Sunday, December 30, 2007

Dana Point Harbor

Dana Point Harbor: 33°27'30.90"N 117°41'50.76"W

Dana Point Harbor is a very neat and long harbor (1.5 miles according to the website). It was fun to walk around and take pictures of the yachts, boats, people kayaking and (something completely new to me) stand-up surfboard paddling. The harbor also has a nice shopping center and several places to eat. Well worth the visit.
Dana Point Website...
Some photos on my Flickr page...
Stand-Up surfboard paddling...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Wind and Sea Restaurant at Dana Point - 1 star

Dana Point Harbor is a wonderful place (see the next post) with great shops, restaurants, and nice views. While there, we decided to visit one of these restaurants for lunch.

First off the Wind & Sea restaurant has fantastic views of the harbor. We were seated by the window and had a nice time watching the boats, and people pass by. Second the atmosphere of the restaurant is pleasant and upscale. and the day we went was not crowded at all.

Now for the bad. When visiting an upscale restaurant you expect to pay heavily... for that, people expect good service and good food. Nether existed here.
  • Food was undercooked, and the shrip did not smell or taste right.
  • We asked to have our food cooked correctly, however our server never apologized for this error, or bothered to stick around to make sure we were satisfied with the results (now way over cooked).
  • The service (with Kevin) was horrible, with our waiter not bothering to check in on us until we literally ask for him.
  • Refills had to be asked for, not provided automatically as you would expect from a fine end (and high dollar) restaurant.
  • Finally at the very end of the meal, we were finally asked how the food was (too little, too late). When I told him, he said nothing, but just took the plates and returned with the full bill. No apology, no discount, no manager.
Wait staff do work hard, and deserve to be tipped will for this work, however good service begets a good tip. Poor service begits not just a poor tip, but a poor public review.

I'm sure that if I lived in Southern CA I could revisit the place later on to make sure it was not just a one time event... however since I was a visitor, this review will have to stand. If you have had good or bad service, just reply to this post.

Christmas Day at Huntington Beach Pier

My wife and I went out to LA to visit my brother over the Christmas holiday. Everyday was in high 60's to low 70's. It was a wonderful treat for someone from Kansas City.

On Christmas day, we went over to the pier at Huntington Beach. Many people also had the same idea, so it was a great time watching them, the surfers, the beach performers, the volleyball players, and all the other activity that occurs along the pier. You can see a few photos of the pier over at my FLICKR page.

Note that at the very end of the pier is a neat 50's style diner called Ruby's. This is a place well worth the trip. They have good food and service, and a fantastic view of the ocean.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Find those duplicate files

Find all those duplicate files that are eating up your harddrive space with Easy Duplicate Finder.
  • EDF is a free program
  • You can install it or use the standalone EXE version (which makes it a great USB drive software app)
  • A very fast program which tore through a 10 gig folder in less than half a minute.
  • It is flexible so that you can automatically delete files (to the recycle bin), or manually pick those you wish to delete. It also can overlook system files (meaning no worry)
  • .... and a nice easy user interface.

The earbud clip

Yet another great way to keep earpud cables from tangling.

Keep headphone wires from getting tangled

I'm a convert. After years of stuffing headphone cables into my pocket, only to have to untangle them later on, I stumbled across this link from Lifehacker. It works! I'm amazed!

  1. With your right hand make devil horns (third and fourth fingers tucked, second and fifth extended)
  2. Use your middle fingers to hold the earbuds against your palm
  3. Wrap the cable around your 2nd and 5th fingers using a figure-8. This is really the key part, the cris-crossing prevents it from knotting
  4. When you have 6 to 8 inches of cable left, wrap the remaining cable around the center of the figure-8 a few times and tuck the end into one of the loops.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Man vs Wild or Mild

For those of you who don't know, Bear Grylls has a show on the Discover Channel. Bear is dropped off somewhere with only a camera crew. He has to make it out of the wilderness and to safety. This was supost to be a true telling of his survival skills and talent. However it has leaked out that none of it is real. Preplanned, prepackaged, and zero survival. When this occurred Discovery Channel backtracked and now has a disclaimer on the front of each show. (click on image for larger view)

So basically.... Bear pretends to be Survivorman (Les Stroud) without any risk. Move along folks... it's just acting folks. Nice try. I'm sorry but this is just lame of the Discovery channel to pretend its all for real, and continue to promote it that way, except for the disclaimer. Very FOX of Discovery.

