How many have to die?

I was recently in New York City for a meeting, and on the way from the airport to the city, we passed by a rather large cemetery.

This got me wondering, I wonder if there’s any way to figure out how many people have died since the first person walked the earth.

I imagine it’s quite a few…

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In 2008, I joined a start up called NewTunes. While the development team was working on building and launching our product, I decided to build some traffic to our site in anticipation of the launch so we could hit the ground running.

Our product was music related, so I focused the blog on description and progress reports on the site to come and music-related posts. Until our product was to launch, the website – – was my blog.

It was great experience. By focusing on writing and promoting the blog, I had the chance to learn a great deal about SEM (search engine marketing), using social media and content development and strategy (along with getting paid to find and talk about our site and some great new music).

Unfortunately, we flamed out in early 2009, as did the website. But having put all the work into it, I maintained the WordPress back end and made it my own – this site.

My intent with it was to have a place to write. With this site, I was simply going to record observations, ideas, perceptions and thoughts with the intent that my daughter could look back on this whenever she got around to being interested in such things.

This has since been a private place for me. I don’t publicize it anywhere, and I get nearly no traffic. I realize this is on the Internet and the URL is fairly simple and clear, but I had always considered this my place to write what I wanted. Until now…

It appears several of my work colleagues have discovered the site. That’s generally fine, as I don’t usually write about observations and work, though there are a few here and there, to be sure. But I guess it does mean that I have to be a bit more careful, which isn’t really anything I want to do in my personal space.

What’s most interesting to me about being discovered is that no one has said a word to me about it, which is consistent with the Seattle culture, I guess. Even more impressive that one person read over 80 posts and never said a word about it.

In Wisconsin, if people at work had discovered their colleague had a blog, they’d be actively calling it out – probably in front of the entire office. They’d be sharing it around and people would be asking questions about or simply making fun of the content.

But in this office, I was told of at least four people who found it, and none of them said a word to me.

I’ve often remarked how amazed I am that we went through a very contentious 2012 Presidential election, and somehow, I never heard one word or conversation about it at work the entire year. In fact, I didn’t hear a word about it in social circles, either.

Again, having worked in Wisconsin during the 2000, 2004 and 2008 elections, people were actively debating, discussing and even arguing issues and topics all the time in the workplace.

I love Seattle, and moving here was one of the most significant and best decisions I’ve ever made. But I wish people around here were more interested, comfortable or fearless about saying what they’re thinking. I’m not sure what holds people back, but this city can get pretty boring and uninteresting with all the small talk. It’d be great to hear a meaty opinion about something now and again.

Anyway, since no one is interested in talking to me about my space, I guess I’ll welcome you all here, in this post. I hope you enjoy your time here.

Please note that I’m not here to passively aggressively insult anyone or share things that I wouldn’t say in person (there really are no such things). My hope is that my daughter will someday read this and a) learn from it, and b) get a little insight into who I am.

This space is meant for me, not for you. If you want to know the things I notice and think about and what my opinions really are, then stick around. If you find something here you don’t think appropriate or that might cause controversy, I recommend never coming back and not sharing it with others.


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The paradox of search

One of the foundations of search results is the more people click on a webpage, the higher it will show up in search.

What’s interesting about this is if someone posts a page with content someone doesn’t like, the more that person clicks on it and shares it with others, the higher it will rise in Google search rankings.

It all becomes a matter of scale. If there’s a page with content you don’t want people to see, you’d do best to only look at it once, don’t share it with anyone and post a rebuttal or comment if you think that it requires an answer.

Then be proactive and create content that better reflects what you want people to see. Once posted, share the link with as many as possible and try and generate more traffic to it than the one you’re trying to avoid.

But it’s funny to me how often people who don’t like the content of a page continue to share it with friends and click on it again and again.

And as an aside, it’s funny to me how easy it is to get the attention of people who use Google Alerts to alert them whenever anything about themselves hits the Internet. You need only write their name…


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The easiest headline to write

Here’s an article about how the Islamic State of Iraq (note that’s “Islam”) is ordering women between the ages of 11 and 46 to undergo genital mutilation in the name of the religion.

And the Republicans, who stand against this exact thing, are the ones leading the “War on Women?”

I get concerned for our country when so many people can’t do the simple math. Why would female conservatives and Republicans support a party that has launched a war on them? Similarly, why would Republicans want to pollute the environment when they have to breathe the same air as everyone else? (I could go on.)

Radical Islam, which is wholly supported by the very people who promoted this idea that there was ever a Republican “War on Women,” are the very people who quite deliberately make women second class (which might be a generous label) in their own society.

There’s a significant number of people in this country who better start to ponder a bit the things they hear from our elected officials…

(Oh, and the headline for this one? Any variant of “The real war on women,” will do.)

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Why do I always have to?

This morning, I got on the bus to go to work and it was about 300% humidity and easily over 75 degrees. The bus was fairly full, and I couldn’t help but wonder if anyone else was as uncomfortable as I was. There didn’t appear to be any windows that opened, so I went up to the driver and asked her to put on the air conditioning.

And I couldn’t help but wonder, why do I always have to be the one to solve the problem?

At concerts, if someone is having a conversation near me, it’s always me who has to tell them to be quiet (and maybe next time, don’t spend so much money on a concert ticket if you need to have a conversation with someone).

In an airplane, it’s always me who has to tell the person to stop clipping their nails on the plane.

If there’s a line of people entering the building, and they’re only opening one of the two doors into the building, it’ll always be me who goes to the front and opens the other door.

If the neighbor’s two dogs are outside barking at 1 am, it’ll always be me to go over to their house to ask them if they’re aware that their two dogs are currently barking in their backyard.

There’s no way, in the situations I just described, I’m the only person who notices these things and is bothered by them. But somehow, I’m the only one who ever confronts and solves the issue.

I have a hard time standing by when there are problems to be solved or issues to be confronted. I prefer to resolve them and move on instead of sitting by and wishing the offending person or situation would figure it out on their own and do something about it.

But being “that guy” gets tiring after awhile. It would be great to see someone else step up now and again to confront these things.

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Come ride with us

You never know what’s going to stick in your head, but I’ve always had a weakness for the power of a good jingle.

This ad used to run when I was young and growing up in Milwaukee. Ever since then, I’ve had “Come ride with us… on the bus,” rolling around somewhere in my head.

Why George Takei? I have no idea, but I bet the number of people riding the bus would have been much lower without him.

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Can you imagine what it would look like if you could make an acronym out of every word you’ve ever spoken?

Think about how much time you could have saved…

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