Tuesday, July 31, 2007

I am behind!

I'm not ignoring you. I am behind on my email (Gmail won't tell me how many are unread, it just says "hundreds"), I've been swamped at work (I got promoted and I'm being loaned to another group on top of that). With only 4 days left -- I originally had over a years' advance notice -- I still have a best man speech to write. I am caught up on my Reader (I finished Harry Potter, Adrea!) but I have a million starred items that warrant more indept study. And I'm fielding interviews... my graffiti website got picked up by The Federal Way Mirror and from there it was featured on KIRO TV and then this last weekend, The New York Times, The International Herald Times, The Wall Street Journal Online, Media Post, numerous blogs and tomorrow evening I have an interview (including a photograph) tomorrow with The Tacoma News Tribune. Speaking of that site, I'm behind in my updates. And I need to plan some meetings for my church as part of my role in a capital campaign my church is embarking on. And I've just agreed to start working on my church's website. It's just never ending!

Monday, July 30, 2007

"Maybe We Can Get On The Waiting List"

Lori actually said that when I told her that DMC might once again be manufacturing cars. I'm recording it here for prosperity. According to this article on Engadget, Delorean might soon be producing as many as 20 cars a year.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Bad Interface: Microsoft

What a dumb interface. Ok, to unsubscribe from these newsletters, check the "subscribe" checkboxes and then click "unsubscribe." A few small changes would make this incredibly friendly and easy to understand:
  1. Words at the top which read "Here are the newsletters you are subscribed to."
  2. Either put checkmarks in the "subscribe" checkboxes to indicate that you're subscribed. (Unsubscribe by unchecking.) --or--
  3. Change the heading to say "Unsubscribe" above the checkboxes.
I expect more from Microsoft. There will be plenty of Microsoft bashers who will say this is not atypical for Microsoft, but I expect more. They are the 8,000-pound gorilla, so they should have enough money to properly test and think through how a product works, because this is just poor, poor, poor/dumb, dumb, dumb.

Just in case I misunderstood what I was supposed to do, I did go and mark the newsletters as junk/spam.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Random Thoughts

Well, it's begun. Lori is off to Borders with her wristband. Harry #7 is imminent. (A few weeks ago a new item showed up on mine and Rachel's and Lori's calendars; Lori had scheduled a daddy/daughter day for us and a leave-me-alone-I'm-reading-Harry-Potter day for herself. Though it was obviously worded nicer.)

We went paintballing today. I am have nasty welts on my leg from a cheater. He should have some nasty welts center mass. The funny thing is he's newly married. He can keep his cheating in mind when he tries to hug his new wife. But it was a lot of fun. And extremely messy because of the rain.

I've been enjoying WeeWar.com (look for the link in the upper-right corner of my blog to get an invite). Sadly, it seems to be down at the moment.

A co-worker, Todd, dressed in his best approximation of a Harry Potter character for work today. Only his tie was gold and blue. Loser. He has red hair and so every one was calling him Weasley. I think I shall call him that from now on. I snapped a photo with my phone but it was refusing to send.

I have over 100 posts in my reader. I kinda don't feel like cleaning it out.

It's raining right now I think. If so, it's very little.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Promotion

I know I mentioned this briefly on Twitter and Facebook a few days ago but I never got around to actually detailing what happened. I got called into a conference room for an unscheduled meeting a few weeks ago. We've been in a perpetual state of reorganization for a few weeks now. I thought the dust had settled, but it hadn't. I was now being asked to lead my team as we moved over to a new group. My boss was getting kicked up to a new role. So, I said sure. My boss assured me that he'd take a lot of his meetings with him to the new role and I suspect a lot of the international travel as well, which is fine with me because I'd rather stay home with my family.

They said it would take place at the end of July, but they wanted to announce it quickly, they just needed one more (my boss' boss' boss' boss') sign-off. They didn't get it from him before my boss went on vacation for a week.

So as soon as they came back, they called our team and our sister team, made the announcement and then didn't say when it was effective. (I'd later find out it was effective as of the announcement during that meeting.)

My boss cannot stop smiling when he tells people that I'm now in the role and he's not. It's hard not to believe that he didn't know about all the mess that's come down since the transition, but I can tell that he didn't. He's basically acting as a consultant to me, still attending a lot of meetings and lending institutional knowledge that I lack. It's been very helpful.

