Bottomless Elevator?

In Taiwan, a floor of an elevator is painted to look like there is no floor. Pretty scary looking from the picture, but I’m not so sure it would have the same effect in person. Still, a great picture.


Apple iPod 80gb

I finally bought another iPod to replace my first gen one. I was kinda waiting for the widescreen one, but after giving it some thought, I wouldn’t want to watch movies on a 3-4″ display.

The first one I owned never had a case on it, and it has tons of scratches on it. I didn’t want this to happen on my new black iPod, so I knew I had to buy some sort of case to protect the new shiny toy. I ended up buying an Invisible Shield, from ShieldZone. SchwarzTech has a good review of the product here. Putting the pieces on the device was a pain in the ass. It took me around an hour to put it all on, and it still wasn’t perfect. But after a few weeks of use, I am happy with the purchase.

I knew I didn’t want to use iTunes, because it forces you to have your music library in one place. I have a ton of albums, mixes, etc. and they are all on different hard drives. I used EphPod with my first gen iPod, but they haven’t updated the software to be compatible with the latest models. Anapod Explorer seems to fit in where EphPod left off, but it did cost me some money. The software isn’t 100% compatible, because I found a bug in the tracklist generation. When using the alarm clock, if you generated a playlist with Anapod, it will not play anything when waking up. If you generate a playlist in iTunes, the alarm clock works fine. There are some other bugs with playlists in Anapod, but I am still tracking down the specific reason for them.

Because I travel often, I also purchased Altec Lansing’s IM3 portable speakers. I was afraid the iPod with the Invisible Shield wouldn’t fit on the dock, but it fits fine. The unit can be powered via AC or batteries.

New York

I’m back from another business trip. This time I stayed at the Hampton Inn Manhattan-Seaport-Financial District, and I wouldnt stay there again. Its a tiny hotel, and I think there was only five rooms per floor! The rooms felt no bigger than a regular office sized cube. There was no room service available, and the breakfast was shitty. Taxi cab drivers had no idea where it was because its new, and its tiny. My driver kept driving down pearl street and I kept telling him the hotel was behind us, and the numbers are getting higher, not lower.

Besides the shitty hotel experience, I had a good time out east. I saw Avenue Q, which was absolutely hilarious. We bought the tickets at the half price tickets place, TKTS. The experience of buying tickets there wasn’t what I had imagined because there was no lines. The machines were broken, so not many people were around. We just went right in and bought the tickets, which were available because they were already printed out.

There were two restraunts that stood out on this trip, a Korean restraunt in Koreatown and a Shanghai place in chinatown. I forget the name of the Korean restraunt, but it was a 24 hr restraunt, and had drawings all over the walls. I’m not sure if I really liked the place or not, beacuse I ate there the night I flew in, and I was starving. On my last night in the city, we walked from my hotel to chinatown, which was eight or so blocks. Joe’s Shanghai restraunt is where we ended up, and it was awesome. The soup dumplings were great, as well as the other dishes we ordered. I saw one guy that ordered only these dumplings… three orders all for himself.

United Airlines Boeing 757-200 Premium Service

On my way to New York, I was on the Boeing 757-200 Premium Service plane from United Airlines. Apparently, these planes have been around forover a year. From UA’s press release:

“United’s p.s. service is flown on a three-class Boeing 757 aircraft and has 12 United First®, 26 United Business and 72 United Economy Plus seats. United’s p.s. service offers the only lie-flat seats in first class on a U.S. aircraft that operates between New York and California and has Economy Plus throughout the entire coach cabin.

To provide customers with a superior level of service, p.s. offers access to an adapter-free 110-volt power outlet, phone and e-mail from every seat. The same elegant, gourmet dining service customers have enjoyed during their international travel is also offered on p.s. To help customers pass the time, p.s. offers premium onboard entertainment including hand-held DVD players and noise-reduction headsets to United First and United Business customers. Customized onboard video programming is available to customers in all classes of service via United’s overhead entertainment system.”

I like the idea, but I didn’t like how I was stuffed toward the back of the plane again. I felt like my airline status didnt matter anymore, and that I should try my hardest to upgrade if I’m on another flight like this.

Another Dublin-Pleasanton BART Station?!

Wow… there will be a second Dublin-Pleasanton BART station by 2009. I wonder why they chose this location for the next BART station. A better choice would be Livermore, as there are so many people from there and further (like Tracy) that use the current Dublin-Pleasanton BART station. The Pleasanton mayor Jennifer Hosterman even said that she would rather have seen a station built in Livermore, instead of another in the Dublin-Pleasanton area.

I’m having trouble picturing where it will be, but they said it will be close the Stoneridge Mall. This station will be a ‘transit village’, which means that the station will be surrounded by condos, a hotel and retail businesses. You can read more about the new station here and here.

TSA Adjusted Ban on Liquids, Aerosols and Gels

Well its about time! “Travelers may now carry through security checkpoints travel-size toiletries (3 ounces or less) that fit comfortably in ONE, QUART-SIZE, clear plastic, zip-top bag.” via So now the question is… where can I get travel-sized toiletries? I found a couple sites that could help if you are really lazy…. specializes in travel-sized products, and sells travel-sized toothpaste and other dental supplies.

But instead of buying online, I decided to see what local stores had in stock for travel-sized items. My first stop was to Rite Aid and surprisingly, they had alot of things. Travel-sized shampoo, toothpaste, hand sanitizers, etc. The one thing I couldnt find there was empty 3oz bottles. I was going to visit Target as well, but since Rite Aid had most of what I needed, I was happy enough.

I’m very happy that I can carry on all my luggage again and not go through the horrible check in luggage process. Because I am so busy with work and other projects, the time saved is priceless.