Just the facts ma’am, just the facts

October 19, 2009

At the gym this morning I was catching up with CNN HLN (Headline News) about all the world’s happenings. Of course “Balloon Boy” was their top story.

The anchor, Richard Lui, was reporting on the Heene family and the possibility they would have to make restitution for all the trouble they caused (and services wasted). That’s fine – every news and infotainment organization will be reporting the same. However it was his last comment that really caught my attention.

“And they should pay every last dime.”

Can’t argue with him on that point. After all, that’s exactly what I said in my blog. But my blog is OPINION. He is reporting the news. I don’t care about his opinion. If I wanted his opinion, I’d read his blog. But he is another symbol of exactly what is wrong with today’s news media, and why I only watch it at the gym (when they have nothing else on). What happened to “just report the facts”? When I was in high school and college and took journalism courses, “just the facts” was not only the mantra of every professor, but the first line in every text book. Yet today, it seems most so-called news “anchors” add their opinion on the stories they report.

I don’t want their opinion. I just want facts. Tell me what happened. I’ll form my own opinion and spew it to the world on my blog. We don’t need CNN or Fox News or ABC or NBC or CBS or anyone else forming my opinions for me.

Just the facts ma’am, just the facts.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com


Balloon Boy’s parents are full of hot air

October 18, 2009

They wanted a reality show. Well, they got it!

Almost from the moment little Falcon Heene said “you guys said we did this for the show” almost everyone knew that the entire Balloon Boy incident was full of something (hot air or otherwise). When the Colorado Sheriff made it official today, I was happy to hear it. But now what? There’s now plenty of fodder for all the late night talk show hosts and media pundits everywhere. There will be discussions about what charges should be filed, what the punishment should be and so forth. And a lot of people will ask “why should we even care?”

And they are right. We shouldn’t care about Richard and Mayumi Heene. We shouldn’t waste one second more of our lives thinking about them. But we SHOULD care about their children who were unwitting accomplices in this and likely will be scarred from it. We should care about the all of the police, fire and other personnel who joined the mammoth search last week. We should care about the couple whose wheat crop was destroyed by the parade of vehicles (not to mention Black-hawk helicopter) that surrounded the downed balloon. And we should care for all the wasted tax dollars that went in to this perpetrated hoax.

I don’t want to see The Heenes go to jail. Why should more tax dollars be wasted on a couple so intent on attention. If it’s attention they want – give it to them. Give them the attention of the invoices for the police and fire services and the aforementioned helicopter. Give them a bill for all the headaches their neighbors have incurred after the incident with throngs of news crews camped out in their neighborhood. Give them the invoices for the psychiatric care their poor kids will undoubtedly need. But DON’T give them the TV show they apparently want so desperately that they would hijack the nation’s attention for their own gain.

What everyone really should do now is the one thing that will hurt the Heenes the most – IGNORE THEM. The attention is what they wanted from the beginning, since they were on Wife Swap (which I admittedly and proudly DO NOT watch) to this circus. If people are serious about punishing the Heenes, then turn off the camera. Turn off the attention. The media needs to leave their neighborhood. Every news organization should focus on REAL news (or at least whatever else they call news these days). And every blogger out there, yours truly included, need to stop wasting their precious time on a man who clearly has his own mental issues to deal with.

The balloon has deflated. Let’s hope the story deflates along with it.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com

What’s the :07 all about anyway?

October 6, 2009

The Baseball Post-season is finally here and once again my beloved Dodgers are in the thick of things, kicking off their Divisional Series against the Cardinals. Game 1 is Wednesday night October 7 at 6:37pm PST…

6:37pm PST? 6:35 wouldn’t work? And Thursday it is a 3:07pm start time. What’s with the :07 anyways?

The bigger question is simply the playoff schedule itself. The way MLB schedules games is precisely what’s wrong with baseball in the first place and why Football and Basketball are more popular in America today. The Dodgers are in one of the biggest baseball markets (and biggest TV markets period) and yet game 2 on Thursday of the series starts in the middle of the work day? Baseball’s desire to get every game on TV is penny-wise and dollar-foolish. MLB is losing out on audience because most of LA will have to work and won’t be able to watch game 2, or at least not the first 6 innings. And the same goes for all of the teams in this year’s playoffs.

What baseball SHOULD do, is allow more than 1 game to be on at the same time. Only a small audience really cares about watching each and every game anyway, and so they need to maximize the audience for the fans of the teams in each series. St. Louis, the Dodgers 1st round opponent is 2 hours ahead of the West Coast, so why not start each game at 5:15pm PST/7:15pm CST and both markets can watch the game? I’ll catch the Yankee/Twins and Rox/Phils highlights on SportsCenter. Instead, game 1 at 6:37pm LA time, means a lot of little kids won’t still be awake to see the Dodgers beat the Cardinals in game 1 (or if they are, they will be half asleep for school the next day).

Baseball is greedy, and nothing proves it more then looking at the start times of the games. Wake up baseball and start focusing on your REAL audience, not your perceived audience.

I’m lucky – I make my own schedule and I won’t miss a pitch of the Dodger games this week. Not everyone is in my situation though and now there are multiple losers… the fans who can’t watch the game because it is on too early or too late, and baseball who is losing out on audience.

As long as the Dodgers don’t lose, I’ll still be happy.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com

Help me raise money to fight Leukemia & Lymphoma

September 18, 2009

Two years ago, my Dad Matthew David Wolf, succumbed to illness after more than a decade-long battle with Lymphoma and related illnesses. There have been so many advances in science and medicine in the last 10 years, that many lives are being extended, if not saved altogether, today.

But MORE can be done. MORE needs to be done.

