ZoneTick is cool

So I became addicted to this utility called ZoneTick. It’s a replacement for the windows clock that shows in the lower right corner of your screen. With this little ditty you can have multiple clocks with all different time zones displayed, and have clocks on your desktop much like Macintosh or Yahoo widgets. Since I’m an aviation freak, I’m always wanting to know what the current “zulu” time it is, which is aviation parliance for Greenwich mean time, which is the time used for all aviation matters.

There are “widgets” that do basically the same, but this utility gives you absolute control over the time/date and how you want it displayed, which others do not.

Anywhoo, I had a problem with it and their support was excellent. Timely replies via email, and I wasn’t expecting that (who does any more) So I can’t reccommend enough spending $20 and getting this nifty little utility. Nice folks. here is their website

Toshiba Gigabeat S + Windows Media 11 and URGE

I got a new MP3 player this week. Needed something more than my 5-year-old iPOD. After a dreadful experience with a bad sync cable having to be replaced I am happy to report — this thing is awesome!

It has the new Windows Media Mobile player on it, and this plus the new Windows Media Player 11 is really a slick little package. WATCH OUT Apple! This could be the iPOD killer. iTUNES is nice, but I’ve never cared for it’s interface — and comparing it now it’s actually really staid and old looking compared to this new combination I have. Plus it effortlessly found all my pictures and videos, and synced them with the gigabeat player. Very slick.

The Toshiba gigabeat player itself is well designed — 30GB hard drive player with good connection options. You can even output to a TV and watch the videos you have on it (cables came included). Volume and sound are great, and the screen is gorgeous.

So as a part of Windows Media Player 11, they have bundled the new URGE music store, run by MTV. So I signed-up for the free trial. I have to say I’m impressed. Every obscure song I looked for they had, and then I got into the “More music like this” feature which searches for other artists and songs that are similar to what you have selected. I found more cool stuff and songs I remembered and loved that needed to be in my collection immediately! It was easy to select them, they downloaded and synced, again, flawlessly. Even with album art to boot!

After the free trial it costs you $14 a month — but it’s for all you can eat. Or you can purchase songs for $0.99 each. So I guess you could get stuck and tethered to the service if you don’t by the songs outright (which, I’m sure, is what they want). However, searching and sampling all these songs was very easy, and I’d spend the money just for the directory and searching service alone.

Anyways, enough fluff. None of this is new — others have done it before. But the entire “package” of this combination is very nice — This is good stuff. I can’t believe something like this came from Microsoft.


The heat notwithstanding, I ventured out to the annual Seattle Music festival. To be honest, I was a little dissapointed at the lineup. Or perhaps I’m just getting old. The only selections I desired to see were Blondie and the Steve Miller Band. So on Saturday I walked the 3 blocks from my apartment (nice!) to Seattle Center. I had an hour and a half before Blondie. This event is now is so effed-up that would you believe that I finally got into Memorial Stadium and got to listen to the last 4 songs only!! And the stadium wasn’t even full! What’s up with that?! Could they not open more gates? I arrived in standard time an hour before I wanted to listen — and the stadium wasn’t even full! Very dissapointing. Bad Seattle people, bad.

(I’ve been doing a lot of rants lately, huh?!)

On the flip-side I did meet-up with my friend Lauren and had a hoot of a time watching the Rat City Rollers play in their roller derby tournament. It was oddly fascinating to watch, and fun! And plus the campy factor was high, so of course I was all in!

Click here to watch roller derby chicks battle it out!

Summer never ends!

This year Summer never ends — uuuuugh!

It was 80 degrees at midnight last night!

Most people who view this will just not understand — what’s not to love about this weather forecast, especially for Labor Day weekend.

Well, this naitive for one is calling for a change. Momma Nature — I protest your desire to turn Seattle into Phoenix this summer. We’ve had way too many of these forecasts. If I wanted this I would’ve stayed in California. Yes, it is that time of the year, but now it’s Labor Day. Do your job and make us proud!

Just when is a hermit supposed to sip his hot cocoa, read books and eat Doritos whilst in his comfy new La-z-boy?

[edit: in the time I took to write this short rant, the tempurature went up by 3 degrees….sigh]