Saturday, December 13, 2003

I'll Be Seeing You In All The Old Familiar Places

I still find it semi-astounding that someone can end up on my weblog a few seconds after doing a search on Yahoo Hong Kong in Chinese. What can they possibly think my weblog is about when they arrive at my doorstep ...

Go Rageboy You Little Collaborative Filterer!

Well, it's a perfect day now. I just bought something at Amazon -- a videogame -- and the following message popped up:


C'MON, C'MON -- Sheryl Crowe
DOWN THE ROAD -- Van Morrison

Way to go, man. You sure keep cool company.

Three Pair of Pants

Note to self: ask parents of girls if they are as messy as boys and as messy to be NEAR as boys. It's not even 3:00pm yet and my 8-year-old has now caused enough catastrophic mess near me that I've changed into a third pair of pants since this morning -- rather typical Saturday -- and I wonder why I feel like I spend a lot of time doing laundry. One pair of black corduroy jeans at the bottom of washer covered with yellow mustard. One pair of blue blue jeans with soda poured all down one leg. Third pair of pants on me, but in no way sanguine about them lasting very long.

Also have a bandaid on one finger. Otherwise unscathed. So far.

Never More True

To err is human, to forgive divine.

Thanks to a friend, who just forgave me for doing an utterly boneheaded thing.

Good season for forgiveness. Excellent present, thank you.

Friday, December 12, 2003

The Light Hearts Of Children

Glad to hear Liz is back after a week of mourning the sudden death of her sister's husband -- husband of only six months. Made me think of the time after my mom died and my son was very young, only about 2 and 1/2 and how there was little time to dwell on sadness, but instead toddler needs to attend to.

The babies seem so untouched and during mourning, they can seem almost unseemly in their obliviousness. They cry, they fuss, they giggle, they gurgle along and you resist their light heartedness at first. You can resent how carefree they seem as you suffer. You marvel at their disconnect from time, place, past, future, life, death.

But in the end, I remember being thankful that they restart this weighty loadstone of life rolling again. A meal must be made. A diaper must be changed. A child must be dressed and taken out to the park for a walk. They wear you out and bring solid sleep that others in the same sad house have trouble finding. Before you notice, something sweet and funny they do has you laughing. They levitate your heavy heart with magic little hands these babes. And we think we're wise and they are naive, as to how to live in this world.

Tom Peters' Book Is Full Of It

Really, it's so full of innovation and new ways to see things and so many interesting ideas, it's quite something. I hope you've trotted out to buy it by now, or let your fingers do the clicking. I don't want to keep going on and on about it, but David Weinberger and I got to catch up with Tom last night, since he was here to do a book signing at The Harvard Coop and then we had the treat of being wined and dined by him and his terrific crew of co-creatives.

The book really is an astounding compendium of total wow-a-tude. If you don't know his work (David and I have been fans for way long) and want a good comprehensive jumping in point, get the book. And of course, as wowish as the book is, he's 100% more wowish in person. He makes me feel so old. He's full of good ideas and so OPEN to cool new stuff, he's like hanging out with a goddamned teenage kid. Next time, I'm going to pace myself, maybe bring along a little portable oxygen.

404 Error -- Sorry Clay

I was trying to call someone in Atlanta and looked at my call list in my cell phone of recent incoming/outgoings and saw 404 area code and thought, "That's the one." Nah, got a new friend in Burlington, VT instead of warmer Georgia. Whoops, sorry Clay.

Instapundit Watch

Okay, I just asked Instapundit to put me on his blogroll. It's not the first time -- he's a good guy and he promised me he would. Let's see how long it takes. Synchronize your watches. C'mon, Glenn, just do it.

People Who Curse

They just don't have very good vocabularies I guess. Shame.

Remember Not To Remember This

This Halleyburton story is so much fun. I think I'm going to do a public reading of this Halliburton newswire report -- you know like part of a stand-up comedy routine on open mike night.

But wait, first I have to go fix a little 61 million dollar error in my checkbook. You know how these little things happen.

Ask Book

This is an amazing book I'm reading that I wanted to mention.

Here's the info:

Women Don't Ask : Negotiation and the Gender Divide
by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Lovely Dinner

Wonderful dinner in Cambridge tonight at Rialto. Big thanks to the gracious host. I terrorized everyone when I left telling them I was running home to blog about them -- not so, not so. How uncivilized that would be!

