Archive for: January 2007

January 31, 2007

Discrete vs. Continuous Tasks

Filed under: Management,Personal — Les Bain @ 12:40 am

Discrete tasks have a beginning and an end: continuous tasks do not.

I am a discrete task person. I use a popular task list program. I add tasks, prioritize the tasks, do the tasks, and then mark the tasks complete. When confronted with a challenge, I automatically start to break it into discrete tasks. If I feel overwhelmed, I focus on the task at hand. Getting a project done is like working with one lego block at a time.

I work with people that seem to find everything a continuous task. Every task is intricately related to every other task. When a task is done, there is no recognition of a task done, just an expression of the next task that needs to be done. It feels like working with a ball of twine, with each piece pulling the next piece in and no celebration of a finished piece.

Everyone works in their own style, but it wears me out to do it the second way. There is no sense of completion. No little break after a finished task, no little celebration.

January 29, 2007

Mountain Lion Attack

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 2:45 pm

In California, an elderly couple was taking a walk. The man was attacked by a Mountain Lion. The woman beat on the Mountain Lion with a log to no avail. She took a pen and tried to jam it into the eye of the Mountain lion to no avail. She clobbered the nose of the Mountain Lion and that finally worked. The man is in serious condition, and I certainly hope he recovers.

The local talk shows were full of after-the-fact advice. One caller suggested that the appropriate response was not to try and poke the pen into the eye of the Mountain Lion, but to lift its tail and poke the pen there. What followed was alternately very yucky and very funny radio, as everyone tried to top each other on comments about that approach.

Super Bowl

Filed under: Personal,Politics — Les Bain @ 2:38 pm

This weekend is the Super Bowl. is pushing to make the Monday after the Super Bowl a National Holiday. I keep seeing the numbers that 85 million Americans voted in the last election, and 140 million will watch the Super Bowl. I do not know how many of the 140 are eligible to vote.

Some random thoughts:

  • I think only those that voted in the last election get to take the holiday.
  • Let’s consider moving Martin Luther King day to the Monday following the Super Bowl and call it National Unification Day.
  • Both head coaches in the Super Bowl are African-Americans.
  • It seems that for some sports fans, the winner of the Super Bowl is more important than the winner of the Presidential race.
  • I remember how much of the day after was spent discussing the Super Bowl and the Super Bowl parties. Maybe that conversation just gets moved to Tuesday.
  • I voted yes for the Holiday. I also voted in the last election.


Filed under: Blogging,Personal,Technology — Les Bain @ 2:08 am

I voted for my favorites blogs for bloggies today. The bloggies are the oscars for blogs. I did not vote in every category. I do not read blogs in every category. I do not read any sports blogs or teen blogs for example. But I am very fond of lifehacker, and voted for it twice.

January 28, 2007

Delivery of Groceries

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 3:37 pm

We order groceries online and have them delivered.  There are 3 in the household, and the responsibility of placing the order falls to the one that wants new grocery items in the house.  Sometimes it becomes a contest as to who can hold out the longest.

I rarely place the order.  I find it a challenge to live on the cans and boxes of food on the shelves in our apartment.  I search online on food ingredients and try the recipes to various levels of success.

But when someone starts the order, they get lots of Instant Messaging help from the other two about what to order.   Does everyone else IM to members of the family they live with?

Sunday Political Talk Shows

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 3:14 pm

As I am working today, I am watching the Sunday Political Talk Shows.  I am watching shows about Hezbollah, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Islam.

  • A Jewish lawyer is going to defend a Muslim in the United States who is accused of terrorism because he identifies with what he feels is religious persecution.
  • A moderate Muslim in London says the radical Muslims are mentally unstable.
  • A Palestinian cries when he tells of losing his home when Israel became a state.
  • Agents that infiltrate terrorist organizations describe the terrorist plans to attack the United States.
  • United States authorities talk of needing more resources and more laws.
  • A Radical Muslim cleric says death is all that the United States understands.
  • Osama Bin Laden’s son left him after the 9/11 attack because he felt it was so stupid to awaken the sleeping giant – the United States.

I am trying not to judge, and just let the mosaic of different opinions weave the complex human drama.  But it does remind me of the proverb “A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”

January 26, 2007

Long Hours

Filed under: Personal — Les Bain @ 12:52 am

I have been working long hours.  I am at the computer for 15 hours a day.  I have not done that for a while.  I got backed up on some client work, and I am refocusing my business.  It is taking some time.

