Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top of the Q

Or rather it would have had it been released yet, still playing according to the New Yorker.

What, you ask? Well, this:

"We Are Wizards"

The Netflix summary:

Josh Koury directs this entertaining documentary that explores the sometimes-fanatical world of Harry Potter fandom, the vast subculture made up of fans religiously devoted to the popular fantasy series created by novelist J.K. Rowling. With subjects that range from prepubescent kids to middle-aged professionals, Koury's film examines the universal Potter appeal and explores the many ways Rowling's work has inspired her countless devotees.

Wizard Rock, anyone? I am sure Harry and the Potters have got to be in this after their triumphant Library Tour.

30GB Zunes Killing Themselves In Droves

It was the best of zunes, it was the worst of zunes. I am guessing based on the few I see on the train (and the comment by a coworker, "what's a zune") there must be hundreds inconvenienced. 

30GB Zunes Killing Themselves In Droves

The internet is awash with reports that the 30GB Zune is committing suicide across the planet. Not just one of them, either. It seems that some weird bug is simultaneously killing the music players, like lemmings leaping from a cliff.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chalk Talk

Everyone I am sure has heard of the legendary "hobo code" - a series
of covert chalk markings used to warn other hobos about danger or to
clue them into good situations ("Nice Lady Lives Here"). As times have
changed, throws light on a new set of code symbols have
emerged to alert othtoday's hobos to circumstances in modern America.

Perhaps you have seen them on your own city streets or will in the
near future as the economy gets worse before it gets better....

looking good in 09

The Holidays are almost over but that doesn't mean the savings that go along with them have gone away and for that matter neither should the resolutions you make at the end of the year. If some of those resolutions for you are look more fashionable and save more money have I got a web site for you to check out!

I have blogged about Zenni Optical before so long term readers should have already been there and no doubt could tell you of their amazing selection and even more amazing low prices, even when compared to the 'sales' the big mall chain stores are running. And since this is the holiday season, take a look at the great Holiday frames now available and the special prices, all low enough to offset what you'll spend on New Year's Eve parties and let you go back to work or school looking like a new person.

You should not have to choose between over-paying for style or settling for what you can afford from a warehouse store when you can get both by shopping at Zenni Optical. Make the New Year all about you and pick out a set (or two, or more) of frames that make your face your new best feature. At these prices, you’ll be looking and feeling smart!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

BBC iPlayer available for Mac

This was supposed to be great news until I fit to the part where it mentions you must be a UK resident. Seemto recall trying this on a PC and got the error' message. No doubt someone will have already 'solved' this problem but I can usually wait for BBCAmerica or SciFi for most shows. 

Sent to you as a series of ones and zeros from TUAW

BBC iPlayer finally available for Mac

In October 2007, the BBC said that the iPlayer would be available for Macs and Linux by the end of the 2007. Two weeks shy of the end of 2008, the BBC finally delivers. Maybe their developers accidentally took a trip in the TARDIS.

Using Adobe AIR technology, the BBC has developed a version of the iPlayer that is compatible with OS X and Linux. The press release states that the player has entered beta as of today and a final release is scheduled for February 2009.

The beta testing of the Mac-compatible iPlayer is being conducted through the BBC iPlayer Labs. The application download itself can be found here.

The beta version of the BBC iPlayer Desktop requires OS 10.4 and above. The site does not indicate if the download is a universal binary. The BBC iPlayer is only available for UK citizens.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Goodbye, Computer.


It is being reported that Star Trek's Majel Barrett, widow of television director/producer/writer and Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry has died today at the age of 76.

CNN and Star don't have the story yet but Wikipedia is already updated with the details.

One thing I do not recall was her turn as on a Babylon 5 episode "Point of No Return", as Lady Morella, the psychic widow of the Centauri emperor.

She will be missed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Macworld Expo May Disappear, But Steve Jobs' Keynotes Won't

Better news than before, not sure if I or apple would last long without the 'one more thing' moments. 

Say, does this make Steve J the Willy Wonka of Cupertino??

Sent to you via WWW

Macworld Expo May Disappear, But Steve Jobs' Keynotes Won't

Even though Apple says it's no longer going to participate in the annual Macworld trade show, Steve Jobs is likely to continue delivering high-impact keynotes. He just won't be doing it every January.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Pick Up Line


Ever want to resort to violence when someone's phone goes off at a public performance? I know I did, particularly at a friends wedding a few years ago. Big echo-y Catholic church and the two girls in front of us had their mobile ring not once but twice. At least they didn't take the call!

