Wednesday, April 30, 2008

clothes make the man

Last week end at the San Jose Children's Fair we noticed an odd trend - small kids dressed in what my mother would have called 'goth' or Army themes - more black, skulls and (usually pink) camouflage than at any Sisters of Mercy concert back in the in the 80s, on kinds that I would cautiously estimate were all of five years old.

I guess when I was younger my Mother would not have bought it but then again, times change. What really boggles me is how much the parents must be paying for these clothes at the mall (so probably cheaply made as well) when I know you can buy authentic BDU Pants (BDU Pants are the backbone of the US military and have been adopted into worldwide use, worn in over 100 countries. BDU pants are worn by both military personnel as well as outdoor enthusiasts.) on the web for far less.

If the men and women of the First Responder crowd proudly wear this stuff you know it would have to last. I have yet to meet a Peace Officer who could not use a raise.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Bad Decision Leibovitz

[, ]

Fifteen years old, topless and wrapped in what appears to be a satin bedsheet (in the June issue of Vanity Fair) what could go wrong here? Plenty if you are Miley Cyrus star of Disney marketing machine that is Hannah Montanna.

With apologies to Dorothy Gambrell, has as Ms. Leibovitz been hanging out with the Bad Decision Dinosaur again?

sharks down two

With the Sharks loss on Saturday (to the Stars, alas!) there is only one thing to do - look forward to the upcoming nfl picks. With the nice weather we had this week end, the option were either work on the garden shed (an ongoing project that has missed several of the self imposed mile stones at this point0 or plot my domination of the fictional NFL roster.

Guess which one I picked? (OK - that was a trick question, I did neither this Saturday thanks to the Downtown Children's Fair.)

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Uncanny Amazon Recommendation

It's like they know me!
*** has new recommendations for you based on items you
purchased or told us you own.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Book 7)
by J. K. Rowling
List Price: $34.99
Price: $20.99
You Save: $14.00 (40%)

Readers beware. The brilliant, breathtaking conclusion to J.K.
Rowling's spellbinding series is not for the faint of heart--such
revelations, battles, and betrayals await in Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows ...

Friday, April 25, 2008

speaking of delia

As I mentioned below, Unit Delta Plus was an organisation set up in 1966 by Delia Derbyshire, Brian Hodgson and Peter Zinovieff to create electronic music and also promote its use in television, film and advertising. The Unit Delta Plus studio was based in Peter Zinovieff's townhouse in Deodar Road, Putney, London.

In 1966 they held an electronic music festival at the Watermill Theatre near Newbury, Berkshire, England. Delia said of the event: "We had an evening of electronic music and light effects. The music was indoors, in a theatre setting, with a screen on which were projected light shows done by lecturers from the Hornsey College of Art.
It was billed as the first concert of British electronic music; that was a bit presumptious! John Betjeman was there... he sat in the front row and went to sleep... it was quite a social occasion."

Now if you had an event like this planned you would want to talk about it to all your firends around the world, right? Well, you could pick upi the phone and start dialing but that would cost a fortune. You could emIl but that would take days for everyone to look at their email. But what if you could call using an international virtual phone number that could also forward anywhere in the world - you can Virtual Numbers from Jupee Numbers starting at just $9.95 / mo. I dare you to try and find something cheaper than that! This look back and look forward has been sponsored.

I Want To Meet Her


Delia Derbyshire was born in Coventry, England, in 1937. Educated at Coventry Grammar School and Girton College, Cambridge, where she was awarded a degree in mathematics and music.

In 1959, on approaching Decca records, Delia was told that the company DID NOT employ women in their recording studios, so she went to work for the UN in Geneva before returning to London to work for music publishers Boosey & Hawkes.

stop look live

In 1985, in Coventry, England, Keiron McDermott (vocals), PJ Court (born Paul Jonathan Court) (vocals, guitar), Steve Dullaghan (bass) and Pete Tweedie (drums)formed the band known as the Primitives. Their career was boosted when The Smiths singer Morrissey named them as one of his favorite bands. After a successful first album, Lovely, which included their UK Top 5 hit single "Crash" in late-1987 (in the U.S. this made it to the Top 3), the began a slow fade.

