Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Where's the Snow

I remember a time during my youth that this little old lady would look at her burger, remove the top bun and proclaim, "Where's the beef?". I feel much this same way when it comes to the subject of our first Cleveland winter and the snow we've gotten recently. It's been non-existant.

Of course without the presence of snow, skiing becomes very difficult. We did manage to go two weekends ago, but the hill was covered with slush, not snow. We didn't even try last weekend. I am forced to think of better days, when the snow was prevalent, at least on the hill it was, before spring decided to show up here in January.

At least I got a good video of theBrotherInLaw to remind myselft what I'm missing:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Million Dollar Homepage, with a Huge Twist/Next Generation of Advertising

Following in the wake of milliondollarhomepage is tough, but that’s why we’ve devised a whole new dream. They're giving away a total of One Million Dollars to the advertisers.
Every time 10,00 ad units are sold, $10,000 will be raffled off to one advertiser.

read more | digg story

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Five-year-old gets drunk at Applebee's

Newsflash, I actually watched the news one night this week. theWife and I saw this story:
David Pescovitz: Five-year-old Seth Pereles was sipping what his mother thought was an apple juice at the Applebee's restaurant in Battery Park City, New York. Turns out that apparently he had accidentally been served a Long Island Iced Tea. His mother, Cynthia Pereles, says the restaurant came clean on the mistake but she's suing them for $75,000. From Local 6:

Pereles said she did not realize her son was drinking a concoction of white rum, gin, vodka, triple sec, Coke and sweet-and-sour mix until it was too late. The boy's eyes became glazed and he began to laugh uncontrollably, according to a report.

'When you're looking at your 5-year-old and you're asking him, quiet down Seth, sit still and you see that mentally and physically he cannot comply with what you're asking him to do because he is under the influence,' Pereles said.
I can understand the parents being upset, but come off it already. This one drink will not have any lasting effects or cause the child any mental anguish. I wonder how long it took the mother to be happy that this happened so that she could sue. A couple of minutes maybe.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Google Video Adds Download Support

Google Video Adds Download Support. You can now download videos on google video in the Windows/Mac, Video iPod, or Sony PSP format. Isn't that great news. The news doesn't end there either. Google videos can now be embedded into personal websites, such as this site. I like youTube better, because my videos are posted instantly, and other users can comment on them, but having two ways to share is always better than one:

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Fake Lottery Tickets-The cruelest joke of all

Can someone please tell me what is the deal with these Fake lottery tickets lately:
Mark Frauenfelder: Site sells fake lottery tickets with hateful putdowns under the scratch-off material: 'Kiss My A**,' 'You Lose S***head,' etc. The ad copy on the site suggests it's a delightful family gag: 'Fool your friends with fake cursing lottery tickets These fake lotto tickets are so funny, they will have you rolling on the floor laughing in tears! Perfect for holiday gifts and family parties!'

I guess they aren't as cruel as the fake tickets that trick the dupe into thinking they've won $25,000.
I enthusiastically agree with that last sentence. I saw this on a recent AFV, and then I argued with theWife and theElderSon about why this is not funny. I have a good sense of humor for many things, but this, in my opinion, is the cruelest kind of prank. Some may argue and say that joking around about someone's death would be worse, but I will disagree.

In the case of the latter, at least you find out good news in the end, while the former presents the "dupe" with a huge letdown. Not only is the target finding out that they are the subject of a joke, but that they really didn't win jack. In my thinking, it would be tantamount to hearing that a sick relative has made an amazing recovery, only to find out they really hadn't. Why is this funny?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Another Ski Trip

Our weekly passes to Boston Mills and Brandywine have been getting good use. We have not missed a week yet and we're even starting to remember the camera when we go. That being said, I clipped together this video of our day on the hills:

As you can see, we had a great day for it. There was just enough new snow last Friday to make the conditions perfect and the sun even decided to show up for us. The day would have been perfect had it not been for the teens near the end of the day there to irritate us.

There are many times when kids act a certain way and I say to myself, I remember doing that, not this time though. Boarding or skiing up to the front of the long lift line, bypassing everyone standing there is one of the most annoying things I have seen out there on the hills. Especially when it's not just a couple of kids, but 15 or 20 of them doing it. Rest assured that theWife and I did not remain quiet like most of the other adults, and the lift operators did, though it did not do us much good. Most of them simply turned the other way and pretended not to hear us. Frustraing, yes, but at least they were not there the whole day, and we were ready to leave by this point anyway.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

10 Reasons Why Google Pack is Overhyped

Google Pack goes Live, the news can be found everywhere. The whole internet seems to be rejoicing that Google has released this package of software, most of which is free. Great news to be sure, but is it worth all the fuss? Honestly, it doesn't seem to be that big of a deal. In fact, if it was Microsoft who released this package, the same users who are hyping Google Pack, would be villifying Microsoft for trying to force software down their throats.

