Friday, December 31, 2010

Farewell Song

A video with the lyrics to Farewell Song by Vaya Con Dios. Dani Klein's voice is so very seductive and plaintive. Farewell to 2010! Enjoy, happy Friday and happy New Year's Eve.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The faces of socialism in Latin America

A succinct roundup of the usual neighborly suspects residing to the south of us from the Miami Herald opinion pages. How long, given our current direction, before we join them?

Monday, December 27, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. We have all had one of these next managers at some point in our careers. They appear on our horizon to test our patience.

MOTW: Obtuse Manager

Takes forever to understand your ideas. Needs everything explained umpteen times in order to discuss it or consider it for implementation.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy holidays

Merry Christmas. May you all enjoy a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous holiday season.

Weekend Haiku

The pheasant cries
as if it just noticed
the mountain.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, December 24, 2010

Desert Rose

Sting performs Desert Rose in concert with Cheb Mami. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Sofia Vergara - Hilarious!

I am not a fan of the Ellen show but this is really funny. Ellen sends Sofia Vergara from Modern Family into a small store with an IFB in her ear and extemporizes a script for her to follow on hidden camera. Hilarity ensues.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Irony defined

Julian Assange's lawyers cry foul over leaked incriminating police files which accuse Mr. Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. These files were published in a British newspaper. Interesting, when the Wikileak is on the other foot then it is not so acceptable. Transparency is a good thing, is it not Mr. Assange?

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager has a very glib delivery, but lacks in follow up. Eventually the hot air he/she constantly releases catches up with him/her and it usually isn't very pretty when it happens.

MOTW: Smooth Talking Manager

Smooth Talking Manager has the ability to expound effortlessly on any topic in what appears to be the latest, most informed corporate vocabulary. This manager relies on his/her verbal skills to carry the day and mostly succeeds. However, when the rare failure happens, due to going to the well once too often, it is usually a spectacular flameout that is talked about for many years. As a general rule Smooth Talking Managers have little or no execution skills.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Seeing people off,
being seen off-
autumn in Kiso.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Travelin' Light

Something we all wish we could do. Here is the legend himself, J.J. Cale, in the studio performing his tune Travelin' Light. This man has influenced too many rock/blues/country legends to count. Probably the most known example is Eric Clapton who made two of Cale's tunes, After Midnight and Cocaine known to millions.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have you ever called customer service and waited seemingly forever for a real human to come to your aid?

Being lost amidst the netherworld of muzak and multiple options on an automated voice response helpline can be extremely frustrating, especially since the the reason you called to begin with is your product isn't working the way it should be. Here are a few tips to try and get that human on the phone that much quicker and avoid some of that frustration.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next specimen tends to have reptilian ancestry. Being saddled with one of these at any point in one's career is a real tragedy.

MOTW: Slimy Manager

Oozes viscous liquid from every pore. Leers a lot and makes inappropriate comments. After any type of meeting with this manager a decontaminating shower is required.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Last time, I think,
I'll brush the flies
from my father's face.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nueva York

A recording of Santana's Nueva York from his album Shango. Great tune with a nice Latin rock sound. Carlos on the guitar is always a great thing. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Atlas Shrugged - The Movie

Here is the official Facebook page of the making of the movie. Apparently it is coming along...albeit slowly.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julian Assange strikes on SNL

Saturday Night Live had a pretty good skit on the whole WikiLeaks ruckus. Check it out.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Another sign the economy is in trouble

Perhaps it is a message to the Treasury department not to print money after all. Everyone knows it is inflationary to print bills and pump them into the economy right? Well, when your government can't even get that right then you know that your economy is in trouble, or... perhaps is being saved from itself. Get a load of this.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is becoming more and more prevalent as younger workers join the workforce and get promoted to management ranks.

MOTW: Connectivity Manager

Must be linked at all times through on-line capability with the office. Failure to do so results in cold sweats and nightmares. Constantly knows what his/her staff is doing/thinking via remote on-line real-time access. Backup systems include Blackberries, cellular phones, dedicated landlines, instant messaging and as a last resort smoke signals.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Weekend Haiku

By moonlight
the blossoming plum
is a tree in winter.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, December 3, 2010


A recording of Garbage's Untouchable. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sorry I didn't post today

I have pertussis. Or as it is more commonly known, this. Believe me, it is no fun at all.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager never gets sued for sexual harassment, but other than that is not very productive for the company.

