Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Th e company you keep

Since I'm getting focused on the whole branding and marketing thing, you may have noticed that this is tag line for the New York Life. I find it interesting that we as a society use ad tag lines as a shortcut.
As an example, During a recent bible study, the leader asked a question. One the individuals replied “just do it!” I'm just as guilty, as I replied to a later question with “Grab life by the horns!”
And as I said in a previous post, sometimes the important message isn't the one you should bring home. Yes, The folks behind the ad would like it if we remember that New York Life has been here for a long time and is a good place to invest your money. And I'm not disputing their point.
But what about your circle of friends? And their friends? If you've read this far, you know I'm a cyclist. Does this mean I'm a pill-popping lunatic on a 'roid rage? Hardly. You may have stumbled across this blog from an Internet forum . And if so, you've probably noticed that old Fredwina is conspicuous by her absence on those. It's not that I'm not aware of them, It's that I read them and determined that I really don't want to be associated. Yes, I'm aware that forums are supposed to be private, but have you ever tried to find the “Right to privacy” explicitly stated in the U.S. Constitution? I would suggest you try to. You might be surprised.
So, the point I'm aiming at is that people will judge by the company you keep. Ride around in Tight sorts and pretend that you're doing the tour? You must have EPO at home. Post on site where it seems everyone verbally beats everyone down? Must not be a nice person. Yes, I know you can't judge a book by its cover, but to large extent, that's what branding encourages And I'm not sure there is a solution, beyond keeping in mind that we are in 24/7/365 marketing situation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

God's Goals

As you may have noticed, I'm slowly (but surely) making my way through Tom and Christine Sine's :
one of thing thy recommend is that you write what you think God's Goals for the world are:
Here goes nothing
God's Goals for the world
Everyone is welcome at God's Table, whether we like it or not!
This is our Father's world! We are only tenants here, and it is our duty to “leave no Trace”
Under God there is no North or South
War isn't in God's Plans
with God, worry is not defined. But, we are human, we take God's prefect creation and ruin it – look at Communism – Soviet Style
our Bodies are God's temple, They are on loan from God , too.
We must take care of God's property, or he will evict us.
Be Brave. The world relies on us to do the expected, but the word call to do the unexpected.
How do we take “The Status Driven life” and turn it in to “the God filled life”
Branding is a disease, but is also a vital part of how we communicate. Witness the popularity of “indie” rock, no-name brand, and viral marketing.
The “digital divide” should not exist.

So, the next step is figuring out my talents. Obviously, I like writing, whether it be in English or Java(tm). And I like bicycles. Actually, I like being outside, generally. But, sometime the obvious message isn't what we're supposed to come away with.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Fredwina does her own perm

No, I', not talking one of those Toni home perm kits. Randoneurrers USA will allow to ride a set route for Brevet credit. I was going to ride a different route, but some one wanted to ride my routes, so I decided to may sure everything was OK. The results: well, The one time I had given myself a home perm, I drove home the next day. My parents next door neighbor was a hair dresser and 10 minutes after I had stepped out of the car, I was in a chair at the Lora-Don Beauty Salon;)
The start is about 6 mile from my place. I decided to ride over. I got there exactly at the right time.
I took off and was soon at the edge of Riverside, Here's a picture of Mt Rubidoux:
and here Is the world-famuous Mission inn The Interior is to die for, but I didn't think they would let me in:

I then pedaling through the Uc-Riverside experimental farms:

These were for nematode research:

I then climbed up to Alessandro blvd., which was followed by a quick descent to Victoria Street. Nothing like 10 miles of this:
I stopped at Circle K car in Corona, fought some traffic, and was soon making way back up to Ontario. I saw some plane take off at the airport, and was soon at my next Control Rancho Carwash and Lube; I think it's called that because Rancho Cucamonga Carwash, Quick lube, Mini Mart, Taco Stand, and Self Storage wouldn't fit on a business license
I was doing good with tiem I had 70 miles and it was only 12:30. The taco satnd was closed:( so stopped by the Casa Fredwina for a pizza:) . I was soon on my way.
Here's the Claremont Colleges:
and the oldest tree in LaVerne
I started to fight 16mph headwinds to get down to Azusa. It also got hot. I was fine going down:
The course only has 4000 feet of climbing, but half of that is in the last 30 miles. That and the heat did a number on me . I stopped at a Mini mart at Base Line and Carnelian and got some Gatorade and Chocike milk. I considered going home, as I was about a mile away(plus a 250' descent:p ).
I pressed on, I was doing halfway good until I got to Cherry and the 210 in Fontana - the route goes up to Nealy's Corners(Sierra and the 15). I had a flat there, and the time in sun may have done me in. It was about 5:39.
I really didn't have on the climb. I stopped once where there was some shade , and it did a little a bit of good, but that was the last patch of shade I was also worried about getting back after dark as I didn't have my lights with me. So i came back. To 20mph winds.
what Happened. I changed my fuel to Accelerade, but I think that helped. Taste better(to me), but I should drank more of it. I also changed my pre-ride meal from Sizzler to Fazoli's, but I think I 'll change that back.
Actually, one of the things I was thinking(doing 12 hours are great for this kind of thing) about was that my life has gotten a little out of whack. Granted the job is crazy, but I won't go there(i assume most of you have not had your boss how you came up with your Handle), but It seems that doing the Ultra cycling is just too much of a time Drain (although I may do one or two more in the fall). I'm also now the leader of a Professional Organization. I'd like to restore some balance between Bicycle Fredwina, Religious Fredwina, and Career Fredwina. Esepically since Religious Fredwina and Career Fredwina have put there head together and came up with a nifty idea that needs some research. Don't worry, I still be boarding, and Blogging, and Journaling, but it looks the R-12 is going by the wayside

Thursday, July 19, 2007

you do race , don't you?

I got asked in a car coming back from a church committee meeting. I always find it interesting that most people here in the States seem to associate "serious" bicycling with racing. It may that their only exposure comes around this time of year.
What time of year is it? It's Tour De France time. and like a cyclist, I stick my fingers in my ears if I haven't had chance to see it. Well... not really. I actually missed the watching any stages there days this week, and I'm really not interested. Granted, I do check the net, so I know who won, and as far as the drug scandals - if you shine a light on some roaches, it'll seem like they're multiplying. but still, I'm not adhering to the mad cyclist sterotype.
So, where I'm going? Well I've been thinking about Branding in our society. Not the kind with cattle irons. Is a Lexus ES better than a Toyota Camry? Mechanically, they're the same basic car. But, you probably associate the Lexus as being a bit more desirable.
A lot of our society is Consumer driven, we want to associate with the "cool" brands. Witness The public perception of Walmart and Target. One is Hillbilly heaven, while the other is Tres' Chic, even though they often sell the same basic goods from the same suppliers. And I'm not saying "no Brand" is any better, since it seems like most marketing types are savvy enough to try and pitch their stuff as small company driven, rather than the reality of the mega-corp.
The trick is how to stay in the world while still not being of the world. A hard balance, but something I feel called to do. And it's tricky, because everything is marketing in our society.
An example: We at St. Marks's are looking buying reusable grocery bags. Canvas or plastic? Canvas seems so much more eco friendly, Doesn't it? But it's more expensive, and given the reaction folks has to buying Ikea bag for a nickel apiece, we would probably sell bags to those how already had some. And what about the fuel for Tractors and Cotton Pickers? and you do know what the modern raw material for most fertilizers, are (yes, you can get organic canvas, but at a higher price)? So, what's best for creation now?
And yes i', making progress on this mission statement from God thing. I actually manage to write what God's goals for us are. Now I need to find out my talent, and merge the tow together

Thursday, July 12, 2007

inadvertently doing the right thing

As you probably figured, I 'm still struggling with the old “what I am here For” question.
On a professional note , I'm going to try and start lean Software design patterns. The LA JUG is offering a class , and it's actually on THIS side of the 405! woohoo! And They're using the Head First series of books, which is one of my Favorites. I could not find the book here at the megastore(As I Type this, I thought I should have checked at Cal Poly or the Claremont colleges), so I surfed over to . One of thing most people aren't aware of is that Amazon has partner stores. I found a Cheaper price at a “store” called Better World Books. I also ordered some more books by Christine and Tom Sine.
So , today, I finally surfed on over the Better world's Website. I was surprised (well, actually not).not only had saved some money(yes, the books are slightly used), but I managed to be socially responsible at the same.
Yes, I feel I'm being led down the social/environmental justice path. It's just how do take my talents and pay my bills??