Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

I went to the Apple store in Guangzhou and they had an early release of the new iPhone 5!

I picked one up along with a couple of new Rolex’s!Image

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Our 5 year old Dell computer died last week and took along all of the pictures on my hard drive.  I am planning on sending it in to a data recovery service that will charge $600 to try to see if they can recover any of the pictures.

Anyway, after being upset with Dell, I went to the Apple store and picked up a new 24″ iMac to see what all the fuss was about. The hardest part was figuring out where the on/off switch was on the Macs!

I was able to very easily upload new pictures from our camera – just plug it in.  No Canon or other software to install.  The uploads even seem faster.

Picasa, my old editing tool on the PC doesn’t work on the Mac, so I am now learning to use iPhoto.

I haven’t quite figured out how to save the image in a lower resolution so the file uploads to WordPress are quicker, but the cutover was pretty painless.

And look, no more wires cluttering up my desktop.  I have a basketful of cables going in the trash!

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I was in Geneva last week and it was in full throttle tourist mode. All of the lakefront hotels were booked solid by the Saudi princes and their entourages.

Here is a picture in front of the Kempinski Hotel with “his and hers” Rolls Royce. Behind the Rolls is a Bentley convertible. Note that all of the cars still have their Saudi plates on them. These are not mere rentals, but rather, the cars are shipped in on the Saudis private jet(s). Geneva must have special arrangements for them.

Here is another picture in front of the Woodrow Wilson Hotel. This one is of a Ferrari and a Lamborghini.

Our $5 per gallon gasoline is fueling one of the biggest transfers of wealth in the history of the world. This rising bill for imported petroleum lowers our already anemic savings rates, adds to inflation, worsens the trade deficit, and undermines the dollar.

Wake up George Bush…. it is time to have a comprehensive energy policy!

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I am sitting in the BA lounge waiting for my flight to London so I thought I’d post about a great travel website called Seatguru.com  One of our travel managers recommended it and I have been using it ever since to check out my seat before checking in online.  On this site, you can look up any seat on most airplanes and get the straight scoop on legroom, storage, noise and more.  Check it out.

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I was watching TV this morning and saw my old college roommate Nabeel Gareeb on CNBC. He is now the CEO of MEMC Electronics which is a $2B manufacturer of wafers.

Check out his interview below.


When the rest of us were in college partying, he was up studying or working. His only vices were cars and speeding. He had a Haulin’ Ass poster taped to his door proudly displayed with a collection of speeding tickets! Other than that, this guy was always very studious, one of the smartest kids in class and destined to be successful. Good luck Nabby!

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Irvine Housing Market

The housing market here in the Irvine/Tustin area is clearly headed for a downfall. We have several properties on our street that have been sitting on the market for months. The number of foreclosures are at a record high and increasing monthly. On the weekends when we drive around, the “bank repo” signs are out and we are hearing of more and more distress among neighbors who have used their house as an ATM machine for the past several years.

I have been following this blog for the past couple of months from an Irvine resident and probably a realtor. It is a good read and will give you a good idea of what is going on in Tustin. Click here: Irvine Housing Blog.

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Sony 52XBR4 Update

I thought I’d provide an update on our Sony 52 XBR4 TV after having it now for a couple of months.

First, on the CNBC ticker problem I mentioned: I believe this to be a problem with CNBC and not the TV. Last week, DirecTV added CNBC-HD to their lineup and the ticker now scrolls just fine. In fact, the picture quality is amazing. However, CNBC is still broadcasting their motion video in SD over the HD channel (kind of like cheating). Their video covers a smaller area on the screen so it appears better.

Also, in the last month, DirecTV has added several other HD channels including Sci-Fi, HGTV, Food, USA and others to where their selection now tops both Cable and Dish network. The quality difference between the 1080i output of DirecTV and their usual “SD” format is like night and day. The choices being broadcast in HD are sufficient enough and the SD quality poor enough to where I do not want to watch SD broadcasts and tend to flip over to something (or anything) on HD.

We have watched several DVD’s and the pictures are very nice. I have yet to purchase either the Blu-Ray or HD-DVD player as I am hoping that the market will sort out a winner soon. I did note that Costco is carrying a $250 HD-DVD from Toshiba while the Sony is at $450. This is a significant price differential with the only difference that I can see being that the Toshiba is 1080i while the Sony is 1080p. Can anyone tell the difference?? I am hoping that by Christmas time, the market will provide a better indication. Right now it is wait and see for me.

We have also hooked the Nintendo Wii to the TV and the picture is pretty good but not stunning. I believe that the best the Wii is capable of is 480P and it shows!

Anyway, if you are in the market for the 52XBR from Sony it is a very good TV that I expect will last for many years to come.

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