Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Christmas Gift for Everyone

I gave my Christmas shopping a lot of consideration this year. I also braved the crowds of the Topanga Shopping Mall in Woodland Hills, CA. 30 minutes waiting in a parking structure might drive many insane, but I kept reminding myself that I was doing all of this for the people I love.

Satellite UFO Radio-Controlled Flying SaucerI enjoyed the response my presents cause for those who received them. My nephew loved his digital drum set I got him but not as much as his mom :-D. My brother loved the UFO I got him. Those things are wickedly cool. I charged it before I brought it over for Christmas so that it was fresh and ready to go right out of the box. Everyone loved all the different items I gave this holiday weekend.

Pull-to-Charge LED Forever Flashlight

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the response I received from my sister about the Pull-to-Charge LED Forever Flashlight from Gadget Universe. It really is a simple product. Last year, I got everyone in my family a Forever Flashlight from Gadget Universe. This is a similar item but much better. In my opinion, the Pull-to-Charge LED Forver Flashlight is truly an innovative twist on the battery free flashlight.

A flashlight without batteries. What's so impressive about that? The feature that impressed me AND my sister was the power adapters that come with the flashlight. On the bottom of the flashlight, there is an input for a power outlet. Yes, a power outlet. My sister's cell phone was dead. She had forgotten to charge the phone before she left, and she didn't have a charger in her car. I was joking about it charging her cell phone. After all, I didn't think it was going to fit her phone. But it did.

Next thing you know, she's pulling the string a couple of times and her cell phone is charging. Her phone charged for 20 minutes on the Flashlight. Her phone is the typical cell phone flip top. I think an LG or a Motorola. I don't remember. I ordered more from GU to give to other people in my life. Not only do they get a powerful flashlight but a portable charger. Now, if I can only find one that is powered by a hamster wheel, I'd be set for life!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Yahoo Finally Beats Google at Something

I RARELY use Yahoo search. Granted, this has little to do with the usefulness of the search. It has more to do with the fact that I think Yahoo is a bunch of ass clowns. However, today... Today, I might just have to change my mind.

I am a HUGE proponent of RSS. I love RSS. If I could eat RSS, I would. I love RSS so much that I've tought about legally chaning my middle name to RSS. Jared RSS Tracy... I like the sound of that!

I ran a search on Yahoo to see how certain products were showing up on Yahoo vs. Google. I noticed something up in the corner of my Flock web browser whilst searching on Yahoo. It was the distinct RSS feed logo. At first, I thought it was merely a link reference for some main Yahoo RSS. Upon further review, it is actually an RSS for whatever the current search is! Wickedly SWEET!

Yes, Google does offer the Google Reader thing. However, it's more than just one click away. Kudos to Yahoo for geeking Google out. If you have a browser with a built-in RSS (such as Flock), explore the difference between bill gates - Google Search and the bill gates - Yahoo! Search Results

Friday, December 22, 2006

Gadget Universe Innovates Online Advertising for the Catalog Industry

Sylmar, CA - Gadget Universe became the first major innovation catalog to offer up its email deals via Real Simple Syndication (RSS). Continuing a trend of innovative marketing ideas, Gadget Universe now offers the Gadget Alert Newsletter free to anyone with a news feed reader. Users have the ability to add the Gadget Alert Newsletter to their Google, Yahoo, or MSN homepages as well as any news reader web service.

The Gadget Alert Newsletter offers discounts on products, free shipping, and other specials previously available only to email subscribers. Utilizing RSS to promote specials and deals to Gadget Universe visitors puts GU at the forefront of innovative advertising. Since RSS delivers content directly to the browsers and newsreaders of subscribers, it offers similar functionality to email delivered specials. However, no personal information is required to be submitted by the visitor in order to receive the feed. There are no worries about spam from Gadget Universe, as the browser now has complete control over the feed.

The feed is available directly from the Gadget Universe website and also through the feed service.

My two cents...
I'm very excited about the latest release from Gadget Universe. This is truly innovative marketing technique that has been lacking from the catalog industry. Yes, companies have been delivering specials announcements and deals via RSS for a while. However, Gadget Universe is the first major catalog company to take their email specials and make them available via a news feeds, readily available to any browser; without having to divulge any personal information.

This will transform the catalog industry. I'm going to dare to say that catalog giants like Sharper Image, Brookstone, Hammacher Schlemmer, and First Street will all follow the lead of Gadget Universe is offering syndication of their online promotions before the end of 2007.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

RSS at

The Hard(ly) Working Development Team @ have put an RSS feed into place. Get the daily specials from delivered directly to your Yahoo, Google, AOL, Rojo, Bloglines, netvibes, news gator, pageflakes, Feed Demon, Netnewswire, Newsfire, Shrook, RSSOwl, or USM reader/aggregator every single day without having to do anything but login to your news feed site.

The crazy folks over at have even managed to turn on auto-discovery for those of you with news aggregators built-in to your browser (like my favorite: Flock).


A FREE Word Processor

Original post on Jared's Bloggin'

If you are like me, the primary functions that your PC or MAC serves
are to surf the web, watch videos on YouTube, and blog. Perhaps you are
a variation of those. Maybe you even use your computer to write a daily

Well, I’ve been journal-less for months since my old laptop died. I
purchased a MAC, which came with a trial version of MS Office. When the
trial expired, I didn’t want to spork out the 500 bucks it costs for
MS Office. Sure, I could have just purchased MS Word, which is what I
primarily use. However, I held my ground in not wanting to spend money
on an office sweet.

I recently purchased a laptop from
This too came with a trial version of MS Office. I used it a few times,
but I really didn’t want to get used to using the Office suite because
I’d then feel a need to go spend another half a grand on MS Office. I
held out again.

