Blogs

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This post probably won't appeal to many of my readers, but I decided to write it anyway because I've spent an extraordinary amount of time testing, recording and publishing two YouTube videos on my razor reviews.

In any case, the first video is a review of the Feather Double Edge Razor - Popular model. Overall, it's a great starter razor, but it's plasticky handle and neck may turn off some buyers. The second video is a comparison between the Feather, the Gillette Fusion and a Panasonic Wet/Dry Electric Shaver.

I'm also thinking of doing some reviews on other shaving related paraphernalia (ie. shaving creams, brushes, aftershaves) but wanted to see what the response to this was before I scare away any more readers.

Toys for Girls - Flying Lentils

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I'll get straight to the point, I need some help...If you haven't already guessed by the title or the picture in this post, I need some suggestions on what kinds of toys to get for our little girl of 18 months. Some of you may be wondering why it took us this long to buy gender-specific toys for her, but I suppose deep down inside I was hoping she wouldn't be a "girly-girl."

The other reason is that I wanted to be sure that any toys we bought would be used and not just tossed on the side. In any case, this all started because lately we've been noticing that our little girl really enjoys wearing accessories (hats and especially shoes) and cute outfits. The icing on the cake for me was when we went to my cousin's house and there was a baby doll on the ground and she started playing with it (trying to feed it and put a blanket on it).

So now I turn to you my friends, what are some basic toys that a 18-month-old girl might enjoy? I'm thinking baby doll and can't think of much else...So chime in and help our little girl out...Thanks!
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I have been and always will be a Mac. In fact, you might even say that I'm an Apple. I can proudly say that my very first computing experience was with an Apple IIe and I enjoyed every minute of it.

I cherish those times immensely. I can remember spending hours on that IIe, swapping disks, loading programs and studying how it worked (probably harder than in school) - only to be interrupted by dinnertime.

In short, that single computer, your creation, inspired a lifetime of choices: taking up graphic design, journalism, web design, starting an ISP and even programming.

Subsequently, I went on to owning more Apple products (e.g. Mac LC, original iMac, eMac, a powerbook and most recently, almost all of the iOS devices)

I've stuck with the Mac through thick and thin - through the crashy, extension-ridden & preemptively multitasking operating systems 6 - 9 (btw, Mac OS 8 was a long wait...) to the highly evolved OS X. I happily bought every single version of OS X, from it's beta form (Cheetah) to Snow Leopard (Lion soon, hopefully) and experienced the shift away from IBM-based (PPC) CPUs to Intel-based CPUs.

At times it was tough, I witnessed it all firsthand: the industry & peer discrimination, the media constantly calling Apple beleaguered, the Mac market share dropping below 4% and Apple almost going bankrupt in the 90s. It was heartbreaking, and yet, when one looks at the Apple of today, having the greatest market cap in the world (near or exceeding Exxon), it's very easy to forget the past...
But, I won't and can't because I know how hard you worked as the iCEO, then as the CEO, to grow the company to where it is now. I know how much of your heart & soul you & so many other countless employees gave to making it insanely great.

In so many ways, you have been a such a huge influence on my life. You've taught me perseverance and patience at the same time.

Thank you, Steve. Thank you for inspiring me in so many ways and being such a positive influence on my life.

P.s. And although I never had the chance and honor to meet you in person, your passing has touched me in a deeply personal way.

Amitābha

Tech on Tuesdays: MovableType - Flying Lentils

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As it's already 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, I'm not sure I'll be able to finish this post today but if I do, it'll get published it late tonight...but Tech on Tuesdays is another kind of regular post that I'd like to start...Let's hope I have enough content to write about...In any case, today's post will be about the current CMS (content management system) that I'm using, called MovableType.

