Monday, October 15, 2007

iPhone use in the air

So this is interesting. It was inevitable though, that something like this would happen. I flew a couple of weeks ago and use my phone in "Airplane Mode" and it worked great. Nobody complained, but I did wonder if a flight attendant would ask me to turn off my device, etc.

Fortunately, I had no problems. Clearly, this flight attendant was mistaken on the technology and how it works. It's unfortunate that it happened. Hopefully thought it will educate others in the airline industry. Click on the picture to read the article in detail.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some movies never get old...

No matter how many times I've seen this film...  No matter how many times it is on cable or tv...  I watch it - unless Lori is watching tv with me.  She has seen it enough times I guess.   Some movies just never get old...  this is among my favorites of all time and if it was on tv every single day, I could/would watch it every single day.  Incidentally, I have it saved to my DVR as well.  :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I know, I need to grow up :)



I know, I am immature. I was playing around while on hold and re-visited my days of childhood - where it took very little to ammuse me. Really though, even now at the ripe age of 35, it still takes very little to ammuse me. :)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Thirty-Five!

No denying it - I am now officially in my mid-thirties.  Technically I have been, but there is no getting around it now.  :o(

I'm not sure how I feel about it - overall I guess I'm fine.  I am really happy with where my life is - professionally and personally - with a great wife and friend in Lori.  

So here it is.  My 35th.  Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

iPhone - Will it Blend?

This is very painful to watch. I am ecstatic with my iPhone and wouldn't dream of doing such a thing - even if I did have a second one.

Freaky that it turns into virtually all black dust, but still painful to see.

If you have heart trouble or a weak stomach, you may want to look away!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Coolest or Oddest baby stroller ever???

Cool?  Sort of.  Would I ever get one for my child - when I have a child?  Doubtful.  Maybe for fun, but not everyday use.  I love Star Wars, but come on...  Nonetheless, I chuckled when I saw this.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Jet Pack International H2O2

For a mere few hundred grand the future is here! As terrified of heights as I am, this would still be wicked cool to try.

Better though, strap on a jetpack while taking your Segway for a spin. When you get to some rough terrain, use the jetpack to carry both you and the Segway through/over said terrain. :o)

That way, we can have absolutely zero exercise in our lives. :)

Monday, June 4, 2007

iPhone - Not soon enough!!!

This will definitely be the longest month I've experienced in quite some time... Waiting for the iPhone! I am so psyched! I cannot wait to have so much functionality in one wonderful place!

Monday, May 28, 2007

1960's Ford Concept Cars - 1965 Mustang

I'm not a huge Ford fan. I've become rather snobby in regard to American cars in general. However, this is pretty interesting to watch - aside from the missing "film projector sound", this is fascinating to watch, in my opinion. It shows what engineers from 40+ years ago thought might make the "market" in years to come. Note the "directional" system they show in the dash that is what we all know today as GPS. Also, the marketing tactics were quite bland back then, but this is still cool to watch.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

PLANET EARTH - Like we've never seen before

Okay, The Discovery Channel has a new 11 part series called Planet Earth. Over 2,000 days of shooting over 5 years. The series Producers used the latest technology to film - not just HD (High-Definition), but new techniques to allow for never before seen sights on film before.

I absolutely LOVE stuff like this. I generally get bored pretty quickly, but this stuff is fantastic. I love seeing footage of "wildlife" and "nature" in general, especially when it is unique and stunning like this series is. I have been watching it in its intended form - HD (50" Panasonic Plasma). However I am quite sure that it still would be fantastic in standard definition as well.

I highly recommend you check this out if you have not already done so.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Trains (and Patience) Stretched Thin in Chicago

This article is very interesting. As resident of
Chicago, I do firmly believe that if our public transportation system were to crumble and close down, real estate values would follow quickly. Hopefully, this is a problem with a resolution - and soon.

From the NY Times:

Trains (and Patience) Stretched Thin in Chicago
By LIBBY SANDER

Published: March 26, 2007

The city is confronting the possibility that its century-old elevated train system, the El, may be at a breaking point.

