May 302014

There was a time when I was riding off on my own and we thought for safety’s sake, I should pay for Runkeeper so it could broadcast my trip. And then if Catherine ever needed to find my body on the side of the road, she’d know where to start looking.

The day after I paid for it, RoadID came out with the same service for free.

Oh well.

The benefit is now you’ll be able to follow my ride at this link – but to really follow it live, they’d like you to sign up for a free Runkeeper account too.  I think it’d be worth it. But maybe I’m biased.

Anyway, that was one way I thought I could cheer people up during the week. Ever feel down?  Go load that page up and enjoy a good laugh at me…

But then, I was thinking I wanted to do something to help keep people more engaged with the whole phenomena of the ride. And prop bets seem like the right answer.

So let’s play.

Right answer gets you a point.  If no one hits the number perfectly, closest answer, without going over gets you a point (aka Price is Right style). I’ll do my best to update my stats daily.

Most points win. In the case of a tie, all the people with the most points will have the deltas for the ones they didn’t get perfectly right summed up.  Smallest delta wins.

What do you win?  I’ll take you (and your family/significant other) out to dinner.  If you’ve sponsored my bike ride for any amount, it’ll be a nicer dinner.

Here are my props:

  • My max speed:
  • Times I will ride the bus:
  • Number of miles spent riding the bus:
  • Will I ride my bike over the finish line:
  • Weight difference between 5/31/14 and 6/8/14 (negative means I lose weight):
  • Average speed for all miles cycled (mph):
  • Day of my fastest average speed:
  • Day of my slowest average speed:
  • Will I wear a tutu?
  • Total steps taken during trip (pedal strokes relate to steps the way I use Fitbit) (in thousands):
  • Number of times I do the QuadBuster hill (1.5 mile hill on day 3 @ mile 10 out of 67 for the day; 0 means I rode the bus, 1 is normal, 2+ means I went back to do it again!):
  • Number of strangers hugged:
  • Time of checking my bike in on final day (minutes):
  • Earliest start time of day (minutes):
  • Latest finish time of day (minutes):
  • Number of times I get someone to help me adjust my bike somehow:
  • Crashes:
  • Wardrobe malfunctions:
  • Difference between my 6/8/14 weight and the total of the first game of the NBA Finals:
  • Number of seconds iOS Mail is featured during the WWDC keynote:

Entries need to be posted/emailed to me by midnight Sunday night.

Good luck!

May 232012

So, some in our household are anxious to move. Others, not so much. Bankers are kind of on the fence. They don’t seem so fond of the idea of contingencies or two mortgages and the simplest way seems to be to sell one house and then go buy another.  Just where do you live in the  meantime?  We’ve seen some people goto a smaller apartment – and that adjustment in lifestyle seems to add to the pressure to find a new place.  That can be motivating, but also stressful it seems.

I started wondering how come we don’t do things the college way anymore?  That is, take in roommates?  Sure, we’re a family now, but shouldn’t there be another family that is as good a fit as some of the college roommates I’ve had in the past?

With two substantial rents being added together, it seems like we could get a nice house in a good school district to live in.  Just that we’d need to adapt lifestyles with another family in the household.

We were talking to another family (they can out themselves if they like, I won’t) about this.  One said that their family did it when they were younger.  They don’t speak to that other family anymore though.  Ha ha – brush off that data point and keep going with my idea, is the way I approach things.

We covered some basics – but overall, this uncommon idea didn’t have a showstopper.

  • Need to give benefit of the doubt
  • Don’t feel slighted if not invited out to something
  • Don’t be afraid to invite yourself
  • Everyone’s going to have to get used to more farting
  • Need to maybe have a quiet area (a smaller area though, so not every adult can fit in it)
  • Maybe have hats to wear for “do not disturb” or “looking to chat” (married folks adaptation of signs on doorknobs in college dorms)
  • Reduced left overs
  • Hire cleaning folks

I think the one that Catherine and I held back, would be how the other family would constantly be asked to serve as the panel on the Marriage Ref.  Our “discussions” usually don’t end up with either side really changing their mind – and we’d love to have some help in getting things decided.  Picking the right family to do this with becomes even more important in that light.

There are clearly some families that this wouldn’t work out with for us – which was a fun though experiment in itself.  But there are some that it might work with.  But we haven’t heard of anyone doing this and though that should raise some warning signs, I’m not convinced of them.

I’m guessing, if we did go into this experiment for a year (ample time to find a house, right?) we’d leave that year with the new, concrete knowledge of why people don’t do this more often.  A fun learning experience though, huh?

Feel free to send me your family’s application…

Feb 132009

Was talking to Dan about it the other day and I think it’d be better than the Biggest Brain or Movie Compatibility tests.


Now, admittedly, I don’t remember how the rules for the game really are.  But the basic idea is good enough.

You answer a list of questions that are yes/no or would/wouldn’t type things.  Questions basically from Moment of Truth.  And then your friends that are playing are pinged the same questions about you, where they as a collective choose what you’d do.  Answers are revealed after X days or Y friends answer your questions about you.  Now your friends also have to answer similar questions too – and you get to say whether they would/wouldn’t or have/haven’t…viral that way.

Points are somehow distributed.

But points aren’t really the fun part.

The fun part is finding out how people would answer…and how far off their own perception of themselves is from what their friends think.

Yeah. I’d be on that thing all day.

Jan 302009

So there is that 25 things about me chain letter going around.  And I wanna respond.  But Catherine is kind of thinking my idea is no good.

The 25 things I want to share are things I know about people I tag.  It is me, sharing things about me and my network. I wouldn’t call people out by name, but rather, let the audience wonder and/or maybe inspire people that are tagged to explain more about the situation or the circumstances…cause they should be good stories. And because often times there would be more than 1 person that would fit the bill…we all think we’re so unique…but really aren’t.

Catherine is wondering why I need to take a perfectly fine, innocent idea, and twist it.

Why did the scorpion sting the frog?

Wouldn’t it be fun though? Let’s pretend I don’t listen to my wife…25 things you didn’t know about me:

  • I know someone that has shown too much skin in Vegas and is trying to be coy about it and pretend that it was an accident or that they don’t remember.
  • I know someone that has had their sexuality mistaken repeatedly, by various people, each story being wonderfully fun, because the teller is so surprised as they tell their own story.  Or just as good: when someone else tells the story about how so surprised the person was.
  • I know someone that has dated a stripper/criminal/NFL cheerleader (3 different situations, but more than 1 checkbox applies to all but one of the datees).  Like take them over to their family’s house for the holidays dated.
  • I know someone that has had a same sex lap dance unintentionally.  Repeatedly.
  • I know someone that has had intimate dreams about me.

It is like PostSecret, except I’m sharing them instead of the secret holder.  Or even better yet, making them up (like that last one).  Cause really – people are only sharing the things they want known – when the really interesting stuff is the stuff they’re not telling us.  Sure, we all know you love your family – what we don’t know is who are you pretending to love?  That’s what I’d like to share.  For you.

It’d be more viable if the Whopper Sacrifice didn’t claim my boarderline friends already…except that I probably didn’t know any juicy secrets about them anyway.

Jun 212007

but have a 2 year old kid…yeah, this isn’t that interesting after all.

But I’ve been reading Snow Crash – cause it got brought up on via comments on Shawn’s little reading list and he’s actually read the book cause of it and I finally found my copy that I bought and there was this one line Shawn told me after he read the book:

Let’s build it.

Now, Shawn recommended Digital Fortress, which was a horrible book, but left me feeling like I wanted to jump into the encryption technology game. So I would have been weary if Shawn was the only one recommending the book, but he wasn’t. He just wanted to build something from it.