I’m glad I didn’t purchase MS Office. I was working on an
advertisement with someone in my art department the other day. They
opened up the Word doc I had sent from my computer at work in a program
called (OOo). I remembered back to the old days of that POS Star
Office (nerds in the house, lemme hear you say wOOt wOOt!!!) Anyway, offers an MS Office type suite for FREE!

But that’s not where the coolness ends. Sure, free is great, but there
is one very sweet feature that I will be utilizing soon: export to PDF.
I’m going to start working on my new book soon. Of course, the best way
to get an eBook on the market is as a PDF! So, I’m going to be doing
this all for FREE.

Now, even if you’ve already sporked out the money for MS Office,
download for free. Yes, it’s completely free. Yes, it
offers pretty much all the same functionality as MS Office. Plus, you
can save/open MS Office documents whenever you want with When the latest version of MS Office comes out, you can
spork out another 200 bucks if you like. When the latest version of comes out… Just download the puppy!

Now, I’m sure there is some ultra-nerd out there who is going to read
this and have plenty of bad things to say about OOo and how slow it
might be and blah, blah, blah. In my experience, OOo used no more
memory than Internet Explorer after having viewed a few flicks on
Youtube and spent some time on my other favorite websites. In my every
day use, OOo has not been too slow. If you are an every day person
(non-ultra-nerd) like me, is the Office suite for you.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The T-Shirt that launched 1,000 blogs!

ATTENTION BLOG LOVERS! Geek it up from the folks at My coworker myspaced me a link to this product. It's time to get White and Nerdy. Like the T-Shirt says, "I'm blogging this." Pass it on!

ThinkGeek :: I'm blogging this.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Myspace or Bust!

A while back, I opened a dialog with someone at Myspace to run advertisements for Gadget Universe. The price tag, I will not divulge, but everything is negotiable anyway. I pitched the idea to the powers that be at Gadget Universe, and the result was a resounding no. To me, it should be a no-brainer. You take the largest social network on the planet and mix in some cool gadgets. Heck, Gadget Universe should have its very own myspace profile, with bulletins about the latest innovations and blogs about the insane antics that take place in the office.

Yet the powers that be don't want to cough up the measly amount of money to run a full campaign on myspace to learn a little. A few months later, I get a call from Paul Gasser at Next Action, and he's pitching me on an idea for a new eCommerce solution they have. I won't go into too many details about how it works, but it is a rather ingenious idea (mostly because it is identical to an idea my friend Michelle Denogean and I developed about 8 years ago).

Here we are a few months later. Gadget Universe just implemented the new advertising campaign. I'm minding my own business on myspace: blogging about Brett Favre's completion record and Christians Gone Wild when suddenly... in the middle of my myspace adventures... up comes an advertisement for Gadget Universe. What can I say? Someone up there must really like me. Now, I just need to keep my fingers crossed that it will actually payoff so I can go pitch them on a full run with Myspace!

Why God Hasn't Answered Your Prayers

You don't realize it yet, but in the next 3 minutes you're going to learn why God has not been answering your prayers. Before I get to that, I'm going to share with you an experience that I've had several times in the past and, most recently, this morning. My confession is that this is something that I have done myself. What I'm about to share is something that we have all done at some point in our life and then pondered why the outcome is so different than how we thought God had intended it. So what is the secret to God answering our prayers?

A good friend of mine was sharing about her experience with failing a test necessary to received her teaching credential. She had taken the test last year and failed. She was devastated, but she picked up her chin and started studying again to take the test this year. She spent hours studying and doing what she felt was needed to ensure that she passed the test. Then she began telling me about her conversations with her higher power, God, regarding her journey.

She had made several requests to God that if he did not want her to pursue this goal of hers, he should make sure that certain milestones were not met (such as receiving scholarships, early rescheduling, etc.) Yet, everything fell into place. My friend was clear that God intended her to take *and* pass the test this second time around. She was riding high in faith that she would pass the test. I remember her talking about how positive she was trying to be about the test. She was trying not to think about the last test. She had asked God for guidance, and it was clear to her that he intended her to pass. She failed the test earlier this week.

Almost everyone has heard of this happening to someone. Or maybe you have experienced this for yourself. You called upon God to give you guidance, and he has given you a path that is as clear as the hand in front of your face. To my friend, God has shown her exactly what she was supposed to do by supporting her pursuit of her teaching credential exactly as she knew it should happen. Now, she was upset with God for having not protected her interests. After all, she had made the requests of God, and he had put everything in place for her. I'd venture to guess that you've had this experience yourself.

So, why is it that God can appear to answer our prayers one day and not answer them the next? I know that some of us have it that it is all part of God testing us. However, that God is testing our faith by baiting us with cheese of our wants being fulfilled, only to take the cheese away at the last minute is a bit obscene. Bait & switch, deceit, and lies are very human type games. What is more likely than God playing some faith testing game with us is that we have fooled ourselves into believing that our wants and pursuits are supported by God at all. We do this by making demands on God like my friend, "God, if you really don't want me to pursue this then you should not allow me to receive the scholarships I need."

Many of us have it that we are so important that God is listening and reacting to every request and demand we make of him in the exact way that we want him to. There are a lot of assumptions we are making about our conversations with God:

  1. He's actually listening
  2. He takes action in response to our requests
  3. He responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us
Don't be offended by any of these three assumptions. I'm not suggesting that God does not listen to us. I'm also not suggesting that God doesn't take any action in response to our requests. I personally believe in a higher power that is always listening and responding to everything that everyone thinks, says, or does. So where does that leave us with the final assumption? The one that God responds and alters the universe in a way that makes sense to us.

