Llais Ifanc Reloaded

Friday, April 29, 2005

On Cloud Nine!

Thursday was a very good day!

I went to the library, for the first time in weeks. I found new tidbits to use in my Wikipedia article about the flag of the TTPI. The book the flag tidbits were in was very good, and very detailed. I think I might get a copy! I also got a good look at Dell Axim PDA. From what I've seen, it looks and works very well. Our friends at the CIA updated the World Factbook ! I am on clound nine! I can't wait to get the dead-tree edition later on this year. I have been waiting patentlly for it. I first saw the printed version the government bookstore seels and it amazined me. The colors on the maps were fresh, and overall it had a better look. It's way better than the Brassey's/Potomac Books reprint - by a mile.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Cleaning the office

Last week was interesting on the Apprentice. For the first time I can remember, they were all asked to meet in his office. Once there, he introduced them to the folks at Staples. They were asked to design a product that would make life easier for offices. It would also be shown to a group of store managers. That week, Magna chosise Craig as the leader. He put the law on them by asking them to write down what ideas they had, which made Kendra a bit annoyed. They then met with Staples and were told that it was good not do to things anew, but to start with what they had. After this, Tana and Kendra went on talking to folks in the store, asking them what they wanted. Craig did not help at all. The focus group reveled thar people were into stackable shelf dividers. At Staples, the row between Kendra and Craig got a bit worse when Craig talked to her slowly. That made her angry. They also disagreed over the use of folders. Before Magna's presentation, the row blew up with Kendra and Craig trading charges of lying and talking down (in Craig's case). Their gadget ended up being a all-in-one cubby system that was a little big, but store everything in it's place.

Net Worth was down to just Bren and Alex, who had became friends. They decided to go to an R&D lab to see what they had. Thy also wanted to have a focus group. They started with a fatal flaw: they wanted to contact the folks at Staples. They tried this twice, but the cell phone dropped their call. Bad idea. Their focus group failed. Net Worth's idea ended up being a separate desk to store papers, which left the design team shaking their heads.What resulted was a mess. Their product ended up being a cart with holes and the bottom and an in/out basket shielded by plastic. It really stunk. They lost and it was no surprise.

The boardroom was very good. It seemed that Bren and Alex had brainwashed themselves into thinking the cart was perfect. The focus group hated, as did the Staple's folks. George was amazed at the lack of creativity out of them. Neither of them understood it. The conversation then turned to risk. Bren admitted he had none. He also admitted that he was learning how to take risk and not liking it. Alex ran off a rap sheet of things he had done, such as being an athlete, going to law school, lobbying on K Street, studying in Israel. With this Bren couldn't match up. He was too timid and meek. Trump didn't want to train some at that level. For that, he got fired.

What can I say?

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Goodbye Jim

Last week, Jim Jeffords (I-VT) decided to retire from the Senate in 2006. For those what have been under a rock over the past four years, Senator Jeffords was the senator who defected from the GOP to Independent status. In doing this, he aligned himself with the Democrats, giving the party a working majority for eight months. With this, he committed an act of political courage. Today, most politicians are yes-fish, creatures of the party culture and the special interests who feed them cash. Jeffords spit in the face of this culture. As a moderate to liberal Democrat, I will miss him. He has earned a well-deserved place in history.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

One Car, Two Pamphlets

Last weeks Apprentice was interesting. Trump asked the teams to draft a pamphlet for the Pontiac Solstice. Before they got to work, Bren moved over to Net Worth, which had been completely decimated over the weeks. I thought Kendra would get the nod, but I was wrong for reasons I shall get to. After the teams were reshuffled, they went to work.

Magna did pretty well last week. This doesn't mean they had problems. From the start, it seemed the on-going row between Kendra and Craig heated up again. I feel something will happen with them. Anyway, they had a solid idea. They wanted to bring out the emotion of the buyer as they looked at the car. To make this happen, they polled a group of random joes and based their pamlet off the feedback. As night fell, the hours dragged on. Kendra, who was used to this chugged on. Craig and Tana protested her late-night work ethic and completed the papmlet without help from the team. The next morning, they were impressed. When it came time to show their idea, Kendra tried to speak, but was muzzled in a way by Tana. Not good at all.

Net Worth was their usual incompetent selves last week. The trio had no plan and no sense of direction. They went to their photo shoot just taking photos of girls on the car trunk. Alex forgot a photo Bren wanted of the car's logo. Things got worse when their pamphlet was finished. The text was lifeless and bland. The third page had the car out of focus and blurry. The folks at Pontiac were not impressed. Guess who they chose?

