Monday, July 28, 2008

Google Driving Cost

Holy smokes this this cool. I have been on a bit of an anti-Google tear of late (800lb gorilla and all) but this is a smoking hot new (?) feature: showing the cost to drive versus the cost of public transit. In this case it would be cheaper to drive (except for the whole parking in the city issue) but just showing the similarity rocks - and who knows how many people this will take out of their cars?

San Francisco Caltrain Station 4th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

$1.50 (vs. $0.89 driving)

Public transit
Travel time: about 19 mins

Walk to King St & 4th St
About 1 min

Light rail - N - Judah - Direction: Ocean Beach
Service run by San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency

9:36amDepart King St & 4th St

16 mins

9:52amArrive Powell St. BART

gps saved a life

GPS (or SatNav as they call it in the United Kingdom) can be a real help when you don't know where you are going or even when you do - I have used online mapping websites and phone based directions and been sent in the wrong way or in a much longer way more times than I can count. Plus, if and when you get off 'the path' you can quickly get just as lost.

Recently I was looking for the DMV in Sunnyvale and instead of using the common name 'El Camino Real,' the map I created insisted on calling it State Route 82 which made for a wrong turn and a pulling over to get a new set of instructions. An in car GPS would have simply said 'recalculating' and I could have made my appointment on time.

No wonder my cousin opted for the GPS over an iPod - more useful!

If you are thinking of adding a cheap GPS to your ride, you really should check out the prices and selection at the Auto GPS store. I have and know you won't be sorry.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Where Do You Want to Go Today (Not Here)

Free Video Nude Of BEST Celebrities!
Windows Live Customer Support | Hotmail Support FAQs | Newsletter feedback

Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052 As a Windows Live member you have received this e-mail to inform you of updates, changes to the service, or special news and information vital to the service.

Microsoft has changed since Bill stepped down, not sure if I agree with the new direction Mr. Balmer seems to be taking them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Breakfast Spam (PNSFW)

 From an email address somewhere in Italy comes today's missive with the provocative subject line " Bodyguards Positioned Outside Jolies Vagina ".

Not sure if this is a job offer or a link to pictures - as you can imagine I did not follow the link.

Enjoy the rest of your day, folks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Big Meow - Chapter 7

Welcome to the glitzy, murky world of 1946 Hollywood, a smoggy film-noir landscape filled with glamourous starlets, flamboyantly corrupt studio heads, and wicked, pampered cats with hidden agendas; a city of unsolved murders, snoopy screenwriters, scheming PR flacks, and a shadowy, celebrity-ridden cult dabbling in knowledge better left alone -- knowledge which could destroy the world's present and doom its future, if the dreadful promise of the Year of the Black Jaguar is fulfilled...

Diane Duane returns to add a seventh chapter to her on-line novel (soon to be in print as well) of her feline wizard series, started in 'The Book of Night with Moon' and followed up with 'On Her Majesty's Wizardly Service'.

I started reading these in chapter form after we subscribed but then came 'round to the thinking that maybe it would be more fun to read it all in one fell swoop. Maybe I will go back to the chapter reading now that more pages are coming soon!

FYI: The online novel The Big Meow and all applicable original website content are © 2006-2008 Diane Duane.


Monday, July 21, 2008

sno fun

When it comes to riding the frozen waves there are two types of people, the cool ones who ride Burton snowboards and everyone else.

Seriously - heave you looked at the sick graphics that Burton has on their gear? I used to make it through many a dull meeting or class in grad school by looking at their catalogs. Yes, I was that proverbial kid with the comic book behind their school book back in Boston.

I told myself when I went to grad school I would either learn to surf (Los Angeles) or Snowboard (Boston) and when I finally did in the last year that I was out there I was sure that I had the best gear I could afford - no sense looking like a grommet even if I rode like one!

ebay Point 'n Click

Frogpond BadgeThe eBay Shopping & Discovery site helps find auctions that interest you and then lets you take control to adjust the results to see "more like this."

Definitely worth a look unless you want to save money by not buying stuff. I am thinking with the poor dollar to Euro rate at the moment combined with the fees the airlines are charging for each (and extra) bag - plus my ever aging back - if it won't make sense in the near term to not bring back too many souvenirs from traveling and just get them on eBay when you return?

Who knows - maybe in the future you won't even have to make the trip, just see the sights in SecondLife and have the shirts and pins mailed to you??

see here now announces glasses for only eight dollars - this deal might not last long so better to act in haste then to repent in sorrow.

