Monday, April 30, 2007

Truck Powered Energy

ENGADGET.COM -- Here's an interesting idea... freeways generate wind. Whether it's a flat, smooth stretch carved through an otherwise forested or mountainous area, or by the large non-aerodynamic trucks that drive on it, a byproduct is wind. Some new ideas suggest that we ought to harvest this wind to create power. More...

Road to Riches

MSNBC.COM -- Apparently the new investment opportunity is concrete. Or more specifically, buying or leasing roads, bridges, airports, etc. (and possibly one state's lottery system?), believing you can run it better (or charge higher tolls) than the government can. Whole new stocks, trusts and funds are opening up for people who want to get in on it, even. In one case, a private company invested $3.8 billion to build a toll road which they then lease from the state for the next 75 years. It'll take 15 years to make the money back, but from then on, it's mostly profit (minus maintenance and upkeep). Critics contend that it hurts the the general population, but moreso the lower class and that there's no guarantee that these companies won't later turn around and sell the infrastructure to someone else who won't manage it as well. More...

Caveman's Crib

An amusing website, wandering around Caveman's Crib as he's getting ready for a party. Thanks to Dave for this one. Sure, it's a massive tool Geico ad, but still, well done. I switched from Allstate to Geico when I was in college. But when I moved to California and called them, the guy punched it into the computer and it came back as $8,000 for 6 months on a car I had paid $3,000 for. I said "I guess Geico doesn't want me as a customer anymore." He lowered his voice and said, apologetically, "I guess not."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

In Middle Eastern News...

MSNBC/REUTERS -- Iran has banned "Western" haircuts, plucking of men's eyebrows by barbers and the wearing of makeup by men. Apparently the metrosexual craze was sweeping Tehran? But on the topic of Western haircuts, what does this mean for their President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who looks like he just stepped off the bus from Anytown, USA, circa 1986?

In other news, a tribe in Saudi Arabia held a beauty pageant for camels.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Star Trek runs Windows?

Click through to funny short on Dan's website.

What is that?

Maps and views from satellites and low flying planes are great, but sometimes you're still left wondering "What is that???!?"

Thanks to Dave for this link to http://www.wikimapia.org/ which lets you identify what things really are, all by drawing squares around them on the satellite map and then adding some text.

Just another way the world is becoming smaller and more well known.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Educating Out The Creativity


This is from TED. It's 20 minutes long and well worth the time. I swear, you get a few free IQ points just for watching. More...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Random Thoughts

Woo. Lost tonight.

iTunes died on me last night. Took some serious work to bring it back to life, including re-importing all the songs and 8 hours of resynching the iPod over the crummy USB1.1 connection. I always download all the free stuff from iTunes because it's usually entertaining.

One was a cartoon Exec. Produced by someone I knew from our church in California. That was cool. She had been toiling away at Nikelodeon forever and finally someone gave her a show to run. I don't think it was one of her show ideas, but I have to imagine her day will come for that. Congrats, Heather!

Anyhow, I now have more video on my iPod than audio, just based on filesize. Realized today another flaw in the Apple TV product. It should have an iPod dock built in so that anyone with an iPod could come in and play their content on an attached TV. Maybew that's what the USB port on the back of the Apple TV will be for.

Sony added Folding@Home as something to run on your Playstation 3 when you're not using it. A quarter of a million people downloaded and are running the program, which uses the untapped processing power to work on complex calculations, trying to develop cures for a number of diseases. Said they contributed so much processor power that it equalled a year of what they had been able to do before.

So, you know what would add a lot of value to the Playstation? Joost. Sure, it's distributed computing and bandwidth for a less noble purpose, but it would really add an extra "pop" to the list of options to suddenly offer a huge international television network right into every box.

And this occurred to me a few days ago and then we were talking about it in the "40 Days of Commmunity" and someone reminded me that it's also the basic premise of "40 Days of Purpose." And the thing that occurred to me? "It's not about me." I realized this when driving, thinking about my attempts to be a better, calmer driver. I realized that when someone cut me off, they weren't cutting me off, they were cutting a car off because they were a bad driver. They weren't out to get me personally. And therefore, I shouldn't take it personally or get upset. I should just chill out and let the menace get ahead so that when they do ultimately get in an accident they're not near me.

