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Golden Oldie: Free, scary costume

Monday, October 31st, 2016

It’s amazing to me, but looking back at more than a decade of writing I find posts that still impress, with information that is as useful now as when it was written.

Golden Oldies is a collection of what I consider some of the best posts during that time.

I wrote this Halloween post exactly 10 years ago and the costume is even scarier today. The character described has added to their tricks list, including hospitals, connected cars, IoT devices and ransomware, to name just a few.

Read other Golden Oldies here.

Happy Halloween! In case you’ve got party plans and want to be a really scary character sans blood and guts.

The costume is almost anything handy, but ratty jeans, well-worn black t-shirt, preferably with an anti-social message, worn sneakers, scruffy hair, and red-rimmed eyes is the norm; or you can go all the way over to pure designer if that’s your thing. The only necessary accessory is a laptop (or facsimile if you think you might party hard enough to lose it). That’s it, the generic (feel free to customize it) costume of one of the scariest folks cruising along today.

Your character plays with water systems, steals from online accounts, rips off Second Lives, messes with elections, and shakes down the online gambling industry.

Figured it out yet?

Good. So, grab your (metaphorical) black hat and let’s party! And may you enjoy an evening of great treats and no tricks.

Entrepreneurs: Founder Riddles

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

How are founders like pandas?

panda

Where can you go that is crazy different and extreme?

swingOK. Break’s over.

Now click for some of the best leadership advice available that will help you move closer to that swing.

Image credit: YesEmails.com

Fun and Games with NSA

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

https://www.nsa.gov/news-features/puzzles-activities/puzzle-periodical/2016/puzzle-periodical-05.shtml

The Federal government is definitely out of favor, whether for doing too little or too much depends on your MAP (it never does enough for us and does too much for them).

In no part of the government is this more obvious than NSA; the poster child of dislike, distrust and disdain.

But those feelings should hold only for the leadership, not the techies who staff the place.

NSA hires a lot of techies and techies are techies the world over. One of the things they all have in common is that they love puzzles, especially math and logic puzzles—not just to work them, but to create them.

“Intelligence. It’s the ability to think abstractly. Challenge the unknown. Solve the impossible. NSA employees work on some of the world’s most demanding and exhilarating high-tech engineering challenges. Applying complex algorithms and expressing difficult cryptographic problems in terms of mathematics is part of the work NSA employees do every day.”

So if you love puzzles click the link above and try your skills. Here’s a sample from a software developer.

Four friends, Holly, Belle, Carol, and Nick, gather for May birthdays. Holly announces that she has a game before dinner. She hid gifts for each of her friends inside three separate boxes secured with padlocks. She challenges her friends to figure out the combination without consulting each other.

She provides the following information. All the padlocks have the same combination. The padlocks use 3 digits from 0 to 9. She also tells them that the sum of the three digits is equal to nine, and every digit is equal to or greater than the previous digit. Holly tells each of her friends one of the digits in the combination. She states, “I’ve given the first digit to Belle, the second digit to Carol, and the third digit to Nick.” The caveat is that the friends cannot share their numbers with each other or they will forfeit the gifts.

Then Holly gives her friends 30 minutes to open the padlocks while she watches and finishes dinner.

The three friends begin to think of the solution. One by one, they each try their hand at their padlock, but none of them opens the padlock. Seeing that no one has succeeded, suddenly Carol realizes she knows the answer, and successfully opens her box, revealing a new fitness tracker. Following this, Nick opens his padlock, revealing a new tablet; and Belle opens her box to find new pair of headphones.

Having watched this entire event unfold, can you determine the correct combination?

Hint: Belle knows her digit is a 1.

Click and scroll down for the solution.

Have fun, everybody.

Image credit: NSA

If the Shoe Fits: A Useful Personal Assistance Startup

Friday, July 8th, 2016

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

Watching all the startups that eliminate so many of the day-to-day chores of living.

They supposedly free people up to do amazing stuff.

Uh-huh.

However, one startup, Guiding Hands, does more than handle mundane chores; it actually mitigates dangers and difficulties for peripheral non-users.

Thanks to Conan and TBS for introducing Guiding Hands to the world.

(And a hat tip to my friend Tom for sending it to me.)

If the Shoe Fits: the Perils of Auto-Correct

Friday, May 27th, 2016

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mToday is kind of holiday — mentally, if not physically — it is the start of a 3-day weekend for those not in startups or retail.

And even many startups will ease off and do a bit more fun stuff and partying.

That said, I decided to add a little to your levity, while subtly providing a lesson learned.

How often do you double-check your content before sending a message from your phone? I’m not talking about spelling, per se, but the way iPhone and Android auto-correct can totally change the meaning of what you’ve written.

To drive the point home, along with adding the promised holiday levity, here is an example, which you may have seen, since it is making the rounds on the internet.

