Thursday, August 30, 2007

Brodie Croyle's Wife Is Not a Celebrity

So why is she on local car dealer commercials?

Well, Crap.

My Maytag dryer is (was?) 4 years old. The repairman told me that my motor was out, and I should buy a new one rather than repair it. He seemed much busier than he appears in the commercials. Now, instead of watching the Chiefs game tonight, I get to buy a new dryer. Fabulous.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

iPhoto Print Products

Unfortunately, many people, including myself, overlook Apple's iPhoto Print Products. I plan to rectify this, and create an iPhoto book from some Michigan photos. Check them out.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Via our good friends at

The world's best celebrity news blog.

And now, for something really exciting.


Today I read an article written by three Ph.D. scientists. The first two paragraphs exclusively used passive voice. Most people, education notwithstanding, write poorly.

I plan to improve both my work and leisure writing. I plan to eliminate passive voice and to stop ending sentences with prepositions. I plan to read Strunk & White's Elements of Style. I plan to eliminate unnecessary words.

Editing saves words and facilitates comprehension.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Croc of $#!&

I missed my flight back from a deposition on Tuesday, and ended up stuck in Ft. Lauderdale last night. Compounding the problem, I didn't have any extra clothes. I only had my wrinkly dress clothes in which I had been sweating all day. Walking 6 blocks, while lugging two stuffed briefcases in the Florida heat will do that to you.

I went to the Bass Pro Shop next door to my hotel to pick up something cheap and comfortable to wear the next day. I grabbed a decent baseball style shirt for $12, and some shorts which unfortunately turned out to be smaller than advertised. The big problem was that the only footwear I had were a pair of Clark's dress shoes. I looked for a cheap pair of flip-flops, but the cheapest I could find were $25.

I didn't want to blow that kind of money on a third pair of flip-flops, especially for one day, so I looked into something a little nicer, but more versatile. I planned to buy a cool-looking pair of Columbia water shoes, but the stupid clerk wouldn't stop goofing off to get me a pair.

Then I saw the Crocs. I've heard how comfortable they are, etc. However, I've always been skeptical, and thought they were a fad that was running on borrowed time. I also strongly suspect these were not intended for males. I was desperate though, and decided to chance it. I thought it would be better than blowing $25 on a crappy pair of thongs. If only I had known.

They are some of the least comfortable footwear I have ever owned, besides a pair of Bass dress shoes sitting in my closet. My feet started sweating immediately, and a sore from the strap rubbing on my feet appeared within a few hours. My (admittedly excessive) foot hair compounded the problem. The rubbery material of the shoes pulls my toe hair, and the hair on top of my feet. It felt as if my shoes were giving my feet noogies every time I took a step.

I was highly disappointed. The Crocs get two big toes down.

If you've been waiting to get an iPhone... is the time. Here's the place.

Apple refurbs are some of the best in the industry, and I speak from experience. If I didn't have access to their educational pricing, I'd buy everything from them as a refurb. The savings are too good to pass up. If you want my advice, get the 4GB version for $399. I have an 8GB, and would prefer the $100 to the extra 4GB. Just don't forget the FatWallet Cash Back.

As indicated here, iPhone satisfaction rates are through the roof. I'm extremely happy with mine. It makes sitting in Midway Airport much less tedious, considering their lack of free Wi-Fi. If more sites start offering iPhone interfaces a la Facebook, it will be even better.

Birthday shots of my nephew

Here. He's hilarious.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Check your credit report

I subscribe to myFICO, a credit monitoring service. I have it for two main reasons: 1) keeping an eye on my credit report, and 2) bumpage. As it turns out, I recently discovered that Equifax showed a large balance on my report for a Discover card. This concerned me, because I don't have a Discover card. I called Discover, and it's an error.

myFICO (almost) automatically drafted a dispute letter to Equifax, which also let me update some other minor errors on my report, as well as my employer information.

The bumpage is nice too, because I've had several inquiries lately from switching to ATT for my cellphone, and U-Verse for my TV package. This will help get rid of those inquires faster.

And the people have spoken

I'm in agreement with these guys. 90% satisfaction rate with the iPhone? Those are pretty ridiculous numbers. I've gotta say though, I'm very happy with mine. Sure, it could be better in some ways, but what device couldn't be?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Back to basics

I'm currently selling my D80. In an unusual turn of events, I decided to downgrade to the D40. It's 6 megapixels instead of 10, but I'm very happy with my decision. See here for some quick test results at my nephew's birthday party. Not that there was anything wrong with the D80, but the extra advantages it offered over the D40 didn't tip the balance in its favor, especially when considering the fact that I can walk away from the deal several hundred dollars in the black.

The extra resolution isn't a concern to me at all. I got pretty good results from my D70, and it was *only* 6MP. The smaller size is great on the D40. The only thing that really bugs me about it is that it doesn't autofocus with my 50mm 1.8. That being said, I'll probably eventually get the Sigma 30mm 1.4, which *will* autofocus, opens to a larger aperture, and has a more useful focal length.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Here's hoping for the good stuff tomorrow

Apple is having a special event tomorrow focused on their Mac business. So no new iPods, more than likely. Which is fine with me. It looks like a new iMac is in the works, but I'd really like a few other things better.

1. People have been clamoring for this for years, but a tower without an integrated display, upgradeable video, etc., positioned beneath the Mac Pro. I'd buy one instantly.

2. An ultraportable, so long as it has a good keyboard, and really good battery life.

3. An improved version of dot mac. I'd love to subscribe to dot mac, but refuse to do it until they make it worthwhile. They can do this by lowering the price, adding features, or preferably both.

I'll find out what's coming tomorrow at Noon, CST.

Just for fun

I realize this photo of Barry Bonds* was probably taken at a tee-ball game, but still.

Barry Bonds* Is a Cyborg

I don't know if I buy this, but apparently Barry Bonds* is using performance enhancing robotics in addition to performance enhancing drugs.** The guy sounds like he knows what he's talking about, but then again, so do I sometimes. It means nothing.

Check out this quote:

1) The apparatus is hinged at the elbow. It is a literal "hitting machine" that allows Bonds to release his front arm on the same plane during every swing. It largely accounts for the seemingly magical consistency of every Bonds stroke.

You can see it on his left elbow in the pic above. I'm not sure if it's the newer or older version, but it is weird. Just another reason to hate Barry Bonds*.

** (allegedly)
* (Do you really need an explanation?)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

You need one of these.

Assuming you have at least a TV, receiver, and DVD player. Logitech makes a whole line of universal remotes under their Harmony moniker. I've got the 670 in the photo above.

It makes things simple. Press the "Watch TV" button to watch TV. Any guesses what the "Watch Movie" button does? Once it's set up, which is easily done from the computer, you just hit the right button. You don't have to worry about switching inputs on your TV and receiver. It does it for you.

Hillary used to get frustrated with watching TV. This makes it easy again. You can get them for under $50, if you have a topic alert set up with FatWallet, and are patient.