Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Ambient news: All the news most people want

Ambient news is proving a significant challenge to news organizations trying to serve readers on multiple digital platforms and maintain their print and broadcast news operations.

Contemporary technologies all around us are now delivering breaking news, sports scores, and market updates on electronic screens and displays in elevators, taxis and buses, bars and restaurants, on the sides of buildings, through smartphones, and via social media.

In years past, we all had to deliberately turn to newspapers or radio and television newscasts, or at least glance at headlines at news stands, to get a quick overview of major events. That era is past.

Today news is free and ubiquitous and, unfortunately, provides all the news that most people want. This is bad news for those trying to provide news commercially.

In the past, newspapers and newscasts filled their space and time with non-news features and information designed to attract audiences that wanted only a little news. Most newspapers, for example, rarely carried more than 20 percent hard news during the past 50 years and provided a heavy diet of sports, entertainment, lifestyle and other diversionary content. Today, light news readers who formerly bought papers for non-news articles find plenty of that information for free on television and the Internet and they are abandoning newspapers and news broadcasts.

Those who remain the audiences of newspapers and new broadcasts tend to be heavy news consumers, people who want significant amount of news and serious information. They value the kind of news reporting that provides social benefits. Unfortunately, they are getting less and less of that news as publishers, news producers, and editors continue pursuing the audiences that have left them and are satisfied by ambient news. In doing so, news executives are leaving their prime audiences of heavy news consumers increasingly dissatisfied and without much incentive to pay the increasing prices needed to maintain established news organizations.

If print and broadcast news organizations are to survive and serve the purposes for which they were established, they are going to have to start paying attention to the audiences they have, rather than the audiences they wish they had.

Handmade See Saw-Made by Me!

Guess what. 
I've been doing a little wood working...
and I'm totally digging it..
like a whole lot!
S.R. asked the hubs to build her a see saw the other day. 
I found the plans on Ana White's website, and after looking them over, I decided that I could make it....all by myself.
The hubs has been so hard at work on the half bath, I thought it would be one less thing for him to worry over, and I could try my hand at construction.
He cut all of the wood for me because pressure treated wood is so heavy. I needed his muscles to straighten the base a bit (the wood was warped) and to attach the see part of the saw(is that right??;o)), but other than that, I did it by myself. 
S.R. kept asking me if I was sure I knew what I was doing...I did because the instructions were so easy to follow. I plan on staining the wood to match the play set soon.
The kids LOVE their new toy. The neighbor kids LOVE the new toy. I LOVE that I made something that everyone LOVES! Now I'm ready to find something else to build...any suggestions?;o)
On a side note, I thought I would share the beautiful rainbow we had in our backyard the other day...I love moments like these when we can take a second to appreciate God's promises. 
I hope you all are having a great day. Try to stay cool in this heat!

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Business July 17th, 2013: The Beauty Bar and the Beast Edition

Can you do the CanCan at Cannes?  You can ask this week’s guest that question and many more* as we welcome the fabulous Anna Seregina!

Anna Seregina is a San Francisco-based stand-up comic and performer. She was born in Moscow, Russia, which could explain her deep-rooted cynicism. It could also explain nothing. After being involved in theater and improv for nearly a decade and being funny for nearly a lifetime, she decided to take the plunge into stand-up comedy. Her style can nearly be defined as vocal and un-lady-like, drawing heavily on what little life experience she has. She has been described as having the "worst aura." She has performed in the 2013 & 2012 SF Sketchfest, the inaugural SF Comedy & Burrito Festival, the 2012 SF Comedy Day Festival, and the Bruise Cruise Festival. She is a regular performer at the Porchlight Storytelling series, and has been picked as one of six emerging stand-up acts in the Bay Area comedy scene by Bold Italic. Most facts about her are true. Most truths about her are facts. She is a sensational dancer.

PLUS PLUS PLUS we have the fabulous Alex Falcone!

Alex Falcone is a fresh, young, moderately attractive comedian living in Portland, OR.  Here's just a sample of the cool stuff he does:
He appeared on the IFC show Portlandia.
He writes for the Portland Mercury.
He's the host and head writer of the live talk show Late Night Action.
He is the host and producer of the surprisingly popular podcast Read it and Weep, which dissects the worst books, movies, and TV shows.
He's performed at such awesome festivals as Bumbershoot in Seattle, the Bridgetown Comedy Festival in Portland, Sketchfest in San Francisco, and the New York City Podfest.
Despite all these amazing accomplishments, he remains totally down to earth and approachable.

All that plus all your regulars!  Sean “Pretty Boy” Keane, Caitlin “Fancy” Gill, Bucky “Buck Naked” Sinister and “Naughty” Nato Green.

Get there early cause we sell this bitch out.



