Monday, March 31, 2008

Paging Marcel Duchamp

Read all about it!

's Green Design Issue hit newsstands this week (I started reading it as I got a haircut last night.) For this issue you can not only can you find it in stores, but also online. A paperless edition of the magazine and the first virtual installment is completely free.

Lucky for me I didn't have to make the ethical decision of what to do with the remainder of what I wanted to read after I was done!

(What is ReadyMade doing at SuperCuts in the first place?)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

top gear

Now that we have other side of the criminal justice system represented in our family – I mean law enforcement in addition to the two lawyers (I certainly hope that we will stop at the two of the three in this equation, we don't need anyone with a police record, thank you) the question comes up when it is time to buy gifts. Sure there is the usual 'New Yorker Magazine Book of Cartoons for Lawyers,' but until the make a comparable version for peace officers, I think a gift that would be greatly appreciated would be one of these Blackhawk holsters. They certainly look top notch and functional ("rapid draw when the pistol is needed ... locks securely upon reholstering, ...nothing to strap, snap or rotate"– just the thing to keep our particular new dad safe on the job.

Check out the gear and I don't think you will be leaving empty handed. This shopping recommendation has been sponsored.

Out With the Recycling


Just heard from 'our Canadian cousins' of the pluses and the minuses of a MacBook Air (as according to Newsweek magazine).

Apparently whoever was to review the newest MacBook tossed it with the old newspapers!

why those little buggers

Trees on your property are a great idea (and the law in some cities), as they provide shade, fruit and generally make the property look more attractive – and more attractive means a better price if and when you decide to sell. But there can be a hidden danger – termites trees. Yes, your house could be considered termite-free but feet away could be a bigger problem.

I think I am going to take a look at our trees and our neighbor's trees and see if I need to be worried.

This termite post has been a sponsored post.

Friday, March 28, 2008

TV Note


Been not watching TV for so long that the 'return' of BSG tonight (story recap – next week new shows begin in earnest) almost went past me, save for the write-up in the San Jose Mercury News.

Meanwhile, enjoy these official Propaganda posters:

tax time again

Once again the the tax season is upon us and that means either is is time to pay the piper or else it is time to get the money you have loaned the government back, plus this year there is also the bonus 'stimulus check' that the IRS has mailed us a flier for (to be honest, I still can't tell what it is we should expect, dollar wise). Which means, it is a time to save on the things you need to buy, or, now you have some money to spend and would like it to go as far as possible – and that dear friends means on line shopping and hunting down discount and coupon codes.

For example, you all know how I am looking for that mythical sub thousand dollar Apple MacBook, right? Well, until the brains at 'One Infinite Loop' decide to make me happy, will keep looking for a way to make it happen on my own and the right coupon could just make it happen sooner rather than later. As long I am talking about shopping, I also could use a new pair of Chuck Taylor Low Tops (in black, if you please). No sense paying more than you have to, right? That has always been my motto – inherited from my parent's, I believe.

My brother's birthday is coming up fast next month, maybe Guitar Hero for the PS3 or just the gift of his choice from an online home electronics discount superstore?

X Files 2

Bootleg copy but first as far as I know to hit the 'net.


Also, is it just me or do those crossed spotlights look like something out of Sky Captain? Possibly I just have SCatWoT on the brain as I said the same thing in 'Miss Petigrew' when they showed the RAF flying off toward Germany.

Further, it has been pointed out to me by those who know such things that there is no way, optically, 'to cast shadows like this but hey, the last movie had bees pollinating corn, so who knows....'

The $35 Movie Ticket?

And here I thought the Camera Cinema's (San Jose, CA) 10 movies for $50 rising to $60 was expensive!

Luxist reports: Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas is opening a luxury movie theater later this year in Chicago that will offer just those amenities, along with others like seating limited to 40 people and special parking privileges, for ticket prices of just $35 each.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Future is Less Bright


Flights from Heathrow's new £4.3bn Terminal 5 are departing with hand
baggage only after luggage check-in was suspended due to a processing

British Airways, which has sole use of T5, announced check-in of all
hold luggage was suspended until Friday.

The airline has already cancelled 34 flights because of baggage
problems and passengers have had to wait up to four hours to reclaim
their luggage.

BA said it "sincerely" apologised to all those customers affected.


Good thing we are not flying into BA's terminal this summer!

GI Joe: The Live Action Movie

A mere 20 years after it was relevant, yes 'Hollywood' is truly out of ideas.

