One of the benefits of working across the street from an active military base are the regular flights of jet fighters, attack helicopters and other working aircraft.  Today, there were a series of jumbo Lockheed C-5 Galaxy coming to roost at the base.

As these large craft approach the building begins to rumble.  You can hear them coming with about 20 secs warning.  I suspect that the metropolitan location of the base makes an approach a little tricky. The Pilots need to work the controls, in particular the engines, with a deft touch.  

In comparison, when the fighter jets approach you don’t know it until they have already passed by.  I suspect that is also intentional.

I’m not a hawk, by any stretch, but it really is awe inspiring to see these amazing pieces of machinery in action.  I can only imagine what they can do when really put to the test.

Love him, or mostly hate him, Rupert Murdoch is on to something here

 

I don’t have an opinion on any of the politically charged ramblings in the Murdoch piece but I do think that he is correct, in as much as, technology shouldn’t supplant human teachers but rather supplement the process of education.

As part of my job, I am responsible for the training, and education, of several hundred career professionals. My audience is engaged, motivated and experienced. As an educator, its an ideal situation.

In reality, it’s as difficult as herding cats. Between the numerous distractions, political agendas, familial obligations, schedule conflicts and delicate egos it’s a wonder I can even get a class started let alone finished. When you throw in different learning styles, learning speeds, knowledge bases and capacity to understand, a simple training session becomes a sissyphean task.

If I transfer my experience with grown ups to a range of children, between the ages of 5 and 25, I can’t help but wonder how educators are able to remain sane.  There is just too much going on to keep it all straight for an extended period of time.

That’s where Rupe is on to something.  Here are some quick examples…

Amazon understands that I commute to work on my electric bike, based on the items I have browsed, and will auto-magically recommend I check out their “bike commuter” specialty store.

Hulu knows that I watched a few episodes “Heroes” and “Buffy” and then recommends that I watch the significantly more interesting “Misfits.”

Behavioral/Contextual web display targeting follows my trail, from site to site, and will then, in real time, recommend display ads based on any number of parameters. 

Why can’t that same technology determine that I don’t understand Singapore Math or Whip Charts and serve up a heaping dish o’ lesson plans?  It doesn’t seem like a real stretch to watch the behavior of students and make recommendations on how to best influence the learning path of kids and grownups alike.

Just something to ponder.

I have never...

In almost 5 years of commuting, from my house to my employer’s West LA office, I have never made it in less than 1hr 15min.  On my electric bike today I rode almost the exact same route (with one slight detour which actually increased the distance) and abided by almost every traffic law (and I certainly wasn’t speeding) and made it in just 45min. 

THIRTY FREAKIN’ MINUTES FASTER!

Unbelievable.

City Planners should start to take notice.  I have heard my city councilman talk about “big traffic should be on big streets.”  Me and my bike are “little traffic” and I made far more efficient use of the “big streets” than all those polluting cars.

This kind of 3D photography is actually interesting

Apparently I missed the announcement from a company called Lytro about 4 months ago of a new method of photography called light ray.  And I really missed something special.

It's soooo cute!

The main premise is that the image has multiple lenses arrayed in a linear fashion, across several planes, that capture both the image and accompanying parallax data before hitting the CMOS sensor.  The result is that all (point and shoot) photos are in focus without moving lens parts and, more importantly, provide a 3D-esque ability to zoom in and out of an image while maintaining focus.  

Cross Section of the camera

The net result is a fascinating new way to view images, a camera size not much larger than a tube of lipstick, no moving parts to break, photos always in focus and very good low light abilities so there isn’t need for a flash equating to good battery life.  The best part is the consumer level pricing, starting at $399 for an 8gb model.

Camera Models

The downside is the 3D nature of the photos is impossible to replicate on paper.  However, I suspect that an image can be processed to pick a focal point and output to paper. 

One final note, for all you #occupy peeps, I think that this may revolutionize security cameras.

How antiquated.

For various and sundry reasons I have to drive my car to work today. As much as I love my Audi, it feels weird to not have the freedom that comes from riding my electric bicycle. Good thing I can get back to business tomorrow.

