Wednesday, August 27, 2008

No More iCards

[, ]

So I went to send my sister an icard for her birthday since Apple's offerings were always tasteful and quick to download (important when you are on AOL and dialup) and lo and behold, find out that Apple killed the iCard section when .mac became MobileMe.

Bummer - I always liked their selection and the subtle 'Get a Mac,' vibe it sent as a bonus.

I hear this was the last card out:

Terms of Service Terms of Endearment


(Can only imagine the lawyers busting a blood vessel over this.)

Seriously, I like Mozy and I really like the fact they have a MacOS version, to boot. BTW: it's free.

Trader Vic's Bellevue Closes

Tiki Bars and Drive-in Movies are getting to be rarer and rarer these days, now it seems the Trader Vic's in Bellevue is the latest to go dark. I will confess I rarely get to go to either but somehow each closing makes this world a little less interesting. Mark my words, the local bowling alley is next.

[via TikiTalk]

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lined Paper PDF

This is the nerdiest thing I have seen in a long time but man am I grateful that it exists. The hexagon pages make me wish I was playing 'Starship Troopers' again.

Free Online Graph Paper / Grid Paper PDFs: Downloadable and very printable.

Just remember to be responsible when printing, even at work where the printing is free, there are costs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

monday after next

At our house it is never too soon to start thinking about shopping for Christmas gifts so therefore it is never too soon to start thinking about was to save money. That is why I have bookmarked on my work machine and made a delicious bookmark tag to save this listing for the inevitable cyber monday ads that are sure to start popping up any day now.

You have all heard of Cyber Monday, right? Named for the first day back to work (and back to broadband if you are like me) after the original Christmas shopping super day now known as Black Friday, or as the less than frequent shoppers call it, "that day after Thanksgiving."

I am well known to love a bargain but even I do not like getting up earlier and earlier each year to beat the crowds to the best deals. Which is why I really like the idea of being able to purchase those Black Friday items online without the hassle of having to stand in line at the store before the sun has come up. I have set it up to give me an email alerts when new ads have been posted.

Lame Duck Still Quacking

This email came in today from the NRDC. How can you claim to love your country but do this sort of thing to it? I guess the almighty dollar trumps mere 'lesser creatures.'

The Interior Department has recently announced plans to seriously undermine the Endangered Species Act by putting the responsibility of wildlife protection in the hands of federal agencies that so far have shown little or no interest in protecting wildlife. The proposal would eliminate many current safeguards, including the routine scientific review of any agency action that may pose a threat to federally protected wildlife.

These sweeping changes would have dire implications for grey wolves, polar bears, whales and countless other imperiled wildlife that take refuge in Greater Yellowstone, Alaska’s Tongass rainforest and other prized U.S. wildlands.

How I Love the Deadlines

The following summarizes what we know about for the upcoming NIH deadline. Please note that this is just the list of NIH applications. There are several other projects in between and around these deadlines.

Count What Deadline
1 T32 due 9/19/08 9/19/08
8 NIH R01s + U01 9/29/08
2 K99/R00s due 10/6 10/6/08
2 R01 CRs due 10/29 10/29/08
1 R03 11/10/08

Just a small part of what happens late on a Friday, 'round these parts.

crave the rave

Every year around Burning Man time I think of the brother of friend of mine used to make his own party clothes. He got to be so good at it he eventually turned in into a profitable hobby and then into a profitable business. If you are not as talented as he is with a thread and needle, or simply don't have the time to make your own rave clothing then Beat Drops Closet should be your next online stop. Looking for rave pants, girls rave clothing or just want to idea on how to accessorize your latest creation? Go to BDM now.

Visa, Master Card or PayPal accepted so there is no excuse to look lame this week-end!

Cappuccino, the Arugula of Coffees.

John McCain, who was huddled with advisers at his desert compound in Sedona, Ariz., said nothing in public. A nine-car motorcade took him to a nearby Starbucks early in the morning, where he ordered a large cappuccino. McCain otherwise avoided reporters.

