First Full Day in Tulum, MX

Tulum is BEAUTIFUL. The trip took a little longer than expected, but
after a fun filled 24 hours outside of DFW, we finally made it (looong
embarassing story involving my passport). The adversity makes the
reward that much sweeter. Our cabana at Ocho Tulum is a stone throw
away from the crashing surf.

Today we went touring with Mani from Edventure Tours. He took us on a
zip line over the Cenotes. Afterwards, we snorkled one of the most
famous Cenotes, Dos Ojos. It was BEAUTIFUL. Amazing stalagmites over
crystal clear blue water. I'm looking forward to returning on Tuesday
to dive the same caves.

We continued on to the town of Akumal to swim with the sea turtles and
sting rays. After lunch, our last stop was snorkeling at Yal-Ku
lagoon. The brakish water is protected from the ocean so it was almost
perfectly still. Lots more fish to see.

Right now we're exhausted and hanging out back at the lodge sipping
Coronas and writing in our journals. Myshelle's convinced we'll have
enough energy to go Salsa dancing at the Friday night party at the
hotel down the street. We'll see.

I wish I had a computer so I could upload pictures. I'll have to take
some iPhone pics tomorrow, after our reef scuba dive.

Wish you were here.


Sent from my iPhone


Anybody Need An IT Guy?

Sorry for the dramatic headline. No, I'm not leaving ArcSource, just looking for more clients. I'm still very happy with my current employment situation. Working with small businesses is exciting and fun, I love being able to really help people, while getting to play with technology at the same time. Case in point, Kyle and I have recently revamped a pretty spiffy looking IT blog. Check it out if you're feeling curious. You'll find more of my favorite iPhone apps, a comparison of the new IE7 vs FireFox vs Google's new Chrome browser, all kinds of good info. So yeah, ArcSource has been great for me. My work week is VERY flexible which I also have really been enjoying. I'm also serious as cash about new client referrals. Email me if you know any small businesses in need of an awesome IT team.

I'm also sorry I haven't written in a while. I guess I haven't had much new to say. Halloween was fun, Myshelle and I stayed home and gave out candy to kids. Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I enjoy being a part of the experience for other kids in our neighborhood. Plus, it's fun to torture the dogs with silly costumes. This year, Batdog and Superpuppy kept a watchful eye over the dangerous El Cerrito suburbs. They wiggled around a bit when we first dressed them up, but after a couple minutes they're resigned to it and trot around the house looking all cute.

Not much else new going on. Myshelle and I are going to Tulum (90 minutes south of Cancun) in December. We're both really excited about that. I'm looking forward to hanging out on the beach, exploring the famous Mayan ruins, and also stoked about scuba diving the Cenotes (rivers that run through old caves).


Top 7 Must Have iPhone Apps

Download for free from the iTunes Store
Forget about searching for streaming radio stations, that's so 20th century. Pandora lets you CREATE your own radio stations. Just tell it the name of a song or artist you're in the mood for and it starts playing. As it plays, you can thumbs-up or thumbs-down songs to teach the software what you like. You can even create multiple stations. Works from your computer as well, so you can listen to and edit stations from your computer and then listen to and edit them on your iPhone. This is THE killer iPhone App. If you only download one thing for your phone, make it this.

Download for free from the iTunes Store
This is the application I use to show off just how nifty the iPhone is. Download and view thousands of gorgeous panoramic photographs. Navigate with your finger, zoom in and out with pinch, rotate your phone to switch from panorama to portrait in real time. Very beautiful. I was showing my architect friend some shots of Barcelona and she said Park Güell was even more beautiful than she remembered.

Download for free from the iTunes Store
Ever hear a song and wonder what it is? Wonder no more. Just hold your phone up to the speaker for 15 seconds and you'll have your answer. You get the artist, song title, album, even a link to purchase the song from the iTunes music store. In my experiments, this even worked in a crowded restaurant with the music barely audible. I don't know how it works, but it's darned impressive. The application even keeps a list of songs you've found so you can download a whole day's playlist when you get home.

Download for free (for a limited time) from the iTunes Store
Entering passwords on the iPhone is a pain, and even worse, it can't offer to remember passwords for you. This nifty little application can store and manage all your passwords so you don't have to. It can even sync with your Mac! I quickly set up the Mac application and extracted all the passwords out of FireFox and Safari. I was then able to sync them to my iPhone. Now my iPhone knows all of the hundreds of passwords my computer knows! It's only free for a limited time, so if you're interested, download it now and check it out.

