New camera

Thanks to Uncle Fester I am sporting a monster Nikon D200 Digital SLR. Here’s one of the first shots — just waliked into the fishing garage, aimed and shot.

This is epicenter of my universe. Three dozen fishing rods, waders, clam baskets, bait buckets, lures, reels, hooks, sinkers, fly tying materials, etc. etc. etc.

The Secret Diary of [Steve Jobs] Jerry Yang: Advice from Scoble

The Secret Diary of [Steve Jobs] Jerry Yang: Advice from Scoble
Fake Steve Jerry gets a note from Scoble:

“You’ve started blogging. That’s a GREAT start. You should be PODCASTING too. Have you considered that? I’d be happy to help you. I’ve got cameras, editing software, etc., and could be at your place in an hour. Also if you need help writing scripts or whatever. Though honestly I think you’re better off just doing what I do and saying whatever comes into your head, just speak the way you naturally do. Yes it’s disjointed and rambling and even incoherent but it rings true and comes across as honest and transparent when when it’s totally not.”

10 pieces of randomness on a Friday morning in June

The home office ….
1. Twitter is sliding ever backwards in terms of usefulness. I am about to declare it done but will continue to let it run in the background.
2. The Blog Council demonstrated some value late yesterday, but like Fight Club, I can’t talk about it. Let’s just say a good question was asked and answered.
3. New 18:200mm lens came for Uncle Fester’s Nikon D200 body loaned for the Games. As soon as the post office opens I will have 8 gigs of compact flash and a USB reader. New toys are good and now I get to take bad pictures on a more expensive camera.
4. A nasty exercise called a Walking Lunge has me feeling like I have been beaten with a 2″x4″ on my perineum.

5. Tokyo trip is coming together for July 7. I now need to insure that the team and I get to see a baseball game while there.

6. Must work on a PowerPoint to build the argument that social media team needs expansion and support. (not blogging aimlessly would help)
7. Must paint Cotuit Skiff

8. Must curse IT security policiy which restored alphanumeric password to Blackberry, thus rendering it useless while driving.

9. The simpler and more basic the goal, the more important it is. In my case — a pull up. That’s right. Hang from a bar, palms facing away, and pull myself up from a dead hang until my chin is above the bar. Second goal — jump rope for two minutes without messing up.

10.  Nice NYT piece this morning on our Olympic efforts. Wish it had mentioned more details about our Olympic blogging program, Federated Media’s involvement, but hey …..


Word of the day is regurgitalith. Fossilized vomit. Seems to work well in a sentence in association with “PowerPoint.”

“Boy Chuck really pulled out the stops with that 143-slide regurgitalith in the KPI meeting this morning.”

Detection of desire — the creepiness of listening to customers

Yesterday I posted on the occasion of my 25th anniversary and made mention that my wife and I never had a formal honeymoon (in the Niagara Falls sense of the word).

Lo and behold, I get a comment in the moderation queue of this blog offering me an opportunity to make up for lost time and get that honeymoon.

I was initially impressed that Northwest Airlines had either really good detection, or a subscriber and local reader of this blog (highly unlikely). After realizing I had no mention of the Northwest brand in the post, I started to suspect just a smart spam blogger, but on backtracking to the original URL:, my intuitive radar went off, indicating that the blog was indeed a splog set up, perhaps by an affiliate of NWA, in an attempt to gain booking commissions.

But further digging showed this was ostensibly a corporate owned and controlled blog (the content is pretty banal, but doesn’t have the usual dada language that is the true hallmark of a splog).

So, what’s the big deal about a little comment spam?

1. Here is a case of a brand monitoring the blogosphere for key word hits not associated with its brand. In other words, Northwest Airlines is scanning for hits on “honeymoon”, as opposed to Northwest Rocks or Northwest Sucks.

2. Northwest is detecting key word hits and has developed either an automated mechanism for posting a spam offer, or has a live human posting offers.

3. This is spam and makes me personally think less of Northwest.

4. This is spam but makes me wonder if the shoe was on the other foot, and I were a marketer responding to the word “laptop” what would be the right and proper way to arrive on a stranger’s blog with an offer in hand?

5. Can SMM be used to detect expressions of desire: (“I need a vacation” – “I need a new car”) and then reward those expressions with an offer?