Quite often, I find myself smiling for no apparent reason.  People have always pulled me aside and shared that they love my positive energy and passion for life.  My joie de vivre, if you will.
In some respects, I agree with them.
I don’t know exactly why I smile so much…or least I didn’t know until I started to think about it.    I find myself smiling when I figure out a solution to a problem.
Nothing is more satisfying than cracking a nut with something other than blunt force trauma.  Sometimes the problem is work related, sometimes it’s personal.
Every once in a while I’ll get these transcendent visions of a far away, but entirely achievable, solution to some massive conflagration.  What constitutes a firestorm kind of problem?  Taking back my life from the confines of a 4 door prison with wheels is one of those simple ideas that is massively complicated yet delivers the desired outcome (as chronicled in other posts).
Another time I smile is when I get to share my knowledge through teaching, coaching or mentoring someone.  
Pardon me for thinking tangentially for a moment…I like to joke that I smile every time I want to call someone an idiot.   In reality, there is no time, and I have zero energy, for that kind of futility.  Life is way too short to deal with real idiots.  How do you know I want to call you an idiot?  When I don’t talk to you at all.
Back to smiling.  Helping people to learn, showing them a path forward or  connecting their dots really makes me feel useful and productive.  Dollars to doughnuts, the key to big smiles are actions, not activities. Helping other people smile (by teaching them to fish), effectively lifting their spirits, just amplifies the warm fuzzy feelings of smiley goodness.
Other times I’m smiling to medicate myself to a more pleasant state of mind.
Scientifically speaking, the mere act of smiling will improve your mood (it’s true.  Go ahead and google it.  I’ll wait here).  When the nerve endings in your face are triggered, by the act of physically smiling, your body releases Dopamine and other mood improving chemicals.
Simply (and naturally) speaking, smiling gets me high.
I find that I smile all day long.

Quite often, I find myself smiling for no apparent reason.  People have always pulled me aside and shared that they love my positive energy and passion for life. My joie de vivre, if you will.

In some respects, I agree with them.

I don’t know exactly why I smile so much…or least I didn’t know until I started to think about it. I find myself smiling when I figure out a solution to a problem.

Nothing is more satisfying than cracking a nut with something other than blunt force trauma. Sometimes the problem is work related, sometimes it’s personal.

Every once in a while I’ll get these transcendent visions of a far away, but entirely achievable, solution to some massive conflagration.  What constitutes a firestorm kind of problem? Taking back my life from the confines of a 4 door prison with wheels is one of those simple ideas that is massively complicated yet delivers the desired outcome (as chronicled in other posts).

Another time I smile is when I get to share my knowledge through teaching, coaching or mentoring someone.  

Pardon me for thinking tangentially for a moment…I like to joke that I smile every time I want to call someone an idiot.   In reality, there is no time, and I have zero energy, for that kind of futility. Life is way too short to deal with real idiots. How do you know I want to call you an idiot? When I don’t talk to you at all.

Back to smiling.  Helping people to learn, showing them a path forward or connecting their dots really makes me feel useful and productive. Dollars to doughnuts, the key to big smiles are actions, not activities. Helping other people smile (by teaching them to fish), effectively lifting their spirits, just amplifies the warm fuzzy feelings of smiley goodness.

Other times I’m smiling to medicate myself to a more pleasant state of mind.

Scientifically speaking, the mere act of smiling will improve your mood (it’s true. Go ahead and google it. I’ll wait here). When the nerve endings in your face are triggered, by the act of physically smiling, your body releases Dopamine and other mood improving chemicals.

Simply (and naturally) speaking, smiling gets me high.

I find that I smile all day long.

Zoltar Speaks!

Just a few days ago, before this article appeared, I challenged my readers to just try and not buy a domestic robot once it could resemble the practicality of the Jetson’s indefatigable Rosie.  Turns out that Rosie is almost a reality and a Silicon Valley, called Willow Garage, has built a robot that can serve you food and fold laundry.  If only it looked hot in a french maid outfit!

My musings, rumblings and mumblings on MarComm and Advertising

I started a second blog ostensibly to separate my work persona from my personal persona but I also have a significant amount of words backing up in my brain so a second venue to dump them seemed in order.

Thanks for noticing.