So, it's kind of exciting. On the other hand, I'll now be responsible for giving appraisals and stuff and I haven't been there long enough yet to even have had one done on me, so I'm really going to be flying blind.

So, in my post-college professional career (not counting Blockbuster and the temp. jobs), the score stands at 5-2. Jobs that existed before I held them: 2. Jobs that were created and then offered to me: 5.

I'd wonder if that meant I'm a non-conformist, unable to do the job set before me, but in the two cases where I came into existing jobs, one I temped at for 2 months, worked it for 11 months and then got kicked up. The other I temped at for 5 months, worked it for 2 months, got kicked up, did that for maybe 6 months and got kicked up again.

So now I am the Manager of Email Something. It might be Marketing, it might be Production. I guess that's still open to discussion.

In other news, it's been raining most of the day. A soft rain. But it's still been warm enough to have the windows open at home. So everything smells fresh. And I got a haircut. So things are good.

Visualizing the Internet

This is interesting, if you're into this kinda stuff... graphs and charts of internet traffic. No? Not interested? Most aren't. Anyhow, here's the link.

Monday, July 16, 2007

I (heart) Israel

Or, more specifically, I'm a big fan of Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Whether you're complaining about their destruction of homes and structures as they withdrew from certain areas of the Gaza strip (turns out that the Palestinians wanted the cement structures destroyed; they were planning to use them as an artificial reef in a marina project) or thanking the country for giving animals to a Palestinian zoo (they sent a few other articles on cooperation back), they respond, and quickly. They never give their names so that's a little bit rough, but they reply quickly and professionally. Great public relations!

MSNBC Article that mentions Israel's gift
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19683583/

Israel, Jordan and Palestinian Authority working together on large environmental project
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Israel+beyond+politics/Environmental%20concerns%20bring%20Israelis%20Jordanians%20and%20Palestinians%20together%209-Jul-2007

Israel, Palestinian Authority team to clean regional rivers
http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Israel+beyond+politics/Israeli-Palestinian%20team%20cleaning%20up%20regional%20rivers%2001-07-2007

Sunday, July 15, 2007

I Wandered the Span

No, I wasn't one of the ones who got up early this morning and ran the span. Truth be told, I didn't know about it until someone showed up from church having just completed the run. (Not that this is the excuse that I didn't run. It was also early in the morning and apparently people ran.) I did later wander the span. 3.6 miles of walking in all. Was kinda cool. Tomorrow the bridge opens to traffic, but today, the only way to cross it was on foot. They estimate more than 60,000 did (according to their blog, they were hoping to get at least 40,000, so, well, good show, eh?).


Even Darth Vader and Boba Fett walked the span. Dude must have been really warm under there. I'm pretty pleased with the photos the phone took. The screen was so washed out I couldn't see any of them until I got home. Man, I need a haircut.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Scamming the Scammers

MEDIAPOST.COM -- I thought we could have some fun this week by taking a look at the practice of Scambaiting. Scambaiters are a group of individuals who take pride in messing with the heads of the so-called Nigerian Email Scammers. You know the guys: the rich princes who will send you millions for helping them get money out of the country. More...

Tour de France


This is a pretty cool site. They're not racing right now, but the site is just really nice looking.

Teenage Affluenza Spreading Fast

(from World Vision Australia)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Doomed to Repeat History

Declutter Gmail

If you use Gmail, hopefully you're already using Better Gmail. (Colored labels, HTML signatures, cleaner look to Gmail, etc.)

This morning Lifehacker pointed to a new GreaseMonkey script which adds nested tags (like folders!) to Gmail. Awesome.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Other people's misery is funny

Typing is faster than speaking. I could not stop laughing at times.

Thieves Make Friends with Charities

SYMANTEC.COM -- Thieves are using charity websites to test if stolen credit cards still work. They know that charity contributions are infrequent and random and doesn't trigger any alarms with with the credit card companies. More...

Oh, Brother

I guess they're saying that if the Cartoon Network devices had said "I am not a bomb." then everything would be alright?

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Images that Changed the World

There's really nothing for me to add. Just click on through.

