Thursday, September 30, 2004

Flip Flop II

Politics again...

Maybe this CBS is publishing Bush's Top Ten Flip-Flops in response to Rathergate, maybe because they are liberal, or maybe because it's a slow news day and the debate is still hours away. Anyway, now you've got the link and I'm going to bed.

Personality Type

I'm an ENTP. or I was the five times I took the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator. For some of those I am pretty close to the center of scale and I haven't taken a test in the last 5 or 10 years, but since personalities don't change much over time, I'll stick with this rating. If you have an interest in the topic, check out BLOGinality. This link is actually to their 'links' page, giving you more background on the topic and the chance to find a bunch of different personality tests (or "profiles" as the industry likes to call it).

So, why take a personality type indicator test?
  • First, because it's somewhat fascinating. Honestly, it can be entirely enlightening to take a 15 or 45 minutes mulitple choice test and have results spit out that identify you so very well. It allows you to see how you are both different from others around you while assuring you that even though unique, you are not alone on the planet. There are others who are like you.

  • Second, it can help you learn to deal with others. While I haven't experienced this, some people have been able to use the information gleamed about themselves and others as a tool helping them to have better relationships with friends, employees, co-workers, etc. Many businesses invest time and money in this hoping for this result.

  • Third, it can help you make better decisions about your life. This is the area I would like to see personality indicators used more. By understanding more about yourself, you can avoid bad decisions. To put it in other terms, if a primary motivation for you is interaction in others, choose a team sport like baseball rather than swimming, where your head is in the water! More importantly, it may help you choose a better carreer. When you find jobs that meet your own, internal needs, you will achieve bigger success, easier and sooner than you would otherwise.

This topic, especially in relation to the last point, means more to me lately because I have helped a couple people at the beginning of their careers. I was able to offer good advice on resumes and interviewing for jobs. Next time, I'll also recommend Do What You Are to help these folks look for the right kind of job.

Goodbye Rangers

It's early in the morning now, but I just got home from the baseball game between the Texas Rangers and Anaheim Angels. I'm not a huge fan of baseball, the game has always been slow for me, but this was a lot of fun. In part because I went with a bunch of folks I use to work with and in part because it was a good and close game. In the end and after two extra innings, the Rangers lost the game and playoff hopes were dashed. Better luck next year guys.

28 Photographs

LIFE magazine has a great group of Photographs that Changed the World. One of the things I especially loved was (a) not all the photographs were done by LIFE and (b) and the explanations of why the photographs mattered. Here's an example...

Lynching 1930

A mob of 10,000 whites took sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl’s uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man’s innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind., most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called the sentence of “Judge Lynch.”) Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from barbarity as we’d like to think.

Monday, September 27, 2004

The house is a mess today

Way back in May, during the early summer heat of Texas, we replaced carpet throughout the whole house. We really like the new carpet, a beige frieze'. In my office, we went with a hardwood floor from Bruce. It's an engineered wood, in a nice tan, but we had a problem with it.

Unfortunately, the office soon looked as if we had taken a ball peen hammer to the wood, with lots of little round indentations. It didn't come from the furniture (nothing has a foot that size), it didn't come from the chair (because the indentations are in the entrance to the room, not where I plop into the chair), and Kristi doesn't wear high heal shoes with little round points. So after calling Coker Floor Co. a number of times, they called and asked when they could come out and replace my office flooring (at the manufacturer's expense). Today turned out to be that day.

Instead of working from my office, I am sitting on the couch, and my desk is standing on it's end in the living room. The book cases are on their side in the dining room, and the fish is hidden behind all the books. I couldn't get internet access while the crew spent the entire day just ripping up the old flooring. I took a picture, but the other computer is the one that can download pictures, so it'll have to wait.

Because it took all day just to rip up the old floor, the new floor is now scheduled to be installed tomorrow. And I wont be able to set up the office until at least Thursday. *sigh*

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Hiatus and Multi-Level Marketing (MLM)

Well, the blog was on hiatus for a bit. I'm fine, a bit disappointed over a lost alternative (more details later), but doing okay.

So why this post? Well, it's a kick-start for myself. If I do this post tonight, I'm more likely do write another tomorrow. So I write.

