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With the news that we are about to be home owners, Kyle’s comment was

Now you are a homeowner. Commence reproduction cycle.

Akumi and I have both agreed we would’t start the baby making aparatus until we have a place. Now that we have a place, we’re not ready to start that cycle just yet. She just recently found her calling and is interested in getting that career off the block.

Pattern Making. Everybody in the L.A. fashion world wants to be a clothing designer. It’s the hip thing to do.

Why yes, I’m an aspiring actor, a budding screenwriter, and on the side I have my own label. Now may I take your order?

Many designers don’t know squat about actually putting clothes together. Every one of them needs pattern makers to take their designs and put them onto paper. Really, it’s just like the being an architect for the fashion world. The designer is really more like a GUI designer, asking for this and that. The pattern maker takes that information and creates a pattern which is analagous to a software specification. That specification can then be used to actually make the clothes in question. Apparently Pattern Makers are in hot demand here.

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At least this advice worked for us.

In this housing market, it may help to write a personal letter with the offer. Adds a personal touch to the potential 40+ offers the owner might receive. My wife included a picture too. That might of been a bad idea because the picture included me. But since it also included my wife, so we’ll call that a wash.

If you’re ugly, forego the picture.

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I was thinking about this question after reading an article in a magazine about setting goals. The article had four steps for setting goals, and six steps for meeting them. Included were your usual tips for visualizing your goal, writing it down, and making a plan of action to meet the goal.

The article made a good point to imagine how meeting the goal will make you feel. Will it make you happier? The article then went into a discourse on me… or rather dreamers. Those people who sit around dreaming about meeting goals, but not doing anything about it.

So that got me thinking. I’m very good at thinking about what I would do if I ever won the lottery. But what would I REALLY do? I can’t constantly travel, backpack, mountain bike, party, play soccer for the rest of my life (but I’m sure I could make a good faith effort).

Here are the things that came to mind:

  • Travel big time
  • Go on outdoor adventures and backpacking trips
  • Buy a nice house
  • Buy a really nice car
  • Get in shape via a personal trainer
  • Eat healthy with a cook/dietician
  • Read a lot of books
  • Work on open source projects and write lots of interesting code
  • Learn to produce music on the computer
  • Learn photography
  • Live up to my name through Philanthropy

And the list goes on and on. The point of this excercise is to ask myself, if these are the things that would make me happy, what’s stopping me from doing them right now? The answer is that nothing is stopping me. I don’t need to wait to win the lottery (which will happen I tell you!). In fact, I’m already doing all these things to one degree or another.

Granted, I have a lot less time and resources to accomplish these things. Since I have to pay the bills with a J-O-B (and since I have a nasty habit of needing 8 to 9 hours of sleep a night), I can only devote a small portion of my time to Philanthropy (because you knew that’s what I do in my spare time, didn’t you. Didn’t you?). Thus I have to settle for a less nice house, a less nice car, less time to go to the gym, etc…

Now before you go off thinking “What a freakin’ whiner!”, I’m not writing this as a “woe is me” diatribe. My point is that I am very fortunate to live in a time and place where I can meet all my goals (though not as fully as I may wish) without winning the lottery or selling my firstborn. But in order to do that in a more fulfilling manner, it’s important to reflect on what more specifically are my goals and why would they bring me fulfillment and then make a plan.

So what would YOU do if you won the lottery? Discuss amongst yourselves and comment!

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I’ve seen the future and it is good. Adam Kinney has a demo Rss Aggregator for Longhorn at his site, It’s very barebones right now, but you can just see the potential for how beautiful this will and does look. What struck me was how nice the text of a blog entry looked in the text window. Nice work adam!

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Ok ok, I am in love with reading RSS and that has a lot to do with my geekiness. But I found an article on Slate (decidedly non geeky) that does a better job explaining the benefits of using an RSS Reader. One thing I learned is that there’s an RSS Reader for Mac OS X. Read the article.

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Found this gem on Raymond Chen’s blog.

Okay, I’m about to reveal one of the tricks of Product Support. \ \ Sometimes you’re on the phone with somebody and you suspect that the problem is something as simple as forgetting to plug it in, or that the cable was plugged into the wrong port. This is easy to do with those PS/2 connectors that fit both a keyboard and a mouse plug, or with network cables that can fit both into the upstream and downstream ports on a router. \ \ Here’s the trick: Don’t ask “Are you sure it’s plugged in correctly?” \ \ If you do this, they will get all insulted and say indignantly, “Of course it is! Do I look like an idiot?” without actually checking. \ \ Instead, say “Okay, sometimes the connection gets a little dusty and the connection gets weak. Could you unplug the connector, blow into it to get the dust out, then plug it back in?”\ \ They will then crawl under the desk, find that they forgot to plug it in (or plugged it into the wrong port), blow out the dust, plug it in, and reply, “Um, yeah, that fixed it, thanks.” \ \ (Or if the problem was that it was plugged into the wrong port, then the act of unplugging it and blowing into the connector takes their eyes off the port. Then when they go to plug it in, they will look carefully and get it right the second time because they’re paying attention.)\ \ Customer saves face, you close a support case, everybody wins. \ \ Corollary: Instead of asking “Are you sure it’s turned on?”, ask them to turn it off and back on.

[Via The Old New Thing]

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Tired of annoying “pre-approved” credit card offers? I sure am. According to the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) of 1970 as amended in 1996, the four major credit bureaus have the right to sell your information to companies that want to offer you a credit card. Fortunately, the amendment also stipulated that credit bureaus must provide a way for consumers to have their names excluded from pre-approval lists. If you’re a United States citizen sick of getting pre-screened credit card offers, this article will show you how to avoid receiving them.


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A while ago, I posted an entry imagining the next generation of Rss Aggregators and blogging engines that would in effect, create a better social network than Frienster, Tribe, etc…

Looks like efforts were already under way. A commenter pointed me to XFN, aka the XHTML Friends Network which presents a simple way to express relationships through hyperlinks. Very interesting.

After applying XFN tags, you can head over to and have them index your site. Entering a full or partial URL in their search engine will bring up a relationship results page. This page lists sites that link to the specified site and all the sites to which the specified site links. With each link, the search results also dislay the relationship (for example: Acquaintance).

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I received this email from a coworker. It makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?

With all the news coverage about sub-zero east coast weather and north Pacific ice storms, it’s easy to forget that Southern California has its share of devastating weather also. Check out the damage caused by a wild west coast storm which recently passed through Los Angeles (photo attached.) It really makes you cherish what you have, and reminds us not to take life for granted!!!

Warning: This photo is graphic and not for the faint of heart. Click Here.