Wednesday, December 31, 2008
The combination of feedback, self reflection and articulation is making me smarter...much smarter. In fact, right now, I'm learning at a pace that is far quicker than at any other time in my life and that makes me very happy. And I owe it all to you and this blog. Thanks. I'm looking forward to a wonderful 2009 and I'll see you again on the 5th of January as I'll be vacationing in Donner with the family until then. I'll leave you with a song, a picture and a memory.
First, the song. It's called Post-War by M. Ward. I love the laziness of the melody and the lyrics mean something to me. Mostly, it's just a beautiful song from one of my favorites artists.
Now, the picture. It's titled Winter Solstice, it's by Chrissl12 and it's beautiful.
Finally, a memory: While at Kellogg, my friend Lisa Sweet ran a little experiment and asked me to cut out pictures that meant something to me. I went through magazines, newspapers and old photos. When we sifted through my selections, the recurring themes were friendship, fun, love and relaxation. It was a nice conversation that brought up wonderful memories. As I got up to leave a few hours later, Lisa said, "You know, every one of those pictures has water in it."
Incredibly, she was right. In that moment, she taught me something about my fundamental view of everything important to me. Those observations are some of the nicest things we can do for each other.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
A few weeks ago, Sheff did a guest DJ spot on NPR's All Songs Considered. Check it out.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Given how well both networks are going and the personal satisfaction we get out of helping out on them, Ben and I decided to start another network, LivingWithAtaxia.org. We're kind of making this up as we go, but Ben and I felt confident we could handle another network because the participation at existing ones are so strong. We chose Ataxia because it's a neurological issue and a lot of people, 150,000, suffer from it. The network is off to a good start with 90 members already. The growth is mostly due to Alan Thomas, an incredibly inspirational guy, spreading the word. You can find Alan's blog here.
Anyways, I thought I would just give a quick update on our efforts. If you have ideas, suggestions or anything else you want to share, shoot me an email or check me out at LivingWithAtaxia.org. Cheers.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
I'm pretty confident that the version of Microsoft Office that I just bought, will be the last check I ever write Microsoft again (except for OS & maybe Advertising $).
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Anyway, I thought I would post a few Holiday songs in case people were interested.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Coldplay
To play the songs, you just hit the arrow in the black box. Enjoy!
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays,
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
As the Sports Guy points out, Bob Barker would have never reacted like this. Is Drew Carey alive still? There are people who read this blog who know Bob Barker quite well, it's time for you to make a few phone calls. We need him back.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The post, "You Are Ridiculous," is a great take on privacy on the Internet.
And the blog is peppered with funny, personal backstories on the author, like, "Did You Know?
Enjoy the Larbage.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
"CrowdSprout is groups of buyers banding together, receiving the best prices available on their favorite products by purchasing in volume."
Group buying on the Internet has been done before. In fact, the fine folks at Mercata sold me my frist big screen TV in 1999, at a heavily subsidized price. Mercata never caught on though, partly because electronic suppliers forced them to take inventory, which ate up a lot of cash, and partly because it was still hard to self assemble on the web in 1999 & 2000. Today? We have social networks up the wazoo, IM and Twitter. Self assembly is so much easier. You can create a virtual group in minutes and Search, whether it's Google or Twitter, is so good now, that outsiders can find and join your group almost as quickly as your friends. I'm not exactly sure what Alex's plan is, but it feels like Crowdsprout has a real shot.
Sign up for their beta and let's try it together.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Here's the twist, we're posting funny dating stories from...YOU. That's right, friends have been sending in funny dating stories and I post them.
Of course, you can never have enough good stories, so I'd really appreciate it if you send in a few to: queenbee(at)luvvbugg(dot)com. Stories will be posted anonymously on request and we're happy to link to your blog or anything else you want to promote.
In the meantime, enjoy the site and please pass it on to your friends.
"Here is the reason I think my company will be successful in the economic downturn (aside from its track record). I just bought a car and was discussing the transaction with our CEO. He tells me he wants to buy a car for his mom. So I say - “oh - what are you going to get her.” He responds “A 2003 Ford Explorer with 60k miles.” Cost control starts at the top my friend and you have to live and breath it."
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
"It's one thing to be pro-union (I am at times) but it's another thing completely to be using taxpayer money to protect an unsustainable cost structure that is partially based on above market labor costs. I really don't know why it takes a year to negotiate a union contract, but if they want to auto industry to survive, the union leaders ought to be prepared to rip up their current contract and negotiate a new one over the weekend. That's how things are done when you are on the verge of going out of business and losing $4.4bn per month."
Friday, December 12, 2008
First up is John Hamilton's Holiday Mix.
Midweek music fix - holiday edition
Let Me Sleep, It's Christmas Time is an awesome PJ song. The live version is pretty epic, but I can't find it. I also like the Wheepies and MMJ's contribution.
