Terrorists, masquerading as Comic show pitchmen, give Boston the finger.

Rorschach this.

Osama's got a new calling card...At least they think so in Beantown

What comes to mind?

Apparently some Boston area resident/s associated an out of place electric sign (pictured above), featuring a comic character giving them the finger, as Osama’s latest plot to destroy America. It was the scary wires sticking out the back and the gasp…battery!

The devices displayed a “Mooninite” — an outer-space delinquent who makes frequent appearances on the cartoon — greeting passersby with an upraised middle finger. But the discovery of nine of the light boards around Boston and its suburbs sent bomb squads scrambling throughout the day, snarling traffic and mass transit in one of the largest U.S. cities.

“It had a very sinister appearance,” Coakley told reporters. “It had a battery behind it, and wires.”

I’ve read reports that some of the devices were being confused as pipe bombs. OK, well, to be fair, I haven’t seen any pictures in these stories yet with anything that resemblies a pipe bomb so perhaps there’s something to this. I know what a pipe bomb looks like because my brother and his mates used to blow them up in the middle of our suburban street on a fairly regular basis. Sure, they were really little pipe bombs but pipe bombs all the same. And you know what, the cops know what pipe bombs look like as well. A confused citizen (and I do mean confused) is one thing, but this reaction from our public protectors – I can’t stomach it.

This is just the kind of hysterical reaction that marks us as suckers to our real enemies (no, not the ones from space). Is this really what we’re coming to in America? One thing is for sure, no one is getting a bigger laugh at our expense right now then Osama and his boys. The following from Boston’s Mayor (perhaps we could re-institute the draft and send him in to Iraq FIRST so he gets an idea of what real terrorism looks like).

A livid Boston Mayor Thomas Menino late Wednesday promised legal action against Turner Broadcasting and others responsible for the campaign.

“It is outrageous, in a post-9/11 world, that a company would use this type of marketing scheme,” Menino said. “I am prepared to take any and all legal action against Turner Broadcasting and its affiliates for any and all expenses incurred during the response to today’s incidents.”

and this beaut from our friendly neighborhood Boston Police Superintendent:

“It is unconscionable that in this post-9/11 environment that Turner Broadcasting would do something like this in an urban setting. … Perhaps next time they’ll think twice about an ad campaign that puts a city at risk,” Boston Police Superintendent Ed Davis said.”

While we’re sending Boston’s mayor over to Iraq to do something useful with himself, I’d save a seat on the plane for Ed Davis.

Now, I admit that I’d be pissed as hell if I was the one that got stuck in those horrible traffic jams in Boston yesterday, but it wouldn’t be the ad men I was mad at.  And frankly, as a marketer I don’t think I’d run a campaign like this, but when our leaders continue to pander to the lowest common denominator in our society with this kind of political response then we don’t have a chance against real evil. It was an ad. I don’t blame the ad agency and I don’t blame Turner, I blame politics as usual and the current reality distortion field being wholly gobbled up by far too many Americans. You don’t have to turn off your CNN or put down your ‘trusted’ New York Times altogether, but I would ask that you look a little deeper than these ‘trusted’ sources before you go calling in a bomb threat. Come on America, I love ‘ya more than anything, but it’s past time to pull our heads out of you know where.

OK, you still want your CNN don’t you. Here you go.

Seth sets a reminder

Seth Godin, acclaimed Internet marketer, author, and blogger had these reminders for those of us who live in the ‘cutting edge’ interactive world (wank wank).

My favorite?

Brazil drinks 11% of the worlds coffee. Talk about living on the edge! I really must go there – apparently there are some serious coffee tweakers in crime there…

Thanks for sending this one over to me Shan!

[tags]Seth Godin[/tags]

Ah-hah – I knew it!

I pass this Church each day at least twice as I walk the dogs or go for a run along the Intracoastal Waterway here in downtown West Palm. At last, the Unity Church has revealed their true colors as a cult (witness the picture on the left).

It took them two days to figure out what they were advertising to the multitudes passing them by each day. I like the authentic one on the left a lot more.

The Cult Church sign

Social media equals less than six-degrees of separation

Summary: a real ramble (sorry) on how online social media makes me feel like there’s less than six-degrees of separation…

I blog. I use WordPress . I use a theme called K2 . I went to a site today to download the latest version of a blog plug-in called flickrRSS that I use on several of my blogs. While I’m there I notice a modifed K2 theme called Fork that looks cool. I click on the image of the theme and I notice a comment on the theme from a flickr member who calls himself SoFlaChris

“I use it on my site… it’s killer. See blog.maltese.net“.

Given the name of his flickr screen name I know he’s in my neck of the woods in South Florida so I click on his link so I can see the Fork theme in action. By the way, here’s another modified K2 theme I really like that I am now using on a blog I just started yesterday (it’s about my four kids and raising them as a part-time stay-at-home dad / part-time entrepreneur).

So SoFlaChris is also Chris::Wired . He blogs, he uses WordPress, and the modified K2 theme called Fork, and he has some of the same interests that Shannon and I have like Motorcycles (we used to have a 2002 HD Fatboy and lust after all sorts of other alternatives). He has a pic of his new VW golf on his site and I think about the VW GTi that I just sold a couple of months ago and how I really like the latest version . I notice he has a lot of stuff about weather on his blog. I have a blog called abigwind about hurricane protection. I notice Chris has recently been interviewed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about his home weather station. The article is no longer live in the Sun-Sentinel’s archives (they drop off after two weeks) but I find a cached version via Googlefun article. I need to link to his site from our hurricane blog.