And today's link? It's to a NetFlix alternative you may want to check out. This is a multi-level marketing business in the same space as NetFlix (and BlockBuster and soon Wal*Mart), which is renting you a limited number of DVD's for an unlimited amount of time.

The business itself can make money if it has enough volume, and the research I did into the business did not turn up any shady characters behind it. (This cannot be said of every business I have reviewed. *sigh*) I am not involved in MovieBiz, but Glenn's wife is. And since Glenn was the person willing to ask what was going on with the blog, he deserves this little plug.

As for the concept of multi-level marketing, I've never yet gotten involved one. I've heard a number of pitches, and been pursued by other MLMers a couple of times. I do believe them when they tell me I would be good for in the business. I like people, I like to entertain and make connections. I understand marketing and business and all kinds of related stuff. But here's the problem for me... I don't like to close on these kinds of deals. Too often the push is to get other people to buy in on the strength of the relationship, not the strength of the product. Yah, officially they all love the stuff, but neither you nor I believe it and I doubt the pushers believe it deep down either. Too often, MLM businesses are run by a few amoral characters at the top, some lucky ones in the middle, and the dupes at the bottom. Sure, I generalize, but the basic truth of my statement is pretty solid. And who wants to be in a business that churns through so many entry level people? It seems seedy to me even if I am wrong in my generalization.

Hmm, let's wrap this up... MaryKay can be okay, but be careful. Same for Avon, Tupperware, and Pampered Chef. Avoid things herbal, medicinal, or health related. If they sell everything, don't bother with them. And finally, if you want to try this as a business and don't like the previously mentioned, look for players that have a defined nitch, some good financial backing, and some good press. So well add Southern Living @ Home as a candidate, and possibly, NetFlix.

Oh, last statement... If you know a female college student and she isn't afraid of sales, get her started in MaryKay. It's the one time I have a blanket recommendation for MLM.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Speaking as a Parent

It has been said that SAAP is blogging at it's absolute finest, and you should want to see that.

Go, check it out.

Her Boyfriend Is A Twat

Last post before bed...

Zoe is an amusing find in the blogoshere. There's not much I can say besides quoting her directly. Here is her self-description:
I'm a 41 year-old Brit living in Belgium with my 3 children who spend one week here, then one week with their Dad who lives with his girlfriend called Pretty Horrible Tits. Quarsan came and moved in with us in November 2001, and life has never been quite the same since.
Go to this page for some great quotes from her boyfriend, The Twat (TT).

Cool stuff

In the department named... "Not that it's hard, but it's more than I ever thought of" I bring you a cool blog for your perusal, Honestly, I'm Sober! If nothing else, go to look at the great way his links are managed via Post-It notes. Honestly, I love this semi-geeky stuff.

Call me

Kristi & I went out for the day, window shopping at NorthPark Mall, and visiting with Jim & Rhonda. We all went out for dinner, but not before an early showing of Cellular.

Now, I cannot say it's deep fair, because if you've seen the commercials or trailer you've already seen a good part of the film. And the plot is rather simple, but it was well acted, appropriately amusing and suspenseful, had some action scenes that were only slightly preposterous, relatively free of stupid subplots, and enjoyed by all four of us. When you're looking for some entertainment, I'm willing to recommend this one while it's still in theatres.

Buycott for Women

The September 20 issue (out now) of BusinessWeek is reporting (subscription required), that 85 Broads, a women's networking group, is testing a one day "buycott" on October 19.
85 Broads is asking its 4,000-plus members in 450 companies, colleges, and B-schools not to spend that day. Janet Hanson [founder] says the "buycott" will show the gap between women's purchasing power and their underrepresentation in boardrooms and executive suites.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Caught in mid-Atlantic

Cafe HedonistiX has some observations on pan-global thoughts on terrorism. How can you not be suprised by this quote from an author in Spain?
There is no war against terrorism. There can be no such thing against an enemy that remains dormant most of the time and is almost never visible. It's simply another of life's inevitable troubles, and all we can do as we continue to combat it is repeat Cervantes's famous phrase "Paciencia y barajar": "Have patience, and keep shuffling the cards."

