Sunday, June 24, 2012

Tech Project: Your Goose is Cooked

This chart will help you determine approximately how long to roast stuffed and unstuffed turkey. Always use a meat thermometer. For a stuffed turkey, the roasting time may vary up to 30 minutes, depending upon the bird and the oven. Use the meat thermometer to check the temperature of the dressing.

The center of the dressing inside the bird (or in a separate baking dish) must reach a temperature of 165 degrees F. for food safety.

For an unstuffed turkey, place the meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh, taking care that it does not touch any bone. Roast the turkey until the meat thermometer reaches 165 degrees F. Let the bird rest at least 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to re-absorb into the flesh. You don't want the moisture to drain out. Roasting times below are for a preheated 325 degrees F. oven.

Approximate Roasting Times for Stuffed Turkey
Turkey WeightHours
6 to 8 pounds3 to 3-1/2 hours
8 to 12 pounds3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours
12 to 16 pounds4-1/2 to 5-1/2 hours
16 to 20 pounds5-1/2 to 6 hours
20 to 24 pounds6 to 6-1/2 hours
Approximate Roasting Times for Unstuffed Turkey
Turkey WeightHours
6 to 8 pounds2-1/2 to 3 hours
8 to 12 pounds3 to 4 hours
12 to 16 pounds4 to 5 hours
16 to 20 pounds5 to 5-1/2 hours
20 to 24 pounds5-1/2 to 6 hours

Did I lose you yet?

What does any of this have to do with technology? And why are we talking about turkeys in June? is a huge hit on TV and the Internet. You don’t go into a shoe store, or a car dealership, or toy store, or bookstore every single day. But all across America, people shop in grocery stores practically every day. We all know food, and in the USA, we have raised the buying, the cooking and the serving of all things “food” to an art-form. All things “food” have become mainstream, and all things food has become high-tech.

Now, what is the BIGGEST “food” day of the entire year? THANKSGIVING!  And what is the headline act of this amazing event? The TURKEY!  And the cooking of a turkey is not that easy. If you “Google” How to Cook a Turkey you will get about 543,000,000 hits and you will find tons of websites like dedicated to the proper preparation and the proper cooking of a turkey.

If you do not cook the turkey properly, you will have issues. If you cook it too long, it will become dry. If you don’t cook it long enough, it will not be very tasty. And, if you do not get the core temperature of the turkey up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be dangerous. Your guests could wind up in the Emergency Room.

And yet, every year, millions of first-time “cooks” successfully navigate the required tasks, and a turkey dinner is served. And under most cases, there are no trips to the emergency room. 

Remember your first-time hosting Thanksgiving for the family? No pressure, right?

Does the building a website, the running an eCommerce store, or the required mastery of new online software (for your new job) have you worried? Is the use of Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest,, really more complex than cooking a turkey? Saying “I never did this before” or “this is too hard for me” is not acceptable. Certainly not a good excuse, with all the free help and real-time assistance available. If excuses were allowed, we would all be eating cereal on Thanksgiving.

I have never cooked a turkey. I have never hosted a dinner party. I am a frequent visitor to our kitchen, but my favorite appliance is the refrigerator, not the oven. I love any holiday that produces a tryptophan coma. I am a big fan of all things cooked that also need to be stuffed.  Food stuffed with food, pure genius.

Ladies and gentleman, anyone reading this who have successfully served a turkey dinner, you are more than qualified to do my job. You can do anything in the world of telecom or technology. I cannot do your job - but you can do mine. 

A turkey dinner appears on a dining room table for one and only one reason: the cook is determined to finish. Not just start the task - but finish. The cook, the chef, the boss of the kitchen is highly motivated to produce the finished product, the results. They own the job, and they will finish the job. Failure is not an option, and there WILL be a cooked bird on the table, period.

Don’t let anything in the world of telecom or technology scare you.  Attack your next technology challenge with the same energy, conviction and passion as a new bride hosting her first Thanksgiving. Get help, ask for help, figure it out, research it, buy a cookbook, watch a video - but do it. 1-800-Butterball is staffed 24 x 7 with free, expert hand-holding and no-charge "turkey coaching" from master chefs. 

