Mr. Toast In Winter Wonderland

Good thing he made it before it melts.


Mr. Toast!

I got a Mr. Toast for Christmas.



Otter Rock

Also from the Tennessee Aquarium.

Penguin Wonderland

At the Tennessee Aquarium.


Winter Wonderland

It's here in the office already.



I'm not from Texas

The guy on the right is though.



I have two of them.

One even with box and assembly instructions.


Google Sky Map - on Android

I've finally left the Sidekick era and moved on to a new "smartphone". While I'll probably always be an Apple person at heart I was able to get a much better deal on a Motorola Cliq with T-Mobile.

The Cliq runs the Android OS and so far I have no regrets. There are lots of fun goodies to play with. Tonight I tried out Google Sky Map:

It's kind of weird to hold your phone up to the sky and point it at things to see what they are. It really works though... pretty cool.


G Muffin

This is how I roll...

Thanks Sarrah!




This one got a lot of play when I had my first record player. I hope to resurrect it along with Blinky The Lighthouse Ship sometime soon.


I had to erase my dry-erase board this morning. This Geometron has been with us for several years. He has now been saved for posterity by Jeff's iPhone.

(All Geometrons carry ice-picks.)



You don't want to be in that box...trust me.


Saturday Tiki Find - Aloha!

This was a pretty good Goodwill find yesterday:

A nice Trader Vic's Aloha coconut mug. I don't have any exactly like this one.

I have a version of a Trader Vic's coconut mug that just has "Trader Vic's" inscribed on the bottom and no words on the sides: See this older post

Then I have another version of the mug that just has "Aloha" and "Trader Vic's" (no "Since 1934") on the side with "Trader Vic's" inscribed on the bottom: See this older post

This one has a "Trader Vic's" stamped in black paint on the bottom. I couldn't really get a good picture of the bottom but there are some good examples on Ooga Mooga.

I need to do some more research and see if I can put these in chronological order.


Coupon Of The Day

I had a REALLY GOOD coupon at Publix today.

They canceled it though. :(

(They actually missed the coupon altogether after trying to figure out what happened and reverse it... it was only $0.70 or so and it was the cashiers first day or something. I had $0.70 worth of fun watching them try to figure it out and asking to be paid in twenty's. )


Recent Tiki Finds: Leilani & Dynasty Green

Behind on the tiki postings... must catch up a bit.

3 or 4 weeks ago I picked up a Tiki Leilani mug at my local "antique" store. This one is supposedly pretty common but I've never come across one before.

This one is probably from Orchids of Hawaii as it seems identical to many of the ones I can compare it to on Ooga Mooga. It has "Tiki Leilani" around the base but it's hidden by the jungle in the photo above. The bottom is clearly marked USA.

There are two more of these left at the store if anyone needs one (I'm not a hoarder.)

Yesterday I ran across this guy at another "antique" store in Tucker:

I'm pretty sure it's a Dynasty Green Tiki (DW113) made by Dynasty Wholesale. You can see him here on page 3 of their catalog.

While not terribly special or hard to find as you can still get them today, it was interesting to try to identify. This one doesn't have any markings on the bottom while some of the earlier Dynasty models did. I'm guessing they dropped it from the mold at some point.

It's similar to the Shonfeld's Jagged Teeth Mug but the nose is slightly different. Both the Dynasty and the Shonfelds's are pretty much clones of an original Orchids of Hawaii R-5 mug. The biggest difference I can find is in the noses.



Orchids of Hawaii:

I hope you found this educational. I did.


Sky Guy

Last month my Dad celebrated his 70th birthday.

He's been fascinated by these "sky dancer" things so we rented one for his party.

He can do a pretty good imitation of one.

It was pretty loud, but it was easy to set up and use. Thanks to the folks at Monster Party Rentals for making everything easy for me.


Les Paul 1915-2009

That's a pretty good run. Obit HERE.

