Sunday, February 19, 2006
Out of the sky they're falling down,
Red and Blue and Green and Brown,
Floating here and gliding there,
Where they'll land, who know where.
See the freeway and the beans,
Flying above the changing scenes,
Here comes Tony, he plummets down,
All the rest go round and round.
He sees no beans or any road,
He sees himself, squashed like a toad.
The runway looms, hard as granite,
This wasn't how he had planned it.
It should be great, this falling free.
Tony thinks, this just can't be!
Tony thinks?? That's not true!
He must be up there, sniffing glue!
He yanks the lines, he pulls with care,
He hopes the chute will soon hold air.
The chute unfurls, there it goes,
His quick descent finally slows.
He hits the ditch, he hits his face,
In falling speed, he's got first place.
He's still got the ripcord in his hand,
Inside his head, he hears a band.
He's still alive, to his delight,
He'll think twice, before the next flight!
Dance around the mystic crystal, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
It's the New Age let's be cheerful, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Spin we now the orange chakra, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
UFO'S on Mount Shasta, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Here the Channeler sits before us, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Takes a trip back to Atlantis, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Follow him in psychic tripping, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
While he does some wallet stripping, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Fast away the New Age passes, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Wasted time in psychic classes, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
Fads will come and fads will go, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
What comes next I do not know, Z Z Z Z Zap, Z zap zap zap
The babble got to be too much,
They talked of things I'd never touch.
Varicose veins and sagging buns,
Clothes too tight and stocking runs.
Calls and calls, all times of day,
Party tonight, it's time to play.
As my mind went down the tube,
I got to switch to another cube.
Now the sun basks my lair,
Warms the skin, the desk, the chair.
Times are good, times are bad,
But without the sun, we can't be glad.
As dawn makes its way through the trees,
I see a bridge astride a creek.
Steam floats lazily from dead stumps,
I stand, though my legs are weak.
A road goes to the bridge,
But none comes out.
An easy path crosses mine,
It's not the only route.
So on this day before the rest,
I have a choice that's very old.
The certain way that leads nowhere,
Or the one that's adventuresome and bold.
If you ever meet a fossil ape,
Shake his hand and be his friend.
Cause if you run off to escape,
He'll grab you and you'll bend.
So when you're walking down the street
And the ape approaches you,
Don't run off unless you're fleet
Or he'll toss you to Timbuktu.
I was stuck inside a tortoise shell
Sliding in the mud
My head started ringing like a bell
When I suddenly stopped with a thud.
I stuck out my head to see the light
And was amazed at what I saw
A pterodactyl in full flight
With my shell grasped in his claw.
The flying reptile set me down
As softly as can be
I looked around and saw a clown
He was riding on a flea.
I found a girl and kissed her face
She hugged me and she cried
"Get me out of this crazy place!"
So I got a crowbar and pried.
The flying lizard fell off the cliff
The girl and I did run
On the beach we found a skiff
And then we had some fun.
Once upon a time, there lived in the East Woods a hermit named Sam. Sam was old of body, but young at heart. All the birds and animals of the forest liked him and they were his best friends. Sam didn't want to be a hermit, but the evil witch Phoenix had put a spell on him and had broken his heart. Then he went to see a fortune teller hoping for good news and was told that soon his meager income would be taken away by the Sheriff. Sam was very sad. What would happen to him?
POOF! Out of nowhere appeared an Irish Jinni. She told Sam to find the BATS. The BATS held the secret of the IMPROV. She said that the BATS would teach him to be a better person. The Jinni put Sam under a good spell that compelled him to find the BATS. Little did Sam know that the BATS would soon change his whole life. He told the Jinni that he would leave the woods and search Magic City for the BATS.
Sam hadn't been to Magic City for a very long time. He was very unsure of himself. He had never heard of the IMPROV. What could it be?
When Sam first saw the BATS, he was so amazed that he was speechless. The BATS were a company of singers, dancers, wizards and sorcerers. They played games, sang and danced the night away. Sam was so happy. Why hadn't he found out about the IMPROV earlier. He had so much time to make up. The BATS told him that he could play with them after learning the rules. Even the rules were amazing: Accept, never deny. Make your partner look good. Be free, don't censor yourself. Don't judge others and they won't judge you. The most wonderful thing was that even though there was a competition, both teams helped each other.
That night, Sam made a promise to himself. His new quest in life was to be playing with the BATS, adding to the enjoyment of others, within one year. He would need lots of help, since he had been hiding in the woods for so many years. He had no experience, but that didn't bother him. He had seen his destiny. He wanted to be part of the magic.
It was spring time. The May flowers were blooming. Nature was renewing itself after the cold winter. Spring is Sam's favorite time of year. It is the time of year for new experiences, new adventures and a time to shake off the winter doldrums. He wasn't very happy this particular spring. His heart had not mended and his income would soon disappear.
Sam traveled across the big stream to the meadow where the BATS held forth with their mystical exploration of the IMPROV. He met one of the few women that has had a positive influence on his life. She was more than just an ordinary woman. Her name was Babe. She had the magic. It swirled around her like a vaporous snake. She could metamorphose her body, her face and her emotions in an instant. From beautiful and sexy to mean and ugly to lonely and sad before your very eyes. Sam was astounded. She was special. He had to know more about the magic. Babe was the one to teach him.
