Saturday, June 30, 2007

Are Some Bicycles Better than Sex?

Well, no.

But I just returned from the shakedown ride for my new Felt F2:


Here's how the ride went:

Mile 1: Point the bike down Avalon Way - a short, fairly steep hill near my house. Ride is smooooooooth. So smooth, in fact, that I noticed cars going backwards as I zipped by them. I look down at my cycle computer. I'm going 45 mph. Whoa. I tap the brakes and nearly flip over. Mental note: Dura Ace brakes are better than Shimano 105.

Mile 5: Rolling along Beach Drive in Alki, I shift into a bigger gear and wind it up a bit. At least, as much as a semi-pudgy 38-year-old with allergies and a bad knee can wind it up. Suddenly, I'm keeping up with traffic. In fact, I'm rolling along at 25 mph (with a mild tailwind). I start grinning like an idiot.

Mile 9: The Big Climb up Admiral Way. I fully expect that, without the tiny gears my old bike had, I'm either going to have a stroke or end up hitchhiking.

Mile 10: Nope. I'm huffing and puffing big time by the time I get to the top of Admiral, but the lighter wheels and bike really do make a difference.

Mile 11.5: Home. Yes, it was a very short ride. But it's convinced me to lose some weight and continue working out. Otherwise, owning this bike is like buying a NASCAR certified stock car for your daily commute.

Gregg's Greenlake Cycle: Customer Service...?

Update: Greggs came through again. After wrestling a bit with my conscience (I worked at a bike shop once - I know how hectic it is) I called the manager. He checked for me, and it turns out that the service guys were playing it VERY safe. They had dropped the ball a little as far as calling me when the bike arrived, but it's already on the rack, and it'll be done today or tomorrow. Thanks Gregg's! You've restored my faith.

I love Gregg's Greenlake Cycle. For a long-time cyclist it's the world's greatest toystore/museum/learning place you can find.

But I have a bone to pick.

I just bought the most expensive, fanciest bike of my life - a Felt F2.

It took weeks for Felt to actually ship it. Not Gregg's fault.

So when it did ship, I called the store and was assured that they'd set up a time to get it built, and call me when it was done. Right.

Today, four days later, I called again. The guy who answered looked around a bit and said yes, they did indeed have my new bike. Wow! Guess they forgot to call me when it came in, but that's OK, because now I get to ride my new bike!

Then he told me the bike was still in the box. They hadn't even scheduled a time to build it. AUGH! I AM BUYING A $4000 BIKE AND YOU JUST SOMEHOW FORGOT ABOUT IT?!!!

I took a deep breath. He told me he'd call back when it was ready, or when he knew more. I sat around for 3 hours. When they didn't call, I called them again.

He told me it'd be 2-3 days before they got to it.

Guys. Customer service much? He didn't even apologize. Nothing. Just, "too bad".

Granted, I did not directly buy the bike from Gregg's. But clearly I am (was) a great potential customer...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Microsoft Home Goes Gaaaarrrgh

But I thought .NET is a great enterprise platform?

Screen capture taken at 9:45 PST.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Forget the Squirrels

If the San Jose Mercury had written about this bunny instead of squirrels, I would not have made so much fun of 'em.

I know this guy is raising these for meat. But damn, man. Would you have the nerve to walk towards one of these with an axe?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A Bush Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl who lived with a horrible, wicked stepmother and her two nasty stepsisters.

They made her work her butt off. It was awful.

Then a prince showed up. He said "I will save you!"

And he did. He sent his knights to the house. They drove out the stepmother and stepsisters. And everyone agreed that was a good thing.

Unfortunately, along the way, the knights also destroyed the house, cut off the electricity, wrecked the plumbing and left the poor girl exposed to the elements. Because the house was gone, lots of nasty types in her neighborhood started lurking about. She tried to keep them away, but it was hard, because with no electricity and no water, her faithful watchdogs were thirsty and cold. The prince tried to help by sending knights to stand in her house, but he only sent one knight at a time. So when electricians showed up, they got mugged by the nasty types.

