Jeff the Great says "Get a Job!"

While reading the blog MoHDI I came across the coolest job application ever! No surprise, it is from Portland's famous Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency.

The creativity with what is normally a mundane process should alone garner thousands of submissions. Will you be one?

Check it out here: http://www.wk.com/seeking/

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great wags the finger at Oregon Teachers

South Florida's Herald Tribune newspaper made headlines a few weeks ago when they got their hands on a list of 'trouble' teachers from around the country.
Of course I use the world 'trouble' loosely as the offenses these teachers have committed can range all the way from sexual misconduct to not paying back their student loans....so don't freak out too much.
None-the-less, I have obtained a list of Oregon teachers that made the list and have published it here.
Take a look and see if one of your teachers, one of your friends, or your neighbor made the list and ask them whats up.
-Jeff the Great
List created by the nonprofit National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification, or NASDTEC.


Jeff the Great Does a Book Report

I read a great book last week and it is worth a mention. It is called "90 Minutes in Heaven" by Don Piper.

Here's the deal...this isn't just another near death experience. In fact, the book is more about life than it is death.

My 23 year old brother-in-law is dying of cancer and it is really hard for me to understand. A close friend of mine recommended this book and he was right on. I am still not okay with losing my brother-in-law but I have a much better understanding of both life and death now.

Don't forget to check out my book list online using this tiny url: http://tinyurl.com/yv2qyw

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Gets His FiOS TV

My FiOS TV was installed on Friday and I am happy to report that I love it! Installation took a few hours so be prepared (and my installation was considered easy since I already had FiOS internet plus CAT5 and coax in every room). I received a fancy new wireless router during the install and they even left me with the old D-Link router.

So far what I love about FiOS TV is the channel line up. I think it is around 223 channels for the standard premier package. I honestly never finish watching an entire show because I am always surfing around to see what else is on during commercials.

Here are just a few channels that I am excited to have and that I didn't have with Comcast:
  • NFL network (wish I had this a few weeks ago)
  • Speed Channel
  • Fox Business News
  • BBC World
  • BBC America
  • DIY
  • Fine Living
  • ...and so many more!
I had heard that the delay time when selecting channels or doing things with the on screen guide was non-existing. It is shorter than Comcast but there still is a delay.

I am also not too happy with the on screen guide. Maybe it is because I don't have any big fancy TV's so it appears small on my screens but I just feel like they crammed too much in. I sometimes have to get up from the couch to see what the heck it says.

Picture quality is great, though I haven't seen anything in HD. Not sure if this is urban myth or not but I swear it looks better than Comcast did.

The remotes are great and cable boxes are just like you'd expect (Motorola). I used the multi-room DVR and love it but noticed a delay when pausing and skipping ahead/back when watching recorded shows in a second room.

Pricing is great....$42.00 for 223 channels with FiOS verse $52.99 for 70 channels from Comcast.

BOTTOM LINE: I love it! If they would just clean up the on screen guide a bit it would be perfect!

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Welcomes You to Dr Roberts Office

Have you ever arrived at the doctors office, 40 minutes late for a scheduled appointment, and had the staff tell you "it's okay, we have nothing better to do. In fact, it's our fault you are late. We are so sorry, come on in and let us take care of you"?

No? Me neither.

Imagine my surprise when I showed up on time for an appointment, waited 40 minutes for the doctor, and then when I had to leave and return to work without fulfilling my appointment, being told it was my fault that I had to wait.

Here's my story:

Last month I underwent a very expensive, insurance covered, procedure from Dr. Janet Roberts at Dermatology Specialists NW in Portland, Oregon. Until today I have been very impressed with Dr Roberts and her staff.

Today was my follow up appointment to make sure everything turned out okay after last months procedure. My appointment was at 3pm and I showed up right on the dot. Almost immediately after arriving I was told they were running behind and I should go shop or get coffee for a half hour.

I did and returned promptly at 3:30pm. I took a seat and flipped through a magazine. I noticed my doctors nurse coming to the lobby multiple times but not giving me the time of day. At 3:40pm I approached the reception desk to confirm my appointment really was at 3pm. The receptionist told me I was correct and I politely replied that I needed to return to work and that we should reschedule for another time.

Right then the afore mentioned nurse came out (to get another patient that had a 3:30 appointment) and overheard that I was leaving. Instead of saying sorry or begging me to stay, she said this:

"Next time you should give us a call to see if we are running on-time."

What?!? I should call you to see if you are doing your job? I don't think so! If you are running late you should call and tell me!

Let's get something straight, Doctor Roberts, my time is valuable too. How would you react if I showed up for an appointment 40 minutes late and then told you that it was your responsibility to call me and see if I was on time? You wouldn't stand for it and I would still be charged for the appointment (or at least the cancellation fee).

So this is what we will do, Dr Roberts. I'll call my insurance company and make sure they don't pay you for today's scheduled visit. In return I wont invoice you for my wasted time.

What do you think, readers? Who was right...should I have called to make sure they were on time or is it okay for me to assume that they will provide me the service I am paying for when they say they will?

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Introduces FiOS TV

I am pleased to be the first to announce that FiOS TV from Verizon is now available in the Portland Area.

