Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Sorry I haven't been posting. I got nailed with a doosey of a head cold.

Monday, January 29, 2007

A prediction

I predict I will wake up sicker than a dog tomorrow morning.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Riding the train: insecurity

The other day I was riding the train home from work and saw someone sad although I don't think she knew she was sad.

The person was a young woman. Hunched over a makeup bag in her lap, her blond hair hung awkwardly in her face as she tried to put on eye liner. Incredibly self-conscious, she wasn't applying it because she thought she was pretty: she felt like she needed it. The pencil bounced precariously near her eye as the train jostled back and forth. Still she persisted. It seemed as if it were an addiction, that if she applied just a little more makeup to her already heavily made-up face it would do the trick. It was heartbreaking to watch. But what could I do to help her? I had an odd, helpless feeling as I got off the train and watched it speed on into the night toward its next stop.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Welcome to

You may have noticed I actually got myself my very own URL which I am quite excited about. After a year and a half of blogging it was about time. Having a URL makes my little blog seem so much more...official.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Hug-A-Writer Day

That's right. It's Hug-A-Writer Day. So do your civic duty and hug a writer, OK? They probably need it.

If you want to spread the love to those outside the writing community you could organize a Free Hug event in your area. For an example of what that is, click here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Digital v. tactile: the internal debate rages on

Journal or blog? Moleskine or Macbook? I love writing in both. Lately I've been leaning more toward my journal. I've filled 13 pages in my journal over the last three weeks. Then again, I've published 20 blog posts in the same amount of time.

There's something wonderful about the tactile nature of writing in a journal: the pen as it glides over the paper. Holding something you're creating in your hand and the exhilaration and pride I feel when I look at a well-loved, worn notebook with pages full of my thoughts, memories and ideas.

I love blogging. Being able to quickly put ideas down and the editing process of refining thoughts, sentences and words to more effectively communicate ideas to the invisible masses who I imagine read this. The ability to reference articles, pictures and current events and spout off my two cents worth about them. A blog is a platform to make your voice heard. Even if no one is listening, the perception remains: you've gone on record and published your opinion.

Why not both? The thought of having my ideas scattered across two platforms makes my quasi-OCD nature quiver in fear and discomfort.

Getting zero miles per gallon

If your car is idling, you're getting zero miles per gallon. Sucks, huh? I quote from Treehugger:

While older cars from the 1970s and early 1980s might have needed time to warm up, the norm since the mid-1980s has been fuel-injection vehicles which can be restarted frequently without engine damage. When you start a car’s engine, a little bit of extra gas is used to get the combustion process started. That means a good rule of thumb for conserving gas is to idle for no more than 30 seconds, except, of course, if you’re just sitting in traffic. If you have a hybrid car, it does the work of avoiding idling for you. While parked or sitting in traffic, hybrids shut off their gasoline engines automatically.

Turn 'em off folks.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Don't touch my Cheerios

Cereal is one of those things I'd rather prepare myself. Any other kind of food I'm very happy having someone else prepare. Even simple things like sandwiches seem to taste better when made for me. But if someone asked if they could pour me a bowl of cereal and serve it to me on a silver platter I'd say, "No thanks," and have them bring me the bowl, spoon, cereal and milk.

So, for your enlightenment, here's how one should properly prepare a bowl of cereal.

It has something to do with the milk-to-cereal ratio as well as the way the milk is poured. Just dumping the milk in one spot and letting it rise over the cereal isn't very tasty. Instead, slowly pour the leche over the cereal until it approaches the correct level. Then gently fold the cereal over itself, bringing the cereal at the bottom of the bowl to the top. This ensures all cereals have roughly equal milk exposure and you don't have super crispy, dry cereal in one spoonful and soggy cereal in the next.

And that's the way it's done.


Nowadays it seems to be fashionable to be connected: cell phones, text messaging, Blackberries. More than tools for communication, they function as status symbols for those constantly using them: "People NEED to be in constant communication with me. I'm needed."

As trends ebb and flow, soon enough it will become fashionable to not be connected. "I'm important enough that I can take time off. I'm not to be bothered by work." I liken this to being tan.

Back in the day women would carry umbrellas so they wouldn't get a tan because it would appear as if they were out working in the fields. (Heaven forbid.) Soon, it became en vogue to have a tan because that meant you had time to go to the beach, play golf and otherwise frolic in the sun. Eventually, not being "connected" will say more about your status than having a Blackberry that won't shut up.

Friday, January 19, 2007

An Inconvenient Truth

I've read the book and just finished watching the movie. I am not a scientist. I have never claimed to be one and frankly don't have a desire to be one. With that caveat, the evidence he laid out was impressive. He addresses the most common arguments against global warming: it's part of a natural cycle the Earth goes through, people can't possibly make such a large impact on the Earth, etc.

The book was much more detailed and persuasive than the movie which is unfortunate because I'm sure of the few people who see the movie, even fewer are going to take the time to read the book. At the very least, see the movie. Read the book if you've got the time. (You also won't have to listen to Al Gore's subtly Southern twang for an hour and a half.)

