Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Stevie J does it again and gets this forward onto the EuroRoss blogroll:

A man walks into his bedroom and sees his wife packing a suitcase. He says, "What are you doing?" She answers, "I'm moving to Las Vegas. I heard ladies-of-the-night there get paid $400 for doing what I do for you for free."

Later that night on her way out, the wife walks into the bedroom and sees her husband packing his suitcase. When she asks where he's going, he replies, "I'm going to Las Vegas too. I want to see you live on $800 a year."

Hilarious Stevie, keep em cumming! Can't wait to see you guys over the holidays, Yo Ho, Yo Ho and a bottle of rum for me!!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Musings, thoughts and crap from around the web:

The 12 days of Christmas consumer price index, nowhere near as cool as Doug and Bob Mackenzie's 12 days of Christmas! (if you have kazaa, edonkey or emule etc you can get the clip here, best X-mas song ever!)

Hilarious science, I think we should do some follow-up research on this experiment this Saturday ;-)

A cool website (that I might have even linked to before, I totally can't remember) that lets you type in 5 digit zip codes for the united states and see the location on its interactive map.

During the cold war of the 1980's the Russians wanted to send a sateilite destroyer into space, here's a pic of the design. For the record they couldn't get the thing into orbit ;-)

Micheal Jordan won a ton of championships with the Chicago Bulls, left the game completely to fail miserably at baseball, then came back and won more championships. He was a true leader by example. Well guess what, it runs in the family, Jordan's brother is a leader too.

Hong Kong is trying to catch some of the wave of technology companies moving to China but must find very different methods to attract them in absence of cheap land, even cheaper labour costs and other insentives. Can a high tech technology park be a sustainable developement over time? Maybe if coupled with tax incentives?

A video game that recreates the Kennedy assassination is about to cum out, totally sadistic, but is there a viable market for this stuff? Unfortunatly probably there is, and a relatively large one at that. Interesting considering that there is as of yet no required enforcement of under-age purchasing of violent video games (it's self regulated currently).

Is google trying to replace Microsoft as the dominant software company? Seems like they're making baby steps into Microsoft's markets.

A short review of Skype, the free online VoIP application. I'll get there, just don't have time to hook it up before getting to Utah, but I've heard good things from current users.

This is so true, we ARE the tech support generation. Now if I could just find a relative who can jimmy hardware repairs to take care of my hard drive whoe's then those family reunions would really pick up. Actually reminds me of one of my parents friends who'd play around on the computer with me until I had to go to bed instead of talking with the other adults whenever they threw a party (I was 10, he was 35). I wonder why he got divorsed...

And finally some inspiration for those of us frustrated with the job search, Popular Science's top 10 Worst Jobs, ok the anal-wart researcher is just flat out the grossest thing I've heard of all week, actually hearing someone ask how Matius has sex was pretty close :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2004

So how does someone go from a late night post ranting about cell phones to sitting in an Internet cafe in Paris almost a week later updating their blog? Well let's take a look:

Tuesday - Rough day at the office, rough day outside the office. Solution: Roll the dice and hit a sweet Pokal hockey game in biettingheim where the heavily outgunned second league home team came back with a goal, heart, fight, blood sweat and tears to almost come from behind and beat a first league DEL team in front of a sellout jungle of a crowd and loose heartbreakingly 2-1. Great game, hockey cleans the soul :-)

Wednesday - Looking forward to a long night of accounting studying in advance of the eventual cerebral rapeage to cum in the morning. Solution: Roadie to Stuttgart through mindboggleingly bad traffic to visit broken arm guy, a hockey related injury but he'll be fine as long as all those kisses keep cuming his way ;-) , and have a good old fashioned cram session. One full semester of procrastinating and accounting learning in one night, done and done.

Thursday - Accounting test rapeage. Solution: Grab a teammate, 2PM beers, steak place and a sprinkle of Irish Pub and stress release on the early morning drive home. Thanks for the drive eh G. P.!