MOTW: Hands-Off Manager

This manager actually read a management book once and it advised that he/she not suffocate his/her staff, but rather let them be proactive. Since that day Hands-Off Manager has never once intervened in anything and proudly states that his/her style is in fact, “hands-off.” The fact that the office is in disarray and that staff members are lost and need guidance is of little interest to Hands-Off Manager since this approach has given him/her the freedom and insouciance he/she always craved but had never quite previously attained.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Not knowing
it's a tub they're in,
the fish cooling at the gate.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, November 26, 2010


A recording of Bettie Serveert's Versace from the album Attagirl. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

To all those celebrating thanksgiving this day, have a wonderful holiday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wolfram Alpha tutorial / demo

A few days ago I posted about the computational engine Wolfram Alpha and received a couple of comments saying that the engine was not so easy to use. The engine is very powerful and was voted the greatest computer innovation of 2009 by Popular Science, but the commenters were right. It is not as intuitive as other engines. Here then is a video produced by none other than Stephen Wolfram himself showing you how to use it and showcasing its power. Check it out. It really is a great resource.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The definition of "luck"

It just might be James Hyatt. On his first attempt at seeking buried treasure with a metal detector, the three year old found a reliquary from the era of Henry VIII believed to have belonged to a member of the royal family. Its value is estimated at around 2.5 million pounds. Yes, I would certainly call that lucky.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. The bane of any company, this next species of manager is found all too frequently at all levels of management. Their raison d'etre is simple; to reduce productivity and frustrate otherwise competent people by making them sit around for hours with no tangible output to show for the time invested/wasted.

MOTW: Conference Call / Meeting Manager

This manager thinks that every single issue should be worked out by calling a meeting or scheduling a conference call. Bonus points are awarded for having more people than work in the office attend these gatherings.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Weekend Haiku

I envy
that child being scolded:
end of the year.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, November 19, 2010


Anne "Annie" Decatur Danielewski, professionally known as Poe performs Hello. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wolfram Alpha has the anwers

It is NOT a search engine. Check it out and take it for a test spin. Wolfram Alpha is a computational knowledge engine and is quite remarkable. Bookmark it for when you need another research source. It was announced in March 2009 by Stephen Wolfram and was released to the public on May 15, 2009.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Genius, born or made?

This is a very old argument and Terry Teachout resurrects it in a short WSJ opinion piece. They are made, according to K. Anders Ericsson and Malcolm Gladwell, but born according to Terry Teachout.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. We all have one, the friend who tries to be funny but really isn't. That friend is somebody's manager somewhere, hence this next specimen.

MOTW: Comedic Manager

Tries to see the humor in everything and say something funny about it. The jokes are usually bad and unless the remarks are kept light and fresh this style wears thin very quickly. Nevertheless the staff always laughs politely.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Old well,
a fish leaps-
dark sound.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, November 12, 2010

This is not America

David Bowie performs This is not America in concert. The music is originally by the Pat Metheny Group and is from the 1985 film The Falcon and The Snowman starring Timothy Hutton and Sean Penn. Happy Friday.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

For all you frequent fliers

You may know many of these, but I fly a lot and always find these types of tidbits interesting. Thirty-five secrets your pilot won't tell you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What makes The Big Bang Theory so popular?

I'm talking about the show here. I watch it every chance I get. For me, it is the witty, geeky repartee that I enjoy so much. Few comedy shows on the air today have good writing and this happens to be one of them. Beyond that, I don't have a lot of answers, but Virgina Postrel examines the show's popularity in more depth and attempts to explain its appeal in this WSJ article.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ordering wine

Here are a few tips from the WSJ on ordering wine. The article is short and well worth reading. The little tidbit about Bern's in Tampa at the end is funny. I have dined at Bern's and can honestly say it has the longest wine list I have ever encountered. At Bern's they will take you on a tour of the wine cellar and the kitchen if you ask and I did. Both were very impressive.

Monday, November 8, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager talks a lot about change, too much perhaps. Sometimes it feels like it is change for change's sake.

MOTW: Innovative Manager

Believes that everything that has been done before is worthless. Needs to change everything based on what he/she considers to be cutting edge new ideas.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Makes the eye happy-
the whiteness
of the lover's fan.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Outro Lugar

Salome de Bahia does Brazil proud with Outro Lugar. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Astro-turf? Think again.

A concise op-ed about the effect the Tea Party had on the mid-term elections. When a movement has the kind of impact this one did, it can no longer be spun by any media to portray it as anything other than what it is, a force to be reckoned with.


From the WSJ comes this succinct yet informative primer on Chardonnay.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Allen West's victory speech

Yesterday many Americans made their voices heard. Here is an example of what they said. Allen West is from my district and unseated Ron Klein. The crowd loves him and come 2011 there will be a new man in the House from Florida's 22nd congressional district.

Which are the five...?

Which are the five National Football League teams that have a bird in their name? Answer after the jump. The five NFL teams are the Seattle Seahawks, Arizona Cardinals, Philadelphia Eagles, Altanta Falcons and the Baltimore Ravens.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Today is the day. Just get on out there and do it.

What are the five...?

