Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Not for women only

Wow! I just found a great website/blog for entrepreneurs. Actually, re:invention is focused on female entrepreneurs and businesses, but the advice is rock solid no matter what gender you are. The site is innundated with some great links to other sites too. Click here to go directly to an archive of their weekly advice column.

The site took a long time to load for me, but I'm not sure if that is due to their code, my connection, or the blog server, blogspot. FYI, their "pro-women" theme/commentary will be seen by some as too preachy, but it doesn't take much observation to see it's a valid point that is underserved in our mass media society.

I'll be reviewing this a bit later for a couple of my ongoing endeavors and I suggest you do the same.

Play Google

Here's a new way to waste time at work... Guess-the-google. You're shown 20 images and you need to guess the one word used to generate the images. My score after 10 tries was 198, which isn't great and a lot better than I expected.

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Calling Instinct

I like to play poker. I enjoy the competition. I enjoy winning. I enjoy getting better at the game. My biggest problem isn't my tells, playing on tilt, or poor betting strategy. Rather, my problem is that I do not have any regular games with decent players, allowing me the chance to improve on these issues. That being said, I still manage to do a few things right and generally come out ahead. Take a look at this story about another guy who isn't the best at the table, but who still manages to do the right thing.

Friday, April 22, 2005


As currently I reside in a hotel room, visiting wife, home, and TiVo only on weekends, my TV viewing habits are all screwed up. So I wanted to let you know about what I look forward to watching. There are two shows I watch for great writing, the show TV Squad called "the most underrated sitcom on television," Still Standing and the best creepy writing since Buffy, Medium.

I do still watch West Wing, but that is more a tradition developed over the years than a testament to some of the recent plotlines.

I will give an honorable mention for two new shows bring back yesteryear. First, Ving Rhames makes a great Kojak, remaking the original Telly Savalas series. The other is Eyes, a new ensemble series that is "like Stingray meets Banacek, with a dash of Remington Steele mixed in...a real throwback to fun."

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rough housing in Austin

My voice is hoarse tonight because after dropping Kristi off at the airport, I went to the Roller Derby. WOW, what a trippie experience.

If you didn't know it, roller derby isn't dead. I thought it died out 20 years ago, but I was wrong. In fact, it's alive and well. Tonight's match, between the Hellcats and the expansion team Cherry Bombs, was full of action and showed that there is an active fan base not only for the sport, but for specific teams within the sport.

Interesting tidbits:

  1. A&E Television is filming a reality show / documentary ??? around the roller derby in Austin. (I had a rink side seat, so my Purdue shirt may be seen one day on a cable station near you!)
  2. I was told famous Bay City Bombers used to skate on the track currently used in Austin.
  3. The fans are much weirder than the rollergirls. For instance, the Hellcats mascot was in a collar and chain. You might know him as Leopard Larry (scroll down for a picture and clip).
  4. Austin has a second roller derby league! Since they skate on a flat track (as opposed to a banked track), the game is slower and the leagues are not able to compete against each other.
  5. Minor penalties may find a team losing points based upon the results of arm wrestling or a pillow-fight. I must say, it's obviously hard to have a pillow fight while wearing roller skates, because they all ended in a big heap on the floor.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


I stopped by a friend's place to watch my wife while they scrapbooked and watched soap operas. It must be love.

But seriously, I jumped on this laptop (owned by the afore mentioned friend) to give myself something to do while just kind of hanging out. Their internet browser was open to an article on Threesomes. After reading one woman's guideline all the criteria it would take to get lucky, I found a bunch more good writing by Margaret Berry and others.

Oh, and we are not available for threesomes, in case you were curious.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Visual Thesaurus

I like a good dictionary and Roget's Thesaurus (original style only please), but I when I am using the laptop away from home I only have the stuff built into MS Word and Dictionary.com. Neither of which is bad, they're just not my first choice.

But I just ran into a very nice interface for the Visual Thesaurus by Thinkmap. They have both an online and desktop version and the interface is fairly standard and easy enough to use. The online demo is fun (but you'll have to have the latest Java Plugin).

I really like how it worked and I'd love to use it regularly. Unfortunately for me, the company wants to make money, and I'm feeling to cheap to plunk down the $ for either one. Maybe I'll start a donation link...

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

Back to the Basics

Jakob Nielsen, one of the few people generally acknowledged as a web/usability expert, has a great post about real world problems based on Bad Design. This article is about life and death situations in hospitals, but he has previously dealt with annoying, if more mundane, issues surrounding automobile interfaces and remote controls. The point is, if you've got a product, you need to look at how the users interact with it. And if you don't, your users are going to suffer.

For more good info on the topic, check out Creative Good.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

on drinking...

I did some drinking recently, more than usual. Going out for drinks in each of the last three weeks is a big deal since my "usual" is drinking on a quarterly or semi-annual basis.

That being said, I like to drink. Quite frankly, I miss drinking.

It's a pleasant change for me to lower my filters a bit. To take a few moments and just exist in the 'there' and 'then.' It's more than I usually allow.

But I only like to drink in a group, a like minded group. I enjoy interacting with others. I like the twists and turns of a conversation during an evening at the bar. I have often found camaraderie over a pint or two and I treasure those fleeting moments.


I don't play or watch golf, it has never really captured my interest. But I do like Tiger Woods. He shoots for and achieves excellence. How can you not like that?

So it was good to read Tiger has won his fourth Masters jacket.
"Ten majors is not that long a streak," Tiger insisted Sunday. "Some guys go without winning one all their lives."

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

He meant well

Today, like many days, I saw a business process rife with potential improvements. I like finding these. I like fixing them more.

But the low point of the day came when a co-worker uttered the following statement,
I'd rather be wrong than foolish.
What a shame he managed to do both is so few words.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Alpha Gamma

APO Coat of ArmsI recently contacted the Alpha Phi Omega's home office and asked to be put back on the list for thier quarterly newsletter. It came in the mail and I read the *entire* thing. Yes, my flight from Austin to Dallas was that boring.

Buried among the summary of 2004 National Convention was news my alma mater, the Alpha Gamma Chapter at Purdue won the Chapter of Excellence Award! Hail to Old Purdue!

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Greedy violence

I missed this back in February, but the Mr. Kamprad's Ikea store in London is still closed after the grand opening sparked a riot due to 6,000 folks fighting to get first day discounts. I understand the desire to get a good price, but a riot?!

It's stuff like this which distracts me at concerts. A large mass of folks, feeling good after a few beers or more just wanting to be lead.

April 3: Edited for spelling.

Border Towns

A recent report by the Dallas Fed describes a couple interesting things. First, border town pairs between Texas and Mexico bring fairly significant benefits to the town on the Mexican side of the border, despite relatively high unemployment (due in part to the migration of workers from interior Mexico to the border town). But the pair on this side of the border does not experience the same rate of benefits.
The average per capita income of the four cities in 2002 was only $17,222, compared to $29,039 in Texas and $33,178 in the four large Texas Triangle metros. [DFW-Houston-San Antonio-Austin]
And for those who didn't know, maquiladoras is the name for manufacturing plants just across the border.