Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Say It Ain't So Avril!

My heart has been broken today... have you really cheated on me and gotten engaged to that loser from Sum 41 Whibley?? What has he got (other than millions in the bank and a face that looks like someone slammed the door on it when he was a baby) that I haven't got? I can certainly give you all of the "Top 5 Male Character Traits"! At least if you're going to leave me for a singer go for someone with good music, like Rob Costlow (if you don't know him go to his site and check out "I Do", wow it's amazing). Avril stop this foolishness and come back home to papa Ross :-)

Say it ain't so... say it ain't so...

Gay Marriage... Yawn.

The federal government of Canada legalized gay marriage across the country yesturday (it was already legal in a couple provinces). I couldn't put my thoughts into better words than they did here: "Martin is Catholic and says despite anyone's personal beliefs, all Canadians should be allowed the same rights of marriage."

Can you believe that only 3 countries, Belgium, Netherlands and now Canada have legalized gay marriage? In my mind I wonder why the government is even in the business of granting licences, leave it to churches and individuals, why does it need to be registered? Get rid of all the tax implecations so that everyone is taxed in the same way (as individuals) and it streamlines a whole bunch of processes and makes more separation between church and state. Then I realized that marriage registration does have an important function, for when the marriage breaks down. Having legalized marriage protects a spouce with no earning power from being left to the dogs if a marriage breaks down, it also protects children as both spounces are legally required to give financial support etc. But couldn't/doesn't birth registration (which lists the biological father and mother) be used for this purpose? Anyways, gay marriage is legal in Canada so now we can move on to other "explosive" issues like pot smoking and banning English in Quebec ;-)

Everyone should just take a chill pill anyways because there's more important things in life to worry about, like getting screwed on an appartment in New York or wondering what those McDonalds fries are doing to you health!

Zamboni Fun

This is hilarious in a "that's not supposed to be funny" kind of way, a guy in New Jersey got arrested for driving drunk... on a Zamboni! I wonder if he actually loses his real licence since you don't even need a licence to drive a Zamboni. Man is he going to get razzed by the lads! At least he didn't try and speed away from the cops ;-)

Maybe he should have stuck to the remote controlled Zamboni like the rest of us!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Das Fest Kommt!

Das Fest, the HUGE FREE music festival in Karlsruhe every summer just released the 2005 band lineup about 5 minutes ago. Of course the highlights are on Saturday and Sunday nights with Juli at 7:30PM Sat and Silbermond closing out the festival Sunday night at 9PM. Basically everyone grabs blankets or lawn chairs to sit on, opens a few "pops" and enjoys the music the entire weekend :-) It's really cool since there's soooo many students and people there that many groups make huge flags to put into the air so others can find them in the crowd. It's going to be one heck of a party especially with this weather we've been having!

VFB Relegation?

Ok maybe it's a little early to panic but things have not gone so well this off season for my VFB Stuttgart boys. We lost 2 strikers, Szabics to Koln and Kuranyi to Schalke, although that's probably a blessing ;-) and haven't got a replacement yet. We also lost our best player other than our dominating goalie Tim Hilderbrand yesturday when Alexander Hleb signed with Arsenal. Finally one of our best defenders Phillipe Lahm is off to the dark side of the Bundesliga Bayern Munich. Ouch, ouch, ouch!

There are a couple bright spots, a new coach, a new defender Hitzlsperger and a new season in the pokal (the Kickers are in it this year too!), but without another striker signing or two and with this ridiculus talk about signing an aging and fading Figo for our midfield, it's not looking good.

Come on guys, get it going for the fans!!

PS> If anyone wants to join me for the VFB vs. Karlsruhe test match on Tuesday July 12th 7:30PM let me know, tickets are as cheap as 5-10 euros!

What The??

Totally weird feeling, for the first time since I can remember I was unable to get online at all today. Got up at 6, didn't check e-mail, news or anything, didn't have time before having to rock out. The day was just bang, bang, bang running from one thing to another... next thing I know it's 1:23AM. I knew the net was having a profound effect on me when I first realized that I'd choose having Internet over television if I had to make a choice (a big "if" there eh!), and today its shocked me again by how unnerved and out of touch I feel if I haven't been online. Totally, totally weird.

