Thursday, June 30, 2005

Purple Cow

Finished reading "Purple Cow". A quick read round trip to Washington DC and back was all it took. The nice thing about air travel is that there's no phones or e-mail for an hour or two.
Remarkable book.
My favorite point:
"Instead of trying to use your technology and expertise to make a better product for your users' standard behavior, experiment with inviting the users to change their behavior to make the product work dramatically better."

Corporate culture at work my friend.

I deal with users ingrained culture everyday, they don't always know the reason that they do something a certain way, they just know that they have always done it that way.
We all hate change, we are resistant to it, we don't like it and we will do almost anything to avoid it. There are times when changing corporate culture could, I don't know maybe save a corporation a bunch of money. Oh yeah that's right we are all in business to make money, I know that I can't pay my mortgage with culture.
OK, back to the book. Marketing, engineering, sales and technical departments would all manage to take something away from this book. I did like Seth's use of the word remarkable. Remarkable makes a strong statement, it says something more than good or excellent. How many times a day do we hear the word "Remarkable".
We should all strive to be remarkable at something, make a remakable product or offer a remarkable service or be a remarkable spouse.

I hope that I got the point of the book, if I didn't that's my loss, but what I took away from it more that makes up for it.
Just my two cents worth.

Milkdud Dentistry

"H" just bounded into the room with a napkin shoved in his mouth, something in his hand and mumbling "Ihfg Lodhf A Togjfhf" which translates to "I lost a tooth".
Apparently the young lad was eating a dinner of Milkduds and Kool-Aid, when a loose tooth glued itself into a Milkdud and then broke loose of its pink gummed home.
I just hope this was not one his teeth that we just spent thousands of dollars on trying to straighten out.

The Difference Between A Jeep And A Rental Car

Is that there are some places you can't take a Jeep.
While returning a rental at Dulles yesterday I snapped this shot. It's hard to see but both of the driver side tires are shredded and the rims are pretty trashed. I asked the Hertz dude "Hey kickstand, what happened here?" turns out the driver hit a pothole while tooling around DC. I bet he doesn't get his deposit back.
I stayed at a DoubleTree in Tysons Corner Virginia. Second time there, DoubleTree's are great because if you are a Hilton Diamond member they hook you up with a tin of cookies at check-in. The downside of this is "The Wife" usually knows which hotel I'm staying at and knows when I should be bringing home a tin that contains cookies and not crumbs.
OK here's my beef (of the moment). Last month this hotel charged me $90.00 for a two room suite (2 TV's, 3 phones, 3 sinks and a bathrobe) this month 1 room, 1 TV, 1 sink and no bathrobe $195.00 after taxes. Yeah I know it's summer and it's Washington DC and the hotels want to maximize their revenue stream, but for crying out loud I got in at 8:00 pm and was back on the road by 6:00 am and the only sight seeing I did was driving by the Pentagon at 40 MPH while the rentals "Never Lost" system was screaming "Please return to the highlighted route". In other words I was there on business not pleasure.
I spend a bunch of nights on the road each year, a hell of a lot more nights than your average summer vacation traveler. I imagine that I put a bunch more dollars in your pocket during the year than the average summer vacation traveler, so please cut us some slack on your rates...........

Saturday, June 25, 2005

"The Wife" Got Some Mail

When we arrived back at "Frick's World" this evening "The Wife" got some exciting mail, a free years subscription to More magazine. The magazine aimed at females over 40, I found more humor in this than she did. This magazine covers such topics a "Relationship Building", "Sharing" and "Summer Beach Trends". I feel that these types of topics create inner turmoil in our female population. If you ever look at one of the magazines aimed at the male population all that it contains is topics on the newest cars and pictures of chicks in swimsuits (under the age of 40). This is of course just my opinion and does not reflect the opinions of the female members of Frick's World.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Interesting Sign

A travel companion tore this off the wall in his hotel room last night for me, knowing that I am collector of all things odd.
Now who in the world is standing on their hotel bed in order to hang their clothes on the sprinkler head?
This sign is evidence that someone, somewhere at sometime did.