The boardroom was ugly. Trump used a unique technique in weeding out the chap to be fired; he shamed them with the other teams pamphlet and they admitted that Magna's work was better. Chris and Bren were faulted for the text, which was lifeless and dull (i've read it). Alex got barbs for sleeping and not doing anything about it. Chris seemed like a man spent. He himself said he was impressed with the car and would buy it. As the end drew near, Trump said Chris would be a success, but had to keep watch over his temper. After the glowing words, he was fired. As he left the boardroom, he shed some tears.

I feel sorry for him in a way.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Is This Perfection?

Recently palmOne released the Tungsten E2. It improves on the previous Tungsten E by adding Bluetooth, increased processor speed, a new version of Palm OS (5.4 to be exact), and a better screen (when compared to the Zire 31). Some things remain the same, such as MP3 capability and memory size. While this is a small step, I'm excited about the possibilities of Bluetooth. From what I've read, it seems to be pretty amazing technology. Having MP3 on there seems to be another plus; it means I won't have to carry about that many gadgets! I really hope it is pretty stable. Some display Tungsten E's I have seen lack this. There is one thing I don't like. I wish palmOne would get rid of the Graffiti silkscreen and switch completely to virtual Graffiti (now it's a pref). It would be a bit easier.

With everything I have seen, I can't wait to try it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Dressing for Failure

I got to see last week's Apprentice thanks to the DVR feature on the family's digital TV set.

But I digress...

Magna and Net Worth were asked to design clothing that had pockets for gadgets contained in them. Both teams were given 5000 USD to buy the gadgets needed. Magna pulled in another good peformance this week, designing a sports jersey with a pocket for a game boy, plus other clothing that allowed for placement of mobles and other gadgets. They polled customers in a store and found that cellphones were popular. Their presentation was very well done and convincing. Their was one minor speed bump with Kendra compaining about her lack of knowledge about women's clothing. After this, Tana snapped everyone back into shape.

Net Worth has sunk to its lowest point. It started with a terrible idea involing a jacket with a huge back pocket for a laptop. It seemed beyond silly; rather it seemed a wee bit dumb. Who would want to carry a huge laptop on their back? That's why cases were made. Things didn't get better. While shopping at Best Buy, Chris (who improved himself last week after realizing he had to stay in the game) lost the team's credit card and wasted a few hours hounding Best Buy until he got it back. If thought that was bad, here's more. When it came time to the presentation, Net Worth had a model who forgot a piece of clothing. Besides that, the team was late and Angie slurred her words during her presentation. In short, they lost.

The boardroom was tense. Angie got barbs for the bad presentation and Chris got it for his bad performance in general. Alex got told he was brought down by "losers" Chris and Angie.

The latter of the losers got fired.

It would not have been me.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Roll to Grow?

I watch a lot of TV. Too much - maybe - but I leave that to the reader.

In that time, I also see a lot of adverts. Most are for the hypocrites - (spiritual and temporal), issue ads, and the like.

Sometimes I have seen adverts for products that are downright weird. In this class, the Roll n Grow fills this niche. It claims to be a sheet filled with seeds you water with soil. Plants will spout if you make the effort.

Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit over the top and lazy? Did our ancestors spead their rug out and water? I don't think so! If you want to grow plants, try to do it the real way. Besides the lazy factor, is this seed-filled rug safe for the Earth?

If you want to waste 20 bucks (US$) on this gizmo, be my guest.

Rowing over Pizza

I finally was able to watch last weeks Apprentice.

Our teams were asked that week to build a pizza with toppings that Domino's rarely used. Both teams picked meatballs. While their topping of choice was the same, that's were the sameness ended.

Net Worth, who picked up Alex as a result of being one short compared to Magna, mainly focused on Street people and used hired temp workers to go into NYU sharing the joy of pizza. This appeared to not work to a great extent. The day before, Chris and Alex made a deal with some contractors in Brooklyn for pizza. Angie and Stephanie went to deliver their pizza the next day. While they did that, Chris and Alex almost got into it after Chris told Alex to get out of his face. It was a pretty tense moment. This, with the time wasted on the Brooklyn pizzas, slowed down Net Worth. Not good. Magna worked pretty well together. Kendra and Craig had a little row about not expressing ideas clearly. Their plan was to go into businesses and promote pizza. This worked with people coming to them in return. In short, they won.

The boardroom was a mesh of a few different things. Trump was unhappy with Chris and Alex's little row and Stephanie repeated assured Trump and his chiefs that she could manage Chris. She prodded him over his smokeless tobacco habit (he had quit) temper, and fowl words. Apparently, she expected everything to be neat and orderly.

Sometimes its not that way. By her words, Stephanie failed to convince Trump she could manage. For that she got fired.

It was time for her to go.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Now He Belongs to the Ages, Part 4

Today, the Pope has died.

He was a man of peace who tried his best to bring humanity together, no matter their race or creed. I have always thought the Pope was a true man of God. He was also a beacon of truth and honesty in a world were these virtues took a back seat.

He will be missed.