Updates from February, 2006 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Ted Mann 11:11 pm on February 20, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    The Great GPS Dilemma 

    I’ve faced plenty of tech dilemmas in recent years: whether to go over to the Apple camp; which of the photo developing sites to use (I’m still going with dirt cheap Snapfish); and whether to switch over from Yahoo Mail to Gmail (right now, I’m still with Yahoo, but this incredibly cool new Gmail chat function has me reconsidering). But the one Hamlet-caliber conundrum that’s been bugging me for almost a year now is GPS navigation systems.

    TreoI have Andy to thank for getting me hooked on TomTom, the GPS software that gives you a 3-D, Outrun-like visual of the road you’re driving on, plus flashing arrows and sultry electronic voices to tell you where to turn. Andy turned me onto it with a jerry-rigged setup in his car, where his iPaq functioned as the screen, and the GPS signal came via a hardwired little pod. Later in the summer, Andy switched over to a Treo and bluetooth GPS, which looked really cool but had one unintended side-effect: any telephone call threw the phone completely out of GPS sync.

    Ever since those first glimpses of auto-navigation heaven, I’ve been pining for a GPS. Every time I get lost in Putnam County — which is, oh, every time I visit Putnam County — I think how much better my life would be if I was GPS enabled.

    TreoThe only problem is price. I’m just too damn cheap to fork over the $600-$1,000 for a stand-alone TomTom device. For me, the proper price point would be about $200, or the cost of an iPod. Still, even if I go for a more complicated, Diller-esque setup, the individual components add up fast. $300 Treo with Verizon plan + $250 for TomTom GPS bundle = $550. Even the used Treos on eBay and craigslist don’t come cheap. PalmThe Palm Tungsten E2 Navigation pack is a much bigger bargain at $400, but you don’t even get a phone out of the deal. VerizonTo complicate matters further, Verizon just announced the VZ Navigator Motorola V325 phone, which has everything in a nice tidy package, but it looks awfully stripped down. None of that TomTom 3D goodness.

    Still, at $80 (if I renew for 2 yrs) this is the only one that matches my price point. But is it worth pulling the trigger? If I wait another few months, will Apple finally come out with the Gen8 iPod, complete with GPS and Hologram functionality?

    • andy 2:55 pm on February 22, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Oh oh, watch out!


      In-car navigation systems can be dangerous, report warns
      Don’t touch that dial (while driving), says Privilege Insurance…..


    • andy 2:58 pm on February 22, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      From that report:

      “Nearly one in eight did not even bother to check out a route they were unfamiliar with and simply relied on the technology to get them to their destination.”

      This is me 100%– Katie says I’m an idiot cause I’m not using my brain anymore and if the GPS cuts out for some reason, in the middle of the trip, we are totally lost. However, my Treo: keeps my contacts, my appointments (and beeps at me), all my email, my phone calls and tell me where to drive. And I like following its voice around town and thru the country.

      But come on, that NEVER HAPPENS. At least, if it does, I can fix it.

    • Gabe 9:36 pm on February 23, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      One in eight relied on the GPS and didn’t check the route? I’m amazed it wasn’t one in eight who did check the route. It’s like remembering phone numbers in the mobile phone age.

      I have always been in dire need of a GPS. I even imagined having something like it in the mid-80s, back when it would have been a national-security breach if I knew what the technology was. Especially since I was maybe 7 years old. Luckily, I’m stuck with public transit for the next few years and can sit out the price decrease.

  • Ted Mann 2:57 pm on February 18, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    GMA Weekend Blog 

    It’s time I finally fessed up: I’m a closet Good Morning America addict. I know that’s a little like saying I’m jonsing for aspartame, but — well, usually I am jonsing for aspartame. Still, I can’t prosthletize for the show quite like I do for The Daily Show or The Colbert Report (the only other two TV programs filling my portion of the DVR queue). But I’ll make an exception just this once to point to the new GMA Weekend blog, Backpages.

