Monday, June 30, 2008

Thank You Note Bankruptcy…

I’ve heard people declare email bankruptcy, but I wonder if anyone has declared “thank you note bankruptcy?”

It’s been 3 months since Gianni’s simchat bat and there are still items which we haven’t even opened.

Part of me lives in a denial state of “if we haven’t opened it, we don’t have to write a thank you note for it.”

It’s not that we don’t appreciate the gifts (though the whole institution can be questioned), but with 3 kids, it’s an activity that keeps getting pushed down the priority scale.

I’ve had people tell me that for 3rd or 4th kids, they just make a phone call  (more environmentally friendly anyway, I suppose) and gift-givers should understand.

So, I guess there’s a sliding degree of difficulty scale for gifts. Newlyweds must respond, people with 6 or 7 kids: you write the  note for them.

If we haven’t written to you yet, apologies. Seriously.

And while I am on the topic of gifts, I’ll return to my usual rant questioning the whole practice.

Got an email the other day from a future guest saying:

“We  know we can’t bring anything per the NFO, but wanted to ask you directly what is permissible.”

So, then I was in the position of sending him the list of acceptable gift items. It felt a bit childish.

Upon further reflection, I realized I have an ongoing/evolving bridal registry. Given my utilitarian outlook, I suppose this is logical.

Since when we go to weddings, I either give cash or buy something off the registry.

Now, back to the original topic: is thank you  note bankruptcy an option or am I just being ungrateful?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Football by any other name…

Long time blog readers know that there is a steadfast rule in my house that the kids can only eat in the den if we are watching football.

This builds the excitement and appreciation for my favorite sport.

Well, having lived in Europe for a year, I did develop an appreciation for “the beautiful game” (aka soccer) and was looking forward to watching the Euro 2008 Champioships today.

After swim lessons, visiting with our aunt, a birthday party, and taking 2 kids to Home Depot, I didn’t feel like I had ignored the kids.

Bottom line, if you ask Tonka (and possibly Paco): “what do they call soccer in other countries?” you will get the correct answer.

Hence, we were able to enjoy popsicles and snacks while watching Spain defeat Germany, 1-0.

Upcoming Road Trip to Michigan…

If you’ll be in Chicago on July 10th, feel free to join us.

Here’s the invite that went out to FOJ-Chicago.

I know this is crazy, but here’s the deal. I’ve been to 45 states (see The Drive for 45....) and one of the 5 remaining is: Michigan.

So, I am inviting you on a round-trip road-trip to Michigan, so I can knock down my 46th state.

Benefit to you

  1. Hang out with me (ok, not so good)
  2. Meet/hang out with other cool Chicago folks (could be fun)
  3. I’m buying drinks in Michigan (and will be designated driver!)
  4. This is the kind of old school, college stuff that you just don’t do that often…and you’ll remember it for the rest of your life (see: Remember (the) Maine...)

So, are you in?

Friday, June 27, 2008

unique gift

the bizarre and demanding gift system that we have in place is well documented.

today, we have a new entrant to the hall of fame

kudos to the lowenstein family for a fire extinguisher.

Posted by ShoZu

Three Rings of Death…

You know the infamous Microsoft “Blue Screen of Death,” right?

Well, the Xbox 360 adds to that lexicon with the ignominious 3 rings of death.

I had heard of the unusually high defect rates for the Xbox 360 console, but, like anyone said: ‘that’s the kind of thing that only happens to other people.”


We got hit.

And, of course, I was out of warranty…or was I?

To Microsoft’s credit, they are extending warranty for 3 years from date of purchase and fixing/shipping free of charge.

No wonder they took a 1 billion dollar hit. Oops, I mean, we (I am a shareholder, full disclosure).

Worse news than not having my Xbox 360 (which doubles as my DVR) for 3 weeks.

An irritated NFO who won’t get to watch (whenever she wants) “So you think you can dance?!”

Not good for me.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Movie: Fantastic Four

See, I can geek it out at the movies as well. Fantastic Four is light and mildly entertaining. I do remember the comic, a bit, but in hindsight, probably not the best use of my time.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Remarkable Presentation Description…version 1

I’ve got a presentation that I’ve given a few times now (really more of an interactive discussion) on Word-of-Mouth and Social Media. 

A few requests have come in from various groups to present at their meetings (4, in fact).

Since I’m in perpetual beta, I just put together the first draft of the presentation/discussion write-up.

What do you think? Is it remarkable?

Marketing Survival Strategies for the Attention(less) Economy

One of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century, Herbert Simon, remarked that “a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

Simon succinctly wraps up the challenges facing marketers in the Internet era. Inundated by information and media from all sides, prospects and clients continue to tune out and ignore traditional marketing tactics and message.

Firms of all sizes (with clients of all sizes) struggle with the central question:

How do we effectively cut through the all the noise to establish authentic dialogue and relationships and… make money?

Join Jeremy Epstein, a “Marketing Navigator for the Attention Economy,” as we spend 2 hours in a lively, interactive (and remarkable!) presentation that will:

  1. help you understand the fundamental macro-societal shifts impacting marketers
  2. provide guidelines for how to thrive as a marketer in the new environment
  3. share the ground rules for the new marketing
  4. educate you on the key concepts of using Social Media as a marketing channel
  5. offer suggestions on the first steps on the road to a Word-of-Mouth/Social Media marketing strategy

Bio: Over the course of an almost 6 year career at Microsoft, Jeremy implemented numerous scalable community building (and revenue generating) programs. His efforts were recognized more than once as US-wide best practices and he authored one of Microsoft’s most successful marketing blogs with over 110,000 views per month.

Since leaving Microsoft and “hanging out the shingle,” he has signed contracts with multiple clients including Johnson & Johnson and NYT best-selling author, Dan Pink.

A passionate technologist, Jeremy prides himself as early adopter with email (1991), a personal home page (1992), and blogging (2000). His career highlights includes a start-up with his brother (SilentFrog) and award-winning interactive marketing in Tokyo.

You can read his blog (and more) at or find him on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Plaxo (among others)

Guess the Gene…

Paco is permitted to use a pacifier only at night, when he is sleeping. He also knows that when he turns 3, the pacifier era is coming to an end.

Sometimes, when he is really tired and cranky, he will put it in and walk around with it.

I’ll see it, give him a look and he’ll take it out of his mouth.

The other day, he comes downstairs with the pacifier in his mouth.

I give him the look and say, “give it to me, please.”

He puts it in one hand and looks at me as if “who me? I don’t have a pacifier.”

“Let me see your hand…”

He raises his left hand.

“Your other hand.”

He lowers his left, moves the pacifier into it, and raises his right hand.

“Both hands please.”

He puts the pacifier at his waist, leans against the couch (pressing it and hiding it) and raises both hands up in the air…and smiles.

“I’m on to you, man! You can’t trick me!”

…and we both start laughing.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Movie: F**k

I admit it. I watched the documentary F**k because of the title. It was intriguing and it is the most versatile word in the English language!

The film started off with some promise. A real debate on the importance of language in society, how it evolves, people’s perceptions of it, etc.

But, over the 93 minutes, I felt that it kind of devolved into a cultural war piece making liberals look good and conservatives look dumb. 

I don’t care if you disagree with Bush and the religious right, but the ad hominem attacks, to me, they have no place (as they have none in the other direction, either).

At 45/50 minutes into it, I started wondering whether I should turn it off. I stuck with it, mostly because I was working out and didn’t have another DVD available at the moment (and didn’t want to break stride), but came away disappointed.

Too much sensationalism, pandering, and barbs, not enough content. Plus, I still haven’t figured out (and this goes well beyond this movie): why, if you are a successful actor, does that make you an authority on anything?

