Wednesday, May 31, 2006

A Partnership To Shape The Future...POWER of Y!/Ebay.

Recently the announcement outlining the Yahoo/Ebay partnership, (which can be found here) is really a MUST, as the future of the web starts to cement itself.

When TV was first introduced as a viable communication tool in the early 1950's, there were VERY few channels to choose from. If you had a TV in 1956, there were 5 broadcaster's (channels) to choose from.

As a viewer your choice was severely was NEW TECHNOLOGY. It's power of how it would alter, shape, and change our lives was just being understood.

It took many years, but the advent of cable companies, the expansion of channels -- gave viewers more options to choose from - in terms of programming.

We now have anywhere from a minimum of 100 channels to choose from, all the way up to 400 (for some viewers) -- and it keeps growing.....

TV grew slowly compared to the internet.

TV started with limited choice - and over a 50 year period the choices given to a consumer are tremendous.

Compare this to the growth of the Web.
The staggering growth of websites, computers, cable lines (high speed) - new technologies, and most of all, ADAPTATION OF THE WEB AS PART OF AMERICANS DAILY LIVES....has led to incredible growth.

Everything I've written up to this point is pretty understood, and basic, and serves as a launching pad for what you will read here on "You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know." (in depth analysis)

The Yahoo/Ebay Partnership (alliance) changed the dynamic of the internet.


Firstly, the incredible power of DATA.

The sheer amount of information flowing between these 2 MAJOR WEB sites is incredible.

1 - Yahoo! - the largest online portal of information - and the most amount of unique page views per user in the US.

2 - EBAY! - the largest, most robust MARKETPLACE in the world, handling online transactions -- and traffic inside a "buy/sell" environment.

To understand the size of information going across these 2 monster companies, let me use an example.

A potential aspect, and VERY LIKELY underpinning of this new found relationship -- can bear fruit in the following example.

1) - Joe Smith goes to EBAY and types in "Weber Grill" - because, he wants to purchase a outdoor barbeque. (he types the keyword "Weber Grill" into the EBAY box)

2) - He surfs and finds NOTHING that he wants to purchase, or even bid on.

3) - 2 days later he is on Yahoo! Sports, reading about the Dallas Cowboys - and gets, HUGE DISCOUNT and coupon advertisements from "WEBER GRILL." This is based on the fact (that as part of Yahoo's Fusion Product) - they can use Behavioral Targeting to serve ad's to consumers, who display certain behaviors inside their portal - or with partner websites. (see Ebay) Joe Smith gets's this offer from "Weber Grill", while on Y! Sports, because the DATA that flowed from a "purchase intent profile" in EBAY's marketplace -- came to directly influence that ADVERTISING on Yahoo's portal, or display advertising.

The richest data online (as determined by the marketplace) is what is called "Search Terms" -- keywords and terms purchased from Search Engines to drive results for Advertisers. When a consumer is looking to make a purchase of a item, these are also called - "purchase intent profiles." These purchase identifiers are amongst the RICHEST DATA KNOWN TO DIRECT MARKETERS, EVER. (one of the reasons that Google has a $112 Billion Market Cap)

This is critically important to understand for a variety of reasons.

a) EBAY is one of the largest buyers of keywords (search terms) from both Google and Yahoo.

b) Yahoo will be able to show advertising inside it's portal to consumers who have displayed specific behaviors using "Purchase Intent Profiles" from the largest online marketplace, EBAY. The results could be staggering as Advertisers flock to Yahoo and are willing to pay a tremendous amount of put up their ad's - ONLY TO CONSUMERS WHO HAVE DISPLAYED SPECIFIC BEHAVIOR - utilizing "purchase intent profiles."

c) Yahoo's Response Rates Skyrocket. EBAY is transacting more -- as Yahoo is driving consumers BACK to EBAY who DID NOT purchase during a session -- Yahoo will see (on average) that consumer nearly 300 page views a month (be able to show 300 advertisments).....


But here is the most compelling data for Yahoo, and has been overlooked. (and, if you have read this far, you are gonna get the kernel of information that no one else has talked about, or written about to my knowledge, and correct me if I'm wrong please)

Here Goes:)

EBAY buys a tremendous amount of traffic/keywords from Google.

Google and Yahoo are competitors.

EBAY can share their DATA about Google's performance -- with Yahoo, (remember EBAY is buying the Google Traffic from their keyword buys) by:

1 - keyword
2 - latent conversion
3 - value of keyword based on "click to sales.."
4 - direct information on keyword pricing for EBAY's millions of search terms.
5 - a deeper underatanding of Googles performance - which they have NEVER HAD.
6 - A WAY TO COOKIE GOOGLE'S SEARCH ENGINE USERS AND SHOW THEM SPECIFIC ADVERTISMENTS, WHEN THEY ARE ON YAHOO'S PORTAL TO GET THEM TO USE YAHOO'S SEARCH ENGINE.... -- and potentially use the Google searches and "purchase intent profiles" - driven by Google -- to change the ADVERTISING shown on Yahoo to consumers.

Yahoo and EBAY just forged a partnership that can change the dynamics of how the WEB evolves.

The questions is, do the leaders have the vision?

And, can they execute?

I believe they can -- but, tell Terry Semel he can call me if he needs some guidance, and a VISION - as to, "what can be...."

This has the potential (partnership) if positioned correctly, to, early in the chess game -- take out Google's ROOK, and a FEW PAWNS.