Guess his aides were all busy counting his many houses?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sshh - The Librarian Is Coming Back

Librarian 3, also known as The Librarian: The Curse of the Judas Chalice with Noah Wylie, Bob Newhart, Jane Curtin is rumoured to be ready to air on TNT in December. Here's the kicker: it is being directed by Jonathan Frakes.

Silly escapist fun, plus be sure to check out The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004) and The Librarian: Return to King Solomon's Mines (2006) if you have not already seen them. Keep your eyes peeled for lots of silly in-jokes of the items in the vaults.

Olympic Hero

Sprinter Robina Muqimyar does not have a qualified trainer, she has no sponsor, she comes from a country ruined by war and she grew up under hardline Islamist rulers who would not brook girls playing sport.

There is not a single proper running track in the whole country and athletes in Kabul train at a sports stadium where the Taliban used to hold public executions. Her teammates include two taekwondo competitors and a men's 100 metres runner.

via Yahoo!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

get ready for friday

As we approach the middle of the week, my thoughts as well as yours I am sure, normally turn to Friday and the making of plans for the weekend. But as the days grow shorter and the weather colder it is time to start thinking about that other Friday coming up. No, not Memorial day – although that is a good one to begin to prepare for as well – but the shopping friday that retailers are looking forward to as well.

I speak of course about black friday 2008 and all the wonderful shopping discounts, specials and deal that are sure to come with it. And judging by the softening of the economy we may be in store for some good ones this year.

Wouldn't you like to purchase Black Friday items online without the hassle of having to stand in line at the store at dawn? Want email alerts to let you know when the newest ads have been posted? Then this is the place for planning your 2008 holiday shopping.

Amazon may not have their ads up yet - it is only September - but now that you have finished your Back to School Shopping people like me who need time to fret over gifts, this is time to start thinking about what they want for Christmas.

Those WERE the Droids I was looking for...

After the Imperial Fleet Week video came out I thought we might be Star Wars -ed out for the week and then this comes along.

Was going to see the new movie last week end but decided to go with Bottle Shock instead. Reports from friends that the Clone Wars film had some good parts renewed my faith and I guess we'll go see it NEXT week end.

Oh and I wonder if this guy also just now realizes he is short for a stormtrooper.

OK, Now I Want to See 90210:TNG

This in from Y! (and the Department of Guilty Pleasures):

Joe E. Tata will be making a pit stop on the revamped "90210." He was one of the first original cast members to confirm that he'll reprise his role of Peach Pit diner owner Nat in the show's premiere episode. Tata is currently booked for one episode, but that's not to say that the episode will be is only appearance. He told the AP, "The coin's in the air. I guess it comes under the heading of 'Let's see if the audience still remembers me.'"

Monday, August 18, 2008

Great Moments in NY Times Headline Writing

If you are not a child of the 60s or perhaps not a fan of Steve Carell movies, (despite the presense of the lovely Anne Hathaway) then this headline is not going to make much sense:

Despite Assurances, McCain Wasn’t in a ‘Cone of Silence’

To clarify: Mr. McCain, who followed Mr. Obama’s hourlong interview at the Saddleback Church in California, was asked virtually the same questions as Mr. Obama. Mr. McCain’s performance was well received, raising speculation among some viewers, especially supporters of Mr. Obama, that he was not as isolated during the Obama interview as Mr. Warren implied.

Nicolle Wallace, a spokeswoman for Mr. McCain, said on Sunday night that Mr. McCain had not heard the broadcast of the event while in his motorcade and heard none of the questions.

“The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous,” Ms. Wallace said (Emphasis mine).

road trip

The dollar is climbing back against the Euro slowly but surely so if you have put off international travel and opted for the newest American craze, the "stay-cation" because it was too expensive to fly and travel about the continent you may want to re-think your plans for what is left of the summer holiday season.