Download for free from the iTunes Store
This one's from Apple and should have been included with the phone. You can use this to remotely control iTunes playback on any Mac on the network. If you have music playing from your computer, you can use your iPhone to browse through your whole song collection and fully control iTunes, including pause, volume, fast forward, track navigation, artist navigation, even assigning star ratingss to songs!

Download for free from the iTunes Store
For those not aware, Yelp is an amazing website that allows users to write reviews of local businesses. This application uses your iPhone's location-aware functionality to show you Yelp.com reviews of local restaurants, bars, banks, gas stations, and other small businesses. With your iPhone and Yelp, you never have to go to a bad restaurant again!

Now Playing
Download for free from the iTunes Store
Also using your location, Box Office shows you show times of your local movie theaters. You can search by theater, or by movie. It shows synopses, reviews and ratings from RottenTomatoes.com, and links to YouTube trailers. When you're on the go, you can quickly and easily find a movie and even email details to your friends!


My friend Dan Fisher just started working with these guys. I'm pretty sure they can change the planet.


Kingdom Game for the iPhone

Dear iPhone wielding friends,

There's a pretty fun game that I've been playing for the last few months and I wanted to invite you to join me if you're interested.

It's a kingdom building game, set in medieval times. You collect resources like wood, stone, and gold, and use them to build a kingdom. You have peasants that you can train into troops like archers and knights, and then you attack other kingdoms. You can form alliances with other players who then help you out with resources, intel on enemy kingdoms, and goofing around in the message boards. It's pretty straightforward, totally text based, and a lot of fun. Reminds me of of the old BBS games I used to play back in the day (TradeWars 2002, Legend of the Red Dragon, Barren Realms Elite, etc).

Anywhoo, if you're interested, it's totally free and you can play from an iPhone or from your computer. I've just last week started up a new kingdom in world 1 so now's a pretty good time to jump in.


See ya there.


Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog

If you liked Firefly or the musical episode of Buffy, Once More with Feeling, you MUST check out Joss Whedon's first webisode of a 3-part mini mini series: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Neil Patrick Harris plays an aspiring super-villain. In the first episode we learn of Dr. Horrible's application to join The Evil League of Evil, and he's just mere weeks away from actually being able to talk to the cute redhead at the laundromat.
Nathan Fillion (Cpt. Mal from Firefly) plays his arch nemesis, the heroic Captain Hammer, thwarting Dr. Horrible at every turn.

Oh, and if it couldn't get any better, it's also a musical.

ACT ONE (Wheee!) went up today,Tuesday July 15th.
ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th.
ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th.

You can watch it for free at http://drhorrible.com, or even better, you can purchase all three episodes for just $3.99 in the iTunes music store.

I despise Fox for canceling every intelligent comedy (Firefly, Arrested Development, Kitchen Confidential) that they can get their hands on. I love being able to directly support projects like this.

Spread the word.


ArcSource <3 Yelp.com

Cross posted from The ArcSource Blog:

There is a huge variety of amazingly useful Web 2.0 services that ArcSource depends on for our business. We keep in touch throughout the day with Twitter.com, we keep track of useful web sites using del.icio.us.

Our work life depends on these resources on a daily basis.

Yelp LogoSo I've been using Yelp.com in my personal life for a couple years now. It's the most amazing resource. I was trying to figure out how to describe it in a nutshell and was at a loss. Luckily, they've hired professional copywriters to do that for me:

From The Yelp.com FAQ:

What is Yelp?

Yelp is an online urban city guide that helps people find cool places to eat, shop, drink, relax and play, based on the informed opinions of a vibrant and active community of locals in the know. Yelp is the fun and easy way to find, review and talk about what's great — and not so great — in your world.

Mini Parked on Grizzly Peak 2I've been Yelping for a couple years now. It’s so incredibly useful, I feel like I can be an educated consumer. A power consumer even. I haven’t (willingly) gone to a bad restaurant in 2 years. When I locked the keys in my 2 day old Mini Cooper, I knew exactly who to call.

I use Yelp almost daily. When I'm visiting a new client, in a neighborhood I've never visited before, I know exactly where to go for lunch. Butano State Park

When the weekend rolls around, I know about the best camping spot within a 90 minute drive of SF.

But the real reason for my blog post is for an exciting announcement. ArcSource is now on Yelp!! You can find us here:

ArcSource on Yelp


Yay for leveraging personal passions for a business advantage!


