The big stamp

When you think about how the American (and world) economy is in bad shape, here’s a small note of cheer…

The US Government’s postal service is losing money — but they still can afford to make big and beautiful stamps.

(For scale, I’ve shown coins from America, England and Kenya.)

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PodCamp Denver!

PodCamp ideas white boardPodCamp is coming — this Friday evening & Saturday. If you’re in the front range of Colorado and are into social media, come. You can check it out here.

It’s first-come, first-served… so arrive early on Friday evening! We’re limited by the fire code restrictions.

(I took this photo at the last PodCamp in Boulder. That’s ideas for the agenda on the main day. Your idea can be on the agenda!)

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Simple solution

We got this vacuum cleaner about a year ago. My mom died and we inherited it.

Anyhow, I like the bag-less aspect. Heather doesn’t.

But the one thing that they did wrong is the power cord. It comes out of the side! A very simple way to make cleaning rugs with it easier: have the cord come out of the top of the handle! As it is, I have to hold the cord with the other hand to keep it from running under the brushes.

(And yes, I miss my mom. I wish she were using it and not us.)

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Bad buying decision

My artistic daughter (also my only daughter, as it turns out) wanted a camera — so she could capture images through her eyes.

Since I love taking photos of weird things, and since she thinks a lot like me in those ways, I was quite happy to get a camera for her birthday. Knowing she is not a discriminating consumer, I bought the inexpensive HP you see here from buy.com. It never worked right. You can see the little battery leak at the lower left corner. Somehow it drained the batteries so fast that she could only take about three photos before the batteries died. And by the time I figured it out, the warranty had expired. (And sadly, I could not even sell it with a clean conscience for a giveaway price on craigslist.)

Moral of the story? Sometimes it’s worth it to spend more to get a better whatever. The initial cost may be more, but it will cost you less in the long run.

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Hire the right person

This is a house. It looks like an office. The owner paid somewhere north of $4 million, I’d guess.

Mistake? The owners hired an office architect to build their house, rather than a proper architect who knows houses. Some architects operate well in designing both residential and commercial buildings. Not this one.

Takeaway? Hire someone who has proven themselves to be successful in the area you need help — not the field you’d like them to be successful in. (There is, of course, a place for giving people experience. But not in every arena. I’d hate to have an amateur do bypass surgery on my heart.)

I took this photo along the Highline Canal in Greenwood Village, Colorado. The poor quality is due to using my camera phone.

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They listened to me

We did a family grocery shopping trip the other day. I was thrilled to see the top of a Nature’s Path granola box.

In January, I blogged about how Kashi, a “natural” cereal manufacturer, had gotten things wrong by making their boxes much larger than the cereal inside required.

Nature’s Path read my post (not really — they probably figured it out on their own) and made their boxes in just right sizes to fit the cereal inside! Yay!!

(And yes, I voted with my wallet — I bought two boxes. Being on sale was a special bonus!)

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Use it or lose it

So many times I feel like I’m saying such basic things in my blog. Things you already know. But one thing I’ve learned in this life is that the lessons I know need to be learned again. And again.

In this case, it is the basic idea that if you don’t use something, you will lose it.

One of my current tubes of toothpaste was running out, so it was time to tap into the Museum to find a new one. I pulled out one of my very favorites — Trybol. Unfortunately, Colorado’s dry climate had taken its toll — the paste was rather hard. (But it is still usable.) If I had pulled it out a few years ago, it would have been perfect. Alas, I waited too long.

Moral? Use what you have. Now. For the purpose it was intended.

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New iPod Nano Review

The new iPod Nano surprised me. I expected to dislike it. However, I was pleasantly surprised.

It helps to think of this one as a different class of iPod than the previous generation Nano. If you try to compare it with the old one, you’ll be disappointed. (This one loses a decent video camera and the ability to play videos.)

Other than the high price for what you get, I consider this to simply just be an amazing iPod Shuffle. It plays music well — you can navigate songs. If you are a jogger with the Nike + kit, it will help you measure your run. There’s a cool FM radio. Finally, there are some great accessibilty features for those who need such.

If you don’t need all that the incredible new iPod Touch* offers — and can afford it — this one may be for you.

(I took the photos at an Apple Store with my phone’s camera — thus the poor quality. They don’t like anyone to take photos with a real camera inside their stores. I know. I tried once. And Justin Bieber? I had never heard him before, so I took that opportunity. I hope I don’t have to listen to him again.)

Funny enough, while I was there I played with an iPod Classic. I was amazed at how fossil-esque the interface now feels. (I had one before they were called the Classic.)

* My son Ben wanted the new Touch so much while we were at the store that he was willing to sacrifice his right arm. I didn’t let him.

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