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Duffbert's Random Musings is a blog where I talk about whatever happens to be running through my head at any given moment... I'm Thomas Duff, and you can find out more about me here...

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06/20/2009

Book Review - 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith by Jason T. Berggren

Category Book Review Jason T. Berggren 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith
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10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith by Jason T. Berggren is not quite the book you'd expect on first glance.  Its provocative title suggests that you're about to get one man's rant about dealing with the current state of the Christian church and culture.  And in a way, you are to some degree.  But it's written from the perspective of a practicing Christian, dealing openly and truthfully about the struggles he has in trying to live out his life as a follower of Jesus and what that means in today's society.  An eye-opener for those who are having a hard time dealing with the stereotypes and expectations that so often abound...

Berggren approaches his topics from the view of someone who is human, who has questions, and who struggles with tough concepts that don't have clear answers.  For instance, he has a chapter called "Answers" (it's #8 on his list) where he takes on some of those age-old questions like "why would a loving God let bad things happen to good people" and "is Christianity the only way".  There are certain pat answers that are often used to address these questions, but you wonder if the person giving them has really struggled or thought about it.  Berggren has, and he's not afraid to say he doesn't have a solution book to everything.  But he explains how his questioning has led him to the answer he gives, readily admitting that others may come up with other answers based on different perspectives.  For him, these are the answers that work, and that explain how following God plays out in his life.  Whether you agree or not, you're not just arguing semantics or tradition.  That's what makes the writing interesting and fresh...

This is a book that works for both those who believe and those who don't .  Believers will be challenged to put away the pat answers and admit they've also struggled, while those who don't will see that stereotypes don't always fit.  Either way, it's a good read.

06/20/2009

Book Review - Call for the Dead by John le Carre

Category Book Review John le Carre Call for the Dead
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There are some authors who I know I would like if I started reading them, but I also know I'm certainly not lacking for reading material either.  A good friend of mine finally convinced me to start reading John le Carre, the quintessential spy novelist.  I have the distinct benefit of being able to start at the beginning of his body of work, that being Call for the Dead.  I can now see why he's considered a master writer.  I could learn much from his style, and I'll have a great time doing it.

le Carre introduces George Smiley in Call, a character that runs through many of his following novels.  Quirky, methodical, and not the typical spymaster type, le Carre does an excellent job in painting a complete main character without taking one hundred pages to do so.  In fact, the whole book is only 150 pages.  He does much of Smiley's introduction in the opening chapter, and then just colors in more details as you go.  Also, unlike many current novelists, he doesn't rely on non-stop, over-the top action to carry the story.  He uses character, subtlety, and pacing to drive the plot, mixing in both espionage and mystery to uncover both "who dun it" and "who's working for who".  As such, readers who are used to a breakneck pace may have a hard time slowing down to appreciate the more subtle aspects of his writing.  But if you know that going in, and you realize you're stepping back nearly 50 years to the first work of a master, Call for the Dead is a great appetizer to what will be for me a multi-course feast over the next few months.

06/15/2009

Why enterprises are moving to Google Apps, Gmail

Category IBM/Lotus Microsoft Google
From CIO.co.nz: Why enterprises are moving to Google Apps, Gmail

This is an interesting article, and shows how (in my opinion) IBM and Microsoft are not competing against each other, but against Google...

Though it started selling software to universities and small businesses, Google has pervaded more large businesses during the past year with Google Apps, the company's suite of messaging and productivity software. Analysts say Google Enterprise, the division of Google that runs Apps, has added many features to the product that make it more attractive to enterprise IT departments.

JohnsonDiversey, a company that sells commercial cleaning products, is Google's most recent win. It moved its 12,000 employees over to the premier edition of Google Apps, which includes Gmail, instant messaging, documents and spreadsheets (among other apps) for $50 per user per year.

"E-mail is critical to our work, but we're trying to simplify IT," says Brent Hoag, JohnsonDiversey's IT director. "We want less infrastructure to maintain, and Google [Gmail] allows us to do that."

I don't think it really matters much if you believe they are overlooking other options from Lotus that could do the same thing.  The fact remains that corporations are buying the "less infrastructure/let Google do it" story in ever-increasing numbers.  Obviously, that does not bode well for either Lotus or Microsoft when it comes to selling on-premise computing.

