Friday, May 23, 2008

penny saviour

For our family it is never to early to start shopping for Christmas and it is always a important to save money (how else can you over shop?) so it is always a good time to remember black friday, aka the day after Thanksgiving, when even the sale items go on sale.

Sure, you could get up early, or stay up late, but this is the twenty-first century. Lining up is so not done any more, plus with the price of gas, do you really want to be driving from store to store when you could have the UPS man or FedEx do it for you?

That is why even though it is only June you should bookmark NOW. Better still sign up of email alerts for all your favourite stores. All the information you need to know all in one friendly easy to use spot. Check them out, you won't be disappointed and with the money you save, how about buying your favouite Blogger something nice (and cheap).

New Macbook Images Leaked


If I am not mistaken, this is the first image available of the MacBook Helium
(AKA "Lighter than Air").Should be in the shops as soon as they take care of the flammability problem.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

that's the sound

In our lab we have to synthesize many radio labeled tracers and keep track of many many test subjects. That can mean a great deal of paperwork and when database maintenance. Then when you have two databases that do not agree, almost an equal amount of time trying to recosile the two and make sense of the experimental data.

What we really could use is some Supply Chain Solutions, specifically a way to RFID label the test subjects. Several of the large bio medical companies we have collaborated with already have this set up and from what I have heard it simplifies things immensely.

Data Collection is a snap, no more pen and paper data collection and then the transfer of said data to the computer - every step a possibility for transposing a number or dropping a line in Excel.

I have checked out Intermec and really like what I see. If you have issues where tracking of goods or products is of key concern so should you.



Healthy snack food and beverages are now available in new vending
machine located in Clark Center East Basement just next to the

Natural Now LLC, a local Portola Valley company, has recently
installed a healthy vending machine to provide the Clark Center with
natural and organic snack food and beverage options 24 hours a day, 7
days a week. In addition to cash, the new machine accepts VISA,
Mastercard, AMEX, and Discover cards.

A portion of all sales from the vending machine goes to support, a non-profit foundation run by the founders of Natural
Now that provides educational scholarships to high school students in
Thika, Kenya

Natural Now was born out of the founders' passion for delicious and
healthy alternatives to junk food. They are always on the search for
new and interesting foods to share and welcome suggestions and

80s Flashback


A song from the deep past comes back to the surface - sort of a B52s feel to it, no?

I Want This Boot

How swell would this boot look, especially if I cold wear it on Towel Day?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

UCSF Shuttle System

Is a comparable shuttle system where you are, too?

Me? I seem to be waiting for the Bronze Line to arrive.

Just the Fax, Ma'am

Originally uploaded by lissame

Say what you want about the humble facsimile machine, but when it comes to moving a stack of documents from home to the mortgage broker it sure beats anything we have here in the office.

I guess you could replace it with a scanner and email but that still seems like you would have an extra step. This is just place, dial and walk away.

Probably not what Thoreau would have used at Walden Pond but he had the right idea, "Simplify".

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mysterious Message From Amazon is pleased to offer customers the ability to view copyrighted material from books that are part of the Search Inside! program. To protect this copyrighted material, books are subject to publisher-approved page-viewing limits.

The page you have requested is not available for viewing. For security purposes, we are not able to provide further information about why the page is unavailable.

You are free to browse sample pages from this book by clicking the links in the Sections area of the Amazon Online Reader. See more information or continue shopping.

My New Shoes Have a Back Story

"...definitely the most legendary and popular Puma style of all time, the Puma Suede has a place in history and in almost every Hall of Fame. As many sneaker aficionados know, the newly released PUMA suede shoe was worn by Olympic Athlete Tommie Smith at the 1968 Olympics when he took the Olympic awards podium with one fist held defiantly in the air. Since then, the Suede has been widely regarded as the seminal B-Boy shoe and was also made famous by early break dancing crews, such as the New York City Breakers and the Rock Steady Crew, who rocked them religiously at early Hip-Hop jams in New York City. Today, they're just as cool as ever with a sleek suede upper and durable rubber outsole."

