Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blogging from Powell's

While certainly not a momentous occasion for most people, let alone those who are reading this, I'm quite happy to be on Burnside in Portland, Oregon at Powell's Bookstore. I have a perfect, street-level window seat, ideal for watching the steady stream of people walking past. And I get to blog a bit. Perfect.

I spent the first half hour or so wandering the different rooms: the Gold Room, the Rose Room, the Blue Room, the Green Room. An entire city block, 68,000 square feet, three stories tall (at places), filled with people looking and learning.

Despite being the largest new & used bookstore in the world (over a million books at this location) it still feels personal. I feel happily curious as I walk through the aisles of books. It's a fantastic environment. It has the feel Barnes & Noble is going for, but can't quite achieve because they're Barnes & Noble.

Today I may be in the market to purchase my first book of poetry. My sister in-law suggests David Kirby. I need to set out to find it because we're headed to dinner at the Marrakesh for dinner - fantastic Moroccan food, five courses, eating everything with your hands. It's places like these that make me want to move back to the Northwest.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A space just for you

I could probably spend an entire day looking through people's pictures on Flickr. Not the snapshot, "it was the greatest party in the world" pictures, but those of people who actually know what they're doing with the camera. (If you're interested in becoming addicted yourself, check out Flickr's Explore page and just keep hitting "reload".)

When I see a picture I like I'll usually click over to see other pictures from the same photographer. That's how I found the above shot. From a technical aspect, I'm guessing it's not the greatest photograph in the world. However, as soon as I saw it I thought, "What would I do with this space?

A loft in the city that's all your own - you don't have to share with anyone. It's your personal retreat. What would you put in there? It's a blank canvas and you can make it become anything you want. What would it be?

For example, maybe you love cooking so you would put a nice kitchen with great appliances and lots of counter space. Maybe you have a passion for dancing so you'd install a nice sound system and use the space as a dancefloor. Maybe you're an artist and it would become your studio. Leave word in the comments.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Life isn't about finding yourself.

I saw this (sticker?) at the library gift shop and snapped a picture. I like the seniment: don't wait to find something that defines you, but do things to define yourself.

So, what do you want to be?

Monday, November 17, 2008

MotrinMoms? I don't get it.

The blogosphere is all up in arms over the above TV spot for Motrin and it's currently the #1 thing being discussed on Twitter. Now referred to as "MotrinGate" by some, Motrin has officially removed the video from their site and posted an apology note right smack-dab on their homepage (which apparently works best when viewed with Netscape?).

Want to see some of the scathing reviews floating around Twitter? This person has made a NINE MINUTE montage of the criticism (obviously, there's a lot of it).

From an advertising perspective/social media case study, here are a few additional comments:

MCP85: Motrin - classic example of how social media can kill you in a hurry when you screw up!

ChristySeason: #motrinmoms is an excellent case study to help sell the importance of monitoring your brand via social media
EllanNews: How’s that for instantaneous feedback on your marketing efforts? Take a deep breath and feel your power, people!
jodifur: the motrin debacle got picked up in the washington post #motrinmom

However, one company's pain is another company's opportunity: baby carrier brand Ellaroo is offering 10% off their carriers if you enter the coupon code "motrin".

As I read through the Tweets and blogs about the subject, people are very clear as to the fact that they're upset, but not as to why they're upset. As a calloused, insensitive man I don't understand the reason for the mommy-rage. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me by leaving a comment?

Online journals vs. blogs

"I've never really found the time to blog, so to sepak. For me blogging isn't about sitting down on a regular basis and dreaming up something to say. It's more about indignation, frustration, pride and beliefs." - Bob Lutz, General Motors

The above quote came from The Corporate Blogging Book by Debbie Weil, a book I'm reading it as part of an assignment for work. So far, I like it much more than the book I had to read last quarter, Testing Advertising Methods by John Caples. That one made me want to shoot myself in the face. But I digress.

I like what Mr. Lutz (great last name) had to say about blogging, and I believe to a certain extent it defines what makes a good blog. Are you reciting the events of the day or week? Or are you writing about things you have a passion about? Sure, online journals are fine and have their place and serve as a way for people to keep up-to-date on what you're up to.  But I think a distinction could be made between online journals and blogs, with blogs being outlets for "indignation, frustration, pride and beliefs".

Am I overanalyzing this? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Intolerance for tolerance (reblogged)

*Note: I don't know if "reblogged" is the correct term for republishing/linking someone's content because you want it to have a larger audience. But people "retweet" all the time on Twitter, so I figure it's as good a term as any. So... a quote from the blog Political Shorts.

