February 16, 2012

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iHave an iPad. uJealous?

Sorry if that comes off as a cocky title…iJust thought it was funny.

iRead an article in the Wall Street Journal the other day (my business instructors would be so proud!) about how Apple is testing some smaller screen tablets. The reason this is big news is because it goes COMPLETELY against everything Steve Jobs wanted in his vision of what a tablet was.

There’s been discussion of whether or not this is a direct reaction to the success of the Kindle Fire, which is a smaller tablet in itself. Of course up to this point, Steve Jobs’ Apple was always a leader…Never a follower (or reactor).

For me the issue isn’t whether or not a smaller iPad could be successful. It’s a matter of how long you want Steve Jobs to run this company…A guy who was known as the visionariest man (that’s gotta be a word, right?) in the WORLD…a man who revolutionized the tech industry and even created the company that launched Tom Hanks’ career (that’s a joke, calm down), has continued to exude his influence months after his passing.

Before he passed, Steve Jobs developed a 10-year plan for Apple. Up to this point, it sounds like they’ve followed it pretty closely. As secretive as Apple is about everything, it would be impossible to really know for sure…But one can assume. This testing of smaller iPads very well may be the first stray from the plan. Do you think he’s rolling in his iGrave?

Tim Cook must not have gotten the TURTLENECK memo...

Personally, iThink this was destined to happen, and it’s not a surprise to me that it is happening so quickly. Apple has a new CEO, Tim Cook, and thus has a new decision maker. While people inside and outside of Apple will undoubtedly panic that they are straying from the tech god’s plan, the reality is that Apple chose Tim Cook to be their guy. He needs to be given the opportunity to make his own decisions. iCan’t imagine being in his position, being compared to Steve Jobs with every move you make.

The bottom line is he was chosen to be the successor because the powers that be (or were) felt he was competent enough to run the company. Whether or not iPad mini’s end up being successful or a colossal failure is inconsequential. At some point, Apple followers (and employees) need to recognize that there’s a new sheriff in town. And that there’s a snake in his boot.

I've been told I resemble Woody.

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February 6, 2012

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Fat Dog is born…

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged…Sorry to my avid followers/parents! I’ve been busy on the job trail, working on my final semester in the MBA program, and, you know, watching the T-wolves and stuff…BUT I had an interesting thought last night (yes, I occasionally have those).

I was watching the Super Bowl, which, I must say, was a very good game. I couldn’t have cared less about the outcome, but enjoyed seeing some really great play. My interesting thought, however, took place during the commercial breaks…In fact, it WAS the commercial breaks!

It’s really crazy to think about how many people tune in for the Super Bowl commercials. According to a former employer of mine who works as a producer at the Minneapolis Fox News affiliate (in other words…he would know about this stuff), the Super Bowl got a 49.9 rating and an 82 share in the Minneapolis market. For those of us who have no idea what that means, of all the TV’s turned on in the Minneapolis media market, 82% of them were tuned into the Super Bowl. And you know how many people in Minneapolis gave a “hoot” about the game?

As we’ve reached the age where the Program-Formerly-Known-As-TIVO (now DVR) has made us ANGRY when we actually have to watch commercials, the Super Bowl seems to be the one exception. Heck, I would argue at least half of that Minneapolis market was ONLY watching the commercials (and Madonna…who almost fell of the stage. If you didn’t notice, go back and watch on your program-formerly-known-as-TIVO).

We had an interesting discussion about the Super Bowl commercials in my MBA capstone this morning, and the general consensus (other than mine) was that they stunk. Of course you have to take the analytically-thinking MBA’s opinions with a grain of salt, as they (“we”, if you include myself) all tend to look a little too far into the purpose of the commercials rather than just enjoy the Fat Dog working his tail off (HAH what an appropriate analogy). basically, MBA’s look at everything from a business perspective, so a lot of the discussion based around “what was this commercial trying to accomplish?” which is important in itself. Personally, I ALSO enjoy thinking about Fat Dog from a purely entertainment perspective…And that commercial hit pretty close to home…as I’m pretty sure it is loosely based on my dog Sassy. Or at least the first part of it when it’s fat and laying on the couch.

I just think it’s interesting that people seem to think these are bad commercials…After all, what are you comparing them to?

I would love to talk with with someone who has worked in the advertising industry for a long time to just discuss Super Bowl commercials. It really is the only day of the year that traditional advertising is still worth a penny (or in this case, $6 million for 30 seconds).

Perhaps I will chat with one and blog again? Or perhaps I will blog about the Timberwolves being a legitimate playoff team? Or Mizzou basketball? Or my job search? Yeah, you’d like that wouldn’t you…

BTW (which is “by the way” for the less text-savvy folk), you can view each and every Super Bowl commercial from last night here. Personally, anything with a dog in it is an outstanding commercial in my book.

