You Need A New Laptop: Acer Aspire TimelineX

You Need A New Laptop

Yes, you do.

If your laptop is more than, say, 2 years old, you need a new laptop. Forget the Chromebooks, since you won’t have internet wherever you are. You’re best value and technology can now be found in a netbook. Like this one.

I am typing this blog post right now on the model below – highly recommended super fight and light and even has insane battery life – I’ve been able to get 6-8 hours in regular use – imagine how often you have to plug in your current laptop? This guy is fast and lean, and you can get it in 3 different screen sizes – personally as a road warrior I prefer the smallest, lightest screen, but with a dual core i7 its powerful enough to edit video and audio. If I have any complaint its that my own eyesight sometimes fails me – but you know, that’s what the zoom button in Chrome is for..

The next-generation of Acers popular “all day computing” lineup, the 11.6-inch Aspire TimelineX 1830 model AS1830T-68U118 is an ultra-portable powerhouse that weighs just over 3 pounds yet packs in a full-size keyboard and ultra-low voltage Intel Core 17 dual-core processing–with 4-way multitasking processor power to work on four tasks simultaneously.

via Amazon.com: Acer Aspire TimelineX AS1830T-68U118 11.6-Inch Laptop Black: Electronics.

Self Medication ‘R Us

I tell you, if I has a nickel every time I went to the doctor and he prescribed antibiotics, I’d have, well, a whole lot of nickels.

It seems to me that it’s a no brainer to start to move some of these treatments out from under the “prescription” category, give adults a little bit of credit that they would be able to self medicate when it comes to antibiotics.

But no, we can’t have these over the counter now can we? Seems to me that this is more of a job creation and maintenance strategy than a healthcare strategy. Is there any real reason why we couldn’t take some of the older antibiotics which require a daily dose for 10 days and let people just take them on their own when they sense that they may have some kind of infection?

Just saying that its far past time that we took control of our health, including self medication on this front – it’s a bit sad that instead of moving towards more medical freedom, we are moving towards less medical freedom.

I have friends in the quantified self movement who self medicate all the time – if anything we should be moving towards more self control in medication as opposed to less. The only thing that is holding us back is the current political landscape – do we truly prefer to give us control of our bodies to some nameless bureaucrat?

What about doctors, you say? Sure, very important to be able to consult with a physician if you wish to – but having them as the arbiters of whether or not you can get medication or not, I feel that is simply wrong.

Simply put: we should have ultimate control over our own health – including medicine. Therefore we should be able to legally self medicate ourselves with whatever drug we see fit to.

If you think about it, we are better informed now than ever before – and due to the explosion of information and the ability to sort the best information – and come up with the optimum solution, there really is nothing but regulation holding us back from from optimum health.

The Best Offline Email Client & Calendar Solution

eM Client

Here is the situation – you use Gmail and are on a plane and would love to have the Outlook style offline experience. You’ve tried pretty much all of the offline email clients but everthing is either too slow, old or kludgey.

I too suffered in silence, looking high and low for a solution. Probably about once every 6 months I’d try again, only to find that really even after all of this time, there really was nothing decent out there.

Finally, after my last brush with losing my draft halfway through writing it due to a crappy internet connection, I came across eM Client. eMClient is the best offline mail and calendar solution I have found, bar none.

Even better – it’s free for a single account – which is perfect for those of us who have all of our mail come in via Gmail – I have 6 email accounts all flowing into my Gmail for free, and now into eMClient.

Highly recommended…go get it now 😉

We Love Coffee

We Love Coffee

We love coffee. It’s not just for the pick me up that you feel after that first rush, we also love the smell and taste of it – everything from strong black to lattes and Caramel Macchiatos (My favorite drink prior to getting on the Eat To Live diet – a Quad Venti Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel, whip cream and extra caramel on top of that – so good, but so bad!) But I digress.

