Friday, December 21, 2007

Some Good Knight Rider Related News


Low on Hoff but high in hilarity!

Complimentary Peet's Brewed Coffee on December 24th

Share Peet's and Joy Holiday Donations, Monday December 24th
Please join us to continue a Peet's Holiday tradition and share the joy of the season with others in our community. On December 24th, we will offer free brewed coffee & tea. Your generous contributions on this day will be matched by Peet's (up to a total of $1,000 per store) and donated to a charitable organization chosen by your Peet's store.

This special day is our way of saying thank you for a wonderful year and of sharing the joy of the season with others.

Find a Peet's store near you.
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Eating Tips for the Holidays From Marathon Runners

 1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

 2. Drink as much eggnog as you can and quickly. You can't find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an "eggnog-aholic" or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it! Have one for me. Have two. It's later than you think. It's Christmas!

 3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand-alone. Pour it on. Make a volcano out of your mashed potatoes. Fill it with gravy. Eat the volcano. Repeat.

 4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

 5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat other people's food for free. Lots of it. Hello???

 6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

 7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies in the shape and size of Santa, position yourself near them and don't budge. Have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

 8. Same for pies. Apple, pumpkin and lemon meringue - have a slice of each. Or, if you don't like pumpkin, have two apples and one lemon meringue. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert? Labor Day?

 9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

 10. One final tip: If you don't feel terrible when you leave the party or get up from the table, you haven't been paying attention. Reread tips: Start over, but hurry, January is just around the corner.

A Genius On Your Side

[Bad Credit Car Refinance]

Watching the wheels come off mortgage and banking industry is getting downright scary - big layoffs at several of the bigger banks including Wells Fargo and WaMu not to mention builders like KB Homes have hit close to home. Some of these cuts are (in my opinion) a quick way to make Wall Street feel that steps are being taken to control losses, even if it is only in cutting the head count in exchange for the short (?) term stock pop.

For many people however, (those in my immediate family should know who they are) the current level of their spending needs to be looked at and brought into line with their expected income(s). This is why for them I will recommend they look over FinanceGenius. They assist their customers with financial options for savings in several areas: one place for customers to access resources regarding Auto, Mortgage, Credit, Insurance, Student Loan, and budgeting solutions. Don't let bad credit get the best of you.

Can you afford to not know how to handle your finances? This has been a sponsored review.

Just a Taste of BBC One


zOMG - could this be any funnier?


Christmas Windows


Back from a trip to San Francisco's Union Square and the annual 'looking at the shop windows' day. Macy*s had their usual SPCA themed windows - real live kitties (and I hear puppies) that you can adopt. Probably not right there and then, you would have to screen these people before they could bring home a new family member, right? (Unlike the 16 year old Ms. Spears who - well, perhaps that's another story....)

Windows this year were each by a different SF institution, so a Beach Blanket Babylon one, a Ballet one, etc.

No pictures yet as we had the Sony with us and I don't have that at work today but enjoy this as a place-holder:

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Die Matrosen

[sleep number bed]

So all this time I thought the Book of Love's song, "Die Matrosen" was about mattresses, when it turns out it really is about Sailors. Makes more sense that way, I guess.

Speaking of mattresses, I think we need a new one as neither of us has been sleeping all that well of late, well, except maybe the cat who has taken to demanding to get under the covers with us - and not just anywhere under the covers, specifically on the right hand side as you face the headboard and along the edge.

We keep looking at mattress ads in the paper but honestly I don't really know what I am looking for. I have heard good things about how comfortable the adjustable Sleep Number Bedsare. You know, the ones that have the "Digital Numeric Inflation System" to allow you to adjust the softness or firmness of the mattress with the push of a button. They even have mattresses available that allow you to adjust each side of the mattress separately which I think is the ones we would need. This has been a sponsored but I really think we'll check them out after the holidays are over.

Friday, December 14, 2007

What Paris and Britney Don't Know About Their Puppies

Watch our exclusive undercover video to learn the dirty secret behind celebrity puppies.
The Humane Society of the United States: STOP PUPPY MILLS

Last summer, Paris Hilton brought home a new Chihuahua and Britney Spears a Yorkie -- both purchased from Pets of Bel Air, L.A.'s pet boutique to the stars.

At Pets of Bel Air, staff members perfume and coif their tiny puppies for sale, creating an illusion of perfection. That illusion fooled Paris, Britney, and many others -- showing that even the rich and famous believe what pet store clerks tell them about the puppies they sell.

Watch our exclusive undercover video exposing the dirty secret behind the puppies sold by Pets of Bel Air.

The HSUS's undercover investigation relealed that many of the puppies sold at Pets of Bel Air come from puppy mills in the Midwest including Arkansas, Kansas, and Oklahoma. At these large-scale factory farm operations, we found hundreds of breeding dogs living in barren wire cages where they are treated like production machines. Some had untreated injuries, were pacing frantically, and were housed in overcrowded cages that reeked of urine.