Friday - Massive hangover. Solution: Roadie to Karlsruhe Subways, cheapie za's, and a little spliffy on the side :-)

Saturday - Gameday. Solution: Karlsruhe for konference soccer, weissen's, WeinNachtMarkt for some sweet gluwine, rocking on over to the Stuttgart housebash, more beer more beer more beer more beer...

Sunday early morning - Missed the last train to Pforzheim with a need for speed to rock out of dodge. Solution: Check out some wicked latino late night dance club downtown and sing spanish songs (that should read "trying to sing songs when you don't know the words nor the music") with a bunch of very loaded, very friendly, very understanding gang of newly met spanish guys. Roll on back to the HBF and grab the first train out of Stuttgart, the Nachtexpress, destination Paris. So why even bother stopping in Pforzheim!

Mystery solved. See you all tomorrow if I can get back somehow.

Definition of "team": (www.dictionary.com)

1. A group on the same side, as in a game.
2. A group organized to work together.
3. Two or more draft animals used to pull a vehicle or farm implement.

Sometimes you realize that your team isn't quite all on the same side, working together or even pulling the vehicle in the same direction. The keys to a successful team is the belief in a unified goal, a common understanding of the mechanism for achieving that goal, group awareness of the role and responsibilities of each member on the team and the workethic, chemistry and passion to execute effectively. All these elements have to be built upon a foundation of trust, and if that trust is broken, so is the team.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Despite what my bill indicates (did I really use 170 euros of phone service last month, how is that even possible!?) I still hate cell phones. This rant however is not directed at cell phones, rather their users. For gods sake people, turn off your cell phone during class. Even a novice like myself knows how to turn it on silent mode so I can discretely check messages without disturbing the class. Now we all forget to turn it off ever once in a while, you know we turn red, appologise and turn the thing off; but you know who I'm talking about... those students who consistantly leave their phone ringing throughout the semester's classes without any compunction about doing it at all! Now if that wasn't annoying enough, I've even seem a few of these brainiacs actually ANSWER THE PHONE AND START TALKING!! I can't believe the classlessness of those people. Respect the professor, the class and yourself, turn that fucking handy off during class!

(Having written this post now guarentees that I'll forget to turn mine off tomorrow, Murphy's Law).

Having gotten that out of my system, I'd just like to give a big thanks (big ups!) to everyone who came out on Friday and made it the great night that it was. There was some setbacks, a broken arm, a couple stiches, even a missing special hat or two :-) but all in all a pretty great time had by all.

If anyone found out why O-Zone was jammed packed at 5AM please let me know! I've never seen that many people there ever, it was so busy it was tough to even order at the bar! Good job Marta for getting the pics online so fast (here), I've chosen a select few here for comment, too bad I forgot to get everyone together for a group pic after the game :-(

Here's drunk Ross getting caught trying to put his hands in Carlos's cookie jar, look at the fear in his eyes! :-)

Once again, here's U-Bear succeeding where Ross failed :-)

Now I know where U-Bear gets his skills, look at the blazing speed he displays here in this photo in getting back on defence to intercept my breakout pass... is it a bird, a plane, superman? NO! It's super-Bear!

Finally, in from one of my most inspiring classes (business leadership), a couple quotes for the road:

"Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda

"Some men see things as they are and say why. I dream things that never were and say why not" - Robert Kennedy

Have a great week everyone, only 3 more for the Rossman before I rock over to the US for my final semester. It's night's like Friday which remind me who and what I'm going to most miss about pforzheim :-)

Friday, November 19, 2004

Now this is some Canadian weather! Bright sunny sky, light snow flurries, cold fresh air... and just in time for game night! See you all at the game or afterwards at Irish!

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Well that blows. I assumed my laptop crash was software related, so after a week of reloading data, programs, preferences and basically getting back up to speed, it crashed again, Hard Drive failure... great. Looks like my data's gone for good but at least it looks like the repairs might be warrentieed. Some notes before I go cry again:

Don't forget to register for exams, due Friday November 19th, tomorrow! The form can be found here.

