Let’s Play Sheriff and Tully. I’ll Be Sheriff.

Tully & SheriffAs many of you know, we lost our beloved dog Tully this summer. We didn’t plan on getting another dog, but Sheriff started showing signs of separation anxiety (he and Tully were litter mates), and we finally relented.

So in September we got a puppy from our friends. The puppy was their favorite of the litter. Our friends gave him the name Primo in honor of his first born status.

Primo & Sheriff 2

As you can see from the photos above, there is a slight resemblance between Primo and Tully. Yet while friends commented on the similarities, I didn’t see it.

Or more accurately, I didn’t want to acknowledge it. We didn’t pick Primo because of the resemblance. And no dog was ever going to replace Tully.

After last weekend, I’m ready to admit it. Jeez, Primo reminds me of Tully!

We took him out to the beach for the first time last weekend. He quickly fell into the same pattern as Tully did. Sheriff fetches the ball and Primo attacks Sheriff. Tully used to get into a crouch, wait for Sheriff to get close enough and then pounce.

It made me wonder if Sheriff’s personality was so strong that any new dog would by necessity end up playing the role Tully had played.

Dana’s Uncle Jim had a funny take on it. He imagined a conversation between the two dogs that might go something like this:

Sheriff: Hey Primo, I’ve got an idea. Let’s play “Sheriff and Tully.” I’ll be Sheriff.

Primo: Oh man, I wanted to be Sheriff this time.

Sheriff: Sorry. You can be Sheriff tomorrow.

Primo (under his breathe): Man, you always say that.

It was a blast. It was great to see Sheriff enjoying himself and to know that his new buddy was helping all of us both move on and remember Tully at the same time.

More adorable puppy photos on Flickr.

Gnomedex this Weekend

I’m heading up to Seattle this weekend for Gnomedex. Josh Bancroft was kind enough to include me in the Best of Ignite Portland session.

Like my Ignite Portland presentation, this won’t be on any of the familiar topics of mobile development or web site performance. Instead I’ll be talking about Nissan’s Cup Noodle.

It’s a fun five minute presentation. It will be interesting to see how it is received at 9 am in the morning at a conference instead of in the evening at a theater pub with a, well let’s just say, happy audience.

If you’re attending Gnomedex, let me know. I’ll be watching Twitter while I’m up there.

Dangers of Context-based Advertising

Someone recently pointed me to this funny blog post entitled “15 Unfortunately Placed Ads” (Some of the content is a bit risqué).

The humor of the ad placements alone isn’t enough to warrant a blog post. Instead what interested me was the online ads were almost certainly placed by software attempting to match keywords.

One of the example is a Folgers Coffee ad placed next to an article entitled “Coffee Might Trigger Heart Attack in Some.” Folgers likely bought ads to be placed on Yahoo’s content network whenever the word “coffee” showed up. However, they probably wouldn’t chose to place their ad next to this story if given the opportunity to chose.

This is the danger of context-based advertising. The current filters are not smart enough to know whether or not the true context of the content is conducive to the advertising.

I wonder whether sites like Facebook will encounter this problem more frequently because it is just as likely that someone is going to be ranting about coffee as they are praising it. I imagine Google and the other leading advertising engines are already experimenting with ways to determine the positive or negative nature of the content.

I think we’ll see a lot more ads with unfortunate placement before the technology progresses to the point where it can be prevented automatically.

I’ve got Twittermentia!

From yesterday’s Twitter transcript:

09:43 am grigs: Really enjoyed the ALA Web Dev Survey http://tinyurl.com/yskc3h Well written report. Wish it has included billed rates. Any surveys on that?

09:46 am grigs: Twitter usage of tinyurl makes it difficult to track links. No way to set up a (blog)search for tinyurls that point to your site.

09:46 am grigs: There is a service there that tinyurl could provide.

09:55 am selenamarie: @grigs thanks for the pointer.

10:02 am grigs: @selenamarie what pointer? oh, the ALA report? can’t remember what i did moments ago.

10:15 am selenamarie: @grigs: twittermentia?

Selena went on to define Twittermentia as:

twittermentia: happens when you can only remember your most recent post to Twitter.

This is the first time I can recall a new term being defined to describe my behavior. I’m not sure if I should be happy or ashamed.

Betsy says to own it and given the fact that it probably won’t be the last time I can’t remember what I was just doing, I should probably do as she says. Thanks Selena. :-)

Following Selena’s Lead

My friend Selena pointed out that we had both written about the Clay Shirky article that I referenced earlier this week. She was kind not to point out that she wrote about the article two weeks earlier. This is simply the latest in a series of times where Selena was ahead of me on discovering valuable things.

In college, Selena was running a Linux box, talking about open source software, and working on quality of service routing before these topics were mainstream. At the time, I didn’t understand why she was so excited about them.

When we bumped into each other a few years ago, she convinced me to give social bookmarking, tagging and similar technologies a second look. Now I can’t imagine living without my delicious bookmarks.

Essentially, Selena is one of the smartest people I know. I’ve been rediscovering trails she already had blazed for as long as I’ve known her.

Given these facts, I’ll declare a small victory that this time I was only two weeks behind her. :-)

Who Remembers These Things?

I’ve been trying to find the RSS feeds on Facebook that TechCrunch wrote about earlier today when I was prompted by Facebook with a requirement to add a security question. Here is a screenshot of what I saw:


Who remembers the name of their first stuffed animal? The time you were born, not the year. My third grade teacher had a Japanese last name that I can’t remember how to spell. Too bad it wasn’t my fourth grade teacher who I liked much less, but whose name is simple to spell. Least favorite nickname? Uh… First kiss? Well, she was cute. I remember that much.

Maybe this is just a sign that I’m getting too old, but the only question from the list that I felt confident answering is my mother’s maiden name, and maybe I’ll give her a call just to be safe. :-)

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