Each mother dog at these mills is sentenced to a miserable life in a cage so her puppies can be sold at pet stores across the country. In addition to the lifetime of neglect their parents will suffer, the puppies are also much more vulnerable to illnesses and disease due to the conditions in which they were born -- with many falling ill or dying within days or weeks of purchase.

As we celebrate compassion this holiday season, many people will unwittingly support this cruel and inhumane industry when they purchase a puppy from a pet store. Pets of Bel Air is just one of thousands of retail stores and Internet sites that sell puppy mill puppies -- and that's why we need your help.

After you watch our video exposing the truth about the puppies sold by Pets of Bel Air, please share it with your friends and sign our pledge to stop puppy mills. Animal shelters and breed rescue groups are the best sources for dogs -- not pet stores or Internet sites.
Yesterday, as a result of our investigation, local authorities shut down Pets of Bel Air for failing to secure the proper permits.

Thank you for all that you do for animals.


Wayne Pacelle
President & CEO
The Humane Society of the United States

Copyright © 2007 The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) | All Rights Reserved.
The Humane Society of the United States | 2100 L Street, NW | Washington, DC 20037 | 202-452-1100 |

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Animated Apple Ad for the Holidays

Apple has posted a special Christmas flavored Get A Mac ad. This ad, as you can see above, features a stop motion-esque (I'm going to assume that they are actually CGI) PC, Mac, and Santa singing a little Christmas carol for you.

- from TUAW

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

FOUND! NY - The Lost Civilization

NY - The Lost Civilization
Video sent by dylanmcneil

After looking for this for about ten (?!) years, my Google news search has paid off! Hope you like htis as much as I did back in 1997 at the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

“NY (prononcez “Nih”) est un essai passionnant qui nous parle sur le ton de l’ironie post-moderne de notre civilisation pour mieux en révèler, à travers le prisme déformant du surréalisme, les fractures et contradictions au détour d’une vertigineuse réflexion qui amène celui qui s’y abandonne au bord de l’angoissant abîme de la pensée absurdiste – pour finalement mieux l’y pousser”.

Paris Hilton

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Store closing sales have begun at all 76 Levitz Furniture, Inc. stores

'L' for Levitz
Originally uploaded by Avi Morgan
First Breuners and now Levitz.

The history of Levitz Furniture Corporation dates back to 1910 when Richard Levitz opened the first Levitz Furniture store in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. In the 1960s, the "warehouse/showroom" concept brought Levitz to the forefront of the furniture industry.

Over $165 million of furniture and accessory inventory from famous makers is being liquidated, with discounts from 20% to 50% being offered on all merchandise in all stores.

A Separate Peace

[car insurance, house insurance]

When you begin to calculate the many variables in life you can quickly go crazy with the amount of risk you are taking, perhaps without even knowing it. After your life and health, think of he other high ticket items like cars and houses that have the potential to break or need an expensive repair. We had an oven replaced last year after quite a bit phone calls, service calls and in the end - wall retrofitting and cabinet moving. All was well for the last couple of months until last night when the kitchen started smelling like we had run the self-cleaning mode, despite not having used the oven all day. Just the sort of thing you want to smell just before you start getting ready to go to bed.

I checked the oven, it was cold. I checked the furnace in the basement, seemed OK. We finally decided to open some windows and assume it was our neighbors' fireplace. What could have been a fitful night was mitigated by the knowledge that if anything did happen we had our trusty fire-extinguisher and some good insurance as backup, something I am NOT sure my sister has. So for her (and anyone else who is thinking they have found a way to save a few dollars a month), decide how much you are risking versus what you are saving. This has been a sponsored post.

cheap insurance

Friday, December 07, 2007

Signs of Life

(12-06) 06:38 PST SAN LEANDRO -- (12-06) 09:28 PST SAN LEANDRO - A pedestrian who was struck and killed by an Amtrak train in San Leandro while apparently absorbed in a cell phone call has been identified as 16-year-old Daniel Segundo.

Segundo, a San Leandro resident, walked around a lowered crossing gate and onto the tracks before being hit at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday by a northbound Capitol Corridor train at the Alvarado Street crossing, about 8 miles south of the Oakland station, authorities said.

The circumstances of Segundo's death remain under investigation. None of the 20 passengers or crew aboard the train was injured.

Crew members aboard the Sacramento-bound train told authorities they saw Segundo talking on the cell phone before he was struck and that the warning lights and gates at the crossing were functioning properly.

In the past a sign that said 'STOP LOOK LISTEN' was enough. Then they added lights. Then crossing arms to physically block the roadway were added. (Side note: when I moved with my parents to a small-ish California town (<2000>), and yet people are still managing to get killed.

OK people, a quick primer on crossing train tracks:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Richter Scales


Hilarious acappella web 2.0 version of "We Didn't Start the Fire," that rivals The Cayuga Waiters version(s), IMO.

Battlestar Galactica: Razor Notes

Thinking of renting Razor instead of watching the SciFi version? Some extended DVD notes:

* The Adama flashbacks have been extended, including a notable FX  action sequence that was previously on the "minisodes" but not the TV version.

