Friday, December 28, 2007

Marketing: The Early Years

I spent hours slaving over my blog the other day to prepare my post, only to be corrected later that afternoon by one of my co-workers who, upon hearing my witty rejoinder about the length of time until Christmas 2008, reminded me that there are technically 12 days of Christmas1 and that she remained well within the bounds of proper holiday etiquette by wishing me a Merry Christmas on any or all of those twelve days.

This lead to the following conversation:

Her: "Why do you guys have 12 days of Christmas anyway?"

Me: "I think it was part of an early Christian marketing campaign. I believe it was "Try the new and improved Christmas - now 50% longer than Hanukkah!"

1The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany, which falls on January 6th). However, in some traditions, the first day of Christmas begins on the evening of December 25th with the following day considered the First Day of Christmas (December 26th). In these traditions, the twelve days begin December 26 and include Epiphany on January 6.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Never Too Early

Not many people are in the office this week, but a large portion of the people who are seem to have Type A personalities. I know this because a number of them have wished me a "Merry Christmas" and we all know that Christmas doesn't come for another 364 days.

I suppose I'd better get started buying gifts, though, just in case they want to get that out of the way early, too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Santy-town?

During SSCs recent visit to NYC, and so we took the opportunity to join the crowds of (annoying) tourists in engaging in holiday fare. We began with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, followed by an authentic NYC diner breakfast and ice skating at Central Park's Wollman Rink. From there we dropped in at Tiffany before wandering down 5th Avenue to Rockefeller Center to see the famous tree, which towered majestically over us, doing that 'tree thing' that it does so well...which pretty much consists of the aforementioned towering majestically over us.

Though we were exhausted by this point, we made one last foray down 6th Avenue with the intent of stopping to see The Pond at Bryant Park before going on to the Macy's holiday window displays.

Upon our arrival at the park, SSC collapsed into the first available seat she spied, while I looked around in shock to find that some sort of shantytown had been erected, forcing would-be ice-skaters to wind their way through the makeshift dwellings while the squatters hawked their rudimentary wares which ranged from prints of the Irish countryside, to bath and body products, to toys, and jewelry. Others had apparently foraged through the park for food which used to prepare snacks like hot apple cider and chocolate-dipped strawberries.

SSC and I were even lucky enough to find a large tent near the rink in which the industrious soul had scavenged the makings of martinis, wine, and chocolate and cheese fondue! Wanting to do our part to help the less fortunate, we took a seat at this pseudo rinkside cafe, ordered some drinks and a few types of fondue, and watched the skaters.

So in summary, if I disappear again it's probably because I'm living a bohemian lifestyle in a tent in Bryant Park.

Friday, December 07, 2007

On This Day

A year ago today this happened - and my life will never be the same. In some ways it seems like only yesterday, and in others it seems as if it was a lifetime ago but in all ways it was the most wonderful day of my life.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

One Letter Can Make All the Difference

New York City certainly is an interesting place. As I was walking to the train last night thinking about what to make for dinner, I overheard the following conversation.

Teenage Boy (laughing and pointing to a sign on the window of a local Burger King): "Yo, look. They've got Anus Burgers!"

Teenage Girl: "It's Angus Burger, stupid"

I may never eat a hamburger again.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The Final Countdown

A few weeks back I realized that my old tagline "We put the dumb in random" wouldn't work with the new blog name (except for the 'dumb' part, of course) and so I asked for help in creating a a new one. In doing so, I failed to consider two things - that people are far more creative than me and that I'm horrible at decision making - so I need your help again. I've narrowed it down to the top 20 suggestions, and I'd like to know which one you'd choose if you were me.

Word of advice: try not to spend too much time thinking about being me.

  1. Not Your Daily Grind

  2. Because tea is for pansies

  3. Steamin' hot and hits the spot and will get you through the day!

  4. The best part of waking up...[something something]?

  5. You want cream with that?

  6. Do stupid things faster with more energy

  7. Pucker up and take a sip!

  8. One lump or two?

  9. Something good is brewing - but you have to get through the froth.

  10. We put your perk in the percolator.

  11. Fill it to the rim

  12. Tastes as good as it smells

  13. The coffee-er coffee

  14. Great taste, less filler.

  15. It's not everyone's cup of tea.

  16. I liked it better when my template worked in firefox.....

  17. bet you didn't know ol' joe was so hot!

  18. Stale donuts and news served daily

  19. Just the way you like it - old and bitter

  20. For the cool kids, because Java's for geeks.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Key Line Pie

One of the best things about having StatCounter is that keyword analysis is a great source of blog fodder on those days when you can't think of anything else to write. Here are some of the more interesting recent searches along with my commentary (in italics) for each.

