Annoying Amtrak Patrons

So, it’s a crowded morning train. You’re lucky to get one seat, let alone get a pair of seats by yourself.
But when you’re the annoying woman who’s sitting in a four-seat (two facing two), and you’ve filled the seat next to you with your bag, have your feet propped up across from you, and have intentionally placed your “read” newspaper sections on the seat diagonally across from you? You have absolutely no pity coming to you, whatsoever.
And this is why, as I sit in the seat that I made her take her newspaper sections off of, while her feet remain propped up on the seat next to me, that I felt no compunction whatsoever about plopping my briefcase on top of hers. 🙂

The Chances of Another Pink Floyd Tour Keep Diminishing

Today, music lost someone special, Richard Wright, keyboardist for Pink Floyd, died today after a battle with cancer.
I feel lucky to have managed to catch a couple of dates on Pink Floyd’s last actual tour, as they promoted The Division Bell in 1994 time frame. The last time they had reunited (along with former guitarist Roger Waters) was for the Live 8 charity concert in 2005 (which as D can attest, I was flabbergasted that – in the middle of their set – MTV chose to break away for a commercial break. I can remember screaming at the TV that “no matter how much the sponsor pays, you don’t fucking break away from Pink Floyd’s reunion, ever.”)
They truly were a band that could not be rivaled on-stage, and the chances of that magic ever being recreated now probably approaches zero.
You’ll be missed, sir.

The Voice Of God Is Silent

Movie trailers and television commercials simply will not be the same.
Don LaFontaine, the “Voice of God”, the king of movie trailer voiceovers, passed away yesterday.
Lots of people have tried to imitate his delivery over the years, but this guy truly was the best at his business, ever. As someone who often spends more time enjoying the trailers than I do the movies they are promoting, I can definitely say he’s going to be missed.

The Police Pack It In

Last night, D and I attended the final concert of The Police, ever (or at least, that’s the official story). It was quite the “celebrity affair” … Mickey Dolenz, Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Leonardo DiCaprio, Debbie Harry, James Gandolfini, we saw them all. (In fact, to a certain extent I saw too much of Gandolfini, as — two rows behind him — every time I moved my head to be able to see one part of the stage it seemed like his head followed *chuckle*). D even joked a little bit about how weird it was to see “Tony Soprano” bopping and dancing with the music.
From start to finish it was full of pleasant and humorous surprises – from the NYPD marching band providing ample assistance on Message In A Bottle, to Sting’s daughters (and later everyone’s kids) coming out on stage and dancing along with Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, to a (literal) “Fat Lady” singing at the end of the show over the Warner Bros. “That’s All Folks” anthem, there was no lack of entertainment.
It’s a little sad that the reunion tour is over, but I’m glad to have been able to attend a couple nights of it, especially this one.
Video of the “final song ever” (with occasional appearances of the back of Gandolfini’s head) here and Flickr stream here.

MicroHoo, The Aftermath

So a bunch of my friends have been asking me what I think of the Yahoo/Microsoft situation, now that it’s over.
As a former Yahoo…
I’m glad Microsoft didn’t complete the acquisition. It would have been a bloodbath in multiple ways. The “suicide rate” as people who hate Microsoft with a passion jumped ship would be huge. Then there would have been the inevitable layoffs as competing products were culled, or HR departments were merged, or whatever.
Even my friends who are “unhappy” at Yahoo would not have been happier with their new Microsoft overlords.
Now, as a shareholder?
I have to agree with Bill Miller from Legg Mason (Yahoo’s second-largest shareholder). He told the New York Times that if you’re going to climb up on the grandstand and say your stock is worth $37.00 a share, and you’re sitting on $2.3 Billion in cash reserves, then the absolute smart strategy is to buy back your stock from the market whenever the market is valuing it so far below what you think it’s worth.
And if you’re NOT buying it back, then how can you honestly say it’s worth $37.00 a share?
And if it isn’t really worth $37.00 a share, and that’s why you’re not even willing to pay $24.37 a share for it to buy it back from the open market, then why didn’t you accept $33.00 a share for it from the potential buyer?
Shareholders don’t care about whether or not people like their new corporate overlords, they care about stock performance.
If Yahoo starts snatching up a crapton of stock from the market, then IMHO, they’re putting their money where their mouth is with regard to the stock valuation. If they don’t, then that was just a crappy excuse for not selling out to Microsoft, and is an affront to their responsibilities to the shareholders.