Monday, October 29, 2007
And to think it only took Yahoo 10 years, 4 months and 12 days to decide that I'm a Power User.
I figure if Google had a similar program it could probably spot the same trend in about 3 days, 4 hours and 2 minutes.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
How to Buy a Used Car by Steven Lang
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
Bonus: How to reduce costs of ownership.
Recent follow up piece: "The smart car buyer is the one who buys em’ where they (other customers) ain’t."
Sunday, October 07, 2007
[Link to Bob Sutton's wonderful blog.]
Develop Indifference and Emotional Detachment
Passion is an overrated virtue in organizational life, and indifference is an underrated virtue. This conclusion clashes with most business books, which ballyhoo the magical powers of exuding deep and authentic passion about your work, organization, colleagues, and customers. Management guru Tom Peters has been talking about the importance of pride and enthusiasm for your workplace and your clients for more than twenty years. Former AES CEO Dennis Bakke advocates building workplaces where people experience joy and fun at work and are emotionally fulfilled at all times. Jim Collins' blockbuster Good to Great urges leaders to give seats on "the bus" only to "A level people" who are passionate enough to give "A+ level" efforts. And we saw in chapter 3 how Southwest Airlines doesn't just try to avoid hiring jerks; they hire and brainwash people to exude a zeal for their coworkers, customers, and company.
All this talk about passion, commitment, and identification with an organization is absolutely correct if you are in a good job and are treated with dignity and respect. But it is hypocritical nonsense to the millions of people who are trapped in jobs and companies where they feel oppressed and humiliated--where their goal is to survive with their health and self-esteem intact and provide for their families, not to do great things for a company that treats them like dirt. Organizations that are filled with employees who don't give a damn about their jobs will suffer poor performance, but in my book, if the routinely demean employees, they get what they deserve.
When organizational life takes this ugly turn, linking your self-worth to how people treat you and putting all your effort and emotional energy into your workplace is a path to exploitation and self-destruction. Self-preservation sometimes requires the opposite response: learn to feel and practice indifference and emotional detachment. When your job feels like a prolonged personal insult, focus on just going through the motions, on caring as little as possible about the jerks around you, and think about something more pleasant as often as you can--just get through each day until something changes at your job or something better comes along. We all face bad situations that we must endure. None of us has complete mastery over our surroundings, and we all get stuck with oppressive jerks whom we can't change. There are times when the best thing for your mental health is to not give a damn about your job, company, and especially all those nasty people. As Walt Whitman said, "Dismiss whatever insults your soul." I think that is a lovely, compact summary of the virtues of developing indifference to the demeaning jerks in the workplace, or anywhere else for that matter.
The CT DMV has an online tool where you can plug in the plates that you are considering and it will tell you if that tag number is available. You cannot sign up for them online, you can just check them out.
As part of my search for a plate I considered trying to get one with as little as possible on it. There aren't any one character plates available, but there are quite a few two letter plates available. Out of the 670 or so allowed combinations (not 676 because a few are disallowed, likely because they might be viewed as obscene, such as "FU" and "TT"), about 145 are currently available.
The list of currently available two-letter plates that I found in my semi-automated search through all 676 combinations is below.
BO, BU, BY
CG, CN, CX
HB, HP, HU, HV, HX
IB, IC, IK, IL, IM, IP, IQ, IW, IY
NI, NQ, NS, NU, NX
OA, OF, OG, OH, ON, OU, OV, OW, OY
PE, PO, PQ, PU, PY, PZ
QA, QE, QF, QG, QH, QJ, QK, QM, QN, QR, QS, QU, QV, QW, QY, QZ
UD, UE, UF, UH, UI, UJ, UL, UM, UO, UQ, UR, UV, UW, UY, UZ
VC, VD, VE, VK, VL, VN, VQ, VU, VX, VY
WI, WN, WP, WQ, WU, WX, WY, WZ
XA, XE, XH, XJ, XN, XP, XQ, XR, XT, XW, XY, XZ
YB, YC, YE, YF, YG, YI, YJ, YL, YN, YQ, YR, YS, YT, YU, YV, YW, YX
ZC, ZD, ZF, ZG, ZI, ZL, ZO, ZP, ZQ, ZU, ZV, ZW, ZY
It almost looks like the higher the Scrabble value of the letters, the more likely it is to not have been taken yet.
None of these appeal, but I thought it was interesting enough to share.