"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"
-Tolstoy

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Doofus season starts

At least they didn't have a group of strippers on board ... or did they. That's not covered.

Traverse City Record-Eagle - Party gets wet before it gets wild:
"TRAVERSE CITY -- He sunk his boat on his bachelor party, but Bryan Wyzgoski figures his bride-to-be will forgive him.

'I think she'll still take me,' he said with a wide grin.

The Traverse City resident, clad in full pirate gear for the party, was aboard his 1984 Aqua Patio in West Grand Traverse Bay with six friends Friday afternoon. They put in at Bowers Harbor on the way to Power Island for a camping trip, but the boat's left pontoon sprung a leak less than halfway to the island.

'It was a patched hole we had fixed,' Wyzgoski, 25, said. 'Well, apparently didn't fix.'"

Friday, May 30, 2008

Title says it all

Click below - for cool pic

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Captures Images of Phoenix Lander's Descent | Popular Science

Later : source:
Descent of the Phoenix Lander Descent
Descent of the Phoenix Lander (PSP_008579_9020)
Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

MRO's HiRISE camera acquired this dramatic oblique image of Phoenix descending on its parachute. Shown here is a a wider view of the full image, showing a 10 kilometer diameter crater informally called “Heimdall,” and an improved full-resolution image of the parachute and lander.

Although it appears that Phoenix is descending into the crater, it is actually about 20 kilometers in front of the crater. It is difficult to believe that it is in front of the crater because it is so much smaller, but in reality it is, and that's a good thing because landing on the steep rocky slopes of the crater would have been far too exciting (or risky).

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ouch Ouch Ow Ouch

Rules are for others ...

Hopefully we can move on soon.

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"My question to you and anyone else who may be interested is: Why is it that the Democrats who played by the rules are now to be punished?

I am a 51 year old white woman with two daughters who live, work and attend school in Florida. Both of them played by the rules and did not vote in the Florida primary as they were told their votes would not count. Why is no one concerned about their disenfranchisement?"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Evening videos

A few min late for best color
Shot 9PM

First, a pan from shore to clouds overhead




Then a horizontal pan



Still getting the hang of this, not steady enough

Slamming the Clintons

From Robert George - black republican jouralist from Brooklyn

Ouch
I noticed the reference to '68 Dem Convention (aka police riot) ... not really what the Democrats want as a reference point.

RAGGED THOTS: Co-Dependent No More:

"'Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. ...Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You have done enough. Have you no sense of decency?'"

Joseph Welch to McCarthy in Army/McCarthy hearings

" For nearly two decades, we have enabled these deeply disturbing people to corrupt our politics and culture to a sickening level. We have said that their way of playing politics is just "hardball" of a different degree. No, this is politics of a different kind. Because the Clinton machine has an element of amour-propre that makes it something inhuman. There truly is nothing that these people will not do to gain and retain power.

I refuse to be party to this."

Monday, May 26, 2008

Celebs


Sydney Pollack, Director of High-Profile Hollywood Movies, Is Dead at 73 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com

Triggers thoughts of Celebs that are sighted up here
I recall a decade or more ago when Sydney was at one of our local haunts (LaBecasse).
Owner was in a tizzy, we said, please just calm down and let's get on with the evening

Local lore : 
Demi Moore and Bruce Willis : word that they had a kid at Interlochen

Big wedding last summer : George Clooney & Tom Hanks

Better was Harrison Ford on his bike (trailed by bodyguard)

Basically, I believe when I see
Farewell Sydney



Sounds sorta familiar

Deep Hot Biosphere?

Observatory - Evidence of Prokaryotes Far Below the Ocean Floor - NYTimes.com:
"The latest evidence for such a huge undersea biosphere, and a depth record of sorts, is reported in Science by R. John Parkes of Cardiff University and colleagues. They have found living prokaryotes 5,335 feet below the ocean floor off Newfoundland, about twice as deep as the previous record.

Intact cells were found in cores drilled through sediments up to 111 million years old, although the age of the prokaryotes themselves is an open question. The researchers were able to amplify genetic material, which strongly suggests that the cells are living, feeding on trapped methane, other hydrocarbons and organic carbon."


