Sunday, December 28, 2008

Santa Delivers

Santa Delivers
Originally uploaded by Yanov.
I caught a quick picture of Santa taking a rest after dropping off some goodies for the kids.

Please Don't Stare

It's not a good idea to stare into the sun. My Blackberry doesn't always take my advice, however.

Sun 60

During yesterday's long drive back, I took a few pictures of the sun using my Blackberry.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The light at the end of the tunnel

The Light at the end of the tunnel is Virginia.
(We are entering from Tennessee.)


Click photo to enlarge.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

The Family Tree before the toddlers start opening. I hope you and those you love make some memories this year. -- Phil Yanov via BlackBerry

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Friday, December 19, 2008

American Public Media to Cancel Weekend America

American Public Media is cancelling weekly production and distribution of Weekend America® as a result of the current economy's impact on station carriage and sponsorships. The final broadcast will be January 31, 2009. Thirteen full- and part-time positions will be affected. Weekend America is carried on 134 stations with a weekly audience of about 657,000 listeners.

As an outsider, I haven't quite figured out why this show struggled so much.  It's been quite a puzzle. I have listened to every show via podcast, however, and there have been some really remarkable moments. I'll miss the show and wish those who will be out looking for their next gig the best of luck.

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New Ideas for a New Carolina Wild Card Voting Has Begun

The New Ideas for a New Carolina statewide business ideas contest has pulled in celebrity support to judge the Wildcard category. Co-owner of the Charleston RiverDogs Baseball team and their "Director of Fun", comedian Bill Murray and Mike Veeck, President of the RiverDogs will pick the Wildcard category winner.

Residents of South Carolina can vote for their favorite Wildcard business idea until December 29 at . Out of the top five chosen, celebrity judges will then pick the winner which will be announced at the awards ceremony on February 11, at the ThinkTEC Innovation Summit in Charleston. Last year's winner of this category was Julie McWerther who created the Azula, a fashionable mat that keeps women's swimsuits from snagging when sitting on the edge of the pool.

The Winner of the Wildcard category will receive $2,500, tickets to the ThinkTEC Innovation Summit and a scholarship to a FastTrac®, entrepreneurial business training course. They will also be eligible for the grand prize of $5,000 seed money for their business idea and a Dream Team of Mentors to help cultivate their idea.

In its fourth year, South Carolina's New Ideas for a New Carolina Business Idea Contest consists of the New Ideas Dream Team, a coalition of representatives from SC Launch!, New Carolina SC's Council on Competitiveness, FastTracSC, ThinkTEC and other organizations around the state. Ideas are judged by South Carolina leaders from angel capital groups, businesses, non-profits, government entities and educational institutions. Winners are chosen based on the idea's viability, innovation/vision and profit/revenue potential.

Cast your vote: 

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I shot a Rhino and all I got was a Schmap

I am delighted to let you know that one of my photos with
a Creative Commons license has been selected for inclusion
in the newly released sixth edition of the Schmap Atlanta 

I shot this Rhino while at Zoo Atlanta :

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Early Literacy Volunteer Storytimers Needed at Library

Have you thought about donating your time to the library by participating in story times and other children's programs, but never knew how? Come join ELVS (Early Literacy Volunteer Storytimers), the Greenville County Library System's new volunteer program, where you can help the Children's librarians prepare and present story times.

Volunteers who successfully complete a training and evaluation process will be eligible to present Saturday morning story time programs.  Training sessions will be scheduled beginning in January.  Come ready to read, laugh and play!

For more information, call Amy Pecht at 242-5000 x2286 or Gail Moore at 242-5000 x2800.

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Free and Legal Holiday mp3 downloads from Amazon

Amazon wants to put you in the Holiday Spirit by offering some free mp3 downloads .  Start with the Holiday Sampler shown below and then search for other free mp3 holiday downloads. There are quite a few. Thanks Amazon!  The downloader helper app installs as quickly and easily as they say, and the tunes are loaded automatically into iTunes, or Windows Media Player.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Donate working computers to a project that will give them new life

I hope that many of you will be receiving some a new laptop or PC this Holiday.  I hope that because maybe I'll get lucky and someone will send me one, too. (Note to Asus, I'd really like to check out a netbook.)  Once the new computer is in place, you will have a new problem to deal with.  What do you do with the old one?  

The Free Linux PC project accepts used computers that still have life in them, erases all of the data and operating system, loads a fresh install of Linux along with some productivity software and then donates the computers to those who need, but can't afford them. Learn more about the types of equipment they are looking for on their website.

