Thursday, December 29, 2005

13 things that do not make sense

I came across this article via

13 things that do not make sense

What strikes me about this list is that for all that we believe we understand and have figured out, there still big enough gaps remaining in our knowledge that we may discover that we really don't have things so figured out.

What will they look back on in 100 or 500 years and say, "I can't believe they thought (insert current scientific knowledge here). What were they thinking? Those ignorant slobs!"

Steve Jobs movie posters

I found this link through a blog I enjoy, Creating Passionate Users.

The 30+ Steve Jobs posters, in the comment section of the page. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Stuff Doesn't Make You Happy . . .

I know, I know, you've already heard this before. . . a million times, but this post I discovered through, makes the point in a very different way. The Happiness plateau on the graph.

Food for thought.

Stuff Doesn't Make You Happy . . .

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Monstrous Snow Fort

My brother, Andrew built this monstrosity in thier front yard.

Interesting Facts (from Andrew):

*Yep, that's Jacob standing next to it.

*All of the tunnels connect.

*It took most of the snow in our front yard.

*We think we may make it look like King Kong (In the spirit of Christmas?). We'll put a doll in one hand.

*It will probably melt in a couple of days.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005

Check out Ebert's Best 10 Movies of 2005 This list caught my attention because the top films are completely unknown to me. I think I need to get out more? hmmm?

Here's the list:
1. Crash
2. Syriana
3. Munich
4. Junebug
5. Brokeback Mountain
6. Me and You and Everyone We Know
7. Nine Lives
8. King Kong
9. Yes
10. Millions

I've only heard of three and seen zero.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hitchcock quote

"Television is like the invention of indoor plumbing. It didn't change people's habits. It just kept them inside the house."
- Alfred Hitchcock

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

If you want to be funny

Scott Adams blogs on how to be funny. Makes a lot a sense to me. I especially liked this "Pearls Before Swine" strip.. It's got the cruel, cute, bizarre, clever, and recognizable variables all working for it. Maybe part of what humor does is get us past the watchful dragons that C.S. Lewis talks about.

It seems we're not really laughing at the caricatures in Saved or The Simpson,s or anything else for that matter, purely because they are recognizable but also because they're cruel, naughty, cute, bizarre or clever. Being recognizable is only one way to be funny. I've got to do some humor analysis to test this idea.

I have always admired peole who are funny, never knew it was a science. Now, if I can come up with as hypothesis and test it. hmmmmm.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Really Cool IKEA images

If these really Cool IKEA images were supposed to cause people to spread the word about IKEA and impress you with what their products. well, consider it done.

Be patient for the Flash download to get to 100%. It's worth the wait.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Project Managment

Check out this cartoon on project management. It hasn;t changes much since my dad sahowed me a black and white photocopy in the 70's.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Skier's Dictionary

Snowboarding - Am activity that is popular with the people who do not feel that regular skiing is lethal enough; usually fearless people who can hurtle down a mountainside and knock a tree down with their faces and then spring up and shout, "Cool!"

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Turns out the aluminum hat doesn't work.

Check out this piece by some MIT researchers on the government mind control plot. They tested aluminum hats to see if they indeed protect the brain from goverment mind control transmissions.

It turns out instead of blocking frequencies, the hats actually improve reception for some government-controlled frequency ranges.

Hmmm? . . . I wonder? . . . Did governmet operatives spread the idea of putting on the aluminum hats, so they could control us? Dang. You just can't keep the conspiracy theories from continuing to spin.

A Frenchman on gluttony

"Fortunate indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself, and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson
This reminds me I should eBay all of the old junk piling up in my basement. Anyone want some old Mac software?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Ski Groaner

Skier's Dictionary

Thor - The Scandanavian god of acheth and paineth.

Gee, my head is reallly Thor.

Ouch, on so many levels.

(Once again, compliments of Amazing But True Ski Stories daily calendar)

Friday, November 11, 2005


Eric told me about this site. It's got thousands of designer and tech tales of stupidity. Some will get you laughing out loud.

Here's a sample post:
2 a_j_dalton #1609 | Rating: 4.59

HelpDesk (answering phone): "Help Desk' Client: "What's this funny thing on my computer screen?' HelpDesk: 'What's it look like' (Tapping Sound) Client: 'Dammit, it's right here' HelpDesk: 'Uh... are you tapping your screen?' Client: 'Well, duh!' HelpDesk: 'I can't see your finger over the phone.' Client: 'Well then, how the Hell do you expect to help me?' (sad, but absolutely true)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

For those who want to fight back

If you've had enough of Napoleon Dynamite and his political chum, Pedro, now you can make your own statement.

Monday, November 07, 2005

We're just too small

Small can sting, from 37 Signals Blog

“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” —Betty Reese

Sunday, November 06, 2005

If you dig a hole straight through the earth . . .

If you've ever wondered where you'd come out of the earth if you dug a hole straight through the earth, now you can see wher you'll come out.

This site is a Google Maps "mash up". It's fun to see what people can create when companies open up thier tools for others to play with.

Tip: If you zoom in to precisely select your starting point, you'll want to zoom back out to see your finishing point.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Let's go as iPod commercials this year

Predicts your Birth Order in Five Questions

You Are Likely a Second Born

At your darkest moments, you feel inadequate.
At work and school. you do best when you're evaluating.
When you love someone, you offer them constructive criticism.

In friendship, you tend to give a lot of feedback - positive and negative.
Your ideal careers are: accounting, banking, art, carpentry, decorating, teaching, and writing novels.
You will leave your mark on the world with art and creative projects.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Moving in the right direction

Good to see that things are moving in the right direction.

The Survey Says . . .
70+% of people now approve of interracial dating.
I wonder what the responses would be for interracial marriage?

If Noel's experience is any kind of a barometer, I hope the church can get with it on this one.

What is the deal with Halloween anyway? Is it evil?

According to Wikipedia , its sort of a mixed bag. I hope of something sweet!

I personally observe it as the day I get to collect the candies my girls don't like and don't want to bother bartering for other treats with thier pals. Oh, I know, I know . . . I'm so deep.

Who knew there was an open source brew?

Check it out. They even have open source beer now.

For those of you who don't know what open source is read about it here

Monday, October 10, 2005

One more award winner

I left out this important Ig Noble prize winner.

LITERATURE: The Internet entrepreneurs of Nigeria, for creating and then using e-mail to distribute a bold series of short stories, thus introducing millions of readers to a cast of rich characters -- General Sani Abacha, Mrs. Mariam Sanni Abacha, Barrister Jon A Mbeki Esq., and others -- each of whom requires just a small amount of expense money so as to obtain access to the great wealth to which they are entitled and which they would like to share with the kind person who assists them.

I know I have been touched by their efforts. I bet you have, too.

Ig Noble Prize Winners

In case you missed it, the Ig Noble prize cermony took place on October 6, 2005.

Here is a listing of the 2005 Winners

Check out the winner in the Economics Category.

ECONOMICS: Gauri Nanda of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for inventing an alarm clock that runs away and hides, repeatedly, thus ensuring that people DO get out of bed, and thus theoretically adding many productive hours to the workday.


or this important research breakthrough.

FLUID DYNAMICS: Victor Benno Meyer-Rochow of International University Bremen, Germany and the University of Oulu , Finland; and Jozsef Gal of Loránd Eötvös University, Hungary, for using basic principles of physics to calculate the pressure that builds up inside a penguin, as detailed in their report "Pressures Produced When Penguins Pooh -- Calculations on Avian Defaecation."

I din't think I want to know how you measure that.

Identity 2.0

Here's a link to a unique presentation on Identity 2.0 by Dick Hardt of Sxip Identity. He's got an itchy trigger finger, so be warned. Heck, you might even learn something.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Great skiing adviced

"If you're going to try to cross-country ski, start with a very small country."

