I Was Benno

Yesterday, I had a truly moving experience. I watched a movie. Not just any movie, but an experimental film created by a friend. A movie with a message (unlike much of the shlock that comes out of Hollywood). The message is universal, and I think everyone who watched the movie could see it.
It was particularly important because the movie was about my friend. A journey beyond his regular life, to find if there was more to himself than what he had here in Calgary.
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This morning, the Blue Business Unit (aka the Mercedes-Benz USA team) decided to prank the Gold Business Unit (aka the Rolex team). Toilet paper — hundreds of rolls — over everything. Silly string. Blue streamers. And randomly-attacked items with Saran Wrap.
Call it petty jealousy, call it bravado, call it a need for decorating our space without input. We still got pwned.
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Examples of Online Shopping Experience

We’ve been talking a lot about ideas. But ideas don’t always translate well without examples. Thankfully, the internet is replete with experiences great and poor.
The single most often-used benefit of the internet is information. Wikipedia, online newspapers, blogs, and all their associated links and RSS feeds. People tend to be more tolerant with information experiences (hey, you read my entries, don’t you?), but when money gets involved — people listen. And more importantly, they’ll turn away if they don’t like what they experience.
Two specific (and very different) examples to consider: Victoria’s Secret, and the International Standards Organization. Comparing apples to oranges? Only in product. When it comes to online shopping, it doesn’t matter if it’s underwear or a whitepaper — if you don’t get what you need, you’re not likely to happy about it.
Read more about online shopping at Experience Matters…

Poor performing US President = strong Canadian dollar?

Oh, I’m gonna get in some hot water for this one…
So the other day, I heard a comment that the Loonie was the highest it’s been since the early 1970s. About the time Tricky Dicky was in the Oval Office.
That made me wonder a little…
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Time moves more slowly at an agency

Everyone comments on time moving so fast. The older you get, the faster it goes. Now that I have a child, everyone tells me that before I know it, they’ll be graduating high school and I won’t know what hit me.
Right now, I don’t think I’m too worried about that. Because for me, times moves pretty darn slow. I don’t have any fancy time machine — I just work for an agency.
For the record, this isn’t about slamming management (which I’m part of) or making some errant jab at the way things are done. It’s more about Einstein’s theory of relativity.
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Improving Calgary Transit in the city core

I’ve gone back to taking the bus. While biking to work is (believe it or not) faster than taking the bus, I’m not too fond of the idea of biking down the side of the hill (switchback or not) in the dark, where I know coyotes tend to lurk. I’ve seen them in my neighbourhood — some distance from the river — so I know they hang out in the bushes.
Besides, I’m a lazy bastard and right now I’m having a hard enough time getting out of bed let alone biking 11.4 kilometres first thing in the morning.
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Is Microsoft's Popfly an easy out?

Microsoft was a little late to the internet game, that much isn’t new. In 1993, Bill Gates said “we’re not interested in the internet”. (Mind you, he also said that 640K of memory should be enough for anybody.) Microsoft has certainly done a lot to reverse that initial stumble (witness the internet services they’ve acquired and/or sold — Hotmail and Expedia; and services developed, such as Microsoft Live), and Popfly is another sign of Microsoft truly understanding the new wave.
Back in May of this year, Microsoft launched their first product to the masses before it was officially “ready”. Popfly was the first to actually carry the label “Alpha”. It’s now in beta. But is it ready for prime time?
Late to the game, Microsoft waded right into the Web 2.0 pond wearing a pair of mashup Speedos. And like in real life, you don’t really want to look too closely at it.
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The heating system is complete

It’s taken a bit longer to get this one sorted out than I would have liked, but the house is finally completely heated — upstairs and down — and with all the sensors needed to make sure it’s comfortable. Added bonus: we have continual fresh air to eliminate all the foul odours that periodically permeate the inside.
The biggest hurdle has just been getting the heated floors to work with our fancy new HRV-cum-fancoil. A problem because we had two different vendors do the install.
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I hate Microsoft Word

[Warning: Objectionable language within.]
I can’t really think of much more frustrating than to find out that two days — 16 hours of hard thinking — has suddenly vanished before your eyes. Not because someone stole your work (though I admit that would be very troubling) or because of something you’ve done yourself.
It’s because Microsoft Word decided to “forget” all the changes I’d made — and saved — effectively erasing everything I’ve done.
No history, trace, or anything.
This is not the first time I’ve run into issues with Microsoft Word. I’ve hated this software for a very long time. I used to be a Technical Writer in a previous life. I used to find all sorts of annoying formatting bugs that would continually stump even the Development Engineers.
This is far from annoying. I want to fucking kill someone. I don’t work without saving. And it’s all gone.
Hey Ballmer — here’s a thought: You want to rant against all the open source software out there? You want Microsoft to be the big, shining star of the software world?
Then get your shit together and writing a fucking word processor that doesn’t delete my fucking work.

Will Microsoft ever admit that Vista was a bad idea?

It takes a big person to admit that they’ve made a mistake. Companies, regardless of how large they become, were reticent until recent years to come clean with their blunders.
Microsoft ain’t one of them. They still think Vista is good. And why not — they’ve sold 60 million licenses for it. But I’d be really curious to know how many of those people would have preferred Windows XP.
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