Les DID A LOT to make music what it is today. Thanks Les.

I'm off to listen to some Couch Flambeau.



Out With the Old!

... and in with the not quite as old!

My Sharp Carrousel II from 1992 died this weekend. It would no longer heat my half 'n' half to froth up for my coffee. I did some testing with a cup of water... it was done. I guess the magnetron finally gave up.

Sad day. :(

A short trip to the basement later... presenting my wife's Sharp Carousel from 1994.

It's a bit smaller and we can't pile as much stuff on it as we could the old one. I'm not sure if that's good or bad. Probably good.

Hopefully it will hold in there for a little while. I've been thinking about a combination microwave/convection oven anyway... something like the Sharp R-820JS. If anyone has any suggestions let me know.


DTV for Cheap!

Look! I've got digital television. I'm high-tech.

I have a Zenith digital to analog converter I got for my grandmother with my government DTV handout a year or so back. . She has cable now so the converter box ended up back here. Unfortunately the remote control for it disappeared somewhere in the great city of Huntsvegas. You can't get to the setup stuff without the remote.

Luckily my mother-in-law gave me Emerson remote control that's bigger than my head for a 40th birthday present. It seems that the converter box uses the same control codes as some satellite converter box. Woohoo! I'm in business.

Add that to my $6 B&W TV I got from Office Depot (or maybe Staples) a few years back, dig up some rabbit ears and a bow-tie antenna, and I've got a better picture than this TV has ever had in its dreams (unless B&W TV's dream in color).

I'm going back to watching NASCAR on cable now.

Mabel Appreciation

I tried to send this from the park (twice) this morning but it never came through.

Looks like Mabel got a Certificate of Appreciation from the State of Georgia since I was here last. I'll get a better picture when she's here and I bring a real camera.

Now if the park would clean things up a bit.

Foggy Mountain

Not broken though...


Thoughts for today...

Went to the grocery tonight... I picked a parking space that was across from one cart return and completely behind the return on another. You'd have to be pretty freaking lazy not to go ahead and put your cart anywhere around there without just putting it in the cart return.

I came out of the grocery and every car on my row was gone except mine... and not one but TWO carts were pushed into my car. Both leaving dents and dings.

I really guess I shouldn't be surprised. There's a lot to be said for personal responsibility but it's definitely NOT something the majority of people have a clue about any more. It's a thing of the past. Lazy dependence is now the rule.



You might remember the mug on the left from an earlier post late last year. It was my first real wahine mug that Dan found somewhere near San Francisco. Well I got a surprise Saturday in the mail when I got another one from Lois in Boise.

The one from Dan is on the left and the new ones from Lois is on the right. They are the same design but are probably done at different times.

The one on the left is stamped Japan on the bottom and there are no marks on the one on the right. I think maybe the one stamped Japan is probably older but I don't know for sure. The lettering and some other features are less worn on the one Lois found but that just indicates it's probably seen less use. They also have different eyes.

The glaze jobs differ a bit too.

Very cool. Now I have a set!

Thanks Lois!


Recent Tiki Finds

Here's an interesting find Bear made at Goodwill:

It dates all the way back to March of 2001.

It's a pretty hefty well-made mug. The screenprinting is a bit cheesy with the whole "Kumoniwanaleia" thing but at least it dates the mug and helps start a story. Feel free to let me know how the part was if you were there.

It seems like Bear find as many (or maybe more) tikis than I do these days. I'm trying to keep up. Here's one I found at the local "antique" store a few weeks back:

It's a nice Ku replica brought to us from the KC Company in Alea, Hawaii (and of course was made in China.)


The Truth About The Bitter Truth

A few weeks ago my coworkers (we'll call him Karl) had to go to one of our offices in Sankt Wolfgang, Germany for a few weeks.

View Larger Map

A while back I came across a line of bitters from a company in Germany called The Bitter Truth. I figured maybe he could get me some while he was over there. We looked it all up on the internet and found the "retailler" for Germany was called Drinkology. It was 45 miles away on the other side of Munich but not exactly next door... in a town called Pullach.

