Taco Bell on the Beach

Taco Bell on the Beach

Last weekend we went down to Fort Funston to give Emmitt (our dog) a run on the beach. Afterwards we went to one of my favorite places… A Taco Bell that’s right on the beach. They have a huge back deck that is right on the sand.

I can’t tell you exactly where it is, but it’s about 20 minutes south of Fort Funston. I think it’s a few miles south of Pacifica. If you’re in the area, and you like Taco Bell, I highly recommend stopping by… the location can’t be beat.

UPDATE: Reader, Dee Golden, was nice enough to add the exact location, and more details in the comments for this post. Thanks Dee!

ODL Facelift… again

I’ve been meaning to redesign the site for quite a while now. I can never seem to find the time to actually do it, so I just end up tossing in some new graphics to keep myself from getting board. Today was one of those days.

I was getting really sick of the current design, so I decided to throw in some new graphics and tweak the CSS just a bit. One of these days I’ll force myself to set aside the time to really redesign the site, but until then, here ya go.

Leapfrog Video Transmitter

Leapfrog Video Transmitter

We have a slight problem with the TV connections in our bedroom. The TV is on one wall, but the cable connection is on the opposite wall. So far we’ve just been running a cable across the floor. I don’t like this option, but it’s a bit pricey to have another jack installed in the opposite wall.

I thought I had found the solution with the Leapfrog Video Transmitter. The device allows you to wirelessly transmit a video (or audio) signal from a source like a VCR, cablebox, DVD player, etc… to a remote TV (or stereo).

The solution almost worked. The video came through, but we were getting a little noise (video & audio) in the signal. The devise works on a 2.4GHz frequency. We live in a nine story building, surrounded by other people, and I think our area is just a little too congested with other 2.4GHz devices. It was so close to working well, but it wasn’t quite good enough. I think the devise would actually work well, if you lived in a neighborhood that had some decent spacing between houses.

If you live in a less congested area, this may be a good solution for you. Circuit City has the transmitter for $99.99.

Flock: The Social Browser

Flock Browser

Everyone and their brother seem to be talking about Flock today, so I might as well throw my two cents in. If you haven’t heard, Flock is a new web browser based on Mozilla, for Mac, Windows, and Linux. The developers have a “0.5 Developer Preview Release” available for download. I’ve played around with it for a bit, and the browser itself seems pretty stable, but some of the extras are a bit buggy still. Flock is definitely a preview release and isn’t ready to be used as your full-time browser.

Flock does have (or will have) some cool tools integrated right in… like a blog editor, Flickr tools, del.icio.us syncing, and integrated feed support (like Safari). But, like I said, these extras seem to be fairly buggy.

I would say that Flock is off to a wonderful start. It definitely has a great deal of potential, once they get the kinks worked out.

TUAW is a more detailed write-up about it if you’re interested.

The Palm OS is dead (or is it?)


I’ve been considering buying the new Palm T|X, it looks like a nice little machine at a relatively reasonable price. I have an old m500, and it’s a bit out of date.

I am reconsidering that purchase now that Engadget is reporting that the Palm OS is officially dead. Apparently, Palmsource has been acquired by Japanese firm, Access, and a “logical end-of-life is expected for the Palm operating system.”

Palm, the hardware company, will continue… but their handheld devices will likely be running Windows Mobil, or some flavor of Linux.

Although I think the Palm OS has been less then innovative for many years now, I do hate to see them go.

UPDATE posted on Engadget:

“So it seems that news of the PalmOS’s death has been greatly exaggerated: Brighthand’s Ed Hardy has spoken to insiders at PalmSource who claim that while the next-gen PalmOS will be Linux-based, it will still run older apps and maintain the tradtional Palm look and feel (if it walks like a duck, etc.), and he also reports that PalmSource is attempting to have Computer Business Review pull their article.”

250,000 Superballs bouncing through San Francisco

superballs in San Francisco

I don’t remember hearing about this when it happened, but apparently Sony sent 250,000 superballs bouncing down the streets of San Francisco a few months ago as part of a commercial announcing their new Bravia television line. I would have loved to have seen that in person.

“…An entire block was closed off and special compressed-air cannons shot the balls into the air, while earth moving equipment poured thousands down the street. Not that you’d know it from the finished product, but these balls can do some damage, so all the cars were props and crew members went so far as to having protective shields and crash helmets…”

The official site doesn’t have the commercial available, but you can see it here now has the movie available, in glorious H.264. The site is running pretty slow right now, so be patient. Thanks for the update, Tim.