Top Gear - Remote Control Ford and Vauxhall

Not a ton of real world practical use, but would be a fun toy nonetheless!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Parking - I still love my wife :o)

The zoomed in picture is a better representation. However both show my issue. Fortunately, I have a small car so fitting in the garage is easier for me to do when she doesn't straighten out her parking job. I know, she gets home after a long day and she's tired. Well, I am trying not to have to crawl out the back of my MINI to get out of the car too. This and getting her to actually take her car to a car wash are probably my two biggest gripes - certainly with regard to the car anyway. I do still love my wife very much and this is just one of those quirky things you hate yet would miss complaining about.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Google Maps - Send to BMW

This is cool. Love technology advancing to make life easier for idiots like me. :o)

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Nuclear lab develops powerful dust rag

This is an article that I found interesting. It is utilizing patent pending technology that appears to have some critics. I think it is cool though. Check out the article. Just one of those things that interested my twisted mind.

Enjoy.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17422934/

Friday, March 2, 2007

Darkside no longer!

I FINALLY took the leap from the dark side to the Apple side of life. There are benefits to (starting) your own company and finally being able to choose your own technology solutions.

Now, if only I could figure out how to use it as well as I know how to use PC's.... In due time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

HD or not HD? That is the question.

So this is a pretty lame representation. I used my phone to take the photo's - the camera is not even 1 MP in quality. I didn't use my regular digital camera because I'm too lazy to get it to be perfectly frank.

In any event, I find it interesting to flip back and forth between HD and non-HD when the same things are on at the same time Well, Star Wars - Episode IV was on HBO. Both the HBOHD channel and a standard HBO channel.

So I recorded on our DVR both at the same time so I can display both versions. Again, the camera phone quality is poo-poo, so disregard. Interestingly however, you can still see a difference; in my humble opinion (IMHO). For one, the HD picture shows the full wide screen of the shot, not a cropped off at the sides shot. That explains why in one screen shot you can see the guy in the "Bird's Nest" tower and in the other screen shot, you cannot.

In person, the difference is substantial. Even my wife - who really could care less what TV she is watching - notices a difference. It's so substantial - and I'm becoming so snobby about HD - that I find myself watching something otherwise less appealing to me simply because it is an HD signal and picture. Yes, I know. I'm pathetic. :o)

In case you didn't figure it out by now, the picture on the left is HD (the one with the guy in it) and the one on the right is Standard Definition (hence, no guy in the picture).




Saturday, February 17, 2007

Cholesterol - I'm at the age to start checking. :o(

Okee dokee.... So I am 34 - will be 35 in July - and my doctor wanted to check my cholesterol. Okay, no problem. I'm by no means old, but I am getting older and she (my doctor) felt it was good to get it checked. Also, she is a new doctor of mine, so it helps her learn more about me.

So anyways, my overall cholesterol level was absurd - on the low end - coming in at 149!!!!!. WOO HOO! Now, in general most are probably saying "who cares?". However, for those of you who know me, you know that I eat quite a bit more food than most humans. Not necessarily in one sitting, but defnitely throughout a given day. It frightens most people and shocked my wife when we moved in together and she saw her monthly grocery bill tab triple. My tab wasn't much higher since she doesn't eat much. :o) In addition to consuming mass quantities of food; I do not gain weight - literally no matter what I eat I don't gain weight. This is due in part to my very fast metabolism as well as my Crohn's Disease. Lastly, in addition to what I've already mentioned regarding my eating habits, I eat whatever I want. I add salt to food, I add sugar to already sweetened foods - including adding sugar to Frosted Flakes.

So this is the reason I am blogging about my Cholesterol levels - because it really shouldn't be this way. Oh, did I mention I don't exercise really? Other than living in a 3rd floor walk-up which also is a Tri-Plex requiring many trips up and down stairs. So really, I should be the poster boy of what NOT to do with regard to diet and exercise, let alone cholesterol levels. Yet, I seem to be experiencing the complete anthesis result of what I should. My wife, who eats well, doesn't eat meat, uses no added salt or sugar and exercises some has a higher than normal cholesterol level. Her Doctor wants to put her on meds, but at 33 years old, she is hesitant to start. Clearly, there are genetics involved in her numbers. I suppose you could say there are genetics involved in my numbers as well, but mine don't seem quite right to others.

If it makes anyone feel better, my HDL level is far lower than it should be at 38 and my LDL level is 70, which is good. My Triglycerides came in high at 203 where they would like to see me below 150. So I'm not the perfect picture of health, but I found these results all quite interesting.

As usual, I am proving that I am indeed a freak of nature. :o)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Snow with MINImal driving room

While we're not being dumped on with feet of snow like parts of NY State, the snow we are getting today is "Blizzard like" - at least according to news reports, etc. What's problematic with the snow is the wind and the snow itself being very light as opposed to wet. So the snow is blowing like crazy and shoveling is a virtually futile experience. You shovel and then moments later, the area you cleared has snow blown over it again.

