Monday, September 29, 2008

is it Palin's fault?

David's got a good post about the predicament of Sarah Palin. I don't really think it can be placed squarely on her shoulders. Yes she seems grossly overqualified
Palin reminds of the poor unfortunates in a sports draft. Someone thinks that a kid's got potential, or fills a void in the roster and drafts them much earlier than their talent would dictate.
As their career pans out they're booed and tormented by fans because they're just not that good.

I think Palin is very similar. She appeared to be perfectly complimentary to McCain, young & female. Except there was one other compliment : incompetence (perhaps not so complimentary depending on your party lines). Now it appears to be a knee-jerk decision to steal the clinton camp.

Just like the athletes, it's not their fault they were selected. Most overrated athletes didn't ask to have a team built around them, it wasn't their choice. They were selected in the draft and given a big fat contract and opportunity. If the Republican party approached you tomorrow and said "we've changed our mind we'd now like you to be the next vice-president of the united states" - would you say no? I don't think I would. It really is the opportunity of a lifetime. Perhaps you're not ready or qualified, but by the time you are; they may not want you.

Opportunity knocks, but didn't call ahead.

Monday, September 15, 2008

step away from the bleeding edge

Friends returning from a trip to asia always comment on the archaic nature of the technology here. When one person goes, friends are putting in orders for new phones /cameras etc. Why is it we won't see this technology in N. america for another few years? Those with access to the asian market get to be all superior for "pfft that's soo two years ago". A post on the wikinomics blog argues that it's our fault.

We are satisfied with 3 yr cellphone contracts and 5 yr workstation lifecycles. Many offices run XP desktops connecting to windows 2000 servers. Since we do not demand cutting edge tech we don't get it. We are satisifed with our phones and music players. It's our fault.

I strongly disagree. It's not our fault. I do'nt think it's a fault at all. I would argue that the hyperactive technical obsolescence of asia is not a virtue. Technology for the sake of technology is not something I aspire for. Tossing out a perfectly good piece of technology just because something newer is available seems wasteful.

During a time of increased attention to the idea of sustainability, I think the bleeding edge is something we Should keep at a safe distance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Still not a gamer - and a new career?

I've got a Nintendo Wii, Wii Fit & Rockband. Yet I can say with confidence that i'm still not a gamer. I bought Top Spin 3 hoping for an even better experience than the basic wii tennis. However, what I got was a video game. The Wiimote is still the focal point, but there's a lot more going. It's more involved in every facet of the game. One could argue it's a normal learning curve ... for a video game. I now realize that i'm not in that same demographic. The reviews on the game were decent but that came from a gamer. I want an experience that I can pick up the game and play with a minimal learning curve. The joy of the current wii games is how I can get others to play and enjoy themselves quickly.

Perhaps I could become a game tester for non-gamers. It would have to be a short test as a lengthy would run the risk of making me a gamer.

Related Posts:
video games and failure

Monday, September 8, 2008

Selecting a Personal Trainer

Continuing on from my previous post about the questions around personal trainers. Here are some tips on picking a personal trainer. Not all trainers are created equal. Sadly some of the base certifications are a bit of a joke.
  1. Does the trainer have experience getting the results you're looking for? e.g. Losing fat; bulking up; increasing endurance; sport-specific training. In something like personal training different goals require different approaches.
  2. Does your trainer offer nutritional coaching? Study after study will show that while weight-training is very important; a huge factor in your results are based on your diet. Calories in, calories out, it's simple And true. A trainer that promises great results and doesn't provide solid guidance on nutrition is failing you. Spending a tonne of money over a short-period of time on training without nutritional-advice is a recipe for disappointment. A trainer that tells you to simply "eat sensibly" is doing a disservice. Honestly if you were eating sensibly you wouldn't be in this predicament in the first place.
  3. Does the trainer work hours that work for you? Maybe you're a morning person and love to get into the gym at 6am but your trainer loves the night-life and drags himself in consistently @ 6:05 and trains you half-asleep. Or do you hate working out in the morning like me?
  4. Will you be receiving your own programme? Working out with a trainer will help you break plateaus and extend your body's limits. However you need to be accountable for your own results. To see these results you'll need to workout on your own at times. At first you will work out with them often, but a good program will let you do it yourself and your trainer can monitor your progress in your workout log and keep you on track.
A few simple ideas on how to get the most out of an investment in a personal trainer.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Rock Band 2.0

I'm not a rocker by any stretch of the imagination. But i do love me some Rock Band. Perhaps since i'm a failed wannabe drummer and just a bit of coordination in this game will take you a long way.
I have Rock Band for the Wii, and while I do love it, I am a bit envious of PS3 & Xbox folks that can download tracks and add to their catalog.

One aspect that is the natural evolution of this game is bringing song creation to the masses. Looking at MySpace and what it's done to create a groundswell for music artists, Rockband could be the next big thing. Myspace allowed artists to connect with fans in a much more intimate way. Fans had access to songs pre-release, or web-only songs, artists blogs. Communities were created which inspired loyalty, the artists built their brand on this.

Now picture how fans will feel if they go to their favourite indy artist's site and can download their songs to play along. I think that's something they'd pay for. By putting it on RockBand or Guitar Hero, you're getting what every artist wants : fans to sing and play along over and over again.

That's connecting with your audience on another level.

Do you want a personal trainer?

You've had enough. It's time for a change. You don't like the way you look/feel. But you're not sure how to get the job done. You feel uncomfortable and intimidated at the gym. The next idea is to get a personal trainer. Let them show you the ropes put you on a program.

I've worked out for awhile, I'm not the poster boy for results by any means but I'm in decent shape. Last year, as I approached a milestone I decided I wanted to get serious about training. I've often been very skeptical of the ideas of personal training. I've had guys try and sell me on their services in the gym. I've seen what they've done with clients (borderline negligent at times). I interviewed a bunch of trainers at different gyms to understand their value proposition, background etc. I've spoken to others about their experience and a few things were recurring.
First step is that you should ask yourself a few questions.
  1. What's your goal? Do you want to bulk up, lose fat, increase your endurance. You need to be clear about what you want. Create measurable goals and work on them with your trainer. Ensure that they feel they're reasonable and you will be satisfied by meeting them.
  2. When do you want to workout ? Maybe you're a morning person and love to get into the gym at 6am but your trainer loves the night-life and drags himself in consistently @ 6:05 and trains you half-asleep.
  3. How bad do you want this? Are you just starting or completing a big project at work? Are you going to be on the road a lot? This question is two-fold. If you're going to plunk down some serious coin to get a trainer you better be prepared to commit to making changes (e.g. getting to gym 3x /week and changing your eating habits). Are you able to make this kind of commitment right now? Second, if you have a lot going on in your life and this is just a passing fad that you want to "get into shape" (whatever that means, see question 1) then let it pass. Try and work out with a friend see how committed you are to this goal. No sense in wasting good money on something you really don't care about. A trainer can motivate you for the session, for it to pay off you need to be accountable to yourself 24/7. Training is hard work to begin with. A trainer will push you to excel every session, but if you're not willing to give it your all then just save yourself some cash.