What are the five oceans on Earth? Answer after the jump. The five oceans are the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific and Southern.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The wild ride that Charlie Crist hath wrought

Tomorrow we go to the polls. I liked him as governor, but Crist's decision to run for the senate as an independent was a mistake that has had many repercussions for Florida, as this article accurately reports. On April 29th I posted this about Crist's decision. Now, on the eve of the election, unless something cataclysmic happens, he will rue the day he made that fateful choice. He should have just run for governor again.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. With the mid-term elections tomorrow we couldn't resist bringing this next manager to the fore. There is always at least one about and he/she is generally not liked or respected much.

MOTW: Political Manager

Political Manager has made friends and cultivated relationships with all the right people. He/she regularly survives purges and layoffs, usually reappearing stronger than before. Is the subject of rumors that he/she must have naked pictures of the company CEO’s significant other stashed somewhere.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Weekend Haiku

I don't know
which tree it comes from,
that fragrance.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, October 29, 2010


Perpetuum Jazzile covers Stevie Wonder's As. Notice how everyone in the choir is individually miked. What a nightmare for the sound technician, but they do sound good. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Barbara Boxer spoofed

Call Me Senator from RightChange on Vimeo.

Oops, sorry, I meant Senator Barbara Boxer spoofed. To loosely paraphrase Larry, the cable guy, "I don't care who you are, that's funny right there."

Nestor Kirchner dead

Nestor Kirchner, President of Argentina from May 2003 until December 2007 is dead at age 60. His widow, Cristina Fernandez, is head of state at the present time. This throws Argentina's political landscape somewhat into disarray as Mr. Kirchner was expected to vie for the presidency once again in next year's election.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I'll be at the bar...

No, not that kind of bar. Apple's new Friend Bar is taking the country by storm. I'm not technical at all and wouldn't last a minute there. Now, the other kind of bar, that's another story entirely. Anyway, check it out.

New Apple Friend Bar Gives Customers Someone To Talk At About Mac Products

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink

What percentage of the planet's water is naturally potable? Answer after the jump. Less than two percent of the earth's water is fresh water.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is a tired individual who spends practically all of his/her time on email. On the rare occasion where they do venture out, the trip is typically cut short by some sort of emergency back home, allowing them to quickly return before they spend too much time outside of their comfort zone.

MOTW: Non-Travelling Manager

Charged with important global responsibilities, Non-Traveling Manager rarely if ever travels outside his/her own office, let alone zip code. This manager screens all phone calls, hardly ever answering unless the caller ID shows that the party calling is a “safe” party who will not ask, encourage or order the manager to travel. Non-Traveling Manager believes that all problems can be managed via email, preferably from a blackberry so that the responses given are cryptic and succinct.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The spring day
in the pools.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ahes to Ashes

Happy Rhodes covers David Bowie's Ashes to Ashes. Unfortunately it is audio only. Enjoy and happy Friday. If you liked Happy Rhode's version check out this earlier post.

For the purists, here is Bowie's version.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Do higher taxes lead to working less?

Once in a while I post about politics. After living through what our current administration's policies have been doing to my wife's business as well as my own I have been searching for a way to express our frustration, besides going to the polls of course. With the mid-term elections right around the corner I found this NYT article, well written and researched by a Harvard professor, which says it better than I ever could.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fly Away

This is great. Lenny Kravitz crashes a choir in New Orleans doing a cover of his tune Fly Away and joins in. I guess once he starts jamming with them it's no longer technically a cover.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Malbec, the comeback kid

This WSJ article by Will Lyons talks about the resurgence of Malbec, mainly due to the production of Malbec in Argentina. I love Malbec and will drink it anytime it is offered to me.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Take Me Out

Atomic Tom performs Take Me Out on their iPhones while riding the NYC subway. Check out the lady behind them getting into it and singing chorus.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. You may have run into this next manager at some point even if you did not report to them. They are always the source of conjecture, as no one really knows what they are doing there, not even themselves.

MOTW: Token Manager

An odd species, Token Manager has been placed in the position to fill an empty corner office and never really understands why. No one ever pays any attention to him/her and work continues until one day Token Manager mysteriously disappears.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Under the image of Buddha
all these spring flowers
seem a little tiresome.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, October 15, 2010


From their album Too High To Die, here is The Meat Puppets video of Backwater. Just a great rock song. Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shhh!! Keep it down, will ya...