In general, I would say such is life - we do after all live in Chicago AND it is February. It's not like this is happening in June or July or something like that. The only major challenge I have - well, two really - is the alley's don't get plowed by the city, which I understand, but it doesn't make it any easier. The second thing is my car being lower to the ground. She (my car is a she, her name is Sally) handles quite well in the snow actually. I have 17" wheels and tires - all-season tires - and front wheel drive. On a regular, plowed or even partially plowed street I'm fine. Driving through the alley to get to and from my garage is the challenge. Being so low, it is hard to "Plow" through the drifts, etc. DSC - Dynamic Stability Control (which I'll describe as the opposite of Anti-Lock Brakes in that it functions while in motion, not trying to stop motion) is great on slick roads. DSC is NOT good when trying to rock the car to move enough to go through the drifts. I have the S version - so my car is Supercharged (no, that is NOT what the S stands for) - which makes my car very quick. Quite powerful in fact. The only way to get through the drifts (see picture) was to turn off DSC, rev the engine to near red line and go.

This is still an endorsement for the MINI, just a word of caution in deep snow.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Snow white.....

Generally, I like snow. Especially when it's fresh and clean. That said, since becoming landlords, it is less appealing to me as the responsibility of all snow removal, etc falls on me and my wife. We have great tenants that do help and don't complain. But I have to be far more diligent with keeping up with it - plus simply feeling responsible to make the space they live more enjoyable - whereas if it were simply us, it would be less of an issue.

Here's what the weather report says... It will be interesting to see how close the report is to reality. I know Meteorology is not an exact science, but sometimes, it seems really in-exact.
--------
Feb 12 Tonight
Cloudy with periods of snow after midnight. Low near 20F. Winds ENE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 90%. Snow accumulating 1 to 2 inches.

Feb 13 Tomorrow
Cloudy with snow. High near 20F. Winds NE at 20 to 30 mph. Snow accumulating 3 to 5 inches. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.

Feb 13 Tomorrow night
Variably cloudy with snow showers. Low around 15F. Winds NNE at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 60%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches.

Feb 14 Wednesday
Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 17F. Winds NNW at 10 to 20 mph.

CMMC 2007 Chicago Auto Show Drive

This is a clip made and edited by Taylor Smith - Chicago MINI Motoring Club Board Member, MINI Owner and Enthusiast. Many thanks for the clip. I was present at this drive to the Auto Show this past Saturday, February 10th. I have a Chili Red Cooper S - however it's hard to distinguish one car from the next. GO BUY A MINI!!!!!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What does $25,000 for dinner buy?

Now, I've had the good fortune of enjoying some amazing meals at some of the finest restaurants in Chicago - which also are classified as best in the world. My favorite experience would have to be Charlie Trotter's. I've been to Tru, Ambria and a few others and for reasons I cannot put into words extremely well, Charlie Trotter's definitely was my favorite. It was an experience unlike any other. Mr. Trotter kind of invented the experience he created there and others have imitated - that is a compliment. We did the "Grand Menu" when we were there, which changes at least a few times per year, if not more. We also did the "Wine Accompaniment" which gives a different wine with each course of the meal. It was also by far the most expensive meal I've ever paid for - at over $600 for two people. This was for a special occasion - Anniversary - as spending so much for one meal is absurd probably in general, but definitely even on occasion.

That said, while the meal was fantastic - as was the entire experience - I cannot fathom spending $25,000 for one meal. Granted, this is all relative as to those who spent that on one meal, that was surely nowhere near their last $25,000. In fact, it likely is maybe a days pay or earnings for most involved. Nonetheless, I found this interesting. My pallet is not defined enough to distinguish between some of the wines, etc that would by themselves run into the thousands of dollars. I'm generally pretty pleased with a $20 bottle of wine - often less.

