6.30.2007

Memory Device

"And I am on the switches and dragons."

6.29.2007

Ask Ty…June 29

Q: Hey, Ty! Did you get an iPhone (tm)?

- Various

Ty: Various, good question and an even better observation.

Nope. Why? I'm weening from mobile phone. I'm experiencing periods of blissful solitude away from Wiki, Google, and filthy porn (JK). I take walks without the iPod.

Great device, that iPhone, I bet. But, I'm up to here with devices. Fuck it. And, please, I really don't need another status accessory (I am me after all).

There is a life. If you have to have an iPhone, you're either a mope or just plain insecure (or a unhealthy combo of the two). Me? I'm cool where I am with wires up to my calves, guitars strewn about, and a computer with dial-up and a hand crank for power (the healthy combo of mopeness and insecurity).

Maybe I'm showing some reactance to the hype. Nothing personal, Apple, but I ain't your sucker no more. So, there you have it. I mean, could you really see me camping out to wait in a goddamn line? Please. That's just uncouth.

Just a guess. - Ty

Memory Device

"Don was off his hitches and wagons."

It' So True

People are the weakest link. Stick with me here.

I had heard that this sign existed. On interstate 270, lane one (the "fast" lane) is designated as the HOV lane (carpool lane, or as they say here, "High Occupancy Vehicle"). Whatever.

Southbound, heading toward D.C. and work for most people, the times the HOV lane is reserved (and subject to ticketing/points for violations) from 6:00 a.m. until 9:00.

Rush hour, right?

Northbound, heading home to the burbs for most people, the reserved/ticketed times are 3:30 through 6:30.

This sign - 6:00 - 9:00 a.m. - appears on the northbound (end of day) lane. It's a subtle thing. But, it's something to keep forever.

Oh, and it's kind of a hard thing to shoot. But, there it is; to keep forever.

6.28.2007

Phone?

"And this gets to why you should care about the iPhone even if you aren't buying one. Today everyone uses a Mac. Even if you've got a Windows PC at your desk, you're really sitting down to a computer based on an idea first offered to the public by Steve Jobs in 1984. The mouse, the menus, the windows -- they were all on Mac first, and they spread to those of us who didn't buy directly into Jobs' regime only because Apple's competitors saw the Mac's features as vital to their own success. Go out to any consumer electronics store now and you'll see the same dynamic playing out for music devices: Everything on the market looks and feels like the iPod and offers much the same features.

It could happen for phones, too. You may not buy an Apple, but it's possible your next cellphone will claim to be a fantastic "Internet communicator" and will offer a great way to surf the Web. If that happens, thank Apple."

- Farhad Manjoo

[clicky]

Gettin' Ralphed, Suckas!

"But like a lot of people I talk to, especially those contemplating a vote for Nader, I am also vexed by a nagging voice in my head, which keeps articulating two words over and over: Supreme Court. Supreme Court. Supreme Court."

Memo to Nader voters, Bruce Shapiro, Salon, Sept. 25, 2000

"Nader bristles at what he calls a "betrayal" by progressive Democrats who have turned on him -- particularly abortion rights leaders who have questioned his comments on abortion. They warn that a Bush win would lead to conservative Supreme Court justices reversing decisions like Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion rights.

Nader dismissed that argument, noting that many Democrats voted to confirm conservative justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court while he and other liberal activists opposed them -- "And now they've got the temerity to lecture me about the Supreme Court?"

Nader considers abortion a settled question, and that any GOP attempt to overturn Roe would be a political disaster. But the more pressure he gets to fold, the more defiant he gets.""

Defiant Nader ignores Democrats' fears in key states, Bob Franken, CNN, November 1, 2000
You decide, suckas.

6.27.2007

The Girl Sez: Thumb Up!


Must be for Taco Bar because the Phillies suck.

Chainy

Now!

The movie!

Only for those with keen patience!

[clicky]

See Dick smile!

Now!

[from BDW]

The War Against Terror

I heard someone use the word "twat" today.

How funny is that?

Dick Cheney

Jack

Can't stop listening to Icky Thump.

Barfin' Arfin

"Dads need to get over it and accept that their little buddy is a woman now and she's not going to tell him everything that happened at school or hang our with him all the time. Not for ten years anyway."
-Lesley Afrin, Dear Diary

6.26.2007

Merkley???

From Merkley??? via BDW:
I'm not a photographer.

Photographers carry around big cameras, big lights,
big flash contraptions and little meters, they talk
about film stock, ISO's, F stops and capturing the
perfect light right before dusk.

Photographers creep through neighborhoods of poor
people looking for interesting poverty related things
to "capture" in black and white or muted color.

Photographers spend lots of time in cramped dark rooms
with red lights and chemicals that smell like egg
farts.

Photographers get in heated exchanges about the
direction Leica is headed or that one camera maker
that sounds all german, hasselhoff?

Photographers have lots of lenses that they will tell
you about whether you ask them or not, like the one
that can see an ass hair on a mosquito or the
remarkably "bright" one that can photograph the pope's
underwear tag from a tower in hell.

Photographers say "glass" a lot, "Thats a nice piece
of glass you got there Danny." which would be funny if
it was a joke. No it wouldn't.

Photographers show you shoes hanging on wires, pink
boxes in the green weeds, little black girls with blue
eyes and nuns sitting under billboards of naked men.

Photographers have all kinds of cameras, most of them
are rare and vintage but they love to remind you that
their absolute favorite cameras are crappy plastic
cameras they found at the thrift store for 25 cents.

Photographers LOVE Polaroid because you can take a
picture of absolutely ANYTHING with a Polaroid and it
will look like you got your BFA.

Photographers know the names of every other
photographer who ever lived and they can tell you
exactly who took the first picture of an old barn door
or a naked girl on a sofa.

Photographers talk about how little they use photoshop
IF AT ALL, and even then it's only to "adjust some
curves" or "make the blacks a little more black."

Photographers make use of make up artists,
hairdressers, location scouts and stylists which is
way way WAY different than photoshopping out zits and
wrinkles.

Photographers freeze moments to show the REALITY. They
love that word, "reality" also they like to say "RAW"
a lot.

Photographers have websites with big black or red sans
serif fonts on white backgrounds.

Photographers put their client list at the bottom of
the side bar where it looks like they don't really
care about it but just in case you didn't like their
photographs you can see who did.

Photographers list their accomplishments in a timeline
so just in case you didn't like their photographs you
can see who did. Wait, did I just say that?

Photographers have strong opinions about Terry
Richardson.

Photographers get upset about cropping.

Photographers like the anticipation, surprise,
expense, delay, grain, smell, challenge, discipline,
texture, and overall unpredictable "magic" of analog,
soo opposite of effing digital.

Photographers use the word amateur to describe most
other photographers.

Photographers miss the good old days when photography
was expensive and out of reach to amateurs.

Photographers blame the lab a lot.

Photographers go to school to study photography
because you can't tell if a photo is good just by
looking at it.

Photographers whisper cutting edge poetic gems like
"digital has no soul."

Photographers only really like 2 or 3 other
photographers, the one's whose photographs most
resemble their own and they like to keep those books
right out on the coffee table where everyone can see
them.

Photographers think all commentary about photography
and photographers is likely directed at them.

So yeah, I don't give a stumbling poop about any of
that stuff.

I'm not a photographer.

Whoops! (Bong Hits 4 Jesus)

Justice Clarence Thomas took a much different approach. He said that Mr. Frederick had no First Amendment rights to violate.
“In light of the history of American public education, it cannot seriously be suggested that the First Amendment ‘freedom of speech’ encompasses a student’s right to speak in public schools. I am afraid that our jurisprudence now says that students have a right to speak in school except when they don’t.”
[clicky]

Free Paris - Oh Thank God!

Though I believe I get her.

6.25.2007

Big Brother vs. The GTI

It's enough to bring out the libertarian ire.


