Wednesday, August 20, 2014

'Hugely Successful' Indiegogo Co. TouchPico Bribes 'Influential Bloggers'

I only need seven out of millions of loyal followers to pledge to the Indiegogo project TouchPico, and then I will receive a free device that can "turn anything into an 80-inch touchscreen."

That's the promise, rather, the bribe of Agency 2.0, "a crowdfunding PR agency" that represents TouchPico.

Via email, the firm reached out to "influential blogger[s] within the consumer electronics space" with this enticement: "Given your influence online, we wanted to give you a free TouchPico on delivery if you feature TouchPico and 7 people pledge as a result"

Here's the really sad thing: I did not receive that email. Apparently I wield no influence in this business. But you already knew that.

Here's the email:
From: Chris Olenik <>
Date: August 20, 2014 at 6:52:54 PM EDT
To: [not Julie]
Subject: Turn Anything Into 80" Touchscreen

Hi [not Julie]
I noted you as an influential blogger within the consumer electronic space and wanted to reach out to you about TouchPico, a hugely successful campaign on Indiegogo right now.
In short, TouchPico will turn any surface into a giant 80 inch tablet-like touchscreen. It is pretty awesome...
You can check out more info at:
With that, I wanted to make you a special offer to write a feature and share it on your social media if you are open to it. Given your influence online, we wanted to give you a free TouchPico on delivery if you feature TouchPico and 7 people pledge as a result.
Again with your influence and followers online, you are almost guaranteed one as normal people sharing with their friends have gotten more.
For more details on how the tracking works, simply click the Thank You Program link at the top of the Indiegogo page linked above...
Let us know if you have any questions or post a feature, as we will share it on our social media for you too.
Thanks again, Chris Olenik & the TouchPico Team

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mom's Mobile Phone and the Cryogenics Lab

Mom would be mortified if people thought this was her main refrigerator. It's not. It's a spare fridge in the garage
Making fun of your mother’s technological naivete is the lowest form of humor. But I’ve never claimed to be high-brow.

So not only does my mom, Susan Jacobson, still think it’s a great idea to refrigerate batteries, she also believes she should preserve her old cellphone there. And its power supply.

But wait, it gets worse.

Mom loved her old cellphone. I think she purchased it just slightly after Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. But that sucker just wouldn’t break.

When the phone was about 10 years old, it needed a new battery, so she took it to the store and the young man behind the counter, well, he laughed at her. And when he disappeared behind the door, we can only imagine what he told his pimply little friends back there.

Fast forward to about 2011, when Mom wanted something just slightly smarter so she could get email. Whatever she got, she hated it.

I mean, this is the lady who labels her router “router” so she knows what it is when tech support tells her to unplug the router (pic below).

Anyway, she hates the new phone and wants the other one back, so she takes them both back to the store and the kid – the one who laughed at her – said no can do. They can’t recommission that old thing (the phone, that is). It’s no longer supported.

Surely one day they will find the technology to revive the phone.

Hence the cryogenics.
And so she doesn’t mistake it for a candy bar and accidentally eat it ...

Friday, December 28, 2012

Merry Christmas, Jews!

This took me a few minutes before I LOLed but here's the communication between my sister and the planner of the b'nai mitzvah of my twin niece and nephew:

[Planner] We are delighted to have the opportunity of hosting the upcoming Bar Mitzvah …
[Sister] Can you please change the name of the event to B’nai Mitzvah?
[Planner] I hope you and your family had a Merry Christmas! I have put the request in to change the name to say B’nai Mitzvah.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Reader: 'Just horrible writing in general'

Love this comment someone posted on my iPad Mini blog:

Wow.... the article lack any real content. Just horrible writing in general with misleading titles. We need new writers on new topics that stay focused and organized. Reading the above article left me bewildered and dissapointed.

Check out more comments from the Insults dept.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

China's 'leftover' women: What to do if he has an affair

Photo: Anja Disseldor
A bunch of older, unattractive Chinese women find themselves in the unenviable category of the unwed.

Fortunately these women have advocates in China’s state feminist agency, the All-China Women’s Federation.

The agency, as reported in the New York Times, has some excellent advice for women who have sought further education because they're too ugly to find husbands without such an advantage -- the so-called "leftover" women.