My contacts at a Verizon re-seller said they are now able to sign customers up. A check of my address in their system confirms it.

Premium package is $42.99 which is a killer deal....it's about 200 channels. Compare that to Comcast's expanded basic package of around 70 channels for $52ish.

You can order right away by visiting or calling a GoWireless/Verizon store near you (they have 2 in Hillsboro, and 1 each in Tigard, Beaverton, and Sherwood).

-Jeff the Great


Have we gone too far?

I came across this when posting a comment on another local blog. It is called a CAPTCHA which stands for "Completely Automated Public Turning test to tell Computers and Humans Apart." Gotta love the acronyms that geeks come up with!

I thought this one to be particularly ridiculous. Are spam posts really that much of a problem? I author 3 blogs and have not turned CAPTCHA on for any of them. As a matter of fact, I don't even have comment monitoring on!

So is this ridiculous or is it just me?

-Jeff the Great


Attack of the Fake Bloggers

It all started with the Fake Steve Jobs blog. Now, us Oregonians have our own 'Fake' CEO blog to follow.


Wait, isn't he the Chairman...not CEO? Anyway, enjoy.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Assigns Required Reading

A few years back, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was the hottest book on the market. In addition to being a great and best selling book, it was also stirring a lot of controversy both in the US and overseas.

So I decided to give it a read.

If you've known me for more than a few years, you know that this was a HUGE step for me. I'm the guy that picked books for reports based on rather or not they had Cliffs Notes available.

Well, The Da Vinci Code did it for me. I embarked on a reading journey that I am still on! After blowing through a few books per month, I decided to start keeping track of my conquests. Mainly so I could make appropriate recommendations to friends, family, and co-workers but also so I could remember as time went on.

I've been wanting to try publishing a Google Doc, so thought this was the best opportunity. To see my book list, CLICK HERE. Below is a sample of some of my favorites:

- A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
- Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
- The Nordstrom Way to Customer Service Excellence (thanks for the book, Marty!)
- Power of Full Engagement (great book tip, Skip!)

If you are looking for a recommendation, just let me know! Happy reading.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Buys GPS for Emergency Services!

I recently witnessed two different incidences that made me start to wonder if my local emergency service providers (fire, police, etc) have GPS in their vehicles.

I am not going to call out the specific city that these emergency responders come from because I have great respect for these people and the work they do. I did however really get a kick out of what you are going to read next.

First incident was on a Friday night while volunteering with my church youth group. At about 10:30pm, 2 fire trucks, a police car, and an ambulance come roaring down the road with lights and sirens. Since there isn't much but the church on that road, we all ran out wondering what was going on...did something happen at the church?

A few fire fighters got out of their trucks, talked with the police officer, they all returned to their vehicles, turned around, and speed off. One of the high school kids hanging out at church wandered over and overheard the conversation between the fire fighters and police officer.

Turns out they were trying to get to a motor vehicle accident that was about 3/4 miles away just off the next freeway exit.

The second incident was just the other day when a fire alarm was set off at my workplace. Our company owns the 2 tallest buildings in the entire town of over 80,000 people. All 300+ employee's rushed down to the parking lot as we waited to hear what happened. We were told IT WAS NOT A DRILL.

We began to hear sirens so I looked across the parking lot, into the new subdivision that boarders our property. Sure enough here comes a fire truck...lights, sirens, and all. Only 1 problem, there is no entrance to the property from that street. So, nearly 5 minutes later the fire fighters show up from the main road.

Lucky for us, there wasn't a fire...someone just left their popcorn in the microwave too long.

These two laughable incidents have me wondering, is it time to invest in GPS for our emergency service personnel?


Do they use already use GPS and that is the problem...technology isn't perfect.

I'd love to hear from someone familiar with police and fire services.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great says Goboz.com is So Goboz!

So Goboz.com updated it's homepage the other day in an attempt to make it easier to find businesses. The old layout is pictured to the left. The idea of the new layout is to always show both the top businesses in each category as well as the latest businesses in each category.

There are still some tweaks to be made, but check it out and let the Goboz team know what you think!

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Agrees with Ahmadinejad?

Gimme one second before you freak out about my post title. Ahmadinejad is, in my opinion, one of the worst people currently alive on our planet. He is a delusional dictator blinded by his mis-interpretation of his religion.

In his speech today at the 62nd General Assembly of the United Nations, he did say something that I agree with. Among a bunch of BS he spit these words of wisdom:

"Among all the ineffective bodies, unfortunately, the UN Security Council ranks first.''

Seriously folks, the guy is right. The council is made up of select group of countries, a few of which have absolute veto power. Meaning, 1 "no" vote one of the select countries with veto power and a resolution goes down. Probably makes it hard to get things done when a country like Russia doesn't want to cooperate.

The UN Security Council is also scarred by it's decisions to give Saddam Hussein 17 or however many 'final' chances. Look what that did! The world's next evil dictator (and there is always another one) knows what the UN will do....nothing for at least 17 warnings!

So in this 1 instance, and hopefully for the first and last time, I agree with Ahmadinejad.

-Jeff the Great


New RSS for Jeff the Great

Just a quick heads up that I have switched the RSS feed on this blog over to Feedburner. As I recently started using RSS feeds to keep track of all the blogs I follow, I discovered that Feedburner is the most simple and effective way to publish a feed.

