Stupid Mac thing


This may be a first, in my entire blogging history – me saying something bad about anything Apple.

Time Machine is an excellent part of Mac OS Leopard. It has saved my rear many times. (This is a backup feature whereby it transparently backs up your internal hard drive to an external drive, so that you can grab a file you deleted a month ago – or get yesterday’s version of that file you changed a lot. Or go into your email program and retrieve that email you deleted.)

The bad thing? When you are done retrieving that file, the way to exit Time Machine and return to normal life is by hitting the “Cancel” button. That’s stupid. It sounds like you will undo the file retrieval – when you just want to exit.

Apple: change the wording to “Exit” please.


The old retooling thing


I spotted this license plate and couldn’t miss the irony. Here is a journalist parking in downtown Chicago and they can’t afford any car except a rusted-out model. (Now I say that with awareness that a writer friend of mine drives the same car – and it’s a great car. Hers is in much better condition, however! And it’s a better car than our everyday car.)

Anyway, I’m not meaning to beat a good person when they’re down – but newspapers are closing, and any journalist that still has such a job is amazing.

Most journalists are retooling into some form of writers for websites and on-line news sources.

Takeaway: how are you working to retool today? I don’t say that to give you a gulit trip but rather to ask you to build onto your skills. I say that to myself too!


Lucid thoughts on the economy


Arianna Huffington and Tavis Smiley said some great stuff in the May 25th issue of Time magazine:

Arianna on poverty: “The World Food Program estimates that if you spend just over $2 billion, you can feed every schoolchild going hungry around the world. We actually need to look at the opportunity cost of what we are not doing when we are saving Citigroup.”

Tavis on unemployment: “A rising tide lifts all boats, but if you’re in a yacht and I’m in a dinghy, we still got a problem here. And that’s not counting the folks who are in the water but don’t have a yacht or a dinghy.”

Photos courtesy of the LA Times and FreshPlays.


A great drink


As it gets hot outside (for those of you in the northern hemisphere), you need something cool to drink.

My enviro-suggestion is a water with essence drink. All you do is put a herbal tea bag in the bottom of your glass, throw some ice on top, pour on some tap water, wait 5 minutes, and stir. You can add sweetener if you like, though unsweetened works for me.

It has a more subtle flavor than iced tea. The tea bag will last for at least two fills.

I paid $2 for 25 peppermint tea bags at Big Lots a few days ago, so the total cost per 14-oz glass is maybe 10c, even if I factor in the cost of the electricity it took to make the ice. (If you really want to get technical, I rode my bike to the store, so there was no fuel cost either.)



Real models?


It’s wonderful when a company uses a model that actually looks like someone who could use that product!

These two ads appeared in a local free advertising-only magazine. It’s the sort of publication that usually ends up in the recycle bin without opening it. (I sometimes have a quick glance through if I have time, as there are occasionally good coupons.)

This time two companies struck out. The plus-size shop used a non-plus-size model. The Life Alert people showed a lady who is most likely too young to use such a device. (My mom uses one, and they can be a genuine life-saver. But she is not young, and she would not mind my telling you that.)

Companies, please – there are beautiful mature ladies and beautiful plus-size women. Don’t be afraid to show them when they are your target audience.


I love Skechers


Skechers makes cool shoes – mostly of the casual variety.

About six months ago, a pair I bought at some outlet store started to wear out. Shoes normally last me a long time because I weigh so little. I was a bit frustrated that these had only lasted around six months. The little nibs were just a bad design, in terms of function. So I found that Skechers guarantees their shoes! I sent them back and got the opportunity to pick any new shoe they sold to replace them.

That’s customer service. The only thing imperfect about the exchange was that it took about two months between the time I sent them in and received the new pair. But I’m not complaining.


Colgate Wisp review


Colgate came out with a totally new concept, as far as I could discover… a tiny brush that has built-in paste. It’s a great idea. You just pack it in your purse (ladies) or pocket (men) – and when you need more of a clean mouth than breath mints can provide, voila! (Their website cracks me up – this product is pitched at a young audience of people who frequent nightclubs.)

It’s only about 3.5″ (90 mm) long. The “paste” is contained in that little red blob you see in the middle of the brush area. It gets released when you use it. Red is cinnamon and blue is peppermint. Flavor? fine. Clean mouth? yes.

Idea: A+ Execution: C+. It fails in that it’s just too short. I realized after using one that my mouth makes a seal around a brush’s stem when I brush. The Wisp is too short to allow this. So I get saliva all over, unless I’m really careful.

Finally, the packaging is excessive and wasteful. I’d vote for a longer stem that has interchangeable refill heads.

If you like this review, there are all manner of toothpaste reviews at The International Toothpaste Museum.


Bottled water

I have preached about the evils of bottled water here and here. But if you go to the iTunes store, you can see a free 6-minute video that says it better than I can. Search for “bottled water” under the iTunes U section.