Sunday, February 27, 2011

Gaddafi - Fights to the End!

This was the front page of Washington Post this past Wednesday.  Yes, Libya is having some problems with its younger restless generation, but that wily Gaddafi clearly has things in hand.  Just look at him...

The Post

Oh whups.  Hey Post photo editors... I got a little confused about the gun-waving dude in the image in relation to the headline: it looks as though Gaddafi is ready to bring it.  Still though, I bet the Onion staff dug this.

Happy Belated Valentines Day

I noted these neighbors below who have had their Halloween ghoul up for about two years.  Last month he (she?) was dressed as Santa Claus --see the earlier post.

And I drove by today, and I was just tickled to find the ghoul with Valentines Day treats!  For Me?!

Happy Valentines Day

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Duty Free

A close friend of mine declared Italy to be the land "where the simple is difficult, and the difficult is simple."  Here is a case in point.
"Yes, I would like one dried ham leg please to carry on the plane.  ...In fact, make it two."
These ham legs are located in the Duty Free at Venice airport (and situated between Mont Blanc accessories and Salvatore Ferragamo).  People were buying them for sure.

In the US, the Food & Drug Administration just does not go for open-air, hoofed, meat products like this. And Homeland Security has issued warnings about the connection between carry-on ham legs and risk of hijacking.

2011 | Venice, Italy

Monday, February 21, 2011

Time to Wake Up

Dawn arrives and so does a tranquil moment above the clouds.

Details | 2011


Get your life preserver, it's going to be a very productive afternoon.

Details | 2011


I love these neighbors.

Their Halloween ghoul has been around for not one, but two years straight now without ever coming off the tree. And while the wind has stolen most of his garments, he still has the decency the celebrate most of the major holidays outside of just Halloween. Here we have some left over Christmas cheer.

Details | 2011

Someone Had A Bad Day

Misha the Dog   : 1
King Kong         : 0

Details | 2011

Look Out, Here Comes Buddha

"Buddha's hand." My suspicion is that before Buddha got a hold of it, this yellow thing was actually a lemon. Moral of the story: if you see Buddha, get out of there.

Details | 2011

Also of note: this Buddha's hand is "Conventional."


This is the cover of this month’s Woman’s World magazine, which I observed while in the checkout line of Safeway in Washington DC.  You can find it any place in the US.

Details | 2011

This magazine ---about the “the world of women,” -- Do women read it? It's still in every super market. From my early days, I could remember my grandmother subscribing to Woman's World, but I just don’t recall it looking this strange. What exactly are the editors shooting for here?

  • Anyone (man or woman) can be a "cover girl" with a delicate color correction
  • You, the customer in the checkout line, are on acid again this fine Tuesday in February
  • We (the magazine editors) believe a “woman’s world” should look a lot like the cover
  • Or just the simple thought: “A great week, made easy!”

The following week, I get off the train in Milan, in a station.

Now granted, the Italians have some strange advertising persuasions of their own. But somehow it was hard to miss the impact of the Italian Triumph depicted here. Was I memorized? Absolutely:

Details | 2011

As I walked down the platform, I noticed another ad, for some Italian toothpaste.

It occurred to me that perhaps the editors of Woman's World consulted on some of the design choices: the teeth appear appropriately white and this woman is apparently very content about that. It also looks like God is coming for a visit today. Teeth so white that you feel like you're traveling to another galaxy and God has your back. Far out.

Details | 2011

Feel free to comment away...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ah Pizza

Lunch today in Venice, Italy at Il Refolo.  Pizza and beer with friends on warm day in February.

Venice Italy | Feb 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Liz and I watched/saw Social Network, the film about the advent of Facebook and what happens to its initial key players. The movie had a lot of geek action about writing code, firing up servers, traffic volume and so one.  And there was no lack of dramatization either (like the portrayal of Havard's elite club social events).

Zuckerberg is ironically made out to be a pathetic sociopath with few genuine social acquaintances and a one-track mind toward expanding Facebook's reach and positioning himself at the center of the the network.

