Sunday, May 31, 2009

An Open Letter To Palm

Dear Palm:

It's a big week for you guys; I wish you nothing but great things. My firm helped you guys launch the Treo several years ago (note: that's my first effort to hopefully soften you up) and though the business relationship ended a long while ago, we've remained fans from afar (kiss ass effort # 2).

I'm sure you are waiting with bated breathe this week for the reviews from the Big Boys: Walt, Pogue, Wildstrom et al. While all eyes will be on them -- and of course, I expect nothing but glowing reviews (Kiss ass #3), I'm hoping that you can .... well, there's no dignified way of saying it. I am hoping you can hook a blogger up.

While I don't have the biggest audience in the world, they are tech savvy, and pretty loyal to these pages. And if you do a quick search, you'll see that mobile devices probably ranks as item number four on these here pages, behind cancer, running, and music, and ahead of my Wife, Kids and work. I've reviewed multiple devices, including iPhone (repeatedly), HTC 8525, Motorola Q and soon, the Nokia e71. Beyond that, I've owned several other mobile devices, including pretty much every Blackberry ever made.

With the exception of perhaps the iPhone, I've never pined for a device quite as much as the Pre. To be honest, I'd probably bite the bullet and sign up with Sprint, except for the small little fact that I'd be risking divorce. Even so, I'm giving it consideration. There's also the not so small fact that the $70/month Sprint data package is a tad expensive for what would be a third account.

So here's what I'd like to kindly propose: hook me up with a test unit for 30 days, and I'll write about it at least once a week, if not more. At the end of said 30 day period, if I love it, I'll cancel my ATT subscriptions and buy my own (and of course, sign up for Sprint in the process).

Thanks for the consideration and I have y fingers crossed that you fid it in your heart to show some love to a pitifully pathetic, piddly and at times pedantic little blogger such as myself. I recognize this is a spectacular longshot, but still, a guy can (shamelessly) try, can't he?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I received a new product today, and boy is it ever cool. I might go so far as to say that it's my product of the year. Important disclaimer before I go on: the folks who make the chip that drives this product are a new client of my firm. But that's not why I am recommending it: I am recommending it because it's incredibly easy to use and cool as hell.

The product is called Pogoplug and you can link to it it here. It's beyond simple: you take a zip drive, any old zip drive and connect it to the Pogoplug, which in turns connects to your router. What this then does is transform your zipdrive into a networked zipdrive that is accessible anywhere via Internet access. So, I no longer have to carry around my zip drive whenever I travel; I can access my music collection (which is fairly voluminous) from virtually anywhere. Same goes for movies, photos, documents, etc. Not only that, but I can enable access so that select individuals can also access my drive. In my wonky little tech world, that is pretty powerful stuff. And if you happen to own a MacBook Air, like I do, this is game changing in that it frees up your one USB port for other things.

The best part about all this? It's available for less than $100. I'm convinced this is going to be a game changer.

Let me know if any of you are interested in test driving it and I will open up access. At minimum, it will provide you access to some cool new music.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My Backyard

Holy cow, the June issue of Runners World covers some of the trails in my very own backyard. Many of these runs are literally in my back (ok, front) yard and a few I run several times a week. I read articles such as this and am reminded that I am lucky to live where I do. Anyway, check it out here and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Born To Run

I know I'm a great big running geek, so what I say on this topic has to be taken with a grain of salt, but I could not recommend a book more than this one. It's not just a great running book, it's a great book period. The author spins a terrific TALE and this one is highly enjoyable, regardless of whether you are an ultra runner or a coach potato.

My man Payro and I actually went to see the author speak last Thursday night in Marin County. It was extremely interesting but Payro was so dorked that he kept talking and talking to the author, while a line of about ten people waited behind him, somewhat impatiently. Finally, the author said something to the effect of "hey man, I'd love to talk to you after the event, but I really need to sign these other autographs." The ultimate brush off. I think I goofed on Payro for an hour straight after that one.

Anyway, pick up "Born to Run" via Kindle or hard copy; I promise you'll be stoked. Perhaps not quite as much as Payro, but stoked all the same.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Lots to report -- I have my brother and his family in town and had my boy Payro in the days preceding -- and of course my parents before him --and we have been keeping quite active (hence, the lack of posting) -- but the short report tonight: rent Taken, starring Liam Neeson, immediately. How that movie did not do better in the theaters is beyond me. It's just as good -- if not better -- than the recent Bond and Bourne films and quite possibly might be my film of the year thus far. Liam Neeson makes for an unlikely, but ultimately, very believeable action hero. I think he has a franchise on his hands if he wants it.