But there was a "ah-ha" moment a bit further down in the story, and it's an angle I didn't consider in this light when the news came out last week:

Perhaps most significantly, at a Google Apps CIO roundtable event in San Francisco last week, Google announced that enterprise users of Google Apps could access Gmail through an Outlook client. The company hopes it will quell the protests by users who have become tethered to the desktop app and who, as a result, have sometimes hindered enterprise adoption of Google Apps.

"For me, it eliminates the last hurdle or mindset for letting go of [Microsoft] Exchange or the Exchange mentality," said Bob Rudy, vice president and CIO of Avago, a semiconductor company that moved its employees over to Google Apps, during the event. "This will help with adoption."

I remember reading a number of Yellowverse comments along the lines of "imagine if Lotus had that same type of tight integration with Gmail".  But I either didn't see or missed (probably the latter) the angle that Google put the hammer down on Exchange by that little move.  We've said it before ourselves...  "Users don't want Exchange...  They want Outlook."  Gmail just gave it to them.  So instead of us saying "we'll give them an Outlook connector to Domino", Google has said "use your preferred mail client, and we'll run your mail infrastructure for you."  Imagine trying to sell Exchange into that argument.  

Or Domino...

At least the Notes client isn't "free", so it's not as if Lotus is giving away the mail client which now is back-end agnostic.  But overall, I'm not convinced that having Notes able to access Gmail as a easily configurable (or preferable) option is such a hot idea.  If Google says "use Notes, Outlook, or Gmail...  we don't care", the email server becomes even more of a commodity at that point.  And if it's not cloud-based, the selling becomes that much harder.

06/14/2009

Request for council members' emails rife with difficulties

Category
From The Longmont Times-Call: Request for council members' emails rife with difficulties

The Times-Call submitted a Colorado Open Records Act request March 24 for all e-mails from each Longmont City Council member’s account, giving the city until April 4 — seven more days than the three required by law — to round up the messages.

Longmont city clerk Valeria Skitt said that when her office received the newspaper’s request, she planned to burn each council member’s e-mails to a disc. But that didn’t work with some accounts. So Skitt told council members that either they could forward their e-mails to the public inbox — at city.council@ci.longmont.co.us — or employees would do it for them if they provided passwords to their accounts.

Didn't work with some accounts?  Hmmm...

 Once the city finished the Times-Call’s open records request, how to get those files in a usable format also became an issue. Because the city uses Lotus Notes and because all the e-mails were sent to the public inbox, burning the messages to a disc wouldn’t do any good because the files wouldn’t be viewable on a computer without Lotus Notes.

The city can convert the e-mails to a text file, but doing so bogs down each e-mail with lines and lines of coding. Still, it was the only workable option, so the city gave the Times-Call a disc with the e-mails.

On that disc was one, 53-megabyte, 20,664-page document containing the text of the e-mails — a document the Times-Call still is combing through.

Let me get this straight...  They spent 11 business days fulfilling this request by sending counsil member emails to a public inbox, then still resorted to converting the emails to a large text file for final presentation????  And this is blamed on Notes?  

Let's see...  All documents, Select All, Print All Documents in View, Print to a PDF driver...

Am I missing something here???

06/14/2009

Book Review - Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun by Tim Hollis

Category Book Review Tim Hollis Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun
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There's something about that nostalgic time of the 40's, 50's, and 60's, when it comes to "roadside attractions".  We as a society have become so used to "bigger, better, spectacular", that it's fun to look back to those times when cheesy themeing was still different enough that it would draw them in droves.  Dixie Before Disney: 100 Years of Roadside Fun by Tim Hollis covers those time periods, when Stuckey's and Rock City ruled the road in the South.  Many of those places are now gone, but it's fun to look back at how we used to define entertainment.

Contents:
I Wish I Was in Dixie; Stuckey's, Ten Miles; Peachy Beaches; Head for the Hills; Fantasy Lands; Old Time There are Not Forgotten; The Nature of Things; Spring Training; A Tropical Paradise in the Wild West; Epilogue; Bibliographical Essays; Index

Now to get the most out of this, you'd probably have had to be raised in the South during the golden age of motoring.  So many of these places were designed to draw the car full of family, either as a final destination or (most likely) as a stopping point along the way.  Hollis does a good job in mapping the highs and lows to major cultural shifts in our society.  World War II interrupted a number of plans, as rationing and service overseas took priority.  The energy crisis of the 70's also ravaged many of the attractions as people stopped driving as much.  The rise of affordable air travel, along with the emergence of mega-parks such as Disney closed the doors on many of the remaining places.  But still, there are a few left that let you step back into the past, such as some of the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museums and cities such as St. Augustine.

