Mad Men Live Blog: Season 4, Episode 1 – “Public Relations”

10:54pm: FINAL SCORE: Don Draper +5 slaps; Henry Francis +15 years on his mother; and Harry Crane -6 diopter nearsightedness. The light, open office space belies Don's new darkness. He's beyond the antihero. Now, he's just outright mean. This season will not redeem him, and SCDP will die a slow death because of that D.

What is missing from SCDP is the stylistic warmth of Sterling Cooper. The SCDP office is thrown together, much like Don is after his divorce from Betty. It's discordant and improvised and relying almost solely on one advertiser. Don was never bigger than Sterling Cooper, and he can't carry SCDP on his back. He's the LeBron James of 60s-era advertising.

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I Have Moved Beyond AOL Instant Messenger

I have used AIM for business purposes since my first tech job in 1999. Wow, 1999. Letting that sink in a bit. OK. But now, it’s over. The need for documentation is just too great to keep AIM as a part of the loop. Discussions with colleagues can happen in Basecamp in virtually real time and provide full documentation. Discussions with family and friends are much more impactful over Skype than text alone.

But the real reason, the undeniable reason, is the AOL Toolbar takeover of my IE defaults. It’s invasive and unwanted, and every time I install or upgrade AIM, I need to go back in and clean AIM out of my browser. I’ve noticed this happening even when I remove the checkbox approval (maybe my oversight there, but regardless, invasive). AIM, I grant you no rights.

Why I Love Chain Restaurants

Consistency, consistency, consistency. You know what you're getting, you know it's going to taste at-to-above average, and you'll know to plan appropriately for your next visit in the afternoon.

This morning, we went to a local coffee shop for coffee. "Coffee" is the key concept here, as it's their entire focus. Laura ordered a coffee with four variables (hot, double, skim, latte), a standard order for a coffee shop to process. The first returned product was cold, and while iced coffee is amazing, this variant was not authorized by Laura. A second attempt yielded whole milk. Whole. Not skim. Not right. Not appropriate.

So we went to Starbucks. Standard, straightforward, work breakfast Starbucks. The variables were received and processed appropriately. Perfect.

There's a reason chain restaurants are chains. They work.

Breaking News: Title-less NBA Player Announcing New Team During “Bethenny Getting Married” Rerun

LeBron James is now negotiating with ESPN for an hour-long special to announce his free agency plans. This sounds similar to the high school recruiting specials on ESPNews, where everyone from the local high school crowds the gym to find out where the kid with encephalopathy will attend school for N and one-half years. In each case, only a handful of teams can get the recruit a title, and none of those teams play in Ohio.

If LeBron wants to win, he will refuse the max and find a way to get to Chicago. But maybe he just doesn’t really want to win. A winner wouldn’t do this type of special after flaming out in the playoffs. “Kobe Doin’ Work” only happened after Kobe’s hand was loaded with rings, and even then, the content was about the game and the team, not just about the player and his personal ambition.

Intentional Handballs on the Goal Line Should Be Punished With a Lifetime Suspension…

…and not just a lifetime suspension for the player, either. The entire national federation should get suspended. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez committed his intentional handball at the tail end of the Uruguay-Ghana World Cup semifinal, depriving Uruguay of his services for a whole 53 seconds of stoppage time. In exchange, he took a certain goal away from Ghana and gave them about a 70-30 shot at winning the game before penalty kicks.

Suarez’s unsporting handball was punished as much as the game presently allows. It must allow more. Suarez should never be allowed to step on the field, especially not back for Ajax. Children should use his name as a playground curse. Moreover, Uruguay should be disqualified from all future international competition for destroying the spirit of the game.