View Larger Map

Karl, the kind and adventurous soul, set out to Pullach to shop for some bitters. He took the train to Pullach and set out with his trusty iPhone as a guide to find the Drinkology store. I think after 10 minutes or so of walking through the rain he was beginning to wonder if there was a store.

After a few more minutes the rain let up and he found himself at the address... a residence. Ooops.

Well... we're there now. Might was will ring the bell and see how things go. Luckily Stephan was home and even though it was a bit out of the ordinary he sold Karl was able to obtain some Lemon Bitters.

You can't get much closer to the source than this. Thanks Karl!

I used some this evening instant of my normal Angostura or orange bitters to make myself a Manhattan. It has a wonderful aroma of lemon zest and a lively lemon taste that's lightly spiced (not candy-like). It really brightens up the drink.

This really makes we want to check out the rest of the products from The Bitter Truth. I still can't find them anywhere here in the Atlanta area. Maybe Karl will have to go back to for more :)





Looking for cheese...

Update 2:21 PM:
While they have TONS of cheese and lots of Wisconsin cheese they had no Brick Cheese.

So far we have not located Brick Cheese in Atlanta.



Mmmm... Squash

I was out mowing the yard this morning and my neighbor brought me some nice yellow squash and a zucchini right out of her garden.

Looks like I know what I'm cooking on Sunday evening :)



They've finally eased our drought restrictions and I can wash my car again!

I guess this means I need to order some more Zaino.

Now that people can use water again and use will go up, do you think municipalities will lower the rates? (since they had to raise them to make $ when we weren't using as much water).


Tiki Read

Here's a good article over at the WSJ about tiki drinks: Better Tiki Than Tacky

It's an almost lost art that you're really better off trying at home unless you find yourself at a place that specializes in doing it right.

(Thanks to Otto at the Tikievents list for cuing me in!)



I just booted up my old PowerMac 7300/180.

Then all the extensions started marching across the bottom of the screen... then OneClick loaded... Whoa! Now I find myself constantly trying to right-click on a one button mouse. Ugh.

The purpose of this is to salvage my data on here for backups. I'll probably keep the mac somewhere as it's the only thing I have right now that will read any of my old SCSI drives that are Mac formatted.

In the meantime I've also cleaned up two older PC's for recycling. I cleaned the drives off with DBAN and then installed a small linux distro. I've used both Puppy Linux and Damn Small Linux. For some reason I couldn't get Puppy to boot off the hard drive on the old AMD K6 (It was suggested that I needed a "K9" for that) but I got DSL to install just fine... and it's fast too. I'm impressed how these tiny distributions identify all the hardware and just work... even with my unknown 10T ethernet cards that I once bought for $5 off eBay. These are old but they boot, find the internet and find google. I wouldn't try to watch YouTube with these but they might be good for someone.


Close Call

Something odd happened this past Saturday. It was like I was on a different planet.

I ordered a Dell.

My recent experience with my little Acer netbook and Ubuntu got me to thinking that I could use a PC running Ubuntu at home for a desktop. I probably could have.

Dell had an awesome deal with one of the little Vostro's with a decent monitor. I went on the web and ordered. I thought the deal included free shipping and kept thinking it was going to be shown on one of the later pages of the ordering process. It never did. I finally figured out that I was DIW (doing it wrong) but it was too late. There's no way to modify or cancel an order on the Dell website (which is stupid). OK fine, I'll call them up. Nope... can't do that on Saturday. Monday morning I navigated the phone maze and dealt with some really helpful people that had no problem canceling my order and making a new one. I thought the price they quoted me for the new order was before tax so the numbers made sense. I ran the same deal through the web site again and it was $30 less. Two days and many emails later I finally got the explanation that they couldn't do the same deals on the phone that are on the web (which is also stupid). They offered to cancel my order and call it quits. I took them up on it.