That being said, I think this would have been something to see:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Jobs Won't Appear at Macworld — 2009 Is Apple's Last Show

Ok I will admit this news shook me, sort of like hearing a friend is dying. I know Apple isn't the Apple we all knew back in the 80s and 90s but this is weird. 

Sent to you via Google Reader

Jobs Won't Appear at Macworld — 2009 Is Apple's Last Show

Steve Jobs will not appear at Macworld in January 2009 for his usual keynote. Apple announces the company will pull out of the trade show as of 2010.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

baby it's cold outside

If the cold and wet weather in California has you looking to escape for something better, what about a real family winter vacation in New England? If you are thinking, yes, yes, YES! then have I got the location for you: Green Mountain Inn, home of Vermont's best accommodation, with over one hundred charming and unique guest rooms, luxury suites and village townhouses located in beautiful and scenic Stowe, Vermont.

If you are a fan of winter sports then you already know that some of the best skiing is Vermont skiing but don't think that is all there is to do. The Green Mountain Inn also offers access to outstanding outdoor activities and events and attractions including: hiking, fishing, snowboarding, sleigh rides, sled dog tours, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and more.

And when you are done for the day don't neglect the nightlife. On the grounds there are two acclaimed restaurants, one of a kind specialty shops, a year-round heated outdoor pool, game room, afternoon tea and cookie service plus full use of a fully equipped health club complete with a large Jacuzzi and available massage services.

You have not experienced all Winter has to offer until you Ski Vermont, ask anyone who has and you'll hear for yourself all that can await you in Stowe.

Barbie Pin Up Girl Hula Honey Doll

I knew that I should have bought one of these for 'that Barbie fan' in my life. Although, given the price range one does have to wonder how effective some people are at comparison shopping. Or is it just a case of poor impulse control?

Either way, enjoy your Winter Tuesday!

via Tiki Talk by Hot Lava on 12/16/08

Barbie Hula Honey DollIn 2006, Mattel began a series of Barbie dolls based on pin-up art. This one, Hula Honey, was the second released in the collection. She comes with a vintage-inspired bathing suit and a grass skirt and coconut bra, flower leis, and a ukulele.

I can't say I'm a big Barbie fan, but if I were I would have to get one of these.

The doll is no longer being sold new in retail stores, so prices vary from as little as $24 to as much as $110.

Monday, December 15, 2008

eBook and a Correction

When I said I had a palm PDA on my desk at work I should have said it was a Tungsten T2, shows ou how long it has been since I have even glanced at it. It is charging now because I wanted to read "Little Brother" by Cory Doctorow and my iPod is still under Cupertino's lock and key. The book was mentioned this morning on KFOG and I thought I might check it out, seeing as the price is free (for an electronic version).

At he link you'll find links to downloadable editions of the text of Little Brother. These downloads are all licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike license, which lets you share it, remix it, and share your remixes, provided that you do so on a noncommercial basis. How can he make a living doing this? Read "this post if you want my topline explanation for why I do this crazy thing".

As to the book itseklf? The New York Times called Little Brother one of the eight "Notable Children's Books of 2008," "a novel that is at once an entertaining thriller, a thoughtful polemic and a practical handbook of digital-age self-defense."

back in santa's lap

End of the year and everybody seems like they are cutting back on the extras and the frills. Our local newspaper over the weekend mentioned how many of the Silicon Valley hi tech companies are not having Christmas or Holiday parties this year and instead are donating the money they would have spent to feed the hungry or do other good works. We are still having our work party as I think it was scheduled and paid for long ago but the mood is definitely not as jovial as it should be.

What about you? Have you got a wish for Santa? If your wish is to spend more time with friends and loved ones who are far away you still can with the latest versions of digital photo frames. They aren't just memory card readers with LCD screens any more, now they have added loads of cool new features like channels to receive news, weather, history, a calendar and more and remote uploading. The CEVIAlife features a big bright 8 inch screen, built-in memory card reader and easy Wi-Fi connectivity to ensure that sending and receiving photos is easier than ever. Why not let your family wake up to a new slide show you produce every day?

For some holiday fun and to learn more about the newest CEIVA Digital Photo Frame, I uploaded a photo of our work group that we took before last summer's business trip to Berlin so we could all sit virtually on Santa's lap. As the Big Guy will tell you in the video, who has time in this day and age to make it to the mall?!