Catholic Church on anabolic steroids
That explains why it’s so big.

How long it takes from ejackulation for sperm to reach an egg to be fertilized
Probably just slightly longer than it takes to run spell check.

Pumpkin pie devotions
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more orange, and meant for autumn...

Pinky the testicle tearing tabby
Who says cats can’t be fun?

Thanksgiving euphemisms
Erm…stuffing the turkey?

Why was Rickey Martin touching his penis in 2005 Victoria secret?
Certainly not for the same reason the rest of us were.

Pothole in Brooklyn
Right…because there’s only one of those.

Buy toy soldiers in NYC
One of the city’s many failed tourism slogans.

Dress for trial attorneys closing arguments color of ties
Because tie color is the Roe v Wade of the new millennium.

I made you a pumpkin eated me
Don't blame me. You knew the risks when you started making pumpkins.

Pilot Cloyd Sob
With that name, his eventual career choice was a no-brainier.

Penis John Carew
Unfortunately, John’s parents were far more cruel than Cloyd’s.

Joe rogaine 2 girls 1 cup
All the ingredients for a fun weekend.

Homemade sex toy
You start with rogaine, 2 girls, and 1 cup...

Cup o' joe out of business
Wishful thinking.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

World Piece

While walking by a travel agency yesterday I noticed a sign that read "The Entire World Is On Sale here!"

And I thought "That's ridiculous."

I mean, even if I could afford the entire world, where would I possibly put it?

I do, however, have my eye on a small piece of the Swiss Alps that would look perfect in my backyard.

Friday, November 09, 2007

The Month in Pictures: October 2007

Random Friday Thoughts

In a nod to my hectic work schedule (though I'll classify this as part of re-branding), the Week in Pictures (WiP) has been rechristened as the Month in Pictures (MiP) from now on. In keeping with current trends, I'm going to classify this as a "Green Initiative" in that it allows me to conserve 75% of the energy I used to spend each month writing this.

It's raining. And cold. And the leaves have finally begun changing. I really enjoy this time of year. The only problem is this: I'm about to fall asleep at my desk.

So let's move on to the WiP...erm...I mean MiP


A woman is still shaking her head in puzzlement after her boyfriend's proposal. "I wondered what he meant when he hinted at buying me a 5,000 karat engagement ring," she said.


Zoologists in the Arctic have stumbled on the novel method that Polar Bears use to keep each other warm.


Scientists are no closer to learning if a bear sh*ts in the woods, but they have confirmed that gorillas do.


Police divers believe that they've found the head belonging to a scarecrow that was decapitated on Halloween night.


A heated debate broke out during a recent school board meeting dedicated to the debate over the merits of Sox education in Boston area schools.


The Tin Man is facing a misdemeanor count of voyeurism after getting caught looking up Dorothy's skirt.


Santa Claus is trying to recapture his enthusiasm for the holiday season by hiring a new batch of elves.


In entertainment news, yet another report emerged this week that Elvis is still alive after a tourist snapped this shot while vacationing in Hawaii.


And a beleaguered Britney Spears showed the judge this photo of her at her new night job in her efforts to prove her fitness as a mother.


A woman was treated and released for injures suffered when an ice cream cone got stuck to her head.


Doctors believe that they've discovered the source of tinnitus.


A man cancelled his plans to climb Mt. Everest with a group of friends after waking up and learning that they'd already decided to eat him should they become stranded.


The night sky will be noticeably less romantic after a group of children that had been encouraged to "shoot for the stars" wound up accidentally hitting a few of them.


The end.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

An Open Letter to England

I left the previous post up for a while in the hopes of finally reaching the coveted '99 Luftballoons' level in my comments, but alas, t'was not to be as we topped out 60 so I'm left with no choice but to post again, this time addressing Great Britain in response to Melinda's comment.

Dear Great Britain,

As part of a promotional initiative in my most recent post , I gave away cars1 to my readers. As a result of your arcane traffic laws, one of those readers, Melinda, is unable to use the vehicle and has offered to return it. The purpose of this letter is to encourage you to alter said laws so that Melinda can keep the car.

Now I realize the massive costs that would be involved in reworking your infrastructure and re-training your drivers, but when it comes right down to it you have a lot more money than I do.2 Even when viewed as a percentage of income (or GDP in your case), it remains significantly cost effective for you to undertake this effort than it would be for me to pay to either ship the car back here or have it modified so that it can be driven there.

However, in the end it all comes down to one compelling argument. You drive on the left side of the road and, as many of us are aware, the word ‘left’ derives from the Latin word sinister. We drive on the right side of the road, which any thesaurus will tell you, is synonymous with “correct.”