Wired 8.07: Fuel's Paradise: (highly suggested reading)

Buried deep in the Earth, says Gold, lies a second realm, a bacterial biosphere greater in mass than all the creatures living on the surface.

"Today, Gold sees other evidence of the deep hot biosphere. There's life on the floors of the oceans, making use of the chemicals gushing out of volcanic vents, and there have been bacteria turning up in deep holes all around the world - in the Columbia River basalts of Washington, in oil wells in the North Sea, in South African gold mines, and in the Swedish drilling program Gold set up. And though most planetary scientists are unconvinced by the claims made in 1996 that a Martian meteorite had fossils in it, thinking about the Mars rock focused people's minds on the possibility that a planet with a lifeless surface need not have a lifeless interior."

"The whole story of the deep hot biosphere is that oil coming up from below, without biology, will be food material for microbiology when it gets to a relatively shallow level where the temperature is not too high. For the microbes to use that oil as food when there's no atmospheric oxygen, they have to find oxygen in the rocks. There is plenty there, but there is not all that much in an easily removable form."

And the kicker :

"I knew something that, to this day, the petroleum geologists in this country don't seem to know - that astronomical observations had detected large amounts of hydrocarbons on various planetary bodies in our solar system. We didn't have the very good results that we now have from Titan showing seven different hydrocarbons. But I knew that there were perfectly sound astronomical observations showing hydrocarbons to be common on planetary bodies. So it seemed natural that there should be similar hydrocarbons within the Earth, slowly seeping out."

But if we aren't going to run out of hydrocarbons, how can we have high prices ???

Hummm

Sunday, May 25, 2008

On the Road Again

First off, took a little while to learn how to "Embed" another's video in this blog

So here goes
Got the Saber out yesterday

All works just fine

Toes on pegs, about at the balls of my feet
Light touch on the bars, index and middle finger of each hand covering the clutch and front brake.
Pretty much steer by subtile shifting of weight.

The power is still soooo nice: a flat torque curve from 2,000 RPM to 10,000.
Nothing sudden, except that you end up going pretty fast pretty quickly.

Note that when young, with a more aggressive rider, this would be a low 11 second quarter mile machine.
It gets from zero to 50 in under 3 seconds if you want to.



Oh yeah and it gets about 40MPG
More fun than a Prius

Data Point

Significant change underway

This is about miles, not the type of vehicle, which takes longer to change.

Americans Driving At Historic Lows:

"The FHWA’s “Traffic Volume Trends” report, produced monthly since 1942, shows that estimated vehicle miles traveled (VMT) on all U.S. public roads for March 2008 fell 4.3 percent as compared with March 2007 travel. This is the first time estimated March travel on public roads fell since 1979. At 11 billion miles less in March 2008 than in the previous March, this is the sharpest yearly drop for any month in FHWA history."

Good quote

From Wired

Climate Change Is Inevitable. Get Used to It

"Better to take Stewart Brand's advice from the opening page of the original Whole Earth Catalog: 'We are as gods and might as well get good at it.' 
We're in charge here. 
Let's get to work."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Geekdome rules...

OMG ... am I a geek?
Ah well, whatever


Op-Ed Columnist - The Alpha Geeks - Op-Ed - NYTimes.com


I do read Stewart Brand and Lawrence Lessig
And blog ... some

Friday, May 23, 2008

On a more serious note

I tried to read this piece at our wedding ...
got a bit choked up

...their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams

So so true

On Children
Kahlil Gibran

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Marianna, Kahlil's Sister

Ready and waiting

Let's see, we use to hear that that those videos from Osama bin Laden could have contained hidden codes to signal terrorist cells to take action ...

Clinton, Discussing Nomination Battle, Invokes R.F.K. Assassination - The Caucus - Politics - New York Times Blog:

"It was in the context of discussions about her political future that Mrs. Clinton made the remarks Thursday, in a meeting with the editorial board of the the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.

“People have been trying to push me out of this ever since Iowa,” where she came in third, behind Mr. Obama and former Senator John Edwards, Mrs. Clinton said. When asked why that would be she said she did not know; primaries sometimes go on a long time and there was no reason she should give up hers prematurely.