It is exhilarating in a way, maybe because it reminds me of my younger days when I worked long hours regularly.

January 24, 2007

Get a Human

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:21 pm

Get a Human is a website with a list of major corporations with instructions on how to get through the “voice mail jail” and find a human.

I used to work for a guy who knew a whole series of things to try to get through voice mail. He would certainly like this list.

Creating Websites

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 11:02 pm

There are now over 100 million websites.

More and more tools are available to create websites easily and quickly, including the blog services like Blogger and WordPresss.
At the same time, high end websites are getting more expensive as more Web 2.0 options are available, including AJAX and methods of participation.

Sports Analogies

Filed under: Management — Les Bain @ 1:40 am

Sports Analogies were frowned upon when I was in the corporate world. Sports were supposedly a male activity, and so sports analogies were sexist. It has been a while since I was managing in the corporate world and attending sensitivity seminars. I wonder if that is still true.

First, more and more women are playing sports and attending sports evens. Secondly, it is now sexist to say that a certain activity is defined by sex.

WordPress Revisited

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 1:30 am

I transferred the Word Press programs to the Web Hosting server and the problem was fixed. I forget what Category I was trying to add, but the process is working just fine.


Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 1:14 am

The WordPress Database is giving me errors. I cannot add new categories.

I used Database utilities to add the category, but now I need to debug the situation. I will probably just reinstall WordPress to start.

WordPress database error:
[Unknown column ‘category_licename’ in ‘field list’]
INSERT INTO wp_categories (cat_ID, cat_name, category_licename, category_description, category_parent) VALUES ('0', 'a', 'a', '', '0')

Warning: Cannot modify header information – headers already sent by (output started at /home/wizardcr/public_html/les-bain/wp-includes/wp-db.php:104) in /home/wizardcr/public_html/les-bain/wp-includes/pluggable-functions.php on line 270

January 23, 2007

Presidential Candidates

Filed under: Politics — Les Bain @ 12:53 pm

Everyday we have new announcements of new candidates for the President of the United States. We will discuss at length the marketing of these candidates. There is one problem that we all know: the best marketer does not necessarily make the best president.

I would suggest that our current system might insure that the one who would be the best president might not ever be the best marketer.

I read of people dismissing candidates because of one remark, or one mistake, or because of one character flaw. It reminds me of the story when Abraham Lincoln’s advisers pointed out the Ulysses S. Grant was a heavy drinker and so should be removed as General. Lincoln suggested finding out what Grant was drinking, and having a case of whatever it was sent to all his other, less successful, generals.

January 22, 2007

Abandoned Blogs

Filed under: Blogging,Internet — Les Bain @ 8:59 pm

Does anyone keep statistics on how many blogs are abandoned?

January 17, 2007

Internet Skill Sets

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 8:34 am

I am compiling a list of skill sets required to provide Internet services. The purpose of the exercise is to create a visual representation of how many skills it takes to maintain an effective Internet presence.

It will include everything from Graphic Design, Copy writing, and Photograph manipulation skills to HTML, CSS, and PHP coding skills.

January 16, 2007

WordPress 2.07

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:48 am

I upgraded WordPress to version 2.07. The upgrade process went very well. A clean upgrade with no issues.

Word Press Upgrade.

BizIII – Podcast Tag Cloud

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 10:17 am

BizIII – Podcast Tag Cloud

WordPress offers a Press It function to easily blog a site you are visiting.


Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:31 am

Mike Hughes and I do a daily podcast on the convergence of Media and Technology.

Mike has worked in media as a producer and reporter for NBC and CNN.

I have worked in technology for 40 years including at the CTO and CIO level.

In the podcast, we discuss the convergence of media and technology. That is sometimes call Digital Media, New Media, or On-Demand Media.

The podcast is called BizIII. The III is the roman numeral for 3. It is pronounced as Biz-3. The three I’s are Ideas, Information, and Inspiration.

Check it out at BizIII.

Email Subscription

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 9:20 am

Added the email subscription to the blog. I am using the Feedburner service. I am fond of Squeet, but decided to let Feedburner do the Feed and Email Distribution for now.

January 15, 2007

Laptop is running hot

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 3:21 pm

My laptop is running hot. Every so often, it will turn off because it is overheated. The internal fan is probably getting dirty. When I get a break, I will clean the fan.

For now, when I use the laptop at my desk, I plug in an external keyboard, monitor, and external hard drive, and the laptop is off to the side. I have an external desk fan blowing on the laptop to keep it cool and running.

