Archive for the ‘Miscellaneous’ Category.

Ninja Flower

Ninja Flower
created by belly button treasures using this

Michael Jackson’s Amazon sales

Michael Jackson is the top 15 on
(click for full-size)

Hopefully, the royalties from these end up paying off Michael’s mountain of debt.

Where to find me

Inspired by Mike, I just added my current Google Latitude location to my site:

There’s also a small version on my about page if you’re interested. I’m not sure if I’ll keep it around forever, but it was really easy to add using the embed code from here. I used to be paranoid about people knowing exactly where I was using Latitude, and I still am to some degree. But, I think it’s too cool not to have. Plus, there’s no reason to stalk me when it is just as easy to stalk Mike Leotta!

Google Latitude

Koklynn’s Adventure (through texts)

Koklynn went on a 3-day backpacking trip along the Skyline-to-the-Sea trail in the Santa Cruz mountains this weekend. It turns out this was not the best weekend to go, since it’s raining now. For those that are interested in her progress/survival, here’s the transcript of our conversation over text messages:

1:08 AM Koklynn: You there?
1:12 AM me: yup
1:12 AM Koklynn: I’m wet :(
1:15 AM me: I know :(…just remember that you’re waterproof
1:15 AM Koklynn: Are you in Los Gatos?
1:17 AM me: Cupertino. I can come pick you up if you want.
1:24 AM me: Surviving?
1:28 AM Koklynn: Maybe. We’re trying to figure out what to do. We might be able to make it through the night.
1:30 AM me: Forecast says rain tomorrow and cloudy but no rain Sunday.
1:42 AM Koklynn: Hmm think we figured out a temp solution. It’s just that the girl’s tent is leaking everywhere. :)
1:47 AM me: Enough time for twitter i see :)
1:48 AM Koklynn: Hard to sleep when you’re half wet :)
8:13 AM Koklynn: Um if you’re awake. You think you can pick us up today? If you’re busy that’s ok! It would take all day :( No one else has their phone to call people.
8:15 AM me: sure
8:18 AM Koklynn: Are you sure? You’d have to pick us up at a campsite in the middle of the park and take us to our car in Santa Cruz. 3 girls
8:21 AM me: Haha that’s fine. Where to go?
8:27 AM Koklynn: We are at Waterman camp in the Santa Cruz mountains. Our trail is called skyline to the sea. Let me know if you can find it.
8:31 AM Koklynn: Have it handy. We’re still deciding if we should tough it out. Sorry! And thank you!
8:32 AM me: K, well I found the camp on Google maps
9:10 AM Koklynn: Ok. We’re gonna try toughing it out. Thanks!
9:12 AM me: Ok good luck

That’s it for now…. I’ll update if I hear more.

*Update* In case you were wondering, she made it back sore, but alive. Pictures here.

The Collectors

Rotofugi, a really cool Chicago toy store that I frequent, recently created this great advertisement that everyone should watch. It tells the story of toys who collect various types of humans and even features the Wee Ninjas that you’ll find around my desk at work. Watch it, and collect something.

Before & After: Kinley Water

Kinley, before and after

Inspired by this post, here’s the packaging redesign for Kinley water. For those who didn’t know (I didn’t until a couple weeks ago), Kinley basically has a monopoly of the Hyderabad bottled water market. Recently, the bottle design changed — the label lowered, the shape got more curvy (easier to hold), and the cap changed to blue. I like the changes. Also, everyone I asked prefers the new version too. I even overheard people discussing the benefits of the new design in the elevator at work.

Indian Movie Tips

I went to see the Taj Mahal this weekend. It was amazing. However, aside from the Taj, there’s not much to see/do in Agra. There is a movie theater though, so I decided to go see a Hindi movie – my first ever. I settled on Phoonk – said to be the ultimate Indian horror movie; it turned out to be entertaining, but not scary. Also, there was no singing or dancing. My ticket:

Phoonk ticket

Some things to note if you ever plan to go see a movie in India:

  • They have different pricing levels for tickets based on the seats: silver, gold, and ebony. Not wanting to be stuck with a bad seat and also not wanting to watch from a sofa, I settled on gold. This is a mistake. Go with the silver.
  • Be prepared to stand up for the National anthem before the film. (though I’m told this only occurs in small towns) I was given curious stares when I stood up noticeably later than the crowd as the music started.
  • There will be an intermission. Do not fret. If you’re feeling adventurous, order the masala peanuts.
  • There will be a happy ending. :)

The Gym

Watching the Olympics in bed has made me feel lazy. So, upon returning from Charminar earlier today, I decided to go to the gym. Moments after I entered, they switched the music from Hindi to Top 40. Good news is I was able to finally run a 5-minute mile, from mile two to three on the treadmill (the treadmills here use English units, to my surprise), with Rihanna singing me along. I haven’t tried this in a while, so it was nice to know it’s still possible. Watch out Usain Bolt!

Preparing for India

Today, my passport with visa was shipped back to me from the Indian Consulate in San Francisco. (Interestingly, FedEx shipped it from San Francisco to Memphis, Tennessee(!), and then back to Cupertino.) Tomorrow, I have the first of two doctors’ appointments to get me all vaccinated up. I’m already starting to miss Henri.


Coming up with a first post is always difficult, so I thought I’d build off of Michael’s recent compliment and just write about something I use that I think other people might like: Quicksilver! (found here)

I don’t use Quicksilver for much, but it still makes my life more fun. A couple of the things I do use it for:

  • Open up programs really quickly: I have Command-Space set as my keys to activate Quicksilver. After that, you can just type in the first couple letters of the Application you want to use, and it will find it. Hitting Enter should open it. Best of all, Quicksilver will learn based on your use history and if it’s not quickly finding what you want, you can always choose what you want it to find for specific searches and set these pretty easily. Oh, and you can do more than just open Applications this way — you can set them to do specific actions (there are 22 things you can do with Firefox, for instance), though quickly opening things is usually good enough for me.
  • iTunes(!): It works seamlessly with iTunes. There’s a plug-in that will let you set triggers to open and do other useful things. Since Quicksilver is always running in the background, you don’t need to have iTunes selected to start your music or switch songs. For me, Shift-↑opens up iTunes and starts playing the first track, then Shift-→ skips songs, and so on. You can set these to whatever you like. There are plug-ins for other applications too, like Firefox, which will let you open your bookmarks in the same way you’d open applications.

Ok, go download it now. It might take some time to figure out how you’ll use it, but once you have your routine sorted out, I think you’ll love it.

act without doing

Note: If you don’t have a Mac, you’ll have to go here first.