“My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California. I don’t understand it,” Mrs. Clinton said, dismissing the idea of dropping out."

Back to Hybrid bashing

Just back from Silicon Valley a couple weeks ago, a place of odd motoring mix. Plenty of Prius's (or is it Priui") but many BMWs', some SUV's, motorcycles, bicycles etc.

Anyway, the following confirms my thinking, the Prius is an image thing, not an answer.

Envoy), 15yr old Cadillac For now, we'll stick to our 8yr old mid-sized SUV (GMCSTS (mid sized around town car when we are downstate), 10+yr old Jeep (woods beater), 3yr old Honda (about 30MPG), and 20+ yr old Motorcycle.

Keeping all running is less energy intensive than new cars.

Don't Buy That New Prius! Test-Drive a Used Car Instead:

"Pound for pound, making a Prius contributes more carbon to the atmosphere than making a Hummer, largely due to the environmental cost of the 30 pounds of nickel in the hybrid's battery."

More here:
AskPablo: Time to get a new car? ( Hummer, H2, Prius, Fuel Efficiency, Hybrid, Energy, BTU,)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Flashback

Listened to this on way home this afternoon

Biography Details the 'King of Comics' : NPR:

"In his new biography, Kirby: King of Comics, TV and comics writer Mark Evanier details the life and career of noted comic artist Jack Kirby.

Kirby is the co-creator (with Stan Lee) of the Marvel Comics characters the Fantastic Four, the Incredible Hulk and X-Men. He's also credited with changing the look of the comics in the 1940s, moving away from visuals that aped what was being done in syndicated newspaper strips."

Flashback to mid 60's, part of it was early college time.
Little did I know that my collection of Marvel Comics would be worth something (gave a large stack away to my brother)

I thought at the time that there was "something special" about some of them, Hulk, Thor, Spider Man, Silver Surfer, Doc Strange ...
Well, several have become major motion pictures, not all blockbusters, but some, such as Spiderman have!

I was drawn to the "graphic arts" that broke the mold of the old DC comics.

Sooo a flashback
I don't recall what grade I got, or even if it was more than a pass/fail class
Philosophy
For my term paper, I took a portable tape recorder, got behind the wheel and unloaded maybe an hour of "stream of consciousness" discourse.
I do recall referring to various "comicbook" characters, some mentioned above, throwing them into various philosophical contexts, and archtypes.

All I know is that I passes, I suspect that the professor didn't quite know how to judge it... different media and all.
Because, of course, I just turned in the tape.

October Suprise

Need to make this a quick post but here's some thinking

Changes in the Middle East

Israel and Syria are talking, Iran may be pressured to talk nice and back down from confrontation.

Instead of going to war with Iran (rumors from the left) ... some sort of deal arranged by the "most incompetent administration since Harding" that lowers tensions in the Middle East?

Maybe even lower oil by fall?

Is any of this possible?

Not betting on it, but not betting against it either...

Toping out?

Sometimes these headlines are a sign of the end of a move


An Oracle of Oil Predicts $200-a-Barrel Crude




"Mr. Murti, who has a bit of a green streak, is not bothered much by the prospect of even higher oil prices, figuring it might finally prompt America to become more energy efficient.

An analyst at Goldman Sachs, Mr. Murti has become the talk of the oil market by issuing one sensational forecast after another. A few years ago, rivals scoffed when he predicted oil would breach $100 a barrel. Few are laughing now. Oil shattered yet another record on Tuesday, touching $129.60 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gas at $4 a gallon is arriving just in time for those long summer drives.

Mr. Murti, 39, argues that the world’s seemingly unquenchable thirst for oil means prices will keep rising from here and stay above $100 into 2011. Others disagree, arguing that prices could abruptly tumble if speculators in the market rush for the exits. But the grim calculus of Mr. Murti’s prediction, issued in March and reconfirmed two weeks ago, is enough to give anyone pause: in an America of $200 oil, gasoline could cost more than $6 a gallon.

That would be fine with Mr. Murti, who owns not one but two hybrid cars. “I’m actually fairly anti-oil,” says Mr. Murti, who grew up in New Jersey. “One of the biggest challenges our country faces is our addiction to oil.”

