March 16, 2005
'There's no way you're going to have a pig in Manhattan'
So said Dina Brigish, owner-proprietor of The White Pig Bed & Breakfast, a small Charlottesville-area inn which last year was a winner of a coveted VegNews Veggie Award, being named "Favorite Veg Bed and Breakfast."
The inn also received a Proggy Award from PETA for promoting an animal-friendly service.
Brigish, a New York native, was a fashion designer in her previous life.
While living in Manhattan and working in the fashion industry, her mother gave her Norman, a pot-bellied pig, as a gift.
"I had to rearrange my life to accomodate the pig," said Brigish in an entertaining story published in the Charlottesville Daily Progress back in January.
The pig prompted a move to Long Island where, though a variety of circumstances, a number of other pigs came to live with her and her husband, Hal.
The pigs needed more room to roam, and Brigish was looking for a career change.
And before you say could Bob's your uncle, she'd opened a vegan bed and breakfast.
Actually, it took the couple three years of searching for the right spot, all the way from Maine to North Carolina.
But they ended up in my neck of the woods.
The establishment sits on 172 rural acres and accomodates up to three couples at any one time.
They're booked almost completely through the summer and fall.
Andrea Sachs visited in mid-February and wrote about it in the February 18 Washington Post Travel section.
I may have to take a drive over there one of these days and check it out.
Perhaps I'll make it the official bookofjoe visitor dining venue.
That'd be an award to conjure with, eh?
FunFact: besides The White Pig, there are only two other all-vegan bed and breakfasts on the East Coast.
Don't bother with the tricked-out offerings from Dior and Chanel.
This watch is what's gonna be strutting down the runways in Milan this spring.
"The junkyard dog of watches" is what the website calls it.
You "clip it on to your tool or regular belt, or anywhere you need quick access to time."
That phrase - "quick access to time" - will be the slogan for TimeTravelSolutions when that company emerges toward the end of this century. But I digress. I mean, none of us are gonna around then, anyway.
Unless... no, now's not the time... for that.
I hate it when you tease me like this.
Is that what you're thinking?
But I digress once more, don't I?
Well, Jacqueline Susann did call her megabestseller "Once Is Not Enough," didn't she?
Oh, she wasn't talking about digressions, was she? But I....
"The GuardDog™ watch folds face-first into a totally bomb-proof 100% thermoplastic elastomeric housing."
"Great for all working trades, factory workers, outdoorsmen, Harley-riders, and tough guys."
That's you, girlfriend.
Rob Weaver, master of surface — III
Third time lucky?
Or the third time is the charm?
The two previous posts showed a few examples from his area of emphasis, surface finish; today I thought a look at some of his work in other arenas might be in order.
A while back he created a series of masks for charity, and before that he was active in the world of advertising.
His drawings remind me of M.C. Escher in their sense of worldliness that's somehow alien at one and the same time.
'Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life' — by Bo Peabody
A short review of Bo Peabody's life to date will indicate why he titled his book as he did.
In 1991, a freshman at Williams College, he had an idea for an online service offering "real-life" education to college students: practical advice about jobs, personal finance, and health.
During Peabody's sophomore year Dick Sabot, one of his professors, agreed to work with Peabody on his idea, not because he thought it was a good idea but because he'd had a near-death experience during which he'd heard a voice tell him to do "something different."
By 1994, when Peabody graduated, the project had morphed into an internet start-up company they named Tripod.
Peabody graduated with ordinary grades, and realized his job prospects weren't all that good, so he decided to stick with Tripod a while longer.
Borrowing money from friends and family, he hired a team of computer programmers because he had no computer skills.
Unbeknownst to Peabody, the programmers built a piece of software on Tripod that had nothing to do with offering practical advice to anyone.
Rather, it gave individuals the power to publish their own personal homepages.
By 1995, the Tripod Homepage Builder was wildly popular.
In November 1995, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), a venture capital firm, agreed to look at Tripod only because Dick Sabot's wife's brother's college roommate knew someone at NEA.
They gave Tripod $3 million in financing.
By mid-1997, Tripod had nearly one million registered members.
Tripod had never posted a profit and barely generated any revenue.
On December 30, 1997 Peabody was offered $58 million for Tripod.
On December 31, 1997 he sold it for $58 million to Lycos.