For example, say you are off to visit your relatives in Spain and want to see some of the neighboring countries. Just type in your information and see what you get. Just look at these great prices for all your portugal car hire needs!

What is this link? Well it is the latest way to save money when you need a vehicle: Car Hire Direct. Not a new rental agency with dodgy cars of questionable repair status, Car Hire Direct is a comparison site that specialises in the car rental space. Their advanced algorithms can compare all car hire suppliers for whatever destination in the world you are interested in and will find you the cheapest deals - in only seconds, a huge favour to cheap skates like me! I don't know how you look for the lowest prices on the internet but this means: no more multiple windows open to search all the the biggest names in the rental business, looking for coupons, professional discount codes and other limited time special offers.

As you can see, just type in the location, the dates a car is required and off you go, safe and secure that you probably would not have spent less even after hours of looking. I am starting to recognize that my time is worth something as well and time saved here is money saved to spend on holiday.

Give them a try and you can thank me by sending me a postcard, or if you save a bundle: get me a hard Rock Cafe pin from where ever you end up, you (and me) will both be glad you clicked.

Helpful eMail: power outage

We are experiencing a power outage in Clark as well as many other  building. This is a city power issue and we don't have information available yet.

We will send you information as soon as we have them.


I guess if you have WiFi or a cellular modem, not that we get mobile coverage inside the building....

All Radio Disney All the Time

Pandora, one of the nation's most popular Web radio services, AKA, has about 1 million listeners daily. Its killer Music Genome Project allows customers to create stations tailored to their own tastes. It is one of the 10 most popular applications for Apple's iPhone and attracts 40,000 new customers a day.Yet the burgeoning company may be on the verge of collapse, according to its founder, and so may be others like it.

Is next? Let's hope that these guys survive because radio is about as bad as it can be and only getting worse.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Fwd: Form Dr.Ba*n Br*nko....

From over the transom today....

26 East Dock Street
Dundee DD1 9HY ,
United Kingdom.
ATT: Please,
I'm a Vetinary doctor under ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY (AST)I do represent
my company  to purchase a product called Adequan an Injection R/X
Equine,this product is use  for animals treatment such as;cows,dogs
exp. horses.
As of this proposal, please find the statements below:
(1) First, I will introduce you to my company's General Manager as
being the main and only supplier of the vaccines.

(2) Secondly, per carton of the vaccine costs USD 5,500 in UNITED
STATE, but in Asia Malaysia where I have been purchasing it, it only
costs USD 2,200 per carton. And you will supply to my company for USD
4,000. Per carton.

(3) Note, do not disclose the actual cost of the vaccine i.e. USD
2,200 to my company GM as this will affect our profit.

(4)My companies' director doesn't know the seller of this product and
the seller doesn't know my company directors, I'll introduce you as
the main supplier.
My company normally purchases 30-40 cartons in each trip I make
depending on the Product we have left in the company.
The distributor of this product is a Malaysian woman, you will
purchase the Product from the woman and supply to my company director
when he arrives there In Malaysia , my company will now pay you cash
on delivery. Let the above Mentioned be in mutual beneficiary for us
and an opportunity to embark in future Engagements. I need somebody
trustworthy to introduce as the main supplier. Finally, if you wish to
take up this offer, kindly email me and I will reply you with all the
contact details and that of my GM whom you will contact and send you
quotation. I also will give you the price to quote; in return my
GM will then issue you an LPO (Legal Purchasing Order).Please contact
me by this e-mail:dr_ba*nbr*nko@hotma*, you can also check on the
product by clicking on the lick.  
Await your response.

Best Regards,
Dr.Ba*n Br*nko.

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

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Let Them Eat Cake


A big "Happy Fourth Birthday" to "Lil Derrick", and bigger congratulations to his parents for being selected for the Good Parenting of the Year award.

Found on teh internets, so as always, actual truthiness may vary.

Worst part of all of this - now I want cake, too.

In the Dusty Corners of the Amazon Warehouse

Thought you might find it of interest.