As this blog rolls to an end, I invite you to consider that the answerto the question at hand lies in the realm of responsibility. We project onto God that which we believe to be what he is "revealing to us". Take a moment to soak this up. Put another way, we see the actions unfolding in our life as God's response to the requests we are making of him. Like myfriend has experienced, God will not make you pass or fail in life. So, then, why do we make God responsible for the outcomes we experience in life? Stay tuned to my blog for more.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christians Gone Wild...

'Tis the season for some news about Christianity. I was reading an article on CNN about the son of Jim Bakker (remember that swindler?)

I saw an ad on the side of the page with the headline: Davidic Christianity Christian Polygamy. The text ad read: Davidic Christianity seeks to fulfill the prophecy of Amos 9: 11-12 by... Perhaps it was my red-blooded American curiosity that got me clicking. I mean, David was hooking it up.

Now, typically, I don't blog, bulletin, or otherwise comment on material that I don't want to promote. After all, all press is good press. On top of this, I suspect that the folks at House of David Ministries paid good money for their ad on CNN. I'm now giving them additional value for their spend on CNN. But the message they are trying to convey is of great importance.

The folks at House of David Ministries claim that they are trying to convey a message of God. Please, by all means, read the article they have crafted about Biblical Marriage. This is a sweet idea! Hell, if God supports polygamy, I'm all for it. Any man stupid enough to try to take on fulfilling the needs of more than one woman deserves what he's going to get. Then again, the "Biblical" concept of marriage is the transfer of ownership of the bride from her father to her husband. So, I suppose there's not a whole lot of focus on fulfilling any of her needs when it comes to "Biblical" marriage.

My personal favorite is the Conclusions section. Honestly, this is a rather well written article that clearly outlines the conclusions of this biblical research. Yes, it is filled with authentic Biblical gibberish. Yes, it is entirely too long for anyone in their right mind to read in a single sitting. In fact, I encourage you to read it over several bathroom visits. There are plenty of Bible quotes that truly prove that either (1) polygamy is established through the word of God to be not just acceptable but honorable *OR* (2) parts of the Bible can be used to support any idea someone can come up with.

Read Conclusion #8. The first 8, please, not the second. At the time I wrote this, there were two 8's. Will the House of David Ministries change it by the time you read this? I'm not sure. I suppose it depends on how many people spend their time reading my blogs :-D

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

My Screenwriting Debut

It turns out that my screenwriting and directing debut also turned into my acting debut. You are probably wondering, "What the hell is Jared talking about?" A few months ago, the CEO of the company that I work for decided to start making short infomercials about the products that we sell so that we can send them to the companies that buy our products. It was something he pretty much took on for himself. I gave him tips here and there, but I had very little involvement with it.

A few weeks ago, he scheduled the video shoot. I tell him that he should probably write a script for the whole thing. He says he will work on it. Of course, nothing happens with the script and it is now the day of the shoot. Suddenly! A panicked IM, "Jared! I need you here right now. Read this script that I put together, and let me know what you think." It is horrible, to say the least. I hop in my car and head into the hills of Sherman Oaks.

I arrive at a house filled with models having their makeup done, a videographer setting up the lighting, and one of my employees shooting a behind the scenes video. I find my boss in front of a computer trying to type out a script. He hops out of the chair and say, "Here! You do it." I sit down and ask him questions about how much interaction he wants with the host. Does he want to say the big words? See, English is not is first language, so words like ancillary don't just roll off his tongue.

I'm finished with the first script. BLAM! I hand it to the hostess/model and she nearly faints. "It would have been nice to have this earlier than today. This is well written, but I'm not going to be able memorize half of this in 10 minutes. Can I just improvise?" Hey! I just got a compliment about my writing from a woman who's been on Broadway. Nice!

My boss and the hostess interact with each other on the camera a bit. Well, there goes that plan for the script I wrote. Damn! Now, I'm going to have to rewrite everything. No big deal. I start slicing and dicing. Heck, I'm a virtual Veg-o-matic with words. A couple of minutes later... BLAM!!! Script, versions 2.0 is in their hands, printed in 40 pt font so that they can read it from across the room.

Cameras rolling... blah blah blah CUT! WTF? What happened to the script? My boss is reading from the script. The model is reading from... Well, not really sure. She's doing a great job though. She's a very effective ad-libber, but she's totally stealing the show from the CEO. The day just seems to keep going. More ad lib. More uh?!? Well, let's just say that the CEO wasn't too happy with the outcome.

A few days later we have the DVD of the shoot so that we can start doing some rough editing. What's next? Well, looks like we are doing another shoot. Stay tuned for another story about My Acting Debut followed by another about My Directing Debut and My Editing Debut. Coming to a bulletin and blog near you!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Why Best Buy Posted Low Profits

I could have predicted this months ago. In fact, I posted a comment on some guy's blog about stores like Circuit City and similar businesses. The last time I went to Best Buy was about two months ago. The time before that was about a month earlier. Nothing changed. Best Buy had some new Plasma TVs that just confused the hell out of me because some looked good and others looked like crap. There was so much selection that I just didn't even want to waste my time.

Instead, I went online and looked for TVs. I found all kinds of great reviews and information. I asked my friend Keen about projection TVs and all that good stuff. The end result is that I went to Costco and found the DLP projector of my dreams. It had everything that Keen was talking about. It had everything that all the super geek websites said it should have, for a reasonable price.

What I want from a store is for them to limit the amount of clutter. I don't want 500 choices when it comes to my television set. I don't want 200 choices when it comes to my washing machine. I want a store that is going to stock ONLY the highest quality merchandise and tell me, "Jared, this is the best item right here."

Of course, since I rule the universe, it was no surprise when Best Buy posted disappointing profits.