In a very brief chat sound guru Julian Treasure talks about what those ear buds are doing to you, among other things in his presentation, and prescribes seven steps to improve your listening health.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Santana on cover of Sound + Vision

The issue of Sound and Vision magazine is due out October 19th and none other than the man himself, guitar player extraordinaire and prolific musician Carlos Santana will grace the cover. Here is a sneak peak at the cover.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paying a band not to play

Now I've seen everything. It's like paying farmers not to farm, not that we ever did that. James Burns is waging a campaign to raise 10 million dollars to get the band Weezer to disband. Burns is not even that much of a fan, but says that the band's output since it released its 1996 Pinkerton album has been sub-standard and keeps disappointing his friends who are die-hard Weezer fans. He terms it an abusive relationship which he says has to stop. Weezer has responded that if he raises the fund to 20 million they will do just that, retire.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Now that the NFL season is in full swing, the Canopy thought it would be apropos to use a reference from that league. Hopefully you have not worked for the following manager as their play calling is usually suspect.

MOTW: Monday Morning Quarterback Manager

Never one to prepare or coach his/her staff before important meetings, Monday Morning Quarterback Manager has an infinite array of revisionist feedback whenever the meetings are done and does not hesitate to let anyone within a fifty mile radius know about it. Monday Morning Quarterback Manager will tell you what you should have said, done and thought differently even if the outcomes of the meetings were a resounding success. Upon leaving any meeting at which you and Monday Morning Quarterback Manager were present the recommendation is to put on a pair of noise reduction headphones and run away as quickly as possible.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Escaped the nets,
escaped the ropes-
moon on the water.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This spaghetti western has always been one of my favorite cowboy movies. Directed by Sergio Leone and starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach, it was everything a gun-slinging western should be including the epic theme song by Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra.

Well, check out The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain rocking out to the tune. It's really creative and they are obviously having a good time performing it. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Friendship Paradox

Do you know what it is? Simply put the Friendship Paradox states that you are more likely to be friends with someone who has more friends than with someone who has fewer friends. In other words, more than likely your friends have more friends than you do.

Is this idea difficult to wrap your mind around? It depends. If you think you are an extremely popular person then perhaps it might be. In my case, since my wife considers me to be a misanthrope it made immediate sense. This finding was published in the American Journal of Sociology in 1991 by Scott L. Feld.

Of what use is this finding you ask? One way it can be used is as a way to forecast the course of epidemics as Nicholas Christakis explains in this TED talk in the video below.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Oh no! It's a fake...

Most wildlife movies are not all they seem, or so says this film producer. You really need to watch this. It's pretty revealing. He admits to outright lies and complete fakes in some of our favorite wildlife documentaries. Moral of this short film sequence; don't believe everything you see or are told by the narrator or anyone else in these movies. Oh, and read the fine print during the credits at the end of the film.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A year later, a year crazier

Some of you may remember this post. It was approximately a year ago and it was from via CNN. It reported some of the wackiest things candidates said in job interviews. Needless to say, few if any landed the job they were after in the interview.

Well, it is a year later and with the economy in the shape it's in and with unemployment rampant you can imagine that a lot of people have been interviewing trying to get jobs. So here is CareerBuilder's new article on some of the more outlandish things that candidates said or did when interviewing for jobs in the past year.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The call that went awry

A conference call organized by Citigroup which was supposed to quell investors' fears over Ireland's economic woes became an unmitigated disaster when Citi failed to mute the investors' lines. When the investors realized their lines were not muted they proceeded to heckle Ireland's finance minister Brian Lenihan as he attempted to deliver his message. As things got out of control Citigroup officials shut down the line.

Host Philip Brown, head of public sector debt at Citigroup, restarted the call 20 minutes later. Citigroup cited technical difficulties as the culprit. That conference call technology can get pretty tricky at times.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. It is exhausting trying to keep up with this next manager. The staff has a bet going that if you opened him/her up, inside you would find a series of microchips.

MOTW: Robo Manager

He/she is everywhere at once. Works 24/7 and leads by example. (Hint: everyone should work 24/7.) Is convinced that with enough effort, skill, luck and technological devices anything is possible.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The jars of octopus-
brief dreams
under the summer moon.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Billie Jean

Chris Cornell's unplugged cover of Billie Jean. All I can say is wow! Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

A dash of entomology

What is the only insect that can turn its head 360 degrees? Hint in the picture below.

The praying mantis.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

North Korea's accelerated ROTC program

How do you become a four-star general overnight without having so much as a scintilla of military experience?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

NBA camps open

NBA camps have opened and it will soon be time to see what the trio of Wade, James and Bosch will do. These three teaming up in the off-season was an incredible event. The hype was dizzying and while Heat fans are ecstatic many others have criticized the move. As always, here is the WSJ take on it. I think the haters are just envious. Go Heat. Let's bring home a championship.

Facebook manners and you...

Watch and apply...

Monday, September 27, 2010

What's wrong with a few Citi shares?

The Treasury is still having a tough time unloading Citi stock. It is now contemplating a share offering instead of stealthily selling it in small quantities on the market to an unsuspecting public. I looked under the cushions in my couch for some spare change and found a few quarters and dimes so perhaps I might buy some. Seriously, the Treasury still owns about 17 percent which is no small stake. Why doesn't Uncle Vik's enterprise look attractive to investors? The last time I looked it was trading at this price.