Donate used but working computers to

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We're taking your calls at noon today

Your Day radio schedule for week of December 15, 2008
CLEMSON -- The following Your Day radio programs from Clemson University Radio Productions are scheduled to air on South Carolina ETV Radio for the week of December 15, 2008. The program airs from noon to 1:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Listeners can call in during a "live" show by using the toll-free phone number: 1-888-539-8859.


A live call-in hour on the Internet, computers, and related technologies.  Eric Rodgers hosts Internet expert and blogger Phil Yanov, executive director of the GSA Technology Council and president of Thinkhammer.  Listeners can call in via the tollfree number 888-539-8859 to ask questions about the Internet, computers, new digital devices and related topics in consumer electronics.


For more information, contact Your Day at (864) 656-4550 or visit

Stations and Schedules at:

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Bad Weather Closes Yahoo?

Yahoo's contact center for Small Business hosting is closed due to inclement weather.  

I appreciate that Yahoo has made it easy for me to discover this fact once I called them for service that can not be rendered via their online control panel. I am glad that I am not hanging out on hold waiting for someone who will never come. Yahoo has  also updated their voice mail message and website status page to reflect that they are closed. Kudos to them for keeping me informed.

Still, I am baffled that a global brand that delivers tools to virtual organizations has completely shuttered their live customer service operation due to local weather. What's in your Business Continuity Plan?

01:00 PM PST: Contact center closed due to inclement winter weather
Due to inclement weather, we have been forced to close our contact center.
Please visit the Small Business Help Center for assistance. We will update this status page periodically regarding the closure of our contact center.
We apologize for the inconvenience.
07:26 PM PST
Severe winter weather has forced us to keep our contact center closed. Only limited customer support is available at this time.
We will reopen the contact center as soon as weather permits. In the meantime, please visit the help center for assistance.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Are you in print? Take advantage of the Local Author Expo

The Greenville County Library System is now accepting applications for the Local Author Expo. This event is designed to promote the work of print-published authors living in the Upstate of South Carolina. The submission deadline is January 16 and all submissions can be faxed to 864-235-8375 or mailed to:

Local Author Expo Selection Committee
Greenville County Library System
25 Heritage Green Place 
Greenville, SC 29601

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Special holiday gifts for sale in the Friends Shop at the Hughes Main Library

If you are looking to fit some great gifts into your budget this holiday season, why not explore the Friends Shop at the Hughes Main Library! Along with its usual stock of gently-used, low-cost books, the Friends Shop is now offering new unique gifts for all ages. Our selection includes journals, games, magnets, bookmarks and other book-related accessories perfect for holiday gifts and stocking stuffers!

When you purchase an item from the Friends Shop, not only are you taking home a quality gift, you are helping with a great cause. Proceeds from each item purchased benefits the Friends of the Greenville County Library System, a non-profit organization whose purpose is to support the library system by providing financial assistance. The Friends help fund year-round programs, like the Family Fridays series, as well as special activities and the publication of Access, the library's bimonthly newsletter. 

The Friends Shop at the Hughes Main Library has regular operating hours of 10:00a-4:00p Monday-Saturday. Special holiday hours include Sunday afternoons from 2:30p-5:00p (now until December 21).  For more information about the Friends Shop, call 242-5000 x3004 or x2286. Come take advantage of great book and gift selections while helping an important cause!

Via: The Greenville County Library System 

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

One kitty's hopes for the Holiday Season

This kitty may need a drink...

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Carousel Zebra

Carousel 200812-143
Originally uploaded by Yanov.
We went by the European Village in Piazza Bergamo this weekend and took a few pix of the kids on the carousel. I grabbed this shot of a Zebra being eyed by the Tiger. Even though the zebra panicked and ran in circles for hours, the tiger never got any closer.

Monday, December 08, 2008

More than half of all American adults play video games on their...

The Pew Internet Project recently released a data memo on Adults and
Video Games.  Among the main findings:

More than half - 53% - of all American adults play video games of some
kind, whether on a computer, on a gaming console, on a cell phone or
other handheld device, on a portable gaming device, or online

Age is the biggest demographic factor in game play by adults. Younger
adults are significantly more likely than any other game group to play
games, and as age increases game play decreases. Independent of all
other factors, younger adults are still more likely to play games.

Among older adults 65+ who play video games, nearly a third play games
everyday, a significantly larger percentage than all younger players, of
whom about 20% play everyday.

Age is also a factor in determining an individual's preferred
game-playing device. Gaming consoles are the most popular for young
adults: 75% of 18-29 year old gamers play on consoles, compared with 68%
who use computers, the second most popular device for this age group.

Out of all the gaming devices, computers are the most popular among the
total adult gaming population, with 73% of adult gamers using computers
to play games, compared with 53% console users, 35% who using cell
phones, and 25% using portable gaming devices.