Montgomery County Safe Speed Automated Ticketing System
----------------------------
Thank you for using the Montgomery County online ticket payment.
Date: 06/25/2007
Time: 4:06 PM
Reference Number: 501968
Amount Paid: 40.00
Type of Payment: Single Item
Method: Visa
Credit Card: ********6405
Registration: MD101AYC
Document Number: mc0163940
Document Type: Ticket

[File Under: Duh! is a registered trademark of MiddlespaceCo Worldwide]

OSSOFG So Far

Frightening

Right now I feel at the very top of my art. Book/picture taking going splendidly. Best album ever.

So, what I finish these projects then, what, suck after that? I mean, I know there's a lot more to learn and try, but what if it's all crap after that?

Frightening, huh?

Old News: Irony v. Anomaly

Careening parade car kills four in crowd

June 17, 2007

SELMER, Tenn. – A drag-racing vehicle lost control during a parade and spun into a crowd of bystanders yesterday, killing four adults and injuring up to 15 people, authorities said.

Investigators were trying to determine what caused the vehicle to careen into the crowd at the Cars for Kids charity event in Selmer, about 80 miles east of Memphis.

Scott Henley of Selmer said the vehicle started burning off its tires, then began to fishtail and slammed into a light pole before spinning around into the audience.

Associated Press


Secret military rocket has mishap

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – A rocket carrying an intelligence-gathering payload for the Pentagon suffered a technical problem after its launch, officials said.

They were confident yesterday that its secret mission would be performed.

The Atlas V rocket was launched Friday morning, hauling a payload from the National Reconnaissance Office, a division of the Department of Defense that builds and operates spy satellites.

The reconnaissance office said Friday night that the launch was successful, but the rocket's Centaur upper stage later had a “technical anomaly which resulted in minor performance degradation.” Officials did not elaborate and have not said exactly what the rocket was carrying or how it would be used.

Associated Press

I Love The Ocean

But I hate the beach.

Why I hate the beach - a five-item list:
  1. Sun
  2. Sand
  3. Water
  4. People
  5. Me
But, I love the ocean.

My Conversation With Mary

So, when in California, I always make it a point to go to the grocery store. Even if on business, I head to the grocery store. Why? It's the love!

I live in one of the surliest customer service area in America (tm). So, it's always a treat and a shock to shop in California.

My Conversation with Mary
-or-
Why Are You Being So Nice to Me? Do I Have Cancer?

Albertsons in North San Diego
Mary (checker): Hello, good morning! Did you find everything you were looking for?

Me (dumbass): Uh, yeah. Thanks, in fact I did.

Mary: Do you want to type in your phone number for your savings?

Me: Uh, thanks, but I'm not from this region.

Mary: Oh, where are you visiting from?

Me: Uh, D.C. Uh, Maryland.

Mary: Oh, that's terrific! Are you visiting friends?!

Me: Uh, yeah. Good friends from small times.

Mary: Great! Well, you can enter their number for your savings.

Me: Uh, yeah, uh, I don't know their number...uh, it's in my phone...uh, back at their house.

Mary: Oh, that's too bad. You can use mine. Type in: 858-243-1876.

Me: Uh, oh, I already pushed the payment button.

Mary: Oh, I'll just back you right out of that!

Me: Uh, O.K.

Mary: O.K. 858...243...

Me: Uh, 8

Mary: 1876.

Me: O.K.

Mary: There you go! Seventy-two cents savings! Enjoy your day and have a great trip!

Me: Uh...
Ha! The best part was Mary wasn't putting on some show. She was sincerely nice and eager to help me find what I needed and to save me that $.72. If it killed her, she was going to make me happy. The best part was that there was another customer behind me. She was totally cool and patient about waiting fro dumb ass me. She even smiled and nodded my direction.

This is what I've become accustomed to:

My Conversation with [Blank, Crooked Name Tag]
-or-
Why Am I Giving These People My Money? Am I Stupid?


CVS in Northwest D.C.
[Blank, Crooked Name Tag] (checker): Next!

Me (dumbass): Good morning!

[Blank, Crooked Name Tag]: Huh?

Me: Uh....

The Bren On God, Boogers & Goofy

1. Boogers - Just so you know:
"Nose boogers are yellow. Eye boogers are white."
- The Bren

2. God - So, while in San Diego, in fact, on the first day, the Bren asked the question. You know the question. She whispered, "Is god real?"

Whew buddy. It's me, her Catholic raised mother (who has practicing Catholic parents), and good friend and San Diego host Marnie. What to do? What to do? Ah! I immediately bit my cheeks and shut the hell up. Her mother paused as well.

But, the one thing I've always admired about Marnie is the fact that she has huge ovaries (guys have "balls"). Marnie immediately chimed in: "Yes. I believe god is real. I once wrote a paper in college about god being real and it was called one of the best college papers ever written."

Boom! Just like that. So, it's fight or flight time (ha!). I can either defend my belief or shoot down a highly reputable source: Marnie.

I tried the, "Well honey, different people believe different things and that's okay" approach. But, Marnie, bless her heart (ha!) was persistent. Gotta hand it to her, she didn't back down from her belief. I had to resort to the, "Well honey, there is absolutely no data, evidence, or scientific fact supporting the existence of any extra-spiritual being like a so-called "god.""

So, there you have it. I'm not going to independently bring up the topic with the child. I still think that if she someday wants to believe, so be it. But, if she asks, I'm going to give her my perspective. I will not poo-poo any one else's perspective (Marnie), but I will let her choose. That was actually a difficult one.

But, if push came to shove, sure god is real. As real (the perception) as the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Big Foot, Santa Claus, and democracy. God is a business.

3. Goofy - So, the kids were watching some Disney (tm) TeeVee (hi-def, plasma, by the way) and were doing what kids do. They were choosing which character they would be. You know, "I'm Mickey!" Kind of setting the social hierarchy.

Well, the oldest kid immediately selected Mickey. The 6 year-old girl was, "I'm Mickey." The 3 year-old boy (the 6 year-old's brother - experience with this) proclaimed, "I'm Mickey" as well. Figures.

Well, I was kind of curious what the Bren would choose. Given no experience with this game (for what I know) and little exposure to Disney (tm) characters (for what I know), I was kind of sure she would go with "I'm Mickey" also (for what I know). I was certain she wouldn't go with Minny. She hates that shit. The scene opened with Mickey, Minny, Donald, Pluto, and Goofy.

Well the girl chose "I'm Goofy."

At first, I was horrified. I mean, Goofy? WTF? But, once I give it some thought, why not Goofy. Think about it. Who has the most fun? Not Mickey, right? Mickey has to be the brand ambassador for Disney (tm). He's Tiger Woods. He cannot swear, fart, or pick his nose. He has to be on game 24/7. He is the company. He doesn't drink, puke, or do it with anyone (even Minny). Mickey Mouse (tm) doesn't shit.

Donald? Don't fool yourself. Donald Duck (Bonald Buck) isn't nearly as carefree as he comes across. He's sticking to his talking points too. He has to sell the schtick. And, it's stupid schtick. He's trying to wait out Mickey's tenure, but Mickey's not going anywhere. So, Donal will forever be second fiddle (George H.W. Bush to Ronald Reagan). At least Disney (tm) had the courtesy to (if not promote Donald) give him Daisy. But with Daisy came those stupid spin-off brats.

Pluto? Insignificant. A retarded dog.

But, Goofy? Rock on! Goofy can do no wrong: He's fucking goofy for Christ's sake! Fart? Yep. Puke? Yep. Get into fights? Damn right. Goofy is basically Johnny Knoxville, Mickey's junkie cousin.

Advertising

From California:
Hebrew National doesn't advertise so that you'll want to go out and
buy a HN dog immediately. That only works when Dominos advertises
pizza delivery during dinner or Taco Bell advertises at 11:30 at
night.

The Hebrew Nation is paying it's hard earned dollars so that the next
time you go to the store and you see a 12-pack of HN dogs for 3.99 and
a 12-pack of Jimmie Jerk-off's Mystery Sausages for 2.99 you say, "Oh,
Hebrew National is reputable enough to advertise with the San Diego
Padres(TM). It must be worth the extra dollar."