    It’s still a little unfocused, with all four of the on-air personalities writing dissertation-length posts, but there’s potential. By which I mean, Bill Weir. He gives the weekend edition of the show one distinct advantage over the weekday crew — humor. Charlie Gibson may have an authoritatively crinkled brow, Mike Barz may pull off the retarded weatherman even better than Steve Carrell, and Dianne Sawyer is the wet dream of all j-school men, but Weir is probably the only one with the snarky, sarcastic voice to become a good blogger. Backpages still has a ways to go before it’s truly enjoyable, but it’s cool to know that Grey’s Anatomy isn’t the only show giving its viewers a peak behind-the-scenes.

    • bradley lautenbach 3:14 pm on February 18, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      thanks for the link, ted. closet gma addicts are our favorites. 😉

    • Austin Vance 3:18 pm on February 18, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      you can say that again

    • Ted 6:46 pm on February 18, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      After 7+ years, it feels good to finally come out of the closet. Good luck with Backpages. Ever since the “GMA Inside-Out” segments last year, I’ve been thinking that this kind of blog concept would be pretty cool.

      Are you going to confine it to just the on-air personalities, or will you get some producers and writers to post, too?

  • Ted Mann 10:01 pm on February 16, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Monkey Bites the Dust 

    In what has to be the most retarded network programming decision so far this year, CBS yanked the excellent new show “Love Monkey” after three episodes. Whereas most shows need a dozen or shows to really find their groove, Monkey head it on episode one, with incredibly witty dialogue, music industry plots, and a charismatic team of characters. When I first heard about the concept — sort of Sex & the City for guys, revolving around an A&R music rep — it sounded unbelievably lame. But when I actually tuned in, the show wasn’t at all smaltzy, plus it had cameos by Ben Folds, James Blunt, and Aimee Mann. How cool is that?

    So, if you did see Monkey and want to protest, sign the “Save Love Monkey” petition. Next, if there are any network programmers out there, please explain to me why quality shows keep getting yanked after less than five episodes. I’m not talking about “Emily’s Reasons Why Not.” I’m talking about the herd mentality that killed the promising dramedy “The Book of Daniel,” about Jesus as the buddy of a Vicodin-popping priest, which dropped last month after four promising episodes. And, of course, the “Arrested Development” craziness. These fickle decisions don’t appear to be confined to one network. Right there you’ve got NBC, CBS, and FOX. Thank God HBO is still in the game to rescue truly original programming.

    One other thought: If the networks can’t find a way to promote their own shows and ensure their success, could they at least just make them all available on demand? That way, at least viewers could decide the shows’ fate for themselves. I hope that eventually all eight episodes of Monkey, including the five unaired ones, make it onto iTunes.

  • Ted Mann 8:53 pm on February 16, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    TurkeyMonkey Endorsement: Proof 

    ProofEver since going to see a production of Proof in the Village last week, I’ve been meaning to plug it. The play — the first production in NYC since it finished on Broadway, I think — starred Dan’s girlfriend Kate Middleton who was riveting. I haven’t seen the movie or other theatrical versions, but I feel confident saying that she’d give Gwyneth Paltrow or Anne Heche or Mary Loise Parker a run for their money. Alright, maybe not Mary Loise Parker — she’s awful purdy — but definately the other two.

    The theater they’re performing in, Manhattan Theatre Source on MacDougal Street, is worth the $15 price of admission alone. It’s adorable, with a coffee shopish first floor and a second floor library stocked with bound plays. While the actual performance space is tiny (about 40 people, I’m guessing) and drafty, once the action heats up, it’s cozy and intimate. The play is only going through this Saturday, and I’m not sure if there are any more tickets. But if there are, go see it!

    And all you kids out there, stay in school!