Goodbye digital June 27, 2005... I'm sorry I never got to know you ;-)

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Close One Book, Open Another

It's done!

The thesis is done, signed, sealed and delivered. Eight months of research, 7 weeks of writing, revising, agonizing. "Blogs: The New Language of Business" weighs in at a whopping 103 pages... wow, I can't explain how it feels to be done. I'm now a couple presentations and some administrative work away from finishing MBA studies! Where has all the time gone??

Today was a day of recovery from last night, ouch. Last night was another Stuttgart night (it never did end up raining, stupid weather guys!) and we did it in style starting off at a bar to watch Germany lose a terrific game against Brazil 3-2. Entering the bar was totally freeky since the lot of us were experiencing deja-vu... actually it was just hazy drunken memory flashbacks (we finally came to a consensus that we had indeed been there before on the fake pub crawl night). The lads pre-alcoholic state:

Even that guy with the half beard that I posted a pick earlier from CBP was there! (in the background) Like the second sighting of the Yeti!

Getting in the zone:

After the exciting but disappointing loss we decided to enjoy the sights and sounds of the park... well mostly the sights ;-) so we headed over to "Spider Bench Place":

Ok the beer and shot rounds were starting to take effect, ladies look at these handsome posers!

"I think birds fly up there":

"The Pizza is this round":

The next Montana:

The thing that totally sucks is that none of the pics from then on in Stuttgart can through since the stupid camera setting was switched and I didn't realize it till back in Pforzheim on the was to Irish for one last nightcapper, so I lost all the pics of Stuttgart K, her friend, the high schoolers Tim was trying to pick up (well that's a lie, I don't think they were a month older than junior high ;-) , CBP or the ice cream place at the end. Anyways, the "Road to Irish":

The videos (which unfortunately for most and fortunately for some) are absolutely hilarious but too big to post on the site :-(

So the weather held off, the game almost lived up to its billing, the lads were in full zone and the night overall rocked. A great prelude for the hard core job hunting that's going to start first thing tomorrow morning. Anyone in the market for a PHD research student studying the impact of Internet technologies on branding initiatives, strategic planning, knowledge management and/or blog/RSS specific projects (for practical implementation) shoot me an e-mail! I've also got over 4 years project management/business analyst experience working with Fortune 100 companies and over 10 federal and state governments, gimme a try eh! :-)

In addition to job hunting there's going to be a ton of travel as well as a couple other projects to look into I've had under my sleeve for a while now. It's going to be a great last couple months of the summer!

While on the topic of careers, cruising through my feeds I came across this fitting quote on SplaTT's blog:

"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle."

Good luck to my fellow MBA'ers searching for jobs... don't settle.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

What The F@#$

The new weather update, 20 minutes after the last check:

Does somebody actually get paid to do these "predictions"?!?! Don't mess with my CBP day weatherguy! I'm warning you! ;-)


There are three constants in life, the first is that weathermen/woman are always wrong and mostly very wrong. All week the online weather forcast for Pforzheim and Stuttgart has been heavy thunderstorms all day Saturday. They even upgraded the percentages consistantly from 70% chance of rain/thunderstorms to 80... then 90... then 100% throughout the week! Even this morning at 11AM before I left downtown the internet had 90% rain for both starting around 2-3pm. So it looked like it was going to be a terrible dya for Circle Beer Place, watching soccer outdoors in the beer garden or pub crawl tonight. When I get home 1:30pm I decide to torture myself some more and recheck the weather because it was still sunny out and maybe the rain wouldn't come till after the game... this is what I saw:

They had even changed the previous hours! BRUTAL! Well awesome actually, but the predicting was brutal, again. I don't even know why I bother to check anymore. Anyways it's going to be an amazing day, CBP, Germany-Brazil, Pool Place, Schlampeplatz... it's time to get IN THE ZONE! :-)

Oh yeah, I almost forgot, the second constant... Leafs Suck!

Advice From Unlikely Sources

There's so much information out there, but some of it comes from the most unlikely of places:

"The Teenagers Guide to the Real World" is slightly skewed towards Christian beliefs (about marriage, sex and the like) but it does offer many well known facts about life in one convenient location. Worth a glance through even if it's just to laugh about his examples of what it was like in high school (some of them are SO true!).