And in case you are a skeptic like me, no they don't have a bunch of cast off ugly frames, they actually have a huge selection of frames: our standard single vision lens, sun-sensitive lenses, sunglasses, and what I am afraid someday I will need: bifocals.

Their secret to low prices is they sell only their own manufactured frames direct to you, with no middlemen and virtually no advertising budget.

Still doubting? Look at this recent Zenni on Fox story. This has been a sponsored post.

One TDK D90, Please

As heard last night on To the Best of Our Knowledge, possibly the greatest new website and (another) damn, why didn't I think of that: CASSETTE FROM MY EX.

One thought that impressed me from the tapes made 5(ish) or more years ago: these people had to buy the LPs or borrow their friend's (or work at a radio station) - no iTunes or Napster back then....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Better Than BSOD


Found on the internets, apparently the Chinese characters translate to 'cafeteria'. One wonders if this is a banner or something more permamnent??

Also: I learned this from Wikipedia today (another childhood 'fact' proved myth):

A common myth about the kangaroo's English name is that it came from the Aboriginal words for "I don't understand you." According to this legend, Captain James Cook and naturalist Sir Joseph Banks were exploring Australia when they happened upon the animal. They asked a nearby local what the creatures were called. The local responded "Kangaroo", meaning "I don't understand you", which Cook took to be the name of the creature. This myth was debunked in the 1970s by linguist John B. Haviland.

Berlin Alexanderplatz

Berlin Alexanderplatz
Originally uploaded by idogcow
Built between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic, the 365 m (after the installation of a new antenna in the 1990s, the height is now 368 m) tower can been seen from just about anywhere in Berlin.

According to our friends at Bayer, Berlin doesn't have a rainy season as much as just occasional rain.

Made for a great backdrop to the picture, don't you think??

Operation Grand Slam


This picture reminded my of one of my favourite parts in Goldfinger.

As for the famous Goldfinger line - in the book the scene doesn't end as in the film, the film version (wisely) omitted the rest.

It went:
"Do you expect me to talk?"
"No, Mr Bond, I expect you to die!"
"Well, then you can go and f--- yourself."
"No, Mr Bond, not even I am capable of that!"

the best defense

If you or someone close to you has been arrested the first thing you need to do is calm down enough to pick out a good legal team - trust me, the law is no joke and the better your team is the better your expected outcome will be.

When it comes to the looking for legal help in the Southland area that you can trust, you can turn to the forum over at the Los Angeles Criminal & DUI Defense Attorneys | California Criminal Law Discussion for good people and suggestions.

Here they will walk you through the steps of everything that will happen, from arrest to bail to trial. The court of law is nothing like you may have seen on television so if you find yourself in trouble get the help you need at a price you can afford.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A Baby is Missing


The night nurse of the incubator ward came in to see how the premature babies were doing.

She peeked at the thermostat, she looked around and into the Holden incubator - and the Holden baby was gone.

She brought an orderly and a doctor running but sure enough the baby had vanished.

When the parents arrived they were of course almost crazed but the doctor had to tell the pitiful truth - that the baby then weighed two pounds eleven ounces.

If it had been taken outside on such a night it might live for an hour, two hours at most. The parents shuffled off home.

The doctor put a tentative stroke across the baby's progress chart.

A police siren whined outside and the next morning the tabloids reported a routine kidnapping. The FBI was called in and that was apparently the end of the story.

Three weeks later a pleasant housewife, who lives way uptown, was doing her housework one morning and listening to the radio and up came a pleasant jingle going the rounds of the dance halls and the disc jockeys - a song called Don't Call Me A Nosey Man.

This woman couldn't get the thing out of her head.

She decided she would clean up a bit and go out and buy the gramophone record of it and she went to a little store on 125th Street in the heart of Harlem and asked the assistant to play it first.


Alistair Cooke

Monday, July 14, 2008

good with wood

When I was younger it was a given that anything that needed to done around the house would be handled by dad and assisted by me. Of course when I say assisted it generaly meant fetching nails or an extra wrench from the tool box from the shed. At the time I did not think I was learning anything just saving the wear and tear on my father's legs. ("You get it, you have young legs" was often heard around our house).

Well, the years have passed and it turns out I did learn a few things here and there which have all turned out to be quite helpful now that I have my own house to try and maintain.

The problem now is that who will help dad now that he's not up for much in the way of home repair - how can you find reliable Memphis Contractors or Sacramento Contractors without auditioning each and every one of them (which would quickly become expensive).