Best Buy profit disappoints, shares fall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Best Buy Co. Inc. reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit on Tuesday as the consumer electronics retailer cut prices on flat-panel TVs to boost sales at the start of the holiday shopping season, sending its shares down 5 percent.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A lil Bush Humor

Dance Event: High Desert Dancesport Challenge Dance Competition

Come be a part of the 3rd Annual High Desert Dancesport Challenge Dance Competition
Ballroom, Latin, West Coast Swing, Salsa, Jack & Jills, Pro-Am & Amateur

March 23 - 25, 2007
Location: Antelope Valley College
3041 West Avenue K
Lancaster, California

FEBRUARY 26, 2007
Sorry, No Refunds or Substitutions

All Jack & Jill/Strictly Swing Contests Registration at the Event Only
West Coast Swing, Salsa, Night Club 2-Step, Cha-Cha
$15 per dance

Judges & Instructors Include:
Teresa Shiry, Luis Crespo, Tom Hicks, and more!

For More Information, Contact:
Lisa Sandoval, Organizer

Linda Chesnutt, Marketing Director

Janet Diaz, Competition Director

For More Information on: Tickets, Package Prices, Registration Forms, Rules, Workshops
Schedules, Directions, Hotels, and Eateries visit:

Yet Another Music Download Website

UrbanBoomer is touting their new digital music store (UBTunes) as a hip place for the 35-60 year old demographic. They're genre selection is a little different than say iTunes (or the 50 million other iTunes knock-offs).

It's pretty clear that this web service is not for the person who finally got on the web using AOL for the first time. If you are going to be using UBTunes, you better know how your MP3 device interacts with your computer and how to get files from your downloads into your portable device.

Right now, they have a program to win a Zune, loaded with 250 songs. I'll take the 250 songs, and they can keep the Zune. How does that sound? The part of the site that most caught my attention is the same thing that keeps drawing your eyes away from this text. Short of the snapshots from the infamous "wardrobe malfunction", this is one of the best pictures I've seen of Janet Jackson in a long time.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dance Event: World Swing Dance Championships

Date: May 4-6, 2007
Irvine Marriott Hotel
1800 Von Karman Avenue
Irvine, CA 92612

Buddy Schwimmer

In conjunction with The Lindy and West Coast Swing Connection
Teveya Dovbish & Eileen Dovbish

A combination of Lindy and West Coast Swing with equal prize money for contests
And workshops for both styles of swing

Invited judges and workshop teachers:
Bill Cameron
Laureen Baldovi
Sonny Watson
Benji Schwimmer
Lacey Schwimmer
Buddy Schwimmer
Heidi Groskreutz
Manny Variel
Phil Adams

Kim Clever
Dave Frutos
Minn Vo
Corina Acosta
Ben Yau
Sheri Yau
Benjamin Ricard
Genevieve Kerouac

DJ's Jack Smith and Tip West
Saturday Midnight Buffet

Jack & Jill
Young Adult
Lindy vs. West Coast

Event Ticket
$110 Before March 1
$125 March 1 - 31
$135 April 1 and later

I'm sure there is not much I need to say about any of these instructors, but I'll say it anyway. They are all gifted dancers, performers, choreographers, and teachers. You will really enjoy learning from all of them. See you there!

More Myspace BS

I'm an avid user of myspace. That's not to say that I'm one of those people who has a totally pimped out profile with 300,000 friends who I don't even know any of them. All it means is that I, like many people, sign in to myspace once or twice a week to keep in touch with many of my friends. I post comments, fill out lame surveys, post bulletins, write blogs, etc. I use myspace as a useful method of communicating with some of my friends.

Given the usefulness of communicating through myspace, I figured that I would attempt to utilize myspace as the wonderful networking tool that so many people have claimed it is. I went to the Classifieds section and posted a job opportunity for bloggers. I wasn't sure exactly where I should post such a classified. Posting it under the job section seemed to make sense. Granted, it was not a paid position. It was not a typical posting, but the job section seemed to be a logical fit. After all, the requirements are essentially the same as a job. You need to be able to post a blog on one of the topics at least once a week.

However, I'm not going to pay any of the bloggers money (for now). The starting point for this network is that of a cross promotional network. Each individual contributor will receive a link on the blog to their personal website/blog/etc. Individuals promote the network, the network promotes the individuals. The network is simply a means to expand your exposure for yourself. Simple idea, now back the the Myspace BS...

My classified posting was deleted. There was no notification stating that it was being deleted. There was no message sent to me saying something along the lines of: "Jared, we noticed that you posted a classified for a job that does not pay money. This does not fit the guidelines of the classified section. Please consider a new location for you posting." The best part is that the posting is completely gone. I can't even go back and move it to another location on myspace. To top things off, when I click on the link to view my classified posts, I receive the infamous:

Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred.

This error has been forwarded to MySpace's technical group.

Now, I know that people have been saying that myspace is going to die out because of all the problems it has. I have another suggestion. How about Google buys myspace from Fox? Seriously, everything that Google touches seems to turn into gold. Imagine a myspace world where stuff actually works, where you can post a bulletin without having to worry if you "profile is temporarily unavailable for maintenance". Imagine a myspace world where you wouldn't receive the infamous Sorry! an unexpected error has occurred message whenever you try to go back to you home page. Imagine a myspace world where you don't want to strangle Tom because the damned website just erased your bulletin after you've been working on it for 15 minutes! I'm sending good ESP vibes to the business development folks at Google so that they buy myspace from Fox. Join me in this entrancing thought. The will of the masses can make this a reality.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Windoze Scams

Someone in the office forwarded this email to myself and the IT Manager here, asking "Is it correct" and wanting to purchase it for someone in our office in China. Now, not only is this ridiculous because its an obvious scam, but there are laws around exporting software to China. Of course, this is also the same guy who wonders why he keeps getting 200 spam emails in his inbox every day. Well... Let me think about that :-D

Subject: BUY WINDOWS XP FOR $49.95! RETAIL PRICE: $269.99!

