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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

A Return to Consulting

Posted on October 10th, 2011 in General, News & Updates | No Comments »

As regular readers might know, this space has been a bit underutilized in the past couple of years – yes I did say YEARS. But I’m pleased to report that with a career change in the past month I again find myself back in the IT consulting field. And it is a welcome change indeed – there is nothing like the thrill of new customers, projects and technologies to keep the mind sharp and provide plenty to write about. I look forward to sharing more in the months to come – see you back on the road!

Trying to Twitter

Posted on March 10th, 2008 in General, Internet & Networking, News & Updates | No Comments »

As I have oft pointed out, I don’t do most of the social networks out there, at least I don’t do them well apparently 😉 But recently I have started delving into the world of Twitter. So good, bad, or indifferent you can follow me now at http://twitter.com/ericdegen

Prisoner of the DFW Brookstone

Posted on February 8th, 2007 in Business & Industry, General | 1 Comment »

* Regular readers of Degen.Net know that this is a site dedicated to technology and opinion pieces. But once in a while I like to post a column that’s just silly, this is one of those stories *

 

 Brookestone @ DFW

 

As some of you know I spend a good deal of time in airports. Traveling to and fro, I’ve made a few observations that remain consistent wherever I find myself. Confidently I can say that our nation’s hubs of commerce are plentiful, busy and filled with travelers hurriedly trying to get from one place to another. These attributes are common to all airports today.

 

Yet for all their similarities there are some stand-out differences between them. Some are small and quaint, while others are large and expansive. In a few you might be lucky to find a hot sandwich, yet others boast complete Day Spa services.

 

This week was not exceptional in my typical pattern of work – it was off to Phoenix for a customer consultation. So up to the sprawling Dallas Fort Worth Airport (DFW) I headed. For those of you not acquainted with DFW, it is a massive 200+ gate complex divided into five separate terminals linked by a snappy new monorail. Depending on your Airline and destination it’s like shooting dice, you never know which of these five terminals you will be going in or out of till a few hours before your flight. Needless to say, checking your gate assignment before you leave the office is more than just a good idea.

 

For this flight I was departing from the new international terminal. Terminal D was completed last year and it’s a grand place as far as airport terminals go. Plenty of dinning options, sharp airline lounges, and shopping.. Lots of Shopping. In fact there are probably more shopping options in terminal D than in many malls around the country.

 

Ok, so maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but like most malls, terminal D features store directories, multiple floors of vendors, a food court, heck its even got a few of those artsy display areas with water features and strange colored glass panels to look at – not sure why there are there, but they look pretty cool!

 

But a mall is not complete without “that” store. You know the one, it’s got all those cool gadgets you just gotta have? Kind of like a SkyMall catalog on the ground, I’m describing, of course, Brookstone. Terminal D has not one, but two Brookstones. 

Now maybe it’s just me, but I love that store. And even though there are many wiles to entreat your senses at Brookstone, there is one particular display that gets me every time – the massages chair. Ah, heavenly joy packaged in black leather – it beckons me on, “come to me, sit!” I can not resist it.

 

And this was no ordinary model, it has you covered form the neck down; it’s all good. So kicking off my shoes I sit back in this monstrosity of comfort. It even requires you to put your arms in special massaging arm rests. Hitting the “shiatsu” mode I reclined and all my cares slipped away….

 

There is only one problem with such a splendid device, sooner or later you need to end the cycle, get up and leave. Now this should not be so difficult right? Let’s just say after a few minutes of complete muscular bliss, it’s easier said then done. Looking down at my watch – Holy Cow – it’s time to catch my plane.

 

Up till now I have avoided the sales lackey who’s job it is to come by and guilt you into buying one of these hugely expensive contraptions or, if unsuccessful with that, move you along quickly. My luck has just run out.

 

Steve is that sales guy, he is about 25 and he’s really zealous in his duties at the Brookstone.  Steve does not seam to understand that my flight is 20 gates away and leaves in 10 minutes – He’s focused, he wants me to experience all the functions of the Massage Master 9000.  Only vaguely acknowledging his sales pitch, I express with all the non-verbal cues I can, that I’m running short on time, but to no avail, his presentation has hit full stride now.

 

Struggling to wrangle my feet free from the form fitting foot attachment, Steve is now reviewing financing plans on the Jumbotron massager that I’ve been sitting in – can’t he see I’m trying to get out of here?  My shoes are on now and I’m adjusting the recline button back to a upright position, almost free. Steve sensing that I was never really interested in the chair wants to demo iPods and Zunes for me now….

 

Moments later I settle into my exit row aisle seat. It’s not nearly as plush or soothing as the Brookstone one, but as the flight attendant latches the door closed and we taxi to the runway, I vow to steer clear of that vile tempter Brookstone, at least till the next trip!

Shwag from CES!

Posted on January 14th, 2007 in General | No Comments »

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Just a small sample, as promised.

Shwag Fever! Shwagalicious.

Posted on January 14th, 2007 in General | No Comments »

OKay, I will be the first to admit that I turn my nose up at celebs who get those gift bags full of shwag worth thousands. I mean they can afford that elaborate stuff they are given, “Oh Paris, look, we got you a MotoRazor”, as if. Anyway I appreciate shwag of the kitchi kind found at trade shows and training presentations. If you ever get to a CES, grab a bag (they provide the shwag bags) and dive in . Almost every booth and vendor display desk has somthing to get you over for a business card exchange. You leave a card (so they can call you) and you take a pen, portable eyeball, Taiwanese doll, whatever.

I did partake in the shwag fest at CES as did Mr. Degen, “shwagger” extrodinare. My goal, CES must keep me in ink pens until….the next…CES. Here is a look at some of the goodies.