He agreed to a lockup that forbade him to sell all of his stock until two years had elapsed.
During the next two years the value of his stock increased tenfold, to over $500 million.
By December 31, 1999, at the height of the internet bubble and just a few months before the market crashed, he'd sold nearly all of his Lycos stock, investing it in bonds and real estate.
Peabody asked himself if he was as smart as all those around him said.
"I was smart enough to realize I was getting lucky."
The book is a slender (58 pages) description of how he looks at the world, and how to judge if you're the sort to try a bold venture of your own or, rather, manage someone else's.
I think it's worth the $10.46 Amazon's charging for it.
From the book:
- The best way to ensure that lucky things happen is to make sure a lot of things happen.
At restaurants and technology start-ups, the drug-testing policy is: bring your drugs in on Friday and we'll test them over the weekend.
Don't ever accept "no" for an answer. Train yourself not to shut down when you hear the word "no." That is in fact just the time to really start fighting.
Over omelets and orange juice Steve Case, in 1993, told me that Tripod would never work.
Your ego is both the most dangerous and the most useful weapon in your entrepreneurial arsenal.
In business, admitting you don't know something is difficult. First, you have to admit it to yourself. And then, in order for it to make any difference, you have to admit it to your colleagues. You can't take the second step unless you successfully complete the first. Unfortunately, most people can't even find the first step, much less take it.
In business it never pays to get indignant in any way. The more often you stay calm and gracious, the better off you and your business will be.
Start-ups attract sociopaths.
I suspect that there are a lot of people who would save themselves years of heartbreak and disaster if they read this book and then really looked at themselves to see if they have what it takes to succeed in creating a business from the ground up.
But those are precisely the ones who're so smart they won't bother.
And they're right: they are smart.
Too bad, though, about not bothering....
A new view of the web.
It's web and desktop-search software that presents search results as maps of marble-shaped "nodes" grouping similar topics.
Looks really fascinating, as much for the cool visuals as for the results.
I must say, though, that for yours truly it's like giving me a Ferrari and saying "use it around town."
Hey, it would just sit there gathering dust — too much car for me.
Besides, I can't drive a stick. But I digress.
For Mac or Windows.
The website's got some nice movies to give you a sense of how it works.
Some of my roommates back in the day would've loved this tool, after they'd "dropped"....
30-day free trial, then $49.
Seems like a dog or cat chasing its own tail, doesn't it, to go off and look at this site while you're supposed to be doing something else?
If you're like me and Prince, you generally find that it seems like you are doing something close to nothing, but different from the day before.
So one more interruption won't matter in the long run, especially if you're interrupting whatever to visit Interruptions.net.
As John Maynard Keynes memorably said, "In the long run, we are all dead." But I digress.
Interruptions is an interesting website created to be "the web resource on the study of interruptions in human-computer interaction."
I happened on it in the bibliography of an article in the January 2005 issue of Scientific American entitled "Considerate Computing," about how the world's finest technical minds are trying to devise better ways for our computers to interact with us.
As Roel Vertegaal of Queen's University in Ontario, Canada, said in the article, "It's ridiculous that my own computer can't figure out whether I'm in front of it, but a public toilet can."
Too bad this energy drink has a politically incorrect name, 'cause it's the best can I've ever seen.
"All the energy you need to annoy everybody else."
Why, this has been my official drink since birth: it's just that no one ever told me about it.
Watch out from now on, though, 'cause I'm ordering a tap and putting it on draft right next to my computer.
Just looking at the picture of the can makes me smile.
"Drink this and feel less sucky."
I mean - is that genius, or what?
A guy who reviewed it said, "Tasted crappy, but had a great buzz."
Good enough for me.
BehindTheMedspeak: Online Self-Esteem Therapy
From the researchers of McGill University in Montreal, Canada comes an online game said to actually boost your self-esteem if you play it.
And it is a game, for a change, not some dopey questionnaire that bores you to tears.
The game is called "EyeSpyMatrix": try it out, it's fun.
McGill associate professor of psychology Mark Baldwin, one of the game's inventors, reported in last August's Journal of Clinical and Social Psychology that players' self-esteem markedly improved after just one session; long-term benefits remain to be studied.
There's another game on the site called "Grow Your Chi", if that's more your sort of thing.