Dear customers and friends of DS Team,
Please let us represent our new special offer you can't afford to miss.
Announcing Microsoft Office 2007 Enterprise Edition. Office 2007 is available for enterprise users from November 30, 2006. The end user version will be available in the beginning of 2007.
The 2007 Microsoft Office System, also known as Microsoft Office 2007, is the most recent version of Microsoft's productivity suite.
Formerly known as Office 12 in the initial stages of its beta cycle, it is scheduled to be made available to volume license customers on November 30, 2006, with general availability following in early 2007.
Retail Price $899.00
Our Price $79.95
You save $819.05
Find more about it:

Thursday, December 07, 2006

wOOt-off the Yellow Light Reindeer

Woot-off the yellow light Reindeer, had a very shiny show

And if you every saw it, you would even spend some dough

All of the other DOD websites wanted to be just like them

They never sold more products, not even the best of 'em

wOOt offs taking place at everyone's favorite deal a day website. Apparently, they are also selling child eating dogs!

my-PhotoArt 16X20 Custom Canvas Picture

Woot : One Day, One Deal

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Sharper Image 20% off Dec 7 & 8

If you want to shop at the store, select the following image and text and then print the selection to your printer

About this offer:
About this offer: *This offer is for 20% off merchandise purchases at Sharper Image retail stores, or online. The 20% discount applies to merchandise only – both regular price and "sale" products (shown online as "Now only" prices). The offer does not apply to any non-merchandise purchases such as delivery charges, gift certificates, gift cards, replacement/service guarantees or taxes; it does not apply to auction site winning bids. This offer cannot be combined with any other promotional prices (shown online as "Special price") or other special offers. This offer cannot be applied to prior purchases. Not all products are discountable, please see individual product pages or ask an associate for details. Select national brands (including Microsoft Zune, Apple, Bose, Canon, Casio, Dyson, JVC, Olympus, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Stern Pinball, RCA, Toshiba, and Weber) are not eligible for discounts and are excluded from this offer. Also excluded from this offer are Factory Reconditioned products (YYY and ZZZ product numbers.) Good December 7th & 8th 2006.

To redeem online:

Please click through this email to our primary U.S. Website,

It is not necessary to enter a special code. The offer is not valid for online orders placed on our other, non-primary Websites (such as Yahoo!, Amazon,, International, or eBay sites).

To redeem in stores:
Please give a printout of this email to a store associate when making your purchase. If the item is not on-hand in a store, an associate will be happy to place an order for you (delivery charges may apply). Code 27902.

Holiday Shipping Schedule
Order by 9AM PT:

Monday, December 18 for Standard Delivery.
Wednesday, December 20 for 2-Day Express.
Thursday, December 21 for Next Day Air.

For Royal Service, In-Home, Truck, or Vendor Delivery, please order by Thursday, December 7.

We hope you enjoy receiving Sharper Image's email special offers and product previews. However, if you wish to unsubscribe from this email list, please go to Be sure to use this address: $PREML$. Please allow up to 1 week for us to remove your email address. You may receive further emails from us during that time, for which we apologize.

View our Privacy and Legal Policy.

The Sharper Image
350 The Embarcadero, Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

We couldn't get much higher

I've long been a disbeliever in most medication. My experience with pharmaceuticals grade medicine is that it merely masks the symptoms. Rather than providing a cure, most modern medicine is symptom relief. Apparently, the folks at Cafe of Life feel we're popping too many pills these days and made a rather humorous flash video for all of us to enjoy.

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Iraq War Leak Coverage on The Daily Show

Should one be sad, pissed, or amazed with this story from The Daily Show with John Stewart? Granted, John Stewart's impersonation of Bush is pretty week, but the Information confusing the brain bit is about as funny as it gets.

YouTube - Daily Show - Leak

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Monday, December 04, 2006

The Godzilla Building

When I was a kid, the Godzilla movies were some of my favorite. In my young age, I didn't notice things like a zipper in the front of the Godzilla suit. My imagination was wild, and I really thought that Godzilla existed over in some foreign land where everyone ran around with an early Beatles haircut. Of course, I would catch only the latter part of the film, so I wasn't aware that Godzilla movies had plots. Although, now that I think about it, I'm still not sure if they have a plot.

Anyway, when my friend Keen sent me the Ironic Sans blog about a building in the shape of Godzilla, I nearly died laughing. Yet, this is actually a brilliant idea. Mr/s. Ironic Sans has really thought this through, from the apartments above Godzilla's nipple to the fountain in the shape of Godzilla's footprint. Something I think would be a great addition to the fictitious building would be an elevator on the front of Godzilla in the shape of a zipper!

Ironic Sans: Idea: A building shaped like Godzilla

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

SkyMaul on Amazon

For those of you who enjoy reading SkyMall on the airplane, the folks at The Kasper Hauser Comedy Group bring you a spoof with SkyMaul, available on Looking for an iPod shredder? SkyMaul is the place for you. SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane: Books: John Reichmuth,James Reichmuth,Robert Baedeker,Dan Klein

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Great Copy Equals Record Selling Shoes

I'm sitting in my office and I receive an email from the from the assistant to Dr. Joe Vitale. Vitale? That name sounds really familiar. I pull up his website: Yet, Dr. Vitale goes far beyond his website. He has a blog: But there is even more. For those of you who have seen "The Secret", you will recognize Dr. Vitale as one of the several powerful contributors to this transformational film.

Dr. Vitale has written dozens of books (and multi-media products) on marketing, positive manifestation, and empowerment. He is a best selling author as well as a best selling eBook author on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This is merely a glimpse into the success of Dr. Vitale. Given Dr. Vitale's background, you can understand why I am beside myself when the next day starts off with him telling me that he loves the copy I wrote for the Gadget Universe Gravity Defyer shoes.

I've been pinching myself all week. It's hard to fathom that a master of marketing would have such great compliments for my copy. I enjoy writing, so to have my work validated by someone like Dr. Vitale is a phenomenal compliment and a tremendous professional accomplishment. The pinching stopped today when I received an email from Dr. Vitale and checked out his latest blog. I have my interview with him Monday morning at 8 o'clock! Early bedtime on Sunday for me.

Here is Dr. Vitale's original post regarding the copy I wrote for the shoes. I am so excited about my accomplishment! Adding to the recognition from Dr. Vitale is the recognition from consumers. The Gravity Defyer Shoes are outselling the next best selling product in the Gadget Universe catalog by 2 to 1, and they are the fastest selling new product in the history of the catalog. Keep a lookout for a new version of the two-page ad coming to SkyMall Q1 of 2007. A single page version of the ad is being prepared for my 2007 magazine campaign.

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Thursday, November 30, 2006

One in the same

Yesterday, I posted a blog regarding a Wednesday morning's Adam Corolla show. A friend of mine from high school posted a very good question on my myspace version of the blog. I started off with a very simple explanation of "one & the same" vs. "one in the same", then realized that I should write a whole other blog about it. So here it is:

There is a difference between "one & the same" and "one in the same". People will argue that the original is "one & the same" and therefore "one in the same" is a phonetically butchered version of "one & the same". In my opinion, this is not the case. These two phrases mean different things.

The notion of "one & the same" implies that you and I (and everyone) are a single unit and that we are the same. To me, this creates a type of uniformity between all of us. While, I can agree with the single unit aspect of this phrase, I disagree with the uniformity. I do not believe that we are all the same. We are each unique human beings with different personalities, desires, experiences, etc. So, in my opinion, we are not one & the same.

I do believe that we are one in the same. In this phrase, we again imply that you and I (and everyone) are a single unit. So, what is meant by "in the same"? What I mean by "in the same" is simply humanity. Humanity implies no similarity other than that we are human beings: bipedal animals with a high degree of intelligence (most of the time).

What does humanity mean to me? It is the state of being humane, which implies empathy and compassion. To me, being empathetic requires an acute awareness of the experiences of others. I don't mean just knowing what someone did or said. Empathetic experiences are such that you actually experience another person's experience as if you were him/her. Empathy ties directly back into our oneness. True compassion is not possible absent of empathy. Compassion is essentially empathy coupled with the desire to alleviate the suffering of another. This too ties into our oneness in that the suffering of another is suffer for us all.

This bring us back to the very good question that my friend raised: "why is insulting black people with a racist word worse than insulting overweight people?" The answer is simple. Put yourself in the space of the world created by the N-word. What does this word really imply? What is the history behind this word? What are the emotions, the pain and suffering behind this word? What is really meant when one use the N-word? Really get present to the significance of this word. The N-word is not some inconsequential word. Behind the N-word is the essence of inequality, hatred, inhumanity, indignation, humiliation, and separation. The N-word is to separate one human from another such that we are not one. It is to make someone not human. The N-word is everything that is is not to be a part of humanity. What would it mean to any of us if someone were to rob us of our own place within humanity? That is what it means when you call someone the N-word.

I don't mean to suggest that insulting someone about being overweight is not hurtful. I don't mean to invalidate the cruelty of insulting someone based upon their weight. I am merely saying that I am willing to take responsibility for what the N-word means in the world and not relegate the N-word to the same status as "cracker" or "fat ass". To me, the use of the N-word is to dishonor what it means to be human.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Lawyer vs. Sewer

Michael Richards is giving a whole new meaning to Kramer vs. Kramer. With his racist rant on stage the other day, everyone got to see a very sick side of Michael Richards. His follow up apology on The Late Show with David Letterman was a poor attempt by Jerry Seinfeld to help his friend out (as well as his Season 7 DVD sales). When Kramer kept referring to "Afro Americans" I just sat there thinking, "This guy has some serious pent up anger." He might as well have just used the N-word again. Kramer is an ass

I'd venture to guess that Michael Richards doesn't even distinguish between any shades of dark skin. He'd probably use the N-word to describe people with dark skin who don't even have roots in African, and he'd probably still refer to them as Afro Americans. Afro what? Of course, we all descended from Africa anyway, but I digress. The point is that Michael Richards' blow up at the Laugh Factory the other day was not to be blamed on alcohol or heckling. He just doesn't like black folk, it's as simple as that.

I don't think I will ever have enough to say about my disgust for Michael Richards. However, this blog is not about Kramer. This blog is about the Adam Corolla interview with Gloria Allred this morning. Adam brought up what he thought to be a very legitimate "logical" argument: Would Gloria be sewing if Kramer had exploded into a rant against fat people? Now, Adam and his crew felt like they had a reasonable argument. Certainly, calling an overweight person terms such as lard ass, fat ass, fat f*ck, etc are all derogatory terms aimed at hurting the feelings of someone overweight.

The problem with Adam's argument is that the United States Capital was not the auction house for selling fat people 200 years ago. The constitution of the United States of American did articulate the voting rights of people who owned fat people. The US Constitution did not have to be amended to provide fat people with the basic human right of freedom. More recently, the National Guard of Alabama did not have to have a stand off with State Troopers at a state run university when fat people attended the university. Bathrooms, dance halls, and restaurants were not separated into the fat people section and the non-fat people section. The United States government did not infect thousands of fat people with syphilis in order to measure the effects of the disease on fat people. The term fat ass is not derived from some racist southerner's lack of education on how to pronounce the country of origin of the fat person.