Google's already got a few of Yahoo's and EBAY's chess pieces.

We are still in 1965 in the TV world -- but we are light years ahead in the development and evolution of this incredible medium.

I love it.
Great post about Microsoft....

Over at Fred Wilson's Blog.

An important, short read, when you analyze the "future" of getting in front of you - to drive Advertising revenue, BEYOND THE TV.

The strategy of acquistion is recanted by Fred.

Excellent job, as usual my hat off to Dr. Wilson.

The piece is HERE.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Great Data on Growth...

One of the main reasons I'm glad that I got into the "internet media" business....


Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Day 2006 Images .....
Memorial Day...

We will be heading at 11am with the kids to the center of our town, to lay a wreath at the "Fallen Soldiers"...

We do this every year with our kids. My daughters ask alot of questions....and this year, in a very informal fashion -- I asked a local politico (JP) - if I could be the "unofficial town photographer" ....

That's my job today.

It amazes me that people tend to forget just WHY we have this Monday at the end of May, as a day off.

Anyway, after the wreath laying ceremony....and all weekend, we have been bouncing between swimming pools, barbeques, and even squeezed in a "rookie day" at the summer camp my kids will be attending.

In the background to all of this, the music that has been playing in the car, at home, and with me to friend's houses, (and due to Bob Lefsetz, and Fred Wilson) -- I picked up the CD by Mark Knopfler and Emmy Lou Harris, titled -- "All the Road Running."


I have always liked Mark Knopfler. I must admit though I saw him live many years ago, and came away less than impressed. I just did not seem like his heart was in it for the whole show. I felt like he was going through the motions. It felt cold and passionless.

But, this album has ENERGY, and great "behind the music" guitar weaving that he is known for.

He is in the class of 4 or 5 guitarist for me -- that can let the music "come to them" -- use silence as a weapon, and just TRANSCEND any tune they really focus on. The talent is in their soul. This CD brings out his talent, and I love it.

This album (CD) has my highest -- 5 star rating.

If you want to take a listen -- here is a page that has 3 of the songs streaming, and one of the best songs -- (that I've been hummin' all weekend) is the 2nd tune on the right -- "This is Us".

The page to listen is HERE.

Sit back -- and let the music hit you. I will be at a friends pool this afternoon, and he has a GREAT stereo system by the pool. I nominated myself master DJ.

Guess what CD will be in the rotation?

This ONE.

A prayer to all our fallen hero's that have given us so much.....


Friday, May 26, 2006

Good Music Online - Bill Graham Tapes

Tony Alva over at his blog -- HERE has great content, and passion.

He has tons of great insight and comment, and I really enjoy his writings. He is a fantastic writer.

This morning I awoke early to find his latest post on "Vault Radio" -- and I quickly took his advice and launched the player from the Homepage of Vault's site.

Bam -- GREAT MUSIC from the Fillmore East - specifically "Paul Butterfield Blues Band", 10-14-66....

These are Bill Grahams LIVE / Reel to Reel recordings....

Vault Radio is HERE.

About Vault:

About Vault Radio

"Bill Graham and his concert promotion company, Bill Graham Presents, produced more than 35,000 concerts all over the world. His first venue, the legendary Fillmore Auditorium, was home to many of rock's greatest performers - Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Prince - and the list goes on and on.

Graham taped thousands of live performances and stored the tapes in the basement of the BGP headquarters. These tapes and the concerts they captured lay dormant until the Bill Graham archive was acquired by Wolfgang's Vault (Bill Graham's given first name was Wolfgang) in 2003.

Vault Radio is now playing selected tracks from these concerts in an FM-quality, 128K digital radio stream. Songs will be added to and removed from the radio show on a regular basis. We will be broadcasting unaltered live performance music from many of the greatest bands of the last 40 years. The music you hear on Vault Radio has not been sweetened or polished. You'll be listening to what the band played that night - nothing more, nothing less.

This is the real thing and we hope you enjoy it. If you like the music or would like us to add other bands to the playlist, let us know through Feedback."

Click on the above link, and discover a "new" distribution channel to listen to music.

Thanks Tony for the tip.


PS. Working on a piece in regards to Y!/Ebay & the potential of MSN/Amazon.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Courtesy of The Jerusalem Post....

I came across a great article, written by Gerald Steinberg.

If President Moshe Katsav were to send a letter to the president of Iran, this is what he might write:

Last night C-Span....

According to Nielsen TV Rating numbers, I'm in a small minority of people in the US, that DID NOT watch the finale of, American Idol last night.

I watched C-Span instead.

C-SPan aired Prime Minister Ehud Olmert address to the joint session of Congress last night, in its entirety.

Let me be the first to tell you, he is NOT the greatest orator Israel has ever had. No one will mistake him with Benjamin Netanyahu.

BUT, he did make some great points.....and here was one of the quotes.

"If we don't take Iran's bellicose rhetoric seriously now, we will be forced to take its nuclear aggressions seriously later..."

Could anything be MORE TRUE?

I'm VERY scared about this next Presidential election. (In 2008.)

I feel as thought Iran will be a MAJOR part of the foreign policy "talking points.." Hopefully, President Bush will deal with this PROBLEM BEFORE 2008.

He went on to add -- "The international community will be judged by its ability to convince nations and peoples to turn their backs on hatred and zealotry."

The international community DID NOT aid the Jewish people, and help during the rise of Nazi Germany, and turned its back on the ENTIRE JEWISH population of Europe....