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I thought so ...

Just as I thought I was getting more forgetfull

Aging Brains Take In More Information, Studies Show :

"When older people can no longer remember names at a cocktail party, they tend to think that their brainpower is declining. But a growing number of studies suggest that this assumption is often wrong.

Instead, the research finds, the aging brain is simply taking in more data and trying to sift through a clutter of information, often to its long-term benefit.

The studies are analyzed in a new edition of a neurology book, “Progress in Brain Research.”

Some brains do deteriorate with age. Alzheimer’s disease, for example, strikes 13 percent of Americans 65 and older. But for most aging adults, the authors say, much of what occurs is a gradually widening focus of attention that makes it more difficult to latch onto just one fact, like a name or a telephone number. Although that can be frustrating, it is often useful."

I do find myself considering various options, although I seem to have always had a tendency to look several steps ahead in projects, take a global view and look for how disparate pieces might fit together.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Makes me feel ... OLD

Now the Gen X'ers are bashing the Gen Y's


Features : Radar Online : A Call to Arms Against Millennials

Calling Dr. Freud

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
Quote For The Day

18 May 2008 09:00 pm

'I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that anyone who supported me -- the 17 million people who have voted for me -- understand what a grave error it would be not to vote for Sen. McCain . . . uh, Sen. Obama, and against Sen. McCain,' - Senator Hillary Clinton.

CNN cleaned up the quote. But you know how she really feels."

Slip or was it, as Bill says "you know, she's 60 and maybe she was tired"

Sunday, May 18, 2008

21st Century and Globalization

Excerpt from Fareed Zakaria's new book:

The Rise of the Rest 

Pax Americana and all that...
It's still an American world

"Generations from now, when historians write about these times, they might note that by the turn of the 21st century, the United States had succeeded in it's great, historical mission - globalizing the world."

More on the Legends


More good stuff, from one of the judges
View from the inside

Judging Legends

From two weeks ago, Ritz Carlton @ Half Moon Bay.
My prior post : Looney Dunes: Legend

Some video clips as well

Found another video here

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Connections

Some pieces on connectivity, as in online community or group tools
Interesting stuff

Note : I'm a believer in wiki's for collaboration and archiving of information
But the fact that the service I've been using is currently off line is a bit disconcerting..




Other applications, Local to Federal

One on building tenants
They’re All Connected - New York Times


This one is copyright WSJournal:
---

From Wikinomics to Government 2.0
May 12, 2008; Page A13
You don't need to have a Facebook account, or to have edited a Wikipedia entry, to understand that the Web is in another highly disruptive period. Online tools under the rubric Web 2.0 are changing how information flows, with social networks letting people communicate directly with one another. This is reversing the top-down, one-way approach to communications that began with Gutenberg, challenging everything from how bosses try to manage to how consumers make or break products with instant mass feedback.

The institution that has most resisted new ways of doing things is the biggest one of all: government. This is about to change, with public-sector bureaucracies the new target for Web innovators. These include Don Tapscott, the business-strategy consultant who, with his New Paradigm consulting colleague Anthony Williams, in 2006 popularized Web 2.0 with the bestselling "Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything."

Mr. Tapscott's next research project is called "Government 2.0: Wikinomics, Government & Democracy." Its participants include the Office of Management and Budget. The goal is to use Web-based collaboration to "reinvent government."

If this sounds fanciful, here's a quick refresher on these new Web tools, and why government makes an excellent prospect for change.

The Wikinomics book tells the über-anecdote of a Toronto gold mining company, Goldcorp, whose in-house geologists were no longer able to estimate the location of gold on its properties. The company decided to publish its geological data, previously considered confidential intellectual property. This "open source" approach solicited outsiders to suggest where to prospect. Contestants applied disciplines including math, physics, computer graphics and even military strategy. Goldcorp converted about a half million dollars in prize money into billions of dollars in found gold.

Likewise, services such as eBay and YouTube thrive by providing new ways for people to engage with one another. Open-source, nonprofit Linux confounded traditional software operating-system makers, and Wikipedia displaced the venerable Encyclopaedia Britannica as an ultimate source for information.

