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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Yes, i know this is long, but...

What a crock...IKEA...please...

OK – so, I know I'm not the hippest guy around, nor do I care. I have been many places, done many things, but one thing that had eluded me was a reason to go to and buy things from an IKEA store. Well, Friday was my day. Marcus and I went to the Atlanta store in order to get some things for the new offices. Specifically these cool, clear whiteboards to put in the conf. room around the LCD TV, and a barstool set for my office for people to hang out in. So, with this in mind, we set out also knowing there are other things to get while we're there. Art, other furniture, etc. We walk into the store around noon, thinking it would take a couple of hours to get our stuff and get out. Well, we were SO wrong.

First, I think the word IKEA means 'idiot' (not really, but no one has ever said that the Swedish [who came up with the idea] are very smart, nor are the Dutch [the actual owners] for that matter). Keep in mind the socialist origins of the company and the fact that the countries are socialist and you can start to “appreciate” IKEA.

Here are some things I found out:
1 – We as customers are stupid and know nothing while shopping, however when it comes to taking everything home we are supposed to be smart enough to put everything together without good instructions.

2 – Products at IKEA are cheap because they are cheap. No quality, just cheap stuff – which is OK if you want cheap stuff. I was under the impression you could get pretty nice stuff for a low price. Heh. Wrong. You get what you pay for...I don't know why I always think that statement can be proven wrong.

3 – The inventory system sucks. Period.

4 – Their computer systems are not coordinated which is baffling.

5 – Food. Hmmmm.... At least they offer it since they screw you in going through the store and make you extremely hungry in the whole process of getting you lost etc. Which is actually quite brilliant, but can really tick you off. Heh.

So, apparently you are supposed to follow the arrows on the floor and see everything you want, write it down and go downstairs and pick it up and check out and go home. Heh. Too funny.

Well, we start out going through all the rooms to try and find what we need. We find most everything within the first hour and a half. The we eat. I had an open-faced shrimp sandwich and Marcus had meatballs. Large variety of swedish food...hahahaha – there's really not anything else to get. Heh. We then proceed downstairs and find more stuff, which we put in our cart and after about another hour and a half, we get to where we are picking up our stuff. Well we get there and find out that most of our stuff can't be picked up due to the fact that we didn't have the people upstairs configure the furniture for the conf room. Here's a problem. Walking backwards through the store to get back to the beginning – what a joke. Another hour and a half later we are ready to get in line to pick up our stuff and check out.

If you're keeping up, that's 4.5 hours so far. We then wait another 15-30 minutes in line to check out and another hour of crap during/after checkout that totaled up to 7 hours at IdIOT...I mean IKEA.

Here are some highlights of the day.

While going through the store we stop in the fabric section. Yes fabric. We were looking for blinds for windows, etc. and started looking at fabric to hang on the wall. Well, to be funny we start speaking with lisps and marcus gets a call from his wife (who was at home sick) and he tells her what were doing (no we were not 'shopping') and then while on the phone I wrap some fabric around my waist and ask what he thinks...and he starts dying laughing. The lady at the cutting counter looks at me and says, I can cut that when you're ready. HAHAHAHAHA – So we gave her some fabric to cut. ;) Too funny. I don't think the real gay people there thought we were funny, oh well. Oh, speaking of gay people there...I wish I had a pic. There was a black gangsta gay couple there we saw after checking out. They were sharing an ice cream cone and everything...talk about throwing you for a loop. I even looked to see if they had their 'colors' on them (pink or purple) but I didn't see them. I digress.

We also had to find a fagot bundle (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/fagot), an Audrey Hepburn print and a pink chair. All of which we found...but we only purchased the fagot bundle.

Speaking of purchasing...we get in the checkout line and wait, and wait...and wait...finally we approach the counter and proceed to ring up items. During the process, I notice the Daim caramel bars are on sale 3/$1.00. I hand three to the cashier and ask him to go ahead and ring them up b/c I am hungry and wanted to eat them. He appreciated this (he was a bit hefty himself) and started to do so. They didn't ring up on sale. He was apologetic and proceeded to fix the problem. Then his cash register locked up after ramming random pieces of paper in it. Then he has to call the manager to come over and fix the register. Where's the humor in this? Let me tell you. We had been there 6 hours going through this stupid store (which is so like shopping in a 3rd world communist country) he had already taken 15 minutes to try to fix his register, we were buying about $1000 worth of stuff, and this was after the inventory fiasco which I haven't even written about yet. And I'm not going to bore you with it either (just know that what the computers say upstairs and what they say downstairs and what they actually have in inventory are all 3 different. Repeat - are not the same – Neither are the locations...i have printouts to prove this – anyway...back to checkout).