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next specimen may or may not work in government circles, but he/she is definitely a liability in the private sector. Hopefully you have never worked for one.

MOTW: Diplomatic Manager

Agrees with everyone, offends no one, and does not have an original idea in his /her head. Nothing ever gets solved or done.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Another year gone-
hat in my hand,
sandals on my feet.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ghost riders In The Sky

From the movie Ghost Rider, here is Spiderbait's version of Ghost Riders in the Sky. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The worst deal in the world

There can be tons of them, but when it comes to wine what do you think it is? In my opinion, and in the opinion of some wine experts at the WSJ it is the following.

We all do it at some point, but ordering wine by the glass has to be the worst idea, both from a value proposition as well as ensuring you have a good wine experience.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

It has taken him 51 years...

But Fidel Castro finally admits the obvious. Recently when he was asked if Cuba's brand of socialism, created by himself after his 1959 revolution, could be of use in other countries Fidel gave the following answer, "The Cuban model doesn't even work for us anymore."

Fidel is finally owning up to his sad reality, much to the detriment and despair of a once proud, and vibrant populace. Because of him, the island is broke, decrepit and starving for another political / economic model which may yet save it from an inexorable, grim fate.

This article from gives a snapshot on the current state. The methodical and destructive erosion of a joyous, prosperous way of life which Castro and his ilk have perpetrated on this island nation is an obscene tragedy.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

He Hate Me

Remember Rod Smart of XFL fame. He actually did make it into the NFL and played in the Super Bowl in 2004 as a kick-return man for the Charlotte Panthers in their loss to the New England Patriots. He is now trying his hand at acting as this Yahoo Sports article describes when they caught up with the self-proclaimed man everyone loved to hate.

Monday, September 20, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. There is always at least one of these in any company and while we honor them for their service, they can sometimes be a bit exasperating with their penchant for unquestioning obedience.

Ex-Military Manager

A close cropped brush-cut and ramrod posture hint at this manager’s previous employer. Surprise cubicle inspections and barked out phrases such as, “We meet today at fifteen hundred hours, don’t be late,” or “X, you have to follow the chain of command,” round out the suspicions. You would like to suggest to this manager that it might be beneficial to give some tips to Combat Manager, but are afraid to do so lest you wind up having to drop and give Ex-Military Manager twenty.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Flowers offered to the Buddha
come floating
down the winter river.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Automotive X prize winner announced

The Edison2 team wins with a car that gets 102 miles to the gallon. They competed in the mainstream category. This means that the car has to hold four passengers, have air conditioning, heating, and be able to accelerate to highway speeds. And lo and behold, it's not electric. It has an internal combustion engine. To read more, check it out here.

De Musica Ligera

Soda Stereo, in their last concert, play De Musica Ligera. Look at that crowd!!! Enjoy and happy Friday.

If you like their sound check out this earlier post.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

For any Learning professionals out there

This is a pretty cool site. If you ever want to introduce anyone to some key Learning language, try using this periodic table.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A quick check of your psyche

At her mother's funeral, a girl, the eldest of two siblings, espied a young man she did not know. He was the man of her dreams and she fell hopelessly in love with him at first sight. Days later, she murdered her younger sister.

Question: Why did she murder her sister?

Answer: She was hoping that the young man would once again show up, this time at her sister's funeral.

- If you answered correctly, you should think about where your mind takes you.

- If you answered something else, that's probably better for you.

- If any of your friends answered correctly, our recommendation is you keep them at a safe distance.

Football news

Some observations about Spanish, Italian and English football from Gabriele Marcotti at the WSJ.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Baby Jordan

As a Heat fan I often wondered whatever happened to Harold Miner after his stint in the league. He never lived up to his potential and was a disappointment during his 3 years with the Heat. This article talks about what he is doing these days after severe knee problems forced him to retire from the NBA at the tender age of 25.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. The old saying was that management called in a consultant on special projects so they would have someone to blame when things went awry, but someone came up with the idea that it would simply be easier to hire one and put him/her on the staff full time. Thus this next manager type was born.

MOTW: Consultant Manager

Hiring this manager is considered a feather in its cap by Senior Management because they have lured him/her away from a high-powered consulting firm to miraculously turn around an ailing business line. What soon becomes apparent is that consultant manager is excellent at asking questions, listening, doing analysis and writing beautifully crafted white papers recommending all sorts of esoteric solutions. However, he/she is woefully inept at leading the business or actually implementing any of these recommendations, let alone directing his/her staff to execute.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Mother I never knew,
every time I see the ocean,
every time-

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Soft Room

From his 1996 release The Great Blondino, here is Stakka Bo's Soft Room. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Asian Carp Czar

Remember this post? In it I lamented the proliferation of Czar postings in the Obama administration and questioned what the titles really meant. Well, he has now named an Asian Carp Czar. All you carp out there, beware! A Czar is now on the case.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How do you study?