But I Don't Want to Go to Ohio

Another UK import, this time in the airline industry, is poised to possibly shake things up. Or go belly up as those before it. Skybus, operating out of smaller airports*, says that some seats on every flight will cost $10. Group boarding, though for $10, you can pay to get in a preferred boarding group. Soft drinks are $2, and you can't bring your own food on board (unless you bring enough for everyone). Their flights from Seattle/Vancouver (ooh, dual country) leave a lot to be desired. Honestly, is there really that much call for traveling from a remote airport in the top corner of the U.S. to Columbus, Ohio? I could get there for $10, leaving May 29. The soonest $10 flight back is December 15, though. They also don't have a 1-800 number, you can only buy online. And the maintenance, ticket counters, baggage handlers, etc. are all outsourced. But that's really the wave of the future, right? A company whose sole purpose is to manage groups of people, without having to mess with all that messy stuff like hiring/firing/etc. Suddenly the people who do the work are inter-changable. Don't like the deal? Fire the entire staff and contract with a different company.

*Bob Hope International... aka... Burbank? Small? Yeah, I suppose you do have to walk out to the planes and if a plane overshoots it ends up in the street, but still, it's a great alternative to LAX, begrudgingly my preferred.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Home Remedies

Out of character, but thanks to Larry and Leticia for these...

  1. If you are choking on an ice cube, don't panic. Simply pour a cup of boiling water down your throat and presto, the blockage will be almost instantly removed.

  2. Clumsy? Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

  3. You can avoid arguments with the Mrs. about lifting the toilet seat just by using the sink.

  4. For high blood pressure sufferers: Simply cut yourself and bleed for a few minutes, thus reducing the pressure in your veins. Remember to use an egg timer.

  5. A mouse trap placed on top of your alarm clock will prevent you from rolling over and going back to sleep after you hit the snooze button.

  6. If you have a bad cough, take a large dose of laxatives. Then you will be afraid to cough.

  7. Have a bad toothache? Smash your thumb wit h a hammer and you will forget all about the toothache.

  8. Sometimes, we just need to remember what the rules of life really are:
    In life, you only need two tools - WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move but should, use the WD-40. If it should not move and does, use the duct tape.

  9. Remember: Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.

  10. Never pass up an opportunity to go to the bathroom.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Funny from the Office

(Chris and Todd work for John. But you could easily replace your own co-worker's names.)

So John, Chris & Todd are walking along the waterfront after a lunch out one day, and they find a lamp lying in the rocks near the water. Chris picks it up and looks at it. John says, "It's kind of dirty. Here Todd, can you clean it for us?" Todd rubs the lamp and out pops a genie.

"I normally give out three wishes, and since there are three of you, I'll give each of you one wish," he says.

Chris says "Ooh! Me first! I wanna live on the beach in Maui, working on my tan and sipping Christian-approved, non-alcoholic drinks the rest of my life!" POOF! It happens.

Todd says, "Ooh! Me next! I wanna spend the rest of my life reading books about fictional characters with fur on their feet!" POOF! That happens too.

The genie turns to John. "And you?"

"I want them BOTH back here right after lunch."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Another New Blog

Yeah, I like I don't have enough blogs. Ever since I closed down my L.A. Traffic blog (which seems to now be the home for someone who takes photos of their drive, though the photos weren't working for me tonight), I've wanted to do another civic blog up here. I didn't think I drove enough in King County to do a King County Traffic blog justice, so I finally hit on it. I would create a blog where people could submit photos (or the locations) of graffiti they saw in and around Federal Way, Washington. And so Federal Way Graffiti was born.

I think it has potential. You can e-mail me at federal.way.graffiti@gmail.com when you see graffiti and I'll go take a photo of it. Or you can save me the trouble and take the photo yourself and send it to me. I'll post it on the blog and on the map.

What's the point? Well, depending on how serious the City of Federal Way is about clamping down on graffiti, it will either help them to quickly find new graffiti or it will prod them to get it done quicker.

Loss of Life

I cannot get away from the Virginia Tech. thing. But, really, none of us can. As my wife remarked yesterday "Of course, nothing will change." She went on to tell me about how after a large rampage in Australia, strict new gun laws were passed. And this, from a country of criminals. (Yes, long ago. I understand that most Aussies are rather wonderful people these days.)

But I read last night that 86 people had been killed in Iraq. Not all of them on that particular day, some had been killed earlier and their bodies only discovered yesterday. And that in one case, a body couldn't even be removed because it was believed that the body had been booby trapped.