Q.E.D as your people might say.

I recognize that you can’t make this change overnight, so let’s just set December 31 of this year as the deadline to have this completed. Please also be aware that until you resolve this issue to my satisfaction, you will be merely Good Britain in my eyes.

I’m here if you need help.

Your Friend,

Joe

1 Actually, I gave away car keys. Little did I suspect that Melinda would find the car to which the key belongs. I can only hope the owner hasn't discovered the theft and called the police on her by now.

2 And that’s not even considering the current value of the dollar against the pound which is at it's lowest point since a pre-pedophile Michael Jackson was rocking the charts with his Thriller album.3

3'Cause This Is Thriller, Thriller Night / There Ain't No Second Chance Against The Thing With Forty Eyes / You Know It's Thriller, Thriller Night / You're Fighting For Your Life Inside Of Killer, Thriller Tonight.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tag - That's it!

Back in the heady days when this blog was called "Random Thoughts from NYC" blog, I used the tagline "We Put the Dumb in Random." For some reason, though, that doesn't seem to fit with the new blog - even though the content remains just as vapid as ever.

What I'm trying to say here is that I need your help coming up with a new tagline. So far, the only thing I've been able to conjure up is Just the way you like it - old and bitter but I'm sure there's something better out there.

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

An Open Letter to Google

Dear Google,

During one of your periodic updates to blogger, you added a feature to the comments box which allows users to receive email notifications whenever someone posts a follow-up comment.

In theory, this is a nice little widget but if I were to use it on my blog it would obliterate what little self-esteem I have left. For example, when I check my comments now, I think things like "Hmmm...no comments. Haloscan must be having technical difficulties." before going on my merry and self-deluded way. If I were to go back to blogger comments, I fear that this new
feature would turn me into a internet era Charlie Brown, constantly checking my virtual mailbox and collapsing with a weary sigh when I see it empty once again.

So please have some mercy and remove this widget.

Your Friend,

Joe
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Apparently while I was off in SoCal for the weekend and up in El Segundo for meetings on Monday and Tuesday (most of which were spent trekking up and down N. Sepulveda Blvd or staring out the window at Raytheon's cool private park) I was furious to return and find that someone had the nerve to throw a wild party on the internet1 and, quite frankly, there was no way I was ever going to get those wine stains out of the blog template. So, as you may have noticed, I was forced to roll-out the re-branded template without all of the fanfare. That said, we were able to put together a special thank you to our readers as part of the celebration, so if you look under your seat, you'll find a key to a new car.

If it's not there, than someone from the party must have stolen it.2

And finally, a bad holiday joke for pinknest:

Q: What do ghosts and goblins like to eat for lunch?
A: Halloweenies
----------------------------------------------------------------
1 See pictures here, here, and here

2While I'm at it, I'm also disappoitned that nobody took it upon themselves to update the blog in my absence...but that's another open letter just waiting to be written.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Scratch n' Sniff

In a fit of hubris during a recent post I suggested that everyone "join the fun by commenting on the changes, suggesting new sponsors that you - our reader - would like to see, and much, much more!" Little did I expect anyone to read the post (hence my failure to make "reader" plural), let alone take me up on it. So I was shocked saw the ever-crafty pinknest's request for scratch and sniff items.

Never one to disappoint a reader, I'm happy to say that I not only took the challenge, but I've successfully developed the world's first-ever scratch n' sniffTM blog post.

Just scratch the image below and sniff away.



Scratch n' Sniff for iMac users:




Scratch n' Sniff for laptop users:



Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pumpkin Pic-ing

It's been a while since I posted pictures of my three-year-old niece, Jasmine, so I thought I'd show you how cute she counties to be - and funny, too. The other day my sister overheard her talking to her doll saying "Remember Baby Lilly? Grandpa calls me 'Baby', Mommy calls me 'Princess', Uncle Joe calls me 'Pumpkin', and Daddy calls me 'Stinky'."


She recently learned how to wink, much to the surprise of a stranger in the store who winked at her and was surprised to see her wink back.


Here she is on the couch with her constant companion, Baby Lilly.


And this is the big fake smile she gives when she's hamming it up for the camera.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Brand New

With the test marketing of our new title and layout, which can be seen by clicking here.

And a brand new celebrity sponsor!




Now you can join the fun by commenting on the changes, suggesting new sponsors that you - our reader - would like to see, and much, much more!

Act in the next 30 seconds and we'll throw in pithy responses to your comments absolutely free!

So what are you waiting for?

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Week in Pictures LXXX

Random Friday Thoughts

My grandmother had a heart attack on Thursday. Typical of her, she's out of the hospital and has bullied the doctors into letting her go back to work on Monday. She's nearly 90 years old...and one of the most amazing people in the world.