I tell the guy...”Seriously dude, this is not worth 77 cents to me. I have already spent almost 7 freakin' hours in this place and will gladly pay an extra dollar if necessary to be out of here. So please don't worry about the 77 cents.” He looks at me like I'm crazy. As if to say, “you are shopping at Ikea and are not worried about 77 cents?”

When his manager walks up, he tells him what I said and the manager gives me the same awestruck gaze. I almost felt like a rock star. Hahahahaha

After we check out, we go to pick up our special selections that we bought upstairs (yes you pay for things in different places - no i don't know why) just to walk over and return some of them because of their inventory mess-up – that's really a long story. And the more I think about it the more it really ticks me off because it was all about my bar table that now I don't have. I have no idea how a business that big can be so inefficient.

This is a long post and I had pictures on my phone, but didn't get them off yet.

Oh yeah and before I forget....another funny thing happened. Back on the whole gay thing (since we were two guys shopping at Ikea – although not gay...hahahaha) I was talking to one of the swedes about the stuff we were getting and spoke to him in swedish (one of the few phrases I know in swedish – another long story. FYI i speak a lot of languages... hehe). Well, after prefacing to him, I didn't mean this weird, I just wanted to practice it since I haven't spoken Swedish or Norwegian in about 10 years – I said my phrase. He looked at me, smiled and then gave us a discount on what we bought. I then thanked him, and marcus and i went on our way. Marcus was a bit befuddled and I was laughing. He asked what i was laughing at and what I said in Swedish.
I said, “Well, fortunately or unfortunately the only phrase I can remember in swedish is 'I love you'. I guess he liked it and gave us the discount.”


HAHAHAHAHA – true story

Thursday, December 28, 2006

has every comapny done this?

OK - is it just me or does it seem like every company has done this??? Even the company reporting the story...crazy.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

goodnight, Mr. President...

Yesterday we lost a man who was a unique part of American history. Gerald Ford died. He was 93 years old and was the only man to have been President without being elected. Everything I ever heard about him was that he was a man of integrity and an ethical politician.

Whether you feel he should have pardoned Nixon or not, I think that decision was a good one for the country to have the matter resolved and dealt with and to move on. Even though he wasn't elected President, he will be missed.


In other news...

I went out and bought Call of Duty 3 yesterday for the Wii. OMG! That game is frickin' hard to get used to...but seriously, it is the coolest game. You totally feel like you're in it. I had to take a break from it after about an hour or so playing. It is a bit stressful. With the wii, you actually come up on an enemy in a house, they grab your rifle and you have to fight and shake them off then hit them etc. i'm so used to the keyboard style of play and this is all interactive...and the aiming and shooting, using the trigger...it's almost like a pistol (without the recoil). So cool.

Yes we are addicted to the thing. heh

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

and this little piggy went wii, wii, wii, all the way home




WOW! Christmas is over and how fun it was. I think this was a great Christmas for the kids! Of course the big things for each of them was a HUGE dollhouse (taller than the lib) and a Nintendo Wii. I'm telling you, that thing is awesome! We've boxed, golfed, played tennis, played baseball, bowled, skateboarded, raced cars, even got some donkey kong and super mario bros. in there as well...this is by far the coolest game system ever! in my humble opinion, the PS3 may have better graphics, but it totally sucks compared to gameplay and price!! ;) Of course I got all of my stuff discounted, so I didn't even pay as much as the regular store price, much less those ridiculous prices on ebay, etc. I'm even thinking about getting a couple more games already too, just to see how they play...hahahahaha.

Well, with that being said, Here's some of our pics from Christmas...

enjoy.

Friday, December 22, 2006

funny & cool

OK, so today beinf funny friday, I've got something good for you. I watched The Ringer the other night with Johnny Knoxville and it was a really good movie. You need to see it. Now, in the movie there is a band at the dance called xTheKidsofWidneyHighx, and they were actually really good. i wanted to make sure they were real, and they are...so I bought some of their stuff off iTunes and have decided to let you in on one of my favorites. LifeWithouttheCow. Now you will notice it's staticky and everything, so if you like it you will have to go buy it - the real one sounds really good. Enjoy.