And then today I read that 167 people have been killed in Iraq in four large truck bombs. And for some reason, that really affects me much more than the Virgina Tech. shootings. And I think it's because it's passed off as just a fact of the day. And from the way it's portrayed in the media, it's expected and accepted by the Iraqi people as a way of life. I hope that's not the case. I hope that it makes them mad. I hope that it finally pushes them to the point of saying "Enough is enough."

A friend of mine recently passed on a letter from a soldier who was shipping out. It was really well-written and I wish I could post it. But he talked of missing his family, being disappointed that he had been informed that his tour was being extended by three months and how bad he felt for these people. It was really a breath of fresh air, to see someone have such compassion for our global community. All too often the message is either one of fighting for oil and killing the enemy, or it's a downtrodden people who get an hour of power a day because an evil American contractor with ties to our evil Vice President is defrauding every government in the world that it can or that we're fighting an illegal war.

I read something today that said all of the world's problems are based on the fact that people put themselves first instead of others first. I wish I had the book to transcribe the quote, but it made a lot of sense. I think that when people say that organized religion is the reason for all of the world's ills, it's just a nice compact little easy way to get out of being responsible for any of the world's problems.

But, trying to suggest that someone shouldn't be looking out for their own personal interests is a hard sell.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Seattle Flight Simulator

This is really cool. Seattle Goggles. On the first screen, click "START" without selecting anything from the pulldown.

7-Minute Sopranos


I've never seen The Sopranos, but this is a really clever fan-made video that the creators of The Sopranos have seen it and liked it. Courtesy of Church of the Customer Blog. (Caution: Language in video.)

White House Easter Egg Hunt


Thanks to Allison!

What Would You Do?

MARKHOWELL.TYPEPAD.COM -- Here's a test of your analytical ability. And don't worry...I'm just as much in this as you. We all are. Here's the test: If you were walking through a subway tunnel, about to board your train, would you stop to listen to an violinist playing a beautiful song? Or would you just walk on by and jump aboard as the doors close? More...

Lost, the Board Game


courtesy of pvponline.com

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Google Maps - Buildings


In what Google Earth Blog is calling "2.5D," Google has added wire-frame images to 35 cities.
Here's the Convention Center in Seattle that sits atop I-5, since the Space Needle is pathetically incomplete. And here is the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. How long before we see GPS systems in cars, powered by Google?

Dedication to a Cause

And you thought you hated your carrier. Here's a guy that drove his car (possibly a $200k rented Mercedes) into the lobby of the cell phone store after unable to get satisfaction with repeat visits to the store over his new, broken cell phone. Click through for larger photo and the rest of the story. More...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Homestretch

This has taken way too long, but I'm happy to announce that I have only 30 pages left in DisneyWar, probably one of the most fascinating books I've read in a long time. Though certainly not the longest. It's been really interesting because as it progresses through time, I remember where I was the day they pretty much shuttered DIG (the same day I got let go from AOL Time Warner)... Until now, I had wondered what would have happened if I hadn't been under contract and had taken one of the many jobs DIG was throwing at me, I didn't realize their end came the same day as mine. I remembered where I was when SaveDisney.com was the must-visit website. I remember the day I heard the Bass family was having to unload a lot of stock and being able to snag some shares at some pretty decent prices. I remembered the day I learned that AOL had purchased Time Warner, or the day that Comcast made its play for Disney or the day the ABC deal was announced.

While I was never part of the Disney story except as a consumer, it's been an amazing, amazing read. It's so sad what is so clear in hindsight. I simultaneously have more respect and more disdain for Michael Eisner and some of the other people who I thought were mistreated weren't quite the nice guys they seemed. I guess my view of some of them was incredibly one-dimensional and carefully shaped by public relations and now I have a more complete picture of who they are.

Anyhow, I can continue to sit here and type or I can go back upstairs and read those last few pages and remember about when Iger was announced as successor, when Disney bought Pixar and the next chapter of the Disney story. I really recommend this book.

After I'm done with this book, I'm taking a short break. I counted, I have 31 magazines on my nightstand. Some I just need to skim, but still, that's a lot. Plus, we've started a church-wide 40 days thing and I'm already 3 days behind on my reading for that.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Superproposal

Ok, this is a little bit old, but still kinda cool. Guy wants to buy a superbowl ad to propose to his girlfriend...



