Tuesday, 28 February 2006

Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 1

Two-hour kick off to Season 9. Premieres are tough, lots of people to meet right away, 11 teams, 22 people. Nobody jumped out at us during the introductions. They all talked smack in the same way, “Everyone else will underestimate us, and we’ll beat them.” Blah. Once is bravado – 11 times is scripted insipidity.

Destinations without any task associated with them feel pointless. Feels more like an ad, in this case, for the Unique Hotel in San Paulo than a valuable, useful piece of the race.

Detour: Motor Head or Rotor Head
The ‘rotor head’ task sounds really time consuming. True to the race, this one will give you a better flavor of place. Rebuilding a motorcycle from the frame won’t teach you about San Paulo – but it sounds faster. Based on the editing, it wasn’t.

Religious ceremonies in some nondescript Brazilian warehouse? Hmmm. Maybe that’s what we can turn our big boxes into when retailers are done with them – churches for snake worshippers.

Garrick’s Favorites

  • BJ & Tyler – #2
  • Dave & Lori – #4
  • Ray & Yolanda – #7

Feels good to be blogging about the Amazing Race again.

Tuesday Ten Pack – My First Favorites from SXSW 2006

After a week with the 650+ tracks in the first 2006 SXSW Showcasing Artist Bittorrent, here’s the first 10 tracks capturing my attention.

Monday, 27 February 2006

Some New RSS Feed Features

I just added a few, hopefully, useful links (comments, trackback, email, digg) to the RSS feed of Garrick Van Buren .com and my other blogs.

If you’re running WordPress and want to do the same (something like Feedburner’s FeedFlare), here’s the code I’m using:

< ?php comments_popup_link(__('0 Comments'), __('1 Comment'), __('% Comments')); ?> | < a href="" rel="trackback">Trackback< /a> |
< a href="mailto:?Subject=[]%20< ?php str_replace(" ", "%20", the_title_rss()); ?>&Body=< ?php str_replace(" ", "%20", the_author()); ?>%20said%20something%20interesting%20at%20%20< ?php permalink_single_rss() ?>">Email This< /a> | < a href="http://www.digg.com/submit?phase=2&url=< ?php permalink_single_rss() ?>">Digg It< /a>

Be sure to remove the "" to unescape the tags. I put it right after the < ?php the_content() ?> tag.

Sunday, 26 February 2006

Cabina Italian Kitchen – Culver’s With Gnocchi

While the house was being shown tonight, Jen and I tried out Cabina’s Italian Kitchen in the ever maturing Silver Lake Village.

I’m not sure why, I always assume Italian places are going to be Maggiano’s and pricier. Tonight, I was more in the mood for Chipotle than than sit-down Italian.

Cabina’s is closer to Culver’s than Maggiano’s. Both in proximity and in concept – there’s a Culver’s 2 blocks away. Like Culver’s, you order and pay up-front and they bring the food to your table. Like Maggiano’s they have fresh-tasting gnocchi (not in Vodka sauce – blah). The baked penne was bland. As was the cheese bread appetizer. The staff was friendly and anxious to help.

Unfortunately, their helpfulness made their role unclear; they bring food, they clear dishes, do I also order from them?

Bye Rex, Thanks for the Party

(Matt Thompson from the Strib and me in a MNstories video documenting the party.)

I, along with 600 of Rex Sorgatz‘s closest friends wished him well in his move to Seattle and Microsoft last night.

Honestly, I haven’t been to a blow out like that in quite a while. The food, the drink, the hundreds of hipsters in a very tight space.

Among them, I was able to catch up with Ben, Chuck and Lori, Paul, and a bunch of people I haven’t seen in years that are still without blogs. As an added bonus, I finally met – in person – the legendary Adam Sellke and the elusive Dack.

Thanks Rex – for the party and for MNSpeak community (of course more over there). Enjoy your travels west, and oh, and say ‘Hi’ to Scoble for me.

Thursday, 23 February 2006

iSticky – Sending Stickies Around the Internet

I’ve been using the Macintosh Stickies to keep track of things for years. It’s been my standby note taking application for 3 main reasons:

  1. free with the OS
  2. just start typing
  3. no need to explicitly ‘Save’
  4. works without internet access

I thought it’d be neat if Stickies could be shared. The folks behind iSticky thought so too. I’m playing around with it today and looking to test out the iStickyServer sharing bit. If you’d like to as well, I’m ‘garrick’.

So far, my favorite bit about the application is the zen-like sample/intro notes:

“We hope you’ll enjoy our network service in a peaceful way!”

“It’s very important to check your preferences, because there are many features to discover.”

When I’d Pay For WiFi

There’s a showing at the house this morning.

Between waking up, tidying up, responding to the morning email, I wasn’t able to grab a decent breakfast (or brunch as I prefer). I already had a cup of coffee, just needed a network, someplace reasonably quiet, and some food.

Too many places with free wifi don’t have decent food, are loud, and generally don’t fit the bill. Driving around looking for a destination, I thought, “here’s an opportunity to sell me wifi and a quite room.”

I’ll bring my own coffee and pick up a sandwich someplace along the way, and I’ll give you $10/hr for a quiet room and a fast network.

Oh, I ended up at the Wilde Roast Cafe and had their bean quesadilla. Pretty tasty.

Wednesday, 22 February 2006

Today’s Warehouses Won’t Be Tomorrow’s Condos

This week, after driving through the Warehouse district then picking up a few things at my local Target I thought – “this will never be a condo.”

Today’s warehouses have no windows, no walls, and nothing interesting.

Unfortunate. Feels like artificially hijacking the circle of life.

Tuesday, 21 February 2006

Another Reason I Can’t Support Minnesota Public Radio

First off, I never contributed millions (or even thousands) to public radio. A couple hundred bucks here and there. And I know a couple people employed by the Minnesota Public Radio. Heck, I even helped them usability test their site a while back. Kinda fun sitting on the other side of the desk.

That said, I haven’t contributed recently nor do I foresee doing so. I don’t agree with their Next Standard in Public Radio campaign. I especially don’t agree with their copyright infringement suit against Current.TV – the audience-generated, Al Gore-backed Current TV Network. His project to “democratize television.”

I wish MPR felt the same way about radio. Oh well, back the podcasts.

Thanks to Tod Maffin for the tip.

My personal favorite comment on the topic over at MNSpeak:

“Get a grip MPR. Are you going to sue NPR next because it’s one letter off from your name?”

Other food for thought from the discussion – ‘the Current’ is the new ‘JackFM’