May 31, 2007
Why is it boring?

On occasion, I get email via this weblog that is a bit outside the normal email.

Yesterday I received this:

That's it, a four word question.

Leslie, I will do my best to answer.

It is boring because you know the main characters will win in the end.
It is boring because you are not in love.
It is boring because you didn't study.
It is boring because you touch yourself.
It is boring because you didn't see the first episode.
It is boring because they used the three act structure.
It is boring because it is not bedazzled.
It is boring because it does not have chili powder on it.
It is boring because you are too young.
It is boring because you are too old.
It is boring because you are tired.
It is boring because you are not doing what you love.

Posted by michael at 09:51 PM | Comments (2)
May 29, 2007

Check out this Imeem stuff...

I'm not sure how it works, but it's fun...

Posted by michael at 11:17 PM | Comments (0)
May 28, 2007
Preferred means of contact

Several people have been discussing how to handle communications these days (Sean, Jason, Tantek). All suggesting that email is a bad way to communicate. I agree and thought I'd throw in my 2¢.

I get a lot of email, so I would like you all to bend to my specific desires to reduce my email stress. At the office I get 300-400 non-filtered emails a day and often don't check my personal email for days at a time.

So, that said, here is how I prefer to be contacted:

  1. Human Courier - You will hand write a letter to me, seal it with wax and your personal seal, then have it personally delivered by a human courier. The courier will present the letter to me on a silver tray. The courier will then wait for my reply, waiting the hours or days it takes me to come up with my thoughtful reply. Be aware, if you send bad news, I reserve the right to physically harm the messenger.
  2. Telegram - If you don't have the time for a handwritten letter, I will accept a telegram. Yes, you can still send a telegram to me. Western Union got out of the game, but there are several other companies providing service.
  3. Battlefield 2142 - Get a copy of Battlefield 2142, install and start a character. Then track me down to a time I'm playing and join the server I'm on. Next, hop into my squad. I'll be happy to VOIP chat with you in game, while we play. I like to play engineer, defending Toll Station on Gibraltar, so please spawn as Support to resupply as needed.
  4. Adam Carolla Show - I listen to the podcasts of the Adam Carolla show fairly regulalry, so find a way onto the Adam Carolla show on-air and I'll probably hear what you have to say in a day or so. Be aware, that I don't like the Angel Adam/Devil Danny segment, and tend to skip those.
  5. My Secretary - The first rule of corporate life is "Listen to your Secretary." That being said, if you can track her down and convince her of the urgency of your message, she will be able to track me down wherever I am and get me out of any meeting I may be stuck. Of course, she is aware that Wednesday Lunch is Comic Book Day and I am not to be scheduled before I have picked up my books for the week.

Obviously, this leads to me creating a new community called where you can register your preferences and that other people can check. I will be Web 2.0, run on Ruby on Rails, be Ajaxy, we'll have a corporate blog, it will be open sourced, the community will get a vote on everything, and it'll have a large presence in Second Life...

Posted by michael at 04:30 PM | Comments (3)
May 23, 2007
The Block - CES Cru

My best friend Martin, who left LA for the greener pastures of Kansas, recently produced a video. Please take a look.

Update: I had hosted the video at Revver and Revver died. I don't have the original, so the video is lost to the interwebs.

Posted by michael at 08:45 PM
Fact for the Day

In the US, computer servers draw 1.2% of total electrical production in 2005 and is expected draw 2.1% in 2008.

Posted by michael at 11:15 AM | Comments (0)
May 20, 2007
It's genetic...

Some of you Loyal Cruft Readers may think that I'm a bit eccentric on occasion.

I assure you, it's a family trait.

I present to you, my brother, his wife, and Senator Barkerson.

Posted by michael at 11:57 PM | Comments (2)
May 19, 2007
Spamcakes - Culinary Exploration

Many bloggers fashion themselves foodbloggers with reviews of high end and specialty restaurants. Me, not so much.

My food exploration takes place at home or at a convenience store...

Michele showed me the this page in Martha Stewart Living.