Once again the internet and the wisdom of the crowds comes to the rescue: Clicksmart allows you to find quality contractors for all your needs, be they remodeling, heating or air conditioning, roofing, electrical, plumbing, painting, flooring, and loads of others. Clicksmart has certified contractors, too. See if they can't save you time and money in your hometown as well.

Pin Head

[, ]

I found the Hard Rock Cafe in Berlin (I had a Google map but there were street signs that did a better job) and shock of all shocks they actually had a pin that was fairly representative of the city. IMO, there have been a recent run of what I will call 'stupid' pins - girls and rugby players with only a hint of a connection to the city. No shortage of people buying them so I guess maybe I am a minority???

shine a light

When the lights go out or when things go bump in the night, it would be helpful to have a tactical flashlight within arm's reach. As with any tool, often the better made, more expensive model will in the long run save you money.

How many cheap, wimpy flashlights have you gone through in a lifetime? Why not get one with real power that will last, you know, like the ones the pros use. My brother and I used to call them 'X-Files' flashlights after the high powered ones used on the hit TV show but I guess the proper term is "tactical flashlight." I'd trust to hook you up with the good stuff, at a price you can still afford.

Soundtrack of Summer


Great looking video (full disclosure: the soundtrack alone sold me) of classic 8-bit arcade moments lovingly recreated with real world objects. I may never look at a muffin with out hearing the centipede music again!

paying the piper

Are you worried about the economy and the number of large American banks that are closing? Maybe you have more immediate financial needs that are of concern and are wondering more and more if Credit counseling might be a good idea?

If these or other concerns are keeping you up at night in front of a calculator you need to see the BillsIQ web site. BillsIQ has all the tools anyone could need to assist visitors about how to understand their overall financial health and ways to improve their financial score. Take the quiz to measure your know how and see what you can do to maximize your life and wealth plan. I learned things that I had never known before (and we have refinanced our house now enough times that looking at credit scores has almost become old hat). I scored an 88% which is not too bad (In my opinion) but honestly I thought I would have done better, probably better hit the books when it comes to the 401K and the whole retirement thing - that's one of the BillsIQ pages I have marked for further study. Getting a free credit report from them might also be a good idea.

Remember, banking and credit is almost like another language and learning how to speak it, even if you never become fluent in it, is a big help - something many people never do, much to their detriment. After all, having perfect credit is great but having better credit than the majority is almost as good - it is all about risk after all. Make yourself look less risky than your neighbor and lenders will be much happier to give you the favorable rates and all the benefits that come with status.

Here and Back Again


Back from the International Business Trip to (mostly) sunny Berlin (Germany) and after more than 50 hours post landing I now have a suitcase again.

Expect a more detailed rant regarding United Airlines to follow, but for now it is good to be back. (When did it get so cold?)

Thursday, July 03, 2008

hit the road jack

No matter where you travel - even the public transit loving European countries - there are times when you have to ditch the bus and head off on your own path and thanks the competition in the car rental (or should I say, "car hire") business, prices have never been lowers - which is good since fuel costs are at an all time high and appear to only be climbing higher. We hired a car so we could get to Tintagel in Cornwall, England, the 'legendary home of King Arthur,' and so far off the grid in terms of bus routes we got lost for the better part of an hour. (Lesson: next time we'll spring for the SatNav).

But don't just think you can go to any of the majour rental sites and get a good deal automatically, that still requires a modicum of effort. Thankfully for the thrifty and lazy, Advantage has you covered. And not with just any old ride, how about half off of convertibles and Luxury car rentals?

Wall to Wall-E

Stuck in my head so why not stuck in yours, too:

Out there
There's a world outside of Yonkers
Way out there beyond this hick town, Barnaby
There's a slick town, Barnaby
Out there
Full of shine and full of sparkle
Close your eyes and see it glisten, Barnaby
Listen, Barnaby...

Put on your Sunday clothes, there's lots of world out there
Get out the brillantine and dime cigars
We're gonna find adventure in the evening air
Girls in white
In a perfumed night
Where the lights are bright as the stars!
Put on your Sunday clothes, we're gonna ride through town
In one of those new horsedrawn open cars

We'll see the shows
At Delmonico's
And we'll close the town in a whirl
And we won't come home until we've kissed a girl!

My soundtrack complaint - why not the whole song?

Can't Get Enough of That Wonderful Duff(y)

"Duffy, a 24-year-old singer from Wales, is part of the latest British invasion, a wave of young women offering a fresh take on some old sounds. Her huge voice has inspired comparisons to Dusty Springfield and sparked rumors that her father is actually pop icon (and fellow Wales native) Tom Jones.

