63

Sixty-three is the number of to-do list tasks/e-mails/phone calls I dealt with today.

With that exhaustive day I am done for the week. I hope to have a few new things to announce come Monday. That’s called a teaser in the ad biz.

Everyone have a great weekend.

On why I’ll never win the lottery

Beyond the fact that I don’t really play the lottery, I don’t think I’ll ever suddenly come into any huge amounts of cash. Steven Furtick has a great post today about seeking security outside of God’s security and how he’ll never let us get too comfortable.

I think if I ever came into lottery-amounts of cash, I would find it very easy to sit back and consider myself “taken care of.” At that point I’d stop leaning on God and where would I be then?

I find myself leaning on God more now than I was at the beginning of the week. Does that make a good week? Probably, but certainly not an easy one.

Coke roast

My house smells right now like a simmering Coke roast and it is glorious. If they could bottle this smell and sell it, I’d buy the first case. Coke roast is, from what I understand, a roast marinated in all sorts of great things, including a whole lot of Coca-Cola.

Special thanks to one of the best friends we’ve ever had, Sally Salsa. I think she was the one who gave Becca the recipe.

The death of something great

Business Journal 12-07 Cover

For 13 issues I worked alongside one of the most talented groups of people I’ve ever met. Each month we produced The Business Journal and created something we could all be proud of. I say produced, because we were informed today that the December issue we just shipped out would be the last. Apparently ad sales weren’t sufficient to support the publication.

Amidst the huge amounts of bitterness over it ending without anything in the way of real notice, I find myself more sad than anything. I can tell you everyone who worked on this project poured their hearts and souls into it. Michael, Pat and Lainey went above and beyond the call of duty to help produce a great publication. I know we are all proud of it and always will be.

If you ever find yourself in need of some top-notch editorial writers or editors, please let me know and I’ll put you in touch with these three.

So what has been a huge part of my life for the past year-and-a-half is gone almost instantly. While I’m upset I’ll no longer get to work with this group of people, I’m also looking forward to some other possibilities that I can pursue with all the time The Journal was taking. So here’s to change. Good, bad or ugly, it usually pushes to do something even better.

Unintentionally funny

Gmail runs text ads alongside your e-mails as you read them. They are usually context sensitive, so if you are reading an e-mail about gardening, you’ll see ads for gardening stuff.

To show you what kind of day I had, I was reading an e-mail I had sent and it had ads along the side that read “Controlling Your Emotions 101,” and “Anger Management Courses.”

It made me laugh.

Which I needed.

Pulse

Yesterday I found a new web-app called Pulse. It is a very cool and very free tool for tracking cash flow in your business. It ties in with Basecamp, which I use for project management.

For the bargain price of free, it’s worth looking into. I’ve been very impressed with the user-interface so far. It’s very easy to use and it does just what you need it to. It’s not bogged down with a bunch of features I’ll never use. Pulse isn’t the ultimate financial app, but for creative people like me, who’s eyes cross at the sight of numbers, it gives a quick look at where I stand for the month (and the months to come).

The next iPod?

The new Amazon Kindle is a very interesting device that reminds me a lot of the original iPod.

The first reactions have been similar to the first iPod’s. “Who will use it?” “It’s too expensive.” And just as the iPod wasn’t the first mp3 player, the Kindle isn’t the first eBook reader. Like the iPod, it puts previously unthought of amounts of content in a very compact space. No more storing shelf after shelf of books that you will probably never read again. Instead they now have a small digital footprint of a few megabytes. And it will be very easy consume new books since they wirelessly download from the Kindle store with no computer required. One of the main complaints I see around the internet is that people want to read printed books. They don’t want to stare at a screen. I’m not in that group. I do probably 80% of my reading on the internet now. Reading a book on a screen is natural to me and probably most of my generation.

I’m not sure if it will have the same mainstream appeal as the iPod but I think a certain segment will love it.

Am I in that segment? Possibly, but I know Becca is definitely in that group. She reads veraciously. At $399, the price of entry is probably not too high for people who have really been waiting for something like this. For people like us that are interested but not completely sold, it may be a little steep. Having watched the iPod evolve over the year, I think I’m comfortable to sit back and watch the Kindle grow. I jumped into the iPod-owning group with the third generation release. At that point it was down to, I think, $299. That wasn’t a bad price point for what it delivered. By the third or fourth generation, the Kindle will have advanced in design and technology and ultimately be a better buy. I think at $249 it’s a good buy. Anything below that is a steal.

