Finding the 'Two and a Half Men' Coffee Mugs

After watching Two and a Half Men for several years, I reached a point where I had to hunt down the cool coffee mugs that Charlie Sheen and Jon Cryer use on the show. The sitcom spends a lot of time in the kitchen, and Charlie and Alan Harper each drink from their own distinctive striped mugs. I'm not alone in my obsession. A discussion on TV.Com led to Tabletop Lifestyles on Amazon, which sold Charlie's mug under the name Sedona 16-Ounce Mug. I ordered four, and I'm still searching for the ... (read more)

Telemanjaro: The World's Largest HDTV

I attended Sunday's match between Chelsea FC and Club America at the new Cowboys Stadium, the $1.15 billion facility that opened a few weeks ago in Arlington. I expected the stadium to be huge, but Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has managed to construct a facility that is enormous even by the overcompensating standards of big-boot, tiny-johnson Texas excess. Cowboys Stadium has the largest roof in the world that isn't supported by columns. Two arches twice as wide as the Gateway Arch in St. ... (read more)

Advanta Closes One Million Credit Card Accounts

Advanta, a credit card provider for small businesses, announced today that it is shutting down all one million of its customer accounts on May 30. As a longtime customer I was told today via email that I must stop using the cards in four days. The bank has reassured me, however, that I may keep paying the bill after that date. "You may continue to pay down your account balance over time, as allowed under your Advanta Business Card Agreement," the email states. Since Advanta has been jacking up ... (read more)

Chuck Todd is Hurting America

In the latest story about how Republicans are in trouble and we're in for 1,000 years of one-party rule, NBC News political director Chuck Todd unintentionally reveals one reasons most political news coverage sucks big rocks: There are a number of ugly debates going on inside the Republican Party right now. There is the debate over whether or not there is even something wrong; there's the debate over whether or not RNC chair Michael Steele should be trusted with making financial decisions for ... (read more)

'Mad Men': Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette

I'm catching up on Mad Men by watching the first season on DVD. I find the show's atmosphere amazing, both in terms of the characters at the ad agency and the 1960 setting they inhabit. I can't recall a TV series where the sets have been so immaculately well-designed. The offices, bars, apartments and homes are so engrossing that at times I wish the characters would get out of the way so I could see them better. Part of the appeal is nostalgia. When I was a young child in the early '70s my ... (read more)

Meet Charlie the Angry Leather Salesman

On late-night television in Utica, N.Y., leather store salesman Charlie Celi went off the script in November to share his opinion on the state's politicians. Celi, who handles marketing for Forever Leather at the Sangertown Square shopping center in New Hartford, N.Y., flew into a Howard Beale-style rant against former Gov. Eliot Spitzer and departing Sen. Hillary Clinton. "If Spitzer wasn't out there poppin' chicks like bon bons, maybe we'd be a little better," Celi says in an ad that has made ... (read more)

The Sarah Connor's Great-Grandparents Chronicles

David Friedman asks a good question: Why does Skynet keep sending Terminators after Sarah Connor? Or even John Connor, for that matter? Why not go back a hundred years, or two hundred years, and kill her great grandparents? ... Future John Connor would surely send a human into the past to stop the Terminator from killing his great great grandparents. So how does this person fight against a robot killer in an age when technology is so primitive, using his knowledge from the future? And how does ... (read more)

No More Apple Blue Screen of Death

A web site has been airing a commercial on ESPN and other networks for its computer tuneup services. The first time I saw the commercial, I felt sorry for the iMac and iBook users whose computers crash when they use Windows XP to check their email and browse the web. Getting a blue screen of death on your Apple laptop can't be easy to repair -- if FinallyFast.Com helps these unfortunates, more power to them. But a disclaimer on the commercial indicates the service only works with PCs. Without ... (read more)

Finding Good Blogs in a Sea of Spam

The 16 free WordPress hosts I began in February have been a gigantic maintenance hassle because of spammer abuse, but they have lauched two cool new sites: The Ad Whisperers, a blog about TV commercials, and Political Fretwork, a liberal blog that mines the press for political news. Last night, Ad Whisperers linked to a phone commercial that has an unusual selling point -- our company will stick with you through all the changes in your life -- even sexual orientation: You may have seen the new ... (read more)

Installing a TiVo-Friendly DirecTV Receiver

One of the things I didn't know about TiVo, until it was too late, was the importance of having a compatible cable or satellite box. My original TiVo installation was for a digital cable set-top box. Because the box lacked a serial input port for changing channels, I had to use the infrared blaster (a three-sided cord with two infrared output lights that pretends to be a remote control). This worked without a hitch. When I switched to DirecTV, the installation included a Philips DSX5353 ... (read more)