Thursday, April 01, 2010

Libby Schaaf's running for Mayor of Oakland with Lirpa Sloof's help

Libby Schaaf
Oakland has a new candidate for Mayor of Oakland: Libby Schaaf.

Last night, at a well-attended kickoff party for what was to be Libby Schaaf's run for the Oakland City Council District 4 seat currently held by Councilmember Jean Quan, Libby Schaaf shocked and surprised almost everyone in the room save her campaign assistants, when she announced that she was running for Mayor of Oakland.

Libby stood on a make-shift pedestal and said "I really gave this a lot of thought as I'm concerned about the state of education in Oakland, and I consulted with my wonderful husband; I'm running for Mayor of Oakland." Oakland Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente (District 5 - Fruitvale), for whom Libby gives credit for her political growth, reacted with his mouth agape, then spontaneous applause. Asked for a reaction after her speech, De La Fuente said "I'm speechless. That's all I can say."

The new of Oakland's new candidate throws a curve into a race that had become staid and predictable. Libby Schaaf takes on Mayor Ron Dellums, Don Perata, Councilmember Jean Quan, and Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan for Mayor of Oakland. With her vast network of friends, Oakland roots, and supporters and involvement with the City of Oakland, Libby Schaaf will take votes away from all of the candidates, from the incumbent Mayor Ron Dellums to At-Large Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan, who reportedly went on a East Coast trip to secure backers for her own planned run for Mayor.

The Legendary At-Large Councilmember-emeritus Henry Chang was present and smiling from ear-to-ear, saying "Only in Oakland. Libby could win."

After her speech, the room, filled with many Oaklanders who've been involved in helping to make a better city of Oakland, was buzzing. When asked what the next steps were, Libby said "I have to sit down with my advisors, and my new staff member Lirpa Sloof and we'll roll out our vision and plans for Oaklanders to see and get behind.

Mayor Libby Schaaf. It has a nice ring. I can't wait to see what Lirpa Sloof comes up with.

Stay tuned.

Google 2010 April Fools jokes are ok, but not effective

Happy April Fools Day! Google's famous for April Fool's Day jokes, as noted by PC World, but the one executed today, April 1st, 2010, is not one of the best.

Google announced it was changing its name to Topeka, reverse echoing the move by Topeka, Kansas' mayor to change that town's name to Google on a temporary basis. NeonCloud7's video presents the joke:

But that April Fools Joke was all too obvious. Reall good April Fools jokes are suppose to be so rooted in actual possibility, they can change behavior, gain reaction, or move markets.

April Fools' Day is still with us as of this writing; anything can happen.

Stay tuned.

Bank of America no longer NFL sponsor

According to a tweet without a link and from Daniel Kaplan of the Sports Business Journal (@dkaplanSBJ) and confirmed by National Football League (NFL) Spokesperson Brian McCarthy, Bank of America is no longer an NFL Sponsor.

The NFL sponsorship ended March 31st after talks between the NFL and Bank of America failed to yield a deal either side was happy.

Asked if the NFL planned to seek a new bank sponsor, Brian McCarthy said the NFL is "exploring what's out there," and suggested a call to Bank of America was best to get their point of view.

Jon Schwartz of Bank of America Global Media Relations explained that "After many months of negotiations, Bank of America and the NFL could not arrive at a mutually beneficial set of terms for the sponsorship."

But a parting of the ways with the NFL does not mean Bank of America will seek to terminate its NFL team sponsor relationships. "While we couldn’t reach an agreement with the League,"Schwartz said via email. "It is our intent to continue to reach their large and highly-engaged fan base through our existing NFL team sponsorships, which we’re excited about.

While it's not crystal clear that the economy is hampering sports sponsorship across the board, the hypothesis here is that corporate sponsors want to know they're getting a better bang for their sponsor buck.

Stay tuned.

YouTube's new video page is great..but

YouTube, the company where this video-blogger is a partner, or "YouTube Partner", rolled out its redesigned video page on the evening of March 31st and to some fanfare. A select group of YouTube Partners were given the corporate "heads up" at a YouTube Partners and Management Meeting held last Thursday, March 26th at YouTube Headquarters and the focus of this video:

The new YouTube video page is a welcome change from the previous version, but the problem for the everyday user like this blogger is that elements like the video embed code are now hidden and have to be accessed via a kind of drop down button that works with the strength of the Internet connection. In other words, if the Internet connection is weak, that area of the page will present a note "loading" and seems to be stuck in that position.

The older model Video Page had the embed code ready for copy; it wasn't hidden behind a drop down access system. I'd prefer to see the embed code right on the page, and as little "load-wait" drop downs as possible, preferably none.

What I do like about the new YouTube video page design is that videos listed on the right start with my videos just after the featured video. The old design was such that one had to push an arrow button to see my videos, but videos from other channels were openly displayed on my page.

I'd prefer a video page design such that more of my videos were shows and not one that gave the viewer so many chances to leave it. As a YouTube Partner that features ads on the site, YouTube's setting it up for a person to go to non-add-supported pages.

Hopefully, YouTube solves that problem, and soon.