Friday, May 16, 2008

Now I Am Intrigued


Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever is a 2002 action film starring Lucy Liu and Antonio Banderas. Liu and Banderas play opposing secret agents who are supposedly enemies, but team up during the movie. The film was universally panned by critics, who generally regarded it as having no redeeming features, not even the comedic value normally associated with bad films. It is often listed among the worst movies ever made.

So who paid to see this? Anyone??

the most host

Almost anyone can host a web site and do a "good" job, but is that really what all you want? Don't you want (and need and deserve) the best?

The best web hosting companies provide excellent 24-hour support that will answer your questions almost instantaneously and provide the most mind-blowing quality of servers that hardly seem to break down.

Right about now though, you must be thinking - all of these web hosting companies of such calibre probably cost a bomb. It's OK, though, there is help in making your decision - Web Hosting ratings has tips, articles and comparisons to set you straight.

For example, deciding on colocation. Colocation is where one leases space for a professional data centerIt can be an expensive option but it offer extra control over the server which is why many people like the option of colocation web hosting. Weigh the pros and cons and make the smart choice!

Saves Fuel But at What Cost


With gas edging ever closer to $4 per gallon more people are turning to motorcycles and scooters. One wonders if they aren't penny wise but pound foolish.

(BTW: I didn't add the red circle, found on the internets that way.)

Sort of reminds me of the lyrics from Depeche Mode's "Halo":

You wear guilt/

Like shackles on your feet/

Like a halo in reverse

Thursday, May 15, 2008

mcmann the man

Paul McMann may be best known for his work in the real estate game, but do not make the mistake that this is all he has done. His long and distinguished career has followed a circuitous path, not unlike a real life Buckaroo Banzai. Buckaroo Banzai (played by Peter Weller), you may recall was quite the renaissance man: a top neurosurgeon, particle physicist, race car driver, rock star and comic book hero, and in the film, probably the last hope of the human race. For my money Paul is as close to a real life version of this as you will find in real life From working as a financial services sales representative to teaching finance as a college professor to building his own real estate development company, Mr. McMann has made it a goal to pursue interests that allow him to merge his personal passion with his keen business sense.

As a member of the Boston Area Commonwealth Advisors Group, LLC, Paul McMann’s most recent achievement was being named as an affiliate with Blue Coast Financial Group. McMann will be working with Blue Coast as a Workers Comp and Electricity Deregulation financial advisor.

Paul McMann has taught financial and management accounting at both the undergraduate and graduate level, most notably as a professor at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. He has led several performance measurement and management accounting methodology seminars and published a number of scholarly articles, including "You May Need New Performance Measures When...," an article co-authored by Paul McMann and Joseph M. Orlando that appeared in the Journal of Strategic Performance Measurement.

Spare the Air


Tomorrow, Friday, May 16, is a Spare the Air Day in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Public transit is NOT free tomorrow. This year the Air District and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission will sponsor one PLANNED free transit day on June 19, 2008, to allow new riders the opportunity to plan it into their commute.

Concentrations of ground-level ozone pollution are forecast to be unhealthy tomorrow. Hot temperatures and light winds will combine to produce poor air quality for the Bay Area.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

hot time in the old town

Chicago maybe known for many things - The Water Tower, the (former) Marshall Field's, the food but for me it will be the home of the long suffering Cubs. When you are staying in Wrigleyville and close enough to walk to the park you can pretty much show up at any time and get great seats. Last game I went to we came in just before the second inning, walked in and had seats just three rows up from the field, right on the first base line. We could not believe they were our seats, we must have checked the row number against our stubs about five times. Close enough to read the names on the back of the shirts, heckle the base runners and chat with the umpire between innings. Made sure to sample the fine food and local beer while we were there as well. Somewhere I think we still have the program - bough as much for the Primeco alien on the back as for the stats inside.

If you do not have a local friend to take you in, signing up for sightseeing tours is a great way to get to know a city. They'll set you up with all the Chicago things to do so you get the most out of your time.

Trusted Tours and Attractions offers discounted tickets to the best sightseeing tours in 23 cities across America, including Chicago and my old home town of Boston.