Cars on the other hand, are just in a retarded arms race against each
other. It's unlikely that you're ever going to go, "NEEEE-san? Never
heard of it. I'll buy the one from the baseball game." In fact, if
you haven't heard of a car, it's probably because it's twenty times
better than that hunk of crap you're driving (and out of your price
range). Or because it's from Bulgaria. In which case, buy the one
from the baseball game.
Well, California, the interesting thing about this whole advertising thread is that I, a pesudo-social psychologist was at the game with a real Ph.D. social psychologist. In fact, there was a time when I was a teacher and mentor to this psychologist. You see, though beautiful and fashionable, I'm quite the intellect. You cold even call me a "geek." Not the chicken head eating type, but hte bookish, inquisitive type of geek.

The point is, I love this shit. Advertising? I was only wrong on the topic once. I was twelve. Yeah, influence? Persuasion? Grifting? Shit, that's my schtick. I invented the con game. Born into it and will die in it.

My Ph.D. adviser considers me one of the most influential people he's ever met. Intuitive in term of how people and groups, groups and people interact. I get it and I can make it happen.

So yeah, you're right. Sometimes I play the dumb guy for the blog. I go, like, "WTF?" when I perfectly well know exactly WTF? Yes, I wrote that folks would suddenly flock out of Petco to go get some Heebie Nats. No, that's not gonna happen, but it gets in the brain. Major corporations and big time sports? Shit yeah, they know what they're doing in terms of product and name placement.

When it comes to "Jimmie Jerk-off's Mystery Sausages" versus "Hebrew National" yeah, 90% of customers will identify Heebie Nats as a more recognizable brand; more reputable, of higher quality, and probably of a better taste. But, people without money will buy Jimmie Jerk-offs, right. Gotta stretch the buck. But, Heebie Nats spend a great deal of money to ensure brand superiority. Now, there is a minimal return on the investment at Padres' Petco Park (Guess the Attendance). It's probably a negative return. That is they ain't making money by putting their name up there. But, they're putting their name up there.

Mere exposure.

So, from the Wiki (so I don't have to explain it myself):
Exposure effect is a psychological phenomenon well known to advertisers: people express undue liking for things merely because they are familiar with them. This effect has been nicknamed the "familiarity breeds liking" effect. In interpersonal attractiveness research studies, the term exposure principle is used to characterize the phenomenon in which the more often a person is seen by someone the more pleasing and likeable that person appears to be.

Simply exposing experimental subjects to a picture or a piece of music briefly led those subjects to later rate it more positively than other, similar stimuli which they had merely not been shown earlier. In another experiment, students were shown a Chinese character on a tachistoscope faster than could be perceived consciously. Later, students were asked to say whether they thought specific characters were positive or negative adjectives. Those characters that had been previously subliminally exposed to the students were rated more positively than those that had not. When asked, the students were able to cite specific and detailed reasons why they preferred the characters that they did (which could have been at least partially due to rationalization).

The effect might be explained by the idea that recognizing a familiar environment makes us feel safe. This effect was first studied by Robert Zajonc. A related effect relevant to advertising and propaganda is the sleeper effect.
[proof I know what I'm talking about: to pronounce Zajonc correctly, keep in mind it rhymes with "science" - ha!]

Yes, you probably sometimes wonder, "why the hell does Coca Cola (tm) still even bother to advertise? They own the market share and everyone knows the brand as superior.

Believe me. Advertisers are smarter than the customers. That's why, 1) people still buy shit (even I still buy shit), and 2) why there's more advertising than ever -- it's literally everywhere. Just looking around I see at least a dozen subtle and explicit solicitations.

Coca Cola (tm) wouldn't have to spend another dime on advertising (or even another penny) and still retain market share in perpetuity. But, they just spent $4.1 billion dollars on Vitamin Water (tm) too. It's why, for example, Ford bought Jaguar and Range Rover (and now that their own product sucks so bad, it's why they're selling Jaguar and Range Rover). Losers.

What gives? Stockholders. Stock price. Profits. Theirs, like any business, in in business to make dough. Duh. But, dough requires growth. If you sell 6 billion units of Coke this year and 6 next year, your stock price will probably decrease. Not only will someone not make money, someone may even lose some money.

Anyway, Taco Bell (tm/a division of PesiCo) knows stoners love their food. LOVE IT! Not only did they increase their drive-through hours to 11:00 p.m. and then to 24 hours, they fucking invented the beautiful term, "Forth Meal." And to correct the phat phreaks, forth mean is not about the justification of obesity, but it's the cure for the munchies. Don't believe me? Go to the site: [clicky]

I've always been kind of afraid to go into advertising myself. I believe the money would be sweet, but I'd totally sell out.

6.24.2007

Tell Me Something I Don't Know

So, I'm at this birthday party for a five year-old. Right? A great party. Lawn party. Pony rides, petting zoo. Burgers, dogs. Beer!

The mom (Stephanie) puts on her "mom mix" on the iPod and I'm listening to some good tunes from the '70s and the '80s when it happened.

I'm drinking my beer(s) and Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn's monster hit, Tell Me Something Good comes on. I've forgotten three important things about his song:
  1. It is so goddamn slow. The deliberate nature of the piece makes you pay close attention.
  2. While the singing is stellar the musicianship and the music are stellar-er.
  3. It's possibly the hardest hard core slow jam of all time. No lie.
So, I buy it. $.99 from iTunes (second Apple Inc. reference of this posting). I open another beer - at home now - an put on the headphones. I could seriously listen to this song over and over all night and not get sick of it. Slow jam. Sensual. Bad.

I look up some information on the piece on AMG (from 1974's Rags to Rufus album). Uh, duh! Ka-boom!
The biggest hit here, "Tell Me Something Good," is a rare instance of an artist like Stevie Wonder giving away a tune that he could have had a big hit with himself. That being said, it was Khan's playful and sensual vocal that put it over the top.
Oh, Little Stevie Hardaway wrote that one. Oh. Everything makes sense at some point.

You think I'm kidding? Try me.

California

So, I'm back from San Diego and am nearly over my usual post-California depression. I always get in a fairly serious funk because I'm leaving the homeland. The place that I get and that gets me. My home. The west (the best). Cali. Cal. The golden state. Blah-blah-blah. And I'm always leaving the best-est of friends behind.

Fuck! Whatever. I'm still (and I mean it) going back someday. I may be old and crippled and full of dementia, but I'm totally (and I mean it) going back. Quote me, suckers.

1. Speaking of dementia.... Huh? What was I saying? Dammit, this always happens.... Oh yeah, speaking of dementia, I feel it's perfectly acceptable to not want to be an old geezer who can't even remember the last time I.... Huh? Who are you? Oh yeah, I don't want to be a baby again. I don't want to be fed. I don't want to be fucking changed. Nope.

I think the best course of actions is as follows:
  1. Place loaded, cocked .45 (a la HST) in a safe deposit box.
  2. Place tattoo in obvious place that says, "If this tattoo doesn't make any sense get your ass to the Main Street Bank - safe deposit box 1024 (key and directions is in pink elephant on mantle [or whatever, details can be worked out]) - look inside - thank self for the future gift."
  3. Follow instructions.
  4. Thank self for future gift.
  5. Boom! Ha-ha!
I know, people are all bummed out about this rather practical directive. But, I believe that's just them having death denial issues. People don't want to be like that. I certainly don't. Uh-uh, nope. No way. Anyway...what was I saying.

Oh yeah, San Diego. What did I do?

2. I went on a mountain bike ride. No, not a recreational ride. I mean a real ride. With five other guys that were either good, young, knowledgeable of the terrain, or in good shape. Or combinations therein. Me? I was none of the above. The last time I went on a real ride was like in 1995. Ha! So, whatever, you only live once, right? See above, what, I'm not going to go? No way. I'm going every time until I literally cannot.

So, this one guy, Doug (who used to be a road bike racer at UCLA, i.e. chops city), asks me, "so you ride?" I'm like, "Nope. Not in a long time." He laughs like I'm kidding. Whatever. Oh, and I haven't ridden clip-less in a decade either. Basically, I was headed out to die.

