Archive for November, 2005
Thanks to NickStarr.com for posting the following coupon:
Speck Products is offering 75% off all 4G iPod, iPod mini, and iPod shuffle cases until Dec 1 with coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2005.
The ToughSkins received especially great reviews from Playlist. I’ve been wanting to get one for a while, so tonight I finally placed an order.
I see the IVR Cheat Sheet coming in handy in the future. The table, created by the founder of the travel site Kayak.com, is a list of shortcuts to bypass various corporate phone systems and get to a human being.
travel phone steps to find a human American Airlines 800-433-7300 ”00, then say “”agent”“” Amtrak 800-872-7245 ”0 or say “”agent”“” Delta 800-221-1212 ”say “”agent”” four times – every time it asks for a response from you” jetBlue 800 JET-BLUE 1 flight status; 2 reservations; 3 vacation packages Kayak.com 203 899-3120 0 Northwest 800-225-2525 Star, 0,0 after initial greeting Southwest 800-435-9792 Calls answered by operator; during busy times you might have to hold United 800-864-8331 Do nothing, wait for human. US Airways 800-428-4322 4, wait, 1 Walt Disney World 407-824-4521 Direct line to Magic Kingdom Guest Relations
The full sheet includes shortcuts for a variety of industries, including finance, government, insurance, and retail.
Considering how much time is spent teaching students about the history of war, it is sad how little time is spent teaching peace. I’m always on the lookout for resources to help learn about the philosophy and practice of non-violence.
I ran across Stanford on iTunes online recently. In browsing the offerings, I found a great series of lectures hosted by the university’s Aurora Forum entitled “Waging Peace: Practical Approaches to a Violent World.” If you have iTunes installed, you can download the lectures for free. If not, the lectures are also available in streaming real audio via Bill Warters’ Campus-adr blog. I’m only a little over half-way through listening to them all, but the lecture by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi, was especially interesting and thought provoking.
On a related note, a series of lectures by the Dalai Lama is also available on the Stanford section of iTunes, as well as on the Stanford website. This makes me wonder what other universities make their guest lectures available online. I saw Alex Halley, Kurt Vonnegut, and Douglas Adams back when I was a student at the University of Texas at Austin and recently saw Madeleine Albright at St. Edward’s University. It would be nice to find more lectures like those available online.
Amanda and I toured the Cave Without a Name today with some friends. The cave is west of New Braunfels, about two hours from Austin. Formations include cave grapes (photo, right), a 40 scoop ice cream cone, a rooster claw helictite, giant cave bacon, a uvula formation, and soda straws. One of my favorite formation names was the “Leaning Tower of Boerne,” which is named after the nearby town of Boerne, TX.
Black Friday is almost here—lots of crazy deals, the day after Thanksgiving. If you’re interested, a site called Black Friday 2005 has already posted lists of what will be on sale at most major retailers. The Fat Wallet Forums also have plenty of information, mostly in the OFFICIAL Black Friday 2005 Thread.
I had been wondering recently about the meaning of the phrase “Hollaback Girl” from the Gwen Stefani song of the same name. Google pointed me to Wikipedia for the answer. I should have started there in the first place:
Although the term “hollaback girl” was never confirmed by Stefani, Greg Stacy of the O.C. Weekly assumed its meaning in the May 6, 2005 edition, writing, “Gwen is apparently the captain of the cheerleader squad; she is the girl who ‘hollas’ the chants, not one of the girls who simply ‘hollas’ them back.”
Are your written messages easy to read and understand? One way to know is to look at how often people respond positively to your requests; or whether they respond at all.
From there, I found links to a couple of web forms that analyze text for readability:
I’m trying out a new WordPress theme. I found it on a site called Theme Viewer, which has hundreds of WordPress themes to choose from. The design is called “Blueberry Boat” and it’s by a theme designer named Frances “Francey” Sun. Unfortunately, Francey’s site appears to be down, as I post this.
I’ve already tweaked the design a bit and will probably continue to tweak it some more, but so far I’m pretty happy with it.
And if you’re in Austin and you read this in time, they’ll be playing another show tonight at the same place. I didn’t make it in time to see the opener last night, but the Slackers took the stage at around 11pm and played a great, high energy show.
If you can’t make it to the Flamingo Cantina tonight, check out a few of their songs on myspace.com.
I’ve been wanting to subscribe to several magazines that I’m interested in writing for, but I was waiting until I could find the best deal possible. In scouring the FatWallet forums, I ran across two great resources. The first is a price search site for magazine subscriptions, called MagazinePriceSearch.com
MagazinePriceSearch.com saves you time and money by continually monitoring subscription prices for 2552 magazines from 24 online magazine merchants, plus 63 coupons, and compiling everything into one easy to use site!
Surprisingly, the other source of inexpensive subscriptions I found was eBay. In the end, for each of the three magazines I ordered this week, I found the best prices on eBay. I made sure to check seller ratings and that none of the sellers auto-renew the subscriptions, so it actually felt safer than ordering the same magazine from one of the dozens of discount subscription websites.