Florida Update

On November 16th 2003, Google commenced an update (the Florida update) which had a catastrophic effect for a very large number of websites and, in the process, turned search engine optimization on its head. It is usual to give alphabetical names to Google’s updates in the same way that names are given to hurricanes, and this one became known as “Florida”.

Since I am a nerd who does search engine optimization for a living, when I decided on a title for this post, all I could think of was to call it my Florida Update. It just stuck in my head and even though it’s not completely on topic, I knew it had to be the title of this post. Fortunately, unlike the notorious Google Florida update from years ago, my Florida update has no negative implications or repercussions. In fact, it’s generally rosy on all fronts for Jeff Sauer.

For the past 4 years, my parents have rented a condo down in Florida. For the past 4 years, I have visited for 1-3 weeks. For the past 4 years, I have completely thrived in the situation.

Florida in February is my escape from the outside world. My escape from the harsh Minnesota winters. My escape from the ghost of “relations” past. My escape from working in an office or from home. My escape from day to day responsibilities. My escape from a poor diet and below freezing temperatures causing a lack of exercise. My escape from the little things in life that are either taken for granted, or over analyzed. It’s me time baby.

In past years, I have had some pretty fun experiences, and documented several of them. If you want to get up to speed on my previous Florida trips, check out my 2006 diaries. Day 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. 9. 9(2), 10, 11-14.

This year I had a few explicit, yet simple goals for my trip. 1) Get a tan. 2) Relax. 3) Get caught up with work. 4) Tie up and loose ends that may have been left over from 2007. 5) Exercise regularly. 6) Eat well. 7) Read lots of books. 8) Plan my professional goals for 2008 and beyond. 9) Bond with the Parental Units. 10) Have fun!

I guess this is where the update part comes in. You, the reader, get to see how I am doing in each of these categories. So here it goes; my Florida update.

  1. Get a Tan – Checkmark. I totally am on my way to a wicked tan. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the sun in 3 days, but I’ve made the nice days worth my while. Minnesota won’t know what hit em.
  2. Relax – I’d say I’m 50/50 here. I was relaxing pretty hardcore when I first got here, but the last three days have been crappy outside so I’ve been working quite a bit. I am a control freak, so when I realize that a lot of what was done in my absence last week wasn’t up to my quality standards, I got a little fiesty. It’s hard for me to let go for vacation, because my name is being put on the finished product. I hope I can loosen up a little more over the next week or two.
  3. Get caught up with work – Checkmark. I have nailed down 3 or 4 projects that were a thorn in my side, and I feel like I am almost close to potentially being close to considering conceding the point that I am relatively caught up with work.
  4. Tie up loose ends from 2007 – Checkmark. I finished gathering my tax documents the day before I left for FL, and now those are out of my hands. I have also started clearing out my old emails from my sent items and my email folders. I have also cleaned up my work file system to free up valuable hard drive space, and I backed up my laptop HD the day before I left. So if I die in a plane crash, I know that my data is backed up. Not that anyone would have any idea what to do with said data… but at least it’s backed up!
  5. Exercise Regularly – Checkmark. Thank god for this one. My treadmill broke this winter and still isn’t fixed. I resorted to running outside, and was doing quite well until it was below 10 degrees every day. I can run in 20+ degree temperature… but I don’t do teens and below. Same goes for my sex life for the most part. BOOM.
  6. Eat Well – Checkmark. The best part of Florida is the food. I get to eat like a king; fresh fish, buffalo shrimp, fajitas, steak, pork tenderloin and fresh veggies… and I do it ALL under the boundaries of a low carb diet regimen. My mom has been eating and cooking low carb for years, so it’s really easy to stay on that path in FL. Eat great and lose weight. Low Carb Lifestyle Choice. LCLC.
  7. Read lots of books – Checkmark. I am an amazon.com junkie, so whenever they recommend a book for me, I buy it. Whenever I am reading a blog and they recommend a book, I buy it. Problem is, I don’t ever read them unless I am on an airplane or on a beach. I got somewhat caught up in Europe in October, but I’m still about 5-6 books behind (really more like 10, but I’m in denial). I started reading a book about personal investments and it put me to sleep every time I opened it. I read about 25 pages and I gave up. The book I’m reading about now is how to recruit smart college kids to join your business. It’s something I will need to be doing soon, so this book is a great read. Plus, I’m so close to college that I sort of see myself in their description of an upcoming college grad and how they describe their career goals. It’s great so far, and it is a fast read.
  8. Plan professional goals for 2008 – This is a tough one. I’ve been in talks to shake up my employment situation for over 6 months now, yet nothing has been resolved. As a result, I feel like I have been floating through my work life and not being able to anchor down and take ownership of anything. The uncertainty is preventing me from really giving anything 100% of my attention… which results in me spreading myself too thin, and not fulfilling all of my work obligations (see point 2 about not being able to relax). I need this to come to a resolution (one way or the other) so I can move forward with my life.
  9. Bond with my parents – Checkmark. My parents are my best friends while I’m down here. We hang out, tell jokes and stories, go to nice dinners, and celebrate Happy Hour EVERY DAY. It’s like they are my college buddies and their condo is our dorm room. In fact, I had a shot of Patron yesterday with my dad after I received an offer to sell one of my web sites. To celebrate, I ordered two shots of Patron silver, and asked for training wheels (salt and lime). We took them and the guy sitting right next to me asked me what were training wheels. I explained about the salt and lime and he said “oh, I think your next shot should be a body shot from that lovely lady”. He pointed to Franny. Embarrassed, I turned away from him. My mom asked what was wrong. I said “that guy said we should take a body shot off of you”. I then turned around and said to the guy “that is my mom”. I must have been a little embarrassed, because my mom said I turned bright red. I laughed for 2 minutes straight. That’s how much fun we have! This weekend we are doing beer bongs!
  10. Have fun – As you can see in point 9 above, I have a ton of fun down here! That’s pretty much all I do is have fun. There’s really nothing I would rather do than enjoy myself, and I have the perfect opportunity here. This weekend my dad and I are considering taking a boat to Key West. Next week, my buddy Brandon is coming into town, and I’m sure we’ll get into some trouble. We are thinking about renting a car and visiting Molly Walsh in Miami. Whatever we do, it will be fun of epic proportions!

Florida in February is my sanctuary. If you can break away from your job or schooling, you should seriously think about joining me next year!

About Jeff Sauer

I started blogging in the year 2000, and go in spurts of inspiration followed by long dormancy. I love writing, and your comments keep me going, so comment!

Check out my Google Profile.


  1. I kind of hate you right now….
    but I still LOVE you!

  2. Well, why don’t you brag about it! It’s ass cold here and I’m fat. Please, oh please, take a shot for me. In less than 5 weeks, I will be doing this for myself! Oh, and get a pic of that body shot! I’d love to post it on the ole’ blog!