Categories
Words to the Wise

- Begin as you intend to continue.
     - Mom

- Don't move until you see it.
     - Bruce Pandolfini

- Industry is a sure cure for melancholy. 
     - Unknown

- What'ya want me to do, quit? Life's a garden dig it. You gotta keep on, keepin on. 
     - Joe Dirt

- Mistakes aren't free

- Brevity is the soul of wit
     - Shakespeare

- Live life urgently
     - Andrew Perry

- In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensible.
     - Dwight Eisenhower

- Rule #76: No excuses; play like a champion.
     - Jeremy Grey

Personal Values
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Wednesday
Jun102009

Interesting eBay sniper

I've been working on emptying out my attic lately which means spending a bunch of time on eBay. So of course when I'm on eBay I can't just sell stuff but spend much of my time browsing to buy things. I've also lost my last three auctions in the last 10 seconds due to poor sniping so I decided to look for a service.

I went looking for one I used a few years ago but couldn't remember the name for my life. I found a free eBay Sniper service called Gixen. Check it out, if you blog about it they will upgrade you.

Wednesday
Jan212009

Broken of the addiction

After two weeks of no cable I feel like I've broken any addiction I had to television. So far the results aren't quite what I was expecting. I didn't watch a lot of TV by American standards (over 8 hours per day per household according to Nielsen) but definitely enjoyed my hour or two in the evenings. Since ridding myself of cable here's the inventory of what I watched:

  • 4 episodes of Startup Junkies: a Mojo channel series about one of our business partners Earth Class Mail watched at Hulu.com
  • 2 episodes of Grey's Anatomy: my guilty pleasure show and one of my wife's favorites watched directly from ABC
  • The Notebook on DVD
  • Good Night and Good Luck on DVD
  • The presidential inauguration on Hulu.com
  • Partial episodes of The Office and 30 Rock through the XBOX/Netflix partnership

This is significantly less than I thought I would watch. The big question in my mind is why. Why am I choosing to watch less television? This would imply how long the change might last. 

My first response to question of whywatching TV on the Internet doesn't lend itself as well to watching while eating. There are too many steps to deal with while your food is getting cold so we have eaten more meals at the table. So lets put one mark in the minus column for inconvenience and one in the plus column for the benefit that inconvenience caused.  

Another thought is that I've just embraced the idea of reducing my TV consumption and am playing that one out. I fear that this reason could lead to a resurgence of watching once I get over the hump.

Regardless, here are some of my experiences that I found interesting:

  • If you aren't watching full screen, ABC strictly enforces the size of the window with your content in it. Unfortunately, the size of the window isn't large enough to show all the information. For example, the video controls are off the screen so I'm forced to scroll down...silly.
  • When watching online the shows are sponsored so you end up watching the same single commercial over and over except for a single commercial from the local affiliate.
  • They still pump up the volume for commercials.
  • When I was trying to watch the inauguration CNN refused my connection plainly saying that there were too many viewers.
  • Streaming HD to my LCD monitor is much better quality than my old tube TV.

I also had my first pang of regret when I heard that the new season of Big Love premiered. I'll get my chance to enjoy it though in a few months when it hits DVD. I hope you enjoy your TV watching and I hope you choose not to watch anytime you aren't.

Monday
Jan052009

Bye Bye Cable

I've just returned home from a somewhat hectic Florida vacation to a home without cable boxes. I began an experiment as the last thing I did before leaving town by returning the boxes to Time Warner. I realize that in some circles eliminate television from your life is quite fashionable but that isn't what my experiment is about.

During these lean economic times my family and I have reviewed our spending habits and I noticed that my cable habit was costing over $100/month. Admittedly, I was a big spender subscribing to the premium channels and for good reason...those were the channels I watched. I abhor mindless television so my viewing habits tend towards movies and high production quality shows such as Entourage, Weeds, Californication, Big Love, etc. (although my guilty pleasure is Grey's Anatomy).

I time shift nearly everything that I watch, sometimes by half a season or more, so the timing around access to the content doesn't seem important to me. With today's access to media via direct online viewing, podcasts, and services like Netflix my $1500/year was really paying for the services of the programming directors who schedule the shows.

When I spoke about this idea to some friends they were arguing the value of this investment. That this service allows you to just plop down and zone out. At the end of a long day what could be better than doing some mindless channel surfing.

Not my style. I'd rather plop down and watch something I know I will like. Time shifting let's that happen too, just set record and watch only what you like whenever you want. Problem is that you lose access to the newest/best, hence programming director services.

I have a vision of scaling these types of services into a Pandora for video. You'll have a number of channels that play shows you like. Netflix isn't too far away from this. They can already suggest things that you like, they can already stream the media, they already have hardware that sits next to your TV. All they need is to set up the channels and viola!