Compliments of "Amazing But True Ski Stories Calendar" 9/23/05 entry

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Serious bikers, seats are still dangerous

If your putting in serious time on your bike, your ergonomic seat may still hurt you. This New York Times piece gives all the details.

If you spend a lot of time on a traditional bike seat, read it, and if necessary get a new seat. I am currently using a Specialized Body Geometry seat, compliments of my buddy, Bob, and though it doesn't go as far as the article recommends, it has been tons better than my old arched top seat. You can see Specialized seats here.

Happy trails . . . or roads.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Twisty Word tricks

These are always fun. Thanks to Dan Miller of for bringing them to my attention.

The Washington Post's Mensa Invitational once again asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

Here are a few of this year's winners:

1. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
2. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer,
unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.
4. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
5. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.
6. Glibido: All talk and no action.
7. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
8. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.
9. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

10. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and a pain in the rear.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Quote of the Day

"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." -- – Mulla Nasrudin

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Viral flavoring

I've been reading and listening to Seth Godin for quite some time now. I read his post on What Makes an Idea Viral and then went out and experienced it yesterday.

I was driving my daughter to a meeting and we were listening to the radio . . . I know, I know, radio is so 90's . . . and the DJ and sidekick were talking about Jones Soda because they had done something remarkable (worth talking about).

Apparently, last Thanksgiving Jones Soda produced holiday flavors including Turkey & Gravy Soda, Mashed Potato & Butter. Green Bean Casserole sodas in honor of the holiday, The DJ assured us that thier flavors were indeed quite accurate to thier labels. Now, they've added two new flavors for Halloween 2005, Candy Corn and Caramel Apple.

I was so entertained by the flavors I had to go home and tell the rest of the family about them. We'll probably have to try them.

The idea was easy to understand, rewarding to spread (helped maintain my flagging coolness factor), and easy for me to spread. Now I'm spreading it further via this blog.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Is your favorite food killing you?

California Wants to Serve a Warning With Fries - New York Times If you don't have a log-in you can go to to "borrow"one.

Apparently fries and potato chips are "packed with acrylamide", a chemical proven to cause cancer in mice and rats. Add to that the high level of trans-fats and you've got a formula for . . .a ban, no, just a warning label.

No matter how long or how healthy you live, everyone will eventually die. The papers never write about that, and it will impact 100% of their readers.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Certain words should never be engraved on your iPod . . like Nigel.

Check out this piece over at on forbidden words for iPod engraving.

This is insane.

This photo was taken at the Southern-most point in the Continental US in Key West, Florida. I've been there. It was much sunnier and drier that day.

Where the object of insanity is standing, there is no fence or any other barrier keeping him from being swept out to sea. Certifiably insane!

Buy my PowerMac

If anyone cares, I'm selling a PowerMac over at eBay. Click here to see it.

If your interested, let me know directly or comment below. Comments get e-mailed to me.

Also, you NO LONGER have to be a Blogger member to post comments, so go ahead Andrew, post away.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Inside joke for my 80's roomies

New age musician Vollenweider to appear in Apple stores

I found Vollenweedie, our households pet name for him, on the ITunes Music Store and you know what. All of his songs sound the same. I guess that makes him the 80's equivalent to Jack Johnson. The beauty of listening to Vollenweedie was that Geo's sister got us promotional copies of his album for free. The down side was actually listening to it. I guess if he won a few Grammy's someone must like his music.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

What is a skier?

Skier's Dictionary

- One who pays an arm and a leg for the opportunity to break them.

This definition compliments of the daily
"Amazing But True Ski Stories" daily calendar 9/13/05

Friday, August 26, 2005

Old jokes

A friend forwarded some "old" jokes to me and these were some of the best.

"It's scary when you start making the same noises as your coffeemaker."

A reporter interviewing a 104-year-old woman asked: "And what do you think is the best thing about being 104?" the reporter asked. She simply replied, "No peer pressure."

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Science & God

There's a piece on God & Science in the New York Times today.

Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science. (If you aren't registered with them, you can go to and get a user ID and password to log in.)

It doesn't delve too deeply. If you prefer a more humorous take on God v. science debate, you have to go here to read about the Giant Spaghetti Monster. Thanks to Noel for pointing it out.

Monday, August 22, 2005

"An idea is a point of departure . . . "

"An idea is a point of departure and no more. As soon as you elaborate it, it becomes transformed by thought."
- Pablo Picasso
There's a lot more work to do to make the idea reality.

Using Virtual Reality to treat war trauma

Wired posted an interesting article on how they are starting totreat battle induced psychological trauma.. Unfortunately, they don't explain the precise role the software plays in the recovery process, so we will have to speculate about that.

My impression is that the psychological trauma has more to do with what you think about what happened to you than what actually happened to you. REvisiting it in VR and developing a different perspective, may be the secret of the treatment. Since they don't tell us, the secret remains a secret.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The soul of genius - W.A. Mozart

"Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


This one is also one of my favorites.


Someone reminded me of this is ths weekend. Funny.

High School LT silence broken

I spent a week in Myrtle Beach with 400 high schoolers a couple weeks ago. The conference was supposed to be for them, but it really was great for me. I took notes, I'll have to share more details later.

It was cool to see the next generation learning, working, and playing together. I had the priviledge of going out to talk with stangers about God with Jeremy and Marissa. Both of them did a great job and were really natural talking with them.

More on LT later, I hope.

Snow Sports Injuries

OK, August is a stran=ge time to bring it up but I saw this link and had to pass it on. A site dedicated to snow sports injuries. also has useful information on injury prevention. For example, expeirence is a great thing for reducing your probability of getting hurt. Just like on motorcycles, snow riders age 16 to 25 are more likely to be injured. Check it out. Maybe you can keep from hurting yourself out on the slopes.

Think snow. Or go to Argentina, Chile, New Zealand or Australia to ski this month.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Truman Capote, a skier, who knew?

"I don't like to ski with other people around because I don't want to be conscious of them. Skiing gives me a terrific sense of freedom. I would define freedom as not having to be around other people."

- Truman Capote

from Amazing but True Ski Stories

How crazy are Tour fans?

As you follow the Tour de France, you see all kinds of pictures. I'd want this set-up if I was waiting on the course for the riders to fly past.

I'd add a beach umbrella, a black box to surround the screen, and a cooler. Then this set-up would be perfect!

This guy is really quite bright.

You can see more sparkler fun here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Camping thought for the day

How is it that one careless match can start a forest fire,
but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

An updated truism

"Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use
the Internet and they won't bother you for weeks"

. . . unless they're on a Windows PC without virus protection. Then they'll be calling you quite soon to fix it.

Friday, July 08, 2005

WiFi Mooching Ethics and Law

After finally getting my first laptop with WiFi capabilities (a sweet little 12" PowerBook with as much horsepower as my old PowerMac) I had to wait a few days for my refurbed Airport Express WiFi hub to arrive. While I was waiting, I thought I'd check and see what, if any, WiFi networks I could detect from my home.

Well it turns out there are two networks out there. This begged a second question. What are the ethics of accessing someone else's WiFi network? I asked Geo for his expert opinion and he indicated it is a no-no. Even if the network is as wide open as a barn door sans cows.

A few days later I was excited to receive my Airport Express and get connected. It was quite easy to and securing my network was simple, too. Noone will have to resist the temptation to access my network. Thanks Apple! And now thanks, to Mike Potter's timely advice, noone wil be able to see it either.

Well, I bring this whole story up because this topic is covered in a CNet article today, FAQ: WiFi Mooching and the Law . Apparently, there are still a lot of questions that are yet to be answered.

For now, I will steer clear of the mooching and stick to the using the office, home, coffeeshop & hotel WiFi. Or mooching from friends.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Enjoying Mars . . .

I've discovered Mars . . .

. . . Mars Hill Church, that is, podcasts in the iTunes Podcast directory. The messages on Genesis 37 & 38, are quite apropos to the current chapter of moi. Food for action.

