Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brig on Board... Habitat for Humanity

So, in other Marriott School news. The Marriott on Board program is another program that I am excited to be a part of. I was asked to be a Board Fellow for Habitat for Humanity. You can read the article on the Marriott School web site here:


Or the article here:

Students Jump On Boards

January 16, 2009


A new program at Brigham Young University is giving graduate students the chance to become board members of nonprofits in Utah Valley.

"Marriott On-Board was started by the BYU chapter of Net Impact as a way to give Marriott School graduate students a chance to give back to the community by using their business skills, education and expertise in a nonprofit setting," says Jeff Stevens, a second-year MBA student from Centerville, Utah, and BYU Net Impact vice president of marketing. "Student participants, called board fellows, can gain experience while applying the concepts they are learning in the classroom."

Marriott On-Board offers a rare opportunity for students to get involved in an organization's board of directors and gives students involvement in the strategic planning process of nonprofits. While the students are non-voting members of the boards, they will sit in on board meetings, participate in discussions and assist with projects.

"The Marriott On-Board program is a dream come true for me," says Craig Anderson, a first-year MBA student from Austin, Texas, who was selected to work with United Way of Utah County. "My personal and career plans have always included participation on boards of community organizations; I just assumed it would have to come after a successful professional career."

To participate, students are required to submit applications and interview with Net Impact student leaders.

"One thing we look at is their passion and intrinsic motivation," says A-Young Kim, a second-year MBA student from Seoul, Korea, and Marriott On-Board program director. "They must be committed to furthering this kind of initiative and likely to continue to further these types of initiatives throughout their lives."

This year nine nonprofits have arranged to participate in the program, including: United Way, Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, Project Read, Community Action Services, Centro Hispano, Reagan Academy, Family Support Center and Merit Academy.

Jonathan Kau, a member of the board of directors at United Way of Utah County and the BYU associate dean of students, is a board mentor for the program and says he has enjoyed seeing the students get involved in their community.

"I have been both pleased and impressed with the students' enthusiasm to learn and their interest in community affairs." Kau says. "Their contributions will prepare them for future service opportunities and further develop their sense of social responsibility."

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Cindy Badger

Toot My Own Horn... U. of Maryland M&A Competition

So here is the press release on the Marriott School of Management website about my 3rd place win at the Univeristy of Maryland M&A Competition...


And here is the article...

BYU Team Places at Mergers and Acquisitions Challenge

January 26, 2009

Mergers and acquisitions can be lucrative, as a team of MBA students from Brigham Young University learned when they won third place and $1,000 at the Second Annual Smith Mergers and Acquisitions Competition in Maryland.

The case competition, hosted by the University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business, gives teams one day to create a persuasive argument in favor of a merger and acquisition proposal — this year for Dell.

"There was something incredibly valuable in working under a compressed time frame and diving into the case that helped me understand how financial information is used to make business decisions," says Allison Clements, a first-year MBA student from Salt Lake City. "Having that perspective has helped me in my MBA classes as I study how management teams approach decisions."

The BYU team put together a proposal for Dell to acquire Computer Science Corporation and prepared a presentation to support their reasoning. This type of experience helps set students apart, especially as they prepare to enter a workforce filled with economic uncertainty.

"While economic events sweeping through Wall Street have altered the landscape for mergers and acquisitions, they have not changed the need for skilled graduates," says G. "Anand" Anandalingam, dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. "This competition gives business students the opportunity to hone valuable and needed experience under tight deadline pressure that mirrors the conditions of the real world."

BYU's team included second-year MBA students Bryson Lord from Salt Lake City and Brigham Cochran from Houston; and first-year MBA students Spiro Savov from Bulgaria and Clements.

"Our team had complementary skill sets," says Grant McQueen, professor of finance and the team's faculty adviser. "Bryce and Brigham have excellent finance and quantitative skills, Spiro has a strong strategy and consulting background, and Allison has good marketing skills. The team also had good chemistry, which comes from shared values."

