Monday, February 28, 2005

Tokaruk got this in; wisdom from the Dalai Lama for 2004, I've seen many of these before but they're definatly worth a re-visit:

1 - Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2 - When you lose, don't lose the lesson.
3 - Follow the 3 R's; respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.
4 - Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5 - Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6 - Don't let a little dispute injure a great relationship.
7 - When you realize you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8 - Spend some time alone every day.
9 - Open arms to change, but don't let go of your values.
10 - Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11 - Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you'll
be able to enjoy it a second time.
12 - A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13 - In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don't bring up the past.
14 - Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.
15 - Be gentle with the earth.
16 - Once a year, go someplave you've never been before.
17 - Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18 - Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.
19 - Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Now some of that is good advise, some better than others. It occured to me today that the year is already two months old. How did one sixth of the year pass without a blink!?! I can't beleive how fast time is moving, it seems to speed up every year! I wanted to start a list of goals for the year and I never even got around to it, so I'm going to post some general and specific things I'd like to accomplish in the last 10 months of 2005:

1 - The standard get back into shape, specifically I want to run at least a half marathon and get back to my weekly men's hockey games. Both these goals are attainable but relatively challenging considering the condition of my knees for those activities, the fact that I'll be traveling around alot over the next couple months and off course my drinking habits ;-)

2 - Gotta get some more German under my belt than I have. I used to gauge the ultimate success or failure of this training on whether I could pick up a chick entirely speaking German, then I realized that with alcohol as my friend you could speak only 5 words of Albanian and still score a touchdown now and again, so I'll just put a measuring stick of being able to converse with a German without them switching to English after my first sentance as the goal.

3 - Somehow grasp the link between hardware and software. The jump between the two has always perplexed me and my recent realization that almost anything can be learned by almost anyone if they put their mind to it has driven me to pursue the answers to some concepts that have eluded my understanding for a while. I guess language training would also technically qualify under this section, but I've already mentioned it above, although perhaps the sheer "brutalness" of my language learning skills requires a double entry ;-)

4 - Simplify.

5 - Start off my new post-MBA career running. This one's actually going to be quite easy since I tend to jump in hardcore when working. Since I won't be presured into taking a job that I'm not passionate about I won't have the problem of a lack of interest or desire to motivate as well. I guess most of the career stuff is going to be figured out pretty soon (in the next couple months or so... or at least I hope so!).

There's the list for now. There's a bunch of other stuff I'd like to put up there but some of it I'm still mullin' over in my head so it'll have to wait. I think it's a good start though anyways.

Update: I'd also like to add to the list the goal of continuing the string of absolute fun and sun that I've enjoyed over the past decade or so of my life. Although I've already achieved a great level of personal fun, learning and excitement, I feel it's important to list it as an ongoing mission of sorts. Wow, time is flying fast but what a ride it's been!

So at the end of 2005 (or possibly by Feb 2006), I'll check back to see how it all went. Wish me luck, I'll do the same for all your New Years resolutions!
Ok, some humour to cap off the weekend:

This one's for Yang's B-friend who liked the "Cheerio's" song video so much. Enjoy! :-)
Update: Looks like this guy's starting a wave!

Another song mime, this time to Natalie Embroulia... yeah I have no idea how to spell her name nor the desire to spend the 2 seconds on google to look it up.

This is hilarious, British marines trying to storm a beach get stuck in the mud. Great learning experience for those guys, good thing they learned this now and not later during a live mission!

Sometimes it just doesn't pay to be the little guy... but sometimes it does:

The Channel 9 guy enjoying the view from Bush's lap (Channel 9 is a Microsoft community thingy, geeks should go check it out).

Finally, although it's pretty humourous to laugh at my mustang crash photos, I've already posted one of those, so instead I'll end with one of my favorite commercials of all time for breast cancer: click here for the 1.7 meg video.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Another bright and sunny day! I mean really, does this place even have winter?? What was everyone worrying about? Besides the first day in which there was a huge snowstorm (of course since I had to carry my bags), life in Salt Lake has been warmer than the mederterainian (11 degrees celcius today).

Last week I had a couple days of vacation here in Salt Lake which allowed me to check out some of the nightlife downtown. If you've got a hunger on and are in the area I highly recommend:

The Bohemian Brewery and Grill.

We checked this American style German cuisine pub out and although the hefe was watered down and reletively tasteless [I guess I' just used to the rel deal ;-)] the food was unbelieveable! They custom ordered my meal because I wanted the BBQ chicken and Spetzle (which was hand made and unbelieveable). The meal was so good I was craving it the rest of the weekend. Tuesday's is $2 pints and $6 pitchers, can't beat that!

The other place to check out if you're in the mood for a high quality burger and beer is Squatters.

Once again the beer was average at best however the burgers were UNBELIEVABLY good! I got the Squatters special burger which might just be the best burger I've ever had, and I heard great things about the roast turkey burger as well.