And in case you are on the fence about still believing in Santa, what if I told you he is randomly granting a wish a day, to the tune of $500? After you submit your photo and get a link to your own video, enter the contest. One random entry selected for each day of the contest and the lucky winner takes home a cash prize of $500.


Blipverts Are Go!

Soon as I saw this I thought of Max Headroom, the movie not the chat show. Let's hope there the part about the sedentary spontaneously exploding doesn't also happen. The part I don't understand is that if this is to combat DVR users skipping ads, how is this going to look at skip speed?

Five-second TV spots. The future? (link)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Like? No, Other.


Today while at the mall I thought I would pop into the Sony style
store and take a look at what they had to offer this Christmas season.
I looked at their HDTV sets and was impressed but don't think I watch
enough tv nor pay DirecTv for a HD feed to justify paying for anything
there, glanced at their VAIO computers but wasn't tempted. Found out
about Sony satnav / gps systems - didn't know they even made them but
don't drive mich and besides, already know how to read a map.

I got to the hifi corner and was mildly amused at all the "works with
iPod" gear they had next to a few token Walkman labeled music players.
Reminded me of the first time you ever saw a Sony branded VHS machine
and how that could not have been a fun meeting to greenlight those
products. I remembered reading about an iPod dock that also was an HD
radio and thought I would see if they had one. I still have yet to
hear any hd programming and thought maybe today I could, besides I
have been thinking more seriously about a speaker and recharging
option for home that didn't involved turning on a computer. . Well, I
couldn't find one nor could I find anyone even remotely interested in
seeing if I was in need of help. Now I have been ignored in Apple
stores but I always have the sense that if I wanted help it would be
easy enough to summon it. Add to that the fact I have always been
greeted when entering Apple's stores while the woman behind the deal
at Sony was busy with some paperwork and didn't even look up when I
picked up one of the mini catalogs near her.

Guess Sony is making enough money to ignore shoppers and potential
buyers. Oh wait, no they aren't.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Apple t-shirt quilt available on eBay

I should do this with all my old tshirts. But would want ones from invitrogen and the like. 

Selected just for you thanks to Google Reader

Apple t-shirt quilt available on eBay

Filed under: , , , , , ,

I don't know how comfy a quilt made out of t-shirts would be, but maybe the fact that they're all Apple t-shirts will help. That's exactly what this quilt is made out of -- it's up over on eBay right now, and while the price is only around $36 at the time of this writing, it's probably gone up since then. There are about 20 t-shirts in the quilt total, and they look like they range from the late '90s (there's a bondi blue iMac on there, I believe) up to the Tiger release (at least those are all the ones I recognize). And they do seem like official store t-shirts, which means whoever made the quilt probably is or knows an Apple employee.

If you can get over the fact that someone probably once wore your quilt, it might be a nice Apple-themed bedspread to grab. I've been looking for a good quilt lately, and while this is a little too patched together for my interests, maybe Apple is missing something here. What would an Ive-designed quilt end up looking like?

TUAWApple t-shirt quilt available on eBay originally appeared o...

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Hidden Messages of Passport Stamps

I have always been fascinated by passports, even made my own for a frog toy I took to germany as a lad. 

Get a gander at the ones this guy has and read the stories behind them. 

Brought to you tonight via Google and their fine product, Google Reader:

The Hidden Messages of Passport Stamps

Hidden Messages of Passport StampsA few years ago in West Africa, I had to travel overland between Benin and Nigeria twice. This border crossing is known as one of the most corrupt in the world, and it certainly met my expectations for entrepreneurial activity among the numerous officials.

From the moment I entered the Nigerian side, I encountered at least ten requests for bribes. The first one was pretty straightforward—a soldier took my passport, put it behind his back, and asked, "What do you have for me today?"

I thought that was pretty considerate. No need to waste time with formalities or explain the technical details of why you need to pay up.

I told him I had a visa that I had already paid more than $100 for. Because the visa was so expensive, I said, regretfully I had no more money to pay at the border.

He let me go, and I had similar encounters with the next five or six guys. (I'm not exaggerating.) In each encounter I managed to get away without paying anything, which I considered to be a great success. They were clearly trying to intimidate visitors, reasoning that many of them will pay at least something to get through unobstructed.