Click the video to see the fakeout. Go to YouTube for more.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Amazon getting slower?

Yet another reason to shop elsewhere. Amazon has patented the idea of delaying shipment to those people who don't buy much merchandise from them. Now that is snobbery.

Not to lecture Amazon, but the best way to build a customer base, and keep customers is to give them the best service possible at the best price possible in the fastest way possible. Not give them the worse service, as slow as possible. Why is it they even think this is in their best interest? That is the best way to loose customers.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Brian Dettmer

Brian Dettmer carves into books revealing the artwork inside, creating complex layered three-dimensional sculptures.

Sowerby & Luff Podcast (S&L) - 5 Stars

Like some of you, I have a 45 minute commute every morning and every night. I use to listen to the radio, and sometimes to audio books, but with the advent of podcasts I have music, news, comedy, stories, and talk show that I like, whenever I like. I especially like comedy podcasts like S&L. I like laughing in my car... It makes the other drivers really nervous.

One of my favoriete 5 Star podcast is the Sowerby and Luff show. It truely is one of the funnies podcasts around! A 45 minute podcast divided into short segments of talking, joking, and playing games.

Most of the humor comes from the great chemistry between accomplished comedians, Georgina Sowerby & Brian Luff. They have a magic about them that alows the jokes to flow.** Brian says the most off the wall things and has a wide variety of voices he uses to play 'guest' characters. Georgina has hilarious come-backs to Brian's jokes, and has a wonderful laugh that is completely contagious. They both are a treat for the ears and the funny bone.

Get the podcast on Itunes, or at S&L website. Its a wonderful show you won't be disappointed with and will bring a smile to your face.

**Note that the jokes are not for your kids, S&L joke about all topics with a bit of sex, drinking, and some minor searing. Don't get me wrong, its all great fun and taste, but it very much nightclub humor.

Getting Paid is the Name of the Game

Well the writers strike is still alive. The big corporations like to believe that the writers who are the cogs of their system aren't worth oiling. The writers who, like most workers, would like to get oiled a bit more when the big machine starts raking it in. This is the classic fight.

Personally, I don't think the head executives will feel any pain until January(ish). They currently think that with the holiday season approaching, and the writers bank accounts slowly dropping, that they can out-wait the writers. I doubt it will happen. The writers seem united and they can smell money on the table. That alone will keep them going longer.

Now AFTER the holidays, no new shows show up on TV & existing shows dry up and go into reruns.... which will make TV look stale. Thats when people get board, viewership drops, and then ad revenue drops. Only then will the big dogs take notice and come to the negotiation table with some desire to talk.

Link the title of this post says, getting paid is the name of the game. The big companies are getting paid, now its time to oil their machine, and take it to the next level.... or not oil the machine, let it overheat and grind to a halt. Time will tell.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Avenue Q - 5 Stars

Friday night we went to see Avenue Q the puppet and person musical. This was a brilliant and funny show for adults only. Yep, mash Sesame Street with Adult topics, great music, snappy acting and well scripted humor and you have Avenue Q.

So, if your a hard core Right wing republican... would you like this show? Doubt it. Avenue Q dives in with brilliant humor the topics of; premarital sex, drinking, homosexuality, racism, pornography, unemployment, depression, AND mash them together with real world core values of friendship, purpose, giving, and finding ones way in the world.

All in all you wont walk away feeling down, but uplifted and still laughing at the jokes told on-stage. Go see the play if it comes to your town. It's well worth the money.

It sucks to me....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Pushing Daisies - 5 Stars

Pushing daisies television show on ABC gets my 5 stars!!!!!

I’ve been watching Pushing Daisies since the start of the season and was in love with the show from the start. Why:

  • Jim Dale (the voice of Harry Potter) as the narrator. He has such a rich and warm voice which no one can help but love.
  • Great chemistry between all the cast of actors and actress.
  • Good solid story writing with a nice level of humor.
  • Fantastic story & character concept which drives the story beyond storytelling.
  • Sub story lines that cross from show to show. These subtle story lines and jokes which will be enjoyed by those who’ve watch previous shows. It's like getting an inside joke.
  • Great 1 hour stories so even if this is the first time you’ve watched, you will completely understand what is going on.
  • Great intro short. This 30 second start of every show tells everyone what Ned (the main characters) special ‘powers’ are and his respect given to them
  • Wonderful, and almost classic style, love story between the Ned and Charlotte. This respect for romance and not modern day lust makes for a solid building of characters and truly helps the audience, fall in love with the characters.
  • Enriching visuals make the story take on a bit of a comic book feel. This makes for a very inviting and warm show. It literally is nothing like what is on TV. Very refreshing! Kudos to production designer Michael Wylie.
  • Kick butt music track done by composer James Dooley who produces very emotional music to compliment the acting and visuals.
  • Great lighting effects. These compliment the comic book warmth and really makes the view feel like they are watching a Broadway performance on stage.
  • Interesting timeless feel of mixing modern day with the retro 50’s & 60’s. For instance in one scene the left background had a classic car, while in the right background a modern day SUV was parked. Wardrobe, colors, props, etc. all mix retro & modern with each other and none of them clash or compete with each other. This alone take great skill.
  • No Sex. Go figure… a modern day prime time show, which features two character who are madly in love with each other, and who have never been in love (or bed) with anyone else, AND who can’t touch each other. The classic love and romance drive the story so much further than one would expect. I guess the producers and directors of the past had it right. Concentrate on a good story, pepper it with fantastic acting, and top it off with good camera and audio and you’ve got a winner! Amazing.
  • Comedy & Story. This is a well written show. The comedy is well worked into the story which makes if feel very natural and not forced. This is no Seinfeld, but you will laugh and smile.
  • Good for the whole family. Nothing will scare the kids, Nothing will embarrass you in front of your parents, Nothing will bring you down, Nothing will make think twice about watching the and enjoying the show. Good fun for 1 hour.
  • Oh and did I mention it is narrated by Jim Dale? Ah yes, I did. I bet you can guess that this is my favorite part of the show.
So.... go.... go to ABC online and watch the shows. go....

Exploding Computer

Exploding Computer - For more funny videos, click here

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Don't get Fooled

Bloody Sunday

Download YouTube Videos with ATube Catcher

ATube Catcher is an easy way to download and/or convert videos from web sites like YouTube, Stage6, MySpace, Dailymotion, etc to your computer or your mobile device, IPOD, PSP, Cell Phone, DVD, VCD, etc.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Thursday, September 27, 2007

St. Louis Cops

Well it appears that St. Louis cops are a bit out of control. It seems that the power granted to them by the people, they have taken now as a right. It appears that some corruption is getting national attention. Good! Like the saying goes, power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. LINK

This month, however, scandals within the Saint Louis Police Department which otherwise would have been a local story, gathered national attention and fueled additional resentment. Some $40,000 in cash turned up "missing" from the police evidence room on September 17. The city of St. George was forced to fire Sergeant James Kuehnlein for his threat to "come up with reasons" to "lock up" Darrow. An investigation into whether Kuehnlein's actions merit criminal charges is under way. Darrow met on Monday with a Saint Louis County Police Department detective.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Missouri Police on Power Trip

Sergeant James Kuehnlein did have the right to pull 20 year old Brett Darrow over. He was well within his rights to ask for ID. Yet when the kid asked a few too many questions, Officer Kuehnlein went off on the kid.

Watch and listen to the video.
Officer Kuehnlein threatened to make up charges, impound the kids car and send him to jail.

Sergeant James Kuehnlein is suppose to serve and protect. Not harass, and make the law up. It's ashame that he gives Missouri a bad name.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Fox News: Trees cause global warming

Further proof that Fox News has no editors, no fact checking, and no common sense. Ok, Fox news really aint a news station. It's really just a video tabloid. Sheesh!

Note: their next story is said to be on how not having children will allow the rest of us to have more oxygen, food and gasoline.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Southwest Airlines - Can't seem to get it together.