Hilariously smart and funny tableful of folks. Good good company.

Mysteriously at one end of the restaurant, they display plates of food with a video camera hanging ponderously above them. The silent food is splayed nakedly, like poorly paid porno stars to be videotaped in embarrassing positions. You can see right up the skirt of a redleaf lettuce, deep into the crevasses of a starfruit, rawly into seared tuna flesh, breadsticks turgid and erect.

Enchantee de faire votre connassance and off I went, up way too late for my own good.

Thursday, December 11, 2003

10,000! So Are Happy Days Here Again?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finally hit 10,000 today. (Prelim quote: 10006) But does it mean we're really in a bull market? A lot of people doubt it. Is NASDAQ at 2,000 coming next?

Most Egregious Omission

I don't care much about awards, so when I noticed I wasn't in the WizBang Blog lists AT ALL, not as a male blog, not as a female blog, nothing -- I figured Halley's Comment must simply defy all description and classification. She is simply in a class of her own.

Until Kevin told me he was putting me with much chagrin and many apologies into the "Most Egregious Omission" category, which, of course, was even more amusing. So feel free to vote for me and help me lick my wounds of feeling forgotten. (But don't worry, I didn't really mind, especially when I heard people were so insecure about the whole thing as to CHEAT to win. Give it a break!)

This Flu Might Just Keep Us Home

This flu epidemic is so much worse than one would expect. Golly. Especially bad to hear it's hitting kids so hard. How about a little home schooling this winter? Might not be a bad idea. Any parent with a kid knows how fast kids get sick once they start going to school. It's the big germ factory.

Forget Berkman

I've got better things to do tonight than drop in here. The weather stinks -- it's pouring -- and making a heckof a mess of all the grey dirty snow. Don't look for me there. Betsy's busy, Skadz is booked, hey Redhead, next time, or are you still in Canada?

Cerritos, A Little Slice of WiFi Heaven

This is an interesting development. Sounds like a place worth moving to. Cerritos goes wifi all over town.

The Kiss

"No..I don't think I will kiss you. Although you need kissing-badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed-and often-and by someone who knows how."

Oh Rhett!

If you haven't seen GONE WITH THE WIND lately, rent it. It's really something. One quote I liked particularly is at the bottom of the page.

The scene is a big charity ball, with Scarlett in widow's weeds -- dressed in black -- and furious that she has to be on the sidelines and can not dance, as that would be very improper for a new widow. She's only a widow because she married the brother of her rival, Melanie, right after Melanie marries Scarlett's true secret love, Ashley (a girly boy's name to be sure, played by Leslie Howard, who ironically ALSO had a girly boy's name). She couldn't care less for Charles Hamilton and did it only to spite Ashley.

The two guys go off to war immediately and Scarlett's unfortunate husband dies -- good for Scarlett actually. Does he die in an heroic battle? Nah -- he dies of pneumonia, which is even more pathetic. She is a rich, spoiled, self-indulgent girl who Rhett Butler meets and sizes up right away. They are a match made in heaven -- both of them are ruthless, selfish, charming, cunning survivors. Rhett knows and admits this about himself. He's also quick to tell Scarlett she's the same animal, but she will not accept this. She finds him arrogant and obnoxious.

Scarlett hasn't seen Rhett for months until he shows up at the charity ball, much to her disgust. He teases her about what a lousy widow she makes and how it's clear all she wants to do is dance and flirt.

At the charity ball, someone proposes that the men bid for the women as dance partners, giving the money to "the Cause" and Rhett offers the stunning sum of 150 gold Confederate dollars. The room falls silent to hear his choice of partner. He says "Mrs. Charles Hamilton" and no one even knows who he means. Of course this is Scarlett's married and now widowed name. It's obvious no one else knows her in this role or name either. He repeats the name. Finally they get it and they are all shocked. The man running the event says she would never agree, she is in mourning.

Scarlett corrects him and says she'd be happy to dance with Rhett. More shocked faces, dropped jaws and fainting ladies ensue. They do the Virginia reel and Scarlett's striking black dress and Rhett's black dandy suit cut a figure against the rest of the colorful ball gowns.

