One thing I love about working for my firm is the huge amount of vacation time I get every year and I try and use every bit of it whenever possible. There’s nothing like time off to recharge–it rocks!

I’ve taken time off from work, and the Nug, this holiday season and it has been pretty liberating. Mama and I got back from Los Angeles on Sunday night and have been relaxing at home with Miki, her sister who is visiting. Apart from having to do some school work, it’s been an awesome vacation. Plus, we’ll be taking long weekends all through January.

We just bought some new snowboarding gear and can’t wait for next week. We’ll be heading off for four days and three nights in South Lake Tahoe and will be visiting the Kirkwood and Heavenly ski resorts.

A few weeks later, we will be diving at Point Lobos, just south of Monterey. There’s nothing like diving in 50 degree water to get the blood flowing. We have to kick out several hundred yards from shore before heading down so we may even break a sweat! It’ll be Mama’s first cold water dive so wish her luck.

Casey Neistat had an iPod that refused to recharge after 18 months due to a failed battery. After calling Apple, he was told that the replacement cost of the battery was $255 and he should just buy a new $300 iPod instead. Apple thinks the iPod is a $300-$500 disposable device! WTF!?

Instead of bowing to the pressure of purchasing a new iPod, Casey and his brother made a movie called iPod’s Dirty Secret to protest the fact that the “iPod’s unreplaceable battery lasts only about 18 months.” The movie chronicles their attempt to stencil every iPod print poster ad in New York with those words.

In response to their film, even if Apple won’t admit it, Apple has created a $105.95 mail-in battery replacement program and a $59 extended warranty for the iPod. Kick ass! This is a great story–big ups to the Neistat Brothers.

A fire at a power substation left a third of San Francisco without power at around 6:00PM last night. Our power did not return until 2:00PM this afternoon and power is still out sporadically all over the city. You wouldn’t think it, but twenty hours without power is a really, really long time!

I am on vacation until January 5th. Then, after three days back, we’ll be heading off to Tahoe and snowboarding at the Heavenly Ski Resort from January 8th through the 11th. I needed this time off now more than ever. Kick ass!

Freedom Tower

The Freedom Tower that is to be built at the old WTC site in New York city was unveiled earlier today to huge fanfare. The building will be the tallest in the world at a height of 1,776 feet, a nod to the year the United States gained independence. An additional broadcast antenna placed on top of the spire may bring the total height of the structure to over 2,000 feet. If you like tall buildings, check out Skyscrapers.com.

Function: noun
Etymology: German, from Katze cat + Jammer distress
Date: 1849
Definition: 1: hubbub, uproar, loud confused noise from many sources; 2: hangover, a disagreeable after effect from the use of drugs or alcohol.

I had some wine last night and woke up with a small katzenjammer.

5 Stars

Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is by far the most awe-inspiring of the three films in the trilogy. Peter Jackson did an amazing job of blending the epic battle scenes with Frodo’s quest to destroy the ring masterfully. And although this is the longest running of the three films, at 3 hours and 20 minutes, the film does not lose the audience’s grasp–it grabs on to you and doesn’t let go.

Minas Tirith, and the battle there, is visually stunning. It has to be seen to be believed. Alas, I don’t know what I can say about this film that hasn’t already been said before, or that I didn’t already say in my review of The Two Towers. All I can say is run, don’t walk, to go see this film. Just be sure to empty your bladder and not get a drink unless you want to suffer during the last hour of the film. It’s very long, but worth every minute. A masterpiece from beginning to end.

Here is another great review of the film by fellow Blogcritic, Kevin Holtsberry.

I don’t know how I missed this little news story from a few weeks ago, but it is still very blogworthy. It seems that residents of a city called Freetown, in the African country of Sierra Leone, rioted earlier this month when a duo of popular dwarf comedians were substituted by another pair of funny dwarves.

Let me get this straight. Pay to watch two funny dwarves, the wrong dwarves show up, and decide to riot and destroy the stadium. Nice move. Maybe the most amazing part of the story is that the fucking dwarves sold a stadium full of tickets! The moral of the story: you can’t switch dwarves midstream.

If you can read this it’s because The Daily Nugget has completed its DNS transfer to my new webhost, 1&1 Internet. The best part is that my new webhost is free. Don’t believe me, check it out for yourself. It’s free for three whole years if you sign up before January 15th–check it.

Saddam Hussein

In an amazing turn of events, Saddam Hussein was captured by U.S. forces near his ancestral home of Tikrit late yesterday.

Needless to say, Saddam was not livin’ very large. No Benzos, no hoes, no bling-bling, and apparently no toiletries. What’s a dictator to do without Gucci cologne to get through the day? I mean look at this bitch, he looks like the crazy guy that roams near the corner of Market and Van Ness talking to himself out loud.

An amazing turn of events indeed. This may mean another four years for Bush if he plays it right, and bad news for all of the Democratic candidates. We’ll see what happens. But hey, if we can catch this guy, perhaps we can capture Osama Bin Laden.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels announced their 2004 schedule and San Francisco was not on their schedule. The Blue Angels have performed in San Francisco’s annual Fleet Week celebrations for the last 23 years. Local businesses and fans of the event are up in arms and making a huge deal. And for good reason, Fleet Week just wouldn’t be the same without them. This is bullshit, but a tongue lashing from Senator Feinstein to an Admiral should make it happen. Stay tuned.

Rosa Parks may be over 90-years-old, but that isn’t stopping her from suing the hell out of the rap group OutKast. In 1998, the group released a song bearing her name that contained a verse that proclaimed, “Ah-ha, hush that fuss. Everybody move to the back of the bus.” Ms. Parks wasn’t having it, just like she wasn’t moving to the back of that bus.

Ms. Parks claimed that OutKast violated her publicity rights, trademark rights, and defamed her. She lost her first round in federal court, but a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, reinstated part of the lawsuit earlier this year. The Supreme Court refused to intervene today and allowed the lawsuit to move forth in the lower federal court. Don’t piss off Rosa!

I can understand Supreme Court not wanting to get involved at this time. But, should this case return for a ruling, the Justices will (or should) side with the First Amendment. They better, or I’m moving to Spain! This song, as any song, is clearly protected by free speech. So, “I’m sorry Ms. Parks, wooh, speech is forreal…!”

Function: transitive verb, inflected form
Date: 1702
Definition: 1: feeling mental pain or anguish; 2: tormented or harassed by nightmares or unreasonable fears; 3: physically being ridden by an old hag; 4: “hagridden…by visions of an imminent heaven or hell upon earth” –C.S. Lewis

Oh yeah, with work and school, this is exactly like I feel right now. I love the power of language. This is the first entry in this category and I promise there will be many more to come.

There’s a company from Europe called 1&1 Internet Inc. that is offering three years of free web hosting for signing up to their service before January 15th. That’s an amazing promotional rate, so I had to check it out.

Setting up an account with them was a little weird. They use an automated phone system to call you with a pin that you proceed to type into their website. It’s a little involved, but it goes quickly. Amazingly, they don’t need a credit card to set your account up. This time free really does mean free!

I am sure that the support will be minimal, if at all for your free account. But hey, you get what you pay for. It’s great for me, because I need little or no support anyway. I already transferred the imind.com domain to the site and it is working great! So far so good. I’ll keep you posted on the progress of migrating the other domains there.