This will NOT BE allowed TO HAPPEN AGAIN. Placing the responsibility for the defense of Jews, and Israel in the hands of the international community.

France and Germany will NOT lift and finger to help Israel.

I don't expect them to.

But, the time clock is ticking for the following countries, to work their diplomatic language, and "carrot sticks" with Iran -- before Israel is forced to DEFEND it's ability to exist.

France, Germany, China, Russia....

Hopefully those 4 are using this time wisely.

The Prime Minister of Israel was very clear in his speech. WE DO NOT desire war, but rather we are relying on the "international community" (UN) - to deal with the Iranian enrichment of urnanium, and ultimate ability to acquire nuclear weapons.

The Prime Minister of Israel gave a GREAT SPEECH -- and these words ring in my ears..

He said, "For us, this is an existential threat. A threat to which we cannot consent. But it is not Israel's threat alone. It is a threat to all those committed to stability in the Middle East and the well-being of the world at large.

"A nuclear Iran means a terrorist state could achieve the primary mission for which terrorists live and die: the mass destruction of innocent human life. This challenge, which I believe is the test of our time, is one the West cannot afford to fail."


I agree that this is the TEST of our time.

The answer to me is clear.

Is it clear to you?

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

New Addition to the Blog List --

I've been reading Bob Lefsetz for a few months now...

I'm adding him to my BLOG LIST on the right.

His last 2 posts are "classic Lefsetz.." (Sopranos's & Brian Wilson)

One day, I hope to articulate with a keyboard, 1/2 as good as he does.

HERE IS HIS SITE. (Lefsetz Letter)

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Behind The Scenes......

When you walk into any gala, or event...there is a TON of work involved in the setting up, or pre-planning of the activity.

Wedding, Charity Event, Fundraiser --- or even walking into a company.

The Man, who set it up and tore it down has died.


He was the man behind the scenes, that, "made it happen" - for the Grateful Dead.

"Ramrod went to work setting up and tearing down the band's equipment for every show (since 1967)that the The Dead played. He puzzled his way through elaborate situations and circumstances: from the myriad psychedelic dungeons the band played through the '60s, to a concert at the base of the Great Pyramids in Egypt in 1977 to the baseball parks the Dead filled on the endless tours of the '80s and '90s up until Garcia's death."

"He was always there," said Hart, "making sure everybody was taken care of."

The article on this amazing man is HERE. (click here for the SF paper obit)

I send my condolences out to his son, Rudson.

Rudson helped me immensly on the production of a DVD that I produced with the band, "Steve Kimock Band.." He was a steadfast warrior, who saw me under stress and pressure, (producing my 1st concert film) -- and made me feel at ease with him warm spirit, and casual advice.

He helped (like his Father) -- with the organization, set up, and, as Bob Weir used to say ... "Making Sure Everything is Exactly PEFECT.."

Rudson was as MUCH A MEMBER of the "Exactly Perfect Brothers Band" -- (aka Grateful Dead) - as any member who played a instrument.

His instrument was making sure that EVERYTHING WORKED, sounded good, and was set up, and broken down properly. No easy task for a band that played a estimated 2300 concerts -- with a amplification system known as - "The Wall of Sound." (picture here)

My prayers and Thanks go out to the Shurtliff Family -- and a special thanks to a man, who as Robert Hunter said in the 1st paragraph of his "Elegy to Ramrod."(click)

Most never knew his given name.
They called him Ramrod.
Lawrence didn't fit him.
He came down from Oregon,
Prankster sidekick of Cassady,
Kesey and the merry crew,
a silent stoic in a vocable milieu
his heart was stolen by the Grateful Dead.

Ramrod, thanks for making the MUSIC Happen.

Posting from Kauai

Friday, May 19, 2006

Remind you of a star perhaps?

This is always a good sign for a society who is looking to enrich uranium.,7340,L-3252830,00.html

Incredible stuff. If you have been passive up to now (in regards to Iran) -perhaps this will awaken you.

Blogging from Kauai...

RIP Ramrod.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Pearl Harbor Post.....

This is my 2nd trip to this memorial.
We spent four hours at the museum this morning.

Pearl Harbor, and the ships that lie beneath her surface are incredible testaments to, "listening to enemies."

The Japanese continously spoke of, "destroying America...and wiping the US off the map..."

The US unfortuantely, HAD TO BE ATTACKED on Dec 7, 1941 to enter the war......

The cost was enormous, over 2000 lives lost, on the 1st Sunday of Dec 1941.

Should we have been more pro-active in NOT ignoring the looming Japanese threat.

Fast forward 65 years.

Imagine a country building nuclear weapons.

This country has supported terror activities (sponsored) throughout the world.

This country has pledged, "to wipe a specific country off the map..."

This country has a history of STRONG anti Western, and specifically anti US sentiments and actions, by its leaders, and rulers.


I don't want my grandchildren to visit a memorial 65 years from now.....THAT CAN POSSIBLY BE AVOIDED.....(One 9-11 type Memorial is quite enough)......

Listen and React.

Don't ignore threats.

Pearl Harbor evokes strong emotions. I highly recommend a visit here. The Visitor Center is much improved since my last trip in 1983.....

7:55 am Sunday, Dec 7th 1941....

As our guide said, "there is a price to be paid for peace......"

I fear that the longer we wait to CONFRONT our enemies, the higher the price will be.

Posting from Pearl Harbor
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Late Night TV- Great Content.

Last night I watched Howard Stern on Demand.

