Tiki Time

The Kevdo.com blog hasn’t been very active, but I’ve been blogging nearly every day on Instagram under my Search for the Ultimate Mai Tai handle.

This recent post got a lot of likes. It’s a series of shots from an episode of Three’s Company where Jack Tripper visits a tiki bar. Those drinks are pretty strong, aren’t they?

Microsoft Ignite Conference Session Replays

I recently attended the Microsoft Ignite Conference in Orlando, Florida.  While there, I participated as a speaker for three sessions. One was a panel around employee engagement using Yammer. I had planned this and in the last two weeks before the conference we were asked to change this from a presentation-heavy 45 minute session into an open panel discussion at 75 minutes. We also had to change days due to some travel issues with other speakers, so we had a tough time slot on the first day of the conference. The other two presentations were smaller theater sessions in the Expo hall.

Here are the replays. Click the links for additional info or to download the slide decks.

THR2133 - Microsoft Teams and Yammer: Important differences and key use cases

Despite similar appearances and some functional similarities, Microsoft Teams and Yammer are not interchangeable. This presentation discusses the important functional differences and which scenarios are best fits for each tool. This goes beyond Inner/Outer Loop positioning and digs into the feature sets of each product, demonstrating use cases that lend themselves to one tool or the other.

THR1082 - Using Office 365 to increase IT end-user engagement

Review examples of how IT teams can use the Office 365 suite for more meaningful engagement with end-users. Includes details on how the support teams can more effectively collaborate to solve issues and ways the suite can be used to deliver training and learning material. Products covered: Yammer, Microsoft Teams, SharePoint

BRK1087 - MVP Panel and Q&A: Using Yammer for employee communications and engagement

Join Kevin Crossman, Amy Dolzine, Loni French, Melanie Hohertz and Martina Grom for a Yammer MVP panel discussion led by Scott Ward. Hear about how Yammer helps organizations create deeper connections and fosters innovation while achieving company goals. Learn about Yammer-based examples of communications and engagement programs delivered at a diverse set of leading organizations. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own Yammer questions for the panel to address.

Fearless Oscar Predictions 2018

Final Tally: 18/24, not bad this year

Best Picture:
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Lead Actor:
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

Lead Actress:
Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actor:
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

Supporting Actress:
Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

Director:
“The Shape of Water,” Guillermo del Toro

Animated Feature:
“Coco,” Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson

Animated Short:
“Garden Party,” Victor Caire, Gabriel Grapperon

Adapted Screenplay:
“Call Me by Your Name,” James Ivory

Original Screenplay:
“Get Out,” Jordan Peele

Cinematography:
“Blade Runner 2049,” Roger Deakins

Documentary Feature:
“Icarus,” Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan

Documentary Short Subject:
“Heroin(e),” Elaine McMillion Sheldon, Kerrin Sheldon

Live Action Short Film:
“DeKalb Elementary,” Reed Van Dyk

Foreign Language Film:
“A Fantastic Woman” (Chile)

Film Editing:
“Baby Driver,” Jonathan Amos, Paul Machliss

Sound Editing:
“Dunkirk,” Alex Gibson, Richard King

Sound Mixing:
“Dunkirk,” Mark Weingarten, Gregg Landaker, Gary A. Rizzo

Production Design:
“The Shape of Water,” Paul D. Austerberry, Jeffrey A. Melvin, Shane Vieau

Original Score:
“The Shape of Water,” Alexandre Desplat

Original Song:
“Remember Me” from “Coco,” Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez

Makeup and Hair:
“Darkest Hour,” Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick

Costume Design:
“Phantom Thread,” Mark Bridges

Visual Effects:
“War for the Planet of the Apes,” Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett, Joel Whist

2017 Tiki Bar Visits

I visited 25 tiki bars in 2017, which is a mix of luck and effort. I was fortunate to visit some new cities, where I was able to visit some great tiki bars. In particular, the tiki bars in San Diego and Portland were highlights. Some bars below I was able to visit several times.

Surprises? Tiki-Ko in Bakersfield is amazing and well worth going out of your way to visit. I had suuuuuper high expectations for False Idol and Hale Pale and in both cases all the expectations were exceeded. Superb places!