Read the full report:

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Greenville Mac Users Group Holiday Event Is Tonight

GMUG Christmas Get-together ,
Monday, December 8, 2008
Door Prizes !

7:00 PM

Bring a sweet or salty/non-sweet treat to share
and have fun time with your fellow Mac users!

In the Fellowship Hall
Grace Baptist Church
5020 Old Spartanburg Road
Taylors, SC 29687
(At the Intersection of Brushy Creek & Old Spartanburg Roads)

Note: if you need more information regarding this gathering:
e-mail Penelope Cansler  -

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

What do you do once you have been whitelisted to use Google Friend Connect?

I have been whitelisted to use Google Friend Connect. Anyone doing anything cool with it? ? I originally signed up as I wanted to see if it might be a way to add social network features to the GSATC website. I still have an interest in that, but haven't figured out if it is suitable for that purpose. My investigation continues, but I'd love to hear from others who are exploring the service.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Gas at a buck fourty three

Gas is $1.43 at the Walmart, a place you couldn't buy gas for any price just a month ago. Can someone go over that supply and demand explanation again?
-- Phil Yanov via BlackBerry

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Our Weekend plans - Festival of Trees Holiday Village

We make sure to get to the Holiday Village every year.  I especially love the bratwurst and mulled wine. We always get great pictures of Kathryn on the carousel .  This will be baby boy's first go round.


A treat for the whole family with snow,
complimentary carousel rides for the kids,
complimentary entertainment, and family friendly
food and beverages.

November 28th through December 21st
Fridays 5 pm - 9 pm
Saturdays 2 pm - 9 pm and Sundays 2 pm - 6 pm

Complete Festival of Trees 
for downtown Greenville, SC Program below:

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Thomas Kinkade enters Self-Aggrandizement Hall of Fame

I'll admit it.  The voting was rigged.  I only allowed one entry in the contest and I awarded entry.  This is the swillingest piece of PR swill I've ever seen. Warning: Thinking people may retch when reading this. 
The Painter of Light(R) To Appear in Weekend Blitz with Major Galleries Across the U.S. Thomas Kinkade, renowned as the Painter of Light(TM), will appear in person in a pre-holiday tour in partnership with six of his galleries beginning Friday, December 5 and extending throughSunday, December 7, 2008, as the artist completes the last leg of the 2008 Share the Light(TM) Tour. 

Here is the money shot... 

The most successful and most collected living artist in U.S. history, Kinkade will share with guests a special message about the making of Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage, the first-ever movie about the Worlds' Most Collected Living Artist. The events will feature two of his newest holiday Limited Edition releases: Christmas in New York depicting the romantic Rockefeller Center bedecked for the holidays, and Graceland Christmas. Additionally, Kinkade will unveil the highly-anticipated premiere image in the Timeless Disney Moments Collection: Snow White Discovers the Cottage.

If this has offended, I apologize. My diatribe is born out of nothing more professional envy.  Mega success has eluded me in my own attempts to sell schlock for big bucks.  As grifts go, Kinkade's got the best I've ever seen.

This is Total frickin' awesomeness from Olan Mills

This is just one photo in an incredibly funny collection of Total frickin' awesomeness from Olan Mills, Sears and other fine portrait studios. The captions are killer. I promise that that this will be the funniest thing you see all day, unless, of course, one of your 1970's family portraits happens to be included in the collection. Thanks to Josephine.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

Peter Waldschmidt of on Your Day radio today

Today on Your Day:

Log for Life.  Phil Yanov, founder of the GSA Technology Council and president of ThinkHammer, talks with Peter Waldschmidt, the founder and CEO of Gnoso about Log for Life, an online diabetes log book that allows you to log more information with less effort, from any location. Gnoso is a Greenville, SC based software development company.

Listen at noon on WEPR 90.1 FM in Upstate SC, or stream live on the web.

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Remember The Milk - Strike Two

Since I Want Sandy will be gone next week, I've decided to spend a bit of time looking about for something else to manage my tickler file.  I finally got over the name of Remember The Milk and went to the website with the idea of giving it a try. I learned on page one  that it does not support the Google Chrome browser. Sorry guys.  Maybe we can hook up some other time.

From the website:

Remember The Milk is accessible via a PC, Linux, or Macintosh (Mac) computer with one of the following fully supported browsers:

        • Firefox 2.0+
        • IE 6.0 and 7.0
        • Opera 9.0+
        • Safari 3.0+

For the best experience, we recommend using Firefox 3, IE7, or Safari 3.

Potential users must also enjoy websites with slightly precious names.

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