Of course I also was able to get to university students favorite "The Pie Pizzeria". Best pizza in town, great atmosphere and tunes. It's located just off campus (the south side so it's at least a 25 minute walk from the residences) and I don't spend near enough time there as I should.

So if you're in the neighbourhood check these places out to squash your hunger... and let me know if you find a tasty beer joint ;-)

Saturday, February 26, 2005

It's unbelievable how many e-mails, websites, schoolwork and chores need to be done. Here's some quick picks from the MOUNTAIN of links I'm going through:

The best comic strip ever, Calvin and Hobbs, is now out as a compendium.

Ok, I'm not a huge tennis fan but this is cool!

If you're feeling glum about relationships or just in the mood to see a great movie that I believe was totally underrated and ignored by the movie-going public, check out "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind". "Garden State" is another low-key winner for a lazy Saturday afternoon on the couch. Great movies. I'm downloading "Sideways" now for review this weekend.

The largest Mersenne Prime (it's even the largest prime period) has been found and confirmed. Sometimes my math geekness shines through on my geek blog ;-)

Talk about sleeping in :-)

Hilarious, a new study concludes that gay men read maps like women. Best line of the report: "Gay men adopt male and female strategies. Therefore their brains are a sexual mosaic". A "sexual mosaic"?? Hilarious.

Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy fans, the trailer for the upcuming movie is out :-)

Moble PC's 100 top gadgets of all time. Love the speak and spell, I had one that did math, thought it was the coolest thing on earth when I was 6. I was also one of the first to own a Diamond Rio (pre-ordered it from the website). Unfortunatly I never did own a Startac as I hadn't been infected with the cell phone addiction until many years later upon moving to Europe, always thought it could pick up chicks ;-)

Considering my lack of ability in speaking French, German and even English (inside joke: I also can't speak "Japan"), there's no way that Daniel Tammet is my psudoname.

Stonehenge 2, the sequel in New Zealand has been completed. I'm waiting for the declaration from an ambitious country to start another world wonder that could potentially last for millenia, like the pyramids etc.

Yes it's true, I got in a slight crash while in Waterloo. Noone was hurt which is the most important thing, but this picture as well as a look at my new insurance rate brings numerous tears to my eyes:

Drive safe everyone, EuroRoss lives to fight another day...

Friday, February 25, 2005

I love Americans, they're our (Canada's) closest friend and ally, and many of my closet friends are Americans, but arrogant comments like this (read from the paper today on Canada's decision not to join the missle defence shield) from the US ambassador to Canada make me grit my teeth:

"U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci pronounced that he was "perplexed" by the decision, and warned that Canada risked ceding sovereignty of its airspace."

Arrogand bastard. Did he just threaten to violate our airspace without permission?!?!

For the record I'm sure the US could crush us in a fight nowadays but look at the scoreboard, Canada 1 US 0 (the only war between our two nations). We also kick ass in hockey and beer slamming ;-) Of course the US takes top prize for almost every other catagory however most of us igloo dwelling lumberjacks don't really care about that ;-)

And to keep this contraversial post going, Ontario just passed same-sex marriage legislation.

"The new law will allow religious officials who oppose gay marriage to refuse to perform ceremonies. However, civil officials will be required to perform all marriages."

I really don't know what the stink is about this issue, allow churches to deside who they want to marry and make the civil service a "union" between two individuals, that way homosexual couples get legal and civil representation as a couple and churches can maintain their practice of marriage between a man and a woman. Problems like this arise when religion and state are not properly separated.

Lastly I noticed this line in the same article: "Liberal MPP Kim Craitor had told the Welland Tribune in his riding that he would vote against the bill. However, he was absent for the vote." which brings a host of arguments to mind. If MP's are paid (generously and with terrific benefits I might add) to represent their constituents, then what the hell is going on when many official voting functions are not even attended by the majority of MP's?? These guys need a wake up call.

Despite the ranting above, I'm actually in a terrific mood today, got a great hike in, finished my case readings for tonights Friday night class and things are getting crossed off my "to-do" list in fine order. Enjoy the view I had today and have a great weekend everyone!

Well vacation has cum and gone. What an amazing 2 weeks, and I'm still alive ;-) A big shout out to my peeps that made it out for some parts of the tour, and a special thanks to my travelling companion that made it so special.

Back to work. TONS of stuff to post and e-mails to anwer which I've already started and will get to the rest of them this weekend. It's so weird when you're news scanning time drops from 2-3 hours a day to next to nothing for over a week, seems like I'm totally out of touch with everything. Anyways I'm sure EuroRoss will be back to full speed as soon as the sleep tank's been filled this weekend.

