Zejoop is in Beta test!

September 18th, 2013

Happy to announce that Zejoop is in Beta test! To capture this exciting milestone for posterity, here is a picture taken, on Monday September 16th 2013,  at the first event that that was fully planned, coordinated and executed using Zejoop:

Erick and Michael meeting during Zejoop's first full round trip event!

Erick and Michael meet to discuss how great it is to participate in Zejoop’s first official event!

Visit Zejoop to witness history in the making; be part of the Beta test phase (if you don’t mind a few rough edges and a little “construction dust”). There’s a “Zejoop Feedback and Support” button that makes it easy to report bugs and suggest new features. That would be the ideal way to help nudge Zejoop in the right direction.  Thanks for your interest! Leave a comment below if you’d like.

Magical Trails

February 20th, 2013
...I look like a giant with a little head!

I share this land with rabbit, coyote, and redtail hawks!

One of the small comforts of my day is the late afternoon walk I take in a substantial plot of undeveloped canyon country; coastal range terrain that is next to my community and bordered by Golden Valley. The terrain has a rolling aspect to it and the scrubby brush is criss-crossed by numerous animal trails created over the centuries by rabbit and coyote. These trails are at times direct, and at others, loopy and circuitous. In the late afternoon fading sun, just before sunset these trails are somewhat magical, begging for their full meanderings to be explored. Sometimes I get lost for a moment. Such moments are magical as they surface odd youthful feelings of awe – glimpses of discovery afforded by a time when the world seemed both smaller and larger, at the same time, than its true size.

At the end the trail, each day, as the last light fades away, I crest a high prominence and descend. I walk down the path slowly, and I see the world, exactly as it is, in truth.

 

Zejoop Defined!

October 10th, 2012

“Zejoop is a social planner…

…that provides event status, real-time updates, and rewards, all for doing the things you enjoy most!”

Tired of trying to coordinate casual get-togethers with friends using e-mail, frustrated with people who don’t check their inbox? Zejoop is for you! Confounded when you only have three friends committed for your golf outing, but you need to make a foursome for the round, forcing you to e-mail, or worse, call, to cancel? Zejoop is  for you! Looking for tools to make it easier to insure you have everything you need for your event? Like the idea of group-based and event-type discounts? Zejoop is for you!

Zejoop does all that, and more!

Plan your event from any desktop, laptop or mobile device – accept, decline or propose changes, all with Zejoop!

Visit us at Zejoop.com to explore our prototype demo capabilities.

Zejoop is a Santa Clarita Valley based tech startup that was developed over, and emerged as the Winner of,  SCV Startup Weekend held October 5 – 7, 2012. Zejoop is in pre-funding development and plans to enter the location based services market. For more information, please leave a comment below, or send e-mail to michael at zejoop dot com

Zejoop.com WINS the Premier SCV Startup Weekend Event!

October 9th, 2012
Zejoop for the Win!

We laughed, we cried, we coded, WE WON!

After a grueling 54 hour weekend of pitching, teaming, brainstorming, coding, laughing, crying, screaming, regaining composure, and then again pitching, the Zejoop Project won First Prize in the premier SCV Startup Weekend held on the weekend starting October 5th, 2012!

Curious to know what it is? Follow this Link:   Zejoop Defined!

Congratulations to the team, who are drawn from the local tech pool known as Team Transmuters, and are shown in the picture, from left to right: (ignore the large guy on the left – that’s me, project originator and team lead) Joshua Maddux, Bruce Whitney, Dennis Cheung, and George Vamos. Not shown are Jeremiah Bergman and Brian Ragazzi.

Visit us at Zejoop.com! Click on “Plan an Event” to use demo version.

More to follow…

Santa Clarita Valley Startup Weekend!

October 4th, 2012

Team Transmuters is ready to go for SCV Startup Weekend starting on Friday, October 5t,h at 6pm.  That time marks the beginning of a 54 hour sprint where the reward, in addition to the experience of building a new business from scratch, could even result in the green-lighting and funding of a new business for the top performing team or teams. As a national franchise with a great reputation and record of success, Startup Weekend helps jumpstart entrepreneurial activity and assist fledgeling teams to embark on new startup company ventures.

Team Transmuters is composed of  George Vamos, Senior Technical Advisor and backend developer, Michael LaRue, Project Engineer and frontend development, Bruce Whitney, Business Operations and Marketing, Brian, backend development, business logic, and infrastructure, and Dennis Cheung, UI/UX.

The team is prepared to make two pitches to mitigate risk associated with the Friday night downselect to 8 projects for the weekend development effort. A second downselect to three projects will occur midday Sunday. Those projects will then prepare and deliver product demos as well as a business plan presentation to the judging panel and the venture capitalists in attendance. Depending on the viability of any project, and the success of its development efforts, it is quite possible that one or more teams may conclude the weekend with an up-and-running businesses, if not engagement with funding from participating venture capitalists.

