Posts in “Fun Stuff”

March 13, 2013

“What if Michael Bay did our developer recruiting video?!”

The action-packed, explosive-laden trailer faded from the screen, and the developer next to me joked “That’s what our developer recruiting video should look like!”

It seemed like a great idea, so we brought it up with the filmmaking-types in the design department. “We need something awesome! Explosions! Police cars, ambulances!”

I guess they didn’t have the budget for all that. But I’m pretty happy with what they did come up with.

December 19, 2012

I want a camera built into my car

I want a camera built into my car. I want it right in front of the rear-view mirror, capturing the same wide view I’m seeing through the windshield.

I want it to record on a continuous loop. If I press the steering-wheel mounted trigger, I want it to store 10 seconds before and after that moment so that I can choose the perfect still, or capture something I just saw.

I want to offload images via WiFi or Bluetooth or the SD slots or USB ports new cars already have for music import.

Another obvious feature would be to store video immediately before an accident, though I imagine this kind of “black-box” recording (and the likelihood of it being subpoenaed in an accident or crime investigation) would be a concern to some people.

There appear to be plenty options as after-market accessories, but I don’t want wires and suction cups. I just want it built in and working ‘automagically.’

July 16, 2010

Show your staff you trust them. Or not.

I saw this in an airport lounge in India:

India 2008 272

November 30, 2009

You had me at free parking

My company sponsored a scholarship at Western Washington University. (For not-at-all altruistic reasons: you apply for it by showing up at a meeting where we get to introduce our company and internship opportunities. We want first pick of the best students!)

I got a thank you letter from the university, which didn’t surprise me. What did surprise me was that it included an all-campus parking pass.

This pass has little cash value. It’s not transferrable, and not good for events. I’m on campus just a few times a year (an advisory board, visiting a class, etc.) and there is always a free day-permit reserved for me at the visitor’s center. I don’t need this pass.

But I love it. Parking is always a mess at universities, and I’ve got a golden ticket. I can drive from my office right to the building I’m visiting.

This pass costs the university nothing. But it’s the free prize inside. And I’m embarrassed by what a difference it makes in my attitude towards visiting and contributing to the school.

June 5, 2009

We could have had an F-8

My grandfather worked for the Campbell Soup Company from 1946-1978. There were always lots of Campbell’s products around, and I drank a lot of V8.

Alas, I never got to try F-8, V-8’s fruity friend, and one of the projects my grandfather worked on. “This deliciously distinctive fruit drink is a blend of: water, sugar, naranjilla and cocona juices, concentrates of pineapple, apricot, apple, lemon and lime, banana puree, citric acid, guar gum and ascorbic acid (Vitamin C).”

I don’t know if F-8 even made it to shelves, or how long it lived; I do know the concept lives on in V8 Splash and V8 V-Fusion.

An F-8 label was tacked to the boathouse ceiling at my grandparents’ summer home, and I always wanted one. My mother has the last one we could find, and I scanned it in so I could share it with other family members. And you.

F-8 Blended Fruit Drink

May 26, 2009

Bouts-rimés (Fr., literally, “rhymed ends”)

“A form of literary amusement in which rhymes being given the participants, they fill up the verses. According to Ménage, the notion of this frivolity was derived from a saying of the French poet Dulot, whereby he accidentally let the cat out of the bag, or, to change the metaphor, let the public in behind the scenes. Complaining one day of the loss of three hundred sonnets, his hearers marvelled at his having about him so large a collection of literary wares, whereupon he explained that they were not completed sonnets, but the unarticulated skeletons, – in other words, their prearranged rhyming ends, drawn out in groups of fourteen. All Paris was in a roar next day over Dulot’s lost sonnets. Bouts-rimés became the fashion in all the salons…”

From William S. Walsh’s fascinating time killer, Handy Book of Literary Curiosities, 1906, kept dangerously in reach of my chair.

What can you do with pen, scuffle, men, ruffle?

“One would suppose a silly pen
A shabby weapon in a scuffle;
But yet the pen of critic men
A very hero’s soul would ruffle.”

“I grant that some by tongue or pen
Are daily, hourly, in a scuffle;
But then we philosophic men
Have placid tempers naught can ruffle.”

“Last night I left my desk and pen,
For in the street I heard a scuffle,
And there, torn off by drunken men,
I left my coat-tails and shirt-ruffle.”

But the best is a “rhyming end unto itself,” if you will:



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