A few years later, the prince came by to see how the girl was doing. Her house was still a shambles. She was feral and angry-looking. His knights were valiant but could only fend off the bad people - they didn't have any way to help the watchdogs, who were even more tired and thirsty than before.

The prince looked around angrily and said "It's time for you to take responsibility for your own house." and walked out.

The end.

Why Some People Shouldn't Do Marketing

This dramatic video brought to you courtesy of some idiot who thought he'd do his own marketing.

I love the pairing of deep, thoughtful music with deep fried catfish.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Picture of the Day

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What I've always wanted to say... relatives/clients/acquaintances and people I meet on planes who try to tell me I should do their internet marketing their way, 'cause somehow I don't know what works, of course, after 10+ years:

"Sir/Madam, you are a moron. A lovable moron, but when it comes to internet marketing, a moron nonetheless. Even worse, you don't seem to know that that's the case.

You clearly learned about internet marketing from a cereal box or an old edition of Boy's Life.

Please follow my advice about your campaign so that you don't screw over your whole business and end up living with a shopping cart in [city of your choice here], picking rats out of dumpsters and fighting with them over 3-day-old chinese food.

Then one day you'll be stuck outside in the freezing cold. Three teenagers will beat you senseless, laughing, and then you'll die a slow, horrible death of pneumonia.

In the mean time, I'll have bought my new bike, a great car, and be enjoying life. If you don't want my help, I can go help someone else, and do just fine. So do whatever you want. But really, I like you. And I've spent a long time learning this stuff, on purpose. You should listen."

What I usually say:

"Hmmm. That's a good idea. Why don't we try..."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Does that make me a bad person?

I live by a classic Conan the Barbarian quote. It's his answer to 'what is best in life?'

What is best in life? To crush your enemies. To see them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of their women...

You go boy!

I, too, gain a certain sick delight from watching my enemies crumble driven before me. Or driven before anyone else, for that matter, as long as I'm not a fellow drive-ee.

My enemies include:

Whoever designs packaging for kid's toys. I mean, c'mon, do you really think some kid's going to get a set of wire cutters, scissors, a sharp knife and the freaking blowtorch we need to cut the average toy out of it's package these days?

That guy who had tuberculosis and flew anyway. Sorry man. You're trying to tell me that you decided to substitute the judgment of a government employee for your own common sense? Riiiight....

The inventor of the letter 'P' I hate that letter. It's not quite an R, and it's too far gone to be an F, which is a much more respectable letter.

People who think my kids aren't cute and brilliant. You must suck then.

People who win the lottery, and then treat themselves by buying a Ford pickup. YOU WON THE LOTTERY. BUY A FREAKING ASTON MARTIN. OR BUY ME ONE. JESUS CHRIST WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU.

The creator of public restroom toilet paper. The kind that always comes off in a million little bits instead of one nice sheet. Drives me crazy.

People who talk in movies. The closest I came to actually slapping someone was during 'V for Vendetta', when the couple next to me kept talking about the social significance. We know the social significance. Now I want you to shut up.

Whoever thinks that Windows Vista is a step up. You're insane.

George R R Martin. Could you PLEASE finish your series? You've killed off half of my favorite characters. Some by just having another character mention "Oh, he's dead now". You ended Feast of Crows hanging another one.

That's all for now. Any others I should add?

Friday, June 08, 2007


Millions of years ago, one of my ancestors - a small, untintelligent microbial blob of slime - offended the Powers That Be.

I'm guessing this little gloppy thing extended a pseudopod, gripped a tiny grain of sand, and used it to bludgeon the Chosen Blob. In so doing, he/she/it brought down the wrath of whatever supernatural forces are trying to manage everything.

Since then, those powers have waited, quietly, watching my genetic line evolve, and waiting for their chance. First, they tried to have the 2,520,212th generation wiped out by a rogue Allosaurus stampede. That didn't work - one of my tiny mammalian ancestors was lucky enough to end up in the slimy muck between the dino's toes.