Battlestar Galactica? Transformers? And now a Smurfs movie....

Don't they realize with Netflix, Hulu, AOLtv and all the other various legal (and less than legal) options we don't need remakes when we have the originals right at our fingertips?

Perhaps the new versions will appeal to the ADHD crowd and will come pre-formatted for our video iPods.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

everything AND the kitchen sink

Do I say I love you to the people I care about enough? Probably not as often as I should, at least in words but hopefully in deeds (and occasionally in song).

Case in point, last night I finally figured out why our kitchen sink was barely getting any water (you may recall we had to have the city repair the connection to the house). Turns out there was a TON of dirt and sand in the faucet and once I finally got it all out we had normal water pressure again. I thought of relaxing, my 'job' finished but hen I noticed the dirty dishes next to the sink, so I (for once) cleaned them before being asked. Now this may not be as romantic as the letters John Adams sent to his wife ("I am, and till then, and forever after will be your Admirer and Friend, and Lover.") but I do try, especially now that I have a list of suggestions!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Learning Kerning

Create Your Own Font

From Wired How-To Wiki

While every computer these days comes pre-loaded with an adequate number of fonts, sometimes you want to create your own. Maybe there's a special project like a family cookbook or class assignment that requires a personal touch. Or maybe your kid wants some AC/DC-esque Trapper Keeper lettering to show his classmates how much he rocks. Whatever the reason, here's how to make your own font.

loan on the range

Got a call today from our broker that it would be helpful to list all of our income sources, not just the W-2s we get from our 'normal jobs.' Guess it is a good thing we are getting our taxes prepared soon since that way we have all of our paperwork out and sorted instead of having to rummage through our personal finance archives to find all the various and sundry forms we receive over the course of a normal year.

So much paper to go over, maintain and find, fax and file. If you ask me, the paperwork reduction act that is supposed to be in effect for hospitals should be applied next to the banking and finance (and refinance) fields.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Can't Blame Them for Trying


They may be down but they aren't out.

See also:
chutz·pa [khoot-spuh, hoot-] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation
–noun Slang.
1.unmitigated effrontery or impudence; gall.
2.audacity; nerve.
Also, chutzpah, hutzpa, hutzpah.

[Origin: 1890–95; khutspa <>ḥūṣ] Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.

American Psychological Association (APA):

chutzpa. (n.d.). Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved March 24, 2008, from website:
Chicago Manual Style (CMS):
chutzpa. Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. (accessed: March 24, 2008).
Modern Language Association (MLA):
"chutzpa." Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 24 Mar. 2008.

oysters calling

"Llewellyn was so polite. How polite was he? Well, he wouldn't open his Gulf oysters without knocking first."

What do you know about Vibrio vulnificus? Sounds scary but honestly the transmission of V.vulnificus to humans occurs through two methods: the direct consumption of raw, undercooked or non-depurated seafood (basically, mollusks) and or exposure of wounds to contaminated seawater. So if you are 'oyster aware' and stay out of the ocean you are most likely safe to enjoy the bounty of the sea. Healthy individuals can safely consume raw oysters without serious risk and at-risk consumers can eliminate their risk by eating oysters fully cooked or reduce their risk by eating oysters that have been post-harvest processed. Either of these techniques will adequately reduce the number of bacteria. In fact, the number of illnesses that result from Vibrio vulnificus is extremely low when compared to other food-borne illnesses. So be smart and open up to oysters, just knock first.

Netflix Site Down

Looks like Netflix is serious borked at the moment. Guess I am not getting any movies shipped out today or be able to watch anything at lunch. I do like how they managed to still shill for their service even on the 'temporarily down' page.

Thanks for the apologies guys, but where's my $$$ discount for the inconvenience?

Happy Easter Monday

(=' :')=
(,('')('') Happy Easter Monday!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Drinking Problem

Vintage VW ad - what goes around comes around. Or, he who does not study history is doomed to repeat it.

I guess there are less brave men (and women) in advertising these days for anyone to take such a risky position as this, now - a -days, either that or the market is so splintered that everyone is fighting for every last crumb.

Either way, enjoy the recent past before it becomes the next future!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

small and very funny

So I was thinking of a Charlie and Lola theme for an upcoming birthday - do not want to say whose just in case they were to read this - but once again I have run into the modern problem of if it is not the 'hot new trend' you are going to really have to search like the dickens to find what you want and more often than not, you end up having to either make do or (more likely) make it yourself. I had all but give up trying to find any Birthday Cards much less party decorations for this year. (As an aside - they usually show up about two to five years later - the penalty for being ahead of the curve.).

