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Showing posts from March, 2006

I love retro electronics

Pete is about the only other person I know who actively loves retro gadgets as much as I do, although he has a more developed sense of their usefulness. For me, playing Mattel's Football II on the Palm is the height of entertainment. But this new cell phone, destined only for Japan (alas), is just up my alley. All the cool retro feel, with the modern technology. Now THAT'S cool.

Google: my new homepage?

I'm a big fan of customized homepages; have been ever since Netscape's first, back in 1995. Recently, with the explosion of Web 2.0 Ajax-laden sites, I've been considering dumping my tried and true My Yahoo. I've switched to NetVibes at work, and tried Goowy at home, but a recent contender caught my eye: Google . Google's new personalized homepage allows you to add content, like RSS feeds, sure, but the real kicker for me is the integration of the modules. Google weather, displayed as on overview to the Google Map. A full interactive crossword puzzle, with a new one every day. Gmail? Check. How about the map of recent fire and police alerts? Got you covered. Your favorite comic strips? Done. What's coming on your Netflix list? Wrapped. I'm still nto a fan of the Google minimalist interface, but the appeal of these is undeniable, without the performace hits of Goowy and My Yahoo. Plus, they all are available on your cell and mobile device. I'll keep you p

Michael vs. Michael - Google Video

Since I seem to have a sports-related thing going today, might as well add to it. One of the best Michael Jordan commercials (and there have been some amazing ones; is there any pitchman better?) was this Gatorade one, featuring a 39 year old Michael Jordan playing 1 on 1 with his 23 year old self. Great effects, great sense of realism, and a great ending.

A stake in my Cowboys heart

My 'Boys will never be the same. A long time ago, I blogged about the arrival of Bill Parcells to coach my beloved Dallas Cowboys. I was never a big Parcells guy, and, despite two winning seasons since then under him, I'm still not. Then came Bledsoe, the quarterback I always thought was just the guy you wanted when you didn't want to win a big game. He surprised me, after years in New England where I watched him do very little, it was his performance in the AFC Championship Gane, in the Patriots' first Superbowl title run. He had been benched earlier in the season, injured, and on came Tom Brady. The rest, of course, is history, but for that AFC Game, Brady went down, and Bledsoe came in. He drove them to the SuperBowl: it was the first time he had ever impressed me. When he came to Dallas, I groaned: back to the same old Bledsoe. Ready to throw the key interception when you need him to. But none of that matters. Not after last week. The most disturbing image I have e

Confessions of an Arena Football fan

Wait...don't say "Oh no, not another reference to the Sports Guy again..." . Fear not; just a confession: I love Arena Football. It's everything good about professional football, with none of the bad. Players make very little money, the gameplay is fast and exciting, and it's got all the trappings of great fun. And at ticket prices that start at less than $10, it's cheaper than a bad movie! What I really love about Arena Football is the fans. In San Jose , the team's mascot? A guy on a Harley, who rides around and throws T-shirts into the crowd. And I mean, CROWD. The arena is PACKED. And y'know what? Everyone is having a good time. Picture a sporting event without the obnoxiousness and adults and kids just kicking back. More a picnic atmosphere than a football game. Of course, I love alternative football leagues. USFL ? Yep, I was a big fan of the New Jersey Generals ( Doug Flutie AND Herschel Walker on the same team!), and went to a couple of Bost

A great way to say goodbye

Recently, when we went back to Boston for the funeral of Amy's brother in law, Bob Weinberg , the friends and family decided to celebrate his life by doing one of the things he loved best: eating. :-) On a night when the windchill brought the cold to below zero, 18 of Bob's friends and family headed to Boston's famous North End for a great meal. Maki & Robbie, our favorites. Amy and I lived in the North End for over 6 years. At least once a week, we'd walk back from work, and head up Salem St. to our favorite restaurant, L'Osteria . After 10+ years away, we called and timidly asked if, on a Saturday night they could handle our party; they remembered us immediately and were thrilled to have us there. Mia, Maki & Rob's daughter, confers with Francine on the menu Man, what a feats. Anitpastos, great wine, and L'Osteria's signature Chicken Picatelli (not on the menu; you have to ask for it), and Chicken Marenga (God, is it sinfully good). All combine

Become a bluesman!

Yeah, I'm a frustrated Akroyd/Belushi: the Blues are one type of music I can listen to anytime, and lose myself in it. Hell, with the frequency of my trips to Chicago these days, maybe I'll start to absorb some talent! ;-) Until then,I'll just have to point my browser to the desktopblues site, which takes away the guesswork and turns me into a master bluesman! Fun for a few diverting minutes; enjoy!

San Francisco Snowstorms

Hey, it can happen! This week, it's been as close as we get, complete with a 28 car pileup a few miles from my house. Real snowstorms here, although rare, actually have occurred, with predictable results. Take a look at the history of San Francisco Snowstorms.

A man after my own heart

When most people ask me what I do for a living, I reply that I provide loyalty solutions for retailers and service providers. They look at me blankly for a moment, then timidly ask, "So, what DO you do for a living?" I answer with: "You know how you go to the grocery store, and they give you a loyalty card, so you can get discounts? We provide the same thing for retailers like Smith & Hawken, 1-800-Flowers, and people like Bally Fitness." They nod; the light dawns, and then they ask, "So, you provide all of those little cards?" I smile and explain that no, we don't do the cards. In fact, we don't like the cards. How many do they have, I ask; invariably, the horror stories come of the multitude of cards in their wallet, keychain, etc. I then immediately explain we do the same, but without the cards. Now, this intelligent man has taken a different approach to the multiple loyalty card problem, and applied another ingenious, albeit manual, soluti

New Bluetooth headset

As stylish as the Jabra is, in the slightest wind, it's worthless. Since I walk more than I drive these days, I needed one that people coudl actually hear me on the streets of San Francisco. I settled on the Plantronics Voyager 510 , after reading great reviews of it's real-world performance. The biggest improvement is a windscreen on the microphone; that alone is really all I wanted for the Jabra. Sure, the Plantronics is more functionally elegant, but no one just sells these windscreens! What a racket. In any case, it's working well so far, with good comfort, and very good audible cues to tell you what's going on. More as I discover it with the Sony Ericsson Z520a , my fairly new cell.

Silence is not always golden

It's been a rough week at work, and with the traveling, not a lot happened on the Blog. Lani and Pete are putting me to shame. If you haven't been reading them, they both do great blogs, with regular updates. As for me, I have not had any spare time, but I have been working on a memorial site for Bob Weinberg, Amy's late brother-in-law. Right now, it's all set up , but I can't seem to get the darned URL to work ( As soon as it is, I will open it up to Bob's friends and family. It's been an interesting project, one that Bob's sister Wendy came up with, and I have to say a wonderful memorial. To all of our SF friends, we will be re-emerging shortly from our extended hiatus. For now, thanks for being with us.