Domestic Goddess

I hate the word housewife; I don’t like the word home-maker either. I want to be called Domestic Goddess

-Roseanne Cherie Barr

It may seem simple. Quaint. Antiquated even. Regardless of some reality show inspired by fashion design, the “super women can have it all” concept or even hard-earned equal societal consideration, I love the fact that my lovely partner had the skills to do some alterations on my clothes.

She broke out the sewing machine, figured out the pattern and went to work. When she was finished, Jill handed me some pinking shears to complete the alterations.

It couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I certainly would still be sitting at the dining room table trying to figure out how to thread the machine.

It got me wondering (big surprise there) what other chores, traditionally performed by the housewife, are slowly being lost to time like some dying language where the last two known speakers are feuding and refuse to speak to each other (go ahead and Google it, I’ll wait).

I’m not saying that thread & needle work is a dying artform. It’s just not de rigueur for the modern Betty Draper. Over the last 50 years, menial tasks like laundry and dishes for example, were essentially outsourced to machines. You know that you wouldn’t hesitate to plonk down a couple of grand to buy a machine that could fold and put away the clothes. Vacuuming has already been handed over to robots, its just a matter of time until we all have a Rosie Robot to perform all of our household chores.

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

As I thought it thru I came to the realization that it’s not about the lost art of house-wifery but rather the loss of the stereotypical housewife herself. I started this blogpost off by referring to Jill as my partner, and that’s exactly what she is. We are better together. I can tackle some things and she tackles others. Between us there isn’t anything we can’t handle.

We both grew up with Florence Henderson as a cultural touchstone. Barbara Billingsly was already passé. Even the bombastic Roseanne wasn’t someone we really identified with as a couple. She and Dan weren’t really partners as much as she ruled the roost and Dan tagged along.

Somehow, as partners, we moved beyond those role models to become a truly modern couple. We carry iPads everywhere we go. We post pictures, capturing every moment in our lives, in the cloud. We share our thoughts on Facebook. If it’s digital, odds are have made it part of our lives. We have three Tivos for crying out loud!

So, after all my mental gymnastics, it is the anachronistic image of my very merry model of a modern major Partner sitting at an old fashioned sewing machine just tickled me pink.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that she made all the alterations while dressed in a negligee. At least, that’s how I chose to envision her.  That might have had something to do with my continuing amusement.

UPDATE: Just a few days after this post I stumbled across this article…http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18806068

Once again I am a man ahead of my time.  I really need to slow down. Not.

One of the things I love about LA is that you can stumble into a movie set that takes you back in time, or into the future, or even back to the future and just as quickly as it appeared the movie set will vanish… like the movie itself was a time traveller.
UPDATE: This was the set of a movie going by the code-name of Magnus Rex, also known The Dark Knight Rises, the latest iteration (and by far the greatest) interpretation of the Batman mythos directed by the inestimable Christopher Nolan.  I didn’t see anything other than extras and some of the set pieces but I have no doubt that it will be amazing…even though it screwed up my commute for a few days.

One of the things I love about LA is that you can stumble into a movie set that takes you back in time, or into the future, or even back to the future and just as quickly as it appeared the movie set will vanish… like the movie itself was a time traveller.

UPDATE: This was the set of a movie going by the code-name of Magnus Rex, also known The Dark Knight Rises, the latest iteration (and by far the greatest) interpretation of the Batman mythos directed by the inestimable Christopher Nolan.  I didn’t see anything other than extras and some of the set pieces but I have no doubt that it will be amazing…even though it screwed up my commute for a few days.

Starting the adventure!  After 20+ years of relying on a car to get me to work I’ve decided to grasp the art of the possible and ride my bike.  It’s a bit of a contrivance as this isn’t your Daddy’s Bicycle.  It’s a modern day electric bike, capable of helping haul my out-of-shape carcass 24 miles a day, designed for all sorts of conveyance convenience.

Starting the adventure!  After 20+ years of relying on a car to get me to work I’ve decided to grasp the art of the possible and ride my bike.  It’s a bit of a contrivance as this isn’t your Daddy’s Bicycle.  It’s a modern day electric bike, capable of helping haul my out-of-shape carcass 24 miles a day, designed for all sorts of conveyance convenience.

One of the benefits of working across the street from an active military base are the regular flights of jet fighters, attack helicopters and other working aircraft.  Today, there were a series of jumbo Lockheed C-5 Galaxy coming to roost at the base.