So click the button on the right side bar, the button that looks just like this post picture above left, and copy the resulting URL into your favorite RSS reader.

Personally, I use an RSS reader right in my Google Desktop Sidebar.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great is So Goboz!

I wrote recently about a cool new gadget for your iGoogle homepage, brought to you by Goboz.com. On Thursday the 6th, Goboz.com launched in the Portland Metro Area.

Goboz.com is basically 2 things: first it is a local business search site, similar to Citysearch and Yelp. Second, Goboz is a 1 stop shop for Portland area news from all the top sources like KATU, the Oregonian, and the Willamette Week.

What makes Goboz different is the way the site communicates to you what businesses people like and what news people care about. It uses a voting system inspired by Digg.com and the great thing is that you don't need to be signed into an account to vote. One click of the mouse lets you voice your opinion.

Goboz also stands out because it allows users to submit businesses and news that is not already on the site. So if you read a great article about Portland in the New York Times, share it with others at Goboz.com. Love the local coffee shop and think everyone else in Portland needs to know about? Just submit it in 1 quick step and it is available for voting immediately.

I love this site. I think they way they deliver this information is the next evolution in local information on the web. Don't trust me though, check it out for yourself.

Other blog coverage: Silicon Florist

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great says LivePDX is DeadPDX!

If you have watched much TV in Portland lately, you've probably seen ad's for LivePDX.com. The site is like citysearch, you use it to find restaurants, shopping, etc. So I've done some research, checked out their site a bit, thought I'd post my thoughts for all to read.

First thing that I noticed and I think deserves mention is that LivePDX.com is affiliated with Fox12 (KPTV). The parent company is the Meredith Corporation and LivePDX is a pilot project for them...if all goes well they'll launch the same web concept in other cities they serve with local media.

Next thing that jumped out at me was their contact page that implies they employ at least 5 full time employee's.

Finally, while looking through their site I noticed something startling; they only have restaurant and bar information on their site. No shopping, no beauty, no nothing other than food and drink.

At this point you are asking "why this is all important?" Here is my point: with all the money and support they have from their parent company, with 5 full time employee's, this is all they could do?

With all do respect, this site is awful! I couldn't find ANYTHING I was looking for. No exaggeration, couldn't find a thing. Their site implies they have information beyond just food/beverage, but nothing. They don't even bother to say "coming soon" on those pages. The submit page, which allows users to add to their directory, is awful. The page is not specific to the type of business you are submitting, and a submission I made about a month ago is still not showing on their site.

The local search market is so crowded these days, you'd think a big company like Meredith Corp would give it their all. If LivePDX is "their all," I'd sell their stock ASAP.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great brings Goboz to iGoogle!

So there have been a lot of rumors floating around about a new Portland area startup called Goboz. Well, the creators seem to be seeding the blog world with some hints to what they have to come.

Today I received an email from their site inviting me to add their new gadget to my iGoogle homepage. So I did, pretty cool stuff! The gadget sits on your custom Google homepage and provides a live feed from the news section of Goboz.com. The gadget gives you the news headline, and they tell me when their site goes live next week, clicking on the headline will take you to the news section of their site. Right now, they block us normal folks out...you have to email them to get a beta invite.

My understanding is that Goboz.com isn't even focused on news. Apparently they are a new way to search Portland for restaurants, salons, etc. Sounds like a Citysearch killer if you ask me!

If you want to add the Goboz News gadget to your iGoogle page, follow these instructions:

1. Log into Google and go to the iGoogle page.
2. Click "add stuff" in the upper right corner
3. Click "add by URL," which is to the right of the search box/button
4. Copy and paste this URL in: http://www.dapper.net/transform.php?dappName=GobozJustPublished&transformer=GoogleGadget&extraArg_gadgetName=Goboz%20Portland%20News%20Feed&extraArg_gadgetDesc=Feed%20of%20locally%20submitted%20news%20to%20Goboz%20Portland&extraArg_fields[]=Title&extraArg_fields[]=Description&extraArg_fields[]=Publication_Date&extraArg_fields[]=Item_Link&extraArg_showLabels=1&extraArg_template=default&applyToUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fportland.goboz.com%2Fnews%2Frss.php


Jeff the Great

UPDATE: Found more info about Goboz at http://www.aboutus.org/Goboz.com


Jeff the Great goes Road Trip'n

Just got back into town from a long weekend up in Northern Idaho. If you haven't been there, you've gotta check it out sometime in your life.

Specifically, the Sandpoint, ID area on Lake Pend Oreille. I just love how this part of the country has maintained that untouched, out of the way, mountain feel. For example, the window of the bedroom of the house my wife and I were at was literally about 15 steps from a gorgeous mountain creek...what a sound to fall asleep to!