Hollis also does a great job of tracing how we've evolved (or not) in terms of minority and cultural understanding.  Being that the book is focused on the South, slave stereotypes were quite common.  He mentions how restaurants such as Mammy's Shanty and the Pickaninny Coffee Shop were open and operating in Atlanta as late as 1968.  Today many of us would be amazed that anything like that used to exist.  But back then, images like that were common and normal...

About the only thing I would have liked better in this book is the use of more colored photos.  There's a seven page inset in the middle that shows a few locations in their full colorful glory.  All other pictures are smaller black and white images interspersed with the narrative.  If the publisher could have spent the additional money for more color, Dixie Before Disney would have been truly outstanding.  Even so, it's still a very enjoyable trip back into yesteryear...

06/07/2009

Book Review - The Ingredients Of A Good Thriller by Chris Wood

Category Book Review Chris Wood The Ingredients Of A Good Thriller
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So awhile back the book The Ingredients Of A Good Thriller by Chris Wood wandered across my desk.  It's no surprise that I spend a significant amount of time reading, but often I'm not really analyzing the structure or the makeup of how the story unfolds.  I thought it might be interesting to start paying a bit more attention to that aspect of writing, hence the reason for reading this book.  

Contents:
Starting Points
Different Types of Thrillers: Plots; Settings; Crime Scene; A Good Start
Characters: Overview; Sleuth; Sidekick; Villian; Victim; Anti-Hero; Red Herring; Enabler
Showing and Shaping Characters: Showing Character; Making the Goodie Really Good; Making the Baddie Really Bad; Dialogue and Language; What Type of Language?; Comic Relief; Relationship Trouble
Approaches and Details: Atmosphere; Make'em Flinch; How to Make A Kill A Crowd Pleaser; Setpieces; The "Pow" Factor; Milk The Suspense; The Feel of It; Humour Potential; Music That Thrills; Use Reality
Last But Not Least
Don't Give Up!; Recommended Crime Films; Recommended Crime Books; Afterward; Conclusion - The Essentials

On the positive side, Wood does a nice job hitting on all the major elements that would need to be present in a thriller.  You obviously need to determine who your characters are, how they behave and interact, and how you can consistently carry that through the plot.  You also have to understand dialogue (a pet peeve of mine).  If it's not realistic, then the writing falls flat.  His recommendation to pay attention to conversations you hear all around you is excellent.  Think of it as a free workshop in learning how real people talk.

Where I had issues with the book was in the expected target vs. all the examples.  The back cover starts out with "Ever wanted to write a thriller?"  The intro mentions "read and watch", but still the main assumption seems to be writing.  But the overwhelming number of examples in the book refer back to movies, scenes from movies, or setups of movies.  So if you haven't seen the particular film he references, you lose something in the translation.  Also, some of the references don't go into detail as to *why* that's a good example.  For instance, "enabler" characters are listed as certain performers in movies...  Robin Williams in Good Will Hunting, Paulie in Goodfellows, Ronny Cox in Beverly Hills Cop.  If you've seen the film, these references might make sense.  If you haven't, then it's entirely lost on you.  And since I read much more than I watch movies, I didn't get as much out of this as the writer probably intended from his reference point.

The Ingredients of a Good Thriller worked for me in terms of starting to "meta-process" what I'm reading from the viewpoint of a writer.  And in a large-type 223 pages, I wouldn't expect an exhaustive coverage.  But I'm still not convinced that using film scenes to teach writing technique is a good match, unless you're prepared to watch a movie first, and then analyze it immediately afterwards.  And in the case of this book, endless references to films I haven't watched does me no good...

