Sunday, July 25, 2004

Ingenious! A McDonalds owner subcontracts their drive through ordering to a call centre. Of course there's concerns with reliability and quality control but with someone at the helm who is constantly thinking of innovative solutions to improve their business they'll always be ahead of the curve and competition.

This comment by a poster wasn't bad either:

"How bout just punching buttons on an order board?"

It also touches on another important point, the devil is is the details. Drive through times didn't seem like the biggest problem to tackle however improving every segment of the business is an important step for business performance enhancement. I've also added this blog (Brand Autopsy) to my "Links" section as the posts are interesting and relevant.
The website Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia. Its got some interesting pages, and it basically kept popping up from links of stories I was reading recently so I descided to post about it. Take a look:

Countries with more than one official capital.

Isaac Asimov's three laws of artificial intellegence. Has anyone seen that new movie "I Robot" with Will Smith? (it's based on the Isaac Asimov book)

A quick (and sometimes disputed) history and explanation of hockey. Funny how they acknowledge its creation in Canada and the only picture they have is from the German DEL league.
My hockey equipement just fell off its resting place beside my desk and flipped over towards the door in a hilarious display that seemed like it was trying to go out for a walk.  Looks like hockey season is just around the corner!

Either that or I'm going totally insane :-)
We need to get more CEO's, presidents etc of companies in for seminar's and conversations.  When we had the former MBA talks for the Alumni weekend some of them were great and very informative.  Even Microsoft's CRO Steve Ballmer has small get togethers, the feedback for both sides proves valuable.

An agenda item for our first student council meeting this September!
I'm totally addicted to Dido's new single "Don't Leave Home", getting in touch with the feminine side I guess.  Anyways I checked out her website for tour information (just finished) and found a blog from her last tour.  This is becoming more popular, the Barenaked Ladies also do it (continuously not just for a tour) and I guess it's a way for them to connect more directly to their fans.  Either way it's a great idea and I'm glad it's spreading.

This picture reminded me of the owner of the bar in the movie Coyote Ugly:

I must be getting old, I'm still amazed by technology of the 1950's, boucing sound and pictures off the moon?  Amazing.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

So I haven't had the time to post about our MBA Alumni rafting trip last weekend since I was waiting for the pictures to trickle on in.  What a great time, cudos to Aussie and Theresa on a job well done organising everything which is always a h-e-double hockey sticks of a lot more work than it looks. 

Friday totally sucked as the summer babe-magnet Vitara jeep doesn't enjoy high speed highways (maxes out at around 120 km/h... ouch!) and we got lost to boot.  Of course it didn't help that whenever we called for directions the people that had arrived hours earlier were completly hammered and no help at all.  Sample conversation:

"Hey guys, where's the hotel?  We just went on (insert road name here) and are at (insert intersection name here), where do we go?"

"Ahhh, turn your lights on." (shot round in background with cheering)

"What?, yeah they're on, where do we go, have you seen this (insert road name here)?"

"Errr, just og straight" (drunken cheers in the background)

"What??  Hey did you go by (insert landmark here) on your way there?"

"Hmmm, just turn your lights on and go straight." (more cheering in background) "Hold on..." (30 second pause on a roaming cell phone call from Austria to Austria, tres cheap... "Yeah just turn your lights on and go straight."

Hang up. 

Other people in Ross's car: "What did they say?"

Ross: "Tim's drunk again." 

It was a well deserved beer when we arrived.  Saturday we woke up bright and early to start the rafting run.  We needed gas and so told the caravan of cars that we needed to stop before getting to the rafting site.  Of course they kept going, and of course we got lost again.  An hour later and many useless phonecalls later (see conversation above) we finally arrived and got ready for the day's first rafting tour. 

The first run on Saturday was very light, a training run, but not bad since personally I was still trying to wake up but the cold water sure helped.  Man that water was cold, but nowhere near as cold as the other river we had the second day!  I don't know if I can have children anymore after swimming in that Artic-like river!  The second run rocked for the first part and the end was tame like the first run.  Alot of fun with some people going overboard for some swimming (Anette was in the water more than the boat) and some good times.  The group was broken up into two big boats of 10-12 people and for the record our team won, not that we were racing of course since the other team's hardest paddleing barely caught up to us when we were resting and letting the current take us.  Of course it didn't help that Peter was suntanning... I mean, fake paddleing the entire time :-)

After rafting we vegged out, played some soccer (finding the ball everytime Louis kicked it over the cliff was harder than the actual game itself!) and started the bonfire.  The bonfire was cool but a little low key as I guess most people were tired from rafting and drinking the night before.  That didn't stop the Canadian contingent from doing it up Canadian style, hey Jenny did you ever call that 45 year old stud that you ran out on back? :-)  The German's had a hard time keeping up (Peter you're an honourary Canadian)  but the Kazakstani contingent certainly "took it up a snatch" with the smuggled "real" vodka.  When we originally ordered some vodka shots they basically served us glorified water.  The Kazi Vodka totally KO'd us and caped a great night.

