Monday, November 16, 2009

Forecasting Diet Coke Consumption at the B-School

Last year, after we moved into the new building, the new cafeteria management people had a lot of difficulty with their demand planning ... especially when it came to the diet coke. We were always running out. This year they have improved their forecast and ordering levels and I have only noticed a handful of out of stock situations. I took this picture during Fall A finals week. What I love about this picture is that they increased the facings from the normal 3-4 to 11. This speaks volumes about the consumption patterns and the positive correlation between stress, time pressure and diet coke.

Now if only they could get the whole restocking thing right. There's lots of warm diet coke going around. Not that I mind. I'm not temperature sensitive.

LDS Education Conference

At the end of October I went to the LDS Education Conference which is held in Boston every other year. Basically, I wanted to see friends I don't have the opportunity to see very often because I live in the Midwest and they live on the East Coast. And let's face it, when you live in New York, Boston or DC you don't think 'Ann Arbor, that's where I'd like to spend my vacation' even if one of the coolest people to walk the face of the earth happens to be living in Ann Arbor. It just doesn't happen.

Now, while the conference was interesting and inspiring, my favorite part of the weekend was the time I spent with my family on Friday. My friend Dan and I flew into Boston around noon and went to Wagamama (tasty) with my mom and sister, Julie. Afterward we went to Modern Pastry because the people who know prefer it over Mike's. It's just better. They fill the cannolis after you order them. That's all I got to say about that.

Next up was a trip to the Museum of Science to see the Harry Potter exhibit. Those of you who know me well know how much I LOVE Harry Potter. I have lost track of the number of times I have read the books. I've been to 4 midnight book releases. Deep and abiding people, deep and abiding. The exhibit was a collection of props and costumes from the movies and was a heck of a lot of fun.
After the museum we met up with my dad and went to dinner at the Union Oyster House. It is the oldest restaurant in the US and in my opinion not as tasty as Wagamama. After dinner we may have gone back to Modern Pastry for round two but I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors.

To cap off a lovely afternoon and evening of magic and food we went to the Garden and watched the Celtics destroy the Bulls. What a day.

As for the conference, it was all about missionary work and innovation. Elder Ballard was there for bits of it. That's about all I have to say about that. There was also a masquerade ball at the Harvard Club. Between the conference and party there were a series of events that made me want to sit down on the sidewalk and cry but we don't need to go into that here. Like I said, Friday was the best part. I had never been to one of these big, multi city YSA conferences and I don't think I will ever go again but I am sure to go back to Boston to hang out with my family. Live and learn.

Cupcakes and sadness

I walked out of the business school a couple of weeks ago and saw this.
I was struck by the image and it made me think ... ' is there anything sadder than upside down cupcakes on the sidewalk?' Ok, yes, that is a little over the top but you know what I mean. Right?

Oddly enough, I walked by again a few hours later and one of them was gone. Not both ... just one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Street Performer

When I think about street performers images of busy city centers and subways come to mind (particularly the L and the underground portion of the red line). You know what does not come to mind. This guy. He was rocking out outside the Big House during the most recent home game ... you know, that one where Michigan beat IU. Yep, that one.

He was really good and there was just something about his performance and music that bring a smile to my face. As I was walking away a news crew was coming up to film and interview him. I hope he is at the next home game. I think I want a CD. I wonder if he is on iTunes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Shout-OFF! (and taking YouTube love to the next level)

I have long been a fan of the YouTube. It is a great time waster and there are a few gems out there. Like the wedding entrance dance that went so viral last summer it was shown on World News Tonight and all the babies dancing like Beyonce. Yup. Good times. But until recently I have only been a watcher, not a contributor. All that changed at the beginning of this semester.

Every year SCJ hosts a little competition we like to call "Shout-OFF!". Shout. OFF! Get it, get it. Yeah, well, maybe not. Anyway. Shout-OFF! is a competition between the six MBA1 sections. The challenge is to come up with two choreographed cheers (note Cheer is not made by SCJ ... it is made by P&G). Each section performs their first cheer in the middle of the U of M campus at 5pm on the first Thursday of classes. It turns into quite a spectacle. Based on those performances, two sections are chosen to face off in the final round.

How does this relate to YouTube you may ask. Well, this year I stopped by to watch the MBA1s make fools of themselves and happened to record the final performances. Which I will now be sharing with you (and the world) by way of YouTube. It occurs to me that these clips may not have the same impact on people who are not familiar with Ross or b-school. I hope this is not the case, but I acknowledge the potential. Please bear in mind that the performers contained in these videos are the future business leaders of the world. If any of them become well known during their career I hope that someone pulls up these clips. Because this is exactly the kind of thing that could come back to haunt you.

In the spirit of full disclosure. I participated in this event last year. I haven't seen video of it and I hope I never do.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Watermelon Yogurt

Did you know that there are seasonal yogurt flavors? I knew about they existed in the world of ice cream but recently I saw watermelon flavored yogurt. I guess it is a summer thing. I like watermelon but couldn't imagine how it would translate to yogurt so I bought one. The color was fantastic and while I'm sure it was created using some kind of dye it really was a feast for the eyes. In the end I quite liked it. Though, I must admit, I nearly spit out the first bite. At first it tasted disgustingly like a mushy watermelon jolly rancher. Gross. But I was hungry so I powered through and decided that should Dannon do the flavor again next summer I'll buy at least one container.


This summer, while in Panama, I had a conversation about souvenirs with a girl who's mother collects spoons. I guess she is sort of known for it and now whenever anyone who knows her travels they bring her back a spoon. This got me thinking. Is there something I collect, something I go back to over and over. Something I buy everywhere I go. At the time I couldn't think of anything but after further consideration it dawned on me. I collect vessels.

These three are what I picked up in my various travels this summer. The fish vase is from a pottery studio in Hatteras, NC. The basket is from Panama. The blue glass is from Bar Harbor, ME. I have them from all over the world and people do in fact bring me vessels as souvenirs when they travel. So, in conclusion, if you're going anywhere bring me back a vessel. I like them.