Here's an interesting semi-interview with someone who makes a living with online porn affiliates. The action plan they state is quite simple and useful for small businesses in any industry:

1 - Be persistent. Do one or two things to promote your business everyday.
2 - Discard the ideas that don't work. Repeat the ideas that do work.
3 - Create new content everyday. Contact a few old clients everyday (not to sell to them. But instead, to get their feedback). Send a Thank You letter everyday.

Here's a terrific article on why "Hiring is Obsolete". There's so many good tidbits in there, a highly recommended read.

If all else fails you could take the advice of a stoner and try to draw inspiration from a lava lamp. Of course you'd have to do it in geeky cool style with this USB powered mini-lamp:

Totally rad man! See you on the other side of enlightenment! ;-)

Friday, June 24, 2005

Friday Riddlesmile

There are only 10 types of people in this world: those that understand binary and those that don't.

Pforzheim Pfun

Today is hot, I mean HOT! I feel like a melting snowman, so I figured I'd go downtown and cool off with some ice cream. Of course I totally forgot that today is the Pforzheim race, people were already starting to populate the makeshift beergarden in downtown square:

Good luck to our visiting professor Paul Godfrey and our Program Coordinator Mr. Ebert today in the race!

Tomorrow I'm hoping the rain holds off (it's supposed to thunderstorm later tomorrow night) because we're all hooking up in good old Stuttgart for the big Germany-Brazil Confederation Cup Semi-Final match. Of course I'll be cheering for Germany, even more so since I've got tix to this Wednesday's final in Frankfurt! Anyways, after the game we're going to be hitting Circle Beer Place, Pool Place, Schlampeplatz and probably a few other choice watering holes. Everyone's invited, game starts at 6 so I'll be taking the 4:26 train to Stuttgart although you can also meet us at CBP after the game (approx 8pm) or call Stuttman Tim/Broken Finger Guy Stephan to get an update. Go Deutschland Go!

Links, Bookmarks and Other Fun Stuff:

Checking my saved RSS links (175) and bookmarks (52) shows all the articles I wanted to post about over the last couple weeks but couldn't find the time because of thesis etc. Let's get some of those out now:

AFI's list of the 100 most famous movie quotes of all time. I can't believe a "Swingers" quote didn't make it in there, may favorite: "You bring something nice to wear"... priceless. More Swingers quotes here, here and here.

Xbox really outdid themselves with this promotion, 2 innings of a minor league baseball game will be played by two kids on the big screen with Xbox and the teams will start in the third inning continueing the score of the video game. This coud turn out very badly if it's anything like our old Sega Genesis hockey days when the scores were like 30-20 after the first period. It'll be interesting to see how this turns out...

What did you learn during your MBA studies? More than these 5 things I hope!

It's horrifying that in the world today things like tyrany and discrimination run rampant. (PS> I'm not horrified that this happened to Oprah specifically, rather that it happened at all to anyone, but it takes a celebrity to highlight the problem and bring it to main stream media's attention)

I'm not interested in the site they link to at all except that the picture they use is from a skit performed on "Kids In The Hall", a fantastic comedic sketch show that was on in Canada for most of my high school years. One of the best nights of my life was getting tickets to the opening show of their live tour in Ottawa, 5th row center with some girl. The skits were unbelieveably funny and the night rocked out. Unfortunatly for everyone else they cancelled the tour after the first night so it made that night even more special!

Just as in the business world with executives, some athletes can build a career and even a legend on mis-perception.

Drool, wifi everywhere, anytime.

There's a new trade mag for LEGO! (you can get it online in pdf format too). Hopefully I'll be able to relish a LEGO experience first hand in Denmark in August visiting Legoland with my buddy from Canada (GRRIIIZZZZYYYYY) and our old MBA partner in crime Denmark (Betts)!

A site listing british slang words, I didn't even know half of these, they're "all to cock"!

Everybody has a bad day every once in a while, and occationally you have a really bad day:

Wow, so many more to go through, but it'll have to wait, time for an ice cream! ;-)

UK Northern Birds

Warning: The song one the other side of the link is NOT work/child safe, but it IS frigging hilarious!

Having disclosed that, go click over to the Amateur Transplants website and listen to their cover of "More Than Words" called "Northern Birds" this very second. Best ab workout I've had in the last month, absolutely hilarious! Their other song "London Underground" isn't too bad either.