Haveing been deathly sick with the flu all weekend I didn't get out to party much, but at least I was able to check out Domino Day 2004 (on RTL). I can't believe I wasted away over 3 hours just watching different domino's fall. You can check out some video reply by clicking on the link below "Die Highlights vom Domino-Day 2004 im Video". They didn't get a record for most consecutive domino's falling as there was 2-3 screwups, but for the record I liked the moses parting the seas one the best, geeky cool!

It's hunting season, for those of you who arn't able to get to the range, why not try some online hunting eh!?! And for god's sake people, pay or make arrangements with Anette for the Amsterdam trip if you haven't already done so, the stress levels are growing to the point of her using the link above for a different kind of hunting!

Hockey Night Friday! It's going to be great, see you all at the rink at 9:30!! Irish for 11:30 - 12:00 for those not making it on the ice (wimps!). Pics and stories to follow recovery on Sat, and don't forget to circle Dec 16th, the last night for me in Germany and probably the last day of my livers life ;-)

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Some good biz articles from Zeromillion.com:

Do you have an investor-ready business plan?

It's not the idea, it's the execution!

Is that really an opportunity?

And I leave with a quote from the site's founder: "Just as money compounds, so does knowledge and so do habits." - Ryan P. Allis
I'm back on the web with my once beloved and now reviled laptop, here's some biz things and etcetera from around the triple W:

AOL is breaking up into 4 divisions to have the company better focused in those areas. Hmmm, seems like that might be counter the integration of services model. I also totally don't get the "European" division, won't that be a division based on geography (roughly the same size as the US) that handels all their products just like AOL before the 4 division split? So let me get this right, you're splitting up AOL into 4 divisions for better "clarity" and direction on the macro level, but you're modeling one of those divisions in the same structure as the one you're moving from? Yeah I can get arguements like "the European market has totally different requirements, customers and opportunities/threats which deserve special focus" but I'm just not buying. Sounds a little like change for the sake of change... the discussion on the slashdot forum is pretty funny and insiteful. Update: Looks like the first fallout from the 4 division breakout has already happened, dropping Broadband services in favour of increasinly obscelete dial-up service? Sounds like a great plan for future profits. At least they've validated my thought that these 4 divisions were a bad idea.

In light of my recent laptop fiasco I'm thinking of bitting the bullet and getting a new top of the line model after only a year and a half of owning a previously outdated model (which I saved about 1500 bucks on). When should you upgrade?

I'll admit, I hated cell phones before cuming to Europe. The Canadian market for cell phones is where the European market was about 4-5 years ago, the late-growth or an early mass adoption phase. As my monthly 150 - 200 euro phone bills (DO NOT go with Vodaphone if you are a first time student buyer, go with a much cheaper O2) will attest I am a convert, but I still don't think mini (in size and time, about 1 minute) episodes for cell phones will ever take off. Although this is cuming from someone who can't understand how all those annoying "klingletone" commercials ever break even.

My transition to Skype for home telephony will commence when I get to Utah, let the VoIP experiment begin! Here's a great interview with the founder of Skype.

Should I pursue an MBA? Well it's a little late for someone like me to wonder about that since I only have one semester to go, but it's a good reflection on the pro's and con's. Here's a link I stole from that site (who stole it from another site) of an article comparing the life of the great entertainer John Ritter to Arafat. A great read.

I hate the show "Gilmour Girls", my sister loves it. I found an article mixing business musings with one of the episodes. I didn't like the article either, my sister (manager of food and hospitality services) loved it. When will scientists admit that the dinosaurs died from watching too much "Gilmour Dino's"?

Intro to prime number algorithms... yeah my undergrad was in Mathematics and I still get sentimental about putting some semi-related math content on the site, the opportunity just doesn't cum around all that often :-)

That's all for now folks, wish I could knock off this friggin' cold...

Friday, November 12, 2004

Bummin' around the web, trying to locate some of my old favorites (which I lost with the laptop), I came across these:

An eight year old girl (with help from her father) starts a web-based biz to save money to buy a pony, no joke. A future billionaire in the making, as long as she doesn't spend too much time with her pony!

Top ten entrepreneurs of all time? (U.S.)

I've always maintained that professionalism is a staple for strong leadership. You've GOT to take a look at Bush prior to his national broadcast of his acceptance of re-election. This is the person who is leading the largest country in the free world. Here's some more brilliant quotes from Bush, submitted by our own resident American/German Frank.

We're number one! Waterloo University (where I took my undergrad) is number one once again. We actually went 10 straight years being number one before being ursuped last year, coinciding with my graduation and absence one year earlier, coincidence? :-)

What's Skype? Only the latest killer app to hit the web!

And finally, Stevie J got this one in:

Let's review shall we: car blew up last week, a total writeoff (4000 euros), thank god it's been raining/snowing most of the week otherwise my bus stop waiting times wouldn't nearly be so interesting (for those of you scoring at home, and I've now missed 3 buses by an average of 10 seconds so far). Sunday night laptop goes down, I'm on $35 an hour tech support to India for over 2 days trying to understand what the hell they're talking about (is it english, is it tech jargon, did you say India lost the last cricket game??, what the f%$^ ???), get my personal data files back (finally), I buy a 150 euro USB hard drive to back those (expensively) recovered files only to have THAT hard drive break in two as I try to reload the files back onto my laptop (the sticker says "assembled in Germany", great job fucko!). Chick problems cuming out my ears, a terrible flu that knocked me out for most of the last 2 (and possibly next 2) days, my new favorite band (Es Ist Juli) cancelled the only concert I could have gone to see, just got my scholorship extension rejected (I'm going to the U.S. for my final semester and the scholorship is only good for european schools), my roomate is now officially in a religious cult, the other roomate just smoked a dube and puked on the bathroom floor mat, 5 weeks before leaving and I have none of my files for my presentations, papers and classes, sans e-mail, and I just burnt my toast.

Yeah I know, I haven't posted or replied to e-mails in a while...

This is what I feel like this week, just waiting for the next piece of news to erupt:

Update: At least Irish Pub on Wednesday was it's usual rockin self, always look on the bright side eh! :-)
Because of recent events (Susuki go bye bye) and my intended purchase of a Mini in 6 months at the conclusion of my MBA (when I know where I'll be working), I desided to fire off an e-mail to Mini customer support to see if they had any short term lease or rental options so that I could try it out before I buy, the response:

Dear Mr. Ross,

Thank you for your e-mail. MINI has no influence on the cars car rental companies offer. We are unable to inform you whether or not a certain rental company has the MINIin stock. We would like to ask you to contact the local car rental companies.

Yours sincerelly,

MINI Infoservice
80788 München
E-Mail: mailto:infoservice@mini.de
Internet: www.mini.de

Thanks for nothing Mini. I still think trial period leases would be a great thing to promote the confidence you have in your brand and provide a service to a specific customer niche. Oh well.

Monday, November 08, 2004

My computer is fucked. It all started yesturday with a "Windows cannot load the locally stored profile" error and ended up with me on the phone with some chick from Banglador India talking about cricket matches as my computer steadily declined into oblitheration. Great, just what I need right now.

Do yourself a favour and export your Outlook e-mails etc to a .pst file and backup your other data... fuck I'm grumpy today.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

We decided to go out for "one beer" last night, and as usual the "one beer" nights end up being more dangerous than the planned binge party nights. Met some cool guys at the pub and learned a new dice game. Also learned that playing new dice games with oozo as the penalty equals crawling home at 5:30 AM with a massive headache. Sunday is a day of rest :-)

Anyways now that Newey party is out of the way I wanted to annouce some upcuming events of interest:

1 - Hockey Night in Pforzheim

Back by popular demand, Hockey Night in Pforzheim will be held on November 19th starting at 9:30 PM (so you can get your skates and warm up with a few practice laps before the game starts at 10) meeting at the arena. Same shit as last time, 10 euros (this time paid in advance) including your skate rental, ice fee, stick etc. There will only be 18 spots this time as we do not want to have to change all the time so this time there will only be one stick per person and the 2 goalies. Of course post game pops at irish afterwards.

