Tag Archives: Michael Tomko

Sep 18, 2012

Performing a Wedding Ceremony is a Thrill and Honor

Tomko wedding

I recently served as officiant for my friend’s wedding. I’ve known Mike Tomko for a few years now, and have gotten to know his now-wife Tabitha over the past year or so. When they asked me to become an ordained minister and marry them, I asked them if they were serious, and I asked them if they were sure. After about 24 hours had passed with no recantation of their request, I got a bit excited. This was new territory for me.

Using the Universal Life Church’s website, I became ordained, and even ordered a certificate to prove it. That piece of paper cost $6.99, plus like $7.50 in shipping. They always get you with the shipping!

After receiving the certificate, I posted a picture of it online and Steve Kaufman of the APA saw it and sent me an email. He’s performed ceremonies in the past and was able to provide me several scripts. I wrote the wedding, shared it with Tomko and Tabitha in a Google Doc, and they were able to edit it. Once we had it finalized, I exported it to a PDF and put it on my iPad in iBooks. I used a large font so I could sufficiently see it. It was an 8-page document – seven swipes to the left and they were married.

The morning of the ceremony, Mike took the wedding script and broke it down into tweets using the hashtag #tomkotember. He loaded up my account on his laptop, along with Tabitha’s account and his own. He then set up a wifi hotspot at The Campbell House Museum, which is where they had the ceremony. Shelley Satke Niemeier of Campbell House used Mike’s laptop and cut, pasted and tweeted the wedding as it progressed. She did a phenomenal job!

Joe Holleman wrote about it on stltoday.com, and Allison Babka put together a Storify that contains the best of the best tweets. Be sure to check it out.

This picture was taken about two minutes after they were married.

One last item of note: in the comment section of Joe Holleman’s stltoday story, a pastor left a comment concerning my willingness and/or ability to be a real pastor to Mike and Tabitha. His comment, in its entirety: “I hope this freshly internet-ordained pastor is willing to do the hard work of helping this young couple with their marriage and isn’t just doing a wedding. Real pastors don’t just help people get married, they help them stay married.” I responded “Don’t worry. I’ll be there for them.”

Without going into too much detail, I’ve noticed a tendency among folks like Pastor Patrick to, how shall I put this, not be able to sit still when happy people carve out a happy life for themselves outside the confines of their purview. It seems to make them downright fidgety. As a human being of 41 years, I can provide people like Mike and Tabitha advice along much the same lines as a pastor of faith. The words, messages and meaning might be different, but they won’t be inherently less effective. Mike and Tabitha made some personal choices that made great sense for them, and my sensibilities largely match up with theirs. Coupled with the fact that I love these people, I was thrilled and honored to officiate the ceremony. I believe they will be quite happy together, and I’ll always be available to offer my perspective on marriage, kids, cats, etc.

Feb 25, 2012

Apple Computers Used to Make Unique Art

My friend Mike Tomko used to have an alert on his phone that would remind him to “Do Something Awesome” every day. Clearly, these fellas are thinking the same way.

People have always done unique things, expressed themselves… but the Internet makes it easier for all of us to enjoy their expression.

In this video below, all the guy is doing is maximizing windows from his OS X dock – in perfect choreographed order. Brilliant.

Sep 8, 2011

Union Tree Review Interview for Undercover Weekend 5

Union Tree Review decided to cover Marvin Gaye for Undercover Weekend because, well, he’s silky smooth. Undercover Weekend is this weekend at The Firebird – ten bands, two nights, and Mike Tomko presiding? It wins.

Where to find UTR:

Try Google
Matt Strom (ilikescience) on Twitter
Tawaine Noah (@nervousclub) on Twitter
Jordan Howe (@WantonPrivateer) on Twitter

Sep 6, 2011

My Interview with Jason Robinson of The Orbz – AUCW – Undercover Weekend

Undercover WeekendHave a listen to my interview with Jason Robinson of The Orbz. They are preparing to cover Stone Temple Pilots as part of Michael Tomko’s “Undercover Weekend,” being held at The Firebird on September 9-10.

Nov 11, 2010

New Blog To Check Out – DoYouReallyWantToHurt.Me

Be sure to check out Michael Tomko‘s new blog DoYouReallyWantToHurt.Me. It’s about food and stuff.

Mike understands the power of bacon.

OH: "I don't think that people realize that bacon will be with us forever. It's not just some passing fad." via @rizzotees
Michael Tomko

Apr 22, 2010

Solving The "Employee As Mayor" On Foursquare Crisis (Yes, Office Politics Has Reached The Shores Of Foursquare)

The check-in craze has hit a fever pitch.  Three companies are in the octagon right now –  Foursquare vs. Gowalla vs. Yelp checkins,  plus the rumored but unreleased checkin functionality on Facebook – ahhhh, competition breeds forced choice – which one service should I use?  A full comparo is a topic for someone else’s blog. Informal polling of my Twitter following tells me that Foursquare is on top, but that Gowalla is making inroads and had a huge presence at SXSW.  I am using Foursquare because Michael Tomko made me sign up for it.  I am not kidding – I would not have joined unless he browbeat me into doing so back in March.  Thank you Michael!  Since then I’ve been on a check-in bender, becoming the mayor of Pepose Vision Institute (I sure coulda used a discount, people!), the Saint Louis neighborhood The Hill, my Post Office, and Chimichanga’s Restaurant.

In my estimation, probably 85-90% of businesses have either not heard of Foursquare, or have no idea how it could help their business.  I might be conservative when I say 90%.  It’s still very new in the St. Louis area, and many established businesses will shrug this off as just “a game that young people are playing.”

Smart businesses that want to cater to the smartphone crowd will view Foursquare et. al. as a huge opportunity.  Chances to interact with your customers include checkins and mayorships.  These potential interactions can occur on a daily basis (!), and the rewards that a business might decide to bestow on its Foursquare “mayor” can engender real loyalty and generate excitement about your business. Foursquare can bring customers to your doorstep!

However, what happens when your employees start checking in at work?  Clearly, a business’ employees will be on site way more than any customer ever could.  In turn, it would not take an employee long to capture the mayorship of your business, with other employees following close behind.  Your customers are frozen out.  What should a business do?  If you are a business with walk-in customers that spend money on-site (i.e. a restaurant), that mayorship needs to be held by a customer!  And it needs to be fought over by your customers.

One option would be to prohibit employee checkins at work.  That doesn’t sound like much fun. I have a better idea.

Using White Castles as an example (because they’re so tasty), either the employer or an employee would create an alternate checkin location for their employees called the “White Castle Employee Lounge.”  Plug in the same street address, call it the Employee Lounge, and let the employees fight over that.  Frankly, the business owner could even place rewards and incentives on that mayorship.  Bingo, your business’ real Foursquare mayorship is ready to be fought over by paying customers!

And, if for some reason, Foursquare does not allow such duplicate locations, they should!