Monday, June 28, 2010

Pandora in Your Car

I am a big fan of Pandora (the streaming Internet radio service).

Recently, I purchased a new vehicle that came with with a nice stereo system.  The stereo system supports auxiliary input (via a headphone jack – 3.5mm) and Bluetooth input.

I went out and purchased a little T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide.  It is running the Android operating system from Google.

There is a Pandora app that you can download from the Market to your phone.  It’s a free download.

Once installed, I can listen to Pandora on my phone.  Since my phone has Bluetooth and a headphone jack, I can listen to Pandora in my car (as long as I’m within a T-Mobile data area).

My one stumbling point was to get my Android based phone to quit trying to use Bluetooth for the Pandora audio.  With my car’s integrated Bluetooth for hands free talking, it likes pairing up with my phone.

Android apparently doesn’t do very well when trying to pair in two modes at the same time.  You have a “media” mode and a “phone” mode.  My car wants to pair in both modes.  This works fine for phone, but not for media.  If you are going to listen to media via Bluetooth, you almost have to disable the phone part.  I wanted to keep the phone part in case someone rings me whilst driving.

Yesterday, I finally figured out how to force my phone to pair only for the phone and not for media.  Basically, you go to the Bluetooth settings, find the Bluetooth devices, hold down the device in question until the menu pops up, click options, then uncheck the Media box.

Now I can listen to Pandora in my car via the headphone jack on my phone connected to the auxiliary jack in my car.  Unfortunately the quality of the audio doesn’t really jive with my 10 speaker Bose system.  It requires high quality audio to be appropriately enjoyed.

I’m thinking Sirius should team up with Pandora and allow me to listen to my Pandora stations via their high quality digital satellite feed.  Currently, it seems like Pandora and Sirius appear to be in some kind of competition mode, but I’d happily pay Sirius a monthly fee if they’d stream my Pandora music via their satellite feed.

Think about it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We Won Our Group!

For you non soccer fans out there and for those of you living under a rock, I have some tremendously exciting news.  USA won our group in the first round of the World Cup!

It was an aggravating game.  USA had so many close calls.  They even had another goal that was called back for a sketchy off-sides call.  They scored the winning goal at about the 91 minute mark.  About 3 minutes before end of the game.  What a nail biter!

If you take bad refereeing out of the games, then USA would have 7 points and 6 goals rather than 5 and 4.  But, it doesn't matter because we won anyway, we won anyway, we won anyway.  Repeat after me...

For my friends from South Korea and Mexico, they won second place in their respective groups so they too are progressing to the next round!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Pictures That Made Me Smile

I don't think this will be a regular thing, but it struck me as funny when I first thought of it.  Funny it must be.

I read a bit of Durango's blog today and he was complaining that Sundance Square was not a square at all.  This seemed kind of silly to me, but perhaps we've all got the blogging doldrums.  And Sundance Square is one of my favorite places to go hang out.  So don't be badmouthing it.

I am trying to help facilitate and incorporate the title of my blog in this posting.  If it gets much more random it'll cause a thunderstorm in Australia.

Today, as I got home from work I saw 2 things that made me smile so I took pictures.  Technically, there were 3 things, but 2 of them were in one picture and they were closely enough related that I call them one thing.  There were two little baby birds sitting out on my back porch screaming like banshees.  I suspect the momma bird was forcing them to learn how to fly the hard way.  I hope they take to it before bed time.

And sorry about the picture.  I didn't notice it was blurry until I posted it.  Now it's too late.  The birds are gone.  Either they figured it out or well.  Well.  We'll just say they figured it out.

The next picture made me smile for more subtle reasons and it could have been closely related to the mood I was in.  I decided to pick up some beer today at the super market and they had Hoegaarden as a "just in" flavor so I picked some up.  It's a tasty beverage. 

As I lifted the six-pack to put it in the fridge, the handle slid out and I thought it was going to break and fall.  Instead, it just showed me the correct phonetic pronunciation and it made me smile...
Now that I've actually written that and pasted the picture, it doesn't seem as charming.  I'll leave it though.  Someone might get a chuckle.  Even if it's a chuckle at the sheer goofiness of it.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


image One thing I’ve noticed as you begin solo again: it’s not always easy to find good vacation packages for singles.  I have reached a point in this career called life where I like to go on a real relaxing vacation once or twice a year.  I’ve got three weeks off work and for those three weeks I don’t want to have any stress.

The last two years I’ve taken 2 cruises.  Cruises are enjoyable.  As I approach my solo life, I have discovered that the cost of cruises are based on double occupancy.  If you are traveling alone, you are still going to have to pay cabin costs for 2.  You’ll save on the drinks but that’s about it.  Is it worth it?

They have singles cruises and they give you the option of having a cabin to yourself at double the rate or getting a cabin mate (of the same sex) assigned to you.  This worries me on several levels.  If' I’m shelling out $1k for a cruise I don’t want to be stuck with Dork d’Loser for 5 days.  In fact, I wouldn’t want to be stuck with Dork d’Loser for 1 day.  But, paying $2k for a cruise would probably put it in the unacceptable price to pay for the amount of fun I may or may not have.

They have websites dedicated to finding cruising buddies, but there again:  It’s like a blind date that lasts a few days rather than a few hours. 

Anyway, this encouraged me to do research which I am fond of doing.

As I present to you my results, keep in mind the amount of discomfort potential in rooming with a stranger on a ship in the middle of the ocean.  I just gave myself chills.

The resorts that popped up over and over again for singles were the Hedonism resorts.  I guess I should also mention that I look for all-inclusive deals.  When I say no stress, I really mean no stress.  The way I understand the Hedonism resorts is that you pay a fixed fee and this pays for your room, entertainment, food and drinks.