A history of political failure

Rolling Stone has a humorous (IMO) article about The Curse of Dick Cheney. It details the history of VP Cheney's career, giving special attention to the idea that every president (Nixon, Ford, Bush) he has served under had the misfortune of not finishing their term.

Oh, it's not that the author or publication meant the article to be humorous, but this holds as much weight with me as those who believe Cheney is sercretly running the entire US government.


Belated congratulations to Secretary Powell and the Bush administration for being willing to admit the extent of atrocities in Sudan. It takes courage to say the G-word.
It was the first such declaration by a member of the Bush administration and could put pressure on the government in Khartoum to resolve the 18-month crisis that has left 30,000 people dead and 1.4 million more homeless. Should the United Nations echo Mr. Powell's declaration, member states would be obligated to intervene under a 1948 genocide convention.
While the situation is different than what happened in Rwanda, let's stop this before it gets any further out of hand.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

All hail to the Old Gold and Black

I've been sick for a few days, and not blogged much during the interim, but here's a couple posts of some good stuff. Among the best news to come down the pike in the last week was Purdue's huge win over Syracuse.
Kyle Orton passed for 287 yards and a career-high four touchdowns to lead the Boilermakers to a 51-0 victory over Syracuse on Sunday, their first shutout in four years.
Wow, what a season opener. Sure wish I could have been there.

A new way to find a job

I heard a presentation today from Asad Khan, the founder of InstaJob. And without using the product yet, I am already glad to declare myself a fan.

InstaJob offers a P2P software program connnecting job seekers to recruiters and companies. The program resides on your home computer, matches listed skills against those requested, allows the job seeker to have multiple profiles with different resumes and cover letters. Add this to some other interesting tidbits they programmed in, and we have a good chance to find a winner. The problem is, can it get enough traction? Let's hope so.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Small Business Motivation

Wow, this is cool. Brain Brew Radio is an NPR show providing ideas and encouragement about improving your small business.
Our vision: Brain Brew is be to the "American Dream" what This Old House is to home repair.
I just listened to last weeks show and I'll be listening to more of the online archives tomorrow. Recommended.

Thanks to one Saxy Girl for the link.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Laughing About a Downward Spiral

Home, moving off the topic of politics (thank goodness), I found the following site by skipping through the blogosphere. And, as an aside, I love that so many different communities are out there. Today's trip is to Snarkywood, known by the tagline, "Lights! Camera! Cattiness!" Just take a look at the picture history, and cattiness, surrounding Britney Spears.
We Love Downward Spiral Britney!
Lauren: Okay, now she looks like a Chrissy Snow ROBOT.

Martha: Britney gets down and dirty to the music while her backup dancer guy scans the newspaper to see if he can catch a matinee showing of "Dude, Where's My Car" after the show.

Amy: Either that or Britney's just having potty training trouble again.

The Case for Kerry

I recently commented on someone else's blog that I thought the election boiled down to mostly pro-Bush and anti-Bush crowds, with the rest made up of undecideds and anti-Kerry folks. For those without a scorecard, it leaves very few people left who could be pro-Kerry. I'm not the only one to posit this, and Donald Sensing agrees. But he went further, issuing a challenge to his readers.
If you support Kerry for president, I invite you to write a guest post for this blog explaining why. Here's why it's a challenge:

To be published, you must explain why Kerry is to be preferred in terms that do not simply say he's not Bush. This is not an invitation to rage about Bush; it is an invitation to be positive about Kerry.
Fortunately for you and me, he did get two responses and he posted the best of them. Here is the intro:

The Case for Kerry
by Scott Forbes

In the past several months I've spoken or written to hundreds of Americans about the upcoming election, and registered hundreds more to request their absentee ballots. Many have already made up their minds, but some are still on the bubble: They have serious doubts about both Kerry and Bush, and are trying to weigh their options.

There are plenty of sources out there (credible and otherwise) making the case against either candidate… and we all have first-hand knowledge of Bush's performance in office, so a discussion of his merits is more reminder than introduction. That leaves only the case for John Kerry — the case that says Kerry will not only be better than Bush: He'll be a good, strong, capable leader by any measure.

I have not checked all of his references yet, and I'm not convinced he's right, but at least we've found one person who is pro-Kerry. If you are one of those on the bubble, I recommend reading the entire response.