Thursday, January 28, 2010

retired racers

Funny how you don't think of a person for years and years and then something. triggers a memory and then you can't stop thinking about them and you start hitting up the social networking sites and search engines to see if there is anything you can find out about them.

With former co-workers who were never more than 'work friends' and ex-girlfriends it would be a tad creepy to try and 'friend' them when you really don't want a conversation with them when really just an anonymous update would do.

What made me think of all of this was seeing a neighbor walking their pet greyhound down the block– you see I used to work with a woman who spent most of her week-ends providing for retired racers who were sent out to pasture, in effect. She had a few of her own and was always looking for other people who could adopt these poor animals. She could talk to you all day about them, you really could say for her it was a passion of hers. Always knew which car in the lot was her's, too as it was covered with dog stickers and a greyhound license plate as well. I thnk she loved those racing dogs more than her own kids some times!

Always liked the look, never had the home for one but glad to see one in our neighborhood.

Yes We Have No Bananas for Those in Pyjamas

Signs now announce a No-PJs rule at the entrance to the Tesco's outlet in St Mellons, a suburb of the Welsh capital Cardiff.

"To avoid causing offence or embarrassment to others, we ask that our customers are appropriately dressed when visiting our store (footwear must be worn at all times and no nightwear is permitted)," they read.

"We're not a nightclub with a strict dress code, and jeans and trainers are of course more than welcome," said the spokeswoman for Tesco's– the biggest retailer in Britain.

This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Powell's Books Asks

Over on their FaceBook page,Powell's Books (Portland) says, "Amazon Kindle, meet your Voldemort." The Apple Tablet was unveiled this morning, and will feature an open ePub format. What do you think, does it live up to the hype?

All I can say is that yesterday I was thinking it was silly and I wanted to get a Dell mini10v to Hackintosh, today I am not so sure that's whatI want to do.

Just wish the difference in price was not $250 (refurbished) as compared to $499.

soundtrack search

Last night we watched Goldie Hawn and Peter Sellers in "There's a Girl in My Soup" which was a first for me but a old favourite for the better half. A great look at 60's London and the south of France and a story that we are still not done discussing. Available for rental at all the usual places but the real hidden gem here was the soundtrack which as near as I can tell never existed or is long out of print.

That doesn't mean that we couldn't enjoy the music or at least the best song from the soundtrack thanks to the internet. You could search the general internet and get a double dozen pages of generic information or you use a dedicated Music, Video Search Engine and more likely go right to the file you were looking for.

I supposed the only unknown in this equation is can you save the files and play it on an iPad? For that I guess you have to wait and see.

Comcast Cares

Comcast wants a fax of a marriage certificate to change the name on a cable bill. The one a friend has is autobilled to by credit card, which changed their name without said fax/proof.

So the question arises, which do you think one would be able to commit more fraud with– a fake cable name, or fake American Express name?

As they said, "it kinda boggles me that the cable folks who will shut off my cable after 3 months or unpaid bills are stricter than the folks that I could actually defraud for several thousands of dollars."

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

the saint

Valentine's day is middle of next month and for many of you I don't need to be reminding you. For some it may be because you don't have a particular Valentine this year and oddly enough for some of you it is because you DO have a valentine. Having a valentine, or a special someone, means buying flowers and if you are like me you are often surprised at how much they can cost, especially around this time of year.

Savvy online shoppers have discovered that by now most merchants have special codes or coupons that can frequently bring down the costs significantly, or perhaps I should say, allow you to buy more using less? But so far finding these codes can be hit or miss. Which is why when you find something like this 1800flowers code you want to share it with people so they can save money and keep the ones that they love happy, because when it comes to sending flowers, you really can't go wrong – who wouldn't love a bouquet to have on their desk to show off to their office-mates.

To paraphrase the familiar phrase, “Size doesn't matter” when it come to flowers, it really is the thought that counts. But why not get more bloom for your buck?