Most of these offerings, a lot of users have already. I looked through the list to see what I needed, and found nothing. With the exception of Google Earth, which I could've picked up any time I have wanted to, I already have all that I want.  Without further ado then, I bring you 10 reasons why Google Pack is overrated and overhyped:
  1. Google Pack Screensaver - Windows already comes with this ability, and it works great. Why do I need another screensaver?
  2. Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer - You've also packaged Firefox with Google Toolbar into this package, which I already have in the first place, do I need this toolbar? I don't think so. (Doesn't 99% of the online population have this already anyway?)
  3. Trillian - The paid mode of this instant messenger is probably the best IM app out there, but the free version is just ok. Doesn't Google have their own IM in development?
  4. Google Talk - In the world of IM apps, this little one is featureless and not ready for primetime.
  5. RealPlayer - Your kidding right? I've been trying to keep Real Player off my system for years. I've found myself just walking away from links that require it. Unsuspecting downloaders, be ready for all of your media to be taken over by this one.
  6. Google Video Player - Google videos providing premium content to pay-per-click is a good idea, but can I only view it with this app? Bad idea. If that's not the case, do I really need another video player on my system?
  7. Norton Antivirus 2005 Special Edition - This is the package breaker. Google has to be kidding right, they're aligning with Norton for the anti-virus option? Norton is only throwing in a 6-month free subscription with this one to boot, then it will be useless unless a license is paid for. Good luck ridding your system once you decide not to continue with Norton too. With good options out there, Grisoft, Avast, why go with Norton?
  8. Ad-Aware SE Personal - Decent product, but other spyware programs are needed too. This is not a complete answer to the spyware problem, by any means.
  9. Adobe Reader 7 - I haven't seen a computer in awhile that doesn't already come with Adobe Reader and Adobe is already running processes checking for updates of their own software.
  10. GalleryPlayer HD Images - No thanks, I have enough of my own pictures taken up enough room on my hard drive as it is.
As I mentioned earlier, if this was Microsoft offering such a package, everyone would be picking it apart.  I have what I want of the package already.  I see no reason, whatsoever, to package this all together.  Thanks, but I'm passing on this one.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Advertising...Huh...What is it good for?

A couple of months ago, you may remember reading about the million Dollar Homepage, a site who's goal, as it was obviously stated, was to make a million dollars. The site's owner's plan was to sell advertising one pixel at a time for one dollar a pixel. The purchased pixels were then placed on a large grid on his site for everyone to see and click. Not a bad idea, especially considering that the site reached it owner's goal of earning one million dollars.

What ensued was copy cats building sites that tried to do the same thing, but tweaked the concept one way or another, and as far as I know, none of the copycats have had success. This is usually the way things go isn't it? First to market always hits their goal while every other unoriginal hack flounders around trying to make a living off of another's idea.

Now another site is garnering attention from the tech crowd, OnlyOneAd.com. Instead of pixels, this site has one viewable advertisment posted on it's page every day. The cost of purchasing the ad will double in size until Ad 21, which will cost just over one million dollars. Another very creative idea, but this brings me to my question, or actually, my two-part question.
  1. Why do companies advertise on a site like this?
  2. Who visits these pages looking for a service?
It seems to me that the only reason these type of sites are garnering traffic is because visitors are interested in the idea of making one million dollars rather easily, not in finding a service that may be advertised there. It's not as if the advertisements are indexed in a manner in which I could find a spyware solution if I went looking for one. I can honestly say that I would never find myself visiting OnlyOneAd on the off chance that that day's ad may contain something I need.

I do believe that these ideas are inventive, but how they make their goals, or any money at all for that matter is beyond me. Maybe that why I haven't come up with my own million dollar idea yet.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bloggingly Delicious

Almost 3 years ago, 2 years 354 days to be exact, I started a blog. I hosted the blog at bmgwebdesign.com and called it bloggingly delicious. Over the years, it grew. It started as a blogger blog, but soon I moved to using Movable Type for it's added features. Then I changed yet again to Wordpress for it's ease of use and still more features.

Disaster struck then and left me without my domain. Last summer I lost the ability to sign into my wordpress, because I could not renew my domain, and therefore 2 and a half years worth of blogging history were gone. I was also without my own domain for the first time since I had started this blog.

At this point of frustration, I wanted to continue blogging, but just barely. I definately knew that I did not want my own domain anymore...too much pain and hassle. There was only one choice, blogger.

Like I said, though, it would have to be a brand new start because all of my history was gone. Gone, that is, until I found out that most of it was cached in the internet archive, January of 2003 to August of 2004 to be exact. I began the posting each post from that time frame one by one.