The lyrics for 'Crash' are here:

(here) you go, way too fast

don’t slow down you’re gonna crash

you should watch, watch your step

don’t look out, (your) gonna break your neck

so shut, shut your mouth

cause I’m not listening anyhow

I had enough, enough of you

enough to last a lifetime through

so what do you want of me

(I've) got no words of sympathy

and if I go around with you

you know that I’ll get messed up too

with you

na na na na na na na na na na ah

na na na na na na na na na na ah

(here) you go way too fast

don’t slow down you’re gonna crash

you don’t know what’s been going down

you’ve been running all over town

so shut, shut your mouth

cause I’m not listening anyhow

I had enough, enough of you

enough to last a lifetime through

so what do you want of me

(I've) got no cure for misery
and if I go around with you

you know that I’ll get messed up too
with you, with you, with you

na na na na na na na na na na ah

slow down you’re gonna crash

[repeat and fade]

I mention this as
Collision on Wheels, Inc.® is in the unique segment of the automotive repair market - they specialize in mobile repair of automotive vehicles at the customer's site. They will bring fully-equipped service units & trained automotive collision repair technicians right to your home or office where work is done on-site, and work to you, the customers’ satisfaction.

There may be lots of auto repair shops , but how many can you say come right to your door? This has been a sponsored post.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So D*mn Hot

Too Hot
Originally uploaded by idogcow
Looks like this is going to be another nice week-end, maybe finally time to start framing the garden shed I have been talking about for the last six months?

(I say frame as I am not sure how to get the plywood home in the Civic. Christmas trees and crown-moulding, yes, but plywood?)

Grow Man Grow

While I am still on the gardening theme, we now have a functioning fountain (albeit a dirty one) again. Now if there was a way to rig power to it better (or solar power??).

Also, this looks interesting:

Celebrate spring and Earth Day at Guadalupe Gardens
40+ vendors selling plants, garden art, etc.
How to Grow Better Tomatoes Talk
Giant 19'-diameter Earth Balloon on display
Family Fitness Walk
Food and Entertainment
Heritage Rose Garden in Full-Bloom
Compost Bin Sale & Free Compost
Worm Composting Class
Alternative Energy
Bay Area Garden Railway Society
Free E-Waste Drop Off!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Galactica Thought (Spoiler free)

There are 2 human / cylon babies.

One a girl made via a male human/female SS cylon coupling.

One a boy made via a female human/male FF cylon coupling.

Adam and Eve when they get to earth?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

is your garden green

The United States airline system is currently built on a 'hub and spoke system' which for the bulk of us, we fly from our city to one of the majour hubs of the airline we are flying with and then get off of the plane (and usually after a hour or two of waiting) get on another plane which will hopefully take us to our final destination. I say hopefully because once to take advantage of a super low rate to fly from California to Illinois I made something on the order of 4 take off's and landings all in the same day, only once having to get off the plane.

As a result of this system the flying public has 'been' in several cities without ever really having a sense they have visited. So I can honestly say I have been to Texas but never been outside. I can not even say if I was in Dallas, Fort Worth, or someplace in between the two. (As an aside I have heard the new airport under construction in San José will try to give those passing through a sense of the Valley, and Las Vegas – well there are the omnipresent slot machines to remind you where you are.)

All of which is a shame as I have just heard about the Shangri La Gardens and Nature Center in Orange, Texas. And since it is Earth Day I would be remiss in failing to point out the "green" nature of the gardens. Not just the chlorophyll that makes this garden green, the U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Shangri La their Platinum LEED®-NC certification.

Check out their website and the town – go see what's green in Orange, Texas.