6. Is the detection and reaction to expressions of desire the kiss of death for SMM?

Celtic Joy

Stayed up far too late watching the Celtics bag number 17. Brought me back to the glory days.

25th anniversary

I met my wife in a bar.

Great line, guaranteed to get a laugh, but it’s true. I was a non-violent bouncer at a fern bar (Please sir, stop choking your girlfriend and leave the bar without striking other patrons with your beer bottle) in San Francisco’s Marina District (The Balboa Cafe, run by a colorful gentleman named Jack Slick) and she was a waitress. We were both woefully young, recent college graduates stranded by the Carter recession in an economy where English lit majors aspired to be bartenders. On first meeting we played the “do you know?” game to vector in a common friend who became the basis of a platonic friendship enforced by Mister Slick’s warnings to kill and woodchip any employees of his establishment who dated and therefore in his eyes became co-conspirators who would rob him.

Photo: Thomas Hawk
One day I quit in a fit of 23 year-old stupidity and became eligible to date my wife, which I did, inviting her to a BB King concert. I cooked her dinner. A month later I moved in with her, abandoning my Haight & Masonic basement apartment (next door to the San Francisco Beer Pong Arena) for her former bordello apartment in the far cooler North Beach neighborhood. Proposed a month after that, she accepted, I asked her father for her hand in marriage, he asked me what I did for a living (poor man, the first time he met me I was asking the ultimate question), I told him I was an unemployed bouncer/bartender and unpublished novelist who specialized in maritime historical themes. He was great, he said yes.
And that was that. Dragged the poor woman out of San Francisco to Boston, where I promptly found a job as a dishwasher in a Cambridge jazz club. Big break was getting a newspaper job that paid $113 a week. We had no honeymoon.
Patience does not begin to describe her.
Twenty-five years and it seems like yesterday. Expecting that this is not the Formica nor appliance anniversary, I need to pull a major rabbit out of the hat. She won’t read my blog, so I’m safe making that admission here in public.

Sparing you the details ….

Went to the doctor yesterday, asked him how his tropical medicine chops were. Told him about Bengaluru two weeks ago and my intestinal health ever since. Let’s just say it’s an effective diet, but a heck of a long way to go to lose ten pounds. Poor doctor, he spends his day listening to people beef about their hay fever, and I come in and start conjuring up symptoms of Dengue Fever.

Oh well, just a way to make an excuse for a) not blogging a lot, b) not going to RTP this week (I swear it is not the heat) c) not exercising.

Side note, was watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations on the Travel Channel last night (his Kitchen Confidential is a fave, as is his NYC bistro, Les Halles). He was in Ghana and Uzbekistan. He ate some room temperature lamb brain, made a comment about “bleeding out into a toilet,” and I realized what I want to be when I grow up — a travel dude to weird places. If my stomach permits that is.

Final spasms of a dying beast

Associated Press expects you to pay to license 5-word quotations (and reserves the right to terminate your license) – Boing Boing

Oh dear. From Boing Boing comes this piece of news,  like IDG’s infamous anti-linking edict of a few years back, one of those dumbass King Canute edicts destined to be swept away by the tide of progress. Here’s the deal: The Associated Press, a coprolite concept of a global news syndicate used by newspapers to fill their editorial holes with standard news (bus plunges, fungible coverage of the world’s events, items from outside of the local circulation foot print) and to share their original reportage back into the pool in return, has decided that bloggers must pay by the word when they quote from an AP article.

To me that’s like asking me to pay a toll to get off the superhighway and visit a dying town that time has forgotten.

“In the name of “defin[ing] clear standards as to how much of its articles and broadcasts bloggers and Web sites can excerpt” the Associated Press is now selling “quotation licenses” that allow bloggers, journallers, and people who forward quotations from articles to co-workers to quote their articles. The licenses start at $12.50 for quotations of 5-25 words. The licensing system exhorts you to snitch on people who publish without paying the blood-money, offering up to $1 million in reward money (they also think that “fair use” — the right to copy without permission — means “Contact the owner of the work to be sure you are covered under fair use.”).”

Full disclosure, I am total copyleftist. I hate crap like this. Whenever an organization with an intellectual property axe to grind (MPAA, RIAA) starts getting “smart” about the digital world, they almost always put on the egg makeup.

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