Friday, December 31, 2010

Why I love NYE at TheMom and step-dad's place...

This is just one plate of many hors d'oeuvres my mom conjurs for New Year's Eve.

The clam puffs on the left are my favorite of all time.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

A couple pics of my new dumbphone, the perfectly acceptable Samsung a107.

While I wait for my new, unlocked, red Dell Streak to arrive I still wanted to use AT&T's crazy good prepaid plan of $2/day unlimited calling and texting when you use it. So, I found the most simple phone I could, the Samsung a107 for $20 at Best Buy. Then I bought a $15 refill card and got it for half off. Then I used a $5 coupon I had as a Best Buy Reward Zone member. So, yep, I paid just $5 for the phone and paid just $15 for $30 on my account since the phone came with $15 included.



What's really amazing to me, as a dedicated and passionate gadget guy, is how little this phone does. This phone doesn't have a camera but can go online. Of course, the $2/day plan does NOT include data but does allow you to access the web at the cost of 0.01/kb, which is absolutely absurd. Luckily, I was able to find backdoor codes for the Samsung a107 online that allowed me to turn off 3G access entirely. So, no paying $5 to download a 500kb ringtone.

Once my new Streak does arrive ( says it'll happen on January 15) I'll stick with my T-Mobile sim for it's $1.50/day unlimited Internet. I use it all the time on my old-as-dirt iPhone 3G and love it. Sure, it's only on T-Mo's Edge network (which means it's be crazy slow) but hey, show me another data plan that is as flexible as a $1.50 daypass and runs on 3G and I'll switch! I'd rather have slow convenience than be forced to pay on days I just don't need it. I may just pick up a MiFi once their battery life gets a bit longer.

Speaking of battery life, the BEST thing about the a107 is that the battery seems endless. As I type this I've been traveling for six days and I have yet to plug it in. Meanwhile, I plug my iPhone in twice a day. Can't wait to get my Streak and retire this old guy!

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iPhone pics from over Utah... part 2 (of 3)

Something about views like this makes me keep taking pics--even if they end up kinda identical. :P

This is not as bad a thing now as it was back in the dark ages before the days of digital photography. When I traveled to Italy and Greece in the 80s I spent a LOT of money processing too many nearly identical shots of gorgeous views.

Gah--I want to sleep on the cotton sky in these pics...

It's like a sky-high zen garden for an atmospheric groundskeeper.

And I love how mountains can look like islands.

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iPhone pics from over Utah... part 1

Delta had no cheap, direct flights to NoCal so we had a stop over in SLC, UT. The views from the plane were spectacular.

I kept making stupida Quantum Leap opening titles jokes.

Back in 2004 Siskita was in Utah for a gig but, flying to visit her I don't remember looking out the window of the plane.

I talked to a local after we landed and he said they had gotten some snow earlier in the winter but that only the snow in the mountains didn't melt.

The clouds looked like an ocean of cotton.

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iPhone pics from over Utah... part 3 (of 3)

Here are a few more shots taken over Utah.

Imagine if you could sail on those clouds....

Sorry for getting all poetic and stuff, but I'm typing all this on next to no sleep as I and @Siskita fly into JFK where we will wait a few hours and hop on another plane to Charlotte to visit my east coast fam.

Two layers of clouds is pretty neat to see, I think.

The dinal pic is of us over Utah!

Bleh... forgot how much I hate flying. The views are great but everything else suuuuucks.

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A few random pics from our (ongoing) holiday trip to visit family in NoCal and South Carolina

First up: Christmas dinner!

There was plenty of food but I tryyy to eat light. Salmon was what we had instead of the more predictable turkey or ham.

Pic #2 features Siskita holding her dad's cat, Tiger, who is taking a swat at me.

Saw this in a GNC we went into for some Flaxseed oil pills and Vitamin D--I think this dude is trying waaaay too hard.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

About to land for a stopover in SLC, UT--here are some Lego-Related Pics! Ice and Papercraftish

Lego Ice Minifigs melting in OJ!

Lego papercraft now available at Muji

Closer shot...

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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

@SierraRein wins a contest and will be singing live at Birdland, here in NYC on 12/

Sierra just posted this over on her blog at but I thought it was great news so I'd post it here:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Birdland. December 12th. James Barbour. I Sing Music.

Those who read my blog recently saw this entry about my submission for's online contest to sing at James Barbour's Holiday Concert.

Well...I WON!!!!