Lowly Loves Spam

Lowly loves Spam
Originally uploaded by multifinality
From today's eMail:

I am David Wong, an attorney at law. A deceased client of mine, that shares the same last name as yours.I have contact you as his next of kin because he left some money behind which will be confiscated. Contact me for more information via E-mail

Wormest Regards

Monday, April 21, 2008

knowledge is power

Looking for a web board that will help you with your Baseball Talk, Fantasy and nfl picks? Well, now there is a place to discuss all this and more at Addict Sports. Get the inside scoop and discuss last night's game with your fellow enthusiasts. You can't tell the players without a score card and you can't keep that fantasy roster up to date with out the latest and freshest gossip, rumour and informed debate.

Me, I think the Patriots are going to go for a real perfect season this year, but I won't put money on it until I have done the research.

Private Beta

Twine is a new service that helps you organize, share and discover information about your interests, with networks of like-minded people. You can use Twine alone, with friends, groups and communities, or even in your company.

So I read about this in Wired this month and was all set to check it out - only it's a private Beta. Joined the list, let's hope it is a short wait....

Friday, April 18, 2008

boston, legal

Boston and the surrounding cities of Brookline, Brighton and Alston, have changed since I have lived there in the 90s - one obvious change is the loss of the small independent coffee shops and the names of most of the banks had changed (after more than one merger in several cases). The buildings on the other hand stayed, for the most part, the same. When a city has been there for over 200 years, it takes more than the passage of time to change the look and feel of a neighborhood. I don't think either of the two places I live in looked any different even though I know one of them had to have been sold after my land lady passed on. The three story walk up in Brookline Village was being sold as I left so I am sure that has had one or more owners since I shared a place there.

As a renter I never had to have anyone sell my home, not many grad students get to buy their own places, but for the vast majority of the hospital and university staffs (of which there were no shortage of), if they needed legal help, Pulgini & Norton, LLP, is a firm known to represent individuals, families, and business clients in the Boston area as well as throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Bristol, Middlesex, and Worcester counties. With a practice focused primarily on handling concerns that involve residential and commercial real estate, personal injury, workers' compensation, and social security disability, if you need help now you have a name you can trust to take care of you and your family. This has been a sponsored post.

Milliways: Infocom's Unreleased Sequel to Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Won't say much but this caught my eye:

...the "Infocom Drive" — a complete backup of Infocom's shared network drive from 1989. [T]he unreleased sequel to Infocom's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. For the first time, here's the full story: with never-before-seen design documents, internal emails, and two playable prototypes. Sit back, this might take a while..

[via Waxy]


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Niman Beef a No Go at Joe's

[Trader Joes, Niman Ranch, cruelty free]

Crew member at (local Trader Joe's) location said Niman Ranch beef was discontinued due to slow sales - is there a location nearby that does still carry it?

Thanks you for your email.  I checked with all surrounding stores and this product has been unavailable for about 3 weeks and is discontinued due to slow sales.  Sorry about that.  Take care and thanks for shopping with us at Trader Joe's.
Steve Haro, Regional Vice President

Niman ranch beef has been discontinued from all Trader Joe's? If that is indeed the case what can you tell me about the living conditions of the beef you do sell? I know Whole Foods prides itself on working with ranchers to ensure and 'support humane living conditions of the animals,' and be assured that our family will not be purchasing any beef from any store that can not match this claim.

We live equidistant from a Safeway and Trader Joe's (and soon to a Whole Foods) and have in the past made special trips to Mountain View and Campbell to buy cruelty-free beef and while I appreciate the stand you have taken on Canadian seafood and cruelty-free eggs I can not in good conscience go back to 'unknown' beef

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

phone home

The dirty little secret in the phone world is that there are far more choices for who will carry your call that you think. One way to regain some control over who and how much you pay is by the use of a phone card.

