April 2008

April 25, 2008

Carbon Grove

My friends Hillel, Jenny, and Walter at Jackson Fish Market built a lovely site called CarbonGrove, a carbon reduction reminder service and launched in Earth Day this year.

You answer a few questions then they give you some tips on how to reduce your carbon emissions. You can then plant one of the beautiful trees Jenny designed and then watch it grow.

One of the cool things they did on the site is build a WebSlice that let's you easily watch your tree grow in IE8. (WebSlices are a new feature in Internet Explorer 8 beta 1 that allow you to subscribe to part of a web page.)

Here's my tree (named "Chortle"):

Check it out!

(Disclosure: my team helped sponsor this project.)

Posted April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Smooth Talking Kid

Categories: Kids

At my birthday party last week (eek, 40!), Michael (7) was talking to my friend Kristen.

Kristen: "What are you going to have for dessert?"

Michael: "You."

Kristen [with a practiced hand at batting away advances]: "Well, you know I'm not very sweet."

Michael [with a sly smile]: "Yes, but you're tasty."

Kristen: <silence>

I don't know where he learned that.

Posted April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Revolution Money Exchange

Categories: Random cool stuff

OK, I'm a sucker for "free" money. Ted Leonsis and Steve Case of AOL fame have started a new company to do electronic funds transfer, like PayPal, but without the fees for person to person transfer. I don't get their business model yet, but they're giving $25 to people who sign up for new accounts before May 15, 2008. They're also giving $10 for referrals, so if this sounds interesting to you, click the link below so we both get a little something...

Refer A Friend using Revolution Money Exchange

(Thanks to Leslie for the tip. She got my $10...)

Posted April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Big New Gadget

We recently joined the eco chic and bought a Toyota Prius (a loaded "package 6" in black). I thought we were buying a new car, but the Prius is really just a big gadget on wheels. We've had loads of fun messing with the Bluetooth phone stuff, backing camera, and the display that shows how the power is flowing around between the engine, brakes, and batteries.

The GPS mapping system has a really nice, sharp display -- much nicer than anything I've seen in a German or American car. The routing seems pretty solid and the performance is good.

We've also messed around with the voice recognition system, but they give long instructions after you push the button for each command ("After the beep, please say the command you might maybe want me to try and process even though you talk like a drunken two year old with a lisp") so it's not really very usable.

I love the keyless entry and starter. We can open the door and drive off without taking the key out of my pocket or Michelle's purse. I thought it was kind of a gimmick, but I love it. I wish I bought this option on my other car.

I know these features aren't really unique to the Prius, but this is the first car we've that had all the gadgets. Besides, the car just feels like a high-tech golf cart.

However, the best feature is the eco-smug feeling you get when you drive past an SUV.

Posted April 25, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

April 14, 2008

Lego Halo

OMG, I can't wait. Two of my favorite video game franchises in one. Read the whole article here.

Lego Halo screenshots

Thanks to JFM for the link.

(Update: Here's the original article from 1up.com)

(Update 2: I guess you really can't believe everything you read on the internet. I missed the fact the original article posted on April 1st. It would still be cool. Really. I'm going to go sulk now.)

Posted April 14, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

April 13, 2008

Whole Foods Black Forest Bacon

Categories: Food and Drink

We just had the Whole Foods branded Black Forest Bacon for breakfast this morning. Yum. It was meaty with just enough fat to be scrumptious and had a hint of sweet smoke.

You can find this treat in the meat case at Whole Foods. You'll probably see me in line at the Bellevue store getting more...

Posted April 13, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)

April 6, 2008

Rest Easy, Emma

Categories: Random cool stuff

I am unspeakably sad about the passing of a 4.5 month old girl I've never met. Emma was the daughter of two people I know through work, Matt and Ellen Kowalczyk. They're really acquaintances, but I feel incredibly close to them now. As Emma fought for her life, Matt blogged and Twittered about what was going on. After a mutual friend told me what was going on, I started following the story and got to know them through this very personal struggle, until it ended today with this Twitter

Goodbye, Emma, my sweet little fighter. You gave more to this world than most people give their entire lives. We love you. http://is.gd/4rM about 4 hours ago from twhirl

and this post. Ellen's Facebook status was another peek into what was going on.

At first, I admit I was a bit taken aback by how public they were being, but as with Chris' kidney thing earlier this year, I think the openness helped bring more of their extended network of friends in to support them. I'm guessing the writing was a helpful outlet as well.

I'm not sure if we'll ever be as open; we tend to be pretty private (even the kid stories I write about are highly selective and edited). That said, I feel privileged that the Kowalczyks shared their lives with me for a little while and let me know their daughter and her strength.

It's easy to think of the Internet as dehumanizing relationships, replacing personal contact with email, Twitters, and IM. In some cases it is, but with Emma and Chris, I was able to share a much deeper relationship and get much more insight into their lives than I probably ever would have in the pre-net world, and I'm grateful.

Posted April 6, 2008 | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)