July 17, 2004

That's when you'll really begin to feel better...

Step 5: Go cold turkey. The majority of experts agree that it's the most effective way to go. So when the chosen day arrives, toss your cigarettes — even the secret stash behind the hamper. If you can get through the first two weeks without a slipup, you've got a good chance of staying smoke-free. According to Linda Hyder Ferry, M.D., M.P.H., cravings during the first three to four days are the most powerful; on days five to 10, the intensity plateaus, and after that, the hunger for nicotine begins to dwindle. That's when you'll begin to feel better. Really.
From the P.S. Department:
What the hell's an MPH degree? Miles Per Hour? I want a Miles Per Hour degree.
Jeneane Sessum, M.P.H.
who would have thought...

One Hit Wonder Follow-Up Songs

Darren takes his shot at it.
Here are mine:
((for the 40 and over crowd))
Come On, Billy, Be a Hero, Be a Fool with Your Life!
Jessie, No Way I'm Depending on You Son.
Suicide's Really Not So Painless After All.
Oklahoma Wants Me
Weeds Grow Where My Rosemary Goes
Turning Taiwanese
Believe It or Not (I'm Falling Right on My Ass)
Brandi, You're an Idiot (and You'd Make a Lousy Wife)
One Toke Next to the Line (if I could see the line)
Timothy, the secret's out; we ate you

Thank Heaven for Little Rants...

Doc points to this nice rant from Roland over at the Global PR Week blog, which was SORELY in need of a rant.
The thought and the work behind the Global PR Week 1.0 blog and the idea of such an endeavor impressed me initially, but much of what I've read over there--'til the rant--has struck me as, well, the typical incredibly unclued speak of Industry Professionals.
Industry professionals, I dedicate these previous posts from yours truly to you: 
Bye Bye BigPR : "Where once Big PR boasted about best practices and a global network of communications professionals, they don't have that anymore. Instead, we are the ones creating nimble networks among one another, which are growing larger and more valuable. We are nimble enough (most of us working out of our homes) and lean enough to charge much less and deliver much more. A network of one-off specialists, experts in their areas, linked through the power of the Web and personal contacts. Voice to voice, we are changing the face of PR and marketing. You heard it here first."
Ketchum Comes Unclued: "Meanwhile, in the ranks at Ketchum, I know of a few bloggers who do not have an AAE, AE, SAE, VP, SVP or Director title. In fact, they work in a capacity where most of the folks with those titles on their business cards wouldn't think to ask these workers' opinions about marketing, business, and the Internet. Yet, I would wager that these individual bloggers are tied into more voices, knowledge, business-related interactions, and personal relationships of value by genuinely participating in this space than the highest ranking, highest billing PR Strategist in that same organization. You see? That is how it's working. And they don't have a clue."

July 16, 2004

Atlanta Bloggers

Go See George in
at the Alliance Theater
from now until the end
of July.

People are basically pains in my ass.

SO, I see the bloogle interface has eaten some new features and shit them out upon my screen with no notice. COOL! I don't know what I'm looking at. Looks like some bastardization of the MS Word toolbar. I guess I'll be playing with colors N shit here to see what it does.
This is HTML for complete idiots.
the net sux.
Blogging is everything.
Blogging is nothing at all.
These two statements are not mutually exclusive.
People think that links breed familiarity. They do. But not intimacy. We need to employ at least one other medium/dimension for others to see us for who we are.
Oh my, this e-z color-n-size capability is going to add to the noise ratio of blogging, or at least of my brain.
Now, 13 days without a fucking cigarette.
Jenna said, "Are you mean again today because of that quit thing you're doing?"
"I'm not mean."

"Yah, you are. You totally are mean."
"You're not listening. No body listens to me. Then I get called mean for yelling. If people would listen to me in the FIRST PLACE, then we wouldn't be talking about whether or not I'm mean because of that quit thing."
"Well, you're still mean."

July 15, 2004

12 days no cigs.

Miss you ciggies. So sorry I had to go. There was no other way.

Taking Requests.

More pig news

Two days ago George was in a wrinkle as he watched the goings on out the kitchen window. The Stupid Boxer from the pig people's yard has been back in our yard a few times since last we addressed the pig topic here on Allied. This makes George crazy. Because Stupid Boxer comes up onto our deck and barks at us, rather mindlessly but meanly, as we look out wondering why the hell Stupid Boxer is doing what it's doing.

Our dogs now completely ignore Stupid Boxer. If you're a dog owner, you can attest to how unusual it is that two dogs -- one who likes to play with other dogs Very Much -- would ignore a visiting dog, especially if the visiting dog is stupid enough to bark at them endlessly.

Anyway, George hates Stupid Boxer and has come to feel a genuine fondness for Pig.