As these large craft approach the building begins to rumble.  You can hear them coming with about 20 secs warning.  I suspect that the metropolitan location of the base makes an approach a little tricky. The Pilots need to work the controls, in particular the engines, with a deft touch.  

In comparison, when the fighter jets approach you don’t know it until they have already passed by.  I suspect that is also intentional.

I’m not a hawk, by any stretch, but it really is awe inspiring to see these amazing pieces of machinery in action.  I can only imagine what they can do when really put to the test.

Love him, or mostly hate him, Rupert Murdoch is on to something here

 

I don’t have an opinion on any of the politically charged ramblings in the Murdoch piece but I do think that he is correct, in as much as, technology shouldn’t supplant human teachers but rather supplement the process of education.

As part of my job, I am responsible for the training, and education, of several hundred career professionals. My audience is engaged, motivated and experienced. As an educator, its an ideal situation.

In reality, it’s as difficult as herding cats. Between the numerous distractions, political agendas, familial obligations, schedule conflicts and delicate egos it’s a wonder I can even get a class started let alone finished. When you throw in different learning styles, learning speeds, knowledge bases and capacity to understand, a simple training session becomes a sissyphean task.

If I transfer my experience with grown ups to a range of children, between the ages of 5 and 25, I can’t help but wonder how educators are able to remain sane.  There is just too much going on to keep it all straight for an extended period of time.

That’s where Rupe is on to something.  Here are some quick examples…

Amazon understands that I commute to work on my electric bike, based on the items I have browsed, and will auto-magically recommend I check out their “bike commuter” specialty store.

Hulu knows that I watched a few episodes “Heroes” and “Buffy” and then recommends that I watch the significantly more interesting “Misfits.”

Behavioral/Contextual web display targeting follows my trail, from site to site, and will then, in real time, recommend display ads based on any number of parameters. 

Why can’t that same technology determine that I don’t understand Singapore Math or Whip Charts and serve up a heaping dish o’ lesson plans?  It doesn’t seem like a real stretch to watch the behavior of students and make recommendations on how to best influence the learning path of kids and grownups alike.

Just something to ponder.

I have never...

In almost 5 years of commuting, from my house to my employer’s West LA office, I have never made it in less than 1hr 15min.  On my electric bike today I rode almost the exact same route (with one slight detour which actually increased the distance) and abided by almost every traffic law (and I certainly wasn’t speeding) and made it in just 45min. 

THIRTY FREAKIN’ MINUTES FASTER!

Unbelievable.

City Planners should start to take notice.  I have heard my city councilman talk about “big traffic should be on big streets.”  Me and my bike are “little traffic” and I made far more efficient use of the “big streets” than all those polluting cars.

This kind of 3D photography is actually interesting

Apparently I missed the announcement from a company called Lytro about 4 months ago of a new method of photography called light ray.  And I really missed something special.

It's soooo cute!

The main premise is that the image has multiple lenses arrayed in a linear fashion, across several planes, that capture both the image and accompanying parallax data before hitting the CMOS sensor.  The result is that all (point and shoot) photos are in focus without moving lens parts and, more importantly, provide a 3D-esque ability to zoom in and out of an image while maintaining focus.  

Cross Section of the camera

The net result is a fascinating new way to view images, a camera size not much larger than a tube of lipstick, no moving parts to break, photos always in focus and very good low light abilities so there isn’t need for a flash equating to good battery life.  The best part is the consumer level pricing, starting at $399 for an 8gb model.

Camera Models

The downside is the 3D nature of the photos is impossible to replicate on paper.  However, I suspect that an image can be processed to pick a focal point and output to paper. 

One final note, for all you #occupy peeps, I think that this may revolutionize security cameras.

How antiquated.

For various and sundry reasons I have to drive my car to work today. As much as I love my Audi, it feels weird to not have the freedom that comes from riding my electric bicycle. Good thing I can get back to business tomorrow.

