A Really Cool Ninja DVD Set

America’s original ninja Stephen K. Hayes just re-released his very first video as a new 2-DVD set and it’s on sale for $29.95! 50% off! He covers a ton of ninja training in this set, and it’s great to see him just after returning from his years in Japan with the Grandmaster Hatsumi Sensei.

Ninja Night Warriors Preview (Requires Adobe Flash)

Buy now!

Effortless Victory over Larger Attackers

Ninja Master An-shu Stephen K. Hayes has put a 3-DVD set on sale to celebrate his 60th birthday: Effortless Victory over Larger Attackers for $29.95. This is normally $89.95. I highly recommend this for those who are looking to avoid violence and gain a basic understanding of evading assaults from dangerous attackers.

The sale ends on Saturday – two days from now.

iPhone 3GS: I Should Pay More

I got an iPhone 3G almost a year ago and I got a two-year cell service contract with AT&T so I could get a deep discount. I’ve loved the phone, and will love it even more after I install the iPhone OS 3.0 software on it.

Apple announced the iPhone 3GS at WWDC this week and some customers are throwing petitions around and complaining on their blogs and other web sites that AT&T should cut them a break and give them the discount normally reserved for those who have satisfied their contracts. I do not agree with these people.

I think the iPhone 3GS just puts Apple even further ahead of every other smart phone on the market in the world today than they already were. Blackberry folks have (to a large extent) remained loyal, but Windows Mobile and other smart phone operating systems have, to put it bluntly, failed miserably in the face of real-life innovation and their plummeting market share proves this.

I want the video camera. I want the digital compass. I want the faster 3G and the faster processor. But I should pay more because I haven’t satisfied my contract with AT&T. Once I have, over 12 months from now, there’ll likely be yet another new model on the horizon. So I’ll save my next discount for that one instead of whining and being greedy.

This DOES NOT MEAN that I’m fond of AT&T. I feel their data pricing is criminally-high and their laziness to market with the new features is completely ridiculous.

I should point out, though, that there are plenty of people out there who are still under contract who WILL pay the full, unsubsidized prices for the new 3GS. To these people I say bravo – enjoy your new phone!

Chase Sends us WaMu Customers ATM Cards?

As most people know, one of the results of the current economic crisis is the fact that Chase is now the owner of Washington Mutual, where all of my banking is done. 

Today I get a brand new ATM card in the mail.

You read that correctly: An ATM card. Not a debit card with a MasterCard or Visa logo, but a card that can only be used at ATM machines.

That struck me as a very interesting way for a financial institution to spend money these days. Does anybody reading this have a card that ONLY works in an ATM machine? How much do you think it would have cost Chase to send out debit cards that can be used at millions and millions of ATMs, restaurants, and stores all over the world?

Marco Pierre White's "The Chopping Block"

I’ve been a big fan of Gordon Ramsay’s U.S. and U.K. television shows “Hell’s Kitchen” and “Kitchen Nightmares”, so I was naturally curious to see the show of the man who apparently once trained Gordon, Marco Pierre White. I had never heard of Marco before seeing the promos for “The Chopping Block”, which I found interesting because through Gordon’s shows, Top Chef, and various other cooking shows on cable I’d heard about quite a few popular chefs.

The Chopping Block is one of the most boring shows I’ve seen in years. Not only does Marco have absolutely no personality at all, but the show is filled with people who have a clearly-apparent lack of skill. I don’t really care about any of them. That’s not Marco’s issue (unless you break it down to the fact that it’s HIS show), but it seems that the editors would have done a much better job to get the audience to give a damn about SOMEBODY on the show.

My point is that Marco Pierre White may just be the classic example of a teacher who has been completely overshadowed by his students. He seems to regret his decision to retire and is now attempting to jump back in at the top by capitalizing on the success of Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali. Whether that’s true or not, Marco seems like a man who is desperately grasping at straws to regain a name for himself and become relevant in the restaurant business again. Based on “The Chopping Block”, it doesn’t appear that will happen any time soon. Let’s see what happens over the next year or two. One thing is certain: he’ll have to do a lot more than he’s doing on “The Chopping Block”.

I remember reading a quote where Marco said Gordon Ramsay’s motivation was money. While Ramsay’s restaurants are expensive, all one has to do is eat there to realize that while money may be a motivation, it certainly is no stronger than his motivation for absolutely incredible food.

The Mojave "Experiment"

When I first saw The Mojave Experiment something struck me as odd. I couldn’t put my finger on it initially, but after pondering it for a while I realized that the whole concept is completely flawed. Rather than provide a narrative here of why this is such a misleading and botched “experiment”, I’ll simply link to a blog post that someone else wrote, which sums it up:


Oh My!

I preface this by saying that I did what most of my friends did. I followed the direct link to Apple’s web site to download what was supposedly the final version of the iPhone 2.0 firmware and I did the manual install. I did NOT do it the sanctioned way of going through iTunes. I therefore may have either a corrupted or out-dated version.

What’s up with the downloaded apps not starting up? I downloaded about 6 free apps and installed them, and for the first couple of days they worked. But for the last two days, they don’t launch. None of them. They try to, but after no more than five seconds, it gracefully returns to my home screen with no error message. Strangely, all of the standard iPhone applications work as they should.

So I write this with two things in mind.

1. If I’m on 5A347, am I on the wrong version?

2. If 5A237 is the final version of iPhone 2.0, Apple – what’s up with these apps not starting anymore?

The Art of Choice

I saw a story on Digg that was a spoof on an iPhone commercial. The guy talked about spending $600 for the first model, then having the price get lowered by $200 in  almost no time (no mention of the $100 store credit that Apple gave all those customers, by the way). Then shelling out another $199 for the new iPhone 3G with a more expensive data plan. I didn’t personally get a new phone, but I know of a couple of people that did.

A comment on that Digg post by a guy named Jim read as follows:

“I’ll re-state what many other clear-minded people here have stated before: You don’t HAVE to buy the phone. Don’t like the prices? Go find another phone/carrier.

I can’t afford a Mercedes, but you don’t see me bitching to them about it in some shitty blog. Get over it.”

I couldn’t agree with this person more. Nobody is forcing anyone to stand in lines for hours. Nobody is forcing anyone to spend another $199 plus service charges. People are CHOOSING to do so. By the hundreds of thousands.

I've Just About Had it with Hillary.

There are people who follow this stuff a lot closer than I do, but as far as I understand it, ALL democratic candidates agreed that Florida and Michigan’s delegates should not be counted because of what they did with their primary dates (moving them way up).

In addition, ALL candidates removed their names from the Michigan ballot in compliance with rules set forth by the Democratic party. Except for one. Hillary.

A proposed solution in Michigan to have their delegates seated at the convention would give Hillary 59 delegates, Barack 49 delegates, and the 29 super delegates would be able to vote for whoever they wanted. That sure sounds pretty fair to me. But not to Hillary.

I’m tired of her lies. I’m tired of her bending or breaking the rules, the truth and the numbers to try to make it look like she has the lead in popular votes, and I’m tired of her speeches which don’t seem uplifting or promising to me.