Posts from September 2008

Music Hunting on 'Pampelmoose' thanks to Dave Allen

While exploring what Portland (Oregon) has to offer to the adventurous tourist and the curious mind, I stumbled upon the latest twist and turn in Dave Allen online adventures
Dave Allen was one of the founding fathers of Gang of Four, not the Chinese one, the British in case you care.

Dave is now hanging out his shingle on Pampelmoose.
I am not mentioning the site for its discussion of the state of online media bur rather its wide array of Free and Legal Music MP3 most recently Telefon Tel Aviv 'Helen of Troy' if you like synth pop.

If you like to broaden your musical horizons, go hunting for new tunes on Pampelmoose.

You can also Play or Download the Archives of Dave's New Music Show on Portland 94.7 FM.

Related: Eau de Vie to Indie Music Hotel Package...Portand (Oregon) offers things to Fall for

Top 10 Ethical Jeans Brands and more via 'Greenmystyle'

I would not call myself a dedicated follower of fashion.
Despite its blend of news and shopping, I felt that Greenmystyle ,a UK based site for fashion, beauty products and housewares was worth mentioning because of its focus on eco-friendly products.

Their Top 10 Ethical Jeans Brands feature (September 21) led me to discover Dutch brand KUYICHI which came in at Number 1 on their Jean Charts.

Interestingly enough Kuyichi has a Peruvian connection.
They state that "the name Kuyichi derives from the Peruvian god of the rainbow.
According to the legend, the rainbow god of the Taquile Indians became angry with the people and took all colours away from life.
After introducing and perfecting the art of weaving beautiful blankets, the Indians brought back the colours of the rainbow to the world".

The story has a nice touch to it.


A snapshot of their Fall-Winter Collection (above) is my illustration, Bohemian Chic?

For tea lovers, I also noticed Greenmystyle review of the Eco Kettle which helps reduce water waste amongst other things.

Have you tried it?

A comfy, homely Green Day #46

Last week: Earth Friendly Wedding Tips that Might Even Save You some Green

Related: 2008 is the International Year of the Potato. Did you know?

Richard Ellis interview wets my appetite for more of 'Tuna: A Love Story'

While grabbing my second espresso of the day, I had the good luck to turn on the radio and catch the end of Richard Ellis interview by Leonard Lopate on his book Tuna: A Love Story (Borzoi Books-Knopf, July 2008).

The author wet my appetite for more details on his book with his description of the long trips that live Bluefins take (they can make it from Japan to California and back).
After being caught say in Massachusetts, they might be shipped to Japan to be sold and then come back to the US shores in some form to be found on some of the top restaurants tables.
The myth of fresh tuna was laid to rest (most is frozen).

Richard Ellis also makes us realize that the Sushi mania is a relatively new phenomenon (30 years maybe).
Not so long ago, no one wanted to buy Bluefin so it was used for Pet Food.

Tuna: A Love Story worries about the possible extinction of Bluefin and its consequences for the eco-sytem.


Christine Thomas in her August 17 Review (Miami Herald) feels that "this comprehensive book carries a tone of resignation about the tuna's imminent extinction".

John Balzar in his July 20 Review (LA Times) highlights "sushi and overfishing: How the human appetite is sending a majestic fish toward extinction".

Richard Ellis is also a well known painter of Marine subjects.

Related: Basa, Dab or Vietnamese Clams, Sustainable Fish from A to Z

Bad Bosses Are Energy Vampires says Steve Miranda

I might not have called them vampires even though Halloween is fast approaching yet who has not met a manager or higher up who does not have a clue as to how to speak to her/his staff.
They usually choose a time when everyone's positive spirit and energy are needed to give a demotivating speech.
They suck the air if not the blood out of their crew who then head into the day or the task at hand feeling beat up, demoralized.

Call them the demotivators.

During the rough economic patch that we are traveling on right now it is even more important that people in teams feel reassured, should I say comforted rather than threatened so they can give the best care possible to their clients and customers.
It is key to the survival of their business.