While it is directed towards Chinese women, certainly these pearls of wisdom would apply to women of other nationalities as well:

Pretty girls don’t need a lot of education to marry into a rich and powerful family, but girls with an average or ugly appearance will find it difficult. These kinds of girls hope to further their education in order to increase their competitiveness. The tragedy is, they don’t realize that as women age, they are worth less and less, so by the time they get their M.A. or Ph.D., they are already old, like yellowed pearls.
Many highly educated “leftover women” are very progressive in their thinking and enjoy going to nightclubs to search for a one-night stand, or they become the mistress of a high official or rich man. It is only when they have lost their youth and are kicked out by the man, that they decide to look for a life partner. Therefore, most “leftover women” do not deserve our sympathy. 
The main reason many girls become “leftover women” is that their standards for a partner are too high … As girls are not too picky, finding a partner should be as easy as blowing away a speck of dust. 

When holding out for a man, if you say he must be rich and brilliant, romantic and hardworking ... this is just being willful. Does this kind of perfect man exist? Maybe he does exist, but why on earth would he want to marry you?
When you find out that he is having an affair, you may be in a towering rage, but you must know that if you make a fuss, you are denying the man “face” ... No man is capable of spending a lifetime being loyal to an outmoded wife who never changes ... Try changing your hairstyle or your fashion. Women must constantly change for the better.

Read the complete hilarious-if-it-weren't-so-pathetic article by Leta Hong Fincher, an American doctoral student in Tsinghua University’s Department of Sociology.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Renters spend $5 on plumbing job

Latest from our renters. I know. Trite. All renters are like this.
Philip said the dryer was not hooked up correctly so he will fix that this weekend, plus I will send picture of the new house numbers. He bought the part needed to fix the master shower faucet. It only cost $4-$5 dollars so hopefully that little project stays little and does not turn into something more. Philip also fixed the main bathroom toilet flusher. It was very hard to push down. He bought a simple replacement part. He had to remove the whole toilet and work on it outside (I should have taken a photo) .....anyway, now it all works great!
[more on my renters]

Renters have to be cooking meth

Latest from our Craigs List house-renters: Axe murderers, swindlers, meth-lab technicians or just super-excited tenants?!
Holy closets! 10 closets have been wiped down, edge vacuumed all of them, shampooed the ones with carpet and painted all closet interiors a fresh white. They look fabulous! 
ed 3 photos. The carpets look great. Look carefully at the color difference in the attached photo with the shampooer.

We've also been busy this week cleaning and painting. I have attach

When I started wiping down walls in the office, I noticed colored paper was glue to wallpaper behind the shelf. I stripped the colored paper, scrubbed off the glue, primed the wallpaper attached to the plaster wall and painted the area with a color called: Rain Storm. It is a steel gray/blue. It looks crisp and clean. The attached photo shows the Rain Storm paint color better on the wall of the closet door, but trust me it looks fabulous behind the shelves too.

The last photo is Philip starting to prime the double-door closet so we can paint it all white inside. I'll send a photo of the finished closet soon.

This weekend we are moving some stuff in, doing cork floors and painting the yellow bedroom a soft a natural-friendly color to appeal more to buyers, although secretly we are hoping we can somehow become your buyers as we are falling in love with the house and its energy.
[more on my renters

All renters shampoo the carpets, right?

How on earth did I find these renters on Craigslist??
Been cleaning out stuff and cleaning walls, took ugly blinds down, sweeping floors, wiping down walls, vacuuming rooms, etc. Lookin' good! Do you want me to put those Ikea shelf units on Craigslist? Also, we shampooed all the carpets i.e. office, bedrooms and painted interior of closets white as some had stains on the inside walls. Looks awesome! Rock n roll.
[more on my renters]  

Drats, I wanted to pull the plug

[mom] I'm rewriting my will, giving your sister power of attorney for end-of-life decisions.
[me] She's too nice, she'll never pull the plug.
[mom] She assures me, she'll pull the plug.
[me] I would pull it earlier. Pick me.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Toe injuries hurt

Dear mother: I suffered a toe injury during the move. It hurt a whole lot. I'm sorry I laughed at you when you broke your toe tripping on your crutches after bunion surgery and you cried. I guess maybe it was a little funny at the time.

I'm sorry also that I cringed when I had to bathe you and see you all naked.

But it was a little bit funny when I asked the ticket guy at the movie theater if they gave discounts for broken-toed old ladies. And also when I told you to hurry getting up the stairs to your seat.

Your loving daughter,


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Curried herring and kitchen bowels

Probably one of the more amusing typos/Freudian slips we've published. Indeed, you most certainly would have "kitchen bowels" after eating Ikea herring and meatballs.

