For a good time, call ... Google?
Can Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) get more old-school than this? The leading online search engine launched a 411 directory assistance service. So is that how it's going to be, Google? You're going to play operator now?

Management really seems to be going back in time these days. Whether it's print advertising, radio spots, or brokering television commercials, the company keeps reaching deeper into the past. What's next? Hieroglyphics?   

One smart decision (maybe)
You know those Vonage (NYSE:VG) ads, which pitch the cut-rate phone service as "one smart decision among many, many, stupid ones"? Anyone following the Vonage story these days is seeing the "many, many, stupid" decisions.

Let's forget about last year's horrendous IPO. There's little to say when a company that went public at $17 now sees its shares fetch $3 a pop. Things keep going from bad to worse for Vonage. Earlier this month, it was dealt a judicial blow, coming up on the losing end in its patent-infringement battle against Verizon (NYSE:VZ). Now it's searching for a new CEO, with its founder temporarily back at the helm and cost cuts on the way.

Seth Jayson isn't too happy with the interim CEO and his checkered past, while I'm not a big fan of the cost-cutting strategy. Sure, I understand slashing payroll by $30 million a year, given the slow and uncertain future. However, slashing $110 million of the marketing budget will make it even harder to attract more subscribers.

Then again, if Google is so bent on playing operator with that 411 service, maybe it can do us all a favor and really play operator by acquiring Vonage.

Feasting on a Feste
Community is a pretty big thing around Fooldom. Many of the writers whose work you read on were originally plucked from our active discussion boards. That's how I started -- back in 1995, Tom Gardner invited me to cover food and restaurant stocks during the Fool's early AOL days.

I wasn't some hotshot fund manager with a knack for leisure stocks. I wasn't even a culinary celebrity. I just happened to be at the right place, at the right time, talking about the right things. I had earned a pair of "post of the day" awards during the same month. One argued that Rainforest Cafe would be something special. The other spelled out how Discovery Zone could be saved.

Yes, it's ironic that two stocks that no longer trade are responsible for the past dozen years that I have spent crafting Foolish bylines. Rainforest Cafe eventually got acquired by Landry's (NYSE:LNY). And Discovery Zone? Well, let's just say that it never took me up on my turnaround tips. Then again, who am I kidding? I would have only sunk the company even quicker.

This brings me to this week's announced winner of our annual Feste Award. We honor top community members every year, and this time, Mklein9 took home the honors. Congrats, Mike! Now let's see how he feels about themed restaurants and noisy kid arcades.

Until next week, I remain,

Rick Munarriz

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz recommends windshield-wiper fluid when trying to look back. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy.