30 July 2010

Foreign Flick Fridays

I had seen this film years ago when I was in high school.  It's a classic story of greed and family loyalty.  Some liken it to Shakespeare's King Lear.  I haven't read any Shakespeare in years so I suppose I should add that to my summer reading list after watching this movie again.  I am  a big advocate of watching films and especially reading books over again some years later as  your views and experiences alter the way you see or read the story.  This is a long film so I suggest you get into your most comfy jammies and make the big bag of popcorn for this film.  Below is a brief description of the film.

Ran

Akira Kurosawa's brilliantly conceived re-telling of Shakespeare's King Lear magically mixes Japanese history, Shakespeare's plot and Kurosawa's own feelings about loyalty in the epic masterpiece, RAN.  Set in 16th century Japan, and aging ruler, Lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai), announces his intention to divide his land equally among his three sons.  Hidetora's decision to step down unleashes a power struggle between the three heirs when he falls prey to the false flattery bestowed upon him by the two older sons and banishes the youngest for speaking the truth.  That ruthless betrayal ultimately drives Hidetora insane, destroying his entire family and kingdom.  Deep human emotion and outstanding acting combine to create one of the most acclaimed foreign films of all time.



29 July 2010

Blow-Up GoCrib

I would definitely put this on my registry if I were having a baby... or if I were to ever have a baby.... ahem.


The first thing you have to learn to do as a parent is to blow up random objects. Actually, you might want to start practicing before you have kids to work those lungs out a little. You can’t afford to not be prepared for these sorts of things. Those of you that had blow-up chairs in high school will have a small amount of an edge. The rest of you though need to really get to working on this sort of thing. Of course for this particular blow-up crib they were nice enough to include a pump. Don’t let that make you think you can get lazy though, there will come a day when you’re stuck blowing up a whole assembly line of pool toys.

If you’re a parent that prefers to take your baby into the great outdoors then you know sometimes it gets challenging. One way to make sure your baby stays right where they should be is to pick up this GoCrib. It’s a mesh crib that’ll let them play outside without you worrying about any sticks or leaves getting jammed into their mouth. The whole thing will fit directly into a handy little book bag. Once your child has gotten older, the mesh sides unzip to give them a little fort to play within. To purchase the Guava Family GoCrib it’ll cost you $249 through Amazon.

Mini Cupcake Factory

Oooh, this looks like fun...

Cupcakes seem to be all the rage these days, as they offer a different kind of pastry appeal to the masses. Even weddings have evolved to shun the traditional wedding cake, relying on cupcakes instead to keep guests happy. Well, if you have a penchant for whipping up something delicious in the kitchen, how about giving the Mini Cupcake Factory a go? Retailing for just $19.99 a pop, they will definitely appeal to the geek since it is small and cute, featuring an extremely high crust-to-cake ratio thanks to its small nature. Featuring an outer layer of extra caramelized batter, it will soak up some of the oil during the baking process. The cupcakes themselves will cook in a mere 5 minutes, and if you throw in the time spent mixing and heating the cupcake pan, it takes a grand total of just 10 minutes. Each round of cooking will net you 7 cupcakes in total. Hungry already?

Float Table uses magnets to make magic hovering effect

This is really cool looking but I don't know how the hell I would dust this thing...

This is the Float Table, and it combines some of the best technology from the seventies and the eighties, along with yet-to-be-invented hover technology.

As you can see, the Float Table has that brown wood look that was so prevalent in the disco decade. The rotary phone is also a nice touch. As for the eighties, it certainly has that Rubik’s Cube thing going on.

According to my Source, those cubes are held together by the power of magnets. These attracting and rebelling forces somehow work together to appear like blocks floating in air, but still stable.

By the way, there are steel cables attached to the blocks to keep this structure from completely falling apart. I guess that you can’t see the cables in this picture. I’m also told that this is so you can shape the Float Table into whatever you want. I really wish that I had some pictures of that, as I would have attached them to this post.

I wonder if it is possible to shift this Float Table into something that looks more like an actual table with legs. I also wonder how much weight the table can hold.

Well, this is a concept piece of furniture as of now, but you never know. I don’t even know if this thing actually works, or if this is some complicated mock-up.

Motorola takes another shot at the iPhone 4, says Droid X is 'no jacket required'

Hehehe, and the advertising jabs are in full swing....

Boy Steve-O sure knows how to step on people's toes.....


Well this is getting good. Motorola was one of the first to take a subtle swipe at Apple's iPhone 4 antenna dilemma with an ad saying you could hold the Droid X 'any way you like,' Apple came right back with a video purportedly showing the Droid X suffering similar attenuation issues when held in the right hand, and now Moto's responded with this cheeky ad that plays off Apple's free iPhone case solution by saying the Droid X can make calls 'without a bulky phone jacket.' Yeah, it's pretty good -- particularly because unlike most other phones, we haven't been able to death grip the Droid X with any noticeable effect on 3G reception. (Although, truth be told, we can drop the WiFi signal by a few bars pretty easily.) Either way, we're certainly enjoying this little slice of swagger from Moto -- check a larger version after the break.

25 July 2010

Foreign Flick Fridays

As a suggestion from my cousin Miss Audrey Allure, (see blog link on side), I have decided to do Friday as the foreign film night.  That way those of you who would rather stay home and watch an interesting flick can check out some of the selections I have made.  I know I haven't kept up with this but now that I have more idle time to kill I will keep up with my posts more often.  Since I am two days late I will post this film for you to enjoy.  I have not watched in full the original Spanish version of this movie yet but I did see the version with Tom Cruise.  I liked the storyline of the movie but am not a big Tom Cruise fan to begin with so it was a little painful to watch him acting for a whole feature film.  It stars one of my favorite actresses Penelope Cruz, she was in the English version as well.  Below is a a brief description of the movie.

Abre Los Ojos

Eduardo Noriega is a rich womanizer who prowls the parties and bars of Madrid, intent on bagging chicks.  But when Noriega falls for the beautiful Sophia (Penelope Cruz), he's the one who's bagged.  It looks like a happy ending until a jealous (and unstable) old girlfriend, Nuria, cajoles the young stud into taking one last drive with her.

22 July 2010

Cow Wash, It’s Brand Moo

This has got to be one of the funniest things I have seen in a while.


I think this is the first time we’ve ever reported about a gadget especially for cows, introducing the Cow Wash, it does exactly what it says.

The Cow Wash is created by Swedish firm DeLaval and they have sold over 30,000 which must amount to a serious number of clean cows.

I did find the cow wash somewhat amoosing but it does offer some serious benefits:

  • Increased milk production due to improving the cows blood circulation
  • Stops the spread of disease
  • Makes cows happier


The cow certainly looks content in the picture above. To see the cow wash in action check out the video.

Haha!

I think I would go into diabetic shock after this.  Something really disturbing about this...  The worlds largest gummy bear.


World's Largest Gummy Bear

21 July 2010

Honda will bring plug-in hybrids, full EVs to United States in 2012

Although I'm not a big Honda fan I think it's kind of cute.... Not as cute as my Mini but I'll give Honda props for trying. Hehe.


Though they probably won't look anything like Honda's adorable EV-N, the Japanese automaker's got some new technological vehicles up its sleeves -- in a speech today, Honda CEO Takanobu Ito formally announced plans to produce a plug-in hybrid competitor for Toyota's flashy new PHEV Prius by 2012, which rumor has it will sport an estimated fuel economy (when it's using fuel, we assume) of roughly around 140 miles per gallon. Better still, a completely battery-powered electrical vehicle will also go on sale by 2012, and you won't have to fly to Japan to try them out, as they're slated for the States as well. Hydrogen fuel cells are apparently still Honda's long-term solution, though the FCX Clarity received only a passing mention. In the short term, Honda's still circling the wagons around part-gasoline systems like the Civic (which will receive a Li-ion battery pack) and the Fit Hybrid, destined for Japan this fall.

20 July 2010

Watermelon cooler push cart: perfect for those sultry North Carolina summers

Ah ha ha ha! This is hilarious! I don't even know how to feel about it, it's just too funny!


Crazily enough, the device you're staring at above -- jaw solidly on the floor, we're sure -- is real. As in, you can purchase one for you and yours. So far as we can tell, this here watermelon cart (priced at ¥19,950, or a whopping $231) serves to keep your voluptuous fruit cool when being transported from market to mouth, but everything beyond that is lost in translation. What's curious, however, is that this seems like a device created and sold exclusively in Japan. If we had to bet, though, we'd say it was originally dreamed up by a farmer in eastern North Carolina -- you know, the home of watermelon Cook-Out milkshakes, an official watermelon license plate and roads where chop-top school buses are frequently used as watermelon hauling machines.

17 July 2010

Kokonatchi bots are really, incredibly excited about your Twitter stream

Hehe, these are so cute.


Just when we were about to give up hope in ever finding a convenient way to check out Twitter-happenings, some students at the University of Tokyo and Waseda University have come to our rescue. Their bizarre creation is the Kokonatchi, a cuddly, gyrating robot of sorts, much in the vein of Nabaztag, that flashes multicolor LEDs and wiggles in an adorable seizure when you've got a new Tweet to look at. We're a little unclear on the software side, but it appears you can assign certain alerts and even spoken words to certain Tweet-ers or Tweet-agories. They'll be retailing this fall for around $45 a pop, and you can check them out in action after the break.

Evil Fortune Cookies

Haha, it figures I would find this funny.....


Not sure I’d class these as a gadget but they’re sold at Think Geek and surely good for a laugh, “Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookies”.

See, Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookies look just like the real thing because, well, they are the real thing. However each of the 10 cookies contains a mean, evil, funny, or depressing fortune. The wrappers are blank, encouraging you to prank friends, family, coworkers, strangers, anyone! Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookies also make great gifts to encourage creative anarchy in others. Like syphilis, but funnier and more tasty, Cookie Misfortune Evil Fortune Cookies are the gift that keeps on giving.

You can buy your own Evil Fortune Cookies from Think Geek for $9.99.



HTC fires back at Apple antenna demo with percentage pew-pew

Did Apple think they wouldn't get a crapload of backlash from the other manufactures???


Apple's Friday press conference may have left a bad taste in some rival handset manufacturer's mouths, but not all of them are taking Cupertino's derision of their devices seriously -- HTC's Droid Eris was arguably the most effected by the grip of doom, its bars dropping to zilch when held, but the Taiwanese company keeping any controversial opinions to itself for now. Instead, it's sharing a simple percentage to help clear the air. Whereas Apple claimed over 0.55 percent of customers called AppleCare with reception-related complaints, HTC's Eric Lin told Pocket-lint the Droid Eris technical support rate was 0.016 percent, nearly thirty-four times lower -- though even with a seven-month head start, we have to wonder if the Eris sold close to three million by the time Verizon brought the axe down.

Mechanical Kitty Coin Bank

So cute!





Want to teach your little ones a thing or two about saving up money? Well, that is possible with the Mechanical Kitty Coin Bank from ThinkGeek. Not only does this $29.99 purchase comes in an appealling candour to kids, it also plays on humans’ weakness of not being able to turn down a kitten when they see one, never mind that this is a mechanical model. Hiding inside a Japanese box, all you need to do is place a coin on the food bowl that is located on top of the box and the kitten will then pop out covertly, snatch the coin like a greedy dragon, return into its enclosure and give a heart breaking meow to carve a smile on your face. You might then be persuaded to put in another coin! We would say you will have to hold around 10 BBQs before your friends donate enough for you to make back the $29.99 asking price for this.

10 July 2010

I made my favorite pic of PY, MM, and Bear's Portland trip my wallpaper on my Blackberry.  So cute!

Quick Rain Shower

We were suddenly hit with some showers on the way out of Crater Lake.  We had to slow down a little bit but it helped clean off the dead bugs on the windshield.


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Rogue River Gorge

Mike and Bear checking out the Rogue River Gorge. We found this spot by a happy accident. This cool are was formed by lava tubes. It was a nice spot to take a break and for Bear to take a walk.

Rogue River Gorge Water

Bear checking out the rushing clear, cold water of the Rogue River.

Crater Lake is a Volcano (Inactive of course, at least for now)

The lake was formed after Mount Mazama blew it's top off. We drove around the rim and took a hike down to the lake to check it out. It was a quick hike as the mosquitoes were out full force! I only escaped with 4 bites. Bear stayed in safely in the mosquito-free car.









Too Bold!

Of course the chipmunk got too bold and started to pull on my turkey sandwich. Didn't capture it here but he was pulling. Bear didn't see this as he was under the table. Apparently he can't smell out chipmunks.



Not So Wildlife

Sharing lunch with a chipmunk at a rest stop on the way to Crater Lake. Mike was concerned that I would get rabies.

09 July 2010

Deschutes Part Two

It's cool that the town is near the river. You can float down the river starting from the downtown area but we decided we didn't have enough time. Folks come down here to cool off and enjoy the outdoors.