The recently expanded edition of the "Wikinomics" book adds examples of how collaborative tools are changing governments. Technology makes it easy to publish information that used to be inaccessible. Chicagoans track crime by neighborhood, combining city crime statistics with Google's online maps (http://chicago.everyblock.com/). In Los Angeles, Neighborhood Knowledge California identifies communities at economic risk by tracking tax delinquency, fire violations and other signs of deterioration (http://nkca.ucla.edu/).

The federal government has launched several wikis, which permit staffers to post information and expand on it until a consensus is reached. Intellipedia lets 37,000 officials at the CIA, FBI, NSA and other U.S. intelligence agencies share information and even rate one another for accuracy in password-protected wikis, some "top secret." Users are told, "We want your knowledge, not your agency seal"; indeed, the wiki format may be the best last hope for connecting the dots of intelligence across 16 different agencies. Diplopedia lets State Department staff share information. It's closed to the public, rated "sensitive but unclassified." In the virtual world Second Life, where personal avatars can communicate with one another, the State Department now has an embassy.

Daniel Mintz, chief information officer for the Transportation Department, has noted how radical it is for government agencies to engage in wikis. They challenge the traditional notion that "all published information produced by a government agency be 'accurate,'" and that "any material a federal employee publishes can be taken as establishing or implying the establishment of formal policy."

Project Government 2.0 is based on the assumption that even governments can't fight technologies that give power to the people. "If governments are to ensure their relevance and authority, they must move quickly to meet rising expectations for openness, accountability, effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector," the project outline says.

Web 2.0 has promising implications for those who think the best government is the one that governs least, especially outside basic functions like national defense and law enforcement. Can more direct participation by citizens in assessing policies limit government ambitions to what government can actually accomplish? Would citizen taxpayers put their collective faith in most spending programs? Or is there a risk that the wisdom of crowds as reflected in Web 2.0 won't turn out to be so wise?

Democracy and governing are complex topics, but this makes it all the more important to apply technology as a solution. Government is the ultimate institution retaining the traditional top-down structure, technologically backward, with big decisions almost always made with incomplete information on what works and what doesn't work. Here's hoping that Web 2.0 can make government more effective by tapping information among officials and citizens, perhaps even finding a new consensus on where the wisdom of government begins and ends.

Please send comments to informationage@wsj.com

Morning

Just after 8AM today
video


Early morning fog had lifted

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Feedback

Will be interesting to see if anything happens


Sent:
Dan (or whoever the screener is)

Spotted the Ad on ABC this evening and thought I'd give some feedback

1) I dropped Sprint wireless a few years back, but mainly because of spotty coverage
I live in a rural area, NW Mich and understand that it may not fit your business
model
That's OK
I was Sprint customer for CDMA

2) I was a user, until a couple of months ago, of your Long Distance service

a) some years ago, we had massive overcharges, which customer service could not
address
Collections were able to sort the problems out

b) for some reason, maybe fact that I use Mac's not PC, I could never make the
online payment work
Instead, I used the voice activated payment system

So here's my point - try your voice payment system
It just flat does not make sense

Frankly : it makes the company sound dumb

Situation : you either key in or speak your Visa number
The voice reads it back and asks "is this correct" : your respond
Then the voice reads a confirm code and asks "is this correct"

Can you see that the second read back makes no sense what so ever?

Just a past customer trying to give positive feedback

Best
JTHoagland

Received:
Thank you for taking the time to write. To truly revolutionize wireless, we need your input. It’s people like you who are using our services everyday that can provide the best perspective. We'll be looking through all the ideas and feedback we receive.
This will, of course, take some time. I appreciate your patience until we can get you a response. A representative from my office will be contacting you in about a week.
In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about our new Simply Everything plan, you can find the details at www.sprint.com/everything.
Once again, from all of us at Sprint, thank you.
Dan Hesse
President and CEO – Sprint

Goin Local

First local asparagus tonight

Picked up at local grocery ... some stalks thick, so I peeled the "skin" for the lower half of the stalks
Soaked in water while I prepped the steaks, onions, 'shrooms

I've learned to like our asparagus pencil thin to thick as your thumb.

