Archive for December, 2008

Hold on just a second


The powers that be have decreed that we get a leap second this year.

23:59:59 is going to last twice as long as expected.

Think about that for a second.

There, now you’ve wasted that little bit of extra time and can go back to your revelry.

Happy new year, all!

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What’s in the stocking?

Let me just say here that Wii Music is awesome. I haven’t explored the depths of what it’ll let me do yet, but it looks like there’s a lot of that to explore.

Super Mario Galaxy is also pretty darn awesome, as are iTunes gift cards, chili-imbued chocolate, specialty coffee and a variety of other rather nice bits and pieces.

L, as the baby of the family, made out like a bandit this year, with all manner of wild and wonderful toys and clothes. This is of course twelve days after his birthday, and nine days before a trip to Canada where we will receive many hand-me-downs. L’s going to start to expect this sort of thing every couple of weeks…

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Begin with 7 oz. of 7-Up, for the 2007 profits shown on most balance sheets. 

Pour it “on the rocks” to symbolize the underlying instability.

Add a shot of Cuervo Gold tequila, representing the golden parachutes handed out to executives.

Add a shot of Triple Sec, for the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Commerce, and the secretary who just got laid off.

Splash in raspberry cordial like so much spilled red ink, and a squeeze of lemon to leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Drink it as fast as you can and ask for more.

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It’s mesmerizing to watch the road one drives on when the weather is like this. The snow and wind dance sinuously across the asphalt in wispy figures which then simply vanish like echoes of memories of ghosts.


I’d love to be able to take a picture, but. Moving Vehicle.

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Some time back, I was talking with some of my Xerox colleagues about a particular admonition dispensed during orientation:  that Xerox is a noun and must by no means be used as a verb. When I was five, before I had ever heard of Xerox Corporation, I remember my piano teacher telling me to “xerox the score to this piece of music so you have a copy to take home with you”. Since then, I have encountered the verb ‘to xerox’ a remarkable number of times.

At first I wondered what the problem was with verbing the company’s venerable name, but I get it now. Xerox makes a lot more than just photocopiers, and as such using ‘Xerox’ as a verb does very much constitute brand dilution.

Xerox me this, Google me that

Now it seems that Google has become concerned about the same thing, and I am again a little confused.

Xerox’s copiers are not its primary source of revenue. The profit margins on them are not as high as on other products.

Google, on the other hand, is about search, first and foremost. So surely they should be thrilled to hear that people frequently google for a given subject. Before they became the behemoth in the field, people didn’t “yahoo” things, they didn’t “lycos” anything, they didn’t “altavista” or “hotbot” or “webcrawler” or “inktomi”. They just searched. And when Google rose up to dominate the industry, it was only natural that their name would become synonymous with search.

In their case, I truly cannot see how it is a bad thing.

I do, however, see a great deal of potential in further verbing of company names, or (as the subject of this post would suggest) “brandverbing”.

Leaving yourself enough time to Burger King before you United is usually a good idea.

Budweisering before you Toyota, perhaps not so much.

And now I need to go and Starbucks before my brain completely LehmanBrotherses.

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