Monday, December 22, 2008
WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL THESE?? Can I throw them away? Bury them? No. I make a blog post with cute pictures of Lilah wearing "Daddy's hats."
I'm guessing this is what Brian and I looked like when we were kids. Lilah may not have to wear a cippah when she grows up (girls are required), but she's getting strong dose of Judaism this week. It's her first Hanukkah where she knows what presents are. And boy does she like them! One is never enough.
Note to the family: a "special treat" is not the same thing as a "present." In all situations, "presents" are preferred over "special treats."
P.S. Does anyone else remember the episode of Diff'rent Strokes (correct spelling) where Arnold Jackson wanted to become a Jew after going to services? And he wanted to wear a "yarmuckle," and his white friend (Robbie) told him he went to a special school 6 days a week? I may have only been 9, but that episode reeked of inauthenticity.
Glutes - the classier ass mag for the discerning pervert
American Cheerleader - when kiddie porn just isn't enough
Heeb - for all your kosher cravings
I wasn't sure this was the same brand at first. The change from tan to blue is a big deal, I think a little too drastic. But I love that the panda is more prominent, now a more prominent key visual for the brand. The design looks really good, especially the move from the quarts in paper cartons to the tetrapak (that's what they are called).
Thursday, December 18, 2008
We all hate the the new one, and so does the blogosphere. It's too much text, no appetite appeal, and walks away form the strong equity they had in the orange.
Hopefully, this will all be done by this time next week. But for now, the blog must give. Here's a list of some blog topics I'd love to write but likely never will:
- why I only like the red skittles
- how becoming a father has made me less fearful of authority in general
- the deliciousness of fried foods (especially seafood)
- why short plane rides are worse than longer ones
- my winter coat is too warm for this weather
- brands started in the Civil War period, when it become necessary for goods to be shipped in smaller containers. Before that, everything was sent to grocers in barrels and displayed in store with no additional information besides what the grocer chose to display
- countries will eventually brand themselves not for tourism, but for influence on the world stage
- why I'd rather work for a small company than a big one
- why I need a new guitar
Saturday, December 06, 2008
- Have mentioned how much I love the television in my bedroom? I do.
- The cable box in the bedroom causes a problem. When I watch something in 4:3 resolution, the bars on left and right side are gray. This is very distracting, but there is no way to change it. All DVRs from Time Warner have gray as a fixed color (so they tell me). Grrr...
- I have been sick. It has sucked. My throat has been sore and clogged. My nose has been stuffed and my sinuses too sore to blow. I'm starting to feel better in time for Eagles vs. Giants tomorrow.
- I recently bought a bag of caramel creams. I loves me some caramel creams.
- Apples have replaced bananas as my favorite fruit. I prefer Fuji, though Harley likes Macoun. If anyone knows the whereabouts of some Mutsus, please let us know.
- I love my new toaster oven the same way I loved my new lazer tag kit when I was 12.
- Lilah's newest phrases: "I crying!" (when she needs attention or is upset) and "No hair wet" before the bath. Both phrases are sadly ignored by Mommy and Daddy.
- Had a bad meeting at work on Friday afternoon and now it's all I can think about. Supposed to be on vacation on Monday but now have to go in to deal with it. It's times like these I must remember that I always have stress about something and must try to deal with it. Maybe that's why I like weed.
- I've been wondering, am I a good parent? I think so, but who knows? Am I doing this right? Do I let my kid watch too much TV? Do I read to her enough? I'm pretty sure I'm doing alright. She's happy and healthy. But it makes me wonder if my parents asked the same questions. I'm guessing yes. This whole thing is a guessing game. It's nice to have some sense of connect with what my parents must have gone through. Now I understand why my dad had a panic attack when he heard he was having twins.
- I loved the last few posts on Mary's blog. They seem to be having some similar thoughts as my above comment.
- I handed in my first draft of my final paper. It's about how television is making oral communication more powerful, as it was before TV and Print. For instance, ancient Greeks communicated primarily through orality. Politics, news, everything had to be oral because there was little writing and no electronic media. Writing came and changed how people perceive the world, more analytical and objective. Today, TV is instantaneous and everywhere. The spoken word is once again the powerful medium it used to be. This still needs work.
- I spellchecked but did NOT proofread this blog. Let it be, let it be.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Here is a scene with a young President Bartlett:
Here is the last scene of that episode:
50-Rules For My Unborn Son
8. Never side against your brother in a fight.
14. When in doubt, wear a tie.
22. If you get yourself arrested, call me. You get one free pass.
24. Order the local specialty.
28. When singing karaoke, choose a song within your range.
40. If you make a mistake, forgive yourself and move on.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
This is a cool history of the brand from 1898 to now, highlighting the company's 110 year history including the debut of the new logo and packaging across all product lines.
When the logo was unveiled last week, it received somewhat of a lukewarm reception. Some people like it, seeing the new design as sleek, simple and refined. They say it's a welcome change from the rather boxy typeface used since 1962. I miss what I know.
Friday, November 14, 2008
This cultural history explains the European settlement of the United States as voluntary migrations from four English cultural centers.
- Families of zealous, literate Puritan yeomen and artisans from urbanized East Anglia established a religious community in Massachusetts (1629-40)
- Royalist cavaliers headed by Sir William Berkeley and young, male indentured servants from the south and west of England built a highly stratified agrarian way of life in Virginia (1640-70)
- Egalitarian Quakers of modest social standing from the North Midlands resettled in the Delaware Valley and promoted a social pluralism (1675-1715)
- By far the largest migration (1717-75), poor borderland families of English, Scots, and Irish fled a violent environment to seek a better life in a similarly uncertain American backcountry
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
The group from Manhattan had a float and men's choir singing patriotic songs (figures!). But what struck me most was the banner on the back of the float.
"Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."
I never thought that Vietnam Vets held any anger at WWII Vets for not sticking up for them in the anti-war 60s-70s. I guess some do. Wow.
Friday, November 07, 2008
No, it's Finish!!
This is not just bad packaging. It's bad strategy. If there aren't willing to walk away from Electrasol, then why are they bothering to change the name? This says that the brand has a certain amount of brand recognition and equity. It's so valuable, that they need to do a slow migration to change the name so they don't lose customers.
But they will lose customers. This is a brand in limbo. It doesn't know what it stands for. How can they persuade people to keep buying it?They didn't even bother to change the design. They just slapped a violator calling out the new name.
They should have done either of the following
1. gone to Finish now and added a violator saying "this used to be Electrasol"
* Campbell's went from "Select" to "Select Harvest" in this fashion
2. keep the name Electrasol but redesign it, rebrand the brand it
* I do this for a living
I say #2. This brand clearly has a heartbeat, and it's cheaper to fix and existing brand than create a new one. Plus, Electrasol could be a cool name. It's electric, it's bright like the sun, and could even work well with a retro 50's-pop art theme to match it's overstylized imagery of the glass.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
• He's the real-life Ari's brother. His youngest brother Ariel (Ari) Emanuel is a founder of the Endeavor talent agency in Hollywood and was an inspiration for Jeremy Piven's character, Ari Gold, on HBO’s Entourage. Not to be outdone, Rahm is said have been a model for Bradley Whitford's character, Josh Lyman, on The West Wing.
• He could have been a ballet dancer. He studied ballet as a teen and was offered a scholarship to join the renowned Joffrey Ballet, but went to Sarah Lawrence College instead.
• He's missing part of a finger. In his youth, Emanuel badly cut a finger on a meat slicer while working at an Arby's. The wound became infected, and he lost half of the middle finger on his right hand.
• He volunteered with the Israeli army. During the first Gulf War, he did a stint as a civilian volunteer with the Israel Defense Forces, rust-proofing brakes on a base in northern Israel.
• He once sent a rotten dead fish to a political enemy. In the Clinton administration, his take-no-prisoners style earned him the nickname "Rahm-bo."
What do you know, it's a Black and a Jew in the White House!!!
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome.
Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.
But McCain's concession speech was the most interesting. I saw one clear expression on his face: RELIEF. He was happy to be done, no more struggling being the underdog, and people questioning his judgment (which sucks). Too much worrying for an older man. He was great. If he had been like this the whole campaign, he might have had a chance!
Plus, I think McCain is happy to be able to stop fighting with Obama. McCain is a good politician and a honorable man. I'm sure he sees the potential in Obama. McCain has a history of bi-partisanship and getting behind the president (remember him hugging Bush?). He may trun out to be an ally in the senate. He could help move the Republican party more toward the center instead of off into right-minded obscurity. But I doubt it (he'll likely retire sooner rather than later).
As we've all noted, McCain seemed annoyed and angry at his supporters. He was very clear that Obama won hands down and that all Americans should get behind him. I wish he had yelled "Did you not hear a word I just said?" But they are a mob that his negative campaign created. He needs to accept the monster that he has created or do a better job of turning them from the Dark Side.
