Bill Cutshall’s Weblog

September 30, 2008

Grossly Oversimplified

Filed under: Economics,Intellectual Crush — billcutshall @ 1:25 pm

It is an election year and nothing is pressing on people’s minds more than our economy.  Suddenly everyone I know would like to have an opinion but most will freely admit to a dangerous lack of knowledge concerning things economic.  This is where I step in to make matters worse.  I will gladly offer a grossly oversimplified explaination of the issues at hand based on how I see things.  As with all things modern, there is nothing so bad that it cannot be made worse by using the Internet so I will now offer my grossly oversimplified explaination of socio-economics to all who are interested enough to search out and adopt unsourced, uncredited opinions on the Internet rather than pick up a book and read. (more…)

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September 29, 2008

Gum Deficit

Filed under: Economics — billcutshall @ 5:09 pm

With all the talk about the high-minded discussion about fairness, golden parachutes, and the economy going on right now, the best perspective I gained on the situation came from a simple reminder.  Remember when you were told that if you wanted to chew gum in class that you had to bring enough for everybody?  How many times did you ever get gum?

September 24, 2008

You’re DOING IT WRONG! – Filling the salt and pepper shakers

Look at your salt and pepper shakers.  One of them probably has more holes than the other one.  If you put the salt in this one, you’re DOING IT WRONG!

There are differing opinions about which shaker is the appropriate or correct one to use for salt and which for pepper (in the cases where there isn’t a clearly labeled “S” and “P” gracing the shakers).  The basis can be traced back to two schools of thought which I call the historical and the practical but, as with most opinions, only one is correct (because I say so, that’s why).

The first school of thought holds that the number of holes is traditionally linked to the amount and price of each of the seasonings required.  Before worldwide commerce was commonplace, pepper was extremely expensive.  A smaller number of holes in the pepper shaker conserved the precious spice and undoubtedly made anyone dispensing a large amount of it very conspicuous.  Salt, on the other hand, was relatively inexpensive, necessary for life and health, and useful in covering up the taste of poorly stored or prepared foods and thus was in more demand at the table.

The second school of thought observes the relative size and shakability of each of the two seasonings and determines that, given an equal number of holes, salt will flow from a shaker more easily than pepper.  In order to make the pepper easier to get out without breaking an elbow, more holes are appropriate.  Since none of us is suffering from a lack of salt in our diets and pepper hasn’t been a precious spice in hundreds of years, this is the correct way of doing things so stop reading this article and go fix your shakers immediately.

September 14, 2008

Statiscrement – A Definition

Filed under: Intellectual Crush,Statiscrement — billcutshall @ 9:37 am

Statiscrement – numerical information intended to prove a point or support a position which, upon closer examination, is found to be a pile of manure.

September 10, 2008

You’re DOING It Wrong! – Making the Bed

Filed under: Big Help for Small Minds — billcutshall @ 8:00 am

You are putting the flat sheet on your bed upside-down.  Stop doing it wrong!  It annoys me.

Flat sheets generally have two sides, one where the pattern is bright and visible and the other where the pattern is faded and much less visible.  I like to call the faded side “the back”.  When making the bed people naturally (and correctly) put the fitted sheet on with the bright side up away from the mattress and facing the sleeper.  The next step is where it all goes horribly wrong.  You lay the flat sheet out with the bright side up where it will inevitably be covered by the comforter.  You leave “the back” facing down to where the occupant of the bed will eventually be.  That’s wrong, wrong, wrong.

Try it this way next time; lay the flat sheet out with “the back” facing up and then lay the comforter on top.  When you peel the comforter and sheet back to climb into bed that night you will be presented with an appealing burst of color from both the bottom AND top sheets of your bed.  I guarantee you will sleep better knowing you made your bed the right way.

September 9, 2008

Living Between Worlds

Filed under: Advertising — billcutshall @ 5:00 am

I work in advertising primarily as a writer. Uncommonly I write both software code and advertising copy and have noticed a distinct schism between the disciplines regarding the desirability of bugs. Writing code is an art that requires accurate descriptions of environmental variables and clear instructions in order to elicit a desired behavior from your reader; in this case the computer. Inaccuracy and incomplete attention to detail almost always results in unintended behavior, known in this environment as a bug. When writing ad copy, the focus is still on eliciting a desired behavior from your audience but unlike when writing code, inaccuracy is a tool to elicit the desired behavior.  The bug is the goal. (more…)

September 2, 2008

A Little Advice for Getting Through Airport Security

Filed under: Big Help for Small Minds — billcutshall @ 11:01 am

I have been flying a lot lately and have quite a bit of practice getting through the airport security checkpoint line smoothly.  My fellow travelers, on average, don’t have the benefit of hundreds of previous screenings and can be expected to be a bit slower than I.  Some will statistically be a lot slower and will inevitably hear the dreaded phrase “Bag Check, Lane One” or worse, “Security Assist, Male”.  They will also be subject to the intense silent scorn and loathing of a hall filled with impatient people forced to wait in line.  Here are a few tips to help get you through airport security while drawing fewer invisible daggers. (more…)

I’m So Excited

Filed under: Things I am too Lazy to Categorize — billcutshall @ 9:21 am

I can hardly wait…

Google should be launching their web browser today and surprisingly, I am excited.  To see what all the hype is about click here.  It’s pretty technical stuff so Google presented it in comic-book format either to simplify it or present it in the lingua franca of geeks.

Update

Google is being a bit Secret Squirrel about their browser release, it seems.  Although the news is out about the product and they had announced the download date as today, all traces of the supporting site are vanishing from Google’s cache.  The only thing for me to do is to rabidly refresh Google’s Official Corporate Blog hoping for news.

Update Number Two

I have downloaded and installed the software and it feels nice.  The process was simple and quick and that always gives me confidence.  Browsing pages is intuitive and easy (lets face it, this isn’t a reinvention of the process, just a repackaging of all the good stuff into one stable, lean product).  All the pages I have visited thus far have rendered more accurately than with Firefox and it looks likely that it will replace Firefox as my browser of choice.  Download yours here.

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