That experience caused me to think more about passport stamps and visas. I've come up with a theory that you can learn a lot about a country by observing what they put in your passport.

Here are 13 examples from my own travels (click to enlarge any image):

European Union Stamps

Belgium, Denmark, Holland, etc. – All very easy. They don't take up much space, and most European Union immigration guys will happily stamp wherever you tell them to. Even better, for U.S. passports they often won't stamp at all, saving up needed space for later. Sometimes I've even been waved through as soon as they see the passport, which I'm not sure is the best security, but I shouldn't complain about quick immigration.


china-visaChina vs. Taiwan – Military efficiency for the country that attract...

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Palm Is Likely to Introduce a New Operating System and Smartphone at CES

The other day I realized I still have a Palm V sitting in its dock hooked up to my work PC. I hope they can pull this off, I still have a soft spot in my heart for these guys. 

That being said, when you do still see a Treo on the train you can't help but think how chunky they are/were. 

From WIRED and Google Reader

Palm Is Likely to Introduce a New Operating System and Smartphone at CES

Palm, which has been struggling to stay alive, is likely to introduce a new Linux-based operating system and a new family of smartphones at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next month.

Sent from teh Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

[RIP] Betty Page dies at 85

A sad note from the pop culture files today. I will always link Ms. Page in my mind with The Rocketeer and how she was changed into Jenny for the film version. 

Sent to you via Google Reader

Betty Page dies at 85

It was a strange kind of fame, finally achieving her place in pop culture while languishing in obscurity in a mental institution, decades after she'd tried to put her past as an erotic icon behind her. But it's comforting to know that in her final years, Page was finally receiving compensation for her 1950s plain brown wrapper work, and that what she once considered sin ultimately proved to be her salvation.

Read the L.A. Times obituary here.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

holiday season holiday reason

If you are like me you are trying to balance the end of the year and all the workplace deadlines that seem to appear like clockwork with the desires to have a relaxing and meaningful Christmas season. Our home is woefully lacking in holiday decorations although to be fair I will claim that at least the boxes have been brought up from the basement, no small feat given the number of boxes and the state of our basement staircase!

TbeimageOne easy, fun and modern way to balance the sacred and the worldly is by listening to the Award-Winning Celebrity Audio Bible, The Bible Experience. You can get a sample MP3 over at The Bible Experience website. They have a free exclusive download featuring Nick Cannon ("Men in Black 2", "Bobby") as Adam and featuring an amazing ensemble of almost 400 of today's best known and award-winning actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and producers, as well as an original musical underscore performed the world famous Prague Symphony Orchestra. To experience what they call the 'hearing is believing' for yourself, just go to their site and use the exclusive download code: GEN3SPRK and listen to the mp3 for yourself.

Why not turn some of that commute time each evening to reacquaint yourself with some of the Greatest Stories Ever Told, with this recording you can keep your eyes on the road and on your future. Listen to them by yourself or in a group but order soon so you can remember why we celebrate at the end of each year.


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cartoon Particles: deconstructed Disney

I think it is amazing that you can instantly recognize the original characters here. Shows you how ingrained they have become on the global psyche.


Sent to you by idogcow via Google Reader:



Things you can do from here:


Firefox Adds Multitouch Gestures for Macs

We are but a lexus that can drive up a wall from The Minority Report, people. Did Spielburg come up with that vision of the future or did he have help?

via Google Reader

Firefox Adds Multitouch Gestures for Macs

The Firefox browser now supports multitouch gestures on Mac notebooks, letting you control many aspects of the browser by swiping, pinching and twisting your fingers on the trackpad.

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)


Originally uploaded by Umpqua
"Karl Bacon was a quiet guy who never wanted much of a fuss. So when he died last month at 98, he almost slipped away from us without being noticed.
In 1946, Bacon and partner Ed Morgan opened the Arrow Development Co. in Mountain View, CA. The two were a tight team who started out doing some machine work for HP and just about anything else that would bring cash through the door. Bacon was the math mind, a self-taught engineer who tended to figure out what needed to be made while Morgan concentrated on how to manufacture it.

Then Morgan got the idea that they could build a merry-go-round for the city of San Jose, which they did. Soon a man named Walt Disney was talking to them about coming up with some rides for a new park he was opening in Anaheim. They did that, too.

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Mad Tea Party, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, It's a Small World, Alice in Wonderland, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion and more."