[ Found via Rocketboom ]

Griffin EarJams

Griffin EarJams

Many iPod users, myself included, would agree that Apple’s standard earbuds are NOT all that comfortable. They are just a little too big, so you have to jam them into your ear. For a short time it’s OK, but for extended listening, they start to become very uncomfortable.

I was looking at Apple’s in-ear headphones as a possible replacement, but today I bought Griffin’s EarJams. I never really payed much attention to them, so I thought they were earbud replacements, but they’re not. They are actually little snap-on covers for Apple’s stock earbud.

EarJams come with three sizes of silicon pads, so you can find the perfect fit. Griffin also claims they offer better sound quality, and “massive bass”. I personally couldn’t really tell the difference in sound quality, but the better fit was awesome.

CompUSA has Griffin EarJams for $11.49. Compared to Apple’s $39 in-ear headphones, that’s a great deal.

iPod2Car connection kit


If you’ve been visiting the site for a while, you probably remember me talking about the NEO iON. The iON is a device for connecting your iPod to your factory car stereo. I had intended on buying one, but I couldn’t seem to find it in any local stores. I was hesitant to buy it online because if it didn’t work, I wanted an easy way to return it.

I found the iPod2Car at my local Best Buy. The iPod2Car is the same basic device as the iON. It allows you to connect your iPod to your factory car stereo using the built in CD-changer port on the back. Once connected, the cable charges your iPod, provides audio input to your stereo, and allows you to move forward and backward within a playlist using the controls on your stereo.

Today, I took on the challenge of installing it myself in my little Toyota Echo. It actually went pretty smoothly. It took me about 45 minutes to install. I’m sure a seasoned car-guy could do it faster. My biggest obstacle was figuring out how to disassemble my dashboard (to get to the back of my stereo) without breaking anything, and making sure I could get it all back together again.

The iPod2Car is now installed, and I’m pretty happy with it. It seems to work exactly as it should. I’ll hold off on my final thought until I have a chance to test it a little more. So far, I only played a few songs in the garage after I installed it.

UPDATE (10.21.05): I went for a long drive yesterday, and the iPod2Car worked great! As an added bonus, I discovered if I turn the car stereo off, the iPod automatically pauses, I don’t have to go manually stop the iPod too. When I turn the car stereo back on, the iPod automatically starts back up from where it left off. Turning off the car also pauses the iPod, but oddly, turning the car back on doesn’t restart the music, you have to manually unpause the iPod itself. Overall I’m pretty happy with the iPod2Car, and would recomend it to anyone looking for this kind of solution.

UPDATE #2 (10.21.05): In the previous update, I mentioned the iPod doesn’t come back on after the car is turned off/on, but that wasn’t quite true. It does come back on if you only turn the car off for a short period of time. I’m guessing that the iPod goes to sleep after a while, and that’s why it doesn’t turn back on if the car has been off for a bit. I’m betting it’s an iPod sleep issue, versus an issue with the cable.

One downside of the iPod2car is it’s price. Best Buy sells it for $199, and they offer installation for an additional $80, if you’re not comfortable taking your dash apart yourself. Another option would be an FM modulator (not transmitter) for $60-$100, and I’ve also seen cables that are like the iPod2Car, but instead of a dock-type connector they are just stereo mini cables (the go from your CD-changer port to your iPod headphone jack)… those are less expensive, but you lose iPod control from your stereo, and the power charging. I really wanted the integrated charging feature because I have too many cables in my life already.

One thing that really impressed me about the iPod2Car is it’s ‘recycling’ program. The kit comes with several cables, to accommodate different car / stereo models. You will typically only use one of them. So, the kit has a pre-addressed shipping box included, so you can send back the unused cables. I think that’s great!

Apple Aperture: end-to-end RAW workflow

Apple Aperture

Well, today’s Apple press-event has concluded, and the announcements are not all that exciting, at least not for me. We have some new Powermac configurations… featuring dual-core PowerPC processors, a slightly upgraded 15″ and 17″ Powerbook line (where’s the 12″ upgrade?), price drops on displays, and new software called Aperture.

Aperture is the only totally new product, but it’s only really useful if you are a professional photographer. It’s described as “end-to-end RAW workflow, and makes RAW as easy to work with as JPEG”. In all fairness, Aperture does look like pretty powerful software, pro photographers should be very happy with it. It’s hard for me to get excited about it, because I don’t have a high-end camera, so I don’t shoot RAW. At $499, you’ll want to be fairly serious about photography before running out to your local Apple Store to pick up a copy of Aperture.

You can find more detailed info on the updates on Apple’s site, or the live coverage that was provided by Engadget and Macworld.