Free Month of Netflix

As many of my friends know, I'm a total Netflix evangelist. I've been a member since 2002 and it's the best movie service I've found. I love how easy it is, I love the ratings and recommendation engine, and I love the selection.

So, apparently it's free movie month right now.

They sent me 4 coupons to give to friends. Normally the free trial is only for 2 weeks, but if you use the code, you can get a whole month for free. As a bonus, I get a free rental if you sign up.

If you'd like a free month of Netflix, go to netflix.com/tellafriend

The 4 activation codes are:


They expire June 15th, so act quick if you want to take advantage of the promotion.

If you use one of the codes, leave a comment below so I can remove it from the list.

Already a member? Add me to your friends list!


Bike Ride Angel Island - Saturday 4/12/08

I'm organizing a bicycle ride around Angel Island the weekend after this. If you'd like to come along, let me know. Alternatively, if you don't know me but found this page through a search engine, here's all the details you need to plan an AWESOME daytrip bike ride around Angel Island:

Saturday morning, eat a nice big breakfast, pack yourself a lunch, stick it in a backpack, and ride to BART.

Helmets and water bottles (or Camelbacks) are mandatory. Spandex, a pump, and a spare inner-tube are highly encouraged.

Click any image to see the google map page.

9:00 AM: We will meet at Justin Herman Plaza (a half block East from the BART station at Embarcadero)

9:30AM: We will ride to the Blue & Gold Ticket Counter at Pier 41 (NOT pier 39).

If you're driving, meet us at Pier 41 at 9:45AM.
The cheapest parking lot (believe me, I know) in the area is on Stockton between North Point St. and Bay St. From there, you can ride a couple blocks to Pier 41.

10:35AM: We will depart on the Blue & Gold Fleet ferry to Angel Island. There's only one boat, and it leaves at 10:35am. Round trip tickets cost $14.50 for adults, Children 6-12 are $8.50. Everybody will buy their own tickets at the ticket window when we arrive that morning.

Details on the Angel Island Blue & Gold Ferry can be found here:

For the ride, there are two loops around the peak, one paved, and a smaller inner fire-road. I figure we can all do the big loop together. Those that have energy can do the inner loop a couple times. After that we'll break for a pic-nic lunch.

3:50PM: There's only one boat home. The ferry back to SF leaves at 3:50pm.

5:00PM: The ferry will have you back at Fisherman's wharf around 5pm.

5:30PM: If you need to ride back to BART, you can expect to be done with your day by 5:30PM.

If people are interested, we can BBQ at my house after the ride. I'm 3 blocks from El Cerrito Plaza BART.


New Job!!

So, it's time. I'm getting out of advertising (at least for now). I've accepted an offer to join a small IT consulting firm in Berkeley. They have clients spread out between the East Bay (Oakland, Berkeley, Emeryville) and Downtown SF.

For those of you keeping track:

I'll be a Lead Consultant, doing Mac and PC IT for businesses that are too small to have their own IT department. They started out with a lot of architecture firms as clients because that's the founder's background, but now they have an eclectic mix of small businesses they work with.

I'm uber excited for new learning possibilities and it's a great move for me career advancement wise. At the same time, I'm totally gonna miss goofing around with all my friends back at Publicis.

UPDATED: My last day is Friday 2/8, we're all going out for drinks on Thursday 2/7 at Azul if you'd like to come.

Interestingly, this new job will require us to purchase a second car. I've REALLY enjoyed being a 1 car family. It's a huge expense saver. But at the same time, it means i get to go car shopping, which is of course totally exciting.

We want to find something that gets good gas mileage, is reliable, and is also a little fun. Trying to decide if we want to go bigger or smaller than the Mazda3 we love so much. Myshelle's only requirement this time: must have a back seat. Unfortunately, that ruled out the Mazda Miata and the Honda Insight. Luckily, there are still some good options.

Which one do you think I should get?

Honda Civic Si Coupe

Mini Cooper Type S

Honda CRV

Toyota RAV4

Which car should we buy?
Civic Si Coupe
MINI Cooper
Honda CRV
Toyota RAV4
pollcode.com free polls


PULSE - Platinum Edition

Myshelle and I completely fell off the couch laughing when this came on the TV just now. She was laughing at me, and I was laughing at my embarrassed self. This is EVERY song I was listening to (and making mix tapes with, and recording off the radio) in 1996 .


I narrowly escaped this time. Had we seen this commercial before the holidays, I bet this would have shown up under the Hanukkah Bush.