Bad Product, Bad Placement

OXO cubesRemember the re-designed packaging for OXO bouillon cubes? No? Well I do. I thought they were brilliant. When they were placed side-by-side on the grocery shelf, they completely owned the aisle. The OXO’s completed each other and created a string of OXOXOXOXOXOXO for the length of the display, each letter behind a bold, solid colour representing it’s flavour.

Great package design must take multiples into account. How will these products look beside each other? On top of each other? Stacked, mixed, mingled, scattered?

Tom Cruise without a nose

I laughed out loud when I saw this book display at my local big box store. I was looking to buy myself a video game, a DVD, a book— anything new and personal (and cheap) for my birthday. I instantly groped around in my coat for the digital camera. Then I remembered almost getting my membership revoked for pulling out a PEN a few years back in the same store. They thought I was a cold-war box-store price-spy, as opposed to a guy who likes to write down his thoughts and ideas from time to time. Not wanting to create a scene, I deftly prepped the camera, one-handed, in my pocket. Then without any to-do, I matter-of-factly brought the camera to my eye as if scratching my brow. Click. No flash, no attention. And to prevent further litigation, I have respectfully disguised the book prices in the photo (which were far, far below the SRP).

When I was in high school I created a collage project called, “What Famous People Look Like When They Go Home and Take Their Noses Off.” This Tom Cruise picture would feel right at home in my old sketch book. Seeing any celebrity without a nose makes them look cartoonish and absurd. Perhaps that was the intent of this display, but somehow I doubt it. Unauthorized biography or not, this tabloid-pablum fodder makes pseudo-religious-cult-leader-crazed-heartthrob actor Tom Cruise look like an alien bug. And that’s funny.

Post Script: I didn’t buy this book. I bought The Little Book That Makes You Rich and Stock Investing for Canadians for Dummies.


New LifeFocus System Post at

I just posted an explanation of how I’m going to use the new LifeFocus System 6.3b cards this year. Read about it on my personal blog at

New Links and Big Changes for 2008

I’ve been doing some blog juggling recently. I am slowly moving everything off of the platform and onto my own server. I am still using WordPress software, but I am free to tinker with extras and plugins, and design if I wish.

I have also decided to separate some of the things that I do, instead of aggregate. will be my place for online rambling, thoughts, experiments, announcements, and information about me.

The work on my book, my workshops, lectures, and the like will eventually be moved to

The LifeFocus™ System will come to life on it’s own website sometime in the new year., my communal link blog, has been moved to (1/100).

Just thought you should know.

My LifeFocus System for Year of the Rat

In a few days, it will be the Year of the Rat, and the Chinese New Year will commence. I am now prepared to meet this year with great productivity and the getting of things done. The LifeFocus System will be tested and documented fully this year. I have teamed up with 2 industry experts to dissect this system and bring it to life in different ways, so expect more from the new LFS in 2008. (LFS will be the new fancy acronym for Life Focus System. I have dropped the ‘mundane’ and dropped the ‘card’ as they were too negative and too restrictive respectively.)

Here is a sneak peek at the routines I will master.
LifeFocus System v6.2b

The first 3 of my Routinizations are about health. The next 2 life goals. The last 5 are related to the work I want to get done for myself. Some of it is business, some of it is pleasure, some of it is mixed. I will be carrying this list in my wallet every day as a reminder of what is important to me, and charting my progress. The simple act of checking a box can be enough of a catalyst, enough of a commitment, to effectively re-program my daily actions. If I remind myself long enough, and affirm my actions, I should have a positive healthy new routine established for 2008 in about 3 or 4 weeks. As always, I’ll keep you posted.

MacBook and Clutter

MacBook and Clutter

Operating Instructionz

Bratz Manual
I loathe Bratz dolls. Especially the Bratz Babyz, with their bikini-brief diapers, fetal hydrocephalic heads and 2-Much™ make-up. I was appalled that my daughter asked for them by name for Christmas. They were on every list she made and even whispered to Santa at the mall, so my wife bought 2 of them despite my protestations. Their only saving grace is that they have chunky baby legs and they come with the most amazing Operating Instructions I have ever seen:

* Pull on the ponytails to detach them.
* Snap them back on by putting the pegs in the holes.

Not too complicated when you think about it. Still, what made me laugh out loud was this notice:

Please keep this manual. It contains important information.

That was it. That was ALL the information. A diagram of a big head, 2 arrows, and 2 ponytails, accompanied by 2 obscenely obvious messages. Perhaps this is important to know if I have REAL babyz™ kicking around that might chew/suck/knaw on the ponytails and get them jammed into their tiny esophagi, but do I have to keep the manual? And calling it a manual is also pretty funny considering it’s half a sheet of paper at most.

My best guess is that this protects MGA Entertainment (the makers of Bratz™) from any lawsuits. Little Susie chokes to death on a Bratz Babyz ponytail, but on cross-examination it is discovered that the neglectful father threw the Operating Instructions, which contained important information, in the trash. He was told to keep it. He had been warned. A witness claimed he was snickering as he pitched it in the bin. It’s another win for the Bratz Lawyerz™.

Happy New Year… Soon

Year of the RatI’m going to cheat this year. That’s not a resolution, that’s a fact. Today is January 1st, 2008, and I usually start my annual attempt at another LifeFocus Card based Routinization cycle. Typically I last until my birthday, which is about 50 days. This year I’m going to aim quite a bit farther and try get enough momentum to last a full trip around the sun.

But not quite yet. I got my computer back on December 31st, 2007. It is now a tabula rasa, which means it will take me a few days to install software, tweak configurations, copy files over, and then update the system. I will also be using some serious back-up software this year!At any rate, this will take some time. So I’m cheating. I’m not going to start my New Year until February 7th: the Chinese New Year. Two-thousand and eight is the Year of the Rat, which is also my birth animal, so it is supposed to be “my year”, or at least have special significance to me.This is my Reboot, my Year of Living Creatively.