  • Ted Mann 8:06 pm on February 14, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    “Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades” 

    My brother and I were talking yesterday about the Super Bowl ads, and when we got to the Gillette Fusion razor, he told me about this story in the Onion:

    Fuck Everything, We’re Doing Five Blades

    By James M. Kilts
    CEO and President,
    The Gillette Company
    February 18, 2004 | Issue 40•07

    Would someone tell me how this happened? We were the fucking vanguard of shaving in this country. The Gillette Mach3 was the razor to own. Then the other guy came out with a three-blade razor. Were we scared? Hell, no. Because we hit back with a little thing called the Mach3Turbo. That’s three blades and an aloe strip. For moisture. But you know what happened next? Shut up, I’m telling you what happened—the bastards went to four blades. Now we’re standing around with our cocks in our hands, selling three blades and a strip. Moisture or no, suddenly we’re the chumps. Well, fuck it. We’re going to five blades.

    Sure, we could go to four blades next, like the competition. That seems like the logical thing to do. After all, three worked out pretty well, and four is the next number after three. So let’s play it safe. Let’s make a thicker aloe strip and call it the Mach3SuperTurbo. Why innovate when we can follow? Oh, I know why: Because we’re a business, that’s why!

    You think it’s crazy? It is crazy. But I don’t give a shit. From now on, we’re the ones who have the edge in the multi-blade game. Are they the best a man can get? Fuck, no. Gillette is the best a man can get. …

    That’s just the beginning, but in case you didn’t catch it, go back and look at the story’s date. Aww, jeah.

    Alright, I’m off to search the Onion archives to see how many stories there were in 2002 about the Vice President peppering his friends with buckshot.

  • Ted Mann 12:43 am on February 6, 2006 Permalink | Reply  


    This one comes via Craig’s recently employed girlfriend, Christy. The Advertising Slogan Generator plugs in your word of choice to create an all new tagline. Although Christy says, “DON’T CHEAT, KEEP THE FIRST ONE THEY GIVE YOU,” I got a little giddy and kept hitting that Sloganize button a dozen times. So, I’m not sure if this is the first result or the twenty-first, but who cares? At long last, TurkeyMonkey has a slogan:

    Give the dog a TurkeyMonkey.

    And, while we’re at it, let’s put the Bad Joke Generator to work, too:

    What’s TurkeyMonkey’s favorite film?
    Twelve TurkeyMonkeys

    Or a randomly generated product idea:

    TurkeyMonkey is a laser-printer! It fits into the boot of a car!

    Worst of all — worse even than the avian flu — the disease known as …


    Cause: lack of noodles in diet

    Symptoms: electric shocks, vague moodiness, mild pyromania, seeing dead people

    Cure: don’t do it again

    • Gwynne 8:22 pm on February 6, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Ohmigod – I’ve just come down with Gwynne’s Syndrome, apprently it’s caused by a lack of burgers. Get me a Big Mac stat!

    • carol Sharpe 5:46 pm on March 20, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      I am writing for permission to use your website as a research item. I am writing an article regarding Maltitol sweetner for a woman’s magazine.
      Thank you

    • Ted 7:55 am on April 14, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Carol, sorry, I missed your comment during a barage of comment spam. Yes, of course, feel free to sue the site as a research item.

  • Ted Mann 10:35 pm on February 5, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Do-It-Yourself Porn 

    Wait, that entry title sounds really bad, doesn’t it? Just to clarify, this is no endorsement of homemade, basement-variety, videotaped amateur pornos (not that there’s anything wrong with them).

    Make MagWhat I’m talkin’ ’bout instead is Make Magazine, one of the newest entries in the ever-expanding category of self-improvement mags like Real Simple and Every Day with Rachel Ray. Until a couple days ago, I had no idea that there was a publication devoted to remodeling old, outdated electronic equipment into cat toys. What’s more, my friend Mike Garrett pointed out one article about how to turn an aging VCR into an automated catfood dispenser. Now, I’m not sure if Mike was aware of my excruciating, two-year ordeal searching for an automated cat feeder, but this article just about the greatest piece of literature I’ve encountered since A Treasure’s Trove. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mike.