When you stay at a hotel I think everyone knows at this point that just picking up the receiver and dialing the number you are trying to reach is a recipe for financial disaster. So, if you have trained yourself to not be so rash when on the road, why not translate that knowledge to when at or closer to home? Be like our friends in Utah and get prepaid phone cards for calling domestically or to call international destinations. Ranging from Asia to Middle East and Europe, web visitors can use the web site to search for best phone cards to call from United States to virtually anywhere in the world often with much cheaper rates than from large companies like AT&T or Sprint.

Keep in touch with loved ones in a cheap and efficient way, just search for the best rate phone card for calling internationally, choose the country and click "Get Phone Cards". All Phone Card and Calling Cards that they carry are delivered online instantly so making that Mother's Day call can be one less thing you have to worry about how to pay for.

Trader Joes & Seal Hunting

This caught my eye while searching Trader Joe's website:

The Issue: It's been reported that some fishermen off Canada's East coast near Newfoundland kill baby seals in the off-season from fishing.

We looked into this, and we think it's important to tell you that we do not purchase any seafood items from the areas where the killing of seals is taking place. Our seafood products that are labeled "Product of Canada," come from reputable suppliers on Canada's West coast, or come from Alaska and are simply processed on Canada's West coast. None of these suppliers are involved in the seal hunt. In addition, we have no plans to purchase any seafood products from the East coast of Canada.

Now if I could just find out why our local TJ's dropped Niman Ranch beef.

making the house a home

When were were looking to move out from our condo and into a proper home with a yard and all the trimmings there were two things that I really wanted to see (I would not go so far as to call them potential 'deal breakers' but our real Estate agent wanted to have a few things to go by from each of us.). First I wanted a formal entry – nothing bothers me more than a house that opens right up to the 'personal living space' for every tradesman and door knocker that comes to your door. The other was a proper fireplace with a mantel. In the first case I would say it was a case of I wanted a house that reminded me of the one I grew up in. In the second case it was a desire to have something that I did NOT have when growing up. We briefly had a mantel when we had an apartment but lost that when we moved to our condo. Again – obviously not a deal breaker but since we were shopping why not put it on the list?

We found a house (a home, really) that had my two wants (and more – have I told of our cats?) and now I want a mantel clocks to dress up the room. Our living room, while not totally done up in period style (c1930) does have the look and what little technology is in that room is tastefully tucked away. (The TV and DVR are in the 'library,' as we are not total Luddites!) I think a key-wound clock would look (and sound) just perfect and rather like the look (and cost) of this one from Hermle available to be shipped right to our door from 1-800-4CLOCKS.

Wired Magazines Call for Rare Gadgets

Show Us Your Most-Wanted Rare Gadgets

...entries so far include lost Doctor Who episodes, an Enigma machine, a 1957 Rolleiflex 3.5E, and a Pixar Image Computer (< 300 made!).

Still trying to decide my entry - Atari motorcycle game? Odyssey^2 speech module? I guess there is no rule to only submitting one....

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tron Lincoln Restores Faith in US Dollar

Tron Lincoln
Originally uploaded by Joe D!
Sark: Greetings. The Master control Program has chosen you to serve your system on the Game Grid. Those of you who continue to profess a belief in the Users, will received the standard substandard training, which will result in your eventual elimination. Those of you who renounce this superstitious and hysterical belief will be eligible to join the Warrior Elite of the MCP. You will each receive an identity disc. Everything you do or learn will be imprinted on this disc. If you lose your disc or fail to follow commands, you will be subject to immediate de-resolution. That will be all.

Monday, April 14, 2008

set low prices to stun

King Gillette (now there is a name for you) long ago realized that there is more than one way to make money by selling an item. He wisely showed the world that by giving away a handle that only took his brand new disposable razor blades he could more than recoup his initial outlay, and thus the 'loss leader' marketing entered the business textbooks of the world.

You can see the very same idea from the printer manufacturers of the world - cheap printers that lock you into a 'contract' of buying their ink, at prices were you to figure it by the gallon would make even coffee from that green colored shop on the corner or gasoline seem cheap by comparison.

