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.