Up until a few years ago, everywhere we had coffee, from Starbucks to, Peets, to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, to Tullys around here, and even places like Cafe Greco and Cafe Treiste in San Francisco and were still not happy. The coffee always had a bitter undertone to it – it wasn’t smooth.

One day, a colleague of mine brought in a bag of Blue Bottle coffee, which he picked up from a hotel stay in New York. He brewed a pot at the office and it was amazing! Deep, rich flavor, no bitterness at all. This coffee was so good you didn’t need to add anything – you could drink it black and it was satisfying – even the caffeine level was so good that you didn’t have to drink multiple cups a day to stay alert – normally with Starbucks or some other blend, I needed at least 2-4 cups a day – with Blue Bottle, it was 1.

As it turns out, Blue Bottle is based right here in the SF Bay area, with a factory up in Oakland. We first visited a small operation here in San Jose called Broken Door coffee which is sadly now closed, then started making the trek up to Blue Bottle in Oakland, usually once every two weeks in order to stock up.

There, we were introduced to their single cup filter drip method, which in our opinion, produced the best single cup coffee. You may have seen this elsewhere now, but back then a few years ago, it was pretty revolutionary. We were able to reproduce this at home pretty easily – all you need is one of those Japanese hot water pots, a cone filter holder (ceramic is better but plastic is fine), cone filters, a burr grinder and coffee.

My personal favorite is the Three Africans blend from Blue Bottle. In future posts, we’ll go into detail on all of this, but if you’ve motivated to jump in now, there’s some great videos of how to do it here…

How To Eat Healthier : Black & Decker Steamer

This IS The Steamer You Are Looking For

If you follow the Eat To Live Diet, or other similar low fat, high nutrient diets, I’ll bet you’ve been told that you need to need a lot of steamed vegetables. And I mean a lot – cups and cups a day. It was a huge pain for us to get a pot going, boil water, put the steamer basket in, put in the vegetables, track the time, and take them out when done. Well, this puppy does all that and more much more easily. Basically you fill it with water, put on the baskets, put the vegetables in the basket, then turn the timer dial to the amount of time you want the vegetables to steam. There is a handy guide in the box which give you an idea of how long to steam stuff. For example, the other day we had a bunch of leftover Swiss Chard from our organic weekly veg delivery and didn’t know what to do with it – so we put it in the steamer and set it to spinach. Fifteen minutes later – retro DING! – and it was done. Toss it in a little olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and bam delicious and nutritious meal – or side dish. If you are looking for a steamer (it cooks rice and eggs too) this is the one you want!: Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer with Flavor Scenter Screen

For healthy, delicious meals in minutes, this countertop appliance can cook rice while simultaneously steaming vegetables, meat, or seafood. It provides a large 4-quart steam basket and a 5-cup rice bowl, as well as a built-in egg holder for cooking eggs. Simply set the adjustable countdown timer by turning the knob to the right for up to 75 minutes of cooking time. It will automatically shut-off and signal when the cooking time has ended. The units water window makes it easy to check the water level at a glance, and an external water-fill inlet allows for conveniently adding water anytime during operation. Even more, a unique built-in flavor-scenter screen provides added versatility; add herbs and spices and their flavor will infuse into the food. Other highlights include durable construction, a drip tray, and an easy-to-clean design. The food steamer measures approximately 12-1/5 by 9-1/5 by 10-2/5 inches.

via Amazon.com: Black & Decker HS1000 Handy Steamer with Flavor Scenter Screen: Kitchen & Dining.

Super Simple Swiss Chard

Super Simple Swiss Chard

Great use for your new steamer, and for leftover greens of any type….super easy and super nutritious…

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, torn into bigger than bite size pieces – can also use, kale, spinach, collard greens or similar…
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, depending on your preference
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place greens in steamer for 15 minutes. Toss in bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Serve and enjoy!

