Saturday, October 29, 2011

Dilbert - Marketing

A little harsh, maybe...not too far off about marketing, though.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Headlight - A Real "Game Changer"

Regular readers may recall that I don’t like to use clichés and that their overuse in popular media tends to make my skin crawl. This or that thing being proclaimed a “game changer” by some breathless, young TV talking head…well, you get the point. However, let me take a moment to share something I really do view as a “game changer.”

Had the heating tech out yesterday and ushered him into the bowels of the house where the heating beast resides…not much light in there. I was ready with a long power cord and bright work light, but the guy never asked for it!

When I checked in on him, I saw he was wearing the most amazing “game changer” I had seen in a long time. It was a small headband with a very bright LED light array attached to the center of his forehead. He was quietly and effectively working away with BOTH of his hands, a bright light shining wherever he looked, and absolutely oblivious to the fact that he was in our black hole of Calcutta.

This topic doesn’t need many words…if you work with your hands doing anything, you will immediately see the benefit. Cost: about $12 to $20 at your local home repair warehouse, uses 3 triple A batteries, life is about 15-hours or more, mine weighs just under 3 oz with batteries—hardly noticeable, light element section rotates downward so you can see what you are doing while sitting.

Caution: The added benefit of it throwing light where you are looking will also blind an innocent bystander, should you turn to look at them. On the other hand, most “innocent bystanders” are usually offering unsolicited advice about the job YOU are doing, so maybe the retina boiling beam will discourage those irritations, too.

Maybe these lights have been around for a long time and the rest of the world has long known of them, but then again, I haven’t spent much time browsing the fix ‘em up emporiums in recent years. Go get yourself one of these, or maybe 2 or 3….you will be pleased.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Miss Fort Worth 1963 & 1964

George Bradford (Class of 1960), probably said it best in his reunion bio, “…To be able to go to a brand new high school was something that could only happen once at Eastern Hills. I thought that we had the best looking girls in Fort Worth and I was right.” To tell the truth, I don’t recall if any ’62 or ’61 Highlanders competed in the Miss Ft. Worth contest or not, but I did stumble across these two pictures of the 1963 and 1964 contestants. Eastern Hills contributed 2 of the final 12 contestants in 1963 and 2 in 1964. They were Celia Beall, Susan Begley, Shelia Ward, and Sharon Parks. Susan finished second and I don’t recall how Celia, Sharon, and Shelia came out.

After we left EH for college, Judy Hill was named the 1965 Maid of Cotton and Pam Shear finished second in the Miss Mohair pageant. George Bradford had it right…we did share the EHHS hallways with some of the best looking girls in Ft. Worth.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Computers & Fords

I don’t normally forward email jokes etc. around, but this one sent to me by a friend, is worth sharing.  For all of us who feel only the deepest love and affection for the way computers have enhanced our lives, read on.

At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated,

'If Ford had kept up with technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill Gates's comments, Ford issued a press release, stating:

'If Ford had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics (and I just love this part):

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash......... twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive - but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single 'This Car Has Performed An Illegal Operation' warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask 'Are you sure?' before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time a new car was introduced, car buyers would have to learn how to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as in the old car.

10. You'd have to press the 'Start' button to turn the engine off.

PS - I 'd like to add that when all else fails, you could call 'customer service' in some foreign country and be instructed in some foreign language how to fix your car yourself!!!!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Girl Scouts

These members of the Class of 1963 earned the Girl Scouts’ highest award, The Curved Bar, at the beginning of 9th grade at Meadowbrook. I think the Curved Bar was somewhat equivalent to the Eagle Scout award achieved by a few boys in each class.

Awarded the Girl Scouts’ Curved Bar pins were: Linda Barr, Nancy Barnes, Jeanette Barber, Nancy Lathrop, Francina Mason, Jametta Long, Susie Wadlington, Susan Hofmann, Janet Hooton, and Susan Begley.I recall Susie and Susan as being class scholars; Linda, Jeanette, Jametta, and Janet as being athletic; and the Nancy(s) were active with student publications.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tom and Steve and Sam and Football

Eastern Hills was already a cohesive society when most of us arrived Fall 1960. The older classes of 1961 & 1962 had already been together for a year or two and the new school had already started to establish some of its first traditions. The first graduating Class of 1960 had just moved on to college, but their names still echoed in the hallways, classrooms, and locker room…Spain, Gregory, Bradford, and others. I didn’t know them, but the older ones did.

Before that, I found transferring into Meadowbrook as an 8th grade student somewhat difficult. It wasn’t so much a matter of finding acceptance as it was in trying to understand the existing relationships. And, if you were like me, Junior High was a pretty wretched time with its variety of social, academic, and athletic pressures.

One constant I saw at Meadowbrook Jr. Hi. that continued all of our years at Eastern Hills was a trio of accomplished football players that always were amongst our best—Tom Koebernick, Steve Means, and Sam Scott. In seeking older class pictures, something I’ve found intriguing has been discovering visual evidence of certain relationships that existed years before many of us joined this class. Tom, Steve, and Sam were one example.  