On Saturday October 3, my wife and I, along with my family, and led by our Team Captain Hannah (my niece), are walking in the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s Society’s Light The Night Walk to help raise money in this fight. You can help by visiting my web page:

Russ Wolf’s Light The Night Walk Fund Raising Page

My Dad underwent Stem-cell transplant about 9 years ago, at a time when it was still experimental. “We are going to basically take his life, then try to give it back,” the Doctors told us. For 2 weeks that seemed like years, extreme chemo treatments drained my Dad. His body was broken, but not his spirit. Those same Doctors then told us if he survived the treatment, we would be lucky to have 2 more years with him. But he didn’t listen. His will was strong.

We got 9 more years with my Dad.

If they can do that a decade ago, before the days of the iPhone, imagine what they can do tomorrow, and every day beyond.

Organizations like this one are helping push the boundaries of discovery in the fight against these and other cancers. I am certainly not a scientist but I’m helping any way I can. Even in tough times, I hope you will consider doing the same. Every single penny, quarter or dollar will help in this fight – and are all very much appreciated.

If you have questions, feel free to email me via the link below or check out the page. Thank you – Russ

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com

Russ Wolf’s Light The Night Walk Fund Raising Page

faith in humanity restored?

September 14, 2009

Just a quick comment about something my wife experienced this morning…

For various reasons, it’s been a couple weeks since she’s been to the gym, and more like 5 or 6 months since I’ve been. This morning, we both rededicated and I was up at the crack of dawn and dragged myself to the gym (which as a side note, felt great when I was done – and amazing how much easier it is to work out once you’ve quit smoking).

As I drove home, my wife called me, having just passed me on her way to the gym and was upset because she couldn’t find her iPod. I understand – working out sans music is a torture worse than having a filling done at the Dentist with no Novocain. Of course, as is standard for a wife to her husband, I was the reason it was lost, after all I simply moved her work out bag to a different location and therefore it had to have fallen out. But that’s a discussion for a different day and time.

When she arrived at the gym and inquired at the front desk, they all but laughed. Yeah right, lady, I’m sure someone turned in your iPod. Dejected, and knowing the AMEX card in her wallet would surely get a workout itself later in the day at Best Buy or the Apple Store, imagine her surprise when she went to the same locker she always uses and there, sitting alone and waiting, was her iPod!

Sure, maybe no one used that locker in 2 weeks… but considering how busy our gym is, that’s unlikely. Instead, we both rather think that people just left it, waiting for its rightful owner to come and claim the little technology vault of yelling & screaming that my wife calls music (yes, we have very different taste). Her faith, and mine, in humanity has been restored.

Of course, if it was just dumb luck and no one used that locker, couldn’t that same dumb luck shine down upon us when we buy our lotto tickets?

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com

and I don’t have to go to the register?

September 11, 2009

I had a really good customer experience and technology experience yesterday I want to share.

For those of you who don’t know, my company is a Technology Services firm and a Microsoft Partner. Granted, I personally have had my own business issues with Microsoft over the years, but nevertheless have passionately touted their technology and helped countless clients solve complex business issues with their technology. More so, I refused to ever even consider Apple products because they’re the enemy. This town ain’t big enough for both Microsoft and Apple. Talking about them in the same sentence was like using the word “Veggie” and “Burger” next to each other in a sentence. In fact, I staunchly swore I’d never own an iPhone.

Well today, not only do I own an iPhone, but I LOVE it. My experience with the iPhone over the last 5 months and Apple in general has been so good, that I actually have started tossing around the idea way in the back of my head (and I mean WAY in the back) of considering a Mac as my next laptop (to allow me to more easily tap in to my creative movie-making/photo-editing/graphic design side). After my experience at the iPhone store yesterday, I’m starting to take my own consideration more seriously.

Nothing against Microsoft – I still love their software from the office apps to SharePoint to the entire .Net platform for business solutions. BUT yesterday I walked in to the iPhone store to buy a battery backup for my iPHone. As a power business user, the battery has been the one thorn in my side. Not only were there plenty of people to help me (despite the store being busy on a Thursday afternoon), but they answered all my questions calmly, patiently and with a level of expertise I don’t often experience at other retailers. I decided on my purchase (the Mophie Juice Pack Air) then looked at the register and the 5 people in line… with a quick glance at my watch, I knew if I waited I’d be late to my client meeting.

No problem! The helpful rep took my Credit Card, ran it through his Symbol Handheld right there, and POW!! – purchase made and receipt emailed to the address of my choice. I walked out with a smile and a skip in my step and a battery backup case that was fully charged ready to go out of the box!

The technology is clearly there – now if only every other retailer, restaurant and anyone else selling something could make buying so much easier, the whole recession thing might actually take care of itself. Kudos Apple – you’re continuing to make me a believer that there is a place in this world for both you and Microsoft.

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com


a win isn’t always just a win

August 27, 2009

Today my faith has been restored in the Dodgers… I complained loudly everywhere I could in recent days and weeks. They showed no passion. No urgency. No indication that they WANTED to win. But today’s 3-2 win, and overall series win against the Rox changed all that.

After an emotionally brutal loss Tuesday night in extra innings, especially after the boys in blue rallied to tie it in the 9th, they came out last night and today with a fervor, a purpose – They ARE still the team to beat in the NL West and the National League overall. They showed grit, they showed determination and they showed the Rockies who remains boss in the NL West.

Today was a good win for the Dodgers and all Dodger fans. Today the Dodgers got their confidence back – and they got their mojo back (a fact many, including yours truly has questioned recently). On to Cinci then home for 4 against the D’backs…. I can smell October!

Got something to say to me? russellwolf.blog@gmail.com