Then tossed in skillet with boiling (beyond boiling) hot grapeseed oil
Splash of white wine and cover
Steam (with the oil) as well as crisp fry them.

We enjoy our neighbors "Empire Asparagus Festival - 5th Annual Empire Asparagus Fest!"

Have you tried Asparagus Brats? How about deep fried Asparagus ?
Don't knock them till you try them

Think local
Think good
Think "snap it"

Oh yeah
Local (well ex local) writer : Jim Harrison ( likely my favorite writer )
Movie Wolf

YouTube - Wolf - Breaking the News to Stewart

Horoscopes

subtitle "Entertainment Tonight"

1) I don't really buy into this hocus-pocus, but
2) being a "Gemini-Cancer cusp" ...
3) I can be in a crowd while all alone ... and
4) sometimes have interesting conversations ... with myself

Monday, May 12, 2008

So Sorry

Doubt that it's really my fault
But maybe ...

Dropped the spotty cell service sometime about a year ago.
Then dropped unused long distance service a couple of months ago.
Besides the automated pay process was totally lame

Unable to do it online (because I use Mac's?)
Had to do it by phone

Go through the robo-voice routine, but lame as in when you key in your card number, it reads it back, asking "is this correct"

Then gives you confirm number and repeats "is this correct"?
Huh?
How the F&%# would I know?

Sprint Nextel Posts Loss and Offers Gloomy Outlook - New York Times:

"Sprint Nextel has received plenty of attention recently for its plans to roll out a new kind of high-speed wireless Internet service. But in light of its earnings report on Monday, some analysts are saying that what it needs more is customers."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Watch This

Randy Pausch Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams:

Good clip

Good piece, we'll see if it stays or disappears

Video - CNBC.com

Thesis that banking and finance stocks are not the place to be, that there will be much more regulation in the years ahead, spreads and margins will suffer and the cost structure has been built for an earlier environment.
Read : more layoffs to come

More : Commodities may be in bubble stage, much like the dot-com era.

Good, economically sensitive stocks are a buy.

Excellent post

David Brooks on :

The Cognitive Age - New York Times


Good analysis that it's brains not brawn that determine where jobs go

Investment Banking

Summary is that Investment Banking is not a great place to be for some time to come:

Taking a closer look at today's market action, with Stephen Wood, Russell Investments portfolio strategist; Michael Aronstein, Oscar Gruss chief investment strategist; and CNBC's Dylan Ratigan.

Video - CNBC.com

I concur ... massive repricing of risk and growing conservatism by bankers.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Quick Link for photos

Been using Flickr for a few years now, agree that it's best for sharing.

Now video - discovered that sometime last month.
Will explore more


Flickr rules in photo sharing, as video tiptoes in - USATODAY.com

Google zaps MuSoft with Yahoo

I agree with the following, comments below.

Yahoo May Find Victory in Microsoft Deal's Defeat (Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Time Warner) at SmartMoney.com:

"So I was hopping mad, and felt I had every right to be. I would have taken Microsoft's $33 and been happy to get it. But the more I thought about it, the more I came to believe that Yahoo may have stumbled onto the right course. My indignation has slowly drained way.

It all depends on what Yahoo does now. In my view, it has to abandon harebrained ideas like partnering with Time Warner's (TWX) AOL, and face up to some hard decisions. It should admit that its own search advertising effort has failed and vigorously pursue a relationship with Google (GOOG).

Yahoo made no mention of this in its statement, but clearly Google loomed large in determining the fate of the Microsoft bid. Under the pressure of the unsolicited offer, Yahoo began outsourcing some of its search advertising to Google in what apparently was a highly successful trial. This clearly weighed on Ballmer, and he specifically cited the potential relationship as a deal breaker in a weekend letter to Yang.

A Yahoo-Google search partnership would be the ultimate poison pill to Microsoft, which, should it acquire Yahoo, would never outsource a large chunk of its business to its archrival."

Background
When I ran ads for Earthy.com I'd tried banners then switched to AdWords. I was an early adopter and saw the value vs Yahoo's approach and less effective pay per click (which actually started as go.com then renamed as overture.

This is a brilliant move for Google and Yahoo as well.
Drop loosing model, adapt the winning.