Great post at BoingBoing (& almost everywhere) regarding a woman, asked by a Southwest Airlines man to come with him. He then says her dress is offensive and that she will need to adjust it. WTF? ... and Southwest backs up the man's story.
Kyla Ebbert, 23, was recently escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight by a male customer service supervisor for wearing the outfit shown in this photograph. The college student and Hooters waitress was later permitted to return to the plane and take her flight, but only after she put up a fuss and adjusted her outfit.
So really, What is appropriate dress for flying? Who should decide what is appropriate? Should airlines have a dress code? And without a dress code, can an airline block someone from flying? The next step, ugly people.... should they be allowed to fly, or have to bring their own sack to cover their heads.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Kerr Mansion and Conference Center

Over the Labor Day weekend, my wife and I stayed at the Kerr Mansion. It was wonderful! I highly recommend this bed and breakfast to anyone who needs a relaxing place to stay (or a large place to hold a party).

though this is tucked away in the foothills of Oklahoma, don't let that lead you astray. The Kerr Center has many amenities that compete with the larger (and pricier) 4 star resorts:
  • Stay in the uniquely decorated President rooms in the main house, or take a more secluded room in the nearby cabins (just a short walk from the main house).
  • Fantastic views of the Poteau River Valley. I can't seem to stress this enough. It seems like almost every outdoor area has wonderful vistas. This really is a great place to sit and let your mind relax.
  • Breakfast in the large dining room.
  • Several Seminar rooms
  • 24 hour WiFi in the seminar and dining areas, and great cell reception over the entire center.
  • Nicely kept grounds with plenty of space to be with friend. It also has many places to sit, relax and escape the hustle and bussel.
  • Beautiful Architecture and landscaping.
  • They have everything else a nice hotel would have; Pool, AC, good parking, cable, etc.
  • Next to the mansion is a museum, which depicts the history and development of Eastern Oklahoma.
  • Just 15 minute drive away is the town of Poteau with a variety of stores, food, and friendly people.
  • And don't forget the great room rates.

Visit the Kerr Mansion webpage

Robert S. Kerr Conference Center & Museum, the home of the first native born Governor of Oklahoma and long-time U.S. Senator, the late Robert S. Kerr. The Kerr family donated the 11,000 square foot home to the State of Oklahoma in 1978 and it was eventually opened as a Bed-n-Breakfast. The home was started in 1957 and completed in 1960.

The home is now a romantic hide-a-way with meeting facilities for business travelers or seclusion for pleasure travelers. Amenities include 20 lodging rooms and more than 40 beds, three meeting rooms, a large dining area, plus a swimming pool.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scion dumpster / Hearse Design

So I have noticed more and more Scions on the road lately. I have to say, as a professional in the design field*, that these are NOT the best looking vehicles on the road.

Apparently, the same design team who brought us the Pacer, the Pinto, and the Vega, must have got together for a reunion and decided to give it just one more go.

Now I don't mean to be unfair, but really.... take a good look at it and tell me what it reminds you of. Go on.... ok, for me It looks like a fricken dumpster.... on wheels... with affluent people inside... who look happy the paid $20K for a dumpster. sheesh.

So why are people wanting to drive around in something like this?!? God only knows. Its not the price. It's not the name recognition. I just think some people got board with the standard shape of cars and said to themselves, "I want something different." And that is where the thought process stopped. I'll grant them this, a dumpster IS different.

So I guess the top brass at Scion decided to round off the corners with the latest model. You know, make it look less dumpster like. Make it look more approachable. Make it look like something people would die to get into. So....

They have not improved the look. But again, that is just my professional opinion.*

* So I call myself a design professional as I studied Art and Architecture and achieved my Bachelors of Architecture, and have been working in the design field for 10+ years. I know good design when I see it. I also know bad design when I see it.... and boy do I see it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Man my email is full of Bacn

While listening to Cnet's Buzz-Out-Loud today, I heard a new word used. The word is Bacn (pronounced Bacon).
It’s any email you receive that isn’t spam, but isn’t exactly a personal message either.
I would think of Bacn as all those weekly e-newsletters you had to subscribe to in order to gain membership to some lousy site. Now your stuck receiving email that is not really junk, not really spam, but not really email from say... your mom.

Bacn would be a: newsletter, a bill, email you want but it's not that important, or the joke forwarded 30 times around the office.

Monday, August 20, 2007

1984 all over again.

A fantastic article over at and Creators.

Love or Hate Bush, you can't deny that he has changed the constitution to his favor. It's a slap in the face to all those who died in the Civil War, WWI, WWII and the other previous wars. All of them fought for freedom. All of them fought for a government for the people. All of them died for us, their children, so we can have liberty.

Unfortunately, it was all in vein. All hail king bush.

