august, 1, 2004 archives

budgeting for advertising and customer experience makes a very good point. (via

monstrous regiment by terry pratchett is another recent discworld book. if i had a daughter, i’d want her to read this sort of book. it’s a girl-dresses-as-boy-to-join-the-army story with lots of fun twists. i really should go back and read some of the early discworld books, although the story certainly stands on its own. i just feel like i’m probably missing some of the references. (but this was down in the popular library section when i was grabbing some books for my recent traveling.)

american sucker by david denby was a largely disappointing book. it’s a largely autobiographical story about how the author planned to make a million bucks in the stock market so he could buy out his wife’s portion of their new york apartment while they were divorcing, and instead wound up losing his shirt.

the book just failed to grab me in any significant way. if he had focused more on his personal problems during the period, or approached it with more of a sense of humor, it might have been more engaging. but he didn’t, and it isn’t.

ask got a digital projector for watching movies and playing games, and reports great satisfaction.

i wonder if it is worth saving money on the projector in favor of getting a screen at the same time. (that is, whether a lower cost projector plus a screen is a better investment than a higher cost projector alone.)

with bulbs going for $300 a piece, it's probably only a matter of time until they start pricing the projectors even lower (and adding circuitry to tie you to the vendor's replacement bulbs...).

i'll probably wait for sony's black screen hits the market before going to a projector, but making the move to a projector is very much on my mind. there’s just not a whole lot i can do to cut down the ambient light in my apartment, especially during the day.

nuts!: southwest airlines’ crazy recipe for business and personal success by kevin freiberg and jackie freiberg seemed like an appropriate piece of reading while traveling (although i didn’t fly southwest at all). it was recommended by the ceo of my company.

the authors are quasi-insiders, working as consultants for the company and being granted access to documentation about the company that really helps them tell their story. it does end up being a bit puffy, though, so it takes some critical reading.

one thing i found interesting was that the company really makes an effort (or made — the book is a bit old) to communicate with its employees as much as possible. there’s no fear of overwhelming them with information: more is more. that’s the sort of thing i appreciate. i’m constantly digging into the archives of internal mailing lists that i’m not on, just so i know what is going on. it’s mail that i have to deal with that creates a headache.

the book is a good companion to a&e’s airline, which is a behind-the-scenes look at southwest. (there's also airline uk, which does the same for easyjet, and airport, which does it for heathrow.)

watching those shows, you really start to appreciate the value of being conservative when dealing with getting to the airport early, being flexible with your travel plans (not trying to arrive at the last minute), and most of all, not getting wasted at the airport bar.

something i noticed reading the amazon reviews for the other book by the same authors: some nutty reviews that just don’t make any sense (although some of the game reviews do make sense).

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