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Articles: 2010 January

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Page 1

Today's Frozen Meal: Marie Callender's Fettucini Chicken Balsamico
Saturday, 2010 January 30 - 3:51 pm
(Actually, this is yesterday's meal. For some reason I never clicked the "submit" button for this post yesterday.) "Broad Egg Noodles and Balsamic Reduction with White Meat Chicken, Spinach and Mushrooms".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Punditry
Friday, 2010 January 29 - 9:17 am
I'm reading a lot of "the iPad will be a failure" articles and comments lately. It just brings to mind all the "iPhone will be a failure" comments in 2007, and the "iPod will be a failure" comments in 2001. John C. Dvorak famously argued that Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone and license it out as a reference design to Samsung. Samsung. Or there was this famous Slashdot comment on the iPod: "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." How many people nowadays even remember what a NOMAD was? (It was a bulky, awkward MP3 player from Creative Labs.)

It's true that not every Apple product has been a blockbuster success. Critics immediately point to the Newton and the AppleTV as examples of Apple failures. But the difference with those products is that Steve Jobs did not believe they'd be hits. The Newton was a product that Steve despised; he killed it as soon as he returned to Apple. He described the AppleTV as "hobby" for Apple, an experimental, a dip-your-toes-in-the-water kind of thing. But the things that Jobs predicted would be huge, the iPod and the iPhone, were huge.

And here we've got the iPad. And just like the Nomad user back in 2001, there are people all over the Internet saying things like, "No Flash. Does less than my netbook. Lame." I wonder whose comment will be enshrined in the punditry hall of shame two years from now?
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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Today's Frozen Meal: Amy's Macaroni and Cheese
Thursday, 2010 January 28 - 12:38 pm
"Made with organic pasta". And cheese. It's macaroni and cheese: not a lot of mystery here.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Apple iPad Thoughts
Wednesday, 2010 January 27 - 8:20 pm
So it's here, the iPad. The essential specs:

9.7" diagonal 1024x768 IPS LCD display
802.11n WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional 3G
1 GHz Apple A4 Processor
16GB, 32GB, or 64GB Flash
10-hour battery life
Microphone and speaker
30-pin dock connector
Accelerometer and compass; in the 3G version, GPS
iPhone OS 3.2; runs iPhone apps
$499 for 16GB/WiFi model; $829 for top-end 64GB/WiFi+3G model

I'll run through how I did with my predictions, and then give some more thoughts about the device.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Balsamic Garlic Chicken
Wednesday, 2010 January 27 - 12:48 pm
From the Mediterranean-inspired "Café Steamers" collection: "Grilled Chicken Tenderloins with Whole Grain Pasta, Mushrooms, Spinach, Tomatoes and Vegetables in Balsamic Garlic Sauce".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Happy Australia Day
Tuesday, 2010 January 26 - 9:51 pm
Yes, today was Australia Day, which I will celebrate every year from now on thanks to Elizabeth. I started the day with a Tim Tam Slam, and had I known in advance I was supposed to barbecue some lamb, I would have done that too.

As it was, I put on my Australia temporary tattoo and brought some Vegemite to work, along with 48 little squares of toast. I sent an email to all my co-workers, explaining what Australia Day was, and inviting them all to try some Vegemite.

Vegemite

I had planned to take a picture of each person as they experienced the awesome power of concentrated yeast food product. The theme song of the day was "Vegemite Face", as performed by Lady Gaga. You know, "V-V-V-Vegemite V-Vegemite Face."

As it was, I brought 44 too many squares of toast. Including myself, only four people gave Vegemite a try. And no one had the taste-bud-blowing experience I expected them to have.

Ken VegemiteParks VegemiteTed VegemiteKeith Vegemite

Mostly, the reaction was "hmm, not as bad as I thought". Of course, these were the guys who were the least likely to react in entertaining ways.

I ended up giving most of the Vegemite to a Chris, who's visiting from Christchurch, New Zealand. He's been here for a few months and has searched high and low for Vegemite, to no avail. He was so disappointed that I didn't have a local source for it, I had to let him have the rest of my supply.

So thus ends Australia Day in Raleigh, North Carolina. Next year I'll grill up some lamb. But all the same, thanks, Elizabeth! I had a fun time with all of this. Did I mention that every woman in the building smiled at my temporary tattoo today? (Not that things like that matter to me any more...)
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Posted by Ken in: funnyhahalife

No Frozen Meal Today
Tuesday, 2010 January 26 - 12:06 pm
Aw, phooey. This:

Box

is not microwaveable.

Instructions

We don't have an oven or a toaster oven in the office, so this will have to wait for another day. Guess I'm eating fast food today.
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Posted by Ken in: food

Apple Tablet Coming Wednesday, According to Everyone
Monday, 2010 January 25 - 11:33 pm
It seems like everyone except for Apple themselves has confirmed that a new tablet computing device will be unveiled at their media event this Wednesday. It's a lot like the days leading up to the iPhone announcement: a lot of hype, a lot of speculation, and a lot of pundits (with no actual knowledge of what the product will be) predicting that it will fail.

