Friday, February 27, 2009

Close call...

Thank heavens I noticed this sticker just before I was going to seal buttercup in a plastic bin and leave her in the car with the windows up.

I think I shall start a collection of these absurd disclaimer stickers, starting with the "don't pull the vending machine on top of you and die," one

I fear for the intelligence of our society.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Steelcase walkstation vs. Home-cooked Internet Treadmill Workstation & Home Gym

Anyone catch Steelcase's Walkstation featured on Regis and Kelly last week?

Say it with me now:

"Crockett Dunn sees the future."

(re: the Crock-station Internet Treadmill & Wired Home Gym, conceived in 2003, featured here

Steelcase's first generation exer-station was also featured in TIME a while back, "DANGER: Walking While Working," found here:,9171,1862448,00.html.

My editorial didn't make the cut, but seriously- being married to Analisa, a medical professional, I am keenly aware of our health as a society and the costs associated therewith. Not only that, being a knowledge worker in the midst of the post-information-revolution/gamer/obesity epidemic in America, the message is as seriously as a heart attack (yes, pun shamelessly intended).


Saturday, February 21, 2009

a wee bit more biz talk

To all of the loyal members of the CDLLC Global Alliance (you know who you are):

I want to express my sincere gratitude for your work: your commitment to delivering top quality software, on-time, and to specification exceeds that of the "average" e-lancers out there, and I am glad to have the opportunity to work with you.

This growing group of class-act software developers, graphic designers, CMS administrators (YOU) has enabled CDLLC to take on a tremendous amount of new work as businesses scramble to cut their costs and streamline their operations... basically cutting back on the "brick-and-mortar," if not entirely closing that storefront, and going totally virtual.

In closing, I could not have done it without all of you guys and girls around the world, and I look forward to feeding you more work and further strengthening the team.

Rock on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

world through the eyes ofa business owner

I recently received this email from my super-conservative, ultra-libertarian friend and found it interesting. It's a little disjointed because of the number of topics covered: mixing in the concepts of welfare, employees' perceptions of business owners, and politics. But it's still worth a read, in my humble opinion

# # #
A Bosses letter to his Employees...

To All My Valued Employees,

There have been some rumblings around the office abut the future of this company and, more specifically, your job. As you know, the economy has changed for the worse and presents many challenges. However, the good news is this: The economy doesn't pose a threat to your job. What does threaten your job however, is the changing political landscape in this country.

However, let me tell you some little tidbits of fact which might help you decide what is in your best interest.

First, while it is easy to spew rhetoric that casts employers against employees, you have to understand that, for every business owner, there is a Back Story. This back story is often neglected and overshadowed by what you see and hear. Sure, you see me park my Mercedes outside. You've seen my big home at last year's Christmas party. I'm sure; all these flashy icons of luxury conjure up some idealized thoughts about my life.

However, what you don't see is the BACK STORY:
I started this company 28 years ago. At that time, I lived in a 300 square foot studio apartment for 3 years. My entire living apartment was converted into an office so I could put forth 100% effort into building a company, which by the way, would eventually employ you.

My diet consisted of Ramen Pride noodles because every dollar I saved went back into this company. I drove a rusty Toyota Corolla with a defective transmission. I didn't have time to date. Often times, I stayed home on weekends, while my friends went out drinking and partying. In fact, I was married to my business -- hard work, discipline, and sacrifice.

Meanwhile, my friends got jobs. They worked 40 hours a week and made a modest $50K a year and spent every dime they earned. They drove flashy cars and lived in expensive homes and wore fancy designer clothes. Instead of hitting the Nordstrom's for the latest hot fashion item, I was trolling through the discount store extracting any clothing item that didn't look like it was birthed in the 70's. My friends refinanced their mortgages and lived a life of luxury. I, however, did not. I put my time, my money, and my life into a business with a vision that eventually, some day, I too, will be able to afford these luxuries my friends supposedly had.

So, while you physically arrive at the office at 9am , mentally check in at about noon , and then leave at 5pm , I don't. There is no "off" button for me. When you leave the office, you are done and you have a weekend all to yourself. I unfortunately do not have the freedom. I eat, and breathe this company every minute of the day. There is no rest. There is no weekend. There is no happy hour. Every day this business is attached to my hip like a 1 year old special-needs child. You, of course, only see the fruits of that garden -- the nice house, the Mercedes, the vacations... you never realize the Back Story and the sacrifices I've made.

Now, the economy is falling apart and I, the guy that made all the right decisions and saved his money, have to bail-out all the people who didn't. The people who overspent their paychecks suddenly feel entitled to the same luxuries that I earned and sacrificed more than a decade of my life for.

Yes, business ownership has is benefits but the price I've paid is steep and not without wounds. Unfortunately, the cost of running this business, and employing you, is starting to eclipse the threshold of marginal benefit and let me tell you why:

I am being taxed to death and the government thinks I don't pay enough. I have state taxes. Federal taxes. Property taxes. Sales and use taxes. Payroll taxes. Workers compensation taxes. Unemployment taxes. Taxes on taxes. I have to hire a tax man to manage all these taxes and then guess what? I have to pay taxes for employing him. Government mandates and regulations and all the accounting that goes with it, now occupy most of my time. On Oct 15th, I wrote a check to the US Treasury for $288,000 for quarterly taxes. You know what my "stimulus" check was? Zero.. Nada. Zilch.

