Friday, August 31, 2007

Black Day for Coffee

Founder of Peet's Coffee dies at 87

Chronicle Staff Report
Friday, August 31, 2007

Mr. Peet opened the coffee roaster's first store in Berkeley at Walnut and Vine streets in 1966, followed by outlets in Menlo Park (1971), Piedmont Avenue in Oakland (1978) and another Berkeley store across from the Claremont Hotel in 1980. He retired in 1983.

Mr. Peet was born in Alkmaar, Holland. He cleaned machinery and did other odd jobs at his father's coffee roastery in Alkmaar before World War II. After the war, Mr. Peet became an apprentice at Lipton's Tea in London, then moved to Indonesia to work in the tea business there then immigrated to San Francisco in 1955 to work at a coffee importer, E.A. Johnson & Co.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

No Time Like the Present

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Like the license plate in "Back to the Future", callers in California and Nevada are 'OUTATIME,' come September.

From the LA Times:

It's the end of time, at least as far as AT&T is concerned.

The brief note in customers' bills hardly does justice to the momentousness of the decision. "Service withdrawal," it blandly declares. "Effective September 2007, Time of Day information service will be discontinued."

What that means is that people throughout California will no longer be able to call 853- or 767- to hear a woman's recorded voice state that "at the tone, Pacific Daylight Time will be . . ." with the recording automatically updating at 10-second intervals.

"Times change," said John Britton, an AT&T spokesman. "In today's world, there are just too many other ways to get this information. You can look at your cellphone or your computer. You no longer have to pick up the telephone.

Time already has stopped in 48 other states, California and Nevada being the last remaining holdouts.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Spare The Air Tomorrow, Thursday August 30

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Tomorrow, Thursday, August 30, is a Spare the Air Day in the San Francisco Bay Area. Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy.

Your morning commute is free on BART, CalTrain, ACE Train and all Bay Area Ferries until 1:00 pm. Bay Area bus systems are offering free rides all day. This is the 2nd of four free commute days on non-holiday weekday Spare the Air days this summer. To find out more, and to view a list of participating transit agencies, see

To help prevent smog tomorrow, please:

  • Take public transit, walk or bike
  • visit for transit info
  • Carpool or vanpool with friends or co-workers
  • Refuel on the way home in the evening and don't top off
  • Link necessary trips and postpone errands if possible
  • Avoid polluting products like aerosol cleaners, paint and hair spray
  • Use a hand-pushed or electric lawn mower

To monitor current air quality conditions, visit

AirAlerts are provided by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Thank you for doing your part to Spare the Air!

Monday, August 27, 2007

brix mail... Young Woz and Jobs Playset goes on sale in two days!

Young Woz and Jobs Playset goes on sale in two days
After a long hiatus, the latest PodBrix custom minifig product Young Woz and Jobs Playset goes on sale in two days (8/29/07) at 9:00 PM EST time. Re-creating the early years of Woz and Jobs collaboration the Young Woz and Jobs Playset is a 300 unit limited numbered edition and features meticulous detail. What ideas was Jobs percolating in his subconscious back in 1972? The included mini thought bubble attempts to answer the question.

Hand created by Tomi, each playset contains a young version of Jobs and Woz immortalized in minifig form. The backdrop set features a desk with custom made computer, circuit board based project in progress, and a 2001 style calendar marking a fateful date. The reverse of the backdrop displays the limited edition unit number and is signed by Tomi. Some assembly is required.

Each Young Woz and Jobs Playset will sell for $39.99. More details and product photos will be available on the site at 9:00 PM EST time on August 29th.

PodBrix does ship internationally to almost any country. Keep in mind the launch date is at 9:00 PM EST (21:00 hours for those used to using 24 hour time).

Friday, August 24, 2007

Lego® Svalbard MOC Construction Kit

[Philip Pullman, Golden Compass, Lego, MOC]

AKA LEGO® Ice Brick Tray Item #: EL502

*Lyra Belacqua and Iorek Byrnison minifigs not included.

