Packers vs. Eagles

I don’t know which was more embarrassing – the 4 and 26 play in last year’s playoff game or the entire team’s performance yesterday.

I think last year was the year for the Packers to make a run at the Super Bowl and they couldn’t get it done.

I don’t see how they can do it this year.

RSS with Full Entries

A few kind folks told me that my feeds were not coming across with the full text of entries.

If you are having that problem, please update your link to:


You can let your RSS reader auto-detect the feed (that is where the problem was).

Work hard. Have Fun.

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes, this makes planning the day difficult.”

E.B. White, 20th century American writer

This is from today’s zaadz Wisdom newsletter. They deliver a great quote each morning. You can join here.

The Peacekeeper Wars

This weekend, Sci-Fi is premiering Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars.

The trailer on is unique (I haven’t seen it anywhere else) and if you are not familiar with the series, gives you a great flavor for Farscape.

For all you fans that mourned the loss, you need be sitting in front of your TV on Sunday at 9/8C.

We want them to make more, don’t we?

A few links I forgot

Here is a little reading I forgot to pass on earlier today.

Metacool wonders what it would be like if the CEO knew his(her) products?

BJ at the Start-up Chronicles gives a great view of the Music Business.

Lisa at Management Craft wrote four great posts on Stephen Convey’s talk in Seattle (one, two, three and four) [Disclosure: Lisa is a client].

Frans Johansson has a blog (and an upcoming book) called The Medici Effect.

Geek Speak

I was running some statistical analysis this morning (I’m sure that is what most of you are doing at 8AM this Friday morning).

I found my Office X without much for stats.

After a quick Google search, I found this great page with tons of reference documents and lots of online java tools. You can just cut and paste your data, press a button, and get a p-value for your t-test.

Love it.

Last to know

I am sure you have all seen the This Land cartoon. Someone just sent it to me yesterday. If you aren’t sure, click through and watch it. It is hilarious.

Sci-Fi 2

I hope you won’t permanantly stop reading this blog, because of this second post about science fiction. There is just so much going on there that I thought it was worth another entry.

I,Robot is opening next weekend. WSJ confirmed my fears on Friday saying:

Readers familiar with Issac Asimov’s collection of short stories under the “I, Robot” title may be surprised to discover that the movie of the same name, which stars Will Smith and open next Friday, bears comparatively little resemblance to the science-fiction writer’s tales…

Tom Rothman, chairman of Fox, concedes that “Asimov purists” may take exception to what they see on the scrren but fans of the science-fiction writer, he predicts, “will be very happy because we are faithful to the essence of [Asimov’s] ideas”

[shaking head]

Star Trek: Enterprise is going into a fourth season. The ratings have never shored up for the series. I have only ever watched one or two episodes. It is reported that Paramount cut the episode price ($1.7MM to $0.8MM) and UPN signed on. It is moving to Fridays. TV Guide reported on this a couple weeks ago and made two good pointa: Paramount needs the fourth season to go into syndication and they probably consider producing more content for Trekkies more important than the initial loss they’ll take.

Stargate:SG1 started its eighth season on Friday on The Sci-Fi Channel. I could never get into this series either. Ratings put the audience at 2.8 million for each new episode. So, someone is watching. They have also created a second series called Stargate:Atlantis. It premieres next week.

Finally, Battlestar Galactica is returning as a weekly series starting in January 2005. The mini-series that ran in December was very popular and a test to see what the reception would be like. I watched it and thought it was really good. It was a great mix of old and new elements of the story.

All of this is old news to sci-fi zealots. I ran across most of this in the last week. I hope it is news to some of you and maybe even of interest.

Comic Book Advice: Making It Last

Stan Lee (creator of Daredevil) was asked did he ever imagined Daredevil would last forty years:

“In all honesty, I never thought about it with any of our comics or characters. It is hard to describe, but in the days we were doing all of these superheroes, when we started them, all we were concerned about was that the books would sell. So we were so involved and occupied with making ever issue as good or better than the last that the thought of what these would be like in forty years, it never occured to me. And I doubt any of the guys was thinking of it at that time…”

Smart Cost Cutting

The special section in Monday’s (5/10/04) Wall Street Journal was published under the topic “Leadership” and focused on cost cutting. I have never been a big fan of cost cutting, because I don’t think the right people are involved in making the decisions.

When I worked at GE, there were two kinds of cost cutting. The first involved a GM or VP looking at his budget and saying “I’m not going to make my number.” The next day they all travel was suspended and the office supply closets were locked. That drove me nuts.

The second was planned program that targeted costs. Sourcing and Engineering worked together to find alternate, equivalent materials and services. Production and Engineering would work together on new products and processes that took cost out. I thought that was a great process.

These examples from WSJ fall into the second category:

  • Pittney Bowes is bucking the trend of rise co-payments on all prescription drugs. From the WSJ article “A Radical Prescription” by Vanessa Fuhrmans:

    …Pitney Bowes commissioned Medical Scientists Inc., a predictive modeling firm in Boston, to answer the question, “What is the biggest factor in turning an employee with relatively low health-care costs in one year – usually between $400 and $700-to one with high costs of roughly $10,000 or more?”

    The employees most at risk, it turned out, were those suffering from a chronic condition, such as diabetes or asthma. That in itself wasn’t a surprise. What was startling, though, was that the presence of the condition wasn’t such a risk factor. Rather, it was the incidence of patients refilling their prescriptions for medications such as insulin and inhalers only two-thirds of the time or less.”

    PB reduced the the cost of prescription refills from 50% to 10% for all asthma and diabetes medicine. One drug they mention in the article is Advair. The normal cost of the inhaler is about $125. Under the old plan, patients would pay around $60, and under the new plan about $12.50. This is important because in the past patients were steered toward two separate generic drugs because of cost. The lower premium made it cost-effective to purchase Advair, which combines administers the two drugs in a single use. The really savings came from the fact that patients could more easily take their drugs and relied less emergency room service and rescue medication for severe attacks.

    The cost of implementing the program was one million dollars a year and PB weren’t sure what the results would be. Cost of employee health-care for people with these chronic conditions has dropped between 10%-15%. This year, they are going to save one million dollars as a result of this program.

  • Ryanair is the Southwest of Europe. They decided to trade low fares for less features on flights. They have eliminated seat pockets (or trashbins) and put safety information on the back of the seat. They have also eliminated reclining seats ($2.4 million savings per year) and made all the seats leather (easier to clean and $178,000 per year). These tidbits were from the WSJ article “The Small Stuff” by Audrey Warren.

Advice from Comic Book Creators

I have always liked comic books. I still have a couple hundred issues of X-Men in my basement from when I collecting. I would earn money mowing lawns in the summer, save it, and each month I would order all of my comics from Westfield Comics in Middleton.

I have enjoyed that fact Marvel has been producing full-length features. What proved it would work was X-Men in 1999. What proved you could make a lot of money doing it was Spiderman. Marvel has a list of 30 movies that are currently being developing.

I watched Daredevil over the weekend, and I thought it was good. I always make sure to watch the second disc of extras with any of the Marvel movies. On this disc, they interviewed a variety of people who have written and drawn Daredevil over the years. What struck me was how the stories they were telling were very applicable to business.

So this week, I am going to post a number stories from people like Stan Lee, Frank Miller, and John Quesada. I did this was the Hulk movie (here and here) and I thought it would be interesting to do again.