on organics

January 30th, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

I’ve really been into buying and consuming organic foods lately.

Okay, before you start calling me a card-carrying California Hippie, hear me out.

A recent interview on KQED’s Forum started my quest. Scoff if you must, but plenty of good points were made by Nell Newman of Newman’s Own Organics. Not only are organic foods good for the environment, they can be better for you.

In a Good Eats episode aired a while back, Alton Brown mentioned his use of organic milk (lowfat, not skim, for the flavor is a lot better) in making fresh yogurt from scratch. This prompted me to try a carton of organic milk, especially since the local market had it on sale for an equal price to regular milk. There is a difference! The milk tastes more… milky. It’s a true flavor, maybe even a bit creamy, if you may.

I recently started buying Wallaby yogurt, which is also organic. I bought it at first because it was one of the few yogurts on the shelf that had no corn syrup in it (which, in itself, is a bad thing for you as well, but that’s another blog entry for another day). Labeled as low-fat organic yogurt, it tasted better than many high-fat yogurts on the market.

I could go on and on about my good experiences with organic foods. There’s really no argument from me on what’s best to buy. It’s a win-win situation. You buy foods that are better for you, they taste better, you support small and local farmers, and you’re promoting the well-being of our planet. As easy as it is to pick up the mass-produced products at any old market, the extra effort to find and purchase organics is worth it, IMHO… although most often at higher prices.

totally unrelated side note: this was an entry I started writing last June and totally forgot to finish.

mac in black

January 23rd, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

I was fortunate enough to attend the The Macintosh Marketing Story at the Computer History Museum. I actually was not planning on going, but received a call from Tantek informing me that although they had stated that the event was full, there seemed to be an adequate amount of seating left for the stragglers. I was literally driving home from work when I turned right around and headed up to Mountain View. Apologies to the rest of the South Bay crew that our previous plan did not come to fruition.

But, wow… lots of incredibly smart, witty and eloquent people in that room… I sat and listened to the many stories that led to the creation of the greatest personal computer ever. Heh… and to think I was only a mere eight years old when the Mac came to be.

Oh, and Guy Kawasaki’s Hawaiian accent was much more apparent to me now that I know how to recognize it. Heh.

Anyway.

I started to get the impression that this event quickly turned into “Funny Stories About Steve Jobs” rather than about the marketing history of the Mac. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these stories as much as everyone else, but I was most interested in hearing how the marketing machine really worked. What worked, what didn’t? What is the secret behind making the consumers excited year after year after year about your products? As someone who has worked in design and advertising, these are things that interest me. I didn’t really get all the answers to all my questions, but it was a fun time, really.

I am far from being an Apple history buff (although my purchase last night of Apple Confidential 2.0 gets me a step closer), but I certainly do appreciate all that I learned last night about the story of the Mac. What I came away with, was that it took a special group of people to bring the Macintosh into existence. It felt like I was listening to a bunch of friends talk about good times… which is not such a bad thing.

It was also mildly entertaining to be approached by an older woman who said to me, “This is Steve Wozniak’s Mom. You can take a picture of her if you like.”

Woz’s mom turned around, looked at her friend, and said, “Now what?”

I smiled at Mrs. Woz & her friend, and continued on my way.

MacWorld Report

January 6th, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

So, I won’t bore you with the details, but rather, here’s a personal perspective on MacWorld Expo SF.

iPod Mini: Initially a good idea, IMHO, but the price point is too high. It’s definitely got that “oooh! cute!” factor (a bonus for teenage girls), which I actually think will sell well in foreign markets, especially in Japan, where small, cute and personalizable items are the big thing. As for accessories, I like the new headphones that they offer (they exactly mimic my Sony Fontopia Headphones that I bought in Tokyo last year, in a white/gray color to match my iPod, natch). The armband that ships with the product is pretty handy, too.
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Top iTunes

January 5th, 2004 § 0 comments § permalink

I forgot where else I saw this being done, but I thought it was an interesting idea. I fired up iTunes to see what my most played songs were for the past year (although, it’s not entirely accurate since I got my PowerBook in August). Here are the results starting with the highest play count:

  1. Move Your Feet: Junior Senior
  2. Big Time: Peter Gabriel
  3. Boyz n’ the Hood: Dynamite Hack
  4. Hardware Store: Weird Al Yankovic
  5. The Beer Song: Matt Stone & Trey Parker
  6. Goody Two Shoes: Adam Ant
  7. Pac Man Power Pill: Aphex Twin
  8. Know Your Chicken: Cibo Matto
  9. Everyday I Write the Book: Elvis Costello
  10. Hate to Say I Told You So: The Hives

I realize that this list is largely influenced by my usage of iTunes during our regular poker nights, during which we play a particular “Poker Mix” playlist.

I was then inspired, out of sheer curiousity, to tweak the Smart Playlist to see what results I would get if I asked for my highest rated songs that I played the least
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