Thursday, January 18, 2007

Shannon is published! (Internationally, no less)

A Canadian art teacher requested permission to use one of Shannon's photographs in a study guide for an upcoming class. I have to say, the picture is great. Since I cropped the picture for dramatic effect, I should get a little credit, but she's not sharing.

Said art teacher found the pic on Flickr. Why not take a look for yourself?

Commodores Roll Tide 92-74

Vanderbilt, surprisingly, knocked off ninth-ranked Alabama last night at Memorial Gym.

What a roller-coaster season this has been -- losing to Furman, Appalachian State and Auburn, and winning against Georgia Tech, Tennessee and Alabama, all ranked in the top 25 at the time.

Go 'Dores!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What a great site -- a Wiki just for Saabs!

Thanks, Saabo!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sequoia vs. Saab

Wow, Sequoias are BIG.

See the picture here.

Bad Art, Southwestern Style

bad art in phoenix

This framed monstrosity was hanging in our Phoenix hotel meeting room last week. Tom leaned over to me about halfway through the first morning and said under his breath, "Don't look now, but that big one, what ever it is, is about to attack Richard." After I stopped coughing from aspriating about half a mouthful of coffee, I started to study this work of 'art'.

I've concluded that it's not the absolute worst framed art that I've seen, but it pretty darn close. It's the worst I've seen in at least a year or two.

I know that it's supposed to represent horses in motion. However, it looks suspiciously like the twisted two-headed grotesque tusk mutants from the planet Lavender. Or mabye that's just me. What does it look like to you? Comments invited.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Cadillac Marketing - Fabulous Music

Cadillac. Twenty years ago, this car brand was strictly the province of the middle-aged and senior citizen set. No more. Since they've been pimping some serious performance cars, they've gained the serious attention of many people that wouldn't be caught dead in a Caddy if for no other reason than Gramps drove that white Coupe de Ville until he was 80.

Cadillac advertising is no different. Twenty years ago, if you would have suggested that Led Zepplin's "Rock and Roll" would not only be used as the music for a Cadillac commerical, but that it would be the centerpiece, anyone would have doubted your sanity. Images in Cadillac ads have always been the cars, but the tone and music has always been 'dignified' or downright uptight. No more. They're into taking a few risks these days at Cadillac; check these gems:

In Roll, Cadillac features a song called "Punkrocker" by an obscure Swedish band called the Teddybears (featuring Iggy Pop vocals, no less).

Iggy shows up again in Khaki with his "Success" from Lust for Life -- a watershed post-punk classic.

Finally, Explosions in the Sky, a Texas agressive ambient outfit, takes the stage with "Six Days at the Bottom of the Ocean" from The Earth is Not a Cold, Dead Place.

Who knows? I may actually buy a Cadillac one day. It certainly won't be like my father's Cadillac.

Click the title link to watch and listen.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Harpeth River State Park - The Narrows of the Harpeth

We decided to visit the Narrows of the Harpeth at Harpeth River State Park early today, since it was an unseasonably warm 60 degrees here in Nashville.

Here, Montgomery Bell, an early industrialist, built a steel forge powered by the Harpeth River in an unconventional way. Noting that the 'Narrows' -- a very close bend in the river -- could be exploited for power by re-routing a slipstream across the rock outcropping, he decided to purchase the land and excavate a 10-foot by 20-foot diversion tunnel through 200 yards of limestone to create the conditions for a successful steel mill that ran from the very early 1800's through the end of the War Between the States. Today, the tunnel is all that remains of the business.

Of course, there are other things to see, like giant leopard moth caterpillars.

Other photos on Flickr.

Friday, January 05, 2007

This little graphic never gets old.

Courtesy of Jezzadee.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Thanks, Jay! (I think.)

Jay Spenchian, president of Saab USA, was nice enough to send me this form letter along with some product information on the 2006 line-up of Saab Automobiles.

Only, umm, the 2006 model year ended about six weeks prior to the date on his letter.

I really wish that Saab USA had their act together. Marketing seems like such a chore for them, yet their GM bretheren make it seem so easy.

An Open Letter to Saab

Sometimes, the simplest communication is the best communication.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Buying Sudafed in Tennessee

Unfortunately, I've got a cold. One that's bad enough to warrant a few doses of Sudafed (pseudoephedrine hydrocloride). I stopped into our local Kroger to pick up a box of 24 tablets, and the saga began.

You see, Tennessee is a 'meth state'. We rank among the top five states for methamphetamine use and manufacture. This isn't a good thing. Meth is the drug of choice in rural areas, primarily because it is cheap and can be made locally. In fact, rural locations are preferred for meth kitchens since they can easily be detected by the telltale smells of the strong chemicals used to make 'ice' -- another name for meth. The process is simple to learn, but it is dangerous, with hundreds of severe injuries and deaths in Tennessee each year due to meth lab explosions.

Since pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient of illegal methamphetamine, I knew the tablets weren't on display with the other cold medicines. They've been behind the pharmacist's counter for a few years now. What I wasn't prepared for was the paperwork required for purchase.

To buy a $4 box of over-the-counter (no prescription required) cold medicine, I had to supply my name, address, phone number, date of birth, driver's license number, date and time of purchase at the top of a form that is normally reserved for purchasing prescription drugs that are controlled substances. The pharmacist then asked me several questions -- why was I buying the Sudafed? (I have a cold.) What else was I buying? (Afrin nasal spray.) What other drugs was I taking? (None.) I had to then sign a form with some legalese on it certifying that my name and address were accurate.

I hope that these measures are keeping the meth labs from producing illegal methamphetamine. Somehow, I think that it's doubtful.

Music Math, the first in a series