I do use Yahoo for it's finance tools, and believe that it's interface works well for this type of function.
Google for search, Yahoo for set functions.

Starting to use Google tools like "Docs" as well.

Handwriting is on the wall for MuSoft, and I think Steve knows it.

More politics

Today's WSJournal on Gas Taxes"

If you want to discourage activity, tax it, not the other way
McCain and Clinton have it wrong

Mr. Market's Oil Fix: Higher Taxes
May 7, 2008

Oil's climb to $122 a barrel has policy makers and presidential candidates scrambling for quick, feel-good solutions. Trouble is, their ideas are exactly the opposite of what straightforward market economics says is needed.

John McCain and Hillary Clinton want to send cash-strapped consumers on holidays from the federal gasoline tax. But the law they can't rewrite -- the law of supply and demand -- suggests it would backfire. Lower taxes would encourage people to drive more, meaning more demand that would push prices higher again. That would fatten the bottom line of Big Oil and suppliers like Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and add to global carbon emissions.

[Chart]

What the U.S. really needs, if it seeks a real fix to its energy-consumption problem, is less demand, not more. Mr. Market says there's a simple way to do that: Jack up the gas tax. Don't lower it.

Economists call it a "Pigovian Tax," in honor of English economist Arthur Pigou, who early in the 20th century examined economic activity that hurts innocent bystanders. To stop behavior that's not in the public good, you tax it more, not less.

Of course, a higher gas tax would hurt working-class Americans who rely on their cars, though other taxes, like the federal payroll taxes or state sales taxes on food, could be lowered to offset it.

Harvard economist Gregory Mankiw, President Bush's former chief economic adviser, has proposed raising the tax by 10 cents a year for 10 years, to give the economy time to adjust.

"It should lower world oil prices," says Mr. Mankiw, whose pro-gas-tax group, the Pigou Club, includes unexpected bedfellows Alan Greenspan and Al Gore.

U.S. gas taxes have been flat for years, while most major industrialized nations have raised theirs. Raising them would fight pollution and congestion, ease the federal budget deficit, add urgency to the search for viable fossil-fuel alternatives, and help reduce U.S. addiction to foreign oil.

Unfortunately, it doesn't win elections. And the only market that matters now is the one for votes.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Another opinion on Legend

From Edmunds.com

While Pebble Beach has corporate branding, Legend is a pure enthusiast event:

Karl on Cars - Legend of the Motorcycle: Pebble Beach without Posers:

"This past weekend the show held its 3rd annual event, and I attended for the first time. Much like (I imagine) the third Pebble Beach Concours or Monterey Historics felt, this show has a purity that separates the posers from the players. While the occasional over-coiffed attendee made an apperance, the bulk of the assembled masses, whether showing a motorcycle or enjoying the motorcycle show, was clearly a true two-wheeled enthusiast."

Brief Political comment

Spotted this Monday:

The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan:
"Intelligence Is The Enemy"

"[The gas tax holiday] idea is, as an educated friend of mine who very much wants to support Clinton told me as we waited for Clinton to arrive, an insult to her intelligence. But then, there was Clinton, insulting the intelligence of her audience every chance she got. The only common theme to emerge from the 30-minute ramble was an attack on our enemies. China is the enemy for selling us lead-contaminated toys and poison pet food. The Saudis are the enemy for exploiting our addition(sic) to oil. The rest of OPEC, too. And worst of all are those evil, parasitic "middlemen" who pop up in every corner of the economy, ready to take a cut and give back nothing."

Gas tax holiday is exactly the wrong message to send the market, unless, of course, you are politician.

Parasitic middlemen - like those who speculate on cattle futures...

Monday, May 05, 2008

Pondering differences

NYTimes referencing Legends as similar to Pebble Beach

Looney Dunes: Yet more on Legends

Got me thinking this AM ( as the cobwebs were clearing )
What's my personal perception on cars vs motorcycles, and the people who associate with each.

Cars : epitome of car collector/show entrant might be Ralph Lauren. While I've never met Ralph, and likely never will, I don't picture him on a motorcycle.
Cars are fashion, sometimes high fashion, beautiful but as rolling art.

