second Life and MySpace was grabbing headlines, while YouTube and blogging were creeping into corporate communication strategy. The common themes were transparency, authenticity and audience control of the message.

On a limited budget we agreed to test one or two new media channels to begin to participate in this movement. While not ideal to choose a channel before defining goals, we knew that a certain amount of experimentation would be required to remain competitive.

To shepherd the project, I started by getting more knowledgeable about blogging than I ever had been before. I familiarized myself with the latest tools like WordPress and various social websites like MyBlogLog, Del.icio.us, RSS feeds, Twitter, and Facebook. This resulted in my new personal blog and a blogroll filled with competitive sites that I admire.

With this as a backdrop, I lobbied hard for the blog project when budget season came around. I wanted the help of an agency to make sure we set the cultural groundwork properly within Hudson, and to have enough resources to complete the project on top of an already heavy load.

Enter Cowboy Advertising
In November of 2007, we contracted with Cowboy Advertising to assist with our blog effort. From that time until our launch, the Cowboy team was instrumental in getting our internal group of bloggers aligned with the project mission. Together we chose our IT practice to pilot the program because we felt the target audience was most comfortable with blogs. At the same time our IT recruiters were likely to be the most blog-savvy of our employee population.

Creative Direction
Cowboy helped to facilitate conference calls as we concurrently decided upon a creative and technical direction as well as got our bloggers up to speed on how to write content. We wanted to differentiate the site’s look from the many tech news or gadget blogs out there and, at the same time not take ourselves too seriously. We ended up with a theme that evokes the balance of work, life, and the technical knowledge it takes for a successful IT career.

The Cost of Blog Development
None of the agency-provided services came without cost. While the theory is that you can do a blog for practically free on any public blogging platform in an evening, the reality is that involving an agency cost us significant dollars. I do believe that it bought us excellent creative, and a thought out editorial process that will be crucial to our long-term success.

I’ll provide updates on further development as the project progresses. For now enjoy the blog, and let me know what you think!

Posted in: Blogging, Interactive Marketing for Staffing Firms, Projects, Staffing Firm Blogs | No Comments »

4th of July 2008: Fireworks, Family and Poppy in the Sprinkler

Sun, 13 July 2008

For the fourth of July, we had some good times at Conesus Lake. Much of the Rzepkowski clan came into town to enjoy the Ring of Fire on the 3rd. Wendy and Ian even drove up from South Carolina, and with them came both of my grandmas and Barb Polasik, my grandma’s cousin from Virginia, who is just a terrific lady.

A Flame Lit for Lefty
At dusk we started off the fireworks show by writing messages to grandpa on a Chinese lantern. We had a lighting ceremony with some prayers and then sent it off into the sky. We expected it to go thousands of feet into the sky and see its way to heaven. Instead it went about 100 feet, then came down like the Hindenburg. It was still very touching, and beautiful.

Neal with Chinese Lantern
Uncle Neal lights the Chinese lantern. If you look closely you can read the messages to Lefty

Ian also brought with him about $300 worth of fireworks that we lit off at the end of the dock, adding our own personal show to the thousands of crazies trying to outdo each other.

Fireworks at the lake
One of the many fireworks shot off at the lake

The children’s ahhs tell the whole story

On the 4th we made a HUGE breakfast of Belgian waffles and egg casserole. Then, Ian, Dad, Mike and me went to Livingston Country Club for a round of golf. I was on my way to my goal of breaking 100 for the first time. But, at hole 15 my stamina went out the door, and I had 7’s and 8’s for the rest of the round, leaving me with a 111. Luckily we are all in the high-scoring club so that was good enough for second place.

Golf at Livingston Country Club
Dad “executes” a 60 ft. putt while Ian provides the typical hi-jinx

Th rest of the weekend we had great weather, so we took the kids swimming in the not-so-warm water and went on a nice long boat ride. There was plenty of drinking and fishing to keep us occupied too. As is our tradition, we topped it off with our yearly family photo in the Old Navy flag tees.


At Nana and Poppy’s House
After our trip to the lake we went to Nana and Poppy’s house for some more relaxation and Mush for dinner. It was hotter than blazes on that Sunday, so the kids convinced Poppy that they should all go in the sprinkler. That set us up for some ideal photos of grace and beauty in action. Have a look:

Poppy and Mason in the Sprinkler
Poppy and Mason having fun in the sprinkler

Poppy and the kids in the sprinkler
Grace in action: Poppy and the kids jump through the sprinkler

Happy 4th of July everyone!

Posted in: Golf, Holidays, Life | No Comments »

I’m Starting My Candidacy Today

Mon, 07 July 2008

Thanks you Internet for your support! I’m going to be deciding on my running-mate in the very near future. It’s a toss up between Luke Duke and Chewbacca. Let me know who you think I should choose.

Posted in: Life, Oddities | No Comments »

We Got High and Went Fishing

Wed, 02 July 2008

Last weekend we hopped in the car and made the trek to Watkins Glen for some “kamping” with friends at the Watkins Glen KOA. First, let me say that K is the best letter of the alphabet, so the fact that everything at KOA starts with K (a not so-clever use of metaplasmus) makes it even better. In fact we stayed in Kamping Kottages which is about as luxurious as camping gets. I highly recommend them.

Of the many amenities right there in the KOA is a Jumping Pillow. Unfortunately I went on with little Anna first and 3 jumps into the fun she landed wrong on the pillow and twisted her knee. She was hobbled the rest of the weekend after that one, so we learned a lesson there. Anyway, Tricia, me and all of the kids on the trip had a grand old time getting high. Check it out:

Tricia gets airborne on the Jumping Pillow
Tricia goes airborne on the Jumping Pillow

Kris Gets High on the Jumping Pillow
Kris gets high on the Jumping Pillow

Crayfish are a Hit
There was a big gully behind our cabins with a creek running through it. The boys always wanted to go down into the creek to find crayfish. So, after spending lots of time getting muddy and collecting some of the mini-lobsters, Marc got the bright idea to throw them into the fishing pond as bait. Lo and behold that was the ticket. So the secret is now out. KOA fishing pond + crayfish = big bass.

Lucas with Bass
Lucas Krolczyk puckering up to one of the big bass he and his dad, Marc caught

Not to be outdone, Anna and I hit the pond hard with the Barbie pole and some fresh night crawlers. We both practiced lots of patience and came up with a few nice sunfish for our efforts.
Anna and Daddy Fishing
Anna and Daddy wait patiently for a fish to bite.

Lots of Exercise
Tricia wrote about how much exercise she got on the trip, so we weren’t just lazing around, for sure. We had a wonderful time with all of our friends this weekend. Thanks for the memories!

Camping with friends at KOA
The Kamping Krew.
Back Row (From Left):Lucas Krolczyk, Kris Rzepkowski, Mason Rzepkowski, Anna Rzepkowski, Mike Gregoire, Bonnie Gregoire
Front Row (From Left):Janet Krolczyk, Mia Krolczyk, Tricia Rzepkowski, Marc Krolczyk, Oscar Gregoire

Posted in: Family and Friends, Life, Travel | No Comments »


This is my Life as a 37 year old husband and father of two and my Work as Executive Director of Marketing at Bennett International Group in Mconough, GA relocating from home in Rochester, NY.
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