Thursday, January 31, 2008
It is much easier to watch two candidates debate versus six.
I found myself starting to warm to Barack. Up until this point, I have placed a high priority on experience. Although, I feel Hillary better understands what goes into being U.S. President, I found Barack to be quick on his feet tonight, engaging and charming.
An interesting point was made that if Hillary won, it could possibly be over 30 years of the Bush & Clinton families running the White House. That made me think. Is that really a good idea for two families to have such control of our government and country. It is weird. We see ourselves so much to be all about the people, but is it really just a few families?
It is also an interesting thought that Papa Bush drove the country into a recession and Bill Clinton brought us back into economic and social prosperity, now we may be expecting Hillary to do the same with the current Bush. Is it the President that makes the difference? Is our economy just cyclical? Is it Democratic versus Republican? Where does the difference lie?
Either way, the weeks and months to come will be interesting and it was also nice to see Barack and Hillary focus a bit less on jabs against each other. What did everyone else think?
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Untitled by Bryce Laughlin
cold winter night by Pawa Jaz
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Mike's original email asking for my help:
In a continued attempt to hopefully get published in the JPG magazine one of these times, I ask if would you please vote on each one of my three photos and make each of them a favorite up on JPG. To do so you will need to click on each individual link below, followed by selecting "Make Favorite" beneath the photo to the right and then clicking on the green thumbs up "yeah it rocks".
Photo #1 - End of the Line
Photo # 2 - Pink Balloon Blue Sky
Photo #3 - Morning Visit
Monday, January 28, 2008
I remember when I was a kid, I LOVED this episode. Looking back, I know realize several things.
1. I loved Wonder Woman and Lynda Carter a little too much for a 6 year old boy...worship was actually a closer description.
2. I should have realized I was gay earlier because I wanted to be Lynda Carter, NOT be with Lynda Carter.
3. Love makes you do weird things, like think Lynda Carter could sing.
Funny thing is that this episode aired the day my sister fell up a slide and chipped her front tooth. I remember that was all the focus in my house, instead of this episode of the Muppet Show with Lynda Carter. The memory is a funny thing isn't it?
I still love Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter, Rubberband Man (although not Lynda's version)and the Muppets to this day. Oh and my sister and her tooth recovered nicely with a little cap.
I personally feel Lynda Carter needs to make a comeback. My God, how gay was that?
Sadly, I think this is how they would be...sitting in the passenger seat jamming to tunes on the car radio. I think they would make the world a better place.
Tonight is the State of the Union address by President Bush. Sadly, I doubt I will watch. I used to be the type of person who watched the State of Union but after 2,564 days (7 years, o months, 8 days) of George Bush in office it has made me sad, tired and frustrated, so unless he is coming on the TV to resign, I doubt I will give it much attention. There is good news though, they expect this will be his last State of the Union address, so I guess that is something.
After 7 years, I can tell you that I am not satisfied with the state of our union and think the United States has not moved forward under Bush's Presidency and if nothing else, has declined from an economic, social reform and international view-point.
Fortunately, I see hope right around the corner as the next Presidential election nears (can we vote in February instead and get it over with). I personally see both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as far from perfect, but when compared to George Bush, they shine.
So I guess it is just a waiting game now.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
While I was at the grocery store today, I came across an interesting conversation and display in the vegetable aisle. There were two woman that came across each other in the aisle that had, based on the conversation, not seen each other. They were former neighbors. The one woman was alone and the other had a daughter, named Janie, who I guessed to be around 6. How did I know her name was Janie? For the sheer fact that mother said it no less than 6 million times.
- "Janie get off the cart."
- "Janie don't touch."
- "Janie stand still."
- "Janie I said don't touch."
- "Janie stay with me."
- "Janie, quiet! Mommy is talking."
- "Janie you remember Mrs. Lang."
- "Janie say hello."
- "Janie tell her how old you are."
- "Janie I said do not touch."
But that was not the part that really annoyed me. The mother who seemed to have no interest in her daughter, Janie, except to scold her spent the next two minutes telling the other woman what an amazing ballerina her daughter has become. I could tell Janie was dressed in pink and some sort of dance outfit. The mother then ordered Janie to dance for the other woman. I am not joking, suddenly the vegetable aisle at Safeway was some sort of So You Think You Can Dance reality show. The funniest part was they were all oblivious to the fact that they were blocking me and my lima beans (they are good, you should try them). So while Janie stood up on her little pink toes, I had to lean over and struggle to reach past the other woman to get my vegetables. In case you were wondering, Janie is no ballerina and had the talent you would expect in any six year old. But according to her mother, she was the next superstar. I could tell, as the continued place her mouth onto the side of the cart. Yuck! How about a "Janie don't put your mouth on that."