Go for a boring trestimony. (You'll have to listen to the Genesis 36 message to get it).

If you don't use iTunes, you can get their Podcast feed here.

If that doesn't work for you, try going here.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Crazy Armstrong stats

Can you tell that I'm getting stoked for the Tour de France?

Discovery Channel has several vignettes called "Chasing #7" and the mention that Lance's resting heart rate is 35 BPM, that's 20 lower thank most people's and and his heart is 1/3 larger than the average man's. That's nuts! No wonder he can crank those pedals!

See the vignettes here. (If you click on the pictures at the top you can avoid repeating the advertisement over and over.)

Monday, June 27, 2005

Pros and cons to competitiveness

Lance Armstrong's three axioms:
1. Evaluate everything on a binary scale.
2. Attack rather than defend.
3. Block out the negative.

While these principles make Armstrong a fearsome competitor, they make him an exceedingly difficult human being. Armstrong divides the world into friends and enemies, and while he is brutal toward his enemies (a trait many Americans saw for the first time when, in a meaningless stage of the Tour de France, Armstrong vindictively chased down an Italian rider who was suing Armstrong for defamation), he can be even nastier to his friends."
The complete review of "Lance Armstrong's War".

Shark Attack

Another excellent post by Seth Godin.

Executive summary: The bad news is, we aren't concerned about things in proportion to thier true significance.
For example, more poeple are killed in deer accidents than shark attacks. The worse news is, it's difficult ot change perceptions, too.

Read the enire post here.

Apple's latest innovation

Check out this write up by David Pogue at the New York Times on the latest iPod innovation from Apple.

The iPod you'll be itching to get.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Top 100 Movie quotes

Check out this list of top 100 movie quotes.

American Film Institute's Top 100 Quotes From U.S. Films

You may know them even if you never saw the movie. One in that category for me was:

36. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Another reason I love being on a Mac.

After switching to Windows for a few years, three years ago I switched back to Apple first using an iBook, and now a PowerMac. It's easier to solve problems, when they do occur, and easier to get answers when you don't know what to do. I guess I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Consumer Reports: Which manufacturers did the best job of answering questions quickly and correctly

Monday, May 23, 2005

Reversing the declining interest in the performing arts

There is a great post on Seth Godin's blog about an orchestra in a town of 50,000 that is experiencing tremendous growth.

Thinking Outside the Bachs

These ideas apply to the arts in Lansing. Children's Ballet Theatre, and the dance community in general can invite more people into our world?

Friday, May 20, 2005

Prearrange your tombstone message.

Check out this site wher you can generate your own tombstone, All those authoritative deep thinking types tell you to reflect on what your's will say. Forget that. Don't rely on an untrustworthy second party. Write it yourself.

Tombstone Generator

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Fear: Good or bad motivator?

Is it or isn't it.

Last week I posted a link to an article that pointed out fear was a poor motivator for change. Now. Seth points out that fear of loss is the best motivator for change. Which is it?

Here are the two pieces and my original post.

Stagnation is Easy, Change is Hard, Seth Godin

Fast Company - Change or Die .

How's fear as a change agent?.

Could it be both. Fear works to maintain the status quo. Thus if you want to get change from others, make an ultimatum that threatens the status quo. If you want to change yourself, get help dealing with your fears and leap forward.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Never, ever, under any circumstances buy anything from Primus.

Those of you who know me, excluding my family, know I am a calm person. Well one telecommunications company seems to have the gift of working past all of that,

Never, ever, under any circumstances buy anything from Primus. They are a telecommunications company that bought out an Iowa company I originally signed up with fir long distance years ago. In my experience, they are at best politely incompetent and at worst, crooks. I don't want to relive all of my experience with them here, but basically they have overcharged me for years, fail to make promised corrections to problems and seem incapable of stopping billing after we cancelled services withe them a month and a half ago.

If your ever bored and want to watch me turn red, and raise my voice sometime, you can ask me for the details.

I'm off to see who takes complaints about telecommunications service providers to. The FCC, the President, The head of the UN?

Learn the ways of the grape, he must.

I'm no wine snob, but while traveling through New York a couple summers ago we happened upon a little winery in the finger lakes region on Cayuga Lake, just up the road from Cornell University. Much to my suprise, I discovered three wines there that I actually liked. You see, shortly before this my doctor advised me to start having a glass a day for medicinal purposes. Well I was suprised to find some medicine that I liked. We bought a few bottles. Consumed some myself and shared others with friends.

Unfortunately, when my small supply ran out I came to the realization I could not order more from the winery. Michigan lawe prohibited it. Until now, that is. Today the Supreme Court ruled that Michigan and New York laws that prohibit purchasing wines from other states were a no-no. This good news for those of us who want to order wines from out of state.

Supreme Court sides with wineries.

I'm off now to see if GooseWatch Winery is going to register to ship to Michigan.

For any who are concerned about this new habit of mine, you can relax, because for budgetary readons I have converted to grape juice. Supposedly, the unfermented grape has similar benefits and costs less.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

A monkey could paint that

Have you ever said or thought that when you were viewing a piece of modern art. Well, in fact, monkeys have done some paintings . . . and you can buy them at an art auction in London.

Here's the Yahoo story and the art

Someday I hope my art is more valuable than chimps, that's my goal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

How's fear as a change agent?

Fast Company has a great piece on change. They open with this.

What if you were given that choice? For real. What if it weren't just the hyperbolic rhetoric that conflates corporate performance with life and death? Not the overblown exhortations of a rabid boss, or a slick motivational speaker, or a self-dramatizing CEO. We're talking actual life or death now. Your own life or death. What if a well-informed, trusted authority figure said you had to make difficult and enduring changes in the way you think and act? If you didn't, your time would end soon -- a lot sooner than it had to. Could you change when change really mattered? When it mattered most?

Yes, you say?

Try again.


You're probably deluding yourself.

You wouldn't change.

Don't believe it? You want odds? Here are the odds, the scientifically studied odds: nine to one. That's nine to one against you. How do you like those odds?

<a href= />Fast Company - Change or Die>.
Contrary to what we believe, facts don't have the raw power to change us. They are dependent on our frame of reference. We filter and process facts though our frame. If things don't fit in our frame, we discount or discard them.

Making radical changes is more likely to aid our change than little changes. Small changes don't work very well because they usually have little or no payoff. It's too close to the old way to produce any significant benefits.

And here's the good news, 77% of 333 high-risk heart disease participants in a radical change program, involving a vegetarian low-fat diet, support groups, and meditation, relaxation, yoga, and aerobic exercise kept their new healthier lifestyles for three years after the study and didn't require any medical procedures. Of course, the program focused on the joy of living,

I highly recommend reading the whole article.

Here is Dan Miller's ( Summary of the article:

        •         Crisis is not a powerful motivator for change
        •          Change is not motivated by fear
        •          Knowing the facts does not cause us to change
        •          It's easier to make drastic changes than small ones

Friends don't let friends forward hoax e-mails.

In recent weeks I've received copies of the same hoax e-mail from 32 different friends, and in fact, I have received variations of the same one many times.

Instead of just deleting the hoax e-mail I like to respond and let the sender know that they are forwarding a hoax e-mail and send them to, and the specific address for the history of the particular hoax they are forwarding. Here is an example and in my experience the most popular one:

Bill Gates, Intel, Some other rich person or corporation will send you larg sums of money if you forward this e-mail

People can't resist the offer of large sums of EASY money.

Davin suggested the following as a pre-emptive strike e-mail to send to your friends. Sort of an upstream anti-hoax idea virus.

Subject: Are you destroying our trust in email?

Top sign of being an email neophyte:
1. You naively forward hoax emails to everyone you know.
You know those emails that seem too good to be true? They usually start with a claim like, "My older brother is a lawyer for Microsoft and he said this email is totally legit." Then they go on to explain how if you forward the email to so many people, some company will track it and you'll get an easy $50. Or some other silly scheme.