But oh my cats and little kittens, doesn't this card look like it could be from the Charlie and Lola 'universe'?

Ordering looks dead simple, shipping seems to be a very reasonable and since I can personalize it as well I can turn what was a birthday card into a party invitation complete with map as a 'logo' to really make a special and once in a lifetime experience. Not sure if the putative guests will notice the care that went into but really, isn't that the point?

Either way, looks like maybe this year I have a one stop shopping experience!

Class of Eleven


Oh dear, I am old. I just saw someone as listed as being "Class or '11" and thought, man, how old must that guy be?!

Turns out he was a Freshman.

Off to go complain about the government, full time.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

secret life of bees

Oh the internet and it's many interconnections, it's a wonder I get any work done at all.

So yesterday (Tuesday 3/18) I heard on the radio it was Queen Latifa's birthday, which lead me to wonder why I haven't seen her in any films in a while, so I check out IMDB and they gave info about her newest film (The Secret Life of Bees "With pieces of her past all jumbled up in her head, young Lily Owens (Dakota fanning) seizes an opportunity to leave behind her father and their South Carolina peach farm. Traveling with her nanny, Rosaleen, Lily encounters August Boatwright (Latifa), one of a trio of beekeeping sisters, who fold the girl into their strange, secret world.).

That in turn led me off to a new Rap Artists site and their rap forum with loads of links, artist information and discussion forum. Someone (or someones) has put a ton of work into this site and it really shows - get yourself a login name and jump into the discussions! This has been a sponsored review.

Last Book Read


Q: What was the latest book you have read?

A: THE MOBILE LIBRARY: MR DIXON DISAPPEARS by IAN SANSOM - the second mystery to feature Northern Ireland mobile librarian Israel Armstrong (after The Case of the Missing Books)

(still working on The Brothers Gwynedd Quartet . Hey, it was published in England as four discrete novels and is 822 pages!)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

take me out

So the Dodgers are finally moving the last of the operation out west - Dodgertown is no more, the team has played their last game at Vero Beach, Florida, their home for spring-training more than half a century to head to Arizona to be closer (a four hour drive, so I hear) to their Southern California fan base.

Closer to home, once again the challenge of managing and winning a fantasy baseball league. This year, however I think I have the keys to a successful year, Fantasy Sports Prophet's Fantasy Baseball software.

The good stuff - first of all, it is web based so I can just as easily access it from work or from home or Panera Bread. It also features player rankings based on Predictive Modeling by PhD level scientists, the most advanced Draft assistance tool - giving you all the data you need to make the best decision about any player, full season roster management including updated mid-season projections via artificial intelligence and all the stats, injury reports and major updates all available from within the software as you can see here:

So if you are playing for fun or for money (have you seen some of the potential payoffs for winning in a fantasy league?), why not get the best tools for the task? Act now and use code BMC200 to save $10.

Mystery In Space


While at Barnes and Noble this past week-end (picking up the last of the Herbie Brennan's Faerie Wars series: "Faerie Lord") I came across "Dark Mission: The Secret History of NASA" - could be an interesting read but I am not sure if I should take it as expose of another government cover-up or crackpot humour ("shattered crystal domes on the Moon" and links to Freemasonry).

Be that as it may, occasionally NASA sneaks up and surprises you with some very cool, low key experiments while everyone is looking at the Shuttle program. Case in point: the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) deployed into space in 1984 as featured over at The Nonist.

Monday, March 17, 2008

come out of your shell

Today is Saint Patrick's Day and while this may be a day for Corned Beef and Cabbage, at least in America - you do know that this is not really a traditional Irish meal, right, when you really want to celebrate what you need are Gulf oysters. They are a low calorie, high protein food that provides an excellent source of zinc, vitamin B-12, and omega-3 fatty acids. Delicious as a snack, appetizer or for the entire meal, just be sure to stay Oyster Aware and you will be right as rain.

Yes, a few people out there may be what is known as at-risk individuals but if you aren't, properly prepared gulf oysters can be a delicious part of every special occasion meal. Easter is next Sunday, have you considered perhaps serving a dish or two featuring some 'fruit from the sea'? Mississippi State University researchers and the Mississippi State Department of Marine Resources have some great recipes designed to enhance the mollusk’s natural flavor for their local product including Oyster Quiche, Chicago-Style Oyster Pizza and Oysters Alfredo (with garlic, ginger and nutmeg – three of my favourites). Just head over to their site and grab their entire recipe book available for free downloading.

