Archive for the 'personal' Category

by mkeefe on Jan 2nd, 2015

A Brief Look Back on 2014

Not sure if it was just me, but it feels like I was just reflecting on 2013. This past year has had some lows and highs, but overall its been a great year. To start, rather than listing out those traditional New Years resolutions (as if a ball dropping marks some reset in productivity or bad habits). I like to take the start of a new year to reflect on the previous accomplishments and setbacks, learn from them and hustle harder in the year to come.

Things Never Go as Planned

Let’s start with what didn’t work or go as planned. I had set a goal of hiring a full time sales person last year, but due in part to timing I decided not to risk it. This was single handily the worst possible idea, we were really busy at year start, saw a lull in the mid-year and thankfully ended off strong. However, had we taken that sales risk, it would have been a much more profitable year. In addition, we let outreach and marketing take a back seat to client demands which in turn contributed to that lull during mid-year. Rather than sit and sulk (no point in that) we took this experience and set aside a plan to expand this year and continue to grow our service and market range.

Key takeaway: Don’t let fear and failure stop you from taking risks.

Focus on the Good

Thanks to amazing opportunities, PixelBit was able to work on and ship some great projects. If you’d like to see more of the work shipped last year, just head on over to our updated website, go ahead, i’ll wait. :) One of our clients had the great fortune to be featured on a TV show focused on bars. In addition, we were able to secure the trademark for PixelBit, which while not groundbreaking is a big step to expanding and validating our brand. We are already working on 2015 and will be sure to post updates. Of course if you want to follow our progress, you can do so on Twitter and Facebook.

Personal Updates

On the personal front I was able to achieve one of my goals, which was to buy a sports car, purely for fun and enjoyment. Not long after buying the car I joined the BMWCCA and was instantly exposed to autocross. I won’t go into many details (I have blog posts for that), but I will say it was an amazing experience. One i’m looking forward to attending in the coming year. In addition to autocross, I am hoping to make some track days.

Additionally, my wife and I finally were able to take some time off and took a road trip to Florida. We spent some days on the road, about a week in Disney, some time with family and then drove back again. It was quite the experience, compared to flying and one i’m excited to do again. Not sure our son enjoyed it as much, but next time we plan to stop more along the way. Hopefully make the trip the fun and the destination the cherry on top.

In all 2014 was a good year. It had personal and professional accomplishments, lots of growth and i’m excited for what 2015 offers. One thing for sure I know I am focusing on this year is family, friends and experiences. Of course i’ll still be working and growing, but money/success/growth isn’t the only thing in life. So, now that i’ve rambled on for a while, how is your reflection on last year?

by mkeefe on Jul 31st, 2014

First experiences with another German car

As some of you know, earlier this year I bought one of my dream cars (ultimate is F430, that will have to wait a while!). A space grey BMW M3, 6 speed manual with the competition package. This was the culmination of working hard for 10+ years, foregoing some other luxuries and having an amazing wife that let me spend a good bit of money on something frivolous.

This wasn’t my first German car, in fact my very first car was a 2001 VM Jetta. I bought it from my family and overall it was good. However anytime it had to go into the shop it got expensive quickly! I was not excited to go through this again, but was told BMWs are more reliable and especially the M platform.

After a few months of internet searching, contacting dealers 1500+ miles away and even talking to transporters, I found the car! Oddly enough in my own state, which was very convenient. After the dealing and key retrieval I was ecstatic.. for about 100 miles. Then I heard a weird noise while turning the wheel to full lock. After some time spent on e90post and m3post, I figured out the problem was dirty differential fluid. I took it to the dealer and a few hours later was handed a printout that totaled $700!! However, one thing I didn’t mention was, this car came with the BMW extended warranty.

Since that initial service, the car has been to BMW Sudbury at least 3 times for other minor things (albeit the diff fluid is NOT minor). Let me just say that if you ever do buy a car, any really, opt for the warranty. If its nearing its expiration on the original warranty and you intend to keep the car, extend it. Especially on a higher end car with lots of gadgets that like to break.

Now, as I am sure all of you are wondering, what is my impression of the actual car..? That’s simple to answer. Amazed!!

Before I continue, lets take a break and show off a few photos from delivery to just a few days ago. You’ll notice something special, at least for me, with cars/bikes.