Now, stop yourselves and listen: IT IS A LIE. Do not believe it.

Here are the two easy steps you must take if you want to stop being seen as an email newbie:
1. Highlight the offending email message.
2. Delete the email message before it does further damage.

Good. Remember those steps.

Now, educate yourself. Whenever you feel an urge to forward a seemingly serious email to anyone, especially when there are numerous Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:'s in the subject line, go to a web site that researches these kinds of hoaxes.

Here's a web site that lists a few hoaxes. There are many others.

Go forth and forward hoaxes no more.

Now, forward this to 7,000 of your closest friends.

Do you think this would get people to stop? Probably some, but not all.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

'You keep your F; I'm keeping my dream.'

Read this today in a Dan Miller e-mail:

When Monty Roberts was in high school, his teacher gave the class the assignment of writing about what they wanted to do when they grew up. Monty wrote that he wanted to own a ranch and raise thoroughbred racehorses. His teacher gave him an 'F' and explained that the dream was unrealistic for a boy living in a camper in the back of a pickup truck. He would never be able to make this a reality. When he offered Monty the chance to rewrite his paper for a higher grade, Monty told him, 'You keep your F; I'm keeping my dream.'

Today, Monty's 154-acre ranch in Solvang, CA is home to world class thoroughbred racehorses and his gentle 'Join Up' methods of training horses (and kids) is the inspiration of companies around the world. He and his wife Pat have raised their own three children as well as 47 foster children, who return regularly to spend time on the ranch. As the 'Horse Whisperer' he inspired the Robert Redford movie that propelled Monty to fame and fortune beyond his wildest boyhood dreams.

Now, who's been trying to talk you out of your dream? Who's been telling you you're crazy and it can't be done? What level of success is that person experiencing? Do you notice that most naysayers and dream kickers are at the bottom themselves? Find people who are already performing at the level at which you'd like to be. You will find they will encourage and inspire you even more.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Unique DUI

Check out this DUI stop. I don't think it's standard police procedure.

Open the Windows Media File here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Beer ad

Is it just me or are the beer ads some of the best television has to offer. See it here.

Do people drink more. or stay loyal to "their" brand. because of these ads?

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Few artists

"A man who works with his hands is a laborer; a man who works with his hands and his brain is a craftsman; but a man who works with his hands and his brain and his heart is an artist."

- Louis Nizer

Lost in Translation

Something got lost in translation. At a ski lodge in Romania, a sign read:


from Amazing But True Ski Stories daily calendar

Friday, April 15, 2005

Gordon Moore on the current state of software

"As people make improvements in the interface, the complexity seems to grow, and I think if anything we're losing ground a bit in general purpose computing," Moore said. "They want to offer so many new functions in applications, it's difficult to simplify everything at the same time."

from a MacWorld news article 4/13/05

Simplify, simplify, simplify.

Using the familiar to do something original

"The secret of all effective originality in advertising is not the creation of new and tricky words and pictures, but one of putting familiar words and pictures into new relationships."

- Leo Burnet

Monday, April 11, 2005

Physics lesson on skis

Two objects of greatly different mass zooming down a slope side by side will have the same rate of descent, but the lighter one will have the larger hospital bill.

from "Amazing But True Ski Stores" daily calendar, April, 8, 2005

As you can see, I don't look at this every day.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Turn your back on the crowd

"If you want to conduct the orchestra, you need to turn your back on the crowd." Unknown

"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ". Gal. 1:10

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Moving quotes . . . as in "Get moving!"

'Man who waits for roast duck to fly into mouth must wait very, very, long time.' Chinese proverb

'Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.' Thomas Edison

'If you wait until the wind and the weather are just right, you will never plant anything and never harvest anything.' Ecclesiastes 11:4

'Don't wait. The time will never be just right.' Napoleon Hill

'There is no more miserable human being than the one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.' William James

Compliments of Dan Miller of

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Fitness humor

Dan Miller had these in his e-newsletter today.

These are my two faves.

"My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was 60. She's 97 now & we don't know where she is!"

"If you are going to try cross-country skiing, start with a small country."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Top Puns Pun Contest ?

Have you seen the top 10 winners in the International Pun Contest ?

1. A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead
raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, "I'm
sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger."

2. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns
to the other and says: "DAM."

3. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so
they lit a fire in the craft. Not surprisingly, it
sank, proving once again that you can't have your
kayak and heat it too.

4. Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says "I've lost my
electron." The other says "Are you sure?" The first
replies "Yes, I'm positive."

5. Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused
Novocain during a root canal? His goal? Transcend
dental medication.

6. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel
and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent
tournament victories.

After about an hour, the manager came out of the
office and asked them to disperse. "But why?" they
asked, as they moved off. "Because," he said, "I
can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

7. A woman has identical twins and places them for
adoption. One of them goes to a family in Egypt and
is named "Ahmal." The other goes to a family in Spain;
they name him "Juan."

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his
birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells
her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of
Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If
you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

8. These friars were behind on their belfry payments,
so they opened up a small florist shop to raise funds.
Since everyone liked to buy flowers from the men of
God, a rival florist across town thought the
competition was unfair.

He asked the good fathers to close down, but they
would not. He went back and begged the friars to
close. They ignored him.

So, the rival florist hired Hugh MacTaggart, the
roughest and most vicious thug in town to "persuade"
them to close. Hugh beat up the friars and trashed
their store, saying he'd be back if they didn't close
up shop. Terrified, they did so, thereby proving that
Hugh, and only Hugh, can prevent florist friars.

9. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most
of the time, which produced an impressive set of
calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which
made him rather frail, and with his odd diet, he
suffered from bad breath.

This made him... A super callused fragile mystic
plagued by halitosis.

10. And finally, there was the person who sent ten
different puns to his friends, with the hope that at
least one of the puns would make them laugh.

"No pun in ten did."

Friday, March 18, 2005

Big Fat Waste of time . . . with laughter on the side

The viral Numa Numa dance video

A Numa Numa classroom

The Original Dragostea Din Tei music video isn't as good as this one.

Warning it does get stuck in your head. I had moved on and Eddie brought me back to it. Thanks . . .
. . . thanks, a lot, Eddie! with your help I can waste more time faster.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

Tips for Mastering E-mail Overload

An Excerpt:
The problem is that readers now bear the burden
Before e-mail, senders shouldered the burden of mail. Writing, stamping, and mailing a letter was a lot of work. Plus, each new addressee meant more postage, so we thought hard about whom to send things to. (Is it worth spending thirty-two cents for Loren to read this letter? Nah….)

E-mail bludgeoned that system in no time. With free sending to an infinite number of people now a reality, every little thought and impulse becomes instant communication. Our most pathetic meanderings become deep thoughts that we happily blast to six dozen colleagues who surely can't wait. On the receiving end, we collect these gems of wisdom from the dozens around us. The result: Inbox overload.

And here are the bullet points.
You really have to read the entire piece to comprehend some of these points. If you sned and receive a lot of e-mail it's worth it.
How you can send better e-mail:
Use a subject line to summarize, not describe.

Give your reader full context at the start of your message.

When you copy lots of people (a heinous practice that should
be used sparingly), mark out why each person should care.

Make action requests clear.

Separate topics into separate e-mails … up to a point.

Combine separate points into one message.

Edit forwarded messages.

When scheduling a call or conference, include the topic in the invitation.
It helps people prioritize and manage their calendar more effectively.

Make your e-mail one page or less.

Understand how people prefer to be reached, and how quickly they respond.

How to read and receive e-mail:

Check e-mail at defined times each day.

Use a paper "response list" to triage messages before you do any follow-up.

Charge people for sending you messages.

Train people to be relevant.

Answer briefly.

Send out delayed responses.

Ignore it.