We all do it at some point in our lives, study for something. It may be an oral examination, an important written exam or a driving test, just to give a few examples. Whatever it may be that we study for, this NYT viewpoint article turns conventional wisdom about study habits on its head. What you will read may surprise you, or maybe not.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

France's football problems continue

Les Bleus have not been able to shake off their post World Cup debacle hangover. They lost 1- 0 to Belarus at home in Euro 2012 Group D qualifying. Belarus, the former Soviet republic, is currently ranked 78th in the FIFA rankings, or 57 spots below the French.

Monday, September 6, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. While there is no doubt that this next manager is in desperate need of therapy, working for one for an extended period of time is enough to send one running to the therapist's couch.

MOTW: Dichotomy Manager

A rare species, Dichotomy Manager is what is known in psychology circles as suffering from Dissociative Identity Disorder. One day warm, receptive and supportive, the following day Dichotomy Manager morphs into a sarcastic, berating, stab you in the back type for no apparent reason.

Many theories abound for Dichotomy Manager’s wild swings in behavior, but none has been scientifically proven. The survival tactic here is to be away on business during the bad days and in the office for the good ones. The fact that these turnabouts follow no specific pattern makes this strategy somewhat difficult to follow. However, more often than not Mondays have been observed to be bad and Fridays good, leaving only Tuesday through Thursday for one to worry about.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The snail gets up
and goes to bed
with very little fuss.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, September 3, 2010

White Flag

Surrender to queen Dido. Here she is performing White Flag on Letterman. What a great song, great voice, and great smile. The song is energetic yet soothing. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A bizarre golf episode

You thought you had a bad swing. This guy's golf swing started a fire in California which had to be put out by firefighting helicopters and ground crews. I wonder what his score was on that hole. I think I will stick to Disc Golf. I've never heard of a flying disc starting a fire yet although I'm not completely ruling it out.

News you can use

From Time magazine no less. This is news I can hang my hat on. Apparently heavy drinkers tend to outlive non-drinkers. So here's to you all you teetotalers out there as I kick back with my glass of wine. Cheers!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Trouble in the Citi

Mike Mayo and Uncle Vik are at loggerheads once again with Mayo insisting that Citi should take a writedown, or a loss on some $50 billion of “deferred-tax assets,” or DTAs. NRO is reporting that Uncle Vik is so upset with Mr. Mayo that he has been banned from access to any of Citi's top executives.

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Make of this next manager what you will. It could be a metaphor, just saying, that is all.

MOTW: Moribund Manager

Moribund Manager dresses primarily in black, reads Kafka and Camus for comic relief and rocks out to Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor. The atmosphere in his/her office can charitably be described as funereal and sightings of the grim reaper within the building cannot always be dismissed as apocryphal. Moribund Manager’s staff members have all put in for transfers, even if it means moving to Psycho Manager’s unit, because they correctly sense that remaining much longer within Moribund Manager’s purview will cause their careers to inexorably wither on the vine and expire.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Weekend Haiku

A poor box;
four or five pennies.
evening rain.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Master Blaster (Jammin)

Taking a step back in time, here is a recording of Stevie Wonder's Master Blaster (Jammin).

"From the park I hear rhythms, Marley's hot on the box."

Enjoy the reggae sound and happy Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tick off TV writers at your own peril

I always suspected that this kind of thing went on, but here now is proof in this WSJ article about the sweet revenge of TV writers.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Zoltan Mesko

He seems like a fairly colorful guy. As a Dolphin fan I will surely be happy to see him take the field multiple times when we play the Patriots. It will mean we have stopped them and are getting the ball back.

Monday, August 23, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. It was just a matter of time until management itself was outsourced or went electronic, so here is the electronic version.

MOTW: e-Manager

In the future staff will no longer have a physical manager on-site. Instead they will access e-Manager, a plethora of websites where they will log all the intricacies of their performance management cycle into pre-formatted web pages. They will then receive feedback from these cyber entities at an unspecified future date via automated emails based on algorithms no one understands.