There is an alternative, has a website listing online stores that sell ink cartridges and laser toner for deep discounts -- sometimes up to 80% off of the prices you pay if you bought retail. Furthermore, the site even lists the coupon codes and discount promotions for the listed stores, so the savvy shopper can save even more, and what good is buying a cheap printer if you pay it all back in ink costs?

They also have has articles to help you be green as you can full of helpful information, such as tips on conserving ink and suggestions for troubleshooting pesky printer problems for almost every brand and model of printer out there. Additionally, there are pages on each of the major printer brands such as Canon, Epson, HP, Lexmark, Brother.

So if you are looking for a Brother laser printer toner cartridge or something cooked up from the HP garage, this is your new first stop.

The Sophisticated Misfit

[, , ]

Sadly, Netflix doesn't have a listing for "The Sophisticated Misfit"

Mark Chervinsky’s film about the life and work of lowbrow artist Shag, is now available on DVD. The 65 minute documentary traces the artist’s roots growing up in Hawaii, his artistic journey in college, his early work designing album covers, to his modern day role as an art-world phenom. In addition to exclusive footage of Shag painting in his home studio, the film features intimate interviews with the artist, his family, artistic influences, tiki-files, celebrity collectors and fans.

[via tikitalk]

double you four one one

With millions of pages of press releases, new blogs and postings daily, getting your voice heard can be a difficult process at best. The trend of people to not even know the actual URL of the site they want to find (or stumble across) and letting their web browser's built in search engine find it seems to be increasing. I can not even begin to tell you how many bed and Breakfasts we looked at in Wales and Ireland have dot com addresses and not the standard (if you can still call it a standard in greater than 50% don't have it) 'dot co dot uk' domain.

So here is a question that I am sure smarter folk than I are pondering now, do free web directories help a website get listed higher in the ranks and better, yet still free, web directory advertising? I would think the more places listed the better, who knows where your next visitor may come from? Do you really want them to go to somewhere else? This has been a sponsored post.

Phrase of the Day


“Droste Effect,” named after a 1904 package of Droste brand cocoa. The mathematical interest in these packaging illustrations is their implied infinity. If the resolution of the printing process—(and the determination and eyesight of the illustrator)—were not limiting factors, it would go on forever. A package with in a package within a package... Like Russian dolls.

[via notes]

Friday, April 11, 2008

scales fell from my eyes

Escali scales are both fashionable and affordable with a price to fit any budget and to handle weights from fractions of a gram to hundreds of pounds. Pocket, bathroom, shipping, kitchen...if you need to know a weight, they have the scale to tell you!

When you are looking for cheap digital pocket scales, here's where to go.

Make this the year that you weigh things accurately and be a happier cook because of it.

Greenpeace Spied On!

You can trust Greenpeace to stand up to the powerful. But sometimes we
pay a price. Over the years, Greenpeace has been the subject of FBI
spying and a politically motivated IRS audit, prosecuted for
"sailor-mongering" by the Bush administration and even had one of its
ships bombed by the French government. Now comes breaking news that
major corporations have used agents to spy on Greenpeace.

In an article, entitled "Cops and Former Secret Service Agents Ran
Black Ops on Green Groups," Mother Jones magazine revealed today that
a security firm run by former Secret Service agents spied on
Greenpeace and other environmental organizations at the behest of
several large corporations from the late 1990s through at least 2000.

"Never doubt that a group of thoughtful committed citizens can
change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
- Margaret Mead

starlight, so bright

After a while at any major university or large company and you are sure to be subjected to the dreaded 'training video.' If you have ever wated Mystery Science Theater or looked at the Prelinger Archive you know there are hundreds if not thousands of hours of material on every subject you can imagine - almost all of it deadly boring and dry as can be. And yet, people still need to be trained so why not do it up right - in a way that is entertaining and educational?

This is where the good people at MaraStar come in. MaraStar has created hundreds of fun and engaging animated sales training and Customer Service Videos, that they call ToonUps®, to develop a communications skills training program that sticks with your employees and will improve customer service and your company's bottom line.