How To Get On The "Judge Mathis" Show

or any of those "We'll settle this court case on TV" shows.
I spend a fair amount of time in hotels so called fitness rooms. I usually turn on the TV, turn off the sound and fire up the MP3 player, and one thing that I have noticed is that between 5:00 pm and 7:00pm not matter what town you are in you can always find one of these "court" shows on the TV.

If you want to guarantee that your groundbreaking case will be seen on TV make sure you follow one, two or all of these guidelines below:
1. Have some weird ass name (Fontara Rio de Janeiro)
2. Spell your name with a letter that makes no sense (David is spelled Davizd)
3. Be obese (A biscuit away from 400lbs.)
4. Show up with a tie that is entirely to short (an ugly tie will also work)
5. Have no receipts for payments made or received in your possession
6. Have your friends cell phone put in your name because your friends credit sucks
(Of course your friend has to promise to pay the bill, but have nothing in writing to back up your case)
7. Show up with all of your friends even if they have nothing to do with the case.
8. Have more than 7 earrings (but only in one ear)

Monday, June 20, 2005

New Gadget

I picked up a pair of Jensen JNC50 Noise Canceling Collapsible Headphones from Amazon. These of course can't compare with the pair that Bose sells but for 25% of the price I can't complain.

Happy Father's Day To Me

We had a great celebration yesterday Father's Day (of course) with my Dad, my sisters birthday and Goose's second birthday party. Lots and lots of food.
"The Wife" and my Mom both hooked me up with Camp Ridgecrest gear. It brought back lots of summer memories.I also received Seth Godin's "Purple Cow" book which is a great read.
Thanks for the great day guys.

"T" Gates at Hartsfield

The "T" gates have a Georgia Music Hall of Fame display. The Ronnie Milsap display was my favorite lots of flash with a splash of color.
Hey by the way have you ever seen Ronnie Milsap's limo?
Neither has he.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hats Off To The Lexington Ky FD

Lexington firefighters get Sept. 11 as holiday.

For When There's Not Enough Light In The Day

Saw this as I was cruising the isles at Lowe's this evening. You can now water your plants and yard at night with the new flashlight nozzle. Now or course the package does stress Daytime & Nightime use, how did we ever get along without this gem?
Breakfast is served (almost)
They Girls Decorated Pillowcases
They Girls Decorated Pillowcases

Wake Up You Lazy Lima Beans

"The Wife" has rounded up all (5) girls for a little breakfast.
2 cups pancake mix 1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
8 cinnamon bread slices
2 bananas, sliced
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
Maple syrup
Garnish: fresh strawberries
WHISK together first 4 ingredients.
MELT 1/2 tablespoon butter and 1/2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Dip 2 bread slices in batter; cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden.
REPEAT procedure with remaining butter, oil, bread slices, and batter.
TOP with bananas and pecans. Serve with maple syrup. Garnish, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.
Prep: 15 min., Cook: 24 min.
Zita Wilensky
North Miami, Florida

All in all with only 5 hours of sleep they seem to be in good spirits.
The last goldfish is still alive.........

4:00 AM

I am stirred from my slumber to hear "The Wife" bellow down the stairs "Girls, girls, it's time to go to SLEEP". A scant hour later they girls finally went to sleep. I am figuring they will we a cheery bunch in the morning.

Friday, June 17, 2005

And Then There Was One

Home from work and I have just been informed that we have one and only one goldfish left swimming. If I was mister goldfish I wouldn't buy any green bananas, because at this rate he won't live long enough for them to ripen.
They have already begun laying out the food spread, my favorite is the popcorn mixed with Milk Duds. Well off to dinner with "The Wife" and (5) hyped up teenage girls.
"H" bailed on me for the evening so I am the lone male at Frick's World for the next 24 hours.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

10:30 PM

It's 10:30 PM and we still have (2) goldfish alive and swimming. "The Wife"told me that we could freeze the dead fish and return them to the pet store for a refund (Frick's World Frozen Fish Sticks). I'm thinking about freezing the (2) remaining live ones.

It's Been A Couple Of Weeks

But our "Runaway Bride" is back in the news. It looks as if the happy celibate couple have sold the rights for "their story" to ReganMedia. Word is that the story is/was worth $500,000.00, but of course no money has reportedly changed hands. Just wondering if she is now going to pay the City of Duluth the difference between what the investigation cost the tax payers and what she settled with the City of Duluth for? I am thinking John Daly could play John Mason.


