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My Aiptek 4100M Digital Video Camcorder

My last post includes a picture of my new digital video camcamcorder, posed next to my iPod so you can see how tiny it is. Here is another shot of the 4100 in action.

Aiptek 4100M Digital Camcorder

You can get it for under $100 at Sam's Club. Very small, very light, can also be used as a still digital camera, a web cam, and a voice recorder. The videos are not professional quality, but they are not bad at all.

Don't have money for an expensive digital camcorder? Or do you have one that you don't carry around because it is too heavy/bulky or you are afraid you will lose/break it? Want to give your kid a real video camera that is priced like a toy? Check out the Aiptek 4100M. I love mine!!
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The “carry everywhere” camcorder

It's about 2/3 the size of my iPod (and 1/3 the price). For details, see my next post.

iPod and Aiptek 4100M

(Yes, I admit it. I am a major gadget freak!)
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Long time, no talk to!

I can't believe it has been over two months since I posted here. For me, writing is like exercising. I either do it every day or I end up going months (or longer!) without doing anything at all. I'm pathetic, I know.

So today is Labor Day. To me, that means the Jerry Lewis telethon. I never cared much for his movies (slapstick is just not my thing) but the man is a saint as far as I am concerned because of the work he does to fight muscular dystrophy.

This year the show was dedicated to Mattie Stepanek who lost his battle with that wretched disease in June. Unfortunately, this was the first year that the telethon failed to raise a dollar more than the year before. It didn't help that large portions of Florida are under water or without electricity this weekend due to Hurricane Frances. But whatever the reason, I am feeling very sad tonight that we didn't come through for Jerry.

If you want to do something that will make you feel good about yourself, why not surf over to the MDA web site and donate a few bucks in Mattie's memory.

iTunes is currently playing: The Meaning of the Blues from the album Miles Ahead by Miles Davis.

People with too much time on their hands

A guy named Earl Vickers has created a web site called the Museum of Conceptual Art. Among the "art projects" Mr. Vickers claims to have created is the first Pig Latin translation of the Bible. Available for your enlightenment are the Book of Genesis, the Book of Job, and the Gospel according to John.

I hope that the author found a Pig Latin translation program someplace and didn't really "translate" this stuff himself. (The end result would still be "art", wouldn't it?)

iTunes is currently playing: In The Time It Takes from the album You Hold The Key by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

I am SOOOO in love with my Mac!!

I've discovered the most amazing OS X app -- Konfabulator! It's a javascript "engine" that runs cute little applets called Widgets that do anything and everything. I'm testing a blog posting widget right now. If this post appears, it works!

“Remember to play after every storm.”

The L.A.Times published a lovely obituary today that included some of Mattie Stepanek's poetry along with snippets from interviews he has given in the last few years.

"We all have life storms," he told Chris Cuomo on "Prime Time Thursday" in December 2001, "and when we get through them or recover from them, we should celebrate that we got through it. That's what my life's philosophy means: to remember to play after every storm."

iTunes is currently playing: The Sheltering Sky from the album 1996 by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Cool Canadian Coin

New Canadian QuarterIsn't this the cutest thing?? According to blogger site radio daisy pad, this new Canadian quarter was designed by an 11 year old. We should all be so creative, eh?

iTunes is currently playing: I Can Do That from the album A Chorus Line (1975 Original Broadway Cast) sung by Wayne Cilento.

R.I.P. Mattie Stepanek, Age 13, Poet and Activist


Writer and Advocate Mattie Stepanek Dies at 13

In his 13 years, Mattie Stepanek became nationally known as a “peacemaker and poet” whose story of living with a rare neuromuscular disorder led to five published books, numerous television appearances and a friendship with former President Jimmy Carter.

Read the story on

iTunes is currently playing: Goodbye from the album Lost In Translation by Kevin Shields.

Tom Hanks in “The Terminal”

Hanks is great fun as a man "without a country" stuck in a NYC airport. His three airport employee sidekicks are good, too. (The character played by Catherine Zeta Jones is majorly annoying!) It's pretty amazing that they built that entire airport on a soundstage in lovely (HA!) Palmdale. I'd probably rate it 2.5 or 2.75 out of 4, mostly because it was a bit too long. This will be a good rental in a few months.

iTunes is currently playing: All Around the World from the album Affection by Lisa Stansfield.