Our eyes to seem to be drawn to faces

I posted previously on how your eyes move around on Google. focusing on the top left triangle. Well compliments of Seth Godin's second blog entry on the topic, I have nosed around a little more. The interesting thing is when images are presented, the eyes tend to go to the faces of people in the pictures. Interesting.

Other example news pages tested.

Is this unique to news or do we do this with all images of faces? Does this happen across cultures? I'm guessing it does. There is something meaningful here, no?

Addendum: My daughters tell me this is how everyone is. It must be so.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Where you want to be . . .

. . . besides in the tropics or the mountains. Check out this graphic presenting where surfer's eyes look when they're looking at a Google page. Not much room for the guy in 5th place.

Eye scan image

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Style is not to be trusted.

Excerpt from Milton Glaser's 10 Things I Have Learned

Number 6

Style is not ot be trusted..
I think this idea first occurred to me when I was looking at a marvellous etching of a bull by Picasso. It was an illustration for a story by Balzac called The Hidden Masterpiece. I am sure that you all know it. It is a bull that is expressed in 12 different styles going from very naturalistic version of a bull to an absolutely reductive single line abstraction and everything else along the way. What is clear just from looking at this single print is that style is irrelevant. In every one of these cases, from extreme abstraction to acute naturalism they are extraordinary regardless of the style. It’s absurd to be loyal to a style. It does not deserve your loyalty. I must say that for old design professionals it is a problem because the field is driven by economic consideration more than anything else. Style change is usually linked to economic factors, as all of you know who have read Marx. Also fatigue occurs when people see too much of the same thing too often. So every ten years or so there is a stylistic shift and things are made to look different. Typefaces go in and out of style and the visual system shifts a little bit. If you are around for a long time as a designer, you have an essential problem of what to do. Incidentally, it’s popular for designers to claim they have no style but this is generally not true. Most good designers have developed a vocabulary, a form that is their own. It is one of the ways that they distinguish themselves from their peers, and establish their identity in the field. How you maintain your own belief system and preferences becomes a real balancing act. As a career progresses the question of whether you pursue change or whether you maintain your own distinct form becomes difficult. We have all seen the work of illustrious practitioners that suddenly look old-fashioned or, more precisely, belonging to another moment in time. And there are sad stories such as the one about Cassandre, arguably the greatest graphic designer of the twentieth century, who couldn’t make a living at the end of his life and committed suicide. But the point is that anybody who is in this for the long haul has to decide how to respond to change in the zeitgeist. What is it that people now expect that they formerly didn’t want? And how to respond to that desire in a way that doesn’t violate your sense of integrity and purpose.

This made me think of how people from different culture and sub-cultures paint God differently. They use their distinct style to paint a picture of God. Where we go wrong is falling in love with our particular style rather than the subject of the art.

Learn to paint well. Know your subject. Study it. With the image of God their are so many ways his image is defaced in our world. Twisted around to where people get confused or misled about what he really is like.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Get moving!

'Do not ask the Lord to guide your footsteps, if you are not willing to move your feet.' Author Unknown

No, I've never done that.


Got to get moving. Later.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Controlling the culture

"Whoever controls the media--the images--controls the culture." - Allen Ginsberg

Does controlling the culture really matter? Many Christians are concerned with where the cultures is going? Should we be? Jesus wasn't so up in arms about the culture of his day, with one exception. The religious culture. The Sadducees and Pharisees turned a relationship with God into a bunch of rule keeping. Jesus didn't like that much.

I just read a piece from & Arnold Fruchtenbaum's Newsletter yesterday that goes through the Sermon on the Mount. (Unfortunately it is not available online). Basically Jesus was refuting the teachings of the Pharisees about how to obtain righteousness.

Jesus says, For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 5:20 In our language "Sorry folks, not good enough".

And boy could these guys, and yes people, they were all guys, keep a lot of rules. They had the 600+ from Moses plus a bunch of traditions piled on top of that. Leaves you wondering. . . who could ever be good enough to be considered righteous and enter heaven? Which is the point, isn't it?

A brand to die for . . .

OK. Are some purses worth fighting for? This lady seemed to think so.

We can always get you another purse. We can't get another you.

Friday, March 04, 2005

I didn't know . . .

I didn't know I could post via e-mail. Next thing you know I'll be
blogging while driving down the road looking out the sun roof open,
like Noel.

Am I stupid for doing tis will someone hack my e-mail address and start
spamming my blog? Your thoughts?

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Adding something to get that dad-blamed map off my links.

Don't know
it does
the map
in my
last post overflows
my links.

I'm hoping
clears it up.

I can't believe I've visited . . .

I can't believe I've visited all of these states. I'm not sure about Rhode isalnd so I left it out and i actually haven't been to Louisiana, I'm going there next week for the first time. Just a few more to hit and then I can start on the Canadian provinces or Central America.

create your own personalized map of the USA
or check out ourFlorida travel guide


I sort of like Firefox but I havn't really made it my home browser yet. I like the RSS subscription tool. Easy. I also like the promise of open source software. I'm not worried I will end up locked into the software with no escape route, which brings me to my next point.

Firefox lacks the dot mac bookmark sync feature of Safari and I can't figure out how to get my bookmarks out of Safari and into Firefox. If anyone is reading AND they know how to get bookmarks transferred or any other cool features I am missing out on, comment now or forever hold your mouse.

Refining your message

"If I am to speak ten minutes, I need a week for preparation; if fifteen minutes, three days; if half an hour, two days; if an hour, I am ready now."

- Woodrow Wilson

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Funny Cat Video

This is just too funny.
Can it be real?

"Intimacy doesn't scale".

"Intimacy doesn't scale." This got me thinking. Technology lets us talk to more people, advertise to more people, get audio, video and written content to thousands, even millions. In spite of all this technology that gives us the ability to communicate, we are still left to develop relationships in our "primitive" ways.

You can grow a business customer base or a community of common interest, but in the end, we all come down to our need for and ability to maintain personal one-to-one or one-to-few relationships.

Here's an ancient example of intimacy scaling poorly. King Solomon with his hundreds of wives. Do you think he had a close relationship with all of them? NOT! Geez, he couldn't have given each one but one day a year to talk personally. That was completely nuts! For the wisest man who ever lived, this is a character flaw you could fly a plane through. It certainly wasn't what God wanted for him. Maybe he thought, “If I just marry one more, I’ll finally understand women.”

If you want to be close, stop spreading yourself around so thin. Don't expect technology to allow you to scale your relationships in any dramatic multiple of what your "primitive” abilities allow. Even Jesus, God-in-the-flesh, couldn’t get around this limitation. He had 12 close friends and of those only 3 were his tightest buds.

How does intimacy get created? What destroys it? What advances it? Maybe I should ask MJ. What are your thoughts?

Here is the inspiration for this entry, From Hugh McLeod's blog, Gaping Void :

More thoughts on "How To Be Creative" from Hugh here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

If you like exaggerated stories of good versus evil . .

. . . then you like Macs and . . .
. . . you'll get a kick out of As The Apple Turns.

This piece got me going today. Pay More, Get Less, & Like It

Here's an excerpt:

Maybe we're not so much deep-down incredulous that anyone could really sink to such depths as to try to jack up prices on something that's essentially all profit in the first place, but rather that they could really stay down there in the slime for ten or eleven months without coming up for air. That's purely a gut reaction, of course, since our rational selves are fully aware that record execs breathe slime, and if they ever took a gillful of clean, fresh air, they'd burst into flames. (Fire: the Biblical Cleanser™!)

I must confess I read it far too regularly. The good news is, it takes many repeat doses to come fully under it's mind altering powers, I think.

Bon Apetit!

Monday, February 28, 2005

Uptight about ballet dancing, too?

From The Week .