Anyway, it's a very fast and entertaining movie, albeit somewhat mindless (which is generally my favorite form of entertainment). My br and I both give it two very big thumbs up.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol Redux

Ok y'all; who do you think is going to take the title of American Idol? Logic says Adam; I don't care what anyone says, he's flat out the best singer the show has ever seen. That being said, the final three comes down to a popularity contest and the other kid could have broader appeal. Speaking of that other kid, Kris Allen, his Kanye West song last week was the best performance of the year. That's the rare American Idol song that I'd possibly even buy. In fact, I think the kids are going to insist on it.

In other, more testosterone related news, a very interesting Giro is shaping up. Lance is starting to show his form and I think he's looking good for the Tour de France (and listen up, America: he's treating the Giro like a hard block of training. That's all. He wasn't bluffing on this one). DiLuca had a terrific ride today and has been awesome but I think Levi is in the catbird seat given his time trial abilities. Should be a very interesting next ten days, to say the least.

Lastly, Ma and Pa Solomon are headed home in the am. We had a terrific time together and we will miss them a lot.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Parental Units

The PU's are in town for the first time since I started this blog. Thus far, I do believe we are all having a most excellent tome. Activities thus far have included; swim meet for the Girl (she's a little fish), baseball game for the Little Boy, trail run in late afternoon (just me) dinner last night, visit to Muir Beach this am, short hike up Mount Tam this afternoon, swim this afternoon (just me) and Giants game this evening. And on top of all that, I think the average temperature was around 85.

Didn't see that busy at the time but I'm kind of tired just typing that all out. Anyway, always good to hang with the folks and I think the kids are enjoying it too.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Definition of a Good Day

The definition of a good day is when:

-- one buddy tests negative for cancer. The anticipation of this test literally has been keeping me awake for a week.

-- another buddy gets a clean scan (for thyroid cancer) and gets to put the last several weeks behind him.

-- big, huge humungous work meeting goes well.

-- my kid's baseball team, who have had two really demoralizing defeats of late, steps it up and defeats The mighty Tigers, who were previously 10-0. Oh, and my kid steals home twice, makes two great plays (including the game winning catch) and gets the game ball -- something he has literally been dreaming about for weeks! He told me on the car rider home that tonight was the greatest night of his life. I told him it might be mine too. I'll confess to getting a little teary-eyed when the coach flipped him the game ball. For once, he gets to go to school the conquering hero.

-- And as I type these words, a bottle of 15-year old Balevenie catches my eye. Perfect topper to a real good day.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Listens and Reads

I recently got my hands on two highly anticipated albums (I won't say how): the new Eminen and the new Green Day. it's too early for detailed reviews, but thus far I am disappointed in the Eminem (sadly, as I love old Em)) and I think Green Day is good, bordering on epically good. I have a few more albums in the old ipod, but these are the two that I have anticipated most this year and I expect I'll be spending lots of time with both over the course of the next several weeks. Stay tuned for more.

In terms of reading, I am in the middle of Columbine and so far it's a fascinating read and deserving of all the critical accolades. I have been too busy to read the past several days but hope I am able to finish it off by the weekend. I think next up is going to the new Elmore Leonard (after Columbine I will be ready for something that's a bit lighter in spirit) which is also getting great reviews. I'm also considering the Talent Code as well, by Daniel Coyle which is more of a pop culture tome in the spirit of Gladwell.

Speaking of Gladwell, he has an absolutely must read article in the New Yorker, which I will link to later.

Lastly, I bought a new phone: the Nokia e71x. For $99, I am very impressed. It's a very sleek looking business device that does email well. And the form factor is pretty hard to beat. As you all know, I am addicted to gadget but that's not why I got this particular device. I still love my iphone - it's far more "good" versus "bad" - but until they introduce a model with a QUERTY keyboard, it doesn't pass muster for me from a business perspective.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Day at the Beach

We had a terrific day yesterday and a belated happy Mother's Day to the Wife. I'm officially on record saying she is an amazing Wife and Mother. To celebrate the day, she and a few friends hiked down to Stinson Beach via the Dipsea Trail, which is a good five mile plus walk. Once there, we hung out for the day -- it must have been 80 degrees. Our good friend Mark and took the Little Boy surfing, which is was pretty cool. What was even cooler, as you will note, is that he actually stood up and surfed it in. Fairly impressive effort for the little fellow.

The Dead

I went to see The Dead (the band formerly known as the Grateful Dead) last night at the Shoreline Ampitheater in Mountain View, CA. It was surreal on so many levels. For starters, it was my first Dead show since about 1992 (I think). So much time has passed since then, but at some level, it was just like old times. The crowd energy level - I will get to the band in a minute - was awesome. I expected a Phish show with lots of younger, obnoxious folks, but this was definitely the genuine article. The other surreal aspect was how old the hippies (the genuine, 1960's artifact) have become. There were people there literally rocking out -- in their rockers. I guess I should have realized this but if you are a 60's era hippie -- you are pushing the front end of 70. And it's plain weird to see a 70 year old in head to head tie die smoking pot. But they were out there -- en massse, in fact.

