Beware of the falling piano

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is going right?  You wake up refreshed and ready to take on the day? Traffic is light and there’s no line at Starbucks?  Your boss, for whatever reason, thinks every idea you have is a good one and sales are up for no reason at all?  You get an unexpected present and just feel like a million bucks?

Then, you get kicked in the nuts.

There you are, having the best day you’ve had in weeks, when all of a sudden you come around the corner and run smack dab into your ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.  Boy, that’s fun, let me tell you.  The whole day of good shoved into the garbage disposal which is then run with no water.

This sucks.

iPhoto – The Neutron Bomb of Past Relationships

Jack Welch, the former Chairman and CEO of the GE corporation, was know amongst his industry peers as ‘Neutron Jack’. The reason being, is because when he finished Neutron Bombrestructuring a company, the only thing left standing was the building. The reference is to that of a neutron bomb, which destroys all biological material (people), while leaving everything else intact.  I found another use for this reference when it comes to iPhoto and previous relationships.

I have an Apple TV which I use to display slide shows on the big screen in my living room of the photos kept on my Mac.  What I have found is that while this is an extremely useful feature, it can cause some concern when you have a date over and photos of you and your ex are dancing about on the screen.

Of course, the first instinct is to just exclude the photos sets that contain pictures of my ex.  However, that destroys most of the photos that have been taken over the last year.  Using such blunt tactics would literally leave a ‘photo hole’ in my life for nearly a twelve-month period.  I knew there had to be a better way and, after a little tinkering, I found it.

The latest release of iPhoto comes with a feature called ‘Faces‘.  This feature culls through your photo collection, or any new photos you upload, and does its best to recognize and tag the people in the picture.  It works fairly well (after some training), but I won’t get into a review here.   The feature is intended to allow the user to be able to quickly pull up all pictures in your collection that contain specific, or groups of, people.  So, for example, you can create a ‘Smart Album’ of only photos that contain your mom and dad.  iPhoto will look through your collection and pull out any photos that contain a person tagged as your dad and one tagged as your mom.  If it’s just of your mom (0r dad) it won’t show.

Getting back on point, I wondered why I couldn’t do this in reverse.  I wanted to set up an album that contained only photos that didn’t have my ex in them, but still left in pictures of the events and places that we were at.  So, I went into the parameter settings of creating a Smart Album and, lo and behold, there was a setting for ‘Face’ and ‘Is Not’.  I typed in my ex-girlfriend’s name and BAM!  Back were all the weddings we went to, without a shot of her in sight.  Back were the birthday parties we attended, minus the shots of me and her standing next to each other.  Even showing up were the pictures of when she moved into her house, only showing me carrying some boxes!

With this feature, I was able to ‘surgically remove’ her from the pictures in my past without losing the memories of being there.  Sure, I’ll remember that she was a part of it, but at least I don’t have to explain to the new girl sitting on the couch next to me who that is that I’m kissing on the beach.

Dear Dane Cook


My name is Jon Levine. I do a lot of internet dating. A lot of women mention that I look like Dane Cook. I guess they think that’s OK. However, I don’t want to look like Dane Cook, I want to look like Jon Levine.

Bottom line: if you could stop looking like me, that would be great. Maybe a haircut… a shave… some plastic surgery… whatever, I’m not particular. Just make a change. Thanks.


Jon Levine

Zappos Published Me… Twice!

Earlier this year I was in Las Vegas for the Affiliate Summit West 2009. During that trip, a group of us arranged to take a tour of the office, which is headquartered in Vegas. I didn’t know at the time, but they offer tours to the general public so that you can see how they operate. I won’t go into detail, but it was an incredible experience and I would recommend anyone that is interested take the tour.Zappos Culture Book 2009

At the culmination of the tour, they gave each of us their 2008 “Culture Book”. Every year, they put out a professionally created and bound book that
is made up of submissions from their employees. Everyone, from top to bottom, submits a written passage about what it’s like to work at Zappos and it is included. The passages range from funny to heartfelt to downright nonsensical!

A few months after the trip, I was reading a blog posting about how Zappos is taking submissions of photographs from anyone who took the tour for inclusion in their 2009 Culture Book. I immediately fired up my iPhoto and grabbed three of the shots that I took that day and sent them in. A few days later, I was contacted and asked to sign a release. I sent back in the forms and asked if I could be contacted if any of my photos would be used as I would like a copy of the book. That was back in March and I kinda forgot about the whole thing.

Flash forward to two weeks ago when I received an email from the same person who sent me the release informing me that my submission would be included in the book! Not only that, but they offered to send me one, free of charge. Today, I arrived home to find the book waiting and not only did I get in once, but twice!

Now, I can’t take full credit here because, obviously, I didn’t take the photo that I appear in. For that one, the credit goes to Kim Rowley, who did an excellent job. You have to be a damn good photographer to make me look good!

If you’re interested, you can obtain this book, for free, by contacting Jenn Lim of Zappos via her Twitter feed. She’s the one who “designs, produces and field questions for the culture books.” It’s a great read and really shows you that companies can truly succeed when they make their employees love what they do!

The Ball of Name Tags

Me on the Throne... not that one!
Me on the Throne... not that one!

My dog eats when she’s happy

I’ve noticed that my dog, Penny, will really chow down when she’s happy. She brings me the ball, I throw it, she goes and eats. This repeats itself a few time throughout the night.

The other thing she’ll do is come over to my chair and put her head in my lap. I’ll stroke her head and pet her, then she’ll run off and eat.

I’ve realized that she just needs that little bit of attention; that little bit of my time that reinforces how I feel about her. That tells her that she’s loved and that I do, in fact, care about her.

It makes me feel sad that it took me this long to realize that. That just that little bit of affection can mean so much. For her, it’s the difference between feeling full, or going hungry. For me, it means having her around.