Think about it, Bush beat McCain twice: in 2000 and 2008. Sucks to be him. But luckily, that helped lead to this:
Friday, October 31, 2008
Here's my beautiful wife in her "harley pose" displaying a life-size picture of the actual size of a 20-week fetus (which is about where we are). The kid is huge! But he weighs just about 1 pound.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
downtown Toronto is on the left
Monday, October 27, 2008
The Tanqueray is very close to where it is today (see below). The font and bottle are the same, so it the red stamp. They added the silver "London Dry Gin" strip, which adds some class. Beefeater had more serious changes. Now it has a clear label and the city scape on the back. It's a lot nicer.
I also snagged an unopened bottle of Chivas Regal and some bitters. Does booze go bad? Cause this shit hasn't been touched in 15 years or more.
The branding (logo) is close-in to the original and now much stronger. It's a little bigger with the outline around the heart. The lid has been changed a bit; maybe it's easier to use now. I don't know. The cup of coffee at the bottom looks better, too. It's one of the key equities for the brand.
(The bottles are shrink wrapped. When the film gets heated and shrinks to the bottle, it can warp the graphics where the bottle's neck comes in. The cup is so important, that they put the cup at the bottom, where it's safe, and the logo at the top where it may warp.
My big BIG problem is the flavor name. It's hard to see in this image, and in real life. They should have made it darker to pop off the yellow banner, but I'm sure it works better on the blue of French Vanilla.
All in all, good job. Now I have to bug my Nestle client for more work.
Friday, October 24, 2008
December 29, 1997
Taken under RUSH circumstances at Penn State University. I had just spent all night cramming for a final and didn't get to shower. It was very early and very cold. Windy. I had to walk a while to get to the office, which was in the middle of nowhere. My lips were really chapped. I knew I'd be looking at this picture in the future when the camera clicked. My co-worker said I look like a criminal. I told her I was supposed to look like Eddie Vedder.
October 24, 2008
Also taken under RUSH circumstances at the Empire State Building in a Walgreen's. Had to negotiate with the CFO on who will pay ridiculous rush charges. I suck at negotiating. Was waiting for the company to cut the check and went downstairs to get the photo. Needed to rush. It was 2:12pm and I was in a rush to get back for a 3pm call. Taken with what looked like an outdated Kodak camera, this was the first take.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
This conversation confirms another core belief of mine: politics should be boring. Once Obama starts getting into how a flat tax with increase the sales tax, I tune out. But Obama keeps going because there are a huge number of factors that need to be considered in any policy issue.
Obama's answer was good. He didn't hesitate before jumping into the details, which impressed me. It wasn't what Joe wanted to hear, but he remained true to his campaign promises.
It's been on shelf a few weeks now, maybe longer. I worked on this brand. We were in a "bake off" with 2 other agencies where we did a design exploratory, with the winner getting the full project. I spent a lot time with this brand, including staying at the office till 2am before a 6am flight the next day, and an overnight trip to Tampa for research. We didn't win, but I did play a role.
I think the new pack looks great. Not sure who did it, but good job. The cat is cute and looks engaged with the product. Flavors are easily differentiated, and the branding changed just enough to look better but still look familiar.
I hate working on pet foods. There are never any good pictures of animals. None. You have to go out and shoot them, which is so expensive that no one does it. "This cat looks sad." "It's too fat." "Can you make it smile?" Yes, I have seen pictures where we turned the cat's mouth into a creepy smile.
We have HD Tivo in the living room, but Time Warner DVR in the bedroom (to save money). There's been a lot of talk about which one is better in our household, so let me list my pros and cons for each:
- easy-to-use on screen interface
- simple, intuitive remote control
- able to suggest shows based on my ratings
- can play games when connected to the internet
- gives my "TiVo-casts" from The Onion and NY Times, which I love
- makes Harley happy
- extensive search function
- excellent view of TV grid
- the ability for strict parental controls on shows
- limited options when creating a season pass
- expensive (though not when you break it out over 3+ years)
- no picture-in-picture between tuners
TIME WARNER DVR
- cheaper than TiVo (at least in the short term)
- does not require an internet connection
- picture-in-picture between tuners
- search function quick and easy to get to, though not as extensive
- easy to adjust season pass options
- remote has an internal light to help me navigate
- limited options when creating a season pass
- limited view of TV grid
- remote control is big and cumbersome (the "Live" button is right next to Fast Forward!!)