The Business July 3rd, 2013: The Drenndependence Day Edition

Before we all take flight on bald eagles into the night’s sky, ablaze with spectacular fireworks (made in China), to celebrate the breech birth of this pretty bitch Amurrica let’s get together and celebrate our greatest national tradition, Business.

With Drennon Davis!

From his elaborate characters and sketches, to his provocative songs and animation, Drennon has made a name for himself as one of the most innovative minds in today’s comedy scene. His live performances of the Imaginary Radio Program combine live music and beat-boxing with one-man sketches into a show
that the Los Angeles Comedy Bureau writes "not only lives up to its name, but exceeds expectation in what you could possibly think it is." Drennon was featured on NBC's Last Call and was a semi finalist on Last Comic Standing.

And THE FUTURE: Kelly Anneken!

Kelly Anneken is the co-founder & artistic director of East Bay feminist sketch comedy troupe Femikaze, sketch writer for SF talk show "A Funny Night for Comedy," managing editor of online humor journal Hobo Pancakes, and co-host of "Up Yours, Downstairs! A Downton Abbey Podcast." In her copious free time, Kelly also performs standup comedy, as she will demonstrate.

And the oh-so-fine Ronn Vigh!

Ronn Vigh’s brash attitude and acerbic wit have earned him a comparison to a young Joan Rivers by SF Weekly. Which is a fitting comparison, since he went on to write jokes for E! Television’s “Fashion Police” co-hosted by Joan Rivers.

Join us, one and all. (except we sell out, so not technically “all”)

Just $5 dollars.  AMERICAN dollars.  Keep your Euros at home.


The Business June 26, 2013: The Business: The League of their Own Edition

This week, it just so happens that we get to laugh at a buncha Peaches.  Who knows, maybe we’ll even be managed by Tom Hanks!!  THERE’S NO CRYING IN BUSINESS.

This week’s line up is full of heavy hitters like Colleen Watson!

Colleen may be perceived as cynical, but that’s just because life is crap. She’s the kind of girl you’d get drunk with at a bar because she was sitting next to you, you’re both drinking, and she won’t leave. She is a rising comic in the San Francisco comedy scene and was a part of the 5 Funny Females tour. She’s a regular at Rooster T Feathers and the San Francisco Punch Line. She has worked with acts such as Dave Attell, Doug Benson, Chris Kattan, Laurie Kilmartin and Arj Barker. You can see on stages nightly through out the Bay Area.

The infectious (in a good way) Shanti Charan!

Shanti Charan’s bubbly personality and contagious smile lure in audiences and her comedic abilities keeps them laughing. She is a fast-rising fresh face in the Bay Area comedy scene. Her ability to formulate quick connections makes it easy for her to communicate with diverse audiences. She won 1st place in the 2011 Rooster T Feather’s Comedy Competition and participated in the 2011 San Francisco International Comedy Competition where she advanced to the semi-finals. Charan was recently awarded SF Weekly’s 2012 Best Stand-Up on the Way Up. SF Weekly says Charan’s writing “is clever and confident beyond her years.”

The sportacular Joey Devine, who insists that there IS crying in basketball!

Joey Devine was the creator and host of the acclaimed live talk show "Joey Devine After Dark," and currently runs "Move Along, Nothing To See Here: A Comedy Show" at the Night Light in Oakland. He's performed at SF Sketchfest, the SF Punch Line, and was a founding member of cult SF sketch group Frown Land. Joey currently resides on the island of Alameda with an older couple.

Of course, our regulars will be there as well, Bucky Sinister, Sean Keane and Nato Green.


Just $5!  JUST $5!

BYOBurrito, peanuts and crackerjack.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Fresh Picked Flowers

I love fresh flowers. I picked these from our backyard. Aren't they pretty? I hope you're having a great day!
We're in the middle of a bathroom reno right now...tiny spaces make me I think I'll just peruse Pinterest and look at my pretty flowers...that way I won't have to go paint;o)

Friday, July 12, 2013

LEGO Table

I have been in major build mode this week. I have stepped away from the sewing machine, and have been trying my hand at power tools. I have had so much fun, and I LOVE that my husband keeps a well stocked garage:o)