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Deschutes

Mike trying to get Bear interested in getting in the cool water to cool off. It's not as hot today - 86.






Sawyer Park in Bend, OR

Mike and Bear walking across the foot bridge in Sawyer Park. It's right next to the hotel and is along the Deschutes River.


Open Road

On the way to Bend on Route 197. if anything happens to the car while we're out here we're screwed. I'm not drinking my own pee.


Downtown

Downtown Hood River. It's about 5 blocks long.


Wiped Out

Someone's wiped out from our little trips to Mount Hood and Hood River. (Of course the near 100 degree temps didn't help.)  Bear may be relieved that we have about a 2.5 hour trip down to Bend in an air-conditioned car.


Hood River

Mike and Bear looking out onto the Kite Surfing and Paddle Boarding area in Hood River. It's 98 out and even with the Kool Collar I had to soak Bear in cold water several times to help him keep cool.


Snow

Yes, there's still enough snow on the mountain for summer snowboard camps. This particular lift was closed but there were a few opened for summer fun.


Lodge

We got denied food service outside as Bear's not even allowed on the hotel premises. Here's Mike and Bear on the deck before we leave hungry. Hood River it is for lunch!


Mount Hood

Bear at the parking lot of Timberline Lodge. That's Mount Hood behind him.


There It Is!

Getting closer to Mount Hood....


On The Road Again

On the way to Mount Hood and to visit Timberline Lodge. Timberline Lodge is where they filmed some of the scenes of one of my favorite horror movies, The Shining.


Late Night Snack

Mike and I got some doughnuts from the infamous Voodoo Doughnut place near Burnside. The doughnuts were alright but didn't live up to the hype for the food but more to the hype of lifestyle.


Shopping

Shopping at The Portland Outdoor Store! Thank goodness this store was able to survive all these years. Where else can you get great outdoor gear for cowboys? They still even sell saddles.... Mike and I got some jackets. Mike also got a western shirt from Pendleton that has the dress faux pearl snap buttons.


Lunch Near the Marina

Taking a nice seafood lunch by the Marina. Mike had the fried oyster po' boy sandwich with a salad and I had the seafood Cobb salad that had crab, scallops, shrimp, bacon, avocado, egg and lettuce. Bear was good and just hung out under the table. (Which was not always the case when we ate out. Being good that is...)


Steel Bridge

Mike getting ready to take a snap of one of Portland's many bridges across the Willamette River.


Waterfront Park

View of a great park along the river.



Waterfront Park Water Feature Part Two

Second attempt at getting Bear interested in the water feature....


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Waterfront Park Water Feature Part One

Today it's 90 degrees so Mike was trying to get Bear to cool off at one of the park's water features.

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07 July 2010

Not Impressed

Bear was not that impressed about Multnomah Falls. Yes, he's wearing his Kool Collar to help him keep cool in the heat.


The Big One

Multnomah Falls. This was the 3rd and the highest falls in the group of 5 falls in the same area on Route 30.


That's Pretty High

Mike checking out one of the falls on Route 30. I already forgot the name but it starts with the letter 'L.'

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Looking...

Mike and Bear looking at the falls.


Columbia River Gorge

Peek of the Columbia River Gorge.



Looking east out onto the gorge. Bear wasn't sure what was going on.



On The Way Down...

Mike and Bear on the way back down the trail.


View of Mt. Hood

Mike and Bear near the view of Mt. Hood. At this view point you can see all five mountains (St. Helens, Adams, Hood, Rainier, Jefferson) but Hood looked the best as it's the closest.


Oatmeal Food Truck

This morning we got oatmeal the the Bloop Oatmeal food truck for breakfast. Yesterday we got egg sandwiches for breakfast at another food truck called Brunchbox.


Getting coffee at Stumptown, a local coffee company that roasts their own coffee. They have a jar of dog biscuits for the pups inside. Yes. Portland is ridiculously dog-friendly.




No Sleeping In

There's no sleeping in when The Bear is around.


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05 July 2010

Bear's Shopping Trip

Yes. Bear is on vacation too and got to have his own shopping trip. That's a cooling collar that will be filled with ice. And yes, that's a T-shirt.




Second Pub in PDX

Mike enjoying one of the local brewski's .... All the while enjoying listening to Night Ranger....




And Waiting...

Bear waiting outside Powell's Books for Mike. (The nation's largest independent bookstore!)




Still waiting...

Hurry Mike hurry!




k@t ^_^