George W. Bush is the imperial president that James Madison and other founders of this great republic warned us about. He lied the nation into precisely the "foreign entanglements" that George Washington feared would destroy our experiment in representative government, and he has championed a spurious notion of security over individual liberty, thus eschewing the alarms of Thomas Jefferson as to the deprivation of the inalienable rights of free citizens. But most important, he has used the sledgehammer of war to obliterate the separation of powers that James Madison enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

ScanCard Organizer

I've been using the ScanCard Organizer system for over 6 years now and have found this to be the easiest and most effective 'to do list' system around.

The system is really quite simple. Just right one action item (task, to-do, etc.) onto one card and slide it into the organizer. Repeat for every item you have to do. Now with all those items laid out infront of you, just move the 'hot items' up in the slot and move the 'cooler' items lower. Now your priority list for that day are easily seen. When a task is finished, just remove the card, flip it around and slide it back into the sleeve. The card is now ready for you to write your next item.

What this system really does, is eliminate things falling through the cracks. If something is not done, it is still there in the organizer. Just like in real life, the to-do has not gone away. If every action item is recorded in this system, then you eliminate forgetting, eliminate over looking something, eliminate lists that have to be rewritten, and eliminate notes written/scattered all over the place.

  • The system has a very low price for entry. (A+)
  • Has organizer sheets that can go into an existing day-planner. (A)
  • Note that this system does not work well as a scheduler for events. It can't replace your calendar, but is does beat all the other task/to-do list managers out there.
All in all its a great system and gets an solid 'A' from me. It misses an A+ because the companies website is not updated like it should be (in one place they are still trying to sell 2005 calendars).

ScanCard System's website: (This Link now appears to be selling a 9-11 music CD.)

UPDATE: It appears the business has gone under as their online presence has disappeared. I'll keep looking and post up anything I find. If you know if they got bought out, or renamed their company, please post a reply to this message. Thank you. Here is a link to patant #4571867

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Daily Dump

The Daily Dump: A life blog about marketing, customer service, animals, life, and well a brain dump about stuff that happens to her.

You've got to know that she is a marketing genius, and when mis-marketing or poor business practice happens, its going to get her attention, and her review.

Bose In Ear Headphones:

Bose In Ear Headphones:

I decided to upgrade my white earbuds that came with my ipod. The Apple store geniuses, happily recommended these, and they even had a tester set available for use (which they sanitized of course). Wow! It was night and day!
  • Sound: Very rich sound with good base and more.... well... Kapow! (A+)
  • Feel: Light weight and comfortable though the rubber (silicon) buds can get uncountable if worn when its hot and humid. (A-)
  • Buds: Again, the rubber buds... they come in 3 sizes, though its very easy for the buds to pop off and get lost. I wish there was a better 'locking' feature. (C+)
  • Wire: The wire is quite long enough for running, and general use. You wont roll back in your office chair and have your ipod flung to the floor. (A+)
  • Design: Well.... I don't think its really that nice. The buds look like you have a boom-box hanging out of your ears, and the white and black 'barber pole' twisting effect of the wire draws far more attention than its worth and kind of looks a bit toyish. (D+)
  • Price: Well all of Bose products are a bit pricy, but this is a very good product. I think that the buds should have sold for a bit less. (B)
  • Customer service: Outstanding! I just lost one of the rubber earbuds. I could not find replacements online and called customer service. I was greeted by a friendly ENGLISH SPEAKING person who took my info and ordered replacement buds at no cost. Let me recap... Quick, Friendly, English Speaking, Human. (Damn, that gets an A++)
So overall, if you wish for a good set of earbuds, these are fantastic. I give these earbuds an overall score of B+

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Legends Phoenix Theater.

Yesterday we went to the Legends Phoenix Theater.

This was a very nice theater with an extremely large screen. They also have a VIP area with leather(ish) chairs, finger food, and liquor.

The staff was friendly, the picture was nice, the sound was fantastic & the chairs were comfy. That said, I would caution anyone wanting to go and make an evening of the VIP room. It truly is finger food so eat before you go, and ask for your hard drinks to NOT have any ice in them. It could have just been a bad day, but our drinks were so watered down that we both swore they were virgins. Oh well.

Just outside of the VIP room is a bar which anyone can go to. Thats right, you don't have to have a VIP ticket to go to the bar.* So if your ever early to a show, go up to the 3rd level and grab a chair and enjoy the wait.

*Yep, ya got to be an adult to go to the bar.

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