–thanks Britta!

T-Mobile Rebates (How Rebate SHOULD Be Done)

[T-mobile, rebates, Cheap-ass-bastards]

In this morning's post:

Thank you for participating in T-Mobile's rebate program!

Your submission for Retail Upgrade Rebate has met the service
requirements.  You should be receiving your request in the mail within the
next 2 - 3 weeks.

If you would like to track the status of your rebate submission please
visit us at:

If you are going to do a mail-in rebate, this is certainly the easiest money I have ever made.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Message from NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday Puzzle

Dear Listener,

Thanks for sending your puzzle entry to NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. This reply acknowledges that we have received your entry.

Please note: If you are writing with a puzzle suggestion, please resend your message through the NPR contact form by choosing Weekend Edition Sunday from the NPR Program dropdown menu.


Weekend Edition Sunday staff

Come For the Film, Stay For the Credits

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I've always been a fan of staying until the last credit has rolled off the screen, I think it started when my "Big Sister" was talking a film class in college and she mentioned to me that was one of the requirements (one that most of the class ignored, BTW). Later it became an answer to "where did they film that James Bond sequence," and "what song (or piece) was that and who was it by?" When my brother took a film class, it was to see if the same guy who was the foley artist (?) in the last movie had the same job again for this film.

Then Pixar came on the scene you had to stay for the 'out-takes' (and recently for the "OMG, I've know him/her").

Now according to Yahoo! News it seems wanting people to stay has gone mainstream:
As several recent movies demonstrate, filmmakers are getting creative with their end credits. They're starting to add a flourish that's akin to an exclamation point at the end of a sentence, giving viewers a reason to stay a bit longer in their seats for a memorable treat.
Not sure how the theater workers who have to clean the room for the next showing feel about this – at our showing of "Stardust" we were the last two to leave, giving ample time for the two workers to practice their Can-can routine to Offenbach's famous Galop Infernal from "Orpheus in the Underworld" before they could pick up the discarded popcorn tubs and soda cups.

Then again, sometimes there is something to be said about leaving 'early':
Shoot 'Em Up's" end titles hark back to scenes from the movie. Credits in two bullet holes pull back to reveal a pair of breasts, referencing the lactating hooker played by Monica Bellucci.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Books: The Thing They Mave DVDs From

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(...and no, I don't mean plastic and aluminum foil.)

One in four adults read no books at all in the past year, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll released Tuesday. Of those who did read, women and older people were most avid, and religious works and popular fiction were the top choices.

Can't see how (even with Harry Potter) this will ever get better. Parent's who don't read usually don't have kids who like to read.

iPhone $100 Cheaper

[Apple, iPhone, Cult of Mac, cheap-ass-bastards]

'Petemortensen' blogged yesterday that Apple now has 'factory refurbished iPhones for $100 below retail price.'

If you are still thinking of taking the 1.0 plunge, here's a way to have at it, C.A.B. style.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Citroën Dalek

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Today's YouTube Comedy Moment™:

Which demands the posting of this from several Doctors back:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Kristen Bell to Appear on 'Heroes'

[Kristen Bell, Heroes, NBC]


The 27-year-old actress, who starred for three seasons as teenage detective Veronica Mars on the now-canceled show of the same name, will appear in a multi-episode arc on NBC's Heroes this fall.

Tim Kring, the show's executive producer and creator, said Bell's character, Elle, will appear in October and will be "a sexy, intriguing, mysterious young lady" who will commit a terrible crime, but it won't be clear whose side she is really on.

*This article can also be accessed if you copy and paste the entire address below into your web browser.

The Battle for Walden Pond

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As I sit at my window this summer afternoon, Decepticons are circling about my clearing; the tantivy of wild pigeons, flying by two and threes athwart my view, or perching restless on the white pine boughs behind my house, gives a voice to the air; a fish hawk dimples the glassy surface of the pond and brings up a fish; Megatron steals out of the marsh before my door and seizes a frog by the shore; the sedge is bending under the weight of the reed-birds flitting hither and thither; and for the last half-hour I have heard the rattle of Starscream now dying away and then reviving like the beat of Optimus Prime, conveying travellers from Boston to the country.

