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Showing posts from April, 2006

A nightmare re-enacted in RBI Baseball?

They year was 1986. The place? Saratoga Springs, New York, on the sprawling grounds of my alma mater, Skidmore College. The school, made up of 33% New York residents, 33% Massachusetts residents, and 33% "other" (but mostly Connecticut), was transfixed by the World Series. Being a Bostonian, everyone assumed I loved the Red Sox (I don't), so I was pulled away from my bacchanlia...I mean studying...for the ritual of the New York Mets vs. the Boston Red Sox. It should be noted that my only fascination with baseball at that time was at the Commons of the campus, where I could be found pumping ill-begotten quarters into one of the 4 videogames on campus: RBI Baseball. Comical, fun, and fascinating, this game held my attention for reasons that, to this day, I cannot understand. In any case, just about every baseball, Red Sox, Mets, or casual sports fan knows the story of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. But this man has combined the agony of being a Bostonian in New York in 1

Noah has left the building!

Spring has finally sprung. The rains that have been deluging us for months have finally receded, and we are back to the Northern California norm: sunshine, cool temperatures, fog that burns off by 10am, and non-sliding houses! Asa result, the color has roared back in the landscape. I took this picture with my VGA cameraphone in the most unlikely of places: next to an overpass on Highway 101 in Corte Madera. Such beauty in the land of 5 lane concrete necessity just reinforces: spring is finally here.

Food Paradise

Amy & I are thinking of heading up to the Marin County Farmer's Market today. One of my coworkers raved about it, and said it put the weekend San Francisco market at the Ferry Building to shame. It goes until 1pm, and, as we are not early risers (just woke up as I write this), we'll see if we make it. What I am amazed about is the passion of the foodies who live for these. In Googling for details, I found KQED, the local PBS/NPR station, maintains an incredible local food blog , as does this amazing writer (the photo is shamelessly lifted from her blog). The Bay Area is a number of things, and incredibly passionate about food is one of them. I know that one of my blog readers will be shaking her head, with an amazed expression, that I am just noticing this. Hey, better late than never!

X-Men 3: true to the roots

I'm an "old-school" comic book fan. X-Men, in the 1980's, were the best: mature writing, great characters, etc. The movies, while fun, don't really do it justice, but this clip from the upcoming X-Men 3 seems to be a bit more in line of the "true" X-men. Wolverine, Colossus, a "Fastball Special," and the Sentinels? Man, now THAT's the X-Men.

Mobile Life Tips: the Graffiti artist is back!

When you've used a Palm for almost a decade, you actually train your brain to write differently. See, Palm uses a special kind of handwriting, called Graffiti, to recognize your scrawls and make it into usable text. I took me about a week to master, and from there on in, I was able to take notes in meetings, calls, etc. No problems. About 2 years ago, Palm was sued: seems they didn't have all of the permission to use Graffiti they thought. As a result, they were forced to design a new version of Graffiti, creatively named Graffiti 2. While it bears a great deal of resemblence to Graffiti, it ain't the same, and is infinitely harder to use. For me, it's meant a complete dependency on the Palm virtual keyboard, and that sucks. Lo and behold, you can go home again. From the helpful people at 1src, I proudly present the tested and approved: How to get Grafitti 1 to work on the Palm TX. Yep, happy days are here again!

Wild Kingdom returns!

Where we live is on the edge of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. As a reult, sometimes living here can be a bit like living in the wild: the animals don't always understand boundaries. Foxes, turkeys, and coyotes are just some of the more domestic denizens. And of course, the deer. Occasionally, a cougar. The oddest ones? The turkey vultures. Man, they are HUGE. And UGLY! Last week, in the midst of the last throes of monsoon season, they decided to take up residence outside of my deck. These suckers are 3 feet tall, and must have a 5 foot wingspan. The branches they were sitting on groaned under their weight. Did they get rattled by me coming on the deck, some 8 feet away, to snap some pictures? Nope. They paid no attention to me. They are just so odd, and always travel in packs. Man, they are freaky.

Speaking of Kevin Smith....

Clerks 2 is coming August 18th! Kevin Smith, in true all media style, has decided to introduce some behind the scenes stuff on YouTube, the youth oriented video sharing site. He even intro's it with a nice parody of typical YouTube videos. Hilarious. Ok, enough behind the scenes. Want to see the REAL trailer?

Dallas Cowboys 2006 Schedule: Google Calendar

Got yourself a Google Calendar yet? Or do you use iCal from Apple? If so, you're in luck: I've created the 2006 Dallas Cowboys schedule , including preseason and channels, in Pacific Time Zone times, for you to add to your iCal!

Kevin Smith. Black Cat. Signed. Does it get much better?

Kevin Smith, god of all things good, delivered his personal touch to me today: he finally continued writing the Spider-Man/Black Cat series he started years ago. To make up for the lost time, he sent me issues #4 & 5 signed (see picture right). Yes, this is the same Kevin Smith, who directed and wrote Clerks. He's a director (Clerks, Chasing Amy, Dogma, etc.), a writer (has a new book out, Silent Bob Speaks), a producer (he produced an Academy Award winning movie, Good Will Hunting), and a comic book creator (Green Arrow, Daredevil, Spider-Man & Black Cat). He also frequently hosts morning radio programs (SF, Vancouver, LA) for days at a time, and is an incredible speaker (if you have not seen An Evening With Kevin Smith , you must rent it today). And yes, I know we look very similar. I've lost more weight than he has, lately, though, and I don't wear the woobs. Thanks, Kev!

Mobile Life Tips: What's on YOUR Sunrise?