Here are some thoughts from the "road" part of my trip:
  • I discovered there is a trucking company named Yellow, though their logo is the color orange.
  • There is another trucking company named England, out of Salt Lake City......uh, okay.
  • As cool as they are, Harley's must break down a lot...I saw 3 broken down bikes with their riders on the side of the road, all Harley Davidson's. No wonder my Uncle, who rides a Honda, says he and his crew always bring a Harley on the ride just so they have something to work on.
  • Despite how beautiful Northern Idaho is, Oregon has got to be the most beautiful state in the Nation. Driving through the Columbia Gorge at sunset on a mostly clear summer evening is heavenly.
  • Sunday Aug. 19th must have been "drive slow in the fast lane, especially after switching lanes at inconvenient times for other drivers" day. Wow.
Make sure to check out my other blog, pdxcompanies.com, I'll be updating it again on Monday.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Overhears PDX

I've come to love a blog called Overheard in PDX. The author posts different, often crazy and funny, things he or others overhear in and around Portland. So when I overheard something the other day, I just had to share it with my readers.

Officer 1: "What time did you start your shift today?"

Officer 2: "9am."

The catch? It was about 9:15am in the morning at a Starbucks where about 8 Washington County Sheriff Deputies gathered inside for a coffee break. Not to mention, 5 of the 8 county owned motorcycles they rode in on were illegally parked and obstructing parking lot traffic.

Your tax dollars hard at work! I guess Multnomah County doesn't have a monopoly on idiocy.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great goes Naturally Curly!

I've been working hard on a marketing project for a local Portland fashion and beauty icon and am excited to report today that we have hit a milestone!

The Hickox family and their salon partners have been cutting the locks of the Portland elite for over three decades. What you might not of known is that Justin Hickox, owner of the downtown boutique salon Hickox Studio, also sells a line of world class, private label hair care products.

Today the globally renowned web site for women with curly hair, NaturallyCurly.com, featured Phat Hair in their new products section. Phat Hair is a styling mousse that was developed for all types of hair, but turns out to be one of the best products on the market for curly hair!

NaturallyCurly.com gets about 3 million page views per month and is growing by about 30% per month! They are looked to as the world wide authority on curly hair so this exposure is fantastic for us!

Check out the product mention at NaturallyCurly.com [here] and visit the Hickox Studio web site to buy a bottle for yourself. Shoot me an email for a 20% off coupon code!

-Jeff the Great


Can You Hear Jeff the Great Now? Good!

I know I am a couple weeks behind on this news story, but I love what Sprint is doing! They recently announced that they will be dropping around 1,000 of their customers! That's right, telling them "bu bye!"

The thought is that they can provide better customer service to the majority of their subscribers if they drop the 1,000 most time consuming, annoying, and flat out pain in the ass customers!

So as I have written in the past, the customer isn't always right!

-Jeff the Great

Jeff the Great is Switching Gears!

Just a quick post to let you know that I am gonna switch gears a bit with this blog.

I started out with the idea of b!tching and complaining about businesses I deal with, and specifically their customer service.

I've had fun writing about other topics here, and on my other blog www.pdxcompanies.com. So instead of walking away from my original blog, I think I start to use this a little more informally. A little closer to what blogs were invented for, I guess. A Web Log.

Thanks for being a reader and please come back! Also, check out my other blog at www.pdxcompanies.com where I profile Portland Oregon area employers that you may not of known about before.

-Jeff the Great


It's an iBlackberry for Jeff the Great

One of the success stories that Apple might be able to tell about the iPhone is that it helped sell Blackberries, Treo's, and other PDA's. I've been out of contract with Verizon for about 3 months now and finally decided over the weekend to get a new phone.

After all the iPhone hype I decided to seriously consider a PDA. I've been doing a lot of independent, after hours work, and having access to email 18-20 hours a day is essential to me. A regular, run of the mill cell phone just wouldn't cut it this time.

So I shied away from the Motorola Q and opted for the new Blackberry 8830. In a few words, this phone is AMAZING! From what I read, there is very little this phone doesn't do that the iPhone does (namely wifi, and 'real' web surfing). Here are the pro's and con's:

Easy, lovable trackball navigation
customizable and fast operating system
bright, sharp color screen
Java enabled for 3rd party applications
QWERTY keyboard
expandable to 4gigs of memory (micro SD)
fantastic media player

no camera :(
no wifi
a tad bit of background noise (I had to exchange the first one I got)
hard to figure out how to make simple adjustments to things like volume

How much you ask? With a 4gig memory card and car charger (and after rebate) it set me back $249. That's half as much as the 4gig iPhone. And I give up what, a camera and touch screen?

I like my money more than I like Apple.

-Jeff the Great

P.S. Thanks to Angie from the Beaverton GoWireless for taking good care of me!


Jeff the Great Starts New Blog!

Wanted to let you all know about a new blog I have started: http://pdxcompanies.blogspot.com/. It is part of a little project I am working on to let job seekers in the Portland area know that there are some great places to work that aren't named "Nike" or "Intel."

Check it out using the Blogger address above or visit through http://www.pdxcompanies.com/.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great: Steve Jobs was iWrong

For the iPhone launch Apple set up a web site for customers to find out which Apple stores are in stock with the iPhone. The way Steve Jobs talked about the iPhone, I expect that just about every Apple store would be sold out.
I checked Apple's site today and guess what I found? Oregon, all Apple stores are in stock. California, in stock. Washington, in stock. New York, in stock.
You probably get the point. So was Steve Jobs wrong when he said that stores would sell out? Or is this just a marketing ploy by Apple to get people into the stores?
Check it out for yourself: http://www.apple.com/retail/iphone/
-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great and an iPhone?

