Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I Like about DC

One of the great things about being in Washington DC is that there are many moment of "oh! that's cool!"

For example, when I was walking to dinner on my last trip out in December, I came across the NPR building. Just your basic stell and glass office building with the lower-case 'npr' all lit up on the side. I heard in my head the voices of the radio personalities and I smiled.

Today, walking back from the Metro, in the block before I got to my hotel, I looked in to a lobby and saw the logo for the American Dental Association, which was exactly the same as the logo that I've been seeing on my tubes of Crest toothpaste since I was a child.

There've been a lot of these kind of moments: National Education Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, Monday's run past the USAID/Customs shared building.

There is something very special about our nation's capital. Just wish it wasn't quite so cold.

Another article on Seeking Alpha

I wrote another little article over on SA. It was about Netflix's change in policy towards releasing results and conference call questions.

I think it's a great step forward, and it generated some interesting discussion about whether it is a step forward, or whether it just gores the oxen of the "establishment".

Monday, January 17, 2011

Back in DC again

I got to DC yesterday for another week near the Nation's Capitol. Happenings in the fabulous Arlington office of OPOWER include:

And other hilarious hijinks.

Went running this morning. From 14th & M down to the Mall and back. Very cold outside, but this time (unlike in December) I brought along some sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Still forgot a hat. Duh. Things noticed:

  1. Customs & Border Protection shares a building with USAID (US Agency for International Development). Seems strange to have one building that says "Here, we'll help you develop your own economy, as long as you stay away from us."
  2. You can see both the White House and the Capitol Building as you stand on Freedom Plaza crossing Pennsylvania Avenue.
  3. The Washington Monument is really pretty when lit up in the dark of the early morning hours.

And finally, on the bus to work this morning (track maintenance on the Metro) I saw the Potomac crusted over with ice. It makes perfect sense, but it was shocking to actually see it.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I'm a Published Author Now!

You may have noticed the 'Seeking Alpha Certified' seal in the right margin. It means that I wrote something they consider sufficiently clever to share with their broader audience as an article. I wrote a short piece about how I really think that Netflix doesn't have any direct competition at this point. It got picked up in the Yahoo 'news' feed for their NFLX stock page. Some interesting comments and conversations arose from it.

I also heard back from a couple of folks at Netflix who saw it picked up as 'news'. One guy, based on just the title, was about to forward it to me as an example of how at least one Wall Street analyst finally 'gets it', but then he realized that I was the author.

So, now that I'm a contributor at Seeking Alpha, apparently I can get press credentials to financial conferences, get free books to review for Seeking Alpha, and other stuff.

I was actually kind of amazed to see that the article I wrote got over 3,000 page views. I'm sure not more than 100 of those were my checking back to see comments and respond to them. :)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Prune Juice. WTF *is* Prune Juice?

As I was shaving this morning, I thought about prune juice. My mind arrived there as a result of a conversation between me and my wife about root beer. She'd seen some celebrity drinking a root beer in one of the weeklies, and she said "I guess 'x' likes root beer."

I replied, "Maybe that's all that they had?"

She said, "You don't do that with root beer. Oh, that's all that's left, I'll have a root beer. You have to like it."

I considered that. "Just like you think that Dr. Pepper has prune juice in it?"

Then I thought about prune juice. A prune is a dried plum. If it's been dried, then where do they get any juice from? It's not like you can drink 'raisin juice'.
Of course, wikipedia knows all.
Prune juice is made by softening prunes through steaming and then putting them through a pulper to create a watery puree.

Interestingly enough, that page also points out that the Dr. Pepper assertion is a long-standing urban myth.
So, prune juice is actually a dried plum puree. Enjoy!