While a slight over generalization, the “left” was populated by the likes of Drew Carey, Jeanenne Garafolo, 2 porn stars, the lead singer in a grunge/heavy metal band, and some comedians. The “right” had 2 intellectuals (Alan Keyes and Dennis Prager), Judith Martin (aka Miss Manners) and a radio talk show host (Michael Medved).

Plus, I realized how much my views had changed on things now that I’m a parent.

My rec: don’t waste your time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Nascar Backlash?

Will there ever be a eco-movement uprising against Nascar?

After watching Inconvenient Truth, my sensitivities are heightened. Talk about a sport that, at its core, is about raw consumption of non-renewable resources. 

Honestly, made me a bit sick.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entrepreneurs against Obama....

As a newly minted entrepreneur, here's an explanation of why Obama's tax plan hurts me....and the essence of what drives this country.

Lindsey on Obamanomics

Movie: No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men is one of the most brutal movies I’ve ever seen. It’s intense and not for the faint of heart. Bardem certainly is “the ultimate badass,” and yes, I get why this movie won Best Picture.


The NFO originally had said “You can start watching it while I’m on the treadmill (same room).”

I’m glad she didn’t. She wouldn’t have made it past the first 5 minutes.

Coming economic challenges?

Don't know about you, but the way I think of the 70s is of a pretty dreary, bleak time in American economic history.

My brother and I, ever the entrepreneurs, were out selling donuts and orange juice to folks waiting in the gas lines.

Since then, we haven't had an era of "stagflation."

Just read an article in Inc. that we may be headed for that, part of the natural economic cycle, I suppose.

Was chatting with a friend of ours the other day and said, "next summer we'll look back at $4/gallon gas with fond memories, since it'll be higher."

"Don't say that," he implored, wishing I was wrong.

"I hope I am wrong too," but "hope for the best, plan for the worst."

I'm an optimist by nature, but Gen X may need to, for the first time as adults, buckle down.

Something to seriously think about.

Coming through in the clutch...

Was listening to sports radio the other day and the announcer said that one of the measures of greatness (Tiger Woods was the impetus I believe) was his/her ability to "perform in the clutch."

It's one thing to be "Mr. May." It's another thing to be "Mr. October" (or November, these days).

The challege for any athlete (or any professional) is to not let the pressure of the situation affect you.

This week I have two great opportunities to build out my business. I am excited. Also, a bit nervous.

I know, however, that if I tense up and don't deliver an experience that is consistent with the "Jer979 brand" that my odds of success are lower. I just need to be me and to relax.

The flip side, however, is that I know that a lot could be potentially riding on this.  All the way from my next contract to the ability to feed my family.

That's some pressure.

Now is the time to show some of Tiger's mental toughness and not let the situation surrounding the opportunity affect the way that I perform.

If I do my thing, the way I do it, it'll be great.

Clutch time, baby!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Euro 2008 and Soccer, er Football

Back in 1996, when I lived in Germany, my friends invited me to a party to watch part of the European Championships that were underway.

My response, typical American, was, “so boring, not interested.”

But, in the interest of improving my German language skills, I went.

Over time, I started to develop an appreciation for the sport. Really liked it.

By the time the tournament was under way, I was going to my friends:

“Hey guys, Portugal is playing Denmark. We have to go!”

Didn’t hurt that Germany won that year and I went to the victory parade in downtown Frankfurt.

In 2002, I woke up at 2am to watch some games from Korea and my brothers joined me to watch the semi-finals of the 2006 World Cup at my house.

One of the benefits of working at home, I suppose, but I’ve enjoyed watching some of the games this week. On now, Turkey vs. Croatia!

One of those legacies of my years abroad, I suppose.

Thank goodness for ESPN.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Dad Delivered A "Major Kick Ass"...62 years ago

I'm on a con call right now with all of my siblings, my dad, and my mom celebrating his 73rd birthday.

Joining us are Tommy Bailey and Jerry Cline, both of whom went to elementary school and High School with my dad in San Antonio, TX in the 40s/50s.

My dad isn't known as a man who uses physical force, but growing up, we heard a story that has become family legend.

