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21Aug/110

Tablet-Mania! HP Changes the Game… By Quitting.

HP TouchPad SmartBuyHP announced recently that it was getting out of the computer hardware business. Less than two months after the release of their HP TouchPad WebOS Tablet, they decide to call it quits. They drop the price of both the 16gb and the 32gb model by $100 - leaving them at 400 and 500 respectively.

They still weren't selling after a few weeks of that, so they made the "tough decision" to just drop the price to $99 and $149 respectively this weekend and get out of the PC market completely. Stores sold out within minutes of announcing the price drop. Wal-Mart, Best-Buy, OfficeMax, Staples, etc... all ran out of available units like it was a Black Friday special.

Websites offering the deal suffered from heavy loads. HP's own Small Business website was brought to a crawl on Saturday. Other websites had their servers completely crash within minutes of changing their pricing. As of this writing, there are still a number of sites that are holding out with the original pricing and still have units in stock. Newegg and BarcodeGiant and Buy.com all still have inventory and are waiting to change the price.

Those who feel like they missed out on this "opportunity" can blame the people who single-handedly clear out stores just to resell the items for profit. Sites like ebay and craigslist and Amazon marketplace are crawling with bottom feeders (similar to ticket scalpers) and are flooded with units on sale just under their original retail cost. Waiting in line is not a job.

Having played with an HP Touchpad, I can say that it's a nice little device. I recently had purchased an e-reader for 99 bucks and it was pretty much slow and useless. The Touchpad is snappy and solid. It is definitely more than 99 dollars worth of hardware and software.

HP has even come out and said that they will continue to support WebOS - they are focusing on Printers and software. They bought Compaq and VoodooPC and Palm and then just threw most of it out the window. It's an interesting move and we'll see what their stock does on Monday. They will likely sell off their PC and hardware division to a competitor like Sony or Toshiba or Dell - similar to what IBM did with the Thinkpad when they sold out to Lenovo. It's definitely bizarre when a market leader just quits like that.

iPad and Android tablets have been selling like hot cakes for awhile now. It's the trendy new thing. Oversized smartphones and undersized/underpowered laptops without keyboards. There's not really a need for them, but people are buying them anyway as a luxury item.

Now it seems that HP has turned them into a necessity by finding the perfect price point for a tablet. If all tablets were under 200 bucks, everyone would feel like they needed to own one. It's more or less a toy, and it should be priced accordingly. However, HP clearly spent more money to produce each unit than it is taking in.

This holiday season is going to be very interesting. This will definitely surge the popularity of Tablets in general. October will see the release of a few new Android Tablets including the ASUS Transformer 2. Microsoft has a tablet in the pipe and Apple is working on the iPad 3. If the prices don't come down significantly on tablets by the end of the year, these HP units are going to perhaps go down as the deal of the year.

Android hacker groups are already working on porting Android to the TouchPad. Personally, I'm happy with WebOS. It's the only tablet that really does justice to Flash. Perhaps dropping the price of the hardware to the floor was a way to get these tablets into as many hands as possible so they can get WebOS into as many hands as possible. A bold gamble, to be sure... time will tell if it pays off.

Hopefully you managed to get in on this deal. I got mine. It's definitely worth it (if there was ever any doubt). If you haven't, then check fatwallet and slickdeals forums for info on getting yours. Avoid ebay and craigslist. Good luck!

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7May/110

Best Turkey Chili Recipe… EVER

My sister shared with me her recipe for Chili years back and I lost the paper it was written on at some point... when I asked her for the recipe again, it changed a bit. Guess she perfected it over time. I've made some changes of my own over time - feel free to do the same.

I cooked this a few days ago. I can testify that it was delicious and well-received by my co-workers - it was for a Cinco de Mayo pot-luck lunch. It was gobbled all up. This also explains putting it in a tupperware container rather than a nice bowl.

This is only a partial ingredients pic - the girlfriend showed up later with the rest... here's a photo followed by a shopping list:

  • 2.5 lbs of ground turkey breast.
  • 3 16oz cans of diced or chopped tomatoes - I used 2 26oz Pomi boxes.
  • (Optional - 1 20oz jar of Matta's hot salsa - favorite local restaurant hot salsa? use that or good store bought - it helps add depth, but isn't necessary)
  • 4oz can of diced green chiles mild.
  • 4oz can of diced green chiles HOT
  • 1 bag of Tillamook Mexican shredded cheese (or shred your own brick of sharp cheddar)
  • Various seasoning for meat include (but not limited to):
    • 1 packet of McCormick Hot Taco seasoning
    • 1 packet of McCormick Hot Chili seasoning
    • 2-3 tbsp of hot red chili powder - I get this from Mexican grocery store
    • McCormick Caribbean Jerk
    • Sea Salt
    • Vegeta (I put this shit in just about everything - it's amazing - I got this at a Bosnian grocery store)
  • Sometimes, I'll add a bit of soy sauce to the meat while cooking. Didn't this time. Sometimes a dash of cinnamon and/or nutmeg is good too. Just season to taste. Turkey gets a little lost flavor-wise in this dish unless you season the crap out of it.

This is not the most flattering pic, but you'll want to flop the turkey meat into a pan and start cooking - you don't need oil or water or anything - cook on medium high and using a spatula, just stab at it until it's all chopped up into little bits...

Start covering your meat with all of your seasonings and keep stabbing and stirring and mixing it all up - if you like to get your hands dirty, you can mash and mix the turkey in a bowl with all your seasonings before it hits a pan. I don't do this because I'm a bit lazy.

You'll want to keep it covered as the fat and moisture in lean ground turkey is just barely enough to cook turkey without using oils or pam or anything and not scorch... uncovered the entire time, it will get dry.

I like to hold off on some of the hotter seasonings until the meat is nearly cooked up in order to keep it pure... just keep cooking, stabbing, seasoning and stirring every so often until it looks about like this:

Now you should be ready to pour in the tomatoes and chiles. Just pour it all in and stir it about until evenly distributed.

Turn down the heat to medium and leave the lid on. Simmer for about 20-30 min.

Only open every 5-10 minutes to stir it around to keep it from scorching at the bottom. It's going to sweat a lot - try to keep the moisture in - let it drip off the lid back into the pan whenever you open it to stir.

The last 5 minutes of cooking, you should turn the heat back up to med-high and leave the lid off and stand over it while stirring constantly... we're reducing the liquid - cooking it away to thicken it all up a bit. When you feel it's the proper consistency, start transferring it to a nice bowl. I have a nice ceramic I usually use, but needed to transport this thing to work in tupperware sadly...

You'll scoop out a layer of chili on the bottom of the bowl, then sprinkle over a layer of delicious cheese... then schlep in another layer of chili... then more cheese... and then one more layer of chili and a final sprinkle of cheese...

Serve with a good restaurant style white corn tortilla chip... we tend to use Tostito's Scoops because they make a perfect mouthful, but anything works really. This stuff is fantastic the next day for burritos or whatever.

It's pretty healthy too actually except for all the cheese and salt.

Enjoy.

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12Apr/112

The Defense of Marriage Act is Totally Gay

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed in 1996 by Bill Clinton. It basically provisions that the Federal Government only recognizes marriages between a man and a woman and that same-sex marriages do not carry their weight outside of their State of origin.

Obama recently declared DOMA as unconstitutional. This means that all bets are off. This means that the national distraction of the gay marriage battle can begin again while the leaders continue to corrupt and bankrupt our country. Oh joy. What it really means is that individual States can no longer use this law to disregard a marriage between same sex partners that was done in another State.

I'm fine with the end of DOMA. I think straghts have fucked up marriage just fine on their own... try defending against them. Half of all marriages in the US end in divorce as it is.

Let's have a look at marriage. Some describe it as a piece of paper. Others see it for the ceremony and the big event. Some see a family or a union. Others see religion and tradition. A few still associate it with romance. The importance of marriage varies from person to person to a spectacular degree. There are as many definitions and meanings for Marriage as there are meanings of the word Love or Stress or Failure or Family.

Few know that marriage is technically still legally binding and recognized simply by declaring you are married and living as such. You can actually just walk outside your door one day with your live-in lover and say, "we're married," and it is so.

Of course, it isn't that easy, is it. There's paperwork. You have to change names and file taxes differently. You have to get bloodwork and licenses and whatnot. The blood they will test for diseases that may be passed along to children as well as for disease and in some cases to make sure you aren't brother and sister so you don't have flipper babies. I can't figure out my own fucking taxes let alone figure it out when there are wife and kids involved.

Marriage is often tied to church and religion - being wed under god and all of that fire and brimstone. Girls dream of the big white wedding gown, the flowers, the invitations, the reception, and so on. Many start planning their weddings from the time they learn what one is as a little girl. Men couldn't give two shits. They start planning their wedding from the moment they wake up on the morning of their wedding day.

The gowns and flowers and showers and parties and decorations and whatnot is all pretty flamboyantly gay really. Check out a Gypsy wedding - turbo gay, but for straights. I've seen plenty of non-traditional weddings too. Maury Povitch or Jerry Springer will have hermaphrodite hooker weddings and trannies tying the knots. It has probably gone a long way toward the devaluation of the institution of marriage in the eyes of the general public.

Remember, the general public watches Fox News and goes to church and hates gay people. Middle America. It also represents everyone else - people who don't have jobs and are able to sit at home all day long watching Jerry Springer.

Gay people need to be distinguished from the general population because it matters how they have sex and with who. It's really fucking important. I don't know why, but it is. They write laws about it all the time. I'm straight and I have a hard time getting even close friends interested in who and what I put my dick in.

The acts performed during gay sex are still illegal in many areas. Many things I do regularly during my straight sex are most definitely illegal. I've never been busted for it though. I've also never been beaten up over it, so my perspective is admittedly going to have to come with a side of salt grain.

I don't think gay sex leads to anything but more gay sex. It seems like some people feel like gay sex leads to sex with animals or relatives or children or furniture (that's a thing). It doesn't. I will always be willing to debate whether or not one can be born gay though. People who get off having sex with balloons weren't born that way, and neither were people who only like fat people or blonds or midgets.

People like what they like and that should be enough... they shouldn't need "born with it" as an excuse. In fact, if they are able to prove with science (and no, I don't think the current scientific studies prove such a thing), then people who don't agree with homosexuality will lobby to get it listed as a genetic defect since our only real function on this earth according to nature is to make more of ourselves, and gay people aren't going to be reproducing anything but orgasms inside each other.

It's just asking for trouble. I think the angle should be "stop caring what I do with my dick (or vagina or mouth)."

A friend of mine (a straight married man) and I argued about the gay marriage thing back during the big Proposition 8 issue in California. I asked him why he was in favor of the gay marriage ban, and he told me it all came down to taxes. He felt like it would open up the door for CEOs of companies to marry each other for tax purposes. We didn't see eye to eye, but I can understand where he was coming from. Roads were made for cars - start allowing people to ride whatever they want on them, and nobody will be going anywhere.

The problem isn't that gay people want to get married. The problem is marriage has too many perks, too many rules, too many laws, too many functions... it's archaic. It needs a reboot.

Marriage needs to be a lot less cool. They need to separate Unions, Weddings, and Marriages into different things. There should be a marriage type that is just for people having kids. There should be a marriage type that is just for people marrying inanimate objects. There should be one for people who love each other and want to live together as a couple "forever."

Gay people should be able to have weddings - big flamboyant parade weddings with horses dressed up as unicorns as ring-bearers. Maybe it just shouldn't mean exactly the same thing as when a man and woman marry... I mean, they aren't exactly a man and a woman. Why should it mean the same thing?

Nothing about gay has anything to do with subversive deviant fetishes or behavior. These things are mutually exclusive. People are just by nature afraid of things that aren't like themselves. Fear comes from ignorance. This is very basic and fundamental.

Part of me feels like anyone should be able to do whatever they want and "who gives a fuck." The other part of me feels like we should require people to apply to get a license to have a child together after a review period of their relationship and their income and health profiles. The older I get though, the less I care about what other people do. I rarely look at the news anymore. I also have a life-long appreciation for chaos.

I value my personal freedoms - the fact that I tend to walk the line rather than color outside of them doesn't speak to that, but with the Patriot Act and the shit you have to go through at the airport now, I'm definitely a fan of freedom and I can feel us losing a little bit of it every single day. We simply give it up willingly. It's disturbing to me. Perhaps that's why I fight for the little things and take stands that would seem silly to other people.

Bottom line is - I get it. I wouldn't want anyone telling me what I can or can't do or who I can or can't do it with - it would just make me want to do the opposite. I'd say, "fuck that!" and do what I want whether anyone recognized it or not.

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11Apr/112

How to Fart on a Date

Women already know how to fart on a date. They are experts at stealthy date farting. Every woman out there could probably write a book on it. Men on the other hand, need some coaching.

If you have to fart while on a date, your best bet is to head to the bathroom and release. If you hold it in, you could die. This is a medical fact. Holding in a fart causes death. Google it. If you don't have the opportunity to excuse yourself to the bathroom, you may have to slip a fart in discreetly. This handy guide will help you do so.

Some women will laugh at your farts and be good sports about it, but the truth is they find it pretty gross.

When you first pick her up, you might be a bit nervous - especially if it's a first date. A fart now would definitely be a damper on the evening. Go inside and talk to the parents or roommates or to pet the cat or dog and whatnot. It's possible to relieve pressure by excusing yourself to the bathroom and gas while you're washing your hands or something, but you don't always have this option.

After you leave the house, you may still need to release. If you can't get a moment alone, make one. A good way to do so is to open her car door for her and then close it behind her. This leaves you free to blow ass as you walk around to your side. If it's a long fart, pretend to check your license plate or tire pressure or tie your shoe or something. This gives you the added benefit of looking chivalrous by opening her door.

If you go out to eat, try to choose a place that doesn't serve foods that give you excess gas normally. This should be obvious, but ultimately she may end up making the decision on where to eat. You are usually limited in a place like this to fart in the men's room. Friday nights, men's rooms at restaurants are a fart-fest. It sounds like an orchestra of tubas practicing for a symphony.

After awhile, she'll think you've got a health issue if you excuse yourself to use the bathroom every 5 minutes, so this can't be your go-to all night. As you leave the restaurant, you can say that you forgot to leave an extra tip for the busboy. Fart all the way back to your table while she waits at the door. She will also think you're a generous person. You were generous enough to ruin other diner's dinners. She's half-right.

Later, you might find yourself at a semi-crowded bar or nightclub. It's usually loud enough that farts will go undetected and you're in the clear - unless your farts stink. This is largely going to be determined by what you eat and drink. If your farts smell like rotten beef covered in barf and wrapped in a dirty diaper like a burrito, you will have to get creative.

Tell her you see a friend on the other side of the bar and you want to introduce her - let her walk in front of you and lead her through the crowd by placing your hand at the small of her back. You can crop dust as you walk through the crowd. Your trail of stink will be visible by rows of people holding their noses. You can blameshift your way out of this one by holding your nose and boisterously announcing how you just walked through someone's gross fart and that some people are disgusting to be doing that in public.

If you end up at the movies, this gets a little more tricky. The easiest way is to offer to get her popcorn or drinks or candy or something and fart in the lobby. This is why the lobby of movie theaters stink like farts on Friday nights. She may not want anything and then hand you a box of sweets she smuggled in her purse so you don't have to go get anything while the movie is playing. You could time your farts to explosions if you see an action movie, but if you see a drama or romantic comedy your opportunities won't be as frequent. Movie selection is important. Keep in mind that movie theater seats absorb farts. They were designed to do so.

Finally, you can take her to the beach to a late night beach bonfire. This is the safest place to fart... time your farts with the crashing of the waves to mask the sound... smell shouldn't be a problem since all you will smell is ocean and bonfire and dead fish... why do you think women like long walks on the beach? Think about it.

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10Apr/110

The Governator – a cartoon about a real-life cartoon character.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is easily one of the most iconic action heroes of our time. Having been the Governor of California for 8 years (has it really been 8 years?!), he's looking to reinvent himself yet again. His appearance in movies here and there (even as a CG version of his younger self in Terminator Salvation) indicates he has Hollywood in his blood. He just loves to have people looking at him and listening to him. Some people are just wired that way.

Stan Lee - another iconic figure - appears to be behind this new cartoon which is about Arnold becoming a superhero. It's a silly yet interesting concept. It looks completely awful and from the 90s. It somehow makes me feel nostalgic and it hasn't even come out yet.

Schwarzenegger and Lee are both living cartoon characters as it is... this project wrote itself. It looks like complete fail. Behold.

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2Mar/110

Not Bad for the Price of Free…

Some of my favorite music comes from this album. I was even in a band that appears on it. There's really something for everybody here. From time to time I may post some links to free music - but only the legal kind.

Click the banner and Enjoy.

99 SONGS from Deep Elm Records

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1Mar/111

Yiayia Wisdom

These commercials for Athenos brought lols to my face. Thought I would share.

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17Feb/110

Hunter S Thompson as a Baby

Baby Trashes Bar in Las Palmas

This hilarious short is from an upcoming film by Johannes Nyholm.

I owe some entries up in this blog... I'll post something this weekend. Stay tuned.

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11Feb/110

Verizon Releases the iPhone 4 – Apple Store is Mobbed!

This was the scene at the Apple store at The Mall of America in Minnesota this morning. They were clearly expecting crowds. It's pretty sad. Safe to say "Epic Fail" at something like this, but considering this was a record breaking sales day for Verizon, it's difficult to believe.

I live near a few different Apple stores and I have never walked by one that was this empty. I mean, people line up to get into these stores on any average day.

I ended up breaking down and buying an iPhone last year finally after avoiding it for years. I still think it's a shitty phone, but a brilliant device. I would never move to Verizon unless their prices came down to close to what I pay now. I have had AT&T (Cingular) since 2005, but never bought an iPhone until after the iPhone4 had been out for awhile.

Since the first iPhone was released, I kept hearing nothing but rumors and wishes that the device would come to Verizon. Now that it's here, it doesn't seem like anyone really cared that much.

My next phone will probably be a Windows7 Phone.

Here's how everyone sees people with Apple products:

 

"Look at me! I'm an annoying cock!"

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10Feb/110

1up

So a few weeks ago, I wrote about turning thirty-whatever and how I've been mostly miserable. Over the weekend, I took stock and decided to not feel that way anymore. I really couldn't figure out what my problem was anyway. I mean, I had been through all of the bad shit and came out clean more or less. I mean, my credit is crap and I had to sell my car and I still owe tons of money, but none of that is really a big deal.

All of the big scary negative things that could happen to me already happened. My problem was inertia. I was depressed and down on my luck for so long, I kept going down that path even when I didn't have reason to. I just felt like I was supposed to feel shitty.

It's dumb, but I think that's all there is to it.

I figured this out the other night... the GF and I stayed up all night talking about what was wrong with us and it became apparent to us that she kept expecting me to be unhappy and kept trying to treat me like I needed fixing so I kept playing the part. We were enabling each other. It was a sick symbiotic parasitical relationship in which we fed off each other.

It's amazing we figured it out now and managed to keep it together. Usually I don't figure this sort of shit out until after the relationship fails.

It's going to be an adjustment period. She's still trying to ignore me and pretend like she doesn't care so she doesn't put my happiness above hers, and I am apprehensive about feeling happy or sad. We're going to go on an impromptu vacation to reset.

The funny part is that I've written about how to stay happy and fix being unhappy numerous times. I should've gone back and read my old stuff. I'm going to have to work at it a little bit - this "being happy" thing - I'm out of practice.

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