Renault Listens?

Renault has hit the nail on the head with the arrival of the Logan, a cheap no-frills $5000 euro car soon to be released for the Western European market. This car is going to sell faster than World Cup tickets did. Let's put this into perspective, I bought my 6 year old susuki for $4000 euros, do you think I wouldn't have shelled out another measly grand for the joy of owning a brand new car? (although the open top on hot days like today was totally rockin!) How about all those other people buying used cars (which go anywhere from 2 to 8 thousand euros on average)? How about high school students, don't you think they'd rather own a brand new car instead of the piece of junk I remember buying for $3000?

One other question, this isn't rocket science, there's HUGE demand for a cheap car that gets people from A to B, why haven't other car companies (read: Daimler-Chrysler) figured this out yet and used this formula yet? Geez.

Update: Looks like that release was a total sham as Renault's going to start offering it at $7500 euros, fuck you Renault for either lying in the initial release or for jecking up the price to gouge consumers.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Enjoying the Sun

Today I was bumming around Pforzheim:

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."

- Mark Twain

Business As Un-Usual

As MBA's we learn a lot about how business should run, ethics in business, the role of government in business... and the like, which is why these two articles made me laugh inside. First off is this opening to an article on bureaucracy in Russia:

"Every time Russian property developer Denis Semykin sells a new apartment, he is required by law to register the deal at a special government office. But there is a snag: the office does not exist."

...and the second is how even drug dealers try and cheat other drug dealers:

"The DEA believes the smugglers hid the heroin inside the coke to "deceive mid-level transporters, who charge higher rates for heroin shipments versus cocaine shipments."

Absolutely hilarious, what has the world come to? :-)

Time to Switch?

I really love Newsgator Online for my RSS aggregator, but the constant barrage of re-reading posts is starting to get really annoying. What happens (according to there e-mail response) is every time there's a layout or spacing change on a post the aggregator senses it as an entirely new post. As I go through my folders 3-5 times a day I figure I'm re-reading some posts 3-5 times as the aggregator keeps picking up the post as new. Even worse is when they re-publish and entire week or month from a site so I'm scrolling through 20-30 posts from weeks ago! Going through 1200-1500 posts a day is ok, but not when 20-30% of them are re-reads, is it time to check out another online reader like Pluck? I wonder if they have the same problem?

Newsgator should also put in an option to choose which folder when we add a feed in the "URL Import" section so I don't have to click over to "Newsgator Online" then click "Organize Folders" then click which folder to add it to when it could have been chosen with a simple drop down box right from the beginning. A checkbox allowing me to add the feed without any previous posts included would also be nice.

I'll give it another week or so and see if the duplicate posts get better or worse, or more to the point if I can stand it for longer than another week.

Advance to Kensington Square?

This is cool, Hasbro has fitted 18 cabbies in London with GPS transmitters so you and I can play a kind of Monopoly over the Internet! Go to the Monopoloy Live site and place your houses and hotels on properties around London, then each time your cab stops at that location to get someone you get rent money. There's prizes to be had and it's a lot of fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Reverse Khe Sanh

Al's over in Oz right now starting a new adventure chapter of her life, and god does it look impressive! Working hard in Syndey, takin' in the sights:

The view is killer:

Al I'm working hard to be able to join you in Oz this Sept!

The last plane out to Sydney's almost gone...!

Cold Chisel - "Khe Sanh"

I left my heart to the sappers round Khe Sanh
And my soul was sold with my cigarettes to the blackmarket man
I've had the Vietnam cold turkey
From the ocean to the Silver City
And it's only other vets could understand

About the long forgotten dockside guarantees
How there were no V-dayheroes in 1973
How we sailed into Sydney Harbour
Saw an old friend but couldn't kiss her
She was lined, and I was home to the lucky land

And she was like so many more from that time on
Their lives were all so empty, till they found their chosen one
And their legs were often open
But their minds were always closed
And their hearts were held in fast suburban chains
And the legal pads were yellow, hours long, paypacket lean
And the telex writers clattered where the gunships once had been
But the car parks made me jumpy
And I never stopped the dreams
Or the growing need for speed and novacaine

So I worked across the country end to end
Tried to find a place to settle down, where my mixed up life could mend
Held a job on an oil-rig
Flying choppers when I could
But the nightlife nearly drove me round the bend

And I've travelled round the world from year to year
And each one found me aimless, one more year the more for wear
And I've been back to South East Asia
But the answer sure ain't there
But I'm drifting north, to check things out again

You know the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
Only seven flying hours, and I'll be landing in Hong Kong
There ain't nothing like the kisses
From a jaded Chinese princess
I'm gonna hit some Hong Kong mattress all night long

Well the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
Yeah the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone
And it's really got me worried
I'm goin' nowhere and I'm in a hurry
And the last plane out of Sydney's almost gone...

Kuranyi is a Sham

I've had a lot of time to watch Kevin Kuranyi play over the last couple years, he was even on my favorite team VFB Stuttgart, so I know what I'm talking about when I say: Kuranyi is the most overrated player in the Bundesliga. Ok maybe not the MOST overrated, but he's defiantly a challenger. I have NO idea what Schalke saw in him to pay VFB 7 million euros in transfer fees and how he got on the German national team, especially not as a starter!!

Let's take the first half of tonight's game:

5 min - A beautiful passing sequence puts the ball on Kuranyi's foot 10 feet from the goal only to have him chip it WAY above the net.

7 min - Again a pass leaves him with a 1 on 1 situation, ball is wasted.

10 min - Hinkel makes a beautiful pass finding him inside the box all alone with time and he taps the ball weakly far wide of the goal.

15 min - Showing his consistent inability to control passes, dribble the ball or pass... BRUTAL!

17 min - Asamoah hits Kuranyi with another pass in the box, Kuranyi looks like he's afraid of the ball, ball skimpers out of bounds.

22 min - Schweinsteiger with some unbelievable ball control showing why he and Podolski are the future of the German National team, gets the ball to Kuranyi who is all alone but can't somehow pass the ball back properly, totally wasting all Schweinsteiger's hard work and obliterating the chance.

27 min - He scores a tap in goal on an amazing cross that seemed to use Kuranyi not as an intended pass target rather a pylon to bank the shot off of into the net.

It just goes to show you that you don't need to be good... if you're lucky!

The national coach Jurgen Klinsmann should make sure he doesn't play in the World Cup next year without a substantial improvement in his ball handling skills amongg other areas). Trap him in a cage to stop him from playing if you have to!

Of course it's my lack of soccer knowledge that's gleaming through right now since Kuranyi scored a goal and made a beautiful setup to Asamoah in the second half to give Germany a 2-1 lead. I... just... don't... get it!?!?!

Well I wish him luck anyways since he's playing for the team I'm cheering for next year, may the force be with him!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

3 Guys Masters of Ab Ache

The best sports morning radio show by a country mile has gotta be "3 Guys on the Radio" from the Team 1200 (Ottawa), otherwise known as "TGOR Nation". Take a gander at this quality sports programming (I paraphrase):

Guy 1: Yeah Elton John got hitched this weekend.
Guy 2: To a Canadian guy no less.
Guy 1: Yeah he's from Canada and apparently they've been goin' for a while.
Guy 3 Jungle Jim: Huh?
Guy 2: Well they've been seeing each other for a while now.
Guy 3 Jungle Jim: He?
Guy 1: Yeah he.


Guy 3 Jungle Jim: What? Elton's gay?

Or this dandy of a statement from Jungle Jim (on air of course):

I like boobs,
I like big boobs.
I also like small boobs,
as long as they're big...

You can see why it's the most popular morning sports show in Canada :-) You can listen to it live at Team 1200 or by downloaded podcast. They've also got some hilarious video's and other stuff at the bottom, make sure to check out the Chris Chelios/Samuel L. Jackson Hockey parity video and the "Time With Your Wife" song (about the sorrow of the NHL hockey strike)... priceless.

Leafs suck.

Leggo my Eggo

After a couple months away from home you start missing the 3 F's... Family, Friends and FOOD! You'd think it'd get easier after spending 2 years on and off here in Germany but it really doesn't. The first couple (stomach) months fly by, but come the third and fourth month it starts to get tough and by the half year point you're ready to drink anti-freeze just to get some flavour in your diet (I feel terrible for the Indians in our program that go from spice capital of the world India to bland champion Germany). Don't get me wrong, I love some good German cuisine, roastbraden, spetzle and a cold hefe really hits the spot, but there's just no replacing some good old home cookin'.