Thanks to You Think Your Boss Is Bad? by Tara Swords (Washington Post, September 28) for getting me pumped up on this topic.

This is where the 'Bad bosses are energy vampires' statement by Steve Miranda comes from.

The article byline 'Some Managers Can't Manage. What to Do If You've Got a Boss Who Only Makes Things Worse' says it all. It first looks at a very common trait 'The Boss's Way or the Highway'.

A lot of these problems occur because some of the people given or at times thrown into management positions have neither the personality, training nor the skills to manage especially when it comes to people.

Situations like that could be dangerous for your health.

Should some job offers come with a warning label.

Sorting out the laundry for Monday Work Etiquette #56

Last Week: Elements of Style: Knomo Bungo, A Cool Laptop Bag for the 'Just Over 50' Crowd?

Are You and Money on the Rocks?: Tips for Making Up (via Carrie and Danielle)

In my ever growing web of connections, when the connection is tenuous it can take me a minute or two or three to remember who they are.
That's exactly what happened when Carrie, half of Carrie and Danielle told me of their new and better site.
Their motto 'How to live a better life, be true to you and make a difference in the world' sounds like a full plate.

Amongst their recent stories Are You and Money on the Rocks?: Tips for Making up with Money (Pearl Mattenson) is very timely.
Reminded me of "How Much is Enough? Harness the Power of Your Money Story - and Change Your Life" (Basic Books, 2002) by Pamela York Klainer.

Carrie and Danielle mix it up, from Yoga and Digital Nomads to more gossipy stories on Men and Fashion, not to forget the daily Q and A.
Maybe they should drop the jargon as in LIP Lifestyle? Location Independent Living is a mouthful yet clearer.

Their themes at times do interconnect with my Consumed to Thrifty thread.

See for yourself.

Related: Marshmallows, Life and Money: Under the magnifying glass in 'The Time Paradox'

Eau de Vie to Indie Music Hotel Package...Portand (Oregon) offers things to Fall for

Build a niche and they will come.
Test driving yet another travel site this morning landed me in Portland (Oregon).
As Oregon Bounty is about to kick off its two month run on October 1st, Portland showcases 9 local favorites.
They go from Free to Fee.
Want to know how Eau de Vie (think Pear Brandy) is made and let a taste of it go to your head, Clear Creek Distillery is a must see (and Free).
Their inspiration comes from old European traditions such as those from Alsace.
They use only Oregon fruit.
I would not mind trying their Eau de Mirabelle.
For details on all 9 Favorites, view (and/or print) the Experience Oregon Bounty in Portland Metro vouchers.

Besides its thriving restaurant and food scene and its role as a hub for all things bicycles, Portland is also home to many bands.

Want to delve into the local creative cauldron while enjoying a comfortable stay, Travel Portland partnered with IndieMusicPortland to offer an Indie Music Hotel Package.

As music fans age, the mud and dust and crowds don't sound that attractive so here's a way to get an earful without giving up on creature comforts. Reminds me of the All Tomorrow's Parties events.

The only thing left for me to do is to make it there, some day.

While in town, catch a movie:
Living Room Theaters: A Movie, A Glass of Wine and a Bite...All in one place

Let's Talk Road Signs...Like 'Yield to Pedestrians'

I don't jump in my car for every errand I have.
When I do, I keep my eyes opened for traffic signs.

The BBC Magazine asks What makes a good road sign? (September 25).

The 'Stop' sign is clear and uncluttered while 'No Stopping' sign is confusing.

The tracks on 'Skidding' sign below are just weird.


What drives me nuts when I walk around town is drivers who just ignore pedestrians who are already crossing the street.

Some of them besides not giving the right of way don't even slow down.

My town of Montclair started a campaign to fight that with Stats posted for all to see.


My friends at  Baristanet give us an update with Pedestrian Sting Penalty: $440 (picture above from their story).