And for tomorrow...I am going to make the announcement to you today. It's official...a new venture that we are embarking on. We have generated a lot of buzz in just the past few weeks, and certain coMpanies That we'Ve talked to have decided to help us bring something very cool to this very town. I'll give you a little preview...a very little preview. ;) I wish I could talk about it more, but until I can, let me know if you like to play video games. ;)

I will probably not be blogging again until next week, so until then...Merry Christmas!! Actually in Tuesday I just may give you a fullon review on the Wii. If I can get away from playing it...hahahahaha

Thursday, December 21, 2006

the office

ok - i promised this yesterday, but i went ahead and switched my blogger stuff over and that literally took all day! So, without further ado, enjoy pics of my new digs...roughly 2000 (a little over that) sqft. ;)









Tuesday, December 19, 2006

today's 2fer

1 - big presentation in a little bit that could go a LONG way. ;) A very very cool web concept that we are helping on that will eventually find it's way to an iNternatIonal KEwl shoe company. ;) I'm very pumped about it. more on it later...

2 - the office is finally painted, etc. I will post pics of it later (probably tomorrow - today is a bit too busy). wow. have I mentioned lately how much I love my new job?

Monday, December 18, 2006

answers

people keep coming up to me finding out that i am no longer working for my previous company and wondering why. only those closest to me knew that i hated that job and had prayed about finding something else for about a year without actually "advertising" myself being available. I had a few good "hush hush" interviews, several offers for out of town (but I didn't want to move - there arent too many good/cool jobs around here) and ultimately kept coming back to the position I am currently in because of the people involved and the huge amounts of potential and the fact that I can directly impact the growth of this region and this new venture. My old job had gotten to the point of me not really being in charge of anything fully focused on and no one would listen to my ideas for the business as a whole. A little frustrating, but i had gotten used to it.
Well, now, I have a huge amount of input and this new venture is going extremely well. And I couldn't be happier. I don't have to wear a 'uniform', there is no ceiling on what can happen and the thought processes that are involved with the people here is amazing. It is really awesome! And to think that in a couple of years we will most likely be employing about 20-30 people too! With good/cool jobs. Insane.

So, I know today is motivational Monday, so - from one of my favorite quotable people:
I'd rather be a failure at something I love than a success at something I hate.

George Burns (1896 - 1996)

Friday, December 15, 2006

tv

Last night "the office" Christmas episode was absolutely hilarious! That is by far one of the funniest shows on tv (#2 only to "the family guy"). In case you didn't know it, dwight has a blog (http://blog.nbc.com/DwightsBlog/) which is amusing at times. So, in honor of Dwight and his Christmas Goose (heh), here are some interesting facts about geese:

Geese Facts

Next fall when you see geese heading south for the winter... flying along in V formation...you might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way:

As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in V formation the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range, than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going more quickly and easily because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone... and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point. It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs...with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. What do we say when we honk from behind?

Finally...and this is important...when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshots, and falls out of formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies, and only then do they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.

And Finally a true short story for you:

The following is a direct quote from the Center for Strategic and International Studies report on GLOBAL ORGANIZED CRIME.

FBI agents conducted a raid of a psychiatric hospital in San Diego that was under investigation for medical insurance fraud. After hours of reviewing thousands of medical records, the dozens of agents had worked up quite an appetite. The agent in charge of the investigation called a nearby pizza parlor with delivery service to order a quick dinner for his colleagues.

The following telephone conversation took place and was recorded by the FBI because they were taping all conversations at the hospital.

Agent: Hello. I would like to order 19 large pizzas and 67 cans of soda.
Pizza Man: And where would you like them delivered?
Agent: We're over at the psychiatric hospital.
Pizza Man: The psychiatric hospital?
Agent: That's right. I'm an FBI agent.
Pizza Man: You're an FBI agent?
Agent: That's correct. Just about everybody here is.
Pizza Man: And you're at the psychiatric hospital?
Agent: That's correct. And make sure you don't go through the front (go) to the service entrance to deliver the pizzas.
Pizza Man: And you say you're all FBI agents?
Agent: That's right. How soon can you have them here?
Pizza Man: And everyone at the psychiatric hospital is an FBI agent?
Agent: That's right. We've been here all day and we're starving.
Pizza Man: How are you going to pay for all of this?
Agent: I have my checkbook right here.
Pizza Man: And you're all FBI agents?
Agent: That's right. Everyone here is an FBI agent. Can you remember to bring the pizzas and sodas to the service entrance in the rear? We have the front doors locked.
Pizza Man: I don't think so.
Click.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

flat tires and yo mama

so this morning I was taking luke to school and dropped him off and proceeded on my way home to make another school round drop off. Well, i proceeded on my way home for 20 feet. I hear a pffftt...K-lunk, K-lunk, K-lunk. I stop, get out of the Jeep and walk around. I ran over a big tie down strap with the metal hook stuck in my tire. Well, I can't go around with this thing slapping my jeep so I decide to pull it out. After working it, psssssssssss....a big hole in the tire.