Here are some comments from a gay activist website. Remember, these are from the people that are angry because other people are intolerant.
  • Can someone in CA please go burn down the Mormon temples there, PLEASE. I mean seriously. DO IT."
  • "I'm going to give them something to be f--ing scared of....I'm a radical who is now on a mission to make them all pay for what they've done."
  • "Burn their f--ing churches to the ground, and then tax the charred timbers."
  • "I hope the No on 8 people have a long list and long knives."
  • "I swear, I'd murder people with my bare hands this morning."
  • "Trust me. I've got a big list of names of mormons and catholics [sic] that were big supporters of Prop 8....As far as mormons and catholics...I warn them to watch their backs."
Some additional points of my own, in addition to the obvious irony:

1. Why would you burn down our temples? Because you can't get married there? The only reason anyone would want to get married there is because they believe in the doctrine of the church. And if you do, then you A. understand why the church has taken the position it has and B. wouldn't want to burn down the temples.

2. As for the threats to individual members of the church - it's nothing new. I dare say that throughout the history of the United States, Mormons have been persecuted much more than homosexuals.

3. I'd love it if there were enough Mormons in California to take credit for the passage of Prop 8, but there were a lot of Catholics (as were mentioned), Baptists, and people of many other faiths and organizations who helped...but thanks for the nod anyway.

4. FYI - It doesn't matter how much you or anybody else protests; the church isn't going to budge. So if it makes you feel better to march around with your signs, be my guest - it's most certainly your right to do so - but it's not going to change anything.

Anyway, jump over and read the full post over at Political Shorts. I especially like his tip at the end about the Polynesian guy.

Friday, November 07, 2008


 The plagues of Egypt have hit our home (minus the locusts and rivers of blood). Hopefully everyone will be feeling better by Monday. Or, preferably, tomorrow.

Image courtesy of here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Interesting poll results (should I drop The Other Drummer name?)

While I figured most people would tell me to get a Facebook account, I'm very surprised that 81 percent of people want me to keep The Other Drummer instead of using my real name as the URL. Would you be so kind as to enlighten me as to why you voted the way you did? Please let me know in the comments - I'm extremely curious.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Today, we're all winners: FCC Approves Unlicensed Use Of “White Spaces” Spectrum

Think wifi on steroids. Everywhere. This could be a big deal. Read about it here.


Today's the day. Or, if you voted early, the last two weeks have been the day. I already didn't vote for Obama or McCain and the whole experience only took 30 minutes. Not too shabby at all. In fact, early reports today say that lines are moving quickly - about 45 minutes from getting in line to leaving the polls.

I share these sentiments from Sarah:
...The poll worker may not even ask you for an ID [seriously disturbing...seriously], the amendments may sound like they were written by a 5th grader with a thesaurus but no dictionary, and you may not even be entirely 100% certain which is the lesser of two evils…but the democratic process–and the promise it holds– is still worth celebrating, worth defending, worth participating in.

Plus, you could probably eat for free all day with the rewards Starbuck’s, Krispy Kreme, Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A and Ben & Jerry’s are offering for that little red “I voted” sticker.
So get out there and vote. And if you have any last minute questions, they can most likely be answered at (voting location, candidates and issues on your ballot, etc.) And I've added a poll about the polls in the upper right corner. So cast your vote again up there and then tell me why in the comments below.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Another Bun in the oven

Yup. We're expecting again. Due at the end of May.

P.S. No, I will not be putting the widget back up.

Why I didn't vote for Obama

Allow me to preface this post: this is going to be extremely personal and emotional. It will touch deeply on my personal beliefs as well as my political stance on some sensitive issues. While I will cite doctrine from my church, which I testify is true, the conclusions I come to about those doctrines are my own, not necessarily those of the Church.
"I don't want to vote for McCain and I won't vote for Obama." That's the little phrase I've come up with to explain my feelings about this election. I'm not happy with either candidate.

That being said, Obama is probably the walking definition of charismatic. When I've listened to some of his speeches I admit do feel inspired and feel like he would be an excellent leader. Despite these things, I still wouldn't vote for Obama. Here's why:

Obama supports not only abortion, but partial-birth abortion. In fact, he even made a speech in favor of post-birth "abortion". (You can read his full speech in chapter 10 of The Case Against Barack Obama by David Freddoso.)

Obama also wants to redefine the definition of marriage as between one man and one woman and voted against a federal amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Now, one might ask why I put so much emphasis on these two topics when there are other very important things to consider including the war in Iraq, health care, energy issues, the economy, etc.. It's because of The Family: A Proclamation to the World which was given by God through his prophet. I hold it in the same reverence as I do the Bible, Book of Mormon, and other scripture.

In the Proclamation it states (in part - see the above link for the full document):
We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children....
We warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets.

We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.
Note that it doesn't say high taxes, outrageous government spending, wars, or lack of health care will bring upon us calamities. The disintegration of the family will. I don't consider those idle words, nor do I think they're figurative.

Which candidate "promotes [the] measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society"? It's not Obama. And while that's not the only factor to consider when casting your vote, I believe it's the most important.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Meat. Lots of meat.

I think this was the largest steak I'd ever seen. Supposedly, it was 18 oz (net weight before cooking). Ha. There's probably two pounds of meat there.

I was pleased with how much of it I ate.

That is all.