So here's what I think about the tablet.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch

Today's Frozen Meal: Whole Kitchen Chicken Tikki Masala
Monday, 2010 January 25 - 1:09 pm
"White Meat Chicken in a Traditional Curry Tomato Sauce with White Basmati Rice." It's from Canada!

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Citizen's United v. FEC
Saturday, 2010 January 23 - 4:46 pm
Some of you may not follow Supreme Court cases as closely as I do. Maybe you're aware of the bombshell that the Court dropped a couple of days ago, in the case of Citizen's United v. Federal Election Commission. It boils down to this: The Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are entitled to use unlimited amounts money from their general funds to finance political advertising, because (a) corporations are essentially people, (b) money is essentially speech, and (c) the First Amendment guarantees people the right to free speech.

Perhaps you have a vague sense of the implications of that, but let me lay out a few numbers for you. Exxon Mobil made $45 billion in profit last year (on $443 billion in revenue). If they spent just one percent on that profit (or just a tenth of one percent of their revenue) on political advertising, that would still be four times more money than Obama and McCain spent on their 2008 campaigns combined. That's one company, taking a tiny piece of their profits, dwarfing the combined campaign spending of two presidential candidates.

Now suppose you take the Fortune 500 list. Looking at the companies that were profitable in 2009, if they set aside four percent of those profits and put them towards political advertising, that would be enough to buy every ad spot on ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and CW for an entire year. All of them. EVERY. SINGLE. AD.

We're talking about a lot of money, folks. Wait until you see what happens in the next couple of elections... if you thought political ads were bad in 2008, it'll be an order of magnitude worse in 2010 and 2012.

And that's not even the worst part.

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Posted by Ken in: politics

Today's Frozen Meal: Stouffer's Lasagna with Meat and Sauce
Friday, 2010 January 22 - 1:35 pm
Meat AND sauce! Do they make sauce-less lasagna? "Lasagna noodles layered with meat and herb seasoned tomato sauce and three kinds of cheeses."

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Amy's Roasted Vegetables Tamale
Thursday, 2010 January 21 - 1:13 pm
Or is it Tamale Roasted Vegetables? "Made with organic black beans, tomatoes and corn masa."

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Smart Ones Fajita Chicken Pizza
Wednesday, 2010 January 20 - 12:27 pm
(The box actually reads "Stone-Fired Crust Pizza Fajita Chicken". Words of order not matter does.) "Grilled White Meat Fajita Chicken with Fire Roasted Vegetables and Poblanos on a Zesty Sauce topped with Cheese on a Stone-Fired Crust".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Kashi Veggie Chana Masala
Tuesday, 2010 January 19 - 1:14 pm
"Kashi 7 Whole Grains & Sesame Pilaf; Chickpeas, Red Peppers, Fire Roasted Eggplant, Carrots & Edamame; Zesty Garam Masala Sauce". Another Kashi vegan meal.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Cajun Style Chicken and Shrimp
Monday, 2010 January 18 - 12:57 pm
From the "Café Steamers" collection: "Chicken Tenderloin & Shrimp with Rice and Vegetables in Spicy Cajun-Style Sauce".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake
Friday, 2010 January 15 - 1:11 pm
"Plaintains, Black Beans, Sweet Potato & Kale; Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf, Amaranth & Polenta; Spicy Ancho Sauce". Yes, it's vegan.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Episode of "The Biggest Douchebag"
Thursday, 2010 January 14 - 1:55 pm
In the red corner, we have Rush Limbaugh, who suggests that the White House might steal from any Red Cross donations you make via the whitehouse.gov link.

In the redder corner, we have Pat Robertson, who suggests that the Haitians are being punished for making a deal with Satan in exchange for freedom from French rule in 1803.

The winner: nobody. We all lose. We'll have to continue enduring these idiots for many years to come. Thank you for playing.
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Posted by Ken in: commentarypolitics

Today's Frozen Meal: Lean Cuisine Roasted Turkey Breast
Thursday, 2010 January 14 - 12:44 pm
"Roasted turkey breast with gravy, stuffing, whipped potatoes & green beans accented with cranberries." It's like Thanksgiving... if you had no family or friends.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Lean Cuisine Deluxe Pizza
Wednesday, 2010 January 13 - 3:53 pm
"Sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, roasted peppers & onions with a four cheese blend."

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Roasted Beef Merlot
Tuesday, 2010 January 12 - 12:31 pm
From the "Café Steamers" collection: "Beef Steak with Rosemary Red Potatoes and Vegetables with Rich Merlot Wine Sauce". Again, thanks for clarifying that Merlot is wine, because I was confused by the many possible meanings.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Avatar: something for everyone
Monday, 2010 January 11 - 11:12 pm
Yes, James Cameron's "Avatar" is chock full of 3-dimensional in-your-face creamy goodness for everyone!

For the 18-year-olds: lots of explosions and whooshy flying scenes.

For the 14-year-olds: lots of loincloths and alien side-boob.

For the 10-year-olds: a valuable lesson about white male imperialism.

For the 6-year-olds: a plot you can easily understand and an ending you can predict.

For adults: ...

Well, almost everyone, I guess.