Their employee training materials work because they use humor to convey your messages, which has been shown by scientists to make employee training more effective and more memorable. Employees learn Customer Service skills, Sales Training tips, Human Resources help and Office Professionalism advice through this fun and informative communications skills training program that includes a variety of multimedia employee training materials.

Don't make your training a thing to fear and avoid - make it fun and people will clamor to learn.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Fun Legal Disclaimer [T-mo edition]

As seen on the bottom of a T-Mobile e-mail pitch to go to paperless billing for Arbor Day and have a tree planted on my behalf:

Limit one tree per account.
T-Mobile and the magenta color are federally registered trademarks, and t-zones is a service mark of Deutsche Telekom AG.

FYI: I took them up on the offer as I never go over on minutes anyway, might as well save a tree and our postman's back.

Torch Would

[Olympics, China, Olympic Torch, politics]

So the Olympic Torch has left San Francisco, no worse for wear it would seem. sadly lost in all the protest and counter protest (and streaking - this is the Bay Are after all) was that some fine athletes are going to compete later this year.

Will the Chinese government feel any shame that flame heading back to touch off the beginning of the Olympic Games had to be hustled in and out of town like a star witness in a mob trial? Probably not since I highly doubt the 'rank and file' back home got to see much of the pictures of the protest. So instead we have a bunch of disappointed fans for the sake of keeping peace on the streets and for that I think some of the blame should go to the protesters who decided to ruin it for everyone. Do they really think that China will back off their Tibet policy because stickers were put on a bus in San Francisco? To get real change they need to go where people listen: the pocketbook.

Is this the beginning of the end of the running of the torch? If nobody sees it happen it might as well be.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

cyber monday - a recap

In the Isac Asimov 'Foundation' series, there exists a group whose mission, in essence, is 'to organize the universe's information.' After all, it does no good to have all the information in the world if you can not get access to the answers for your questions.

Which is why, even in this day and age of several majour search engines tirelessly indexing and cross linking the various pages and posts on the world wide web it still helps to have a single site that collects the data on a single topic, and if you are looking for Christmas shopping deals that crop up right around Thanksgiving, specifically on the first Monday when we all wearily head back into work (and that nice, fast, free work provided internet access) after a four (or more) day weekend that has come to be known as Cyber Monday.

In the past the retailers were hesitant to let people know ahead of time what the deals and special would be, to the point of filing a lawsuit or two. However, now the smarter retailers are using this as free publicity and what store does not want people to know what they have on sale, particularly if they don't have to pay for it? (How much do you think Apple would have had to pay to get iPhone stories in every major news outlet? more money than they have, for sure - but since it was new it was free, allowing the retailer to pass the savings on to you, since in the end advertising has to be paid for some way or another.) is the centerpiece of this connection between you and the sellers, listing deals and providing email alerts that let you know when new cyber monday sales have been posted.

There's no way I was lining up in front of a Best Buy at 6am, particularly on a Monday workday, but with news of their
bfads and cyber monday deals it was easier and cheaper to do it from work, the free shipping meant not even having to turn the car on to collect my purchases.

Threat Level: Elevated


Coming home tonight there was a woman who, upon entering the light-rail car, proceeded to have a fit about a (full?) water bottle sitting on the seat.

"Who's is this?" she said to the crowd in general.

"It was there when we got on," said a woman sitting opposite the bottle in question.

The first woman then proceeded to tell us all that that, "this is exactly the sort of thing we are supposed to report!"

The woman opposite the bottle, lowered her newspaper and said, "go ahead."

online coupons, promotional offers and discount codes

The other day HP announced their new $500 laptop with flash memory and a keyboard shrunken to 95% of a regular sized keyboard. Time will tell if this is going to steal the thunder that by all rights should have been Apple's had they not come out with their top of the line MacBook Air (I still have hopes that this is but the first of an Air line and is using early adopters to pay for the Research and Development costs for a toteable laptop for the rest of us.)

