So, maybe I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, maybe everybody else already has this worked out, but I just had what around our office we like to call a "Blinding Flash of the Obvious."
I've done 14 hours of presentations over the last 3 days, to groups that are amazingly enthusiastic. This Lotusphere has people excited. The next release of Notes (8) has people excited. The new version of QuickPlace (Quickr) has people excited. I'm excited about Lotus Connections, the new social networking software.
It's palpable. You can feel it in the air when you walk into the presentation rooms and the bars and the hallways and...well, you get the idea.
But here's the point: Until today I haven't been able to go to any session other than my own. Today I am. Walking out of Bill Buchan's Worst Practices presentation I grabbed a coffee next to Betsy Thiede who was busily in conversation with somebody about an upcoming session on AJAX.
She was considering it, he had been to the first instance of it yesterday and was raving about how great it was. Mind, I was mostly eavesdropping but it was one on my short list. His (enthusiastic) recommendation was good enough for me.
I went. It was good (except I had a very hard time understanding one of the speakers) and got me very excited about a couple of geeky new things. But right then, just as I was using the recommendation to make my mind up, it hit me.
I had the Flash.
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At the beginning of this month, Columbus instituted a smoking ban on all public establishments, including bars. As a lifetime nonsmoker and adult drinker, this is very good news to me. I can now enjoy a beer at a local establishment and not go home reeking of smoke. I like that.
But not everyone does.
Hilliard, a Columbus suburb, voted last night to allow smoking in bars and taverns where alcohol sales make up at least 65 percent of their business. There have been similar, though so far failed, efforts to put a loophole like this in the Columbus law, too.
I've had numerous conversations about this with friends, both smokers and nonsmokers, and it often comes down to a predictable argument that goes like this:
FOR: "It should be up to the owner of the bar to decide. It's his business; the government should keep their grubby hands off it."
AGAINST: "Yeah, well, I like to go to bars but I don't like to stink like smoke or to have to breathe it."
FOR: "Fine. Go to a bar that doesn't allow smoke."
AGAINST: "That's stupid. Less than a quarter of adults smoke, so you're saying the 75% who don't smoke should be the ones running around trying to find a safe place?"
FOR: "That, or stay at home."
AGAINST: "That's a bunch of crap. Smoking kills the smokers and people around them. You know it, I know it, everyone knows it. The government ought to ban smoking altogether and be done with it."
FOR: "Alcohol kills people, too. If they're going to ban smoking, they ought to ban alcohol sales, too."
And so it goes. As soon as anything resembling logic starts to show up, the argument almost always seems to degenerate into a theme of alcohol equals smoking and so, therefore, you must have both or neither. It's an all-or-nothing game. I'm here to say, that's a bunch of bull. Yes, alcohol kills people, but nothing like cigarettes do.
You'd think that would be both intuitive and persuasive but the problem is, half of the people doing the arguing don't have statistics at hand and the other half don't want to hear them. Well, my friend, I've come to rescue.
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I just have to tell you this. Of all the blogs I read, my favorite by far is Rands in Repose. He is smart, funny as hell, and can write. I periodically find myself blowing snot-bubbles trying not to laugh out loud.
So, I've just finished reading about the Rands Vegas System, his extensive series of blogs on Everything You Need To Know To Have Fun In Vegas, and I had to pass it on.
It is, in a word, hilarious. And, from me at least, highly recommended, whether you're going soon or not.
I only wish I'd read it before the Lotus Advisor Live week there recently. Alas
I don't know about where you live, but around here (in Columbus, Ohio) college football is a Big Deal.
The news came out today that the United States Supreme Court upheld the lower courts' decisions that Maurice Clarett, Ohio State's former running back, could be prevented from entering the NFL draft this year because he was not yet far enough out of high school.
I will admit to having become a pretty big fan of Ohio State football over the nearly 25 years I've lived here, but I'm not writing this because of the Buckeyes. That it was Ohio State instead of Michigan or UCLA or, well, wherever is just one more fact in the court case. Doesn't really matter.
What does matter, at least the way I see it, is how poorly this young man has been making decisions and what an amazingly sticky corner he has painted himself into.
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OK, I'll admit it right up front: I didn't grow up as an athlete. Maybe that's not such a surprise.
I wasn't a computer nerd, either (the computers in those days filled whole rooms and used punch cards--too much work for me), but I was into music. With a specialty in saxophones and the ability to play pretty much all the other woodwinds, sports were important mostly because that was the excuse for the marching band and/or pep band to play.
And, while we played a lot of football and baseball in our back yard, the sports I participated in as a kid--and even today--tend to be more individualized than team: racing in many forms--sailboats, bicycles, cars--plus sports like swimming, tennis, golf...activities like that. I am a bit of a loner in many ways but also self-sufficient so I tend to like activities with smaller teams (if any).
Maybe I'm just anti-social.
But I can understand the appeal of team sports. I really enjoy watching college football. I love the NCAA basketball tournament. I'll even watch the World Series (though I have to say, many more baseball games than those seven would be hard to take in the same calendar year).
What I wrestle with is the adulation piled on these team sports athletes, especially football players, from such an early age. I think it's both inappropriate and, well, bad for them.
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