I awoke to a pounding head the next morning, got ready and headed out.  The second day we were on a different river and to offset the fact that we couldn't go on the major rapid run we were allowed two small rafts of 3 people each in addition to the 2 large boats.  This made a world of difference as the smaller boats are easier to manouver but alot less stable.  Our raft rocked!   With the leadership of Aussie, balence of Timmy and my surehanded stearing ability we dominated the rapids only flipping once.  This river also had some interesting and fun things to do like swimming (translation: floating and trying to stay alive) down a patch of rapids and jumping off a small ridge:

The water in the river is so clear that you can see the river floor everywhere there isn't rapids.  Apparently it supplies all the water for Vienna, and for that day it supplied me and others with some much needed refreshment during our lunch break.  To be honest it was 10 times better than treated Pforzheim water (hence my roomfull of emplty Volvic bottles).  BEWARE the "golden gift" Aussie gave to the rest of Vienna when we left :-)   So the second run was also alot of fun.

Shortly after getting back the Vitara crew took off for Pforzheim.  It's quite discouraging that we drove straight and hard but still met another car at the Pforzheim gas station at 10PM that had left over 2 hours after we had.  Damn you highway driving!!

Anyways the weekend was a total success and as I total it:

Over 2000 km and 22 hours driven +
Two cases of beer +
Twelve rounds of shots +
Two rafting tours +
One rollover +
One bonfire +

= One hell of a good time! 

Note: other pics can be had from the rafting website or the MBA yahoo group.

An interesting idea, a VC blogger put out an open call for ideas with the winner recieving time to present to the VC's, whatever.  The contest (at least so far) was somewhat disappointing, and the "Always On" self proclaimed insiders view was overcrowded and uninformative to an "outsider" like me.  If someone can dervive value from it or has a better "insider" website please let me know.

... wow I think that's my first flame post... cool.
I've always thought that Accenture would be an interesting and challenging place to work especially for someone as business oriented as myself.  When I completed my mathematics undergrad degree Accenture was the first place I applied as they had just recently transformed into Accenture from the old Anderson consulting [no interviews :-(  ].  This semester we had an international consulting seminar course by two Accenture employee's in which I think we learned more about Accenture (a result perhaps that they use these courses as recruiting functions) than actual consulting, although we did pick up a few tidbits.

Currently Accenture has a "be a tiger" promotion going on, quite inspiring. 

You've got to love competitive culture!

It's a lazy Saturday afternoon of BBQ'ing and relaxing to fight off the perplexing summer flu.  I often wonder what I'd be doing at times like these if I was still back in smallville Carleton Place... probably a pickup game of toilet bowl horseshoes :-)


Picture curtesy of the Stevie J spam man network :-)
Are you annoying?  It's definatly something that affects your performance, effectiveness and career opportunities in the real world.  There's a fine line between being chummy and witty or being sarcastic and annoying.  Too bad the article didn't go into more depth although I guess it's because they want you to buy the book :-)

Friday, July 23, 2004

America's presidential elections are heating up (did anyone even notice that Canada already had their's!).  There's many bash Bush or bash Kerry sites springing up but I found this one pretty good.  The guys that did it also have a blog, scroll down and click on the snowman, hilarious!
Evolution or creation?  You be the judge.  The best slashdot comment on the subject that I found hilarious was:

"So, we are similar to monkeys, but mainly the brain damaged ones? ;) "


Thursday, July 22, 2004

It's the hottest night in Pforzheim since I got here the same time last year and I'm grounded with one of the worst colds ever.  It's just like I've been telling you all, Canadians are allergic to the heat :-)

And speaking of heating things up...  :-)

The best parts of the article:

"The Moldovans, though, do not get the gold medal for the most boozed-up partners in Olympic Town. That award - based on an informal athlete poll - is split between the Canadians and the Australians... In winter the Canadians win gold, not only for exuberance but also because they have a national beer company, Molson, that routinely delivers liquid supplies... Edith Thys, an American skier at Calgary and Albertville, agrees that the partying gold should probably go to the Canadians, but she awards the licentiousness medal to the French. "They are by far the most promiscuous," says Thys, "but only with each other. I’m not sure if that’s because they wouldn’t sleep with anybody else, or because nobody else would sleep with them.""

NASA recently released some more pictures in digital form from the Apollo 11 mission.  Recently I've been getting more and more into space, probably because that's where my mind was during exams :-)


Another little tidbit about black hole information loss, seems like Stephen Hawking was wrong after all.  Even geniuses are wrong sometimes :-)

Update: Looks like we'll be sharing space with the aliens by 2020 :-)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Some notes and links from the past week that I found interesting:

An interesting interview (with links to video) of the new CEO of Dell, Kevin Rollins.  I like the business trash talk about their competitor HP, who says business personalities arn't competitive!