So it looks like I will be waiting longer for my mobile solution to appear but if you are looking for the best deals on laptops you know you shouldn't just pay retail, right? To be a real cheapskate you have to look for coupons but why look when now they are all in one place? lists the discount coupons and promotion codes to keep some of that hard earned money in your wallet for use at loads of online stores. Thousands of coupons, promo codes and discount offers, conveniently sorted by category and by merchant. Nineteen different categories means you will be on your fast to saving money in no time, and saving money is half of the fun in online shopping, right?

They stay fresh with constant updates, new discounts, promotional codes and special offers added every day. Check out 'New Coupons' to see their latest deals, 'Expiring Coupons' to catch those last minute offers before the prices go back up, and 'Hot Coupons' to see what is most popular with other users of Best Online Coupons. is completely free to use. There is no cost involved, in fact, no registration is required, a rarity in today's tracking age.

Since I am still holding off on that laptop I have enough 'pin money' that I can get that FujiFilm camera from Best Buy I keep looking at and Target Bag to keep it all organized. Heck, at this point I will have save enough to take that trip on Southwest Airlines!

Torch Protest Trilogy (SF)

SFGate is reporting that the Chinese Consulate and the Organization of Chinese Americans brought in torch supporters from at least as far as Sacramento, and "...they verbally jousted with Tibetan protesters while security guards kept the two sides separated." There sure were a lot on CalTrain heading north this morning with their paper Olympic t-shirts and flags already out.

Call me old fashioned but this relay seems to have been politicized by both sides, neither of whom in my opinion is right. Not sure where this is going to end and not sure if I will be happy about it.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

by all accounts

So it may not quite be April the 15th yet, but for us 'tax day' has come and gone. Biggest surprise to me was when we went to gather all our paperwork (already mostly all in one place, thanks to the one I married) only to discover that we had Savings Accounts at more than four banks. Why so many? Probably for the same reason as most people, inertia - we opened an account when we young or when we moved to a new part of the country and it was easier or more convenient to open a new account so as to have access to money both 'at home' and 'back home.'

With all the consolidation in the banking world, banks that used to be in other parts of the world are now just down the street and banks that used to be only 'back home' have moved east. So the question becomes, shouldn't you bank where you want to and no longer just where you have to?

One bank that I have heard of but never thought of as a place to open an account is Washington Mutual or WaMu, one of which just opened down the street where I work, conveniently next to a favourite restaurant and sharing the parking lot of the shopping center. WaMu of course, offers Statement Savings and Traditional CD but better yet, Online Savings and an Online CD, just the thing to safely stash money in as Wall Street tries to figure out how to deal with all that is going on today.

WaMu has moved into some of the best looking buildings in Northern California (architecturally speaking) but more importantly, numerous savings services they offer their customers. You owe it to yourself to take a look at what they offer, you may be pleasantly surprised and a bit richer at the end of the month as well.

Doesn't Feel Like Spring


Calendar says spring but today sure doesn't feel like it. I am not looking forward to standing outside for the commute home, however, the remaining Easter cookies await, so there's one reason to go home (early).

Time to brew a cup of Peet's coffee and make a serious dent in these.

Time and Space

"I saw amazing things out there in space. But there is strangeness to be found wherever you turn. Life on Earth can be an adventure too … you just need to know where to look!" — Sarah Jane Smith

So begins and ends the latest Doctor Who spinoff to hit the US shores. Watched the pilot last week on BBC (it starts April 18th on SciFi) and I must say I am rather impressed. Of course this means I will now be watching 4 hours a week of BBC programming (Doctor Who, Torchwood, Sarah Jane Adventures and Robin Hood).

See what happens when there is no Star Trek on television?

Monday, April 07, 2008

Test projections for 'Goldfinger' Opening

Originally uploaded by Will Kane
From "Robert Brownjohn: Sex & Typography. ISBN:1-85669-464-X

Rule 34, or no, I think this is a book I would enjoy reading. Yes, I said reading, you 12 year olds. After all, I did think 'Helvetica' was a darn fine film.

