The AnswersThatWork Blog

Friday, 21st September 2007

Shock news, José Mourinho joins AnswersThatWork !!!!!

This one is purely for soccer lovers.

OK, OK, José Mourinho has NOT joined AnswersThatWork, but that’s the dream I woke up to this morning !

The madness of football, as we call it in Europe (soccer in the US), has surfaced again.

Question :  If you own one of the world’s most powerful soccer clubs, and have a coach which brings you unbelievable, strike that, totally unimaginable success over a period of 3 or 4 years, what should you do in the best interest of your club ?

Answer (and it’s real easy!) :  Get rid of him !

And it’s a fantastic strategy because, you know what, it ensures that for the next 5 years or so your fans will spend their time reminiscing of the days when you used to win trophies.  After all, you need change once in a while, and what better, as changes go, than selling books about the “good ol’ days” rather than basking boringly in on-the-pitch success year after boring year.

This is what Real Madrid did in 2003 after one of their own, the legendary  Vincente Del Bosque,  guided them to the most successful 4 years in the history of the club between 1999 and 2003 :  two La Liga titles, two UEFA Champions League titles, the Spanish Super Cup, the European Super Cup, and the Intercontinental Cup.  The day after his second La Liga title, he was told his contract would not be renewed.  And Real Madrid promptly went 4 years without winning....... anything !

The world was aghast, shocked, disbelieving.

No-one ever thought this could happen again.  But it has !  Yesterday, on Thursday 20th September 2007, we had an absolute carbon copy of those events right here in our home town of London, UK.  Chelsea FC decided to have an amicable parting of the ways with the most successful European manager over a 5-year period, the man who will deliver a trophy every season :  José Mourinho.

In the last 5 years Mourinho has won :

  • 2003 :  1 Portuguese Title, 1 Portuguese Super Cup, 1 Cup of Portugal,
    1 UEFA Cup  —  that's 4 titles in one year !

  • 2004 :  1 Portuguese Title, 1 European Champions League.

  • 2005 :  1 English Premier League, 1 English League Cup.

  • 2006 :  1 English Premier League.

  • 2007 :  1 English League Cup,  1 English FA Cup.

Now, let me put this into context :  if you take  Fabio Capello, Europe’s most successful coach over the last 15 years and probably one of the world’s best top 3 coaches of all time,  Arsène Wenger of Arsenal, another fantastic coach with a supreme pedigree of exciting football and titles, and  Alex Ferguson, England’s most successful coach of all time, and if you add everything those three coaches have achieved in the last 5 years, it still does not come close to Mourinho’s achievements in the same time period !

Get the gist ?

You’ve read it here first :  Chelsea FC will not win anything in the next 4 years.

Now — do you still believe that Football Club owners all understand what the fans want ?

I’m in Mourning.  Adios Mourinho,  I may support Liverpool FC but it does not stop me realising the craziness of yesterday’s events — you WILL be sorely missed.
—— (TUT) SpaceMan

Tuesday, 18th September 2007

Now, this is a secure password !

Now, listen all.  I'm going to give you my password.  Yep, the password I use for all my logins, bank accounts, forums, my PIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, the lot.  I'm going to give it to you because I'm going to change it today — I've just been told it isn't secure enough, and I'm annoyed because I think it's a real cool one.  I just hate changing passwords, there are just too many to change.  Anyhow, here it is, use it anytime you want :


And why do I need to change it ?  Read below :

It don't matter how often you want to explain this to me, but 18770 characters is just not as cool as my now old password.....
—— (DK) ÜberGeek

Monday, 17th September 2007

Baby steps count too !

"Baby steps count too, as long as you are going forward !  And one day you add up all these Baby Steps, and you might be surprised of where you can get to".

Ever heard this phrase?  If not, then watch the movie  The Pursuit of Happyness starring Will Smith and his real-life son.  A powerful movie where the real-life story was even harder than that depicted in the film.  Once you've watched the movie,  watch here the interview by George Stroumboulopoulos of the real Chris Gardner on CBC.CA,  and you'll hear the phrase.

And it's so true.  We had some major changes here at AnswersThatWork, and they were painful but necessary.  You cannot grow and stay the same;  if you refuse to change to adapt to your new size, you soon come to a stop, and start rolling right back to where you came from.

The problem is, so many things come in the way of change :  your existing commitments (customer commitments can be a powerful force against change!);  Life in the form of illness and other irritations, and sometimes outright stumbling blocks;  but the biggest forces against change are often your own people, your own colleagues.

When the latter happens one unfortunately has to move the stumbling blocks out of the way because if you don't, you'll roll right back to where you began.  But it is such a tiring and time delaying road.  You know how babies go — they take 4 baby steps forward, then go sideways, sometimes they even step back, but, all the time, they want to join Brother, Sister, Papa, Mamma, at the other end of the room.  The change process when it involves people is the same :  4 steps forward, 2 to the right, 9 to the left, 12 forward again, 3 backwards, 5 forward again.  It can feel excruciating at times, but, as per the title of that famous TV series of years ago, if you  Keep Your Eyes on The Prize  then you too will soon find that....  Baby steps count too, as long as you are going forward !

Good Wishes to all  "Change Commanders"  out there — it's worth it.
—— (TUT) SpaceMan

Tuesday, 4th September 2007

Read the instructions, Dummy!

Last weekend I ordered a book online and used my new credit card.  A couple of days later I got a very polite email from the bookseller informing me that my card had been declined.  This surprised me as I do tend to be very careful about these things and, when I checked the details on the page I had saved, I discovered that all the details were present and correct.  Had to be a problem at the credit card company's end.

So I call them, explain that my new card has been declined and ask what they're going to do about it.  Polite but nevertheless firm. You have to let these people know you're not someone to be trifled with.

However, while the very helpful young woman I spoke to was checking with her supervisor, I had the card in front of me and noticed that, while I had looked at the expiry date, I hadn't looked at the 'valid from' date which was next month not this month.  As the realisation was sinking in my extremely helpful young woman came back on the phone to point out that very fact.

This was embarrassing enough but then, having apologised for not paying attention in the first place, I had to explain that in a rare fit of efficiency on my part, I had already cut up my old card!  Fortunately for me I have a very efficient and understanding credit card company and this morning a new card arrived — no charge.

I figure I got lucky.  Let's face it, I could have been standing in a supermarket queue with a huge basket of stuff the first time I tried to use the new card or trying to pay for an expensive dinner on a hot new date (It could happen!).

I really must take up reading.
—— MM2

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Andreas Lubitz, Germanwings 4U9525, and Pragmatism
Barack Obama, Julia Gillard, and Patrice Evra
Security in the Office
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Barack Obama, President-elect 2008
Most Tech Savvy State
McAfee Site Advisor Toolbar problems
Get Rich Quick
José Mourinho joins AnswersThatWork
Baby steps count too!
A new type of eBay fraud
TUT v4 is released
Amazing Space Shuttle facts and statistics
Disable Windows Vista's multiple confirmations
MSN Search does not cut it
Casio Exilim EX-V7
Canaries in a coalmine
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CA nightmares and McAfee Site Advisor
Digital cameras
Philips makes us glow
Nokia 6234 / 6233
Fake antivirus programs