You can do it. Anyone can do it - but - only if you truly want to do it. Failure in technology matters comes from a lack of passion, and a lack of motivation. Failure in technology related projects does not come from a lack of skill or talent. You were not born with the knowledge of how to build a website, no more than you were born with the knowledge of how to properly cook a turkey. I see shows like “Cake Boss” and “Hell’s Kitchen” are big hits on prime time TV. Maybe we will soon see Turkey Wars on public will probably "gobble up" that reality TV show, don’t you think?

< ...did he really just say that.........? >

*** BONUS***   A little BBQ Humor (very little)
BBQ Rules
We are entering the BBQ season. Therefore it is important to refresh your memory on the etiquette of this sublime outdoor cooking activity. When a man volunteers to do the BBQ the following chain of events are put into motion:

(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - drink in hand.
(4) The woman remains outside the compulsory three meter exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can take place without the interference of the woman.

Here comes the important part:

More routine...
(6) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(7) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another drink while he flips the meat.

Important again:

More routine...
(9) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauce and brings them to the table.
(10) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:
(11) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM for his cooking efforts.
(12) The man asks the woman how she enjoyed her 'night off,' and, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dear Diary

A diary is a record (originally in handwritten format) with discrete entries arranged by date reporting on what has happened over the course of a day or other period. A personal diary may include a person's experiences, and/or thoughts or feelings, including comment on current events outside the writer's direct experience. Someone who keeps a diary is known as a diarist. Diaries undertaken for institutional purposes play a role in many aspects of human civilization, including government records, business ledgers and military records.
As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

Generally the term is today employed for personal diaries, normally intended to remain private or to have a limited circulation amongst friends or relatives. The word "journal" may be sometimes used for "diary," but generally a diary has (or intends to have) daily entries, whereas journal-writing can be less frequent. While a diary may provide information for a memoir, autobiography or biography, it is generally written not with the intention of being published as it stands, but for the author's own use.

As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

So, what is a Blog?

A blog is a discussion or information site published on the World Wide Web consisting of discrete entries ("posts") typically displayed in reverse chronological order so the most recent post appears first. Until 2009 blogs were usually the work of a single individual, occasionally of a small group, and often were themed on a single subject. More recently "multi-author blogs" (MABs) have developed, with posts written by large numbers of authors and professionally edited. MABs from newspapers, other media outlets, universities, think tanks, interest groups and similar institutions account for an increasing proportion of blog traffic. The rise of Twitter and other 'micro-blogging' systems helps integrate MABs and single-author blogs into societal newstreams. Blog can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Most good quality blogs are interactive, allowing visitors to leave comments and even message each other via GUI widgets on the blogs and it is this interactivity that distinguishes them from other static websites. Blogging can be seen as a form of social networking. Bloggers do not only produce content to post on their blogs but also build social relations with their readers and other bloggers.

Diaries for Boys

As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence.

Many blogs provide commentary on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries; yet still others function more as online brand advertising of a particular individual or company. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability of readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (art blog), photographs (photoblog), videos (video blogging or vlogging), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Microblogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts.

If you were counting, I said that as of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence four times now. Why the redundancy? Maybe cause it was so damn easy to just cut and paste it.  Here, I’ll do it again: As of 16 February 2011, there were over 156 million public blogs in existence. Magic.

I say this: anything that you can do really, really fast is never any good.  
If you can be creative in a second, that cannot be very good, can it?  If you can be funny, humorous, impactful, meaningful, in just a few minutes of typing, and then hit “submit” that simply cannot be worth much (my humble opinion). I did this blog post from a chair in my living room, within just a few minutes. How good can my blog be, really?  If I insert some photos that I grab off the Internet, it will take me a few more minutes. If I format it all to make it “pretty” that will take a few more minutes. Blogger will put this out there for the entire world to see. Wow, I must have really important stuff to say, since my blog will circle the world in just a few seconds.

Today is June 10th, 2012 so God only knows how many blogs are out there now. When I was young, reading someone’s diary was a big deal. There was super secret stuff in there, and diaries even had locks on them. They contained very (very) important thoughts and deep secrets; hence the locks. I remember getting grounded for reading my sister’s diary when I was nine years old. It was not worth it; who the heck was David Cassidy and what was The Partridge Family?  That was all she ever talked about...... boring.