"Hmmmmm." I wonder to myself. "How long do I have before this is flat? 5 Minutes, 10 Minutes. Hmmmmm."

I decide to get in the Jeep, call Lisa and tell her I have to go fix-a-flat and try to think of the nearest tire place. I get to the tire place with only a few moments to spare (the tire would not have even lasted 5 minutes - it only took me two to get there. Hey with a jeep I can take shortcuts, right?). So I am in the tire store, all the guys are loving my Jeep. They can't believe I am actually driving it on the road (all of my tires are apparently bald - I've never really looked at that before, but with a Jeep having 113K miles and only the 2nd set of tires...it's about time) but they think it's cool nonetheless.

Well, I get pricing on new tires (which I've been looking at anyway, in a dreaming sort of way...now with more focus and attention...hahahah) and me and the guy are talking and joking around (seems he has a jeep too, with big 36" tires, etc. - except his is done right, he spent about $7K on lifting his, not just buying tires and risers) about people who just buy big tires and wonder why they can;t off-road that well. And he confirmed for me that stock jeep tires and set-up is better than 90% of people out there who think big tires can "do it all".

Anyway, we were joking around and I start laughing out loud and from the back, out of nowhere a guy comes out and asks? "Um, is one of you (he said my name)? I know that laugh." I turned around, slightly shocked and said, "It's me."
"Oh my gosh! I knew I heard your laugh, how in the H311, are you?"
Turns out a buddy of mine from back in the day of skateboarding/snowboarding and real yo mama jokes (who rode a lot with us) works there. So, we caught up a lot - 'Wormy' (another guy) got married and apparently bred, which sounds scary...hahahahahaha, friends that are in jail, places that they live, etc. It was fun. But it seriously cracked me up that he heard my laugh and came out and thought of me and I haven't seen him in at least 10-12 years. Too Funny!

Oh well, there's my morning.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

the much anticipated 2fer

i know i've been slack the past few days, but I really have been pretty busy. And today I'm going to share with you some of the things I've been learning and the impact those things will - not could, but will - have on your life. ;)

1 - Generation C(ash) - This is what's happening! Think of revver.com, ebay, fon, metacafe, Vitamin T, etc. If you know about these sites, that is essentially the makings/beginnings of the C(ash). You can read all about it here if you want to learn more. Thanks to www.trendwatching.com.

2 - NTI.org - this is a little group that is very interesting. Yes, I get their mail. Yes, I've gotten their stuff. Yes, I like it. Yes, I'm in. hahahahaha It is very interesting and you should look it up. It's basically a group (think big and powerful group) that has been put together to combat the growing threat of nuclear terrorism and war. Reminds me of back in the day, Red Dawn and all that. Except now, there are other enemies.

OK - there's my 2fer for global happenings...

Now here's my 2fer for personal happenings....hahahahaha ---- the bonus round...

1 - last night we had a board of directors dinner party for a board I'm on and we couldn't find a babysitter, so the kidoodles came along. Luke is the funniest kid I've seen in a while...he decides to start pantomiming all the Christmas music by just mouthing the word "watermelon". Not only that, but he is swaying and making facial expressions all the while. I'm telling ya now...I think we have a replacement for Frank Sinatra...except we just need to get him to actually sing. hahahahahahaha

2 - Our new office is looking pretty sweet. It should all be finished painting tomorrow. It's going to look nice, a really really nice. And...to add to that - we may be having an addition to our office sooner than initially expected. We have an opportunity to work with some people from a MusicTeleVision station and a MIghtyCoolReallyOsomeSOFTware and gaming company to get into game development for a certain OS that is slowly coming out and a neat gaming system by the same company. ;) hehehehe This is really exciting. I will let you know more about it when I officially can. ;) We are having another meeting today about it...wohoo.

oh well...that's about it...hope that makes up for the past few days of slacking... ;)

out

Friday, December 08, 2006

job applications

First, starting a new company that lots of people want to be involved in is an awesome experience. However, when we get resume's etc. and applications that go with them, the people don't always have the right qualifications for the job. See the example below - the name has been changed to protect the innocent...