It was also weird to be sitting in a classroom again after such a hietus. Thankfully both classes were not only extremely interested but ended a little earlier than usual. In "Creating an Investment Firm" class we had Eric Buatois (a VC from one of the oldest VC firms in Silicon Valley - Sofinova Ventures) fly in from Cali. He had tons of good stories to tell and handeled our tough questions with an ease and flare that defied belief and shamed what I thought was decent stage presence that I had been building. Some of the things he stressed:

- He became a VC after numerous years of experience at increasing levels of sinority, firm size and success. The main reason he believes people become VC's is the independence and the desire to be removed from the day to day politics and day-to-day operation of business. He later mentioned how now that the bubble is over that companies do not have any leverage on investors, including the fact that they cannot play one investor off the other since they are all networked and such a close community. Finally he mentioned about how a VC's time is spent "staying on the pulse" of the market. I hope some of this information ties into my thesis work.

- Don't only focus on a portfolio's "home run" companies, strong portfolio returns to the investor also depend heavily on the "mid-range" performers (5-10 times money returned)

- Companies need strong management. This is 50% of the battle for funding in his view. His determinants for a companies ultimate success are 50% management, 25% the mesh of the technology to market needs, 10+% the strength of the syndicate and the rest basic luck (which he stated with one of those "I'm joking but not really" smiles). His most important view of success is that the company has to have good timing to market, to catch "the wave".

- He talked about the dangers of over-investment in interesting spaces killing potentially great markets.

- As an entrepreneur who's searching for funding, make sure you do follow ups with VC firms that DON'T fund you as he pertains they will be pretty honest and blunt about the reasons they didn't which can only be of benefit for your company.

- A typical portfolio consists of 15-25 companies and takes 2-3 years to create typically. As such the stage of the portfolio can have a dramatic impact on your chances to get funding with that particular VC. For example, the first companies in a portfolio are typically less risk adverse while by the time the fund is searching for one or two more companies to complete their portfolio it's already been 2-3 years since the first companies were funding so the bad/good (but mostly bad since good news usually takes a couple more years to develop and the bad seeds tend to start showing after a year) are starting to affect the portfolio. So if you're a company looking for investment, you need to know what stage the investment porfolio is at. He also stressed the importance of knowing the VC people you are meeting, get background information which is usually readily available on the internet. He says this because he's seen countless times a company in a particular space pitch a VC that has just recently lost a multi-million dollar investment in a similar company, those guys will ask alot more detailed and tough questions as you can imagine.

I'd like to enphasize how open, friendly and informative Mr. Buatois was. He was one of our best speakers to date and we could have monopolized another two full classes of his precious time.

Later last night I had "Building an Entrepreneurial Venture" class which is always awsome since it's taught by no-nonsence Jim Solomon who's been there and back several times. We talked about how to sell your business, the different valuation techniques:

1 - Asset Base (easy to use but rarely reflects real value, either high or low)
2 - Market Comparibles (logical but hard to compare since most businesses are not the same)
3 - Earnings Cap (most widely used but multiple determination and mistated earnings make this method less than a perfect science)
4 - Present Value of Future Earnings (also widely used although again the problem with unsubstantiated projections)

He also talked about the "Boom, Bust, Squeeze and Sneeze" since our guest lecturer couldn't make it. This stuff talked about how in the US all the 80 million baby boomers are going to be 65 (retirement age) around 2010 and the opportunities, threats and market shifts that it will bring. The most interesting part of the class is when he talked about his experiences with stock fraud. Because of lax laws in the past, Utah has the distinction of being the stock fraud capital of the US. This is mainly due to "box jobs" which occur with reverse public company takeovers where private companies who want liquidity buy a shell public company for a drastically reduced price (as opposed to all the fees and regulations involved with going with an IPO yourself) to be able to sell shares on the public markets. The mechanics of a box job are interesting but it was amazing how he was in the middle of being conned by one of these guys when his friend at the regulatory board showed him how he was about to be totally screwed. A fucking great story that's too long to recite here so it'll have to wait till I see you guys over a beer for those that are interested.

Well it's freeking 10 degrees (celcius for my American friends) in the middle of a scorching winter in Salt Lake City so I'm off to hit some new trails I dicovered last week:

Like I said before, links, e-mails and posts a cuming, hang in there. It's good to be back, I hope you feel the same :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

No I'm not dead, but I am having one of the best mini-vacation breaks ever! T-dot gang sorry for not getting into town on Thursday as planned, time basically has no meaning right now and I'm living life on lightspeed. I'll be making up for it with a Saturday night bash first round on me. Anyone who's around tomorrow in Waterloo has gotta check out Al's goodbye party, she's checking into the hotel Australia next week for a couple years... or more if her dreams of marrying a surfer coolio all work out ;-)

I'll be back to my regularly boring posts sometime next week ;-)

Wow, just an AMAZING time this past week!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The last midterm is complete, required assignment handed in, team meeting complete-o, flight leaves tomorrow morning, gang rockin' out to the old watering hole, the weekend vacation is here! :-) In the words of the band "Big and Rich":

Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy
Well, I walk into the room
Passing out hundred dollar bills
And it kills and it thrills
like the horns on my Silverado grill
And I buy the bar a double round of crown
And everybody's getting down
An' this town ain't never gonna be the same.