I could not sleep, and -- I pay about $9.95 a month for the "On Demand" service.

It's was AWESOME. Compelling, and Fantastic TV.

Specifically, the episode is a re-cap of Robin Quivers party (from the 1st weekend of May)....but the best part of this episode was the in depth talk about Artie Lange, and his breakup with his 4 yr girlfriend, Dana.

This was compelling TV - MADE ON THE RADIO.

Let me start out by saying, that I've been a Howard fan since the WNBC, its been more than 20 years that I've been listening nearly daily- to a artist - his craft - and his gift...

Of course, I got Sirius. I also bought the stock....(big mistake)

But, when he was on the E Channel, I could not watch it. It was on at 11:30pm, and for me, it WAS NOT the highlight, nor WHY I listen.

Something about the 1/2 hour on the E channel proved to be unwatchable. I NEVER watched E, nor Howard's show. It seemed like a "small" attempt to capture greatness in 30 minutes - with commercials. It cheapened his talent. I also felt like the content was NOT the best FOR MY TASTE. I listen to Howard for the INTERACTIONS of the players and staff, and his people, just BEING THEMSEVES.

The E Channel reminded me of what Jerry Garcia said about recording a album in a studio, vs playing live... ..."Recording in a studio is like building a ship in a bottle. Playing live is like rowing a boat in the open water." -- Jerry Garcia ...

The E Show in comparision was a Studio album, the Radio show is the equivalent of performing live..(using the Garcia quote above)

But, "Howard On Demand" is different, and much better in its presentation, editing, and content.

Last night, Artie Lange talking about his life, in the most personal, and intimate of ways -- was compelling and interesting TV. It was Artie being Artie. no laughs, no jokes....

Artie was BEING HIMSELF - warts and all, telling millions of people his deepest insecurities, issues, and challenges.


This episode is from the 6am timeslot. My favorite.

Howard is a master of getting his staff, and his guests to feel comfortable, I truly think that this is his magic.

It's under "Daily Shows" = May 8th, titled "Robins Party."

Great TV, made for Radio, that you stumble into at 1am when you can't sleep, because your mind is buzzing.....with ideas, issues, and challenges.

Thanks Howard and Artie.


Monday, May 15, 2006

65 years ago....

I wish that THIS WAS A OPTION, for a family from Germany or France, in 1938 or 1939.

It was not.

If it was a choice available at the time -- we might not have had 6 million murdered.

Problem was, Israel was not a "country" yet, and most wanted to stay in their home countries....(and were eventually sent to concentration camps, and murdered)

I wish and pray, that Iranian Jews, living in Tehran -- one day soon, have the same access to leave their countries, that the French Jews have today.

2500 French Citizen chose to many Iranian's would leave if they were given a opportunity?

By most estimates there are 25,000 to 35,000 Jews living under Islamic Rule in Iran.

Can you imagine how they must live?

I can't.(click here for some data, on Iranian Jewry....)
We are already "fighting" Iran....

But, no one wants to admit it. THIS info is the pretext for military action against the MULLAHS, and their supporters.....

Click HERE for the STORY....

DEBKAfile Exclusive: Iran delivers hundreds of anti-air missiles and compressed-gas roadside bombs to Iraqi insurgents, raises US, British casualties

May 15, 2006, 4:02 PM (GMT+02:00)

Our military sources report that the extra-lethal weapons delivered in the last two weeks were around 1,000 SA-7 Strela ground-air missiles made in Iran and a “very large quantity: of a novel type of roadside bomb whose explosive power and blast are magnified by compressed gas . Since their delivery, a US helicopter and a British chopper have been shot down and the death toll of US troops from roadside bombs has shot up.

Saturday, May 13, 2006


If you have not used YouTube yet, you are missing out.

Turn up your speakers, sit back -- and enjoy.

Click HERE for a little love....Golden Gate Park Style.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Morning Coffee in Vegas.....

In 1992, I was lucky to enough to be living in La Jolla, Ca..

Friends from back East would come visit often. The visits often coincided with the Grateful Dead playing anywhere West of the Rockies.

This particular time was June 1992. The Dead were booked to play 2 nights in Las Vegas, at a venue called, The Silver Bowl.

Tickets obtained (through GDTS, Grateful Dead Ticket Service, a in house mail system run by Calico - who does a great job).......and, planning begins.

Phone calls from friends, airline tickets make THEIR vacation plans, and come to San Diego before starting the journey.

"The Journey is the Prize......"

Hotel Rooms in Vegas.

More than any other run of shows anywhere I've attended in the country, it seemed planning for a Vegas Grateful Dead run of concerts, required work, and effort......was it Vegas? Or, was I getting too mature too tour?

When previous roadtrips were planned, caution was thrown to the wind. As long as we had our tickets from GDTS (because we ALWAYS mailordered) nothing else mattered.

Parking lot by 10am. Cold Beer. Water. Tapes. That was it.

But, Vegas was becoming complex. There were conventions in town, hotel rooms were booked. As the date approached, I became the Quarterback for logistics.

Not a position I wanted to be in 1992 (quaterback for planning) especially when I wanted to be in my, "happy place at a Dead show" -- and in some remote part of the country leave the world behind. The GD allowed you for days at a time, to escape your existence and journey, perhaps somewhere you have never been.

This was my first time in time going to Vegas .... Heading in 1992 to the, "remote" deserts of Nevada.