This made for an extra dose of angst the other day when George watched through the window as Stupid Boxer (in her own yard) barked and jumped (as boxers do) endlessly at Pig in the 90 degree heat. Not only that, but the other two black labs (the only two animals I THOUGHT lived behind us) joined Stupid Boxer in what became a Dog Mob scene, a barn yard bullying festival, which continued for a good 15 minutes. Barking, circling Pig, leaping at Pig, more barking.

Poor Pig would turn to the side when Stupid Boxer would leap at him. The thing about boxers is they can jump and jab really quickly and I think the thing about pigs is, once they weigh 600 pounds, they don't move so fast.

Back to George. Trauma issues surfaced as he watched the bullying, no doubt recalling his school years in Upstate New York. He was livid that these neighbors were letting Pig get assaulted. He decided he would kill the Boxer, which would solve the problem.

I urged him not to kill the Boxer because it could elicit attention from The Authorities.

He thought about that.

He decided that the next time Stupid Boxer was in Our Yard barking at Us, then he could simply toss Stupid Boxer back over the fence. Not hurt or kill it. Merely hurl it.

I urged him not to toss the Boxer over the fence because, judging from her temperament, she might bite him. And he has a particularly important role in Tony Award Winning Director Kenny Leon's new musical, playing at the Alliance Theater this month, called Tambourines to Glory, which demands that he NOT be bitten on any existing Arm or Hand--Especially not on Any Fingers, especially since he's on stage for the next two weeks, and on payroll.

He thought about that.

He decided to have some coffee.

I called Animal Control for our county. I wanted to report a Pig Attack. It was Saturday. They were closed. They had a number for the non-emergency Police on the recorded message.

I thought calling the Police might be a bad idea, especially since, when I looked back out, all animals had retreated to their comfort zones: Pig in Dog House, Two Black Labs on Deck, and Stupid Boxer with her head through a hole in the fence, barking at Our Dogs.

July 14, 2004


While the Feds fiddle with interest rates and business tries to decide if war is bad or good for business, Phil Libin got his office a new coffe machine.


Please take the Poll at the end of Phil's post and do your part to bring AMERICAN BUSINESS back to its GLORY DAYS.

Thank you.

July 13, 2004

The drive is harder than the meeting

Had an all-day meeting today, which I wish were this all-day meeting, but it wasn't that exciting.

I noticed I didn't think about smoking at all during the meeting. I was engaged in learning, conversation, and a kick-ass lunch with one of those great MEETING salads--blue cheese, grilled chicken, pecans, rasins, baby field greens, and vinagerette dressing. Mmmmm.

On the drive there, though, I missed smoking every mile of 30-mile ride (one way).

I was a big car smoker. Atlanta can challenge you that way.

Now I don't smoke.

Now my car doesn't stink so badly. I suppose that's good.

But I almost fell asleep from the boredom of driving without my fix.

I remember when I quit last time, the biggest gap for me to cross was accepting that it was okay -- that it could be tolerable -- for me to do only ONE thing at a time. When you smoke, you are always doing more than one thing at a time. Every time you light up you are smoking AND thinking, walking, breathing, sitting, talking, pacing, driving, writing, drinking, whatever. Usually you are doing several things at once. That's what stimulants do best--let you multi-task and enjoy the rush of it.

Losing the ability to escape the perplexing LENGTH of a single moment is perhaps my biggest loss in giving up cigarettes.

There must be some joy to be found in those seem-to-last-forever-moments -- another stretch of highway, another commercial, another bill collector, another Zoom episode, another press release, another Web site. There must be something people enjoy about being present inside of those tick-tock-ticks of time. For me, it is extra time to be anxious.

I've got a long way to go, friends.

July 12, 2004


An all-you-can-eat buffet.

Why does this still look good to me.

I'd be smiling too if I got to smoke that much!

Dag. They're getting serious in Singapore.

Sometimes it's hard not to say, "No Duh?!"

Enjoying what was new about hyperlinked friendships and collaboration, we spent the later part of 2001 contemplating our blog navels. Many of us involved in those discussions still circulate 'round as friends; more of us, probably, have gone.

When I look back, I think that we had a lot of things right. I am also astounded at how little the current day pundits of blogitry reference the good thinking that took place when this medium was in its toddler days.

Here is Tom Matrullo on what blogging might mean to corporations ala Gonzo Marketing back on Gonzo Engaged in 2001.

Today it reads like prophetic thinking (at least better than most current-day conference session abstracts). As usual for Tom, it is also great writing:

One way of looking at "The Value Proposition" – (though Mr. Locke might not put it this way) is: If a corporation understands no value other than its core capital, then it is at war with everything on earth that does not form part of or enhance the core.

As Hernani noted, the book calls for corporations to invest in, to underwrite, enterprises that in no direct or measurable way contribute to the enhancement of its capital. In a sense, instead of the usual ho-hum mode of “invest x to get return y,” the corporation is invited to take a flying leap of faith that its capital, plowed back into the loam of people, ideas, enthusiasms, issues, communities - in short, values other than those of the balance sheet – will turn, twist, explore, resurface, appear rather odd, wither in part, explode, propagate and, much like the nonlinear mode of "the story" that is explicitly a structuring theme of Gonzo Marketing, yield unexpected fruit. This would appear to represent a substantive change in current business practice for most corporate capitalists.

Well said. Perhaps as the blogworld drones on about emerging this-n-that, we could look back on what has been dreamed, thought, said, argued, and include the best of that as we thread our discourse forward. It would only make sense for a medium built upon links to build threads of value backwards as well as forward.

Unfortunately, with search engines geared toward delivering us "current events" the "news of the day," the "latest book reviews" and (my least favorite) "hot topics," the solid thinking and once-upon-a-time wonder of early net writers is not easily referenced.

It's more than unfortunate. It's frustrating.


If I'd known they'd be feeding us breakfast, I would have at least tried....

Thanks Jeff. ;-)

July 11, 2004

Putting Winer to Good Use.

If this guy can quit smoking, so can you.

Next time I want an easier habit to kick

The "oops i smoked" dreams have begun. Those are the dreams I will now have for the next number of years, with me, in all sorts of situations, somehow forgetting that I've quit and lighting up, only to startle awake (later on they don't wake me up--just jiggle my sleep) realizing that it was all only a dream.

The ooops I smoked dreams, oddly, are now intersecting with my other only recurring dream, which is that I get back to Jamaica for vacation but somehow run out of time or forget to ever actually get into the sea. That is also a very disturbing dream. The ooops I smoked dream now joins the ooops I forgot to get into the sea dream to ruin my rest. What's that about?

Without cigarettes so far I feel:

did I say lost?

I don't remember it taking this long to start to feel some good about quitting in the past.

I wonder about six times a day what I'm doing.

I guess that's better than the 26 times I wondered a few days ago.


With apologies to Frank

While Frank Paynter puts his hands over his ears, I will tell you now about the steamroller on my coat of arms.

For most, there would be no pride in relating this story. Nor for me. Not pride. More a matter of fact, a question of genetics, a warning of sorts, more full disclosure, and at least a wee bit entertainment.

I've thought a lot about how to say this--should I tell the story, should I name names, probably not, will I be misunderstood, etc.

I opted for a shortish version.

When George first came to Rochester from California in the late 70s, the local news was buzzing with a murder mystery, a crime so horrific (for the victim at least) it evoked a universal shudder.

The story was that a head of a local construction company, for a reason that remained untold--at least by the media--killed his business partner by running him over with a steamroller.

The victim had a wife and a family. They appeared on the news a couple of times. They appeared, as one would expect, saddened and in shock. There was another look on the wife's face, though. To this day, I'm not sure what it was. But I'm pretty sure it meant something.

George remembers watching the evening news back then to learn the latest on the story. It was the topic of conversation at the clubs he was playing, at the grocery stores. It was a relentless story. It wouldn't die.

Meanwhile, my mother was explaining to me that some kids at school might ask me about Bobby, and whether or not I was related. Of course I was. He was my favorite cousin. He was the kindest of them, a surrogate uncle more than a cousin, the guy who always played football with me at the family gatherings, who always sat patiently with the kids to tell them stories. Blue-eyed, handsome, young, genuinely nice, and the guy who ran over his business partner with a steamroller.


He went to prison for the crime, and at the time had cancer. He died of cancer in jail. If I had been older--old enough to take myself--I would have gone to visit him.

I never believed he did it. The story, I believed, was bigger and twisted with more complicated knots than the media could untie. But some things are better left for what they appear to be on the surface.

In addition to a morbid sense of humor, I also have a well-controled raging killer inside me. Perhaps we all do. Do you?

My Bobby has a little lever that turns off just in the nick of time, but can feel what it would be like to discharge. I can feel the discharge ripple through my muscles. It's me in the driver's seat of the steamroller.

When I introduced myself to George in 1984, I saw the double take he did when I said my last name. It wasn't that first day, but I think the next when he asked me if I was related to the guy who...

Oh yes, I said.

He smiled.

Just one of the reasons he asked me to marry him.


For more on my steamroller totem, sing along with me:

Got my eye on you while your eye’s on him
Got the hurt planned out as the gear slips in
Got some demolition plans for you, baby….
The steamroller’s rollin’ on in.