I have had this table in the attic for about two years. I purchased it from a local yard sale page for $5. It was an awkward sort of table and very dated, but when inexpensive furniture presents itself to me, I buy immediately and ask questions's not always the best approach, but my approach, nonetheless;o)
A couple of nights ago, we were all in the playroom building LEGO scenes, and that's when the idea struck me that E needed a LEGO table. 
And, so it was.
This was the before..a very dated, very drab piece of furniture.
 I used a jig saw to cut out the top....very LOUD, I might add...and, no I was not wearing any ear protection.
It was a hot and humid day, so the red spray paint didn't want to dry. I had to spray a coat, and then bring it inside between coats. My house smelled delightful...NOT! If you follow along on Facebook, you got to see what red over spray will do to blonde hair. I'm happy to report that Dawn dish washing liquid stripped the paint right out of my hair, thankfully!!
I found the LEGO plate at Target for $14.99.  The plate was attached to the base of the table with liquid nails, and trimmed out with quarter round.
I'm so happy with the end result, and so is E.
 Now it's the perfect little end table.
And if you're wondering...those are marker lines on the side of the's a playroom..anything goes, or so it would seem:o)

Participating here:
Lady Behind the Curtain
Crafty Confessions



Craft Dictator



Friday, July 5, 2013

Why Would an Employer Give an Employee an Informal Loan? Commitment

Richard Hunt and Mat Hayward fom the University of Colorado were interested in employees who asked their employer for a loan, because they had no money but, for instance, had to buy a car, pay for their daughter’s wedding, medical bills, buy food and utilities, or faced home eviction. Therefore, they undertook to survey and interview small and medium-sized building contractors in Colorado.  No fewer than 67 percent of companies lent at least one of their employees money, with an average of about $1,100. Hunt and Hayward looked at 83 of them in more depth.

The first thing they found out was that, of the 459 loans that these 83 companies in combination handed out to one of their employees, no fewer than 57 percent were completely informal; meaning without any contract or any other formal enforcement mechanism. Why would firms do this? Even if they wanted to lend them money, why not give them a contract for the loan? This was puzzling because making it an informal, instead of formal loan with a contract, left the employer vulnerable to cheating by the employee. Because the employee simply could not pay back, or eventually even somehow inform the tax authorities (since informal loans are illegal). Why would employers voluntarily take that risk?

Hunt and Hayward theorised that employers granting the loan sometimes deliberately make themselves vulnerable towards the employee - by choosing an informal arrangement rather than a contract – to solicit trust and commitment from the employee. Granting a loan to a valuable employee in his time of need and do that in a way which explicitly makes the employer itself vulnerable could create substantial commitment and reciprocity from the employee, grateful for the loan and honoured by the trust placed upon him.

In conformity with this theoretical perspective, Hunt and Hayward found that informal loans were indeed more often extended when the employee needed the money for something personal and emotional, such as a wedding, a graduation, or to pay medical bills. When the loan concerned buying stuff (e.g. a car), paying off a credit card debt or rent, employers more often resorted to a formal contractual loan.

Moreover, Hunt and Hayward conjectured that employers would be more likely to make such an informal loan (rather than a formal, contract-based one) to employees who they were more eager to keep. And indeed they found that the informal loans were more often extended to better performing employees; those that were neither very young nor old (but just the right age to be both experienced and still have many productive years ahead of them), and at a time when the firm was most dependent on them, because it was still relatively new and small, and did not yet have a big backlog in terms of outstanding work assignments.

The question is: Did it work? Does extending an informal loan – at thus putting yourself at risk of being cheated on – result in improved (financial) performance? Hunt and Hayward showed that the answer is a resounding yes: their findings indicated that employers were better able to retain employees to whom they had extended such a loan. Furthermore, their calculations showed that it resulted in enhanced employer profit. Hence, making yourself vulnerable (by not asking for a formal contract) eventually paid off in financial terms.


Paper presented at the “Sumantra Ghoshal Conference for Managerially Relevant Research” at the London Business School
Our vulnerability is my gain: Linking exchange parties’ vulnerability to informal transactions and firm performance. Richard Hunt & Mathew Hayward (University of Colorado at Boulder)
Paper summary published with permission from the authors.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Window Valance and New Look for the Couch

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I got to spend some good old fashioned quality time with my little family, so it was definitely a good weekend for me.
In the midst of that, I was able to finish the window valance and pillows for S.R.'s couch.
If you were with me during Crafting with the Stars, you know that the hubs built this couch for S.R. It was made to fit a crib mattress so that it could be used as a bed for her guests, or for E when they are having "sleepovers".
This little couch has gotten a LOT of use! 
 The large pillow in the back is something I made with some of the remnants of the quilt fabric. Super easy to whip up. The other three pillows were purchased from Target. The square pillows had been marked down to $5.99 and the bolster pillow was around $13. The crib sheet was another Target purchase, and it may have been around $9.99.
 The window valance took some planning and searching online for inspiration. After about an hour, I finally decided to take a few different ideas and put them together.
I really like the end result and I like it much better than the panels that were there before. 
This room has been a lot of fun to put together. Just one more post on S.R.'s "bigger girl room." I'll share with you the art project that is going on the wall beside her bed. 
To see the finished quilt, you can go HERE.
Thanks for stopping by!