Let me be the first to tell you, Vegas is NOT a remote part of anything. Even though its located in the desert, the drive from San Diego -allows you to see just how MUCH DESERT is in Nevada.

Its staggering.

We pulled into Vegas, and scored a Hotel room at Circus Circus. 10 people from all over, friends, friends of friends.....


The room was small, 2 queen beds, (girls got the beds, guys on the floor) - I used a sweatshirt as a blanket, and a t-shirt as a pillow. (Traveling heads can relate)

But, I guess that's when I realized, that that was the LAST TIME I WAS GOING TO live like this. Grateful Dead shows or not, I said to myself, "no more sleeping on floors, no more 10 to a room."

In my mind, I had graduated to not do this "10 people in a room stuff anymore...."

That was that.

I made the most of the conditions, we had a few complainers, (thanks to Zole for reminding me, who I spoke to prior to writing this piece) ---one young lady, kept yelling at a friend of a friend, "stop snoring.."- thus waking everyone up.

Fun stuff.

The 1st morning of the concert we packed the car, and headed out to the Silver Bowl at about 9:30am.

We sold cold beer for one dollar, and frequently made money by buying 4 to 5 cases of Busch for 9 dollars per case, netting a profit 15 dollars per case.

We drank the profits.

Vegas in June is HOT.
The Silver Bowl is NOT Silver. It is Dust, heat, and had to be 110 degrees at noon.

There was no paved area. As cars pulled in, dust was kicked up all around. Hot dust. We were FILTHY.

Other than the HEAT the first day, I do remember a great parking lot scene. Often times, you could judge the greatness of a show, by the vibe, or energy coming from the parking lot venue ---to the perfomers.

I can't explain it, but often times The Grateful Dead fed off of the "scene they created....".

The rain came, cooling of the masses - after, The Steve Miller Band opened the show.....and then, the most wonderous sunset in the deserts of Vegas that I have ever witnessed.

It was a magical first night.

The music, the scene, the desert....the neon lights of Vegas in the background made for a wonderous cosmic energy.

I felt it.

Upon arriving back at our hotel, it was tight and cramped...people in the room were dirty. It was NOT the ending to the fabulous day, that I had hoped for --but, we made the best of it.

Partly because of the good energy, and mostly because I was uncomfortable, I slept for 2 hours........

I awoke at 5am.

Everyone asleep, sprawled across nearly every square inch of floor space.

Grabbed my shorts, sneakers, t-shirt, and quietly left the room.

I began my journey at 5am to walk the streets of Las Vegas.

People have told me, "how can you be a Deadhead, are you a freak like those spaced out people?".

I'd laugh and say NO.

But, Vegas is a magnet for freaks at 5am.

Vegas Freaks, made Deadheads look like Harvard Business School Graduates.

On my walk for coffee, a man approached, he was in his early fifties, cigarette dangling, wringled shirt, and looked like he was on a mission.

"Hey man, can you buy me a coffee.?"

Feeling good vibes from this lit up city, with the glow of the previous nights energy still in my soul, I replied...."Sure."

We walked and he told me his story. He was from Philadephia...and lost everything to gambling. He bet horses as a kid, and somehow his chronic disease of the best and worst of him.

He described himself, as the worlld biggest loser.

Other than the cup of coffee, he never asked me for money. We just talked.

I told him why I was in town, "I'm here to see the Grateful Dead..."

He said, "ahhh a Deadhead. I never got into them, not sure why."

I told him to come to the concert.

"Come to the Silver Bowl, even if you don't have a ticket, you can ask people to buy you, one or give you a "miracle."

He told me he had little to do, he was staying at a shelter downtown.....and that all he had was time, and little money.

He was miserable, it was written all over his face.

We talked for 20 more minutes, and he said, "I will try to get there this afternoon, I will look for you, where will you be?"

I said, "no clue -but, you will find me."

We went our seperate ways.

At the show that day, the scene was crazier than the previous day. Hotter, Dustier.....and no store in Vegas had ice

We drank lukewarm, to hot beer for a entire day. I do remember having a blast, borrowing a neighbors mountain bike, exploring the scene......meeting great people on the way.

The first set was awesome. The evening brought cooler air, and the kind energy of Jerry's flowing pickin' brought with it another set of good, positive karma.

In between sets, a crowded floor, and a madhouse to try to get to the bathroom...

All of a sudden, from behind.........

A bearhug.

It was the guy from 5am. The one I told to come to the concert.

Tears started streaming down his face, he said...

"Today is the BEST day of my entire life. I belong here. I did what you said and got here early. I met the most friendly couple, who fed me all day, took care of me ---but most of all TALKED TO ME. They listened. They did not judge me....they treated me great. Then another guy, laid a free ticket on me. I mean YOU, and your recommendation to come to a Dead Show has made me so happy.....

And here is when I started to cry.....he went on - "the music is magical. I've never heard sound like what they are playing...I feel like the music was MADE for me..."

We hugged, and went our seperate ways. But, that more than anything else that happened to me in Vegas that weekend.....that encounter, "stuck with me."

As I look back, those numerous contacts, at Grateful Dead shows across the country....made me appreciate the band, and what they have given me, even more.

Music touches the soul.

But, the combination of the MuSiC, along with the, socialization of The Grateful Dead....allowed for me to have a deeper, richer existence.

It goes beyond music, because The Grateful Dead were the LUBRICANT for many to find out about themselves.

The random guy in Vegas serves as a reminder to me, that Jerry and the boys helped me (and continue to help me) SHINE A LIGHT, in strange places.