Cause I saddle up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody saysSave a horse,
Ride a cowboy

Well I don't give a dang about nothing
I'm singing and Bling- Blanging
While the girls are drinking
Long necks down!
And I wouldn't trade ol' Leroy
or my Chevrolet for your Escalade
Or your freak parade
I'm the only John Wayne left in this town

And I saddle up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy

I'm a thourough-bred
that's what she said
in the back of my truck bed
As I was gettin' buzzed on suds
Out on some back country road.
We where flying high
Fining, whine, having ourselves a big and rich time
And I was going, just about as far as she'd let me go.
But her evaluation
of my cowboy reputation
Had me begging for slavationall night long
So I took her out giggin frogs
Introduced her to my old bird dog
And sang her every Wilie Nelson song I could think of
And we made love

And I saddled up my horse
and I ride into the city
I make a lot of noise
Cause the girls
They are so pretty
Riding up and down Broadway
on my old stud Leroy
And the girls say
Save a horse, ride a cowboy.
Everybody says
Save a horse, Ride a cowboy

What? What?
Save A Horse Ride A Cowboy
Everybody says
Save a Horse Ride a cowboy.

I say again, the weekend is here, open call to all the livers of my pose in Canada... MOUNT UP!!!
The weather here in Utah changes dramtically fast, snow storm one day, hot summer weather the next. They tell me it's been the hottest winter in a while here, no probs anyways for this tough Canadian ;-)

Sharing the view :-)

Have a great weekend everyone, the next two days I'm cramming in a tough work deadline schedule in advance of a mini vacation I'll be taking for the week. Posts will be infrequent therefore but if the list of 30 web action items in my "To Blog" box is any indication, I'll be back with a vengence the week after. Later skaters!

Things are changing and it's only going to speed up. Although I've known this for a long time, I don't think I've ever really experienced and been swept away by its power until the last month. With the last chapter on my 2 year MBA experiment about to cum to a close, it's finally hit me this week how it'll all be utilised. There's been some sleepless nights lately as I figure through some life altering decisions (professional, personal etc) in which I've actually made some progress on goals and direction. Yes my thesis topic has now been solidified, surprising how different it is from the topic I was "sure" I was going to focus on when I entered my MBA, a reason which even drove my decision to pursue a MBA in the first place! I hope this is a reflection of some amount of growth and learning that I've aquired, but it could just be that I fell over that flower pot and hit my head :-)

Take some time to reflect inwards (much the same as the topics discussed in biz leadership class, great job Pfortch!) and try and hit on these topics as soon as you can. The sooner you stop putting off these decisions, the sooner you can act on them. Alas, as with most things in life it usually takes deadline pressure or a dramatic event to cause such action. Stay tuned as this journey is going to hit lightspeed, I invite you all to join me for the ride :-)

On to some other things I've been looking at today:

I'm thinking about getting a flatscreen for dual screen use at home with productivity enhacement as the delusional justification. Any suggestions out there? And as long as I'm wishing for stuff I've also been thinking about a webcam for setting up collaborative MBA education excusions throughout the world (why shouldn't my experience here at Utah be shared with my fellow PF alma mater, or anyone else who is interested for that matter). Wouldn't that enrich our educations and drive value to the program? There are distinct learning effects with this type of system that can accentuate and accelerate the traditional ineffecient word of mouth networks. (small addition here is the laptop deal the school has with Dell, all PMBA's get Dell laptops at rediculusly low prices because of volume and upgrades, a good idea to transpose to our school). I guess this is a good time to remind my family and friends that I have a wishlist :-)

This video blows the mind. It's a PHD Medical Doctor that now works at Microsoft research developing a short HIV vacine (starts about half way through). He goes through an explaination of what the HIV virus does to a cell and how they're trying to solve the problem. This is unbelieveable and totally caused me to have an eye opening brain overload. It's absolutely amazing what is being done in todays world and how fast things are moving and changing. Wow, really wow.

I was trolling around and found this site on Foundations of Concious Computing (to do the test you should read the "overview" link first). It wasn't all that impressive in itself, but I was wondering about the definition and scope of the word discourse (yeah my mind is WAY out there today with only about 5 hours sleep in the last couple days). Anyways here's the definition:

1 - Verbal expression in speech or writing.
2 - Verbal exchange; conversation.
3 - A formal, lengthy discussion of a subject, either written or spoken.
4 - The process or power of reasoning.

