Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
So yesterday, at around 7pm (1 hour and 15 mins. after I phoned for service), a flatbed tow truck arrived that was sent by BMW Customer Service to lift and remove my MINI Cooper from the parking lot of Toys R Us. The truck was en route to the Richmond dealership service centre (cell phone photos above depicts the scene). One would think that a 2-year-old car was reliable? Perhaps not.
This morning, I heard back from the dealership that the car suffered from a collapsed cell in the battery, which was the reason the truck could not jump start the MINI.
Fine. The tow, battery replacement, dealership tests and taxi ride from home to dealership was all covered by BMW; however, what does that say about the Brand? (As an aside, BMW owns the MINI and started manufacturing in 2002, and BMW also owns Rolls Royce.)
And today, I questioned the dealership re. the front brakes job performed on my MINI earlier this year during the 24,000km mark. And rear brakes at about 30,000km 2 months ago. Most imports would last twice as long. And no, I do not try to drive like an F1 driver. The dealership claimed that MINI uses high-performance, soft brakes that stops the car quicker than most imports, or even domestic cars. Hence, the quicker wear. Okay.
Also, this morning, during dealership phoning me back, BMW phoned me re. their survey as to how well I was serviced last night. Overall, it was acceptable, except for the 1 hour plus tow truck wait, and the fact that I need to produce a receipt for the $15 bucks I gave the driver to drive me home from the parking lot. In fact, he was not suppose to drive me towards my house as it was not on his way to the dealership, but for a 2-minute drive, he pocketed the cash. And also he was kind enough to even phone me at 8:30pm when he safely dropped off the MINI in the dealership and was able to drop my keys in the night slot. Whew.
Moreover, I was in near argument with BMW Service Center caller re the $15 because they stated that I still need a receipt to claim that money back. I could have even saved them money on a more expensive cab fare and also less wait time for my cab ride (the customer). Again, the Brand?
Every customer experience with the Brand, in this case MINI / BMW, can be quite critical in that the Brand needs to meet, even exceed, customer expectations. And anything short, the Brand is at fault.
I will be claiming my non-receipt $15 and receipt $73 cab fares, so we'll see how strong the Brand stands up to such tests. As well as what type of feedback I will be receiving from MINI / BMW. Am I too harsh on the Brand? Stay tuned.
(For an earlier post about my MINI, click here.)
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Saturday, September 8, 2007
Reminiscent of 18th - 19th century sci-fi / fantasy paintings by the likes of N.C. Wyeth, J.Allen St.John and Howard Pyle, Frank Frazetta has been an influential illustrator in the last five decades. Enjoy the movie.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
After numerous figures and vehicles, foam cores, plaster bandages, glue gun, acrylic paints, sand, etc., my current hobby is showing some form.
I'm still working on Hoth diorama. And next will be Rebel celebration on Yanvin.
Click here for more nerdy photos.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
My Bears have 20 of their 22 starters returning from last year ... playoff, then Superbowl bound. Pats, Cowboys, Steelers, Chargers start the bus.
Interesting stat on Rex Grossman shows that where he in his career today, is better than where Peyton Manning was in his career then.
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Michael Vick ... so let's assume Vick lands in jail for 2 years, after that no one can deny him to earn a living through his trade. Look at what Sprewell did to Carlesimo, and after that incident Spre was allowed to play again.
However, in Vick's case, a local talk radio host commented that what is going to prevent Vick from playing in the league again is the alleged betting on dogs. He adds that its that type of ethical play that has prevented Shoeless Joe and Pete Rose from entering the Hall. Because betting simply undermines the game.
Look at the NBA now with that ref caught betting on games, complicated with some problematic player incidents. Watch for some creative PR that the league will be executing this season, for sure.
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Although I only caught the radio highlights, I did not see the tv version about the uncanny phenomenon that had not occurred in pro baseball for 110 years, since 1897. This was the 30 runs that the Texas Rangers put up on the score board a few days ago as they beat the Baltimore Orioles by 27 ... 30 to 3.