As Rob said, it's a shame a lot of people won't end up seeing the film because it is perceived as "Al Gore talks about global warming" instead of a well-researched and important film on global warming. Yes, it's necessary to involve politics in a discussion like this but it could have been toned down a bit.

Be prepared to endure numerous, self-aggrandizing shots of Gore walking out to wild applause and some bashing of the current administration. Get through that and you'll come away with an important message and a greater sense of urgency about the world you live in and the way you live in it.

The title is perfect. It's exactly what global warming and other environmental issues are. It's about time we did something about it.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The parking spot

I can't believe how petty I am. There's this one car that's always parked in the same spot in the parking lot of our apartment complex. It's a good spot. Right next to the building and the covered parking.

For some reason I imagine the person who parks there races to get home from work before me. Once she's secured the prime location, she sits back and waits by the window to watch me pull up, find the spot taken, shout a some pseudo cuss words and put my car in reverse. She then watches me from her warm living room as I back up clear past all the covered parking and half way to the dumpster. There I find my "regular spot" in front of the row of trees (read: bird poop alley) and next to the windowless "Kidnapper Van" which hasn't moved since I've lived here.

Tonight the tide turned. I got the spot.

Was I happy not to have to walk as far to get to my apartment? No. Was I excited I wouldn't be adding to my mobile collection of bird turds? No. As I walked to my apartment with a smug smile spread across my face I was simply thrilled the Mystery Driver wouldn't have "her" spot.

I'm so shallow.

K-Fed to appear in Super Bowl ad?

This Sports Illustrated article says Mr. Federline is gong to make an appearance in a Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. commercial to air during the Super Bowl.

My first thought was, "You've got to be kidding. If it's going to work at all, you need to make fun of him."

Thankfully, it doesn't appear he will be used "seriously" in his role (ala Diddy and others in Pepsi's spots last year). He'll be continuing their "Life Comes at You Fast" series. So despite my knee-jerk reaction to the headline it may turn out to be a funny/effective spot.

Hippy van and the giant orb

I was lucky enough to catch a picture of this Hippy Love Van outside of work this morning. I wish I could have spoken with the occupants, if for no other reason than to find out what the heck that thing strapped to the luggage rack was. Maybe I'll get lucky and see them tomorrow. If they're cool I'll see if they'll give me a tour of their van.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

One can hope

When two titans with egos try to join forces things are bound to get a little hairy. Apple claims Cingular made concessions just for them. Cingular came back and said they "bent" Apple. Who's telling the truth? Who cares? The most we can hope for is relationships break down and by the time the blasted device is released the partnership has dissolved and Apple releases it unlocked along with new, less expensive versions.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Riding the train again

After last night's experience on the train I decided to people watch again and see what I'd see.

I saw two women who worked at Wells Fargo. I knew this because they wore shirts with the bank logo on them. The amusing thing was that if someone had introduced these women to me as working in a bank I would have said, "Oh yeah. I can see that." They just had that look.

My favorite person from tonight was a black woman I saw reading a Bible. Wearing mostly denim, she was standing up while simultaneously hunched over her book with a black pen in one hand, circling passages as she read. Between the scarf wrapped up to her nose and the bandanna pulled low she peered out intently at the words.

Most other people on the train were tired. At best, they were slouched in their seats, absently staring out the windows. Others even attempted to sleep despite the bumpy ride. In contrast, this woman was awake and focused.

The Bible wasn't a new acquisition. It was well studied and the hours of attention were apparent by the worn cover and faded red edges. A bill envelope and a few notes scribbled on pieces of paper jutted out past the edges of pages. Other things appeared to be stuffed inside, although I couldn't tell what exactly.

It was apparent the book served as more than just a source of personal study and inspiration: it was always with her. Much like some people carry a planner or cell phone, this woman had her Bible. It was used. It was lived in. It was the center of who she was and how she functioned.

There's something to be learned from that.

Eventually her stop came. She looked up from between her scarf and bandanna, closed her Bible, gathered her things and walked off into the snow.

It arrived.

The long-awaited iPhone was announced today. In a word: wow. It does everything you could possibly want such a small device to do. It really is remarkable and revolutionary.

However, my overall feeling about Macworld: disappointment. Perhaps it's the jaded former Apple fanboy in me but with a half hour left in the keynote I was wondering, "When are they going to talk about Leopard?" Not to mention they've partnered with Cingular who, based on my experience and perusings 'round the Internets, is universally despised. Asking me to sign a two-year contract with Cingular and fork over $600 is just too much.

I wanted an iPhone to be an iPod and a phone. Instead, the iPhone is beyond my, and I think most people's, wildest dreams and therefore just as unattainable as it was before it was announced. I would have rather heard more about Leopard...something I'm actually going to buy.

This article reflects my thoughts pretty well.

P.S. Kevin Rose, what the heck were you talking about?? Are you a liar or just incompetent?

It's begun


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Riding the train

On the train on the way home from work tonight I decided to stand at the end of the car I was in instead of sitting. This gave me a fantastic view of the other passengers. It was absolutely wonderful. I was enthralled with the variety of people riding the train with me. A few of them stood out in particular.

