30 is the new 20

So yesterday I turned 30. Not sure how I did it, it sort of snuck up on me. I never figured I’d make it this far, so kudos to me.

My birthday present to myself was getting a mohawk.


Larger size: http://www.flickr.com/photos/70908860@N00/ 


Ground control to Major Tom

I was listening to a lot of David Bowie yesterday, hence the title.

In case you were wondering I am writing this entry with my new ThinkPad Tablet. Pretty cool. I am totally geeking out these days. As a disclaimer,I blame all misspellings and weird captiLizations on the handwriting recognition software.
So I am back in Raleighwood and slowly working my way through pounds of email.Sort of an adjustment in that I can’t drink beer for lunch like I can on vacation. I guess technically I Could do so, though pretty Sure that violates Sone Corporate policies.

So… in baseball. My Braves are on a friggin roll these days absolutely killing the baseball. They’ve already scored more runs this month than all of June. the last 5 games they’ve had over 10 runs. Amazing. the keys are Chipper Jones and Brian McCann being healthy. And Wilson Betimet leading off has really done wonders too, as the Jones boys always have guys on now. I like Giles but he is not a leadoff man. So hopefully when Giles is healthy again they can find away to keep Betemit in the lineup.Somehow the Bravos now find themselves only 4 games out of the wildcard which really highlights how bad the NL sucks.Time will tell if their wretched bullpen can stabilize enough to get them to the Playoffs, but at least they didn’t roll over and die in the process.Of course by even writing about the recent success will throw them in a tailspin. Its like talking to a pitcher during a no-hitter.

South Carolina Musings Vol.3

My new favorite pasttime while I am down here is looking for aligators. My life right now is completely devoted to that endeavor. Every morning while I am riding a bike through Sea Pines resort I am constantly staring at the canals to find a gator. I’ve gotten lucky and found a few big ones and been tempted to jump in after one and bring it out to show small children. ok, i’ve been watching too much animal planet.

So I finished “Blink” and now I’m reading “Wisdom of Crowds” which is pretty fascinating. Its basically a study on how collective wisdom always outpaces so-called experts or individuals. I’ll write more on this in the future as it has a lot of lessons to be applied to team formation and decentralization of decision-making. But so far its a great read and anyone who likes “The Tipping Point” will like this.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on in South Carolina, which is probably for the best.

South Carolina Ramblings Vol.2

So once again kicking it in the local Starbucks.

I’ve been meaning to start a new daily post based on the funniest or oddest bumper sticker I encounter during my daily travels. So, today on the way to the coffee shop my favorite was “OJ Simpson? No. OJ Bluffton.” Makes no sense to me, but I am guessing there is some South Carolinean humor to be found in that somewhere. Wondering if that was someone’s campaign slogan for like city council or ag commisioner. If so, that beats my slogan for Rooker’s 11th grade Treasurer campaign of “Pimping ain’t easy, but voting for Rooker is.” I am afterall, a marketing genius.

So in the 12 minutes I’ve been here today, the old people have complained about the Starbucks being too cold and the music being too depressing. About that time I decided it was time for the ipod to drown out the old people with Queens of the Stone Age and Sunny Day Real Estate.

Doing ok with not working too much while down here. However I’ve noticed that not working has me thinking constantly about doing some work. Its a sickness really.

Watched the AllStar game last nite…and was disappointed not to see Andruw Jones get an at-bat. Otherwise, pretty well pitched game except for Trevor Hoffman, and Michael Young was clutch in the 9th.

Ramblings from South Carolina Vol.1

So I find myself sitting in a Starbucks in Hilton Head, SC. Just got hooked up with a T-Mobile account.
Hopefully going to catch up on some sleep and revisit some mental clarity while I am here…and work as a little as possible. That is easier said than done these days, as the web analytics deployment rolls on. But I am going to try to set up some barriers for myself while on this trip, like only getting online twice a day, instead of my usual 24 hours a day.

The truth is I need the break, I am mentally and physically drained these days. The constant insomnia is definitely a manifistation of it. So trying to relax for once and leave the office behind. And sort of nervous what I am getting myself into this fall with the MBA. But then again, when is a good time? There isnt. I’m always busy. and besides this will push me to become more efficient with the time I do have.

It’s kind of funny seeing all the other folks in here that are busily typing things and surfing the web. and sad as well.

By the way, did I mention I like my new Thinkpad X41 tablet. It rocks. So far I’ve been really impressed with it, specifically the ability to write and have it “digitize” my words. Even with my terrible handwriting skills.

anywho…i’ll ramble more later…maybe with tales from the Beach. Reading the rest of “Blink” today and have another interesting book lined up after that.

Applying “The Wages of Wins” to Web Analytics

So while I was basking in the sun of Sunset Beach and enjoying copious amounts of adult beverages, I managed to finish reading “The Wages of Wins (now known as WofW) and most of “Blink”.

As I mentioned in another post, WofW dives into using statistical analysis to disprove many myths that surround sports. Like if baseball haa a competitive balance problem, who is the best basketball player, and whether quarterbacks have a big influence over the outcome of a game or not. Just a great read for a sports junkie and a metrics geek. I wish I had thought of it.

One of the things I want to try is using the regression analysis techniques to look at stuff I deal with everyday such as web traffic. Instead of disproving myths like whether or not Allen Iverson is a good player or not, I want to study which variables effect things like web traffic and revenue.

Does web traffic truly drive web revenue? And if so, how much of an impact does it have? Would other variables have more of an impact on web sales? Price? Availability? Configurability? Competition? Customer satisfaction? The list goes on with potential analysis and correalations.

In the next few weeks I am going to read up on how to go about setting up a regression analysis and what tools can be used to do so. If anyone in blogistan has a decent idea on a methodology or which tools work best for doing so, please post here.

And since I actually drove to the office today…here are songs for a Wednesday:

1) Led Zeppelin – Misty Mountain Hop

2) Hobex – Groove Baby

3) Smashing Pumpkins – Glynis

4) The Raconteurs – Store Bought Bones

5) Idlewild – Centurry after Century

6) REM – Maps & Legends

The cost of vacation

So I took a couple of days off to soak in some sun, drink some beers, and laugh with my friends down at Sunset Beach, NC.

Invariably though I come back to reality and realize that there is a true opportunity cost of taking a vacation. I have about 200 emails to sift through with various folks around the globe asking for a million things. By the way, apparently the rest of the world doesn’t celebrate the 4th of July. shocking.
My big project is essentially on hold when I am not working and slips a day for everyday I am not online. Its maddening. Its almost not worth taking a vacation since I have to work about 18 hours a day for 2 or 3 days just to get to the point that I was before I left for vacation, which was already on the brink of insanity. Its so easy to say you need a life-work balance, but damn near impossible to figure out how that really can exist.

Eventhough I now find myself underneath mountains of work, it was worth it to spend time with a lot of old friends and blow up stuff on the 4th. Quite a spectacle of explosives and all detonated before law enforcement could confiscate. Good times.

And…I get to do it all over again in Hilton Head and Charleston next week. Guess I am a glutton for punishment.