See the article below from MSNBC.com:

BANGKOK, Thailand - A luxury hotel in Bangkok charged $25,000 a head Saturday for this 10-course menu prepared by six world-class chefs and featuring some of the world’s rarest wines. Here are the courses and wines that were served:

First course:

Creme brulee of foie gras with Tonga beans
1990 Louis Roederer Cristal
chef: Alain Soliveres from Taillevent in Paris, France

Second course:

Tartare of Kobe beef with Imperial Beluga caviar and Belon oysters
1995 Krug Clos du Mesnil
chef: Antoine Westermann from Le Buerhiesel in Strasbourg, France

Third course:

Mousseline of “pattes rouges” crayfish with morel mushroom infusion
2000 Corton-Charlemagne, Domaine Jean Fran├žois Coche-Dury
chef: Alain Soliveres from Tailleven

Fourth course:

“Tarte fine” with scallops and black truffles
1996 Le Montrachet, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
chef: Antoine Westermann from Le Buerhiesel

Fifth course:

Brittany Lobster “Osso Bucco”
1985 Romanee-Conti, Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
chef: Jean-Michel Lorain from La Cote Saint Jacques in Joigny, France

Sixth course:

Ravioli with guinea fowl and burrata cheese with a veal and truffle sauce
1961 Chateau Palmer
chef: Annie Feolde from Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence, Italy

Seventh course:

Saddle of lamb “Leonel”
1959 Chateau Mouton Rothschild
chef: Marc Meneau from L’Esperance in Vezelay, France

Eighth course:

Sorbet “Dom Perignon”
Supreme of pigeon en croute with cepes mushroom sauce and cipollotti
1961 Chateau Haut-Brion
chef: Heinz Winkler from Residenz Heinz Winkler in Aschau, Germany

Ninth course:

Veal cheeks with Perigord truffles
1955 Chateau Latour
chef: Heinz Winkler from Residenz Heinz Winkler

Tenth course:

Imperial gingerbread pyramid with caramel and salted butter ice-cream
1967 Chateau d’Yquem
chef: Jean-Michel Lorain from La Cote Saint Jacques

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Exotic Car Slideshow

As a car lover, just thought I would
post this one for all to load and view.

Click on the screenshot to load or click here.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Bear Down, Chicago Bears sung by Lyric Opera's Bryan Griffin

Let's all support The Bears. This is definitely a more unique version of the "classic", but definitely a Chicago honor.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Subliminal advertising in television? McDonald's

The Food Network has acknowledged this and indicated it was a technical glitch/mistake made by them - not subliminal advertising by McDonald's.

We'll likely never know the truth. I can't say I have a hankering for McDonald's now, but I do want to go back to MOTO Restaurant and eat some more edible paper and laser and liquid nitrogen infused foods. It was yummy. :o)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

BEARS WIN - Headed to Super Bowl 41

It's been 21 years since or last visit to the Super Bowl. There's even a 50/50 chance it will be a re-match against the Patriot's. History is a funny thing.

GO BEARS!

Friday, January 12, 2007

$315 Million Powerball Jackpot from 2002 ALL GONE - Winner says

From MSNBC.com

This is a prime example of how "average, everyday people" with no concept nor understanding of such significant wealth is not always a good thing. This is not intended as an insult, the "average, everyday people" comment. For crying out loud, I have a significant finance background and business experience. If someone dumped $113 Million on me after taxes, I would definitely make some poor decisions in the beginning.

But, let's look at it another way. General consensus among financial planners is to expect to live on roughly 4% of your liquid net worth - and by doing so, you theoretically will never need to dip into principal. So let's say you take $100 Million and stick it into some investments that produce income for you and you keep the other $13 million for "let's get stupid money". You will get $4 million a year every year for the rest of your life and every single one of your descendants lives. Additionally, the $100 million will still be there. Quite frankly, it will grow considering the "market" historically has returned upwards of 10% when annualized.

How do you go through that much money in 4 years??! $4 million a year is a crap ton of money. There is not a lot you can't do with that kind of income stream. Yes, I recognize there are unsavory people out there and he undoubtedly got duped into giving people money, etc. But eventually you start seeing the bank balance go down some and start re-thinking, don't you?

Politician wants ads ban

I don't generally like to have political conversations. People's political beliefs are their business and shouldn't be shoved down anyone else's throat. However, this one really irks me.

I am not condoning nor condemning Girls Gone Wild or other such videos. There clearly is a market for it - or the owner wouldn't be making millions and millions of dollars. But, the reality is this guy (Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson) is trying to legislate based on his own personal moral and ethics structure. He can follow whatever path he wants to follow, but threatening fines and making the decision for others - thereby trying to get them to follow his same path, really bothers me.

I am a big proponent of freedom of speech and expression and I really hate it when Politicians get on their soapbox - 98% of the time for the wrong reasons and with the wrong solution.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee state senator is tired of girls going wild on raunchy late-night TV ads, so he introduced a bill to fine cable companies up to $50,000 for airing ads for obscene products.

