Tag Archives: Music

My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

My previous roommates had a Magic Bullet, so I could kind of experiment with making shakes like the one in Jorge Cruise’s “Belly Fat Cure” book, but the Magic Bullet has a small capacity and really not a lot of power for some serious blending. Now that I’ve moved and got my own kitchen, I didn’t have a blender of any kind. And I really didn’t want to spend any money on one either.

At work, when we meet our customer service goals, they award us a bonus. The bonus used to be a quarterly cash bonus that maxed out at $200 but once taxed at the rate the government taxes bonuses, it was barely more than half the value. As part of a cost cutting measure last year due to the economy, the quarterly bonus opportunity was transitioned into a point program where the points could be saved and redeemed through an awards catalog online. The points can be redeemed for a wide variety of products and if that’s not quite enough for you, they even have a partnership with Amazon.com for supplying Music and DVD options to be redeemed for points.

When I logged in to look at what was available, I really wasn’t looking to purchase yet with the point I had available. But I just happened to look and not only did they have a variety of blenders available, they also had KitchenAid Blenders. I’m already familiar with KitchenAid quality thanks to my grandmother’s mixer being passed down to me. And I love a great deal, the mixers are normally 7,176 points, and they were on special for 3,915 points, essentially 45% off the usual “price” only thing was there’s only one choice of color, the “Willow Blue” model. Fortunately, it’s a nice color and since buying the blender for real money would be about $100, I felt it was a great deal and placed the order. Within in a couple days the blender arrived. Continue reading My “Free” KitchenAid Blender

Stopping At Lou’s Records In Encinitas

I don’t often make it to the coastal areas of San Diego any more, and these days when I do it’s the coastal areas near San Diego, not so much the North County coastal areas. I opted for a nice drive down the coast and when I neared Encinitas, it struck me that it’s been ages since I last visited Lou’s Records on Coast Highway.

I spent a fortune there back in the day as they were the best place to get import CDs back when I used to buy a lot of music. In fact, my very first visit was an expensive one as I found some amazing hard to get ABBA imports that to this day I’ve never seen anywhere outside of overpriced eBay auctions. Lou’s Records was also the store where I did my very first special order of an import, which was for a Swedish language solo album by Marie Fredriksson of Roxette. So when I decided to stop in at Lou’s I wasn’t sure they were even still around as it seems stores dedicated to selling music are harder to find than they used to be. Fortunately Lou’s was still there and I was instantly nostalgic for the hours I would spend combing the racks there for the many treasures I would find there.

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Ugly Sweater Party & Bea Arthur In Star Wars

Ugly Sweater Party 2009Last night I attended an “Ugly Sweater Party” at the home of a local friend, Mike Kurtz. The premise of the party is that you’re suppose to find an ugly sweater or sweatshirt to wear to the party. You have the option of buying something new that’s hideous or comb the racks of the local thrift stores to find something ugly. It’s just a fun excuse to have a great theme party.

The party is also a pot luck of sorts and I brought some cookies. I didn’t have time to make some sugar free ones so I just bought some pre-made cookie dough packages from the supermarket and baked those up for the party. Pretty quick and easy. Some people did some creative things, such as one person brought a whole plate of olives that were creatively stacked and stuffed with some carrots and cream to look like penguins. Mike and his partner Ian had wonderful meatballs for the party.

To compliment the theme of ugly sweaters, one of the worst television holiday specials ever was screened. It’s the 1978 Star Wars Holiday Special. It’s so bad that George Lucas has said if he had the time and a hammer he would track down every bootleg recording of it and smash it. And yes, it was horrible. I’m amazed they got the original actors to consent to making this steaming pile of crap holiday special. The sets looked terrible. The costumes were pretty bad, especially the Wookies that made up the rest of Chewbacca’s family. Even the animation for the cartoon segment introducing Boba Fett was bad too.

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New Way To Enjoy Holiday Music From Sony Music

Celine Dion Fireplace DVDWhen I was last at my local Wal-Mart and was in their Christmas section, I came across a display of CDs and some DVDs. To my surprise it seems this year, Sony Music got a little creative with their holiday music. They’ve reissued a lot of their most popular holiday albums, except not as CDs, but as DVDs. Now the videos on the CDs is not of the artists, it’s of a fireplace scenes.

Normally I might think this is a rather shameless attempt to make people buy yet another version of a holiday album they probably already own. Surprisingly I actually thought it was a cool idea. Some people do like those DVDs of aquariums and fireplaces to throw on, and since the DVD player is likely connected to a surround sound system anyway, why not have a DVD with fireplace scenes that feeds the sound of your favorite holiday albums to the speakers. They had all kinds of choices in a variety of genres, such as Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, John Denver, Brad Paisley, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Kenny G, Il Divo, Kenny Chesney, Bette Midler, Johnny Cash, and more.

It’s a relatively cheap concept to make since Sony Music has access to the records and they only need to film the fireplace once and set the same footage to each holiday album. Kind of a neat idea and not something I’m going to take part in buying, but I do like the concept of it. If you like any Sony artists with holiday albums, you may want to check out this line. Sony calls it the “Christmas Classics – The Yule Edition.”

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My First Official ABBA T-Shirts

ABBA T-shirtsI just purchased my very first “official” ABBA T-Shirts. Sure I’ve had a couple of t-shirts promoting the ABBAMAIL website I used to write columns for and have a couple of unofficial shirts here and there, but now I have legitimate and real ABBA T-shirts that even have official ABBA tags in the collar. How cool is that?

I ordered the shirts from ABBA’s official website at ABBAsite.com and the webshop there is really a specialty shop with fulfillment handled by a great Swedish music retailer, Bengans.se. I’ve ordered tons of music from them over the years and they’re a great shop. So acting as ABBA’s official store, they have in addition to the ability to purchase music CDs and DVDs, they have some merchandise. They’ve had merchandise in their webshop for a couple of years now, but I’ve never ordered any because let’s face it, they didn’t make T-shirts in my size. Well that was before I started losing weight with Jorge Cruise’s Belly Fat Cure program.

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Pandora Internet Radio – Best iPhone & iPod Touch Application

Pandora AppOne of my favorite applications that I’ve been using on my iPod Touch has been the Pandora Internet Radio application. Despite having a collection of over 12,000+ songs on my computer to put on my iPod at any time, I sometimes get bored with the music I already have. Perhaps it’s just the knowledge that there’s no chance of hearing anything new which creates the boredom, but in any case, sometimes random play is just not enough.

Well, the folks at Pandora have just the cure for the boredom, it’s their Pandora Internet Radio which is available both online for PCs and Macs to access through Pandora’s Website and the application they have made available for iPhones and iPod Touch. All you need to do is specify an artist or even pick a specific song, and Pandora’s Internet Radio will build a playlist of similar songs from similar sounding artists and you instantly have access to the world’s most perfect radio station, the one custom created just for you and your mood at that moment.

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