“Helping Joe get a Job”

April 30, 2009

elliott There have been a few times in my life where I’ve done something relatively nice and it later somehow came around back to me like a karma-tic boomerang. 

THE FOURTH GRADE RED-HEAD
When I was in 4th grade for example, I was the only person in the 4th grade class that would talk to the “new red headed kid”.  I tried to console him but he was miserable and cried constantly.  I told him it would be alright but he just couldn’t handle the new environment.  He eventually transferred back to his original school. 

6 years later, I was entering high school (it was a public school, which was vastly different from the private academy that I’d been at for two years prior) and I was meeting new kids and talking to this one guy and he said, “I remember you.  You were the only kid that talked to me back in elementary.  Thanks for that by the way.”  And he proceeded to introduce me to the other kids in the high school.  If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have known anyone on day one of school.

JOE THE MASTER BARBER
A few months back, I went to Vegas for the Consumer Electronics Expo.  While there, I realized I was sporting the ol’ Billy Ray Cyrus mullet hairdo, and that just won’t do.  So I started to scout out professional barber shops in the city and I stumbled upon a remarkable store called Truefitt & Hill which was a really nice experience.

So I wrote them up in Yelp.  And as my friends know, I can write one helluva review in Yelp:

For those without the patience to read the review, basically, my barber was a fella named “Joe” who was a 67 year old master barber from Sicily, Italy.  And he gave me truly the best haircut I’ve ever had in my life.  It’s hard to describe because it was unlike anything I’d done in Vegas before.  It was just a very serene, masculine, quiet, sort of… ‘time’.  It was sort of a guys spa, I guess:  No frilly stuff.  Just a clean, well done haircut that ended up being a very worthwhile experience.

Well, fast forward to today.  I took a look at my message box at Yelp (I haven’t written much in the past couple months for a number of reasons) and I read the following:

 Kurt,

imageMy name is Elliott and I am the owner of Elliott and Co. for men in Las Vegas. I wanted to thank you for the really nice review that you wrote witch featured Joe La Spisa. A couple days after I read your review about Truefitt and Hill and Joe, I received a phone call from a soft spoken barber with an Italian accent telling me that Truefitt had closed and that he was looking for a nice shop to work in that was close to his home. A day later I met with Joe and while I was talking with him all I could think of was your review, which was spot on I might add. Joe has since come to work in my place and he is a great barber and a real pleasure to work with. Your kind words about Joe were one of the biggest factors in bringing him on. Thank you! I hope the next time you are in Vegas you make the trip to Elliott & Co. and pay Joe a visit. I know you both will enjoy it.

Warm regards,
Elliott

Now how cool is that?

(And yes, I’m going to Vegas sometime before the kid is born and I’m going to try to get over the Elliott & Company.  It’s quite a ways from the strip near as I can tell but if I want a good haircut, it’ll be worth it.)

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NBC Sports Photo Collage: “NFL Cheer”

April 27, 2009

imageThis just made my day. This is, like, 119 of some of the best photos ever taken by mankind.

Y’know, no matter how lousy you feel (and after a day of volunteering at a pet adoption fair, I ache all over and feel generally pretty awful) I challenge any guy to flip through these slides and not have a smile on their face by the end of all 119 photos.  I don’t even care how much I hate Tom Brokaw and the insanely biased NBC newsroom:  After this photo spread, I say, “All hail NBC Sports!”  These are the kind of things that make the Sport Illustrated issues irrelevant.  Cripes – this actually makes me wanna go to see an NFL game.  At least for a moment.  Then I wake up and decide the Internet is cheaper than paying $120/ticket.

BTW:  The photographer must have something going on with the girl named “Ryann Murray” because her photo shows up an interesting number of times, with a citation of her identity and everything.

Me?  Based on the photos, I think this is gonna be a great year for Houston Texans & Tampa Bay Buccs fans.  You lucky dogs, you.

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“FixNation” – a FREE non-profit animal clinic in Los Angeles

April 24, 2009

This is amazing.  I don’t know how these folks do this, considering the expense involved.  They must have some serious benefactors behind them or a major Federal Grant.

UPDATE:  Aha.  I found it on their web site:

In January of 2007 the Catnippers team secured grant funding from PetSmart Charities, the Found Animals Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society and several private donors to launch the very first full-time spay-neuter clinic in Los Angeles dedicated primarily to serving feral cat caregivers and implementing TNR county-wide. Our new program is a separate 501(c)(3) organization, FixNation, Inc., which has been in operation since July 16, 2007.

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Richard Jeni gets a new web site

April 22, 2009

image One of my favorite comedians of all time, Richard Jeni, passed away a while back.  The fact was that he was apparently very depressed and committed suicide… a decidedly unfunny thing from a notoriously funny guy.

I’ve written about my opportunity to sit down with him and talk with him in an airport back in 2000.  We sat down with drinks and laughed about… among other things… airports. And we chatted for over an hour. Yeah, he was a great comedian then and he still is now.