He doesn't get enough money, so buys a commercial on her favorite WB(UPN?) show instead. How that went over.... (don't watch while wearing headphones)



The website... now a blog. And he's from Seattle. Rock, rock on.

Are you 'myspace' cool?

RELEVANTMAGAZINE.COM -- A colleague read this in devotions the other day. The gist of it was that we're being phony when we create our online personas, that we're only presenting the best of who we are. While that elicits a big fat "duh," the article went on to ask if we're being really honest about who we are with anyone. Are we being open and vulnerable and allowing ourselves the opportunity to confess and/or be held accountable for bad behaviors that we know we must change?

I liked the idea, though my mind actually immediately went the other way... we already hold everyone to the standard that they must be as good as their MySpace page (and then are subsequently disappointed when we find out they are nothing like their MySpace page.) So I wondered... what if we all strove to be as cool as we intimate that we are on our myspace, facebook, blogger, yahoo 360, flickr, etc. etc. etc. page?

Were that the case, I'd really need to overhaul these things. They can't possibly make me look good as they currently stand.

Monday, April 09, 2007

1-800-GOOG-411

Google's just released a free (other charges may apply) automated 411 service that's completely voice activated. It's pretty decent for the one call I've tried.

I tried "Federal Way, Washington" and "church" It gave me the top 8 search results, which were identical to the same search on maps.google.com. That's kind of cool.

When it got to the one I was looking for, I said the number and it offered to connect me, or I could say "Details." When I said "Details" it told me the street address and then phone number, and then street address and phone number a second time and then said it was connecting me. I hung up at that point. But very, very nice.

I expect that in time you'll be able to do everything else you can do with Google SMS, such as get sports scores, flight status, movie listings, driving directions, etc.

And since they keep track of your phone number, they'll even be able to play ads that match your searches, I'd bet.

I thought 1-800-THE-GOOG would have been a cool number. But it rings quite a bit and then some woman answered, sounded like she had been sleeping. I apologized and said I must have the wrong number and as I was clicking off heard her ask who I was trying to reach. Hope I didn't get anyone in trouble or activate some spy network or anything. If so, maybe someone can call the goog back and apologize for me.

Darn It All, Timid Peacock!

Kevin e-mailed me the link... Variety.com is reporting that NBC's withdrawn Andy Barker's license to investigate. Final two episodes to air this Saturday from 8-9 pm. Repeats of the not-quite-as-funny Scrubs will fill the timeslot.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Sky is Falling!

The WSDOT says that the 520 floating bridge is unstable. Odd, they built it. To hammer their point home, they've released some video of what would happen in an earthquake or 20-year-storm. To their credit, they've put the videos on YouTube. Thank you, WSDOT for saving some taxpayer money but (a) not paying for those videos only to show them in a few meetings and (b) for using YouTube to show them instead of paying for servers to house and serve the content. Anyhow, here they are in all their glory...

Earthquake


Windstorm

Oh Big Box Mart...

Alicia reports that Tacoma, our next door neighbor (yes, that Tacoma, named after a Toyota truck and home to my alma mater, sort of) has become the victim of a horrible crime. (Clarification... not Alicia's neighbor, Alicia's 'hood. Me and Lori's neighbor.)

That crime? Wal*Mart's announced intention to attempt to build a Wal*Mart in downtown Tacoma. Downtown Tacoma? I just can't picture it. No, I mean downtown Tacoma. Where is that? What is considered technically downtown Tacoma. Is it where all the tall buildings are? If so, why would Wal*Mart want to come in and tear down a bunch of them in order to build a one-story monstrosity with miles and miles of campsites for all the RV-dwelling folk?

Alicia says that residents do want some large chain stores, but they're hoping for more Crate and Barrel less barrel o' bargains. So, I have the perfect solution. Wal*Mart should buy a really large seven story building. They can put a Wal*Mart in the basement and then Wal*Mart parking on the ground floor. On the next few floors, parking. And then above that, a mall, complete with the bigger (nicer) box stores they desire. (The Beverly Connection in Beverly Hills is like this, parking on a few floors with the stores above. It, however, does not have a Wal*Mart in the basement.)

Funny Baldwin

I know I've always knocked the Baldwins as a lot, but secretly, I still gave props to Alec for being Jack Ryan long before Harrison Ford. Here's some great stuff from 30 Rock, which we are again watching.