The O's were leading by something like 3 nil going into the 4th. Then the uncanny ... 30 runs in 7 innings. Thirty runs. Nuts.
These are not triple A teams playing, rather pros that average about 5 runs per game. So to put up numbers 6x the average—such as a pro football team who averages 20 points then 120—is quite spectacular.
That was the first game of a doubleheader where the 2nd game resulted in a 9-7 win by the Rangers.
The record is held by the Chicago Colts with 36 runs in 1897, where they beat Louisville by 29.
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I saw Bonds' recording breaking HR ... amazing. So why put an asterisk on Bonds homeruns when baseball knew then what the players were getting into and turned a blind eye?
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Walter Payton's son Jarrett now plays for the CFL's Montreal team.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Camera phone photo above and my “PDA and fold-away keyboard” note taking below of Adobe CS3 seminar in Vancouver.
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Adobe Seminar Aug.23.07, Sheraton Wall Centre, Vancouver
> dynamic media
> CS3, 80million lines of code, 2 yrs
> Bridge3 is like browser for elements that preview into native software
> Photoshop ... vanishing point ... open in After Effects to simulate 2-d to 3d
> PDF8 ... get this and start submitting files to Hemlock in PDF
> Indesign print to web ... html page, with css
> Fireworks creates UI for web; Illustrator is for web
> Encore ... export as blue ray , dvd
> Camera Raw CS3 ... Fill Light that lightens dark areas without masking
> Vibrance ... pops colors without flesh tones; can be done to jpg and tiff, not just raw
> lunch / shopping break
> DreamweaverCS3 ... template ... choose Doc Type; drag and drop snippets onto page;
> Contribute CS3 (small version of DW) allows template manipulation of blog sites, such as Wordpress; create blog entries off line
(Thanks for invite BC)
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Thursday, July 5, 2007
I returned last week from Toronto (better known in Canada as The Big Smoke for its industrial growth and wealth), where the purpose of my business trip was to plan my employer’s 50th anniversary company celebration in Niagara Falls and attend an AWWA water works tradeshow. And both events went well.
At a previous job with BC TIA, combined with my past board duties for GDC BC Chapter, I was involved in putting together about 70 events. However, this celebration was the first event I had planned where I could not initially visit the venue and involved two coach buses to transport company guests and staff.
Singer Valve, my company employer for close to two-and-a-half years, designs and manufacturers quality, automatic control valves for the potable water industry on a global scale. So our guests included some of our sales representatives from countries such as Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Spain, Mexico, Columbia, UAE, UK, USA and Canada, plus a handful of our staff totaling about 100 attendees.
Saturday, June 23 involved meeting all attendees at the hotel lobby in downtown Toronto, boarding the coaches and traveling for about 130 km to Niagara Falls.
Upon arrival at the Falls at 3pm, the attendees had about 3 hours of their own time walking around the area. Then dinner at the Fallsview Keg Restaurant with a spectacular bee-line view of the Falls. Next, about 2 hours later, we headed downstairs to a seminar room for some video well wishes from around the world, award presentations, cake cutting by our President, speeches and a birthday toast.
The day prior, both company owners, with their wives and myself, visited the venue for an inspection and walk through. First we visited the seminar room where I installed the laptop and tested the hotel’s projector and sound system via playing the company branded Power Point template slides containing the videos. Seating and signage had to be finalized too as we rearranged what the hotel initially wanted to do.
I also had the hotel prepare a wine and menu tasting of the items we would serve. The principals enjoyed the wine tasting portion, which I am not much of a wine expert to help on the matter.
Planning this event had me e-mail and telephone about 150 times with The Keg and Embassy Suites personnel Christina and Jennifer, who were more than helpful with all the details I was throwing out at them, such as for a wireless mic request to hanging an anniversary banner, to special dietary food needs by some guests. Plus not to mention the transit, photographer and guests confirmations were also details that needed planning and executing.
