Radio Shack is a little less lame now: "Asking for names and addresses was a barrier to building superior customer relationships". Ya think?
So the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Inc., Lee Scott, was here over the last couple of days spending time withthe leadership at "the dotcom" as we're endearingly referred to in Bentonville, AR. It's a very big deal for him to have spent two full days so close to the biggest shopping day of the year (without divulging any trade secrets, let's just say that Wal-Mart will do more business on the day after thanksgiving than most companies make in an entire year...or two). In any case, Lee Scott gave interesting perspectives on the state of the American economy and he had funny stories about Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos having dinner at his house ("My wife almost left the next day with Jeff Bezos he's such a nice guy"). Well, that's all an excuse for why I'm been negligent of the blog...so thank you for your patience, I point you a little light reading...
I just like this. Booty-shakin beats with a banana dancing to it. You heard right.
Props to Summer for the following. It's a hefty download but worth it to see the dude at the end with the orange sweater.
I gotta make some t-shirts with some of these pics...Cool French Comics
The Onion's been roasted by Mad Magazine. The Bunion.
Speaking of dedication, this guy's got some to spare. Inspired by Tom Hanks' character in Castaway he tried to make fire without matches. It's a long-ish read but it goes real quick. Ang who knows, it might save your life one day. Trying to make fire without matches
Check out the details of the work this guy does. It's all does with the lead of pencils. Pretty amazing dedication I gotta say.
I seldom had the time to read all of Sten Johnson's commentaries at FEED so I'm glad to hear he's back this time blogging.
You'd think I was making this up about Bill Gates being welcomed to India with a huge, air-filled condom. (link fixed)
Hmmm, like Yahoo! only different. It's My Way. Don't worry former Vicin-ites, they're not associated with the original MyWay, a CMGI company.
California Bragger Alles
One third of Scientific American's 50 individuals, teams, and companies they deem "visionaries from the worlds of research, industry and politics whose recent accomplishments point toward a brighter technological future for everyone" are from California. And I don't think it's the cheese.
Our little University is growing up. Many loyal readers are Aggie alumns (shouts out to my homies...ahem) and this link comes courtesy of one of it's most infamous boggers (not bloggers) Quinn (his grandma is Margrit). Hey Quinn, when's the next party at Bob's pad? I'll bring my turntables if you bring the linoleoum.
UC Davis students to vote on move to Division I and Big West
Yeah, I've been frustrated by a slow internet connection before, but come on. Angry Janesville Man Barbecues Slow Modem.
"Wal-Mart.com is also emerging as a major force on the Internet." Flattery will get Forbes everywhere.
If you've got a relatively fast system then this fancy pee-wee golf game is gonna help you waste some time. It's really well done.
I have a degree in public health so I'm all about mass communications especially as it relates to improving key metrics around the public's...er..health. But this Colossal Colon Tour is iffy at best. Special nod to my dear friend (and ulcertive colitis sufferer) PJ.
I just read about the NRA gun rally that was held two days after three professors were shot miles away. I'm not a political zealot but this does seem like bad PR on the part of the NRA. I don't believe they're bad people--on the contrary I think many of them are among the most family-focused folks around. Some of my closest friends (some of whom are regular readers of this very blog) come from families where guns are in the house and are treated with the respect that a weapon should be treated. My wife's family in England clay pigeon shoots. I visited a local shooting range with some co-workers to feel what a .357 Magnum does when shot (kicks my butt is the summary there). All this to say I'm not the stereotypical anti-gun protestor. The NRA could stand to be more even-tempered though and cut the rhetoric. Not that the other side of the fence is any better. Michael Moore is an interesting dichotomy--he's got a new movie that asks some challenging questions and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Though, again, I could do without the political (read: divisive) tone that the Flash intro purports.
As a hiring manager, I'm seeing a lot of resume's come across my desk these days. All the candidates are very qualified on paper-they all have degrees from fancy schools, they all have fancy titles they received while at start-ups the last few years, and many of them want to do visionary and strategic things. Well, here's a word advise--the tech world is fullof chiefs right now. What I'm looking for is someone who's gonna be happy rolling up sleeves for the next couple of years and engaging in projects--hard projects. My advise to those looking for work--emphasize execution of projects. The vision is clear--lose less money or, if yuo swing that way, make more money and cut costs. These are lean times folks, business development and venture capital are not as sexy as they once were.
Looking in the logs for ariped.com I see that there are folks that are finding this site because of a search for "retailtainment". I thought I'd write a little more about this concept that Sam Walton refers to in his book, "Sam Walton: Made in America". More commentary to follow...:
"Some of this culture grew naturally out of our small-town beginnings. Back them, we tried literally to create a carnival atmosphere in our stores. We were only in small towns then, and often there wasn't a whole lot else to do for entertainment that could beat going to the Wal-Mart. As I told you, we'd have these huge sidewalk sales, and we'd have bands and little circuses in our parking lots to get folks to those sales. We'd have plate drops, where we'd write the names of prizes on paper plates and sail them off the roofs of the stores. We'd have balloon drops. We'd have Moonlight Madness sales, which usually would begin after normal closing hours and maybe last until midnight, with some new bargain or promotion being announced every few minutes.
We'd play shopping-cart bingo—where each shopping cart has a number, and if your number is called, you get a discount on whatever you have in the cart. At store openings, we'd stand on the service counters and give away boxes of candy to the customers who had traveled the farthest to get there. As long as it was fun, we'd try it."
If a vending machine eats your quarter what are you likely to do? Push the coin return button a few times? What if that doesn't work? I've been known to smack the side of the machine in the hopes that it spurs some coin movement within the bowels of the Portable Retail Unit (TM). Well, a word of advice...think twice before risking your hand smacking the side of this not-so-portable Retail Unit.
An advantage of having an in-house photo studio at work is getting professional pictures while in costume. For those wondering how we did all this, I referred mostly to this page. My former co-worker Colin went to work for the Blue Man Group in NYC recently but hadn't started yet so I couldn't get the production notes from him yet.