Not So Fast, Social Media Fanatics


Nathan Safran’s article, “Can We Please Stop Hyping Social as the Marketing Messiah?” appeared recently on the Search Engine Watch website. He makes a compelling argument for separating search and social resources to generate new business. Citing an Adobe post-holiday study, only 2% of retail traffic originated with social media while search engines generated 34%. From traffic and financial perspectives, social media’s commercial role looks a little lame. Can wired business types accept and maximize these differences? Safran agrees with the Adobe pundits: why not use social media to communicate with friends and let the big boys do their jobs?

Forget Texas. Alaska: Please Secede


From Ted Stevens’ 2008 federal corruption trial to the emergence of Sarah (Big Gulp) Palin, Alaska remains a magnet for idiots. The nimrod du jour is Senator Don Young. During a recent radio show, he bragged that his father’s ranch “employed 50-60 wetbacks.” Nice. This isn’t uncharted territory for Young. In 1994, he waved a walrus penis bone around during federal fish and wildlife hearings. Then, he lobbied for cuts in arts spending, saying it supports offensive projects, like photos of (his term) “people Buttf**king.” Even walrus want this dude gone. A strategically placed tusk could do the job nicely.

No Luggage Required For This Trip

cat and feet

I’ve always been clumsy, but Tuna ups the ante when I move at warp speed. That’s when he runs the ankle gauntlet. I’m not alone. Friend Bill thought Sunshine “had it in for him,” swearing the cat liked to trip him — especially on stairs. Do you fed the cat, I ask? He says no. I recommend feeding Sunny to get into his good graces, thinking that a logical solution. Then, Tuna came along and proved that theory held no water. I have no idea what Tuna’s motives are, but if you see me on crutches, draw your own conclusions.

“I Dreamed a Dream” One Too Many Times

Les Mis

Given my obsessive-compulsive personality, repetition wreaks havoc on my brain. For example, Les Miserables is now available on DVD and ads promoting film sales run day and night. As a result, “I Dreamed a Dream” plays in my head — nonstop — 24/7. I wake up channeling Anne Hathaway and fall asleep as Susan Boyle. “There was a time when men were kind,” the song begins, but I think Andrew Lloyd Weber unkind for keeping me in Les Miserables hell. To paraphrase his lyric, once those ads stop running, “Life worth living” will have a whole new meaning for me.

Don’t Make Me Pass You Over, Barack!

Obama seder

Dear Mr. President,

Given your ties to folks like Rahm Emanuel and Jack Lew, I know Monday wasn’t the first time you attended a Passover Seder. You’ve even hosted a few. So, what possessed you to enthuse, “This is good matzo!” Monday night? Matzo is called the bread of our affliction for a reason: It afflicts damage to the body. One can eat matzo after soaking it in the entire Red Sea and it still wouldn’t “reappear” until the messiah comes. Please follow this protocol next year: Bite into matzo. Gag. Chug wine. Shake your head. Now, you’re officially Jewish.

Facing My Furnace Fears

furnace-headerI need a therapist to help me deal with my furnace issues. My antique model, squirreled away in its own closet, was manufactured in another era, which is why it’s the size of the Willis Tower. Each time I turn it on, I’m positive it’s going to die, which is how I came to amass a file of coupons for emergency repair services and discounts. When spring approaches, I take deep breaths. Not just ‘cause flowers are blooming, but also because my furnace survived another winter. I need a sponsor. A furnace support group. Or maybe just an HVAC angel.

All Writers Suffer From Schizophrenia


While engaged in birthing a book, writers suffer ups and downs that transcend extreme bungee jumping. One day, the book sounds terrific and I smell success. 24 hours later, the same words are boring, the characters are lame and the premise is ridiculous. Schizophrenia among writers takes many forms. The first is the version that lands wordsmiths in straightjackets. The second can trigger torn and torched manuscripts. Rent the film, After Fall, Winter, if you want to see how bad it can get. On days I find myself hating my writing, I mull becoming a Walmart greeter. Then, it passes.

My Passwords Are Safe – Even From Me


My high school mascot. Mother’s maiden name. Cats (with and without numbers). Recalling the appropriate password drives me crazy. I particularly dislike folks who make me choose case sensitive passwords; all it takes is one lower case letter to trigger rejection. I call. I’m patronized by a smug dude who knows my password and makes me grovel to get it. My idea of hell is getting notice that Satin’s let me out for good behavior, but I can’t be released until I give out the right password the first time around. With passwords, the devil is always in the details.

No Princesses Allowed


When I volunteer at a local women’s clinic, I’m usually paired with women my age. We chat about today’s child and the sense of entitlement that pervades this generation. A few months ago, I began partnering with the young father of three girls. Listening to him talk about his child-rearing practices gives me hope for the future. For example, their home is a no princess zone. Ask his daughters about Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and they’re likely to say that spending a lifetime waiting for a guy to come and rescue you is just plain dumb. Bravo, Dad. You rock.

Crisis of the Day: Cyprus


While the U.S. slogs through sequestration and budget hell, Cyprus has begun melting down. To avoid a banking system collapse, E.U. negotiators demanded bank accounts with balances over 100,000 Euros be taxed at a rate of between 6.7 and 9.9 percent. The nation’s Parliament responded by revolting, so the estimated sixty-eight billion Euros held in unregulated banks remain untaxed and untouched. Now, Cyprus threatens to secede from the E.U. Cypriots blame Europe — not their corrupt banking system. Looks like this offshore tax haven is about to take a deep dive, so if you’re invested there, make your withdrawal now.