I've blogged about Sunrise before: it's a small program for your PC that allows you to "subscribe" to almost any site or RSS feed, and have it downloaded to your Palm, via Plucker . There's a new version out , that seems to make it even easier. Just installed it; I'll let you know what I think. However, I promised I'd share the sites I read daily, and their URLs. Note: some of the ones below are XML/RSS feeds. : 1SRC : the source for all news about the Palm OS. The Best Of Craigs List : I have rarely read more funny stuff from and about humans. The breakup letter from a woman to Trader Joe's? Classic. The Blog Maverick : Mark Cuban, founder of (which he sold to Yahoo for $400 million) and the owner of the Dallas Mavericks, holds court in a frank, stream of consciousness blog on all things, from movies to stocks to sports. Carbwire: Looking for low carb food ideas? They seem to have some of the best! Engadget: The definitive source for g

An amazing Rube Goldberg machine for your computer

Not familiar with Rube Goldberg machines? Well, all you need to know is to load this GIF image, and watch the fun. For years, living in Boston, there is an amazing real Rube Goldberg machine at Logan Airport, complete with odd noises and sounds. There was always another at the Museum of Science, but nothing beats waiting for a plane by watching this masterpiece of engineering uselessness work it's magic. Now, take home a little Rube Goldberg magic!

Getting audio from a DVD

Why? Two reasons: 1) Say you LOVE a movie, and have seen it a dozen or more times. On a long road trip, play the movie's audio, and your mind fills in the visuals. Like watching a movie while driving, without the danger! 2) Ringtones! Turn your favorite movie theme or quote into a ring for your phone! Even better, there are some GREAT tools for this. For ripping the audio from my DVD's, I have been using DVD Audio Extractor . 30 day full functioning trial. To create ringtones, I used DVD Audio Extractor to rip a single track, then used WavePad to rip just the piece I wanted. That's the steps I used to create this perfect ringtone from Die Hard ...and my personal dream. ;-)

Life imitates art...even if the art is from The Onion

Not sure if everyone has NOT seen this by now, but with Gillette's recent introduction of the Fusion, a 5 bladed razor, they truly were not deterred by The Onion's great satirical Gillete letter from 2 years ago. A bold statement by a company looking to maintain leadership that no satire can possibly keep their marketing budget in check, or did someone at Gillette read that two years ago and say, "Stop the presses; I think we're on to something!" You decide.

Web based calendaring...a reality?

Leave it to Google. There have been plenty of web-based calendars out there for a long time now (Yahoo, various Web 2.0 ones, etc.), but when Google gets into calendaring , it becomes a hot commodity. Google's interface is classic Google: simple, powerful, elegant. And Outlook syncing is in the future, so it may become a replacement for the Microsoft powerhouse. One of the more intriguing features is the open standards the Google Calendar is built on: iCal. Used by Mac users since the advent of OSX, it allows the web based sharing of calendars. What kind of calendars, you ask? How about every kind you can think of? If I could get it to sync with Salesforce , the Palm, and Outlook, I'd be a convert. You listening, Googlers?

My Palm TX: truly one device to rule them all?

Most of you know I am quite addicted to my PDA, the Palm TX. I've attempted to consolidate multiple devices and functions into it's use every day, and, in my ongoing Mobile Life Tips, I figured you should have an update. Let's take a look at my typical day. At about 4AM, my Palm "wakes up" and does a HotSync with my computer, thanks to EZSync ; that HotSync allows Sunrise to grab the latest RSS feeds I monitor (I'll publish a separate list of those some time) so I can read today's San Francisco Chronicle, for instance, on my ferry ride, with Plucker . My Palm continues to work hard in the wee hours of the morning, with Quick News connecting to my WiFi network at about 5AM, and pulling down any new podcasts I subscribe to. Later in the morning, after I have woken up, I check to see if there are any new episodes of the Daily Show , Colbert Report , or 24 that are downloaded to my PC (I was using the Democracy Player to do this automatically for me, but it

Looks like my next computer will be a Mac

As I write this, my old reliable Ruby iMac stares at me forlornly from a corner, abandoned in silence due to a bad video card. I actually own 4 other computers, all running Windows XP, but none of them give me the excitement of using my old Mac: the Mac OS is elegant, powerful, and just WORKS. The problem is I live in a Windows world: I've tried to make it with a Mac before, but the translation always introduces a level of instability I can't handle with business. After many years of encouraging Windows users to just "Switch," Apple has decided on a new take: if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. The new Macs are based on Intel chips: basically, the same as a PC, but running the great Mac OS X. Since the chip switch was announced, people have been asking: could you run Windows XP on it? Not emulated; really RUN it? Apple played coy, and outright denied it for a while, but this week, all that changed, as Apple introduced Boot Camp, a free program to allow you t

Network Magic - automagically configure your home network

Computers have been part of our everyday lives for a while now, but Microsoft, while dominating the OS market, has continued to only make our interaction with them incrementally better. For instance, setting up a WiFi network in your house is still a stress-inducing tech support nightmare, 6 years after the technology has been on the market! I'm a pretty savvy computer guy, but even I needed the help of a former Microsoft-certified engineer (thanks, Pauline !) to get my network up and running. And when it fails? I'm reduced to a trained monkey, unplugging and plugging in various routers, gadgets, and rebooting, in hopes of capturing the elusive network spirit once again. Now, it appears not only I, but others, can be freed from this, with this free application: Network Magic. It automagically configures your home network, monitors all connected devices, and looks to help solve common problems. Like another great free Windows service, LogMeIn , this product has a free and premi

Art, technology, or voyeurism?

In a strange blend of "I don't know if I am mystified, horrified, or fascinated" I present Cabspotting - the Cab Tracker. In essence, it's a realtime map of the cabs in San Francisco, tracking them. What makes it oddly compelling is the realtime nature and the paths the cabs leave as a trail. Again, not sure where to "put" this, but good art should make you think. This did.