In any case, the phrase reminded me of this awful butt-bowl I saw at a trade show. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Matzo, Matzo man

Duane was very pleased with himself for finding this post-Passover deal at the local supermarket: 5 boxes of matzo for $3.99. The "generic" matzo was only $2.99 but he wanted the authentic product that said "Israel" right on the package.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

For sale by owner: High-tech mid-century modern home in Stillwater, MN

2,800 SF, 1.25 ACRES, 4 PLOTS OF LAND




Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, this beautiful mid-century modern home sits all alone at the top of a bluff, with one of the best views in Stillwater, MN. 2,800 square feet, very open architecture with floor-to-ceiling windows spanning roughly 60 feet overlooking the St. Croix River.

There is no other property like this in Stillwater -- this expansive, this secluded. They're not making any more sites like this in the area! It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Located across the street from the Stillwater Country Club, the home is exactly one mile north of the lovely downtown, named one of the five prettiest towns in America by Forbes magazine. You could walk to your boat slip.

Architecturally, the home is unique in the area and was featured in Life magazine when it was built in 1950.

*** More images below ***

It has three very sizable bedrooms and a huge office (overlooking the golf course) with built-in everything. (We call the house 4-bedroom because the office can certainly be used as one.) The two bathrooms are fairly modest. The kitchen is Euro with Subzero freezer and Miele appliances that are not all that new but look great and work fine.

There is a 2-car detached garage and a giant connected heated space behind the garage for a work room or storage.

There is lots and lots of land -- 1.25 acres to be exact -- with a big natural prairie field with native grasses and flowers. Below is a video of the river side of the house:

The property comprises four lots, one of which is buildable if you care to sell it or build. The plot is fairly isolated, so you won't see any neighbors but they're around if you need them.

There is a large screened-in porch with great views, no mosquitoes. There is a TV hook-up there and built-in speakers. Outdoor speakers also grace two sides of the house so you can crank out tunes during outdoor parties.

Washer and dryer are included, along with all the major kitchen appliances.

Although the house is 50 years old, we are techies and have rewired the place at great expense for home automation, multiroom audio/video and so much more. You can read about it here.

The very cool cork flooring is about three years old.

This is a great house for entertaining, and perfect for relocating execs. It is about a 15- or 20-minute drive to 3M, 15 minutes to Imation, 20-30  minutes to St. Paul, 20 minutes to Medtronic, 40 minutes to MSP airport.

You'll catch plenty of errant golf balls, and awesome glimpses of hot-air balloons, blue herons, bald eagles, and a few too many deer.

It's just a cool place, and beautiful every season.

Our handy renters have made some vast improvements to the house, worth seeing again if you saw it earlier this year.

They include:

  • New paint in virtually all rooms
  • Restored cypress detail around the perimeter of house. It really pops
  • Stripped, painted, sealed and caulked the exterior (about halfway done)
  • Updated front door to a more mid-century-modern look, and it really looks cool
  • Cleaned up the overgrown landscaping, leaving a blank canvas to beautify in the spring
  • Took down awful metal-slat shades, replacing with subtle curtains
  • Connecting to city sewer and water – $40k spent total on assessments and hook-up
cell: 651-260-9614

NOTE: Click on images to expand.

1/25 acres, no neighbors, one mile north of downtown Stillwater, MN
 Life magazine, c1950
Not a bad way to wake up

Giant workshop/storage behind garage

giant office, built-in everything (cleaned out and repainted after this picture)

This inch-thick cypress has been beautifully restored around the entire perimeter. It had been salvaged from a very old boat.

For you techies, outlets on left have about 4 Ethernet ports and a few RG-6 coax. Wiring for rear-surround and subwoofer in to the left and right of back window locations.

Large screened-in port with outdoor speakers, wired for cable TV and internet

Large screened-in port with outdoor speakers, wired for cable TV and internet

A tech-lover's dream: floorplan and wiring locations

Wired for home automation, security, whole-house audio and video

Beautiful even in winter
mud room, laundry room
heated workshop attached to garage
Add caption
Told you the bathrooms needed some updating but that corrugated glass is stunning

techies wanted. Most of A/V and home automation gear in the rack was removed, but there is a modest multiroom audio system in place, and the wiring (all labeled!) to do anything. Lutron lighting controls also are in place.

KEYWORDS: river view, Stillwater, St. Paul, Minneapolis, MSP, 3M, Imation, for sale, for rent, for lease, mid-century modern, architecture, contemporary, Minnesota, Minn., St. Paul MN, Stillwater MN, Medtronic, for sale by owner, fsbo