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Month: February 2004 (Page 1 of 2)

Hittin’ the Road Again

I won’t be posting for the next few days. I’m wrapping things up here in DC and will be heading back down to Beaufort, SC on Thursday. I’ll be there until Monday, when I’m off to Oregon, to visit my Dad, and then to Seattle, where I’ll meet up with Jill A. before heading to Taiwan on March 9th. But fret not, dear readers: I’ll post something this weekend before departing for points West.

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules for Writers…

is an article worth reading. My favorite is Leonard’s summation:

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it. Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. It’s my attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

The Best Onion Piece I’ve Read in a Long Time…

…is Gillette CEO James M. Kilts’s reflections on a new strategy for a five-blade razor. Hilarious.


Jordan M writes:

Newley – have you heard about this? Movieoke? CNN
just did a story on it, so I looked it up online and found this article from Feb.13:

The concept isn’t that new (Rocky Horror Picture Show is basically the same thing), but that story on
CNN was pretty damn funny. One girl loves to re-enact the scenes from Flashdance…

Heh. I love it.

The Affiliations that Bind Us “Borrow items from friends instead of renting; Meet new friends that like the same books, cds, dvds, and games that you like; Start building your own shared collection of media; Keep track of what you own; Make lists of stuff you want; Coordinate activities with friends.”

I remember reading something a while back about the affiliations that bind us: when you like someone, what it really means is that you like what they like. If you saw someone walking down the street wearing a tee shirt bearing the name of your favorite band, you’d probably like that person. Likewise if you saw someone on a bus reading a book by your favorite writer.

Addendum to My List of Ridiculous Business Concepts: A Cookbook about Eggs

Here’s another idea to add to my list of silly business ideas: a cookbook about eggs. Only eggs–not omelettes, not souffles, not quiches. Just eggs. Fried eggs, scrambled eggs, soft boiled eggs, you name it.

It’d include all sorts of techniques: thoughts on what to add to scambled eggs (I prefer half and half and salt and pepper and sometimes even cream cheese), frying tactics (I like to use a lid for a slightly heat-sealed yolk without the danger of a flip-n-break, a maneuver Mike F. introduced me to), reflections on various cooking implements, etc.

UPDATE (5 minutes later, after consulting The book exists. It’s called “The Totally Eggs Cookbook.” My hopes are dashed. (This reminds me of the time I realized that my idea for a toaster oven cookbook had already been realized by someone else.) Back to the drawing board…

More on Taiwan

Here’re some more info on Taiwan, which I’ll soon be calling home:

BBC: “Taiwan’s President Chen Shui-bian has pledged not to declare independence from China if he is re-elected.
His decision to call a referendum on security issues and whether or not talks should be restarted with Beijing has angered the mainland.

China regards Taiwan as a breakaway province which should be reunited with the rest of the country.”

Taipei Times: “The original James Bond, veteran actor Sean Connery, is rumored to be coming to Taiwan to join the ‘228 Hand-in-Hand Rally’ slated to take place on Feb. 28 as a symbol of determination and unity of the people of Taiwan in protecting Taiwan from China’s missile threats, the organizer of the event said yesterday.”

–Here’s an in-depth look at the upcoming referendum.

“being berta liao” and “a better tomorrow” are two excellent Taiwan Weblogs I’d add to my earlier list.

My New Nom de Plume: Gordon Shumway

This cracks me up. In reading the comments to this post on Reason’s Hit & Run, I noticed that someone wrote something and signed it “Gordon Shumway.” Gordon Shumway, in case you’d forgotten, is ALF’s official name.

From now on, when I don’t feel like explaining or spelling out my real name (reservations, etc.), I’m gonna refer to myself as Gordon. Gordon Shumway.

Just so you know.

A Font of Good Business Ideas I Most Certainly am Not

As Linus Pauling said, “The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas.”

Because I think they’re ridiculous and funny and get a kick out of talking about ’em, here’re some business concepts that occasionally flit in and out of my head like manic little hummingbirds. Some of these may–Got help their proprietors–actually already be developed or in development, but I haven’t come across ’em yet.

Idea #1: Frequent Flier Program Signer-Upper Company
I read a few weeks ago about this company–you send ’em your CDs and pay ’em to turn your discs into digital tunes if you don’t have the skill or the time to do so yourself. And that made me think: what do I have forever lurking on my “to do” list that I just can’t seem to get around to? Signing up for all the airlines’ frequent flier programs! I mean ALL of ’em. Can’t I just pay someone a nominal fee to do that for me?

Idea #2: Rent-a-Dog
Love dogs but don’t own one? Wish you could have a pooch to hang out with occasionally on the weekends and go to parks and stuff? Go see Rent-a-Dog! (If only the URL weren’t being used in jest by a German record label! Oh, and this company appears to really offer such rentals. And of course you can rent dogs in Japan.)

Idea #3: Recliner with a Fridge in its Base
Enough said. Fridge would be for storing beer, snacks, etc. Was this really on a “Seinfeld” episode?

Idea #4: SleepTV
Why not a channel made for sleeping? It’d include a variety of low-volume, low-light programming: women’s tennis, seniors’ golf tournaments, symphony orchestras, beach and nature scenes, etc. Some people can’t sleep without the TV on. This channel’d be for them. (Note: advertising would be a problem.)

Idea #5: “The Gym” Reality TV Show
Hey: lots of interesting drama takes place in a health club. Relationships blossom or fester, people get in shape or fall off the wagon and get fat. “The Gym” is already a British documentary series. Why not a reality series? (Credit goes to Sheila B. for the orginal thought–I’ve merely run with it.)

Got some venture cap burnin’ a hole in your pocket? Email me and let’s talk turkey.

Protests in Ecuador: Heating Up

QUITO, Ecuador (AP): “Riot police firing tear gas clashed with hundreds of Indian protesters Tuesday, leaving at least 17 people injured in the second day of demonstrations demanding more roads and better education for isolated Andean communities…”

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