Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm a PC?

While we were in Seattle we took a short drive over to Redmond, WA to visit the Nintendo Customer Service Center and Microsoft which are mere blocks from each other. Microsoft's campus is huge, and probably puts a lot of legitimate college campus' to shame. The campus itself has a sort of eerie Truman Show/Pleasantville-ness to it. There are blocks and blocks of lovely identical buildings and perfect landscaping. There are restaurants in the Commons area and even little forested areas with both sidewalks and graveled paths--perhaps so while you're on your lunch break you can feel like you're hiking in the woods.

The Welcome Center itself is nice--a history of Microsoft, it's culture, and visions. There you can see brand new technologies side by side old ones. They also have a "gift shop" (behind which is an employees only software/hardware shop) where you can purchase just about anything with Microsoft's logo. Here are some photos (is it wrong that I took some pictures with my iPhone?):
This trash can was one of my favorites...check out the last line of "What's Trash:"

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Guess I'm Yelping Now....

After getting an iPhone recently, I've been using the Yelp app quite a bit to find good things near my location at the time. So, even though I'm already an avid user of TripAdvisor, I joined Yelp as well to review all kinds of things. I do use and like the TripAdvisor app, but in order to read the reviews you basically leave the app and go to TripAdvisor's website. I like Yelp becuase you can do it all (search, read reviews, write reviews, etc) within the app.

So, if you'd like to see more of the things and places I review (that I often don't post here) you can find me over on Yelp at

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Guten Morgen...

Every morning I drink a few cups of Yogi Tea's Green Tea. Their tea comes with a sort of "fortune" on the tag; usually I seem to get the same ones and they've become cliche. This morning though, I got the most relevant one to date; almost as if I'd written it myself:

Travel light, live light, spread the light, be the light...

Friday, July 24, 2009

"Who Are You Shooting For?" (Or Green Day in Vancouver--Live from the Photo Pit)

So, the guy, my super awesome husband, Phill was in the Photo Pit taking photos at the Green Day show (at the GM Place) in Vancouver, July 4, 2009. (If you like these, please ask before taking them--these are not the full resolution or full size versions, just contact us with Green Day Photos in the subject line).

Here is (some of) what he shot:

(If you like these, please ask before taking them--these are not the full resolution or full size versions, just contact us with Green Day Photos in the subject line). *PHOTOS COPYRIGHT P. HARRIS 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009

How to Make a Cassette Tape Lamp: A Tutorial

Recently, I made a fabulous table lamp from recycled cassette tapes and a simple IKEA lamp. Now, you can too!

You Will Need:

-GRONO lamp from IKEA (or something similar, you may even be able to find them on ebay or amazon if you don't have an IKEA nearby) and appropriate light bulb
-20 cassette tapes (though you could use only 16, I prefer 20, so that there
are 4 on each side, rather than 3). Also, try to use translucent tapes that
will allow more light through
-Glue (I used a few different types, but you want one that's going to hold
plastic to glass but not get weird or toxic with the subtle heat from the light bulb)
-Drill (optional)
-Time and patience as you will have to glue things and let them set an dry a few times

First, find the heaps of old Mix Tapes you've been saving but can't even listen to becuase you don't have a tape player anymore. I used 20 tapes. I peeled off the labels (you know, the sticker you write the tape's info on) but it could be cool to leave those on too.

, glue the tapes together end to end with strong glue (remember the glue needs to stand up to the heat of the lamp but should not get toxic or melt/burn). I chose a subtle "pattern" to glue the tapes in, but you could glue them together any way you'd like. I glued 4 tapes together, top to bottom, in a "line." I repeated this 4 times so I have enough to cover each side of the lamp. After the gluing process I had 4 pieces of 4 tapes glued together. You may need to use a clamp to help the tapes stay together while drying. Then, let these tapes dry.

After they are dry you are ready to glue each section onto the sides of the lamp. Repeat this 4 times--one for each side of the lamp.

Now, because the lamp I chose had a notch at the bottom to allow the cord to slip through, I had to drill a small notch in the bottom of one of the tapes so the cord would lay flat.

Finally, let the whole thing dry completely for awhile (I waited at least 48 hours) but follow the directions on the glue you've chosen.

After the lamp is dry and appears sturdy, give it a try. You've just made a unique recycled lamp! Enjoy!

(This post was featured on, thanks! )

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Gamer's Pilgrimage (& I Get to Tag Along)...

Nintendo of America is located in Redmond, Washington--mere steps outside of Seattle (OK, I'm exaggerating a little, but it's really close) and since The Guy has played Nintendo forever (yes, we waited in line at 3 am the day Wii came out) we had to check out Nintendo's campus while we were in the area. (We also went to Mircosoft's Campus/Vistor Center, but that's another post).

Behind a very unassuming door is the unassuming Customer Service Center. If you're local and need to get a repair you can bring your Nintendo there, and if you're like us and from out of town, you can take a sort of Gamer's Pilgrimage there. The two staff members working there were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly.

As this is a working customer service center not a tourist/fanatic stop and shop, the "center" is nothing more than a simple room with two small seating areas--featuring large statues of Mario and Pikachu. There are a few games to play and a small display case of random Nintendo memorabilia through the ages. Aside from being a Customer Service Center and a waiting room for patrons , this place also functions as a shop (though I'm sure you could buy better Nintendo paraphanaila at the New York store) there is a small selection of Nintendo merchandise for sale. It's definitely not a "you have to see this or you'll regret it" place, but if you're a fan it's cool to check out--even if just for bragging rights--to add to your gamer street cred.

In any case, here are some photos:

Front of the Customer Service Center