I was in Anderson SC (it seems that a lot of my posts begin with "I was in .....")
this afternoon and ran across this sign upon entering downtown. A $415.00 fine, why not $400.00, $500.00 or even $450.00. I wonder if we were to launch a major television style news investigation we would find that the Mayor, City Manager or Police Chief's car payment is exactly $415.00.
Cool pictures of downtown Anderson's fish exhibit, Check out the Flickr feed on the right side.

And Then There Were 2

3 more un-explained cases of "Fish-A-Cide", we are down to the last two goldfish and the party is still 24 hours away. These goldfish remind me of the "Red Ear Slider" turtles we had growing up in the fact that they are kind of disposable pets. They don't live long enough for you to get attached to.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

And Then there Were 5

A scant 24 hours has passed and we have suffered 4 more cases of Fish-A-Cide. At this rate we will be fishless by tomorrow evening. My suggestion is that they should have come home from the pet store opened the "Bag O' Fish" and dumped it right into the toilet bypassing the whole middle step of placing the fish into a bowl.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

One Fish Two Fish, Red Fish, Escaped Fish

Apologies to Dr. Seuss. The countdown has begun for "Goose's" birthday extravaganza. They are going with a tropical theme. It looks as if they are giving out goldfish bowls complete with a goldfish to all of the party participants. They started out with 10 goldfish as of this writing we are down to 9. A victim of "Fish-A-Cide" I believe. I heard screams and shrieks from the females members of Frick's World as they walked into the kitchen to find goldfish number 9 flopping around on the floor, an apparent escape attempt. He did survive after a quick jolt of mouth to fish resuscitation. These fish are so huge they can't turn around in their bowls, we are forced to turn the bowl to allow the fish a different view of the kitchen. 9 goldfish left and 3 days till party time I hope we make it.

I Told You Ink Jet Re-Fills Could Kill You

Apparently drug traffickers have resorted to filling ink jet cartridges with the drug "Ketamine".
I wonder what's cheaper buying the cartridges with drugs in them or ink?

Summer Is Here

Get you beach going togs HERE and plus it's on sale. I think the silver look tan is going to be a big flop.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The Cone Flowers Are Finally Blooming

(click for biggie size)
The backyard reveals something new each day.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

"The Wife" And I Had A Date

The wife and I escaped for a quick date this evening. We dropped by Starbucks before we went shopping. "The Wife" had a Chantico (390 calories, 21 grams of fat and 51 carbs), she said it was like drinking a candy bar, which for her is a good thing.
We wandered over to Walley World for some birthday shopping. Walley World has several U-Scan stations, which in my opinion are fantastic. Of course we (as we always seem to do) got behind someone who had no earthly idea how to use this very simple machine. The U-Scan attendant was required to make several trips over to assist this dolt. How much easier can check out be, big graphical buttons, for crying out loud the machine can speak to you in either English or Spanish. This lady could not grasp the simple concept of after scanning the item you must place it in the bag. Item after item the attendant would have to come over and explain time after time that you have to place the item in the bag after it's scanned. I think that if you screw up twice at the U-Scan you have to place all your items back in the cart and then proceed to the longest line in the store.

At Walley World they now have "Father's Day" displays set up. That's right family next weekend is my day.
It seemed that every display contained some kind of a BBQ cookbook, and there must be some BBQ cookbook rule that states "The person on the cover must hold some sort of a grilling implement in their hands" because on every cover there was our author smiling and holding tongs or a burger flipper.
The other item that these stores think us fathers want is some ugly ass shirt with a sailboat on it. Rack after rack of sailboat shirts, for the love of God I live in the middle of Georgia the nearest ocean is 4 hours away, and besides it's hard to fish off a sailboat. If the work environment was similar to the school yard playground and I showed up at the office wearing a sailboat shirt I would probably get my butt kicked.
When Mother's Day comes around they have displays filled with cool stuff jewelry, MP3 players and the like, but for Father's Day all I'm seeing is ugly clothes and gear that requires me to stand in a cloud of smoke and sweat.

