Over the course of the last three decades, music has progressed (or regressed) from purely analog to digital, then to sampled and compressed digital. This was driven by the desire to ‘personalize’ music and bring and have as much of it available, in as little space as possible. From the audio CD, to MP3 players, and into the iPod decade, the music and components kept getting smaller and more compact. The problem with this is that the audio quality diminishes the more the music is compressed. Depending on the sampling settings you used when you loaded the music in, the listening experience may be anywhere from slightly deteriorated to horribly thin and distorted. Combine the compressed music files with crappy little earbuds, and it is almost a wonder you can recognize what the music actually originally was. But over the course of years, you become accustomed to listening to that thin facsimile … and you simply forget. And then, something comes along to remind you. (Read More …)
Like too many of us in America, my family consumes a lot of gasoline. In our little fleet, we are trying to keep four cars, three motorcycles, two lawn mowers, one ATV and a partridge in a pear tree running. When you throw in the weed eater and other miscellany, astonishingly I think we are approaching 50 spark plugs. Clearly it is time to begin divesting, but in the meantime, all of these cylinders … when in use … have been fueled by British Petroleum. My affinity for the BP brand began when the first Amoco stations starting being re-branded over to the ‘BP green’ brand. I don’t know if it felt a bit gentler, or greener, or had a slight British sophistication that appealed to me. For whatever reason, we have been a highly loyal BP fleet, pumping considerable amounts of our hard earned cash into BP machines, for years. It is funny how brand loyalty works; what starts a relationship, what trauma a relationship survives, and what eventually kills it. (read more)
Like many of you, I have been in the business world for quite some time. Early in my career, I remember being intrigued by the process of Strategic Planning, and the resulting Business Plans. They seemed so critical to business, so mysterious, so omnipotent. (continue reading)
It was yet another incredible evening as I left work tonight and headed west on St. Paul Avenue. After loading up the motorcycle, strapping on the helmet and navigating some of the most congested incoming Summerfest traffic, I felt I was clear as I headed across the river and towards the Amtrak Station, or Multi-Modal Station as it called in Milwaukee. Traffic was still heavy coming east, but since I was heading west out of town, I was thinking I was past the worst. But as I approached the station on the left, I noticed a line of cars up on my right, trying to turn left from a cross street, through my westbound traffic, onto St. Paul and into the eastbound stream. As I got closer to the waiting line of cars, a previously hidden minivan shot out from the right side of the line in a crazy attempt to make a left-hand turn from the right-hand lane.