Wow... that was close.

Really... what was I doing? Was I really wanting to find something that works almost as well as iTunes for filling my iPod with the latest episodes of the Rowdy Racing and Skeptoid podcasts? Was I really going to find something that would let me manage my photos as mindlessly as iPhoto? Was I going to find all the apps that do what I just normally do on the computer at home without having to think too much about how I'll do it? Did I really want to abandon my Mac heritage dating back to 1986 or so? After I got my wits back about me I went straight to the mall after work at picked up a new White MacBook.

I'd been looking at the Mac Mini's and some of the other new laptops for about a year now. I've almost jumped on the new Mini several times. However once you bump the memory up on it you're getting back up there in $$$. I figured I'd go ahead and get the recently updated MacBook. It's a zippy little box with plenty of features (and upgrading the memory in it is probably easier than upgrading it in the Mini). I'll probably use it mostly as a desktop machine but it's nice to have the portability option. It's been a breeze to set up and I'm getting a kick out of the built-in camera and the apps that use. Apple just has a good knack of doing neat things in an easy manner. I can't complain.

I still love my little Acer netbook. It's great to have a little lightweight (and inexpensive) lappy to take with you on the go. Ubuntu does most anything I need to do with it... I just now realize that as great as Ubuntu is I'm still not ready for it as my home desktop.

It's nice to be able to finally see what I'm typing while I'm typing it. The last upgrades to Firefox and Safari were making that a bit difficult on my old G4.

... and I'm glad I'm keeping my family :)

UPDATE 6/10/09
I actually took the white MacBook back and got the new bottom of the line MacBook Pro that was announced this past Monday. It's basically the 13" unibody MacBook with a speed bump and firewire added back. They dropped the price though and made it worth it to me. It's just plain pretty.




Yay Ubuntu!

Today I installed Ubuntu 9.04 Netbook Remix on my Acer Aspire One.

I was pretty impressed. The only thing I really had to select during the installation other than the partitions to install it in (only because I've left the original XP OS intact and bootable) was the English keyboard layout. They've really gone a long way toward making Ubuntu really simple to install and use. Everything pretty much worked right after the install. I didn't have to mess with the wireless card drivers or setup... it all just worked. The camera worked. The sound worked. Nice.

The screenshot above is the Netbook Remix "desktop". It makes most things easy to see and access on the smaller screens of the netbooks and other devices. You can still switch to a more traditional desktop but I don't see having to do that very often.

I've used Apple Macintosh computers at home since 1986 or so. I still want to replace my old G4 with something (the Aspire One I'm typing this on is faster than my desktop machine currently is) but the more I use Ubuntu the less I really want to pay more $ for a new Mac. I know I can go to the Apple Store and play with a MacBook for about 10 minutes and I'll be back in the Mac camp again but Ubuntu does gradually pull me over to the side from time to time.

I'd still have a problem setting up and leaving a Linux box (even if it is Ubuntu) with someone who isn't really "terminal savvy" or just a general geek. The Mac still wins in that situation. For those who don't mind the occasional adventure into the land of the terminal prompt but really just want an easy to use system, Ubuntu really does have the answer.

Yay Ubuntu!

Update: 5/4/09
I ditched Netbook Remix after about a week and went with a normal desktop install. Whenever I opened a new window with netbook Remix regardless of which desktop I was using I was getting huge windows that take up the whole screen even when they don't need to. I guess I'm too used to using a normal windowed environment on the Mac and on Windows. I still think the Netbook Remix looks really slick and is still a great alternative for some.

In any case I'm perfectly happy with the current 9.04 desktop and I'm still thinking about building an Ubuntu machine for my desk at home rather than upgrading to a new Mac.

Coolest Pen Ever

Kim gave me (OK... let me have) the Coolest Pen Ever.

It has three LED's that cycle through various colors. What could be better?