Why Waiting in Line Is Torture

Why Waiting in Line Is Torture:

Fairness also dictates that the length of a line should be commensurate with the value of the product or service for which we’re waiting. The more valuable it is, the longer one is willing to wait for it. Hence the supermarket express line, a rare, socially sanctioned violation of first come first served, based on the assumption that no reasonable person thinks a child buying a candy bar should wait behind an old man stocking up on provisions for the Mayan apocalypse.

[Great article. Not to be missed by folks who deal with any form of waiting time…]

Lisa B, Mrs. S: Heart Trouble

Lisa B, Mrs. S: Heart Trouble:

Today, I sent the baby of my babies to kindergarten. I cried off and on all morning because it’s such a clear moment of transition. You live, work, and grow to prepare for moments like starting school, and when you get there, you can hardly believe you made it. It’s relief and pride and joy and a little bit of loss, because you had a purpose yesterday, and now your purpose isn’t so clear. Transitions require pauses and breaths, and then you begin again.

Then there are all these miracle milestones for kids – like walking, biking, swimming, reading. Once they can do these things, they look like they’ve always been able to, but you know they couldn’t and it just seems miraculous. Often, these miracle milestones coincide with clear transitions – turning one or beginning school – and they just make your heart swell.

[So true.]

NH roads signs are like my friends

As a cyclist, the hills have not always been my friends. Near mortal enemies possibly as they have tried to kill me on many occasions. But mostly we maintain an uneasy truce if I don’t ignore them for too long.

I had a beautiful ride planned for my just completed vacation, but circumstance would not allow me to do it. No complaint, just the facts. But there was one section I wanted to do anyway, down through Crawford Notch to the site of the Willey House and back up through the notch, which was not far from where we were staying. It’s a signature bit of climbing through the history of the place, with beautiful views and cascades along the way. I felt I owed it to myself.

A little ways down the road from where we stayed is a short climb, 7% or so, and after climbing that bit you come to the sign below. You can see the drop off in the picture:

IMG 1989

But note the sign warning truckers. Okay thinks I, no worries about that. What’s ¾ of a mile anyway even at a decently steep grade? As you come to the end of that ¾ of a mile section you continue to fall into the Notch (as they refer to these steep, glacially carved valleys in New Hampshire) at ever increasing speed you see this:

IMG 1996

That’s right. 4 miles of 13%. And my only thought other than a McEnroesque “You cannot be serious!” was “How like my friend Jenni. Not that all my cycling friends haven’t told me the same thing at one point or another… namely “No worries, we’ll go this way, it’s flat.” when flat is the last thing it is. But Jenni especially, either because we’ve done a ton of riding together over the years, or because she has little sense of direction, or something, is the king of “No worries, we’ll go this way, it’s flat.” when it sooo isn’t.

In the past I would have grabbed two fists full of brake and reduced the damage to a minimum. But I live in hilly area, and I now ride those hills all the time. And the hills and I are no longer mortal enemies although they still wear me out. So down I plunged enjoying the crisp air, the beautiful views, and the sunshine. Turned around down the road, as I intended, and rode back up the Notch.

As I climbed I got a fist pump from some nice woman in a car. I had a brief conversation with a vacationing family that runs a bike shop somewhere. Joked, for a few short yards, with a construction manager who was working on the road (and walking up the side of it as he got his day started) and all in all had the most lovely ride.

IMG 1990

Sadly it was my last ride of the vacation as I got a slow leak in the front tubbie I had with me. So six hours after I got back, the front tire was flat and further I had messed up my plans for a spare. But no worries. I’ll be back. And the mountains will still be there. And maybe Jenni and my other cycling friends can join me next time… (Gerry, Barbara, Seth, Jill, Mark etc. etc. you know who you are…)

IMG 1889

That lake you see in the distance, down the road on the left, is where I turned around.

In the Hurt Bag—Part Two

In the Hurt Bag—Part Two:

After turning myself inside out yesterday I paid today for this effort. I guess some of you have heard of my saying, “Shut up legs.” Well today my body revolted. It protested. My body went on ” just stop working mode.” I think my body was trying to tell me that it had had enough of me yelling at it, had enough of my mind forcing it to do things it was not made for!

And since I struggled more or less all day long just to survive this stage, I started looking for some motivation. But then on the descent of the Port de Bales I found one thing that I kind of knew all along. I probably won’t surprise you when I say that I am not exactly a world-champion descender. I am a “careful” descender (I would not go as far as to say that I am a hopeless descender, just a careful descender).

But the grupetto normally descends pretty fast, because all the riders in there hate the mountains, but they are all pretty skillful in bike handing. And about three corners into the descent Bernie (Eisel) with Cav (Cavendish) passed me. I said, “Please Bernie, don’t drop me on the descent and leave me all alone behind.” And he turned around and said, “No worries, we stick all together here.” And in the process of trying to follow them I actually overtook riders!