Time for Jeff the Great to weigh on on the iPhone debate. The coveted device drops on June 29th and is being called by some the most anticipated consumer products launch of all time.

I know you are all waiting to hear if Jeff the Great approves of this new Apple device. In a word, 'No.' It is my prediction that the Apple iPhone will fail miserably, and here is why (in no particular order):

1. AT&T: This wireless company has struggled more than any other in the past 10 years. Just a few years ago they became Cingular, and they are again AT&T. Anyone confused yet? Buyers of the iPhone will most likely be virtually forced to sign a 2 year contract with AT&T. Too bad AT&T isn't the largest or best wireless carrier in the nation.*citation coming soon

2. AT&T, part 2: AT&T operates on GSM technology. GSM is great for making phone calls but terrible as a high speed data technology. On Verizon Wireless or Sprint/Nextel users can get up to 1.5megabits per second. I am hearing that on AT&T you are looking at 300k-700k per second (or only half as fast in a best case scenario). The web won't be nearly as fast as the Apple commercials would like you to believe.

3. Price Tag: Take a look at the web site of any wireless carrier out there...Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, etc and look at the prices of their phones. See much? That's what I thought. So who does buy the rare $300 or $400 phone? Business people on the go. Why do they buy these phones? For email capability. Anyone excited to type an email to their boss on a virtual keyboard? It may be okay for typing in a phone number or texting your friend, but good luck responding to your clients concerns while waiting for a flight.

4. Storage Capabilities: Or lack there of. The iPhone comes with two options, 4gig or 8gig. More than most cell phones, yes, but hardly an iPod. Go to the Apple web site and you'll see you can pick up an 80gig device.....ten times more memory than the larger of the two iPhones. So in addition to storing all of your contacts, cached files from web surfing, and attachments from emails, how many songs and/or videos will you be able to hold? About 90% less than a regular iPod?
5. No Outlook Sync: A friend of mine informed me today that word on the street is the iPhone will not be able to sync with MS Outlook out of the box. This may be updated by Apple or a 3rd party app might be released, but this is a big hit to the previously discussed business users that rely on Outlook in their office enviroment.
UPDATE: A Reader has pointed me to Apple documentation proving #5 wrong. Thanks to reader "RO."

In conclusion, if you are a business person you might spend $500 on a cell phone but wont get the iPhone when you could spend $100-$200 less and get a Palm Treo or Blackberry. If you are a hipster you might be interested in an iPhone to use it for its media capabilities. But why when it has the short battery life and small amount of memory like a cell phone?

Instead of $500 for a device that is okay at everything, I'll spend my money on a PDA cell phone that rocks and an 80gig iPod.

-Jeff the Great
updated 6-19-07, added point #5
updated 6-21-07, #5 incorrect, see link



A few months back I wrote a post about a great example of top notch customer service. Today I found a YouTube video featuring this business and thought I'd share:


Jeff the Great: "Oh Shit!"

Just realized something:

If Hillary Clinton wins the 2008 presidential election, our country will have 24 years under the rule of 2 families.

If she wins in 2008 and gets reelected for a second term, make that 28.

And I wouldn't count Jeb Bush out for a presidential run. Can you say 32 or 36 years under the leadership of TWO FAMILIES?

Scary, scary thought.

-Jeff the Great

Jeff the Great saves the world!

I've been running around this crazy world I rule with little time to blog lately. I actually have so many post idea's I don't know which to pick! I've been thinking a lot about how history will view the united states. I think about how the Roman Empire was once such a dominate civilization and I am sure there was a time when it's people thought they would never fall from grace.

So I wonder. Is the USA as untouchable as we think it is? I personally think it's the greatest country on earth and I am proud to be part of it. But will we last? a couple hundred years is really nothing in the grand scheme of human civilization. Not to mention that our world dominance is only a mere 100 years old. This doesn't give me a whole lot of confidence.

To make matters worse we have the lowest common denominator running this land, and most of the folk vying to be our next president don't offer me much hope. During one of the debates this week, I heard a candidate mention "our interests in Israel" and the rest of the middle east. I guess I just worry that all these 'interests' beyond our borders could lead to our demise.

Let's hope history is kind to this young, cocky nation.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great says "Don't Drink the Water!"

Over the weekend I took my first trip down to the much debated Portland Ariel Tram. No, I didn't ride the stupid thing, you will never catch me giving my money to the city for crap like that.

After my companions returned to the new OHSU center at the bottom of the hill, we toured the new health club that is operated by the university (it's open to public membership).

After touring the pool our guide directed the men to the locker room on the left and the women to the right. After some crass jokes, I decided I'd take the opportunity to take a leak. As I unzipped and got ready to shoot, I am faced with this sign:
Now I am no MENSA member, but seriously, don't drink the urinal water? Have we really gotten to this point in society that we need to put up a warning sign for everything?

As far as I am concerned, drink the water, please! The world could use a few less idiots.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great predicts the Death of the Wiki!

The hottest thing on the web right now is the Wiki. For those of you new to the concept, the idea is to have web pages created and updated by any and all web users that would like to contribute. It is a self policing community that has been growing like crazy in the past few years.

