Saturday, March 28, 2009

Let Me Entertain You ... for a bit

Thanks to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for the heads up on Extreme Sheep LED Art and Validation.

Exteme Sheep LED Art

Did you see the Mona Lisa? Love the fireworks and the game :)


Everyone needs to be validated!!!

West Side Story is coming back to Broadway. Good Morning, America (GMA) was lucky to get two of numbers in their studio -- America and Playing It Cool. You may need a little patience on the GMA links to load and the advertisement to play.

Enjoy the show!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

R Books, PG-13 Website Does Not Compute

I was reading my NYTimes Today's Headlines and this caught my eye:

YouTube Blocked in China

...and this brought to mind the many complaints I see on message boards and websites. "Why does the author write R-rated books but we (fans) cannot post using R-rated content?" "Why is the author censoring what we say?"

First, the site belongs to the author and he/she can set whatever rules he/she wants.

Second, the site is a marketing tool for the author. It's to promote his/her books.

I experience censorship everyday when I connect to the internet through my company's VPN (Virtual Private Network) or the client's network. Companies do not want their network used for non-work related sites. You are on company time and should be doing company work. Of course, that is not true. I'm glad my favorite authors' sites are not banned. I need an occasional break. For some fans, the work place may be the only connection they have to the author on the worldwide web.

Parents put software on computers to censor the internet sites that kids can accidentally or intentionally go to. Parents who like to read the authors book can feel safe that the site is kiddie safe.

Yes, there are countries that ban internet sites. Wikipedia has a pretty good article about it -- Internet Censorship.

In order to market themselves and make it accessible to the biggest audience, authors make their website PG-13 or even PG level.

And to tell the truth, I really don't want to read the @#!!&@ language some are using these days.

Blogging & Your Personality

I got this from Barbara Vey's Beyond Her Book PW Blog who got it from Keira Soleore's Blog.

This tool analyzes your blogs to figure what kind of personality you have. Of course, if your blog is not generic like mine and yours is geared towards a specific genre, it may skewed the personality profile it gives you.

Typealyzer - What personality is behind that blog?

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.

The letters you see ESFP come from the Myers& Briggs Foundation. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used by many organizations for team dynamics -- understand yourself and others that you get to work with. For more information and the definition of the letters, go to The 16 MBTI Types and while you're there, check out the rest of the site.

What is MBTI's description of ESFP?

Outgoing, friendly, and accepting. Exuberant lovers of life, people, and material comforts. Enjoy working with others to make things happen. Bring common sense and a realistic approach to their work, and make work fun. Flexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments. Learn best by trying a new skill with other people.

Like your horoscope or chinese zodiac, there's some truth in what it says.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

In the News

Well, I decided to read some of the email news that I subscribe to instead of starting my work day. Yup, procrastination reared its head.

Via NY Times -

It's great to hear that some strap hangers do not believe bridge/tunnel tolls should be raised or created to decrease the cost of them riding the public transit system I wish my property taxes were adjusted for not having kids that use the public school system. Okay, my nieces and nephews moved here and are using the system now. I've told them they better take advantage of all that is offered -- seeing my tax dollars at work.

Obama wants private investors to help out in this crisis. It is a good time to buy if you have the extra dollars to spend. My brother pointed out this weekend that if we bought 1,000 shares of Citigroup two weeks ago we would have doubled the value of our shares.

I hope Palm can make it with it's new Pre. Though I don't think Sprint was a good choice as a partner. I left Sprint many years ago as they had horrible cell service. Still do. My company's Blackberry service is with them. I don't wanna go Apple.

Copyright problems that affect you, YouTube and Warner. Where does one draw the line? You use a song owned by Warner. You don't make any money from it. You upload it to YouTube. Warner wants YouTube to take it down because YouTube is making money off of the video you made. Poor you. What a quandry?

I liked the interview of Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox CEO. Never read of a HR person becoming CEO of company, especially something like Xerox.

Via Information Week -

It seems MAC hackers don't have anything better to do. They've cracked Safari. And the PC hackers have broken into Internet Explorer 8 and Firefox 3. The only unhacked one is Googgle Chrome.

Verizon Wireless ranks the highest in J.D. Powers Associates' wireless call quality study. Yippee, that's my carrier. Verizon better not stand on its laurels as the other carriers are nipping at it's butt. Don't make me change my service.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

This Year's Birthday

It was somewhat different from prior years.

What was the same... I got email messages or mass mail cards from the usual places. Celebrating it or not celebrating it with my siblings. They let me decide if I wanted to veg or not. They're good like that. This year I did not veg. Though I nearly did.

What was different... I got lots of BD wishes from my FBers. My texters sent me wishes via Twitter *LOL* I was also somewhat surprised at some companies that sent me email or card mailing.

There was a downer, but I'll wait until Monday to see if it should be a downer. Not everyone can be on time. Though I think it will continue to be a downer. People don't change.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Phoenix Memories

I worked in Phoenix about 17 years ago. When I returned back to the city last year, I did not remember it all. How could I not remember anything when I was here for about a year. I looked at maps to see if I would recognize streets and where I was 17 years ago. As I drove to Sedona last Saturday, I now know why. The area I'm in now, downtown Phoenix, I never saw 17 years ago because I would breeze right by it when traveling between the airport and my temporary lodging. You do not see very much at night coming in -- pick up car and get on the highway to get to your lodging.