These guys kicked my ass. I knew I was in trouble at minute 3 into the two plus hour ride when we "dropped in" here (see pic). Yes, there's a trail there. This is the biggest trail of the ride. The best part was this bushwhacked loop that was actually under the sage brush. There was a canopy. So, you are simultaneously trying to ride single-track, loose dirt trails and not take your head off.

I could go on. Let's just say, I only fell about five times. Ran completely out of energy. Walked the bike down and up several hills (the best part of being my age is knowing my limits) and opted out of two loops. I survived with only one sore ass and a few very minor scrapes. Good for me. Ha! Somehow this is a victory.

The worst part is now I have the bug. In my head I'm all like, shit, I could easily do this - there were several times on the ride where I had my legs/chops and felt natural - if only I had the equipment. The slippery slope.

3. I discovered the Orioles were in town. In San Diego. God bless interleague play. Blech! So, through the magic of Fathers Day, Mark and I ended up with tickets (to the Toyota Terrace level - $49.50 seats).

No, I know there has always been a lot of advertising in baseball and all of professional sports. But, sometimes you have to laugh at what has to be either shrewd marketing or just plain careless marketing. I mean, Toyota Terrace? WTF?

At what point are the returns to your company not equal or greater than the cash you laid out? I mean, Toyota Terrace? So, Hebrew National feels it's a wise business decision to sponsor the little "Guess the Attendance" schtick in the 8th. Like, "I had such a good time at the game. Especially the Petco Park Guess the Attendance presented by Hebrew National. I was right on too guessing 24,384 paid tickets." So, am I to go buy some franks now? Like I said, WTF?

In fact, there's no longer a moment of peace in any professional - major or minor - event. We entered to the recorded announcements about how to enjoy our "Petco Park experience" to having to sit through dozens, possibly hundreds of ads interspersed throughout the game. Each batter even had 30 seconds of some lame ass song to accompany him to the plate.

Anyway.... Where was I? Oh yeah, so I'm back from San Diego and am nearly over my usual post-California depression. I always get in a fairly serious funk because I'm leaving the homeland. The place that I get and that gets me. My home. The west (the best). Cali. Cal. The golden state. Blah-blah-blah. And I'm always leaving the best-est of friends behind.

6.22.2007

The Difference

So, what's different about this project - at least since moving to California, I've always gone into an album with a plan, a rough sketch of tone, message, meaning. I've had a sense of the arc of the album.

And same deal with the songs. I know what I want the songs to be when I start. I don't always end up there. I let myself be taken where the process leads, but I've always had a point on the horizon to aim for.

For this [project], there is no plan. I'm not even sure it will ever be an "album" or a collection or a gathering of anything. I have no sense and no desire to sense what the final product will be at either the album or even the song level. The songs have no direction when they start out. Rather than plans, I have ideas. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes I just push the red button and see what comes out of the guitar. It's new and very liberating. Oh, I have two guitar licks I can string together? I'll record those and send them to Ty and see what he does with them. Then I'll see what I do with that.

Freedom.

I'm sure some day we'll gather, collect, cut, chop, paste, reconfigure, modify, mash, and cram this into something resembling a 30-60 minute album. But right now, I'm happy just making the music that comes aimlessly to the fingers.
- RPW, California

Oh, Ryan! (II)

There was a joke with a friend of mine. He happens to exist in proximity to super-celebrity Ryan Seacrest. I kidded that He should ask for a signed headshot for me. He sent me this: [clicky]

Oh, yeah, you remember.

So, I get home last night to this bad boy:


With close friends, it's just love all the time.

6.13.2007

Tommy Chong Comes Through for America

RIP Choppers


Big Dave Wave's Magical Feedback Machine - A Most Recent Invention

"The feedback machine allows the operator to create a small universe in a Plexiglas box.

The Plexiglas box contains a small HD camera and HD monitor that displays what the camera sees. This creates a video feedback loop.

You may have seen video feedback as wild spinning colors in '70s Hendrix videos. But when the feedback is tightly controlled, as with the Feedback Machine, it can be quite sophisticated and intricate, creating beautiful morphing organic shapes found in nature.

This amount of control comes from the camera's ability to move smoothly in relation to the monitor. The Operator sits in the chair and uses something much like a yoke on an airplane to very smoothly move the camera forward, backwards, and 360 degrees around its axis. Small changes in degrees of rotation and distance create amazing changes in the feedback image.

On this yoke are four control dials: Brightness, Contrast, Color saturation and Tint. These affect the monitor in the Plexiglas box and allow even more control over the created image.



The image being created on the monitor in the Plexiglas box is mirrored on the large HD monitor, which is what the Operator (and others in the room) will be viewing.

I say this creates a small "universe" because the world we live in is a complex feedback loop. All biological functions operate on a feedback loop and it is no wonder that the images created using video feedback are so organic looking.

Ecosystems, geological systems and social systems all operate on feedback loops, and they operate according to the inherent rules of that system. In the Feedback Machine, these rules, or laws of the universe, are the camera's angle, distance from the monitor and control dial positions.

But where does the image come FROM you might be thinking, and where does it actually exist? It comes from itself, and exists only because it exists.

Something worth pondering."

- Big Dave Wave (and it's totally copyright)

Hitchens on Paris

Even Chris Hitchens got into the game:
"So, you finally got the kid to weep on camera? Are you happy now?"
[clicky]

Subliminal Death Priming

Talk about Cognitive Dissonance (™ The Elliot Aronson Company). Remember this:
We are all going to die. Ha-ha! Think about that, suckers!
[Oh, and speaking of suckers, NBA fans are huge suckers for not making the Spurs the subject of our sporting hero worship. Tim Duncan and the San Antonio PopoDuncan Spurs are totally waltzing through the Finals. They waltzed through the entire playoffs. They slept through the season. Boring? Hardly. As I say every time Duncan gets the ball, “Look out, suckas!” Modern, competitive sports are very clean and precise. New England Patriots? Clean. Spurs? Disciplined. Suckers. Speaking of death, the Cavaliers season, hello summer vacation.]

Anyway, we’re all going to die. We all know that. Most people live in absolute fear or denial of death. Death denial is the one characteristic that is shared universally. We do everything we can, in general, to avoid dying and to live forever. Why do I mention this? So you can all live. So you can remind others to live. So you help can make it more pleasant for everyone. Anyway….

Please! If I’m a drooling, demented heap that you have to put in a cardigan and sit upright in his wheelchair and make wear a fucking bib so you can feed me? Do me a solid and kill me there. Overdose me on something. If I don’t know who you are or who I am? Push my chair onto I-10 so I can fend for myself. If I’m getting grifted by mopes in pick-up trucks selling roof repair, or if I somehow justify eating cat food, or can’t do art because I can’t think art? Pull. That. Plug.

In the meanwhile, to answer the “why all the art?” question, I’m going to keep making as much shit as I can until I can’t. This is just how my life works; a huge and ongoing project and it’s what I’m going to do. It makes me very happy and it’s what I believe makes my ordinary, mortal life live on to a degree greater than what it naturally would.

Why all the art? I’m just carving my name on a tree. I’m like Kilroy and I was here.

So, I say enjoy living in this physical world. Because this is it. If you feel you have to somehow live on, make something and share it. Hide some gifts for the future.

10 Qs w/BDW

Ten Questions w/ Big Dave Wave

1. How did you get the name Big Dave Wave?


Mark Reed started calling me Big Dave Wave in '87 in college. That was a bastardization of "Big Wave Dave", the clothing company. Ty made it stick.

Annotation: The twenty-year nickname. Oh, I guess I did that with Godfrey too.

2. You work in a cookie factory, and you can't eat the cookies, but how do you still respect cookies?

Factory made cookies are gross. Home made cookies, still as yummy as ever.

Annotation: Exactly. More butter, more sugar. Chocolate 'till you puke.

3. What is your greatest invention of all time?

I'm not sure what my greatest invention is (I'm more of a ponderer than inventor), but my most recent invention, if you can call it that, is the Feedback Machine [clicky].

Annotation: "Cups on the Wall/Dog on the Ceiling" was one of your greatest sculptures.

