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Release Date: September 29, 2009
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Discover New Music

  • Live at the Magic Bag, Ferndale, MI

    • 6 out of 10
    • Supersuckers
    • Man, there's nothing like good, old fashioned, rock and roll... add a bit of industry resentment to that with a double-shot of cynicism, and you get one of the best "new" rock bands going. This album
  • Rock Spectacle

    • 8 out of 10
    • Barenaked Ladies
    • These guys know how to put on a live show, and whomever recorded this knows how to capture one. Rock Spectacle is one of the warmest-sounding recordings I've ever heard, and totally fills a room at a
  • Velocifero

    • 6 out of 10
    • Ladytron
    • "Back to the future" isn't the right turn of phrase for Ladytron's newest album,

  • Guero

    • 10 out of 10
    • Beck
    • Beck is the modern master of the groove, and Guero is merely the latest example of this. From the opening power chords of "E-Pro," to the Pac-Man cuteness of "Girl," to the dirge-like lullab

  • The Last 5 Years (2002 Off-Broadway Cast)

    • 10 out of 10
    • Jason Robert Brown
    • The soundtrack to this moving off-broadway musical is heart moving. The lyrics follow a couple in a relationship for five years, one point of view going forward in time, and the other tracing time fr

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Travel Ideas, Adventure Travel, Postino and More

Well, the kids are out of school and restless, the sun refuses to set, and when it does squadrons of mosquitoes hunt you like Ahab did Moby Dick.

It must be Summer.

If it's Summer then it means that it must be close to vacation time. Beaches, bikinis, and sun burns are only weeks away, time to start planning your getaway.

My Summers are usually spent mowing the lawn. I also sweat a lot. Even in air conditioned rooms. This is Florida and sweating is not only considered a natural thing to do, it is expected.

If you don't sweat it's not that you are cool, it's most likely because you're dead, and on some days when it is particularly hot and humid even the dead sweat.

It's something you get use to. (The smell, on the other hand...)

Anyway, there isn't a lot of planning for my Summers, the lawn grows, I cut it. There isn't much more to it than that, but you may be thinking about destinations both near and far where you can spent quality time away from your day to day existence.

Deciding where to go is a toughie, deciding what to do when you get there can be even tougher.

Lucky for you I have a few freebies to offer that may help with your vacation planning, starting off an ideal podcast from The Travel Channel called, appropriately enough, Travel Ideas.


St. Thomas as seen on Travel Ideas

Hosts of various Travel Channel shows offer up tips on what to do and see at popular vacation destinations like The Virgin Islands, Australia, The Philippines, or places closer to home like Boston and Los Angeles.

These little shows are great. They are fun to watch and are only about 2 minutes long, so you can go through several of them quickly. There's a lot of them too, about 25.

Even if you don't go to the destination shown in the shows watching Travel Ideas could give ideas for what to do whenever you get to where ever you decide to go.

There are some places where most of us will likely never see personally, the peaks of the Alps is one place, another is the Great Barrier Reef off the northern shores of Australia. If you're wanting to see what you are missing you might try Adventure Travel Videos.

Diving into The great Barrier Reef a la Adventure Travel Videos

There about 10 of these podcasts and almost all explore various facets of The Great Barrier Reef.

OK. I'll admit to a personal fascination with this wondrous reef and I know I'll likely never see it, much less dive near it, so any show that offers glimpses of the reef has my attention.

Adventure Travel Videos are all shot in high definition and are absolutely beautiful. There is an odd episode featuring Great White Sharks near the Isle of Guadalupe off the west coast of Mexico, which is not my idea of a fun vacation, but the rest of the episodes are all about The Great Barrier Reef.

Good stuff.

OK, so you've decided to go all out this year and visit Chatty Belle, the world largest talking cow who stands sentinel over Neillsville, Wisconsin, and you sure would like to be ale to send off a few "Wish you were here" postcards to friends and family.


Chatty Belle

That's easy enough. In fact, you can snap a shot of you standing under Belle's gigantic udders with your iPhone and fire off a real live postcard without ever licking a stamp. You can work this magic if you have Postino, a new and free app available at the iTunes Store.

This is a cool little app that lets you snap shots with your iPhone camera and use those photos in your e-cards, which you can mail directly from your phone. Postino offers a variety of frames and photo editing features, and you can even sign your cards by scribbling your name on your iPhone screen. But what make Postino really cool is that you can send any of your post card creation to anyone anywhere in the world with a physical address by using Postino's post card mailing service.

You buy stamps virtually, send Postino your postcard and destination address and they will print the postcard and mail it for you. How cool is that?

The only drawback I can see is that the postcard won't have the postmark local to your current location, but you can include GPS info with your card if you want.

Still, Postino is cool and relatively cheap. Check it out.

Well, that's a wrap for this week.

More free stuff below with direct links.


Vern Seward is a writer who currently lives in Orlando, FL. He’s been a Mac fan since Atari Computers folded, but has worked with computers of nearly every type for 20 years.

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