Stephen Gaines, managing director of KPMG Corporate Finance and a final-round judge, says it's that type of collaboration and unity that sets the winning teams apart.

"The teams that came out on top were those that came together, had complementary skills and could show passion about what they believed, even if the judges were questioning it," Gaines says.

The University of Chicago placed first and won $5,000, and Purdue University was awarded $2,500 for placing second.

The Marriott School is located at Brigham Young University, the largest privately owned, church-sponsored university in the United States. The school has nationally recognized programs in accounting, business management, public management, information systems and entrepreneurship. The school's mission is to prepare men and women of faith, character and professional ability for positions of leadership throughout the world. Approximately 3,000 students are enrolled in the Marriott School's graduate and undergraduate programs.

Contact: Joseph Ogden (801) 422-8938
Writer: Cindy Badger

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snowbaord Bag... Part 3... The Pattern


Anybody looking here for a pattern obviously doesn't know me very well. The fabric is my pattern.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Snowboard Bag... Part 2... The Design

So I decided to go with a smooth clean design for this bag. Stephanie is still deciding on the colors, but I think she is going to do the celery on charcoal, but we would like to hear your preferences in this weeks poll question. I am a huge fan of those colors. I can get both in a PVC backed 1000d Cordura Nylon.

I had hoped to use a lighter PVC backed 340d Polyester, but my color choices are more limited there. I am going to still use a framesheet, but I need to decide if I want to do both the top and bottom with a framesheet, or just the bottom and sides and let the top float. I will probably just do a framesheet all the way around, just to make sure that the shape is nice and clean.

My other big choice here is whether to use tarp in the snowboard compartment (I am going to do this is in the boot box because it worked really nice in the bag I just finished.) or if I am going to try to find some really nice mildew resistant synthetic fur. I think the fur would be really nice, and it would defray any side damage like the tarp, but add a luxurious touch. It might take some research to find the fur, but it would probably be worth it. As long as it holds up to some water which always ends up in the bag as the excess snow from the board melts, I think it is a go. Let me know what you think.

Some other details that I am going to add include a hideaway removable backpack strap attachment for an Arc'teryx pack harness, a fully reinforced side handle for easy transport when not in backpack mode, as well as a shoulder strap set up. I think that the boot box section of the bag is going to be zipper enclosed to keep it separate from the rest of the bag, but have drain hole grommets to keep air flowing and let water escape (which reminds me, I need to add the grommets to my gear bag).

Anyway, if you have any questions about this project, just leave a comment in the comment section or email me for more details. Just remember, I am not making bags because they are cheaper, they most certainly are not. If you want to make bags like this you will invest a lot in time and materials, but you get exactly what you want. My gear bag cost about $75 in materials, and aobut 20 hours in total design and production time. I could have bought the Dakine bag for $44. Stephanie was a fan of the purchase option, I get cranky when I am in production mode (mostly because I hate putting these things together, I need an intern that works for free).

Also, if any of my mom's out there have a serger that they want to donate to the cause, feel free to FedEx it to me, I also accept hand delivered sergers, or snail mail US postal service shipments. I prefer Bernina, but would be willing to accept Juki or Consew. I also accept cash. I also accept embroidery machines. Thanks.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Snowboard Bag... Part 1... The Idea

So, the results are in. In my "Design Your Own Outdoor Gear Series" The Masses (creative license says 7 votes = Masses) have voted and YOU, The 4 readers of this blog (3 of which likely voted twice) decided that my next project is going to be a new snowboard bag.

So here is how this is going to work. I am going to post my thoughts and initial designs here, and you, the readers are going to critique them and make suggest changes that I will promptly disregard because let's face it, if you were a good designer coming up with semi-innovative designs, I would be reading your blog. However, I will give your suggestions due consideration.

I have decided however to combine 2 of the choices and do a snowboard bag for Stephanie. Since I already have the fabric, I think that I am going to do an all in 1 bag.

