Monday, December 24, 2007

A Text..

Luke 2

1And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Nice job putting the company in the tank.... here's your golden parachute

This posting is long overdue....
I could've written about one of the last examples of mismanagement, and used it as an example. This one is not as spectacular from a monetary point of view, but it is nonetheless, the continuation of a trend that defies explanation. Let me suggest an alternate scenario, one that I learned from my old man, himself a successful businessman. "The CEO, Executive Staff, and Board of Directors is accountable for the success or failure of the company. Not just from the standpoint of reputation, but from a financial point of view." That means, "if you put the company in the toilet, you get *nothing*! No golden parachute, no immediate vesting of the stock options you were granted when you took the job. Nothing. *You* are your golden parachute. And, no, we're not going to pay you an exorbitant salary, either. And, by the way, if you've resorted to illegal acts to artificially inflate the value of your company, the police are waiting outside the door for you. (By the way, fellas, and you know who you are, thanks for all the extra work you've added to our plates. It's amazing how we've now come to the point where "Do the right thing" had to be codified into law.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

raison d'etre

What exactly prompted the name of this blog? Look at it this way. One of my long-time friends had a early 70's Datsun 240Z years ago that wasn't much to look at. It also wasn't long for creature comforts. What it lacked in looks and creature comforts was more than made up for by what it would do when sufficient force was applied to the accelerator pedal. The car would go.. terribly fast. That car embodies the blingmenot ethic. I could care less what a thing (gadget, car, you name it) looks like when it is uniquely useful or entertaining. It doesn't need to be flashy, and it doesn't need to be ostentatious.

I talked about $10,00 video projectors and $6,000 home theater patch cords in an earlier posting. Such items are the antithesis of blingmenot. blingmenot embodies my rejection of useless excess. It's the 'best bang for the buck' principle, reduced to a single word.

Guitar (anti-)Hero

So, Fender and Gibson have licensed replicas of some of my favorite guitars, so that they can be replicated as little plastic Guitar Hero controllers.. little plastic insults to the beautiful musical instruments they are modeled after. That started me wondering. You can buy a *real* Strat replica for probably about the same amount of money as the little verkakte Guitar hero Stratocaster controller. Why didn't either Fender or Gibson insist that Activision (along with the Guitar Hero controllers) make a simple controller for the various game consoles that takes real electric guitar input, and samples and translates actual strum/fretting actions into the representative Guitar hero controller commands? Nobody said you had to actually produce something musical on the guitar with all this fretting and picking. You don't even have to tune the guitar. Just strum the thing, and let the controller calibrate to whatever the strings are tuned to. You could even color the first through 5th frets on your "REAL Guitar Hero" controller green. red, yellow, blue, and orange. (for that matter, how long is it going to be before a real guitarist shows up on stage playing a guitar that has green, red, yellow, blue and orange spots in the first five fret positions.)

My gripe is, why play at playing guitar when you're that close to the real thing. Oh, and God forbid you decide you actually *like* playing the thing, and decide to really learn to pick out notes, and make chords. Then the Guitar Hero gameplay could then have a mode that expects you to play more complex note patterns as the game progresses.

Also, I'm not talking about ruining a perfectly good guitar by cobbling the existing GH controller into a real electric guitar. I mean a black box that has a quarter-inch jack on one end, and on the other end, a connector for the gaming console of your choice.. you can use any guitar. You could even include colored dots to place under the first five fret positions on an existing guitar. In this way *any* guitar would work. I presume Fender and Gibson would prefer to make the profit off sales of real guitars (even cheap ones) over the pennies they may be making off the little plastic controllers (that are breaking left and right)

Home, sweet home...

I have a friend who grew up in Russia, and lived there through his college years. I asked him if the recent election results back home seemed familiar to him. Did they remind him of the home he left. "Not especially," was his initial reply. "However, when Chechnya supposedly supported Putin with 97 percent of the votes.. now *that* reminds me of home."

Well put.