I was looking through some back issues of the New York Times that I have stacked in my living room in an attempt to discard them and I came across three articles that piqued my interest. Here goes.
1. People and their preferred passwords
So I came across an article dated January 21, 2010 titled If Your Password's Still 123456, It Might as Well Be HackMe and it got me thinking about how people really must be gullible. I mean seriously folks, 123456? Really? Based on a study done on a list of passwords that was stolen by a hacker, 1234546 is the number one password chosen by users. Want to guess what is number two? 12345. Yes, 12345 is the 2nd most popular and until 123456 became the top password used, 12345 was the top password. What happened to originality people. Have people lost their imaginations and creativity? Oy Vey.
2. Invitation to shop via text
This article in the Business section of the New York Times dated February 23, 2010 titled Take a Step Closer For an Invitation to Shop goes into detail the efforts that retailer North Face is planning to undertake to keep customers up to date. By using Placecast, the North Face would be able to notify customers (who have opted to be in the program) about any sales and offers when the customers are within a certain range of stores via text. At first I thought about how annoying that would be. As it is, I get countless emails from online sellers that I have used in the past on my Blackberry. But as I pondered the technology, I must admit that it is rather intriguing.
Say you were thinking about getting a cup of coffee and you were signed up with Starbucks to get texts (in a similar fashion as North Face is intending to do with Placecast) when you were in the range of a store. What's the probability that you would just go into a Starbucks after you got the text as to not getting one. Honestly I wouldn't know the odds or percentages, but I'd wager that having gotten a text with a discount code would probably get me to go to Starbucks as opposed to another coffee seller. But that's just me. We'll see how that whole thing plays out.
3. Public Perception of Fathers
This article came from the Health section of the New York Times dated November 3, 2009 titled Fathers Gain Respect From Experts (and Mothers) and I have to admit, it struck a nerve with me. Allow me to elaborate.
The article went into how fathers have historically been deemed to be uninvolved and the methods that were consciously (and subconsciously) used by various groups including mothers, doctors and clinics to perpetuate that image. Now, I'll be the first to admit, fathers have made things difficult for themselves. The deadbeats have always made things difficult for those of us who are heavily involved with our kids. But old fashioned views and ideas of child rearing also play into it. Let me give you an example.
When my kids were infants I would drive to Hastings-on-Hudson to do my banking. Living in the Bronx, it was easier to drive into Westchester County than to cross over the Triboro Bridge twice to make a deposit (Astoria Federal Savings has a number of branches in Westchester County). So this particular morning, I walk into the branch with both kids in the double stroller that my wife and I labeled "The Cadillac" since it was so long. This older woman comes up to me and says "Aww, look Daddy took a day off to be with the kids". Not thinking much about what she said, I answered that I had them everyday. I wish I could have taken a picture of her at that exact moment, I'll never forget the look on her face.
I can only imagine her thinking that I was a deadbeat, a bum who chose not to work, living off of my wife. So I decided to answer her silent comment by telling her that I worked nights full time and took care of my kids every morning. I wasn't freeloading off of anyone as she may have thought I was. I told her it was ok, she couldn't help herself by thinking that way. But that is the way people think. They think that fathers worry about their careers over their kids. And its true, many fathers do feel that way. Allow me to tell you about another situation I was in.
A number of years ago I had a patron of Fraunces Tavern ask me why I was still working as a Bouncer/Doorman at my age instead of working towards a good career (like he was doing on Wall Street). Once again, here came the assumptions of people coming out into the open. I asked him if he had children and he said yes. I'm not sure of how many, but I phrased my comment as so:
I have kids as well, sir. Working nights has given me that chance to experience things with my children that most men never get to see since they are working so hard on their careers. Six figures, a suit and a tie will never replace the memories of seeing my kids walk for the first time, hearing their first words, and having them spend most of their daytime hours with me than with a stranger. Can you say that you experienced these things while cramped in your office 10 hours a day?
His lack of a response was more than sufficient. So what am I trying to accomplish by all this. Maybe you'll think that I have a chip on my shoulder. I'll be the first to admit that I do. Sure it pisses me off when the school nurse will call me on my cellphone and ask for my wife when I am listed as the main emergency contact on the school's contact sheet. I know that old habits die hard but we need to change folks. I'll get off of my soapbox now folks.
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