The year was 1983. I was 12 years old. My parents were out one weekend night and a super-cool 16 year-old boy from down the street was our sitter. I relished having male teen-age boys as our sitter because I could learn about popular culture, dating, music, etc. Out of nowhere the sitter told me about this awesome service whereby I could sign-up and get 13 records for just a penny. A Penny! And if I joined, he’d get an album for free. WIN-WIN right?
I browsed the catalog looking at the flashy album covers with visions of me driving a muscle car and blasting tunes with the windows open. Mind you I had no personal music taste at this point in my life. I simply enjoyed what my parents enjoyed and what we listened to in our custom-conversion-van on long trips from Miami to the Adirondack Mountains (Big Moose Lake) each summer. Our familial playlist consisted of easy adult contemporary greats such as Anne Murray, Christopher Cross, John Denver, Kenny Rodgers, Billy Joel, and still a favorite of mine, Harry Belafonte (Live at Carnegie Hall).
When the sitter showed me the catalog I really had no idea what records to pick so he helped me pick some – some AC/DC, Foreigner, Ozzy Osbourne, Cheap Trick, Styx, Journey, etc. Little did I know however that I would be on the hook to purchase additional albums at inflated prices for the remainder of my natural born life. After a year or more of me not following directions and sending back albums or tapes I had no interest in, my attorney father stepped in and with a nice letter on his letterhead was able to release me from a lifetime of Columbia House servitude.
Columbia House Still In Business
Much to my surprise, Columbia House is still peddling the same business model – only now with DVD’s. I imagine it took them ages to move from CD’s to DVD’s and it looks like the game may be up for them as even the DVD and home video market has become so thoroughly disrupted by Netflix, et al. Despite the rising cliff of market-force opposition to their model, they still cling to the same pitch. Get 3 DVD’s for only $2.99 and then be on the hook for a new DVD each month for the exorbitant sum of around $25.
I wonder how many other kids learned from a Columbia House experience?
Cruising the Google + during my lunch break, and I came across a video of some Russian kids atop a snow covered roof operating a clearly make-shift bungee jump / rope swing a dozen plus stories in the air. Very frightening. What’s more frightening however is that when I finished the vid, YouTube prompted me to watch several other examples of crazy Russian adolescents doing equally dangerous things like:
Swinging from the top of a snow-covered roof
Walking atop an outrageously high girder
Scaling to the top of a ridiculously tall Moscow bridge
I’ve seen things come full circle. Just as esteemed bastions of the print world like the NYT, The Boston Globe, and The Atlantic remake themselves into digitally focused media organizations, along comes The Redditor which distills popular sub-reddits/threads into creepily magazine-like PDF’s – ostensibly for offline / print consumption.
I’ve seen online collections turned into print pieces before. Distro from Engadget puts together a monthly PDF of their content. What’s really cool about The Redditor however is that most of what is produced on Reddit comes from individual redditors – not tech industry journalists with questionable objectivity.
Chance and I were excited settle on the couch and watch a little Miami Heat basketball last night. We don’t have an NBA cable package so each time we can watch the team is special to us.
We picked up the Hawks broadcast through Fox Sports South. I’ve lived away from Miami for a few years now. Watching games from the opposing team’s home network usually means a few marginally biased comments. Last night’s play-by-play by Bob Rothbun was something I hadn’t experienced before.
The Hawks played the Heat tight – taking advantage of an overall dismal Heat performance. Bob Rathbun however felt the need to paint the contest into some sort of David vs. Goliath affair in which the lowly Hawks not only were competing against one of the best teams in the league, but against one of the best teams in the league with help from the refs. Some of the more salient examples include:
Blaming the officiating for a lack of first half free-throw opportunities
Accusing LeBron James of inciting a technical foul
Blaming the officiating for a lack of three-second calls against the Heat offense
Accusing numerous Heat players of ‘traveling’ something that is largely not called in the NBA home team or visitors
I understand the need to align with the home team and portray an ‘Us vs. Them’ tone – but the nauseating victim stance that Bob Rathbun took during last night’s broadcast was too much. Looking at the NBA Playoff standings today, there seems a good chance that Miami may have an opportunity to play the Hawks. I hope this happens and I hope I get a chance to listen to Bob Rathbun whine some more as his Hawks get thrashed by the Heat.