Now, I must agree that Martha is a genius when it comes to innovation in the home. You simply must give her snaps for continuously raising the bar.

But at Cruft Manor, we put a subtle twist on her idea.

I give you Spamcakes!

Spam is a favorite around here, I've written about it a few times.

This is a simple dish with the hardest part being getting a nice look to the spam and not overdoing it.

Just put a spam slice down and pour the batter on top of it. Wait until the bubbles start to form and then flip as you would a regular pancake.

I had a nice serving plate of Spamcakes in no time. Strangely, Michele and the girls wanted nothing to do with the testing.

You have to admit, that looks good. Simpler than Pigs in a Blanket and obviously more fun that using bacon like Martha.

How did it taste? Good.

With hints of cassis, earthy undertones, and whiffs of blackberries. Wait I'm not reviewing wine, where they make the flavors up...

It tasted like a pancake with a crispy bit of salty meat to offset the sweetness of the maple syrup and the softness of the pancake itself.

Give it a try and tell me what you think.

Posted by michael at 04:01 PM | Comments (6)
May 16, 2007
A Human Guide to Dog Cyberspace

Dogs have their own version of cyberspace, here is how to translate:

Dog peeing – sending an email
Dog sniffing – reading an email
Dog pooping – making an attachment
Dog peeing/sniffing a tree/pole - posting on a message board
Dog sniffing the butt of another dog – exchanging a PGP key
Dog barking – instant messaging
Dog howling – blog posting
Dog growling - commenting on post
Dog looking through fence – watching television
Dog on a walk - surfing the web
Dog digging a hole – creating a web site
Dog sticking head out a car window – using an RSS feed reader
Dog chasing a cat/squirrel - stopping a virus
Dog fetching a stick/toy - video gaming
Dog eating human food - wanking to porn

Dogs run Windows
Cats run OS X

Anything I missed?

Posted by michael at 11:55 PM | Comments (5)
May 13, 2007
Dollar Coins

I finally received one of the new dollar coins from the bank today.

I've always been partial to the dollar coin. As a child, my Uncle Joe would give us the large Eisenhower dollars and then seemed huge and impressive. When in England, it seems so natural to use the pound and two pound coins I've never understood why it hasn't been more popular in the US.

Recently the US Mint released the series of Presidential $1 Coins, hoping to revitalize interest in using the dollar coin. The State Quarter series is popular with just about everyone.

Back in 1979, the Mint began striking the Susan B. Anthony dollars. After two years, they stopped and no new dollar coins were made until 2000, when the Sacagawea Dollar Coins were introduced. You can read more Dollar Coin history at wikipedia, of course.

I liked the Susan B. Anthony dollars quite a bit. The story of Women's Suffrage in the US is an important thing to remember as we struggle with new issues of equality and human rights.

But I must say, the new dollars are pretty nice, with a good look and color.

The reverse sides are interesting as well. If you can't tell, the reverse of the Anthony shows an eagle landing on the Moon with the earth in the background. How sweet is that?

The new reverse on the Presidential Dollar is great as well. The simplicity of the design and the move from ONE DOLLAR to $1 is nice.

If we all start using dollar coins for our daily business, it will get them into the register tills and back into the hands of others. So start using the dollar coin and stop using the dollar bill.

Posted by michael at 07:55 PM | Comments (5)
May 10, 2007
Thursday Haiku

Stress is a monkey.
Flings poo in your head and pees
In your coffee cup.

Posted by michael at 11:24 AM | Comments (3)
May 09, 2007
Customer Service at McDonalds

On the way to work, I stopped by McDonald's for a cup of coffee. I've written about coffee at McDonald's before.

As I made my order in the drive thru, they asked if I wanted cream and sugar. I told them one cream and two sugars. They offered to mix it for me. I told them that it would be great if they could. Sure enough, they handed me a cup of coffee ready to drink.

In the past, you get a cup of coffee and a bag with creme and sugar in it and have to mix it together yourself in your car as you drive away. Now, McDonald's has given people a good reason to stop there for coffee, customer service.

This a straightforward and simple change, but for some reason no one seems to have thought about it before.

As I drove away, I wondered, why doesn't Starbucks offer this service? That little crowd smush up at the coffee condiments bar could be avoided by most people leaving it to the wack-jobs that put cinnamon in their coffee. I predict Starbucks will offer this service within 3 months.

Posted by michael at 07:55 AM | Comments (10)
May 07, 2007
Stok Black Coffee Shots

Michele and I were at the 7-Eleven on Friday getting coffee, when we saw this.

Sitting with the various creamers were two large boxes of Stok coffee shots. Upon further inspection, the Stok shots are simply caffeine shots. The silver one is sweetened and the gold one is just caffeine. There's no dairy in it, so it's likely a purely chemical concoction and even good for vegans...

At 40 milligrams of caffeine per shot, that's a heavy duty boost. It's half of the caffeine you get in a can of Red Bull.

I popped one of the sweet ones into my coffee and headed off to work. I didn't notice anything spectacular, but it's a pretty cool idea.

The note on the package of "limit 2/day" is just begging to be tested by someone.

According to the fine people at Energy Fiend, it would take around 300 Stok coffee shots to kill a 175 lb. person. Putting that in to realistic terms, that would mean drinking a gallon of Stok.

So get yourself to 7-Eleven and Stok up! (ha-ha-ha-ha)

Posted by michael at 10:56 PM | Comments (16)
May 04, 2007
Digg’s Decision and Bad Advice

Not to go completely against the general flow of the blogosphere general consensus regarding Digg and the AACS issue, but the recommendation at Demand Satisfaction is unrealistic and unpractical.

Digg posted publicly about their decision at 1PM on the day of the ‘revolt’. Jay was clear on exactly why they made their decision. Digg censors all kinds of things from porn to torrent sites to hate speech routinely. There is no dialog about this. No transparency or ‘candid feedback’ on those types of posts is necessary.

By the evening the Digg users had turned into an unruly mob that overwhelmed Digg’s systems. In the larger scheme of things, the 09 number itself is no big deal and already revoked, but somehow it caught the attention of Digg’s users and the mob was not a pretty sight.

Faced with the complete loss of control of the site, Kevin, Jay, and the rest of Digg were faced with a simple decision:

Is the risk of a DMCA lawsuit worse than the risk of losing the Digg users (the essential element to their success) ?

Obviously they felt that the risk of lawsuit was lower and bowed to the wishes of the mob on this issue within 8 hours. It had nothing to do with the right or wrong of the DMCA/AACS issue and everything to do with Digg staying in business. Consider that if tonight, the Digg users decided they wanted to fill the front page with porn links, they could do that as well. What stops them from doing that? I don’t know exactly what, but it sure isn’t ‘transparency’ or ‘candid feedback’ on why porn is not allowed on Digg.

The suggestion at Demand Satisfaction that calm, reasoned debate would have worked is laughable. Reasoned debate and the interweb do not belong in the same sentence. Discussions on long running sites like Metafilter or Kuros5in are hardly make people feel they are part of “the decision”. Go read any MetaTalk thread and see the snarkfest it routinely descends into on the simplest decision like changing colors. The wing nuts over at Flickr that freaked out over the ‘Old Skool’ message are just another example of catering too much to a vocal minority and over-explaining your rationale.

The kind of warm and fuzzy thinking at Demand Satisfaction is nice in an academic sense, but anyone trying to run their business that way, by explaining every decision, is fooling themselves. You will never please everyone and often make the problem worse, the more you try to explain. Everything doesn’t need to be a discussion. You need to pick your discussions just as you pick your battles.

Yes, dialog with your users is an important tool for any web site or business for that matter, but it is not the only tool. Many people seems to think that giving the users control is the only tool you need. Those people are wrong. Do not forget the old saying, 'When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.'

Posted by michael at 02:42 PM | Comments (2)
May 03, 2007
My dad has like twenty
Posted by michael at 10:46 PM | Comments (8)