Anyway, the guy who interviewed the blog author (Chris Maltese) for the Sun-Sentinel is the guy who I’ve corresponded with a number of times about hurricane related stories — Josh Frank , who writes their hurricane blog. Speaking of which, I STILL have to follow up on a prior story of mine that I had suggested Josh write as I now have a lot more information from an expert interview that I conducted with Dr. Tim Reinhold (the article I have to still write is about the efficacy of various plywood materials and the best methods of their installation). And though I haven’t had much of a chance to investigate it, Chris had a bunch of headlines on his blog that referred to Australia and New Zealand which made me think he may be from there. But, from reading his bio he sounds like a New Yorker so perhaps we don’t have Australia in common after all.

Weirdness…the virtual world of the blogosphere connects to real life in all sorts of interesting ways. A couple of months ago we discovered we were right down the road from a delightful fellow blogger who is in the recruitment space (jobs/employers/job seekers/stuff that supports same) that Shannon and I write about on via EXCELER8ion. I’m out of breath. That was a link-full now wasn’t it?

What’s the point?

Even though it’s my business to use blogs and other online tools to connect people I’m still amazed when it happens to me. I find it to be a very rewarding and compelling experience. Online tools like blogs, search engines and myriad other social networking sites can connect seemingly random (and not) people, interests, and data with each other and they can intersect in equally pleasing and random (and not) ways. Without my interest in blogs I would have not found Ami or Chris. I may never meet Chris but he knows about me now because I linked to him, and we are connected now. That may be the extent of it. With Ami, we eventually arranged dinner and had a great time (after all, there were pre-existing similar interests). Soon, Shannon and I will be out for our second dinner with Ami and we can’t wait. Perhaps he’ll even talk his wife into coming along on this round.

Shannon sent me an article today about how some highly popular bloggers are starting to see the limitations with the medium. I could identify with some of what the popular bloggers were saying. It’s easy to get carried away with ourselves when our ego runs roughshod over our original purposes for blogging. At least it is for me. But, most of the time (when I’m not being a wanker) I use my blogs to connect with people, to think more clearly, for therapy, for entertainment, to make money, to make connections in my head about indisciminate thoughts and ideas, to connect in a richer way with the life that I am participating in, to the community out there in the world that I want to be part of, to gain more expertise, to make new friends and professional associates, and more. And it’s not about dry humping your computer – the big wins come when we make connections in the real world.  When I think about how blogs have enriched my life, both personally, financially and professionally, both online and offline I just can’t see much down side. I know these thoughts of mine (ramblings obviously) don’t seem particularly well articulated. And since this is my personal blog, and I allow myself the freedom to publish un-edited brain***** in this forum, I’ll let this go into the ether in the hope that it will inspire greater thinking on my part, and interaction with people like you, who surely have an opinion or some useful thoughts to add. Do let me know.

World’s Shortest Fairytale

Once upon a time, a guy asked a girl “Will you marry me?” The girl said,”NO!” And the guy lived happily ever after and went fishing and hunting and played golf a lot and drank beer and left the toilet seat up and farted whenever he wanted.

THE END

A quick Florida Driver aside

My friend Eric and I love to swap stories about Florida drivers and we’ve swapped some tales that seem hard to believe. Just yesterday my appreciation for how bad the drivers are here in Florida was renewed once more. For those of you not familiar with the area let me just clarify that I’m not referring to our infamous ‘cotton tips,’ the old age drivers that go 25 in a 55 zone. I find those incidents to be very rare. What you DO see is people of all ages, race, and sex driving ALL kinds of vehicles doing the absolutely dumbest things you’ve ever seen on the road.
So, it’s with that introduction that I give you a minor but enjoyable Florida driving aside from yesterday.

My family and I were in our truck waiting in the Toys R Us parking lot line to exit on to a major local highway when we became stuck behind a lady in her SUV. Her car was stopped and she was looking down completely absorbed in reading something (looked like a receipt from her shopping). In any event, the cars ahead of her in line had cleared out even before we had arrived behind her. So, I’ve got my, it’s Christmas be patient hat on, since you know when you’re on the road at this time of year that everyone is stressed and there’s just no point in getting bothered.

My wife Shannon and I start making jokes about how long it will be before she wakes up and goes. Another car pulls up behind us in line. Then another. Then another. It’s not like five minutes have gone by, it’s just busy. So, I’m contemplating giving the horn a polite tap just so we don’t wait until Christmas is over but then she realizes what’s going on and jets off. She gets about 20 car lengths before she’s caught up with the line. No biggie, it is not like she was really holding anyone up. Well, it starts to get more Florida like from here out. She decides at the last minute that she doesn’t want to use the exit that she’s been waiting in line to use. OK. Instead she’ll go against traffic in the parking lot where two massive lines of exiting traffic are converging on the single exit that she’s now grown disenchanted with. It’s still not quite Florida class yet. The lady then becomes frustrated by the car in front of her because *they* haven’t quite been able to pull up far enough to let her by (now that’ she’s changed her mind about her exit strategy). So, she veers around the car aggressively and leans on her horn, not a little polite beep, but a YOU MOTHER FUCKER kind of beep, before speeding off in a rage punching the gas, and driving like a maniac. As the sound of the ladies horn is wafting off in her emissions I watch, I ponder, and Shannon and I share an incredulous look and pull up in line. There’s not much to say – we see shit like this here every day.