In 5th or 6th grade, a Jewish kid had moved down to Texas from New York and was getting picked on by the schoolyard bully.

Apparently, the kid was the perfect target because he came to school (in Texas) wearing a tie and glasses.

And, the story went that my dad felt pity for the wimpy, nerdy New York kid, confronted the bully, and put a stop to his harassment of the new kid.

As kids, we were thrilled and excited by the idea of our dad as a "tough guy" and executor of some Wild West vigilante justice.

Tommy and Jerry are, to his knowledge, the only witnesses my dad knows of who remember the event.

So, tonight, my Dad asked  Tommy and Jerry to join us on a con call (using to describe  the "altercation" as they are calling it.

Tommy, a retired Fire Chief, from San Antonio, joined us from the beach at Port Aransas, TX and summed it up:

"Kids, I want you to know that everybody liked your father, Dave.

And, there was no doubt about who won the "altercation.”

Your dad delivered a major kick ass!"

Jerry added some color commentary on the call, describing the bully as "very big" and "very mean."

We don't know how the bully’s life turned out as a result of his humiliating defeat at the hands of my dad, but we do know that, as Tommy said, "He ran away from the 'altercation' as quickly as he could and your dad never had to deal with him again."

Old school smackdown! Good  job and Happy Birthday, Dad!

We would love you even if you didn't dispense some julstice 'Texas style, but it's pretty cool that you did.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

We must be doing something right...

Tonka was about to leave for a birthday party and said, "I want a snack."

"You're about to go to a party and you'll eat there," I said.

"I know," she said, "but I want something healthy now, since I'll probably eat a lot of junk there!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Movie: The Illusionist

Edward Norton is just such a great actor and a fun guy to watch. The Illusionist is set in turn of the (last) century, Vienna, and Paul Giamatti also puts in a fantastic performance.

GREAT storyline and plot twists, good intrigue, cool special effects.

Definitely recommend this one. Hat tip to my dad for suggesting it.

No Water...

image Two weeks ago, no electricity. This week, no water.

Apparently, a water main broke and, even though it is repaired, for those in the red area on the map (the most populous county in Maryland), we all need to boil our water for drinking, etc. for another 2 days.

It's not easy.

Since I'm a Disaster Recovery/Emergency Preparedness maniac, we've got a fair amount of bottled water on hand, but still, you get an appreciation for the utilities of modern life.

Plus, it makes you think...what would happen if something really bad happened to our water supply?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Movie: Hill Halfon Doesn't Answer

I picked one movie from the roster of the DC Jewish  Film Festival-Building the Fan Base... and it was Hill "Halfon" Doesn't Answer.

I first visited Israel in 1979 and this movie is based in 1978, roughly, so it gave me a nice "throwback" perspective.

A bit slow at times, but authentically Israeli in its dialogue, the slapstick comedy of sorts is good for a few laughs. Not rip-roaring, but if you want to see Israel before things really took off (and an insight into the still-existent Israeli mentality), this is worth 90 minutes.

3 stars.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hey, Sports Fans…

Has there ever been a year where the three major sports teams from a given city made the finals, as Boston teams have done this year?

Steps Toward Independence…

Most of parenthood is a blur of diapers, cleaning, and running around.

Every now and then, however, you realize that your kids are growing up.

Appropriately enough for Father’s Day, I took Tonka and Paco to their first swimming lessons of the season this morning.

Paco, for the first time ever.

Tonka, without any parent accompanying her.

They both did great…and I took a deep breath, if only for a second, and appreciated the slight push I gave them towards standing on their own two feet (or swimming on their own as the case may be).

My perspective hasn’t changed since last year, just gotten deeper.

RIP: Charlie Jones- 979 began with him

The announcer who made the famous “979” call (click here to watch and hear it) at the 1988 Olympics has died.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Toilet Seat Up! A 4 year old speaks...

My 4.5 year old daughter just yelled at me saying "why do you and Paco leave the toilet seat up? I don't like when you do that. I don't like having to put it down!!"