This sparked a pool of ideas to swim around in my head for the last couple days in relation to my thesis. More on this later, gotta get back to the business of MBA ;-)

Monday, February 07, 2005

The other day I was totally bummed out and bored so I threw on my shoes and took the trolley downtown... for some Haagen Dazs! Chocolate chocolate chip is the best (it used to be called chocolate chocolate chunk in Germany and was better I think, although it's probably the exact same). By the time I returned home (about 25 minutes later) I had already eaten the whole container. Um ok Ross:

Tomorrow I'll have my SuperBowl commercial review online, but for now I'm totally exhausted after spending the whole night awake with excitement over finally figuring out what my thesis is going to be on. Yeah me! (now I just have to research and write it, which will be SOOO easy, yeah right!). On with the show:

Aussie, this link's for you! It's an Australian podcasting site for technology. Check out this show where they broadcast from America. Gotta love that accent!

Marta gets another great link in, good job! Wonder what happens when you're the first to pass out at that wicked party? Well wonder no more :-)

I never had any respect (or interest for that matter) for Paris Hilton. I think I actually get dumber by listening to her, but anyone how can go on national television and make light of a bad difficult situation that they've been involved in (a sex tape of her and her boyfriend got released for all to see) has certainly earned my admiration. Clearly a well orcastrated publicity mend by her publicist and the genius comedians who work at Saturday Night Live, but cudos for her doing it, no pun intended ;-)

Starbucks branches into alcoholic coffee's/beverages (finally!). I predict a good boost in profitability with this move if executed correctly (which is why they've taken so long to roll it out I guess).

Remember that post I had about the absurdity of allowing the city of Paris to trademark the Eiffel tower for night photo's because of the addition of lights? It's getting alot worse much quicker than I thought. Now this Chicago art, on public space, bought with public money, cannot be photographed. UNBELIEVEABLE!

Only in Canada! For the first time ever the television rights fees were higher for the Winter Olympics than the Summer Olympics (which the organistion always sells together as a package).

Wow, this organisation which I share a name (The Jason Foundation for Education) looks pretty interesting, I wish I had been exposed to something like this when I was younger. Certainly seems like a step towards the grail of future education systems. Check and see how the organisation got its name and what it's about.

I love airhockey, it's AWSOME! Now play it online! Very cool... I think I just wasted an hour playing that game! Here's a site where you can get EVERY original Nintendo game for your computer, they even have Dig Dug and Super Dodgeball (the best Nintendo game EVER!).

Ok we just talked about air hockey and video games, so now we talk about beer :-) On your 19th birthday (the legal drinking age in Ontario, Canada) tradition requires you to buy a 2-4 (case of 24 beer) and drink the whole case yourself in one night. It's quite a challenge (I've only done it 4 times in my life, although I haven't tried officially in a while and I'm sure some of the Irish pub nites had more than a case worth in draft and shots!) . Here's a site that gives you step by step instructions. I smiled when I saw that it was obviously a bunch of Canadian guys that did it (the beer is only sold in Canada). Cool. Update: I just realized that this site is hosted at Carleton University in Ottawa... I went to this school for a semester :-) Rock on!

This is what happens when your college buddies get ahold of your room key... everything wrapped in foil!

I leave you with this. Tokaruk sent a forward that really hit home so I had to post it (it's a little long but stick with it):

A man and his dog were walking along a road. The man was enjoying the scenery, when it sudenly occurred to him that he was dead. He remembered dying, and that the dog walking beside him had been dead for years. He wondered where the road was leading them.

After a while, they came to a high, white stone wall along one side of the road. It looked like fine marble. At the top of a long hill, it was broken by a tall arch that glowed in the sunlight. When he was standing before it he saw a magnificent gate in the arch that looked like Mother of Pearl, and the street that led to the gate looked like pure gold. He and the dog walked toward the gate, and as he got closer, he saw a man at a desk to one side. When he was close enough, he called out,

"Excuse me, where are we?"

"This is Heaven, sir," the man answered.

"Wow! Would you happen to have some water?" the man asked.

"Of course, sir, come right in and I'll have some ice water brought right up." The man gestured and the gate began to open.

"Can my friend," gesturing toward his dog, "come in, too?" the traveler asked.

"I'm sorry, sir, but we don't accept pets."

The man thought a moment and then turned back toward the road and continued the way he had been going with his dog. After another long walk, and at the top of another long hill, he came to a dirt road which led through a farm gate that looked as if it had never been closed. There was no fence. As he approached the gate, he saw a man inside, leaning against a tree and reading a book.

"Excuse me!" he called to the reader. "Do you have any water?"

"Yes, sure, there's a pump over there, come on in."

"How about my friend here?" the traveler gestured to the dog.

"There should be a bowl by the pump."

They went through the gate, and sure enough, there was an old fashioned hand pump with a bowl beside it. The traveler filled the bowl and took a long drink himself, and then he gave some to the dog. When they were full, he and the dog walked back toward the man who was standing by the tree.

