Friday, May 20, 2011

Before the world ends tomorrow

As you may have heard, some evangelicals are predicting that the End Of Days will come tomorrow.

If this really is my last day, I ought to live it as such. So what would make this last day before my ascendence (hmmm, that may be wishful thinking) a fitting end to my existence in this mortal coil?

Let's see, the trip to Machu Piccu is out. So is taking a few hot laps around the Nurburgring in Jim Clark's Lotus 33. And there isn't time for me to fly the hours I need to get my pilot's license.

So I'll probably just enjoy this beautiful sunrise, drive the long way to work on a few of the twisty two lane roads, smile a lot while I finish up some cool work for a couple of kick ass clients, enjoy a dinner of grilled red snapper with my wife and kids, and finish the day with a bonfire on the beach playing a few of the songs I've written on my 12-string guitar. I may even enjoy a home brew or two.

And while I'm betting the world won't end tomorrow, I'd like to thank those who have been predicting it for reminding me (no matter how stressful life seems at times) how blessed I truly am.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Segway? No way.

When I first saw the Segway X2 Golf I thought, "Great, now I'll look like an even bigger dork on the course."

This specially adapted Segway has soft, 8" wide turf tires, 14 mile range (enough for 36 holes), a platform for your scorecard on the handlebar and it travels at speeds of nearly 13 miles per hour.

The benefit over traditional carts is that each golfer in a foursome can go directly to his ball without having to wait for the other golfer in his cart to hit. This speeds up play significantly. And since you can ride side by side, you don't lose the social aspect of the game.

It seems like a slam dunk, but in it's current form it'll never work here in Wisconsin because it's missing the single most important feature for any recreational vehicle here in Cheesetopia...

There's no cup holder for your Schlitz.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Evoque-ing nothing

Apparently the team at Brooklyn Brothers agency in London can sell anything.

They sold this nonsense to Range Rover for the Evoque, an interactive web movie that lets you make the choices for the fictional Henry.

The 'concept' comes out of the insight that the Evoque has 32 options, so you get to make choices for Henry that lead to one of 32 possible endings. If you don't have the patience to wade through this tedious yet irrelevant piece of marketing, this trailer will give you the idea.

This business has always had its share of self absorbed charlatans who put the concept before the product. Apparently that isn't going to change anytime soon.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Disney: the tackiest place on earth

I know from personal experience that Disney is all business, but you'd think a company that made characters like Goofy, Mickey, Tigger and Pooh famous and showcases them in a Magic Kingdom, would have just a little bit of a heart.

Apparently not.

My wife heard this story on the news yesterday morning as I was writing yesterday's post. I read a few posts about this throughout the day. And this morning a quick search of the US Patent and Trademark office website confirmed it.

Disney has applied to trademark the term, "SEAL Team 6."


First, they must have really good trademark attorneys because this was applied for on May 3rd and it's already approved. I know companies that have waited months for similar requests. Especially covering all the categories they requested:

Entertainment and education services; clothing, footwear and headwear; toys, games and playthings; gymnastic and sporting articles (except clothing); hand-held units for playing electronic games other than those adapted for use with an external display screen or monitor; Christmas stockings, Christmas tree ornaments and decorations, snow globes.

Yeah, that's right, Disney not only owns the rights to the name of the Navy team that killed Osama bin Laden for movies, clothes and games, they also bought it for Christmas decorations. Can't wait to hang that ornament from my tree.

I get it. Somebody's going to make a movie about these guys and their mission. And it is the American way to make a buck on everything and anything. But something just feels wrong about America's iconic family entertainment company profiting from the actions of a few brave soldiers who executed a mission that was a decade in the making.

Maybe they'll try to make this more palatable by donating a portion of the proceeds to the families of war veterans who've been injured or killed or some other charity. But somehow, I doubt it.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Akerson doubles down

Last Thursday the CEO of General Motors, a man who sometimes speaks too freely about how he feels about GM's future products and prospects, spoke much more loudly without uttering a single word.

Dan Akerson took $939,900 out of his own pocket and purchased 30,000 shares of GM stock.

I like it. 

Akerson has admitted that he's not a 'car guy.' But my guess he's a money guy. His big bet on GM tells me he has confidence in where the company is heading with his team is in place.

If he wants to make sure his investment pays off, he needs to start by getting the Volt numbers up, make sure the new Malibu rocks, and not get in the way of the Cadillac that's being developed to compete with the BMW 3-Series, Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class. None of which are as easy as they look.

As many previous CEOs of GM including Roger Smith proved, it takes more than financial acumen and marketing savvy to run a car company. 

Ultimately it's about the product.