Sometimes the folks who focus on cars are pretentious and posers (not all, but enough)

Motorcycles are kinetic, they are all about motion, action.
You may drive a car, you RIDE a motorcycle.
You can talk on a cellphone, eat, read, fiddle with the radio, even do your makeup while driving, not with a motorcycle.

Motorcycles are tactile, you feel the traction (or lack of), the throttle and brake, you use all of your limbs, and often your weight (shifting to the inside of turns, hanging off the inside).
Cars you steer and use throttle & brake but your butt stays put.

I guess the biggest difference is in the crowds at these shows.
Motorcyclists are passionate and rarely poseurs.
Poseurs soon fall down.
Riders with gray hair may well have fallen down, but they climb back on.

Which brings me to the true dividing line.
Motorcycles are dangerous, you can get hurt.
With cars, you can get hurt, but often as not, you don't.
With cars, you screw up, you bend it, with motorcycles, you screw up, likely you get bent.

Cars are fun, motorcycles are serious

Motorcyclists don't need to declare their passion, it just is.
The crowd at "Legend" was quiet and mutually respectful.
Those of us with some salt & pepper up top know that we all love the same things.

Ning-ing

I've tried it a bit

Ning's Infinite Ambition -- Viral Networks -- Viral Expansion Loop -- Social Networking Start-Ups | Fast Company

Just got it as for the name - n... an unspecified number.

So it's n-ing

But not necessarily a breakthrough, seem that it's similar to the old MCI "Friends and Family" promotion

Nevertheless - worth a try.

http://www.ning/com

Yeow

Just cruised Bonhams auction results (I did not hang around for it)

1975 Ducati 750SS

Mere $100,000 plus Premium and tax.

Granted, it's one owner, original, unrestored "low mileage" bike.

This is what we raced in the mid 70's
Now, what could a race winner go for?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Yet more on Legends

Brief piece in the Times:

Cycles Reach for Pebble Beach Cachet - Motorcycle Auction - Collecting - New York Times

"“In three short years, this has become what many call the ‘Pebble Beach of motorcycles,’ ” Mr. Zaugg said, “which is quite a compliment considering that the Pebble Beach concours has been in existence for over half a century and is considered the hallmark of automobile events. Nothing like this exists for motorcycles anywhere else in the world.”

I plan to make it an annual event.

Photos: Legends of the Motorcycle - The New York Times; Slide Show

Related: I don't know the gate, but last year's was reported to be 6000 attendees

Sounds from Half Moon - a set on Flickr

Posted up some video clips
Just with pocket camera, nothing spectacular, but maybe some spectacular sounds ...

Sounds from Half Moon - a set on Flickr

Noted that there were a lot of gray heads
As Jon noted : "Gray Heads have money"

Another great line - throttle therapy beats the any other type.

Note : I'm still learning this video stuff

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Legend

Went over to Half Moon Bay today

Legend of the Motorcycle: Concours d'Elegance

Caught up with some friends
Fun day

Already thinking about next year, and pondering how to get a few of my bikes to the "left coast"

Some photos, maybe more later
Legend of the Motorcycle
Also did some video with pocket camera, will try to learn how to upload

Some very significant bikes on display (and runners)
Such as Honda 500GP : Hailwood's

With family less than an hour away, looks like this will be a regular event for me.

Later, discovered this:
2008 Legend of the Motorcycle - webBikeWorld

Wish I'd done my "homework" and I would have appreciated some of the rarer bikes more.

Stuff like this:
P1050328 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Hildebrand & Wolfm�ller

"the first motorcycle that was available for purchase" (1894)


One of the best t-shirts: "Don't Hide it ... Ride It"
I'll have to plead guilty of leaving too many in the shop

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pimp my ride


Got to the Valley today

Rental Car that I use : National
Offered up a Chevy or a Dodge "Magnum"
Well
Not in market for any, but took the Magnum
Cool looks, sparse features, but has Sirius Radio

Soo. .. cool thing about Sirius is : found "classic rock vinyl"
Dead with "Casey Jones", Creme with "White Room"
Had to roll down the windows and crank up the volume a bit

Byrds, Eagles, etc.
I always thought I understood the "California Car Culture"
Today ... maybe a bit more