International Spy Museum

Lil and I decided to stop by the International Spy Museum after picking up her Canadia visitor visa.  According to the official website, The International Spy Museum is the first and only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible profession. After the past few years of telling international events I sincerly expected so much more from the museum. Sadly I walked out feeling that I had just wasted $14 and 2 hours of my time wandering through rooms of out dated technology. Nevertheless, I think I’ve found a new respect for people in this profession and what they have to go through to bring more safety to nations.

Marketing Management by Philip Kotler

It’s been almost two years since I last wrote an essay based exam. I need to dig out those trusty pens and pencils and exercise my wrists to prepare for this 3 hour exam. When will schools stop requiring students to write out essays for an exam? How about an open book exam since life is an open book? Even better switch to Tablet PCs like the Empire High School in Arizona, and perhaps students may even enjoy writing an exam. Before you hit me with ‘Back in my days … ‘ rest assured that all of this could just be my lazy mind talking since I’m nowhere close to starting or finishing catch up reading on 11 chapters. Enough whining, back to reading Marketing Management by Philip Kotler.

My car was broken into …

Today was one of those days that started right. Early rise, devotions and even time for breakfast. Parking in Philadelphia can sometimes be expensive so I normally try and take the train to work or look for street parking. However, after missing the 7:00 AM train I decided that driving in might not be a bad idea, and at this early hour I was guaranteed a good parking spot.

After a nice Monday, I was walking back to my car with a colleague when I noticed the front passenger side door unlocked. I immediately knew that something was wrong as I have grown into the habit of always checking my doors and securing ‘The Club‘ after parking my car. As soon as I was in view of the interior I noticed my networking gear (Cat 5 cable, RJ-45 jacks, Crimp) lying on the back seat and my CD player missing. Thankfully my GPS mount, Nike sunglasses and CDs were still in the car. Furthermore, no windows were broken so I assume the person who stole the CD player used either a Wonder Tool or the Slim Jim to open the lock and then forced the locked glove box open with the same tool. Nevertheless, I dutifully called the police who filed a report and had some detectives lift finger prints from the car. They’re going to review video footage from the streets and then attempt to match the prints. My car was also used as a guinea pig for training another police officer so I got to listen in on the lesson. Whoever thought you could learn something in such tense times.

At this point I’m so thankful that this did not take a worse turn but am not very optimistic on recovering the CD player. Looking back, this has not been a good year for my Honda Accord 1990 which I’ve owned since 2001. I’ve had two tires, CV boots, ignition switch and distributor replaced. Moreover, after the inspection and insurance payments I’ve paid more to maintain and own the car than what it’s worth on Kelley Blue Book. Now I’m faced with the decision on whether to finance a car, lease a car or keep the Honda that’s apparently listed as one of the top 10 most stolen cars by the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

The Red Couch

Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have been working on a book titled ‘How Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers’. I’ve liked their authoring process especially how they’ve opened up a channel for suggestions and criticism by putting chapters of the forthcoming book on The Red Couch. In chapter 11, one of the few that I took some time to read, the authors list various pointers and tips to ensure that you’re following a path that others have tread on to establish a good blog. As the authors point out, the chapter is definitely not a listing of best practices or the rules by which to establish a good blog, yet it does contain a number of tips that I definitely thought would be very appropriate depending on the type of blog that you’re working toward. In my opinion blogging is like a journey to an unknown destination. How you choose to get there can involve various paths – some you take and enjoy the roses on the way, others you wish you had that GPS device to help you get back on track. This chapter is one of those that can make that journey a bit easier. So like all good bloggers I ‘borrowed’ a tip from the chapter and have now changed my blog settings to ensure that all blog posts from this point forward will have comments included. As this journey progresses I’ll continue to evaluate and incorporate other tips from Chapter 11 of Blogs are Changing the Way Businesses Talk with Customers. The list of tips and my current progress:

Tip #1: What�s in a name? Search Results, that�s what – Done
Tip #2: Read a bunch of blogs before you start – Continuous process
Tip #3: Keep it Simple. Keep it focused – Trying to do
Tip #4: Demonstrate passion – Trying to do
Tip #5: Show your authority – Trying to do
Tip #6: Add Comments – Done
Tip #7: Be accessible – Partially accessible
Tip #8: Tell A Story – Trying to do
Tip #9: Link often – Trying to do
Tip #10: Get Out into the Real World – Not yet attempted
Tip #11: Use your referrer log – Trying to do