No one, as far as I know, has ever said a word about this phenomenon to her before. Is it genetic?

Now playing: Steel Pulse - Chant a Psalm
via FoxyTunes

gianni's progress

She rolled over last night and slept from 10-6 for the last two.

Liking the path

WD-40: the gift that keeps on giving...

I've touched more than once on our strategy for inviting people months in advance for Sabbath meals.

Some like it, some don't.

One element that is challenging, for some, is the "no gifts" (or 'restricted gifts') policy.

Well, the other day, about one year after I received a can of WD-40 from the Lustman family, I had occasion to use it.

It solved a big problem.

And I thought of them.

Appreciated their foresight.

And fondly remembered our meal together.

How's that for a gift that keeps on giving?

McCain: hitting me where it hurts...

It's not enough to swing my vote, but this one really got me where I live.

I mean, it's not like the Internet is fundamentally altering every single aspect of how we live, is it?

HT to my bro, Barak for this one.

Now playing: Steel Pulse - Chant a Psalm
via FoxyTunes

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Synthroid: Changing the Habit

When I first started taking Synthroid, my endocrinologist told me: "just take it at the same time every day."

For whatever reason, I noticed the other day that the prescription on the bottle read:

"Take every morning on an empty stomach and wait 30 minutes before eating."


So, I switched it up.  We'll see how if it makes a difference.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Costco and my Toilet…

I read an article last week about how good oral hygiene can lead to better general health in the Costco Connection magazine.

I dutifully forwarded it to a contact at JNJ on the Listerine team.

That motivated me to go use the Listerine in my basement bathroom.

When I got in there, I heard some gurgling in the shower and toilet drain from the running water in the kitchen above.

I’d heard that before and knew that it meant the drain was starting to get clogged up and it was only a matter of time before I’d have a mini flood in my basement.

I tried to snake the drain and the toilet, no success.

Debated calling a plumber, but two things hit me

  1. I didn’t feel like dropping $300 just yet
  2. The spirit of Poppy, ever the handyman arose within me.

The longer you own your home, at least for me, the more likely you are to try it out yourself. Even if I mess it up, I’ll end up calling the plumber…and I will have learned something.

I began to dismantle the toilet.

The NFO was not in favor of this idea. She said, “call the plumber and just watch him.”

I heard the “watch him” part and found a video on YouTube from Home Depot on toilet replacement.

I watched it.

Glad I did, because I discovered I need a wax ring to replace, which I’ll have to get tomorrow.

So, game plan.

  1. get wax ring/Drano at Target, wherever
  2. remove toilet
  3. snake toilet
  4. pour down some Drano
  5. test

If it works, great. If not, oh well.

This reminds me…I really need to use the Listerine. My friend calls this “peeling back the layers of the onion.”

You start at one point, and next thing you know you are 6 steps away.

Wish me luck.

Mini Milestones...

  1. Gianni moved into a crib in her own room.
  2. Tonka graduating from nursery school.
  3. Paco throwing up (twice) in two days.

Inconvenient Truth and the Dem-GOP bridge...

I'm definitely feeling the powerful reverberations after watching Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth.

It came at a confluence of a few other items that heightened my awareness of the challenges around global warming.

In Scientific-American, I read Why Grassroots Initiatives Can't Fix Climate Change, which profoundly impacted me, particularly as a father:

Or think about it this way. Imagine you are living in the year 2108, and you are keenly aware that the political dislocations all around you were preventable catastrophes. Decades of turmoil caused by vast migrations of people who could not find enough food or clean drinking water; the crop-destroying volatility in the weather; the drying up of capital as investors withdraw whatever they can from unruly markets; the scourges of insects and disease set loose by the poleward advancement of the tropics—all of these are the legacy of your forebears who should have known better.

Wouldn’t you look back and shake your head at the feeble attempts at mitigation by the present age, the endless dithering over the reality of climate change, the head-in-the-sand policies that assumed addressing the problem could be put off for another day and that the future would be clever enough and rich enough to take care of itself?