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November 24, 2011

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Joke of the Week: Thanksgiving Edition (part 2!)

Alright folks,

I know you’re all excited to hear about Vegas…And I assure you that there is a great “10 Things I Learned In Vegas” blog post on the way…However, given that I have limited time these days with my family, I’m going to keep this nice and short. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, here is MY FAVORITE Thanksgiving joke of all time (and my friend Stephanie’s favorite also):

What did the momma turkey say to her rowdy baby turkeys on Thanksgiving?

If your father could see you right now he would be rolling around in his GRAVY!

Alright, now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go gorge myself in stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving!

 

November 10, 2011

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Joke(s) of the Week: 1st Thanksgiving Edition

I have so many Thanksgiving jokes! I’m a huuuuuuggggggeeeee fan of stuffing (or dressing, depending on what region of the country you are from), but everyone knows that the KEY to a perfect Thanksgiving meal is the….tur-KEY (see what I did there? That counts as a half-joke).

So here it is, the 1st Thanksgiving Edition Joke(s) of the Week:

Why did the pilgrims bring all their guitars and drums to America?

Because they wanted to see PLYMOUTH ROCK!

Also: Do you know why they had to come in the spring?

Because, as we all know, April showers bring MayFlowers!

Ponder those for a while. I hope you all have a WONDERFUL weekend!

November 4, 2011

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Just Let Me Have My T-Wolves

Why can’t we all just get along? This NBA lockout is raising my blood pressure…I micro-blogged my thoughts earlier (in other words…I tweeted a lot) and realized I was so worked up about this issue that I needed to macro-blog about it!

I am a RIDICULOUSLY dedicated fan of the Minnesota Timberwolves (I was

Former Wolves Coach Kurt Rambis, playing for the formerly-from-Minneapolis Los Angeles Lakers

once listed as “In a relationship” with the Timberwolves on Facebook), and it is literally killing me every day this lockout goes on. With the level of emotion I get out of following this historically awful team, you might think it’s good for me not to have to worry about how bad they are…but you are wrong. You can joke all you want about being a die-hard fan of a horrible franchise, but I don’t care the slightest bit. I love them. They give me a reason to be excited about the future, and they give me an escape from any troubles that come up on a given day. Do you have something like that for you? If so, you’ll understand where I’m coming from.

Which is why it’s getting beyond frustrating to witness what’s going on. In an industry that lets people literally PLAY GAMES FOR MONEY, I guess it makes sense that those involved in the negotiation process would be acting so immature… (See what I did there? That’s funny). I’ll spare you the nitty-gritties of what they’re arguing about, but basically it comes down to where all the Basketball-Related-Income is distributed (the “revenue split”). They’re arguing over the difference between a 50-50 split and a 52-48 split between the Players and Owners.

Here’s why everyone involved is wrong about everything:

Owners

They came out a little while back with their financial statements and said that some 30 teams last year ended up LOSING MONEY. As an MBA student I can tell you how easy it is to report losses, regardless of what actually happened. Financial statements are hardly a “hard science”, and you can report numbers in any of a million different ways.

What it comes down to is this: If you can’t make money on an NBA franchise, then you SUCK as a business person (my apologies for the immature language…I’m a little worked up right now). The NBA had its most successful season possibly ever last year…I don’t care what your financial statements said.

Players

Let him play! Ricky Rubio's eyes are brown like chocolate and puppy dogs.

You’re worried about guaranteed contracts, salary caps, benefits…Ok, that’s great. You’re playing a game you love, and making millions of dollars for it. You make more in one year than most of us make in their entire careers. Take next year off and try to make 1/100th of what you made last year. Tell me how it goes.

Now there is a rising crowd of players that wants to de-certify from the players union (essentially cancelling the season) because your representatives have “given up too much” in the negotiations so far. SO WHY DID YOU ELECT THEM?

David Stern (NBA Commissioner)

I know you can only do so much in this process, but its because this system is so incredibly broken. The concept of a Collective Bargaining Agreement just can’t work on this grand of a scale. If this CBA ever gets signed, we’re going to run into this very problem in 10 years (or however long the CBA lasts). Recognize the fact that this is a HORRIBLE way of doing things, and change it! I’m a fan of David Stern, but how can you not see how broken this is.

Alright, I’ve ranted enough. I can go on all day, but research has proven that people only pay attention to the first 200 words of a blog…and I’m currently at 590. If you are wondering, YES I am applying to every possible position in the NBA league office.

On a lighter note, here’s how pugs are made: 

November 4, 2011

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R.I.P. www.facebook.com/mom

I’m taking a little break from the research paper I’m writing right now to blog about this, so if my thoughts seem a little “academic”…I apologize. If you want to know about my stance on Kerr’s 1978 “Substitutes for Leadership Theory,” that’s on my other blog: www.jeffisahugenerd.com (that’s not actually a site, though maybe it should be).

