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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Oct. 20th, 2023

Everybody on the Ashton team is asked to read Patrick Lencioni’s book “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team“, and it’s something we review as a company every year or two (although we refer to it much more frequently).  That review, with our EOS Implementor Kimberly Dyer of CultureShoc, took place this morning, and led to numerous great conversations amongst the team.  And Kimberly, whether she knew it or not, referenced one of my favorite Ted Lasso scenes when she wrapped up with “Be curious.  Not judgemental.”  Once you’ve watched that, you can scroll down for ducks, bears, some really weak passwords, and more.

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Evil AI

Researchers have recently shown that chatbots, when properly jailbroken, are capable of providing detailed instructions for creating biological weapons.  And they’ll even tell you where to get the ingredients while not sticking out like a sore thumb.  

Vomit Fees

I’ve never been a big fan of brunch, and I think I got that from my dad.  He always felt that brunch wasted an entire Sunday.  Going out at 10:30 or 11:00AM for a meal meant that you couldn’t really get a whole lot done in the yard or around the house beforehand, and it also meant cutting into your afternoon.  That said, I will admit that we had a very good brunch at Edwin’s Too on Shaker Square, two weekends ago when our son and his girlfriend were in town from NYC.  Granted, we’d been to the art museum first, so it was kind of a package deal that the morning and afternoon had been accounted for. And on top of the great food at Edwin’s, there was no vomit fee on the menu! Maybe those just haven’t reached the ‘flyover’ states, yet.

Facial Recognition

Last season, the Cleveland Browns implemented an “express entry” solution for games.  All I had to do was upload a photo of my face and I’d be able to skip the ridiculously long lines to get into the stadium.  At the first game after I signed up, the four of us in my group walked to the express line and I stood in front of a facial recognition scanner.  My name popped up and the “ticket taker” confirmed my name and four tickets, then let us in.  Wow.  Easiest thing ever, and best thing the Browns have done in years. Now they offer the same solution for buying beer- just add your credit card to your photo (easier beer buying is the last thing I need). 


What if I could take that photo I uploaded to the Browns and search the internet for other photos of myself, though?  Not really a big fan of that idea, but it’s out there and in use.  I tried it with two photos of myself and one of my son.  The two images of me (two different searches) returned my LinkedIn profile pic and the old photo of me from the Ashton website.  And the one of my son turned up a pic of him from Facebook.  So, while the free tool works, it didn’t present a wide range of results.  

Fat Bears

If you forgot to vote this year, you’ll have to log on and vote for the best fat bear next year.  


I think that social media in general has become quite the place for oversharing, and happened across (a week or two back) an interesting article focusing on those who overshare on LinkedIn. Leave the divorce announcements and political rants to Facebook or Instagram and save LinkedIn for your professional life, please.  (And while I do have a divorced friend who uses Facebook as a dating app, I don’t think he’s figured out that LinkedIn might be a good option for him, too.)


I traded in my 2010 Jeep Wrangler earlier this year, a year or two after people started giving ducks to other Jeep drivers.  I only got one duck, and I had no clue what it was for.  Came out of a meeting at a coffee shop, sometime in 2022, and there was this green rubber duck on my door handle.  Not having put two and two together regarding numerous Jeeps on the road with rubber duckies lined up across their dashboards, I threw it on my front seat and over time, it ended up moving to my desk at the office, where it resides today.  The trend is big enough now for WSJ to cover it, and while I miss my Jeep, I think the duck thing is rather silly.



Weak Passwords

It’s bad enough when you or I uses a weak password like ‘password’ or ‘123456’, but how about when it’s an actual IT administrator?  At this point, I figure they deserve whatever they get (and plenty of them are using ‘admin’ and ‘password’) in terms of ransomware and data theft.  


Out of curiosity, I pulled up an admin password for a firewall for one of our clients and while the format is the same, I changed the letters.  How long would it take a hacker to figure this one out?  MkbD6@R6&F@$QD#x  According to the password hacker calculator, it would take 100,000,000,000,000 years (one hundred trillion), and according to another calculator, the cost to crack this would be in the trillions of dollars due to its length and character set.   


Nancy's Nuggets

Nancy has seen me do some stupid stuff when it comes to hot peppers and hot sauce (just last night, I loaded my pizza with dried/crushed ghost pepper flakes), and she’s also learned that when I tell somebody “it’s really hot”, it means they’ll be beyond miserable. And usually they don’t listen.  Looking forward to finding some pepper X at the grocery store some time soon…


Nancy was also kind enough to forward a couple of pieces about a recently listed home in Concord, OH that’s made completely out of concrete. It can be yours for just $400K. 

I’ll leave you this week with the fact that cricket fans in India who couldn’t get a hotel room for the recent India/Pakistan match were instead checking themselves into the local hospital for the night. Right or wrong, credit to them for their ingenuity!


Big football weekend as the Buckeyes have Penn State in a huge test, and the Browns go for three weeks in a row without a QB.  One more win and maybe we can live without the most overpaid player, ever.  As soon as that game ends, I’m headed to Toledo to see two of my favorite bands (since nobody seems to come to Cleveland any more); The Interrupters and Dropkick Murphys.


Have a great weekend, and Go Bucks!


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