Friday, April 06, 2007

We Won't Cook It Until You Enter the Parking Lot

NEWS.COM -- Hyperactive Bob (horrible name) is a new product being installed into fast food restaurants. It uses cameras to identify cars coming into the parking lot. Using what it has learned about that particular restaurant (the selling patterns at different times of day, days of week, types of food typically ordered, etc.), it can begin to provide instructions to the workers about what foods to prepare. End result, food that's fresher than waiting-for-you-under-the-heatlamp and faster than we-don't-cook-it-until-you-order it. Interesting thing is that they said their intial work in trying to predict based on the type of car ended up being completely useless. More...

At my last job the elevators were connected to a small PC that showed their status. I would regularly think about what would be involved in writing a program that learned and became predicative of where the next elevator request would come from and could eventually start positioning elevators where they were needed so that when you pressed the button, it was waiting for you. Mostly I would think about that while running up or down the stairs because I didn't want to wait the 30-60 seconds for the elevator to arrive after pressing the buttons and hearing the tell-tale sign of the engine powering up to lift or lower the elevator from some other floor to where I was.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Turn on the Joost

I got my invite today to Joost. I have to say, it's pretty impressive.

If you haven't heard of Joost (juice + boost?) -- and most haven't -- it's a video distribution system that uses peer-to-peer technology to deliver full-screen video quickly to anywhere around the globe.

In English -- it acts like a cable company, offering you lots of television shows and music videos. Except it's free. And it uses the internet. It comes from the guys who made Skype and it works kind of like Napster. Everyone running Joost becomes a relay-station. The more people using Joost, the faster it gets for everyone because the content sits temporarily on your computer while you're watching it and if someone nearby wants to see the same thing, it gets bounced to them, instead of having to all sit on one central server. (Some theorize that Apple will do the same thing with iTunes and your Apple TV box -- temporarily co-opt it from time-to-time to get content out to you quickly that it thinks you might want to buy, all transparently. But that's another topic for Robert X. Cringley - link at right.)

Anyhow, I got my invitation today. It's still in beta and I'm betting that there's not a lot of people using it yet. The only computer I've got that will run the software is connected wirelessly to my network so I'm getting, at best, 11 mbps. there is occasionally some lag time before a show starts, but the quality's pretty decent on full screen and it wasn't pausing too much. Pretty impressive this early on. It will only get better as the software improves and more people start running it. Not a lot of content that interests me yet, but that's not to say there isn't a lot of content -- there is. I expect that Joost will only get bigger and bigger and will sign more and more big content deals. No more going to individual websites to watch shows on less-than-full-screen.

(The poor quality of the screen grab is my fault.)

Google Maps, My Maps: Needs Work

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a Google cheerleader. No skirts and pom-poms (a scary thought indeed!) but if's Google, I'm on it. Google Apps for Your Domain, Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Maps. I troll labs.google.com looking for something new before the world has seen it. And an article with Google in the title is going to catch my attention on MSNBC, News.com or Engadget. I even tried to get a job with Google when I first moved up here.

With the exception of Flickr, if Google has a version of something, I'm on it, even if I think a competitor has a better version. (Microsoft often makes interfaces confusing and slow and log-in a pain, or it requires you to bounce through seven servers before ending up at something.something.something.msn.com which typically doesn't work and leaves me having to type in the something.something.something.msn.com; Yahoo!, well, the name is enough for me to be turned off.)

But Google seems consistently excite and disappoint. It must be amazing working for a place where a portion of your time must be spent on pet projects. Innovation and great ideas abound. But Google also has a track record of shoving ideas out the door, mostly baked, and then letting them languish. The occasional new feature gets added and then "New Features" appears in red for six months, even though it's no longer new. (Suggestion: put the date in the link! Yeah, I'm talking to you, Google Calendar guys!)

Google has just released "My Maps" - a way to create a map (to share, or not share) with way points, lines and so forth, that you overlay on top of the map. For years now they've allowed you to display a map on your own site (here's one I did years ago for my church - just hit "Search" without typing in any fields and it'll center on the church).

But now they offering a new version for everyman use. It's connected to your Google user account and can be private or public. There's a large choice of "push-pins" (including symbols like tents and fishing and coffee cups) and you can draw shapes and lines in your choice of color and transparency. I can see this being really awesome for a city planner who wants to make a quick proposal on a parcel of land or street re-alignment. I can see a campground or park website using it to show where trails and parking and waterfalls are.