* There are flashbacks to Cain's past during the first Cylon war, where she left her sister behind, and was apparently kidnapped by the Cylons ("X-Files" anyone?).

* There's more blood

* Kara and Shaw get a scene before the rescue mission

* There are a lot more cryptic lines from the Hybrid during the scene on theCylon base.

* Movie-style end credit sequence features Bear McCreary's score.

Upshot? I think I have enough on queue with Netflix already, including 2 DVDs from the original Galactica.

Keeping It Clean


Christmas season is upon us and that means parties and gift-giving as the year winds down but it also means last-minute 'crisis's' at work as we all make our plans to go off and leave our desks and benches behind until the New Year begins, but still get a full month's work in plus take care of all the things we have left undone all year.

My desk is too small and (honestly) I am too disorganized to keep it as neat as I like which is why I am wondering if the Sedona Method might be something worth checking out.

Best advice so far from them: Break big projects into manageable pieces (Rule #1, "Stop feeling overwhelmed".)

This may just work for keeping work at work!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Christmas in the Park


I was thinking about the rain last night and I think it must always rain around this time of year, right after the San Jose Holiday Parade and before Christmas.

For the last couple of years we keep meaning to go see the decorated trees in the park and by the time we do (if we do), there has been just enough rain to make some of the less well element-protected trees look, shall we say, not at their best.

As an aside: Since we are speaking of community-designed Holiday goodness, when will the (new) Nut Tree start up their Scarecrow Contest again???

Nothng For Christmas

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

More Nerd News (Golden Compass Edition)

Kate Bush pens end credits song: "Lyra"
The official film blog reports that British singer/songwriter Kate Bush will provide the song "Lyra," for the Golden Compass soundtrack. From her debut song "Wuthering Heights" (1978), Kate Bush has been a chart-topping success throughout her career, a first for solo female artists in the music industry. The Ivor Novello Award winner for Outstanding Contribution to British Music (2002) wrote and produced the title track, which features the Magdalen College Choir from Oxford, in her own studio. It will be available on the soundtrack, to be released 11 December. Read the press release here.

The latest issue of Homeground, the independent Kate Bush fanzine, reveals that Philip Pullman visited Kate at her home earlier this year, and it's known that she is a fan of his work. The song will play over the ending credits of the film.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Nerd Cinema

Just looked at my Netflix queue:

1.     La Jetee / Sans Soleil  Shipping today Click to rate the movie "Liked It"
2.     Helvetica                     Shipping today Click to rate the movie "Liked It"

"Starter For Ten" and "Futurama: Bender's Big Score" are the next ones up. Take that writer's strike!

With movies like this to watch, when are we going to get to the tree?

Lifehacker Saves Christmas!

Lifehacker and Reader Karthik comes up with a very simple and clever alternative to cutting up your hands on the pointy and stubborn plastic that almost everything these days is encased in:
I had a "duh" moment yesterday after I had cut my hands trying to open a Logitech optical mouse from its death-to-the-theives blister pack. My home scissors weren't up to cutting the thick plastic, and I had to use my hands after a while. THEN, my eyes fell upon the can opener (a standard rotary one) sitting innocently in the drawer. I used that to open the next blister pack, and man, was that a breeze!

Here's Looking at You, Cal


Well, Cal lost the Big Game against Stanford yesterday but I am only slightly sad since for the first time in six years we didn't have tickets - blame the new smaller Stanford for that. By shrinking the number of seats (which they needed to do, their old stadium never sold out and made even large crowds look tiny), the number available for Cal fans was also reduced.

Some new (hint hint) binoculars would have made watching Cal go down in defeat bearable (especially from the last row seats) and our sponsors over at OpticsPlanet have a huge selection of the finest quality brand name telescopes, sunglasses, goggles, prescription goggles, rifle scopes, range finders, spotting scopes, flashlights, microscopes and binoculars (Bushnell, Nikon, Canon). 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed, and FREE ground shipping on all orders of $29.95 or more.

Oh, and what happens on a smog-free day in Westwood? UCLA.
This has been a sponsored post.

Burn DVD Burn


This week-end we took another small step into the 21st century and bought a DVD burner to augment (not replace) the trusty old VHS machine, Best Buy came through in the end just when I was about to write them off as well as being unconcerned about the under $200 shopper thanks to one older clerk who took it upon himself to find an unopened box for me. (The young twerp who was at the computer told me to 'look for a stack on the racetrack if we have any.')

So far all has been good, I burned one test-disk of an old Frontline episode we had saved ("When Kids Get Life") and made sure it played on one of our other DVD players. Haven't tried the disc on the oldest DVD player we have so not a full test, I guess.

This Phillips model also played a DIVX encoded file quite handily - felt just like watching BBC Three! About the only thing I wish it had was a USB connection and possibly a easier interface but I am no doubt spoiled by Apple's iDVD.

Now to start working on that giant box of VHS (and Beta!) tapes in the basement, can decorating the tree wait another day?
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