Sunday, August 27, 2006

The next ipod?

Saw this one while surfing the web the other day.... Quite amusing - the iPod Flea! The video was produced by Scott Kelby who used it during his keynote at the recent Mac Live conference. Non-IE users can click HERE to view.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Getting hooked on Orcas..

This weekend, I was up on Orcas with Lynn and our friends John and Cait (my two travel buddies - see my post on Work Travel). The weekend was great deal of fun - good hiking, lots of good times cooking and relaxing, etc.

Our place on Orcas is our home away from home - it's comfortable, has all the mod cons (including internet) and is great for getting away from it all. Lynn has been working on finishing off the place and usually has a project or two up her sleeve. The recent project was to complete a storage system for the spare bedroom - the missing piece were some nice handmade hooks for hanging stuff on the walls. We'd scoped out a supplier last summer but had problems tracking him down. Well, this was the weekend where we finally found Zak (the blacksmith) in his smithy and got the hooks we needed :-)

The visit to the smithey was very cool - not only did we accomplish the mission to get the hooks, Zak made them for us while we were there! How cool is that? Lynn even assisted in the final production so we can at least make claim that we made some of the hooks ourselves. Ok, perhaps stretching the truth somewhat :-)

What's even funnier is that the steel used to make the hooks comes from the bolts in an old cable spool (the 5' diameter wooden kind). We had such a spool by our camp fire pit at the house on Orcas. The spool doubled as a table and occasionally a dance platform for some of our wilder summer parties. It's great to see just how creative people are at re-using materials which we typically consider waste or junk. In this case, the wood was used as firewood and the bolts turned into beautiful hand made wall hooks.

Heating the hooks

Drawing out the eye

Shaping and bending

The nice part of the weekend is that Orcas continues to be a place of discovery for me. I've been going to the island for over 10 years. Each visit is always special and I always leave more relaxed than when I came.

Free wireless weekends from T-mobile...

Supposedly T-Mobile is offering free weekend wifi access on it's local hotspots. Offer is good through May 28th

Now, if only I'd discovered this deal before paying my $9.99 for access :-(

Step 1
Go to any of our 6,500 T-Mobile HotSpot locations on the weekend and launch your Web browser.

Step 2
Visit and enter your T-Mobile phone number.

Step 3
Within moments you'll receive a free text message on your T-Mobile Phone with a pass code. Enter the pass code and you'll be surfing for free!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Jamie Oliver watch out...

Ever seen the Naked Chef? It's a cooking show by a brit called Jamie Oliver. He's really taken the cooking world by storm with his practical recipes and cooking style. Yesterday I was over at my friend Eddie's house for a pseudo house warming/BBQ. CIMG0019.JPG The food was awesome with a tasting menu planned by my friend Ben.

As part of my gadget collection for the upcoming Africa trip, I'd purchased a Casio EX-Z850 - a super small and light pocket camera capable of recording 480p (640x480) quality video. We took a little movie of our cooking exploits - Ben making pan fried seared salmon with a garlic, herb, parsley cream sauce. Yum!

Go grab a bucket of popcorn, sit back and enjoy the show.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The next big thing...

Have you ever starting something small, only to find it takes a mind of it's own and grows in leaps and bounds? Perhaps it's been your last car purchase or a computer purchase or something like that. You go with a budget/limit in mind and then before you know it, you've left the store with the thing you "have to have" - money no object. That was my experience - well sort of when it came to planning my next big trip. Intrigued? Read on...

Every year Lynn and I go to something called the Tux 'n' Tails auction - it's an auction which raises money for our local pet shelter. Each year we've gone, there's always been a safari trip to South Africa which looks really cool. This time we went for it and found ourselves signed up (sight unseen) for a one week safari trip to South Africa (with our friends too!).

As part of planning the trip, we decided that we had to arrive on the safari all fresh and rested (it's a 17+ hr flight from Seattle). This involved various discussion on traveling "economy plus" with a stop over in London or France. world-map-with-our-stops.jpg BA really sticks it to you for airfare so it wasn't long before we were pricing out "around the world" biz class fares. For a little more (ok, in this price range, a little == $1500/ea), we were able to get tickets in business class from Seattle around the globe and back again. See how this started as a "budget 1 week trip" and bloomed into an RTW traveling adventure? Oh, and I didn't mention the camera gear and goodies to ensure the "perfect moment won't be forgotten" :-)

Anyway, we're getting pretty excited now.... we leave on May 11th and will be visiting France (Normandy for mountain biking), UAE (Dubai), South Africa (Safari), Malaysia (Tioman island), Singapore, and Japan (Tokyo) before hitting the home leg back to Seattle. Sweet!

Anyway, we're planning on "blogging our way" around the world so stay tuned... : , , , , ,

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Remote access to your PC from the internet...

A buddy of mine (Brett) just blogged a great post on how to setup remote access to your PC on the internet. Don't bother paying money for it - it's already included in XP! See Network Garage Engineers: Cancel your GoToMyPC subscription!

The main problem is how to find your PC on the internet. For users of Network Magic (my buddies company), this is simple you already have dynamic DNS support using the name [yourhostname] Ok, but what about folks who don't run Network Magic? If you're used to installing software and tweaking with things, have no fear, a solution is at hand... If not, checkout recommend Network Magic - you can try it free for 30 days.

Anyway, assuming you're not a Network Magic user then ...

To get started, you'll need two things:

1. Get a free DNS account - I use ZoneEdit. They have great support for dynamic DNS. If you have your own domain registered, ZoneEdit is great. If not, you should look at using a service such as DynDNS (also free).

2. Install a dynamic DNS client - I use DirectUpdate. Although it's not free ($19), it's super easy to use and has a lot of great features not included with other dynamic DNS stacks.

DynDNS has a great setup FAQ which leads you through this step by step. Once you're done, you'll have a publicly accessible DNS name such as You can then use this name with terminal services, web pages, etc.

So, together Brett's setup for remote access to your PC and dynamic DNS, you'll now have a public name to use from wherever you are! Pretty cool... : , ,

Now and then...

Today's it's my 36th birthday. 18 years ago today, like most young Uk males, I proceeded to hit the town with a bunch of mates and get completely and utterly pickled in beer. I think I was at the Bier Keller in Blackburn drinking Grolsh (out of the famous green bottle). Several Grolsh later (ok, it was many), I was passed out on the floor of the local dance club. I think it had the enchanting name of Peppermint Place. I'm sure this was a common experience for most folks my age.

Zip forward 18 years - tonight I'm heading out with my mates to Sushiman in Issaquah for a great dinner. Although they don't serve Grolsh, I'm sure there'll be plenty of sake and sapporo. Now the question is ... will anyone be passed out on a dance floor? :-)