But this is not restricted to just parents and children. I got a double dose today. On the way home from the grocery store, I passed the new neighborhood doggie-daycare. They also offer dog training and dog skills (or that is what the sign said at least, as I was thinking, great Zoe needs a skill, how about cooking?). There were a few people outside the fence, so since it was nice out today, I decided to stop and watch. There were a bunch of dogs being taken through an obstacle course by a trainer and their owner. It seemed one owner per dog inside the fence, so the other people outside the fence seemed to be the other "proud parents".
The two woman next to me chatted away to each other (neither even said hi to me - bitches!) and were named Cheryl and Elaine. Cheryl's husband, Rod (I always find that to be a funny name for some reason) was inside the fence with their dog, Baxter. Baxter was a Jack Russell Terrier. They are good dogs, my Sister's family has one. Her name is Casey and is what I affectionately call a Baked Potato, a reference to her slightly over-weight nature. But she has recently slimmed down, so I guess I should call her French-Fry. Anyhow, I never figured out who the other woman belonged to either spouse, significant other or dog wise. But one of the other dogs and owners, must have been a part of the Elaine clan.
Cheryl, who talked far too loud for any human, proceeded to tell Elaine everything Baxter could do.
- "Baxter can sit."
- "Baxter can lie down."
- "Baxter does the cutest thing and crawls on his belly like a baby."
- "Baxter can roll over three times in a roll."
- "Baxter will sit on his back legs when you tell his to stand."
- "Baxter will bark when we say speak."
- "Baxter is so funny at night because he lies on his back and snores."
Now I have no children, so I will not speak much about how I would raise my own "little Janie" because I may be just as bad, but I can speak to owning dogs. I personally am happy that Millie and Zoe do not know any tricks and our just dogs. Okay, Zoe will sit, it you tell her to sit. She will lie down if you tell her to go to bed. This was not through training really. She is just pretty smart. But if you tell Millie to sit, she usually just stares at you. If you tell her to go to bed, she would probably just lick herself. But I love her for this. I love that they are just dogs. They enjoy life and do not perform on command, nor do Dale and I expect this behavior.
I think that children and pets should find their own talents and not be trained by their parents. There is a part of me that thinks Janie and Baxter will both grow up and hate their parents. Both for being forced to perform on demand. There is a part of me that hope both will run away in a few years, but will find each other on the road and live together in a little loft happily ever after, free from their overbearing, boring mothers, who wanted to live vicariously through them.
- "Run Janie, run!"
- "Baxter, kill. Attack Cheryl."
One of my resolutions this year was to read more off-line...but I guess it is okay to read a book about on-line marketing strategies, right?
Seth uses real and profound examples of why ”traditional marketing” like billboards, radio spots and television advertising (the meatballs) and “new trends” like internet media, blogs, or anything else categorized as Web 2.0 (the sundae toppings) often fail when not in sync.
You are probably thinking what does a meatball sundae have to do with anything, right? Meat - good. Whip cream - good. No, probably not…but I am considering giving it a try. I know some f you who read this blog were thinking - yeah, a cookbook review. (You should know I am not someone who likes cooking.)
Instead Seth uses the meatball sundae to create a visual comparison of companies trying to “be hip” by using the new Web 2.0 marketing techniques without integrating or updating the traditional marketing techniques within their marketing plan. One of the examples Seth uses is the $40 million Anheuser-Busch spent on Bud-TV, which added no new customers. His examples show how important it is for all marketing strategies within a company to be in sync or they will not be successful. The web 2.0 techniques are new and exciting, but any marketing initiative without success metrics, goals or a plan will not succeed.
I feel the lessons in this book are important for any company or interactive agency (like the company I work for, Indigio). For me, as exciting as the new web 2.0 marketing techniques are, it is important to remember return on investment (ROI). Unless, Indigio helps to build strategy and marketing techniques that increase revenue, create more customers or drive to a company’s success metric, we are not truly helping our clients. We need to remember this with every new initiative (and thankfully, I am proud that this is a focus at Indigio).
The book is broken into three sections.