At generation 3,122,000 they tried a humungous asteroid. Can't you picture it: "Hit my Chosen Blob, will you? How's that for a grain of sand!?"


Yet again, they miscalculated. The asteroid wiped out the dinosaurs, thereby making it easier for my rodent-like great-great-great-great^99999 ancestors to emerge from their hiding places and take over. Ooops.

Then, about 5,000 years ago, they sent the Asyrians to lay waste. Hah. We kicked their asses.

In the 1920s-1940s they almost got us, too. But Stalin missed, Hitler went insane, we moved to New York, and generation 10,231,231 lived to breed and obliviously wave their genetic middle finger at the wrathful gods.

So, I'm generation, what, 10,231,234. I've survived the LA Riots, 2 major earthquakes, pneumonia, law school, riding a bicycle in Portugal, riding a bus in Israel, even walking alone in East L.A. in 1992.

But They figured it out. Don't shoot for the big stuff. Skip the asteroids, tsunamis, defective bicycle wheels (thought you had me that time didn't you - pikers) and pestilence. Chip away at it instead. For instance:

I'm managing the launch of a web site. This project has been, well, cursed. I can only explain the perfect storm of stupidity whirling around it as some form of divine vengeance. We've seen: A credit card processing house shutdown; a total failure on our part to deliver discount information to a fulfillment house (for 4 days); the total failure of that fulfillment house to notice (duh?); a complete change of design direction by the client 4 weeks before launch; a sudden anti-beagle bias on the part of the client (don't ask); busted e-mails; broken links.

It's like 12 years of stupidity packed into a single client.

Just to cap it, when I personally launched their adwords campaign, I somehow entered an incorrect URL as the ad address. The ad got 2 clicks before it somehow magically fixed itself (really). Who were those 2 clicks?

The client's CFO and CEO.


So, this is my appeal:

Oh Great and Powerful Spaghetti Monster
I will sacrifice a squirrel, cow or beast of your choice, or any person who insists that Saddam Hussein attacked the US, to you. If you just admit that you've had your fun. It was one little single-celled organism for chrissake.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Halo Clix Like Marrying Your Sister

I love Halo. And I love tabletop games like Warhammer 40k.

But a Halo tabletop game? Please.

Penny Arcade says it best.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Kobe, Talk to LeBron

I'm a Lakers fan. Have been since I was 11, and this charming, brilliant rookie named Magic came to New Jersey and pounded the New Jersey Nets senseless with brilliant passes, smiling the whole time.

These days, it ain't that much fun.

I'm also a CEO, so I think I know why watching the Lakers over the past 3 years felt like chewing glass.

No leadership.

Standing pat and doing nothing is not leadership. Nor is threatening to quit.

Kobe, talk to LeBron - how did he get his team to the Finals? Not by complaining. By elevating everyone around him. By encouraging when possible, advising when sensible, and keeping his mouth shut in front of the press.

But I'm not picking on Kobe, either. The Lakers' decline isn't his fault. In the end, it has to rest on the GM, Mitch Kupchak. Yes, Jerry West is a tough act to follow (just how did he get Brian Shaw for nothing?), but c'mon, man. You've so depleted the Lakers' talent pool that Andrew Bynum is an asset to protect? Sure, he'll be a serviceable, maybe even an all-star, center. But there are no sure things...

Sunday, June 03, 2007

What I Did This Weekend

I dodged arrows and the falling bodies of knights while shooting video at the end of the world.


This is unedited video with a glitch at the beginning - I'll be doing much better versions, and launching them on the correct sites, shortly.

Online Videos by

Friday, June 01, 2007

Global Warming Questioned, Bush Stupidity Virus Confirmed

The chief of NASA, Michael Griffin, managed to confirm one theory while questioning another.

In case you missed it, he stated that global warming may not be a problem we have to deal with. Phew. What a relief.

Of course, he also proved that prolonged contact with the Bush administration may suck intelligence out of victims like that nasty monster in Starship Troopers.