With Apologies to Henry David Thoreau's "Walden" (1854).

Thanks to Scott!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Catch a Falling Star

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While it may not break any new ground in the effects department and I sure you have seen many a "Boy meets Girl" faerie tale, 'Stardust' is a great film with some amazing performances. Second best film this summer that wasn't a remake or a sequel.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Shaken, Not Stirred

[poetry, Harriet Beecher Stowe]

From her resting-place by the trader chased,
Through the winter evening cold,
Eliza came with her boy at last,
Where a broad deep river rolled.

Great blocks of the floating ice were there,
And the water's roar was wild,
But the cruel trader's step was near,
Who would take her only child.

Poor Harry clung around her neck,
But a word he could not say,
For his very heart was faint with fear,
And with flying all that day.

Her arms about the boy grew tight,
With a loving clasp, and brave;
"Hold fast! Hold fast, now, Harry dear,
And it may be God will save."

From the river's bank to the floating ice
She took a sudden bound,
And the great block swayed beneath her feet
With a dull and heavy sound.

So over the roaring rushing flood,
From block to block she sprang,
And ever her cry for God's good help
Above the waters rang.

And God did hear that mother's cry,
For never an ice-block sank;
While the cruel trader and his men
Stood wondering on the bank.

A good man saw on the further side,
And gave her his helping hand;
So poor Eliza, with her boy,
Stood safe upon the land.

A blessing on that good man's arm,
On his house, and field, and store;
May he never want a friendly hand
To help him to the shore!

A blessing on all that make such haste,
Whatever their hands can do!
For they that succor the sore distressed,
Our Lord will help them too.

Phil Rizzuto? Holy Cow!

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Phil "The Scooter" Rizzuto, who I knew of as much for his work for The Money Store (1-800-Loan Yes) as for his work as a shortstop for the Yankees died Monday the 13th.

What I did not know about him was that he was the voice of the play-by-play commentary during the long spoken bridge in Meat Loaf's 1977 song "Paradise by the Dashboard Light."

See if you can spot all the other Yankees references in this Lipton Tea ad:

My Cup(Cake) Overfloweth

[Cupcakes, Sibby's Cupcakery, Saint Cupcake]

Travels to Portland led us to her famous Saint Cupcake and now thanks to an article (and Ginger Darling recipe) in the Menlo Park Almanac I hear the place to buy from in San Mateo is Sibby' s Cupcakery. Sibby's flavor of the Month: Banana Cream Pie (fresh banana cupcake with creamcheese frosting) is available in August only.

Looking is always free (no calories, no cash), but fair warning, you will be hungry when you are done.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Milk and Cheese and Merv Griffin

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Merv Griffin, who recorded “I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts” in the 1950s, one of television’s longest running talk-show hosts and creator of two of the most popular game shows died Sunday at the age of 82.

The San Mateo native learned to play piano at 4, and soon he was staging shows on the back porch of the family home. After studying at San Mateo Junior College and the University of San Francisco, Griffin quit school to apply for a job as pianist at radio station KFRC in San Francisco. The station needed a vocalist instead. He auditioned and was hired.

In tribute [?] enjoy this Milk and Cheese, the "Dairy Products Gone Bad" in their self-proclaimed (and rightly so, IMO) 'Greatest Strip Ever.'

Friday, August 10, 2007

Devo Provides Dell With More Cowbell

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Perhaps in an attempt to make up for the years when, "Dude, you're getting a Dell" rolled through the collective unconscious, Dell has turned to Devo to pen a song for their latest TV spots.

"Watch Us Work It" debuted in July and is now available on iTunes and also at

Drums! Rock steady!

Bass: Keep it tight!
Lead. Do it now!

