April 20, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

We are running out of money and natural resources, China is running out of names.

“The number of Chinese family names in use has tended to shrink as China’s population has grown, a winnowing of surnames that has occurred in many cultures over time. At last count, China’s Wangs were leading with more than 92 million, followed by 91 million Lis and 86 million Zhangs.”

Use the Force

April 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Posted in News | 1 Comment
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For some reason this really, really amuses me:

A bunch of Scottish policeman took it upon themselves to list their religion as “Jedi” on the departments “voluntary diversity forms.”

Rather than react with some silly politically correct apology to all the wronged religions in the world, or some other such claptrap as one would expect from an American Police Chief in this situation, the Scots took a different approach.

From the Strathclyde Police Spokesman:

“The Force appears to be strong in Strathclyde Police with their Jedi police officers and staff. Far from living a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, some members of the noble Jedi order have now chosen Glasgow and its surrounding streets as their home.”

Bravo sir.

Out (then back in) on Front Street

April 13, 2009 at 5:17 pm | Posted in News | 2 Comments
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I’ll be honest, when I read this article, I’m just not sure what to think. Not of the situation, or the circumstances, which I think are completely absurd, but of the article itself.

The story chronicles a group of organizations across the country that are actively moving homeless people into foreclosed homes, and then counting on the local Sheriff’s departments to be too overwhelmed or constrained by paperwork to do anything about it. These groups, they have websites. They advertise. They are now the subject of an article in the New York Times.

And still they taunt. They mock. And, maybe I’m just reading this wrong, but it seems as if the article is on their side.

Thing is, and I know, I know, it’s not nice to pick on homeless people, but these people? They are stealing. Yes, they are stealing out of need, and they are stealing from great big (formerly) wealthy organizations (the banks), but still…stealing. And these organizations? These well-organized, funded, public organizations? They are assisting in the stealing. They are stealing professionally, and openly.

And they are taking interviews about it.

Positive Energy

April 9, 2009 at 8:27 am | Posted in Hartford, Life, Music, TV | 1 Comment
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As it’s wont to do, life has gotten a bit in the way of the chronicling of it lately. Apologies.

Being a marketeer and product developer, I often find myself  frustrated by the sheer apathy of the consumers of the world when we launch some new product or service that we’ve been laboring on for months and months. With that said, I would like to take a moment to give credit where it may be due, to recognize, to name names, and to honor those companies and products that have managed to surprise me (pleasantly) as of late.

Readers no doubt recall my recent burgling by Hartford’s criminal underworld. Returning home (in the rain), garbage bag strapped to my window and flapping in the wind, I steeled myself for the call to my insurance agent and the inevitable frustration. I needn’t have feared.gekko

Geico, of the gecko, was polite, friendly, and efficient. I was off the phone with them within 15 minutes, and they had already set up an appointment with Safelite to replace my broken window within 24 hours in my office parking lot. Thanks to them for being supremely good at what they do – fixing automobile problems in a timely and pleasant manner. To my many friends at their well travelled competitor, I am sorry, but it must be said. That gecko knows how to do car insurance.

I have, in the past, spoken quite highly of iTune’s new Genius feature. Their new line of iPods have this feature built in, and after owning one for two weeks now, I now rarely listen to music in any other way. An incredible improvement on an already fine product. Well done.

TiVo. If I were a man who wrote sonnets, a sonneteer perhaps, I would write one to TiVo. Your product is so good, your customer service so friendly, and your commitment to feature expansion so resolute, that I must commend you. Whenever I hear of the crushingly small market-share you currently have, it truly breaks my heart. Anybody in possession of eyeballs and thumbs (which, I think, covers most) – go buy one of these things.

How about you, readers? We dwellers of the Internet, we commentators on the world, tend to take a more critical look at things in the world around us. Let’s be different. Let’s be positive.

What impresses you these days?

An open letter

April 2, 2009 at 7:50 am | Posted in Hartford, Life | 3 Comments
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Dear man who smashed my car window and broke into my car last night,

It is clear that you are a very selective gentleman, a professional, if you will, inspired by the great old thieves and grafters of Dickensian fame. For when you break into a car on a well lit road in Hartford with what appears to be a rusty bottle opener, you do not grab haphazardly, hurriedly, rushed. No, sir. You are deliberate and precise.

I can understand why you would leave the 30GB iPod in the driver-side door. It’s quite old, a bit outdated, and probably insufficient for your storage needs. You would never be able to store your entire collection of NPR podcasts and live Dave Matthews sets. I’ve been there, I get it. I was a little puzzled by the leaving of the brand new, three-day-old 120GB iPod Classic in the center console, though. Maybe you’re more of an iPod Touch kind of guy, and the lack of an App store on my iPod Classic would just be too much to endure. As I said, discerning.

I can only assume that you are already in possession of a superior model of GPS, which is why you left mine in the glove compartment directly above the window that you smashed to gain access to my vehicle. Or perhaps you’re more of a seat of the pants, freedom of the road kind of guy, a modern day Jack Kerouac, and are not to be confined by directions or routes when deciding which car you’ll be burgling tonight. I can respect that.

You are also clearly a man of manners, a Mr. Manners, who understands that people who talk on Bluetooth headsets are rude and look like total douche-bags. You scoffed at the one in my cup holder, leaving it behind, preferring instead to conduct your business deals either in person or, at minimum, with mouth to phone. Old school, classic.

I am guessing that you, being a bit of a Renaissance man, passed over the $400 in textbooks on Investment and Security Analysis and Financial Planning because, well, you already know all that stuff. I appreciate that you left them behind so that I may, one day, follow in your hallowed footsteps.

No, you passed all of these worthless items by, and instead focused your desire on a most special item indeed. A backup wallet that I keep in my center console that contains both a Brooks Brothers discount card and a Gamestop membership.

Well done.

Might I recommend the Regent Fit Pleat-Front Classic Gabardine Trousers? They are a fine trouser, lined to the knee with an updated, slimmer fit. I think that a man of your obvious class and distinction would appreciate a pair of trousers such as these.

I also understand that Resident Evil 5 has just dropped. I suggest that you use your new Gamestop card, which entitles you to a 15% discount on all used games, to pick up a copy in a few weeks when folks start trading them in. You can fire up your hi-def console of choice, sit down comfortably in your new worsted wool pants, and have yourself a lovely evening of zombie-killing and classy pants-wearing.

A final note – I thank you for choosing to go adventuring within my automobile on a rainy night. You successfully turned an annoying problem into an obnoxious one. It’s really that extra little bit that sets you apart, sir, the willingness to take it just one step further.

You should be aware, though, that the Hartford police have been called and I can only assume that they dispatched me from the phone so quickly in order to focus more of their time and effort on your chasing and eventual capture. So, you know, look out.

Good luck and safe travels,

A Hartford resident

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