And then there were the band. I think Warren Haynes (of Gov't Mule fame) is probably the finest guitarist alive today and he is seriously awesome -- he's essentially the only guitarist who could sit in Jerry's chair -- but I am sorry to say that he's no Jerry. And I'm not one of these old school Dead heads who's unaccepting of anything but Jerry -- but it is what it is. Makes me appreciate Jerry even more.

So, there was that. And frankly, I thought the band was a tad laconic; almost as if they have lost a half step. But when you get right down to it -- they are old guys. And they still played for three plus hours. And some of their songs had the old swagger.

So, in a nutshell, I am really glad I went. It was not only fun, but for one night it was a step back in time on a number of different levels for me. I think that the highlight for me was the Shoreline Amphitheater (located one block from the Google complex). That is by far one fo the coolest venues I have ever experienced and it has great acoustics to boot. I enjoyed it just as much, if not more so, than the Hollywood Bowl in LA.

Viva the Dead. I do think they will last forever in certain respects.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Post 500!

Today marks a nice double milestone: it's the 2nd anniversary of this blog and it's my 500th post.

Man. Never in a million years did I think I would see this through for two years and if I do say so myself, 500 posts over the course of two years is pretty consistent posting. So, yay me.

Actually, yay all of you guys.

While this blog doesn't have the biggest audience in the world, I could care less: it's a nice little community and without getting too maudlin and sappy, I really love -- and appreciate you all. Even you, Old Man. I've reconnected with old friends, made new friends and it has been an all-around awesome experience. In the event you haven't already surmised, this blog has been part therapy for me, part creative outlet and something even greater than all that that I find hard to put into words. I genuinely relish the time I spend posting and I always look forward to comments and interplay with you all.

I can't think of a particular favorite posting that comes to mind, but would love to hear if there are any memorable ones on your end. Without question, though, my favorite "activity" is our now annual "Howard Solomon Run for Thyroid Cancer" which will be entering its third year. Last year we had so many great contributions and it was super fun to post all of the pictures. I plan continue that event this year and I think the date will coincide with my (ludicrous) 50 mile run. (As a sidebar and on the topic of the running, I went for my first and second run since the Boston marathon yesterday and this am while in LA and I am astonished how shelled my legs still are. Anyway, time heals all wounds.

So with that, other great big THANK YOU for being part of this great community.

I look forward to many more years together.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Random Thoughts

The Wife made it home, both kids were alive and no worse for the wear -- mission accomplished. Truth be told, we actually had a terrific time, though I hasten to add that I was pretty happy to see the Mrs. when I got home tonight. The highlight of this little extravaganza occurred this morning when the Little GIrl had a pre-school meltdown concerning a ponytail gone awry. She didn't really understand that dad's can't do ponytails (or at least, to the same effect as their mothers).

So, that's that. Now I get to go to LA for a few days to work/decompress (though mostly work).

So what else is new? I am sitting here watching Yankees vs. Red Sox and am seriously bummed out. Freaking Yankees aren't showing much of anything, despite spending literally a hundred million dollars this offseason. I also think this new stadium might be a complete jinx. Regardless, it has the makings of a very long and depressing season, unless they can turn it around quickly.

Amazon is going to be announcing a new, longer Kindle this week. I think that has got to be a world record for pimping early adopters; mine isn't even two months old yet. I think that Amazon is the new Apple, in more than one respect. Speaking of the Kindle, I really do love it, though I probably would have gone for a bit more real estate (screen space). On the subject, I am currently reading Columbine, which is a riveting and borderline frightful read. It's received very positive reviews and reminds me to a certain extent of Mailer's Executioners Song. Thus far, highly recommended. I believe this is book seven of the year, so I am on pace to hit my goal fo 12 for the year.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Mr. Mom

So, for the first time I think ever, the Wife has left me alone with the two kids. She headed to Florida Friday morning to see our new niece. The way I am approaching this I have three simple objectives: keep 'em alive, keep 'em sheltered; keep 'em fed. I am pleased to report that it's Saturday night, and thus far I am three for three. So far, so good though tomorrow brings with it a new day and anything can go wrong.

The weather hasn't exactly accomodated, unfortunately; it poured all day. Rain in May is pretty rare in the Bay Area and I was at a bit of a loss as to what to do with them. We ended hanging out and lounging (to the extent that we are capable of doing that - the three of us are pretty amped I noticed) and had a good time. The fun continues tomorrow.

In other news, I signed up for two dumb events this past week: a century bike ride (this will be my first century in about a decade) and a -- get ready for it (and close your eyes Mom if you are reading this) -- a gnarly 50 mile trail run. Don't ask me why, I simply have no decent explanation. But I confess that I am pretty stoked.

In other news, I have no news so over and out for tonight.