Joho the Blog » 2006 » June

June 30, 2006

Our new car

[NOTE: Read the note at the bottom of this post where I explain that it was our fault, not the Yaris'. Now we've had it for a few weeks, and we're enjoying it, and it's been trouble-free.]

Our ’96 Saturn bit the dust a few days ago. After seriously considering a $4000 Jetta that turned out to need $2200 in work, we bought a brand new Toyota Yaris.

That was yesterday.

This is today:

Yaris being towed

It intermittently doesn’t start. It’s as if the battery is dead, except: 1. It starts without problems sometimes; 2. It has failed to start after having been driven for 45 minutes continuously. I’m no car guy, but the intermittency of it bothers me if only because the Gods of Perverseness just about guarantee that it’s going to start fine at the dealer’s.

It’s a manual transmission, so an intermittent failure to start is particularly dangerous: Some of the people in my family have been known to stall in traffic. (Ok, me too.)

I haven’t found any serious starting issues discussed on the Web by Yaris owners, so it’s likely that this is just one of those problems things put together by humans have. And until it stopped starting (which is preferably to its starting to stop) it was fun to drive, the back seat is roomier than you’d think, and it gets 34 mpg in town and 40 mpg on the highway, if the Feds are to be believed. Not to mention that it’s red.

The dealer, Toyota of Watertown, has acted honorably about the whole thing so far. [Tags: ]


It turns out that it was totally our fault. You have to push the clutch waaaaay in for the starter to start. further than you have to push it in to disengage the clutch. What a bunch of schmucks we are. But, the dealer has been kind. I assume they are only mocking us behind our backs.

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Greatest Bloody Sunday

Found at Pink Dome thanks to Andy Oram:

Omigod. [Tags: ]


You can add your name and good wishes to the virtual birthday card the Republican National Committee is sending to our President on July 6. You’ll have to make a campaign contribution first, though. Great idea! That’s how I’m going to manage my next birthday!

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Kerry blogs to save the Internet

Sen. Kerry blogs about why he opposes the Commerce Committee god-awful Internets bill. Yay.

It’s a good post. It doesn’t sound like him.

Of course, who knows what John Kerry really sounds like? [Tags: ]

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June 29, 2006

Pictures as tags

Dan Bricklin does a great job explaining what makes StyleFeeder — just acquired by Top10Sources — especially interesting. Briefly: StyleFeeder lets you grab an image off a page and use it as a tag for remembering the page and for letting others quickly browse. It’s designed especially for bookmarking products you’re interested in buying, but there are other applications as well.

(You know you’re a geek if you assumed “StyleFeeder” was about CSS, not about clothing.) [Tags: ]

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How I saved the Internet

Sen. Ron Wyden is going to fillibuster to try to derail Sen. Steven’s godawful, sell-it-all-out, death-to-the-Internets telecom bill. Go Sen. Wyden!

By the way, my wife and I are responsible for Wyden getting elected. When we were living in Portland, Oregon for a year, Wyden was running for Congress for the first time. My wife called his office with a question about his platform, and Wyden called her back and talked for about twenty minutes. As a result, we campaigned door to door for him. So you can see why I take responsibility for every good thing Ron Wyden has done as a congressman and then a senator. The bad votes are, of course, his own responsibility.

But seriously, there is a lesson here somewhere. The little effort we put in has been paid back many many times over in the course of the career that we very marginally helped to launch. Totally worth the handful of rainy afternoons we spent leafletting. [Tags: ]

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Help me be interesting

AKMA thinks it says something about his family that two weekends ago his family went to see A Prairie Home Companion and this past weekend they saw An Inconvenient Truth.

I can’t speak for AKMA’s family, but those were the last two movies I saw and, yes, it says everything you need to know about me. I am 100% stereotypical. If you know one thing I believe, you know everything I believe.

So, I’m thinking of developing a quirky belief. Something out of left field, so to speak. Something that will make me memorable and give me something to talk about beyond the usual “I know, and what’s even more appalling about ‘President’ Bush is…”

For conversational purposes, the quirky belief has to have some quirky reason I believe it. I’m thinking about:

Favoring capital punishment. Not for revenge or deterrence but because “a society that can’t kill, can’t love.” Supporting the Star Wars missile interception program because the R&D might prove crucial in preventing the spread of avian flu: “Imagine a flock of infected swallows flying over our southern border…”

Opposing gay marriage because “homosexual promiscuity is the last reminder that freedom is the joy of sex.” Opposing animal rights because “rights result from verbal contracts, and ‘Bow-wow’ isn’t recognized as a binding contract in any court in the Union.”

Supporting nuclear power “because the possibility of melt-downs and the dangers of storing nuclear waste remind us that life is composed of risks both acute and chronic. No place to hide, baby.” Supporting drilling in Alaska as a declaration of our species’ commitment to winning The War on the Wilderness.

I’m not saying these make sense. I’m just saying they’d make me interesting. And believe me, I could use some of that.

[Tags: ]

10 Comments »

June 28, 2006

Superman: The Tag

In this case, it’s a physical tag…a pretty piece of chrome with the Superman logo on it, suitable for wearing around the neck or attaching to keys. It says “Go Forward” on it, a courageous message from a person paralyzed from the neck down.

A set of two costs $10. All the money goes to the Christopher Reeve Foundation.

Disclosure: I’m on a marketing advisory committee for the Foundation and am blatantly shilling for it in this post. [Tags:]

2 Comments »

Nothing is worse than burning a flag

Torturing prisoners is better than burning a flag.

Crushing our children with debt is better than burning a flag.

Burning up the earth with CO2 is better than burning a flag.

Making America a hated nation is better than burning a flag.

Conclusion: Making it illegal to burn a flag is the single most important issue facing this country…at least now that we’ve come through the lying-about-adultery Constitutional crisis. [Tags: ]

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Me at the CMO Summit

I led a discussion at the Corante Innovative Marketing seminar. Here’s a podcast of it. I haven’t listened to it. [Tags: ]

2 Comments »

June 27, 2006

Liz’s Pulp

Liz Lawley has come forward with what she’ been working on: A library mashup called “personal ubiquitous library project” (PULP…yay for good acronyms!) that harnesses Microsoft Research’s AURA project to make it easy to scan in your books. There’s lots lots more to it. Sounds great. [Tags: ]

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