PS – nothing against ‘Nique – I appreciate his insight and am happy for him being a Hawks VP.
I got my car stuck in the mud in my own front yard. I had to ask my brother in law to pull me out w/ his truck.
I have no statement as to what came over me that tempted me to drive my car over my front yard. I make fun of the rednecks that live across the street who habitually park their cars on their front-yard. At least those rednecks don’t get stuck in the mud.
I received this bit of advice today from someone I respect at work and felt it worthy of documenting here in hopes of helping others encoutering similar obstacles to great work in their work lives and quite possibly as a personal reminder for myself.
When dealing with people at work, it is best to avoid the word “Job.”
Why? The word Job simply has too much attached to it at an emotional level. There’s a saying here in the U.S. that reads: We are what we do. The connotation is that my personhood, identity, self-worth, etc. all are somehow connected to how I make my living from 9-5 (or 7:30-evening in my case). Thus My Job gets wrapped up with all sorts of extraneous stuff that can get in the way of accomplishing larger goals. The consequence of referring to one’s job too often brings up a slew of questions such as:
What is my job?
Am I getting paid enough for this job?
Why does it seem my job has more attached to it than other peoples jobs?
Why am I being asked to add task a, b, c, etc. to what I think in my mind is my job?
These types of discussions, while having a place and time (and certainly warrant thought and discussion), by and large get in the way of reaching fundamental business goals and accomplishing tasks.
Consider relaying requests at a more personal level in a tone that conveys the fact that for Task A, I am counting on you to do it to the best of your abilty.
This removes Job and all the latent baggage that so often makes the trip.
I took part in a protest of sorts yesterday along with millions of other citizens against some legal measures that, if enacted, would likely severely limit what websites I have access to. This post is not to hash out the arguments for and against. Rather, its meant as a testament to the incredible Power (with a capital P) we may wield when joined together in a common cause.
The internet represents a completely new, non-physical realm. Much of what I do on a daily basis in my work life takes place on the internet in some way shape or form. As someone who builds things that run on the internet, it’s tremendously pleasing to me personally that I am part of an emerging population of individuals that can coalece around an objective and make something happen.
Some Preliminary Results:
Fight for the Future reports about 75,000 websites took part in the protest Wed. Wikipedia says 162 million people viewed the blackout landing page, 8 million U.S. visitors looked up Congressional representatives and 12,000 people posted comments on Wikimedia Foundation’s blog post announcing the blackout.
The Los Angeles Times says Google confirmed that 4.5 million people signed the company’s petition to protest SOPA and PIPA, while 350,000 emails were sent to representatives via SopaStrike.com and AmericanCensorship.org.
Twitter reported over 2.4 million SOPA-related tweets between 12 a.m. and 4 p.m. EST on Jan. 18, with the top five terms being SOPA, Stop SOPA, PIPA, Tell Congress and #factswithoutwikipedia.
According to the White House, a combined 103,785 signed a petition to kill the bill. About 24 U.S. Senators have now come out against the bills, including former co-sponsors Ben Cardin, Marco Rubio and Roy Blunt.
This sort of action makes me wonder what might be possible if this same group of indivdiuals decided to move towards forcing political goals on a larger scale. Whereas our elected representatives often answer to business lobbies, what if we could force an answer to a progressive citizenry?
…we’re all lobbyists now, and that’s just as it should be. This movement didn’t need influence peddlers. It didn’t need political commercials. It didn’t need media. It needed only citizens who give a shit. Democracy.
Bravo Mr. Jarvis. Bravo Internet. Bravo Democracy!
OnePegGenius is the personal website of Rob Rubinoff, an Interactive Director and Information Architect who currently plies his trade at the premier Jackson, MS advertising and branding agency. A greatly enhanced archives page provides a variety of means to browse the site's content library.
Rob lives and works in the town of Jackson, MS where he leads the interactive department at an awesome advertising and branding agency. Life is slower than most places in Mississippi, and Rob tends to like it that way. Some of his favorite life experiences include sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in a 44ft sloop, learning to speak Swahili while living along the lower slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, and zipping along the curviest of Mississippi country roads in his VW Rabbit.
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