Christmas Party Invite

If you happen to be in the San Diego area on Saturday, December 22, 2007 and are interesting in coming to our annual Christmas Party from 4 p.m. until whenever, then please drop me an email or private message on Twitter.

Kids are totally welcome, and there will be a pony available for the kids to ride from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Multi-Topic Update: San Diego Fires, Jersey Boys, Technology

The last week or so has been extremely crazy and busy. 

First up the San Diego Wild Fires (aka FireStorm 2007) have been all consuming, and I'm happy to report that my immediate & extended family, friends, and co-workers in the San Diego area have been spared major hardships.  But our hearts go out to those who lost love ones or their homes.  The fire fighters and public safety folks have been outstanding and they deserve a ton of credit & praise.  Thanks!

The weirdest thing about the fires, was that during the whole time it was going on, Christy and I have been in Jersey Boys heaven.  They have released a new Jersey Boys Book, Frankie Valli has an excellent new album out called "Romancing the 60's", the touring cast is in San Diego, and we traveled to New York City (NYC) / New Jersey (NJ) on Sat. 10/20 returning Tue. 10/23 for the Fan Tribute and to interview Tommy DeVito. And did we mention we've seen the musical three times in six days: Fri. 10/19 (Opening Night in San Diego), Sun. 10/21 (Broadway), and Wed. 10/24 (Cast Talk Back in San Diego).  Yes ... we are crazy.

Lastly a quick update on some technology stuff.  Things are still going on over at TechNewsRadio but a little slower than I'd like.  My fellow FriendsInTech members have put together another new Halloween special called "It's The Great Server Chuck and Kreg."

Other quick tech mentions:

I recently upgraded from a Cingular 8125 to an AT&T Tilt and I'm really loving the new phone with high speed 3G/UMTS/HSDPA connectivity plus Windows Mobile 6 and integrated GPS.  The camera is also a big improvement, as is the keyboard/button interfaces.

A couple of weeks ago I did upgrade my 8-GB 2nd Gen Apple iPod Nano to an 8-GB 3rd Gen Apple iPod NanoI have some unboxing pictures posted to Google.  I like the video option a great deal. I used it to watch dozens of video podcasts recently on the trip back to NYC/NJ.  I have also been using it a lot at home sitting in bed or by my computer using a DIY  Lego stand.

I have also picked up a copy of Apple's new OS X via Amazon.  I hope it gets here soon so I can rebuild my old G4 iBook for Christy and finally get her off of Windows XP and spare her the horror of Vista.


Jersey Boys San Diego Ticket & Dining Deal

There is a special deal for folks who are interested in attending Jersey Boys* when it comes to San Diego from Oct. 19 - Nov. 11, 2007:

San Diego Cohn Restaurants' Jersey Boys Ticket & Dining Deal!

This is a deal that I was able to get permission for the Jersey Boys Podcast to promote. This is not a paid advertisement.  It is just one fan helping others get a good deal, and see one of the best musicals I've ever seen.

In semi-related news, Frankie Valli discusses his new album "Romancing the 60's" on the Jersey Boys Podcast #049.

* Authentic, Profane,  Jersey Vocabulary is used in this production.


List Of Sites For Food & Dinning Out Reviews

The following is a list of food & dinning out review sites from an article in the Wall Street Journal published on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007:

The other interesting thing from this article was that restaurants are now giving away meals to bloggers in the hopes of a good review. 

So far according to the article it appears to be paying off with good rankings but bloggers that aren't transparent are playing with fire.


Recommendation - Family & Kid Camping In San Diego Area

Yesterday, I went with Conrad's 3rd grade class on a field trip to Indian Hills - a family and kids camp in East San Diego County. 

I took a ton of video and I plan to build them a little DVD scrapbook. 

But I was really impressed with the facilities and the things to do.  Check out the link above if you are interested.


Wild Idea Gets Some Traction: 'Personal Movie Place'

A while back on one of my runs I had this 'wild' idea that centered around a geographical social networking site that linked movie buffs to each other by enabling them to come together and watch movies that they were very passionate about in a high-end but personal cinema environment.

One of the high-level use cases was:

Sandra goes online to mypersonalmovieplace.com and signs up to "host" her favorite movie "Blade Runner" on Friday night at 8 p.m.  Other fans of "Blade Runner" in her area would be notified and then they could reserve their spots in the 10-20 seat mini-theater.  Once some minimum is met, the room is reserved, and confirmations are sent out.

This movie establishment could have 10-20 of these mini theaters in standard footprint.  The scheduling and collaboration software would be the core glue to bring it all together.  I by no means think something like this is easy to do, the legal issues are probably enough to make most people go crazy.  But when I talk to folks about it, I always get a generally favorable response.

Well ... this idea has some traction no thanks to me.  Mark Cuban and his excellent team at Landmark Theatres is doing something similar at their $20 million multiplex in West LA near Beverly Hills.

They call their rooms - Living Rooms - where a few dozen people can watch a movie in their own personal screen room with access to bar, food, concierge services, and other treats.  The tickets per seat are $11.  There are also plans for slightly bigger rooms like for 60 people that would rent out for $1500 a show.

There is no indication that you can order up the movie of your choice, but I'm sure that is something that would be doable.

The source of the information for Mark Cuban's effort was from an article in the Union-Tribune published on July 22, 2007.

If you like this idea, please feel free to use it (it is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License).  You do have to compete with the likes of Mark Cuban.  Good luck with that.


Competition Turn Around - Starbucks vs. McDonalds

I thought it was interesting that McDonalds recently announced premium coffee to combat the growth of Starbucks and similar coffee stores. 

I noticed yesterday at Starbucks in Pt. Loma, CA that that Starbucks is now selling breakfast sandwiches (ala competing with the Egg McMuffin).

Careful what you decide to compete with ...


Dinner Recommendation - Romesco, Bonita, CA

Christy and I were very lucky to receive a $100 gift certificate in the mail a couple of weeks ago thanks to the fine folks at RSVP San Diego.

The gift certificate was for Romesco Baja Med Bistro in Bonita, CA. 

Other than Google maps giving is bad directions because of construction, the evening was fabulous.

The bistro is located in a shopping center right across the street from the municipal golf course, but once you get into Romesco you easily forget that.  The interior style is very much like a French bistro and the atmosphere was relaxing.

The following items are all highly recommended: Ajillo Gulf Shrimp, Savervos Baby Spanich Salad, Giuseppis Napolitana, and Lasagna.  We also had Creme Brulee for dessert, and the wine for dinner was a Gewurztraminer from the Russian River area in Northern California.

We highly recommend Romesco Baja Med Bistro!


Do You Twitter? Do You Care?

A large number of podcasters that I listen to have been talking a lot about Twitter

When I first looked at it, I didn't really get it. 

But I think a recent TWIT mentioned that it was kinda like a casual blog which peaked my interest ... somewhere in-between a blog post and a non-blog post. 

It definitely could be used for keeping people in your close circle of online friends updated on what you are doing, where you are at, etc.  Kinda like your IM setting for your status but with more details and updates.

Anyway ... I'm 'sholden' on Twitter if you care.  I'll be trying it out for a couple of days or so for sure. If you want an invite I can send you one.  Drop me an email: sholden@pobox.com.