4. How far can you throw a baked potato?

Great question, Ty. I'm not exactly sure how far, it's never been measured. But I did once throw one three feet in the wrong direction. It was a bummer, dude.

Annotation: Go chase it.

5. Can you write your autobiography in haiku? If so, do it.

I woke up from death
You read these words in your sleep
I will dream once more

Annotation: Kicking to the head
The company promotion
A new life to live

6. If you could, what would you?

I would fly away from here.

Annotation: It all connects.

7. Where have you been that's excellent?

I've been all over. Mostly excellent were the spaces between.

Annotation: The middlespaces.

8. Who do you know?

Nobody.

Annotation: And they don't know you either. Or do they?

9. Money or intelligence?

I'll take the money and buy some smarts.

Annotation: Gotta be pretty fucking smart to figure that out.

10. What's that?

That's a secret.

Annotation: There are no secrets anymore.

6.12.2007

Today's Best Post

Albanians Steal Bush's Wristwatch -- THIS MEANS WAR!

[clicky, from Wonkette]

I hope to have 10 questions w/BDW tomorrow.

Oh Yeah


Oh yeah, I probably won't be posting much between the 14th - 21st. Too much mountain biking and Belgium beers w/Mark.

With Friends Like That

So, if you haven't noticed, I've positioned myself in an interesting place. I'm doing a project with two respected artists. Two respected friends. A couple (of kooks). A married couple whom I always forget is married even though I officiated their wedding. Sometimes I forget they even live together (or in the same state or if they've even met). Frequently, I forget they even know each other. It's odd that way.

Have I ever told you about Kresting & Wrech? I'm doing a photo book with Kresting (which will end up with a significant amount of text I believe, go figure) and another album with Wrech (yeah, I know, who ARE we?). Get it? One (independent) project with each of them.

Anyway, the funny thing is that even though I've been in dozens of conversations and meetings (and "dialogs") about our projects, individually, I don't believe I've even mentioned working with the other human in any of these conversations.

It just timed out like that.

Kresting mentioned something about this fact this morning and I was all, "oh, wow." Hadn't thought much on that. But, Kresting and I thought we'd ask Wrech to write the introduction for the book since, I've recently discovered, Wrech happens to know both of us.

Why the book? Kresting and I have been volleying about the idea of doing a nationwide photo scavenger hunt. Get a list of stuff together and have people all over complete their tasks. Logistics are killers, as we all know. Well, I guess this project is sort of a simplified, reverse-evolution variant. Plus, I've really admired her photography, her vision, her eye, and her feedback. So, when I heard (and not from Wrech either) that she might have some time this summer, I locked her in. I'm excited to do this project too (we have spreadsheets and everything).

Why the album? That's what we do.

Anyway, I got to thinking on this and it caught me as funny that I happen to be working with each of them; with both of them. Funny. Unlike that mythic, reclusive sociopath, Onstad (who is probably a large Korean corporation), there really is a Kresting & Wrech. They live in California. They know each other. They got married last September. I married them. Funny.

6.11.2007

Addendum

Additions to shoot list for the book project from Mr. Tolman:

1. melting
2. detritus
3. unkempt
4. construction/destruction
5. taboo

[clicky for context]

Jerks of the Eight Seven

Ha! I just put on Rolling Stones "Let It Bleed." What a title track, ‘eh? What an album (produced by Jimmy Miller).

You’re know your getting old when you start thinking about small times, like twenty years worth of time past.
“Man! We are jerks!”

- Either Dave or Eddie
Somewhere, USA, summer 1987
Twenty years ago I was part of a group of young men, each of us purportedly working together as a group, but each of us had a very different agenda and were on a completely different trip. Our means were similar, our goals different. We needed each other for a short period of validating time. And, it was about mid-June when we hit our collective stride.

We spent that summer being rude, being obnoxious, and being quite stupid. But, we were also the smartest, the most superior, the cleverest, and the greatest of all time. We knew we were the best.

From the large group of say, 120 – which had varying degrees of talent and confidence; self-esteem and ambition – there were about six of us who formed a bit of a clique. We were The Only Children. Some of us were actually only-children, but we all acted like we were the centers of our respective universes.
Ty
Dave
Eddie
James
Lee
Matt
We were the hardest of the hard core. We were the ringleaders and the generals. We were the six who stopped believing in the system and decided to become the system. We were the new paradigm. There were others who would occasionally join, or observe, and cheer. There were some who attempted to join, but never penetrated the core -- the faithless core.

I spent the best part of two consecutive years, nearly every day of that time, with these people. We discovered at some point that we were special, the most cerebral, fucked-up, haughty, progressive, subversive, and dedicated-to-the-art motherfuckers around. We were brought together self-selectedly by chance.

Trouble. Underlying personality defected trouble. Our unofficial motto was “So!” As in, what the fuck are you going to do about us? You put up with us or you lose. You are witnessing history. We are the superior. We are unafraid.

Ask anybody. Whether they were there or unembellished through history. Hooligans might be the better word. Perhaps, pirates. We did it on our own. We did it our way. We had enough rope to hang the bunch of us (which we did). Stoically unaware and sardonically under whelmed.

I had been a jerk long before turning 21 (and have been a jerk long after), but it was that season that validated everything. Being the best among the best of the best is addictive, seductive, and nastily affirming. It became official in the eight-seven. The coming of age. It wasn’t the level of jerk-dom exhibited that season; it was the consistency of the execution. The accuracy of judgment and the depth of stealth. A lot of shit went down back then. But, what stands out is that it was the ease to which one could leave the system behind and comfortably find one’s true self and just…just be…forever. Not happy or anything, there is much suffering to art, but the truth is liberating.

To my homies in the 1987 SCV Battery. Although we don’t really care if anyone saw it or believed it, we do hope that the world was somehow affected by our nudge.

So! We're only children.

6.10.2007

Ask Ty...June 9

Q: What are three to five things you would tell me before I bought a house?

Signed,

I've never spent a half million dollars on anything before

Ty: Good question, INSAHMDOAB, and an even better observation. Buying a house, your first home in particular, opens up a Pandora’s box of worms with regard to questions. But, I’m here for you. I have answers to your questions. Why does it hurt when I pee? You have VD. Why does she look at me that way? Because she hates your ass because you gave her AIDS. See, done. This shit is easy.

So you’re in pursuit of the American Fucking Dream (AFD ™) incorporated, huh? Three to five things? C’mon? It’s me…Ty! Three to five? I’m going to give you the max plus (MaxPlus is a division of Middlespace Enterprises, ME ™). You’re getting six things and no invoice.

1) Half of a million dollars? It's not real money, first off. So, get over your poor ass. You don’t have a half million dollars and you will never have a half million dollars. Please. You’re not rich. You’re poor (John Edwards will set you straight too [clicky]. You’re going to spend credits. Units. Points. Tokens. Yeah, you're going to be using tokens (after your hard-scraped down payment - that's real money (certified check), but that’s about the same amount as buying a car and we're all over that by now). Unless you show up at your closing with a box of crack-stained cash, it's not going to be a heartbreaker, money wise. So, don't let a half million dollars bother you too much. You're using a half million of your airplane miles for all it matters.

2) Half of a million dollars? In most markets (places where people with any sense live) a half mil ain't really that much. It's modest, really. Of course, we have to ignore the poor as always. You could buy loads in a poor neighborhood, but then you’d be stuck with the stink; you’d be poor too. [I love that I just wrote that a half million dollars (units) isn't a lot. Good the fuck for me. I don't even have a job!] So, get over believing it's a pain. Look around. Every toothless Buford is buying a house (using sub-prime or interest only loans - the mopes!).

When I was, like, nine years old, I got my hands on a $20 bill as a gift from someone. That was a lot of money. The decision-making involved and the pains of the budgeting involved were intense. That twenty needed to be fully optimized for fun and longevity. I was fucking CEO of the $20 bill corporation of America (TDBCoA ™ a division of Max Plus ™).