When he posed the question to Gloria Allred about whether she would be filing a lawsuit against Michael Richards if he went on a rant against fat people... I was surprised that she didn't tell just him that it's not the same thing. Sorry, Adam Corolla. If you want to call it the race card, that's your problem. Calling someone a fat f*ck is nothing like calling them the N-word. Although, just imagine what it would be like if Kramer called the guys fat a$$ f*cking N*s.

What I think is interesting is the proposal that Gloria Allred has put forth: An apology between in front of a retired judge by Kramer to the audience members (Kyle Doss and Frank McBride) at the Laugh Factory. The judge would then decide whether Michael Richards should pay any money for the pain he inflicted. I like the idea of the apology, but what really needs to happen is that Kramer needs help. What surfaced that evening is some deep routed anger that his pocketbook is not going to make any difference with. But how do you get someone to not be an angry racist? Perhaps one day, Kramer will realize that we are all one in the same.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Where are the cool gifts?

product imageI'm sitting here thinking about what to get people for Xmas this year. I think I'm just going to go the gift card route. Seriously, there's nothing that impressive out there.

Well, there is one cool little toy that would be nice to have, but that's the problem. See, I want the R2D2 droid from Hammacher Schlemmer (apparently, Shaper Image has it too). Hell! Did I spell that correctly? Anyway, I can't possibly get the droid for someone else. I want that for myself (hint, hint friends and family who have 120 bucks to spend on me this holiday season who read my blog!)

Click here for DetailsSo where does that leave my gift shopping for others? I know I'm going to get my nephew the R/C kite from Gadget Universe. The kids are the easy ones to shop for. I'll probably drop 20 grand on my nephew because there are plenty of cool toys for a cool five year old kid. However, what the hell am I going to get the adults in my life? I think I might just cop out and get all the men those Gravity Defyer shoes from Gadget Universe. Shoes with springs in them! Gotta love it.

Then there are the females. I have my mom, my three sisters (although one of them is far away so I can escape that way), and a handful of other great women in my life. Do I just goto Bath & Body Works to get them all some gift cards? That's not going to sound like me telling them that I think they smell, right? I would think Victoria's Secret, but I'm a little disturbed with the thought of getting my mom a card to a lingerie shop. Then again, they do have their Fashion Show coming up December 5.

I give up. It's John Mayer CDs for everyone.

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Global Surveyor is still around?

I totally forgot about the little bastard Global Surveyor. Apparently, NASA is again talking about how much work this thing has done and how they are going stop using it. Something tells me that there are Martians sitting there fixing the machine every time it stops for a rest. Why else would it have lasted so long? Clearly it is the aliens.

Farewell Tiny Dancer: Mars Global Surveyor May Be at Mission's End | Science Blog

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Arrogant teachers

I'm not sure what was in the air around teachers during the early part of 1994. During the same time as the letter below (1994), I had a teacher argue with me over whether one private citizen could sue another private citizen for violating his "civil rights". The evening after I argued with my teacher in front of the class, I spoke with my father regarding this subject.

My father was going to the law library that evening anyway, so he took a little extra time to find me the exact law regarding this particular subject. Clearly stated in the letter of the law was the term "color of state". This term essentially means that civil rights violations apply to the state and local government and government agencies, not an average citizen like you or me.

I brought in the copy of the law that my father had made for me and handed it to my teacher. He apologized in front of everyone and then thanked me for taking the initiative to follow through on the pursuit of education.

Well, this wasn't the case with the teacher at some school in some town, who knows where? Just take a look at this letter posted on entensity. - Post Images

I had to do a double take when I read this. WHAT!?! My favorite part is the second to last paragraph:

Although he was correct, Alex's actions show a blatant disregard for authority, and a complete lack of respect for his school. In the future, Alex would be better off simply accepting my teachings without resistance.

Honestly, this is impressive. I give this teacher the honorary 1994 lame a$$ of the year award. Thank gawd for kids like Alex. Thank gawd that there are people who are not willing to just listen to an arrogant teacher who believes that we should simply accept his/her "teachings without resistance." Thank gawd that we have people who are willing to stand up to authority figures who are clearly in the wrong.

While this is a rather trivial issue (especially since the great metric takeover never took place), it is an excellent example of the arrogance of some teachers. By no means am I suggesting that all teachers are like this. As my example from my own schooling shows, there are teachers who are willing to support the pursuit of education rather than their own ego and control issues.

Damn! Now I need to go find my inner peace. This kind of stuff really gets me riled up. I hope Alex's teachers brought this letter to the principal's attention. If that didn't work, I hope they brought it to the super intendant's attention. If that didn't work, I hope they brought it to the state board of education. If that didn't work, I hope they stated civil unrest in whatever town they were in! Alright, I think I've vented enough. My inner fields of daisies have been found. :-D

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Lindy wins the 2006 US Open Showcase Champion

There's a bit of a rivalry between Lindy Hop and West Coast Swing. Hoppers, as Lindy Hop dancers are sometimes called, claim that West Coast Swing is slow and for old people, while the West Coast Swing dancers (sometimes referred to as westies) claim that Hoppers lack technique and smoothness). The rivalry is mostly playful, but it is playful in a Cold War kind of way. Well, the best thing for both styles of swing dance happened this weekend: A Lindy routine won the Showcase division of the US Open of Swing Dance.