Combine that with the powerful 20 minute (but well worth it) video of The Story of Stuff, showing how our consumption is digging us a hole from which we can't escape.

Put it all together and you are looking at a scenario where Surging Food Prices Mean Global Instability and where countries may have to engage in a Blood for Oil? or for food? foreign policy.

Not wanting this type of future for my kids, as Gianni sits here next to me, I am reflecting on the conversations I've recently had with some of my more liberal friends, challenging the Republicans for their lack of concern for environment/global warming. Fair, I might add.

What I realized is that there are different perceptions on the left and right about which pending disaster will get to us first.

The left thinks global warming.

The right thinks radical Islam.

Granted, the first destroys the earth and the second "only" Western Civilization, but I think we can agree that there are some good things to Western Civilization.

I wonder, then, if the opportunities for common ground, namely eliminating our dependence on (foreign and fossil) fuels in favor of cheaper, renewable energy are so great that the other differences can be put aside.

I'm not the first to realize this, of course, and you should take a look at Gal Luft's work at IAGS to see some areas of overlap, but is there enough folks who (for the most part) agree on these as core issues and don't care as much about secondary issues to create a true movement?

In some respect, as Jeff commented on the oil post previously (the most commented on post in Jer979 Blog history, btw), the best thing we can have right now to save the planet is $4/gallon (and rising) gas prices, since market forces will compel us to find other ways, but the "moral imperative" as Gore describes is there as well (full disclosure: I endorsed Gore in '88 when he ran for President; ok, I was a teenager, but still)

I know the steps/awareness is happening. Met with the folks at Discovery Channel the other day and they now have 100% recycled biz cards (they do feel a bit flimsy), but they are making a statement in another way. And it's consistent with their Planet Green efforts.

The question is: how much time do we have?

Monday, June 09, 2008

Another motivational poster...

Found another great Nike Ad while flipping through the scrapbook. See here for previous.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Buffer Guests…

Great lunch yesterday with two wonderful families in the area.

At one point, the conversation turned to how you deal with the fact that you sometimes feel “obliged” to invite/’re-pay"’ another family, even though you may not be so enthusiastic about spending time with them (or perhaps you’d prefer to spend your time with another family/friend).

To protect yourself against a not so good time, we all admitted to having a few “buffer families.”

They are those you can invite to help ensure that you will have a good time and buffer you against less than ideal guests/companions.

Come on, admit it…do you have “go-to” buffer guests or friends? ;-)

Think you can't be outsourced?

Bet many of my medical friends never thought they'd be hit by outsourcing...

Think again.

Great article on Medical Tourism and how it, more than any government plan, may lower health care costs for Americans. See, private markets do work, eh?

As I wrote, the world is flat, indeed.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Customer Service: What Would You Do?

I'll give kudos when it is deserved. I called the generator company and they had a guy here by 9am (call was at 7.30). It took a bit, but it's up and running, I'm online and the neighborhood is still out. That's good.

Of course, what I paid (a lot of money) for was to not have to think about it, to not have to call anyone, for the system to transition seamlessly. That didn't happen.

I don't pay for the generator to be operational when there's power, I pay for the 2-4 times/year when we are down for 3-12 hours.

And that failed me.

So, what should the company do?

There's an annual service charge of $150 (check parts, etc.) that I think could factor into the equation.

Based on suggestions here, I will approach the company (not naming names yet).

I feel better already...

New study shows the therapeutic value of blogging.


Our power went out and wouldn't you know it, my freakin' expensive generator didn't turn on!

If i don't get a response and i mean ASAP, there is going to be some seriously negative WOM (word of mouth).

I feel like a guy who was publically swindled and now everyone is in on the joke.

Go ahead, laugh.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How's business?

Folks often ask how things are going in the new venture.

Here's a brief update. I've moved in stages of anxiety.

Three weeks ago, I thought I was just an idiot for going out on my own.