3) So, half a million dollars isn't a lot of money and it's not even real money. So, now that the money hurdle has left you a writhing heap on the track, let's get to what' is really important: community + amenities = lifestyle.

First off, if you even remotely have a remote notion of having a goddamn child, think long and hard about where you're going to buy a house (and when I say “remote” I mean Raiders-win-the-Superbowl-2008 remote). You want your kid to get a great, free education and not get their asses kicked every day by some wannabe gang-banger. You want your child unpregnant, unraped, unmolested, unkidnapped, and undrugged. Don't buy a house in the ghetto (urban pioneers) then get knocked-up and then decide that you live in the wrong neighborhood for a great and free education. Either suck it up and buy into the “right community” or fine the bread for a good and expensive private education or some combination therein. Because, repeat after me: moving sucks.

I hope to never move again. If for some reason I have to move, I’m not even packing. I’m going on vacation with two sets of keys. When I drive from the airport, I’ll just go to the new house. I’m not packing. I’m not staging. I’m not managing. I’m not moving. I’m not (Do you here me? I mean it!) going to move.

Pick smart the first time. Sure if things change over time, you can blame external causes.

3) If you are a "handy man" then save some dough and pick yourself a "fixer-upper." That’s what they say. Sure that rat hole looks promising. Sure, you've got mad technique with the reciprocating saw. Sure, you have the patience for 17-month renovations. But, remember this: fixing shit takes time. Fixing shit costs (real) money. The phrase that comes to mind is: money trap. If you're handy, that's great. But, if your new dream home is really a rattrap, then you'll be broke from tithing to the Home Depot gods (and you'll be there every Sunday, leaky pipes will be your new football).

4) Wow! Look at that beautiful yard for the kids! If you like spending your weekends pulling weeds, fertilizing, and mowing grass like some country mope then, yeah, get a house on a big ass plat. Lawn mower. Weed whacker. Trimmer. Hoe. Rake. Chemicals. Hoses. Etc. Etc. Costs (real) money. Takes (real) time. You'll be broke with regard to money and you'll be bankrupt with regard to time.

How many mopes are always fixing stuff? Do this, go to Home Depot or Lowes (both trademarked, I’m sure) on a Sunday morning. Look around. Misery. Wanna be one of those mopes? It’s a nightmare.

Speaking of nightmares. Amazon ™ just delivered my copy of Chris Nieratko’s “Skinema” via Vice Magazine. I also got “Dear Diary by Leslie Arfin (also via Vice but irrelevant). So, I’m reading “Skinema” in bed and kind of doze off to the strangest, most bizarre, most vivid dreams ever. It’s like the book is coated with special secret drugs of something. Great stuff, fucked dreams.

5) Get a house where you can walk to stuff (grocery, beer, ATM, independent restaurants, chain restaurants, parks, playgrounds, coffee, public transportation, neighbors' houses, pool, etc.). Walking is the best. Even if you never do it, a place where you can walk (safely) to stuff is cool. You get to know your neighbors, you get to know yourself. If you do have a kid, you can walk little mini mope around in a stroller or wagon or some shit (minivans are weak, by the way). Soon, after walking around for a couple of weeks, you'll become mayor. Everybody will know you and do stuff for you. If you have a dog, you'll know all the dog people right away. Welcome to mayordom.

When you walk, wave to people, say hi and stuff, generally ignore them. Don’t let them engage you in stupid suburban banter about “Dale’s lawn” or “The Rodgers’ new deck.” Fuck that shit. When you walk though, pick up the trash (people will notice this and start doing it too). When you walk, sing a little song. Remain an enigma far above the fray. People will wish they were you and do stuff for you. Remember names, blows them away every time.

Those suburban destination tracts suck. You know, the kind of tracts where each house looks identical, where the garage is the key street view feature (speaking of street view, WTF?) and you never see anyone. Your life becomes “indoors only.” If you live like this: drive to work, park in the parking garage -- drive home, park in the garage, you'll soon become an indoor liver. Indoor living bites. You don't get to know anyone and soon start hating your housing investment, your life, and yourself. Get outside people. Indoors livers soon enough close the garage door, leave the motor running and end it all. Suckers.

If you have a bike? That’s great. If you ride it. You rule. Ride that motherfucker! Ride like the wind. Learn how to pop a wheelie again! Burn out! Get a bike trailer and drag the kid around. Bunny hop. Ghost ride it. Crash it!

6) My advice? What would Ty do? [WWTD is a registered trademark of TDBCoA, duh!] Condo at Leisure World ™ would be tops on the list. Remember wanting to be older and having a fake ID and shit? Those were the days. Then remember wanting to be younger (to get action or eternal beauty of something)? Be old again, it’s gonna happen to you anyway. Tell the Leisure World ™ people you're 55 (bribe someone if you have to). Tell ‘em you just look young. Leisure World, my friends. Leisure. They do all the work and there's not a child in sight.

If you cannot move to Leisure World ™, find somewhere cool, work at home as much as you can. Sit outside. Walk around. Ride your bike. Get WiFi (or use other peoples – if you get WiFi, make it public and encourage everyone to make theirs public you can use your software firewall -- revolutionize).

Speaking of the whole "What Would ______ Do?" trip, I recently returned home for a short trip to a bag full of those stupid rubber band bracelets first used for the cancer crowd (LiveStrong ™). These bracelets had, "What Would Trace Do?" on 'em. Those silly ass rubber band bracelets soon had immense meaning and inspiration. There isn't a situation now where I don't ask myself (or look down at my wrist and ask), "What would Trace do?" Nine times out of 10, it's the absolutely correct answer. Big ups guy who sent me the bracelets (I owe you) and big ups to Trace. Trace, Trace, Trace. [obligatory clicky]

Anyway, INSAHMDOAB, make sure you buy a house where you are SURE you will be comfortable for a while because moving sucks. You are using 500,000 units (that's like 1,600 iPods), so think hard. Before you buy it, get a beach chair and sit out on the lawn of your prospective home for a few days (Thurs - Sun). Walk around at night. Ride your bike there. Knock on the neighbor's doors. See what it’s like in the middle of the workday - try it out like a new pair of Wheelies ™.


Just a guess!

-Ty

6.08.2007

From Da G-Ezate in Gzermany

Angela Merkel Says:
"Ha! If anybody should be in jail.... Bada-bing, I'm here all week, matinée on Sunday."


"...Paris? Here's who should be in jail.

Janitor From Mars

After a long hiatus, R. Lim was back on WFMU subbing for Evan "Funk" Davis this past Tuesday.

If you dare, listen to the show [clicky].

It's a very nice show.

A very nice show.

Nice show.

Show.

.

Diversity

Before I close up shop for the week, I had mentioned to someone that I was going to write about diversity this week. This is a hard topic. But, something in King Kaufman's column today [clicky] compelled me to write.

OK, it's not as generalized as such, but the two points King raised got me to typing:
1) "So now that we've ridiculed and vilified and slapped down Gary Sheffield for his supposedly racially insensitive comments in GQ magazine, is it safe yet to wonder if he had a point?" - KK

I'm going with: Sheffeld is right. Not just about baseball but for the American workforce. If you have leverage over an employee or an alternative (outsourcing) that is cheap and willing to do grunt work, you can make money with few problems. This we know.

2) "...don't forget, racism has been conquered and people should stop bringing up race all the time...." - KK

King has occasionally noted that too many of us exist in in a bubble where we pretend that "racism has been conquered." Sports, specifically, and the general American workplace is content that race is no longer a huge problem. Remember, we have the EEOC, right? And, a justice department to strictly enforce infractions.
What is workplace diversity?

From the Wiki:
“In a business context, appearance diversity, (ethnicity, gender, color, sexual orientation, body size) is approached as a strategy for improving employee retention and increasing consumer confidence. The "business case for diversity", as it is often phrased, is that in a global and diverse marketplace, a company whose staff embrace ethnic representation and gender composition which mirrors the demographics of the marketplace it serves is better equipped to thrive in that marketplace than a company whose appearance is out of step with its market's appearance.”
Wow. I couldn’t have summed it up any better. Get it? It has become best to look what you believe your audience thinks is diverse without ever clearly making a business or mission case why it's necessary, why you have it, or what it can do for anyone. But we hear/see the words "equal employment opportunity" everywhere we look (and, "equal housing opportunity"). Saying it means nothing. It's a check-off on your worksheet from the lawyers. Behavior and attitude are often mutually exclusive.

