Yesterday Marla and I treated ourselves to supper at the local Waffle House. (#1720 to be exact) We were talking with the waitress who had worked the local snowstorm. WH had put its employees up at a local hotel and transported them to work. She was amazed that they turned over about $1,000 per shift. She said a usual shift ran only about $500. I compared this with where one of my sons works: at a Pappa John's near downtown Atlanta. He said that during the snow they just did carry-out one day and did $6,000 worth. Several times a month they'll do gross receipts of over $10,000. I was struck that a good day at Pappa John's is over three times the dollar volume of a good day at Waffle House. Is there any compendium that lists the average gross dollar volume of various franchises like this? I'm sure there must be, but it's probably an expensive paywall-guarded report.
There was an old saying in datacom: "Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of mag tape." I've updated that over the years: in the '90s I figured the bandwidth of a minivan full of CDROMs, in the 2000s, a SUV full of DVDs, and now I've updated it for this decade by figuring the bandwidth of a Prius full of thumb drives. Have fun!
We've already gotten more rain this year than we did all last year, and almost a whole year's worth through mid-August. See:
Sometimes makers in the Atlanta area ask where a good salvage place is. I've driven past this one a number of times and finally stopped in for a visit. Here's my photo album of the place. It's on highway 129 outside of Gainesville, GA on the way to Athens. As with any salvage place, the things you'll see when you visit won't be the ones depicted here, but it should give you a flavor of what's available. Have fun, and happy hunting!
This morning after breakfast at the local Waffle House, I asked the waitress about the new touch-screen Jukebox. Did people actually use it? Not really, only the employees. Why? Because the old jukebox would spontaneously play a song every half-hour or so. This let everybody in the place know "Hey I'm a jukebox over here. I play nice music." It was an advertisement. After it played a song, someone would generally saunter over and stoke it with legal tender (extra points if you know what story-teller coined that phrase, pun intended). But the new jukebox never plays a free song, so people don't think about playing music at the Waffle House any more.
As part of the social media class I'm taking at Emory, I'm now on Twitter. I'm @iblamm.
I Googled for the phrase "mournful banjo" and came up with pages of results. Mournful banjo? All the banjo music I've ever heard has been upbeat and happy. I actually listened to a couple of tracks that claimed to be mournful, but they didn't seem that way to me. What say you?
Ever notice how the handicapped parking spots are the ones closest to the front door of a business, but the handicapped bathroom stalls are the ones farthest from the bathroom door? What's up with that?
Today Amazon Web Services (aws) introduced a new archiving solution: Glacier. It's for archiving data and has a very, very low cost of only one cent per gigabyte per month. Amazon says it's for archiving and backup data. On the surface, it looks good: very few limits, handles huge data, good API, very low cost. But I'd never use it for backup. Why? The restore time. Amazon says once you request retrieval, it may take 3.5 to 4.5 hours to get your data staged to be ready for retrieval. A wise SysAdmin friend of mine once said "The most critical part of backup is recovery time. After that, almost nothing else matters in terms of speed." He's right. When a system's down and dead, the amount of time it takes to recover data from a backup is the main thing, the ONLY thing. I just can't see waiting 4 hours after a crash to get you data ready to be downloaded as a viable backup strategy for any online business.
The cover of the latest Costco Magazine has a photo of a man captioned "Education provocateur Sir Ken Robinson" A friend's card says "Brand Futurist", somebody on LinkedIn the other day was asking about the title "maven." So: provocateur, futurist, maven, how do I get a gig like this? I know these people just make up these titles. What odd titles have you come across, and what would be yours?
A series of booms heard in Wisconsin earlier this week rattled windows and woke residents. The official line is that it was caused by magnitude 1.5 earthquake. Really? How much energy would be in an earthquake that size and would it produce that kind of tremors? The Richter scale is logarithmic, with each point in the scale about 10 times the energy of the one below it. Consulting Wolfram Alpha for the numbers, we see an earthquake of that size would release about 11 Megajoules or 5.9 lbs of TNT, or given a stick of dynamite releases 2.1 Megajoules, about 5 sticks of dynamite. So could 5 sticks of dynamite cause booms like that? Probably if they were in the open air, but underground where earthquakes happen? Sounds iffy to me.