Here's the people who are signed up and paid:

Russia Stuttgart
Stuttgart Roomies x2
Jeff (MIS)
Moskow 1

Which means there is only 2 more spots for whoever wants, first paid, first served :-)

2 - MBA Getaway Weekend

Don't forget to pay Anette for the trip by depositing money into her acocunt (details on the e-mail). Detination is Amsterdam and she'll be e-mailing hotel info soon. It's going to be great.

3 - Ross Farwell Bash

Well the time has cum for me to start planning for my move to Utah for 4th semester :-( I'll be rocking out on Dec 17th so what better way to leave then spend a night of excesive drinking, eating and whatever other extra-curricular activities present themself with all my friends from PF, Germany and Europe. The party will be held at a restaurant in Kirchberg (Kirchberg an der Murr Bahnhof if you're looking for it on the bahn website) which is a small village just outside of Stuttgart. They offer traditional German cuisin (my personal favorite is the "roastbratten und spetzle", definatly not spelled anywhere near right), cold beer and good times. After a late diner (we start at 7:30 PM) we might rock up to Swabish Hall for some pub crawling, but it's all flex as we usually are dancing inside the restaurant until the wee hours of the morning :-)

There's no price or signup for this event, I hope to see as many of you as possible there. I know it's a bit of a ride out there but trust me it couldn't be any other way as this is the place I start and end all my european tours, it's that fun. There'll be many people driving there which is cheaper and faster so ask around (drivers please contact me if you have extra space to carpool), but there's a decent train leaving at 6:06 PM. Here's a pic from my first night in Germany over a year ago from the restaurant... great times!!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Not much going on today, my Berlin Ice Bears bitch slapped the Mannheim-er Adler in DEL action last night, scoring 3 unanswered goals in the third to win 4-3, who's your daddy! The Ottawa 67's rolled out a win last night and I got my tix for the X-mas vacation games. It's been a good weekend for hockey.

The Stuttgart pubcrawl pics are starting to trickle in, cudos to Frank for getting this one in, quite possibly the last known picture of Frank with smiling Canadian women in Stuttgart :-) Just teasing eh!

I usually try not to post forwards (yeah right), but I totally don't feel like surfing for links or posting another totally witty Ross original post so here goes, I've seen this one before many times but Stevie J got this to me and it almost made me pee my pants again... it's been one of those days :-)

A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected:

a half-gallon of 2% milk,
a carton of eggs,
a quart of orange juice,
a head of romaine lettuce,
a 2 lb. can of coffee,
and a 1 lb. package of bacon.

As she was unloading her items onto the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated, "You must be single."

The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intrigued by the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"

The drunk replied, "Cause you're ugly."

Friday, November 05, 2004

I'm still recovering from a great, great Newey party. Stories and pics to follow but it's time now for a big bowl of pasta and some more sleeps :-) Sing it Elvis!

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Important Newey Party Ticket Update!!

Our block of Newey tickets were unavailable today due to sickness of the guy in charge and the office does not know where our block is saved. Therefor all tickets will be available all day tomorrow starting at noon, please note that if you signed up on the list then your tickets are GUARENTEED so don't worry about missing out. I'll be geeking it up in the laptop room all day tomorrow so you can catch me there anytime or if you don't know where that is then meet me at one of these times in the entrance to the library.

Wed 12PM, 1Pm, 3PM, 5PM
Thurs 1:30PM, 2Pm


Price is 6 euors, please bring exact change if possible.