I've used the most common Wiki, Wikipedia.org, on occasion. The other day I visited to get some information on Portland, Oregon. I know of a great news web site that is all about Portland so I added it as one of many external links. The next day I receive this message when returning to Wikipedia.org:

"Please do not add inappropriate external links to Wikipedia. Wikipedia is not a mere directory of links nor should it be used for advertising or promotion. Inappropriate links include (but are not limited to) links to personal web sites, links to web sites with which you are affiliated, and links that exist to attract visitors to a web site or promote a product....If you feel the link should be added to the article, then please discuss it on the article's talk page rather than re-adding it...Thank you. Katr67."

Needless to say, my addition to the page had been removed.

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't removing my link counter productive to the entire philosophy of a wiki? I read "Katr67's" profile and she says she spends her time editing and monitoring Oregon related web sites. So guess that makes the Portland, Oregon page on wikipedia HER page, not Portland's page.

So how can I trust a wiki if users like Katr67 decide what does and doesn't get listed? Further more, if I can't trust the site I wont visit, and if I don't visit advertisers don't get their money's worth. When that happens a web site dies. I really wonder how local wiki sites like aboutus.org and portlandwiki.com will show their investors a return on their investment?

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Beats Cancer!

My 22 year old brother-in-law is in a fight for his life against cancer. Last night a fundraiser put on by his family raised an estimated $15k to help medical bills and living expenses. He couldn't be there to see this wonderful show of support as he was laid up in a hospital bed at OHSU.

Here is an incredible video recorded by Klinton and his wife Elizabeth as a thank you to all who are fighting with him:

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great names Minister of Defense!

Its amazing how much security can be found on corporate networks these days. I am sure it's needed but I wonder to what extent.

My [high tech] company has deployed a great little tool on our computers that keeps track of all our passwords so we don't have to type them in at each site. At last count, I have 32 different applications or sites that this software gives me easy access to. It's nice because we need passwords for everything; corporate chat, the HR web site, expense reports, sales information, and on and on. It's unbelievable....32 different programs!

But I found out the downside to an application that stores all our passwords. I was logging into one of these 32 different programs and was prompted to change my password. To do so, I had to enter in my current password then enter in the new one.

NEWS FLASH: I don't know my password case that stupid program remembers it for me!

I had to call tech support and have my passwords reset.

Just because technology allows us to do it, doesn't mean we should.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great asks "Is the globe really warming?"

Now I am by no means making a statement about my stance on global warming, but I am really wondering these days.

I read today that among other things, the glacier on Mt St Helen is growing. It's April 11th and there is a snow advisory for the Northern Oregon and SW Washington Cascades. The forecasted temp for Portland tomorrow is around 55, cooler than our average.

And to top it off, my fuchsia hanging baskets that I planted last week didn't make it through the cold Easter weekend!

Al Gore...you've got some s'plaining to do! What, buy too many carbon credits?

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great's Open Letter to Tri-Met

Dear Tri-Met

I write you today as a formerly regular, but now occasional rider of the Max system in Portland, Oregon. I’d like to depend on the Max as an efficient and reliable form of transportation around this beautiful city, but too many problems exist for this to be true. In this letter I will outline four problems that I have recognized as well as your opportunities to fix them.

1. The average American worker is probably in the office from 8am-5pm. That would tell me that the busiest hours for the Max are from 7am-8am and again from 5pm-6pm. Why then would your customer service call center only be open from 8am-5pm?

More than one time now I have had to call your customer service center to find out the status of a train when more than a half hour had gone by without a new arrival. Each time was either on my way to work before 8am or on the way home after 5pm. Imagine my surprise when after the automated system told me all was running smoothly, your office was closed when I dialed through to a customer service representative.

The Fix: Make sure your customer service center is open when customers need them most!

2. Your ‘No Smoking on Max Platforms’ rule sounded like a great idea when you implemented it more than a year ago. However, I found that second hand smoke went from being an after thought to a complete annoyance after the ban was implemented.

Why you ask? What happened was the occasional smoker was forced to smoke just outside the entrances to the Max platforms. With railings that funnel riders to and from trains, I am forced to walk directly in front of the communing smokers. Not to mention the piles of cigarette butts that litter these same entrances.

The Fix: Go back to the way it was, at least non-smokers had a choice then!

3. I notice on the West Side Blue Line there are 2 area’s of track with posted speed limits for Max operators. Bravo to your drivers, they always obey these signs. The problem is they still fly in and out of every other stop! Would speed limits on I-5 do any good if they were only posted between Eugene and Salem but no where else? Of course not.

I am sure what happened is that someone was injured or killed at those 2 spots and you felt the solution to the problem was posting a sign. Guess what…in the grand scheme of things it does nothing.

The Fix: Remove the stupid signs and let the drivers drive!

4. I’d ride the Max more often if it got me to my destination quick like. In Paris, for example, I can take the subway from one end of the city to the other in 30 minutes. In Portland however, it’s at least 1.5 hours. “Why” you ask, “Portland is so much smaller?” It’s because the Max stops at what seems to be every mile!

Certain areas are worse than others. Does the Max have to stop every other block in downtown Portland? Would it kill anyone to walk an extra block or two to pick up a train? And how about Beaverton? Most stops serve very few people; Can you skip one or two?

