I Suddenly Understand Home Depot

http://www.newmen.eu/pigils/niodjr/194 I’ll admit it. For years, I’ve felt pity on guys who have told me they need to go to Home Depot to get some stuff for the house. I was confused when they talked about how they were actually looking forward to it. I’ve never understood it. Why would anyone WANT to go shopping fo ranythign, much less home repair stuff?

http://sumarplant.ro/franciye/133 And in the last 2 months, the light bulb has come on. I get it.

If you’re not living with your girlfriend/fiance, you may occasionally get asked to do some work on her place, just to fix something dumb like a picture frame. Otherwise, it’s her landlord’s problem. And if something breaks at your house, it usually can be solved with duct tape and by moving a dresser in front of it.

But when you have a “domestic partner” things change. (This is where I’ll lose the single guys.) Especially if you own your place. Suddenly, if something is wrong with the house, it’s something that is wrong with you.

But there;s a huge difference. If you are fat, it will take you months to get in shape. If you are losing your hair, you’re going to lose your hair. If you have a lousy job, there’s a whole career issue you have to tackle. What I’m saying is, these are things that could be “wrong” with you that take a long time to fix.

But when your pipe starts leaking, you have Home Depot. One day, and you are fixed. It’s a miracle.

Plus, you realize that when you are a guy in Home Depot, you are among friends. The help is helpful. The customers are friendly. And the rows and rows and rows and rows of toys. Exquisite. You want one of everything, but you realize you don’t need it. Because when you do need it, you can just run down to Home Depot and get one.

And another side effect – women are scared of Home Depot. They won’t admit it. But watch the wives in the building. They’ll slowly gravitate to the sections they feel most comfortable in. While we start exploring the intricacies of the different types of screws available, the women want to get the task done and flee.

Thus, you often get to hit Home Depot on your own. And there’s no Home Depot in your neighborhood. So you have to get in your car, turn the football game on the radio, and take a nice long drive. You can easily get in a 1/2 quarter one way and a 1/2 quarter back. It’s beautiful.

So in a nutshell – I apologize to the guys I’ve questioned before. I get it now. The only thing I don’t get is why they don’t have a chicken wing bar behind the lumber section…

Startup Riot 1.0 Rolls Through Seattle

I hear a lot of stories about Seattle’s start up scene, and that for all it’s tech prowess, we don’t really garner the attention of the VC community when it comes to launching fundable companies.

Well, I have to say it’s not due to a lack of trying on the entrepreneur side, as everywhere you look, people are trying to get out of their garage and onto Sand Hill. In the last year alone, I’ve attended or been a part of the UW Biz Plan Competition (~80ish companies), Start-Up Weekend (~100ish attendees) and NWEN’s First Look Forum (~50 companies). The area also has hosted Mobile Hackathons, Thinkcamps, more Startup Weekends, Angel investment groups, and even more places where would-be entrepreneurs are pitching ideas.

Wednesday, we saw a new entry to the Seattle space – StartUp Riot. Originally started in Atlanta, StartUp Riot has a familiar model. 25 start-ups do 3 minute pitches and do 3 minutes of Q+A from a table of esteemed judges. To keep the event from being monotonous, they split the 30 companies into 3 blocks, and inserted 2 keynotes and a long networking lunch. SoDo Showbox proved to be a great venue for this kind of event, and added a little bit of a “cool” factor.

opcje binarne bez ryzyka So what did we see?
If you go to enough of these events, you start to see some of the same companies. And that really is a great thing, because you see people who are passionate and committed enough about their idea that they are taking feedback, evolving their company, and putting it out there again and again. It’s really easy for someone who has never tried to start a company to bash ideas that aren’t all the way baked. And it’s even easier for the entrepreneurs to just give up when they get that feedback.

On the other side, I did hear the comment that StartUp Riot had a lot of “Apps,” but not a lot of “Companies.” That’s probably a fair point. Things like NWEN’s First Look Forum have a longer vetting process, so you’ll see more companies with full business plans there. But even Apps need to start somewhere, and StartUp Riot presenters threw out enough interesting concepts to keep you entertained and your brain stimulated.

How To Get Cytotec Prescription in El Paso Texas So what did we learn?
If you peel yourself away from listening to the presentations a little, and focus on the judges feedback, you catch a few trends.