Which has made the book a lot more interesting to me than it would have been without it. As it is, I am kind of struggling to make it through the book. Without his comment, I’d have borderline interest in the book. But with his comment, each chapter or two has me thinking of what we could build:

  • A bad ass pizza delivery car
  • A bad ass pizza delivery company
  • Skateboard wheels that will stamp our logo on a fresh dog dropping
  • Computer goggles
  • The Metaverse

Okay – I stopped there. That one just sounded too hard. But now that it’s just me and Sal, for some reason I’m finding it easier to find time to read, so I’ve picked up the book more:

  • A redneck katana (rebar with tape on it)
  • An exercise video, using a redneck katana
  • A motorcycle sidecar with a nuke on it
  • A bit image that would fry people’s brains.

The last one is really the one I’d be most interested in. And kind of what makes the book a little more disappointing for me. I figured that this was the issue – that “Snow Crash” would be something that would crash your brain – but it’s a theme from a short story I read of Phillip K. Dick’s a long while ago. But since he was writing science fiction a long time ago, instead of a snowy image that would only work on programmers who were used to thinking in bits – it was a fuzzy image – kind of how I imagine the 3-d stereograms where you need to look at them with your eyes focused in the distance.

He was building up on some fundamental computer science – where there are always programs that are not representable within a given language. Then, since your brain is a computer, there is some input that it would not be able to handle. And there were these images floating around that would just “crash” your brain if you stared at them. Little kids would find copies of these images and try and see how long they could stand to look at them…but since they were copies or imperfect in some way, they didn’t “crash” the kids. Just give them shivers.

Terrorists, however, had perfect copies of these images and would take over TV stations to put the image up, effectively “crashing” populations. So to protect themselves from the terrorists, some people would let the government filter what they could and couldn’t see in the world…thus protecting them from the terrorists.

I just got caught up in that story with the image that could crash brains and didn’t really dig the whole terrorist/goverment battle aspect. So, I feel like a big part of this Snow Crash book I’ve read before and liked more the first time. But there might be more cool things to build in the book, so I will continue on.

I just don’t like exchanges like:

Hiro: Wait, is it a drug, a virus, or a religon.
Juanita: What’s the difference?

Too neat and easy to write. And I’d be pissed if someone answered a question of mine like that. Unless we’ve been drinking. Then I wouldn’t care. I’d just order another. Anyway, that’s the last exchange I read this morning and I’m not sure I wanna go back.

So I’m here instead. Venting and relaxing. For me, what’s the difference?

The only question left is – who’s gonna take me up on my reading suggestion in Shawn’s comments?

Jun 062007

This weekend, while we were hanging out at the pool at the Monte Carlo in Las Vegas, but just a bit before Luke was getting hit on by older hairdressers, I was reminded that we both have a common background working with CRM systems.

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management – and there are a lot of applications out there to support salespeople as they try and manage all their customers who are all in different stages of the sales process. Follow this link for a fine example of CRM software that is a very complete solution, end to end, for salespeople in all industries. They even have a free 14 day trial if you are interested.

Anyway, I actually probably went on a technology sales call to Luke’s company back in the day while he was there. But as is often the case when two startups meet to talk deals, we were both interested in selling something to each other…not becoming a customer…which doesn’t really work out that well.

So back to Vegas. We were in the pool, talking various strategies around life, work, gambling, and women, and Luke brought up the startup idea of CRM for dating. Just change the “Customer” part to a more generic “Contact” and it works out fine. All one’s “contacts” would be in various stages of relationship and one could track their progress with this tool. But more importantly, one could use it to manage the reminders.

“It’s been 2 weeks since you last chatted with X.” or “It’s been 10 days since you said you’d call Y.” or “It’s been 3 weeks since Z said they’d call you back – change their status?”

But basically, any decent CRM software will handle that for you already, right out of the box. So our value add would be including some ice breaker lines, or tips to shift the conversation away from why you didn’t call back sooner, and/or maybe even some effective subliminal phrases that one could pepper the conversation with.

We’re just wondering if we’d get more customers beyond Luke.