Of course chasing the streams could amount to a royal pain. I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday
Jun052008

Simpleology

I read the book Simpleology recently and was quite intrigued by Mark Joyner's straghtforward concepts. I didn't find too much new information in his book but it was laid out in a way that resonated. He does, as you would assume from the title, keep it simple.

He has an extensive web portal that is part of the book but that you can use anyway (check out http://www.simpleology.com) where he has other products for sale. One of these is "Learn to Blog for Fun and Profit". In order to access it he requires the following code snipet...so here it is.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm evaluating a multi-media course on blogging from the folks at Simpleology. For a while, they're letting you snag it for free if you post about it on your blog.

It covers:

  • The best blogging techniques.
  • How to get traffic to your blog.
  • How to turn your blog into money.

I'll let you know what I think once I've had a chance to check it out. Meanwhile, go grab yours while it's still free.

Wednesday
Nov212007

Hokies from space

My hokies are thanking the world. They spelled out "VT Thanks You" on the drillfield while a satelite was overhead. Check it out the photo and get the backstory.

Thursday
Jun212007

Living Vicariously

I'm often told by friends, family, investors, etc. that they live their lives vicariously through me. Most often they are referring to the entrepreneurial risks I have chosen to take.

Like many things, I think entrepreneurship and one's proclivity towards it rests on a spectrum. On one end of the 239315-881427-thumbnail.jpg
Audrey and Tortelloni
spectrum is the hustler looking to create an enterprise out of every interaction and on the opposite end is the government or huge corporation worker, staying within the lines at every slow turn of events. As a culture American's tend to rest on the spectrum with a healthy dose of entrepreneurial desire although like many things, they aren't willing to take the leap.

I was reading the blog/website of a dear high school friend who I'm living vicariously through. She is currently on a long world trek exploring photography, food, learning and personal growth through travel. Oh how jealous I am.

I have wanted to do a world tour for my entire life and fully intend to achieve my dream. Some goals though require patience. Right now is not my time so I will live vicariously through those that I love. Check out her photo gallery...I bet she inspires you to travel also.

Wednesday
Jan032007

What to do with Midtown Plaza?

Recently, the owners of Midtown Plaza announced that they were planning to sell this 1963 landmark that helped define Rochester as the city of quality. The City of Rochester accepted an option to purchase the property.

My office is right around the corner from Midtown Plaza so I've been keeping my eyes open for developments regarding it. The most recent announcement claims that in conjunction with a local developer, Riedman Properties, they are teaming up with Parma, Italy to create a theme based mall experience.

Sunday
Oct292006

Marine Corps Marathon

I spent today with my mother in law, having come down with a rather serious cold, chasing my wife Carrington around Washington, DC and Northern VA. We were cheering her on while she ran the 30th Marine Corps Marathon. This event drew more than 35,000 runners on a blustery fall day filled with endless doses of strong emotion.

Carrie isn't historically a runner but she set a goal to complete this marathon and she did in just under 6 1/2 hours. As such, she was in the slower pace group so as I moved around getting in front of her I saw a number of the same people chugging along. I was touched by the determination I saw in this group.

They aren't the fastest runners, they aren't the best runners but they tried so hard. Come the end, while I was cheering along this crowd to the finish line I saw a full range of emotions. Some people were stoic and determined, others were overwhelmed and teary, while others were excited and smiling. I couldn't resist cheering for this crowd even though it was destroying my sore throat.

One of the other interesting things that was a challenge was how far Megg and I ended up walking. Carrie had requested that we cheer for her in East Potomac Park a notoriously sparse place for runner support. There is no efficient way to stand along the course in the park without hiking into it yourself. So we did.

We also wanted to cheer for her at the end of the 14th street bridge because that is the bottleneck on the entire race. If you don't finish the bridge by a certain time then you can't finish the race because they open it back up to car traffic. Traversing our way to the finish line from the far side of the bridge required Megg and I walk along the side of the GW Parkway, no sidewalk, no paths. We were rough and tumble, blazing our own trails and making it back before Carrie did. All in all we walked about 9 1/4 miles, check out the map of our route.

I'm so proud of Carrie for digging deep, fighting the pain and achieving her goal. Every time I saw her along the route all I wanted to do was hug her and take her home to a hot bath. She kept going and made the finish on her own though.

Check out the picture gallery here.

Thursday
Oct262006

Where I've Been

I was forwarded the following link:
http://douweosinga.com/projects/visitedcountries

I filled it out and am sad to say the following map is all I can admit to. I would love to paint this whole thing red. Something to look forward to.


create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits Nederlands

Monday
Sep252006

In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/nyregion/25courts.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&th&emc=th

WOW! This is really scary. I thought NY was supposed to be one of the most progressive states in the union, I guess not. The thought of these types of no appeal fiefdoms invokes thoughts of banana republic courts that are bought and paid for.

I hope NY does something about this. With such high taxes some of the funding should funnel this way.