Worst Comcast Disconnect Call Ever

Author: robertinseattle

Inspiration

Author: robertinseattle

I absolutely love the One Day on Earth series. Here are the first four available:

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The Memories that Old Pictures Capture

Author: robertinseattle

Today I started trying to organize the many photographs I have scattered around my house again. After a few moves – and a major housefire back in 2002 – these pictures often represent the only physical memories of my family’s lives. For some strange reason, most of our pictures were left miraculously unharmed after losing almost everything else we owned back then. I decided a good first step to organizing them was to start getting them all gathered together in one place; so I emptied some shelf space in a bookcase to start pulling them all together at last.

So I was going through one small plastic box and I came across these two Polaroid SX-70 pictures of a very special Pontiac Trans Am Firebird. But first, here’s a picture of what that classic street car looked like, complete with the original Firebird emblem on the hood and the side panels:

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I’ll start with a despicable comment attributed to LA Clippers owner (for now) Donald Sterling:

Donald-Sterling

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Adventures Along the Way: Christo 1985

Author: robertinseattle

Wow! I still remember a weeks-long trip to Europe in 1985 with my friend and tech industry analyst, Tim Bajarin. My company, SpectraFAX, had just successfully developed the first color digital scanners for PCs (and MACs not long after) and Tim was helping to introduce me to many of his connections in London, Paris and Munich as part of our international rollout plans.

After several days in Paris meeting with potential distributors, we were up early one morning to head for the airport to hit the final leg of our journey in Munich. Everywhere we stayed on this trip, journalists somehow managed to follow Tim and leave messages for him at the front desk of every hotel. We were in the middle of the very public  Apple/Steve Jobs/John Sculley spat and everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the San Jose Mercury News wanted to hear Tim’s opinions on what was happening at Apple. (Jobs ended up getting canned from Apple at the time and Sculley consolidated his power base with the backing of the Board and that was the start of the Jobs-less era at Apple.)

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How Women and Men Think They Look

Author: robertinseattle

I love a well-done parody. Top video is the actual Dove Soap commercial. The one below? Well…

A Man’s Bar

Author: robertinseattle

Perfect Irish BarOne of the many fun e-mails I get – and share – daily from friends had this touched up image with a title, The Perfect Irish Bar. It gave me a chuckle and brought back a memory from my traveling days back in the early 70′s.

I was enjoying a well-deserved semi-retirement sabbatical after finally selling my property and businesses in Toronto in ’73. My girlfriend and I had driven across Canada from Toronto to Vancouver and down the West Coast to Arizona and then all the way down to Mexico in my camper van with no particular itinerary, savoring new adventures as they came up. My girlfriend loved her beer and there wasn’t a bar we didn’t visit along the way. My Asian genes kept telling me I didn’t really enjoy alcohol at all but that’s a story for another day. Read the rest of this entry »

p*wning a Craigslist Scam

Author: robertinseattle

Seems you can’t even post something up for sale on Craigslist without some scammer trying to hit you up. I re-posted a large printer late last night and I’ve already received 4 scam inquiries. This one was the most brazen and I’m posting the entire exchange online here along with what I also found out about mi nuevo amigo, Hector Fanandez!

First the short inquiry:

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How to Replace a Highway… F-A-S-T!

Author: robertinseattle

Snoqualmie Pass Map

Snoqualmie Pass is a key road running through the Cascade Mountains along Interstate 90 coming from Eastern Washington by way of Idaho. It’s a really important road that’s critical to all kinds of goods to and from Seattle. When this highway gets covered in a major snowstorm, they get it cleared as quickly as possible, sometimes going so far as to blast some of the ice and snow down from the mountains just to avoid snowslides on to the road. So when they had to finally re-pave this puppy this past May, the DoT had to tear I-90 up and replace it immediately so everyone’s back in business with as little disruption as possible.

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A New Side Project: Pinball in Seattle

Author: robertinseattle
Robert Pinball

Pinball at the office in 2000!

Well, I had no idea that Seattle was such a pinball center when my kids and I first moved here back in ’97. But when we expanded my startup into our large office spaces in ’99 during that first dot-com boom, one of the fun things my CFO and I decided to do was set up a small pinball arcade room. All those young kids had their foosball tables and ping pong tables in their startup offices. But hey – we were older guys and we wanted some more serious classic stuff for everyone to enjoy! So we ended up building a glassed-in soundproof arcade room right off our front lobby, much to the amusement of our visitors.

Way back in the early 70′s, I actually owned an arcade for a year or so in between gigs. And it was not only fun but turned out to be a relatively lucrative little business. Not as much because my arcade was busy every weekend but because of the first big run on silver at that time. A lot of younger people won’t know this but a large majority of our coins back then were minted with real silver and copper. It wasn’t until later that the cost of these coins became too expensive to use pure silver and copper so the mints all over the world have now been using cheaper alloys to make our coins (and the actual cost of materials is still a lot more than the face value of the coin itself in many instances). But back in the early 70, most silver coins were over 95% pure silver and a silver dollar was just that: a silver dollar! So a month or so into running my arcade, I decided to start sifting through all my quarters and was shocked to realize how many pre-1965 quarters were in each machine! I was doubling and tripling my take as the silver value of those quarters kept rising. But unfortunately as more collectors started realizing that even old and worn quarters were worth twice their face value or more, the supply started thinning down quickly. Gradually in less than a year, my arcade became a whole lot less profitable and it was time to start a new business.

Among my favorite machines was Gottlieb’s Magnotron from back in the 70′s. I’d first run into Magnotron back in Paris during a semi-retirement phase in ’74. A lot of my time was spent painting and writing and it was while living in Paris that I first came across this just-released machine at an arcade close to my fifth floor walkup studio on the Left Bank. It seems there were thousands of pinball machines all over Paris, in the bars and cafés and just about anywhere you could squeeze one into a corner. I made a lot of new friends playing pinball. And it was in Paris that I found my inspiration to start a new series of high-realism paintings on man and his machines, specifically machines that you put money into and received something in return. What better first piece than my beloved pinball machines? It was in Fall of 1974 when I started painting Magnotron and Sky Jump, working from some drawings and photographic studies taken at this Parisian arcade. I still remember carrying this half-finished canvas on board an Air Canada flight headed back home to Toronto after living in Paris for 10 months. In those days, we had no T&A Security or baggage restrictions; one of the stewardesses simply put my painting into one of the coat closets up front for me to retrieve as I got off the flight in Toronto. I ended up finishing that painting along with several others while I was living in a shared studio/living space with three other artists in the warehouse district in downtown Toronto. Read the rest of this entry »