Thomas Kinkade - Paint By Number Asst. by Mega Brands
Thomas Kinkade - Paint By Number Asst. by Mega Brands
by Mega Brands

In Stock

Price: $24.99

2 used & new from $14.95

Add to Wish List

There was a time, only a few years ago that there was a (the?) Thomas Kinkade headquarters not far from our condo. Long empty by the time we moved into the neighborhood it always gave me a small measure of joy to see the name atop an empty building.

I suppose that really does not make me a very good person but "I know art when I see it."

Also: Used Paint By Number? Really?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New Order - Live at the Greek

New Order – Touched by the Hand of God (from a 1987 single, collected/remixed on (The Best of) New Order, 1994) - Is it just me, or does anyone else hear echoes of Rod Stewart's "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy?" in those rising orchestral bits of the song?

I seem to recall thinking this but it was fun to be reminded of it.

Man that concert at UCB was fun.

Hello Pretty

Peeling back the paper curtain, Died Young, Stayed Pretty takes a look behind the scenes of the underground poster movement.

These graphic tricksters roam the streets, plastering their work to every available surface, mostly under the guise of advertising rock concerts, these (until now) unheralded masters of the silkscreen and copy machine carry on public discourses on the merits and pitfalls of, among other things, fried cheese and gritty porn.

Machine Learning

Scary but listening to Slacker radio (and the 80s channel)  I heard 3 songs that I loved in college - Depeche Mode: Everything Counts, Adam Ant: Strip, and Stan Ridgeway: Camouflage. I guess I have been listening enough to tell it my likes but this is almost like a streaming KDVS mix tape. All hail Atlantic Monthly for being the first (that I know of) to write of this service.

Wonder what song four is going to be?

home sweet home

This probably comes a little to late for our East Coast Branch of the family (since they now live on the West Coast and mere minutes away from us) but I came across this listing for Landscaping in Raleigh and though they could have used it then and could certainly use some help now.

Even still, you can always go up a level or four and then drill down to the state and city of interest. I especially like the clean way it lays out the options you have to choose from and then lets you compare, see web pages and click to call. Even lets you search within a search, a nice touch that is often omitted.

So ii you are in the market for some raleigh landscaping then give this link a try, could just make your house a showplace that you would be happy to live in or just easier to sell.

Picasa Gripes

Google makes some wonderful stuff but I really really have come to dislike Picasa. It imports things I didn't ask it to and generally scrounges around my computer finding things that I don't necessarily want it to.

Biggest sin in my mind is that I keep expecting it to act like iPhoto and how disappointed I get when it doesn't. Except for the new MobileMe, most stuff from Apple seems to 'just work.' Here I keep going to the help and discussion forums and lezving just as confused as when I came in.

Do I lay the blame here on Google or Microsoft? There certainly is enough to share between the two.

Lack of Windows Confidence

So today I get a dialog box that tells me that I should "Download DivX for Windows 6.8." I know I have installed this but blindly clicking on these things always makes me a tad nervous.

Certainly not helped by the article in today's paper about the cyber war that apparently came from US hosted computers to attack computers and web sites in Georgia. "First time a DDOS attack and a shooting war happened at the same time."

Won't be the last, I'll wager.

passes at girls who wear glasses

Hello money saving fans, have I got some good news for your pocket book today!

It is often been said that great face needs a great frame and great eyeglasses can made a cute face even cuter. If you have been watching the cable news channels recently or been listening to The Clark Howard Show (the nationally syndicated consumer advocate program) on talk radio then you probably have already heard of, but if you have not then you are overdue for some good news!

Gas prices are still hovering around the four dollar mark but did you ever think you could get stylish prescription glasses via the internet staring from just $8? And these are not the bottom of the barrel, left-overs that have been sitting in a warehouse since the Nixon administration, these are the latest styles. With a huge selection of frames, single vision lenses, 'colour changing' lenses, tinted sunglasses, and bifocals, there is sure to be something to fit you and your whole family.