Recourse will be addressed through a telephone hotline. When dialed an IVR answers and routes frustrated callers through a complex menu system to standardized automated solutions recorded in the voice of Boris Karloff. Any attempts to speak with an actual human are immediately banished to the “All our representatives are busy serving other customers, please hold” netherworld. This wasteland sentences the unfortunate caller to a repetitive Muzak rendition of Barry Manilow’s Copacabana until death results either from cranial implosion or sheer disgust, whichever comes first. This ensures that all complaints are solved via the initial call to the hotline, a statistic Senior Management tracks religiously.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Awake at night-
the sound of the water jar
cracking in the cold.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Time to jam with a little world sound. Here is N'Dini from Nickodemus. Enjoy and happy Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A four second lesson

Well, not quite, but here is a trick from the deceased Alexis Bespaloff, ex-wine columnist for New York magazine and also the author of numerous wine books, most notably the “Signet Book of Wine,” to cool down a too warm glass of wine.

Monday, August 16, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is memorable in one's career by the void he/she created.

MOTW: Silent Manager

Constantly withholds information. Never speaks, only stares. Makes one doubt whatever one has previously said. Leaves one wondering about one’s self-worth.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Wading through it
her feet muddied
the spring current.

Buson (1716-1783)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Lettie Teague of the WSJ meets with Peter Gago, head winemaker at the Australian winery and samples some of his wines, including Penfolds' flagship offering, Grange.

Monday, August 9, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Sigh, what can we say about this next manager except that we ran into too many of them in our career.

MOTW: Evil Manager

Sporting a lot of dark clothing, Evil Manager makes Darth Vader seem like one of Jim Henson’s innocuous Muppets by comparison. This manager is in place to do as much damage as humanly possible to as many people as possible.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The cuckoo sings
to me, to the mountain,
to me, to the mountain.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Save the Population

History's so strong... A recording of the Red Hot Chili Peppers Save the Population. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Revenge can be very sweet sometimes

Granted, France imploded at the World Cup with their participation becoming a global fiasco, but the Irish still wonder what could have been.

Monday, August 2, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means.Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is either incredibly naive or insincere. Either way, it is not a good thing.

MOTW: Over-Praising Manager

Heaps praise on everyone ALL the time regardless of results, rendering said praise meaningless. Is big on handing out trinkets and cards with cloying messages. Begins most conversations with phrases like:

“Great Job D. You’re the best. Keep it up!”

“Excellent work X. You’re an asset to this company! We’re lucky to have you.”

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Misty grasses,
quiet waters,
it's evening.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, July 30, 2010


The video of Utopia's Crybaby. It's a pretty cheesy video, but the song rocks. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Incredible Ultimate score

It's not Disc Golf, but its cousin Ultimate Frisbee. Watch this incredible catch, resulting in a score. It is unbelievable!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A new sport

Not really...but it is a variation on two sports already out there. Here is a video about a man, Paul Melnyk, who practices the sport of "Skishing." If you want to read more about it, here is the article which accompanied the video.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Arguing with your significant other...

May actually be good for the relationship. According to this article in the WSJ, it's all about how you fight. If you argue a certain way, the article says this will not hurt your relationship long term and may even strengthen it. Would that it were true.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager appears at all levels within the corporate hierarchy. The higher up in the food chain they are the more they tend to behave in this fashion.

MOTW: Needy Manager

This manager needs a minimum retinue of two underlings in constant attendance for reassurance purposes. Without these supporting sycophants Needy Manager questions his/her importance and becomes cranky and vindictive. Activities within the scope of this 24/7 accompaniment include but are not limited to, going to breakfast, lunch and dinner, attending meetings, sitting side by side in the airplane on business trips, sightseeing and shopping in foreign cities and even attending religious services together, regardless of the staff member’s faith.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Weekend Haiku

A bee
staggers out
of the peony.

Basho (1644-1694)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Meanwhile Rick James

A recording of Cake's Meanwhile Rick James. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Rules to drink by

Perhaps the article should be titled rules to pair wines by instead, because that is really what it is about. Will Lyons talks about the "rules" of pairing wines and also delves into temperature. One observation I have is that in general we tend to serve our reds too warm and our whites too cold in this country.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cat People ("Putting out Fire")

Here is the extended mix of the Giorgio Moroder/David Bowie collaboration. From the remake of the movie Cat People ("Putting out Fire"), this tune has had a resurgence because of Quentin Tarantino's use of it in his movie Inglorious Basterds. And what a perfect use it was. If you haven't seen it rent the movie.

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. Because of his her circumstances this next manager never quite becomes part of the team in employees' eyes. Thus he/she never garners the complete respect of the team. This leads to many complications in the work environment causing the manager to retreat even more to his/her domain.

MOTW: Commuter Manager

This manager refuses to relocate to the area for personal reasons. Because of this Commuter Manager has worked out a deal whereby he/she flies in every week from some far off place to work and returns home each weekend at company expense. In essence he/she is only in the office three days a week as most of Monday is spent arriving and Friday departing, but he/she expects the staff to put in long hours five days a week and on the weekend if necessary. It does not take long for staff members to revile Commuter Manager for the poor leadership example as well as the expenses he/she piles up due to travel and lodging, which as all staff members realize, takes away already scarce budget dollars from their merit increase and bonus pool.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Summer night-
even the stars
are whispering to each other.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Too Shall Pass

OK Go's This Too Shall Pass. Check out the Rube Goldberg machine sequence. It is outstanding. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

One of Spain's better exports...

