Posts from October 2006

Customize your Messenger or Market Tote Bag with Timbuk2

Just realized today that I had not paid a visit to Bike Hugger in a while so I remedied to that right away. Good intuition as Byron led me to Timbuk2 and its Custom Bags.
I like the idea of being able to Build your Own Bag, be it a Market Tote, a Messenger or Laptop Bag . You can choose from a number of colors, fabrics, and options. It is an 8 steps process, clear and easy.
Who wants to carry the same boring bag than everyone else after all? Bachelor_pad
One thing I would suggest they add is the possibility that people personalize their bag with their own logo. It would appeal to small businesses, artists and the like.
I used their 'bachelor pad' messenger bag as an illustration.

An now get creative and travel in style or at least in color.

Can Restaurants afford Poor or Bankrupt Cooks?

Over the 15 plus years that I worked in the Restaurant world, I noticed a big change in the kitchen staff from mostly culinary school educated to mostly spanish speaking and self taught.
It does not seem that the cook's wages have changed that much and reading Staggered By Debt in the San Francisco Chronicle today put these things in perspective.
The article focuses in part on Ethan Winsby who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and due to the loans he incurred to study there is close to bankruptcy.
With the cost of studying at CIA or Johnson & Wales in the $30.000/ $40.000 range can someone afford to work as a cook for $10.00 to $15.00 an hour? Not everyone can be or become a chef of course.
Will people be punished for following their passion?
By the same token can someone who graduated from dishwasher to salad person to the grill without the culinary background deliver the goods, time will tell!

Take back your Time: Tips from the Desk of the Realtors

Yesterday I commented on Compulsive Talkers. Not only do they tend to irritate us but they also take our time. How can we put an end to a conversation without being rude?

This is one of the situations covered by Kelly Quigley in Top Time-Management Tricks on Realtor Magazine Online. Each Tip is given by a different Realtor so it adds a personal touch to it. Other tips that caught my eye were Do it now, not later (many of us procrastinate at times) and Just Say No (rather than taking assignments you do not want). Takeback_1

I first read about Kelly Quigley's piece on Lifehacker.

By the way today is Take Back Your Time Day 2006 whose logo graces this post.

This year marks the Second edition of this event which reminds us that Life is not just about Productivity, it is also about Sanity.

Have a good day!

Ready for a Computerized Chiropractic Tune Up?

Yesterday while taking care of errands for a New Jersey Concierges client, I run into a Chiropractor I have known for a while who was demonstrating a new system which I would describe as a 'Computerized Chiropractic Tune Up'.
The system called ProAdjuster is said to be built using some techniques originally used by the Nasa to test the tiles on the Space Shuttle. The program is said to check the state of your spine and your pressure points and then recommends a treatment.
Pro Adjuster will not change you into a rocket ready to orbit around the earth.

Would you rather trust a pair of hands as I do? I will let you be the judge.

Stephen Barrett of Quackwatch offers Tips on Choosing a Chiropractor.

A 'Mano a Mano' with Tempranillo and Mahon Cheese

You can't judge a book by its cover says the Willie Dixon song. That's exactly what I thought when the 'dog and pony show' of the Mano a Mano wine label Mano_a_mano caught my eye.
Anyway I went ahead an bought it? Since it was only $9.00, the worse thing that could happen would be for it to end up as cooking wine.
This Mano a Mano is a red wine, 100% Tempranillo also known as 'the noble grape' from the La Mancha appellation.
It is fruit forward and lightly oaky, unpretentious and will undoubtly be a new favorite in my Under $10.00 wine picks.
I tasted it with crusty bread, black olives aux herbes de Provence and two cheeses: Mahon (cow milk cheese from Menorca island) and Campo de Montalban (a semi firm cheese made of a blend of goat, cow and sheep's milks) also from the La Mancha-Castilla area to keep it all spanish.

Hello my Name is 'Bert' and I am a Recovering Compulsive Talker

If it was a comedy skit it could go like this': "Hello my name is 'Bert'. I am a recovering compulsive talker. Forgive me but I am currently experiencing a relapse".
I recently had to deal with a couple of people afflicted with the unability to realize that they should stop...talking. Once their lips started moving, it seemed like the person they addressed was at risk of being flooded by their words.
In such moments you would like to have the same remote as Adam Sandler's character in 'Click' .
You could also force the compulsive talker to listen to the whole 3 CD's of 'Shut Up' N play Yer Guitar' by Frank Zappa.
What would you do?

Opera 9 is music to my ears compared to slow mo Explorer 7

Today I keep walking on the software trail. After installing Internet Explorer 7 yesterday as I related in  Bad Links, etc... and being prompted to update this and that and check too many choice boxes and then being prompted to do the same for Windows Live Search, I was tired and annoyed that it took me so much time.

To stay honest, this morning I dowloaded and installed Opera 9 and it might have taken me a whole 5 minutes in comparison to Explorer 7 that factoring in Windows Live was more in the 30 minutes ball park.
It seems also that adding Windows Live Search functions to Outlook slows it down quite a bit.

My advice to Microsoft, in the future, let us install the basic functions first. We can worry about the add-ons later. This would speed the process.  My vote goes to Opera 9. Thank you.

Space Age Restaurants courtesy of Pret a Manger

Students of the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan (Italy)  in collaboration with local chefs composed a number of teams and came up with Pret A Manger, 8 Restaurant Conceps.

For example Gala (pictured here)  Gala invites customers to participate in creating their meal. Studio 10 offers space and furniture that can be reconfigured depending on the size of the parties and the intended use of the room.

Is it your idea of the Future of Restaurants?

Have any good or better ideas?

Share them!

Bad Links, Software Downloads, CNET and Internet Explorer 7

I take a tangent on the Tech Side today. After all, writing this site requires some technology knowledge or at least understanding.
Over the past few months, I have been trying various security suites. My favorites for ease of use and features so far are Zone Alarm and Trend Micro PC Cillin.
I mostly download the trials through CNET Downloads Page.
Today I saw that Grisoft most recent release AVG Anti Virus 7.5 (Pro Edition) was available. Download was a breeze. Problems occured when I tried to install the program. It kept requesting a Registration Number.
After trying 2 or 3 times, I decided to visit the Grisoft site, downloaded from there, I realized that there were links others than the 30 day trial option which I wanted. This time no problem with installation.
I guess CNET had the wrong link in its page.

Next I decided to download and install Internet Explorer 7. the download was quick but compared to Flock (maybe my favorite right now) and Firefox, the installation took maybe a whole 10 minutes. I guess it is quick by Microsoft standards. I have not had time to use the browser yet to have an opinion.

I will download '9' the new version of Opera as well to see what I would rather use as my main browser. Note that they offer neat browser solutions for your phone with Opera Mobile and Mini.
Another thing I have to consider since I think of using a mobile device such as the Nokia E62 to write on the go.

To conclude a few words to all these guys as an end user: Make it quick and easy to install. Keep it simple.