In relation to that, this HBR blog posting caught my attention.  The last line of the article is a jab at the very Harvard drop-out who co-founded the Facebook empire.

What Is Facebook, Really?

Three remarkable realities account for the logic (and irony) of Facebook's absence..." (...Read more)

Mark Zuckerberg

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Knife Surrender Bin

This image was snapped in London during a business trip last year.

Judging by the size of the bin, surrendering a knife must be a common occurrence, perhaps even daily (the bin was about 60 cubic feet, which should hold several hundred Rambo knives).  But since this bin is over flowing with everything but knives, I sense there may be some questions raised at next year's Greater London Knife Bin Budgetary Round Table.  Perhaps additional funding is needed to create a large-scale blade surrender awareness campaign.

Details of the program can be found at the BBC online.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chelada | Product Development

This product reminds me of the Pontiac Aztec.

It's want happens when product development says, "You know we have a lot spare (fill in the blank here) in the Ohio production facility, what about mixing it with all that surplus (fill in the blank here), and marketing it as a specialized product?"  God probably made the platypus this way.  The camel is a borderline case also.

In the most recent product development miracle of this type, Bud Light has teamed up with Motts juice to create the Chelada (which I incidentally tried before putting the can on the ground to take a picture).

I know the “Clamato” drink has always confused some of you (image attached below).  It’s clam juice mixed with tomato juice and bottled and sold.   A perfectly natural combo  - Clamato.

Now you can get that incredible Clamato concoction pre-mixed in a can with Bud Light!   Also added are lime and salt.  I was not aware that Clamato was mixed with beer to begin with.

The math basically works like this:

((Clam Juice + Tomato Juice = Clamato!) + Bud Light + Salt + Lime) = Chelada!

 In case you are not familiar with Clamato, here's a picture.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Howling Forever

The preceding post is somber, so I'm following it with this one.

This is our neighbor's dog Kiko, who howls whenever he hears "Forever" by Chris Brown.  I mean, who doesn't?

Justice and Closure

Today I accompanied my friend Todd Beckett to the sentencing of the young man that ran him over and dragged Todd one city block.  (If you need the back-story, find out what happened here).

In the DC courtroom at 9:30 am, Todd confronted for the first time the convicted hit-and-run driver. A Salvadorian man of 19, who was little more than a high school senior, stood with his head hung. Todd had opted to attend and speak at the sentencing though it was not required. Todd's attorney made a short set of remarks.

When the judge allotted Todd's time to speak, Todd said a few words about his struggles and the tragic changes he has faced, but he largely relied on a written statement prepared by his longtime friend, Jennifer Goldstein, a federal judge. Jen addressed the statement to the court and over a few pages described Todd's character, his many athletic, intellectual, and personal accomplishments, and the type of man he is to his family, friends and community. The impact was huge. The courtroom was more silent than ever, people hung on ever word. The defendant was sobbing. The judge was transfixed and literally fumbled for words to reckon with what was said. Todd returned to his seat and sat down quietly.

Following Todd's statement, the defense attorney ineptly lumbered into his statement of how defendant had suffered and toiled with his actions, which implicitly drew a comparison to Todd whether he meant to or not. The defendant turned around to Todd with a very long face and wet eyes and said that he was sorry and remorseful of his actions.

What happened next amazed me: The judge had prepared a sentence for the convicted man. But it was plain to see that the convict was a little more than a child himself and he had a 11 month old baby. Through a series of short exchanges between Todd and judge across the court room, both agreed that prolonged jail time neither served any valuable lesson to the defendant, nor returned the young man to society in any shape to contribute or make anything of himself. So it appeared they (the judge with Todd's input) suspended the jail time entirely, put the young man in a half way house so he could work, mandated community service, and 3 years probation.

My impression was that that the judge had initially planned on imposing jail time. The result of that change will undoubtedly alter the course of convicted man's life.