Anywhoooooo… I found out last night that the Mom-on-Facebook experiment has officially ended. That’s right…Mom gave up on the dream of becoming a social-networking junkie. I’m not going to lie…I thought this would happen sooner, so I give her some props for giving it a try. It took her a good 7 months to figure out how to accept my friend request, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because she didn’t want people to know we were related…At least I hope that’s not the reason…But hey, she stuck it out, gave it a little effort, and even posted on my wall once! (Hey Jeff, Have a good weekend. Love mom.)

It's on back-order right now.

The most interesting thing to me was hearing her rationale for giving up on FB. It wasn’t because she couldn’t figure it out…In fact, she even said she would be willing to take a class on how to learn Facebook (she’s an empty nester now…maybe that’s apparent). It was completely socially-based. Any time she got on Facebook she said she felt like she had to read everything on her news feed, and she found herself not caring about any of it. In fact (not surprisingly), she ended up getting more offended by some of the things some of her younger facebook friends (i.e. my sister’s friends) were posting.

It doesn’t take a social-networking study to recognize that younger people tend to post really dumb, inapporpriate, self-incriminating things on their Facebook. I don’t know if any of you readers (assuming anyone other than my mom reads this…) ever surf the message board http://www.reddit.com, but they have a hilarious amount of posts that demonstrate how dumb people can be on facebook. Please note that it’s not exactly a G-rated website, so surf at your own risk.

Now I’m not going to sit here and lecture about how the youth of this generation need to figure out how to lock it up on social networks (which is sort of the topic I’m lecturing about at next week’s Mizzou Leadership Academy), I just find it really interesting how THAT was what scared mom away from facebook.

I think we, as a generation characterized by the progress in technology and social networking, have a preconceived notion that our parents can’t handle the technical aspects of smart phones, video games, and social media. What we don’t realize, though, is that it isn’t a matter of technical aptitude but of social intake (again, sorry for the nerdiness). I’m not sure if it’s a matter of not wanting to know what’s going on in others’ lives, not wanting others to know whats going on in their lives, or if their just used to the way things have been. Our generation picked up Facebook when it was new, and how we used it was up to us. Thus, we learned quickly how to mentally filter out all the stupid posts our “friends’ throw up there…

Anyways, just an interesting thought.

October 21, 2011

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Joke of the Week: October 16-22

It’s that time of the week again….

This gem comes thanks to my Softball Pitcher, Alex (via corny joke website):

What do you get when you divide the circumference of a Jack-O-Lantern by it’s diameter?

Pumpkin Pi!

That was kinda nerdy…I’m not too worried about it. You shouldn’t worry about it.

 

Have a great weekend!

October 20, 2011

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Top 10 Things I’m looking forward to for Vegas

Based on the title of this post, I would hope you could deduce what I am writing about (being in grad school I use words like “deduce,” now…It makes me more distinguished).

To give you a little back story, this all stems from the following conversation, which happened at my house between me and my roommate Dusty (I call him Crusty).

Jeff: “My brother is in Vegas right now.”

Can you imagine this guy in Vegas?!

Dusty (Crusty): “I’ve never been. We should go.”

Jeff: “Alright, how about the weekend before Thanksgiving?”

Dusty (Crusty): “Sure.”

That was followed by this conversation I had with my other roommate, Josh.

Jeff: “Hey, Dusty and I are going to Vegas. Are you in?”

Josh: “Sure.”

Literally…That’s it. No questions asked. I respect that. And now, along with our bud AJ, we’re going to Vegas! This will be my 3rd time in Sin City, AJ’s 2nd, Dusty’s 1st, and Josh’s…um…7th?

Alas, here are my Top 10 Things I’m most looking forward to for our trip to Vegas (in no particular order):

1) Open-ended, potentially misleading tweets: The perfect way to make people think we’re being a lot crazier than we actually are. This is a common tactic of mine.

2) [Amended] Singing Katy Perry’s Waking Up In Vegas: I’m going to make Dusty record it on his iPhone.

Can't wait to say "50 GRAND ON RED!"

3) Downtown Vegas: The Golden Nugget…The Laser-Light Show…The big light-up cowboy that you see in old movie clips of Vegas…BEST PLACE EVER. The Strip is great…Downtown is AMAZING.

4) The MGM Grand Celebrity Suite: We splurged an extra $30 each so that we could live like royalty. (All of us are single…Maybe you could have guessed that) I like to consider myself a D-list celebrity, so that’s how I justify it. DIBBS ON BED!

5) Oxygen Bars: Where else would I pay $20 to breath for 10 minutes? (I realize you’re probably sitting and wondering if I’m being serious. Honestly, I’m kind of wondering the same thing myself).