Yekatarinburg, Russia

Czars in tights: Orthodox priests in Yekatarinburg last week protested a ballet production that depicted Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II, dancing in tights. The czar and his family, who were executed in Yekatarinburg during the Russian Revolution of 1918, are considered Orthodox saints. Many believers find the ballet, Rasputin, named for the czar’s mysterious advisor, to be blasphemous. “Orthodox Christians are offended by the fact that Nicholas II is shown dancing,” said Father Maksim Menyailo, the head of the Church of Spilled Blood, which was built on the execution site. “In czarist Russia, it was not permitted even to show the images of saints on the stage.”

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Success - the serious side

OK, it really was a great message tonight. Not because it was funny, although that probably helped. Noel talked about 3 peoples success stories. Noah, Jeremiah, and Ruth.

Noah. The slow ark builder. It took him 100 to 120 year to make the boat. He also failed to change anyone’s mind. But he was a success in God's eyes. A hall of famer.

Jeremiah. He brought God's message to Israel for something like 50 years and was hated by everyone, and never saw one person change their mind. He was hated by everyone including himself. But he was a success in God's eyes. Another hall of famer.

Ruth was from a race looked down upon by the Israelites and yet ends up getting her own book in the bible and being counted as one of the three women mentioned in Jesus ancestry.

Bottom Line: Obey God and do what is right. This is what true success. In a way all three of these kept the faith. They trusted God and did what was right. I must do the same.

The other part of the message that wacked me was about Jeremiah's bipolar disorder. You can read about it here. He really goes from one extreme to the other, and then back again, quite quickly. I can relate to some of his questions. Noel pointed out it is admirabe to be honest with God as Jeremiah was here. I will seek to do the same.

Now I'm off to organize the materials for the financial seminar.


Great message at church tonight. It was on success. Noel opened with some posters from the Demotivational series. If you've never heard of them you have to go see them at . Here are a couple of direct links to posters on Flattery and Bitterness

I couldn't resist posting more links to some of my favorites:

More serious thoughts to follow in my next post.

P.S. ISn't it amazing how a product that is a "spin-off" of an existing product can be so cool. This one has to generate a lot more buzz than the original Successories poster do.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Are your e-doors locked?

Dan Price blogged about their unlocked car being "broken" into and reminded us to lock our doors. The same applies on-line. Lock your e-doors.

I heard Paris Hilton's T-Mobile address book got "hacked". This got me thinking about the security of my on-line accounts. If a celebrity's account security can be hacked, I'm vulnerable, too, because I use the same kinds of companies, right?. Wrong! It turns out the T-Mobile database wasn't hacked in the purest sense of the term. It turns out she had a lame password. A password that about anyone who can type her name into a search engine could "guess".

The full story is here. Here's an excerpt.

"Like many online service providers, requires users to answer a "secret question" if they forget their passwords. For Hilton's account, the secret question was "What is your favorite pet's name?" By correctly providing the answer, any internet user could change Hilton's password and freely access her account."

It also turns out that weak passwords are one of the top security problems.

Here is a the long mind-numbing read for those who are up for it. The Twenty Most Critical Internet Security Vulnerabilities, and here is an excerpt on how to create a strong password:

        ▪          Not contain all or part of the user's account name
        ▪         Be at least six characters in length
        ▪         Contain characters from three of the following four categories:
        ▪          English uppercase characters (A through Z)
        ▪         English lowercase characters (a through z)
        ▪         Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
        ▪         Non-alphanumeric characters (e.g., !, $, #, %)

They also advise you should update the password periodically. Any password can be hacked given enough time by making a ton of guesses. Strangely enough the commonly used technical term for this is "brute force". So I guess the geeks can use thier own kind of force.

Of course all of this is only applicable to the extent you have something of value to protect.
BOTTOM LINE: Use strong passwords and change them periodically.

Now I'm off to change all of my passwords to: 12GE%n&aHp;&
. . . Oops.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Apple 1984 Spoof Ad

View it.

Them cotton-pickin' cliches

I'm reading a book called "Memories" by Lockie Victoria and L.V. Jones. It was compiled and edited by their great grandson/grandson and my friend, Jim Purvis,. It relates his stories from their lives growing up in rural Tennessee.

It's quite interesting to see how people lived and looked at things only one hundred years ago. Life was quite different. No cars, a first, no radio, no phones, and . . . no wireless broadband internet connection. The family once attempted drive (with mules and wagon) to Missouri to visit relatives. They had to turn back and go home because the mules wouldn't get on the ferry across the Mississippi. And this was an all day a fair on bumpy dirt roads.

Here is a humorous angle on it. L.V. Jones says "As time went by I got use to all of this cotton-picking stuff." and she is actually talking about picking cotton. I guess I've only been exposed to people using cotton-picking as a cliche, and then probably only on The Beverly Hillbillies.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Marketing is NOT an event

"Marketing is not an event, but a process... It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely."

- Jay Conrad Levinson

Friday, February 18, 2005

Steady plodding works best

Ok, this piece is on the music business, but I think it applies to all of us. We all want the easy path. The instant success and the recognition we deserve for our incredible skills and genious.

Slow Cooked Success

Now, it's time for me to get cooking.

The new Destination for Maps

If you haven't seen it already, check out Google's new mapping tool. It's leaps and bounds ahead of Yahoo and Mapquest. Safari user will have to use a nother browser. The Google nerds haven't figured that one out yet. Firefox works great and it's free.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

More ski humor

Something was lost in translation. This sign appeared at a ski lodge in the French Alps: PLEASE LEAVE YOUR VALUES AT THE FRONT DESK.

Source: Amazing But True Ski Stories , Thursday, February 10, 2005

How valuable are your great ideas?

"You can't build a reputation on what you're going to do" -- Henry Ford

"A goal without an action plan is a day dream." -- Dr. Nathaniel Branden

It's not what you know; it's not even who you know; it's what you implement that counts.

Quotes and excerpts from Periodization, 12 Weeks to Breakthrough, by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington.

The 12 week performance period is being implemented by major companies. A friend, who is a relationship manager with one of the largest banks in the world, tells me they converted from a annual incentive program to a quarterly one. More on this later.

Dangerous ideas?

"There's nothing more dangerous than an idea, when it's the only one you have."

- Emile Chartier

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Getting personal

OK. Since I haven't decided exactly what kind of a blog this is going to be I have decided to not get too personal, in the self revelation sense of the word, so far. I have seen other blogger who I respect who are and admire their courage. At this point, I guess I'm still watching from the sidelines.

It seems to make sense to me to have a personal blog and a business blog and "nary the twain shall meet". What ever that's supposed to mean. (Maybe it was Mark Twain and his brother Tom. They were bitter enemies and you could never invite them both to the same party.) But I digress, back to the blogs. One blog to be really smart on, and another place to lay yourself out there. Now there's a unique presentation you never see anywhere. A brutally honest business blog.

Think this is a wierd post? You're not alone. (I just wrote "your" and had to correct it to "you're"I think it's my favorite writing error.)

If your going to fail. Fail trying. Don't fail to try. More on this later. This is one of my favorite methods of failure. BAAAAH, too much self revelation. Must not listen to the voices. Muuuuuuust hiiiiiiiiit Puuuuuuuuubliiiiiiiish . . .

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Walking in the light?

I was learning a new song to lead the kid's music at church tomorrow morning and, I got to thinking. What does walking in the light exactly mean. This song repeats that phrase about 20 times and with concepts like this I like to try to explain them to the kids. I've known the phrase for quite some time and have some comprehension of it but to be forced to describe it to someone, well, that's a bird of a different color.

So , me being the master of the obvious, I do a google search for it and I find something useful. Amazing.

Here's part of the explanation of walking in the light.
"What is the main value of light? Negatively, it helps you avoid danger. Positively, it helps you reach what you are after. When you walk in the darkness you may stumble over a log, or step on a rattlesnake or fall off a cliff or hit your head on a low-hanging branch. Darkness is full of threat. It frustrates your ability to attain your goal. But light changes all that. It exposes dangers and frees you from their lurking power. It opens the way to your goal. It is full of hope and promises the glad attainment of your goal.