A few simple steps will help you stay oyster aware, so you and you guests can enjoy your oysters and have a memorable dinner.

Snake Free

??? Happy Lá Fhéile Pádraig ???

And here is you Wikipedia Fun fact of the day: March 17 will not fall
during Holy Week again until 2160.

Week-end Box Office Report

Saw 'Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day' this week-end. Pre-war London
never looked better, watching them walk up the same street when we
stayed The Savoy was a kick. Amy Adams is 'our new Marilyn' and the
soundtrack was wonderful.

Price of the Camera Cinema discount card climbed to $60 (for 10
movies) so still a great deal but glad we still have a few left on our
existing card.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

the leader in cooperative education

The one thing I think a private school does better than a public one is in the area of real world experience - experience that can really pay off when you are must finally leave the campus and (if lucky) land
that great job with a company that has a 'campus' of their own.

I just heard about Kettering's class leading Co-op programs ("the national leader in cooperative education") – did you know they are unique in that they alone place their students in companies starting in their freshman year plus rotate them between school and their co-op job alternating every three months so as to gain that invaluable practical experience from the very beginning of their Kettering education.

Plus, did you know that US News and World Report has recently ranked Kettering University as "the Number one University in the nation for Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering" in its annual "America's Best Colleges Guide for 2008? US News and Word Report has been ranking schools for quite some time now and (in my opinion) has gotten rather good at it. If you are in the market for a new career or a change of campus, you owe it to yourself to think twice about this school and their engineering co-op programs and programs in industrial engineering, don't you?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Happy pi Day!π

π = 3.14159265358979323846

From Ask Dr. Math:

Pi is a very old number. We know that the Egyptians and the Babylonians knew about the existence of the constant ratio pi, although they didn't know its value nearly as well as we do today. They had figured out that it was a little bigger than 3; the Babylonians had an approximation of 3 1/8 (3.125), and the Egyptians had a somewhat worse approximation of 4*(8/9)^2 (about 3.160484), which is slightly less accurate and much harder to work with. For more, see A History of Pi by Petr Beckman (Dorset Press).

The modern symbol for pi [] was first used in our modern sense in 1706 by William Jones, who wrote:

There are various other ways of finding the Lengths or Areas of particular Curve Lines, or Planes, which may very much facilitate the Practice; as for instance, in the Circle, the Diameter is to the Circumference as 1 to (16/5 - 4/239) - 1/3(16/5^3 - 4/239^3) + ... = 3.14159... = (see A History of Mathematical Notation by Florian Cajori).

Pi (rather than some other Greek letter like Alpha or Omega) was chosen as the letter to represent the number because the letter [] in Greek, pronounced like our letter 'p', stands for 'perimeter'.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mayo Clinic Entrance

Mayo Clinic Entrance
Originally uploaded by idogcow

This image was used on the Health Care Reform Now! blog, a companion to the new book by George C. Halvorson. You can view the post at this URL:

...the power of the Creative Commons License (and a fair eye for what makes good a photograph?)

hey kids, what time is it?

I was noticing again the other day that we don't have a clock in our living room, no mantle clocks, wall clocks, not even anything that has a clock built in. The family room has the VCR, the kitchen has a a wall clock plus the oven and the microwave (trying to get all 3 of those to agree this past weekend after daylight savings time was quite a chore.)

I don't think anyone on my side of the family were fans of grandfather clocks but I know there is one from the other side of the family up at the farm, so we could claim that one if all the interested parties agreed.

I never gave them much thought in the past, given the size and home decor of our condo (how wrong I was) but after moving to an older home I started thinking about them in earnest and being pleasantly surprised at their low prices when you shop on line.

Now the question is which one to buy? I am leaning toward one that has Craftsman feel to it but since our house is just post that era will will have to see how it fits the room and the existing furniture.

Stats of the 80s (v2)

[, , ]

Travel-related today. Interestingly these wre the first two 'miles away' songs I could think of and a quick web-search seems to imply there are no others.