Overall, everyone who attended the event was pleased with the outcome. Next blog posting is about the shops and sights of Toronto.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
This free, on-line time keeper helps when you have to connect with people globally.
In fact, at work my time travel ranges from connecting with people from NY to get them to send an item to California, calling a white paper writer in Brazil, sending marcom work to the UK, and replying to requests from Spain, Australia, Malaysia, Hong Kong and UAE, for example.
Download your time keeper from Qlock.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Star Wars turns 30 years old today. The first film in the saga, Episode IV—A New Hope, made it's North American debut on May 25th, 1977.
In 2005, according to Forbes, the entire franchise (viz., films, toys, video games, books, etc.) is worth about $20US billion. And because of that success, George Lucas is in the top 100 richest people in the US worth $3.6US billion. (In fact, him and Steven Spielberg are the only film directors in that top 100 list.)
How's that for brand recognition, extension, loyality, equity?
Visit wordpress and flickr blogs for the 5-day Celebration IV coverage in Los Angeles, CA, May 24 - 28, 2007.
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
As I continue to grow in my Marketing Communications career,
which is a lifelong journey into itself, I personally now have defined
'Branding' as ... "the personality of a product / service that is communicated to its targets through chosen media".
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About 4-5 years ago, I once heard that when Macromedia (creators of Flash, Freehand, Fireworks, to name a few), was up for sale, IBM, Adobe and Microsoft were in the running to purchase the company, which was really the battle to acquire the savior of the universe, according to July 2001 issue of cre@teonline) ... Flash. And Adobe ended up purchasing the company as Adobe’s objectives were better suited to Macromedia’s products than the other two companies’ objectives.
As an aside, I once met one of the founders of Macromedia at a tech function; and he told me that when they sold the company to suits, all they were interested in were investors rather than better enhancing the applications. Perhaps that was how Macromedia eventually became for sale.
Now, Flash is ubiquitous, from YouTube to pedagogic industrial products, to media disc authoring and everything in between.
That brief Flash segue leads me to the surreal work of Japanese, Flash master and interface designer Yugo Nakamura, who has won many prestigious awards including NY Art Director’s Club, Clio and Cannes Lions. And his digital creations have been displayed in renowned London and Paris museums.
Turn up your speakers:
• some past works: visit 1st button from the left, 3rd and 7th, amazing
• Mona Lisa
• latest news
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
My cousin's daughter and her friend, who have requested to remain anonymous, conceptualized and pieced together a collection of lint from their dryer in the 'likeness' of Wentworth Miller, Fox's star of Prison Break.
Both U of Toronto students then sold the lint on eBay for $650cdn, which is currently a hot topic on the net.
(Thanks LC and AC)
Saturday, April 21, 2007
• Emmit Smith; 15 yrs.; 18,355 yds. rushing; 164 TDs; 4.16 avg.
• Walter Payton; 13; 16,726; 110; 4.35
• Eric Dickerson; 12; 13,259; 90; 4.42
• Tony Dorsett; 12; 12,739; 77; 4.33
• Jim Brown; 9; 12,312; 106; 5.21
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Sunday, April 8, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
Visit this site and determine the price of your blog.
From above site, here are some blogs and its respective prices:
• kerismith.com/blog ... $298,641.66
• swissmiss.typepad.com/weblog ... $331,949.52
• thesartorialist.blogspot.com ... $1,410,220.92
The functionalities of this watch are amazing. Established in 1853, Tissot Swiss watches are the best bang for your buck; for example, you can purchase a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal watch for as little as $379cdn—a Tag Heuer would be more than 3x that price. However, Tag's have the branding behind them. The High-T is about $750us.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Although this board book is intended for kids, it's a hit with any sushi lover. Another excerpt: "Miso in my sippy cup, tofu in my bowl. Crab and avocado fill my California roll.".