Planning your next vacation? Looking for ideas on what to do? Sign up for the Trusted Travels eNewsletter and enter to win a $150 iTunes gift card Offer ends Saturday, May 31st, 2008.
Don't forget to special promotion we are having where a person can win a $150 itunes gift card by signing up for our newsletter.

An Interesting Read

The Hound of Rowan
Book One of The Tapestry
Henry Neff

Good news for all you Harry Potter fans lamenting the last of that series. Here is a book/series with a similar slant that promises to be exciting and fascinating. Max McDaniels visits an art museum frequented by his missing mother and discovers an ancient Celtic tapestry in a mysterious side room. The threads of the tapestry come alive and play a haunting song, releasing strange stirrings and powers within Max. But encountering the tapestry also puts Max on the radar screen for teachers and wizards from Rowan Academy, who wish him to become a student, and for kidnappers from ''the other side'' who want these ''Potentials'' for their own devious plans.

If you don't mind the obvious similarities to Harry Potter in this book (a school for magic/wizardry and a boy wanted by both the good and evil masters of sorcery), this is a great read. I liked Rowan Academy, set in a little township on the Atlantic seaboard, with its own set of quirks and eccentricities, different from Hogwarts. Max and his fellow students have really interesting classes and adventures, and the suspense and excitement of the story is strong enough to keep you engaged and guessing until the end. I couldn't put it down, and found myself wishing the second book was available, which is always a good recommendation for a new series. May this story find its own rightful place in the hall of good books and adventures!

I am a few books behind from our growing library - finishing "Prince Caspian" later today or tomorrow, finished "Once Upon a Time in the North" couple of nights ago. The above just arrived but 'someone else' has already started this one. Herbie Brennen, maybe?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Speed Racer Bites - Literally!

[Speed Racer, PETA]

When your friends and neighbors go to see the new movie Speed Racer, what they won't see is the trainer who allegedly beat the chimpanzee who plays Chim Chim. They also won't see the chimpanzee bite an actor on the set.

Computers, animatronics, and costumes have made putting real animals through confusing and scary routines-where misbehavior or a lack of understanding can result in punishment-entirely unnecessary. So why do movies like Speed Racer continue to exploit them?

Help let Hollywood know that you will not stand by while animals are mistreated for entertainment. PETA makes sure moviegoers know that animals are not actors, are not on these sets voluntarily, and should never be beaten or abused because they aren't able to play the part that the director has chosen for them.

Also: be sure to check out the beautiful but ruthless machine from TV's hottest show, Battlestar Galactica. The real life Tricia Helfer (a.k.a. Six to her legions of fans) has a heart of gold and a soft spot for animals, particularly cats. That's why she's starring in PETA's newest "Be an Angel for Animals" PSA in behalf of our feline friends.

start a fire

You have probably been reading about it but now it can be told, SocialSpark has gone live. The alpha bugs have clearly been worked out and now the site is raring to go. Quite the effort has been made to make it look like a fully modern and up to date site - in fact at first glance you may make the mistake of thinking that here is finally a social networking site that looks good, unlike say a site in Palo Alto that shall remain nameless (if you need a hint, their workers carry Jack Spade bags).

If you were thinking of making a little extra money from you blog or journal but hate the really obvious hard sell that some some blogs opt for this is the answer. I created a profile for this blog (what can I say I like my own work - kind of a prerequisite for a blog, don'y you think?) and now I can wait for a sponsor to fund the entire site. Almost like having a King as your personal patron of the arts.

Make a little extra on the side for what you are already doing or if nothing else, take at look and see what clean interface design looks like! This has been a sponsored post.

These Modern Times

[, , ]

Before I forget this I wanted to get it down on 'paper': We were at Kinkos this week-end making copies of relevant Frommer's pages (we own the books, just didn't want all the weight) and a man walked in and asked the clerk if they sold 'flash cards.'

"You mean, USB drives? Sure!"

"Uh, no. Index cards, you know, 3x5"

"I don't think so. Try Longs."

your gracious host

Hosting a web site is so much more than just parking your images on someone else's server these days - there is bandwidth, cookie tracking, secure order forms and scores of metrics to follow if you want to have more than just a collection of action figure photographs to show people.