She tells Rhett, "Another dance and my reputation will be ruined forever. "

And he says, my favorite line, "If you've enough courage, you can do without a reputation."

Happy Birthday Betsy

I knew it was a special day -- it's Betsy's birthday! I'm going to put my party hat on and dance around! Have a great one B!

Alpha Male Analysis Day

I have my white cotton lab coat on and begin some serious research into the alpha male genome project today. The team here at the lab is watching the whole of Gone With The Wind starting at 6:00am. After careful analysis, we've isolated Rhett Butler as our number one sample for the species as a whole.

Wednesday, December 10, 2003

Berkman Thursday Night With Uncle Dave

Thinking about dropping into Berkman tomorrow night to see the regulars. Trying to talk Betsy Devine into it. Got to bring Dave a pre-Christmas and pre-Chanukah gift. It's the least I can do.

I Hate Politics -- I Love Democracy

That's the interesting thing about the Dean campaign. It's a boot camp for getting back into excellent democratic fitness and American wellness. It's not about politics -- that's the stinky little practice of lying and cheating and lobbying and bullying they do in Washington.

We're sick of that, but we can't get enough of that old time brand new reclaimed democracy.

Go Ahead -- Ask

If there's someone you want to call, a girl you want to date, a guy you want to hear on your phone, a party you don't want to miss, but feel a little shy, but know the perfect pal to drag along with you for courage -- go ahead, ask.

You're already hearing "NO" by not asking. Give yourself the chance to hear "YES" and chalk it up to experience if you get turned down. What the heck, at least you tried.

Have a fun evening.

Not Good News

That 100% guaranteed scientifically-proven astrology forecast doesn't bode well today:

You can expect to be highly voluble today, dear dear Aquarius!
No one will dare contradict you or insinuate that you've taken
your ideas from others! You have the potential to get really angry.
Rather than saying things you might later regret, write down your thoughts
in a diary. And if you do feel the need to make a speech, do it in public.

My Waterfall

Tangra and Shawn were so helpful to me today on IRC watching my waterfall. Thanks again.

Reply from bytes=32 time=125ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=123ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=123ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=120ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=123ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=120ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=121ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=121ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=122ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=123ms TTL=48
Reply from bytes=32 time=120ms TTL=48

Vanilla Frosting

I still can't get over this snow. There wasn't nearly as much up in Vermont, so it's been slightly hilarious to return to Boston which is so snow-disabled.

I had not lifted my wooden slat blinds which look out on my porch until mid-day yesterday and when I did -- HOLY HECK! There was a big drifty gob of snow all the way up to the middle of the top of my wooden porch chairs -- looked just like someone had been frosting a big cake (my back yard and porch) with gobs of vanilla frosting. I mean the whole chair was lost in a drift, only saw the top and back of it poking out of the drift.

A Lot of Single Parent Holidays

There will be a lot of soldiers' families celebrating Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa with their dad or mom (or both) away in Iraq or Afgahistan or many other places worldwide. Praying for you guys. What a tough time to be away.

Too Goofy Girlish?

I've got a super fun exciting dinner coming up with a bunch of folks including this guy at this joint here and I want to drag along his book for an autograph. Is that just too goofy girlish for words? Believe me it will not fit in my purse, so it will be obvious. What the heck, I'm taking it.

It's Rather Dull In Town

It's rather dull in town, I think I'll take me to Paree.
The mistress wants to open up the castle in Capri.
Me doctor recommends a quiet summer by the sea!
Mmmm, Mmmm, wouldn't it be loverly?

Forget Paree and the castle in Capri -- you need a good helping of IRC!

Wouldn't It Be Loverly?

Fun to sit in my cozy chair, lots of chocolates for me to eat, lots of coal making lots of heat -- well, not exactly, but you get the idea -- and then I get to visit with all my friends on #joitio IRC chatroom (when my software isn't crashing or Verizon DSL isn't hiccuping).

It's rather dull in town, I think I'll take me to Paree.
The mistress wants to open up the castle in Capri.
Me doctor recommends a quiet summer by the sea!
Mmmm, Mmmm, wouldn't it be loverly?

All I want is a room somewhere,
Far away from the cold night air.
With one enormous chair,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Lots of choc'lates for me to eat,
Lots of coal makin' lots of 'eat.
Warm face, warm 'ands, warm feet,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?