Quite often, I find myself smiling for no apparent reason.  People have always pulled me aside and shared that they love my positive energy and passion for life.  My joie de vivre, if you will.
In some respects, I agree with them.
I don’t know exactly why I smile so much…or least I didn’t know until I started to think about it.    I find myself smiling when I figure out a solution to a problem.
Nothing is more satisfying than cracking a nut with something other than blunt force trauma.  Sometimes the problem is work related, sometimes it’s personal.
Every once in a while I’ll get these transcendent visions of a far away, but entirely achievable, solution to some massive conflagration.  What constitutes a firestorm kind of problem?  Taking back my life from the confines of a 4 door prison with wheels is one of those simple ideas that is massively complicated yet delivers the desired outcome (as chronicled in other posts).
Another time I smile is when I get to share my knowledge through teaching, coaching or mentoring someone.  
Pardon me for thinking tangentially for a moment…I like to joke that I smile every time I want to call someone an idiot.   In reality, there is no time, and I have zero energy, for that kind of futility.  Life is way too short to deal with real idiots.  How do you know I want to call you an idiot?  When I don’t talk to you at all.
Back to smiling.  Helping people to learn, showing them a path forward or  connecting their dots really makes me feel useful and productive.  Dollars to doughnuts, the key to big smiles are actions, not activities. Helping other people smile (by teaching them to fish), effectively lifting their spirits, just amplifies the warm fuzzy feelings of smiley goodness.
Other times I’m smiling to medicate myself to a more pleasant state of mind.
Scientifically speaking, the mere act of smiling will improve your mood (it’s true.  Go ahead and google it.  I’ll wait here).  When the nerve endings in your face are triggered, by the act of physically smiling, your body releases Dopamine and other mood improving chemicals.
Simply (and naturally) speaking, smiling gets me high.
I find that I smile all day long.

Quite often, I find myself smiling for no apparent reason.  People have always pulled me aside and shared that they love my positive energy and passion for life. My joie de vivre, if you will.

In some respects, I agree with them.

I don’t know exactly why I smile so much…or least I didn’t know until I started to think about it. I find myself smiling when I figure out a solution to a problem.

Nothing is more satisfying than cracking a nut with something other than blunt force trauma. Sometimes the problem is work related, sometimes it’s personal.

Every once in a while I’ll get these transcendent visions of a far away, but entirely achievable, solution to some massive conflagration.  What constitutes a firestorm kind of problem? Taking back my life from the confines of a 4 door prison with wheels is one of those simple ideas that is massively complicated yet delivers the desired outcome (as chronicled in other posts).

Another time I smile is when I get to share my knowledge through teaching, coaching or mentoring someone.  

Pardon me for thinking tangentially for a moment…I like to joke that I smile every time I want to call someone an idiot.   In reality, there is no time, and I have zero energy, for that kind of futility. Life is way too short to deal with real idiots. How do you know I want to call you an idiot? When I don’t talk to you at all.

Back to smiling.  Helping people to learn, showing them a path forward or connecting their dots really makes me feel useful and productive. Dollars to doughnuts, the key to big smiles are actions, not activities. Helping other people smile (by teaching them to fish), effectively lifting their spirits, just amplifies the warm fuzzy feelings of smiley goodness.

Other times I’m smiling to medicate myself to a more pleasant state of mind.

Scientifically speaking, the mere act of smiling will improve your mood (it’s true. Go ahead and google it. I’ll wait here). When the nerve endings in your face are triggered, by the act of physically smiling, your body releases Dopamine and other mood improving chemicals.

Simply (and naturally) speaking, smiling gets me high.

I find that I smile all day long.

Zoltar Speaks!

Just a few days ago, before this article appeared, I challenged my readers to just try and not buy a domestic robot once it could resemble the practicality of the Jetson’s indefatigable Rosie.  Turns out that Rosie is almost a reality and a Silicon Valley, called Willow Garage, has built a robot that can serve you food and fold laundry.  If only it looked hot in a french maid outfit!

My musings, rumblings and mumblings on MarComm and Advertising

I started a second blog ostensibly to separate my work persona from my personal persona but I also have a significant amount of words backing up in my brain so a second venue to dump them seemed in order.

Thanks for noticing.

Domestic Goddess

I hate the word housewife; I don’t like the word home-maker either. I want to be called Domestic Goddess

-Roseanne Cherie Barr

It may seem simple. Quaint. Antiquated even. Regardless of some reality show inspired by fashion design, the “super women can have it all” concept or even hard-earned equal societal consideration, I love the fact that my lovely partner had the skills to do some alterations on my clothes.