Whatever happened to Free Speech? This does qualify in my opinion.

Sen. Doug Jackson, D-Dickson, said he got the idea after seeing commercials for "Girls Gone Wild" videos that show young women baring their breasts and acting out other sexual situations. "This is being interjected right into our living room," Jackson said Friday. "People feel like, as they sit in their living rooms, they just have to surrender; there's nothing that can be done.

Um, not true. First, people can choose NOT to order cable TV or Satellite. Should they forget that is their option, guess what else they can do???? Hmmm. Any ideas? Change the channel if you don't like what you see. Simple as that!

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Apple a day....

I really don't need to say anything - click on the links. They all speak for themselves. WICKED COOL!!!!

Steve Jobs Keynote Address

iPhone

AppleTV

FORTY-NINE DEGREES!!!

One of our two furnaces stopped working in the
last day or so. Fortunately, we have two heating and cooling zones, so the entire apartment wasn't freezing. This readout was this morning at around 10am in the back - bedrooms and bathroom. It was indeed chilly. It actually was awesome to sleep in - I like it cold when I sleep. Lori was a little less enthusiastic however.

It was a simple fix though, just needed to change the filter to allow for better air flow. It's interesting though, as the front "zone" was perfect at 70 degrees. You can feel the difference immediately once you hit the stairs going from the back to the front. I was joking that with the collision of such drastic fronts - cold and warm - we were lucky it didn't start raining. :o)

Monday, January 8, 2007

Pink Floyd...Inside Out

Pink Floyd is by far my favorite band ever.
When I started working when I was a teenager, I
saved up money and bought myself a Sony stereo system - I actually still have it. This was also my first CD player - this would have been the late 80's or perhaps '90 or '91 at the absolute latest - Yes, I am getting old.

In any event, I bought Pink Floyd: The Wall two disc set and I listened to it constantly. It quickly became my favorite album. I've since expanded my music taste, but Pink Floyd still is - and always will be - my favorite band. I also was fortunate enough to see them in concert some number of years ago - it was the tour that coincided with their Division Bell album.

This was actually my first "real" concert. I went with my cousin Paul and his dad and a friend of Paul's. We drove to Indianapolis (roughly 3 hours) and then back again after the concert. It was a fantastic concert, filled with lots of "air guitar" from Paul and me as well as thousands more. I drove all the way there, but I distinctly remember dosing off on the drive home and pulling over to let Paul's dad drive. In retrospect, this was not the kindest thing to do since his dad had to work very, very early that morning whereas Paul and I and his friend all would go home and sleep for as long as we wanted to.

It's a great memory, to this day. Well, now to the original point of this post - Inside Out: A Personal History of Pink Floyd. This is the first in depth look at Pink Floyd's long and storied history by an insider - Drummer Nick Mason. I emailed Paul about the book and he informed me he already has it! I will probably pick it up at some point - unless someone buys it for me - however, I rarely have the attention span to sit down and read for long periods of time. It is something though, that I will want to have no matter what.

So what or who is your favorite band? What is your first or best Pink Floyd memory?

Saturday, January 6, 2007

50 US States....How many have you been to?

I started thinking about it the other day and decided to look at the 50 states and figure out how many I have actually been to... It's interesting to me. I've done more travelling the last few years than the several before and decided I want to be able to one day say I've been to all 50 states + D.C.

So I counted and I cannot say for sure as I may have been through a few states I don't recall while driving through, etc. I can say for sure I've been to at least 18 US States and possibly 21 or 22. I've not yet been to D.C. either. I have though, been to Alaska - I HIGHLY recommend taking an Alaskan Cruise. It was fantastic! In any event, I'm in my mid-thirties (YUCK!), so I figure I've got time to get to the other half+ United States.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Google Answer to Filling Jobs Is an Algorithm

I found this pretty interesting. I am a firm believer that grades do not necessarily predict success professionally. There is a lot of data to support this too.

Google - with their rapid growth rates - is seeing the challenge of too high of standards. There is a tremendous amount of talent below the 4.0 GPA.

Check out the article. Very interesting.

Monday, January 1, 2007

That is a lot of storm troopers!!!

Okay, so I am a big Star Wars fan.
I've never gone to a convention or anything like that - nor would I go out of my way. That's not to say I wouldn't go if there was one in my neighborhood, just to check it out and see the people. I love people watching.

In any event, this parade was organized in honor of George Lucas - who was the Grand Marshall of the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA.

Had to post this simply because that's an awesome picture!

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