IMG_6145

bmw-m3-front bmw-m3-interior

IMG_7533

Did you see it? I haven’t modified this car at all. Aside from the LED interior bulbs ( I had to do something ). You may remember that 8 days after I got my TSX, 3 years ago it was modded. Days after I got my bike, modded. I am deciding to do something different with this one. I will of course mod it, I have a pretty extensive list in fact, which includes:

  • Tint
  • Wheels
  • Exhaust
  • Headlights
  • Carbon fiber lip and Diffuser
  • Euro bumper (remove US reflectors)
  • Brake kit
  • Spacers
  • ECU Tune
  • Carbon fiber trim pieces
  • Front/rear cameras
  • etc…

 

However, this time around I will slowly mod the car. Adding a piece here/there, hopefully enjoy it a bit more. I intend to keep this car for many years and will take great care of it, so it lasts. It will be driven (hard at times) but never abused. I will post various updates along the way and hope to do much of the work myself, with some exceptions, for safety reasons.

Now back to the car. Another cool element of this purchase was it being my first manual car! Some people thought it was nuts to get a car such as this with a manual if I couldn’t even drive it off the lot. However, with the help of my father-in-law I was able to get it home and every day would drive it a little more. Now about 3 months in, I still have a bunch to learn.. but its never too late to learn. I recommend everyone drive a manual transmission at least once in their life, its amazing.

As far as performance figures/facts. I could spout all the data from BMW, but that is all online. My impressions of this car coming from an i4 (4 cylinder) were it was amazing and can be scary, if not handled properly. I’ve taken it on a few spirited drives on desolate roads and next month i’ll be attending an autocross.

So, hopefully you enjoyed this life update. Key things to take away from this are: Always work for your dreams, never give up. Don’t write off an entire car line/country for one bad experience and buy a BMW. Trust me on that last one, you won’t be disappointed.

Want to see more?? Subscribe to my Flickr, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

by mkeefe on Jan 4th, 2014

Another Year Another Goals List

Just like previous years i’ve created a public goals list. This one doesn’t have any long term goals, just things i’d like to accomplish this year. I got some pretty good feedback from this in the past, so lets hear it.

What are your thoughts on public goals lists? Do you think being held accountable helps you achieve your goals?

by mkeefe on Dec 31st, 2013

Looking Back on 2013

Well 2013 was certainly packed full of interesting, new, great and sad times. I will touch on the highlights and major events of this year.

From a professional standpoint I was interviewed by VitaminT on mobile and web app development. My company got the opportunity to work on some pretty amazing projects and we recently updated the website to reflect these projects. Some of which included a mobile app for Porsche, an update to the popular Four Stack card game and the beginning of a second screen app for a major broadcaster!

On the personal side of things this year was HUGE! My wife and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. To think 4 years ago we were at a Dane Cook show on a “non-date” and now this year we bought a house together. So blessed to be able to provide a home for my family and see our son make lots of new friends!

I was also able to check off another one of my dreams this year, which was to purchase a motorcycle and got some good riding time in. I was also able to tinker in the garage and installed HID headlights and an exhaust.

The sad times this year was losing my grandfather Frank, he was the one I had so many meaningful business conversations with. I already miss him so much and don’t expect it to get easier any time soon. I was of course blessed to have such a loving wife that jumped in and helped out during that tough time.

All things considered, 2013 was very interesting. I look forward to growing the company, traveling with the family and anything else 2014 has in store for us.

Happy New Year!!

by mkeefe on Mar 28th, 2012

My Thoughts on Trayvon Martin Tragedy

While I realize this is a horrible tragedy (the killing of a young man) banning guns and going all “guns are evil” is a knee jerk reaction at best. Furthermore don’t be so quick to judge the man in question without knowing all of the facts first.

I’ve been a firearms enthusiast for years, went through NRA and LTC-required training in the state of Massachusetts in order to receive my license. Between the psych exams, FBI searches and criminal database inquiries (CORI) almost all avenues are covered for lawful acquisition of an LTC/FID.

All these anti-guns proposals do is stop lawful citizens from owning firearms, it doesn’t stop the criminals from going into any city/town and buying one from a trunk of a car. It doesn’t stop crime or even slow it down (aside from accidental injuries). In regards to police being the only ones that should be allowed to carry? I think not.

I witnessed a serious car accident outside my home and it took 4 minutes for a first responder to show up on scene! 4 minutes? I guess you would still be alive if that were a home invasion and the criminal got lost in your house but in reality the police would be filling out reports, not saving you.

Now back to this story. Its hard to come up with a definitive conclusion since we still don’t have all of the facts. Did he pursue? Was he in danger? Was it self defense? I wish the media would shut up for a minute and let the facts speak for once.. but that won’t happen anytime soon.

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