Karl Bacon's last trip to Disneyland eight or nine years ago. He had had a stroke and was in a wheelchair that day, said Jane, Karl's wife of 67 years to Mercury News Columnist Mike Cassidy later at her home.

"He just sat there and enjoyed looking at it, listening to it,'' she says. "He said, 'It all still works.'"

Cheers to you sir, and a job well done.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Original Winnie the Pooh drawings

Forgive yet another forward, I am traveling and away from a wifi signal. 

The strange thing about coming across this post was I just finished reading a biography of E. H. Shepard I randomly came across at the King library. Interesting guy and quite the portfolio, he even illustrates his own tombstone. 

Sent to you via Google Reader and the magic of "the intermet."

A collection of Original Winnie the Pooh drawings

"The always-awesome BibliOdyssey has posted a great sampling of E.H. Shepard's original Winnie the Pooh drawings. Seeing them again reminds me how charming and perfect they are, and it almost makes one forget the now-soulless Disneyfied versions."

Via [Drawn!]
Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Fwd: Google's Native Client, run x86 apps in the browser

Since my copy of XP has run out and so has my demo of Fusion, I am quite interested in how and how well this will work. There still seems to be few legacy apps out there. The few games I might play I will wait for a MacOS port.

Sent to you via Google Reader

Google's Native Client, run x86 apps in the browser

G's open-source alternative to Java or Alchemy for Flash. 
Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Oliver Jeffers’s Lost and Found animated

I have not seen this book before but the picture below alone is enough to make me want to see the book and the movie. Also, I can't reiterate more strongly the adaptation sentiment expressed below - why take something everyone loved and then change it? Happened to The Dark is Rising, Eragon and others that I can't think of.

Other than Disney/ Pixar - who is runnig short films anymore? Not enough studios, IMO.

Sent to you via Google Reader

Oliver Jeffers's Lost and Found animated

Check out these gorgeous preview images of STUDIOaka's animated adaptation of Oliver Jeffers's award-winning Lost and Found. There's no trailer yet, but to me this is already a glowing example of how children's books should be adapted to film — in a style that is faithful to the original artwork, and, at 25 minutes long, not stretched and padded to fill meet some arbitrary 90-minute feature length. (I'm looking at you, The Cat in the Hat)

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Correction: Makes 49

266/365 10-9-2008
Originally uploaded by bjfialkovich
My mistake, Alaska is the 49th state, making Hawaii the 50th . To quote the US Mint: "On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state to be admitted into the Union."

"...other designs considered include "Polar Bear," featuring a polar bear with the inscription "Land of the Midnight Sun;" "Dog Musher with Denali (Mt. McKinley)," featuring a dog musher, Denali, and the Big Dipper; and "Gold Panner with Denali," depicting a gold panner with Denali in the background."

I think a Polar Bear would have been cool but then again I just got the Bonus DVD from The Golden Compass from Netflix.

That Makes 50

With gas prices coming down at the moment ($1.77/gal) suddenly I am
getting cash back again after filling the tank. So imagine my
surprise at getting an Alaska quarter amongst the change, meaning the
50 state quarter scheme has come to an end.

Going to miss seeing what was in my change, wonder if the treasury has
anything to replace it up their sleeves. Think of all that money taken
out of circulation!

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

top gear

Just finished watching a very interesting television piece about a new type of police patrol car, the Carbon Motors E7 which bills itself as the world’s first purpose-built police car. Moved via a green biodiesel powered engine, this Dodge Charger twin can come with a long list of options like armored front doors and dashboards (capable of deflecting a 9mm bullet) and three hundred sixty looking cameras, some of them operating in the infrared mode while others are optically scanning (and automatically checking) the license plates of parked cars the car passes.

Instead of starting with the standard Crown Vics, Chevy Tahoes and Ford Mustangs and adding on aftermarket light bars, sirens, computers and monitors, this company (started by former Ford Motor Company execs) aims to deliver a high performance, build for the ground up patrol vehicle for about the same price as those models currently on the road. The theory, it seems, is that by standardizing the installation process for the various options across the entire country they will achieve the 'economy of scale' that each individual department or even state can not. The fact that it looks like a cross between something seen in Blade Runner and Robocop only makes it seem all the cooler and possibly more of a deterrent.