The message:
Hi Fred, this is Alan next door. I have a confession to make. I’ve been riddled with guilt these past few months and have been trying to pluck up the courage to tell you to your face, but I am at least now telling you in text as I can’t live with myself a moment longer without you knowing.

The truth is I have been sharing your wife, day and night when you’re not around. In fact, probably more than you. I haven’t been getting it at home recently, but that’s no excuse, I know. The temptation was just too much. I can no longer live with the guilt and I hope you will accept my sincerest apologies and forgive me.  It won’t happen again.  Please suggest a fee for usage, and I’ll pay you.

Regards, Alan.

Fred’s response:
Feeling insulted and betrayed, grabbed his gun, and shot his neighbor dead. He returned home where he poured himself a stiff drink and sat down on the sofa.

He took out his phone where he saw he has a second message from his neighbor:

Second message:
Hi Fred, This is Alan next door again. Sorry about the typo on my last text. I expect you figured it out anyway, and that you noticed that darned Auto-Correct changed ‘Wi-Fi’ To ‘Wife.’  Technology hey?

Regards, Alan.

Need I say more?

Image credit: HikingArtist

The Far Side of Ridiculous

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016

From KG:

ice meal

From Miki: KG hasn’t had time to write, but he sent this timely warning that even good ideas can go too far and that those who follow them may be left out in the cold.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

I went looking for a good video with which to wish you a great 2016.

Problem was, they were either too saccharine, too boring or just didn’t fit me.

I also don’t have a lot of patience watching videos.

But I am a sucker for cats.

So here is my New Year’s message, along with a personal message.

Have fun. Be happy. Stay safe.

I’ll see you all next year.

YouTube credit: billschannel

Say Goodbye to 2015

Wednesday, December 30th, 2015

Wow! 2015 sure went by in a flash.

I seem to say this every year, but this year was gone in three blinks of the eye — down from the five blinks that took 2014.

2016 will probably go a lot slower considering it’s an election year.

It won’t take long before the media/ad tsunami will become the watched pot that never boils and have us all longing for the year to be over.

But it’s still 2015, so if you’re looking to remember or review what happened this year you have many choices.

You can watch Faceboook’s version or Google’s view through search.

There’s Forbes review of tech, video and games or Geek & Sundry’s 2015 video game review.

For excitement there’s the best of GoPro’s Hero footage.

There’s CNN’s 167 facts and a look a look at who died.

There’s one more that you might not think to watch — NASA.

Watch the review of 2015 and the sneak peak below of 2016.

2015 Christmas Wishes for You

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Obviously I wish the best of holiday cheer to all of you, along with predictions of happiness and success in 2016.

That said, I have a very special gift for my female readers (attribution: the Internet). Sadly, I’m not skilled enough to make a version for you guys.

However, you are welcome to share it with the women in your life; they’ll appreciate it — and you for thinking of them.

Merry Christmas To My Female Friends

If I were ol’ Santa, you know what I’d do
I’d dump silly gifts that are given to you

And deliver some things just inside your front door
Things you have lost, but treasured before.

I’d give you back all your maidenly vigor,
And to go along with it, a neat tiny figure.

Then restore the old color that once graced your hair
Before rinses and bleaches took residence there.

I’d bring back the shape with which you were gifted
So things now suspended need not be uplifted.

I’d draw in your tummy and smooth down your back
Till you’d be a dream in those tight fitting slacks.

I’d remove all your wrinkles and leave only one chin
So you wouldn’t spend hours rubbing grease on your skin.

You’d never have flashes or queer dizzy spells,
And you wouldn’t hear noises like ringing of bells.

No sore aching feet and no corns on your toes,
No searching for spectacles when they’re right on your nose.

Not a shot would you take in your arm, hip or fanny,
From a doctor who thinks you’re a nervous old granny.

You’d never have a headache, so no pills would you take.
And no heating pad needed since your muscles won’t ache.

Yes, if I were Santa, you’d never look stupid,
You’d be a cute little chick with the romance of a cupid.

I’d give a lift to your heart when those wolves start to whistle,
And the joys of your heart would be light as a thistle.

But alas! I’m not Santa. I’m simply just me,
The “matronest” of matrons you ever did see.

I wish I could tell you all the symptoms I’ve got,
But I’m due at my doctor’s for an estrogen shot.

Even though we’ve grown older, this wish is sincere,
Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year.

Have a warm, wonderful Christmas and I’ll see you again in 2015 (although I don’t guarantee how many times:).

reindeer

Say Hello to IT Professional Day

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

It’s about time!

Today is a new holiday and one that’s been a long time coming.

We already have a day dedicated to bosses and admin/secretaries and now Solar Winds has proposed making September IT Professional Day in honor of one of the most ignored, when things are working, and maligned, when things go wrong, departments.

So a company called SolarWinds that runs a social network for IT Pros is trying to change that by creating the first ever IT Pro Day.

So take your IT folks to lunch today and share this with your network. Life would be a lot more frazzled without them!

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About Miki View Miki Saxon's profile on LinkedIn

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