6) Craps: I’m just going to say it. There isn’t a more fun way to lose $200 in 10 minutes than by rolling 2 red dice and shouting “DADDY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES!”

7) Chipotle: It’s not exactly cheap to eat in Vegas…Luckily I know of a secret foodcourt deep inside The Venetian that has a Chipotle. To say that I have eaten there once or twice before would be the understatement of the century.

8 ) Finding ways to justify excessive gambling: “If we weren’t out here I’d probably buy a video game or something (not true)” . “It’s either gamble or sleep, and I’m not tired (not true)”. “I have been saving money for this trip for a while assuming it’d be expensive (not true)”. The list can go on.

9) Reenacting the final scene of Ocean’s Eleven: The Hangover references are too cliche. The fountain show at the Bellagio is so freakin cool…And so are Brad Pitt and George Clooney. DIBS ON BEING CLOONEY. I’ve often been told I look like a really young Clooney (not true). Clooney isn’t technically in the scene…but I don’t care.

10) The Story: Every trip to Vegas with friends has a story that gets talked about for years…It just happens. They’re never quite as epic in retrospect as they were at the time…nonetheless, there’s usually one story that really characterizes the trip.

Personally, I hope Dusty tries to buy drinks for an 80-year-old chain smoker from Wichita. Honestly? I could see it happening.

October 13, 2011

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Joke of the Week – October 9-15

Sorry I’ve been a little absent this week…That’s what 3 final exams and coordinating a reunion for over 250 former Summer Welcome leaders will do to you. Alas, I am still breathing, and still have good jokes in my pocket!

And so here it is, the much awaited 2-PART JOKE OF THE WEEK:

Why wouldn’t the frogs jump? Because they were un-HOPPY! And how do you make frogs happy? By giving them flies….After all, TIME’S FUN WHEN YOU’RE HAVING FLIES!

Okay, that’s all you get for free right now. Look for more posts next week when I have time to breath again!

October 10, 2011

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Occupy Wal(nut) Street…

BREAKING NEWS: People aren’t happy with America’s economy! The hottest issue right now is the distribution of wealth in America…According to the internet (which NEVER lies), 70% of the nations wealth lies in the top 1% of the population. Pretty staggering numbers, if you ask me! Then again, you’re not asking me…You’re just reading my blog. Which I appreciate.

Ever heard of “Occupy Wall Street”? Out in New York, people have been non-violently protesting a number of things, using the slogan “Occupy Wall Street,” such as the previously mentioned distribution of wealth issue, the unemployment percentage (currently over 9%), big banks’ lack of investments in small businesses (potentially stunting the growth of the economy), record-high debt students are graduating with, etc. etc. etc. Protests have spread all the way across the country, thanks primarily to social media sites (like this facebook page).  There are literally thousands of people across the country holding giant white signs with big black wording that say things like “We are the 99%” and “Boo Big Banks!” These protests are being copied in cities all across the country!

I’m not going to sit here and tell you my political opinions…I would much rather just tell you some bad jokes (What did the judge say when the skunk entered? ODOR IN THE COURT!).

My point to all of this is that it needs attention. No matter what your beliefs are on these issues, when you have this many thousands of people that are this passionate about something, it needs to be addressed! I don’t think any of these protesters are intelligent enough to come up with a way to SOLVE these problems…they’re merely trying to get people to talk about it. That’s not a shot at their intelligence levels, but a tribute to how complex this issue is!

I was saddened to see that on the Wall Street Journal app this story didn’t come up until what I would call the equivalent of the back page…and even then the story was about how many people are protesting, nothing really what they’re protesting about. I learned more about the protests on Reddit.com, which is the same source of most of the hilarious dog photos (exhibit A) that I post, than I did in either the WSJ or NY Times. Wouldn’t you think a protest this large with the name “Occupy Wall Street” would get a little more attention from the Wall Street Journal?

It will also be really interesting to see how these protests, and these issues, are addressed by the various 2012 presidential candidates. As President Obama proved in 2008, this younger population (who make up the majority of the Occupy Wall Street protesters) can SERIOUSLY affect the final vote, particularly if you can actually GET them to vote. At this point most of the candidates are dismissing the protesters. We’ll see how long that keeps up…

Fun side story: I actually ran into some protesters late Friday night in Columbia (on Walnut Street…hence the name of this post), one of which was holding a sign that said, of all things, “Free Syria!” I think he may have been at the wrong protest…But I had had a few drinks and was feeling a little more outgoing than usual, so I promptly told him “Hey Reggie (it’s really fun to try to guess people’s names), I think you’d get more people to notice you if you had a sign that said ‘Free Candy’ instead.”  He didn’t get it.

Anyways, I’d love to hear what people think about the issue. I’d also love to see some youtube videos of pugs. So if you have either, please comment!