Saturday, April 29, 2006

Mom's rules of the road

Years ago, my mom came up with her "Rules of the Road." Thanks to the Internet, we can make everyone accountable for these rules. To that end, I publish them here.


1. It's my road.
2. Get off my road.
3. If you have a problem with my rules, see rule no. 1.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Alternative Fuel Articles

Here are a few cool articles about recent advances in developing alternative fuel sources.

Cheaper Veggie Diesel May Change the Way We Drive

Breakthrough in Biodielsel Production by Japanese Scientists

Teeny Reactor Pumps Out Biodiesel

This last article makes me wonder if there could be a way to "refine" your own fuel in the car itself. Just distribute veggie oil and alcohol and let the entire refining process happen in the car. Oil refineries would become obsolete (or nearly so) and it would seem that the cost would have to be minimal.


Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Missing NY

I'm sitting here at my desk, proofing website copy, listening to Wicked, and absolutely aching to go back to New York.

The tall buildings, the diversity of the people... just being in the big city. I think I spent more time outside in New York than I ever have here in Salt Lake. There's always something to do, someplace to visit, interesting people to meet.

I was just talking with Mike about The Met, and how truly amazing it is to see Rambrandts and Van Goghs in person. It's easy to understand why people pay so much money for art when you actually see it in person, instead of in a text book or on TV.

There is infinitely more open space here in Salt Lake, but for some reason I want to go play frisbee in Central Park. 

I want to buy lunch from a street vendor. I want to experience the satisfaction of barely catch a train before it leaves. I want to stay out late at a show. I want to walk through the city and just watch the incredible variety of people going about their lives: each doing essentially the same thing, but doing it so radically different from anybody else. 

I want to hear about a cool place to visit from a friend, and then go check it out. I want eat at Rice to Riches and The Dumpling Man. I want to spend more time down in SoHo and visiting random shops and stores to see what they're like.

I want to do the things you can only do in New York.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Media needs and alternative energy.

I have the need for a media...fix. I constantly crave news/information. I check up on Cnet, Wired, Engadget, Gizmodo, Macrumors, Appleinsider, Thinksecret and Mobiletracker all before I leave the house in the morning. I'll read anything I can get my hands on when it comes to tech. I check my RSS feeds consistantly throughout the day, along with a customized Google homepage. I wish I could get RSS feeds on my cell phone without having to pay through the nose for it. If I knew sources that would give me more information I would visit them too.

Recently I've been getting into information on alternative energy sources. From Wired to Reader's Digest. I'm especially interested in news about ethanol (E85) and hydrogen as renewable energy sources. I think ethanol is a more likely solution because, from what I've read, it will be an easier technology to adopt. Hydrogen would be preferable, but it requires a huge amount of enery to separate hydrogen from, most likely, water. So unless some breakthrough happens which allows low-energy breakdown of water molecules, hydrogen will probably be a way off.

I had a thought though. If someone stumbles upon a way to produce hydrogen cheap and insanely effeciently, maybe that technology could be scaled down and incorporated into the vehicle itself. They've already started harnessing electricity created from cars and use it in hybrids. So, hypothetically, a car would create enough kinetic energy to break down the H2O while driving. The hydrogen is channeled to the engine, the oxygen is released out the tailpipe. All you have to do is fill up from your garden hose for free.

It's nice to think about, but there's a huge "THEN A MIRACLE OCCURS" factor that is still a ways off. 1. The technology has to be discovered and developed. 2. It has to be cheap. 3. It has to be adopted by the auto industry. 4. It has to be reliable.

Until then, I'll keep feasting on any information I can get ahold of. Know of any good sites? Let me know in comments.

I'm the one

Today, while visiting Grandma in Wyoming, we ate lunch at a fine establishment called The Bear River Restaurant. It is a rustic-themed place, with rough-hewn logs and saddles hanging on various rafters. Word on the street is that it used to be a biker bar back in the day, and that Grandma used to start the occasional bar fight by throwing beer bottles at drunk bikers and then turning to whoever was sitting next to her and yelling, "What did you do that for?!"

OK. I made all that up. But we did really go there for lunch.

As we waited for the hostess to walk us to our table, she walked up, turned to fiddle with something at the counter and said curtly, "Sit wherever you want." Smiling to ourselves, we found a table with six unmatching chairs. After we sat down, the same hostess walked over with a stack of menus piled high with silverware, put it down at the end of the table and walked away. As we distributed the menus and silverware among ourselves we discussed how she didn't seem like a happy woman.

