Overpriced Trinkets 
2007.05.06 20:47 - Toys, Gadgets, Pens
So, I spent a good chunk of the last week in Chicago, visiting Mr. and Mrs. Pikafoop0. I'm told that a fun time was had by all. It had been previously agreed that I needed to visit a pen shop in the nearby shopping mall, so that became a prime destination on Saturday.

While I was hemming and hawing over the purchase of a Parker 100, the 'foop was perusing their selection of clearanced items, wherein he found the Bettoni Graphica, which really is a hardcore geek/engineer/guy-who-works-with-his-hands sort of pen. So I had to have one, too. It's a sickness, really. I'm a little worried that one of my immediate family way appropriate while I'm not looking, so I'm keeping my eye out for it as gift fodder later this year.

The good news? Bettoni seems to be a brand made exclusively for promotional giveaways, so the pen is probably available if one knows where to look. The bad is that, so far, it doesn't look like anyone on the Internet accepts orders for fewer than twenty-five of them, which is just a few2 more than I need for gifts. So, uh, best of luck finding one, I guess, unless you happen to be near the Woodfield Mall in Chicago (in which case, give Executive Essentials a look).

I'll confess to paying a bit more than twenty dollars for one of those, though. I don't think that was a bad deal, except in light of the usual pricing on it.


0. Not their real name, but I can never recall what the policy is on real names and teh Intarweb this week.
1. It won; I am now contemplating sending it to Janesville3 for a nib swap before inking it and putting it to use.
2. Where few = twenty-two, in fact.
3. Janesville, WI is home to the US service center for Parker, Waterman, and Rotring pens. Engineers should really give Rotring's pens a look; you may find either the (discontinued/soon-to-be-discontinued) 600 or (new, replacing the 600) Newton series pleasing to your aesthetic sensibilities. I've mostly preferred Parker, though.

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2007.01.23 10:08 - Toys, Actual Toys, Gadgets

Soundwave MP3 player. It transforms.
Optimus Prime iPod Dock (G1 figure with a nice, new head, actually--iOptimus?)

Man. I'm not buying either of those (too expensive, and I'm way over-invested in robots lately, anyhow), but neat, anyway. Well, Soundwave is neat. Prime is just continuing his long history of selling out.

First two links shamelessly stolen from Shortpacked! and Gizmodo, but I couldn't resist posting.

Addendum: As long as this is the most recent entry, an update: allegedly, there will be headphones shaped like Rumble and Frenzy to go with Soundwave. I'm still not buying, but dang. That's nuts.

Further Addendum: Okay, now it's just silly.
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In sort of the same category as Answer-Me Jesus 
2006.10.02 19:27 - News and Politics, Philosophy and Religion, Toys, Gadgets
We have the Dashboard Mohammed.

It might be more offensive than the Jesus thing, at least to the parties it's intended to offend.

Link shamelessly ganked from PDB.
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Most versatile tool ever? 
2006.08.23 23:29 - Toys, Gadgets

Link shamelessly stolen from Gizmodo.
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Has it really been a week already? 
2006.05.21 01:11 - Entertainment, Internet Stupidity, Miscellanea, Toys, Gadgets
It's been quiet. I've a couple phone calls and emails I've been delaying. I'll have to take care of them early next week, I guess.

New job starts Monday. Guess I'm a bit antsy. Setting out on large enterprises always gets me wound a bit tight, and I've been letting some personal things that stress me slide a bit in the interim. Need to get the car in for an oil change, and I need to shave, too. I have put in a surprising amount of time in Guild Wars, such that I've got my main character in the Prophecies campaign moved out of the Ascalon and into the Shiverpeaks. (Notice to Herb: won't swear to it, but I think there are places out there that don't look like the bombed-out ruins of the end of the world.)

I'll probably wind up back in GW a bit tonight/tomorrow. Although I was suggesting that folks consider the new Factions campaign pack over the original Prophecies campaign. I'm no longer sure that's the way it breaks down. Although my Prophecies character is moving out of the end of the world (I think), my Factions character is currently hip-deep in an urban wasteland--a gigantic slum, basically. I don't think that's a permanent state of affairs, but it's kind of aggravating all the same. As a point of comparison, the original campaign runs a lot more slowly, so it takes longer to get to leverl twenty (since quests and missions aren't handing out nearly as much gold or experience early on). Now that I've gotten farther along, I think things are starting to even out. I've even got some gear I need to give to Herb if he ever gets his bicurious actor along into the end of everything.

I've been somewhat less bothered about the cost of the MacBook Pro when I realized just how much the TI laptop from college wound up costing, especially for the return I got out of it (by comparison, the MBP is probably a good deal). It runs hot, but I'm not really sure it runs all that much hotter than that old 133MHz beater from college. It does run a lot warmer in Windows XP than in Mac OS X, though, which is probably a consequence of the power settings there.

On the whole, the biggest problems I've been having here have been readjusting to a QWERTY keyboard (the desktop's got a Dvorak layout, which I prefer), and some difficulties with wireless connectivity. I'm inclined to chalk the problems at the hotel last weekend down to an unfortunately located desk in the room, and the signal out in the family room (where I'm working) has never been good--this room is basically outside the house, being part of addition on the other side of what was originally an exterior wall. Rectified that situation this evening with a Linksys wireless ethernet repeater, though, and everything's copacetic now.

Right, enough text. I'll probably toss along a few links in the next day or so, but I think they're all bookmarked on the other machine.
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