"What do you call this place?" the traveler asked.

"This is Heaven," he answered.

"Well, that's confusing," the traveler said. "The man down the road said that was Heaven, too."
"Oh, you mean the place with the gold street and pearly gates? Nope. That's Hell."

"Doesn't it make you mad for them to use your name like that?"

"No, we're just happy that they screen out the folks who would leave their best friends behind."
Soooo... Sometimes, we wonder why friends keep forwarding jokes to us without writing a word, maybe this could explain: When you are very busy, but still want to keep in touch, guess what you do. You forward jokes. When you have nothing to say, but still want to keep contact, you forward jokes. When you have something to say, but don't know what, and don't know how, you forward jokes.

And to let you know that you are still remembered, you are still important, you are still loved, you are still cared for, guess what you get?

A forwarded joke.

So, next time you get a joke, don't think that you've been sent just another forwarded joke, but that you've been thought of today and your friend on the other end of your computer wanted to send you a smile...

Here's one to all my friends, where ever you may be :-) :-) :-)
I'm sitting here doing some case study research and decide to open my blinds and look out the window. Keep in mind that it's been shorts and t-shirt weather here for the past week or so... there's now a quarter foot of snow on the ground with no end in sight. Glad I got a quick hike in today!

Sunday, February 06, 2005

If anyone wants Skype voicemail free (4 3 months) shoot me an e-mail since I've got an extra invite (it's not yet available to everyone).

So it's SuperBowl Sunday and I've got to watch the game officially for my homework. For brand management class we're reviewing all the superbowl commercials, ranking them and noting what worked and what didn't. So if the game is going on for half the time, the commercials that I have to watch are during the breaks and halftime is OBVIOUSLY switching to the lingerie bowl... then when the hell do I go pee? :-)

Some hits from around the web from the past couple days:

Another creative marketing ploy that got tenfold the amount of press for the buck, Goodyear pays a NBA player to style his hair like a tire tread. Genius! Speaking of basketball, this was all over the sports channels yesturday, some guy in a high school basketball game wins the game by throwing the ball the entire length of the court in the last second. Check out the video here or here. That guy got a couple beers bought for him for sure!

Lads, check this out, you can win a date with Tarra Reid, no joke! Stevie I know you're putting a tape in! ;-)

This guy says what we've all been thinking while at work.

A funny quote from Kottke: "You know that bottle of unopened soda in the bag bouncing on your hip for the last 1/2 hour? Yeah, that's going to spray everywhere when you open it, dummy. When I got home, my coat was so sticky that I just kinda pressed it to the wall to hang it up, no hook needed." And here's a good post on the presures and stress put on athletes, its effect on performance and possible training mechanisms. Very interesting as I believe this can also be applied to business leaders and CEO's who must deal with daily pressures and the knowledge that their actions affect not only the company and investors but the lives of people and families that they work with every day.

Remember the Valentine's Day card Ralph gives to Lisa in that great episode of the Simpsons? Well now you can print it out for yourself. I was weighing wether I even wanted to post this since I actually want to use it this year, but I guess the benefits of the many outweight the benefit to the one. Good luck with this one lads!

Think your amazing drinking ability is all for not? Think again, what happens if you get caught in an avalanch?

This is increadibly ingenius and disturbing at the same time. The company that set up the light show for the Eiffel tower has enabled the city of Paris to copyright all commercial use of nighttime pics of the tower. The full story's here. I wonder how long it takes before this becomes standard for other landmarks and attractions?

This is for all my non-english native's, "fuck" is a word in english that can be used in almost every possible way, here's a hilarious play on a classical literary review for the word "fuck". Hilarious AND informative!

Innovative companies have many qualities, one of which being that many of their creations never make it to market... and then there are some that do make it to market, but that never really make it. Who's to blame? The marketers? Perhaps it was a product ahead of its time? Well here's a look at some of the failures from Apple, I've never even heard of most of them!

Maybe fingerprint authorisation is the wave of the future, move over RFID! Do we really want our supermarkets in posession of personal biometric data?

A site declaring "the bottom 50 blogs". First off woo-hoo! (EuroRoss did not make the list) Secondly, I think they should add their own site as #51.

Here's a great interview with Mircosoft founder Bill Gates. I liked it because the interviewer asks tough questions and doesn't let Big Bill off the hook when he tries to deflect the answers. I've heard great things about the German magazine/paper Spiegle, apparently delivering informative pieces, however I'm not able to enjoy it due to my less than dominating command of the German language. None the less I thought Gates did a great job.

So let's hope todays game (and commercials) give us something exciting to watch!