And now, I guess his estate has figured out that there are people like me who are still interested in seeing the bits he used to do.  Stuff that isn’t available on his CDs or videos.  Things he did on TV, like Platypus-man, and other bits.

So they redid his web site and lo and behold, there’s some great stuff there.  Check it out if you’re a fan of comedy.

WEB SITE:
http://www.richardjeni.com

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HOLY CRAP. FDA confirmed that they’re investigating NUTRO pet food for deaths & illnesses

April 22, 2009

image OMG.  How many people feed their dogs Nutro these days?  This is a REALLY popular food billed in national chains as one of the healthier foods.

FDA Confirms Probe of NUTRO Pet Food Deaths, Illnesses

"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has confirmed that the agency is investigating NUTRO pet food, following a series of unexplained illnesses and deaths."

"Today, the FDA’s Division of Freedom of Information confirmed the agency has an ongoing investigation into NUTRO — and said that investigation could be criminal or civil in nature."

"The investigation came to light when the FDA denied a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by ConsumerAffairs.com seeking a list of complaints and lab results the agency has collected regarding NUTRO pet food. The agency denied the request and said that releasing the information could hamper “prospective or ongoing” action by law enforcement."

More on this announcement here:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/04/nutro_foia.html

For information on unhealthy ingredients for your dog, visit the Dogfood Project at:
http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=badingredients 

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Jim Goldman… Valleywag reports that he’s an Apple shill… now he’s allegedly an IP thief

April 22, 2009

imageMan, this guy annoys me.

Valleywag reports that CNBC’s Jim Goldman is a shill for Apple.  I flat out think he’s a media mouthpiece for Apple’s Public Relations group based on his reporting.  Not convinced?  Check out Valleywag’s research:

Well, normally his bluster is just that:  Bluster.  However this time, he’s really gone way overboard.  We’re talking transparent-Jack-Thompson-nutjob overboard.

He’s flat out making up stuff to defend Apple.

Goldman’s Ludicrous Apple Hype… Gizmodo weighs in
After Jim Goldman “reported” on the supposed cost/value differences between a PC versus a Mac, and publicly made the claims that:

  • Macintoshes come with Photoshop; PC’s don’t.
  • Macintoshes come with iTunes; PC’s don’t.
  • Macintoshes come with iPhoto; PC’s don’t.
  • Macintoshes “don’t need” antivirus software; PC’s need to buy some.
  • Macintoshes have 4x the battery life compared to PC’s, have faster processors & better screen resolution

…the technology folks a Gizmodo cried out, SAY WHAT? and called CNBC flat out “ridiculous”.  (http://i.gizmodo.com/5220277/cnbc-is-ridiculous-macs-come-with-photoshop-pcs-need-600-extra-to-perform-as-well-as-a-mac)  Gizmodo gets VERY specific about how ludicrously wrong Jim Goldman’s slanted Apple view was, citing such examples as:

…and BTW:  Macintoshes do NOT have “4x the battery life”, “faster processors”, or “better screen resolution”.

Goldman can’t even COPY other people’s work correctly
The crux of Goldman’s incorrect comparison apparently originates with his source material:  It looks like Goldman ripped off someone else’s article, which compared a MacBook Pro to a specific HP laptop model… then he extrapolated the facts to encompass ALL Windows laptops versus ALL Mac laptops.

Yep – in a hilarious case of ‘cribbing’, Jim Goldman, apparently not satisfied with just shilling for Apple, allegedly copied his information directly from a BusinessWeek article written by Arik Hesseldahl who has since publicly accused Goldman of ‘borrowing’ his article.   Valleywag/Gawker highlights the “cribbing” activities of Goldman:

“The duplication of six data points between the BusinessWeek story and Goldman’s CNBC segment would be enough, on its own, to give away Goldman’s cribbing. But the real tell that Goldman didn’t do his own work was his sloppy copying of BusinessWeek’s comparison: Hesseldahl wrote that a PC buyer would need Adobe’s low-end Photoshop Elements to match the Mac’s built-in iPhoto. In the CNBC graphic, Goldman rendered this as "Photoshop" — a much more expensive program that doesn’t come with a PC or a Mac. (Hesseldahl has now accused Goldman of "borrowing" his column, and pointed out other errors.)”

For an interesting bit of investigative journalism, read the complete article.
http://gawker.com/5220979/how-apples-pet-reporter-stole-his-talking-points

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China absorbed 15% of the world’s web server market share in just 3 months

April 21, 2009

For more than 12 years, the ‘war’ for web server market share has been between Apache & Microsoft IIS, with the gap being as little as 9% between the two in 2007.

But, if you had any doubt about the strength of the number of people in China:

  • In just a 3 months, QQ.com, a Chinese owned ISP that no one seems to know anything about, (they don’t even know what technology these folks are using) has burst onto the Web Server scene and taken 12% of the world’s web server marketshare.

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