Now there are a couple of different basic designs here. The first is a center opening, single zipper bag that you can dump your board in, and then just pile the rest of your crap on top of the board with no separation. That is too easy, and I already have 2 of those (albeit they are single layer shells that are getting cut up by the board edges). So I am thinking double side zipper, when lying flat, bottom opens to snowboard compartment, and top opens to 3 compartments, Jacket/, Pants, Boots, and Gloves-Hat-Goggles.

I will post prelim-drawings later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jolly Roger

This is what I want for graduation. Here is the ensuing conversation (that never actually took place, however I am willing to have a dramatic pre-re-creation)

Brig: Yo, wife. I found a really cool watch that I would love to get for graduation.

Wife: Really? where did you see it?

Brig: On the wrist of the Managing Director of Corinthian Capital when I was in Manhattan last year.

Wife: That's ambitious, how much money did he make last year?

Brig: Probably $8-12 million, why?

Wife: How much did you make last year?
(since when did I ask stupid questions?)

Brig: Irrelevant, I was pursuing higher education and investing in our family's future.

Wife: Interesting, it seems that you invested more money in Diet Coke at Wendy's than you did in (sarcastic tone) "Our family's future."

Brig: Huh? Those were networking Diet Cokes. Why are you changing the subject?

Wife: I'm just saying, what you spent in Diet Coke probably could have bought that watch. How much is it anyway?

Brig: Interesting you should bring that up.

Wife: Stop stalling, number... now...!
(See here is where you know that I didn't actually have this conversation because instead of saying anything I'd probably stare him down or glare at him until he coughed up the price. This must be what he hears in his head when I give him the look. Apparently my staring is pretty expressive.)

Brig: So that is hard to answer. They only made 500 of them, and if you can find one, they run about $6,500.

Wife: Serious? You think that I am going to buy you a $6,500 watch, and you can't even find the last watch I bought you?

Brig: I'm pretty sure that that watch is in my pack, or maybe in the pocket of the tent I used to take Little Guy camping last year.

Wife: Last year? Camping? Random tent pockets? You might as well try to find Atlantis. You lost it, and you lost your new Mountain Hardware jacket too, where is that?

Brig: I get it, but this is different, this has a skull on it.

Wife: Great, a $6,500 watch with a skull on it, that makes me feel a lot better. I pretty sure you can get one of these out of a box of Cap'n Crunch.
(I got a watch out of a Fruit Loop box in my undergrad days. It had the toucan on it. And I think I still have it.)

Brig: Um, Cap'n Crunch isn't a pirate.

Wife: Serious, we are going to debate good versus evil, and you are asking for a $6,500 dime store novelty item? Wow, wow.

Brig: So that's a "no" right?

Wife: Go find you jacket, then come talk to me.

So, as you can see, I need a fund raiser. So rather than putting on a speedo and begging you to let me wash your car, I will just ask you to send cash. Thanks.

(PS - He's still looking for that jacket--last year's "had to have" item).

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Makings of a Bag... Part 3

Well, with the exception of a couple of corner stitches (that will probably have to be done by hand, and some seam binding, this bag is done.

As you can see, today I just had to put together the top of the bag. I had already finished the boot box, and had all of the top pieces cut out, but tonight was final assembly night. The hardest thing that I had to do tonight was insert the tope entry zipper. I am still not really happy with the way the inside seam turned out, but I will deal with that another day. This was hard because obviously the outside curve of the zipper is longer than the inside curve. I started by sewing the outside curve, and I don't know if that is the right way to do this. Anyway, it looks ok.

The next thing to do was to attach a 2" strip to the end of my top piece. I decided to add this piece to catch my zipper ends, so that I didn't have to bother with those as I was attaching the top and bottom pieces together. I think this turned out really nice. I wanted to throw some logoing on the strip, but lost motivation.

So after that was together, I pieced together the top section, it was a real bear. I used so much reinforcing that the seams were hard to hold together, and the curves were difficult to manage, but I muscled through it and it turned out pretty nice.