NAME: Greg Bulmash

DESIRED POSITION: Reclining. Ha ha. But seriously, whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't be applying here in the first place.

DESIRED SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer and we can haggle.

EDUCATION: Yes.

LAST POSITION HELD: Target for middle-management hostility.
SALARY: Less than I'm worth.

MOST NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT:
My incredible collection of stolen pens and post-it notes.

REASON FOR LEAVING: It sucked.

HOURS AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.

PREFERRED HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.

DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?:
Yes, but they're better suited to a more intimate environment.

MAY WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?:
If I had one, would I be here?

DO YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?:
Of what?

DO YOU HAVE A CAR?:
I think the more appropriate question here would be "Do you have a car that runs?"

HAVE YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?:
I may already be a winner of the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes.

DO YOU SMOKE?: Only when set on fire.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?
Living in Bimini with a fabulously wealthy super model who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like to be doing that now.

DO YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: No, but I dare you to prove otherwise.

SIGN HERE: Scorpio with Libra rising.

Needless to say, we hired this person. ;)

jk - I thought it would be funny to say that...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

News to get you going...

Everyone knows I love news...i love to read and i always read things that interest me and/or things that i have an area of expertise in. Well, here a a few news items that have popped up recently, that didn't make a big splash everywhere, but nonetheless, I thought you should be aware of them.

1 - We are not as smart as we think we are. ;) Check this article out about a device that was found in 1901 that is estimated to be VERY old. Turns out, they think it was some type of calculator. Interesting.

2 - Think space exploration is dead? Well, I'm sure you heard about the "water" being found on Mars yesterday so I won't get into that (however that is interesting too), but NASA is planning on going back to the moon and colonizing in about 10-15 years. Hmmmm....I wonder if I could get in on early real estate development there???

3 - Last, but certainly not least, my absolutely favorite article. I knew this could be done, but didn't realize 2 things - a) it would be made public and confirmed and b) that it's use would actually be viable in a court case. Seems the FBI are using cell phones to tape conversations. Let me rephrase that...they are using your cell phones to tape conversations. ;) This is why I would never have a Nextel phone (which I knew all about) - however (being out of certain circles for a little while) I didn't realize the RAZR phones did this too. There may be a new XplodAphone video coming soon for my phone (a RAZR.) hahahahaha ;)

oh well...maybe these articles will put you into therapy for today instead of helping your therapy out.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

From a Magazine Ad for a Translation Company in France

"In order to guarantee the homogeneity and quality of the translated text, we consider that terminologyis the major deal, the obliged passage. We are relying on our basic terminological data of the concerned area and taking into account the specific terminology of the company involved after she has validated it.

Besides, the computer toolls we use allow us to enrich continuously customer's terminology all along the cooperation process between him and us.

Passing the source text through the lemmatiser allows the lexical analysis which creates the list of missing terms. The appropriate vocabulary being available in the system, it makes out a gross translation, technically correct."

HAHAHAHAHAHAH too funny...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

the twofer

1 - My new job ROCKS! I had no idea how fun work could be! I also had no idea how much of a need there is for what we are doing. I mean seriously...I am having lunch today with a friend of mine "DK" who is a producer at a certain Music TeleVision network (hehe) about it. He is stoked about what we are doing and who knows how far this could go...simply awesome!

2 - I got to see a preview of the new cover that the fam is on and it looks really good. Lisa and kids approve as well. It should be out January. When it comes out, I'll get one and post it here. Who knows, you may even get one in the mail...hahahahaha - too cool.

l8r

Monday, December 04, 2006

beginnings and endings...

First - this is a great book. you should read it. It only takes an hour or so to finish.
Second - this is the quote for today.

But all endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time.
Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, pg. 1 line 3-4

Friday, December 01, 2006

the 3 racehorses

Three racehorses were standing in a stable bragging to each other one day. The first horse boasts "I've been in 59 races and I've won 35 of them." "That's nothing," says the second horse. "I've raced 97 times, and I've won 78 of them!" The third horse joins in: "Well, I've raced 122 times and I've won 102!" Just then, the horses hear a voice say, "I've got you all beat!" The horses look down and sees a greyhound. "I've raced over 200 times, and I have NEVER lost!" The horses look at the dog in amazement. One of them says "How about that! A talking dog!"