(Hey) I thought I heard somebody say
“That dog ain’t goin’ home
Until he gets his bone"

(Hey) they said that way he’d be OK
So when he’s home alone
He’d bark “ain’t nothin’ wrong!"

Now, watch us work it
Work it out
Watch us work it
Work it inside out

Baby we can work it out
Let’s put it back together

(Hey) my baby said to me
“I feel so DEVO”
I don’t know what to do

(Hey) It’s OK because she’s free
“How low can you go?”
That’s really up to you

Watch us work it
Work it out
Watch us work it
Work it inside out

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mac Plus with (Apple-free) Keyboard

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Mac Plus with keyboard
Originally uploaded by mr_phillip
Sharp eyes will note no Apple logo on the Command button of this Mac either.

Is the new iMac's keyboard a subtle nod to it's humble roots?


macPlus invader
Originally uploaded by f2b
[Macintosh, Space Invader, flickr]

Found on flickr while looking for old Macintosh pictures – first time I have seen an Invader inside a Mac!

Video of the Day

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Carmen Electra presents Chemtrails (II)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Coffee Bean, Cha-cha-cha

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Folgers Gourmet Selections. Get A Free Sample

3 flavours to choose from, act fast. (Tell Starbucks you'll see them tomorrow.)

Scaramouche, will you do the fandango?

[cheap-ass-bastard, free, Fandango] was nice enough to supply DVD Talk with a new coupon to help you all save a little cash when buying movie tickets online:

Headless Body in Topless Bar 2007

Apple's New Apple-less Keyboard

Originally uploaded by AcdBulls
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Look closely at the command key and you might notice that Apple has removed the Apple logo.

I guess the Apple ][ days of saying "Open+Apple+Q" has ended.

From Apple's Human Interface Guidelines:
"On most keyboards, the Command key is labeled with a cloverleaf symbol (image: ../art/commandglyphs.gif) and an Apple logo (image: ../art/blackapple.gif). Pressing the Command key at the same time as a character key tells the application to interpret the key as a command rather than a character. It can also be used with the mouse to modify the effect of a click or drag. Key combinations that use the Command key are described in “Keyboard Shortcuts.”"

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Shouldn't Legal Be Easier?

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AOL's In2TV is a nice idea, to bad it's such a pain (for me on a Macintosh) to use.

Maybe you'll have better luck watching Max Headroom.

Powered by AOL Video

Monday, August 06, 2007

[Washington Post] "Out of the Theater, Into the Courtroom"

[Regal Cinema, piracy]

Washington Post Staff Writer, Daniela Deane writes about how 19 year-old Jhannet Sejas was taking in a matinee showing of the "Transformers" movie and decided to film a short clip of the climax for her little brother. Minutes later, two Arlington County police officers were pointing their flashlights at her & her boyfriend, ordering them out, confiscating the digital camera as evidence and then charging Sejas, a Marymount University sophomore and Annandale resident, with a crime: illegally recording a motion picture.

600,426,974,379,824,381,952 ways to spell Viagra

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The New Yorker's Michael Specter talks about spam and why it will never go away.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Whole Foods Market Cupertino is Relocating

Shop the spacious aisles in the largest Whole Foods Market in the western United States – 20955 Stevens Creek Boulevard between Stelling and De Anza, just down the street from the existing Cupertino location.

Opening Day Bread Breaking Ceremony 8:45 am
Doors open at 9:00

Plus: The existing Cupertino store will close on August 18. On this date only, everything in the store will be at least 25% off (while supplies last).

The End of a Urban Myth

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An urban myth is a modern folk tale, its origins unknown, its believability enhanced simply by the frequency with which it is repeated. Our signature chocolate chip cookie is the subject of one such myth. If you haven't heard the story, we won't perpetuate it here. If you have, the recipe [...] should serve to refute it. Copy it, print it out, pass it along to friends and family. It's a terrific recipe. And it's absolutely free.
idogcow. Get yours at

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