There is no 'secret' to their low prices, Zenni’s will sell only their own manufactured frames direct to you, the customer, with no middlemen and virtually no advertising budget. If you don't need the exact same frame that the Hollywood starlets are wearing but want to look just as good at only a fraction of the price then surf over to Zenni Optical and see for yourself.

Amazon Order History

There was a mention of "what was the first thing you ordered from the internet" and while I can't recall exactly what I did order first (and do I still have it), I was able to dig up my Amazon history:

Your Account > Where's My Stuff? > Orders placed in 1998
Order Date: December 10, 1998

  • 1 of: Within the Fairy Castle : Colleen Moore's Doll House at the Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago
    Sold by:, LLC
  • 1 of: What's New Pussycat? [SOUNDTRACK]
    Sold by:, LLC
So in this case I can honestly say, yes we own both of these.

TV Personality

The Kittens
Originally uploaded by coolkitten12
Not sure if these two Kimball and B.Friar look-a-likes would enjoy it but you you now can get every episode of TWIN PEAKS (except for the pilot, of course) for free at

FYI: On October 30, 2007, the broadcast version of the pilot finally received a legitimate U.S. release as part of the Twin Peaks "Definitive Gold Box Edition" while the European version is 20 minutes longer than the TV pilot, with a different ending added to bring closure to the story. The Red Room dream sequence that ends episode two, where Cooper encounters the Man from Another Place and Laura Palmer, was originally shot for this film.

live debt free

Debt help can be easy to come by but you have to be careful where you turn. That is why I have the happy opportunity to let you know about the new test that can measure just how financially fit you are and give some specific details on how to improve your BillsIQ score.

I took the test and while I scored well enough in the Credit and Debt sections I found out that we really could use some help in the Budget and Wealth section. I think the biggest drag on my score was the lack of a retirement plan (other than 'save money') and the unease I reported over the future.

The best part for me was this really forced me to think about what we are doing with our lives and how to keep things going more or less along the path we have for us. We read Architectural Digest each month and look at these folks with their summer homes, city apartments, or week-end retreats and think, "how can they afford that?" My German Aunt and Uncle have had a cabin in the woods for holiday and week end getaways for years and neither of them had truly fabulous jobs, perhaps with these tips and their example a second home just could be in our future, with some saving, some smart investing and the help from BillsIQ.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dreaming of Paris

Just purchased at and thought you might find it of interest.

Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the City of Light

Metro Stop Paris: An Underground History of the City of Light

by Gregor Dallas

List Price: $24.99

Amazon Price: $16.49

From Publishers Weekly
Historian Dallas's tour of Paris in 12 episodes-offers the opportunity to examine key moments and characters in the city's history with verve, style and originality. All 12 tableaux are subtly linked by the themes of birth and death, which in Dallas's hands, permeate Paris's history through the centuries.

The first stop is Denfert-Rochereau, in the part of Paris once called "Hell," where the catacombs are located and where the guillotine was moved in 1830. Indeed, there are several beheadings in Dallas's tales, not to mention the death of King Henri II in a jousting match, unleashing a bloodbath that included the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre. Irreverent appraisals of other royals and noblemen whose folly invariably led to bloodshed. On the other hand, the last stop is, fittingly, the Pè Lachaise cemetery, whose visitors, despite the surrounding graves, "have a glimpse of hope in their eyes: one soul may be gone, but another is always born." Dallas is equally adept at cultural, political and military history, presenting a close-up view of the now-demolished Les Halles through Zola's novel The Belly of Paris and a rousing account of the weeks leading up to the French Revolution.

Anyone who loves Paris will love this book.

[SPAM:#] For:**** Bush ends Olympic games!

Today's spam subject line of the day. All it had inside was a link to 'the video' and some German language text (Warner Brothers setzt seine weltweite Promotion fur den gerade in den in den USA und Europa gestarteten Batman-Streifen demnach ungehindert fort.) about Batman.