Former British Primer Minister Tony Blair was the speaker at one of our company's events this week. I have to say that it was really interesting to hear him speak and, as one would expect, he's one of the more charismatic and impressive speakers I've ever had the good fortune of seeing.

I think this is the first time in forever that I've posted every day in a given week. Hopefully you won't have to deal with that again at any point in the near future.

Okay, I'm operating on approximately 90 minutes of sleep today, so I'll shut up now so that we can move on to the WiP (which I posted without captions yesterday (hence the comments) in the hope that somebody would do my job for me. Sadly, nobody did):


King Kong spent the week working out the kinks in his evacuation plan in the event he's attacked the next time he climbs the Empire State Building.


Another low-cost carrier has burst onto the scene. The airline, which consists of nothing more than a missile strapped to a carnival swing ride, is offering one-way flights from New York to "LA-ish" for only $30.


Professional bodybuilder Dayana Cadeau of Canada had a brief bout of modesty before snapping a man in the audience in half for ogling her too closely.


In a similar story, a man was briefly hospitalized after unwisely choosing to make lewd and suggestive comments to the woman piercing his lips.


A feline spent all day on the computer yesterday involved in what his owner called "a vicious game of cat and mouse"


Women can now step right from the bath to a night on the town with the new Shower Pouf clothing line.


Designers say that they're perfect for everything from a quick drink after work to an evening at the opera.


Phillips is recalling thousands of light bulbs it became clear that their design engineer misunderstood their instructions to develop a new spotlight.


A British soccer team was roundly beaten in a match last week after becoming confused about which way to stand on the field.


The Headless Horseman took a break from tormenting Ichabod Crane recently to take in a football game.


A woman barely escaped with her life when she was set upon by ravenous butterflies after accessorizing by putting a sprig of milkweed behind her ear.


When questioned about his choice of reading material at a local park, this local man described himself as "a big book fan."


Sesame Street is rocked by a scandal in which thousands of rubber ducks have come forward to lodge complaints of inappropriate bath-time touching by celebrity Muppet Ernie.


Police were dispatched to keep order when they held a massive rally near the studios in Astoria where the show is filmed.


And finally, an artist has created a sculpture called "Britney Spears Jeans" which is comprised of the approximate number of beers that the average man would need to drink before considering trying to get into them.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bran-tastic?

Who says you can't make truffles from tree roots?

Well, actually nobody says that because it's a pretty stupid thing to say. Be that as it may, I can only imagine the consternation within the Kellogg's marketing team tasked with trying to help increase sales of All-Bran cereal. I mean, how can you possibly market the appeal of that product?

Well, apparently the answer is to embrace the obvious and put out an ad designed to either amuse your target audience or to put them off of your product forever.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

An(other) Open Letter to Canada

Dear Canada,

I really don’t mean to obsess about you, but it’s hard not to considering the fact that the temperature remained in the mid-80’s (which is, I think, equivalent to 300 degrees Celsius) with about 107% humidity for quite a while after I made what I thought was a very polite and reasonable request a few weeks ago. Now, after reading Airam's recent post, I can’t help but to wonder if the warm weather was designed to take our focus off of your true motive.

Those of us in the United States have watched with increasing apathy as several states jockey to become the first to hold their party's Presidential primaries. Little did we suspect that you were up there busy hatching a similar but far more devious plan to move your Thanksgiving holiday to the second Monday in October.

Clearly, you’re trying to provoke us not only by stealing our proverbial Thanksgiving thunder, but by depriving us of the massive influx of Canadian currency that generally streams across our borders each Columbus Day. In doing so you’ve created an economic shortfall here in the States that could, quite frankly, send our economy into tailspin from which we may never recover.

Normally, we’d threaten to invade at this point, but as you can imagine, our troops are stretched a little thin. However, there are a few threats that we’re prepared to deliver on should you not move your Thanksgiving holiday to, let's say, the fourth Friday in November. For beginners, we will stop broadcasting our TV shows in your country. If that fails to work, we will be forced to encourage our current President to become a Canadian citizen and run for Prime Minister. You can say he won't win, but that didn't stop him here in 2000.

The choice is yours Canada. I await your response.

Your Friend,

Joe

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

NYT Best Sellers: Fiction or Advice?

Imagine my amusement on Sunday when I was scanning the NY Times Books section and noticed items 7 & 8 on this week's Harcover Fiction Best Sellers list. (click on picture to enlarge and scroll down)


Monday, October 15, 2007

That's One Way of Putting It

Co-Worker: ...and one of her best qualities is that she’s as loyal as the day is long.

Me: So she’s only loyal for 24 hours?