The question I have is this: Who is stimulating the economy? Me, the guy who has provided 14 people good paying jobs and serves over 2,200,000 people per year with a flourishing business? Or the single mother, sitting at home pregnant with her fourth child waiting for her next welfare check? Obviously, government feels the latter is the real economic stimulus of this country.

The fact is, if I deducted (Read: Stole) 50% of your paycheck you'd quit and you wouldn't work here. I mean, why should you? That's nuts. Who wants to get rewarded only 50% of their hard work? Well, I agree, which is why your job is in jeopardy.

Here is what many of you don't understand ... to stimulate the economy you need to stimulate what runs the economy. Had suddenly, the government mandated to me that I didn't need to pay taxes guess what? Instead of depositing that $288,000 into the Washington black-hole, I would have spent it, hired more employees, and generated substantial economic growth. My employees would have enjoyed the wealth of that tax cut in the form of promotions and better salaries. But - you can forget it now.

When you have a comatose man on the verge of death, you don't defibrillate and shock his thumb, thinking that will bring him back to life, do you? You defibrillate his heart! Business is at the heart of America and always has been. To restart it, you must stimulate it, not kill it. Suddenly, the power brokers in Washington believe the poor of America are the essential drivers of the American economic engine. Nothing could be further from the truth; this is the type of change YOU can keep.

So where am I going with all this? It's quite simple. If any new taxes are levied on me, or my company, my reaction will be swift and simple. I'll fire you. I'll fire your co-workers. You can then plead with the government to pay for your mortgage, your SUV, and your child's future. Frankly, it isn't my problem any more.

Then, I will close this company down, move to another country, and retire. You see, I'm done. I'm done with a country that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. My motivation to work, and to provide jobs, will be destroyed and, with it, will be my citizenship.

So, if you lose your job, it won't be at the hands of the economy; it will be at the hands of a political hurricane that swept through this country, steam-rolled the constitution, and will have changed its landscape forever. If that happens, you can find me sitting on a beach, retired, and with no employees to worry about....


Monday, February 16, 2009

US Airways Flight 1549 Air Traffic Control Audio, Video

I just listened to this and was very moved.

I had read that there had never been a zero-casualty water ditch. I have also read that water ditching is not even included as a scenario in the flight training simulators anymore.

This is powerful, when you hear the air traffic controller say, "they're gone," at the end, when in fact, as we all know, they they were not at all "gone," but very much "there."

If you are interested in this topic, here is an article and audio about Air Traffic Controller awards, including audio and commentary about amazing events, including a traffic controller talking down a daughter after the pilot (her father), and the mother, both suffered incapacitating medical emergencies.

Story & Audio from NPR, here:

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Annoyed with Your Push-to-Talk Button? Re-map it to MS Voice Command.

Not exactly breaking news, but during this flight (Hello again Denver!), I just got around to re-mapping my ATT Tilt's bothersome PTT (Push to Talk) button. You'll need to backup your registry and be enough of a tinkerer to know how to edit the registry in Windows Mobile.



There is a button on the top left of the HTC Kaiser a.k.a. 8125. With the, "ATT Tilt," branded version of this phone, this button, when depressed, asks something along the lines of, "Are you sure you wish to activate Push-to-Talk? Additional service charges will be incurred."

I'm not a walkie-talkie, "where you at?" kind of guy, so I do not wish to activate and purchase PTT Service. Heck, even if I wanted that capability, I could probably find some freeware IM/Voip app to work just fine, rather than purchase a new "service."

This reminds me- post a comment if you would like me to create a blog post about the Internet Connection Sharing app already built into Windows Mobile. There is no need to purchase a separate "computer" data plan and PC card. With a standard USB cable and Windows Mobile, the functionality is already available.

Here is the good stuff:


Worked for me. You have to read the whole post.
For my own purposes as well, here are the consolidated steps to take. Until someone improves on this, I keep all this stuff in a directory so I can reconfigure my device as necessary. Here goes...

I think the trick is the PTT settings take precedence when the device boots up so delete the PTT registry settings under HKLM/Services/PTT.

Delete the whole sub tree, then
From HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Shell\Keys
Add a new key called "40C6"Add a string under the key called "Name" with the value "Button 6"

Add a new key called "40C7"Add a string under this key called "Name" with the value "Button 6 (hold)"
(Note, do not enter the quotes, thare are to delimit what belongs in the registry entry)

Go to the Buttons settings and assign a program to the new entries. [Crockett note: I use MS Voice Command].

Do a soft reset [Crockett note: use a paperclip or pen to hit the reset button in the tiny pinhole on the bottom of the phone, or take the battery out] which will remove the PTT settings from the buffer and enable your key changes.

Thanks for all the help.

I'd say the only caveat is if you some day want to use the PTT features, it would be a good idea to take an inventory of what is under the PTT node in the registry.

Crockett Dunn [via Mobile Device]

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Real Rebecca Dunn Bryant

[REPOST: update 2009.02.07: Check this out: "You go green girl!]

I don't like my sister's name having a #5 result in Google, so here is some clarification- this is the Real Rebecca Dunn Bryant, as featured on her architecture firm's site, Walcott Adams Verneuille Architects, headquartered in Fairhope, AL:

Rebecca's (the real Rebecca Dunn Bryant) profile can be found here: