Harry's Rules and Happy New Year

Some words of wisdom to try and follow in this New Year

1. Exercise six days a week for the rest of your life

2. Do serious aerobic exercise four days a week for the rest of your life

3. Do serious strength training, with weights, two days a week for the rest of your life

4. Spend less than you make

5. Quit eating crap!

6. Care

7. Connect and commit

(from "Younger Next Year" a book that I'm not old enough to be in the author's demographic, but one that has a number of very interesting ideas)

Book Review: Life - Keith Richards

Keith Richards, guitar player for the Rolling Stones has published his autobiography entitled “Life”. I expected the book to be vague/hazy on many aspects of the Stones and heavily ghosted to boot.

Was I surprised – this book is incredibly interesting and full of stories from Keith. Some of the things I enjoyed include:

  • His stories and observations about the social upheavals of the late 60s/early 70s quite interesting. The Stones were constantly harassed by the Establishment at the time. Keith points out that the authorities were threatened by the band, which he found quite odd.
  • Mick Taylor, Mick Taylor, Mick Taylor
  • Long study of American blues including details about various musicians of the genre and era. Really interesting
  • Making http://amzn.to/eCBqI3 ">Exile on Main Street – read a lot about this when it re-released recently, but learned even more.
  • Wingless Angels and Keith Richards solo (X-Pensive Winos)

As expected, lots of complaints about Mick – zzzzzzzzzzzzz.

As I read the book, I would periodically take a break and watch Stones videos on PersistentFan.com  Made the book that much better :-)

Overall, great book. The best musician autobiography I’ve read in a while. Definitely queue up all the Stones discs with Mick Taylor to listen to while you read.

Sign Of The Times

Another data point/observation on the current state of things, courtesy of Jason Calacanis' latest [Jason] post (email only, sorry no link)

We're interviewing for sales people in Los Angeles right now andI'm shocked at the quality level of folks on the market. Tyler interview 30 folks and I got to sit down with the top 12. Of those 12 I would say 10 were hires. Of those ten half of them were the kind of folks that just don't normally come on the market (you know, the folks that are recruited from job to job). It was totally shocking for me. In 15 years of being an entrepreneur I've never such a dense pool of such of talented people--something is VERY wrong with out economy. Also, the last two trips/four times I've been in the airport it's been a ghost town. Very strange to go from long lines and packed flights to short lines and people laying across the aisle sleeping.

2002 was something like this - lots of high quality people available. The contrarian in me says this might be a good time to start a business.

Here's hoping to 2010 is better ...

La Bamba Wins Best Burrito

My all time favorite burrito joint has won a “Best Of” award from the Palo Alto Daily. I’ve been a regular customer since we started iPrint in 1996 and were leasing space from NASA at Moffett Field. It was just a short drive away and way better than the NASA cafeteria food.

Now celebrating 20 years of business, this family-owned restaurant is no stranger to the voting public. La Bamba Taqueria serves traditional Mexican and Salvadorian dishes including the famous nearly foot-long burrito. A model of political transparency, you can watch your burrito as it is made, starting with the bare tortilla and finishing with a tightly wrapped totable lunch. No "mystery meat" here! Don't let the long lines fool you, the staff is quick to handle the masses, proving that the concepts of open government and the Palo Alto Process are not mutually exclusive. Lastly, caution with the salsa, it may not look intimidating but boy, does it bite. 2058 Old Middlefield Road, Mountain View; 650-965-2755

Congrats guys!

Internet Fraud - How to File a Crime Report

As I've blogged about previously, some criminal stole my credit card info and used it at GoDaddy.com.

My employer provides legal services as a benefit - I contacted the "Identity Theft" group and they made a series of recommendations, one of which was to report the crime to the local police.

I phoned my local police department who pointed me to the following website:


("ic3" is "Internet Crime Complaint Center")

I filed a report, which was a simple interview process asking questions about the event.

Crossing my fingers (but not holding my breath) that they will compel GoDaddy to release some pertinent information about the theft.



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GoDaddy, Day 2

Someone from GoDaddy's fraud department phoned this morning (they told me yesterday morning it would be a few hours, not a day later)

Jennifer from the "Fraud Department" told me that the perpetrator used my physical address and phone number (off by at least a digit) when ordering the domain name(s). She would not however, provide any of the following information without a subpoena:

* domain(s) ordered
* email address the order verification was sent to
* requesting IP address

Someone has provided my personal data to GoDaddy, committing a crime and GoDaddy won't divulge this information without legal action on my part? What in the world are these people thinking? Truly frightening. To make matters worse, she refused to even provide a phone number for GoDaddy's legal department. Guess I'll have to call 411 for Scottsdale and ask.



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GoDaddy is a Fraudster's Paradise

I found a mysterious charge from GoDaddy.com on my credit card bill this morning. Never having done any business with GoDaddy, I immediately thought "FRAUD"

After waiting on hold for 10 minutes, a rep with GoDaddy told me the charge was for a domain called something like "freecelluite.com". The rep canceled the charge and initiated a fraud investigation.

I then called my credit card issuer (First USA/United Mileage Plus) and told them about the charge. Their first step was to cancel my account, which of course means that I will have to contact any merchant that automatically posts a monthly charge to my account.

Bottomline: GoDaddy has horrible fraud protection (see image below) as they can't even bother to ask for the CVV on Internet orders (what a joke). Wonder how many of the "new" customers they acquired from their Superbowl ad are actually valid/not fraudulent. My credit card issuer shafts me by canceling my account and leaving me to clean up the mess. I asked to have any internet-based, non-CVV authorization requests automatically denied - this "wasn't possible".

Looks like all the credit card PR effort about protecting identities is just hot air.

GoDaddy - you suck. Get a clue in the Internet age.

FirstUSA - you suck. Get a clue about customer service. No wonder fraud is a growing percentage of the credit card business.

Update: Looks like GoDaddy ads are appearing for some people. Don't do it! Also, me thinks Google has some work to do. Nothing like paying money to have your ad show up next to an article about how your service sucks.



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At the Airport on 9/11

I spent part of the sixth anniversary of 9/11 at the airport, traveling back from Phoenix.

CNN Headline News was playing all over the Sky Harbor Airport. Relentlessly, they jumped between live footage of the memorial service at Ground Zero to various reporters describing the events that unfolded on that horrible day. After a bit, I realized that the CNN Anchor was crying as she read the news. Most of the people around me were glued to the screen. I couldn't help but watch it either.

Boarding the plane was surreal ... frightening ... was I ever glad to reach my destination.