The hotel room was packed, the lot was dusty and hot......the shows were energetic.....

My memories and lessons taught from a musical experience continue to come back to me, in ebbs and flows as I age.

Thanks Jerry. Miss ya' man.

"Thank you, FOR A REAL GOOD TIME."

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Another wake up call....

Iran's President said THIS. (click here)

It appears that the Iranians want to have their "Revolutionary Guards" (soldiers) - closer to, and possibly INSIDE Israel.

Those of you that have not been to Israel, I must remind you how tiny the country is. When you read stories about Iranian troops getting into the Gaza Strip....well, the complexity of this issue is now advanced.

Click HERE to read about "southern infiltration"....

The writing is on the wall. I'm reading it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Hype.....and a Bet.

I rarely apologize in the first sentence of a post. (or 3rd paragraph).

But, I feel I must.

I apologize.

I shorted Google.

Overvalued, hype, fraud, are none of the reasons, that I bet on Google stock going downhill.

My main reason has little to do with any of those reasons.

"Comeuppance" is more like it.

Its time. Humble pie is on the horizon.

The company will still be great. It is a pioneer on the web, its massively profitable, and has smart people.

They are just too, "cocky" for my blood.

Recent interactions with them, have led me to believe that this "confident, holier than thou" attitude, may be systemic.

The tone of a rep, who's voice said, "hey, we ARE Google, we don't need your business, or your headache...if you don't do business with us, big deal."

If I'm picking up that vibe, well, I may not be alone....

It may not be, its just a hunch.

But, I have to go with my gut.

My gut tells me that they are "due" for a stepback, or a setback.

Some people say they have become the "barometer" for all things online....

I disagree.

I bought into this stock soon after the IPO, and I'm proud of their runup.

My gut is telling me a "mild correction" is will slide from its plateau of four hundred dollars per share......

I'm betting on it, and I apologize.

39318 feet up, 592 MPH, over Raleigh, NC.
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Knocking at the Door.........

Shimon Peres has been at the forefront of the "peace movement" in Israel for decades.

He helped with the. "Oslo Accords" in the early 1990's......and regardless of how you feel about him personally....I think we can all agree that he can be considered, " a optimist when it comes to Arab/Israeli relations..."

He trusted, and placed faith in Yasir Arafat.

He convinced Yit:zhak Rabin, (then Prime Minister). to embrace the arch terrorist, and allow him back into world- "acceptance."

He wrote books detailing peace plans, and open borders......his books focused on creating viable economies for Arab States.

Shimon Peres believes the Mid-East can be a peaceful region.

He is a optimist.

So, when Shimon Peres says the following, you better believe that Israel will not be waiting for negotiations to, produce nothing but contined rhetoric, and a nuclear weapon.

"They want to wipe out when it comes to destruction, Iran, too, can be destroyed (but) I don't suggest to say and eye for an eye...."


Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has called for Israel to be, "wiped off the map" and has vowed, "anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nations fury..."

He went on: "the Zionist regime is a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm."

So, I ask you - should Israel wait?

Should Israel sit patiently, while the French, and British debate?

The Russian and Chinese need the oil, and the access to trading, with Iran.....don't hold your breath waiting for
Security Council Resolutions....

They are NOT coming.

The United Nations will debate.
The World will say, "diplomacy."
The Chinese and Russians will circle the wagons, on behalf of the Iranians.
The Israelis will grow more agitated.

And while all of this is happening, uranium will continued to be enriched, deeper bunkers will be constructed ---and a nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists, will creep ever closer.

Think about how our President, acted in the early 1960's at the prospect of Cuba having missles, 90 miles from our shore?


Israel and the US, need to plan to DESTROY the infrastructure of Iran. I'm sorry for the Iranian people, but these religious mullahs, running their country have led them to one place......destruction, and a country destined to live in the 19th century.

The US needs to do a comprehensive PR campaign DIRECTED to the Iranian people. Internet, and Radio...(Similar to our broadcasts behind the Iron Curtain, during the Cold War)...

Broadcasts, that spell out the destiny of the country on the current path.

If a optimist like Shimon Peres speaks about, "destroying Iran too" - you better believe that we are in the "pregame warmup" to a destruction of Irans ability to threaten the world.

Where do you stand on this issue?

I'm VERY interested in feedback on this, please use the comments below. You can post without using your name.

"When life looks like easy street, there is danger at your door."

Danger is knocking, do YOU hear it?

Should we answer it, ignore it, or just patiently wait for someone else to deal with it?

Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Recovery of a Architect...

In a previous piece, I wrote about visionaries, and ARCHITECTS.

Specifically, I referenced Keith Richards. That piece can be found HERE.

Keith Richards has had a enormous dialogue with my life.

When I READ THIS, it bums me out big time.

Time to throw in the GREATEST ROCK album of all time:

If you don't have it, it will sound like new music to your ears.

Here is the link for a CD, that MUST be in any collection.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday Morning, 8am.

Took my kids to work on their baseball skills this morning.

At 8am, it was fielding grounders, and coming up ready to throw.

Basically, getting their bodies in front of the ball.

It's funny, teaching 5 yr old the basics of sports.

"Bend your knees, get your hands down, keep your body IN FRONT of the ball..."
I saw my daughters this morning, really trying, and paying attention , as well as listening to what I was saying....I saw it in their EYES. (not a simple task for a 5 yr. old)

I asked them both, after about 25 minutes, in the chilly 8:30am breeze of a Sunday in May...

