Well, it's been a hum-dinger of a five months here at the C.C.C.Blog (Note: That's our new nickname for ourselves! Ya like? It goes with our logo that goes out with our email stories:
We've just ticked past 40 stories and we've got some exciting new updates to talk about. First: We recognized just the other day that our feed for this site was a little hard to get to. Luckily, we've put a BIG, HONKIN' LOGO linking to our feed right on our sidebar there! -->>
Click it and sign up for our feed in your favorite feed reader. If you don't have a favorite feed reader or don't want one, that's okay, too...we now deliver through email. Just click on the subscribe via email link right under the BIG, HONKIN' LOGO over there. -->>
So, what else is new?
>Due to the popularity of our quiz from a post or so ago, we're going to start offering more quizzes...maybe on a particular day? Contact us, let us know when's a good time to be tested.
>Rob emerged from a posting dry-spell to give us his thoughts on the financial crisis...click here to read!
>We're STILL so excited to be bringing you advice and opinion! Speaking of advice, do you have questions you want us to answer? About anything? Let us know, we'll do our best to bring you enlightenment.
Not even coffee is safe anymore. 7-Eleven, creators of the Slurpee and known for their cheap, quick food, unveiled "Presidential Perks", an extension of their previous "7-Election" events in which people can purchase a cup of coffee with either an "Obama" or "McCain" on the front.
Can't we have a moment's peace? I read papers, I read blogs, I watch evening news that doesn't involve Jon Stewart...what more do you WANT from me, society?!? Can't I just get an "undecided" cup? (Answer: no.)
Welcome to the one college course you'll ever take that allows Wikipedia as a scholarly resource.
I want to get into the nitty-gritty of brands in the next few posts I do, so it's up to you to start brushing up on your brand terminology and concepts. Give Wikipedia's Brand page a read, discover something you've never known, report back to me.
[A note from the editor: -- Rob Banker, our fearless young EVP/CIO/COO, spent three hours writing this missive. From 3AM to 6AM today, he was busy being crazy and writing it down. What follows is a reproduction of a plain-text document that was waiting in my inbox when I woke up this morning(they're extra creepy when they're just plain black text delivered while you're asleep...it was like getting a ransom note). Don't say you weren't warned.
I don't tend to think of myself as a particularly enlightened individual. Actually, it's more the opposite. I typically feel like I'm looking at the world around me in a sorted of stoned confusion with a big "Huh?" emblazoned across my less-than-toned chest like the shirtless dude at a Packers game at Lambeau field in January. Sorry for that visual.
I think I'm on to something, though. Or not. But indulge my delusion. I wasn't even aware of it until this past Monday, but I was sitting at my desk with a stock ticker going on my desktop. Now this is in itself completely out of character. I don't watch the stock market. I don't understand what short-selling is and I don't care. I pay a financial advisor to do that. He could be funding Polynesian vacations from the IRAs and kids' college funds he set up for me a few years ago. I'm not smart enough to know that the balance statements I've been getting for the last 7 years were really just pages from the discarded Racing Form from his last trip to the track.
But now, here I was watching the market jump around and laughing with guys in the office about how much money I'd just lost. Yup. Laughing. That's a little odd, I know, but I'm prone to laughing at inappropriate moments. My retirement account lost half of its value since January and I'm laughing. And I do genuinely think it's funny. It's not an "if I don't laugh, I'll cry" thing. I'll explain, because there's a number of elements at work here.
#1. Schadenfreude. Because no matter how much money I've lost on my modest investments, there's some other guy who thought he'd beat the system and made a killing a couple of years ago. Right now, he lying on the Rosa Aurora marble floor of his bathroom with a 1/4 bottle of Grey Goose in one hand and a Wall Street Journal alternately sobbing and vomiting into his bidet.
#2. Karma. I managed to make it through the tech boom/bust of the late 90's/2k's without losing my job. I bought a house in 1998 bought a house in suburban Washington D.C. in 1998 and sold it in 2005 for a 130% profit. Both of those -- pure luck. No reason I shouldn't have gotten s***-canned like everyone else I knew in 2001. ALSO, the whole time I was living in that house, I was pining away for the days I could just call the landlord to come unclog the toilet. I was clueless and I got lucky. I figure this is just the universe's way of balancing out some of that dumb luck.
#3. Fear. I don't mean that scared-of-the-bogeyman-in-the-closet type of fear. Just the opposite. It's fear that comes from the beginning of knowledge and not knowing quite to do with that knowledge. I equate it more to watching a horror movie about the bogeyman, knowing the bogeyman is in the closet, and laughing hysterically when the sweet young co-ed gets decapitated with a potato peeler when she opens the door. You know that something bad is about to happen, but there's nothing you can do about it, and it doesn't really matter anyway because it's not real.
This is why everything I write ends up the length of War and Peace, but never the quality. I say things like I just did in #3. Do I think I have even the slightest clue about what's happening in the financial markets? No. Do I really think that the crisis isn't real? No. Do I find decapitation by potato peeler funny? Yes. Did I search Google to find out what one of the most expensive kinds of marble flooring was. I most certainly did.
Apparently, there's a problem with e-mail that even the SPAM filter didn't see coming.
With new methods of communication come new desires to communicate whenever we can. Twitter makes for quick updates about our personal lives, Yelp makes it easy to find what you like in and around your living area, JuicyCampus lets your kids have another way to blow all that wonderful tuition money (other than Facebook, of course).
But with new communication methods come old worries. You can hang on to an angry letter after you write it - rip it up, throw it away, what have you. But when you send an e-mail, it's gone. Apparently, this happens a lot when people are drinking. So much so that Google created "Mail Goggles" - a filter that stops you from sending drunk e-mails.
You install Mail Goggles yourself, setting it for certain times you might be...well, let's just say polluted. When you e-mail at those hours, Mail Goggles asks you a series of math questions. Get them wrong and you'll have to wait until you're sober to get that idea across. Sound like a good idea? Maybe, if you happen to be a drunk web-user. According to our whippersnapper-in-chief Jimmy Marks:
I think they need to make one for cell phones. I got a call from a friend of mine at four in the morning asking me to send him a fax on my cell. We haven't spoken since. Maybe new phones should come with breathalyzers? Just thinking ahead of the curve here.