Despite the title "Open", the US Open of Swing Dance is primarily a West Coast Swing event. People will cite various reasons for this. My opinion is that the West Coast Swing performances have been much better than the Lindy Hop performances over the last couple of decades. Since West Coast has consistently won the US Open titles, the Hoppers have slowly stopped showing up to the event. That is, until Ben Morris came to town (yes, Ben has been around for a while, but I'm trying to add some draaama to this story).

At the young age of 3 months (I keed, I keed, but Ben is very young), Ben is already an accomplished Lindy Hopper AND West Coast Swing dancer. Now, this talented cross-over performer has won the Hope Diamond of the Swing Dance world. The Showcase Division of the US Open has recently seen winners such as "So You Think You Can Dance" winner, Benji Schiwmmer and his partner Heidi Groskreutz (also a SYTYCD finalist) and "30 Seconds of Fame" winners, Jordan Frisbee and Tatiana Mollman. Past US Open championships have sported the likes of Mary Ann Nunez and Robert Royston.

I know there are many other swing dance legends from the past that I'm not mentioning here because I don't know them off the top of my head. I'm not professing to be an expert on US Open history. The point is that Ben has accomplished something great here. This is not just because he had a wonderful performance. It is also because he brought Lindy back to life at the US Open. Huge congratulations to Ben Morris on his Showcase win at the 2006 US Open Swing Dance Championships.

Click here for the complete 2006 US Open results

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Alternative Fuel

My friend Keen sent me the following Alternative Fuel Station Locator. Then we got to talking about the various alternative fuels. The conversation transitioned to hybrid vehicles. The big question being: What do we do with the giant batteries in the hybrid vehicles and how long does it take for those to bio-degrade?

Clearly, hybrids and electric vehicles are not the best direction to go. The electricity needs to be developed somewhere or the batteries need to be disposed of somewhere. My idea of just taking the materials into the dessert, burying them, and then nuking them was not well received. So, we came up with another alternative fuel: hemp.

Road rage would drop to nothing. In fact, people would enjoy getting cutoff on the freeway by the old piece of $hit car with tons of smoke coming out the tailpipe. Gridlock would be something that we all look forward to. And just imagine how many more people will want to park in parking structures. Also, suicide by way of auto emissions would be a thing of the past. In fact, anyone trying to kill themselves that way would probably cure their depression. We have hemp clothing, ropes, soap, etc. Why not have a hemp powered vehicle?

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Who the Hell are the Beatles?

Has anyone heard of this band, "The Beatles"? I suppose that after having realized that there was a human on Earth who has not already purchased a Beatles cd, iTunes was the next step towards world domination for the Beatles. You know, I don't see Jesus on iTunes. Maybe Lennon was right

Original blog posted on CrunchGear from a CNN article
Beatles Coming to iTunes?

After years of deliberation and resistance from Beatles management, it appears that a deal may soon be struck to bring Beatles music to digital formats for MP3 player consumption. Oddly, speculation currently indicates that the Beatles might first be released exclusively on iTunes. No word as to when, but David Munns. the head of EMI, has said it will be “soon.”

Users can currently search through Beatles albums on both iTunes and the Zune Marketplace, but neither store has an option to purchase. This amuses me immensely since in his piece “Trying Out the Zune: IPod It’s Not,” David Pogue gleefully wrote of the Zune Marketplace:

At the very attractive but dog-slow Zune store, for example, you can either buy songs ($1 each) or rent them (unlimited songs for $15 a month). But Microsoft’s store doesn’t sell TV shows, movies or audio books. The music catalog is much smaller — 2 million vs. 3.5 million on iTunes — a fact that Microsoft ham-handedly tries to conceal by listing stuff that it doesn’t actually sell, like Beatles albums.

I guess when Apple does it it’s not a ham-handed concealment, but rather a clever lifestyle alternative for Mac fanboys to rally behind. At any rate, it seems Apple is currently hammering out the exclusivity term that will secure the Beatles on iTunes for an undisclosed period of time. Seems like a foolish move on behalf of Beatles management though. The Beatles should be released simultaneously onto all mediums, not exclusively onto one.

Beatles: only on iPod? [CNN Money]

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Kiwi Ambition

The symbolism of this movie is incredible. While cute and innocent, the kiwi is not immune to the trappings of desire and want. Please watch this Kiwi animation

Kiwi! »

A few questions are raised by this short film. First, how far is one willing to go in order to have what is wanted in life? Clearly, the Kiwi has gone beyond what is ordinary in his life in order to achieve a goal. In fact, a singular goal that he is willing to sacrifice his existence for. A goal that he clearly feels is his innate right as a bird to have but cannot because he does not have the faculties in which to experience this.

The next question is what has it for us to want something so bad that we are willing to sacrifice our existence in order to have it. Yes, the animation involves a flightless bird who will stop at nothing in order to have the experience of flying. It is just a bird and just an animation. Yet, we human beings kill ourselves regularly in pursuit of the same "innate desires". Literally, he has sacrificed his life in order to have the experience that he could not have from birth. Yet, he feels strongly enough about this desire to fly that he is willing to kill himself for the experience.

In his pursuit of flight, the kiwi was already dead. His entire life was spent pursuing something that he felt was his innate right of which he was robbed, having been born a kiwi, a flightless bird. Rather than being happy with what he does actually have in life, he focused on his wants so much that he became blind to the fact that he was ultimately going to kill himself.

None of this makes the kiwi, or humans, in pursuit of an innate desire bad or wrong. But it does raise the question for me as to where I am killing myself off in my pursuits of my innate desires. This short film is more than just a cute commentary on a flightless bird. Yes, kiwis are cute. I've seen them up close and personal. They are adorable birds. However, this animation (cleverly disguised as a cute film) is a powerful representation of just how insane we can be in our pursuit of our "innate desires".

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