Monday, March 31, 2008

Dunno if you have seen it

(Yes We Can)

It's the video that about 17 million people have seen - promoting Barack Obama.

I don't like to share my political views here. (I may at some point - but not now.)

Anyhow, I thought it was a great video, but I felt left out. There were maybe 40 or 50 people featured - but there was no middle-aged white guy, like me! I guess that middle-aged white guys are not targeted by the Obama campaign.

The Denver Auto Show

On Saturday, Jay & I went to the Denver Auto Show. It was great!

So here are some of our visual highlights.

Jay is next to a BMW X6 - which hasn't hit the streets yet.

The swoopy sports car is a Ford concept car that will never hit the streets. (Ford had the most concept cars at the show by far.)

The funky bank-vault thing was by Ford too. It was about the size of a Scion xB. Note the combination lock to enter the vehicle. (The designers were having fun!)

Why the King Ranch logo? It was fun to sit in a gigantic pickup that I would normally never like to be seen in.

The only very sad thing was that our friend John couldn't join us. (Alas, he lives in Germany now, where he gets to see cool cars every day.) We invited Jason, but he had a birthday party to attend.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Toothbrush review

The Colgate 360 is a good toothbrush. I'm not sure where we got it. (We don't normally buy such fancy toothbrushes. It goes for $4 at CVS.)

Two things of note...

a) I was amused at how the brush design copies the heads of electric toothbrushes.

b) The gel-bristle back of the head feels great in the mouth. I'm not sure why, but it's an interesting sensation. It's supposed to be a tongue cleaner, but I have never used it that way. My tongue is generally pretty clean.

Silly little video here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

If you're a blogger

...You really should use Google Analytics. It's a great tool that will tell you all manner of statistics about your website. And in the tradition of most things Google, it's free.

Boy, I should have bought Google stock when they did their IPO.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

People actually live in New York City

I went to flickr recently (via Wired) and found this photo. The photographer (Ryan Swift) took the shot at the Sandra Cameron Dance Center. It reminded me that people actually live there. New York is a place of movie locations and culture and visiting - but not living. Or at least that is the way it lives in my head.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Such sheep!

I have always been baffled at how Wall Street responds to news of some company's improved performance reports by causing the entire NASDAQ to increase. And then it's sad how bad news makes markets all over the world respond in the same way.

It goes hand in hand with how the price of a barrel of oil increasing is instantly reflected in the price we pay at the pump.

(By the way, I took the screen shot yesterday from Google News.)

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Here's an excellent article* by Anne Rice, a famous author, as it appears in the Washington Post / Newsweek website. It's a great read, no matter what your stripe.

Have a great Easter.

* If the link above expires, I have copied the article here. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Friday, March 21, 2008

It's Good Friday

There are some really good reflections on what this day means at Jon's Lent blog and Barb's blog.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Bottled water (again)

You have heard me preach this before... it's time to stop consuming bottled water.

As usual, Europe leads the way in environmental matters. Get a clue, America!

The "Greener Water" article is from a story by The Associated Press, around March 10th. A bit of Time's article of March 24, 2008 is in the middle. The bottom excerpt is from the April 2008 issue of Reader's Digest. (Double-click the image to see detail.)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gotta be the best mountain ever

From here.

Wrinkled snow

I had to share this with you, dear readers. I saw this wrinkled snow on a windshield, during my short walk to the post office, just yesterday. (It snowed here on Sunday night and a little Monday morning.)

We are so ready for spring.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

New (to me) fast-slow food

There's a category of restaurants I call "fast-slow" food. There's nothing slow about it, except that the pricing is between a slow-food restaurant and a fast-food restaurant.

Think: Chipotle, Qdoba, Toyko Joe's, Panda Express or Il Vicino.

So this one's sandwiches. Their twist is the way you order. (Go to their website to see more.) You write the way you want your sandwich on a brown paper bag.

My only complaint was the graphics: only yellow and black. A little too basic for me.

The chain is based in Dallas (and hasn't made it to Denver yet). If I had some big cash available, I might buy a franchise in the Denver area.

(Correction, thanks to Courtney - there is one over by Park Meadows, south of Denver. And if I were rich, I still might buy a franchise in some other prime Denver locale.)

Monday, March 17, 2008

I hate to throw things away

...but I did.

There was a time when I would have saved this spent Starbucks card. It has a cool design. ("Cool" is not a pun on the card's theme.) The problem is that when you get to be my age, saving stuff like that means boxes of stuff like that. Piling up in our limited storage space.

And to what point? Am I thinking this card would have value someday to some collector? (Such things have been known to happen.) Would I spend more than 5 minutes looking at it 20 years from now?

Into the trash can it goes.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The next iPod

Sunday afternoon - I found this & had to share it with you.

(No, it's not the next iPod, but I thought it was a pretty cool-looking little thing. Here's the link.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lean over

I loved this!