File under pet peeves

Related: Can you Walk or Ride your Bike Down the Street without being Run Over?

11 Rules of Mikado Baseball Team in 1908 Japan (via Japan Times)

Sports pundits never fail to amaze me on the rare occasions when I watch TV.

I even joke that it could be a great career change for me to become one of them as 'The French Guy on Baseball'

I get the ball rolling today with this bit from the land of the rising sun.

Edan Corkill of the Japan Times goes back a century with Japanese and the Baseball Game and shares with us 8 of the 11 Golden Rules of the Mikado Baseball Team in Japan (circa 1908):

"1. Under no circumstances will we throw a game. Leaving entirely out of consideration the moral aspect of the question, dishonesty with the public is bad business policy.
"2. Under no circumstances will we play for a smaller admission price than twenty-five cents. This must be paid by every one, both men and women. If a game is worth seeing it is worth paying for.
"3. We positively will not admit free of charge the relatives of friends of ball players, managers, magnates, stockholders or officers. We are not running a charitable institution.
"4. We positively will not admit at any stage of the game children who are unaccompanied by their parents. Children must be pretty small to get by our ticket taker.
"7. We carry our own tickets for both gate and grandstand. We sell and you take. When you are ready to settle count the tickets you have taken in, figure your share of the receipts and we pay you instantly.
"8. We always reserve the right to use two umpires, one of whom will be furnished by us.
"10. We are willing to furnish you all the free advertising matter you can use to advantage. But don't expect us to pay for putting it up. You ought to have enough to look after that yourself.
"11. Settlement must be made for each game as it is played. We positively will not wait until the end of the series."

Amazing piece isn't it.

Baseball as entrepreneurship.

Gary Ashwill (Agate Type) in Jap Mikado (May 2006) names Goro Mikami as the first Japanese to play professional in a US team.

A trip to the Ballpark for Tokyo Thursdays # 57

Previously: All You Can Eat Phone, Is Glam the rage in Tokyo!?

For Laid Off Bankers and the Rest of Us: 'Holidays that won't break the bank'

Rather than rush into the next job, assignment or client's assignment taking a week or two off to clear your head might be the best idea you might come up with.

The cash flow position is not what it used to be.
Here comes, Benji Lanyado, The Guardian's budget travel expert with Holidays that won't break the bank from Cape Verde and Mexico to Tunisia which the tour operator quoted in the piece Aspects of Tunisia calls the best bargain on the Mediterranean.
OK the prices are for UK travelers.
It might still give you some ideas beyond the usual suspects.

Related: Travel, Don't Tour and Please, Slow Down: Eco Friendly Vacation Tips

Travel Global, Think Local thanks to PlanetEye 'Local Experts'

Not another travel site, you might say.
Yes another travel site.
I did not know PlanetEye in its first iteration.
This Canadian born endeavor relaunched with a new look and features on September 20th.

Their 'Travel Packs' remind me of the themed playlists on Rhapsody for example.

The 'where would you like to go' search box is convenient.

I put it to the test with Toulouse.

They did not offer any local expert for 'la ville rose'.

A number of hotels, restaurants and museums came up. A lot of the information seems culled from the New York Times food and travel sections.

What I liked best of all their offerings is the so-called 'Local Experts'.

For 'couleur locale' Some German bands to get you started by Jacinta Lodge (an Aussie expat now based in Berlin) hits the spot.

Pablo Juan Augustinowicz (their man in Buenos Aires, born in Toronto) opens our eyes on The Great Alfajor (never had one) which he describes as "a sweet snack made from a smear of dulce de leche sandwiched between two soft-crumbly-buttery-round cookies."
Sounds like a cholesterol killer.

So my overall take on PlanetEye is good design, means well, could use a little more passion.

I am sure that more information will be added as they get more visitors, a work in progress.

Registration is required in order to create 'travel packs', add your own reviews and geo tag your photos.

Recent travel bit: No More Fear of Flying with 'NoFlights' (Traveling without Flying)