At the event, assuming one of its projects passes the downselect, and in order to supplement its core capabilities, Team Transmuters will likely be recruiting talent to contribute in the roles of [1]  Design, [2] additional Development (linux/java/python/groovy/grails, or some experience in another application framework such as Ruby-on-Rails) and possibly, [3],business activity support

Team Transmsuters is excited to participate in this event and to being a part of the SCV Startup community; a new community that is up to big things in the beautiful Santa Clarita Valley!

(for additional information, please leave contact info and any comments in the space below)

 

cairn

October 3rd, 2012

It had been a nice morning.

Woke up early and walked over the hill to my predawn swimming workout. I could traverse the back way, even as early dark as it was at 4:45am; a bright full moon, directly overhead, illuminated. Cross-country, as the coyote goes; night owls flying silent on the hunt.

Enjoyed a great workout in the diving well, set up as it was for short-course meters. Even though the team is on taper workouts leading up to a meet this weekend, there were some challenging sets. Several 200’s pace, followed by four fast 50’s had my chest heaving. I was alive with exertion and consumed by the effort. The usual people were going faster than me, and the usual people were chatting up a storm between sets. Par for the course – like I said, a great workout.

I chose to walk back home, this time taking the “urban route,” i.e., on the bike path alongside Golden Valley Road. A longer route, but being paved in asphalt, it’s an easier walk, especially after the hard swim. Slow and steady, up the hill – traffic whizzed by frantically.

Halfway up the hill, after the point the redwood post fence takes up, I saw a small creature, still and lifeless, right in the middle of the bikeway – a little bird.

I don’t know how long it had been there, but I doubt it was long. I suspect it had been flying fast and low, swooping down. Unaware of the bustling traffic, it must have struck a windshield. I imagine it stunned, and upended. Then tumbling out of the sky and landing, coming to rest in my path, not too long before I got there.

I noticed the bird, but walked past – in the habit of being anxious to start my workday, soon to be pounding a computer keyboard at Starbucks – I steadied on.

Then it occurred to me that this little bird deserved more consideration from me. What would it take for me to pay some small respect? Not much, so why not? I turned back.

I pulled a paper napkin from my pocket (editor’s note: Michael never travels without paper napkins) and used it to grasp the bird by its legs, and I lifted it gently. Past the edge of the bike path, and beyond the post-fence, I leaned in and pried up a good sized rock. The void left by the rock, where it had rested in the soil, was the perfect size to lay the bird. Back went the rock, gently. I found about six other stones of varying size and I used them to shore up the edges of the site. On top I placed a nicely shaped, medium sized rock. The memorial was complete, a cairn that enshrines a small bird; I continued with my walk.

So what is the point? If nothing else let his be a reminder to pay attention to the cairns. They are all purposeful, whether to mark a waypoint for fellow travellers, to serve as an impromptu work of art, or as in this case, to be a memorial. You never know what may have prompted a person to stack rocks one upon another, but maybe it is worth contemplating. Also, what things in our lives deserve attention, but don’t get it? I don’t have the answers. All I know is that this small bird got some consideration from me today, and I am the better for it – I am enriched by not letting its passing go unnoticed.

As I said at the beginning, it had been a nice morning, and now – yes – it still was a nice morning. It was simply not the same morning it would have been had I not looked down and built a cairn.

 

Things I do not need in my Olympics Coverage

July 29th, 2012

Social media and news aggregation spoiling key results; don’t need this.
Wincing and groaning commentators when gymnasts fumble routines; don’t need this.
Coverage of weightlifting events; don’t need this.

Olympics Ongoing

July 28th, 2012

Out of habit I often find myself checking Google news, but now that the Olympics have started I have to to be more restrained. I will follow swimming, gymnastics and some track & field. I don’t want any spoilers, so less reliance on news aggregation (sorry Google!). For example, tonight it will be Phelps and Lochte vs. the world in the 400m IM. My pick is Lochte.

Back in the Pool

July 27th, 2012

Been so busy clearing out my house in Downey for new tenants that had to forgo swimming this week, until this morning. It felt great to be back in the pool. Although, due to special events at my regular aquatic center, the team had to practice at an alternate pool in Newhall. Despite the being slightly too warm for great swimmimg, it still, great to be swimming before dawn.

Great Things Happening at SCV Startup!

July 26th, 2012

Over the past several months I’ve become engaged in a great local startup community at scvstartup.com. I’ve only been to three meetings but they have all been great! The group is getting the attention of VC players such as Jim Armstrong; witness this blog post. Next major event will be a Startup Weekend in early October! That’s huge! Why fight traffic going to Santa Monica when there’s a vibrant local community? I could easily walk to our meetups – hows that for concenience. Great group! Let’s have some fun!