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Thoughts From Abbott’s Inbox Jan. 12, 2024

I had a ton of interesting stuff in my inbox this week, and most of it had absolutely nothing to do with technology. So, rather than worry on it, I’m just going to share the things that were of most interest/relevancy to me and hope you find something worthwhile!  

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Search Engines

I used to work for a digital marketing company, and over those couple of years I got to learn a little about how Google’s search algorithm worked. Now I fuss about how, where, and how often Ashton appears on Google’s results pages.  Fortunately, we work with a provider who has forgotten more about search than I’ll ever know, and he does the heavy lifting for us.  That said, it’s still interesting to read what changes they make to their algorithm and why you’re seeing the results you see when you search for something like Ethiopian cardamom.   Many of us who use Google do so only because we have to, and not because we want to. They own 92% of the market and are the 800lb. gorilla, but there’s a new AI-based search engine that has good financial backing… will Google finally have some competition? 


On the topic of my prior jobs, I also used to work in the auto (and then boat) insurance business, so I always find it interesting to see what the market is doing.  High loss ratios are making insurance almost unaffordable in many areas, and in some, insurers are refusing to even write new policies.  

Dating Apps

I don’t use dating apps (thankfully), but I do use LinkedIn quite frequently.  I also have a good friend who seems to know most of the common dating apps on the market.  It seems the newest popular option is using LinkedIn to find your match.  Makes sense, if you want to filter based on location, education, role, title, or (anecdotally) salary. 

The Stanley Cup

One morning earlier this week, I heard talk on whatever news program it was, about The Stanley Cup.  I figured it must’ve been a slow news day, and had to calculate the fact that we’re still four months off from playoff hockey.  Suddenly I realized that they weren’t even talking about Lord Stanley’s Cup, but rather, the newest trend in drinking vessels. At that point, I tuned out.  Then the new cup appeared in my inbox and I figured it was a sign.  Personally, I love the Yeti that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas three years ago, and still keeps iced drinks cold for 24 hours. 


Since we’re (sort of) on the topic of hockey, I figured I’d share a couple of items that came up this week.  One being one of the best goals of the year so far (from the junior WHL), one being Team USA’s gold medal (you can fill in the blanks) in the World Junior Championships, and the other being a blast from the past, when John Tortorella was coaching the Columbus Bluejackets. This one always makes me laugh.  

Imposter Scams

Nancy came across this Today Show interview with tv host Andy Cohen, who recently lost his debit card.  A day later, he received an email from “his bank” stating that there were issues with his account.  As is the case with many scams, the hackers send out thousands of emails (think UPS, Netflix, FedEx, etc.) and hope to have a recipient waiting on a package, watching tv, or having issues with their bank account. The scammers are getting more and more sophisticated, and this piece does a great job of breaking down the impostor scam and how to avoid it.

Scandinavian Travel

We were able to visit Iceland back in 2016 and some day, I’d love to go back.  Even back then, though, we had to wonder how much more tourism they could handle as the infrastructure just wasn’t built for millions of visitors every year. It seems that everybody you talk to has either visited or has it on the top of their list. Glad we got there when we did. 

A few years later (2019) we visited Sweden (where our son was studying) and Denmark.  We had a few more days so had to choose between Finland and Norway, and chose the latter. Bergen was a cool town on the coast, but I didn’t realize that Finland is the happiest country in the world… due to their saunas.  (Note: If you happen to give birth while flying over there, here are a few things to consider.)


And, if you’re not sure whether you can travel to those Scandinavia countries (or others), there’s a site that allows you to check, while also comparing your passport to those from other countries.  Who knew?  


Those of you who’ve ever scrolled far enough down this publication know that you’re always supposed to have three topics of conversation when attending a cocktail or dinner party (I was reminded of that by a friend last night, even). Nancy and I have always liked to entertain, which I think is a trait passed down from our respective parents, and I got a kick out of these helpful hints for entertaining from the past 100 years

I also enjoyed reading about Joseph Stalin’s entertaining habits, especially as it related to vodka and politics.

Our Clients

We work with a variety of clients, both for- and non-profit, that do some pretty cool things.  Whether it’s designing buildings or industrial products, producing glass conference room walls or music festivals, or even helping families and individuals in need, there are probably many that you never knew existed here in Greater Cleveland.  I’d like to think that most people are at least familiar with Ronald McDonald House, but I know plenty of people who don’t know the extent of what they offer.  This piece about a family in need and how RMH helped them is a great reminder of some of the really important groups we work with.  

That’s all for this week.  The annual Ashton “Christmas” party is tomorrow night, and I can’t for the life of me figure out who decided to plan it in the middle of a Browns playoff game.  


For those of you who are old enough to remember the 1980 12 Days of Cleveland Browns Christmas, you’re also old enough to remember the Kinks’ song “Lola”.  Some enterprising Browns fan has remade that hit into a song about Joe FlaccoFinally, speaking of things that were popular in the 1980s, anybody remember the Choose Your Own Adventure books?  They’re back!


Have a great weekend, and Go Browns!


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