Section 1 is “Thinking About the Meatball Sundae” and discusses the history of marketing.
Section 2 is “The Fourteen Trends”, which discusses new trends in marketing, including:
#1 - Direct Communication and Commerce Between Producers and Consumers
#2 - Amplification of the Voice of the Consumer and Independent Authorities
#3 - Need for an Authentic Story as the Number of sources Increases
#4 - Extremely Short Attention Spans Due to Clutter
#5 - The Long Tail
#6 - Outsourcing
#7 - Google and the Dicing of Everything
#8 - Infinite Channels of Communication
#9 - Direct Communication and Commerce Between Consumers and Consumers
#10 - The Shifts in Scarcity and Abundance
#11 - The Triumph of Big Ideas
#12 - The Shift From How Many to Who
#13 - The Wealthy Are Like Us
#14 - New Gatekeepers, No Gatekeepers
Section 3 is “Putting It Together” and features great case studies. The case studies give real life examples of companies who have been successful integrating new marketing and other companies who have not. I personally found this section to be the most powerful, but I am a person that likes theory, but loves real life examples.
This book is definitely worth the read, especially if you are involved in any type of marketing strategy. It may change the way you think or in my case, I feel it helped to reinforce what I already knew.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The link to this site was sent to me by neighbor and friend Toby Krout and he asked that I share.
At Freerice.com, you can "donate" 20 grains of rice to the needy simply by choosing the right answer to a word definition problem. Each correct answer results in another donation of 20 grains. The site shows through 2007, 6,948,988,060 grains of rice were donated through the site.
I know it sounds fishy, so I did some Google research and could not find anything saying it was not legitimate and actually found several independent sites that promoted the fact that it was real. So how does answering definition questions make rice? Here is what I found:
Freerice.com is the creation of American computer programmer John Breen and is the sister site of poverty.com, launched in January 2007 with a counter showing one person dying every 3.5 seconds from hunger. Breen also created the Hunger site in June 1999.
As to who pays for the rice, the site says, "The rice is paid for by the advertisers whose names you see on the bottom of your vocabulary screen. This is regular advertising for these companies, but it is also something more. Through their advertising at FreeRice, these companies support both learning (free vocabulary for everyone) and reducing hunger (free rice for the hungry). We commend these companies for their participation at FreeRice."
From other sites I found the rice is distributed by the United Nations World Programme (WFP).
You can also check out the sites FAQ section to learn more. So whether or not it is legit, I do not 100% know. You know the saying, if something seems too easy, it probably is. But what do you got to lose...spend 10 minutes...it is a good break to the day, right? You may be helping someone, you may not...either way it is no worse than any of the applications on Facebook.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
From: Scott Ashley
Date: Jan 23, 2008 11:03 AM
Subject: FW: Olan Mills Awesomeness
-----------------------------------------------From: Nate Rubin
Sent: Wednesday, January 23, 2008 12:58 PM
To: Scott Ashley
Subject: FW: Olan Mills Awesomeness
"...when I talk about positive energy I'm referring to the optimism, trust, enthusiasm, love, purpose, joy, passion, and spirit to live, work, and perform at a high level; to build and lead successful teams; to overcome adversity in life and at work; to share contagious energy with employees, colleagues, and customers; to bring out the best in others and in yourself; and to overcome all the negative people (whom I shall call energy vampires) and negative situations that threatens to sabotage your health, family, team and success." - Jon Gordon
As many of my loyal blog readers know, I have several resolutions for 2008. These resolutions were selected to help make me a better me. I think we all have rooms to improve and I am no different. One of my resolutions was to read more off-line and another was to remove negative influences from my life.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Blog reader, Kathy, even sent me a tweet on Twitter this evening to check on me (just proves my point in a posting from last week as to how much I admire her- thanks for worrying about me Kath!).
I would like to say that Dale and I are on some exotic vacation, but we are not. But, I am alive and well, but my past few evenings have been spent catching up on work I have not completed during the day. Usually I work a few hours in the evening anyhow, but last night and tonight, I have come home from work, ate dinner (thank you Dale for cooking for me) and then went right to work until I go to bed. I am working in front of the TV, so it is not all bad.
But I thought I would give you an update, so you did not worry or stop visiting my blog. We all have weeks like this from time to time, but it is all good.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
I saw three movies this weekend. Yes, three. As a movie lover, this is like heaven. The best past is that the movies ran the full spectrum and from the title of this blog you can tell.