I have to wonder who believes these absurd subject titles, or is the internet writing Zen koans?

Did fool the At Work filters so I guess that is something to be said although just yesterday the filters hid a forwarded email from M with an attached Word document but let the original CCd email with the same attachment.

SkyNet where are you when we need you?

Friday, August 08, 2008

For Sat: Berlin Alexanderplatz

From: Netflix Shipping <>

Berlin Alexanderplatz: Disc 7: Bonus Material

Arriving on or around: Saturday, Aug 09, 2008

This film, which is basically the longest narrative film ever made, is a 15-1/2 hour episodic exploration of the character of Franz Biberkopf, "hero" of Alfred Döblin's acclaimed novel, as well as the Alexanderplatz area of Berlin that he inhabits.

Lego Sushi

15 oishii
Originally uploaded by "Big Daddy" Nelson
Definately not the Flickr group that you want to be looking at during lunch but this was too good to pass up. All of this is too cool but the shrimp really blows me away.

Now I am wishing I was in Davis and could partake in the all you can eat Sushi (don't laugh, it's quite good) lunch.

OMG Honda

[, ]

Honda debuted the OSM concept car at the British Motor Show in London today, a sleek two-seat roadster that the company is calling an exercise in design for the time being.

The moniker of the lightweight roadster concept stands for Open Study Model, and is said to embody the Honda ideal of creating exciting cars that are environmentally friendly. The actual concept vehicle is friendly in the extreme, it has no engine, and plays on the design language that has been developed for the earlier FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell car, and the CR-Z sports hybrid.

Open Study Model... right.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Meme Scene

A handy collection of all (?) the internet memes to date, helpfully arranged in time line form. A few of these I don't recall having seen, a few I had forgotten about or never knew the name of (Xiao Xiao), a few of them I am proud to say I have helped in making their way into our collective unconsciousness (Snakes on a Plane, I can has cheeseburger?).

If you have younger cow workers who look at you like you are a bug on a plate for making Internet Coffee Pot references, now you can get them schooled in no time. If you are stuck on dial up you can sound as cool as your hipster friends with the loft in The City.

Nom Nom Nom

Originally uploaded by stanleylieber
The underlying storyline of Space: 1999 centered on the plight of the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha following a calamity on September 13, 1999. A huge nuclear waste dump on the far side of the Moon detonates in a massive thermonuclear explosion, initiated by the buildup of magnetic radiation which was released, causing a nuclear chain reaction. The force of the explosion causes the Moon to be sent hurtling out of Earth's orbit and into deep space at colossal speed, stranding the 311 crew members, in effect becoming the "spaceship" on which the protagonists travel, looking for a new home. During their interstellar journey, the Alphans encounter a vast array of alien civilizations, dystopian societies, and strange phenomena previously unseen by man.


Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay door, HAL.
HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
Dave Bowman: What's the problem?
HAL: I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do.
Dave Bowman: What are you talking about, HAL?
HAL: This mission is too important for me to allow you to jeopardize it.

tuning tables on mailing labels

Mailing labels come to our house almost once a week and we probably toss more than half of them. Why? Because they are not attractive, have misspellings and are just for lack of a better term 'wrong".

Don't get me wrong most are fine for sending to the mortgage company or for the water bill from the city but if you are going to take the time and energy to send a person a real life card or note, I think the whole thing should look like a small gift because in some what that's what it is. So we have a small cache of pretty stamps (although right now I bet the real life Frank Sinatra would balk at the label of 'pretty'.) and some labels that deserve a place on envelopes that we send.

That's why I like the both the pre made design templates and their flexibility of the labels (you can upload your own artwork if you can't find one of theirs that you like) over at VistaPrint. Plus, if you act quickly you can take advantage of their latest promotion - take 50% Off Return Address Labels with the coupon code Labels50. Act fast, this hot deal can't last forever and if the price of stamps keeps going up here's one cost you can control.