See you all soon!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Back from Russia! What an amazing trip! Pictures to cum soon, but here's a quick rundown:

Tuesday Night - Had a couple pre-trip beers in Stuttgart waiting for the 6 AM flight to St. Petersburg.

Wed 10 AM - Arrived in St. Petersburg via Denmark, totally running on no sleep, surrounded by an entirely different country and the first where there is absolutely no english anywhere, not on airport signs, nothing. Got totally f$%§cked over by the border control, they wanted to scam my Canadian beer and coffee I brought as gifts. Fifty euros finally settled the issue. Met up with my guide and good friend "Russia Maria" and took a "route bus" (which is just a big white van that expels more exhaust than a 18 wheeler diseal truck and which sounds much worse) to her place where we were staying.

Arrival time at house: 11:12 AM local time
First Homebrew Vodka shot: 11:14 AM

The Vodka was as to be expected, the first shot was exciting, good and hard. The second was bigger and had an ever so harsh burning effect... and then all of a sudden you feel like the world is a great place to live and every shot after that is not only desired but enjoyed. We got loaded in the middle of the afternoon on a Wednesday, not that uncommon for this country :-) As is customary we followed every shot with some homemade pickles. I thought it was weird at first, but trust me, they become totally addictive after a couple.

Over the next couple days I checked out the city, "registered" like fifteen times (which is basically just bribeing the local authorities), caught a hockey game, hit the nightlife, visited the uni, had traditional (and non-traditional) eats, and basically drank a TON of Vodka. Very cool.

Rocked on over to Moskow via the all night train on Sat night. This is the biggest connection in Russia and since there was a soccer match for the St. Petersburg team near Moskow the following day it was quite a ride. Of course when it was time to finally catch some sleep we also had to contend with the worst snorring Russian the world has ever known.

Moskow is completly different than St. Petersburg. In the interest of time I'll save most of the details for over a couple of beers at Irish on Wednesday, but basically got to Red Square, 2 more hockey games (including one in the same stadium as the famous 1972 Canada vs. Russia Summit Series), saw Victor Tikanov, had a Big Mac in the first ever McDonalds in Russia and all that jazz.

All I can say is what an amaying trip! It's surreal that it's over and I'm already back in Pforzheim. I highly recommend it to anyone who's able to go, although I would suggest hooking up with a local friend since I would have been totally lost without one. Thanks to Russia Maria for all your help and good times, CHIBO!! I can't wirte Russian Survivor with this keyboard :-)

Anyways, more later, but for now here's some of the things that happened while I was away:

It's great to see the greatest hockey product in the world (the CHL, Canadian Hockey League, home of the best development league of junior hockey as proven every year by the NHL draft), expand in it's reach. They definatly need a team in the Montreal market again. Some worry about having to compete in a city with an NHL franchise, but teams like the Ottawa 67's show that it can be successful.

Baseball finished while I was in Russia, apparently the curse is over, the Boston Red Sox are World Series champions. Not such a great season for my Toronto Blue Jays who took a nose dive in their progression under the watchful eyes of J.P. Richardi. They also happen to be in the same division as Boston AND the Yankees so it doesn't figure to get better anytime soon. I thought that this was a great idea though, free round trip airfare to Spring training in Florida for season ticket holders. Great job marketing dept.!!

This story broke while I was in Russia and was the headline of most major newspapers. It was interesting to me since I had never really heard of him before and it seemed weird figureing he'd signed for the league maximum 86 mil US dollars over 6 seasons.

Schumacher's leadership is undisputed. He (as well as a 1 billion dollar budget) is the sparkplug that lifted the Ferrari team from development to championship. Maybe he's able to inspire and push some of the German players going into the 2006 world soccer cup. Go Germany Go!! In other F1 news, I'm glad to see the return of Canadian Jaques Villeneuve to a dreadfully borring F1 season, but these comments don't inspire confidence for next year.

Looks like nothing new is going on for the NHL, same bitching. They better get this thing ironed out or hockey is going to suffer a mass exodis much worse than the fallout from the Major League Baseball strike.