  1. “Is your product solving a problem? And is it really a PROBLEM, or simply a nuisance? And if it really is a problem, how many people have this problem?”
  2. “I have no idea what you actually do. I see your slides, I heard the market stats, but I don’t get what the product actually DOES.”
  3. “Why doesn’t (Google, eBay, Amazon, etc….) already DO THAT? And what is stopping them from throwing 3 developers at it next week?”
  4. “And HOW are you guys going to make any money? Who would pay for that?”

All in all, StartUp Riot is a good addition to the Seattle scene. The more chances entrepreneurs have to get constructive feedback from people who invest in Bay Area companies, the more chance we have at getting some more of that money. Make sure to check out the next one when it comes to town.

Can Ichiro Get to 200 Hits?

Ok, this graph took longer than I expected to pull together. So I hope everyone appreciates it.

The question is whether Ichiro has ANY chance at getting to 200 hits. By my count, as of Sunday 8/14, he has 133 hits thru 119 Mariner games, an average of about 1.12 hits per game. That pace gets him to about 181 hits total.

So, my math says he has 43 more games to get 57 hits, an average of 1.56 hits per game. For comparison, if you got 1.56 hits per game over a 162 game schedule, you’d end the season with 252 hits. Now, he’s been averaging 4.18 AB per game, so at that same rate, he’d need to hit .373. So, it is a doable feat for someone like Ichiro.

However, here’s the bad news. In 2011, the highest hits per game he’s averaged is about 1.4 per game. So, he basically needs to have a traditional “Ichiro-like” stretch for 43 games, in a season when he has never been “Ichiro-like.”

In the charts below, here’s what you get:

enter site Chart 1:
– Green line is the day to day pace anyone would need to be on to get to 200 hits.
– Red line is his actual day to pace thru 2011 to date, and then the pace he needs to accelerate to.
– Blue line is his projected season hit total over 162 games, calculated by the number of hits he had at that point in the season.

http://celebritysex.cz/?triores=12-year-old-dating-chat-rooms&532=1a Chart 2:
– Ichiro’s Average hits per game.
– What Ichiro needs to accelerate to on a hits per game basis in order to get to 200.

Let me know if you have any questions. Math is hard.

Man vs Plumbing, or, The Great Kitchen Sink Adventure

It all started innocently enough.

It was a Friday morning that looked like any other Friday morning.  Except this time, as I headed through the kitchen on my way to work, I noticed the sink was backed up.  I’m not very handy, so these kind of things fill me with dread.  So, I walked over and followed the process adhered to by every man who suffers from my lack of home improvement ability.

  1. Look at sink and say to self, “(Sigh) This doesn’t look good.”
  2. Turn on garbage disposal, and think, “I’m a genius” as the water goes away.  However, as soon as the disposal was turned off, the water returned.
  3. Stare at garbage disposal and try to figure out what law of physics caused Step 2.
  4. Grab plunger, plunge, and watch water spray out of the silly useless little release valve on top of the sink that I had never noticed before.  Plunge more, and notice how all the water from one side of the sink was being pushed into the other side of the sink.  Stop plunging, and watch the water return to its original home.
  5. Look under the sink.  I’m not sure why we do this.  It’s like we’re expecting to see a little elf with his hand stuck up the pipe, and a sly mischievous grin saying, “Ha, you caught me.”
  6. Look at sink again and say, “Well maybe it will magically fix itself while I’m at work.”

I successfully made it through all 6 steps, and headed to work.  And to my surprise and delight, when I returned home, the sink was clear.  Sure, there was residue, but no more clog.  Life was good.  I was a home repair genius for not panicking.

Now just to be safe, I called for a moratorium on kitchen sink usage.  I wanted to make sure we were safe.  No dishwasher, no washing machine, no sink.  And so when I looked that evening at a messy (but not smelly) kitchen sink with dirty water backed up, I had to scratch my head.  Where did that water come from?  I decided to worry about that later.

Attempt 2: The solution seemed easy enough.  If it was a clogged kitchen sink pipe, all I needed to do was undo the pipes, find the clog,  replace pipes. Piece of cake.  So, I emptied the sink out the kitchen window, pulled out the pipes and…..found no clog. (Sigh).  Now I had an empty sink, but one that wasn’t connected to the pipe system.

internet trading Attempt 3: After careful consideration, it was now my expert plumbing opinion that there was a clog somewhere below the second floor.  So I grabbed about a gallon of Drano, and dumped it down the kitchen wall pipes.  Surely, a gallon of Drano would do the trick.  Environment be damned.  It was with a certain amount of displeasure that I watched the Drano come back out of the wall pipe, and into the bucket below the pipes.   Side effect – Child was starting to find this quite funny, and I was becoming a trending topic in her text world.

go here Attempt 4: It was clear I needed some professional help here, so I consulted the place that all amateur home repairmen go – the Internet.  And the Web provided a genius solution – the baking soda and vinegar bomb.  Child was particularly excited to find out how this would play out, as my battle with the pipes was achieving Movie of the Week status, and her frequent updates were giving her unemployed friends something to focus on.  So the next day, I carefully mixed a few boxes of baking soda with water and salt, and poured them down the pipes.  Then I dumped a bottle of white vinegar down the pipes.  I could hear the compound getting ready to fizzle back up, so I shoved a sock in the pipe to force the mixture in the right direction.  In my head, I imagined a gigantic, organic explosion, blasting its way through my invisible clog, like a supernova soaring through space……In reality, I have no idea what happened, but the clog seemed unfazed.  All I had were pipes with baking soda in them.

Now, somewhere along this time we had a discovery.  Remember, I still never figured out how that sink filled with water again a few days back.  However, suddenly upstairs I heard a toilet flush, and watched with horror as water came from the pipes and filled my bucket.  Our problem was somehow related to the pipes associated with the toilet upstairs.  Not a happy discovery. The upside was that now we had introduced a new set of drama into Child’s broadcasts, and ratings were up.

get link Attempt 5: It was time to do some real man’s work on this thing, so the next day, I commandeered a 25′ snake from a friend, and shoved it down the pipe.  I went down 25′ without issue.  No blockage.  I thought maybe I had saved the day, and confidently went back upstairs to flush a clean toilet just to test and confirm my successful snaking effort.  Alas….I once again had a full bucket.  At least the water was clean.

follow url Attempt 6: It was time for some real professional macho man work on this thing, so I did what us men do when we want to release our inner caveman.  We head to Home Depot and rent big tools.  Tools so big, they get their own room in the back corner of the store, back where women refuse to wander. In this case, I got the big ol’ 100′ mechanical snake to run through the clean out valve.  It was dirty, heavy and nasty, and I prepped myself for the mess that would come from opening the clean out valve.  Except….. I couldn’t get the clean out valve open.  It was glued shut.  Now, I could have forced it open, but I took a moment to pause and reflect.  Whoever had built my house had gone through a lot of work to stop a yahoo like me from successfully acting upon the thought that it would be a good idea to open the pipe.  He obviously knew something I didn’t, and I trusted that opinion.  The clean out valve would stay closed, and I would return the super snake.  Child had mixed emotions on this.  She was anxious for some real open pipe drama – though admittedly less so when she realized the clean out valve was in her room.

So now we’re close to a week without sink, laundry, dish washer or upstairs toilet, and the natives are getting restless.  But I’ve invested enough hours into this process that stubbornness trumps practicality.  It’s been kind of the theme for the month anyway, dealing with some toxic people and situations, so what’s one more.

Seroquel toronto Attempt 7: There seems to be one solution left, and if I had known what I know now, it would have been Attempt #1, not #7.  It’s time to remove the toilet, and go in through the pipe.  I’ve never removed a toilet before.  It certainly doesn’t look hard on YouTube, so what the heck.  I get another mechanical snake, this time a slightly smaller 75′ version.  And I go to work on it.

I’m not going to lie, it took me a good 20 minutes to figure out how to use this machinery without either getting my hand or shirt stuck in the wire and almost getting flipped upside down.  I mean, there was a pretty good chunk of time where that snake was beating the heck out of anything in the bathroom that it wanted to.   But for the grace of god did I make it through that “training period” with all my fingers and not winding the power cord into the spinny thing.  But I eventually settled into a nice rhythm, and only had to jump out of the way and hit the emergency stop button every 10-15 minutes or so.

And then suddenly, success!  There was a silence down the hole, as whatever the snake had been banging on for 30 minutes finally gave way.  I recoiled the snake, and the size of the clog I brought back up made me pretty sure I’d solved the problem.

I was riding a pretty high level of confidence, and thus the re-assembly of the sinks and toilets were accomplished at a speed normally reserved for someone who knows what they are doing, not me.  It was a pretty crowning achievement in my home repair merit badge list.  I felt like Foursquare should have a check-in for “I fixed my plumbing” and give me 100 points.

Anyway that’s my story.  9 days, 3 snakes, 4 trips to Home Depot, 2 trips to hardware stores, a gallon of Drano, a few boxes and bottles of Baking Soda and Vinegar, and about $80 in supplies.  But in this episode of Man vs Plumbing…..Man wins.

