Archive for the ‘Humor’ Category

After the Apocalypse…


A tip of the hat to my friend Dennise for sending this one to me, and another tip of the hat to the folks at who created this fine technology / science cheat sheet, which would be quite useful in rebuilding modern science and technology if one were suddenly thrown back in time or we all wind up back in the stone age through pure human folly, something I place higher odds on these days…

April 13th, 2009     Categories: Humor    

I Need One of These

I’ve written in the past about our Human Computer Interaction (HCI) investment theme at Foundry Group and have mentioned our portfolio companies that fit into that theme: EmSense, Oblong and Smith & Tinker.

Well, pictured above is a delightful faux-advertisement I discovered via Thomas Dolby’s blog. I had the pleasure of meeting Thomas years ago (back in the Beatnik era) and then again around 2006 when he returned to the music world, and spent some time rehearsing for his tour at my friend Heidi Roizen’s place in Atherton. Thomas started blogging a while ago and I’ve been following it with great interest since. He’s moved back to the UK and has been working on a new album, which I can’t wait to hear. He is recording in a studio he built into an old retired boat that is sitting on his property that has a view of the sea, which seems to me a brilliant and delightfully wacky enterprise, and strikes me as a quintessentially English sort of thing to do.

Anyway, this ad was created by the folks at Status Graphite guitars, and it seemed to fit into my fascination with all things related to HCI, even if it is, sadly, not yet a real piece of gear. It is now on my fantasy product wish list.

March 31st, 2009     Categories: Gadgets, Humor, Music    

Cow Magnets: Who Knew?

mgux7239.jpgIn the “you learn something new every day” category, I was at the hardware store (McGuckin’s, of course) and came across cow magnets . At first I thought this product name was some sort of hardware joke, sort of like Duck Tape brand duct tape, which really isn’t used for (or on) ducks at all.

Of course, this exposes the fact that I’ve never lived or worked in a heavily agricultural region, because I’m sure anyone who has even basic first-hand knowledge of cows probably knows that cow magnets are, in fact, a very real and very useful product. Apparently, you feed your calf the magnet at branding time, which then remains in the cow’s rumen for the rest of its life, and protects the cow from hardware disease , which is inflammation of the digestive tract caused when the cow inevitably consumes tramp iron (bailing, barbed wire, staple, nails, etc.) while grazing.

On a slightly morbid (yet eco-friendly) note, Wikipedia notes that after the cow is slaughtered, the magnet is removed and the farmer sells the metal for scrap.

I really had no inkling of such things. Golly.

July 29th, 2008     Categories: Gadgets, Humor    

Language Acquisition

My son Quinn is nineteen months old and is soaking up new words like a sponge. Some of my recent favorites include: umbrella, spider and Calabi-Yau, which might qualify as the most useless word a toddler could know, but deeply amused his dad, who was having fun with his excellent mimicry skills one Saturday afternoon. Being nineteen months old, he also tends to stumble on multi-syllabic words, including the word for one of his favorite foods, guacamole. Quinn’s pronunciation sounds more like Guacamoyle, which I can only assume is the name for the izmel-wielder at a Mexican Bris.

July 17th, 2005     Categories: Family, Humor    

Chocolate Chip Trumps Oatmeal Raisin Every Time…

01-27-05 1721Time for another pet peeve: the feedback loop in the last mile of the cookie supply chain is fundamentally broken. As a VC, I attend numerous conferences, catered board meetings, company gatherings and such. I don’t understand why the food service industry has never figured out that people enjoy chocolate chip cookies a hell of a lot more than oatmeal raisin cookies, or any other cookie for that matter. Time after time, at these events, someone chooses to put out equal amounts of several varieties of cookies. Invariably, the chocolate chip cookies run out early, while every other species remains unfinished and presumably goes into the dumpster at the end of the day, leaving glaring evidence of the superiority of the chocolate chip cookie (see photo above). So why has the cookie serving ratio never been adjusted? As a chocolate chip cookie fanatic (and as someone who believes the world would be much better off if I ran it), this drives me crazy.

The humble chocolate cookie may be the perfect baked good, and I consider myself something of an expert. Four of the best examples of chocolate chip cookies I’ve tasted can be had at Robert’s Market in Woodside (made by Selma’s), The Peninsula Creamery in Palo Alto, Specialty’s Bakery and The Grove Fillmore in San Francisco.

But my wife Katherine made the best chocolate chip cookies I’ve ever tasted one year for a Fourth of July party we hosted at our place up in San Francisco, using her top-secret modification of a Cook’s Illustrated recipe and several types of chocolate, including our local favorite Scharffen Berger. One of our guests even covertly stuffed his pockets with several extra cookies for the road, though he was busted by his wife on their way out the door when she put her hands in his jacket pocket. Katherine took the theft as high praise.

January 30th, 2005     Categories: Food and Drink, Humor    

Gallows Humor

HeavymetaloshaIf you are easily offended or a fan of Pantera or Damageplan, read no further. When I was a kid in junior high school, I was a metalhead. Heavy metal is what inspired me to begin playing guitar, for which I will always be grateful, though my tastes have broadened over the years. Pantera and Damageplan came along after I left heavy metal (and my early adolescence) for music with a bit less leather and testosterone, but I was a huge fan of the likes of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Queensryche and Yngwie Malmsteen.

So when I read this story about last week’s shooting in an Ohio nightclub, I was of course saddened by the meaningless waste of it all. But at the same time, “the evil Ryan” was inspired to create a set of workplace safety guidelines to help prevent such tragedies in the future. After a few Google Image searches and half an hour using my rudimentary Photoshop skills, I created this masterpiece. It got a few laughs at the office from my fellow bandmates Rex and Jason, so I decided to share it here.

December 12th, 2004     Categories: Humor