Archive for November, 2005

30 November, 2005

Princess Leia
You scored 87% airiness, 100% squishiness, and 89% edginess!

According to our patented JawamaticTM technology, you are most like Princess Leia Organa in personality.

Leia is an idealist and diplomat. She's a person who can easily navigate through the world of communal values and human potentialities, using common ground to create a solid foundation upon which strong relationships can be built. Leia is grounded, empathic, and well-prepared.

Princess Leia is a catalyst for real, meaningful change in the world.

(The polar opposite of Princess Leia Organa is Han Solo.)

The eight profiles are as follows:

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:

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You scored higher than 90% on airiness
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You scored higher than 99% on squishiness
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You scored higher than 99% on edginess

Link: The Star Wars Personality Test written by MiguelSanchez on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Brand Spankin' Stupid
29 November, 2005

I worked at a software company during the dot-bomb days. The marketeers blathered incessantly about “the brand”. “We must establish the brand”, “We must protect the brand”, “The brand is our leader”… It appears that the modern marketeer still has not learned that a strong brand with positive associations is not a thing in and of itself, but rather the effect of having a great product or service.

First case in point: Kyocera. When we renewed our mobile service with Verizon Wireless, they exchanged our existing phones with the Kyocera KX414. I hate this phone. The damn thing only works about half the time. The other half the time it either does not respond at all to the keys or acts like it is placing a call but really does nothing. I have to cycle power or remove and replace the battery to get the damn thing to work, just like a Windows box.

I saw a commercial recently from Kyocera that tried to convince the viewer that Kyocera produced the best printers. (It appeared from the URL at the end that Kyocera had purchased a pre-existing printer company, Mita. assures me that Kyocera is a giant company that has diversified into many markets.) Yet I will never buy a Kyocera printer. Why? Because the Kyocera KX414 is such a piece of crap. If Kyocera really wanted to ensure a strong brand, they should have never released the crappy mobile phones from their Qualcomm acquisition.

Second case in point: Sony BMG. Several years ago Sony BMG released a Celine Dion CD (in Europe but not North America, I think) that contain a copy-protection scheme that had nasty side-effects on the customers' computers. Now Sony BMG embeds a rootkit on millions of CDs. A president of Sony BMG says “We're very, very sorry for the disruption and inconvenience that this has caused to music consumers”. Given the slow response from Sony BMG, their customers do not appear to be a priority.

Many are calling for a boycott of Sony BMG and I shall not purchase a Sony BMG CD again. Even though my Macs are not susceptible to this particular rootkit exploit, I will not do business with companies that try to surreptitiously install software on their customers' computers. If Sony BMG really wanted to ensure a strong brand, they should have never released the CDs containing rootkits that invisibly install themselves.

Third case in point: iPod. The iPod is such a strong brand that it has become a genericized trademark for not only portable digital music players but well-designed products. Apple ensured a strong brand because they released a phenomenal product.

It is that simple, Junior Marketeers: the best way to a strong brand is a strong product. Or put another way: crappy products never have strong brands.

28 November, 2005

The good news is that the fuse in the power adapter for the IOGear MicroHub GUH174 works. The bad news is that the power adapter for the IOGear MicroHub GUH174 appears to self-destruct when plugged into 120 V AC.

Lego Luke & Lorelai
27 November, 2005

As part of the effort to build Stars Hollow out of Lego, I built Luke & Lorelai first. Of course, while posing the mini figures for their photo shoot, I couldn't resist the temptation to put them in a pose too naughty for the FCC. Here are images and icons thereof.

Images of which the FCC would approve

Images of which the FCC would most definitely not approve

It Shall Be Mine
27 November, 2005

For Christmas we brought out my Load 'N Haul Railroad. I have enough track (although I want more!) to circle the tree when we get it, but two small children and one small dog make a floor application untenable. While brainstorming about what accoutrements should be added to the display, I had a lightbulb moment: we should construct Stars Hollow.

Luke, Lorelai, the reenactors. We'll have them all! Mwa-ha-ha-ha!

Wax Off
25 November, 2005

Rest in peace, Mr. Miyagi.

23 November, 2005

A Area Code You Are In Right Now: 503
B Birthday: A Wednesday
C Current Crush: Daria O'Neill
D Favorite Drink: Gatorade
E Eating Currently: Nothing
F Favorite Food: In-N-Out Double Double
G Who Do You Go To For Advice: One of my yogis
H Happy or Sad: Happy
I I think: Ergo sum
J Job: Geek
K Any Kids: The best two
L I Love: To laugh
M Favorite Movie: According to my IMDB vote history:  Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, Bionicle: Mask of Light, Finding Nemo, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, Lilo & Stitch, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Musa, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Princess Bride, The Private Eyes, Shanghai Noon, Shichinin no samurai, Sleepless in Seattle, To Wong Foo Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, The Usual Suspects, Ying xiong
N Your Phone Number: Still works
O Over or Under: It's a push
P Favorite Perfume or Cologne: (cough) (cough) None (sneeze)
Q A Little Quirk About Yourself: I only use prime numbers as times for microwaves
R Last Road Trip: Spring Break trip to see the flora and fauna of Cascadia
S Tell Us One Secret: The combination to the safe is 1-2-3-4-5
T Favorite TV Show: Currently, Gilmore Girls
U Color of your Underwear: Underwear?
V Last Time You Were in Vegas: May 2003
W Wishful Thinking: That I'll have more time to write
X X-Rays Taken This Year: Zilch
Y Your Favorite Year of your Life: This one
Z Zodiac Sign: Earth Monkey

This Message Brought to You by Carlos Mencia
23 November, 2005

All of the lots, including ours, in the area were once part of a single, family farm. Over the years, the farm was parceled out to the children and their children. The matriarch still lived in her home on two acres. A few months ago she decided that, given her age and health, it would be best for her to move into an assisted-living home. The rest of the family wanted to keep the property in the family (even though they ignored all suggestions as to how to accomplish it) but sold the property to people who said they would remodel the house and sell it.

The morons…No. That is too weak. The dumb shits that bought the property are cutting down every tree, including the sequoias! They reason that the next buyer might want a pasture for animals. Might. Yes, and the next buyer might also want two acres of forest, you slack-witted turds. Dee-dee-dee! Just like with circumcision, it is easy to cut but impossible to uncut.

It is my understanding that lenders do not take kindly to logging the property for which one just borrowed hundreds of thousands of dollars since the lumber is part of the value of the property. Nonetheless, the neighbors, people affected by the logging in the short- and long-term, do not take kindly to the logging either.

A message to the clear-cutters: Do all of your logging, remodeling, and selling through agents because some neighbors (and, no, not just me) want a word with you and I can make no assurances that it shall not get ugly.

Get my Mind out of the Gutter
18 November, 2005

I heard this lyric a few days ago that went something like “remember what your knees are for”. By context I am sure the lyricist meant it as an exhortation toward prayer. But, given that the song is about a woman struggling to break into the music business, my mind instantly went a different (probably more common and possibly more efficacious) route.

Now I get a laugh whenever I hear it. To quote Austin Powers: Be-have!

Drake's Plate of Brass
16 November, 2005

By sheer coincidence (helped by my nigh-onto-compulsive browsing of Wikipedia) I happened upon the Drake's Plate of Brass hoax. One of the four researchers that eventually pieced together the puzzle is Edward von der Porten.

My aunt and uncle took an archaeology class from him in Santa Rosa. Two degress of separation. Who knew?