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Posted by Ken in: movies

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Chicken Red Pepper Alfredo
Monday, 2010 January 11 - 12:38 pm
From the "Café Steamers" collection: "Chicken Tenderloins with Linguini & Broccoli in Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce"

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Pete Carroll to Seattle
Saturday, 2010 January 9 - 9:49 am
The big football news this morning is that USC head coach Pete Carroll will take the vacant head coaching position for the Seattle Seahawks. From what I've read, Carroll is (a) trying to get out before any NCAA sanctions hit USC over Reggie Bush; (b) seeing that USC isn't quite the powerhouse it once was, and is leaving before he tarnishes his legacy; (c) looking to improve his NFL image after past mediocre stints with the Patriots and the Jets; and (d) being offered a chance to have more control over football operations, as compared to his previous NFL jobs. It's probably a combination of all four.

Oregon State coach Mike Riley is said to be the leading candidate to replace Carroll at USC.

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Posted by Ken in: sports

Today's Frozen Meal: Lean Cuisine Spinach and Mushroom Pizza
Friday, 2010 January 8 - 12:09 pm
"Spinach & mushrooms with a creamy alfredo sauce." As opposed to the chunky alfredo sauce that we're all expecting, I guess.

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Blog bug
Thursday, 2010 January 7 - 7:33 pm
For those who are interested (which, I'm pretty sure, is nobody), I think I've fixed a long-standing bug with my blog that put the wrong timestamp on my RSS feed, and prevented Facebook from importing my blog notes in a timely manner.

The bug had to do with the fact that I'm in the eastern time zone and GoDaddy's servers are in the mountain time zone. I should have always used UTC timestamps on everything, but my old iBlog blog used local time, and I didn't convert to UTC when I imported it, so I just hacked my blog to subtract five hours from the time stamp. It was mostly fine for the web page, but until now, the RSS feed was always two hours off.

Anyway, hopefully posts will show up on my Facebook page sooner now.
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Posted by Ken in: site-business

No Frozen Meal Today (Free Pizza Day)
Thursday, 2010 January 7 - 1:55 pm
Ok, so we had a "lunch and learn" meeting today, and they always provide Papa John's pizza for us for free. So...

Pizza

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Lean Cuisine Grilled Chicken and Penne Pasta
Wednesday, 2010 January 6 - 12:24 pm
"White meat chicken, penne pasta & vegetables in a garlic herb sauce with a caramel apple dessert". Penne pasta! Because I am food-illiterate and I did not know penne was pasta!

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Fajita Steak
Tuesday, 2010 January 5 - 12:45 pm
"Beef in a Spicy Southwestern Style Sauce, Whole Grain Rice, Vegetable Blend & Caramel Apple Multigrain Crisp".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

Today's Frozen Meal: Healthy Choice Fire Roasted Tomato Chicken
Monday, 2010 January 4 - 12:16 pm
"Chicken Tenderloins in Roasted Tomato Sauce, Whole Grain Penne, Vegetables & Apple Cranberry Multigrain Crisp".

Box

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Posted by Ken in: food

It Ain't Julie and Julia
Monday, 2010 January 4 - 12:14 pm
I had this idea for my blog this year... each day, I'll take a different frozen entree or meal to work, and post a review of it. It shouldn't be much of a stretch, since I typically eat these kinds of things for lunch anyway. So accounting for days I work from home, or go out to eat, I should be able to post three reviews a week, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 over the course of the year. That should cover a large percentage of the frozen meals available at the supermarket.

I'll score each entree based on taste, nutrition, and packaging, with the most weight given to taste. I'll have today's review up in a couple of minutes.
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Posted by Ken in: foodsite-business

The Ohs
Friday, 2010 January 1 - 11:31 am
First of all, I refuse to use the term "the noughties" to describe the decade from 2000 to 2009. It seems like such an affectation. No one called 2009 "noughty-nine"; it was "two thousand nine" or "oh nine". So when people refer to the decade in actual speech, they'll probably say "the two thousands" or "the ohs".

So I think it's safe to say that my life was dramatically transformed in the ohs. Ten years ago, I was dreadfully single, and just starting to dip into the seedy world of Internet dating. I was working at Nortel. I had dial-up Internet, and I didn't have a blog. I wore white tennis shoes with blue jeans. I was, frankly, a clueless mess.

But since then, I dated lots of women. I learned how to dress better. I got out of a job that I hated. I found my voice through blogging. And that all culminated in getting married to Amy, which I still consider to be the best thing I've ever done. So I'd say it was a successful decade, probably the best of my life. Sure, in the 1970s I learned how not to poop in my pants (mostly), and the 1980s I became educated. But it wasn't until the ohs that I learned self-confidence and style, and that seems like the most important achievement of my life.

So yeah, I'm starting to get old now, and I have years of aches, pains, and prostate exams to look forward to. But at least now, heading into the 10s (the teens? the dixes?) my life has direction, and it's hard to ask for anything more.
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Posted by Ken in: life

Apple Watch: 2010 Predictions
Friday, 2010 January 1 - 10:41 am
Happy New Year, everyone. It's time for my annual rundown of Apple predictions.

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Posted by Ken in: techwatch


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