Then when things went slower after the descent I rode up to Bernie and said, “Did you see that!? Me, I passed two riders on a descent, I must be a legend! That’s gotta be a first time ever!” And Bernie and Cav started laughing so hard they almost fell off their bikes…little fun things to keep the spirit up.

[Jens is one of the best additions to cycling. His candor is refreshing, as is the wonder of what he accomplishes on a bike. And at the same time, he remains warmly, wonderfully human. I have a list people I’d like to say “I rode with…”, and most of them are folks almost none of you would know. But I’d like to go for a ride with Jens, simply because I think it would be fun, although Cav is of course welcome to join…]

Source: Hardly Serious with Jens Voigt

Another Cheater Confesses : The Last Word On Nothing

Another Cheater Confesses : The Last Word On Nothing:

But as a confession, Vaughters’s essay is a self-serving pile of PR—a textbook example of how public figures use the media to cultivate their images and influence the stories that get told.

[Seems like both sides are wrong in opposition to the old joke. The cheaters give themselves a pass (as they did in the first place) and the “let ’em do as they please” public i wrong as well. Recently, in the London games, a swimmer discussed how other swimmers were taking an extra dolphin kick that is against the rules. because the judges don’t use underwater cameras to adjudicate, it goes unpunished and ignored. And clearly the ethos taught to the vast majority of athletes is wrong. In the drive to teach them to give their all, they’re taught that “all” means “whatever it takes”. This are two very different ideas. And the germ of the solution is in this article. “In 2003, I interviewed Vaughters for a Bicycling article about doping. ‘People tend to forget that this is how cyclists earn a living’ “. Perfect. So here’s the new rules, with tweaking to keep the edge cases away. If you’re caught cheating and convicted by a panel that includes your peers etc. etc. you’re stripped of all your earnings as a professional athlete and the companies related to athletic performance. There. That should fix it. (Any lawyering to work around the system is punishable by having Roseanne Barr sing the national anthem in your bedroom every morning.)]

Some more thoughts:

Heeeeere’s Johnny! « Cycling in the South Bay:

That’s like those dorks who say they want to win the lottery so they can make the world a better place. Next time you see them, they’re broke, drunk in a gutter, and covered in venereal sores. Athletes hate fairness. They want an edge, a leg up, a lighter bike, faster wheels, cyanide in their opponent’s coffee, anything to get ahead of the competition. Cycling was a cheat-filled sport long before EPO, and it will be one long after.

Pricing Experiments You Might Not Know, But Can Learn From

Pricing Experiments You Might Not Know, But Can Learn From:

People are weird and irrational, and there’s much we don’t understand. Like why do shoppers moving in a counterclockwise direction spend on average $2.00 more at the supermarket?

Why does removing dollar signs from prices (24 instead of $24) increase sales?

What will work for you depends on your industry, product and customer. When you try to replicate what Valve did to increase their revenue 40x, it might not work for you, but then again, why not give it a try?

Here’s a list of pricing experiments and studies you can get ideas from and test on your own business.


On the Planting of a Ridiculous Apple Rumor That Many Fell For

On the Planting of a Ridiculous Apple Rumor That Many Fell For:

First hit, John Brownlee at Cult of Mac, with the delightful headline “Apple May Be Working on a Top Secret Asymmetric Screw to Lock You Out of Your Devices Forever”.

(Via Jim Dalrymple.)

[So what amazes me about this is the lack of humility by the people and organizations that reported this… they all give themselves a pat on the back for having a “healthy dose of skepticism” but I see very little. A little hedging is all… whatever.]

Source: Daring Fireball

A Killer, Sustainable, Industry Saving Music Service Is Possible – hypebot

A Killer, Sustainable, Industry Saving Music Service Is Possible – hypebot:

You would be amazed what you can build with $10 million dollars in funding when you don’t have to give $8 million of it to the major labels in advances. Spotify, Pandora and countless other services could have, long ago, built tons of these features and value-driving tools if their money wasn’t first poured into the labels, and then their focus placed on scraping by a meager living creating minimal value for car manufacturers and fast food joints.

[It’s all messed up. Kinda like the social networks. The model is simply wrong.]

The real lesson of Steve Jobs’ career

The real lesson of Steve Jobs’ career:

The media has missed a much larger, much more important point: Steve Jobs was the first CEO to bet the company on the user experience. From the very beginning of Apple, and renewing his efforts when he returned as interim CEO, Jobs was constantly focused on building products that would deliver the best possible experience – rather than the most up-to-date chipset, or the best partner arrangements, or the most horrific monopolistic lock-in scheme.

[Anyone else notice how Zappos has not improved since they were acquired? Great experience is hard to maintain and scale.]

Source: Creative Good » Blog – Article Feed