06/07/2009

Book Review - Stahl's Illustrated Antidepressants by Stephen M. Stahl

Category Book Review Stephen M. Stahl Stahl's Illustrated Antidepressants
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Through the Amazon Vine program, I received a copy of Stahl's Illustrated Antidepressants by Stephen M. Stahl to review.  While I'm not a medical expert, I *do* use antidepressants, and thought this might give me additional understanding about the subject.  It really is geared towards the medical profession in general, but the illustrated manner in which it is written does help to make it more understandable to the layman such as myself.

Contents:
Preface; CME Information; Objectives; Neurobilogy of Depression; Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) and Serotonin Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (SNRIs); Norepinephrine and Dopamine Reuptake Inhibitors (NDRIs) and Selective Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors (NRIs); Alpha 2 Antagonists and Serotonin and Norepinephrine Disinhibitors (SNDIs) and Serotonin Antagonist/Reuptake Inhibitors (SARIs); Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors (MAOIs) and Tricyclic Antidepressants (TCAs); Building a Treatment Plan with Novel Treatment and Augmentation Options for Depression; Depression in Women - Treating Symptoms Throughout the Life Span; Pharmacokinetics and Algorithms to Treat Depression; Summary; Abbreviations and Symbols; Suggested Readings; Index; CME Posttest; Activity Evaluation

As the table of contents might suggest, this is more targeted towards those who in the medical field and working on earning CME credits.  It's not a comprehensive treatise on everything related to antidepressants, but it does use text and images effectively to allow the important concepts to become understandable and rememberable.  Personally for me, it helped to understand the different classes of antidepressant meds, why the ones that I take work like they do, and what potential side effects might be common with any particular medication.  `It was also informative to understand how certain meds might interfere with others, as well as with food combinations that could cause issues.

All in all, this is a solid read.  Although I wasn't the primary audience, it didn't take a lot of effort to understand what was going on, and I feel much more informed about my antidepressant use now.

06/06/2009

Book Review - Corsair by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul

Category Book Review Clive Cussler Jack Du Brul Corsair
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Corsair by Clive Cussler and Jack Du Brul is one of those reads where I know I'm not going to be educated or stretched...  just entertained.  And as usual, Cussler and Du Brul deliver that.  The Oregon Files series with Juan Cabrillo continues to grow on me with each new installment.  It's definitely not Dirk Pitt material, but the main characters have established definite personalities that stand on their own.  

In this installment, Cabrillo and company start out by trying to entice Somolian pirates to attack the Oregon, which per normal appears to be something that it isn't.  The thought is that they can get the pirates to lead them to their warload, an international criminal wanted by a number of governments.  This works well, and is a fun plot on its own.  But the real story starts when the Secretary of State's plane crashes in the Libyan desert on the way to an international peace conference.  A number of terror organizations and governments would probably prefer she doesn't get there, as there's a good chance that an accord of historic proportions will come out of the conference.  Cabrillo's crew is hired to head to the scene, see if the crash was legitimate, and find out whether the Secretary of State is alive or dead.  The more Cabrillo digs, the deeper the conspiracy becomes... dating back centuries to an Islamic iman who might have had the answer to bring Christians and Muslims together in peace.  If evidence of that iman and his writings can be found in time for the conference, the peace accord is a near certain lock.  The extremists have their own agenda, though.  And it certainly doesn't involve peaceful coexistence...

With Cussler, you get non-stop, cliff-hanger type storytelling.  It's the same here.  I was slightly disappointed in the ending, as it seemed to be stretching things just a bit (as if a Cussler novel isn't one large stretch already).  Still, it was an entertaining escape for a few hours, and well worth the trip.

06/06/2009

Book Review - The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein

Category Book Review Tim O'Reilly Sarah Milstein The Twitter Book
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I'm an active (some would say over-active) user of Twitter, and I couldn't pass up the chance to review O'Reilly's latest book on the subject...  The Twitter Book by Tim O'Reilly and Sarah Milstein.  Given what I had seen of it before it arrived, I was thinking it'd be a perfect book for newbies, but that I likely wouldn't get much out of it.  WRONG!  Even if you've been using Twitter for awhile, you'll find new tricks in here that will take your Twitter usage to a new level.