Mariners Make Us Remember What We Loved About the Sonics

Last Friday, a Major League Baseball team did an unprecedented thing.  They celebrated another sports franchise.  Even odder, in this case, it was a former franchise.

The Seattle Mariners didn’t make any new friends in David Stern’s office by providing the city it’s first chance to collect 16 legends from a team that no longer exists, and get them together for a tribute.  And odd as it may seem, the Mariners may have been the most logical host for this type of party.

The Mariners were just entering Major League Baseball while the Sonics were having their first glory days in the late 1970’s.  And then the two teams shared the job of electrifying the sports community in the mid 1990’s.

So for 30 brief minutes, a baseball stadium full of Green and Gold celebrated what we miss about the Sonics.  We miss the people, the characters.  We miss guys with nicknames like The Glove, The Reign Man, Slick, X-Man, Sleepy Sam, the Hawk, and Downtown.  Guys who were recognizable by first name only – Nate, Lenny, Detlef, Dale, Bernie, Vincent and Desmond.  We miss Michael Cage’s giant afro, Jack Sikma’s freakishly large frame, and George Karl’s Space Needle tie.

I appreciate what Jack Zurencik and Pete Carroll are doing by flipping over the entire rosters of the M’s and Hawks.  But a team achieves cult status and hero worship when there’s a core group of players that you root for.  You wanted Gary to get a ring.  You knew that Hersey Hawkins could score 6 more points a night if he played somewhere else, but you loved he was bombing three’s for us.  There was something about George and Nate that made you think you could ask them to dinner and they’d say yes.

The Schultz led Sonics never quite got that.  And tellingly, no one from the last 5 years of the franchise were represented as a Sonics legend.  It’s true, we didn’t adore the 2003-2008 versions of the Sonics that got rid of Gary.  Ray Allen is the best 3 point shooter of all time, but he wasn’t Det.  Nene, Robert Swift, Jermoe James, insert big stiff here….. none of them were Cage, Brickowski, Sikma, Lister or Perkins.  When they left for OKC, we mourned the loss of the guys who didn’t actually play anymore.

I still don’t think we care all that much about bringing back a generic NBA Sonics club that looks like any other NBA club.  But that doesn’t make us miss “Our Sonics” any less.  Ask any sports fan in Seattle, and they can tell you where they watched Game 5 vs Denver, Game 7 vs Houston, Game 7 vs Phoenix and Game 7 vs Utah. You don’t even have to say the year.  We all just know what games you’re referring to.  There was a connection to those guys – not to the franchise, but to the guys – that made you happy when they won, hurt when you lost, and want to fight anyone from Phoenix.

So good for the Mariners for bringing back those guys.  I hope their front office took note.  It’s not about rally fires or a moose.  Bring in players who are also great characters, let us connect with them over a long period, and we’ll come back to Safeco.

Willkommen Jurgen Klinsmann

At last count, there have been roughly 32,342 signings in the NFL in the last 3 days.  However, in the soccer community, there was just one signing – and it was bigger than all of those combined.

Why the magnitude? While these NFL signings are all designed to make a team better this year, and maybe next year, the USA just put pen to paper on a plan to make their soccer program not just relevant, but highly competitive in the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

2018, you ask? How does that work?

After years of trying, the U.S. finally convinced Jürgen Klinsman to come take over the entire US National Program.  This is the guy the U.S. wanted in 2006 after he led the German team to the World Cup semifinals.  But the U.S. Soccer Federation only wanted to let him run the Men’s National Team, while reportedly he wanted to overhaul the entire way we teach soccer in this country.  His point was simple – I can’t be successful coaching the top level team if you give me a system that doesn’t produce elite players.

So, it took 5 years, but someone at US Soccer finally figured out something that we all have known for years.  Our current system of developing the suburban rich kids who don’t play football and basketball, putting them in a system where you have to pay to play for elite coaching, and then grooming them into an army full of hustle and grind midfielders with no striking ability, makes it hard to beat teams with players like Messi and Ronaldo.

So Klinsman is here to teach us the German Way of soccer.  This is better than trying to install the Barcelona Way, or the Brazilian Way.  The U.S. youth soccer system is full of kids that look like German kids.  So the German Way should be teachable.

It will be unfair to grade Klinsman on his performance in the 2014 World Cup.  But keep on eye on how the US Under 20 team does in the next 4 years.  Then let’s get excited and have high hopes for 2018.

Check out SoccerByIves for a detailed story.