Babe started Sam on his way. She brought him into the wonderful world of the IMPROV. He met other troupes of magicians. They expanded his mind. His creativity, long dormant, was revived. His whole life changed from ordinary to extraordinary. The IMPROV allowed Sam to endure when the Sheriff took away his income.
Now it is four years later. Spring will soon be here. Sam has a new source of income that is greater than before and is living a brand new castle, but something is missing. A different woman. One to share the wonderful world that surrounds Sam. A woman that can make another great change to Sam's life. Someone with a caring heart, a gentle soul and a loving smile. A woman that brings joy to any room she enters. A woman that desires a partner as giving as she is. Someone that deserves the best Sam can give.
Sam has heard whispers...small voices of the Fairies in the Woods. They are saying that there is such a woman, but Sam must search far and wide in order to find her....
The dance has begun...
Of the four aspects of strategic analysis and definition, it is the contingency planning or entailment organizing role that reaches the highest development in Masterminds. Entailing or contingency planning is not an informative activity, rather it is a directive one in which the planner tells others what to do and in what order to do it. As the organizing capabilities the Masterminds increase so does their inclination to take charge of whatever is going on.
It is in their abilities that Masterminds differ from the other Rationals, while in most of their attitudes they are just like the others. However there is one attitude that sets them apart from other Rationals: they tend to be much more self-confident than the rest, having, for obscure reasons, developed a very strong will. They are rather rare, comprising no more than, say, one percent of the population. Being very judicious, decisions come naturally to them; indeed, they can hardly rest until they have things settled, decided, and set. They are the people who are able to formulate coherent and comprehensive contingency plans, hence contingency organizers or "entailers."
Masterminds will adopt ideas only if they are useful, which is to say if they work efficiently toward accomplishing the Mastermind's well-defined goals. Natural leaders, Masterminds are not at all eager to take command of projects or groups, preferring to stay in the background until others demonstrate their inability to lead. Once in charge, however, Masterminds are the supreme pragmatists, seeing reality as a crucible for refining their strategies for goal-directed action. In a sense, Masterminds approach reality as they would a giant chess board, always seeking strategies that have a high payoff, and always devising contingency plans in case of error or adversity. To the Mastermind, organizational structure and operational procedures are never arbitrary, never set in concrete, but are quite malleable and can be changed, improved, streamlined. In their drive for efficient action, Masterminds are the most open-minded of all the types. No idea is too far-fetched to be entertained-if it is useful. Masterminds are natural brainstormers, always open to new concepts and, in fact, aggressively seeking them. They are also alert to the consequences of applying new ideas or positions. Theories which cannot be made to work are quickly discarded by the Masterminds. On the other hand, Masterminds can be quite ruthless in implementing effective ideas, seldom counting personal cost in terms of time and energy.
1. Falling in love.
2. Laughing so hard your face hurts.
3. A hot shower.
4. No lines at the supermarket
5. A special glance.
6. Getting mail
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road.
8. Hearing your favorite song on the radio.
9. Lying in bed listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer.
11. Finding the sweater you want is on sale for half price.
12. Chocolate milkshake. (or vanilla!) (or strawberry)
13. A long distance phone call.
14. A bubble bath.
16. A good conversation.
17. The beach
18. Finding a 20 note in your coat from last winter.
19. Laughing at yourself.
20. Midnight phone calls that last for hours.
21. Running through sprinklers.
22. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all.
23. Having someone tell you that you’re beautiful.
24. Laughing at an inside joke.
26. Accidentally overhearing someone say something nice about you.
27. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to sleep.