But, let’s talk about the discomfort for a minute.  The Hedonism resorts are half nude, half prude.  They have the nude pool and the prude pool, the nude beach and the prude beach, etc.  I’ve never ever been much for exhibition.  I like watching, but I don’t necessarily like participating.

My question to the masses therefore goes thusly:  Which is more uncomfortable?  Rooming with Dork d’Loser on a cruise ship for 5 days or having to party with a bunch of naked people for 5 days?  The cost is the same (in money).

Monday, June 14, 2010

Therapeutic Dream Interpretation

I do not hide the fact that I need therapy.  Heck, I bet I could keep an expert psychologist entertained for years.

Last night, for example, I had the most fantastic dream…

I hired a divorce attorney and when I went to the office, the attorney was a very good looking late 30’s woman.  She was tall, slender and powerful, yet funny and nice.  She laughed at all my silly jokes and even had some of her own.  She was smart and easy to talk to.  A perfect picture in a suit and heels.

Then, I woke up and tried to go back to sleep, but it wasn’t happening.  Next time I’ll double my dose of Benadryl.  Have you ever looked at the active ingredients of Benadryl and the nighttime Sleep Aids?  Benadryl costs half as much, but the active ingredients are identical.   Go figure.

I decided to represent myself because “nobody loves me like I love myself”.  I don’t know why the video is on its side.  Maybe it’s just my browser.  If I play all my cards right, I should be legally single in about 70 days.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Victory Park and The World Cup

image I spontaneously decided to go to Victory Park yesterday and watch the USA vs England.  The last time USA played England in the World Cup it was 1950 and USA won 1-0.  From what I’ve heard it was a complete shock.

I started watching the local pregame show at 12 and they were showing all the craziness at Victory Park.  I had never been to Victory Park before so off I went to enjoy the game with hundreds of other insane people.

Once I got down there I realized that I was way unprepared.  I was sporting my red white and blue shirt so that was good, but I had failed to pack anything to sit on or anything to drink.  I am slightly insane, but not quite insane enough to stand up and watch TV for 2 hours in 96 degree heat with nothing to drink.

Luckily Victory Park is a short walk from several dozen sports bars so I just picked one and watched it there.  I still got to be part of the cheering when USA scored a bizarre goal to tie the game up 1-1.

I found a video of it so I don’t have to explain it!  It’s like the ball was spinning or something.  It hit the goalie square on, but then it just went by… See for yourself.

If I didn’t know better I’d say the Americans paid off the English goalie.

Anyway, a draw is much better than a loss.  So go support your team.  It’s great fun.  You can stream a majority of the games from ESPN3 and get to choose from a variety of languages.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Experimenting With the Obama Refinance Plan

I’ve had tremendous amounts of stress lately.  Big life changes coming my way.

This encouraged me to do some experimentation.  If you are going to have some momentously stressful moments anyway you might as well throw some entertaining experiments into the mix!

I want to refinance my current mortgage and get it into my name and only my name.  Instead of just going to Chase and asking them to do just that, I decided to go to Chase and tell them that my income was declining and I needed some Obama Help!

It’s not entirely untrue.  My income is declining.  It’s just not quite so dire.

The lady at Chase was very helpful.  She looked at my current mortgage and said, “I think we can save you about $200 per month using the Obama Plan for those people who need help!”

“Excellent,” I replied.  My skepticism knows no bounds, but I couldn’t help but be a bit hopeful.  What if the Obama plan really could streamline the refinance process and save me $200 per month?

She got on her computer and ran some numbers and sure enough, she could save me $200 per month.  However, according to the Obama plan according to Chase, I had to pay all closing costs and fees associated with refinancing (around $4000).

In summary, if you are having trouble making ends meet and can’t afford to make your monthly $900 mortgage payment, but have $4000+ sitting around collecting dust in your dire time of need, then the Obama plan is perfect for you!

I should have used my sarcasm font for that last paragraph, but I grow lazier.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Used to when I traveled, I always left my passport locked safely away in my hotel room.  The first time I was in Italy, I was taught the error of my ways.

From that point forward, when I was out of the country (especially in Italy), I always safely stuffed my passport in a pant's pocket.

Therefore, when I arrived home from Italy a couple of weeks ago, I managed to include my passport in with my laundry which was safely washed and dried.  My passport survived, but it doesn't look too healthy.

I searched the Internet a bit, which I am rather fond of doing, and discovered that damaged passports are generally frowned upon.  I am guessing the legitimacy is harder to validate with a wrinkled and frayed passport.

I have decided to renew my passport.  It is going to cost $75 and it will take 4 to 6 weeks.  All I ask is that no one invite me anywhere out of the country until it comes in.

According the the government's website, damaged passports can not be renewed.  You must apply for a new one.  They don't qualify "damaged".  I will go to the post office tomorrow for pictures and to talk to someone that can hopefully help me.  I'm guessing they'll just renew it.  It's not that damaged.  But, you never know.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Blowing Stuff Up

I try to blog once a week whether I feel like it or not.  Don't ask me why because I don't know the correct answer.

Sometimes big events happen in the world and I gaze out amongst the bloggers and discover that everyone and their pet goldfish is writing their opinion about it.  I try not to write about these things.

The BP Oil Spill is one of these things.  Therefore, I'm not going to spend too much time on it.  I'll just mention the one thing that has been bothering me.

If USA has military technology capable of putting a nuclear missile on a dime halfway around the world, why can't we send something down a pipe 1 mile under the ocean and blow it up?