Archive for the 'Enough Already' Category

Stencil of David Lesar

July 18, 2008


The CEO of Halliburton, David Lesar, has been based in Dubai for over a year. This move from Houston to Dubai was attributed to the need for Halliburton to grow its business in the “Eastern Hemisphere“. A couple years ago President George W. Bush in a state of the union stated that U.S. needs to “make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past. (Applause.)” Cherche le CEO.

Trans-Pacific Peat Pellet

April 11, 2008

Not once, but twice the Canadian peat pellet in the above sunflower seed planting thingy crossed the Pacific ocean. Last year this item came from somewhere, presumably an inexpensive spring impulse purchase. It was lost for a year in the clutter but the sticker on the bottom of it is striking.

This little gardening toy is globalization in action. American sunflower seeds braving a trip across the Pacific to meet up with some Canadian peat before getting encapsulated in a Chinese plastic egg and shipped back across the Pacific. Thousands of miles. Probably a couple of bucks. Lost in clutter for a year and likely headed for a landfill.

Some are speculating about the end of cheap Chinese products. We’ll see.

Stencil of John Roberts, Chief Justice

March 25, 2008

john-roberts_chief-justice.jpg

John G. Roberts, not to be confused with all those other John Roberts out there (Using To Blind Eve I find a page that suggests the exact number is currently 2,659 – and there’s a map, Philip K. Dick would be flicking imaginary bugs off his keyboard at this point), is the current chief justice of the US Supreme Court.

As far as I can tell using To Blind Eve there is, as of yet, no stencil out there for him.

There should be.

If the Supreme Court is confusing – it’s not that confusing, they figure what the Constitution means right now. Don’t worry about keeping track of whether you could get a beer in 1932 or 1934, these are the guys and gals that will try to interpret the Constitution in 2009, 2011 and 2012. Can’t help but think 4/9 is enough.

How to Deal With a Robot Manager

February 29, 2008

A lot of people I know think, hey wow a robot manager that must be cool, all that polished metal and those bright LED eyes and that funky icy voice. Day by day though it’s a lot different. If you have a robot for a manager there a lot of things you will probably have to get used to. This post covers a couple of the items to keep in mind for dealing with a robot manager.

First off robots really, really don’t get going to the bathroom. I had this one robot manager once that had never even been in the restroom let alone knew where it was. It was always so embarrassing to be sitting there and hear some guest ask directions to the nearest restroom and my manager was just quiet and acting like he was processing data or doing a holographic capture of the white board. Tip one always answer these requests directly but also it’s best if you act like you’ve never been to the restroom but you only know about it from studying your site map in your spare time.

Second, you can get emotional but be careful with the whole sarcasm and irony thing. I read somewhere that nine out of ten robots still confuse irony and sarcasm and to generally pretty bad outcomes. You’re better sticking with opportunistic slapstick. Anytime you drop stuff or trip it makes a robot manager fell less self-conscious (or whatever it is they feel that to us humans would seem like self-conscious) about their awkwardness about tying knots and running down stairs.

Third, never I mean never make excuses that relate to being human. Robots are completely focused intense productivity engines. If you say sorry the report was late, we humans tend to get the flu about this time of year you may as well say because you don’t have an immune system you are going to have to pick up my slack and carry me along for a couple days of selfish time. Coughing, fever, aching and other stuff just doesn’t make any sense to a robot manager. You’re better off saying your limited buffer has become faulty and you need some downtime to upgrade your emotional firmware. It’s goofy but it seems to work.

No robot jokes – ever.

Fifth, there is no such thing as small talk. Most likely your robot manager has not left the building since he was installed. Weather is just another line item on the central web portal that he ignores. Your robot manager doesn’t have a family or vote or watch the Oscars or know how to cook anything. The only thing to talk to a robot manager about is work. It’s boring but the sooner you get this the better off everyone is.

Finally, your robot manager will probably be replaced in 2 or 3 years so really just be patient. There is always some new, latest model around the corner. Keep in mind this explains a lot about ‘the everything has to be different’ first year and the ‘we’re all buddies right?’ third year. I read somewhere online that the average robotic manager only lasts 2.6 years so if you get a model you can’t stand just hang in there and chances are the next model will be better. Or at least not that much worse.

Fortune’s Wheel and Clean Lyrics

February 16, 2008

I got to hear half of a Fortune’s Wheel concert the other evening. Good stuff. I especially enjoyed the Basse Dance’s. I checked out iTunes to see what they had and while Fortune’s Wheel wasn’t there I did find a few other Basses Dance’s. One of them caught my eye – it had the flag CLEAN in the listing.

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And I can’t help but wonder, is there classical music with a parental advisory? Renaissance explicit content? I can’t help but click through.

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OK so maybe Peter got a little risque with the whole virtual consort thing and so ended up with a ‘CLEAN LYRICS’ tag. But now inattention has drifted from obscene classical music to the design of the little logo. Where did it come from? Is it a standard like the nutritional listing on the side of cereal boxes? Queries online seem to only return results relating to bands, songs and specifics but finding some back story about the icon proves evasive.

Now the musical group Fortune’s Wheel had a lyre player and it occurs to me that maybe it would be appropriate to tweek the CLEAN LYRICS icon as follows:

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Which is kind of funny – I mean how many lyrists do you suppose there are out there? I wonder how many of them consider themselves ‘clean’? But now I’m thinking that Smokey Robinson album (and the English Beat cover version) really ought to have the following warning:

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Singing Songs and Slitting Throats

January 15, 2008

razor.jpgTo quote Mugatu, “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills”. Coming in with an 86% positive reviews over at Rotten Tomatoes, I must be missing something about Sweeny Todd. This movie builds to Johnny Depp singing songs and slitting throats. Now I really like Mr. Depp and Mr. Burton’s creative collaborations to date but I can’t help but think that Johnny Depp’s crooning about pretty women drinking coffee while geysers of blood spurt out of gaping necks is just awful.

I see that elsewhere the movie is described as “very good”, “beautiful”, and that “Johnny Depp needs to be in more musicals”.

First of all it wasn’t funny. The theater where I saw it, the black humor fell flat. Second, dude even in the 19th century they had letters. You could try to write to your wife or a neighbor or someone to find out what happened.

Now if one wades through enough Globe coverage it is possible to find some conflicting reviews such as it is a “depressingly bad movie”, an “extremely ordinary film”, “one of the worst movies I’ve seen in a long time”, and “like an Iraqi torture film but with stage music.”

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