Something’s got to be done and I have a viable solution that you just might like.

The Fix: Speed up trips on the Max by having every other train stop at every other stop. This cuts the number of stops in half and delivers riders to their destination faster. The best part is that every stop is still served nearly, but not, as often.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to this investors suggestions (I am a tax payer, unlike many of the Max riders I come across). I am more than happy to discuss these options with you further and would even be willing to provide my consulting services free of charge.


Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great is Pissed Off!

I wrote recently in a post titled "Jeff the Great Goes to Canada for his Drugs" about my displeasure with retail pharmacies. I'll let you read the post on your own but here's the bottom line: Prescription at Costco, $19.90 without insurance (price lowered since original post), same prescription at Walgreen's $84 without insurance.

So it was time for another months supply and I decided to go back to Costco. A $19.90 prescription would surely be considered 'tier 1' by my insurance company and thus have only a $5 copay. What could go wrong?

When I arrived to pick up and pay for my prescription I was informed that the total was $19.90 and my insurance company didn't pay ANYTHING! Are you kidding me? When it's $84 at Walgreen's they chip in but when it's 75% less at Costco they pay nothing?!? AM I MISSING SOMETHING HERE?

I'm off to call my insurance company and scream myself horse. In the meantime, was I naive? Are pharmacies or my insurance company screwing me? Or both?

Where's a friggen WalMart when I need one?

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great names new national pasttime

I think I pick up on things that most don't. While eating breakfast and watching the local news this morning I heard something that really jumped out at me.

The station I was watching ran a story about the start of soccer practice for local kids. While showing images of kids running on fresh cut fields, the anchorperson warned drivers to beware of young people walking or ridding bikes after school hours.

At the very end of the story, she finished with "Baseball season is also starting this week."

So much for baseball as a national pastime! Matter of fact, I think as a society we said goodbye to baseball about 10 years ago. Somebody forgot to tell 'Hank' at the local sports bar!

If only I could get my sports talk radio station to take the same position as the news channel I watch. Then I wouldn't have to miss Sweet 16 action in favor of a Seattle Mariners PRE-SEASON baseball PRE-GAME show (yes, I said pre-season AND pre-game). True story...

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great names official web site!

A great new local web site launched today, with a focus entirely on Portland. You can find it at www.theportlander.com.

The founders were sick and tired of reading the same old boring news on the local news channel web sites, finding 100 listings for Taco Bell when they searched for a good Mexican restaurant in Portland, and never being able to find a relevant events calendar.

So they did something about it and created ThePortlander.com. It is a user generated site, so the content is only as good as you are. The cool thing is that users vote on stories, blogs, events, etc to move them up on the list. The more votes, the more relevant to users and the easier to find.

Give it a try and tell a friend. Good luck to the guys of ThePortlander.com.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great Gives Thanks

Thanks to the University of Oregon's men's basketball team for a great season! From their trip to the Bahama's to their Elite 8 match up with Florida, each game was a joy! This team showed how professional, hard working, & classy Oregon students and teams can be.

Good luck to UCLA, represent the Pac-10 well (and remember, we beat you this season!). Go Ducks!

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great goes (fire)Fox hunting!

I've decided that the computer world is changing. This weekend I downloaded Mozilla's Firefox internet browser. I did this after a couple months of fighting with Microsoft's Internet Explorer. After a few days with Firefox, I can proudly report not a single problem or issue. With IE, I could expect 2 or 3 program crashs and at least 1 restart directly related to Internet Explorer. The funny thing is that my problems with IE began when Microsft automatically pushed the IE upgrade down to me while doing a routine Windows Live Update.

The real story behind all of this is that Firefox is a FREE download from Google or Mozilla. I am also using 2 spyware programs which were FREE downloads (Spybot & adAware). So how is it that some of the best software packages are free while other companies spend billions developing and then forcing us to use their crap?

And that is why the world of computers is changing. We are going from a time when shareware/freeware programs were clunky homemade app's to being some of the worlds best. If I were Microsoft, I'd be very afraid.

So what is next? We have Firefox for web surfing, Google has provided us with a whole host of free programs including Doc's and Spreadsheets, all I need now is a free operating system and I am good to go. Any suggestions?

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great says "Honesty is the best Policy"

I absolutely love this! I read an article the other day about a new online dating service that promises to be different than anything you've seen before on the web.
HotEnough.org launched with the intention of setting up beautiful people with other beautiful people. The founder thinks there are too many uglies looming in the shadows of the current online dating sites.
Before you start calling me superficial and pig, let me explain. I don't love the business, I love the fact that someone has the guts to say and do what so many are thinking! You've got to know that the internet is not teeming with drop dead gorgeous people as the tv and online ads would like you to believe. Finding a mate online is probably like seeing the commercial for that new fast food burger, only to go get one and find out it isn't nearly as big and juice as on the commercial.
So if you're single, head on over to HotEnough.org and see if you are beautiful enough to be part of the club. Gotta love truth in advertising!
-Jeff the Great

Jeff the Great has '10 items or less'

