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Showing posts from March, 2009

Jose Gonzalez - Heartbeats

Latest song to make it into my music library, as heard on Bones "The Salt in the Wounds." Actually, the episode itself was not that great, but the song is nice.

Shazam! The Shining by Badly Drawn Boy

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Another great app that I downloaded for my iPod Touch is a free one called Shazam. It listens to a sound clip and identifies the song for you. Now unlike the iPhone, the iPod Touch doesn't come with a built-in microphone. So on my recent trip, I bought a set of Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic from a shop at the NOVA Computer Arcade in Taipei. It works perfectly and I've been able to identify some previously anonymous tracks I had in my iTunes library.

Tonight, I was able to use Shazam to identify the song that was played at the end of the episode of House called "The Social Contract."
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Now playing: Badly Drawn Boy - The Shining
via FoxyTunes


With only a few seconds of listening, Shazam identified the song and artist, showed me the cover of the album and gave me links to preview and purchase the song at the iTunes Store and even to see it on YouTube. It's one of the more useful Apps out there--and it's free!

I Heart iPod Touch

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In preparation for our recent trip to Taiwan, I bought a 32 GB iPod Touch. I never paid much attention to the whole iPhone/Touch hype before, but a few weeks before leaving I attended a technology conference where the keynote speaker talked about his iPhone. After finding out that the cost of a digital oscilloscope was in the hundreds of dollars, he was able to buy an oscilloscope application for his iPhone for only $5.

I never knew that there were so many different apps available for the iPhone. I was sold. Of course, I'm not a cell phone user and I refuse to pay such high fees for a monthly data plan, so I bought the iPod Touch. It can run all the same apps and besides the phone function, it is missing only the built-in camera and GPS of the iPhone. And even without the GPS, the WiFi connection in the iPod Touch is surprisingly accurate in locating your position on Google Maps.

I found the iPod Touch to be invaluable during our trip. Much better than lugging a laptop around, I wa…

Transportation Methods when Traveling in a Foreign Country

Planning a trip to a foreign county involves making a number of travel preparations before you leave. One factor you should take into consideration when planning a trip is how you are going to get around once you arrive. It is important to be aware of the various methods of transportation so you can make the appropriate travel plans.

Bus: Taking a bus can save you a lot of money. You will have a chance to get a close up view of the country. Buses tend to be safe and reliable. They also make many stops allowing visitors to see much more of the country. When traveling by bus, you should make sure you have arranged for accommodations along your route.

Car Rental: Renting a car will allow for more flexibility when traveling. You can decide where you want to go and when you want to travel. You must have a valid license. Depending on the country, you will likely be required to have an International Driving Permit (IDP). You should also purchase the appropriate car insurance. Car rental agen…

VW R32: 5th Anniversary

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Well... it's been five years since I purchased the R. I have to say most of it has been fun. I also have to say, or admit, that in the past year and a bit, and after several large expenditures, I've wondered how much money I could have saved if I didn't care about my R so much.

Oh, well.

Happy 5th Birthday, R32! :o)



VW R32: Icy HIDs

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The R32 is great nevertheless there were some things that I found disappointing about the 2004 North American iteration sold in the United States. One of which is that for some inexplicable reason (probably $$$) prior to shipping R32s to the United States they stripped them of the HIDs European R32s possessed stock.

I consider HIDs to be first a safety issue and second a performance issue. Having said that, the HIDs on European R32s were in short supply, and expensive, so I delayed a little in purchasing them. Anywhoo, I installed HIDs years ago.

This post is to make the observation that HIDs emit less heat than conventional headlights. As a consequence on a snowy night somewhere in New York or Pennsylvannia I discovered that my Lexan covers had iced over the HIDs. It was pitch dark and snowing so I hadn't realized I wasn't getting optimum light output.

See below the fold for a picture.


Not sure what's up with my pictures on this blog, but if you click on it you shoul…

VW R32: A R32 in Canada

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After 50,070 miles my R has officially become a Canadian citizen. It survived the roughly 1,200 miles, most of it driven in snowy darkness, it took to complete my relocation to the Land of Tim Hortons.

The R hopped through the hoops set by the Registrar of Imported Vehicles, jumped the hurdles set by Ontario motor vehicles and as of the afternoon of 3 February 2009 my 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32 received its Ontario tags. Actually, I’m debating whether to even to put them on as I’ve ordered personalized ones.

The R is white with salt and I’m seriously contemplating taking it to a “touchless” car wash, a concept previously verbotten in Maryland.

See below the fold for the first pics my R in Canada.