An interview with Ellen Feiss, the mac Switcher from five years ago. Fun and interesting to read how the ad changed her life and what she’s doing now.
January 30, 2007
January 29, 2007
Who’s more happy, the time-rich, or the money-rich? Not surprisingly, a new study says that people who have flexibility and free time score higher on the happiness scale:
Kasser has conducted a variety of studies that found people who are “time affluent” are happier than those who are materially affluent. “Time-affluent people had more time to spend engaged in activities focused on personal growth, friends, and family and contributing to community” — all essential factors in happiness, he explains.
Meanwhile, experts agree that financial comfort can be achieved by carefully managing the money you have — something 23 percent of survey respondents said they don’t have the knowledge to do.
Well duh. It seems to me that if it’s easier to manage your money so you can be happier than it is to make 2,3, or even 4x more to slightly increase happiness, then you should focus your efforts on money management rather than increasing your income.
I drive a fifteen year old car because I really don’t care about how people view what I drive. It’s enough to get me where I need to go, and it’ll carry a 4×8 sheet of plywood. Sure, I may need to replace it soon because it’s on the verge of disintegration, but until that time we’re happier diverting a car payment to other things, or to nothing at all. Barry and I talk about the joy of being time-rich, and Erin and I have calculated that, in our 10 years of marriage, we’ve spent as much time together as full-time working couple who have been married four times as long. As the acrobat says, it’s all about balance.
January 27, 2007
January 23, 2007
January 22, 2007
January 18, 2007
…you might think I would be predisposed to love Vista, Microsoft’s newest version of Windows, which was scheduled to be released to consumers at the end of January. And indeed, I leaped at the opportunity to review it. I couldn’t wait to finally see and use the long-delayed operating system that I had been reading and writing about for more than three years. Regardless of widespread skepticism, I was confident that Vista would dazzle me, and I looked forward to saying so in print.
Ironically, playing around with Vista for more than a month has done what years of experience and exhortations from Mac-loving friends could not: it has converted me into a Mac fan.
From Uninspiring Vista
By the way, Apple’s Q4 results are out, and they’re goooood.
January 17, 2007
It turns out that the guy who builds those amazing expanding tables is a regular contributor to an online woodworking list. He’s been nice enough to post a series of pages describing how he makes them. Only a few steps are there for now, but they’re pretty impressive.
January 16, 2007
Travel writer Rolf Potts has some good things to say about work/travel balance in his new column here. I guided with Rolf for two years in Colorado and he’s a very cool, eclectic guy with a real gift for words. And he’ll absolutely kill you at Egyptian Rat Race.
Good morning! We woke up this morning to a solid sheet of ice covering everything. The streets were silent except for one fool driver who was trying to travel down our street. Erin peeked out my office window just in time to watch him spin out in front of our house and end up in our neighbor’s front yard, narrowly missing my truck parked in our driveway. I just saw a second car slowly spinning its way up the street. What is wrong with these people? Do they think that just because they’re the only car on the road there’s nothing to hit? Sheesh. Northerners. 🙂
January 15, 2007
Some say it’s unbelievably cheesy to post other people’s work. I prefer to think of it as giving something wider distribution. Some selected goodies via Gaping Void. Special props to numbers 8, 15, 18 and 25.
1. Everything takes three times longer than it should. Especially the money part.
3. People want what they can’t have. In fact, that’s pretty much all they do want.
4. Once you become an entrepreneur, you find the company of non-entrepreneurs a lot harder to be around. You’ve seen things they haven’t; the wavelengths alter, it’s that simple.
5. In a world of over-supply and commodification, you are no longer paid to supply. You’re being paid to deliver something else. What that is exactly, is not always obvious.
6. Word of mouth is the best advertising medium of all. The best word of mouth comes from disrupting markets.
8. You can either be cheapest or the best. I know which one I prefer.
11. If an average guy in a bar can understand what you do for a living, chances are you’re halfway to becoming a commodity.
12. It’s easier to turn an ally into a customer than vice versa.
14. Smart, young, artistic people are always asking me which is a better career path, “Creativity” or “Money”. I always answer that it doesn’t matter. What matters is “Effective” and/or “Ineffective”.