Which is why it can be critical to make the best web hosting chioce you can, and you can do just that when you go to a site that shows you all your options in on one screen. If the web is part of your big business plan, do the right thing and check out all your options with the top 10 Best Sites at Web Hosting Choice. This has been a sponsored post.

Slowly and Piece by Piece

The tool shed for the back yard is taking place - Mother's day was spent (again) at Home Depot (do you know they sell flowers there in case you forget to get the mom(s) in your life a bouquet?)

Almost all the wood to frame the floor purchased- just a few more pressure treated 2x4s to support the floor. Now the question is how to get the plywood home?

Monday, May 12, 2008

how inviting!

Maybe it is because in another life I wold liked to have been a graphic designer, but the selection process we went through for our wedding invitations was the second best part of planning a wedding. I would be a liar if I did not say picking the cake was the best part - in fact I know of more than one 'bride' who ran out of local bakeries to audition cakes from. But seriously, wouldn't these Photo Card Invitations make unique and unforgettable wedding invitations?

Your invitation sets the tone for the whole wedding, the imagery, the colour-scheme and the level of formality. Do you want to be original or use someone else's design?

When a former co-worker sent us her invitation we knew we were going to be in for a long afternoon when the location was a well known local Catholic church and the design screamed 'traditional church wedding'. It had been a while since wither of us had been to a proper cathedral (unless you count sight-seeing trips in Europe!) but we figured, afternoon wedding, better err on the side of too formal. Well, the teens in the pew in front of us didn't think the same way and TWICE during the ceremony their mobile phones went off! Let me tell you, nothing echoes more than a phone in a church. They seemed to be nonplussed by the whole event, we were mortified since there was no way to tell for those in front of us who glared who the culprit was. Chances are some thought it *was* us given the fact that we probably looked more uncomfortable than the actual culprit!

A nice (and exclusive to 1st Class Wedding) feature is the ability to zoom in on an image.

You'd have to change the Merry Christmas to 'Cordially Invited' but these are totally customizable - you control the text, the font - it's your card, professionally printed!

Captive Market

This from the blogospere, specifically from Movie Marketing Madness:

Get ready for in-theater advertising this Summer, "Car companies are flocking to in-theater advertising this summer [...] the two biggest theater ad network operators, are seeing numbers this year far in excess of last year."

But will anyone stop talking on the phone long enough to notice?

Even my beloved Camera Cinema has raised their ticket prices and (I believe) started showing ads. Too bad for them that really the only movie I am interested in so far is "Narnia II". (AKA 'Book 4').

stick to your list

Sure, there may be thousands of various mailing lists available in the commercial marketplace and most of them can be sorted and segmented to reach an almost infinite variety of special markets, so who can you trust for your business list broker? Someone who will honestly look over the lists they have and recommend the list that is right for your needs and for your budget.

Be sure to remember that list selection is still not an exact science (we get mail almost every day to people that have long since lived at our address, maybe you do too), so the savvy marketer should be open to test small quantities of various lists before committing to a purchase - a good broker should understand and participate in the evaluation of each test.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Mach 5 Has Been Sabotaged!

[Speed Racer]

I was iffy on the whole idea of a live-action Speed Racer movie and now I know why thanks to Mick LaSalle, (San Francisco) Chronicle Staff Writer at the SFGate:

"These scenes come close to straight-up animation, but they're more like watching a video game - not like playing a video game, but like watching other people play, and for a very long time."

New video shows more abuse of downer cows - please help them!

Tell the USDA to stop the suffering now!

Update and call to action for farm animals

May 8, 2008 

You probably remember when The Humane Society of the United States exposed animal mistreatment at the Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Company. That investigation led to the nation's largest-ever beef recall. But now there's more.

A few months later, a new undercover video shows farm animals suffering terribly even before they arrive at the slaughter plant. Cows too weak to walk, called "downers," languish for agonizing hours at stockyards and auctions without veterinary care -- or being put out of their misery. This abuse must not continue.

