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