Crazy 8

Do you have old family films in Super 8 format that need to to get digitized? Read how one clever fellow solved the problem.

[Photobsen] has posted pictures of an automated system for scanning and compiling the film into a digital movie. Using the existing software called CineToVid, to take the scanned segments and create a video from them, [Photobsen] built a quick automated system using an old floppy drive connected to his computer via parallel port. He now scans about 80 seconds of film per hour, unattended.

I knew there was a reason to save all these old parts, now if only I had some Super8 movies....

Saab Lives!

From the GM website comes the news that Saab as a nameplate will not be going away after all:

General Motors and Spyker Cars NV today confirmed that they have reached a binding agreement on the purchase of Saab Automobile AB.

As part of the agreement, Spyker intends to form a new company, Saab Spyker Automobiles, which will carry the Saab brand forward.

Haven drive a diesel Saab all across England and Wales, I think i like this news. What the new models will look and perform like will have to be a 'wait and see' sort of approach.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

renting out your 2nd home

If you own a house that is underwater in terms of money owed versus what the markey thinks it is worth, there is a way to slow the flow of red ink. Renting out that second property is a great way to make some extra money while you wait for the housing market to return to profitability, you may decide that it makes more sense to hang onto a home rather than flip it outright. The money may be less up front but what you trade for the 'now,' you make up for in the long run.

One problem with doing this is that finding and maintaining a rental property is not as simple as it sounds. Do you know how to screen a potential tenant and keep ahead of the maintenance? Do you even have the time or the skills involved? If I was going to do this I would offload these (and many other headaches) to finding a property manager that specializes in your area, so a Property Manager in Cincinnati would be the best person to talk to if I had Ohio houses to look after. It may cost a bit more but what price can you put on piece of mind, particularly with so many people skipping out on a lease these days! (It has already happened to one friend of mine!)

Friday, January 22, 2010


Have you seen Engine Company No 1 and their Compassion365 Twitter project yet? You should and together we all can make 2010 a better year.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Take 2 Tablets: Amazon Adds Apps


offers the biggest hint so far that the putative iSlate is a colour-powered Kindle killer. 

##Amazon opens up the Kindle to third party developers, allowing applications, or what Amazon calls "active content", to run on the device. What kind? Interactive books, travel guides with locations data, RSS readers and anything that brings text to the device would be good candidates — even magazine and newspaper subscriptions.## 

As has been pointed out before, Apple didn't invent the mp3 player, it made it friendlier and better. Heaven knows there's a great deal of improvement that can be made on the Kindle, hence the B&N nook and all the other readers at CES. 

Read:Tablet Wars: Amazon Adds Apps to Kindle

Disclosure: I have the iPod kindle app installed and find it to be fairly decent based on the one free Sherlock Holmes book I have been reading on it. 

via Google Reader

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Super Owl!

"The silent flight of owls has long fascinated ornithologists. No other birds fly with such stealth..."

...or look this cool doing so.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Another Re Tweet

@robotjohnny said:

Robots + Monsters partners with Doctors Without Borders for Haiti. Donate and get original art!

Tweet Wisdom

At one point there were eighteen different Richie Rich comics... on Twitpic
At one point there were eighteen different Richie Rich comics every month. Eighteen!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lego Helper

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

hawaii personal injury lawyer

Even in California, the dream of a vacation in Hawaii is alive and well, particularly now with 'winter' arriving in Northern California. (I put Winter in quotes as I know there are many other parts of the US that have much more extreme weather with snow and that sort of thing. Maybe I am the first to say it but we here in the Golden State are wimps when it comes to cold.)

But let's say you finally make it to Hawaii and get to experience all the fun and sun and good times that they are known for. Eventually, something will go wrong for someone. Someone will get injured. Maybe not you or maybe not today but eventually. Funny how statistics work. But what do you do? Chances are you will be far from home, and not in the mood to deal with all the details. That's why you need a good local and trusted personal injury law firm in Hawaii. Preferably one with offices near you, say Honolulu or West Oahu.