Now, I KNOW the market demand is going to be there. I hear the sounds of it everywhere.

The question, now is, when will the dam burst?

And the sub-questions are:
  • can I hold on from a cash flow perspective until that moment?
  • can I scale up effectively to capture a large portion of that demand when it does appear?

If it's next month, I'm golden.

If it's in 2 years, I may have a problem.

A historic day

Congrats to obama

Politics aside, this really is a wonderful milestone in US history. Another thing that makes this country great.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Movie: Munich

There was a fair amount of controversy around Munich when it came out. The allegation was that Spielberg was creating moral relativism between the Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli response.

Usually, I just watch the movie and forgo the DVD Extras, but this time I watched Spielberg's intro, which I thought was good and fair. His analysis: "I'm not making judgments here. I'm filling in a story that has indisputable facts within it and offering a human side..."

It didn't sit with me the wrong way.

Perhaps because I am biased already, I wasn't persuaded that the movie equated the actions of the two. I think it showed the difficult position of the Israeli response and the need to be measured in certain circumstances.

For me, the movie was very powerful and emotional.

I remembered the day back in 1994 (I think it was the first or second day I was in Germany during the summer after my junior year) and I went out to the Munich Olympic Village to track down the memorial (yes, that's what I looked like 14 years ago!).

The athletes village is now housing for regular German folks and the memorial wasn't that easy to find, plus it's not that big, as you can see.

Anyway, the thought of the 11 athletes who were murdered was with me that day and while watching the movie and I shuddered at how much and how little progress has been made since.

In mixing two movies that shouldn't be mixed, I kept thinking of a line from Knocked Up, where the guy says:

"Munich? I loved Munich! It's about time where we had a movie where the
Jews go around capping other guys. Usually, we're the ones who get capped."

Monday, June 02, 2008

FOJ Community Celebration...

One of the FOJ fan favorites (Tjada) is getting married. Check out her wedding page

Now playing: Steel Pulse - Chant a Psalm
via FoxyTunes

Gianni's Theme Song...

With a call out to Roee Ruttenberg, the first of my kids to have her own theme song.

Sing it..."we're Giannin"

Now playing: Bob Marley - Jammin'
via FoxyTunes

Talking myself out of a job...

Had a great job interview the other day. The team was awesome, the platform for career growth was tremendous, the name recognition would have been huge...

But I talked myself out of it...during the interviews, no less.

The culture requires that folks be in the office from 9-6 each workday (or most).

I get that and see why it is critical, but I couldn't see myself doing it.

It would have required a 7am wakeup, a 7.45am departure and a 7pm-ish return.

I made a potentially career-limiting decision.

I told them I didn't think I could do it.

My kids are only young once.

Even if I take 20 minutes to go get Paco or Tonka from school....Or give the NFO a break by holding Gianni, for me, right now, that's where I want to be.

The technology I love so much enables it, so I may as well do it.

I may look back at this decision later and regret it.

Doubt it.

Have you made similar choices?

Sunday, June 01, 2008

A movie about a font...and more

Ever have one of those moments when you hear about something for the first time...and then hear about it again from a few different sources really quickly?

I was reading Garr Reynolds' review of "Helvetica" a few weeks ago and decided it was worth it to add to my queue.

The next day, my dad told me had seen it. Then, a friend mentioned she had seen it.

You'd think that a movie about a font, er, typeface wouldn't be that exciting...well, you'd be wrong.

Encouraged by my client, Dan Pink's, 2nd book, my pursuit of right-brain development is in full swing, so understanding how a typeface makes an impact on its audience isn't so ridiculous.

The best line:

"Even though a typeface is legible, doesn't mean it communicates."

When you dig down into a detailed world such as typefaces and appreciate how they are omnipresent...and how they influence your reaction (or don't), it's really enriching.

Still not clear on the difference between Serif and Sans Serif (though I suppose a quick Wikipedia search will solve that...and yes, I know what 'sans' means!)