Of course, the car that delivers the officer to the scene is only one part of the equation. The driver him or herself should also has be equally well equipped because most of the time the men and women who are that thin blue line will not be in a car but on the side of the road and walking up to the offender's car. Which is why the brand of holsters, Surefire Flashlights, eye-wear and even their shoes and pants can make all the difference and that is why LA Police Gear strives to carry a massive inventory to ensure that 'sorry' is something that they rarely ever have to say to a customer.

Cops know that every part of their kit can be make or break in a situation that no doubt would curl my civilian hair. We expect them to come when we call 911, shouldn't they have gear that lives up to that same expectation?

Why I Feel Like a Heel


The other day at the CalTrain station I watched a man going through the garbage bins in the tunnel under the tracks. Having just watched the old "Sports Night" Christmas episode where Danny feeds the homeless man who had sneaked into his office half his turkey sandwich, I thought here was a chance to do a good deed.

I watched the guy pull out a paper cup and check what was still inside and then drink it, and thought "but for the grace of God" but in the end I chickened out. Money still in my wallet and lunch still in my bag. Not my proudest moment, wonder if the Salvation Army is out in front of Target this year?

Salad Days


I have been doing more shopping recently due to family health issues and for the most part I think I have been doing a fair job but today was not one to be too proud of. Not only did I forget the waffles but I managed to forget the coupons as well. Thankfully gas is back under $2 - $1.76 at the local Arco, in fact - as I drove the five miles back to the store to reclaim my $5.30. Upside, it was in cash so I am 5 United Airline miles closer to someplace interesting (maybe).

Looking forward to our grape, pistachio and turkey salad tomorrow, wish I had done more Christmas decorating other than the string of lights on the exterior of the house and the fake greens around the doorway, but at least all or most of the boxes are up from the basement.

Friday, December 05, 2008

windy city living space

My the woman who was later to become my bride decided that for her a career a Move to Chicago was the best thing for her she didn't have the benefit of the internet like we know it today, with Street View maps, what seems like a live camera pointed at everything of interest (and even a few that are less so) and an excess of opinions voiced by everyone and any one. She did her search for thoughts on the Apartments in Chicago the old school way, by making lots of calls and taking a few trips out there to scout the lay of the land.

On the other hand when everyone has an opinion, how do you know which to trust and which is coming straight from the marketing department or the landlord's brother?

Fortunately for the people relocating today, there is a web site that has all the information you will need. It's written by people with the all the knowledge and experience of the Chicagoland's local landscapes (and they are many and quite varied). Get the assistance you're looking for to find the Chicago apartment you want in the neighborhood that best suits your lifestyle and commuting needs. And if you are helping someone move, they also do Corporate leasing Chicago.

Plus, here is the best part: the service is Absolutely Free. That's right, get the help you want from people in the "City of Big Shoulders." And you thought you would have trouble making friends in the mid-west... turns out you already have some!

Icon of the Realm

Gedeon Maheux, co-founder of the Iconfactory blogs about how an icon is designed, specifically the Frenzic app icon.  I have tried to make icons of my own in the past (ResEdit, how I miss you!) but here you'll see how real artists do it.

"the redesign of the application icon for xScope went through nearly 20 different revisions before we settled on a final version."

Sent from Newton 2.0 (iPod Touch)

Talk to Me Harry Winston

From Yahoo! News:

Armed robbers snatched E85 million or US$108 million worth of diamond
rings, necklaces and luxury watches from the Harry Winston boutique
near the Champs-Elysees in one of the largest jewel heists in history,
officials said Friday.

The gang of three or four robbers threatened about 15 employees with
handguns striking some on the head before taking the jewels from
display cases from the store. At least two of the bandits were men
wearing wigs and women's clothes. The robbers also spoke a foreign
language at times and appeared to know employees' names when they
robbed the store before it closed early Thursday at the height of
Christmas shopping season.

The boutique on Avenue Montaigne was closed to the public Friday.
Employees who came out for cigarette breaks refused to speak to
reporters, and three of the five display windows stood empty of their
usual wares.

Looks like the donation by company founder Harry Winston of the Hope
Diamond — the world's largest blue diamond and famed for the bad luck
that it brought its owners — to the Smithsonian Institution was a
smart move.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tough Times for Everyone

Shreve, Crump & Low
Consolidation Sale: 20 - 50%

Whole Lotta Lawyers

New Seasons Market (Portland) has found themselves caught in the crossfire of an ongoing legal dispute between the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Whole Foods Market.