I stopped into a local grocery store the other day, the rare mom and pop kind of place that still offers to help you out with your bags (they really do...I actually saw a bag boy helping someone out to their car today!).
I usually try to go to this place so that my dollars stay local. I was on my way home from work, anxious to be on the couch with a beer, but decided to take the extra time to go to the local store rather than 7-11. I grabbed my beer, a couple limes, and headed to the checkout.
That's where this story gets interesting. Lucky me, I find a checkout with the bright yellow open sign on, no line and two employee's standing there. I set my stuff down and am greeted with "Sorry, I'm closed."
"You don't look very closed to me" I said, expecting her to start ringing me up. "You'll" have to go to another checker" she said as she pointed to the 3 lines of at least 8 people each at the other end of the store.
Are you kidding me? I drove out of my way for this? I walked down to another register and began to wait in line. After waiting a minute and not moving, I suggested to the employee behind that counter that she might want to call a manager for help (what a crazy idea, huh?). She did so, and when the manager arrived she SHE TOOK THE TWO PEOPLE BEHIND ME to the register she was opening!
Is it just me or would common sense have said you take the people that are waiting the longest. I expressed my displeasure and I was met with blank stares.
So why should I bother going out of my way for the local business? 7-11's are located conveniently, I never wait more than 60 seconds in line, and most importantly I'm in and out without having to deal with stupid people. No wonder mom and pop shops are disappearing by the dozens.
Innovate or die. For me, it's the 7-11 or the self checkout at the big box.
-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great applauds energy efficiency!

I work in the EDA industry and do my best to read up on the latest in the semiconductor world. I read a fascinating piece of news today and unfortunately it probably wont get any attention in the mainstream media.

Sun Microsystems, leading maker of computer servers, announced today that they hit a sales milestone for one of their new product lines. The interesting news is that these new servers are energy efficient and the company estimates that the adoption of their new products has reduced pollution! These servers have meant that a half billion pounds of CO2 have not entered our atmosphere. That's equivalent to the CO2 from 29,000 vehicles over a 1 year time!

"Wait, how is this possible" you might ask? Computers use an incredible amount of electricity. Sun has developed their new line of servers to not only use less power, but use it more efficiently. The servers they have sold use less electricity which means power plants have to generate that much less.

You can find the story here: PR News Wire

So think but what Sun Microsystems is doing the next time you stand in the aisle at the store, trying to decide if you should spend the extra cash on compact florescent bulbs.

-Jeff the Great


Jeff the Great wins innovation award!

At the University of Oregon I studied entrepreneurship through the Lundquist College of Business (one of the best entrepreneurship programs around I'll have you know!). One of many required courses called for me to develop a business concept, and pitch it to the class for consideration of development into a full fledged business plan.
This was right at the time of the iMac introduction from Apple which turned the desktop, and later laptop, market on it's head. I went home every day and looked at my boring pc...why is it so ugly? Does it have to stand out so much?
So I wrote up a brief concept. Take the PC and make it blend into the homes surroundings. The look of natural materials like wood, geometric shapes, monitors integrated into home furniture, any color you'd like. A part from the product, the plan was also solid as can be.
So what came of it? I was told computers are commodities. The prices are coming down, no one will pay more for something that looks cool. It will never work, forget about it. So I moved and joined some other shot-down classmates to develop a business plan for a dot com.
Imagine my joy when I read this from the NY Times (free subscription required, and they don't spam). Validation, finally! What do my teachers and classmates think of the idea now?!?
So would you pay for a computer that looks like the above? Anyone want to invest?
-Jeff the Great
P.S. Wondering what type of business plan my group ended up working on? A jobs web site for k-12 teachers. Ya, that worked out REAL well!


Jeff the Great goes to Canada for his drugs

I recently had another one of those "he said what?" moments while picking up a prescription the other day. I have some medicine that I take regularly and usually get from Costco. While I was between employers and paying for medical 100% out of pocket, these meds cost me $28 for a months supply.

For convenience sake, I transferred my meds to a pharmacy close to my office. Who cares where I get it, the copay will be the same, right? Was I in for a surprise!

When picking my meds up from Walgreens for the first time, I was presented with a $20 bill! How can this be? The pharmacy tech and I checked everything....it was the exact prescription I was buying when I paid 100% out of pocket.

That's when the Pharmacist came to the window, looked to his left, then his right, and said "I don't get my prescriptions here, they are too expensive. Try Costco."

What?!? Did he just say I what I think he did? And some wonder what is wrong with our countries prescription drug process?

Turns out the exact same generic version of my prescription is $88 for a months supply from Walgreens and $28 from Costco. As you might guess, I am taking the pharmacist advice and going back to Costco.

I wonder what would happen to health care insurance premiums if EVERYONE used either Costco or Walmart for their prescriptions? I'm doing my part....

-Jeff the Great

UPDATE: I have since discovered that Walmart does offer a generic version of the above referenced prescription, for $4 without insurance. $88 at Walgreens, $4 at Walmart...go figure.

Jeff the Great is back on duty!

After a couple of months off, I am back on the blogging scene. I've got lots to write about, plenty of rants, and a whole lot of stuff to be pissed off about.

Make sure to check out the archives by month on the right hand side of the page for some of my favorite posts: Jeff the Great Outlaws 'intelligent footwear!', Jeff the Great says "Think like me!", & Jeff the Great outlaws Realtors!

Read, enjoy, pass it on.

-Jeff the Great