Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013 from Heather & Jeff

What we have been up to:

Heather graduated from UCSB with honors.

Jeff took a surreal business trip to Mexico City.
Our sweet trouble-maker bunny (Millie) died and we shed some tears as we buried her in a special place.

We discovered a new favorite place, the Getty Museum.

We took an awesome trip to Portland and Ashland Oregon where we indulged in delicious vegan cuisine and enjoyed some stage plays.
Jeff helped to close and sell the previous company he worked for (Aviesta) and is now working hard to build a digital marketing consulting business (Digital Performance Marketing Group) with his previous employer.

Heather is starting a business of her own which we think will be a successful home product. It is top secret now but you will be sure to hear more about it soon!

We adopted a bunny to keep Blake company. She has many names (Hera, Brown One, Shadow, etc.) and she is a good friend to Blake. Heather also rescued a baby bunny named Sunny from being euthanized. We are currently fostering him and we might make it permanent.

We got season passes to Disneyland and have used them three times so far which Heather is very happy about. The only way she would be happier is if it was six times.

In August, we moved from Santa Barbara to Ventura to get a bigger place and to continue to the next phase of life. Being in Ventura has been different and interesting. Jeff especially likes living one mile from a famous surf spot and has caught a few of the best waves of his life.

We were able to see almost all of our family members and received visits from a few of Jeff’s old pals and their kids! (Preston, Jake, Jared, Todd, Chad, Nathan and Families!)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Jeff & Heather

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Gmail Genius

So this is google's game with the new gmail tabs. Paid, in-line email ads. The 2-step roll out is pretty clever. Adding a great end-user feature and a new revenue stream.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Gmail "Promotions" Tab

As a gmail user I think, "Nice!"

As an email marketer I think, "Good thing most of our audience uses hotmail."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Divorce Rate

I have heard this statistic so many times (over the last 5-8 years) that, "50% of all marriages end in divorce."

I want to know who is calculating this and how they are calculating it. I know it CAN be calculated, but it seems very difficult to do properly and if done properly, may not be as bad as it sounds. Does anyone have any information on the formula or method used to make this claim? I think many people interpret this statistic to mean "if I get married there is a 50% chance that it will end in divorce" and I don't think it means that (depending of course on how it is actually calculated - or if it is actually true!)

A few thoughts about why it is difficult to calculate:
1. Do annulments count as divorces?
2. Assuming they do, are there any other ways to end a marriage other than divorce or death?
3. Does that mean 50% of marriages end by one or both parties dying? (That doesn't sound all that bad that way)
4. Marriage is a contract survival model, so if you take a slice of the population at a given time you will not be counting all the marriages that have yet to end in divorce
5. It would seem that it may be more likely to say, 50% of marriages get a divorce in the first x years or something like that, otherwise how could you compare a marriage in 2012 to a marriage in 1987?

A few thoughts about why it may not be AS bad as it sounds:
1. Consider 10 people. They all marry to create 5 marriages. 3 remain married until death. 2 end in divorce leaving 4 people single. They swap partners and create 2 new marriages. 1 ends in divorce, the other ends in death. The yield is 7 marriages created, 3 end in divorce and 4 end in death. 4 people of the 10 (40%) got a divorce while 3 marriages of the 7 ended in divorce (42%). When you start modeling people like Newt Gingrich who have had 4 divorces (?) you can see why the statistic may be misleading. Some people are much more inclined to get divorces than others and if they have multiple divorces it affects the overall metric.

A more extreme example: Consider 4 people. 2 marry and remain until death. 2 get married and divorced 5 times. There are 6 total marriages, 5 of which end in divorce. 83% of the marriages ended in divorce. Only 50% of the population experienced one or more divorces.

It would seem a much more meaningful metric would be the % of people to experience one or more divorces within the first 10 years of marriage, 20 years of marriage, 30 years, 40, 50, etc. It would be a growing percentage for each timeframe and you could compare different marriage entry years at each time threshold to compare the trend.

Another method would be considering % of first marriages as a separate metric from second marriages, third and so on.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Flower power

I just learned vanilla is a product of an orchid flower. I have a new favorite flower. (Not sure what the old one was.)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Cure for Road Rage

It has almost been a year since my last blog post. I think that may be related to the fact that the Subway near my office is now closed. No more meditation sessions over foot-longs.

I have tried different approaches to convincing myself to not to get worked up when other drivers make aggressive or seemingly inconsiderate moves.

In retrospect, the cure seems perfectly suited for me.

I read an article about x number of driving habits to improve fuel economy from some auto publication online. Unfortunately I cannot remember the links. They claimed to have experimented with a large sample size of different vehicles but did not actually include any information from the tests. Most of the points they made were fairly logical but others were counter-intuitive.

For one, it said if you need to cool down, roll your windows down if you are off the freeway, but turn on the A/C if you are on the freeway. Simple enough.

The habits that I applied that really cured the rage were:
1) Try to avoid using brakes. If you have to use your brakes, you used too much fuel to get there too quickly. It kills kinetic energy.
2) 55 is most cars optimal cruising speed for fuel efficiency. Unless you are driving really far, if you drive 55 or 65 you will get there at almost the same time on average. Maybe 30 seconds later. The article did include that it is unwise to go slower than the flow of traffic, but hey, if your lane is going 55, don't sweat it.

Now the reason these habits or mindsets cured my rage is because it gave me a reason to not drive aggressively and it helped me realize the cost of driving aggressively. When someone accelerates and cuts me off and hits the brakes, I used to think, "Oh that jerk, I have to teach him a lesson and create a social cost for him so he won't do it next time." It is my desire for justice as well as applied economic reasoning. Now I think, "Poor sap is going to pay for that at the tank. Oh well, his choice. If he wants to make costly choices, its his money." I mean, there are still externalities there, but at least there is some existing cost to put my mind at ease. I no longer feel the anger and need to enforce driving etiquette.

The best part is I also gained a MPG or two by using the new habits.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Toilet Seat Covers

Its time seat covers are changed!

Why is the poke-out tab attached at all? It just rips! There is no quick/easy way to detach the middle portion from the sides and front. If it comes predetached, no problem at all.

That was my beef and solution until I read this: The Oatmeal, Public Toilets. So true.

Sorry for the language.