Wednesday, May 30, 2007

10 Ways To Piss Off A Consultant a meeting:

  1. Say "Well, I've never seen anyone do this that way." Yeah, and you're such an expert. If you hired me, let's assume it wasn't so you could tell me what an idiot I am, and go from there, shall we?

  2. Say "Wow, that's really expensive." Fine. Then talk to someone else. I charge a fair price for my services. If you don't like it, I am not here to do a hard sell. Hire someone else.

  3. Say "I consider [insert name of my employee here] one of my employees." Well, he's not. He's my damned employee. I pay the overhead, train them, and work with them on the team. You don't.

  4. Put my team through five design cycles on something, and then tell us you really wanted to start over after the first concept.

  5. Tell me everything's great, then rip my head off in a meeting.

  6. Be rude or confrontational in a meeting, and then tell me it's "Just your style". If that's the case, well, "just my style" is to tell you to kiss my behind.

  7. Throw out clearly nonsensical drivel someone told you on a plane as "another viewpoint" on how to execute your campaign. There are people trying to say that Creationism is "another viewpoint", and that evolution is "just a theory". If that's how you feel, go hang out with them.

Don't insult my intelligence. I can watch Fox News if I want someone to do that.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Salt + Paper Towels Proves Evolution is Wrong

From a Christian Academy Science Fair:

Brian Benson, an eighth-grade student who won first place in the Life Science/Biology category for his project “Creation Wins!!!,” says he disproved part of the theory of evolution. Using a rolled-up paper towel suspended between two glasses of water with Epsom Salts, the paper towel formed stalactites. He states that the theory that they take millions of years to develop is incorrect.

“Scientists say it takes millions of years to form stalactites,” Benson said. “However, in only a couple of hours, I have formed stalactites just by using paper towel and Epsom Salts.”

I never knew that stalactites were made of salt.

Clearly, they are far smarter than I. So, I took a look at their web site to see if I should enroll my kids there:

I have apparently mis-spelled 'rehearsal' my entire life. Am I in trouble with God?:

I guess comparing crystal salt sculpture to stalactites, thereby dismissing (crapping on?) all science and proving that creationism is right, fits into the school's mission of "Encouraging children to seek wisdom, joy in learning, and appreciate themselves and others."

Grammar is not a major portion of the curriculum, either. Run-on sentence much?:

Oh, and neither is HTML. I'm betting that you don't even have to know HTML to know how stupid this code, which I viewed on their site, really is:

I'm going to go buy some SALT and start on my new SCIENCE CAREER right now!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Coding In a Blender

Insanity is a real productivity booster.

I wrote a handy dandy little application yesterday. Given a web address, it goes out to Technorati, Yahoo and our own search engine optimization database, pulls all the statistics together, and generates a neat little report telling you how you rank, who's talking about you, etc..

I wrote it at home. With four kids in the house. Making noise. Lots of noise. I wrote it between taking my son to his soccer game and supper, with some extra time after the kids were in bed. Then I got up at 6 AM to wrap it up.

Is this my punishment for waiting until age 38 to write applications like this?

Friday, May 18, 2007


For everyone who's ever asked me to build them a site, or help them with SEO, in exchange for future profit, leads, good karma, etc.:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What's a "web site"?

A judge doesn't know what a web site is.

A judge.

If you're brain-damaged, or have been living in the woods for 20 years, fine. But a JUDGE?!!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I Spel Gooder

I was meeting with a potential client today. It went something like this:

Ian: So, this project will cost around $15,000.
PC: But, this other guy told me he can do it for $1,000.

Ian: Wow. I can't match that. But I gotta say I doubt he can either.
PC: Well, here's his site - doesn't it look great?

(site vomits onto Ian's screen - Ian struggles to maintain sanity)

Ian: Hmmm. I already see 5 spelling mistakes, and this site is... Uh...
PC: I like it. I don't see the spelling errors either.

Ian: See? Right there? He mispelled 'browser', unless he's a Sha-na-na fan. Plus he used "your" isntead of "you're". You sure you want to work with this guy?
PC: I'll talk to him. In the mean time, do you think you can match his price?

I've been doing internet marketing for 12 years. Why do I still have to have these conversations?

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Squirrel Kicks Ass, Takes Names

A San Jose squirrel took the law into its own hands yesterday and attacked three people at a South San Jose school.

After almost choking to death on my lunch, I read the rest of the article, and have to wonder: Was it a slow news day? Or is San Jose really that boring? Or are their editors just morons?

So I checked:

This article is 745 words long. It includes quotes like 'The whereabouts of the squirrel are unknown'.

On the other hand, news about a drive-by shooting in Santa Cruz got a whopping 283 words.

Article about soldiers on trial for killings in Iraq? 470 words.

Psychotic rodents are apparently 50% more newsworthy than Iraq, and over 100% more important than crime.

My recommendation - if you have a subscription to the San Jose Mercury, cancel it.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

5 Reasons to Carry a Taser Into Client Meetings

5. For clients who tell me my job is easy.
4. For staff who can't stop talking.
3. For the guy with the nose whistle.
2. For when I just get bored.
1. For myself when I need a break.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Dream Weird Much?