Tom Koebernick was a perennial favorite…we elected him to the class presidency twice at EHHS and at least that often at Meadowbrook JHS. Tom was a leader starting in the 1st grade at Meadowbrook Elementary and by the time we reached EHHS, electing him to office had become a 1963 class tradition. Over the course of those elementary school years, he developed friendships with a number of our future Class of 1963; some of the closest of them being, Steve Means, Bob Larmer, and Sam Scott. 
The pictures accompanying this article: The first picture was published in the Star-Telegram in 1956 above a caption telling of Sam and Tom scoring 90-points for the Meadowbrook Mavericks Peewee football team. Another picture shows Sam Scott’s father, Sam Scott II, wearing his Peewee football sweater…Sam Sr. was the team coach.

The 8th grade Meadowbrook Jr. Hi. team picture taken fall 1958 show Tom and Sam together. When those group pictures were organized, it was relatively common for friends to place themselves nearby one another. The 1952-53 second grade class picture shows an obvious affinity between Tom and Steve at an early time.

And below, perhaps the most remarkable picture of this small collection…the 1962 EHHS championship, first-string football defense showing Steve, Sam, and Tom in their positions. In addition to their having achieved starting positions on that first championship team, Sam was named to the All-District 4A-5 team; Steve and Tom were named All-District Honorable Mentions.

Further, these kids were not dumb jocks; Tom and Steve graduated with Magna Cum Laude honors, while Sam graduated Cum Laude. The coaches and local newspapers frequently commented on how smart this team was and here is one example of it. Neat story, isn’t it?


Monday, October 10, 2011

1962 EHHS vs. Dallas Samuell Publicity

During the week leading up to the first foray EH made into the State football playoffs, the Star Telegram and Fort Worth Press writers and photographers spent quite a bit of time at the school gathering special interest stories and pictures. These are some of those pictures featuring some of the team players and lovely young ladies from our Senior and Junior classes.

Featured are Shelia Ward, Pam Shear, Mike Moore, Sam Scott, Jackie Howe, Tom Koebernick, Ted Harris, Mollie Howell, Julie Hudson, Susan Begley, Judy Hill, Phil Nixon, and Bill Winkler.

As one of the headlines shows, our strength was significantly cut by injuries. In addition to the loss of David Bane and Gene Cartwright, we also lost Ted Harris and Tom Koebernick at the corners and Sam Scott was weak, recovering from the flu. The final result was 0-7 which was a bit of a blessing, given the talent mismatch made worse by the injuries.


Sunday, October 09, 2011

Early EHHS - Poly - Handley Class Rings

Thought it might be a good idea to post some good quality images of our class rings when I can find good quality files online. I'm looking for a Handley ring to round out this post; then it will show an early EHHS ring along with some contemporary pictures of rings from the 2 schools that contributed some or all of their student populations to form EHHS.

Balfour made the Poly ring while Haltoms made the EHHS ring shown.


Friday, October 07, 2011

Day the Music Died

Steve Jobs died recently and that’s a shame. The shame is that he only got 56-years; the blessing was that they were very good years. Our own Steve has been gone for 6-years now and he got 4-years more than did Steve Jobs. Just pondering….

The purpose of this posting is not to eulogize someone I didn’t know. Except for a project on the other side of the earth where an Apple computer was all that was available, I’ve not used any of his company’s products. The purpose of this posting is to suggest that when the music stops, one’s opportunity to sing along also stops. What does Gus mean?

Gus respectfully suggests that when he asks you to contribute a picture or scan of something for the Highlander blog he thinks you may have, maybe while the music is still playing, you could find a minute or two to send Gus what he requested. We’ve already gotten 11-more years than Steve Jobs got, so who knows how much longer we have? Could be a lot; could be lights out tomorrow.

What do you say? And for those of you who think no response is a legitimate response, let me suggest that it is not. It’s just bad-mannered.


Monday, October 03, 2011

Dilbert - Servers Down

Scott Adams has nailed it again. When bankers buy a company, they usually have a 5-year horizon to "add value" and improve EBIT "matrices" before they dump their "financially engineered" creation off to another group of moneyed morons. Watch the old Wall Street film, ("greed is good") for a dramatization of what I'm talking about.

Generally, they have little clue about how the companies they purchase do their thing, but do know from the starting balance sheet that they can't screw things up so badly that it implodes before they dump it within their 5-year window.  In the meantime, they install a temporary "management team" of revolving door flunkies to watch over their pillaging of the company and do what they must to keep the bones together during that 5-year window.

Invariably, leaders similar to Dilbert's Pointy-Haired boss are installed at key positions and given the charge to reduce their “headcounts.”  One of the commonalities these pointy-haired leaders share is an almost manic drive to avoid taking responsibility for any of the technology being used by their “headcounts.”  To their underlings…the ones who are often responsible for the success of the enterprise the bankers bought…these new leaders are viewed as empty suits, which they often are.  Adams has captured one small glimpse of this dynamic very well indeed.