15. Write the following on a piece of paper, have it framed, and stick it on your office wall: “Have you hugged your customer today?”
17. Products are idea amplifiers. The molecules and/or bytes are secondary.
18. People remember the quality long after they’ve forgotten the price. Unless you try to rip them off.
19. Markets serve entrepreneurs better if the latter can keep the former undersupplied. Oversupply is the kiss of death.
20. I personally know a former CEO who, once he attained control of the company, ran an EXTREMELY profitable business into the ground in less than two years. From a market cap of $100 million to ZERO, just like that. Why? Short answer: He loved being “The” CEO, but he didn’t much care for being “a” CEO.
22. One successful entrepreneur I know well has a wonderful quality, namely that he never, ever compares himself to other people. He just does his own thing, which actually serves him rather well. Just because his competitor has bought himself a bigger motor boat, doesn’t mean he feels the need have a bigger motor boat. This quality helps him to build his business the way he sees fit, not the way the motor boat people see fit.
25. Bill Gates may have a million times more money than me, but he isn’t going to live a million times longer than me, watch a million times more sunsets than me, make love to a million times more women than me, drink a million times more fine wines than me, listen to a million times more Beethoven String Quartets than me, nor sire a million times more children than me. Human beings don’t scale.
26. F. Scott Fitzgerald once wrote, “There are no second acts in American lives.” F. Scott was a drunkard and a fool.
January 14, 2007
The operating system has been essentially rendered useless by a set of deliberately introduced malfunctions. For example, the if your computer detects erroneous data in its registers, or voltage fluctuations (both of which are typical of PCs whose parts have been manufactured by dozens of companies), it will restart major subsystems, hanging up while it flushes all your data — just in case those errors were part of a hack-attack on the system.
Vista is a disaster. Microsoft is so desperate to get the entertainment industry locked into its platform that they’ll destroy themselves to get there. This is an operating system that, when idle, will have to check itself every 30 microseconds to make sure nothing is still happening, and no hackers are attacking it. It acts like an unmedicated paranoid. If Vista catches on, hundreds of millions of computers will be burning heptillions of cycles and tons of coal just making sure that no one is putting a voltmeter on the traces on its motherboard.
And those are its good points.
Friends, if you’re contemplating a new Windows PC, or an upgrade to Vista, there’s help. You don’t have to go down that road. People care about you. Friends don’t let friends…
…ah forget it. If you’re dumb enough to get Vista, you deserve it, ya lunk. 🙂
January 12, 2007
January 10, 2007
I’ve reached a major milestone in the show this year. I have now completed all the arrangements, rhythm charts, brass parts, and master scores. I still have to burn the final CD’s but that’s a minor thing that only takes an hour or so.
165 pages of master scores
65 pages of rhythm charts
106 pages of brass charts
Total music pages: 336
In Finale (my music notation software of choice) there is a “statistics” page that details all kinds of interesting stuff about a file. “Non-whole-rest active frames” is Finale’s way of saying “every measure that contains something other than a whole rest” (which Finale auto-enters if you do nothing). In other words, every measure that has any music entry at all. According to the statistics file, I have written 10,265 measures of music for the show this year. By hand. I wish Finale had a statistic that showed individual notes, but the inclusion of representative chord markings would skew the statistic.
Total time for all music is 94 minutes, or about the length of an average Hollywood movie. Average act is 6:40.
Amazingly, all of my sequences and charts combined only take up 32.8 megabytes of space on the hard drive. A single big attachment to an email represents all my work! It’s almost a pity to waste a CD backing everything up. On second thought: no, it’s not.
I’ve never finished the charts and arrangements this early, so I’m hoping to fill the time with lots of woodworking and maybe a few other gigs. I’m even getting a chance to build another big prop this weekend! I think dropping TV last year contributed significantly to having things done so early.
I’m always really, really happy to reach this milestone because it represents the beginning of the last big step in the process. After I make the show tapes (for the non-live music) and assemble the musician’s folders (itself a day-long task), the fun part remains: actually playing the show!