Seitan: The Other Other White Non-Meat

Seitan: The Other Other White Non-Meat

Was in Whole Foods the other day and caught the price of Seitan, which is used as a vegan substitute for meat (yep, its the other, other white, non-meat 😉 )- all the protein with none if the fat – and it was CRAZY expensive. Saw a variant of this recipe in the awesome Vegan on the Cheap: Great Recipes and Simple Strategies that Save You Time and Money (highly recommended for us vegetarians, vegans to whatever degree) Hell of a lot cheaper – one 2lb bag of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Flour was only $7

TIP: Don’t just slice and use this directly: slice and pan fry in a little oil to give it some crunch on the outside before you throw it in a stir-fry or whatever. We had some the other day in a variation of this recipe

Seitan

1 3/4 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 cups cold vegetable stock
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil

Broth:

4 cups vegetable broth
1 cups water
1 onion quartered
2 cloves garlic smashed
1/4 cup soy sauce

Fill a stock pot with the broth ingredients and bring to a boil.

In the mean time, in a large bowl mix together dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mix together wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and combine with a spoon until most of the moisture has absorbed and partially clumped up with the dry ingredients. Knead by hand for 3 minutes, then let rest for 5. Divide into however many equal pieces you’d like (2-6) with a knife and then knead those pieces in your hand. Don’t work them too hard no matter how much you stretch they’ll probably stretch back, they kind of have a mind of their own.

Once the broth has boiled, lower the heat to a simmer. Add the gluten pieces. Let simmer for an hour. Once done, take them off the heat and let them sit in the broth until cool.

Will keep a few days wrapped in the fridge or weeks in the freezer, if tightly wrapped.

Houston’s Cole Slaw

Slaw Of The Gods

I first discovered this Cole Slaw at Houston’s restaurant up in San Francisco a few years ago when I used to work across the street from it – sometimes I’d just order the slaw for lunch! Of course when I wasn’t dieting it was just a side for a giant rack of ribs – ah those were the days!

¾ cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1⁄8 th teaspoon salt
7 cups chopped green cabbage ( 1 head)
1 cup purple cabbage
½ cup chopped parsley – or if you like fresh dill toss some of that in, I do.
½ cup chopped green onions
½ teaspoon celery seeds

Whisk together mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar and salt in medium bowl. Combine cabbage, parsley, green onion and bell pepper in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the cabbage and mix well. Add celery seed and mix, then cover the bowl and chill for at least 4 hours.

Why You Should Never Opt For The Extended Warranty

FAIL: Almost Immediately Or Never

So I’ve worked with PC’s since their infancy back in the 80s and I can tell you two things to expect from most electronics and failure:

  1. It will fail right out of the box or
  2. It will last a very long time

Sure there are exceptions, but most of the time whenever I work with anything, be it a PC, stereo equipment, TV’s, pretty much most anything will either fail immediately, or  never. The other day Kitty was plugging in a brand new conference phone into a conference room at her office and it was completely dead. No lights, tone nothing. That was an out of the box fail. On the other hand, I have computers that have lasted forever, and I only scrapped them because they were out of date.

So basically what this means is that in all likelihood that there is no need to buy that “extended warranty” – your new device will most likely either fail within the regular warranty period, or far outlast its usefulness. Take it from experience, you don’t need it.

How To Sell Stuff Fast On Amazon

One Simple Trick

Kitty is sometimes amazed by the rapidity of which stuff we list on Amazon sells, so in the spirit of those kind of ugly and dumb “one neat trick” or “one simple trick” ads – which usually feature an extremely unappealing photo of a person grabbing their flab or something nearly as unsettling, here is a simple trick to getting your stuff to sell fast:

  1. Always price it 2-3 cents below the cheapest already listed used item

Why is this? Well, while Amazon DOES classify the items based on condition, it always shows them first by ALL conditions in order by price. Therefore to ensure that your item will always be at the top of the list, always price it 2-3 cents lower. You’ll find that thing will sell almost immediately when you do that. If they don’t you’ll have to go in at least weekly and review your prices to make sure someone else hasn’t done the same thing to your item.

Man, those ads are ugly.