Category: blog

Lydia’s Story at the New Jersey Film Festival

Lydia’s Story is a short documentary — an intimate account of civil war, Nazi invasion, and the post-WWII American immigration experience. The story is told through the eyes of Lydia Rohowich Zakrewsky, who was born in Belorusia in 1929, and lives today in Milltown, New Jersey.

Lydia's Story at the New Jersey Film Festival
Lydia’s Story at the New Jersey Film Festival

The 30-minute film was produced, written, and directed by my friends Alex Zakrewsky and Heather Fenyk, and will be screened as part of the official selection at the on October 5, 2014. Come see it — you’ll be glad you did.

Disclosure: I was paid to develop the .

A collection of absurdly-targeted web ads

This is a follow-up to my post “Marketers know everything about us! [SARCASM]“. The absurdly-targeted web ads just keep on coming, so I decided to start a collection and post some of them here. Most won’t need an explanation; I will provide one where I think it might be needed.

My small-but-growing collection includes: an Amazon ad for shoes I just bought from Amazon; a CafePress ad for ; an ad for degrees for CIA officers; banner ads in languages I don’t understand, like Korean and Chinese.

LinkedIn astrologer professional connection suggestion
LinkedIn astrologer professional connection suggestion

COMMENTARY: LinkedIn thinks I may know and may want to connect professionally to a professional astrologer based in India.

Amazon Adidas shoe ad for shoes I just bought from Amazon
Honda banner ads in Korean and Chinese
Honda banner ads in Korean and Chinese

COMMENTARY: I speak neither language

GeoHipster t-shirts from CafePress web ad

COMMENTARY: This is my product. I am selling these . So the marketing “system” (not CafePress) is trying to get me to buy the product that I sell.

USAA understands MILITARY LIFE web ad
USAA understands MILITARY LIFE web ad

COMMENTARY: I was never in the US military, nor was anyone in my family.

DEGREES FOR CIA OFFICERS web ad
DEGREES FOR CIA OFFICERS web ad

COMMENTARY: I am not a CIA officer, obviously. If I were an undercover CIA officer, this ad would be even more inappropriate.

Topics I will no longer argue about

This is a long-overdue list of Topics I Will No Longer Argue About. The list is far from complete, and I will almost certainly be adding stuff to it.

  • religion
  • politics
  • bike helmets
  • two spaces after a period
  • iOS vs. Android
  • Mac vs. PC
  • English spelling and grammar
  • what “football” is
  • what an “architect” is and does
  • the value of professional and trade certifications
  • the Oxford comma

Prescription sunglasses for $20

I don’t do “sponsored” posts, but this will probably look like one so I feel I must say it: This is NOT a paid post.

It’s a brave new world, and you are invited

I have been wearing glasses for over fifteen years. Every time my prescription goes up (about every other year or so) I must shell out $500 or more for new lenses and new prescription sunglasses. No more.

The folks at made me these wonderful new prescription sunglasses for a fraction of what I would have paid at the mall store. You order online, you choose from thousands of stylish frames, you upload your prescription info, you choose the type of lens. They mail you brand new glasses (frames, lenses), case, and a cleaning cloth in about a week.

My new prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical
My new prescription sunglasses from Zenni Optical

PS I opted for the higher-end polarized lenses, so these glasses cost more than $20. But I could have had the same frames with prescription tinted lenses for about $20.

New Google Camera with “Lens Blur”

Today (April 16, 2014) Google released a new version of the application for Android 4.4+ (KitKat). The app comes with many new features, but my favorite is the “Lens Blur” mode, which allows the user to focus and refocus the photo after it was taken, similar to the stand-alone .

Below is a selfie illustrating the new functionality.

Google Camera Lens Blur collage
Google Camera Lens Blur collage