    Mike pointed me to this Newsweek story that further addresses the rise of Make Mag and other DIY pubs:

    All this is evidence of a growing movement of people eager to tinker with high-tech gadgets and Dumpster detritus—and, I suspect, an even bigger population harboring fantasies about modding their espresso machines, building their own printed circuit boards and engaging in the brave new world of kite aerial photography. We’ve already seen the popularity of house porn (shelter magazines and “Extreme Home Makeover”), car porn (auto mags and “Pimp My Ride”) and food porn (“Iron Chef”). Now we’ve got geek DIY (do it yourself) porn. Just as would-be Emerils pore over lushly illustrated cookbooks with recipes involving hard-to-find morels and complicated instructions for roux, Tom Swift wanna-bes are devouring Make and reading books like William Gurstelle’s “Backyard Ballistics,” which has sold more than 160,000 copies.

    MouseyIf I haven’t already lost you at this point, may I point you to one more recent Make feature, about how to turn a computer mouse into a robot mouse for your kitty to chase? Behold, a PDF on how to create Mousey the Junkbot.

    Yes, you can learn how to make other gizmos, ones that aren’t solely designed to feed and entertain cats. But that would just be cruel, wouldn’t it?

  • Ted Mann 10:26 pm on February 2, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Word of the Day 

    Urban DictionaryThe day has finally arrived! Urban Dictionary finally added “turkeymonkey” to its virtual compendium, complete with multiple definitions and different uses. Who needs the OED, Dictionary.com, and Websters? I’d rather have a listing between the words “turkeyfuckin” and “turkeyneck” any day of the week.

    1. turkeyfuckin
    To light ones cigarette off of the cigarette of another person.
    Dude,my lighters beat. Let me get a turkeyfuck off ya
    by keith Aug 9, 2003

    1. turkeyneck
    The shaft of an old, wrinkled penis
    That cunt refused to suck my turkeyneck, which was as purple as an iris
    by The Phantom Aug 4, 2003

  • Ted Mann 1:36 am on February 2, 2006 Permalink | Reply  

    Blessed Hate Mail 

    I got my first piece of bona fide hate mail at InTown late last week. While I can’t really imagine these semi-incoherent ramblings getting onto the magazine’s letters page, I wanted to share them with all you TurkeyMonkey lovers (and haters) out there. I know it sounds odd to be happy about getting an angry email, but in the writing biz, whenever someone who reads your work is moved enough to write in, it’s really touching. Sort of like Sally Field’s Academy Awards speech: You read me, you really read me!

    I’ll paste the letter below, sans author. If you’re wondering what story is being referred to, it’s my article on Scarsdale real estate flippers, which you can see here.

    The only thing more coarse and vulgar than the subject of Scarsdale Magazine’s February article “Risky Business” is the coarseness and vulgarity contained in Ted Mann’s writing.

    Thank goodness some measure of refinement still exists in various quiet, lower profile quarters of our town. It certainly doesn’t exist in this article – or in its author. I’m sure he’d say “I’m writing ABOUT those kinds of guys, I’m not ONE of them.”

    But indeed, his writing reveals him to be a bit of a coarse scruff as well.

    The unfortunate thing, Ms. Mitcham, is that scruffs don’t necessarily KNOW that they’re scruffs – no matter how well-educated, well-dressed or otherwise successful they might be. And, since Ted Mann is on your editorial staff, for all we know you’re all birds of a scruffy feather. Heaven help us, as you’ll be doing the non-scruffs in our community no favors.


    • Gwynne 8:45 pm on February 2, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations Ted, you scruffy fellow.

      Hey, how ’bout posting the offending article so we can all have our chance to sent you hate mail.

    • Ted 10:16 pm on February 2, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      The story was in Scarsdale Magazine:

      But if you don’t want to navigate that horrible web interface, click HERE for a direct link to the article.

    • Dan (not that Dan, but the brother-in-law) 2:39 pm on February 3, 2006 Permalink | Reply

      This blog post is so coarse and vulgar I could barely make it through to the end. I’m surprised the esteemed TurkeyMonkey blog has such a weak editorial staff. Scruffy to say the least.

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