"Are you girls having fun?"

My eldest replied, "Are you?"

"Of course, I'm having fun -- I want you to be a great player, and really understand all the skills of the game -- and have fun."

My youngest replied, "Dad, I want to be good and stuff, but I'm cold -- can we go home, and play on the computer for a while, and THEN COME BACK?"

5 year old twins are smart. I've found much smarter than me.

Walking in the house, I tried to recall all of the endless hours I spent, throwing the balls against the "strikezone" of my garage. The countless times, I played baseball in my imagination, on my driveway -- "PRETENDING" -- to be Mike Schmidt, Willie Stargell, or Pete Rose....

The aspect of this train of thought directed me to one place....

All of my coaches, I had throughout the years.

I pride myself on being a good athlete. I have competed on many levels....and excelled that 3 sports. Baseball, Football and Basketball.

At 7 years old, I was lucky enough to have a coach named "Mr. Lewis."

Mr. Lewis got directly off the bus from his commute in NYC at 4pm, and came in his suit and tie, DIRECTLY to practice.

He arrived at the field, lifted the 2 bags filled with equipment over his shoulder, and walked to the field. He treked from the parking lot, to the baseball diamond in his white shirt, dress shoes...with kids all around him talking about what were were going to focus on that day. What HE WAS GOING to have the kids concentrate on.

It never occured to him to change his clothes. Not sure why, and we never asked him. It seemed normal at 7 years old, to have a coach in a suit.

He proceed until about 6:15 - 6:30 to throw batting practice, hit pop ups, and have us field grounders --- he worked with the kids, on the basics and fundamentals.

His son went on to become a Olympic gold medal winner. A wrestler. Not surprising that Mr. Lewis own child WON multiple gold medals.

Many of the players (like me) that were lucky enough to have him as a Little League Coach -- grew up with a DEEP understanding of, "working on the basics."

Fast forward to my first job on the corporate world.

I took a position with a Insurance Company in Meriden, CT in sales. 100% commission, no base salary, and no safety net.

My Sales Manager was named, "Ms. C." (I don't want to reveal names here for obvous reasons)

Ms. C was a divorced mother of 4, a single parent -- with kids ranging in age from, 4 to 11 years old.

This lady, taught me about the basics of sales. She taught me about planning, activity, and HOW to place yourself in a position, to be --- or at least have a higher probability, of being the TOPS, in Sales.

She was disciplined, and took me under her wing.

It was not the corporate excellence that impressed me, or had as much of a impact on me --- it was HOW SHE HANDLED HER PERSONAL LIFE.

4 kids, day care, school, and multi-tasking. Yet, here I was a kid, and she took the time to help GROOM me, and instill habits that I still have.

Coaches are important, and a good coach stays with you FOREVER.

Mr. Lewis, and Ms. C both had a critical impact on my life, decades after I was lucky enough to cross paths with them.

I hope my children, in their walk through life, find their own Mr. Lewis, or Ms. C - because I'm aware of how important and valuable good coaches sports and business.

Coaching and Sunday morning....

Make a impact, or thank someone who has.

I just did.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Changes in Latitude/Changes in Attitude...

Jimmy Buffett wrote a song titled, "Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes."

For the longest time, I truly believed he was writing about how location, and the heat, as well as proximity to the equator -- changed people's attitude about life.

"It's those changes in latitudes,
changes in attitudes nothing remains quite the same.
With all of our running and all of our cunning,
If we couldn't laugh, we would all go insane."

Could it be that after 60 years in existence, 3 MAJOR WARS, endless terror attacks, hostile neighbors, and a FALSE PEACE, has turned Israel's attitude of "survival" to a remnant of history.....?

From Charles Krauthhammer:

" The establishment of Israel was a Jewish declaration to a world that had allowed the Holocaust to happen — after Hitler had made his intentions perfectly clear — that the Jews would henceforth resort to self-protection and self-reliance. And so they have, building a Jewish army, the first in 2,000 years, that prevailed in three great wars of survival (1948-49, 1967 and 1973).

But in a cruel historical irony, doing so required concentration — putting all the eggs back in one basket, a tiny territory hard by the Mediterranean, eight miles wide at its waist. A tempting target for those who would finish Hitler's work.

His successors now reside in Tehran. The world has paid ample attention to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's declaration that Israel must be destroyed. Less attention has been paid to Iranian leaders' pronouncements on exactly how Israel would be "eliminated by one storm," as Ahmadinejad has promised."


My fear is that the world is silent.

Much like 1938, when Hitler talked and demonized the Jews of Europe, and plotted their annhilation --- the WORLD STOOD SILENT.

Never Again.

Well, Never Again to me is NOW.

The President of Iran has a clear agenda.

The destruction of Israel.

It's time to act.

I plan on being VERY VOCAL about this in the coming months. Much more than I have been.

I hope our President does not leave office in 2008 without dealing with a manner that will render the country powerless to hold the world hostage.

Israel is in a position that requires all American's understand what "Never Again" means....

To me it means, plain and simple the following:

I will not bury my head in the ground, and pretend that what goes on around me has NO EFFECT on me and my family. When the time comes to stand up and speak loud, and be ready to FIGHT....I will be there, front and center....

I'm there.

And, I feel in some weird way, it's 1938 again..

I don't want to attend a rally.

I don't want to continue writing until its too late.

MAX FRANKEL tell us why.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Business and Baseball Evolution....