The Jungle Bird in Sacramento

The Jungle Bird in Sacramento

  1. Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto (Orlando)
  2. Trader Vic’s Emeryville
  3. Smuggler’s Cove (SF)
  4. Forbidden Island (Alameda)
  5. Trader Sam’s Enchanted Tiki Bar (Anaheim)
  6. The Jungle Bird (Sacramento)
  7. Longitude (Oakland, RIP)
  8. Kona Club (Oakland)
  9. Pagan Idol (SF)
  10. Hukilau (San Jose)
  11. Cat Eye Club (San Diego)
  12. Bali Hai Restaurant (San Diego)
  13. False Idol (San Diego)
  14. Trad’r Sam (SF)
  15. The Alibi (Portland)
  16. Hale Pele (Portland)
  17. The Shameful Tiki Room (Vancouver, B.C.)
  18. Tiki-Ko (Bakersfield)
  19. Bamboo Hut (SF)
  20. The Royal Hawaiian (Laguna Beach)
  21. Aku Aku (Orlando)
  22. Hula’s Island Grill and Tiki Room (Santa Cruz)
  23. The Kon-Tiki (Oakland)
  24. The Tonga Room (SF)
  25. Luau Lounge (SF)

Thanks to Julie Crossman who was my partner in crime for most of these visits.

Also thanks to Jim and Richelle for the fun SF Tiki Bar Crawl on the hottest day in San Francisco history. It was too hot but still lots of fun. We visited three bars in one night (Smuggler’s Cove, Bamboo Hut, and Pagan Idol).

Favorite Albums of 2017

It was a weird year music-wise for me. I listened to a total of 2345 songs according to iTunes play counts, which is up a lot from last year. Most of the increase was in the Exotica genre, where I loaded up on releases from past years including Tiki Joe’s Ocean and Tikiyaki Orchestra/Tikiyaki 5-0.

In terms of albums released in 2017, here is my ranking.

1. Voodoo III - Robert Drasnin
Plucked from obscurity in the 1990s when his 1959 exotica album Voodoo was discovered by tikiphiles, Drasnin spent his later years working on two follow-ups. Voodoo III was recorded just before his death and released in a limited edition at Tiki Oasis in 2015. The first “anyone can buy it” release was this year, so we’re counting it as a 2017 release. This is great stuff if you like Exotica, the mostly instrumental mix of jazz and Latin percussion. Voodoo III includes several songs with wordless-vocals. One song features sung lyrics, the appropriately entitled “Aloha.” It’s a great album.

2. Wonderful Wonderful - The Killers
A comeback album featuring one of their best singles, “The Man.” I still like the Killers and saw them live for the first time this year.

3. Number 1 Angel - Charli XCX
I was surprised I liked this “mixtape.” Most songs feature a hip-hop collaborator but I’m still digging Charli’s give-no-fucks attitude. I’m not sure what the genre is called but it is definitely more of a mellower electronica. I like Charli’s more alt/pop leaning material but this will do (I wasn’t a fan of her Pop 2 mixtape released at the end of the year)

4. I Love You Like a Brother - Alex Lahey
Song pop hooks from Australian alternative singer-songwriter Alex Lahey. Her single “Every Day’s the Weekend” was one of the best of the year.

5. Concrete and Gold - Foo Fighters
An OK release from the Foos, with a few songs I thought were really good but mostly were fairly generic. I totally dug the song “Sunday Rain” featuring regular drummer Taylor Hawkins on vocals and guest drummer Paul McCartney (the song does have a Beatles vibe).

6. Songs of Experience - U2
An okay album but nothing special from U2. Nothing overly catchy or memorable but at least I do like listening to it.

7. Witness - Katy Perry
I got this album when I purchased tickets to her concert, so I guess I’ll count it. Follows the more mellow pop trend. I liked the lead single “Chained to the Rhythm” but like most music fans felt this was a step back from the pop hooks we’re used it.

8. Spirit - Depeche Mode
Disappointing release with only one just-okay song “So Much Love.” Otherwise forgettable.

New License Plate

Finally received personalized plates for the Civic I bought last year (the KEVDO plates I’ve had for many years are still on my old car). I wanted to do something to celebrate tiki culture that I’ve had renewed interest in. MAI TAI was already taken, so I chose this one: 44MYTAI.

This is a reference to the 1944 origin of the Trader Vic’s Mai Tai, as has been often celebrated. One of the best trends in the past few years is that bars with a craft cocktail or quality-cocktail orientation have been listing the “1944 Mai Tai” on menus to indicate to savvy customers what kind of Mai Tai they’re going to get. Not a “Mai Tai” prepared with grenadine, orange juice, and other “improper” ingredients, but a Mai Tai made the “correct” way according to the Trader Vic’s original formula. So, referencing ‘44 seemed to be a good way to indicate to other tikiphiles that I’m one of them.

Now, let’s hope this doesn’t mean I get pulled over by the Police on a much more frequent basis.

←Older