As a parent, and as an Eagle Scout, this is a day I have been waiting for. My oldest son Nicholas started Cub Scouts. He posed with his younger brother Will for this photo. I am looking forward to Scouting. Funny, I think I am more excited than my son Nick, but then I know how fun it is! I can’t wait!
As I mentioned earlier, it has been a disastrous week here in Southern California. We are fortunate that the fires have not directly affected us here in Newport Beach, but you can not escape their effect for even a moment. Ash is everywhere, kids are kept inside at school during recess, activities are cancelled across the county and the smell of smoke is everywhere. You get used to the orange hue of the daytime sun though it is just now starting to abate.
The firefighters have done an amazing job! While there are fires up and down the southern part of our state, it is hard to believe that someone is sick enough to have deliberately started the fire that our county is dealing with. I have a long time friend, Brian Schraff, who has spent the whole week in touch-and-go status regarding his house. He is one of the people whose home is up in the Santiango Canyon area where “next door neighbor” means a half mile away. Brian has been keeping us updated all week regarding his status. It has gone back and forth between safe and almost certain doom, literally, with the direction of the wind. Fortunately, it looks like the threat to his home is over, though it got as bad as a mandatory evacuation order delivered from firefighters who stationed a truck in his driveway to ward off flames. A lot has been said about the efforts of our firefighters, here is an excerpt from an email Brian sent out yesterday:
Seeing the way the fire departments from all over California fight fires, I honestly think it would take a mind blowing firestorm for them to lose a house. These guys love the challenge of winning. When they came up to my house it was “Game On”. I watched them save a house yesterday surrounded 340 degrees by fire and they were bummed out that they lost a wooden shed. Anyone saying they are standing around watching, or not committed to saving houses… are definitely not watching the same fireman I am blessed to have been talking to and watching.
Glad to hear all is well with Brian and a big thank you to the courageous men and woman of the both the local fire departments and Cal Fire.
As some of you who attended the “Making Money with Sponsorships and Advertising” panel at last week’s Podcast and New Media Expo know, a question was asked during the Q&A about the presentation I made on Friday covering our experiences with the average time to get paid by 3rd party ad networks at GigaVox Media. In response to the questioner, Jonathan Cobb of Kiptronic said, “…there were some factual inaccuracies in some of the things that Michael said specifically about my company, in that session, and I won’t go into any more detail because I have the highest degree of respect for Michael.” As you might imagine, this caught me off guard. I work diligently to be accurate in all my presentations and knew I had been especially careful and was accurate regarding Kiptronic.
Because some audience members were left with the impression I might have been playing fast and loose with my data, I contacted Jonathan to find out what was going on. Sure enough, we had a great conversation and discovered that Jonathan made the comment based on some incorrect information forwarded to him by a 3rd party. (We all know how the game telephone works.) To correct the record, Jonathan asked that we remove his comment from the final audio we’re producing for the PNME. We agreed to this.
Everyone makes mistakes, and I think it speaks volumes about Jonathan Cobb and his company, Kiptronic, that this was quickly discussed and rectified.
Is there a Federal law I missed that says if a guy in a red vest and bow-tie places an orange cone in front of a parking spot it becomes verboten? I am generally happy to follow directions etc. However, tonight I was sent to pick up a large take out dinner order and found myself circling, looking for an open spot in a parking lot (paid for, I assume, by the leases of the establishments surrounding it) with countless other cars while driving past a sea of empty spots all blocked by orange cones. There was activity at the valet stand which was using maybe 10% of the spots they had cordoned off. Don’t get me wrong, I love valet. Big supporter: easy parking – way to go – sign me up. However, tonight I was self parking and when the bow-tie “credentialed” guys cordon off enough spaces in a public lot to run a used car dealership – all empty – I had a problem. People were forced to illegally park next to handicap spaces, fire hydrants, trash bins and in the bushes all to maintain the sanctity of the “coned” spots. So tonight the rebel in me came out and I went ahead and plowed over a cone into the last spot at the end of a long line of empty spots. I think I even heard cheers from the circling motorists as I made my “bold” move.
After returning from picking up dinner, I hiked back to the end of a long line of empty “coned” spaces and sure enough the valets had blocked me in by positioning a car 6 inches off my bumper. Keep in mind, my car and this newly placed “road block” were all alone in a sea of empty asphalt. Touche! I appreciate their hutzpah. I have to admit, as frustrating as it was, part of me thought, “well done.” (Not sure how the unaware owner of the rather expensive newly deployed “road block” felt. He was probably happy having martinis and had no idea I was about to use four wheel drive to extricate myself, and that I viewed his shiny brand new and extremely expensive new car as a mere obstacle.) So I went ahead and plowed over the 8 inch curb into the bushes, back and forth a number of times. (They advertised this capability repeatedly in the brochure for my car.) I even gathered a rather supportive crowd as I tried to get out. However, short of really violating some laws, the valets had succeeded. Apparently they have done this before. So I hiked back down the long line of empty “coned” spaces, passed the circling cars looking for available parking, to the valet stand to let them know they had “accidentally” left a car behind mine. The valet saw me coming and said, “You know that is our valet spot?” I responded that I had seen no defining markings indicating the space belonged exclusively to him but that someone had errantly abandoned a parking cone there which was now lodged underneath my truck. He sized me up pretty quickly and realized that the tip paying customers were a better use of his time. I did ask who was the landlord, the name of the valet company and his manager? These are universally viewed as “pain-in-the-ass” customer questions and resulted in a quickly dispatched valet to move the abandoned car. Why not get back to the tip paying customers right? The best part was while I spoke with the valet I had a support group of folks who had not braved “the cones” offering verbal support. “I can’t believe these guys.” “Who do they think they are?” “Do they think all the spots belong to them?” I felt like I had liberated us all.
Anyway, lesson learned – plow over the cone. What the hell are they going to do?
Legal readers: I know it is private property etc, but given that you are patronizing a lessee on the property does anyone really know what the significance of an orange obstacle (read cone) means in a parking spot? Looks like if you are willing to put up with the occasional “block in” it is fair game. Anyone know? I am curious.
It is an American icon and today it celebrates it’s 40th birthday. I had no idea I was a mere 2 years younger than this McDonald’s classic and though I don’t eat them often now I certainly grew up with them. Invented by McDonalds’ franchisee Jim Delligatti in 1967, today is it’s 40th birthday. I always remember, “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.”