Random thoughts, everyday observations, for those who know me - a little bit of those random facts and figures I seem to collect. This does not represent the opinions of my consulting clients.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
The Big Three Need Three Steve Jobs
Friday, November 28, 2008
Craigslist Baltimore Post
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Get The Quicker Picker Upper Via Your Tivo
I could buy a case of Bounty paper towels via Amazon through my TiVo. Amazing, truly enpowering an on-demand purchase of a consumer non-durable item. It would be interesting to see how many people order paper towels online and have them shipped due to this ad campaign. Maybe the strategy was to drive more people to the $1 coupon by giving the extreme option of mail ordering paper towels?
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Check Out TwitterVoteReport.com
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Watch the Warren Buffet Interview
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Fred Wilson's from web 2.0 NYC
Monday, September 08, 2008
My Blackberry Essentials
Applications (You'll need to download them)
WSJ Mobile Reader - This is a must have application on your Blackberry. You get constant access to the latest premium content as well as your own feed reader. I assume at some point they will start charging or require an online subscription, but for now DOWNLOAD it.
Ramble (AIM Client) - Found this looking for an AIM client that doesn't use SMS to send and receive instant messages. It's offered by SRA and there is no charge.
Google Talk - If you have a Gmail account, you're already aware of Google Talk. The nice feature is that it does not use SMS to send and receive messages. It uses the data connection and with an unlimited data plan you're covered.
Google Maps - This installs on your BlackBerry and gives you access to normal maps, satellite, as well as traffic. You can search for business and get directions. It's super helpful and just like Google Talk, it's free and piggybacks on your data plan. Now leverages GPS data from the phone or triangulates location based on cell towers.
Google Gmail - This is an installed application which gives you quite a bit of functionality to read and action upon your Gmail.
Amtrak - Essential if you travel the Northeast corridor. For some reason the train crew often won't update you on your arrival time. It appears that only the mobile version of the site allows you to check your arrival times.
FlyFAA Plain Text - Great way to find out if there are weather delays on your flights.
HopStop - Essential for navigating the subways in NYC and other major cities.
MTA - If you ride on Metro-North or Long Island Railroad (LIRR) they have a great site you can check the schedule.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Go See Yellowman in concert, get a surprise set with Jimmy Buffet - Priceless
About to leave and I run into an old high school buddy who tells us not to leave, Jimmy Buffet is about to play a set. Buffet rocked out No Woman No Cry and a bunch of other songs.
Check out the photos - unreal!
Friday, August 22, 2008
Yelloman Live Tonight
While you're waiting here are some clips from YouTube.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
My first hive is doing really well (right hive in the picture above), I've a honey super on top along with a queen excluder. The bees have just started to build out the comb and are storing nectar. I took a few pictures along with a short video.
The second and third hive are not as strong as the first, which has a month head start. Hopefully they'll catch up as the new bees start to hatch.
Notice the propolis they're applying to the inner hive top.
Friday, June 06, 2008
It's healthy - it's got apples and cinnamon
Two people were chatting, one says, "there was a two for five dollar special on Apple Jacks at the drug store, I'm having that for dinner."
The other responds, "that's unhealthy."
"It's got apples and cinnamon."
With shock, the other responds, "it's filled with sugar."
"The cinnamon counteracts the sugar."
I'm a supplement person, so I take a few horse pills a day of vitamins. There is marketing materials out there about cinnamon helping control blood sugar. I haven't researched it, but I've read about it.
So I'm shocked at the, "it's got apples and cinnamon" comment, but it gets better.
The conversation turns to diabetes and blood sugar along with how doctors potentially get incentives to push certain drugs.
Interesting how advertising is digested.
Anyway it's the weekend, off to check on the other queen bee.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Ensuring the Queens are released
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Installing two more boxes of honey bees
Now onto installing the first box of bees.
Installing the second box of bees
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Jeff Bewkes at D6
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Six pounds of bees were shipped today
Zappos will give you $1,000 to quit
Click the title for the post.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Making Chunk Honey Video
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Three Things to Remember
First, if you leave your car window open it's possible for a bird to get inside and proceed to defecate all over your steering wheel and dashboard as it thinks it's trapped.
Second, if you move a beehive greater than three feet, but fewer than three miles some of the bees will return to the old location.