Go Bucs! Oh wait I don't think they're playing this year ;-)

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Warning! This post has some disturbing pics, like you could look away now :-)

So you're partying it up with your girlfriends, so you take a picture to remember and relive the memories when your vacation is over, you get the film roll developed, you're going through the great trip photo's, when all of a sudden you get to this pis... I mean pic (take a look at the guys in the background).

Hard core partiers at the club, hard core is definatly the term... (the club is totally dark but the flash of the camera picked this up).

Truely disturbing, beyond words really. (scammed from

I think I've got perma limp for the next week now...

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ok, World Cup 2006 Germany tickets are now open for lottery pick registration (everyone who wants tickets signs up and lottery determines who actually gets to buy them since there's not enough to go around to everyone who wants them). The way it works is you pick what type of tickets you want, single game, location or team packages, you then fill out your name and the info for some "guests" (which can be changed later) and the lottery will determine if you can buy them. You're only allowed one application of 4 tickets per household, so here's my offer since I REALLY want to go.

Register for four "TFT-7" tickets for the German national team here, if you win a lottery spot in March I will GUARENTEED pay you DOUBLE what the tickets cost you. Easy money. Register and e-mail me now! To my friends and family PLEASE help me out on this one!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Cool, Scoble referrenced one of my suggestions in a post yesturday (for the record I'm the last "Ross"). No job offers yet funneled from that channel though ;-)

In a related topic to what we're discussing in "Competitive Advantage of People" class where we're talking about high performance organisations, Google just announced a new cash incentive for its employees. High performance org's generate MAD cash, which in turn is used to attract and retain high performance employees, which generates even more cash, and the cycle continues. Our list total of identified high performance organisations... 8... worldwide.

A cool study over 18 months on the sexual relationships of a high school grade. Here's an interesting conclusion from the study:

"But in the case of adolescents, “there aren’t any hubs to target, so you have to focus on broad-based interventions,” Moody said. “You can’t just focus on a small group.”"

Which also has some relevance to companies marketing to this segment. Incedently, I couldn't find any blue-blue or pink-pink links ;-)

And speaking of sex, when I was filling out my residence application for Utah there was a box which asked if I was a registered sex offender, there's a site that shows where registered sex offenders live (US) so you can check your neighbourhood. What freeked me out was how many there are! This map shows those offenders living close to DisneyLand.

Speaking of sex but thinking of sexy, the Oscars are cuming up soon, I hope Kiera Knightly is going again to show off her abs of steel!

Think the world isn't warming up? Take a look at these pics of a receeding glacier over the years in Artica. Interesting. And speaking of pictures, look at this painting, by a blind person!

The key phrase in this article on "Top Brands" is readers choice, there's no way any of these brands compare in power and recognizability (yeah I just made that word up) around the world. Basically the list is a popularity contest, with the Apple geeks taking control. Useless info (well almost useless if you want to be technical). Speaking of another top worldwide brand, Microsoft, these comments from one of their execs are totally bogus (or he's just ignorant). There's no way that search isn't going to be integrated into the OS, hell there's already a search there how much more will it take to add the toolbar! Maybe they have delusions about somehow deriving an additional revenue stream from that application, but that will fade with the midnight wind as soon as Google introduces their OS... with integrated search of course!

Wow, prices for laptops are really dropping, $550 american for this one (although it has a wimpy 128 RAM). I want my $10 superlaptop!

I've been holding back about posting anything about a possible NHL deal since the tone has always been negative and the conditions (with exception of their entrenched cap-no cap stances) seem to be changing all the time. Plus I'm sick of hearing the phrases "cap", "cost certainty", "lockout" etc etc. but of course with the looming deadline I thought I'd post one report of a NHL proposal. I hope they get something done and are playing by next week when I get home, yeah right.

And I leave you with this pic of a distress message from a stranded snowmobiler who ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere... only in Canada! :-)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Just another busy day at the office ;-)

After dealing with term sheets all night I decided to take a quick hike to enjoy the afternoon before our big group meeting. Term sheets, while they help protect both investors and the company for times of despair, must have been invented by the devil. I've got valuation terms cuming out my butt!

Some net thoughts:

Corporate America is less interested in Ivy league university graduates? Well obviously that's because they're chasing after us Pforzheim grads... right? ;-) Speaking about Business schools, apparently the cost to slap you name on one of those is going up. The best line is near the end "One day very soon it may be said, "I graduated from Ross", Amen brother :-)

It always amazes me how people find the EuroRoss site, for intance take a look at the Google search that made someone click on my site (Google ranks EuroRoss as #3 for this search): "it'll be a cold day in hell when I sleep with you and being that I slept with her last night". Um ok.