To my left was a girl about my age. She was staring at a baby near her, seemingly lost in thought. What was she thinking about? Was she wanting to be a mother herself? Was she in a relationship and wondering if it was right? Did she have a little brother or sister, niece or nephew she was worried about? At one point she opened up her purse and revealed a small, stuffed teddy bear with what looked like a pair of hospital scrubs on. Had she been visiting someone in the hospital? Did she just get out herself? Who was sick? Would they get better? What was their relationship?

There were a couple of guys who looked like they belonged in a coffee shop: faded jeans, styled hair, thick-rimmed glasses. One of them was even sipping a latte through a very thin straw.

My favorite though was an old woman sitting by herself. In stark contrast to the people around her she was done up in the way you would think an older lady would dress up to go out: a brown wool coat buttoned up all the way with a broach at the top. A green scarf made several trips around her neck and a pink, somewhat fuzzy hat sat carefully on her hair. I could easily picture her riding the bus somewhere 30 years ago, staring silently out the window as the world rolled by. She had a great face. You could tell by looking at her that she was quite proper, but had a spunky side and wouldn't think twice about putting you in your place if occasion called for it. I wish I'd had my camera.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Bush lifts bans on Alaska oil drilling

President Bush opened Alaska's Bristol Bay (seen above) for oil drilling. What does he think he will accomplish?

Congress protected this area over a decade ago and now, because of greed, laziness or both, the area may be developed while contributing to the burning of fossil fuels.

Here's the reference article.

The most pointless thing ever

I'm all about tech and innovation. In fact, I really, really like it. However this seems completely pointless.

It's a video of Ed Zander riding a bike onto the stage of his Motorola keynote address yesterday. (Not sure what the bike had to do with anything.) This particular clip is about a new thing they're coming out with called "Follow Me TV".

"Let's say," he says in a very cheesy, scripted dialog with another man on stage (who, as far as I can tell, walked on stage without the help of a bike), "I'm watching a TV show in the living room and get called in to go to dinner. But I want to take my TV show with me into the kitchen. What then?" (I told you the dialog was cheesy.)

They go on to demonstrate how you can pause live TV and transfer whatever you were watching to another TV in your house, unpause it and pick up right where you left off without missing a beat.

Or, instead of buying this cutting-edge piece of technology, you could change the channel on the TV when you walk into the kitchen.

Monday, January 08, 2007

"Suspected tornado flattens homes"

Seriously. That was the headline on CNN this morning.

What? You're not sure if it was a tornado or not?

"Littered with downed threes and power lines, homes along this entire street have been wiped out. This has all the makings of a tornado but we don't want to jump to conclusions: we haven't ruled out drunken, wandering giants or a high school prank gone too far. More as the story develops."

Just another example of why I should be making more money than I am. Sheesh.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

R.I.P Mr. Ramen Noodle inventor

Mr. Momofuku Ando, the somewhat creepy looking man above holding what was left of his liver, was the creator of instant noodles and founder of Nissin Food Products. He was responsible for all those sodium-laden noodle cups we've all enjoyed. No one really knows how many college students and missionaries he is responsible for keeping alive during his 96 year tenure here on Earth. But I'm sure it was a lot.

So tonight, le's all raise a cup of steamy, previously freeze dried noodles in honor of Mr. Ando. Momofuku, you will be missed.

Writer's block

"A usually temporary condition in which a writer finds it impossible to proceed with the writing of a novel, play, or other work."

First of all, I'm trying to start, not proceed, with a "work". (Referring to this blog as "a work" is a being generous.) Still, it's torture having anything to write about when you want to write. Granted, it's not as bad as having to write and not being able to come up with anything. I've done that too and it stinks. But this is frustrating nonetheless.

Fortunately, I'm watching TV.

Did you know that if I go to a website I can quadruple my income? These happy people sipping champaign make $18,000 a month working part time. Dang it. Obviously, a college education was the wrong choice. Instead of spending years studying all I needed to do to get ahead in life was watch this infomercial and go to a website. What a fool I've been. If I don't visit it I'll never be able to take my kids to Disneyland. Seriously. I feel guilty for writing this much. I need to go.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Apple and me

OK. I've been through the ringer with Apple. My new iMac broke and they took a month to get it back to me. If I were Apple, I would have been scrambling to keep me as a customer. Instead, they did nothing. Unsatisfied, I spent hours on the phone and eventually they sent out a Shuffle and a coupon to try to weasel more money out of me.

The result? I've gone from devout Apple advocate to lukewarm. I don't go out of my way to promote Apple anymore and when people ask me about it I'm honest: I used to be a huge fan but when my brand new computer broke and Apple shoved me on the back burner. Don't bother with them.

I'll be as vocal about my negative experiences as I was about my positive ones and Apple screwed this one up big time.

The worst commercials on TV

I really, really hate Olive Garden's TV commercials. Something stupid is usually said and then people laugh. But it's not a real laugh. It's a fake laugh. Because what they're supposed to be laughing about is stupid.

"Boy. These bread sticks are good."


(Horribly fake laughter.)