Cool Photos @ Swedish (?) Blog

I stumbled upon this cool blogger site today: Snap Happy. Most of the text is in Swedish (I think) but (interestingly) its single photo album (called "Snap Happy Impressions") is annotated in English. Go figure. Anyway, the single photo album on the site has some great shots. Enjoy!

iTunes is currently playing: I Drove All Night from the album The Essential Cyndi Lauper by Cyndi Lauper.
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R.I.P. Paul Johnson, Jr.

What broke in a man when he could bring himself to kill another?

- Alan Paton, "Cry, The Beloved Country", 1948

iTunes is currently playing: Belfast to Boston (live version) by James Taylor.

Time Magazine Explains the Blog Phenom

This Time magazine article presents the history of blogging and points you to some influential/interesting/successful blogs.

iTunes is currently playing: Desert Rose from the album Brand New Day by Sting.

Congrats to Larry Brown and Co.

Tuesday night we watched the Detroit Pistons win the NBA Finals, beating the Lakers in five games. We hate the Lakers and we SO wanted them to lose! In an ideal world, Larry Brown would have coached our Sixers to victory. Still, it was nice to see him finally taking some team all the way, even if it wasn't ours, and to see the Laker dynasty stopped dead in its tracks!

So four hours after the champagne bottles were uncorked in Detroit, the following was posted on "Pistons looking like Motown's one-hit wonder... Enjoy this title, Piston fans, because it won't happen next year".

Sounds like a comment scribbled by a disgruntled Laker fan, doesn't it. But it's not. It was written by contributor Bob Duff, who apparently writes for a newspaper in Ontario. (That would be Ontario, CANADA, not Ontario, CALIFORNIA.)

Why does Mr. Duff believe the Pistons have peaked? He gives two reasons.

1) Larry Brown focuses on DEFENSE and, according to this bozo, a team that wins a title by defending can't do it more than once. (I don't know about that. I think any team that can defend Kobe and KING KONG well enough to win 5 games out of 6 might be on to something...)

2) Rasheed Wallace might not be on the roster next year. (I guess Bob didn't notice that Rasheed sat out big chunks of games 3 and 4 due to foul trouble and the Pistons still managed to win those games!)

Personally, I think people who live in that frozen tundra to the north of us should stick to writing about hockey and socialized medicine and leave the NBA to us. If they have to put their two cents in, maybe they could at least wait a day or two to start raining on the victory parade.

iTunes is currently playing:
No System For Love from the album Beth Nielsen Chapman by Beth Nielsen Chapman.

Target the Wonder Cat (x9!)

This picture of Target, my half-bengal, being held by his daddy was taken with a Pop 9 camera. The Pop 9 (a cool camera with nine lenses) is available through the Lomographic Society International at



i play tennis dressed in black
and knit sweaters of steel wool.
a twisted rag lying in the
street is a maimed dog.
its cries follow me home
drowning out teakettles and

she hoped for babies and tulips.
i am stray cats and



two nights a week
the Marxist teacher
serves dinner to the homeless
who sleep on his beach,
grateful for his daughter,
his home near the ocean,
and the job he loves.
Mondays and Wednesdays
he drives to the University,
lectures on Melville and
dabbles in campus politics.
the student in the
front row envies his life.
his centeredness.

afternoons she sits on
a concrete bench.
he eats a sandwich
and asks about her classes.
the student leans forward,
brushes away a leaf that has fallen
into the teacher's beard,
aware of the energy
radiating into her

she wants to bury her hands
in the stiff hair
allowing his energy to
flow into her extremities,
convinced that his magic
is stronger than
any sorcerer's

that as long as she holds on
to the teacher's beard
wholeness will be



I want to live
in the forest
build a doll house
cedar chalet
surrounded by tulips
and fireflies
crochet blankets
the color of coffee
and emeralds
lick marshmallow
creme from a spoon
and teach rabbits
how to read.

When my forest becomes
black and cold and
wet I will slip
into a field and
kneel in the grass
rinse my hair in
aloe vera
on my shoulders.

When I die they
will bury me
in the moonlight
dig a grave in
a strawberry patch
and lower me
as Billie warns
. . . don't say a word
don't break the spell . . .