Any to add, dear reader(s)?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Watch it Wiggle

[mobile phones]

I used to laugh at the pepople who suffereed from 'phanton blackberry syndrome' but I wonder if I am now experriencing the same, albeit the RAZR form of it. Half the time I can't hear my ringer so I have it set to both ring and vibrate but this week I have beeen answering the phone when nobody is calling.

Oddly, missed two calls last week as well.

For Wednesday 12 March: Morons From Outer Space

Morons From Outer Space
Arriving on or around: Wednesday, Mar 12, 2008

Been a long time since I have watched this movie, wonder if time, and a faulty memory have improved it.

I'll let you know....

feeling hot hot hot

"Clothes make the man" is a oft told sentiment and the same is true for your car. If you own a BMW, and in the Valley that means just about every other person, then you need to see the largest selection of BMW Grilles, parts and accessories. Get the BMW Grilles you are looking for and many other related products today with selection and high class service. With parts for all models including the the E30, E36, E46, E90, E60, E34 series, with the choice of stainless steel mesh, aluminum or chrome plated BMW Grilles.

Truly a one stop shop for everything you need, except of course paint, to make your ride stand out. Just the thing when looking for your car in a crowded lot! Another proud sponsored post.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mary Anne & Mary Jane

Dawn Wells (69), the actress who played 'Mary Ann' on Gilligan's Island, who was sentenced Feb. 29, 2008, to five days in jail, fined $410.50 and placed on probation in Idaho after pleading guilty to one count of reckless driving. The guilty plea came as part of an agreement with prosecutors in which three misdemeanor counts -- driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance stemming from an Oct. 18, traffic stop -- were dropped.

Yahoo! News has the mugshot.

the whole damn world is skate territory

We were watching 'ace of cakes' the other night ("Skaters and Speedsters:" The crew makes a cake for pro skater and skateboard designer Kris Markovich) and that got me thinking back to just how long it has been since I have been on a skateboard. My first one was a plastic decked model from the local drug store (I think) and possibly bright green - yes it has been that long - but I am almost certain if I went back to my parent's house I could dig it up in the piles of stuff in the shed!

Anyway, after a co-worker's roller blade injury I have been a tad hesitant to get back on those, despite all the flat and nicely paved ground on campus and the recent spate of warm weather we seem to be having at the moment. So I was thinking of starting to ride again but (obviously needed new gear - I took a look over at Sector 9 skateboards - man do they have a ton of cool stuff and a very convenient way to brush up on what is out there and how times have changed since the seventies. I could browse their deck selection for hours... now how can I settle on just one?

This post and walk down memory lane has been sponsored.

Monday, March 10, 2008

[spam]: Re: very beginning of

Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 17:36:26 +0000
From: Florian Holcombe <-texan@acee.n_t>
Reply-To: Florian Holcombe <-texan@acee.n_t>
Subject: Re: very beginning of


----- End forwarded message -----

Otterhop Logo & Serendipity

otterhop logo final
Originally uploaded by goopymart
On an unrelated note: I was trying to remember all the Otter Pop flavours the other day.

They are:
* Louie-Bloo Raspberry
* Strawberry Short Kook
* Sir Isaac Lime
* Poncho Punch (originally Rip Van Lemon until the mid-1970s)
* Alexander the Grape
* Little Orphan Orange

Ponco Punch was the one I could not recall. Don't recall a Rip Van Lemon, either.

Disney Enchanted Tiki Room Turns 45

[, ]

From TikiTalk:

"Disneyland has announced that they will have a special event on June 22nd celebrating the 45th Anniversary of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room at Disneyland in California, and they’ve contracted a number of excellent artists to create works for sale."

See all the merchandise at the Disney Gallery website - no prices yet and some products are missing pictures just yet but get those checkbooks ready!

Friday, March 07, 2008

bush in a bubble

listening to President Bush the other day when he mentioned that he hadn't heard of gas going to $4 a gallon reminded me of the story of his dad's amazement at the grocery store scanners in use at the checkout line.

which is probably why when the cue:cat scanner was mentioned in the paper thew other day I was thinking, there was an idea that was before it's time. given the huge number of LPs we have remaining in our music collection, I wonder if I could speed up the cataloging process with one of those new usb bar code scanners and some Mac software like Bookster.

this has been a sponsored post.

NetFlix and Doctor Who

I wish I could like the Netflix 'Watch Instantly' without feeling so dirty. We have no PC (or Internet Explorer) and no high-speed internet at home so I am forced to 'watch' at work. Oh, and by watch I mean listen to since I doubt anyone will approve of watching Doctor Who (Doctor Who: The City of Death) during what they like to think of as work hours.