Other books by the same author includes Yum Yum Dim Sum, Hola Jalapeno, Mangia! Mangia!, A Little Bit of Soul Food and Let's Nosh.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Thursday, March 1, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Once you click 'play', simply touch the numbers in sequence starting from 1 to 33. Do not click the numbers, just touch them with your cursor. The object is to touch all the 33 numbers as fast as you can.
My pb is 37 seconds.
Me new pb is 35.
March 4: not bad CE, I'm at 31.
March 9: my pb is 30. Done well CE—I'll be back.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
• "Experts can uncover a MINI imposter by tracking its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). But the most effective way to spot a fake is by simply checking to see if the vehicle is ugly."
• "Many fakes look good at first glance. But look closer. Be certain the bonnet stripes are not fashioned from ordinary duct tape."
• "Quite often, the roof of a genuine MINI is customized with a flag decal. Counterfeiters know this and try to confuse buyers. If you find an actual flag on the roof, you've got an actual fake."
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
Regardless of what happend in the first 3 quarters of Superbowl XVI. Missed Bears tackles. Excellent Manning signal calling. The Bears were only behind by 5 points with 11:27 remaining in the game. Chicago had a 1st and 10 on their own 38 yard line and Rex threw a bad, lousy pass and deserved to lose the game. Not to mention his couple of mishandled snaps from Pro-Bowl Center Olin Kreutz.
A sad ending to an otherwise excellent regular season and two playoff victories. Anyway, the Bears beat the Seahawks twice this year =)
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QB Superbowl Victory Not Equal QB Greatness
Quarterbacking a Superbowl team to victory does not equate to being a great quarterback. Look at all the QBs to have won the game but are not great players ... Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Terry Bradshaw (see Dryden brief below), for example.
Also the reverse, not having won the Superbowl does not mean subpar QB ... Dan Marino and Dan Fouts to come mind.
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Dryden's Jersey Retired
About 2-3 weeks ago, the Montreal Canadian's retired Ken Dryden's number 29 jersey.
During the ceremony, one of his former teammates, cannot recall who, said something like ... in some games, Dryden got only about 13-14 shots against him, but made key saves on about half of those shots.
I'm a Dryden fan, but he reminds of former Steelers running back Franco Harris who won four Superbowls because he was on a great team. Similarly, Dryden's 6 Stanley Cups in 8 years was also backed by a then solid Habs team.
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A couple of great, fun tv sports shows: The Best Damn Sports Show Period and Pros vs. Joes
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
The boards, which usually carry typical advertising, are programmed to identify approaching Mini drivers through a coded signal from a radio chip embedded in their key fob. The messages are personal, based on questionnaires that owners filled out: “Mary, moving at the speed of justice,” if Mary is a lawyer, or “Mike, the special of the day is speed,” if Mike is a chef.
Continue reading nytimes.com article.
(Via Industrial Brand Blog)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
However, Keri is at a point in her life where she wants to accomplish something bigger but has the risk of jeopardizing her commercial career. Her somewhat life transformation includes support for an Ad-Free Blog and she states comments such as “buy nothing new for a year”, where such motives contradict her commercial profession.
Her introspection has lead her to question the beliefs of corporations. These days, consumers, the public in general, are not only interested in product purchases, but also want to determine the ethics of corporations behind those products and whether to support that company or not.
To what extent can we carry on such an exercise? Perhaps life is too short and/or limiting to be questioning these things (?), and can we really arrive at the truth to a corporation’s indubitable motives—which is a great exercise in epistemology?
I think we can only arrive at the public, surface policy of corporations and then choose to side with them or not. It would be an arduous task to determine the true personalities of the CEO down to the VPs in order to arrive at our conclusion.
Keri’s courageous adages struck a cord in me as I have purchased her product and am willing to purchase more, yet, somehow, attempting to discern whether to subscribe to her brand of philosophy. That’s the role of a responsible consumer.
Despite not agreeing with her complete stance on marketing, I support her honesty. And, mostly, her graciousness in taking the time to reply to my rather lengthy e-mail questioning and criticizing her stance. Hope she follows up with more ‘kewl’ products.