To Microsoft users

I’ll use this post as in informal poll. If you use Microsoft Windows, please post a comment below.

Do you really love Windows? I’m just curious. Most Microsoft defenders/Apple haters do so because they are so invested in Microsoft systems they can’t imagine anything else. I’ve come across very few, though, that actually love using Windows.

Even though I’m sold on Apple, I don’t hate Windows. I just don’t use it. I used it in the past and never loved it. It was frustrating. I actually love using Apple’s operating system. It does exactly what I need it to and then gets out of my way. I don’t have to be a computer expert to create amazing things. I don’t have to know how to troubleshoot viruses or worry about service packs. Like any other machines, it will have problems, but I’ve used them for years and haven’t encountered anything major. Whenever I’ve had a problem I couldn’t figure out on my own, I called Apple tech support and was greeted by a helpful person who spoke clear English. Imagine that, American tech support.

So, without turning this into an Apple-sucks comment storm (I’m looking at you Tony), do you love Windows, and why?

Smoke signals to Microsoft

I currently find myself the owner to two Xbox 360 systems. While this would seem an enviable position, it turns out you can only play one at a time.  So, I’ve lined up a happy buyer for my extra system. The only problem, I need to get a cable from Microsoft to transfer the data from one of the system’s hard drives to the other. The cable is free. Awesome. Being Microsoft, there will probably be some handy web page I can visit to input my information so they will ship me my free cord.

Wrong. The only way to get the cord is to print the form, fill it out and fax or (and I’m not kidding here) mail it. Mail it? Like the old-fashioned way mail it? Yup.

Microsoft, arguably the largest technology company in the world (though not the best), wants me to fax or mail something to them when it could be accomplished so easily over this newfangled  thing called the internet?

Dave and I were joking Sunday that you mail the form in then they will page you with the proper number to call on your rotary phone where you will receive instructions as to what time of day to send up a smoke signal with your address so they can send the cord via Pony Express.

Sometimes I just don’t understand Microsoft.

Thanksgiving wrap-up

While watching The Incredibles, I realized Mr. Incredible is based on my dad.

My brother bought Becca the best birthday present ever. Turns out it was really for me. I’ll post pictures when I have time.

There is no better place on this Earth than my parents’ house. I was toeing the line of burning out after some very long hours and high stress the past few weeks. I feel totally refreshed after being there less than 48 hours.

My mom makes what I call “ham roll-ups.” Basically it’s a thin slice of ham with cream cheese spread across it and a green onion in the middle. Rolled up, it vaguely resembles a Fruit Roll-up. It’s probably my favorite thing to eat and there were none left over.

I don’t try new things. This Thanksgiving, I tried everything that was cooked. Wasn’t head-over-heels about most of it, but I tried, right? I’m attempting to broaden my horizons. But no, Dave, I still won’t be trying Indian food.

I still don’t understand why people go out on Black Friday to shop.

I am hooked on books about World War II. In the past few weeks, I’ve gone through the audio versions of Band of Brothers, Citizen Soldiers, D-Day, Beyond Band of Brothers and The War.

Because of my new addiction to these audiobooks, iTunes gift cards are a great idea for Christmas this year.

Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for all you guys, my lovely and talented readership.

We’re here at my parents house enjoying some badly needed relaxation time. The Cowboys are about to kick off and demolish the Jets so I gotta go. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving.

Black Friday

What is the amount of money that would cause you to wake up in time to make it to a 4AM sale? That’s what “Black Friday” is all about, isn’t it? Money?

Honestly, I haven’t seen anything out there discounted enough to make me fight those crowds. I don’t care how much money you stand to save. Are any of you planning on venturing out into the chaos?

Also, in a sad commentary on my own role in consumer culture, I noticed that many of the “bargain items” were cutting edge six months ago. That means they’ve been gathering dust in my house for about four months. But I had to have them at the time, right?

Field Notes MIA

Well, it took a while, but I finally lost my first Field Notes notebook. Even though the front inside cover indicates there is no “hansom reward” for it’s return, know that there is. I miss the little guy. He’s half full of phone numbers, notes from the field and the initial plans for my world domination 2008 campaign. Now what am I going to do next year instead?