As I was on this highway -- I-17 North to Sedona, memory after memory would surface up. I needed to see the exit signs and the various landmarks along the way to remember my time here long, long, long ago.

Crescent Hotel, now run by Sheraton, was one of the hotels I stayed at 17 years ago for my old company.

Fajitas -- one of many places my team ate at. I noticed that Rusty Pelican was no longer there; so sad. The Rusty Pelican had great desserts. We would order one of each. Each dessert was passed up and down the table for the whole group to partake. Hey, money was no object. Though I had the credit card, the company was paying it :D Each time we headed out to eat, we would choose someone as the birthday person.

The parking lot where a team member locked the keys in the rental car.

There was the housing complex that was our temporary lodging. Besides being the Project Manager, I was the "proprietor". We had 3 or 4 two bedroom apartments. I scheduled who was staying with whom as various members came in. I made sure the maid came in to clean and was paid. I even shopped at the wholesale club, my first introduction to one, BJ's, to stock the apartments.

Phoenix was why I finally had to learn to drive. On one of my earlier trips, I connected with a taxi driver who happen to be a snow bird from New York and volunteered to be my chauffeur for the trip. Once I discovered I would be spending more time in Phoenix and visiting other company sites, it was time to learn to drive so I could get around and save the company money.

The housing complex was the first place I had my first car accident -- one of two (I think) in my driving years. The foot thought it was hitting the brake, instead it was the gas, as I turned into the driveway. The tree was in my way. Of course, this happened on a weekend. Joe, one of my analysts, also happen to have stayed, too. He was great in helping me out. After filing with the rental agency, Joe took my mine off the accident. He and I went up to Sedona. He also introduced me to the Waffle House and a biker bar. I did not care for the biker bar.

Now I need to find time to locate the two office complexes that I worked in then. So many new buildings. Go visit the Phoenix Zoo again. Find a couple of other hotels I stayed at. Maybe a visit to Scottsdale where, at another team dinner, Joe asked for "placenta" (EWWWW) instead of "polenta". Don't think I'll hunt for Oaxaca which was in the middle of nowhere where I had my first taste of rattlesnake. Team pulled my leg in using my company card -- totally beyond our meal limit. They were fun times.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekend in Phoenix

Some people think my job is great because I get to travel to cities. Yes, the perks are good because I can build up for free hotel and free air travel, but I don't get to really see the city I go to. I don't get to play tourist unless I book time to do it. I get up early and work late to get my hours in for the week and then fly home.

I've been working in Phoenix for over a year. The most I've seen is what is between the hotel and my client's office. Last week, I needed to put in five days of work at the client site versus my usual four days. I still crammed a lot in the four days and felt okay leaving early on Friday. The hotel shuttle driver happen to mention there was a chinese cultural center north of the airport. So, off I went to go visit it.

The COFCO Chinese Cultural Center is not very big. I would say it was about two blocks by two blocks. They had a great garden in the front. In the back, there were some shops, restaurants and a big asian market. I think it was run by the same folks that do Ranch 99 that is found in Monterey Park, LA area. What I found neat about the market... They did something different in the seafood area than I'm use to. Yes, you pick sea food, they weigh it and they will clean it for you. Unlike other places that may steam it for you, this place did flash frying, It was neat. Click the Moon Gate image for more pictures I took.

On Saturday, I took a drive up to Sedona to see the red rocks up close and personal. I think I found all the ones that people generally take pictures of. Sedona has changed a lot since I last visited about 17 years ago. You can actually see the sprawl. One of the main roads in, Highway 179, was under major construction. They are working to expand it into a four lane highway I think. Instead of traffic lights, they have instituted traffic circles, aka roundabouts. Cars go round and round in a circle because they don't know when to exit. While the cars on the outside don't know how to get into the circle. I think we, New Jersey, have gotten rid of all of them except for one. Click the Rear View Mirror for other pictures I took.

Sunday was somewhat a day of rest. Nothing exciting. I did take a nap in the late afternoon :D

Friday, March 6, 2009

Quote from Archduchess Margaret of Austria

"Trust in those who offer you service and in the end you will soon find yourself in the ranks of those who have been deceived."

I came across the above quote on Sherrilyn Kenyon's Twitter. It connected with me. So off to the internet to find out it's origins. Google told me it's in
The Life and Death of Anne Boleyn: 'the Most Happy'
By Eric William Ives
Edition: 2, illustrated
Published by Blackwell Publishing, 2004
ISBN 0631234799, 9780631234791
458 pages

The quote is written by The Archduchess Margaret (Margaretha) of Austria (10 January 1480 – 1 December 1530) who was a Habsburg princess, the daughter of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor and Mary of Burgundy.

Here's the original:
"Trust in those who offer you service,
And in the end, my maidens,
You will soon find yourself in the ranks of those
Who have been deceived."