The USDA has a presence at slaughter plants, but the animals at auctions and stockyards are in legal limbo. No one is watching at these intermediate locations, and no one is taking responsibility for ensuring humane treatment and that sick animals don't enter the food supply. It's a major gap in oversight, and we need to do better.

Please ask the USDA to act now to close the loophole that allows some downers to be slaughtered for food, and to require immediate, humane euthanasia of all downers.

Thank you for all you do for animals.


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

Copyright ©2008 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 |

The Last Mile

Vortrinken bei mir
Originally uploaded by Ljuuce
So last week at Grand Rounds the MD presenting brought his spiffy new Macbook Air - problem was he didn't bring the adapters to connect it to the projector.

No problem, someone in the audience always has a laptop, right? Well - they did only with an incompatible version of PowerPoint.

20 minutes later we were able to get on with the show. Guess there is something to be said about being prepared (or having a PowerBook old enough to still have a bear a standard VGA connector).

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

nice work if you can get it

If you are looking for work, looking for more work or for higher profile work as an actor in the New York City area should be at the top of your internet favorites listings.

New York Castings helps in casting over 4,500 projects a year and has been serving the New York entertainment community for over 7 years now. They are a regularly dependable, free and highly recognized service for Casting Directors, Talent Representatives & Producers to find the RIGHT type of talent for on-camera, print, voice-over & live projects with almost no effort on your part.

Get your face and voice in front of the people who make the decisions today and start working tomorrow, unless of course, you like your nine to five job.

SJMerc: Shock over seal killings


Sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning - when there was but a sliver of moon and barely a flicker from the Piedras Blancas Lighthouse up the road - someone approached the elephant seals not with a camera, but with a gun.

The killings came a day before six sea lions were discovered dead - apparently shot - 700 miles away on the Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington.

"These animals don't feed on fish here and they were free, just laying on the beach," said state park ranger Bill Payne, who patrols the elephant seal beach. "You wonder what would drive a person to do it. There's got to be a lot of anger."

As a society we are going to H*ell in a hand-basket - apparently gasoline at $4/ gal removes the thin veneer of civilization.

via San Jose Mercury News

free advice for sale

On the internet nobody knows your a dog goes the old saying but thanks to tracking and other advanced metrics you can now know if the internet ad you have created is a dog. How do you know if the ad you have created is good? The same way you do in sports, compare the amount of clicks to the number of times the ad is viewed. An ad that is viewed hundreds or even thousands of times a day with no resulting clicks is dividing by zero and as your old school PE, math and economics teachers will tell you that is not good (you math teacher may tell you that it is also impossible).

Luckily, there are those who will help you to create a successful AdWords ad. Some of the helpful suggestions: use action words like ‘‘Shop,’’ ‘‘Buy!’’ ‘‘Choose,’’ ‘‘Try,’’ while avoiding words that don't ask the viewer to act with words like ‘‘Consider.’’ Another important step to consider is to set a budget - it costs money to make money but don't let it cost you money for no reason.

There is quite a bit of information on keyword selection - more than I have time to go into here, but if you want an excellent primer on setting up your first campaign or to improve the one you already have, StylishDesign should be in your bookmarks, NOW.

Yahoo Go Solo?

Not sure why everyone is so bummed out by Microsoft NOT buying Yahoo! I for one like them the way they are, their email makes more sense to me than gMail, Flickr continues to amaze and entertain and Upcoming has clued me in to more events than any other calendar or social networking site.

That being said I have accounts on both and would like to continue to do so. Don't own shares in either as well.

OK, off of my invisible soap box.

Monday, May 05, 2008

sleep tight

With our EuroTrip getting closer I started to wonder about the quality of the hotels we were looking at as we first started planning. I al 99.9% sure everything is top notch but based on the news, even four star hotels are having bedbug problems these days.

If you have bed bugs clothes are only one place they can hide. These small, flat, wingless insects survive by feeding on blood growing up to one quarter of an inch long. They’re usually nocturnal and will hide in bedrooms on the mattress and box springs, in cracks and crevices and on curtains during daylight.