In some ways, if you know how to use one CMS, you can easily learn another one...the conventions are all pretty much the same (listed a few below):

  • Pages (sections of your site - ie. home, about, contact, etc.)
  • Entries (Posts that you've written or are being written)
  • Assets (Media files - pictures, pdf, mp3s, etc.)
  • Tags (Words that describe your post)
  • Comments (Readers input on published posts)
  • Design (Change the look and feel of your site)
  • Settings and Tools (Site management options)
So, why chose MovableType over other platforms (ie. WordPress, Typepad, etc.) that have more themes, plug-ins and extensions available to them? I felt MovableType was more flexible and more importantly, I needed a system that could "manage" multiple sites from one point of entry...and MovableType fit the bill. I am aware that WordPress does have a multiple site feature, but in my testing, the WordPress install seemed very picky about how it was installed...Basically, I just didn't want to deal with it...

In any case, I'd like to dive into this further as we go along, but this entry is just meant to be a quick introduction to MovableType.
K_asleep.jpgDisclaimer: Before I begin, I'd like to say that I'm not a professional or do I claim to be one and the views that I express in this post are just my opinions. Please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion or tell me that I'm flat out wrong...discussion is good and I can't possibly think of all the angles...That being said, here we go!

I originally started composing this post a few weeks ago and the intent of the article was to discuss how hard it is at times to come to an agreement about "parenting style," however, I think I'm going to keep the tagline "Parenting, Discipline & Consistency" and change the sub-topic as the content of the article changes.

In any case, as you've probably already guessed, today's topic is sleeping...Now before I go any further, I just wanted to say that while I realize each child's sleep needs are different, the strategy we've established seems to be working pretty well. For example, in our case, our two kids (a 44-month old and a 17-month old) are in bed pretty consistently by 7 p.m.

iPhone 5 Launch Event...Confirmed - Flying Lentils

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iP4mi_us.jpgWell, today Apple made if official...There will be an iPhone 5 launch event on Tuesday, October 4th at Apple's Cupertino headquarters. The event is slated to begin at 10 a.m. Pacific Time. I think it's going to be a huge event...this week cannot go by fast enough.

For my thoughts on what MIGHT be unveiled, have a look at one of my previous posts: "Regarding the iPhone 5 Oct. 4 Media Event Date."

Maybe I was naive when I started this blog, but one of the things that I underestimated was the sheer amount of spam I'd receive once I started publishing posts regularly. A few readers, (ie. Thanks to @tokidote and @champuru) gave me some great suggestions on how they keep spam from filling up their comments "inbox."  Moderating comments is the last thing you want to be doing when that time could be better spent creating content.  Anyway, if you're curious, they suggested two plugins: Akismet (a long-time spam reducing plug-in) and another one called Karma.

So, with their advice, I looked to see if Akismet was available for MovableType (this site's content management system of choice) and sure enough, it was. As I was about to install it, I wanted to take a quick look at what MovableType had baked into their installation. Well, it turns out their default spam catcher is a plug-in set called SpamLookup. SpamLookup attempts to filter out spam by referencing blacklisted domains, links and keywords. Users can set the filter from 1 (the default, probably filtering out nothing) to 10 (filtering out everything), so I chose 7. I figured 7 would be a good start and I could always increase it if it didn't work well enough.

So after a few days of enabling SpamLookup, I can happily say that the time I spend moderating comments has decreased significantly and now only the occasional yahoo, gmail or hotmail account spam gets through...I suppose I could try to decrease the tolerance of SpamLookup, but I don't want to filter our actual comments (yet) hehe just kidding.

Anyway, if you have any questions about SpamLookup, Akismet or Karma, please let me know, I'll try to help as much as I can.

What's up with the Chicken? - Flying Lentils

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Since I launched this blog, several readers have asked me what the banner with chicken means...I wish I actually had a profound answer, but the truth of the matter is that I haven't found anything suitable to replace it with...The other reason is that my primary focus for this blog has always been on content, I suppose in a way, I considered the design to be a dynamic work in progress.