"The disagreement has to do with whether or not the Whole Foods merger with Wild Oats should be "allowed to proceed". Yes, we know that seems like a crazy thing to be fighting about since all the Wild Oats stores that were around here have already been closed or turned into Whole Foods stores, but neither the federal government or Whole Foods asked us for our opinion about that."

On that note, a joke:

Person 1: Did you hear that an egg in Zimbabwe now costs 50 billion dollars?

Person 2: Wow, I didn't know they had a Whole Foods in Zimbabwe!

The Dog Ate My Homework

And it would seem the Bike Messenger stole the missing plot from NBC's "Heroes." I am starting to think that at this point the best thing for this show would be to just publish the comic books and stop with the show. Would certainly be more efficient, time-wise. I was watching the show last night and was glad to see Veronica Mars got to have a "From Here to Eternity" moment with the young Spock before she had her brain removed (didn't she die once before already?)

On a side note: is there no New Orleans in this reality? What happened to the kid who talked to machines, the super burger maker and Lt. Uhura? Did they go away so we could have a one (two?) episodes in Haiti?

there was more to this rant this morning that I typed up on the iPod but damned if I (or Apple) knows where that email went. Maybe the bike messenger has that, too.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

somebody's ringing the bell

Do you ever get odd calls from people that you don't know? Wonder who is hiding behind that 'unknown number'? Well the answer is as as close as your computer and a browser pointed to

Nationwide Phone Lookup let's you look up any phone number, Nationwide. It sounds simple but does exactly what it said - sort of like how search engines used to before they got loaded up with all sort of extra bells and whistles. Don't search the whole web when all you want is one specific targeted answer. Nationwide Phone Lookup is you fast simple and FREE way to find out who's on the other end of the line.

Type fast and you can get the answer before you pick up the call! Try it, you'll be glad you did. This has been a sponsored post.

This Sounds Interesting

Saw this today on the web wires and it caught my eye.

"...freebie at Boots, free with any 2 purchases. Claiming to be 'Instant Vitality Vitamin C and Probiotics.' " In reality it's 4 sachets containing a smidgen of vitamin c, some other multivitamin crap, and (the important bit) 50mg of caffeine.

Wonder if the Boots section inside the local Target has same offer. Probably not and this is a UK only sort of thing. Bother! Back to the Peets for the afternoon pick me up. Oh coffee, you wonderful and still legal and suprizingly affordable drug, you!

Your Help is Important

A letter from 'the top' which naturally has everyone in a tizzy. I guess with the way things are right now it should not come as a big shock....

Is there anything that you can do now to help your unit's budget situation?

Obviously, any immediate reduction in discretionary spending, reduced travel or a delayed computer purchase will ease this year's budget. Less obviously, if you have an accumulated vacation balance, using up that balance will directly benefit your department's budget, since vacation pay comes out of a separate accrual account, not current funds. But most importantly, if you have ideas for significant savings that might be achieved in your department or office, please share them with your department chair, office manager or directly with me. We all can find ways to get things done more efficiently.

As challenging as these times may be for the university, they will be temporary. We remain a fundamentally strong, financially healthy institution. Your contributions to maintaining our standards of excellence, each and every day, are significant. We will weather these difficult circumstances. I will be back in touch with all of you as we have further developments in the budget circumstance.

in the pearl district

One of the things I don't have to worry too much when traveling is what jewelry to bring, one of the many (many) benefits of being born male, I hear. For me, it's grab a watch and the wedding ring and off I go. [Fun fact: on our Honeymoon I didn't take off my wedding ring for the whole trip. I was deathly worried I would forget it or drop it down the sink in our Parisian hotel!] My 'better half' however faces this question every time we pack up and go someplace, even if it is just over night.

This has led to the loss of a single Edward Gorey cat earring in Manhattan and this week (almost) losing one of the set of antique Pearls, ironically in Portland's "Pearl District"! Seems the back came off at some point but the earring stayed in - thus necessitating a trip to the hotel gift shop with the local Macy's as a backup plan.

Her quick thinking doesn't mean that for a pearl necklace is out of the running for her Christmas present, not after I saw that you can now get pearls at wholesale prices over at The Pearl Outlet ( The problem now is deciding on what to get! I mean, their selection is as amazing as their prices are low.

At prices this low, I'm tempted to buy two different items and let her mix and match When you look, be sure to enter the monthly giveaway, too. (This month it's a white 12.5 mm South Sea pearl Pendant)
idogcow. Get yours at

CrispAds Blog Ads