Aow, so loverly sittin' abso-bloomin'-lutely still.
I would never budge 'till spring
Crept over me windowsill.
Someone's 'ead restin' on my knee,
Warm an' tender as 'e can be. 'ho takes good care of me,
Aow, wouldn't it be loverly?
Loverly, loverly, loverly, loverly

-- My Fair Lady, Lerner & Loewe

IRC Is Loverly

Hyrdra IRC gives a good definition for us mere mortals:
An IRC network is a collection of servers connected together. When you log onto an IRC network, you are connecting to one of the servers on that network. Since all the servers are connected to each other you are connected to all the other users even though they may not be connected to the same server as you. All servers on a network share and have access to the same information. Each server knows who is on the network, what channel that user is on, and which server the user is on as well.

A channel is similar to a chat room, when you speak, everyone else in the channel hears you too. You can use IRC to talk in channels, or to talk privately to your friends.

All I Want Is A Room Somewhere

That damned IRC chatroom! I stay away for a nice long while and then I go back to visit and it's really a lot of fun. It lures you back in. Fun to see (hear? type along with?) you guys last night. Thanks for this recommendation, I'll check it out and see if downloading it will make my latency problem go away.

Seinfeld Rumor

Heard a rumor this is coming back in some form. Anyone know the inside dirt?

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Teasing Ten Thousand

The Dow Jones just reached up and tickled 10,000 points, only to fall back down. The first time it hit that number was in 1999. The last time we saw it was 2002.

Al Gore's Been Eating His Wheaties!

All Gore sure looked fired up and full of energy. That was the most surprising thing to me this morning about today'a announcement of Gore supporting Dean.

Glad to see Howard and Al together on the stage, pushing this thing closer and closer to The White House.

December 8th, 1980

I wrote some posts below about John Lennon without realizing yesterday was the date of his death. Perhaps it was on my radar, just not consciously.

We miss you, man. Especially thanks for this:


Imagine thereĀ’s no heaven,
ItĀ’s easy if you try,
No hell below us,
Above us only sky,
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine thereĀ’s no countries,
It isnĀ’t hard to do,
Nothing to kill or die for,
No religion too,
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

Imagine no possessions,
I wonder if you can,
No need for greed or hunger,
A brotherhood of man,
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...

You may say IĀ’m a dreamer,
But IĀ’m not the only one,
I hope some day youĀ’ll join us,
And the world will live as one.

Thanks Google

I wrote a post about search engine fetishism and "Boolean Bukkake" below. When I just ran the term in Google, I got a sponsored ... aka PAID result pointing me to something called I think this has something to do with cooking.

If I Fell

Lennon and McCartney

If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand
'Cause I've been in love before
And I found that love was more
Than just holding hands

If I give my heart to you
I must be sure from the very start
That you would love me more than her

If I trust in you, oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too, oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her
'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two
'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two

If I fell in love with you

Karlin's A Darlin -- But You Knew That

I always like to visit Karlin Lillington's blog, Techno/Culture. She's got an interesting post about George Martin describing the Beatles recording process for Sargent Pepper and she asks the all important question:
Did you have a favourite Beatle? We all had to have one when I was a kid. My cousins and I debated this subject endlessly while listening to worn Beatles LPs on my dad's huge mono record player. I liked George (he always looked kind of quiet and smart, and I liked his moustache and long hair, but I stopped liking him best when he got to that Abbey Road frizzy beard space cadet stage).
Mine was obviously ... come on, you know ... John Lennon. Just too sexy and bad boy for his own good.

And that boy could really sing harmony. Just take a listen to "If I Fell" and John's wonderful pulling weighty voice going bass and south, as Paul went tenor and north. Creates a terrific wrenching tension, that is the epitome of the message of that song and all it's anxiousness. It's as if you can hear him think through the options -- fall for the girl or not -- with the painful fact lingering in the back of his mind, that this could crash and burn like the last time. It takes the most poignant and painful turn in terms of key on the words "LIKE HER" as if we are all plunged into a bittersweet memory of a true love gone wrong and left feeling pretty anxious about the future:

If I trust in you, oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too, oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her
'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

Joi's Low Profile

I like what Joi Ito wrote today about how to blog a subject without being a greedy Google pig about it. I guess if you put a certain "zinger" term in your headline, you'll get a much higher ranking. I didn't know this actually.