Five years ago (or is it 6 now?) when I first came to Germany they had even less North American style food available. Trying to explain the concept of "bacon" in the morning was impossible, although my friends' mother who sliced some pork snitzel and fried it one morning to surprise me was sure funny (and no that doesn't taste anything like bacon!). Now things have changed and a growing number of brands are starting to offer North American style bacon. The best bacon you can get here in Germany is the Herta "breakfast bacon". It has the best quality but costs double (2 euro's, about $3.30 Canadian dollars) per 100 grams (one serving for this hungry customer) as opposed to some of the lesser quality brands which retail anywhere from one to one and a half euro's per 100 gram serving. The thing is, it's like one third the thickness of regular Canadian bacon! The pro is that it cooks in 10 seconds flat. The con is that you barely realize you're eating it before it's all gone it's so light! It's the exact opposite with the bread which is very light and airy in Canada and here it's like a 20 pound loaf that if you eat more than 2 slices sits in your stomach like a brick for the rest of the day.

Anyways, I've got a care package coming next week that's long overdue with some goodies inside for the tum-tum, I (and my stomach) can't wait, can you tell :-)

PS> There's actually a fourth "F", but you can get that over here ;-)

Mystery Solved!

I just found out the reason for my terrible start to the day (which subsequently got a lot better thank you), the fullest moon in 18 years is on tonight! The view was quite amazing to enjoy from the balcony actually, it was pitch dark before I even thought to take a pic:

Unfortunatly I couldn't see any noctilucent cloud's tonight despite the great weather and clear skies here in Pforzheim (as it's too far south), but you can catch a bunch of pics from around the world from photographers much more skilled than myself on the Space Weather website. Here's a couple of my favs:

Andre Muller from Aachen:

... and Jan Koeman of the Netherlands:

Hopefully I don't turn into a werewolf tonight ;-)

Monday, June 20, 2005


Dang, I forget where I spooged this from but it certainly rings true:

"I'm a great believer in luck,
and I find the harder I work,
the more I have of it

- Thomas Jefferson

Trying to keep the hard work flowing, of course a distraction or two never killed anyone, thanks Stevie J for sending me your design for a new seatbelt for women:

The $5 Euro Austion

Here's the detailed description of the game we played today in class with 5 euro's based on Max Bazerman's experiment.

Anyone wanna buy my dollar? ;-)

That's Gotta Hurt

Saw this over at Vowe dot net, dude that's gotta hurt!

The licence plate is from Ontario! (my home province)

Wrong Side of the Bed

There's nothing worse then having to get up for an 8am class... unless you:

1 - Wake up at 5:10 for no reason at all.
2 - Miss the bus and therefore hike up the mountain the school is situated on.
3 - Arrive to find that the cafeteria hasn't got it's sandwiches made yet.
4 - Stop by the library to find out you owe 16 euros (about $25) in overdue charges for books you still haven't read.
5 - Arrive in class and find out class start was moved to 8:30.
6 - Look in the mirror in the bathroom and realize its been WAY too long since you've had a haircut.

7 - Bang your elbow on a door handle (don't even ask me how I did that).
8 - Realize that you missed a coffee meet and greet yesturday (sorry ames!).
9 - Feel like shit.
10 - Well still waiting on 10, but don't worry I'm sure my hard drive will crash or something...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Formula 1 Controversy

Wow, something really weird is going on today with the race. I just turned in about 15 minutes ago to catch the start of the Formula 1 grand prix in the US and watched all but 3 teams go into the pits right off the start. At first I ws a little confused and thought they all wanted to refuel or something, that it was a strategic advantage, but then I realized it was a protest. It all revolves around the tires, there's some stories starting to emerge on the net, the pre-race discussion, Michelin's plea to the teams not to race, and finally the result that only 6 cars are competing (3 teams, Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi who all use Bridgestone tires). Update: On ongoing news here since the Formula 1 website has crashed!