The past week, I've been in Miami, Florida working.

At night, I have been attending Florida Marlins baseball games. I enjoy baseball. I enjoy going with friends, clients, or alone.

One night I went alone. The other evening with a business associate.

The Phillies were in town, and our tickets were about 10 rows up from first base.

Since I have been playing, and attending games, (and mostly as a fan) -- I love watching. Watching the coaches get and give their signs....I "get into" watching the fabric of the game.

The manager moves. The coaches watching the managers signals, the hitters, runners, and pitchers...RECEPTION of the decisions.

The hand gestures, from dugout, to coach, to player......

Most of all, I enjoy watching the REACTION to decisions by all involved. Seeing a manager call a, "hit and run" with a man on first, and watching it fail---and seeing the manager REACTION.

Or succeed.

Across the board, beyond the ACTION, and plays, there is a game going on......decisions being made -- and probably, many in the stadium have little to no clue what's transpiring, BEYOND the plays, or physical action on the field..

Last night I witnesses a evolutionary aspect of baseball, that was subtle, yet struck me like a 3-2 fastball.....

It was not steroids, juiced balls, or loaded bats.

It was the ROLE and responsibility of the FIRST BASE COACH.

It has evolved.

10 years ago and prior, when a player got a single, or a walk....they arrived at first base...They may have been greeted with, words of encouragement, a update on the amount of outs, and a statement to "watch signs" of a call....

Now, the first base coach is a equipment manager.

Hitters are wearing arm equipment, ankle shields, wrist guards......

Hitters now have a arsenal of protection to make them bolder, and less afraid of the pitchers.

But, this has changed the role of the coaches.......

There was a rally, where about 8 hitters came to the plate, some walked, some got singles.....but, they all spent time with the first base coach, during this particular inning.

They all (hitters) take off their gear upon arriving at first base, and hand it to the coach to hold.

The coach has no less than 5 arm shields, 4 ankle guards.....they WERE DRAPED on his arms, stuffing his pockets, and adding a "evolutionary element" to his job, as coach.

It wasn't the equipment that bothered me, it was the RESULT of the EQUIPMENTS use by hitters, that has me questioning, "is baseball better or worse off, when a hitter has these advantages, (through enhanced protection and equipment) what has it done to the game?"

I see what it has done to the poor first base coach.

This led me to the BUSINESS PARALLELS of baseball.....

Are there any examples of the first base coach, and his changing role, through equipment?

What has it done to business, and how have roles evolved, as it pertains to, " enhanced equipment?"

Certainly, I think we can all agree that the "digital age", and the use of computers, and technology has made our business world, "speedier."

Managers, at the click of a mouse can view data, that a generation ago took days, and weeks to compile.

What about MANAGERS, and "coaches" of companies, and their role in leading their employees?

I have been involved in organizations where TOO MUCH reliance is placed upon the, "enhanced equipment" to build and win.

CRM tools, Project Managment Software Applications, Email, Excel Spreadsheets.......these have become the tools of "measurement" for our managers and coaches.

These reflect, like in Baseball - Batting Averages, RBI's, Earned Run Averages, and many other KEY STATiSTICS to determine productivity, (or lack of) each employee.

My key learning, (remember I enjoy witnessing the "fabric" and evolution beyond the action, both in sports and business) this has led me to the following.....

1) Many companies are using email, and intranets as PRIMARY communication tools.
2) Many companies are using EMAIL, to manage....and provide leadership.
3) Many organizations rely TOO MUCH on, "enhanced equipment" data, and the hard numbers....and less on "subjective info.."
4) There is LESS social contact, and less peer to peer, sharing of ideas....when employees are managed by what I've described as, "enhanced equipment."
5) Fewer opportunites on a day to day basis, to get REAL feedback and performance insight..., as to what kind of job the employee is doing, because, "its all in the data numbers on spreadsheet 4, tab 6."(Reliance on data)
6) Less real communication that HUMAN BEINGS need.

Socialization in my view has been the evolutionary LOSS, in the business world.

Sure, we have email, Instant Message and Tools that allow us to communicate faster, and receive information quicker.....and act upon it.

Does this long term effect on business, STIFLE INNOVATION?

Less interpersonal contact?

Does employees morale go lower because in the end, the "DATA OF MANAGEMENT HAS REPLACED MANAGEMENT OF DATA?"

What's the implication?

Like the evolution of the first base coach...(carrying and holding gear) or, similiar to baseball, and all the "enhanced equipment" - there are long term effects on the, "fabric" of the game, or business.

In the short term, data is easy to look at, as a possible indictor of things to come......

Productivity is up, like Batting Averages.

But, I'm of a belief in business, we have yet to achieve, "stastical signficance" of, "enhanced equipments", effect on the game of business.

The game of business changes like it always has, and always will.

Baseball, for all its greatness, changes subtly, and in ways that to some are transparent.

The key is being aware of changes in equipment, the tools of use, and how the, "fabric evolves."

In some weird way, we are all players, in this evolutionary game of business.

I love my seat, ten rows up from the first base coach........

30,000 feet and blogging on JetBlue, using MY "enhanced equipment"......
Sent from my BlackBerry wireless handheld.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Immediate Attention...

60 years ago, another "world leader" was talking like this...

This needs to be dealt with now, before he has the capability to attack with NUCLEAR WEAPONS.

Click here, for a CONCERNING addition to the library of threats...

If not now, when will it be dealt with?