Also, note that though it was from an American site and has the word "whilst" - which is a very English word - as in - the language spoken in England.

Friday, March 14, 2008

You gotta love Macs, part 339

Macs come with Klingon as one of the supported languages.

I like Star Trek but am not in any way motivated to learn Klingon. But those who do might want to get a Mac.

(By the way, the screen snapshot is from a Mac application called Monolingual. It removes system support for the languages you may never need to deal with. I ran it recently and saved more than 250 mb of disk space. I kept Italian, as you can see.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mandatory vacation

This summer, all of Chrysler will shut down. Everyone in the company is getting a mandatory vacation for the weeks of July 7 and July 14.

It is planned "as a cost saving move to accelerate Chrysler's recovery and transformation" (Wall Street Journal).

Bob Nardelli, the corporation boss, said in his memo to employees, "We ask that you approach this idea with an open mind and a team spirit. It's going to take your cooperation and teamwork to achieve success." I don't think there is much of a question that cooperation will take place. What choice do the employees have?

Say what you will, but that seems like a sure sign that the economy is not very happy at the moment.

A flashback, about 5 months

Just before we headed into the dark tunnel of winter, we went for a family hike in the foothills near Denver.

This tree was incredible - a natural Christmas tree! (The yellow aspen leaves sort of look like ornaments on the tree.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Yay Baptists!

Finally, a shift in the Christian camp towards a small recognition that we live on a planet and need to care for it... the Southern Baptists have come out saying they want to do something about climate change.

It is a good thing to at least make a few moves in that direction, no matter what you "believe" about climate change.

Whenever I get off my bicycle or get out of my car and see someone just sitting in their car with the engine running for no reason, I always want to say, "Excuse me, I have to breathe this air, would you mind turning your car off?" (I don't, though.)

Crusty old guy, I am.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Who needs comics when you have the Skymall catalog?

I am always amazed at the stuff people buy from the Skymall catalog. Here are just three examples.

Those paper towel dispensers at public places are annoying enough there; why would you want to bring one home? And pay $60 (plus postage) for the thrill?

(The sandals are the least remarkable. I only featured them for their unique ugliness.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Quiet (bad) changes

United quietly stole away my air miles. I was almost at the point where I would get a free flight, after maybe 10 years of patiently saving miles.

They changed their policy - they are no longer letting the air miles last forever. Which means I will never get a free flight.

Friday, March 07, 2008


I wrote about this before. Now WalletPop agrees... bulk buying may not be best for you or for the environment.

However, as my buddy Shane pointed out (see comments on my other post) - if you have a long way to go to do your shopping, bulk buying may be best. Also, there is that container size issue; it's better to have less packaging. But overall, I'm in the "have less on hand" camp.

Photo from Flikr.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

News by Google

I'm not sure if any of you noticed that the last of the "You should visit..." links in my sidebar is Google News. That is on purpose. It's a great source for news. Fast-loading too.

Sometimes, though, they run stupid stories. Like the one I captured for you here. I mean, did you ever think that aromatherapy really has true health benefits?

Maybe I'm such a skeptic of aromatherapy because my sense of smell is so muted.

My amusement lies in Google News giving us stories in their health section every week or two like, "Scientists discover overeating causes weight gain" or "Studies show that kids consuming too much sugar makes them hyperactive".

(Double-click the image to actually see the story.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Another stupid watch

Yes, this one is also for people who have more money than they know what to do with.

I couldn't find out what it actually costs, but I'm guessing more than $6,000 (based on other watches by Bell & Ross).

The reason I share this beauty with you is, of course, the "Trust" meter. I think more people would buy the watch if it meant that by holding the timepiece close to someone, you would be told how trustworthy they were.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Amazing business concept

The name says it all.

I was so stunned that I actually stopped to ask the shop manager what the concept was... It's basically a rent-to-own scheme. It's evil - preying on the desires of lower income people who want to have gigantic wheels and tires - but can't afford to buy them outright. So they pay interest on the purchase, like buying a car on time. 52-month financing is available.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Bad plane instructions

I'm used to seeing illustrations for the "what to do when the plane crashes" instruction cards. Well, this time the card had the worst illustrations (photos, actually). I almost thought it was a parody.

If you double-click the image, you can see the amazing detail - the flight attendant is pushing the man down the chute. The man looks halfway like he is having childish fun on a slide and halfway like he is plunging to his death.

(Apologies for the image quality; I only had my digital camera to capture the fun.)

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Peace in Kenya

Some of you out there have been watching the crisis in Kenya only through my blog. So here's the 2-minute update.

Peace is on its way. A power sharing agreement was reached between leaders of the two warring sides (shown here). Mr. Kofi Annan has now left Kenya to let the deal be carried out.

For those of you who were praying, thank you! I know that Kenya would appreciate your continued prayers. It's not all over. There is a huge amount of rebuilding ahead.

Photo courtesy of Reuters South Africa.