Tale of Two Churches

Changing of the Guard - an interesting story Lori sent me. Probably representative of the trend for churches these days. SEATTLE P.I.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Bad Water

CONSUMERIST.COM -- And in Fiji, a state-of-the-art factory spins out more than a million bottles a day of the hippest bottled water on the U.S. market today, while more than half the people in Fiji do not have safe, reliable drinking water. Which means it is easier for the typical American in Beverly Hills or Baltimore to get a drink of safe, pure, refreshing Fiji water than it is for most people in Fiji. More...

iDork

MYFOXDW.COM -- Lady with $16k in cash shows up 15 minutes before the 6 pm reopening of an AT&T store in Dallas. Offers the kid at the front of the line $800 if he'll give up his space in line. He says sure and steps out of line and she steps in. Doors open, she walks in, announces that she wants to buy every iPhone in the store. AT&T employee informs her of the rule that it's one-phone-per-person... if you've followed any sort of coverage about the iPhone at all, you would have known this. She apparently didn't. The kid later gets his iPhone and every imaginable accessory for it, all for free. Ha. Watch the video...

Twitter? Dead Again?

Big stinking shock. Twitter's down again. All I was gonna say was "Inside Man starring Denzel, Jodie and some other people. Decent caper. Seemingly slow but decent enough payoff."

Friday, July 06, 2007

I (heart) Ask.com

I may live in a Google World (Google Apps for My Domain including Gmail, Calendar, Docs & Spreadsheets; Blogger, Google Reader, FeedBurner, www.google.com, 1-800-GOOG-411, Google Maps, etc., etc.) but I'm starting to become a real big fan of Ask.com.

For whatever reason, I'm apparently an authoritative source for the folks at Ask.com. Search for something semi-obscure and I pop right up at the top.

Don't see that happening at Google.com.

(Of course, knowing the kind of stuff I actually write on here, perhaps that's a testament to the Google Search Engine for not showing my results in slot 1?)

[Jott from James Lamb] The car next to me here in traffic has the license plate signed, which reads tre...

Jott From James Lamb

The car next to me here in traffic has the license plate signed, which reads treat me no differently than you treat the queen, which makes me wonder. How would we treat the Queen? We probably really wouldn't care much about her in how she is figure head of some other country's government. We probably say [unclear speech, please listen], what are your thoughts? Post the comment below.
Listen to Audio
Set reminders, assign, and manage this jott on Jott.com

Brought to you by Jott Networks, Inc.

Anybody Home?

Last night I was dreaming I was in some sort of classroom. The teacher was telling us about a woman, deceased, who was to be put on permanent display in a field. The woman (an actor) and the field were apparently important to some sci-fi movement. The woman had been buried normally in her home country during a time of war. But now that there was peace in her land, she had been dug up and was now on display in this field where geeks would make their pilgrimages to pay their respect. Naturally, all of us in the class thought it was a really bad idea. (Creepy, even.) It would have been another random dream for me except that at one point, I was looking around the room and saw Jamie Anderson sitting on the other side of the room. I didn't have a chance to talk to her, but when I later woke up, I realized it's been a long time since I've posted this.

So... if you're on this list, I'm curious to hear what you're up to, what's new in your life. These are all the people I've lost contact over time. In alphabetical order, except Becki who goes to the top of the list. If you're on this list and want to reconnect, email me at tvjames @ gmail . com
  • Becki Brunelli - you found one of my previous posts, left a comment saying to get in touch but left no way for me to get in touch. (P.S. I'm not the only one looking for you. Some traffic last month with people looking for you.)
  • Jamie Anderson - Pacific Lutheran University, The Mast, now Idaho or something?
  • Frank Anino - Warner Bros. Online
  • Andrew Alexander - Washington, D.C. - received your card, responded via email as requested, haven't heard back. Hope married life is treating you well!
  • Patty Armstrong aka Patty Hoem see also Patty and Hayden - last seen during Christmas break 1995
  • Paul Bates - Bethel Lutheran Church
  • Barbara Beckinghausen - Swormville, Amherst, SUNY Fredonia
  • Shannon Carvey - University of Washington, Silverdale Lutheran Church
  • Tighe and Susan Carvey - Little Caesar's
  • Wendy Ehrlich - tried writing to her a year ago, no response... she may not want to be found, not sure I blame her, I took the layoff hard. But I didn't blame her.
  • Eric Funk - former DJ, KPLZ, sorry, I mean STAR 101.5
  • Darice Good - thespian
  • Holly Grellier - last seen in Sacramento, 1998
  • Doug Hahn - Portland?
  • Pastor Robert Hoem - now a shared pastor at a few small Lutheran churches in NW Washington?
  • Paul Edwards aka Todd Ireland - you wrote a few years ago asking if it was ok to get back in touch. Haven't heard from you since.
  • Kathleen and Susan Jacot - Pacific Lutheran University
  • Scott Kim - got laid off on that same fateful day at Warner Bros.
  • Glenn Krauss - El Camino
  • Dexter Lo - Lake Avenue Church
  • Carol Maakestad - formerly of Silverdale Lutheran Church, last seen teaching at a school in North King County during Christmas break 1995 when I was taking the last of my stuff from home back to school with me
  • Richard Mar - Olympic High School
  • Eric McGraw - last seen probably on graduation day from high school.
  • Marshall B. "M.B." Miller IV
  • Jamey Peterson - last heard from by mail in late 2000. South Kitsap High School (Jamey - I'm not the only one looking for you... I've been getting some links in recently from someone else trying to find you.)
  • Amy Reynolds - now married, that was her maiden name
  • Jeff Rowe - UltimateTV, NBC. AOL?
  • Chris Wilkinson - Silverdale Lutheran Church
  • Robin - from SLC... can someone remind me of her last name?
For the search engines... Bremerton, Tracyton, Silverdale, Central Kitsap, South Kitsap. Silverdale Lutheran Church, Bethel Lutheran Church, Olympic High School, Central Kitsap High School, South Kitsap High School. Ultimate TV, UltimateTV, TV Net, UTV, Zap2it.com,
Lake Avenue Church, California, Washington, Pasadena, Monrovia, Sherman Oaks, Encino, World Vision, Warner Bros. Online., Family of God Lutheran Church, Ridgetop, Wawa, Kitsap, Central Valley, Eastwood, Pineridge Dr., Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Pine Ridge, Ridell, Wheaton, Lamb's Office Supply