Third, if you assemble six beehive bodies and haven't swung a hammer in a while you'll have a really sore shoulder.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Must Read Article - China In Africa - FastCompany.com
The last paragraph was great,
"We buy China's junk, they buy our bonds, our real estate, even our corporations; they expand into Africa with our money, enabling them to grow and sell us more junk. It's a spiderweb, a matrix-and how it spins out is a scary as it is unclear. But one thing is certain: We're all part of the same ugly scramble."Take some time and read the article here.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Take responsibility - AngryRenter.com
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Beekeeping Update - Time to Scale
More video to come
Friday, May 09, 2008
Does Facebook think I'm bipolar?
Not sure how this ad is targeted.
Installing the bees Part 2
In this video you can take a peak inside the hive.
Installing the bees
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Starting Beekeeping Change of Plans
Will find out if I'm allergic to bee stings tomorrow morning. I'll try to get this on video.
The bees have arrived...
My bee supplier told me that they would call the day my package bees were shipped. This morning on my way to the airport for a day trip to Dulles, the post office calls to let me know the bees have arrived. Putting aside the shock, plan B is in action.
1. Family member to pick up the bees this morning.
2. Drive out to the Hamptons tonight at 7pm
3. Install the bees with flashlights at 9pm
4. Drive back to Westchester
5. Fly to Las Vegas 8am Friday morning.
This should be fun.
Pictures to follow
Monday, April 28, 2008
Going Green By Using Your Spare Change
The environmental savings are quite impressive considering it would put on average $90 into your pocket. Of course you could visit your nearest Coinstar machine or visit a bank that offers free change counting, for example Commerce Online.
One other interesting tidbit is that it costs the U.S. Mint 1.3 cents to make a penny and 7.7 cents to make a nickel.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Beekeeping Starter Kit Arrived Today
I'll be blogging about my experience as a first time beekeeper. During my childhood my father kept many hives as I remember harvesting the honey. Looking forward to producing some honey.
Sunday, April 06, 2008
How to re-cedarize your closet
Saturday, April 05, 2008
Las Vegas Airport Needs Clear
No waiting behind someone who has five gallons of hand lotion in their bag and is upset that they have to throw it out. Clear travelers are professional travelers and know the tricks.
I don't know the economics behind an install, but just from a PR/advertising perspective Las Vegas would be ideal. It's the conference center of the US and the sheer volume of sales people visiting for conferences would be great free advertising. Imagine waiting in the sometimes insanely long lines and you see someone fly by in the Clear line.
Get ready for the sign-ups.
Maybe put a sign-up booth inside the secured area and sign people up as they come through.
Friday, March 28, 2008
My Scratchitti Element Is Finally Fixed
Not an option for a $22,000 Element.
Not an option for me to shell out for a vandal's handy work.
Last summer I had a thought, why not call a car wrapping company? Wrap the car with an advertisement or just black wrapping.
I stopped by Sign Language last summer and spoke with the owner, Jack. He thought it was possible and would run around $200. Much better deal than a new paint job and the wrapping material should last at least 5 years.
Finally I motivated and brought the Element in today to have it wrapped. An hour later, you can hardly notice the black wrapping. Diana couldn't tell the difference. Diana and I no longer drive in a card with "bitch" scratchitti on three sides.
If you have a scratchitti car this is a cost effective way of covering up.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Thoughts from Mountain View
I planned on flying into San Jose which required a connection at LAX, shockingly the connecting flight was canceled. Instead I flew to SFO where I picked up my rental car.
A rental Prius.
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I had trouble getting the car to move. A quick look in the manual fixed that and I was on my way. Having never driven a hybrid before it was certainly interesting to not hear an engine running. A few time the combustion engine did turn on and it jolted the car a bit. I guess I could buy one, it had some good acceleration.
Now as I write this I'm listening to a traveler ask the counter person if he can change the side of the plane he's sitting on. Apparently he only sleeps on his right side and he's on the wrong side.
Good luck with that one!
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Preparing to prepare (Restoring Steel Casement Windows)
One of my neighbors has redone all of her windows and she'll be sharing some of her secrets, but I'm also doing some research.
First, who actually specializes in fixing these types of windows:
Seekircher Steel Window Repair - Peekskill, NY - they restore and repair old windows. Here's an article in the New York Times about John Seekircher.
Re-view - Kansas City, MO - has a nice step-by-step instruction of how they restore steel windows.
J Sussman - Jamaica, NY - they craft custom steel windows.
Second, what how-to articles are out there:
ThisOldHouseWeb - Someone writes in asking how to fix cold and drafty steel casements.