Would watching a documentary count?

Didn't think so.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

high-speed® internet for life

It was the hottest toy of the Christmas season, again, and the game system that is changing the face of the entire industry. No, not the BluRay equipped PS3 or the Halo playing juggernaut from Microsoft but the small but mighty Nintendo Wii. Not sure what they go for now or if you can even find one without going to an online auction but now you can get one without spending a cent.


Just register with an e-mail address and other personal information with Just One Click Here for a Chance to Win a Nintendo® Wii™! Try for a chance to win a new Nintendo® Wii™. The lucky winner will receive not only a Nintendo Wii Console, but also a Wii Stand, 5 Sports games ( Boxing, Baseball, Tennis, Golf and bowling), 1 Remote Controller, 1 Nunchuk Controller, 1 Sensor Bar, 1 Wii AC Adapter, 1 Wii AV Cable. Everything you need to be ready to play, no other equipment needed.

While you are there, you will also be given the opportunity to bid on receiving Charter High-Speed® Internet for Life. Registration for bidding on the Charter High-Speed® Internet for Life offer will require that the visitor qualify for the offer by zip code – must be in a Charter serviceable area. Only visitors able to receive Charter High-Speed® Internet services at their residence will qualify to bid. Bids start at $10 but there is no reserve! For complete Action and Sweepstakes Rules go to:

Pop and Shoot


Readymech's recent collaboration with Corbis: flatpack paper pinhole cameras that you can print out and build for free with just a few basic supplies.

Check them out and put together your own fully-functional, experimental camera!

Lo fi fun for all ages, even if you don't use them to take pictures.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

move into the light

Usually I am a bigger fan of the Super Bowl ads then of the game itself but having lived on the east coast for several years while in school, I unofficially adopted the New England Patriots as a secondary 'home team.' They never did too well when I was there but still you followed their ups and downs each season and weighted in on how they would be better next year. Then the unthinkable happened, they started winning and behaving like a dynasty.

Well, like my brother and his dislike of the 49ers (“don't want to look like a johnny come lately and hop on the band wagon”) I started to move away from the Pats. That is, until they started their undefeated season. Was going to have my little brother over for the big game but that involved too much driving (as usual), but we could still enjoy the game at home(s). so a supply of light beer was laid in to make an evening of football second guessing coaches, media pundits and (TV commercial) directors.

Which brings me to the point of the beer. It was Sam Adams Light, a good tasting light beer just not as good as Samuel Adams Boston Lightship from ten years ago.

Anyway, do you like beer? Like to win prizes for liking beer? Then simply answer 10 questions to be entered for a chance to win a $300 Amazon gift card.

How? Easy!

To start the survey, simply text the word beer to 247365 and answer 10 quick text-and-reply questions in the mobile survey.

A legal note: YOU MUST BE OVER 21 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST. The survey begins Saturday, march 1 and closes at midnight, Friday, march 14th.

also, please note that standard messaging rates will apply from your mobile carrier, so enter but be careful if you are on a tight budget.

Beard Papa: Coming Soon to Paseo de San Antonio

Beard Papa: Paseo de San Antonio
Originally uploaded by idogcow
Palo Alto may be getting a swank new Sprinkles ("the original cupcake bakery" as seen on Martha and Oprah) and Sacramento already has the yummy Cupcake Craving (Howe 'Bout Arden) but downtown San Jose eventually will have a snack bakery of their own when Beard Papa comes to town.

Not sure how long this craze will last, especially when S charges $3.25 a cake (CC charges a more modest $2 to $2.50 each), but then again not everyone strives to be the cheapest person on the planet like I do.

That being said I am sure I will be spending money at all three of these more often than I probably should.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

YOD: Sony Trinitron

Apple 13 Inch Monitor
Originally uploaded by eric_n_dfw
Sad news from the Gizmodo folks:

"After 280 millions tubes sold, Trinitron will be officially dead this month. Few Sony inventions have had the same gravitational pull as their Trinitron display technology, perhaps only second to the Walkman. Trinitron became a synonym of the best quality TV sets and computer monitors on the planet, despite the thin cables that secured its aperture grille in place."