The Law Offices of David W. Barlow are committed to helping people with their Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer needs. So if you have had a car accident, motorcycle accident or any other auto accident, think of them. They are also the Hawaii Personal Injury Lawyer to call for slip and fall injury cases and medical malpractice.

Enjoy your time in paradise and know there is someone to help you when you need it. This has been a sponsored post.

Packing Paper

Just got a box today shipped from Kentucky and the empty space was filled with the local paper, don't you just love that?

I miss the days when Cost Plus (AKA "World Market") used to do that in their stores. They had huge stacks of newspapers that they would wrap your glass items in. It was like a peek into a distant world, even if was only a city 100 miles away.

Different fonts, different comics, sometimes even the paper itself would smell different....

Monday, January 11, 2010

to protect and save (your phone)

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Pexagon Technology. All opinions are 100% mine.

By now you probably have a smart phone and chances are you have come to use and depend on it every day but have you given a thought to what would happen if it was damaged? Not much could have helped the iPhone on NBC's Chuck, that much water damage is reason to take the long expensive trip back to the Apple Store, but to protect from the little bumps and jolts? For that you will need a case.

What if I told you you could get one for just $5? Multiple colors, in many different styles and FREE personalization. You read that right, FREE personalization. Not good enough, how about free shipping, too? You won't find a deal on personalized Apple & BlackBerry cases like that at the mall.

Apple™ cases come in resilient soft silicone rubber or plastic, BlackBerry™ cases come in the silicone design for all their most popular models The backsides of the case scan be engraved with both a logo plus two lines of text. No setup charge and no order minimum, order one case, engrave a logo, engrave your name and they'll ship it for $5 in just about 3 days. At these prices, why not order a few – a personalized Apple or BlackBerry Smartphone cases would make a fantastic gift.


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Cake for Breakfast

Well here's something I haven't seen in the shops, guess I need to pay more attention in the breakfast aisle.

Tip o' the spoon to Popdose for finding this one and describing it as, " clearly a horrible idea for breakfast that, in an industry first, Post has pretty much given up pretending you should eat it for anything but dessert. It’s sold in the breakfast aisle, but nowhere on the box are Cupcake Pebbles shown anywhere near a bowl, spoon, or milk..."

Not So Fun Fact

Richard Kline AKA "Larry" from Three's Company? He's 65 years old.

French Learning

I learned three things today from Brand New today:

One, the Peugeot line of products goes back some 200 years and included saw blades coffee grinders and bicycles and not just cars.

Two, the Lion logo was adopted by the Peugeot family and business as it was the coat of arms of Franche-Comté, their birthplace and was first used on their saw blades to represent “the toughness of the teeth, the flexibility of the blade, and the speed of the cut.”

And lastly, I want that car in the final frame of the spot below:

Dream of Android Cash

The family of Blade Runner author Philip K. Dick is to sue Google for infringement of intellectual property rights over the name of its recently announced Nexus One smartphone.

I guess since Motorola paid Lucas for the name 'Droid, the PKD family feels they are entitled to a little money as well. My take on it: bet one was registered, the other was not. And that might just make all the difference in the world.

This was better than all the cats in Wales standing on the wall in a row.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Word of The Year + Word of The Decade

tweet & google.

Fun fact as pointed out by John Baker: both tweet and google are proprietary names. Google is obviously a trademark of the powers-that-be at the Googleplex (who are no doubt unhappy about the dilution of the brand name by having it treated as a generic verb). But tweet is also a registered service mark owned by Twitter, filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on April 16, 2009.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Who Owns Your Phone?