He wirites "I'm going to make a point to have cryptic titles for entries where I'm talking to my regulars and not to Google."

I guess we need to get used to the enormous egos around this joint and keep resisting the urge to use the power of this medium for promoting one instead of promoting a community of many.

When I worked at Lexis/Nexis from 1987 through 1992 with a hardworking team of MLS's (Masters of Library Science grads) honing the proprietary database of newswires, newspapers, magazines, and financial data, the search engine was designed to bring up the most meaty, substantial and relevant hits. There are days that I miss it's simple ethos and straight forward Boolean logic that put the most informed sources ahead of the more subjective ones. {I can hear you all shifting in your chairs getting ready to jump up and disagree with me, but restrain yourselves a second.)

If we had seen back then the way Google would deliver "most linked" but often off-point results or even worse (horrors!) PAID-RESULTS, I don't think we would have believed our eyes.

Google seems enormously vulnerable in this respect. If there were an alternative database with some SENSE and WISDOM, where I could go and type in "Halley" and get references to the astronomer Edmund Halley FIRST, followed by information on the Halley Artic Observatory, SECOND and then followed way beyond by Halley's Comment -- even I would be happy to see the world set right in this way.

In my opinion, we have reached a level of of near fetishism in terms of search engine tomfoolery. Only insiders seem to be in on the joke. We find ourselves in one endless circle jerk of Boolean bukkake, with pointless results spewing in every direction which only a few find delicious, as they lap up their own juices.

Monday, December 08, 2003

Mad Magazine Of Course

I was trying to figure out where I get that smart-assy blog tone that suddenly creeps up on me ... and then I remembered! Mad Magazine of course! Spent many of my formative years reading it cover-to-cover and then meticiously folding the back cover into the graphic joke. Love you, Alfred E. Newman!

Should You Give Your Boss A Holiday Gift?

Okay, someone tell me please to turn off CNN Headline News -- this is the dumb kind of story they love to do and one they just did a teaser for. Can't wait to hear what they suggest.

Of course, the answer to "Should You Give Your Boss A Holiday Gift?" is yes! It's best to keep it simple -- no big packages -- something small.

If she's a woman boss, try this. And for your male corporate drone of a boss, any of these will do. Be sure to give it to them the night of the Xmas party -- the one your company was too cheap to invite spouses and significant others to. You don't think your gift would give them the wrong idea, do you?!

Now let's see what CNN suggests ....

Gore Endorses Dean

Boy, oh boy, the plot thickens. This is incredible. I have to say, I can't wait to hear Andrew Sullivan on the subject.

CNN Talks Bloggers

CNN is doing a story about Google Bombing with "miserable failure' like a few of us mentioned already today.

The TV anchor lady drops the word "blogger" like she's been saying it her whole life.

Give 'Em Healthcare, Howard

Great slogan! Give them hell in New Hampshire.


There was a good discussion at the BloggerCon Convention in October about the amazing comments on the Dean Blog. I just witnessed them, growing from 17 comments on a post about tonight's parties, to 45 comments in about 5 minutes to 83 comments. Very interesting.

Also for the old time bloggers here like us, we found it very telling that many of the people using the comments called what they were doing "blogging" -- not commenting -- where the more traditional bloggers among us usually distinguish between blog posts to be "blogging" and comments to "commenting."

What it said to us was that the whole experience of sharing thoughts was a communal, tribal process and there was no sense of authority or dominance by the the first person who posted the first blog post. They were considered an equal with all others in the discussion. This is another bit of evidence as to how Dean is demolishing barriers between people. It's amazing.

Just checked back on the Dean blog -- 105 comments now in about 15 minutes!

Dean Party

This will be great tonight. Absolutely terrific and fun!

The Halley Show

Did a lot of driving this weekend which means a lot of thinking and pondering.

Alan Webber once told me over lunch, "Blogs are performance art." I thought he had hit the nail on the head.

And this weekend, I was thinking they are like having your own 24 hour cable channel -- All Halley All The Time -- which might be incredibly annoying if you don't want to tune into my mind continuously.

Christ and Christmas -- I'm the first one who'll admit even I don't want to tune into my mind 24x7.

