Yearly Archives: 2008

Let me say this about that.

I swear, it seems every time I say something about Apple, someone sends me email accusing me of either sucking up to Apple and lobbying for a job there, or telling me to get over it and stop being pissed at Apple.

It’s amusing when both happen at the same time, and it happened again today, within 20 minutes of each other after I posted this note. (the previous one was a few weeks ago, with this one).

So just to lay the cards on the table (7-2 off-suit. Raise all in!) here’s this about that.

If I were trying to get back into a job at Apple, I wouldn’t do it in public. I don’t have to. I sincerely doubt that my blogging is going to so impress Steve that he’ll personally call me and ask me to come interview. Hell, my file probably has so many black dots on it that alarms go off if someone actually touches it and they call in the hazmat team to sanitize the building.

Frankly, I LIKE my job. They seem to like me. They’ve been really supportive the last few months while I’ve been helping mom with dad’s illness, death, and the estate. That means a lot to me. I’d feel kinda a schmuck to do the “hey, thanks for all that. bye” on them. So I’m not interested in that. In fact, I had lunch with some apple friends a few weeks back and they mentioned a job they had open — and I referred a friend in to them.

And no, I’m not pissed (or whatever) at Apple. It wasn’t easy to leave the place after 17+ years, but it was the right move for both sides, and I don’t regret it. I still have lots of folks I know there, I still think they kick butt as a company and build great products, and I’m a strong supporter.

It’s just that Apple isn’t perfect. Sometimes they deserve criticism, and I call it like I see it. Sometimes the fanboys deserve it instead, and I jump them as well. My tenure at Apple, and the work I did gives me a unique perspective on this, and sometimes I actually get it sort of right. And sometimes I hear from folks On the Inside thanking me for dealing with an issue, and sometimes they drop me a note and rip me a new orifice. or laugh.

So what the heck. my goal is to add signal to the conversation where I think I can, and reduce noise from the conversation when appropriate as well. And to hopefully know when to keep my mouth shut and not simply prove that I’m here because I like hearing myself babble. So far, the feedback I get indicates I’m walking that tightrope okay. It’ll continue as long as I think I’m actually contributing and not just chattering, and as long as I find it interesting to do so. There’s a lot less “non Apple” content on the blog right now than I want, mostly because a bunch of stuff has been “in progress” or “on hold” because of outside issues like my dad, but hopefully, that’ll change soon. And hopefully the people reading this stuff when I talk about Apple will find some of that other stuff interesting, too. We’ll see.

So this is a quiet suggestion that some folks need a bit of perspective on life (or maybe get one); no, this isn’t an advertisment to Apple to hire me, and no, I’m not wishing Apple ill or trying to destroy them. Those of you who think either of those opinions, please spend less time at your computer and try to get some experience in the real world… We’ll all benefit.

(of course, if the right situation with the right company comes calling, I’d be an idiot not to listen to it. That’s basic reality, but that’d be true if it was Apple or Google or god knows who. but there’s a huge difference to being open to an opportunity and pursuing one, and I just want it to be clear that I’m not doing the latter. Which if you’ve ever pursued opportunities, you’d probably know is best not done by blogging stuff about a company that is likely to piss it off… even if its for its own good).

There. We clear? Great. thanks.

Watch the spin: PA boss likes two for T.O.

The Calgary Sun – PA boss likes two for T.O.:

All the half-empty buildings across the NHL aren’t hard to miss.

Funny how they chose to lead with that, ignoring that the League had the best average attendance in October ever.

Funny how the good data gets ignored, while the negatives get put in the lead.

Yes, there are cities where things are tougher. And there are cities where things have gotten better. Welcome to the reality of a large industry. Ten years ago, it was the canadian cities struggling, remember? These things cycle.

“There isn’t any question that Toronto could support a second team,” said Kelly, who was in Calgary yesterday. “They could support two more teams. That said, I think it’s a no-brainer for us to put another team in Southern Ontario. Whether we put it in Kitchener, Waterloo, Hamilton … there isn’t any doubt it would succeed. It would do famously well, and I don’t think it would impact the Leafs or the Buffalo Sabres.

