August 15, 2003

Boy, it's dark out here.

On-the-scene advice from Manhattan: Cell phones make lousy flashlights, the new backlit iPods are much better.

Luckily, I was in the 30 second gap between leaving the elevator in my client's building and entering the elevator in our building when everything went dark. Then it was an 11 floor climb in an unlit stairway (where I ran into the guy using the cellphone/flashlight).

Then we walked down the 11 flights and 5 miles home. Luckily, we live in a building that though high on a bluff, is still below the gravity feed level of the New York reservoir system, so we got showers. Our biggest worry: whether we could grind coffee in the morning. Our power came back on at 6 am, so we had coffee, air conditioning and TV. But no DSL circuit.

Many people had it much worse, sleeping on sidewalks, stuck 30 miles from home with no trains moving. We did our bit by taking in a friend from Westchester who was stranded at Grand Central for a few hours.

We drove down to the office in the morning (to lock the elevator which we had all, ahem, failed to think of the night before). Everything south of 42nd Street was still out. People (particularly from tourist hotels) were wandering about looking for food. One oddity was how the west side of Times Square was dark while all the lights and signs on the East Side were working.

The power didn't come on in our office neighborhood until about 9pm Friday (which is also when my home DSL Line went back up). So Monday, I'll be bringing the servers online and running disk checks. Fun.

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August 14, 2003


What's this big switch over here? Wonder what would happen if I pul

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August 12, 2003

Hu? No? Blah!

I think we should take note that with the removal of Charles Taylor, the leadership of Liberia has passed to Moses Blah.

With Hu in charge in China, No in Korea, and Blah in Liberia, conversations in the hallways at the State Department must be increasingly cryptic and surreal:

"Do you know who we'll be meeting in Korea for negotiations?" "No, Who?" "That's right"

"How's the president of Liberia?" "Blah?" "That's too bad"

Kind of a Powell and Costello routine.

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Great Moments in Branding - 2

Wyse Technology introduces software to control, lockdown, secure and schedule employee computers. What better name to characterize the modern office environment than Alcatraz?

Alcatraz is the ultimate PC control software because it maximizes both employee and IT productivity, and delivers immediate and significant cost savings. Alcatraz gives users the power and freedom to get their jobs done, and simultaneously eliminates desktop visits and slashes PC support costs.

Sure makes you feel warm and fuzzy about your company when they trust you so much they put Alcatraz on your computer. Next release: San Quentin.

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August 10, 2003

Great Moments in Branding - 1

Looking for a name for a new vodka product? Kyndal of Scotland (I know...Scottish Vodka?) chose: Lush, adding an extraneous apostrophe for a foreign flair. Pretty hilarious.

It turns out that in Britain, according to Websters Unabridged, lush can be defined thus:

\Lush\, n. [Etymol uncertain; said to be fr. Lushington, name of a London brewer.] Liquor, esp. intoxicating liquor; drink. [Slang]

Perhaps the branders also had in mind: luxuriant, opulent, voluptuous, sensual.

Naturally, in American English, a lush is a drunkard. So I guess it does work on multiple levels. How about D'ipso or W'ino?

By the way, the thought of a vodka tasting of cream with vanilla or strawberry is pretty terrifying to me. Yuck.

Seems intended to appeal to (very) young drinkers, even younger than the twenty-somethings targetted by L'ush marketing. Looks like a new concept in liquor marketing: Vanilla Coke as a gateway drug. I guess that's what they mean when they suggest we "Live Life Lush".