So that got me thinking about what a bully this medium is. Blogging is a bully's medium. It lets narcissists and egomaniacs (me included) run wild and pollute your mind with their thoughts. I was thinking of some of the arrogant obnoxious blogs that really get on my nerves -- there are some, but I'm not naming them. But it's like being married to a big arrogant bore who never stops telling the same stupid jokes over dinner. BOR-ing!

Feel free at any moment to turn off The Halley Show.

And Now This -- Unabashed Amy Wohl Pitch

If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Amy Wohl at a conference, she's terrific and terrifically smart. (I know, I know, it sounds like a commercial. But I like her! Actually we don't know one another well at all. I just saw her on Daivd's JOHO blogroll while looking at his snow pix and remembered how impressive she is.)

Sentimental Education

I'm not talking about this, but rather this. I have had a sneaking suspicion for a long, long time that Dads are a lot more sentimental about their kids than we give them credit.

I love this picture of Larry Lessig, his baby and his wife on Joi Ito's weblog. The professor is taking up some new concerns. There's a person in his life who surreptiously refers to him as "Dear Old Dad" and one day soon -- and it's always wonderful and spooky when they start to speak -- will say those great syllables. Da-da!

Shall I Crank Up The Machine?

I have built a new machine here that I can't wait to demo for you. And it's high time some innovator got around to building it.

It's simply a black box with a big funnel input device where you can put crazy shit people write on their blogs that pretend to be informed opinion, but are obviously just sour grapes rants and thinly-veiled character assassinations against other bloggers who've achieved some honor or privilege, or hell, even an invitation to a cool party or conference. You flip the switch and it conveniently translates the blog post into one of the following output statements:





I think my machine will be a big hit. Now what to call it ... let me think ... I'm sure I can come up with something. Something to do with complaining and whining ... hmmmm ... the ACME COMPLAIN-A-LATOR?

Over The Border

Don't those funny signs that say WELCOME TO NEW HAMPSHIRE and WELCOME TO MASSACHUSETTS with their girly curly scripty font look silly as they welcome you home -- silly and wonderful and much appreciated. The font is a wee bit corny.

I started out this morning at 9:30, not at all sure what to expect, but the drive wasn't bad down from Vermont and I'm back in Boston now.

I've been in complete LOL MODE here because iBoston has SO MUCH SNOW. It's an embarrassement of riches and wet britches. I rented a car for the trip which turned out to be a good idea, since my car is completely buried. Boston's got a heavier, wetter snow than Vermont where it was a lot colder and the snow removal uip there was akin to blowing on a dandelion puff of little white fuzz and all of the little parachute seeds scatter. Not so here. This is serious stuff.

BTW, graphic artists, please take a bow, I was thinking a lot about FONTS on the drive home. Some of the trucks with the better brands really are build on EXCELLENT FONTS AND LOGOS. Just as God created the world with a WORD, it's really essential to clothe your idea in a great font with good design. I was looking at the 18-wheeler spewing grey snow vomit in my face, thanks, man, from MARKETBASKET and their tagline is in this total CHEESEBALL 1950's Helvetica rip-off font saying something like "Good Food For Less" and I was thinking not only how I happened to hate that particular truck, but their markets suck and are dirty, unorganized and shotty like their font.

Hope all you artists (I'm thinking swirly excellent Coca-Cola logo, I'm thinking Apple, I'm thinking simple stuff like John Hancock, with his signature) are getting paid what you deserve. You set expectations for the whole brand experience. You guys are incredible. I salute you today.

Big Thanks Britt

Just wanted to say a big thanks to Britt Blaser for convincing me to come up north to visit, being super-gracious and helpful all weekend to introduce me to folks here at the Dean campaign and especially for being really fun despite certain mishaps -- "Who Towed My Car!?!" and other memorable events on this big snow weekend.

Webber On Dean Web

Alan Webber has a cool piece in USATODAY today (sorry, that sounds confusing, doesn't it?) about Dean's "Super Web Site" -- don't miss it.

I love his analysis of how the other candidates' websites rate. Not happy reading for some of these guys.

We WISH You A Merry Xmas From Dean HQ

Even after a short weekend visit, it's clear these folks know how to work hard and need some convincing to leave their desks and get into the "party hard" mode, but they seemed to make the transition. . Once the party got going, it was a ton of fun. How could you NOT have fun watching Joe Trippi and Cathy Lash dressed up as Mr. and Mrs. Santa, giving us the requisite number of "Ho! Ho! Ho!" 's and handing out gifts? Matt Gross in elfish attire was also not to be missed.

