Feb
0

B-17 Log book from 1943-1944 Amazing Read

Whoa, amazing log book from a B-17 crew from 1943-1944.  It was a different time, really really facinating to read, be sure to read the last page.

B17FltLog

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Feb
0

NASA selling remaining Space Shuttles for 28 Million

I thought this was a joke, then I kept reading and found out, yeah it's not you can get your very own space shuttle for 28m, comes with external engines, some assembly required.

You have to be a US Citizen, and willing to keep it in an indoor climate controlled room where it can be put on display.

I'm in for $50, who's with me?

Here's a link to the NY Times Article.

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Jan
0

Craziest thing I have ever done, it involves a silver flute.

I ended up telling this story the other day, and afterword's I remembered it has been more than 20 years since this happened, so I decided to write it down, before I forget anything else about it.

<DISCLAIMER>
First, before I start telling this story, I want to be clear that *I* was the person who was being crazy here, and the girl in question was put into a very uncomfortable position.

I was an over zealous lonely geek who was willing to try whatever it took to impress my first real crush.

Personally I blame 18 years of watching romantic comedies, watching guys doing outlandish things that got them the girl, where in the real world it would just get them a restraining order or arrested.
</DISCLAIMER>

Continue Reading...

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Jan
0

Amazon to launch Kindle App Store

Holy crap, this could be a game changer

http://mashable.com/2010/01/21/kindle-app-store/

I love my Kindle, it's a fantastic piece of hardware, so this announcement should be very interesting, considering the success that Apple has enjoyed on the iPhone/iTouch, and to do it so close to the possible iTablet launch... going to make for an interesting year. 🙂

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Dec
0

Want to know what it's like to be adopted?

Catchy title eh? 🙂

I guess it would be hard for you to really feel what it’s like to be adopted, just like it’s probably not possible for me to feel what it’s like to not be adopted, but recently I had someone ask me this question and I was noodling it over, so although I probably can’t convey every nuance of it, I might be able to give you some insight.

My Own Background
First we can start with my background, I was born in 1970 here in San Diego California, for the next few months of my life I was kept with foster parents or in a communal home for children, until they found a home for me.

Continue Reading...

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Oct
0

Want to attend a free screening of Paranormal Activity, Oct 7th?

Just be sure that you RSVP to the address on the flier, and remember it's first come first serve, so get there early to be sure you get in!


paranormal

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Aug
0

Thoughts on comping tickets to our events

So I always seem to get questions from people asking me about comped tickets to the events that we do. Sometimes these questions are leading, like as in what do I have to do to get a free ticket, other times they are concerned that people are abusing the system by getting in for free, and others are just pain irritated for various reasons.

I'll do my best to explain my thinking, I won't pull any punches, I won't throw any spin on it, I'll just give you how my mind works, and then you can decide for yourself if there is a method to the madness.

The goals of throwing our events is ensure that our guests have a good time, that we don't loose our ass on costs and that we pave the way for future events/projects. 

It sounds simple enough, but often times, people loose sight of what the end goals are and focus to much on the immediate issues that are bothering them, it means putting aside the ego and focusing on the long term plan.

So key factors in the case of a large event like X-Sanguin you have to look at how many people does the venue hold, how many tickets do you think you can sell, and what's your bar minimum. 

Lets say the venue holds 1000, and your bar guarantee is $15,000, assuming that you can sell enough tickets to cover your event costs (if you can't you have no business getting doing an event that sized) but not enough to sell out, now your presented with a decision.

Do you say "I don't see why anyone should get in for free! Everyone pays!" and run the risk of doing fine on ticket sales and not making your bar tab, or do you suck it up and take a long term view of the goals of selling tickets, and not loosing your ass on the bar tab?

It's that last part that can really bug people, humans really can have problems seeing others getting something for free, esp if they don't know them, or even worse, they don't like them, but often times in situations like this it is a necessary step to success. 