“We have a building in Kansas City that’s … NHL ready. My view is the NHL would probably lean towards Kansas City first if it has to relocate a team, but I’m not a big fan of that idea. Kansas City has had a NHL team in the past — it didn’t work out real well. I would be much more in favour of a Canadian franchise if you were gonna move one.

The problem, of course, is that a team needs a building to relocate to. Kansas City has a building, and ownership willing to commit to a team, and active interest. And as to the “didn’t work our real well” part, well, heck. That was true of San Jose and the Seals, and pretty much the same timeframe. It’s a bit disingenuous to play that meme — even if it may well be true.

But the reality is that a team relocating needs a building, and on a shorter timeframe than an expansion team would, so relocation makes it a more complicated issue.

I happen to think a second team in Ontario makes a lot of sense; the Kitchener area seems the best option, but there’s no building. So what do you do? Put them in a sub-standard building in Hamilton until it gets built? Hope “someone” (read: balsillie *cough*) builds a building on spec and hopes a team fills it? That’s basically what Carolina did; it’s what the Sharks did for two years in the Cow Palace while the San Jose Arena got built. it’s a legitimate option, but it has its own problems.

Bottom line: you can’t relocate without a building. Kansas City has everything — except a team and a proven track record. The latter is something you simply have to evaluate and decide if the market can be made to work; Toronto/Ontario is a better market, but not if you are living in a 12,000 seat arena for five years getting a real building built.

“That said, we’d like to see all the franchises succeed. We are a bit concerned when we see drop-off in places like Atlanta, in places like Florida, Phoenix … I’ve been to those buildings — the people who follow the sport are passionate about it. We just need more of them.”

The two teams that worry me are the Islanders and the Thrashers. Laurie and I have been worried about the Island for a while because of the ownership financial ties to CA and those problems. More and more, it looks like that building won’t get built, and honestly, I’m just not convinced that’s a three team media market — it’s the #1 team on my “crisis waiting to happen” list. Atlanta simply hasn’t seemed to taken off, and I’m not sure what they can do to fix that.

There are challenges elsewhere, but none of them seem critical yet. we’ll see.

“I tell (the players), ‘Keep playing an exciting brand of hockey. Give people a reason to spend that discretionary income to come to the games,’” Kelly said. “That said, based upon the numbers I’ve seen, I think we’re going to be OK.”

More immediate for the players is the pressing issue of safety, especially with the number of concussion suffered because of hits to the head.

Kelly said the issue is “probably the top issue on our list for discussion next time the competition committee meets” but said the association is starting to take steps.

He said they’d like equipment manufacturers to reconsider how shoulder pads are constructed — mainly make them softer and improve helmet technology.

He added players are being shown video of hits and how to show more respect.

And that’s why I think Kelly is one of the best additions to the game in years. And it’s a lot of fun to watch him build an interested and committed player group, a strong partnership with the ownership groups so everyone is working to make the game better (and more lucrative) instead of fighting — while still making sure that the owners know they can’t NOT involve him and the PA in decisions.

(hat tip: kukla)

I voted. Did you?

I voted a few days ago. Now that it’s all over but the shouting (and the analysis, and the talking heads, and the last minute stuffing of policy into the system by Bush for Bush’s successor to unravel, and the pardons, and the….) I wanted to encourage everyone who hasn’t voted to please do so.

I made a decision early on to keep my politics out of here for this election. Just too many divisive and polarized positions, I didn’t feel like wading into that particular mosh pit.

But I will note, now that it’s basically over, that I voted:

  • For Obama

  • Against McCain

  • Against the Republican Agenda more than for the Democratic one

  • Against Prop 8 and for my gay friends to be given the ability to have the life they want, if they want it

  • Against BART to San Jose, because it’s far too expensive — I’d rather see light rail connect up to BART in Fremont

  • For high speed rail to LA, because one of the biggest mistakes we made years ago as a country was going car centric, and we need to build alternative infrastructures to either driving or flying

  • Against any Santa Clara councilman that was against the 49er stadium, but for the candidates who said they were for it, but only to the degree it made financial sense

  • against most of the bonds, because I’m just not in the mood to encourage government to pull out the credit card again

  • against Prop 2, because whatever you think of the need for humane treatment of animals in the food industry, the initiative process is the wrong place to legislate that

However you vote is fine by me. Just vote.