Stay tuned.

Whole Foods Oakland employees bring sexy back to work

Whole Foods 50,000-plus square foot food store has become a major place to be in Oakland. It's large, airy space contains the kind of good, fresh and yes, trendy food people want in Oakland and in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you're reading this and have never seen Whole Food Oakland, here's a video tour from opening day September 26, 2007:

The employees who work there are a young, diverse and good-looking group that from all accounts gets along with each other really well. Perhaps too well. Several sources who work there have told this blogger that it's common for Whole Foods employees to hook up for sex, sometimes while at work at the facility.

Whole Foods environment is fun for workers
The news of this scandalous level of sex between employees was shared with this blogger during chance conversations this week at different bars in Oakland. Because many of Whole Foods employees have so much in common, and as was said "work long hours at the store" that leads to the dates and random flirtations that lead to sex on a common basis and sometimes at Whole Foods Oakland.

One source said that there's a "kind of break room" room in the back that serves as a hook up place, but it's not the only area of the store.

Some of the employees are in local bands that play around the Bay Area, or have the same interest in music. Others share that, and I'm told an interest in the same drugs, generally marijuana, but that's not to present the idea that it's a rampant drug culture or that drugs are done at work. That activity happens off-site.

The point is, the sources identified music and drugs as the common elements and part of a large Whole Foods employee culture.  Some employees help their friends land jobs at Whole Foods Oakland, and that contributes to the almost college-like atmosphere and the dating activity that springs from it.

But apparently the stress of the Whole Foods work hours leads to high turn over, and for those who do last they have different ways of coping. It's also the reason for the level of flirting, dating and sexual activity between employees. (For the record, there was no report or indication of incidents of sexual harrassment in any of the conversations with sources.)

What's wrong with all of this? Well, the employees see it as no big deal. "You see someone. There's a flirtation. Then one day it's 'Hey, you and me'" was how one source put it. The source said "There's one person who just started a few weeks ago and they've already scored." The source also said there's are others who have "been with almost every girl there it seems."

The revolving door nature of employment also seems to contribute to the activity: the idea that people don't have those jobs for a long time is reportedly connected to the kind of "free sprit" that pervades the Whole Foods Oakland culture.

The next time you visit Whole Foods Oakland and notice smiling employees, you now know it's not by accident. As long as my food is well-prepared and my change is counted correctly, it's no big deal to this blogger.

Stay tuned.

Tiger Woods gave Rachel Uchitel 10 million; why not Haiti?

If the story that Tiger Woods gave nightclub executive Rachel Uchitel $10 million, to avoid the tell-all press conference Uchitel was planning with LA lawyer Gloria Allred last December.

If that's the case, Tiger Woods, in the opinion of this blogger, is the dumbest man in the World. If Tiger Woods did not fear the truth so much, he could have kept that money and sent it to Haiti in the wake of that awful 7.0 Richter Scale Earthquake.

Need a Rachel Uchitel refresher? This video should help:

But for some reason Tiger Woods has to keep secrets. Tiger Woods can't seem to tell a straight story. There's nothing Rachel Uchitel would have on Tiger Woods that cost 10 million, unless Tiger Woods did something that was criminal in nature. Fooling around on one's wife is wrong, but it does not produce jail time.

What's galling is that Tiger Woods would allow his reputation to be even more sullied by these new accusations and say nothing to deny them or affirm them.

In a way it's "here we go again" but worse for Tiger Woods. Tiger's talking now, so attention is drawn to him, so the media that "get" the Internet and its relationship to television are producing new content from the women he was allegedly involved with; and Tiger's saying nothing about it.

What this all points to, once again, is that Tiger Woods needs to just come clean to end what seems to be and endless process with a number of permutations.

Tiger Woods needs to be comfortable with looking someone in the eye and telling the truth, not looking someone in the eye and telling them it's none of their business. If the story of Tiger Woods giving Rachel Uchitel $10 million that could provide food, medical, and shelter for Haitians, something's wrong with that guy. It's not something one would expect from a Stanford student.

Of course, I could be wrong. After all, we are talking about Stanford, now.

Stay tuned.

Sandra Bullock news: Jesse James into dogfighting like Michael Vick?

The latest Sandra Bullock news is even more sad than the Nazi picture of Jesse James giving a salute and wearing a Nazi hat: Jesse James is now into dogfighting like Michael Vick? That's the news that was mentioned on Entertaiment Tonight and all over the Internet, and it's placing Jesse James image in an even darker place.

Darker than this:

While the truth of the story is in question, it's out there. Reportedly, Jesse James allowed two of his pit bulls to fight to the death. But while one blog claims Jesse James took them to a dog fighting ring, another says that's not true and that James' dogs Cisco and Rudy got into a fight while James was not present.

The unsupervised battle cost Rudy his life, and happened "years ago". The other blog called Celebrity Smack charges that Jesse James never engaged in illegal dog fighting.

Regardless of this matter, it seems the release of the Nazi photo broke the dam holding back awful information, true or false, about Jesse James.

Stay tuned, but there will be happier stories to tell.