The Source of Your Joy

Posted in General by diptoe on January 27, 2011


I promised myself I wouldn’t waste time doing one of these. I generally don’t like attaching myself to memes, especially ones that result in so much bad art (not that mine is better – good and bad are matters of opinion), but I couldn’t help myself this time. Simon Birky-Hartmann of Studio Ace of Spade fame inspired me.

Create an imaginary first album:

  1. Go to www.wikipedia.com and hit Random Article. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
  2. Go to www.quotationspage.com and hit Random Quotes. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
  3. Go to www.flickr.com and click on “explore the last seven days”. Third picture no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
  4. Use Photoshop or similar (www.picnik.com is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
  5. Don’t cheat.

My Results:



Donations Needed for Homeless Babies

Posted in General by diptoe on January 25, 2011

The PEDS program at the South Bend Center for the Homeless (CFH) is in critical need of donations of baby wipes, diapers, formula and baby food.

Wipes are the most critical area of need. For diapers, any size diaper works. Sizes 3, 4, 5 (actually 4-5) are their biggest need right now.

On the food end of things, they need baby food, stages 1 and 3, and formula. The formula they prefer is Enfamil, but they’ll take anything.

If you live in the Goshen/Elkhart area and wish to donate, I can pick up your donation and take it to the Center for you.

More Info:

There are about 60 kids under age 18 currently living in CFH housing. PEDS = Pediatric Medicine, which is a medical or other specialty dealing with child patients.

The PEDS program at CFH is for children from newborn to age 3. They currently have about 20 children in the program.

Tagged with: ,

Help To Warm Up Freezing People

Posted in General by diptoe on January 13, 2011

The Center for the Homeless in South Bend could use your help. They are offering winter amnesty right now, where they basically open up their extra floor space so that people don’t have to sleep outside in the cold and snow.

These extra people use up more resources, so the Center is in need of donations – warm clothing, towels, socks, granola bars, non-perishable foods, handwarmers, etc.

During my last conversation with them, a Center representative also noted that they have 60 kids there whose needs are often overlooked when people bring in clothing. So kid-sized warm boots and winter clothing are welcomed.

If you have anything you like to donate, please let me know. I’m willing to pick it up and take it to the Center for you. Also, it’s a good excuse to clean out your closets ahead of spring cleaning time. Below is a list of needs the Center has:


  • Blankets
  • Cold-weather outerwear
  • Winter boots for adult men and women
  • Socks
  • Towels
  • Double or triple-edge razors
  • Full size bath soap
  • Copy Paper
  • African American Hair Care products
  • Feminine Hygiene Products (super and long)
  • Full-sized bottles of shampoos/conditioners
  • Q-tips
  • Band-aids
  • Diapers/wipes
  • Deodorant


  • In-kind donation of routine maintenance on CFH vehicles
  • New socks and underwear (men’s and women’s)
  • X-Large – XXXL shirts, men and women
  • Women’s dress shoes (sizes 8 and up)
  • Towels/wash cloths
  • Men’s Shoes: size 9-14
  • Laundry detergent
  • Bleach
  • Common toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, powder, etc)
  • Lip balm
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Ear Plugs
  • 2 to 3-inch 3-ring binders
  • New spirals
  • Good Quality Books
  • Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, aspirin
Tagged with: , ,

Switching from AT&T to Verizon? Here’s an Early Termination Fee Cost Calculator

Posted in General by diptoe on January 11, 2011

Verizon just announced that the iPhone 4 will be available on their network on February 10. Just in case you’re an AT&T customer wanting to switch, here’s a helpful tool from CNN and Wolfram|Alpha that will help you figure out the cost of switching:


Cola Plunges To Its End

Posted in General by diptoe on October 29, 2010

KITCHEN NEWSWIRE– A can of Meijer brand Diet Cherry Encore Cola is no longer with us after it plunged more than 36 inches from the top shelf of the refrigerator to meet its end earlier this morning.

“I am deeply saddened by this tragic loss,” said Edgar Diaz, witness at the scene. “I was putting my food in the refrigerator when I saw it fall.”

The can reportedly sprayed cola all over the kitchen floor and walls. Cleanup crews wiped the area down with paper towel, and there are reports that a mop and bucket could be required to finish the job. “It was a mess,” says Diaz, “and the floor might still be a little bit sticky.”

Diaz said he is troubled by the thought that there might have been something he could have done to prevent the accident. He is offering cola-replacement therapy for others who may have been affected by the loss.

Testing a Video Post

Posted in General by diptoe on June 14, 2010

Last week I experimented with a minoHD Flipcam. My goals were to (1) test the audio quality and ease of use, (2) complete Blogging 130 from Lee Aase’s SMUG curriculum, and (3) have something I could use to experiment with embedding videos on my blog. I did a few takes before settling on this one. It’s not perfect (for example, a video production guy once told me to not use hand motions during a taping like I did at 0:13 seconds), but it works.

As for the FlipCam, audio quality is good. If I sat more than 5 or so feet away the audio became noticeably quieter. It also picks up background noise fairly well. It would be nice to have a a plugin for an external mic. Importing, cutting, and uploading the video using FlipShare’s program was very easy. It is no comparison to a true video editor, but a test export to one of those programs was no trouble at all.

As noted in the video, I used a tripod and level to set up the shot. What are your thoughts on using a tripod and/or professional set up versus doing a shakycam video? Is one more “personal” than the other? I’d appreciate your feedback.

Tagged with: , , , ,

Why Use Google Chrome?

Posted in General by diptoe on June 9, 2010

Why use Google Chrome? Easy.

1. The integrated search box and address bar.
This is my favorite feature. It eliminates the separate search box and incorporates it into the address bar. This means no more hopping back and forth – just type the website or search query into the box and hit enter.

2. Chrome remembers where you like to go.
So if you go to BPGlobalPR on Twitter a lot, whenever you type in “BP” in the address/search bar “twitter.com/BPglobalPR” will be one of your top suggestions.

3. It’s really stinkin’ fast.
My understanding is that it pre-loads the web page before you even hit enter. All I know is that Google Wave works faster on Chrome than on any other browser I’ve tried.

These are my reasons for using Chrome. What are yours? let me know in the comments.

Tagged with: , , ,

When Is It Smart To Give Away Two Things For Free?

Posted in General by diptoe on May 25, 2010

When is it smart to give away two things for free?

These days I expect most businesses to have wi-fi access. The only question is whether or not it’s available for public use, and whether it’s paid or free. I refuse to use paid services, so the availability of free wi-fi influences where I spend my time and money.

I am writing this from a hotel room using free wi-fi access provided by Google. Their version of free wi-fi is brilliant – after getting online and agreeing to the terms and conditions, users are given an opportunity to download a free Google product. If I download it, Google wins because another person is using more of their services. The hotel wins because their customers get a free service. And free wi-fi and free Google tool = win for me too. Even if I don’t download the product, Google still got exposure – maybe I’ll download it later.

What do you think? Does free wi-fi ever play a role in your spending habits? Is this a smart move on Google’s part? Let me know. And to answer the question at the beginning of this post: Giving away two things for free is smart when it provides a win for you and me!

35 minutes.

Update: This post was originally titled, “Five-Minute Blog Challenge, Post Six.”

The “New” Diptoe

Posted in General by diptoe on May 4, 2010

Welcome to the new Diptoe! Nothing is really “new” other than the URL, since I decided to migrate this blog from my personal site to an officially branded site.

Blogging is a more work than I originally thought. I like to add to a conversation when I post something. But when I sit down to write something, my research often finds that someone else has already posted something along the lines of what I intended to say. Is this a common problem for any of you?

Tagged with: ,