Dan Gillmor raises some very interesting questions on the state of technology and what 'ownership' really means to Kindle,  iPhone (and iSlate) owners @ Mediaactive:
You may think you own the device you bought last week from a retailer. What you own, increasingly, is only the hardware; what you don't own is the right to use it the way you want to use it, even for entirely legal purposes.[...] But to reach iPhone users, developers had to get Apple's permission to be listed in the store. Lots of them have, plainly, as the number of applications is said to be above 100,000; but there are well-documented horror stories featuring Apple's refusal, on often mysterious or capricious grounds, to allow specific applications to be sold or even given away.

Ti-Key Tiki Key Cap Covers

available on Amazon…

2010 has Fred & Friends bringing us Ti-Keys, tiki-shaped flexible
plastic key toppers, a great way to identify which key is which in a

$5.99 for a set of two.

For all you know, sent via Unicorn

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

comparison shopping via machine

In a business transaction, when one person has more information than the other, that gives them the advantage. As a consumer, it's finally getting easier to close that information gap and return to a more level and equitable field for both the buyer and the seller.

If you are looking life insurance you are in luck – USA Coverage has constructed a real-time quote engine to show you pricing and benefit information from some of the biggest names in the life insurance field and more, all told more than 35 different insurance companies. So you can comparison shop with confidence that you are getting the best coverage at the very best price.

Traditional agents have a tendency to favour a single provider, the one they know best. This can prevent you from seeing all your choices. The USA Coverage quote comparison engine gives consumers the power of information and a real choice. Get a sample Term Life Insurance Quote today and see if you can't improve your coverage and lower your costs at the same time. Being frugal is nothing to be ashamed of, particularly today. Make every dollar count and start saving today.

Super Phone Not So Super

Google's super phone proved to be less than super yesterday, or rather
the world didn't change like we all wished it would. The phone itself
sounds pretty cool with a decent camera (and a flash!) and a big
screen. The available memory still could be an issue, but since the
price of the unlocked phone or the plan you'd need to go with it to
get it subsidized is more than I care to spend, it looks like I and
lots of other folks will be sitting out another dance.

Let those with more money than sense or those on an expense account
worry about 3G coverage maps and who has the most apps, and do what
I'm going to do: save your pennies for the next 'next' thing.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

the design beat

I have always been fascinated by the design process. Back in Grad School I probably spent way more time reading Art Direction and HOW magazines than is good for a biochemist. Maybe I should have taken some classes in designing Medical Logos for the big pharmaceutical companies.

I mean someone has to come up with the new names and design the boxes and pick just the right people to appear in the ads. Until they moved them all into cold storage, for fun last year I would go through the old copies of Scientific American and look at the old ads for drugs, cars and computers –3 things that definatly do not age well with hindsight.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Let The SmartPhone Battle Begin

The Nexus One doesn't lack in the bells and whistles either. It has a 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, Wi-Fi connectivity, accelerometer, compass and proximity sensors. The phone is also reportedly extremely thin — slimmer than the iPhone....

Now if we can just get an intensified battle on the calling plan front– T-Mobile launched a 'half-price' salvo, where's AT&Ts response?

[via Wired]

Sunday, January 03, 2010

See ID?

My father used to write SEE ID on his credit cards instead of signing them, so of course I started to do the same. Almost forgot it was there based on how few people asked and of course gas stations that you pay at the pump can't read it....

I think they only place that asked this year was at Bloomingdale's in SF (whom I thanked) and the Post Office. There I was told they would not accept an unsigned card. So I signed it. In front of him. Who then, rightly, asked to see my ID.

Read more on the reasons and other experiences at Get Rich Slowly, which for the title alone is my new favourite blog.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Amazon Giftwrap

Having received many gifts this year from amazon this Christmas, I am hesitant to pay for it in the future.

How can one of the largest online retailer have just one choice of paper, and such a dull one at that. I noticed Barnes & Noble had many choices and for no more than Amazon.

Demand better people! I will.

--The stressed collective staggers against the consenting body.

idogcow. Get yours at

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