Rest assured that our dear friend Mr. Rooster will be replaced by another banner in the near future. I'll probably get around to making some minor design changes. I think I want to add a tag cloud and some other fun plugins. If you have any favorites, I'll be glad to hear them.

Thanks and have a great week
iP5render.jpgEver since the news broke about the iPhone 5 announcement rumored on October 4th, I've been thinking about the timing of it.  But, before we talk about that, let's talk about the what we "think" we know. The news media and various tech blogs out there would like us to believe that they have some insider information about what will be unveiled that day.

Based on supply channels, prototype cases and artists' wishful renderings, the common denominators seem to be:

  • Two iphone models will be released:
    • iPhone 4s (same iphone 4 form factor with an A5 SOC "System on a Chip" design)
    • iPhone 5 (new "tear drop" form factor, wider, bigger screen and an A5 SOC)
  • Speech recognition integration by Nuance
  • 8 MP back camera
  • Near Field Communications (ie. Google Wallet functionality) capability
  • and lastly, the addition of Sprint as an iPhone 5 carrier. (Unfortunately, T-Mobile seems to be left out)
Ok, now that we've got that established, let's talk about the timing of the announcement. Since 2007, almost like clockwork, a new iPhone would be announced and sold at around the same time each year (June/July timeframe), this year, however the announcement seems three months late.  If we continue on the assumption that the announcement is on the 4th, would retail availability be on the 17th?

Which brings me to the question on my mind, will the carriers let customers who bought the iPhone 4 last July upgrade early to an iPhone 5?  If you feel that the carriers won't let users upgrade early, who in their right mind would upgrade to an iPhone 5 in July 2012 when the iPhone 6 should be coming out in three months.  Want to know my guess? My guess is that the carriers will be allowing subscribers to upgrade early to an iPhone 5 because if they don't, come July 2012, they could be afraid of massive customer churn. (ie. people moving carriers, etc.) These next two weeks can't go by quickly enough...

Anyway, I'd like to hear your thoughts, chime in and tell me what you think...
potty.jpgOne of the non-negotiable requirements for admission into preschool was that all incoming students have to be potty trained. I gotta tell you, we were cutting it pretty darned close.  If I had to make a guess, I'd say that when lil A entered preschool three months ago, he was about 90% potty trained. In other words, he was able to use the bathroom when we reminded him, but if we weren't careful or forgot to take him to the bathroom, the occasional accident did happen.

I think part of the problem was that he was being stubborn and didn't feel the urgency to graduate to underwear. (ie. why change to underwear when you can pee in your pants and just keep on playing?)  Luckily for us, things mostly came together right before school started and we crossed our fingers that peer pressure would take us the final 10% of the way. (The last 10% being that lil A would be able to tell us when he wanted to use the bathroom.) If you were wondering, the first few weeks were a little rough, with accidents happening during nap time, but nowadays, that doesn't seem to happen any more.

So, fast forward to our current situation...I'd say things are going very well, we don't have any accidents during the day anymore (watch us have one next week lol), however we still change lil A into a diaper at night just "in case." It's a routine that's worked for us in the past, but I know that some time in the near future, it'll be time for us to make the leap to wearing underwear 100% of the time. One of the ways we know that lil A's just about ready is that in the morning when he wakes up, his diaper is pretty much dry; then, when we take him to the toilet, the shi shi comes out really fast. :)

Now, I suppose the timing is right to think about strategies to get rid of that final diaper. In many ways, we're a bit hesitant to take that leap - maybe it's just that we're afraid of having to clean up lil A's sheet and blankets yet another time...I suppose for starters, we could get lil A up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, but that might might cause a disruption in his sleep patterns...lil A needs his sleep to be on his best behavior :)  That being said, before we make any kind of change, I turn to you for suggestions and tips on how we can make this transition as easy and clean up free as possible...

I'm looking forward to your creative ideas...ttfn & enjoy your week!