Ask the Grim Reaper

No real value in this post, but something just for fun (although, maybe a bit morbid!). I think all of us know at least a handful of celebrities who share our birthday, but do you know who you've outlived?

Check out Dead At Your Age to find out the famous people who have died younger than you. Just put in your birthday and you'll be given results with details about each person who passed before you're current age (noted in years and days). I found it interesting that my top result was that I lived longer than a well-known Los Angeles Times reporter (considering I used to work at The Times).

So give it a whirl. At minimum, it's good fodder for your next cocktail party!

Tweet in Klingon

Are you a sci-fi geek? If so, this might be just the thing to send you over the moon.

If you and your friends are Trekkies, you'll want to check out Tweet in Klingon. You can put in your 140 characters and it will convert your English to Klingon, and send a tweet to all your followers.

DaH jaH vo' je mugh, ngan (that's Klingon for "Now go forth and translate, Earthlings.").

The Twitterific of 2009

As the year winds down, I want to take a moment to thank those in the Twitterverse who have made 2009 pretty memorable for me. Twitter has been so influential in my life this year and I would be remiss without acknowledging those who have made it something extra special.

@jeffpulver - Thank you for extending a scholarship to me and allowing an unemployed girl to attend your two-day Twitter conference. Because of your generosity, I forged many relationships that I know will last a lifetime. I have you to thank for that.

@ericgreenspan - I appreciate your invitation to join the planning team for the first-ever #140conf Los Angeles meetup. Your positive energy is contagious. Working with you was a great experience and it was so gratifying that our first collaboration was a real success!

@modelsupplies - Thank you for your never-ending support and amazing kindness. I'm still in shock that anyone would tweet about posts from both my blogs. You are an incredible person with such a generous spirit. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Anita.

@jeffrago - You possess the most remarkable Twitter etiquette. From our very first tweets, you made me feel included and heard. I am constantly impressed with your effort to acknowledge everyone who retweets you and your unending sense of gratitude. #GR8FL4U

- Thank you for including me, extending your friendship, and for welcoming me into your world. Not only do your tweets provide great information, but you are such a nice person. I consider myself lucky to be one of Calvin's Angels!

@forrestkoba - I am glad that we connected via Twitter and am happy to count you among my most favorite tweeps. Thanks for the interesting links you provide to the Twittersphere and for always being such a stand-up guy.

@staceysoleil - You have a remarkable way of connecting with people and making them adore you within two tweets or less. Thank you for your winning ways and for being someone who can always be counted on to give good tweet.

@regb232 - I think you retweet me more than anyone else. I know I'm not that fascinating, but thank you for making me feel as if I am.

Also a special shoutout to: @debssweet, @sinanyukali, @bigheadasian, @anythinganthony, @weileycoyote, @maddiemarshall1, @hoda007, @janewmeade, @jeanettejoy, @3lunches, @topbrokerOC, @robertmoranla, @ribeezie, @elayneboosler, @dvinmsm, @seanmalarkey, @jonathan360, @abutterflyloves, @pillpushera, @onegreengnome, @ladybead, and @funnykeithlyle.

Thank you all for making 2009 so Twitterific!

What are your resolutions for the new year?

As the year comes to an end and people start to contemplate their New Year's resolutions, I can't help but to find inspiration in this oldie, but goodie, from Baz Luhrmann.

Everybody's Free (to Wear Sunscreen) was released in 1998 as a guide to the graduating class of 1999. However, even 11 years later, the song is still as powerful and true as it ever was.

Think you need to make big changes in your life next year? Don't do a thing until you watch the video below. It'll be instrumental in helping you get your priorities straight.

Want to follow along? The brilliant lyrics can be found HERE.

Do you report GOOD customer service?

I am an equal opportunity tattletale. When I get really bad service, I'm not shy about speaking with the manager or the corporate office. However, along with reporting subpar service I strongly believe comes the duty to report excellent service, as well. Lately, I'm pleased to say I've had several really great customer service experiences.

My most recent positive encounter came this week at the dentist's office. After I almost fell asleep in the chair waiting for the dentist, the assistant stopped by and did his best to help me pass the time. We bonded over music (a conversation which was prompted by the Muzak being piped into the office) and, ironically, we discovered we had the same birthday! I'm skeptical, so I did ask to see his driver's license and, no lie, it was the same day.

It only took a little bit of friendliness and humanness to turn a long wait into a fun conversation that helped take my mind off the clock. And, when the dentist finally arrived I told him how delightful Julio had been and how much I appreciated his great people skills.

When was the last time you encountered a cashier who gave you a sincere smile and salutation? Do you remember a time when a clerk or waiter(ess) went above and beyond to get you what you needed? And, when was the last time you made sure the manager knew how much you appreciated that employee?

Good customer service is dependent on all of us. If we don't tell management about the good eggs, we can't complain about all the bad ones.

My avatar gets a thumbs up

I am extremely honored today to be included as a "good example" in Forrest Kobayashi's blog post about Twitter avatars. In addition to his regular, awesome blog, Forrest has started a second blog all about Twitter. TweetsPost has great Twitter tips and I'm sure will soon become a trusted resource for many savvy social media folks.

Click HERE to check out Forrest's piece on how to improve your Twitter profile photo. And, if you're inclined, leave a comment (we bloggers LOVE comments!).

Wanna raid a stranger's closet?

Love clothes, but don't have the budget to shop as much as you'd like? Well, ThredUP might just be your new best friend.

ThredUP is actually an interesting concept (especially in these economic times). It's kinda of like an online clothing swap. Essentially you register with ThredUP and tell them your size, brand preferences, and the kinds of clothing you would like. Then, you are notified when they find another member who has an item matching your criteria. To get the item, you need to send in a piece of clothing of your own for someone else to choose.

ThredUP asks that all clothes be in good condition (e.g. no stains, missing buttons, or holes), in style (i.e. no parachute pants!), and that you only give away what you'd be willing to receive. The trading is free, but ThredUP charges you for the pre-paid envelopes to send your clothes (three swaps cost $12.50).

If you have clothing that you never wear just sitting in your closet or drawers, ThredUP might be worth a look. If you decide to use their service, I hope you stop back by and leave a comment about your experience. It's a unique idea, but obviously not for everyone.

Your Twitter autobiography

Are you looking for the perfect holiday gift for one of your Twitter friends? Well, look no further, the 140bio is the perfect combination of high-tech and old school!

For only $18.99, you can purchase the Twitter fanatic in your life a paperback microbiography, complete with his/her last 3,200 tweets! This bound, soft-cover book includes the person's Twitter handle on the front and there are two design options for the artwork. You can also choose to print all tweets or exclude @replies (click HERE for a sample of the final product).

Thirty-two hundred tweets is quite a bit, and can span a significant amount of time for most of us. By having them all printed and bound, it's a wonderful way to reflect back on the events, emotions, and encounters that have shaped our lives.

So, what do you think? Is the 140bio going to make it onto your shopping list?
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