Our actual waitress was much nicer and was actually seen smiling. Now, some background is needed here. I do not like fried potatoes. Of any kind. I don't like potato chips, french fries, hash browns...whatever. I don't like them. So when I saw that the grilled ham and cheese sandwhich I ordered came with potato wedges, I asked if I could have a side of pancakes instead. The dialogue went something like this:

Me: Can I get pancakes instead of potato wedges?
Waitress: Uh...sure.
Amy: He's special.
Waitress: (Under her breath) Every family's got one.

So there you have it. I'm the "special one" in the family. As in, I think our waitress probably believes that I'm only allowed to play with soft toys and have quiet time in the afternoon.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Delayed Video iPod

Thinksecret is reporting Apple has run into technological difficulties and has delayed the release of it's true video iPod until the fourth quarter, but in time for Christmas.

Another factor playing in is the lack of cooperation with the movie industry in releasing movies for private owndership vs. a subscription-based model.

I have mixed feelings about the ol' 6G ipod. First, I bought my 5G ipod, what, four months ago? Honestly, a dely doesn't bother me too much. I'll get more mileage out of my current iPod before I sell it and get the new one.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Better and Best Models

I was, of course, just reading an AppleInsider article on the forthcoming Macbooks which was discussing colors and configurations. They suggest that in order to simplify SKUs and inventory with various colors, they may offer only two hardware configurations: better and best models. (Which leads me to ask, better than what? The previous iBooks that haven't been updated for years?)

If this is the case, I'm guessing the "better model" will go for $1,000 and the "best" model for $1,500, giving consumers $500 between each model.

I have to admit that getting a core duo Apple laptop for a grand seems like a pretty sweet deal, as long as they don't go completely chincy on the other hardware specs. (C'mon, a 32 MB video card in the original Mac Minis?)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Wish List

Alrighty. Hypothetically, let's say I had about a grand to blow on toys for me. What should I spend it on? Here's my wish list. Vote for what you think I should purchase (hypothetically) in comments.

• Xbox 360 - $400
• Forthcoming Apple Macbook - est. $1,000
• iPod compatible stereo for my car, Petie - $250
• Various Xbox 360 games (Ghost Recon 3, Splinter Cell 4, Call of Duty 2) - $60 each
• New cell phone (Sony Ericcson K750i or W800i) - $275
• Digital video camera - $500
• Invest it

Now I'm leaning toward a combination of the Xbox 360, a couple games and the car stereo. However, I'm sure when the Macbook comes out I will want that. Hmm...

I'm a Lamborghini

You're not subtle, but you don't want to be. Fast, loud, and dramatic, you want people to notice you, and then get out of the way. In a world full of sheep, you're a raging bull.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Apparently, I'm a Lambo. Or, in other words, a raging bull. Funny, I always pictured myself to be more of a M6 kinda man. Regardless, I'll probably never get to drive either one of this life.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Google toolbar 2.0

I installed Google Toolbar in my Firefox browser. It has a nice "blog this!" link so I can leap straight into Blogger and post these profound thoughts and pearls of wisdom for the Internet to see.

It remains to be seen if this little button in my toolbar will replace my beloved Blogger widget, because there is something oh so satisfying about using widgets. I really can't put my finger on what it is, except to say that I think I may have formed some kind of dependency on them.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Signs of the times

Worlds have collided. The universe has flipped to it's side and is now spinning counter-clockwise. Water flows up hill.

Windows XP will run on Apple's hardware.

And if that weren't enough to make you religious, Apple has provided the software and a simple step-by-step method of doing it.

I wouldn't waste time or money putting XP on my Mac (assuming I had an Intel Mac, which, if I sell my current Mac will surely come to pass). Vista? Perhaps six months to a year after it's released to ensure the bugs get worked out of it.

Personally, I'm not offended by this move by Apple. Yes, it's a bit like putting regular unleaded in a Ferrari, but overall I think it could make the Ferrari more accessable to the masses. And that could be a good thing...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My widget's Better

Thanks to the wonderful chap, Steve, over at Google, my main blogging widget is healed and better and working fine. So respect and thanks (ala Ali G) to Steve at the Blogger Development Group.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Daylight savings time

Despite the eerie commute this morning, I must say I do love daylight savings time. Here it is, after 5:00 already and I was thinking it was barely 3:00. It's great having the light summer evenings to enjoy. I can't wait for BBQ and hammock naps at my in-law's. Fire up the grill!

An eerie Monday

As I left for work this morning things just felt a little...different.

There was almost no traffic on the side roads or on the freeway. I got from my apartment to my desk in less than 20 minutes. When I pulled into the parking garage, it was literally about half empty, whereas normally it's nearly full.

As I walked into the office, employees on the creative side were also rather sparse. Did I get daylight savings time backwards or something?


According to my sister's husband's friend who works in the local movie industry, it was indeed B.J. Novak. Apparently he's in town filming a movie.