A new low in Geekdom, are you a Jedi knight?

So they've found traces of ancient water on Mars, how long until we can go visit the space aliens?

Stay tuned, I'm sure we're all going to be getting our ipod's soon.  Heck I'd be happy if the VPN software for the school worked reliably!

Ok, the geeks have once again outdone themselves, mathletes??  Come on.

I didn't even know that Bobby Fischer was still alive, let alone anything else about him except that he was a child chess playing prodogy and there's a movie about him that came out about 10 years ago that I've always wanted to see but never had the time/incling/whatever.

More as the night moves on...

I agree with this take, entrepreneurism is about passion for an idea that will change the way people do business.  It's not about the buck.
I read this short article today:

    "The party's over for four Tennessee inmates accused of going on a beer run after the jail's doors were accidentally left unlocked. The men have been charged with escape and bringing alcohol into a jail."

Yeah but based on the increadable feeling I get when I sparringly have one of my precious imported Canadian Ex beers once every couple weeks or so (and I'm even able to drink other German beers as much as I like during that time), I bet those guys will be heros for the rest of the year for the other 20 to lifers that got to share in the spoils :-)
Everyone thinks the end of exams means tons of free time when actually I'm busier now doing the stuff I didn't do while studying and goofing around during the exam period :-)

I've got a ton of stuff to post so stay tuned today as I piecemeal it onto the site.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Worldheart is an artificial heart fabricator majority owned and chaired by former Ottawa Senators owner Rod Bryden.  We always hated Bryden for constantly holding the fans hostal and constant "give me more money" pleas to the public and government while he was here.  Well sales figures were drastically below forcasts promting this hilarious headline:

"The shock, apparently, was almost enough to turn some WorldHeart shareholders into potential customers."

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

An short interview with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Interesting.

Monday, July 12, 2004

So if I did any cycling (or any activity at all really) then I'd probably want a pair of these. Cool. Yes I'm a geek. But still cool.

Sunday, July 11, 2004

So last week was the inagural MBA/IC vs. IMP soccer game. Not only did we get killed on the scoreboard, some of us couldn't make it past the warmup. Take a look at what is now known as "the tumourfoot" after I rolled it in practice BEFORE THE GAME EVEN HAD STARTED!! I tried to make it back and help the team, but you'd be surprised at how ineffective a one legged man is in soccer! :-)

A couple links of interest from the past couple days. Now that summer is upon us (at least in spirit now that exams are almost over and papers and research can be put off until the last week of summer), I guess it's time to start looking at a first career for next year, let alone a second!

As for Avril, you wouldn't have to pay me to listen to her music 3 times an hour, 4 times yes, but 3 no.

Here's a great site that lists the mistakes that are in movies. It's interesting to see some of my favorites (like Swingers) and how I had already picked up on some of them... well I have watched that movie over 1000 times :-)

Finally, Antarctica and Mexico are the next two places I really want to travel to, looks like I'm going to have to pick up some of these! (I can totally outwit them now with all my valuable exchange rate knowledge from international econ class...)

Saturday, July 10, 2004

An online article about blogger burnout, and no I'm not burning out, just busy with exams and irish pub :-) Housing info, EuroRoss updates and more soon!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Alright! Good luck to the old MBA/IC team against the young IMP scallywaggers today, we'll need it. Good luck to home team Portugal, they won't need it. (I'm now on Portugal's bandwagon now that Germany descided to lift the burden of competition from anyone in their group and as England has completed their traditional shootout loss). Great day today, presentations are over and just a couple exams and papers to finish before I can crank my new BBQ useage into full gear :-)

For all the new MBA's they'll be an update e-mail on housing for you sometime in the next 2 weeks, hopefully sooner rather than later. Of course we're always available for questions in the meantime.

Finally, here's and interesting site with sample Internet cafe prices from around the world. With the amount of time I'm on the Internet I wonder if it's worth moving to Turkey? :-)

Friday, July 02, 2004

Update: The MBA/IC vs. IMP soccer game is a go for Sunday at 1PM (meeting outside Kepler). This is a girls/boys mixed game and so everyone is invited and encouraged to cum!

Thursday, July 01, 2004

After a couple practice runs I got to 73 meters, a fun way to waste away some exam studying time :-) I'm usually not very political in my messages, but this one struck a cord, can't we all just be friends!

Today is Canada Day! Happy Canada Day! Too bad I'm stuck working on my big presentation for 5PM tonight :-( I think I'm going to wear my Canada day hat for it though ;-) Anyways to everyone back home partying it up tonight, have a cold one for me!