Believe me, I’ve struggled with this forever. I’ve always heard in organizations, “We need more diversity,” or “Let’s take care to choose a diverse team for this project,” or "Let's start a diversity program!" Why? More women? More blacks? More Hispanics? More poor people? More handicap? More appearance that we are the good guys – I mean just take a look at the photo on our annual report and you’ll see just how diverse we show the world we are.” I refuse to be the dark skin in the group promotional shot. I figured that scam out in college.

Speaking to point #2, Racism is Cured, I hear it all the time, people emphatically noting that "race has nothing to do with it!" Or, "We only want the very best candidates for the position." Since racism is so cured, then why do I keep getting asked to be in the promo shots? If it's not a problem why bother showing the black, the white, the woman and the Hispanic/south Asian/Asian at all? If it's not a problem, then why the desperation? Instead of printing the entire EEO statement, print the following:
At Hardaway Industries, we have conquered race, gender, and SES issues. We only pick the best candidates. Executive Order 11246 was created to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of race, sex, creed, religion, color, or national origin. We don't have that problem here.
Let me tell you, racism isn't cured and me typing these words makes me a less-than-ideal candidate in many organizations (the lazy, the inept, and the backwards looking).

In the supposed diverse workplace, I have seen many of the hires that don't fit the clubby atmosphere suffer. They don't find their way, they are passed over for promotion, and they are segregated (self and inadvertently imposed). I've been asked by senior managers to check in with people to see how they are really feeling, like I speak black or something.


Sometimes, Kaufman point #1, the best candidate is the one that is not only equally talented, but easier to manage (in the traditional fashion). If we can give less than average raises or pay at a lower scale, work the candidate for long hours, and never hear a peep (including their "ideas" or "opinions," then the workplace is very easily managed. You can just sit back and watch Widgets (tm) get churned out without effort, thought, or worry.

But, if another equally talented employee feels that a 60 hour, salary-based workweek is too much, or if reporting the egregious behavior of a supervisor becomes your thing, or you want a raise, then you force the organization to actually act in a fashion that becomes annoying, labor intensive, and tiresome.

If you can have workers in India do the work and you can neither see them nor hear their complaint and pay them a fraction of what you'd pay a wannabe actor with an attitude, then you - sorry, the Company - wins again. Sheffeld is so spot on and everybody who has given two seconds to ponder it knows is.

I have seen people who have their visas sponsored by organizations worked relentlessly; Sheffeld's point.


What's my point though? My point is that race (and other factors like gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, origin, etc.) may or may not matter to a particular industry or a particular audience. So, why pretend when you don't have to? Conversely, if you don't know how individuality factors play into your organization's mission, business goals, etc., maybe you should figure that out.

If it matters, do something about it. If you really believe it doesn't, then don't fake the funk.

How is this managed? How is this mitigated? I have opinions and ideas, but they're not free.

The List

With regard to the book project [clicky], here's the list to date:
  1. Contented
  2. Sexy
  3. Helpless
  4. Beauty
  5. Relationship between nature and the human-made landscape
  6. Strong Enough For A Man
  7. Fear of Change
  8. Passion for Nature
  9. Elegance in Flight
  10. Excruciating Beauty
  11. Explosion of Light
  12. Terrestrial Permanence
  13. Eccentric Color
  14. Hot Danger
  15. Pleading for Forgiveness
  16. Agonizing Scrutiny
  17. Improved by Age
  18. Staggering Brutality
  19. Miniature landscapes
  20. What the past thought of the future that is now past
  21. Boundaries and demarcations
  22. Scenes from a cafe
  23. Things that look like cleavage but aren't
  24. Still life of small, 3 dimensional work of art -- hand fired pottery, fine vase; woodcarving with lots of shadows,
  25. Architectural features of a building, or one under construction----e.g. steelwork being erected, etc.
  26. Faces of workers in their work settings
  27. Old barns, shacks, houses with a story to tell
  28. Landscapes suggesting mystery, ambiguity, perhaps including ambiguous human figure
  29. Interior scenes suggesting beauty and mystery -- inside of a cathedral, or old chaplet, small country church, mansion, etc.
  30. Anticipation
  31. Resonance
  32. Improbable Love
  33. Resilience
  34. Reciprocity
  35. Against All Odds
  36. Emotional Blackmail or Emotional Propaganda
  37. The Unexpected Power of Love
  38. A Child's Idea of the Future
  39. Yesterday's View of Tomorrow, Captured Today
  40. Reluctant Acceptance
  41. Why Music Matters
  42. "Dreams are the touchstones of our characters" (Thoreau)
  43. "This world is but canvas to our imaginations" (Thoreau)
  44. "Being entirely honest with one's self is a good exercise" (Freud)
  45. "The poorest worker bartered through the years" (Langston Hughes)
  46. "Give thy thoughts no tongue" (Shakespeare, Hamlet)
  47. "Lawn as white as driven snow" (without showing snow; Shakespeare, The Winters Tale)
  48. "And liberty plucks justice by the nose" (Shakespeare, Alls Well That Ends Well)
  49. Privacy
  50. Secrecy
  51. Conspiracy
  52. Contempt
  53. Demons
  54. Trees
  55. Mother nursing baby
  56. Father with daughter or son
  57. Mother with daughter or son
  58. People eating (in particular I have always found interesting the sight of men in business suits eating on airplanes. I think it is the contrast between the artifice and social statement of a suit, with the animal nature of eating. Also the suit suggests power but for some reason people usually look vulnerable and innocent when they are eating.)
  59. Of Middle age. Normal, 30-50 year-old people.
  60. People sharing a birthday (same birthday, different ages)
  61. People who look like their dogs
  62. Tree carvings
  63. Candid kissing
  64. Chairs
  65. Things that resemble the numbers 1 through 10
  66. Hot guys
  67. Anticipation ... waiting
  68. A bike got me here ... real place & mental place
  69. Does this thing need to be watered?
  70. As a teenager, I see this: _______ as _______.
  71. As a 65 year old, I see this: _______ as _______.
  72. Wish I understood English
  73. LOLDogs
  74. Where's Bucket? (Where's Waldo but with Bucket, or do the kinda the same thing like bring a cool chair and photograph it in weird places)
  75. Hey what are you eating there? (walk into a restaurant and take facial snapshots of somebody, then get a brief bio of who they are and why they're eating there, then get a picture of what they are eating)
  76. Backs of People's Heads
  77. Cashiers (People) in Retail Stores
  78. Random people arguing
  79. Road rage
  80. Bank tellers
  81. Daily price of gas
  82. People's shopping carts at the grocery store
  83. Old age
FYI. Thanks for the assist. Book out in the autumn.

Quit Hating - Rich & Poor

Why is everyone being so negative? In fact, why is everyone (still) so negative about women? It's 2007, right?

As you know I'm totally cool with Hillary and with Paris. I've made my peace with both. I believe Hillary will be the next president and that Paris is just -- like Richie Rich -- just a Poor Little Rich Girl (albeit, Richie wasn't a girl, doy.). Everything's cool.

Paris

Who cares? It's not that interesting whether she's in or if she's out of jail. It's not that interesting if "justice has been served." Who cares? And, it's not that she's white or that she's a "celebrity," what is important is that she's stinky rich. Much more loaded than any actor or athlete. She's actually in the mythical upper echelon. Seriously. She's worth a half-billion by herself. Yes, the trustifarian is worth a half-bill. I find this Washington Post article dripping with hate, misunderstanding, and envy. Is the writer expressing his own feelings or attempting to market to a particular audience? [clicky] Heiress = princess. And this? How is this remotely funny, or nice? [clicky]

And, it is that fact I believe most people are bent about. She's rich. You know what you people are? You're richist. Not richest, but richist. You have the nerve to put down people who are exponentially more financially valuable than yourself. You're a hater. Sure wealth has its upside: security, stability, opportunity, fun as hell, beauty. But, that is not a reason to be mean and wish someone was in jail. Jail is a bad place with bad people who, if they had the money, would opt out of that situation too.