- bare bones, no "extras"
- no ratings, no suggestions
THE WINNER = TiVo
The Time Warner HD is surprisingly awesome. It has some features that are great, and I love that there is no secondary interface separating me from my cable company. But the remote control is a deal breaker. There are so many damn buttons that I need to look everytime I want to do something. I may memorize them all, but them buttons are so small that it may always be difficult.
TiVo's remote is simpler and easier. And since that is the only way to communicate with the TV, it's a big deal. The suggestions may not sound like a big deal, but they really help (especially with Lilah shows). The TiVo casts are fun and I would miss them. I may not need TiVo, but it's very nice. Plus, Harley can't live without it (for now).
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
We should all be asking what we, as American citizens, can do to help.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
I married into the family, but Mammy felt like family from the moment I met her. Warm, kind, open and generous with love, she had a twinkle in her eye and a spring in her step. She lived with a vibrancy I would wish for anyone her age.
Last Sunday, we came to visit Mammy in the hospital and had some true quality time. She and I were alone for a few minutes. It was Sunday, and she didn’t mind if I put the football game on.
The Giants were playing, which reminded her of Poppy. “Every Sunday, he could not be disturbed,” she said. We agreed Poppy and I would have gotten along, despite the fact that I’m an Eagles fan.
She then told me that she thought I was a great guy. She told everyone what a great guy her grand-daughter had married.
This wasn’t just mammy being polite. It was an open, sincere approval and appreciation. Being told you’re a good husband and father from the matriarch of this family is a moment that will stick with me forever.
I told her I loved her, and I meant it. Her eyes softened with a smile and she mouthed I love you too. I know it she meant it because I didn’t just hear it, I felt it.
Mammy loved her family and enjoyed having everyone around. She would be proud of her legacy and joyous that we are all here together today.
Let us not be here to mourn Anne Nassi’s passing but celebrate her life. Mammy had an amazing life and was lucky in so many ways.
- She had her husband come home to her after being in harm’s way in the thick of World War II. That marriage lasted for 55 years.
- She raised 3 children and was able to spoil her 6 grand-children.
- She beat cancer twice.
- She was active in her community, always with friends, and went out dancing well into her 80’s. - Her daughter even had to give her a curfew so she wouldn't come home so late at night.
She lived a long, happy life. But honestly, we’re the lucky ones for having had her for so much time.
So, good-bye Mammy. I’ll take good care of Harley and keep my eye on Neil (my father-in-law).
Please watch over our children and let them feel your presence. I love you. I miss you, and I’ll take you wherever I go.
P.S. Once you get settled, look up Frances Heller. You and my Mom-mom would get along great. I think she even plays mah-jong.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Friday, October 03, 2008
According to Wikipedia:
In August 1968, a program of severe torture began on McCain. He was subjected to rope bindings and repeated beatings every two hours, at the same time as he was suffering from dysentery. Further injuries led to the beginning of a suicide attempt, which was stopped by guards.
After four days, McCain made an anti-American propaganda "confession". He has always felt that his statement was dishonorable, but as he would later write, "I had learned what we all learned over there: Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine." His injuries left him permanently incapable of raising his arms above his head. He subsequently received two to three beatings per week because of his continued refusal to sign additional statements.
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I saw a documentary about an obesity clinic, a facility where the treat the morbidly obese and help them get thin and healthy. Richard Simmons was coming for a visit, and the place got very excited. There cameras, decorations, and a big gathering (like a high school assembly) where they were going to have a big exercise class. Everyone was excited.
They also focused on 1 guy who had previously met Richard and lost a lot of weight. He left the clinic too soon, against Richard's orders, and gained back all the weight. He met Richard in the lobby so he could get those few extra minutes with him. Richard was sad to see he was back but encouraging that he could lose the weight. "Don't you give up! Don't you leave me!"
These are people going through some very difficult problems. Their bodies are working against them. Their minds make it hard to get themselves healthy. Richard Simmons not only makes an effort to support them but (this may sound strange) makes an effort to give them dignity.
He's flamboyant, effeminate, and shameless. But the man is doing something for a group of people that most of us would never speak to or not understand. He's creating a legacy that most of us would be proud of. If only he'd stop wearing those short shorts.
P.S. Joe Biden rules.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I don't watch this show and won't start because of these ads. But it does make me see Showtime as a more of an HBO, a pay-cable channel that is worth the cost for the original programming. And if they make the next season of Weeds as good as this one has be, then we'll all be happy.