What a blow to Formula 1 who's been trying to break into the American racing market for years. The fans are pissed, so should they be! There's 140,000 paying customers that have wasted an entire weekend watching qualifying, paying for things at the stadium not to mention the cost of the tickets only to be handed a 6 car non-race. I wonder if the organizers will refund their money or maybe give freebies for next year? One of the fans has made a sign saying "black flag this race" (a black flag is used to tell a car they have been disqualified from the race). Some fans are throwing debri on the track, although that just punishes the 6 cars who actually DID decide to race!

This does have big implications on the point standings. If everything stands Ferrari will move into 3rd place in the constructors points, Micheal and Rubens will move into 3rd and 4th for drivers points (from 5th and 7th) and most interesting of all will be the first points for Minardi in the entire 5 years since I started following F1 that I can remember!

Is this the end of F1 in the US? How will this all play out? Is all publicity good publicity? Maybe this sparks some discussion in a sport that lost a lot of fan interest during the Ferrari dominance years. We'll see how this all plays out... Viva La Formula 1!

Happy Father's Day!

To the most respected, greatest person I've ever known...

Happy Father's Day Dad!!!

Next beer's on me ;-)

Growth Masking Incompetence

This case study on Krispy Kreme highlights some interesting points about accounting practices, public company pressures for growth and mismanagement. I think there's an even more important point that is less emphasized but which is highly relevant to many situations company's face: "a fast-growing private company, it was easy to conceal weaknesses in management and corporate governance". Put simply, when the market/company is growing everyone's happy, it's only when growth stales or stops altogether that the real efficiency of the company relative to the market gets tested (and "kremed").

Granted, it's hard not to enjoy the good life when times are booming, but it makes the fall that much harder after the bust!

No One Available?

I've gotten this "spammed" to my e-mail before but I got a laugh out of it the second time I read it here, hopefully it'll enlicit a smile from you today as well:

George Phillips of Meridian, Mississippi was going up to bed when his wife told him that he'd left the light on in the garden shed, which she could see from the bedroom window. George opened the back door to go turn off the light but saw that there were people in the shed stealing things.
He phoned the police, who asked "Is someone in your house?" and he said no. Then they said that all patrols were busy, and that he should simply lock his door and an officer would be along when available.

George said, "Okay," hung up, counted to 30, and phoned the police again. "Hello, I just called you a few seconds ago because there were people in my shed. Well, you don't have to worry about them now cause I've just shot them all." Then he hung up.

Within five minutes three police cars, an Armed Response unit, and an ambulance showed up at the Phillips residence. Of course, the police caught them burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said to George: "I thought you said that you'd shot them!" George said, "I thought you said there was nobody available!"

The Power of Video

Today I'm making the jump and installing MSN toolbar. Why MSN's toolbar and not Google's? One reason, visual cue comfort. Let me explain. I spend some time bumming around Microsoft's Channel 9 checking out the videos. What is Channel 9? From their website:

"Welcome to Channel 9. We are five guys at Microsoft who want a new level of communication between Microsoft and developers. We believe that we will all benefit from a little dialogue these days. This is our first attempt to move beyond the newsgroup, the blog, and the press release to talk with each other, human to human."

Actually there's a lot of geeky cool stuff there not just for developers (check out the video on MSN Virtual Earth, awesome!). Now I've been holding off on installing a search toolbar until the initial wave wore off (read: thesis, thesis, thesis!), but I was cruising around the Channel 9 videos and found this: "Introducing MSN Toolbar Suite". Not only does seeing the actual developers all jazzed up talking about their product very inspiring, actually see them walk through a demo really helped quantify what I was getting myself into after installing the toolbar software. Seeing the demo visually helped me realize the benefits the software had for me as a user. Watching a video is also a lot easier and fun then reading through documentation or tutorials (which I would have never spent the time doing). I find the video worked even better than the valuable online walkthroughs (demonstrations) such as the one for Active Words, I'm not sure why, maybe because just like interacting with a live operator when you're on a support call is a thousand times better than scrolling through automated menu's; so too is watching an actual person go through the software is better than watching the computer do it (actually the walkthroughs are pretty valuable too, just not as dominate as the video was).

