Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
A daily photo blog: Ordinary Matters.
A French lady that makes creepy but cool dolls: Illusion's Doll
A guy in Texas that just started chronicling his hamburger journey: Just One Burger
A cooking blog from a non-professional cooking person: Angel in the Kitchen
A Journal of horrible cakes: Cake Wrecks
And those are just a few favorites that I have run across in the past couple weeks. I wish I would have started keeping track of some of them more because there has been some interesting ones that I can no longer find....Blogger, I wish you had a better way to search blogs.
Yes, you will run into a lot of Non-English blogs (what? not everyone speaks English?), but those can be interesting too. You would be surprised at how much you can figure out about a blog even though you can't understand the language. Some are spectacular - exotic pictures, artwork, locations.
So I encourage everyone to give a random blog a try if you have a few moments. You never know what you might find and enjoy.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I am tired of record companies blaming the Internet for their dwindling business. I understand their complaint and I am sure illegal downloading has affected their business quite a bit. I think it is also just one of many reasons for their declining business and I would like to see them do something about the other things also...instead of just blaming the Interwebicon.
- Artists of Poor and Inconsistent Quality - I don't expect every song on every album to be a masterpiece, but their should be more than one decent song. I can't even count the number of times I bought an album and the entire thing (with the exception of the one single they released) was just utter shit. The single doesn't sound anything like the rest of the album, and the whole thing sounds rushed and poorly produced. After having this happen time and again, it makes downloading the album as a test beforehand seem very logical.
- Recordings of Inconsistent Quality - I hate switching albums and having them mixed so differently that you have to adjust volume, treble, bass, each time. Not just a little bit, but a lot. One CD is recorded so softly that you have to have your stereo set to volume 22 for comfortable listening and the next CD almost deafens you at the same level. Lets get some consistency because it is easier for me to download mp3s and have a program level them out, than to remember which CD is going to blow out my speakers.
- Price Fixing - I am still pissed about the whole price fixing thing on CDs from about 10 years ago. I purchased many, many CDs in that time frame (literally thousands)...and I'm sorry but the $12 check from the class action lawsuit doesn't really make up for that (BTW I never even got my check, bitches - so I don't consider this matter closed!). So if you are willingly to take advantage of me for years and years, I guess I don't mind it happening to you in return. When a company acts greedy and doesn't care about their customers, it is hard for me to support that company. Treat your customers right!
- Extra Tracks - why should I buy a CD in the USA and get a lesser version than they get in Europe or Japan. If I am going to buy a CD, I think I should be getting just as much as everyone else...without having to pay the import price of 5 to 10 times as much. Why should I feel like I am not as important as a foreign market. Sure sometimes the extras are crap, but I should still have the option of getting them at a reasonable price.
- MP3s and DRM - really, you are going to encrypt my files so I can't use them easily? Plus what happens when the DRM service gets scrapped? I lose my music. Why would I pay for this feature? And don't say it won't happen, because it has happened already with Walmart, Yahoo, and several others. DRM does nothing but hurt the customer that buys the music legally. If I don't have an option to buy an MP3 without DRM, you are almost forcing customers to download it illegally because DRM is not worth the trouble it causes. Stop treating customers as criminals when they buy music.
- I've already purchased this album - many albums I have purchased on Record, Cassette, and CD...but you don't want me to be able to rip my own music (luckily it is still legal at this time), why should I pay full price for a digital format. I would be more than happy to pay something - like half price - I feel that is fair for a loyal customer who has already bought the album multiple times. Come up with a way that I can input music I already own and get a discount for the digital copy and I am there.
- You've lost MTV - MTV no longer plays music - AT ALL. This sucks for you, this sucks for me. You no longer have a 24/7 commercial for your music. No wonder people don't buy CDs, they don't know what music is out there any more. I bet this, more than anything else correlates to your lost profits...not downloading on the Internet. MTV was free advertising for you for 20+ years and now you don't know what to do without it. Sure radio plays a little bit of music, but nothing cutting edge or quirky...and people don't listen to the radio as much as they used to.
