June 22, 2013

James Gandolfini


Thanks to Peter Franke for this wonderful memory:

We called him Jim when he was our bartender at Espace/Steak Frittes on 16th St in NYC.

He was doing understudy work on Broadway while working nights.

Chiat/Day was right around the corner and the restaurant was our hangout.

He was a super nice guy , nothing like the character he often played, that always remembered you and your drink.

I actually saw him on his last night there when he had sold a screenplay and was moving to Hollywood.

I've been expecting to run into him since he moved back to NY but it never happened.

Too bad, may he rest in peace.

October 10, 2010

The Exorcist


The post-production for this famously frightening film was done at 666 Fifth Ave., the same address as Chiat/Day's first New York office.

August 25, 2010

My motto

I have a Latin motto by which I live my life: "nullae bracae ante meridiem."

It translates loosely as "no pants before noon." In other words, there is nothing that gets accomplished before 12 noon that couldn't just as easily be done AFTER 12 noon.

This factoid erupts because I (in upstate NY) and our former CFO (Pete deVaux), who lives on Vancouver Island, were exchanging emails at (what for him) was about 5 in the morning. When questioned about this bizarre behavior, he replied ...

I've always had weird sleep habits. I get up between 4-5 which is why it was no accident that I was (virtually) the first one in the LA office which, of course, meant that I made the coffee."

I reported to Pete. He always thought I showed up on time in the morning because I had respect for my job and didn't want to get fired. In fact, it was simply the lure of coffee.

April 21, 2010

The Grand Tour

I am leaving Friday, April 23rd, on a VERY long driving trip across the United States. I will be gone for about six weeks. I will do my best to update the site as I travel, but if it comes down to eating an armadillo burger and updating the site, you know what is doing to win.


March 09, 2010



A clever new spoof site has emerged which chronicles fictional ads that somebody should have beaten to death with a club.

I'm not at liberty to disclose who, specifically, is behind the site, but they all worked on Apple while at Chiat.

(Check out the "Beatnik Lisa" ad and follow the link to a fake Wikipedia entry for Lee Clow.)

January 31, 2010

Eggs Benedict via Skype video



One of the many things I miss about living in NYC is that Laurie Coots would get together on occasional Sundays and enjoy Eggs Benedict. Now I live 125 miles north. What to do? Laurie came up with the idea: Skype Video. So we met online today at noon and each made Eggs Benedict in our respective homes and shared the experience via Skype Video.

Tasty! And fun!

December 05, 2008

The Mojave Experiment

This has to rank as one of the most bizarre campaigns ever created. The launch of WIndows Vista was an unmitigated disaster. The new operating system, designed to replace Windows XP, was bloated and annoying. To address this issue, Microsoft has created a commercial for a "fake" new operating system called "Mojave." In the commercial, they hold focus groups to demo the "new" operating system. Everybody loves it. The researchers reveal that the users are actually using Vista!

The focus group users are understandably overjoyed.

It's like the White House running a commercial about a fake President named "Rex Stevenson." Focus groups discover that "Rex" is actually George Bush! And guess what, they love him now!

November 22, 2008

Sign of the times

I find it amusing how many of you use your work address as your jay/day contact email address. It may be a sign of our financial times how many addressees "bounced back" after my last mass mailing.

Unless you feel impenetrable except by Kryptonite in your current position, please provide me with your home email address for use in future mailings.

alburty {at} jayday {dot} org

July 10, 2008

Jill Bolte Taylor


One of the great joys of working at Chiat/Day was the eclecticism of the ideas to which we were all exposed. There was amazing art all around us. I even remember being back at the Biltmore when Jay brought in Gloria Steinem to talk to all of us. (She and Jay had a fight in front of all of us, as I recall.)

In the spirit of that eclecticism of ideas, I present to you this lecture about a brain scientist who had the rare opportunity to observe a stroke: her own.

It's an amazing presentation. Watch here.