The 20 inches of snow in Burlington VT surely added to the holiday spirit. Right before the party kicked off, everyone had to go out and move their trucks, SUV's, VW bugs and every other kind of car out of the parking lot so the snowplows could take a crack at clearing it.

Joe Trippi knows how to rally his troops and especially how to appreciate them and praise them. Harvard Business School and General Patton combined don't have as much natural gut leadship ability as this guy. He says the right things and it was a moment of family business, so I won't quote it.

After Joe's couch pillow had fallen out of his santa tunic three times, and the room seemed to be near 90 degrees, he decided to retire the very HOT outfit, heading down the hall saying "Santa has to go find that guy Joe Trippi who's missing all the fun."

A group hit the conference room which was decked with all manner of meatballs, hummus, veggies, baked ham, you name it, to warm themselves around the tri-corner hat shaped conferenece phone to call the other Dean state HQs -- Iowa, NH, etc. -- to sing a loud "We WISH You A Merry Xmas" -- of course, not without some terrific spoofs and trick voices to see how well the volunteers on the other end of the line could handle whatever they threw at them.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

Get The Party Started

There's a party here at Dean HQ and we still can't get away from the computer. Someone just came up and said, "Guys, we have to ask you to stop taking back the country and come in and join the party."

I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started

Get this party started on a Saturday night
Everybody's waitin' for me to arrive
Sendin' out the message to all of my friends
We'll be lookin' flashy in my Mercedes Benz
I got lotsa style, got my gold diamond rings
I can go for miles if you know what I mean
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started

Pumpin up the volume, breakin down' to the beat
Cruisin' through the west side
We'll be checkin' the scene
Boulevard is freakin' as I'm comin' up fast
I'll be burnin' rubber, you'll be kissin' my a**
Pull up to the bumper, get out of the car
License plate says Stunner #1 Superstar

I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started

Makin' my connection as I enter the room
Everybody's chillin' as I set up the groove
Pumpin' up the volume with this brand new beat
Everybody's dancin' and their dancin' for me
I'm your operator, you can call anytime
I'll be your connection to the party line

I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
I'm comin' up so you better you better get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now
Get this party started
Get this party started
Get this party started right now

-- Pink

Greetings Again From Vermont

[Wrote this this morning about 9:30am, but Blogger was down.]

Safe and sound up here in Burlington VT as my visit to Dean Headquarters begins to grow longer and longer ... VT has serious snow which started yesterday Saturday, around 10:00am, as Mike O'Neill, a Dean guy and I were
watching out the window. Actually I'm happy to report on an early Saturday morning the place wasn't packed and Mike and I almost needed to break-in to get in. We were the early birds, and made it in before
the snow started.

But then it just came down non-stop. At noon, a bunch of folks rolled in just about the time I was ready to
take a break and go for a walk in the snow. It was a fine walk one way, but a stinging snow blowing in your face walk back the other direction. Still it's beautiful stuff -- an inch or two or three of it.

But the stuff won't STOP! I peeked out my hotel room window at different times last night when the
scrapping and clunking metal blades of the snowplows went by. Under a tall light in the parking lot, there was a slightly orange glowing triangle of snow showering down, the cars getting more and more covered, like camels in a sandstorm, heads buried, legs folded beneath them, getting slowly blanketed, just trying to wait it out.

At dawn (still dark) the parking lot was still a snow factory, snow relentlessly pouring like it had all night. For all the snowplows' hard day's night of work, it didn't seem to have made much of a dent.

No room service, as this is a simple hotel (and very cozy and the staff are very very nice btw). I had a meal of vending machine delicacies for supper last night -- two slim jim small salami sticks, trail mix with blue and red M&M's, two bags of big Amish pretzels, 3 cups of Twinings English Breakfast I always stash in my suitcase. Like bathtub gin, I brewed my tea from very hot tub water out of the big tap.

I was starving this morning and the complimentary breakfast was much appreciated.

Rumor has it there's a party this afternoon at Dean HQ which I may attend, now that I'm stuck here. I had originally planned to return to Boston today, but that is certainly NOT in the cards.

Stay safe and warm if you're in a cold climate ... more soon.