Live and Learn

If I went into graphiucs and design I would be all over this meeting, even still it sounds plenty nifty: Packaging that Sells, Oct. 2-3 at the Drake in Chicago.

"Green & Black’s was a small-scale organic chocolate brand sold in health food stores until it brought in (design company) Pearlfisher to redesign its identity and packaging. Together they repositioned the brand to create a luxury premium product that overnight became a household favorite.

"Green & Black’s is the fastest growing chocolate brand in the UK and has spearheaded a change in the nation’s palate from milky chocolate to intense dark flavors. It is now also a major player on the international scene. Pearlfisher remains its strategic design partner and has won a design effectiveness award in recognition of the bottom line difference its work has made."

As a fan of Scharffen Berger and Moonstruck you can be sure I have had Green and Black chocolate as well.


Just learned about this from the KFOG blog - no direct link to the story as the link I had from Google Reader results in a Microsoft error:

Microsoft OLE DB Provider for ODBC Drivers error '80004005'

[Microsoft][ODBC SQL Server Driver][SQL Server]Cannot open database requested in login 'BlogX'. Login fails.

Here is the gist: new videos from the KFOG Morning Show Live & Local at Pyramid Alehouse in Walnut Creek on August 1st in now on YouTube! For what is worth, 'The Morning Show' will hit the streets every Friday in August, so if you don't see yourself in these there is always hope for the future.

look me in the eye

Recently I have been having more and more trouble reading small print on cereal boxes, phone books and the like and while I would like to believe all of this stems from the age of my current pair of glasses (they are over two years out of date at this point - I've been busy!)I am beginning to wonder if it is not the age of my glasses that is the problem but rather the age of the wearer. I still feel young so maybe it is time to take more permanent measure and start looking at what my options would be for Lasik in San Francisco.

I have been back and forth on having the Lasik procedure done, my biggest excuse to date has been the number of people in my current eye doctor's office that are still wearing glasses, well, that and the price. However, having to remove my glasses to see small print gets tiresome, perhaps it finally is time to see if Lasik can help someone like me (and how much it would cost). A little web research is free, right?

"Holy Roses" Hot Sauce

Just found out that the hot sauce we brought back from Portland, OR is available to purchase online! (Oh, and someone will have to act surprised if they read this.

The description:
This delicious hot sauce is especially good on chicken or rice! Tested by our own staff it has some spice and a subtle rose sweetness. A good addition to any hot sauce collection or a memorable side to a meal this hot sauce is made locally for your enjoyment.

And here I was searching eBay all the time for this!

smoke gets in your ayes

International Oddities is the proud supplier of that 'stuff' used throughout the hit summer comedy Pineapple Express and they can sell direct to you if you so desire. There may be other places on the internet or in your town (in Sacramento I believe Tower Plants and Posters was on the short list) but for quality you can feel this is the place.

If you are a Roll Your Own kind of a person and are going to go fully legal (and all of this is, they will assure you) then this is your new one stop shop. Spend and enjoy with confidence or maybe just buy some to freak out your parents, make your own short film, or wind down after a hectic week of work.

They even offer FREE OVERNIGHT SHIPPING in the US (or free International shipping to Canada– both a $30 value) when you pay using their Quick Pay service, and when your order totals over $150 or more in products.

Great product and accessories, great packaging (some could be considered minor works of art) and 25 years of business experience add up to one great shop. Be sure to read the disclaimers and then start planning. We are running out of summer week-ends so use them wisely. Stay safe and save money and have fun, legally.

This has been a sponsored posting.

Financial Help

Foreclosure prevention event happening August 20th at Independence High School . Though it is being put on by the City of San Jose, it is open all Santa Clara County residents. If interested, contact Robert Lopez at 408-975-4402 or Robert.Lopez2@ sanjoseca. gov with questions.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008 Independence High School 1776 Educational Park Drive San José, CA 95133

Loan modification review by Washington Mutual, Wachovia, and other banks and lenders, direct one-on-one counseling will be provided by local HUD-approved housing counseling agencies, legal assistance, and many more resources will be provided!

