Sat, 27 January 2007
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And now, here's this week's episode text...
There’s a company out in the market that has the motto Expect More. Off the top of my head (as I sit here at the local National Tire and Battery location waiting for my car to be serviced) I can’t think of which company that is. But I agree with the sentiment wholeheartedly.
When I traded in my gas-guzzling Jeep for my Scion xA, I did expect more. I expected a car that would deliver 32-36MPG, a fairly maintenance-free vehicle, and a driving experience that was quieter and more youthful.
Two years later I can grin a little and say that I’ve gotten that in spades.
I used to barrel along the highway getting about 19MPG in a lumbering beast that’s greatest benefit was its four-wheel-drive and extra interior space. But the space was only excess for belongings – people got mashed if they had to sit in the back seat making my Cherokee an oversized two seater.
In my new car people are comfy wherever they sit with plenty of legroom and headroom. The car handles well, has really good road visibility and with global warming hasn’t had to plow through much snow in the two years I’ve owned it.
While the xA isn’t much bigger than a Lark or a Rascal scooter, it does have some pep and has been designed with proper thought for ergonomics and convenience.
I wish more things were designed correctly instead of being rushed to market just because of good margins and corporate pressure and promises.
Take for instance the Blue-Ray DVD player. On the face of it, Blue-Ray technology is a godsend. Room for 50GB of data on a single dvd-sized disk is a dream come true for computer users and entertainment buffs alike. Imagine backing up your photos and/or music – or even your favorite Bowl of Cheese podcasts – to a single disk. That’s the coolest.
But now imagine paying $1100 for just the player. I don’t even know how much the recorder will cost. Further, the Blue-Ray maker – Sony – has refused to allow certain movie segments to use their technology to sell films. One in particular is the adult movie industry.
I’m not a lewd and lascivious person. I don’t really watch porn and can’t imagine purchasing it, but when it comes to the economics of home entertainment, porn is a huge financial driver.
Quoting a Yahoo News article by Brian Gardiner of Extreme Tech, “the U.S. adult-film industry, at around $12 billion in annual sales, rentals, and cable charges in 2006, is an even grander and more efficient moneymaking machine than legitimate mainstream American cinema (the latter's annual gross came in at $9 billion for 2006).?
And Gardiner makes the same point I had it mind, that the fate that befell Beta technology is on the horizon for Blue-Ray.
So why are people selling it? They don’t know any better, they get a kickback or a huge margin from Sony or they just don’t want to buck the trend.
The same people who are stocking Blue-Ray are the ones who got excited about the Zune because they didn’t think the margins from Apple items were high enough. And they were the same people who pooh-poohed MP3 technology until it was in everything from alarm clocks to watches.
This ramble probably has less to do with fixing my car (it cost $622 by the way) or expecting more (and that company is Target by the way, not a car company). It’s about people having some common sense and sticking to it.
Don’t put up with crap that people push to market, make smarter decisions about what you buy and you might just be able to finally look around at the results of what happen when you do expect more.
Mon, 15 January 2007
Wearing red and white jumpsuits - respectively - Colin and Jonah descended upon Las Vegas Nevada last Monday to celebrate the King's 72nd birthday. They do this each year to honor the memory of Elvis Presley, and January 8, 2007 was no different.
Even though both men are clearly insane, they have retained the mental acuity necessary to rent flamboyant jumpsuits, board a plane, navigate this active city and spread the word effectively to tens of people that Elvis would have been 72 had he lived.
I was in Vegas covering CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) when I ran across Colin and Jonah at the New York New York Casino. We were eating in adjoining booths at the Nathan's near the roller coaster and their appearance and APPEARANCE caused me to stare and to ruminate on tradition.
Too often, people jump on a 'tradition' because it's popular. St. Patrick's Day, Groundhog Day, Talk like a Pirate Day - they're all very popular but they're also 'me too' occasions. Why not establish something that you can do that sets you apart from the masses?
Colin and Jonah, unless there's some evil intervention from their wives or wives to be, should be able to continue their honoring of the King for decades. They do it tastefully and with creativity.
Unlike the cretins who drink green beer or those who continue to think chocolates and flowers need to be handed out willy-nilly on St. Valentine's Day - these friends take a special event and put their own twist on it. They've also created their own tradition, which is really what I wanted to talk about today.
When we're young we effortlessly remain in touch with people we care about and frequently take for granted the time we spend together and the memories we create. Then as years pass, this time gets gobbled up by other obligations that might in some instances be fleeting (first marriages, jobs - don't get me started about people who let work get in the way of life, games and addictions).
When was the last time you called a childhood friend or made time to really send a note to a person you take for granted? It's funny that I mentioned addiction in my earlier paragraph because this little story took place in a venue - Las Vegas - that thrives on people's addictions.
And to further that thought, some of the programs that help people deal with addiction have a cure-all for the nonchalance with which we treat others and for the seeming disregard with which we observe traditions. I'm not sure of the specific naming convention it has in each program, but it's comprised of making amends to those you have wronged in any way.
So while we raise a toast - be it beer, champagne, soda or a jelly-donut cocktail - to Colin and Jonah, let's try to remember the people around us who still matter. The people we still love everyday, no matter what little things get in the way.
Maybe telling these people how much they mean could become a tradition too.Want to get in touch??? Call us at 201-793-8255 and leave a message or a rant. We'll play it on the air. Or send an email to us!
Thanks for listening and reading and thinking!