It is cold in the room, so I have a space heater running near my feet. I am not sure I have ever had a cooling fan and a heater running at the same time.

If reminds me of when Nixon was president, and he would run the air conditioner so he could have a fire in the fireplace.

Web Hosting

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 10:04 am

The term Web Hosting is often used to describe the service that hosts a website. It usually is more than that.

It can also host any of the following:

Email – Web Hosting Servers can provide Email service.
Blog – Web Hosting Servers can host the Blogs created by Blogger or WordPress.
FTP – Web Hosting Servers can provide FTP functionality.

Content and Nontent

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 9:58 am

The 2007 CES (Consumer Electronic Show), according to the website, was defined by New Convergence of Broadband, Content and Consumer Electronics.

Content has been such a buzzword in the industry, that a colleague of mine has chosen to use the term nontent as an antidote to content. Sometimes when I watch a video on YouTube that is particularly inane, or see certain photographs on Flickr, or read some blog posts (perhaps even this one) it amuses me to think of them as nontent vs. content.

January 14, 2007

Reading RSS Feeds

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 6:20 am

I read about people who subscribe to hundreds of feeds. I read about techniques of getting through feeds as quickly as possible. I read how to use keyboard techniques to scan and delete more quickly. One person bragged he could get scan multiple RSS feed items every second.

Then I think about the people who are carefully writing blog posts. People who refine and polish their posts. Polish and refine so that readers can spend part of a second.

It makes one wonder.

WordPress Templates

Filed under: Blogging — Les Bain @ 2:31 am

Time to start working on this WordPress Template. I will start the work to make it look more like the rest of the website.

January 11, 2007

i-Date Conference

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 2:39 pm

The i-date conference is next week. The Internet Dating Conference focuses on all business aspects of the online community markets. It covers management and marketing for the Internet Dating and Social Networking industry.

It should be an interesting conference.

The age gap in technology

Filed under: Internet,Technology — Les Bain @ 1:37 am

I have been working with computers for almost 40 years.

I have two children. They started using computers at a very early age. They have been on the AOL or the Internet as long as they can remember. They are now 18 and 21. We still discuss technology, computers, and the Internet, but woe be under me if I am behind on any thing related to technology in our discussions.

And you know, I do not mind. I like the challenge, and I like that the teaching goes both ways.

January 10, 2007

iPhone Secrecy

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 10:58 pm

The secrecy around the iPhone was so elaborate it makes you wonder whether Apple should consult with Homeland Security.


Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 10:49 pm

This week is both CES and MacWorld. It is the ultimate in techno-lust.

January 7, 2007

Internet Presence

Filed under: Internet — Les Bain @ 4:14 am

I do website development, but that does not really represent what clients want. They want to know how to get build their businesses using the Internet, they want to know how to get known on the Internet, and they want a prominent Internet presence for their niche.

I wish I knew what to call it, helping businesses and professionals build their Internet presence. It it is more technical than Internet Marketing, more comprehensive than website development, and includes the alphabet soup of SMO, SEM, SEO, RSS and others.

I am a generalist. I know a bit about all of it. I am making a list of all the specialties that are included. It is a long list.

Diurnal Cycles

Filed under: Notes — Les Bain @ 4:02 am

A cold means lots of sleeping during the day and restless nights. Diurnal cycles are unusual. I am up early, napping in the afternoon, and up late. Lots of quiet time to do website work, but not much energy to do it.

January 5, 2007

2007 Resolutions

Filed under: Notes — Les Bain @ 2:26 am

I have a cold. One thing a cold does is focus you on the present. It is difficult to do yearly resolutions when you are waiting for the next sneeze or the next cough. Maybe I should resolve to live more in the present …. but without the cold.

January 2, 2007

Note to Microsoft

Filed under: Technology — Les Bain @ 12:58 pm

If you want me to review Vista, please send a $2,200 Acer Ferrari laptop with Vista installed. I will do full disclosure. I will find something productive to do with the laptop at the conclusion of the trial period. I will not let the loan of the laptop influence my review.

January 1, 2007

Being open vs. being private.

Filed under: Notes — Les Bain @ 9:29 pm

I am a private person. Blogs encourage openness. I wonder how it will work out. Perhaps I will become more open. Perhaps not.

Happy New Year

Filed under: Notes — Les Bain @ 9:19 pm

Happy New Year to one and all.