As I finished up posting every message, I again realized one of the drawbacks of using blogger versus MT or Wordpress...catagories. In MT or Wordpress I could catagorize every post, making it easy for a reader to browse through and find posts he or she is interested in. I gave up that niceness, however, when I decided to not blog from my own domain, however.

I didn't have to give it up for very long, though. I soon found myself reading an article that instructed me on how to use del.icio.us to catagorize all of my posts again. All I had to do then is catagorize every post I had just reposted to this blog. No problem. Take notice that at the bottom of every post are the links to browse the rest of the posts in the listed catagories.

Another feature I had while using MT or Wordpress was the ability to post interesting links in my sidebar quickly and easily. Once again, it's not easy to do in blogger. I tried using SideBlog, but it turned out to be another interface completely and rather a pain to maintain. Again del.icio.us was there to provide for me. You'll now find that I have links and news in the sidebar. They are updated more often than I blog, so keep an eye over there if you like interesting links, or simply subscribe to the rss for each channel.

Even though this blog has sported the title before, with the help of del.icio.us, I can now truely say that my blog is bloggingly del.icio.us.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Frustrating Morning

I had a post for you this morning, and it was not about frustrating. I was drafting it in my head as I woke up this morning. It was going to be about the fact that in a couple of weeks, my blog will turn three years old, and that while alot of things have changed, alot of things have stayed the same.That post will have to wait for another day. My morning can be summed up by what theDog has been doing this morning. So let me tell you of his morning instead:
  • Be let outside, Go potty
  • Bark to come inside
  • Try to get mud on as much of floor as possible before owner wipes feet
  • Find water spilled on floor by the cats to step in to track mud all over the floor anyway
  • Get caught pooping in living room
  • Go outside but do not finish
  • Inside, feet wiped, finish pooping in Great Room
  • Outside, run around and bark
  • Inside, feet wiped
  • Chew on cat
  • Disregard bone
  • Chew on other cat
  • Disregard bone
  • Chew on glue stick
  • Disregard bone
  • Chew on rabbit's cage
  • Try to chew on rabbit
This is the day I picked to start my quit campaign? Oh boy...

Monday, January 02, 2006

Price Matching - Best Buy vs. Amazon

There have been stories going around the internet this holiday season, like this one, posted at digg.com/deals/Best_Buy... , or this one. I read both of these horror stories in the last couple of days. I was well prepared walking into Best Buy yesterday and turned out pleasantly surprised. Allow me to explain.

I bought theWife a Bluetooth headset for Christmas this year. I found a good price for it on Amazon.com and then, after reading all the news about Amazon.com's price-drop policy, and then finding the price-drop tracking website, I got a refund for $9 a couple days after Christmas.

theWife loved her gift, I got some money back on top of the good deal I got, every thing turned out great. Then theWife said it was time to get me one as well. I had received a gift card from Best Buy from theBroInLaw for Christmas, so I thought what better way to spend it, or part of it, on this for me. However, when I walked into Best Buy I was met with a bit of sticker shock. The cost of the same headset was double what I paid for it on amazon.com. I simply walked away, saving my gift card for another day.

I did not even think of asking them if they would price match, but by the time I had read all the bad publicity Best Buy had been receiving, I figured I would give them a shot and at least ask. The associate I spoke with, of course, had to ask his supervisor. The supervisor fleetingly nodded and said they had price matched amazon.com before and told his associate to look up the price of the headset online.

I thought his eyes would pop out and hit the monitor when the results of his search came up showing a price of half of what Best Buy carried it for, but his supervisor had already told him to go ahead with the price match. I tried reassuring him that I was not trying to scam them by informing him that I would rather purchase the item from Best Buy, but how could I with a price difference like this. Here is where the catch was found, however.

Amazon.com happened to be out of stock. I was informed that since Amazon.com was out of stock, they could not price match the item for me. Since they were in such a giving mood, though, I was not ready to give up just yet. I asked another simple question. How about another model?

I raced back over to the display case and found another suitable headset, this one, the HS820, was $20 more that the H500 and again the associate was taking a very long time looking it up. theWife called home, where theElderSon was, and asked him to look up the price and stock availabilty for us. In 30 seconds theElderSon told us what theAssociate could not in 5 minutes. The price was $60 cheaper on Amazon.com, and most importantly, it was in stock.

theAssociate finally printed off the Amazon.com product page, went to talk with another supervisor, came back and politely informed me that they do not usually do this, but they were making an exception because I had told they have in the past. He wrote up the order, I paid and walked out of Best Buy with the Motorola HS820 headset for less than half of what Best Buy sells it for.

I currently, for the moment at least, am a satisfied Best Buy customer.