For those of you that've been asking me about how to start a blog etc, here's a great presentation about blogs (just get through the second slide on WiFi which is boring and the rest is pretty informative). I like his point about creating original content, bringing something creative to the table instead of just a collection of links. Of course this takes "much more" time, but it's something I want to work on for EuroRoss. Here's a paraphrase from the presentation that I liked:

"Work like you don't need the money.
Love like you're never been hurt.
Dance like nobody's watching."
- Satchel Paige

I just found out that they've upgraded my Blogger account to allow half a gig of storage for photo's files etc (it used to be 25 megs and I feared my site was soon going to be at the limit). Sweet! Noe I think I can post some of these PDF resource files that I've been collecting.

Got this from the news today: "Postal workers in Russia are to be issued with guns to deter thugs from stealing cash welfare payments" um ok, cash pension payments? Wow.

Need something to pass the time? This site has got lots of stuff for you! Puzzles, illusions, games, the list goes on.

The U.S. government reported a yearly deficit of around $400 billion last year, but using GAAP accounting they actually lost... drumroll please... 11 TRILLION. Um, that's alot of money eh.

Having had lived in Germany now for about 2 years you really get a sence of how radically enviromentalist everyone is. I mean do we really need 6 different types of trash, and if so, they do they have to be on separate days without any type of regularity (with the exception of "regular" trash day once a week, whatever that is)? Anyways, Canada's got a mini-celebrity named David Suzuki who had a great nature and environment show for decades "The Nature of Things". He's a guru, he brings the issues to us in an interesting way, and he's got a website. Check it out... I was wondering if he had already recieved the "Order of Canada" which is Canada's highest honour, guess what, of course he has! So has the greatest player of all time Wayne Gretzky, as well as other hockey players like Guy Lafleur and "Rocket" Richard, what do you expect, this is Canada! ;-)

An interesting look at the fast food industry and firm positioning within.

This guy sets up a camera to record the Golden Gate Bridge telling city officials it's to see "the typical day of the bridge" when in fact he's doing a movie on suicide (the cameras pick up everyone jumping off the bridge. I don't even know what to think about this, half of me is disgusted and the other half thinks its thought provoking.

Some would think that this practice is unethical however I doubt it's illegal and I think it's a great example of the importance of good corporate intellegence activities, you can increase the value of your resources by reducing the effectiveness of your competitors expenditures. The job of an entrepreneur, find a need and fill it.

Here's a good article called "How to sell your boss" that has some good points. Summary of his points:

1 - "No one cares about your needs" - moral sell the presentation on the needs of your boss
2 - "Pick your battles" - yep
3 - "Do your homework" , "Start with the conclusion"
4 - "Devil's Advocate" - Review your proposal, think of every possible question and objection (and have the answers for them)
5 - Presenting Skills - Here's how to get your laptop in PowerPoint presenter mode
6 - Analysis and Review afterwards

I also liked his post on goal setting, and this post (which is a forward that I have seen before but is absolutely hilarious if you've got any bit of geek in you).

If you don't know who Robert Scoble is, then one, you're not a geek, and two he's a Microsoft employee that has the most popular blog on the web. In fact this little analysis shows how powerful his opinions can be, outreaching the power of HUGE power of the biggest PR firms. I also scam links from his page once in a while ;-)

When I was younger and learning how to type I always wondered why someone (like the government or industry) didn't promote a move over to keyboards designed for speed and efficiency like this. now I realize it's because I'm old and don't want to relearn how to type :-)

Today I leave you with the lyrics from a great tune, "The Reason" by Hoobastank:

I'm not a perfect person
There's many things I wish I didn't do
But I continue learning
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

I'm sorry that I hurt you
It's something I must live with everyday
And all the pain I put you through
I wish that I could take it all away
And be the one who catches all your tears
Thats why I need you to hear

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is You

I'm not a perfect person
I never meant to do those things to you
And so I have to say before I go
That I just want you to know

I've found a reason for me
To change who I used to be
A reason to start over new
And the reason is you

I've found a reason to show
A side of me you didn't know
A reason for all that I do

And the reason is you

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Scoble did a good thing by leveraging his reach and connection to industry and customers by asking today on his site:

"So, I'm wondering, what are some small things that we could get done?"

My contribution:

1 - I'm not sure if you have this yet, please make it so I can specify that all new windows open maximized. If you can do this then how?

2 - Again not sure if you have this already, when I click on my defrag utility from the taskbar, allow me to highlight and defrag all my drives instead of doing each one individually. I remember it used to ask me which drive or both in win98 I think.

3 - Allow me to specify what gets activated in the startup, for example I deactivate quicktime but if I use it then it automatically re-inserts itself in there and loads up at the beginning, until I remove it again, and the cycle continues.

4 - I like that other suggestion to allow clicked links from hotmail to not wrap them in an MSN window.

5 - Just build RSS into Outlook standard, that should only take a few hours.

6 - Gimme a job would be cool! Although I guess you were looking for ways to IMPROVE Microsoft's products ;-)

A great idea for some good customer feedback, especially since his site gets like ten googlezillion hits a day. I'm now waiting for my recruiter call ;-)