28. Your first kiss (either the very first or with a new partner).
29. Making new friends or spending time with old ones.
30. Playing with a new puppy.
31. Having someone play with your hair.
32. Sweet dreams.
33. Hot chocolate.
34. Road trips with friends.
35. Swinging on swings.
36. Wrapping presents under the Christmas tree while eating cookies and drinking your favorite tipple.
37. Song lyrics printed inside your new CD so you can sing along without feeling stupid.
38. Going to a really good concert.
39. Making eye contact with a cute stranger.
40. Winning a really competitive game.
41. Making chocolate chip cookies.
42. Having your friends send you homemade cookies.
43. Spending time with close friends.
44. Seeing smiles and hearing laughter from your friends.
45. Holding hands with someone you care about.
46. Running into an old friend and realizing that some things (good or bad) never change.
47. Riding the best roller coasters over and over.
48. Watching the expression on someone’s face as they open a much desired present from you.
49. Watching the sunrise.
50. Getting out of bed every morning and being grateful for another beautiful day.
The Natural Lows
1. Falling into a ditch
2. Crying so hard your ass hurts.
3. A hot shower of lead
4. Being in the express lane at the supermarket behind an old lady with 15 items and a checkbook
5. A specious glance.
6. Getting hate mail
7. Taking a drive on a pretty road and taking the turn too fast and falling off a cliff
8. Hearing Rush Limbaugh on the radio.
9. Lying on a bed of nails listening to the rain outside.
10. Hot towels fresh out of the dryer, so hot your face burns off
11. Finding the sweater you want is on sale for half price and then having some bitch grab it first.
12. Horse anus milkshake. (or bull balls!) (or live tomato horn worms in goat blood gravy) - Flagrant Fear Factor reference
13. A long distance phone call – collect from Bulgaria
14. A bubble bath where the hair dryer falls in
15. Giggling at a funeral.
16. A one sided conversation with an evil mime
17. A bitch
18. Finding a leftover glass of moldy eggnog in your coat from last winter.
19. Laughing at a drunk in the gutter.
20. Midnight phone calls that last for hours from your drunken ex-girl friend
21. Running through a minefield.
22. Laughing for absolutely no reason at all and then getting taken away by the men in white coats.
23. Having someone tell you that you suck major league big time
24. Laughing at an inside joke without knowing why it’s funny because you’re afraid of getting fired
26. Accidentally overhearing someone telling lies about you.
27. Waking up and realizing you still have a few hours left to live and you were hoping to die in your sleep.
28. Your first felony arrest (either the very first or with a new partner).
29. Alienating new friends or spending time backstabbing some old ones.
30. Playing with a new hand grenade.
31. Having someone put lice in your hair.
32. Horrible nightmares.
33. Hot wax dripping on your tongue.
34. Road trips with friends and getting kidnapped by Columbian narco-terrorists.
35. Swinging on a gallows.
36. Taking your kids’ presents from under the Christmas tree and auctioning them on Ebay to pay for gambling debts.
37. Song lyrics printed inside your new CD so you can sing along and dance like a complete moron.
38. Going to a really good lynching.
39. Making eye contact with a cute stranger, then having him stalk you and you have to get a restraining order.
40. Winning a really competitive game, then doing the Ultra-Gloat dance on the losers grave
41. Making PCP brownies and giving the unsuspecting girl scouts for revenge.
42. Having your friends send you homemade suicide bombs.
43. Spending time with Jojo Bubba Jr. and Leroy in the prison shower.
44. Seeing smiles and hearing laughter from your friends, who now shun you for your crime spree
45. Holding hands with OJ Simpson.
46. Running into an old friend and then driving off before finding out if they need an ambulance because your insurance has expired..
47. Riding the best roller coasters over and over until you barf all over some 5 year old kid
48. Watching the expression on someone’s face as they open a box containing the head of their favorite horse.
49. Watching the sunrise over Baghdad as the B-2’s start carpet bombing
50. Getting out of bed every morning and hoping it will all end soon.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
I’ve been a Netflix member since February 2001, so this is my 5 year anniversary. I’ve been an extremely happy customer until recently. I know that part of the reason that Netflix has been so successful is the word of mouth free advertising from people like me and you’ve expanded your customer base by 1.6 million customers in 2005.
This expansion of the customer base has caused you to “throttle” customers like me who love to watch movies so much and are tired of paying too much at the movie theater and getting kicked from behind and that causes most of the new DVD releases on movies that came out in 2005 to be stuck on my list in long wait or very long wait.
This is from an MSNBC article:
"In determining priority for shipping and inventory allocation, we give priority to those members who receive the fewest DVDs through our service," Netflix's revised policy now reads. The statement specifically warns that heavy renters are more likely to encounter shipping delays and less likely to immediately be sent their top choices. Few customers have complained about this "fairness algorithm," according to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.
"We have unbelievably high customer satisfaction ratings," Hastings said during a recent interview. "Most of our customers feel like Netflix is an incredible value."
I would like to put myself on the list of the few customers that feel that Netflix is an incredible value and are also complaining about the “fairness algorithm” directly to you. I don’t think it’s fair for me to see all the movies I’d like to be watching in my friends list of movies they just received whereas on my list it says very long wait which can be up to 4 months according to your website.
March of the Penguins was released on DVD on November 29, 2005 and I had it on my list from the beginning and at or near the top since then and it is finally supposed to arrive today. Netflix is one of the reasons I don’t go out the movies that often because the DVD is released within 6 months, but now I have to wait another 3 months because I like watching movies.
I understand that you make more money on people who watch less movies, but I think you need to be more fair to long time customers like me and beef up the inventory on new popular movies. At least I turn them over quickly and get them back into circulation.
Below is the current top of my queue:
Deal of the Century - Very Long Wait
The 40-Year-Old Virgin - Very Long Wait
Flightplan - Very Long Wait
The Constant Gardner - Long Wait
Two for the Money - Long Wait
Cinderella Man - Long Wait
What really burns me up is that Deal of the Century is an old movie that just got released this week and Netflix didn’t even have it on the list until I send 3 title requests and now I have to wait up to 4 months. There is another group of new popular movies releasing on DVD in the next few weeks – Domino, North Country, Ice Harvest and Where the Truth Lies, so I’m guessing I’ll have 4 more on the very long wait list.
I hope you take this letter seriously and hopefully improve the already excellent Netflix service.