There used to be tens of thousands of “buggy whips” being made every day.  Just like diaries with locks on them - there were millions of diaries under the beds of teen-age girls everywhere.  But today, not so much.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Expensive Shoe Phones

Sneakers is a 1992 film starring Robert Redford, Dan Aykroyd, Ben Kingsley, Mary McDonnell, River Phoenix, Sidney Poitier and David Strathairn. Early in the movie there is a great scene that stuck with me since 1992.  

Two scary looking guys walk into the office, looking for Robert Redford’s character. The receptionist sneaks into the back and she looks worried.  She says “there are two guys out front and they asked for you - by name. They knew your real name”.

Redford pauses a few seconds, then asks: “Suits?” Receptionist: “yes”.
< he meant........are these guys wearing suits? >

Redford: “shoes?”  Receptionist: “expensive”.
< he meant..........are they wearing expensive shoes, or regular shoes? >

Expensive shoes. Why did Redford’s character ask about her about the shoes, and why did the Receptionist know what he was getting at, and why did she know that the right answer was to say “expensive” or “not expensive” to her boss with the secret identity? That dialogue between the characters was very short, but it was very deep, and I caught it. 


You can fake many things. You can wear a fake Rolex or wear fake designer clothes.  You can lease an expensive car, the same make and model car that you could never afford to outright purchase.  You can rent things, borrow things, you can use things that can make you look better or make you look more successful than you really are.

Unless you are bowling, you don’t rent your shoes.

If a man is wearing expensive shoes then he is a person of means; he is definitely not a chump. Men do not rent nor do they borrow shoes.

Some people believe that the more expensive a pair of shoes, the better it must be. But are expensive or designer shoes worth the extra money? There are several factors that contribute to the price of a pair of shoes. The materials used plays a big role in the final price of any product. Specialty leathers and exotic skins are far more expensive than a basic black leather. But there are other, less tangible factors in pricing as well.

Creating a quality and comfortable shoe takes research, time and effort -- and manufacturing costs and methods can vary greatly. Some popular brands use hand-crafting techniques that are paid for every time a pair of shoes is made, instead of using underpaid labor or machines that are paid off after the first few lines are released.

And the concept for many people to wrap their heads around is that talent costs money. Quality costs money. When you see an expensive pair of shoes, there's a talented designer behind them. Their time, creativity, and ability to create a unique design is as billable as an accountant's skill with taxes.

Now, a $100 pair of shoes will protect your feet. They will keep your feet safe when walking the streets of NYC, and they will probably look “OK”. But you can just tell a $100 pair of shoes from a  pair that costs $500 or more - it sticks out from across the room. Expensive shoes will always be associated with the word “Success”.

Do iPads work better than any other brand of (less expensive) tablet PC?  
Do iPhones work better than smartphones by any other (less expensive) brand?
Does a luxury SUV truly run better than a similar SUV that costs $20,000 less?  

Cheap shoes are made by machines; the really expensive shoes are made by hand (just like how really expensive cars are made by hand). It is all about the craftsmanship, the experience, the knowledge, and the quality. Can you not see in your mind’s eye, a craftsman making a $1000 pair of men’s shoes? And if everything is not just right, that same craftsman will throw away the shoe and start over.

When shoes were invented, they served a very specific purpose. When Og the Caveman ran away from the "saber-toothed tiger" he ran faster with shoes on his feet than when running barefoot.  Style (or expense) had little to do with the invention of shoes. It was all about helping Og to run faster on rocks, sticks and stones. When you buy technology are you buying a tool, or are you buying a status symbol?

You can buy 10 pairs of $100 shoes for the cost of one pair of Bruno Magli shoes. You could wear a different pair of $100 shoes every day for 10 days vs. wearing the same single pair of Bruno Magli shoes, every day. The Bruno Magli shoes will wear out. The other shoes are only worn 1/10th of the time, each individual shoe will therefore last longer. Buying ten pairs of $100 shoes makes more sense. Unless of course, you are trying to look successful.

I think that in business, we need to rethink how we spend our money (on everything) especially how we spend our hard earned, after-tax money on technologyAre we paying good money for the right tool for task at hand? Or are we more concerned about how the technology that we purchase will “make us look” in the eyes of others? 

With that being said, I wonder if Bruno Magli makes flip-flops in my size.....