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