Contents:
Get Started; Listen In; Hold Great Conversations; Share Information and Ideas; Reveal Yourself; Twitter for Business - Special Considerations and Ideas; Index

I think the layout of the book is what first led me to believe that this was going to be "basic" stuff.  On each two page spread, you have the subject matter on the right side, and screen prints or graphics on the left side.  It's a perfect format for showing exactly what you're telling the reader, and the subject matter is short and to-the-point.  If you were to sit down and decide to read straight through the 234 pages, you'd probably be done in a couple of hours, if that.  But it's the gems I kept finding that slowed me down and caused me to significantly change my view of the material.

The chapter on getting started lays a solid groundwork for the person who is wondering what Twitter is all about.  The terminology, guidelines, and basic features are all covered in enough detail to get the person started without overwhelming them.  And it was here that I encountered the term "ambient intimacy", meaning that Twitter allows you to know what your friends are up to and dealing with, without the need to have to give them a call or apologize for not keeping current.  The more I thought about it, the more it made sense.  Twitter adds context and color to those I'm interested in.

Everything else in the book, from Listen In through Special Considerations, is where things started to get very interesting for me.  I've not used Twitter Search a lot, but after understanding more about it, I'm hooked.  Even more important, I learned about new sites where I could track trends in Twitter content, such as What The Trend and Twitscoop.  If you're using Twitter to see what's going on in the world, these tools let you be on the bleeding edge of what's happening.  I already use a Twitter client as opposed to the Twitter website, but I saw a few new options I might want to explore.  I learned a number of etiquette tips on how best to retweet someone, especially if the basic retweet would go over the 140 character limit.  I even found a few new options for my Twitter account that apparently were added after I set mine up, and I haven't noticed.

Oh, and if you run a business and you want to incorporate Twitter into your online presence?  You can't afford to miss the chapter on Twitter for Business.  It's not long, but it will keep you from making some mistakes that would make your corporate Twitter experience a disaster (and make you wish you had never gone down the path).

If you have the chance to read The Twitter Book, I would highly recommend it.  I can only think of a few people I know on Twitter who would already know everything in the book.  The vast majority (ie., the rest of us) would benefit tremendously.

06/05/2009

My first four weeks of "Project Buffbert"... by the numbers

Category Everything Else
So yesterday marked the end of my first four weeks on the Kinetix program.  This means I'm eating six times a day (3 meals, 3 snacks), the food is targeted for 40% protein, 40% carbs, and 20% fat, and I'm doing both strength training and cardio on a scheduled, consistent basis.  At the end of each four week period, I can step on their fancy hi-tech scale, key in my employee code, grab the handles, and let it do a body composition analysis.  This is *very* important to me, as it breaks me out of that obsession with that single scale number denoting weight.  Instead, I learn what's going on inside, even if the overall weight isn't changing as fast as I'd like.

Listed below are the starting numbers and the 4 week numbers for comparison:
2009/05/06
2009/06/05
Overall Weight (pounds)
246.7
238.5
Lean Body Mass (pounds)
129.4
129.6
Body Fat Mass (pounds)
117.3
108.9
Body Mass Index (BMI percentage)
42.3%
40.9%
Percent Body Fat (percentage)
47.5%
45.6%


Some commentary...
  • Since my BMI is still over 40%, I am still classified as "morbidly obese".  But only a fat person would understand my initial goal of being simply "obese". :)  I'm getting close.
  • Losing slightly over 2 pounds a week is a perfect pace.  Yeah, it'd be nice to magically drop to under 200 pounds by the end of June, but this is a journey and not a destination.
  • My coach was impressed with the results, but was *most* impressed with the Lean Body Mass numbers.  Apparently when people first take a body comp test, their muscle weight is artificially inflated.  This is because the muscles have a lot of carbs due to a typically high carb diet, and they appear to be larger than they actually are.  So after 4 weeks of better nutrition and exercise, that number usually drops at the first checkpoint.  The fact that mine not only held steady but *gained* .2 pounds surprised and pleased him (and me!).
  • For general purposes, a "normal" BMI is between 18.5% and 25%, while a normal Body Fat percentage is between 10% and 20%.

    Overall, this is working out VERY well for me.  I feel better (if you discount the sore muscles from the strength training), my emotional state is positive, and I don't feel like I'm on a "diet". I truly feel like I've *changed* my lifestyle, not just patched a few holes to reach a goal, thinking "when will this end so I can get back to normal?"  "Normal" is what got me to this point, and "normal" is not an acceptable option any longer.  "Normal" needs to be redefined to what I want to become, not what I was.  What I *was* was abnormally fat, out of shape, and killing myself.  Only in America would we consider that "normal".

