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?

On the Contrary, or, More People Being Wrong

March 3, 2009 at 10:44 pm | Posted in Business, News, TV | Leave a comment
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I have heard, today, two of the more chilling opinions on the future of our country.

The first: Robert Sheer on KCRW’s Left, Right & Center this week (I listen in Podcast form and thus am always a few days late) lambasting the banks for having the audacity to raise interest rates on their credit card customers after they miss payments. Almost more shocking – the banks are limiting consumer’s credit or even canceling their cards!

A bit of a tirade, if I may say so, on how banks shouldn’t be doing this to people that had lost their job, or were dealing with health issues, or had, I don’t know…stubbed their toe.

Hrm. Have we really arrived at a moment in this country’s history where the ability to spend money that you haven’t yet earned has become such an unassailable right that a company is wrong to tell you that:

a) We can’t let you to spend that much, because you can’t, you know, mathematically, ever pay it back, or

b) We’re going to have to charge you more to do so, since you know, mathematically we know you’ll never pay it back so we have to earn money from you somewhere.

Even more disturbing, later:

Rachel Maddow debating Duke Energy CEO, Jim Rogers, on the President’s proposed Cap and Trade program for carbon credits. Rogers is in favor of the idea, and the outcome, but made a very reasoned argument that the plan should be phased in so as not to produce a 40% price increase in a single years for consumers.

To this, Maddow asked if Duke Energy was profitable last year. 

Yes, Rogers replied.

Why not just cover the increase costs in your profit and lose money for a few years until emissions decrease, then, Mr. Rogers?

Is what she said.

Out loud.

Like, with her mouth.

As Duke Energy, one of the larger utility employers in the country, hemorrhaged money in support of this new government policy, how many jobs would be lost? How far would the stock value decline, and how many kid’s college funds or grandparent’s pensions (full of Duke stock) would get sucked right down with it?

How quickly would it be before their bonds were de-rated to junk status and their cost of debt became so high (stop me if you’ve heard this one) that the company became completely fiscally insolvent? How long after before this mega-industry (the utilities) was standing in line for a government bailout, another casualty of well-intentioned government policies that are financially untenable in a global economy?

She concluded, rather rudely, actually, by implying that since Duke Energy enjoyed all of the benefits from polluting the environment (by building government encouraged coal plants in the 70’s – stop me if you’ve heard this one), they should have to lose money as a form of apology to the citizens that had to live in the polluted environment.

Really? Duke Energy enjoyed all the benefits of cheap, mass electrification in the US? All of them?

Methinks you would sound a bit less silly saying that if you didn’t do it from a brightly lit neon room full of 600-watt plasma televisions.

Archival Footage, Episode 2

February 22, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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Been a bit lazy of late; here’s one from April 4th, 2006…that is somehow, through MTV’s refusal to just put this dog of a show down, still relevant.

The Really Real World

Random rant.

I hate The Real World. I hate the people on the Real World. Unfortunately, my wife (and Bill Fusta) love them. So I get stuck watching it sometime.

They just ended the Real World vs. Road Rules thing a couple weeks ago. They had a veterans team, implying that this has been going on for a while. Now, the last time I followed the Real World, it was in the Pettit’s basement…so we’re talking at least a decade here.

I recognized several players, which means that these folks have been doing this for going on ten years. They all live in LA now (there’s actually a bar owned by one of them where they all hang out), waiting for MTV to call them up and ask them to be on Road Rules Veterans Return Part 78 or something.

They’ve become so used to being on tv all the time that they’ve actually become caricatures of themselves. They’re ridiculous, stupid people.

I propose the following:

MTV invites all the former Real World / Road Rules players to their studios for a meeting. Once there, Jon Murray walks in and tells them that MTV is never producing another Real World show again. He explains to them that they are all over 30 years old without a single marketable skill or talent. He wishes them luck in finding gainful employment.

And then he walks out, leaving them all to ponder what to do with their worthless lives.

Let the camera roll on that shit for an hour, and you’ve got viewer number one right here.

Live from New York

February 14, 2009 at 2:30 am | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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As it’s wont to do every few years, Saturday Night Live is experiencing a renaissance of sorts. Trying to find just one clip to post proved to be harder than I thought, so why not just head on over to hulu and check it out yourselves. If you haven’t seen it in a while, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


more about “Live from New York“, posted with vodpod

My Country Tisathee

November 18, 2008 at 8:10 am | Posted in Business, TV | 3 Comments
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I was floored last night when I saw this on my TiVo while fast-forwarding through some commercials.


You can now order Domino’s pizza from your TiVo. From your remote.

This morning, though, any warm feelings that I had about the idea were dashed when I read the Domino’s VP of Marketing’s statement on the new experience:

“We believe that interactive television ordering is the future,” Mr. Weisberg says. “Why even get up off that couch now?”

America. My friend. You are moving in the wrong direction.

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