Rich people don't understand us and it shows in how they relate to us (see: Barbara "Mama" Bush and her Katrina comment, or for that matter, all of the Bushes and their behavior). They don't know any better. Seriously. Just because people are rich doesn't mean they are smart or curious or interested in learning about the poor. Are you all asking the life story of that homeless guy that just pissed himself on the corner? Nope. You just keep moving. Same thing. To Paris, we're all that guy. And, sending her to the slammer is like making you and I sleep in that homeless guy's piss. We all look down at someone.

And you know what? We have no idea what it's like being rich either. We would probably be exactly the same.

Hillary

I already mentioned that Hillary is the ideal candidate (and most qualified [clicky]) to be the president. She should win in a walk-over and stay two term giving America three decades of rule by two families. Like, and I repeat, what is there left to uncover on her? What could there be left? While the press, experts, and bloggers dig deep and wide into the business of all the other candidates - including main contenders Obama (good), Giuliani (bad), Romney (cult), and McCain (too late, brah) - there's simply nothing left on Hillary [clicky]. New books? Nothing new...a waste of paper.

So what if she is pandering to specific contingencies. They don't know that, they just think she's nice. Only us eggheads realize that she's optimizing her audiences. So what? As a communications professional, I believe she's doing a great job (could do better, but hey...). Oh, the books....
"What both books inadvertently illustrate is that Hillary Clinton may have been investigated out. If there are major secrets still buried about the current presidential candidate, they are unlikely to be unearthed in time for this campaign." [clicky]
The next time I hear someone say, "She's so polarizing" perhaps I'll borrow their copy of the GOP talking points, 1993 edition. Cheney is polarizing. Maybe my retort will be, "Well if Bush is a uniter, maybe polarizing is exactly what we need."

So, stop the hate, people. Watch the NBA Finals on ABC TeeVee though. Tim Duncan? Holy shit. LaBron? Cripes! Quit hating, people.

6.07.2007

It’s Casual Friday in America

The modern professional workforce is generally technologically savvy, highly mobile and flexible, and similarly highly educated. There is a confidence, eagerness, and a general desire to do good; to prove value. These are good things.

And, the modern professional workforce is largely comprised of…children. Children, in the sense that many college-educated young adults feel somewhat entitled, underappreciated, and are often quite agitated (when not just generally distracted). Business has to be conducted in ways that make sense to contemporary audiences.

Yep. The 24 year-old worker can type with one hand, operate a mouse with the other, navigate between a half-dozen open applications, talk on the phone, listen to music, theoretically optimize your processes, and socialize at the same time. But, they are usually taken lightly within formal top-down hierarchies.

These are the workers whom often perform the critical grunt work to keep an organization in business. When managers can get away with it, these workers can be treated unkind and paid thriftily because they are seen as interchangeable, green, or without power.

These are also the workers who often perform the critical grunt work to keep an organization in business. These are the folks who present your front line brand to clients, partners, and those served. Interchangeable? Perhaps, but the rest of the ants are quite similar. They are smarter than the 20-year seasoned corporate star was at a comparable age. They are outwardly apprehensive of programs and initiatives that obviously will not work and try to warn upward – usually to no avail because middle management is cynical, protective, and frightened.

A laptop and a cell-phone does not a competent business warrior make. Companies send the young, unattached, flexible workers into the field to conduct critical business on behalf of the organization. They are generally under-prepared in traditional ways. They act a part instead of effectively executing the business at hand.

The young workers know it all, though. Seriously. They know the vulnerabilities. They know the gossip. They know what will work and what won’t and what is working and what isn’t. They share, compare, expand, and adjust this information constantly. IM, blog, email, and telephone are in constant use.

Questions for a CEO:
What do you expect from your workforce?
What do you want for your workforce?
What is your biggest employee relation problem?
What is the source of your data on your workforce?
What are your blind spots? What are the mysteries?
How do you expect to really impact your workforce?
Who are the stars that you will build this business upon?
Yes, corporations are beholden to shareholders. Sure, the board of directors needs to see growth. Of course the executive management team has a strategy. Line management is desperately trying to meet this year’s numbers. Oh, and somebody is trying to do work.

A Freebie:
  1. Dump the BlackBerry® devices, they're distracting as hell to your senior and middle management, especially. There is absolutely no value in constantly reading email. You just look stupid.
  2. Use the time that you were spending with your BlackBerry® devices to listen to your children. Because the children are the future.

Gordon Bell

"He's fun, exciting, charismatic. But he doesn't fit into a disciplined, organized environment."

- I forgot who said this about Gordon Bell, but it was in a recent NYer article

"People have vast abilities coupled with characterizable limitations and bottlenecks."

- Gordon Bell, SF
Act I - Scene I

Worker Guy #1 (early 50s, business ware, tie, no jacket, clean, normal, stilted):
“Is that a music phone?”
Worker Guy #2 (exactly the same but with nice glasses, bored then excited):
“Yes! Yes, it is! I have everything right here.”

Act II - Scene I


Worker Guy #3 (mid 40s, business ware, white shirt, no tie, fit, professional, formal, tense):
“So, tell me about your background.”
Worker Guy #4 (early 30s, business ware, dark shirt, no tie, nice hair, nervous but trying to simulate confidence but looking at hands clenched on table):
“Well, I have a unique background. I know business. I’ve been able to leverage company turn-around.”

Act III - Scene I


Worker Woman #1 (late 20s, requisite black polyester pants, sleeveless top, form fitting, contemporary pumps, well groomed, Dell ™ laptop, surfing furiously, glasses, Type A):
“I love this song.”
Worker Woman #2 (mid 20s, requisite black polyester pants, sleeveless top, form fitting, contemporary open-toed pumps, well groomed, possibly of Korean origin, reading from stapled bundles of paper, relaxed, every so slightly annoyed):
“Oh yeah.”

End

A Little Help Please

Some day when I'm old and feeble
Push me up to the internet
and show me this blog
Since I won't remember

6.06.2007

Unemployment Diary

I Found The Language.

"I look forward to what you're going to do next. Your skillset is the most unique I've ever seen."

-Danny

"Yeah, you could really bring about important internal changes to important organizations."

- Dan

After spending some time tweaking my résumé and tweaking my talking points for a job search, I've found some language that maps with my ambitions:

From Monster/Orbitz listing:

Communications Guru

about the position:

The Communications Guru will support internal communications for Orbitz Worldwide. The successful candidate will develop innovative communications to support executive messaging, company wide communications, and business objectives. Work with management team to educate employees about our business strategies and initiatives, human resources, employee benefits, community involvement and other important topics. Ideal candidate will possess strong writing/editing and project management skills and have experience or keen interest in the effective use of technology for communications.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Develop and manage a global communication strategy for all Orbitz Worldwide messaging.
  • Finding ‘the story’ and communicating to the correct audience.
  • Collaborate with key project teams and PR/Marketing to create compelling materials including messaging, presentations, FAQ's, and internal communications, etc.
  • Define and develop content for the Orbitz intranet, and manage the implementation of a web based solution for employees to get relevant and up to date information.
  • Must demonstrate schedule flexibility and have the ability to work in a fast-past environment.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • 2-3 years of relevant experience required.
  • Bachelor’s degree is required; Bachelor’s or Master’s in Journalism, Public Relations or Communications is preferred.
  • Demonstration of an understanding of business strategies and an ability to communicate complex topics clearly, concisely and creatively.
  • Expert communication skills - verbal and written.
  • Strong ability at developing and leading multiple projects and managing a team to deliver on results.
  • Ability to think broadly, and still achieve a high attention to detail.
  • Enthusiastic team player who enjoys a rapidly changing environment.
See?

I was using the term "Communications Guru" even in my last position. Someone out there gets it. Seriously gets it.

Need my résumé? Just ask: ty@middlespace.net