    I'd also like to thank all of you who have encouraged, challenged, and held me accountable.  As you can probably tell, I have little ego in terms of putting the brutally honest truth out there for all to see, regardless of whether its pleasant or not.  Knowing I have the support of my friends and colleagues keeps me honest.  It also helps knowing that someone else might read this and think about their own situation.  

    I'm trying to live my life as a teaching hospital.  Experts don't run the place, and mistakes will be made.  But if others can learn from what's going on here, then I'm moving in the right direction.

06/03/2009

Saying goodbye to my faithful friend fluoxetine tomorrow...

Category Everything Else
So my switch to a new SSRI anti-depressant hits a new stage this week.  Tomorrow will be my last day of taking a lower dose of fluoxetine, also known as Prozac.  I've been on that medication for dysthymia for the last five years or so, and quite honestly it probably saved my life.  I wasn't suicidal or anything, but life certainly wasn't much fun.  And in terms of writing, speaking, and all the other professional things I've done since that point in time?  You could just forget those ever happened without Prozac.  The fear would have been too overwhelming, the cost much too high to risk putting myself out there for others to see.  If I look at dysthymia as a hormonal imbalance (seretonin), then for me Prozac was nothing more than a medication that stabilized my hormone levels.  No shame, no stigma...  I realize not everyone is as successful as I was on my first foray into those types of meds, but for me, it was a lifesaver.

But over time, the body builds a tolerance to SSRI drugs, and you have to take more to get the same effect.  While I wasn't at the high-end dose yet, I could tell I was starting to slip a bit.  The doctor and I discussed a med change last year during a rough patch, but it was right before I headed over to ILUG in Dublin.  One does NOT want to be playing around with depression med changes while they're out of the country, in an environment that is largely outside their control.  I got through that, things calmed down, and I just let it go until now.

Friday and Saturday I'll be med-free to finish the tapering process.  Given that it took about seven weeks for me to see the full effect of Prozac on my personality when I first started to take it, a 20 day tapering off isn't going to clear my system entirely.  But that's probably a good thing, as I'm not sure I'd want to be entirely med-free again.  Sunday I'll start on the Celexa (actually, the generic version - citalopram...  have to learn how to pronounce that one...  I was just getting good at fluoxetine).  The half-life here is considerably less than Prozac (about two to four weeks), so I should know whether I can make this change work as well as the Prozac by mid- to late June.  But given my good reactions and tolerance to SSRIs before, we're both cautiously optimistic that the changes should be minor.

I think the fitness stuff I've been doing over the last four weeks has likely helped the tapering off effects to be infinitely more mild than they might have been otherwise.  Some might say that getting more fit would negate the need for the meds at all.  While true for some, I would argue that's not the case for me.  The melancholiness of dysthymia has been something I've had since my teen years, always considering that to be a "normal" state of existence.  I had the same struggles with that form of dysthymia even in my early and mid 20s when I was doing serious weight training and was toying with the idea of competition bodybuilding.  Yes, fitness is good, but it's not a panacea for every physiological and psychological ill.

I'll continue to share my med experience as I start up the new routine.  I know a number of people have found my posts on this via Google, and have been helped.  And since I'm looking at my life as a "teaching hospital", I want to make sure others can learn as much as possible before they start their own journey.

06/03/2009

An idea for GM as they offload/sell parts of their business (yes, a serious idea!)

Category Everything Else
So General Motors is selling off parts of their business that don't work in their new "streamlined" model.  China is taking the Hummer brand off their hands.  We'll see where the other parts end up at.

But there's one thing they do that seems like it would be easy to sell off, and would be a natural fit for another company...

What if GM were to sell off their OnStar offering?  You know, that magic feature that allows you to call for help, directions, and whatever regardless of where you are...  in a GM car?

What if satellite company XM Radio were to purchase it?  Giving them another in-car offering...  AND allowing them to market to ALL car brands for a monthly fee?

I haven't run numbers, looked into who owns what, etc....

But it seems as if that would be a natural business to drop for GM, and a natural pickup for XM (or for some major cell carrier like Verizon or  AT&T)...

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Thomas "Duffbert" Duff

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