The first picture of God that John wants to put before us is this picture of God as light. "God is light and in him is no darkness at all." It means that if you draw near to God you do not find a dark and foreboding truth. You find freedom and hope and joy. In God the stumbling logs and rattlesnakes and cliffs and low-hanging branches are all exposed and we are made safe from them. Our goal of ultimate and eternal joy is secured in God because there is no darkness in God. That is, there are no lurking shadows in God. There is no hidden agenda, no small print. He is light, and in him is no darkness at all."

Here's a great illustration on walking in darkness:
"The reason this is called walking in darkness is that the only way people can desire things more than God is if they are blind to the light of God. To choose gravel over diamonds you have to be blind. Remember the picture of the man in a dark room. He feels a warm, soft fur with one hand and a cold sharp edge with the other, and draws in close to the warmth and softness of the fur.

But when the light goes on he sees that the warm, soft fur is the under belly of a horrid, man-eating monster; and the hard, cold edge is the sword of the majestic Christ ready to save. The reason he was controlled by his desire for the man-eating monster is that he was in the dark "

Quite a powerful illustration. I probably would have made the sword a common everyday monster-slayer (TM) sword, but either way, you get the picture.

Now, if I can just boil this down to something I can explain to the kids. Know what. I'll ask them. They'll probably explain it to me.

A Ski Story Close to Home

Apparently, avid skier, outdoorsman, sportsman and writer, Sir Arthur Conan "The Barbarian" Doyle , creator of super-sleuth Sherlock Holmes, is credited with bringing the sport of skiing and the Swiss Alps to the attention of the world.

He had two Swiss guides, Hans and Franz. OK, they weren't Hans and Franz, Hans and Franz were Austrian, well faux Austrian, anyway. His guides took him out on the mountains near Davos, Switzerland. This is right around the corner from St. Moritz. It was on this trip Doyle strapped on a pair of skis for the first time. I do mean strapped quite literally. Well, the area they travelled is now closed because of avalanche danger. It's a good thing we didn't lose the bloke to an avalanche. The world would have had to wait on skiing, and would have missed a some great stories.

I personally would have still know about skiing, because Doyle made this discovery near where my Dad grew up. Dad grew up in Champfér (pronounced Chomp-fair), which is right next to St. Moritz. Here's a map of the area.

A little tangent . . . thier home in the village had livestock on the first level. This was common in this area. The animals shared their heat, on cold winter nights. Not a good place for the allergic or sensitive nose.

Anyway, back to skiing, Before the resorts had all of this hi-tech grooming equipment they used to have workers pack the runs by walking down them sideways (with their skis on). For a half days work, my dad would get a one day lift ticket. Not a bad deal for both parties.

If skiing hadn't become so popular the world around, I imagine the technological advancements may have come more slowly. Maybe we'd still be slapping planks of wood on our hiking boots and tying them down with leather straps. Imagine trying to run a downhill course at 60 or 70 miles an hour with that gear. You'll want to make sure your emergency crew brings a full fleet of ambulances, and probably some shovels, too!

Goodbye, sweet St. Moritz, until we ski you again!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Legal free music source #2

Playlist magazine offers free music downloads. I I think I downloaded about 60 last night. No need for iTunes. A variety of genres. Get them here. They update it with a new song every day, so it may be bookmark worthy.

Technical note. You may have to right click and choose save to disk to download a copy. Simple clicking on my Mac only opened them in memory, A right click (or control click) did the trick.

Dad, this one has a few classical pieces!

Legal free music source #1

Apple is currently offering a free 13 song album from the iTunes Music store. This is separate from, and in addition to their weekly Tuesday freebie offer. I found out about it on the MacWorld site. Click here to go to the article. Apparently the first time you plug in your new iPod this album pops up. Automatic marketing. Neato!

If you just want your dang free music NOW, click here to go straight to the album in iTunes. (For those who lack a keen eye for the obvious, you'll need to have iTunes installed for this to work.)

Sorry, Dad. It's not classical music.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

A Note to my PC using friends

It seems quite a few of you are having one kind of trouble or another lately. Here are three tips to, hopefully, reduce your chances of trouble in the future.

1. Sign up for an antivirus subscription. Symantec and McAfee products are quite good. Set them up to download updates automatically. New bugs are always coming out and automatic updates are easy. You don't have to do anything to get them but power up and, if you have a dial up connection, connect the internet. If you don't get the updates you may pay or it in down time. Make sure you have the latest version of protection, too. Don't save a couple bucks and pay in hours of system recovery time.

2. Don't use Internet Explorer.
Experts say you are more vulnerable to spyware and other attacks by using it, so why bother. There are better options available for free. Firefox is more secure and includes a built in pop up blocker. <>. There are other free choices, too.

3. If you have a choice, don't Use Outlook or Outlook Express. If you do use Outlook make sure you have the proper protection in place. There is special security software, often bundled with other anti-virus or security software, designed to keep these critters from using your address book to spread themselves to other PCs.

If you do these three things, you improve your odds of survival, but it is still no guarantee.

Speaking Your Language

"If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."

- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

I'm not sure this is the ideal way to blog, but I like to pass along sites and quotes I like. If your looking for me to dish out some personal rant on tis that or the other thing, sorry. Maybe that will come later. I haven't told you about my software uninstall travails yet, have I.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

An obscene interest in others' failures.

If you haven't already checked out Vincent Flanders, Web Pages that Suck, it's time. He's posted
The Biggest Web Design Mistakes of 2004.

Being entertained while you learn from others mistakes . . . priceless.

Monday, January 31, 2005

I guess I'm not toooooooo nerdy.

I am nerdier than 40% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!


"Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected."

- William Plome

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Induhvidual Quotes (from the Dilbert e-Newsletter)

Here now, some quotes from Induhviduals, many of whom are allowed to operate motor vehicles, and have children, sometimes simultaneously.

"I don’t want anybody stepping on anybody else’s thunder."

"You can't pull the sheep over my eyes!"

"I'm thinking in my brain."

"What is that disease where if someone loses a lot of blood they just die?"

"Clean as a baby's bottom."

"I don't mean to take the steam out of your sails, but..."

"She has not seen one red dime from him."

"I used to be as sharp as a button."

"That'll put the monkey in your court."

"We don't want this project to snowball into a can of worms."

"... up the creek in a hand bag."

"It's best not to open that can of wax."

"Let’s pair up into threes."

"I just thought myself into a corner."

"We really need to hang on to our coattails to ride the waves of change."

"That way I can kill two bricks with one stone."

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

You can be quite slow . . . and still be The Fastest

Check out this piece on speed in Popular Science.

The fastest tectonic plate only travels .00000000709 mph and the fastest plant, bamboo, only moves .0000237 mph. Here's some faster stats on two of my favorite topics, cycling and computing.

81 mph
Sam Whittingham: World’s fastest self-propelled man
The self-propelled land-speed record was set in October 2002, when Canadian Sam Whittingham reached 81 mph inside a bullet-shaped recumbent bicycle on a flat course in Battle Mountain, Nevada. Whittingham’s victory was attributed to his low body weight and particularly low-riding bike.

World’s Fastest Supercomputer
Every person on Earth would need to perform 100,000 calculations a second in order to equal the power of IBM’s Blue Gene, which posted a new record speed last November. Since 1976, when the original supercomputer, the Cray-1, debuted, supercomputer speed has increased by a factor of 450,000. When fully complete this June, Blue Gene’s projected speed will be almost five million times that of the Cray-1.

Blue Gene’s power—achieved by 131,072 IBM PowerPC 440 processors—is already twice as great as the previous record set just last May.

There are more interesting stats in their 4 page article, so check it out for yourself.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

The Mac Turns 21

Check out this Quick Time video of the January 1984 Introduction of the Macintosh.