Some Spring Cleaning

Due to some afternoon rain I was forced to migrate my afternoon activities to indoors. One of the occasional tasks that I perform is to clean out my luggage and computer bag, this usually nets me several sets of collar stays, travel umbrellas, many bottles of hotel shampoo and hotel room keys. This afternoons search became sort of a scavenger hunt for hotel room keys, how many of these plastic treasures can I round up. I went through all my luggage, computer bag, junk drawer and the interior my car and came up with 74 hotel room keys. 74 I wonder if that's a record, I also wonder if I sent them back into Hampton Inn if they would spring for a months worth of upgrades.

Here Is A Birthday Peek For "Goose"

"Goose" is having a birthday in the next few days and as any teen-ager has a tendancy to do she has been constantly asking "What'd You Get Me, What'd You Get Me". "Pleeeeease just tell me one thing". "Goose" I have honored you request and posted the picture below of your biggest bestest gift. Dad rules........

The Neighborhood Is Coming Around

It was dark when I got in last night from Charlotte NC . An absolutely brutal 4 1/2 hour drive home, rain for 10 miles, dry for 10 miles, rain for 10 mile, repeat, repeat........... When I bounded out of bed this morning (a gross exaggeration) I noticed the house next store had gone through a complete landscaping make over. Now this is the house that had recently changed ownership and was being remodeled. They completely removed all of the scrub growth in the front yard and created an island that takes up 3/4 of the front yard. These people are smart, less grass to cut and it really looks nice.
On a side note. Our subdivision has been built out for the last few years, there are of course those few vacant undesirable lots left, you know, those lots where you secretly wish you were a billy goat as you walk across the backyard. A local builder constructed a "spec" house on one of these lots. A "spec" house that is a good 1000 sq. feet bigger than anything else in the neighborhood, a "spec" house with an asking price double of anything that has ever been sold in the neighborhood. Well someone has bought it, I can hardly wait to meet the genius that purchased this jewel. While he's thinking that he's the "Richie Rich" of the neighborhood that rest of us will be thinking he's the "Dumbass" of the neighborhood.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Cool Shareware

Cool program from AutoStitch. It lets you take several pictures and then compiles them into a panoramic for you. Here's a picture of my hotel room for the night.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Hotels Take Note

I am not going to steal your hangers, I promise.
I get my shirts & suits laundered every week. I have plenty of hangers, as a matter of fact I have so many that I usually leave you guys some each week.
I guess I'm just getting older and crankier.

Too Bad Mother's Day Has Passed

Because we could have given this so called parent the "Mother Of The Year Award".
I know if "The Wife" and I let the kids do everything they wanted, we would be sitting on "Sponge Bob" furniture and have a horse in the backyard. In our great country you have to get a license to drive or get married, our damn dog even needs a license, but you can birth as many kids as you want without even having to take a test. I guess you could take a pregnancy test, but this lady would have failed that.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005


If you have followed my posts with any regularity you would know that I have certain rules for living on the road. One that I did not add at the time, but one that I follow is "Never walk around your hotel room in your barefeet". The picture above demonstrates that fact these are my socks after wearing them around my room for one night.

Nice View

Stopped for a picture heading south on TN-111 between Sparta and Dunlop. It had been overcast all day and the mountain tops were now tearing through the clouds as if it was tissue paper.

Day 8 and my laptop is on its way back.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Gained Some Pounds Last Week

Since my laptop took a dive last week it left a little extra time for quality eating. Below is just a few of the locations
Sticky Fingers
Famous Dave's BBQ
212 Market Restaurant
Baker Peter's Jazz Club
I could hear myself getting fat.

"The Wife's" New Sled

After 11 years "The Wife" has given up on the station wagon and purchased a new sled.
She looks like a corporate Mommy riding around in the beige Taurus. As we left the lot "The Wife" said "That's what I roll with".

Goose recital

Goose had her violin recital this afternoon. She has progressed from the first time we heard her play 3 years ago. The first time I heard her I thought that the air conditioner was on the fritz.

Saturday, June 04, 2005

It's Going To Be A Slow Few Days

Well the ThinkPad is dead and in the shop. That means posting from the basement. Stay tuned.