man+birds+crazy=cool photo

14 07 2008

This photo was taken by Ashley Andujar in Old San Juan. For more of her photos click here.

who needs a tv when you have a perfectly good wall?

14 07 2008

There is a new happy hour bar just down the street from my office that was getting a lot of buzz, so I decided to check it out. It is in an wold brick building and they left the walls exposed so it has that rustic modern look. However one of the coolest aspects of the place was the hi-def projector they had showing the game on the wall. Although it was daylight still, I was amazed at how clear the picture was on the wall. In fact I didn’t even notice it was a projected image at first, until I noticed there was not TV set connected to the picture. More and more home theaters are moving to this new technology and the best part is that when the projector is off…you get your wall back. No longer do you need an entire wall to devote to TV 100% of the time. Apparently if you are going to do this, you want a projector with 700 lumens (the brightness of the bulb) or more. That will give you enough power to project onto a 10 foot area in HD. These things have sure come along way from the pesky office partner of the power point presentation. Prices can range from $900 to $3000. This site will break it all down for you.

to eat or not to eat…fish that is…

14 07 2008

If you are like me, you love a nice piece of fish, but you are also confused about what fish to eat. I am always hearing stories about how certain types of fish are endangered or are freakishly close to extinction, but somehow still manage to make it into the Chef’s special catch of the day on the menu. As much as I like fresh fish, I don’t feel like being responsible for the downfall of the swordfish or bluefin tuna. But you are not always doing the environment a favor by eating farmed species either, such as salmon. Many of these fish have been genetically modified to flourish in the fish farms, but they often escape back into the wild and weaken the natural wild fish stocks, disrupting the natural ecosystem. So just how are we supposed to know what to eat and what not to eat? Check out this handy guide from the . You can even print out a wallet sized version to carry with you, so that you can make the best selection (for you and the environment) when it comes time to order.

the “sole” man

11 07 2008

I personally do not own a pair of shoes from ‘Toms Shoes’. But I am seriously considering picking up a pair or two. The company was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006 as a way to provide footwear to poor children in Argentina, following a trip there where he discovered that many were lacking adequate foot coverage, thus suffering injury and disease. Inspired by the traditional Argentine shoe – called the alpargata – ‘Toms Shoes’ look pretty much like canvas slippers, only made out of quality materials so that they are comfortable and long lasting. Well how does this help the little Argentine children you ask since they can not afford a pair of shoes to begin with? Blake is able to make enough margin on each pair sold in the US, that he can donate another pair to a lucky child abroad. Within six months of opening his business in 2006, he had donated 10,000 pairs of shoes. These days ‘Toms Shoes’ are sold in stores the likes of Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s, as well as online. To date, Blake’s company has donated over 63,000 pairs of shoes to children in need in both Argentina and South Africa.

don’t panic!

11 07 2008

For those who have read it, you will recognize this as the warning on the cover of the classic Douglas Adams novel “The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy”. You may recall that there was a movie adaptation of this book several years ago, but it was not able to really capture the comedic value of this work of genius. This could be my favorite book of all time. Not because it is an amazing storyline, or that I relate to the characters, or that that I get some sort of deeper understanding of what is truly important in life when I read it. It simply is funny! Hilariously funny.  Other than the awkward pronunciation of some made up space terms, it is a very quick read. There are actually five books total in the series, which Adams refers to as the “Trilogy” (just an insight into his sense of humor) and all of them will make you laugh out loud at some point. And don’t worry about this book being too sci-fi for your tastes. Yes it is about space, but not in a Battlestar Galactica sort of way.  If you are in need of a quick, easy going, and humorous read, then I highly recommend this book.

post up in big sur

10 07 2008

If you trek about 150 miles south of San Francisco on Highway 1, you will hit the scenic area of Big Sur, which in it’s own right is worth the trip. However, since you would already be there, you might as well stay at the Post Ranch Inn. You wouldn’t normally associate such fine luxury with such rugged terrain, but this diamond in the rough sits perfectly atop 1200 foot cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Altough you are just a few short drives from cities like Carmel and Monterey, once you are checked in, you may never want to leave. In 2007 Conde Nast Traveler ranked the Spa at Post Ranch Inn #1 in North America. Not to mention it was #3 on TripAdvisor’s list of ‘Top Ten Greenest Accommodations in the World’. They practically invented ecotourism.

the alfa romeo is back…sort of

10 07 2008

For all of you who were wondering what happened to the popular Fiat owned Alpha Romeo, you may be interested in knowing that it is on it’s way back to the US in the form of the 8C Competizione. Only this time it is on steroids (these bad boys pack a 450 hp V-8 and top out at 190 mph) and wearing a lot more bling. Plans are to have about 90 to 100 of the shipped Stateside for about $250,000 a pop. Chump change, I know. However for those of you who do have cash like that to throw at this Italian legend, you will have to wait. Rumor is that all of them are already spoken for. As for the rest of us, we will have to wait for the more affordable models – Brera, Junior, and C Segment Hatchback- to arrive in 2010.

protecting your identity

10 07 2008

I recently read where 15 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2006. I am sure that number has only gone up in recent years. On average people have to spend two weeks of their time and about $3200 to get their money back and restore their credit history. Two weeks may not sound like that long…if you are at the beach. But if you are on the phone dealing with Credit Agencies, and writing letters to your bank, I am sure it would seem like an eternity. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center there are 5 things that we all can do protect ourselves from becoming the next victim.

  • Lock your mailbox – sounds a bit overboard, but all it takes if for one thief to take your bank or credit card statement and start using your funds to make you a believer.
  • Encrypt your Documents – Laptops are frequent targets for theft at coffee shops and other public areas. Many times we have personal and financial information on there If someone nabs it, you will definitely want your hard drive to be unreadable to it’s new owner.
  • Be Careful at Work- I was surprised to learn that 50% of identity theft happens at the work place. Make sure you never leave your SS# or laying around on an application or direct deposit form. Try to keep that information between you and HR.
  • Lookout for Phone Scams – Never give out sensitive info to an unknown caller. Especially if they say they are your bank, Credit Card Company or government agency. If it is really that important, go in and speak in person.
  • Change your Passwords- Hackers can crack simple passwords in their sleep. Never use a single word of phrase. Avoid obvious dates as well. The best thing to do is to make your password 8 characters at minimum, and use a combination of upper and lower case letters, numbers and symbols.

solving the climate crisis…one person at a time.

10 07 2008

While reading a magazine on a plane I saw this advertisement for a campaign called “WE” , and after learning more about it I wanted to share with everyone. It may be that you have already heard of it, or at least of the backing organization behind this campaign, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. The main goal of this campaign is to put an end to Global Warming by educating people here in the US and around the globe on the dangers of drastic climate change and how we can go about preventing it. Their site has a bunch of cool information that is applicable for both personal and corporate use, to help everyone do a better job in reducing their impact on the environment. To become a member, simply enter you email address and you can become part of the solution as well.

track your workout progress online

9 07 2008

I found this cool website that allows you to track the progress you are making in your quest to lose weight or get back in shape online. And the best part is…it’s absolutely free. allows you monitor your caloric food intake, measure the progress you are making on your exercise and workout goals, and keep yourself motivated by looking at the big picture.  It even has nutritional information for a ton of foods to help you understand what you should and should not eat. I have a hard time staying motivated to work out, but with this site I am able to stay on top of myself.