Please stop blaming the Internet for everything. The Internet is good and can be good business for you if you treat it correctly.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Friday, April 10, 2009
- Have you tried Cadbury's Caramel Egg? It too is amazing, but filled with caramel instead of sticky sweet creme. The caramel is only about half as sweet tasting as the cream, so the richness is not as over-powering. It is like eating a round Caramello candy bar.
- Check out the Cadbury Mini Creme Eggs...AKA Bite Sized (caramel also available). These are just like the regular eggs but about 1/10th the size. Perfect for popping in your mouth for a quick treat...and not nearly as messy to eat. These are actually my favorite way to eat the eggs.
- The standard Cadbury Egg is smaller than it was just a few years ago...so easier to handle by wusses. Before 2006 a Cadbury egg in the US was 39 grams, they are now only 34 grams. So they are basically diet eggs now! Ha ha, maybe not. Lucky Canadians and Britons still have a 40 gram egg.
- Suck it up! These are awesome and only available between New Years Day and Easter. Enjoy them while you can.
Although I am a big fan of the regular and caramel varieties, I am only lukewarm on the other varieties that I have tasted - Chocolate and Mint. Both were OK, but just OK, not great. I have not had the fortune to find the odder flavors like Orange, Berry, or Dream Eggs. Hopefully someday (even if I have to go to England!).
I highly enjoyed the page below on Cadbury's website. Its more suggestive than some porn covers and that made me love Cadbury eggs all the more. Plus "Where will you be doing the gooing?" is just awesome by itself.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Amazon has a system that where you can rate your music, book, and DVD purchases. Using this system is uses some logic that groups items and will send you recommendations based on what you like. I've rated thousands of items.
This system worked really great in the beginning. You would receive an email like "As someone who has rated Stephen King highly, you may be interested in pre-ordering his new book." That was fine, I often was interested in his new book. It was good. It usually seemed to stay with the same author so wasn't super useful if you kept up with your faves, but for more normal people who don't keep up on release dates and such it was probably useful.
A little later, the system started crossing product lines. "As someone who bought Sin City, you might be interested in the Sin City graphic novels." Again, this was good...it was something that might intrigue me. I was alerted to several books, comic books, DVDs, etc... that I was interested in. This was a little more useful than direct author match but still it was all pretty much direct matching of titles.
It then evolved and doing indirect matching - "As someone who likes JRR Tolkien, you might be interested in the Eragon series of books." OK, dragons, fantasy...it see the reasoning and it still made some sense. Many times it recommended something an author or a book that I would think "I do like that author/book...I forgot about them, let's see what else they have." I used this one a lot. I was always surprised at how accurate this system was with my tastes. I didn't read or buy everything it suggested, but I could tell most everything was pretty spot on.
Finally, it stretched it too far. "We noticed that people who purchased American Psycho DVD, also purchased Everybody Loves Raymond Complete Season 2." WTF? Really? I know they were released on the same day so there probably were a few people that ordered both...but I can't believe it was a statistically significant proportion. It seemed that more and more of the recommendations were becoming like this. I had to unsubscribe because they were just too ridiculous and actually made me angry.
Editors Note - these are not real examples (as I have long deleted all the emails) but examples fabricated to show a point (although they are very close to some actual recommendations that Amazon gave me).
Monday, April 6, 2009
- Humorous spoofs of real life companies - check
- Geeky science humor - check
- Research analyst who steals all the coffee creamer - check
- Company trying to figure out why it uses so much creamer - check
- Ethically questionable company willing to perform experiments on its own employees - check
- Mass of lab grown meat name Blobby (don't name it, then you won't want to eat it - don't you remember Chester the Carrot?) - check
- Ideas that seem really funny and implausible until you realize they are based on real world studies - check
- Company that uses its daycare service to have the children do such fun activities as "paint the lines in the parking lot!" - check
- Portia de Rossi - check
All in all, a very entertaining show. Only three episodes in, you can easily get caught up on-line before the next airing.