Friday, April 04, 2008

the nitty gritty

Spring is all but here and that means open windows and fresh air but it also means a thin film of grey dust on the window sills. Diesel exhaust, the dust from living so much closer to downtown, pollen, or just bad karma?

What ever it is we have the spring-time sniffles, why I even caught the cat sneezing last night! The house is due for a good cleaning but I wonder if we should not invest in an air cleaner, at least for the bedroom. It has got to be cheaper in the long run then to keep buying Sudofed. (We buy enough as it is that I occasionally wonder if the FDA isn't going to start taking an interest in us.) This post has been sponsored.

Zagat: On Restaurant Logos

Interesting article from Zagat on the little things that go into a full restaurant experience and the designers that make them:

To stand out in any cluttered urban dining landscape, a new restaurant needs more than a talented chef and attractive dining room – it needs an identity. While architectural design firms usually get the lion's share of credit for how a restaurant presents itself, such praise overlooks the work of graphic designers, whose contributions can be just as crucial. A restaurant's logo helps set the tone of the meal to follow, from the signage outside to the typography on the menu. First impressions are vital in the ultracompetitive restaurant biz, and executing those few letters and occasional graphic just the right way is crucial.

Make the Dollar Go Farther

Get any address labels in the mail recently? Have you had weeks where that's the only mail you do get? If you are like me, after a while you will start to wonder who is sending them and why.

Charity Navigator - now you know who is doing what with the dollars you send them.

Frogpond Badge

Late Entry to the April Fool's Edition

[April Fool's, fonts]

FontFont have announced that they are to release Helvetica Serif, following the discovery of drawing of that typeface by Max Miedinger. The sketches which were discovered by Miedinger's granddaughter have been redrawn to create the digital version shown.

Now I want to see Helvetica: the Movie again.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management (WDW) has closed

As a California native who hasn't been back to Walt Disney World since the mid 80s - can't get a feel if this will be a change for the better or for the worse, so here's the news (mostly) verbatim:

...the controversial Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management show in Florida's Magic Kingdom has closed, to be replaced by a new show featuring Stitch.

[...]a quick check of WDW's website confirmed that two attractions, Minnie's Country House and The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management both closed today for refurbishment.

According to sources familiar with the project, the Stitch animatronic figure from Stitch Encounter will be repurposed for the new Tiki attraction (see conceptual art) in the space where the Uh-Oa figure currently stands today. What this means for Stitch Encounter, which replaced the moderately popular Alien Encounter attraction, remains to be seen. However, speculation runs high that Stitch Encounter will close later this year to make way for a reworking of the Concourse Six location to a revamped throwback of the original Flight to the Moon/Mission to Mars attraction, themed around Pixar's sure-to-be-a-hit summer release, "Wall-E." This would free up the Stitch AA for use in the Tiki Room. One could easily see how the movie's cylindrical rocket, as seen in the poster, could serve as a vehicle to carry WDW's visitors into space.

bad to the bone

Sadly, poor or bad credit is a reality for millions of Americans, but even in the credit crunch we are facing today, there are lenders who are still willing to give those people with bad credit a second chance. is a leading comparison website for people with bad credit -- featuring credit cards, home loans, auto loans, personal loans, and so much more. At their site, consumers in trouble can apply for the bad credit credit cards that's right for them, and by making payments on time they can start down the road toward rebuilding their credit and, perhaps, their financial future.

Don't let previous bad credit loans ruin your year and steal your dreams. This post has been sponsored.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Close to Home


The kicker is that we have two working VCRs in our house. Both of them are from Sony and one of them is a Betamax. If you ask nicely I may show you some Live Aid clips or some of the (other) Royal Wedding (Sara's) as I slowly convert them to DVD.

Wonder who or what will be able to read DVDs in 20 years?
idogcow. Get yours at

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