But, it has some shortcomings right out of the gate that I'm surprised no one else quickly coded before going live. To be sure, they could have them on a list, so as to wow us twice (wow, look what new features we've added!) but I hate that kind of tactic.

So, here's my list after a few minutes of playing with it.
1. No way to re-order the list of pushpins you've added.
2. No way to share authorship.
3. Still(!) no good connection to your Google Account contacts (hidden away in Gmail)
4. Lack of folders/tags to organize pushpins (state parks service example: to organize by park or by amenity type; or for my own use, restaurants I like by type of food)
5. How do I get back to see the featured calendars that were shown before I started creating my own? Seems like there needs to be a button up along with Traffic | Map | Satellite | Hybrid to show when public user content is available. Or a link appears on the left side where the search results would be. (But then that would require a left panel that could change dynamically like Live Local or Yahoo Maps beta.)

I realize, what right do I have telling some other company how to run their business or what features they should offer. Or to think my ideas are unique or that someone else doesn't have better ideas. Or that I need to remember that Google is still in beta. But the way Google operates seems to elicit collaboration and the spirit of innovation. But I suppose I'm not alone in thinking that and it must be hard to try to listen to everyone who thinks they have a great idea. But, it's a shame.

(Along those lines and completely unrelated except that I couldn't get Google or Microsoft or Lockheed interested in one of my other great ideas, so I submitted it to MIT's Digital City project. I wouldn't be surprised if they are actually able to run with it and possibly do something with it. And someone other than me will get fabulously wealthy. Oh well.)

Little Bit of a Rip Off

Make no mistake -- these are really good, very very tasty and filling/satisfying. But it is a little bit of a disappointment when you open the box to find that the pictures on the box are larger than the actual product. Not only that, but plumper and taller. After you get over that disappointment, you will discover that these are a great treat for when you want to be good but also eat something that makes you feel good.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Decoy Effect (or How to Win an Election)

Seth Godin linked to this from his site and used a theory I'd heard before, one that's much simpler than the one in the article.

You're buying a drink and have a choice between a small and medium drink, which would you purchase?
Now, there's three options. Small, medium and large. Which do you buy?
With two choices, you gravitate towards the smaller. When there's three, you will buy the medium.
On average.

This article (washingtonpost.com) suggests that the two Democratic and two Republican front-runners would be best-served to figure out who the #3 competitor is and make friends with them. People, processing quickly and irrationally, when unable to choose between #'s 1 and 2 will look at #3. Their opinion of #3 will influence their choice between the top two candidates. Very interesting.

Updated Google Wishlist

Here's my wish list. Last posted May 22, 2006. I think these aren't entirely bad ideas. I guess no one from Google is reading my blog. Someone in Redmond is reading it daily.

Gmail
(1) "Map" link in contacts if address is stored
(2) "Add to Contacts" link on recognized address or phone number
(3) Ding noise for new messages, like what's now available for Google Talk (without having to install an extra application)
(4) Remember Chat/NoChat/HTML lite by computer, not by login

Gmail-Contacts
(1) I cannot mark an e-mail address as "inactive" - If I can archive e-mail forever, then eventually someone's going to give up an old address, but I still need it tied to their contact so that when I view e-mails from them, these old e-mails show up.
(2) If a website address is added, it should be parsed out and available as a clickable link.
(3) Tabs - a long list is no fun to scroll through but sometimes search isn't the best option (sorry!)
(4) Ability to merge contacts
(5) Ability to hide groups' contacts from the overall list (making the list shorter)

Local
(1) "Identify" option on maps, that can give you the address of the location you've clicked on. And then can search Google for that address. (big brother? maybe. Zillow uses Google Maps and offers the addressing part already. Yahoo! Beta seems to have this sometimes.)
(2) Doesn't refresh/update the search results as you move the map (see Live Local and Yahoo! Maps Beta)
(3) Doesn't offer categories (see Yahoo! Maps Beta) - hopefully new deal with Verizon Superpages will solve this
(4) no way to close/hide the search results panel

Calendar
(1) Allow me to select an address from my list of contacts -- even if that contact isn't on the invite list.
(2) separate the "location" into two parts... a written description and a actual address.
(3) parse the comments so that maps and links are live
(4) allow for the deletion of comments

Talk
(1) doesn't show events from the calendar

Docs/Google Apps for Your Domain
(1) Allow to copy or move your spreadsheet to a different Google account.