First up, The Great. On Saturday afternoon my co-worker and friend, Sara hit the Mayan Theatre on Broadway for Juno. We had both heard everyone rave about this film and I am usually hesitant when everyone tells you that you will love a movie because I end up disappointed. Juno did not disappoint and I can honestly say it is one of the most original and best movies I have seen in years. The dialog is amazing, the filming is simple, yet brilliant and I know worship Ellen Page (she plays Juno). If you have not seen this movie, stop reading, close this blog, turn off your computer and go to this movie immediately. With dialog like this, how can this movie not shine:
Juno MacGuff: My dad had this weird obsession with Roman or Greek mythology or something and he decided to name me after Zeus' wife.Oh, you are still reading. I guess you have seen Juno then. Good for you. Or wait, or you did not take my advice. Bad blog reader. Bad. Seriously, go see Juno now. Run, run. I can't wait for this movie to come out on DVD. Oh and thanks to Sara for the fun afternoon distraction.
Mark Loring: Zeus' wife?
Juno MacGuff: Well, yeah, I mean he got a lot of lays and stuff but this was his wife and supposedly she was beautiful and really mean. Kind of like Diana Ross.
Next up, The Click-Flick. On Saturday evening, Dale and I joined two of the three Pemble sisters, Barb and Jeanne, for a wonderful dinner at Earls located on the 16th Street Mall. Earls has amazing food and although I had been numerous times for lunch (my office is a few hundred feet away), this was the first time for dinner. After dinner, we all headed to see 27 Dresses. At dinner the waitress, who was very nice and every remarked looked like Jennifer Love Hewitt, asked us what movie we were seeing. We told her that it was 27 Dresses. She looked at Dale and I and joked, I guess you too didn't pick that one. Dale said, yes we did. Little did she know that we were gay and Dale loves romantic comedies. 27 Dresses was very sweet. Kathryn Heigl lights up the screen and if you loved Pretty Woman, My Best Friend's Wedding, The Wedding Date or any movie where the girl loves one guy and then realizes she really should love another all while over-coming some personal issue - you will love this movie. It was good, not great, but truly enjoyable. Or just stay home and watch the Devil Wears Prada. Either way I am fine. Oh and thanks to Barb, Jeanne and Dale for a great date night. I had a good time.
Finally, There Goes My Breakfast or as many have referred to the film as Cloverfield. I went and saw Cloverfield today following a nice breakfast with our neighbors and friends, the Krouts. We love the Krouts and spending time with them is the high-point to any week. Toby Krout actually joined me for the movie. I do not know where to start except to say that this was probably one of the most intense movies I have every watched. I honestly came home and my instincts were to go into the dark basement and sleep while the TV played. I settled on blogging instead. The movie was truly amazing in that it kept the suspense and hype of the monster throughout, but the movie is presented though the filming of a hand-held camera. I liked it in that it was very real, too real at times and was presented through the victims eyes. I hated the motion of the camera and to be honest, it made me sick. From the trailer, I expected some of this movie to be presented this way, not the entire movie. By 20 minutes into the film I was sweating, my 40 minutes the sweatshirt was off, by 60 minutes I went to the restroom to splash water on my face, but instead ended up vomiting. I am serious, I lost my breakfast over Cloverfield. What a loser am I? I made it through the final 20 minutes and Toby and I both left the theater emotionally drained like we just got our asses kicked for 87 minutes. If you are the weak of stomach and if movies like The Blair Witch project bothered you, do NOT go see this film. Stay home, watch the Devil Wears Prada and live a happy life...the way I should have. If you do not mind this style of filming, go see this movie as J.J. Abrahms is a genius and this movie truly pulls you in. You feel it all. It is like you are there. It is incredible. However, oddly enough my neck still hurts and I am still a bit nauseous, so I am not 100% sure if it was worth it or not. My thanks for Toby to sticking it out to the end with me.
I would love to hear what you thought of these movies. Are Toby and I the only two wimps out there who do not like movies filmed with camcorders? Please help validate our manliness. Well, we know I am not manly, but do Toby a solid and let us know you thought Cloverfield was hard to watch too.
Friday, January 18, 2008
"525,600 minutes, 525,600 moments so dear. 525,600 minutes – how do you measure, measure a year? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee. In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife. In 525,600 minutes – how do you measure a year in the life? How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love. Seasons of love."