From our local neighborhood association.

Conspicuous Consumption

[Apple, iPhone]

You have to admire Armin Heinrich for his (pick one: iPhone App / Art Piece / Naked Greed) "I Am Rich". It does nothing but display a red ruby; tapping the miniature i in the corner (shades of the NewtOS) will load a secret mantra enabling you to "stay rich, healthy, and successful."

In his own words, Armin describes the app as 'a work of art with no hidden function'. Apple seems to have agreed with the cranky people and pulled this but seems to me if someone wants to pay $1000 for something - why not? Is this any different than Apple charging more for black MacBooks over comparatively spec'd white ones?

[via Wired]

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

barack obama, discuss

"The media is blatantly supporting Barack Obama's presidential bid"

I don't think the media is obsessed with Obama per se, I think they are looking for a story and right now Obama is giving them one while John McCain is not. Let's look at the latest campaign stops by the two of them: Obama goes to Germany and speaks to a crowd of over 200,000. McCain goes to a German store in the Mid West and makes the same speach he always does.

Now, in today's Mercury News I read about both campaigns and (shockingly) both had points I agreed with. I think McCain is right - we need nuclear power to help get us off oil and Obama is right in pointing out the oil companies are making record profits and should share them.

So at least for this one article, I would say it was mostly balanced between the two men.

Read all about this discussion over on UberSpat.

Improve HD Playback on Mac

I think I will file this away for use if / after I get the MacBook (with iPod Touch) bundle I have my eye on....

H.264 codecs are pretty CPU intensive and VLC can't use multi-cores to decode it yet, so to get better performance when playing HD H.264:

AKA your computer is dying when decoding 1080p samples from H264, do the following:

   * Open the preferences
   * Tick advanced in the lower right corner
   * Go to "Input/Codec"
   * Go to "other codecs" subcategory
   * Go to "FFmpeg"
   * Put the "skip-filter for H264" to all
   * Restart VLC

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Apple Insider: Steve Jobs Confesses

Steve Jobs confesses to poorly planned MobileMe launch

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is admitting that his firm bit off more than it could chew with last month's simultaneous product launches, which resulted in a MobileMe Internet service that was pushed out prematurely "and not up to Apple's standards."

This more than almost anything else makes me join the group that is concerned for our fearless leader's health. Would the Steve of five years ago made such a proclamation, let alone such an error?

Truth in Cheapness: I have not used MobileMe nor .Mac prior to that. I was a fond user of iTools back in the day but that was when it was free.

bank in the tank

Until we can all drive electric cars powered by the sun, saving fuel with the cars we already one is a big help and has an immediate impact on the amount left in your checking account at the end of the month.

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BPI has the product and the data, they also distributorships available with investments ranging from just $0 - $499. But this isn't just about becoming a distributor, shop online as a simple customer to see for yourself.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

Beedle the Bard at

The Tales of Beedle the Bard, Standard Edition
by J. K. Rowling
Available for Pre-order

List Price: CDN$ 14.50

Price: CDN$ 7.25

You Save: CDN$ 7.25 (50%)

Pre order Add to Wish List

Maybe it is just me but I think I like the 'Canadian' cover better than the American one. Perhaps it is because it looks more like something an adult would read? Maybe it is just because it looks 'truer' to the illustrations Ms. Rowling did herself for the book.

I guess the bigger question is: is this version on recycled paper and what is the offset for having to ship it from (if that's where it does come from) Canada?

O Hai

Caption: Jimmy Durante & Mr.Bali Hai Compare Noses, 1955

"Mr. Bali Hai is the world famous Sort-Of-Tiki that has stared down each and every visitor to the Bali Hai Restaurant on Shelter Island in San Diego, California since 1953."

Myself, I can remember going here as a child, wish I had posed in front of him, however.

Read about the amazing restoration journey here.

[via Kevin Kidney]
idogcow. Get yours at

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