Amy Ann Duffy started singing as a little girl, but quite secretively. [...] She says her hometown on the coast of Wales is the kind of place "where pipe dreams are usually quashed in order to prevent you from being disappointed."

Duffy used a karaoke machine she got for Christmas one year to make demos. She'd record her songs and send them to herself to reserve the copyright. Eventually, she began sending them out. And now her debut album, Rockferry, has hit the Billboard Top 5."


Be sure to listen to the 3 live cuts from WFUV!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

game set match

A first date can be awkward enough as it is, but for some having to make conversation with your date, and let us be hones, you have to do this, can make it more awkward still. Many people, even seemingly confident people like me, have become panicked by awkward silences and silences - what we used to call at the radio station, 'dead air.'

But how to get that all important first date? Well, short of meeting that special someone in a bar or in a college class, you could try to find lasting love with your total compatibility match and Five Star Dating. Not just a simple dating web site, but more of a dating system that will compare several matchmaking services and the online dating sites. Use the 5 Star Dating site to find the most compelling internet singles site or matchmaking service for your needs, straight, gay or Christian., in order to maximize their chance of online dating success.

There is someone out there – just as Wall-E found his EVE, you too can find that special someone. Why not start the search now and leverage the power of the Internet to help find them - you search for mundane things every day, why not for the one more thing.

Your account hold has been removed

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed your time away from Netflix. As you requested on 04/30/2008, we have reactivated your account, and billing will resume today. The first available movies in your Queue will be shipped to you shortly.

Enjoy your movies!

-Your friends at Netflix

First up: Futurama and a Nation Geographic special we missed on TV about Stonehenge - while AT Stonehenge....

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

walk don't run

Nothing has put the humble treadmill back into the limelight like the OK Go video that I know you are thinking about right now. One of the better viral videos to come along in dare I say it, years, OK Go has achieved what few band could dream about even just a few years ago.

If you are thinking or recreating the video or even if you want to know if treadmill machines are right for your home fitness goals, follow today's link.

We have a stationary bike and a treadmill in our home gym ('garage') and having the option to switch between the two has really kept the two of us on the sporting routine, plus, we never need worry about the weather!

this has been a sponsored post.

Sights and Sounds of New Orleans


With Lively Arts' pre-Independence Day celebration and an exhibition from New Orleans at the Cantor Arts Center, the Stanford campus abounds with related arts events this summer
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra

Thursday, July 3 at 7:30pm (Gates open at 5:30) at the Frost amphitheater

Get a head-start on the 4th-of-July-weekend with Stanford Lively Arts' annual pre-Independence day concert and picnic, which was one of the San Francisco Chronicle's top picks for this week.  This year, Irvin Mayfield—the cultural ambassador for New Orleans—brings the sizzling sounds of the Crescent City to Frost Amphitheater with his 16-member band.

No fireworks this year due to fire concerns, however.

cool baby

My cousin and her husband bought a 'historic home' in and that means 2 main things: small in size and no built in air conditioning. That was fine when it was just the two of them but now with the arrival of my niece they have realized the penny wise and pound foolishness of their purchase. Luckily for them they were able to find a reasonably priced, used portable air conditioner that they can move about the house.

Look no further than Split System Air Conditioners for your home, for an open plan room or even a baby's room of your own in the Victoria area or beyond. Over one thousand successful installs and counting!

This has been a sponsored post.

Berlin Travel Plan

Not sure if there is time for it but according to Frommer's there is a Ramone's Musuem in Berlin. Apparenly one of theme was from tgere and had fond memories of the place.

Think first and foremost I will make sure I get to the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag.

connect you

Display ads are great if you are OK with getting your name and brand out there but wouldn't you rather only have to pay for results? This of your own internet activity today and how many ads you have seen versus how many you have clicked on, then ask yourself how many people may be looking at your ad and not clicking through. Thanks to the magic of the internet and the good people at Network Solutions now you can avoid the lookers and get the people who are truly interested in you and what you have to offer.

For a low per month charge they will take care of the details like keyword research, web site analysis, creation of ad copy, keyword buys, plus campaign reporting so can see what has happened and what you need to do to maximize your web site's profitability.

See the future of ppc advertising today and start making yourself more money in less time.

Plus, they now offer Pay Per Phone Call Advertising - Send those web surfers to their phones by adding the Pay Per Phone Call option to your plan. It works like pay per click advertising except you pay only after a customer phones you, perfect if you prefer to close sales over the phone. Just allocate funds from your Performance Clicks / Maximized budget with no extra fees!
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