Friday, September 29, 2006

Choice Mail II

As you might recall, I've been looking for a quality digital audio recorder or way to use my cell phone to record MP3's.

Well, after going to a couple of low-grade electronics shops in Greenpoint, I learned -- from a customer, not a clerk -- that I could record directly to my iPod using the Belkin Voice Recorder.

So I bought one.

Just listen.

Pretty cool, eh? Now I need to carry my iPod and this adaptor with me all the time.

All the time.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I'm a member of many social network services. Just look at the sidebar in this blog.

But no other YASNS (to tip fuzzy hat to Danah Boyd) has been as useless as MySpace, despite its hype and subsequent buy by Rupert Murdoch.

In fact, MySpace has become less interesting since the purchase. Since the buy, I've gotten more porn friend requests than legitimate search results.

And when I do respond to a musician who seems worth supporting -- say, a flautist in New York -- it opens me up to a deluge of crap.

Sturgeon's Law, on! Since I accepted Karin, I've received -- immediately -- seven questionable requests.

MySpace is on the wane, friends, regardless of the potential of social network services.

This is not the model.

Thought for Food VI

For the last year, almost, I've occasionally ordered food via ZipMenu, the Brooklyn and Staten Island counterpart of Manhattan-bound MenuPages.

Today, ZipMenu's team emailed me, as a customer, to let me know that they've been acquired by Apparently, my ZipMenu membership didn't carry over -- despite the service's promise of 2,000 DeliveryPoints, I'm unable to log in with what I'm sure is my existing account information. I've just emailed them to see what the deal is.

They just emailed me back via robot. They'd set my password as my email address. Huh! Doing a quick search, I only find three restaurants currently serving my neighborhood -- and very few, if any, maybe one of the restaurants previously included. ZipMenu just got a whole lot less interesting!

Earlier this evening, they even sent a followup message:

We just wanted to ask for your patience again as we continue to update menus and bring them up on our site. Many were out of date, which caused problems with orders. We hope to have all the restaurants you knew on zipmenu up on in the next several days, with additional ones in some areas.

Like all mergers, there seem to have been some rough edges to make smooth, but I'm excited about the idea of expanded service in my area! I also hope that ZipMenu's high level of customer of service carries over. In the past, I've emailed ZipMeny about delivery area exceptions, refunds, and the like, and someone from the service emailed me back personally. The robot is slightly disappointing, albeit understandable.

Fingers crossed that they work out the kinks!

PowerPoint of View

Part of my new job is doing research for and preparing PowerPoint presentations -- occasionally even writing someone's talk -- and it's been a crash course of sorts. I've never, ever used PowerPoint before. In fact, it was kind of a point of pride that I didn't know how to use it.

Turns out, it can be a fun -- and functional -- tool for communication, as long as you don't use it as it's intended to be used. While some of the presentations I've made have been relatively straight forward, reading Seth's ebook Really Bad PowerPoint has given me some fresh ideas.

Originally issued five years ago -- five years -- it's still worth a read. Download it if you've got a PowerPoint you've got to make.

Monday, September 18, 2006

These Links Were Made for Breaking? XII

It's been about three years since the last time I posted about deep-linking policies, but it seems that the Dallas Morning News has new company.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the Belgian Association of Newspaper Editors has taken Google to court for linking to article-level pages rather than newspapers' home pages -- among other reasons.

Web pages that can't be linked to aren't really Web pages, now, are they?

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Phone Tree

If you have a direct line -- or near-direct line -- to Randy Quaid or Barry Sobel, please email me.


Auction Oriented II

Also, I have a lot of Asian Cult Cinema magazines listed with eBay.

Get your bid on!

Auction Oriented

I just put up a lot (as in the unit, not the descriptive term) of Ideals magazines for sale via eBay.

If you'd like to get your bid on, please do so.

Also, send this notice to anyone and everyone who might be interested. It's a great batch of magazines.

Comic Index: Batman #656

October 2006
$2.99, DC Comics

Cover: (By Andy Kubert) Batman fights off more Man-Bats than you can shake a sword at.

Batman & Son
Part 2: Man-Bats of London

(Writer: Grant Morrison, Penciller: Andy Kubert, Inker: Jesse Delperdang, Editor: Peter Tomasi)

Bruce Wayne meets Jezebel Jet at an opening for an art exhibit featuring examples of pop art, including work reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. Outside, Alfred encounters a panicking Professor Langstrom, who indicates that something is about to happn. Inside, something does: The fete is attacked by a squad of ninja Man-Bats. Wayne doffs the garb of Batman and fights the Man-Bats, only to be knocked unconscious. When he comes to, he learns that the attack -- and the Man-Bat commandos -- is the work of Talia al Ghul. She introduces Batman to his son. (22 pages, continued)

Lovable Links

Delicious turned three years old yesterday. Happy birthday -- and kudos -- to all involved!

I love Delicious. You should, too.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Small Office, At Home Office

Not too long ago, I thought I might be working from home for a good amount of time, so I started outfitting my home office in the front room overlooking McGolrick Park. Then I got a full-time job instead of finding a bunch of projects as partially intended.

Tonight, during a rare evening at home this week after a week-plus of travel, I finally got the home office whipped into shape. I hooked up my new HP Deskjet D4160 printer. I put together my new D500P(N) task chair with adjustable arm. And I tested whether I can actually use my Airport-thrown wifi while sitting and working in the front room.

The printer works -- I just printed out my Yelp reviews of the Greenpoint places of interest I frequent for a new neighbor next door. The chair works; I'm sitting on it, sans arm(s). And the wifi works -- calloo, callay!

My laptop is perched on a folding table that reminds me of church growing up, and it's dark -- so I can't see the park.

But I have a home office. And it's comfortable. Easy, even. I can feel the evening breeze, hear occasional cricket song, and there's a steady undercurrent of traffic hum from the BQE.

Not bad. Maybe this SOHO thing is more than I thought it was!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Credit Where Credit is Past Due

I recently started a new job, and my application for a new corporate American Express card was declined because my "other American Express account was cancelled for derogatory reason(s)."

Now, I left my last job more than a year ago. And I stopped using that Amex well before I left. The company has been sold, and they closed all of the pre-existing Amex accounts early this year. So what kind of balance could possibly exist -- and who was responsible?

All of $150 was still on the card, the result of unreimbursed late fees because of the corporate transition. And even though the card was well out of my hands, when I called Amex, I learned that I was indeed responsible for clearing -- and cleaning -- it up.

Amex had already referred the account to an outside agency, so I called the number they gave me. That office referred me to another office -- and gave me a secondary reference number. That office referred me to another office. Finally, after three calls and three different toll-free number variations (866, 800, and 888, if you're curious), I was able to pay off the balance.

Now, in 12 business days, I can get back in touch with Amex to see what they can do in terms of approving my new corporate card.

But it makes me wonder: What's the point of a corporate card if the end responsibility falls to the cardholder -- and not the sponsor company? Can anyone enlighten me?


I just started reading Joshua Grossnickle and Oliver Raskin's 2001 book The Handbook of Online Marketing Research, and before the page numbers even stop being Roman, there are two different misspellings of Forrester Research: "Forester" and "Forsester."

Kinda makes me take the book with a grain of salt, you know?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Music to My Ears LXXI

I just made a new iTunes playlist based on an article in the Onion:

Cold War Paranoia

Download and get your dance on!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Consumating Asks VII

What do you fight for every day?

Relevance. Currency (timeliness -- and timelessness -- not money). And Al Green's proverbial love and happiness.

(From Consumating)