Here you can see the top an bottom pieces separate, and getting them together was no small task. I thought this would be easier because I decided to only use the zipper as my main attachment point, but it wa snot that easy, especially when the zipper pulls kept getting in the way. So this is why I have a couple of hand stitches to put in befor I can call this thing complete.

I am digging the orange for the inside of the top compartment, and the blue for the bottom compartment. That turned out pretty fly.

I picked up some yellow 600d PVC backed polyester to make one of these for Stephanie, but we are waiting to see if we can find a different color besides black to use for the bottom section. Maybe I'll just do the whole thing in yellow, but I would like some contrast if I am going to use color on this.

So see the final pics below. I was going to throw my gear in this a get a good shot, but my boots are out in the car and if I disarm the alarm on the LandCruiser, Koa will go nuts and wake up the twins. So no "in-use" photo today.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Makings of a Bag... Part 2

I didn't get a lot done on this last night, but I did like what I got done.

I put together the sides of the bag. I decided to go with orange on the inside of the top compartment. My jacket has some orange on it, I had some waterproof 200d PVC backed nylon, so it was a go. It was either this or some 1980's teal blue. So orange it was.

I didn't want to put a heavy reinforcement framesheet in the sides, but I did put in some heavy stiffner. I think this will be about right.

Then I decided to add some flair. I decided to freehand my initials, because you know, if I have to write my name in my underoos, why not put my initials on my bag. I really just needed to break up the black space with something. I considered a water-bottle pocket, but want to be able to throw this under a plane if necessary. Then I figured with my initials on one side, I might as well put something else on the other side. So I went with a skull and crossbones. For pure freehand, I thought it turned out pretty well.

I am taking donations for a new embroidery machine, so just let me know what you would like to donate and you can either send a check or PayPal me the cash. Don't be shy, I accept all amounts, even if they are over $500. With this new machine I can make some sweet skulls to put on my bags. So don't be cheap, donate today. If you don't send cash, I might send your email address to the Obama campaign and you are going to ger 5 emails a day asking for cash to fund his innaguration, or to drive to Colorado to knock on doors, etc. Beleive me, you don't want to be on this list, I've been trying to unsubscribe for months.

Monday, January 05, 2009

The Makings of a Bag... Part 1

So, I have decided to do a full pictorial of how I am making my new snowboarding bag. So here goes.

I started with 340D PVC backed Ripstop Nylon. To this I added a #4 YKK coil Zipper. The purpose for the zipper is so that I can add and remove a framesheet from the bag. I wanted this so that I could adjust the stiffness of the back of the bag depending on whether I use it as more of a backpack rather than a carry bag.

This is the back panel with the zipper installed. Next I added a piece of backing to this to serve as the pocket for the framesheet. I used another piece of 340d Ripstop, however I could have used something lighter as it will never see the light of day and does not need to be very durable. Looking back I should have just used a piece of colored 200d flag nylon, durable enough to do the job, but very light weight.

To this base, I added A pocket to hold an Arc'teryx shoulder harness, as well as a couple of loops to hold the harness adjustment straps. I also added a waist belt with an accompanying stash pocket. This is pretty much the finished backing for the pack/ bottom of the bag.

Here I added reinforced sides (I added non-removable plastic framesheet material to the sides and attached them to the bottom section of the bag.

I then added a #10 YKK coil zipper to 3 sides of the bag. This looked really killer before I had to unstitch it 4 times because I decided to embed the internal tarp material behind the zipper. I won't even talk about the stupid mistakes I made here, but now I know, this should be a breeze now.

This is the tarp that is going in the box. This is to ensure that no melted snow gets to the jackets/ gloves/ hats etc in the main compartment that is going on top of this.

More to come later.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Sundance Ski Adventure

So this is one of the full length videos of Little Guy skiing. He did pretty well. And this time I didn't have to carry him up the hill, he took the rope-tow.