The good news it is easier than you might imagine - all you have to do is run them through the laundry. About five minutes in most dryers is enough to kill both the adults and the developing critters. They die off because of the heat - they just can't survive the temperatures (up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit) of most home washers and driers. This has been a sponsored post.

For the Earth

In honor of Earth Day, cartoonists syndicated by King Features Syndicate got together to come up with eco-awareness installments of their daily strips. Participants included familiar strips like "Beetle Bailey," "Blondie," "Dennis the Menace," and "Zits," as well as newer ones like "Arctic Circle," "Retail" and "The Pajama Diaries."

The New York Times highlighted the creative efforts of MUTTS in their celebration of Earth Day while USA Today also covered the story and created a gallery of all the Earth Day strips.

Friday, May 02, 2008

a shining planet known as earth

So earlier today I mentioned that I was cranky about watching so guy just litter the ground with his used (unsanitary) tissues. My only guesses are that either he figures that there are people paid to pick up after him and if he was neat and tidy that would put them out of a job or he just does not even notice when he does it and now it is second nature to him.

Either way was enough to set my blood boiling for the trip into work and really make me dislike a large percentage of the human race which I am sure does not endear me to the rest of them either. Which is why I found it interesting to read today about The Sedona Method.

I learned how The Sedona Method is the bridge between The Secret and the Law of Attraction which may sound like a seminar at the Whole Earth Festival but if it sounds at all intriguing, you should take a look at their Free DVD and CD offer and judge them on their own merits.

I am curious to hear how one can have it all and still be free of ego and see why they say the Sedona Method is the bridge between two philosophies: "The Secret" and "A New Earth".

It is Friday, the end of a long (to me) week, why not start the week end working on the new?

To Get to the Other Side

from the news:

The Swedish government has ordered the National Road Administration to design a female alternative to the walking-man signs found at the Scandinavian nation's pedestrian crossings, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The new sign will show a woman instead of a man crossing the street, giving more gender balance to Swedish road signs, enterprise ministry spokesman Kenneth Hultgren said.

The government was inspired by a campaign in the city of Mariestad, 300 kilometers (190 miles) southwest of Stockholm, to put up a walking woman sign created by a local artist, Hultgren said.

Unwilling to give Mariestad an exemption from the national standards on road signs, the government instead decided to introduce the new sign nationwide, he said.

The walking woman sign is expected to be introduced next year. It will be up to local authorities to decide whether to use the new symbol or the traditional walking man sign, which came into use in 1966, road administration spokeswoman Anna Karin Bergstrom said.

Litter, Bugs


Apologies for the rant first thing in the morning, but I am quite cross with myself today for not speaking up. While waiting for the train, this man takes several tissues out of his pocket, blows his nose in the clean one, then wadded them up individually and just dropped them on the pavement! What a slob!

I so wanted to say something but didn't have the nerve.

Sadly I will agonize over this all day while I am sure he will not even give it a second thought.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

right size your ride

As gas prices near $4/gal here in California, perhaps it is worth taking a small break and checking what the price per gallon of fuel costs in the rest of the world. A quick check of the Mercury News' 'Road Show' column yields in Germany they're now paying the equivalent of $8.60 a gallon, in Paris the fuel costs are the equivalent of $9.25 per gallon and there are claims to have seen the equivalent of $10.50 per gallon in England last month.

So, if you can not cut down on the miles you drive, maybe you are driving more car than you need. If you are thinking it is time to trade up (or down) but don’t want to spend a lot of money - stop in at and look into their Used Car section and prepare to be amazed at what is available. An enormous selection of used cars await you at the best prices by both private sellers and used car dealerships.

Enter in the make and model of the car you’re thinking of (you can also narrow the search by adding options like colour, price range, location and who you would prefer to buy from: a private owner or a dealer (or both!))

So if you want a used ford Ka (50 MPG!) you should start looking here.
[, ]

Spied on CalTrain this morning while shoulder surfing:

The Wall Street Journal reports: "Unlike its iconic American counterpart, the Oreo sold in China is frequently long, thin, four-layered and coated in chocolate. But both kinds of cookies have one important thing in common: They are now best sellers."
idogcow. Get yours at

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