I'm glad Steve has lost the suit and bow tie. Having been a black mock turtleneck guy for so long, it seems odd to see him in a suit. His reality Distortion Field doesn't seem as strong, either.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The New Selfishness

From Seth Godin's blog

I was called to jury duty this week. (Key word being "duty".)

It was an extraordinary learning experience. In New York State, they've eliminated most of the automatic exemptions, so everyone is there--lawyers, doctors, sole proprietors, doesn't matter.

This is one of the only times you get a look at your neighbors, unguarded, unadorned, completely random
Here's what surprised me:
1. lots of people from two parent, single income homes
2. very little sense of civic pride
3. complete distaste for the legal system
4. widespread cynicism about insurance
5. most of all, selfishness.

I live in Westchester County, which is one of the most affluent counties in the USA. There was almost no one in the room who couldn't afford to spend the two or three days that were required of them (that's two days every six years). Yet the prevailing attitude was a wide and deep sense of self-importance. Everyone else should serve, just not me."

Seth's complete entry, 1/24/05

Selfishness is really pretty old, isn't it? It is interesting to observe people in situations where they are not in control.

The most important word in advertising is . . .

"The most important word in the vocabulary of advertising is TEST. If you pretest your product with consumers, and pretest your advertising, you will do well in the marketplace."

- David Ogilvy, 1963

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005

True tales of Induhviduals

I always laugh out loud when I dead my quarterly Dogbert's New Ruling Class newsletter. here are some excerpts from the most recent newsletter's TRUE TALES OF INDUHVIDUALS section.

Here are some more true tales of Induhviduals, as reported by vigilant DNRC operatives in the field.


When our printer ran out of color ink, one Induhvidual asked, "Why don't we print it in black and white and then take a color photocopy?"


One of our salespeople told a customer to "Write on a fax, in pretty good size letters, MUST SHIP TODAY." When the fax came in it said, "In pretty good size letters must ship today."


I was dining with a friend at our favorite Thai restaurant when one of the owners came by to show us photos of her new baby boy. Afterward, my friend remarked that she was surprised that the baby looked "so Chinese." I said, "Well, he does look Asian, since both parents are from Thailand, but what did you expect?" She said, "Yeah, I know, but I expected him to look more American since they've been living in the U.S. for 15 years."


We were chatting about the latest high price of crude oil, when a friend of ours piped up: "I don't understand the big deal about the price of oil. I mean, I only put oil in my car every now and then, but I put gas in my car every day!"


On Feb. 14th, my birthday, at our daily team meeting, the manager turned to me and said to the group, "And let's all wish Allen a happy birthday today!"

A programmer turned to me and asked, "Today's your birthday? How often does your birthday fall on Valentines Day?"

I had to struggle mightily to come up with a response that didn't include the phrase "dumb ass."


You can subscribe to the Dilbert Newsletter here.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

The PC virus and spyware problem is not overblown.

Today I called Dell support because I was having some trouble remotely logging into a Dell Dimension in our office. For the first 2 minutes I was told that Dell will not solve my spyware problems and giving instructions on where to you can purchase or download software to clean your system. This was followed by messages on virus protection.

Dell seems to me to be a quite efficient business operation. The messages have to be reflecting the nature of the calls their receiving. The biggest volume of calls has to be virus and spyware infection problems.

Fortunately, I've got all the virus and spy-ware software already . . . all the other computers in the office are Macs.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

McDonalds McShwarma ad

OK. I sweat, I found this through a marketing weblog.

As some of my Isra-blogger colleagues have already pointed out, the best commercial on Israeli television at the moment comes from McDonalds. Mickey D's has recently launched their version of shawarma a popular Middle Eastern dish (basically layers of spiced turkey meat which are roasted on a rotating grill and served up in a pita). They call it -- you'll never guess -- McShawarma.

The ad parodies the famous scene at the beginning of Pulp Fiction where John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson have a conversation about how McDonalds in Europe is different from McDonalds in the States.

View it here.

The parody ad goes more or less like this:
Travolta - You know what they call a Quarter Pounder in Israel?
Jackson - No.
Travolta - Mac Royale.
Jackson (laughing) - A Mac Royale.
Travolta - That's right. And guess what they call the pita bread with pieces of turkey?
Jackson - What?
Travolta - A MacShawarma [which he pronounces "mik shuwarma"]
Jackson - A MacShawarma.
Travolta - Yeah.
Jackson - So a guy just walks into a McDonalds and says, "Can I have a MikShuwarma please"?
Travolta - Yeah, except they don't say "please" in Israel.
Jackson - (laughs).
The guy doing Travolta is totally spot on. The guy they have doing Jackson does a great impersonation, but looks like what would happen if Samuel L. Jackson ate nothing but McDonalds for about 10 months. At any rate, the commercial never fails to crack me up"

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Great products don't need great salesman

" . . . You've probably already guessed the punchline. It was one of the single most inept sales presentations I'd ever seen. A lousy powerpoint. A non-charismatic, non-empathetic salesperson who faced the wall and read the fine print on the slides aloud. At the end of the presentation, he mumbled something about being able to take a check.

A few minutes later, the prospect handed over four million dollars.


Sometimes it seems like the very best stuff sells itself. That explains why some car dealerships have waiting lists and sell stuff for a premium, while others look like ghost towns.

Sometimes, salesmanship is overrated. What matters more is real marketing, marketing that involves making the right product, not hyping it." -- Seth Godin's blog, 1/12/05"

Monday, January 17, 2005

Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

But the fact is that I wouldn't have won even a single Tour de France without the lesson of illness. What it teaches you is this: pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.

Lance Armstrong, Every Second Counts, page 3-4

More mistakes, more wisdom.

"Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep."

- Scott Adams

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Chicago Trip

This morning we drove to Schaumburg, IL and stopped by the American Girl Place Store and finally, the Apple store. Now all of my daughters want to get jobs to pay for their own personal iPods. Thank you, Apple. This post was also made at the Michigan Avenue store. Nice.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Ski Preparation Exercise

IF your reading this, then MacJournal let's me post this to my blog with a few clicks. It also works with LiveJournal and e-mail. Sweet.

I found this on the web a couple years ago. It's timely.

The ski season is finally here. This list of exercises will help you get ready...

- Visit your local butcher and pay $30 to sit in the walk-in freezer for half an hour. Afterwards, burn two $50 dollar bills to warm up.

- Soak your gloves and store them in the freezer after every use.

- Fasten a small, wide rubber band around the top half of your head before you go to bed each night.

- If you wear glasses, begin wearing them with glue smeared on the lenses.

- Throw away a hundred dollar bill - RIGHT NOW!

- Find the nearest ice rink and walk across the ice 20 times in your ski boots carrying two pairs of skis, accessory bag and poles. Pretend you are looking for your car. Sporadically
drop things.

- Place a small but angular pebble in your shoes, line them with crushed ice, and then tighten a C-clamp around your toes.

- Buy a new pair of gloves and IMMEDIATELY THROW ONE AWAY!

- Secure one of your ankles to a bedpost and ask a friend to run into you at high speed.

- Go to McDonald's and insist on paying $8.50 for a hamburger. Be sure you are in the longest line.

- Clip a lift ticket to the zipper of your jacket, get on a motorcycle and ride fast enough to make the ticket lacerate your face.

- Drive slowly for five hours - anywhere - as long as it's in a snowstorm and you're following an 18-wheeler.

- Fill a blender with ice, hit the pulse button and let the spray blast your face. Leave the ice on your face until it melts. Let it drip onto your clothes.

- Slam your thumb in a car door and don't bother to go see a doctor.

* Repeat all of the above every Saturday and Sunday until you're ready for the real thing!

That was WAY too easy.

I just spent several hours trying to figure out how to install two other blogging apps on my site. This is a heck of a lot easier. About 3 minutes. I spent most of i trying to decide what to do with my domain name.

Now we'll see if I can figure out how to upload some of my myriad journal entries.