Hey Folks ... sorry for the delay in posting ... been crazy-busy at work AND preparing for my 4 upcoming fantasy football draft ... more on that in future posts) ... ANYWAY...

This past weekend Amy and I went to Montauk. It was really nice! Perfect weather, we could throw a pebble into the Ocean from where we were staying, we ate great seafood...NO STRESS .... well, that's about 99.9% true. The weekend was perfect, but there was something I noted as a standard annoyance with resort-type hotels. This is the expectation of the staff of the hotel that you not only have the dough to fork down on a pricey room, but you've got plenty to pass their way as well. And I want to be clear - my issue isn't with being CHEAP or knowing WHEN to tip ... it's "how much"?

Working in the service industry during my teenage years, I certainly learned quickly that people who don't tip are almost better than those who tip way too little. It's almost like someone not leaving a tip genuinely forgot - and sometimes that just happens. Someone tipping too little was saying "I know I have to tip, so I will, but... F-U!"

Which brings me to my issue with resort-type tipping situations. What do you give someone who sets up your chairs on the beach? What about the guy who drives you during your "complementary transportation from the train?" $2? $5? $10?

Truthfully, I really wasn't stressing about this decision, but I can't help but almost physically feel these employees hands in my pockets when I approach them. I would rather pay one fee with ZERO expectation that I was to tip again while I was there, even if it ended up being more than I spent in aggregate with tipping. I guess I just believe that it would be the cherry on top of a truly "no stress" weekend. (Fresh Direct does this for grocery delivery. They charge you a $4.95 delivery charge with a strict no-tipping policy)

Finally, one last off-topic note on the weekend. Montauk is a 3 hour train ride each way. It's certainly not close, but Amy and I both agree that it really didn't seem long at all. Her and I watched a total of 5 West Wing episodes on DVD (there and back) and the time flew. I highly recommend the DVD while traveling...


An example of why blogs are great

This Sunday, I read a New York times article on how Register.com sold for a lot less than Mark Cuban thought it should go for. (Cuban owned 13% of the company, which was sold for $202 Million)

As you know from the link portion on my blog, I read Mark Cuban's blog regularly.
In a post today, Cuban posted the entire interaction between him and the NY Times columnist on his blog...

First of all, I love the fact that Cuban now has a platform to counter the old-school journalism of the likes of the New York times. Secondly, I find it beyond interesting that the NYtimes wrote an interview-type article based on 2 brief email exchanges...
Again, I think the fact that there is a platform to bring this to light is awesome.


Redefining "Bathroom reading"

Have you ever gotten a random text message at 10 AM on a Tuesday from a buddy who works in corporate America? Do you get emails from friends during the normal business hours that say "this email was sent from my blackberry"? If so, chances are, your friends are talking to you on the toilet.

Today's "young adults" (myself included) are all about efficiency through multi-tasking. It's everywhere, whether it's scrolling through a cell phonebook to see who to call on the way downtown in a cab or random women putting on their make-up on the subway to work...

I got a Blackberry 2 weeks ago for work. I think it's great, but not because I think I'm so important and hence needed to be connected to the job every minute. I think it's great because it makes my general lag times (commuting, waiting in Doctor's office, etc) so much more fulfilling and efficient. And it's not only from a work perspective. I'm hooked on this Texas Hold'em game that I downloaded. So now, yes, when I go to the stahls in the bathroom at work, I bring my Blackberry fully equipped with Texas Hold' em. And the sad part is that I hear the same clicking in the stahl next to mine...

What used to hold people back from talking on the phone while doing their business was the possible noises, sounds, grunts, or whatever that would make a phone call turn uncomfortable real quick... With email or instant messaging - that risk is gone. So keep your ears open in your work bathrooms... the clicking and communicating toilet-talk revolution is here (at a bathroom near you!).


Restaurant Review: Mainland

Quick neighborhood restaurant review... Last night, Amy and I went on a double date with friends in the neighborhood to a place with a location that seems to be a revolving door of failed. Mainland is located on 3rd Avenue and 64th Street. All in all, I am happy we went there... Highlights of the evening go as follows:
  • The reverend Al Sharpton was dining with his wife 2 tables away. He was unavailable for comment, although Amy did the inconspicuous walk-by 2 times...
  • The last page of the menu consisted of particular important employees, one in which included the "MIXOLOGIST". After a "smart-ass" inquiry of my own, our table learned that this was just a fancy way of saying a bartender. The waitress, or should I say the "Servoligist" wasn't sure if there was special training or schooling in order to gain that title
  • An old Chinese man who didn't speak English came over to cut our full duck in front of us. What's with that? I still don't understand why this happens, but whatever...
In terms of what the place needs to work on...It was certainly trying to play "Manhattan trendy" in an area with plenty of strollers and walkers (although is getting younger). Amy was quick to point out that we were some of the last to leave (at 10:45). Although we had a reservation, they still did the typical "it will be about 10 minutes" routine - just enough time for us to spend $40 at the bar...(I looked and did not see anyone leave the place before we were seated).

In a 5 star rating system, I'd give it a 3. A little on the pricey and it certainly didn't need to be. The food was good, although I have come to the conclusion that duck makes a much better appetizer than it does a main course. Wait staff was pretty on top of things, although they took a little bit to warm up.

That's a rap on my first restaurant review blog post. Let me know if you think I should do more of them. Peace.


Rockin my Rolley

...And I'm not talking about a Rolex.

I'm talking about my preferred form of luggage. When I first started working at Google, the leader of the National Sales meeting used to ask all the “Nooglers” one or 2 questions on the spot… It can range from “What was you’re your first concert or What is your hometown,” etc.: One of my questions was, “Shoulder bag or Roller bag?” and my answer was “Roller bag” – much to the dismay of most of the men in the room. Now – I am a fairly masculine dude, and as many of you know, I do a pretty decent amount of traveling….and I fully support male use of the rolling bag. Why? You don’t sweat half as much when you’re wheeling a bag around versus carrying it. You don’t have a huge wrinkle is your shirt or suit from the heavy, shoulder handle pressed accross your body. And most importantly, you don’t get a sore shoulder from wheeling a bag…

This all being said, there are some “no-no’s” to consider regarding wheel-bags.

  1. NO backpack-turned-wheeley-bags allowed! That’s just being lazy, plus you look like a big weenie.
  2. NO “wheeling your bag down the stairs so that everyone here’s the 20 thuds with every step” Pick it up if you’re walking down stairs – there is a handle for a reason.
  3. NO talking on the phone when wheeling a bag in New York City. When you’re wheeling a bag – it’s the equivalent of 4 people walking as a pack, and for some reason when people are on the phone, they forget this… Be respectful and concentrate on getting from point A to point B with your luggage.
Other than that, I think you should be fine. So, fella's, don't buy the hype around wheeled bags lessening your masculinity... Rock em without stress and watch the too-cool-for-school fellas sweat, wrinkle, and ache.


Cool Blog post

Anyone who likes both college football and hip-hop music will appreciate this blog post, which compares different college football programs with particular rappers and gives some rationale on why. It's pretty cool, and wanted to share.


New Marketing Vehicle

I am a big fan of inovative marketing tactics, but I am not quite sure how I feel about this one: Branding cows with URLs and painting them purple and pink.

The owner of the cattle sold the "real estate" of these animals to an online gaming site. Who said Sarasota, Florida wasn't a marketing hot-spot??

The part of love best about the story, is that the owner sold the bovine advertising space on eBay.
How awesome are internet marketplaces?!

It took a six-person team two days to color the cattle and paint the casino's Web address in six-inch letters on the bovines. With cow-safe paint, of course.


The HEAT is on!

It's August 3rd, which means I have 2 main sports interests (in order):
1) Fantasy Football preperation
2) Fantay Baseball final run

This being said, I'm taking my attention today briefly to my favorite sports team of all time, The Miami Heat. Over the last 2 days, GM Pat Riley has been quite active. He resigned Shaquille O'Neal for 5 years, $100MM (worth every penny) and he completed the largest NBA trade of all-time.

Of course no one knows how it is going to turn-out, but I must say - I like it! Putting all the financial variables on the side, the Heat get 3 quality ball players, and give up 1 fading player in Eddie Jones and a couple of "possible talents". Don't get me wrong, I totally appreciate Eddie Jones as a quiet leader, as the guy who plays great defensive and knows the system.....but I can't say the tears are about to flow...

Of the 3 players the Heat get... The "Haters" (you know who you are) will be quick to sprinkle the bitterness on Antoine Walker and Jason Williams. Both of these guys have had somewhat troubling pasts, but I'm honestly not worried that this will be an issue. With Shaq as the regulator and D. Wade being the clear "go-to-guy" - I think it can really work.
I certainly have never liked the way Antoine Walker plays defense (if you can call it that) or how he goes into convulsions if he doesn't shoot the ball every 24 seconds .... but again ... I honestly believe it can work. Shaq may need to lay the law down once or twice -- but if there is ANYONE who can check these guys egos .... it's the Diesel.

James Posey has tons of upside.... A little banged up the last 2 years, but the talent is certainly there. A new scenery should do him nicely...

With regards to who the Heat gave up .... Eddie, Rasual Butler, Quintel Woods, a Spanish rookie I never heard of and 2 second round picks......... Enough said. Great move Pat!

OK - that was enough of that .... Now back to Fantasy Football research.