Pre-blog entry warning: This entry is odd. Bizzarre. Actually it's way off, and it may induce sweaty palms if you're uncomfortable when someone says the word 'gay' or 'sperm whale' in an elevator. Just warning you...

OK, it doesn't match exploding head syndrome, but this dream came pretty damned close:

I'm taking the Bar Exam (which, by the way, I never did). Donald Rummsfeld is proctoring.

Stay with me now...

So Donald Rummsfeld is proctoring, and he calls me up to talk to him. Next to him is Jon Ashcroft. Rummy proceeds to tell me that he knows I'm cheating, and I must stop immediately, or he'll pull my pants down.


That's not as bad as it sounds, trust me. My funny threat to my 5- and 7-year old children when they say they can't find this toy or that book is to look again, 'cause if I find it where they said they looked I'm going to pull their pants down. That sends them back, giggling, to perform a more careful search. So no, I do not have some weird homoerotic fantasy involving mentally deficient strategists or the Attorney General.

So then I go back to my desk, and look down. I have a full backpack that includes a whole bunch of legal books, etc.. I know it wasn't there a second ago. Then I look up, and Rummy's right in my face. Right about then I think "great, he can't find weapons of mass destruction, but THIS he's good at?!" and I wake up.

...Congrats! YOU MADE IT.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Ian pulls pin, head explodes

Last night I had a nightmare where our phone system died while I was completing a sale with a huge company.

Then there was a deafening BANG and I woke up in a cold sweat.

I should point out that we've spent 3 weeks getting a new VOIP phone system installed, and it's been hell. Well, actually hell doesn't describe it. Imagine having your head chopped off while you're somehow kept alive, then having your still-alive head attached to the underside of a short-legged horse running for 3 days across a desert full of cactii and red ants. Then have the horse lie down for a while, to rest. Then have it run all the way back.

It's been like that. Only worse.

Apparently the two are unrelated, but I have suffered an episode of exploding head syndrome. How f----ing cool is that?!

Fortunately, it bears no relationship to actual head explosions. So I shall survive. Phew.

Sunday, May 06, 2007


I've just spent the entire day trying to get one big text file merged into another using Java, and then putting the result into a database.

Last night I dreamt that I'd suffered a head industry as a child and had just found out. Maybe there's a connection?...

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Best. Toystore. Ever.

If you live in Seattle, I've got the toy store for you:

Goody Gumdrops is stacked to the rafters with nerf guns, cute stuffed animals, Playmobil toys of every kind, music, magents, cool science stuff, cool sports stuff...

I went in with my daughter so she could spend some birthday money, and ended up spending $50.

Hey, if you work for Goody Gumpdrops, give me a call. I'd love to build you a web site.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Bush Administration = Lots of Nerve

I don't know if bringing the troops home right away is a good idea. In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not, in spite of the total cluster f--k that Bush and his cronies have made of Iraq.

But I do know it takes a hell of a lot of nerve to say that Democrats who are trying to bring them home don't support the troops.

Did the Democrats oversee catastrophic failures of health care for soldiers, and then give the people responsible bonuses?

Anger... Rising...

Why I Play World Of Warcraft

Why, indeed. I'm well past 30, have a growing business and 2 kids.

Here's an example: Yesterday, after yet another day of fighting with our phone guys and our internet provider, I came home, wrung out.

Playing WoW (that's World of Warcraft, for the uninitiated), I got challenged to a duel with another player.

Duels have zero impact on the game, but they're fun and rather therapeutic.

The challenger was a level 11 warrior. Don't worry about what that means, just realize that I'm playing a 9th level Warlock. I should be badly outclassed, right?

But, I beat the guy senseless. So badly that he actually ran away and was disqualified from the duel.

Suddenly, my day was much better.

Some people drink. I play World of Warcraft.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

FOOOMP: Company installs Full Spectrum Lighting, Employees Burst Into Flame

Half of the office at Portent Interactive, my company, looks like a cave. Everyone said they didn't like the flourescent lights, so they turned them out, which left that side of the office pitch dark. I don't mind, except that clients who come visit think I'm running a sweatshop, and I think some of my staff might die from vitamin D deficiency.

So, I ordered full spectrum lighting. Which cost about $1000, by the way. I came into work yesterday and turned on the new lights. It was super bright. I mean, likely too bright. But certainly a lot more cheerful than before.

Sadly, my staff hate the lights. Actually, the conversation went like this:

IAN: I'm going to turn on the new lights. OK?


STAFF: AAAUUUGH. It burrrnnnnssss usssss. It hurtsssss ussss. Nassssty full ssssspectrum lightssss. Make it go away! For the love OF ALL THAT'S HOLY TURN THEM OFF I'M MELTING OH GOD THE HUMANITY AAAUUUUGGHHHHHHHH.

Or something like that.

So, we're going to try a compromise, and move half the bulbs to the other side of the office. We'll find a compromise, I'm sure. But now I have to go sweep up my vaporized staff and start over again...