I have been crazed this summer. Adchemix, my new company, has started down a fun path, and it has taken up all of my mental energy. But, there is stuff on my mind as the first chilly day of fall arrives, in no particular order:

  1. The Red Sox: In December, I pegged them for 5th place in the AL East. Who woulda thunk that they’d be at the top of the AL East? I guess this why I always get crushed in fantasy baseball.

     

  2. Syria: The New Yorker nailed the complexity of my feelings about Syria. WaPo totally put the morass in context. And speaking of ass – Ed Markey voting “present” makes him seem like an ass. And the Repulicans continue their assery – Obama can’t do anything without congressional approval, but Congress stays on their summer break. And then complain he isn’t moving fast enough. Seriously, WTF?
  3. Congress: I simply can’t get over how broken congress is. The partisan BS is just killing the progress this country is trying to make. Syria sucks and it is hard, but we have got to decide what we are doing. The president can’t be right and wrong, and Congress shouldn’t demand to be involved, agree to what the President has suggested and kill him for it. This is passive aggressive behavior at its best (or worst).
  4. Congress 2: The debt ceiling is here again. This is such a simple issue. We can’t spend and save at the same time. The sequestration was supposed to be the poison pill that stopped this nonsense. Great. We’ve had the sequester and nothing happened. Get off your asses and compromise. Find a way. Stop grandstanding and get to the work that you were elected to do. The debt ceiling is NOT a zero sum game. Everybody can win (from a political standpoint.) Inaction that grinds the country to a halt makes it more difficult for us to move forward because our credit rating is dinged, and makes it difficult for us to have the international authority that we want. Our credibility is compromised because we can’t agree on our checkbook. That is really cutting off your nose to spite your face.
  5. Books: Salinger looks salacious. Zealot looks interesting, too. And for fun, I am reading Rob Sheffield‘s Turn Around Bright Eyes – a fun ditty about mourning, love and karaoke. Totally worth the time. (By the way, all of the book links point at Bookish.com. They are a client. They are doing awesome stuff in the world of books. They are, in all the right ways, the anti-Amazon for books. They aren’t selling books because they think they can disrupt something. They sell books because they LOVE them. It’s different.)
  6. Retail: My company spends a lot of time thinking about large-scale search for retailers. So we have a good look at what is happening in the economy as represented by retail sales. Here is what we are seeing: a) Online sales are up double digits, store sales flat to up a few percentage points b) Online budgets are taking away from print in a big way – more bad news for newspapers and magazines c) People are spending more – in our look at things, average order values are up 10-12% – significantly more that the rate of inflation
  7. Music: I had some small part in helping birth OMusic, an upstart Indian music service that allows for streaming or local playback. If you have an Android device, check out the OMusic application. Some of the music is just awesome. Congratulations to Parijat Shah and his team. They have worked incredibly hard and done amazing things on a shoestring budget. I wish you every success! On other musical notes, I have spent a crazy amount of time listening to X – See How We Are and I miss my cassette of “Introducing John Doe” that I listened to incessantly in 1990 and I can’t find a digital version anywhere – any ideas?