Archive for December, 2006

Embezzling

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

We have an interesting story this morning about an accountant who embezzled millions from a Rehoboth small-businessman, resulting in layoffs for the innocent employees.

A cautionary tale for entrepreneurs everywhere.

Inflatable decorations are everywhere

Friday, December 22nd, 2006

Out here in the heart of Suburbia, inflatable monstrosities swarmed, devouring front yards all up and down the road. Some polar bears, some Santas, even one merry-go-round.

Turns out it’s not just here.

Sadie is thirteen months old

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

“Hi, I’m not a baby anymore. I’m a toddler.” And, boy, do I have a personality.

Sadie playing peek-a-boo

We’ve made it through another month — lots of laughing, a decent amount of fussing, no more unfortunate cupcake incidents. It’s time for another update.

She no longer gets a bottle. We still bring out the Cheerios every day, though. In addition, Sadie now gets vegetables, fruit, toast, Spaghettios, Macaroni and Cheese, Yogurt and Milk. If she’s been really good, I’ll give her some Teddy Grahams. Teddy Grahams are, of course, the dessert of champions.

Sadie no longer just drinks the milk in blissed-out silence. She feels like she should tell you what she’s thinks of the milk. And the toast. And the state of the Middle East. She’s not afraid to express her opinion.

Sadie expressing an opinion

She’s also beginning to talk. She doesn’t have any English words (“Dada” being the current closest attempt), but she’s quite fluent in Sadie-ese. She’s obviously trying to convey a point, it’s just not in any language her poor, dumb parents can understand. I look forward to having conversations with her. So far, I’ve been providing both halves of the conversation, and, frankly, it’s time for her to hold up her end.

She’s expressing herself more with gestures as well. She’ll vigorously shake her head when she doesn’t want what you’re trying to feed her. She’ll point at the milk when she wants more. She’ll wave bye-bye when she wants to leave. Less attractively, she’ll smack the spoon as you’re bringing it to her mouth, flinging mush across the room.

She’s trying out some different toys. For her birthday, her Auntie Amy got her some Weebles, and these are her new favorites. Plus, though they wobble, they most definitely do not fall down.

Sadie playing with her Weeble

We’re trying to get her to try out some new things around the house. Most recently, we’ve been teaching her a little bit of how to play the piano. Neither of us are very good at it yet, but we’re certainly making progress.

Sadie and Jason playing the piano

(And yes, I switch from my suit pants into shorts when I get home from work — thus the very attractive ‘black socks and slippers’ look I’m sporting in this picture.)

Another big development this month is Sadie’s continued fascination with books. Curious George has displaced the Boynton books from the top of her reading list.

Sadie sitting, playing with her books

She’s learned quite a few songs in the past month. If you start singing “If you’re happy and you know it…” she’ll start clapping her hands. In the next verse, she’ll stomp her little feet along with you. At night, I’ve been singing her lullabies to ease the transition to sleep. Of course, I don’t know any lullabies, so I’ve been singing regular songs for her. Her favorites so far: Me and Bobby McGee, Mercedes Benz, You Turn Me On I’m a Radio, and Anarchy in the U.K.. I’ll try some others this month to see which ones suit her fancy.

The teenaged girls at the Gym’s babysitting room still adore her. I carry her in, and we’re greeted with a “Sadie” coo in four-part harmony. Good for her; I’ve certainly never been that popular in my life.

She can walk like a champ now, straight-ahead with very little wobbling. Everyone is excited by this, except, of course, the kitties. They can still take refuge on the window sills, but it won’t be too long before she can reach them there, too.

Sadie is much more a little girl than a baby now. The transition makes me sad, but I’m reasonably sure it was bound to happen. On the plus side, we can can share more: I sit in my chair and read; she sits in hers and reads.

Happy thirteen-month birthday!

Moving the furniture around

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

We tweaked a couple of things over at Boston.com today. Take a look.

More to come…

Linky Goodness – 12/19/06

Tuesday, December 19th, 2006

Wow, I’m a little behind on my linky goodness. Here are some quicky items that caught my eye in the past couple of months.

A baseball player answers his fan mail fifteen years later
A nice story about a former big-leaguer answering letters he’d lost in his garage.

Why getting married kills your social life
Actually, it wasn’t getting married that killed the social life, it was having the baby. It’s hard to go out to social events in Boston when I must pick up Sadie in Ashland by 5:45.

Is your startup ruthless enough?
Greg Linden is one of my favorite fellow ex-Amazon’ers. Here, he talks about how several prominent startups began in shadier parts of the net.

Yahoo Autos Green Center
A good reference for comparing different hybrid vehicles. When I have to trade in my little sports car for a family truckster next year, this will be my guide.

You can learn a lot from a rich girl
Very interesting article about the perils of consumer credit. “How many hours of work will it take you to buy those jeans?”

The Joe board
The community whiteboard is the best place to keep track of the idiotic things your coworkers say.

SmugMug saves with S3
“Storage as a service” is more efficient in many ways than buying the disks. With all apologies to my friends in the storage business, this is the future for entrepreneurs. Some of the startup ideas I’m playing around with are beginning with the assumption that processing power and storage are essentially free. Ignore those constraints and much more becomes possible.

If Aaron Sorkin wrote a show about baseball.
Studio 60 has been frustrating, but we’ve kept our season pass. So far.

How to create a pop star
Interesting video about how you can take pretty much anyone off the street, apply a little studio magic, and poof! You have a pop star.

LinkedIn has become essential
Jason Calacanis describes how he’s using LinkedIn to recruit new employees. I actually got this recruiting email (Jason C. and I crossed paths once upon a time, and we are linked on LinkedIn), and though I know no one myself for the position, I did pass it along to a couple of folks.

I used LinkedIn for a couple of my Boston.com positions earlier this year, and had a pretty good response rate, including one outstanding candidate. It’s a good deal, and as Jason C. points out, it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than using an executive recruiter. We never got into recruiting as a line of business at PlanetAll, but we did perfect the “Friends of Friends” feature, which has become a core component of LinkedIn and some of the other similar services.

The baby and the mouse

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

Sadie seems to enjoy playing with the computer. I have no idea where she gets that.

Sadie playing with the computer mouse

Almost back in the blog saddle

Saturday, December 9th, 2006

I hope to publish more regularly starting next week. All sorts of interesting things going on…

I’m almost back to normalcy. Almost.