I am their #1 contest winner and will be singing live on December 12th. I also won the $150 cash prize. James was kind enough to extend an offer to fellow contestant Jovani McCleary, who is the runner up contest winner and will be singing live at the December 13th show (with a previously unannounced $100 cash prize). I will sing one song of James' choosing (it may be the same "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" that I submitted with, or another) in his 90-minute set. And I just read from James' blog that special guests that evening will be fellow Broadway alums Robert Cuccioli and Merwin Foard!

For those in the NYC area...short notice, I know...but here are the details:

Sunday, December 12th at 6pm, runtime: approx 90 minutes
Purchase tickets online here.

$35 or $45 price

315 West 44th Street
New York, NY 10036
(212) 581-3080

Now...what the **** do I wear?!?


Sierra Rein

"I don't sing because I'm happy, I'm happy because I sing" - William James

YAY, SIERRA!!  CONGRATULATIONS!!! I'M SO PROUD OF YOU (but not at all surprised you won!)

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What approximately $20 got me at Book Off this weekend

That book on the left is called ペロリちゃん or Perori-chan. It's a compilation of simply drawn comic strips. Then there's a book about the Peanuts comic strip which I think is called "All of Snoopy's something something".  OK, the "somethings" are just where I couldn't translate. But literally it says "スヌーピーたちの(kanji)(kanji)はなし" or "Sunupitachino(kanji)(kanji)hanashi" I think "hanashi" is talk. So maybe it's "All of my talks with Snoopy"?  Then there's a manga starring ドラえもん or "Doraemon". I'm puzzled as to why the first two characters are in katakana but the rest are in hiragana.  The big magazine in the middle is called "Weekly Shonen" (shonen=boy) and is about an INCH thick with comics--insanely great price at $1.00 used and only a couple of months old.  Then, volume 1 of "Moonlight Mile" which was recommended to me by @tomzer1 because he said it was similar to "Planetes" which is an AWESOME anime that I HIGHLY recommend.  However, in this manga, there's a group sex scene almost at the very beginning of the book! Maybe Tomzer was referring to the anime adaption of "Moonlight Mile"? O_O And finally we have "Black Jack: The Best 12 stories by Osamu Tezuka".  If you're not familiar with Black Jack, he is an outlaw surgeon who can basically do almost anything with a scalpel but charges you a million every time no matter how hard the procedure is.  He's a classic anime/manga character in Japan.

So, why did I spend $20 on books I can't yet read? I'm using these books as a reason to study more. I have them on a shelf, right next to my desk, so I'll see them always and (hopefully) feel inspired to study hard so I can one day read them.

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Went to Book Off down on 45th over the weekend and saw this magazine cover: Zuckerberg puckering and Buffet with a dreamsicle. なにですか?!?

Wish I could read more Japanese. :\

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Contemplating getting a Nook instead of continuing to save up for a Dell Streak--it's just so much cheaper and is still NOT iOS!

Truly sick of iOS and iTunes.

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Target carries Pocky and Wasabi Peas? When did they get so Japanesey? (Not that I'm complaining.)

Katamari Damacy: a game I need to play more often--on the iPhone or elsewhere. It's such a blast...

Wish it existed for the DS.

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From a few nights ago: Proof that I am not good at Scattergories

Though I've discovered that I enjoy the games Curses and Apples to Apples quite a bit. I'm not that great at either of them, either, but hey, board games can be fun, who knew? ;P

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Friday, December 03, 2010

Here is @SierraRein singing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Chrismas" Holy CATS she's good!

I don't even like Christmas music, generally, but this is incredible.

Oh and if you happen to have a account, I'd really appreciate it if you would go vote for this song in a contest. The winner gets to sing at a major NYC cabaret.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

EFFYOU.ORG: EFFYOU to anyone who thinks WikiLeaks should be stopped

EFFYOU to anyone who thinks WikiLeaks should be stopped
posted by thepete on link) ♥ 1

The whole problem with absolute power is that there can’t possibly be a check or balance placed on it. In case you haven’t noticed, America has no check or balance on it currently and hasn’t had one in quite a while. No military is stronger than America’s and only a few economic powers could ever hope to compete with the US economy (despite it’s recent and huge collapse).

So, why all the tough talk regarding WikiLeaks? WikiLeaks has no military, no national economy, very few ways to defend itself and it’s only power or influence in the world is through words.

Why are so many world leaders afraid of what words might end up on Perhaps it’s because those words draw attention to behavior that would normally not be acceptable if it were done in public?

If that’s the case, then why is it being done?

If your government is doing things in private that it couldn’t get away with in public, your government is doing bad things and should be stopped.

Who is more to blame for a child’s death when he or she is shot in combat? The soldier who pulled the trigger, thinking he was facing an enemy, or the commanding officer who ordered the soldier into the position in the first place?

Please read the rest at Thanks.

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