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Michael Gracie

Brunch Plans

Our plan was …

Walk through a particular state wildlife area chock full of unharvested (i.e. now splitting) corn. Collect an ample supply of dove meat, which when combined with fresh hot pepper and other fixins would provide for a fine taco brunch. Brush off possible heat – but keep ambulatory service on speed dial – and have a few laughs.

Ten trillion scovilles of tasty fun.

Ten trillion scovilles of tasty fun.

The birds had a different plan …

“These jokers are the only goose that’s gonna get cooked. Let’s eat, then digest, all that corn over there. The resulting sugar alcohols coursing through our bloodstreams will allow us to attain the speed and cornering capability of Ferraris direct from the F1 circuit. They won’t piss through shells, heck they’ll barely get a shot off.”

Just one bird missed the pow-wow.

Just one bird missed the pow-wow.

MG signing off (after a trip to the grocery store)

How bad does it really smell?

skunked

What you are smelling is the scent of failure. It is an unmistakable zero as far as you are concerned.

Your endeavor started off with a bang – you were overtly enthusiastic about its potential. All signs pointed to a grand ole time. Then the conditions took a turn for the worse, and you wound up empty handed.

Or did you?

Was there anything to learn from the experience? Did you gather information? Slice it, dice it, and recognize any pattern? Share the results of that examination with others less biased in, or more capable of, judging the situation for what it was? And is?

Failure, like success, is what you make of it.

And whining is the only sure sign of skunk.

A pathetic first fly

At approximately 11:30pm yesterday, after struggling with database queries for most of the evening, I poured a lightly dressed cocktail. The vise was mounted, and I attempted to tie a carp pattern I’ve been thinking about. The vision was a small crawfish, lacking color, much as I’ve seen darting about in certain environs.

Using a size 6 Gamakatsu SL45 hook, I piled on some artificial everything, then sat back with drink in hand gazing at my creation.

It was not what I had planned.

While the tint and general size was precisely as imagined, the fly appeared anorexic. I need to figure out a way to make it much fuller. Maybe more material, or different materials altogether. And the final wraps near the eye are downright awful. I could blame it on the alcohol, but that was only two fingers and some ice – it’s my own digits that must take the heat.

I’ve tied ten flies in the last half-decade, and most of those were San Juan Worms, but I’m not going easy on myself. I need practice, lots of practice. And a few suggestions wouldn’t hurt either.

This fly goes straight into the bonefish box – no surprise because it is on a bonefish hook, but sad considering that particular box is in sore need of use.

MG signing off (to rethink, while panhandling for ideas)

“If you’ve never failed, you’ve never lived”

World Series ticket buying = World Class failure

I received a call yesterday asking if I would mind trying to buy some tickets to the World Series. Of course not. But as everyone now knows, the online ticket sales were a complete bust.

Received a call today requesting the same, and once again the servers simply bomb after just a few of the cute little “countdown” refreshes. Meanwhile, I get a chance to read this language at the bottom of the screen and wound up wondering why anyone would want to patronize major league baseball anyway:

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions.

Besides being littered with everyday dictionary words, it sounds downright ominous…almost threatening. Is this organization going to bust you for wearing purple and black, or red and black, if they don’t get a license fee? Or maybe they’ll plant microphones throughout the stadium and charge you for breathing one of the terms above?

Of course, I caught that garbage before the server pushed a timout…

worldclassfailure

This is either a terrible dream, or the joke of the decade. Either way, it’s a world class failure.

UPDATE: I retract everything, since the fiasco is now being blamed on hackers. Good rule to follow – when your planning is piss poor, meaning you don’t provide enough bandwidth, load balancing, and server capacity to meet the needs of an easily expected mad rush, just blame some hackers. Maybe baseball should stake claim to the word “internet” and then use the licensing proceeds to engage a more suitable service provider.

Business and Trout Fishing

A few parallels worth mentioning:

  • The need for patience and persistence – Not everyone is going to buy into your idea the moment you deliver it. By the same token, neither is a trout. Be patient with people as well as finicky aquatica – adjust your presentation to achieve the intended objective. Quit too soon, and you might miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.
  • Betting on your winners – Throw your all into the stuff that’s working. Successful entrepreneurs get a boost from small successes, and by directing attention to the small wins they often turn them into big ones. Commodities traders are particularly good at this – they generally double up their bets on their winners (and yes, I consider traders entrepreneurs). For trout, go for your favorite flies and favorite holes first – the ones you have confidence in as a result of previous successes.
  • Knowing when to cut your losses – You can turn a small business failure into a big one very easily. Just keep throwing good money after bad. You can turn stellar conditions into a “no fish” day as well – just stick to the same fly, or stand in the same hole. All day.

Unique occurences they were not

CNET recently published a list of the top 10 dot-com flops, and after reading through the list, I could only think the list was contributed to by the folks at Fucked Company. Simply put, nobody seemed to herald any part of the ideas, and I believed some of the companies actually had some merit.

Read through the list, and ponder these points:

– What is not hot right now could very well be hot a few years later – trends matter
– Business models are often remade for changing times, much the same as major motion pictures are
– Getting the word out is hardly ever a bad thing
– Technology breeds efficiencies, despite what your IT director says about that ERP implementation
– Being spendthrift almost always causes pain down the road

Big failures should lead to learning, or does the free flow of capital simply dumb people down? Certainly, all of CNET’s top ten suffered from one “ailment” – an awful lot of money.

Douglas Adams said “Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.”

I wonder what the next list of flops will look like, and who will make the next billion off of someone else’s “failed” idea.

UK Spam Laws stop spammers by the Dixie-cup load

This revelation might just make the British think twice about pawning all the responsibility off on their ISPs.

Not a single spammer prosecuted is the word from merry ol’ England. Ridiculously low fines and a ton of loopholes are to blame.

Spamroll thinks the UK should call on the United Nations for help with their spam issues. Then they can blame yet someone else when nothing gets done.

Phishing test results…F+

A few weeks back Spamroll led your way to a test of your ability to identify phishing attempts. This test was sculpted around some UK products and services (so obviously it was designed for the British), but that didn’t matter all too much.

Almost everyone failed.
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