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cool! Remote Controlled Tank

ENGADGET.COM -- Not completely sold on how cool it is, but it looks like it could be cool. Small remote controlled tanks that shoot. More...

Recommended Reading: Cars

Here's two recent pieces from Car & Driver that I thought were pretty compelling.

Top 10 Reasons Why the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Law is D-U-M-B.

Now that gasoline prices are rising again and Al Gore has proven the existence of man-made global warming by winning an Academy Award for his documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, and even George Bush is talking about reducing energy usage, there’s much talk in the halls of Congress about tightening up the CAFE law.

Most of you know CAFE stands for “corporate average fuel economy,” a law setting minimum average fuel-consumption levels for cars and trucks sold in America. The law has been in effect since 1975, two years after the first U.S. fuel crisis. Since 1985, the law has required that an automaker’s line of cars average 27.5 mpg. The current truck standard of 22.2 mpg was raised 1.5 mpg over the past three years.

Now Congress wants fuel-economy averages raised much higher. A group of senators led by California’s Dianne Feinstein wants to bump both the car and truck standards to 35 mpg by 2019. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois went even farther, proposing last year to raise CAFE for all vehicles to 40 mpg by 2016.

But there’s a problem. CAFE has always been a dumb law that’s not only wrong-headed but also doomed to fail. Here are my top 10 reasons why CAFE standards make no sense:

Continue reading at CARandDRIVER.com

Take the car or hop a choo-choo?

For a quarter of what we spend at the Home Depot each year, we could end congestion.

How’s this for a dire prediction? The arterial sclerosis blocking circulation on our roadways is spreading fast, and in just 23 years (let me do the math—that’ll be 2030), nearly a dozen U.S. cities will have the sort of infarction-producing bottlenecks we associate now with Los Angeles. Clogged at least as badly as L.A. is today will be Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas, Miami, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Portland, San Francisco–Oakland, Seattle-Tacoma, and Washington, D.C. This according to a new study by the Reason Foundation. And, no surprise, Los Angeles will be far worse.

Continue reading at CARandDRIVER.com

Finally, a Reward for Your Trouble

NEWS.COM -- Call Sprint Nextel's customer service too much and you get let out of your contract early. If they had that a few years ago, I would have been the first person they dropped. Oh well. It's still amusing now. More...

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Kwik-E-Mart Comes to Town


MSNBC.COM -- 7-Eleven turned 12 of its stores into "Kwik-E-Mart" from "The Simpsons" at its own expense. I think it's a very clever marketing stunt. Everyone is blogging and talking about it, even people who would only step into a 7-Eleven as a last resort. (It is very dumb that 7eleven.com isn't a working website. Fortunately my second guess 7-eleven.com was actually correct. I love that they even got into the act with the website. More...