She broke out the sewing machine, figured out the pattern and went to work. When she was finished, Jill handed me some pinking shears to complete the alterations.

It couldn’t have gone more smoothly and I certainly would still be sitting at the dining room table trying to figure out how to thread the machine.

It got me wondering (big surprise there) what other chores, traditionally performed by the housewife, are slowly being lost to time like some dying language where the last two known speakers are feuding and refuse to speak to each other (go ahead and Google it, I’ll wait).

I’m not saying that thread & needle work is a dying artform. It’s just not de rigueur for the modern Betty Draper. Over the last 50 years, menial tasks like laundry and dishes for example, were essentially outsourced to machines. You know that you wouldn’t hesitate to plonk down a couple of grand to buy a machine that could fold and put away the clothes. Vacuuming has already been handed over to robots, its just a matter of time until we all have a Rosie Robot to perform all of our household chores.

And I don’t think there is anything wrong with that.

As I thought it thru I came to the realization that it’s not about the lost art of house-wifery but rather the loss of the stereotypical housewife herself. I started this blogpost off by referring to Jill as my partner, and that’s exactly what she is. We are better together. I can tackle some things and she tackles others. Between us there isn’t anything we can’t handle.

We both grew up with Florence Henderson as a cultural touchstone. Barbara Billingsly was already passé. Even the bombastic Roseanne wasn’t someone we really identified with as a couple. She and Dan weren’t really partners as much as she ruled the roost and Dan tagged along.

Somehow, as partners, we moved beyond those role models to become a truly modern couple. We carry iPads everywhere we go. We post pictures, capturing every moment in our lives, in the cloud. We share our thoughts on Facebook. If it’s digital, odds are have made it part of our lives. We have three Tivos for crying out loud!

So, after all my mental gymnastics, it is the anachronistic image of my very merry model of a modern major Partner sitting at an old fashioned sewing machine just tickled me pink.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that she made all the alterations while dressed in a negligee. At least, that’s how I chose to envision her.  That might have had something to do with my continuing amusement.

UPDATE: Just a few days after this post I stumbled across this article…http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_18806068

Once again I am a man ahead of my time.  I really need to slow down. Not.

One of the things I love about LA is that you can stumble into a movie set that takes you back in time, or into the future, or even back to the future and just as quickly as it appeared the movie set will vanish… like the movie itself was a time traveller.
UPDATE: This was the set of a movie going by the code-name of Magnus Rex, also known The Dark Knight Rises, the latest iteration (and by far the greatest) interpretation of the Batman mythos directed by the inestimable Christopher Nolan.  I didn’t see anything other than extras and some of the set pieces but I have no doubt that it will be amazing…even though it screwed up my commute for a few days.

One of the things I love about LA is that you can stumble into a movie set that takes you back in time, or into the future, or even back to the future and just as quickly as it appeared the movie set will vanish… like the movie itself was a time traveller.

UPDATE: This was the set of a movie going by the code-name of Magnus Rex, also known The Dark Knight Rises, the latest iteration (and by far the greatest) interpretation of the Batman mythos directed by the inestimable Christopher Nolan.  I didn’t see anything other than extras and some of the set pieces but I have no doubt that it will be amazing…even though it screwed up my commute for a few days.

Starting the adventure!  After 20+ years of relying on a car to get me to work I’ve decided to grasp the art of the possible and ride my bike.  It’s a bit of a contrivance as this isn’t your Daddy’s Bicycle.  It’s a modern day electric bike, capable of helping haul my out-of-shape carcass 24 miles a day, designed for all sorts of conveyance convenience.

Starting the adventure!  After 20+ years of relying on a car to get me to work I’ve decided to grasp the art of the possible and ride my bike.  It’s a bit of a contrivance as this isn’t your Daddy’s Bicycle.  It’s a modern day electric bike, capable of helping haul my out-of-shape carcass 24 miles a day, designed for all sorts of conveyance convenience.

How antiquated.
Domestic Goddess

About:

The personal random thoughts, musings, photos and familial doting of a paranoid, android-phone toting, member of the urban electric bicycle commuting society (a.k.a. Hans Fischmann)

Following: