Search This Blog

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Well That Explains That!

Reuters: Ex-Microsoft Manager Plans to Create First U.S. Marijuana Brand

Apparently Jamen Shively,a former Microsoft corporate strategy manager is branching out.  Literally.

The 45 year old Microsoft strategery executive has decided that now that pot is legal in the Evergreen State, Mr. Shively is setting up a Seattle-based enterprise destined to become in Mr. Shively's words, "a leader in both recreational and medical cannabis."

Shively has compared his vision to that of another Seattle-based retail giant, Starbucks .  I suppose we'll soon see an "Acapulco Gold's" or "Panama Red's" on every street corner in short order.  I can hardly wait.  Shively figures that with a good brand name he could capture 40 percent of the worldwide market, estimated at at $142 billion according to a 2005 UN report.

I just wonder if Mr. Shively got into the pot business as a result of his experience with Microsoft.  It would certainly explain how Microsoft could call what they've done to my computer the last several times an "update".

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

You Are Probably Going to Be Fooled.

This person is trying to trick you.  Watch how easily he does it.

Julie's Mom has five daughters.

  1. Jana
  2. Jene
  3. Jini
  4. Jono
What's the name of the fifth one?


You probably said "Junu" because that would logically be the next name in the sequence and we naturally assume the question is about guessing the next name in the sequence.  So we miss the fact that the questioner did not actually name the mother, but instead described her as belonging to one of the daughters and one not in the list.  Ergo, logically, Julie's Mom must have a fifth daughter named Julie.

I've written a lot about propaganda and deception lately.  This word trick is an interesting peek at how someone gets you looking one way so that you miss what's really going on.

The numbered list pulled your eyes away from the key bit of information you needed to solve the puzzle which was in the first line.  We read past this line because Julie was a modifier of Mom and you don't pay as much attention to modifiers as you do to the nouns modified and the verbs in sentences. You'd have guessed it easily if the questioner had said "Julie has four sisters, name the fifth one," and then been given the list.  Even then, you might have taken a whack at the sequence because it was new and intriguing information and our brains are drawn to the new and unknown.  Everything else gets shoved into the background (such as the information that the mother of the four girls in the list was also Julie's mother).

This trick takes advantage of our trust that the person talking to us isn't lying to us or trying to deceive and our fascination with new stuff.  That's why presidential press secretaries say, "That happened a long time ago," when they really don't want to talk about something.

That's why presidents bomb aspirin factories when they want someone to not notice they've been hitting on the interns.  That's why the guys in the White House gave up some minor functionaries in the IRS and the Justice Department - to get a nice distracting new scandal going. Anything to get you looking away from the hearings about Benghazi is better than the press lingering over the behavior of the President and Secretary of state.  Better that the press jumps on the naughty subordinates in an unrelated department than at the big guy and his inner circle.

Bad people always want to draw your attention away from the really nasty bits that are going on right before your eyes.  And because people are trusting we are fooled.  It happens in families, It happens in politics and it happens in the spiritual world.  The devil does slight of hand and if we're careful he'll get us looking one way when we ought to be looking the other.  People are embarrassed when they are caught like that and fooled, but they oughtn't be. 

There is no shame on those who are tricked.

The shame is on those who do the trickery.

I'm just saying.

Tom King (c) 2013 

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

I Become a "Biker"

Nothing like an active volcano looming over you to calm your nerves...

We're now well and truly stranded up here in Washington State out  in the middle of a swamp surrounded by West Coast liberals with our truck back in Texas and three miles from the nearest store of any kind (and did I mention that I'm 59 with bad knees and and a spare tire that weighs more like an anvil?)  We're in spitting distance of a live volcano that is overdue to go off and I'm having to figure out how to write for a living.

So, somebody lent me a bicycle.  Taking it as a sign from God, I decided to go to town to "pick up a couple of things."

My Sweet Baboo didn't want me to go.  She figured I'd keel over dead alongside the road somewhere and she'd never know what happened to me and be trapped alone in the apartment and have to eat the dog to survive.  The dog went, "Say, what?"

But when I hinted I might be returning with chocolate, she relented and gave me a list with "a couple of more things we really need".

So I pulled on my backpack and rode off toward the nearest Safeway.  The dump truck did not run over me thanks to the handy driveway and all those tiny rocks that cushioned my fall. Once I got to the store, I chained up my bike and grabbed a basket.

Stores are insidious things.  The things you put in your shopping cart reproduce. I stuck to the list pretty well and got all the stuff she needed and then I thought of the poor little thing sitting back there all alone and started tossing "a few little treats" into the basket.  By the time I was done I had a pretty formidable basketful for someone who was planning to carry it all home on a bicycle.

Into my rucksack, I packed a six pack of Coke (in the glass bottles), cans of spaghetti sauce, a large bottle of laundry detergent, twenty pounds of cleaning supplies. a block of cheese and 40 or so pounds of dog food, potatoes and enough oatmeal to last the winter (next winter). When I attempted to shoulder the pack, I discovered that someone had poured concrete into it.  That thing weighed 85 pounds if it weighed an ounce and I still had three bags I was going to have to suspend from my neck.

What I did next is how I know I'm getting old.

I called a cab and went over to Subway and ate a sandwich till the cab got there.  I know the cab driver.  When she arrived, she got out and loaded me, my bike and my concrete rucksack into the cab, laughing the whole time.  The woman laughed all the way back to my house.

I either need to go to town more often and buy smaller quantities, or hitchhike back to Texas for my truck.  Either way, I'm getting too old for this kind of "bikering".  I'm seriously considering buying a Vespa and I don't care how wimpy it looks.

My knees are giving me hell this morning and my calves decided I needed a good double cramp, when I tried to get out of bed (which was a circus act in itself).

During the night, the wife had pinned me in on one side and the dog had pinned me in from the other and those two females were not letting me sneak out again for any more bike riding this morning- even though they loved the BLTs we had for supper immensely..

Ain't it grand to be loved like that?