Friday, May 19, 2006

The Story

1 week, 1 hour and 20 minutes ago, I got up on stage to propose to Brandy in front of about a hundred people, including half her family.

Every year since 2000, employees of Phillips 66, near the little town of Sweeny, TX, organize a BBQ cook-off contest, as a benefit for one of their families in need. They raise money through raffles, live and silent auctions. It's a very fun event which a good chunk of her family attends every year. We were there last year.

We'd been planning to attend this year again.

Last Sunday, I dropped Brandy off at LAX so she could attend a work conference the whole week, at the end of which I would meet her for the event, kicked-off on Friday evening. It gave me time to plot in peace.

I picked-up Mr. Bling on Tuesday morning, on Tuesday night asked her Dad and Mom for their blessing over a one-way iChat Video conference, where they could see me, and I couldn't see them. It was the most nerve-wracking step of this whole week, including, surprisingly, getting-up on stage. It was a very important moment for me, and of all things, I didn't want to mess that up. It's her parents, their baby-girl. They'd both been very nice and welcoming to me in the past, and, as i'd hoped they did give me their blessing ( \o/ ). We proceeded to plot the whole thing.

I flew up on Thursday night, and it took every bone in my body to try to act in a semi-normal fashion around Brandy until Friday night. I almost delivered on that one, heh.

The plan was this:

- By 8PM, I would have Brandy near the stage, with her whole family nonchalantly hanging around nearby, supposedly watching the live auctions.

- At 8:30PM they would announce the winners of the silent auctions, at which point "Brandy and Chris" were going to be on the list, and we would have had, for some "unexplained" reason to "pick up our lot on stage", at which point I would have grabbed the microphone, explaining to Brandy that we didn't actually win something, but that instead *I* was trying to win something ...

What happened ...

We were all hanging out around the stage, 8:30 came by and they announced the winners of the silent auctions, but we weren't on the list because ... nobody could find a microphone. In what were very .... long ... following 10 minutes, Brandy, impatiently ready to head back to the BBQ area, started no-longer buying the excuses I was making for hanging out by the Stage ... "c'mon Chris, let's go back, you didn't win anything". "Uhhh .. Yeah ..uhhh let's hang ... *twitch* ... there's still ... a chance". She started putting the pieces together pretty quickly, at which point she asked "Uhm, Chris, you're not going to do anything crazy are you?". "Me? What? Naaaaah, just hanging, having fun!" (thinking "gameover man, gameover, i'm all guna die").

8:40 comes around, I see the microphone making its way onto the stage, glad I didn't eat anything, they call us, I grab Brandy's hand ...

and there we went. You will need quicktime (Mac or PC) if you care to view this.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Helio Launches! 888-88-HELIO

From the Helio press release:
Helio is now available through, 888-88-HELIO, and will roll out from nearly 1,000 retail locations by the end of May to an expected 3,000 plus retail locations nationwide by the end of the year. Helio's distribution partners include leading national and regional stores such as Fry's Electronics, FYE, Sam Goody, Wherehouse, Strawberries, Coconuts and Tower Records. Helio will also be found at over 100 college and university campus bookstores across the nation through distribution with Douglas Stewart, as well as authorized agents including Wireless GIANT and Wireless Toyz, and key master agents nationwide such as ERC Inc., Horus, ING Wireless Inc., Interactive Wireless Services, InTouch America, Top Notch Communications, Top Up Solutions LLC and WDI Wireless. Consumers can find a retail location nearest them by visiting

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Monday, May 01, 2006

Get a Mac

Apple is at it again.

Cleverly crafted, i say.

Sphere Launches

Sphere allows people to perform special searches on timely topics, and gets results back pointing to semi real-time online discussions ... pretty much what has been doing for a few years, but they seem to shoot for better execution. we shall see.

EarthLink Ads Air on RocketBoom

Dave has the skinny. Whoa. Rocketboom's audience has grown to over 300,000. Way cool. I'm no marketeer, but this seems to me like some of the smartest use of advertising dollars.

The interesting thing about "online video" is that it's not as much tied to a "time slot" as Live TV is. Once an ad lives in given movie, it's there to stay. People will eventually download it, and very likely watch it.

There is a huge overhead with operating broadcast television or a cable network. To subsidize this overhead, those networks need as many advertisers as they can get.

Amanda and Andrew's operation has very little overhead. They should be able to make significant profits from their advertising partners, while helping them craft a message that makes sense for their audience.