So when considering who we are going to comp tickets out to, most of them fall into one of these categories:

Above and Beyond
This person did something for the group that went above and beyond what anyone would normally do to help out. Maybe they donated hours of their time, or helped move equipment on their days off etc. They earned them with their blood sweat and tears.

The Peer
This is someone or a group of people that do similar events, or include you and your group in their projects. Doing big events can be a stressful difficult experience and it's always good to compare notes, etc with your peers.

The Super Connector
These people are social hubs for large groups of friends, that look to them for "What are we doing", by comping out these people you count on a large drag effect of their friends buying tickets to attend the event. 

They might still buy their tickets, but by giving them tickets, you cater to their ego, so that they are more inclined to tell their friends about it, and make sure they know that they got their tickets for free. Their ego becomes your allie in this situation.

Passive Influencer
These people for some reason inspire others to attend the event, not by direct action, or promoting, but by some other means. Often times they people that are considered famous, creative, extremely attractive, etc. 

New Attendee
In the business world this would be called "Customer Acquisition", and often times businesses know that they will have to take it on the chin to get that person as a customer for that first sale, but after that, they will see the value in their product and become a loyal customer. It's a similar case here, I would much rather give a ticket to someone who would never normally buy one, but who would buy one the next year if they had fun at the event. Again, it's taking a long term view of your goals.

Silly Inspiration
Ok, I'll admit it, sometimes you just do it because you want to bring a little fun into the world and be unpredictable. On Twitter I sent out "This was a triumph, I'm making a note here huge success". To which I had about 15 responses asking me what was up, did I win a contest etc, and then I got one response of "Its' hard to overstate my satisfaction".

Yes, it's the end theme song from portal, and someone got it, there is a case of silly inspiration, oh and the guy that figured out that the numbers on the dog tags are earth's jump coordinates for BSG. 🙂

How to fail at getting free tickets
So there you have it, those are the basic categories that people fall into that we give out comped tickets to. Sure there are exceptions, there always are, but now having seen all of that, I'll tell you how NOT to get a free ticket to the event.

Then open scene from the movie the Godfather is really an amazing piece of cinema and a powerful moment in the film that sets the mood for the rest of the movie.

In the scene Marlin Brando is sitting in his office on with a few of his men, and on the other side of the desk is Amerigo Bonasera, a undertaker in the Italian community. 

He starts off by telling Don Corleone (Marlin Brando) how his daughter, a fine girl, with upstanding morals, was led astray to go on a date with a boy who tried to take advantage of her, and when she fought back the boy savaged her face. Amerigo Bonasera is asking for justice for his daughter, justice that the police can't give him, since they only gave the boy 4 months in jail.

The reason he is asking this, is that tradition holds that on the day of his daughters wedding, no Sicilian father can refuse a request.

After thinking a moment, the Godfather looks at Amerigo Bonasera and the conversation goes something like this.... 

DON CORLEONE
Bonasera, we know each other for
years, but this is the first time
you come to me for help. I don't
remember the last time you invited
me to your house for coffee...even
though our wives are friends.

BONASERA
What do you want of me? I'll give
you anything you want, but do what
I ask!

DON CORLEONE
And what is that Bonasera?

BONASERA whispers into the DON's ear.

DON CORLEONE
No. You ask for too much.

BONASERA
I ask for Justice.

DON CORLEONE
The Court gave you justice.

BONASERA
An eye for an eye!

DON CORLEONE
But your daughter is still alive.

BONASERA
Then make them suffer as she
suffers. How much shall I pay you.

Both HAGEN and SONNY react.

DON CORLEONE
You never think to protect yourself
with real friends. You think it's
enough to be an American. All
right, the Police protects you,
there are Courts of Law, so you
don't need a friend like me.
But now you come to me and say Don
Corleone, you must give me justice.
And you don't ask in respect or
friendship. And you don't think to
call me Godfather; instead you come
to my house on the day my daughter
is to be married and you ask me to
do murder...for money.