ThisOldHouseWeb - A detailed article describing the restoration process.
The Steel Window Institute - Who's who of steel window manufacturers
Third, the pictures:
Here's a standard steel casement window from the 1930s.
You'll notice here that the outside glazing on the glass is worn away and missing a protective coat of paint.
Here you can see rust forming on the inside of the window as well as it not closing completely.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
My Most Popular Page
The post ranks on the first page of Google results for "replacing stairs" and "replacing staircase." My next home improvement project is to restore our steel casement windows throughout our apartment. I'm planning on using a combination of video, pictures, and text to detail the project.
I took the first step today and more detail will be coming.
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Save Money - Stop the Earmarks
Visit the Citizens Against Government Waste website and easily send emails to your Senators telling them to support the amendment. Get Washington focused on fixing real problems instead of how to hide pork spending for each state.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Too Many Cold Showers
My wife and I purchased an apartment late last year in a 70+ year old building. We’re on the 5th floor, the top and we’ve noticed the showers don’t get hot enough. We’re having work done on one bathroom, so since January 1st we’ve been showering in the other bathroom where the water has never gotten warm enough. We essentially have a cold shower every time. The other shower is slightly warmer.
I asked the contractor and the superintendent what the problem could be and they said it was the mixer value jets. Apparently the old pipes have debris that clogs the jets thus the hot water side must be clogged. New valves have bigger jets. My sink hot water is scalding, it must be the jets.
Seems reasonable, so it was more cold showers until our other bathroom is renovated and we get a new water valve. A cold shower can be refreshing during the summer, but day after day in the winter is tough. I shave in the shower and the lack of hot water seriously impacts the closeness.
This past Friday night as we sat watching TV, I started to think about that shower valve in
I booted up my laptop, checked the valve for make and model and proceeded to search. Sure enough there was a hot water mixer valve in this model. Next step was to disassemble it. Sure enough I needed a hex key, I didn’t have one. I'd have to wait until Saturday morning when the local hardware store opens.
I purchased the set, headed home and off with the handle. Viola! The hot water setting was not maxed out. All this time, all those cold showers, it was a simple Internet search away.
With the hot water setting cranked up to the max, I re-installed the handle. It was tough going, the screw was sticking. Nothing a daub of dishwasher soap can’t fix though, smooth installation.
Handle back on, shower on, hot shower is a go!
So where is this post going? Is there a natural gas leak in our apartment as I write this?
This story is applicable to business.
Everyday we do things a certain way because we assume that’s the best way. We get used to the cold shower, we accept it. We adapt our bathing process; we optimize our soap up time to ensure minimum time under the shower head.
In business everyday people doing things the same way they did them the previous day. Even if something is wrong, many times the root cause isn’t sought out. Maybe it takes research, maybe investment in a tool? Time surely you could have better spent running around after the shower to dry yourself and warm-up.
How often do we go back and double check our key assumptions? Check our processes? Challenge the status quo?
Maybe the person who created them was a madman or madwoman?
Maybe it was somebody who liked cold showers?You'll never know until you check.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Google Docs Looking More Like MSFT Word
Yes, I know it automatically saves, but I like to double check.
They moved the save button.
Now it looks like the Word save button and is situated in a similar location.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Thoughts from the last row
I’ve been a bad blogger, not posting as often as I should. More promises of getting back into it, well now it’s time to deliver.
On my way to
We hit JFK after a long trip down
No bags to check, only one Clear pass, long line at Terminal 7 security. We separate, I take the carry-ons, luckily the Clear attendant told me to get my wife and she’d bring her through as a courtesy.
Diana’s signing up tomorrow for her own Clear pass.
After scanning my finger we’re escorted to the front of the security line with many frowns of disappointed people in line. If I was Clear I would have the attendants wearing a shirt explaining the cost and benefits.
Walking billboards with a targeted audience.
We’re sitting on the plane waiting to buy some food, we look to our in-flight magazine for the menu. Sure enough Diana’s magazine is missing the page. It’s been ripped out. I check mine, more of the same.
Must be someone from a competitive airline trying to slow down the in-flight meal service. Or maybe somebody is being passive aggressive because due to this being the absolute last row on the plane.
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Need to buy some Bhut Jolokia peppers
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Getting back into it
I was also elected to the board of our co-op and have webified us with a domain name as well as setting us up on Google Apps. More to come on my experiences with getting us fully up and running.