Sony Trinitrons were also the heart of the Apple 13" RGB monitors.

quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Living in California usually means great weather, outrageous rates for renting a home and even more outrageous prices for buying a home (even in a poor school district - if you want something in Palo Alto or Cupertino you better be a low numbered employee at Google or Apple or whoever will be the next Google). Assuming you do find a house to buy you are faced with the next big question - insurance. Usually a mortgage company will insist on it (which is only fair as they usually own more of 'your' house than you will for several years). The biggest degree of freedom come to the one universal scourge of California living, the earthquakes and the question of do you want earthquake insurance.

You might think that is a no-brainer but the sting in the scorpion's tail here is what does your earthquake insurance buy you in the (statistically small) event that a majour quake hits your neighborhood and damages your house. Reading the fine print tells you that you may only get a percentage of the value of your home (which may or may not be actual replacement value) and any payout is based on the number a people who file claims - think how Class Action lawsuits pay out to the plaintiffs.

Makes me wonder if the aforementioned Google and Apple have similar Business Insurance deals? Perhaps that's something as a stock-holder one should really find out?

"Who will guard the guardians?"
-from the Roman poet, Juvenal

Not Netflix's fault...

[, ]

But why is there no DVD release of Electric Dreams? A little Virginia Madsen and some retro computer fun set to a Giorgio Moroder soundtrack, what more could you ask for as a lad in the 80s.

Now I have to see if I can dig up my soundtrack LP. Wish I could recall if I made a dub of this... now where did I leave my Beta tapes?

Monday, March 03, 2008

need a business training course

Management Training may be a non-sexy thing to think about but raise your hand if you have spent time being trained for a task or aspect of your job and been bored silly raise your hand.

As I suspected, that's just about all of you.

Cow-orkers here have confessed to spiking their coffee with a little bit of The Irish in order to make their training more interesting, bringing wi-fi enabled laptops to surf the web or (I will confess to doing this, myself) drawing cartoons in the margins of the hand-outs. I maintain that cartooning is preferable to falling asleep (which I have done and seen others do as well).

Why does this happen? Because not everyone is a born presenter and PowerPoint has the ability to make even bad presentations look good but still remain content free.

Hey, you read cookbooks to learn how to be a better cook, don't you? Then admit that everyone can use help in presenting as well. Your audience will thank you and you'll have an audience that is awake, paying attention and eaager to come back to hear more. It's a Win win situation

Free Stuff From Stanford U


Stanford Lively Arts has partnered with iTunes and Stanford on iTunes U for a sampler iTunes card with 10 free downloads - enjoy live performances on Stanford's campus through Lively Arts wide array of artists we present, you can keep these ten tracks featuring performers from our 2008 season with you on your iPod, compliments of iTunes. Stanford Lively Arts will provide one free iTunes sampler card to all ticket holders at Lively Arts performances between January 25-March 15th but if you would like a card & can't attend a performance during this time, some cards are available at the following Stanford bookstore retail locations:

* Stanford Bookstore,
* Tresidder Express,
* Track House Sport Shop,
* The Stanford Shop,
* The Bookshop at the Cantor Art Center,

the refi game

For those of you following the saga of our little corner of God's Green Earth, here's the latest good news from our broker, "This loan does not have a pre-payment penalty, so you are free to pay it down or refinance again at any time. The only catch is that it is only locked for 30 days and this lender is getting bombarded with loans due to
their very competitive rate for their
Mortgages. So, I have gone ahead and ordered the appraisal and title. You should be hearing from the appraisal firm shortly.

Please schedule the most convenient time for one of you to let them into the home."

I guess we will also have to sign a 4506-T form which authorizes the lender to pull a copy of your tax returns in the event of a default. Other than that, it looks like we have already submitted everything we needed to in order to proceed, plus if rates come down even further between now and the time we close, we supposedly can always switch to a different lender at that point.

Seems like an awful lot of paperwork to change lenders but I guess saving $300 a month (or more accurately paying down an extra $300 each month) is a good thing. Funny how a small change can end up being a big deal. The magic of compound interest at work!

Peet's: Origin of the Name

"Key Dickason was a customer at our original Vine Street store. One
day he brought in a blend idea, which intrigued Mr. Peet, who refined
the blend, adding two further coffees to its original form. Alfred
Peet named the blend in honor of his friend, promoting the retired
army sergeant to Major in the process. There is no other coffee that
so perfectly epitomizes Peet's: the full, rich taste, the complex
tapestry of flavors in perfect harmony, the distinctive deep roast."

--And knowing is half the battle.

idogcow. Get yours at

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