BONASERA
America has been good to me...

DON CORLEONE
Then take the justice from the
judge, the bitter with the sweet,
Bonasera. But if you come to me
with your friendship, your loyalty,
then your enemies become my enemies,
and then, believe me, they would
fear you...

Slowly, Bonasera bows his head and murmurs.

BONASERA
Be my friend.

DON CORLEONE
Good. From me you'll get Justice.

BONASERA
Godfather.

DON CORLEONE
Some day, and that day may never
come, I would like to call upon you
to do me a service in return.

In other words, now that Amerigo Bonasera in in trouble, he is coming to Don Corleone for help, but never came in true friendship before, but had he, he would not need to be asking for justice, for it would have already been done. Now however, after granting his request, since he did not come in friendship before, he is now indebted to Don Corleone.

That's a very long winded way of saying that when coming to me and asking for a comp ticket, and following it up with "I'll help you promote, etc" your probably irritating me. 

The person is usually trying to trade on our friendship and now that they need something they are offing to help in some small way. Where as if they had been offering to help all along, they would not need to ask, for it would have already been given in friendship.

So there you have it, there are tons of other factors that could come up, but that should give you an idea on how my mind works when it comes to comped tickets.

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May
0

My adventure with tea has begun

So I decided to try and ween myself off as much diet soda as I can.

I am not stupid and I don't think I am just going to not drink it anymore, but I decided to try and find an alternative to diet soda. So don't get me wrong, I know I'll break down and have some, but I want to drastically limit my intake, so I have been looking for a good substitute.

Yes, I could just drink water, but let's be honest, that is boring, and the engineer in me would have no fun coming up with new types of water to try and combine, ya know?

So I decided to go down the road of tea, I got the inspiration from watching Kevin Rose on Diggnation. Sounds kinda odd I know, but they are always drinking beer on the show, and often Kevin is raging about the tea that he is currently trying etc. Somehow in my head, beer loving geeks might think alike so I decided to get my feet wet in the leafy goodness of tea and give it a go.

The adventure begins......

So Paul and I went out to Somavar in San Francisco for breakfast one morning and they have tea like a weapons locker has guns. All types, all flavors, and all of the do dads (I have no idea what most of this stuff is called), that you can think of.

I ask for them to recommend a nice breakfast tea to start off with and ordered my food. It was quite tasty, but didn't quite hit the spot, so I decided to go back to the oracle of tea (that's what I was referring to her to in my head), I asked for something stronger, something with a something something to it.

She comes back with something that she described as "very strong and aromatic", Paul described as "fucking disgusting" quickly followed up with "Get that shit away from me Workman", and I thought was fucking divine.

My good friends know that I love a particular scotch more than any other, Lagavulin, it smells like a cross between wood, smoke, dirt, and a peat bog. Yeah yeah yeah, I know, many of you are turning up your noses and looking on in horror. Well this tea she gave me tasted like Lagavulin without the booze in it.

This stuff could peel the paint off my car if you get a direct sniff of the raw tea, obviously I bought a huge can of the stuff right away, thus my journey to the dark side of tea has begun. I am new to all of this, so I have 3-4 other teas that I have not yet cracked open, but plan on doing so soon.

My next quest is to find a good night time tea, since the "Paint Peeler" has some ancient Chinese stuff in it that wires the crap out of me (but not really like what I was used to), so I need some sleepy time stuff.

So have a recommendation, let me know.

The Paint Peeler

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Apr
0

Swine Flu outbreak looks ugly

Whoa, this is starting to not look good, reports are saying that it might already be to late to contain the outbreak to Mexico and other areas and we could be looking at a pandemic outbreak of the Swine Flu.   Mexico is canceled on public events to try and mitigate the spread of the virus.

Makes me glad that many of my co-works and I can telecommute if need be.

http://www.who.int/csr/don/2009_04_24/en/index.html

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Feb

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