I wish Microsoft and other companies did this more often, especially for some of the harder to find things to do (like the shortcut creation he demonstrated in this video. Well done Microsoft/Channel 9!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Sunburnt Saturday

Hanging out downtown at the Volleyball Tourni was awsome... except the massive sunburn I'm sporting now, ouch! During a couple of the breaks they let pre-selected players go out and play around. I didn't get there early enough to sign in for the first session so I got stuck watching a bunch of nobodies play, a bunch of nobodies that are 10X better than me at volleyball but that's of little conciliation when you really want to play ;-) Anyways I did manage to catch the second break, I was teamed with 2 other girls, so I guess it was an all chick team considering that one of the girls had humungous pipes that could make mine their bitch ;-)

We didn't really keep score (yes we did, we lost) but it was a ton of fun. I've never eaten that much sand diving for balls, but in the sun of the afternoon surrounded by great people it tasted fantastic. I think I even burnt my fingertips, it even hurts to type! Anyways here's the event today during warmup for one of the matches just before we took off:

They're also getting ready for the Tour de France that will be starting off Stage 8 from right here in Pforzheim on July 9th! Outside of Irish pub they're setting up these sponsorship painted bicycle statue's, very cool:

Finally it was time to hit the shade and cool down with an ice cream so we checked out the relatively new "beach place" across the river that opened only a couple weeks ago. The chairs are so comfortable, they rock!

What a great day, I'm glowing red like Rudolphs nose. Tomorrow looks to be just as nice outside so BBQ is gearing up for another supper Sunday!

Cat Out Of The Bag?

Despite submitting my resume last week and rumours to the contrary, I have not accepted a position at SAP... yet. We're working on it ;-) In the meantime, I'm pyched about SAP's sponsorship of the DEL (German Ice Hockey League) Mannheim Eagles team as its led to a new stadium opening this year! Get your tickets now!

Update: Just checked the stadium plan and the ticket prices are HUGE compared to last year, and there's no longer any student tickets :-( Looks like I'm going to miss the old stadium as much as my pocketbook! Just one more reason that my Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers (who beat the Div I Adler despite being an averge Div II team one possition above getting relegated to Div III) are that much cooler!! :-)

Final words

In a final act of shame and then to forget this atrocity forever, here's the lyrics to Mariah's new single "We Belong Together"... there was definatly something in the water yesturday, or maybe a combination of heat stroke ;-)

We Belong Together

I didn't mean it
When I said I didn't love you, so
I should have held on tight
I never shoulda let you go
I didn't know nothing
I was stupid, I was foolish
I was lying to myself
I could not fathom that I would ever
Be without your love
Never imagined I'd be
Sitting here beside myself
Cause I didn't know you
Cause I didn't know me
But I thought I knew everything
I never felt

The feeling that I'm feeling
Now that I don't hear your voice
Or have your touch and kiss your lips
Cause I don't have a choice
Oh, what I wouldn't give
To have you lying by my side
Right here, cause baby(We belong together)

When you left I lost a part of me
It's still so hard to believe
Come back baby, please
Cause we belong together

Who else am I gon' lean on
When times get rough
Who's gonna talk to me on the phone
Till the sun comes up
Who's gonna take your place
There ain't nobody better
Oh, baby baby, we belong together

I can't sleep at night
When you are on my mind
Bobby Womack's on the radio
Saying to me"If you think you're lonely now"
Wait a minute
This is too deep (too deep)
I gotta change the station
So I turn the dial
Trying to catch a break
And then I hear Babyface"I only think of you"
And it's breaking my heart
I'm trying to keep it together
But I'm falling apart

I'm feeling all out of my element
I'm throwing things, crying
Trying to figure out
Where the hell I went wrong
The pain reflected in this song
It ain't even half of what
I'm feeling insideI need you
Need you back in my life, baby

When you left I lost a part of me
It's still so hard to believe
Come back baby, please
Cause we belong together

Who else am I gon' lean on
When times get rough
Who's gonna talk to me on the phone
Till the sun comes up
Who's gonna take your place
There ain't nobody better
Oh, baby baby, we belong together, baby

When you left I lost a part of me
It's still so hard to believe
Come back baby, please
Cause we belong together

Who am I gonna lean on
When times get rough
Who's gonna talk to me
Till the sun comes up
Who's gonna take your place
There ain't nobody better
Oh baby, baby
We belong together

Bow to the Podfather

If you don't know about podcasting or who Adam Curry is then this is going to make no sence at all, but for those of you who do I found this hilarious pic off his site, long live the podfather! :-)