Next is Bon Iver. This album will certainly be in my Top 5.
Bon Iver - Re: Stacks
3rd is the Fleet Foxes. Another Top 5 album of the year for me. Enjoy.
Fleet Foxes - White Winter Hymnal
I liked this song that Anne Hubert posted from Okervil River guys, singing acoustic. I'm going to Cafe Du Nord next Friday on the 19th to see them and I can't wait.
And with that, I'll leave you with one of Mollycoddled's wonderful weekday poems. Today is Friday of course. Check her out and have a great weekend.
his lips & his face, oh what bliss!
the day, sweet romance
it's time for a dance
friday, love, nothing's better than this!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Anyways, I loved this article, Making Toast. It's a little sad. It's about a grandfather, talking about how the family is managing through the loss of his daughter, who had a husband and three small children. It's beautifully written, touching and something that I thought deserved to be highlighted here.
That's how it all started with Ten. Pearl Jam's first album. I became a full fledged PJ nut and I only got more into them with Vs. and Vitalogy. that's why I was fired up when Joel Hopman wrote in about the new Ten reissue. I'll be getting the super duper deluxe version.
John Hamilton covered this on his blog too. In fact, I think it was PJ fandom that made John and I first become friends.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
“The more I’ve presented the paper, the more it’s clear that everybody—from software companies to cars to contractors—is doing this to make their financial targets,” Chapman says. “It’s a basic tool of business.”
What I find interesting, is that cutting numbers is not a "basic business tool." It's something that companies do to the detriment of their long term business. They train the customer to expect discounts. Here is a cool quote by Barry Diller, CEO of Interactive Group, where he talks about both the responsibility to not cut jobs if they don't need to be cut, but also how trying to "beat the quarter" is the wrong way to think. “It’s not that you don’t want to earn as much money as you can — it is your obligation, of course — but companies have obligations beyond that and they certainly have obligations beyond that at certain times, in the times in which they operate. And they also certainly ought to know that meeting and beating expectations is probably yesterday’s game and it will be increasingly so, which would be by the way very healthy for companies. Running a company that meets and beats expectations, and that runs their company accordingly, are companies that I would question why anyone would invest in.”
I'm with Barry on this one.
Monday, December 8, 2008
"One could imagine the book, venerable as it is, just vanishing into the ether. It melts into all the other information species searchable through Google’s most democratic of engines: the Web pages, the blogs, the organs of printed and broadcast news, the general chatter. (Thanks for everything, Gutenberg, and now goodbye.)
But I don’t see it that way. I think, on the contrary, we’ve reached a shining moment for this ancient technology. Publishers may or may not figure out how to make money again (it was never a good way to get rich), but their product has a chance for new life: as a physical object, and as an idea, and as a set of literary forms"
The book is already being reinvented by the Amazon Kindle, and journalism is being reinvented by blogs and online news services. How will the newspaper or publishing businesses reinvent themselves? I don't know.
What I do know, is that Jeff Tweedy's line in Ashes of American Flags puts it best, "I know I'd die, if I could come back new." Have a listen...
Wilco - Ashes Of American Flags.mp3
LivingWithTN is an org for folks with Trigeminal Neuralgia that Ben and I talked about starting for 6 months. We finally got it going when the winds and launch pad were right. It's been a blast and incredibly rewarding for the 3 weeks we've been live. We've made 45+ new friends in just 3 weeks. Hopefully our glide path lasts for a while. :)
Sunday, December 7, 2008
"And a younger woman came up to me and she said, "Are you the ice cream guy?" And I said, "What do you mean?" She said, "Well, are you the Dreyer's guy?" I said, "Yeah I guess, kind of, I'm supposed to be the next president." And she said, "Well, there are about 15 little kids in the backyard who want your autograph."
Now there is nothing I could have done in life that would've caused kids to ask for my autograph. Not a musical talent, not sports, nothing I could have achieved. And that wasn't because of me, it's because ice cream is so essential to people."
"It doesn’t always work out. That’s what makes this game so interesting. Will they suddenly wake up at their stop and bolt for the door? Will someone sit down next to them and disrupt my angle? Will they catch on to me, forcing me to abandon the drawing?
And yes, she quickly packed up exited the train without much warning."
Friday, December 5, 2008
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Hey Champ - Cold Dust Girl - from I'm all Ears. I'm not even going to pretend I'm cool enough to know what's going on in this video.
New Neko Case coming (Spin article courtesy of Matt Ziser)
People Get Ready - cover by Eva Cassidy on Bijan's blog. I love the Rod Stewart version, and this is really cool too.
War on War - Wilco - old school Wilco. I love song. It was the lead off song to a Sunday Morning. Did I mention Sunday Morning is a wrap? Done. Finito. If you want a copy, leave a comment.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
You'll have to find a hard copy of this article but it's well worth it.