Besides the obvious victorious side at the World Cup, is paella. I just love it. Here the author pairs it up with an excellent Bordeaux and just the thought of it is enough to make my mouth water.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Deadliest Catch

One writer's attempt to explain the appeal of the show and why over four million loyal viewers are transfixed by the program.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now that is stress free parking

Check out this amazing parking system in downtown Budapest. The WOHR Multiparker 730 makes parking a snap.

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager is not a shark, but swims with them and not in a good way.

MOTW: Parasite Manager

Like a remora, this manager clings to any bigger, shark-like manager and survives by cleaning up said manager’s messes and nourishing himself/herself off of that manager’s scraps. Parasite Manager’s career follows the path of his/her host regardless of whether the end state is good or bad.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Clear water-
a tiny crab
crawling up my leg.

Basho (1644-1694)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Spain vs. Germany preview

ESPN's Jeff Carlisle previews what he thinks will happen in today's other semi-final of the World Cup. I wish this tournament either lasted longer or happened more often than once every four years. There is something so pure and wonderful about the best players in the world suiting up for their country and giving it their all. It is a pleasure to watch. Regardless of what happens today it will be an all Europe final.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Two guys still in the Cup

A look at two gentlemen still playing in the World Cup. They are not the likes of Rooney, Messi, Kaka or Cristiano Ronaldo, but then again, none of those guys are still playing. One of those featured here will not play in the cup again after today.

Monday, June 28, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. While most of us use work as an excuse to get out of jury duty, this next manager will not. Enough said.

MOTW: Do Good Activist Manager

A bundle of energy, Do Good Activist Manager is constantly giving inspirational speeches and urging his/her staff to donate blood, vote, give to charities and anything else that relates to community service. These priorities tend to shift focus away from the actual work that needs to be done, but Do Good Activist Manager’s theory is that by doing these things the staff will feel fulfilled, thus creating a healthy working environment. There is nothing better than a good corporate citizen in Do Good Activist Manager’s book and nothing excites him/her more than a summons for jury duty.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The winter sun-
on the horse's back
my frozen shadow.

Basho (1644-1694)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. This next manager makes mountains out of molehills on a regular basis and causes much anxiety to the members of the team.

MOTW: Brouhaha Manager

This manager blows every single minimal detail into a full-blown crisis, regardless of whether it matters or not within the overall scheme of things. Brouhaha Manager thrives on chaos and hyperbole. Controversy follows this manager wherever he/she goes and giving this manager a wide berth is highly recommended. Aspirin is also recommended as working for Brouhaha Manager can result in suffering debilitating headaches with regularity.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Weekend Haiku

Morning breeze
the caterpillar's hair.

Buson (1716-1783)

Friday, June 18, 2010


Destroyer from The Kinks. Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

World Cup calendar

Here is the best World Cup calendar I have found to date. It is brilliantly organized.

No one is immune...

The Jersey City offices of Goldman Sachs have been treated for, of all things, bedbugs. How they got there no one knows, but I think these pests are not the only things keeping Goldman executives up at night.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Is there a parallel universe?

Where the real game was played? Actually no. It really happened. European minnow Switzerland beat European giant Spain 1-0 in the World Cup today. While I think Spain is a great team, fully loaded with stellar players, the World cup stage has always loomed a bit large for them. We will see if they regroup to move in the right direction for the rest of the tournament after this setback.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

World Cup coverage

The Wall Street Journal's coverage site of the tournament here.

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's Monday

And we all know what that means. Time for another MOTW, Manager of the Week. There was a company, I can't remember which one, that had as an advertising slogan, "The relentless pursuit of perfection." Now that is great as a campaign pitch, but do you really want that in your manager? We have all probably run into this next manager and have different battle scars to show for it.

MOTW: Nitpicky Manager

This manager takes your magnum opus, the report you have slaved and agonized over for weeks and hones in on the one typo within the three hundred pages of perfection you have produced. He/she will highlight it with a red pen and send the entire report back to you for review. This cycle will occur over and over again until finally one day you know it has been accepted when you never hear about the report from your manager, or anyone else for that matter, again.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Weekend Haiku

The fat priest-
edging out
while he reads the last prayer.

Issa (1763-1827)

Friday, June 11, 2010


Muse plays Uprising live. They just sound great live! Enjoy and happy Friday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To decant or not to decant

If you have ever been in a nice restaurant, ordered an older wine and when the waiter brings it asks whether you would like it decanted. What do you say? In this very short article the duo at the WSJ give some hints around this question.