Blogger
(1) Allow you to move your blog ownership to a different Google account.

Google Accounts
(1) Ability to merge two Google Accounts

Monday, April 02, 2007

What? April? Already?

I was recently agreeing that it seemed like March was taking forever. And now I find myself in April already. This weekend was a blur, which was funny because it seemed like it shouldn't have been. It snowed for a few minutes, I spent some time reading and some time trying to veg. I now believe my goal to do nothing is not going to happen any time soon.

I'm feeling a little bored tonight. I could go up and read or get ready for bed, but I'm not ready to do that just yet. So maybe I should see how I did on my monthly checklist.

My goals for the year...

Post In My Blog More Frequently - Maybe too much? 45 posts in 31 days. Not to mention any twittering I did. Let's take this off the list for awhile.

Artistic Photos - Did not happen again this month. We didn't get out as much as planned and as such didn't take as many photos. The artistic photo for March was a stretch. Not even sure if I should post it to Flickr.

Lots of Reading - Have done better recently. I'm in the midst of a million magazines and really engrossed in Disney War.

More social - No. Not exactly taking this as seriously as I should. I think I hide behind Rachel. I'm encouraging her to respond to adults who talk to her and then don't really do much myself to be more social.

Diet will return - It's been slow going, but I'm at the lowest I've weighed since we moved back. I now weigh 30 pounds less than I did one year ago. Seven more to go.

Less Busy - Yes, but at what cost? I stopped attending the every other week Men's Bible study and I don't think I've done enough to help around the house. We also didn't make it to the city this month. Rained a lot.

Bigger Help Around The House - Not sure.

Make It To The City Monthly - Sadly, no. Not even sure I left Federal Way during the entire month of March. That's kind of amazing to me. I guess that proves that Federal Way does have more to offer than Monrovia despite all my complaints to the contrary. No, wait, drove to Sea-Tac to pick my parents up from the airport. Woo.

New Restaurant Each Month - Yes! The new Panera Bread. Pricey, but we will be back.

Same Restaurants Less - No.

Send Lori More Flowers - Yep, did bring her flowers.

Don't waste time on the computer or doing chores when spending time with Rachel - I did not spend on the computer when I should have been playing with Rachel, but one night I did a lot of chores while hanging out with her and another night I worked in the backyard while she played in the backyard. It was inevitable, but I don't think it was at her expense either night.

Get finances under control - Not. Even. Close. Bad, bad, bad, bad.

Talk to family more frequently - No. Have not talked to Lori's mom in a long time -- she's apparently working on moving back here. Guess it took a year in Iowa to learn that this is a nice place and I'm not an evil son-in-law. Have not talked to Lori's dad in who knows how long. Saw my brother when he came to babysit and my parents when I picked them up at the airport. Have e-mailed them recently and helped Rachel e-mail Lori's mom whom I also e-mailed.

Declutter - Very minor. Slowly the house is getting more zen. We got a new entertainment center for the living room to hold the TV and related equipment and entertainment media. Looks really nice. Completely matches the look of our furniture.

Enjoy the view out my bedroom window more - Yes. Will take this one off the list as well. Took some super-zoom photos out of the window and confirmed once and for all that the control tower at Sea-Tac is indeed visible from our house. But I don't think the Space Needle is. May have also taken a photo of a UFO. Or an airplane banking at a weird angle.

Appreciate the beauty of nature more - Yes. Goes hand in hand with my different attitude when driving since there's so much wooded areas during my daily commute. This can also come off the list.

Well, tomorrow marks one year at work. I was a temp, and then I got hired into a real position, and then I got a promotion. Someone else said that they've never seen someone move up so quickly. It's a nice feeling. They were a little grumpy when they said that, they had been talking to me about coming to work on their team and I was talking to them even though I knew this other thing was coming up because I couldn't talk about it yet and it would have seemed weird to them (like something was up) if I hadn't talked to them about the opportunity in their area.

It's really amazing what a change a year and change has made.

Go Jump off a Pier!

Heh heh... this is funny. What happens if you ask Google Maps to help you get from Boston to London? Note step 9.